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Friday, 22 May 2015

Travel: A Day Trip to Traquair House, Innerleithen, Scotland

One of my favourite stately homes to visit with the kids is Traquair House, in the Borders region of Scotland. It lies near Innerleithen, about 1hr away from Edinburgh by car, so is easily accessible for a day trip.  Traquair has been lived in for over 900 years and was first used as a hunting lodge by the old kings and queens of Scotland.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Food: Mexican Bean Stew with Green Rice

I make chilli con carne pretty often and it always proves to be very popular. The kids always ask me to pile on the beans which inspired me to make this bean stew as an alternative. The sauce has a lovely smokiness from the chipotles and goes very well with green rice. It tastes fantastic in a burrito  or enchilada and is even better the next day.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Beauty: My Little Box May 2015 Review - My Little Provence Box

The theme of this month's My Little Box is Provence which to me brings to mind warm, lazy days, slightly incongruous with the horribly wet weather we've been experiencing of late. I have to admit that I now take the beautiful packaging and illustrations included with the My Little Box subscription for granted, but the littlies immediately asked if it was a present for them, and if I didn't want the box, could they have it!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Travel: A Short Trip to Switzerland with Baby

We travelled extensively before having children and were determined that this would not change once  be became parents. We planned our first trip just as our baby turned 6 months, which made baby a bit more portable and gave us well-deserved rest after a six month campaign of sleep deprivation. We chose Switzerland, as we both love being in the mountains but also because the flight time to Switzerland from Scotland is relatively short.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Food: Tortilla Soup

My absolute favourite Mexican dish is Tortilla Soup. I think it might even be my desert island meal. I'm always astounded by its complexity of flavour and how it manages to excite my palate but at the same time feel refreshing. I hadn't made it in over a year, partly because I'd run out of my homemade Chipotles in Adobo, but also because I'd made it so many times that I'd forgotten just how good it was.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Beauty: Face of the Day for a Cold and Wet Spring Day

April brought sunshine and warmer temperatures but May has slipped us back into the cold and wet  weather one expects from Spring in Scotland. Makeup-wise I am trying to embrace the longer days and concept of spring, but I find this difficult especially since I am still wearing my winter coat and thermal socks. The mornings might be brighter but the cool temperature means that I stay under the covers until the last possible moment, which generally means a barely there makeup look. Today I'm wearing a minimal antique gold eye and a tinted lip balm in a berry colour. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Running: My Running Gear Wishlist

Now that I'm getting back into running, I'm pretty keen to sort out my running gear. I find that certain brands work best for me. Comfort and practicality supersedes all else when it comes to running gear. I love a good zipped pocket for keys and mobile phone and clothes with air vents and wicking properties incorporated into them to keep me feeling comfortable.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Food: Couscous Salad with Falafel and Pomegranate

I love a salad for lunch as they're usually very fast to make, give me free reign to experiment with flavours and also contribute to my 5-a-day tally. Couscous is a great vehicle for Middle Eastern flavours. Here I've tarted it up with lemon, coriander, mint, olives and pomegranate. The falafel, which I made from a kit, provides a bit of substance and the avocado provides a lovely creaminess.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Beauty: Fixing my Irritated Skin

My skin is quite sensitive and it invariably protests when I switch between too many products in a short space of time. These protests are quite uncomfortable and dry and vary between the angry, red bobbly rash or the appearance of burned skin which flakes off over the course of a week. The usual culprits are heavily scented products, those laden with essential oils and all acid toners. After trying quite a few products while on my recent holiday, my skin was really unhappy. I'd used the Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment which contains lactic acid. After applying the treatment my skin started burning painfully almost immediately. I washed it off after a few minutes, but it still left my skin swollen and burned, similar to when I'd tried Alpha-H Liquid Gold (which contains glycolic acid). 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Life: A Healthy and Happy 2015 - Update 4

April has been a healthier month, compared to last month. The days leading up to our family vacation were a bit fraught but thankfully our time away on Islay was incredibly relaxing. As usual a break in my routine did lead to some things slipping, but I'm okay with that, as I've had some great successes this month as well. Swings and roundabouts, I guess!