Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Yo! Sushi

This place has been around for AGES now, so if you haven't tried it, you really need a good excuse. For one, sushi doesn't mean raw fish...being technical sushi means the sticky rice that goes along with raw fish...but my point is, Yo! Sushi has so much to offer besides raw fish options. Check out their website here. You can get little curries and rice dishes, dumplings (get the dumplings!) and, what I love most, you can watch the little dishes go round the conveyor belt. This means that when you sit down, there's no waiting. Grab something and start eating!

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The plates are colour coded with price so you can budget accordingly, but beware...you almost always end up going a bit crazy for the enticing looking dishes as they waltz past you on their conveyor belt and end up grabbing more than you need to feel satisfied, and racking up a fairly sizeable bill...

Ping Pong

For our year anniversary, Ben and I decided to get ourselves a ping-pong table, unfortunately the little one we had our eye on in Argos was hiked up in price when this rolled around, so we passed. Then, after returning from our holiday we had a few games of table tennis at All Star bowling...and so I checked Argos again...only to find it had come back down in price. And so....

House Party October 2013

House Party October 2013
House Party October 2013
Possibly the best purchase of my life. Since we set it up, Ben and I have hardly put it away. You can see it's quite small and it folds away so it's great for shoving under the couch when we need the space back. Check it out here. It's not amazingly well constructed, but it does the job.

More importantly, Ben and I wanted this to happen......

House Party October 2013
House Party October 2013
House Party October 2013
What lesson did I learn? Beer pong is not for the faint hearted... watch your intake! Or get bigger teams! Our games night also featured such favourites as....

House Party October 2013
Jungle Speed. Honestly if you have never heard of it, invest in it. Just do. You will thank me.

House Party October 2013
Taboo also happened.

House Party October 2013
Hooping did not happen because our living room is small and only the best of hoopers (aka, me) can do it safely. But this was a good picture so I wanted to include it. Which is also the reason for these next two!

House Party October 2013

House Party October 2013
Steph also dropped in for a visit from Canada...via Skype!

House Party October 2013
Games nights are awesome! What's your favourite game? My collection could use revamping!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Nichola with a Saucepan

I have been doing so well on the cooking front! Not only am I, well, actually cooking, it's actually tasting GOOD! Check out my second blog Nichola with a Saucepan and make any of the following healthy dishes (all posted this week)!


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Avocado toast, the ultimate breakfast!

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Ruby Red Chicken Curry

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Brocolli and Carrot soup, cos it's getting cold out!

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Spicy Chicken Stew...this may be my new favourite dish.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Am I Mad?

In September I completed Run to the Beat Half Marathon and Tough Mudder. When I entered both events, I thought it was a little insane. Two hardcore events in one month? But somehow...the somehow being I did it to myself willingly... I have now lined up from March to April, a half marathon, a full marathon, and Tough Mudder again, for some reason.

Training has started, for the marathon really as that's the one that's scaring me (and I feel like it'll more or less cover me for the others). I'm being good and sticking to a program which I have included here:




Monday
Tuesday
Weds
Thursday
Friday
Sat
Sun
Week 1
Rest
4 easy
5 hills
Rest
Easy 4
Rest
6 miles
Week 2
Rest
4 speed
6 hills
Rest
Easy 4
Rest
7 miles
Week 3
Rest
5 speed
6 hills
Rest
Easy 5
Rest
9 miles
Week 4
Rest
5 speed
7 hills
Rest
Easy 5
Rest
11 miles
Week 5
Rest
4 speed
7 hills
Rest
Easy 6
Rest
12 miles
Week 6
Rest
5 speed
7 hills
Rest
Easy 4
Rest
10 miles
Week 7
Rest
6 speed
8 hills
Rest
Easy 7
Rest
13 miles
Week 8
Rest
6 speed
8 hills
Rest
Easy 5
Rest
8 miles
Week 9
OFF
OFF
OFF
OFF
OFF
OFF
OFF
Week 10
Rest
6 speed
6 hills
Rest
Easy 6
Rest
15 miles
Week 11
Rest
7 speed
8 hills
Rest
Easy 6
Rest
16 miles
Week 12
Rest
8 speed
6 speed
Rest
Easy 4
Rest
10 miles
Week 13
Rest
8 speed
MP 4
Rest
Easy 6
Rest
15 miles
Week 14
Rest
8 speed
8 hills
Rest
Easy 6
Rest
16 miles
Week 15
Rest
MP 6
6 speed
Rest
Easy 4
Rest
8 miles
Week 16
Rest
6 speed
6 speed
Rest
Easy 6
Rest
18 miles
Week 17
OFF
OFF
OFF
OFF
OFF
OFF
OFF
Week 18
Rest
5 speed
7 hills
Rest
Easy 7
Rest
20 miles
Week 19
Rest
MP 8
6 speed
Rest
Easy 8
Rest
22 miles
Week 20
Rest
5 speed
6 easy
Rest
Easy 5
Rest
Half
Week 21
Rest
5 speed
6 hills
Rest
Easy 8
Rest
24 miles
Week 22
Rest
MP 10
5 easy
Rest
Easy 6
Rest
15 miles
Week 23
Rest
4 speed
6 easy
Rest
Easy 5
Rest
12 miles
Week 24
Rest
4 speed
5 easy
Rest
Easy 4
Rest
10 miles
Week 25
Rest
4 speed
4 easy
Rest
Easy 4
Rest
Race

I based it on others I found on the web but mainly the intermediate course I found in my Runner's World Complete Guide to Running. I tweaked it a lot for myself, for example, I'm not going to run five times a week, I think that's just a bit much. Instead I'm going to make these four runs my minimum, and then try and do some cross-training once a week, something low-impact like swimming or yoga.

Speed - this means speed training, I think I'm going to start with Mile Repeats. My book also has Yasso 800s where you do your warm up mile then run 800m at a time equivalent to your marathon time. e.g. aiming for 4:10? Run 800m in 4 minutes 10 seconds. Jog 400m inbetween for recovery. If you know other speed training techniques let me know!

Hills - cover the distance on the hilliest route you can find (I'm doing this one today, it's meant to build up leg strength which you need to do in the beginning).

MP - marathon pace. I think I'm going to aim for 9 minutes 30 seconds per mile. I'm usually a ten minute miler so this will take some work.

Anyway, with proper training comes proper eating. My indulgences are going and I'm making a real effort to cook proper healthy food. To make sure I stick to this, I've started a second blog!! And, on Steph's awesome suggestion, called it Nichola with a Saucepan. If you're interested pop on over, the only post at the moment is my new favourite breakfast! Avocado toast (you'll have seen it if you follow me on instagram).

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sharm El Sheikh Part Two

Ugh - winter is definitely round the corner. I read somewhere we're expecting 'record snow storms' in November. Joyful, joyful. Anyway, this is a perfect time for me to reflect on my sunny sunny holiday.

Egypt October 2013

Sunday, deciding to have something a bit different for dinner to rice and meat, Ben and I walked the 50 yards to the English pub next door and ordered a couple of roasts.

Egypt October 2013

The Scottish woman that owns the pub is absolutely lovely. And the food was delicious!

Egypt October 2013

We went back there another time as well for some baguettes. Lovely pub! On Monday night, our hotel offered a Bedouin night.

Egypt October 2013
This is the couple that told us about Farsha and their underwater camera. Lovely people, this was their third time back to the hotel. The Bedouin night had us all sat on cushions, eating lentil soup, flat bread and kebabs. And watching a pretty awesome show!

Egypt October 2013

Egypt October 2013

Egypt October 2013

Egypt October 2013
There was a lot of audience participation. I got up for the belly dancer and politely declined participating in the rest of the show, not my usual attitude as I love to get involved but I was in the mood to watch everything.

Egypt October 2013
Egypt October 2013
Egypt October 2013
Egypt October 2013
Egypt October 2013

Yup. That's broken glass.

Egypt October 2013

...and nails. Crazy night. One of the things I wanted to do in Egypt was go to the Old Market. I pictured something like when Jasmine goes to the market in Aladdin, but it wasn't much like that and I don't think you'd need more than an hour to walk around, the hassle from shop vendors gets a bit exhausting. Ben and I asked the taxi to come back in an hour and a half and we ended up a little bored, an hour would be plenty.

Egypt October 2013
Egypt October 2013

The other thing Ben and I did, which I completely recommend, is the Aqua Park.

Photos of Aqua Blue Water Park, Sharm El Sheikh
This photo of Aqua Blue Water Park is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Photos of Aqua Blue Water Park, Sharm El Sheikh
This photo of Aqua Blue Water Park is courtesy of TripAdvisor
This slide was the most terrifying!

Egypt October 2013
Egypt October 2013
Egypt October 2013
Egypt October 2013

We had the best day. It was so quiet we didn't have to queue even slightly for any of the slides so we went again and again! The photos above of me and Ben were taken by the park, they have some photographers and the pictures are £1 (10LE) each, five minimum, and they'll put them on a disk for you. Awesome. Here's the other one.

Egypt October 2013

You can check out the park on tripadvisor if you want to know more.

Egypt October 2013

So, that was our holiday!

Egypt October 2013

Did I mention our hotel had poolside beds?

Egypt October 2013
Egypt October 2013

Ah bliss.