Friday, 3 July 2015

Thank You!

I wanted to say a huge... all my family, friends and followers who took the time to vote for Glasgow Mummy in the Clickstay Mummy Blogger Awards.

I'm aware that I bombarded your Twitter feeds, Facebook timelines and inboxes with requests for votes and retweets - apologies for that. It was all worth though it as I found out today that we won!!! It was a really close competition; all the other posts that had advice for travelling with children had great tips and suggestions. You can read them all here.

 We are going to receive £1000 towards a villa in Portugal and I'm super excited about taking the little ones on our first family holiday abroad.

The kids are away with their dad just now for the week so I'm yet to tell them our amazing news, but I know they will be delighted. My son in particular was telling anyone and everyone about the competition and had even drawn up some posters... 

'Vot Wor Gago Mumi' which translates to 'Vote for Glasgow Mummy'!!

Thank you again... words don't express just how happy I am right now.

Taylor Swift at Clydesdale Bank's #HydroVault

I truly felt like a VIP last week when I spent the evening at Clydesdale Bank's #HydroVault.

On arrival at the SSE Hydro there were queues and queues of Taylor Swift fans waiting patiently to get through the doors. Melaina, Amanda, Lynsay and I were fortunate to have exclusive, money can't buy #HydroVault tickets which meant we could by-pass the line. Anyone can enter to upgrade their SSE Hydro tickets to seats at the #HydroVault - you can find out more here.

Once inside we made our way to the Hydro Club desk and a Hydro Club member of staff then escorted us to our seats... a bright red leather sofa in our very own private booth!!!! I was super excited to say the least!

The red sofa!

The views of the stage were absolutely fantastic. Words don't even begin to express what a unique experience the #HydroVault is.

As the name suggests, the vault feels cut off from the crowds and it made the whole evening rather intimate. Taylor Swift wowed the audience with her 1989 tour... there were sequins, fairy lights and fireworks but it was her honest words in between the songs that really made the evening for me. She was raised up on a crane in the middle of the arena - making her even closer to the #HydroVault - as she shared her experiences of love and heartbreak. I shed a tear (or two...maybe three); I can't even blame the alcohol as I only had one glass of wine with dinner. All I can say is that it was a combination of the surroundings, the atmosphere and her words that connected with me (I think you had to be there!).

The VIP treatment continued as the show went on... there is a button in the vault to call the waiter and you are served drinks from the comfort of the sofa! You don't have to budge an inch!! It's these little touches that really did make the evening amazing.

As we were separated from the audience in our own space we could dance around to our hearts content without worrying about annoying the other guests. I have to say I hadn't really been much of a Taylor Swift fan but I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, much more than I thought I was going to. By the end of the night I had developed a proper girl crush.

Next time I have SSE Hydro tickets I will most certainly be trying to upgrade to the #HydroVault; regular seats aren't going to cut the mustard anymore! 

Want in on the action? Enter to upgrade your seats here.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Travel - Our Yurt Experience

At the weekend the kids, Rick & I jumped in the car and headed North for a long weekend. I had booked accommodation through Canopy & Stars; basically the website is a selection of inspected quirky places to go glamping. The site is not only for the UK - there are locations throughout Europe too. I was initially keen to stay at a treehouse near Edinburgh but discovered these were fully booked. The staff at Canopy & Stars helped me select a lovely alternative - the Stuc a'Chroin Trossachs yurt near Stirling.

The Canopy & Stars website

I was drawn in by the beautiful photographs of the yurt on the website and couldn't wait to stay there myself!

The farm was very easy to find thanks to the directions provided by the owner Kate. She was a fantastic hostess and met us on arrival. We had a tour of the site and were given some instructions about the facilities and finally were accompanied to the yurt. It was just beautiful. 

After unpacking the car, Kate invited us to watch her feed her 6 day old calf Query (all the calves at the farm had been named alphabetically, and she struggled to think of a name beginning with Q! Query is a twin and her mum was unable to feed both the calves, so Kate was bottle feeding one). The littlest in particular was very keen to ask questions and observe the goings on; as was I. 

Inside the yurt there were lots of interesting touches, from the candle holders, the dream catcher and a selection of wall hangings. It really was a cosy space and I particularly loved the wood burning stove. Kate had provided some home baking for our arrival and I have to admit I demolished the lot myself with a cup of tea... I had told the kids it was full of nuts and was for grown-ups only!!

We managed some grown-up time and enjoyed a glass of wine!

Our home for the weekend

There was a communal kitchen area across from the yurts, and with just three yurts on the farm it didn't feel crowded. We stored our food in the fridge here and used the kettle for my much needed cups of tea! There's no electricity in the yurts, but in the kitchen area there are sockets that can be used to charge phones or cameras etc. 

In the yurt there were two gas rings and a grill so we were able to prepare scrambled egg and bacon for breakfast. We also had a BBQ which we used for dinner on the Saturday night. We bought burgers from Kate that were made using beef from the cattle that graze at the farm. They were delicious!

In terms of the bathroom facilities, there are two toilets both with showers. After spotting a huge spider in one of the toilets on the first night, this loo was not an option for the kiddos as they were too scared to go back in!

Query in her pen

We had hoped to get some grown-up time sitting outside with a bottle of wine, however the weather wasn't as good as I had hoped so we ended up whispering in the yurt whilst the kids tried to get to sleep. It wasn't ideal and I hadn't really thought this through. Plus the kids were sharing a sofa bed and although they had sleeping bags there were still a few arguments about them crossing the line into the other sibling's side of the bed! 

The other thing I hadn't considered was how bright the yurt would be - obviously there is no black out lining! So when it was 7.30pm and I was trying to convince the kids it was night-time they had a hard time believing me. At my house we go into lock-down at 7pm - all the black-out blinds get closed, the lights are all dimmed and it's as good as night-time. This wasn't an option at the yurt! If I had thought ahead I would have brought eye masks for them to wear. 

Next time I think we'll visit the yurt without the children. As ideal the surroundings are for children, it is also a very romantic place and I would love to spend a few days with Rick just relaxing, enjoying the countryside and his company. We really did feel like we were far from home when in reality the yurts are just an hour's drive from Glasgow. Very easy to get to for a few nights rest & relaxation in the countryside.

I'm going to write a separate post on all the activities that we did during our stay at the yurt and I've also got some video footage to put into a short vlog... watch this space.

Have you ever gone glamping and where would you recommend to stay? Or perhaps I have inspired you to give glamping a try?

Friday, 26 June 2015

What's On - The Furniture Pop Up

On the 4th & 5th July, The Furniture Pop Up will be showcasing Scottish artisans and their wares at The Briggait, 141 Bridgegate, Glasgow. It's free for the public to attend.

Set up by Sarah Johnstone in 2014, who formally trained in furniture restoration, the idea grew from the disappointment at the quality of the end-of-year showcase at college for her and her fellow classmates.

‘The Furniture Pop Up’ idea has its philosophy firmly set on enabling makers, designers and artists to showcase their wares to consumers. With an expansion in to textile and fashion in 2015, Sarah formalised the company under one roof as Blue Tin Events.
Sarah Johnstone, Director and Founder of Blue Tin Events said:

‘I wanted to create a space for makers, designers and artists to showcase their products that is financially achievable for even the smallest of businesses - something that was previously lacking in Scotland as a whole.’

‘By bringing these Artisans together at one event, it makes it easy for consumers to buy local, quality and bespoke products for their homes.’

‘Inspired by my other half’s lack of vision, our Pop Up’s include room-by-room layouts with artisans displaying their products together and enabling customers to visualise the items more easily in their own homes.’

‘Our customers appreciate and desire the history, art form and quality of the products on offer and our events offer the opportunity to interact with the makers and designers of the items shown. Most importantly, it had to be a great day out and I do not believe in charging people to have a good time – which is why it is free for anyone to attend.’

‘The Briggait is six times the size of our first two venues, and we are so excited to have new faces on board, including food, produce and drink stalls as well as new makers, artists and designers. Our latest team member, interior and merchandising expert, Carla Jones Design will make the event a visual masterpiece for buyers looking for inspiration for their homes.’

Thursday, 25 June 2015

We're Going Glamping

This weekend we are going glamping for our summer holidays. We are staying in Scotland at a gorgeous looking yurt and we can't wait. I'm hoping the weather improves somewhat as it's been raining today! I'm not packed yet, but hopefully it won't take long to get our stuff together... waterproofs, wellies, bikes, sun hats, sun cream... who knows what the weather will be like!! Best to prepare for all eventualities in Scotland and that's one of the benefits of travelling by car - plenty of space to ram it full of our belongings. 
We were at the St Enoch Centre today to pick up a few bits and pieces (more on this in a separate post) and had lunch at Ed's Easy Diner. The diner has a specific gluten free menu which was ideal for me. I had a really yummy chicken salad, with a portion of fries. Shhhh... don't tell my PT!
So apologies as I'll probably be quiet on Twitter and the like for the next few days.
That said, I'd still love your support and votes for the Clickstay Mummy Blogger Awards where I could potentially win £1000 towards a villa in Portugal. Regular readers will know that I'm yet to take the kids abroad and I would love to go on an amazing holiday in the sun. If you liked my post 'My Tips for Travelling with Children' then I'd love you to vote for me here. It takes 2 seconds and you can vote once each day. The competition ends on 3rd July and at the moment I'm in third place. Please share, RT and like my statuses over on FB. I really, really appreciate it and will try and squash you into my suitcase if I win!!
I have a competition running to win a beauty hamper with House of Fraser, which you can enter here. Good luck!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

What's On - Family Activities for the Summer Holidays

I actually can't quite believe that the school summer holidays start today.

I've pulled together some of the activities that I've come across for Glasgow and the surrounding area. Do let me know if you have an event you'd like featured...

Saturday 27th June
Pirate Day at Heads of Ayr Farm Park

Tuesday 30th June
Superhero Academy, Bricks 4 kidz at Briarlands Farm, 2-4pm
Book here.

And if like us you love Lego, you'll also be interested in the Brick built - Iconic Creations in Lego Bricks which is running from now until 15 August 2015 at North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre. There is also a Lego room, open 10am - 4pm each day where you can create your own masterpieces (small charge applies).

Wednesday 1st July
Rapunzel - A Tangled Tale at Eastwood Park Theatre, 3pm
Family ticket is £15

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July
Family BBQ at Eastwood Park with burgers from Snooks Steakhouse

Sunday 5th July
Fancy Dress Fun at Eastwood Park Theatre, 1pm and 3.30pm
Family ticket £40

Wednesday 15th July
Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom at King's Theatre, £14.50-£31.50

I haven't made it along yet to the Saturday Art Club at GoMA, but this is running throughout the summer every Saturday 10.30am - 12 noon and it's free. 

If like me you've got to work during the holidays, you might be interested in Glasgow's first American style day camp, Camp Indy. I took part in BUNAC when I was at university and spent a summer working at a summer camp in Connecticut - it was brilliant fun. Camp Indy is aimed at 6-14 year olds and is based in the West End at Kelvinside Academy. One or two week sessions start from 27th July and are £35 for a day (8.30am - 5pm) or £150 per week.

Camp Indy

P.S. We're yet to have a family holiday abroad, but I have the chance to win £1000 towards a villa in Portugal with the Clickstay Mummy Blogger Awards. I'd really appreciate your vote - it takes just two clicks. No need to register or anything and you can vote up to once a day. So please take a second and click here... I really do appreciate your support.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Home & Interiors - Muji

When I was in London the other month we popped into Muji on the King's Road for a browse. This shop is right up my street and there were so many things that I would have loved to have brought home with me (unfortunately there just wasn't enough space in my suitcase).
I really like the idea of this aroma diffuser. You can scent your home with essential oils and it's safe for around children and pets as there are no naked flames (I've already had an accident with one of the kittens when the singed the end of their tail on one of my many candles...oops).
I also really like Muji acrylic storage drawers. I had one of these when I was a teenager that I stored my make-up in, and it did get pretty messy and scratched so it eventually went in the bin. However I quite fancy a few of these for my home office to store stationery.
Keeping with the office organisation, I also love these brown card magazine files. I did have white ones from Ikea for a while, but these are more aesthetically pleasing to me. I've got three shelves above my new desk that I still need to style and I think these would be ideal for storing important paperwork.

Lastly, I love Muji travel accessories. They just seem to have this market sussed and looks like they have everything and anything you could want for travel organisation. I have a hanging toiletries bag which is super handy (think mine is from Superdrug perhaps or maybe Sainsburys), but this box one at Muji looks even more ideal as it has more storage for dinky skincare bottles.

Do you own any items from Muji?
What else would you recommend I check out?
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