Long weekend in Switzerland

Last weekend I visited family friends, in Switzerland, with my mum and brother. A few weeks ago, they visited us and mentioned that we should come over to visit the Christmas markets and see their new apartment/where they live now. A few days later our trip was booked – I love a bit of spontaneity!

Leaving early Saturday morning and arriving back Monday early afternoon, this was a perfect amount of time to explore Zurich and neighboring towns/villages filled with Christmas markets and snow covered mountains.
Our flight arrived Saturday morning into Zurich, where we caught a train into the main station/centre of the city. There, we found our first market, which we wondered around, whilst we waited for our friend to meet us.

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Once we met our friend, we made our way into Zurich city, where we caught the tram to a small, lakeside market and grabbed coffee/made a plan for the rest of the weekend. This market was beautiful, however, it was very small and not many of the stalls were open. The coffee was good though 😉

Once we finished coffee, we wondered the streets of Zurich, passing many beautiful churches and art work on many of the buildings. After some lunch, we headed out of Zurich and up to a small town nestled in the mountains, called Einsiedein. This beautiful town is known for the stunning monastery that sits on top of the hill, where inside lies, a Black Madonna, dating back to the 15th Century. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any photos inside, but believe me when I say, it was a pretty spectacular sight!

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Before we knew it, the sun was setting and the temperature dropped significantly, where we retreated back to the warmth of our friends apartment and indulged in the goodies we’d picked up throughout the day.

Our final day was spent up another mountain, luckily, in the bright sunshine. We caught a train to the last station, then jumped on a mechanical tram to climb the rest. Through the thick cloud and snow covered rocks, we finally reached the top, where it was bright blue sky and beautiful, warm sunshine! A spectacular sight and the views were just incredible. Although you couldn’t see down below, because of the cloud cover, what you could see, was stunning. We then made our way down the other side of the mountain, grabbed lunch by the river and then headed home before dark.

A really great weekend away, even though it went so quick, it was so much fun! A lovely break to get into the Christmas spirit and catch up with friends!

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Emma xx

Life Recently

A roaring fire with a very content white dog flat out in front of it, catch up tv on and everyone happy and settled in their favorite chair…a typical Sunday evening in my house. Recently, life has been extremely busy, both at work and life outside. Hence the reason I’ve been so quiet…Quite a bit has happened, there’s a lot of change on the horizon and with Christmas right around the corner, it doesn’t look like its going to slow down!

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I handed my notice in at one of my nanny jobs last week, which was a very hard decision. I’ve been with them for over 2 years, since the youngest was 6 weeks old. They have grown up and started nursery/school, so I feel like now is the right time to go. My last day will be a hard one, but I will stay in contact with them for sure. Lots of babysitting to be done, I have a feeling!
I also signed up for my next half marathon in Reading. My training has gently started again, which I’m enjoying. Although its been hard to get out in the wet/cold, I’ve felt better after for doing it!
Finally, Christmas shopping has been completed, now it just needs to wrapped! I plan to stick a good Christmas film on and do it one evening maybe this week or next.

However manic and crazy it has been, I’ve managed to enjoy a fun filled weekend in London visiting a friend, attending an epic spin class and wondering the Christmas light/shopper filled streets! Today was my dad’s birthday, a day full of celebrations and family, which was really lovely. My last quiet weekend until the New Year now – how crazy is that?!! – but its been a brilliant one for sure!
Next weekend I’m off to visit family friends in Switzerland with my mum and brother. I’ll definitely be writing a blog about our travels, so be prepared for Christmas market overload!!! I’m so excited!

Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend and are well rested for another week ahead!

Emma x

 

Happenings 30.10.16

I have pinched this idea from Heidi, a nutritionist, foodie, blogger and super sweet person I follow on Instagram. I have just finished catching up with her blog and thought I would give this ago, since its been a while since I did any blogging, and I’m feeling the need to write one!!

DOING – Sitting in my favorite cafe with a smooth cappuccino on one side and a quiet, for once, phone on the other. Soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying escaping the house for a bit, after being bound with a rotten cold virus.

HEARING – The coffee machine humming away, chat and soft music playing in the background.

DRINKING – Soya cappuccino and water!

EATING + COOKING – Lots of immune boosting foods, even though my appetite has been non existent over the past week. I’ve been eating a lot of chicken, soup, turmeric, ginger, fresh fruit, plain food and other remedies to help my body fight off this cold. Lizzie, another foodie I follow on Instagram, has a website full of great recipes and advice. She wrote a great blog on fighting/keeping winter bugs at bay. Here it is, if you want to check it out – 10 steps to beat the winter bugs.
I’ve also really been into quinoa, butternut squash and roasted aubergine bowls drizzled with tahini and chopped avocado! Easy to prep and have in the fridge when your appetite suddenly comes back with a vengeance!

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WANTING – To feel better! I’m slowly getting there, just had enough of nose blowing and coughing!

PLAYING – I haven’t been doing a lot of this for myself…! Mostly with the little girl I look after. We had a very quiet week playing at home, seeing another nanny friend and her little one, as well as dog walking with my mum and coloring – a definite favorite past time! Easy half term week, which was much needed.

DECIDING – What to have for lunch…! It’ll definitely involve avocado though! I often get stuck in a rut of having the same thing everyday, so I need to find some new inspiration! Any recommendations welcome 🙂

ENJOYING – Time to myself and some much needed days in bed/time of work to rest.

LOOKING – For some new pajama bottoms….!! Joules currently have 25% off, so I’ll probably purchase some from there. Always a bonus having a discount!

LOVING – Life in general right now…I’m really enjoying my job and I have a wonderful network of friends and family who support and love me.

BUYING – Christmas presents…ha! Yes, its the end of October, but I have learnt from one of my bosses that starting early saves on the rush and is gentle on the bank account. I’m stuck for a few ideas for people, but otherwise am pretty much nearly done!

PLANNING – My next half marathon…totally mad, yes, but I absolutely LOVED training and running Henley. I’ve got a few I am currently deciding on, as well as a half tough mudder, which I’ve signed up for with the group of ladies I do bootcamp with!

WATCHING – Netflix! I have just finished a sci-fi series called “Stranger Things” a MUST if you love that kind of thrill! I’ve also been finishing “Fuller House” as season 2 is due soon, as well as recapping on the last series of “Gilmore Girls”, because season 2 is also due out, at the end of November – woohoo! I’ve had a lot of recommendations from Heidi and other people, so I’ve got a list to work on now.

SAVORING – The last few days/weeks of fall and the beautiful sight of leaves on the trees. This time of year, and Spring, are my favorite. I’m enjoying not wearing/bundling up in so many layers and the mild weather we seem to be having. Holding on to every last minute of it!

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WEARING – My favorite tunic and cardigan with brown boots. Comfy!

READING – Just started ‘The Ex’…a book that grabbed my attention from reading the bio, and admittedly judging the front of the cover…something I really try not to do! However, so far so good!

CRAVING – Smoked salmon, poached eggs and avocado! Currently what is on the menu at the cafe I’m perched in…deciding whether or not to grab it here or to go home for lunch…*EDIT* – I went for it and it was super delicious! Happy 🙂

FEELING – Happy and content, albeit full of cold still…! Very much looking forward to feeling myself again and having my appetite back. Plus getting back to my normal routine of working out.

I really enjoyed writing this blog, it was different and fun. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it too!

Emma xx

My First Half Marathon – Henley Half

It seems like months and months ago that I signed up for the Henley Half and I can’t actually believe its over. I’m still buzzing, 4 days on!!

Its 7.30am on Sunday morning, race day. ANOTHER bowl of porridge in front of me, topped with a banana and almond butter, my phone, scrolling through Instagram in one hand, and a glass of water in the other. To say I was feeling nervous, is an understatement, I was s**ting a brick…I’d pee’d about a thousand times, and I hadn’t even arrived at the start, let alone changed into my running gear! After I’d munched my breakfast, I quickly got changed, said goodbye to my parents and off I set.

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I arrived to a very busy rugby field, already filling up with cars, and headed to the start where everyone was gathering. It was freezing, and I had to leave everything except what I was racing in, in the car. However, the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky – what perfect weather for running!
Now, little did anyone know, that Laura, the awesome lady and trainer, who runs bootcamp with, was running the race too. Crazy lady, is all I have to say! With about a weeks worth of “training”, she decided to enter and bloody hell I give her credit for it! We met at her studio and kept warm until we decided to head to the start. As we were waiting, one of the local reporters from the Henley Standard approached us and asked if he could interview us!! WHAT are the chances?! After we had been interviewed, it was time to line up. The 10k took off before us and we followed shortly behind. There was no turning back now, for either of us…!

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Pre-race interview with Laura! 

I wished Laura good luck, plugged my headphones in and we were off. The route was really quite beautiful. We ran through the town, over Henley bridge and along a lane that looped round and back along the river. Dog walkers, rowers and people in their boats cheered and waved us on as we all ran past. Now, in my mind, that was the easy part. A very flat route and safe, until we headed back towards the start and along the road…this is where I started to feel anxious. The course took us through a local business park grounds, where a water station was waiting, and then we met the hill…Icehouse lane, or known to locals as ‘the bitch of Henley’…A mile and a half of gradual incline/hell, and this is where I lost my mental motivation. I had to walk a lot of it, because at this point my lungs were giving up. A lot of people I was around, ran up it and I have to say I’m super impressed. I think this is where I went wrong in my training, I didn’t run up and down many hills, in fact I avoided them like the plague. However, once at the top, marshals were there cheering us on and off I set again. Another water station, phew, I grabbed a cup and took a sip then carried on.

On the home stretch…Down hill we went through a small hamlet, along the road into Henley and back round to finish at the rugby club. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it to the end. I felt sick and wanted to stop, but I when I saw my parents standing at the corner of the road, cheering me on, I used that and every last ounce of energy I had, to get to that finish line.

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Sooo not glamorous!

A real sense of achievement overcame me when I crossed the line and was handed a medal. At this point all I wanted was water and a huge hug from my parents, which I got moments later! I started crying and so did my mum, wow, I’d just run my first half marathon and under the 2 hour mark – woohoo! When Laura rang me to say she had completed it in under 2 and a half hours, I was extremely proud of her! I raced to meet her at the finish line and gave her a huge well done hug! Way to go my new running buddy 😉

I really, really enjoyed running this half, and to have friends and family there with me, made it a thousand times better. Yes, the training was stressful at times and intense, but all that hard work totally paid off and I wouldn’t have changed the past few months for the world.

I wanted to thank everyone who donated to my chosen charity, Millie’s Dream. I couldn’t have done it without all of support, encouragement and generous donations – thank you!

Hope you enjoyed reading.

Emma xx

 

Henley Highwayman 5k

Last Sunday I took part in the Henley Highwayman 5k run. This sprint run is something new they introduced this year, alongside three other options ranging in different km’s. The event is spread across the weekend, with the cycling on a Saturday and running on a Sunday.

I decided to take part in this, to raise funds for the local Sue Ryder Hospice and because the course took you on part of the Henley Half route, which included a pretty horrendous hill…! I have to say, I am slightly glad I ran it, as I now know what to expect, but I’m not looking forward to doing it again!!!

To my surprise, there weren’t many people who signed up. I thought it would have been a bigger event, as it was well advertised, but clearly not to everyones taste! We set off from the town centre, along the main road to the rugby club and up in to the woods. This is where we met the monster hill….it seemed to go on for ages and when you finally reached the top, the flat land was very welcoming! Across the field we ran, past a group of backpackers, doing their Duke of Edinburgh, and turning down the hill, back through the woods, onto the road and back to the rugby club finish line. A nice route, wet and slippy, but scenic and different, which always helps! I came 3rd and ran in a comfortable time. Wasn’t looking for a PB, just to experience the route and prepare myself for the half.

I then headed home for a much needed shower, second breakfast, coffee and joined my parents for a dog walk! Fun Sunday and enjoyed meeting/talking to new people and of course, the run!

Now, with only 2 weeks until the half, I’m starting to get nervous about whether I can complete it or not, but excited! Family and friends will be there to cheer me on and I have a week off to look forward to and recover after – perfect!

Hope you are all well and enjoying your weekend. Thanks for reading 🙂

Emma x