BLOGMAS Day 17-Snowmen Hot Chocolate

There is something about hot chocolate and Christmas, we suddenly become addicted to them! There seems to be more competition than ever this year every coffee chain has really gone to town with their Christmas flavoured drinks introducing indulgent speciality drinks that will be enough to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Here are just a few flavours that are on offer; salted caramel, holiday spiced, Honeycomb, peppermint mocha, Lindt hot chocolate, caramel fudge, black forest, White Chocolate, Honey and almond, spiced orange and the list goes on. We are currently working our way through the menu and a firm favourite so far is the honeycomb hot chocolate. 

We love how all the coffee shops have got involved with the Christmas cups this year even McDonald’s have introduced a McCafe Christmas cup! We especially love the Costa cups they are for sure the winner in our eyes, but then again anything with a penguin on makes us excited. We love how Starbucks got their customers involved in the creation of their famous red cups, it shows they really do have the customer at the heart of all their decisions. We also couldn’t help but notice Starbucks was one of the last to reveal their 2016 Christmas cup which left us wondering if this was done on purpose to build suspense and get conversations flowing.

Hot chocolate is a great way to kick a chocolate craving! Whenever we are really craving some chocolate (usually every day at about 3pm) we always reach out for a healthy alternative hot chocolate. We are not sure if it is boredom and we suddenly are not hungry anymore because we have mistaken our hunger for thirst or if it really does work.

When we want to treat ourselves to a deliciously sugary hot chocolate we go ALL OUT! (You better be ready to see our delicious recipes below).

Choc Chick blissful blends cacao mandarin– This hot chocolate is one of our healthy alternatives. it is made from raw cacao powder which is then blended with natural mandarin. It is also free from dairy, sugar, gluten and guilt ;). 2 tsp should be mixed with hot water and add some milk if you fancy it!

Cadbury’s highlights Milk Chocolate- we absolutely love this hot chocolate and it is incredibly easy to make. The instructions suggest just adding hot water, but we have noticed the hot chocolate and hot water tend to separate and it can turn a bit lumpy. We add a small amount of milk to the hot chocolate powder and give this a stir until it forms a chocolate paste, then we simply add hot water and there you have it!  You can also get the Cadburys highlights in other flavours such as fudge which also tastes delicious!

Cadburys Drinking Chocolate- This hot chocolate has is supposed to be enjoyed with milk. You can purchase the chocolate in a tin or sachet for on the go. This hot chocolate is deliciously smooth and chocolaty!  We would suggest boiling some milk on a hob with the chocolate powder until it is piping hot and ready to drink.

Terrys chocolate orange hot chocolate- We are obsessed with terry chocolate orange so we couldn’t do a hot chocolate post and not include our own home made chocolate drink! If you are not a fan of chocolate orange then you can swap this for a chocolate bar of your choice!

Hot Chocolate Ingredients
1 Terry’s chocolate orange (they are usually on offer this time of year
2 mugs of milk  (milk of your choice)

Method
Fill both of your mugs with a milk of your choice and place in a sauce pan
Put the milk on a medium heat to ensure you don’t burn the milk at the bottom
When the milk is heated through you will need to add the chocolate orange segments
Stir the mixture until the chocolate has completely melted
Take the saucepan off the heat and pour into your mugs

Snowmen Ingredients
Marshmallows (you can purchase Marshmallows from Muscle food if you are trying to be slightly healthier)
Pretzel sticks
icing pens for the face

You will also need a cocktail stick to assemble the snowman. 

BLOGMAS Day 16-How to keep active at Christmas

The festive period has started and we couldn’t be happier! Christmas is a time to celebrate with the people you love and whilst doing so you are probably going to be eating a few more calories than normal. If you are going to stuff your face with all the Turkey, Mince Pies, Chocolate and anything else you can get your hands on (we know we will be) then it might be a good idea to get up and get moving. The majority of people tend to gain a few additional pounds at Christmas due to excessive eating but this doesn’t have to be the case.

We would never suggest you sacrifice treats at Christmas but you should ask yourself before you open your mouth for another mince pie, do I really want it, or am I just eating it because it’s there?

Staying active during the festive period is so simple, you don’t have to go running every day or even step foot in the gym if you don’t want to, but doing small amount of exercise will help you maintain your weight.

Christmas shopping is a great way to keep active (unless you do it all online). You walk a lot further than you think when shopping and its fun as well so that is just an added bonus.

If you have a spare 15/20 minutes during the day (not Christmas day) why don’t you do a The Body Coach workout? These workouts are all available on Youtube and they really do make you sweat.

Christmas usually involves a lot of dancing which is also a great way to stay active. If you have several Christmas parties booked in then just be mindful of the drinks you are drinking, we like to have Vodka, soda and fresh lime.

Why don’t you suggest going for a walk with your family or friends, we don’t think you can beat a nice wintery walk. It’s the perfect time to wear your new bobble hat or coat you got for Christmas. Every year our families go on a walk on Christmas morning (even if it does end in the pub) and we absolutely love it!

Don’t stress yourself out too much though, after all Christmas is a time to relax and de stress.

BLOGMAS Day 10- 5K Reindeer Run

On Sunday 3rd December I (Annie) took part in an annual 5K Reindeer run, the run took place in Coate water Country Park in Swindon. It was a freezing cold but beautiful morning so layers were essential. The run was very picturesque as it started by the woods which we continued to run through. I had never been to Coate Water Country Park before but I will definitely be returning.

There was a £5.00 entry cost and all proceedings went to the Great Western Hospitals breast cancer appeal with brighter futures.  It was great see so many people show up on the day and run the race. There were some great outfits including reindeer onesies, Santa dresses and there was even one man a tutu and vest (he must have frozen).

When we arrived at Coate Water Country Park we queued to get our running number and tracker which we had to wear around our ankle throughout the race. They also handed out some free antlers which made everyone look incredibly festive.

The race started at 10am at the Coate Water Country Park and you finished at the Great Western hospital 3 miles later. When you finished you received a medal and they supplied coffee and mince pies which went down a treat.

I cannot wait to take part next year and I want will be trying to beat my time of 24.46 seconds.

I had a look at the race score board and out of 570 people I came 20th which I am pretty chuffed about seeing as we had been out the night before getting merry at a Christmas party!

 

 

BLOGMAS Day 7- Fitness Wishlist

We couldn’t do Blogmas and not have a Christmas fitness wish list feature on our blog!  There are so many amazing fitness gifts out there that any fitness fanatic would love. You can never have too much active wear and if someone tries to tell you otherwise they are wrong.

Tote Bag- everyone needs a gym slogan tote bag in their life and we love this Kelly Connor design from Etsy. The slogan reads ‘When I work out at the gin I like to rum’, the bag costs £14.75 and is a great size for all your gym kit.

Running socks Marks and Spencer’s sell some of the best running socks we can find. They are thick so stop any blisters appearing when running. The socks we have chosen are £6.00 for a pack of two in the colour Aqua Mix which you can find here.

Women’s Health Subscription every girl loves reading a magazine and we especially enjoy reading women’s health. You can get 11 issues for just £26.99 which we think is an absolute bargain. Women’s health magazine gives you tips and advice to help keep you motivated every month. Who wouldn’t want a monthly fitness fix delivered straight to your door?

Water Bottle- We love anything personalised so when we saw these water bottles we were immediately in love! The water bottle is monochrome and can be purchased from not on the high street for £17.50.

Fitbit- We absolutely love our Fitbits and if you haven’t already got one it needs to be on your fitness wish list. They are amazing and have a great customer service team if you ever have a problem with your fitbit. We have the Fitbit HR Charge and the FitBit Alta.

Popband Hair ties- It’s time to say goodbye to dented kinky! A Popband hair band would be the perfect hair band to use when working out. We like to run on during our lunch break so having a hair band that doesn’t leave a crease would be perfect. There is a large variety of colours and designs suitable for all occasions.

Pink Soda Leggings- This brand has so many amazing products on offer it was hard to choose just one pair of leggings! Pink Soda sell a collection of fitness and lifestyle essentials designed to make you look and feel good when working out. We love these Pink Soda Sport Grindle Panel Tights, they cost £28 pounds and are available in sizes 6-14.

Forever 21 Sports Bra’s- Forever 21 always has an amazing range and this season their sports bras are all beautiful. Forever 21 active wear is so affordable (£13) that we have picked a couple to go on our wish list. First up is this low impact bra there is a choice of two colours and we especially liked the back detail of this bra. Our second pick is a medium impact bra which has gorgeous black mesh detail on the back and front. The final sports bra we picked out of the collection was a high impact bra which will be perfect for running or HIIT training. We love the colour plum so we were immediately attracted to this bra we also liked the striped elasticised band.

Nike Running Jacket- would it really be a fitness wishlist without at least one Nike product in site? We know Nike is a little on the pricey side but it is Christmas so you should treat yourself after all! We have chosen this Nike Shield running jacket in the colour red. The jacket is light weight and water resistance which will be perfect in the wet cold months.

Some other ideas would include; running gloves, foam roller, yoga matt, Backpack, sweat towel, running gloves, protein powder, protein shaker, weight training gloves, hoodies & sweatshirts, long sleeved running tops, resistance band and maybe even some weights for when you train at home. 

What are your fitness must haves? We would love to hear about them!

BLOGMAS Day 4- Baked Christmas Porridge

When someone says breakfast porridge is the first thing that comes to our mind. We cannot get enough of the stuff especially during the winter months when the mornings are so much colder. We have experimented with porridge a lot over the past year and even have a porridge series on our blog (recipes include Peanut butter and jelly & a taste of autumn).

We knew during blogmas we had to create a porridge recipe, we have mixed it up a bit though and gone for a baked porridge. This is the first time we have ever cooked baked porridge but oh my goodness it was delicious and we will definitely be having it more often.

It does take slightly longer to cook than ordinary porridge, so we will probably have to save this for the weekends when we have much more time on our hands.  We hope you have fun recreating our recipe and let us know what you think!

Ingredients
50g Porridge oats
30ml Milk of your choice (may need more depending on the size of your bowl)
Drizzle of water
Red currants fresh or frozen (we used frozen)
Chopped mixed nuts
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Ginger

Method
Pre heat the oven to 180oc
You will need an oven proof dish we got ours from tiger
Place the oats and nuts into the dish and stir so ingredients combine
Scatter the red currants on top
Pour your milk on top of the mixture and top with water
Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes

Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes

It was a cold autumnal day and we were really craving pancakes. We had some frozen apples in the freezer so decided to make cinnamon apple pancakes! Try the recipe below and let us know what you think, we will be making them again for sure!

Serves 6 Pancakes
Ingredients
50g Oats Blended or oat flour
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Ginger
50ml Milk (add a bit at a time as you may need more or less)

Topping
60g Bramley Apples (we used frozen apples from the garden)
1tsp Cinnamon
20ml Water
Maple Syrup/honey (optional)

Method
Blend your oats until they form a flour
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it forms a batter.
Heat your pan (medium/high heat) and melt some coconut oil.
Add a table spoon of mixture to your pan and flip once bubbles appear on the surface.
In a separate pan you will need to stew your Apples with the cinnamon and water until they are piping hot.
Stack the pancakes and add the topping.

GirlBOSS- Niomi Smart


We were browsing Eventbrite like we regularly do looking for interesting events to attend. If you don’t know what Eventbrite is it is a website where you can be the host of an event or purchase tickets for events (its great and we are so addicted it even featured in our September favourites). You use the search engine to type in the sort of events you want to attend and some are even free. When we came across the GirlBoss event with Niomi Smart we knew we had to attend.

We have been following Niomi across all her social media platforms for quite some time but if you don’t know who Niomi is she is a lifestyle Blogger and YouTuber. The tickets were just over £5 and the event was being held at the Hoxton in Shoreditch, a venue we had not been to before.

The event was due to start at 6:30PM and when we arrived (10 minutes late) everyone was already seated. We walked into the kitchen area to grab a drink and Niomi advised us on what drink we should choose. They had wine on offer but we opted for a delicious Sibberi water which was naturally flavoured with maple. We thought it was great that Niomi was there welcoming the guests as they arrived and it turns out she is even lovelier in real life.

Niomi is an incredibly genuine and inspiring girl and her attitude to life is truly infectious. We left the event feeling more motivated than ever. It’s all down to hard work, being consistent and being as authentic as possible in everything we post.

We will definitely be keeping an eye out for more GirlBoss events in the future and we think you should as well.

Park Run

On Saturday 5th November we decided to take part in Park Run. If you don’t already know what park run is it is a run that takes places every Saturday morning at 9am in parks all across the UK. Park run is 5KM long it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run everyone is invited to join in.

Make sure you register beforehand and print out your barcode so you can take part in the run. The bar code will measure your time but that’s not really what the run is all about. The run is only 5KM long as it gives everyone the chance to get involved even if you are walking at the end.

When we turned up on Saturday morning we didn’t really know what to expect. It was a bitter cold morning, but there was no rain in site. 332 people turned up to do the run which is amazing, it’s good to see everyone getting involved first thing on a Saturday.

The route was pretty flat which was great, the only downside was the fact you had to repeat the route twice. We usually prefer to run where you don’t repeat your route as it can become boring, but it was fine for only three miles.

All of the events are run by dedicated groups of volunteers who are amazing at getting everyone organised. They are also great at cheering everyone along and there is even a photographer taking photos on your way round.

It was great to see a variety of ages getting involved in the run! There were adults, kids and even babies being pushed along in there pushchairs (they were having a great time). We even noticed some tourists were taking part in the run and had travelled all the way from Iceland-amazing.

We had a great time and loved every minute of it, we will definitely be going back for more!

After the run we popped to Joe and the juice for a morning coffee. If you have never been  to Joe and the juice before you need to go! Not only do they serve amazing coffee (we had iced coffees) the service is always amazing. The staff always look like they are having a great time and they always have great music playing.

Let us know if you have taken part in the park run before or plan to in the future 🙂

Coconut & Vanilla Protein Pancakes

Saturday morning we were up early and headed to the gym to work out our arms and chest. Commuting into London daily means we don’t have time to prepare and cook pancakes in the week so making pancakes at the weekend is a lovely treat.

These pancakes are so fluffy and delicious we cannot wait to make them again!

Serves 10 Pancakes
Ingredients for Pancakes
150g Oats or Oat flour (we just blended oats)
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
2 scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein
2 egg whites
50ml Almond milk (add gradually)

Toppings
Stewed frozen berries (we got ours from Tesco)
Peanut butter

Method
Blend your oats until they form a flour
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it forms a batter.
Heat your pan (medium/high heat) and melt some coconut oil.
Add a table spoon of mixture to your pan and flip once bubbles appear on the surface.
In a separate pan you will need to stew your frozen berries until they are piping hot.
Stack the pancakes and add the topping.

October Favourites

We cannot believe we are writing October favourites already, it only seems like yesterday we were writing September’s post. To be honest even though this month seems to have flown by we have visited Normandy and Sheffield so its been an exciting month. However some favourites this month are below:

Aussie Bodies- We visited the Lorna Jane active day where they were giving out free samples of the Aussie Bodies Mini ProteinFX Bar, Salted Caramel flavoured . We sampled them and they tasted delicious, sometimes we find that protein products aren’t that great, are high in sugar and leave a horrible after taste. These however are delicious and we have already spied that you can buy them from Boots – we may be stocking up on these and also trying the other flavours – Chocolate Fudge, Rocky Road, Toffee Crisp, Peanut Butter Caramel and Chocolate Raspberry

Jordans Lighter Granola- We recently tweeted a picture of these on our Instagram and we cannot stop raving about this. Rachel doesn’t like nuts and has been hunting for ages for a granola that doesn’t have nuts in (most of them at a minimum will have desiccated coconut). It was a nice surprise when we came across this granola and is tastes delicious. It is perfect for breakfast with some greek yoghurt. There are two flavours to choose from; Strawberry & Blueberry and Raspberry & Apple. So far we have tried the Strawberry & Blueberry one but once finished will try the Raspberry Apple one. As much as we love porridge it’s nice to mix breakfast up a bit and this is a great alternative.

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Bomber Jackets- Bomber jackets are all the rage and we cannot get enough of them. They are so versatile and go with anything, you can wear them casual and also glam them up. There are so many bomber jackets around but we have spied some we love in Primark.

Primark Instagram- This leads us nicely onto the Primark Instagram account which we are loving recently. There is so much cool stuff on there and we want it all. We actually have found us screen shotting stuff from their page and then going to the shops and buying it. Some of our faves off their Instagram that we have purchased recently can be seen below 🙂

The Apprentice- The Apprentice is back and we love to hate it. We have been cringing on our sofas every Thursday night watching the candidates make complete idiots of themselves whilst arguing with each other. It’s a guilty pleasure for sure, but we can’t decide if we love it or hate it, but we still continue to watch it! Who do you think will win? At the moment they are all looking pretty useless and no one really stands out yet – we will have to wait and see!

Bake Off- Oh no…..! This month sees the end to Bake Off as we know it! It’s never going to be the same again is it – we hope you enjoyed the last ever episode, were you pleased with who won, was Candice the deserved winner. She did completely nail the final didn’t she! I wonder what will happen with all the bakers now? Wednesday’s will not be the same without Mary, Paul, Mel and Sue.

Zanna Van Dijk- We have been following Zanna on all her social media platforms for a while now and we just can’t get enough. The reason why we have decided to include her in our October favourites is because she has been posting some AMAZING content recently. Zanna is currently travelling (Bali, Malaysia, Cambodia & Vietnam) and has been posting all sorts on her social media including the best places to eat, workouts, what I eat in a day and much more. Zanna is so honest in all that she posts which really is a breath of fresh air.

Livia’s Kitchen- we really wanted to bake a quick, healthy and delicious snack that didn’t need 100’s of ingredients (which most healthy snacks do). We first came across Livia’s kitchen on Deliciously Ella’s website as a guest recipe. Straight away we headed over to Livia’s website and found so many delicious recipes. So far we have made the Blueberry Porridge squares and we have added many more to our ‘what we want to bake’ list.

Now thats all for our October Fave’s, we have had a very fun month indeed! Now Halloween is over we can star getting ready for Christmas right?! We cannot wait to see what November and December will bring!

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