Photo of woman with brown hair wearing a red headscarf, sitting on a chair

It’s Edinburgh Fringe time again!

The Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival running for most of the month of August each year. I’m going to assume that you’ve heard of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe because most people have! But, just in case you’re completely oblivious to one of the biggest events in Edinburgh, here’s a wee bit of background on it for you.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe (most commonly referred to as The Fringe) started in 1947 and has run every August since then. It’s an open access arts festival, meaning anyone can put on a show. And anyone does!

Tourist and performers from all over the world descend on our capital, and it’s often the starting point for comedians. With around 300 venues in the city, you’re spoiled for choice on what to see! Whether you like comedy, dance or theatre there is so much to choose from. There are even performances to keep the kids entertained for part of their school holidays!

If you’re a bit of a history buff and want to read up on the Fringe you can do so here.

Unless you were to take the whole month off to see shows, you will unfortunately only be able to scratch the surface of what’s on offer. You really need to be selective about the shows you go to. I love comedy, so something that’s going to make me laugh is always top of my list.

Our first show was Tash York’s ‘Adulting’ at Underbelly. A cabaret comedy, that I really hope most grown-ups can relate to. Tash talks (and sings) about the real struggle that being an adult is. The show is so funny because everything Tash is saying is true. I think everyone likes to pretend that they’ve got all their s**t together, rather than admitting that they haven’t taken their glass recycling out for so long that now when they go to the bottle bank they’re going to look like raging alcoholics (I’m not referring to myself in this scenario…)!

Tash sings along to tunes you will definitely recognise, with even a bit of Disney thrown in there. Oh, and she even did a wee bit of improv! This show is hilarious and should definitely be on your list of shows to see at this year’s Fringe. Underbelly is a great venue, with lots of mini venues there are loads of other shows to see. There are also a couple of outdoor bar areas you can sit in to soak up the Fringe and the sun (or rain depending on which Scotland you get!).

‘Adulting’ is running until Monday 27th August at Underbelly, Bristo Square – Buttercup. You can buy tickets here.

What are your top picks for the Fringe? Comment and let me know what you’re planning on seeing or have already seen!

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

 

*Tickets were gifted by Tash York but as always all views are my own.

Image provided by Tash York

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Photo with three bottles of gin, two bottles of tonic on a white table with marble backdrop

Gin subscription delivered straight to your door?!

There doesn’t sound like much better than this.

Recently, Flavourly got in touch with me about their monthly subscription boxes. When I heard that they offered a gin subscription I was definitely keen. The rise of subscription boxes over the last few years has been big. And, why not? Hardly surprising that people want to receive something nice through the post – rather than a bill. It’s a great way to discover new brands that you might not have otherwise heard of. And when it comes to gin it can be pretty expensive trying all the ones you fancy.

So, how does it work and what do you get? Flavourly pride themselves in working with smaller brands, who focus on quality and experimentation during the distilling. Each month you will be sent a box with three 200ml bottles of gin, a mixer, a snack and a copy of Flavourly magazine. And all for £35 a month! The box that I got introduced me to some new gin, which I always love! I got a bottle of Badachro Scottish gin, Blackwater no.5 Irish gin and Sovereign no.1 elderflower and gooseberry gin liqueur. Along with this, there were two bottles of Lamb & Watt tonic water and a packet of Soffles pitta chips.

I really like elderflower as a flavour with gin and quite often use elderflower water as a mixer, so I was looking forward to trying this out. I mixed the elderflower and gooseberry gin liqueur with the Badachro gin and used the tonic as a mixer. The result? A sweet, refreshing cocktail that was very easy to drink.

I’ve tried many different subscription boxes over the years, and to be honest, once I got over the initial excitement of them they’ve quickly lost their appeal. I’m not sure if it was because I felt like they maybe weren’t the best value or that the items in the box maybe weren’t right for me. But with this, I don’t think I would ever tire of new gin. And for the money, it really is great value. You would never be able to buy small-batch gin for this price and you get to try brands that could potentially have never been on your radar.

Not a gin lover, but know someone who would love you forever if you bought this as a present? Then you’re in luck! Because not only can you subscribe yourself, you can also give as a gift. Pick from a single one-off box, or in multiples of three (three, six, twelve months).

If you want to give Flavourly a try then use code FROCKS10 for 10% off. And if you do try them out I’d love to know what gins you get!

Oh also, today (9 June) is World Gin Day so that definitely gives you the perfect excuse to drink some gin!

 

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

Photo by me

*I was gifted a subscription box by Flavourly – as always all thoughts are my own.
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Burgers are one my favourite foods to eat when I’m out for dinner.

I think it’s because it’s one of the things that’s possibly a bit more expensive to make yourself at home (you need a good bit of steak mince, if you want a slice of bacon on top then you’re generally going to have to buy a whole pack of the stuff, a block of some nice cheese…). When you eat burgers in a restaurant though sometimes there are so many options it makes it hard to decide what you want!

This was absolutely the case at Burgers & Beers. If you don’t know about this restaurant in Edinburgh, it’s on the Royal Mile, and does pretty much what it says on the tin, well… above the door at least! The majority of the menu is made up of burgers and beer but if burgers are not your thang (what is wrong with you?!) there are other options on the menu.

It seriously took me a while to decide which burger I wanted, plus Mark and I had to discuss to make sure we weren’t getting the same one (we like to have a taste of each other’s food). In the end I settled on the Frying Scotsman, haggis, onion rings and Scottish cheddar cheese, don’t mind if I do! Mark went for the Mac Attack, and yes that does mean mac n cheese on top of a burger! When you order a burger all you’re getting is the burger so you need to order fries on the side. There’s a lot of eating in the burgers so one portion of fries is definitely enough for two people.

So onto the food. I had to take the onion rings out the burger before I started eating it, I don’t have the ability to unhinge my jaw, but even at that I still had to use a knife and fork for some of the eating process! The burger was tasty, had just the right amount of cheese and the haggis fritter was a great add on. The haggis comes in batter but it’s not too heavy so you’re not completely stuffed half through your food. They’ve even nailed it with the bun. There is nothing worse than eating a burger while the bread is turning to mush during the process, not an issue with the glazed bun.

Mark’s burger was also ridiculously tasty. The mac n cheese comes in fritter form too and also has bacon on it, I’m pretty sure this one was calorie free…ha! There was also a bit of greenery on this burger and beer mustard. Yum! The side order of sweet potato fries went down a treat, but even with us sharing a side I still couldn’t finish all my food!

I haven’t even covered the beer menu. You won’t be short of choice, you can find a great selection of Scottish beers along with some imported beers. For those of you who don’t like beer though, check out the cocktail menu!

Burgers & Beers is now one of my firm favourites in Edinburgh, it’s safe to say we’ll be back.

xxx
 
Photograph taken by me
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January, the month when gyms are at their busiest and everyone is full of good intentions with thoughts of a killer bikini body in their mind.

The shops are full of workout equipment, and by this stage in January most people have given up. Now, I know that sounds very negative, but statistically people ditch their new years resolutions after 3 weeks. So if that resolution was to get fit and stick to the gym it is probably out the window already.

When it comes to fitness I think most people give up due to lack of knowledge and not seeing results quickly enough. I fall into this category, I want results, like yesterday and if I work hard on my abs I can’t understand why I don’t have a six pack already! Many people fall into the trap of going to the gym and following the same routine and not seeing any changes. And when it comes to gym instructors I generally don’t have much time for them, I don’t think they listen to what you want and for women anyway seem to follow the same cardio based routine.

Last year I decided to bite the bullet and use personal trainer. Despite dropping over two stone through Slimming World I still didn’t feel like I was where I wanted to be so thought that maybe this could help. I decided to go with Matt Wilson, a PT that worked in the same building as me and trained out of the gym next to our work.

I was nervous. Nervous about having my weight and measurements taken. I was also nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do all the exercises or be really unfit and embarrass myself.

My first session with Matt was really a consultation. He asked me to keep a food diary for three days before which he looked over and we talked about my goals, then came the weigh in and measurements. I didn’t feel as embarrassed as I thought I would, mainly because I was there for a reason and Matt’s friendly personality puts you at ease. I was given my programme which consisted of two workouts, meaning I would workout two times a week by myself and have one PT session.

The first programme I was got was strength training and I admit I was a bit nervous that I would ‘bulk up’ but (thankfully) I didn’t and there was also a nice benefit to my running that I hadn’t anticipated. Last year I signed up for two 10k runs and a 5k run, despite not being able to train as much as I would have liked due to injury I still managed to run them in roughly the same time as I would have after following a twelve week training plan. I also shaved about five minutes off my 5k time last year.

I had three blocks of sessions with Matt last year. Each time I lost inches and I reduced my body fat percentage. The third lot of sessions I lost 3kg in weight (about 8lbs) after saying I wanted to focus on weight loss.

Getting a PT was a great idea. It has changed the way I now plan my workouts and it gave me the kick up the butt I felt I needed. If you’re based in or around Edinburgh and are looking for a personal trainer then you should definitely check out Relentless Fitness. Matt provides a friendly, relaxed environment and he has a genuine desire to see his clients succeed. He will work you hard, but the results are worth it. You’ll thank yourself.

For the month of January Matt has an offer for 20% off and there are still a few days to take advantage of this.

You can also check out Matt’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

xxx
 
Image taken from Relentless Fitness Facebook page
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Last Friday night we headed along to Revolution Bar in Edinburgh to check out their new menu. Nothing beats a nice meal out to end a week of work. The bar was busy, which is always a good sign, and there was a good ‘hello weekend’ atmosphere in the place. Even with the super loud stag party who were out for a very different night than us!

Our drinks order was taken right away and we were given time to look over the pretty extensive menu. It took a while to decide what we wanted to eat, there was just so much choice!  After much deliberation we both went for burgers, I had the Smokin’ Bacon and Mark went for The Mother Clucker.

While we were waiting for our food to be served we got samples of sweet potato fries to try and the waitresses were handing out tasters of cocktails in shot glasses. The cocktail menu looked great, I was pretty gutted that I was driving as there were so many cocktails I wanted to sample!

So, onto the food. Oh. My. God!  It was tasty, and the portion sizes were big.  My burger was loaded with toppings including smokinnaise (? whatever that is), chorizo ketchup and wotsits…yup that’s right, wotsits! Mark’s burger was actually 2 burgers, a beef burger and a battered chicken fillet served on a brioche bun with the addition of sweet potato fries, also on the bun! It was definitely a knife and fork job.

Even though I was completely stuffed we decided to share a dessert, because you know, everyone has a second stomach for dessert right? Plus the Nutella Fluffwich sounded far too good to resist! We made the right decision, nutella, marshmallow fluff, powdered sugar and a blueberry compote – yummy!  Worth feeling fit to burst for.

The staff were really friendly and attentive. We will definitely be back, the food was delicious and there are so many cocktails I really want to try out!

Thank you to Revolution Bar, Edinburgh for having us – our dinner was complimentary to review the new menu. All opinions are my own.

xxx
 
Photographs taken by me
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