Saturday, 31 May 2008

Saturday night with the girls!

Saturday 24th May- With the impending Sex and the City movie (which we went to see tonight! Awesome! But that's for another post!!) Hillary, Becky, Hannah and myself decided to have a girlie night and watch the sixth series... or as much as we could fit in an evening!! There are over 5+ hours of series 6!!

So I made a tasty tea of chicken, avocado, pine nut and bacon salad; garlic and chilli prawn spaghetti; tomato, basil, red onion and mozzarella side salad; asparagus wrapped in parma ham with Parmesan... do you think I made enough food for 4!!!!

Hannah was running a relay of the Edinburgh marathon on the Sunday so the pasta was for her! She also had to leave earlier as to get some beauty sleep- with a 9am start she needed to be well rested!

Becky, Hillary and I however managed to talk into the wee small hours of the morning! They left at about 1.45am!!! ... and we weren't even drinking!! (well only a small glass of champagne each!)
It was such a lovely evening- really good for the soul! It was weird to go to bed without Nathan though! He'd been gone since the Wednesday afternoon!

But more fun was to be had over the Bank holiday weekend!

Friday night family dinner!

23rd May- My Mum was back up for the weekend as her business partner Martha was giving a lecture at Edinburgh College of Art. You can check out the landscapes/ installations the company have created at 'marthaschwartz.com'. My Mum works as Martha's Director of Business Development and so they had a big dinner on the Thursday for friends and clients after the lecture... but this also meant she got to stay up for the rest of the weekend.... And with Nathan away in Barcelona I got to spend some quality time with my family!

Friday evening we all met up at a restaurant local to me... different side of town from my Dad's house but it's good to venture out of your comfort zone! Mind you I think I have been to La Partenope about 3 times in the last 2 months!

It was so good to catch up and I could share my good news about the 3 week job! Dougie had his last exam the next again Tuesday so he came out on Friday as he would have to be studying all the rest of the weekend... (he is now finished all his exams and course work and starts his first job on Monday!!- no time to relax for him!!)

The food was awesome! Fantastic fish!! I'm loving these good restaurants near me that are popping up! Although it's not good for the bank balance- or my waist line!! Although I had healthy fish for dinner- nourishing food!!

(the picture of Becky and Dougie showing their bottom teeth is because they were sick of my taking photos!! It was their silent protest!)

Trying to grab some time!!

Well I have just finished my first week at the agency and I've really enjoyed being back to work again. My job is not rocket science and I'm not really getting to interact with many people but it's a good stepping stone to see where I want to be in agency life!

I've got a big workload on this project so my head has been down all week! (I've got a very sore neck!!)

Of course because I only found out I'd be doing the job last Friday I had made loads of plans for this week!! I've been out every night!! (because I thought I would have been in the house every day!!)

And after the long bank holiday weekend (which was packed full!) I'm ready for a rest!

No such luck as I have a promotion on tomorrow- for Slendertone... and boy do I need to use their products!! I will have to be the before example!!

I've now been a member of the gym for 2 months and I've been twice!! Once to join and once to go swimming!! I need to change this big time!!

I am however looking forward to working with my friend Shona tomorrow- I haven't seen her in ages!! It'll be great to catch up!

And then on Sunday we are going to the 'Taste festival' in the Meadows in Edinburgh- a huge Foodie festival!! Yum!!! (doesn't quite work with my previous paragraph about hitting the gym!)

Well anyways before I tell you all about my week I'm going to go back to last weekend and get it all in chronological order!! Get this blog in shape!!

Happy catching up!! x

Monday, 26 May 2008

What a difference a day makes!

Well I have so much to update on my blog but it's already half eleven and I have to get some sleep as I am starting a new job tomorrow!! Hooray!! It's only three weeks work but who knows what else it may lead to!!

Last week I had my list of things to do and I was ploughing on with them- greatly helped by the fact Nathan left early for Barcelona... so by Friday I was almost at the end of my jobs to do list. Whilst I was waiting on some call backs I got a call from the lovely lady at the agency that I interviewed with. She said it wasn't the dept I'd interviewed for but one of the other parts of the company needed someone for 3 weeks and wondered if I was interested... so I jumped at the chance and went in to interview with them for the 5th time!!

Really it was just a formality this time... so I am signed up until the 12th of June which is 'hand in day'- so it's going to be pretty stressful and I am quite nervous if truth be told... but it's good to challenge yourself!!

So I start tomorrow!! Eek! I went today and bought a new note book and pencil case!! Just like I'm starting back to school!! Almost bought Nathan and I matching lunch boxes (plain Tupperware ones before you think I'm going totally off my head on the school nostalgia!! )

I've also got a really good contact at another agency who phoned me back on Friday so I'm going to ensure although I'm going to put my all into these 3 weeks I'm not going to drop any of the other opportunities because as much as I want them to turn round and make it permanent after I finish this project they might also have no vacancies... so as my mother has advised me... I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket!!

But for now I'm going to concentrate on the job at hand and I'm determined to show them what I'm made of!!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Barcelona!








This time last year Nathan and I took a 5 day trip to Barcelona... it was amazing!! We'd only been together 7 months and it was our first break away... we rented the cutest little apartment in a trendy area called the El Borne (think I spelt it right!)

We did everything!! We traveled round on the tour buses and just about got off at every stop! We ate seafood at the market, accompanied with a bottle of Cava- yum! Saw all the wonderful architecture. We went to the most fantastic seafood restaurant which was over 100 years old- we started diner at 11.45pm and ate a huge platter of amazing seafood... it was really special.

At the end of our five day break I came home and Nathan stayed out for a rugby 7's tournament (the reason we'd picked Barcelona)

This year he's back out there again for the rugby tournament and left yesterday. (Massive mix up- as he thought his flight was today, but luckily checked his e-mail yesterday morning and his flight was booked for last night!!! Why are men always so organized!! ;-)

The rest of the guys don't get out there until tonight or tomorrow so he's had some time to wonder around and soak up the sites... He just phoned me from the top of the cable car where we'd had a lovely moment last year and it made me so sad that I'm not there too!!

But we made a promise last year that when the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's famous church is finished (in about 26 years!- they started construction in the 1880's!) we will def return... I have a feeling we'll be back before then!

Here are some of our photos from last year... warm fuzzy memories! La Sagrada Familia; One of the Gaudi buildings; Fruit at the market, Seafood; Modern coloured roof conversion; Nathan in the El Borne area; the view from our apartment.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Lily West Floristry Classes

Ever since I was at University one of my constant dreams is to one day own a florist shop! (In my fantasy however the income from a little florist shop would allow me to live like a queen!!- not quite the reality!!)

Back in February I saw a sign in a nearby florist, Lily West, for evening classes....so I signed up!
I loved it!! It was so relaxing and such a good escape! I stayed for two months and adored having fresh displays in the house every week! I even had the tallest bouquet of Valentines roses.

I saw on her site yesterday that there are still spaces for the July and August classes. Finances permitting I would love to go again. August is all roses including wedding bouquets and corsages.

I learnt things that just make such a difference... it's hard going though and watching Susan do a bouquet in less than 5 minutes- and it still looks amazing- made me realize it's probably a lot more stressful than I ever imagined... so for now I think I'll just keep it as a hobby! But maybe one day!!

Below are the photos of my flowers- hand ties, baskets and vase arrangements .

Lily West Florist


















Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Rosemary & Garlic Rack of Lamb with Apricot, Coriander and Pine Nut Couscous

We had a 500g+ piece of meat with 7 cuts on it. 3 for Nathan and 2 each for Hannah and I.

I put the rack in a zip lock bag with olive oil, garlic and rosemary earlier in the day... I'd scored the surface of the meat slightly so it took in the flavour. Then I popped it in the fridge until later on.

As I mentioned earlier I got my timings a little bit muddled! I should have put the lamb in when I put the tart in... cooked the lamb for 20 minutes and then a further 30 minutes... Well you live and learn... So my lamb didn't go in until after the tart was out so we had a wee while to wait... but we opened a lovely bottle of Fleurie and passed the time with the art of conversation!!

When the lamb was almost ready Nathan got to work on the Couscous.

1.Place 250g of Couscous in a bowl (Nathan adds knobs of butter now but some people wait till after) and gently pour over 300ml of boiling water.
2.Stir well, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
3. Separate the grains with a fork before serving.
4. Nathan added chopped dried apricots, chopped coriander and pine nuts... I'm not sure of his measurements but I would just use your own judgement!

Hannah and I eating our tasty tea!

Courgette, Mushroom and Mozzarella Tart

When I was babysitting on Friday night I was reading the Good Food magazine devouring the recipes! So when we did our big shop at the weekend I had to buy my own copy! So many great recipes!!

Courgette, Mushroom & Mozzarella Tart

Serves 4 * Preparation 8 minutes* Cook 20 minutes

Ingredients


2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
1 garlic clove, crushed
375g ready rolled puff pastry sheet
125g bal mozzarella, cut into chunks
100g/4oz mushrooms, sliced
1 courgette, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano

1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix the tomato paste and garlic together. Place the pastry on a baking sheet and score the border about 1cm in from the edge. Prick the pastry within the border all over with a fork, then spread with the tomato mixture.
2. Top with the cheese, mushrooms and courgette, drizzle with olive oil, then evenly scatter over the oregano along with a little salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden, then slice and serve with salad.

Tip: If you're making this tart ahead of time, top the pastry with the vegetables and cheese, then chill until ready to bake. (this is what I did- so when Hannah arrived all I had to do is pop it in the oven!.. and I'd made the salad ahead of time too)

This was wolfed down so fast that I only got to take a photo of the last slice- before Nathan could guzzle it!!

Culinary delights!

After my afternoon in the sun I came home and prepared a tasty tea.

My old flatmate and friend, Hannah was coming round. I was very happy in the kitchen cooking some fabulous food for us.

Nathan and I did a huge shop at the weekend, as well as our beef joint we also got a rack of lamb. I've never cooked this before but thankfully it came with instructions to follow (pity I needed Nathan to point out to me that it was 20 minutes per 430g not just 20 minutes all in!! ooops!)

So we had;

Starter: Courgette, mushroom and mozzarella tart accompanied with a garden salad
Main: Rosemary and garlic rack of lamb on a bed of apricot, coriander and pine nut couscous

Quite liking my descriptions!!

I took some photos- Hannah thought this was quite amusing! But it looked good I was impressed with myself! (with a little help from Nathan on the timings and as chief maker of couscous!)

Relaxing in the sun!

Yesterday morning I did some job searching on line and was ready to spend the rest of the day doing chores and jobs around the house... but I decided to have the afternoon off...it was too nice outside!

So I wondered into town, took one of my new books and relaxed!

I lay on the grass in Princes Street gardens and felt like I actually had a day off. So nice!

And I'm loving the picturesque photos I took! I love Edinburgh!! It's so beautiful... and so green at the moment.... there is obviously a reason we have to put up with all the rain we get!