Ever feel like your inner cogs are all out of sync? Whether its you health, plans or just general mood not lining up? I felt like that a lot last year, especially towards then end of the year when I was out of work for a while. I lost all sense of routine and lost a bit of myself along the way. I doubted myself, my body and my brain. It wasn’t obvious something was wrong, until now. This year, something has clicked already. Like all my cogs are in sync and I can just chill. My body feels good, my head feels good, and my heart is bursting. A happiness wave has washed over me, and I hope it’s gonna stay high tide for a while.
Needing a little pick me up? Wanna shake up your pancake repertoire? Look no further, these green machines are the perfect lunchtime boost. They’re packed with spinach, wholesome buckwheat flour, and a hint of wheatgrass.
This recipe comes to you with a wink. A little bit naughty, a little bit indulgent. Because we’ve had 2 weeks of our new clean eating, fitness mad, alcohol quitting regimes, and now it’s time for a break. I’m an advocate of the 80/20 (sometimes 70/30) rule. Restriction only leads to failure I say! Well done, give yourself a little pat on the back, have a break, have a mocha muffin.
I love chocolate, that is a well-known fact. I used to love nothing better than digging into a big bar of Dairy Milk, easily eating the whole thing in one go, and then feeling terrible afterwards. Chocolate is my vice, but now I’m more of an 80% dark chocolate girl, those purple packets no longer tempt me, no longer do they magically appear in my shopping trolley. Cacao is chocolate in its raw form, a slightly bitter taste, but delicious and earthy. Cacao contains magnesium, calcium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 and also is a great anti-oxidant.
These muffins are still full of goodness, and have a lovely nutty flavour from the buckwheat, with an added treat inside. If you’re not feeling the Baileys, you can easily leave it out. They’re low in sugar, so they won’t set you up for a rollercoaster ride of highs. They come together quickly and bake in 15 minutes. I’ve used an egg to help bind them together, which adds protein, but I think a flax egg would work well here too.
I am currently in a mad panic of packing, cooking and general frenzy. Tomorrow we fly to New York City, for 6 days full of fun and frolics. Oh, and the small matter of the marathon, that my amazing mother is running whilst we are there!
As usual, I have left everything until the last-minute. Chucking my whole wardrobe into my small suitcase, and trying to simultaneously batch cook some food for Charlie for the week ahead. I am a slight mess, and on the verge of hysteria. Except it’s OK, because I’M TOO EXCITED TO GET STRESSED.
Back in January, I encouraged my mum to apply for the NYC Marathon. I’d applied too and thought it would be so awesome if we ran it together. Except, I didn’t get a place, but she did. It was a darn good excuse to get a little family trip organised. 10 months later, after extensive training (with me as her personal cheerleader) she is ready. We’ve become good running buddies (minus the odd tantrum (me) and ‘5 mile toe’ ache (her) ) and I’m going to be so proud, cheering her on at the sidelines. I’m a little gutted I’m not getting to run it myself, but I think my legs are more than happy to just be a bystander. She’s raising money for an amazing, local charity; Time2Share. Time2Share support young people with disabilities by offering befriending and social opportunities. Every single penny donated will be used to support these amazing young adults. You can sponsor my wonderful mother here.
We’ve been living a life afloat for nearly two years now. 2 years of boat life, cruising through some of the finest countryside that the South West has to offer. 2 years living a simpler way of life. 2 years on our well-loved, 55ft, semi-traditional mass of steel. Since living on the boat, we’ve only really made minor changes to her. Removing some shelves here, a bit of paint there. Slowly adding our touch, but not anything life changing or dramatic. It’s taken me quite a long time to feel like she is our home. I spent a long time feeling like I was living in someone else’s space, someone else’s dream.
Last week, we realised we had
quite a bad rot problem in the wood underneath our lino floor. When you step down into the boat and almost put your foot through the floorboards, you know you’ve got issues. Being the calm soul that I am, I dealt with this in an adult and gentle manner. Ha, who am I kidding. I huffed and I puffed around the boat, crying to Charlie that this was a faff and we can’t afford to redo the whole floor etc etc. He calmed me down (like he does so well) and told me we he would sort it. However, ‘sorting it’ meant stripping out the back end of the boat, to get to the problem area. We emptied the wardrobes, cleared the cobwebs and ripped up those floor boards. It was a faff, but not as much as we first thought. We got it sorted and now have a sturdy floor again.
With everything out, we realised we had a LOT of space at the back end of the boat. Space that was being wasted, empty space to lose shoes and bags in. We decided it was high time to put our touch on our little water baby. ‘I COULD HAVE A STUDIO’ I squealed. Drenched in natural light, this corner of the boat would be perfect. We settled on a nice little desk come storage area, a space to work at, but that was practical and a space for clothes and shoes too. We managed to up-cycle the old wardrobes into a thing of beauty. Charlie is a talented man, and within 2 days, the area was transformed.
After the mud fest came the calm. We left Scotland on Tuesday and drove back down into England. We literally left the rain at the Scottish border. We headed to Lancaster for a few days to catch up with Charlie’s family, who we don’t get to see often enough. I have been to that area a handful of times now, and every time I go the sky is as dark as slate, fields getting soaked in the Northern downpours. I make a joke every time we drive North that way, because the sky grows darker and darker the nearer we get, that it really does always rain up North. Expectations were low on the weather front, but the closer we got to our destination, the sunnier it was getting. This, was pure luck. We enjoyed this luck exploring waterfalls and trails around the area. Catching up with his family and enjoying long, rested nights in a real bed.
Now, well rested after a lovely few days back on our beloved boat, we are getting ready for another festival filled couple of weeks. All caught up on sleep and rest. It’s funny how you don’t realise how tired you are until you stop. Your body keeps pushing on through the long ass days and keeps you going. Like the good machine that it is. I had a to-do list the size of my arm this weekend, but as soon as I plonked my butt on the sofa, I knew that it just wasn’t gonna happen. Orange is the New Black and Kardashians were all of a sudden top priority. Yup, my body was on time out mode.
I did muster up the energy to get a little baking in. Stopping off at my parents for a night I was treated to a garden overflowing with juicy goodies. Mainly raspberries, oh the raspberries. My parents were out-of-town so I figured I’d help them with the gardening and got a big tub load of those red babies to bring home with me. All in the name of recipe testing Mum! Paired with some delicious peaches from the market and this glorious galette was born.
6 months ago, I started this blog, as the result of an online WordPress course. I started it as a means to get me out of the hole I felt I was in. I needed something to focus on, to work towards. I had just had a fantastic summer of fun, working at festivals with some of my closest friends, then all of a sudden, the fun stops. I wasn’t really sure where I was going in life (and still am unclear) and felt I needed to do something to get me excited about things again.
Originally, once I had built the blog, I wasn’t planning on showing anyone. I was scared of the reaction, or lack of reaction. What if no-one ever looked at it? My photos weren’t as good as all the other blogs I read. Why would anyone want to read what I’d cooked the day before? What if it was a total flop and a waste of time? After a few weeks, I decided I had nothing to lose. I was willing to give it a shot. I loved having to think up new recipe ideas every week, and I’m pretty sure Charlie loved coming home to get to be the official taste tester. So I shared it with the world.
I thought, if I was lucky, I’d get maybe 10 views a day, all from family and friends. I never imagined that people from Australia and America and Canada would look at my site. It started slowly, but the more I wrote, the more people seemed to take an interest. I joined blogging pages on FB, communities on twitter and Instagram, and have met so many amazing people, purely just because I started this blog. It’s opening up doors for me, exciting projects, that I never thought I was ever capable of doing.