Back to school

The weekend had a total 'back to school' vibe for me, because I start a new job today on a tv programme for channel four. I spent yesterday packing my bag and kit, writing lists, and replying to emails. I find that getting as organised as possible helps to eradicate most pre job jitters (most, not all...)


I got sent some lovely roses from Debenhams Flowers the day I found out I had got the job so that was pretty good timing :) As they started to bloom, the centres were a peach colour with the petals more pink and they looked ombre/as if they had been dip dyed. I have never seen roses like this before!


My flowers came as part of a gift set which included three body butters from the Sanctuary Range. Which I think is a lovely idea especially if you were buying flowers for a lovely lady in your life and wanted to add in a little extra pressie. I've been having a wee try of them all this week to help my skin stay moisturised and let my new fake tan (from the last post) fade gradually. So far, so good :) They smell AMAZING.

Debenhams Flowers are offering Little Blog Of Horrors readers 20% off their Sanctuary range with the code LBHBLOG20. It expires on the 31st of May and can be delivered straight to the recipients doors, so be sure to take advantage of the sneaky wee discount before then!


Keeping along with the school theme, I have totally geeked out in terms of my organisation and made my own personalised blogging notebook with Blurb.


I downloaded the Blurb software and started making my book. The possibilities are endless and it is so customisable I didn't know where to start! Think this will be an amazing resource for the future if I need to get a good quality hard back book made up as a prop for any film/tv job I'm on. I took one of my favourite images from a day up north snowboarding with Kyle, and made that the front and back cover. I kept the pages blank and unlined inside, with more bloggy 'inspiration' pictures every 5th page. I'm fed up of writing notes and reminders on my phone when it comes to the blog stuff, and it is so nice to now have a dedicated notebook where I can scribble down ideas and post schedules.

I've spent the past week tying up loose ends on my previous job which finished on saturday, but wish I'd had time to head to the the shops to treat myself to a little something new for starting this week. I'll be on my feet solid for the next few weeks, exploring prop houses and antique stores for quirky furniture and getting everything ready for filming, and have had my eyes on the following from Size?.

Size

A new comfy pair of kicks (Nike Blazer Mid Woven)
Backpack (Herschel Heritage)
and cosy beanie hat (Carhartt Watch)

I absolutely love the Nike Blazers, I find that style of trainer to be the most comfortable when I'm on my feet all day. Plus the sorta patchwork style colours woven through them are too cute! Maybe a treat come pay day instead :) Entries close on my competition tomorrow so be sure to enter if you haven't already and I will be announcing the winner via email. Have a great week whatever you are upto ♥

Cosmic girl

One thing I absolutely love is getting surprise parcels in the post. I used Parcelforce a couple of weeks ago to send a wee care package out to one of my best friends who has just moved to South Korea for a year. I won't say what was in it because she hasn't received it yet and I don't want to ruin the surprise! But a few days ago the parcel she sent me arrived, along with a couple of others. Thank you postie!


The pile I came home to last week. You will want to see what's in them I hope?! :)


First up was my parcel from Katrina, with lots of amazing Korean goodies. Sweets, stationary, and awesome PSY socks! I miss Katrina so much and it was really lovely to receive a letter from her along with some bits and bobs from her new home for the next year. Thank you so much gal, hopefully yours arrives soon and you like it ♥


The biggest parcel of the three was essentially a saturday night in, in a box! Gifted to me from the kind folks at Gala Bingo :) Living with just boys now I'd been really missing girly company, so I had a brilliant wee night in with Jenn on the couch with our snuggies, watching films and eating lots of naughty food. It was great fun and just what I'd been needing. I feel like I sound old for 23 but sometimes I really just love chilling out like this at the weekend. There is a real simple pleasure about getting cosied up, having a laugh watching tv and ordering some food in rather than cooking. I am a fan of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway for those reasons! Most of the programmes I watch during the week are quite heavy or intense so it's nice to have a change to some light hearted fun at the weekend. Even though the series has finished up now Gala Bingo sent me the link to their Saturday Night Takeaway game to keep the fun going. How am I meant to move from the sofa at the weekends between the goodies above and all the stuff Katrina sent me?! I was in my absolute element with the popcorn maker. The sweet and salted mix from Tesco is my ultimate favourite and now I can make some at home super easily.


Despite the first two parcels giving me lots of lovely excuses to enjoy staying in the house, my third parcel was perhaps warning 'Ayden, step away from the haribo and get your dancing shoes on!'


I got some lovely new tanning products from he-shi to try out - their exfoliating body wash and the express liquid tan. Oh, and a tanning mitt! But I forgot to photograph it before I used it and I doubt the now brown mitt would make a very attractive picture. The night Jenn stayed I had a shower before bed where I used the exfoliator, then applied their liquid tan. Let it develop overnight, showered again in the morning and here were the results when I went out that evening...


Pretty much the perfect amount of colour for me! :) I don't look like it is overdone but I still have a nice healthy glow. I normally like to apply my fake tan with latex gloves, but this express tan was a very watery liquid and needed to be used with the mitt so it could soak in. This is the first liquid tan I have used that hasn't had a spray applicator, so I was initially quite nervous about how to control it and spread evenly, but it had a colour guide in it with a drying time that wasn't too fast so I had time to really rub it in properly. I think this formula along with the exfoliator (which was lovely and fruity smelling) helped as I didn't have the usual tell tale tan signs on my knuckles, knees or elbows! So he-shi has 9 out of 10 from me, with the final missing mark being the holy grail thing I just can't seem to find with any tanning products I have tried - 'that' tan smell. The he-shi tan was still very pleasant smelling all the way through from application to when I showered the next day, but as soon as it started developing there was a slight hint of the biscuity smell. Is there even such a thing as a completely odourless fake tan?


Having a wee bit of colour about me again for the first time in a while was nice, and I went out wearing a whole new outfit that John actually helped me pick (he wanted me to put that out there of course just so he can take any of the glory! haha) And not a normal occurance for me but we picked it all around my shoes...


The Iron Fist Unicoropia shoes! I am in love, glitter and unicorns and galaxy print, wahhh. I've had my eyes on Iron Fist and their awesome range of heels for a while now. These are from Bristol based site FreestyleXtreme, who also stock some of my other favourite brands including Volcom and Vans. I would be lying if I said I lasted the whole night in them, I'm such a wuss when it comes to heels but I always give it my best shot with a back up pair of flats in my bag for later.

I never thought that the contents of my post would determine reasons for me to stay in and go out at the weekends (unless it was a big fat bill deeming me absolutely skint) but it was totally welcomed and fully enjoyed :)

Rediscovering relaxation, and a thank you.

Last weekend I had the most wonderful getaway with John, to the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro Hotel. We took the hours drive to Dunblane and were welcomed at the hotel by their friendly reception staff and a warm cookie each (which really hit the spot after our car journey, and what seemed like an absolute age since breakfast)


Our room was lovely and spacious, with a lounge area and a wonderful view over the front lawn over the hotel out towards the town of Dunblane. I know I've said it before, but I really bloody love Scotland.


For an evening ahead of dinner and drinks I wore my new dress from Ravi Famous :)


As tempting as it was to lounge about on the comfy sofa drinking wine and watching saturday night tv (classy girl) we were invited down to a cocktail masterclass before dinner!


John getting in about the cocktail class.


We were shown by the super talented Mixologist how to make various cocktails, which we then got to sample and have a go of making one too. Above is John with an Raspberry and Elderflower Collins, which was definitely my favourite one we got to make!


After the class it was time for dinner at the hotel's restaurant The Kailyard, which is by Nick Nairn so we knew we were in for an absolute treat.


I LOVE FOOOOD. I had pate to start, steak for my main and a gorgeous apple pie for dessert. Interrupted in the middle by my favourite cocktail, an amaretto sour :) It wasn't actually on the menu but they were happy to make one for me! Dinner was fantastic, we sat with Charlene and her fiance who were also there for the night. We had a few more drinks before bed and Gillian and Morag joined us for a night cap too. We went back to the room, got into our jammies and dressing gowns and John ran me a relaxing bubble bath. By this point I genuinely didn't want to go to bed because I didn't want our lovely weekend to come to an end.


The next morning, we were very lazy and rather than getting up early to go try out the hotels health and leisure facilities, we had the most amazing breakfast in bed! I have never ordered room service like this at a hotel before, it was such a treat. We checked out at 12, and not knowing what lay ahead for the rest of the day I had packed some goodies for the journey courtesy of Scottish Hampers.


We were absolutely stuffed after breakfast but spent the afternoon munching through some bits and bobs out of the Jura Hamper. I think one of these would be the perfect gift for a right foodie like my Mum. You can see via the link exactly what it contained, and they are all Scottish sourced/inspired - with a few of my favourites being the orange blossom honey, shortbread and madiera cake (totally reminds me of my Granny's house on new years eve!) I had hoped we could have went a drive somewhere for a picnic once we checked out, but the typical Scottish weather ended up taking a turn for the worse. So we have just made a small dent in this amazing hamper but it won't be long before the sun comes out again and it will be the best excuse to go on a mini road trip up north.


Saying goodbye to Dunblane. This is the view from out the front of the hotel.


We left feeling totally refreshed and relaxed. Apart from a slight twinge of hangover lingering from the wine and cocktails consumed the night before, I had the best nights sleep in that bed! Totally did not want to get up come morning. But it was time to go and I could not have felt more welcomed and comfortable during our stay. I felt absolutely spoiled the whole weekend and so grateful for getting to spend some quality time with John amongst our busy work schedules ♥ I want to explore more hidden gems like this across Scotland, and save my hard earned cash for escaping like this every few months or so. I can honestly say that the Doubletree by Hilton at Dunblane Hydro have got hospitality down to a fine art. Thank you for making us feel so at home!

I have another thank you for you guys - the readers of this blog. It is such a privilege having somewhere to share my thoughts, photographs and adventures. I am now sitting with over 1700 readers between GFC and Bloglovin', and I wanted to mark this occassion by offering a wee something special in return.


Prize 1 - £100 Hilton Hotel Voucher
This can be used at any Hilton across the UK and is valid for one year.


Prize 2 - A case of Häagen-Dazs Secret Sensations Ice Cream
 *8 x 500ml Pint Cups of Chocolat Fondant or Creme Brulee.


Prize 3 - A Pair of Tickets to the London Dungeons
A trip to see some spooky attractions in London worth £48.

All you need to do to enter is be a follower of my blog, and leave a comment on the post with your email address saying if you would be interested in winning prize 1, 2 or 3. You can enter for all of them or just one or two - whatever you fancy! The competition for all three will be drawn a week tomorrow, so you have up until midnight on the 30th of April to enter.

Best of luck! :)



*Little Blog of Horrors in conjunction with Häagen-Dazs is offering readers the chance to be amongst the first to taste its indulgent Secret Sensations flavours, Chocolat Fondant & Crème brûlée – now available in pint size tubs for an even saucier treat! The pint-sized Secret Sensations – with pockets of decadent sauce hidden throughout rich Häagen-Dazs ice cream -  can be found in most major supermarkets (RRP £4.99) One winner will receive one case (12 x 500ml Pint Cups) delivered right to their door - visit www.facebook.com/HaagenDazs for further information!
Prize Terms and Conditions

Closes 23.59pm on 30/4/2013.

18+. UK (excluding Northern Ireland) only. NPN. Random draw. 1 entry per person. Promoter: Little Blog of Horrors Standard Competition T&Cs apply.

·         One winner will receive one case of Häagen-Dazs Secret Sensations Chocolat Fondant or Crème brûlée in a pint (8 x 500ml). Only successful entrants will be contacted. .

·         The prize will be delivered via courier to an address located on the mainland UK (excluding Northern Ireland), Delivery will be organised by Häagen-Dazs within 4 weeks of winning. Any goods that are damaged, or lost in transit, are not at the responsibility of Little Blog of Horrors or Häagen-Dazs.

·         The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. Should you not be available to claim prize you will not be compensated by Little Blog of Horrors or Häagen-Dazs.

·         This competition is restricted to residents of the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland), aged 18 years or over, excluding employees of Little Blog of Horrors and Häagen-Dazs, their immediate families, their agents or anyone professionally connected to the competition. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request.

·         Little Blog of Horrors reserves the right to cancel this competition or to alter these rules at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, and/or if circumstances arise outside of its control.  

·         To the extent permitted by law, each entrant releases Little Blog of Horrors, Häagen-Dazs and their associated agencies from any and all liability, damages or loss incurred in connection with this competition including the redemption and use of any prize.  Nothing in these terms shall exclude liability for (i) death or personal injury as a result of negligence; (ii) fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or (iii) any liability that cannot be limited or excluded by law.
·         Data will be captured by Little Blog of Horrors and will not be shared with any third parties

Healthy Motivation



I've been wanting to write about my healthy living journey for a while but never quite knew where to start. I feel like since partially tearing a ligament in my knee when I was snowboarding about 6 weeks ago, I have lost my confidence when it comes to exercising. It has pulled my motivation levels down and I feel like I am starting way back at the beginning again.


Before christmas, I was running around my local park 3 - 4 times a week. My stamina levels were rubbish but after a few months I finally found my 'pace' (as people promised I would) and it actually started to become slightly enjoyable. It wasn't just about the exercise, it was a way of clearing my head and sweating out any worries or anxieties. The cold weather and dark nights set in, so I swapped the outdoor exercise for some indoor bootcamp.


I got the Fit Body Bootcamp deal via Groupon, for an introductory 4 weeks but enjoyed it so much that I signed up and paid for another 4 months worth of classes once my trial had finished. It costs a bit more than what I would pay at my local gym, but it is like having a one on one personal training session at every class. I had a month break when I hurt my knee, and have been slowly but surely getting back into it. Riccardo and the other trainers are such fun, and so knowledgable and helpful but I feel like there is still a part of me which is nervous and hesitant to really throw myself back into things after my injury. 

My steady weight has always been 10 stone. People tend to be quite shocked when I tell them my weight because I'm not very tall. I think I must have really heavy bones and heavy muscles! At my heaviest I was 11 stone, and to be honest I can't remember ever being under 10 stone (since I've been the age of 18 anyways!) Before I started running and boot camp I was 10 stone 9lbs, at the peak of my exercise and healthy eating I managed to get to 9 stone 9lbs, but after my injury and break I am now 10 stone 3lbs. I would love to be 9 stone 6lbs by summer, but the way I am feeling and the way things have been, I feel like it is going to take a miracle for this to happen.

I don't want to crash diet, I want to work at and maintain a healthy lifestyle which comes a natural part of my day to day routine. Not something I punish myself into doing in time for summer or before a wedding or big event. I want to make a genuine change in my overall lifestyle, so here are the motivators that worked before into kick starting things for me.

1. Healthy eating and protein shakes before exercising


I am going to do my food shops in advance and make sure there are no nasty tempting things in the house! The Maxitone protein shakes also really helped to make me feel full and boost my energy levels before exercising. I still have a half full tub in the cupboard so would like to get into the habit again of using them.

2. New comfy exercise gear


I need to not be put off going out for a class if my comfiest joggies or better fitting top is in the wash. I have been eyeing up the Oasis Asics collection at JD Sports, and I think a new running jacket and some trainers will perk me up a bit! At some points earlier this year I was even walking from the south side of Glasgow all the way into the centre of town and back, before and after a class, and although it tired me out I still felt amazing.

3. Progress pictures


1 year ago


This week.

I have been taking progress pictures since last year (only in my sports bra and a pair of shorts - reason why I'm not sharing them on here!) but I never actually take the time to sit and look through them. Of course I don't notice any change in my shape when I look in the mirror every day, but other peoples comments who maybe haven't seen me a while made me think I was looking smaller even though the scales didn't show a massive change. These pictures of me a year ago and this week definitely show a change in me, so although I feel like I am going nowhere it's photographs like this which back it up.

What do you do to get motivated, keep fit, and most importantly stay fit?