Christmas lotion

Since I've been spending the week getting into the christmas spirit I thought I'd share a present I got last year that makes showers christmassy. That sounds ridiculous but honestly it works!

My mum gave me this set of body wash and lotion that's peppermint scented! the body wash smells so good and the lotion is cool and refreshing, I don't think I have ever been so excited for a shower.

They came as a gift set from arbonne, unfortunately I can't find exactly the same thing online now, this years pampermint set is a hand & footcare number, that I'm pretty sure is just as amazing and would make a great gift. It's probably a little late for this year but it's always worth bearing in mind for next year.



Ten Days!

The first couple of weeks in December, I was so busy trying to get organised to move back home, that I wasn't really in the christmas spirit. I didn't even enjoy buying christmas presents, which isn't like me at all!

Things are looking up though, I arrived at my parents house on Saturday night and then got to spend Sunday watching my brothers swim, and pick up some last minute gifts with my gran. Matt and I drove back to my parents and met Mike and his girlfriend there. We ordered takeout and tried to get into the christmas spirit: Mike decorated the tree while Ellie wrapped up some presents, Matt picked out a christmas film and I ordered the indian.

Our tree is a little small this year, no one has been in the house so there was no point in getting a real one, but it just isn't christmas without a tree and a nice warm fire. Its safe to say I'm finally excited for christmas and to have the whole family round for the day.



Secret Santa

Yes I know its still only the beginning of December but I just love Christmas, the 25th of December is quite possibly my favourite day of the year so any excuse to start the celebrations early is very welcome.

Since I'm moving in a week (yes again, but this is the last time for a while I swear) I knew I wasn't going to have much time to see friends. So we took the opportunity this week to go out for dinner and exchange our secret santa presents. We all agreed to stick to £10....this was so hard, seriously when did things get so expensive? Anyway after making a tenner stretch as far as possible, I wrapped up the present and headed to Jamie's for some good food and a catch up.

Apparently when these restaurants first opened they had a real problem with people stealing these napkins...I thought a photo would be enough.

We were starving but decided there was no way we would manage 3 courses so settled for a bread basket to share to kick things off. While we waited for food we chatted and sipped on cocktails.

Before our food arrived we decided to exchange our secret santa presents, although it wasn't much of a secret as there was only the 4 of us. I must admit I always like to know who got what for who, so I didn't mind it wasn't so secret. As my secret santa handed me a bag I was informed "its Despicable Me themed, but it's not what you think" I must admit I was slightly confused at this point but as soon as I opened it up, it made complete sense.....


Its one of those microwaveable things, great for the cold nights in Aberdeen and it really is very fluffy.

After the excitement over a pink unicorn I was really ready to eat, and with that our food arrived, we dove right in and barely said a word while we wolfed down our mains. After shovelling the food down we all sat back saying how full we were, but when the waitress came back offering dessert we couldn't resist temptation. 

The Lemon cheesecake and a cappuccino was the perfect way to end such a nice evening.



Enchanted Castle

I have lived in Aberdeen for a total of four and a half years, but I had never heard of the Enchanted Castle before. If you're a local you have probably heard of it before and maybe you even go every year. After my first visit this year I can certainly see why you'd make it a bit of a winter tradition, it really helps get you into the christmas spirit, without being OTT, it is still November after all. Just look at one of the first sights you come across.

This event runs for a few evenings every year, the castle grounds are very dark and a little spooky but are brought to life by all these beautiful lights, sounds and performers. Unfortunately it was a little wet when we were there, so we missed out on most of the performances, with the exception of the fire eater.

It took us around an hour and a half to walk around the grounds and castle, of course we had to keep stopping so we could attempt to take photos, most of which didn't come out too well cause of the horrid weather and the light catching the rain.

So this time next year, if you're trying to find something different to do with friends or family then you should definitely get tickets for this! The Wednesday night is adults only, so if you're not keen on having children wondering around then go for that. The Friday and Saturday sell out pretty fast, but this also means they're pretty busy, but I would definitely put this on your list of things to do!



swimming update

When I started this blog my aim was to make the swimming posts a common feature, but since moving to Aberdeen joining the swim team is proving to be a long process so I've had to keep busy in the gym and with yoga. Hopefully I'll be back in the pool again soon, but to keep thing ticking along heres the last session I did a couple of weeks ago.

It was a pretty good session if I do say so myself, did a total of 2250m with a couple of bits in to try push my stamina a bit. I could spend a fair bit of time just swimming up and down but I really wanted to get the heart rate up a bit.

400m warm up

4x100 as 50kick, 50 pull
50 scull

8x50 rolling IM (the last length of fly just about killed me on this one)
50 scull

3x100 as 25max, 75 easy (its much harder than it sounds. you just want to stop after the 25)
50 scull

200 breast kick (This is a bit of a random addition to the session but I had been having an issue with my hips, don't know if it was something I did in the gym, this helped to open them up)

400 cool down


Rainy day in Newcastle

One of the best and worst things about high school was meeting people from all over the world. It means that one of my closest friends lives all the way across the Atlantic, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out she was spending a few days in the UK earlier this month!

Unfortunately timing only allowed us to catch up for one day.....she was in London and I live in Aberdeen so of course the best solution was to meet half way in Newcastle.

We timed it so we both arrived mid morning at the train station, I was so excited to see her I almost cried, its been 4 years since we were in the same place, now that is way too long!

Unfortunately it was a miserable day so we decided to be the ultimate tourists and get on one of those big red sightseeing buses so that we could at least say we saw some of the city....as it turns out there isn't much in Newcastle apart from bridges.
Millenium Bridge

After our little tour around the city we decided to do some exploring on foot and take in a few of the sights we'd spotted on the bus. One of which was an art gallery, but when we found it, it was closed so that blew our idea of getting some culture! We decided a nice cup of tea was in order to warm us up a little and so we could continue our much needed catch up.

Check out this rollerskating horse we came across! so random, I just had to take a photo

I can honestly say I don't think Newcastle is the most exciting place I've ever been, apparently the night life is amazing, but we both had trains to catch at 7pm so we thought that was a bit early to drink before that. 

Anyway the whole point of the day was to catch up with Taylor and I'm just so glad we got the chance, it doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing, its the company that matters and I can't think of anything better than spending the day with an old friend.


Family Catch-Up Part 2

So I've finally got around to the second part of our little adventure....

After the Spa it was time to eat again, we found this restaurant as we were walking back to the car, and they served exactly what I was in the mood for. A nice fresh burger and chips! The Tramshed serves a variety of different dishes so theres definitely something for everyone from fish and chips to lamb. Its great for those days when no one can agree on what they fancy. Oh and the staff are really friendly which is always good.

After finishing our amazing lunch it was time to take my wee brother back to school before our drive up North. But before we left him we had a little wonder around Street which is such a cute little place and home to the Clarks outlet shopping village!

It was a little sad to leave my baby brother but being so far apart means we make the most of the family time we do have.


Family Catch-Up part 1

Last weekend my brother had to be out of school for the weekend so my parents were travelling down to Bristol to visit him, I decided to take a few days off so I could join them. What I really wanted to do was escape to the sunshine, but moving has put a hold on that for this year.

I travelled to Edinburgh to meet my mum and then we hoped on a plane to Bristol where the boys picked us up. We all love our food so priority number one after checking into the hotel was dinner and check this out....

My dinner was the size of my hand! and I must say it was the nicest piece of veal i've had in a long time, everyone else chose well too and thoroughly enjoyed their meal. If you live in England you may have been to one of these restaurants but for me, living up in Aberdeen i'd never even heard of Piccolino before. We were there on a busy Friday night but still managed to get a table without waiting and the food was incredible so I'd definitely recommend it and I shall be returning when I next get the chance.

I woke up the next day feeling awful, I had the worst cold, so struggled to even function let alone take some nice photos of our family day out. We travelled to Cardiff as it was only a 30 minute drive and we'd never been to Wales before, hopefully i'll get to go back one day and actually enjoy my time there but all I wanted to do was get back to the hotel, lie in bed and feel sorry for myself.

By Sunday I was feeling a bit better and was excited by the prospect of a trip to the spa, which even helped me feel a bit better. We spent the morning at Thermae Bath Spa and I'd say the best part was the rooftop pool. It was a perfect day to relax on the roof, a little cold but the sun was out and thats all you really need!



Moving house again

So it has been almost a month since my last post which is crazy, the time has passed so quickly! It's not that I haven't wanted to blog but I've so busy moving again.

When I first moved up to Aberdeen in June I was lucky enough that my friend had an empty room at the time otherwise who knows where I would've stayed. However I now moved into a new flat with a friend but we have no internet and it's going to be another 2 weeks before it's all set up. I never thought I was that reliant on the internet until now, I'm struggling without my daily dose of Pinterest and bloglovin. I am currently sitting in Starbucks with a caramel macchiato taking full advantage of their free wifi to catch up on various bits and pieces.
We're not totally settled into the flat yet but we're not far off it, lucky I have some good friends who helped me build my new bed, took the 3 of us about an hour with some terrible instructions but it was totally worth it in the end. It's so much better getting your own furniture, it really helps to make the place feel like your own when renting, plus it means you don't have to worry about who may have slept on that bed before you!

Once we're totally settled in I will post an update and hopefully I'll be doing it from the comfort of my lovely room but we'll see what happens.



White Chocolate & Ginger Cheesecake

My flatmate and I have been craving cheesecake for ages!

I didn't have anything planned for today so decided I'd satisfy that craving but not with any shop bought rubbish, I made my own.

It is so yummy, if I may say so myself.

Its so easy to make and totally worth the 20 minutes it takes, the hard part is waiting 3 hours for it to set! so here is the recipe for you to try.

you will need:

150g of ginger nut biscuits
40g of melted butter
200g of melted white chocolate
300g cream cheese
150ml double cream

1. crush up the biscuits and mix them with the melted butter, then push the mix into a cake tin.
2. whip the cream and cheese together, then add the melted chocolate
3. pour the mix into the cake tin and leave to set for at least 3 hours

Truth be told I don't usually follow the recipe exactly, I usually use a few extra ginger nuts because the base is my favourite part!



Glasgow 2014

How good were the Commonwealth Games? 19 gold medals, 53 in total. Go Team Scotland!! I think 4th overall is pretty good behind England, Australia and Canada. There were some amazing moments throughout the games and thats what its all about.

Of course the highlight of the games for me was the swimming, particularly Ross Murdoch and his 200m Breaststroke medal. He's been swimming so well all season and he definitely deserved that gold. I wish I'd been there to see that, but our tickets were for the heats on the last day in the pool.

We travelled over to Glasgow on the train, when we arrived there were some very friendly volunteers pointing the hoards in the direction of the pool.

We arrived and took our seats just as the warm up was finishing.

So we didn't get to see our favourite events but the 200IM and relays proved to be great fun to watch particularly since we got to see two of Scotland's other stars. First up was Hannah Miley, followed soon after by Dan Wallace.

The morning finished with the relays, our boys team definitely cut it fine for getting into the final but they managed to pull it off and thats all that matters.

It was such a great morning, and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to experience a home games, the atmosphere was amazing and I can't praise the volunteers enough, they all did such a good job.

I hope you all enjoyed it as much as me, whether it was on the tv or at any of the events.



Time for a catch up

While I have friends living on the same street, sometimes theres nothing better than a visit from those that live a little further away. Fran lives down in England and I haven't seen her in what seems like forever so when she said she was coming up to visit I got pretty excited. Naturally we had a lot of catching up to do and what better way to do that than over some food and a nice glass of wine.

Our restaurant of choice for the evening was Zizzi, I have to really be in the mood for Italian food, sometimes I find it a bit boring but on this occasion it was exactly what I wanted. I was so hungry so decided an entire portion of garlic bread was a good idea.

This was swiftly followed by my pollo piccanti pizza, which is definitely my favourite pizza on their menu. Between bites we managed to catch up on our new jobs, and how much we've been learning over the last wee while.

Next came dessert, which we decided to share cause we couldn't quite manage one each, so we went for a light lemon sorbet with meringue. I love a good coffee so had to have a cappuccino to accompany dessert.

Feeling rather stuffed and all caught up on each others daily lives we headed back to my place for a cup of tea and a movie before calling it a night.

Luckily we had a whole day left of catching up so we enjoyed a bit of a lie in and a lazy morning before heading to our favourite place for a bite of lunch. Cup in the centre of town, maybe you'll remember my macarons? Anyway this time it was moroccan mint tea and a bagel with beef, cheese and caramelised onion, and yes it was even better than it sounds.

I promise we didn't just eat for 24 hours but we love our food which is why thats what I'm sharing with you, after all thats the whole point of this blog. Just to prove it here is Fran in the park. It was a nice day which makes a change up here so we had to make the most of it even if it did get colder pretty quickly.

We had a lovely 24 hours, its a shame it wasn't longer but we made the most of the time we had which is all that matters.



A night at the circus

When Holly first mentioned a trip to the circus I immediately thought of that scene in Dumbo, yes you know the one I'm talking about! It used to creep me out as a kid. Anyway I decided to forget my fears and go last week, and I am so glad I did.

The three of us met and walked down to the beach where the Continental Circus Berlin had taken over a large green field, I really didn't know what to expect as we walked into the large ring. We ordered a popcorn to share and took our seats in the 3rd row. At least we would have a good view of what was to come.

The first half completely changed my mind about the circus, the artists have some incredible skill. They must practise for hours a day! The high wire was amazing, it must be pretty hard to walk across that rope as it is, but to walk across in stilts, blindfolded and even cycle over it, I can't even imagine what that would be like.
Although I think my favourite were the group of 'African warriors' who did some amazing back flips and limbo under fire!

There was clearly too much excitement to get through without a break, during which the girls discovered I had never tried candy floss, apparently thats a crime. They were nice enough to buy some to share, honestly I'm still not convinced, its really strange.

Anyway back to the fun. The second half had some hula hooping some more acrobatics and my favourite act of the night, I don't even know what to call it, some kind of an amazing balancing act! Two guys, with massive muscles doing some unimaginable balancing stunts on each other.

Well I think its safe to say, I had so much more fun than I was expecting. I don't think its something I would do on a regular basis, but it was something different and we enjoyed a drink in the pub on the way home. What more can you ask for?



Lazy Sunday

Since moving to Aberdeen 4 weeks ago I have filled every day with things to do. Yes, most of those days have been work but even my 2 days off a week I have managed to fill with trips to the movies, food and friends. So yesterday I decided to have a day to myself, while it was rather uneventful sometimes it is good to have only yourself for company, if nothing else it gives me some time to reflect.

I started my day rather lazily with a nice mug of coffee and a pain au chocolat, while having a little Pinterest session and catching up on the world of instagram. By the time I was fully awake it much have been around 9.30, I had things to do in town but nothing opened til 11, so it was the perfect opportunity to get in a little yoga session.

Feeling nice and relaxed I got ready to head into town just as the rain came on, typical! Stop number one was boots, to pick up my glasses.
I don't know about you but I think they make me look rather sophisticated! Moving on..... I had planned on heading to the beach but of course the typical Scottish weather had other plans. So I grabbed myself a quiet table in Starbucks and ordered the mandatory caramel macchiato and prepared to get lost in my own little world. I only stayed an hour or so but I was completely in the zone doing some writing. 

I decided it was time to give up my table as it was starting to get a little busier, and I headed for home.

The majority of the afternoon was spent relaxing and also tidying up my room, its amazing how quickly I can make somewhere so messy! It was quite therapeutic really. I found a few postcards lying around that I had to use for decoration so sorted them out and before I knew it, my stomach was telling me it was time to eat.

I also had a planned Skype date with my gran as I hadn't spoken to her in 3 weeks! We're pretty close so thats a really long time for us, but it was good to see her and catch up and we're hoping to plan a day together even though it might not be for a while. I love showing her the places I love to visit cause she always loves them too.

So all in all I had a pretty good day, just goes to show that sometimes there is nothing wrong with having a day by yourself. We do not have to be out and doing something 'sociable' all the time, there is a lot to be said for being happy with your own company.


Time with friends

I think the best thing about being back in Aberdeen is the fact that I have friends here that are always more than happy to have a good catch up. This past week was perhaps one of my favourite days. It was lovely and sunny so I met a friend for coffee at the cup which is an adorable little cafe just off Belmont street. Be prepared for a few posts about this place because I will be going there a lot! On this occasion I had a cappuccino and I fancied a little something sweet so wandered up to the counter to take a look. Thats when I spotted my favourite treat of all.....macarons piled up on a cake stand! So of course thats what I ordered, but I did not expect them coming to the table like this:
I think 4 may have been slightly excessive, but they were pretty good so of course I gobbled them all up. 

After a good long chat we headed out into the sunshine before I was tempted to order anything else. We had a little wander in a couple of shops before taking a trip to Rubislaw to look at all the big fancy houses and imagine we lived there.

It was such a lovely day and time seemed to fly by! I'm now looking forward to some more adventures and maybe i'll even try another coffee shop.




Having recently moved to Aberdeen, i've spent my time trying to organise and just get settled in. Trying to get back into some kind of routine is hard, especially when I have a lot of new things going on.

Anyway this meant I'd barely seen water until a little visit from my family for SNAGS (Scottish National Age Group Championships). This is quite possibly the biggest competition of the year for age group swimmers, the best young kids battle it out to become the National Age Group Champion and a lucky few even manage to break Scottish or British records! Scottish Swimming really are producing some amazingly talented young people right now, it makes me even more excited to see what will happen at the Commonwealth Games that start in just a few weeks

It was the first time I'd been to the new aquatics centre, with its 50m competition pool, 25m training pool and diving boards. I must say they've done a great job of it, I can't wait for the chance to actually swim in it!

Rather than make the kids look back with my amazing swimming (not!) I thought i'd sit this one out and watch from the spectators gallery. Every session had a different colour of wrist band and by the end of watching my brother swim I had quite the collection, thank goodness I wasn't there everyday.

Even though I wasn't actually in the pool, it was good to be near one again, I just find them so relaxing. It has given me a little motivation to get organised and back into the pool before I end up back at square one.


Time to relax

Sorry its been a while, things have been a little crazy what with moving and starting a new job but I am back to tell you about my Spa day.

For our birthday back in February my mum and I were given vouchers for a spa day but they sat around for months unused. Since I was moving away we thought it was about time to make the most of them!

On the day we had planned to start off in the gym but it was such a lovely sunny day that we decided to take a long walk over the golf course and down the beach.

How can anyone say that was a bad idea! It was so pretty with the little boats out at sea and we even saw someone paddle boarding. There always seems to be something fun going on at the beach in North Berwick

So after our walk we headed back to the spa for our massages. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a massage as much as this one, I was so tense before it what with getting back into swimming.

We spent a little time relaxing reading our books before we went for a swim, steam and jacuzzi. Three of my favourite things.

We soon were feeling pretty hungry so decided to dry off then head for something to eat, or in my case a nice cool glass of wine. 

How cool is this little box of delights though? Possibly the best way to eat a meal, you can gobble it all up at your own pace and even eat dessert first if you want. So what did we eat? well we were a little boring as we both ordered the same thing which included grilled chicken, salad, veg sticks, fruit and carrot cake (my favourite!)

We took our time eating, enjoying the views over the golf course and out to the sea. Then we headed for home. 

It was such a great day and if you're ever in the North Berwick area looking for a spa then the Marine is definitely the place to go!


Wellies in the Summer

Lately its been hard to tell what time of year it is, sure its June and the days are longer but one second its glorious sunshine and the next its pouring rain! This is not ok with me, I like the heat! But taking the positives from this I got to wear my wellies for the first time this year.

Its not exactly the clear blue seas of the Caribbean, but its my beach and I love it. Theres nothing better than a 10 minute walk down to the sea especially on a miserable day as not many people venture down there and you really get to enjoy it by yourself.
If a walk along the beach doesn't clear your mind, the trip back through the woods will make you forget your cares. walking through the trees with the burn trickling past (or on this occasion racing) you could be anywhere. I love getting lost with my thoughts, takes me back to being a child imagining fairies hiding amongst the rocks.



Celebrate with Food

I got a new job!

After about 7 months of working a few part time jobs, it is finally time for me to have a proper grown up job! We had to celebrate, so my parents took my brother and I out for dinner to a restaurant of my choosing. Unfortunately we were a sibling down but that didn't stop us having a lovely family evening. We went to Spirit of Thai in Edinburgh which is amazing and i'm not the only one with this opinion just check out the rating on trip advisor.
I always start with the chicken Satay cause it is my absolute favourite. My parents had it this time too and they finally get what the fuss is about. There will be no more "why do you always order that?".

I tried something new for my main, but I can't remember what it was called. I thought grilled chicken with coconut and lime sounded great but when it arrived and I saw the large chunks of butternut squash I felt like a kid in a candy store! I quickly demolished the whole plate. 
I normally avoid having chicken for both starter and main but on this occasion I'm so glad I went for it.

If you are looking for somewhere to eat in Edinburgh then I highly recommend this place, its small but the food is delightful and the staff are always very friendly. 

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