Alphabet ‘Dating’

Over the past 5 years, I attempted to accomplish a list of 35 things by the time I turned 35. I didn’t manage to complete the list, but I did find that it was good to have a list of goals to work towards.

This January, we’ve put together a list of things to do as a family… one (or two) item(s) for each letter of the alphabet… along the lines of Alphabet Dating that was a ‘thing’ a while back (is it still a thing??).

So without further ado, here is our list:

A – visit an Art gallery / watch an Aberdeen Football Club match

B – go to a Baking class (thinking The Cook School Scotland who have children’s workshops)

C – do something for Charity

D – prepare Dinner for friends

E – explore Edinburgh

F – camping at Findlaystone Country Estate

G – visit Greenbank Gardens

H – overnight stay in a Hotel

I – trip to an Island (Millport / Arran)

JJumping at a trampoline park

K – visit to Kelvingrove Museum

LLegoland

MMassage pampering session

N – get in touch with Nature

OOvernight stay in a caravan

P – take part in a Park Run

Q – have fun at Laser Quest

R – go to the RollerStop disco

S – host a Summer party

T – see a show at the Theatre

U – day out at Underwater aquarium

V – Visit a castle

W – try a Water sport

X – sledging at Xscape

Y – go to a Yoga class

Z – a trip to a Zoo

So, what do you think of our list, and do you have any other ideas that we can add?

Painting Class

My job is rather stressful (who am I kidding, it’s very stressful) and I spend my days rushing to meetings, hosting client calls and sending countless emails. Add to this the two little people that I am responsible for (50% of the time), a house renovation that’s mid-way though and a chronic condition that I need to manage so it’s no wonder I find it hard to switch off sometimes.

I have found the perfect past-time for me… I started an oil & acrylic painting class a few weeks ago and in the 2 hours that I’m sat in front of my easel I completely forget about my work, the kids etc. All I’m focused on is the mixing of colours, and getting them on the canvas. I’m learning something new each week, and most importantly I enjoy it.

Week One:

Top left – the photograph I chose from Pinterest to paint; Top right – yellow ochre prepped canvas; Bottom left – making progress; Bottom right – the finished article

Week Three (I missed Week Two as I wasn’t feeling great):

Top left – a photograph I took on my Australia trip last year; Top right – blocking in the colours; Bottom left – adding detail to the waves and rocks; Bottom right – clouds!

Just need to decide what to start working on next week…

Solo Day Out, Glasgow

Today I have had one of the best kiddie-free days ever.

I started the day at James Dun’s House Aveda Salon on Hanover Street for a hair colour & cut. My hair was in desperate need of a pick-me up. The previous dark grey/purple that I had done in November had washed out to a rose gold colour, and my roots were getting pretty bad. I was keen to try a paler grey colour, but I’m told it’s very high maintenance and we would have needed to bleach my whole head. The Crohn’s medication has taken it’s toll on my tresses, and bleaching it all would not be the best of ideas. So instead I’ve chosen to go back to blonde… for now.

With my new hair style, I headed to Princes Square to meet my friend Katie for lunch. Before she arrived, I had a browse in a few of the shops (I’m going to a black tie dinner next week, and I’m not sure what to wear!). We had a quick catch up at Zizzi over yummy chicken and prosciutto salads, and then I had to dash back to my car as I had an important appointment to get to…

I had booked myself onto a Flower Crown workshop with Little Botanica (www.littlebotanica.com) and it was great fun! I struggled to find the venue (12 Cook Street, Glasgow), but if you come from Pollokshaws Road then you can’t miss it… it’s on the right as soon as you turn onto Cook Street – the big blue gates. Anyway, the space is just gorgeous – it’s beautifully styled and very Instagram worthy… lots of fairy lights, flowers and succulents! Included in the 2 hour workshop was Tantrum Doughnuts and Hot Chocolate. (Now, I know these items aren’t on my new restricted diet, but I allowed myself to enjoy them as a once off).

The girls were fantastic hosts and teachers. We were taught how to wire flowers initially, and then we started to put together our flower crowns… stopping every so often to check the progress in the mirror (and every time I knelt down my knees cracked!). I really enjoyed the process of picking out the flowers and foliage, and choosing the placement of these on the crown. And what I came away with was a beautiful headpiece.

Plus, I got to try Tantrum Doughnuts (amazing!) and there was a little hot chocolate bar set up too with a variety of toppings and sauces. It was literally so good! The workshop cost £45, and I think it was great value for money.

img_5694

img_5726

The girls also made me a cute teeny weeny flower crown for my daughter’s teddy bear… just so adorable!!

img_5718

I’m definitely going to go back to Little Botanica… I’d love to attend one of their Terrarium Workshops and I’m putting that on my list (in Wunderlist, Solo Days Out!).

img_5722

I kept the crown on as long as possible, but I’m now sat in bed, watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend on Netflix and I’ve taken it off *sad face*

 

TV Favourites #3

It’s been a while since I’ve done a list of my TV favourites, but I thought I would give you a little update with some of the shows that I’ve been keeping up with of late.

Cold Feet, Series 6 – ITV

I’ve just checked and Series 1 of Cold Feet was first aired in 1998, when I was 16! To be honest I don’t think I started watching it then however, I do remember Series 5, and the shock when Rachel’s car was hit (which was aired in 2003). This latest series just didn’t seem to be as good as what I remember from the older ones. That said, I watched it all the same and did enjoy it. I’d actually quite like to go back to Series 1 and watch it all again from the very beginning. Another series that I didn’t really watch when I was younger was Teachers, and I’ve started watching some of this on the All 4 app.

mv5bzde4n2eynjutnzhmyi00mte4lwi1njutnmriyzy3y2ywmjlkxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjexmjk0odk-_v1_sy1000_sx708_al_

The Missing, Series 2 – BBC iPlayer

I felt that you had to pay more attention with Series 2 to keep up with the story compared with Series 1, and so at times I left I didn’t know what was going on because I had been trying to multi-task whilst watch each episode. Despite this, I looked forward to the episode each week.

mv5bntk2nzu4otc0ml5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzcwnzmwnde-_v1_sy1000_cr006751000_al_

The Disappearance – BBC iPlayer

Unfortunately this box set isn’t available anymore but it was excellent. I loved The Bridge, and this was another series that was subtitled, this time in French. In similar vein to The Missing, this was a crime thriller about a missing teenager.

mv5bnthjzwi2otgtnzi3zi00n2q5lwi2odutzjy0ztjiztu0owfkxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjywmjg2mzi-_v1_

Designated Survivor – Netflix

I tend to avoid political dramas/movies as it’s not really my thing, but I did like this series on Netflix that was recommended to me by my sister & her fiancé. The premise is that a bomb kills the president and other politicians, and the ‘designated survivor’ (Kiefer Sutherland) had to step in as president to a government in chaos. I found that I was staying up to watch more than one episode, which is certainly a sign of a good programme. It also reminded me how much I enjoyed Sutherland in 24, perhaps that’s another box set I could revisit.

mv5bmty5nzyzodu4n15bml5banbnxkftztgwnza1mjuwmdi-_v1_

Instagram Favs

I follow a lot of Instagrammers, and the one problem I find is that I am continually missing people’s posts. Yes, I could turn on notifications for all my favourites, but my phone would then be constantly vibrating with posts! Anyway, what I thought I would do is start sharing some of my favourite accounts. I’ve done this one previously on my Glasgow Mummy blog here. I am finding that I turn more and more to Instagram for inspiration for certain things such as interiors, food and travel, whereas perhaps previously my first stop may have been Pinterest or just the web in general.

  1. littlewoodlife

2. overatkates

3. kate.lavie

4. chefarella

5. french_grey_lifestyle

What are your fav Instagram accounts?

Birthday-time

All to quickly we’re now in January again and its my birthday today… that’s me now 35! To me, this seems to be more of a milestone birthday… I’m no longer in my early 30s. (Although I was asked for ID whilst at the supermarket the other week – so I do have a bit of a baby face and perhaps don’t look my age which is great!)

I’m having a lovely kiddie-free weekend at my dad and Jo’s house, being fed, watered and entertained. Today my dad & I went on a little hill walk with their dog Fergus, and it was lovely to get out in my hillwalking boots again (I haven’t worn them since I climbed Ben Lomond a few years ago). We then spent the afternoon at an antique centre having a browse before heading back to theirs for a steak dinner. I’m currently relaxing in front of the fire, writing on my laptop and browsing the internet. Perfect day!

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-17-59-15

How to tell if your child is addicted to tech and what to do about it

It’s changed days from when I was little – I spent my evenings after school climbing trees and out on my bike. I think I was 9 when we first got a computer, and yes I did love to play games on it and design posters for printing for my bedroom door but I don’t remember there being the same struggles that parents face now. Perhaps I’m looking back with rose-tinted glasses and my dad would have a different story to tell. Anyway, as much as I’d like to remove all tech, it’s not going to be feasible in this day and age. Instead we are going to have to decide ways to manage how we use it.

So how do you tell if your child is addicted?

  1. They literally won’t stop talking about it… the soundtrack to my life is tales of Pokemon Go, Mario, Luigi and Minecraft
  2. They continually ask to have a shot of it, and even if they’ve used up their time allocation for the day they try to negotiate a deal for more
  3. They can’t stick to time limits on their own, and always ask for ‘an extra five minutes’
  4. When you do eventually get them off the tech, there are temper tantrums and lots of crazy, angry behaviour. I swear my son is like a different (not in a good way) child once he’s been playing computer games
  5. Even when they’re not on the tech, they want to watch other people play it on YouTube
  6. Getting them to participate in other activities takes a lot of persuasion and bribery

 

Ok, so I exaggerated above, but my son is obsessed and would play the Wii U all day, every day if he could. I’m trying to manage his addiction/behaviour and these are some of the things that we’ve been trying… I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

  1. Digital Detox – I confiscated the remotes for a week and there was no phones, iPads, YouTube etc allowed and actually there wasn’t as much moaning as I had thought there would be
  2. Clear Rules – I have written our house rules on a sheet of A3 paper which is affixed to the wall in our dining room. Getting your child to help determine what the rules are will hopefully get them to buy into it.
  3. Limit Time – I am currently allowing 30 minutes of tech (currently doesn’t include watching TV) each day after homework/chores. I saw on the Bambino Goodies website a feature about Time Tokens, which I think is a great concept and one that I might try
  4. Countdown – my timer has broken unfortunately and need to get a new one, but I think a timer helps where it can be seen clearly how much time is remaining. In the absence of a timer just now, I’ve been doing countdowns… you have ten minutes remaining etc.
  5. Consequences – If there is bad behaviour, then tech privilege for the following day is removed

 

How long do your children spend on devices during an average day/week, and how do you manage it?