Friday, 19 January 2018

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. This week my littlest niece turned 1! They had a big family get-together to celebrate and just look at that cake!

2. IT. "But which one?" you may ask, and I will tell you (pretty much spoiler-free I think). I'm a big fan of the original, having watched it on the telly in my youth, and being scared sh*tless because I was just a kid. Having watched both versions recently I can say that I do like the new one but the original has the edge for me. The new Pennywise is a slivery mess with too many teeth and I couldn't understand what he was on about at times, whereas Tim Curry's version was actually a bit endearing with his baggy suit, cute smile and child-like antics. I'd probably go and get a balloon off him, if he offered me one, and that's the whole point isn't it? The new film leaves less to the imagination and is a bit over-the-top to start with, like Richie's jokes, but after a while the Loser's Club has that same feel to it and some of the changes they've made make sense. It'll be interesting to see who they cast as the adults in the second part and what changes they've made to that.

3. We have been passing illness after illness within our little family since early-December, so it felt really good to get outdoors for the first time this year. Unfortunately the next day I had a whopper of a cold, then so did Sorsha, and so the cycle continues.

4. Despite our disease and the cupboards bursting with chocolate I've really been enjoying some healthy food. I'm getting into avocados which is quite new for me!

5. We watched Colossal a few days ago and really liked it! It's such a different story and although it's an action/comedy/sci-fi film it's a great balance.

6. I've been feeling sorry for myself with this latest cold (which I swear is the worst cold I've ever had...probably) that I sought comfort in some Tunnock's Tea Cakes. Sometimes you just need to treat yo'self, even though you've just mentioned healthy eating in the same post. Meh.

How's your week been?

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Wedding On A Budget: 7 Months To Go!

Now that the festivities are over I'm ready to get back into wedding planning mode! I can't believe it's only 7 months away but I'm expecting things to start getting quite busy in the next few months!

Since my last post at 12 months to go (which just shows how time is flying!) here's what's new:

Our Wedding Website

We decided quite early on to have a paperless wedding, meaning that we would contact our guests electronically rather than through the post where possible. After researching some of the website builders available we went with Joy because their designs looked fab and they were more suited to our needs.

It was so easy to set up and it's been so handy for keeping a note of our guests information, itinerary, local hotels, and lots more. Plus there's an app so all the info that our guests need is in their pocket.

Our Facebook Page

We've also been utilising our secret Facebook page to ask for requests for the disco, to get transport organised and get our guests talking before the big day! It's great for getting quick responses and sharing any information which might be helpful but you might not put it on the full website.

My Outfit

I mentioned last time that I'd been wedding dress shopping and have since said "yes" to the dress! There's no way that I could justify spending thousands of pounds on a gown so I headed to a local bridal boutique which sells sample gowns and found one that I love for a few hundred pounds! The dress is in perfect condition and currently doesn't need alterations although any pre-wedding loss/gain may change that!

I also managed to pick up some gorgeous shoes in the January sales which are elegant but so comfortable although they'll probably be kicked off after that first dance anyway!

Wedding Decorations

We had a meeting with our decor supplier recently to get some ideas. There are so many different ideas and trends are changing all the time so it's great that she's flexible and we can chop and change things in the next few months if they're available. Not only did we win a fab deal with her through a Facebook competition, we won another competition too! We won hire of big illuminated "LOVE" letters which was something we'd wanted but we'd decided was over budget! So, along with other bits we've bought, the hall should look amazing!

So that's where we are now! The next things we plan to do are to catchup with our suppliers, Allan needs to try on some kilts and we need to book transport. Am I missing anything?

Friday, 12 January 2018

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

Check me, posting two weeks in a row, must be the New Year!

♥ This Week's Loves ♥ was/is meant to be my regular post about things I've loved over the last week and is usually about stuff I've done but this year is getting off to a slooow start and I'm easing in by doing very little! That will change as I slowly unfurl from my festive cocoon but for now here are some ace things I'm loving this week:


I randomly found out about Lizzo when I was reading an article on "How to create your bridal shop moment with your online bought dress" on Offbeat Bride and now I love her sassy, positive tunes. Feeling good as he-ell!


I've well and truly kicked off my 2018 reading challenge! We took the tv out of the living room at the end of last year and now I can put the kids to bed and chill out, distraction-free on the sofa reading my book. I'll be posting monthly updates on what I've been reading and if it was any good!

My New Mascara

In the sales I treated myself to a dinky little Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara because I'd heard great things about it and it was CHEAP. I've only tried it a few times but it separates my lashes so much better than anything else I've tried recently and I need that help cos my lashes love to clump together and find their own direction when my lash lift is overdue!

Body Fixers

Has anyone else been watching this? I love it, especially when they genuinely help to change someone's life and build their confidence. Some of the stories are so sad and everyone comes out looking so fabulous that I nearly shed a tear for these random strangers! You can catchup on All 4 if you've missed it.

It's Just Kelli

I came across Kelli's YouTube channel when I was researching menstrual cups and she has such a relaxed but informative approach that makes you feel like it's your pal telling you all about it over a cuppa! She has quite a few videos on different sanitary products and other aspects of being a woman too but this is by far her most watched video. PS If you use a menstrual cup or are thinking about it and want to get in touch with me, do! I think I'm gonna go for it!

So those are my loves for this week! What are you loving this week?

Monday, 1 January 2018

My Goals For 2018

Happy New Year!

It's become a tradition of mine to start the new year off with some big plans for the year to come and this year will be no different!

Last year I achieved everything I wanted to but not quite to the level I'd hoped to. I managed to lose a reasonable amount of weight, just not quite as much as I'd hoped. I took my blog back to basics, but didn't actually post anywhere near as much as I wanted to. I did, however, manage to plan most of our wedding, so that was good!

I also went back to work after having our second daughter Willow, we went on our first family holiday abroad, got two new kittens, I hosted four Abzmeet blogger meetups, and watched proudly as my little brother got married!

2018 is going to be just as awesome, because this year I will:

Get Married!

Yes, in August Allan and I are getting married! Although the main things are already organised, I feel I can start planning the detail with the festive season out of the way!

Travel More

Our family trip to Lyon last year reminded me how much I love to travel so this year we have booked our honeymoon and have also planned a trip to Northern Ireland to visit friends. Hopefully we can explore more of Scotland as a family too.

Read At Least One Book A Month

I was given a Kindle Fire for Christmas which suggested I joined Goodreads so I have, and I'm setting myself a target of one book a month for 2018. On paper that sounds like nothing but in reality it has been so long since I took the time to read a book from cover to cover that I'd rather chose an achievable goal.

Sew Something

I want to start putting my sewing machine to good use and this year I'm determined to dust it off and make something, ideally something I can actually wear! I also want to learn how to alter some of the clothes I have, especially some of my vintage finds.

Blog More!

I hardly blogged at all in 2017, partly because I used Instagram a lot more, partly because I lost all motivation and felt that I wasn't doing much worth blogging about. This year I WILL be more motivated and you can expect more posts on all of the above plus days out, our home, regular monthly posts and more about our family life!

So 2018 will be a pretty busy year for me! What are your goals for this year?

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Review: 4DX Experience At Cineworld Aberdeen Union Square

Being a movie fan I was quite excited when it was announced that Cineworld in Aberdeen was going to get a 4DX screen. I was even more excited when I received an invite to their preview showing last night.

4DX is a technology that creates an immersive cinematic experience, stimulating all fives senses using motion seats and special effects including wind, rain, snow, lightning, fog, and even scents.

Unlike the motion chairs of D-Box before it, the 4DX seats are blocked together in 4s, and they move back and forth, up and down, and side to side. They also vibrate and shake and "tickle". They're fitted with some of the special effects such as jets of air, water, and smells while the rest come from big rigs attach to the wall or on the floor at the screen.

Our screening was revealed as Justice League but before the feature there was an advert showing what 4DX could do and the cinema went a bit wild with laughter and gasps and general excitement!

To be honest we had quite mixed feelings when we left the screening. It was fun, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure how often I'd view 4DX and here's why: I found it quite distracting and often unnecessary. The timing is sometimes off so the wind's still blowing when the characters have moved inside. I don't particularly want to be sprayed with water when I'm watching a film (although it can be switched off on your seat) and sometimes cinema screens can be cold enough without wind blowing. The motion can be quite jerky and the "ticklers" left me wondering if my seat was broken. It also costs around £5 more than a normal cinema seat.

However, although it seems quite gimmicky, I like that cinema is progressing and that this is the next step in enhancing the experience, and I think that they'll refine it over time.

I'd advise you to try 4DX, even just once, to experience it but choose your film wisely (a big action adventure or disaster movie would be good) and I'd choose a 3D viewing (ours was 2D) for a more immersive experience. Hey, you might really like it, fellow Aberdeen blogger Anastasia is raving about it!

Cineworld invited us along for a complementary preview evening. All views are my own.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Review: Bowl 'Em Over At Lane7

I'm quite good at 10-pin bowling, if I do say so myself, but recently realised that Allan and I have never been bowling together. As if by magic, I received an invite to try out Aberdeen's newest bowling alley.

Situated on Shiprow in the centre of Aberdeen, Lane7 is a boutique, meaning it's smaller, but more intimate and attentive. The decor is industrial and open, giving it that cool bar vibe which is handy because it also has a cool bar with the usual drinks and some lesser known brands. I tried a Hooper's Plum and Sloe while Allan tried out a High Wire Grapefruit pale ale by Magic Rock, both of which were very tasty.

We strapped on our funky shoes and went to bowl. They have half a dozen immaculate lanes with cool bowling balls styled like giant pool balls so I went for an 8-ball and dusted off my signature leg flick, much to Allan's amusement. All his mockery was short-lived when I beat his ass, even on a rusty day.

But Lane7 isn't just for bowling and drinking. They also have ping pong tables, amusements, pool, a photo booth and soon they'll start serving food. And it's not just for adults either, although they have a late licence which offers a great alternative to nightclubs or casinos, they do accept family bookings during the day and into the evening.

So, people of Aberdeen and the surrounding area, get yourselves to Lane7 for something just a wee bit different.

Lane7 invited us along for a complementary preview evening. All views are my own.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Wedding On A Budget: 12 Months To Go

It's now less than a year until we get married (eep!) and it's starting to feel REALLY real!

Before I took a bit of a summer holiday from blogging, I wrote an update on our wedding planning but a few things have changed so I'll start there!

Wedding Insurance

In the last post I said that we hadn't bothered with wedding insurance, but as we started to pay for more expensive things like the photographer and catering we began to get a little antsy and had a look into it.  As recommended on a Facebook wedding page we went with Debenhams and it only cost £60 to cover the whole shebang so we went for it. We also got £7.50 cashback through Quidco and a £10 gift voucher for Debenhams along with some peace of mind, so that was pretty good!


As mentioned above I have booked a photographer! It is really hard to pick one, especially if you are on a budget! There are some amazing photographers out there but their skills come at a price and unfortunately we don't have the budget for them! So we've picked a company which we feel can capture our day really well in a fresh, documentary-style which is exactly what we want, and they're quite new so they were very reasonably priced. They're also dabbling with audio and some other extras which turned our heads, and they're happy for us to share the images on social media which is a big thing for a blogger!


We've also booked our caterer which is another big part of the budget, although we've gone for a non-traditional option instead of a 3 or 4-course sit-down meal. This took a lot of research as it turns out that there aren't that many catering companies in my area and those outwith had to add costs for transport and travel which took them over what we could afford. What we did do was look at local food festivals and which food businesses would be there so we could go along and try out a few, see if we liked them, and message for prices.

Wedding Diary

As an obsessive writer-down-of-things I've also bought a wedding diary to keep a note of important dates like when things have to be paid, when appointments are, and when I expect to hear back from people. Randomly things pop into my head so I make sure I note them down!

Save The Date

Talking of stationery, 12 months before your wedding is the recommended time to send out those Save The Date cards. We thought long and hard about this one and decided to set up a secret Facebook wedding page for our attendees and posted it there, making sure we sent card versions out to those guests who don't have an account. Out of all our guests only four people/couples/families had no access and the response has been great!

Having this page will also allow us to keep our guests constantly updated with any news, changes, or information, and allow us to ask them about their favourite party tunes and whether they need transport etc.

Wedding Dress Shopping

And finally, I went wedding dress shopping. But that's a post for another day!

As always, if you've had or are planning a wedding it'd be great if you could share your progress or money saving ideas with me, I need all the help I can get!

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Maira Gall