Lucas Ice Cream Family Race Day 2019

It’s the last week of term in Scotland so I’m sure we’re all busily trying to plan our days out with the kids. We make a list tick off things each week making sure we’ve got a nice mix of days out and days in (thank you Scottish weather). This also helps spread the cost a little.

Top of our list for the last 4 years has been the Lucas Ice Cream Family Race Day at Musselburgh Race Course and we’re so lucky to have such a lovely, family friendly venue nearby.

The family race day is a day where you can take all the family along, have a flutter and let the kids play. There is lots for kids to do and it’s a laid back, friendly environment. All kids rides are free and they can go on as many times as they like plus there’s craft and lots of places to feed younger children too if required.

As the name suggests there is a famous Lucas Ice Cream with every ticket and all under 18s are free to get in – which is fantastic! This years family day is July 23rd and adult tickets are £17 if you buy before and £22 on the day. Doors open at 12pm and the last race is 5pm so it is a whole day affair.

We can’t wait to go along as last year’s was amazing. We had a picnic table and my horse won me £14 so I even got us all a cheeky candy floss.

I’ll share our pictures and experience from the day after we’ve been. Fingers crossed the sun comes out for us!

Hope to see some of you there.

Get your tickets here:

https://www.musselburgh-racecourse.co.uk/view-fixture/lucas-ice-cream-family-day-23-7-2019

Yvonne x

*in the interest of transparency we were kindly given our tickets in return for an honest review.

 

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Lucas ice cream family race day

Living on the doorstep of Musselburgh racecourse we do a lot of race days but this year we were lucky enough to be invited along to family day. This is a day for everyone. There’s still the races for a flutter and the all important bars but there’s also bags of entertainment for kids of all ages.

The whole day is sponsored by Lucas ice cream which is a famous Edinburgh based family business who make the best ice cream you’ll ever taste. Kids go free on the day and even get a free ice cream. All rides are included too so it really is a great value day. How many times do we get stung by the usual £3 a ride? once your in its all free apart from any food and drink you many wish to buy.

There is everything from chips and cheese to fine dining so there’s bound to be something for even the fussiest of cherubs. You can also take a picnic along too if you’d rather and there are picnic benches are available.

My kids are 2 and 8 and both were thrilled with the entertainment options. Both rode the tea cups at least 5 times and my youngest got so excited to see mini ‘horses’ for her to ride on. We were there from 12 and had to drag the kids away after the last race at 5.30. Thankfully the sun shone all day so it was a really lovely day for us all.

There’s even a selfie wall and if you tag your selfie there’s a chance to win a years supply of ice cream. We all had fun getting involved with that. Much hilarity! I think the adults had more fun than the kids.

We live in East Lothian so may be slightly biased but it’s such a lovely place to visit and really easy to get to by bus or train plus there is free parking available. It’s seriously worth a trip for the ice cream alone.

I’d highly recommend the family day for next year. we’ll definitely be back. Keep an eye out as it’s always slightly cheaper to get your tickets on an early bird deal. Thank you for having us!

Yvonne x

Veggie haggis hotpot

I’ve had a few requests for this so here you go. It can be adapted with ordinary haggis too or veggie black pudding and is an adaptation of a hairy dieters go veggie recipe.

serves: 6

smartpoints per portion: 7

ingredients:

450g veggie haggis sliced

500g potatoes thinly sliced

2 parsnips thinly sliced

2 carrots thinly sliced

1 tsp dried sage

salt

pepper

750ml vegetable stock (cubes are fine)

1 tbsp plain flour

2 garlic cloves

250g turnip thinly sliced

1 large onion chopped

1 large apple grated

spray oil

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180. Spray some oil and fry garlic and onion for 3 mins until softened. Add about 50ml water, sage and flour and cook for a further 3 mins until the mixture thickens slightly.

2. Add stock to the pan and allow to reduce for about 5 mins.

3. In your casserole dish make a layer of half the potatoes, then a layer using half the carrots, apple, turnip and parsnip.

4. Continue layering this time with all the haggis and then pour over half the stock/onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Layer the remaining carrots, apple, turnip and parsnip. Finally add a layer using the remaining potatoes.

6. Pour over the last of the stock mixture and season again. Spray with spray oil.

7. cook covered for an hour. Uncover and cook for a further 30-40 mins.

Let me know if you try it!

Yvonne xx

Introducing my Husband

I haven’t told my husband I’m writing this and he’ll most likely keel over when he sees it. I’m not usually the soppy type- unless my kids are involved but I think it’s time he got a mention.

You may know Steve as the one who doesn’t do very well at keeping on top of the recycling and as true as this is he is so much more.

I met Steve 5 years ago when I was 27. He was 37 and we met a few times before we actually spoke. I assumed he was married and I’m still not sure why. He was always a gentleman and made sure I had a seat and a drink. I’ve always been partial to a man who makes sure I have a drink.

Lewis was 2 and I had had a few causal relationships after his Dad but none of which I’d write home about. They were all pretty rocky, slightly dramatic and just as I’d decided enough was enough there was Steve.

We joke about who pursued who but none of that matters (he pursued me FYI). He asked me out for drinks and I was slightly reluctant. I’d swore off men on the Wednesday and here I was on the Sunday contemplating a date. Madness surely? My friends talked me round. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that and I went. It was lovely and we agreed to meet again. We met again the following week and then he cooked me dinner at mine the week after. I knew then he was different.

He was romantic and there we’re no games. I’d never been treated so well before and as much as it took some getting used to I really liked it. Steve saw my worth and helped me realise it.

When we got together people praised him to high heavens for ‘taking on’ my child. Steve never seen it like this. He was just grateful I’d allowed him to be part of our life and 5 years on Lewis is very much our child.

A lot has happened in the time I’ve know Steve. We’ve crammed in an engagement, moved house twice, 4 lots of major surgery, numerous new jobs, a marriage, the loss of my dear Nan and the birth of our beautiful Joy. One thing has remained consistent throughout and that’s the love we have for each other. It’s different from any other love I’ve had. It’s simple, uncomplicated and being married to Steve is easy.

It’s never boring, we argue like all couples about recycling and who’s more tired (me) but it’s not high maintenance. There’s no unnecessary drama at all and we put work into having fun.

Once you have two kids fun changes completely so instead of cocktails at the Balmoral we now listen to TTF at home and play battleships with a glass of Malbec. It’s still fun though, even when we’re exhausted and can barely get a conversation going we still have that love for each other.

Steve buys me flowers weekly. The cheap ones he knows I like best as they last longer. He runs me nice baths and makes sure I’m feeling ok. I’m rubbish at sharing feelings so it’s not easy for him at times but he always knows when I’m down and just needing a cuddle.

He’s came to accept that doing insta stories in Lidl is the norm for me and will happily take 300 pictures of me in front of a wall just so I can find 1 I like. He may roll his eyes but he does it and for that I’m very thankful.

The most important thing about Steve is he supports me. He backs me up always and supports every ridiculous idea I’ve ever had (and there’s been plenty!) He never says I told you so even though he really should at times and he always picks me up when things go wrong.

He’s the positive to my negative and it works. We bring out the best in each other and he cares for our kids better than I could have ever dreamed. Watching him grow as a Daddy has been the most beautiful transition ever. Our kids have cemented our love for each other.

When he comes in from work I still get butterflies and he still takes any opportunity for a quick grab of my arse. We still flirt and even if we’re drinking at home we make an effort to dress up. He takes longer than any man I’ve ever known to get ready but he takes pride in his appearance and always looks so handsome.

We’re a team and we make mistakes but we can admit them and learn from them. In my eyes that makes us the perfect team.

Love you DB

Yvonne x

Organic September Roasted plums 

We all want the best for our kids right? In an ideal world they’d eat all the fruit and vegetables we put down to them but we all know this is easier said than done. We cook a lot in my house and I try to use seasonal as much as possible to keep cost down and to get a nice variety of colours and flavours incorporated.

When I saw the Organix recipe of the month I jumped at the chance to try it and I really wasn’t disappointed. Lewis helped make it and it was a huge hit with the whole family. It felt like such a treat but added to our five a day as well as being rich in nutrients  Win win!

The kids loved it so much that I ended up making more of the oat crumble to have as granola with some natural yoghurt as a nice healthy breakfast.

Here is the recipe for you to try:

Suitable for 12+ Months although can be puréed or mashed for babies over 7 months. Don’t forget no honey under a year though but maple syrup works just as well. 

10 – 30 minutes to prepare

10 – 30 minutes to cook

Serves 2 adults and 2 children

Ingredients:
Roasted plums

3 large plums

Coconut oil (or melted butter) to brush

Almond & oat crumble:

3 tbsp porridge oats (or gluten free oat)

1 tbsp ground almonds (or desiccated coconut if nut allergies)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp melted coconut oil (or butter)

2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey for children over 12 months)

Mascarpone cream:

150g of mascarpone

3 tsp lemon juice

3 tsp maple syrup (or honey for children over 12 months)

¼ tsp vanilla extract

A couple of mint leaves (optional)

How to make

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper

Step 2

Prepare the crumble by mixing the oats, ground almonds and cinnamon powder together in a small bowl. Add melted coconut oil (or butter) and maple syrup. Stir until you get a crumble texture

Step 3

Spread crumble on baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside to cool down

Step 4

Put the grill on to 275°C

Step 5

Cut plums in half and remove stones carefully

Step 6

Brush each plum all over with some melted coconut oil (or butter)

Step 7

Arrange plums in an oven proof dish, cut side up

Step 8

Place until the grill for around 5 mins or until the plums soften

Step 9

While the plums are in the oven, mix mascarpone with lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a small bowl

Step 10

To serve, dollop the mascarpone cream on a plate. Add 2 halves plum per adult or 1 half plum per child on top of mascarpone cream. Sprinkle with crumble.  Add a couple of mint leaves on top.

organix finger foods are a staple in my changing bag. They’re so handy as an on the go snack and there’s no guilt as Organix comes with a no junk promise. Organix finger foods help little ones discover new shapes, textures and taste while remaining fun and tasty and encouraging junk free, nutritious food.

Organic September: top tips from Organix on why to choose organic for your little one

Just when you and your baby are in a confident routine with milk feeds, along comes the new adventure of introducing solid foods – a time when you want to make the best choices for your growing little one as they start learning about food. So why choose organic?

1. Whether you’re baby led weaning with soft cooked pieces or feeding purees, choosing organic fruit and veggies helps reduce your little one’s exposure to pesticides [organic fruit and veg are grown with fewer pesticides].

2. Fruit and veg are most commonly found to contain more than one pesticide residue, so it makes sense to go organic – apple, pear, banana, and green veg like kale and spinach.

3. In the supermarket choose organic finger foods – then you can be sure you’ll get food you can trust, with no controversial artificial food colours and preservatives, GM ingredients, or hydrogenated fats.

4. From 12 months your little one can have whole cow’s milk – choosing organic means you’ll get more omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic milk [linked to improving children’s brain development].

5. Choosing organic dairy food and drinks also means you’ll avoid the use of GM crops fed to non-organic livestock.

For more information and lots of tasty organic recipes for all the family visit http://www.organix.com

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Let me know if you try this one out and dont forget to tag #organix.

Yvonne x

 

 

Try not to be a dick 

Once upon a time I was a dick. I didn’t mean to be. Dick is maybe not right…. delusional is probably fairer. 7 years ago I had a baby. Baby Lewis. He was a happy little thing, ate well and slept through the night from about 6 weeks. That actually is a thing. Who knew?

I can almost guarantee a few people already hate me at this point. I don’t blame you really. I wasn’t smug but admittedly I took the credit. He was a good boy and I was clearly born to parent the shit out of life. As soon as I wrote that I realise how fucking smug that actually make me sound. Sorry! Never once did I look down my nose at people who had non sleeping, unsettled babies. I may have been delusional but I’ve never been THAT person.

I suppose I just didn’t really think in all honesty. When you have a child you know your child and their ways and quirks. Other children didn’t really come into it.

When Steve and I decided to try for a baby 6 years later I still didn’t really think. “you never get two the same”. Many an old dear told me but I didn’t really take it in. Who wants two the same anyway? I want my kids to be their own people!

Along came Joy. Our beautiful, sassy Joy. 6 weeks in and she didn’t sleep. Obviously I wasn’t worried as I knew Lewis was in the minority. Fast forward a year and I was starting to realise that sleeping all night wasn’t really Joys thing. That was quite hard for me to accept. It’s easy to think you’ve failed as a parent, especially when you’ve had a ‘textbook’ child first. 16 months in and I know I haven’t failed. Joys thriving, she’s smart, funny and she sure knows her own mind. What more could I ask for? Actually a full nights sleep would be nice but let’s not push it eh?

Joy suffered with colic and reflux. She didn’t settle without a boob in her mouth for 5 months. She was a screamer and we’ve never left her to scream. Judge away! Lewis would wimper for a few minutes at bed then drift off. Joy could scream herself into projectile vomit and that’s just not something I’m willing to let happen.

We co-sleep (mostly) and Joys a complete Mummys girl. Many a time I’ve cooked the dinner with her in the sling and she gets stroked to sleep like the Lady of the manor. That’s what works for her- and us and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard the old “rod for your own back” I wouldn’t need to do a lotto. Funnily enough it mostly comes from people with no children or people who had theirs when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

I adore both my kids. I don’t always like them but I love them immensely- and equally! They’ve taught me everything I know about parenting and now I know just how different they can be. I’m not a dick anymore and I’m certainly not delusional. You get what you’re given and you love them regardless.

Once you’re an adult no one gives a shit about how much you sleep so I’m not sure why we put so much pressure on babies.

If you’re reading this and you have a Lewis please don’t panic. This isn’t to put anyone off. They are all worth it. I promise! If anything this is to let all the parents with the non sleeping, non settling kids know that they are brilliant. It’s not a reflection on us and we can sleep when we’re dead right? 😉

Yvonne x

Dear Rose… 

Dear Rose,

I bet you have to think before you even remember me but I often think of you. I don’t think you would have forgotten me although I wouldn’t blame you if you did. You probably see people like me every day. 

You were my health visitor and I was a naive 24 year old with not an ounce of common sense. 

I planned a baby with someone I thought I knew. I really didn’t but the less said about him the better. For the sake of my son. 

So I found myself 24, pregnant and very much alone. That wasn’t my plan. I was angry at that fact for so long. I didn’t want to be that person. Who does? 

You showed me that ‘that person’ could be anyone. Most of all you believed in me when I had zero faith I could make this sorry situation work. You gave me strength and never once looked down at me- and so many others did. 

You made sure I didn’t just make the situation work I fucking rocked it and you made sure I knew I did. Little comments of praise and texts here and there. They were the small things I really needed and I could tell you meant it all.

I genuinly believe there are some truly great people in the world. I’m not talking the Kardashians and all these other ridiculous people were constantly confronted with. Proper role models who make a difference to people’s lives day after day. People like you.

I was at my lowest ebb when I had Lewis. I hid it well as I always do but you saw through that. You supported me through it all like the guardian Angel I needed and you gave me the confidence to continue alone. 

When I moved house I got a new health visitor. I felt a bit sad to be leaving you but by this point I’d met Steve (my now husband) and we were ready to plan another baby. I text you to tell you and as predicted I got the loveliest response. 

My health visitor with Joy is nice. I see so little of her but she seems lovely. I don’t really need her and I just hope she’s spending her time with the people who do need her. Like you did with me. I do hope you guys realise the impact you have on our lives. 

I don’t think I ever got to properly thank you but I hope you know how much I appreciated everything you did for me and I have no doubt that you’re still making a difference to others. You rock Rose! 

Thank you! 

Yvonne (and Lewis) x 

Joanie Clothing 

Recently I was tagged in a picture by a good friend. It was a bikini she thought I’d like. I’ve never really had myself down as a bikini kinda gal but I did like it. So I took a brave step. I bought it. 

I’m 32 and a size 16. That’s doesn’t really mean anything though with today’s mental sizing. I have some 12s and some 18s. Does anyone know what size they really are? 

I’ve been thinner. Much thinner. Also much bigger too and I have to say I was probably at my most miserable at my thinnest. I was thin but I couldn’t socialise as I’d gain weight. What a the bloody point of having a good figure when you don’t even get to showcase it? 

Anyways I’m over it. Hitting 30 was a turning point for me and I thought f*ck it! life’s too short to not buy the bikini. I have as much right to wear the bikini as anyone else and does anyone really care what I look like? Probably not. 

My body had produced two perfect babies via C section and I had my gallbladder out last year. I have stretch marks and scars but I have respect for the body I have. Its still a work in progress but that’s okay. 

I bought the bikini from Joanie and I’d never even heard of them before so was dubious. I was wrong to be. The bikini is fabulous and I feel fabulous in it. I now own another 2. Don’t tell my husband! 

For me there’s a gap in the market. I often find high street shops either too young or too old for me. I’m over bodycon but I’m not quite ready to hang up my party frocks yet. No one really wants to see me in a bodycon dress but I’m not dead yet so I may as well flaunt what I have. In a way that makes me comfortable. 

Joanie fills that gap for me. They do real clothes for Sizes 8-22 and at a really good price too. They have sexy, quirky, casual and formal and it’s now my go to website. 

The sizes are real and the fabrics are lovely so no more looking like a size 16 sausage squashed into a cheap polyester skin.

The clothes have a vintage feel but there’s both ends of the spectrum on this and if vintage isn’t for you I still think you’d be hard pushed not to find something you like. 

As I wrote this I got a text to say my next Joanie order is coming today so I’ll be sure to post lots of pictures. Again, please don’t tell my husband but if you are reading this it was all in the sale. £6 polka dot palazzo pants anyone? Yes please! 

This isn’t a sponsored post so these are 100% my views on some gorgeous clothes that I paid for. Seriously! Go see for yourself.

https://joanieclothing.com/product-category/dresses/
Yvonne x 

P.S have you ever seen anyone that happy to be in a kids paddling pool? We don’t get much sun in Scotland. Can you tell? 

We are good enough 

when you hear of postnatal depression what do you think of? For many it’s not bonding with your baby instantly after birth. For me that wasn’t the case. You see it’s different for everyone. There isn’t a right way to suffer PND and there certainly isn’t a wrong way. unfortunately you get the version you’re given.

For me I’ve been treated about a year after both my kids. Looking back it reared its head immediately but I soldiered on. I don’t know who I was trying to kid.

The stigma is still there with any mental health issues. People are frightened to speak up for fear of being judged. When you’re already feeling like you’re not good enough the last thing you need is others thinking it too.

I instantly bonded with both my children and it was love at first sight for me. weirdly the case for me- as it is for most is I love them… a bit too much.

Newborns scare me. The anxiety they give me drives me insane. I love the squishy, pink, milky bundles but what about all the other stuff they come with? For example cot death statistics, how much they should be eating, pooing and bloody peeing! Anything I can worry about I would.

When I had my first I slept with the windows locked in a first floor flat all summer. For fear someone would come and take my baby. I called my Nan once to ask her to look after the baby while I had a shower. She suggested I left him to sleep while I showered and I genuinely couldn’t believe she would suggest something so absurd.

When I had Joy, my second I stayed awake for 3 whole days. Even when she slept. For fear of something happening to her if I slept. Of course that didn’t last and I eventually passed out with exhaustion.

Second time round it’s much easier to spot though and  luckily I’m surrounded by love and support. I’m now very good at asking for help if I need it now and I’m aware of the importance of self care. We all need to look after ourselves first. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

The more we talk about these issues the more we educate others. If we normalize talking about mental health then we put people at ease and eliminate ignorance.

My point? Keep talking. If unsure ask questions. Never be ashamed and make sure you have a good GP who understands what’s going on. I can’t stress that enough. These issues are often easily resolved but only once treated. Either it be with counselling, drugs or maybe both. Whatever works for you.

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. We’re all guilty of it. Some days I can clean the whole house, have 2 playdates, make the dinner and do a food shop. Other days I stay in Pjs and that’s okay too. It’s about balance.

I’ll say it again. Keep talking!

I’ve posted some links below that may be helpful:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Postnataldepression/Pages/Introduction.aspx
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Anxiety/Pages/Introduction.aspx
https://insighttimer.com/
Yvonne x

Mothering without a mother 

Recently I’ve seen an influx of Facebook posts about always loving your mother as you never get another. Even when you dont see eye to eye. This may be very true but for some sadly it isn’t this black and white. 

My Mum isn’t dead. Not my biological one anyway. My Nan raised me and she was my ‘real’ Mum and sadly she’s no longer with us. My Biological Mum isn’t part of my life however and won’t ever be. 

I won’t go into it as I have no urge to publicly slate her and have younger siblings I wouldn’t want to hurt. 

She hasn’t met Joy and hasn’t seen Lewis in years. It isn’t a fallout or an argument situation but for the sake of my mental health she will remain an outsider. I wish her well. 

Do I love her? Yes! Am I sad I don’t have a mother around? Of course! This really is the best decision all round and I’ve made peace with that. That has taken a long time but I really have made peace with it. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t get a pang of upset when I see friends Mum’s coo over their gorgeous grandchildren. Or when I’m ill and I could really use a cuddle. You’re really never too old to want your Mum at times. 

I do love it when I see my friends with good relationships with their Mums. Over the years a few of them have played a Mum role to me and that’s helped me build a picture of the type of mother I want to be. 

Having Joy was bittersweet. My Nan died when I was pregnant and to not have a mother to show of my baby too… bloody hurt. I still look at my kids and think ‘wow! I made this!’ I just wish I had my Nan here to gush to at times. 

I’m fiercely independent and this is probably why. It’s a defence mechanism. I’ve not always had the choice. I’ve just had to crack on with it. 

The one good thing to come from the situation is my relationship with my children. I’ll always put them first, do my best to never let them down and love them with every part of me. 

I have a great support network and I’m so grateful. My Auntie Helen, my siblings, my friends, my cousins, my mother in law and obviously my husband. Having a big family does have its perks- sometimes! 

I’m not angry or sad at these Facebook posts. It’s a copy and paste type thing and people are more than entitled to celebrate anyone in their life that they wish. So long as we’re mindful it isn’t the same for everyone. I hope one day my kids can celebrate me in that way. Maybe even throw in a wee afternoon tea. 

If you have your Mum in your life then give her a kiss from me. This mothering lark isn’t easy but a kiss from your child always helps. 

Yvonne x