Monday, July 25

My week in pictures #180

(From top left) I made a delicious risotto for Scott and I's tea on Wednesday - it was from the Hello Fresh box so you can see the recipe here. I took a walk on Wednesday too and met these lovely swans. Walking home on Thursday I finally got to speak to the new foal... who ran away from me! Decided to re-read the Harry Potter books and forgot how short the first one is.
This week has been pretty uneventful so I'm going to try and keep this post short. It started off with a couple of driving lessons at the start of the week and driving with my mum and dad too. On Wednesday I went to Scott's for tea. As he wasn't at home when I got there I decided to go out for a walk and had a lovely time in the sunshine for an hour or so. I made an extremely yummy Courgette Risotto with Mozzarella & Fresh Basil. Thinking about when I could make it again already. 

Thursday and Friday were pretty empty too. The weather has been lovely this week so I've been able to sit outside and read my book. When Friday evening came round I was looking forward to drinking cider on the patio with the dogs before tea.

I got a text from my cousins on Saturday asking if we were around. The came out after lunchtime and we took the dogs for a walk. It is amazing seeing Sophie, who is now 14 months old, learning to walk. She is such a smiler at the moment and laughs when I tickle her - so cute! Scott came to get me that evening because we had plans to go to Dominos. We stuffed ourselves with Pizza and watched TV.

Scott had seen a car in Perth he liked to look of so on Sunday morning we went to see it. He liked it so much he bought it so he is joining the fiesta club too... his is blue and mine is red!? It was a really raining day and we didn't know what else to do apart from head home. I helped Scott with some housework before we made a curry for tea. After a lovely weekend it is getting harder and harder to leave.

I'm going to have to plan some more exciting things for the rest of the holiday. Scott and I are planning a camping holiday maybe in the Lake District so if you have any tips please let me know. Next Saturday we are going to pick up Scott's car but I don't have any other plans yet.

I'm sure I'll update my Instagram so if your interested give me a follow here

This week on G is for Gingers: Visiting Busch Gardens Tampa | What I Bought on Holiday | My Orlando Haul

Friday, July 22

What I Bought on Holiday | My Orlando Haul

I think my boyfriend was more excited for shopping in America than I was! Nevertheless we were at the outlets quite a lot, including one night after tea until 10pm, so I thought I would share with you what I bought. I am very conscious at the moment of having more clothes than I need and therefore things I love aren't getting the attention they deserve. Things are much cheaper than they are in Scotland thanks to the (pre-brexit) exchange rate and low taxes. I did have a couple of things in mind that I wanted to get while I was over there without going overboard.

Levi's are expensive in this country and I've wanted a pair for so long. You are looking at around £80 a pair but I picked these up at their store at Orlando International Premium Outlets for $80 for both pairs so it was a no brainer. I tried on about 30s pairs to make sure I was happy with the ones I wanted. While in the store I also picked up this simple, very soft tee and a good quality leather belt too.

The other thing I knew I wanted was a pair of classic converses. I didn't know which colour but after going into the store it was these ones that jumped out at me. They are such a pretty colour and perfect for summer too.

Ooh my goodness I was so excited to go to Bath and Body Works you've no idea. It definitely didn't disappoint and with the mid-season sale too I was able to pick up some candles even cheaper. After smelling all the candles in the shop (over several visits) I picked 'Lilac Blossom' 'Sundrenched Vineyard' and my favourite 'Baja Cactus Blossom' for $10 each. Scott bought some hand soap which also smells delicious so I'll get the benefit of that too. 

Of course we visited the Yankee Candle store too where they had a sale on their Christmas candles so I picked up a large jar of my favourite 'Candy Cane Lane' for december. I only wish I could have smelled Bath and Body Works autumn selection too because it is more my style really.

This bag was definitely an impulse buy mostly because it worked out very cheap - especially for a North Face rucksack. My current one is starting to fall apart and isn't big enough for what I need at the moment. I love the colour of this one, it had a dedicated space for my laptop and plenty of zip pockets. 

Since getting home I've realised just how much I can fit in this bag - it is pretty big! It is going to see me through traveling to uni, geology field trips and weekends away perfectly. I'm proud of myself for how practical it is.

I've been tempted by some classic Calvin Klein underwear for a while now so since I could get my hands on them for cheaper I thought I might as well. They are very comfy too which is a bonus.

The only reason I don't have a Microplane of my own already is because it would set me back about £20 so when I saw this one for $10 I couldn't resist. I know I'll use it all the time while cooking so I was a little too excited!

Of course I picked up some souvenirs to remember our trip. The jewel of my collection is Hermione Granger's wand - bought from Ollivanders in Diagon Alley. I don't think I need to say more really - it was a bit of a treat being on the more expensive side but it was bought from Ollivanders... If you love Harry Potter you'll get it. I do sit and play with it!

I spotted this Space Shuttle Atlantis cup and thought it would be a fun reminder of seeing the real thing which was an amazing experience. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the NASA badge yet but I thought it was cool.

My only regret is not being able to find a 'tacky' Orlando photo album for all my holiday pictures of failing that some fun stickers for my scrapbook when I start putting it together. Maybe I should have started looking sooner.

There were plenty of things I resisted, Kate Spade purse I'm looking at you, because my student budget wouldn't quite stretch. I'm looking forward to going back when I have an adult job and I'm able to save properly.    

Want to hear more about Orlando? Why not check out these other posts:

Wednesday, July 20

Visiting Busch Gardens Tampa

I didn't plan on writing another post about our holiday in Orlando but as I'd written about the Kennedy Space Center and Universal Studios it seemed wrong to miss out Busch Gardens which was also part of our Orlando FlexTicket Plus.

We drove there on the second day we had the car. It took about an hour and a half to go to Tampa on the west coast. I like traveling with Scott and we were able to amuse ourselves with the cheesy ads on the radio and the fact there was a McDonalds every five minutes. You might think I'm exaggerating but I'm really not!

Busch Gardens is predominantly a Zoo so I was most excited to see all the animals and in particular the giraffes which are my favourite. It was good to see they all seemed well taken care of and happy although the were mostly feeling lazy in the unbelievable heat. 

The flamingos were more scary than I expected with their big peaks. Of course the orangutans were a highlight swinging on the ropes in their enclosure. It was cool to see animals really close up including the kangaroos, wallabies, hyenas, lemurs, meerkats and of course the sleeping gorilla. I loved the hippos but sadly my picture went missing - I didn't realise how huge they were!

At the end of the day we caught the train around the Serengeti Plain where we saw lots of African animals including rhinos, zebra, antelope and of course the giraffes. I was so happy that we got to do this and see the animals closer up before we headed home again.

The park is also full of roller coaster and rides - they have eleven rides for 'thrill seekers'. Hearing the stats about them ('70 mph coaster whirlwind' and 'a 60-foot vertical loop and 7 inversions') I knew they weren't for me!

Instead Scott and I compromised and went on the water rides. The Congo River Rapids and Stanley Falls (pictured above) were both a lot of fun. I like the rapids (similar to the popeye ride at universal) because they have drops and spinning sections without being scary. The Falls however are different with a 40-foot drop to the base of Stanley Falls at the end it was kind of scary for me.

Both of these rides we got soaked on so it is best to do them at the start of the day so you have plenty time to dry out. In that heat it isn't very difficult though.

As this park is much further away than the rest Scott and I only came here the once. We spent the majority of the day exploring and left about 6pm totally shattered. I did try to persuade Scott to go on some of the coasters without me but he said no as he had already been on them on his last trip. I didn't want to spoil his fun after all!

Want to hear more about Orlando? Why not check out these other posts: