Silverstone

Just over a week ago I spent the day at Silverstone racecourse.  I got to drive a Ferrari on the southern part of the main course!  One of the best days ever!!

I woke up that morning and I got nerves immediately; I do this, if I have something big planned I usually wake up and freak out not wanting to do it, but once I actually start doing it, I’m fine.

Once I got to the course, I signed in and waited to be called up for the briefing. Our time was called and so we filed into the classroom – I wanted to snap a pic because out of twenty people, I was the only female, and the youngest by about a decade.  Too funny.

After being talked through the turns, how to take them and how not to die, it was down to the pits for some helmet fitting.

I got shown to ‘my’ Ferrari, I don’t know what it was… but it was a shiny and blue and beautiful. I know, such a girl.  The first lap I was in the passenger seat while the instructor drove me round the course.  He went fast!  I had the biggest grin on my face the whole time.  Then it was my turn.  In my first stint, I had four laps to burn some rubber and get to grip with the corners and the gear paddles.  I was definitely a tad messy as obviously its completely different to how I drive on the road (as I always have two small children in my car and I drive super responsibly, of course).

I came in and after I pestered the main instructor for more information on how to get a better performance, I was up for my second outing.

This time was way better.  I was going into the turns later, coming out of the corners faster, accelerating more on the straight, (yeah I crushed the Hammer Straight), and generally having a smoother ride while the instructor was giving me commands such as: up a gear, foot to the floor (yes thats a term), break, break hard, down a gear, turn etc.  I was gutted when I was over.

The most annoying thing is that I have absolutely no idea how fast I was going. No fucking idea.  All I know is that I was going way too fast to even think about flicking my eyes down to the speedometer.  I would have crashed.  It was fast though because when the instructor was telling me to “Break hard” before a corner after one of the straights, I could feel him using the dual break pedal.

Happy days though, I got 89% in my assessment which might be the highest mark I’ve ever achieved (no, seriously), along with the comment “Give up the day job!” next to it – I had to pay the instructor for that one.  I loved every minute and can’t wait to do it again!  Anyone got a spare Ferrari?

diet: eating for life

I frequently get asked what I eat.  So I thought I’d address this in a blog so its out there should you be interested!

Growing up I was always active and never cared about what I ate because I was always burning off the energy.  Needless to say, I ate a lot of junk, fast foods at school lunch times, chocolate bars, fizzy drinks etc.  I don’t need to tell you that with a diet like that (and being a teenager), I suffered from terrible acne.  It was horrible, I didn’t want to go to school and I tried countless products and prescribed medications.

I then read an article in, wait for it… Just Seventeen – remember that one?  It was about a girl who had terrible skin and started to eat cleanly (even though that wasn’t really in fashion back then).  So I took it on board, I must have read that article about 50 times, seriously.

I cut out the burgers, pizzas, chocolate, muffins, fizzy drinks and changed it up for healthier options, the main change being water.  Over a few weeks, my skin changed, I could finally wear halter or vest tops because I didn’t need to cover up my back and arms!!  My skin was less oily and my acne massively subsided.  So this has stuck with me since then, as even to this day, if I don’t get enough sleep or eat too much junk food, I can see it on my face over the following days.  And I feel sluggish too which I’m not keen on.

Like anyone, my diet goes up and down depending on whats going on in my life, but at the moment I feel like I’m eating well, and feeling great!

SO, what do I actually eat?

Breakfast: Cereal. This changes because I get bored but its usually some form of granola or muesli which I add nuts and fruit to and I have either full fat cows milk or soya milk. Or porridge with cinnamon and honey.  I have a cup of blended tea (70% green tea and 30% black tea), with full fat cows milk and two sugars, (I know, I know I should just cut them out but I only have the one cup of tea a day and I love it.)

Mid-morning snack: A handful of nuts or a Naked cereal bar and a coconut water.  If I’m at home and been up since the crack of dawn, I’ll have eggs Benedict, two eggs, one slice of seeded wholemeal buttered toast, a whole pack of asparagus, shop bought hollandaise sauce and salt & pepper.  Or two eggs scrambled with cantaloupe melon, strawberries and a croissant.

Lunch: At the moment I’m big into quiche and salad, and a bowl of homemade parsnip soup to start with.  Other staples are a tricolore salad, tuna mayo on seeded wholemeal toast, toasted cheese sandwich, and caesar salad – which I make so big I eat out of a mixing bowl.  I’ll always have a pint of water, and maybe some dark chocolate afterwards.

Afternoon snack: Smoothie time!  I am addicted to 1/4 of a honeydew melon, one banana, soya milk, honey, cinnamon, chia seeds and cacao powder smoothies (makes about a pint of smoothie).  The kids love them now so I always have to double up on the ingredients as they easily demolish a pint between them.  I make other smoothies variations but this one is easily my favourite.

Pre dinner: I feed the kids around 5pm but I don’t eat dinner myself until around 7:30pm.  I crack on with some Roquefort cheese, I eat about a fifth of the block? Literally, on its own, or possibly with a small glass of wine.  I might munch on some tortilla chips and dip if I have some.  Also more water.

Dinner: Roast, chilli, lasagna, salmon with veg, maple syrup & mustard chicken with sweet potato roasties and veg, cod with homemade chips and veg, steak with dauphinoise potatoes and veg, pulled chicken fajitas, prawns with couscous and veg.  I’m big on broccoli, I go through two of them a week.  Yes I do buy the occasional ready meals but 95% of the time, dinner is made from scratch because its cheaper, its healthier and you get a bigger meal.  And if we fancy a take-away meal, I’ll make it at home so we know whats in it and also saves on the dollar.  Drink wise, you guessed it, another pint of water!  And maybe another glass of wine or beer depending on how the kids have performed that day.

After dinner: I always have some dark chocolate with a pint of water.

So there you have it, my daily food breakdown.  I would love to hear what you guys eat as I’m always in need of new ideas!

south africa

I have just returned from the most epic trip to South Africa!  It was extremely refreshing and revitalizing to get some winter sun as well; I get a bit grumpy in the winter months when I don’t see the sun, but who doesn’t.

To start our 24hr journey, we had to get to Heathrow board an 11hr night flight to J’bourg.  We had three seats between four of us (the babe is not two yet so he’s on our laps). The kids took it in turns to sleep, and got huge amounts of joy kicking the shit out of one another to wake each other up.  We did not get a wink of sleep.  I did not get to drink my mini bottle of wine and watch Bad Moms.  It was not a good flight.  The next flight was shorter therefore better.  However, I felt like I was on a ferry for the next day from all the motion.  Weird.

Moving on from the travel we arrived at Sunstays apartments on Lagoon Beach where our apartment overlooked the Atlantic, and the bar had a view of Table Mountain (YAAAAASSSSSS).  The place had blackout curtains as well which meant the kids slept from 8pm – 8:30am.  Winning at life right there.

The week in Cape Town was filled with family lunches at vineyards, climbing Table Mountain (well, the cable car, can’t really climb it with the littluns), hanging out at the V&A Waterfront, eating lobster, taking boat rides, swimming with penguins at Boulders Rock, using the facilities like the gym and roof top pool, and chilling on the beach with a Hunters Dry in my hand.  It was a fantastic week!

Then we moved on to Knysna where we stayed at Strode House.  This was epic.  It had incredible views, a pool and a friggin HOT TUB!!  Yes I drank wine in the tub while stargazing and loved every minute of it.  We took a trip to the Elephant Park where we got to feed the elephants (amazing!!!), trek through a pretty scary jungle where we got eaten alive, shop at the cute boutiques, (yes I bought my body weight in swimwear), found an epic backpackers lodge off the beaten track where we had lunch nearly everyday, got to have Valentines Day dinner in a ridiculously beautiful restaurant over looking the lagoon, and generally hit the beach and the pool and enjoyed the sun!  I even went boogie boarding.  Yes yes, boogie boarding.  There was an alright looking right hander about 300yards off shore, but no one was surfing it and I certainly wasn’t going to be the first, way to sharky.

It was time for our South Africa travels to come to an end.  We started out on our 24hr journey home, the short flight was a doddle.  We had a Wimpy before we flew which was gross.  Landed in J’bourg with a 5hr layover.  We hit KFC, which was also gross – what KFC doesn’t serve any form of sauce??  Then time for the 11hr night flight.  We took off, the four year old was watching Finding Dory, the one year old was passed out on my husbands lap.  I got myself a mini bottle of wine and settled into my seat watching Bad Moms.  I was as happy as a pig in shit.  I nearly ordered another mini bottle (it was a Malbec as well, nice), but I thought as I was already tipsy (I hadn’t had my plane food yet and the KFC was hours ago), it was best not to get drunk while looking after small people on a plane.

It was a brilliant family holiday and I never wanted it to end.  A definite highlight was explaining to the four year old that Daddy is South African, so that made him half South African.  I was literally watching his mind being blown.  Too funny.