Up until recently, I have avoided coffee at all costs. I like coffee flavoured foods, but the thought of drinking an actual coffee did not appeal.
I was in a job interview once, must have been aged about 19 years old, and they poured me a coffee without asking me if I drank it… so I felt pressured to drink the stuff. I added about 3 spoons of sugar, some milk and tried my best but it just was not nice. (I did get the job offer though!).
However, I feel now as a proper grown-up (which I can confidently say I am, given I have responsibility for an 8 year old and a nearly 7 year old!) I should be able to enjoy a coffee. So I tried again…
I was super proud of myself and I went into work like ‘I had a proper coffee and I managed to drink it’, only to be told that a white chocolate mocha is not a ‘proper coffee’!
Since then, I have have been drinking the occasional mocha but I’m yet to try it without the chocolate.
I had no idea there was such a difference between the coffees though… I mean, breakfast tea is breakfast tea… you can’t really go wrong (apart from in America where I was for work last month, and it just wasn’t the same there!). Whereas I’m finding that in some cafes I like the coffee, and in others not so much. For instance I’ve tried Costa twice now, and I’m not a fan.
My favourites so far have been The Bungo (Strathbungo), CoLab Store (Patrick) and Boyd Roderick (Pollokshaws). As an aside, whilst at the Boyd Roderick I had their French toast with bacon and syrup which was just awesome!
(I didn’t manage to get a photo of the coffee at The Bungo, as I was on a first date, and I thought it might be a bit weird if I started photographing my drink, and the kids were sticking their hands into shot at Boyd Roderick trying to steal the tablet!!).
I have been sticking with decaf coffee… although in the US I did have caffeinated stuff and I was high as a kite, laughing at my own jokes and generally making a fool of myself… but it helped with the jet lag!
So, the question now is, where should I try next on my coffee adventures?
It’s been a month since I blogged, sorry. February has been difficult and I’m currently feeling overwhelmed a bit with life… the weather hasn’t helped (I’m getting serious cabin fever thanks to The Beast from the East) and my day job has been crazy busy (good busy, but nonetheless it’s been busy and I find myself on my laptop in the evenings doing that work, rather than fun stuff… like blogging).
I had a productive weekend without the kids where I gutted my little office space at my top landing. It had turned into a dumping ground and needed some attention. I sold the chest of drawers on Gumtree, and then did a bit of tidying and re-arranging. Here’s the before photos:
And the after:
The area feels much more spacious now, and so far I’ve managed to keep it clutter free. There are lots of other interiors photos on my Instagram page… as I took part in #myhousethismonth in February. Come and have a nosey… you’ll find me under glasgowmummy.
Relationships / Socialising
Not much has been happening dating-wise with men… I did go on one date in February. I was supposed to have another (with the same guy)… but he cancelled on me, citing that I was out of his league and the fact I had kids freaked him out. I have a couple lined up for this month, but honestly, my heart isn’t in it anymore and I just want to take a break. I’ve stopped swiping, as I was mainly swiping left. So I will go on these dates that are already in my calendar, and then re-assess.
I have however been spending quality time with good friends. The kids and I ventured to Crieff for an overnight stay before the snow arrived, and Dawn & I had a night away in the Borders.
February also saw me having a fun afternoon of prosecco and food at Saint Judes, and I went to the re-launch night for Gumbo, which was great fun (although I was driving, so no cocktails for me… boo!)
Nothing to report here, which is probably why I feel ‘meh’. As you can see from the above, I’ve been enjoying my food lately (including a work trip to the States where I ate a lot!!)… and it’s starting to take it’s toll. Today I am batch cooking Slimming World chilli, and I need to get back on heathy eating asap.
The pancakes & bacon for breakfast in Boston (which I had on more than one occasion)… and French toast & bacon for brunch in Glasgow at Boyd Roderick were amazing, but totally extravagant and not what my body needs!
I need to get my finances in order so I can determine if I can afford the holidays that I’d like this year. Also need to figure out if I have enough days of annual leave from work available!
I want to travel… I want to see the world… and I guess I had thought that it would be more fun (& safer) to travel with a significant other. However, perhaps that person doesn’t need to be a partner and instead I should look forward to spending time with friends & family.
My current plans are to do the North Coast 500 with Dawn, to go on a family holiday with my sister & her clan and I’m hoping to head to Vietnam and Bali towards the end of the year (once I’ve saved some cash!).
Since my last update not much has been happening at the house, however I do have contractors booked to rectify the quagmire and they start in March. Hurrah – the end is in sight!
I still have lots of little things I need to sort internally; my dimmer switch for the main ‘grown-up’ living room has been broken since I moved in for instance… I just need to buy a new one & replace it. I have a list in my phone of all the stuff that needs fixed, and slowly but surely I’ll work my way through it.
One thing I want to work on this year is the styling of my open shelving… this is on my 18 for 2018 list.
I had a fantastic day out in Fife last weekend with Dawn, exploring an abandoned mental hospital. It was super creepy! Dawn regular escapes the city, and I was yet to join her on one of her adventures so I was pleased that we managed to get a date that suited both of us. She’s written a blog post here with lots more photos and chat, and talks about the history of the buildings.
In addition to making time for good friends, I’ve also managed to go on a couple of dates. All very positive, and I have a third date lined up for this week.
Clockwise from Top Left – To celebrate my birthday last month, I had a very drunken night out, that ended with us dancing in The Shed! / Hot chocolates all round at Cafe Crema on Victoria Road / Littlest had two friends stay the night this weekend, and so I made pancakes for breakfast (only one of the friends made it to the morning, nothing sinister… don’t fret… the other was collected by her dad at 11.30pm). / I cooked up our first roast dinner last month, and it was very tasty. I made the Yorkshire puds from scratch (but had Aunt Bessie’s Roast Potatoes!).
I had a work get together last weekend, and we had a three course late lunch at Sarti’s on Wellington Street (below is my smoked salmon starter) / and then I had another 3 course dinner the following day at the Boyd Roderick (this time prawns to start). Perhaps it’s no surprise that at my Monday weigh in with work I haven’t lost anything (I volunteered to take part, it’s not a compulsory thing in case you were wondering!).
I’ve been slow getting back into healthy eating and exercising – see above – no excuses really, but I did have a tough week with my colonoscopy mid-January. (As far as the colonoscopy goes, it was much better than I had anticipated… definitely still sore and not pleasant, but it was easier than the last time). I have since been batch cooking healthy curry and soups, and filling my freezer with meals. It’s all about the prep and being organised!
As part of my 18 for 2018 list, I had also wanted to try a new recipe each month… and I did this for January. Feeling accomplished!
I have an overnight stay booked with Dawn coming up which I’m looking forward to, but still no holidays further afield sorted. Once the driveway is complete I’ll have a better indication of my finances, and see what I can afford…
This month sees me turning 36. Another year older, but I’m not convinced I’m any wiser!
In my recent post on my Highs and Lows of 2017, I had written that I let myself down. I feel that I should have listened to my gut feeling sooner, and trusted in myself more. I’m not sure that I’ve been learning from the mistakes that I’ve made (mainly mistakes involving men!!) However, my good friend Dawn was quick to say the opposite, and reinforced that she felt I’d reacted in the exact same way anyone else would, and that my reactions were the right ones.
It’s been a busy year, as you will see from my Goodbye 2017 round-up and I’m anticipating 2018 will be just as jam-packed. Rather than setting resolutions, I’ve written a list of 18 things that I’d like to achieve in the year. The kids and I have already checked off one item, which involved a trip to ice cream & churros bar Loop & Scoop (an early birthday treat for me!), and this weekend we started on some of the classic family movies I’m keen for us to watch which will help us cross off another… first up was Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc. You can read the full list of 18 for 2018 here.
Anyway, back to my birthday! Being honest, I’m not really bothered by birthdays now and whether or not they are recognised (will be a different story when I’m turning 40…will surely want to have a party then!). That said, the kids do like to celebrate hence our recent dinner out to Paesano and Loop & Scoop as they’re with their dad on my birthday weekend. Given that I’m going to be kid-free, I’m being joined by my friend Steph, who is travelling down from the Black Isle, and we’re going to hit Glasgow for dinner and cocktails on Saturday night with our other friend Claire (my last night out in town was in July!). A few years ago, the girls met for my birthday celebration, and I had chosen to go to the cinema to see The Impossible. It was a horrifying film (about the Indian Ocean tsunami), and not necessarily the ideal way to spend your birthday! This year will be better!! (As an aside, I popped onto IMDb to check the film title, and it was released in 2012… so it was more that a few years ago! Time has been flying by!).
I treated myself to a new perfume as an early birthday present (despite being totally skint with the recent renovation, and the ongoing legal saga with the quagmire… I felt I deserved a gift with all the stress I’ve been having to endure!)… and so now all I need to do is to decide what to wear and where we’re going for dinner! There are some great offers just now for dining out in Glasgow – 50% off food at Grill on the Corner, and I got a 50% off voucher for Malmaison in my emails – however neither can be used on a Saturday night, so we’re going to keep looking. I have a list of restaurants in Glasgow that I’d like to try, so perhaps I’ll see about going to one of them. Keep an eye on my Instagram stories (@glasgowmummy) to see where we wind up.
Clockwise from Top Left Yoga workshop / Making flower crowns with Little Botanica / Glasgow University Cloisters / Night at the Hunterian Museum
Dinner at CCA / painting workshop at Glasgow School of Art / my first canvas at the art night class I started / collecting Maisie, my dad & Jo’s new miniature Schnauzer
More blood tests at hospital (my liver still wasn’t getting better) / tulips that I painted / weekend in Edinburgh at my friend Erin’s flat / I bought myself chocolates (dairy free / refined sugar free) for V-day
Start of extension project / Beauty & the Beast afternoon tea at The Corinthian / I made the trip up to Black Isle to visit friends / trip to the Scottish Owl Centre with the kids
Trip to Aberdeen to escape the building works… we enjoyed an evening in Ali & Robin’s BBQ hut / visit to Crathes Castle / vegan breakfast at Crossing the Rubicon / demolition well underway!
Trip to Aberdeen for haircut & colour at Profile, followed by lunch at Foodstory / meanwhile back in Glasgow the foundations had started / a tribute night at Normandy Hotel / night out with work colleagues at Brew Dog
Trip to Newcastle to visit friends, and this pig / Easter SMC event at The Larder / another visit to Aberdeen to help Ali & Robin paint their hallway / Littlest turned 6!
Weekend at Crieff Hydro with the kids / all you can eat Sushi at Wholefoods (I miss the place!!) with Dawn / Another weekend away, with my man friend at the time, to Ardoe House Hotel / more progress (albeit slow) with the extension / took the kids to Dundonald Castle
The kitchen install begins by Glenlith Interiors / my new cooker & microwave / trip to Aberdeen for the arrival of Fleur / blogging event at Black Dove, Shawlands
Another weekend in Aberdeen, this time with a trip to Doonies Farm / My new kitchen worktop!! / The skylights were fitted, hurrah! / Lunch with colleagues at Stereo / Kitchen floor installed
Trip to Perthshire to visit my dad / Dinner al fresco with Dawn at White Elephant / my new black and white hallway floor (Glenlith Interiors) / I found myself single again, which called for a Girls Night Out on the town, with dinner at Zizzi
My first visit to Blow / Lonach Highland Games / My son turned 8 / SMC event at Hutchesons / fun at RollerStop with the kids
Brunch at Bramble Cafe with Jen (@motherhoodmyway) / I finally hung my antlers, that were given to me as a birthday gift in January by All & Robin! / Hosted a party for work colleagues and served up an awesome chilli con carne / visiting Jurassic Kingdom with the kids and Dawn & Ava / Ta Da – the new kitchen!!
Pumpkin picking at Arnprior Farm / cocktails and dinner with colleagues at Blythswood Square Hotel / day trip to Edinburgh with the kids thanks to Scotrail, including a fab trip to the zoo / an amazing first date weekend and we went on the Tennents Brewery tour / the kids and I jetted off to Mallorca for the holidays
Another picture from Mallorca, it was stunning / loving my sunglasses from the SMC x Very Exclusive event / all hands on deck to turf my garden / Halloween movie night at Black Dove / Brunch at Cafe Strangebrew
Love a real fire, and there were plenty to be had in November / I took my son (& daughter) to their first proper gig – Europe – which is his favourite band. Best Christmas present ever apparently / turf looking good / the kids and I reviewed Soar at intu Braehead including this yum hot dog at Barvaria
Christmas decorations up, and I managed to wait until December this year! / my son in his new double bed / Ali & Robin got married this month, and we were treated to a tasting menu at The Kitchin in Edinburgh / the kids and I enjoyed the Christmas Crafternoon Tea at Three Sisters Bake – highly recommend for next year / Aberdeen again for the wedding party with the kids, and then a final solo trip to Aberdeen for Christmas Day! Phew!!! It’s been a busy year.
I used to enjoy reflecting on the year as part of Kate on Thin Ice’s blog link-up, so I thought I would go ahead and answer the questions again for 2017. The kids and I chat about ‘highs and lows’ regularly, especially at the end of a holiday or weekend away – but we don’t ever capture them anywhere. I do want to make more of an effort to record our time together as a family, and one of my goals for next year is to create a photo book. Anyway, I digress… without further ado, here are the questions:
ONE. What was your happiest event?
My happiest event of 2017 has to be the birth of my beautiful niece, Fleur. She is just so cute! My kids both adore her, and I do too.
Second happiest event is my sister’s wedding. She married Robin earlier this month in Edinburgh.
TWO. What was the saddest thing to happen?
Fleur’s arrival was a difficult one, and my sister had to be whisked into surgery after the birth. It was an emotional day, and one that I will never forget. I thought we were going to lose her.
THREE. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?
After a year and a half of not dating, I met someone at the start of the year… via an online app. It didn’t work out, but it got me back out there.
FOUR. Who let you down?
I’ve let myself down.
FIVE. Who supported you?
In addition to the obvious ones, which is my family (Ali, Robin, Dad & Jo), I have become very good friends with Dawn (Thing About Chaos) this year and she has most definitely been a huge support.
SIX. Tell me one thing you learned
Online dating is horrific?! I’m going into 2018 single again, and already am dreading the potential weirdos out there that I’m convinced I’ll meet!
SEVEN. Tell us one thing that made you laugh
I’ve actually laughed a lot…
I was laughing so much with my dad at the start of this year when we were out walking his dogs that I fell over. Thankfully I had my waterproofs on as I ended up on my hands and knees in the snow! It wasn’t even anything overly funny that I was laughing at… just my dad’s lack of ability at controlling his pooches!
EIGHT. Tell us one thing that made you cry
I did a reading at Ali & Robin’s wedding, and I managed to get one paragraph in before breaking down. Was rather embarrassing!
NINE. Tell us three things your child or children did to make you proud
We hosted a brilliant Fireworks party in November, working as a team to do all the prep work and setting up ahead of our guests arriving and it was a huge success.
Both kids have had excellent school reports at the most recent parents’ night, which was a huge relief.
Finally, they’ve both been put up a level at their swimming classes.
TEN. Tell us one thing that made you proud of yourself
I was promoted at work, which I’m extremely proud of. In January 2018, I’ll have been with the company for 3 years, and that’s my second change in job title in that time.
ELEVEN. Tell us one challenge that you overcame
It’s been a very hectic and stressful 2017, with a home extension project running from March to September. In the end I had to fire the builder, which was not pleasant… however I dealt with it and thankfully the place is very near to completion now. There are still a few snagging items outstanding and I’ll hopefully get it all signed off next year.
TWELVE. Tell us three things you would like to change in 2018
I’ve written a separate blog post with 18 things I’d like to achieve in 2018, which covers this final question. You can read the post here.
It’s been a strange feeling looking back over old blog posts, and today I watched a few of my YouTube videos with the kids (all the videos with the kids are now private, but they like to watch them occasionally). My previous years round ups are below… for some reason I have missed 2015! So much has happened since starting my blog(s)!!
Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, I’ve decided to put together a list of 18 things that I’d like to achieve in 2018. I previously had a 35 at 35 list, which I wrote just before my 30th birthday, recording 35 things that I wanted to do before I turned 35. I managed to cross off a number of the items, but I didn’t succeed in finishing the list. Despite this, it was valuable to have goals and I think having them published on my blog made me more motivated to complete them.
So, without further ado… here is my list of 18 things:
ONE. Arrange the (re)launch of my Glasgow Mummy blog. Earlier this year I had purchased a domain with the intention of reverting back to Glasgow Mummy, but I haven’t done anything about it as yet.
TWO. Organise & style the shelves in my hallway. I have some shelves in my hall, which I see every day and every day they annoy me. When I moved in I just dumped some books and other belongings etc onto them and they haven’t really been touched since. It would make me happier if they were more organised and looked a bit prettier.
THREE. Start cooking regular Sunday roast dinners. A few of my friends cook roast dinner regularly, and despite the odd Christmas dinner I haven’t really done a proper roast. I am determined to master roast beef… yum! We have family joining us in January and perhaps this will be my first roast of 2018. (Yes, I already have most of January planned)
FOUR. Take the kids on a caravan holiday. I used to love trips away in a caravan as a child, and as a family we regularly had long weekends away at caravan parks. I’m sure my two will be the same.
FIVE. Host a party. This year we hosted a Fireworks party which was a great success, and we also attended my sister’s wedding party at their house. The kids enjoyed the planning & preparation for the parties, as well as the actual parties themselves. Now that my kitchen extension is pretty much complete, we’re all set for hosting more parties in the new year!
SIX. Listen to new podcasts. On my commutes to and from work, I’ve been listening to podcasts rather than the drivel on the local radio. I have a handful that I listen to, and just this week I’ve started listening to the Convicted series. I’d like to discover more new podcasts though, so do let me know if you’ve any recommendations.
SEVEN. Make a photobook. I take a lot of photos, and for a while I was really good at printing them and putting them into a photo album. However, life has taken over and it’s been years since I’ve printed pictures. The kids do love to look back over the photos I have printed, so I know they would love to see their pictures in a photobook. There appear to be lots of apps now that make it straightforward to do… I just need to do it.
EIGHT. Watch some classic family movies with the kids. We’ve been watching a few TV shows from my childhood and the kids have been loving them – Gladiators, Crystal Maze Fun House! As the kids get older, I’m excited to re-watch all the family classic movies with them. I’m thinking ET, The Goonies, Indiana Jones…
NINE. Visit Kelburn Castle. Dawn (ThingAboutChaos) has recommended Kelburn Castle after she had a magical trip there this month to see Santa with her daughter. I think we’re going to go along to their Easter event next year.
TEN. Read a book. I’m not going to commit to a book a month, that’s something that I definitely won’t achieve. I’m planning on reading at least one book next year. This year I think I read two, maybe 3. “Parenting the S&*t out of Life” was one of them, which was pretty funny (and the Mother Pukka podcast is one that I am subscribed to) and I think the other was chick lit.
ELEVEN. Make a trip to Loop & Scoop with the kids for churros. During the summer this year, we drove past the Loop & Scoop site a lot… and patiently waited for it to open. However, since the opening we haven’t really been back in the West End and as such haven’t been to check it out. Next year, for sure, we will go and enjoy the ice cream, churros and chocolate!!
TWELVE. Have a massage. Not sure this needs much more explaining… my body is tired and I would love a bit of me-time, preferably in a spa!
THIRTEEN. Climb another munro. I’ve climbed Ben Lomond, which must have been a few years ago now, and I keep saying that I’d like to go and do another but just don’t seem to manage to get it scheduled. I will try harder next year… I’m so fortunate to live so close to such stunning scenery. I should really be making the most of it.
FOURTEEN. Get the quagmire turned into a driveway. The ongoing saga that is my driveway… although it’s still currently a mud pit. It has been such a mud pit for 1 year, and 3 months… not that I’m counting!
FIFTEEN. Clear out my wardrobe. I have a wardrobe of clothes, but mainly tend to rotate the same 3-4 black Baukjen dresses. I should sell or charity shop the items that I’m not wearing, and perhaps try and branch out into some colour.
SIXTEEN. Visit the Isle of Skye. With my 35 at 35 list, I was too ambitious and had listed Disneyland, Australia and Japan on there… and only managed to tick off Australia. I’ve learned from this, and so for this list I’d like to get away somewhere closer to home. I’ve never been to Skye, but it looks beautiful.
SEVENTEEN. Continue weekly boxing classes. Fitness needs to feature somewhere on the list… and for the past 4 weeks or so I’ve been going along to a local boxing class. I love it, and am determined to keep it up in the New Year.
EIGHTEEN. Try a new recipe each month. I used to love to cook… and I’m slowly getting back into the groove now that I have my new kitchen. I tend not to bother much with cooking from scratch because I’m mainly cooking for myself, but I’ll make sure I’m inviting friends over to join me… will give me a reason to make an effort.
There you have it… 18 things for 2018. Let me know if you have any suggestions/thoughts, and if you have any resolutions or plans for the New Year.
Happy Christmas for tomorrow, from my family to yours.