Thursday, 24 December 2015

Lifestyle: Christmas Tag

Hey guys,

I saw this tag going around and thought I would do it as it’s Christmas Eve and I wanted to get slightly more in the Christmas spirit. 

Here we go.

1. What is your favourite Christmas movie/s?

There is just too many to choose from but it would definitely be Santa Claus: The Movie and Muppet Christmas Carol. I know every word to the Muppet Christmas Carol and it doesn't feel like Christmas until I've watched both of these films. 

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?

Christmas morning always, we always get one present on Christmas Eve though, which is always PJs because we have to them wear on Christmas Eve! I think it is one of those traditions that a lot of people have and it's one I really love.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

I think every year is my favourite year when it comes to Christmas but last year I did have an early Christmas with my god daughter and best friends’ sister. Seeing their faces always makes me happy. I can't wait to have nieces and nephews to see their faces too and be all excited about Santa.

4. Favourite festive food?

I love Christmas dinner but for me it’s the buffet on the evening. I'm one of them people that loves just picking at food; I'm the worst person at parties.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

I received a Cambridge Satchel in 2014 and I'm still in love with it to this day but I'm a sucker for personalized present so when my mam gets me anything with photos in I love it. 

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

I don't really have a favourite scent but I love the smell of Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day. 

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

I kind of mentioned it above but getting a pair of PJs and socks. This year I went to a family carol service at my local church. I really want to go every year but we will have to see how it goes. 

8. What tops your tree?

Always a star.

9. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

Seeing my family happy; I think this is the only time of year we don't argue about anything. I do like the television on Christmas day, I'm so sad about Downton Abbey finishing I think I’ll cry like a baby. 

Well that is the end of the tag, I hope you enjoy it and have a great Christmas. 

Hope to hear from you soon
Love Melissa


Monday, 21 December 2015

Fitness: Last Run of the Year.

Well, I've done my last run of the year. GO ME! If you had asked me this time last year if I would be able to do as much running as I do now I would have laughed in your face. This blog post is looking back on my small running achievement I've made this year.

When I look back I've achieved a lot more than I ever thought I would. Here is a list of the small and big running achievement I've made this year.

1. Boxing Day 2014 signed up to run the Great North Run for the Guide Dogs UK
2. New Years day ran my first full mile.
3. February I ran my first 3 miles in 41 minutes.
4.  July ran 3 times in one week.
5. August ran my furtherest ever run alone of 7 miles in 1 hour and 30 minutes
6. Started volunteering with Active Newcastle at there running clubs
7. September I ran THE GREAT RUN which is 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Also raising £175 for Guide Dogs ( ONE OF MY GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE)
8. December I did my Running Leadership course meaning that I can now official run my own running club.
9.  Through working with Active Newcastle I was able to helped 10 people do a full 10 week beginners running program meaning that they were able to run 3 miles at the end of the 10 weeks.
10. I've ran once a week every week for 5 months.

Can we please talk about how crazy that list is. It shocks me to see my own improvement let alone helping other people get into running. I've had massive ups and downs when it comes to running. Me and running had a love hate relationship but now I think it's more of a love relationship.

I've got a blog post going up soon about what I think about alone running vs group running and the difference it made to my running journey. Why not leave me a comment about what your biggest achievement of the year has been.

Hope to hear from you soon
Love Melissa

Monday, 7 December 2015

Fitness: Fitness Gift Guide: UNDER £10

Sources are below

Hey guys,

I thought I would do a little fitness gift guide. I'm not huge Christmas fan but I do like gift giving. I can never afford to spend tonnes of money at Christmas so I always try and find gift that a person actually really wants or needs. 

The items I've put on this list are items that I would love for Christmas either in my stocking or as a present.

1. Mpow Running Sport Sweatproof Armband + Key Holder - £6.99 (In Sale)

I am remember when I got my first arm band when I started running and OMG it saved my life and my phone screen. I like the Mpow band because it is has a special sweatproof material band and they have added a velcro piece that stops sweat and moisture getting inside the band to your moblie which is essential in the British weather. It has a clear front which I like as it means if your using it out and about you can see your mileage or speed without having to pull it out to check it. The armband is made for a number of phone models so it is defiantly a good option to have a look into.

2. Spikey Massage Ball - 7 cm = £3.84

I think a Massage ball is a good stocking filler for people who have the new year running bug. I was given one of these from a lady that does my massages and it has really changed my life. These balls are great if your prone to tight and uncomfortable muscle as these little things are great at releasing that tension. It is available in 2 sizes I prefer the 7 cm as it great for getting right into the muscle.

3. NYKKOLA Sports Cup Water Fruit Infuser Bottle = £3.99

I think this type of water bottle defiantly became a bigger thing in 2015. I've even asked for one of these for Christmas, the point of this bottle is that you are able to put in fruit, vegetable and natural ingredients and flavor you water without bits of ingredients being left in your drink. With this bottle you are able to take out the infuser and make it just a water bottle if you prefer it that way. I like putting lemon in my water and it also has helped me to drink more water. The price is pretty low so the quality wont be amazing but I think if you are just using it as a simple water bottle to take to work or to the gym I think it would be great choice. The bottle does come in a million and one colours which I love as it means you can get something slightly more different from your typical black and white water bottle.

4. MiraFit 15mm Extra Thick Excercise Floor Mat = £9.99

Mats are always a great present for any type of fitness freak like myself. The reason I chose the Mirafit out of every other brand out there is because it is extra think, I've had a number of mats in the past that are just to thin and move around a lot. This mat is 15mm thick meaning it will be comfortable on your feet and hands if you do yoga and won't slide around when your jumping around doing burpees. It comes in 3 colours and comes with a strap (LIFE SAVER) which is great for taking to classes or even to take camping.

5. Fitness Mad Neo Dumbbell - £3.99 for a pair of 0.5kg

Dumbbell are dumbbells at the end of the day we all know what there for. The reason I've put this in my gift guide is for people that you know that might be scared a of weights. I have had many female friends in the past that hated the thought of lifting weights so I mentioned using really light weights just so they could get used to the thought of lifting weights now they lift weights like there is no tomorrow. If you know anyone that might have had an upper body injury this might be a good gift for them to get back into working out. Dumbbells are always a great present just make sure you don't get a weight that is to heavy for the person your buying.

What do you guys think of this gift guide. Tell me below if you would buy any of these items for your family members or friends defiantly tell me below. Why not tell me other items that are under £10 which you think I should add to my list.

I hope you enjoy reading this post and it's given you some last minute ideas.
Hope to see soon.
Love Melissa


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Guest Post: What is a Proper Pre and Post Workout Nutrition Diet?

Hey Guys,

I received a lovely e-mail from Amy asking if she could guest post on my blog and I was really happy to do that as I want my blog to help other people. Amy is a literature and biology graduate from Melbourne and loves talking about health. She has written for a number of other lifestyle blogs and has a wide knowledge of nutrition and workouts. I hope you enjoy this post and would love to hear what you think of the post.


You really are what you eat. No matter how persistent and serious your are, and despite the exercise plan that you choose, nutrition plays a major role in the effectiveness of the workouts and in your performance. Pre and post workout nutrition diet makes a difference between reaching your goal and failing. So, while devising a workout plan, make sure to establish a proper dietary routine, as well, which will help you perform better, achieve more permanent results, and recover faster.
Read the following examples to get an insight into what you should and should not eat while trying to lose weight or build muscles.

1. Pre Workout

Pre workout nutrition determines whether you will have enough energy to complete the entire training session with maximum potential. It should include a proper meal and proper supplements that will increase your endurance and muscle strength and help your burn more calories. Depending on your metabolism, you should eat an easily digestible meal (digested within 15 to 20 minutes) 1 to 2 hours before the workout, to give the blood time to leave the stomach and go into muscles.
Always include a fruit (e.g. bananas, oranges, apples). Fruits decrease blood pressure, by dilating blood vessels, and thus reduce stress on the heart. Simple sugars contained in fruits will boost your energy, while vitamin C will prevent cramps. Combine bananas with a whole wheat toast and cinnamon to gear up. Effective pre-workout supplements should be taken on an empty stomach at least 20 minutes before the workout. Multivitamin supplement the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly. B-vitamin abundant multivitamins release energy while you are working out, improving your performance. Another great stimulant is caffeine, which also builds your energy. If you are looking to lose extra weight, ephedrine HCL is an excellent fat burner.

2. Post Workout


You might think that you are building muscles while you are training, but it actually happens in the post workout phase, during the recovery. Since your body uses proteins to build muscles, replenishing them is of an utmost importance if you want your workout to have any effect. Otherwise, lack of protein means less muscles that could have been gained, and even the loss of the existing muscle mass. To avoid this, have a protein drink straight after a strength-training session. You will not only fail to reach your goals in your last workout, but it will also have an impact on your performance in the next training session.

Foods rich in protein are any kind of low-fat meat, like chicken or turkey breasts, or lean beef, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and nuts (particularly almonds) that contain good fats. Hydration is crucial, especially after a cardio, to replenish lost electrolytes, so drink plenty of pure water. Glycogen is an essential part of re-hydration because it attracts water to your muscles. This being said, you also need to replenish glycogen stores to prevent muscle soreness. If you wish to avoid an insulin spike, eat low-GI carbohydrate foods that lead to a slow and gradual rise in insulin. These foods are: pasta, whole wheat breads (not the processed ones), sweet potatoes, brown rice, and vegetables.
As you can see, proper pre and post workout nutrition is an integral part of an effective workout plan. But it does not have to be complicated. It just requires a little bit of planning ahead and discipline. You can read more about pre and post workout nutrition at Killcliff blog.

Amy on her Facebook page and Twitter.

I hope to see you and thank you to Amy for guest posting 

Love Melissa xx


Monday, 16 November 2015

Lifestyle: Making that change for the better.

I recently signed up to pilot a fitness program for Julia Buckley. I've seen some of her work before and recently found out that she has got a book called The Fat Burn Revolution. When I saw that she was looking for bloggers to take part in her pilot program I thought 'why not' 

I've lost all motivation to go to the gym because of my busy work schedule and the fact it's pretty much all over the place as I don't do you typical 9-5 job. When I signed up Julia asked us to ask someone to be are accountable person. I decided that my partner would be the best person, I only see him twice a week so it means that when I see him we can talk about it more than I could with a family member as my family is quite a fit family they wouldn't see it as a massive deal while my partner is really supportive and always ready to hear me talk about fitness and my life. 

I've signed up to do 6 workouts a week which are 30 minutes long, I've had a quick look and they look hard work. They range from full body workouts, core workouts and others like arm and leg workouts. This is the part of the pilot i'm really looking forward to.

Julia asked us to make a main goal with 3 smaller goals which had numbers involved so we could see the progress more than just having random goals.

My original main goal was to have a healthier life which Julia thought was not specific enough so I've decided that my main goal is now to change habits a number of eating habits and drinking habits that I already have as well as trying to tone my body. 

My 3 specific goals are:

1. I want to get out of bed when my alarm goes off. (This may sound simple but because of my job I have a lot more of a later start so I have a habit of setting my alarm than going back to sleep)

2. Drink 8 glasses of water a day.

3. I want to strengthen my upper body with the main focus being on my biceps and triceps. 

I'm really looking forward to this program especially as all the bloggers that are involved are all in the same chat as we can talk about are little journeys. 

I'm going to be keeping everyone update on here with my update post being on a Friday. I'll be talking to you about every thing. 

I hope to see you soon
Love Melissa


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Lifestyle: Hello November

Hey Guys,

So it's November, where did this year go! 

I think I've had the busiest Autumn I've ever had working all the hours I could work meaning that I haven't put a lot of time in to my blog. I've slowed down because of the Winter so thought I would start with some November goals to get myself back into the swing of it. I've made 5 simple goals for this month with the hope I can try and stick to them.

1.  Try and go for 1 run a week. (not including my normal work running sessions)
2. Try and cut down on fizzy pop and Lucazade.
3. Eat breakfast everyday.
4. Be more organised with both work and personal life.
5. Try Yoga at home to release stress.

All these goals are simple life changes I want to make to try and make full time, I bet your thinking Melissa these are simple changes why you making them goals but sometimes simple changes are the hardest changes to make. I'll keep updated with these goals. Hopefully i'll have some sort of positive outcome to tell you about. I'm looking forward to trying the yoga one out, this came after reading Vivianna Does Make Up November fitness files, I loved her passion for doing yoga at home. I've never been a lover of yoga but a lot of people I know have been using it to de-stress and that's what I need to do QUICK. 

I'll keep you updated on the progress of my goals. Hopefully I'll be able to stick these goals. 

Speak to you soon,
Love Melissa xx


Thursday, 9 July 2015

Lifestyle: 2 YEARS ON.

Hey Guys!

Today Facebook decided to remind me that 2 years ago to the date was the day I graduated from college. I thought it would be a nice to do a little post on what I've learnt since throwing that cap into the air and shouting THANK GOD!! 

First I'll tell you a bit about my degree and where I went to do it. Firstly I will say I have never been the most academic person so deciding to do a degree was something I really thought about and wasn't really sure about. After a lot of talking with family and tutors at the college. I decided it was best decision if I did a foundation degree at Newcastle College because I knew that after two years I had the choice if I wanted to do the 3rd year. I always knew I was going to go down the sport coaching route and decided that I was going to do the 2 year foundation degree in Sport Coaching and Science. Newcastle College had a partnership program with Leeds Metropolitan University at the time which meant that when I graduated it would say Leeds Metropolitan rather than Newcastle College. After the 2 years I decided that it was best that I stayed on and do the top year meaning that I would get the full degree rather than just the foundation degree. I graduated in 2013 with a 2:2, I wasn't really happy with the grade but I decided that it was my own fault why I got that grade (I'll go into more detail about that in my next post about my university experience).

After that little bit of history for you, here are 3 things I've learn't since graduating.


I think everyone goes through that moment when there at university where they think 'What the hell am I going to do after I finish?' Let me tell you something I did that for at least a year after I graduated it's not something you should feel bad about most people will be thinking the same. I left college completely lost and thinking to myself 'What the hell do I do now'. I was trying to make my mind up whether I wanted to go back to college and do my PCGE (teaching degree) or stick with the coaching route. I had a number of people telling that teaching was the route to go down and to apply even just as a back up plan. What people didn't understand was that even tho teaching was the best decision I didn't want to go back into education, I didn't want to do back into lectures and take notes I just wanted to make a difference in the community but I didn't know how. I decided that I was going to just try coaching for a year if it didn't work I would that apply for the PGCE to keep people happy. I did a lot of volunteer coaching work for Active Newcastle which is the sporting side of Newcastle Council and loved it but they didn't have funding at the time to pay me but I loved it so much I decided to just volunteer and see where it went from there. I already had a little part time job at Primark meaning that I had money coming in. Now after 2 years of hard work and volunteering for a year, I now work from Active Newcastle, I'm one of the main coaches for there Fusion holiday camps and do a lot of sport development work with them. Soon I will be going self-employed and working as a Tennis Coach for the LTA as well as working for Active Newcastle. I learnt that the hard work you put in at university does pay off eventually just just have to be patient. 


This is something I defiantly say to do, when I was at college going to America for the summer was the thing to do but I didn't want to leave my part time job and family. Well that changed after graduating and the first thing I did after the summer was grow some balls and filled in the application to go to America for the summer of 2014. It was one of the best things I did, I grew as a coach and as a person. I don't think I would be the coach I am today if I hadn't went to America, I made some of my closest friends at camp and feel in love with travelling. Also after college I became a Young Advisor for StreetGames which was something else that was outside of my comfort zone but I've never looked back and thought that was a bad decision it was one of the best choices I ever made. It doesn't have to be something massive it can be something small like just applying for job that you don't think you can get or going on extra training courses. Being to put other things on your CV makes you stand out to employers it will be worth it in the end. 

About to learn how to sail on Lake Fairlee in America

The whole time I was doing my degree I thought I would fall into a job and obviously that didn't happen. I lost a bit of belief in myself when I didn't know what to do or where to even start looking for jobs but look at me now coaching for two different companies doing what I love and still learning and this is after 2 years. You have to know it will not be easy and that you won't just fall in to your dream job it takes time. Like Tinkerbell says 'All you need is faith, trust and pixie dust'.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that don't let life after university scary you. You will reach that dream one day just enjoy that ride while you do it.

I hope that you enjoyed this post, I wanted to do something a little bit different from my fitness posts.

If you have anything you have learnt since leaving university leave them in the comments as I would love to hear them?

Hope to see you soon 
Love Melissa xx


Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Polo: Street Games (Work Shirt)
Training Pants: Adidas
Trainers: Start Fitness Similar Here

This post is a carry on from last Monday's '8 Sporting/Fitness Staples'  which showed the first 3 staples in my fitness wardrobe. This post is more about my staples pieces for when I'm working as a activity instructor. 

I wear a lot more casual clothing when I'm coaching so lose bottoms and top. The items you see above are what I spend a lot of time in. I didn't show the top as its a branded work top as that's what I'm given as part of my uniform. 

Sp lets get on with the main 2 items I wear for coaching children in, these are a simple jumper, tracksuit bottoms and work t-shirt. 

Jumper: These are essentials in my wardrobe just because they are easy to throw on when you  don't know what the weather is doing. I find with this type of jumper it is also very versatile, I can put a work polo top underneath or I can wear my normal work round neck tops. I was sent this one from Buy T-shirts Online and it is really comfortable because the material is so soft and it's a good thickness. I find with this jumper that i'm able to wear it more in the spring weather. I have a similar one from Nike which I do really like but don't wear as much as it is a lot thicker and is defiantly more of a winter jumper. 

Training Pants: These are defiantly a staple in my coaching wardrobe because I find when I'm coaching that if i'm not comfortable in what i'm wearing than I don't enjoy my session. When I saw some of the young boys I work with wearing these Adidas training pants which are pictured in the pictures above, I had to have some. These training pants are maybe the most comfortable pants I have ever wore to coach in and that is saying something. In the Easter holidays I was coaching 9 til 3 most days and these pants were the great to wear. They are designed with strategic climacool ventilation which is good for keeping dry and cool, which is what you need when your running around with children all day. 

Well I hope you enjoyed the next part of my staples sessions. The next one will be about what I wear to run in and go to the gym. 

Comment below is you have any recommendations that you think I should have a look at or just tell me what your staples pieces are?

Speak to you soon 
Love Melissa xx


Monday, 20 April 2015

Fashion: 8 Sporting/Fitness Staples

Vest Top: Primark
Shorts: Under Armour
Shoes: Start Fitness 

Every person has there own staple pieces depending on there style. Some people have season staples like Spring and Winter. So why can't we have sport staples, anyone that does exercise will know that there is certain things you need or would like to have in your wardrobe. This post is going to talk about 3 out of 8 staples I have in my wardrobe. These 3 staples are very much my at home wear or summer running wear. 

1. Vests: These are defiantly my at home tops, I have a love/hate relationship with my upper body so normally prefer wear t-shirts but when i'm at home I will just wear a vest. I found with vests that there are good to just put under a jumper or a hoodie as there not as thick as workout tops. I have around 4 or 5 vest. The best ones I've found have been just from Primark nothing fancy, the one pictured above is from Primark and I've had it for about a year.

2. Shorts: I'm one of these people that is always cold so I hardly wear shorts but when I was in America last summer I discovered Under Armour and feel in love. I find shorts are incredibly handy items to have in your wardrobe, I wear them in the Summer when I'm coaching but as I live in Britain so I know what the weather can be like, so I always put them under some tracksuit bottoms. The thing I like about these shorts is the waste band, it's not one of them waist bands that digs into my hips. You can other brands of shorts I have some Nike ones which are similar but just different material. Shorts are just a great alternative to have in your wardrobe for them warmer days that are coming up or if you work out at home. 

3. Sport Bra: As a women, sport bra aren't just a staple there a necessity. I'm not a large chested lady but still always wear a sports bra. Finding one that supports you right is always important. I was find this plain black American Apparel from Buy T-shirts Online* extremely comfortable and I defiantly feel fully supported. I have a range of sport bras ranging from Nike, H&M, Sweaty Betty and Lululemon. Sports bras can cost a lot of money so I find shopping around is always good as you can find some cheaper alternatives.

That is the first 3 staples I have in my wardrobe. Why not leave me a comment telling me what you 3 staples are for working out at home are?

In my next post I'll be talking about my 2 coaching staples are. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you have enjoyed this post. 

See you soon
Love Melissa xx



Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Fitness: 10 Minute at Home Workout / I Heart Fitness

Hey Guys,

I was asked by the lovely people at My Voucher Codes if I wanted to get involved in a campaign I Heart Fitness that they are doing along with The British Heart Foundation that is aiming to keep your heart healthy. 

The challenge they set was to create a 10 Minute using things that you can find around home. I decided that my workout would be a full body work with small bursts of cardio in as well

For this workout you will need a pack of cards, stop watch (can use your phone) and skipping ropes. You can use a yoga mat if you want but its not a necessity. 

The first thing you need to do is make sure your in a room that you can skip in and do a short sprint in. When your ready to start you need to place the pack of card at the other end of the room in two piles.  

The workout is going to be simple but I'm going to quickly explain what you have to do after you have finished your cardio sections. After you have done your cardio part of the workout you will run across the room and pick up a card from each pile. You will add  them two numbers together and than multiply by 2. For example if you had a 5 and a 6 you would get 22. If you pick up a King, Queen, Jack or Ace you would count them as 11. Once you have added the numbers together and multiplied the 2 together you will do that amount of the exercise. 

The workout

1 minute cardio (Skipping or if you don't have a skipping rope you can do star jumps or run on the spot)

Run across room, collect cards add together and multiply them by 2 and do exercise below:

Add together the cards and multiply by 2.
Abs section - Mountain Climbers or Alternating knee ins. 

Alternating Knee In's 
Mountain Climbers

1 minute cardio (Either Skipping, star jumps or running on the spot)

Run across room, collect cards add together and multiply them by 2 and do exercise below:

Leg section - Lunges or Squats


1 minute cardio (Either skipping, star jumps or running on the sport)

Run across room, collect cards add together and multiply them by 2 and do exercise below:

Arms section - Triceps drip or push ups

Tricep Dips
Push Ups
1 Minute cardio (Either skipping, star Jumps or running on the spot)

Run across room, collect cards add together and multiply them by 2 and do exercise below:

This time you are going to do a plank for the amount of time that the cards multiply up to. 

This is you finished with the workout, when I did this workout it worked out around the 8/9 minute mark so if you wanted to you could do this twice and mix in different activities.

Make sure that you check out My voucher Codes blog to check out all the other bloggers that are getting involved with the campaign 

 I hope you enjoyed it and found it a little different. Tell me what you think of my workout or how you felt after if you tried it out?

Hope to see you soon
Love Melissa xx


Monday, 9 March 2015

Fashion: Joining The Party Eventually

Hey Guys,

I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Active Newcastle #thisgirlcan Campaign. The event was held at Newcastle Civic Centre and the theme was afternoon tea. 

The invitation said that the event was smart casual. These two words are the most confusing things ever when it come planning an outfit. You don't want to look to over dressed or be the person that comes to under dressed.  

Thinking of the theme of the event I knew I want to wear something comfortable and not tight fitting. I've all of  a sudden started loving co-ords as well as the midi skirt. I know I'm way behind and I bet your thinking where have you been for the last few years but I'm making up for lost time. 

I saw this two piece set on the Missguided sale page and feel in love. I knew I had a number of big events coming and I've been getting good wear out of the skirt. I wasn't 100% sure on the top but I've now fallen for it. They were a great price with the 2 pieces coming in as under £30. 

The shoes were something I bought in the January sale from New Look, they are a size to big I have to say they don't feel so big when I wear a pair of socks. I love them but they don't have cut the back of my ankles.


Top - Sold Out
Skirt - Missguided
Necklaces - Primark
Shoes - New Look (Similar Here)

What do you think of my outfit? Have you fallen in a trend that is years old?

I hope you enjoyed this post. Why not leave me a comment telling me what you think?

Hope to see you soon
Love Melissa xx


Sunday, 11 January 2015

Thai-Style Aromatic Chicken Stir Fry Recipe.

If you had a look at my 6 goals for 2015 post you would have seen that I wanted to cook at least 2 healthy meals a week. Well the first week of 2015 has went well and I thought I would show you one of the recipes that I made. 

I made a Thai-style aromatic chicken stir fry from a recipe that I found in one of my the many recipes books that my mum has collected over the years. This recipe came from a book called '50 free original recipes by Slimming World' which she found in a charity shop.

This recipe serves 4 people and is ready in 30 minutes. Its a quick, simple and a flavour-packed stir fry best cooked minutes before you sit down.

Ingredients needed:

Low calorie cooking spray, 
4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts which needs to be cut in to strips,
2 tbsp very finely chopped lemon grass,
4cm piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated,
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed,
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped,
2-3 lime leaves, very finely shredded,
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips,
100g mangetout, halved lengthways,
1 cucumber, deseeded and cut into thin strips,
1 carrot, peeled and cut into strips,
100ml of chicken stock
2 tbsp of soy sauce, 
Chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Right lets get on with the recipe itself. 

Spray a large non-stick wok or frying pan with the low calorie cooking spray and heat until hot. Add the chicken and stir-fry over high heat for 4-5 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. 

Re-spray the pan with the cooking spray and add the lemon grass, ginger, red chilli, lime leaves, red pepper, mangetout, cucumber and carrot. Stir-fry over a high heat for 3-4 minutes and than return the chicken to the pan with the stock and soy sauce. Cook 2-3 minutes and scatter over the coriander leaves.

I did this with noodles but the book did recommend pak choi or shredded cabbage.

I loved this recipe, it was so simple even for someone who can't cook like me. What do you think of this recipe? Do you think you might give it a try? 

Do you have an recommendations for simple healthy recipes?

Hope to see you soon
Love Melissa xx


Saturday, 3 January 2015

6 Goals for 2015


Welcome to 2015!

I hope that you had a great Christmas and New Year. How great is that quote by F.Scott Fitzgerald it just screams motivation.

 If you had a look at my 4 things I learnt in 2014 post, I mentioned I was going to do my 2015 goals. I'm normally not a fan of setting resolutions as I normally never stick to them. This year I wanted to set myself goals rather than resolutions as I think goals sounds more motivating. I didn't want to do your typical goals like save money as I always want to do that so I've came up with just simple things that I want to achieve over 2015. These are my 6 goals:

Goal 1. Run the Great North Run without dying.

For people who don't know what the Great North Run is, it's a half marathon that is done in the North East of England raising millions for all types of charities. I decided to run for the Guide Dogs as after working with the Visual Impaired Tennis team in Newcastle I've seen first-hand the work and importance of Guide Dogs for the blind giving them the independence they need to have a normal life.

The goal is for someone that someone being myself run the Great North Run in a good time and sensible time for a beginner. I know I'm not going to be breaking any record but crossing that line and raising £275 is the main goal. I've done my first training run on the 1st January which I'm proud of. If you want to keep updated with my progress I'm going to do a training dairy every Friday. Everyone have your fingers crossed and wish me luck as I'm going to need it.

Goal 2. Try at least one new restaurant a month.

I love trying new food, even though I'm going to try and eat healthy this year, Newcastle is filling up with new and upcoming restaurants a lot being healthy new restaurants which is right up my alley. So I want to try to go to a new and different type of restaurant a month, if I can get to more than one a month than great but I'm starting with one a month. With Newcastle Restaurant Week coming up soon I'm hopefully this will help me explore Newcastle a lot more.

Goal 3. To capture life little moments.

There is always that little life moment that you wish you had captured with a camera instead of on your phone or that you didn't catch at all. That happened a lot this year specially when I was at summer camp in America, when I was at Wimbledon with Street Games so this year I want to capture life moments with my camera but also document them somewhere other than online. While I was watching Lily Pebbles December favourites video she mentioned that she had made a scrap book throughout 2014 but it was a lot more like a photo album with decorations and it got me thinking that's what I could do as I'm not the most creative person in the world. She choose to do a scrapbook called The Project Life, she talks all about it in her How to start a Project Life Scrapbook video. 

2015 is going to be a busy year and I know this is great way to document the year so when I want to look back I can.

Goal 4. Use a healthy recipe at least twice a week. 

I know the basics of cooking but I want to cook something that I'm proud to eat not something like a fry up or something with chips. I also got a Blend-Active for Christmas from my mum after seeing how easy they are to use, so this is something I want to try and use at least twice a week if not more. 

My mum is trying to eat healthy as well so this makes me think it’s going to be a bit easier to achieve. I have always been person that isn't scared to try something new so trying recipes is going to food to do on my days off. I've put at least once a week as having two jobs it is easier for my mum to cook for me but I'm going to give it a good try.

Update: I cooked my first healthy meal, that meal was a Thai-style aromatic chicken stir-fry. (Photos might be coming up in an upcoming post) 

Goal 5. To keep my blog active and make a schedule.

I know this is one that every blogger will write but I really want to make this my little place to go in the internet. I'm hoping that my training diary will help motivate me to blog about my journey but also give me ideas of things to blog about. 

I'm hoping that once I get a new blog layout and banners I will fall back in love with my blog and want to keep it up. I have a plan to blog 3 times a week with one of them being my running journey, which is going to be hard but I know I can do it. 

Goal 6. Keep loving myself for who I am not what I think people want me to be.

2014 was a year that I started to love myself for who I was rather than what I thought people wanted me to be. With massive thanks to the The Friendly Development Charity, I've learnt that beauty comes from within instead of what you see in the mirror. 

2013 and the beginning of 2014 I was in an unhealthy place where I was massively underweight and was exercising more than I was eating. By the end of 2014 I got myself to a healthy place but in 2015 I want to keep my weight at the healthy weight it is but also keep the exercise balance. 

I'm one of these people that will hardly make an effort with my appearance unless it's a night out, not for any particular reasons but I want to chance that. I love that I'm not one of the people that depends on make-up but in 2015 I want to try and make a bit more of an effort, if that’s with just straightening my hair rather than putting it in a messy bun or put a little effort into my outfit than I’ll be happy with that.

These are my goals for 2015, I believe these goals are achievable. What do you think of my goals? Are they achievable? Why not tell me about your goals and what you want to achieve in 2015. 

I hope you have a good 2015,
Speak to you soon

Love Melissa xx

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