breakfast

It’s the Little Things.

So I had a couple of posts lined up but… I got sick. I’m actually pretty poorly, it’s just a bad cold but when I get ill it affects me more and the illness in turn exacerbates my fibro so I end up just feeling generally rubbish. But you know me, instead of going to bed and staying there, I was determined to go see Tom in London this weekend and then I met a couple of friends in town this week so yeah… It just meant that I did not feel at all up to posting. I’m not feeling even 60% yet but I wanted to write.

Seeing as I’m feeling so rotten, the only thing it makes sense to write about is things that make me feel just a little bit better!

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I know Easter is now over but I can’t help but miss the hot cross buns…

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Breakfast in bed. Need I say more?

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Reading by the window.

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Blankets, hot water bottles, and cuddles with my cat.

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Hot chocolates.

It really is the little things in life which make all of the difference. My days can sometimes seem a little blue when things are tough with my health but there are always little things which make a bit of difference and lift the spirits. It’s all about the positivity people, it can make a whole world of difference. As one of my closest friends tweeted this morning – ‘The best way for a person to have happy thoughts is to count their blessings, and not their cash’. Count your blessings, even the tiniest positive occurrences can make you a lot happier.

I hope you’re all really well and that you’re having a good week!

Sophie x

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Life Lately.

Wow. Things have been so busy for me for the past couple of weeks. I have an insanely long pile of reading to do, I have a presentation to write and give next week (ahh!) and I have an essay to write for next month. Oh dear…

Luckily I have lots of great stuff going on too so I’m just about managing to keep my head above the water. Tom is coming to visit this weekend and we haven’t seen each other in three weeks so it’ll be lovely to be reunited and be able to spend some time together. I went to see Les Mis (again) last night with a friend and we both cried (again), it’s such a moving film, each song is so rousing that you can’t help but get emotionally involved with the story. If you haven’t seen it yet I definitely recommend it, even if musicals aren’t really your thing, my mother isn’t keen on musicals and she loved it. My most exciting piece of news is that I am going to be moving out in September! For those of you that don’t know, I transferred to a uni closer to home this year so that I could live at home to make life easier for me because of my condition. However I’m going to get the best of both worlds in my final year, I’ll be in my hometown which I find easier to get around, I’ll be close to home, but I’ll get to live with friends and experience the typical student life. I’m really excited to make the move and get on with my life with my uni friends 🙂

I thought I’d do a photo recap of life lately, with everything going on I’ve not had much time to stop and blog or take proper photos so here is an Instagram summary of the past week or so!

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My current addiction: hot chocolate | Roast chicken Sunday dinner | Starting the morning well

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Pasta, my saviour | Floral beauty | More chocolatey goodness of the drinkable sort

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Last week’s baking fun | Homemade pizza | Fresh lunch

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Sunday lunch – chicken and mushroom pie | Heavy reading | A fruity start to the day

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Smile | Sunlit tulips | Healthy dips for lunch

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Cooking dinner for the family | Quinoa, courgettes, red peppers and onions | Sleepyheads

What have you been doing lately?
How is 2013 shaping up for you now that we’re in February?

Sophie x

Hospital Trips + A Lot of Work!

Hey guys 🙂

I hope you’re all having a great week!

After three days of traveling back and forth and a full day of lectures I’m feeling pretty exhausted. It makes me dread exams but I’m trying not to think like that! Whilst on the subject of exams, I have a 16.30 exam, it’s 1 hour 30 minutes long and then I have 25% extra time and a 10 minute rest break… This means I won’t finish till about 18.30pm. By far the latest exam I’ve ever sat and I’m really worried that I’ll be shattered by that point and struggling to make it through. Any advice on how not to let the fatigue get the best of me?

This morning was up at the early-ish time of 7.30am and I started straight with breakfast:

Good ol’ weetabix mush with skim milk and frozen raspberries.

Then it was on to my last Old English lecture and seminar, one after the other. They covered the exam topics but instead of reassuring me, that sort of session always makes me panic. I have a LOT to revise!

I didn’t get a picture of lunch as I was busy working but I had lots to get through and another lecture (this time Language) at 3pm. I did however, manage to get a photo of dinner and for once it was still light when I took the photo!

Wholemeal pasta with pan-fried courgette and garlic, an old favourite and still just as tasty. I have to say, I’m pretty sure courgette is my favourite vegetable, although that’s no surprise.

Anyway, I told you I’d write about my hospital trip so here’s a little insight.

I had an appointment with my pain consultant and he’s probably the best and most understanding doctor I’ve seen. I’ve only had one appointment with him previously yet he clearly remembered me, and had read my file from cover to cover (and I can tell you it isn’t short!). He also took the time to listen to me and asked intelligent, significant questions so I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time.

Obviously, they still can’t tell me what is wrong with me, when I’ll get better, or indeed, if I’ll get better. However, we are at a point where we can take a step forwards rather than backwards. We’ve made two decisions, firstly I am going to see the clinic’s physio once I transfer to see if we can strengthen my weaker areas and stretch me out a bit. Secondly, I’m also going to have a meeting with the clinic’s resident psychologist for some CBT to help me with pain management. I am not sure whether either will be a huge help, I try not to get my hopes up too much anymore because there has been very little progress in the last few years, however I’m open to trying almost anything 🙂 As long as it’s not harmful in any way, I figure I have nothing to lose!

How’s your week been?
Any late afternoon exam tips?
Do you have a favourite vegetable?


What I Ate Wednesday No.30

Hey there!

Well today is Wednesday so that means one thing and one thing only:

It’s time for some weekly eats courtesy of the lovely Jenn over at Peas and Crayons! If you have no idea what I’m on about a) where have you been all this time? and b) head on over to this week’s WIAW to find out how it all works 🙂

I have to say, I’m probably not doing too well on the whole “serve up an extra cup of veggies” thing… But it’s okay because I’m going to share with you two of the most delicious meals, both eaten out in town. I know, two meals out in two days… Get me and my energy!

In all honesty, I have almost no energy and spent the majority of the past two days on my bed but I’m just pleased that I’ve managed to leave the house each day. Small steps here people 😛

Before I share these two culinary marvels (I may be exaggerating just the tiniest bit there) I want to show you a photo of breakfast:

This is what I have eaten for breakfast pretty much everyday since getting back home. I just adore fresh blueberries. And cinnamon. It’s probably too much cinnamon but meh, I love the stuff.

Lunch today was just leftovers but I thought instead I would share the most amazing lunch I’ve had in a long long time:

This, my friends, is a chorizo burger in a brioche bun, stuffed with chorizo sausage, spicy hummus, red pepper and rocket along with a side of skin-on chips. From Bill’s cafe. So so SO good. I definitely recommend a visit to Bill’s if you’ve never been, it’s such a cute little place 🙂

I don’t always finish meals at the restaurant (I swear the portions are HUGE and in the UK it’s not common practice to take the leftovers home) but there was no way I was leaving any of this.

This brings me to today’s dinner.

I went out for a meal to Pizza Express with a group of friends, most of whom I haven’t seen in weeks and it was a lovely lovely evening (it’s also why I’m going to bed later than usual :-P).

I know the place is called Pizza Express, but when I saw this on the menu I forgot all about pizza…

The ‘Bosco Salad’ – Which is made up of garlic mushrooms, baby mozzarella, avocado, roasted tomatoes, spinach, rocket with a honey & mustard dressing and warm dough sticks. (Only without the mozzarella, I’m not a fan of the stuff.)

The dough sticks are so tasty and we all know how much I love mushrooms and avocado!

It’s always fun going out to the restaurant with friends, we have such hysterical conversations. And they remind me how lucky I am to have the support of brilliant friends. Relationships are something so special, they’re what I treasure the most in life 🙂

Anyway, I’m shattered, it’s at least two hours later than I planned on going to bed (yes I am 19 years old going on elderly, although that might even offend many elderly people!) so I’ll say goodnight.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
What is your favourite type of food to eat in a restaurant?
Are you an early bird or a night owl? 

Finally Fit.

Warning: the title of this post is not strictly accurate.

Right now I am actually incredibly UNfit.

Basically life at uni makes it incredibly hard for me to do any real exercise as I’m in too much pain from the ordinary day-to-day life.

However.

I plan on gently working on my fitness and gradually upping it until I’m at the fitness level I was at before uni.

If you can believe it, I used to go to the gym about three times a week and did strength or core work another three times a week! A far cry from where I am now, I haven’t been to the gym in weeks.

I was never enormously sporty when I was a child, I had practically no hand-eye coordination and hated ball sports. But I started dance aged three and carried on until I was fourteen years old. I still miss dancing but more than that, I really miss being physically fit.

So things are going to change.

And you can all hold me accountable when I’m feeling no energy or love for working out. Because I know that when I do workout, I feel really good, both physically and mentally 🙂

This morning I woke up after a lie-in, when my alarm first went off I was just too comfortable and warm in bed so I gave myself an extra hour of sleep. It felt really good to stay curled up in bed. I don’t always like to lie in because I think it wastes the day to stay in bed too long, however occasionally there is nothing better and today was one of those days!

I then had a leisurely breakfast so for once I had the time to photograph my breakfast:

I splashed out this weekend and bought myself some fresh blueberries, to be fair it was only £1 a punnet so it wasn’t actually that extravagant! For me there is nothing quite like having fresh fruit in the morning.

Then the rest of the morning was spent finishing off my essay whilst still tucked up in bed. What’s the point of sitting at my desk in the cold when I have so many cushions to prop myself up with? Plus I get really sore sitting up for too long so really it’s a win win situation 🙂

The best bits about today though were non food related for once!

I spent over an hour having a chat with one of my lovely friends – it’s so nice to get closer to people here. I miss the closeness I have with my friends back home and it’s nice to start building up relationships where I actually develop trust in the other person. It was her birthday on Friday so I bought her the cutest little notebooks which I thought were super appropriate for an English Lit student:

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Aren’t they cute? They’re little notebooks, quite tiny but perfect for writing quick little notes when out and about and they’re light and small enough to carry around easily. She seemed to really like them 🙂

The other great bit about today was I have finally found a fitness friend! One of the lovely lovely girls who lives in my block wants to lose weight and seeing how I have too much lots of knowledge on fitness, food, losing weight etc we’ve decided to become gym buddies and are going to motivate each other which is great 🙂

We’re going to take it slowly, she’s never used a gym before and my condition is a lot worse than it was back when I used to workout lots but it’s so nice to have someone to go with and share stories on fitness. It’s a lot more fun having someone to workout with occasionally!

Do you like to have lie-ins occasionally or are you an early riser without fail?
Do you prefer to workout on your own or with someone else?
What motivates you the most when it comes to fitness?

 

What I Ate Wednesday No.25

I can’t believe this is my twenty-fifth WIAW!

So once again, thank you to the fabulous Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for creating this brilliant concept to bring together a community every Wednesday like this, I am incredibly grateful!

As most of you know I am back at uni and I have been trying to throw myself into life here this term. I’ve joined the book club and the yoga society, I’m hoping to also get involved in some baking.

Before I start filling you in with my uni eats, I just want to say that the shape of my posts might change a bit over the next few weeks. I’m going to have to learn to cope with the heightened pain and exhaustion that uni brings and I have some major life decisions to make. It’s not going to be easy so things might be a bit sporadic for the next couple of weeks and at times I might sound a bit ‘down in the dumps’. I’ll get there though!

Anyway onto the most important meal of the day:

My usual bowl: weetabix mush with raw jumbo oats mixed in and a handful of frozen strawberries. I know I say this week after week but I love my breakfast. There’s not often anything more appealing to me in the morning – sad I know. My sister and boyfriend think it’s just slop in a bowl 😉 I’m just addicted I think, I could easily eat it twice a day. Confession: sometimes I do!

I spent the morning in a really brilliant lecture, it is times like that whenI realise just why I love this subject so much. Who wouldn’t want to see a photo of their lecturer photoshopped onto superwoman’s body??

Lunch was quick because I have had a ridiculous number of meetings etc to attend but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t delicious.

Avocado on toast. Simple, fresh and delicious. Just with a simple shake of salt and a drizzle of lemon juice.

This afternoon after yet more meetings, I finally had some time to stop and sit down. (And work). I’m loving my modern literature so much this term, it’s really fantastic, it’s by far my favourite module. I look forward to the lectures every week aaaand they’re at 9am. Hardly typical for that to be a hit with students 😛

I have been snacking on little (and sometimes not so little) nibbles of chocolate since being here. It’s dark chocolate but not at all bitter so I love it. And it’s the chocolate I remember my mum buying when I was little so it has nice memories with it 🙂

This evening I had a bit of a minor calamity.

I was meant to be going to the uni cake soc baking session. I was so excited. It was a big jump for me, I hate having to figure out transport and get terrified of situations where I don’t know anyone at all. But I’d completely psyched myself up and was raring to go.

Then I went to the wrong bus stop…

And ended up having to miss it 😦

I’m horrendous with figuring out bus timetables and the like but I was so disappointed. I really wanted to go this first week of term because it’s a good time to start!

I need my own personal in-built sat navor something!

Grr…

Anyway moving on 😛

I was pretty pleased with this. It’s essentially pan-fried courgette, tofu marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil and spices, served on a mix of red and white quinoa. It was so good, seriously I haven’t made myself something I’ve enjoyed as much as this in a long time 🙂

Anyway I am thoroughly exhausted, I have a lot to get through this week and I need my sleep!

Had any recent disasters?
Are you good with directions and finding your bearings?
What’s the best dish you’ve cooked recently?

 

Saturday Snaps, Waffles and a Beautiful Plate.

Today I leave for uni.

I haven’t yet packed but I’ve got about three hours so I figure I’ll be okay!

I’ve been at home for almost six weeks and it’s been a really lovely holiday. We had a wonderful family Christmas, I got to be with my amazing boyfriend for hours on end, I spent some fantastic time with my lovely friends and I did lots of really fun things. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to all of that.

But I do have things to look forward to, I have heaps planned for this term and I’m hopeful that things are going to be getting a lot better.

Yesterday I stayed up watching TV with my mum so I was too tired to post but we had some really delicious food.

I started the day off with the usual bowl of weetabix mush but I decided to stir in some of my mum’s lovely homemade apple sauce which worked so well. It made the bowl so juicy and fresh and I loved the touch of cinnamon it added. In my opinion cinnamon pretty much goes with most sweet food, it’s the queen of spices in my book (the king of spices is cayenne pepper). Of course the bowl had to be topped with granola. I’m going to miss this granola this term, it’s way too much of a luxury for me to buy it as a poor student!

I spent the morning lounging around reading. I go through phases when I don’t read quite so much because I’m too busy but lately I’ve been reading in every teeny spare moment I have. I’m devouring books at the rate I used to before exams and stress came along a few years ago and I love it!

Lunch was another lovely fresh tasting dish:

Courgette and Cherry Tomato Pasta.

serves 1

1 medium courgette
a handful of cherry tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
a handful of pine nuts
a glug of olive oil
60 g of wholemeal pasta

  • Heat the oil gently in a non-stick pan. Thinly slice the courgette, finely chop the garlic and halve the cherry tomatoes. Whilst the oil heats, bowl a kettle of water.
  • Add the courgettes and the garlic to the pan and stir till coated in the oil. Whilst they start to fry gently, put the pasta in to cook.
  • Keep stirring the courgette and garlic so that the garlic doesn’t burn. Once the courgette is starting to soften, add the cherry tomatoes and the pine nuts. Keep stirring occasionally.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return it to the pan. Tip the courgettes, cherry tomatoes, garlic and pine nuts into the pasta and mix together.
  • Serve and enjoy!

It’s a really simple dish, only takes about 15 minutes to cook and tastes just like summer. I love light lunches like this, they’re perfect for when you just want something easy but healthy. If you have a larger appetite just up the quantity of pasta and pine nuts for a more filling meal 🙂

I spent part of the afternoon formatting and printing off my essays. There is something so satisfying about having the proof of all that work in your hands. Even if it does use up a lot of paper!


 Dinner yesterday evening was a delicious plate of steak and chips with a peppercorn sauce. It is not a meal with pretensions of healthiness. It is purely a meal of indulgence. But despite not being a big meat-eater I do like a nice piece of steak. And for someone who is hugely fussy about things like fat in meat and eating off the bone, I like my steak to be red on the inside. And maybe even bleeding a little still. Call me crazy. (I’m sorry if that description made any of you veggies feel a bit disgusted!)

Anyway I probably won’t eat any meat for the next two months so I might as well enjoy this one meal. It did taste spectacular. And it’s an achievement in a way because this dish holds several of my former fear foods: chips, meat fat and cream. And so to be able to just savour the meal and accept how it feels good.

 

This morning my mum made me a rather delicious last breakfast:

Waffles 🙂 I had one topped with raspberry jam and one with a liberal sprinkling of icing sugar. They were rather delicious.

My parents also surprised me this morning with a completely unexpected gift…

A beautiful ‘Love Live and Learn’ plate. Isn’t it gorgeous? I absolutely adore it! Think how pretty it would look piled high with fruit or homemade muffins. I was overwhelmed by it, I had no idea they’d commissioned it for me. I’m so happy, it’s really lovely and it’s such a nice gift to be given.

It’s a lovely way to end the best Christmas holidays I think I’ve ever had!

I know I ask this a lot but any new book recommendations?
What indulgent meal do you enjoy despite its lack of healthy credentials?
Have you done anything particularly fun this weekend?