We Are All Making it Up..

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Today is about just having a go..feeling the fear and doing it anyway…sometimes to find something that you love to do just takes that leap in the dark…who cares if you don’t know how to do it…who cares if everyone else is better at it than you…

We all have dreams, each and every one of us….some of those dreams we store away thinking that’s all they will ever be….some of those dreams we actually make come true..

Write down that big dream you have, make it real….

Then write down the steps it will take to reach that goal…..every tiny little step…..

Make a list of what you need….

And you know what next??? Start it….go on….leap into the wilderness,  join all of the other brave adventurers….

Go and cook things, make things, travel….take different paths and find different ways…

Life is too short to sit and wonder….

Happy happy Friday!!!

Geri xxx

The Girl Before..J P Delaney

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Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

An excellent read….a five star twisting turning story I found it hard to put down.  I had missed the minimalism element when choosing this one, but with an interest in this it was an added extra….very interesting.  I am looking at cleaning my shower differently already….and Japanese food….no not for me….

The characters are intriguing, all with their own stories which become tangled to create a plot well worth a movie….I look forward to this….

The Girl Before: The addictive Sunday Times bestseller everyone is gripped by (Amazon affiliate link)

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Enjoy!!!

Geri xxx

Super Chefs at River Cottage..

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For my 50th birthday I received a one day cooking course at River Cottage….very exciting…thank you Soozi and Andy!!

We stayed at a lovely house in Seaton..

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Much recommended if you are needing to stay, absolutely everything you need here and the comfiest bed….

Our River Cottage experience was brilliant….another recommendation if you are thinking about doing it….it’s not cheap but I will be saving my pennies to do it again so it is well worth the money….we got so much information and so many new skills from this day, already recreating in my kitchen as we speak..

We made our own vegetable stock which then created a spicy parsnip and ginger soup.  We learn how to fillet a fish….that’s a first for me!  We then made a fish parcel and steamed it in the oven with some spices and carrots…we had parsnip crisps….We made mutton and served it with beetroot hummus and kale.  We had smoked lemon sole.  We made bread….oh my days, without a bread maker and it was delicious….We made pastry and turned it into a fabulous little apple tart…(no pictures of this one, we ate it before I remembered).

There was a magic table…..dirty dishes were just whisked away from there….I can’t find one of these on Google for home though….

The equipment was all there for us….the organic produce was all top class and totally the best, our Chef Matt was friendly, informative and very cute….all of the other student chefs were brilliant….it turned into a very very busy but relaxed experience.

Soozi only slipped up once when yelling across at the guy opposite her, happily frying his mutton….”My God, look at the size of your meat!!”  I can’t take her anywhere….

Thanks to everyone on my cooking table for letting me have your leftover pastry, it will be turned into an apple pie later today!!

If you are thinking of a special birthday gift for your loved ones, especially if they like to cook….this is well worth it.

River Cottage Website.

A really lovely weekend had by all…..saving up to go and do the bread course next!!

Geri and Soozi xxx

Sweet Pea Pantry Playful Pizza Dough Mix..

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In our house I think pizza is the only food that EVERYONE likes….we usually buy a cheap one and add all the toppings we each like on our own….

Yesterday we tried the Playful Pizza Dough Mix from the Sweet Pea Pantry…thanks guys for sending us some to try!!

Remember when starting that even though they only take about 10 minutes to cook, you will need to leave your dough to rise for about an hour….I always tend to forget this and start a bit too late….

I also forgot to get some olive oil….you only need olive oil and warm water to add to this mixture…so, I used coconut oil instead….absolutely fine as a substitute and very good for you…

After putting in front of the fire and then panicking when the fire died down and it wasn’t warm enough whilst being chased around the kitchen by a teenager flapping some maths paperwork asking me about the nth something or other (no, I’m not a maths genius, I have no idea what it is…) finally the dough was big enough.

Originally I thought it wasn’t big enough for three….but realise now for us it would have been better to roll thinner, we like our pizza bases thin….so, yes it will make three…by now I was so stressed by the inability to do maths at the same time, it all got a bit rushed.

The smell of this cooking was delicious, we had tomato puree, cheese, some chilli flakes, olives, mushrooms and some leftover bolognese to spread on ours…

A combination of the maths paperwork stress and the fact that our pizzas don’t have to be perfectly round brought out these two beauties from the oven…

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We loved the taste of these pizza bases, the chia seeds were a great addition in the mixture…I would never thought of adding these….again, so good for you…

Ingredients in the base: stoneground strong wholemeal flour, strong white flour, Chia seeds, Flaxseed, yeast, oregano and salt.

It is a playful mix and great to get your little ones involved in the making….we have a teenager who ventures into the kitchen probably every other month to make pancakes….and flap maths paperwork so this was a solitary baking session…however, I completely enjoyed it…this pizza mix is not just for children….

Great taste, add your own toppings to make it personal to you and enjoy!!

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Click on picture above will take you to the Sweet Pea Pantry website where you will find the full range….we already made the biscuits and they are pretty good too!!

I still have a little piece left I am about to nibble on for breakfast, it’s not unhealthy for me so why not???

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No affiliate links here but Sweet Pea Pantry did send me a pizza mix to try….I will be getting some more very soon!!!

Geri xxx

You are an Artist…Yes! You!

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I always maintained that being an artist meant to be born with some artistic talent, in the old traditional sense….

But maybe it’s all about expression….maybe we are all artists but just terrified to express….afraid of the rejection…the humiliation…maybe we just didn’t find our inspiration yet…

If you check out Tracey Emin, Louise Bourgeois, Damien Hirst….I never quite get the appeal….but express themselves they most certainly do and that I believe earns them the title of “artist”…I massively respect that they achieve exactly what they set out to achieve…recognition for being able to express themselves…

You do not need to be able to draw…to have everything in perspective….to be able to mimic real life on paper….our feelings have different shapes and colours all unique to ourselves…

Alas, our children appear to be marked down in school art lessons because the colour isn’t right, the shapes aren’t right….but how on earth can you “mark” another persons artwork??  I am willing to bet that Emin, Hirst didn’t get top marks in art at school….but went on to make their respective individual names in art none the less….Picasso? He would have been bottom of the class….but we all know his name now….just because he stayed with his heart and made what he felt was right for him.

So there is an artist in you….maybe you just didn’t find it yet….make some small changes….eat something you didn’t try before, try a new perfume, go to work a different way….don’t have coffee in the same place every day….don’t have coffee…give up wine for a month, call someone you haven’t spoken to in ages…you never know a small change might create a spark and light up something you didn’t expect…

I am going on with my crochet project and will stop…when someone tells me it’s lovely….yes I will stop saying “but it’s all wrong and the stitch count is wrong and if you could see the picture of how it is supposed to look….” From now on it is exactly as I want it to be…I am going my own way with it…and I still love it…

So there you go folks…LOOK AT WHAT I DID!!!

Oooooh that felt a bit weird….but I could get used to it….

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So, start to paint, to draw, to play with yarn, to sew, to stitch, to glue and bead and experiment with colours, with textures…but always remember it is YOUR creation and does not have to look like anyone elses….art is individual and if you love it let the critics do what they will and move on safe in the knowledge that it is your little bit of you and nobody can take that away from you….

Happy Wednesday!!!!

Geri xxx

Life’s Too Short to Wear Boring Clothes..

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Today is based on the message for 7th February in the book

Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy (Amazon Affiliate Link)

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how… The artist never entirely knows.  We guess.  We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.”

Agnes De Mille (Dancer and Choreographer)

By habit most of us like to play it safe….we shop for that amazing outfit for a party or a wedding and we are torn between the amazing,glittering, bright butterfly wing dress and the little black number…..our head takes over, we buy the black one to replace the last black one….then at the party there is one outfit which is more beautiful than all the rest and a hundred black dresses…..now I’m not saying you have made a mistake….if you are happy with your black dress, always, always go for it….but if there is just the tiniest part of you every time that wishes you had gone with your heart and some colour for a change….why not do it???

I’m not afraid to say that my fashion sense is a little weird…..in my teens I seemed to like anything bright and fluorescent …I recall wearing bright pink fishnet tights, one red shoe and one black shoe and bright green luminous beads with a bright pink scarf in my hair….and that was in school!  Bless her, Mrs Evans was not happy and pointed out that really I should be a sixth form role model to the younger ones and maybe I should change….I didn’t change….

In my twenties I transformed into something resembling a stripper/lap dancer….I bleached my hair blonde….these were fun times!! If it was shocking, I was wearing it…

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Yep, that was me in the Naughty Nineties….

Admittedly now it’s comfort for me….but I do still have a liking for bright things, a bit of lace and some sparkle….the plastic though….I don’t have the need or the body for that anymore.. But if you want to wear it…just wear it my lovelies….

If you don’t think it’s for you….just get yourself that bright scarf or that rainbow umbrella….take yourself off out into the world and dazzle…Ignore everyone else and shine….Take a risk and see if you like it…you never know!!

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Who else thinks I might be having a mid life crisis…..(not really….)

Geri xxx

Good Day or Bad Day? It’s All How You Look at it – Six Steps to Positive Thinking

Absolutely!!!

Neurodivergent Rebel

Is the racoon looking in or is he looking out?  Either way he can climb that fence – unless he is locked in a cage. We can’t tell the perspective.

Our joy, and perhaps even our curse, as human beings often comes from our ability to chose the way we will view and interpret the world.

People who are able to grow a more sunny outlook on things are happier and have less stress than those who tend to focus on problems.

It seems like a no brainer – always think about the best parts of every situation. Still, many of us find ourselves stuck on the negatives in front of us.

If we are fortunate we discover, and master, positive thinking at a younger age. Looking around at people of all ages, it is painfully obvious (and sad) that some people will go a lifetime and never uncover the answer.

Does…

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