Explore What’s On Your Door – New Lanark!

Hi all!

Today I begin a new series of posts called ‘Explore What’s On Your Door’!

We all have attractions, tourist hot spots, areas of natural beauty etc on our doorsteps, but do we ever take the time to go and visit them? I know I have been guilty in the past of living close to a place that gets hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and yet have never visited.

This year David and I intend on exploring more of Glasgow and its surrounding area, see its hidden gems and treasures and explore! Scotland has so much to offer and I can’t wait to see more of its delights – and then to share it with you all!

Be a tourist, why not! Think of it as being on holiday, but you get to come home to your own bed at the end of it!

This past Saturday, David and I went to a place called New Lanark, about a 35 minute drive from Glasgow.

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New Lanark is a restored 18th century cotton mill village and has been given World Heritage Site status. It is beautifully situated along the banks of the Falls of Clyde and is simply breathtaking from first view.

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The visitor centre is fantastic, highlighting the history of the mill from creation right through to its closure as a mill in the 1960’s and development of its restoration.  It kept us engaged throughout with its interesting material, exhibitions and displays. David and I love to constantly learn, discuss and debate and New Lanark was such a new experience. Especially for David who was able to learn more Scottish words and phrases that he had never heard before – like ‘Cludgie’ (pronounced like Budgie, with a Cl) – it means the toilet!.

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As well as the visitor centre inside the mill, you could also visit the owner’s home, the school, the village store and a mill workers house.

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A highlight has to be the roof terrace which they installed to make the most of the fantastic view from the top of the mill. Stunning, even on a slightly grey day!

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It was such a fantastic day out and I can’t wait to return to try out some of the country walks and trails. Our first ‘Explorer’ day out was certainly a success! Now to plan the next one and maybe purchase some kind of explorer ‘Indiana Jones’ style hat…!

Do you explore what’s on your door? If not, why not check out some of your local attractions!

Thinking Out Loud!

Hi all,

Hope you are well this fine Thursday!

Today I am linking up for the third and final time this week (loving link up week!). This is the first time I have linked up with Amanda over @runningwithspoons, but I love her blog and the concept of

‘Thinking out loud’ – a time where we can just relax and write what comes naturally in our minds at the time. No structure, just flow!

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Let’s see what randomness comes to mind…!

1. First of all, this is difficult! I am very much a structure and plan person, I even said to David last night I was worried I hadn’t planned out this post yet or thought of anything – as he correctly pointed out, that’s the idea! Is it a good thing to have all of our posts planned and prepped or sometimes are the ones that are more ‘go with the flow’ better? I think it’s a mix of both, or depends on what type of blogger you are. For example, if you blog about food, you want to make sure you always have a camera handy! Or if you blog about movies you want to know that the latest film is actually showing before you tell everyone you are going to see it! As long as we put heart into our posts and enjoy what we are doing then I think all is well, no matter what your style!

(Gosh that’s a bit of a ‘thinker’, maybe something a bit more light for my next one)

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2. Starbucks. I sit in here, write and without realising it, observe. Does everyone have the same drink all the time? What does our drink choice say about us? Me, I always have a tall Americano, black. A ‘tall’ size because I don’t want too much caffeine, an Americano because I love dark, strong, intense coffee and black because milk would take the taste away! It always surprises me when the temperatures are in the minus outside and people get freezing cold iced drinks, maybe they don’t feel the chill as much as I do. But when you come in from the cold, there is nothing better than a piping hot cup of coffee. Summer time you ask? The same, but iced!

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3. Before this, I went to the post office to send my cousin Charlies 7th birthday pressie (awww!) and my Mum’s birthday card. Check out the amazing stamp I got given – Paddington Bear! So cute I wanted to keep it – but I know my Mum will appreciate the cuteness! Also for the first time ever, the bear pops out from within the boundaries of the stamp! Times really are a’ changin’!

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4. Progress = toughness. I love my progress at CrossFit. I love getting stronger, my ability improving in so many things and feeling like a ‘beast’ every time I complete a WOD. The other side however (I refuse to call it a ‘downside’ because it’s anything but) is that the ‘toughness’ increases dramatically. You are always improving, lifting heavier, going faster- it will ALWAYS be a tough challenge, a never ending one between you and yourself. That, in itself, is what makes CrossFit pretty darn awesome.

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5. Speaking of awesome – I am super excited about the Super Bowl this Sunday. Even if we do have to stay up really late (it begins at 11.30pm) and we don’t get to see any of the commercials. The football is fab (well hopefully it will be a good game or a unique ‘snowbowl’), we have good friends coming over to watch it with us and just simply the fact that this one game, in this one particular sport, can unite so many people, families and friends from all over the world.  Also it will just bring it home that we get to see an NFL game next year, one of the London games! And not just any game with any team, we get to see our team play – the Atlanta Falcons! Woop Woop!

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6. The snow. Can’t believe what I am seeing and reading about snow in the states, especially in the deep south, what is going on in the world!? It’s really odd here in Scotland, there hasn’t really been any snow, except on the mountains, and that’s very strange. We normally have had a good few storms by now, had some lying snow for a few weeks etc. Everyone is just waiting for it! I think the waiting is worse than it actually being here – when is it going to spring upon us? Then again, we have had snow in May before…

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7. And for this week, I am going to end on number 7, because it is my favourite number. Don’t know why, always has been and I guess always will be! Lucky 7!

(Yes ending on something quite random…!)

See you tomorrow for some CrossFit recap action! Thanks Amanda, really enjoyed this! 🙂

50th Post! – A-Z of me!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and enjoying your day!

Today is a special day for me as it is my 50th post! And what fun I am having writing and connecting with you all. I feel like I have built up a wee community, when we are up on a high, we share the love and when we are low we pull each other through it, so special. As much as I love writing, I also love reading what everyone else is up to all over the world. We all have so much in common, which is fab but also our unique qualities which make us who we are.

In order to celebrate my 50th post, I thought I would do an A-Z of me. One of my favourite things about reading blogs is finding out more about the blogger themselves. So here you go and hope you enjoy!

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A = Autumn (Fall)

–          I am loving autumn and all this season is bringing. I didn’t really used to like this period of the year but there is something special about autumn this time round. Maybe it’s because Glasgow is glowing under the gold and bronze tones or maybe it is because of how blessed David and I feel to have moved here and created this new life for ourselves. Or a bit of both! But one thing is certain; it is definitely exciting and buzzing!

B = Breakfast

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–          My favourite meal of the day! I love all that is breakfast, especially at the weekend when I get to have it in bed, with David and a big pot of coffee! I am currently trying to eliminate grains from my diet and the only time I still have them is at breakfast with cereal. Progress is going well though and I hope to share some of my new breakfasts with you all in the next few weeks. Very exciting, there are so many options out there, who needs cereal!?

C = Crossfit

–          As you all know I am currently on my Crossfit journey, building up my strength and feeling fab for it. I won’t go into too much detail as you know from my posts why I love it. But what I will mention is what else Crossfit brings to my life out with the sport itself- community. David and I didn’t know anyone when we moved to Glasgow and our Crossfit box have been so welcoming, everyone is so friendly and I am enjoying getting to know them more and more.

D = Dates

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–          Yum! One of my favourite foods and can’t get enough of them. We fell in love with them on a trip to Oman and haven’t looked back since. Always a staple in our house – the perfect nutritious delicious snack!

E = Every night

–          Every night before we go to sleep, David and I tell each other our pit and peak of the day, along with our ‘love’ of the day. It really is such a lovely tradition that helps us work out the not so good of the day (talking through this always helps, normally realising it wasn’t so bad to begin with!), what has been brilliant and what has made us go ‘I love that’!.  It also means we both go to sleep with a smile on our faces – always.

F= Fotheringham

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–          My married name. Yes it took a long time to get used to – I have been married 4 years now and sometimes it’s still strange! I think it was going from a nice short name (Hicks) to a much longer name that was the tricky part. However I am proud to take David’s name and, for me, it makes our marriage even more special.

G = Giraffe

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–          A random one for you, but a giraffe is my favourite animal. Tall, like me, they always seem so graceful and elegant. Beautiful creatures that I have been lucky to be up close to and even touch – they are so soft but kind of rough at the same time – hard to explain. I would love to see them in the wild though.

H = History

–          I have a Master of Arts degree in History and American Studies and I loved every minute of my time at university. My passion for history will never pass, it will always be a big part of my life. I always say – how can you fully prepare for the future if you do not understand your past.

I = Ideas and inspiration to write

–          I love blogging and the opportunities it has given me to write – it is what I want to do! Write and write about what I am passionate about – health and fitness. I love thinking about what I am going to write the following week, looking for inspiration all around me and writing down ideas. The idea train always has to run, I just need to remember to write them down!

J = Just Dance

–          Just Dance on the Wii, very much my guilty pleasure! David and I got the game for Christmas and any time we need cheering up we put it on and have a boogy! Such great fun!

K = Kelvingrove Park

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–          As I have mentioned a few times, David and I go for a walk each Sunday around our local park – Kelvingrove. It is just beautiful, well kept and used by all of the community. I adore these walks and watching how the park changes each week with the seasons.

L = Learning

–          I love to learn. I think this is what I really missed about university, the constant learning every day. However through this new chapter in my life, I have been able to take the opportunity to learn new things in the health and fitness sector – I am just a sponge, wanting to soak it all up! I read, listen to podcasts and try new things to understand as much as possible. It’s also great having a husband like David who is totally into it too and we can debate and discuss issues and topics and also bounce ideas off one and other. I also love to learn in other areas too – history (especially American history) will always be a hot topic for me and also travel and other cultures. I just want to know more and more! I couldn’t possibly let a day go past without knowing the news headlines for example.

M = Memory

–          I am one of those random people who remember everything – faces, names, facts etc and of course the most random information! I didn’t realise it until David pointed it out to me! Maybe it stems from my desire to learn – if I learn/ experience something, I don’t want to forget it! My most random memory skill… remembering where actors and actresses have appeared before. We can’t go to the cinema or watch a movie or TV show without me going ‘oh David, that’s so in so from X’. It must be very annoying!

N = Nanars

–          Ok so bananas really! But we call them nanars at home! Tasty and versatile, another staple in our house. Always buy fair trade too.

O = Oman

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–          The most amazing country in the world that I have been to. Not only is it beautiful in scenery and architecture, the people are just beautiful too. They all have such kind hearts, respect one and other and their country. Everyone smiles; it’s just such a positive way of life and living. It’s like they have taken the positive factors of western living and mixed it with the traditions and believes of the past. Incredible place, I would encourage anyone to visit.

P = Paleo

–          David and I follow a paleo-esque lifestyle (at the moment probably about 75%) but are in the transition of becoming more and more paleo focused. The reason – we love eating whole foods and most importantly, it makes us feel great!  I have never had more energy, had better digestion and enjoyed food more! We are in the process of eliminating cereal, the last source of our grains but still have rice occasionally. We both also still have a little dairy with eating natural/ greek yoghurt. It’s all about working out what is best for you and your body, what your body can and can’t process. And it wasn’t through Crossfit that we decided to adopt this lifestyle, simply through our own education and what is best for us, our bodies and our lifestyle. I really love it!

Q = Quality time with my David

–          The most important times of my week are the ones I get to spend with my husband and best friend David (aww, soppy I know!). Whether it be the mornings, evenings or weekends, I treasure every moment.

R = Rowing

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–          I do enjoy rowing, as I’m sure you are aware! My go-to cardio of choice, I just enjoy it! Maybe one day I might get to try it out for real, rather than just on a machine. Yeh, that’s going on the ‘to do’ list!

S = Scotland

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–          Scotland is my home and always will be. I was born in England but we moved to Scotland when I was 6 months old (my mum is Scottish). I do however consider myself first and foremost British, then Scottish second. I don’t know how aware you all are about Scotland’s future but next year there will be an independence referendum where the country’s inhabitants will decide whether or not we wish to be independent from the rest of the UK. I really hope we stay together. I guess we will just have to wait and see the outcome.

T = Taking pictures

–          Ok, ok, so a bit of a cheat there with the letter but I really wanted to fit this one in! I really enjoy all the picture taking and my improvements in photography style since starting this blog. I am lucky, David is a very good photographer so he has been giving me lots of hints and tips, but I generally have always had a good eye (I think!) for a photo opportunity. Unless you are let down by the lighting of course! But I will only improve! And David is now used to not being able to eat any meal before first taking a picture, so it’s ok on that front – ah the world of being a food blogger!

U = Urban Scrabble

–          An extremely fun game that my brother created when he was bored playing the original and it always brings a smile to my face! You play just like normal scrabble but instead of using ‘real’ words, you have to create your own urban words. Anything is allowed, you just have to be able to give a definition for the word. Try it, as you can imagine, it is made even more fun with the addition of wine!

V = VCR

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–          Yes we do still have a VCR. Yes we do still use it to record programmes on the TV. I know we need to invest in a recording box but while the VCR still works I will keep using it!

W = Walking

–          I love to walk and adore the fact that moving back to the city has meant we can walk everywhere again! When we lived in Inverness (a small town), you had to drive everywhere, there was no other choice. Everything was either far away, there wasn’t direct access or public transport was very poor. It seems so strange that living in the countryside meant that in order to go for a walk, we had to drive to get there! Now we can walk to everywhere we need or walk straight to our local country park if we want to escape and feel as if we are in the middle of nowhere. It’s perfect.

X = X marks the spot

–          X marks the spot, the spot on a map, the map that Captain Hook looks at in Peter Pan, of which happens to be my favourite Disney film! Wow, that really was toughie! Clutching at straws a bit with that one but everyone has a favourite Disney film don’t they!?  And I think you can tell a lot about a person from their favourite Disney.

Y = You

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–          Such a big shout out to all of you who read my blog. Thank you! You mean so much to me and every time I get a new follower I get so excited! Taking this step into writing was such a big leap for me, allowing me to finally do something I want to do – so your support is just fantastic!

Z = Zzzzzz

–          And to end – sleep! I need my sleep, at least 8 hours but preferably 9 in order to be fully alert/ a nice person the next day! If you can get the 4 key areas of your life in order – diet, exercise, stress and sleep – then I really do believe anyone can be happy.

Here’s to 50 more posts!

Fab Friday!

Hi Everyone!

Well this is my first official day of posting ‘properly’ and it feels great! Lots of planning, thinking and research has been done to get everything set up and sorted and now I am finally at the moment of writing a real ‘what is my day all about and what do I do’ post!

First of all I must set the scene. It is a lovely day in the city centre of Glasgow Scotland! I say lovely, because it is toasty warm (well for Scotland anyway), the sun is out and everyone is smiling! Fab Friday!

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I started my day with breakfast with my husband David before he went off to work. I must admit, I am a breakfast-a-holic! I love breakfast and crave it every time when I wake up in the morning! Currently I tend to have, during the week, a bowl of cereal, a mix of all bran and organic corn flakes. I say currently as I am trying to work my way off wheat at the moment and move on to a gluten free diet. To be honest, this is probably the only wheat based product that I tend to eat so it I don’t have gluten throughout the rest of the day, however, on the days I don’t have cereal for breakfast, I do feel so much better! So I know it will be worth making the jump. Just need to find a filling, sustaining, easy to make breakfast for the morning that I can quickly do for David and I. Something that will give David the brain energy for heading to work and me the energy for heading to the gym!

 

And that’s what I did next, headed to the gym! I have been really lucky to find a great gym quite close by to where we live since moving here 3 months ago. It has everything I would want or need and has fun and friendly staff who always say hello and are always on hand if you had a question or problem. Something that I am sure you guys know, if you are a gym bunny like me, you don’t always find everywhere at every gym!

So, my workout currently consists of
• 30 minutes on the rowing machine.
– Love this thing! I love to row and the fact that it covers so many bases – a cardio workout to get your heart rate going and a total strength/ weight workout from what you are pulling. I am doing the same amount of time at each gym session to try and decrease my average time per 500 metres and increase the distance I am able to row in 30 minutes. So far, doing well on the old PR’s, will keep you up to speed on this one.
• Weight machines/ free weights
– I then move on to weight training. Apparently women are afraid to work on weights, well according to one of the trainers at the gym, but I don’t understand why, they make you strong! Always good in my book! Must note down the machines I use to let you know.
• Mat based exercises
– I then move on to the mats where I normally mix it up a bit. At the moment I enjoy doing a round of 50 squats, 50 core crunches, 50 mountain climbers and 50 step planks as I call them, probably totally wrong! But I mix things up a bit on here, depending on how I am feeling.
• Warm down
– I love a good warm down. Mixture of stretches, working with the foam roller to release some tension and some Pilates based stretches and breathing techniques. Always feel good, pumped and totally energised after this! Is it strange that I always feel glowing after a workout rather than exhausted? I guess it must be those endorphins you here about! Whatever it is, I love the feeling I get from working out, nothing beats it!

Then I came home for lunch. Today’s lunch consisted of…
• Salsa egg scramble with carrots, sugar snap peas and some shredded brussel sprouts through it with spinach and cucumber at the side.
• A pot of greek yoghurt – Total greek yoghurt is one of my favourite foods… oh if I could live on this!!!
• And a wee pot of grapes.
One word – YUM!

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My plan for the rest of today consists of doing some bits and bobs around the apartment and then the weekly food shop, but that’s my next post!

Some questions to get you thinking though…

What do you guys have for breakfast? I would love to know if you have any ideas for me.

If you are female, do you do weights at the gym or just cardio?

J x