10/04/2016

an afternoon at scone

One drizzly afternoon in March, we decided to pop into Scone (pronounced 'Scoooooon') Palace on the way home from a trip to Aberdeenshire. Unfortunately, it has only just come to my attention that I totally failed to take any pictures of the actual palace itself, but, fortunately, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we have decided to go back on a sunnier, warmer, less miserably grey day. So I'll get some sunnier more palace-oriented pictures then. Promise.

Anyway, you can't actually take pictures within the palace itself, as it is still a functioning family home and it is requested that you respect their privacy (despite them charging £11 a head to let you in for a snoop around). 


 

Palace aside, the grounds are lovely, and we took a nice long stroll around them, marvelling at the size of the pine trees in the 'Pinetum' (great new word) and me desperately trying to spot some kind of squirrel; a task I failed.

 




Despite the miserable, chilly, grey, drizzly, downright dreich weather, it was really nice to spend a wee bit of time outdoors, amongst so much epic greenery. Edinburgh is hardly a particularly polluted city, but breathing in clean, country air for an afternoon felt a bit like a mini city detox.



lol


Trying to smile through the incessant, cold wall of drizzle.




Seeing the Great Redwoods in California is firmly on my bucket list, so being around such fantastically huge trees was a bit of a treat, and a bit of incentive to keep squirreling away pennies into my 'travel' account.


We managed to have a good stroll for about half an hour, tolerating the incessant drizzle for the pleasure of being outdoors, before the heavens mercilessly opened and soaked us through. But, we left vowing to go back on a nicer day, take a picnic and just chill out for a bit.

I'd definitely recommend Scone as a nice little day out. The palace itself is well worth a visit too, and the history of the place is pretty remarkable (see Stone of Destiny). Definitely one to pop on your to do list if you are ever pottering about Perthshire.

31/03/2016

skin saviours

Winter drags on here in Edinburgh, despite it being the very end of March.

The sun may be up when I'm en route to work now, and the evenings may be lighter, but the wind still whips its chill past my cheeks, chaps my lips and leaves my skin parched and miserable and in need of some TLC.

So, I've been trying to up my hydration game. Not just in terms of adequate water intake, but in skin care and so I thought I would share with you all the lotions and potions I have been slathering all over my beleaguered face of late.



Cetaphil - £10.09 Boots

Not remotely sexy, but cheap, simple and effective. Soothes even the most strung-out, high-maintenance, sensitive skins and gently nurses it back to health. I started using this last year after a particularly nasty bout of flu left my skin covered in dry patches and I just couldn't get it back to normal. My mum - who has about three tubes of this on the go at any one time - recommended I use this for a while and it really did the trick. If you're looking for a truly good, simple moisturiser that will be kind to your skin and won't break the bank, you have to try this out. Mums always know best.

Lucas Papaw Ointment - (various prices on Amazon)

Is there anything that works more effectively for dry lips? I don't think so. (Although please, let me know). Also works a charm on gym callouses, bug bites and new shoe blisters. I'm almost at the end of my current tube and already have another winging its way to me.



Sarah Chapman Eye Cream - £39.50 Space NK

My first serious eye cream purchase, and by serious I clearly mean expensive. It happened shortly before my 25th birthday, when my mortality suddenly dawned on me and I realise I better try and prevent this from showing around my eyes. It's a lovely, light-yet-somehow-rich formula, which feels extremely nourishing and I think, has prevented my dark circles from looking quite so frightful in the morning, as well as ridding me of those teeny tiny fine lines that the kind lady in Space NK said were down to dehydration and not my horribly advanced years.

L'Occitane Comforting Face Oil - £29 L'Occitane

Holy crap this stuff is good. 'Comforting' is the perfect adjective for an oil that almost makes my skin elicit an audible sigh of relief. I've been applying it at night time under my usual moisturiser and waking up to softer, smoother, significantly comforted skin. Smells divine too.

Oskia Microexfoliating Balm - £48 Space NK

It's an exfoliator that feels like a hydrating balm. It's gentle yet ridiculously effective. It will set you back a pretty penny but it feels so luxurious and works so well that you won't even mind. Makes faces feel like baby butt cheeks. Go forth and purchase (but take a deep breath when handing over the plastic).


P.S. I have a new camera that I am figuring out how to use still. Please bear with slightly iffy photo quality in the meantime.

16/01/2016

running playlist

I can't run without music. I hate it, I can hear my own breathing and it sounds like I'm dying, which makes me run slower and makes me want to stop. But when I've got good music, it helps me zone out of the running and into the music, meaning I keep going and giving me a little speed boost if I'm really getting into the song.

I'm amping up my training at the moment in preparation for the Edinburgh Kilomathon in March, so I've been rejigging the running playlist and I thought I'd share a few of my current favourites songs to run to here. Enjoy!




This is an oldie, but a goodie, and will get you through an entire mile more or less.



Always good to listen to Ellie on a run. She's a total babe, obviously, and has an impressive 10k time of 44 minutes.




This mix in general is brilliant for running, but there's a particular Bicep remix of Isaac Tichauer's Higher Level that kicks in between 13 and 20 minutes or so that I am absolutely obsessed with and I NEED IN MY LIFE. Can't find it anywhere online on its own, so I'm just listening to this mix on repeat for the time being. It really gives me a boost when it kicks in around my 3rd kilometre. The mix itself is cracking anyway, so it's hardly a chore.

What do you listen to when you're running, or working out? Any recommendations to add to my list?

02/01/2016

2015 in pictures














































2015 was a great year, as they all tend to be on reflection. I've had others with more travel, more adventure, more ups and downs, but 2015 feels to me to have been the year in which I fully stepped into my 'adult' shoes. It's a terrifying thought, perhaps intensified by my recent birthday, but in 2015 I did lots of 'adulty' things - I bought a flat, I moved in with my boyfriend and I celebrated a year at work, all things which I would normally associate with proper grown ups, and not myself. A little more than three years ago I had plans for grape picking in the south of France for a month and not much more. But here I am, with a mortgage and pension and life insurance and a relationship that prompts people to ask about babies and marriage and other terrifyingly 'grown up' prospects. 

I mean, I'm even using eye cream and subscribed to The Economist.

It's scary how fast it can all happen, but at the same time, it's all absolutely wonderful and I'm ridiculously happy. Bring on 2016!