1.7.15

3 Cycle Friendly Cities Around the Globe

Summer getaways can mean a lot of different things to different people, and whilst some of you may be more than excited to spend a week or more soaking up the sunshine in warmer climes, others may prefer something little less R&R and a tad more on the adventurous side. For the more active amongst you, a week exploring an unfamiliar city on two-wheels may be more to your taste, and whether you opt to holiday at home or abroad there are an abundance of cycle friendly cities across the globe for you to choose from. 
Of course, there are the obvious locations such as Amsterdam and San Francisco, but if you do a little research you’re guaranteed to find new and interesting cities to play host to your summer cycling adventures. With summer holiday season fast approaching, here are just a few ideas to inspire your travels this year.


Berlin
Berlin is a stylish city unlike any other filled to the brim with history and culture, and each district has something wonderfully different to offer – whether you prefer culture, shopping or food and drink. From delicious cuisines (Berlin is very much vegetarian and vegan friendly), to abandoned theme parks and disused cold war spy towers amidst the forest, and plenty of incredible cityscape – not forgetting the obligatory 4-shot photobooths! Berlin is relatively flat and very much a cycle friendly city making it a popular choice amongst those in search of a destination for their cycling ventures. 
If you’re looking for a suitable cycling holiday destination away from home, then Berlin is a superb option.

Portland
Portland, Oregon is colourful, cultured and effortlessly cool – not to mention perfect for the beer fanatics amongst you! Despite the air miles you’ll have to make to get there, the journey is more than worth it when you discover the delightful pairing of breathtaking countryside and intriguing metropolis; as well as wildlife parks, bridges (Portland has plenty) breweries and wooded areas. This city is a firm favourite amongst foodies and with over 600 different food carts and plenty of microbreweries, it’s easy to see why. 
With over 260 miles of cycle paths and trails, the city is simply perfect for exploring from the comfort of your bicycle seat and offers a range of challenges for cyclists of all abilities.


Oxford and Cambridge
Whilst some may see categorising two cities into one as a little bit of a cheat, these two picturesque UK university cities certainly come hand in hand. For those of you are planning a staycation, then there really is nowhere quite like Oxford and Cambridge and their chocolate-box-worthy cobbled streets! For historic buildings, charming English pubs and some gorgeous riverside view, this pair are certainly worth a visit. 

Whether you’re holidaying with children or looking for more of a challenge, both Oxford and Cambridge and the surrounding areas are a great place to host your summer staycation and means it is easier to take your favourite cycle away with you

30.6.15

Windsor Triathlon: Final Words


Writing my post about Windsor Triathlon was a bit of an emotional one! It got to the point that I'd written so much, I thought I'd spare you all the Thank You's and do a separate post! SJ, who I ran with, from Powered by Cakes beat me to it, but inspired me at the same time with a name for the post!

Check out SJ's Final Words on Windsor {here}

A lot of work went into me getting to the start line of Windsor Triathlon; a lot of people and a lot of time! Here are my short and sweet Thank You's:

  • Human Race for planting the seed in my mind, providing me with a place and organising me support 
  • Strictly Swimming (Paul, Kat & Bartek) for supporting me with lessons from December 2014 through to April 2015. 
  • Sweaty Betty for my first swimsuit in 10 years!
  • Sports Science Consultants for the very scientific fitness testing and filling me in on how best to train
  • Alastair of Pure Sports Medicine for working on my weaknesses (namely my neck and shoulders!) 
  • Psycle for the spin classes to support my training 
  • Marsha of RG Active for my 8 week training plan which I'm sure will be put to good use again soon! 


  • Jeff of The Tonic for his lifestyle / training support at the start of my journey
  • Speedo for my awesome kit (via the #getspeedofit campaign with Women's Health magazine)
  • Swim for Tri for my 6 week course of lessons (via the #getspeedofit campaign with Women's Health magazine) and for my first experience in open water!
  • Spencer Smith (6 time Windsor Triathlon Winner) for his advice the day before our race and also for standing on the hill of the run route and cheering for us each time we ran past!
  • My friend Natasha for her awesome support on race day and for putting me up the night before
  • SJ for sticking with me through the entire event! 
  • And to EVERYONE who listened to me talk about triathlon for the last 6 months, who shared their top tis with me and those who believed that I could do this! 

Use code KISDISCOUNT to get £5 off any 2015 Human Race Triathlon!

You can read my Race Report from Windsor Triathlon 2015 {here} and SJ's {here}

6 months ago, I couldn't swim. Today, I'm a (2x) Triathlete!  

Elle :) 

29.6.15

RECIPE: Vita Coco Coconut Oil Coco Bites

When I went along to the Nike Women's 10km earlier in June as part of the VCCO team, I popped along to the stand and had a nibble on the Coco Bites they had prepared. I thought they were delicious and grabbed one of the recipe cards knowing I would have to attempt to recreate this myself!

And recreate I did!



Here's the recipe (makes 14):

40g Vita Coco Coconut Oil 
100g Crunchy peanut butter 
(I used homemade almond butter)
100g Raisins 
50g Dates 
100g Toasted Oats 
(I used jumbo rolled porridge oats and toasted in a dry frying pan!)
50g Cashews 

Method - blitz all of the ingredients in a mixer until smooth and then shape into balls. For an added coconut boast try rolling in some desiccated coconut! Store in an airtight container for up to five days. #swearbyit 


Made with almond butter they taste a lot more caramel-y!

Let me know if you enjoy them as much as I have! 

Elle :) 

26.6.15

Abel & Cole, Meet & Eat Organic Pop Up

Sometimes, just sometimes, you get perks from being a loyal customer and not just when you are new. I joined Abel & Cole (A&C) about 6 - 8 weeks ago after attending Be:Fit Festival. I'd been interested in food delivery for a while but needed to find a company that suited my needs.

I featured A&C in my Elle Loves, May Edition; since then, I have decreased my box to a small. I've also ordered a few extras from time to time (e.g lemons when I ran out) and the perks have been little and often including shortbread biscuits and olive oil for recommending friends.


A couple weeks ago, an email landed in my inbox inviting me to a customer event named Meet & Eat Organic Pop Up; a welcome shindig full of their fantastic organic evening-time food and drink. Sold. It was free. I instantly reserved 3 tickets and popped it in my diary. 


The evening was a chance to say hello to other new Abel & Colers, and some of the A&C team themselves, including one of their top foodies, Jassy Davis, Queen-of-the-Recipes. My first stop was the buffet; it was packed full of delicious food and luckily I had saved myself for it all! My favourite dish had to be the Nacho Chicken Salad; I even went back for seconds! You can find the recipe {here}. Naturally, the next step was to meet the A&C gin expert and supplier to sample his delights then get myself a full sized gin cocktail from the bar in the courtyard. 




Once we were fed and watered, we ambled around to chat to some more of the team and suppliers including their "Herb Lady" who schooled us in taking care of basil (something I was eager to find out) and shared all the background on how they grow their herbs on the south coast. I picked up an amazing coriander and lemongrass pesto recipe (which I promptly made the following day!) in between all the cheery chit chat with my friends Sharon and Angela who I took along. 




A huge Thank You to A&C for hosting such a lovely evening! The perfect combination of good food and good company! 

Do you eat organic?! Oh, are you a massive gin fan (I seem to recall a lot of people are!)?! 

Elle :) 

25.6.15

#ElleLoves The Daily Greatness Business Planner


How much fun do you have in all the things that you do?! Do you live for the weekend or your day(s) off?!

I enjoy blogging; I'm not good at doing things I don't enjoy. The new Daily Greatness Business Planner (DGBP) has really got me thinking. It's got me thinking about blogging more seriously and has fuelled the fire for me pursuing my goals and dreams.

It's kinda weird to think of my blog (KISE) as a business but actually, it's an off shoot of my profession. As a Personal Trainer, Health & Fitness Professional, this blog has become my brand. Everything I do is out there on the world wide web. My blog is my living, breathing CV where I get to share my experiences and knowledge in my own voice.


The DGBP starts off with you creating The One Page Business Plan. Parts of this were easy - my mission was already shared here on KISE:


"Create a community which inspires and motivates people to live an active, healthy lifestyle whilst fostering empowerment through conversations which add value and allow for informed choices" 

But I then got stuck working backwards and forwards working out my vision, purpose, values, objectives and goals. Once I started to get my head around things though it began to make more sense and helped me to make decisions about the future easier.

The next main section I worked on was the Business Goal Planner. I've always had personal goals, career goals and fitness goals but had never thought about goals for my blog itself. I took inspiration from Beki (of Miss Wheezy) to identify my business areas including content, social media and products. I've begun working on SMART goals in each area to measure my progress over the next 12 months.

Next up is to create my Business Vision Planner. Where do I see KISE in one year, three years, five or ten years?!

Then it's time to narrow the focus onto the next 90 days and create business challenges for myself. I'd love to organise a Summer Social for the London Bloggers Group and potentially collaborate with these amazing local bloggers to create an ebook too.


I haven't started using the weekly planner yet as I just haven't had time (is this true?!). I also want to finish identifying my vision and goals so I can create something from those that is actionable.

At the end of the day I love blogging. They say "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." That's my ultimate plan. 

Do you blog?! Do you view your blog as a business or just a bit of fun?!

Are you a fan of blogs? How do you feel about Bloggers making money from whether do?!

Elle :)

p.s I was gifted my copy of the DGBP; but you know me, all opinions remain my own! Yes, sir!! 
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