Well, Perth seemed to skip Spring and jump right through to Summer! We are sweltering here at work! Thank heavens Perth is on the coast – lots of beach time. I run at 6am tomorrow and it will be 23C (77F) – in retrospect training for the marathon is easier in the winter here!


So what’s catching my eye this Friday? Keeping me from clearing my desk? Planning for this sunny weekend! Oh, before I begin. Did you see this article about runners in the Wall Street Journal? It’s so silly it makes me think it was written purely for publicity. There are a lot of rebuttals already – what do you think?


I bought this playsuit (can a 33 year old wear a ‘playsuit’?) for a bbq tomorrow. And cannot wait to wear it! Would you do wedges or flats?




We are having my colleagues and their kids over for a bbq / pool party on Sunday and  I’m in charge of salads. This is what I am thinking so far…..any other ideas?


Pea, Mint & Avocado salad – Nigella Lawson

Roasted pumpkin and quinoa salad –

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Sandwiches

And it wouldn’t be a party without Rachel Allen cake

If I was allowed I’d get this flatware from West Elm for the bbq…….



New York Magazine recently ran a story about gadget sickness, or how a phone can drive you nuts. What do you think? Would you leave your phone off all weekend? I am terrible for checking my phone and ipad. I definitely need a detox and want to start turning it off on Saturdays.


Have good one J

Personal Development: on the road and in the kitchen

This week kicked off my half marathon training properly. With four weeks to go, there was no better time to start, right? 😉 Back into the swing of everything, it was great to pound the pavements and challenge myself. Here’s a low down on the week:

  • Monday: 16kms @ 5:07 pace
  • Tuesday: Aerial yoga, including ab and core work
  • Wednesday: Gentler run with my running club for 9k @ 6:06 pace
  • Thursday: Ab and strength work at home
  • Friday: Intervals for 7.5kms @ 4.49 overall average pace

I am not the best at writing my training down in ‘official terms’. So you’ll just have to trust me that the intervals were good and hard 😉

Training by yourself is interesting because I’m kind of making it up as I go along. I’ve tried to follow training plans from magazines and websites, but never quite make it. I don’t reckon it’s a question of discipline, but maybe poor planning. So my approach for these halves in Sept is to do 1x long run, 1x intervals/hill training, 1x running club each week, with 2-3 cross training sessions in there too. It’s not as formal as a proper programme, and may not be as effective, but so far it’s fun: I can make it work with my schedule, and I feel in control rather than at the mercy of the dreaded training plan on my notice board!

The Tyne Bridge is ready for the Great North Run, and my race pack arrived this week! I’m really looking forward to it: last year was my first half marathon, and I didn’t know what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect all the spectator support, or the bonus of being part of a running club and seeing familiar faces on the way round course. Bring it on!!


In other news, we had a house warming BBQ for SB’s work friends last night. It forced us to get the last things done in our house – it was like an episode of Changing Rooms here on Friday and Saturday!

Now, I am an aspiring struggling baker. Despite trying my absolute hardest, my resume of baking is a bit of a train wreck: there was the ‘milk cake’ of September 2012 where I made a banana cake tasting purely of milk, and the ‘scrambled egg cake’ of April 2012 which was meant to be a victoria sponge, but was actually a solid block tasting of egg. I did make SB a birthday cake last year, which was successful. But that’s about it.

So: is 2013 be the year I turn this around? Or will I forever relegated to the shame of always buying deserts, and bringing up children who think that ‘home made’ means cookies made from a mixture in a box?

On Friday I set myself the challenge of making desert for the BBQ. With a lot of support and discussion with Gilly, I settled on a chocolate pavlova, and a lemon lime cheesecake. Hardly the most challenging of recipes you’d think, but there was a really high chance that either of them would end up tasting of egg white. Or feet. I’m like Rachel in that episode of Friends.

But……. SUCCESS!! I made two good deserts! No longer intimidated by mixing bowls, whisks and icing sugar, I stood tall yesterday, knowing I had turned an important corner. SB won’t have to fake enthusiasm for my cakes anymore. And my kids will know the pleasure of cracking an egg into a mixing bowl rather than just adding milk to powder. And when they’re older, I’ll open up a bakery/coffee shop, and be the most popular baker in Durham. Or even the UK.



Perhaps a good second step would be to try a recipe with flour – I think that’s when you can actually say you’ve baked something.

So that was my week: good runs and good baking. I think this week I can up the ante on my training and really push myself further, both in distance and drills. Stay tuned………..

Ellie B