Needles, Christmas cards and no excuses workouts

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Hello everyone, hope you are having a wonderful week. I’m walking round with a big smile on my face most of the time, this is my favourite week of the year – I love the run up to Christmas as much as the day itself! Yesterday I received my order of beautifully illustrated cards from the insanely talented Lauren Radley – who also created the strawberry tattoo illustration in my header and has supplied me with a few other illustrations. I just love her work, plus she is an awesome person all round! Coming home to that delivery put me in an excellent mood after a bit of a stress on earlier in the day. 

These are my eats and goings on from yesterday. After lemon and warm water I made a sweet butternut squash scramble for breakfast:


I had roasted some squash for dinner the night before and the leftovers went perfectly mixed with scrambled eggs, cinnamon and a topping of almond butter. I also made myself a big pot of coffee:


I usually drink my coffee black but recently I’ve been loving it with some unsweetened almond milk.

I worked at home for a couple of hours as I had an appointment at the doctors for my routine blood tests (part of my ongoing hormonal issue saga). I had also been due an appointment with the consultant at the hospital but just before I was due to leave I got a phone call cancelling my appointment as they had lost my records. Bloody brilliant. Then when I went for my blood test they couldn’t get blood out of me so I left feeling like a pin cushion with plasters on both arms. Fun and games eh! Anyway, I had a moan to James on text and my colleague at work, then I felt a bit better after snacking on a Graze flapjack:


Very tasty indeed! Lunch was a bowl of my Lentil and Spinach Soup:


I also had an apple:


I came home from the office a bit early to finish some things off at home. I felt a bit peckish again so had a bowl of semi frozen cherries with organic pouring yoghurt:


I adore that Court Lodge organic pouring yoghurt, I need to remember to stock up every time I’m in Waitrose!

After that I debated whether or not to workout. I had a moment of feeling lazy then gave myself a talking too – I knew I would feel refreshed with some movement so I searched for a quick, intense 15 minute workout on YouTube and found this Bootcamp one from Sarah Fit. It certainly did the trick, I was quite knackered by the end of it. I definitely have no excuse to not fit in a quick workout over the next couple of weeks!

For dinner I cooked a home made organic beef burger I had stored in the freezer along with some parsnip chips and brussels sprouts and spring greens stir fried in coconut oil:


With ketchup too of course! Those parsnip chips where the bomb, will be having plenty more of those while they are in season!

I thought about having a dessert but I wasn’t really that hungry, plus I’ve got 3 meals out this week so plenty of opportunities to indulge. I had a hot chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth:


Not a bad day of eats considering I felt like inhaling a bar of chocolate after the stress on that morning!


Are you ok with needles? I used to be so scared of getting blood taken but I’ve had to get used to it recently! Have you written all your Christmas cards out yet? Guess what I’m off to do right now…

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  • I love the week before Christmas, I actually kind of prefer all the build up to the day itself! That’s really frustrating about the docs/hospital, I’m ok with needles, although I’ve had issues in the past when giving blood. I love parsnip fries!
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted…Cafod Nativity Run 2013My Profile

    • Laura

      I’m the same, it’s this time right now with parties and seeing friends and family I enjoy the most :-)

  • Awwww poor you, I am all right with needles if I look away! Love the cards : )
    Tamzin recently posted…If I Said YesMy Profile

    • Laura

      Thanks Tam! I have to look away as well, I don’t do so well with seeing the needle stuck in!

  • Urgh I had to get my blood taken the other day and it’s horrible, isn’t it? Luckily I’m like the veiny-ist person on the planet so it was fairly quick. But I hate the feeling.
    I’m still loving my Graze boxes too. I love the ones with the dips in it. And the brownie. And the sticky toffee pudding…
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Things around here latelyMy Profile

    • Laura

      Oh I haven’t had the sticky toffee pudding, will have to try and get that on an order soon, yum!

  • Oh I hate needles. I’m a right big wimp and work myself up beforehand. Still writing the Christmas cards unfortunately! The end is in sight now though!
    Mary recently posted…A runner once more!My Profile

    • Laura

      Haha, glad you get your cards written soon, it can be a faffy job to get done at this time of year!

  • I have to tell you how much I love your “authors voice.” It’s probably because I think accents aside from the US are the most beautiful thing, ever. Hense my obsession with Nigella Bites re-runs haha ;) All of your eats look ravishing. I am actually curious about your pouring yogurt, I wonder if they sell that here in the states.

    How do you like parsnips? I accidentally picked one up once thinking it was Jicama. I thought it was oddly spicy and I couldn’t handle it! I hope you have a lovely rest of your day!

    Ashley @MilesonOats recently posted…WIAWMy Profile

    • Laura

      Aww thank’s Ashley! Pouring yoghurt is amazing, like the consistency of single cream! I love parsnips but for me they are definitely best roasted – maybe try adding some honey for more sweetness?

  • Sorry you had to get your blood drawn. It scares me every time and I need to repeat to myself it’s all for my best to go to these appointments. For me, it’s usually an iPod plugged in and my head turned away when they get out the needles.
    Isn’t Alpro’s unsweetened almond milk wonderful? It was only recently brought to one (!) single store over here and I’ve been a fan ever since. Mostly because it’s the only milk I actually enjoy drinking plain and it works well in cooking, too.
    Your coffee mug is adorable.
    Happy Wednesday!
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Smart cookie[s] and family dinnerMy Profile

    • Laura

      I always have to turn my head away, still not used to them that much. Good idea having your ipod in! I LOVE Alpro almond milk, it’s such a daily staple for me now. Blimey I can remember when we could only get almond milk that was really expensive and from a health food shop, how times have changed! Hope you are having a lovely week xxx

  • What a crummy morning! I’d have definitely been on the chocolate after that. I’m ok with needles these days but have had many bad experiences with doctors trying to get blood out of me in the past.
    I love sweet potatoes with nut butter for breakfast but haven’t done butternut. Will have to try that as I’m currently looking for fruit-free and grain-free breakfast ideas.

    • Laura

      I think I must just have funny veins, but it makes you feel like a pin cushion doesn’t it! I need to get back on the sweet potatoes, I tend to favour squash at this time of year, but sometimes you can’t beat a sweet potato with nut butter for breakfast :-)

  • I certainly enjoy the week and month leading up to Christmas. There is so much anticipation that it’s terribly sad when it’s all over. But then there’s a new year to look forward to :) Delicious looking yogurt!!
    Kaitlin recently posted…Rockin’ Food NYC Holiday StyleMy Profile

    • Laura

      I know what you mean, I always feel a little sad when I go to bed on Christmas Day knowing it will be a whole year until it comes round again. But as you say at least New Year is coming too!

  • I used to be sick quite a lot as a child, and the doctors only figured out what was wrong with me when I was ten (three kidneys, one working wrong, sucking the waiste back into my body) so I had a lot of blood tests done and got used to it. But apparantly my veins are really thin and slippery (? which means they always jump away when the doctor tries to insert the needle) so I know the feeling of being like a pin cushion very well. I really hope you get all those problems figured out real soon!
    sonja@vesenmork recently posted…What I Ate Today #26My Profile

  • Great day of eats Laura! The Christmas cards are so pretty!
    Claire @ Flake and Cake recently posted…How I don’t drinkMy Profile

  • I have hot chocolates as a treat for my sweet tooth too, and love to add a couple of marshmallows on top, it makes it feel really indulgent. Looks like you’ve had some yummy eats, as always.
    Emma @ Stripes and Snapshots recently posted…Annual birthday trip to BirminghamMy Profile

  • Oh no that must have been so stressful. I used to be OK with needles when I was little, then when I was about 15 I had to have a jab for a holiday and fainted in the doctor’s office- ever since then I have been awful. I used to give blood but I would faint each time they took the needle out (weirdly then and not at the start)- they even wrote on my notes to take less blood but that had no effect so I don’t any more. When I was in hospital they took blood every day, and on the fourth day I really thought they weren’t going to, so when the person came around to take it I burst into tears. I got so embarrassed too, but luckily the nurses were all very lovely.
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