Christmas and New Years has been and gone… 2015 flew in and in a flash the festivities were over.
I can’t quite believe that today is the 1st of January already! As you’ll have seen from my previous post I’ve set the resolution to live more sustainably. The kids went off with their dad this afternoon and I’ve got the next few days to myself. I’m going to get the house cleaned and get ready for the month, and the year, ahead.
This is going to be my year… I can feel it!
It’s my birthday this month, and I’m turning 34. I had started a list on my previous blog of 35 things to achieve by the time I turn 35. I’ve only got 12 months left and I already know that I won’t be able to complete it. There’s no way that I will manage trips to Japan, Australia & Disneyland all in one year. It makes me sad that I won’t get to the end of my list. But with the start of a new blog and a fresh start…its maybe time to write a new list! Watch this space.
I have decided not to set myself the obvious resolution to lose weight (I’ve got about 9lbs to go!). Instead in 2016 I am going to focus on living sustainably.
Saving more, wasting less & living healthier
I will freely admit that I am terrible when it comes to saving gas & electricity, water and don’t get me started on wasting food.
I live in a draughty traditional property in Glasgow and yet I haven’t done as much as I could to help insulate the house. This is on my list to rectify next year & I’m confident I can get my heating bills down. Similarly, there are lots of things I could be doing to conserve electricity… such as making the switch to LED bulbs or turning off appliances instead of using their stand by mode.
One of my major flaws is food waste. I am lousy at keeping on top of the food stocks in my kitchen fridge and I end up chucking out so much each week. It’s shocking! Part of my problem is that my kitchen is tiny and I’ve not been inspired to cook much lately. I have very little storage space (even the inside of my cooker is used to store my baking trays and cake tins) which causes me loads of grief too… trying to recycle can prove problematic as I’ve nowhere really to segregate everything.
The little number of cupboards I do have are rammed, which then makes it difficult to see what is available for planning meals. Inevitably the food then goes out of date and I have to throw it in the bin.
By taking part in IKEA’s #LiveLAGOM project I will be tackling all these areas. The first area I want to improve is kitchen storage, as this will allow me to increase my recycling efforts and hopefully also encourage me to cook more, meal plan and ultimately waste less food.
Lagom comes from the Swedish phrase “Lagom är bäst” meaning the right amount is best.
Ikea believe that this is secret to sustainable living… not denying yourself what you love, whilst not taking from the planet more than you need.
I have received some sustainable products from the Ikea range and I will be keeping you informed of my journey as I tackle food waste, reduce my gas & electricity bills (I hope so anyway!) and improve storage & recycling in my home.
I’m worried that I won’t be able to break my bad habits, but I am committed to making the change and even if I start with baby steps I will at least be going in the right direction. I’ve heard it takes 6 weeks to form new habits… let’s see if that really is the case.
These are the most delicious chocolate brownies that I have ever made myself. At this time of year, I try to do some baking and deliver it to the neighbours with our Christmas cards… this is the sort of batch bake that would be ideal to then cut into little squares and parcel up in some greaseproof paper with some festive wash tape.
200 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200 g butter, softened
3 large eggs
250 g soft brown sugar
100 g plain flour
1 level tsp baking powder
4 tbsp chopped mint leaves
Preheat oven to 160C / 140C fan / Gas 3.
Line a 22 cm square tin with baking paper.
Put chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water and leave until melted. Once melted, remove from heat.
In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar until foamy.
Stir the chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar.
Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir.
Finally, mix in the mint leaves.
Pour into baking tin and cook for 50-60 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
At the weekend I had a lovely afternoon in the city centre soaking up some of the festive atmosphere, thanks to Glasgow Loves Christmas.
I started with lunch at Sugar Dumpling in Princes Square. I have been to this Caribbean BBQ and bar once before with a group of blogger friends and I was keen to visit again. Despite Princes Square being busy, Sugar Dumpling was very quiet. However that was no reflection on the food which I personally thought was great. I had ordered the chicken burger with sweet potato fries and it was the best chicken burger I’ve had. Normally they can be a bit dry, but the chicken was cooked beautifully. I liked all the little dips that came with the meal too although I avoided the super hot one! I also had a coconut ice cream which was presented really well and was yummy! We had a two course lunch with soft drinks for two for £35, which I thought was good value for money given how delicious the food was. The restaurant is really quirky and would be great for a group of friends for burgers and cocktails before hitting the town.
After lunch I did a spot of Christmas shopping as I am still not fully organised! (This is not like me!!) I also treated myself to a new mascara in Space NK. Princes Square was very Christmassy, with a choir singing in the open area at the bottom. It was lovely!
After a pit stop at Starbucks for a hot chocolate and brownie, we went ice skating at George Square. Last year I went skating with the kids (which was hard work!) so it was nice to be able to enjoy the music and the atmosphere at the rink as I went round. Thankfully I didn’t fall, although it was busy and some of the kids had no concept of cutting in front of you so there were a few close calls!
By the time we got our bags we had missed the Christmas market as the stands were closing up for the night, so I’ll just have to save that for my next visit!
Have you been enjoying the festivities in Glasgow this month?
I received a complimentary lunch and ice skating for two persons. As always, opinions are honest and are my own.
I have done some shopping. The majority of it was online and the items haven’t arrived yet… yikes!
After work last week I went to Buchanan Galleries and got some stocking fillers for the kids:
However there are still a few things that I need to get. What pleases me is that Glasgow Fort have increased their opening hours for tenth year and as of today they are open to midnight! If all else fails I can head there after work one day to grab some last minute gifts.
It has been rather daunting to start over, but my ‘plan’ (I didn’t plan this at all well, so not sure it can be called a plan!) is to keep Glasgow Mummy open, but I will be posting here, for the majority of the time at least. If things don’t work out… then I can always revert back?
The past three months have been hectic to say the least…
After over two years together, Rick & I broke up. We are at different stages in our lives, and wanted different things. So much so that it just wasn’t going to work long term. Despite knowing it’s the right thing, it’s still very sad and I’ve cried many a tear (we all know I’m a weeper!).
However, some massive positive news is that I have secured what will hopefully be my ‘forever home’ and I’ll be moving in next year. It needs a lot of work doing to it; it’s got a leaking roof and there is water all over the place plus there is damp to sort and a variety of other issues! I do love a project though!! Expect lots of updates as I get the place ready for moving day.
I’ve also started HUMIRA treatment for my Crohn’s Disease and it seems to be working! Immediately after just the loading dose I could notice a difference in my symptoms. It’s a bit strange having to inject myself, but I’ve been able to do it successfully and next year I will be able to inject from the comfort of my home without having to traipse into the hospital. I’m still pretty exhausted and I think it will take time for that to resolve. What doesn’t help is that outwardly I look healthy; it’s just my insides that are a mess!
You might be wondering who is Ethel, and what happened to Glasgow Mummy? Let me explain…
I started the Glasgow Mummy blog over 4 years ago, and during this time I have had many ups and downs, as my regular readers will know. I’ve changed jobs, houses and even partners… the only thing that has been my constant are my little ones. However they are not so little anymore. My daughter is currently four (and three quarters) and my son is six. It’s been suggested that “mummy” isn’t an appropriate name for me anymore, and although I am a mother that isn’t all that I am. My previous Glasgow Mummy blog was started to capture my journey as a parent, documenting my adventures with the children and sharing my parenting tips… however it quickly grew into more than that and I was writing about food, relationships, health, beauty, fashion and interiors as well as parenting. It was turning into a lifestyle blog rather than solely a parenting blog as the name perhaps suggests.
So it is with a heavy heart that I am saying Goodbye to Glasgow Mummy, and hello to Ethel Explores. I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey!
Love, Sarah x
P.S. My late mother was called Ethel, and I have always been fond of the name… hence why I chose it for my new blog.