Thursday, 29 December 2016

Hard Rock Café – Manchester Visit

I’d been meaning to write this post last week, before my house descended into Christmas madness, but work and other commitments piled up, so I’m only just getting around to it now. The weekend before Christmas was supposed to be the date of our wedding, but the original venue cancelled and we suddenly had a free weekend on our schedule. Rather than sitting around thinking about how we could already be married, we decided to book a weekend mini break away together, and Manchester seemed like the perfect escape. We didn’t get much opportunity to explore, given the Christmas craziness, but I did get the chance to visit another Hard Rock, so here is an account of my latest café visit!


Friday, 16 December 2016

Why is the Rum Gone?!

Ah, that age old question made famous by the Pirates of the Caribbean movies! Not something I thought I’d ever ask, but now at the forefront of my mind since my visit to the new Revolución de Cuba restaurant in Glasgow last Wednesday!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Festive Family Traditions

I love Christmas, but it’s been difficult to get excited this year, especially with all the wedding stuff piling up! I’m a bit gutted that it’s already almost half way through December, and the most festive thing I’ve managed is a half assed attempt at erecting the 3ft tree and a quick blast of Christmas tunes on a trip to meet the wedding coordinator. Therefore, in an attempt to get back on track with my excitement levels, I thought I’d share a few of our family traditions with you…


Saturday, 3 December 2016

Fun Lunch Friday – Taste Buchanan

It’s that time of the month again – the first Friday after pay day, when you can push the boat out and live a little bit more luxuriously for one or two days! Forever on a budget, my idea of luxury is spending £10 on lunch, rather than £1, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to fit in another ‘Fun Lunch Friday’! With this one being my choice, I dragged Sarahjane along to the recently opened Taste Buchanan.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Readers - #5 The Christmasaurus

Is anyone else feeling festive yet, I know I am! With Christmas officially beginning for many of you tomorrow, I’ve decided to bring the fifth instalment of ‘The Readers’ forward a month and provide you all with even more seasonal cheer in the lead up to the big day!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

My Week In Denver

It’s not often you get handed an all-expenses paid trip to your favourite country in the world, so when I was offered a chance to present my work at a pharmaceutical conference in Denver last week, I jumped at the chance!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Hard Rock Café – Denver Visit

It’s been a while since I last visited a Hard Rock Café (if you exclude my recent veggie post), but with my work trip to Denver this week, I couldn’t pass up the chance to add a new one to the list! Given that I’ve made it very clear to my work colleagues how much I enjoy my quest to visit them all, Tariq knew he wasn’t getting out of the experience, even before I dragged him along - as soon as the opening session of our conference was done, we were there like a shot!


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Feeling Festive With The Body Shop Sauchiehall Street

We’re done with Halloween, and Bonfire Night has passed – now it’s time to start feeling festive, right? With the launch of The Body Shop’s Christmas range, I think the answer to that question is, most definitely, yes! Given my general excitement surrounding the whole of the winter season, I was delighted to be sent an invite for The Body Shop’s VIP Christmas shopper event – I was even allowed to bring my Mum along as a guest!


Monday, 7 November 2016

The Readers - #4 The Wolf Road

Gosh, I can’t believe it’s November already! It only seems like yesterday that I was away on my hen do, and now we are another novel further down our book club track. This time, Nikki selected a tense thriller in the form of ‘The Wolf Road’ by Beth Lewis.

Monday, 31 October 2016

More Bonus Time With Clinique And House Of Fraser

I said I wasn’t going to, but a letter from Clinique, reminding me of the most recent Bonus Time event, landed on my doormat this weekend and I just couldn’t resist! A couple of my regular products are running low so, rather than just buying them individually, I dipped into the remainder of my birthday money and treated myself!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Fun Lunch Friday – Barburrito Queen Street

I’ve been raving about this for a while now, but today officially marks the start of my attempts to find alternative lunch venues to my work’s kitchen. Food is a big thing for me and, forever feeling like I’m on a diet, food can get pretty boring. It doesn’t help that I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t saving for a wedding, and I’m always reluctant to splash out on anything that doesn’t seem necessary. Saying that though, back when I was an undergraduate I would drag my good friend Elizabeth for food every Wednesday afternoon, and we had a great time - who knew yoghurt on a pizza would taste so good?! In an attempt to inject some fun back into the boring office lunch affair, I have now convinced Sarahjane to join me as I rekindle my love of the lunch friend date – albeit on Fridays and much less regularly than every week! Our first one on the list – Barburrito, Queen Street.


Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Walking Dead – New Novel and Giveaway

Is anyone else as obsessed with The Walking Dead as I am? With the TV series returning to our screens on the 24th of this month, I’m sure a few of you are curious to see who survives! While you deal with the agonising wait, you may also be interested to learn that the next instalment of The Walking Dead book series – by Jay Bonansinga – is released in the UK today. Being an all over Walking Dead fan, I also love these novels and even managed to sneak the first of the series into our book club, much to Sarahjane’s dislike! When the lovely people at Pan Macmillan publishers got in touch and asked me to run a giveaway to celebrate the release, I jumped at the chance!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Family Lunch at The Riverside in Dunblane

A couple of weeks ago, we had another one of many visits to our beautiful wedding venue in Dunblane. On this occasion, we were fortunate enough to have Jackie with us, and she insisted on treating us to family lunch at a location of our choosing. I’d recently stayed in Dunblane with work, and had passed by a wee pub which I thought would be perfect – The Riverside Pub, Kitchen and Coffee House.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Lush Christmas 2016

I’m sure most of you will have noticed the sudden appearance of Christmas items - especially now that we’ve entered October - however, I’m always extremely excited when Lush begins to introduce its festive products. This year, I was invited along to Lush Livingston’s VIP shopper event for an exclusive chance to celebrate my absolute favourite time of year! After recently reuniting with members of Paul’s family, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with his sister, Nicole - she also has a blog over at Coco Made Her Do It, and she was fantastic company for the evening. I couldn’t quite believe she’d never sampled any Lush products before, so I made sure she left knowing how amazing Snow Fairy is!

Monday, 3 October 2016

#BeEdgyGoVeggie at Hard Rock Glasgow

I’ve proclaimed my love of Hard Rock a couple of times now, and it’s gotten to the stage where my friends now look out for the cafés whenever they are away on holiday – even Lis text me a picture of one while she was away on her recent America trip! When I received an email invitation to sample the new vegetarian menu at Hard Rock Glasgow, I jumped at the chance – after all, as an ‘almost veggie’, I felt it only right that I should give it a go!


Friday, 23 September 2016

Lush Halloween 2016

It’s autumn already and, with the changing of the seasons comes this year’s collection of Lush Halloween goodies. Arriving in stores today, I couldn’t pass up the chance to grab myself some bath treats, cue a quick trip down to Lush Buchanan Street at lunch for my fix! With the launch of the Christmas range just round the corner (October 1st), get your hands on these spooky goodies quick before they are swamped by mistletoe and egg nog!


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Five Little Things I’ve Been Loving Recently

I’ve been finding it difficult to de-stress recently – I’m just entering the final year of my PhD, along with planning a wedding and budgeting for every pound in my bank account - my enjoyment levels are definitely not where they should be! My family and friends have obviously been doing their best to calm the beast (for which I am very grateful), but I just thought I would share five little things which have been lifting my spirits of late:


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Tickling Your Taste Buds with Taste Buchanan

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of days now, but writing about several delicious treats while powering on with a fast day is pretty much unbearable! After the success of our first lunch date back in May, I’d been trying to arrange another meeting with Lis, a fellow blogger. Given our busy schedules, free time is often greatly restricted, so a second opportunity didn’t present itself until last Friday. With the original plan of burritos, I was initially sceptical of the last minute change to Taste Buchanan, but my opinion of the usual shopping centre food court has now changed for the better!

Friday, 9 September 2016

The Readers - #3 The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

It’s that time again, another two months have passed and another book has been the subject of our casual reading group. This time, Sarahjane chose a time travelling adventure in the form of ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’.


Monday, 5 September 2016

My Super Fantastic Hen Weekend!

Every bride needs a hen do, and I suppose I’m no exception! With all the stresses of work and kids, I was glad when my bridesmaids agreed to organise a top secret weekend getaway to celebrate the occasion! I’m not one for strippers or Ann Summers parties, so the whole affair was rather low key, but we still managed to have an absolutely fantastic time without doing anything too crazy!


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

An Evening of Colours and Cocktails in Castle Galleries

I’m still a newbie to this blogging malarkey, but I’m under no impression that I could make it as a successful fashion blogger – I’ve only just clocked what #OOTD means! Regardless of this, fashion is an important aspect in most of our lives, especially for the girls in my family! When I took my daughter to Next recently - her birthday money burning a hole in her pocket - it was evident how much fashion means to her when she emerged from the changing rooms, clad in a gorgeous maxi dress. Her beaming face was enough to let me know that maybe I should make a bit more effort with my own wardrobe! Never one to let an opportunity pass me by, the Colour Elements blogger event seemed like the perfect place to learn more about this subject - an area I have always struggled with. With such a fantastic team on hand to teach myself, and a handful of fellow bloggers, we’d be using the colours of our clothing to our advantage in no time!


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

First Impressions of the 5:2 Diet

There are loads of diets out there these days, each promising fabulous results and the ability to fix you up with the perfect bikini body/little black dress figure/pre-pregnancy time warp! I’ve had problems with my body image since high school – first with thinking I was too fat at a size 10, then piling on the pounds after becoming a teen parent. As an undergraduate, I struggled with my size and ballooned to the ‘obese’ BMI range, unhappily plodding through my daily routine and getting out of breath at the slightest bit of exercise. After my second child came along, I tried out Slimming World and lost 3.5 stone, finally reaching the ‘healthy’ BMI range, but was unable to sustain this and quickly gained the weight again. Fed up once more, I decided to give the 5:2 a go!


Thursday, 18 August 2016

More Bonus Time With Clinique And John Lewis

Hey guys, I know I’ve recently reminded you how much I love Clinique with a post about their summer Bonus Time event in Boots, but it seems that no sooner has one event ended, there is another to take its place! At first, I was going to let John Lewis’ offer pass me by – alas, I don’t have endless supplies of cash to fritter away on cosmetics – but I knew my Mum would be interested, so I convinced her there must be some products she absolutely HAD to have!


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Guest Spot on Caffeinated Reactions

Guest posts are great, not only do they share the work of other fantastic bloggers, they also help to fill a spot on you own blog when life inevitably gets in the way! When Sarahjane over at Caffeinated Reactions asked to feature me in her monthly ‘Ladies Who Lab’ spot, I was more than happy to help – after all, I am a lady who works in a lab!

I love Sarahjane's face in this pic!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Your Toddler at 48 Months…

Firstly… what?!
This was the title of an email I was sent today and I couldn’t help but laugh – isn’t it easier to just say ‘your child at 4’? I stopped referring to my children’s ages in months when their clothing size changed to years. Also, I struggle to think of my (soon-to-be) four year old son as a toddler – he can run faster than me and has better balance, he definitely does not ‘toddle’!


Thursday, 4 August 2016

A Summer Day Trip With My Mummy

This summer has been like most other summers – stuck in the house with nothing really exciting happening and no actual holiday away. When you’re saving for a wedding, sacrifices must be made, but I do miss a cheeky wee trip to the sun! Realising my frustration, my Mum came to the rescue with the suggestion that we head off to Northumberland for the day while Logan was at nursery and Paul was at work.


Thursday, 28 July 2016

More Bonus Time With Clinique And Boots

Hey guys, I’ve not been on the blog in a wee while, despite my best intentions. I thought I’d spend my holiday time coming up with loads of great post ideas, but I’ve been bogged down with housework and the epic task of gutting a 10-year old’s bedroom - I never want to tidy up Lego ever again! With yesterday’s release of Clinique’s newest Bonus Time event, I felt I deserved a treat for all my hard work (plus, I still have birthday money to use up)!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Holiday Fun with Paradise Island Adventure Golf

Who doesn’t love a bit of mini golf? The crazy courses, the novelty designs, the intricate contraptions that spin the ball in all directions – what’s not to love?! When I heard that Paradise Island Adventure Golf were celebrating their tenth birthday at intu Braehead, I was delighted to be invited along to try it out.


Saturday, 16 July 2016

Making Time For Your Other Half

How’s everyone’s week been? I’m currently recovering from sobbing my heart out at last night’s Coronation Street – Jack P Shepherd is a fantastic actor and could move anyone to tears with the recent storyline. Given the heart-breaking conclusion to the episode, it made me glad that I have such a special ‘other half’ in my life, and that we made the most of our child-free week together!
Shamless Train Selfie!

Friday, 8 July 2016

The Readers - #2 The Walking Dead – Rise of the Governor

Another two months have passed and our group of Readers have finally finished the second instalment from our book club. This time, Sarahjane joined myself, Lesley and Nikki for a trip into the apocalyptic landscape of a zombie ravaged Georgia in the form of my novel choice – ‘The Walking Dead – Rise of the Governor’.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Lochside Camping at Sallochy Bay

We are camping novices, but after getting loads of camping gear from my Mum for Christmas, we were determined to try it out! Being on a tight budget often means that both ourselves and our kids never really get summer holidays, but having a tent gives us the flexibility to take them anywhere and enjoy what the UK has to offer! That being said, we didn’t take the kids on this occasion - as we wanted to get used to the tent - but we will hopefully be organising a family camping trip in the near future.


Saturday, 2 July 2016

Bringing Back The Happy Thoughts

Yet again, I feel like it’s been ages since my last post. With work getting busier and wedding plans now moving forward with increasing speed, I seem to have fallen out of step with my blog – but I’m determined to get it back! Given the rather grim outlook for the UK currently after the ‘Brexit’ vote – and also the fact that we have just scared ourselves silly watching ‘The Conjuring 2’ – I figured that recalling the happy events of the past week wouldn’t be a bad way to go. Despite the fact I’m typing this after midnight, I doubt sleep will come easy when I’ve just spent the past couple of hours sat in the dark with a demonic nun!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A Week of Treats from Nick Nairn

I usually try and release posts twice a week, but with work and wedding plans getting busier, it’s difficult to find any time to sit down. Last week was particularly bad as I was away with work for our annual residential summer school, which just happened to be at our wedding venue – Dunblane Hydro. Now I didn’t plan on doing a review of the hotel, I thought I would save that for a later date, but the food was absolutely fantastic and definitely deserved a mention!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Hard Rock Café – Glasgow Visit

For those of you who didn’t catch my post on the Edinburgh Hard Rock Café last month, I have recently started a personal challenge to visit all the Hard Rock destinations around the world. I don’t imagine it will be easy, and it will probably take longer than my lifetime, but it gives us something to do on future holidays! Given that we are not currently planning any foreign trips, I thought my second destination should be close to home.


Monday, 6 June 2016

Family Fun In The Sun At New Lanark

Twitter is a wonderful thing, I don’t know how I’ve lived without it for so long! When a good friend mentioned that New Lanark World Heritage Site were looking for bloggers to promote all of their attractions, I wasted no time in sending a wee tweet their way!

Friday, 3 June 2016

Infinity Dreams Award

Last month, a notification popped up on my Twitter letting me know that Renna (from Renna’s Discoveries) had nominated me for the Infinity Dreams Award. It’s always lovely when people select me for things, I’m just sorry it’s taken so long to write the post!


Monday, 30 May 2016

Keep Dad Feeling Lush This Father’s Day

I always love it when Lush release new products, so it comes as no surprise that I was straight down there for this year’s Father’s Day range. Of course, I was just looking for myself, but there’s no reason why men can’t enjoy a luxurious bubble bath too! Father’s Day is not far away (19th June this year) so why not pop along to your local store and treat Dad to some bubbles of the non-alcoholic variety!

Friday, 27 May 2016

First Dates and Cupcakes

It was a difficult start to the week, Game of Thrones had ripped out our hearts again, my attempt to get a new job was rejected and man flu had reared its ugly head, making me want to crawl back under the covers and wish for the weekend – but before then, I had a much anticipated lunch date with the lovely Lis from Last Year’s Girl!


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Hard Rock Café – Edinburgh Visit

As if we didn’t have enough things going on in our lives, I’ve now decided to add Hard Rock Cafés to the list - what could be more fun than a worldwide challenge to visit them all?! With destinations across every continent (except Antarctica), this is clearly a mission that will last my lifetime, so I thought I would begin with a visit closest to home - Edinburgh.


Friday, 20 May 2016

Parenting Stories - Role Reversal

Keeping up with my regular monthly segment, here is the forth instalment of Parenting Stories! Last month we learned about the pros and cons of returning to work after maternity leave, and this month we have a further insight into 'mummy guilt' associated with working. 
For this post, Jess – from 'Babi a Fi' – has chosen to describe what it's like being the major bread winner for her family, while her partner remains a stay at home dad. Not usually the traditional route, there still seems to be a lot of stigma associated with the reversal of roles…


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Bonus Time With Clinique And House Of Fraser

For those of you who have read my previous two bonus time posts (John Lewis and Boots), you will know how much I love Clinique’s products. When my friend Sarahjane informed me that it was now House Of Fraser’s turn, I actually squealed with excitement! With summer just around the corner, I absolutely HAD to have the beach themed make-up bag filled with a new round of goodies! The event only runs until this Saturday (21st May), so be quick to avoid disappointment. With today being my birthday, all my lovely work girlies chipped in and got me a gift card for House Of Fraser – thanks ever so much guys – so I thought I'd share a quick post with you all so you're up to date with this bonus time event!


Monday, 16 May 2016

Family Sundays With The Trading House

Sundays are usually a difficult day for us – it’s the end of the week, we’re exhausted and we’re both filled with the Monday dread. Quality family time is the last thing on our mind, as we rush around doing housework and wishing our kids would stop fighting with each other! While we try to have a family dinner every Sunday, the hassle of preparing a glorious home cooked feast is often too much for Paul, and we resort to our usual favourite recipes, eating after the kids are in bed. When The Trading House in Glasgow got in touch to offer us a taste of their Sunday Roast, we jumped at the chance for a relaxing family dinner with none of the annoying preparation!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Tropical Tuesday With The Body Shop

It finally feels like summer is approaching and what better way to celebrate, than by treating yourself to a few holiday essentials? I’m a huge fan of The Body Shop (always have been), so when I heard they were having a bloggers only VIP event to showcase their new summer range (last Tuesday), I dropped everything to ensure I was there!

Monday, 9 May 2016

The Readers - #1 Maestra

Reading has always been a passion of mine, however I’ve neglected my bookshelf of late. When my friend Lesley told me about her book club, I immediately convinced her into starting another one with me and Nikki (and Sarahjane for #2)! I’m also quite happy with my status of ‘Reader’ again as (in an academic environment) it suggests I have a better job than a PhD, ha!
The first book selected for us to immerse ourselves in was ‘Maestra’ by L. S. Hilton. New out for March 2016, this one had caught the eyes of both Nikki and Lesley, so we agreed it was a good place to start. I picked up my copy from Waterstones for £12.99, but you could probably get it cheaper, as the paperback is now available. It is also available on the Kindle, but I prefer to go ‘old school’ with my reading!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The London Premier Kensington – A Review

Last month, you may remember I took a trip to London with my Mum. We spent a Friday night, Saturday night and most of Sunday enjoying the sights of one of my favourite cities, while on a short break to try on my wedding dress. It was a great weekend and a fantastic chance to reconnect with one of my closest family members, as we both lead very busy lives. It was vital that we found somewhere central, but affordable for our brief stay in the capital!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Weekend Fun With Glasgow Museums

Spring finally seems to be making an appearance and, with the improved weather, we have been hoping to get out and about more with the kids. When I was little, my grandparents would take me to all the local museums and fill my head with fun facts about historical events, so I wanted to do the same for our children. Our wedding has taken up most of our money over the past few years, so ideally we were looking for something cheap or free that would also be entertaining for young children (our youngest is 3). With Glasgow just a short journey away and bursting with interesting museums and galleries, we couldn’t think of anywhere better for our fun family day out – check out the Glasgow Museums website for more information!


Monday, 18 April 2016

Parenting Stories - Returning To Work

Although a little delayed, I’m pleased to present you with the third instalment of my Parenting Stories monthly segment. The first post discussed challenges associated with moving your family halfway across the world, and last month gave an insight into the work/life balance of a successful teen dad.
For this post, Nikki – from ‘Young Mum Getting Rid Of A Bum’ – has chosen to describe her feelings on returning to work as the end of her maternity leave approaches. It’s a subject that affects many of us throughout our careers, and is often associated with some level of anxiety…
Thanks to Nikki for her help with the picture!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

My Happiness Non-Negotiables

Hi guys, I’ve been a bit quiet of late due to various wedding stresses and, at the weekend, my venue cancelled on me! Now the dust has settled a little, I decided to take a look at my life and remember all the great things I have to be thankful for. When I saw that the lovely Jenny, over at ‘Midwife and Life’, had nominated me to take part in a ‘happiness non-negotiables’ post, I thought this would be a great place to start!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Highlights From London

I love London! I was there this weekend and, although I wish we lived closer, I’m glad I can’t visit all the time - staying just seems more special that way. My Mum treated me to a long weekend away, originally so that I could have my second wedding dress fitting, but I’m glad we had the time to spend on other great things too. Being a bit of a shortie (4’11”), I struggled to find wedding dresses that suited me, everything looked like I was trying to play dress up. When I found Cutting Edge Brides on Facebook, I knew they would be perfect – their location also gives me a great excuse to visit London more often!


Monday, 28 March 2016

Grabbing Some Quality Time With Weekend Box

Lately, it has been difficult to find any time to do anything fun. On top of all our regular work commitments, we have also been running around like crazy trying to sort things for our wedding. To top it all, most of us have also been suffering with the cold/flu. With all this, the blog has suffered a little, but I’ve also not had the chance to spend any quality time with my children. Now that the Easter holidays are upon us (and we are all feeling a bit better), I finally have the chance to concentrate more on the kiddos!
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