Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Welcome 2014 Goodbye 2013

Well it's the new year again - 2014!!!!!

2013 was an interesting year. I learned many a new thing about myself, changed my whole food lifestyle, let go of some old baggage, got disheartened, got excited, got disappointed and let down, had health issue with my husband MJ and now need to change whole lifestyles. I will say one thing about 2013 - it was a year of unearthing, so I think 2014 will be a year of discovery. 

Each new year that arrives I like to write myself a list of goals/resolutions/intentions whatever you call them for the year ahead. I like to have something to strive towards, to achieve, to focus on. But before I get into them I want to reflect back on my resolutions for 2013 and see if I achieved them (see post here).

2013 resolutions:

Focus more on my relationship with MJ and don't let life and people destroy it: Yes I did more this year but I still let life and others damage it more than it should have been. We attack each other sometimes instead of clinging to one another. This still needs more focus in 2014.

Be more creative. Continue my blog adventure: I did continue my blog which I'm proud of, I joined Twitter this year and got some new readers and followers (I've now also joined Instagram)

Prepare myself for being a mum: Yes I changed my eating and I’m differently healthier than I use to be and we have started trying (fingers crossed)

Continue to rely on God: I have but I’ve had my moments of downfall. It’s a lifelong journey.

Give myself permission to be me - forget about what others say: To a point but I’m not really sure who I am actually

Photograph more: No I’ve photographed less this year sadly

Learn to love myself: I have a little, I’m more comfortable in my skin than ever before but I still have a long way to go.

Love/Support MJ more: Yes but I’ve been too hard at points on him. I need to improve on this. I will always love him though.

Continue to work on fitness: Yes I’ve kept up with Zumba and have started doing Yoga in the mornings before work. I still would like to improve more though.

Floss more: No I sucked at this

So I don’t think I’ve done too badly with 2013 I have achieved and missed also but I moved forward.

So now drum roll please

2014 Resolutions 
  • Continue focusing on my relationship with MJ and continue to love/support him
  • Work on my mental and physical health – learn to mediate.
  • Continue to rely on God
  • Try to discover who I am
  • Try to live a greener lifestyle
  • Continue on with and grow my blog
  • Embrace creativity in all forms
  • Spend more time with my niece and nephew (they are just so crazy and make life so wonderful)
  • Forgive
  • Let go of anger
  • Love more

I’m looking forward to heading into this New Year with a focus and just ready to surrender to life and live it. 2014 is going to be awesome.

What are your plans for this New Year? Are you excited?

Monday, 23 December 2013

Why is there so much pressure on Christmas?

Why is there so much pressure on Christmas? Why do you have to have the right amount of gifts or food or decorations? Why do we have to show off everything to try and impress our family and friends?
I love Christmas but over the last few years it’s really starting to lose its shine.  Everyone seems to make it all about the presents, all about the food, all about the lights and decorations. 
Christmas is so much more than that. It’s a time to celebrate Jesus coming to earth as our Saviour, the ultimate gift (hence why we give presents). Share the good news with friends and family together having a great time.
If you don’t believe in Jesus, Christmas is still so special too. It’s a time to spend with loved ones and enjoy time together and celebrate life.
We have seem to have lost the meaning of Christmas somewhere in all the money being spent trying to outdo each other in who has the better gift. I almost want to start a boycott on presents, so we can just celebrate not compete.
This Christmas, try and focus on the real meaning of Christmas, yes presents are nice but they aren't the ultimate goal. Celebrate life, Jesus, family and everything that’s good in the world this Christmas.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Makes you think.....

Ironically that statement makes you think. I over think things way too much, to the point where I turn something completely on it's head and create chaos. The chaos really only affects me, as the chaos is all inside my head.

The other day I got sent a lovely message, apparently I helped put a smile on someone's face without even knowing it. I was having a bad week last week and a bad weekend inside my head but by clicking like on a Facebook page and writing a comment I helped brighten someone's not so good day. Something as simple as a like button made someone smile, that bought me straight out of my own head and my own worries. I did my personal life mission (to make others smile) without even realising it. I created happiness inside sadness.

We all need to wake up and get out of our heads and stop thinking so much. Just be!!!! Just live!!!! Make others smile and you'll smile too.

Who can you make smile today?

(A month of  ' a blank canvas' my creative space -  No. 5 Happy, No. 7 Makes you think, No 23 A Creative Quote)

Friday, 15 November 2013

A pain in the hand

What an interesting week this has been, what a pain in the hand (literally).

I had a chiropractic appointment on Monday just for a regular checkup. While I was there I mentioned I was getting some pins and needles in my left hand just in my ring finger and pinky. He checked it out and told me I'm in the early stages of carpel tunnel. Oh great - just what every data entry person wants to hear right? WRONG. This wasn't news I wanted to hear but sadly it was news I needed to hear.

Hearing I'm developing carpel tunnel has given me a serious kick up the butt - what do I want to do with my life. I can't keep processing data all day every day, it's damaging my health (plus I've been doing it for 2.5 years now).

Telling this news to work was not fun, it then involved having to get a clearance certificate from a doctor just so I can return to work. Then the doctor confirmed yes I do have it in my left wrist and now I need a CT scan (which was done today) and then a visit to a specialist to have a nerve conduction study done.

MJ and I have made the decision for me to drop my Thursdays to help with the pain while I start the long search of looking for a new job - not the best thing to be doing just before Christmas. Now I'm stuck with the dilemma again of what do I want to do? I'm sick of working in an office.

MJ asked me to work out what do I want to achieve in life. That was an interesting question and this is what I came up with.

"I would like to educate people on healthy achievable living. I'd like to educate them through my blog, in person, my own ebooks/books, recipe books, any way I can".

Now I just need to work out how I can do this and how can I make a living out of it. Can it be done? How can it be done? So many questions, not sure where to find answers.

Maybe this hand injury is a blessing in disguise as it's forcing me to re-evaluate my life and how I want to make my mark on this planet.

What do you want to achieve in life? Are you achieving it? If so how are going about it? 

(A month of "a blank canvas" my creative space - No. 4 hands)

Sunday, 3 November 2013


Today I sit here with a sense of peace I didn't think was possible on Friday afternoon.

You see on Friday I had a mini meltdown of sorts. I felt so stressed, overwhelmed and pressured I crack, I was a mess, I was crying and making no sense when try to speak. I felt like I was running out of time to do all the things I wanted to do and achieve. I struggle with stress and anxiety and sometime it all just catches up on me and hits me across the back of the head with a hammer and sends me flying to the ground.

But like I said today I sit here with a sense of peace. How? Why?

I realised after I calmed down from my meltdown that I was responsible for being stressed, overwhelmed and was putting way too much pressure on myself. I was listening to too many people opinions and taking on what they thought was best. I was trying to achieve everything at once and wanting the results now and not waiting for later. I was placing my life, my heart and my happiness in the world's hands and not placing it my hands or God's hands.

Today I heard a wonderful speaker at an event speaking about the power of forgiveness, something I've been really struggling with myself lately. It moved me to tears and I don't cry in front of people (except close family). It was as if the message was written for me (God can be amazing in that way) and so I feel at peace right now.

I still need to work on a lot of things including forgiveness but I feel calm tonight knowing that I can and will get through this and shine brighter on the other side.

I can't achieve everything at once, life is a journey after all, but I'll get there and just let a few things go for the moment, step back and relax, for I will achieve all I've set out to achieve but in time and not today.  

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Make Peace with your plate - book review

There is a great blog out there called The Wellness Warrior by Jess Ainscough and it's all about healthy eating and lifestyle. I've been following for a few months now and just recently Jess released her first book. "Make Peace with Your Plate - Change your life one meal at a time".

I ordered it almost straight away from Bookworld and devoured every page when it arrived. I thought I'd share with you today my thoughts about it. 

Jess Ainscough use to be quite the party girl until at the age of 22 when she was diagnosed with a rare incurable cancer and was told the only way to prolong her life was to amputate her arm. That was not an option for Jess so she set about learning all she could about natural treatments. In this book she share her knowledge and contagious enthusiasm for healthy living - not just with food but with mindset too. 

I love how she describes this book in the introduction: "Achieving your ideal weight is a major part of it, but only because it's a superficial side effect of getting your insides in tiptop shape. My message is about wellness: whole body, complete, total, feel-so-good-you-feel-like-you're-leaving-a-trail-of-rainbow-sparkles-wherever-you-go wellness."

I love that, it's not about weight, yes that's part of getting healthy but it's about getting your insides right and the rest of you will shine. I know how much you need to do that, being wheat/dairy/sugar intolerant (yes I can still eat a little bit now and then and I don't let it stop me from baking) but since I've change most of my diet earlier this year I can tell you it works, you feel so great, your skin clears up, you sleep better, you don't spend most nights in the bathroom almost passing out from pain. 

Being a Wellness Warrior takes dedication and work but the benefits outweigh the negatives. The only negative really is that other want to be that healthy too so they pick on you to build themselves up, but that's nothing compared to the benefits of feeling so great and healthy.  

Jess suggests to read this book with an open mind and that not everything is for everyone (I'm not going to try the coffee enigmas) but we need to get back to a simpler concept of eating - go back to Mother Nature and stop eating so many chemical and fake foods. 

There are some delicious recipes inside - including a great chocolate milkshake and choc-goji brownies. I love the section entitled "All in your head" it's about going beyond our plates and getting into the heart of our eating habits, where so often it's our mindset and attitude that affects our health. It's filled with wonderful ideas and affirmations, getting it right in the head so you can get it right in the body.  

If you only read one book this year make it this one, it's a real life changer. 

(Note: This is not a sponsored/affiliate post I just love Jess' blog and really enjoyed the book and wanted to share it with you)

(A month of food: No. 5 Book)  

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Recipe - Hummingbird Cake

On Thursday it was one of my brother's 33rd birthday, I asked him what type of cake would he like - Hummingbird Cake was the answer.

I've never eaten Hummingbird Cake before let alone made it, so it was a nice challenge to be had.

It turned out pretty good for a first attempt and my brother was very happy and quite impressed (it takes a lot to impress him - so that's a good sign). The only thing was on Thursday it was quite a hot day so the cake didn't cool very well and end up a bit sticky when trying to frost up later. The frosting was so awesome you could just eat it all by itself.


For Cake:

  • 125g chopped pecan nuts
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 110g can crushed pineapple (I used fresh pineapple as I had some on hand)
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 225ml sunflower oil 
For Frosting:
  • 375g cream cheese
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated (I used lemon juice as I didn't have lemon zest)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To Decorate
  • 3 tbsp chopped pecans (I toasted these ones too)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line the bases of two cake tins
  2. Put the pecans onto a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 5 - 8 mins
  3. Mix them in a small bowl with the bananas, pineapple and 55g flour, which helps prevent the fruit and nuts sinking to the bottom. 
  4. Sift the remaining flour, spices, bicarb and salt into a mixing bowl. 
  5. In another bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until they are thick, pale and creamy. Then whisk in oil, little by little. 
  6. Tip in the flour mixture and fold it in until the mixture is blended. Fold in the pecan mixture and then divide the thick batter between the tins. 
  7.  Bake for 50 - 55 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 25 mins and then turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling.
  8. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese until it's fluffy, then beat in the butter until nicely combined. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth, stir in lemon zest and vanilla extract and whisk until light and fluffy.
  9. Place one layer on a serving plate and spread over some of the icing. Place second cake onto and smooth icing all over the top and sides. Decorate with the chopped pecans.

(A Month of Food: No 16. Family and No. 19 Serve) 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Andre Rieu Concert

Wednesday night I got to spend a magical evening with my parents listening to some beautiful music.

I've never been to an Andre Rieu concert before and I know I'll be going again and again, every time he comes back I'll be there.

There is so much talent in this world and it was amazing to bare witness to that on Wednesday night.

If you ever get the chance to go to an Andre Rieu concert, take it the chance and witness an amazing night.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Bubblegum Ice-cream

Yes I know it sounds strange but stay with me on this one. I found this recipe for bubblegum ice-cream from Simple Savvy Recipes (link here).

A girl at work mentioned to me the other day she loves bubblegum ice-cream and I thought why not, give something different a go, life meant to be about taking chances right? Well this one paid off, well not overly with the addition of gumballs but you can pick them out.

Colouring the ice-cream blue did it give a bit more a child-like feeling and it does taste better than store bought, but I find most homemade things taste nicer than store bought.

This ice-cream maker has been an excellent addition to the family (it was a great birthday present one year from MJ – I think it was a hint for me to make ice-cream for him). It’s not an expensive one but it’s hardworking and has created some yummy treats – strawberry, blueberry, English toffee ice-cream. Now that summer has hit early it will be coming out more often. So stay tuned for more creative recipes. Plus too if you have any suggestions or recipe you would like me to test drive out let me know in the comments below and I’ll gladly take up the challenge. 

Bubble Gum Ice Cream

  • 3 egg yolks
  •  ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups whipping (35%) cream
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 135 grams pink Bubble gum (such as Hubba Bubba), chopped into ½” pieces
  •  ½ cup mini gumballs, chopped or left whole 
  1. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until thickened and pale yellow and set aside
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring cream and milk to a simmer.
  3. Remove from heat and add chopped bubble gum. Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour cream mixture through a cheese cloth lined strainer/sieve to collect any bubble gum bits (draining cream mixture into a bowl). Gradually whisk in egg mixture.
  5. Return entire mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to let it boil. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until completely cold.
  6. Stir cream mixture and transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add mini gumballs in the last 5 minutes of freezing, letting machine stir them in.

 (A month of food – No 10 Treat – Awesome treat food) 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Recipe - Bubblegum Cupcakes

Yesterday I tried a new little experiment – Bubblegum Cupcakes with Bubblegum Frosting.

I used my trusty vanilla cupcake recipe but instead of putting vanilla extract in the batter I used Bubblegum Essence. For the frosting I did my normal buttercream mix and added bubblegum essence again, plus some bright pink colour to make it look more bubblegummy. They turned out surprisingly well and very tasty.

Cupcake Recipe


·         125g margarine
·         125g caster sugar
·         ½ tsp bubblegum essence
·         2 large eggs
·         125g self-raising flour

Preheat the oven to 170oC. Cream the margarine, sugar and bubblegum essence until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs together in a small bowl with a fork. Gradually add the egg to the mixture, beating it well in between each addition. Sift the flour and fold into the mixture. Fill cupcake cases 2/3 full. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and leave to cool before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

·         125g butter (softened to room temp)
·         1 ½ cups of icing sugar
·         A few drops of bubblegum essence
·         Pink food colouring
Beat butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy and as white as possible. Add icing sugar and a bubblegum essence and mix until all combined.

(A month of food – No. 7 – Party – These would make great party cakes)

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Recipe - Dairy Free/Wheat Free Cheesecake - yes it is possible

It was my 1st bloggy birthday the other day (see here) and I wanted to make something special for the occasion. You see I have a dairy and wheat intolerance, I can eat some dairy/wheat but just not a lot only small amounts. I still cook lots of yummy things with both dairy and wheat but I do try and balance it out. Anyway I found this recipe for Lactose Free Cheesecake on cheesecake.com and I just altered it a little by using wheat free/dairy free arrowroot biscuits.

I was so impressed with how it turned out, you wouldn't know it was dairy free, it tasted so creamy and divine. Plus pairing it with coconut milk ice-cream - wow!!!! that's all I can say.

Recipe (found here) I've re-worded a little to what I did.


  • 2 tubs soy cream cheese
  • 1 tub non-dairy sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pkt arrowroot biscuits 
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons dairy free butter, melted 

For the crust: 
Preheat the oven to 180C. In a food processor combine the arrowroot biscuits and sugar. Add melted dairy free butter and mix until mixture is completely moist. Pour this mixture into a round cake pan (the one with the release on the side) and press crumbs onto the bottom. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes and set aside.  
For the filling:
Combine all ingredients into a saucepan and stir over a low heat for 5 minutes until mixture comes together and thickens (I used a whisk to help bring it together). Carefully pour onto the crust and bake at 180C for 30 minutes. 
Chill the cheesecake in the fridge and serve cold. 

What I used

Mixing up the crust

Crust after the 8 -10 mintues

Getting the filling ready 

It does thicken and come together - I used a whisk to help

Ready for the oven 

Baked and cooling before going into the fridge

End result