30 Jun 2015

TAKING STOCK - JUNE 2015



Ahh June, you have been a handful. Throwing things at us from all angles, making us unsure what to expect next. Usually you glide by, barely being noticed, maybe that's why you decided to show yourself, to let us know that you are still here.

Things go wrong so
That you appreciate 
Them when they're right

Marilyn Monroe 


I read my very first "taking stock" post a little while a go over at the fabulous Meet me at Mikes
Since then, I have become quietly obsessed with these posts. Searching and following other bloggers that take part.

Since June threw us a few curve balls, I decided to use the "Taking Stock" inspiration to look back over the month, to recall the best that the month had to offer.

Making : Lots of cakes and hearty Winter meals for my family
Happy : The weather has found a happy medium
Excited : That my eldest son started his new job and is LOVING it
Trying : To see the good in ALL outcomes


Reading : Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Watching : River Cottage Australia and LOTS of reality TV
Discovering : Lots of amazing new blogs to read and follow
Ready : To rock the month of July

I hope that June has been kind to you and your family, and I look forward to linking up with IBOT and all you blogging lovelies next month.

beck xx

29 Jun 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - Orange Cake


ORANGE CAKE WITH ORANGE ICING

Its school holidays, and mums all around the Country are cheering for lazy mornings and slow routines, however I don't know about you, but my time in the kitchen doubles over the school break.
Sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and plates of fruit, hour upon hour. Where on earth do they put it ?

This week we had an abundance of oranges, so besides enjoying the fruit on its own with all its juicy goodness, I decided to make this light and delicious cake....



INGREDIENTS

*125 g soft butter
*1/4 cup milk
*1/4 cup orange juice
*2 eggs
*3/4 cup caster sugar
*1 1/2 cups of self raising flour




Combine all ingredients together and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Pour mixture into a lined loaf tin and bake for 30 - 40 minutes at 160



ORANGE ICING

*1/3 cup soft butter
*1 1/2 cup icing sugar
*2 tbs orange juice *or to taste

Beat all the ingredients together and ice cake once cool.



My boys love this cake, its easy, delicious and I guess I should have baked two today.

beck xx






26 Jun 2015

ITS EASY



The days here have been stunning. It seems that after all the rain, we have settled into a comfortable Winter cycle. Cool mornings and evenings, pleasant sunny days with a fresh breeze. It's quickly becoming my favourite time of year as I gain more appreciation for the cooler weather.


The Winter flowers are in bloom, brightening up the flower beds, putting on a glorious show. Masses of colour and happiness to enjoy.


My fur babies are constantly in search for the perfect spot to sun themselves.


It's school holiday time again, and that means NO lunch boxes, lazy mornings and quiet evenings. It's funny, because when the boys were little and needed constant supervision and entertaining, the school holidays seemed to drag on forever. Now they go by in a flash.

I'm still trying to settle on paint colours for the house, it seems to be taking me longer this time to decide on the perfect shades. I guess some things can't be rushed.

I finally made the Milo cake I have been wanting to bake. All I can say is YUMO !
An overload of fudgie goodness that is the perfect accompaniment to a steaming hot cup of tea. You can find the recipe HERE

I've read a couple of books that have really "sucked me in" lately.
The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne & Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
The Ice Twins kept me on the edge of my seat trying to guess the ending. It was recommended to me as a book to read if you enjoyed The Girl On The Train. It's a definite page turner.
Before I go was a sweet read that had me in tears at times. A heartfelt first novel by the author.

Are your gardens full of Wintery blooms ?
Are you for school break ?
What have you been reading lately ?

Happily linking up for this weeks FYBF

beck xx

22 Jun 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - Milo Cake


MILO CAKE

5 mins
Prep time
30 - 40 mins
Cook time
Verdict
DELICIOUS





I've been wanting to give this cake a whirl for a while now, but every time I tried to do so, the Milo tin was empty. Finally this weekend I grabbed hold of the tin before the last of its contents were devoured.


INGREDIENTS

* 80 grams butter
* 1/2 cup caster sugar
* 1 cup of Milo
* 2 cups of self raising flour
* 1 cup of milk
* 2 eggs



Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add the eggs and the Milo and beat until just mixed through.
Add the flour and the milk and beat on medium speed for four minutes.
Pour mixture into a lined cake tin and bake at 150 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes until cooked through.
Let the cake cool and top with your favourite icing.



Enjoy

beck xx

21 Jun 2015

# 10 THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY




Twice last week I was tagged in the Instagram hashtag 10 things that make you happy, and twice I was too busy to join in.
To the gorgeous gals that tagged me Lisa and Jess thank you, and sorry that it took  me so long to get my list out there.

10 things that make you happy is an ongoing Instagram tag that gets people thinking and sharing the things that make them happy.

Its easy to play....

All you need to do is write a list of ten things that make you happy, tag at least three people who you would like to participate, and use the hashtag #10thingsthatmakemehappy so everyone playing along can see your list.

HERE IS MY LIST

Sunshine on my face
The sound of rain at night
The smell of freshly cut grass
Walks on the beach
The fresh unread pages of a new book
Early morning cups of tea
Fresh flowers in my home
Hugs
Long lazy meals
My awesome husband and sons

I have read some of the lists that have crossed my Instagram feed and love seeing what makes you all smile and be happy. I look forward to reading more and sharing in your happiness.


Have the best week, and I hope that everything on your "happy list" crosses your path this week.

beck xx

19 Jun 2015

FRESH START


I didn't think that I would be able to publish this post
its a very public way to hold myself accountable


Over the past two years, I've walked a shaky path. I was not headed in a good direction and I let things, a lot of things build up until it all came crashing down around me. I have not been kind to myself or to those I love, in fact sometimes I have been a down right cow.

There I said it

Being unkind to yourself is not always obvious, and over time it becomes easy to hide your true feelings, trust me, I'm an expert. At other times it shows, it becomes obvious until it cant be ignored any longer.
Recently a comment was made to me about my weight. I don't believe that it was said to hurt, just someone pointing out what I already knew to be true, but didn't want to deal with. 

Rewind

Four years ago I lost a whopping 18.5 kg all on my own with just pure hard work and determination. I was happy, I was fit, and I was very proud of my achievement.

Confession

Then two years ago, I hit a wall. I hit rock bottom and I blew it. Gradually I gained a HUGE 30 kg. That is so hard to admit and share.
For a long time I solely blamed the medication I was on, and although weight gain is a contributing side effect, I know that the majority of the problem was just plain old me !
I see that now, where before I was hiding behind the wall I had created.

Lets do this

It seems that I have 'seen the light' I believe that I am now ready to right my two years of wrong doing. It's time to wipe out the 'old me' and discover the new that I hope is waiting for me somewhere close by.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I am determined to win, to regain my life and become the woman I long to be. 

I've rambled on enough, its time to hit publish and conquer the fear of what people will think. Its the dawn of a new day, a new me.
Its time to be happy.

Linking up for this weeks FYBF with the beautiful With Some Grace


15 Jun 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - Chicken & Tomato Pasta Bake



It rained here all weekend, actually it's rained almost all week. Perfect weather to snuggle down with a book and listen to the patter of rain drops. It's also the kind of weather that demands comfort food, good old home cooking to take away the chill.

My boys are HUGE pasta fans, so I know that dinner will be a win when its on the menu.





CHICKEN & TOMATO PASTA BAKE




 INGREDIENTS

* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 1 onion
* 2 cloves garlic crushed
* 500g chicken breast diced
* 400g can diced tomatoes
* Punnet of whole cherry tomatoes
* 1 tbsp tomato paste
* 1/2 tsp sugar
* 2 tbsp chopped basil
* 400g dry pasta
* Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry off the garlic and onion till soft.

Add the chicken to the pan and fry until browned.

Stir in the can tomatoes, the cherry tomatoes, the tomato paste, sugar and basil, and let simmer for 15 minutes




Meanwhile boil the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and stir into the chicken and tomato sauce.

Top with grated Parmesan cheese and put into a hot oven for 20 minutes.



Enjoy

beck xx



10 Jun 2015

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE


For the past three weeks my husband has been working away, I should be use to this, but with no end in sight, I'm finding it hard to crawl through each day. I miss him. I feel as though I am loosing my grip on the everyday, I've been sitting for long periods of time, reading with the hope of taking my focus off the days as they drift by slowly.

Thank heavens for my boys.
There is nothing like a hug from your children when your feeling low.



For a while now I've been slowly sinking again, I'm not exactly sure what can be pin pointed as the cause, maybe the build up to my son moving out, my husbands work taking him away or just my body calling for time out. All I know is, I'm finding it hard to pull myself back.

As I sit here typing, I look out the window from time to time, its gloomy. The clouds are dark the wind is cool and there is the faint smell of flowers from my garden.
Perfect weather, it suits my mood.

While we all feel sad and moody at times, depression is more then just feeling low. It impacts not just mental health, but also the physical as well.

I'm tired, exhausted even, I haven't been doing much, yet moving about tending to the daily chores is just about all I can handle right now. It seems silly, I feel stupid, I don't want to be this way, yet there is little I can do right now except  listen to my body and take the time I need to recover.

Recovery can take time, its different for everyone. I know I will be okay, it just takes time. I've been here many times before. I just need to remember that despite my diagnosis of depression and anxiety, I am not weak, it doesn't define me, that there is light at the end of the dark days and they will find me again.

beck xx






5 Jun 2015

HELLO JUNE


I know I'm five days late, but....

Hello June and welcome Winter.
I'm SO freakin' excited, I don't think there has EVER been a time in my life when I have been so happy to kiss goodbye to Summer heat and welcome in the Winter chill.



For those of you who know me, or read my ramblings. You would know that I live in North QLD, and your probably thinking right now that I've gone nuts when I mention "Winter chill" knowing where I live. But honest truth, hand on my heart it does get cold up here, mostly in the early mornings and nights, leaving the days to shine in absolute perfection.

The fans got a good clean today, it's time to turn them off and wipe away the remains of Summer. It felt good knowing their job was over for a few months.

So it's the sixth month of the year already !
Can you believe it ?



I saw a post on my Facebook feed the other day where someone has already started the countdown to Spring. Are you kidding me ?  I want to slow time down, not wish it away.


Pretty Little Liars returned for its sixth season last night....
I'm hooked.
I never had any intentions of watching this show, but watching one episode turned me into a huge fan. So huge a fan that I now own all the previous seasons on DVD and record the new ones so I don't miss any.

I'm a tragic.

I hope the first week of Winter has been kind to you all, and those of you who live where fog fills your mornings, and frost tickles your toes keep those Instagram photos coming, for as I sit with my morning cuppa, catching up with you all, I dream for the days of snow and ice that we left behind all those years ago.



beck xx




1 Jun 2015

MONDAY MUNCHIES - Scones


SCONES



There is nothing quite like warm scones, jam and cream accompanying a cup of tea on a cool afternoon. I don't make them as often as I should, and this afternoon my boys will be thrilled to snack on these little wonders.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 cups of self-raising flour
* 30 grams of butter
* 1/2 cup of milk
* 1/2 cup of water
* Jam and cream to serve

Preheat oven to a hot 200 degrees. Lightly grease a tray.

Sift flour into a bowel, add butter, and rub in gently using your fingers.



Make a well in the flour and pour in combined milk and water all at once, keeping a tablespoon aside. Using a knife, mix ingredients quickly to combined and form a soft sticky dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly.



Roll out to form a round shape at about 2cm in thickness. Cut into shape using a  cookie cutter and place them on the greased tray close together. Brush with reserved liquid and bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool scones on a wire rack and serve with whipped cream and jam.




Enjoy

beck xx

CHICKEN PARM MEATBALL SKILLET

Its that time of year again where you look for and crave comfort food. Not only does the consuming of such foods warm the body and the soul...