Adventures in Coffee… Praline Cappuccino

 

It’s my favourite time of year and the Christmas coffees are back on the menu. I’m a bit late as they have been back on the menu since the start of November, but I have been saving my tastings for towards December in the spirit of Christmas.

Costa have brought out a few new drinks this year and I decided to try the Praline Cappuccino at this month’s work bookclub.

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To be honest this is just syrup added to a cappuccino concoction. It was quite sweet and I think maybe I am going off my taste for sweet coffees as I didn’t really enjoy it as I thought I would.

 

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What I did love though was the coffee sprinkles that turned gold on top of the form! It made it feel quite Christmassy – although it hasn’t really come out in the photo very well.

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Things My Kittens Love

 

Overall my kittens love anything that moves or can be moved. They love playing with me when I am throwing or dangling things, but they also love things they can move themselves when they play.

  • The insides of loo rolls or kitchen rolls

An excellent cheap and easy way to entertain two kittens! I vary it between giving them the rolls whole or with the end cuts up. I think they like these because they can lift them and bat them around easily. They are light and can be picked up and carried around (or away from each other).

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  • Cardboard boxes

They love sitting in them of course, but they also love to chew them. They don’t eat them as there is rarely anything missing, just lots of bite marks. I think they just like the different texture on their teeth.  Shoeboxes are currently the perfect size for sleeping in, whereas delivery boxes are fun to jump in and out of.

 

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  • Feathers

This is the only thing guaranteed to make Merry growl. She is a little territorial when it comes to playing with the feathers on a string. They love feathers and therefore toys with feathers do not last long. I am pretty sure they eat the feathers as I do not hoover up that many. I am going to look into making my own cat toys with feathers as it could get fairly expensive the way they are going through them!

  • Lasers

This was a lazy buy for me. I love playing with my kittens, but with all the swimming I’ve been doing I found I was struggling to find the energy. This toy, which they love, means I can lie on the sofa and play with them – I told you it was lazy!

I’ve gone a bit cat toy mad for December. Basically I think I have bought every Christmas pudding cat toys that was available!

Swimming Gala Results 2014!

In my 2014 swimming club champs I took part in all 17 events running. I hadn’t trained specifically for these, so my goal was to complete all events, rather than worry about beating times. However I did manage to beat some of my times from last year, which is a nice bonus.

  1. 200m Breaststroke = 03:44                 (2013 = 03:43)
  2. 50m Breaststroke 00:48:97                 (2013 = 00:52)
  3. 100m Freestyle = 01:28                         (2013 = 01:30)
  4. 100m Backstroke = 01:42                    (2013 = 01:42)
  5. 50m Butterfly = 00:39:48                      (2013 = 00:44)
  6. 400m Freestyle = 06:27                         (2013 = 06:32)
  7. 200m Butterfly = 03:49
  8. 200m Backstroke = 03:36
  9. 200m Individual Medley = 03:30       (2013 = ?)
  10. 800m Freestyle = 13:20                         (2013 = 13:16)
  11. 400m Individual Medley = 07:28
  12. 200m Freestyle = 03:10
  13. 100m Individual Medley = 01:37.62
  14. 100m Butterfly = 01:42:38
  15. 100m Breaststroke = 01:48:56
  16. 50m Freestyle = 00:40:00
  17. 50m Backstroke = 00:48:52

My one goal after last year’s events was to commit to doing the 800m Freestyle with tumble turns and I did! I was expecting to be a lot slower than 4 seconds as they still wear me out, but I feel in more or a rhythm when I do them. I am extremely happy I kept to this goal. My goal for 2014 is sorting out my bilateral breathing for both the 400m and 800m Freestyle (and bonus for my open water swimming!)

Adventures in Books… The Good, The Bad, and The Furry

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“Meet THE BEAR – a cat who carries the weight of the world on his furry shoulders, and whose wise, owl-like eyes seem to ask, Can you tell me why I am a cat, please?Like many intellectuals, The Bear would prefer a life of quiet solitude with plenty of time to gaze forlornly into space and contemplate society’s ills. Unfortunately he is destined to spend his days surrounded by felines of a significantly lower IQ . . . RALPH: handsome, self-satisfied tabby, terrified of the clothes horse. SHIPLEY: mouthy hooligan and champion mouser, rendered insensible by being turned upside-down. ROSCOE: fiercely independent kitten, tormented by her doppelganger in the mirror. And then there’s Tom, writing with his usual wit and charm about the unexpected adventures that go hand in hand with a life at the beck and call of four cats . . . or three cats and a sensitive poet who just happens to be a foot high and covered in fur.”

This is the third book from Tom Cox about his cats and it is a funny and heart warming read. I must warn you there are also sad bits, where I had tears streaming and had to put the book down so I could get myself together and carry on reading. Maybe it is because I now live with two cats, but I felt more connected with it than maybe I would have before.

This book carries on with the story of Tom and his living arrangements with three, then four cats, each with their own personalities. I totally understand this now, living with my two. They are both kittens still, but their personalities have been coming through more prominently over the last month or so.

It was interesting to read about the lives of the cats as they get older and how they change. It was also interesting to read about the introduction of a kitten into the fold.

Whenever I read these books though I wish I lived in a house with better access to the garden. I would love to let my two out on their own while being able to watch from the house. Unfortunately my garden access is through the garage or through the front, neither of which are suitable for cat flaps. I do take them out regularly, so they can play and explore, but know it’s going to get harder through the winter months with the weather and darkness. It’s amazing the things you consider when it’s no longer just you.

Overall a really enjoyable read, especially if you love cats. I suppose it’s a sneaky way to write an autobiography.

I’m Lazy…. When it comes to food

I admit it. I am totally lazy when it comes to food.

I hate preparing meals. I much prefer to heat something up or chuck it all on a baking tray and let it cook. I like things easy. I buy ready prepared salad, and even then struggle to open a can of tuna to put on top of in the morning for lunch. I bulk cook things so I ready meals for during the week.

The only thing I seem to take time to prepare is porridge, eggs, and coffee!

I have been thinking hard about this and how it affects my weight. Currently I buy food to eat when I want it, like sandwiches or pizza, which is a total waste of money! Also this means I am eating more calories than I need, so I’ve put on weight.

So I need to make it work for me.

I’m not going to change, because I don’t want to. I could say I don’t have the time or the skills, but really deep down I know I am not bothered by cooking and would much prefer someone else to cook for me. If I could afford it I would totally give one of those meal delivery services a go!

So I need to accept this and what comes with it.

  • I only have so much freezer space and therefore can only have so many homemade ready meals. This then limits the types of meals and I need to accept that I have to repeat meals quite often.
  • I also have to accept than pre-prepared vegetables are more expensive and I have to pay for the ease of it.
  • Eggs are a girl’s best friend – quick, easy, and can be done in a variety of ways
  • Cook from frozen foods are not quick, but are handy for putting on timer when going out for a work out – if I’m organised!
  • Don’t turn down a dinner invitation to you parents – unless you absolutely can’t go, like my swimming gala on Saturday night, so they put me up a meal to take home J
  • Repetition may be boring, but it’s easy and means I stick to my calorie need

This was a bit of a get it out of my head and written down so I can understand it myself better.  My relationship with food is always one I struggle with and therefore making it work is something very important to me.

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