Sunday, 24 August 2014

Strathyre Holiday

 Hello! I'm writing this from my bed as yet again I'm ill (I don't know what I've done to deserve such a terrible immune system but I guess I just have to deal with it!), but I just thought I'd quickly share some pictures from my holiday last week because the views were too pretty to keep to myself! I was away for a few days with my best friend and my parents to Strathyre cabins... I had no idea where that was but it was somewhere near-ish Stirling apparently... and miraculously Lauren and I managed to get a train to meet my parents there with no mishaps, despite being very, very hungover.

We basically spent the week cycling, visiting small towns and drinking cider in the hot tub which was very pleasant indeed. Although the lack of WiFi felt near soul destroying at the start of the week, I ended up quite enjoying the peace and time away from notifications and emails etc which was really nice.

I took the pictures below on our last full day whilst we were on a drive to Aberfoyle...and we had to stop and get out the car to properly take in the stunning views by the road. When I see landscapes like this, it makes me wonder why I'd ever want to leave Scotland . There are so many beautiful places here that, compared to in many other countries, are really not that far removed from major cities. So yes, my appreciation of my country has been rekindled!

This next picture isn't spectacular or breathtaking or anything like that BUT it is very exciting to me. On our way back to Edinburgh we stopped to take a look around the Stirling University campus (where I'll be moving to in 20 days, aaah!!) and to see how the construction of the halls I'll be staying in was going. It's a little worrying that they're still in the process of being built this close to the start of term, but the building is looking pretty snazzy so far and I'm so so excited about living there next month (even excited enough to have started planning my outfits for each Freshers event...) It's going to be such a huge change but I'm more optimistic than nervous which is not normal for me, so, yay! 


I'm sure I'll be rambling about my preparations for uni a lot more in the next few weeks but for now - thank you for reading! I hope you're having a great day,
Iona x

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Rainy Yoga Day

Hello all, I know it's not even mid-August but it feels like Autumn has come already with all this rain here in Edinburgh! I'm the kind of person that won't leave my house when it's raining unless I absolutely have to... so today I've resigned myself to a 'house day' which consists mainly of eating lots of comfort food and doing some yoga here and there whilst watching the rain through the window! As much as I don't like being out in rain, I do love watching it and listening to it... my back living room is the perfect spot for that haha.
You may have seen in my description thing that I'm a self-taught yogi... and I would definitely consider myself just a beginner! But it makes me so so happy. Psychologically I find it really calming when I do it, and seeing my physical progress, no matter how small, is a really big thing for me. For example, in April I was able to touch my toes with straight legs for the first time in my entire life which probably doesn't mean a lot to anyone else but I was so excited, because I'd always just accepted that I would never be able to do it. Even though it's really small, things like that have helped me to realise that with practice, our bodies can do some really amazing things, and that even I can do them (in my mind I still often see myself as the overweight, inflexible 12 year old that I was, so I'm always quite surprised when I realise I can do things like that).
I'm currently working on trying to touch my toes to my bun... I vividly remember trying desperately to do it in ballet class when I was 4 so I'd be over the moon if I could achieve it! But yeah I still have quite a way to go... I just have to practice practice practice!
I'm loving how good pictures taken on my new tablet have been turning out, it's so so much easier than using my phone haha! It's also really good just setting up the front camera when I'm doing yoga in this room to use basically as a mirror to check my form and progress.
Although, consequently, I end up taking pictures of me just messing around haha so here you go! It looks so damn bright outside but it's actually really really not (see first picture).
I recently got the Proelite shaker cup pictured from Amazon and although it's meant for protein shakes, I basically just use it for my smoothies and for water when I'm exercising and I love it - mainly because it holds such a large volume and the opening for drinking out of is so big (quicker hydration woohoo). Also, of course, it's pink!
I hope you're all having a good day, thank you for reading!
Iona x


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Happy Day!

Hello! I have had today pretty much to myself, and I have to admit that I really really enjoy days like this, they are so chilled!

I got up fairly late and made a faaab breakfast to enjoy outside in the sun. My staple is oatabix which I love, but it was nice to have something a little different this morning that was just as filling.
I had:
  • One banana
  • Three chopped dates
  • Handful of grapes
  • Handful or raspberries
  • One 'Shape Delights' chocolate & hazelnut yoghurt

This had more calories in it that my breakfasts usually do (just under 450) but it was worth it, and they were good, healthy calories!! After years of obsessing over calories when I was younger, it's so nice to be at a stage now where I'm not scared of eating high calorie meals when I know they're 'good' calories. Also, I absolutely adore dates - they taste like caramel sweets or something and feel like such a treat (they contain a lot of fibre, potassium and iron too... even better)!
I didn't really feel like properly working out today... but found myself messing around attempting handstands in my garden for a good half an hour which surely counts as some form of exercise?! I'm still not very good at them, but just keep practicing with the washing line poles, haha! It feels like it's giving my body such a good stretch though, so I'm not too fussed that I can't yet handstand unsupported.
I also did my usual 20 or so minutes of yoga which is always nice and relaxing. Even when I don't feel up to it, I force myself to and end up feeling much much better for it... it really is magic haha.
I'm really excited about dinner tonight... we're having homemade burgers and making garlic potato wedges - woohoo! I'll also be going for a hillwalk this evening with my boyfriend which I'm really looking forward to, I'm hoping for a pretty sunset. Ah happy days!
I hope everybody else is in as good a mood as I am today. Thanks for reading! x

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Day trip to Stirling

The past few days I've had some extended family staying with me and my parents which has been nice, and has given us an excuse to be tourists in our own country for a wee while. On Thursday we took a trip to Stirling, a small city not too far from Edinburgh, where we climbed the Wallace Monument (all 246 narrow, winding, claustrophobia inducing steps of it).

Although I've been to the monument before when I was younger, I appreciated this feat of architecture much more this time, it really is quite a spectacular building with an interesting history (it was built to commemorate the life of Scottish hero William Wallace - you may know him best from the Mel Gibson film 'Braveheart', haha).

 As well as the building itself being of great interest, I found it really worth the climb to see the fantastic views from the top of the monument! It was a pretty clear day too which was a bonus. The Alloa hills looked amazing! I'm such a sucker for a pretty Scottish landscape, must be in my blood.
Another reason I enjoyed this trip was because Stirling as a place is becoming increasingly relevant to me as - in short - I will be living there in just over a month!! I will be leaving home (scary scary) and moving into the halls of residence at the University of Stirling and aaaaaah I'm honestly so excited about it. I will be studying Retail Marketing which probably seems awfully dull to many people but it's something I've always taken an interest in. I picked my optional modules yesterday and I just can't wait to get started, haha.  In the picture below this (in the furthest background) you can see the white buildings that I think are the halls I will be in! Yay! It was really nice to see the university from this perspective, and to see how lovely the city itself looks as well as how much greenery there is around it. It seems rather tranquil, which is never a bad thing.

Sorry this post is a bit dull, but I will no doubt be mentioning my transition to university a lot more in the next few weeks as my time to depart is coming ever closer! I hope everyone has had a fabulous weekend.
                                   Iona x


Monday, 28 July 2014

New tablet!

Hello all,
I've spent the best part of today marvelling at my most recent purchase - a Microsoft Surface 2 tablet! I got it mainly for going to university in September, but I'm so excited about some of the features on it (including the insanely cool painting app haha). The camera quality on the front and main camera is a lot better than on any other device I've used in the past so I'm really looking forward to taking some good pictures for this blog!

Of course I had to test out the camera, so took a couple of pictures of an outfit... I cut out my face because I'm actually wearing no makeup other than the lipstick for the pictures, and I thought it'd be best to save you from that disturbing sight haha!
Everything seems to look better on a semi-good camera, yay! Anyway, if you like this outfit you can hype it on my Lookbook here or vote for it on Chictopia here ! I hope you're  having a brilliant day,       
Iona x

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Manicure With A Twist

as I'm currently on my Summer holiday I have a lot of time to spare, so in turn have spent a lot more time testing out nail art than I usually would! The design that this post is about was surprisingly really, really simple to do and only requires a relatively steady hand. 

This works best with fairly long nails for the 'french tips' aspect of it. You'll need a pale pink coloured nail varnish and one other colour (it was an obvious choice for me...had to be mint...). If you have a nail art pen this works best as with a normal sized brush, the tips could get fiddly. 

I used a Model's Own Nail Art Pen.

  1. File nails down to a square shape 
  2. Paint nails a pale pink and leave to dry (may require two coats, depending on how opaque you want it to look)!
  3. Using the thin brush section of a nail art pen, carefully go over the naturally white nail tips 
  4. Use a clear top coat to ensure they don't chip too soon!

Once you've mastered the method you could try this with any colour combination - I might try it again soon but swap the French pink for a brighter colour!  

I hope you're all enjoying your weekend, 
                                                             Iona x

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Super Simple Breakfast Smoothie

I'm really excited to share with you my first food-related blog post.
Recently I've been trying to stay as committed to healthy eating as I possibly can. Obviously, it's never going to be easy but it definitely does improve my overall mood when I do it right! At the same time though, I'm being careful not to get angry at myself when I go off track - I've had far too much experience with doing that in the past and it only leads to very negative places!

I do think it's very important to find a balance between eating well, and knowing when it's okay to eat pizza and cake. Life is too short to get too hung up about it!

That all said, I started off my day in a healthy and incredibly tasty manner with a breakfast smoothie.

You should probably know before I go any further...I'm not really one for using measurements when making smoothies. I kind of just chuck everything in and hope for the best! As of yet, it has never led to any disasters so I think it's okay, haha.

I made enough for a couple of small glasses (or one large one really), using:
  • 1 small kiwi
  • 6 wedges of fresh pineapple
  • Handful of cherries (5/6)
  • 150ml sweetened soya milk 

I used soya milk purely because I don't drink dairy milk, (though it would work just as well with any kind of milk) but because it's sweetened, it does give the smoothie a lovely sweet taste.  

There's not really a method to it...basically if you have a blender, put it in and blend it until it's smooth, haha!
Just to make it a little more interesting, after pouring it into my cup I added:

  • Handful of sunflower seeds
  • Handful of dried cranberries

This is relatively low-calorie (slightly higher if using dairy milk), so could accompany toast/cereal or whatever else you may enjoy for also makes a great healthy snack at any time of the day!

Please let me know what you think of this post or this recipe if you decide to try it! It would be much appreciated to get some feedback as this is not something I'm used to writing about, so I'd like to know if there's any point continuing!

Thanks for reading, 
                              Iona x