Sunday, 11 November 2018

48 Hours in Iceland - A Travellers Guide

Hi Readers!

We have finally been off on our travels again, after what feels like an age. First world problems, I know. It's actually only been five a months since our last big trip and I've honestly got nothing to moan about. This year we've been to the Dominican, Florida, Vegas and done some UK breaks too.

I'm fortunate that my job has a great leave policy so I'm a big fan of disappearing off as soon as the dates go in the calendar.

Our Iceland trip came about by chance. We had booked flights to Canada on a flight promo with airline that's now bust. The Airbnb was booked and paid for, so pulling out wasn't an option. Cue making the best of the situation, taking the call to re-book with Icelandair and throwing in a forty eight hour stopover in Iceland to our trip.

Here's why it's brilliant folks, it costs you no more to stopover, than it would with a regular short layover. Well played Icelandair. You had us hooked on that alone.
Arriving in Iceland! 
The whole thing was super efficient, from leaving Glasgow airport with an quick boarding process, being away on time and being through at the other side in 15 minutes. Half an hour after landing we were in our rental car, headed for our apartment.

We chose to stay at the superb Blue Mountain Apartments, 20 mins from Reykjavik. Granted, you'd probably need a hire car to stay there, but it was a great base for us. For around £100 a night we had a good sized studio apartment, with kitchen, shower, big bed and a corner couch. It meant we had space to chill, which was nicer than a hotel room, and cheaper.

We were in and out, headed to Reykjavik in "Pît the Polo" - so named after our old car, Pete, who was deported to England last year.

We managed to get into town for around 5pm, when it was still light, found free parking no problem near City Hall and headed to pick up our City Cards, kindly provided by Visit Reykjavik. We were given forty eight hour cards, which usually cost £34 per person and provide free entry to numerous attractions, free bus travel around the city and free entry to a number of the thermal pools around the city too. You could even take a free ferry trip, however, we struggled to find the time to do this.

city card reykjavik

We picked these up from the City Hall, which is really easy to get to.

These were a brilliant resource to help us plan, the map was super useful with the attractions all marked up so we could easily see what was nearby.

First 12 Hours

We walked around the city, went to see the Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral, which is a work of art. We made it to Braud and Co for a cookie. I have lusted over these guys on Instagram for so long and the cookies were good!

braud & co reykjavik

The Sun Voyager sculpture and the waterfront was next. It was getting dark, so we went back to the city centre, walked around some of the boutique stores and stopped off for an obligatory hot dog at the Hot Dog Stand.

the sun voyager reykjavik

Hours 12-24

We left the apartment at 7am (early for us as we are night owls!) and jumped in the car for the 2 hour drive to Skógafoss. Thankfully, we got there before the crowds and could take some amazing photos of the falls. We hiked up the 527 steps to the top, for the view around and were so lucky to have a beautiful clear day.

Back in the car, off we went to The Black Beach. It's beautiful, unspoiled and rugged and I would definitely suggest it makes it onto your to do list.

black beach iceland what claire did

black beach iceland what claire did

We then drove another 2 hours to go to The Geysir in Haukadalur Valley.. a word of warning, it's a big tourist spot, so prepare for hoards of people. We were probably there for less than half an hour, so think carefully before you decide to drive to it. It is amazing to watch it go off though... for the 11 secs of footage you'll see on my Instagram.

What was almost better than this, was the 1h 40 mins drive back to Reykjavik through the national park. Beautiful, autumnal and driving through the valley with the snow peaked mountains around us was spectacular.

Not ones to mess around, we were back to the city and using those handy city cards for a trip to the Maritime Museum, which was really interesting and also interactive. From there, it was a trip to the Museum of Photography which might not seem an obvious choice, but the exhibition was beautiful. It's also located on the top floor of the library, in case you struggle to find it... Our city cards gave us free entry to both of these.

maritime museum reykjavik

Hours 24-48

By now, we were growing tired and hungry, the wind was biting and we decided to call it a night, heading to the warmth of Reykjavik Fish at the harbour for a delicious fish and chip dinner.

Our apartment provided a cosy haven after a day in the outdoors and we enjoyed some local beers, and Gin&Grape catching up with a day's worth of editing.

After our second night it was up and away for a trip to The Blue Lagoon. Now, it is expensive and was our "splurge" during our stay. Heck, it's also really touristy. But all that aside, was it worth it? Absolutely.

the blue lagoon iceland

We chose the "comfort" package, which included a towel, free drink and mud mask. We spent just over 2 hours in the Lagoon, which felt enough. Even though we went on a Saturday, it didn't feel packed. We were able to find several spots around the Lagoon to chill out. Don't forget to try out the face masks and cover your hair in conditioner before you get in, to keep it super soft.

The drink included was a welcome treat and as it was a morning trip, I went for a smoothie made with berries and Skyr.

We did have a quick look at lunch in the restaurant but felt at £42 for two courses, it was a bit steep. Instead, we jumped back in the car and headed back to the airport to return our rental car and check in for our flight to Canada. Our airport lunch was less glamorous, but at half the price, it did the job pre-flight.

It was a flying visit to Iceland, but we managed to cram in so much. I'm planning an "Iceland on a budget" feature soon, so keep an eye out for that!

Disclaimer: our city passes were provided complimentary by Visit Reykjavik.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Top 10 Glasgow Lunch Spots

Readers, after a load of DIY and a few pieces of sponsored content recently, I felt it was time to get back to my routes and pop up a foodie post.  My round up posts have been well received recently, so today I’m doing a top 10 places to eat for lunch in Glasgow.

I’m fortunate enough to work in the city, and I love trying out new places. I’ve tried to pick places from across the city centre and into the Southside too (hey, it’s my neighbourhood).  

Glasgow has so many food joints, that a food blogger like me has to try as many as she can!

Bun Life at Strata – Queen Street, Glasgow City
Bao buns, buns and more buns.  Great value, filling and plenty for meat eaters and veggies. Top tip… the prawn one is amazing.

bun life strata what claire did

Bar Soba – Merchant City, Glasgow City
Another Asian hotspot, that does a meal and a drink for £7 at lunchtime. Some great sides too including dirty katsu fries.

bar soba merchant city glasgow what claire did

 Temaki – Hope Street, Glasgow City
I’m really going for the Asian theme here… small sit in space, or take away, their dumpling and katsu combo is a winner.

temaki glasgow what claire did

 Babs – West Nile Street, Glasgow City
My dad loves this place. Honestly. Mediterranean food, kebabs and the type of place you can take your 60 year old pops. He loves the lamb koftas.

babs glasgow what claire did

Max’s Bar & Grill – Queen Street, Glasgow City
Poutine of the week… every week. I honestly don’t need to say much more. Big bar grub menu and iPads to order on.

maxs bar glasgow what claire did

Halloumi – Hope Street, Glasgow City
Small plate greek food, that does 3 plates for less than £10 at lunchtime.  Not a limited menu either and some good veggie options on the list.

halloumi glasgow what claire did

Oaka Supercity – George Street, Glasgow City
Back on the Asian grub again.  Try their dim sum selection if you want a bit of everything. Hot, steaming and ready in 5 minutes. Benches for you to sit on whilst you get stuck in and you’ll get a filling lunch for £5.50.

halloumi glasgow what claire did

Fylkir of Copenhagen – Newlands Road, Glasgow Southside
Our local Danish café… it might be tiny, but it packs a punch. Good coffee and Danish open sandwiches are the order of the day. Good for hangovers… and getting your hygge on.

fylkir of copenhagen glasgow what claire did

Phillies of Shawlands – Kilmarnock Road, Glasgow Southside
New menu just launched, but I like to go old school and get fired into their pizza.  They can also make a slightly smaller pizza at lunchtime. Means you’ve room for a bowl of fries alongside it.

phillies shawlands glasgow what claire did

Babylon Café – Clyde Place, Glasgow Southside (just!)
It’s over the River, so I count it as a southside joint.  It’s a local, neighbourhood hidden gem… the type of place people have gone to for years. Totally unpretentious and the food is amazing. Trust me on this one. Lebanese, Persian and Middle Eastern classics are served with love. 

babvylon cafe glasgow what claire did

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Upcycling a Chest of Drawers with Door Furniture Direct

Readers, hello! I’ve failed miserably in blogging my way through September, sorry about that! It’s been a busy month, with a couple of weddings, catching up with friends and spending the rest of my time doing some upcycling.

As you’ve possibly seen over on my stories on Instagram, I’ve recently collaborated with
Door Furniture Direct, on an upcycling project and thanks to them, they really helped me finish my upcycle on this old chest of drawers.  

Ikea malm upcycle unit in grey what claire did

We bought the unit 5 years ago, when we bought our first place and as it’s always lived in the spare room, we never really gave it a second thought. The spare room has always been a bit unloved, but we’ve recently done a whole makeover – painting this chest of drawers, the wardrobe and doing the walls and soft furnishing, but that’s another post that’s coming soon.

door furniture direct rose copper knobs 32mm

Today I’m chatting just about the Malm unit upcycling, which features these amazing rose copper knobs from Door Furniture Direct.  I was allowed to pick anything I wanted, up to the value of £30, so managed to get 6 of these for my project. The unit was painted in Anthracite grey furniture paint by Rustoleum and then varnished with a matt varnish to protect it. 

ikea malm upcycle in grey with copper handles what claire did

As most of you will know, the Malm units don’t have pre-drilled handle holes because of the top opening, so I had my first drilling experience (no jokes at the back please) trying to measure, find the right drill size and then drill 6 holes, in equal positioning, across the 3 drawers.   The drawer knobs were really easy to fit and came with screws etc, so all I had to do was drill through, push the screw through from the back and then tighten the knob on the front of it. 

ikea malm upcycle in grey with copper handles what claire did

If you are considering your own upcycling project, if I can manage to drill and add drawer pulls, then anyone can do it.  My painting tips from my bathroom upcycle still apply – use a shellac based primer (one coat) before you start, 2 coats of paint and at least 2 coats of varnish to make sure it doesn’t chip or damage.

And when it’s becoming really important to think about what we throw out and what we keep, could now be your chance to show some love to some old furniture and make improvements? And for those of you who are interested... this is where I started... 

Disclaimer – I was gifted the rose copper oval cup knobs from Door Furniture Direct in exchange for a post on my blog. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Microwave Cooking… It’s Not The Enemy!

Readers, a slightly different post for me tonight, as I wanted to chat about that thing that sits in the corner of our kitchen, has several settings and a digital clock on it.  It beeps after a few minutes… yep, it’s the microwave.

Microwaves get a bit of a bad press, but to coincide with the launch of Panasonic’s new range of Combi Microwave Ovens, I’m sharing 5 reasons why microwaves aren’t the devil’s cooking equipment.

Great tool on the Panasonic website - providing specs and dimensions, to help you plan your kitchen space!
Image Credit: Panasonic

1. It’s a time saver

Tight on time?  The microwave can be your friend.  I’m not a massive advocate for ready meals, but the microwave (or combi oven if you’re fancy) allows a meal in minutes solution, when you’re late in from work, dashing between appointments etc. Leading me to…

2. It’s all about what you cook in there

Thing is, you genuinely don’t need to fire frozen microwave meals in there.  Honestly.  I’m a huge fan of re-heated leftovers in the microwave. Or my other favourite is the baked potato trick.  Stick it in for 8-10 minutes depending on size and then finish off in the oven for a 5-10 minutes for the crispy skin effect.  It’s a lot quicker than putting a raw potato in an oven. Trust me.


3. Batch cooking and freezing

If you’re like me and love cooking, but are often time pressed, Sunday is a great day to lock yourself in the kitchen and cook away.  Tupperware becomes your best mate and you can cook up, batch up and freeze your home made creations, ready for reheating.

4. The power of de-frost

And to number 3 – my point above – once you’ve made all these cracking batch dishes, you’ll be able to hit the defrost function and speedily defrost those leftovers. Word of warning though – don’t do it with raw meat that’s frozen. Do the whole “leave in fridge for 24 hours” thing with that.
The defrost function is great for bread and rolls to… or if you’re in a hurry for your ice cream, 20 secs on defrost will get the spoon in the tub quicker.  Just saying.

5. The microwave mug cake

And the holy grail of PMT induced cooking… cake in a hurry. I’ve got an old recipe on my blog (apologies about the photos – it was a hurried post) that shows you how to make a cake in a mug, in the microwave.  Get it bookmarked, one day you’ll thank me for this speedy sugary treat.

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Panasonic. Any opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Rainbow Sprinkle Cake Bars


Remember when this blog used to be about baking… all the baking? As most of you know, I rebranded earlier this year, to focus more on travel, lifestyle and dining out, but when I can, I still try to do the odd recipe post. 

In Florida I did a trip to Walmart to buy up all the rainbow sprinkles because the ones in the UK are so much less jazzy. The American version may well have some seriously strong colouring but, for creating amazing cakes, they are so much better.  The colour doesn’t bleed during baking either. I wish I'd bought more, so if anyone is headed to Walmart... can you sort me out?

So today’s weekend bake is super simple, but looks great and can be made into cake bars great for parties or office Friday treats. And as a Glasgow food blogger, I'm always trying to put new food content on my blog! 
rainbow cake bars what claire did

There’s so much nostalgia around these bars… does anyone remember having them in school (usually square shaped) and the highlight of school lunches?  These are a bit more modern – snack bar format, rather than full on pudding but still a big nod to my youth!

Happy Baking guys and if you give this a go, let me know!

Rainbow Cake Bars

Ingredients (makes 10 bars)

150g self raising flour
30g plain flour
150g caster sugar
150g butter
3 medium eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp rainbow sprinkles (add last)


200g icing sugar
Warm water to mix – add slowly
Few drops blue gel colouring
1.5 tsps rainbow sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 180c (fan).
  2. Grease a silicone 8in x 8in baking pan.
  3. Sieve both flours, add caster sugar, eggs and chopped butter to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk with an electric mixer to mix to a cake batter.  Add a little milk to loosen the batter and mix some more.  This is the all in one method… total time saver!
    all in one batter what claire did
  4. Add a tablespoon of rainbow sprinkles to the batter and gently fold in, don’t overmix.
    add in sprinkles what claire did
  5. Add the cake batter to the pan, spread evenly and bake for around 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the mix comes out clean.
    rainbow cake batter what claire did

  6. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
    rainbow cake what claire did


  1. Don’t start until cool!
  2. Add around 200g icing sugar to a bowl and slowly add in warm water, until a thick paste has formed.  Add a few drops of gel icing to the mix and combine.
  3. Spread the icing paste over the top of the cake and allow to set for a few moments.  Then, sprinkle more rainbow sprinkles over the top and allow to set before slicing.
    icing rainbow cake what claire did
  4. Top tip – for clean looking bars, take a sharp knife and slice off each edge, for a neater finish, before slicing into 10 rectangular bars.
    rainbow cake bars what claire did

Storage- Keep in an airtight container for a few days (if they last that long!)

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

From Monifieth to Malawi… The Wildlife Wonders I Saw

Readers, tonight’s blog is my entry to the Trips 100 / #AudleyBloggerChallenge where I’m writing about my amazing experience seeing wildlife in the natural habitat on the shores of Lake Malawi. Instead of my usual Glasgow food blog posts, I'm doing something different tonight!

Audley Travel are on the hunt for bloggers to share their adventures... and if you keep reading, you might be able to enter a competition yourself to win an African safari! 

For those of you reading this, Monifieth is a tiny village in the north east of Scotland… and well you probably know where Malawi is.

This post is a mission to convince you that it’s an AMAZING place to go. People often have visions of starving children, poverty (it can’t be denied, there is poverty, with NGOs trying to resolve this) but maybe, just maybe, we could use the powers of sustainable tourism to drive visitors to this wonderful, friendly country and learn there’s much much more than what’s shown on Oxfam adverts.

So queue my story.  I was 19.  Young, not really what you’d call “well travelled” (I’ve done my best to change that since) and was invited to go and do some volunteer work in a country called Malawi.  I’d heard of it, but had never even been out of Europe at that point.  There I was on a plane bound for Johannesburg.  Then on a tiny plane to southeast Africa.  
audley travel trips100 travel blogger challenge
Amazing views and landscapes in Malawi

The heat was dry and searing, people looked at me, stroked my skin (I’ve since learnt in the more rural parts, they’d never seen a white person) but something struck me.  Those huge smiles.  It didn’t matter there was a language barrier, we’d find a way to communicate.
audley travel trips100 travel blogger challenge
Traditional cooking in a Malawian mut hut

For 3 long weeks, I laid bricks, built walls (not my profession now, my skills were average at best). I taught English in schools and ran wild in the playground with the kids. It was emotionally exhausting, but totally rewarding and at the end of the trip, hopped on a minibus for a 4 hour ride to Lake Malawi.

For those who like facts, it was only discovered 150 years ago.  You’ll find fishing villages dotted on the shore, next to golden sands and beach resorts. We didn’t have time, but I’m told the crystal clear waters make for great snorkling, where you’ll see a vast array of fish swimming in their habitat.  But oh what you’ll see… watch for Nile Crocodiles!  There’s around 700 species of fish in the lake alone.  Plenty to spot on your adventures.
audley travel trips100 travel blogger challenge
The shores of Lake Malawi at 7am. Beautiful, peaceful and tranquil

For me, though, the best part of all, was taking a water safari along the Lake.  This wasn’t just to see the animals living in the lake… it was the banks of the lake where the magic happened.  Walking by us were herds of elephants.  The entire family on a slow walk by the river… tiny babies surrounded by grandparents, with years of wisdom and survival experience.
audley travel trips100 travel blogger challenge
Elephants and birds on the shores of Lake Malawi, from our boat

Looking closely, there were hippos baking in the midday sun, rolling around in the mud.  Doing as hippos do, one would assume. 

Those famously stripy zebras peeked out from the tall grasses as we sped past on our boat.
Birds swooped overhead, magnificent colours and sizes – just some of the 650 species you’ll find in the country.
audley travel trips100 travel blogger challenge
Cooling off in the waters of Lake Malawi

I was in awe… having never been somewhere so exotic, and seeing animals that only existed in the encyclopaedias and picture books of my youth, to be almost touching distance of an elephant, was without a doubt… breath taking.


Win an African safari with Audley Travel by sharing your best wildlife photograph or video on your social media channels. To enter write #AudleySafari and @AudleyTravel on your Instagram or Twitter post or share directly on the Audley Travel Facebook page here: To find out more or enter via the website, visit  Entries must be posted between 20th August – 23rd September.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Spotlight on Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland

Readers, hello! It’s been a busy few weeks and I am absolutely full of the cold (run down probably) and feeling a bit sorry for myself at the moment.  I’ve made it from bed to the couch today, so you know, progress.  I’d planned on writing my spotlight on the north east post yesterday, but the head was so far in a bin, there was zero point in trying.  As most of you know my food and travel blog usually focuses on Glasgow, so I'm somewhere else!

Today I wanted to share with you a spotlight on the north east of Scotland – sometimes forgotten, mostly rainy, a lot of granite is the reputation up in Aberdeen, but when we rocked up on Wednesday night after a drive of several hours, we were greeted by sunshine, warmth and a gorgeous looking townhouse for our Air BnB.  Between 6 of us, it was £74 per couple, for 2 nights, which was an absolute steal for having our own space, big rooms and an area to chill in.   

For those of you wondering – we were up for a midweek wedding, so made a holiday of it, staying for a couple of nights to catch up with friends.

We started our Aberdonian adventure, with brunch at Foodstory on Thistle Street. Proof that social media marketing works – I’ve followed these guys for ages and always wanted to go, so when we discovered our accommodation was a mere 15 minute walk away, we made the effort to visit for brunch.  In short, it’s VERY hipster.  The menu is mostly veggie and vegan food (in fact it might all be). But 4 out of 5 of us had the superfood granola pancakes which were amazing.  Around £11 per person for an incredibly filling dish and a flat white was great value and the food was so filling.  I was defeated by the granola in the end and our 9.30am brunch filled us up right through to canapes at the wedding at 4pm.
superfood pancakes foodstory aberdeen what claire did

Feeling a bit worse for wear: “just really tired” after our celebrations at the McCaig wedding and being greeted by the all too familiar grey skies, we packed the car and made our way back to Glasgow late morning.  We pulled off at Stonehaven to visit a couple of old haunts we hadn’t been to for years… not far off 7 years.

Arriving in time for lunch, we visited Molly’s Café Bar (where we’d had a great Cullen Skink previously) which is a cozy beach café on Stonehaven’s promenade.  It was packed with locals and visitors and was a very reasonable £20 for lunch for two.  I tried their summer special raspberry iced tea… which was HUGE but delicious. I went for a light bite choice for lunch – sweet potato skins with cheese and bacon.  All to save space for my next stop off, two doors down.
lunch at mollys cafe bar stonehaven what claire did

If you’ve never been to Aunty Betty’s in Stonehaven… YOU MUST GO. Old school sweet shop, meets ice cream shop, meets Mr Whippy, with all the toppings you’d ever want on your cone.  The ice creams might seem a bit more expensive than your regular store, but all toppings are included in the price, so would absolutely encourage you to have every single topping you can with your cone.  You won’t be disappointed.
aunty bettys stonehaven ice cream what claire did

So there you have it folks, whether it’s a day trip or a short break you are on to Aberdeen, there’s plenty of great places to eat whether you’re headed up the coast, or back down again!

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Ikea Hacks... Repainting Bathroom Cabinets & Bathroom Remodel On A Budget

Readers, I’ve got another DIY blog for you tonight. I’ve got a bit obessessed about painting wood. I did crates and blackboards for our wedding earlier this year, made a shoe rack recently – it got painted too – and now, I’ve just finished my biggest project yet.

3 years ago we moved into our tenement flat in Glasgow and whilst we’ve done some stuff like put in new windows, decorated from top to bottom, painted the beautiful old storm doors etc, that’s as far as it’s gone.  We always knew we’d never be here long enough to justify a Pinterest worthy kitchen or bathroom.  Our Ikea units have held up well (we think they are close to 10 years old now) and we chose our huge kitchen diner here over a tiny designer galley kitchen offering when we moved.  

The bathroom’s always been a bit of a sore point – even my non interior design mum called it “old fashioned"recently.  We’ve made the best of it – it’s got a toilet (essential), big double sink (actually quite nice) and a large, fairly powerful shower (for the win!) It’s just the décor around it, we’ve always found a bit, well, questionable.  There’s the “fossil” tiles, but less said about them the better.  Then the dingy, dark wooden cabinets, which just made the already narrow bathroom feel, well, like it was closing in on you.  The room gets so much natural light, so it was time to try and enhance it.

So instead of my usual Glasgow food blogger posts, today it's all about Glasgow lifestyle, diy hacks and room development!
ikea hack painting bathroom cabinets before
Before - dark, dingy and a bit tired looking

After spending weeks pouring over Pinterest, reading folks blogs and learning about the joys of painting Ikea furniture, I ordered my bits and tackled it with gusto.  And the result? For less than £200, I’ve fallen back in love with our tired old bathroom.

Was it easy?  Fairly.  Time consuming?  Most definitely. A few set backs on the way? Of course.  Does it look good?  I’m SO PROUD OF MYSELF.

Anyway, I’ve knocked up a quick guide for any first timers looking to paint their Ikea furniture or re-model a room on the cheap… Happy DIY’in guys!


I can’t stress this enough. USE A GOOD PRIMER.  Make sure it’s oil, not water based, or it won’t stick. I can’t recommend B.I.N. Shellac Primer enough.  Even with chalk paint (which apparently goes onto all surfaces) I used this. Touch dry in 20 mins, re-coatable in 45, it was a saving grace when the paint went on.
Don’t skip this step.  Also, this primer is non sand, so you’ll save a bit of time there!
what claire did ikea hack bathroom remodel during priming
First coat of primer goes on. Also - note the glass door and glass drawer that no longer exist

Choose a fresh colour

Our bathroom was just a bit beige and brown before.   With the help of a bit of a light colour on the wood, it’s transformed the space.  When the sun shines in the window, it’s beautiful and airy now.   For those wondering, I used Rustoleum Laurel Green on the cabinets and painted 2 coats on top of the primer.

what claire did ikea hack bathroom remodel painted cabinets during
First coat of paint goes on!
Pick funky handles

Get rid of those bog standard handles that come with your flat pack furniture and treat it to some nice, custom bought handles. Lots of places sell handles and knobs.  I picked up a pack of 6 lovely white marble style door knobs for £6 in TK Maxx, which really added to the finished look. 
finish ikea bathroom cabinet repaint what claire did
Check those funky door knobs... compare with original above!

Do it properly!

Make it a job done well!  If you’re serious about it, remove all doors, shelves etc from your units and paint them separately.  Honestly, it makes for such a better finished look.   You won’t miss any bits this way.

Also, don't be afraid to shake up a bit - the old freestanding cabinet had glass doors I hated.  So I painted them to make them look solid. I removed a drawer and left it as an open storage area for nicely rolled towels.  Now's your chance to change those bits you aren't sure of.  Plus, the open space means I have to keep it tidy... 
ikea cabinet ikea hack repaint what claire did finished
This door used to be glass.  Also, I accessorised with a new artificial plant 

Don’t skip the varnishing

It’s so important to finish your look. I used to chalk paint, which has a gorgeous matt finish, but marks so easily. Rather than waxing, I used a clear, matt varnish on the top, did 2 coats and it’s helped to seal my units.  It’s especially important in high traffic areas where things are likely to get bumped and knocked.
ikea hack painting bathroom cabinets finished look what claire did
The finished article - I'm so proud of what we've done with the space!

Invest in Other Updates Too 

Don't just do the painting and hope for the best - spend a bit of cash on some other accessories for the room. My purchases possibly cost more than the actual renovation (which came in at about £70 for two cabinets) however, I wanted to do a complete overhaul.  So I spent some money on the new Joseph Joseph bathroom bin and loo brush which are game changers, bought a new toothbrush holder and soap dispenser, bought a load of new towels for display and guests coming and then got some plants (a mix of real and artificial) to make it all a bit more homely.  We had some vouchers we got as wedding gifts, which we put towards some of this stuff, softening the blow a little. It's been well worth it though. 
succulent in bathroom what claire did
Investment in some gorgeous succulents for the window sill

I'd love to hear from you if you take on your own project. I promise it's not that scary... GOOD LUCK! 

Sunday, 24 June 2018

What Claire Did... Round Up Time!

 Readers, in my head recently I thought "I’ve got all these exciting things I’ve done recently, that I’ll have a ton of content and be able to write so many blog posts".  As it turns out, life generally gets in the way and it doesn’t quite go to plan. So rather than not posting at all, I thought I’d do an early summer round up for you all.  Here’s what I’ve been up to, over the last few weeks.

It's been really busy recently, from my usual Glasgow food blogger activity, to recent travel blog adventures too... 

Mac and Cheese Themed Weddings

You might have seen over on Instagram, that my lovely pals Emma and Mark from Foodie Explorers, recently got married at our local pub and enjoyed a mac and cheese themed surprise wedding, at the end of the mac and cheese festival, that they organise each year.

foodie explorers mac and cheese wedding what claire did

I was sworn to secrecy, but had a blast creating their mac and cheese themed wedding cake – ft dessert mac and cheese (it’s amazing what can be achieved with yellow jelly beans, yellow chocolate and some desiccated coconut…)  I was tearing my hair out the night before, after a fondant disaster, but was so proud of the end result and the press seemed to love it too!

Daily Record Mac and Cheese Wedding What Claire Did

Smokehead Whisky Event

Just before my 30th and my trips away to The Lake District, the lovely PR team from Smokedhead Whisky, collaborated with Dram and Smoke on an amazing food and whisky event at SWG3 in Finnieston.  We enjoyed Smokehead cocktails, drams on the table and an amazing smoky 3 course dinner to boot.  Was it fun? Hell yes it was.   I shared some stories on the night and some other Instagram content which you’ll see here.

Smokehead Whisky What Claire Did


We headed off to see the big mouse again at Disneyland in Orlando for Mr WhatClaireDid’s 30th alongside his family.  We had an absolute blast – hosting a fancy dress bbq for his actual birthday, at our villa. Everyone else had a bit of a prehistoric theme, but I went as Snow White because the costume was cheap on Ebay… 
florida fancy dress what claire did

We had a few days at the parks – I still love The Magic Kingdom -  and I’m hoping to do a Florida Guide post as part of my travel blog content over the coming weekends.
magic kingdom what claire did

I won't say too much on Florida for now and will aim to get some more content up in the coming weeks. 

Vegas Baby!

You’ve probably seen my other post on our trip to Momofuku in Vegas – so you’ll know that we went to Vegas on our USA trip too.  It’s actually really easy to do from Orlando. We got cheap flights with Spirit (cheap = delays both ways, however I'm trying to block that from memory).It got us there. It’s a 5 hour flight from Orlando – so one to time right if you are going.  We stayed for 2 nights at New York New York again.  All in, our trip cost £170pp for the 2 nights and was worth it for a change of scenery for a couple of days.
bellagio and caesars palace las vegas what claire did

We also went to Carlos Bakery in Vegas (I’m a massive fan of the show) and completely got overwhelmed ordering rainbow cake… which I then ate in bed the next day after Vegas well and truly defeated me.
carlos bakery rainbow cake las vegas what claire did

The final highlight of our amazing Vegas trip was David Copperfield at the MGM Grand. Honesty, if you are ever in Vegas and get the chance… go.  He was nothing short of amazing.

Just a short post from me tonight readers… and I promise more coming soon!

Claire x