29 November 2013

My Super Duper Autumn catch-up

So, here is my super photo heavy 'here's some of the stuff we done over the last few months' post. In September Jamie & I went on our first holiday and we booked up for a week in Akyarlar in Turkey. You may or may not know I was there last year (in Marmaris), and loved it. We had a standard 34c during the day and a 'modest' 24c in the evening, I have to say coming home to 6c wasn't much fun. 
During our time we took a couple of boat trips, Jamie went snorkling & scuba-diving, not for me, and we took a couple of trips into the local town of Turgutreis which was only 3lira on the bus (about £1) and a 10 minute. 
Our hotel was pretty decent, but after a week I was ready to come home. 
We spent a second week at home chilling out, pub lunching and also learnt how to make fresh pasta at the Bellini Cookery School which was a lot of fun and it's amazing how simple making fresh pastas and sauces is. I would highly recommend the place, Jamies mum treated us on a Groupon deal but even the normal prices for classes aren't bad.


In October, Jamie turned 27 so as a birthday treat I booked us a trip to Amsterdam. I had never been before, Jamie had when he was younger, I don't  need to add that this trip was a little different. 
We flew into Amsterdam around 4pm, I cannot praise KLM enough, both for their assistance before we flew and during. Free luggage if you sign up to their free 'Flying Blue' scheme, free to pre-book your seats, and some free snacks & drinks (mini cans of Heineken FTW) on the plane, and Schiphol airport....well, we could learn a thing or two from them also. 

Anyways, a few things we done whilst there were, visit the Red Light District - standard, I have to say I expect something a lot worse than what I saw. The 'Heineken Experience', pre-booking recommended, you also get two mini Heineken at the end. The 'Xtra Cold' bar, -10c, don't expect the type ice bar you see in London etc, it was fun but it was freezing, you got two comp drinks which you drank out of an ice-glass, it wasn't the easiest to hold and FYI - don't do what Jamie done and wear shorts! 

There were some amazing shops and little markets, as well as FEBO - now FEBO is like a hot food vending machine/shop thing. You pop some euros in, open a little door and take out the food. It was super yummy for what it is, and very conveinent. As well as pizza shops still open at 3am.

I booked our trip through LastMinute.com and took a risk on their 'secret hotel' which turned out to be NH Hotel - Amsterdam Centre - it was fantastic. It was central, very easy to get to by public transport once you knew your way about, we took a taxi to the hotel but walked to the train station on our return journey and took the train that takes you right into the airport.

Finally, my top rated thing about Amsterdam - how open everything is, sex shops next door to what I can only class as Tesco, the Red Light district, the cafés (not that we visited), everything is so open, and it seems to work well for them. I'm not sure it would work so well here though. I would love to go back and do more, I can't wait. 

PS: Be midful of people of bikes, they are EVERYWHERE!

27 November 2013

Back on the wagon.

My long term readers may recall that about 1.5 years ago I took up running, well jogging I guess. I completed my first charity 10K last October, and I was signed up to the Rock'n'Roll Edinburgh 1/2 marathon for last April, however, I have bronchitis that likes to flare up at the most inconvenient of times and as such I had to pull out - gutted wasn't the word. Next years race has been moved to May as the weather was horrid last year and I am considering singing up again, the small issue being I haven't ran much at all since February, the odd 5k in the gym here & there, and only just started heading back outdoors - just in time for winter *sigh*. 

Anyway, in order to get back onto the straight & narrow (and shift the extra 7lbs I've gained thanks to beer and pizza); the diet has looked like this for the past few weeks.

It's been an easy switch, I'm making sure I'm eating enough daily and not being tempted by crisps (my huge vice), but if I've learnt anything over the past year, it's sometimes you have to listen to your body - if you're craving crisps, your body may be calling for salt, if you're too sore to train? Rest. It's all fair and well when people say you MUST push yourself, yes you must to get the results you want but also, personally, if I'm too sore from a workout, I'll rest for the evening and start the next day - why burn yourself out? You're more likely to quit that way. 

And my last 'tip' for the day - DO NOT EXPECT RESULTS OVER NIGHT! 

I will be the first to admitt I've given up in the past as I've not seen results quick enough, they say it takes SIX weeks to see a change in yourself, if after that time your jeans aren't any looser, or the scales aren't going down it could be a good idea to assess your plan. Are you working out enough? Have you changed your eating habits? Without being harsh, sitting for an hour on an exercise bike may be better than sitting on your sofa, but if you're going to go home and snack on crisps/biscuits, grab a cheeky takeaway on your way home as 'you've worked hard for it' the chances of you seeing any decent results are very slim (no pun intended). 

Without sounding clichéd - 'Fail to plan, plan to fail'

12 November 2013

Chapter 1: The Boy Who Lived!

Ok, ok. Please forgive the title - we've been on a massive Harry Potter kick of late but what better way to start again than from the beginning! 

I originally started this blog back in 2011....then stopped, then started, then stopped again. Like a lot of people, my 'blogging bug' comes & goes, however last Tuesday during a morning 5k (yes, I'm still attempting this running malarkey) I decided to return to the world of blogging, restart, reinvent, maybe actually put a bit of effort into it.  

I've never been the most fashion-forward, my make-up is pretty plain & simple, and so doing a fashion/beauty blog would be beyond pointless for me. I do however love baking & cooking, DIY, my friends, my boyfriend and I do not too bad at this whole healthy eating & fitness stuff when I put my mind to it, and if the little bits I've picked up over the last year or so can  inspire, guide or help someone else out, that's just a huge bonus. 

So please stay tuned, there may be something of interest coming your way soon.

22 April 2013

139. Catch-up

I've honestly lost count of the number of sloppy 'catch-up' posts I've done in the last year. I think my blogging bug has gone into hibernation for the winter! But Summer (!) is almost here so I think it's time to dust off and start up again with pointless goings-on. 

So here's a little run down of the last couple of months: 

Some tasty eats: 

  • Afternoon tea at Turquoise Thistle (couple of Wowcher & Deal Monster vouchers, yes, that good that I went twice!) 
  • Wings at Wings on Victoria Street, (just under the Mariachi), until Sunday (28th April), £2.50 for a bowl of 6 wings, A-MAZ-ING sauces, wings cooked to perfection, and £2.50 corona too (find them on Facebook here)

  • Illegal Jacks on Lothian Road - for any local Edinburgers I shouldn't have to specify why Jacks is so good, good food, good music, good beer. GREAT value for money 

I learnt lots about craft beer, and it wasn't boring in the slightest - some good beers, some not soo good (IMHO) but a great experience and worth the money.  

  •  pulled pork burgers at Lebowskis  for my lovely friend Adams birthday. 

 Some entertainment: 

  • Cats at Edinburgh Playhouse 
  • All Time Low (again) at o2 Academyy
  • Lots of football watching, including hospitality where I got to meet one of my childhood heroes John Robertson

Some up-and-coming things:  

Eats at Khublai Khan, Basement and Jamie Olivers 
Tickets for Jack Whitehall
New Year in Berlin booked

And lastly, I'd like you to all meet the lovely, gorgeous, sweet, caring (I'll stop bragging now) boy in my life - this is Jamie, who may pop up from time to time on here, or if you follow me on Twitter/Instagram, you'll know all about him by now anyway. 
Jamie & I - Opal Lounge
I've never been convinced that one person could change your life so much, but here we are 5 months later and all going amazingly well. 

So apart from all that, I had my 28th birthday, two of my best friends are due their first baby in July, we've had some brilliant nights out, some good laughs, I unfortunately couldn't take part in the 1/2 marathon I'd signed up for due to a chest infection but that hasn't put me off and I'm hoping to aim towards the Prague 2014 full marathon (time will tell I guess), so that's what's been going on in my life, how about yours?

My 28th - Picturehouse

My 28th - Black Bull, Edinburgh (the cool rock one on Leith Street)