Yup, another month down!

Things were a wee bit quiet over here during September. As you may be able to see my wee blog got a bit of a make over. I moved from Blogger over to self-hosted WordPress and got a fancy new theme from Pipdig ūüôā

And, when I say I moved over from Blogger, what I really mean is Mark moved my blog from Blogger over to WordPress. My contribution to it was getting the self hosting sorted and picking a theme I liked. Mark did everything else including moving all my content over from Blogger and making sure everything looked just how I wanted it. What a bloody champ! He is definitely a keeper (obvs for more than just his coding ability and never ending patience with me when I’m being a teeny bit demanding!).

Although things have been quiet on here while lots has been getting done in the background, Mark and I had a really fun, busy month! September is my birthday month, and this year it was a bit of a big one for me as entered Club 30 (eeeeeek!). As well as taking the day of my birthday off, Mark had a further two weeks off work for us to spend some time together.

My month kicked off with some mate dates though. Me and my bestie grabbed lunch and a really long overdue catch up at my favourite cake place EVER (Tea Jenny’s in Falkirk incase you were wondering)! Despite it being months since we’d seen each other, it always feels like it has been no time at all, she cracks me up and my face is always aching from so much laughing when we meet up! I also got to see her before she set off for a month long road trip round Europe with her husband. What an amazing way to celebrate turning 30 right?! I’m not at all jealous…

I also went to The Luna Cinema to see La La Land. It was a pretty cool experience, and the first time I’d been to an outdoor cinema. We had our blankets to sit on, thermos filled with tea, Tunnock’s Tea Cakes to munch, and because it’s Scotland our rain coats on. Just as well we did too, because it rained pretty much the whole time! Ryan Gosling more than made up for it though and the film was a lot better than I was expecting.

Then came the big 3-0…! Thankfully being 30 doesn’t mean I have to grow up, and this was perfectly demonstrated by the presents Mark got me – a Hello Kitty instax camera and backpack. We headed through to Edinburgh and got some froyo and a couple of drinks before I went to get my hair cut and then headed to my Mum’s for (what was meant to be) my birthday non-party…it was a full blown party! I can confirm that the hangovers don’t get better, there is no tolerance that is built up with age. The next day I felt rough, McDonalds Big Mac rough. And that night I was surprised with Mexican food with the friends group from Fife, I love Mexican food but the hangover was so bad I actually made my dinner choice based on the lack of cheese in the dish!

We kicked off the official start of Mark’s holidays with a trip to Wallace Monument, and it just so happened that we picked the day that was the 720th anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. There were reenactments throughout the day (which admittedly made me cringe slightly) and birds of prey. After managing to make it through about only ten minutes of the reenactment we headed up into the monument to climb the 246 steps to the top. Now that doesn’t sound like a lot but when there are people going both up and down in the a space that is definitely not big enough it really feels like a challenge to get up. The views across Stirling make it completely worth it though, although we didn’t stay at the top too long cause it was just a bit windy!

It was also Doors Open weekends during September. We headed through to Glasgow to see the Winter Gardens in Springburn, which involved a walk round Springburn Park while learning about the history of the place and the plans to restore the derelict Winter Gardens. As interesting as it was I can’t deny I was a little disappointed we didn’t actually get to go inside them, I have a thing with abandoned/derelict buildings.

Which brings me nicely onto the next thing – a trip to St Peter’s Seminary, an abandoned building that was used to teach people wanting to become priests. The brutalist architecture of the building is really something and the graffiti shows that despite lying unused and fenced off people have still managed to sneak in.

The weather when we were off was pretty disappointing, some may just call it Scottish, but we managed to pick the best day of the two weeks to bag another Munro – Cairn Gorm. It only took an hour and a half to get to the top but it was a pretty steep climb! It meant Munro number six for me, and three for Mark.

I got invited along to the Fresher Festival in Glasgow, a two day long event giving students everything they need for their uni experience. There were food stalls, people there from clubs and pubs, Glasgow Subway, glasses company Iolla and a VIP area hosted by Yada events. Seeing all the stalls related to alcohol reminded me just how much of being a student involved a lot of time in the pub!

The last weekend in the month Mark and I headed to Edinburgh to take part in Maggie’s Culture Crawl, a 10k walk round the city with access to buildings/parts of buildings you would otherwise not get in to. It was a fun experience and I will be writing a blog post all about it soon.

So there you have it, my mega busy September. How was your month?

 

 

All photos taken by me

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I feel like all months fly by but, man, August felt like a blur!

We went on holiday last month which probably helped it feel so quick.

After quitting my job at the end of July I really felt like I needed a bit of a break. Now, considering I’ve only worked in a proper full time job for three months this year a break might sound insane. But while I wasn’t working I was studying, job hunting and constantly stressing about my lack of job which is actually pretty tiring in itself!

So, I asked Mark to get time off work so we could go on holiday. I think it was needed by both of us! While I’ve been spending months stressing, Mark has had to put up with me. Not fun I’m sure! We had a few options for places to go, but we decided on Berlin. We had a great time, saw lots, ate so much food (I love German food) and drank a fair amount of beer. The history geek in me was loving the city! I’m still sorting out the photos from our trip but I will get a post all about it up soon.

August in Edinburgh is Festival month! The city is buzzing and there’s so much to see and do. Although I spent a fair bit of time in the city we only went to one show. I just love soaking up the atmosphere though. There’s always good foodie stuff going on at this time of year too and we had fun at the Festival Village: Waverley sampling some of the amazing food and drinks. I was all about the halloumi fries!

I spent more time at Business Gateway events last month, this time focusing on ones for starting your own business. We’re planning our next EBC event for December and in the process of setting up the business! Scary and exciting times! During the month we had a few team meet ups and meetings for the next workshop. We now have all our hosts secured which is awesome! This is going to be another amazing event (you can buy tickets here).

I feel like every month we end up with a trip to St Andrews. It’s one of my favourite places in Scotland and I feel really lucky to live so close. A trip to St Andrews was a proper day out from where I lived before, it took me a hour and a half to get there (so far I’ve had mini-holidays in St Andrews!!) and now it’s less than half an hour away. I love the quirky shops and Jannetta’s ice cream is always worth the wait in the queue on a sunny day! If you haven’t been St Andrews should definitely be on your list.

How was your August?

Photographs taken by me
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Last month was nice and busy!

I would love to say that we had a month of summer in Scotland, but that would be a lie… We probably got about a week of sun and a¬†whole load of rain!

We kicked off the month with the wedding of one of Mark’s friends. I’m not a fan of weddings. Like at all! So I wasn’t¬†really looking forward to it, I also didn’t know anyone else going. This isn’t always a great situation for a shy person to be in! Despite really not looking forward to it, the day was actually good fun. I’m going to put that down to the company, I kinda like my OH and have good fun with him, even when we’re doing stuff that isn’t really that fun! Plus, I actually had a wedding outfit that I liked and felt like me. There have been so many weddings I’ve been to where I have worn what I think you should wear to a wedding and I’ve felt like a tit. Must be something to do with age (and no longer giving a f**k) but I want to wear something that is me rather than what I think you should wear. No fascinators for me and I wore shoes I could keep all all day and night! I finished the look with my leather biker jacket ūüôā

One of the sunny days we got was spent in Glasgow, not all fun ’cause I had to go into the Apple shop to get my phone fixed! But after that we headed to see my family who stay in Glasgow. We sat in the sun outside in the garden¬†and had a BBQ.

I got to catch up with two of my favourite¬†people for dinner at Candybar in Edinburgh. Leaving my job at the start of the year meant not getting to see two of my best friends every day anymore. As glad as I am that I took¬†redundancy, not seeing their faces every day is a major downside! Group¬†messaging is all well and good but in reality it’s not the same and you definitely miss out on things that are going on in people’s lives. Bonus was also getting to eat at Candybar, I love the food there and this time round I even had space for dessert!

July is Mark’s birthday month. Obviously when he was younger it always fell in the school holidays and he had the day off. This is¬†something he has continued in adulthood and he takes the day off work. Of course I did too, and we headed into Edinburgh for the day. Our first stop was Calton Hill, a place neither of us have been before. A bit mental considering we¬†actually don’t live far away from our capital! We also climbed up onto the monument, which seemed like a great idea until it came to getting down and my body didn’t¬†physically want to allow me to jump! The National Museum of¬†Scotland is¬†somewhere we both like too so we visited there next, some new galleries have opened since the last time we went together which was cool.

Leonardo Hotels opened a new hotel in Edinburgh near Haymarket. Mark and I headed along to the launch night where we got to sample some of the food, (non-alcoholic) cocktails and got shown round some of the rooms. I wrote a post on it which you can read here.

The last weekend I did a charity walk, 10 miles along the Fife coastal path from Leven where I live, to Elie. We were so lucky and got a glorious morning for it, it was chucking down with rain later on in the afternoon! We managed to raise £800 for Homelands Trust, a charity based in Fife that provide accommodation for people with specific requirements. The money raised is going towards buying new specialist equipment for the lodges.

How was your July, did you get up to anything exciting?

xxx
 
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June ended up being a really busy month!

I started a new job after four months of being redundant and it was the month of Edinburgh Blogger Conference. That meant going out to do a 9-5, learning new things (which always hurts your head) and coming home and working on conference stuff. Crazy.

It was strange¬†going back out to work, I’m not going to lie. After being able to completely suit myself, go to the gym, eat nice breakfasts or, you know, stay in my pjs until midday it was a bit of an adjustment. But one that I needed. I was starting to feel really down at the¬†lack of purpose to get up and go everyday, not to mention the lack of money! Being supported is not something I seem to be able to do easily.

I did a lot of learning during June, learning new stuff on the job but I¬†also attended a lot¬†of Business Gateway courses on marketing and all the social media channels. I use social media a lot, a common thing it seems with pretty much all¬†millennials, but using it to post pictures of my daily¬†outfits, coffee trips or my meals is a bit different from using social media in a business setting. The Business Gateway courses are amazing, and FREE! They’re¬†for business owners but you can¬†also go along even if you haven’t started trading yet so it is¬†definitely something to take advantage of. I’ve¬†already myself booked into some for Edinburgh Blogger Conference and starting up a business as¬†they¬†help with all of that too.

The weekends leading up to the¬†conference¬†on 17th June were really all about getting ready for it, I roped my Mum in to helping us pack goodie bags the weekend before and Mark was involved with getting everything to the venue and loading my Mini up with more bottles of¬†water and cans of juice than I think I’ve ever bought. Luckily my new boss was pretty flexible and let me have a few days off around the weekend of the conference so I could run about picking up printing and last minute things we needed.

The weekend of the first Edinburgh Blogger Conference came round so quickly and the day was a bit of a surreal blur. It went incredibly smoothly, and not to blow my own trumpet too much, I think this was really down to the hard work that we put in as a team. I think I’ve¬†really found the dream team, two other bloggers who I get along with and work well together. What more could you ask for! I posted about the day earlier in the week, you can read my post here.

I left the conference on the Saturday evening and was straight to meet¬†my friend to head down to Dumfries to do Tough Mudder on the Sunday. Honestly at this point I was thinking I was mad, and had completely overestimated my ability to keep going for the full weekend. My¬†adrenaline had started to run out and I was staying in a house with a group of people I didn’t¬†really know that well. We got up nice and early on the Sunday and piled in the cars to head to the starting line. I was nervous as hell, as a first timer I had no idea what was really in store for me or if I would be able to do it. I’m going to write a full post all about my experience and why I loved it so much, but for now all I’ll say is it’s one of the best things I’ve done, despite being caked in mud and getting¬†electrocuted…!

I had planned on staying the Sunday night in Dumfries too but I was done after Tough Mudder so caught a lift back to Edinburgh with one of the guys from my team and met Mark, where we went to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts to replenish some of my burnt calories from the morning. It meant I got to sleep in my own bed and I also got a nice leg massage from Mark which was amazing as I could walk the next day! ūüôā It was also good because we both had the Monday off work so we headed to St Andrews for a bit and had a nice wee walk and look round the shops.

Last month also went to our third gig of the year – Paramore at the Usher Hall. It was the first time I’ve seen Paramore and the first time I’ve been in the Usher Hall. I’m pleased to say that¬†because of the awful incident in Manchester in May venues have really clamped down on security which made me feel safer. Paramore were¬†incredible! And the¬†Usher Hall was a great venue for them, it was quite small so it felt a bit more intimate and even though we were at the back you could still see the stage. And to make it even better when Hayley got one of the crowd up to sing, Lauren from Chvrches came on stage too! Amazing.

How was your June?

xxx
 
Photographs taken by me (except Tough¬†Mudder team photo…that was taken by a passer-by at the event).
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Another month down!

Can you believe we’re into June already?! I mean, there are only twenty-nine Fridays until Christmas 2017 (sorry!)!!

May flew in for me. Mark and I had lots of fun days out, he took some days off work to keep me company as I was still technically unemployed last month.

At the start of the month we went to see Deftones at the SECC in Glasgow. Any gig we go to in Glasgow usually involves some form of yummy dinner beforehand. Our favourite is one of the best Glasgow has to offer (well, in our opinion), the pizza and beer selection that Bier Halle has always calls to us. 2 for 1 pizzas and more beer on the¬†menu than you¬†could get through in one visit! Usually we pick two pizzas we both like and share, our choices this time were black pudding & fried egg and¬†Hawaiian. I was nursing a hangover this day that even beer and pizza couldn’t cure, so standing for about 3 hours at the gig was not ideal for me! But I still had fun.

Mark took the May Day bank holiday off work and we decided to take advantage of the sunshine and go for a walk and a picnic. Not just any picnic, we got M&S food (they have some great picnic¬†choices in their Spirit of Summer selection).¬†Having lived in Scotland all my life I¬†should know that sunshine does not equal warmth…I ate my picnic sporting Mark’s woolly hat!

Having a boyfriend that is a beer geek means much time spent in beer shops and if there is any sort of beer event on we will try to be there. I’m¬†partial to a beer or two myself so¬†happy to go along too. When we saw FestivAle advertised at Summerhall in Edinburgh we swiftly got ourselves some tickets. Local beer shop Cork and Cask had a bottle bar, along with different breweries including Brewdog, St Andrews Brewing Co. and Barney’s (brewed at Summerhall). I’ve only recently started drinking gin and¬†Pickerings Gin (distilled at Summerhall) was there too. I¬†absolutely loved their original gin with ginger ale – yum! Along with good beer and gin the food was pretty tasty, I was not that happy sharing my halloumi fries…

There was some nice weather to hit Scotland in May. Not having to go to work meant that I was getting the opportunity to enjoy it and catch up with some friends. I also got to explore a bit more of the Kingdom I live in when I met friends and their wee boy in Aberdour for lunch and a wander along the beach. I think I still have lots of places to explore in Fife but this was another one ticked off.

We got some very last minute tickets to the Hidden Door Festival at Leith Theatre. There was art to check out, street food, bands, a speakeasy where Loud Poets performed, and the main attraction for us was Idlewild. Leith Theatre closed in 1988 and last month was the first time it opened it’s doors to the public since then. It has in no way been restored to it’s¬†original state, but¬†honestly this added to the charm for me. I have a bit of a thing with abandoned, decaying buildings. It is however a gem of a venue and it’s such a shame it hasn’t been getting used. Plans are in place to bring this great space¬†back to it’s former glory, find out how you can help here.

A rainy bank holiday at the end of the month in St Andrews was a great way to spend a day off together. When we got in the car we didn’t know¬†where we were going and I was given the choice of what direction we drove at junctions and roundabouts. It just so happened we ended up in one of my favourite places (I’m rubbish at directions so it was in no way intentional). Even rain in St Andrews doesn’t ruin your day, there are so many¬†shops to look in (including beer shops) and cafes and bars we were easily entertained for the day.

How was everyone else’s May, did you get the chance to take advantage of some of our great weather?

xxx
 
Photographs taken by me & M Richardson, created using Layout
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