Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday Morning 7am


It's taken me 35 years of enjoying nothing more caffeine injected than a coffee flavoured Roses chocolate, or a sip of Coca Cola, but now it's become the morning staple. I may even have two cups this morning... (Whoa there Nelly!)

The reasons for my conversion are manifold. Well, twofold. I have two small children now, The Bairn (nearly 3) and Bairn 2.0 (6 months old). I generally wake in a fog, first thought being "Ugh, Bairn 2.0 is in my armpit AGAIN, we must get her to sleep in her own cot all night tomorrow" - this thought being repeated every single morning. Today being Sunday, that's closely followed by toys out, CBeebies on (Andy and Cat babysitting the kids until breakfast time) and shut blinds ignored.

And secondly, this...

Our Nespresso Citiz with Milk.

I promise I am receiving no benefits from this advertisement! Although it's likely that the high heid yin of Nespresso is a subscribing reader of my immensely popular and regularly updated blog (pah!). Furthermore, if you are reading this Mr or Ms Heid Yin, I'll have a whole batch of the orangey coloured and blue pods, please.

Over the years, I've become adept at purchasing a certain type of gift for The Other Half. For example:

  • A balloon ride for two
  • A helicopter ride for two
  • A steak dinner for two
  • Event tickets.... You guessed it, FOR TWO.
Well for his last birthday, I decided to really spoil him. He's had his eyes on one of these beauties for a couple of years. As the only coffee drinker, he always felt it was somewhat out of reach, like a shiny, red-and-chrome desert oasis. So I went for it - heavily hormonal, weeks before the birth of Bairn 2.0, I took pity and clubbed together with my parents (yes, I am thirty-five) to buy that beautiful beast of a machine for him.

A gift only HE could ever truly enjoy.

Didn't quite turn out like that, of course. But the advantage being I can share the pain of cleaning the milk thing out every time I'm too slow to make the morning brew. See, I'm a selfless soul.

Now I'd better peel myself of the sofa and start the rest of the day.

Good morning!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

36 Weeks - Maternity Leave IS ON!

It's ages since I last blogged, I know! Practically an entire pregnancy has passed by, with possibly only one post. It's a disgrace! Now I'm finished work, I have LOADS of time on my hands. Generally, LOADS of time on a Wednesday and Thursday, when The Bairn is in the hands of his beloved nursery. The way in which I have spent my last couple of weekdays at home has been varied, and exceptionally exciting....


  • An actual haircut (and even some last minute highlights - oooooh, fancy!), by an actual hairdresser. The first in about a year. Yes, she may have left my fringe looking as though its been involved in a frenzied attack by a gang of animated blunt, violent, pinking shears, but I did feel like a "Proper Person" for the two hours I was there.
  • Watching, from behind a cushion and bouncing on my birthing ball, episodes of One Born Every Minute. Sobbing uncontrollably at the first slimy, bloody, purple-faced appearance of every new arrival - usually accompanied by my yelp of "Oh, it's a baby!" as though this is some sort of unexpected revelation.
  • Eating Ginger Nuts and Quavers. Well, if I'm also including a daily pear and occasional orange surely that makes for a balanced diet???
  • Cleaning the bathrooms. No, I don't have five beautiful marble-surfaced havens of tranquility. A tiny, grotty ensuite shower room and a bathroom. I HATE cleaning. Thank God I now have a gargantuan belly (combined with arms the length of those of your average Oopa Loopa), preventing me from reaching across and into the bath for scrubbing it. I love my Mam, who heroically travelled 100 miles, on three different buses, to assist me in this matter.
  • Reading my way through the Game of Thones Series. IT'S THE DUGS BAWS, MAN! If I haven't finished before baby Daenaerys Stormborn arrives - when will I? This a serious cause for concern.

You may ask, how do I have the time to blog?

Because my magnificent Other Half has taken The Bairn for a swim (since evacuated due to fecal matter having been discovered, unfortunately, at the jacuzzi end of the baby pool - the lifeguard looks very serious with his wee poopscoop. Good luck with that, mate). I'm sitting in the cafe, with a hot chocolate and my Glorious iPad.


A Proper Person!!!

Did I just sit here drawing a poo in a swimming pool? Yes, my friend, I believe I did.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Family Food - Spicy Roast Butternut Soup

Been properly poorly this week with a stinky, horrible cold (or dare I say, flu?) - with which I have likely infected most of my family near and distant, at my cousin's wedding. I'm a naturally huggy/kiss-on-cheek type person. I did try to curtail my affection, but one hug-n-kiss combo issued unavoidably involves a sequence of events whereby you can't leave anyone out - can you? They might feel left out, for goodness sake! What kind of animal would omit a relative from a (virus) cuddle? Not I!

On my first rare day off sick, I decided soup was required. The usual "go-to" staple in our home when we feel guff (or just really lazy) is Heinz Cream of Tomato soup, so you can imagine my disgust on finding NONE in the tin drawer! Horrified screams may have been heard as far away as Wick, or even Jupiter.

What I did have in the Busyalibee fridge was a butternut squash and half a leftover huge sweet potato.



Medium sized butternut squash
Half a huge sweet potato, or a normal sized one
An onion chopped finely
2 garlic cloves
Teaspoon of cumin
1cm cube of fresh ginger - I use frozen
Sea salt
Black pepper
Chilli flakes
1/2 pint Vegetable stock


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C.
  2. Slice butternut squash in half lengthwise, then each lengthwise again.
  3. Place on roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 1 hour. Meantime, set timer for 30 mins and...
  5. Peel and roughly chop sweet potato, add to roasting tin, drizzle with oil and season.
  6. Roast for remaining 30 minutes with squash (hope that makes sense?)
  7. When veg is roasted, fry up onion and crushed garlic with teaspoon cumin, ginger and teaspoon of chilli flakes.
  8. Scoop flesh from squash skins and chuck in pan, with sweet potato.
  9. Add stock, stir, simmer for 5 minutes.
  10. Blitz with hand blender until smooth.
  11. Add more water/milk if it's too thick for you.

And that's it! Very easy - and absolutely gorgeous. Though I still feel like absolute crap, so it's medicinal qualities are perhaps lacking somewhat. And do you know what? It actually tastes better today than it did 2 days ago when I made it!

Lovely Jubbly.

Expecting.... What Exactly?

Very exciting news, chaps.

I'm gestating another human..... As I type! In approximately 5 months, all going well, the above person (although a fair bit larger) will have escaped the confines of my uterus and announced his/her arrival with with a disappointed yell of "Aw come on Mammy - this place sucks! I was much cosier in there!"

There will be much general exhaustion, crying (on all our parts) and absolute overwhelming bliss - or let's all hope so anyway. I'm hoping to feast on Brie and cranberry toasties several times daily - thanks to the incredible Other Half; enjoy countless episodes of Ben And Holly - thanks to The Bairn; and (please please please) easy, breezy, whip-em-out-and-feed, totally painless breast feeding. My lovely bump will instantly tighten back down to resembling a washboard again (when was it a washboard? When you were 14?) but my gargantuan boobies will remain). I'm hoping they might stretch to a C-cup one of these days. Imagine!

The Bairn! How will he cope? The boy who is centre of our universe will have to be content to share his solar glow with his sibling. I may not be able to respond so quickly to such demands as "Mammy. In there!" pointing to the living room; or "Gingerbread bin man, yes please!" He will be gutted.

But in a couple of years, when they're playing in/fighting over the sand pit, or holding hands as they walk along in the park - it'll all be worth it.

We're all so excited!