Sunday, 30 August 2015

Meal Plan Monday

I can't believe it is September already! We are really looking forward to more casseroles and eating loads of squash and sweet potatoes over the next few months. I'm making an awesome sausage, red pepper and butternut squash bake this week (this recipe without the onions) and a batch of bolognese sauce for our meat meals this week...both are totally comforting as the evenings get darker and chillier. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Meal Plan Monday

Almost all of our activities start back this week, meaning that I don't have to plan as many snacks for Lyra. I always have a box of raisins and a package of oatcakes in my bag when we are out and about though because even after eating her weight in fruit at playgroup she will often beg for a snack on our way home. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Eating out in Edinburgh: Pavilion Cafe, The Meadows

We love sitting and enjoying our morning snack at The Pavilion Café on the Meadows, especially when the sun is shining and there are lots of people around to watch. Lyra and I have started a little routine where once a week we wander over to the Meadows and have a good session running up, down, and all around the play park and then walk across to The Pavilion Cafe on Jawbone Walk to refuel. 

I love this place for the coffee, the date squares, and the relaxed (and very child friendly) atmosphere. Lyra loves this place for the toys. It is the perfect place to meet up with pals so the little ones have the freedom to wander around playing with bikes, scooters and toys while the bigger ones can sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee while it is still hot. 

During the nice weather there are tables and chairs set up on the grass, but there is also plenty of outside shelter for those unpredictable days as well as a cosy seating area inside. The menu is great, with loads of choices of sandwiches and salad plates, as well as soups. We usually stick to the baked goods and coffees, but have also been known to indulge in a cheeky ice cream treat (yum)! 

If you are hanging out or meeting people in The Meadows while the weather is still nice make The Pavillion Café your meeting place. 

The Pavilion Café

Jawbone Walk 
The Meadows 

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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Meal Plan Monday

Here is a look at what we are eating this week. Next week all of our activities start again, which means that I won't have to plan snacks for Lyra. It also means that I will have to work her daily portion of yoghurt into lunch or dinner. 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Staycation London: WWT London Wetlands Centre, Barnes

I can't believe that I lived in London for almost 3 years and didn't know that there was a huge Wetland Centre not far from Hammersmith! What's even more embarrassing is that for 6 months I was living in KEW...a hop, skip and a jump along the river! 

Thankfully, our friends in London have set me straight and took Lyra and myself to visit this incredible haven just off the River Thames Path in Barnes. It was such a lovely way to spend the day away from the hustle and bustle of Central London (we braved that the following day). 

The London Wetlands Centre covers a large area so we only really experienced a small part of it. It was difficult with Lyra, only because she is at that stage where she wants to walk walk walk but can't really walk THAT FAR or for THAT LONG but STILL WON'T GET INTO THE BUGGY. Because of that we took advantage of her timely nap and walked around as much of the South Route as we could and then made our way to the Explore Adventure Park when she woke up. 

There are picnic spots dotted around the site so you can bring your own food, and there are quite a few picnic benches within the children's explore area (also close by are toilets, drinking water and baby change facilities), so we had a little picnic before exploring the climbing frame and the water play area. She really loved trying to race the ducks down the chute and LOVED getting soaked in the process. There were quite a few children in bathing suits playing in the same area- they must have known what to expect! 

After playing we walked around some more in search of more "quackies" and eventually made our way over to the West Route to see the otters, who were very very very playful and cute. 

We all had a wonderful and peaceful time. There were times when I found myself forgetting that we were still in London (only to be brought back to reality by a plane flying overhead to land at nearby Heathrow). 

If you are visiting London, or even live in the city, and are looking for something a little bit different and a little bit quieter to do with children we would definitely recommend spending the day at the London Wetlands Centre. 

WWT London Wetlands Centre 

Queen Elizabeth's Walk 
SW13 9WT


Monday, 10 August 2015

Staycation London: Bean and Hop, Earlsfield

I took Lyra on an adventure to London over the weekend. It was crazy, it was fun, it was exhausting. BUT we had a ball, enjoyed the sights, discovered all the lifts at Kings Cross station, and ate really really well. 

We stayed with some friends in Earlsfield in South West London where we were treated to breakfast at their favourite local spot Bean and Hop, which specialises in good coffee and good beer (and good food obviously). We went at the weekend and the BRUNCH menu was A.MAZE.ING. My friend had Instgrammed a picture of the eggs benedict a while back so I already knew that was what I was having. 

Yeah, it was good. They kindly poached 1 egg for Lyra and she had that with some buttered sourdough and some of my thinly shaved ham. I'm always impressed when places will happily make a smaller portion of a menu item for Lyra.

The small cafe was busy, lots of people with dogs getting coffee to go (although it is a dog friendly cafe), and quite a few couples with a buggy and small person in tow. I can see why it is a local favourite. 

And the was exceptionally good. 

Bean and Hop

424-426 Garrett Lane 
SW18 4HN 


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Meal Plan Monday

Since we bought our car I have been much more efficient at meal planning. Going to the supermarket once a week has made it so much easier for me to buy produce that will last me all week and to also be able to alter my meal plan based on what is on sale/ in season/ available in store. I still have to get fresh bread or rolls and milk and sometimes more fruit or cheese closer to the end of the week, but for the most part what I buy on Saturday morning will last us through the week. 

Here is a look at what we are going to be eating this week. Lyra and I eat together at breakfast, snack and lunch time and then we eat dinner together with David when he gets in from work. Most weeks I stick to the meal plan, sometimes I change snacks or lunch on a whim based on what I feel like or more recently what Lyra asks for. 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Eating out in Edinburgh: Hemma

Whenever we are over by Arthur's Seat, Holyrood, or Our Dynamic Earth we love escaping to Hemma for a sit down and a snack.  They do a good range of homemade cakes/puddings, excellent coffee and are very child friendly. 

Lyra and I visited recently after a busy morning exploring Our Dynamic Earth. I had originally planned to pop in for a coffee and a sweet treat before heading home, but once we made ourselves comfortable on the chaise lounge and dragged out some toys from the children's corner we decided to have an early lunch (it was almost 11:30 anyways) and take our time. Lyra had a very generous portion of scrambled eggs on toast (with cucumber and tomatoes on the side that very quickly ended up on my plate) and a cup of apple juice. I had an open face pastrami sandwich with sweet red onions and a remoulade, with a side salad and latte. We shared a portion of chips with plenty of "kekup". It was all delicious. We (I) felt really relaxed and we just took our time eating, and chatting, and playing and reading until it was time to pack up and go home. 

I really like the children's menu at Hemma because there is a good variety of food to choose from and the prices are so reasonable. The whole brand, of which Hemma is 1 of 6 restaurant bars, really gets the importance of a good children's menu and catering to their needs (books and toys to play with) and that's why we love visiting.  

Highchairs available and baby changing facilities. 


73 Holyrood Rd.