Thursday, 30 July 2015

Veggie Burgers and Modern Art

Handmade Burger Co Glasgow

Handmade Burger Co Glasgow

Handmade Burger Co Glasgow

Handmade Burger Co Glasgow

Handmade Burger Co Glasgow

Handmade Burger Co Glasgow

Handmade Burger Co Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow


Last weekend I went to Glasgow to stay with my sister. I hadn't been to Glasgow for a few weeks, and it felt truly great to be back. As lovely as Stirling is, it's not home in the same way that Glasgow is. One thing I've been meaning to do ever since I moved to Glasgow last year is visit the Gallery of Modern Art. Since my sister and I had about half of the day together before she would start working in the afternoon, we decided to pop into the centre and have a look. To be honest, the best thing about GoMA was the building. It's incredibly beautiful, and I loved the contrast between the old building and the modern art, even though I'm always a bit befuddled by modern artwork. Most of the time I don't really get it, even though I wish I did. 

We also decided to treat ourselves to lunch and tried out Handmade Burger Co on St Vincent Street. I'd heard good things about it, but my expectations weren't that high anyway, and I was pleasantly surprised. The place itself is a beautiful combination of old and new, vintage and industrial. I loved the light bulbs hanging from the ceiling and the balcony with its beautiful railing. But let's get on to the food. I was really happy to see that they had such an extensive selection of vegetarian and vegan options. We decided to order two veggie burgers and then split them in half, and opted for the sweet potato and bean burger with mango and ginger salsa, plus the chickpea and quinoa burger with HBC's own burger relish. Both burgers were delicious - flavoursome and moist, just like veggie burgers should be. To our delight they also had sweet potato fries on the menu, so we shared a bucket of those. It was a bit expensive, but considering the quality of the food, the service and the location, I'd say it was well worth it. I'm already excited to go back and try their other veggie burgers. 

Did you get up to anything fun the past weekend?

Love, Mimmi

Sunday, 26 July 2015

34 Small Things That Make Me Happy

Field of Poppies - 34 Small Things That Make Me Happy

Instead of my usual Happy Post, I'm changing it up a wee bit today with a list of small, everyday things that make life beautiful. These posts pop up every now and then and I always love reading them. So it only seemed logical to write one myself! The most common amount seems to be 50, but I decided to just keep going until it felt right, and ended up with 34. Anyway, I'll stop rambling now. Here are 34 little things in everyday life that make me happy -

1. Sweet and juicy strawberries.

2. Massive mugs of tea.

3. Skype dates with friends and family.

4. Quiet mornings.

5. Morning walks, when barely no one is up and the world is quiet and calm.

6. A really good book.

7. When you find that thing you've been lusting over in the sale.

8. Beautiful bookshops.

9. Really pretty stationery.

10. Getting into bed after a long day, when you're tired to the bone.

11. Perfectly ripe avocados.

12. Dog cuddles.

13. Seeing nature change as the seasons replace one another.

14. Almond butter.

15. Exploring new places by foot.

16. When your porridge is the perfect consistency; not too thick and not too runny.

17. Newly washed bedding.

18. That feeling when you're really thirsty and finally get to drink a glass of cold water.

19. Harry Potter. The books, the movies, the whole world.

20. Chocolate. Anytime.

21. Waking up naturally with the sunlight.

22. Those incredibly good songs/albums that send shivers down your spine, they're just that good.

23. The first signs of spring.

24. When you see someone you haven't seen for ages, and that wonderful I've-missed-you-hug.

25. Eating outside in the warmth of the sunshine.

26. Getting into your jammies after a long day at work.

27. Woodland walks. Or walks in the countryside in general, actually.

28. Cotton bedsheets against bare skin.

29. Travelling by train and being able to simply enjoy the scenery through the window.

30. Quiet summer rain that makes the air smell sweet.

31. Sweet potatoes.

32. Not having to break in new shoes.

33. Walking past all kinds of beautiful flowers, like the poppies above.

34. Summer evenings.

What makes you happy?

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

On Board the Jacobite Train

The Jacobite Train

The Jacobite Train

The Jacobite Train

The Jacobite Train

Glenfinnan Viaduct

The Jacobite Train on the Glenfinnan Viaduct

Glenfinnan Viaduct


Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

Mallaig

Mallaig

Last Friday after I had finished work, my mum, my sister and I took the train up to Fort William, along the West Highland Railway Line. That evening was rainy and dark, so we couldn't appreciate the scenery, but thankfully we got more chances the following days. After spending the night in a hotel, we were up bright and early to take the Jacobite Train from Fort William to Mallaig. The Jacobite Train is an old steam train which originally started running in 1901, as a connection to the rural Western Highlands. It was in use up until 1967, when the services stopped. Then, in 1984, the steam train started running its original route again, as a way of promoting tourism in the area. A lot of people recognise the train mainly as the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter movies, which of course is one reason why my sister and I desperately wanted to take it. About halfway through the two hour trip, we passed the scenic Glenfinnan Viaduct, which is also featured in the HP movies. We were a bit unlucky with the seats we got, since we were on the wrong side of the train to actually get a proper view of the viaduct. Eager as we were, however, we managed to have a look through one of the door windows on the other side for a few minutes, but getting good photos was incredibly difficult! Either way, it was a lovely experience. 

We arrived in the little harbour town Mallaig for lunch and had fish and chips before we jumped on the ferry to the Isle of Skye, which was incredibly beautiful - but that's for another post. On Sunday, we took the train back from Mallaig to Glasgow (a normal train, not the Jacobite, sadly!), and since the weather was significantly better I managed to get a couple of photos through the train window. They really don't do the scenery justice though, but I can promise it was breathtakingly beautiful. I'm forever in awe of how stunning Scotland is.

Love, Mimmi

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Recently Read #4

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde





It's been ages since I posted my last 'Recently Read', the reason being that I dedicated the end of May, all of June, and a few days in July to re-reading the Harry Potter books (writing reviews for those books would've been pointless, as it would just have been me declaring my ever-lasting love for them). I'm currently ploughing through my Summer to-read list, and thought I would share my opinions on the first three books that I've read. As usual, I've included a little blurb in italics before my own mini-review.

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

Spanning four decades, from 1968 onwards, this is the story of a fabulous but flawed family and the slew of ordinary and extraordinary incidents that shape their everyday lives. It is a story about childhood and growing up, loss of innocence, eccentricity, familial ties and friendships, love and life. Stripped down to its bare bones, it's about the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.

I'd heard so many good things about this book before I read it, so I was a bit scared I'd be disappointed, but I wasn't. Set in rural Cornwall and in New York, it follows Elly, from the age of seven until she's in her thirties. Through her eyes, we also get to know the people around her; an array of quirky, original characters. No one in this book is perfect - everyone has their issues - but in the end what binds them together is their unequivocal love for one another, which runs like a current throughout the book. It's a story about growing up, about coming to terms with the fragility of life, about accepting oneself, and about accepting others. With the risk of sounding very cliché... it made me both laugh and tear up. Beautiful, beautiful book.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history can only tolerate so much.

This is a book I've been meaning to read for quite a while, and with the publication of the sequel this summer I decided it was high time. To be honest, I found it a little bit hard to get into, but once I did - after about fifty pages - it was difficult to put down. It's an incredibly touching, thought provoking and clever book, with lovable characters and an interesting story that really grips you. I haven't read many books set in the South of the U.S at this time (the only one I can think of is Of Mice and Men, which I really didn't like), but it was interesting to get a look into the culture at the time, the mindset of the people in smaller towns, and the differences between the South and the North. And Scout is such a charming protagonist.



In this celebrated work, his only novel, Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centres on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigour while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world. For over a century, this mesmerising tale of horror and suspense has enjoyed wide popularity.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is not an easy book to write a mini-review for (so prepare for a jumble of words, odd sentences and plenty of adjectives). There’s no wonder why this is considered a masterpiece. It’s incredibly well-written (Wilde really had a way with words), with a massive dose of cynicism and wittiness. It’s psychological horror combined with dark humour, plenty of paradoxes, and biting wit. It’s an inquisitive study of vanity, selfishness, sin and morality. It’s incredibly quotable, and left me feeling a little bit stupid at times. Occasionally, I found it a bit slow and tedious, but at other times it was hard to put down, and on the whole it's most definitely a must-read. Complex, paradoxical, fascinating and witty, is what it is. Oh, and beautifully written.

What have you been reading recently? Have you read any of these books?

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle
Yup, I visited another castle. Last Sunday, my sister and a friend of hers came to Stirling over the day to visit. Naturally, we played tourists and decided to visit Stirling Castle, where I hadn't been thus far. Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland, both in terms of its history and its architecture. The castle dates from the 12th century, but the majority of the buildings that still stand today are from the 15th and the 16th century. The castle is located on Castle Hill, overlooking Stirling, and is clearly visible from far away as you approach the city. It's almost more remarkable from afar, than it is once you visit! The reason for Stirling Castle being so important in Scotland's history is its strategic geographical location; Stirling is situated at the lowest point of the river Forth, which is a natural barrier between the Highlands and the Lowlands. At other places, the river was too deep to cross, so if you wished to travel through Scotland you had no choice but to pass Stirling. Supposedly, if you held Stirling, you held Scotland. It is no wonder that the Castle has been home to many Scottish Kings and Queens; for example Mary Queen of Scots. It also played an important part in the Wars of Scottish Independence, and has been held by the English several times. 

We began our visit by going on a guided tour, which was really interesting. What I've mentioned so far is only a tiny bit of everything the guide told us. So if you're ever visiting Stirling Castle I highly recommend you give the guided tour a go (it's free!).

Did you get up to anything exciting the last couple of weekends?

Love, Mimmi.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Happy Post #23




(all photos from my instagram)

Happy Sunday! I hope you've all had a lovely weekend so far. Mine has been very quiet and lazy, but in the best way. I've now been back in Scotland, and living in Stirling for a month, which is quite insane. Where does time go? Honestly, I don't mind. Because this brings me to my first point of happy things....

The fact that time flies. Sometimes, it's actually pretty great that it does. Although I'm fairly content with where I am right now, I am looking forward to moving back to Glasgow, moving in with my sister, and going back to university. The month I've already been here has gone by so quickly, so I'm hoping the two months I've got left will pass by like a whirlwind!

Feeling more confident at work. There are still things I'm unsure about (speaking with customers on the phone makes me very nervous, for one, haha), but on the whole I feel like I'm much more sure of what I'm doing. I hate feeling like I'm a nuisance and can't do anything properly, so knowing that I'm probably actually helping out is a relief.

My new blog design! I spent last Saturday fiddling about with a new header and installing a new blogger theme. I'm very pleased, if I may say so myself.

Avocados on rye bread, sprinkled with sea salt and a bit of black pepper. It's one of my go-to lunches and oh my, it's so good. Plus it keeps me full for a long time!

The response to this post, about why I like being a morning person. I was a bit apprehensive about putting it up, since I wasn't sure anyone would even want to read my ramblings, but apparently people did! I'm so happy with all the comments, and I loved hearing people's thoughts on the subject.

Getting good grades on my courses this semester. This point was meant to be in my last Happy Post, but I completely forgot about it. Anyhow, I'm still happy about it, so why not include it in this post? I really hope this doesn't seem like bragging - I'm simply really relieved and happy that all the hard work I put in was worth it. I didn't feel at all confident after my English Lit exam, so it was such a relief when I got my results!

And finally, here's one thing I'm looking forward to - my mum coming to visit on Wednesday! It's only been a month since I left Sweden, so it hasn't been that long since we saw each other last, but I'm still very excited to get to spend some time with her again. Of course, I'll still be working, but we'll have lunches and evenings, plus two weekends to spend time with each other. In fact, next weekend, my mum, my sister and I are going to the Isle of Skye, stopping in Fort William on the way to take the Jacobite train (or, you know, the train over that viaduct that's in the Harry Potter movies!) to Mallaig, from where we'll take the ferry to Skye. We'll spend about 24 hours on Skye, before we head back down on Sunday evening. I'm excited, to say the least!

To round off, here are six blog posts I've enjoyed reading recently:


'Happy Birthday Alice' on Sunny Sweet Pea.

'The Little Things #1' on Jasmin Charlotte.

'The Ocean Road Home' on The Salty Sea Blog.

'Home || What It Means To Me' on Daydreams of Summertime.


Tell me, what has made you happy over the last week or two?

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Silver City and a Beautiful Beach

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

St Cyrus Beach

St Cyrus Beach

St Cyrus Beach

St Cyrus Beach

St Cyrus Beach

St Cyrus Beach

St Cyrus Beach
It's time for the second part of last Saturday's road trip! After we had left Dunnottar Castle, we stopped at the nearby town Stonehaven for lunch before we headed off to Aberdeen. We didn't arrive until half past four in the afternoon, so regrettably we didn't have much time to explore the city. The cathedral as well as every museum was closed already, so we ended up just wandering around the city for a while before stopping for a coffee. What struck me most about Aberdeen was how grey everything was. Every single building was almost the exact shade of grey (there were definitely not fifty shades of grey to be found, hah), which made for a rather peculiar look. Even the sky decided to turn grey as we reached Aberdeen! Apparently Aberdeen is sometimes called the Granite City or the Silver City, and there's really no wonder why. I'd love to go back and get to know the city properly, as I feel like we only got a tiny little taste of the city.

As everything began to close, we headed off to our next destination, which was St Cyrus beach, located about an hour from Aberdeen. It was one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to, and the perfect end to our road trip. As much as I loved Dunnottar Castle, I think the beach was probably my favourite part of the road trip. Shoes were thrown off, feet were dipped in the cold North Sea, and plenty of photographs were taken. After what must've been at least an hour, we headed back to Stirling, and didn't arrive until after ten in the evening. It was a long, but very good day.

Have you been on a road trip recently? Where did you go?

Love, Mimmi.