Monday, 31 December 2018

MEET UDON!

Are you ready to see the sweetest angel? Meet Udon! She's an African Pygmy Hedgehog, she's just turned eight weeks old, and she is the very cutest ball of spikes.


After Soba passed away I wasn't expecting to get another hedgehog any time soon, but given that there's only a few breeders in Scotland, I thought it was probably sensible to see if I could get on a waiting list. The only breeder I could find near Edinburgh said it might be December 2019 before she had available hoglets, but somehow I got lucky, and within the month I heard there was a tiny blonde girl available.

Fast forward a few weeks, and here we are! With the exception of stubbornly sleeping in her wheel instead of her lovely cosy bed, she's been a dream. Moving homes is, understandably, an overwhelming experience for a tiny hedgehog, but she's been so good! She has been friendly (!) and active, and straight away was happily eating her food and exploring her new home. What a good baby!


After years of owning Soba, it's so weird meeting a new hedgehog, with a very different personality. She's CONSIDERABLY less huffy than he was (bless you grumpy Soba, I still love you), she seems really into digging, and she's not really worked out she's meant to be nocturnal yet, but like Soba she's got all the signs of growing up into a very inquisitive tiny explorer.

She's going through her quilling stage at the moment, where she sheds her baby spines and grows new ones, which will also determine her adult colour (I hope she stays light, but who knows!). Soba will always be my o.g. but I am delighted to have Udon in my life and cannot wait to see her grow up!

Monday, 24 December 2018

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

What's that saying? The best made plans of mice and men! Obviously I was giddy on my blogging spree (9 posts in 8 weeks! I'm practically a professional), and had dreamt up all sorts of interesting festive things to write about, and then the lurgy struck. Not just any lurgy. A horrific cold that lasted for WEEKS, and coincided with my poor/very brave boyfriend being struck with flu which turned into an intense few days in hospital (!) with pneumonia.

But it's Chrrrrrriiiiiiistmas, and I am very ready for it.


Life has picked up. Our never-ending sickness has finally, finally lifted and I remember what it's like to not be sniffling constantly. Thanks to the December gods, we even managed to be better(ish) in time to escape up north for a few days for my birthday, and it was so so nice to get time to just read, tend a fire, and laze about, after the most frantic of months.

Now it's bedding in for Christmas time! We've got our tree up and it's a beaut - it's a real one from Ikea in their buy-a-£25-tree-get-a-£20-voucher deal (bargain). I love real Christmas trees, I think it's because I'd gladly fill my house with full size trees if I could. Plus they smell amazing!

Presents are wrapped, gingerbread is baked (and burned, but whatever), and I'm planning to spend the next few hours drinking Bailey's, watching Christmas movies, and attempting to build a gingerbread house. I've also got someone very special to introduce you to, but that's for another day.

Have a very merry Christmas, I'll see you on the other side!

Monday, 10 December 2018

A TRIP TO FUERTEVENTURA

It's absolutely freezing outside, so if you are dreaming of some winter sunshine, I have just the place for you. Boasting an average temperature of 20°C in December, beautiful coasts, easy direct flights from the UK, and a whole heap of quirky and interesting places to stay, Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, is lightyears away from the Brits-abroad island I thought it was.


We went in January this year, hopping on cheap-as-chips Ryanair flights for a week of much-needed sunshine and it was glorious.

WHERE WE STAYED


We were there with a big group of pals for a birthday trip, which meant we were able to splash out and book this amazing Airbnb villa (which was still a bit of a bargain, given the size it was). It had a huge garden filled with loungers and hammocks, a beautiful pool (that admittedly, was a bit too cold in January, but we did go in it!), a massive kitchen and lovely rooms.

The villa was in the small surfing town of Lajares, which had lots of little bakeries, interesting shops, a market, restaurants and bars. I am not a fan of places that are too touristy, so it was nice to find this little town that was super welcoming with lots of local charm.

I found loads of lovely Airbnbs in Fuerteventura, when we were looking for this villa. How nice is this super quirky guesthouse? Ugh, take me back! (If you haven't tried airbnb yet, use this link to sign up and get money off!).

WHAT WE DID


We hired a car (pretty much a must in Fuerteventura), so we had lots of opportunities to explore the island. The whole place is beautiful - it's volcanic and rocky, which makes from some incredible scenery, with huge gorgeous beaches.

Hands down my favourite thing, was discovering that the island was inhabited by tiny adorable ground squirrels, who would eat from your hand! We climbed up a volcanic crater near Lajares armed with some monkey nuts, and were instantly covered in very brave squirrels, who knew exactly what they wanted and had zero fear in getting it. As a lover of small animals, this was my dream come true, but maaaay be something to watch out for if you don't want tiny animals descending on you.

We explored a lot of the island. We went to Morro Jable, visited the turtle sanctuary and saw wild stingrays looking for scraps from fishermen in the harbour. We went to massive beaches, which were beautiful, but a bit windy to sit out on (instead we found nice beach bars, and hung out there instead). We stood under the giant statues at Morro Velosa, and learned the reason that most of the island's towns are inland is because the coast used to be threatened by pirates. We climbed rocks and followed adventurous trails, and it was so much fun.

WHAT WE ATE


As there was a big group of us, we cooked a lot at our airbnb, hanging out there in the evenings to play games and catch up. The house had a massive barbecue, so it was perfect for big cookouts with loads of food from the local shops.

Lajares was peppered with bakeries, so it was a total delight to try every one of them. My favourite moment was going into one and buying everyone of their 'fuerte' goat-shaped biscuits (delicious, would eat again). We found lots of excuses to stop for jamón and goats cheese (when in Spain!), and ate loads of amazing fish in tiny restaurants by the sea.

The hardest place to pick food was in Corralejo, the island's largest resort town. Everything seemed a bit bland and touristy, but we came across Single Fin, a really cute burger place that was tiny but packed full of personality and flavour.

All in all, it was an excellent and pretty affordable escape from winter.

Monday, 3 December 2018

THE HOLY GRAIL OF TIGHTS: SNAG TIGHTS

Like many women/tights-wearers, I feel like I've been on an eternal hunt to find tights that look nice and, more importantly, fit properly! For years, I've been plagued by irritating tights. Tights that fall down, tights that bunch around your ankles, tights that ladder immediately, tights that sit too low or too high, tights that need pulling up ALL DAY LONG. AAARGH.

I would have given up on tights a long time ago, but I a) wear dresses all the time, and b) live in Scotland, so going bare legged just isn't an option. I had accepted my irritating existence, then one day I spotted an advert for Snag Tights, and it got my attention. Their tights were only £6.99 too so, not expecting anything, I ordered them. And reader, at the risk of hyperbole, they changed EVERYTHING.


I can hand on heart say they are the comfiest, best fitting tights I have worn in my entire adult life. They don't fall down! You just put them on, and they are comfy, and you don't think about your tights all day. That should be the norm, but it made me realise how uncomfy I've been on a daily basis, and how I've just accepted that it's the only option for me. No more.

Normal tights vary in length, but not by width, which is why it can be such a struggle to find tights that actually fit if you don't have a cookie cutter body shape. Snag tights are genuinely different sizes, which are sized based on your dress size, height and body shape.

They are a small UK-based brand, and bit-by-bit they've been expanding their range so now they offer 80 denier, 50 denier, sheer tights, fishnet tights, shorts and kids tights, plus all of their products are really affordable. I've thrown out all my old tights and won't look back, bye baggy denier, hello (not so) holy grail!

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