Life in Australia

I had the most amazing two weeks in Australia. I’ve been back in Glasgow for nearly a week, and I still have the post-holiday blues. I got out of the taxi that took me home from the airport, walked up to my front door (dragging my suitcase behind me) and promptly burst into tears. I cried for all the rest of that day, and then the first half of the following day too (whilst at work… oops!).

Life is so different over there… I mean, for starters there is the weather! Everything is better when the sun is shining!

One of the striking differences was the attitude to work. I met quite a lot of new people when I was there,  and not a single person asked me what I did for a living. Here in the UK, that would probably be one of the first few questions you would ask someone that you hadn’t met before. It was weird!

Then there is the huge emphasis on sport. The facilities are awesome. Ailsa, my friend that I was staying with, has just started playing water polo, and I went to see her play in her first match (she scored a goal btw!). At the complex, there were about 5 swimming pools, both indoor and out, and the evening that we were there each pool was full with teams playing water polo matches.

Finally, the people seem to be so much more helpful. Lots of the parents volunteer to coach the kids sports teams for example. Ailsa has been organising a fundraiser for her best friend Fi, you can read more about Fi’s story here, and she has been ramping up her efforts as the big night approaches. There are so many people that have contributed to the event, from auction items to home baking. It was heart warming to see.

Anyway, it’s back to reality here in Glasgow! Goodbye, Perth – you were awesome!

Advertisements

Review – Kiko, Glasgow Fort

I was kindly given some Kiko skincare to trial from Kiko, Glasgow Fort, and wanted to fill you in with my thoughts.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-18-08-54

This was my first time using micellar water, and it is my favourite of the products. From the packaging (flip top lid, with a pump for getting product easily onto a cosmetic pad – not sure if it has a name?) to the smell, which is just so fresh and clean! It’s not amazing at removing heavy eye make-up, but it’s super for a second cleanse or to wake yourself up in the morning. The littlest knows how to dispense the product onto cotton wool, and has given me a lovely ‘facial’ whilst I lie on her bed!

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-18-08-30

I’m not sure if I noticed a huge difference with the Bright Lift eye cream, but I know that I probably need to start using an eye product as at the moment I don’t have one in my current routine. The product itself is a nice consistency, absorbs well and smells nice… perhaps if I was to use it regularly over a longer timeframe I might have seen some results in terms of reducing dark circles and minimising wrinkles. Must try harder and use it everyday.

The moisturiser was also nice – a good thick consistency that absorbed well. Although I’m not sure if it stood out as being any different/better from the other moisturisers that are currently in my bathroom.

In terms of the shopping experience, the Kiko store is lovely, and is worth a visit if you’re out at Glasgow Fort. Dare I say it, but I felt a little bit old when I was in the store (I’m only 34!), and the young staff didn’t seem to be that approachable which was disappointing. I’ve previously purchased Kiko products from a trip to London and it was a similar experience there too. But the make-up items and skincare products that I’ve tried from this brand are good and it’s definitely better seeing the items in person than buying online.

I received a selection of skincare from Kiko, Glasgow Fort in exchange for this review. Opinions are honest, and are my own.

 

Halloween decor

We’re not having a proper Halloween party this year, because the forever home is still a bit of a riot. That said, we’ve still decorated the house as we do have one family joining us on the Halloween weekend for a play date and lunch/dinner (still to be decided!)! I got a few bits online (paper plates, cups etc), and we also grabbed a few extras from Sainsburys and Matalan. It’s not all photographed below, but this gives you a few ideas… we also have some felted bats hanging up along with some honeycomb spiders and bats. Plus there is of course the pumpkin baskets and lots and lots of sweeties!!

The morning after we had decorated the place, I went downstairs for a cup of tea and got a huge fright as I came face to face with a realistic looking plastic spider that my daughter had stuck onto the wall! Yikes!!

 

Spiders from Sainsburys and Matalan (I think!)

Skull bunting from Sainsburys, £2.50
Large skull from Sainsburys, £3
Skull garland from Amazon

G’day

G’day from sunny Perth!

I arrived on Tuesday evening, and so as I write this it’s Day 3 of my holiday. I’m staying with my best friend Ailsa and her family, who have kindly put me up in their lovely home for the duration of my trip. I went for a walk around the lake outside their house the other day, and I felt like I was in The Sims. The sun was shining, there were people practicing Tai Chi on the grass, dog walkers strolled by, there was a lady doing yoga and there were children giggling and playing on the swings. It was very surreal.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-17-57-17

I’ve been watching my back, as I’m terrified of spiders… checking my shoes before I put them on, glancing upwards to check the ceiling before I get in the shower etc. Thankfully I’m yet to see a spider… So far I’ve only seen a fly!

The sun is shining; we’ve been to some amazing cafes, which I’ll post about separately; I’ve been for a hot stone massage, and also had a pedicure. It’s safe to say that I’m enjoying the break!

Spiders

There aren’t many things in life that I hate… but spiders is one of them. They just freak me out. I can’t explain it. I know they are tiny in comparison to the size of me, but it doesn’t stop me screaming whenever I see one in my house. I have tried to keep my reaction to a minimum and scream inwardly and express instead to the kids “what a cute spider” when inside I’m thinking “someone help me get this disgusting beast out of my house”. Despite my best intentions, the kids both don’t like spiders. The littlest in particular.

We’ve been in our new house for about 2 months or so now, and since moving in there has only been one spider (a pretty big one though to be fair!). There’s been plenty mice… but that’s another story.

Anyway, Mr Spider appeared in the bathroom and I finally plucked up the courage to get rid of him myself as my daughter was so freaked out. But by the time I returned to the bathroom he had gone. Yikes! So I was then forced by the kids to plug up the holes around the toilet with tissue, and block under the door with a towel.

When they next returned from their dad I informed them that Mr Spider had reappeared and I had thrown him out the window to join his spider pals. All was well and they forgot about the new addition to our family!!

Fast forward a few days, and that darn spider came back! This time in the sink. On seeing it I screamed, which didn’t help matters and we ended up flushing the spider down the sink with bleach. He most certainly wouldn’t be visiting our place again!! (Please don’t hate me!).

The final part of the tale, was then a few days later. The kids were with their dad and I was in the bathroom one morning, feeling a little hungover if you must know from the night before. I looked up from my seated position, and screamed. The rotten spider was back…. how on earth!!!???!!!

On closer inspection, it was in fact my false eyelashes from the night before and not our dear spider friend. Oops… should have gone to SpecSavers 😉

An evening at Malmaison

Last week I received an invitation that I just couldn’t pass up… an intimate cooking demonstration with Martin Wishart at The Honours, Malmaison, Glasgow.

We started the evening with a glass of champagne, which was just a delight! I do love some fizz!! This was then followed up by a cocktail masterclass. I made a gin cocktail (I forget the name already…oops!) and it was just divine.

I then felt very special indeed as we were escorted through to the kitchen for a demo with Martin. He made three dishes with the help of some willing volunteers… scallops (served raw), monkfish with chorizo and then a salad. You can check out the videos I posted on Instagram here. The dishes were gorgeous, and then we were further spoiled again back through in the bar area as the staff brought us dish after dish to try. Each and every plate was stunning… from the presentation to the taste.

I will most certainly be back, whether that is to continue with the cocktails or with a plus one (any takers??) for Le Weekend (chateaubriand for two including sides, wine and coffee for £60). On a Sunday to Thursday the Autumn Classics and Twists are just £5! There is a Mint Julep calling my name!

Screen Shot 2016-10-10 at 13.02.55.png
He’s behind you!!

 

I’ll Miss You

Tomorrow morning I’ll be dropping my kiddos at school, and I won’t see them for 16 days. It’s their dad’s turn to have them for the October holidays, and I’ve decided to make the most of my opportunity to travel. It’s not very often that I get two weeks kid-free to explore (in fact, this is the first time ever!). I’m going an adventure to the other side of the world to visit my very good friend Ailsa who emigrated to Australia four years ago (if you followed me on Glasgow Mummy, then you’ll have no doubt read about Ailsa already). I’m going to relax, enjoy the sun and catch up with my friend who I haven’t seen since she left all those years ago.

The kids and I have had a brilliant weekend together, making the most of our quality time before our separate holidays. We have had lazy mornings all piled into my bed, eaten out and had take away, treated ourselves to new toys at Build a Bear and decorated the house ready for Halloween. Tonight I gave the kids extra snuggles as we did the bedtime routine. With the littlest, we finished the Famous Five book that we have been reading and she was delighted that we made it to the end. Then with my son we read a quick story of his choice (robots!) and then had a chat about the next few weeks. He likes to share with me his ‘worries’ of an evening, and I’m happy to listen. They know I’m going to Australia (probably more keen to get the presents when I return!) and my son has said that he would miss me. I didn’t say that I’d miss him back. I mean, of course I will, but I don’t think it helps if they hear that. Instead I’ve focussed on saying “I love you” rather than “I’ll miss you” and I’m sure before you know it they’ll be back in my arms. I don’t want them to feel sad or to worry about me. My son has said a few times that he’s worried about me being lonely when he is with his dad, but I always reassure him that I’m very busy with work, have lots of friends etc etc (although in truth I am probably a little lonely!).

Of course whilst I’m away we can FaceTime – the benefits of our modern lives – though the time difference may make it more difficult.

Anyway, I suppose I should go and finish packing!! One more sleep…