Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Month in Review: August 2017

August, what a month. It feels like it's been a busy month and it's been one of firsts and lasts.

I willingly went to my first 5th birthday party- my second cousin's eldest daughter (we think that makes her my third cousin....) ran riot on cake and turkey dinosaurs whilst her dad got the barbecue going and supplied the booze for the grown-ups. For someone who just doesn't do kids, I had a great afternoon- Oliver stood up to his daddy duties to make sure not even rain could stop play...



After my very first DNF last month- click if you missed my post about Did Not Finish status, I ran another well under 30m 5k- not enough to beat the PB I set in May but well under my previous long standing PB. I also soaked up the (fake because results are age graded) glory of being first home for a club race. It was a reminder that running is as much about believing that you are strong as it is about how fast you can put one foot in front of the other. It also goes to show how much I've benefited from the encouragement and experience of all our March AC runners this year.

ZSL collaborated with Oasis to produce some beautiful fashion pieces. I could not resist tiger trainers but this shirt is also beautiful and has become a new favourite. There's still stock on the website and some of the items are even in the sale.



And food, I didn't cook a lot in August but spent a lot of time using up things from the cupboards as I clear out my space at my parent's house where I'm based for part of the week for work. This one was a big plate of comfort joy- pork battered out, breaded and shallow fried (sort of schnitzel) with spaghetti & courgette tossed in pesto.



We said a final goodbye to my great-grandmother this month. She passed away at the end of July after a monumental 15 year struggle with dementia. I'll use this as a cue to remind you that you still have until 31st October to take part in #RunningDownDementia to raise £100 for Alzheimer's Research UK. That's 60 more days to run 100km, 150km or 250km. Go on... you know you want to.

Another personal one, I talked about my fear of being found out this month and a few days later had an unwitting brush with someone who didn't recognise me but would have known me if I'd told them who I was. Do not let your past define who you 'really are' We are all defined by our history and our choices but not exclusively. Click if you missed it.



I wore more proper clothes this month too. This one is from a day I spent in my new office before my official start date. Sometimes my version of adulting includes galaxy prints, ok? Click if you missed the full What I Wore post

I've now completed my first week in my shiny new job- I'd forgotten how much work it is to be the new girl, but I'm getting there and it's certainly the vast shift in career that I thought it was going to be. Oh, and the novelty of going home to my flat every night of the week hasn't quite worn off yet either, especially since I've nailed my cycle route into the office (Google really doesn't like the Cycle Super Highways does it?!)

So what have I been reading... Here's a few things you should have a flick through....

A massive and very swear-y FUCK YOU to clean eating. Read it immediately.

Hayley over at London Beauty Queen wrote this incredibly well informed and balanced post about using app based contraception which was a timely reminder that we must be responsible for making informed choices when it comes to the products we use and our bodies. 

Another post by Hayley, even more important perhaps- Fat shaming or any kind of shaming is NOT ok and calling people out directly is necessary but it's not easy. 

People talk about the life changing magic of not giving a shit, or the life changing magic of tidying up. Phoebe chatting about the life changing magic of getting on with shit is everything I live my life for, and probably a reason that Tom doesn't always know whether he loves me or hates me...
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What I Wore: Galaxy Print Skirt

There is some kind of special pull when it comes to galaxy or cosmic prints. I just can't resist them and the rate at which things often sell out says that I'm not the only one. Luckily for me, there's always eBay when I want to hunt something down and much like my other favourite eBay midi skirt- click if you missed my floral midi skirt post.





So yeah, I had to do that thing where I wear 'proper' clothes again. Something that's about to become an everyday issue as of TODAY I'm back in a proper job in a proper office with other people to whom I'm not related. Thing is, my version of proper clothes and adulting sometimes involves a galaxy print or something in a vibrant shade of green or something with glitter. And that's ok too. I do not remember fondly the more corporate dress codes I've had to work with previously and I think there will be something nice about pulling on more than just jeans and a jumper everyday like I have been doing for the last 3 years.


T-shirt is a linen one from H&M last year, necklace is super old and the shoes are Geox



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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Chloe Likes To Eat: Snack Attack

Once upon a time, I used to have a proper job. Y'know, one where I had to go to a proper office with other people to whom I'm not related. Everyday. At the same time everyday. I'm about to re-enter that world, which is a bit daunting. But my point is (I'm getting there....) that apparently, there are loads of people missing out the joy that is a desk snack stash. Or at least there were in my last office and I think my parents were equally mystified at the rustling coming from my middle drawer...



Since I've been working with family, I have dutifully converted them to the snack drawer. We each have our stash in our own desk drawers, things to munch on in between meals or before/after training sessions, little treats of varying types and indulgence. So, here's the tour...



Yup, so that'll be my middle drawer and the contents. My snack drawer. It's quite full (good job I'm back on secondment for a couple of weeks in October...) and some of my favourites are:

Aldi deli Sweet & Salt popcorn. I talked about it in my Aldi best buys post last month- click if you missed it. It's a cheap and cheerful carb heavy pick-me-up, especially good for training days and HUNGRY days.

The Veggie Burst pouches are also from Aldi and probably should have gotten a mention in the Best Buys post. 25g pouches of almonds, cashews and edamame beans flavoured with salt and pepper. A welcome savoury snack as it can be tough to find smaller, individual snacks that don't need to be in the fridge that are savoury. These are also relatively inexpensive at 29p a pack.



The somewhat inevitable appearance of a protein bar. These are PhD Smartbars and a relatively new product. The raspberry one is good for a dark chocolate fix although the raspberry filling seems to leak out of them in the packet and it tastes a little like cough mixture (I don't mind that, it's comfortingly medicinal). The Peanut butter one though.... Think Starbars. Remember those? Not quite as sickly but every bit as good. Perfect for a sweet treat with less sugar and more protein than an actual Starbar. You can buy them direct from PhD by the box but it's actually cheaper to buy their 'pick n mix' bundles of 5 for £10- you can pick the same flavour for all 5 or mix it up as much as you like.

I'm not a huge tea drinker or even coffee drinker- I tend to have a couple of cups of very strong French roasted filter coffee in the morning but then leave it there for the rest of the day. But both the Teapigs peppermint & the T+ multivitamin are pleasant for a warming drink on a cold day and the lemon & peach multivitamin tea in particular actually tastes of lemon & peach rather than generic green tea. Bonus. Teapigs and T+ both available from Ocado.



And nuts. A convenient little blend of raw almonds, cashews, brazil nuts and hazelnuts. I love the idea of making my own blends but I have approximately zero self control when it comes to picking at a bag of nuts and that's a lot of calories and a lot of fat to consume. These tubs actually contain more than one serving but they are convenient and they're from Lidl- look for them on the checkout aisles.

What's in your drawers? I am intrigued to see if anyone else fills their space with an array of edibles in my new office. I'm also intrigued as to whether I'll be the only one wandering about with a 1.5L water bottle (yes, really). Given I generally get through around 3.5L of water in a typical working day, it's going to be a challenge!
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Monday, August 14, 2017

What I Wore: ZSL x Oasis

You know when you idly browse a marketing email that lands in your inbox and you're not really sure why, but ti turns out to yield something amazing? Just me? Oh well.

This is exactly what happened when I opened the ZSL newsletter a couple of weeks back. I love London Zoo, we had a great time at Zoo Lates back in June and there's always something I'm desperate to see. What I wasn't expecting was to head straight to a fashion retailer and drop £80 immediately. ZSL have collaborated with Oasis to produce a collection of ZSL clothes, shoes and accessories and to say I'm excited is an understatement. You see, it all started with some pyjamas I bought my cousin's daughter for her birthday a couple of years ago, and my lament that they didn't make adult sizes. They still don't sell the adult sized pyjamas (to my knowledge) but Oasis DO sell the most amazing tiger print trainers and shirts with the rainforest on it (amongst other things....)








I have no idea what is going on with my face in these pictures- I seem incapable of maintaining anything resembling a sensible expression when I take these images. But my point remains, the shirt is something else. I probably could have done with a slightly larger size to fit my boobs in but this works for me.

Tiger print trainers to follow- because TIGER print trainers!
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

FOFO: Fear Of Being Found Out



In a generation of acronyms we talk a lot about YOLO and FOMO but one thing that has plagued me over the last couple of years is FOFO - Fear of Being Found Out.

Before anyone's imagination gets carried away, I'm not a serial killer with a new identity or a member of a secretive cult. But like most people do, I have a life, a history and a past. For me that includes an estranged family which I've talk a bit about before - click if you missed my post on dealing with the death of an estranged family member.



I've never really been confronted with my past in the sense of the people that know 'who I really am' because until a couple of years ago, I lived in completely different parts of the country to my estranged family and therefore there was an almost negligible chance I'd ever come across someone I'm technically related to or who might realise the connection between the family and me. All that changed when I started the job I'm just about to leave because it put me back to being based in the area I originally come from and where my estranged family live.

Whilst I've slowly settled into the idea that one day I am probably going to walk into someone who remembers me as an 8 year old or who makes the connection between me and a family I've had no contact with for the better part of a decade, I realised only now I'll be moving on and returning to living at home in London that as an active member of the local community- I run with a club, cycle with members of a club, use local business and services, eat out and socialise locally, that what has always bothered me is not being confronted by my choices, I have long since reconciled those, but that I have been thinking of the person who allowed herself to be manipulated by emotional blackmail and had different surname as 'who I really am'

Do I want people to know that person? Do I want to be connected to that person?

Actually the bigger question is: is that who I really am?



We all have a life, a history and past. I am a summation of all of those things but I'm choosing to drop my FOFO because where I come from and the details of my past do not exclusively make me who I am now.

I love and am loved by someone I plan to spend the rest of my life with
I scrunch my eyes up when I laugh
I am a runner- finisher of marathons, half marathons, charity challenges, 10k and more
I am part of a community- I try to give as much to the community around me as it gives me through volunteering
I am successful in my career choices- I am where I want to be right now
I own too many pairs of cheap sunglasses because I can never find them when I need them
I ride my bike for several hours at a time on a weekend. For fun. And I'm qualified to lead other women in such joy
I love pick n mix sweets and am especially weak willed around them
World class DJ sets on sweaty dancefloors fuelled by diet coke make me feel alive
I am a blogger
I still love green
I own too many pairs of impractical shoes
I make choices every day, not all of them are good

I am all of these things and more, and these supercede so many of the things I have been or that came before.

This is 'who I really am'. I am not scared of that. I do not fear you finding out.



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