Monday, 11 April 2016

All you need is Love

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle. Amy Bloom::

Many of us are way too skilled at living with plan B. We are all too good at painting over cracked walls, at working around broken plumbing and at rigging dysfunctional wiring. We are all too good at getting along, making do and hoping for the best. We are too good at talking ourselves into a belief that things will get better, that our problems aren't really that big and we are better off than many couples. We all too skilled at living with less and thinking it's more.
Unfortunately when we do this we don't end up fixing what's broken, we aren't moved to seek help as we no longer see the places help is needed. We get up each day and make things work the best we can, but our best falls way short of Gods best... (Paul Tripp, What did you expect?)

Ouch! So challenged by this book! It's my hearts desire that Tim and I enjoy the miracle of growing old together and in turn celebrate a lifetime of love, yet way too often I let the self-love he speaks of replace genuine, sacrificial love and its these moments that cause my impatience and selfishness. Its this self-love which convinces me that my way is the only way and makes it more important for me to win than to develop unity.
These are the moments that over time shatter the fine china that is marriage. 

Love however celebrates the other person, it prizes unity and is willing to make the sacrifice necessary to achieve it. Love is not impatient and does not walk away, it perseveres and stays active until what God has planned becomes your actual experience. 
Love listens, works and waits.

As Paul pointed out in an earlier chapter, you don't build a marriage of unity, understanding and love in a few big moments of life, but in tens of thousands of little moments. Little promises are important precisely because they are little, and the cumulative effect of your little moments of faithfulness will convince your husband/wife that you can be trusted with the greater matters of life.

Today I'm praying hard God will show me the areas that I've become lackadaisical and mediocre and all the places I fail to live out Gods best. I pray we all learn to fix the cracks and blemishes as they appear and not settle for anything less than Gods perfect design for our lives and our marriages.

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace. (Ephesians 4:2-3)


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Spiced Pear and Cardamom Cake

I went looking for a cake idea for my Mother in laws 64th birthday celebrations the other day, one that didnt contain any chocolate as they are migrane inducing for some poor family members! (the stuff of nightmares for me right there!!
Anyway, I came across a picture of a pear and cardamom cake on Instagram that I thought looked amazing but couldnt find a recipe anywhere for one that didnt include chocolate, so I took this recipe and made a few adjustments, came up with this.. and it is a winner! 

Spiced Pear and Cardamom cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamom
250g butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
3 large pears, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 180°. Generously grease a 10-cup round cake tin.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer (or food processor like me) on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Stir in sour cream.

Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Stir in pears.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove cake from pan to wire rack to cool completely.


I had been wanting to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream for ages and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.. I'm now hooked! So much nicer than regular frosting and not half as sweet. I looked up a number of recipes and settled on this one from Serious Eats.

  • 1/2 cup egg whites from about 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250g butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl. Continue to whisk until sugar has dissolved (you can check by rubbing a bit of the mixture between your fingers; the mixture shouldn't feel grainy). If you're not worried about salmonella, you can take the mixture off the heat and proceed.
  • If you want to pasteurize the meringue, keep whisking until the mixture registers 160°F on a thermometer, then remove from heat. Using a hand-held or a stand mixer, beat the warm mixture until the meringue holds stiff peaks and has cooled to room temperature.
  • Beat in vanilla. Add butter one cube at a time, beating well with the electric mixer after each addition. Sprinkle with salt and continue to mix. The mixture may start to look as if it’s separating during this process but don't panic, just keep beating and the buttercream will come together and become smooth.
  • (Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container or a zipper-lock bag for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To use buttercream that has either been refrigerated or frozen, first allow to come to room temperature, then beat until smooth and spreadable again. Cakes or cupcakes decorated with buttercream generally keep up to 3 days when refrigerated in an airtight container. Allow buttercream to come to room temperature before serving)

  • Decorate your cake and enjoy! 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Our favourite cookies

Hey guys! Its been nearly a year since I last posted something on here! I've missed this space so much but kinda lost my blogging mojo. I found it again today, not sure if it will last or not but in the meantime here is a super yum chocolate and almond cookie recipe I came up with to use my favourite chocolate. 

Pretty much the perfect combo. 

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2T hot water
2t vanilla
1 cups rolled oats
3 cups flour
1t salt
1t baking soda
3/4 block of whittaker's dark almond chocolate (roughly chopped).

Cream the butter and sugars in the food processor, add eggs, vanilla and hot water. Scrape down the bowl and throw in the rolled oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Empty the mixture into a big mixing bowl and add the chocolate.

Roll into balls and place onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 mins until lightly browned.

You're welcome


Friday, 25 April 2014

our sunset

This week marked the end of the most beautiful chapter of our lives
I have permanently removed the option of us having more babies
and my heart is so sad.

It is the right decision for us as a family 
but the thought of no more newborn
babies, no silky soft snuggles and
no tiny fingers curled around mine
is a heartbreaking idea that
I am struggling to comprehend.

I will move forward and celebrate the
next phase, I will delight in my children
for who they are to become
and not only for what they have been.

And I will forever remain thankful that I was blessed
with six gorgeous souls to train and guide
and love
and three more I get to spend all of eternity 

I am recovering well... resting my body and 
taking this rare opportunity to do nothing and be pampered.

Having so many big babies took their toll on this body of mine
and it needed quite a bit of repairing. 
(They would only do this if I was certain that we would be
having no more, hence the tubal ligation)

I feel so blessed to be surrounded with such love and care
and am grateful for the kindness and nurture
I am being showered with.

Thank you friends.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

$10 leggings in 10 minutes

I have been trying for weeks without success to get my hands on some black and white leggings for Theo.
I had almost given up when my sister in law spotted this wee number in the pumpkin patch outlet shop on sale for $10.
 I figured the fabric and elastic would cost more than that
and a ready to go waistband and pre-sewn hem would make these a breeze to make!

Here's how I did it.

Fold skirt in half, grab a pair of pants that fit and lay them on top for your guide. Allow a 2.5 cm seam allowance on the side not already sewn and cut out your shape.

 Separate and sew up each leg

Turn one leg in the right way and leave one inside out.

 Tuck the pair thats right side up into the inside out leg.

Pin into place and sew right around 
pulling it into a line as you go, it will pop back into
 shape when you are done.

 Like this!

Untuck them and trim  the excess thread

and watch your sweet baby dance in his gorgeous new pants!


Huge thanks to Jenny over at mend and make new
for the use of her overlocker. 
My machine is still in the repair shop.
Must pick it up!

Been making anything lately??


Saturday, 5 April 2014

a month of cakes

I loved the balloon cake idea! Instead of blowing out candles - you pop the balloons instead! Except when you have a mama fail moment and make this cake for the child who hates popping balloons! oops!

Billy's sign caught on fire which made for fun drama at his birthday and last minute desperation called for a quick sprinkle cake when I realized an hour before Charlie's party that I 
hadn't made a cake for him!

I worked out the other day that I had made no less than 56 birthday cakes 
over the last 15 years!
No wonder my creativity has been somewhat depleted.
Especially when you foolishly commit to two! One for the actual birthday and one for the party!

I would have shown you the failure that was Theo's first cake but
somehow I managed to get absolutely no photos of it!
Oops - another fail.

Tell me, have you got any simple easy cake ideas?
Inspire me!


Friday, 4 April 2014


Family dinner night at the grandparents was interrupted by the rugby game.
hello Pa! 
nice of you to join us for our family photo!