Tag Archives: Travel

Wandering to Uffington White Horse

A couple of weekends ago my parents were home and we spent one day of the weekend visiting a National Trust place non of us had been to before – The Uffington White Horse.

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This is thought to be the oldest white horse known, having been constructed in the Bronze Age. There are several around where I live and even more in the wider area. It’s hard to see the whole thing on the ground, so I included a photo of the book above. It was also lovely to spend the day with my parents doing something easy and free (if you have National Trust membership).

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My dad likes to read all the signs and stand right on top of things!

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My mum is content to view things from above.

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I really love the history from my local area. Being close to Stonehenge and Avebury it’s too easy to forget what else is around and the white horses are amazing! Lots of people were out on a warm, but windy day.

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It is a bit of a walk from the car park, but on a day like we visited you could see for around 30 miles (my dad guesses) and could see Swindon and Didcot and maybe Oxford.

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This was the map my dad used to guess how far we could see. I love maps like this, but normally you can only see directly in front!

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I love the random history and myths you find on these signs. For example it is thought that the white horse leaves his hill once a year to eat the grass in the manger below :)

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I love that everything is still a mystery. No one know why these kinds of monuments were built or what they were for. But they are impressive today and when you think there would have been a lot less civilisation around they would have have stood out even more!

The other myth is the flat hill that can be found below the horse and above the manger is to be where St George slew and buried the dragon. Nothing grows on top of the hills and it is believed the dragons blood is the cause.  The other legend is that Uther Pendragon is buried there!

20130818-152052.jpgThere is also a castle above the horse – well a castle in the sense the is a ring mound of earth, that is thought to have been a castle. It was fun to walk around and see for 360 degrees!

I would highly recommend visiting this place is you are between Swindon and Oxford!

 

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Adventures in Coffee… Costa Spiced Passionata

Just found these photos form my trip to Porto, where one day we found a Costa. The coffee was really good in Porto, but it was always in espresso form and unfortunately there are times it is just needed to have a large coffee. So we were extremely happy to find this place.

I made sure I tried something that wasn’t available at home – Spiced Passionata – a flat white coffee spiced with cinnamon and chilli. A really nice warming drink, but also refreshing. I love a proper flat white and this took it to new level.20130424-214906.jpg

It must have been a new shop as it was so quiet when we went in, then the next day it was super busy!20130424-215036.jpg

It had the same things as the ones in the UK, but also some different things. Plus they served beer! My twitter friend Ellie found out that that there are ones in London that do this, and they are known as platinum stores. 20130424-215048.jpg

It was located in a lovely place near the amazing book shop.20130424-215105.jpg

See beer!20130424-215116.jpg

I also tried the cherry and white chocolate cake. This was really light, which was a nice surprise :) 20130424-215127.jpgI love trying new places, but then it is nice to find something slightly familiar as a break to relax and reflect.

 

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Wandering in Porto

Last weekend  I got to to explore Porto with my friend Ingrid!

It was so nice to get away and that it was warm was an added bonus.

Porto in Portugal is a lovely city that impressed me greatly and I would recommend anyone to visit. Its a beautiful city on the river and close to the ocean. We walked everywhere to explore the city. It is very hilly, but worth it to get close to the river and then the views from higher up.

We stayed new the main square, which seemed to be the centre for arts.20130428-183959.jpg

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The main bridge was designed by the man who designed the Eiffel Tower. It was lovely to sit by the river and watch the world go by.

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The bakeries were amazing! So many different cakes and breads. We tried a variety over the weekend – no wonder I put on weight, but worth it!

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There was also an amazing bookshop which I could have stayed in for a really long time if it hadn’t been so busy. If it had been quiet it would have been a really peaceful place to explore.20130428-184111.jpg

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I love all the red terracotta roofs.20130428-184152.jpg

We went a on river boat trip and also Port Tasting, but I’ll cover that in another post :) 20130428-184221.jpg

We spent a lovely afternoon at the Crystal Palace gardens.20130428-184252.jpg

Lots of the churches have amazing tiled walls.20130428-184311.jpg

Overall it was a lovely weekend away. Four nights is perfect for a European city break. Porto held more wonders than I had expected and it is a lovely place place to visit with reasonable prices too.

 

3 Month Plan Week 4

This week was much better. I still binged, but I tracked everything. EVERYTHING!

Why is it so easy to eat 3000 calories?!!!

Anyway, I lost a pound, so I’m happy as it’s back in the right direction.

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 20.11.59I kept an average calorie deficit of over 600 calories a day so it worked out well. I burned a lot this last week too. I did have a very active weekend. I need to find a balance between activity and fuelling myself well enough to do all of it without having to binge. My activity and steps were great again this week. Sleep has not really improved and I’m not sure what to do about it. I’m planning on speaking to my doctor about it again.

I think tiredness is a big factor in my binges. I noticed this week that I was tired and couldn’t be bothered to cook or organise, so went for quick and easy. I craved carbs and sugar. It was interesting as I was listening to the latest Jillian Michaels podcast and she was talking about it you think about eating protein, like chicken or eggs, and really don’t want it, you are just craving and not actually hungry. I need to try this. Plus have protein snacks available at the weekends. I get organised for most of the week, but the remainder of the week from Thursday tends to fall apart as I get tired. It’s been interesting to notice this about myself and now I know there are things I can do about it.

This week I’m off to Portugal to visit my friend Ingrid and I cannot wait! We will be sampling the delights of Portugal and walking – lots of walking Ingrid! My goals are to track everything and walk. Also to try and stick to 3 meals and a snack as much as possible. But to also have fun and relax and enjoy my time off and spending time with my friend :)

 

Wandering Around Edinburgh at Christmas

I love Edinburgh. It is one of the three cities where I could see myself living in the future. I got to spend three days wandering and doing exactly what I wanted and it was fantastic! This is going to be a fairly long post as I am putting everything into one!

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The Christmas Market was on and was fun to wander through each day.

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I enjoyed some Original Edinburgh Mead in the Highland Market :)

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And then apple strudel in the German Christmas Market :)

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I used Shauna’s recommendations for places to visit in Edinburgh :)

Adventures in Coffee… Lovecrumbs

I walked over to this cafe intending to have coffee and cake, but when I arrived I really didn’t fancy anything sweet, so just went for a long black coffee, which was nice and strong. The cakes looked amazing and I’m sad I didn’t get one, but I enjoyed the coffee.

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Adventures in Tea and Food… Eteaket

I focused my first day in the city on shopping. I still had a few presents to buy and this was my last chance. I stumbled across Eteaket while shopping and am so glad I did. I went for the Awesome Assam tea, which I intend to order online as well as take part in there Tea Club! I then went for the soup and sandwich combo for lunch – spicy tomato noodle soup and a houmous and feta sandwich (totally stealing this idea for at home!).

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Adventures in Coffee.. Brew Lab

I woke up my second day to rain so turned it into a coffee tour of the city. I found this Brew Lab using the Edinburgh’s Coffee Lovers blog and the map they have created off all the coffee shops in the city – AMAZING! I fell in love with this place as soon as I walked in the door. It is rustic and cosy. The staff were lovely and helpful and recommended a coffee to try. A long black coffee of their espresso blend after talking through the types of coffee I like. I found a comfy armchair with it’s own shelf to sit and enjoy my drink. I also just found out they use Has Bean Roasters, which is the coffee subscription i am saving up to get next year :)

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Adventures in Food… Peter’s Yard

I went in search of Peter’s Yard for lunch and was so happy I did. I found a modern and open cafe with a wonderful selection of lunch items and sweet treats. I went for the brie and goat’s cheese on olive bread. It was super yum.

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Adventures in Coffee… Wellington Coffee

I then wandered after lunch in search of a Christmas present for my dad and a birthday present for my mum – the most difficult people to buy for. I wasn’t planning on grabbing another coffee, but stumbled across Wellington Coffee and remembered it was mention on the Edinburgh’s Coffee Lovers blog so went inside to warm up. It’s a tiny place, but perfect for a one cup stop to warm up. I had a flat white, which was nice and strong, but the milk made it nice and smooth (I think it was whole milk as I didn’t specify skinny). I was sat right by the counter and kept staring at the homemade scones, but held back because I was planning on heading elsewhere for my afternoon sweet treat.

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Adventures in Food and Tea… Cuckoo’s Bakery

This was where I was heading and it was worth the walk! It is a lovely bakery, tea/coffee shop set back out of the city centre. I headed there on Shauna’s recommendation for a cupcake – I went for the black forest one!

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I also had cherry almond tea, which complemented the cupcake nicely. If you get a chance to visit I highly recommend it. They do a variety of lunch items as well as a wide selection of cupcakes.IMG_2143

I really enjoyed my trip away from everything. I enjoy heading off on my own every now and again as it feels like a proper break away from all the normal things at home. It was my chance to do exactly what I wanted and I did!

Adventures in Food… Centotre

My last stop before heading home was the lovely Centotre, an italian resturant for breakfast with the lovely Shauna from the The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl and Up & Running! We had breakfast of poached eggs with toast and it was great. I really want to learn to poach an egg. I currently use little poachet pouches, but I would love to be able to do them without. I’m going to check in with Shauna next year to see if she has mastered it. I also had some great coffee and also the orange juice was amazing!

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This made my trip. Shuana’s blog was the first blog I ever started reading and have kept reading because I love how real she is. Also so warm, funny and honest in person. I definitely had a fangirl moment or two ;) We talked about quite a few different things, but eating was the main topic. I’ve been following Shauna and Juila’s Happy and Mindful plan for December and have found it honest and insightful. Not a single calorie of point in sight, just three meals a day and being aware of choices. It was interesting talking to Shauna about triggers and emotional eating as I find it is not simple for me. I can eat too much when I am happy and celebrating, sad, feeling lonely or just feeling too much and can’t cope. The only time I don’t eat is when I feel anxious and I have also moved away from angry eating and instead heading up the gym to lift from heavy weights. Learning new ways to cope and deal with unsettling emotions is going to be my way forward. But also to accept that I might never not use food to cope and understand that is okay and not beat myself up.

It was great to be able to talk to someone else who has similar experiences with food without feeling judged or a burden, just understanding and talking about ideas for change. Thank you Shauna I really enjoyed meeting you and exploring Edinburgh :)

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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