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Monday, 22 June 2015

A piece of cake!

Well, the summer is here and soon it will be 'Bake-Off' season. I am no Mary Berry, but I do love a bit of stirring, mixing, and cake faffing! The latter being the operative word! I have always tried to make a special effort with the childrens' birthday cakes, since the day I became mum. It's the one thing I love to do for them, because nothing beats the surprise and excitement on their little faces as they puff out those candles! My oldest turned thirteen this weekend...Bear with my while I just sit down for a bit to let that sink in....thirteen...I am the owner of a teenager...Help! Well, of course I had to make a little effort with her cake again, as it's a rather special birthday.

Now, I can't and don't do 'fancy'...My skills don't stretch that far, and smoothly perfected masterpieces is not something I even want to attempt. But I can do rustic! So, with the very popular trend of  'naked cakes' gracing wedding and celebration tables around the world, I thought I'd have a go at making one for my girl. It is a lot easier than having to drape a cake in flawless fondant icing! I merely baked four layers of sponge cake, iced them together with buttercream, and didn't even have to bother with the sides! The idea is to spread none, or just a very thin layer of icing round the sides so that all the layers are visible. Easy..a piece of cake! The fun part was dressing the top. I used fresh roses, daisies, some handpicked sweets, sprinkles, quirky flags and bon-bon toppers. Voila! A very rustic naked cake!














































































And she loved it...Phew!

Blessings



Thursday, 18 June 2015

Slow...quick-quick, slow...








































It seems that as I get older, I get a little more philosophical about living life...
I am becoming more aware of the rhythm of my own life, with tendencies to reflect on and ponder over everything...Lately I feel a strong urge to be quite intentional with time and how I spend it. The hours in a day seem more precious than ever, and there is a sense of responsibility to be a good steward of the seconds, minutes, hours and days which I am blessed with everyday. Life to me should be like the 'Quick-Step', to use a ballroom term! The rhythm is slow...quick-quick, slow...It is so important to make time to slow down in a world that is eager to devour every second like a starved gannet. There seems to be a tendency to glorify 'busy'. It's as if people are hanging on to the over inflated importance of being busy. And so we fill our days without taking slower steps to breathe, think and take stock. All too often I have to remind myself to take my time with the slow steps, as I tend to want to gallop away in a Polka! And as I've learnt the hard way...I will fall down in a heap of exhaustion if I don't pay attention to the slow steps!

Over the last  few weeks, I have made a deliberate effort to slow down when needed. Saying 'no' when necessary, and doing so without the urge to feel that an explanation is needed. I am becoming more aware of my limitations, my boundaries, and I am trying to focus on living and resting with intent. A life of balance is a wonderful thing. I am not quite there yet, but I hope that wisdom will be my portion as I take every step...slow...quick-quick...slow...Living Simply...

To be more like a child...To never lose my sense of wonder...





























To look up from my screen, and out the window...to see the rain...to smell it...





























To enjoy simple pleasures...'there is always time for tea'...





























To make time to do the things that really matter...nurturing and nourishing those around me...





























To live life a little more simply...

Blessings

Monday, 8 June 2015

Simple sentiments

As a young girl, sometimes my fiery temper would flare at the slightest provocation, and I can assure you, not much has changed! But, by provocation I really mean treading on my moral toes, beliefs I hold very strongly to my heart. In such instances where words are uttered that go against the very grain of my beliefs' core, I would often feel the urge to speak my mind, even though in those instances a quiet answer wrapped in gentleness may have had a better outcome! As I'm getting older, I'm learning that retaliation is not always to best way, and that silence can sometimes be the best answer.

Three words have stuck with me since my volatile teenage years, calm words of wisdom that my dad used to utter when he could see the flames rising in my eyes at the onset of a 'red flag to a bull situation'...


'Be a sweetheart'..........

And now, after a little time spent at the sewing machine, these words are up on the wall as a gentle reminder to 'be a sweetheart'...Be kind, gentle, nice...Yes, sometimes being nice is more important than being right....

Blessings