Show Me Your Friday Face!!

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Friday is my favourite day….the majority of my working life has been Monday to Friday…you could say I just didn’t find the job that is my passion yet because I know you should feel this way about every single day…we all have friends and loved ones who didn’t make it this far and if they were plonked back on the earth again on any day of the week this would be how they would feel….so why do we feel grumpy on Monday and happy on Friday….it surely is a challenge because I can’t tell you how different I feel on those days and how much I totally love the weekend….

However, I would still love to see some Friday faces….if you show me yours I will show you mine…maybe….

By popular demand I am bringing you the fruit cake recipe inspired by the recipe in Cook Happy, Cook Healthy by Fearne Cotton…I am about to add this book to My Favourite Books  because I have used so many of the ideas within its pages and they are pretty easy.

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You will need:-

200g sultanas and 200g currants

350ml cold black tea

250g white spelt flour

200g coconut sugar

1tsp cinnamon

Grated zest of one unwaxed lemon

2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs beaten

Oil for greasing

Place the sultanas and  currants in a bowl, cover with the cold tea and leave to soak overnight at room temperature.  Because I just couldn’t wait I just soaked mine for 30 minutes and it turned out just fine…but if you can wait I would recommend do it as Fearne says….it could taste even better….

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas mark 6 and grease a 1kg loaf tin and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper/baking parchment.

Add all ingredients to the bowl with the soaked sultanas and currants, including the liquid they soaked in and mix together until fully combined.

Pour it into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean….keep an eye on it, you might need to cover with foil…I did…as it started to go a little too brown on top before the middle was cooked.

Remove and leave it to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely….I struggle here not to cut a slice before it has time to cool…I should show more restraint I know….

I am not a fruit cake fan but this one is moist and very tangy….I used dried lemon peel and possibly should have soaked it to make it a little softer first but it does give it a great lemony taste…we have eaten it just as it is but try it with some nut butter if you love it…and perfect with my favourite beverage…yes a good old cup of tea….

Yesterday I made Spiced Oatmeal biscuits from the same book…don’t be put off by them resembling beef burgers, they are delicious and I plan to make some more with a cacao/coconut oil topping…far better than packet biscuits and no E numbers in sight…

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And so my favourite day is here….tonight family visits and maybe Christopher will work with his eyes open and try not to resemble a Bond villain…

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Don’t forget to show me your Friday faces!!!

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Geri xxx

The Size of Your Audience Doesn’t Matter…

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These days it all seems to about how many “followers” we have,  we celebrate each time we reach a milestone….we get close to that milestone and we ask others to help us out reaching that goal… But surely it’s all about the quality, not about the quantity?  Where did our need for quality go?  I guess if it makes you feel good to have 1 million followers that’s your thing, but does it really make you happy??  I was almost dragged into this…the whole….you follow me and I follow you back thing…but this just makes it all a little unreal doesn’t it??  I used to worry that unfollowing somebody would be upsetting for them, but to be real, most people have some sort of automatic thingie that follows and unfollows without them even knowing about it….and, I don’t unfollow to be mean, I just don’t want  to see money off bargains in a country across the world, it’s just not my thing….and guys if I am not your thing you must do the same….let’s make it all about choice, about seeing what you want to see not what you think others would like you to see…

So, go through Facebook, go through Twitter, delete all of those things that really have no bearing on your life, on the things you like to do, the things that inspire you…and watch your newsfeed turn into something that reflects you, only you, nobody else….if somebody is offended by this it will be for all of one second and then they will move on….yep, even me….do it today and see how it feels!!

I almost faltered last night on my bid to not use the internet at home….almost, then got stuck into making fruit cake and reading before sleep and the feeling was gone…it was a close call…..

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I have never created fruit cake before and this one was amazingly easy, will share the recipe tomorrow for you….made with spelt flour and coconut sugar…it’s really quite nice…and I am not a fruit cake fan….

This morning I offered Georgia a lift to school as I had to go and get petrol….oh joy of joys, just as her bus hurtled past us outside the house it was apparent that Ethel was not having it and wouldn’t start….Christopher was summonsed from his work desk and had to take on firstly mechanic duties and then chauffeur duties….not the greatest start…but these things happen…

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I might have had a little Basil Fawlty moment but all in good humour….honestly….

So today….take back your Social Media accounts and try not to thrash your car….

If you are a blogger don’t be upset by dropping numbers, celebrate the ones who are still reading and enjoying, even if it’s just the one….make that one matter….

Just Do It…

Geri xxx

The Joy of Just Being….

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Stress….to me is just having too much….too much to do…too much to worry about….too much to think about….a never ending cycle of too much…Don’t feel guilty sometimes about just taking time out, do something that relaxes you,  do something that brings you joy, just do nothing….meditate a little, empty your mind and just enjoy Being.

Plodding through my too many things….have finally started on the beads and jewellery…I had purchased so many beads and bits to create jewellery and found myself without the time to do it….firstly the bits already made…started to list them so that somebody who will actually wear them can enjoy them…I love jewellery but don’t tend to wear it often….I am recycling old jewellery into new charm bracelets…seeing as I am downsizing and slowing down, there should be a couple new bracelets each week so if you like them keep checking..

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The Midnight Gypsy Charm Bracelet

Yesterday I made bread….properly with yeast like you are supposed to…

The recipe came from Cook Happy, Cook Healthy the Fearne Cotton recipe book…I am liking this one, lots for me to try!

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I added sun dried tomatoes along with the garlic pushed into the bread and it is pretty delicious…made with white spelt flour.

Fearne makes it into my favourite books list.

Bread for breakfast this morning was beautiful…

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Remember today to enjoy the simple things….let your mind be still a little and don’t overthink every single thing….let things go and just be…

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Geri xxx

Change The World for One Person…

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We are sometimes so caught up in our own issues and problems and walk around in our own little absorbed bubble that we don’t all see others, bouncing around in their little out of sorts bubbles….I am guilty of this, I hold my hands up and say that I might have scowled at another driver on the road or been mean about somebody when they really don’t deserve it…the thing is we naturally expect that if we are super lovely to everybody, super understanding, that they will be super nice and understanding back to us…Alas, this will never happen, there will ALWAYS be someone who is mean to you or misunderstands you…but why be the bad guy just because of this…Let’s just make the effort in our own little worlds, to link bubbles, to be kind even when others are not….maybe purely selfishly this will make your world a better place to live in….

If you can find the time please do click on the link below, I found it purely by chance on You Tube the other day, was just originally curious as to how somebody lives with such a disability…but Oh My Days…this guy is super cool and inspires you to know that anything is possible….we do sometimes give up after failure far too easily don’t we….if it’s something you really, really, really want to do…why not keep trying because if there is no physical reason why you can’t do it (the obvious, like, he wouldn’t play the drums in the traditional manner, but he DOES play the drums, you have to watch it to find out) you will eventually find a way to do it…

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Now, Nick has found his faith and strength in God….myself, not a religious person, found it refreshing that he didn’t push this in the following link, purely states at one point that this was his strength….we all find strengths in different things…I don’t care what your religion is as long as you are not hurting others in the process….we are after all just human beings trying to find our way to happiness…aren’t we??

I am also not a political person, but for the life of me I can’t work out why America, as big as you are with so many amazing and brilliant people…bring us Donald Trump….I don’t get this, maybe my ignorance in politics?….can’t you get Oprah to run the country??

Anyway, get yourself a cuppa and watch Nick for 45 minutes….HERE!!!

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Have a fruitful day and be kind…

Geri xxx

Sleep, Eat Clean, Water, Exercise, Repeat….

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Just a couple of small changes this weekend and I am already sleeping better and feeling more energetic…. Many years ago I was vegetarian, for about 15 years…I did a lot of exercise, every day…the gym, after work…then pregnancy came in my late thirties…a bit of a shock as it had been 10 years of waiting and the gym stopped and my vegetarian diet for some reason faded away.  Then there was post natal depression, weight gain and trying to juggle two jobs and a baby….whilst finding everything overwhelming…

Thankfully things change….it has been 14 years but finally I have taken back that vegetarian diet…its only been a few days but I feel so much better already.  A vegan diet is a possibility….it is so much easier now than it used to be, there are huge choices and recipes never thought of before…it’s not just eating salad and fruit anymore.

Inspiration taken this weekend from Deliciously Ella: Awesome ingredients, incredible food that you and your body will love – so many really good ideas and great flavours I hadn’t used before…We had apple crumble made with apples from my Dads tree and blackberries and raspberries from the garden, topped with banana ice cream made with frozen blended bananas…We had roasted potatoes and roasted spicy butternut squash with sweet potatoes and kale tahini salad with sunflower seeds.  We had stuffed mushrooms with sun dried tomatoes and we had veggie lasagna.  Just improvise with the recipes if you don’t have certain ingredients and throw in left overs to make it all cost efficient.

Loads of sorting happened in the house.  All counters and tops of drawers and table in our kitchen/dining/living room were cleared, all piled in the corner ready for our Love it or Lose it exercise later in the week…

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There it is…ready for sorting…. I look forward to showing a slightly more minimalist space in the future…

For now it’s just sort, sell, donate and throw away….a huge amount of it…

It’s that simple, make one small change and keep doing it until it becomes a habit…Don’t do it for anyone else, just do it for you!

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Geri xxx

I Don’t Have an Expensive Couch or Great Shoes…

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It really is a personal choice, but the point is I always thought I wanted an expensive couch and I should have a collection of great shoes….when the reality is, I want a couch I can put my feet on and the cats can stretch out on, I want a couch I can drop crumbs on without freaking out and I want a couch big enough to cuddle on….and shoes, I have had so many shoes….do we really buy shoes because they look pretty, put them in the bottom of the wardrobe, take them out looking a little antique, try them on with an outfit, decide that we can’t walk in them, put them back in the wardrobe for another ten years….I have….

Yes, again, this weekend I am continuing with the grand “get rid of it all” session…I don’t have many pairs of shoes now, but I do still have some that I have never worn… tomorrow I shall gather them all and the ones that I don’t wear will be sold or donated…yes, even the pretty pink heels that I love to “look” at…in the same session, all clothing I no longer wear, or have never worn will be going…pretty liberating…

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As I have mentioned before, we have one whole room filled with boxes and I have no idea what’s in them….so I don’t need any of it…alas, I have to sort because it’s not all mine…it really is a full time weekend job…

If you feel it’s time for you to do the same, just take it one step at a time (excuse the pun, because firstly it’s shoes!)  This weekend, if all you do is collect up your shoes and pick up each pair, do I love them…if it’s no they must go…do I love them and have I worn them in the last year….if it’s no, why do you still have them…go on, be strong, reduce that shoe collection…they deserve to be out in the world strutting around on a pair of feet, they aren’t getting that opportunity with you!!

Clear out the shoes, relax on the couch with crumbs, feet and your loved ones….

Start clearing your stuff…..

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And always remember, nobody is perfect, just be the best person you can be…

Happy Friday!!!

Geri xxx

All You Need is Tea and Warm Socks…

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So, it’s the first day of autumn….summer is never really long enough for me…but let’s not get blue about the start of Autumn, all you really need is tea and warm socks…we rearrange our furniture so that the sofas are around the wood burner and we close our blinds earlier and light candles….what is so awful about that…oh and we slow cook stew and dumplings…

The last couple of days have been busy for us….off to Hereford area from Cornwall in a bumpy truck to check out a classic car auction.  Booked in to the most delightful farm bed and breakfast complete with adorable dogs, apple trees and a fabulous family….great room and breakfast too….

If you are in the Leominster area or visiting Brighwells for the auctions we well recommend this one…it’s for those of us that use the Travel Lodge as necessity only…go and take a look, more pictures at the Grove Farm website here.

We also came away with a jar of homemade marmalade, Chris loves it but I fully believe marmalade to be the juice of the devil…. Just down the road a really great pub too, in walking distance,  The Stockton Cross Inn, the most fabulous roast with masses of veg! Well recommended too!

Alas, we did not purchase at the Brightwells auction, but again recommend a visit to the next one,  very well organised, very happy staff, great well priced food in the cafe…all good.  The cars were fantastic, but the right one at the right price not there for us on the day….looking at internet bidding next time as the auction went on for 4 hours and I nodded off a little at the auctioneers hypnotic tone….

Thanks to the Grand Parents for teenager sitting and cat feeding, ours and the neighbours before going off home last night to feed their own cat and the neighbours hedgehog….

Now it’s catch up at work time….yes, back to neoprene and the cold warehouse…for now….

But watch this space, we are still on a car hunt…

Don’t forget to cuddle your loved ones and let them know they are appreciated, don’t just think it…do it today…now….

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Geri xxx