Wednesday, 28 August 2013

What I Wore: Black dress and floral tights

It's Wednesday again so here's what I wore: dress from H&M, necklace and tights from Accessorize, shoes from Deichmann. I have a bit of a penchant for interesting hosiery... I couldn't bear to wear black tights with this black outfit so out came these floral numbers in attempt to make me looks a little less drab on a rainy day!

I'm linking up with Mummy's Got Style!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Days out: The National Museum of Rural Life

Here is a great excursion in the Glasgow area that we've just recently discovered: The National Museum of Rural Life. My sister's kids love it and with V's growing interest in animals and the outdoors, we thought it would be the ideal day out for him. Not to mention the tractors!

When you arrive, you are greeted by this fine red tractor, which is obviously a great photo op. This little boy was very excited to climb up on it!

The museum is a nice bright modern building with exhibits, a popular cafe and a big children's activity room with bug-themed dressing up and nature-related play facilities.

For us, the highlight was a real tractor ride to the historic farm on site. V is still talking about the tractor and the 'bumpy ride'! We then explored the old farmhouse (above) and surrounding fields, which are inhabited by friendly horses, cows and some rather boisterous pigs. The staff are fantastic and will give you a warm welcome and entertaining tour of the place.

It was a fine dry day when we visited, but on a damp day, wellies would be recommended for trudging through the fields! The museum is part of National Museums for Scotland but entry is also free if you are a member of The National Trust. A trip out here is a lovely quick getaway from the city and a real adventure for the kids. We will definitely be back soon!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Make! Teriyaki pork

One of the many things I love to order at Japanese restaurants is meat or fish in a teriyaki sauce. It's also easy to make at home and although I've used pork this time, it goes with so many meats/proteins: think chicken, beef, salmon, tofu, etc etc.

I used 6 pork loin steaks, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup mirin, 1/4 cup sugar and a dash of sesame oil.

In a casserole dish, put the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sesame oil. Warm over a medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Sauce made!

Fry the pork steaks in a griddle pan for a few minutes on each side (I used vegetable oil and a little sesame oil).

Now add your pork steaks into the sauce in your casserole dish, bringing to a simmer. Put the lid on and allow the meat to simmer gently in the sauce for around 30 minutes.

I served this with stir-fried peppers, brown rice and spring onions. Ladle over some of the delicious sauce before serving, and bon appetit! One of those easy dishes that everyone seems to like.

I am linking up this recipe with Honest Mum's Tasty Tuesday:

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

What I Wore: An evening out

Pink top from Warehouse, cardigan from Zara, black jeggings from Dorothy Perkins, court shoes from Primark.

This is me before heading out for a few glasses of Pimms one sunny evening last week. We had a lovely time but I am useless in high heels these days. Note to self: stick to low wedges next time!

I am linking up with Transatlantic Blonde's What I Wore Wednesday.

Also Mummy's Got Style's Fashion Friday!

Days out: Ightham Mote, Kent

Kent is one of my favourite English counties, where I spent many childhood summers and collected lots of wonderful memories. A couple of years ago my husband and I spent our summer holiday with my Great Aunt at her home in Kent, and we visited so many fantastic country houses and historic sites which utterly delighted and amazed us! When we were down in Kent recently, we revisited Ightham Mote. This most picturesque and sprawling manor house dates from the fourteenth century, and is surrounded by a moat and beautiful gardens.

Views of the inner courtyard.

A famous feature of the house is this original hand painted Chinese wallpaper, which has survived (I believe with some restoration) since the drawing room was last decorated in the eighteenth century!

Looking over the moat.

Enjoying the lovely gardens.

V not as keen to pose as I am!

This is a spectacular place to spend a morning or afternoon soaking up the beautiful scenery and centuries of history. Definitely a National Trust property not to be missed if you're in the South-East. It also has friendly staff and a nice cafe to visit (although a picnic in the grounds would be recommended if the weather is good!) Check out the website here for more information.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

What I Wore: Animal print and pink shoes

Jumper from Gap, skirt from Dorothy Perkins, tights from Topshop, shoes from Deichmann.

I got a couple of these stretchy pencil skirts from Dorothy Perkins earlier in the week when they had 20% off in store. They're from the petite range although I'm 5'6, but I wanted them knee length rather than midi-length. Skirts like this are a great mummy staple as they are ridiculously comfortable and not too short for day-to-day wear! 

I'm linking up with Transatlantic Blonde's What I Wore Wednesday.

And Mummy's Got Style's Fashion Friday.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Make! Smoky beef burgers

We made some gorgeous beef burgers with this BBQ glaze which gave them a spicy, smoky flavour. When making burgers, the quality of your mince makes a big difference, so it's always a good idea to visit your high street butcher and get your meat freshly ground if possible. Our glaze consisted of roughly 2 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp garlic oil, 2 tsp chipotle (smoked) chilli paste, half tsp dried oregano and half tsp smoked paprika. Just mix the ingredients then use as a marinade for the burgers before frying/grilling. Serve in buns with tons of salad!

I'm linking up with Honest Mum's Tasty Tuesday, and I'm just heading over there now to have a look at all this week's lovely recipes!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

What I Wore: A Saturday night out

Yayyy! We had babysitters (husband's parents) on Saturday night so we were able to head to the West End for a friend's 30th birthday night out. It was great to do some catching up with friends over a few gin and tonics. It was a pubby, not a dressy affair and here's what I wore:

Top from ASOS, jeans from New Look, bag from H&M, cuff from F21, shoes from Oasis.

Close-up details: my bag almost got pinched before I went out.

Bright lips are MAC's 'Insanely It' lipstick.

New cuff I got in Forever 21 the other day - I like their accessories!

This cocktail was a far-too-strong one ordered at the end of the night. TAXI!

I'm linking up with Transatlantic Blonde's What I Wore Wednesday :)

...and Mummy's Got Style's Fashion Friday!

Homegrown jam

Aren't homemade gifts the most lovely and heartwarming things to receive? Not to mention delicious! My sister's homemade jam is extra special because it contains the redcurrants harvested from her very own garden. I love the labels she has made too!

Monday, 5 August 2013

On family traditions and using everything

In my husband's family, there is a generations-old tradition of taking a roast chicken to each of your grown-up children every Saturday. And now when my parents-in-law visit us at the weekend, they always bring a lovely warm rotisserie chicken for us to eat. Obviously I approve of this tradition and that chicken always goes down well!

Once we've devoured most of the meat, I often boil up the chicken carcass to make stock. Throwing it out feels like such a waste and there isn't much effort involved in just leaving it to simmer away in water, plus you end up with a wonderful base you can freeze or use right away in a soup or sauce. 

After the weekend is over, and before I've done a big weekly shop, I often find myself with a fridge that is rather forlorn and bare-looking, apart from a few odds and ends that need to be used up. Today with my chicken stock at the ready, I found myself with the perfect opportunity to make my husband's favourite soup: Minestrone. A classic dish of leftovers! This one contained red and brown onions, courgettes, tinned tomatoes, the end of a bottle of red wine, a little bit of pesto, tomato puree, dried herbs and of course my tasty chicken stock. I also added some of the meat from the chicken to the soup, which made it extra-hearty. Not to forget the last strands from a packet of spaghetti, snapped into little bits. I topped it with some grated cheese (Manchego left over from our Sunday cheeseboard) and it was a good Monday night tea with some toasted crusty bread and butter. 

I really enjoy the satisfaction of making a proper meal out of leftover things! Do you have any favourite dishes that you make from leftovers?

Hannah x

I am linking up with Honest Mum's Tasty Tuesdays. Have a look at the lovely recipes over there!

Friday, 2 August 2013

A Friday in Edinburgh

Today we had an outing to Edinburgh, one of my favourite places for a day trip. We had a picnic on the meadows and frozen yoghurt from my new obsession, Frisky Froyo. I am a bit addicted! The Edinburgh Festival is getting into its swing, and Edinburgh's such a buzzing place to be in the summer. I'm linking up with Mummy's Got Style's Fashion Friday today, so here's what I wore:

Top from Bershka (Spain), skirt by Beyonce for H&M, sandals from F21, Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier handbag, D&G sunglasses.

V wore: Hat from H&M, Shirt from Baby Gap, Shorts from M&Co, Sandals from BHS.

Click above for the link so you can check out, or even join in with the Fashion Friday fun!
Hannah xxx

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Summer Refreshments

It's been a while since I had a beer! But today at The Glad Cafe we enjoyed these lovely summer editions of Brooklyn and Anchor Steam. Both very nice but I'd most likely go for the Brooklyn again - it was so refreshing. And such appealing packaging could not fail to catch my eye! Head to the Glad if you're in Glasgow for lovely drinks like this and much more. I have to note my bias towards this establishment as it's my own dear Mum's cafe ;)

Novel and nails

'The Buddha in the Attic' by Julie Otsuka has been sent to me for review thanks to the Britmums book club. It arrived this morning and I am excited to get stuck into it! On my nails today is Essie's Play Date. What are you reading right now? Do you have a pretty colour on your nails?
Hannah x