BlogsVlogsEtc. Powered by Blogger.

Aberdeen Blogger's Halloween Event, #Aberscream | #abzchat

Happy Halloween!!

Myself and three other Aberdeen bloggers (team #abzchat) threw our very first social last week and I have to say I think we did good! It was a pre-Halloween party, #aberscream. This is the very first event that I have helped organise and yes it was stressful at times, but in the end (and a few desperate messages to Julia) everything came together and I personally couldn't be happy with how it turned out on the night.

It was held in a local bar in Aberdeen called Bos'n and it was the best venue to have it in as the decor was already what we were wanting, there was sugar skulls on the walls, lanterns hanging across the rooms etc so decorations wise, there wasn't much to do other than spread some cobwebs about. Our night happened to land on National Calvados week so Père Magloire Calvados were our fantastic drinks sponsor for the whole night showcasing their Apple Brandy. The Bos'n team created three cocktails around the apple brandy for us to chose from and they were all a knock out:

A'wight Treacle; with toffee sauce and pressed apple
The Wild Ones; elderflower cordial and lime
Bad Blood; fresh lemon, egg white, red wine and bitters

I tried all of the cocktails and The Wild Ones was favourable to myself and many other but as I was frantically trying to make sure everyone else was sorted and happy, I stuck to soft drinks.

Food wise we had some terrifyingly delicious canapés from Rye and Soda which can be found below Bos'n. The canapés were a choice of Macaroni Cheese bites with a tomato sauce, gorgeous Black Pudding scotch eggs (they were incredible) and some fish tacos and chicken tacos.

For those with a sweet tooth (me me me) there was plenty of choices from cauldrons filled to the brim of sweets, ghoulish popcorn bags, marshmallow vamps and Halloween cupcakes. We also had Mr. Ghost, a cake that we bought and branded with our hashtag for the night. The best thing for me though, sugar wise, were the tasty Halloween edition Krispy Kreme Donuts! I am such a fan of krispy kreme donuts anyway but with a creepy face added I'm hooked. They kindly gifted us two of their reward cards so we could get 24 decedent donuts - thank you so much - they went down a treat!

Over the course of the night there was a few different things for the bloggers to get stuck into (including apple bobbing but I'm not sure anyone bobbed, I was scared I'd lose some of my latex wrinkles) but one thing that seemed to go down really well was the 'Selfie Station'. We made the backdrop, set up the camera, laid out the props and let everyone take it from there. I had the great job of going through all the images and uploading them - safe to say I had a right good laugh while doing so. Take a look at some of our bloggers on the night - I must say 10 out of 10 to everyone who dressed up, you all made such an amazing effort!

Karen did a cemetery themed Raffle, where everyone on arrival got to choose their tombstone and see if they were lucky enough to win a prize, I sadly did not but I won a good time, right?? There were some fab prizes up for grabs such as a meal for two at Thaihkun, make-up session by the gorgeous Hannah Adams, a cozy hat from Hamish Munro, mini pamper sessions from The Body Shop and so much more.

There was also a Costume Competition where everyone could vote for their 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place and it was so difficult to choose as the bar was set high but the votes were counted (and verified, I feel like Davina) and in 3rd Place was the gorgeous Georgie as Freida, 2nd Place was the dreadfully dead Iga as the Corpse Bride and in 1st Place was yours truly as a crazy-old-cat Lady! 2nd and 3rd place walked away with a mini pamper session from The Body Shop and I won a Styling Session from HJC Styling along with a mini pamper session also. Thanks to everyone who took part - you all looked great!

Before the night came to a close everyone got handed their Goodie Bag! Let's take a look and see what was inside:

A4 and A5 Print from Graphic Designer Laura Campbell
The Body Shop lip glosses, samples and Colouring Book
Taylor Sleep Pillow case from ChattyPillow
Halloween Oreo Rocky Road slices from Cake Addict Kintore
Chocolate Bar from Love Cocoa
Products from Lush Aberdeen
Lipgloss from Western and Granite
Vanilla and Choc Chip Marshamallows from Marshmology

I really hope everyone liked what was in their Goodie Bags - here's a few bloggers who do!

There was so much that went into this event and I'm exceptionally grateful to everyone who took part, contributed and attended - especially to Bos'n, 10 Dollar Shake. Thank you all so much, here's to the next one! 

I don't know what to call this post ...

This has been a difficult one to post - it has been in my drafts for quite a long time. But here goes nothing.

As it is Baby Loss Awareness week this got me thinking about some things that I have compartmentalised right in the back of my head and here I am sharing them for the world to see but it's something that I personally don't really talk about and most of my family don't even have a clue, but across the board not a lot of people speak about it. It's something people struggle with on a day to day basis and we need to bring awareness to it and remind people that they are not alone.

 As I'm sure sure you're all aware I have a little girl called April, she is away to turn four and she's is perfectly healthy and happy. But before I had April and since having April I have had complications. I'm only going to speak about after April because previous is in the past. I had a very traumatic time with April's birth, long long story short is I didn't know I was pregnant until I was in physical labour! No word of a lie - it took everyone by surprise and four years on I'm still trying to figure it out. But anyway after about 11 hours of difficulty the doctors finally decided to take me through to theatre for an Emergency Cesarean which was traumatic enough.

So after that and me and Sam tried to change our lives (a twenty year old girl and a twenty two year old boy) completely to revolve around this little thing that had very powerful vocal chords. But even almost four years on it's still difficult but I'm proud to say that we got our shit together and we have done a bloody amazing job (pats on the back all round). But since then we have always thought of adding to our family, I have always wanted two or three kids and Sam basically wants a football team but sometimes things just don't turn out the way you want. The past few years have been a roller coaster of emotions and problems fertility wise. There has been a lot of tears cried in the bathroom huddled around pregnancy tests - clearblue have made a damn fortune from us! There have been times where a faint little second line appeared and we got all excited - literally jumping around and crying tears of happiness, planning when to tell our families and what names we like but those times ended after a few days or even a couple of weeks where I started to bleed excessively. Not going to go into details of that but trust me, you know when something passes other than the norm period. Each time this has happened I try and keep a brave face, smile to Sam and say, "we'll just keep trying" but to be completely honest, it kills me inside. I beat myself up, I feel broken, empty, like a complete failure of a woman. I mean the 'caveman' thought is women are here to have babies and I can't even do that! I hated walking down the street and seeing a pregnant woman, I was jealous of them - that's a horrible thing to say but I craved what they had. It sucks but over time I have stopped beating myself up so much also Sam has been a massive support and I know it effects him hard too but we keep going on, it's not like we can just stop and give up on life. Plus April keeps us going especially at about 6 o'clock in the morning, we're very proud parents.

I have been told this could be down to my thyroid which is very under active, my iron levels as I'm very anaemic or just the fact that my body went through so much having April that it's just shocked it so it's not working as it should. But I won't give up and I'm not going to lie, if my period is a day late of course all of those thoughts are going to rush round my head of little fingers and toes but if it does turn out that it's just April that we have then we've both said that perfectly fine, of course it is. She every bit of us and we can happily be the three amigos! 

I just wanted to write this and let anyone out there who has went though this know that you're not broken, you're not a failure of a woman. These thing just happen sometimes, sometimes there's nothing we can do but keep going.

Oh What a Tart! | Lemon Tart Recipe

Hello Again,

Just like everyone and their dog, I love Autumn and one thing I really enjoy doing when its cold and rainy outside (other than wrap myself up in a blanket like a taco and have a nap) is Baking!! 

Now my blogger friend Ebony from Little Things by Ebony was running a great giveaway over on her Twitter to win Tanya Burr's new book, Tanya Bakes so I thought, 'yeah I'll give that a bash' and to my surprise I won! Thanks Ebony!

Now I have a major sweet tooth (pretty sure all of my teeth are sweet teeth) and I am a HUGE fan of anything Lemon so it made sense to make this delicious Lemon Tart and what a tart it is!

To make this fabulous tart you will need:

First you need to make your pastry! Put the flour, butter and sugar in a bowl/mixer and whizz until combined. Add the egg and 3 tablespoons of cold water and whizz again to form a dough!

Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface to a thickness of about 3-4mm and put in the tart tin. Press gently into each crevice and leave the excess hanging over the edge. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degree Fahrenheit, then line the pastry with greaseproof paper before filling with baking beans! Bake for about 10 minutes before removing the beans, pricking the base with a fork and baking for another 10 minutes until the pastry is lovely and golden and completely dry. Using a serrated knife, cut off the excess pastry to leave a neat edge. Set the tart case to one side.

Turn your oven down to 160 degrees Celsius/320 degrees Fahrenheit as it's now time to make your filling! Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour into the pastry case and tap the case gently to try and remove all air bubbles (no matter how many times I tap the case I never remove all of the air bubbles but it still tastes the same so don't worry). Bake for 30 minutes, or until just set with a slight wobble.

Leave it to cool completely, remove it from the tin and dust with Icing Sugar when ready to serve!

This is such an easy recipe to follow and all of the times I've made this tart (about four or five times now) it's never failed so that's a plus! 

Thanks for reading and let me know if you make this scrumptious tart or if you have made anything else from Tanya Bakes!

My Three Places in Aberdeen for Pizza

Did someone say Pizza?? Well Aberdeen is full of the cheesy goodness right now! Pizza is a great option for an affordable date night, family meal or a laughter filled catch up with friends. 
Whether you like it crispy, deep pan or just good old original then take a look at my Three Places for Pizza in the Granite City!

I bloomin' love Revolution, when I was younger and you didn't know where I was then you could probably find me in there having a few shots in their beer garden. These days I like going there for food with family and friends as the food is mega good! As of today they have launched a new Pizza menu with six fabulous choices. My favourite is the Hot Italian - full of flavour and hits the spot with the heat - ooh!

Cured ham, feta, kalamata olives, fresh smoked mozzarella, balsamic onions rocket and olive oil.

Lamb Baba Ganoush
Ground lamb, baba gnash, rose harissa, fresh mozzarella, feta, creme fraiche, coriander and pomegranate.

The Beet Goes On (V)
Artichoke puree, goat's cheese, beetroot, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers, basil and Parmesan.

Asian Satay Chicken Pizza
Pulled chicken, homemade satay sauce, peppers, mozzarella, cucumber, spring onions, coriander and lime.

The Hot Italian Pizza
Pepperoni, cured ham, roquito peppers, garlic mushrooms, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and rocket.

Tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil.

Slice 'n' Easy is a new pizza joint on the block and I love it! Sam and I went here the other day for date night and he described it 'as being at your mates house'. I couldn't agree more, it's so relaxed, the staff are not in your face, the decor is chilled and the pizza's are damn good! A selection of their vast menu is below:
Margherita - homemade pizza sauce and mozzarella
Pepperoni, chilli beef and jalapeno peppers
Buddy Holly
Chilli Con Carne, crème fraiche, topped with fresh coriander
Salsa Verde, pesto, topped with an egg

Serrano Ham and fresh pineapple
Chicken, Parmesan, pine nuts, topped with fresh rocket

The Boss
Mac n Cheese, topped with crispy bacon

Back Wynd has been home to Nick Nairn's cookery school for a few years now but this Autumn saw the opening of his new Pizza and Wine Bar. Still located in the cook school, he has opened up an intimate restaurant where you can relax over a glass (or bottle) of wine, chat with friends and have one of the great pizzas on offer. 
Pop in to see what's on the Menu.

What's your favourite spot in Aberdeen for Pizza? Any of mine?

Finding the Perfect Glasses ... with

Ever struggled to find a pair of glasses that you absolutely love? I sure have! It's a huge commitment buying a pair especially when the high street options charge a small fortune. If this is ringing a bell then don't worry, I have a solution for you -

Sam and I both wear glasses, Sam from the minute he wakes up till the minute he goes to bed and myself when I am working away at my computer or binge watching the latest TV series on Netflix (come on, we've all been there). So when we decided to look for glasses we turned to the Internet in hope to find great quality glasses at affordable prices but we didn't find that, we found something better! Stylish frames of a premium quality at exceptionally good prices. As cheesy as that sounds, it's actually true!

Perfect Glasses stock prescription glasses for both men and women and even prescription sunglasses if you need them. They have some of the world's best brands such as Police, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Boss Orange and even more! Wait for the best bit because here it comes - you can get a great pair of prescription glasses from as little as £9 - yes £9!

Once we found a pair each that we loved we used their 'Try On' service, we simply uploaded a photo of our faces and the glasses were there so we could see how they would look and fit - this was super handy. So for women they have thousands of styles to choose from whether you're looking for geek, retro, over-sized, full rimmed, semi-rimmed, classic or rimless, they have something for every fashionista! For the gents they stock over 3000 of the latest designs which are sure to give you a smart, confident and suave look. You will definitely find a pair of frames that will make you look sophisticated, urban and debonair. So when you order your glasses you get:

free prescription lenses
free scratch resistant lenses
order status updates throughout

They really do have great Customer service as Sam has quite a difficult prescription but they had no bother at all. Once the orders had been placed it literally only took a few days and the glasses arrived - just like that.

"I really like an unusual pattern on glasses so when I saw this Carrera pair with an almost marble pattern, I knew they were the one for me. I used the 'Try On' service and loved that I could see how they would look on me and fit my face. After arriving just a few days after placing our order I was not disappointed. I hate heavy frames as I feel they really weigh down on your face but with this pair - I couldn't really feel them on.  I have also had so many compliments, I'm really happy, 10/10 from me!"

"I went for a Grey, Boss Orange pair and I chose these glasses because all my previous pairs have been a conventional rectangle frame and I liked the design on the legs - it really grabbed my attention. The 'Try On' service was really good, I spent hours trying on different pairs. They arrived just a couple of days after we ordered them which was so speedy. I was very impressed with how lightweight they were, such a change from my usual bulky frames. I would recommend this service for people who are looking for that stand out pair of glasses that you don't usually find in your local opticians. have a vast array of glasses - there really is something for everyone and the prices cannot be beaten."

If you are needing a new pair of fashionable glasses and don't want the hassle of going into your high street optician and paying their prices then have a look on and you're sure to find a few dozen pairs that you'll love!!
Disclaimer: This is a collaboration with perfect glasses where I was gifted both pairs. All opinions are honest and our own - the service is truly first class.

48hrs Feast of Fife | Day 2

Welcome to my post all about Day 2 of the 48hrs Feast of Fife. 

We started at 10am and headed to St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company just near Anstruther to meet with Jane Stewart and learn all about their cheese. Jane spoke us through how she became the only cheese maker in Fife, it was great listening to her as she was very passionate about it. All around their store were lovely quotes all about never giving up and to reach for your goals, it was very homely.

In this photo right in the distance you can see a field full of cows. Jane explained how they have all been milked at 4am that morning, which they use to make their cheeses including the Award Winning Anster cheese.

Obviously we couldn't go and hear all about these cheeses without trying them, here we have the Anster cheese, Anster Cheddar and Red Anster with herbs and garlic. This was also accompanied by their homemade oatcakes, they were quite sweet with complimented the Anster Cheddar very well.

We also tried some other their homemade cheese scones and cheese biscuits.

You can also buy all their cheeses along with many other cheese from around the country in the Store.

After being rolled into our minibus, we headed back through St Andrews and to Balgove Larder for some lunch. Balgove Larder is made up of a lovely Farm Shop, Butchery, Cafe and Steak Barn. What is great about Balgove is that everything they raise and grow travels just a few miles and most of the time ends up in their store. They also have a lovely quaint Flower Shed with a mixture of fresh flowers, cacti and succulents (one of which now lives on my desk).

We headed into the Steak Barn which is more or less made up of box pallets. It has a great rustic charm that can be enjoyed all year round as they have fire pits inside that help keep it toasty.

Almost as soon as we sat down boards full of food were placed in front of us to try. Here we have a sharing double platter that has two Rump Steaks, Chips, onion rings in a beautiful beer batter and some veg - This is ideal for a date night!

Here is one of their Bacon and Mozzarella Burgers. The good thing about the Steak barn is along side their Menu they have add ons, depending on what is available from the Farm.

Here is my favoured board, Seasoned Chicken Kebab with chips, nice and simple but packs a punch with the Flavour!

After our Feast, we had some free time to explore the shop where I bought a few little presents for Sam and April including the world's smallest bottle of Whisky - a nice novelty!

Before we headed to Fife we had the option of two trips, Trip A which included a tour of Eden Mill and some Gin and Chocolate then some Foraging or Trip B which was a visit to Crail for some Lobster and to Kingsbarns Distillery for some Whisky - I went with Trip A - Gin and Chocolate, hello!

We split into our two groups and we headed to Eden Mill in Guardbridge. Eden Mill is on the site where the Haig family back in 1810 first laid down Whisky. Now Eden Mill are Scotland's first original combined Brewery and Distillery. 

The staff at Eden Mill do everything by hand, filling, bottling, capping and even labelling - that's a lot of work! They pride themselves in their Hands On approach, their staff touch, smell and taste - and hey, they even use produce from all around Scotland. Whatever your tipple is, Gin, Beer or whisky you can get them all at Eden Mill - but I was their for the Gin, there was no doubt about that!

Once we were told all about Eden Mill's History we were taken on our tour. We were told all about their different flavours of Gin. They have the Original which is your standard G & T Gin, Hop Gin which is a unique creation of Gin and Beer. Love Gin which is the Famous Pink gin, with discreet floral and berry notes. Oak gin which is made by soaking oak casks in the barrel. Last but not least, the Golf Gin, this changes every year and 2016's Golf Gin is inspired by the botanicals that grow around the coastal golf courses of Scotland.

We were shown the stills, where the bottles are filled and capped. It's a small operation but again, you can tell they're passionate about what they do! 

After all that walking, we were parched so it was just right that we had some Gin! We sampled all but the Golf Gin, we started with the Gin alone, then with the Chocolate and then with a mixer. I defiantly loved the Love Gin and Ginger beer - delicious!

A quick wonder round their shop and a cheeky purchase of their new venture, Gin Cocktails (wow) and a Love Gin T-Shirt it was time to leave. The staff were really lovely and hospitable so if you find yourself in the Fife area and a litter parched then head in - you're in for a treat.

To walk off our little buzz we went to the nearby Eden River for a spot of Foraging. Our guide spoke about things to do and not to do while out foraging but to be completely honest I didn't take much in - but that was maybe the Gin's fault. I did however find out what Sloe Berries look like so I'll be on the look out for them so I can make my very own sloe gin!

That was my 48hrs Feast of Fife Experience and what an Experience it was. I throughly enjoyed myself and met some amazing people and ate in some amazing places! If you are in Fife and on the lookout for somewhere great to eat then I highly recommend any of the places we went! Thank you to everyone who participated in the weekend, also to everyone who contributed to our amazing goodie bag and to Fife Tourism and the Welcome to Fife Team.
Disclaimer: I was invited along but paid my £25 for the ticket. Everything else was included (I know, such a great deal) all opinions are my own.