Scottish Mothers Collective

I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen as one of the founding members of the Scottish Mothers Collective. We are a pretty amazing group of 10 mothers, if I do say so myself!!

You might have seen some activity on my Twitter feed or Instagram announcing the launch event, which is taking place at Hutchesons Bar & Brasserie next month. The event has already been sold out, which is super exciting. I’m looking forward to meeting the 65 guests that will be joining us for a few glasses of fizz and some chat.

Anyway, so you might be wondering who and what are the Scottish Mothers Collective…

The Scottish Mothers Collective (SMC) offers a much needed sassy network for mums across Scotland who find themselves in the position of trying to maintain the balance of babies and business.

All to often mothers are split into two camps – being a mum and being a boss at work – the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive… step forward the SMC.

We will be hosting monthly events, each with a different focus from a business agenda, to a legal slant to the more lighthearted BBQ and netwalking in the park. We are aiming to offer something new and inspiring to the mothers of Scotland! Details of the 2016 calendar will be revealed at the launch *excited face*

Check out our Instagram feed for more details… @ScottishMothersCollective

Review – Smashbox Primer Oil

I’m not new to using oils on my face; two of my favourite skincare products are the Merumaya Everything Everywhere Beauty Oil and Origins Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil.

However, an oil primer is a new concept. Smashbox’s new photo finish primer oil is 50% primer, and 50% oil. 15 essential, lipid-rich plant plant oils penetrate and instantly moisturise deep into the skin creating a seamless canvas and a dewy finish. You can also add a drop to your foundation, or even use on your cuticles or split ends!

I’ve been trying the product for a few weeks now, and have fallen in love! I’ve got pretty dry skin and can find that if I’m not careful my foundation can look rubbish as my skin underneath is dehydrated. However the Smashbox primer oil is fantastic. I apply a few drops with my fingers, let it absorb and then put my foundation on over the top. What a difference it makes, and my make-up also lasts much longer too. At £28 for a 30 mL bottle, it might seem pricey; however, a little goes a long way and I can see this bottle lasting quite some time. I have a few other primers in my make-up collection, but this is now definitely my top pick.

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I received a complimentary sample for the purpose of this review. Opinions are honest, and are my own.

 

International Family Day at The Tramway

“[Sheila Hicks] has created a vertical thrusting mesh of twists and turns made of soft, pliable, sculptural threads tightly wound together into a dense maze or tower which takes the full height of the building”
The kids and I had a blast at The Tramway at the weekend for International Family Day. It was a flying visit, we were only there for about an hour and a half, but we managed to check out the large-scale textile installation by Sheila Hicks, try our hand at pom pom making and catch a performance too from the high-energy dance duet ‘Go Get ’em Kid’.

 

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Go Get ‘ em Kid

 

‘Go Get ’em Kid’ was great fun; Tamsyn and Adrienne performed their dance routine to an eclectic soundtrack including what I think was the German version of ‘Working 9 to 5’. The basis of the show was friendship and sharing, and it started with 100 T-shirts on the stage and ended up with the girls sharing just one. I’m not very good with my interpretation of all things modern art, but I have read that this signified the ‘stretching of the fabric of their friendship’. It was very cleverly done, and my two kiddos were captivated for the 45 minute piece.

The event was free, and was excellent. I just wish we had given ourselves more time to explore all the activities that were on offer. I highly recommend keeping an eye out for other events like this at The Tramway in the future.

Interiors – Kitchen Ideas

Progress is slow at our new house. It’s a huge renovation job, and I’m currently waiting on planning permission for a little extension. Basically, I’m looking to add one small bedroom for the littlest as the current Bedroom 3 is so minute I think you’d struggle to get a single bed to fit.

Despite not having planning (and we’re now 6 months in!), I’m trying to keep my spirits high and think of the longer term goal. One big purchase that needs to be selected is our kitchen.

I’ve been pinning loads of inspirational pictures, getting ideas for cabinets, flooring etc. The house is a traditional property again, and I fancy a more traditional kitchen versus a high gloss design. I’m thinking pale grey cabinets, marble effect worktop and a wooden floor. It looks like I’m going to have enough space for a kitchen island too. I literally cannot wait to get out of my tiny kitchen and into this new one.

Clockwise, L to R… Kitchen island with space for stools on the shorter side, grey cabinets in a traditional style, marble effect worktop and a Belfast sink.

 

 

Recipe: Thai Chicken Curry

This is my go-to dinner party recipe. I had a few friends (who happen to also be neighbours) round for dinner this weekend, and this was what I made. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, phew! I doubled up on the quantities and it worked well; I had leftovers for the freezer too!

Chicken curry with star anise, lemongrass and coriander.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon oil

2 onions, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons of garlic paste (e.g. Schwartz Easy Garlic tube)

1 teaspoon of Bart Lemongrass

3-4 teaspoons of ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chilli

1/2 teaspoon dried cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon medium curry powder

1 star anise

1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped

1 tin of half fat coconut milk (400 mL)

Couple of squirts of lime juice from a bottle

500g skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes

Fresh coriander (1/2 a 20g pack)

6 spring onions

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

Salt and pepper to season

curry

[Image source]

METHOD

Heat some oil in a wok.

Fry the chopped onion, garlic paste, lemongrass paste and the ginger paste over a high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Turn down the heat, add the crushed chilli, cinnamon, ground coriander, curry powder, star anise and the fresh chilli. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the spices are toasted and aromatic.

Pour in the coconut milk. Simmer for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly.

Meanwhile, heat a splash of oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken and brown it in the oil in small batches. Don’t cook it all the way through.

When the curry liquid has reduced a little, add the chicken and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes until the chicken has cooked through.

Add the coriander, spring onions, lime juice and fish sauce and incorporate into the sauce.

Serve with rice or noodles.

If I happen to have mange tout, sugar snap peas, baby corn or whatever, then I’ll chop these up and add to the curry also.

Yum!!