A couple of injuries, many lists, Spanish wonders and food delights

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So as part of project-wedding-dress, I’ve challenged J and I to enter and attempt a 10k run before the end of the year. Gym membership was purchase and I was off to a flying (ok, maybe not flying, maybe more of a slow jog) start. I was up to 6k’s on the treadmill (yes, I realise to those of you who are fit-bunnies, 6k’s is probably just a warm up) and then… shin splint. Oh, and add to that some sort of shooting pain in my neck that slowly worked its way down to my shoulder and has been there niggling away for over two weeks now… Progress and training are officially on hold. But as much as I like to pretend to whinge and complain that my training is now all off track and my routine is gone, I have to admit that sleeping in past 6.25am, not bumping into people on the tube with my back pack and showering at home in the mornings is really quite nice.

Anyone got any tips for how to prevent getting shin splints? Oh and J, now that I’ve announced our 10k plan to the blogging world, we can’t back out now.

Going dusty from lack of use

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Save the date cards. Flower bouquets. Wedding rings. Table settings. To have a veil or not to have a veil – these are all the questions I am now pondering in as we approach the six month mark. Scary, I cannot believe the time is flying by so quickly but at the same time, I simply cannot wait to become Mrs M and share the day with friends and family. But of course, for most of you that know me, I have to be organised. I hate thinking I’ve forgotten to do something so I have started writing lists. If you saw how many wedding related lists I had, you would think I was somewhat of a Bridezilla – I don’t think I’ve been too unreasonable about anything… have I? One list for the budget, one for flowers, one for menu choices, one for music… oh it goes on and on. To quote the saying from the front of a card a very good friend of mine recently gave me, ‘Nothing beats the satisfaction of crossing things off a list.’ I think this quote defines me.

And one more thing relating to love that’s got nothing to do with lists or weddings… my beautiful big sister L and her wonderful husband G had a baby boy – a leap year baby! I am now officially Auntie d and am thrilled to pieces. Each morning I get a photo of the little guy and it just makes my morning. I adore him (he’s my phone wallpaper – I think this worries B a little bit) and he’s the most wonderful little chubby thing in the world. Congratulations L&G, I am absolutely thrilled for you both! xx

I can’t wait! Six months
and two days. But who’s
counting?

Do you reckon I can get B and the boys to
do a photo like this?!

THIS is what I want – a whole cupboard
of wedding folders – ahhh, bliss…

TravelTravelTravelTravelTravelTravelTravelTravelTravelTravelTravelTravelTravelTravel

FINALLY! A trip worth blogging about! Our first overseas trip (not counting Aus) since October! We flew in to Barcelona, Spain on Friday night and after a smooth and easy trip in on the Metro (so clean, so efficient – London underground, you should take note) we headed out for drinks and tapas. B’s first beer in over two weeks (a detox that I personally did not take part in) turned into slightly more than one and to cut a long night short, we ended up catching the last train of the night home and finally made it into bed at 3am.

Saturday saw us take a walking tour (with an English speaking Spanish guide who spoke ridiculously fast and who looked like an older version of one of my housemates) exploring this wonderful city and soaking up the much needed sunshine. It was an amazing 19 degrees and I spent most of our tour trying to find the spots of sunshine to stand in when we stopped to admire the city sites. The buildings, the beach, the football, the people, the FOOD… all amazing.

That night we went off the usual tourist track and hung out with the locals where menus contained no pictures and we guessed our way through drinks and foods. Brilliant, I loved it! B likes to think that because one of my best friends is Argentinean, that I immediately know what people are saying to me when they speak in fluent Spanish. He looks at me with big wide eyes as if to say, “Come on, you know Spanish! What did she say?” My Spanish vocabulary consists of being able to count to ten (although I’m not 100% on how to say ‘7’) chicken, meat, water, hello and “two beers/wine/sangria please!” But we got by, ordered food not knowing what might come out and loved every second of it. I am also proud to admit that I am trying to be a much more adventurous eater than when I first left Australian shores. I will eat random un-known meats, taste weird fishy things and give everything a go once. The exception being brown chicken. And mussels. And oysters. Ok, I said I’m trying!

I can’t wait to plan another trip to Spain. But before we go back, V, I think we might need to start up those Spanish lessons again! And one final thing – every country that we visit, we buy a magnet in order to have a lasting momento and what I hope will be the most interesting looking, conversation starting fridge. I am ashamed to admit that I quite often judge a country by the quality and novelty of the magnets they have on offer (front runners in this department are currently Spain, Germany, Belgium and France). Barcelona’s magnet is a plate of paella, complete with tiny mussels, peas and prawns – brilliant!

Sagrada Familia – incredible

Look at that blue sky!!

Just an every day seat in Barcelona – complete with
beatifully painted tiles and a story to go with it.

Gaudi wonders

It was t-shirt weather!

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So much deliciousness going on lately! I have been making a conscious effort to make my food look pretty (haven’t quite got the talents of Donna Hay just yet but I’m working on it) and taste even better, knowing that I have to blog about it. My new work mates have decided that rather than buy food or treats for meetings and birthdays, they will just commission me to bake for them. So far there’s been chocolate caramel filled vanilla cupcakes, carrot and hazelnut cakes, Anzac biscuits and baby ginger and lemon tarts.

On the restaurant scene, I sampled an amazing English brunch at Bumpkin. Ok, so it was really breakfast but considering I’d technically already had breakfast that morning, brunch makes me sound like less of a fatty-boom-bar. A few weeks ago, on our weekly date-night, I had an entree of Italian spinach and ricotta ravioli with a sauce so amazing, I could have gone on eating it forever. And to posh it all up a bit, a French meal in Notting Hill of duck with chorizo, garlic shallots and duck egg in a basket (basically like really, really rich French toast) which if I’m perfectly honest, was almost too ‘French’. There was so much going on, so many flavours and they were all so rich and over powering that by the end, I just stopped enjoying it. Such a shame because the restaurant was lovely and the waiter was so French, I really felt like I was back in Paris.

In Barcelona we had tortilla, paella, churros and hot chocolate, pimento carne, jamon iberico (I think this could possibly be one of B’s most favourite things in the whole wide world) and loads of other tasty delights whose Spanish names I can’t pronounce or spell.

From brunch to Italian to French to Spanish to Jew-‘ish’ American diner style – I do get around. A recent night out with the girls saw us visit one of the upcoming, happening food places – Mishkins in Covent Garden. Where mac & cheese is on the menu, sandwiches are back in style, food is described as ‘soggy’ and this makes it cool. Just yum. I haven’t taken any photos from this night because my photographer friend Helen took some incredible pics with her pro camera while the rest of us acted as the lighting in this ridiculously dark restaurant by shining our mobile phones over the food while she snapped away. That’s just how we roll in London.

Home baked tastiness – Carrot & hazelnut
cupcakes with cream cheese icing
Lots of different types of fish with olives and pimento.
Ordered because I recognised the word ‘grilled’ and ‘pimento’.
Not at ALL what we expected but delicious all the same.

Paella – the one thing on the menu that
I could understand

This was a complete guess. Some type of fish
in some type of sauce with cockles and fried
potato. Mystery food turned out to be good!

Churros y hot chocolate
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