Monday, 25 September 2017


  1. Saturdays. Fast becoming my favourite day of the week, Ava and I have been using our Saturdays to spend lots of quality time together filled with food, fun and adventure. Recent highlights include a trip on a boat over to Loch Leven Castle and a spot of fairy hunting in Balfron.
  2. Big Feed. I've been attending this amazing food festival pretty much since it started and yesterday a few of us headed along for my 7th visit. I love this place because whether I go along with Ava on a Saturday or head there with friends on a Sunday, it's the perfect place to chill, play retro board games, drink good beer and taste lots of amazing food offerings. The highlights from yesterday were most definitely the pulled pork nachos from Firedog & the Chicken Makhani from Ginger & Chilli
  3. Running. I went for my first run yesterday in way too long a time but I knew had to do something to make up for all the food I was about to eat at Big Feed. I did a 6k around Linn Park and absolutely loved the buzz of being back pounding the streets. Not loving the fact that my body is currently in agony today though.
  4. Girls Day. After looking forward to a day off last Friday for the September weekend, I was gutted to find the weather was way too wet for castle hunting and so to Ava's delight we decided to have a girls day at Silverburn Shopping Centre instead. Highlights included getting our nails done, lunch at Wagamama's, a cinema trip and then spending all of mama's money in H&M kids.
  5. Reading. After way too long enjoying the intellectual and highbrow delights of various glossy magazines, I have my reading mojo back and am finally enjoying Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman. About 6000 years after everyone else read it.
  6. Magners at Malones. I had a great night the other week when I attended the launch of the brand new Magners Rooftop Terrace at Malone's bar in Glasgow city centre. The evening was balmy, the Magners was flowing and the BBQ food was out of this world. If you haven't checked this place out yet (the only Magners rooftop bar in Scotland), then I suggest you get down there quick!
  7. Babs. You know when there is somewhere on your list that you've been meaning to go to in ages yet you never get round to going to even though you keep hearing all the amazing things? I finally ventured into Babs recently for a kebab and it seriously did not disappoint. I'm looking forward to going back and trying basically every single thing on the whole damn menu.
  8. Lush. The weather is turning people and that can only mean one thing. Facemasks, Shearers Candles & leisurely evening Lush baths. I am stocking up on bath bombs like you wouldn't believe in time for winter.
  9. Netflix. After falling out of love with Netflix recently, we decided to mutually go our separate ways a few months ago. However it turned out that a break was all the two of us needed because we are back together with gusto and I am getting seriously into Ozark and The Keepers. Yes, I know I need to get out more. And stop referring to my television subscription like it's my boyfriend.
  10. Cinema dates. Have I mentioned that I love horror movies but I am the biggest scaredy cat in the world? Tricky huh? Recently I went along to the cinema with my pal Sarah to watch IT. Genuinely don't know what was more entertaining. The film or watching her face during the scary bits.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


If I had a favourite word then it would probably be 'escape'. Because it's something I do regularly in my head. Being an adult, with a mortgage, a child and a deep and meaningful subscription to Netflix, escape in the literal sense is no longer an option. I can't take off to Australia for a year like I did when I was 17. I can't spend an entire summer backpacking around Europe in the manner I did at 21 and  I can't quit my job and disappear to LA the way I did at 26.

And so now I escape in other ways. I plan my next road trip, I pin pictures of castles to Pinterest and I book nights away in sleepy Scottish villages. I carry a notebook in my head and I write down all of my thoughts before they disappear. I scrawl notes in the literal sense in the diary I carry in my bag. Often I look back on them with no recollection of their meaning. I guess they must have meant something at the time.

I saw a quote once that said;

Displace the pain. Put it in a camera, a story, a poem, a song, a lover, a canvass.

And I suppose that is what I do. I take pretty pictures to soothe my soul. I write this blog because I find it a cathartic sense of release. I cook like it's a form of therapy and instead of just enjoying the music, I spend hours decoding undecipherable lyrics to all of my favourite songs.  Whether I'm at the top of the world or in the depths of despair, I am always planning my next escape, always looking forward to my next road trip. I get a kick out of lochs that I haven't discovered yet. I'm at my happiest playing pool in some run down pub in the Highlands or sipping whisky post meal next to a hotel coal fire. I get excited looking for new bothies, bridges or buildings I can explore.

Growing up, I never considered myself creative. My art teacher hated me (with good reason, I was terrible) and I'm not musical in any way, shape or form (not that it stops me from belting out Swifty tunes in the car). It wasn't until I put pen to paper, until I started making up my own recipes or until I realised how much pleasure there was in sitting on your own by a loch, that I finally understood that the sarcastic, irreverent, cheeky caricature I had built up of myself might actually have a creative bone in her body, after all.  I've been told I think too much so often that I now have a pre-disposed answer back for anyone that mentions it....

"You think too much" - "You drive too fast"
"You think too much" - "You shouldn't smoke"
"You think too much" - "You don't think enough".


I have an answer for everything ;)

I think everyone has their own ways of navigating through life. For some people it's sport, for others it's discovering other countries. Some people write music, while others might paint. For me it's Scotland. And cooking. And writing down my thoughts. 

Drapetomania (n.) is classed as; an over-whelming urge to run away. I've spent my whole life feeling like I'm constantly fighting an intoxicating and constant desire to be where I'm not. To escape. To be anywhere but the spot in which I currently stand. And so I escape the ordinary as much as I can. Every weekend we explore new areas of Scotland we haven't seen before. I plan nights away like people plan their weekly shop and then I come home and I write about it all before I forget. Before the memory goes away.

It's fair to say I find therapy in cooking, I find therapy in writing and I find therapy in adventure. During a break up you will find me throwing myself into my next road trip more than I will ever throw myself into Tinder. Following a painful experience I usually write about it. And if I have had a bad day or an argument with a boyfriend then you can bet your ass that night you will find me in the kitchen.

I don't think the things we do are random. I think we find these things to survive. To heal and to keep us excited. I think they are our calling.

So if you haven't already, then might I suggest you find something you're passionate about?

And then do it. 

With all of your might.  X

Tuesday, 12 September 2017


  • I finally finished my living-room (only moved in in April) including the feature wall of quotes that had been residing as a pile of frames on the floor for way too long. Now that I have this room looking exactly the way I want it, it's onto Ava's bedroom. And the massive pink love heart mural she wants painted on her wall!
  • Burgers, wraps, chicken wings and loaded fries at Steak, Cattle & Roll after some Sunday afternoon beers (and gins) in Merchant Square. So maybe I'm not outdoorsy every Sunday.
  • Amazing roast dinner at The White Elephant. As much as I love cooking my own Sunday roasts, there is something decent about enjoying one in the pub and not having to worry about the washing up.
  • The beautiful Carrbridge just north of Aviemore. The oldest stone bridge in the Highlands, I had been desperate to get a snap of it for ages and was made up to finally visit!

  • Gorgeous chicken & chorizo bake full of flavour and just in time for Autumn. After years of having a weird phobia about eating two different animals at the same time (don't ask),  I am finally embracing the amazingness of a chicken & chorizo combination. So good!
  • Krispy Kremes. Scoffed after a massive pasta dinner on a chilled Friday night.
  • Paddling in the icy cold waters of Loch Ness. Ava was most definitely braver than I was and I had to drag her out before her feet turned blue!
  • Fry ups will forever be my biggest weekend indulgence. And this one enjoyed at Chelsea Market in the west end seriously hit the spot.

  • Beautiful beach scenes on a recent day trip to Burntisland
  • Spice mix used to make this Red Lentil Masala with Spinach recipe by Naturallyella.
  • Delicious salted caramel brownie with tablet ice-cream from the Boyd Roderick. So good but so, so bad.
  • A Saturday afternoon spent exploring Gilmerton Coves, a series of secret hand carved passages and chambers that lie below the ground on the suburbs of Edinburgh. No one really knows how they got there and they are a must see for anyone visiting the area.

  • Curry and beer Fridays. Is there any other way to do a Friday?
  • Experimenting with some Middle Eastern cooking with spiced chicken, tahini & yoghurt flatbreads.
  • Beautiful bright blooms to cheer up a very wet Sunday afternoon. I picked these up after a day spent exploring the east coast.
  • I've taken to cooking a roast chicken once a week because it goes so far. Between Sunday lunch, leftover meat for during the week lunches and then bone stock for making soup, buying your chickens whole is definitely worth the money!

  • I had a fantastic night when I joined lots of other like minded mamas for the Scottish Mothers Collective #VExSMC event in association with Very Exclusive UK. We drank fizz and Parma Violet cocktails, nibbled on the some seriously delicious canap├ęs and discussed all things fashion. The goodie bag was pretty awesome to boot!
  • Definitely thinking that starting a gin collection is the most adult thing I've done to date. I'm onto my tenth bottle now and am even managing not to drink them quicker than I buy them.
  • Ava's current book of choice. Every single night. But I don't mind because I adore reading it to her. If you have small children but none of the Dr Seuss collection then I insist you remedy that immediately.
  • Watching the Millport ferry shuttle back and forth whilst skipping stones on the beach in Largs and discussing the difference between vegetarianism and Christianity. I really wish she didn't have to grow up.

Sunday, 10 September 2017


Ava & I have an interesting relationship. On the one hand we're close. I can predict her sentences before she says them and I always know how she will react to situations before she's even had time to process them. These days, we're starting to understand each other in a way we never did before. She knows I don't have the patience of her dad (for play or misbehaviour) and now when she sees me about to lose my rag, she will diffuse the situation with a nervous giggle or sneaky tickle.

I love it when she does that. 

On the other hand we can drive each other insane. She can't stand my obsession with castles and rolls her eyes when I drag her around endless Scottish landmarks.While I know she enjoys adventure, I think sometimes she wishes I was more of a homebody. More of a stay at home and make cakes sort of mum. The kind of mum who has a secret arts and crafts box tucked away for a rainy day. 

She wants Anthea Turner. I'm more Kris Jenner.  

But we have an understanding.

And it works.

Having listened to the heralding of other mums on the importance of spending 'mummy/daughter' time together for a while, it's always been something I didn't reckon I would have to worry about unless a sibling for Ava came along. Recently though, I realised that this might not be the case. 

I have a wide group of friends and we are always busy. I'm not regularly alone and when I am it is because I choose to be. We're always meeting pals for lunch, or other parents for play dates or hosting dinner parties with friends. Although I understand there are those who prefer to keep their social circle minimal & tight knit and who opt for quantity over quality, I've read countless research that confirms that the wider your network of friends, the less likely you are to ever feel lonely. And I truly believe that having such a fabulous circle of pals is the reason I rarely do.

Whether its having the girls over for fizz on a Friday night, country park exploring with family friends on a Saturday or child free sushi dates on a Sunday, there is always something to get up to or someone to see. Our home can often resemble Piccadilly Circus come the weekend. On any given Sunday morning you can often find me making the beds, Ava's dad sticking the coffee on (as he arrives for the 11am pick up), Ava running between flats as she plays with the neighbouring little girl, and very often a couple of pyjama clad gals who have stayed over after girls night the evening before. That's just the way I like it. It's how I like my life. Surrounded by people. By noise. By good vibes. 

It occurred to me recently how little time Ava and I spend on our own. Even on school nights we often have someone over for dinner or a softplay date late afternoon. So I recently gave into her demands of a mummy/daughter Saturday. At her insistence it would be just the two of us. No friends, no other children, no boys allowed. I was happy to oblige.

Despite a less than optimistic weather forecast, we decided to head down to Largs for the Viking Festival. Ava and I both have happy memories here and its always been somewhere that we both love to go. Plus who doesn't love the combination of a beach, fish and chips, candy floss, tea cup rides, massive ice cream sundaes, boats, paddling and some of the best sweetie shops in Scotland...

We started the day with pancakes and then some Ava enforced Shopkins playing which I grudgingly took in my stride and then we jumped in the car and headed for Largs, donning our sunglasses and marvelling at what a cracking day it had turned out to be. 

We arrived just before one, parked the car and then headed straight for the seaside. We had what can only be described as one of the nicest days I have had in a long time. We ate fish and chips and ice-cream, we perused the food stalls and listened to the live bands. We checked out the amazing Viking Village then made our way to the fairground. I joined Ava on the rides that were a little out her depth and watched from the sidelines as she jumped on the ones she was brave enough to face alone.

We collected shells on the beach, threw stones into the water, and watched the ferry as it shuttled back and forth between islands. We listened to the locals stories of dolphin spotting near Millport and Ava spent her entire pocket money on the 2p slot machines in the arcade. On the way back to the car, Ava gripped my hand tightly and pulled me down so she was level with my ear.

"I've had the best day ever Mummy. I'm so glad it was just you and me".

I had too. And I was glad it had just been the two of us. 

We made our way back to the car and headed back to Glasgow. We stopped on the way home for Saturday night essentials (marshmallows, popcorn & beer) and then once home we put on our PJ's, snuggled under a blanket, and watched X Factor and Insta Stories until it was time to head to bed.

Ava's a strange one to me. Watching your child grow, learn & navigate through life is strange. It feels foreign to me to see things through a child's eyes. And I think it's often where I struggle. It's pointed out to me sometimes how cool people think it is the way I treat her 'like a little adult'. I'm often surprised at these statements but acknowledge them as if I already knew. I wasn't aware that I talk to or treat her in the manner of an adult. I have no idea if that's the right or wrong thing to do.

The person she is becoming is so beautiful to me that I often question if it's even my doing. Her behaviour, manners and innate sense of right and wrong give me a sense of pride in a way I have neve experienced before. She's not perfect and we've had a few phases. Usually when a situation or a person leaves her feeling uncertain or insecure.

But she's a bloody good kid.

I'm told at least once a week how much she looks like me and at least twice how similar she acts. She's mastered the same withering look it took me years to perfect, her tone is always honest but sometimes too matter of fact, and slowly but surely she is mastering the art of sarcasm in a manner that couldn't make me prouder.

She's my girl all right.

In other ways we are so very different. She has a patience that perplexes me, an acceptance of letting go and a competitive edge to her that I simply can't fathom. She's a girly girl with little interest in the outdoors. She can't stand castles (apparently I've dragged her around too many) and the chances of getting that kid to go for a walk are about as high as getting me to go on a welding apprenticeship.

She knows my weak points and I know hers. She knows how far she can push me and that there's a point I will snap. She hovers dangerously close to that point sometimes because she's a thrill seeker but is always careful not to push me over the edge. She knows she must behave impeccably in a restaurant and in return I will let her run riot at home. She knows I try hard and that in many ways I wish I was better. But she knows I make up for it with road trips and exploring and travels and adventure.

She knows I run a tight ship on a school night but that I am a pushover at the weekend. She knows I'm emotional and impatient. But she knows I'm always fair.  She knows without doubt that I will always be there for her. She knows I like a lie in on a Sunday and (thanks to the iPad) allows this with ease. 

Most importantly she knows that if shit goes down then I know her tickle spot.

And it's the back of her knees ;)

Monday, 4 September 2017


Before I had Ava I was a waster of weekends. I showed a regular and dedicated commitment to utilising my Saturday and Sunday to do nothing. Apart from go out on the lash the night before. I would then spend the following day nursing a hangover and hating my poor decisions. Snuggled deep under a duvet on the sofa in my living-room. Watching episodes of Friends and eating Papa Johns pizza. Trying to ignore the fear as I chugged from a 2 litre bottle of Irn Bru.

Oh yes. 

I was glam.

Then you have children. And going out every weekend is no longer an option. Unless you are one of those really lucky people I cannot tolerate who have an army of grandparents, aunts, uncles & teenage neighbours to babysit their offspring while they galavant around the city centre every weekend. Trying new restaurants two days after they've opened and drinking endless Gibson Martinis because they've paid Stacey from next door an extra £30 to stay the night and get up with the children in the morning.



But actually, in truth, I was relieved when Ava came along and I no longer had to pretend that I liked leaving the house to go on a night out at 11pm. I liked that I no longer had to pretend that I enjoyed chatting to neds with nice haircuts in pretentious bars that just weren't me.

 I could enjoy that a good bottle of wine, a movie and a couple of fillet steaks was my idea of a rockin Saturday night and revel in the fact that I could always get a table in my favourite restaurant because I could only ever get a babysitter on a Tuesday anyway.

I hate to sound old (actually I don't, I flipping love being in my thirties), but my weekends these days are a much more joyous affair. I love the excitement of ending the week with a take-away or a visit to the local pub for dinner. I enjoy spending my Saturdays wandering the Botanic Gardens or visiting our favourite castles. I loathe the idea of spending a Saturday indoors. I'm terrible at crafts, can't sit through a kids movie and by noon Ava and I are eying each other like one more episode of Paw Patrol and some shit is seriously gonna go down.

Now our weekends are about getting out and about. 

Getting away from the ordinary and chartering unknown territory. 

On Sundays I escape. And last Sunday was no exception. I waved Ava off to her Dads, jumped in the car and headed east for another day of exploring. Burntisland was where my finger on my big map of Scotland landed and that is where I ended up. With a good pal who was more than happy to indulge me in my love of the great outdoors, fish & chips, and the salty smell of the sea. 

I'm glad I'm not the drunk girl in the taxi queue rambling nonsense at 3am anymore. I'm happy I don't spend entire days under my duvet sipping Alkaseltzers and feeling like Pete Doherty. 

I want to see things I haven't seen before and explore castles I haven't been to before. I want to write about things I haven't felt before and get drunk in cute B&B's in tiny villages I haven't driven through before. 

I'm not saying I never want to go out on a Saturday night again. Or that I won't ever stay up drinking till 5am again. I'm not saying I won't ever venture back into a nightclub or drink tequila whilst leaning against a bar again.

But right now my weekends are about making memories. Eating pub dinners and Pringles on a Friday after a long week at work. Dragging Ava around parks and trails and forests. Exploring beaches and bridges, hidden caves and big hills.

Just now my weekends are for adventures.

And for collecting moments instead of things. 

Monday, 28 August 2017


  1. The Scottish Drinks Festival. When a wee invite landed in my inbox last month to attend the very first Scottish Drinks Festival in Glasgow I was more than a little bit excited. Not that I enjoy a tipple or anything. The day turned out to be the best 2 hours of fun I have indulged in for ages! We sampled all the gin, some seriously good single malts and even some blue wine. Roll on the next one!
  2. Scotland. I know, I know. YAWN. But I will never get over how much I adore my homeland. Recent adventures include a few nights exploring Aviemore & Inverness and a night in a very cool B&B in Crieff. I also finally did my first Munro, visited an abandoned castle & finally got to paddle at The Devils Pulpit. I'm already Pinterest planning a whole host of brand new Scottish adventures.
  3. Monopoly. This old board game has seen quite the resurgence in my little old household of late. It's seriously lucky I am the least competitive person ever™. Shame the same can't be said for Ava...
  4. The Boyd Roderick. We're loving this new south side bar/bistro/restaurant and I can confirm that the Gravadlax Open Sandwich is to die for. The cakes also look pretty delicious and we can't wait to try one on our next visit.
  5. Roast Dinners. There is nothing I like more on a Sunday than slaving away in a hot kitchen with a glass of red in one hand and a joint of beef or a roasted chicken in the other, listening to a rabble of conversation from the living-room as I cook up a feast. Genuinely think I  might have been born middle aged.
  6. Shearer Candles.  We attended the launch of our favourite candle company's new store on Argyle Street and came away with a delicious pile of the sweetest smelling candles to take home. My little flat has never smelled so good!
  7. Outlander. I am not ashamed to admit I am working my way through this amazing telly series for the second time in preparation for the third season which is due for release very soon. Excited doesn't cover it.
  8. Fresh flowers. My MUST SAVE MONEY phase lasted approximately six weeks and I am back to adorning my living room with fresh flowers and getting my nails done with gusto. I tried an' all. But I am who I am.
  9. Doors Open Day. Ok so it's not happened yet, but doors open day is running throughout the  month of September and I cannot wait to visit all the castles!
  10. Planning my next Munro. I'm also excited to be planning my next Munro. I know - me climbing mountains. I'm as shocked as you are. 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


It's been a tough few weeks people. I ain't gonna lie. But last Saturday I awoke with a renewed vigour. Something inside me felt a bit more positive. The idea of facing the world didn't make me want to dive back under the covers. There was a slight spring in my step & the tiniest hint of the spark returning to my eye. When I got out of the shower I put my make-up on and for the first time in weeks it did what it was supposed to do. It made me look better. 

Vainly the way I look is something I struggled with a lot over the past month or so. I was convinced that the pain I had felt was etched all over my face. Plastered on me like branding for the whole world to see. When I looked in the mirror I saw someone who looked incredibly tired. When I looked at photos I saw the eyes of someone who was going through a process. Both physically and mentally. Who wanted the exhaustion to just go away.

But last Saturday I started to look much more like my old self. I started to look happy. And I started to feel it too. My age old hippy ideas of positive thinking and the laws of attraction came flooding back. I started to remember that there was a happy future out there for me, outside of what had happened. I reminded myself that I had just had a shit month. But that time would heal. The scars would fade. And that there was a tonne of exciting stuff probably just waiting around the corner for me.

It seems to be working. Since I put on my happy face and tried to concentrate more on the positive, two awesome things have been put to me this week almost out of the blue. Both exciting. Both promising me a better future. So this gal is putting her happy face on for the foreseeable. It's the only way to go people.

By the time Sunday came around I was desperate to do the one thing that always soothes my soul. Escape the city. And that's exactly what Felicity and I did. I packed Ava off to her Dads, made my way west to collect a gorgeous face I hadn't seen properly since our night away in April, and we headed out of the city in the hunt of something that had been stuck on one of my many Pinterest lists for ages - Buchanan Castle.

We scooted along the motorway, gabbing way too much to indulge in any of the eighties classics we both readily adore, and made our way to the village of Drymen. We dumped the car in the carpark of the local hotel because obviously it has a bar and beer is mandatory after exploring, and we took off on foot to find my castle. 

Our hearts were happy, our mood was light, and our directions were completely shit. So to the silly woman who decided to use her excellent navigational skills to kindly give the rest of us directions on the Walkhighlands website - you really should be taken off the internet. Despite some rather dodgy directions, we did manage to find the old & dilapidated castle. And it was without a doubt one of the coolest castles yet.

But not before I made the legendary decision to divert us away from said castle and through some seriously muddy fields. Getting our feet rather muddy and wet as we nervously tried to avoid some rather heavy looking cows. Soz about that Flic. But taking directions from me is like asking Vanessa Feltz to talk you through Macronutrients. 

You'll learn.

The castle itself felt almost majestic. There was something fairy tale like about the way it had been left to rot. Something special in the way that nature had totally reclaimed it for herself. 

Originally built in 1850 for the Duke of Montrose, it became a hotel in 1925, before it was turned into a military hospital during the Second World War. Rumour has it that Rudolf Hess (Hitler's right hand guy), was treated there after his plane crashed in Scotland in 1941. Despite being largely ruined and taken over by an abundance of trees, plants & overgrowth, much of the castle still remains. One pointed tower still stands along with the remains of some of the stairwells. The great oval shaped castle door is still there. As is the grand old fireplace in the main room.

Apparently the roof of the castle was removed in 1954 to avoid paying tax on the building (great thinking lads) and from there it fell into total disrepair. Nowadays the castle grounds and the crumbling walls are covered in creeping plants and strange, wet lichen. I know because I screamed every time I touched a tree.

After a good hour of exploring and then a half an hour further trying to remember how to get out, we made our way to the pub and with muddy jeans and a twig or two in our hair we chatted over cold beer, prawn cocktail crisps and dry roasted nuts. That girl knows the way to my heart.

Upon our return to Glasgow we ingested as much Prosecco, roast chicken and Tiramisu as our belly's would allow us to hold. For most people, the buzz of a Friday or Saturday night is where it's at. But for me, a Sunday is my favourite day. It's the day Ava goes to her Dads and the day I get to do what makes me feel alive. Which is get the hell out of dodge.

Because somehow, over the past year or two, this outdoor hating, can't get my hair wet, don't come anywhere near me with bugs gal has actually got rather fond of old mother nature. And there is nothing that makes me breathe easier on a Sunday than some fresh air and some exploring. Be it a big old hill, a medieval Scottish castle or a nature trail. Just gimme a plan and I will be there. I'll even get muddy and not moan. 

I don't know what happened last Friday night when I went to bed. Maybe the feelings of loss and emptiness just finally had to run out. Maybe the old adage that 'time's a healer' finally came true. Maybe fairies sprinkled me with magic fucking fairy dust at 1am. Whatever it was, since Saturday I've just felt better. It's a good feeling and one that I plan to hold onto.

And how do I intend to do that? 

Lots of Sundays. Lots of castles. Lots of beer. Lots of exploring. Lots of dry roasted nuts. Lots of roast dinners. Lots of mud.

But no rain. 

I definitely draw the line at rain.