Life Update.

We are making progress with the house, very slowly but it’s still progress nonetheless. (I say ‘we’, but I’m not doing any of the work, it’s the builders that are doing all the hard grafting!!). The trenches have been dug and filled with concrete. This week the brick walls will be built, and the concrete floor poured. Once we get to this stage, the wooden frame should go up very quickly & once the roof is on then the boiler can be reinstated. It’s been weeks and weeks now since I had hot water (I think it’s 4 in total, possibly nearer 5!) & I am getting fed up with it tbh. I’m fairly laid back but it’s just a hassle having to shower at the gym (I don’t have an electric shower unfortunately!) and having to wash dishes with water from the kettle in the bath!! It’ll be worth it in the end… my kitchen (from Glenlith Interiors) is going to be stunning!

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The restricted diet is going so-so…I’ve reverted back to having a splash of milk in my tea. It was the one thing that I struggled with when I started the plan at the end of last year. I’ve also had the odd treat here & there, but on the whole I’ve been good and I think I’m making the right choices when eating out (which I’m doing a lot of due to the current state of my house!). I’ve dropped a dress size since starting with my PT however ideally I’d like to drop another and get to a size 10. The weight loss just isn’t happening as quickly as it did when I was 30!

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I’ve been getting about this year so far… trips to Aberdeen, the Black Isle and Newcastle. With another trip to the Black Isle planned for May and I’m also going to Bute soon. My old school friend has a flat in Rothesay that she rents out, so I will be staying there. It looks stunning, and very Instagram-able! The main reason for all this travelling is to be away from the house whilst I have zero hot water! I can’t wait for the summer, when the house will be finished (I hope!) and I can relax in the garden. The weather these past few days has been just stunning, and I am regretting packing away my garden loungers!! Although not sure I could relax whilst surrounded by building works!

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The last big news I have to share is that I’ve met someone… he’s lovely and it’s all going great so far! I’m sure there will be more to follow on this soon!!

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Personal Training & Fitness Goals

Over the past 5 years, I’ve worked with 5 different personal trainers. I know in myself that I get better results and am more motivated when I have someone that I am accountable to. The strictest of my trainers was Maria, and the results that I achieved under her guidance were surreal. I lost over 3 stone in approx 3-4 months! Maria was the only one of my trainers that made me to keep a food diary, and she also pushed me to start running (which I’d never done prior to starting sessions with her). I was running 3-4 times a week, and just not eating enough. As a result I then ended up a bit too skinny. This was all around the time that my marriage fell apart (putting it politely!), so I had a lot on my plate which I think influenced things and I perhaps wasn’t looking after myself properly. Since Maria I’ve had Crohn’s flare ups, got comfortable in a relationship etc and my weight has crept up as a result. I’ve had a few other trainers on & off, but recently decided that enough was enough and I needed that push to get me back in shape. This time the goal is strong and lean, not skinny.

I’ve been seeing Andrew now since September 2016, so that’s just over 6 months. I have a weekly PT session in the gym, where we lift weights, use kettle bells, do squats etc and we always end with a bit of boxing (my favourite is the boxing!). It’s great fun and I have such a laugh that it doesn’t feel like hard work. There’s no way that I’d get out of bed at 5.30am to go to the gym myself, but knowing Andrew is there waiting is my motivation!

I don’t think I need to keep a food diary anymore, although I did write down for a week what I was eating and Andrew made some recommendations (I’m not eating enough protein, but am trying hard to improve this!). 

In addition to the PT, I’ve recently joined the running club and have been venturing out once a week to pound the pavements. It’s been tough getting back into it after what must be 4 years of no running, but I’m getting there. Finally, when the kids are in their swimming lesson – instead of sitting having a cuppa – I too get into the pool and do lengths for 30 minutes. For the last 5 or so weeks now I’ve regularly exercised at least 3 times a week and I’m starting to feel much better for it. Coupled with the restricted diet, I’ve managed to lose nearly a stone and I’ve dropped a dress size. Ideally I’d like to drop one more dress size, just so I can fit better in my clothes… just need to stick with it.

Alphabet ‘Dating’ O – Scottish Owl Centre

I recently wrote about alphabet ‘dating’, where I shared some examples of things to do as a family with one (or two) ideas per letter of the alphabet.

Well, the other weekend I had the kids and I decided that we would try and tick off our first letter from the list. We were headed through to Edinburgh to visit some friends, and instead of going straight to our destination, we made a pit stop at Whitburn to visit the Scottish Owl Centre… and in the process we checked Letter O off from our list.

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The Scottish Owl Centre is situated within Polkemmet Country Park, and the kids loved the play park that was nearby the centre. The zip line was a huge hit! The weather hadn’t been the best, and so we were well prepared with waterproof trousers/suits. The kids were able to fly down the slides safe in the knowledge that they weren’t going to get wet. What a blast they had! After investigating the park, we headed into the Scottish Owl Centre. It’s the largest collection of owls in the world and we enjoyed looking in all the cages searching for each of the owls. They are such interesting creatures. We loved watching them twist their heads round!

My mum collected owls, so I’ve always been keen on owls as a result and have a number of owl ornaments in my home.

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There are parts of the centre that are a bit tired, like the hands-on educational activities in the photo above. However the kids were oblivious and enjoyed answering the quizzes and trying the puzzles.

 

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Their favourite part of the centre was the owl tunnel slide. I think they would have happily spent hours going up and down that chute ^

It was the flying display however that was my favourite part. The kids got a little bored of sitting, but I loved watching the owls fly across the room. One of them clipped my head as it went over the top of us!! What wasn’t so pleasant was the owl being paraded past us at the end with a dead chick hanging out of its mouth… thankfully we weren’t too squeamish.

After the flying display we paid to have our photo taken with the owl – both kids had a shot of holding Lulu, who was rather cute! Then of course we had to hit the gift shop and they both were lucky enough to have a soft toy owl bought for them.

Before leaving, we went to the cafe for a bite to eat and unfortunately the service wasn’t good. We had to wait a long time for our lunch (tuna panini for the kids and a baked potato for me) by which point the kids were desperate to eat. That was a bit stressful, but the staff did acknowledge and apologise for the delay and we were given 10% off our bill.

I’m not sure if the Scottish Owl Centre would be worth the trip for the centre alone, but given that we were passing by I was happy to de-tour to check it out. The entrance fee is £7.50 for adult and £5.50 for a child so I think you do need to spend 3-4 hours there to make it worthwhile. We also paid an additional £6 per child for their photo with the owl, then a further £12 each for their soft toy (there were cheaper options, but we went for the larger sized toy!) and then lunch on top of that! It wasn’t a cheap visit! I think the play park outside of the centre saved the trip because the ‘adventure playground’ advertised on the Scottish Owl Centre website is really just the owl slide photographed above.

This has turned into a bit of a negative post, which wasn’t intended. However, I want to give you my honest thoughts. I’m glad we went to the Scottish Owl Centre, but I’m not sure that we’ll be going back anytime soon. If I were to ask the kids if they’d like to go back, they’d probably say yes… mainly to revisit the play park outside the centre.

Have you been to the Scottish Owl Centre? What did you think?

 

What’s On – Beauty & The Beast Afternoon Tea, The Corinthian

The kids and I were invited to The Corinthian at the weekend for our first proper afternoon tea, with a Beauty & The Beast theme no less! We had such a lovely time. The Corinthian with its grand entranceway and ornate high ceilings is the perfect location for a Beauty & The Beast themed event. I’ve always loved it here since moving to Glasgow, and am drawn by the interior details every time.

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Littlest and I were brought a decaf breakfast teapot to share, and my son had a frothy hot milk (he had asked for a cappuccino, but there was no way he was getting coffee!!). Shortly after, we were presented with a beautiful three-tier cake stand laden with a variety of sandwiches, scones and cakes – perfect for princesses and princes. The kids weren’t so keen on the sandwiches (it was the seeded brown bread that put them off, and the salad inside – perhaps if I had thought ahead I would have requested white bread) but I was more than happy to have their share! They did eat a tuna wrap each as a token savoury item before hitting the sweet stuff. (I should also add here that we were asked if we had any dietary requirements once we were shown to our table, which they would have catered for I believe, but I chose not to mention my restricted diet, and decided to enjoy the treats as a once off!)
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The scones, which arrived warm, were just gorgeous. I had a cinnamon one, topped with pink cream and jam. It was delightful!

We finished off with the cakes, and what a selection there was. We had a lemon meringue filled with cream, a white chocolate dipped strawberry covered in sprinkles, a Bakewell tart and a toffee cupcake.

The themed afternoon tea is available until Sunday 19th March, and is £16 per person. You can find out more here.

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After being thoroughly spoiled, we headed home with full tummies. We then settled down on the sofa, snuggled under blankets, to watch the original Disney animated Beauty & The Beast. It’s such a great film, and I will happily admit to crying lots. Happy tears as I explained to the littlest! I am very much looking forward to seeing the new film as it hits the big screen.

We received a complimentary afternoon tea for three. Opinions are honest, and are our own.

Life Update.

I was out for dinner at Crossing the Rubicon last week (top left), and the food was excellent. Vegan friendly too! My favourite place for a gluten-free burger at the moment is BRGR (top right) – the GF bun is one of the best I’ve found so far. Other meals out have included breakfast at the gym (bottom left) and at Catch (bottom right). Trying my best to stick with the restricted diet where possible!

Planning permission has come through for the works I intend on doing at my house, so I’ve started packing up the kitchen in preparation for getting the building warrant (top left). I’m getting fed up of the current state of the place (bottom left) and can’t wait to get a new kitchen installed! However the work is proving to be more expensive than I had anticipated and I’m reluctant to spend so much money investing into a house when I won’t be adding any value to it other than a new kitchen… I’m not adding any rooms! So I think I may be back to the drawing board. I’ve been doing some decluttering and organising in other parts of the house (bottom right) and just generally enjoying the spaces in the house that are complete (top right).

I’ve been getting out and about a bit more, having signed up to an art class (top left) which I’m really enjoying. I also went along to a flower crown class at Little Botanica recently (top right) which was excellent. I’m already looking forward to when they release their succulents classes – count me in! I had an impromptu night out in Edinburgh staying at my friend Erin’s house (bottom left) and what fun we had! I need to make more of an effort with old friends. For Valentine’s Day we had a bake sale at work, and I made some pretty pink cupcakes (bottom right). I also received a mysterious V-day parcel, and am yet to figure out who it’s from!

BareMinerals Gen Nude

I was kindly invited along the other week to try out the new BareMinerals Gen Nude lip collection. There are three formulas – Matte Liquid Lipcolour, Radiant Lipstick and Buttercream Lipgloss.

I am in love with the Matte Liquid Lipcolour. I’ve feared trying matte liquid lipcolour before as I had assumed (wrongly) that it would be too drying. The BareMinerals version is a delight to wear, and the Gen Nude colours are gorgeous. It’s very easy to apply with it’s applicator, and the the liquid turns quickly to a matte finish which lasts really well. I’d highly recommend that you get yourself along to one of their counters to give it a try. I’m definitely going to treat myself to a few other shades from the range!

I received one of each of the BareMinerals Gen Nude formulas to try at home as part of this review. Opinions are honest and my own.