Friday Favourites! Birthday Week!

Hi all,

Wow what a week and a half it has been since I last posted! In fact it has been the busiest week since I can remember! Packing, seeing friends and family, my 30th birthday – phew!

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This is our last week in Glasgow, in fact we leave on Sunday! We then travel up north to spend a few days with my parents before jetting off to Perth Australia on the 8th of August. You guys, it’s getting so real now!

So to catch you all up on my goings –on, I thought I would do a little Friday Favourites post, linking up with  Heather over @LifeinLeggings!

Cocktail making masterclass

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My parents came up at the weekend to celebrate my birthday (28th) and one of the things we had arranged was a cocktail masterclass at Hillhead Book Club in Glasgow (such an awesome bar!). We each got to make 2 cocktails at our private bar and were tutored throughout. I made an espresso martini with Patron Cafe tequila (my favourite!) and a smoky one with my favourite whisky and amaretto… mmmm!

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Spending time with this bunch of crazies made it perfect though – we all left with massive smiles and a wee bit tipsy!

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Ubiquitous Chip

This restaurant in Glasgow is amazing and I cannot believe I will not have another opportunity to savour its delights! It was my birthday treat meal after our masterclass and it was incredible.

My main was Guinea Fowl breast – Dorset snails, broad beans and an onion veloute

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(and that GF bread at the side was so good!)

My desert was a white chocolate bavarois – raspberry fool and pistachios

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A beautiful meal that felt so special for my 30th!

The day itself!

Well how do you start your birthday (after CrossFit of course)? With pancakes and berries! (and mimosas… not pictured!)

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I wanted to chill out for the day so we went for a wonder around the shops, picked up a few more bits for Australia and went out for lunch!

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We had a lovely meal here – sharing the salami platter which was amazing!

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For main I had the fish stew –  it was really good and flavourful, passed on the GF bread but it was so thick that I didn’t even need it!

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Gin 71

So of course you have to have a cocktail on your birthday – and I have always wanted to try out this great Gin bar in Glasgow. I went for the Rose Garden Martini – and slowly sipped the joy!

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Moving and grooving

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So that’s all of our belongings now with the hands of the movers – being air freighted to Australia! We decided not to take much, sell the furniture and start fresh over there. Now we have a few more days in an empty flat with 2 suitcases! Good to get that all sorted and on its way!

And finally… for the last time… we did our morning WOD at Omnipotent CrossFit

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Words cannot describe what these people mean to me and what CrossFit has meant to both David and I. I can’t wait to go out for drinks tonight with these guys and celebrate the move!

And then we have the fun task of finding a new box in Australia!

Have a fab weekend and I will be checking in next week once more from Scotland before the big move!

Have you ever done a big move?

What is your favourite cocktail?

Do you like saying goodbye or would you rather sneak away?

What I ate in Amsterdam!

Hi all,

Well what a weekend we had in Amsterdam! We were there a little over 24 hours but how amazing that time was!

We were there to celebrate my mother in laws 60th birthday with an overnight stay at a very nice hotel, a delicious seasonal ‘surprise’ menu at the hotel restaurant and an evening of drinks and dancing followed! (Ok so it was a rather late night, but heck when else do you get the chance to dance, see a beautiful city in the dark, and wonder home at 4am…!)

So today for ‘What I ate Wednesday’ I present to you – ‘What I ate in Amsterdam’!

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Thanks Jenn @PeasandCrayons/ Arman @TheBigMansWorld for the link up! 

Breakfast

Eggs with kale and tahini – ok, our Saturday morning staple!

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Lunch pre flight

Whole Foods salmon  sushi with a few squares of dark chocolate (ok so I had the chocolate first, well it is our holiday – and could not taste the whiskey in it – boo!)

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IMG_1218Rest of lunch on flight

Inspiral Kale Chips (my favourite!) and I pinched a few of David’s Serious Pig ham… it was so good!

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IMG_1221Hot and sunny Amsterdam – yup I got the sunshine! Shorts were on as well as my new sunnies! So we went on the hunt for a cool treat and found this amazing wee ice cream shop that people were queing around the door to get to… well thats always a good sign for me.

They did one type of ice cream, served since 1937 – a plain vanilla, whipped up and served either in a cone or tub. We went for a 2 scoop tub – it was heaven… literally like iced whipped cream… It was the best I have ever tasted, beating gelato in Florence – no joke!

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We got the hotel and were slightly peckish before dinner so while we were getting ready we drank some juices we had picked up on our wonder to the hotel – these juices are amazing – the whole range has at least 50% vegetables in each one (mine had 100%), keeping the sugar content down! We also bought some cubed aged gouda cheese– my favourite!

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Dinner – Albus Hotel, Senses Restaurant.

Oh boy did this menu blow our senses! We simply stated when booking that we required gluten free and they accommodated us so well.

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Canapés – Mango and Caviar, Goats cheese on rice

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Palate cleanser – Vanilla infused tomato with a mojito foam and meringue

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Starter – Pickled mackerel with basil aioli and squid rice crackers

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Main – Chinese spiced pork with cheek, rice, mushrooms and a cabbage rice paper roll

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Dessert – White chocolate shell with strawberry soup, yoghurt ice and mint   

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IMG_1233Oh wow – that’s all that needs to be said! My favourite was the pork cheek but that mackerel deserves a special mention along with the vanilla tomato – so different!

We then went out for drinks where we tried the traditional Dutch spirit Hoppe Jenever – like a milder gin with similarities to Ouzo. It was the start of a fantastic night!

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Now it’s time to get things planned and ready for my birthday on the 28th – hitting the big 3-0 and ready to do it in style! Got lots of moving bits to do in between (we leave 2 weeks on Saturday!) but this weekend my parents are coming to Glasgow for a few days of fun!

I will be back next week to let you all know how my birthday went and how everything is going but for now, enjoy my foodie pics and let me know…

What would you pick from that menu to eat?

Favourite European food?

How did you/ would you celebrate your 30th birthday?

Thinking Out Loud!

Hi all,

Wow what a week it has been, busy, busy, busy! I can’t even believe it’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ time already! You want time to fly past? Try planning a move to another country! Haha!

But I am glad it’s time to TOL because I need to stop and have a chat with you all and get all my rambles out!

Thanks Amanda @RunningwithSpoons for hosting the link up!

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To update you all on where we are at re- the move… we have our flights confirmed along with our accommodation for when we arrive. We did a car boot sale on Sunday to sell some of our bits and bobs and were very successful! A great wee earner for a few hours work on a Sunday morning in the sunshine. More of our furniture is selling and everything is looking more and more bare but I love getting more organised and the amount of weeks getting shorter and shorter!(3 to go!)

So what’s left? Deciding what to ship! We have had 3 companies round for quotes on how much it would be to ship our belongings over to Perth. We are taking no furniture and actually have very little to send, so fingers crossed it will be done quite quickly. We are hoping to send it all by air but will see what happens. It would be nice for our things to be in Perth max 3 weeks rather than 3 months!

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I have a funny feeling I am a little too ruthless though when it comes on what and what not to take… think I may regret not taking more than we are!

  • Amsterdam

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To make things even more manic, we are off to Amsterdam for the weekend! I am really excited though as it is to celebrate David’s Mum Carmel’s 60th Birthday (Happy Birthday Carmel, sorry that the whole world now knows your age! Haha!) .

Our visit may only be for a little over 24 hours but I am looking forward to being in the company of fantastic people, enjoying a few drinks and spending some time with our crazy family before we leave.

  • Euros

Speaking of Amsterdam, because this trip has really snuck up on us we have yet to get our pounds exchanged into Euros! I am popping along to the post office to do it later this afternoon – but how much do you exchange for 24 hours? I can work out a week or two but this is more tricky… and it’s not as if we will be using Euros again for a wee while!

  • Gummies

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Pre paleo, I used to really like gummy sweets but I haven’t had any in ages. On our way back from down south I spotted these in a small shop in Gretna- all natural gummies made from fruit juice and ingredients I understand! So a few bags were purchased and they do not disappoint! Full of flavour and just as addictive as haribo!

  • And finally…

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Can we all come together and pray for some nice sunny warm weather wherever we are going to be this weekend? I bought these new sunnies in London and have been dying to try them out somewhere fancy… I think Amsterdam would do the trick! Please Mr Sunshine!

Back next week folks… maybe even with a ‘What I ate Wednesday’ for you all!

Are you a hoarder or do you live minimally?

Ever been to Amsterdam?

How much money would you exchange for a day trip abroad?

Thinking Out Loud!

Hi all,

It’s so nice to be at the laptop writing again! Yup it has been well over a week since my last post but at the moment, real life here has to come first. I have decided that for the next few weeks, until we are settled in Australia, that I will post once a week, on a Thursday, sharing some ‘Thinking Out Loud’ action with you all – a great way to keep you all up to date on the moving shenanigans!

This way I can sort, pack, arrange and do school work without my head exploding! Moving to a new country on the other side of the world is hard work!

But for now, let’s get back to some ‘TOL’, linking up with my girl Amanda over @RunningWithSpoons!

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So, where to I begin with my Aussie update? Visas are in, flights are being finalised, temporary accommodation for when we arrive in Perth is booked and we are setting up things like bank accounts etc as we speak!

Our flat is full of boxes and stuff, all placed into 3 categories – ship, sell or charity. I think it’s pretty well organised but my ‘logistics obsessed’ mind kicks into panic mode occasionally telling me I have so much to do and so little time! Exactly one month today I will be in Perth – wow! How am I feeling? Still excited, a little nervous and definitely overwhelmed but it’s all good and I know will be worth it.

  • Saying goodbye…

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We had friends over this past weekend for a bit of a shindig at our place – was so much fun and loved every minute of it! Rum and Vodka flowed, we cooked up a delicious feast or chermoula marinated chicken with roasted veggies and salad and played games. I am going to miss these guys so much – we have grown up together over the past 10 plus years into pretty darn happy and amazing adults and I am so honoured to call them my friends. Please visit!

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We also have been saying goodbye to a lot of our furniture! Very sad when you have built up a collection of pieces over the years – some things you believed you would have for decades and now need to sell. I think the biggest, gut wrenching sale will be our table and chairs which were a wedding present from David’s parents, so beautiful (and still available if anyone wants to buy!).

  • CrossFit

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Yup with only doing one post a week that means my weekly CrossFit update has to go! But I will always let you know how I am doing! My favourite WOD so far this week has to be the one we did this morning – I got a new 3RM on my cleans (27.5kg and got 30kg for 2 but just couldn’t get that 3rd!), worked on negatives on my deadlifts to try and strengthen my upper back and completed my 2K run with a 10kg plate in 13 minutes 28 seconds! Have you ever tried running with a massive 10kg (or any weight for that matter) plate – awkward to carry and run at the same time!

  • Iced Coffee and Tea

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It has been warmer in these parts these past couple of weeks and I have been so thankful for that! Windows open all day, fresh air (well as fresh as you can get living next to a motorway!) and being able to walk around the house in shorts – win win! As a result I have been brewing a little extra coffee in the morning, allowing it to cool and serving it with almond milk and ice for a refreshing iced coffee (decaf) – totally hits the spot!

I have also been brewing some iced tea – simply brewing 5 green tea bags in 1.5L jug for 6 hours – taking the bags out and serving chilled. Yummy!

  • I want sushi!

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I always crave sushi yet very rarely have it as we don’t really have any good sushi joints near us… well, that’s what I kept telling myself until this came through the door! I totally forgot about Cailin’s Sushi! We had it a couple of years back when we first arrived in Glasgow and haven’t had it since! I don’t know why not, it was so good! So that’s now on the ‘must do before we leave Glasgow list’!.

  • Twin Peaks Finale!

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Yes tonight we watch the very last episode of Twin Peaks. You guys I am so confused, everything has to be tied up in this one episode and I am freaking out over what is going to happen! Don’t you just love it when a series does this to you! Luckily David and I are quite strict over our bedtime otherwise we would have watched it last night but I just hope to goodness that I am satisfied with the outcome, I hate those ‘leave it up to your imagination’ endings!

If you have watched it, don’t tell me the ending!

Have a fab week folks – I will be keeping up to date with all of you in the mean time, reading your blogs and posting on Instagram! Follow me!

Do you have any furniture you are sentimental over?

Do you have a good local sushi place?

What is your favourite TV series right now?

What I ate Wednesday – Brighton Edition!

Hi all,

Well, would you believe it; Scotland is having a mini heat wave! Just for today though… not joking, the temps are going to go back down to their usual low tomorrow onwards…

But hey, it’s sunny right now; I’m wearing shorts and therefore one happy camper!

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I haven’t done a ‘What I ate Wednesday’ for so long! So today I thought I would recap my day of eats when I went to Brighton last week! I was in my happy place with my favourite company and some amazingly delicious food! What more could a girl ask for!

Breakfast – eggs with berries and a leftover banana muffin!

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Good fuel for the day ahead! Those muffins are just individual versions of a paleo banana cake I made, topped with toasted almonds!

Mid Morning – Cappuccino with almond milk x 2

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We arrived in Brighton and needed fuel! One of our ‘must do’s’ was to visit the best coffee shop in Britain – Red Roaster! Their almond milk cappuccino was so good, mum and I went back for another one!

Lunch – Kiwi bunless burger with salad and sweet potato fries!

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen for the win! The sun was coming out, mum, David and I were laughing, giggling and smiling and then came our treats! A kiwi burger is stacked with beets, pineapple, cheese and a fried egg – don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!  

Mid afternoon – Gelato!            

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We needed a sweet, refreshing snack and since our favourite fro-yo place had closed down (boo!) we went for some gelato instead! I went for mango sorbet and it was so full of flavour!

Dinner – Itsu sushi and salads

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I have never been to Itsu before but it was so good we ended up having it for dinner here and the next day in London! So fresh and tasty – I had crab and avocado sushi, mum went for the salmon and David the tuna!

Such a fun day and the sun even came out for us. Brighton is one of those places I went to as a child, teenager and now as an adult and it always symbolises summer, rest and relaxation for me. I will miss it so much when I go!

What is your favourite seaside town/ city?

Favourite gelato flavour?

Have you ever had something so good that you went back and bought another one?