The Power of the Simple: part 4.

My driving instructor once told me “You’re too focused on the small details that you forget how to drive sometimes.”  I was trying to find the second turn on the right and forgot to slow down and change gear in order to go around the corner, but look who’s still here?!  Anyway, I think he put it rather well and I’ve been thinking a lot about what he said.  Am I too focused on the little things that I forget about the bigger picture?

Even just now, I’m sat on the train trying to write a personal statement and I stop for a moment and look out the window; straight away I see a pheasant then followed by a little bunny and then some old ruins on top of a hill that I’ve never noticed before even though I’ve taken this very same train so many times I can’t even remember anymore.

This can be related to my blog as I am in the middle of reading a book for a review but I'm so focused on that one post until now I have been unable to really write much else. 

But on a broader scale what does it mean?  What am I missing out on in life because I am too busy obsessing over the small and minor things?

Probably I am far too obsessive, a bit of a perfectionist, if anything is worth doing it’s worth doing it right.  I write to-do lists and try and plan my whole life out, although I have learned that it is impossible to plan everything… I still try.  My friend calls me a micro-manager.  But maybe this is my problem, maybe this is society’s problem.  Maybe we are all too focused, too goal orientated, maybe we do forget the simple but important things in life.  Maybe we’re all too busy going from A to B (even to C) to stop and appreciate the world around us.  For example, when you go away somewhere, whether it’s for a night, a couple of nights a week or whatever, you see things in a new light, you have time to stop and enjoy the little things, you have time to switch off even for a little while.   Maybe we need more of this in life and less of our hectic schedules, I know it’s not always possible but maybe we need to stop hurtling through life as if we have all the time in the world before we eventually realise we are running out of time.

Or maybe I am just full of maybes.  Or maybe I am just busy procrastinating from writing my bloody personal statement.  I guess what I’m getting at is sometimes just stop; take a deep breath, have a look around you, relax and do more of what you love.  Look after yourself, because life is too short to whittle it away.

As always,
Love, Lauren x 

Diggin' in and gettin' dirty at the Boozy Cow.

"We don't use plates here, or forks and knives... you share your food on a tray, use your fingers, get dirty and dig in."  The waiter advised us, he then went on to say "The person you're sat across from is who you'll be sharing a tray with." leading the four of us to each eye up our respective tray sharing buddy.  This was our first time eating at the Boozy Cow, one of my friends had tried the Edinburgh one and I had been in for some drinks at the one down by the Illicit Still but none of us had been to the new restaurant on Langstane Place.

The place is so freakin cool!  It's so relaxed, modern, and quirky... and not only that it donates all of it's profits to charities.  So once I heard this I done a little bit of research (all of the information can be found on their website - so I guess I didn't have to look too far) and they donate to local charities such as CHAS and the Archie Foundation, the VSA and the STV Children's Appeal.  How cool is that?  The mission statement on their site even explains:

"Garreth Wood’s latest venture aims to pour up to £1million into charitable causes by 2018."

I think it's so admirable that the owner has invested so much time and money into this and that even in this economy where everyone seems to be struggling he has devoted the successful Boozy Cow chain to helping local charities.  Not only that I think it makes dining there so much more fun, it's for a good cause and in all honesty I'd much rather my money went to good use. 

Check out all that burgery-
Impressed to find that this had
real pieces of popcorn!

When our trays full of food arrived we really did just dig in and literally get dirty - it's a good thing they leave a kitchen roll on your table for you, cos we definitely needed a lot! Bacon cheeseburgers, fries, onion rings, popcorn chicken all the typical burger bar food... but these burgers tasted so fresh and they were so juicy, absolutely the best burgers I've had in a long time.  All of the food was great, I just wish we'd had room for one of their desserts or a boozy milkshake or something  but we were honestly just stuffed.  Seriously, if nothing else tempts you to go the food definitely will and it's not all just beef burgers!  They have chicken or veggie options, salads, hot dogs... there definitely is something for everyone here.  

AND one of my favourite things about this restaurant?  Yep, that's right the ladies toilets!  I mean I don't know if they decorate the men's in this way but the stalls are covered in inspiration quotes... I know it's sad but who doesn't love an inspirational quote when they visit the little girl's room?  I definitely do.

Well to be honest the whole place is decorated like this, and I just love it!  But the feminist quotes and everything in their loos are a real hit with me. It's so fresh and on trend but at the same time so laid back and it's really nothing too sophisticated - really it's perfect.  

Next time you're planning on going out for some food you just have to try this place out!  So chilled out, the no plates and cutlery rule just adds to the fun and with all of the profits going to our own local charities how can you say no? It's an amazing idea, with amazing food, and an amazing atmosphere, what more could you want?  I know we'll definitely be back again soon.

So as always,

Love, Lauren x

A weekend in the Hideaway.


In my previous post I mentioned that we were going away for the weekend. Two of our friends are moving back the Czech so we threw a good leaving party that lasted all weekend.   One of the group members found an amazing place near Banchory that would fit all 13 of us called the Hideaway.  When I was told about this place it was described as a cottage... but there is no way this place is a cottage!  It is so big, and beautiful, the surrounding scenery was breathtaking, definitely a country house - but not what my idea of a cottage is... anyways we were off to the 'cottage'!  

The Cottage.

Our view.
It was about a 45 minute drive from Aberdeen and we all brought heaps of food for the BBQ they had at the cottage and, of course, lots of alcohol.  It was honestly amazing.  On the ground floor there were 3 big bedrooms and up the stairs the attic was converted to a fourth and fifth bedroom but we managed to squeeze more people up there. 

We arrived there Friday evening and left on Sunday evening.  And what can I say about what we all got up to?  Well the plan had been to go for some hikes and enjoy the beautiful countryside that we were surrounded by.  But we were all far too hungover to go anywhere on Saturday (shame on us!).  On the Saturday we made some food and we all ended up needing to go for a recovery nap after some hearty goulash before the evening drinking commenced.  So after our naps we started up the grill, got some card games on the go and had another great night in the cottage.  Then on the Sunday we all lazed about enjoying our last day in the cottage, and played some more cards out in the sun as it was a beautiful day! 

However, we did manage to visit Craigiever Castle and go for a walk around the grounds... so we weren't totally bad right?!

The gang.
The group at the cottage were absolutely crazy and we all had such a good laugh.  Really it was the best send off and we spent the whole weekend drinking, eating and relaxing which I think we all needed.  In fact I'm sure when I surfaced at 11ish on Saturday I was greeted with a shot of Morgans Spiced... eugh.  I don't think I'll be drinking Morgans for a long time.

That's 18 bottles... to be exact.
Honestly, going back to normal life on Monday was so difficult, I think we all miss the crazy times we had together in the cottage.  I loved it there, and although it's so sad to say goodbye to our friends it's exciting to see them start their new adventure.  Like I said it was the best send off and a good excuse for everyone to get together and just have an amazing weekend, hopefully we will have many more trips together.

So finally I would like to wish this crazy woman good luck in her new adventure with her lovely boyfriend, we will all miss them both.

Anyways, as always,

Love, Lauren x

Profile Hair: May is for... Makeovers?

Hello lovelies!

I'm in the middle of giving my blog a wee makeover as you may have seen, finally!  Apparently May is for Makeovers because the blog is not the only thing that I have freshened up, I myself have made some changes.

The before... AND the after!

Yep!  That's right, I'm a blondie again and I am absolutely loving it!  Okay, so I actually got my hair done at the end of April, just in time for May so that still counts right?  For my transformation I decided to try out a new place in Aberdeen and booked with Profile Hair on Huntly Street.  From the outside it looks deceptively small, but once you go inside it's like you've stepped into a funky, quirky and completely unique little haven.  I mean seriously I love the decor and the atmosphere of this salon; wooden walls and flooring, corrugated steel walls around the hair wash area and dotted around are pastel coloured skull candles (I want... no I need one!) and pieces of rock-chic jewelry from the MINE collection.  It's such an interesting mixture of relaxing and trendy and edgy.  I love it.

As I just mentioned the MINE jewelry collection is featured in the salon and the owner Amy Donaldson told me it is another passion of hers - she even creates some of her own jewelry which isn't featured in her collection... yet?!  I can't wait to see what else MINE has to offer as there was only a small collection of items in the salon at the time.  It turns out one Saturday a month Profile transforms from a salon to a boutique where MINE is properly displayed and the collection includes pieces from totally unique and original designers.  Next time the boutique is on I will definitely be checking it out (at the bottom of this post there's a link that will tell you all about MINE and when the boutique is open).

Anyways, back to my hair.  So Paul cut and coloured my hair and he was simply just lovely.  I mean he seemed so experienced, genuine and was great to sit and chat away to as he transformed my hair.  I really enjoyed my experience in the salon with him and he gave me exactly what I wanted.  Not only that he then told me that they use a really gentle bleach, so I was gladly surprised to find my hair was still in such great condition after the treatment as I had expected it to be dry or at least a bit damaged.  

It's so refreshing to leave a salon and feel, well, a million bucks haha!  I mean I've spent a lot more money in other salons to come out and like my hair but not LOVE it you know what I mean?  I will definitely be back to visit again soon, but until then I'm just gonna keep enjoying being blonde (again!) I feel so refreshed, and bubbly and like the old Lauren again finally!

So, until next time,

Love, Lauren x

Kildrummy Park Castle

Hello May!

And happy Sunday folks!  I hope everyone is enjoying their weekends as much as I am.  So last Sunday it was my sister's birthday and we took her to Kildrummy Park Castle for the day.  It was so Downton Abbey-esque... and we loved every minute of it!  

Kildrummy Castle is about an hours drive outside of Aberdeen near Alford.  The castle itself is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, completely surrounded by the countryside and wildlife which is honestly amazing.  It's so serene and relaxing that if you were going to stay overnight in their hotel I'm sure you wouldn't want to leave - heck I didn't want to leave!  

We had an amazing 3 course meal; mushroom fricasse, fresh fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding.  It was all so good, we were too late to order off the lunch menu so we were given the bar menu which was still full of good choices... but I would love to see what their other menus are like!  From what we saw it looked like everything was fresh and local such a refreshing change nowadays to be honest.  I wish I'd taken photos of it all but I was far too excited to eat I completely forgot, oops. 
The old castle ruins close to Kildrummy Park.
Now my favourite part was looking around the castle, one of our friends works there so once he finished he took us around the grounds and we saw so much wildlife!  There were baby bunnies, pheasants and so many different birds all over the place and I
loved it!  We were going to go down to the old castle ruins but it was so cold and it was going to get dark soon so we decided to leave it until next time, at least that's a reason to go back sometime soon.  After exploring the grounds a bit we had a look around all the rooms downstairs in the castle that are open to guests to visit and they were just beautiful.  Our friend told us that all of the rooms have been left as original as possible which really adds to the castles authentic and historic look.  Here's just a few pictures I managed to get:

A fireplace in the hallway of the reception.
The Drawing Room.
The Library - my favourite room.
I have so many more photos but I won't completely ruin it for everyone, I'll leave it for you guys to go and see for yourselves!

So all in all I absolutely loved the visit and so did my sister.  The food was so good, the location perfect and the castle was just beautiful - it truly deserves it's 4 stars!  I honestly would recommend going here, even just for a meal or if you have any special occassions I am sure staying in the castle would be a perfect way to celebrate... I wish I had a good excuse to stay there.  I'm sure we'll be back sometime soon anyways.

As always,

Love, Lauren x