Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Lifestyle: Scotland travels

Soon we're taking a trip to Scotland, the Fatherland!
I've only been a handful of times before, so I'm quite excited. We're starting the trip by visiting family near Glasgow, friends in Edinburgh and then a few nights on the East Coast, holed up in a fishing village near Fife. Ideally we'd be going for longer than a week. This time we won't be able to visit the Highlands or the West Coast unfortunately. Next time I'd love to go to some of the Scottish Isles.

I've made a couple of short plans for the week already...

1. Walk Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh and visit Edinburgh Castle. These are both pretty obvious really, unless you're not a walker and then I'd cross of Arthur's seat! However I've got quite used to hiking up hills since getting Ted, so I'm ready for the challenge.

2. Buy some of my clan tartan, yes really, preferably with clan coat of arms embroidered!
I'm secretly very proud to have a cool coat of arms!

3. Take a trip to Loch Lomond, north west of Glasgow.
I've been to Loch Lomond before but it offers such great walks that it has to be done again.

4. Visit St Andrews Castle, yes, big castle fan!
St Andrew looks beautiful and if we get time I'd love to visit the University too. It's one of the oldest universities in the world.

5. Take afternoon tea, possibly at The Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow, beautifully designed by Rennie Mackintosh.

5. Visit Rosslyn Chapel, outside Edinburgh, this will probably disappoint me in real life but I can't help being curious abut it after it was brought to fame in The Da Vinci code.

If you have any suggestions about what to do in Scotland, I'd love to hear from you!

p.s family coat of arms below, I'm such a geek!


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Lifestyle: Dreaming of summer

Summer feels like an awfully long time ago! I'm not a huge fan of cold weather so I'm awaiting summer with anticipation!
Last year we had a staycation, I hate that word! We went to Cornwall, Porthleven, as we'd only had Ted about a month and definitely couldn't leave him behind when he was still a baby!

Cornwall to me is the ideal destination, as long as the sun's shining, it has the most beautiful beaches, fabulous food and it's only a couple of miles away.

We stayed in a very cute little cottage overlooking the sea and just a few minutes walk from the village harbour. During our stay we practically became regulars at the local fish restaurant Clay Quay. I've literally just read that it's being bought out by Rick Stein. Anyway it was very nice when we went , lots of fresh seafood and small tapas style dishes.

At the time we couldn't walk down the street without people cooing over Ted, he was a very cute puppy!

Look at that face!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Lifestyle: Lemon, Ginger & Honey tea

My love for tea at the moment really knows no bounds. If you read my previous post all about the amazing English grown tea from Tregothnan you'll see what I mean! My current love is fresh ginger and lemon tea with a little honey, which I know is nothing new but the health benefits are just huge!
  • There are high levels of anti-oxidant in both ingredients. Obviously lemons are also packed with vitamin C, which always helps keep the body healthy!
  • The combination of ginger and lemon apparently helps food to be absorbed by the body and therefore prevents bloating.
  • The boost of vitamins in winter keeps colds at bay.
  • Finally, it tastes really good!
I've recently taken to brewing up quite a big batch, leaving it to cool and then sticking it in the fridge to have the next day at work. Kind of the iced version! This was less by design, more of a happy accident when I forgot I had made myself a cup and discovered it was actually pretty good cold.... who'd have thought!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Major IT upgrade- Retina Macbook pro

I finally caved and joined the Apple bandwagon! In hindsight I don't know why I actively deprived myself for so long! I've always been a firm fan of Samsung phones and scoffed at peoples obsession with Apple but my last Samsung laptop was a serious let down. So I upgraded to a Macbook pro recently and will never look back! However I can't help shake a feeling that I've let the Samsung team down! I found this quote on my internet travels and it kind of sums up my Apple vs Samsung feelings perfectly. 

"Samsung fans are old dudes who like computer programming and toilet jokes, and Apple fans are women who buy things they don't need."

I've always felt like 'the old dude' and I liked it that way but really I've now discovered that my Macbook pro is the best thing ever and yes I do realllly need it!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Weekly thoughts #7

This week...
  • I spent the start of the week in Cumbria taking part in a photography course at work. It was a great couple of days and I finally feel like I might be able to start taking a semi-decent shot but I've definitely still got some studying to do.
  • This meant I was away from home for several nights, which doesn't happen that often. I seriously missed the dog... and the other half!
  • Room service, so good!
  • Seeing some long promised snow up in Cumbria. The countryside is so beautiful there. It's made me really look forward to a week in Scotland we have planned in a few weeks time.
  • Buying some flat suede over knee boots I've been eyeing up for weeks. Now my impatience, waiting for the postie, sets in!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Beauty - St Tropez everyday gradual face tan

I don't think my face has seen a ray of sun for roughly 6 months, since the odd bright day in August spent in Cornwall. As sad as this makes me, it has truly awful effects on my skin, which is now pale and fairly rubbish looking! I know everyone says you should use spf everyday but I just look so much healthier after a good dose of sun! 
So whilst I can't get that naturally at the moment this product is doing a fairly good job at adding a little colour to my cheeks. The formula is light enough to use everyday and sinks in to the skin quickly without leaving skin feeling greasy or heavy.
I went for medium/dark. Is it bad that I would happily have it even darker!
Have you tried St Tropez gradual face tan?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Time for tea

It's a simple drink, just water and leaves but tea is well known to be a national pastime. 
The British public reportedly drink, on average, three cups every day. From a refined cup served with finger sandwiches at afternoon tea to a strong builder's brew in a mug, a cup of tea is a diet staple. 
Aside from being delicious, it's proven to hold a whole host of health benefits. Contrary to some unfounded myths that tea dehydrates, experts report that this couldn't be further from the truth and tea not only hydrates but can protect against heart disease and some cancers. It's actually believed to be even healthier than drinking water as it replaces vital fluids, just as water does but it also contains antioxidants that have been proven to help with a range of health problems.

I recently discovered Tregothnan tea through work and have completely fallen for the range.
Tregothnan is home to the Boscawen family. The private family owned estate has achieved pioneering botanical firsts since 1334. In the 1800s an unparalleled collection of newly introduced plant species were brought to the estate and flourished thanks to a moderate and unique micro-climate that the Tregothnan experts say mimics the high foothills of the Himalayas. Inspired by a tradition stretching back generations, Tregothnan planted the very first English tea plantation of Camellia sinensis plants in 1999 and began supplying England's first and only home grown tea in 2005, alongside a vast range of delicious herbal infusions.

I've chosen a few of my favourites to introduce you to below:
Camomile infusions
Grown and picked on the Tregothnan estate, this plant has been used for years as a medicinal cure-all to calm the mind, soothe digestive issues and ease muscle stiffness and cramps. A mild sedative, it is fabulous to drink at night to encourage a better quality sleep.
Eucalyptus is one of our very finest hearty healthy herbals. Created fom eucalyptus plants plucked from the Tregothnan estate, it alleviates nasal congestion to maintain clear breathing passages. A great tea for winter maladies, it is both anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
Exceptionally good in winter, this magnificent little plant is just what you need to keep colds and flu at bay. It's also good for wound-healing. Echinacea tea can even help reduce fatigue and ease allergy symptoms such as wheezing, runny nose and an itchy throat. It tastes amazing too. Floral, delicate and refreshing. It is a delightfully relaxing beverage to sip at the end of a hectic day.
Have you tried any herbal infusion teas before?

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