Monday, 30 May 2016

Real Smart Place About Town, Neighbourhood

I was asked along to a brunch event a few weeks ago, in town (Manchester), to Neighbourhood, so along I went with my work pal. 
Bellini before noon? Why not! 

Now I've been to Neighbourhood before with my PA Network Group, for drinks and was impressed then how they dealt with such a large group of us.  The drinks then were served so nicely, with a real personable service.  I noted that I really liked the place and if I was that way about town would defo go in for drinks. 

I have to say, I'd never thought about Neighbourhood for food, which is funny as I know it's a restaurant.  I'm glad I had my eyes opened. 

So we arrived to a great big party it seemed, it was busy for a lunchtime do.  Bellini on arrival, "Yes please".   We went through from the bar to the seated restaurant, and the decor was a winner with me, done out so individually and bespoke.  I was so surprised when speaking to the manager later that they're to close for refurbishment, I hope they go forward in the same careful arty styling.  

We were served a few courses of gorgeous breakfast/lunch (or brunch if you like), including a favourite of mine, Eggs Benedict.   Now as you know I'm the worse food blogger, I eat my food as it arrives and think about photos later!  As it goes though my pal is less greedy than me and snapped away, hence we have food pics #Rejoice 

Now that's a poached egg! 

American Breakfast 
A chap, the manager came round and was such a love, not sure how this come up but it seems prior to his Neighbourhood career he was an ear doctor!    It's nice to chat to people who care about a. where they work and b. take a pride in making a good job of it.  Neighbourhood should be put up there as a top restaurant in town, it isn't a big chain, like Strada or such like.  It's a family run independent business.  It's slick, stylish and you're made to feel important by the staff and servers.  

For my birthday just passed, I had a good mind to go for my meal out, I put the hinters out to Mr. C, he tried to book but discovered it was closed for refurb.  I can't wait to head back to see how they've done the place out.  

xx Emma-Lou 

I don't do food photos, but can be counted on for a good teapot shot!  

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Breastfeeding - a funny story

I was lucky with both my babies, they breastfed with no real problems, THANK GOD for Lansinoh mind.  I did have one small dilemma early days.  

After the birth of our girl, getting home we had the usual bombardment of visitors. One evening in the first week, after a day of visitors and health visitors and emergency trips to the chemist (for already mentioned miracle breast cream).  We'd settled for the evening, was just to give baby her last feed before attempting to put her down.  So, baby latched on, a relax from me, let down of the milk and a a little knock on the door.... 

Bloody hell who could that be, we peep out of the window and it's my lovely in-laws, the doting grand-parents.  Now as it goes when I got further into my breast feeding career I was less bothered about where I fed and who might be around.  But then I was nervous about it, and knew my FIL would be mostly horrified.  So, I grumbled to Mr. C to organise the hospitality and I headed to the bedroom to carry on feeding. Back then we lived in a flat, so from the bedroom, I could hear them moving round, we were to clink some fizzy wine and toast the new baby. 

So with baby fed and my boobies safely stowed away, I joined them to toast our lovely first born.  Glasses filled, clink-clink 'Congratulations, she's gorgeous', when suddenly shock horror, I glance at my FIL, he's only using one of my breast pads as a coaster!  

I wasn't expecting visitors, I'd just whipped them out on the coffee table.  I can still see in my mindseye, Bern (the FIL) having to hold down the soggy breastpad as it kept sticking to the bottom of his wine glass. 

As it goes, I had lots of breastpads over, reckon they just went into landfill, in today's sustainable conscious times perhaps I should have used them as disposable coasters? 

xx Emma-Lou 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Verdict... Guilty

The other day our Willow got a rash, it was an angry sort of rash, made worse by Willow itching himself raw.  Funny thing, Willow diagnosed himself with, 'itchma'. Anyhow it got worse throughout the evening, so I rang out of hours, they squeezed him into 'GoDoc' at the hospital.  To state here, the National Health Service in this country is fantastic, if you need medical advice/reassurance/treatment, how lucky we are that it's so FREELY available.  So it turns out, it's an eczema allergy type thing, caused by new jumpers, that #BadMa didn't wash before putting them on. 

#Obvs when the kids are poorly; it's all about me, I started to feel so guilty. It's ridiculous, but the more I mulled it over, the more guilt came over me.  It had to be my fault, Lizzy has never had eczema, why would she I breastfed her for miles longer than Willow.  With m'laddo I gave up the minute he turned 26 weeks (the bugger was a biter, and had top and bottom teeth).  Over the coming days, whenever I put the steroid cream on his little arms, I had a tear in my eye thinking 'This is my fault this is'.  It isn't really, eczema - it's just a childhood thing, but the pressure we mothers put on ourselves.  I don't remember feelings of such inappropriate guilt before the kids came along.  It's like when your newborn is put in your arms, you immediately start with the self inflicted guilt-trip! 

When I was on my first mat leave, I felt guilty because I had to go back to work, how could I leave my baby to fend for herself in a private nursery?  Five years later, second baby  I felt guilty because I was desperate to go back to work, I counted down the days for when I could abandon my child to paid childcare!   

     I feel guilty that my kids have happy meals 
     I feel guilty that some days I countdown the minutes till they're in bed
     I feel guilty that sometimes I'm not really listening to them
     I feel guilty that they still share a room
     I feel guilty that I don't push the veg more than I should
     I feel guilty at the sheer number of late tickets they get
     I feel guilty with my poor effort on dress up days 
     I feel guilty that I don't help out more at School 
     I feel guilty that I don't really want to help out at School 
     I feel guilty that I don't take them swimming enough 
     I feel guilty that I let them have chocolate brioche for breakfast on school days
     I feel guilty when I shout at them simply because I'm feeling a bit moody... 
           I really could go on...

The main charges against me - 

Biscuit giving, I distract Willow with biscuits, so I can faff round on FB without disturbance - GUILTY 

Abandonment - I only go to the gym/run/bootcamp to get away from my family - GUILTY 

Bribery - I drop Lizzy a bung if she sees to Willow in the morning (set him up on YouTube and give him a cereal bar) - GUILTY 

Perhaps I am guilty as charged..... send her down.... 

xx Emma-Lou 

Friday, 1 April 2016

Cocktail Connoisseur these days.... Be At One Manchester

Last week, I was invited along to a trendy new cocktail bar, of course being a girl about town trendsetter, this is right up my street #obvs. 

Be At One is in a good location in Manchester Town Centre, just off St. Anne's Square, near Barton Arcade.  On arrival, you sort of head down and round a fancy stairwell, to a meet and greet desk manned by gorgeous looking, friendly girls.   Now to be honest, I've never been a massive fan for cocktails, I like, wine, water, coffee and the occasional red stripe when I'm feeling indie.  So when I do join in, I tend not to look at menu's and go for Long Island Iced Tea.  

But my work mate, Coxy, who more than anybody I know needed a good drink last week, who bless was having a mare at work, she is more experimental than me and wasn't having any of my disinterest in cocktails.  We had quite a few I won't lie (I of course blame her, I hardly drink, practically tee total)....  

Ahh work buds... ever so slightly squiffy
How pleased with ourselves do we look? 

Why why why have I never in all my puff experienced a Pornstar Martini... this is the best cocktail in the world, ever. In fact I joked on FB that I'd never drink anything else, even replacing it with my 10:30 brew! 

Be At One looks the part, it's smart, nicely done out.  The music was ace, some newer mixes of some old school 80s tunes. Anywhere that plays a-ha gets my attendance.  The bar was busy, I like that, and cocktails aren't easy to make, if you're making them well, but the staff handled it without fuss, and chatted to you while you waited, I actually liked standing watching them mix up the cocktails, I was watching carefully to see if I could nail a Pornstar Matini later at home myself (you know a little nightcap!), but buggar I didn't have any passion fruit liqueur in!   The staff milling round were dead nice too, asking how we enjoyed drinks as they took glasses away.  

For a work do, a couple of cocktails with you beau after a nice meal, girls night out, I'd defo recommend Be At One, it really does have a nice vibe. 

xx Emma-Lou

Thursday, 3 March 2016

I love World Book Day....

Anything that that gets children enthusiastic about books and reading should be encouraged in Schools.  Dressing up for World Book Day is a brilliant initiative.  Some years are better than others... here's our attempt this year!  

Suffragette Girl 

As inspired by this heroine (good work Jacqueline Wilson) 

Willow a little more obvious... 

Uncanny a real likeness! 

I know, I'm a dressing up genius. 

xx Emma-Lou 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Call on me... I know first aid

Another feather to my bow it seems... qualified first aider at work! 

I can't say I was looking forward to the training, but it was a. a day out of the office and b. you got a lunch voucher and biscuits (win win). 

I have done first aid training before and I can remember hanging round feeling awkward doing chest compressions on a dummy and not getting a lot out of it.   In fact I wonder if during a real casualty would I have remembered CPR at all! 

Anyhow, yesterday was different, training in twenty years has come on heaps and bounds.  The University trainer, with a medical nursing background delivered the training in a really interesting way.  Instead of just detailing the practicalities of what to do... she came from a biology science angle, so we understood the function of why we're doing particular things. For example, when you're unconscious but still breathing, the real danger is your muscles relax and your tongue being a muscle can cause airway obstruction.... hence the need to lift the chin and clear airway. 

She was ace... and is going to give me a certificate... 

Three handsome blondes, all anti-bac'd and ready to smooch

We watched some videos of everyday first aid, not first aid in a work first aider capacity.  Situations that can come about in everyday life, and with a little knowledge all of us can assist in small ways to help somebody in medical distress. The British Red Cross, have an app, 'Everyday First Aid', take a look, here is one from yesterday, which struck a little nerve with me.  What do when someone is having a seizure: 

How lovely was the chap helping the young lad, and he didn't do a great deal.    He was simply calm, reassuring and knowledgeable about what to do... and thank goodness, I was terribly worried about that lad! 

I've taken half-hour out my life and watched all the videos: I'm a good person to know... I'm going to get myself a cape.... 

xx Emma-Lou 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Returned and not too busy at all (no moaning here)


It's me, it's been so long since I blog blogged I forgot what font I use. 

I won't go on about how busy I've been, because when I hear people moan on about being busy, I think "Bore off... nobody is busier than me... and I'm dead busy and I'm perfect and manage to squeeze it all in... if you really wanted to like, you'd make the time to do the things that you're moaning you're far too busy for" (long winded but I think I get my own point... a bit).

But I have been busy.  If I had my life over, I'd have my babies in June and July, January and February babies are just too inconvenient... also in my other life, I'd manage said babies expectations that a party every year is excessive.  In between all this, Mr. C, who rarely likes a fuss turned forty and I made him celebrate with a big party.  I know, how can I be old enough to have a husband so old.  

Anyhow, I'm back.... and happy and calm lately... so will have a think of some amazing blog posts....  watch this space.... 

xx Emma-Lou 

This is me looking calm, in actuality... two mins late, Willow heard a funny joke and laughed so hard... he wee'd on me... the calm lasted a record two minutes... true story ask BF Priya