Sunday, 23 August 2020

Verity, the VW Campervan

Verity has been one of the best purchases I have ever made. She is a VW Transporter, that was lovingly converted into a campervan by The Wee Camper Co. She is beautiful, and I love her. Very dramatic, but it's true!


Verity!


I sold my car at the end of last year, making Verity my everyday vehicle... much to the amusement of my colleagues when I rock up to the office in her (pre-COVID 19... I've been fortunate that I can WFH, and have been doing so since we went into lockdown).

The timing of the purchase was perfect given the current circumstances that we find ourselves in. As soon as the campsites opened back up, the kids and I threw our stuff into the van and hit the road! We have been to a few different campsites over the summer, but our favourite so far has been Tantallon, near North Berwick. So much so, that I have two additional trips booked at this site before the year is out... one with the kids, and one on my own (with Evie!).


The view from our pitch at Tantallon

The view from our pitch at Tantallon

This weekend I was at Balbirnie for two nights; an ideal spot for exploring Fife. On Saturday I visited St Andrews, and then on Sunday I drove to Elie, Pittenweem, Anstruther and Crail. Evie loved all the beaches, and I enjoyed spending lots of time in nature. I find the sound of water very soothing... I'm thinking that a water feature for my garden might be a nice addition!


The beach at St Andrews


Verity has her own Stories highlight on my Instagram page, so you can have a look there to find out more and I will share some more updates here on the blog with my top tips for #vanlife!
For my fellow campers, which campsites in Scotland should I be adding to my list?





Thursday, 30 July 2020

Lockdown

I wrote in my first newsletter about the COVID-19 pandemic being a wake-up call, as I'm sure it has been for many of us. Being in the high risk category, I was confined to my house for the first few months; something I was actually ok with. I'm grateful that I was still able to work from home, which I had been doing regularly anyway pre-lockdown... plus I had beautiful surroundings and a garden too. As a single parent of young children, I've had plenty practice being restricted to my home. Except, on this occasion a whole myriad of online classes opened up and it felt like I wasn't missing out. I threw myself into trying new things... such as meditation and life drawing. I joined yoga classes virtually, personal training and even a facial massage class. 

Life coaching is not new to me. I had a few sessions with a coach when my mum passed away, and then I also hired a coach when my marriage failed. Connecting with Lynette Gray, and more recently Jill Ritchie, has been life changing. That may seem like a bold statement, but it's not an exaggeration. Shortly after we went into lockdown I had a handful of 1-to-1 sessions with Lynette. I know that I work well with coaches; I've had great results with personal trainers but I don't do as well when I'm working on my fitness on my own. I will show up, and more importantly take action, when I am accountable to someone. Lynette's energy is phenomenal and her story is compelling.

I committed to Lynette and Jill's 6 month group coaching programme which we started at the beginning of this month, and the 10 members of the group were also granted access to their new 21 day Unearth Your Power online course. Each day on the 21 day course there was new content... meditations, journalling prompts, personal development exercises on money mindset, visualisation and so forth. It's true that the more you put in, the more you get out; and I threw myself into all the activities with gusto. 

I've recently finished listening to The Miracle Morning on Audible, and I've been rising early and having 1-2 hours to myself before starting my day job. Evie (our Cavachon puppy) has been helping me get up, but irrespective of her, I'd be up... what a difference it makes to your day. 


My morning routine is now coffee, light bite to eat, affirmations, gratitude, journalling, looking at my future vision board, walk with Evie and then a second breakfast. I squeeze in some reading when I can (this morning it was a few pages of Elizabeth Day, How to Fail), although I typically will save the reading for evening. The only thing I'm missing that I feel I need to weave in is meditation. 

My future vision board includes more creativity; I've been enjoying painting so much and it feels good to get my emotions out onto the canvas. I opened an Etsy shop to sell some of my work, and have sold a number of original paintings already which I'm super proud of. My second newsletter, which will be circulated at the start of August, explores some of the inspiration for my art. If you'd like to get on the list to receive a copy then please share your email with me. I promise not to spam you or share your address with anyone else.

I'd love to hear from you; do you have a morning routine and what does it include?

Sarah x

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Back, From Outer Space

"Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
And I've got all my love to give and I'll survive"

I will survive, Gloria Gaynor

I'm back! 

My blog slowly fizzled out, with my last post on Ethel Explores being published in April 2018. I felt that I wasn't being authentic anymore; fearing what my ex husband would think/say/do in response to my writing. There's also the fact that my children are now nearly 11 years old (my eldest / boy child), and the littlest is now 9 years (she had a lockdown birthday!), and they can readily access the internet / know how to read and write / can google me! 

That said, I miss writing, and I miss my little space on the world wide web. 

I've decided to dip my toe back into the water. I'm creating an email newsletter, and the first one is ready to be shared. Please find me on Instagram and let me know what your email address is if you would like to receive my (occasional) emails. I promise not to spam you, or share your address.

I'm excited to re-connect with you all!!

Sarah x

Friday, 18 December 2015

Ethel Explores

I am moving...

I've decided it's time for a fresh start and as such I have created a new site called Ethel Explores. From now on you will find me blogging at www.ethelexplores.wordpress.com.

I've been writing Glasgow Mummy for 4.5 years now, and it's taken a long time to get the page to where I wanted it (working with a designer to create a logo, establishing readership, improving ratings on Google etc). I'm hoping that the transfer to Ethel Explores won't be as time consuming.

I won't be closing Glasgow Mummy, so my archive will still be accessible and if Ethel Explores fails, then I guess I can always move back.

In the meantime, please update your favourites with the new blog address, add me on Twitter @ethel_blog; Instagram @ethelexplores and Pinterest @ethelblog.

My new email address is ethelexplores [at] outlook.com.

Wish me luck!!

Sarah x




Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Christmas Shopping at Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow

This evening after I had finished work, I popped along to Buchanan Galleries to do a spot of Christmas shopping. I was on the hunt for some 'stocking fillers' or small gifts for children and of course with the huge selection of shops at Buchanan Galleries I knew it wouldn't take me long to get everything I needed! I managed to get parked on the street near the shopping centre, and with it being after 6pm I didn't need to pay for parking - an added bonus! I had also expected the shops to be super busy, but it was quiet and I managed to whizz round in an hour without any hassle.

I must admit that I've done the majority of my Christmas shopping online, but there is something to be said about going in person and being able to see and touch everything.

I started off in Lakeland where I bought a few bits and pieces for my children who absolutely love to bake and make sweet treats!

I chose some rainbow cupcake cases (£5.97 for 144), a smiley face chocolate lollipop mould (£4.28) and some lollipop sticks (£1.98 for 50). I also couldn't resist the Doughnut Making Kit (£11.99)...which is perhaps a little large for a stocking but I'm sure it could be squeezed in! We are huge fans of movie nights with 'special hot chocolate' (basically hot chocolate with squirty cream and marshmallows) and so I picked up a pack of three hot chocolate spoons (£4.98)... one for each of us!



Next stop was The Entertainer. One item that I repurchase each Christmas is crayons or colouring pencils, so I picked up some Crayola metallic markers (£4) and a packet of Crayola twistable pencils (£3). We have been enjoying playing board games and cards, so I thought that a pack of Uno (£8) would be a nice gift that we could all use. I loved Uno as a child! Lastly from The Entertainer I chose two packets of Shopkins (£2.50 each) - who can resist the cute little Shopkins faces!!

My daughter is still loving Frozen, so I had to get something along those lines for her Christmas. I found a tin of Frozen characters in Boots... a mini Elsa, Anna and Olaf for £15 in a reusable tin. This is rather pricey for what it is, but with the Boots 3 for 2 offer I decided to make the purchase anyway. Also in Boots I chose a pack of 6 mini lip glosses (£6) and a My Little Pony Rainbow Dash toy (£5).


My final stop was John Lewis. I love John Lewis - just putting that out there!!

I picked up two packs sparkly hair bobbles (£4.50 for 3 bobbles), some animal nail art stickers (£3.50), two felt Santa letters filled with chocolate balls (£5 each), a fries and burger rubber and sharpener set (£6), a pack of 24 gel mini pens (£12), a pack of socks each (£6 for girls, £7 for boys) and the most adorable pair of slippers (£12).



One of my favourite items from all of the shops is the Customisable Cookie Stamp from John Lewis (£10). You can make your own messages on a biscuit stamper. I think this is such a cute gift for a family or even a friend who loves to bake. My son's reading is improving loads, and I know that he'll be excited to see his name on the biscuits he makes with me!



I received a Buchanan Galleries gift card in exchange for this post. As always, opinions are honest and are my own.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Review & a Recipe - Giraffe's Heid Cocktail

I popped back along to Giraffe on West Regent Street on Friday after work last week with my colleague to try out the new cocktail launch, Giraffe's Heid.

I do love cocktails, but to be honest I'm not normally one to try new ones all that often as I tend to stick to what I know and like. There have been too many times that I've been disappointed.

However I thought I would give it a whirl... who's going to pass up a cocktail review, am I right?



Giraffe's Heid is a Scottish Classic with a Giraffe twist of Bulleit Bourbon mixed with Rose Syrup for essence topped up with Ginger Ale to give it a kick and finished with a stylish Lemon Twist.

Recipe:

1. Add 10 mL of Rose Syrup and a dash of Lemon Juice (5 mL) to your rocks glass.

2. Add 2 ice cubes and 25 mL of Bourbon and stir for 5 seconds

3. Add 25 mL of Bourbon and stir for 5 seconds

4. Fill up with ice

5. Top up with Ginger Ale leaving a window

6. Add a long Lemon Twist and serve



I was pleasantly surprised as the cocktail was easy to drink and didn't taste too alcoholic. I normally prefer a longer cocktail you see! I do love Ginger Ale, so this was right up my street although Bourbon wouldn't be my spirit of choice.

We also tried Ja'makin' Me Merry (my favourite) and Chocolate Christmas Luxe. Both were tasty... although I'm not a huge coffee fan so I found the coffee chocolatey dessert one a bit overpowering for me.




I wouldn't immediately think of going to Giraffe for cocktails, but I certainly will go back. We had a bite to eat whilst we were there and the food was delicious. It would make a great location for a work night out or a get together with friends as it's such a large spacious venue.

Big thumbs up from us!

We received some free cocktails in exchange for this review. Opinions as always are honest and are my own.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Return of the (i)Mac

Hello... you'll be delighted to hear that I had the hard drive replaced on my iMac and it's now back up and running.

I was told on Saturday when I handed it into the Apple Store on Buchanan Street that the repair could take 3-5 days, but low and behold I got an email yesterday to say it was ready for collection. I popped along today after work, and one of the guys was super helpful and carried it back to my car for me! Some great customer service :-)

What's not so great is that I've obviously got to start from scratch...

Thankfully I had been backing up photos and videos manually, but not anything else. So all my music has disappeared from iTunes it would seem and I also can't find iMovie anywhere which is how I used to edit my movies previously.

I also don't have Photoshop anymore or the Microsoft Office for Mac software... argh!

I'll get there, slowly but surely.

I've had a pretty hellish few weeks... I trapped my hand in a door at work which was super painful; I fell down the stairs at my house bashing my elbow in the process and I then bumped my chin on my iMac on Saturday as I was carrying it into the store for its repair. I seem to be pretty clumsy at the moment... not so good.

Anyway, lots has been happening that I need to update you on... bear with me as I get back on top of things again!

Sarah x
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