Saturday 5 November 2016

A Photo Every Hour - Saturday 29th October

Hello! Been a bit awol over the last couple of months really - combine being busy, a 9 month old who doesn't take long naps any more, a mini holiday in September and then an internet service which decided not to work for 3 weeks (yep, thanks TalkTalk...) and here we are, the beginning of November and a pile of draft posts which surprisingly enough, didn't write themselves.

I still managed to do the monthly photo an hour challenges on Instagram though! October's date was Saturday 29th - here's what the day looked like...

8am - Waiting on a phone call from BBC Radio Bristol who were interviewing me about our IVF journey as part of National Fertility Awareness Week. If you fancy a listen, you can hear it online at about 2 hours and 10 minutes in).

9am - A bit of playing before breakfast.

10am - The healthy bit of breakfast (the fry up was after!)

11am - Still eating...

12pm - All that eating tired her out!

1pm - Still asleep and I'm a bit trapped but I'm getting on okay with my book.

2pm - Running out of pictures to take (this is a gorgeous new throw from Primark).

3pm - Awake now and full of energy.

4pm - Early dinner!

5pm - Off out on a bus to a local lantern parade.

6pm - Start of the lantern parade.

7pm - Pumpkins!

8pm - On the bus home.

9pm - Late night snack :-)

This month we had 19 lovely people joining in:
Sharon from Sunshine and Celandines joined in on InstagramTwitter and on her blog
Janet from Someone, Somewhere joined in on Instagram, Twitter and on her blog
Hazel from World of Joy joined in on InstagramTwitter and on her blog
Susie from Second Hand Susie joined in on Instagram and Twitter
Lucy from Lucy in the Clouds joined in on Instagram and Twitter
Ruth from Back to the Frugal joined in on Instagram and Twitter
Rosie from Life's Cup of Tea joined in on Instagram and Twitter
Bev from Confuzzledom joined in on her blog
Louise from 30 Days Wild joined in on Twitter
Kimmie joined in on Twitter
Beemcv joined in on Instagram
Vikki joined in on Instagram
Siobhan joined in on Instagram
Rebecca from Just Me joined in on Instagram
Amy from Fluffy Owl's Adventures joined in on Instagram
Jane from Is That You Darling joined in on Instagram
Tukru from Vampire Sushi joined in on Instagram
Rebecca from Rebecca McCormick's Authorial Blog joined in on Instagram
And of course, myself here on this post, plus on Instagram and Twitter :-)

Next month's photo an hour day will be in two weeks, on Saturday 19th November. Hope you can join in!

Also, check out what I was up to in...

Monday 5 September 2016

Meal Plan Monday: 5th September 2016

Linking up with Dee's 'Meal Plan Monday'

This is what the week looks like food-wise...

Breakfast - A slice of cheesy spinach puff pastry tart (which I made on Sunday).
Lunch - Crumpets
Dinner - Sweet and sour pork Hong Kong style (from The Hairy Bikers 'Mums Know Best cookbook) with some chips on the side.

Breakfast - Banana wrap (a quick recipe I spotted on a baby led weaning forum on Facebook); spread a tortilla wrap with something sweet like Nutella (we used Lotus biscuit spread as it's dairy-free) and use it to wrap up a peeled banana. Cut into slices, stick under the grill for 30 seconds or so and then enjoy!
Lunch - Bread rolls with cheese and watermelon slices (#teething) for afters.
Dinner - Beef escalopes with kale mash, loads of veg and creamy gravy (loosely based on this recipe).

Breakfast - Carrot muffins (homemade a few weeks ago and in the freezer).
Lunch - Pizza muffins (based on a recipe from Gill Rapley's Baby Led Weaning Cookbook).
Dinner - Parsley-crumbed beef escalopes (we have a pack of 4 hence the two nights the same!) based on this recipe and served with chips, onion rings and tomato salsa.

Breakfast - Cereal and a banana.
Lunch - We're heading out to Greenbank Pool (a 1930's lido 45 mins away) so we'll try and pick up some food out and about.
Dinner - Andrew's going to join us after work and then we'll probably go to Wetherspoons as they have a good dairy-free menu.

Breakfast - Andrew's having the day off work so we can have a family day trip to Weymouth; breakfast will be a fry up!
Lunch - Out and about in Weymouth somewhere.
Dinner - Same as above.

Breakfast - Bacon and eggs kedgeree-style.
Lunch - Crumpets.
Dinner - Spanish chicken paella (from The Allergy-free Family Cookbook).

Breakfast - Sausage and roasted onion sandwich.
Lunch - Crumpets (again - we seem to have a glut of them in the freezer and I kind of need to defrost it soon!)
Dinner - Chicken and veg kebabs (from The Allergy-free Family Cookbook).

Anyone planning on eating anything nice this week?

Sunday 4 September 2016

Styling the Little One (31 weeks old)

What have we been up to this week?

Monday and Tuesday
Same as last week, we didn't do much so the days were just spent in a nappy.

We went out to a Sensory Heaven group at a local children's centre which sadly was the very last one as the centre have decided to stop running it. Instead, they're going to run a 'play & explore' group at a different time and at a centre that's several miles away. #notimpressed
Dress: Mothercare (3-6 months)
Mess in the background: Mother's own

Baby Bounce & Rhyme at the library today.
Dress: Secondhand but originally Boden (3-6 months)
Tights: Lily and Dan at Aldi (3-6 months)

We didn't really do much today apart from going through her wardrobe to see what still fits and what she's grown out of.
Tshirt: TU at Sainsburys (3-6 months)
Trousers: Secondhand but originally Marks & Spencer (3-6 months)

Big day today, Lily's first visit to a carnival!
Long-sleeved vest: Secondhand but originally Next (6-9 months)
Dress: Secondhand but originally Next (3-6 months)
Tights:Lily and Dan at Aldi (3-6 months)

Lots of playing today and a little find first thing in the morning - a tooth!
Tshirt: Secondhand but originally George at Asda (0-3 months)
Dungarees: Secondhand but originally Marks & Spencer (3-6 months)

How's your week been?

Full credit goes to Helen from Treasure Every Moment - her 'week of style' post with daughter, Isabella inspired me to do the same with Lily :-)

Saturday 3 September 2016

A Photo Every Hour - Saturday 27th August

August's photo an hour challenge fell on the 27th - the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend. Andrew was down at the Great Dorset Steam Fair all week with his lorry; me and Lily joined him for the weekend.

Here's what the day looked like...

7am - Someone decided that it was a good idea to start playtime early.

8am - A quick nip to the loos.

9am - Early morning stroll.

10am - Breakfast!

11am - Post-brekkie snack.

12pm - Waiting for the rain to pass.

1pm - Themed nappy for a transport rally (even if the vehicles on it are a bit modern).

2pm - Listening to one of the organs.

3pm - New toy purchased from one of the stalls.

4pm - Watching some of the displays whilst waiting for Andrew to take his lorry round the show ring.

5pm - Family selfie whilst Andrew's driving round the ring.

6pm - Alfresco dinner.

7pm - Time to pack dinner away.

8pm - Off out for a walk round the show.

9pm - Showman's engine wheel.

10pm - Evening engines at Great Dorset Steam Fair.

This month we had 22 lovely people joining in:

Lizzie from Lizzie Dripping joined in on Instagram, Twitter and her blog
Susie from Second Hand Susie joined in on Instagram, Twitter and her blog
Sharon from Sunshine and Celandines joined in on Instagram, Twitter and her blog
Amy from Fluffy Owl's Adventures joined in on Instagram and her blog
Hazel from World of Joy joined in on Instagram and Twitter
Char from T*rexes and Tiaras joined in on her blog
Bev from Confuzzledom joined in on her blog
Andrea from Fiction Burns joined in on her blog
Franca from Oranges and Apples joined in on Instagram
Charlotte from Discovering Charlotte joined in on Instagram
Jennifer from Adventures in Pop Culture joined in on Instagram
Jane from Is That You Darling joined in on Instagram
Rebecca from Just Me joined in on Instagram
Tukru from Kissakerho joined in on Instagram
Rebecca from Halfway Home joined in on Instagram
Liz from Distract Me Now Please joined in on Instagram
Jesamine joined in on Instagram
Siobhan joined in on Instagram
Vikki joined in on Instagram
Laura joined in on Instagram
Juniordrumkit joined in on Instagram
And of course, myself here on this post, plus on Instagram and Twitter :-)

Next month's photo an hour will be Saturday 24th September - we're off to one of the local carnivals so there might be a carnival float or two in next month's pictures!

Also, check out what I was up to in...
August 2015
August 2014

Monday 29 August 2016

Edinburgh Hidden Gems - Eating, Sleeping & Doing

I really missed being in Edinburgh this year. I love the city anyway but during festival season it becomes even more magical. Me and Andrew have been up there to visit the Fringe every August since 2011 (and I did a couple of years there back in 2003 and 2004 before I met him) but we decided to give it a miss this year as we thought Lily would be too young to really enjoy the atmosphere or any kids shows. We're hoping to take her next year though so that her first Edinburgh Fringe coincides with the Fringe's 70th birthday.

In the meantime, while we're by no means experts on the place, we do have some favourites - many of which I don't often see mentioned by other bloggers or reviewers. So here's some of our hidden gems in and around the city...

Choco-Latte, South Clerk Street - Every possible type of cake and chocolate you could think of with sweets literally hanging from the rafters. Pretty decent prices too!

S. Luca's Ice Cream Café, Musselburgh and Morningside - My great auntie grew up just outside Edinburgh and mentioned a couple of years ago that we need to visit Luca's. She'd been there many times as a young girl and so last year, we went along to sample their menu. I'm happy to report that it was delicious! We tried a sharing platter of chicken and potato bits, followed by a Banana Split for me and a Knickerbocker Glory for Andrew and two classic milkshakes on the side. Well worth a visit.

Mamma's Pizza, Grassmarket - If you fancy a gigantic pizza, Mamma's is the place to visit. Lots of options and the best bit is that if you can't finish it there and then, they'll happily give a box to take the leftover pizza home for later on.

Tempting Tattie, Jeffrey Street - It's only little and a bit tucked away but it's a great place to perch and have a hearty meal whilst browsing all the Fringe leaflets and magazines. The potatoes are big, there's heaps of toppings to choose from and there's even homemade cakes for afters too.

The Well Café, Nicolson Square - We only found this little gem last year but it's absolutely lovely. It's part of the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church and is only a stones throw from the Pleasance Dome, Teviot House and various other Fringe venues. They do a range of light snacks, cakes, main meals and even pudding and custard, all at a really good price. We visited the cafe rather a lot last year.

Drummohr Holiday Park, Levenhall - I can only really recommend one place and that's Drummohr. It's a lovely park with a range of accommodation (we've stayed in the Octolodge and the Deluxe Bothy before) and isn't too expensive at all during festival season. There's a 5 minute walk to the bus stop and then a 45 minute bus ride (on a glorious route - see below!) into the city but even after you've bought a all-day ticket every morning, it still works out cheaper than finding accommodation in the city centre.

Museum on the Mound (aka. The Money Museum), The Mound - A museum where you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about money; you can even see what £1 million pounds looks like! It's quirky and often fairly quiet but more importantly, it's completely free.

Geese-watching, on, in or next to the River Esk in Musselburgh - Well, just because they're geese really. And they're quite comical to watch. If you need to relax for 10 minutes, grab a bench and do some geese-watching.

Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum, Morrisons Haven - Every time we walk from the campsite to the bus stop, we go past the entrance to this place and it was only last year we managed to fit in a visit. It's a completely free open-air museum telling the story of Prestongrange's industrial past. There's beam engines, coal wagons, a massive brick kiln and lots of walks across the site - quite an interesting place!

Portobello Beach and Lothian Buses Route 26 - This is the bus route you'd need to get from Drummohr to the city centre and it goes through Portobello with a fab view of the beach en route. Each year we try and fit in a stroll along the prom too as it's really quite lovely, especially in the late afternoon sun.

Best Fringe Seats - We've found the EICC (Venue 150) and Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8) have the comfiest seats!

Look up, down and all around - The brilliant thing about the Fringe is that you never know what you might see but Edinburgh itself isn't too shabby and it's worth looking closely at the buildings and architecture.

And on my list to do in the future...

The Original Edinburgh Cheesecake Company, St Johns Road - Somebody recommended this to me as a rather tasty place to get a large slab of cheesecake. It's a bit out of the city centre (near the zoo) and as yet, we haven't yet made it there.

Portobello Swim Centre, Promenade - I'm dead impressed that the City of Edinburgh Council have kept so many Victorian swimming pools around the place. Portobello is home to Edinburgh's only publicly available authentic Turkish baths and I'd like to visit them to see the architecture and just for the fact that they're still open to the public and in use really!

Mimi's Bakehouse, Leith, Corstophine and Old Town - Well, just because it's cakes! And why on earth not? :-)

Cuckoo's Bakery, Dundas Street and Bruntsfield Place - Same as above!

Anything else I should add to my list for next year? The more unknown it is, the better!

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