Friday, 31 October 2014

Events in Glasgow this Halloween weekend

Thought I'd quickly share with you a few events that are going on in Glasgow this Halloween weekend:

Spooktacular Treasure Hunt at Buchanan Galleries

Pumpkins will be popping up in stores throughout the galleries this weekend. Shoppers have to search for the 10 hidden pumpkins for the chance to win a £250 Buchanan Galleries gift card. You can pick up an entry form at the information desk on the 1st floor. And the best bit... every child that hands back in their form will get a trick or treat goody bag.

'Eldest & Littlest' pumpkin from Stripe Communications :-)

Hallowe'en Hoot at the David Livingstone Centre (the National Trust for Scotland)

Arts and crafts, stories and more are on the cards at this children's Halloween event. Tickets are £5 and you can buy them online here.

Paisley Halloween Festival

There is going to be an illuminated Halloween parade down Paisley High Street this evening from 6-9pm, ending at Abbey Close where there will be a stunning fire garden created by outdoor arts company, Walk the Plank. The Town Hall will host craft workshops and face-painting and on the streets you'll find performers including fire jugglers. Sounds like it's worth a visit if you're in the vicinity.

Ghost Hunting at Mugdock Country Park

If you're feeling brave (this one's not for me!) then you can head into the grounds and dark dungeons at Mugdock Country Park on Saturday night at 9pm where Fizzigig Entertainment will scare the life out of you. Eek!! Age limits apply and booking is essential. Tickets are £8.

At the Halloween Fright Night (Fri 31st Oct, 6-9.30pm) at the Glasgow Science Centre you can take on the undead in the Tower Base... see how the apocalypse began and get ready to survive the ultimate zombie showdown. I've been watching The Walking Dead this past week, so this would be right up my street!! Tickets are £6 per person.

Eats from the Street at Glasgow Fort

If you've had enough of the Halloween chat, then pop along to sample some street food at Glasgow Fort this weekend. Eats from the Street is going to be located outside Argos from 11.30am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday featuring the following traders: Zoete Koek, Mighty Mexican, Breaking Bread and Nusou.

My new toy - the Parlux hairdryer

A few weeks ago I treated myself to a new hairdryer. My old one had pretty much fallen apart (my own fault, I threw it...very unlike me but I was raging at the time I did it) and recently it had started making noises that sounded unhealthy & it wasn't smelling too good either when in use...a bit burny for my liking.

In it's place I chose a Parlux, which I had remembered from a review by Mostly Yummy Mummy.

Can I just say I love my new hairdryer. I chose the Parlux 385 Power Light Ceramic Ionic Dryer.

I didn't think that it was possible to love a hairdryer. It's an appliance that blows air. I've always purchased cheap and cheerful hairdryers in the past. But goodness how my opinion has changed. For one, this hairdryer gets my hair dry in super quick time.  Secondly my hair feels sleeker than it did with old hairdryer. Is this possible just by swapping hairdryer? Could it all be in my head? Potentially yes. Do I care? Not really, I've got fab hair regardless! And finally, it's pink! There are loads of colours that you can chose from. Huzzah!

My sister borrowed my Parlux when she visited the other weekend and she loved it too. Can't remember her exact words, but the gist was that she thought the hairdryer was amazing.

It wasn't as quiet as I thought it was going to be, but other than that it's brilliant. Really pleased with my investment :-)

P.S. This may have come across as a sponsored post, but it isn't. I just really wanted to share my new toy with you all because I love it so much!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Fresh Start

When I became a mummy, my career took a back seat and my priorities changed somewhat. When I returned to work after a year's maternity leave, I reduced my hours to part-time. My employer has been flexible to accommodate nursery and now school drop-offs and pick-ups. However, things have been super stressful outside of work in the last 4 years (dealing with the breakdown of my marriage, divorce proceedings, house move, Crohn's flare up...) and my motivation to advance in my career has been low and most certainly not my priority.

Life is now a bit more settled. Progress is being made with the divorce (slowly, but we're moving in the right direction) and I've now been in my new house for a year. My career has come to the forefront again. I started to question what I want to do with my life. Where did I see myself in 5 years time? And being brutally honest with myself, I didn't see myself staying where I was. I had become comfortable in my role and have been bored for a while. My boss even said (not just to me, but to the team) that you should stay with an employer for 4 years, learn as much as you can, and then change jobs. At this point I had been with the firm for 5 years. Cue alarm bells...

I had considered moving fields; desperate for a change and a new challenge. But I studied for 8 years, gaining a first class degree and a PhD, and I don't feel like I can throw that away. Not just yet anyway. So I started the search for a new employer, in the same field: science. Time for a fresh start.

It's been daunting. I've been with my current employer for 7 years, and it was my first proper job after my PhD. I have had to attend formal interviews and give presentations (eek!). I had to sell myself, which I don't think I'm terribly good at...

Anyway, the amazing news is that I've signed a contract for a job and I will start work with my new employer in January. It's part-time and they're being equally flexible about my hours which is perfect.

I'm really excited and I think I've found my work mojo again!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Merumaya Facial

My friend Lorna is back after the success of her trip to Blythswood Square Hotel earlier this month; this time I sent her to John Lewis for a facial with Merumaya...

We all know the feeling when we have had a hard day at work, picked the kids up from nursery, get home to start the dinner/bath/bedtime routine but decide we will just have a facial instead. You don’t? No, neither do I. Facials, massages, manicures, general pampering, in fact anything that is relaxing in any way is a no go on an average weekday evening.

So I must admit I was a bit sceptical at the promise of a quick and easy DIY facial that can be done in between sterilising bottles and ironing babygros (who does that anyway?).

But I fought through the Buchanan Street crowds to be treated to a facial at John Lewis courtesy of new skincare brand Merumaya They call it recession proof pampering – a practical DIY facial that you can do at home and all you need is your hands (no faffing about with cotton wool, cucumbers and facecloths). The high performing products prevent and perfect signs of skin ageing and are only sold through John Lewis and QVC, making them pretty exclusive. They were created by Maleka Dattu who has a fascinating story to tell about her launching her dream brand following a natural pregnancy at the age of 48 after five miscarriages.

So my treatment wasn’t the typical Tuesday night in with screaming babies and Waybuloo but I tried to imagine myself following the skincare routine at home (just without the lovely d├ęcolletage and hand massage that Mary gave at the same time!).

I’m not sure I would be dedicated enough to use the full range as regularly as they recommend but some products only need to be used once a week (skin peel and mask) and I committed to banishing my daily facial wipes (they are VERY bad for your skin seemingly, but oh so convenient) instead replacing with the quick and easy melting cleansing balm which retails at a reasonable £14.50 for 100ml.

All in all I tested the eye make up remover, cleansing balm, treatment toner, skin brightening peel, radiance mask, serum, day moisturiser and eye cream. My skin felt fantastic, bright and glowing afterwards and my hubby said I looked about 16! This however then developed into a debate about whether I should actually wear make up or not, and although I appreciate his kind compliments I don’t see me going outside anytime soon without my trusted mascara and concealer!

Look at Lorna's gorgeous make-up people!! I'm very jealous! My chin is a spotty mess :-/

Monday, 27 October 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - Home Edition

Continuing with the Christmas Gift Guides, here are some home ideas for you...

Shearer Candles

I love that Shearer Candles is a local family business who manufacture their products here in Glasgow. The packaging on the V&A Collection candles at Shearer Candles is gorgeous. Have a look at this Ebony gift box candle:

V&A Ebony candle

Amber Noir candles and diffuser

Stag Head

My sister has a stag head in her formal 'adults only, no children allowed' living room which looks amazing as she has the ceiling height to pull it off - it's called Errol. I have a cardboard stag head in my hallway, but I have discovered this fabric patchwork fabric stag head at Marks & Spencers and thought I'd share it with you. It won't be to everyone's taste, but I love it!

Or this standing deer from Cox & Cox is also fab:

Stocking & Holder

I spotted these beautiful Christmas stockings in John Lewis, aren't they gorgeous! This would make a lovely Christmas gift for someone, and they could use it year after year...

My living room is silver themed, so these Star and Tree Silver Stocking Holders would be ideal too:

Subscription to home magazine 

Magazines are a rare treat for me, and so a magazine subscription is an ideal gift. My choices would be either Livingetc or Sainsburys magazine.


I love a blanket to curl up under at this time of year, but it's not something that I would normally buy myself as there are always other things that are more important. This is a luxury item that would be perfect as a Christmas gift. For me, it has to be something snuggly, so I've picked this faux fur beige blanket from H&M Home. Another lovely gift is a bath robe. Just putting it out there! There are loads of great home buys on the H&M site... have a peek here to see all the new arrivals.

Snow globe

I've done a separate post on snow globes. They are becoming a new family tradition.

Tea towel 

Wrap a bottle of wine in said tea towel to create this lovely gift...

For the tea towel, go for something humorous and festive, like this:

Or perhaps a cool print like this kissing stags tea towel from John Lewis (can you tell that I love stags!):

Set of Mugs

Most people I know love either tea, coffee or hot chocolate... so a mug to me is another 'can't go wrong' gift. Also at this time of year a nice mug of mulled wine is delightful! I like these Mulled Wine Mugs from Wayfair.

Christmas bunting

I love this 'Deck the Halls' garland from Violet and Percy.

Digital radio

This has been on my wish list for a while. How cool is this Roberts Revival Mini DAB Radio from John Lewis! Love it!!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Love the Little Things

Joining in again with Morgana's Love The Little Things linky...


This week I heard that a very good friend, who is pregnant with her first baby, has got obstetric cholestasis. It's the same condition I had during both my pregnancies. She hasn't got the typical itch though, which is normally the main symptom (the itch was horrendous for me). I'm just glad they've discovered it & she'll be induced early like me. If you want to read more about the condition, then have a look at the ICP Support website here.


I've been reading up on cake & biscuit decorating. I went on a Zoe Clarke course a while back & had bought one if her books before I attended (so she could sign it for me!) and I also have the Biscuiteer book.


I've been trying out some Christmas baking (hence the reading above!). I'm attempting miniature sponge cakes and spiced biscuits. Keep an eye on my Instagram feed for more photos as I make progress... it's harder than I thought it was going to be :-/


I love my new fuscia Zoe Dress from Boden.

Littlest sporting her Rapunzel get-up!


I've been watching and laughing at these Dear Kitten videos that my sister sent me the links for.

Which leads nicely only this......

And lastly...

I'd like to introduce Rhubarb & Crumble, our new kittens. Aren't they adorable!! I love them already, as do the kids. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - for the ladies

I'm putting together a series of Christmas gift guides for my blog, starting with 'For the Ladies'. If you have any products that you'd like featured over the series, then please do drop me a line. You can find my contact details on the 'About Me' page.

Jo Malone cologne

This is not something I'd buy for myself, but I would happily be gifted a Jo Malone scent. I personally love woody scents rather than floral, so for me I think I'd choose Wild Fig & Cassis or Dark Amber & Ginger Lily.

O.P.I. nail polish

You can't really go wrong with a nail polish; they make an ideal Christmas stocking filler. If you're unsure of the recipient's taste, then go for a neutral shade like I Sao Paulo Over There from O.P.I. or Kiss on the Chic. I'm also thinking about making up a little gift bag for the teachers to include a nail polish and a foot cream, with the message 'For your mistle-toes' on the tag!


Regular readers will know I'm a stationery geek, so for me this is the perfect gift. I'd love a Filofax and it's already on my Christmas wish list. After much deliberation, I think my ideal one would be The Original Organiser in a patent leather finish in the colour Fuscia, just like this one:

iPhone 6

Technology isn't just for the boys. I'm due an upgrade and would love an iPhone 6. Not sure I can afford it though, hence why I'm suggesting it as a Christmas gift ;-)


Another ideal stocking filler is a gorgeous lipgloss. My sister and I recommend bareMinerals Glazed Donut.

Urban Decay Naked2 eyeshadow palette

I have heard and read many a good thing about these eyeshadow palettes, but I'm yet to invest in one myself. The colours are beautiful and this is bound to be well received as a Christmas present.

Leopard print bag

I am a fan of leopard print, and I'm sure many other women will be the same. I love the look of this bag from Boden. It looks to be a great size for everyday use and has a shoulder strap as well as a grab handle.


I've already purchased my winter slippers, but this is also another gift that would be ideal for most ladies. I love these super soft slippers from The White Company. A great colour too so they shouldn't get too grubby. I ruled out the champagne coloured ones!

Kate Spade Watch

This watch is stunning. I love that it's simple yet very stylish.


I love all things stag, and this necklace is in the sale just now at Hobbs. Ticks loads of boxes for me!

Or this statement silver necklace from Wallis (also in the sale right now!):

Kitten, puppy or some other pet animal!

Obviously don't go buying pets without discussing it first with your other half or whatever, but we are absolutely loving our little kittens Rhubarb and Crumble that joined our family at the start of the week. More on them later!

Joining in with Let's Talk Mommy's Share with me blog linky:

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