Lifestyle blog; Edinburgh, MS, food, beauty and chit chat.

Relax at Edinburgh’s Soul Retreat

Back in Autumn of 2017 (remember 2017? Me neither!) Soul Retreat burst onto the spa and beauty scene in Edinburgh. Before I go any further, I must disclose that this awesomely fabulous spa was created by 2 of my sisters-in-law but honestly, if it was crap I just wouldn’t write about it! If you still don’t trust that my judgement is unbiased, go and visit and find out for yourself!

Edinburgh’s new urban spa offers a range of hair and beauty treatments, yoga classes and wellbeing workshops. Their opening day was a huge success last year and offered a range of sample treatments to get a flavour of what they were all about. Whenever I tell people about the spa’s location – at a very well-known junction at Fairmilehead – everyone who lives in Edinburgh knows where it is.

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Private chef in your own home

If you’ve ever watched MasterChef then you’ll be no stranger to the talents available in the world of private chefs. I always assumed this was only something for the rich and famous who owned their own yachts or mansions, but when I was contacted by the lovely people at La Belle Assiette I found out otherwise.

When offered the chance to host a dinner party at home with a private chef cooking for us and tidying up after, my reply was a no-brainer. The night I chose for our dinner party was the night before my husband’s birthday in January so it was the perfect opportunity. We invited 4 friends and asked them all to bring a bottle. After we set the date and invited our guests, all we needed to do was set the table and look forward to the feast!

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The best Christmas gift

This December the MS Society asked me ‘What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?’ as part of their Christmas campaign to raise funds for research, which is vital to help the thousands of people suffering from this awful disease in the UK.

So what is the best gift I’ve ever received? Well, that’s easy to answer…

As I’m lying in bed on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea writing this blog post, I can feel our feisty wee baby wriggling and kicking inside me. This is the most surreal yet comforting and exciting experience ever! I know how incredibly lucky we are to have even got pregnant as this isn’t an easy journey for many. I feel even more grateful to be where I am now considering how awful the MS relapse was that I had in my first trimester.

So even though we haven’t formally met our baby girl, I can safely say that she is the best Christmas gift that my husband and I could have ever wished for.

If you want to find out more about the MS Society Christmas campaign, or donate, visit them here.

So now I want to know, what’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

MS & pregnancy; my story so far

I’m currently 18 weeks pregnant and couldn’t be happier. Now I’m in my second trimester I feel better than I have in years!

However, I didn’t actually have the best start to my pregnancy due to quite a severe relapse of my MS. I wanted to share what happened as I felt quite alone during that time. After speaking to other women with MS and doing some Googling I found that most of them seemed to feel much better and/or stopped relapsing when they fell pregnant. This made me feel awful. I was obviously very happy for them but literally the day I fell pregnant, I relapsed.

If you have MS and you’re pregnant or thinking of starting a family, this blog post is here to give you hope, reassurance and comfort. I don’t want to scare you or make you have doubts. Even in the darkest times everything will be okay and you will come out the other side. I’m proof of that.

MS differs vastly from person to person, so it goes without saying that every pregnant woman with MS has a very different experience. So here is my experience during my first trimester…

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Staying positive with MS

I’ve been a wee bit quiet recently so I thought I’d share a quick update on what’s been going on. Over the past few weeks I’ve had an MS relapse.

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What is a relapse? “the appearance of new symptoms, or the return of old symptoms, for a period of 24 hours or more – in the absence of a change in core body temperature or infection”. (MS Society)

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This relapse has displayed itself in a few different ways. First, my left arm became extremely sensitive to touch like it had been scalded. This was painful but at the same time a bit numb – I know, MS doesn’t make any sense to me either. After a week or two, the pain dulled and it was just numb. I could cope with this, as I’m right handed, but the second symptom was with my left leg, which impacted me further and was more visible.

As MS damages the nerves in the body, something had happened with this relapse which meant the nerves somewhere between my brain and leg got disrupted. More simply put, when I’m walking, the signal from my brain to lift my left leg gets a bit scrambled. This means that I’m very slow, trip over my left foot and am walking with a limp. Do you have to really concentrate when you’re walking? Of course you don’t, but at the minute I do.

On top of this, I’ve had a flare up of existing damage in the top of my spinal cord with results in my right calf heating up when I look down. Then there’s my biggest MS battle that I constantly deal with, the crippling fatigue.

So now I’ve explained it all, I’m staying positive. Last week I made the decision to sign myself off work this week and rest. I decided that every now and again, it’s okay to give in and stop for a while. I’ve always struggled with giving in when my body is screaming at me to stop and take a break. I’m my biggest barrier to resting, maybe I’m just too stubborn!

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Cuckoo’s Bakery launch summer cupcake range

Cuckoo’s Bakery was taken over by new owners Thomas and Joanna Partridge back in June this year. The husband and wife duo have just launched a retro summer cupcake range, celebrating classic ice lollies and ice cream such as The Fab, Solero, Twister and Ninety-Nine.

Cuckoo’s Bakery first launched on Valentine’s Day in 2011 with its cake shop and tea room on Dundas Street. They then opened a second shop in Bruntsfield in April 2015. All cakes are freshly baked daily, by hand, with up to a whopping 1,000 cakes produced each day!

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