Thursday, 28 August 2014

{Monkeying Around in Aberdeenshire}

Last weekend R & I hit the road; we were headed north to Ballater in Aberdeenshire for a weekend with my sister Ali, her boyfriend Robin and a few of their friends.

We had an amazing time & lots of laughs. On Friday we ate chilli & rice followed by Cards Against Humanity & wine around the fire. On Saturday we cycled to Dinnet & back (about 14 miles) then had a browse round the local shops before heading back to the house for BBQ, cheese & wine tasting and more card games. On Sunday I'm amazed I wasn't hungover. Surprisingly I actually felt not too bad! Anyway, we left Ballater & drove to Crathes as we were booked for a session at Go Ape.

We arrived at the historic Crathes Castle with plenty of time to spare, so we had a bite to eat in the cafe before heading to the Go Ape reception to sign in. The Go Ape Tree Top Adventure is advertised as one of the best days out in Aberdeen so we were keen to check it out. If you haven't heard of it before, Go Ape takes you on a forest adventure where you enjoy 2-3 hours in the trees taking on Zip Wires, Tarzan Swings, Rope Ladders and a variety of other obstacles and crossings. You have to be over 10 years old, over 1.4m tall and under 130kg to participate.

There are three tree top adventure courses in Scotland. Aberfoyle in Stirlingshire which has two of Britain's longest zip wires. Glentress Forest near Peebles which has the highest zip wire in the country and Crathes Castle which features the skateboard zip wire.

We had a thorough safety briefing before we got started and my heart was racing as we were accompanied down to the first obstacle. The first part of the course is only a metre or so above the ground, just to give you a taster of what's to come and let you practice using the equipment. I however slipped on the first step up on the rope ladder and screamed a bit. How was I going to cope in the tree tops?! Much laughter ensued from the queue behind me!

Safety is obviously so important and there are warning signs etc at each platform with clear instructions



Well, I made it round the whole course in 2 hours and there was only one section that I couldn't manage but it's my own fault for choosing the 'extreme' route rather than the easy one!

I had anticipated it to be heart racing/adrenaline packed the whole way through which it wasn't, but it was certainly a decent workout (my arms ached the next day) and I did properly freak out in a couple of parts that were definitely a bit nervy. The final tarzan swing was epic... as you'll see from the videos we took. And you'll also spot my epic fail......(apologies in advance for the swearwords, it wasn't me!).


Despite having a great time, we felt the price was perhaps a bit steep for the experience (I wish now that we'd gone to one of the other Scottish sites with the longer zip wires). It's £30 for Gorillas (over 18 years) and £24 for Baboons (10-17 years), which meant it would have cost us £120 for the 4 of us. However, I've organised a 10% discount at all Scottish sites if you quote the code GLMUM10. This code is valid until 30th November 2014 and excludes Saturdays and corporate events.


I tried to mount the Go Ape monkey at the end for #mymonkeyselfie but I failed miserably! 

So, what do you think? Have you tried Go Ape before? I reckon it would be good fun for a corporate team building exercise!


We had a complimentary experience of Go Ape for four in exchange for an honest review. Opinions as always are my own.

Monday, 25 August 2014

{Love The Little Things}

butwhymummywhy
Joining in again with But Why Mummy Why's weekly blog hop 'love the little things' which is this week hosted by the beautiful Let's Talk Mommy.

Read

This week I have been trying to catch up on my favourite blogs, and I loved this post by @dawniepopsies on Fast Love. I do believe like Dawn that 'you can't rush something you want to last forever' and it's for this reason that I waited 11 months to say the L-word to R.

Heard

My screams as I flew through the trees at Go Ape, Crathes this weekend. Watch this space for the review!

Watched

I've been watching Sherlock on Netflix and have been really enjoying it.

Wore

This morning I jumped on the scales to find that I was 12 stone 6 lbs. This is the heaviest I've been in what must be nearly 3 years. Eek! It's a proper wake-up call and I need to wise up with the eating and exercise. Thankfully I've been getting back into my running, although progress is somewhat slow. But I've done two runs this week and I also was out for a cycle at the weekend too.


Made

The littlest and I made a lamb tagine. It was yum!




And Lastly...

I was at my aunt & uncle's holiday home this weekend with my sister, our partners and a few friends. We had a blast, and it's back to Glasgow and reality with a bump. I'm hoping to put together a vlog with some of our antics, but in the meantime here are a few pics:

My sister organised a red wine & cheese tasting - each person brought a bottle with them

Out for a cycle

Aw :-)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

{Review - The Body Shop Coconut Hand Cream}

It looks like summer is over here in Glasgow. We've had some amount of wind & rain these last few days & I've even had my central heating back on! We seem to have skipped right past autumn & winter is well on its way!!

I however am prolonging that summer feeling for as long as possible with this gorgeous coconut hand cream from The Body Shop at Glasgow Fort.

It smells divine & the texture is spot on. It's not too runny, but it's not too thick either if that makes sense, and it rubs in really quickly without leaving your hands greasy as I've found with some hand creams. 

I've grown up with The Body Shop and since I was a girl I've loved their products & packaging. My mum used to use the cucumber toner & carrot moisturiser and I have fond memories of collecting the smaller sized bottles with my sister. We had so many different ones it was unbelievable & they all smelled so amazing. I also think one of my first perfumes was The Body Shop White Musk. I could spend ages browsing in The Body Shop!

Anyway, I digress! I love that scents can bring back vivid memories & the smell of coconut just reminds me of holidays & fun times. This hand cream is definitely a winner :)

Coconut Hand Cream, 30mL  |   Price £3.50

I was gifted a 30mL tube of coconut hand cream from The Body Shop at Glasgow Fort for the purpose of this review. Opinions as always are honest & are my own.

{What's On Glasgow: #shareacoke party pod}

The #shareacoke party pod arrives in Glasgow today! It's going to be at St Enoch Square from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th August.

This is your chance to get a personalised bottle of Coke, Diet Coke or Coke Zero with your name or the name of a loved one. I tried to get Glasgow Mummy on a bottle at BritMums but the machine broke as I was in the queue, but I did manage to get Sarah as it's one of the 1,000+ names that are already available on the bottles.

Coca-Cola GB sourced independent data from Experian to identify 1,158 of the most popular names in the UK. Experian analysed the first names of adults between 19 and 29 years old, which were then weighted and ranked to generate the 1,158 most popular male and female first names in the UK reflecting the gender and the ethnic makeup of this segment of the population.  The list of 1,158 names is available from the campaign website: www.shareacoke.co.uk

This year there is a twist, you can drop into the #shareacoke selfie kiosks to get your photo in front of the famous Coca-Cola Piccadilly lights' sign in Piccadilly Circus personalised with your own name!!


{Guest Post - Scottish Book Trust Blog}

Today I have a guest post going live over on the Scottish Book Trust Blog on the topic of gardening.

The kids and I have been thoroughly enjoying our time outdoors, and in the evenings we have a selection of gardening themed books that we love to read at story time :-)


Growing sunflowers

Building teepees from bamboo sticks and old sheets


Choosing more plants at the garden centre

Getting ready to grow some vegetables

Our lettuce patch

Sensory play with sand

Painting with stencils under the shade of a tree

Growing some flowers from seed

Monday, 18 August 2014

{35 at 35: Own a designer handbag, check!}

Number 16 on my 35 at 35 list is to 'Own a designer handbag'. I wasn't entirely sure when I'd have the funds to buy said handbag, but then this happened...

I had gone out for a walk with my good friend Jayne, and she happened upon a penny on the street. She gave it to me saying that I needed the good luck more than her... Anyway, later that very same evening, this popped up on my Instagram feed:

Wendy at thankfifi had announced the winner of her Maxwell Scott bag, and the winner was me!!!

So I am now the proud owner of a Maxwell Scott Clarissa Bag and can happily tick off another item on my 35 at 35 list. Thank you thankfifi and Maxwell Scott.


The bag is absolutely gorgeous, it smells amazing and I love that Maxwell Scott is a family run business that still use traditional methods to handcraft their bags in the heart of Italy. Their travel bags have also caught my eye - the Farini Cabin Bag looks beautiful. Definitely one for the wish list!

Friday, 15 August 2014

{Love the Little Things}

butwhymummywhy
I missed last week's 'love the little things' linky with Morgana of But Why Mummy Why, but I'm happy to say that I've got a post ready this week!

This month has been manic trying to get things organised for my son starting Primary 1 - getting a new shift pattern agreed with my work, sorting a childminder, buying uniform etc. - and on top of all that it was my son's nursery graduation and then his 5th birthday on Day 1 of school as well. As such I've neglected my blog a little, but don't fear, I'm back!

Read

The kids and I have been reading lots of gardening-inspired books as I have a guest post with the Scottish Book Trust Blog going live later this month on this very theme. The staff at my local library were very helpful in my quest to find relevant children's books and our favourite without a doubt is Christopher Nibble by Charlotte Middleton.


Watched

The kids & I went through to Edinburgh for the day to see The Cat in the Hat at the Pleasance Courtyard. It was absolutely brilliant.


I then returned a few days later without the kids and R & I went to the Foodies Festival where I met Three Sisters Bake and watched them decorate a chocolate cake and create an ombre cake too. Was lovely to finally meet them. 


We also went to see the Ladyboys of Bangkok - Red Hot Kisses Tour on Sunday night and a comedy stand up show the following day. It was my first experience of the Edinburgh Fringe and I loved it.

Wore

I've been trying to improve my wardrobe and general lack of decent clothes. I was utterly fed up with my workwear, and invested in a few new pieces. I also have been trying to organise my clothes so that I have a capsule wardrobe of items for the school run. But with the weather being so wet here in Glasgow I think I need to purchase a pair of waterproof trousers as I seem to be getting continually soaked!  

I also had my hair done at Ellen Conlin Hair, and I decided to go a little darker. I love my new cut & colour :-)



Heard

My son's nursery graduation went very well, and he recited his poem beautifully (no poo mentioned!).


Made

I've been busy doing loads of DIY at my new house. I've not made anything in particular, but I'm now competent with a power drill after putting up mirrors, shelving, hooks, a Roman blind, hanging baskets in the garden and a curtain pole.

Lastly

I had a day out at M&D's at Strathclyde Park with my good friend Steph and her family. It was my first time at the park and the kids had a blast, as did I. Steph & I plucked up the courage to go on one of the rollercoasters and it was brilliant!