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!

International Happiness Day!

Hi all,

Today I want to bring your attention to the fact that it is International Happiness Day!

Brief background on the day itself – A day that is to be celebrated throughout the world on March 20th, it was created in 2012 by the United Nations. To quote the UN resolution (66/281) the day ‘…invites Member States to pursue the elaboration of additional measures that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being … conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal… recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world ‘. Wow!

So in honour of this, I thought I would dedicate this post to the things in life that make me truly happy, after all it really is what life is about – the pursuit of happiness!

  • Glasgow

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I love the city I live in! It’s so exciting, interesting, historic yet modern and full of the friendliest people. It has such a buzz to it and I feel like a part of the community here. Just look at some of our pictures to see why Glasgow makes David and I so happy!

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  • David

IMG_20140121_140525( can you tell I love this pic of him!)

My husband makes me the happiest person on the planet! He knows how to bring a smile to my face when I am down and his hugs cure everything – honestly, everything! Happiness is waking up with him every morning and having him in my life. I found true happiness when I found David.

  • CrossFit

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Doing CrossFit makes me happy! And I know you all knew it was going to make the list! I write twice a week about how much happiness I gain from CrossFit so I don’t feel like I need to elaborate too much. Kick ass workout that is making me physically and mentally stronger with an awesome community full of great people that we now call friends.

  • Travelling

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Both David and I love to travel. In recent years we have been to America, Paris, Italy, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. I love being fully immersed in a countries culture, people and spirit. Oman is truly the most incredible place I have been to. The people are incredible, the whole place is stunningly beautiful and they have such a good attitude towards life.

But we don’t need to stem far from home to enjoy new experiences. We live in Scotland; such a beautiful country that I know many people would love to visit. I have lived here all my life and have still so much to see and do! Our next holiday is a 6 hour drive away – London! Such a beautiful city that I never ever get tired of visiting. 2 weeks on Friday we head down there for the London Coffee Festival! So excited!

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And don’t forget the little things in life…

  • Cooking – whether it be following a recipe, creating something new or making an old favourite, I love to cook with simple, healthy ingredients. I especially love spending time in the kitchen with David and love it when we can sit down afterwards and savour a dish we have both created. Nothing more satisfying.

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  • Having a dance – Give me a good tune with a fab beat and I will dance around like a loony! And I don’t care who is watching! It makes me smile!
  • Receiving a letter or parcel in the post – nope not a bill but a proper handwritten letter! I do love receiving emails too – communication rocks!
  • A glass of wine or a crisp G&T on a summers evening – bliss!
  • Breakfast every morning – hands up the best meal of the day.

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  • Meeting up with friends and family and having them in my life.
  • The sunshine (and warmth!).

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  • CHRISTMAS!

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  • Poochie Cuddles 🙂
  • The thought of the future and what it may entail – so many opportunities out there, which ones will we grab!?

Doesn’t listing what makes you happy put you in such wonderful spirits?! Why not try doing the same, write down what makes you happy in life and whenever you need a boost, go and read your list! Oh and don’t forget to let me know a few of them below!

Enjoy life, enjoy International Happiness Day!

100th Post – Goals and Aims for 2014!

Hi all,

Well today marks a pretty big day for me – it’s my 100th post!

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I have loved writing every single one of my 100 posts and can’t wait to write the next 100. When I think how far I have come since starting my blog and how much I have learned, it makes me smile from ear to ear. Both in terms of writing in general and the adventures I have faced over the past few months and documented.

Before I go on to my topic of the day, I just want to thank all of you for visiting and reading. It really does mean the world to me. And to the blogging community another thank you for making me feel so welcome. It’s amazing how much I feel a part of your lives, just from reading all your wonderful stories.

For my 100th post, I thought I would look at my goals and aims for 2014 – linking in with the New Year nicely! Some are serious, some are fun but all are just as relevant for making one happy Jen.

Goals and Aims for 2014

Career

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It took a lot of courage, but after taking some time out to figure out exactly what I wanted to do, I decided I wanted to write and write about my passion – health, fitness and lifestyle. I want to grasp this opportunity with both hands and give it 110%. I never want to regret anything in life and if I give it my all, I never will, even if it doesn’t work as a career. Now at the start of the New Year, I want to really try to make it my profession, and having 100 posts behind me should hopefully show what I can do.

Writing makes me smile, it gives me a warm feeling inside when I do it and I want this to shine through everything I do. As the philosopher Confucius said “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”.

My name is Jen Fotheringham, writer and blogger and I am ready for hire!

Crossfit

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Crossfit is a huge part of my life. It has made me stronger both mentally and physically, I really do feel like I could take on the world. I love our Crossfit community, I have so much support from my coach and David and I have made and will continue to make friends through our box. I was very weak 8 months ago, I had no strength, I got very tired, I just wasn’t ‘me’. Crossfit (along with writing and a bucket load of support from David) has made me find out just who I want to be.  I want to be strong and now I am on one heck of a ride on the strength train!

So I will continue to rock Crossfit – upping our sessions to 3 per week as of next month and I am so excited. It meant giving up the gym but I didn’t mind one bit – I get so very much more from Crossfit.

In terms of some Crossfit goals, apart from getting even stronger and upping my lift weights, I want to start sprinting (fingers crossed my knee will keep as strong as it has been) and get to grips with those pesky double unders!

Health

As I mentioned above, I wasn’t healthy when I moved to Glasgow. However, fast forward 8 months and we are looking at one very different girl. I will continue to be strong and get stronger. I will aspire to live my life to the full, concentrating on my passions and grasping every opportunity with both hands. I will try to minimise stress and keep my life in balance – not letting every little thing that makes me angry get me stressed – other peoples choices are just that, if they don’t affect me then don’t let it get me stressed!

I will also try and keep a big priority on gaining enough sleep every night. David and I are doing pretty well, with only a few slip ups, but we will try as hard as we can to gain at LEAST 8 hours per night.

Balance is the key –enjoy work, enjoy life, eat well, keep fit, minimise stress, sleep well  = HAPPINESS

Hobbies

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As well as Crossfit, I want to make sure that I spend more time on my hobbies. One major hobby of mine that also relates rather significantly to my writing is cooking. I love to cook! So I want to spend more time trying out the recipies I have collected, creating new ones and altering ones to make them more ‘us’. David also likes to cook too so this really is a hobby we can do together and I love that. Also we received a slow cooker from David’s parents for our Christmas so I cannot wait to get started with some slow cooking – oh I can only imagine the tender juicy meat dishes we will create – yum!

Linking into this is something else I want to pursue and develop more and that’s photography. I want to develop my skills in editing in particular. Well, if I am going to make tasty dishes then I want to be able to photograph them to the max! I am really lucky as David is a super photographer and has so much skill on the subject. I may have an eye for a photo but David has the knowledge and expertise to really make it shine!  One willing and ready student at your service!

Glasgow

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One of our big aims for the year is to see more of this amazing city that we live in. Gosh we have been here almost 8 months now and there is still so much to see and experience. There is an endless supply of galleries, museums, exhibitions, concerts that we are dying to go to/ see and are determined to make the time and effort. Glasgow is also hosting the Commonwealth Games this year and we have tickets! Going to see the weightlifting (not really a surprise for a crossfitter!) on my birthday and I am so excited. The buzz in Glasgow during the summer is going to be insane!

And that’s just the city itself. The outskirts of Glasgow are full of things to do too and we haven’t even been along to the coast yet. It gets me so excited when I think of the possible outings to come.

Travel

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In an ideal situation, David and I would want to see as much of the world as possible. Travel really is in our blood and we love seeing how people live all over the world. With me starting a new career, international travel may have to be on the back burner for just now but always an option if we can. Saying that, David and I really want to see more of the UK! After visiting the south of Scotland in November, we realised that there are so many amazing places we have yet to experience and they have so much to offer. So we may end up doing a bit of a UK road trip later on in the year – visiting many places that we have never been to but always wanted to visit, stopping off to see some family along the way!

And last but not least my final goal for the year… Pinterest!

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With being a blogger and especially one that posts recipes and workouts, I know that Pinterest could really be an asset to me. Not only in terms of posting and getting my name out there but also for inspiration. However, I do realise that Pintrest comes with a major warning and I know this from the many bloggers that have posted such – IT’S ADDICTIVE! Once you start pinning you can’t stop!

I will however be brave and take on that warning. Don’t be surprised though if you find me glued to the laptop in a month’s time, pinning everything under the sun!

So there we have it, my goals and aims for 2014. Reading over them really does make me happy – so much to look forward to along with, I am sure; many surprise challenges along the way. Let’s all make 2014 the year of adventures!

Roadtrippin’ – Hints and Tips!

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Hi all,

Today I thought I would write a post about something we do quite often – Roadtrippin’!

With David’s parents being in England and with my parents being in the north of Scotland, we often are in the car for a long journey. We have even done the trip from Glasgow to London and found it a breeze! We have so much fun and always really enjoy the journey.

However, there is the potential for a road trip to become quite dull and stressful and nobody wants that. Let’s make it super fun with my hints and tips I have collected from throughout the years!

Enjoy!

Good Tunes

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–          A road trip is not complete without some good music! Why not treat yourself to a new CD/ download before a long journey or create a special ‘road trip’ playlist.

Comfy Clothes

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–          It may sound like an obvious one however the amount of times I have worn my jeans in the car for a long journey and then regretted it is insane! Try wearing layers, that way you can add or take away dependant on the temperature. If you are a passenger, wear a pair of cosy socks, that way you can relax with your shoes off and your feet stay warm.

Healthy Snacks

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–          Such a bonus to have when you travel. And so many options too. From trail mix to fresh fruit, cereal and protein bars to nuts there is plenty to keep you going without having to buy chocolate and potato chips at the services! Also the snacks will give you the energy for the journey which is key (stay alert!). Oh and of course saves you some money too – win win!

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

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–          If you know you will be travelling when you hit these points in the day, make sure you bring a healthy meal option with you. For this journey, David and I knew we would need lunch so instead of paying a fortune for fast food at a service station, we made a yummy turkey salad and filled our flask with hot soup. It was quick and easy to do before we left and sustained us for a good length of time.  You could always pack it in takeaway containers if you didn’t want the dirty tubs at the end of it. And you won’t be tempted by a burger and fries! Turkey salad any day!

Games/ Topics for discussion

–          Why not use this time to play some fun games with your partner/kids/ even yourself! The A-Z list game is always a good one – good themes to try are place names, Christmas, foods, boys names etc. You can also use this time to plan bits and bobs that need doing – the shopping list, meal plan for the week, schedule, ideas etc.

Hydration

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–          Stay hydrated! It is really difficult when you are driving to make sure you drink plenty of fluids but hydration really is the key to staying alert. Just fill your water bottle and have it beside you at all times – maybe set a goal like take a drink every time you are 15 miles closer to your destination. Also it is handy to have a flask of hot tea or coffee with you – not only will it keep you hydrated and alert, it’s a good winter warmer and also prevents you from having to purchase an expensive service station coffee!

Plan of Action

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–          Know where you are going! It may sound like a silly question but if you haven’t done the journey before you may just want to double check your route somewhere like google maps to make sure you are taking the best route. It’s also worth checking this to see distance and time. Will you have enough petrol therefore to do the required mileage? Should you factor in any scheduled stops? Where is there to stop nearby if service stations aren’t an option?

What are the conditions?

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–          Know what you will be up against especially in terms of the weather. Snow, ice and rain are a major problem at this time of year for us so we always make sure that we have a blanket, water, de-icer, an ice scraper and some food with us, just in case. You may also want to check any travel updates before you leave – accidents, road works, potential delays etc. Always good to download an app so you have the ability to check for updates on this throughout the journey.

Car and Driver!

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–          And of course, if you don’t drive yourself (like me), you will need a car and one very lovely driver!

Let’s all enjoy our road trips this coming festive season – I know quite a lot of us will be doing more than one! And remember, stay safe!