Hard work and creativity…..

I went to a talk this evening by one of Nottingham’s favourite sons, Sir Paul Smith, at Nottingham Business School.

He came across as a really inspirational guy, tonnes of charm and energy, everything you would expect from such a successful person.

From my pre-vegan life, silk :-(

My Paul Smith Scarf from my pre-vegan life (silk – sad face)

He also came across as down to earth and hugely passionate about his business. The key theme that he kept repeating throughout his presentation was that creativity was nothing without plain old hard work, he kept returning to the theme of building strong foundations through focused effort.

In this ‘something for nothing’ era, where tv show after tv show encourages us to expect instant and high level success and when it can be easy to get sucked into glamorous pictures presented to us in magazines and adverts (including those of Mr Smith’s company!), it’s good to have a reminder that in the real world, perseverance and a good old dose of perspiration are essential.

Being the good little geek that I am, I took notes, so here are my four favourite quotes from the evening (ok, they were rough notes, so you’ll have to forgive me if they’re a couple of words out):

   ‘You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t you’re not looking properly.’    (I know this is a variation on the theme of one of Paul Smith’s books – but I still love it and it is soooo true);

‘Nobody cares how good you used to be’

 ‘Effort is free of charge’

and finally…..

‘If you want to get somewhere in business, you need to know that VAT doesn’t stand for Vodka and Tonic’

A sneaky, if blurry, little shot of Sir Paul mid-lecture

A sneaky, if blurry, little shot of Sir Paul mid-lecture


Mmmmmm Sandwiches (and a mushroom pate recipe)

I love bread. Bread, bread, bread.

I read so many blogs of people who are well behaved and who don’t touch the evil spawn of grain. But I do.

I’ve been having a sandwichy couple of weeks recently, I blame my sister for buying me this bit of neatness for my Christmas present:

Re-usable sandwich wrapper

Best present ever – a reusable sandwich wrapper!

My favourite sandwich at the moment is mushroom pate with sliced cucumber. Go on, have a go, it’s delicious:

Reusable Sandwich Wrapper

Sandwiches and saving the world all in one lunch break? Oh yes.

Peppery Mushroom Pate with Thyme


  • 250 grams chestnut mushrooms
  • 50 grams bread crumbs
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • Half a fresh chilli de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 good handful of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp course ground black pepper
  • pinch salt

Homemade mushroom pate


  1. Fry off the onion and mushrooms in a frying pan until the onion is just beginning to brown then add the chilli, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and sizzle for another five minutes
  2. Allow to cool and then place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and blitz with a hand blender.

Voila – a delicious herby and very peppery mushroom pate!

This isn’t a sponsored post but if you did want to grab yourself the bit of neatness that is the reusable sandwich wrapper they are available here : Ananda Foods

Tweet Tweet….

…oh the cyber revolution is rolling fast in the HFTB household.

Yes, just 6 years and 10 months after its invention, I have joined Twitter!

In honour of that fact, this post will be limited to 140 characters.

Oh darn it, failed.

@Sookisu1 if you fancy it


Chocolate Bark….


A huge slab of chocolate, what's not to love?

A huge slab of chocolate, what’s not to love?

For no reason other than the portion size of the ingredients I purchased, I differed the ratios slightly from Ally’s recipe and used :

  • 300 grams Green and Blacks dark cooking chocolate
  • 100 grams Plamil Dairy Free White Chocolate
  • 50 grams toasted pistachios
  • 30 grams craisans

….but otherwise I made this exactly as per Ally’s recommendation.

We’ve had our first taste and, my oh my, is this good!

Now, the real trick is going to be not guzzling the whole lot in one go and instead making it last the week…




Holy Moly : There’s millions of you out there

Is it ok to talk about your stats when you blog? Or is it one of those unwritten rules that you’re meant to be so cool that you don’t notice how many people read your blog?

Oh, who cares: I check my stats.

So I was pretty freakin’ excited to realise that I just had my best two days ever with literally millions and millions of you visiting me.

I figured it was because I posted about shoes, because that’s the kind of thing that would get my attention too.

But then I found out it was because this happened:

My Best Friends Blog

Yes, my wonderful friend Alice has written about HFTB on her blog, MorethanToast.

As it transpires, the thing a blogging girl needs more in her life than shoes, is an Alice. She does wonders for your stats.

So, to my fabulous amazing friend, who quite genuinely was the reason I got into blogging in the first place:

  1. Thank you for the big up on your blog and the resultant deluge of visitors I have had; and
  2. I have just ordered a huge case of vegan wine and we are going to get trollied and talk about Twilight drink responsibly and have a great intellectual catch up when I see you this weekend.

To everyone else, quick, go read Alice’s blog, it’s brilliant (and I’m not just saying that because she’s my BFF).



Now I’m guessing my readers are going to fall into two categories at this point:

Firstly those of you who read the title to this post and went : ‘eh?’

Then those of you who read the title to this post and went : ‘oh yeah, crossfit baby, woop woop, high five, back slap, grrrrr’

Crossfit has been around for a while now, in its own words it is : ‘constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity’. As I understand it it combines weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics and cardio. There are some awesome YouTube clips displaying the skills of some the top Crossfit athletes or try this one that gives an overview of the whole thing.

WOD stands for ‘workout of the day’ and is one of the core things around which Crossfit is structured.

I’ve been wanting to give Crossfit a go since I heard that a Crossfit gym had opened up in Nottingham, but I was worried that I wasn’t fit enough and that I’d be the only girl.

Fortunately, Mr HFTB has been along to scope out the joint and has reported accordingly that 1. There’s tonnes of girls 2. Those girls are awesome and 3. Yep, I’m probably going to be the least fit person there even though I think I workout like a badass.

But you know what? How am I going to get that fit if I don’t get myself down there?

In the words of Ronnie Coleman : ‘Every body wanna be a body builder, nobody wants to lift this heavy ass weight : I do though!’

For the record I’m not a body builder, but I do love this quote. It applies to everything you want to achieve in life: if you want to do something, if you want to be something, there’s no point sitting around and hoping it will happen, you got to get out there and make it happen.

I want to be the fittest I’ve ever been, I want to surprise myself with the strength and durability of my body, I also, quite vainly, want to look in the mirror and feel proud of my reflection.

So people, tonight will see me do my very first Crossfit ‘WOD’.

Wish me luck and remember, if you don’t hear from me for the rest of the week, it’s not because I don’t care, it’ll just be because I’m a little bit broken….

NOTES : Guys, I’m not quite sure what happened with this post. It was published today (12 November). I published it via my mobile and somehow it published for yesterday (11 November) – I’m a techno-drip and therefore have no idea how I managed to achieve this. So, I’ve tried to re-publish and hopefully it will come out for the right day. Needless to say, I did not manage both a hangover and my first Crossfit Induction on the same day……