Bowery Mural

The Kelpies

Sunday, 29 December 2013


Today I packed up my two nephews and went for a short drive to Falkirk to finally visit The Helix Project, and specifically The Kelpies. The Helix Project is a large area on the outskirts of Falkirk full of paths, man made lakes, walking routes, cycling routes, wildlife areas and marshes and two giant horses heads called The Kelpies. The Kelpies are two large sculptures by artist Andy Scott and a tribute to horse powered heritage across central Scotland. I've drove past them numerous times on the motorway but had never actually sent hem up close.

We parked the car at the busy car park. Dusk was starting to fall as it was around 3pm. Unfortunately there was some cloud cover and so a spectacular golden hour shot was going to be out of the question.

We walked towards the pathway and followed some signs towards The Kelpies. Following the winding wooden walkway around some marshland area we soon came to a stop. The park is only recently opened a few months back and evidently this area was still under construction so we had to double bald on ourselves and go the long way around to get to the other side of the canal towards the giant silver structures. 

We had good little chats and a game where we followed the paper signs attached to some poles along the route. We noticed other visitors had came across this problem too and were following us. We passed a few people who'd already been to see the large horses.

By now it was getting colder, the ground was muddy and we were further away from the car as we could be. But finally we were there, at The Kelpies and the viewing platform. 
Connor, Ryan
They really are a cool sight to see. It's just a pity there's still heavy ground work machinery and JCB's spoiling your pictures. I reckon by spring this area should be fully operational and you'll be able to get right up close to them. That's what i want, a picture right beneath the Kelpies.



We took a few snaps and then walked back as quickly as we could to the car. Counting back the signs from 8 to 1. 

Back at the car the boys got their muddy shoes off and i switched the heating on as high as I could. We were freezing.

A good little day out and will be worth a visit back when it's finished and the weather warms up a bit.

Angela x

Dream Sale Wish List

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

So the sales have started, but my money has run out for this month. But, that doesn't stop me. I'm a total daydreamer and an expert window shopper, so here is my luxury dream sale wish list!

Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer in empire red - Selfridges £386 (15% off!) Who wouldn't love one of these shiny machines sitting atop a kitchen worktop.
Saint Laurent Paris double zip ankle boots - Selfridges £409 - (also currently on sale in House of Fraser, Glasgow for the same price) I'm a size 36 btw, I tried them on! *winky eye face*. The ultimate luxury classic ankle boot. The zips add a twist. So comfy too.
Theyskens' Theory leather shorts - Net A Porter £339.50 You can't really go wrong with black leather. Add tights in winter/autumn. Bare legs in spring/summer.
Duchamp double Ring - All Saints £24 Silver ring, a classic.
Silver metallic purse - Topshop £8 A simple and cheap purse.
Zip Barrel Bag - Topshop £30 A classic black bag.
Libbi sculptured white sweatshirt - Whistles £25 This is selling out FAST! I loved that it was sculptured.
JW Anderson ten pleat car-print skirt - Matches £364 I fell for this skirt hard. Mid length and pleated. The crazy colourful pattern is a bonus, I really love this.
Current/Elliot The Slouchy Stiletto Jeans - Matches  £105 A simple sloughy but still slim cut jean. Me.

Now, some of these items are way out of my price league but that's why this is a dream wish list. Me, well i think i'll just wait for the Zara sale to hit and bag me those boots i've been after!

What are your sale picks?

Angela x

Feels Like Nothing Else

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

First of all, hello! I've not been here for a while. Life has been happening. Some good and some not so good. But I've still been here, lurking you could say. I've enjoyed some quiet time catching up on my favourite blog reads.

Talking of which... I was busily catching up on Wendy from the Thankfifi blog on Sunday evening when I noticed a competition!! Woohoo. Win a trip to Copenhagen plus some nice UGG goodies. I wasn't going to hesitate to enter this competition. What a dream. I could visit the sights from one of my favourite Scandinavian TV shows of the moment, Borgen. I'd pretend I'm meeting Kasper Juul for coffee. Swoon...

I started scouring the web for an outfit with my imaginary £1000 budget. Then I gave up around midnight as I was getting bleary eyed. I didn't forget though and the next day I collated my outfit and here is my entry below.

Total = £841.53

For this look I decided to stick with my usual smart casual style. And we know how much I LOVE my red Converse trainers, but since the weather is a bit chilly to wear those just now, I was thrilled to discover that there were a very cool (and not too dissimilar) pair of UGG shoes complete with furry sheepskin around the ankle and tongue as well as and leather lining to kick start this look. A perfect alternative to my Cons? Yes! I'm sure these would 'feel like nothing else' on my feet and would keep my little size 3 tootsies warm and toasty in winter.

Wearing my dark denim jeans, crisp white shirt and a pop of red in a cosy knitted jumper. I can see me sipping a hot tea and munching on a warmed scone in a little cafe on a bright winter afternoon.

To keep me ahead of the game in my second favourite spectator sport (people watching. Oh come on we all love doing that!), I opted for a new pair of Tom Ford glasses. I may paint my nails with my OPI shiny berry red polish from the Mariah Carey Holiday collection. Then, when it's time to go I'll pop on my cashmere beanie hat and oversized tartan scarf. Well, we are in Scotland after all! Cosy.

To finish my look I'll pop my laptop and purse and keys and phone and camera and 2 lip balms and notepad into my gorgeous leather Mulberry tote bag and set off to wander the streets...

To me that just feels like nothing else.

Hope you've liked my look. 

Angela x

Isabel Marant pour H&M

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Two weeks ago saw the launch of the hotly anticipated Isabel Marant Pour HandM collection in Paris. I've not really bothered much with the HandM collaborations in the past (the Versace one being too gold for my liking), but this one I've been looking forward to since it was announced earlier in the year and even more so since the look book hit the internet in September. I've been saving some extra pennies in my November budget for the day itself, Thursday 14 November. I cannot wait.

I think I'd like something from each of the sections; women's, men's and kids. They're so nice and laid back. Chunky knit cardigans, sweatshirts and kids slip on sneakers, which I'm sure will turn out to be a HUGE must have item. As always with these collaborations the prices are much higher than normal for H&M but I'm hoping the quality will justify this. Actually, £80 for a long line chunky knit cardigan isn't too bad.

Here are some on my favourite pieces.

Kids cardigan, £39.99

Long chunky knit wool hooded cardigan, £79.99

Black and white loopy wool jumper, £69.99

1) Sequinned Trousers, £149.99; 2) Slip on sneakers, £29.99; 3) Silk skirt, £39.99

I would've given anything to have been able to attend the launch party and have a browse inside this pop up shop. Hurry up 14 November!
All photos -

Angela x

Sweet Treats

Monday, 4 November 2013

Sunday was spent watching Formula One and then at another family gathering saying goodbye to my cousin who leaves for a six month sabbatical to Australia on Wednesday. But before all that I'd cooked up a batch of raspberry cream sweets.

Why? Because we're organising a Christmas fayre / cake sale / Christmas jumper day at work on Friday 13 December for Save The Children. It's their annual Christmas Jumper Day where you wear your best (or worst) Christmas jumper, pay £1 to take part and donate the money to Save The Children. We thought we'd go one better and sell cakes as well as have raffles. So far so successful. Thanks to Linda we've had around 35 prizes donated from various local businesses and crafty businesses on Facebook. It's really amazing. One prize includes a 4 night stay in a holiday cottage in Aviemore. The voucher is valid for 18 months too! Quite remarkable isn't it.

Anyway, the cakes. So I'll do my usual Mars Bar cake, coconut balls and i thought I'd try peppermint creams too. Put them in nice wee Christmas bags, sell em for a pound maybe.

I decided that as well as peppermint creams, I'd try strawberry creams. Couldn't find frozen strawberries on their own so opted for raspberries. I boiled and simmered them until they'd broken up and were a thick luscious sauce. Strained them through a sieve (a muslin cloth would've been for easier and less time consuming).
Boiling and straining
To my cream paste I added a few teaspoons of the raspberry sauce and mixed it again. I then rolled out the paste and used little cutters to make the star and heart shapes.  I chilled the shapes for a little while then melted some chocolate i had laying around and dipped ht shapes in.

So i didn't have a lot of chocolate left over. The ones i sell won't look so messy. Still taste great though
Pretty easy really. Pretty messy too. They taste pretty good but I'll add more of the sauce next time, whichever flavour I decide on. They'll keep for a few weeks on an airtight container but I'll make my batch for selling in the week of the fayre.

So if you're free on Friday 13 December and are in the area, come along, buy cakes, have a cups, win raffle prizes. Go on.

Angela x

Blank pages, empty words

Sunday, 27 October 2013

This post has been blank for about twenty minutes now. I can't seem to write anything these days. Not anything worth reading. But I want to. I so very badly want to. There are words floating around my head like tiny little sea animals floating in a big wide ocean. However, lately, they just don't seem to make any sort of sense or find their way into readable, interesting, fantastical sentences. And that's a problem when you want to write and blog so very badly. You end up with a post like this. A place filler.

I read a piece last week on the internet (it's where I mostly go to find my reading materials these days). Anyway, I found a short story that someone had tweeted, a piece they'd written and spilled into a Tumblr blog. It's great. It was filled with staccato sentences. The kind of writing I like. It was something. It was nothing. But i felt inspired a little after reading it.

It's by someone I follow on Twitter @Ohjawbone and you can find it here. I liked it a lot. Go over and have a read.

Angela x

Tooth Brace: check up 4

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Check up 4 and 7 months into my orthodontic treatment. I can't believe how time has flown. This was pretty much another bog standard check up. Nothing much to report except we're still trying to get my left hand upper teeth to move further over to the left I to the space where I had a tooth removed. This will mean she can then move my two front teeth around so that they're centred. Phew, what a mouthful that was.

It was pretty much a "nope, we've still got about 4mm to move" so she changed the e-wire stuff and tightened it a little so that it pulled on my upper incisors. Not much pain, only if I chew on those teeth. Otherwise she's happy the way they are going. It'll take another few months apparently, but they never said this was going to be a quick process. I'm fine with that. I can wait for a (near) perfect smile.

Talking of which, I just can't seem to stop smiling now. I'm not ashamed of brace wearing in my 30's. In fact, I think I would kind of miss it if it were taken off tomorrow. That seems weird saying that but I do feel like that.

I read a really good interview with a guy called Chris Millington over on Garçon Jon's blog, go over and have a read, fabulous photos too! Anyway, Chris is kind of recognisable now for his AMAZING beard. I mean he's not exactly unhandsome but with the beard, well it's like it's what makes him even more recognisable. I've always thought mine was my curly hair. But now I think it's the brace and the curly hair, oh and the big glasses. I'm a picture, me ;) Anyway, Chris says in the interview that his beard has given him incredible confidence, which I can identify with. Although replace his beard with my brace. You get my drift.

I feel like I can smile more and I want to smile more which is amazing for me. I'm not bothered if people stare at my mouth now. Whereas before I would always kind of hide my mouth and shy away if talking to someone new. I was always conscious of my squint front tooth, my crooked smile, my sticky out teeth. Now? Now I love them with the brace and I'm sure I will absolutely double love them without the brace. Is this making sense? It is to me.

Keep smiling,

#NOTD: Essie After School Boy Blazer

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


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It seems to be a thing this season. Navy. Navy is everywhere. From my coolest new H&M premium collection handbag to my new Primark socks to the new hue to grace my nail polish drawer.

Here we have a navy cream called After School Boy Blazer from Essie's autumn collection.

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I haven't really had a navy in my collection. I have a few pastel blues and a really amazing inkjet blue shimmer polish from Leighton Denny but i'd never been a one for just navy nails. Until now.

It really is the perfect navy colour. Really opaque with one coat I found but for a flawless look you might want to add two coats. Settles on the nails and gives a really nice dark with a twist finish. I love it, and i thought i'd gone more of a pink person. It seems the leaves on the ground and the nip in the air has muted my personal colour palette and i'm kind of okay with the navy.

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It's easy to apply with the brilliant Essie wide brush. I go on about this all the time but the brush can really make or break my decision to apply a polish. I have to really steady my hands with a thin brush which can then take ages to do. I like the wide brush for a quick and smooth application. A couple of strokes on each nail and you're done.

Good stuff.


Dream, Believe, Achieve

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Dream, Believe, Achieve.

Don't you just love that sentiment?! I do.

So when I saw this cue little t-shirt on one of my favourite bloggers sites over at Sincerely Jules, I just had to get it.

It just speaks so positively to me, and I hope to all that see me wearing this top. You can never have too many slogan tees in your wardrobe in my opinion. Throw it on with a black skirt or a pair of sexy boyfriend jeans and you're all set to have a great day.

Well I am, and I hope you are too!

Angela x

The Searcher

Thursday, 19 September 2013

I was flicking through my instagram home feed at all the wonderful pictures that people were posting. Occasionally some people post long comments along with their posts, called Instastories. The one below by James Kavanaugh was posted below a picture and I thought it was beautiful and felt an instant connection to it. I believe it sums me up really well. I wanted to share it here, in my 500th blog post! Can't believe I made it to 500.

I hope you like it as much as I did and I hope you like this blog as much as I like writing it. Granted, some times it's a bit barren for a few days but I hope to be giving regular updates from now on.

For you, dear reader...

“I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.”
― James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

Angela x

Greige #NOTD

Saturday, 14 September 2013

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Models Own  Utopia
I wasn't really a fan of the greige nail trend when it came out. I avoided it for far brighter or completely dark colours. However, there is a colour that falls somewhere in between greige and very pale lilac. That colour (above) is Utopia from Models Own.

Having pale freckly skin, I don't think certain colours suit me. Like proper full on beige colours, they wash me out. Utopia is the perfect beige but not really beige pale alternative. It lay at the back of my nail polish drawer, unloved and unopened since a first wearing some time last year. At that time I paired it with a glitter polish from OPI - Rainbow Collection. It was lovely.
Top - Models Own Utopia after 4 days wear (decent); Bottom Barry M Lychee
This time I've left it alone. I've had two coats on for 4 days now and there's only starting to be a little bit of wear on the edges (top photo above). You definitely need two coats, three for a fully opaque coverage. The application is nice but can be patchy. I suggest a thin first coat then a slightly thicker second one.

Whilst in town I browsed the nail section in Superdrug and completely off the cuff bought Barry M Lychee gel polish (bottom photo above) and Rimmel Mary Mary Quite Contrary. I wanted to compare the three. 
Rimmel Models Own Barry M photo 16be3b47-6a94-4028-b92c-e1be0d166167_zps60706e01.jpg
Rimmel Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Models Own Utopia, Barry M Lychee - Flash on
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Rimmel Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Models Own Utopia, Barry M Lychee - Flash off

I've already tried the grey Rimmel polish and I love it. It will be a good autumn colour with the pale simple colour palettes that are gracing the windows of my favourite shops. It's almost exactly like Utopia except it's grey instead of very pale lilac. You'd hardly notice the difference, though there is a slight one. Lychee is an obviously more beige colour. I'll give it a try but it may not suit me.

What's on your nails?

Angela x

Fitness routine, an update

Sunday, 8 September 2013

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I thought I'd give a little update on my fitness routine lately. This weekend has I've been out the game so to speak. I got my first cold of this year and i think it was my body's way of telling me to slow as since about February i have been exercising at least 5 days per week. Phew. I couldn't have imagined doing that a few years back. So with me having a cold for a few days I haven't been to the gym since Wednesday nights spin class.

Other than that I had a blip the weekend i went to Alton Towers. Well, the week after to be exact. I just didn't feel like exercising so i cut it down and got back into my stride. And you know what, that's ok. If your heart's not in it then you won't enjoy it.

After I posted a few months ago about my routine which was every day of the week, i have made a few adjustments that have really just happened organically. I've cut out the Thursday night shock-fit (weights class) and only go to the sunday morning spin class every other week. I needed a little lie in every now and then. The Thursday night class is one I want to get back to because I love the weights and the changes that you see in your body from doing them. But here's what happened...

I'd been going to Tuesday and Thursday night shock fit classes since about Feb/March time. That's months! They used to be at 7pm and there was usually me, my cousin and a few other regulars on a Thursday, and me and maybe one other woman on a Tuesday. Those classes were cancelled in July due to low attendance, so I switched to the busier 6pm classes. Now, those are fine but the first week 12 people turned up and it was a very tight squeeze to say the least (since they're held in the smaller gym inside Forthbank stadium).

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Anyway, about a month ago i turn up to the Thursday class. There's 4 of us there, including a few regulars to other classes. We were doing a new circuit so the instructor showed us each of the moves and we were soon on our way.

I was paired with a woman. (I'd rather have worked my way around on my own). Every now and again she would comment like this "you're not doing that right"... "i think you need to move forward a bit"... and so on. It really really put me off. I ignored her as best I could, not responding at all. What I really wanted to say was "please, you're doing it al wrong but i won't comment on your technique. And anyway if I were doing it wrong I'm sure the instructor would have told me since there's only 4 of us in the class". That's what I was saying in my head. I never said it out loud of course. Typical me, but i;m sure my lack of facial expressions told her what I might be thinking.

It's such a shame because when it was my usual group at those classes, we had a good rapport. But most importantly we encouraged each other and had a laugh. This other group really seem to be too serious and actually truth be told, their techniques are way off. I mean we're not talking athletes here who are training for anything but still. I'm surprised one of them hasn't put their back out.

So, I'll try to get over that and hope she stops going to that class because it really did put me off.

Other than that, I am still going to spin bike classes as well as GRIT strength and GRIT cardio classes. I do love the feeling you get afterwards having completed the high intensive training. Although my pink sweaty face may tell a different story!

What are you doing to keep fit?

Angela x

Plus One

Friday, 6 September 2013

When it landed on my desk I knew I'd avoid it until last minute. Yes. The evening invitation to my lovely colleague's wedding on Friday 20 September. Yep, told you I've it late. No, not with the outfit. I had that sorted months ago. Rather with the 'plus one'. eek.

Those two little words fill a single girls head with dread. I mean, I really would not have turned down the invite and when i responded back in July I thought I'd manage to get someone to come with me. But in all honesty I rarely go out or have anyone that I could take along with me. So I'm turning to you, dear internet, since you are the closest thing to a best friend I have at the moment. Well, that's a lie but another friend is also coming to the wedding but she is all set with her long term partner. Angela, the third wheel, again. It's not good is it!

So why not join me? Evening invite, Bathgate venue, 20 September. Will you be my plus one?

I wish I was only half-kidding, but you don't ask you don't get eh.

Angela x


Testing Pt II

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

So, there's been a change. I've changed the template of my little blog. What do you think?

Angela x

On Repeat

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Having donated my giant Technics stacking hi fi system to the charity shop a few months ago, I haven't really listened to the radio for a while. Music is mostly listened to on my phone or iTunes, and occasionally at work. One day, while at work, a song came on and I was mesmerised by it. It had me. I'm a sucker for a sweet tune and haunting voice. This is it. It's been on repeat ever since.

London Grammar - Strong


Angela x


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Apologies for the next few posts. I'm trying to tweek the blog layout by myself. Ideally I'd like a nice new blog templet but for now i've decided to give it a go myself. So you may see a few changes around here.

I currently have 2 safari windows open on my laptop with about 40 tabs on each with tutorials and designs and inspirations and all manner of other designer stuff to help me. Bur first. Blog post images and resizing.

This is a test post of a new way to add images to my blog. Let me know how it looks!
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I'm getting elbow deep in css code here and things may go awry.

This post may be updated regularly whilst I play about with photo layouts. Bear with me please while I get my blog looking the way i want it.

And no, I won't move over to Wordpress. I tried that once a few years back and hated it. Sorry, not sorry.

UPDATE (5 hours later): the images were fine for the first few hours and so i fiddled about with the code for other features and now the images are all greyed out halfway down them. Does anyone know why this happened and how to fix it?

Angela x

Tablet TV

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

I don't know about you but the way I watch TV recently has changed. Sure, there are programmes I still like to watch 'live' and on a big screen (The Apprentice, Masterchef, Revenge, Emmerdale, Home and Away and more...), but for the past 6 months or so I've taken to watching Sky Go on the iPad. I've loved it.

The full two series' of Game of Thrones done and dusted over a couple of weekdays just prior to the new series beginning in April. I've watched Banshee, Series 1-3 of Mad Men, Hannibal, and now Ray Donovan which is holding my attention. I also watch some live TV on there too: sports and BINTM on Thursdays (what is up with Elle MacPherson's face? I mean she's gorgeous and that but... puffy is the word that springs to mind) to name a few.

Last week I was updating my LoveFilm rental list online and an advert popped up for Netflix. I've resisted Netflix for a while, not wanting to jump on any bandwagon too soon. I'd browsed their selection a few months ago and didn't like what I saw. But last week I had another swatch at it and also the ads for Orange is the New Black had me hooked a little so I signed up for a months free trial. After that runs out I think it's only £5.99 per month. Not too bad considering my LoveFilm subscription is only £4.07 per month. I'm still on the 2 DVDs per month sent in the post one. I quite like getting them being sent in the post. I'm old fashioned like that.

Anyway, since signing up for Netflix a few weeks back I've watched a few decent rom coms that I'd seen before at the cinema. I would probably never buy them, but would watch them again. You know when you have that with a movie? Netflix is ace for that. And you can watch them as many times as you like.

I've also started watching Orange is the New Black. I'm on episode 5 but don't want to rush through it because you end up with that empty feeling knowing that it'll be at least another 6 months to a year before the new season is out!

Then, with all the hoo-ha about the new season of Breaking Bad starting this week, I decided to give in and started watching that. Series 1 episode 5 is where I'm up to. So far Walter's cough gives me the boke, but it's interesting enough to keep me watching.

What I'm trying to say is this new way of watching TV is a pure delight for me. I can have the iPad sitting on my bedside unit and watch from under the duvet. A huge plus is that I don't need to wear my glasses to watch it, its that close, which means no waking up with glasses squashed onto my face or an indent across my nose.

Angela x



Monday, 19 August 2013

Monday gets a raw deal these days. I don't know why. If you see it as the start of your week, then it's just that. a Start. A chance for a new start, a new beginning.

I simply cannot stand Monday moaning on social media sites. There's no need. Granted, it's usually from the same sort of people who moan at the silliest little thing.

Don't get me wrong, I like a good moan. I'm good at it. I just don't see the point of putting it all over social media sites. There are some people who are genuinely struggling with things in their lives and don't ever seem to moan and yet here we are, bemoaning a gorgeous new day just because it happens to be called Monday.

Here's what Monday means for me...

  • Monday Morning Motivation Meetings - amazing brainstorming list-making session.
  • The first of my spin and Grit classes for the week.
  • A new week.
  • New ideas forming.
  • New episode of a favourite programme to watch
  • at the end of the day, day 1 of the week ticked off. You're heading towards that weekend!

What does Monday mean for you?

Angela x


All the Fun Fun of the Fair

Thursday, 15 August 2013

This past weekend, I finally ticked something off my imaginary bucket list that's been on there for a few years. I went to Alton Towers! I know. No big deal really but when you haven't crossed a border (far less gone on an exotic holiday) for 4 years, then day-trips like this are a godsend.

Friday night I caught the bus at Stirling bus station at 12.30pm. It then headed up the motorway to make more pickups. Firstly Cumbernauld, where my friend Ashley boarded, next stop Glasgow where the rest of the passengers were picked up (or so we thought). We headed on our way towards the South. Then a buzzer or some sort of alarm was going off. We pulled into Bothwell services, not 15 minutes away from the Glasgow pickup and he stopped the bus passed the petrol station and round to a dark area. I swear, it was like Derren Brown himself was about to appear from the trees and tell us he was hypnotising a passenger for an elaborate TV special. The driver got off and opened the boot where the engine was. He was away for a good twenty minutes before appearing again to get his mobile. Another ten minutes passed and he eventually came to tell us that the buzzer alarm was because there was a water leak. He'd called his bosses and an breakdown truck was on its way to fix the leak. He said we should get off and go for a comfort break and cup of tea whilst he waited. We all did just that.

We were away about twenty minutes and then headed back to the bus. Surely it couldn't take much longer. A few people stayed off the bus - smokers, and a group of six lads who'd boarded at Glasgow and who had sat in front of us in the first row of seats. We were chatting away on the bus then Ashley said "look, there's someone hiding in those bushes". Turns out the boys were being creative and were playing hide and seek whilst we waited. We watched and laughed at them for a few minutes, then chatted more.

It was 1.40am when we'd broken down. It was about 3.40am when we set off again. Nightmare. About five minutes into our journey and he pulled off into Motherwell. To collect more folk. They'd actually been standing waiting (in drizzly rain) for 2 hours!! I'd have gone home. Eventually we got going again.

We drove some more and then the buzzer alarm came on again. You could hear the driver, and passengers sigh and groan in unison. By this time we were tired and the buzzer had become a background noise. It wasn't constant but it was intermittent and annoying. I must've fallen into a light sleep. The next thing I woke and we pulled into Tebay services for a comfort break. It was around 5.30am and day had broken in the sky. We got off, had a wee, then set off again. Not fifteen minutes later he pulled into Killington Lake services and mentioned he was going to call the breakdown services again due to the ongoing water leak/buzzer alarm saga. We were starting to think we'd never get there. Ever! In fact, I thought this little ride would be the closest I'd get to the shows this weekend :)

We were stopped here for another two hours and finally set off towards Alton Towers (on hopefully the last leg of the journey) around 8.30am. We probably should've been arriving there at that time. Gah!

The good news was the water leak/loose pipe was repaired and the buzzer didn't go off. Until we were nearly at Alton Towers. No one was that bothered about it now. I was surprised at the landscape approaching the resort. Lots of minor twisty roads and farms. It reminded me of Emmerdale.

We arrived into the car park and the bus stopped at 11am. By the time we queued to get our ticket and got into the park it was 11.40am. You could argue that we'd lost 2 hours. Damn. We were to be back at the bus for 6pm, although thankfully the driver wasn't forcing that point.

Finally in the park, and I was surprised by how quiet it seemed. There's was plenty room to move and we headed towards the area called The Dark Forrest and I rode my first giant rollercoaster, Thirteen. I wasn't nervous in the queue, there were kids a lot younger than me in it. How scary could it be?! As we got closer I started to get a little bit nervous, then to top it off, the way the queue worked out, it meant that we were in the front seat. Oh no! Oh well, go big or go home as they say...

Once we got going it wasn't so bad. I mean it was fast and twisty and then there's the bit where it stops and drops and then you go backwards, but all in all I survived my first one and I was pleased with myself. We decided against Rita since time was tight, it only really goes superfast at the start, and the queue for it was 40 minutes.

Onwards to seek out The Smiler. As we approached I could see Oblivion. I knew as soon as I saw it drop that I couldn't do it. No way. I'm not a fan of that butterfly belly sensation you get when you're in mid air and falling at 60mph! Unfortunately the red LED signs were telling us the queue for The Smiler was 2 hours long and when we stopped to watch it. Turns out there was no one on it and they'd closed the queue. They ran it a couple of times with no one on it. It doesn't make you feel confident, does it.

The Smiler - stationary
Anyway, we bypassed that and headed towards the pirate area. Whilst there we got something to eat as it was 1pm and lunchtime for us. I'd survived on cups of tea and a croissant from a service station up to that point. Ashley opted for a lamb wrap affair and i settled on plain old chips. The chips were lovely and fresh though and I put lashings of salt on them. Big mistake. My mouth was dry all day after that. We wandered around this area and then went on the Runaway Train and the Congo River Rapids. By this time the sun had come out and we figured if we got wet then we'd dry out quickly. The train was super fun and they put us around the ride 3 times. You could hear the people waiting in the queue get all shouty "oh, they're going round again, that's not fair!". We laughed. The river rapids were fine and only my jeans got a little bit wet. I did enjoy that.

After there we were on our final stretch. It was time for a big push towards Nemesis Sub-Terra, Nemesis and Air. Wowee. 20 minute wait for Nemesis Sub-Terra. This was the only one Ashley hadn't been on before. It's an indoor 'ride' and I was getting a little nervous not knowing what to expect. It's one of those rides where the build up starts in the queue with TVs showing you are entering a restricted zone etc etc... much like you see at Disney or Universal. Once in the queue you've got these guys dressed in black (The Phalanx) barking orders at you. Stand here, don't smile, pay attention... It goes on. Once through the door you are told to stand on a spot on the ground, to listen to the important message on a screen and go through into a lift. This is when the ride begins. No spoilers from here though, but i will say it's more of a mind trick and a little bit of an actual 'ride'. We came out not 20 feet from where we entered but we were disorientated and laughing, albeit a little hysterically. Tension, psychological, stern operators, noisy, strobe lights. A great attraction, just not a ride though.

Right next door is Nemesis. I was looking forward to this one, although it is pretty intimidating when you're standing right underneath it. I wasn't backing out. Our wait was about 30 minutes, but once again you don't really notice it dragging or anything because the queue's twist and turn around the ride and you can see most of what is going on. It's actually pretty good. Once we were on i did get a little bit jittery but I'd timed it and it only really goes for less than a minute. How hard can it be?... I like that my legs were hanging from the one. The upside down loop was amazing and for a second i thought I might fall out. When it ended I thought to myself, if we'd had more time to hang about I'd go on that one again. I was starting to get really smart with myself about having gone on these huge rides.

Finally, we headed to Air. I'd only seen a small peek of this one through the trees but I think this was the one I most certainly wanted to go on. To get that feeling of flying at such a high speed. Although, saying that, I do think Air is noticably a bit slower than, say, Nemesis. Perhaps it's something to do with the horizontal positioning of the seats? Our wait here was 40 minutes. And we stood and watched people flying above our heads. When it came time for us to get on, I was really nervous. When the seat went forward into the horizontal (flying) position I couldn't help but notice how there was a big empty space behind my back. Argh, I might fall out...

Once we set off it really was fantastic. As we swooped and twisted around the landscaped area beneath I really was getting a birds eye view of the whole scene. It was brilliant. There's a point where it twists and you're lying on your back, for a whole 10 seconds I think, but back on my front I was whooping and squealing. What a great feeling. It comes to quite a quick stop and then you're left hanging until the car in front moves off and you can get off. On exiting, through the Air gift shop (obviously), we bought a photo of this momentous occasion. Truth be told, all of our other pictures were horrible with eyes shut or weird faces. This was the only semi decent one of me, ha ha.

Since it was now past 5pm we decided to head back for a bite to eat and a visit to a gift shop ready to be back at the bus for 6pm. It was nice to wander around the park at this time of night, as although it was still busy, it wasn't at all mobbed. In fact, I hadn't felt it was overly busy all day. I mean the queues are long, but that's probably because everyone wants to go on rides at the same times. Anyway, the queues times pass quickly.

Back at the bus we were a tired bunch. The buzzer would sound intermittently but we'd become oblivious to it by now. We left the car park at 6.30pm and headed up the road stopping at a services just before the Lakes about 8.45pm, then services at Abington about 11pm. I was back at home at 1.30am and so badly needed a sleep.
Selfie: on the bus. Fun Fun sweatshirt by Zoe Karssen
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my day trip to Alton Towers with Ashley. It doesn't have that added magic that Disney or Universal Studios may have but it's a good British alternative. Once inside the park I felt that the prices of food and goods was pretty reasonable, all things considered. £2 for a bottle of Cola (not bad), £2.50 for chips (again, decent), £3.75 for a keyring and they were on a 3 for 2 offer. I was expecting it to be more, considering you can pay more than £3 for a Cola at the cinema!

All the fun fun of the fair indeed.
Let's go again!!

Angela x


Teeth Brace: Check up 3

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

I actually had my third 8-weekly check-up at the orthodontist two weeks ago. I was in and out in a flash (about 10 minutes to be exact).

She seems to be happy with the progress and never changed the main wire. Probably because it was the thicker one she put in the last time. What is causing some concern is the gap the appears between my two front teeth. I don't mind the gap which may or may not be there upon removal of the brace. What she said is that it still isn't in the right place. It's a bit off centre to the right hand side. Your two front teeth should meet nicely just below the tip of your cupid's bow top lip (or in line with the tip of your nose. Providing your nose isn't wonky). Mine's don't.

Excuse the up-the-nose shot below, but look at my cool Ray Ban Aviators! *winkey eye face*

Gap, nearly gone, and a bit off centre.
It isn't really a big deal but she would like it dead centre. And maybe i would too. She removed the thicker e-chain plastic loops she'd put in on both sides and only replaced the left hand side one to try to force-pull those teeth around. There's space for them to move to too, it's just the moving part that's taking some time.
Excuse the weird colour. My skin isn't great just now.
There wasn't much pain this time but i can definitely feel the teeth are tender and moving a little. The gap appears to have closed at the bottom, but that usually happens and then they separate again.

I still can't get over that this little magical metal contraption can actually move your teeth within a few days. It's a feat of engineering to say the least. Below are some (not very flattering) pictures of before and after check up number 3.

That's nearly six months I've had the brace on. Only another 18 to go! But when you look back at this post you can see just how far the teeth have moved. 'mazin'.

Oh, and I found this fantastic video on YouTube about adult braces from two Australian girls. They explain everything really well - beware, there are a few sweary words in there so if that offends you, you'd best not look.

Angela x

Share A Coke - update!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

I know, I know, this may not mean anything to most people but... I managed to find a Coke bottle with my name on it! Yes!

You should've seen me in Sainsbury's last Sunday when my eagle eye spied it. I stealthily edged my way over to the tall standing fridge and grabbed it before anyone else did. I wasn't letting this one go. It's taken a while but I've finally got one.

Now the dilemma is... Do I drink it, or not?

Angela x


Tangle Teezer-ing my curls

Friday, 2 August 2013

Being a curly haired girl, I haven't really brushed my hair in years. Not my dry hair. It would resemble that of a maiden dragged through a hedge backwards if I so much as looked at a Denman brush. But, one time, at the hairdressers, the young assistant who was washing and prepping my hair used a Tangle Teezer on me. It went through my hair like a hot knife through butter, so smooth was it's action.

I then toyed with the idea of buying myself one for months. In the end I never did, but when I ordered the Selfridges summer beauty box I was delighted to see one in there. This is the Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash. Made for summer when you're in and out of the warm sea waters or a swimming pool by an amazing view... sigh.

It is quite large but the centre is hollow so it's not heavy at all. The ergonomic shape makes it easy to hold in the shower when I'm washing and conditioning my hair. For that is where I will mostly use mine. I like to shampoo my hair first, apply conditioner or a mask, brush it through and leave for a few minutes to work, then I rinse and brush out the remaining conditioner. It works for me. I have used a little plastic Revlon wide toothed comb I got in Superdrug years ago, but now I use the Tangle Teezer.

love the design of this Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash
It has made the process of washing my hair at the gym easier and quicker too, which is always a great help. I'm not sure how the thin plastic bristles can manage to make my hair feel silky when it more resembles straw at the moment. The act of brushing your hair can feel great, soothing almost. But I'd never brush my hair dry with any brush. However, when I'm putting my hair up on a ponytail I do use it to smooth it out first then wrap it in a bungee tie or a bobble.

Being a lover of a good simple effective piece of design means I absolutely love this. The pink and white colour scheme and the ability for it to stand up means not only is it functional, but it does look good on the bathroom shelf!

(available from Boots for £13.99, possibly cheaper on some online outlets)

Angela x


New Shoes

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Hey, I put my new shoes on and suddenly everything seems right... That's how the Paolo Nutini song goes and it's how i felt when I put these babies on my feet.

These are gonna be my new go to work / smart casual shoes for the forthcoming seasonal change that's bound to happen following our two and a half week mini summer season.

I was immediately drawn to these because they are kind of Alexander Wang-esque in their styling. And since I cannot afford real Alexander Wang shoes or boots with their price range in the hundreds(!), the fact that these were only £45 were a real big deciding factor.

Surprisingly enough, these shoes/booties are from Next (I know!). What I do love about Next is that they do half sizes and I always get a 3 1/2. They fit perfectly and are so comfortable.

I'm thinking of styling these with the (in)famous white Zara skort and a cool grey Adidas sweatshirt I bought in the ASOS sale a few weeks back.

A perfect seasonal crossover outfit. Pictures soon, maybe...

Angela x



Friday, 19 July 2013

They say you should surround yourself with positive people. Get rid of the dead wood and the drains on your life. Well, since I spend most of my time at work, or at the gym, or with my family, there aren't that many drains on my life. However, there could be a few more positive people in my life. I find it hard to make friends. Real friends. That friends for life sorta thing, you know. I'd love that. LOVE.

Most of my time is spent at work, and yes, this past year at work hasn't been easy. There is a lot of negativity and drains on your time which in turn becomes a drain on your health and well-being. But only if you let it. Which if I'm honest I did let it for a few months since about Christmas. I let it affect me because I'm a worrier and an over-thinker. That was wrong of me. And looking back I've come to realise that you can't change what you don't have control over. What you can change is yourself because you control yourself. So I've changed myself in a good way. I've channelled my energy into different things and it has been good for me. Granted, there are still things that niggle away at me but I find deep breaths and happy places help me.

With all of the above being said, I look to other people, places and things for my positivity. And those places are mostly online. Blogs, Pinterest inspiration boards, look books, mood boards, travel destinations, amazing Twitter conversations and such like.

I thought I'd share a few of my positive people, places, blogs and things with you. And remember, We all have our own Everest to climb.

1) A HUGE factor in helping me through the past few months has been exercise. Honestly. Especially my gym, The Peak in Stirling. Its a large fairly new brightly lit and coloured building. Immediately putting you at ease. Also the instructors who's classes I attend: Ryan, Claire, Ross, Tim, Fabienne, Colin - lovely, lovely, positive people. They're so welcoming, happy and above all a good laugh. At the end of the day i like nothing better than to head to The Peak for my daily dose of torture.. err I mean, fun exercise. I push myself as hard as I can and it clears my head, gives me something else to think about and generally makes me feel good. And that's no bad thing now is it. So get up off your chair and go out for some exercise!

2) Blogs. You only need to take a look down the right hand side of this page to see the blogs i read the most. There are others but too many to list. One day I'm gonna put a blogroll page up here with everything that keeps me entertained throughout the weeks. It's funny too because I don't read these blogs every day, there wouldn't be enough time. Instead I usually fit them in when i have a spare hour or so. I love reading several posts at a time from my favourite bloggers. Soaking up their stories and awesome pictures. That of makes me smile.

3) Pinterest. I was early to the party on this one. Invited near the start, I was immediately drawn in by Pinterest's ability to transport me to that fantasy land we all live in 'if money were no object'. There's not juts material items on there. There's handy hints about anything and everything, there's recipes, there's some amazing quotes and some hilarious ones, there's pictures that i'd never seen if they weren't Pinned and then there's the clothes, shoes, gadgets, holidays, hairstyles and hot boys! What more could a girl ask for.

4) people. Although I'm a pretty shy person (until I get to know you) I do actually like people. Not all people mind you, but most people. Some people can be nasty or some other trait that I don't like but for the most I do like people.

What do you to get into that positive state of mind?

Angela x


Embedding Instagrams

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Testing testing.
Testing out the Instagram embed feature. Hope the photos are of decent quality and size...
you decide...

Edit: I've just done a preview and the pictures look pretty nice (except for the user name at the top, but i'll forgive that).

Angela x


Ange meets Burger Meats Bun

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

I'm no foodie, but I do know a good bit of meat when I taste one. No supermarket meat ever passes my lips these days. Fresh local butcher meat only.

Ever since I became obsessed with watching the Food Network on Freeview, I've been craving one of those giant burgers Guy Fieri stuffs into his mouth like a ... well, like a foodie eating a giant tasty burger, since forever. Cheese dripping off of it. Burger sauce running down my chin. Juicy beef tickling my taste buds. Let's face it, you ain't getting that at McDonalds.

Last week a new burger place/restaurant/joint (what's the word?) opened in Glasgow. Some people were talking about it on Twitter (some frankly overdoing it with their over-enthusiastic tweets, calm down people, you hadn't even sampled the wares yet!). I decided that with all of the hard work I'm putting in at the gym, I deserved some kind of treat. I would head to Burger Meats Bun and see what the fuss was about. I'm not going to go into the story of who they are and why they're there, I'm not going to pretend to know these people. You can read all about it on their website or over on James Vs Burger for an in depth review. Instead I'm just going to tell you my story, in search of a decent burger.

After failing in my shopping tasks - folks, the autumn winter stuff is already making it's way to stores...WAY TOO EARLY! Anyway, having failed to buy anything other than a one hole punch and a fridge magnet set, I ventured down a set of stairs and into the place. To my surprise (but secret delight) it was fairly quiet with only a few tables taken up. I had my choice of seating. But not before a much needed toilet break. (What's with those heavy doors!).

I took a seat near the back, or side, depending on which way you're looking. Basically I tried to find a quiet spot that wasn't too close to anyone else because I don't much like eating in public with my brace on my teeth. Food, pieces stuck, me picking it out.... you get the picture.

The waitress came over and gave me a menu. The menu is a simple affair on a cute little wooden clipboard. I ordered a Coke. She delivered it and I was so pleased it was a can, and at only £1.50 too! After my last visit to Glasgow for burgers when I realised that I'd paid £5 for less than half a litre of Coke, this was a total bargain and a pure delight. The menu isn't vast - great I thought, too much choice can kill you. I always knew I'd be getting the Big Cheese but I scoured out the other items, just in case.
The cool simplistic menu on a cute little clipboard
The waitress came back and I ordered a Big Cheese beef burger, no tomato, no pickle. I hate tomato, I hate pickles. I like burgers, and cheese! As well as that I ordered the chips with maldon sea salt. I'd leave the Thai chilli cheese ones for another day. After a few minutes she came back and delivered half a kitchen roll, and a tin can with a fork and steak knife in it. Handy I thought, as I need to cut my food up pretty small these days, and a burger in a brioche bun would certainly need to be halved at least.

I read some of my book on my phone whilst secretly listening to a conversation at a nearby table. Oh come on, we all do it! A little while later my order was delivered. The burger neatly wrapped in white greaseproof paper with a cute little sticker on it, the chips in a white paper tub bowl type thingy. I loved the simplicity of this. No fancy schmancy wooden slabs on which to try and delicately eat a big hulking juicy burger. Oh and I hate those effing slates, imagine eating off a slate!?... It would go for my teeth.

Anyway, I digress. I opened the burger and there appeared to be no cheese. What kind of tomfoolery is this? I thought. I took the crispy brioche top off and there was definitely no cheese. Nope. Worse still, there underneath the burger lay tomato and pickles. I hate tomato, I hate pickles. I hesitated. You're in a new eating establishment that ain't no McDonalds prices and you're order seems to be wrong. Pop quiz hot shot, what do you do?

I managed to catch the eye of someone and mentioned that I didn't think this was my order. I said it should have been cheese with no tomato, no pickle. He apologised, took it away and came back to say it'd be another few minutes for my one. From my vantage point near the kitchen door, I heard someone call for him to send apologies (which the nice gentleman had done already, thankyouverymuch). A few minutes later, he brought me out another one wrapped up. I was hoping there was cheese on this one as by now I was hungry and was trying not to fill up too much on the chips before having even tried the burger.

To my delight, yes, there was cheese. There was no tomato and no pickle. Hallelujah. I halved it all and got stuck in. The scene didn't resemble that of a diner or dive on the Food Network though. There was no cheese dripping down my chin like I'd hoped. I was secretly disappointed. However the burger was nice and certainly juicy. It was a little pink in the middle which I like. But dammit, I wanted more melty cheese!! and definitely more of that burger sauce. Now that right there was tasty. The bun held together well even though I'd quartered it. But I still wanted more cheese, and tasty sauce!
bowl of chips, half a burger, some menu
I didn't wolf the burger down. I can't really with a mouthful of steel these days. I savoured it, and those chips. Wowsers. I love my food salty and the flakes of salt on them really made my lips tingle, just the way I like my chips to be (except I could've done with a bit less of the burnt look on the chips. Just me?). Boy was I glad to be sipping on that £1.50 can of Coke between mouthfuls of food.

I came to the end of my meal and decided that I liked it, despite the order mix up. Although I wouldn't be having dessert. I'm not a fan of mikshakes and my stomach couldn't have squeezed in those doughnuts with dipping sauce. Well, maybe I could have if I'd had more time. But no, no dessert.

There was a guy asking customers how their food was. Not in a weird random-asking-folks-about-their-food kinda way. He must've been a 'someone' in the establishment. He came over to me after I'd finished. Fine, I replied. It was all I could muster. I wasn't being rude. I was just trying not to talk to a stranger for fear of having bits of meat and chips stuck in my brace. Imagine the embarrassment. So, if you're reading this Sir, I apologise, but you try having a mouthful of metal and eat discretely in a public place on your own! I would've chatted, maybe, but I'm positive there was a bit of your burger stuck in my teeth. I'm sure you understand. :)

I paid for my meal and headed off into the late afternoon sunshine. Stomach full of nice food.

Like I say, I'm no foodie, but I know my meat. It was nice. Juicy. Nice taste. But MORE CHEESE PLEASE (sorry I can't let this one go). And more burger sauce. And be careful processing customer orders!! I'll put that down to first week hiccups. The place was very nicely fitted out. Bright enough, despite being lower than street level. Cool wooden and metal stools. Nice red no fuss benches and tables at the back/side. Cool music in the background, loud enough to take the edge off a silence, not so loud you can't hear yourself think! Nice, friendly staff are a bonus too.

10/10? For me, no. But with it being just a few minutes walk off Buchanan Street it's worth a visit to see for yourself.

Angela x