Wednesday, 13 May 2015

SCOTLAND THE BEAUTIFUL . . . MULL OF GALLOWAY!

 
Ever wondered where the southern-most point in Scotland is, but just been too lazy to google it? Let me set your mind at ease - it's the Mull of Galloway in Dumfries & Galloway. We visited down there the other week, after a cheeky wee overnight stay in Stranraer.
 
On the drive down there, the weather was decidedly lacking. It made for some decent waves though! (We got to drive through these on the road!) Luckily as we neared the southernly point, the weather started to clear up and we got to see some pretty scenery and beaches.
 
 
It was pretty foggy once we arrived but the mist was thankfully burned off by the sun for about half an hour and we got to see the scenery in all its beauty!
 
 
For that half hour, it was gloriously warm and we could have been abroad!

 










For more information, go here.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN . . .

It's that time of year again.

The time where I renounce all chocolate, alcohol and pretty much anything that is good and brings enjoyment to my life.

The time where I overdose on sit-ups and crunches (while wishing they were CRUNCHIES), dust off my weights and trusty loyal kettlebell, pledge to do at least an hour of exercise a day, and swear off fun. (Unfortunately I have never reached the point where I consider exercise "fun". I envy those people who can.)

Yep... the holiday is booked.

I am going to Corfu in two and a half weeks. I have known I was going to Corfu for about two weeks so far, which has given me a month to get into some semblance of a shape. Other than "couch potato" shape.

Although, to be honest, I reckon I'm more of a "wine glass" shape at the moment.

And I was being good. I had my meals all planned out in advance last week. There was protein, good fats, good carbs. Vegetables. Loads of vegetables. Basically everything that's meant to be good for you. I managed to resist wine on more than one day. On Friday I exercised in the morning (I had a day off) and then walked all the way into the city centre and back - a round trip of about six miles and I burned about 500 calories each way, according to my Polar watch anyway. (Although it sometimes thinks I have no heart-rate whatsoever, so I tend to take its outcome with a pinch of salt.)

Anyhoo... I got to yesterday. Weighed myself, feeling like I HAD to have dropped a good few pounds from last time I weighed myself.

Nope. I HAD PUT ON THREE POUNDS!

I promptly went out for lunch and wine to drown my sorrows.

But as of tomorrow... I'm back on it. Okay, I've only got two and a half weeks to Corfu and therefore my desired body is realistically outwith my reach in that period of time. But I need to get into some sort of routine.  And even if I can only drop a couple of pounds (to be fair, yesterday saw the beginning of "Aunty Rose's monthly visit" so that could have attributed to the weight gain), surely I'll still feel better than I'm feeling now?

Let's see, shall we? I will, as ever, be documenting the whole depressing trying-to-lose-weight process on my instagram, so feel free to pop by and follow me there if you haven't already. (Just ignore the starter I posted from my dinner out tonight, 'kay? Thanks.)

Wish me luck!

Friday, 1 May 2015

SCOTLAND THE BEAUTIFUL: SKYE!!!

The bridge joining Skye to mainland Scotland
As you may know, a few weeks ago me and the fella headed up to Skye, a first visit for both of us. And, with the exception of probably the weather, it didn't disappoint!

Skye is an island just off the North West of Scotland and one of the Inner Hebrides group of islands. Although it is an island, it is actually also now joined to the mainland by a bridge. So although it took us half an hour to sail from Mallaig to the bottom of the island on the way there, we took the bridge back and were on it for half a minute max. So surprised we were at the short length of the bridge, we turned around and drove back onto Skye for another twenty minutes or so before we headed home!

There was tons to see in Skye - unfortunately we only had two days to try and fit it all in and, with the aforementioned bad weather, we struggled to see everything we wanted to see.

Skye isn't really known for its beaches, which is a shame since there are loads of gorgeous beaches on nearby islands and nearby mainland! We decided to go and visit Claggan Coral Beach though as the pics we'd seen online looked pretty. Unfortunately that was the point where the weather decided to turn... and the tide had only bloody came in too! However, the part of it we could actually see was ridiculously pretty.




Inside the Fairy Glen
Kilt Rock was the most accessible sight in Skye - it's just at the side of the road on the edge of a cliff and, as you know, I do love my waterfalls. This was a good 'un. Although a little precarious to try to photograph - be careful not to drop your phone!!!




Neist Point was the first place we visited when we got to Skye, on the western side of the island. Pretty views... it was much MUCH colder than it appears from the photos though!



It may be apparent from my face how cold it is!

Portree was a pretty little place and we stopped there after getting soaked at the beach to get some fish and chips - yum!


But my favourite of all of the sights I saw in Skye has to be the Quiraing.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiraing Just look at this landscape!!! Definitely worth a visit and a walk around.




Boyfriend decided to run down the side of a cliff to explore a cave. I was not happy.

 
If you have the chance to go to Skye at any point, I would definitely recommend it - it was utterly gorgeous. Even the sunset. :-)  This was the view from the hotel we were staying in, sunset over Uig.
 
 
For more information, go here.
 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

LETTUCE BE HEALTHY!


I love the idea of being one of those "healthy" people. The people I see on instagram in approximately every third photo. The people who look all toned and glowing and post videos of their intense workouts alongside beautiful snaps of their delicious - but - healthy meals, usually made of ingredients I've never heard of and would probably only find on one of my bi-annual trips to Whole Foods in Giffnock.

They are so fit and happy and they make me sick because I'm not one of them.

(They're usually also Australian which makes me even more jealous, given I live in rainy Scotland. But I digress.)

The thing is, it's not that hard to be healthy. I just make it so by thinking that I need all these fixes that I can only get in Holland & Barretts or Whole Foods. All you need is to go to the supermarket, pick up some salad vegetables and protein and you have a million salad ideas you can try out. Just layer on some mixed leaves, peppers, cherry tomatoes and spring onion (not cucumber. Just no. I hate the stuff) and then you can chuck anything else on top of this base!

Some of my favourites are:

  • Egg, bacon and avocado
  • Chicken and cheese (as pictured!)
  • Salmon and avocado
  • Tuna mayo and red onion

All just so easy and also healthy. And low-carb, if that's something you try to stick to as much as possible. It's also a good excuse to have a lot of your favourite protein without the guilt you would have if you added it to pasta or rice. Result!


We all need some salad in our life . . . I'm all for it, especially if it means it frees up my calories for a glass of wine or twelve!!! ;-)

What's your favourite thing to put in a salad?



This blog post was produced in collaboration with Florette.


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

SCOTLAND THE BEAUTIFUL: ARDNAMURCHAN PENINSULA!


This weekend we headed up to Skye, but decided to have an overnight en route at the Inn at Ardgour. This is across Loch Linnhe, which is between Glencoe and Fort William and necessitated a trip on the Corran Ferry, a car ferry leaving from Onich and arriving pretty much at the doorway of the Inn. I had never even heard of this ferry, which takes a mere three minutes to navigate the breadth of the loch, but I think this was the main selling point of staying in this particular inn. (FYI: the inn itself was actually fab anyway!)

Three minutes after boarding we found ourselves on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, which according to Wikpedia is noted for being "very  unspoilt and undisturbed". I can see why. It is mostly single track roads and on a quick drive we went further south of the island after checking into the hotel, as well as our trip north the following day to get to Mallaig for the Skye ferry, we didn't encounter many cars. We also encountered a lot of sheep in the road - they are obviously not used to having a lot of vehicles interrupting them. On the trip South we discovered one sheep determinedly lazing in the road on the way back. He was NOT for budging!


On the trip North we encountered a whole welcome committee of sheep on the road! They moved out of the way but it was in a very much "aye, we'll move, but in our own time, ken???" sort of way.

We also saw a few baby lambs at the side of the road. Absolutely gorgeous!

The peninsula was lovely, and I'd definitely go back. There's not much there, granted, but it's naturally pretty. Dramatic landscape, pretty beaches, lochs aplenty and random waterfalls. And the aforementioned sheep are DEFINITELY characters. ;-)










 For more information, check out this website. Honestly, if you're in the area and have a couple of hours to spare, it's worth a visit. The ferry costs 8 pounds for a car (passengers included) but if you can find somewhere to park at Onich, you can travel across without a car for free. (You can also drive around but it is about forty miles.)

I also highly recommend the Inn at Ardgour. Great wee place.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

WHY I SHOULDN'T LEAVE THE HOUSE AT ALL . . .

I hate people. They make me angry. They get in my way. They fling their arms out as I walk past, oblivious of their surroundings, and HIT ME!!! They walk really slowly when I am in a hurry to get somewhere. AS IF THEY ARE DOING IT ON PURPOSE!!!!

When I am standing in a street, waiting for someone, they gravitate towards me. It's like I'm a magnet. I could have chosen the most harmless out-of-the-way spot to stand in and suddenly I am surrounded by groups of people who have decided that where I am is obviously the place to be. WHY??? Seriously. Are they all out to get me or what? Is there a conspiracy? Am I starring in my own version of the Truman Show? Is it a game show where the purpose is to see who can drive me insane first, and the rest of the world are the contestants???

Why do they decide to take the seat next to me on the subway when there is no-one else in the carriage? Or, even worse, decide to sit half on top of me???

Why must they stop abruptly in the middle of the street without checking first that I'm not behind them, and that I'm not in fact psychic and knew they were going to do this so I could sidestep them???

Why do people who don't need to be out at a busy time of day choose to do so? Is it because they KNOW that the only chance I'm going to have to go to the post office or do my Christmas shopping is between 12 and 1 on a weekday? I DON'T LIKE QUEUES!!! I don't even WANT to be there? Why are they there? Voluntarily? At the time of day when people are rammed into the shops like sardines??? At the only time I can feasibly go there?

Why do they stand in the only aisle I need in the supermarket (usually the wine aisle) at the exact section I want to look at? Why are they taking so long to decide? Someone HASN'T asked them to choose between their two kids here for Christ's sake, it's a fricking bottle of wine and I NEED a bottle to deal with the stress!

Does this sound stressful? This is my thought process most of the time I leave the house. Particularly when I'm on my own and have no one to help deal with my frustration. My sister is convinced I'll get myself beaten up one day with the cheeky remarks I can't help but utter in my anger at most of these situations.

And this is why I should just stay inside. Possibly with wine.

DEFINITELY with wine.

Do you hate going outside as much as me?

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

AN EGG-CELLENT MEAL . . . "ALL-DAY-BREAKFAST" SCRAMBLE!


As I mentioned in my last post I don't get a lot of time to make breakfast during the week due to work - it's easier for me to throw together some overnight oats the night before or take in some cereal and almond milk than it is to actually create a slap-up breakfast on a weekday morning. It's also far easier for me to stay in bed and hit the snooze button twenty thousand times before finally dragging myself out of bed half an hour before I'm due to leave my flat!

However, when I was contacted by a representative for British Lion Eggs asking for me to create a recipe using eggs, I decided to make an exception to the rule today and try and cook something up for me and the boyfriend.

I decided to make an "all-day-breakfast" scramble of sorts. You could throw anything typically "breakfast" into this - I decided to go for relatively healthy facets of a traditional fry-up, mixing tomatoes, mushrooms and chopped up bacon into scrambled egg, along with the possibly slightly less traditional breakfast ingredients of spring onions and some cream cheese!


So how do you make this delicious but simple creation??? Easy! Just fry up 2 slices of unsmoked bacon and add some sliced mushrooms; meanwhile crack four eggs into a bowl and mix with a tablespoonful of cream cheese. Tip the eggs on top of the bacon and mushrooms in a pan and scramble, adding sliced up cherry tomatoes and the spring onions as the eggs cook. I meant to top this with some feta cheese but it completely slipped my mind - too early in the morning for me to be thinking properly, I guess! Despite the omission of cheese it was absolutely delicious!



Quite often if I eat breakfast early I feel my stomach growling around the office by mid-morning. However, I've always found one of the best things about eggs is that they tend to fill me up until lunch.

I know a couple of people who don't like eggs or suffer from an Egg Allergy. .  . I'm glad I'm not one of them because I loved this breakfast and will definitely be making it again very soon. Although perhaps I'll make it a little bit LESS healthy next time. Sausages and black pudding scramble anyone??? ;-)


This post was produced in collaboration with British Lion Eggs.