Sunday, 22 December 2013

Feeling the Magic

Quite frankly I've been feeling the Christmas spirit since December 1st, and I ain't running out of steam any time soon. I have things to share and photos to show but so little time to do it. It's hard to find the time when totally knee deep in the fun.

So i'll keep this one short but know there is more to come...


Real trees, the smell is delightful!
Favourite decorations old and new...

Finally painting a long promised bird for my brother. A festive Robin that I bet he misses this time of year...

I hope you like it big brother, it's on its way over the pond to you right now x

Obligatory blackboard excitement and a new this year gingerbread house advent calendar. The boys went nuts for it...

And about an hour ago we made orange peel decorations...
We hung them in the window but you could put them on the tree.

I got the idea here

Christmas lights, they are quite literally magic in a box...

All of this is only the tip of the festive iceberg in our house I assure you...

Despite my first born having an ear infection and my youngest's belief that it can't be Christmas if it hasn't snowed outside, we are feeling the magic...

Can you feel it?

It tingles right?

It's still there even now when we are all grown up and do grown up things...

The magic is still there.

Merry Christmas to you xxx

Monday, 9 December 2013

Nature walk

Recently we went for a walk to one of our favourite spots...

I never get tired of walking while the boys play and I take photos...

Constantly examining nature...

It's like my meditation...

My reset button to calm...

It resets two little wild things too...
Sort of...
It really does sooth my soul...

Don't know about you but I needed that.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela

At university I studied Third World and Development studies but in many ways it was World Studies. Or maybe it was Human Nature Studies. Either way it did not lead to a job in any shape or form. But it did open my eyes and everyone's eyes should be open. But In many ways it depressed me. I constantly studied the ways in which we as humans have hurt each other, tried to dominate each other and consistently failed to help one another.

I feared that we were broken...

However there are these people who come along throughout history. You know the ones...

We remember them because they changed things, often at great risk to themselves.

With great courage they fought against what is wrong and unjust.

And yet teach forgiveness.

They bring us hope.

They demonstrate how we all can be as human beings.

They remind us that although we have many beautiful differences we are all one.

We are connected.

And they show us that the greatest of all things is love...

Nelson Mandela is one of those people. And I found him when I was writing my final dissertation on oppression and liberation in South Africa. During my research I read his book Long Walk to Freedom. And I literally could not put it down. I was completely inspired and hopeful again. He affected every word I typed and every thought I had while writing it.

He reminded me what human beings are capable of.

He reminds me still of what I am capable of.

I am sad that he is gone. It was comforting sharing this planet with him.

But I will try to replace that sadness with gratefulness that he was here in the first place.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Little things

Well nearly wordless anyway...

Things I'm loving at the moment...

Dramatic early evening skies...

Seasonal activities...

Coffee, i'm a new devotee in very small low fat doses...
The tooth fairy visiting for the first time and then again two days later...

This meal...
I'll post recipe soon, it has to be shared...

Bird watching with Daddy...

This face...

These two together...

Visiting adorable cousins...

And meeting a very new cousin for the first time...
*Psst* she's the first girl cousin in a long run of boys
 so I've finally got me some back up...

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

5 Things...

Source 1 & Source 2
Joules over at Lucidlotuslife recently did a post called Blogging Gratefully: Five by Five..uh..Seven. I decided to join it, albeit a little late...

Five Things I Have a Passion For

1. My family and friends
2. Movies
3. Taking photos -  Like all the day long. If I haven't taken a photo of it, my brain doesn't believe it's happened
4. Art and animation
5. Food - I'm hanging in there despite my recent intolerance to fat. I miss you cheese, it's not you it's me...

Five Things I Would Like to do Before I Die

1. Move to Canada
2. See and photograph the Northern lights
3. Attend Comic Con with my dad and my brother
4. Go to art school (it's not gonna happen but that doesn't stop me wanting it)
5. Have a creative career that I'm passionate about

Five Things I Say A Lot

1. 'Be gentle!'
2. 'Calm down'
3. 'When I move to Canada...'
4. 'I need a cup of tea.'
5. 'I should...'

Five Books And/ Or Magazines I Have Read Lately

These are the most recent
1. Jane Eyre
2. Wuthering heights - I've been going through the Classics
3. Pride and prejudice and Zombies - A different take on the classics...
4. Divergent Trilogy
5. Start where you are

Five Places I Would Love To Travel To

1. Seattle to visit my brother
2. Canada again - it's been a while
3. Montana
4. Disney world/Pixar
5. Neverland

Five Favourite Movies (Maybe You've Seen Them Five Times?)

1. The Last of the Mohicans
2. The Shawshank Redemption
3. Pride and Prejudice
3. The original Star Wars trilogy
4. The Toy Story trilogy
5. Contact
And many many more...

I'm adding one:
Five Favourite TV shows

1. Orange is the New Black
2. True Blood
3. Sherlock
4. Walking Dead (But if Daryl Dixon dies i'm out)
5. Grey's Anatomy
And many many more...

Five People I Invite to do this 

Anyone one who fancies it

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Days like this...

Lately I have these moments
Where for no reason at all I feel high as a kite
I see the little things that lift me
I'm doing the things that fulfill
I stop any anxiety and breath it all in
And it feels like everything is going to be alright

I want to package up these days to open up again when times are tough. Then I can remember that no matter what happens there will always be days like this...

So borrowing and twisting the words of Van Morrison (because who says it better) I'm packaging up this day...

When it's not always raining there'll be days like this
When there's no one complaining there'll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there'll be days like this

When you don't need to worry there'll be days like this
When no ones in a hurry there'll be days like this
When you dont get betrayed by that old judas kiss
Oh my mama told me therell be days like this

When you don't need an answer there'll be days like this
When you don't meet a chancer there'll be days like this
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit
Then I must remember there'll be days like this

When everyone is up front and they're not playing tricks
When you don' have no freeloaders out to get their kicks
When its nobodys business the way that you wanna live
I just have to remember there'll be days like this

When no one steps on my dreams there'll be days like this
When people understand what I mean there'll be days like this

When you ring out the changes of how everything is
Well my mama told me there'll be days like this

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Did I mention that I totally love Autumn?

Oh yes that's right, about a trillion times.

And lately we can't get enough of Autumn walks 
with crunchy leaves and seemingly painted trees.

I was sluggish and run down from eating the wrong things over half term which involved eating at other people's houses and lots of meals out. But it doesn't take long to feel so much better after some good walking...

Or should I say playing...
It wasn't long before we were all at it...

On this particular day we were with one of my besties and her daughter. Who just happens to be Isaac's best friend and according to them they are definitely getting married...

I think I believe them...

And it's handy because I totally love this girl...
Check out how unsurprised I am by this turn of events, while we posed...
Cheeky little monkeys....


To keep my spirits up food wise, I've been trying out all kinds of dishes. And by trying out I mean looking through cook books and saying 'Tim can you make me this?...' What can I say? he is a cooking genius. 

This particular Jamie Oliver dish was a huge success with me and my tummy...

Sicilian Squash & Chickpea stew 

The original recipe is for Butternut squash which we often use but this time we used left over Pumpkin from Halloween and it was delish!

It also included Olives but we skipped them because Hubby thinks they are super gross.
  • 1  butternut squash/pumpkin
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 40g raisins
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 320g of couscous (I'm sure this dish would work with rice too)
  • Fat free natural yoghurt to serve 
  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5                                                                                      
  2. Peel squash and chop into 3cm chunks, put the seeds aside. (I like to roast them)                                                                                                  
  3. Drizzle over the chunks a little oil and salt and roast on top shelf for 35 - 40 min                                                      
  4. Meanwhile fry the onions in a large pan                                                                                                                
  5. Add finely chopped coriander, cinnamon, chilli flakes and cook for 20 min (may need to add a splash of water occasionally)
  6. Stir in Squash                                                                                                                                 
  7. Add Tomatoes and chickpeas                                                                                                        
  8. Crumble in stock cube and pour in 500ml of boiling water. Turn the heat up and simmer for 40 min. stirring occasionally
  9. 15 min before stew is ready pop couscous in a bowl, add boiling water plus a stoke cube, cover and leave for 10min. 
  10. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt                                                                                            
  11. Then eat it like you life depends on it!