Thursday, 28 February 2013

A little bit about me

I just realized today that most of my readers don't know much about me. The real me. My loves, likes and the things I loath. Things that you might not know. So, I'm sharing it, here, with you today.

I'll start with the things I love to do. I love taking photos. I always have. I really love taking photos of horses.  I spend most of my Sundays out running through fields , climbing over gates and ditches to get good photos of my hubs and his horse jumping. There is just something about those animals that I love.

That brings me to horses. I have loved these animals since I was a little girl. I begged and begged my father for a pony and one day I got one and the rest is history. I started hunting and that is how I met my husband. I was stranded at a jump and he offered to help. I told him to kindly feck off, as you do, and that I was fine. He liked that I was firey. 10 years on and I'm still that way.

I don't drink booze. Now I used to and I certainly don't miss the hangovers. I gave it up when I met the hubs. Apparently  I don't need it. I'm crazy enough with out it. People still think I'm drunk when I'm not drinking. Must be totally mad.

I can't eat pasta or spaghetti. I just can't put it in my mouth. That's all because my cousin told me they were snails and worms when I was a kid. I would love to sit down and eat a bowl of pasta but it just makes me want to gag.

A food that I do love though is Onions. I love onions. I eat them nearly every day. My favourite way to eat them is with homemade brown bread and a pint of milk. Hubs isn't too fond of my breath after I eat them but they are so yummy. 

I run. I workout. I sweat. But it's not to loose weight. If I manage to loose a few pounds of tone up, woohoo. But the main reason is so I can eat cookies, cupcakes, cream eggs and all the other goodies that I shouldn't be eating. May be a little cookoo but that's me.

I love the smell of baby powder, bluebells, petrol, permanent markers and fresh cut grass.

I hope this little post gives you an insight into the totally mixed up crazy woman that I am.
My mind is a crazy place and I love it.

Tomorrow's Friday peeps.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tried and Tasted : Beef stew with seasonal vegetables

Welcome to my new Link-up everyone.
I hope to find many new recipes here and even find some new blogs to follow here.

I cooked Beef stew with seasonal vegetables from the Operation Transformation website. I have cooked a few of these recipes and they have turned out great. 

My camera broke the weekend and I wasn't able to take any pictures of my finished result.
But it was yummy!

Photo from Operation Transformation website.

500g diced beef
600g turnip peeled and diced
400g sweet potatoes peeled and diced
300g baby onions (or shallots), peeled and halved
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves (optional)
1 tsp black pepper corns
1 tsp dried thyme
15g butter
1 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 160ºC
In a large oven proof saucepan or casserole dish melt the butter.
Add the beef pieces and fry until brown.
Add the onions. Cover, reduce heat and cook for about 5 mins.
Add the turnip, sweet potatoes and chopped tomatoes and mix together.
Add bay leaves if using, thyme, peppercorns and salt.
Cover and place in the oven for about 2 hours.
And serve

Note: I added some carrots and blitzed the tomatoes to make them more smooth. I also added a beef stock cube.

Now for the rules:
Link back to my website in your post or add the button.
It's not too much to ask, is it?

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Clean it Challenge

I am linking up for Dog days link up again this week over at I love you more than Carrots
This week were taking Cleaning.

I did a great job the weekend cleaning the top of my cooker. Took some great before and after photos and then my camera died. Totally dead. :(

So I had to come up with something else.
I decided to put together a post that contains some of the pins I have found that actually worked for me.

There is an old woman that live in my town and she swears by vinegar and baking soda. She uses nothing else. She might be on to something there.

Baking Soda as Drain Unclogger

To get your drain running again (without resorting to chemicals worthy of a hazmat suit) pour ½ cup soda, then ½ cup vinegar, down a clogged drain. Cover it with a wet cloth, wait 5 minutes, uncover, and flush with steaming-hot water.

Cotton Swab as Computer Detailer

With the machine turned off, disconnect the keyboard and trace between the keys with a cotton swab lightly dipped in isopropyl alcohol. If your mouse is the kind that rolls on a ball, unscrew the bottom and go over the ball and the interior with a cotton swab, too.

Salt as Egg Cleanup

Sop up a spilled egg by sprinkling salt over the mess. Wait two minutes and wipe it up.

You can see more of the tips I found in this pin Here.

Make Whites, white again using Vinegar.
I've been doing this for years.
Add 1 cup white vinegar to 2 1/2 pints tap water in a large pot. Bring the solution to a boil, then pour it into a bucket and drop in your stained socks, (uniforms, etc.). Let them soak overnight, then the next day wash them as you normally would.

Clean your Mattress 
Pour about 1 cup of baking soda into a mason jar and drop in 4 drops of lavender essential oil. Put on lid and shake jar. Using a kitchen strainer sprinkle the baking soda mixture all over the mattress and let it sit for an hour or more. Thoroughly vacuum the mattress. Bye, bye dust mites and other nasty things. The baking soda helps draw up any moisture and deep dirtiness. It deodorizes and leaves the mattress smelling fresh and clean.

Remove watermarks from wooden furniture.
Cover the mark with Mayo and leave for 20 minutes. Wipe off. Done!!


Clean your windows with warm water, 1/2 cup vinegar and a squirt of fairy liquid (dawn). Shine them with old newspaper.

Glass Cooker top

This is the pin that I used to get my Cooker top clean.

All you need:
Bowl & Hot Soapy Water
Baking Soda
A Cleaning Rag

Soak you cleaning rag in the warm water.
Heavily sprinkle the baking soda on the cooker top. 
Ring half of the water out you rag.
Put it on the baking powder and leave in for 15 minutes. 
(I left it for longer. My cooker was bad.)

Once the time is up, swirl the rag around in circles, using the baking soda paste as a gentle scrub. 
I did this twice and the result was amazing. 
Use vinegar to clean it off after. 

I hope you find these cleaning tip useful. I know I did.

I'm also linking up with AP for Hey, That's Pin-tastic.

Happy Monday Everyone! 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Health and Fitness Friday : C25K

What a week!
I feel like this week has gotten away from me.

I had my Sculpted Abs class on Friday. Wasn't a great class for me. I was all set for an amazing workout and I couldn't do it. I was trying to do one of the exercises and my body just wouldn't let me. Turns out that I have a slight tear on one of my deep lower abdominal muscles. 
You know those muscles that my kids kick the crap out of when I carried them for 9 months? Ya, those! I tore one of those. Nothing too major though. Just need to give it a weeks rest. Back to normal for today's class.

Had my normal Skinny Jeans class Monday. Can't believe how much more I'm able to do every week I go back. I love it. No problems walking down the stair after this class. Hubs has even remarked on how my butt is getting, in his words, "solid". ha!!

I had my first sexy arm class Wednesday. OMG!! My arms were like someone had pumped lead into them. I couldn't even lift them up over my head by the end of the class. We did a circuit of 6 different exercises, 4 times. Push ups, dips, weights and resistant bands, just to name a few. Didn't think I'd be able to pick up the little guy but I felt great the next day.

Back to Saturday. Had an amazing run. Best one yet. Breathing was great. Pace was slow but steady and I finished without being out of breath. Ran over 2 miles. I couldn't have run a 1/4 of that a month ago.
I found this pin on my Fitness and Health Pin board very helpful with my breathing.
You can follow me on Pinterest Here.

We're moving on to week 5 of the Couch to 5k program.

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:
Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:
 jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.

I'm still finding it hard to get in runs during the week. I may have to give in and get up early in the morning and run before everyone gets up. I just hope I don't fall asleep at lunch time.

I have also signed up for a 10k in mid-July. I think I'm hooked!!
I'm doing it for a charity called Bee for Battens, The Saoirse Foundation. You can found out all you need about that charity Here.

Health wise i'm doing good. My diet has been for the most part good. Still need to cut back on my chocolate and sugar. Didn't try any new recipes but I have one in the works for next week. 
I'm going to be posting my new recipe in my New link-up that's happening on Tuesday.

I would love it if my fellow Health and fitness crazy bloggers would come post a healthy or not so healthy recipe for me to try out.
My goal for next week is to try get in 3 runs. I need to step up my game or I won't succeed.

And that's it.
I'm linking up with Jen over at A Daily Dose of Davis for her weekly link-up.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Mid week catch-up

I haven't done one one these in a while.
Lots happening in my life at the moment.

I've started training for a 5k. Mad, I know. It's actually going quite well. I forgot how much I enjoy running. I'm using a couch to 5k program. I blog about it every Friday for Health and Fitness Friday. The run I'm doing is for a very good cause. TLC4CF and Limerick Dialysis Unit. It's going to be a challenge but i can't wait.

Where do I start. This little guy has been hitting the milestones lately. Waited so long for those teeth to come through and now we have 5 big beautiful teeth. And he really knows how to use them. And he has started walking too. Only a few steps here and there but I don't thin it'll be long now.

Had Jasmins first Parent/Teacher meeting last week. Didn't know what to except. Turns out my little girl is
doing great. No problems with her reading or writing. Gets on really well with the other kids. No issues with her hand. It was such a weight off my mind to know she's not getting picked on for being a little different.

I'm back taking photos again for my hunt club. I love taking photos and even love more so of horses. They are amazing animals. Getting a huge amount of likes on my photos. It feels so good to know people like your work.

I'm also starting a link-up series on this little space of mine. Every Tuesday, I will be posting a new recipe and you can all come link-up. New or old recipes. Doesn't matter for now. Here's the button to add to the post. I'm really excited to connect with new people and find some fab recipes.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Tried and Tasted : A cooking Link- up

I'm taking a big leap here on the blog today.
I'm launching my very first link-up.
I have linked up with a lot of blogs since I started blogging and I love how easy it is to connect with other through a link-up.

So, I bring you...

I love to cook, bake and try new recipes. 
I'm forever browsing through pinterest, online cooking forums and cook books for new ideas.
What better way to find new ideas and share some of your favourite ones then through a link-up.

So, come back Tuesday, have a look around and link-up.
Don't forget to add the button (on the sidebar) or just link back to my blog.
Who knows, I might even make a pin board.
I'm excited to connect with you lovely blogging beauties.

See you all next Tuesday.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Paint it challenge

I was so excited when the girls decided to keep The dog days {of winter} are over link-up party going.
I really enjoyed the first run at this and couldn't wait to get stuck in with round 2.

I love this link-up. Not only have I fallen even more in love with ILYMTC but I have found some more amazing blog and the amazing women that write on them.

Now I was all set for getting the paint out and doing up the little guys room. I have the paint and I had an idea in my head but for whatever reason it didn't happen.

So, i'm going to show you a different paint project I did last week.
I have seen these lovely pin all over pinterest and I had a go myself this week.
I really hope that it doesn't classify as cheating.
I did paint something. Just on a much smaller scale.

I used a toothpick to freehand the heart. I think they look pretty good.
The colours I used are Angelica nail colour no.32 and Essence Nude Glam no. 5.

 And I know, this really isn't as good as some of the other paint it projects I've seen already but it the best I could do this week.

i love you more than carrots

I'm linking up with AP over at ILYMTC today for both Hey, That's Pin-tastic and The dog days {of winter} are over.

Happy Monday loveies.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Health and Fitness Friday : C25K Training

It's been a good week for me.
2 classes, 2 runs and my diet wasn't too bad either.

I managed to get in a run besides the one at training and I am very happy with it. I ran in the pouring rain. A first for me. My time was slower then at training. I guessing because I didn't have the group pushing me on. But my pace was good and there was no fat man sitting on my chest stopping me from breathing.

This run felt different. It felt fantastic! It felt natural to me. It gave me the want for more. More running. More miles. I looking forward to the day were 2 miles is just my warm-up.
I know 2 miles isn't much but it 2 miles more than I ran last week and that is huge for me.

We're moving on to week 4 of the Couch to 5k training  program.

Week 4
Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:
Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:
Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes) 
Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:
Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)  

This could cause huge problems for me if I set out too fast. I need to concentration on my pace and breathing and not who's passing me out.

"The only person I need to beat is myself"

This in my motto to try keep me on track.
Hope it works.

My classes I started are going good too. The second skinny jean workout was so much better. I was able to get down the stairs like any normal person would and I wasn't afraid to sit down. ha!

The sculpted abs workout was amazing.I didn't feel any burn when we were doing the exercises but I felt it after. I felt it in the muscles deep, deep down in my abs. The ones that I forgot I even had. I felt it all weekend and up until Tuesday. I can't wait to go again today and see what the trainer has in store for us.

Here are my workouts for the week.
Friday (today) : Sculpted Abs
Saturday : C25K training
Sunday : Walking
Monday : Skinny Jeans workout
Tuesday : Walking
Wednesday : Jog( fingers crossed)
Thursday : Walking

I've cut down on my sugar intake. I decided to try wean myself off it. Don't think I could handle the headaches and possible mood swings if I went cold turkey. It's like a drug. 

I tried a few recipes from the Operation Transformation program. Healthy Cottage pie and Chicken pineapple curry with pea rice are two that I've tried and they were Yummy! Everyone had seconds and plates were clean.

That's it for this week. I'm linking up with Jen over at A Daily Dose of Davis for her weekly linkup.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentines with the kiddos

Valentines day can be difficult when you have kids.
Babysitters, booking a restaurant, trying to fit it all in to a couple of hours.
It can make it a teeny bit stressful.

But I am certainly going to try make our Stay at home Valentines special for all of us.

To start things off the kiddos got a "Bag of love".
I filled it with a Teddy, sweets and other bits and pieces I had picked up for them.

What do you get for the man who says he has everything?
I made a "Tub of love".
I filled it up with all his favourite sweets and chocolates. Simple but he was happy.

I try and make the food extra dpecial on this day.

Valentines Day Menu

 Fresh fruit
Topping of your choice
Whipped cream

Steak with mash and mixed vegetables 
Fried onions
Garlic bread

Chocolate fondue with strawberries, marshmallows and mini cupcakes
Meringue Mess

I'm looking forward to having a quite night at home with the ones I love. Don't get me wrong. I luurve a good date night but I'm kinda looking forward to not having to find a restaurant, babysitter and hold in my stomach all night. I might just throw on a little black number and do my hair. He's worth the effort.

When the kiddos are in bed we will settle down to watch a movie.
Coin toss gets to pick the DVD.

How will you be celebrating Valentines day?

Love to all.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

What I wore Wednesday

Happy Hump Day everyone!!

I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy for her weekly linkup What I wore Wednesday.
pleated poppy
If you saw last weeks post you will see I cleaned the mirror. :)

This is what I have been wearing most of the time this week.
I'm training for a 5k and skinny jeans just don't cut it when you're running.

I wore this out and about doing some shopping on a very cold day.

Jacket - Trifted
Jeans - Penneys
Boots - Gift

This is what I wore to Jasmins first Parent Teacher Meeting. OMG!! Crazy.
I read somewhere that you're not meant to wear blue and green together.
There's even a rhyme about it.

"Blue and green
never to be seen,
except on an 
Irish Cailín."

So seeing that I am an Irish Cailín, I guess I get away with it.
The whole outfit came from Penneys.

This is the chain I wore with the outfit. I made it Myself.

I got more photos of my outfits, which was my aim for this week. Next week I'm gonna try get better pictures and might even have a mini photo-shoot.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

{Recipe} Healthy Cottage pie

I've been following Operation Transformation ever since my mom joined up this year.
I wasn't convinced that the food would be nice but we tried out this and it was yummy.
I decided to give another recipe a try and this is the one I picked.

Cottage Pie

Serves 4
450g lean minced beef 
2 x cans of chopped tomatoes with herbs
 600g potatoes, peeled and quartered 
600g frozen mixed carrots, beans, peas and sweetcorn, defrosted 
200g courgettes, grated 
200g fresh cauliflower 
100ml of milk 
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
 1 beef stock cube melted in 50ml of boiling water
 ½ tsp dried thyme
 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 180C. 
Put the potatoes into a saucepan of cold water. 
Place the cauliflower in a steamer on top of the potatoes. 
Bring the pot to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 
When the vegetables are tender mash them together with the milk and a little salt and pepper. Set aside. 
Heat oil in a non-stick saucepan. 
Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until soft.

Add the mince and cook until lightly browned. 

Add tomatoes, courgette, thyme, defrosted vegetables and beef stock. 

Cook for 10 minutes to evaporate excess juices. 

Spoon the mince and vegetable sauce into an ovenproof deep dish. 
Cover with the mashed potato and cauliflower. 
Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

{Recipe} Valentine Cookies : Hey, That's Pin-tastic

i love you more than carrots

I'm linking up with AP over at ILYMTC for her amazing series Hey, That's Pin-tastic!

It's the week of love with Valentines day on Thursday and I decided to try out a love-tastic cookie recipe I found on Pinterest.

I halved the recipe simply because I don't need the temptation of having that many cookies lying around the kitchen.

1/2 lb butter
150g sugar
220g brown sugar
2 small eggs
1 tsp vanilla
385g flour
pinch salt
food colouring
chocolate chips

Mix butter and sugars together until well combined.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix well.
Add food colouring to the dough .

Mix until completely pink or the color you are trying to achieve.
Add chocolate chips.
Mix well so the chips are incorporated through the dough.
Make balls of dough and put on a cookie sheet.
Bake at 180c for 15 mins.

 Now they looked nothing like the picture I pinned so that was a fail on my side but they tasted fantastic.

Looking at the amount of cookies I got I'm really glad I halved the recipe.
If I was making them again, I'd probably cut them with a heart shaped cookie cutter the make them even more love-tastic.

Happy Monday!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Fitness Friday : C25K Training

I am loving being back running.
I forgot how much I love it and how good you feel after a good workout.

Were starting week 3 of our Couch to 5k training program that the local Fitness Group, Feale Fit, have set up for us.
If I'm being honest, I'm finding it hard to get out during the week. Between weather, kids and all the other madness in my life, it's HARD!

Here is week 2 and 3 of the training.

Week 2
 Brisk five-minute warm-up walk.
Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk.
 Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk.
Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 3  

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

I have also started some workout classes in the hopes of shaping up. Skinny jeans and sculpted abs are the name of the two classes. I really enjoyed the skinny jean class. It was tough and I nearly died. My legs were like jelly. I was afraid to sit down for fear that I wouldn't be able to get up. But I was worth it and I'm going back for more.

I'm heading to sculpted abs class this afternoon and I'm excited to feel the burn again.

My diet is improving too. Cutting down on sugar and salt which are two of the worst things I add to my food. I'm also using this juice I found on Pinterest. You can head on over to my my health and fitness board and see some of the pins I found.

The juice in called Dr. Oz swimsuit slim-down juice.
1 cup of grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons on apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of honey
 Drink this combination before every meal. Apple cider vinegar helps you burn and break down fat. This drink combination also burns away your fat, literally. Drink it 3 x per day before meals.

Now I'm not one for trying every new thing I see on the internet of TV but it Dr. Oz. The man has been on Oprah like a million times. Well, maybe not a million but if he was on Oprah then that's good enough for me.

And that's pretty much it for this week. I'm linking up for Fitness Friday over at A Daily Dose of Davis.

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