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

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]

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.


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

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Gent's Gift Guide

I'm still having issues with my iMac which is making blog posts problematic, so please bear with me! I'm currently writing this on my phone which is far from ideal.

Anyway, I thought I would start sharing with you some of my Christmas gift ideas as no doubt you'll be wanting to get presents bought as soon as possible! I'm a little bit disorganised this year and have bought a few things but not everything, which isn't like me!!

First up is Dick Winter's boxer shorts. I have previously written about the brand and I think the marketing is so clever, but the product is also fantastic (like Spanx for men) and they are also now made in Scotland. The material feels luxurious, and I'm positive that the man in your life will love these. The range is available at House of Fraser... it's just a case of deciding which dick to choose...Lucky Dick, Clever Dick, or perhaps Old Dick!

Next up is some gadgetry...

I've actually bought this for the kids to share but I'm sure that boys, big & small, will love's the BB-8 droid from the new Star Wars movie.

It's expensive at £130 but I'm hoping that my son will love it - he's a huge Star Wars fan. I haven't opened our one up yet to try it, but the YouTube videos I've seen of it in action are really cool!

I've spotted a number of gents recently with smart shoes, either for work or the weekend, with brightly coloured laces. This set from Ted Baker would be a cool stocking filler:

Then obviously you can't go wrong with some men's skincare or aftershave. 

Cufflinks are also another gift I've bought regularly for the men in my life.

Do let me know what your buying the gents this Christmas!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Review - Bartenders Stripped

The other weekend, I hosted an intimate cocktail party at my house. No special occasion, just an excuse to have a well needed catch up with some of my friends and neighbours.

You might remember from last year that I had a Social & Cocktail party; well, the guys have started a new enterprise called Bartenders Stripped.

As the name suggests, the bartenders are (nearly) naked with just a little apron covering the crown jewels!! Oh & he also had a bow tie!! I felt ever so slightly awkward to begin with, but you soon forget... especially the more cocktails you have! My guests found the whole thing really amusing & it was a great laugh. The poor guy had to put up with our chat all evening!! 

Our bartender arrived before the guests to set-up the bar in my living room (wearing his clothes!). Same format as last time... the bar arrives in a box, which then transforms rather spectacularly into a proper little bar. It's really impressive. He then snuck upstairs to strip (!) & he was back for the guests arriving.

For this party unlike the previous one, we didn't have any input for the cocktails that were to be served. On the list were:
  • Woo Woo
  • Sex on the Beach
  • French Martini
  • Pornstar Martini
  • Strawberry Margarita
Half way through we had a bit of fun with a Blood Shot, which was a strawberry vodka concoction topped with squirty cream. We had to put out hands behind our back, and then take the shot glass in our mouth and down it... harder than it sounds!!

One of my friends got involved & helped make the Sex on the Beach cocktails:

The cocktails were delicious & really well presented. My only comment would be that perhaps rather than the set cocktail menu of 5, perhaps hosts could pick five from a list of 8 in advance, just to give a little bit of choice. I'm not a huge fan of tequila, and a few of us did end up leaving the margaritas which was a huge shame.

I personally think the parties are great value for money as you literally don't need to provide a thing for the drinks...even the ice was sorted along with the garnishes and glasses. All I had to do was provide some music & nibbles (quick trip to M&S!!). 

Bartenders Stripped would be fantastic for a hen party or girlie birthday party. Or like me, you don't really have to have a reason!! 

We received a complimentary party in exchange for a review. As always opinions are honest & my own.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Health - Starting Humira

This week I'm starting a new treatment for my Crohn's Disease... HUMIRA.

HUMIRA is licensed to achieve and maintain remission in patients with moderate to severe Crohn's Disease (it's also licensed for use in other conditions). I've been taking azathioprine now for nearly 10 years and over the last year I have had active inflammation despite my blood levels of azathioprine being in the correct therapeutic range. It's time to get this disease under control... I came back from Portugal and lost 9 lbs in just over a week. Not a good reason to be losing weight!

HUMIRA is an injection, and I will be trained by the IBD nurses to self-inject. Thankfully, I only have to administer the medication once a fortnight. Although for the first few doses I have to be in the hospital to be monitored. There are a lot of scary side effects, and before starting the treatment I've had to be screened for a variety of infections, viruses and the like. However if we don't get my Crohn's Disease under control, I then run the risk of serious complications.

Life has been very stressful lately which hasn't been helping, but I'm looking forward to having some down time this weekend as the kids are with their dad.

I've been neglecting my blog as I've been so busy with my day job, the kiddies etc and then in the evenings I've just been so tired that I've been in bed most nights from 8 or 9pm! I'm sure once my IBD symptoms improve I'll start to feel a bit more energetic. 

P.S. Can you believe we're in November already!! It'll be Christmas before we know it!

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