Sunday, 27 February 2011

Inspiring cottages

Sometimes in life you see something or someone who inspires you, in this case it's both.I read about this gingerbread cottage in the NY Times and although didn't have the cottage to decorate I did have the spare bedroom to tackle so the white snow queen room came about.

To see more of Sandys cottage visit her blog

Can you imagine just sitting in this cottage relaxing,reading a book with a nice glass of wine sounds like heaven.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Beyond Biba

I've just finished watching the film 'Beyond Biba' about Barbara Hulancki and her iconic shop Biba.

Now anyone of a certain age living in the UK will remember Biba. I first visited Biba in the 70's as a teenager and the store blew my mind away. The art deco interiors flamingos,feathers all added to the experience.My cousin who was a few years older than me bought me to the store and the experience never left me.

As a woman now approaching my 50s who still loves fashion Biba gave me that first taste, I remember buying a really floppy hat from there and kept it for years.

No other store ever gave me that rush I got from entering Biba which was on Kensington High Street London.Even to this day I have a huge collection of Biba originals in my wardrobe.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Ever read a book that plays on your mind?

I just did! First of all I have just this second finished this book it's not a mammoth War and Peace sort of book I will be honest I picked it up because I loved the cover, never judge a book by it's cover they say, very true but I'm a sucker for a nice cover.

I started it two days ago and for some reason it weighed heavy on my mind, maybe it was a bit too close to home for comfort. It's not the most gripping book I have ever read but it struck a chord about family and family secrets which are best not unearthed.

The story is told in two parts the first is by the sixteen year old Edie then we rejoin her 20 years later.She meets up with her two sisters again on the day of her mums funeral I found this part very sad and left me questioning my own immortality and my feelings towards my own mum.

Firstly let me explain nothing bad has ever gone on between my mum and I and luckily my mum is still in my life and seeing as she is approaching 80 I feel very blessed.I did however nearly lose my Mum four years ago during a major operation and this book brought to light a lot of feelings from that time.

The hardest part of the book for me was the part when the sisters have to start clearing their mothers possessions I felt very teary at this point as I started to imagine having to do the same in the future, nothing ever prepares for this part of your life.

Sorry if this post is a little gloomy it wasn't meant to be I just wanted to say really that I found this book evoked powerful emotions in me regarding life,love and death basically the three things that move us all.This is a powerful well written book about everyday life.I guess some books leave us feeling like we've been on a journey and for me this is one of them.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

What will I cook today?

I love to cook on a Sunday it's the one day of the week I have time and I love to try new recipes. So plans for today are;

Make my brother Butternut squash soup, he is looking for ways to get vegetables into his 4 children who aren't the worlds best veggie eaters. I suggested he try soup which they all love and there's nothing easier or cheaper than home made soup.

For us I have already made a split pea soup for work, weather is still cold here in the UK so soup and a roll is ideal for our dinners.

I have found two new recipes I want to try out today one is crustless quiches which look great and will be ideal for lunch boxes.I have always loved Lemony sort of pies the more tart the better so I want to try and make a lemon tart, something I haven't done since turning vegan so Its something I am dying to try.

I soaked my beans overnight(kidney,borlotti,black beans,cannellini,) for my 5 bean Chili I add a tin of baked beans to the end to this recipe which turns it it to a 5 bean chili it's a quick easy recipe which freezes well and is a quick meal for me when I get in from work in an evening.

So got a busy day ahead I better get a move on, will post some pics later (if they turn out well that is)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 17 February 2011


Love these posters of Menton

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

8 weeks today until we hit Menton

Can't believe we go away 8 weeks today to Menton in the South of France getting excited now.We will be going to the Tennis in Monte Carlo but are based in Menton I can't wait it looks so beautiful.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Chilling out with my boy

After my stressful day with Biff yesterday I can report the good news he made it home from the vets, at one stage yesterday I didn't think he would make it.The good news is his kidneys are no worse than they were at Christmas if anything his blood work was slightly better so that's good.

After no doubt a stressful day for him being attached to a drip all day he came home and ran to his food bowl where he devoured a sachet of food this was amazing to see as he hadn't really eaten for 48 hours. So far he is still eating so I am more optimistic than yesterday, he is at the vets again tomorrow so I'm hoping all keeps well.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 14 February 2011

Say a little prayer for us

As I write this my beautiful little Ginger cat Biff is at the vets on a drip I'm out of my mind with worry so I thought I'd blog a bit to take my mind off things.

Biff is nearly 16 I know he's a good age and he has had kidney trouble for the past four years.Within the last few months he has lost his hearing and got arthritis so I know things aren't looking too good for him.

Over the weekend he stopped eating and looks depressed just not his usual loving self, so I took him to the vets this morning and he is starting to dehydrate.Up to press he is on a drip and I am waiting for results on his blood work, I think once these arrive we'll know a lot more at what's been going on, I guess the time may be coming where I have to let him go.

I have dreaded this time coming as he is the only cat I have left as I have lost several over the last few years. I cannot imagine my life with no cat in it.

There has been a cat in my life since the day I was born I don't know what it would be like to have no cat to share my home with.

Biff didn't have an easy start in life when we rescued him he had been abused and neglected by his previous owners by the time I got him he not surprisingly had little or no trust in humans.It was a long process but he eventually started to trust us.Over the years he became a very loving and trusting cat who followed us everywhere, his greatest pleasure in life is sunbathing in his garden.I'm praying real hard for the phone call that says he is coming home tonight, don't know what I will do if he isn't.

Please say a prayer for him.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Happy Valentines day

One thing the Victorians did so well is send a Valentines day card. Victorian cards are still amongst my favourites.

Apple Oak cake

I tend to do most of my cooking on a weekend as I work long hours during the week and don't have to much time. I tend to do my Yoga during the week when I get home rather than having to start cooking so cooking has to be pretty quick such as stir frys and pasta.

This weekend I have made Butternut squash soup for work. Also made some vegan meatballs which will be quick to add to spagetti one night when I come in. Have made a spicy sausage casserole for tea and a 5 bean chili which will do for a couple of nights mid week.

At weekend I like to try something new as during the week I tend to just have a yogurt or fresh fruit after my meal but I like something a bit naughtier at weekend.As a new Vegan I am keen to try out new dessert menus as I am new to the whole concept of baking without using eggs, I have to say everthing I have made has turned out well so far. This weekend I made an apple oat cake which turned out very well it is an oatlike cake but the layer of apple in the middle really makes it tasty. Last night we had this with cream and tonight theres enough left to have it with custard, there was even enough to send a couple of slices to my mum.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Update on my Vegan journey

When I embarked on my Vegan journey a few months ago I wondered what was in store for me, would I struggle going on holiday, could I ever eat out again,could I ever give up cheese, yeah the usual questions I guess most new vegans ask themselves. I have only been on my path for 5 months but I can honestly say I never felt better or ate better.

When I was just Vegetarian it was very easy I guess I got used to the same boring meals now I am Vegan I searched out more recipes and am open to more different foods I have never eaten a more varied diet in my life ever and people ask me whatever do I eat!I really wouldn't have time to write up everything I do eat,instead I'm going to start posting more recipes I am discovering.

I am also starting to veganize recipes something in the beginning I wouldn't have had the confidence to do. I am starting to feel confident in the kitchen again.I have been Vegetarian for 36 years before I finally opened my eyes to the egg and dairy industry, like many countless vegans before me I just presumed it would be too hard.

My other big discovery in life is Yoga only being a devotee for a few months but already I can see my body shape changing I am becoming stronger,more energised and more supple not sure why I started yoga at the same time as turning vegan but they seem to go hand in hand for some reason.

At this very minute I have an apple cake in the oven it is a new recipe so before I post any pics I had better make sure it turns out ok.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A Blog spring clean

Decided it was time for my blog to have a spring clean it was looking wintery and I am now looking forward to spring. Seeing as I am heading to Monte Carlo in the Spring to see Rafa Nadal play Tennis I thought I'd get myself in the mood for Monte Carlo and Provence by going for the beautiful cobalt blue colour I always associate with Provence.

I was due to go last year but my holiday was cancelled because of the Volcano ash that erupted on the day we were due to fly, so fingers crossed for this year.

So I think I will go a little overboard in posts about Provence over the next few weeks to really get me in the mood.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass

Oh wind, a blowing all day long,
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all

Oh wind, a blowing all day long!
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?

O wind, a blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Serenity Winds

As child I always loved the wind I loved to feel it on my face,I loved to run in it and fly my kite.This love has stayed with me throughout my life. My mum told me stories about the wind and how it can blow you away just little stories you made up for children but I loved them, she made the wind feel alive for me.

I love sitting indoors on a windy day reading and feel comforted by it's sound, the wind has always comforted me. I even have CDs of wind and find I love listening to them before I sleep, within minutes I'm asleep that's the power the wind has on me.

This week we have had gale force winds and whilst everyone has been complaining about them I have been loving them.There is something very magical about the wind and when I came across this pic it reminded me how I feel it is called Serenity Winds and I think it's beautiful.

Of course it can be destructive as only mother nature knows how but it's the sheer power it has that amazes me.