My Blogtober Round Up

Blogtober

BlogtoberWell I made it!

I’ve finally reached the end of #blogtober. I’m not going to lie, that was bloody hard work! I’ve managed to write 62 blog posts over the past 31 days which is a LOT of writing.

The difficulty with blogging is that it’s not just a case of sitting down and writing a couple of hundred words then hitting publish. Research has to go into most posts (more so on the other blog than on here), some of my posts are close to 2,000 words long too which is weird when I think I wrote essays at Uni that long. It takes quite a while to write that many words. Then there’s the editing – checking spelling and grammar, changing the font colours, checking things that effect the SEO rating such as sentence length, passive voice and headings. And finally, there’s the images. Phew! That’s a lot to do. Twice. Every. Single. Night.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about it. Well, not really anyway.

It’s been amazing to see how much I can actually get done in a day and how I can push myself to work hard even after I get home from work. There have been days when I’ve got home and really, really, really, not wanted to write anything and that has probably shown through my writing (sorry for those rubbish posts guys).

I am so excited about tomorrow night as it’s going to be the first night in ages that I won’t have to get home and turn a blog post around from start to finish. I will be writing (surprise, surprise) but I’ll be working on future posts that will be scheduled ahead of time. Yay, no pressure! Well, less pressure but that’s still nice!

What will I be doing with all my free time? Probably hibernating now that it’s going dark at 4 pm. Haha. But seriously, I need to sit down this week and look at my goals for November and December. After pushing myself to blog every day, I know that there’s a lot more energy and determination in me than I previously acknowledged. I know I can get a lot more out of my evenings so I’ll be revisiting and adapting my goals to take that into consideration.

A fair bit of my time will be taken up with training for the half Marathon in Feb and full Marathon in April but I’m also hoping to make some significant progress on the business and plans with the Raising Hope Foundation.

I’ll be back on your screens shortly but probably not for a couple of days!

Sublime Sundays – A Fresh Start

Sublime Sundays

Okay, okay, that post title is a bit dramatic. It’s not like a proper fresh start. I’m not moving country or changing career. It’s just the start of a new week and a nice little chance for me to change a couple of things.

So, whilst it’s not strictly a fresh start, in the super exciting, life changing sense, next week will mark the start of something new to me. Not new, new but new by comparison to now. Are you with me? No? Didn’t think so.

I love using Mondays as a benchmark point to change habits. Mondays are a great time to set new goals and try out new things. They also happen every 7 days which means that if you fall off track, you can start again the following Monday without too much time passing by! Perfect!

So tomorrow marks the start of my Marathon training. It’ll be the start of me getting back into healthy eating and also back into the routine of trying to run 5 times a week. I’ve downloaded myself an official Brighton Marathon training programme which is only 16 weeks long so I’ve got a few weeks to get back into my old pacing before starting the proper training programme. I’ve also tried to build up a bit of motivation by watching the Fittest On Earth Crossfit documentary today.

Although I’ve made a start on going dairy free, I want to cut down a bit more from tomorrow too. That’s going to be the main change to my diet as well as cutting back on the general crap I’ve been eating lately. I’d say that I’m also going to cut back on drinking too but I rarely drink anyway and it’s almost Christmas so…well, mulled wine basically.

It’s Halloween tomorrow, which means that it’s the end of #blogtober (I’ll be doing a post all about it tomorrow). Without writing two blog posts a month, I’m going to have a lot more free time to work on the eCourse that I’m hoping to launch on Flourishing Freelancer in December which is super exciting. It should also give me more time to work on the business elements of the site more generally too.

I’m going to use tomorrow evening, as the first evening that I won’t be writing new blog posts, to set myself some goals for November. I’m determined to step up my game in a number of parts of my life and tomorrow/start of November seems to be the perfect time.

For now, I’m going to make the most of my last night of being able to eat whatever I want and lounge around watching TV because there won’t be much of that going on any time soon!

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday evening.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato PancakesBreakfast is one of my favourite parts of the weekend. I mean by the time I’m up and actually ready to eat it’s more of a brunch but that’s not the point. I found this recipe on the Food52 Website which is one of my favourite places to find new ideas. The original recipe suggests serving the pancakes with creme fraiche and caviar but who wants that?! It’s all about the bacon and maybe a little bit of cheese on top!

Serves                        Makes 4-6 pancakes (but depends on the size!)

Prep Time                 10 minutes

Cooking Time         15 minutes

Ingredients

4 cups coarsely grated sweet potato

1/2 cup of grated onion

3-4 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 medium eggs, beaten

1/3 cup of flour

Oil for frying

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Cheese and bacon to serve (optional)

 Method

1. Mix the sweet potato, onion, lemon, eggs and flour together. Add seasoning to taste.

2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with a little oil. Split the mixture into six and mould into pancake shapes – this will depend on the size and shape you want your pancakes to be. Personally, I mould the mixture into a rough ball in my hands and place in the pan, flattening it out with a spatula once it’s in there.

3. The mixture should sizzle upon contact with the pan. Cook until golden and crisp then flip. Cook until the second side is golden and crisp.

4. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Top with cooked bacon and grated cheese (or creme fraiche and caviar if that’s more to your taste!!)

Friday Thoughts 4

friday-thoughts

This week’s Friday thoughts is a little different to the last couple. I don’t have a list of my highs and lows for you today.

Instead, I want to talk about charity. Stick with me for this one please. Charity work has always been a huge part of my adult life. I decided to take a gap year before starting university so that I could volunteer abroad. I chose Ghana and immediately fell in love with the country and its people. So much so that on my 3rd or 4th day there, I changed my stay from one month to four months.

Ghana 2013

I’ve spent 6 summers over the last 9 years in Ghana. Teaching, playing, caring, supporting. The people who I’ve met through the charity in the UK have become my best friends. The people I’ve met in Ghana have become my inspiration and motivation.

I spent the whole of 2014 raising money for the Raising Hope Foundation. Since then I haven’t done much and this week I’ve been thinking of ways to get back into my role with the charity, both in terms of fundraising and volunteering.

People often ask my why I’ve stayed with the same charity, visiting the same place year after year and the answer is simple – the children. They fill every minute of my time with them with love, light and laughter. I’ve run around in the baking Ghanaian summer sun playing football with them, taught them how to read and count and taken them on day trips, I’ve sat up all night with them when they were sick.

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A while ago, I wrote a blog post where I said “They [the children] are the reason behind everything I do and I am eternally grateful to them for everything they have given me.” And, whilst this is still true, I feel like I’ve lost sight of this slightly over the last couple of years. They’ve always been on my mind but I’ve not be pro-active enough about things.

I miss the children in Ghana, hell I miss everything about Ghana. It breaks my heart that I haven’t been for the last 3 years. I need to see the children and the progress that’s been made on the Child Care Centre. But more importantly, I need to step up my game in supporting the amazing work that the Raising Hope Foundation does from this side.

The first step in this is the Brighton Marathon. I’ll be using this event to raise money for the charity. I’ll be setting up a fundraising page this weekend so keep your eyes peeled for that! I’m also looking for something a little more unusual to do later in the year. At the moment I’m thinking about a Saharan trek next October but I’m open to suggestions right now.

A New Challenge and Step Closer to Normality

a-new-challenge

Hey guys,

A super short post today. Mainly because it’s 10.30 pm and I don’t want to fail on my #blogtober challenge. But also partially because I want to do a more detailed post on this next after a bit of research.

As many of you know, in 2013/2014 I took on 16 challenges over 16 months. I started with the Three Peaks Challenge (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours, including drive time) and ended with Kilimanjaro (slightly longer than 24 hours)!

In between all of those peaks, I took on a few other challenges, mainly running. I did a lot of mud runs and obstacle courses which I enjoyed because there were lots of distractions from the running part of the run. I did varying distances from 10 miles to a 20 mile obstacle course. But the most challenging by far was the Paris Marathon! 

It was pure hell. I have never been able to explain to people just how difficult I found it. Even trekking up to Uhuru Peak for 6 hours in the pitch black dark with nausea was a walk in the park by comparison.

So, naturally, I registered for the Brighton Marathon this morning. Yep. That’s right, I’m going to try to do another Marathon.

I decided it was about time, I set myself a challenge. Something that I can focus on and work towards. Something that will start me on the path back to normality.

Rather than jumping straight into a full Marathon, I’ve registered for another half Marathon in February and then the full one in April. It’s going to be tough training but I’m really determined (especially now that I know how challenging it’s going to be). I’ll be raising money for Water Aid in the half Marathon and for the Raising Hope Foundation in the full Marathon but more details on that to come over the weekend.

I’ll be doing a post with my training plan once it’s finalised but in the meantime, you’ll find me stuffing my face with all of the junk food and lounging around under a blanket on the sofa until Monday morning when training kicks off.