If you haven't already found me over on YouTube, then please do head on over and subscribe to my channel. It'd be much appreciated :-)
Some of my recent vlogs are this one for #vlogchallenge on the topic of 'What's in my fridge?'...
...and this one which is my day to day make-up using bareMinerals and the new bareSkin serum foundation - thank goodness for make-up as my skin is a state right now!!
Saturday, 20 September 2014
Friday, 19 September 2014
Joining in yet again with Morgana's #littleloves feature...
I've not really read much this week; I've been very busy with work, school runs and play dates (for the kids, not me!). We did have yesterday off as my son's school was being used as a polling station for the independence referendum. The two of us had a rare morning to ourselves as the littlest was at nursery. We had a mooch about the shops, went to the library to choose some new stories and then home to draw and craft. I'm considering getting a kitten, and so we picked some story books all about cats.
This week I watched Great British Bake Off for the first time, and I'll be tuning in again. I rarely watch live TV, instead preferring to watch movies and box sets on Netflix. But this has encouraged me to start watching other programmes too. I used to watch cooking shows loads when I had Sky TV in the old house. The littlest and I watched a little of Barefoot Contessa which I stumbled upon a Freeview channel and we both enjoyed it.
I was up in Aboyne for my cousin's wedding at the weekend, and I wore my Karen Millen dress again. I managed to just squeeze into it with the help of my Spanx! I'm a stone heavier than the last time I wore it! :-/
I think R looks a bit like Jude Law in this photo, but it may just be me...
The sound of leaves crunching underfoot. Yes, autumn is well and truly here! I absolutely love autumn and I am already looking forward to snuggling on the sofa with hot chocolate in hand, fairy lights on and candles lit. Bliss!!
The littlest and I made Banana and Chocolate Chip muffins this week. The recipe is here.
Yum... this is why I'm finding it so difficult to lose weight!
You may be wondering what my thoughts are on the referendum. I did vote, and I'm pleased that we live in a country that allows us to vote and have a say in such decisions. There have been so many people engaged in the referendum, on both sides of the fence. The votes were counted during the night and it was announced this morning that Scotland voted 'No' to independence. What we need to do now is move forward and build a better UK.
We had friends coming over for a play date the other afternoon and so the littlest & I decided to bake some banana muffins to use up our bananas that had past their best. The recipe we used is based on a Mary Berry one which we found online on the Daily Mail website here.
100 g butter at room temperature
2 medium free range eggs
175 g caster sugar
2 medium ripe bananas, peeled
3 tablespoons milk, we used semi-skimmed
225 g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 g milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 170 deg C. My oven is fan assisted.
2. Line a cupcake tin with paper cases. The recipe should make 12.
3. Put all the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a mixer, and mix on low until combined. We used our KitchenAid stand mixer with the flat beater on number 1 for approx 5 minutes & then number 2 for a further 5 minutes or so.
4. Fold in the chocolate chips using a spoon or other kitchen utensil. I think we used a spatula!
5. Spoon the mixture into the cases.
6. Bake for around 25 minutes until the muffins have risen & are golden brown. I turned my oven up to 175 deg C for the last 5 minutes as at 20 minutes they didn't look golden.
7. Stick the kettle on & enjoy a warm muffin with mug of hot tea...perfect!
They were really good, and our guests loved them too. Thumbs up!!
Another good recipe for bananas is this loaf. Equally yummy!!
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Progress in the cycling department with my son has been slow to say the least.
We were gifted an amazing red bike from Dale's Cycles in Glasgow in June. It's now 3 months since we collected said bike, and my son still isn't confident riding it. He's very cautious and will cycle holding onto the brake so that he doesn't go too fast.
I'm probably partly to blame because we don't practice enough. He's with his dad half the week, and then when I do have the kids we've generally got things on... school, swimming lessons, classes, catching up with friends... so cycling is low on my agenda.
However, when we were in Aberdeenshire last month sans children, we went for a bike ride and I really enjoyed it. I don't currently own a bike, and I think if my son saw me cycling then perhaps he'd be more inclined to cycle himself. So this is now going onto my wishlist... a grown-up bicycle for me. And then I guess I need to get the littlest one too otherwise she'll never keep up with us. I'm imagining family trips to the park, us all on our bikes. Perhaps with a wee picnic in tow... Trust me to have this inspiration when the weather is turning though!!
Anyway, Katy Hill has a great YouTube tutorial on teaching your child to ride a bike. I just need to set aside some time to try it out. Fingers crossed I can get my son cycling soon!
Not great quality, but here's me aged 9 with my red BMX for #throwbackthursday.
This was when we lived in the Middle East :-)
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
I thought I'd share some of my fashion wants with you...
I really need this Angelpixielove t-shirt! R says 'I love your face' to me a lot, or sometimes when we've not seen each other for a few days it becomes 'I miss your face'. I'd also love some of the Angelpixielove leggings, maybe once I'm back at my target weight I could pull them off. Plus they're based in Scotland, yay :-)
The zip bust on my much loved Mint Velvet bandage skirt, but it had seen me well over the last 3 years. Time to purchase a new work skirt, and I actually really like the look of this faux leather one, again from Mint Velvet. I think it would be a great capsule wardrobe piece that could be dressed up or down.
I've not had much luck with my footwear these past few months either. I had to throw out two pairs of ankle boots from Tesco because the sole went on one of them and the zip bust on the other. I also had a pair of cheap knee high patent boots from Next last winter but they had to get chucked too and the brown leather ones I have just now from Tesco are nearing the end of their life as well. What I'm realising is that I should probably invest in a more expensive pair of boots rather than constantly buying cheap pairs that don't last. So suggestions for a pair of smart-ish flat-ish non-suede knee length and/or ankle boots that would work well for work and also the weekend would be much appreciated! That's not too much to ask for is it? ;-)
My Boden faux leopard print boots lasted 3 years, but they're now tired looking and the fur is worn out in places. However because of how long they lasted in comparison to the cheap boots above that lasted less than a year, I'd consider buying from Boden again. I quite like these Brogued Chelsea Boots:
I also like these knee length boots from Mint Velvet:
The only other item that I could be done with at the moment now that we're heading into autumn, is a new jumper. I have an orange SuperDry hoodie that I love for my casual days, but my sparkly jumpers from Christmas 2012 have now seen better days and I need a replacement.
With my love of sequins, I instantly fell in love with this Biba sweater at House of Fraser...
Or this one with the sequin shoulder detail:
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
I was invited along to Boots at Glasgow Fort to try their new No7 Match Made Lipstick Service.
Pamela talked me through the process of finding your perfect lipstick colour, and I was loving that the whole thing was rather scientific...
The No7 Match Made device (or "doofer"as Pamela referred to it!) was used to read my skin colour and matched it to a shade of foundation. Readings are taken from both sides of your face near the jawline, because if you drive like me, then one side of your face will get the sun more than the other. Something I hadn't even considered.
I was found to be Cool Ivory.
Armed with this knowledge, I was then able to grab the card for my skin colour which detailed all the lipsticks that would suit my skin tone.
Pamela tried out two different lipsticks on me - a neutral colour to start with, and then a bright pink. Both of the lipsticks really suited my colouring and I would have happily worn both. But I was drawn more to the brighter of the two. From the comments on Instagram, it would appear that my friends & followers think the colour suits me too.
The Stay Perfect lipstick goes on really easily, it's sort of got a creamy texture compared to some lipsticks I have which are more matte and as such it feels quite moisturising. I wore it to a wedding at the weekend and it didn't last as long as I thought it would as it wore off in the centre of my lips, but it looked good nonetheless and I was able to top up my lippy after the dinner.
I just love the colour!! Apparently people would pay for lips like mine and I'm very lucky ;-)
For each skin tone, there are a selection of shades that are recommended. For Cool Ivory for example, there are 12 Moisture Drench lipsticks and 6 Stay Perfect lipsticks in a range of colours.
Whilst I was there, I may have also bought two new No7 nail polishes... which I of course needed to match my dress for the wedding I was at!
Thank you Pamela at No7 at Boots Glasgow Fort.
I was given a complimentary lipstick for the purpose of this review. Opinions as always honest and are my own.
Monday, 15 September 2014
I was amazed at the quote Kate shared in her Striking Mums post this week... "Learning brings more happiness than having sex, playing or watching sport or doing the National Lottery". Is this really true??
I've always been a keen learner. Since moving to Glasgow 10 years ago, I've completed various night classes... interior design, reflexology, Indian head massage, digital photography... as well as one-off classes in wine tasting, biscuit decorating, flower arranging, trapeze, cupcakes, gin tasting and pottery. I've also done some cookery courses too.
1. When was the last time you gave your brain a workout? Trying to figure out how to make a loom band bracelet for my daughter took some brain power. I've mastered a simple one, but still need to attempt the more complex ones. If anyone has a decent YouTube tutorial that they could share, it'd be much appreciated!
2. What would you really love to learn? I'd love to learn how to use html and take a night class in digital design. They've been on my list for ages, and yet I haven't really made any effort to make progress with them. I'd also love to learn how to make macaroons. There's even a course on a Tuesday evening for macaroons at The Cookery School in Glasgow that would suit me perfectly as that's a night that the kids are with their dad. Perhaps once I get paid this month I'll just book it :-)
3. What prevents you learning something new? Simple, it's a lack of time that's my big issue. I seem to be constantly busy and there just aren't enough hours in the day.
4. Who can support you with your learning and how? Hmmm... I guess I should just set aside some time each week and make it a priority. Especially if it's going to bring me lots of happiness as per Kate's quote. I could work on some html tutorials in the evenings when the kids are asleep, even if it's just for an hour or so once a fortnight. I'll try and make it a habit moving forward.