Five Favourite Friday... Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

I've been looking forward to todays post, ever since we decided that we would be posting about our favourite Krispy Kreme flavours. In a weird turn of events, it was revealed that Krispy Kreme would change their name in the UK to Krispy Cream, due to the British being unable to pronounce their traditional name!

Anyway on with my five favourite flavours:

1) Strawberries & Kreme - I think this was the first Krispy Kreme doughnut I ever had, and when I'm buying a few doughnuts it's one of the first I choose.

With Strawberry and Kreme filling, hand-dipped in strawberry icing and sprinkled with crunchy shortcake crumble and strawberry pieces.

2) Chocolate Orange - I love the combination of orange and chocolate, so it's easy to see why I love these doughnuts!

Filled with orange flavour chocolate kreme, topped with orange flavour gloss, dark chocolate shavings and decoration

3) Lemon Meringue - Another go to doughnut at Krispy Kreme, they are so light with the meringue topping.

Filled with zesty lemon and smooth kreme and topped with lightly toasted meringue

4) Glazed Raspberry - These are Krispy Kreme's version of a jam filled doughnuts, but only better, because they are made by Krispy Kreme.

Bursting with sweet raspberry jam and coated in our classic glaze.

5) Strawberry Gloss - Although I usually end up in a sticky mess when I have a Strawberry Gloss doughnut, I do love them.  They look great and taste awesome.

Our signature ring doughnut hand-dipped in a sparkling red berry glaze

An honourable mention goes to the 'Original Glazed' ring doughnut, as they are really nice and traditional, but are a bit bland compared to the others on this list.

As always you can check out Nikki's favourites here. Do you think any other flavours should have been included? If so, let me know which ones in the comments below.  Next week we'll look at our favourite 'Current Children's TV shows'.

Weigh-In Wednesday... An update

Weigh-In Wednesday...
In February I decided that I'd do a weekly post about tracking my weight, exercise and general health type things. Regrettably, for a number of reasons I've struggled to keep up with doing these posts, so I've decided that I'm not going to continue with these on a weekly basis. Instead I'm going to do a monthly review based on the weekly reports generated from using my Fitbit, and the other apps on my phone. Hopefully I can be more regular with these posts in the future by doing it this way.

The Last Week (20/03/2017)

Monday - Fully back into the swing of my Monday nights, I had a quick turnaround in Shrewsbury to see Nikki and my little boy before heading out to football. I was really pleased with how I got on, I felt comfortable in my passing, my defending was positive and I was disciplined to play in some sort of formation making life difficult for our opposition.

Tuesday - I ran a bit late getting home so I was in a rush to get my son some dinner ready for when he got home from nursery, but I did manage it. Once he was tucked up in bed, I played on Lego Superheroes until going to bed.

Wednesday - Whilst the day was mostly unremarkable for me, the afternoon saw a terrible act of violence carried out in London, very near to where the people I work for have offices. Although i was working, I did keep an eye on the news to see what was happening. In the evening we again baked cakes at my parents for Nikki to take to work. We also had lots of fun with my son when he settled (he has been suffering with a cold), culminating with him running around flapping his arms and then collapsing on either me or Nikki.

Thursday - A bit like Tuesday, Thursday turned out to be a fairly standard evening, which was probably what I needed.

Friday - I took the day off to tidy our bedroom as it had gotten in to a bit of a state, that was the theory anyway. I had planned to disappear off and start when my little boy went for a nap, but he took a long time to settle and I hadn't realised that he had finally drifted off at about 11:00. At this point I was very hungry, so I went to Tesco to grab some Krispy Kreme donuts as I'd had a hankering for some since going to Newcastle. In the afternoon I set about tidying, I thought I'd put on some music to keep me sane, but I couldn't do anything with my phone. I tried lots of different things, but I think the problem revolved around having too much on the clipboard and no memory to open any apps.

Saturday - Not much to report from the morning except we played on Minecraft for the first time whilst our son napped. In the afternoon I went to Greenhous Meadow to see Shrewsbury take on Bolton Wanderers. Shrewsbury ended up losing 0-2 despite there not appearing to be much between the two sides, although Bolton probably just about edged it. Some slack goalkeeping resulted in the first goal and the prolific Adam Le Fondre got the second. In the evening we visited Nikki's parents to have an Indian takeaway to celebrate Mothering Sunday with the family.

Sunday - Mothering Sunday, so we took a trip to Harvester to have breakfast. Strangely I didn't fancy a full English so I had Belgian waffles with a fried egg and bacon which was a nice change. Nikki when all in and had a full English which she shared with our little boy. As my son napped when we got home I popped to see my mum and present her with a card, some flowers and have a chat about life. In the afternoon Nikki, me and our son when out to Haughmond Hill to have lunch and go for a walk along their shortest route. We were really proud of our son as he walked the majority of the trail and kept an eye out for the characters that appear in the Gruffalo. It was disappointing to find that the café in the picnic area was unable to accept card payments, so I had to dash back into town to grab some cash. In truth it was worth the additional trip as the bacon and egg sandwiches were amazing. When we had finished, we went to spend some time with my parents and had takeaway pizzas for dinner. In all I think the two mummies in my life had nice days, but it all unravelled for me at bedtime as I managed to spill a pint of squash over some clean washing, the bed and a number of electrical items. Cue mad panic trying to mop it all up and protect the electrics.

Formula One 2017 | Round 1 | Australia

There was disappoint for the home fans before the race had even started when Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull had a failure on his way to the grid saw him pull up about half way round the circuit.  Fortunately, with help from the stewards, he was able to get back to the pitlane and was able to start the race, but everyone else had completed two laps by then.

After an aborted start as one of the mid-field drivers ended up in the wrong starting position on the grid, the two Mercedes drivers made solid starts and kept the Ferraris behind them going into the first corners. All the cars made it through the first couple of corners safely, but a few turns later Kevin Magnusson caught Marcus Ericsson, although the stewards ruled this was a 'racing incident' and no further action was taken

With my 17 laps completed Hamilton pitted from the lead, returning to the track behind Max Verstappen's Red Bull. This was pivotal to the outcome of the race as it allowed Sebastian Vettel to pull away in the clear air and trim Hamiltons lead before pitting himself 7 laps later. When he left the pit lane he had built up enough of a lead to leapfrog Hamilton into taking the lead when all of the other pit strategies had been worked out.

What played out after this was a bit of a precession as the leading drivers held their places, taking a tenth of second or two out of each other before responding to any threats. This meant Vettel took victory in the opening race of the season, Hamilton coming second and Valterie Bottas third.

Start of F1 2017 Season

The start of the new Formula One season is almost upon us and I thought I'd celebrate the first race in Melbourne, Australia, by looking at the liveries that the teams have shown off ahead of the season opener and ranking them from the best looking to the worst.

Williams Martini Racing 
I'm really liking the new FW40. The livery is great with the lines flowing from the very tip of the car through to the rear wing on a striking white background. Hopefully it will be as quick as it looks and Williams can push some of the top teams and get a podium or two this year.

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari unveiled their challenger, the SF70H, it traditional Red, with a white 'shark fin', and black underside.  It's very rare that Ferrari deviate too much from their trademark designs. That being said, I love this years design and, based on the pre-season testing, they could be the main challengers to Mercedes.

Red Bull Racing
Similar to Ferrari, Red Bull have unveiled a very familiar looking RB13. They have retained the blue design with the branded red bull on the air intake and a matt finish to their cars, which really makes them stand out on the grid.
Renault Sport Formula One Team
Renault have continued with a contrasting yellow and black scheme which looks great and it'll definitely standout from the other cars at the start of the season.
Haas F1 Team
The design for the new Haas, the VF17, looks great.  The combination of grey, black and red is very complimentary and the 'shark fin' has got some nice detailing on it

Scuderia Toro Rosso
The STR12 shifts away from the previous Toro Rosso designs, but I'm a fan of the new 2017 look.  The blue, red and silver compliment each other strongly and look great.

Sahara Force India F1 Team
Having initially revealed the VJM10 in a silver livery, a new major sponsor has seen Force India change to a new pink colour scheme. Although it's not a colour choice I'd go for, I do really like the revised livery, and I'm sure it will stand out on the track.

Sauber F1 Team
Sauber have chosen to celebrate 25 years in formula one, by going for a very classic colour combination of blue and white, with gold trim for the C36, their 2017 chassis. They have hidden the 'shark fin' on the back of the engine by spraying it black, but otherwise I think this has a very regal air to it, and I think the designers should be applauded for their efforts.

McLaren Honda
When I heard the MCL32 would be returning to McLarens earlier team colours, being mainly orange, I had high hopes. However I'm a but disappointed by the teams livery, which is a real shame. I've had a soft spot from McLaren from back when they had two Britons driving for them back in 2010, however since the revised rules in 2013 they've (quite literally) slowly moved backwards on the grid and I'm not hopeful that 2017 will see them launch themselves back to the high point scoring positions.
Mercedes AMG Petronas
Personally I find the W08 a bit boring.  Unlike Ferrari or Red Bull, the Mercedes doesn't look to have changed much, but theirs not much to distinguish it from other cars in the field. Yes, it will be quick, but I find their cars could easily be confused with different teams out there - it's lucky that Force India have changed to the pink livery. It's a shame as I like the silver and turquoise combination, but if they had gone for a more daring design the car could have looked so much better.
They we have it, ranked from best to worst designs (in my opinion) for 2017.  It doesn't really matter what the cars look like, it's all about the performance on the track. All that's left to do is wait for the lights to turn green in Melbourne.

Five Favourite Friday... Formula One Drivers

It's Friday, so time for another Five Favourite Friday post, in honour of the new Formula One season which started today with the free practice sessions in Melbourne, Australia, we're going to look at our favourite F1 drivers. I've been a fan of F1 for a long time, back to the days when Nigel Mansell was challenging for the World Championship, so I've got plenty of drivers to take into consideration when picking my choices. Anyhow, let's get on with it:

1. Nigel Mansell (1980-1992, 1994-1995)- There's something about the moustached Mansell which stands out to me, he's probably the reason I started watching F1 with my parents. Having a Brit winning his championship in 1992 brought a new wave of fans to F1 in the UK and I was one of them. In a time when drivers didn't have a number that they kept through their career, Mansell became famed for his 'Red 5' on the nose of his car.  After winning his F1 championship in 1992, he went to America and won the Indy car title in his first season, before returning to F1 after the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994.

2. Lewis Hamilton (2007-present) - Having watched him develop over the last 10 years since his debut in 2007, his talent is obvious.  Although arguably he could have achieved more that the three world championships he has already won if he'd had more reliability last season and possibly concentrated on driving rather than partying.  That being said, it's nice to see to a personality in the sport again as a lot of the drivers merge into one entity.

3. Michael Schumacher (1991-2006, 2010-2012) - The greatest Formula One driver... quite possibly.  There's very little I can say about that hasn't already been said about him.  I didn't agree with some of his antics to win grand prix and champions, but his will to succeed and haul, in particular, Ferrari to the top and then continue to win title after title was immense. 

4. Ayrton Senna (1984-1994) - Senna can definitely be mentioned in same breath as Schumacher and was an inspiration to Lewis Hamilton when he was growing up. Another multiple champion on this list, and had the potential to achieve more if were not for his untimely death at Imola in 1994.

5. Giancarlo Fisichella (1996-2009) - Fisichella was a driver that I really liked and I don't think he ever really fulfilled his potential.  I spent more time than I should have done growing up playing F1 Manager, and he was a driver that I always tried to get to my team. He endeared himself to me by qualifying quickest when we went to collect my second cat, so our cat ended up being called Fisichella, Fisi for short.

Honourable Mentions this week go to James Hunt, a man that lived up to his legend, and Jenson Button, the driver that I like to think I'd be if I ever drove an F1 car, conservative but fast and a master of wet conditions.

You can find out who Nikki has chosen on her blog.  I'm looking forwards to next weeks post as we'll be looking at our favourite 'Krispy Kreme Flavours'!

The Last Week (13/03/2017)

Monday - Finally, I got to go back to football and it felt really good to be back. Considering I'd not played for a month, it felt like I hadn't been away. It took a few minutes to recalibrate my feet but I soon found my rhythm and I was really pleased with how the game went in the end, I got a goal and produced a couple of assists, including a reversed dragged pass (if that makes any sense!). Prior to going to football, I snuck in my customary 10 minutes with my son and Nikki before dashing off. I was really proud of how I played considering it had been a number weeks without playing.

Tuesday - A bit of a late start as I was due to drive to Newcastle with work. After collecting my rental car, I was on my way and, i think, it only took me about an hour and a half to miss my turning on the motorway, I was only aware of this when I started seeing signs for Scotland! I eventually cut across the country at Carlisle along the A69. I've got to say, despite being caught between numerous lorries, the journey was beautiful - the sun was out, the scenery was inspiring and it made me proud once again of the country I call home. I finally made it to Newcastle at about 15:00 and I spent a few hours in the office before going to check into my hotel. I'd booked into one close to the Fat Hippo in Jesmond, having been there previously on my last trip to the Toon. Last time I'd had a Gastro burger, this time I opted for a Candy Man burger (Double 4oz patties, topped with cheese, candied bacon and onion jam), onion rings and a vanilla milkshake. Wow, I felt stuffed but it was worth it! I had a brief walk around the local area to catch a new Pokémon, then I retired back to the hotel to watch Die Hard.

Wednesday - I was up and out of the hotel relatively early, at a desk earlier than I normally would be. After a busy day I left the office at 16:30 and made my way to the Metro Centre to grab a quick break before heading home. I really feel that I should add how grateful I was to the staff in the stores I dropped in on, they were all really helpful in pointing me in the direction of where I wanted to get to, and having bought a postcard the assistant directed me to the nearest post box without prompting. A long 4 hours later I finally walked through the door to be greeted by a big cuddle from Nikki. I was shattered after the drive, so after briefly updating each other we called it a night.

Thursday - Still tired from the exhaustion of the previous day, I woke up and returned the hire car back to the rental company before heading in to the office. I know in the past I've had days that I thought I haven't been as productive as my best days, but being so drained made the day harder than it should have been. When I got back to Shrewsbury in the evening, I met up with Nikki to visit our son's nursery for a parents evening. Once again, it was a pleasure to speak to his key-worker as they love him at his nursery. We decided to grab a McDonalds for dinner, as we were late leaving the parents evening - it's going to be disappointing for my son when they change the happy meal toys from Lego Batman. En route home we grabbed some popcorn and a copy of Marvel's 'Doctor Strange' (2016) to watch that night. Having been away from my family for effectively two nights, it felt great to snuggle up and watch a good movie together.

Friday - Despite feeling the effects of the week, I dragged myself into the office for a short day. My dad came with my son to pick me up from the office, and I got greet by an excited 'Daddy!' as I approached the car. Regrettably that was the highlight of the journey as my little boy proceeded to cry and whinge all the way home, apparently for no reason. We spent the evening with my parents, celebrating Saint Patrick's day by having Thai green curry for dinner (obviously!).

Saturday - An early start to take Nikki to the train station  for her to attend BlogconLDN before heading out to Birmingham to go to The Photography Show. You can read my view of the show here. We got home at a reasonable time and grabbed some chips for dinner. It felt so good to see my son again when Nikki got back, as he had spent the last 24 hours with Nikki's parents.

Sunday - We spent the day chilling out after an intense Saturday for the whole family. Me and Nikki watched YouTube as our son napped in the morning before heading out to get some ingredients to bake cakes for Nikki to use in her activity in the coming week. For ease of access to mixers, trays, etc. we made the cupcakes at my parents, using my Mums experience to help make them. Although I kept clear (too many cooks and all that), my son help measure out the ingredients and put the cakes in to cook. It was nice to see him get excited over cooking as it is a passion of mine. In the evening Nikki and I played on 'Lego Marvel Superheroes' until retiring to bed.