Friday, 29 May 2009

A weekend of SUN!!

23°C | 13°C

I can't believe it but we have a beautiful cloud free sky this lunchtime!! It is gorgeous!!

Now as most of you may know Scotland is not best known for it's great weather but this year we seem to have been blessed with a bit of good fortune. A stay-cation doesn't seem so daunting as it would in any other year. (For those American's looking at my site 23*C is about 74*F according to the google converter)

Click here to see the forecast for the weekend. Sun sun and more sun!! HOORAY!

I am so excited to leave work tonight as we are off to the Taste festival.

"It takes something pretty spectacular to get Edinburgh’s leading chefs out of their kitchens and into the open air together but Taste of Edinburgh achieves just that! The sell-out event is back this summer in Inverleith Park from May 29-31 - the ultimate weekend for the discerning foodie. Taste of Edinburgh brings together famous chefs from the capital’s best restaurants, as they serve up their signature dishes and share their best kept kitchen secrets whilst star food and drink producers are ever-present with the finest products and produce to take home – the ultimate foodie day out."
We are hopeful of seeing Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall at Taste on Friday night.

So tonight we are having fun and relaxing at the festival, tomorrow I will hopefully be able to drag myself out my bed for a walk (I'll make sure I apply the sun cream this time!) and then we are off to the butcher to pick up some meat and then head to a friend's BBQ- which may actually be in the sun too!! more cheers! Then Sunday I am back at the Taste festival working for my friend Carine on the List Magazine stand so if you are there on Sunday pop by and say hello.

Emma and I's walk

Mid week Moonwalk training!

Duddingston Loch

Emma and I headed off on a midweek Moonwalk Training session last night. We left her house in Newington and after walking up to the video store to drop off her DVDs (hey all the walking counts!) we headed off from the Commonwealth Pool to Duddingston around Arthur's Seat and then walked down to Portobello. We walked along the Promenade and up Portobello Road to Piershill and Jock's Lodge and then back into Queen's Park and around Arthur's Seat back up to Emma's house... that makes it sound easy but we walked 8 miles in total! We were pretty impressed with ourselves.



We didn't walk as fast as we should have but we completed the distance. I really need to get this speed walking sorted.

It was great to catch up and gossip whilst we walked. We also took in lots of the picturesque scenes and of course I had to capture them for my camera.... and also to show Nathan that contrary to his comment on my justgiving site I am training!!!
Duddingston Loch looking onto the Pentland Hills. You can't really see but there were loads of geese chilling out by the water.
I love Portobello! My Grandma grew up here and both my Parents were brought up in this area. It was a large part of my early childhood and I have very fond memories of walking the promenade with my Grandparents and constantly stopping to talk to people. My Grandad was a butcher in Joppa (the next area close to Portobello) so he was well known by his customers.
The house with the green windows and door surround was the house that my Grandma and her siblings grew up in. Sadly in 1999 when my Grandma's brother, James passed away it was sold. Even then it still had an out door toilet (James wasn't interested in it being renovated) but I am sure the new owners have updated it and as you can see the neighbours have also done work on their house and have built in the attic to create more rooms. It is up for sale- so I could move back to my families routes!! These row of houses look right onto the Promenade and Firth of Forth.
Emma took an action shot of me walking around the Loch at Queen's Drive. There were lots of cygnets swimming around with their Swan parents- the parents were a little scary though!
After at least 7 miles of walking- a little windswept!
An action shot of Emma!
Emma with the scary Swans in the background!
Emma and I as the sun was setting and we were almost finished our walk. Tired and ready for our dinner!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

PLEASE, PLEASE SPONSOR ME!!!

I have created my justgiving web page to try and secure sponsorship for the Moonwalk.

It is a really worthwhile cause and any money would be gratefully received.

Please go to my page at: www.justgiving.com/jennielandels

THANK YOU!! x x x x

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Blog Tracker


A month ago I put on a tracker to my blog. I had seen them on others and I thought I'd give it a go to see where people who looked at my site were geographically located.

I had 597 unique hits on my site from the 24th of April to the 25th of May.

Unique hits only count people the first time they visit and don't include return visits on the same IP address. I have had total of 2089 visits. So there are some loyal fans out there- Becky, Heidi, Mark, Zara, Carine, Micheal maybe?

I was most amazed about where people are from who read my blog-

United Kingdom (GB)414
United States (US)97
Canada (CA)15
Netherlands (NL)10
Spain (ES)9
Australia (AU)7
Brazil (BR)5
Ireland (IE)4
France (FR)3
South Africa (ZA)3
India (IN)2
Uruguay (UY)2
Portugal (PT)2
Singapore (SG)2
Finland (FI)1
Bulgaria (BG)1
Norway (NO)1
Slovenia (SI)1
Austria (AT)1
Czech Republic (CZ)1
Poland (PL)1
Sweden (SE)1
Algeria (DZ)1
Malaysia (MY)1
Ecuador (EC)1
Peru (PE)1
Argentina (AR)1
Colombia (CO)1
Philippines (PH)1
China (CN)1
Israel (IL)1
New Zealand (NZ)1
Saudi Arabia (SA)1
Hong Kong (HK)1
Japan (JP)1

Part of me wondered if the service that provides these stats manipulates them or not.... but I'm going to keep track. Interesting though!

Total disaster!


Last night as I was heating the oven to cook dinner disaster struck!! I came into the kitchen to put the salmon in the oven and the fan (we have a fan assisted oven) was sending white sparks everywhere!!

We think the tray that was in the oven was hitting against it... but after switching it off and leaving it to cool I tried to heat it up again and it only got to 50*!!! Eek!!

We are going to take a look at it again tonight but I have a horrid feeling the oven is broken!!

Fingers crossed it's not and if we do have to get it repaired I just hope it won't be expensive. It might be poached chicken and pan fried salmon for a while!!

BBQ for the Bank Holiday Weekend

Since the weather was so nice on Monday we decided to have a BBQ at my Parent's house. Nathan and I went down after our driving range outing and chilled out.
My Dad BBQed in his Chimenea (not sure that's how you spell it!) He had two BBQs on the go.. our old trusty BBQ and this (sort of new) chiminea.
My Mum had prepared loads of tasty salads and veg... I love roasted veg.. it was so scrumptious!
tNathan was chilling out laying on the grass reading the Sunday papers whilst the BBQ cooked.
After we'd cooked on the chimenea my Dad added some logs to keep us warm (the sun had in true British style gone behind the clouds!) but we started to get smoked out!! Dougie and my Dad moved the chimenea up the garden slightly.
It did look really atmospheric!
After dinner Nathan and I went and picked up some Marshmallows from the shop across the road and we toasted them in the fire- you were taking your life in your hands however... not the safest desert in the world!!
Nathan and I
Becky and Dougie

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Driving Range!

On the Monday holiday Nathan, Becky and I went down to visit my Grandma as she was well overdue a visit! With all our galavanting away at the weekends I had not had a chance to see her. My Grandma was looking much better and is out walking most days so fingers crossed she will go from strength to strength. We had a great lunch with tea and biscuits too. Afterwards Nathan and I drove to Port Royal Driving Range by the Airport. I took lessons 2 years ago but I really need to go back. My shots using an iron were pretty straight and accurate- which is always good but my pitching was a bit off! I also need to buy some woods so I have a full set! I also need to learn how to use my driver- it has pink and purple stripes down it- which is very exciting but slightly redundant when I don't know how to position myself correctly to hit the shot!
My feet had a few wee blisters on them from my walk the day before so I had to take my shoes off... not the best way to practice my golf swing but it was so much more comfortable.
Nathan has just got new clubs so was keen to practice but he was still not feeling on top form from the Saturday night!

We are going to try and get in some practice over the summer and play a couple of games too.

Moonwalk Training!

With my kit arriving on Saturday I was reminded that I don't have long to prepare for the moonwalk. 4 weeks to be exact! eek! So Hillary, her friend from work Jen and I went for a long walk on Sunday. We walked along the Union canal from Linlithgow to Polmont and back. In total we walked just over 10 miles and my feet survived! My biggest worry is blisters!!

My legs ached after we finished and that night but by Monday I was recovered so I now know I can make it at least half way so there is no excuse if I keep up the training that I'll make it round!

It took us about 4 hours so we are walking at a good pace. We will need to speed up slightly as are keen to come in about 8am in the morning (we set off at midnight on the night of the Moonwalk!)

So wish me luck with the next couple of weeks of training!
Jen and Hillary on the Viaduct.
The Canal is so picturesque. It starts from near my house and goes over 50 miles across the country. They have done alot of work to regenerate the pathways and make it a pleasure for people to walk on or travel by riverboat/ barge along the canal.

Saturday of the long weekend!

Well so much for a quiet weekend!! It was however very well spent with lots of time with family and friends!

We kicked off the weekend with dinner with my Parents and my Sister, Becky and her boyfriend, Dougie. My Mum had flown up from London for the weekend so we all caught up over dinner at La Favorita on Leith Walk. They were running behind schedule due to the busy Bank Holiday weekend but they looked after us really well and we even got a free bottle of bubbles whilst we were waiting!

On Saturday morning Nathan picked up my Moonwalk pack from the Post Office so I am all ready to go. It also included a bra, in my size, that you have to decorate to wear on the night of the walk but Oh my!.... I tried it on and walked through to the kitchen to show Nathan.... he was impressed but I am not sure I will feel comfortable.. it's a Wonderbra and is definitely "Hello Boys!" so I may have to purchase a new bra for decorating that is a little more discrete!
Me in my T-shirt, cap and with my number I will be wearing on the day.

Nathan had invited a lot of the Accies boys round to the house for Chilli (he went to the butchers on Saturday morning to get 3 types of meat for his Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recipe!) and to watch the Heiniken Cup Final on TV. So I made myself scarce and Mum, Becky and I went into town shopping and for lunch. Town was mobbed with all the Heineken Cup Final fans.- there seemed to be more Leinster than Leister fans, it was a great atmosphere.

Everywhere was so busy so we ended up in the Hard Rock Cafe (I love their chicken tenders! So good!) We had a great lunch and even partook in a few cocktails!
Becky and I headed back from town once the shops had closed and we were greeted with 9 big rugby boys in my living room! We had a squeeze when it was 8 girls for the Accies girls get together... but somehow they managed and the chilli had been a great success... so much so I never even got to try a spoonful!

The boys all had the Accies club dinner in town so I dropped Nathan off and Becky and I chilled out at her flat. We watched some of Britian's got Talent as I had never seen Susan Boyle preform.... it was great just vegging in front of the TV.

However we decided to go into town to catch up with some of the girls so late on I drove us into town to meet up with Vick and Zaz as they'd been having dinner with their Mum (who was over from Ireland) and their boyfriend's Mum- all the boys /Dad's were at the club dinner Nathan was at. So we had a lovely few drinks and then met up with Nathan etc in Gran Cruz in the wee small hours.

Getting home so late was not my plan but it was lots of fun none the less!!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Allotment Caretaking!

This week Nathan and I have been looking after his parents allotment and so on Wednesday evening we went straight after work to water the veggies. I think I may be the first person to go to the allotment in my heels!! (I had come straight from work!) It was not a good look! I also managed to cover my jacket in mud from the hose! oops! Note to self- wear old clothes at the allotment!Lily and Neil's allotment is growing nicely. Their onions- red and white are shooting up (foreground on the right hand side) and Nathan was admiring his handwork- he built the two t-pee structures for beans last bank holiday weekend.

Nathan's parents have also been helping their friend Margaret develop her allotment. You may remember last year that after her husband sadly passed away we helped to clear a lot of the weeds and overgrown plants. So we went to have a check up on the progress of her plot.

BEFORE: As it was when the work started last year. Lily, Neil, Nathan and Ramin in the background. As it was once we'd spent the day clearing it.
AFTER: As Margaret's allotment is now. They have also taken the old greenhouse down and built a new one. I really like the vegetable beds.

I would love a little garden so between the allotment, my Dad's garden and my new herbs I feel like I am getting enough of a tastier for now!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

French White

I found a great wee site with a number of things that I loved! Melody Maison has lots of French themed white accessories for the home.
I would love a mirror like this is our hall (although maybe a bit more ornate- we could hang up things- which we really need and I also like the little shelf. I really need more space in our kitchen and this would be great to put on the wall for every day items. I'd be worried it would fall off and smash all the plates though!!

I really like this! It's very cute and I could put all our postcards and wedding invites into it.
I love candles- I love that the candle light would be reflected in the mirrors and they look quite art deco.
One of the Accies girls, Emily has these either side of the bed in their guest bedroom. They work really well and give great addition space. I like the idea of having one of these in our spare bedroom.
I am not sure it would fit but it would be great to get a blanket box to fit into the window recess in our spare room. We could put all the linens where the moths can't get to them. (living in an old building has it's draw backs!)

Crafting Materials!

I am really looking forward to this Bank Holiday weekend. At my company we don't usually get the late May holiday but they have given it to us to recognise all our hard work in the first half of this year- how nice is that!!

I have made no plans and I don't intend to! We have been so busy these last few months and every weekend we have had something on so I am going to chill out!!

I am also going to try and finally tackle all the boxes that have built up in our bedroom. Most of them are full of my craft materials.

When Vicki and Stu were round before Ian and Sinead's wedding Vicki had forgotten her wrapping paper and I was able to offer an entire 15+ rolls for her to choose from- plus the ribbon, the tags and the embellisments. I really need a full room for all my crafting equipment. I saw this recently on the Martha Stewart website- their crafting dept were moving and they set up a new shelving unit... I'm so jealous!!

I however will have to make do with our new shelves- which are still half empty but not for long!!!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Herb Garden (of sorts!)

Well I don't have a garden to lay in and soak up the sun or grow my own veggies and flowers but I have created a little green haven on my window sill. I bought these white pots from IKEA about a month ago with the intention of filling them.

So this past weekend we went to Dobbies on the way back from Melrose and I bought some little herbs to grow in the pots. I also intend to use the fresh herbs to cook with.

I got: Thyme, Garlic Chives, Sage, Rosemary, Mint and also a wee Lavender plant. I am also growing Basil and Tomatoes from Seed (although I may have to give the Tomatoes to Nathan's Mum for her allotment as I think they will get too big)

I love that they are all different textures and structures- they look quite arty in their little shiny white pots-It's quite the little green oasis!!

I would like to also get a coriander plant, as well as dill and parsley but they didn't have them in stock so I'll be on the lookout.

Mending and Making

We got back to Edinburgh early enough to enjoy the beautiful weather on the Sunday. We went back to my Dad's house so that we could hang up the tent to dry and also fix our tent poles. The elastic had come out of one of the bendy poles.
My Dad and Nathan worked on repairing the tent pole whilst I lay in the garden and read the Sunday papers and made Daisy chains.
I liked my daisy chain garland- summer is coming!!