Tuesday, 9 January 2018

2017 Looking back to move forward

When you think back on 2017 what do you feel? Happy, sad,regretful, content. I am a very mixed bag if I am honest.
A week into 2018 and it's given me an opportunity to look back, but also look forward.

My health hasn't been great at all this year and I went through a big scare with my heart which I am still working through but you know what, knowing that I have the tools to get healthier etc lets me see I can make the changes needed.

We went through a hard time as a family, but with love and faith everything worked out and we could smile again. Sometimes you just gotta hold on to the knowledge that it will turn out ok.

Our fertility journey had to end as I have had to look at my health more closely and at the minute it's better to get healthier first, that was a bitter pill to swallow, but I know in times we can pick things up again, and try again.

2017 was definitely a year of ups and downs and one of the biggest ones is my best friend Joanne got engaged to the fab Gareth. Joanne went through an awful period and to see her get her happy ever after, well I am bloody chuffed and I can't wait to buy a hat.

I spent some fantastic nights in and out with my two main men. I couldn't love these two anymore if I tried, through all the downs they have stood firm beside me, and never faltered.

Another high was we booked NYC and as you read this I am probably writing and rewriting our itinerary lol we head away soon to celebrate 10 years of married bliss and in all honesty we couldn't be happier. NYC has been on the bucketlist for a long time. We are going with our best friends Nicola and Alex, and judging by this pic of Nikki and I on a night out, I would say some laughs will be had.

Another big big high is my blogging girls. We shared some fab days and nights and ended the year with a lovely dinner and a secret Santa. I can honestly say this year has brought me closer to so many of the girls, and they have helped me through so so many rough days, I would be lost without them. I think 2018 will bring more laughs and fun with them for sure.

We had some great nights out with friends, these guys and girls, see me through so many rough times, and I cant wait to make 2018 even better with them.

So, looking into 2018, where do you want to be?
I know for me the main focus is health, with that comes weight loss and for me now it's purely for health.

I don't really make resolutions they are more so goals, I don't like the word resolution if i am honest, so I hear you yell what are these goals, sometimes with the word resolution comes lots of pressure for me, so goals that are achievable is definitely my way forward this year.

Try and be more mindful and present
2017 was the year I discovered meditation and mindfulness and I really try hard with it, but like anything I could try harder and practice it more. It really clears my head and makes me see things clearer.

Work on my health
Well that's a big goal and has to come in a few parts. Firstly weight, I am not putting numbers out there this year but I just need to lose it to become healthier to achieve my dream of becoming a mummy in a few years. That crave for a baby never leaves and I need to be healthier to get the treatment we need desperately.
I am not going to be 100% all of the time and that's ok, we fall but I will get back up.
I had a big scare with the ticker this year and although it could have been better it could have been a lot worse but I got the all clear from the team to start light exercise, so I am determined even if it's small there will be a start. You guys know my battle with M.E and my spine but you know what, I just have to adjust and be safe and I will. I love the feeling it gives to exercise, nature's endorphins!
Working on my diabetes is a huge one, but I know with healthier choices it will start and work better.
I need to drink 3 litres a day of water in some capacity, now I know you're gonna go Alison what you playing at, hear me out. I am now on a trial of a medication for my diabetes which is all to do with hormones and kidneys and basically it's to help the kidneys flush the sugar etc easier.

Another big goal is to actually do what I want with the blog. So many times this past year I have said, oh I need to do this, have the latest product, be seen at the right events but nope not this year. My blogging girls are amazing, I have so much love for them it makes me so happy to have them in my life. They are all amazing in their own way.

I think all that should keep me going for a while, what do you think?

I think that's enough goals for now gang, so where do you see yourself this year. I wish you nothing but love and luck this year. Strive to make every dream possible and you will achieve it.

Till next time preeners, stay safe and keep smiling

Monday, 18 December 2017

Last minute alternative Christmas gifts

Hey loves
So, have you left the gift getting to the last minute and you stumbled upon this post hoping for help. Well sit back, and let me give you a few ideas for some last minute gifts that is a little more special than the latest lippie or the random  voucher (note I do love a lippie and voucher though lol)

I adore gifts that have a meaning behind them, like the star my best friend Joanne named in memory of my mummy the Christmas after she passed, or the gorgeous frame our friends filled with pictures for us.
These next few ideas are either readily available or if ordered asap will be with you for the big day.

Star Gifts
Now I know the science behind it all is flawed, but when my best friend Joanne bought me one in memory of my mummy, it was one of the most special gifts I have ever received.
I think this is a gorgeous gift even in memory or to celebrate a day.
You can buy the stars to name from so many places, this is one I found to be really good value 

Or another unique gift I found when looking into the stars was this from Not on the high street by a company called Greater Skies.  You email the team a time,date and place and the print is the stars that were in the sky at that time. You can also personalise it which again is so special isn't it. This could work for so many occasions and I must admit I have it in mind for an upcoming gift I need to get.

Memory Jar
I found this in my local pound shop for £2 and next year I am going to get Scott and I to fill in a little piece of paper maybe on date night or when something funny had happened. Then maybe on NYE next year we can open it and look back on the year.
You could easily make this yourself with a glass jar, ribbon and some nice paper.
Another idea that would fit in with this is a date night jar. We always try to do date night every month at least and I think it would be great to get a pretty box or jar and put 12 dates in it you would both like to do and pick one out as a surprise every month. Personally, I would love to get this as a gift as it's soo sweet.

A charity gift
My mummy and daddy for years had bought me a goat couple from Oxfam, and I loved getting the wee card every year. Now that mummy isn't with us, I buy a goat in her name every year and send the card to daddy.  There are lots of different types of gifts available for people who like different things, it' a great way to make your Christmas gift to someone really count. Grab your own goat here

Personalised notebook
Now anyone who knows me, knows I adore stationery, like I could literally buy a notebook everyday, and when I saw these available in Next I jumped at the chance. I want to record our trip away so I thought it would be a great idea to get. You could get this and personalise it with so many options, recipes, poetry, blogger ideas. The options are endless. Unfortunately because these are so personalised, they do take around 5 to 7 days, but grab it here and hope for quick postage.

I hope these last minute gift ideas have given some food for thought, and you are online getting some last minute shopping with a glass of wine.
Till next time loves
Keep smiling and shopping
Ali xx

Friday, 1 December 2017

Deerstalker Portrush Review

Hey my lovelies, hope we all are well,and getting used to this crazy cold weather. Please tell me, someone else wants to hibernate till January!

So, today I am back with a review of Deerstalker Bar and Restaurant in Portrush. We recently visited it for Scotts birthday with some of our friends, and I wanted to share a little review. I hadn't ate in the complex since it had changed over to the Deerstalker, but we had heard fantastic thanks, so I decided to surprise Scott with a little get together. Madison and the team could not have been more helpful, they put our party down into the study area, and had set up a gorgeous private area for us, it made it all that little more special.

Most of us started with cocktails, and seriously guys, the cocktails were fantastic, I tried a number of them including espresso martinis, brambles, french martinis to name just a few and we all agreed the cocktails were gorgeous. The bar has a new cocktail menu out at the minute, and I am actually popping in for a ladies night, so I will keep you up to date with the new menu.

The menu itself had a fantastic choice of food, there were a couple of vegetarians in the group and they found it really easy to get a dish that was suitable. One thing I will say is, the portions are very generous in regards to the starter, so in hindsight 2 or 3 people could share a starter, especially the wings or the quesadillas, so it's worthwhile taking that into consideration. We all really enjoyed the starters, quite a few people raved about the wings and Scott said the quesadillas were fantastic. I had the asparagus and I have to admit, looking at everyone elses starters, the asparagus definitely could have been better with presentation.

Another round of cocktails and our mains were ready. The mains all came out at the same time which for a party our size, we were super impressed by, but unfortunately, my friends pork was completely cold and had to be changed which although not great, we understood these things happen at times.
Special mention had to go to the lasagne, I think the chef was feeding the 5000, again the portion was generous, and the 2 people that had it, really loved it. I tried Scotts spicy hake, and had one of those oh I wish I ordered that moments, it was a really flavoursome dish, with lots of spice and fab textures.
We were all really impressed apart from the pork, but these things happen and apart from that we couldn't complain about the meal.

We didn't have any dessert, as between the starter, main, cocktails, and Scotts birthday cake, we were all nicely satisfied! 

Overall, it was a really nice evening and the menu is a really reasonable price. Having the extra privacy down in the study was a really nice treat and it made it feel extra special, so definitely if you are looking somewhere for a nice casual bite to eat, the Deerstalker should definitely be on your list to try.

I won't tell you about going into Lush, to see Paul Van Dyke after the meal, but imagine 4 30 somethings in the VIP bar loving life! 

Thanks to Madison and her team for a fantastic evening, and I will be sure to let you know how the ladies night goes. If you fancy a night out tonight, pop in for a bite to eat and a boogie.
Till next time lovelies, keep smiling
Ali x

Check out the Deerstalker here

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Date night with Revolucion de Cuba Belfast

Hey lovelies, hope you all had a fantastic Halloween and you're ready for all the Christmas fun to come, but before we get to Christmas, how about a date night with a Latin twist?
When the team from Rumormill got in touch, to see if hubby and I fancied trying out Belfast's newest Cuban Bar and Cantina, we decided it would be a great date night treat.


Sunday, 22 October 2017

Pearly Whites with The White House

Hey lovelies, hope your all well, and the storm didn't hit too bad where you were. You may remember from my social media, that I was invited up to The White House teeth whitening clinic in Belfast to have my teeth treated, and I thought I would give you the rundown on it all.

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