Laura Crichton

Food: Café Milk

The first time I went to Cafe Milk at the Edinburgh Sculpture workshop there was a lot I liked: I thought the lighting was amazing – even though there’s a limited amount of windows and the ceiling is low it still feels spacious. The use of dark paint on one wall works really well and I just really liked the feel. The tables are well spaced apart so we weren’t intruding on anyone else’s space. People were constructing things in the courtyard outside so the kids were entertained and I could just relax.

What I wasn’t sure about was the food. I remember I had something with avocado but it felt like everything was caked in some spice or other. My Mum had porridge with every kind of trendy substance going. The cakes were amazing in terms of an adult palette but there wasn’t anything really for the kids – who were then pretty miserable. It was kind of a let down and wasn’t somewhere to beat my usual sources of brunch.

However, given that I really liked the location, décor and staff – I decided to go back and I am beyond glad that I did.Read More »Food: Café Milk

Food: Immune building soup

Over the last few months we’ve been taking part in a local fruit and vegetable delivery scheme. This has resulted in Fridays being the day that lovely box of fresh produce appears at our door. I simply asked them to fill it with ‘local and seasonal’ food rather than dictating exactly what I wanted. Whilst this gives us a nice variety and means we’re eating beautiful fresh food – there have been a few things that I would have never have bought. Partly because I didn’t have a hope of identifying them!

One of our most recent discovery has been celeriac. You can actually eat it in any number of ways and it’s pretty good just simply grated it in salads. But we’ve also had it mashed, roasted and in soup. Nutritionally it also has its advantages – 100g holds just 42 calories and yet it’s a really good source of Vitamin K, Iron, Calcium, and Manganese. Fresh, it also provides a moderate about of Vitamin C – which in cold season is crucial for me. I’ve already had antibiotics twice since the summer so I’ve been keen to build my immune system; and it made sense to try and do this through our normal diet!

With that, I give you my immune building soup:Read More »Food: Immune building soup

Activities: Christmas Craft with Nature

Today was a day when I was rudely reminded that life is not always ‘Pinterest perfect’. Sometimes things do not go to plan and it’s at that point I find patience is really tested. You have to decide whether to take a deep breathe and keep smiling or completely flip your lid. I decided on a combination of the two…

A few weeks a go, I spied these little Christmas trees made from lollypop sticks and thought it would work really well with twigs. It would be more rustic but thought it would fit in well with our general theme at Christmas which has quite a lot of natural decorations.

We had a lovely time gathering sticks before having a late brunch at Cafe Milk. Katie was sold on the idea that we’d be using them for craft. I remembered to dry the sticks out before home AND we had a playdate planned in which the craft could be completed. Perfect or what?!Read More »Activities: Christmas Craft with Nature

Food: The Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie

If you’re anything like me in the morning, breakfast is a total drag. Each morning entails of a mammoth list of things to get done: The kids need to be dressed and fed – this is usually a battle of wills. I need to shower, find suitable work attire, and get through my make up routine. All whilst CBeebies is blaring in the background. I know I’m running late if I can hear the Furchester Hotel theme tune playing whilst I’m applying my foundation. It’s all pretty hellish.

I am a HUGE fan of breakfast/brunch when I have the time. I am more than happy to frequent any number of local Edinburgh establishments for brunch. I could in fact recommend any number to you if you so required. But on a weekday – I will not be sitting down to eat unless a snow storm has hit the city and closed all routes to work.

My compromise is to take a smoothie in my travel mug. I’ve refined a recipe that is not only delicious, but super good for you as it’s packed with antioxidants and high in vitamins and minerals. Maybe I am winning at the breakfast game after all?!Read More »Food: The Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie

Autumn/Winter Capsule Wardrobe 2016

The term ‘capsule wardrobe’ is certainly not a new one. However, a quick Google will soon find a whole myriad of ‘rules’ and a vast variety of ‘how to’ guides. In my mind, there’s no hard and fast way that capsule wardrobes have to be put together. Some people protest that when they expand to 30+ items, that they can hardly in considered capsule. But I reckon, that whatever works for you is best!

I don’t have a huge space to store clothes, but equally live in a climate where it really wouldn’t work to wear the same clothes all year round. For that reason, I like to keep the same basic wardrobe but to update it or rotate items seasonally.

Back in March, I put together my wardrobe for Spring which saw me through most of the Scottish summer too. I had to add in a few pairs of shorts for our holiday in America, but for the most part it has remained the same.

Obviously, the return to work necessitated that I also needed to address my formal wardrobe. I’m still about 4lbs above my ‘normal’ weight now but was well over a stone heavier upon my return. For that reason, a capsule wardrobe made more sense than ever; I didn’t have the budget for vast variation but needed something that would fit well and be functional.

I do still like to adopt a more casual look on the weekends though; and actually changing my clothes is a good way to ‘switch off’ work mode. Therefore, for Autumn/Winter 16 I effectively have a capsule with two subsections. As I said before – my wardrobe, my rules!Read More »Autumn/Winter Capsule Wardrobe 2016

November in Retrospect

Time can be a funny thing sometimes. In some ways it feels like November has simply flown by, but when looking back an awful lot has happened. It’s like Halloween was both yesterday and a life time ago. Although I’m definitely going to yesterday given that there’s still jack-o’-lanterns sitting in my garden! I’m aware at how quickly the kids are changing and wanted to take some time to just reflect on what’s been happing. Hence, I give you November in Retrospect:

november-in-retrospect

Read More »November in Retrospect

Finding Time to Workout

Life sometimes feels insanely busy. Work is demanding and I always seem to have a never-ending ‘to do’ list. I think all parents with small children must be in a similar boat. Once everything is ‘done’ the priority really is spending time with the kids but should we find time to workout?

Somehow going to the gym or making time for a run seems lower down on the agenda. It somehow seems selfish to be doing something that is a solo activity. That doesn’t involve the children or entertain them in any way.

Whilst, there’s obviously ‘active’ things we can do together. Realistically swimming with the kids is NOT the same as doing laps for half an hour. Thomas is undoubtably heavy but lifting him in the air does NOT replace a kettle bell session. So why make time?Read More »Finding Time to Workout

Design: Smiggle

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Smiggle before our visit, but given I’m not one to turn down an opportunity – last Saturday I found myself with Ben and Katie, ready to explore the newest stationary shop to hit Princes Street.

Following our visit, I can thoroughly understand the catchline ‘Smiggle – where a smile meets a giggle!’ Read More »Design: Smiggle

Philosophy series: Copleston

Returning to work after maternity leave has meant a lot of change. Although I’ve returned to a familiar world of work – things are undeniably different.

When I returned to work after Katie, I would cry on my way to work each day, feeling irrepressibly guilty that she would be sad or somehow suffer from me not being there. Having seen her come through the nursery system and develop into a boisterous child, brimming with happiness and self-belief, I know that she’s not been damaged by the experience at all.

With Thomas, although I miss him each day and think I would rather be taking them to the park. I don’t feel neglectful. Rather, I think I’m more regretful about things I may be missing and just fervently hoping that I’ve made the right decision to work.Read More »Philosophy series: Copleston

Activities: 360 Allstars at Edinburgh festival

We’ve had a busy festival season in Edinburgh, and I’ve seen some brilliant shows with the younger two children. However, I always like to try and see at least one thing thing aimed at an older audience for my eleven year-old, Ben. After reading the description of 360 Allstars, I was confident that it would fit the bill:

‘A phenomenal physical performance exploring all forms of rotation, 360 Allstars connects the street with the elite to deliver a radical urban circus.’

Ben’s love of skateboarding has now lasted almost a year, so I was pretty sure that this would tick all the necessary ‘cool’ boxes alongside being entertaining enough for me! Needless to say we were not disappointed:Read More »Activities: 360 Allstars at Edinburgh festival