Archive | September, 2010

My living room make-over

22 Sep

Thanks for the well wishes guys, I am now on the mend. I think it was just a light cold. I took it really easy (read lazy) yesterday and that seemed to do the trick!

For a couple of months I’ve been making over my living room, at a very relaxed pace. Are you starting to realise how laid-back I am about these things yet?

I have some before and after pictures for you 🙂

The sofa wall- before:

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The sofa wall- after:

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All the other walls stayed the original magnolia.

The cushions- before:

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I hated those cushions- they came with the couch.

Cushions- after:

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I made the purple cushion covers on my Mum’s sewing machine using fabric I bought from Mandors fabric shop in Glasgow. I made 2, the other cushion is on the reclining chair. The brown cushion is from Ikea and I’ve had it for a few years.

I also made curtain tie-backs.

Tie-backs – before:

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Tie-backs – after:

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I was given a coffee table from my parents and switched rugs with the bedroom too.

Rug and coffee table- before:

I had to go looking for that picture in an old blog post because I didn’t have a pic.

Rug and coffee table- after:

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Everything else in the room is pretty much the same as it was. I’m so much happier with the way the room is now. I felt that the room seemed very cold last winter as there was no warmth in the decor colours. This is now a room I’m looking forward to getting cosy in.

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Lamp and candle light are my favourite way to get cosy. Blankets help too! I very rarely close my curtains as no-one can see in and sometimes you get a view of moonlight on the water.

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Are you going to change anything about your flat for the colder months? What’s your favourite way to get cosy?

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Roasted vegetables

20 Sep

I love roasted veg. This is a great thing because until early this year I really struggled to like many vegetables. I still don’t like mushrooms, tomatoes or broccoli. I’m not a fan of cabbage and I think boiled potatoes are nasty. But I do like some roasted courgette, onion and peppers.

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Today I made Sarah’s Roasted vegetable and quinoa salad. It was really good!

DSCN3323  Sarah’s blog is pretty new to me and I’m looking forward to trying more of her recipes.

Today I have been lying low because I have a niggly sore throat. It’s not too painful but I live in fear of tonsillitis as I used to get it twice a year. I actually haven’t had it in about a year and a half which I am so happy about! Lots of fruit and veg for me over the next couple of days. Is there anything anyone else takes when they start to feel ill? I have had some orange juice and lots of water today too.

I have also been reading The girl who played with fire. I am obsessed with these books!

What books/t.v./new music are you obsessed with right now?

Car Snacks

19 Sep

As I’ve been driving the 260 mile round-trip to the city quite a bit this past month and it looks set to continue through to the end of October, with one thing and another, I thought I’d share my favourite car snack of the moment.

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Goldfish crackers! I love them, they’re not considered a health food but I think they’re better than crisps. I tend to get carsick and crave salty carbs to settle my stomach (even when I’m driving) so these fit the bill.

Anyone remember the Friends episode where Chandler’s nutty room-mate puts a goldfish cracker in the tank and calls in Chandler? Classic t.v.!

I got back from the city on Wednesday but had an application form to write and then was teaching on Thursday and Friday so didn’t have time to catch up on blogs. I am attempting to do that today. Bear with me! Here are some pictures of what the last week has looked like for me:

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Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow on Tuesday.

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Teaching on Thursday and Friday

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This tree really got me into the spirit of Autumn!

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Dinner at my parents on Friday. My Mum, who has seen me taking photos of my food before and knows why I do it, called me OCD when I took this picture. Thanks Mum.

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Finishing my book (loved it- have you read it?) and eating sweets on Saturday. I loved these sweets and will review the range soon.

How was your week? What was the highlight? I think the highlight of mine was teaching Primary 2 on Thursday- I adore teaching the little ones! At one point we were learning about emotions and were jumping around acting surprised and I couldn’t help laughing at the ‘Home Alone’ expressions on their faces!

My Weekend

12 Sep

I have been busy today and am heading up the road again tomorrow for a few days so I thought I would just post a wee quick update on my weekend.

On Friday night I babysat Cara and watched Big Brother. I know I am completely sad but I loved Ultimate Big Brother, it was the first I’d watched BB in a couple of years but it was totally worth the slagging I got for watching it!

On Saturday night I went out. I had a little trouble deciding what to wear. I’m still lacking in size 14 clothes. Option number 1 was my black denim mini skirt, a huge purple top (tucked in) and black boots.

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Excuse the mess and lack of make-up in the above picture. I felt the outfit wasn’t dressy enough and the wee thingies that tie on the arms are a bit weird so I went with outfit number 2:

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All black but I like it! Photograph taken at my Mum’s house after I went round to steal the top in the photo, and a bag, and a jacket . . .

Today I went hill walking with my friend Catherine.

DSCN3294 We did a walk called The Deer Hill Walk which is 3 miles.

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It was a good day for it. Warm but not hot. Lack of rain is always a bonus too! Tonight was spent packing for another trip to Stirling tomorrow. I’ll be going up and down to Stirling and Glasgow a few times over the next month or so, I’ll try to be a better blogger while I’m away but I can’t always seem to find the time. Tomorrow and Tuesday will be really busy so I definitely won’t be posting before Wednesday but I shall try to take photos while I’m away so you can see what I get up to!

I hope you all had a great weekend! XOXO

Out of Touch

10 Sep

I’m so out of touch with what’s going on in Blog world! As quickly as I read blog posts people keep writing more and I just can’t keep up! I think the issue is that my laptop is dying and I have to use the computer in my ‘office’ which is not so comfy. 

Comfy

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Not so Comfy

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And kind of messy . . .

Anyway while catching up on blogs I was delighted to find out that Leashieloo tagged me with a chain survey!

1. If you could have any superpower which would you have and why?

I am a huge fan of the show Heroes so I have thought a lot about this question! I think I’d have the ability to heal myself and others. At this point in life I’d be happy with a job though!

2. Who is your style icon?

I don’t consider myself to be a stylish person and I don’t follow fashion but I do love 1920s elegance and 1950s glamour. If I could have the wardrobe of any famous person it would probably be Marilyn Monroe, she had curves like me and knew how to dress them!

Plus I love dresses and would wear them all the time if I could!

3. What is your favourite quote?

I have loads of quotes that I love for different reasons. The poem Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou has always been my favourite poem so I’ll share that instead.

PHENOMENAL WOMAN
by
Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
copyright © 1978 by
Maya Angelou.

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Whenever a child tells me I’m their favourite teacher.

5. What playlist/cd is in your CD player/iPod right now?

The Eclipse movie soundtrack, some Elliot Smith and ‘Home’ by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes are all in my ‘recently added’ playlist which I listen to a lot. The CDs in my car haven’t been changed in over a year and include Snow Patrol, Kings of Leon and Florence and the Machine.

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

This is a tricky one! For the first 30 years of my life I was a night owl. Then for Christmas 2009 I got a Phillips blu light, and have been an early riser ever since, and I love it!

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

I couldn’t think of anything better! I’m still thinking though . . .

I’m a little confused about who has been tagged, and by who, but if you are in my blogroll then you know that I love your blog and will always try to make time to check in with you, even if I have to sit on a hard wooden chair to do it!

Ditch the workout, Join the party!

8 Sep

Hey guys, hope you’re all well? I’ve had a pretty eventful weekend and more trips to the dentist so I have been in hiding! I shall be back tomorrow but until then the lovely Helene has kindly agreed to write a guest post for  me! She is the Zumba babe of British blogging and I asked her to tell us more . . .

*****

Zumba here, Zumba there, everyone has pretty much heard that ‘Z’ word in the past few month…but what is it???

Zumba is the latest dance craze. It is a cardio workout, mix between an aerobics class and a latin dance class. During a class (45 to 60 minutes), you’ll be shaking your booty on different types of music such as merengue, salsa, samba or reggaeton.

The word Zumba is apparently from a Spanish dialect that translates to ‘move fast and have fun’ and that’s exactly what happens during a Zumba class.

I’ve been doing it since February 2010 and I.love.it. When I joined the gym, I looked at the class timetable, looking for a dance type of class and I saw this Zumba thingy…at that time, I had never heard of it. The website described it as ‘Latin and International music are fused to create an explosive, booty shakin’ party of a workout that will target all those problem areas and leave you on a high’.

This description sounded quite good to me so I decided to try it out. Keep in mind that I’ve never danced in my life (except in Night Clubs haha) and when I was at Uni, where I ‘tried’ a few things: Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll and some other stuff but my coordination was just let’s say inexistent that I wasn’t enjoying the classes so I gave up. My state of mind when starting Zumba was just ‘well, I’ll give it a try. Anyway, I don’t know anyone there so what can happen?’

So I went to the class. Everyone was kind of looking at each other and asking ‘have you ever done it before? No, me neither’

Hearing that I wasn’t the only ‘Zumba virgin’ made me feel good. Then, the instructor (Abbey) introduced herself and quickly explained what Zumba was. She also said that we don’t need to have danced before; the important thing in Zumba is just to Have Fun!

She then turn the music on and said she was hardly going to speak during the class. We just had to follow her and hop, here we went!

The class consisted of about 10 different tracks. Each track had a different routine that we repeated about 4 times. I was quite pleased with myself when the third time, I was starting to memorize the steps but not so pleased to hear it was then the end of the song.

After the class, I don’t know if it was the music, the atmosphere or the fact that I could tell people ‘yeah, I’m a dancer’ but I was all happy and the thing I was sure about is that I was gonna do it again!

So we’re now in September (I know, already). I’ve been doing it for 8 months and I’m still really enjoying it. I’ve had a total of 3 instructors and it’s interesting seeing how the routines and the music can change from one another. It’s also funny when you have a new instructor that puts on a music you’ve already worked on and then you say to yourself ‘oh, I remember this one’.

Doesn’t matter if you’re young, old, skinny or have some wobbly bits, if your gym offers Zumba classes, I think you should all have a go as it’s just all about fun! No one is gonna look at you; everyone will be looking at the instructor, trying to figure out what the steps are.

Really, it’s just FUN! You’re not even gonna notice that you actually exercise!

To get more info on Zumba, just go on the official website: http://www.zumba.com

And find your nearest class http://search.zumba.com/classes/

*****

Thank you Helene! I am now really desperate to get myself to a class!

Have you tried Zumba? Would you like to?

Courgette Muffins

1 Sep

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. I made him Courgette muffins as a present (money is tight people!)

DSCN3261 Mum gave me a courgette from the garden to use.

DSCN3259 I used the recipe from Jenna’s blog.

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My Dad said he preferred the Carrot Cake Cupcakes I made for Mum’s birthday, but I liked these just as much. The cinnamon and brown sugar topping was pretty amazing!

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In other news, I’ve had really bad tooth and jaw pain for the last couple of days and have been up and down to the dentist, an hour away, and have to go back again tomorrow. The dentist still has no idea what’s going on. I’ve been having the pain on and off for nearly two months now. I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself as my sleep is really disturbed and I have work this week which I want to feel fresh for!

On a cheerier note I’m going to Stirling after the dentist tomorrow. I’ll be there till Sunday, I have a few things planned so I’m not sure if I’ll have time to blog but I’ll be back by Monday to catch up on your blogs and let you know what’s been happening! Have a good weekend everyone. XOXO