Thursday, 29 December 2011

Paris at Christmas

Something else on my to do list, see Paris at Christmas.Always looks beautiful and festive.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas is coming

Help just realised Christmas is virtually on top of us and I'm nowhere near ready (are we ever ready for christmas)Did make my mums Christmas cake last weekend dropped it on taking it out of the oven and it broke into pieces, so about to start again.

Love this time of year would just love some Snow to add to the atmosphere but hey I guess theres time yet.

I've still to bake my own cake I do a vegan version of the classic Christmas cake I made it for the first time last year and it turned out really well I was really pleased with it.The recipe is somewhere on my blog but will repeat it again.Also planning on baking a Vegan version of stollen this year as well.

Yep time to put on the Christmas music, decorate the house and get baking Christmas is coming.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Have I a tree obsession?

I've been out taking a lot of photos lately but for some reason I seem to be taking hundreds of trees, made me wonder have I got a tree obsession going on?
I have always been fascinated by trees their immense height,shape colour etc but this time of year I think they are at their most striking.

I plan to make the most of them now as soon winter will arrive and strip them bare.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Enjoying the autumn

Haven't had much time to blog of late, been busy with work,life,stuff you know how it gets.Trying to get my garden straight before the winter sets in, been planting bulbs today.

Also fell in love with photography again, used to be very keen twenty years ago but gradually got out of practice, however just got a new camera and with all the great photo editing apps out at the moment I'm enjoying it again.

Love this time of year so thought I'd share a few autumn inspired pics.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Beautiful day inspired me to get out with my camera

Were having an Indian Summer here in the UK at the moment weather is beautiful made the most of it today went out for the afternoon with my camera, something I rarely get time to do.Here's a few I took the Virginia Creeper is from my garden, the trees were the view I had from my pub lunch, very relaxing.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Southport flower show

Finally getting around to blogging about my wonderful day out at Southport Flower show, time is been an issue lately with stuff and life getting in the way as usual.

This is my annual treat going to Southport it is a tradition started by my mum, it was always our day out together and I have many happy memories of this event.Mum isn't as good on her feet as she used to be so coming to the flower show would be hard for her now. Mums love of plants and gardens have been passed down to me I have memories of my own little garden patch I must have been seven or eight when my mum gave me my own special patch I have been hooked ever since.

Last year I took my 10 year old niece and she too loved the magic of Southport so it looks like the family tradition is being continued this was her and my friends grandaughter Jess second visit.

This years theme was Vintage so straight away I was hooked.Heres Caitlin and Jess pictured in a vintage camper van, now I really do want a camper van this one was lovely and the very nice woman let the girls have their picture took in it.

We also fell in love with this little vintage van which was serving food.

Was thrilled to see a few vintage cars here as well

I've always loved the show gardens at Southport and this years collection didn't disapoint, continuing the vintage theme I loved this 60's inspired garden.

I've taken home some great ideas for my garden and especially fell in love with some of the seating areas, always think thats the best part of gardening sitting in a nice spot and enjoying your hard work, or in my case looking at what I need to do!

We were lucky the weather was good and we walked all day spent loads of money on the tempting stalls and produce and went home happy.A perfect day.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Thoughts and reflections on my Vegan year

Last year I downloaded a podcast by Colleen Patrick Goudreau I didn't realise at the time the effect this podcast would have on me. I downloaded this podcast as I was looking for some new Vegetarian recipes, as a keen cook I am always looking for something new.

As a Vegetarian for 37 years I somehow never made to next logical step to becoming a vegan, why? Well I used the usual excuses I could never give up cheese, it would be too difficult,it would be Impossible to eat out, what would I eat yada,yada,yada so the excuses rolled on.

After my first podcast Collen had answered all my questions and there and then I made my decision I was going to become a Vegan I was converted after listening to just one podcast, I immediately downloaded all the rest and spent several weeks absorbing all the info like a sponge, everything just clicked into place.

I decided I needed to arm myself with some Vegan cook books, the first one I ever purchased was Vegan Baking by Collen Patrick Goudreau(yes the same person that does the compassion cooks podcast) this was a strange choice for me as I'm not really a sweet or a cake person, I think it was the need in me once I knew I couldn't Eat cakes,biscuits chocolate etc that I wanted them.

After reading the book I soon realised any recipe could be veganised I could eat apple pie, cheesecakes,carrot cake, chocolate muffins, cookies etc the list was endless. I attacked the cook book and over the weeks produced some really great sweet baked items which my partner and friends soon devoured I told no one at first they were vegan and nobody commented, I soon realised baked goods were not going to be a problem.

My next cook book ( yes I will admit to being a cookbook junkie) was The Vegan Table also from the same author that was it I was totally hooked on my new way of eating, there was basically not much of a difference with being Vegan and being Vegetarian. I could scramble Tofu and it was just like scrambled egg, I could make cheese less pizza and it was more delicious than the old pizzas I made, I could use cheese substitutions if I wanted the list was endless

I had always made Vegetarian curries,Chilis,stirfrys so most of my daily meals stayed the same I just learned new things I discovered a love of Tofu and now plant foods make up most of my diet.

Dairy was another thing I worried about I do like herbal teas but also like an occasional coffee or tea. I needn't have worried the wide range of non dairy milks I. The supermarket really opened my eyes, I liked Soya milk instantly but since experimented with different milk I now prefer Oat milk which I use daily on my cereal and tea, I discovered almond milk which I make a delicious Baileys type drink I just add Whiskey,Kahlula and top up with almond milk it is absoloutly delicious.

I use a soya cream in my coffee and that too is delicious, so once again no problem being a vegan.I recently bought a Soya creamer for when I am out as yet I find most places can't be bothered to offer their customers a non dairy milk option.
Starbucks,Costa Coffee do and it's great to be able to order a soya Late or cappuccino when I am out shopping.

Reflecting my first year as a Vegan I can honestly say I have never eaten better, after the initial worry I could never eat cakes, chocolate etc I am now over that because I know I can and Dairy free chocolate is every bit as good as the old chocolate I sometimes ate, I never really wanted chocolate before I guess initially it was the old case of if you can't have something you want it!

I now feel more in tune with my spiritual side I think that is to do with the fact I now eat knowing I have caused no suffering to animals and you can't help but feel more at peace with yourself.

I have also started doing Yoga and have dropped weight and feel so much stronger and energised I would recommend it to anyone.For anyone who has ever toyed with the idea of going Vegan I urge to download some of Colleens podcasts and read some of the many great online vegan blogs out there I don't think you'll regret it.

For me the transition from Vegetarian has been easy and so worthwhile

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Quirky garden sheds

Been browsing the Internet for some garden shed inspiration.My shed has been blue for years now it was meant to represent my little corner of Provence which I haven't got round to finishing, feel it may need a major rehaul.

Do I go for a gothic look all tumbling Ivy? A witchy theme or do I go completely over the top? Decisions decisions.

Friday, 22 July 2011

The Gardens of Wimbledon

I know Wimbledon is more famous for it's beautiful Tennis courts than it's gardens, but I was very impressed on my recent visit with all the beautiful lush green planting. I didn't have much time to chill out and relax in seating areas but next time I'm in London with some free time I'm going back to check out the gardens.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Rafa pics from Wimbledon

Haven't time to blog at the moment but I was lucky enough to see Rafa open on Centre Court on Monday against Michael Russell, will try and do a proper blog post over the weekend, but here's a few pics I took.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011