Wednesday, 23 July 2014

{Bring It On! Glasgow Games Opening Ceremony!!}

Tonight is the official start of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. How very exciting!!!

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I know two of the cast members that will be on stage tonight for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

One of these girls is my gorgeous friend Lorna, and she was lovely enough to take some time out from her busy schedule to share a little on her experiences here with us. Lorna is already mummy to one beautiful little girl, and she has another baby on the way!! So it makes her involvement with the Opening Ceremony even more special!! Thank you Lorna and good luck for tonight!!

Girl's Night Out :-)

Here's her story:

"It's been an amazing experience being part of the cast of the Opening Ceremony. After months of auditions, rehearsals and military organisation the night is finally here! People from all walks of life are taking part - grannies, children and my 5 month old foetus! I'm nervous but not sure if it's butterflies or the baby kicking! There is a real sense of camaraderie and team support. I just hope I don't trip on stage during my routine. Although maybe Rod Stewart will come and help me!

Once the Ceremony is over, I'm looking forward to attending a few events including the 100m final! We were really lucky with tickets; my husband is also going to the wrestling, boxing and judo. Then on my 35th birthday we have tickets to the Closing Ceremony but this time I will be watching all the other performers take to the stage.

There's so much to do in Glasgow over the next couple of weeks, I'm delighted to still be on maternity leave. I plan to take my daughter to Glasgow Green and the Merchant City Festival. I suggest tourists check out the Festival 2014 programme and find themselves a good pub to get the craic with the Glasgow punters!"

With her daughter.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

{One Day to Go!!! Glasgow Commonwealth Games}

It's just one day to go until the official start of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

How exciting!!!!

As I stepped out of my office this afternoon there was a buzz in the air as tourists milled about the city centre. Isn't it also great that the sun is shining!!! Long may it continue.

Last night I was delighted to attend the Dress Rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony. We've been asked to keep all the details secret to #SaveTheSurprise for the rest of the world, but I can tell you that the Opening Ceremony is certainly "uniquely Glaswegian and Scottish".

It's already been in the press that Rod Stewart is performing (he wasn't there last night though, there was a stand in miming in his place!). The other artists include Susan Boyle, violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti, Glasgow singer/songwriter Amy MacDonald and Julie Fowlis who sang for the film Brave.

Celtic Park - the stage being set. 
At almost 100 metres long, 11 metres high and weighing 38 tonnes the LED screen is Europe's largest!

There are 2000 cast members that will be representing the host city and nation (I know two of them!) as they perform in front of an audience of 40,000 at Celtic Park and a potential television audience of over 1 billion viewers!!!

The partnership with Unicef will also be part of the Opening Ceremony in a global fundraising first which aims to positively impact the lives of children across the Commonwealth. During the ceremony, spectators, athletes and viewers will be invited to Put Children First by making a donation via text creating a powerful Games legacy for children.

The Unicef footage that was shown at the rehearsal last night nearly had me in tears. I felt extremely moved by it. Which made up for some of the more embarrassing parts of the ceremony that had me cringing. Lots of laughs too, don't get me wrong. I'm just not sure that the rest of the world are going to get the Glaswegian banter (and possibly even understand the accent). I had Steven, another blogger from #Team14 sat next to me, who travelled up from England to watch the rehearsal, and I don't think he fully appreciated all the jokes.

Anyway, the Opening Ceremony event will be broadcast live from 8pm on BBC One and you can tweet along using the hashtag #2014Ceremony.

I definitely suggest you tune in - I'd love to know what you think!

The cast at rehearsals

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

{Eating Out - Guy's Restaurant}

Tuesday marked the anniversary of my first date with R, and to celebrate we decided to head into town for dinner. I had booked a table for two at Guy's Restaurant in the Merchant City. I've only been to Guy's once before, over 5 years ago though, and R hadn't been before so we were both excited to check out the food on offer! 

From my previous visit I remembered that Guy's is renowned for its ravioli and this was evident in the specials menu that we were given upon arrival. There were four ravioli to choose from as either starter or main. However we decided to stick with the Pre-Theatre Menu, and at £13.95 for 2 courses or £16.95 for 3 it's fantastic value for money with a variety of options to choose from too.

I loved the decor in the restaurant. The comfy sofas at the entrance make it feel very relaxed and homely. As does the sideboard and mirror that features in the restaurant. The staff were also very friendly which all in all made for a lovely atmosphere. 

Starter - Smoked salmon terrine

Starter - macaroni cheese

Main - Glasgow Tapas - steak pie, haggis & neeps, mince & tatties and chips!

Dessert - fruit crumble & custard

Dessert - chocolate fudge cake

All the food was lovely. The Glasgow Tapas is such a novel idea & will be great for the tourists that are here for the Commonwealth Games to sample some local delights. My favourite was the haggis. The custard served with the dessert was also immense. Yum!! Definitely worth a visit.

{#Team14 Lawn Bowling}

Last week the #Team14 bloggers were invited along to Woodend Bowling Club for some coaching and a match. Eek... I hadn't bowled before and wasn't sure how I'd get on. 

I shouldn't have been worried... we were coached by local experts and very quickly I picked up the basics. I wasn't brilliant at it, but I definitely saw improvement over the hour or so we were there. The kids, R & I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Unfortunately we couldn't stay until the end because I had to get the kids home to their bed. My son was devastated to leave as he'd had such great fun. Proper tears as we made our way back to my car!

My dad used to be an avid lawn bowler and I remember going down South during the summer holidays once to watch him compete in a competition.  I should have paid more attention as I might have been better if I had!

Woodend Bowling Club have a juniors team and apparently their youngest member is just 4 years old. It's not something I'd have previously considered as a sport for my kids, and so this taster session has certainly opened my eyes to the types of activities that are available for pre-schoolers. 

The Commonwealth Bowls

So many pretty colours! Pink for me of course :-)

Perfect technique!! ;-)

Eldest taking his turn!!

Have a peek at this Team14 highlights post from Glasgow 2014 that details some of the other events that the Team14 bloggers have been attending :-)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

{New House - Blackboard Wall}

So I have previously talked about my wish to create a blackboard wall in my kitchen, and I've finally gotten around to finishing it!

I'm really pleased with the end result. I was initially disappointed with it's lack of magnetism, but I've managed to get some round magnets from Sainsburys that seem to work. Thank you to Heather (H34TH3RM4C) over on Instagram for the tip!

This is the paint I used which I purchased at HomeBase

First coat done!

I ended up doing 4 coats in total, and I needed two tins of paint at £14.99 each

Mini artist at work!

This is me apparently!!

I invested in a liquid chalk pen and it's amazing!!! Has made a massive difference in comparison to basic chalk that the kids use.

Instructions for the grandparents for the kids dinner!

The magnets from Sainsburys

My liquid chalk pen that I got from eBay

Monday, 14 July 2014

{Inflammatory Bowel Disease - My Colonoscopy Experience}

This year is my 10 year anniversary of having Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I tend to tell people I have Crohn's Disease, but in reality despite me having had the condition for all these years, the doctors still aren't sure if it's Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis that I have. The treatment is the same so it hasn't really mattered.

Anyway, last week I had the joys of undergoing a colonoscopy. There's a really good video on the NHS website where Lynn Faulds, a TV presenter, is filmed having a colonoscopy if you want to check it out.

During a colonoscopy, a colonoscope is used to examine your bowel. It's a long bendy tube with a camera and a light on the end and it is inserted into your rectum and moved along the length of your large intestine.

You need to eat a special low-residue diet for a few days before the examination and then the day before take laxative medication to empty your bowel.

My colonoscopy was arranged for the Friday, so on Tuesday and Wednesday I had to stick to the special diet (which is described in detail in the paperwork I was sent so I knew exactly what I was doing) and then on Thursday and Friday I was allowed fluids only.

The low residue diet is high in fat, and it wasn't hard to stick to. I had cornflakes and milk for breakfast or white toast and jam (with no bits!)... lunches were potato waffles and cheese or chicken mayonnaise sandwiches and crisps... followed by dinner of macaroni cheese! Plus I had delightful plain scones with clotted cream and jam or tea and ginger snap biscuits. 

It was drinking the 2 litres of laxative on Thursday that was tough. I managed all of it, but I threw up half of the last glass!! :-/ My dad's wife Jo had arrived on Thursday morning to help me entertain the kids whilst I did the bowel prep - I doubt I'd have managed it on my own, so thank you very much.

Victoria over on Twitter (@IckleBear_) who also suffers from Crohn's was tweeting me with tips which I found really useful. So I kept the liquid in the fridge to keep it cool and had boiled sweets at the ready to suck after each glass. I also had my book and a blanket in the bathroom for when it started working (which didn't take long after finishing the last glass)! The diarrhoea lasted until about 8am the next morning but thankfully it didn't affect my sleep.

It doesn't taste nice, but I was trying to trick myself into thinking it was a nice cool drink!

I arrived at the hospital at 12.45pm on the Friday and was checked into the Endoscopy unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. After changing into my delightful hospital gown I was talked through the consent process by one of the nurses and was asked a few questions about when I had last eaten etc. and was given a wristband to identify me.

A nurse then came along to put a cannula into my hand. This allows the doctors to give me (plenty!) drugs for the procedure. Unfortunately after two attempts I still didn't have a cannula in my arm and I was also in tears (I was really anxious about the whole thing and the cannula issue wasn't helping matters!). A different nurse then came along and in literally a second the needle was in! 

Still managing to smile!
Shortly after I was whisked away into the room for the procedure.

Now I'm not going to lie. It was not pleasant and it hurt quite a bit. Apparently it shouldn't be that sore and the worst bit for most people is drinking the laxative fluid the day before. But I have very tight turns in my bowel and 9 years ago when I had my last colonoscopy I was screaming on the table whilst the nurses manipulated my bowel to get the scope along. They gave up and have never got round my large intestine, until now that is.

I was given a sedative and painkiller via a cannula in my hand, and given my previous experience I was given a high dose of both!

It's preferable for you to be awake as it allows you to move around on the bed as the procedure progresses. This time I was on my left side at the start, before moving onto my back, then my right side, and then my tummy before going back onto my side again.

I'm thankful that we managed to get round my large intestine though as we've discovered that most of my bowel is healthy, but at the far end there is active inflammation. So the doctors were able to take biopsies and I'll get the results in a few weeks.

I was then wheeled back to the ward to allow me to rest and I slept for an hour or so as the drugs wore off.

I had been looking forward to my tea and toast, but was extremely disappointed to be given a rather crap looking cheese sandwich. It wasn't very appetising.

By the time my dad & R came to collect me I was feeling ok. A little tender and tired but not as bad as I was after my previous scope (where I nearly fainted in the hospital corridor!).

Now I just need to wait for the biopsy results...

Sunday, 13 July 2014

{Vlog - My Everyday Make-Up}

Okay, so I'm slowly getting to grips with iMovie and hopefully you'll notice an improvement in my vlogs from my first one that was extremely amateur! Here's hoping I continue to get better the more I practice!

I thought I'd join in with the #VlogChallenge this week set by Kate over at Wit Wit Woo. The theme is 'beauty/fashion', so I thought I'd share my daily make-up routine and the products I use.

Here we go...

The products I use at the moment are:

MAC Shroom eyeshadow
MAC Satin Taupe eyeshadow
MAC Black Tie eyeshadow
Benefit They're Real mascara
cK one concealer - 100 porcelain
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, Ivory
MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder, NW20
NARS blusher, Oasis
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
cK one lipstick, 500 Liplock

Do let me know what you think! :-)