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…in with the year 2014!

Announcement: Just found out today that my good friend of at least 13 years, Bec, and her fiancé Stu, tied the knot on New Year’s Day in Australia! Couldn’t be happier for the lovely couple, congratulations and here’s to many happy years together as husband and wife!

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Permission granted by Bec for photos to be displayed

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I can say with complete confidence that the year 2013 went out with lots of good, and bad, memories to remind me that life goes on and it’s all about holding your head high, learning from those life lessons and moving on towards becoming a happy individual.

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The Rambo Lindt bear

I spent the Christmas holidays in Hong Kong with my family and friends, so I decided it was only fair to spend Hogmanay (or New Year to everyone else) with Colin’s parents, especially for my first Christmas away. The kitties certainly enjoyed their extended holiday as we immediately went for our ‘holiday’ at the ‘rents the day after I got back and spent a good few days there.

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Tigger and Nala relaxing on my faux fur throw

Although they live about a minute away by car, it was still like a mini holiday away, not staying at home and being able to just relax and not worry about keeping the house clean for a short while. The kitties were well spoilt, especially since they’ve got their own beds up there.

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Tigger and Nala relaxing on their radiator beds

As tradition dictates, Scottish like to bring in the new year with a tall, dark and handsome male first-footing it through your door (meaning the first guest to enter your house, it is considered lucky if this guest is tall, dark-haired and male) and sharing a piece of shortbread in the shape of a sun.

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Homemade Scottish shortbread the OH made

It may still be one day shy of a full week in the new year, but if this is an indication of how the rest of the year will be, I’m looking forward to the remaining 359 days! First wedding of the year was an exciting announcement for me and I’ve also been enjoying some great food! I’ve heard about The Original Edinburgh Cheesecake Company, but had never gotten a taste of their scrumptious cakes, so when we finally got some slices to enjoy at home, I knew (to the detriment of my own health) I’d be a regular customer.

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The Original Edinburgh Cheesecake Company

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Slices of The West End (chocolate fudge brownie) and Hunter Square (cream coconut and Bounty) cheesecake

Fully set cheesecake can sometimes be too filling, but my favourite part is the soft cream cheese topping with soft bits of brownie through the cream cheese which makes eating the slice as decadent as you can get.

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My slice of The West End

I liked their cheesecake so much that I asked the OH to make a similar cheesecake, but with Oreos for dinner last night when we had guests over.

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Our homemade Oreo cheesecake, will post a recipe up soon

I was also pleased to meet up with some of good friends and we went to one of our favourite foodie haunts, Red Box Noodle Bar. I’ve only ever been to one other similar store, Wok to Walk, where you pretty much choose your noodles, ingredients, sauce and/or side dish and drink and they’ll prepare everything for you and bring it to you.

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Dinner at Red Box

I normally pick the same dishes, which are similar to what I like to eat when it comes to authentic Chinese noodle dishes, so for this meal, I had roast duck, bean sprouts, straw mushrooms and pak choi with oyster sauce and ho fun noodles, and a side dish of woh tiep, a street snack dumpling with pork and veg.

The purpose of this blog is to remind us that a good belly, done in moderation of course, makes for a good head. You can not only think better when you eat well, but you’ll also feel better about yourself, and what better way to do it than enjoy good food? It’s not a recommendation to cut out all sugars and fats etc completely from your diet, but as long as it’s not consumed out of hand, you can occasionally enjoy a nice sweet or pudding (that’s Scots for dessert, by the way) at your leisure without feeling too guilty about it.

I usually have a bad habit of never meeting any of my New Year’s Resolutions, so I’ve decided to be sensible about what I want to try and achieve this year. Mine are:

  • Keep up the twice weekly Combat classes that I’ve been maintaining (with the exception of holidays where this wasn’t possible in 2013) for the past 15 months
  • Find inspiration for my jewellery and dressmaking projects and create something I’ve never done before (that means stepping away from the trusty dresses and making something completely different!). Need some inspiration? How about these ideas from Etsy?
  • Start a ‘Good Things Jar’ (or what I’d like to think of, and call my own, the Positivity Jar) and keep filling it with positivity, whether it be quotes, memories or photos
  • Drink more water (which at the moment is the Volvic Touch of Fruit Strawberry kind, which I hope to move to tap water), and
  • Reduce my sweets/sugar intake (that includes working harder on my Coke and sweetie consumption, darn that sweet tooth!)
  • Eat healthier, which includes less salt, soy sauce (my secret food vice), sugar and milk (doesn’t agree with me) by means of an elimination diet
  • Be more organised and sensible with my money, no more impulse spending (especially not with expensive goods!) and put aside some every month towards the Wedding pot
  • Go through my wardrobe at least 3 times this year to ruthlessly clear out anything I haven’t used/read/worn/touched in the last year to donate to charity

I think those goals are acheiveable, I might add to that if I come up with any more.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2014?

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