Ten Questions!

Hi all,

Today I thought I would do a little thinking out loud but with a twist! I spotted this quiz on the website The Kitchn as a fun talker to do with your partner at the dinner table. Rather than asking the questions over the table, I thought I would get you guys involved in our responses! I sent the quiz to David, filled it out myself and here are our answers. 

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Neither of us have seen each other’s answers – David sent his back to me but I didn’t look at them before completing it for myself. 

10 Questions to Ask Your Partner at the Dinner Table
 

If you were by yourself and could do anything you wanted for one day, what would you do?

Jen –  Well, if I couldn’t be with David (which would be preferable!) and HAD to be by myself I would go to London to wonder around all the markets – eat some good food and buy lots of goodies as presents for everyone!

DavidI love photography so I would explore wherever I was and take lots of pictures. I have a little film Lomography camera so it is always fun to see what you get from that! I’m always on the hunt for some funky street artwork or interesting architecture.

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What is your most vivid childhood memory?

Jen – Playing outside in the summer with my brother Paul. Whether that be at home when we would grab our bikes, a packed lunch and simply head off exploring for the day or going out and about with Paul during our family holidays down in London. Spending time with him was always so much fun.

DavidI have a few but I think it would be the Christmas’s we had as kids. I’ve probably blurred a few years together though! My mum is from a large family, one of 6 brothers and sisters and most live nearby to where I grew up. Mum would often have them all around for Christmas and the house would be heaving with so many people. Lots of love and smiles!. The best years were when some of my Aunties would stay over. My sister and I would love it because we got to stay up really late and play games and watch the Christmas specials on TV (Vicar of Dibley springs to mind!).

If you could wake up tomorrow and have one new ability or talent, what would it be?

Jen –  Muscle Ups! I would walk into our CrossFit box, yell to everyone ‘hey check this out’ and knock out 5 muscle ups one after the other… then delight at seeing everyone’s jaw drop! Haha!

DavidYou knew one answer had to be CrossFit related! I’d love to be able to really nail the gymnastic exercises, just to have the strength to move your body however you wanted; over a bar, in handstand whatever. That would be pretty cool.

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What advice would you give your younger self? 

Jen – Do exactly what you are doing… it all works out perfectly for you, even though right now its tough!

DavidEverything will turn out ok. I think we get conditioned to worry about the future and one bad choice might ruin it forever, e.g. pick the wrong subjects at GCSE/A-level, pick the wrong degree course or university, pick the wrong job, pick the wrong friends. Choices are what makes you ‘you’. Some might not be right but you know what you’ll learn from it and can move on!

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What do you hope people think when they think of you?

Jen –  Friendly, kind, smiley, trustworthy, honest.

DavidWow what a handsome man! Haha, no, I always want people to laugh and smile so I’d always want folk to think I’m funny (not in the funny weird way though!)

What’s the most important thing you hope your kids take with them out into the world?

Jen –  That anything is possible. Work hard, be kind and generous and the world can be your oyster!

DavidFind what excites you and go do that! As I said in question 4 too much focus is on setting kids up for what they will be in 10, 15, 20 years’ time. Why not let them just do and develop what they enjoy right now? Drawing, dancing, riding their bike, taking pictures or home movies. Sounds like fun to me!

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Who has been kindest to you?

Jen – David and my parents. Total unwavering kindness and love.

DavidThere are of course the obvious answers to this – my Mum was always someone I could talk to through good time and bad times which is so important whether you are 6, 13, or (nearly) 30! Jen, of course, is and always will be my rock. But I think the curve ball that many people maybe don’t have is a great relationship with their mother-in-law. Jen’s mum, Lynn, is brilliant, kind and totally mad which is what makes her so fun! Lynn and I will happily hang out, in fact we do when Jen’s folks come down for Christmas shopping. Jen and her Dad go and do their shopping while me and Lynn would go do fun and very important things, you know, like the Lego shop! Haha!

If you could hold on to just one memory for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Jen – Picking one is so difficult! I think it may have to be when we were in Oman and on a boat surrounded by dolphins… it was incredible and took my breath away!

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David – This. At the top of Jebel al Akhdar in Oman. So calm and peaceful. No stress just a view with your best friend and that’s it! 

When you imagine yourself at 80 years old, what do you see?

Jen – Side by side with David, still healthy and strong and full of love for one and other. Somewhere warm, preferably near a beach!

DavidI don’t know where on earth I’ll be but as long as I am healthy and happy that’s all I need 🙂 Hopefully both Jen and I can grow old together and keep strong bodies that will look after us for the whole time! 

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What are you most grateful for?

Jen – Ok another sappy answer from me! But I am most grateful for the love that David gives me each day. Feeling loved to such a high extent is the most amazing gift I have ever been given. See if David writes CrossFit or almond butter…. haha!

DavidJen’s advice to encourage me to just be who I am. She’s not very good at taking her own advice but she does have a lot good nuggets and pearls of wisdom! Life is so much better when you aren’t trying to be anything, and I didn’t even know that I was, especially after university where the whole wide world is there and you have no idea what you are actually doing haha! I’m pretty “out there” with some style things, I like bright colours (hello, I have tiger print trainers!) but that’s cool because it is what I enjoy. If other people don’t like it then so what!

This was so much fun to do! And I loved reading David’s answers, hope he likes mine! And of course you too!

How would you answer some of the questions? 

Do you and your partner talk over dinner? Or your friends if you live with them? 

Let me know if you try it out!

 Linking up with Amanda over @RunningWithSpoons for all the TOL fun!

Short but sweet visit to London!

Hi all,

Just a quick check in today to say hello and let you know that I had the most wonderful time seeing my brother in London! Honestly it was so amazing to spend some quality time with him and I miss him so much! He is loving life down in the capital though and everything for him seems to go from strength to strength – exactly what a big sis loves to see!

As I need to get back to catching up on school work, my post today consists of a London photo dump! Mostly food, frolics and everything in between!

 The British MuseumIMG_0943

Earl Grey and Mint Iced Tea – British Museum

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Shaun the sheep!

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Ethiopian beef curry with cabbage and spinach sides for me – salt beef sandwich for Paul – at Borough Market

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Iron Man attack at the Disney Store!IMG_0969


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Dinner on Monday – Lemon and herb chicken with sweet potato wedges – Nandos

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Dessert in bed! Tub of Lick banana and honey frozen yoghurt!

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Dinner on Tuesday – Chipotle! 

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Followed by Organic frozen yoghurt at Frae!

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Mocha Coffee with almond milk at La Pain Quotidien

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Breakfast on Wednesday – I bought extra guac and chips from Chipotle and paired them with bacon from the hotel buffet! So good!

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Green Queen juice at Inspiral in Camden – paired with a Brazilian Chocolate from Camden Market!

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And one last treat – A gluten free cookie from Cookies and Scream (hands down the best cookie ever – I ate it in two… to savour the joy for longer!)

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Do you get on well with your siblings?

Ever tried Ethiopian food?

If you could visit London right now what sight would you go and see?

CrossFit – Franbulous!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and had a fab weekend!

Right now as you are reading this I am either travelling down to London or in London and am so excited to see my little brother tomorrow!

Got a few days down here before I am back up in Scotland but will be back with a London recap as soon as I can. Let’s face it, you wanna see the food right? Haha!

But until then, here is my CrossFit recap from last week!

Monday Morning (11th)

monday wod

The strength WOD aka heavy heavy heavy! I am feeling more confident with my heavy back squat and completed 8 rounds of my 2 rep back squat at 42.5kg. I then managed 18 reps at 35kg for my max.

And the running, followed by push ups, well that just plain sucked! I completed my run in 7 mins 20 seconds (legs were like jelly after the back squats) and managed 30 push ups in the remaining time. Was definitely one of those ‘I’m just going to stay down here for a little while’ moments after completing!

Tuesday Morning (12th)

tuesday wod

Snatches aren’t my bag – power snatches are getting there, squat snatches are still a struggle. So I used this time to practice on technique over weight – I know that technique will lead me to the weight eventually. So my 1RM came in at 12.5kg and I completed 12 reps at the same weight, touch and go for the max. Not a high weight but all were clean reps so I was happy.

150 kettle bell swings for time? Got it. I went with a 12kg kettle bell and broke it down into 5 sets of 30 – completed in 8 minutes 20 seconds.

Thursday Morning (14th)

thursday wod

I was so excited to see ring dips – my bag! But then coach decided we were going to steer away from the bands. Now I can do dips with the lightest band, but a strict one is still no go. Instead I did them in between two boxes, dipping up and down with only my tip toes on the floor. It was hard but I felt my triceps working more than they ever have done using a band. And it’s that triceps strength that’s going to get me that strict ring dip one day…

The WOD was a burner but a good one – I did box jumps but used plates to get to 14 inches and v-ups. Lets just say my abs are feeling the burn! Completed in 15 mins 37 seconds.

Friday Morning (15th)

friday wod

As per last week, another throwdown workout and it was intense!

I went with the scaled option which was 1RM ground to overhead (RX was snatch) and managed 30kg – so pleased, a new 1RM clean and jerk! I got you now 30kg!

For the row we got 136 calories in total, it was a burner after the GTOH.

And then came the evolution of all things Fran…

It was fast paced, it was tough, I was a sweaty mess afterwards but I pushed myself. For each round you had to up your thruster weight so I went 17.5kg, 22.5kg and 25kg – heavier than I have ever done Fran before. But the thrusters felt good. We divided the reps equally and completed in 21 mins 32 seconds. Not bad all before 8am!

Do you like that ‘abs on fire’ feeling?

Can you prioritise technique over weight?

Would you like to try that Fran-bulous WOD?

The Truth!

Hi all,

Sometimes, the way people blog can make their lives look perfect, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It’s actually quite difficult to blog – you don’t want to dwell on the not so great things in your life for fear of people thinking all you do is moan and complain, so instead we gravitate towards writing about the good, the smiles, the laughs, the joys.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of good to share in this world and I want to speak and read all about it! We should be happy, excited, proud, confident, hopeful, enthusiastic etc and we should want to share it all with the world. I know I do.

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But sometimes it’s good to be a little more grounded, a bit more ‘real’ if you will. Many bloggers have been writing about this at the moment and I thought I would add in my two cents. For my version, I am calling it ‘the truth’. Some things you may not know about me, that are dead true but yet not something I would automatically reveal! Ha!

Some home truths about Jen…

1) I am a bully, but to one person alone – ME.

I am my own worst critic and oh boy do I criticize! I can beat myself up about anything and find it hard to praise the good I do. Got a new PB? Not as good as X or not good enough. Made a tasty new recipe? Yeah but maybe it could have been better if x, y or z. Honestly I am so terrible to myself sometimes and the worst is I don’t even realise I am doing it. Luckily David will pick me up on it and tell me to ‘stop!’.  I am getting better with this but still have a long way to go.

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2) I am absolutely petrified of all things medical.

We are talking serious ‘panic attack inducing’ scared. The only way I will go to the doctor is if I already know what is wrong with me and I know it won’t result in tests etc. I really wish I was exaggerating this but I’m not – my head would be hanging off and I would still say I was fine and refuse to go to the doctor. I was hoping this fear would fade with age but it hasn’t. Even just writing this paragraph has made me feel queasy!

3) I love to read books but don’t.

I want to read more and more because I really enjoy it but it has been almost a year since I have read an actual book! I do read the newspaper every day though as I am addicted to the news!

4) Bad time management

As much as I try to be on time, more often than not I will be late. I hate being early to anything so will try and time things dead on… yeah that never works!

5) OCD workstation!

I am pretty OCD about my workspace – the rest of the house can be a mess but my desk must be tidy. Everything has its place and must not be moved! Period!

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6) Clothes shopping is dull…

I’m not a fan of clothes shopping, it always feels like a chore! Unless I am with David or other family or friends, then I enjoy spending time with them (certainly not the whole trying on clothes, buying process…)

7) Speaking on the phone

I don’t really like speaking on the phone – in person, text or email I am happy but the phone is a no go. I hate answering the phone and will only do it if I know who it is. David always laughs at me if I have to make a call to anyone, I will always have a rehearsed speech in advance of what I am going to say!

8) I have a tissue with me everywhere I go

Always will have one to hand… but I do tend to use the same one over and over until it is falling apart. Gross I know, but it’s the truth!

9) I am so competitive…

And normally only do things I know I have a chance of winning. Even in CrossFit I compete against myself (although every now and again I can’t help but compare myself to others and feel anxious when I can’t compete to the same level as them!). If we ever play a board game watch out!

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10) I don’t like sleeping in

I am always excited to get up and start the day! Ok not really, but I have literally lost my ability to sleep in, no matter how little sleep I have had. 7am for me would be a good lie in for me!

Do you bully yourself?

Do you read a newspaper?

Are you competitive?

Any truths you want to reveal?

Linking up with Amanda over @RunningwithSpoons for ‘Thinking Out Loud’! Check it out!

CrossFit – The week of Overhead Squats!

Hi all,

How is Monday going? Hope you had a good weekend!

David and I had lots of fun bowling on Saturday, we even went to the arcade games afterwards… it was brilliant! I giggled and smiled the whole time – lots of stimulating flashing lights!

This batman game was fun, but not as fun as the zombie pirate’s one!

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Anyhoo, on to today’s aim of the game – last weeks CrossFit recap!

Monday Afternoon (4th)

monday wod

Today was a holiday in the UK and David was off work! Yay! So we went along to the especially themed ‘May the Fourth be with you’ Star Wars WOD at 12.15pm!

It was a fun partner WOD that certainly kept you going. I was able to work with David and I just love working out with him. My favourite part… surprisingly the last section with the clean and jerk/ snatches. We were able to break it down any way we wanted so we did 10 clean and jerks each, then 10 snatches each for 6 rounds. Fast, tough, exciting = good times!

Tuesday Morning (5th)

tuesday wod

I was not impressed to learn that overhead squats were on the menu two days in a row! But I looked at my 1RM’s, and worked out what my weights were going to be/ attempts from the start. Everything worked out to plan – power clean – 22.5kg for 12, 25kg for 8, 27.5kg for 4 and 30kg for 1.

Overhead squat – 15kg for 12, 17.5kg for 8, 20kg for 4 and a new 1RM of 22.5kg!

The WOD was tough. 50 reps is no walk in the park and a 7 minute time cap meant there was no hanging around. My 1RM is 22.5kg so I went for 17.5kg on the bar – maybe still a little too high but I went for it and completed 44 reps in the time cap. I would say ‘so close!’ but those last few reps when your arms are killing you felt like hundreds of miles away to me! Haha!

Thursday Morning (7th)

thursday wod

So today was election day here in the UK – to celebrate (?!) we had a choice of 3 hero WODs we could choose from on the board – we each voted and the winner was ‘Coe’.

100 thrusters and ring push ups… bring it on!

I went for a 20kg thruster weight and had my rings slightly higher off the floor to make it scaled. Not that it made doing the push ups any easier! When thrusters are your relief in a WOD you know it’s bad! I completed in 21 mins 5 seconds and was pretty happy!

Friday Morning (8th)

friday wod

There is a local ‘throwdown’ happening here and a few members of our box are involved. To ensure that we all feel involved (aka punished) Coach is programming the throwdown WOD each week of the tournament for all us lucky folks!

Overhead squats 3 times in a week – I was close to walking out! But it’s a good job I didn’t – I only went and turned my new 1RM from Tuesday into my 3RM! Boom!

As you guys may remember, my 30kg clean is always a bit touch and go – sometimes I can do it perfectly, others I can’t. Well, what did I go and do… a 2RM thruster at 30kg! Double boom!

When it came to the power clean I was toast! I managed the clean at 30kg but couldn’t quite get the 32.5kg. Got it in me though!

David and I partnered up for the last section and powered through 79 wall balls, 53 burpees and 322 skip/double under mix (DU’s for him)

Couldn’t help but smile when leaving the box!

Did you do anything to celebrate Star Wars day?

Do you leave your workout feeling energised or tired?

Favourite arcade game?

Thinking Out Loud!

Hi all,

Just doing a quick wee check in with you all today as I have a monster load of school work to do… but you can’t keep me from ‘Thinking Out Loud’ – one of my favourite posts to write and read!

Linking up with Amanda @Runningwithspoons for all the love!

Let’s get to it!

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Election Day!

It’s polling day here in the UK and when David comes home from work we will be heading on over to our polling station to vote. I cannot emphasise how important it is to vote – even if you feel like no one truly represents you. It’s easy to feel a bit jaded or tired by politics but it really does affect everything we do every day – have your say!

We have several political parties to vote for in the UK – 2 major ones but the smaller ones really are making an impact now and are likely to join one of the major parties in a coalition government to rule. It’s a bit of a crazy time with politics here and I honestly cannot predict what the outcome will be when all the votes are in tomorrow. Just got to hope for the best!

  • London Baby!

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I am super excited to be making an unexpected trip down to London on the 18th! David has to head down to a conference and I am going to join him. So when he works I am going to be spending time with my little brother who lives down there and I haven’t seen since July last year! Too long! Sorry for the pic Paul but it makes me laugh! haha! 

A whole day in London with Paul… so so excited! Now just to plan what to do…. or more importantly what to EAT! *cough *chipotle*cough*

  • Dandelion Coffee

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David spotted this dandelion coffee in Whole Foods this weekend – I was really excited to pick it up and try seen as I have heard so many American folks rave about it (I think your branded version is called Dandy Blend?).

My verdict? First off don’t view it as coffee, it is similar but see it as a different product- like the green tea version of regular tea. But oh boy is it nice! It has a herbal flavour through it that I really liked and was perfect with just a wee bit of almond milk. An ideal alternative to coffee as it is caffeine free and has its own nutritional benefits! (Good for your liver!)

  • Bowling

This weekend will be a much needed rest for David and I… c’mon Friday! So we were having a think of something we could do to get out of the house, have fun but not wear us out – bring on ten pin bowling!

I haven’t been bowling in ages so I am really looking forward to it – also haven’t been since I started CrossFit so I am hoping all my gains will pay off and I will be whacking down those pins!

  • Tacos!

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And just a wee one to end on… all aboard the taco train!

Last night we had these amazing tacos – paleo tortillas courtesy of Stupid Easy Paleo (and they really are stupid easy to make and taste incredible!), ground beef with baharat spice, guacamole, salsa and a wee sprinkle of cheese (not pictured) – oh holy taco awesome guacamoleyness! I am on the taco train and here for the ride!

Do you exercise your right to vote?

What is your favourite city?

Do you like bowling?

CrossFit – All about the rings!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and the past few days have been awesome! Post coming to you a day late due to yesterday being a public holiday (or bank holiday as we call them!) and David having the day off! So of course that came way above my blogging priority and it was great to spend some extra time with him, WOD’ing, chilling and just spending so good old quality time together!

CrossFit Recap!

Monday Morning (27th)

monday wod

Upping our front squats again and this felt like good but heavy sets – I completed 6 sounds of 4 reps at 35kg and enjoyed how it felt. Then I went down to 28kg for the max efforts and got 20 reps.

This WOD was great as we didn’t do it for time, instead quality. It wasn’t a WOD that you wanted to mess up due to the high amount of reps and weight. It was a good lesson on maintaining touch and go reps and I was surprised at how well I could do. Got a feeling I need to revisit my 1RM soon though, felt I could do a wee bit more. My weight sequence went 21,35,45,56 kg.

Tuesday Morning (28th)

tuesday wod

A bit of gymnasty action today. I love gym ring rows, especially with false grip so they were good but the handstand holds are always tricky for someone who is still to yet do a handstand! So I wall walked as far as I could and held the position. Fine for the first few rounds but when you are getting on to your 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th hold…. your arms don’t want to keep you up!

I was excited to see ‘Elizabeth’ on the board. We did this in January (20kg cleans and thick band for dips) and I knew I could do more now. I stuck with 20kg as my squat clean weight, knowing this was definitely my level and went down to a medium band for the dips. Knocked 40 seconds off my time (even with a thinner band), coming in at 9 mins 4 seconds.

Thursday Morning (30th)

thursday wod

After 3 rounds of Cindy (5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats) the last thing I wanted to do was back squats! Haha!

I did complete 6 bloody heavy rounds of 4 reps at 40kg but they did feel good. Taking a narrower grip on the bar definitely helps me. Then I went down to 32.5kg to do my max effort reps – 30 in total.

Death by power cleans and burpees. First minute complete 1 clean and 1 bar over burpee. Second minute 2 of each, third three and so on until you can’t manage. These were supposed to be heavy so I went for 27.5kg (30kg is my 1RM) and I completed round 3. Round 4 I kept failing on my 4th power clean. Not beating myself up about it though – heavy was the word today!

Friday Morning (31st)

friday wod

After a good warm up and mobility work today’s focus was on muscle ups. Some worked on tekkers with bar muscle ups, others the rings. I worked with ring transitions – having the rings lower and using a band to help initiate the pull and then learning to push through from the dip. It was good to practice on them and I certainly felt like I was progressing (even if I am so far off a muscle up!).

Then we had a cheeky wee tabata of air squats to finish off – 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds down in the squat hold. Don’t underestimate this bad boy… my quads were toast!

Will try and check in with you all again this week but school work is definitely keeping me busy… and I’m loving it!

Do you get a lot of public holidays off?

Do you like the way heavy feels?

Got muscle ups?