Tuesday, 29 October 2013

York : Conquered

Today I climbed a mountain .. Well Cliffords Tower York to be exact . Facing fears are part of life and it seems the one of heights is one to attack me.

I'm living in the real world and meeting life's challenges head on. And there's nothing better than relaxing in beautiful York you can get away from the crowds at York Minster.

There's something about York that makes your soul glow very much like the York stone.

There is so very much much to do at York , you are but a passing visitor through its walls.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Secret Garden

How would I use £750 to transform my garden well I would transform mine into a Secret Garden one akin to that straight out of the class children's book by Frances Hodgeson Burnett. Its no secret that I look the countryside and the secretive nooks and crannies that hide within its secretive woods and glens.

I am surrounded by green , winding lanes , prowling woods , chocolate box cottages and houses, quality streets are all around me. My own garden alas is no up to this countryside haven that I find myself seeking solace in the bird song and nurturing nature as I nurture my soul.

My own garden is one of a modern house a lawn but my borders are shrubs while I am grateful for having plans that grow there is no obvious injection of colour it's as if the garden has an objection to colour. My garden is no longer home to various children s playthings but it hasn't adapted to a house with a teen either , also there is a neglected decking hiding ashamed in the corner.

I want a secret garden that I can lose myself in , one as a family we can come together in one where there is a garden within a garden. I want to create a focal point from a pathway one that promotes intrigue.

Promoting intrigue and adventure.

I want willowy grass area so I can see the wind bend the grasses and hear the gentle rustle.

I want areas that will capture nature and invite it in ...

I crave an area that holds itself up as a frame for a ingenious painting of nature.

I would love the colour of the seaside within my garden in harmony with the willowy grass area.

I am in love with the triumphant arches make ushering you into rapture.

I would love to hear the symphony of water playing music upon my ears....

Pipe dreams that could be , will be , won't be who knows.

But with £750 I wouldn't do my own garden I would transform my schools reception playground area . I would choose a fun play house that encourages imaginative play such as this with the animal chalkboard shapes attached on the outside.

Excellant for encouraging fine motor skills and pincer grip essential for handwriting development.

No outdoor space would be complete without a sand and water play provision such as this.

Also perhaps a seesaw 

There is some money left over and the children could choose something themselves in fact they could make all the decisions as is only right its their future after all.

My school is my 'other' family and I want to do the best by my school family always and forever.

  • “This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Activity Toys Direct garden makeover competition”

Opera Diva Cupcakes

Opera cupcakes it's not quite the big cake that you see on the Great British Bake Off though equally as scrumptious perfect for example with a Caramel Latte courtesy of my Tassimo machine. This time I was experiment with a latte and it was delicious , I have just got to remember to buy some proper latte glasses. Recently there have been coffee mornings held around to help Macmillan Cancer this is a cause close to mine and my husbands hearts as his mum and other relatives dies of cancer, My grandparents as died of cancer so as a family we like to do our best to get involved with Macmillan coffee mornings where we can. Kenco are a big part of this as are Tassimo so get those Tassimo making this hot drinks and get those pennies rolling in.

For almond  Cupcakes

4 tablespoons Plain flour (not self-rising),

2 whole large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes

100g Ground almonds

1/2 cup or 75 icing  sugar sifted after measuring

2 large egg whites at room temperature for 30 minutes

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For The Filling 

  • 110g/4oz butter, softened
  • 170g/6oz icing sugar
  • 55g/2oz cocoa powder, sifted (optional)

    2 teaspoon of instant coffee(optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

    Or the cheats version of this as long as no one has any nut allergies is to spoon some chocolate spread in the middle of the cupcake.

    For the Cupcakes

     Preheat oven to  180 c. Place a 12 cupcake baking sheet in the oven

    1 Preheat oven to 180 c and line 12 cupcake wells with muffin cases

    2) In a small bowl, mix together flour, the ground almond flour, baking powder, icing sugar .

    3) In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add egg whites add the salt to the egg whites this will ensure soft peaks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract. 

    4) Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake 2 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in muffin tin on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from muffin tin and cool completely on rack.

    Once cooled add the filling either the 'posh version' or the 'cheats'

    The cheats version is a chocolate based spread!

    Either way one way that I use to get a centre out of a cup cake is to use a apple core to take a plug out of the cupcake. Then you can fill it with either the 'posh' or 'cheats' filling'

    Its optional whether you use the coffee  based filling or chocolate based filling and then pipe a vanilla soft icing on top.

    Not an opera cake in the true sense but its a version of it.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Love your gums

Smile and the world smiles with you us how the saying goes.

My son goes to the local village dentist it's private but it convenienant for his school and mine.

Ordinarily my son is not fazed by the dentist , he takes it in his stride but the last time he felt the dentist filled him with fear. And as a result for ages he didn't want to go but a simple pleasant phone call resulted in him being transferred to a dentist that he is much happier to see.

Service with a smile ... Sorry for the pun.

Also the dentist practice were able to chase up his braces appointment.

Gum care is important , many people will get gum health issues at some point in their lives and it's the biggest cause of tooth loss.  

My sons attitude to his dentist and subsequent dental care is leading me to revaluate my own dental care.

Coming from a long line of dashing denture wearers it's not something I relish wearing myself.

 So if I can at least try and stop the tradition with my own teeth. I willl be on to a sure winner and as previously mentioned the first step is good gum care.

 So the family are currently putting Pro-Expert Premium Gum toothpaste through its paces.

As a family we can follow simple tips as these to aid good gum and teeth care.

1 . Brush twice a day with a good fluoride paste such as Pro -Expert Premium Gun toothpaste.

2. Floss between your teeth everyday .

3. Visit a dentist regularly for check ups and cleaning.

4. Cut down on sugary food and drinks , I've swooped to having water with my meals instead of cola as have the rest of the family.

5. Don't smoke or chew tobacco.

6 . Cut down alcohol consumption.

SO we look forward to a long and healthy relationship with our pearly whites !

"This post is an entry for Britmums' #ORALBLOVEYOURGUMS Challenge sponsored by Oral B promoting healthy gums _ something especially important for pregnant women . Get tips and advice on www.oralb-loveyourgums.com

Cracking up

Yesterday all my troubles seemed ..... Tails off

Yesterday well yesterday my iPhone 4 screen broke.

I was asked to politely move my fat bottom... ( not to worry all young kids say things!)

It seems it didn't like bouncing the IPhone that is ( just in case you were worried for a minute .)

What I mean is I dropped my iPhone 4 S on the floor in the middle of a 60mph country lane.

I suppose I should be grateful that a car didn't run over it.

I should have taken the Nikkon ...

Should of, could of .... DIDN'T

My husband says we learn by our mistakes ....

That perennial useful phrase ...

So I won't be getting my biker boot s


But here's some lovely pictures to look at and look there's the spot I dropped my IPhone 4S ...

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Memories found today

Memories found today.

When I was tidying up.

Nothing out the ordinary you might think.

Its only an old Inspector Morse video I can't bring myself to throw it out. My mum gave it to my Nan and my Nan wasn't one for clutter.

Underneath it was some childhood photos of my Nan from when she was small in 1932. A young life full of such promise and glee.

One as a school girl (not sure when but commonly people left at 14)

One of when her parents got married looking very much like Downtown Abbey.

 and one of her mother my great Grandmother in 1918.

So you see its memories triggered.

And to top it all I found a copy of my granddads death certificate.

I'm not religious.

I can't say what I am .

I respect religion.

And religions respects me.

Simple touches like that are softly  spoken words of veiled comfort in the pockets of time.

For without the past we wouldn't be what we are in the future.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Macaroons The One Where I Turn Into Mary Berry

Macaroons the one where I turn into Mary Berry.

Who would have thought it?

I think my husband thought I was possessed when first a silicon macaroon sheet turned up and then a space age icing tool by Leuke.

At this stage I'm not quite advanced enough to imagine up my own a Macaroon recipe. So I followed one on the Delicious website, and I was amazed it actually worked.

Why not serve your macaroons in a lemon squeezer ?

Have faith in yourself and who knows what you can achieve.

Go and read the wonder blog Heir Raising who actually met the great lady Mary Berry herself.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Win £25 Amazon Voucher

I am having somewhat of a grumpy week , I think it part like due to the fact I was quite ill a few weeks ago. I don't know if grumpiness is contagious but even the cat is looking grumpier that usual and believe me , the cat is never a happy soul. It is like death standing over me every time he looks at me.

So what can I do to cheer myself up I don't want chocolate some child thought I was having a baby.

I tried singing with my class and all was going well till after wind the bobbin one of them wanted a One Direction song.. I am old and out of touch!

I don't want wine.

I don't watch soaps.

I am not really a shoe shopper or a clothes fiend.

So what can I do ??

In the comments come up with some suggestions either fantasy suggestions that are clean ! or practical solutions.

And in return I'll offer up as a prize £25 worth of Amazon vouchers just in time for christmas as given my me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 17 October 2013



It's a rare thing.

But I'm finally quite relaxed.

I don't mind my picture being taken now. 

No matter how silly I look ! I know I've got to lose more weight BUT

I am accepted for who I am.

People seem to like my blog.

There will always be that .1 of worry I wouldn't be human otherwise.

There are situations, people that either don't like me or the fact my hair wouldn't grow long that I've accepted.

There is someone for everyone ...

So do you like the newer relaxed me ....

If not .1 of me will worry.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Easy Breakfast Cookies

Easy breakfast cookies will perk up your breakfast , if you are the sort of the person who skips breakfast or just can't be bothered. Don't fear here is an easy idea that takes no time at all.


2 mashed bananas 



If you don't like muesli , you can just use oats and add extra things like dried fruit and/ or nuts .

When the mashed bananas are in a bowl, add the muesli and stir the mixture up.
Place the mixture in dollops ( I use a dessert spoon and then another dessert spoon on top just to give the shape of the cookie some uniformity) place the dollops on a lines or greased baking sheet.

Bake at 190 for 10-15 minutes or until set and golden brown.
These will be very soft cookies! If you want them to be crunchy , use more muesli /less banana

Easy Breakfast cookie mix
Easy breakfast cookie mix.

Easy breakfast cookie
The easy breakfast cookies ready for decoration.

Easy breakfast cookie
Decorate the easy breakfast cookie with a zig zag of white chocolate.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Torte towers & Meal Planning

Torte towers is what  I'm going to call this it was meant to be a cake but it didn't turn out that way so I had to think on my feet and turn it something in the end which was quite spectacular. I was trying to following a Hairy Bikers recipe and I was confidant of my culinary prowess I suspect I was a bit cocky.

I followed the recipe but decided not to ground the nuts up and I used milk chocolate instead so I thought that's fair enough and the recipe would work with my changes. How wrong was I , it didn't rise as I thought it would. In this age of food waste I really don't like throwing food out and especially as I had used all those egg yolk and eggs white, I could sense that if I was in the Bake off Paul Hollywood would have been glaring his smokey blue eyes in my direction. I think Mary berry would have been sympathetic but I do know that I think they would have celebrated my final result which saw me coming back from the brink of baking disaster.

Monday Pizza : lazy day

Tuesday: Lamb Tangine

Wednesday: Prawn Noodles

Thursday: Flat bread not sure what with ...

Friday: Fish Pie

Saturday: Herb Omelette

Sunday : Revolution one pot sausage casserole with apples & onion gratin

Special snack treat : Apple crisps.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Souls sing upon a woodland walk

Souls sings upon a woodland walk..

Do I mind being a solitary creature?
Not in the slightest ..,

For when you are me these are the wonders that you do see...

A step back in time ... 

An medieval workings now a wood ..

Souls sing...

Nature and minds awaken ..

Sounds of nature abound and leaves fall silently upon the ground ....

Footsteps that were once unsure now seek atriputation in every windy corridor ...

Would you touch upon my world?

And leave it intact for me ...

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Star Wars : The Clone Wars S5 and complete box set

PRE ORDER HERE NOW: http://bit.ly/ClonesS5

Executive Producer George Lucas and Lucasfilm Animation present Star WarsThe Clone Wars The Complete Season Five, coming to high-definition Blu-ray and DVD on October 14th. With action and drama worthy of the big screen, The Clone Wars looks and sounds best when presented in stunning high-definition. The Complete Season Five delivers all 20 episodes, two as director’s cuts never seen on TV, and supplements them with a host of behind-the-scenes bonus materials, cast and crew interviews, and deleted and alternate scenes, revealing the magic behind the making of the cutting-edge series.
For those wanting to relive every moment of the epic series from the beginning comes the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Seasons 1-5 Collector’s Edition. All previous complete season sets have been collected here for the first time to form a library of Star Wars: The Clone Warsadventures worthy of the Jedi Temple. With unique packaging, this Collector’s Edition also includes a brand new 54-page Art of The Clone Warsbooklet that showcases concept art from across all five seasons, with many pieces never before published.

This much anticipated home entertainment release will be yours to own from October 14th, and is currently available for pre-order.

We love Star Wars in this household and have previously gone to Star Wars conventions , where my son partook in Jedi training school. It's lovely to just relax and relive mine and my husbands childhood as we absorb up the memories. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Tiramisu Con Ciliege #Easyteam

Tiramisu is the quintessential Italian dessert sometimes vintage items just lend themselves to a purpose and when I found some vintage shot glasses I knew that they had a higher purpose in life and not languishing on a charity shop shelf.

And being part of Zanussi's #Easyteam  I recreated Gino D'Accampos dessert in my kitchen could I do it  justice ? Judge for yourself and tell me what you think! It's just a shame that you can't taste it !


400g Cherries, pitted and halved.
50g caster sugar
4 Tablespoons Cherry or Amaretto liqueur
8 small Madeline cakes or Sponge finger biscuits
2 Tablespoons chopped toasted nuts.

For the Mascarpone cream

2 Egg yolk
2 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
250h Mascarpone cheese
2 Tablespoons Cherry or Amaretto Liqueur

Heat the cherries, sugar and 2 tablespoons of the liqueur in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and the cherries are slightly softened and their skin starts to burst. Set aside to cool.

Tiramisu Con Ciliege #Easyteam

For the mascarpone cream, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale. Beat in the mascarpone and 2 tablespoons of the liqueur.

Place a layer of cake in the bottom of 4 individual glasses. Spoon over a little of the remaining liquor, then add a layer of the cooked cherries and their juices. Top with a layer of the mascarpone cream. Repeat the layering until you are nearly at the top of the glass, finishing with the the cream.

Sprinkle the top with chopped nuts and chill for 2 hours before serving.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Standing On The Edge Of Reason

The countryside is the ribbon of life and it entwines me with its magic.

Streets and lanes are tributies that pull you to the countryside and that I'm grateful for.

I do love the history and culture of cities but the beat of the countryside is like the beat if a drum , I am enduced into a trance.

Secret entrances enthrall me and take me to their fairy glens.

I'm not a lamb going to slaughter oh no .. far from it .. I love it.

I love being on the edge of the countryside , the edge of madness , the edge of reason the lines are somewhat blurred.



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