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.

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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!!

Hard Rock Cafe – Breakfast with Bunny

We were kindly invited to Hard Rock Cafe this Easter for Breakfast with the Bunny.

The event started at 9am on the Saturday, so our morning was a little rushed trying to get everyone ready and out the door for just after 8…it was worth it though.

It was a great start to our weekend. We had guests staying with us… my sister, Robin & his kids… and it was fantastic being able to rock up (!!) to a cooked & continental buffet that was ready & waiting! There was a wide selection from sausages, black pudding and hash browns to pancakes, bacon and maple syrup to fruit kebabs, yoghurt and muffins plus plenty of tea, coffee and juice.


The kids had 30 minutes to eat before the party started, which was plenty of time for them. The host started with balloon models and the kids had great fun with their swords. This then allowed the grown ups to have a more leisurely breakfast whilst the little ones were occupied.

The disco lights were flashing, music pumping (just as well I wasn’t hungover!) and then the games began…musical statues, pass the parcel with dares (my son had to hop round the room like a bunny shouting carrots over & over!), dance-off and an Easter egg hunt.

We were of course joined by special guest, the Easter Bunny too. The event lasted for 2 hours in total.

Overall, the morning was very well organised and I will most certainly go back (there are similar events at Halloween and Christmas). I think it was great value for money (£12.95 for an adult ticket, £9.95 for kids and under 2’s are free) and most importantly the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Huge thumbs up from us!

How tall are you?

Dating is much harder now than when I was in my twenties. With more life experience under my belt, I have a much better idea of what I want from a partner. In my younger days, my wish list was probably a bit superficial; I wanted a boyfriend that I found physically attractive (I had a thing for red heads) and I wanted to be with someone who could make me laugh. I wasn’t really considering their hobbies, beliefs or aspirations and if they were aligned with my own.

Now I have a lot more to think about, because my future partner will need to be a positive role model for my children in addition to all the other stuff.

A few of my friends have said that I need to lower my standards, whereas others have said not to settle and to continue to hold out for a man who meets all the requirements on my ‘check list’. I went on a date with a guy that was smaller than me, in my attempt to be less choosy. He was lovely, but just not for me. Now I know that I definitely need to be with a man that is at least the same height as me. So that’s already one item that I’m not willing to compromise on and reduces the pool of eligible men considerably.

Did you know the average height of a man in Scotland is 5’9″?

I’m 5’11”!

I’ve heard that I’m not the only girl that is interested in height and it seems to be a common question that women ask on online dating apps. That’s one of the things I did like about Match.com is that you can filter by location, age, height, smoking status, relationship status (never married, separated, divorced, widowed). Whereas Tinder is filtered purely by location, age and a photo!

If you’re interested, I’ve been on two dates now with a gent (who is the same height as me!)… all is promising thus far. Date three is in the diary!! Watch this space…

 

The Magic of Disney on Ice

The brand new ice spectacular Disney On Ice presents Silver Anniversary Celebration coming to the SSE Hydro Glasgow in April.

Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they commemorate 25 years of Disney On Ice across Europe in an action-packed ice adventure that travels to four magical destinations… I cannot wait to see all the characters from Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Frozen! The kids and I have been a couple of times to see Disney on Ice at the SSE Hydro, and it has been absolutely fantastic. Seeing the excitement on their little faces is just so lovely.
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“The arena will be filled with music and magic in every scene as you discover four unique landscapes filled with boisterous pirates, Caribbean beats and loving moments. Audiences will explore the African Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa; voyage deep under the sea to Ariel’s mystical underwater kingdom; and tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy before flying to Neverland to join Tinker Bell and the lost boys.  If that wasn’t enough, you’ll then travel to Arendelle for an extraordinary adventure with royal sisters Anna and Elsa, rugged mountain man Kristoff and everyone’s favourite huggable snowman, Olaf.”

The show will be starting it’s tour on 16th March in Liverpool and then visiting Birmingham, Wembley, Cardiff, Glasgow (28th April to 1st May), Leeds and ending in Nottingham in May. Tickets are available online here.