Tuesday, 30 July 2013

My Edinburgh Fantasy

This blog post is my entry into the Foodies100 competition as part of Premier Inn’s Festival Fringe campaign. If I win my ideal 48 hour Edinburgh Festival Fringe weekend, I’d love to stay at the Premier Inn on Princes Street in The City Centre.

I once stayed in a Premier Inn for a week when on a training course for work and it really was nice, just like Lenny says. Staff were lovely, rooms were great and beds were so comfy. So I have found that the Premier Inn are a brand that I can trust.

I would choose the Princes Street location as they have great views of Edinburgh Castle and 'The Kitchen' restaurant looks good too. They also have a score of 4.5 / 5 from their customers so far which you can's argue with!

Now onto  how I would spend my 48 hours and 500 fantasy pounds at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe ...

Having never been before I have only been able to have a look online at what the festival has to offer and as the largest arts festival in the world there is A LOT!

In all honesty if I had 48 hours and £500 I would probably start out getting one of the famous rickshaws into the city centre and having a walk around to see what shows and delights the festival had to offer. I would live spur of the moment not planning too much and see what the place has to throw at me. The freedom of letting it wash over me would be exhilarating.

The Fringe website seems to offer three main thoughts - each of which I love...
  • Be Inspired
  • Get Carried Away
  • Enjoy Every Second
I would have no trouble being inspired with so much to see and do, I would take my camera and have an amazing time collecting images and memories to inspire me for years to come. I would definitely get carried away and with £500 there would be very little holding me back from doing whatever I fancied (within reason). I would go with my husband and probably leave the little one at home with his Nana, although the Fringe has lots to offer children, I think in my fantasy he would be having fun at home while I really got carried away! What a treat! I can tell you now that I know I would enjoy every second, time is precious and I know we would make the most of it! I would seek out comedy shows in the main part as I have always been a massive fan of stand up and any type of comedy really. When shows come round our way I try to go to as many as I can. Jacob's Dad and I don't get as much time together to just be us as we used to so it really would be a fantasy to have 48 hours and £500 to have fun just us.

I've discovered that Edinburgh has more Michelin starred restaurants than any other city in the UK outside of London so if I had the time and money I think we would have to stop into one of them. We have never dined anywhere with a Michelin star so it would be a real experience for us. As well as that I would make sure I found some more down to earth Scottish cuisine, maybe not haggis (as a recovering veggie!!) but I've never tried a deep fried Mars bar either! Yum?

Fingers crossed that some of my Edinburgh Fantasy comes true one day.

<div align="center"><a href="http://www.premierinn.com/en/news/news_category/Edinburgh_fringe_festival.html" title="Foodies100"><img src="http://www.premierinn.com/en/news/news_category/Edinburgh_fringe_festival.ImageRef.image2.Single.ImageRef.jpg" alt="I have entered #48HrFringe with Premier Inn" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Feeling HOT HOT HOT with the Charcoal Challenge

So I recently had the opportunity host my ultimate BBQ...

MoneySupermarket sponsored some bloggers to write about how we would host a BBQ spending £50. What with this recent heatwave I couldn't wait!

I am a teacher, as is my husband and a few of our best friends are too (we met during our training). Schools have broken up this week for the summer holiday which means the party and BBQ season has started! Now that we have the little man, hosting a party at home is a really good option as he can sleep soundly upstairs while we have fun. When I saw that MoneySupermarket were giving away £50 and challenging bloggers to host a barbeque I was really excited and chuffed to be given the opportunity...

For £50 we bought...

2 disposable barbeques (£2 each!) 18 burgers (great quality Scottish Angus beef), 12 sausages, bread rolls, cheese, different fun sauces and dressings, salad, marshmallows for toasting, a small party keg of lager, coconut liqueur for cocktails, orange juice, cranberry juice, 6 magnum style ice creams, diet coke, birthday cake (a surprise for our friend who's birthday is next week), lots of limes for cocktails and not forgetting olives, crisps and gherkin slices...mmmmmm ( all from Lidl).

I already had bunting, rum (Tesco value), fairy lights, garden furniture, chimnea, logs for burning and great friends... what more could you need?

I set up the garden to look lovely, party-ish and special, using bunting left over from Jacob's birthday and rigging up some fairy lights for when it got dark. I set out the food and chilled the drinks.

The food was pretty much standard barbeque stuff  - but what else do you need? Jacob's dad did an awesome job of cooking it all and threw in a few surprises through the night too!!

To make things a little special and different we decided to serve cocktails, the first was a Caipirinha (or our own version of one anyway) you need...
  • loads of limes sliced into wedges
  • caster sugar or brown sugar might be better
  • crushed ice
  • rum (value stuff was fine for us)
we just add in all ingredients to taste and mash it down in the glasses with a wooden spoon - not very classy but tastes absolutely YUM!!

second was another of our own concoctions we will call it "That Holiday Feeling" you will need
  • ice
  • orange juice
  • cranberry juice
  • vodka
  • coconut liqueur
I think this is basically Sex on the Beach but the way we made it with lots of the coconut and cranberry and less vodka and OJ it tasted delicious, the only downside was that I didn't have a jug so we had to use a rather old plastic measuring jug - again, not classy but tasted great!

The boys enjoyed the beer and it was really handy having it so that everyone could just help themselves and it really added a party / holiday vibe.

These drinks along with the "entertainment" (ahem), food,  music, friends, surroundings and WEATHER!! (it was so amazing honestly like being abroad, we were out until about 11pm in just our t-shirts) made it a brilliant night. I was so happy to host it and very grateful to get the chance!

Do you have any tips for the perfect BBQ?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

My toddling, waddling boy

I can't believe that my baby is 13 months old already!! 

He is now walking (taking quite a few bumps along the way) but walking! He loves his shoes and says "shoosh" at any opportunity.

He is such a little chatter box saying 'hiya' to everyone and now 'b bye' too! He uses a fork and is getting really independent already, he definitely knows what he wants. 

When I put him to bed I still cuddle him like he is a tiny baby but he's almost too big and heavy to fit in my arms that way! When did this happen? 

It is so strange to see your tiny little baby grow into a small person and soon enough he'll be a big person and what will I do then!? It's so strange I almost have to not think about it! Every day with him is a gift that I treasure. I want to do my best for this amazing little man and just hope I can. 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

He said 'mama'

Today was the first day since going back to work that I didn't get back quick enough to see the little man go to bed, when I got in he was already snoozing in his cot. I was really sad not to have seen him since this morning but happy that he can get on without me sometimes. 

This follows my first night leaving him last weekend and precedes my first weekend leaving him this weekend! Definitely a lot of firsts and we are both getting more independent, although I'm not sure either of us is 100% happy about it I know it is the best thing for both of us. I really enjoyed my night away last week and I know I'll have fun this weekend too. 

(A lovely picture The Dada sent me when I was away last week - they get on just fine without me) 

Jacob is 13 months old now and everywhere he goes people comment on how good his language is. He says 'hiya' to anyone that we pass, gaining us lots of smiles and making us lots of friends too. He can also say horse, clock, shoes, fish, dada, cuddle, yeah and lots of other words. Quite a few words for such a little one! But he's been talking a bit for a couple of months and I haven't heard him say mama yet! I've been trying to teach him it a bit because to be honest I was starting to get a little offended! So tonight when I got back to the house, crept into his room to have a little look at him and he looked up and said 'Mama' and got up for a cuddle I didn't mind one bit. I was so happy to finally hear him call for me it was a lovely moment and very reassuring in a period where we've been apart more than normal. Happy times. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Mummy's night out.

For the last couple of months I have been organising one of my besties hen night. It was on Saturday night and it was FAB! We had a pamper day at hers before going out for a meal cocktails and dancing. It was the first time that I have been out and stayed away from home since Jacob was born and I had such a good time. Just hanging out with the girls, chatting and being me was great - and the next morning was too. I did wake up at 6 like usual which wasn't much fun having gone to bed at 4am but getting up and having girly chats over tea and cake (we ate the 'willy cake' I had made for breakfast as we didn't get to munch it on the day) was so wonderful.

We did an Irish theme as a surprise for the bride to be as that's where she is from and it was a lot of fun!

I got really pretty nails done - something that when you're a new mum you don't get much of a chance to do, I love them and they make me feel really special (sad but true). The lady that did it was lovely and it's that Gelish stuff so I'm hoping it will last a couple of weeks.

I'm going with the hen to Ireland next weekend for her hen night with her family and Irish friends and I'm really looking forward to that too! I know I will miss the little man and his dad but having some fun just me and the girls has been great. I think I started forgetting who I was before I had Jacob around and this weekend gave me a chance to remember.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Make me a MoNsTeR competition!

This competition has now closed.

CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS!! to Ms Reading from www.thereadingresidence.com who won for this lovely sketch and got her 'Eliza' monster brought to life. 

I had great fun looking at all the  entries so thank you to everyone who got in touch!! 

Recently I made Jacob and his little friends who turned one a personalised little monster each. I had lots of fun doing it and the boys loved them too!

Would you like to WIN one of these personalised  monsters for a special little monster in your life? Would you  like to design your own monster that would be made and personalised just for you?

Entering my competition couldn't be easier! Just follow these steps..
follow @beingmebeingmum on Twitter and like my Facebook page  then tweet or Facebook me a picture of your monster sketch using the hashtag  #mymonster and add the name you would like it personalised with. Your sketch can be as simple as the one below or with more details! Please add a comment to this post once you have sent me a picture too! That's it!

Don't worry if you're not too arty, a little sketch on the back of a napkin will be enough to work with!

I hope you enjoy thinking up designs and I cant wait to see your monsters and bring a lucky one of them to life!

Closing date for entries is the 3rd August 2013

I will announce and be in touch with the winner on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday 4th August 2013
NB these monsters must be played with under close supervision as they are made with small parts which could become detached.

Terms and conditions 
- this competition is only open to entrants in the UK
- if there is no response from the winner within a week of the closing date another winner will be chosen 
- I will choose the winner according to my own opinion of the best design

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Saturday stylings - feathers and wedges

I've been looking forward all week to writing my second #satursaystylings post. We had a wedding to go to yesterday and it was the perfect excuse to dress up again! I had bought a cool midi ring on e bay and I was going to go for a Aztec inspired tea dress which would've looked really cool with my new ring. But I wore the ring for a day and it broke! Sad times. I'm waiting to hear if I can get a replacement. I'm very into my silver and jewellery in general and losing or breaking something makes me very sad, especially when I loved it and it wasn't all that cheap!

So I ended up in a red shirt dress and the gorgeous wedges again feeling like a superstar in the sunshine from my knees down! 

I even managed to dye my hair, paint my nails, slap on a bit of sparkly tan and get ready in about 50 minutes which I reckon is good going for any lady getting ready for a wedding! 

Another happy Saturday 

Tweet me @beingmebeingmum #saturdaystylings with your Saturday styles!  x 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Work angst

I've been back at work for 4 months now (working 3 days a week). At first it all went swimmingly but now I'm finding teaching 3 days a week has its own challenges and my work brain sometimes wishes that I could be full time again or at least go in early and stay late at work like I used to. Now I have to get in at the last minute and leave to pick up the baby as soon as I can quite often (although Daddy picks him up too) and it's really hard. My Mummy brain wishes I didn't have to go in at all! And my rational brain knows that its best for us all the way it is but sometimes its just not easy.

I've always been a very conscientious worker and I still am but now I am having to find new ways to get it all done.

I'm waiting for a laptop from work with all the right programs on it so i can work more at home, which I think will help. I'm just surprised at how strange it is now to have to share my life out between everything that I use to be and fitting in being a mummy too!! Seems obvious when I put it like that doesn't it.