Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Strawberry Smoothie

I'm four weeks into my new job now, one of the many benefits of which, is that I no longer have to get up at 5:20 am for the 5:59  am train to London. Now ? Well, now I can drive to work in 20 minutes, and I can drop little CC off at school on the way, and I don't start work until 8am.
This has made a massive difference to our morings, instead of arriving in London at 6:30 am, I'm just getting up. After a quick walk with little DD it's time to think about breakast. I have never breakfasted at home before, so I now find I have a whole world of breakfast oppurtunities at my fingertips.

I have already made a green juice yesterday, but I didn't take a photo... CC didn't like it, BB did. So I promised CC that this morning we would have Strawberry Smoothies. And We Did. We used Total Greek yoghurt, which gives the smoothie a great protein boost. If you don't have yoghurt, you could use banana instead.

 I dug out the Kenwood Smoothie  maker from the top of the kitchen cupboard, and gave it a good rinse... I'm now seriously running out of worktop space since I have the huge juicer, the smoothie maker, the kettle, the toaster, the microwave and the coffee maker all in very close proximity competing for space on  the worktop, but that's the way it is...

Here's the ingredients:

Strawberries I used the rest of the carton shown below and didn't open the new one...I think there were about 14..
Total Greek Yoghurt 1 small pot
Skimmed milk  - We filled it up to 700ml on the Kenwood mixer
Vanilla extract - About half a teaspoon
Sugar - to taste - we used a tablespoon. BB thought it was too sweet - I didn't !


1. Hull the strawberries and place them in the blender
2. Top with skimmed milk - up to 700ml
3. Add yoghurt
4. Add sugar
5. Add vanilla
6. Whizz!!! (Don't forget to put the lid on first.)

7. Spend half an hour washing up! BUT it's well worth it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Bucket List 2013 - An update

Back in 2011 I wrote my Bucket List, and now two years later I thought it was prime time to give it an update, and let you know what's been done and what new items I want to add.

9) Run a marathon Booked for this October but if BB gets a place in his Ironman that same weekend - guess who has to defer ?? Er, ponder, ponder ... it's not going to be BB is it.. ?

So, BB didn't do the Ironman, and since then, I have done not one marathon, but two! Kielder was great, South End not so great. The training was tiring, but I loved it ! I ran 8 miles today, so I'm still running. I guess on this updated Bucket list I should add a Half Ironman, before I can do that I need to improve my swimming. So, first on the new list:

1.  Improve my swimming and complete a Half Ironman

11) Use my MBA for something other than thinking 'Well ! If I were the boss, I would be doing A, followed by B, with a little dose of C, and a sprinkle of D. That WOULD work'.

I finally decided to take the plunge and find a new job. After 17.5 years in my previous position, it has to be said that I am still pinching myself... I still can't quite believe that I did it ! I am now Clinical Trials IT Manager. If it's related to clinical trials, and in the realm of IT, then I'm all over it.. It's early days, and I have lots to learn, but then that's what I love doing.

12) Leading nicely on to ... giving it another try with the cake/food idea. Everyone that eats my food loves it - well, except for that time that I made some sort of BBQ'd chops for a couple I barely knew and well, they were slightly overdone and maybe dry(ish), and little did I know that she had just had a gastric band fitted. Ten visits to the bathroom later.. was it the food ? Was it the gastric band ? You know what ? I don't even want to think about it.

Other than that, everyone loves my food and thinks I should be a professional cook on some level. When the Chef job came up at work (in the work canteen, well more like a posh canteen ..), more than one person said to me 'Chef's job's up - that's your dream job'. Funny. Defintely a scratch that needs another little itch.

I haven't really given this a scratch, more of a tickle really. I got into using Twitter a lot more, and being more active online generally. Through this, I became friends with Total Greek yoghurt and got invited to some of their food blogger events, and blogged about their great products. I finally felt like a real food blogger. It made it all worthwhile.

2. Do more food blogging, and sport blogging and well, blogging in general...

13) Change job. There I've said it. I've worked at the same place for fifteen years this year... The problem is that it's a great job with great people - why would I leave ??

The above hasn't changed. It was a great job with great people. I left because I changed. I asked myself: 'Is this the only job you want to have ever done ?' The answer was a definite 'No'. I wanted to do something else, somewhere else. As it is, the position also has some major benefits my commute has gone from more than fifteen hours a week to five hours. I no longer travel on public transport, I can drive myself to work. The best part on a non-work level, I can now spend every morning with my little CC and I can take her to school on my way to work. Having never spent mornings with her, this is a major change for all of us. On a professional level, I have more responsibility, it's a senior role, it's still technical and it's in an area that I wanted to make a contribution to: Cancer Research. It's a Win-Win-Win. I feel blessed to have the opportunity, and I'm determined to make the most of it.

3. Develop professionally in my new role

Well I could go on, I haven't mentioned visiting Australia, or spending more time with my mom and sis, or finally finishing Labour of Love, or having a massive party very, very soon .. but I won't.

I have spent some time with my mom and sis. Me and Mom had a great shopping trip in Brum at Christmas, just the two of us and it was really special. We are definitely going to be having more of those. For my 40th, I did have a massive party. It was really great, with lots of friends and family. I therefore must add the following to the Bucket List:

4) Throw more parties

Well, that's all from me for now - have you updated your Bucket List lately ??