33. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Aberdeen is a really beautiful city. Against the granite backdrop, you can find amazing nooks like the Marshall College Quadrangle. Me and the boy attended a friend's wedding on Friday and the sun shone upon the happy couple. They decided on a small wedding at the registry office in the city's council building and a reception at a local hotel with their close friends and family. It got me thinking that sometimes a big fancy and expensive wedding isn't always necessary. What matters is the two people getting married and sharing their love with close friends and family. It was also very nice to get dressed up and have a well deserved day off work.

I've been left uninspired with blogging this last week. The transition into Autumn is a fantastic time to snuggle up and get out of the dark mornings and damp weather. Along with that, I have been working flat out and when I'm not working, I'm trying to catch up on sleep and to exercise as much as I can. Blogging and full time working is difficult!

The boy is on a guys' holiday this week so I'm on my own but I have lots of exercise plans and will most likely catch up with friends and family. It's nice to spend time on your own too :)

Can't believe October is coming up already. It seems like time goes by ten times quicker! My favourite month filled with pumpkin carving, cosy nights in and warming stews.



32. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Hello m'lovelies! Did you miss me? Apologies for not getting a Sunday Journal posted last week. Sometimes the phrase; 'if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all'. I had a fairly boring week and didn't have too much to report hence the missing post.

I've been on call again this week and it has been by far the worst working week I have ever had. By Wednesday I had the grand total of 5 hours sleep and since then I have not been sleeping/not sleeping very well and constantly working. I think I had about 3 hours today to clean the flat and do some food shopping before something kicked off again. Freight forwarding is difficult! I'm looking forward to getting home from work tomorrow and getting straight into bed for a very long snooze!

I held a charity bake sale at work last week for a local charity and raised well over £60.00 for charity! It may not sound like much but we have a small number of staff at work and everyone made such an amazing effort. I made The Anna Edit's salted caramel brownies (with extra salted caramel) and they were to die for!

This week I have Friday off work (thank goodness!) and I will be going to my first wedding in over 3 years! I'm very excited to watch two of my friends getting married (and also having a well earned day off!)

The boy saw how stressed I have been and got me a bouquet of flowers delivered to my work and they were very beautiful. I needed cheering up after my 2.30am wake up call and they are sitting very pretty on my dining table. He's a good 'un :)

That's all folks. I hope you've all had a lovely weekend!



Lifestyle / Hotel Indigo Edinburgh

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

One lazy weekend, I was idly searching the internet for a hotel in Edinburgh during the Festival month but if you've looked at the hotel prices you would have fainted! After checking my diary for any on call clashing dates, I booked this hotel on a whim after reading great reviews and the stylish boutique look about the room.

Hotel Indigo is situated on the trendy York Place in the centre of Edinburgh close to the Playhouse Theatre and very close to The Stand Comedy Club. It is a 5 minute walk to the bus station and a 10 minute walk to the train station so is perfectly located if you're looking for an accessible hotel. It's also close to all the shopping on Princes Street and the restaurant we chose to eat at that evening (saving us a little money on a taxi back to the hotel)

I received a call from the hotel the day before and they asked if I wanted an earlier check in time for no extra charge. I jumped at the chance as I hate lugging around luggage when exploring. We were greeted with such warmth and were informed by the hotel breakfast the next day if we wanted to add it to our stay. We considered it for the whole day and eventually went to the reception later in the evening to add the breakfast offer to our room.

I squealed with delight as soon as we entered the room. It was so beautifully decorated and was perfectly sized for two people. The view wasn't up to much but I wouldn't really be spending a lot of time gazing out the window. The room had a fridge which had fresh milk for the complimentary tea and coffee. Everything in the fridge doesn't come with any extra cost and we delighted upon Irn Bru, Diet Coke, still and sparkling water and Tunnocks tea cakes!

The TV was located at the foot of the bed but made for difficult viewing when I was getting ready by the mirror behind it.

The bathroom was beautiful and featured a waterfall shower and cute complimentary toiletries. There was also fresh dressing gowns hanging beside the shower. As far as boutique hotels go, this one is definitely one of the best I have stayed in. The reception staff were very friendly and hospitable. They even let us have a late check out the next day which was a bonus as our train back home was shortly after we were due to leave the hotel.

The breakfast the next day wasn't the greatest and was a little on the pricey side but it was convenient enough to have the dining room in the same hotel. For the price of the hotel, it was very nice and I felt very comfortable there. It's perfect for a girly weekend, romantic break or a relaxing break away from the normality of life. I would stay here again in a heartbeat. May have to suggest it to the boy again :)



My Experience With Donating Blood #MissingType

Friday, 9 September 2016

First off, I am scared of needles. Why would I want to donate blood regularly I hear you ask? Well, my 10 minutes of fear is nothing comparable to the pain and suffering someone is going through with their illness or someone who has been in an accident and requires blood.

I started donating in University and since then I have racked up a total of 12 donations. The procedure is pretty simple. You have to sign a form and fill in a questionnaire asking you all sorts of questions about your health and lifestyle. It's nothing to worry about, it helps make sure that you're fit and healthy to donate and that the recipient of your blood is safe. A small prick of your finger to test your haemoglobin levels are high enough and you're good to go.

I prefer to donate with my left arm. It's a habit thing. I get those little butterflies in my stomach and the kind donor carers are always on hand to help and look after you. They tend not to leave your side and you get some good conversation from them. You have 15 minutes to donate 465ml of blood. It's just short of a pint of milk. If you don't finish the donation within 15 minutes, that's it. They'll stop it even if you're only 10ml away from the end. This is all for your safety.

We all judge pain differently and for me to say it's painless isn't really telling the truth. It's a small prick in the arm that lasts a few seconds then you don't really feel the rest of it until the end. To me, I'm used to it (although I still grip the side of my chair when the needle goes in).

Afterwards, you're led to a sitting area and given a cup of juice, tea or coffee and given a nice biscuit to get your sugar levels back up. In terms of bad experiences, I've never really had one. The donor carers are very friendly and the donation centre I frequent at are well equipped to deal with any issues you have. And remember, there is no pressure to donate there and then. If you don't feel well or change your mind, you are entitled to just walk away.

If you live in Scotland and are thinking about donating blood, check out their website here for more details. There you will find latest information on stock levels, where your nearest donation centre is and some amazing stories to watch and read.



Foodie Eats // Slug and Lettuce - Edinburgh

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

During our weekend away in Edinburgh, me and the boy were absolutely ravenous after a long train journey to the capital. After dropping our bags off at the hotel, we ventured towards to Omni Centre next to the Edinburgh Playhouse to peruse their culinary offers. We came across the Slug and Lettuce and after having a look at the menu at the door, I had to almost hold the boy back from rushing in.

It wouldn't be a weekend break without a few cocktails to start off the afternoon. It was 50% all cocktails Friday-Sunday and we had trouble deciding on which one to have from the vast options on the menu. As a gin lover, I started on 'English Country Garden' which had a refreshing blend of gin, cucumber, mint and lime. Shame we weren't sitting in a beer garden enjoying it.

Trying to be on the healthy side, I opted for the Mexican stuffed pasta shells with a superfood salad and it was delicious. The salsa was the perfect amount of the spice and the superfood salad was flavoursome and had all of my favourite veggies in it - edamame beans, tomatoes, cucumber and spinach.

The boy decided on the open chicken pie which came with mashed potatoes and peas. He dug in and was quiet for the rest of the meal whilst he devoured it. I obviously had a wee pick at the crispy edges of the puff pastry.

As well as the cocktail deal, there was also 2 for 1 on desserts. The boy had the hot apple pie with custard - he is so old school at heart and I opted for the salted carmel bar. I had no idea what was going to turn up but I had hoped it came with salted caramel sauce and that I certainly got. A soft chocolately bar drenched with salted caramel sauce and ice cream was absolutely divine. The portions were generous and I had to sadly leave a bite or two on my plate as my belly was well and truly stuffed.

We had another cocktail for the road and both chose the Porn Star Martini which came with a shot of prosecco. I drank half of it by which point I decided I didn't like it. Little did I know, I forgot it had vodka in it and due to a bad experience with vodka in the past, I can no longer drink it. The boy however took great advantage of this and finished it off for me. The gentleman he is.

I had a wonderful experience at Slug and Lettuce. The service was very good and not at all intrusive. The food and drinks were equally very good. We talked about how great the restaurant was for the rest of the trip and would happily go there again. Happy bellies.



31. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 4 September 2016

I have just got back to Aberdeen with my feet up after a lovely trip away to Edinburgh with the boy.

The sun was shining for us today as we bid adieu to one of my favourite cities. It actually makes me want to up-roots and move to Edinburgh. The city is so enriched with history and always bustling with people and cute boutiques. We had an amazing time exploring and shopping on Saturday along with a tasty dinner at Cafe Anadaluz in the city accompanied with some tasty cocktails. The next day we did some more exploring up to the castle and I had a wee snoop in Lululemon and Anthropologie. I wanted everything but my wallet was already crying from the weekend activities so I just looked at all the pretty things longingly.

My month of running is over and now I'm focusing on other fitness goals such as weight training and I'm trying to get back into yoga and pick up a few classes out of the gym or even doing home yoga. Has anyone got any recommendations for yoga videos from Youtube?

We're well on the way into September and I'm really looking forward to Brother Orchid coming back from the US, friend's wedding at the end of September and hopefully some more home improvements on the horizon.



The 100 Mile Challenge // Completed

Thursday, 1 September 2016

As of 31st August 2016, me and the boy have ran the equivalent of 4 marathons and 100 miles in one month! I'm so elated that we completed the challenge. We didn't get off to the best of starts and along with us working full time - the boy having a physically demanding job, me being on call for a week, getting a chest infection and paying a visit to G-Meds; I think we did very well.

I learnt a lot about myself; the way I run, how far I can push myself past my mental barrier and the strength and endurance I never knew I had. How can you learn all that about yourself just by running I hear you ask? Well, that's a lot of time spent covering a lot of distance with only your own thoughts for company and you learn to motivate yourself in many different ways. Most of them involving the amount of food I think about consuming once I've finished.

I'm encouraged by the fact that 5k is now a minimum distance I run (my first ever 5k time was 45 minutes, now I can do one in 30 minutes!) and that I can always push myself that little bit more. Although I have done 10k's in the past, I've always been scared of doing them but having to cover that amount of miles a month really push you to increase your target each time.

You care less about how you look when you're in public and that you just care about reaching that last lap or your finishing post. I'm so glad I signed up for this challenge. I wouldn't have ran this much otherwise and I'm even more glad that me and the boy can share this together and without his encouragement, I honestly don't think I would have been able to complete it.

If you're looking for a new challenge or to improve your running then I thoroughly recommend Awesome Running Events. I'm not sponsored by them at all..I just love them! Looking at all the progress pictures makes you feel part of a small community all striving for the same goal and encourages you to lace up your kicks for a cheeky outdoor session on the tarmac.

I can't wait to submit our evidence and receive our bling in the post and show it off on my medal rack. I would definitely sign up for another month of running - after I have recovered from this month of course!