Monday, 30 August 2010

Elie and Anstruther

Earlier in the week Paul, who plays rugby with Nathan had e-mailed to say his cricket team were playing at the Ship Inn in Elie on the Bank Holiday Sunday. The ground the cricket team in Elie use is the beach (which is tidal!) so it starts early and then as the afternoon wears on their boundaries have to be moved in as the sea approaches. It was a lovely day and although there were some clouds when the sun was out it was so nice. Jackets were still required at Elie as it was pretty windy.
Lily and Neil came up for the earlier part of the game and then went on a long walk along the beach and cliffs.
I love that in cricket they stop for tea. Paul brought us these tasty homemade merguines down from the tea that was laid on for them. They were so delicious. I could definitely be a cricket WAG if it involves baking!
Stu and Vicki's dog Samson was up for the day with them. Zara and I took him on a wee walk along the beach and for a play in the sand... it was so funny watching him as he is still a puppy and experiences are all so new and exciting. At one point he had an entire crab in his mouth.... oh dear. He is getting so big.
The cricket was very calming and Loreen (Paul's girlfriend) had also brought magazines for us girlies to read. Paul is batting in this picture at the far away wicket.
The girls- Loreen, Zara, Me and Vicki.
Mark, Stuart, Nathan and Paul.
Nathan sitting in the sunshine on the wall. You can see the tide coming in behind him.
Zara took this photo of Nathan and I sat on the wall looking out to what was the cricket field only 2 hours before. It was so relaxing sitting there in the evening sun.
Ed, Wendy and baby Katie came and joined us on their way down from Aberdeen in the early evening.
Looking out to the lighthouse and back across to Edinburgh and East Lothian.
From the carpark to where we had spent the afternoon. Elie is such a beautiful village.
Vicki, Stu, Arnie (showing how full he is!) Loreen, Nathan (making more faces!) Mark, Wendy (at the back) Zara, Baby Katie and Ed all at the Anstruther Fish Bar after we had a very tasty dinner.
The Anstruther Fish Bar is really famous. Only 5 miles from Elie we all drove up to sit in and have dinner. They were the fish and chip shop winner of the year for the UK in 2008/2009 so that shows you how good they are! The fish is fresh from the boats that work around the local areas.
Anstruther harbour with all the sailing boats moored up for the night. It was the perfect way to end a great weekend. If only we had today off too for the Bank Holiday!

The last festival weekend

Well it's Bank Holiday Monday and I don't have the day off- I hate being stuck inside on sunny days especially when it seems the rest if the world are enjoying themselves. (Nathan isn't off either so we both found it difficult to get up today!)

We did however have a great weekend.

Friday night we went to the Royal Botanical Gardens (near to where we will get married in 9 months!) and we got nestled under a tree to be told old Scottish stories and listen to a few wee songs from these two lovely septuagenarians Bill and Georgia. I would definitely recommend any one with wee ones going to one of their regular storytelling sessions. Our event was for about 20 adults but they do kids events too.

We then went up to the Royal Mile to pick up our tickets for Jim Jefferies that evening. The High Street was so busy as it was Bank Holiday weekend and the end of the Edinburgh festival (only 3 more days till we move home- hooray!) So we had a Starbucks and then soaked up the atmosphere. (I also tried on a beautiful Barbour jacket in one of the Scottish stores... it may well be on my birthday list! I can't find the exact one online but it looks something like this but it has paisley patterned lining.)

Later we met our friends Finnie and Annie for dinner at the Outsider. This used to be my favourite restaurant and I still did enjoy our meal but I am thinking they maybe need to refresh it a little. I had a very tasty chunky healthy line- lamb kebabs. Yum! It was good catching up and comparing wedding planning (they get married a month before us.)

We then went to see Jim Jefferies who is said to be the most offensive man in comedy. Annie and I were warned but to be honest he was not as bad as I thought he would be. Don't get me wrong he was not PC at all but I think I had envisioned much worse!

On Saturday morning I went up to get my hair done early. Just a little trim, a bit of colouring and lots of advice on how to get it think and healthy for next year. It also turns out that the hair piece I want to wear is the exact same as my hairdresser wore at her wedding (so maybe that could be my something borrowed!)

After I had my hair done I went up to Raeburn to watch Nathan's team play their first home game. Not a great first half but the boys pulled it back and we won against Biggar. It was a lovely day and Nathan's friend's Andrew, his wife Moyra and their son Alexander came down to watch too. It was great to see them and Alexander was so enthusiastic- shouting loudly for Nathan and Accies. He even went to the mini rugby the next day and loved it.

I also caught up with some of the girls. Actually we stayed in the clubhouse till 7pm! Much longer than usual. We then went down to my friend Herculine's house where we babysat for her niece and nephew.

We also rewrote all our Save the Dates (but that's another story!) So we have been busy, busy all weekend.

Sunday was the best day but that deserves a separate post all to it's self!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Bake Sale for Pakistan

When my Mum was up from London a couple of weekends ago the oven (which is about 29 years old) gave up! So my plans for cooking from Good Food has been put on hold as we can only have salads and hob cooked meals. (We don't even have our crock pot at my Dad's as we left it in the flat for our festival letters.) 

So when it came to baking for our office bake sale I was slightly stuck. I could not do cupcakes, whoopies or any adventurous cakes like I had planned. Instead I had to make Nigella's rocky road.... and try and remember the ingredients as I left the recipe at home too... (I forgot the butter...oops!)
My rocky roads with little stars added in for a bit of extra decoration.
There was a lot of treats made for the bake sale and I managed to only have one wee cupcake... and nothing else (that is discipline- especially from me!)
I loved these little cakes that my colleague Bob's wife and kids made- I love the stencils. (they cut out Bob's business card to make the stencil- love the creativity!)
This looked so tasty... as I didn't eat any cake I can ogle at it.... beautiful!
Loved this heart Victoria sponge.
I would have loved to have a piece of this pavlova. 

We raised £150 selling cakes and it will be put towards the Pakistan relief effort. Good work by everyone in work.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Pashminas

I found these lovely pashminas last week and am in an internal discussion with myself.... If the bridesmaids wear pashminas should they all be the same colour or a mixture of wedding colours? Mmmmmmmm?What do you think?

Back to work

Well after being off work for the last few weeks to sort out my not sleeping, general anxiety, grief and fatigue I have returned to work today. I am so glad that I took that time- I really needed it!

Today has actually (thus far) been really nice. I have enjoyed being back. Chatting to my colleagues and catching up on all the exciting projects we have coming up. 

Before I went off I had a really good appraisal but as part of that I said I wanted to step up at work and as I felt I needed to dress the part. 

In my work we can wear jeans and dress casual so it is so easy to go to the lowest requirement. But as they say dress for the job you want, not the one you have... so I did a bit of shopping. 

I feel a bit like it's back to school today with my new clothes! 

I bought 2 jackets that are relaxed but smart and a lovely long blouse/shirt. I will be teaming the jackets with jeans or in a month or two cords (so still casual but the jacket smartens it up!) currently I am wearing smart , simple vests under the jackets and flat pumps on my feet.

I have had lots of nice comments today so I am happy with my new attire!

what a great weekend!

I had such a good weekend... mostly because it was unexpected.

On Friday night I was babysitting for a really lovely family who have 2 cute little girls. There Mum had bought them a fashion kit to make outfits for 5 miniature cardboard cutouts. We had so much fun making the outfits and they both did such a god job- I was pretty impressed and you know me and my crafting! In my element working on a crafting project with little ones. 

Then once they were tucked up in bed (they are angels and go straight down!) I got to writing our Save the Dates! They have arrived back from the printer and I could look at them all day- they make me smile thinking what that little card means and all of our loved ones that it will be making it's way too. We have done simple postcards for most people and then magnets for our parents and the wedding party. My poor hands ached afterwards but they pretty much done and will be mailed later this week. (It would be nice to go together to the Post Office in Stockbridge on Saturday morning to mail them off as it will be exactly 9 months till our wedding on Saturday!) So excited!!! 

Then on Saturday morning I joined Nathan and his Dad, Neil on the driving range early at 9am. I was a bit rusty but eventually I was hitting them straight. Not far but one step at a time! 

I plan to try to do lessons this winter so by next spring I can be playing well. (I am also going to try and go back to art classes but one thing at a time.) 

After golf we then went for coffee with Nathan's Mum in Stockbridge and Nathan left to go to Aberdeen for his first rugby game of the season. Nathan's Parents planned to drive up to support and I was going to go to my Grandma's house to do more cleaning. Half way through coffee I decided I would join them on the journey. I am so glad I did. 

We had a great day. The journey is 2 1/2 hours north and we chatted most of the way- about the wedding and more about the wedding..... Lily and I were in our element.

The rugby was great... it was very sunny (I got good colour for Aberdeen!) and we won!! HOORAY! I loved that the new 1st team coach Simon was wearing a smart suit (he looked like a football coach) and he was wondering around the sidelines watching, not just stuck on the bench. The boys played well and there were great moments of really good play. Stuff to work on but I was so pleased for them.

Sadly for Nathan his boot split half way through the second half so he had to go off as no one else has the same size of feet as his giant boats! He looked very frustrated sitting on the bench not able to contribute. So this week he will hopefully be buying 2 pairs of boots! (keeping one spare in his bag just in case!) 

On the trip back down from Aberdeen we stopped at the Bervie Chipper- a wee roadside cafe and  it was so tasty! I have never noticed it before but it was so nice sitting in the sun by their window with Lily and Neil. (Nathan meanwhile was on the bus with the 2 teams on their way back to Edinburgh drinking all the way home- oh dear!)
The lovely chip shop roadside cafe with Lily and Neil to the right hand side.
My tasty (although calorific tea!) Sooooo good!!

Then on Sunday I dropped Nathan off at golf and drove to my Grandparents house to get on with the clearing and tidying. I feel that I accomplished a huge amount and felt very pleased at the end of the day. Nathan came down after his round and helped move some heavy bits and pieces so hopefully in the next few weeks we should be in a position to get the house on the market.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Sunday Evening

After a busy day of family activities- My sister and I visited my Dad's storage facility and then Nathan and I visited Nathan's Mum and Dad and caught up on their news and sat in their garden in the sunshine. (yes, we actually had good sun this weekend!)- Nathan and I went to Sainsburys and bought dinner which we took round to Ed and Wendy where we cooked them Sunday dinner. We also took round some of Lily and Neil's allotment veggies as part of the meal. So new Mum, Wendy had lots of good vitamins to boost her system.

Nathan and I made lamb with Mediterranean vegetables, potato salad with tatziki and houmous on pitta breads. Just 'cos we didn't have enough food we also made tricolour! It was very tasty and we were all very full at the end of the meal.
Ed, Nathan and new Mum, Wendy. (Little Katie was having a wee snooze.) They are both doing so well and I loved seeing them with their little cute bundle of joy.

Hopefully we can do this for them again sometime soon as they are always hosting us for BBQs. I also love their kitchen- oh to have a kitchen like theirs! (one day!)

Saturday Evening

After a long day dress shopping I joined Nathan at his friend Ian (Snoopy's) 30th birthday BBQ. Nathan was a big hit with his friend Andrew's 5 year old son Alexander. Alexander loved being up so high and looking down on everyone else. Nathan was also teaching him exercises to do like burpies to help his parents tire him out! He was such a lovely little boy and so well behaved.
Pamela bringing Ian his cake after we'd had a sing song in the garden to Ritchie's guitar.

It was really lovely to catch up with a number of Nathan's friends from Uni that we haven't seen for a couple of months. Hopefully it won't be so long next time.

Surprise treats for Kate's 30th!

It was Kate's 30th at the end of July so after wedding dress shopping we all headed back to Becky's house for some surprise treats for her.

I had made the whoopies and Becky had made very tasty chocolate cupcakes- yum!
Cake blowing out her candles.
A glass of fizz after a long day shopping!
Becky, Hannah, Lena, Kate, Mum, Me and Hills.

Thanks for a great day ladies and Happy Birthday Kate!

Wedding Dress Shopping- 14th August

My lovely sister who will be my Maid of Honour planned our first wedding dress shopping day months ago. It has come round so quickly. I had great fun trying on LOADS of dresses in all different styles. I even tried on a giant merguine Katie Price style dress just for a giggle! (well when else would you!) I had to drink LOADS of coffee to keep me going- it's tough work I tell you! My arms even hurt on Sunday from having to reach up to be put in all the dresses!
My wedding dress shopping entourage- Hillary, Hannah, my Mum, Baby Tom, Kate and Becky. The girls are all going to make beautiful bridesmaids! (we were missing one special lady though!)
Outside Glass and Thomas where we went for lunch. Hills, Hannah, Me, Baby Tom, Kate and Becky.

Unfortunately there was a mix up by one of the bridal shops so we couldn't do our 2pm appointment so instead as it was a nice day we sat in St Andrew's square and relaxed- who said wedding dress shopping was stressful!

Baby Tom was such a well behaved wee chap all day! He got so much attention from all us girls not to mention the ladies in the bridal shops who were cooing over him too!

Hannah's Mum, Lena came to join us for the afternoon. Her and my Mum were at Uni together back in the 70s.

We had appointments with 3 stores in the end and found 2 dresses that are potentials. Both are very different styles and one is my clear favourite! On the 4th of September we have 4 more stores to visit so we will see where I stand after that time. I wish I could post photos but that's just not going to happen! Secrets, secrets!

Annabelle and Isla come for coffee

On Friday morning Annabelle and her beautiful (almost 1 year old) daughter came for morning coffee. It was so lovely seeing Isla free standing and wondering around my Dad's kitchen- taking all the magnets off the fridge so Annabelle could just put them back on, putting everything in her mouth! Constantly on the move!

It was great to catch up on all Annabelle and her husband Pete's news too. They have just bought a new house and Annabelle is doing a lot of work getting it ready- what a great project!

She was such a good ear and was so good at listening. Thanks Annabelle!
I don't think it will be long before she is walking... she was standing really well. Happy 1st Birthday for Sunday Isla!

Making Whoopies!

Last week I saw that Marks and Spencer had whoopies for sale as the new cupcakes- they must be the new thing if M&S are stocking them... so I tasted the ones from M&S and then gave these a go! (mine tasted much better even if I do say so myself!)

As I've mentioned in a previous post the oven at my Parents house is not the best. I tried after the half cooked cake to make sure I turned the whoopies so that they cooked evenly but somehow they got a little burnt on the base but not correctly cooked in the middle- but it was a good first attempt and meant Nathan got to eat the slightly burnt ones! (so he wasn't complaining!)
The sponge/biscuity part of the whoopies.
I made plain chocolate whoopies with a cream cheese filling. I still thought the filling was a little too sweet. I would also make the smaller 2 inch ones next time. These 4 inch ones were just too much for one person... unless you were on a sweet treat binge.... (I think Nathan ate 4 in one go!- there goes his fitness regime! Mind you the amount of calories he is using at the moment he can get away with it- just!)
I also rolled some of the whoopies in star decorations as I made them for Kate's birthday treats. I will definitely be making them again as they still tasted good even with the dodgy oven.

Friendly Rugby match between Accies and Watsonians

Dougie and Nathan after the match... very sportsman like!

As Nathan's team has now gone down a division and Dougie's has stayed up (due to two nail biting games at the end of last season) they may not play against each other this year. They have restructured the leagues slightly so we may met but not in the same way as last year.

As part of pre season training they played a friendly on Tuesday night which Becky and I and a few of the girls went down to watch.

I felt quite sad being at Raeburn watching the rugby without my Dad there. A lot of people passed on their sympathy and said he will be missed. No Guinness in the bar afterwards with Dad.

The game was good at the beginning but then Accies didn't do so well in the 2nd half and Watsons won (less said about the score the better!)

After the match Becky and I went and picked up L'alba d'oro fish and chips for the boys..... keeping up the memory of my Dad! ;-)

Katie Elizabeth Stuart

Wendy gave birth to her daughter, Katie on the 5th of August. She weighed 8lbs and 1/2 oz and was (I think!) 56cm long! Which I guess is to be expected considering how tall both her parents are.

I went to the hospital on the Friday and met Katie, who was just adorable. I didn't stay long as Wendy was pretty tired. Then last week I visited the Stuart family at home on the Tuesday. It was lovely seeing them getting into a routine.

The first two photos make me smile. The two extremes of a small baby. Sleeping soundly or screaming loudly. She looks so angelic when she sleeps.

Well done to Wendy!..Congratulations to both Ed and Wendy and welcome to the world Katie!!
Ed was getting to grips with his paternal duties!