{One word}

f489f35ea724fb3d5c532bdd69fa48a7I learned about the “One Word movement” from my friend’s blog and I think it’s a great idea. The concept behind it is instead of making a New Year resolution, that might be hard to maintain, you have one word you try to live by for 12 months (or that’s my understanding).

I thought about what mine should be for a while- what did I want mine to be? Then a huge list started to build in my head of what I wanted to do this year and I felt completely overwhelmed. My energy this year is focused on my studies, my family, my hopes to explore and travel more , my wish to improve my personal style, my need to stay on top of time management, my need for a creative output, my hopes to start a veg garden. And then I remembered, this year I’ll probably try to do these things because they are important to my mental happiness. But what do I need to remind myself to do?  I need to remember to breathe and enjoy the moment.

Sometimes I struggle to stop and breathe. I think “Oh, this is lovely but I really should be doing……”

And then I started writing a list on how I could encourage this new personal mantra. Thoughts of meditation, yoga and reading started started running through my head and I though “No! Just breathe!” Are you doing the One Word this year?

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Ah, free-ness!

IMG_9443My dissertation proposal is finished. Hurrah! I submitted it 20 minuets before the deadline, take that, poorly organised ghost of essays past! My essay was submitted on time rather than 3 hours late and I didn’t have to beg the university security guards to let me into the closed building to put my essay in the submission box. (Because really, the tutors say the deadline is 5pm but they wont empty that box till tomorrow morning so come on, let me in so I can put this essay to bed!)  It is true, the me three years ago was only slightly less organised than the me today, but I can’t say it’s not an improvement! This essay was handed in before the 5pm deadline and I think that is something of a personal achievement.

(I’m a qualified staff nurse and I am doing my master degree in Specialist Community Public Health Care. My work is training me to become a Health Visitor so right now I split my time between uni and working as a “staff nurse” health visitor)

I have two weeks holiday to take before I start the next semester. I remember last Autumn Beth finished class for the week and we were berry picking on our walk home.  I really love how free spirited my darling sweet daughter is, she becomes wild in open spaces. That day she flung off her coat and school bag, spread out her arms like she always does when free in nature, and shouted “Ahh, free-ness!” I felt like shouting those words today too but then I remembered I’m an embarrassed self-conscious adult and not as cute as a five year old.

_MG_9452IMG_9430I mean, who else but a five year old could dance this well to The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks?

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Hello 2015!

_MG_9241 _MG_9248 _MG_9286 IMG_9207 IMG_9217 IMG_9223 IMG_9271 IMG_9296 IMG_9297 IMG_9304 IMG_9308 IMG_9338 IMG_9340 PTDC0014 PTDC0037 PTDC0041 PTDC0053 PTDC0054 PTDC0057I took some of these pictures over Christmas and the blurry ones were taken by Beth- we give her a camera for Christmas.  As a family we managed to go star gazing over the holiday but it was so windy that none the pictures turned out very well! Graham took the kids and a kite to the beach today and it was pretty wild.

Did you have a great Christmas? I’ve been swamped down with an essay due in a couple of days then I’m free for two weeks. I think I might lay off the booze for January. Graham and I, umm, had a jolly time drinking too much over the festive period and my liver needs some rest. My good friends has a birthday next month so I’ll stop till then.

Thanks for all your time spent here over the last year. I hope 2015 blesses you with much joy, warmth and love.

How to have a free day in Glasgow with kids

  10869727_803526703037608_201214012135151749_o(I’m doing a couple of posts over the next few weeks on how to enjoy Glasgow with kids on a shoe string budget.)

So firstly, you’re gonna need a cuppa coffee, right? Free coffees in Glasgow can be found all over with a bit of savvy insight.

10854905_803527209704224_1390464341912121270_oAfter a busy day of shopping in the city centre go into Paperchase on Buchanan street. At the till you can get a free loyalty card that allows you a hot drink once a week.  The cafe is a Tinderbox and the coffee is so gooooood. And the cakes are fantastic.  I worked in a Tinderbox years ago and I loved getting free stale goodies at the end of the night.

246573_371523626237920_1991101552_nNext is waitrose on Byres Road. You can get a free hot drink to take away on your way to The Botanic Gardens, or if it’s raining take it into the library across the road and let the kids run about while you sit on the coach and have a ten minuet read on your free metro you lifted outside the Hillhead Underground.

165868_396962800360669_1293632105_nStill need a coffee, huh? OK, lets go to IKEA. You need to take the car or the bus but don’t stress, it’s a simple job.  The car takes about 8 mins and the 747 bus from town takes about 20 mins. Take your free family card and during the week you’ll get a cuppa for zilch. Go one step bigger and put the kids in the free soft play, get your coffee and get comfy. Spend £1 and you can throw a bacon roll into the mix.

243605_170928156297469_7305943_oSo you don’t want a free coffee? But you want to go to a cafe with your kids? OK, you wanna go to Waterstones on Sauchiehall street. The Costa downstairs is next to the kids bit.  There you’ll find a table under the stairs set up with paper, pens and toys to play with. Further in the kids bit there are seasonal activities set up to explore.  Have a teddy bear picnic in the Summer or hide in the play tent with a Gruffalo. Plus if you get a Costa club card you can collect points for a free coffee.  I like to get my coffee in a paper cup and read to Beth and Arthur. Plus, the staff are pretty forgiving if you show consideration to the non-child friendly customers. We read some books but take care not to damage them.  It seems the norm in this store and most customers can be found in the cafe reading one of their books.  Just whatever you aren’t reading put back to safe the staff a tiresome job!

20130130-082946Another nice cafe to take kidlings too? Lets go to The 78 where they have space, a comfy sofa and a roaring fire. It’s near the Kelvingrove park and the coffee is great!

Oh, you wanted a cup of tea? OK lets go somewhere to go with a well behaved child then, lets go to Tchai Ovna. Aside from great teas this cosy place has board games, books, a fairy garden, blankets,  and a vintage book shop next door. I love the Spiced Ginger tea and the Apple Strudel tea. Beth loves the Fairy Blood tea if you little something fruity. Also, the Yogi Yogi Chai kicks serious butt!

So I hope that gives you somewhere to start. Sadly, I’m yet to find a place in Glasgow when you can get free wine!

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