Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The AOW Community (and Emmi, the star!)

Well, that little problem of not having any time to write lately and having no posts to share this week has been solved today as I am just going to send you elsewhere!  I woke up in the most awesome way this morning to tweets about this rather perfectly timed post over on AOW.  Quite frankly it is far better than anything I could write and you should all go there to read that instead!  ;)

It's amazing what AOW has become since Clare started it and I'm so glad I can be a part of it!  (Also, Clare has shared some gorgeous photos and made Bella and I look lovely even next to the gorgeous Emmi so thanks C!!)

So, what are you waiting for?!  Get over there and read all about what we got up to on our very first day in Kuala Lumpur!

(I hate posting without pictures so I've quickly found some from a half-edited folder to share!  I do love a sneak peek!)

The delicious baked french toast!

Just to prove we did get Clare in front of the lens as well!

The picture Emmi took! (with a little help)

She also got hold of my phone, which I forgot to pick up so it was lucky we'd planned to meet for dinner as well!

One of my absolute faves!  What an expression!!  :)

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Normal service shall resume ;)

Roz has been doing a great job of taking up the slack while I've been sleepwalking through a rather stressful life since returning from Malaysia!  However, as you know, we both have pretty busy lives and when it comes to blogging vs sleep and sanity, I'm afraid blogging loses.  We love the blog and writing about our adventures and fashion finds but if it all gets too much, it's the thing that has to suffer.  You all know it's a hobby for us and we're delighted to have so many loyal readers but we both have busy jobs and a multitude of other things going on in life right now so we know you'll understand if we don't post as often as we usually do this week.  We hope you miss us though!  ;)

I have SO many pictures to edit from our holiday and now the fantastic wedding weekend in London I just returned from (late last night and straight to bed, hence this late post as I'm writing it on my lunchbreak!) and I cannot WAIT to get writing about everything properly.  This weekend I plan to be in my pyjamas for an unhealthy amount of time while I catch up on some proper rest and enjoy some longed for writing time.  :)

Stick with us, there are LOTS of exciting things coming soon!!!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Sloans Street Food event

by Roz

Last Thursday night B and I headed along to Sloans just off Buchanan Street for the launch of their new Street Food menu.  The event was supposed to take place in their courtyard and we were looking forward to sampling the goods al fresco but the glorious weather we've been enjoying of late took a significant turn for the worse on Thursday with some rather torrential showers of rain, so we were relocated to the bar area.

We were given a copy of the menu to see what food we were going to be sampling and it certainly made our mouths water!
 



The Mac Daddy looked freakin awesome when it came out!  I am such a sucker for onion rings.  And yes that is mac cheese, chips, salsa and onion rings, what of it?!

 


The Cowboy was the hands down winner for me, the ribs were melt in the mouth delicious and that sauce, wow!  Blue cheese and hot sauce is actually amazing.



 
 
B liked the Gringo too as he makes no secret of loving jalapenos, the hotter the better in his book.  A bit like chilli nachos but with chips I suppose, if you like your spicy food then they really are the ultimate chips and cheese.





There are also a few lighter options on the menu, which are more of a sharing platter style.  They were very tasty but it's hard to compete with ribs and cheese and chips!



 
 
It was so tasty I wanted to lick the dish but managed to control myself and use my finger instead, ha!  Also note the sock bun.  I'm obsessed :)
 
 
 
 
 
I highly recommend heading down to check out the food, it's perfect for sharing with friends on a night out and lining the stomach before indulging in a few scoops!  A certain food obsessed reader may have spotted my tweets on the night and put in a special request that we visit Sloans for ODP 2....details of which to follow soon!  Bex and I can't wait to plan it.
 




Thanks to Sloans and DADA for the invite, we will definitely be back soon.
 
Roz xx


 


Friday, 26 July 2013

Cocktails!

by Roz

This has been a hectic week for Bex and I so it's a very quick and slightly late post for you today but if you're a cocktail lover, it's a good one!  I was emailed by Browns yesterday to say that as part of their 40th birthday celebrations they are running a 40 days of cocktails promotion.  




You simply ask at the bar for one of these booklets and a specific cocktail is only £1 (yes £1!!!) on each of the 40 days :)

The promotion started yesterday, so I selflessly popped into Browns last night to try out yesterday's cocktail, a Berry & Pomegranate Martini.




It tasted amazing!  B had the other one, I didn't actually guzzle two cocktails(!), and he thought it tasted a bit like love hearts but not in a sickly sweet way.  I've flicked through the booklet and there are lots of cocktails I'm looking forward to trying, no doubt you'll see a few popping up on my Instagram feed :)

Roz xx

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Post Holiday Blues

by Bex

So, I arrived back from Malaysia on Sunday evening around 8pm.  Nik was working nights so I got a taxi home and managed to get my 30kg (Mum and I love to shop together and don't often get the chance) case up the two flights of stairs one step at a time by myself.  I was exhausted, had been awake for around 20 hours and was already thinking about everything I had on this week.  I sat down, opened the mail and burst into tears.

I felt all the stress of real life come flooding back into my tired body.  Our time away was amazing, we had so much fun and so many activities with loads of distractions but very little chillout time.  I hadn't had any time to think which was possibly a blessing given everything that's been going on lately but this meant that when I came home and was reminded of everything and with a lot to get done that week I suddenly felt very overwhelmed and miserable.  Why did I bother coming home?

I've never experienced post holiday blues before, I'm usually so excited to get home, see everyone and fill them all (and you lot) in on everything we'd got up to while away, unpack my souvenirs and find homes for them and sleep in my own bed.  To try to defend why I sound so pathetic and moany after being so lucky to have been away and have such an amazing trip, these are some of the things and thoughts I came home to (not all bad but adding up to a very busy week)...
  • Going to work on Monday after minimal sleep and with jet lag (bad planning on my part but I was trying to avoid any more time off since I've had so much lately with the IVF and the holiday).
  • Paying my July tax bill 
  • Having to think of and bake something for Baking Club on Wednesday evening
  • Writing up my 2 audits in time to post on Monday
  • Our IVF review appointment next Tuesday
  • Sorting out the MOT and service for my car
  • A blogging event on Thursday evening
  • Packing again for a long weekend away for a wedding in London
  • Adjusting my new Indian outfit for one of the wedding events (there are 3!)
  • Planning my other outfits and accessories for the wedding events
  • Getting everything done before leaving on Friday
  • Trying to sleep normally!
  • All I want to do is edit my photos and write about our trip (and sleep!)
I know, I know - woe is me!  It didn't help that Nik was working and I came home to an empty flat after having not seen him for a few days.  (He had to return home earlier due to work.)  While our holiday was wonderful and it was great to see Mum & Dad and my uncle's family, it was sad having to say goodbye again.  We also had SO much on during the trip and coming home to such a busy week, life's worries hit me hard.



The letter I opened was a rejection of my "formal representation" (i.e. correspondence number 3) to the council against a parking ticket which I refuse to pay on principle.  The area I parked in back in March was resurfaced a few months ago and when the double yellow lines around the dead end of the road were painted back in, one side was painted in an extra few meters down the road (about 3 car lengths).  Obviously I avoided parking there and often struggled to find a space nearby but after a few weeks these new lines were painted over in black and the old finishing line was painted back in where it used to be, next to the no loading sign on the wall.  Everyone started parking there again.  Unfortunately this area often floods with the Glasgow rains and a rather useless drain at the corner and the large puddle repeatedly extends along the kerb.  Slowly, over a number of weeks, this washed away the black paint, starting to reveal the yellow lines again.  I was parked on these, still faded, yellow lines when I received the ticket.  Since my first letter, these reappearing yellow lines have been blasted off permanently and properly but when I eventually heard back from them, they refused to cancel my ticket as I was parked on apparently valid lines with a sign within 15m stating no loading.

I've tried appealing this on the basis that the lines were not clear as they'd been painted over, the correct lines had an obvious end line painted which corresponded to the no loading sign on the red wall.  I took photos of the area showing the difference between the sets of lines (sadly not with my car in situ as I didn't have my camera on me when I received the ticket) and still they state the same thing and refuse to accept that the lines were not clear and did not appear to be valid having been painted over.  Admittedly the difference was becoming less obvious by then (especially when wet as in these photos) but I'm not sure at what point they could say that the black painted lines were valid again after they slowly started reappearing.


Anyway, reading the latest rejection just tipped me over the edge in my exhausted state and I just felt like giving up.  Not just on that, but everything else I've been struggling with, the IVF and my job which I have been enjoying less and less lately.  Being back to real life and the thought of having to be glam and switched on all weekend, catching up with so many people and meeting new ones is feeling quite daunting at the moment.  All I want to do is have a weekend at home.  I normally look forward to events, but almost didn't go to baking club, despite never having missed one.  I was rethinking the blogging event, even though I love being invited to these things and it sounds right up my street.  I really love Nik's family and don't get to see them often but I'm not feeling at my social best at the moment.  While I know I will probably enjoy it all and I am looking forward to the wedding and seeing everyone, I'm also a little anxious about it, not knowing if people will bring up the subject of children, etc and I'm just feeling quite exhausted at the thought.  I'm hoping once I get some of my tasks out of the way and I am packed that I will feel more relaxed and just be able to get away and enjoy myself.  July has just been a bit too crazy!

I don't want to end this rather depressing post without mentioning how Nik has helped me keep going so far this week.  I might have shrivelled up under the duvet without him!  I phoned him when I was home and upset on Sunday night and he said I should either just get started on the audits I was worrying about or if I couldn't concentrate (I couldn't) I should just wait another hour or so and then go to bed.  I managed to stay up for another half an hour before falling asleep clutching my kindle.  The next day, after his night shift, he waited up to see me and provide a much needed hug when I came home for lunch which was a lovely surprise as I thought I wouldn't get to see him until that evening.  He'd also bought be some lovely happy yellow flowers and some sushi AND he was busy writing the appeal letter to the council for me!  Amazing!



I've been trying some of my usual tricks to cheer myself up too and my fab new bright yellow bag (with lime green inside) teamed with a spot of colourful tie dye has been perking me up when I have to go to work.



And I received this gorgeous rainbow thank you card from Amy on my first day back...


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Pin it Do it - 6 week 6 pack!

by Roz

Jillian Michaels' DVD via Roz's Pinterest Board

Okay this might just be one of the bravest posts I've ever written!  After seeing the wonderful Anna's tweets showing off her amazing progress with Jillian Michaels DVD '6 week 6 pack' I bit the bullet and started level 1 yesterday.  So here's my before picture....please be kind.



My biggest issue, like most people with exercise, is finding the time to do this every day.  I leave for work before 7.30am a number of days a week and don't get home till between 6 - 8pm (or even later). I honestly find that I prefer to get up early and exercise before work, so there are going to be quite a few early alarm calls!

I'm hoping that the pressure of going public with this commitment and before shot will help motivate me to keep getting out my bed and workout.  Wish me luck :)

Roz xx

Ps my wonderful friend Lauren is not only doing this challenge with me but also found level 1 of the workout on YouTube so I didn't even need to fork out £££ for the DVD!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Frozen Grapes!

by Bex

One of my absolute best discoveries on my trip to Malaysia this time was frozen grapes!  We were served them on the beach at Rasa Ria Shangri-La resort in Borneo (where we saw the orangutans and Mum and Dad treated us all to a surprise night in the amazing hotel!).  The staff were excellent there and often came round with ice water topping up glasses to ensure we drank enough in the humid heat.  Not long after our fun morning jet skiing (more on that soon), they brought round ice cold flannels and a huge bowl of frozen grapes on ice (we were each allocated two).  They were so refreshing and sweet, the perfect snack in hot weather.  I can't believe I've never had them before.


We all loved them so much we bought some when we were back at Mum and Dad's house and froze them.  I was concerned they might be too hard when straight from the freezer but they were fantastic and I happily munched away on a couple of bowlfuls while cooling off in Mum's massive paddling pool in the front garden.


And the best thing is - they're so healthy!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Random Happiness

By Roz

I've had lots going on recently and similar to Bex's post I wanted to share a few things with you all.

Firstly, and most excitingly, I became an auntie for the second time last week!!!  My brother and his fiancĂ© had a boy, a teeny 6lb handsome little man called Joshua.  I managed to visit him at home about 24hrs after he was born.  Thankfully, despite staying for 4hrs, I didn't overstay my welcome as his very tired mum went to bed to try and get some sleep and beautiful Joshua slept on me :)



 
I've seen him loads in the two weeks since he was born and although it's difficult at times, I am so happy for them and love him to bits.  He is just the cutest little man.  His big brother Ethan is also smitten with him and I wish I could see them every single day but maybe it's just a well they live about an hour away or they'd all be getting annoyed with Auntie Roz there every minute.
 
 


We've also been helping my mum and dad, who are thinking of downsizing from their current 4 bed house, with decluttering etc before putting their house on the market.  This has it's perks, not only are B and I helping with odd jobs (and storing up some favours for when we move into the forever home!) but my mum keeps giving me things!!!  This week alone I was gifted some fancy Elemis Cleanser and a Sewing Machine!  I was very grateful for both of these gifts.  It's not the fanciest of sewing machines, but I am still very happy to have one that's all mine and I can't wait to make something on it :)



 
Just as we were leaving my parents house I made a throw away comment about them gifting us any books for our library...I had meant that we would happily keep them safe and they could read them whenever they wanted.  It turns out my mum had filled two suitcases with books to take to the charity shop the next day!  I happily rescued at least three quarters of these books (mostly crime thrillers like Harlen Coben) despite B's protests.  I cannot wait to start work on the library.
 
My big cousin had also been clearing out her wardrobe and I have gained a few 'new' outfits.  This really put a smile on my face given the spending ban!  This rather fabulous skirt was in the bundle and I've already worn it to work twice in this lovely weather :) The floaty hem line is gorgeous and I love that it's a bit longer, the perfect length to wear without tights in the office.





 
You all made me so happy with your comments and tweets about my first outfit post, I'll definitely try to do some more soon :)  I much prefer it when people take pics for me, either B is going to have to get much happier with me pestering him to be photographer or I'm going to have to rope in my besties, look out Bex and Lauren!

I also went to The Open golf at Muirfield as a team day out at work, the weather was amazing and it was so nice not to be stuck in the office.  This is me and my friend Lynn catching some rays, whilst the boys (standing behind us) were slightly more  interested in the golf!




I hope you've all been out and about enjoying the sunshine?

Roz xx

Friday, 19 July 2013

Guest post - On the cover of a magazine



The lovely Lauren from Living In a Boxx sent us in this fashion related post. Lauren and I met at bootcamp over two years ago and I'm so glad we did :) She does a regular series on her blog (that she only started this year) which is very similar to our Splurge Vs Save  feature except she chooses things she's seen on a magazine cover and finds cheaper alternatives.  It's brilliant and I'm so glad we can share it here as it's a feature we've been lacking for quite a few weeks now!  Thanks Lauren, over to you...

Hi there! I'm Lauren normally over at Living in aBoxx, I'm here with a little guest post.  I've known Roz for a few years now and had the pleasure of meeting Bex through her.  I'll admit I was excited when Roz asked me to guest post but also a bit apprehensive, what the hell would I write about?
I decided to stick to what I'm used to.  I have a feature entitled 'On the Cover of a Magazine' in which I try to recreate the latest Vogue cover on the high street.  So here's a similar one featuring this months Cosmo.



The cover dress is Oscar De La Renta so you can imagine the price tag.  It's not too easy to get any feather dress cheaply though, unless you're talking fancy dress.  I couldn't find a fuchsia one anywhere!  I  did find these two bad boys in the sale though, making them more than affordable.





Left: Lipsy - £87.50
Right: ASOS - £48

Both are gorgeous, but with the second less than half the price in the sale it's got my vote.  If you're desperate for some jewel encrusted fuchsia, I've found these babies too...







Left: Forever Unique - £75
Right: Boohoo - £20


As for the jewellery - big gold and sparkly.  Dorothy Perkins and Etsy have some great flower rings.  I couldn't work out from the picture if Rachel's necklace is writing or not.  There are some lovely 'love' necklaces in Etsy and there are gold statement necklaces everywhere.




Top Left: Dorothy Perkins - £8.50
Top Right: Etsy - £4
Bottom Left: Etsy - £14.46
Bottom Right: Topshop - £16.50

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Guest Post - Mahj's FOOD!

Ah, Mahj.  We have quite a major girl crush on Mahj!!  Doesn't everyone?  Mahj and I in particular share a love of food.  A serious love.  When I asked for submissions I was hoping she might write about food!  She hasn't disappointed...

When I saw on Twitter recently that the lovely Bex was asking if anyone wanted to contribute a post to her blog whilst she was on holiday, I jumped at the chance!  And really, the obvious choice was to write about food – Food Glorious Food!  Trawling through my phone, it became apparent that I take rather a lot of photos of food...like maybe I take too many photos of food?  But I also remember the really great times I was having when said photos were taken.  So join me (pretty please) on my foodie memory tour:


This photo was from August 2012.  My Auntie had a jubilee themed afternoon tea for her 60th.  Everything you see on the table (aside from the mahoosive wheel of brie!) was homemade.  I lost count of how many different cakes and desserts I tried.  Not to mention the hot and fresh samosas that were floating around and the little sandwiches too.  The day was brilliant (my aunt has a lot of eclectic friends!) but the evening even more so as it was just family that was left and we all sat around drinking more wine and eating more food.  Twas ace.  


Also in Aug of last year was Blen.  Blen would be the first time I would meet Bella, Bex, Roz, Penski and Katielase (my sister I’d already met!) and fall madly in love with all of them!  There was champagne and doughnuts, pink shoes of glory and lunges in a giant sleeping bag thingy.  There were cocktails, bright lippy and crazy dancing.  And the next day we went to American Bar and Grill and all had variations of the above burgers and they were spectacular and finished off an amazing weekend with amazing women.  


The Northern Quarter in Manchester has seen a bit of a foodie emergence in the last year or so and these juicy and ridiculous burgers are from  Almost Famous.  Tragically, they had a big fire 2 weeks ago and so are currently closed but before that, just look at the deliciousness they were producing!  My burger was oozing with cheese and spicy sauce and more cheese and those chips.  Oh my god those chips.  They are chilli cheese fries and they were fantastic!  Even better?  The food is reasonably priced (2 of you could eat there for £20) and they serve their drinks in jam jars.  JAM JARS!


This is a Greek meze that Martin and I ordered on our last day in Corfu when we went in July last year.  We’d seen another couple order it during our weeks stay and decided we’d save it till our last dinner.  It was worth it.  We’d had an amazing week lying in the sun, drinking and stuffing our faces with all the homemade food that was cooked at this meze was the peak!  I mean, look at it!  I want to face plant it right now!


Aah ODP.  ODP was my first time to Glasgow for Bex’s first ODP (Ed: The 2nd one is on 2nd November this year - come!) and it was immense.  Afternoon tea, roller disco (I fell over more than I skated!), bubbles and delicious steak at Grill on the Corner.  This was brunch the morning after at Tribeca.  Much needed and devoured by all.  Mine were possibly the best eggs florentine I’ve ever had!





Ok this is my last one.  Promise.  On a Sunday a couple of weeks ago, Martin and I went into Manchester to get some holiday bits, namely a map for our American road trip later in the year!  After we’d unfolded it all and traced a route down and got terribly overexcited, we went to Solita, which is another amazing place that’s popped up in the Northern Quarter.  I’ve been before and had been desperate to take Martin and the above is what I ordered.  It was one of their specials and was named “The Tony Soprano” after the untimely death of James Gandolfini.  It was 6oz chuck steak and bone marrow patty, fontina cheese, zucchini fries, roasted pepper marinara and panko fried mortadella.  And now my life is complete.

Mahj xoxo

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pin it Do it - Sock bun

by Roz



I've been meaning to share this #PinitDoit for a few weeks now but kept forgetting to actually write the post, ooops!  I've loved the look of big, chunky hair buns for a long time but every time I tried to do it myself it looked awful.  I put it down to having really thick, long hair.  It turns out I was doing it wrong all along!

I came across this pin and it was literally like a light bulb moment.  Maybe you all know exactly how to do the perfect sock bun but I thought this was worth sharing if any one out there is as baffled as me.


  


(Sorry for the slightly smaller image of the Pin - Pinterest have updated how you embed a pin, which impacts both the positioning and size of the pin in blogger.  I added some HTML to the blog for first time to fix the positioning of the pin but couldn't work out how to enlarge the embedded image.)

I tried it for the first time when Bex & I went to the Mardi Gras parade and I loved it, even if Nik did think it was hilarious that I had a sock holding up my hair!



I think the trick is to ensure you get the start of the sock bun correct.  I've added a few pictures of me actually putting my hair up so you can see what I mean.

After pulling back your hair into a pony tail, put the rolled up sock over your hair leaving it at the end and tuck the ends of your hair round the sock.



If you keep tucking your hair in and under the sock as you roll the sock down your pony tail it really does work!  Even though it can all feel a bit loose as you do it, I always end up with a good shaped bun that stays in place with no pins or hair spray.




And now that I've mastered it, I cannot stop doing it!  Especially when it's been so hot recently.  I even wore my hair in a sock bun to meet my new nephew for the first time :)




So do you guys like the look of a sock bun?  It's definitely becoming my go to hair do when I can't be bothered washing my hair, it's smart enough for work, takes two minutes to do and I even managed to go for a run one night after work with my hair like this and it stayed in perfectly :)

Roz xx

ps sorry there's no hair swishing Gemma!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Outfit post - King tuts night


by Roz

So I thought it was about time I shared an outfit post with you all!  Bex does this pretty often and I think you'll agree has the selfie pose down to a fine art!  Every single time I try to take my own pictures I look awful.  So the evening that we headed to King Tuts I roped B into taking some pictures.

The main issue was where to take them, that night our flat was full of blokes!!!  B had been off work playing golf with friends and they were all back at our flat drinking beer, using the shower and getting ready to go into town (a few of them were staying too so all the bedrooms were a mess!).  I decided to take the photos in the hall, which is why the light is not so great.

As Lauren was coming with us and always looks fab in her outfits, I thought I better make an effort, so I picked an old favourite from my wardrobe a comfy play suit from Monsoon Fusion.

 



It was one of the pieces designed in conjunction with Burt's Bees - I got some yummy free lip balm and a pack of bee friendly seeds to plant, which I still haven't done!  - and the pattern is actually a honeycomb and has lots of little bees buzzing around on it.  It's quite short so I usually wear it with black tights as I did here.  I didn't want a big bag as we were going to a gig, so simply popped my phone, cards and cash into an over sized black wallet and took it as a small clutch bag for the evening.




I really wasn't sure what shoes to put with the outfit, as I had tights on I thought closed toe shoes would be better.  These bright velvet heels added a nice pop of neon :)







 
 

 
 
This is not the best picture, but it's the only one I got all night of the back of the playsuit, which has a nice low back. The top of the playsuit ties together and is usually in a nice bow but B tied it for me so it was rather messy.  Can you see the honeycomb pattern and little bees on the shot below? 



 

I'm glad I got dressed up as when I met Lauren in town she had a lovely skirt on and a pair of killer heels!  If you look you'll see I actually changed my shoes at the last minute before leaving the house.  I decided that wedges would be more comfortable than my pink heels, but these are honestly the highest heels I have ever worn to a gig!  And me feet were still fine after dancing till 2am :)


 
 

Playsuit - Monsoon Fusion
Pink heels - Vivienne Westwood
Silver wedges - Office
Wallet - Marc by Marc Jacobs
(No jewellery apart from my engagement and wedding rings, Bex you will be so disappointed in me!)
 
Roz xx
 

 

 

 

 
 
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