Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Moonwalk Training!

Well the Moonwalk training is not going so badly.

Emma and I went for a walk around the Meadows on Sunday and I thought we'd only walked a wee bit but when I put it into Google Maps it turns out we walked about 3.5 miles and I walked a further 1.5 so not too bad!!

We did however go to Toast for brunch after our walk and totally undid all our good work with breakfast and a cupcake!! Yum!
A delicious Toast cupcake!

I have also decided to try and walk home from work 3 times a week. My wee legs were so tired after Sunday that yesterday I only managed it up to the top of Leith Walk. I had to walk on the wrong side of the street from the buses because it was all too tempting to jump on a bus home. Again I wasn't so bad as I did 1.4 miles!

I might have to revert to using normal trainers as my MBTs are really working my legs- so much that they were agony yesterday!

I also might need a bit of training on mind over matter!

Matter Box

I found out about this new product through work.

Matter is a box full of FREE things you might like… to keep

Matter is a new way for companies to talk to you by giving you real, physical things you might like to keep, use or give to your friends.

Matter is a box full of nice things delivered to you on a Saturday morning. Inside the box is a selection of items from different companies–which might be useful, entertaining or just fun.

Matter is free–all you have to do is subscribe.

http://www.matterbox.co.uk/

I'll keep you up to date on what I recieve in my first Matterbox!

Friday, 27 March 2009

More Good News!


Now that everyone in our office has been told as have our clients I can tell you that from the 1st of April I will be an Account Manager or Project Manager (the title has not been decided yet!) for the Promotional Partnership team here at Leith!!

HOORAY!!

I am working on a number of Scottish Government Projects which include Greener projects and many more. A large part of my job is working with Field Staff and Promotional Staff to get the Scottish Government's message out there. I am LOVING it!! It's very stressful and when I officially move into my new role I am sure it will be even more so- hey I'm here on a Friday night at 18:30!!

It is so funny how life works out! I am doing Trade Marketing (posters/ wobblers/ barkers/ stickers etc) which was part of my job at Red Bull and I am also working with all the promo staff which I used to do part time and then last year worked full time to keep my head above water.

The number of days that I spent last year thinking- "what am I doing!! It's 7.30/ 8am in the morning and I'm at the train station handing out leaflets!! Where is this ever going to take me!!"

The world works in a wonderful way because I held out and looked for what I wanted and if I had to write my perfect job description- this would be it! (maybe I'd also pay myself millions though!!)

I can totally relate to the team leaders and event managers out there because it wasn't too long ago that I was doing that very same job.

I am also getting to write some copy- although I'm needing a little work on that. And the other day I did my first creative brief!! So exciting!!

So all is well and if I can hack the pace (which is crazy!! This is even faster than London pace!) I hope to be here for a long time!!

Good news!!

Sutent made avaliable on the NHS!

To those of you that are close to me you will know what this means!

Click here to read a summary of the latest news.

GREAT NEWS!!! x

Cinema!

Nathan and I have joined up to Cineworld's monthly unlimited card. It means we pay a set amount each month (it cost less than two full price cinema trips!) and we get to go as many times as we want!

My Sister and Dougie are all ready members as are several friends so we can now be part of the cinema club! A great cost saving exercise- as long as we buy no snacks when we get there!! We have seen two great movies in the last week. I loved Marley and Me... such a laugh out loud and escapism movie! It was exactly what I was in the mood for!! I cried so much at the end though!! If you've ever had a crazy pet it's great too watch. In one scene Marley is shown running over fences with a chicken in his mouth- it very much reminded me of our bad ginger Tom cat, Fluffy- he was with us from the time I was 3 years old until I was 22!! That's a long life for a cat! All of our childhood friends still bring him up as he had such a unique (and temperamental) personality!! (good memories!!)
The second good movie was duplicity. I love movies like this that keep you guessing and I tell you what Clive Owen is pretty hot. The chemistry between him and Julia Roberts is great. Good to see her back doing lead roles... she is on great form!

So no doubt we will be watching LOADS of movies in the coming months!

Spring Flowers

Well Spring can't quite make up it's mind if it's here or not... we've had some beautiful days and we've had some horrible windy days.. then we've had days like today which just can't make up their mind! I woke up to blazing sunshine coming through the curtains this morning and then by the time I went for my lunch I just about blew away in the wind! Here is my new spring table. Nathan's not too keen on the twigs as he thinks from far away they look too bare but I really like that. They look wintery but once you are close up you see the beginnings of spring!
I wanted a from the earth feeling to my daffodil arrangement so instead of mud I popped some peebles into the vase. When the daffs bloom they will be a circle of colour! I can't wait!
It the simple pleasures that make me happy! So glad it doesn't take much to keep me amused!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Easter ideas!

In Germany and Austria, it's customary to celebrate Easter by hanging hollow eggs from the branches of trees. My Mum has always done this as a tradition in our family home. I hold her responsible for a lot of my decoration extravagence.

This year, I plan to replicate her easter tree by using either pussy willow branches or branches with yellow flowers (I am not sure what they are called but they are everywhere at the moment!) I got his pic from the Martha Stewart website.

I did however get a little ahead of myself today. I was out doing a mystery shop on some of our promo staff and when I came back I dived into the coffee shop for a quick americano to go. The lady in front of me had the most beautiful branches with cherry blossom on them. I know that it would be better for the blossom to be left on the tree but it was GORGEOUS! She told me she got it just across the road from my work at a wee shop called so I popped across and purchased two bunches.

I love cherry blossom and would love to live in a street filled with cherry blossom trees! I'll take a picture of my flowers once I'm home. For now they are sitting in a pint glass in the office!

I love pussy willow branches too. My Dad has a willow tree that we bought him a while back in his garden and it looks so pretty the way it bends and lays onto the grass.
I'm not a fan of peach but I do love these baskets of tulips a great idea and very simple too. The above picture is from the Martha Stewart website too.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Spring is here!!


Spring is here!! Hooray!

We have had a good few days of sunshine and it is putting the spring in my step! Especially as I have now recovered from my migraine at the beginning of the week.

My friend Heidi is linked to this fantastic site called Hostess with the Mostess. I love all their ideas-especially as their table displays are really achievable and inexpensive.
I adore this idea for an Easter table- so simple and beautiful! I think I am more of a colourful floral person but I might take this idea and run with it for Easter!

They also have a great blog that is always full of inspiration and makes me wish I was state side so I could purchase all the items they talk about.

Today I read about how Orla Kiely is going into Target! So wishing I was able to go to a target and buy up all her products!
Her bags are still on the pricey side but actually I have one tucked away somewhere that my Mum bought me as an "Easter basket" a number of years back. (I must look it out!)

Mother's Day and Migraines!

Sadly I have no pictures from Mother's Day as I was not feeling on top form (more about that later!) I spoke to my Mum on the phone and had a good catch up on all her news. She also had a wee package sent down to her but I had to send it to her office so she didn't get it in time- thankfully it is not perisable.

We had a very productive day on Sunday and after running errands around town we went round to Nathan's Mum's and met them back at their house for a quick lunch. Lily and Neil had been at their allotment all morning and their crops are coming along nicely! I can't wait to get more fresh veg for the summer- it tastes so good! Lily loved her spring flowers and she was going to put them into the front window.

We had all looked on Google Street the week before and Lily's front room had a beautiful bouquet of flowers in the window when the google photographers went past- as my great grandma would have said- 'more people go by you than come in- so always make sure your house looks good from the outside!' How true! Especially with all the world able to see the front of your house through the internet!!

We worked out they must have taken the snaps 2 years ago in the summer because it is before Nathan and I moved into his flat- which is a shame as his previous tennants had the blinds down on a sunny day! I've gotten rid of the blinds because I love the sun streaming in our front room- (any way enough waffle!!)

We then went down to visit my Grandma and brought her some flowers too and then after our visit did some shopping for her. She is getting better after breaking her hip but is still not back to 100%.

It was when we were coming back from the shops that I started to get a migraine. I have been getting them a lot in the last year- so much so that I have been to see a neurologist who tells me what I sometimes suffer from are facial migraines- who knew there were such a thing!!

So I took my new medicine from the doctor and it totally knocked me for six. Nathan was kind enough (horrible boy!) to take this photo that he thinks is really funny! It shows how totally out of it I was!!I still felt awful the next day and had to take the day off. I don't think I'll be taking those tablets again- or if I do I will have to make sure I am supervised!! Nathan said I was talking total nonesense and making no sense!! Oh dear!! (I think it might have also been tiredness from the last few weeks!!)

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Hannah's 30th Birthday Cake!


I LOVE this cake!! Hannah's friend Claire made her a deer head to celebrate them completing the Mightydeerstalker. It was made with raspberry and vanilla sponge filling so it actually looked like the inside of a deer head!! (he he!- Hestor Blumenthal and his feast series has a lot to answer for!) The cake tasted amazing!! I loved his eyes and little antlers!!

Deerstalker!

After a morning of jobs with Nathan and a tasty breakfast I ventured into town to do errands with Hillary including returning Nathan and I's costumes from last week.

We then drove down to Traquair in the Borders to cheer Hannah on as her and some friends completed the 5k MightyDeerstalker. A crazy race through the hills and water where you get to dress in your plus fours and country wear! It was Hannah's 30th last Monday and so she wanted to complete the race as part of her birthday celebrations!
It was a beautiful setting so Hills and I had a good nosey round- we were looking for the famous maze but we ended up getting in the way of the runners so we gave up and went to the finish line to cheer on the guys as they finished the crazy run. There were some great costumes which we clapped as they neared the finish line!

I hadn't realized that the Mighty Deerstalker is organized by the same guys that do the Rat Race who are my old colleagues at Red Bull. So I had a good natter to them and caught up on their amazing success. They may have even convinced me to do the race next year- only the 5k though- and only if I get to dress up!
Claire, Pete, Martin, Sarah and Hannah

It also turned out that one of the guys in Hannah's team was a family friend growing up who I hadn't seen in 12 years! Him and his girlfriend raced with Hannah and her friends Martin and Claire. Hillary and I made loads of noise as they came through the finish line and the guys were so exuberant as they ran over the line that the MC commented that they must be students! Not bad for 30 year olds!!We also met one of the girls who Hannah, Hils and I had been in Arran with last summer and it turned out I work with her sister (so many connections) There was a great atmosphere at the event. We would have liked to have stayed over and taken part in the evenings festivities! The 10k set off at 5.30 and some of it would be run in the dark! The starting line looked beautiful with the house in the background and then the first obstacle was big bails of hay (quite funny watching everyone jump them!) But hey there was a disco in the woods to look forward to when they returned!We however drove back to Edinburgh and took in the scenery and prepared ourselves for cocktails at Hannah's that night!

Lorna's Leaving Night and Shenga!

Promises of a chilled out weekend never quite happened!!

Friday night I rushed back from work and met Nathan and all his work mates at Bell's Dinner in Stockbridge. It was his colleague and our friend Lorna's leaving night so after some tasty burgers and delicious red wine we all vetured over to the Baillie.

We had quite a bit to drink and so it was suggested that we play shoe jenga! A little bit crazy but a lot of fun! Like normal Jenga it involves building a tower but instead of bricks you use your shoes. Then once built you have to take a shoe out of the tower without toppling it over!
Eventually the staff had enough of us and our rowdy nonesense so we ventured up to Kayes Bar and then to the Standard and eventually on our merry way home!

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Cupcake bug is catching!

The cupcake bug is really catching. My friend Julie gave me loads of inspiration and tips on websites for my cakes and then my sister has now been baking away too!

Becky made some cute looking cakes for her friend from work Tina's baby shower. They hosted it at their Bistro at work and had a lovely ladies lunch.

I love Becky's decor too! So cute!!

Cupcakes!

I received a really nice e-mail from my friend Vicki today- She was sent a link for gifts and it included a cupcake website. They were charging minimuim of £27 for 12 cakes or £35 for 20 cupcakes!!
She said mine were sooo much nicer!!! And that I should start a lil business! Which was very lovely of her! I'd need a friend that's good at websites and then if I could face going through that every week it could be worthwhile.

I've started watching Ace of Cakes. It showcases all the cakes that charm city cakes in Baltimore make. They are so inspiring!

For now I think I'll stick to my day job but it's one to keep for the notebook and go back to! That and my florist/ craft/ tea and cake shop!!

But hey if anyone wants any cupcake ideas or help in making them- I'm always here!! Plus for a nominal fee of a bottle of vino plus costs I'm sure I could rustle some up for a special occassion!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Cupcakes Close Up!

SCOTLAND- Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream icing and blue sugar. Milkyway Mini Egg with black icing. Green royal icing. Toothpick died green and topped with a mini marshmallow dipped in buttercream icing and rolled in purple sugar.
IRELAND- Chocolate Cupcake with Buttercream icing dyed green. Sprinkled with green sugar and shamrock sprinkles. Topped with a milkyway mini egg with black icing.
WALES- Their National flower is the daffodil! Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream icing. topped with yellow petals cut from royal icing. Finished with a mini marshmallow dipped in buttercream icing and rolled in orange sugar. (this was done on a toothpick but the marshmallow was then removed from the toothpick!)
ENGLAND- Vanilla and Chocolate Swirl Cupcake with Buttercream frosting. Red Sugar and topped with a pre bought red rose (the roses were just too much for me!!)
FRANCE- Vanilla and Chocolate Swirl Cupcake with Buttercream icing. Dipped in Red and Blue sugar and topped with a milkyway mini egg.
ITALY-Vanilla and Chocolate Swirl Cupcake with Buttercream icing. Dipped in Red and Green sugar and topped with a milkyway mini egg.
This was one of my favourites! RUGBY CUPCAKE! Chocolate Cupcake with Buttercream Frosting dyed green and sprinkled with green sugar. Topped with a milkyway mini egg with black icing as stitching. And finally 2 1/2 candy sticks fixed together with wet icing sugar and left to dry to create posts. In hinsight I would put the middle post higher than the middle as half of the post gets lost in the frosting!
My other favourite were the simple SCOTTISH thistles- our national flower. Chocolate Cupcake with Buttercream icing. Royal Icing Dyed Green and cut out into leave shapes. Cocktail stick dyed green (I just put them in a ziplock bag with green food colouring and then layed them out on kitchen paper to dry) with a mini marshmallow dipped in buttercream icing and rolled in purple sugar!

Thank you so much to Hillary and Becky for their brilliant help! I love that my friends also take care with attention to detail! I was so proud of the cupcakes.

The chocolate tasted way better than the vanilla and the vanilla and chocolate swirl but aparently that is due to the moisture.

So if you are having a rugby themed party- or hey the RUGBY CUPCAKE could be adapted to be an American football cupcake! Then there are some ideas!!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Brunch on Sunday!

We had a lovely brunch on Sunday with friends and family. My Dad and Nathan's Mum and Dad were updated on all the goings on of the Saturday night which they had left us 'young ones' to enjoy.
One of the guys Nathan works with organized for a few bottles of prosecco to be on our table- which was lovely. His girlfriend Nick is a manager in Rick's and they looked after us very well.
We had a wee private area and the table was laid beautifully. Nathan pouring some tasty rose prosecco.
It was full Scottish Breakfast for everyone and I had a Bloody Mary to keep the hangover at bay! Nathan, Ed, Greg and Piki got back on the booze and then after we'd had some cupcakes and coffee they headed off to watch the rugby- back to the scene of the crime at the Standard.Hillary, Becky and I headed back to Becky's house and vegged on their couch all of Sunday! We were very sleepy kittens!!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

6 Nations Fancy Dress!

A lot of the boys didn't dress up which was a little dissapointing. (Although Ramen and Kells, pictured above, were Mafia Gansters) most of them had been at the match so we'll let them off. (Scotland sadly lost to Ireland!!) All the girls made a great effort though and we all seemed to go with a French theme!! Pictured above- Me as Marie Antoinette, Carine as a French lady complete with french baguette, Hillary as a French hen, Charmaine as a Moulin Rouge dancer, Becky as a French Maid and Zara as a French lady- I loved her skirt!
Lorna and Bernie with Emily and Vicki who had sashes made that said Miss Scotland and Miss Ireland. Very good effort!
After giving a lovely speech Nathan nominated Hillary as the best dressed. I loved her feather boa rear and the big red feathers that made her tail- she put so much effort into it! Brilliant!
Annabelle and Pete Burns came as French frogs and were so cute! Especially with Annabelle's baby bump! I love that they always make such an effort!!
Hills and I posing for the camera! A French Frog and Welsh Dragon! "There is only one red dragon!" was the chant of the night! Mr Pickivance in his element!!
Colin Pickavance had worn his Welsh Red Dragon outfit since 12 that day to watch the rugby in. He said people kept coming up to him telling him- you've got the wrong game mate- we played Wales a month ago!!
Becky and Dougie enjoying the cupcakes! Dougie was an Italian Mafia boss!I love this photo!! So funny! I think it's one for Dougie's facebook profile photo!! he he!!
Leona, Vicki and I I think the funniest bit of the night was when we left the Standard and ventured up to Gran Cruz. There was me- as Marie Antoniette, A Welsh Dragon, Pavarotti and a French Hen! The looks we got were priceless!! What a great night! But I have to say at the end of it I was very thankful to be able to breath again and get my wig off! I don't envy the renaissance woman that's for sure!!