Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Logo Board Game

After dinner we decided to play a board game. I LOVE LOVE the logo board game. It is all about brands and logos. Anyone can play- it is amazing the amount of brand knowledge that we all have. (a bit scary also!).... I guess it just proves the industry I work in does it's job! You can play online by clicking here.
Ramin and Fiona- she won hands down!
Ed and Wendy
Baby Katie snoozed in her cot all through dinner and board games.... such a wee angel.
Nathan and I after hosting the dinner party. It was such a lovely evening. I adore being with friends who you are comfortable with and can just relax and enjoy their company. We definitely need to do it again soon and hopefully next time Andrew and Roxanne can come too.

Spanish Themed Dinner Party

When we were out in the summer with one of Nathan's best men and his girlfriend we said we would plan a best men evening. Kells & Roxanne and Ramin & Fiona. Roxanne requested it be Spanish themed and she would bring the Sangria and Nathan said he'd make Paella.

Well sadly Roxanne was really not well last week so one of our ushers and good friends Ed and Wendy with Baby Katie in tow came and joined us for dinner instead.

I was in charge of the decorations and the puddings and I loved coordinating all the red and yellow with the red spots- I think the napkins looked like a flamenco dancers skirt.
I bought these red Martha Stewart Pom Poms back in November in Florida... I knew they would come in handy one day! They look like the flower that a Flamenco dancer would put in their hair... well I thought so!
The yellow roses and red carnations were a nod to the Spanish flag!
Our candle lit living room awaiting the arrival of our guests.
Nathan cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
Mussels fresh from the fishmonger that morning.
lovely fresh prawns.
Paella ready to be served. It was SO good! Chef done good!
My panna cotta and orange chocolate mousse dessert. I had never made Panna Cotta before nor used gelatin in any desserts and it worked really well. Thankfully no vegetarians round the table! The chocolate mousse should have been brought out the fridge to get to room temperature to be the right consistency (but I'll no for next time!) the orange essence made it taste really good!
I poured red berry compote on the top of the Panna Cotta- yum!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Dieting and losing weight

Well I am being rubbish at the moment. 

With my Grandma only now moved into her home and her two houses to sell I am still unsettled. Work is not that stressful at the moment yet I have no energy or enthusiasm for going to the gym or for doing much of anything if truth be told. 

I need to get fit and healthy... but I feel like I need a wee push to kick start me so I thought I'd have a wee nose at the Internet for some celeb pics that might inspire me (I know they are air brushed but hey it could be a good start!) 

Nathan always refers to my body shape as being a rubenesque figure. (He loves my figure so no issues there.) and to be fair I think he is pretty spot on. This photo is not the best for demonstrating it but it's the most modest for my American friends.

Above is Venus in the Mirror by Peter Paul Ruben's in the 17th century. All Ruben's women have a rather sizable rear end as do I.... but even when I was 50+ lbs lighter than I am now I still had an ass to rival JLo and Kim.
 Kim Kardashian
Jennifer Lopez
So I was looking around and after having watched the Notebook the other night I thought I'd look at Rachel McAdams. A very kind friend told me I look like her when she is in the Time Travelers Wife. Too kind and I wish I did!
There may be a wee bit of a resemblance but not enough for my liking!

Now this is the figure I would like to have (although I do think she looks too skinny on her top half at times.) but her legs look so lean and fit... not too skinny just healthy. I don't know how much truth is in these celeb diet websites but I read the below info:

Rachel’s Diet
Rachel’s been on many different diets in the past, but recently she did the Master Cleanse Diet where you drink a concoction of freshly squeezed lemon juice, grade B maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and filtered water that is free of fluoride. This diet is excellent for anyone wanting to lose some extra weight fast because you only do the Master Cleanse Diet for about 10 days. Now this diet is not for everyone, so make sure you consult your doctor before starting anything. 

Rachel’s Exercise Routine
Rachel says she loves incorporating everyday activities into her workouts such as climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator/escalator. She also loves running and does a lot of yoga and pilates. Although Rachel does work out a lot, she says she does let herself indulge in some of her favorite snacks once in a while.

So maybe that's a start!! But then I looked up Drew Barrymore, who has lost weight in recent years and is looking really good. 

From another Celeb Diet Blog: 

Drew Barrymore is America’s sweetheart and she knows how to keep in shape! Although being a vegan for years, Drew has now gone back to eating meat, but she’s still got some of the best diet and exercise secrets in all of Hollywood. Find out what Drew does to stay in shape!


Drew’s diet varies from organic veggies to small meals throughout the day. She also follows a low calorie diet and a low carb diet. She also enjoys coffee and allows herself a little low-fat snack now and then.


Drew likes a boot-camp style workout to keep the boredom away. She sticks to exercise about 3-4 times a week and also incorporates dancing, swimming and jogging into her routine.
Drew Barrymore’s Tips and Tricks
“I wish I could say there was a miracle cure, but it’s all really quite boring. I’ve always hated those people who say that eating right and exercising is the only way to lose weight, but now I’m with them, I’m one of them.”
“I use a StairMaster, go to Pilates classes and run regularly. I run as far as I can. I don’t cook, so I get all my food from healthy takeaways in Los Angeles. You can order really delicious, fresh steamed fish or chicken with steamed vegetables. The difficult thing is that now I’ve lost the weight, I’m trying to maintain it.”
“Losing the weight has given me confidence and a sense of pride, but I’m not about to go down to a size zero. Don’t worry about me because I would never fall prey to all that bulls**t.”
I think she might be a girl after my own heart.... so that's what I have to do... 8 months + of exercise and eating right.... just as well I have Nathan on hand, who is starting his fitness company. 

 I also love Christina Hendricks from Mad Men- she is so sexy.... 

At the end of the day I  do love my curves... I just want them to be a little less bumpy and not quite so wide. I want to be fit and healthy. I am never going to be skinny in the way that some girls are... but as one of the wedding dress assistants said to me- there will be girls paying large amounts of money for breast enlargements to fill their dresses... you don't have to worry about that- if you've got it flaunt it!

Manolo Blahnik Accessories for Liberty

I have just seen on one of my favourite blogs where they have posted about the new Manolo Blahnik for Liberty accessories collection — it’s a shoe lovers dream. Nathan and I are thinking of maybe doing a wee trip to London around about my birthday. Maybe they will still have some of these in stock when I am down there.


Monday, 20 September 2010

Kilted Sherpas Ball

The beautiful chandeliers in the main room at the Assembly Rooms on George Street.
On Friday night after visiting my Grandma in her new home (more about that later) we rushed home and got changed to attend a ball for The Kilted Sherpas. They are a team of six aiming to raise an impressive £21,000 in aid of the Prince's Trust. In November 2010 they will be taking part in the Himalayan Challenge – a seven day, 320 km circular race into the heart of the mountain kingdom of Nepal. As part of their fund raising, the Kilted Sherpas held a traditional Scottish ceilidh at the Assembly Rooms on Friday night. 

Nathan's friend Jo, from University, goes out with one of the Kilted Sherpas and she was helping out so we thought we'd support too. There were a few people we knew there but not on our table. We still had a fun time dancing to the Scottish ceilidh dances..... well until I got knocked sideways by a guys' elbow on the dance floor! (my wee face is still a little tender!) 

It was fun to be dressed up and spend an evening with Nathan. He was driving as he had rugby the next day so it wasn't a late one... which was just as well as we were both knackered from the working week.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Cake Decoration

It's national cupcake week and I have still not baked a single cupcake.... maybe this weekend.... although saying that it is lining up to be a VERY busy weekend.

I thought I would post (more so I remember about them) these cute cake decorations....

I have never seen this before but I really like the idea of cake bunting!
They can be bought on Etsy from this seller. or to be honest are probably easily replicated. Cute idea!

4 years since we met.

Yesterday marked the day that Nathan and I first met 4 years ago. We didn't start going out until the October but first met on the 16th of September. When putting our wedding website together we did a little section on how we met. So I thought I'd re write it here. 

‘Good Pants, Bad Pants’
September 16th 2006- We were introduced by a mutual friend, Hillary (who is one of our wedding party) in Poo Naa Naa, a nightclub in the centre of Edinburgh. When the nightclub closed we all headed back to an after party at another mutual friends (at what was known as the 'Carlton Club'). Many gin and tonics later in the wee small hours Nathan suggested playing ‘good pants, bad pants’ (competing to see who had the best underwear!)– standing in the middle of the room he displaying his tropical fish boxers to everyone…. Allegedly good pants…. Jennie then followed (the only other to play the game ) as her underwear matched her top… (although for the record she only flashed a modest section of the top of her underwear!) and that was it… Nathan had found his match.
A month went by and after a few communications on Bebo we bumped into each other again in the Opal Lounge on George Street. At the end of the night Becky, Jennie’s sister encouraged Nathan with a nudge and a wink (although Jennie had said nothing to her… sisterly intuition perhaps!) so a date was arranged for Montpellier’s the following Friday and the rest as they say is history!
Back in November 2006 when we had just started dating.
At a friend's wedding in September 2010.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

New Home for my Grandma

On Sunday after spending the day at my Grandparents house I went to set up my Grandma's room in her temporary home. She was due to be living here until her 1st choice home was available and she was at the top of the waiting list.
I set up her room with some of her ornaments and favourite photographs so it looked nice with them all in place. All ready for her to move on Friday. I only took a few things as she wasn't planning on being there long.

However on Tuesday I was phoned to say the 1st choice home now has a room available and so she will be moving there on Friday instead. Which is great news as we can get her properly settled. Her new room is also much bigger than the one pictured.

I however need to get her new room set up for her with all her belongings. I will also be able to move more of her things to her new home this weekend as this will be her final room. I can't wait till she is all settled in.

I also went at her request and bought her a new outfit from Marks and Spencers. I really hope that at 83 I still take as much care of myself as my Grandma does. (I don't think I even do now!) I bought her new trousers, a top and a lovely red cardigan... she was delighted with it. I loved how much it made her happy. She is getting her hair cut and permed today and I brought in some colour (rouge and lipstick) for her to wear when she leaves hospital after almost 10 months. I was joking with her about her 'going away' outfit but in all seriousness she just wants to look good and feel confident when she moves to her new home and meets the staff and her fellow residents.

Saturday at the Rugby Club

Now that Emily has had the twins- Aaron and Olivia and Wendy has little Katie being at the club on a Saturday is a bit like a mini creche!

After the game on Saturday (which the boys won- hooray- against Gala, who are also at the top of the division 2 league) Ed feeding Katie, Emma getting a cuddle from Aaron and Bernie feeding her Granddaughter Olivia.


Posting Save the Dates

Nathan went to the post office and bought 100 stamps to stick onto our postcard save the dates.... they were meant to be 2nd class stamps but hey ho- it's his money! We also had a number of save the dates being posted abroad to the States, Norway, Australia and Kuala Lumpur.
On Saturday morning we went to Maxie's Bistro for breakfast.... (as you can see the wedding diet is going well!) I had french toast, bacon and maple syrup.After breakfast we fixed on each of the stamps.
After sticking all the stamps on to the cards we took it in turns to post a batch into the post box across the road from Maxie's. (It was lovely and sunny on Saturday- should have had my sunglasses on!)
Posting the save the dates into the letter box!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Sketchbook themes

Following on from my previous post.... what do you think the theme for my sketch book should be?


When I was at art college more than anything I loved my sketchbooks. I always loved the sketches and drawings I produced in my books- they were filled with creativity and I often wished I could put them on display at the end of the project. 

Well this project caught my eye and I plan to join in. 

It's like a concert tour but with sketchbooks.

Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country. After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view. Anyone - from anywhere in the world - can be a part of the project. Once you apply and pick your subject they will send you out your sketchbook and you can get started. Love it!

One of the fabulous things about The Sketchbook Project is that it encouraging all types of people to bring out their inner artist.

I have been thinking a lot about getting back to life drawing classes and enjoying drawing and painting again. This could be a great start. 

I pinched the below images from Wiley Valentine who will be taking part in the sketchbook project. Please see their blog for all image credits.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

11 rules your kids did not and will not learn in school

I think this is really interesting...I obviously don't have children but I think I myself maybe need to read this from time to time! On the internet it says it is a speech from Bill Gates but it is also said not to be from him but is an excerpt from the book 'Dumbing Down our Kids'
Either way it worth a wee read. 

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Kloe Russell and meow

Is this not the cutest picture. I hope Heidi doesn't mind that I pinched it from her blog... it was just too adorable. 

The cat that Kloe is holding was a toy I gave to her big sister Paige 5 years ago. Paige loved her cat which she called 'Meow' and now Kloe has taken it as her own. 

Look how loved that little cat looks. Heidi also mentioned that meow's tail has been chewed by their dog Roxy... and I agree it definitely gives her character. 

I am so glad that this gift has given so much joy. I love the jelly cat collection. See here for more of meow's friends.

Pike Place Coffee

Back in November when we had just gotten engaged we had Starbucks Pike Place Coffee. See here for that post. When Nathan was in the other day he spied it in our UK Starbucks coffee shop. So yesterday I went and picked up a bag for our coffee machine at home. 

Is this the coffee we should serve at the wedding? 



Homegrown from the Allotment

Lily and Neil gave us another lovely veggie box this past weekend so now we are back in the flat and have a cooker again I got back to work making some tasty -from scratch- food. Last night I made my favourite spicy butternut squash soup (I have put the recipe up here SO many times I won't bore you!) using some of the allotment potatoes and carrots. 

I thought I would take a few snaps of the carrots as it demonstrates one of the things I love so much about home grown veggies... they are 100% natural. Look at that earth and green... they look fab!
This just makes me smile. A supermarket would not let this little nugget of carrot through it's packaging plant as it doesn't look 'perfect' enough.... but who needs perfect- I think this is what allotment veg is all about- this little carrot tasted delicious and that is what counts.

End of Festival Fireworks

You always know it is the end of the Summer and start of Autumn when you go to watch the end of festival fireworks. On Sunday night after working down at my Grandparents house we dashed to a BBQ at Vicki and Stu's house and then all walked down to Inverlieth Park to watch the fireworks from the bank above the pond. It wasn't great as we couldn't hear the orchestra music and I didn't think the fireworks were as impressive as usual. It was still nice to see everyone. 

Top picture: Wendy holding Katie, Ed, Jimmy, Vicki, Samson, Stu, Loreen and Arnie.
Nathan and I snuggled up watching the fireworks.
The fireworks over the castle and reflecting in Inverleith pond.
My Mum joined us in the park to watch the fireworks.