I am So I’ve found my Marbles Mum

Marbles…

Just when I thought I was in danger of losing my last few, Himself whisked me off to the lovely Shandon Hotel & Spa in Dunfanaghy. We didn’t bother with the spa this time, just focused on some R&R… and finally got to try out their new restaurant, Marbles.

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I’ll keep this short and sweet.

It is Fablis.

Located upstairs from the bar, the restaurant is a lovely size. Tastefully decorated in silver and purple hues, it is fresh and comfortable. We gave our room number and were greeted by name. Simple but classy. And little touches like Cole & Mason table accessories and a traditional and classy cutlery setting let us know that this was a cut above before we’d even seen the menu.

The Menu is extensive without being overwhelming. A lovely variety of starters with all allergens and required info available. There is a choice of every meat for main which is something I find becoming rare in good restaurants.

We ordered a bottle of still water and a bottle of wine. Natalia was our server and when I asked for number 18, she instantly replied “The Malbec.” This is the kind of thing that makes Mammy happy. Having worked in restaurants for years, I always appreciate when staff not only do their job well, but show that they take it seriously. Instantly impressed.

We were offered the Shandon’s famous “Guinness Bread” and then served little prawn bites as Chef’s Amuse Bouche while we waited for our starters.

I opted for Pork Belly. Beautifully presented and perfectly cooked. I love the warmed grapes and puree on the plate. All flavours complimented. He had the fishcake and was equally impressed.

Then they served us a little passion fruit sorbet which was gorgeous.

I had the duck for my main course. It was very tasty and served with a little tarte tatin on top. Himself had the slow cooked beef which melted in the mouth. Sides were veg and creamed potatoes and the portions were plenty.

We asked if we could wait a while before ordering dessert and there was no problem at all. Is there anything worse than feeling rushed along in a restaurant? We weren’t at a window seat for our meal, but when one beside us became free, there was no issue in moving to it to enjoy the sunset. The pinks and purples inside suddenly made sense. The sky was the exact same colour and the whole effect was beautiful.

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My dress matched the decor perfectly!

The dessert menu posed a huge problem for me. I love a good cheese board when I’m eating out, and am rarely tempted by a sweet, but this menu was to die for. There is a trio of Creme Brulee which looked amazing. And yet, I always have cheese. Torn. Torn I tell you!

I stuck with the cheese and it was gorgeous. My one (and only) tiny criticism was that I asked for no nuts on the cheese board. (Sometimes walnuts etc are sprinkled on the plate.) The cheese board arrived, looking fab and with all of my favourites on it, but without crackers. The crackers served see, are homemade and have hazelnuts through them, and quite rightly, the chef couldn’t serve them to me.

Now, my intolerence is specific to coconut and almond, so I was able to have some sent out and I simply removed the hazelnuts. But I would suggest that even having some water biscuits or plain crackers on standby would be a clever move which would allow Nutty ones like myself to enjoy the cheese. The cheeseboard however was divine and I ate every bite of it (yes all by myself!). I shall be back for those Brulee!

Himself had the lemon tart, which I have on good authority was lovely. (Him doesn’t share desserts!) We then moved out to the adjoining bar to finish our drinks and relax some more.

The menu is simply priced at €40 per head. I LOVE THIS. Especially if out in a large group. No nit-picking at the splitting of the bill. It was worth every penny and I can’t wait to return.

Mammy gives Marbles a deserved 5 stars.

It books up quite quickly Ladybelles, so if you plan to visit over the summer months, it might do no harm to book in advance.

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(As always, my review is honest and true. We were paying guests in the Shandon and in Marbles and I am under no obligation to post this piece.)

I am Speed-Clean Queen Mum

Good evening, on this, the 83rd of January, 2018.
 
It is Sunday night once again. Mammy has a list of things she needs to do, but after running around the house for the past 90 minutes finding schoolbags, and lunchboxes and searching for the magical tie and parts of the uniform that get blown to the 4 corners of the earth on a Friday evening, Mammy is fit for NOTHING except parking her posterier on the sofa.
 
Mammy had some lovely friends over for an impromptu dinner last night. Mammy spent 45 minutes speed cleaning the rooms in which her lovely friends would be. It is amazing just how much Mammy can get done when faced with the thought of lovely friends coming to visit. (Not that lovely friends give a continental shite what state Mammy’s Layer of Love is in, but still.) And so Mammy managed to blitz the kitchen, tidy, move, clean bathrooms, mop floors and clean glass, all so that she could apologize for the “state of the place” when the lovely friends arrived.
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How ridonculous eh?
 
“Good evening Lovely Friends, please doooooo come in and look at how homely and coziful Mammy’s practically perfect in every way home is on this fine evening. I must apologize for the layer of love. Please do not judge Mammy for the mess of her candlelt kitchen… Woulds’t one likest some cucumber in one’s gin?
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Ready for catch ups

 
And of course the response from one of the lovely friends was “Yeah yeah. The place looks great. Shut up and start pouring.”
 
The evening was lovely until Princess decided to have her firt EVER nightmare just before 1am. The poor little cretur screamed so loudly that one of Lovely Friends almost spilled her cucumbery gin over herself. And so Mammy had to bid her lovely friends Adieu and take the High-temperatured, sweaty little shaking mess away from the “Bug Bear under me bed” and into our bed.
On the up side, The Him was happily left entertaining lovely friends AND HE did all the cleaning up of Mammy’s showhouse worthy kitchen before he went to bed. And so the remnants of the Heavenly Indian takeaway we had, were gone when I got up.
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Could lick the screen…

 
Fear not however my Mammies. The house is once again a mess and all pretentious notions have left Mammy. Mammy is back in reality, smiling at how quickly Mini-Me and Princess recreated their Layer of Love and glad to have such Lovely friends to speed-clean-for-them-to-not-notice anyway.
I am now ready for bed, hoping and praying that there is no bear or monster under Princess’s bed tonight.
Hope you had a lovely weekend and that you are ready for the last 38 days of January.
The S-Mum

I am Such a Silly Notion Mum 

Ooooooh it’s Friyay.

Today Mammy took a notion.
Mammy is going to surprise the girlies by bringing them to meet Daddy for a surprise dinner date and we’ll have a lovely family evening with our two well behaved darlings, who Shall eat their Yummy dindins. Then we shall have the joy of watching them eating Pink icecream, the adorable little munchkins, before going home for a relaxing bedtime where Daddy would put them to bed while Mammy pours a glass of grapes and puts her Tired feet up for a good old Corrie wedding…
Yeah.

Mammy is a deluded Twatsickle who often falls victim to her very own Disney Princess notions. 😂

But never fear.

Mammy has her very own Mini whose main purpose in life (today anyway) seems to be to knock Silly Mammy off her Disnified perch.
We did meet Daddy.

 From the second we sat down, Mini-me was a wagon. A proper little shitsickle. She made Princess look like an angel. That IS Quite the achievement! I won’t go into too much detail but when I tell you that ignoring the waitress, refusing to order, asking for a cocktail, bursting into tears because Mammy ordered for her, sliding onto the floor, scribbling on the menu were only a FEW of her party tricks, you can imagine the rest. 
Mammy and Daddy spent the date sending each other apologetic “what we’re we thinking” looks and starting conversations they both knew would not be finished before they started. 
Mammy wished she could go back to correcting exams and considered that she should have just gone home to cook the freezer contents. Daddy wondered why he had ever thought that leaving work early was a good idea… I’m guessing that only for fear of Divorce, he would have happily gone back to his BFF Jim.
They did go home: After NO dessert. They did get the girls to bed: After NO story and plenty of the special strops reserved only for the first Friday night after school holidays… 
Mammy did pour grapes. 

And just like Mammy’s fairytale picture of her evening DIDN’T happen, neither did the Corrie Wedding.  
But See there’s where Mammy is going wrong… sometimes life is Corrie, not Disney. 

At least with Corrie, you expect disaster! 

Here’s to all you Mammies who got a reality check from your little Notionwreckers today.
And here’s to Poor Sinead… she’s better off. It’s only have ended in no icecream and wine.

😂🍷😘

How was your Friday?

I am Still That Friday Feeling Mum

Mammy has “That Friday Feeling”.

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Once upon a time, “That Friday Feeling” meant going straight to a licensed establishment with one’s co-workers for a bevvy or beverages. Or it meant finishing work with an air of excitement at the prospect of going home, spending a few hours primping and preening oneself to perfection, trying on 46 different outfits, popping open a bottle of something exciting at 6pm and stepping into high-heels, before going into town with whoever for dinner, or drinks and a boogie.

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It meant not only the excitement of getting out, but also the joy of KNOWING that you could lie on in your bed until whatever time you wished on Saturday morning, before deciding to be very “grown up and sensible” by staying in on Saturday night.

Or you know, getting ready and going out ALL over again!

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Oh, how things have changed.

Now while Mammy does get the odd night out, it is usually prepared for by a spray of dry shampoo, grabbing a top that doesn’t need ironed and a 5 minute slap on of the muck-up; sometimes after the girls have gone to bed, or sometimes my speciality…the one legged Babby-swing, where Princess swings on my leg as I try to apply mascara.

But while I am not going out tonight, Mammy still has “That Friday Feeling”‘; you know the excitement, the relief and the joy? It might be slightly different to what it used to be, but it’s still here… just like me really.

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Me, right now!

Now, “that Friday Feeling” means much more:

  • It means no homework for Mini-Me.
  • It means excitement at the prospect of not having to make lunches for the morning.
  • It means firing the contents of the Freezer into the oven and not feeling one bit bad about it. Call it “Freezer Friday”. They love it!
  • It means no work for 2 and a half days!
  • It means not watching the clock to make sure the girls get to bed before 7.30pm (and some nights, watching the clock to MAKE SURE they are in bed by 7.30pm!)
  • It means a mental switch off from school, where I can allow myself to NOT worry about the notes I need to do, or the copies that need marked.
  • It means knowing that when they are in bed, that I can sit on my arse on the sofa and watch whatever I want, without that feeling of “I should be doing…”
  • It means being able to spend time writing, or reading, or simply scrolling the interweb to watch what other Mammies are doing with their Friday feeling.
  • It means putting on our PJs once we all get home and not feeling one bit bad about it!
  • It means being able to say “yes” if Mini-Me asks to watch a movie at 6pm.
  • It means being able to pour a glass of wine without feeling dreadfully uncouth and Scummy Mummyish for drinking on a school night.
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  • It means pouring a second glass if I so wish.
  • It means not having to plan out what everyone is wearing before bed.
  • It means not setting an alarm clock…
  • It means a generally happier, more relaxed Mammy, because there is a certain celebration and achievement in the fact that I have made it through the week with all of my Minions and myself mostly in one piece.
  • It’s a joy that is difficult to describe, but Friday evening is absolutely my favourite time of the week. And while it might be different now, it’s just as exciting and it’s much more wonderful as when I was young and free.
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Now, I’m old(er) and not so free, but I’m a better me and I’m exactly where I want to be. So bring on the fluffy socks and grapejuice Ladybelles.

It’s Friday and It’s Fablis.

Have a good one.

I am Slight Change of Plans Mum

Mammy is rather chuffed to see Friday evening.

Mammy doos LOVE Friday evenings.

I tried to be a very good Mammy this evening, ignoring Jim in favour of lifting my girls early, with plans to do some festively frolicky arts and crafts with a lovely Christmas-Card-making-set that I procured in the Aldi-everything last week, to drink hot chocolate and have a Hallmark worthy Mary-of-the-poppins type evening, where they’d play happily while Mammy magically transformed the vegetables in the fridge into wholesome homemade soup for my minions.

How mammiful of me, eh?

In reality, I had an extra hour of them screaming “NO WAY”, “She HUT meeeee!” and “STOP iiiiiit!” at each other and at me, while I delivered a Freezer Friday Special of oven baked cardboard for them to smear all over the floors. Then we watched 65 Cartoons, Princess fell asleep standing up 👇👇👇and we had a generally riotous bedtime chaos…

I didn’t shout as much as usual however and both have gone to bed reasonably content 💞and (finally) temperature free… (Is it bad that I now get more upset if we run out of Cal-of-the-pol, than I do if the graperack runs out? 😂😂)

The arts and crafts stuff remains in the car. It’ll probably still be there on January 1st as I’ll have given in to the cheap, cheerful and mess-free joy that is 30 cards for a penny in the pound shops! 😆😣😅

I HAD indulged in my usual Thursday night Domestic Goddess cleaning splurge last night, in the hope of doing feck all tonight. Right now, it looks like a creche puked its contents onto my living room floor.

There is however a shiny new grape glass from TK-Maxyourcard sitting beside the bottle of grapejuice that needs a snog…

How was your Friday Ladybelle?
Hit me with a gif to sum it up! 😚😚😚