16 January 2017

The Body Coach – Joe Wicks

Love him or hate him, Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach is everywhere at the moment. From promoting his 3 Lean in 15 books, DVD, TV show, quick recipe videos through to his HIIT sessions.

I’ve got bit of a soft spot for the floppy haired Londoner & thought I’d share some of his easy recipes I’ve made from the second book in the series Lean In 15 – The Shape Plan.

Photo credit - The Body Coach

Terry the Tuna with Melon & Feta

I’ve tried this recipe a few times & is one of my faves because it’s pretty straight forward & only requires a few ingredients: tuna, melon, feta & spinach – I don’t bother with all the nuts/seeds. Plus, it’s healthy & super fresh tasting that you know is good for you.

Roast Spiced Cauliflower with Salmon

I love eating salmon & always on the look out for new recipes. This is a reduced carb recipe with lots of veg – cauliflower, carrot, tomato & cucumber. The cucumber yoghurt sauce was a bit random, but actually came out better than I thought. I did seem to cook far more than I needed even though I halved the measurements for 1 serving – you could probably make enough for lunch the next day.

Anyone else got any recipes they’ve tried from the Lean in 15 series which they think is worth trying? Please feel free to share!

If you head to Tesco right now, they've got a sale on the Lean in 15 books for just £8 when they normally retail at 314.99 / £16.99 

Facebook Live – HIIT Sessions

 Photo credit - The Body Coach
Photo Credit - The Body Coach

During January every Monday, Wednesday & Friday Joe is doing a 30 minute HIIT session which you can join him at 6.30am live via Facebook Live – which I just love. I’ve done two live & one session on playback in the evening. There’s about 5 exercises which you carry out for 30 secs, rest for about 20 secs & then repeat 4 times. Doing the session along with Joe is definitely more motivational than just following some exercises you’ve nabbed off Pinterest. I also like the fact that he struggles too, which makes him seem pretty normal. I’m away with work this week, so will be having a go in my hotel room!

08 January 2017

Co-Op Smoothie Mix

If you’re looking for some really easy smoothie recipes, in a bit of a rush in the morning or can’t really be bothered to buy lots of fruit & veg then check out the Co-Op.

They sell a really good Breakfast Smoothie Mix in a bag which is split into 4 packs made up of banana, blueberries, strawberries, yogurt & oats. I think it retails for about £2.

You just need to add either 150ml water, milk or coconut water to the mix, blast it in your food mixer & hey presto you have a smoothie to go. They recommend apple juice but I feel adding juice can really send your sugar intake sky high for the day & kind of defeats making a smoothie as you could just have the apple juice on its own.

The sachets are 110g & once made up I split them into two drinks, one for breakfast & another for lunch or dinner.

Also, if you want to bulk out the smoothie a bit more, throw in some raspberries or banana. I deskin my bananas & pop them in the freezer ready for smoothies, otherwise they just go brown sitting on the side.

Give it a whirl & let me know what you think. Do you have any good smoothie recipes to share? I’m always on the lookout for new healthy ideas. Pop it in the comments box below.

06 January 2017

Sika Cycle Trail Adventure

If you’re looking for a short adventure on your bike & only have a spare couple of hours, then head over to the Sika Trail over in Wareham, Dorset for some fun times.

The Sika Trail is an easy (ish) undulating 7 mile / 11km circular ride through the sandy pinewoods & heathland around Wareham Forest.


The southern point links to the Northport Greenway a safe off road route from Wareham down to the forest. You simply have to follow the blue arrows around the gravel and sandy tracks. Overall it’s pretty flat with a couple of inclines & suitable for all ages. There’s also lots of little tracks you can go off piste if you're feeling brave!

It’s a really lovely serene spot in Dorset & so nice not having to worry about the traffic. The only people you’ll come across are dog walkers & the odd horse rider. Ideal if you need an hour away from the hustle & bustle of life.

Where to park?
You can either park on a road near Wareham Train Station (BH20 4AS) or at the Sika Trail Car Park (BH20 7PA).

More details:
Dorset For You have some really useful cycling route info online including the Sika Cycle Trail.

03 January 2017

10 on the Trot

Hands up if you have the back to work blues today? At least we’re all in it together.

Somehow I managed to have 11 days off over the festive period which was utter bliss. The last time I had that amount of time off was when I went to Oz for 3 weeks – note to self to book a long haul trip next year.

A muddy Christmas Day ride through Bradford Peverell
I think Jonty's saying 'where's my present mum?'

Rather than just eating lots of mince pies & yule log (which I did do too), I made the most of getting out & about on jolly Jonty for 10 days on the trot – quite literally. & it’s been fab!

The weather hasn’t been too bad either, a mix of Jack Frost, torrential rain, thick fog where you can’t see more than 10 metres in front of you & blazing sunshine where you only needed to ride out in a waistcoat. Most of all it was good to have the consistency of being able to ride daily, re-connect with Jonty, start thinking about the year ahead & feel positive about riding & competing again. As well as blowing away the Christmas cobwebs & getting out in the beautiful Dorset countryside.

2 weeks ago we had a lesson with Dorset Eventer Jo Rimmer at a SWDG show jumping clinic. Turned out there was just the 2 of us in the group, ideal when you have a semi fit horse & rider. And allows you to take breathers between jumps & learn from the other rider.

From the start Jo was on it with some of my bad habits & was really positive towards Jonty & I – which was very refreshing. He didn’t do too bad either seeing as the last time he show jumped was Bricky Horse Trials in September – nearly 3 months ago. Jonty was pretty jolly & excited to be back out jumping, but once he calmed down & started listening he didn’t put a foot wrong & we actually enjoyed it.

Here’s a few other cheeky ‘between the ears’ snaps of Jonty from our rides over the festive period. Excuse the mud, but it would take longer to remove the mud then actually go for a ride!

A lovely sunny ride over Charminster Downs & down to Ash Hill & Bradford Peverell. 
Can you spot the buzzard in the distance?
New Barn Field Centre somewhere out there...
The final ride of the festive season & off to Muckleford to do some hill work.

02 January 2017

Winter Sale Bargains

Has anyone else braved the high street in search of a billy bargain or scoured the web for some online retail therapy?

I ‘just’ popped out during Christmas Limbo week, & managed to end up in Dorchester’s little department store Goulds. I had a quick look round & ended up at the bag sale table – as you do. There wasn’t much of an offering, however, there was some serious discounting going on with their Fossil collection & I spotted a rather lovely looking tote! So, I took a quick snap, as I was in a hurry & couldn’t quite make a quick spur of the moment decision. 

When I got home I showed my mum that my parents Christmas money was going on a bag that will be just perfect for 2017 rather than a night on the town & she approved. I then headed back into town in the afternoon to pick up the tote with my name on it & even got the seal of approval from the sales assistant. Back off honey, she’s mine!

Fossil Emma Tote
She had an amazing 50% off originally £139.00 & reduced to £69.50, which was a real bargain as John Lewis & other department stores had it priced around the £90 mark.

This is my first ever tote & it’s the perfect size for carrying all my possessions including the kitchen sink in!

Jack Wills Holecroft Printed Shirt

I also bought a shirt online from Jack Wills. I spotted this black little number with a funky print back in early December when we went Christmas shopping in Exeter, but at £59.50, I couldn’t quite justify it. However, now with 40% off reduced to £34.95, I was a sucker for it! Oopsie. I think it will look smart with a pair of skinny black jeans.

What bargains have you been bagging yourself during the sales? 
Would love to hear what you’ve been treating yourself to. 

01 January 2017

December Snaps

Hey Country Bumpkins & Happy New Year! 

I hope you all had a fun filled evening celebrating in the New Year either out on the town, or cosied up on the sofa in front of the TV.

I did a bit of both! We headed to a few country pubs: The Royal Oak, Cerne Abbas & The Sun Inn, Charminster for a few tame drinks before heading home & popping open the bubbly & having a toast whilst dancing along with Jools Holland & his musical cool for school crew. I’m pretty chuffed I made it to midnight without falling asleep & waking up with no hangover – whoop – 2017 you beaut!

And yes I know it’s New Year’s Day & supposedly you should be looking forward rather than backwards, but December was a busy month for getting out & doing stuff so I thought it would be a fun one to share my December Snaps taken on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

1. Exeter Christmas Markets
During December I managed to have pretty much every Friday off, so we made the most of the first Friday & headed down to Exeter Christmas Markets.
They have lots of cute little wooden stands in front of the Cathedral selling all sorts of things from home-made knick knacks, chocolate, jewellery, through to cider & champagne.
We obviously made the most of the festiveness & finished our day’s shopping (or lack of) with a glass of warming Gluhwein. Yum!

2. Christmas Party Time
It’s very rare I have a spray tan, but for some reason I fancied wearing my trusty old Warehouse Spotlight dress with no tights & thought a tan would give me the confidence to strut my stuff.
Thanks to Emma from Spray Tan Weymouth for my Sienna X tan that left me looking (sadly not feeling) like I’d had a quick week in California, which made up for the fact I was driving that night.
Here’s a pic of me & my friend Sammy before our dinner at Holbrook House before heading to the main party at The Red House near Yeovil.

3. Locked in a Room
Mid December we had a planning day with our PR agency - McCann & in the afternoon we had a fun hour at Locked in a Room in Bristol.
You have to solve a number of puzzles & clues that lead you to finding & unlocking boxes / treasure chests etc until eventually you get out of the room. Sadly 60 minutes wasn’t enough for our team, one of our locks got jammed – which is our excuse for losing!
Thankfully we were allowed out.  It’s such a fun game to do with friends or work colleagues & would be great for a hen or stag do.

4. Festive Merriment with Friends
It’s been a while since I’ve hosted a little shindig at my house. In the past I used to have a Christmas fete with friends selling anything from cards, through to jewellery, garden products & Mollie & Fred – one of my fave online gift companies.
This year I gathered some of my loveliest Dorch girlies (partners & babies) for a night of mulled wine, nibbles & gossip. I definitely need to plan some evenings in Jan/Feb to help beat the winter blues.

5. Christmas with the Family & Alfie
After a few stressful months during the autumn, it was lovely to have my folks & of course Alfie over to mine for Christmas Day. Alfie loved looking out the window at the Christmas walkers & fellow doggies – he’s such a cutie. Although we’ll just skip over the fact he did a little tinkle on my carpet. Oopsie.

6. Jolly Jonty Jaunts
Having 11 days off work has been utter bliss & I’ve made the most of the winter days by getting out on Jonty every day by one. In true British style we’ve experienced every type of weather from blazing sunshine through to Jack Frost & torrential rain. Overall Jonty has been a good boy apart from the odd buckaroo!

7. Boxing Day Booze & Bands
It’s been one of my traditions for the last few years to head down to Weymouth on Boxing Day in search of some live music & atmosphere to blow away the Christmas cobwebs.
This year we caught the first half of The Leggomen at The Spa & then headed over to The Spice Ship in Preston & watched the end of Shooter & first half of Stereoironics who were fab. I’m probably a little biased as I love Stereophonics. It was the first time we’d been into The Spice Ship & there was a really fun & friendly vibe there – we even had a dance!

8. Pony Walks
I had a lovely sunny afternoon during Christmas Limbo week hanging out with my friend Rach, my goddaughter Evie & Ben the pony in Abbotsbury. Ben was even better behaved than Jonty & obligingly posed for a #selfie in exchange for some polos!

9. Sika Trail
New Year’s Eve Eve we decided to go for a bike adventure over in Wareham Forest round the Sika Trail. We were fortunate that the thick fog lying over most of Dorset lifted so we could have an afternoon of fun biking in the sunshine.
The Sika Trail is a fab little 10km off road track around the forest & made for a great way to end 2016 with an outdoor adventure.

What did you guys get up to in December? Any adventures you'd like to share?

PS. If you have any feedback on the Country Bumpkin Chic blog posts or new look & feel, I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below or via my social links.