Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Giveaway: Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair

It's no secret that I absolutely adore Christmas. This wasn't always the case, but I think with the addition of the little ones, Christmas is once again magical and I love the run up to the big day each year. (However the shops are getting earlier and earlier at introducing their Christmas stock and I think September is far too early for Christmas!)

Anyway, if you haven't been already, then you really must check out the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair, which arrives at the SECC Glasgow on 20th - 23rd November 2014. It's a must for all Christmas fans like me!

There will be almost 300 stalls under the one roof, selling gifts, decorations and festive food; and in addition to the stalls there are three informative theatres - cookery, lifestyle and craft & create - each offering advice and demonstrations. The art demo on 'painting a stag' intrigues me and I would love to get along to the 'creative gift wrapping and styling' session.

Ticket details can be found here, and if you insert the code Blog14 then you will be given a discount of £1 off the ticket price. This offer is valid until the day before the fair, at all three fairs - Glasgow, Harrogate and London.

I do have two tickets up for grabs however and all you need to do is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. Huzzah!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!

Giveaway ends on Wed 12th November, which will allow me enough time to get the tickets sent out to the lucky winner.
UK residents only please.
Prize is two tickets for the Glasgow fair, there is no alternative prize.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Our October Holiday - Antics in Aberdeen and a trip to A&E

The kids and I had a super busy five nights for our half of the October holidays. We 'jumped in the car and broomed to Aberdeen' to stay with Auntie Ali and then we also managed to stop by my dad & Jo's for an overnight stay on the way back to Glasgow too.

On Friday we had lunch with my aunt, uncle and gran before heading back to Ali's house. We had a quiet night as we knew that Saturday was going to be a busy one...

Auntie Ali copied a YouTube tutorial to create a fishtail braid for the littlest's hair

We did some baking, thanks to Aldi. There's a competition to win a £50 voucher and a hamper with Aldi in this earlier blog post.

We did a photo shoot in Ali's home studio. I love this giggly photo of the littlest.

Next was time to face paint, and I let me daughter go crazy...

...and ended up at the park with this on my face!

My son with his face paint eye mask

Enjoying some silliness with friends :-)

The next day after breakfast we headed to Drum Castle for their Christmas craft fair...

It was a lovely crisp autumn day. Look at all the glorious colours in the fallen leaves!

The park at Drum Castle is fab - the kids loved it.

There was a zip slide, a willow maze, climbing frames etc all in gorgeous surroundings

I caught up with Life with Munchers for a bite to eat at Mains of Drum

And then this happened....

We had arrived at the car park at Hazlehead Park and we were very excited to be meeting lots of friends and family for a play which probably contributed to what happened next... My eldest tripped (if you know the car park, then you'll know it's not a good surface... it's loads of chuckies and is very bumpy) and literally fell flat on his face. I was pushing the buggy with littlest who was tired and he wasn't holding my hand. The crack was horrific. There was tonnes of screaming and blood was gushing from his nose, mouth and head. His forehead immediately stuck out in a massive lump, about 2cm out if not more. Another family stopped to help me which was so lovely of them, giving me baby wipes and helping me get back to my car. The wee man was complaining that his right eye was sore, so the littlest went with Granddad and Nanny Jo (when they arrived) to the park to meet the others whilst the eldest and I headed off to ARI A&E. He was an absolute star. He very quickly perked up thankfully and even more so once he got some ibuprofen mixture into him. The doctor, Marcus if I remember correctly, was fantastic and the nurses too. Lots of checks were done and then the cuts were cleaned up. Thankfully all was ok and we were sent home. I found the whole experience exhausting, terrifying and generally horrible. There were lots of tears...more mine than his! I felt like such a bad mummy.

Poor guy has two black eyes now :-(

But despite the black eyes, you wouldn't have known anything was wrong as he was just his usual self. He was even farting (loudly) on the hospital bed and laughing his head off and making me smell his sweaty socks during a silly game of 'I spy', and again laughing hysterically. 

Relaxing once the kids were in bed!

When did she get so grown up!?

At Granddad & Nanny Jo's in the garden. You'd think it was summer, but she insisted she was warm and didn't want a coat.

Relaxing in front of the fire... perfect end to the holiday.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Christmas - Traditions, Snow Globes & Shopping

When we were growing up my sister used to collect snow globes. There was a beautiful, musical Christmas one that I loved so much, which I think sadly has broken :-(

Anyway, for the past couple of years I've bought a new snow globe each festive season in a bid to start a new collection (you can see our wintery polar bear one in this post). The kids love them, as do I.

I've been scouring the internet to find one for this year and here's what I've found:

There are so many beautiful Christmas decorations at Cox & Cox - I love the hanging flocked deer, the snowball cluster light garland, the small fawn, the display domes, the Christmas tree jar... I could go on and on!

I ended up buying the silver stag one from Laura Ashley, and you can see what else I bought in this vlog...

Friday, 17 October 2014

{Love The Little Things}

I did manage to join in last week with Butwhymummywhy's weekly linky, 'Love the Little Things' but as I was on holiday I forgot to add my link - oops! Anyway, you can find last week's post here.


I know, it's too early for Christmas stuff but I bought this magazine at the supermarket when I was on holiday this week and I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes. The littlest has already got her eye on an amazing looking chocolate cake. Watch this space!


I was delighted to discover that Season 3 of Homeland was on Netflix. I'm hooked again and am loving it!


I've actually bought a few items of clothing for myself this week. I'll write more in a separate post, but for now here is my new striped top from Boden Clothing and my super cosy slippers from Marks and Spencer. 


R shared this song with me - I'm all about that cake, about that cake... no salad!

That's me to a T folks ;-)


We've baked a few goodies this week including peanut butter brownies and cherry & almond cakes.... *sings* I'm all about that cake....

And Lastly...

I have a competition running just now where you can win a £50 Aldi voucher and a hamper too. All you need to do is complete the Rafflecopter which you'll find here.

{Giveaway - £50 Aldi voucher and a hamper}

Following on from the huge success of my Peanut Butter Brownies that I made with the littlest to celebrate National Baking Week, we decided to try another Aldi recipe.

Have a look at our vlog where my sister, Auntie Ali, is making Cherry & Almond Cupcakes with the eldest.

I am delighted to offer a £50 Aldi voucher and a hamper of 'The Pantry' goodies as a competition prize so you can create your own sweet treats.

All you need to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UK entrants only please.
There is only one prize and no cash alternative is available.
The giveaway ends on 23rd October 2014.

Good luck :-)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

{Halloween Fun}

My kids are at the age now where Halloween is lots of fun. We've been busy deciding what to dress up as for the school disco and I think we'll try and visit a few of the neighbours too whilst we're at it!

I thought I'd share with you a few of my Halloween finds...

First up is an event in Glasgow being held this weekend by Rowdy Roddy Vintage at The Sparkle Horse, 16 Dowanhill Street. It's a free event with Halloween games, pumpkin carving, home decor, costumes and more.

There's also a Baby Loves Disco 'Boogie Halloween' event at Hummingbird on 2nd November, 1-3pm and a Pop Lock-In at the same venue, same date for 4-11 year olds at 4-6pm. Have a peek here for more details.

I've also come across some tasteful Halloween decor... we're not having a party so I'm not going to go crazy, but I might put up a couple of garlands and try and carve a pumpkin. My cousin Scott creates the most amazing pumpkins each year, and hopefully he won't mind me sharing the one he made last year...

Tinkerbell! Isn't this so cool!! I'll be attempting a more straight forward design!

John Lewis is one of my favourite department stores, and they have loads of Halloween goodies. This tissue paper garland is great value at just £2.50:

I also love this felt ball garland from Violet and Percy:

These bat garlands and tassel garlands are also amazing:

If we don't get time to bake any Halloween inspired cakes for the neighbours (I've ordered some bat shaped sugar sprinkles and edible wafer cake toppers!), then these Hotel Chocolat treats from John Lewis are ideal as a wee favour.

I've got some other Halloween ideas over on this old post and there's also some ideas on my Halloween Pinterest board, which you will find here.

Halloween - do you love it or hate it?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

{RBS - Finding Scotland's Real Heroes}

If you hadn't spotted already from my tweets yesterday evening as the show was live on air, then I am pleased to announce that I am the blog ambassador for STV's 'RBS - Finding Scotland's Real Heroes' Young Real Hero category.

As part of my involvement with the programme, I was invited to the Awards Ceremony at the RBS Headquarters in Edinburgh.

The STV series 'RBS - Finding Scotland's Real Heroes', presented by Carol Smillie and sponsored by RBS, recognises all the amazing work that local people are undertaking in their communities across Scotland. 

The category of Scotland's Young Real Hero of the Year celebrates the hard work and dedication of young people.

The nominees were:

I had rushed to Edinburgh straight from work, where I had thrown on my little black dress (with Spanx underneath practically from head to toe!) in the ladies before jumping in my car.

Time to hit the road!

In the foyer

I arrived to a red carpet entrance & was whisked off to the VIP area for drinks & canap├ęs. My fellow bloggers were lovely and it was nice to chat to everyone as we enjoyed the pre-show atmosphere. There was also an amazing buffet for us to enjoy before the filming started. I had meatballs and cous cous. Yum!

There were a few Scottish celebs mingling at the event... Taggart star Alex Norton, Bill Paterson, Des Clarke, The Riverside Show presenters David Farrell and Jennifer Reoch, Nicholas McDonald from X Factor.

It was lovely to meet Wee Jenny Cook too & we said Hi very briefly before taking to our seats. Jenny raises money for Yorkhill and the Catherine McEwan Foundation & she has Crohn's Disease like me. I was delighted when she won her category - she's an inspiration.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. This was my first time as part of a studio audience and it was interesting to see what goes on behind the camera. The stage manager kept everyone right - we had to practice our applause for example and re-record sections when the people on stage fluffed their lines.

With two fellow bloggers: Lianne from Ruby Ruby Slippers and John from The Everyday Man

If you didn't catch the show last night, then fear not, you can catch up here. Unfortunately there was only one trophy for each category, although all the nominees were winners in my eyes. The winner of my category was The Volunteers of the Glasgow 77th (Disabled) Scout Group

I managed to chat to the group after the show had ended, and as expected they were delighted with the result. They were nominated for the award by one of the parents, and it meant so much to them to be recognised and appreciated for what they do. I'll be visiting their HQ in the very near future and will report back with a full interview.

The winners - huge congratulations to you all

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