Unleashing the creative beast…

It seems that every six months or so I announce the rebirth of this blog.  It drives me nuts!  I enjoy the writing and the thought of it but I don’t seem to be able to do it regularly!

A challenge fell in my inbox from Scott Dinsmore this week.  If you haven’t heard of him he’s the founder of a community called Live your own Legend – he is one of those inspirational people who actually put himself out there and made a career from doing the things he loves, and through his work is encouraging others to do the same – check out his TEDx talk here.

SO here I am…AGAIN – life at present is pregnant with change for me and my family.  I’m rolling with it, revelling in it and finding new joys in things I’ve not thought I could do.  I spent my last Saturday evening painting – Me?!  (and I loved it).

The creative beast has been unleashed and I am finding that the more I allow it freedom the happier I am.

be-YOU-tiful

 

Look at the Stars...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sparkle!

This week has been a really challenging week.  I have felt so angry and frustrated that it has driven me to tears.

My blog is about living positively and I have sat down to write this post so many times but I couldn’t see how to draw the positivity out of it but finally, today, I have.

Life sometimes can just be a bitch.  Things are not always going to go your way and sometimes the people in your life can just throw a curve ball and crush you.  I have been really unpleasantly surprised this week however I can’t control life, what other people do or the decisions that they make – but I can control how I react to them and how I assimilate it into my life.

Despite what some people may think of me, I don’t enjoy having to be “challenging” and speak up when others don’t.  It feeds my chimp (this is not an euphemism!!) and makes my world a little darker!

My lesson learnt this week is to to never let anyone dull my sparkle!

Sparkle

Positive Living

Every day we put pressure on ourselves; to get things done, to be a better person, be more in control, not get annoyed, not to shout, have a clean house, look great, feel great, be great, be more…… until we are all in a spin and have no choice but to be exhausted, feel crap and some days “fail”.

So how about for today we give ourselves permission to breathe.  Just that.  No more.  Just breathe.  Notice your mind, notice the space.

Smile.

Breathe.

 

Breathe

 

 

A New Start

It’s been a while since I was here… So long that I had even forgotten what my blog was called!!!

My journey of discovery didn’t really go anywhere for many a reason but now, suddenly we’re off!  I have set up a small desk in my kids playroom and I am feeling inspired.  I am ready to get all of the things that are in my head, out onto paper, made into clothes and just made real!

It’s real first step.  It feels really great to be in this space.  So watch it… I am with baited breath!

A really bright light just went out in the world…

They say that life is short.

I don’t believe that.  When I was a child summers never ended.  Secondary school was a lifetime in itself!  I can tell you that child birth first time around lasted at least a year (2 days) and now that my children are here – they’ve definitely been here forever.

So you see, life is long…way long.  Too long to spend doing things you don’t want to do, being unhappy with your life or spending time with people who suck the happiness out of your life.

Last night my Uncle passed away.  He was a force of nature – larger than life.  He tortured me as a child – teased me mercilessly, played ‘dutch ovens’ with me on Christmas Eve, asked my teenage boyfriend what their intentions were!  But I loved it when he was around, he always brought a lightness to the room, a sense of playfulness and fun.  He was a legendary figure at my wedding, all my friends new my ‘Uncle Paul from Cardiff’.  He was also fiercely protective – he ‘knew people’ if I ever needed my ex sorting 😉

So even though I believe that life is long, I am painfully aware how quickly it can be taken from you, or how someone else can be taken from you.  Life may be long but don’t let it fool you into thinking you have all the time in the world.

So today I am sad.  Selfishly sad for myself and for the people Paul has left behind but I am determined to take something from it.  Every now and then I will take a little look at my life and make damn sure that those people I love know it.  I will make damn sure that I am spending my time with those people that mean the most, that lift me up and encourage me and I will make damn sure that I do the same for them.  And in honour of my Uncle I will do it with a smile and a sense of playful mischievousness because life is too long not to enjoy it and have fun.

Nos Da Cariad – Cysgu’n Dawel.

 

 

“I Luv Wales” because…

There are not enough words to explain why I “Luv Wales” but here goes; Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Cawl, Lamb and Mint Sauce, Jemima Nicholas, Daffodils, Male Voice Choirs, Richard Burton’s voice, Dylan Thomas, Green rolling hills, Beautiful beaches, the best sunsets in the world, the sense of belonging,Snowdonia, Coal Miners, RUGBY!, 61,000 people with fire in their bellies filling Cardiff with red shirts while their boys battle on the bother side of the world, passion, Hiraedd. But mainly the people, open hearted with ready smiles, proud of who we are and our country… That’s why I “Luv Wales”

THAT was the answer that won me 2 tickets to see Wales V Australia at the Millenium Stadium today thanks to the amazing people at Peter’s Pies, and this was my view.

Wales v Australia

This was a special game today – this was the day that “ickle” Shane Williams hung up his boots.  This was to be his last game in the Welsh jersey, it was going to be an emotional day.

All the things that make me proud to be Welsh were on show today.

A 2000 strong Male Voice Choir, with voices as smooth as butter who moved me to tears with their rendition of Calon Lan (and their renditions of Waltzing Matilda and Delilah were equally fantastic!).  60 odd thousand people singing My Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau with all the passion they could muster and we all felt the pride and the pain when Mr Williams couldn’t sing when the enormity of the day became too much to hold inside.

Those same people screaming and shouting, jumping up and down, emotions ranging from elation to despair while we watched our boys battle the boys from down under.

But mostly for me, it was those same people who cheered, roared, clapped and were happy because Shane scored a try. It didn’t matter to anyone that it was at 80 minutes and that the Aussie’s had won all that mattered was that Shane Williams got to score his final try.

So Thank- you Peter’s Pies  – this was up there with one of the best days of my life.  Oh, and try their Pies too, they’re AWESOME!

Beetroot Tarte Tatin

So we’ve decided to go veggie – admittedly only for a month but veggie none the less.

It’s a kickback against my lazy cooking habits.  It’s so easy to defrost a piece of meat and just let that dictate your meals and I’m really bored of eating the same old stuff… spag bol, cottage pie, snore……

So I did some menu planning got my supermarket delivery and for our first outing – Beetroot Tarte Tatin

So here’s the recipe (courtesy of River Cottage Veg – modified for simplicity by me… there just aren’t enough hours in my day for baking beetroot and making my own puff pastry!)

  • 500g Beetroot – Make sure it’s just cooked beetroot and not the pickled variety.
  • 1tbsp Olive Oil.
  • 25g Butter.
  • 1tbsp of soft brown sugar.
  • 1tbsp of cider vinegar ( I have also used balsamic).
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • A sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry.
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan large enough for all the beetroot to sit in, add the beetroot and toss to coat in the oil and butter.  Add the sugar and vinegar, season and taste and then adjust the vinegar and sugar if necessary.  Leave on the stove for a wee while until the contents are slightly caramelised (but not stuck to the bottom of the pan!).
  2. If you don’t have an oven-proof frying pan then transfer the beetroot into a flan/pie dish, arranging them neatly.
  3. Roll out the pastry sheet and cut a circle a little larger than your pan/dish.  Carefully place the pastry over the beetroot tucking the excess pastry into the pan.
  4. Put in an oven at 190 degrees C. for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden and all puffed up.
  5. Whilst your tart is baking make a quick vinaigrette (oil, vinegar, mustard & parsley or whatever you have) to pour over it.
  6. When the tart is ready, remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.  Then place a large plate over the pan and quickly but carefully, turn it upside down.  Then remove the pan and pour over the vinaigrette. Serve with yummy salad and boiled potatoes.

Voilà – Beetroot Tarte Tatin.  I crumbled feta cheese over mine and it was Deee-lish-us…

Life is a funny thing…

My intention was to write an entry to this blog every week and after my last post I was quite excited about the fact that we were becoming veggie for a month and I was going to post a yummy beetroot tarte tatin recipe (which I will post soon as it is SOOO yummy).

However, an awfully sobering thing happened.  A lovely friend of mine had his house burn to the ground.  Luckily he, his partner, his daughter and their dog all got out okay but had the painful and shocking experience of watching their beloved house and all their belongings just disappear.  They lost everything apart from what they were wearing but thankfully they all survived.

So as you can imagine posting about beetroot tarte tatin just seemed frothy and completely insignificant.

There is however a happy ending… My lovely friend proposed to his beautiful lady and they are now getting’ hitched, tying the knot, jumping the broom – whatever you want to call it – but it will be a loud, joyous celebration.  The phoenix out of the ashes.

Herbs

My girls have been a bit a bit poorly this week – just the usual stuff really – yucky colds which for my littlest has become a stinky cough.
With the usual diagnosis of ‘a virus’ I decided my little girl needed something to help soothe and comfort her SO out came ‘Grow Your Own Drugs’ (not a manual for growing a variety of cannabis as my in-laws all seem to assume) to see if there was something that might help.

(As you can probably see this is a recipe for Colic relief however in my head it read croup)

My romantic image of making remedies for my children however, did not include images like this;

My kitchen smelt fantastic though and thankfully the syrup works a treat and both of my kids love it… more sleep for Mummy!!!