Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Burgh Island Hotel

I am in love!!

I adore Art Deco as a style and I love Art Deco Hotels and Cinemas. It harks back to a glamorous age of dressing for dinner and afternoon tea!

When I was watching this past weeks episode of Kirstie's Homemade Home (I am loving it!- see my previous post on last week's episode) Kirstie visited Burgh Island Hotel for some inspiration for her bathrooms. It was amazing!!

Have a look at their website. The website says "set like a diamond on its own tidal island, is our unique English Art Deco hotel. Built in 1929, extended in 1932 and completely restored to its ‘30s glamour, the Burgh Island Hotel is a retreat like none other. History is present in every aspect of your stay, hand in hand with 21st century standards of service and facilities. The hotel sits sparkling in its special island environment: Sea views, sunshine, waves, cliffs, floating birds and sand surround you. The beauty and intrigue of an island visit has always drawn guests who are looking for something different but an experience that is almost timeless; a genuine step back into an age of sophistication, manners and elegance."

You can get married or have a party on the island and can rent out all 50 of the rooms to make it your own private affair for the weekend! It costs about £30,000 to do so however!! (and that's before the alcohol, flowers etc!) So hey maybe if I one day win the lottery!! I might just have to settle with taking inspiration from the beautiful decor.

I have only been to that part of the world once when we visited friends who were renting a cottage near Salcombe. It was really nice weather and so laid back! So maybe a wee trip to Cornwall and Devon is what's called for. Salcombe, Falmouth, Penzance, Newquay and Padstow here I come!!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Accies Ladies Monthly Catch Up.

Before we got together the girls said not to go to too much effort but as I joked with them- I never need an excuse to cook up a storm in the kitchen and it will give me something to blog about!

I didn't manage to get away from work bang on time yesterday so I was a little pushed with my prep for last nights drinks and nibbles. I managed to take a few snaps but my camera is not that good in evening light so they don't look as tasty as they actually were.

We had a great evening and it was so lovely to catch up with everyone. I will be sad if Nathan does go to another club next year but hey that's another story! It was really nice to hear every one's news and have a few drinkies. I also got some lovely hostess gifts- so thank you to all! My wine shelf is nicely replenished!!

Prawn and avocado with prawn Marie rose dip. (The prawns are half circles so I decided they counted!)

Tomato, Mozzarella, Pesto and Basil. I love this as a salad and it worked well as a nibble.
Circular Tortilla Chips with salsa, sour cream and guacamole- if I was to do this again I'd put a little bit of cheese on and also jalapenos for me (I love chillies!) I thought this was a good idea as it shares the dip around!
I was a bit messy with my dill but I loved these! Blinis (not sure that's spelt right!) with creme fraiche, smoked salmon and dill, with lemon on the side.
I was looking for mini Yorkshire puddings but I had to settle for regular sized ones and I put a little bit of roast beef in them and gravy on the side.
All the Accies ladies. Left to right- Zara, Emily, Leona, Wendy, Lorna, Lesley and Vicki.

My table. Including the spotty paper plates and napkins. I pinched Lesley's ideas for the paper plates and it definitely made it easier tidying up! Since we don't have a dishwasher it is always a nightmare but I think I will def be doing paper plates from now on!
Chocolate Cupcakes and little chocolate treats. I just melted dark chocolate into the small cases and topped with pistachio nuts and then melted white chocolate as well and topped that with coconut shavings- such an easy little treat!

The girls also got a goodie bag each to take back to the boys but I have a feeling some of those cupcakes didn't make it further than the trip home! ;-)

A great evening and I am looking forward to Lorna's next month.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Polka Dot Cupcakes!

Since the beginning of the year the Accies girls have taken it in turns to host an evening on the last Tuesday of the month. The boys are all at training (except my boy- but he was at the beginning of the year!!) We have some girlie catch ups and some tasty nibbles.

Vicki and Leona, who share a flat, had pancakes for Shrove Tuesday and a chocolate fountain- yum!! I'm a big fan of Chocolate fountains!! Lesley had tasty warm indian and chinese nibbles and now it's my turn I wasn't sure what to do.

So I decided to use my plates/ crockery for inspiration. So I'm going with a polka dot theme!! I made cupcakes last night (I'm hoping they will still be okay this evening) I am so pushed for time as work is full on!!

So all the food I am serving is round- mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef, bilinis with smoked salmon, tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, tomato basil and mozzarella and more...

Here's a wee pic of my cupcakes... Nathan and Ramen managed to munch their way through a few of them last night.. I just hope there is still enough- I'm sure there will be!!I'll post some pics tomorrow of the food all made up.

No Photos!

You will be amazed to learn that I took no photos over the weekend!! I left my camera plugged into my work computer! oops!

We had such a busy jam packed weekend too!! I will look out for some other people's snaps on facebook but for now there is sadly no illustration of the madness and mayhem!! I def want to try and pinch some of Emily's from Saturday night!

So our weekend itinerary was as follows:

Friday night
I had work drinks which I escaped from early (I knew I had a big weekend ahead of me!) So Nathan and I drove out to IKEA for the final bits we needed for the flat. Annoyingly they didn't have everything we needed- ggrr! But we got a few good bits.

I also got to go to Hobby Craft!!! Hooray!!! I was so so excited about going!! It was AMAZING!! I could buy the whole place. For my American friends Hobby Craft is like Michael's- my idea of heaven!! All craft facilities under one roof!! I even bought some materials to make a fasinator for the wedding I am going to in a fortnight- not sure how it will turn out though!! I'll keep you posted.

And then to finish the evening off we went to my FAVOURITE take away fish and chip restaurant L'albo doro Their fish and chips are my absolute favourite!! Plus I'd been SO good with my gym work this past week I was allowed a treat!

We did more chores (why is house work never ending!!) and we even took round 3 loads of laundry to hang in Nathan's parents clothes line as it was such a nice sunny day (clothes take days to dry in our flat!) Nathan's parents were away for the weekend so we did the plant watering jobs too... (well Nathan did)

Then we went down to watch the end of the Semi Final between Heriots and Accies. Sadly the Accies boys lost.. boo hiss! But it was good to catch up with everyone. My Dad was also down so I got to see him briefly. I hadn't seen him since Easter (everyone has been so busy!)

We then dashed home to get changed and after a drive by to take the laundry down from the line (not the easiest thing to do when your all dressed up and your heels are going into the ground) we met up with the Accies couples crew for Hendy's birthday. !

I got some great snaps last year but no such luck this time round!! Although as Hendy calls me 'Japan', due to my excessive picture taking, I think a lot of the boys were quite glad!!

We had a great meal at Coconut Grove and it was full of the usual banter which was great fun!! There were 15/16 of us there in total and we were in full swing as it was BYOB but we also sampled their Margaritas too.

We had to leave straight after dinner as we were double booked and we headed down to Hamilton's Bar for Nathan's friend's Engagement Party. They have been living in New Zealand for a number of years now but were back for his sister's wedding. It was great to meet them and good to see all of Nathan's friend's from school and their partners.

We had a really late night on the Saturday so I wasn't feeling particualrly clever on the Sunday morning. In fact I think I spent most of the morning staring at my massive ironing pile on the couch- I just looked at it and felt guilty as I snoozed away in my hungover state!! Becky also popped round when finishing up her run (she's doing the 10k sponsored run next weekend)

Nathan went off to a golf meet with a new club he has joined. I think he wasn't feeling the brightest before he left but felt much better once he got there.

At four I headed to our friend's Benji and Catriona's for Sunday dinner. There were 5 couples there including the couple who celebrated their engagement the night before. Everyone was pretty tired but it was good to chat one to one rather than the noisy bar from the night before!

We were cooked a delicious meal- Pea and mint soup, Sunday roast- beef, yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings and then a delicious eton mess type dessert! And by the time Nathan arrived we were on the cheese. Catriona kindly left him a big plate to warm up! I love Benji and Catriona's house- Their dinning room in particular is amazing- cornflower blue and white with a huge table that comfortably sits 10... oh I can but dream!! I think we could squeeze 6 people round our little table- at a push!!

We ended up heading home about 11.30!! Such a late night for a school night- especially when we were so tired from the weekend. So I am needing some good sleeps this week to catch up!!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Tasty Teas!

This week we have been really good when it comes to our food. We did a big shop on Sunday and have stuck to our weekly menu! Everything has been made from scratch and has been pretty healthy!

Last night was a veggie overload! I made courgette, mushroom and mozzarella tart and Nathan made a delicious salad- it was so good!!

I had a slight wobble though when Ramen came round later in the evening for a cup of tea. He brought Nathan some millionare shortbread and me a chocolate cake!! But hey I have been a great gym bunny all this week so I deserved it!!!

Thursday, 23 April 2009


I have a huge urge to buy buy buy at the moment and it's all I can do to stay out of the shops! Although saying that Hillary and I were in town over the Bank Holiday weekend and I saw nothing I liked!! I think on-line shopping may be the way forward! As long as you know your style I don't think you can go too wrong!

My Mum is off to the States for work soon so I put in a request for some summer dresses. I have a small amount of pennies set aside, mostly for work wear. She has instructions to go to J Crew (love that store!) Gap and Bananna Republic. I even sent her the google map from her office to the mall!! 14 mins to be exact!! Hopefully she'll have time to go look round for me. Even with this bad economy and the falling pound it's still cheaper to buy Stateside.

I found some very nice dresses on the boden website though.

I'm loving my purple this spring. I really like this dress... it has a lot of the things I'm liking at the moment- purple, corsage and layered colours.
I really like the waist on these dresses too. When I look for dresses I always look for low neck line (flaunt what you've got!) nipped in waist or empire waist and knee length. It also needs to be A line or floaty on the bottom so my big J Lo ass can fit into it!!
I am keen on this jumper but I like it in eggshell. I have a palette of colours that I tend to stick too. Egg Shell/ Mint green, Coral, Navy, Black and White but I've been introducing a bit of emerald green and cornflower blue.
I love these cute shoes. One of my friends had on high heeled versions of these at the Melrose Sevens but these days I don't wear my heels as much. I still have 50+ pairs of lovely heels though! My favourite shoes at the moment are my flat LK Bennet gold peep toe shoes... I bought them two summers ago and have worn them to death- they've been resoled and heeled a number of times but I love them!! So I maybe need to invest in a few new pairs! (once the finances are better!)

I am wearing a navy and white pokka dot dress (I have had it for 2+ years but have not worn it yet!) to a wedding we have at the beginning of May and in the spirit of saving money I am going to wear red with it as I have red shoes, pasmina etc but I don't have a red bag and I saw this one on the boden website and fell in love- it's very expensive for a clutch though!! But I will see how much I can be good with my money in the next week and maybe this can be my one treat for the wedding!! And finally I would love to find a good quality white leather slouchy bag for the summer. I have a great black winter bag that I have used faithfully for the last 4 winter seasons. Each summer I have bought a cheapish white bag and they never last! Last years one got caught in what felt like a Monsoon when I was in Dublin last August- we were soaked through!! The indigo dye from my jeans stained it so I had to throw it out! I hate that!! I have seen this lovely bag in Gap but I noticed it had money off in the states and it's 2/3 cheaper anyways! with the dollar! Hopefully my Mummy Personal Shopper can find it for me!!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Kirstie's Homemade Home!

I am LOVING Kirstie Allsopp's new programme for Channel 4- Kirstie's Homemade Home! Click here to read about the first episode if you missed it.

Kirstie Allsopp, who used to present location, location, location is on a mission to transform a dilapidated country cottage in Devon into the ultimate `homemade' home, with everything either made in the UK, or made by her. Each week, Kirstie renovates a room and creates a unique and personal dream interior. Starting in the kitchen, Kirstie nosed around Lanhydrock House for inspiration, with one of the finest Victorian kitchens in the country. I LOVED her kitchen (except for the WOW letters on the wall!- I love the gold letters themselves, I have some in my bathroom, but I just didn't like the word!)

The aga, the large dining table, the bench, the dresser, the window seat, the Belfast sink! I would have it all!! I also loved the fireplace with two cosy seats beside it and I could imagine having a break with a cup of tea by the fire and a few animals snoozing away by the hearth!

She is living my dream! In the first episode she visited a family friend to re acquaint herself with a sewing machine to make cushions. She made a gorgeous (but slightly odd shaped) blue glass for her table with a glass blower, made a little blue and white pot at a ceremic studio and she also did some flower arranging.... my idea of heaven!! She even had Cath Kidston come and show her how to set up a table by showcasing her own kitchen (I loved Ms Kidston's white kitchen units!)

Throughout the series she is going to be making her own items for the house. I can't wait for the next episode on Thursday at 8pm.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Day 2 of the new routine!

Well day 2 and I'm still going strong!!

Yesterday evening I walked along the Water of Leith from Leith to Stockbridge (almost 4 miles!)... I got a little lost but apart from that it was a lovely spring evening and I even saw a heron on the water!
Note to self though. Pack a rucksack rather than a very heavy overweight handbag ( I felt very lopsided!) And bring my i-pod and bug spray!! Also using my trainers rather than my MBTs meant I was able to go further too! The MBTs work my calves too much!

Then this morning we were up again at 6am - well 6.09 after a wee extra snooze!! And off to the gym for a kite club (Abs)

We have said that for the next 8 weeks we will try and go to the gym every week day morning.... The plan is Monday- swim, Tuesday- Abs, Wednesday- Swim, Thursday- Arms and Legs and then Friday- Swim and then a big walk at the weekend.

It was great having Nathan there- his Sports Science degree and experience of working in gyms is very useful although I think I am less capable than the people he would usually have trained with- for example I had a great, less than graceful dismount from the Swiss ball this morning! (I can never get my balance!!)Not quite what we looked like this morning but I can dream I'll have abs like this one day!
The highlight of the morning however was the poached eggs on English muffin that Nathan made me for my breakfast- yum! It made getting up so early worth it!! Plus I'm liking that I feel like I've already had some of the day to myself, before I get fully consumed in work!

So I am motivated and hopeful it will continue!

Monday, 20 April 2009

New Routine!

Well I don't want to gloat too early as I have only thus far managed one morning! But Nathan and I got up at 6am this morning and went for a swim! ... yes, miracles do happen!!!

My plan is to swim in the mornings and walk home, just less than 4 miles, after work to really get fit for the moonwalk.

I ony have 8 weeks left so I am unsure how much my training will help me but at least I am trying to ease the pain of walking 26.2 miles.

Wish me luck!!

Quick Roast Lamb

  • 400g new potatoes
  • 250g Chantenay carrots , or large carrots cut into big chunks
  • 1 tbsp oil , plus a little more for the lamb
  • 1 sprig rosemary , leaves chopped
  • 100ml red wine
  • 100ml lamb stock , (from a cube is fine)
  • redcrrant jelly
  • 4 lamb chops , or cutlets
  • green beans , or other veg, to serve
  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Put the potatoes and carrots onto a baking tray, toss with the oil and rosemary, then season well. Roast for 15 mins on the top shelf until the veg is golden and almost tender.
  2. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Put the wine and stock into a small pan, then boil until reduced by about two-thirds. Stir in the redcurrant jelly, season and keep warm.
  3. Rub the lamb in a little oil, then season. Tuck the lamb in amongst the veg, then return to the oven for 8-10 mins, turning the lamb halfway through. Serve with the redcurrant gravy and some green veg.
This was delicious (I am a massive fan of lamb!) and it was so quick!
*From Good Food Magazine September 2008.

Sunday Sunshine!

After sleeping all day Saturday we wanted to make the most of Sunday so we got up early- well I did- it was Nathan's turn to sleep in. I gutted our kitchen and did lots of mopping and cleaning.

Once Nathan was up we walked up to Sainsburys with our bags for life (we actually remembered them for once!) We had a wee breakfast there and read the papers and then did a massive shop!! Our cupboards had gotten to the point of being bare (not quite... but it felt like there was nothing to eat! Although I'm sure I could have still feed a small country!)

The weather was glorious (and it's not often that we get such good weather in Scotland) so we rushed home and packed everything away. I LOVE when the cupboards and fridge are full!- I know it's very sad!
Harrison Park which is 5 minutes from our house.
The Canal beside Harrison park.. there were children fishing, families in rowing and canal boats and families walking dogs... it was such a quaint scence!

We went on a big long walk through Merchiston and Morningside and nosed at all the beautiful large houses that we dream of owning one day! I was trying to keep my pace up as part of my training for the moonwalk marathon but I undid all my good work at the end when we went for a Lucas ice-cream! -it was so good though!

Then we went and layed in the Meadows for the rest of the afternoon under the blue sky with the sun blazing (well for Scotland anyway!) The Meadows were packed and there were families having picnics, students playing with footballs and also dogs a plenty. It was so lovely!

The Meadows
The Canal on the loop back round to our house... this is nearer to town and they have been building lots of posh flats right on the water... they look quite cool- especially in the sunshine!

That evening Nathan's parents dropped our blind off that Nathan's aunt had just finished- they are gorgeous!! Once the curtains are up I will post some pics... Nathan's Dad put the blind up for us and they make the window look great.

And finally we are trying to start a new routine so having bought all our food I made a delicious quick roast lamb with veg and we ate at the table (not on our laps as we've tended to do recently!) and then we went to bed early!! Hopefully it will continue all this week and longer but it might take a bit of effort!

All in all a fantastic relaxing weekend!!

The Weekend including Julie's 30th Birthday!

I had a lovely weekend! I did quite a bit but I also caught up on a lot of sleep!!

On Friday Nathan and I went to the cinema with Mark and Zara to see 'I Love You Man'.... I am not usually a huge fan of movies like this but since I wasn't paying any extra for it, with my new cinema card, I thought I'd give it a go. I really enjoyed it! It did exactly what it said on the label- it made you laugh!- more than usual as well. If you are up for a bit of escapism with a little bit of cringe then def go see it!

On Saturday Nathan and I woke really early- 6.45!! What is wrong with us- it was a Saturday! So we went back to sleep and got up later in the morning. After doing some chores I decided that I needed another lay down in the afternoon and I didn't get up again until 7pm!!! I slept for an extra 5 1/2 hours!! Amazing!!! I guess my body must have needed it!

I got up and along with Lesley went to Julie's 30th at Amicus Apple. It was a lovely evening and so good to celebrate with such an old friend (not in age though Jules- 30 is the new 20!!). I can't believe I've known Julie for 18 years!! It's so scarey! Even the fact that our 18th were 12 years ago freaks me out!- eekk! There were loads of lovely people there and everyone enjoyed a great catch up and some lovely drinkies at Amicus (they make great cocktails!)
James (Tanya's fiance), Tanya, Julie, Me and Susan.

Tanya, Julie and I all worked together in Jenners, an independent department store in Edinburgh. We started there in our second last year of high school and used to work on a Thursday evening and Saturday. We'd always meet in the staff canteen on a Saturday for a good gossip! It was great seeing Tanya and catching up with her, although it turns out that she works with Nathan's Mum so has heard all about me! She just didn't realise it was me! She even knew about our new curtains! So funny!- the world is a small place!
I had to pinch these photos from Julie's facebook page (I forgot my camera!- unheard of!!) Me, Kerry and Lesley.
Julie and I used to get the number 8 bus home from school together and first meet aged 11 and 12! By all accounts I think she had a great birthday and had a lovely family brunch the next day too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULES!!

Friday, 17 April 2009

One whole year!

I can't believe it but it's been a year this week since I started Blogging!

Blogging has brought me a lot of enjoyment and I am glad I was introduced to it. I have also noticed that a lot more companies and individuals have joined the blogging world in the last year!

I really love my on-line journal and it is so lovely looking back at all my old posts. I was round at my friend Emma's last night and we were looking back on my photos from last summer and the post on her wedding!

It's been a year of a lot of changing and struggles but I feel like I am getting there and I am sure the next year will bring a lot of surprises too! Here's to the new year of blogging!! x x

Cheeseboard Thursday!

Yesterday at work in an effort to get to know each other better (our company has recently relocated some teams from other floors/ buildings) we held a cheeseboard Thursday over lunchtime for our floor. It was a great success!

We each had to bring our favourite cheese with accompaniments (I couldn't pick so went for one of my favourites) I brought a goats cheese with a little side of apples and cranberry sauce. There were loads of tasty cheeses and although I tried to be good and have only a slither of each- a small amount of 18 cheeses are pretty filling! We had to mark each cheese out of 10 and there was some cheesy music CDs as the prizes!

Toni and Yvonne's Creamy Dream won. Their cheese was delicious! It was a soft cheese with a oat and cracked black pepper crust- yum!!

It was fun to hear everyone introduce their cheese and we had such a variety! From cheese strings and cheddar to blue cheese and very smelly french cheese! We were all very full all afternoon!!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

DIY extravagenza!

On Friday I put the doors onto our IKEA shelves in the livingroom- they have been sitting there since Christmas! I have stored all my cookbooks on the top shelves so it's easy access from the kitchen. I think they look quite shaker style- simple and I love the white! Although looking at this photo I do worry that they are bulging at the sides!! mmm....On Monday we borrowed Nathan's Mum's car and took a trip to IKEA to purchase more shelves- I just have too many things!! So we bought a second set of the shelves in the livingroom for the back bedroom. I really like how nicely it works with the blue!

For the front room we bought an IKEA Expedit shelf and placed it on it's side. It's the same length as the couch so works as a good room divider and will hopefully hide all our mess.... I am currently sorting through everything to put it in the relevant box!
I also put up some picture frames and filled them with photos that used to be in picture frames in my old flat. Nathan also got a number of frames that he is going to fill with his rugby and school days photos.