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Harvester Review

Usually on Sundays the AG’s can be found on the sofa, watching films and generally being a bit lazy. It tends to be the only day of the week that we’re all together for the whole day and we like to make it (as often as we can) a day where we all get to recharge our batteries. The kids need a lazy day just as much as we do. I used to hate Sundays, it was always the start of the working week, in a job I didn’t want to be in usually, ferrying the kids around all over the place and just in the way of the following Friday! Now though, it’s different, because I’m happy doing what I’m doing, but that’s a whole other blog post!

Last Sunday however, we got dressed (shocker!) and made our way to a Harvester restaurant in Haywards Heath to try out their menu. I can’t remember the last time we went to a Harvester, I’m sure it was as a kid, and I remember it being all about burgers and ice cream.

Well.

Let me tell you, that’s definitely changed! We were a bit early so we had a quick drink in the bar area, hello lovely glass of dry white, and the kids had a go on the teddy grabber machine, then we were shown to our table, with colouring pencils, activities for (both it would seem) kids and the menus. Where there was a whole load more than just burgers to pick from! We picked some starters (I wish kids menus came with starters) individually and they were bought to use on a sharing platter so we could try each others. Much to the dismay of my daughter and husband it would seem! They both went for grilled halloumi served with grilled watermelon and I went for firecracker prawns.

Menu

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starter

choices

Main course arrived, H (like her dad) went for the *biggest* burger ever, the nacho burger, hubs went for “I want it all” combo – says it all no? C had southern fried chicken, chips and peas and I had the salsa chicken and pepper stack. Oh my god. So good. I could literally eat that every day. Plus, the sweet potato chips were to DIE FOR. I’m not even kidding.

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main

kids

By the end of the main we were so stuffed. On top of the food we had the choice of the unlimited salad bar and refillable drinks, but, because we were out out, pudding had to be done. This is where I remember Harvester being all about the knickerbockers, and they still are in a way (who’s going to complain about that though, seriously!?) there was still other options. A build your own sundae for C, lemon blizzard and rocky horror for me and H (kind of a smaller knickerbocker) and warm, American, silver dollar pancakes for the bloke. After this – hands up, I couldn’t finish the pudding – we literally and figuratively could have been rolled out of the restaurant. The amount of groaning coming from our table was ridiculous, it sounded like we’d run a marathon not eaten a three course meal!

puds

pancakes

build your own

The whole meal, from service, to presentation, timing, taste, everything was spot on. It was loud enough for families to not feel like they had to shush their kids, but not so loud you felt like you were in McD’s at half term. The waitress and hostess, Natalie and Rebecca were both lovely, and we will definitely be back there, next time for one of their breakfasts…..!

PR Review but, as always, all the words and opinions are my own! 

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I do solemnly swear…….

I saw a post on FB this morning, by Constance Hall (hilarious woman, you have to read her stuff) and it was all about writing new vows for her and her hubs. Well, after cracking up and agreeing with 90% of them, I thought I could write my own, seeing at the bloke and I have been together for coming up to 19 years. Nineteen years. What the actual f*ck?! (Clearly I don’t look old enough)

So, I bring you, the new vows for the AG marriage.

  • I vow to not punch you in the ribs when you snore like a freight train. I understand you need said ribs, and if we continue in this way, you’ll have none left by the end of the week.
  • You must vow to find a way of ensuring you sleep facing the wall with your mouth firmly shut. ALL night.
  • I vow to try to contain my need to throw things around the room when I am on the edge of PMT.
  • You must vow to NEVER utter the words “are you due on” at me again.
  • I vow to kiss you each morning before you leave for work, regardless of whether I’ve had a coffee, the kids have had breakfast, I know what I’m wearing that day or, if I’m growing a new chin out of a giant spot on my mush.
  • You need to vow to not make those kisses wet and sloppy. I hate that shit.
  • I vow to stop expecting you to be a mind reader. After all these years you’d think I’d know that’s not one of your talents.
  • You need to vow to notice the washing basket needs emptying, the sheets need changing, the bathrooms need cleaning. I don’t have magic cleaning eyes, you see what I see. Calling the cleaner is a compromise I am happy with.
  • I vow to stop bitching that you’re a morning person. In *all* senses.
  • You must vow to stop bitching that I’m an evening person. In *all* senses.
  • I vow to stop telling my friends all your funny f*ck ups so they can use it against you on FB.
  • You vow (you will) to hear me the first time I say something. No matter what it is.
  • I vow to slow down while pushing a shopping trolley and understand that some people do, in fact, use it as a day out, and are enjoying walking at a snails pace.
  • You need to vow to understand that sometimes, those people will have their trolley hurried along. Sainsbury’s is not my idea of a day trip.
  • I vow to laugh at your jokes. When you crack them. And not say “hey, that’s funny, for you…..”
  • You must vow to continue making me laugh.
  • I vow to try and reign in my sarcasm at inappropriate moments. Although I know you secretly love it.
  • You must vow to get my “looks” a lot faster than you do. When you see that look, respond.
  • I  vow to try and stack the dishwasher in a way that keeps your OCD happy.
  • You must vow to put the empty loo rolls in the bloody bin.

And there we go. What do you think, if we renew our vows next year, these would work wouldn’t they?

 

 

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Print Run – Epson ET-2500

Ok. I’m not usually a tech-y reviewer on here, purely because I don’t often have anything that exciting to say about things like that. I mean, I love my gadgets, but apart from telling you what they do and what I’ll use them for, there’s not much else I can say. Which doesn’t make for interesting reading. (And I’m hoping I occasionally offer interesting reading…..)

But. There is one piece of equipment that everyone uses in this house, and in your house probably too. It’s a vital piece of equipment, and it usually gives up right at a crucial, last minute, moment. Right when you need it the most. If you live here, it usually means you call your Dad in an emergency and ask him if you can use his.

That’s right. I’m talking printers.

I don’t know about you, but in this house, we usually run our printer ink into the ground, realise *just* at the very moment someone needs to print some homework or assignment off, as in, the day before it’s due, and then it’s panic stations. Then, we forget about it. The printer sits there, not being used because it has no ink. For weeks and weeks and weeks. We finally replace the ink, for the whole debacle to start over.

No more! Oh no! Epson have created a printer that has enough ink in it to last up to 2 years. TWO FLIPPING YEARS. I know!

Epson very kindly sent me the ET-2500 printer, worth £229.99 to try out and review. It arrived literally the day after they sent it and we had it set up in under an hour. It was so easy to install everything, even on a mac, it comes with a CD for instructions but the leaflet was easy enough to follow. You install the ink into the pods yourself, it comes in bottles which look huge compared to the cartridges of old! After 20 mins of the ink running through and setting up, good to go. And it’s so easy to use. Connected to the WiFi, we can all print from anywhere in the house, there’s even an app you download to your phone or iPad and you can print directly from there. I will be grabbing some photo paper when I next go shopping and I’ll finally get some new pics for frames, rather than having a million images sitting on a device.

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It’s quiet, you don’t know it’s printing (until a teenager appears, takes something she’s printed and buggers off back to her room) and it comes with a 3 year warranty. What’s not to love?

Tech-y wise (told you, not great!) it has Epson connect, so you can print while you’re out of the house, it’s ECO friendly, the average length of time the ink last is two years, which is equivalent to about 20 cartridge changes, you can view the ink levels easily and you can copy and scan as well as print.

Have a look at the Epson ET-2500 for yourself.

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RED.

That quiet period between Christmas and new year. When no one knows what day it is, nobody (nobody sane anyway) really wants to go anywhere and everyone is sick of talking to each other so you actually get a bit of time to chill the hell out. Read a magazine or 5. Refresh your brain and get ready for the new year.

Bloody love that time. Red magazine christened it #twixmas. I tweeted that I fully agreed, they stuck said tweet in their magazine. The magazine that fell through my letterbox on December 31st. All fresh and shiny. Ready to be read (great wording there Kate) maybe in the bath. With a cup of tea. And a bath oil. I did say I liked to plan. All thanks to the lovely magazine.co.uk – Happy Christmas to me!

Now, I love my magazines. I get it from my mum, there’s not a time in my life where I don’t remember her buying at least 3, once a week. One for the crosswords, one for the stories, one for the gossip. Now, she’s on about 5 or 6 but she shares them out between us after, so it doesn’t really count. I love when she circles a story or leaves a message on the pages that she thinks I’ll be interested in, or a funny quote, always makes me smile! H is the same, she loves a magazine, C does too but he usually picks them based on their freebies. He has no loyalty that boy.

I however, do have loyalty to my magazines. Red has always been my favourite. If I could only buy one, it would be that one. Glossy but not full of ads. Enough content to keep you interested, good fashion. Grown up but not boring. And yes, quite often, good freebies! So getting it through my door each month (before it hits the shelves) is my kind of heaven! It’s like belonging to a club or something. Sometimes I want a quick read, full of gossip and trash so I’ll grab one of the weeklies, but Red is for that proper quiet time. I refuse to even open it until I know I can read the whole thing from start to finish, uninterrupted.

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My New Year Stuff.

Unlike all the cool kids (the fact that I say that, shows how uncool I am) I still really like New Years Resolutions. It’s the whole, fresh start, anything is possible, thing for me. I might not achieve even a third of them, but it makes me feel better after a month of gluttony and greed to think that it’s possible.

This year I plan to:

  • Get someone in to clean the oven. I don’t believe the bloke when he says he’ll do it. He’s said that 87 times now.
  • Visit Amsterdam, New York & Scotland.
  • Complete my access course and resit the dreaded maths GCSE. And pass. Obviously.
  • Actually find an exercise I like and can stick to. Bunnyhop is happening next week…..
  • Shift some weight. I know, I know. Such a predictable NYR, but it’s got to be done. I’ve been hoovering up all the bad foods in preparation for the healthy eating. I actually can’t eat another chocolate for the rest of my life (and by life I mean January)
  • Try not to rage out. Sometimes, Hulk has nothing on me. Apart from maybe bursting a blood vessel, I’m not sure what this achieves.
  • Get my nails done once a month. The bloke got me a voucher for Xmas that says I am legally entitled to this. I love pretty nails. Call me shallow. I’ll call you rude.
  • De-clutter my wardrobe. I am *still* banging on about a capsule wardrobe. This must be the 5th year in a row.
  • Write more. Since the course started I haven’t even attempted to think about anything blog related. I enjoyed the break but now I kind of miss it. Also, cards and letters to people. Nothing beats getting something nice in the post. Magazine subscriptions, handwritten notes, anything other than bills or takeaway menus.
  • Read. I was going to add “more” but there’s no point. All the literature I read in 2015 was anatomy related. Interesting but not exactly gripping. I have a shelf full of books. I’ve fallen in love with Ernest Hemingway. I need to make time.
  • One early night a week. No TV. No social media. Bath, bed, sleep.
  • One date night a month. May or may not coincide with the early night…
  • Quality time with the kids. Explore London, road trips, swimming, whatever. The last 365 days flew by, I want to make sure there are some good memories stored away.
  • Don’t say maybe when I mean no.
  • Say no less. See the issues I have with myself. It’s easy to say “no” to the kids, no we can’t go there, do that, buy those” but why? Why bloody not. Life is short. Do it.
  • Frame my photos. Print my photos. Create a photo wall. These all count as one.
  • Also, take more photos. I’m lusting after a camera as we speak.
  • Last but not least, just be happy. However that rolls out. I am a planner, but I’ve worked out that actually, things tend to happen for a reason. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. So as someone aged 6 told me before Christmas, “Calm it Kermit” that’s exactly what I plan to do!
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#InstaLove – Cult of Youth

Cult of Youth

 

I’ve decided that I actually have mama envy. I need to coin a term for it, #mamenvy or something less shit. Anyway. One of the mamas that I am girl crushing on right now is Kelly from Cult of Youth. Mama to Elvis and creator of the necklace on my wish list, if I could decide which one I wanted, mama, initials or the skull. We all know how much I love a skull….. She’s frigging amazing and I love her style, from her Instagram profile to her jewellery range. Go shop, thank me later.

3 things

Three items you can’t live without?
My bed, my phone and my Double Initial Chain. I have a seventeen week old baby so we’ve spent the last few months holeing ourselves away, watching old films under the covers and getting to know eachother. It’s been good to have maintained a connection to the outside world with a bit of Instagram! Getting dressed has definitely changed since having a baby, very simple and functional. I always make sure I’m wearing my rings and a chain from the new collection as it makes me look a bit more polished, even if I don’t feel it! At the moment I alternate between the MAMA and Elvis’s initials.

The meal you would cook to impress someone?
I love microwave Mac n Cheese but that’s a bit rank isn’t it?!

Where you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by people. I love having coffee on the Kingsland Road and people watching! Instagram is also a great source. @eimearvarianbarry has one of my fave insta accounts (she’s just as gorgeous in real life.) I wish my desk looked a little more like hers! @mothersmeetings hold lots of events including a monthly business club which always inspires me. When it comes to designing, I tend to work with materials first and then build a collection around them. Last season I was obsessed with crystal quartz, this current collection is very personal. I make each piece by hand so I wanted to use that as a design focus. Each piece is completely unique to it’s owner!

Which Instagram accounts inspire you? Let me know!

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Mothers Guilt….

Yup. That old chestnut.

I don’t think you can be a mama without feeling some sort of guilt at the end of every day. There’s always something you wish you hadn’t/had done, it’s like an actual law once you’ve given birth, you must beat yourself up forever more.

My guilt is this. A; I hardly ever see my two, especially my youngest, and B; said youngest is out of the house every single evening after school. Both of these are due to the fact that I decided now would be a good time to start studying my backside off.

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When I started the access course back in April (why does it feel like it was year rather than months ago?) I knew it would be hard work, I wasn’t expecting it to be *this* much hard work. Two days a week at college, easy to manage childcare around that, and they probably wouldn’t even know I was missing. But they do. H, not so much, she’s now at the age where she’d rather be at her friends house, or upstairs in her room with them. As long as there is food, music and wifi, she’s happy. But C, he goes to his grandparents on a Monday, beavers on a Tue, childminder on a Wed, his friends on a Thur and has taekwondo on a Friday. I know none of these things are torture for him, but it does make you realise why he’s a little bit grumpy and knackered come Friday afternoon. He’s tall, and loud, and confident, but he’s still only six, and really, he needs afternoons at home watching telly and vegging out. But then, where does the study time fit in? I’m at college till 9.15pm on a Monday, all day Tue & Thurs so that only leaves Wed and Fri to get the INSANE amount of college work done, and I’m not even slightly joking when I say insane.

Then there’s the future guilt. You know, the stuff that hasn’t even happened yet but you’re still worrying about it. What if I *do* get into uni, and what if I *do* become a midwife. He’s already asked me if he will still see me once I’m a midwife! ARGH! The heartstrings……!

I know I don’t have do any of these things, I could stay at home, cooking and cleaning but then there’s a different kind of guilt, one that feels like I’m kind of wasting my life by not at least trying.

So then it’s the whole cycle of guilt all over again.

Great this parenting lark isn’t it!

 

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