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It’s Been All Go

Hey everyone hope you all had a relaxing bank holiday weekend.  It feels like summer is finally on its way.

Apologies for the odd post on Thursday, I was trying something different and it went a bit wrong.  As I’ve said before I am not the least bit ‘techy’ so it’s not surprising really and it’s partly why I didn’t manage to post on Friday.

Anyway we had a lovely bank holiday weekend, busy doing all sorts, from dinners with friends, birthday parties, golf (Mr H obviously), breakfast out, to having a major tidy yesterday which felt really good!  We chucked out all sorts of things that have been piling up around the house that we just don’t need.  There’s something so therapeutic about chucking things out isn’t there?  Its very rare that I just throw things away though, I can’t stand the thought of waste if I think there is any chance that someone could use what I don’t need anymore.

We gave most of it to charity and some we put on a site we have through our church called stuff swap.  Its such a great idea, basically  you post a picture of the item with a few details and whoever wants it comments on the post, first come first served.  Quite often if someone pips you to the post you can express an interest and if it’s no good for the first person they will pass it on.  It can be anything, uniforms, pieces of furniture, games, clothes, I’ve had a couple of really brilliant clothe bits, its a fantastic recycling tool.  We put our ‘spare’ fridge freezer on and a friend of mine is having it, their one is on its last legs (which I didn’t know) so it’s great to know it’s helping someone out.

Now we have had a good sort out it feels like we can move forward and do a few bits to the house, nothing major but the first thing on the list is the utility room. Its a really small space and we are having a bit of a rejig and organise to make it the best use of space it can be, hence getting rid of the fridge freezer.  We have an ample one in the kitchen and it only really gets used if we have a party and thats only maybe once or twice a year. Will be posting on that once its done.

With the sun making more of an appearance lately it has inspired me to do lots of the things I just keep thinking about such as the Almond and vanilla granola I made yesterday.  Once I got in the swing I just couldn’t sit still, I might add that Mr H had the bug too and was doing lots of the jobs I’ve been hinting at for ages and then went on to make me an amazing gluten free banana bread!  Impressive huh?  I might see if he fancies doing a guest blog one week and sharing his recipe, what do you reckon?

If you fancy making the delicious Almond and vanilla granola here’s the recipe.

2 1\2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract (it is a tablespoon)

1/4 cup coconut oil melted

1 – 2 cups of chopped almonds depending on how nutty you want it to be

Method

1. Preheat oven to 150c and prepare a large baking sheet with baking paper

2. Put oats, almonds, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and mix

3. Mix the melted coconut oil and maple syrup together then add the vanilla extract

4. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until all covered

5. Spread mixture onto baking sheet evenly and put in oven for 45 mins, stirring every 15.  Let the granola cool completely.

In an airtight container you can keep this for up to 3 weeks, but I have to say there is no chance of this sticking around for anything like that amount of time, maybe 3 days!  So simple, so tasty and healthy too.

Let me know if you give this recipe a go and what you think.  Also are you more of a ‘chucker’ or a ‘hoarder’?

 

Take care lovelies.

 

Much love

 

 

 

 

 

General

What I’ve Been Up To

Hey there how are you all?  Hoping you’ve all had a great week.

I’ve  put an updated picture of myself as the one that usually comes up is from a year ago, which means I’m not far away from a year since I started this blogging thing – wow!

For this weeks post I thought I would do a general, what’s been happening ‘in Kates shoes’?

Firstly, last Friday I achieved, well almost, my challenge to myself to post regularly every Friday for four weeks in a row. I say almost because as some of you may have noticed, I didn’t post the first one on the Friday, but the Saturday morning. I had written it but didn’t get around to posting it until the next day.  I still feel it was a great achievement for me. Did any of you join in with a personal challenge? Would be great to be able to celebrate your victories too.

Last weekend was spent with Mr H seeing friends, walking Saffie and generally enjoying some time together.  Sunday afternoon he had to leave to go to Frankfurt for work.  The young ones were with their Dad for the weekend and the Monday and Tuesday which meant I was home alone for 2 1/2 days!! It was lovely to be able to do whatever I wanted without thinking about anyone but I did miss my family. There was however lots of reading, writing, coffee drinking, friends, cake, and general indulgence!
The kids came home wednesday morning, it’s been so great catching up with them, what they have been up to and just being together.  Mr H will be home tonight and it’s going to be a special weekend as its his birthday. Does anyone else really struggle buying their husband presents? He loves his golf so in some ways it’s really easy but just for some extra bits to open.
I went to spend one afternoon and evening with my lovely Mama in Surrey. One of my 3 sisters and her daughter live there at the moment so I got to see them too. What a giggle. My gorgeous niece made me dinner which was not only incredibly tasty and healthy, the presentation was pretty awesome.  It was a mix of quinoa, peppers, courgette, broad beans and lots of other things with a piece of marinated chicken, no idea what was in the marinade but wow was it good. She is only 16 and such an inspirational chef already.  I think you will all be hearing about her in the future!

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Because my sister is staying at mums at the moment her wee dog Bailey is also. Saffie and Bailey are so funny together, they look serene here but just beforehand they were having a little growling session over who was allowed in the chair! I did tell them there’s room for both of you!

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Another thing I did this week was to make some healthy Nutella, again a Deliciously Ella recipe. It tastes really good but feel like it needs some playing about with. It’s the simplest recipe all you need is hazelnuts, raw cocoa powder, maple syrup and water. The problem I’m having is getting the nuts to grind down enough. If anyone knows how or has any suggestions could you share please.  It does taste really good though and it’s lovely to indulge without worrying about what’s in it that’s not good.

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So that’s some of what’s been going on in Kates shoes this last week. What have you lovely people been up to?

 

Take care

Much love ❤️

* a little footnote to say that I was meant to post this last Friday! It was a busy weekend with Mr H’s birthday so here it is a tad late. I am going to endeavour to post regularly on a Friday now. Let’s see how that goes!

General, Life, My faith in God

Good Friday

Hi how was your Easter weekend and what was the weather like where you were?  Our best weather day was Good Friday.  It was absolutely beautiful, a real spring day.

We went to a place called Bedgebury Pinetum, Goudhurst. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny day with the family and the dog (if you have one). There are amazing walks and other activities it’s also a lovely place for a picnic.  We hired bikes for the kids and Mr H and I walked with Saffie dog. We all wore t-shirts for the first time in a long time. It was one of those days when everyone was happy to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air.

On our way back from Bedgebury we stopped at a lovely gastropub called The Milk House for an early tea. Some friends of ours introduced it to us about a year ago, but to be completely honest Mr H and myself weren’t having the best day so it wasn’t the best experience ever. Anyway after our visit on Friday with the kids and Saffie we have some brilliant new memories. My heart felt very full at the end of the day so it really was a Good Friday!

So what does Good Friday mean to you, if anything? For me it’s a time to recognise that Jesus died on the cross for me, my sins and ultimately my freedom.  There are a lot of differing opinions about when Easter should be and if Jesus did die on the cross on a Friday, none of that matters to me. I believe what He did and it makes no difference if it was a Friday a Saturday or indeed any other day of the week. The point for me, is that He did it.

It says in the bible in Romans 14:5 “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
God is not concerned with which day we think is more important, it’s a heart to heart connection, a relationship with Him that He wants.

We didn’t go to any service on Friday or do anything in particular to mark the day, but by being with each other, family, I think it was the perfect way to celebrate what Jesus did for us. We did go to church Easter Sunday, but not out of any obligation but because we wanted to.

Now I know that in a lot of people’s minds church conjures up an old, cold, grey and boring place to be. No offence meant to those of you who do like traditional churches.  Church is not about a building it is about a group of people who follow God. You could be in an older church that is full of peace and joy and you could have a lovely new building that doesn’t have the presence of God at all. The building itself is not relevant.

The church we go to is called Eastgate which is in Northfleet.  A lot of people think it’s a long way to go to church, but it’s only 20 mins door to door, you’d drive that far to go to a restaurant or the shops so it’s no biggy.  Some of our friends come from the coast and Surrey every week! There is such a sense of family and freedom to just be.  There are no ‘expectations’.  Why not come and visit and experience it for yourself, you would be very welcome.

I’m not saying that our church is perfect, it’s full of people so it will always be imperfect, but there is an honesty and a reality that we are all travelling the same road just at different paces with different obstacles. What joins us is our faith, hope and trust in God.

What are your thoughts about church? Do you have a faith? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Much love ❤️

General

Growing In Confidence

About 3 weeks ago I was asked by my church if I would host some people that were visiting from Spain.  Simple enough request right? Only thing being that I’m not, well I didn’t think I was, very good at having people to stay in my house, especially those I’ve not met before. I am very much a people person but I also like my own space.

To start with I said I would check with Mr H, secretly hoping they would find someone else for the task.  I really was going to, but genuinely forgot.  When they asked me again a week later I found myself saying ‘yes that’s fine’ before I could stop myself!  The words just seemed to fall out. I couldn’t quite believe I had agreed, especially as I hadn’t even checked with Mr H.

On the Saturday before they were due to arrive I was still feeling really lousy with the cold/flu virus that I’d had but was trying to get the house organised.  I went to put a wash on and realised that the washing machine had broken which was not ideal and then not too long after that my daughter shouted ‘Mum come here there’s water everywhere’ which I presumed had something to do with the washing machine, but no, it was actually pouring down the wall in the hallway which was coming from a leak in the upstairs shower!! I couldn’t believe it.  Oh and did I mention that Mr H was in California?!

Anyway my wonderful Mother-in-law came to the rescue with the washing and I got someone round to fix the leak in the shower.  By the time they arrived Tuesday evening the house was looking the best it had looked in quite some time.  When you have people coming over it gives you a real incentive to get the housework done doesn’t it?

I have to say it was an absolute pleasure to meet them and have them stay. They were a married couple from Valencia, Javier and Pili. We were given all kinds of lovely gifts including chocolates and chorizo sausage which are both big hits in this house!  Javier spoke some English and Pili spoke none at all, but between Javiers English and my very small amount of Spanish we managed some interesting conversation. When Pili came down for breakfast in the mornings we would chat away in our own language, neither of us knowing what the other was saying, but somehow we connected, as two women, two mothers – it really was amazing. By the time they left the following Saturday I felt that my life was a little bit richer for having them here.

Theres no way that a few years ago, or even a year ago I would have agreed to host people in my home that I had never met before.  The fact that Roger was going to be away for the majority of their stay would have made it even less of a possibility.

What did I learn from this experience? I learnt that it’s good to do things that are outside of my  ‘normal’ or what I find ‘comfortable’.  I met two wonderful people that I would not have known otherwise and learnt a little of their country and culture. I learnt that I really enjoyed being a host and that I am quite good at it so likely to do it again. The kids were great and my daughter was a superstar as she moved into the spare room so they could have hers.  We have been invited to Valencia which is a wonderful opportunity and we will look forward to seeing our new friends again.

All in all it was a great experience.

How do you feel about people staying with you? Is it something you do or an absolute no no?

Let me know your thoughts.

Happy Easter

Much love ❤️

 

 

General, Life, Saffie Dog

Happy Half Term Holiday

Happy Friday! Not only is it the weekend but also half term week, yay!  Do you enjoy the school holidays or does it present problems with work etc?
So I didn’t get around to posting last week, partly because I was busy getting on with life and also because Mum came to stay which, as ever, was lovely. We met for a shopping trip last Monday which consisted of  coffee, looking around for a while and then going for hot chocolate, hand made chocolates on the side and chocolate dipped strawberries for lunch. Oh my that was good!

I wanted to have a look at juicers but then I saw the nutribullet! I am now the proud owner of said nutribullet. It happened to be on offer that day and because it’s my birthday next week Mum said she would pay towards it for me. I have been merrily drinking all sorts of things that I would not normally eat such as kale, spinach, advocado and figs. As long as I put a banana in I can’t taste all the other stuff so my body can enjoy the benefits of fruit and veg that I don’t normally eat – result. Some of them do look a bit ‘iffy’ in colour though!  Little Miss has been having a smoothie of oats, banana, strawberries, blueberries and grapes with milk all week! It always makes me feel good knowing that the kids have gone to school with a healthy breakfast, you know?

Scrummy #nutribullet #banana #glutenfree #oats #banana #strawberries #almondmilk #sodelicious ❤️

Scrummy #nutribullet #banana #glutenfree #oats #banana #strawberries #almondmilk #sodelicious ❤️

I still haven’t got round to finishing ‘the sideboard’ that I am supposed to be blogging. Maybe I’ll get that finished for next week, you never know!  I haven’t been feeling the creative buzz since Christmas really as I felt all crafted out but I think it’s on it’s way back so hopefully I will be posting more of that soon.

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Something that is keeping me incredibly busy, more emotionally than anything, is the children. I seem to have hit the stage of ‘teenagedom’ with more speed than I thought possible. One is well into it and the other is not quite there years wise, but they are both there in full swing!! Obviously we have been there for a while and I was aware but a couple of things have happened, conversations had and I’ve been made acutely aware that this is it – bam!  What the heck? It’s a bit overwhelming if I’m honest. This is the point where I need to trust that I have done enough in the earlier years to help them through these years with as little collateral damage on the way as possible. We have all been there though and made our own mistakes and it’s the only way they will learn but It can be hard to watch.  How did those of you who have been through it and come out the other side fair?

 

Saffie dog has been quite time consuming, trying to keep her clean. Oh my goodness who is having the same problem with their pooch? This muddy weather is a nightmare, especially for the short legged variety like the saffster. Part of the problem being that we haven’t had her cut for some time so there is so much more fur to clean. She may be a tad overgrown now though!

Saffies early evening nap joined by mummy #naptime #lovesaturdays #chillingwiththedoggy #ilovesaturdays #happy ❤️

Saffies early evening nap joined by mummy #naptime #lovesaturdays #chillingwiththedoggy #ilovesaturdays #happy ❤️

 

Mr H has been away all week and will be home late tonight. Very much looking forward to seeing him and it’s the weekend and valentines weekend at that! ❤️❤️❤️

What’s been happening with you? Any of the same issues? Would love to hear from you.

Lots of love ❤️

General

Check Out this Guys Blog

Hello again lovelies.

This is a very short post, mostly for those of you who are not connected to my blog via FB.

A friend of mine has recently started writing a blog and I would like to introduce you to him.  His name is Tom Herring and he’s the youngest son of a very special family that we love very much.

His posts are so real, down to earth and honest. They are a joy to read and I’m very much looking forward to reading more in the future.

contentedness.co.uk

Check it out. I would love to know what you think and if you do like it please share with your friends.

 

Have a great day!

Love Kate ❤️

 

 

 

General

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas one and all! So Christmas day is tomorrow and if it’s not done by now it probably won’t get done!

I have a few gifts to wrap and that is it. It has been such a busy lead up and I’m shattered, but very much looking forward to tomorrow and Boxing Day.
Tomorrow it will be myself, Mr H and the two kiddos! Really looking forward to a chilled day. Boxing Day we are at my families which will be an entirely different occasion, there are so many of us it’s like a party every time we are together!

Whatever your up to this Christmas I hope it is full of joy, laughter and good times with the ones you love. If for whatever reason this is a difficult Christmas for you, know that you are being thought of and that good times will come again, whatever your situation. I speak from personal experience.

Take care

God bless

With love

Kate x

General, Life

Inspiration in Cornwall 💙

So back in the summer, Mr H and myself decided to take a little break, (including Saffie of course) and stayed in a beautiful cottage in a place called Lewdown in Devon which was right on the Devonshire and Cornish border. We had such an amazing time, despite the weather. The surroundings were so inspiring and I felt free to think. As I expect you all know by now, I love being by the sea and anything remotely coastal ⚓️ My dream would be to live in Cornwall one day and if not there, by the sea somewhere.

On one of our days out we ended up going to port Isaac. I do love me a bit of Doc Martin!  We wondered round (in the pouring rain) and then we stumbled upon it! One of the nicest little shops I have ever been in. It is called ‘kiln’ and I absolutely fell in love with it! I got chatting with the owner, Sue who was also absolutely lovely! You know that feeling you get when you walk in somewhere and straight away your excited, like when your a child and you go into a sweet shop. She designs and paints China and has 2 little kilns next to her in her workshop. I loved everything in there, from her hand painted china to her Scandinavian bits and pieces, I honestly don’t think there was anything I didn’t like! When we left there I was buzzing, so once we returned home, I emailed Sue to ask if I could feature her and Kiln on the blog. I asked for a brief rundown of her story and here it is.

Sue – kiln

“I have been painting china for over 25 years now, I have always sold my pieces through other people’s shops and I even worked in one of the shops I sold my china through. I gained a lot of valuable experience of retail through this time – which I never expected to use.

I have always had a keen interest in design and over time this has become almost as important as the actual painting. I had lived for many years in rural Essex, which I loved, and we had a holiday home in Port Isaac where we were gradually spending more and more time. The tipping point came when my Daughter got married and moved to Cornwall and along came my gorgeous grand daughter Chloe.

We were incredibly lucky to find a beautiful house tucked away just outside Port Isaac which suited us down to the ground, this was an important element as I really loved the converted barn we lived in in Essex and knew it would take a special place to make me leave it!
All the time we had been coming to Port Isaac we used to visit a lovely tea rooms in Middle Street, over time we became friends of the owners. One day they told us that they were going to give up the tea rooms and sell the building. I had been looking out for a studio to produce and sell my china in and this was the perfect location! Because of the scale of the building we decided that we needed to sell more than just my china so we set about producing a business plan which allowed me to incorporate a wide range of products with the emphasis on style and design. I have always loved the Scandinavian style and this was to play a large part in the supplier selection for the shop.

My inspiration comes from the lifestyle in Cornwall together with a keen interest in design and interiors.

I know that I have been very lucky in being able to start this business but I also believe that you need to take opportunities when they come along – if it feels right that means taking a risk and working hard to minimise it.”

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I love Sues story, that their decision to start somewhere new, take the plunge and buy premises has worked out for them. As she says, sometimes you’ve just got to go for it! Keep dreaming people, you never know where you could end up 😘

General

Happy 2nd birthday Inspirata!

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Hi, hope your all having a fantastic weekend. I don’t tend to post on a Sunday but there is a good reason for doing this one today, as it suggests in the title, we are celebrating! One of the things I really want to do on this blog, is to share others creativity and ventures. There is so much creativity out there and I am very blessed to know a lot of people who do amazing things. I’m sure that as I continue on my journey, I will meet many more.  I also want to encourage you all to follow your dreams! I’m doing things now that I would never have believed!

My very talented friend Jo started her cake business 2yrs ago today, so it is a good day to tell you all about her journey. Jo always knew that she was creative and had an interest in baking cakes. Her mum used to bake a lot which helped. When Jo’s first child was born he was quite poorly, so they had a celebration party when he was better and she decided to make her first cake and then again for his 1st birthday.

She enjoyed making the cakes so much that she knew she wanted to do more, so she started making them for all sorts of different occasions. One for her Mum on Mother’s Day, family birthdays and social events. People then started asking if she could make cakes for their events. To start with Jo only charged for the ingredients, but after she had being doing it for a while, her husband suggested that maybe she ought to start making some money from what she was doing. They decided in 2012 to have their existing kitchen ripped out and make an investment for the future by putting in a really nice kitchen that would make the cake baking and decorating easier. The new kitchen was completed in the early part of 2013 and on October 4th 2013, Inspirata cakes was born!

Jo asked friends who ran their own business, to help her create a logo  that looked and sounded professional but that also meant a lot to her personally. Clearly she wanted a cake to be the main starting point and purple is her favourite colour so that was the natural choice. The flower that is featured is called a vanda orchid, one of the flowers that was in her wedding bouquet. She likes butterflies anyway but also saw it as a symbol of new beginnings. The name inspirata came about after playing around with words like inspired and inspiration. Inspirata is the female version of, ‘in the spirit’ in latin, which resonated with Jo and so the name was chosen.

With 2yrs experience running the business, Jo has never looked back and absolutely loves what she does. It has always been her desire from the beginning to go as far as she can with her cake making skills. She has a dream to bake a cake for the royal family one day! She also has a strong desire to help and encourage other people to learn and improve baking and decorating skills by doing workshops and wants to incorporate charity events. Most of, if not all her work comes through recommendations. Jo made the cake for my mums 80th birthday celebration and it really was amazing, not only to look at but also to eat and she made it gluten free!

Well done Jo for all you have achieved so far. Looking forward to seeing much more.

Happy birthday Inspirata! 💜

Check out Inspirata on Facebook and Twitter

Jos first tiered wedding cake

Jos first tiered wedding cake

Gromit cake for a charity event

Gromit cake for a charity event

Mums 80th birthday cake

Mums 80th birthday cake