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Carrot Cake Bars

Here is a quick little share; a recipe from The Toasted Pine Nut that I adapted slightly too what we had in our cupboard. Lindsay makes lovely super healthy, gluten free and lower carb recipes, myself I take the old school plain flour and sugar approach. We are using what we have in the cupboard and you can just substitute your sugars, flour and even fruit for what you have in the house. We even used Walnuts instead peacan nuts!

Toast some almond and mix with your chopped nuts to top the cake.

Follow the link above for Lindsay’s recipe and for mine I used brown sugar instead of Coconut sugar and self raising flour instead of cashew flour.

The icing we only had half a tub of cream cheese so did what I could, but it is really tasty anyway! Just note mine had a wet consistency. Combine cream cheese and 25g butter, room temperature for both, whisk till combined, I had to pop it in the microwave for 15 seconds to loosen more. Sift in icing sugar, I just guessed the amounts to be honest whisk and a teaspoon of vanilla essence, then I decide some lemon zest would be a nice so added that too.

Wait until the cake part has cooled to room temperature before putting the icing on. Put the iced cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour and cut into the bars. Yum! I left some of mine un iced and cut into smaller cubes for the babies.


Golden curry our way

During these times it is more prevalent but should always be applied. Use what you have, adapt the recipes, and do not fear, just consider what can be interchanged with what. I saw the video for this one and loved the idea and convinced myself that Nigella used green peppers, they were green chilli. That is fine we ended up using yellow and orange peppers and added a hint of chilli at the end after a ladle was removed for children meals.


1 Green Pepper (or whatever colour)1 tsp Ground turmeric
150g of shallots cubed or 1 small/medium onion2 tsp Tamarind paste
25g Fresh gingerPinch of salt
1 Lemongrass stalkCoconut oil or alternative
400 ml Coconut milkChilli
1 egg per personRice to serve or flatbread to dip
2 large garlic cloves, roughly choppedSpring onion, onion seeds & crispy onion to serve


Blend the peppers, garlic, onion, and ginger with a stick blender. I added the turmeric and stir through. Heat the oil in the pan and add the paste and lemon grass and fry for 5 minutes until cooked. Add the coconut milk and bring to boil and then simmer for 7 minutes until reduced, thick, and golden. At this point I removed a large ladle of the curry and set aside for the children.

By mixing through steamed frozen peas and a grated carrot and mixing with rice, a teaspoon of yogurt and half the sauce set aside it made 2 meals for our twins, so 4 if you have one baby. Once the babies’ portion is removed add chilli to taste, when you are ready to eat bring the curry back up to boiling break 2 eggs in and cover to steam. About 2 minutes for a soft egg but just keep an eye on it and cook as desired.

We have a rice cooker, so we put the rice on 20 minutes before we need it. I scooped it out with a bowl for a dome. Chop the green of spring onion finely and plate; first the rice then ladle the egg and curry sauce over that and top with the garnishes as per the image. A drizzle of siracha was a lovely touch and for not a lot of work you have a flavour explosion.

Summer garden and cocktail fun!

Happy Monday people, I trust your day went well? I have always said that I would be honest because I do not want to send out a false image into the world that may affect other negatively. This weekend however was such a HOOT that I will share that it! My husband and I were meant to be going to Budapest without the children, our first trip away from them. As exiting as that was and disappointing it was to be cancelled, we had a lovely time here at home in our little paradise/ suntrap.

On Friday we played in the garden most of the day. We were still suffering the effects from the night before when Aria would not go to sleep( dummy removal related) so we needed to postpone a video chat we set up with some friends. We did spend the early evening in the garden eating dinner and just relaxing into the weekend. Hubby made us a delicious Old-Fashioned cocktail and we got an early night.

We had loads of plans for the weekend but sometimes you just need to adjust and tweak till you find your comfortable place. Matt and I did a great strength workout in the garden and prepared some meats for our braai later in the afternoon. Luckily, I had already made the Potato Puffs for the kids, so their lunch was sorted.

Our menu consisted of yogurt and sweet chilli marinaded chicken thighs and Asian pork belly (my favourite!!) with corn on the cob and braai bread as sides. The babies enjoyed some roast sweet potato that we warmed on the braai. So just to give some context, a Braai is a South African version of the BBQ, there is generally home made marinades, many sides and it is more of a journey than a quick preparation of food. Also, we allow tasters, so as you cook you cut the meat into small chunks and pass around for guest to enjoy. We just passed it between the two of us under the current circumstances.

We had some refreshing Shandy’s in the afternoon and once the children had gone to bed, we made some cocktails, starting with an Elderflower gin Fizz for sundowners. Followed by Japanese Blossoms recommended to us by our awesome neighbours and friends while listen to Another Ambition’s mix. Once we had come into the house and put Netfliks Unorthodox on we had a night cap. Keep an eye you for my next piece that tells you more about the cocktails and ingredients.

Japanese Blossom rum cocktails in copper glasses

Sunday rolled round and the kids were in the garden from 10:00 with my hubby doing the food prep, tidying and iced coffee preparation. Thanks darling!! The day was mostly tanning for me and Matt in the studio while the children had their naps and the afternoon more of the same really and a walk to the park so the children could run around. I do not know if it is just me, but they keep running to the risky areas, rubbish or anything that could remotely be covered in Corona?! My husband kindly informed me that the virus can not live on items exposed to the sun for longer than 5 minutes.

Trying to have a nice photo taken with my children…

We had an over the fence catch up with Emi and Etti, as the kids call our neighbours and watched the last episode of Unorthodox. It was very good, and I was much disappointed that the 4th episode was the last! What?! Here is to everyone having a great week and hope to hear from some of you how you are doing during lockdown. Keep safe!

Potato, Cheese and Veg Soufflé

Stumped for lunch or need a quick snack this is so easy to prepare, and you can do it around other morning tasks. Most of the preparation is steaming the potatoes!! Heat your oven to 180 degrees C

2 potatoes, cooked and mashedPaprika
30g Cheese gratedGarlic powder
3 slices of ham diced into cubsPepper
¼ cup Frozen peas and corn 
2 eggs 
Little milk 

To the mashed potato add a bit of butter and splash of milk so you can mix it well. To this add your cheese, ham, vegetables and herbs and spices mix through. Feel free to substiture the vegetables for something you or your little ones love! Wisk your eggs with a bit of milk and add that to the mix combine well. You can separate your eggs and whisk the egg white and fold through after but for a busy lift there is no need for that.

Spoon your mixture into greased muffins tray, mine stuck a little so I searched, and online they advised butter and breadcrumbs… Mamma ain’t got no time for that but you are welcome to add that step.

Pop these in your preheated oven for 20 minutes, it will leave your house smelling lush! I topped them with a little grated cheese before heating them in the microwave for lunch and served with yogurt for dipping. The taste so good that they would make a lovely little canape for adult too!

Austin and Aria loved them!!

Dummy days, no dummy days!

O wow this week is consumed by broken sleep, due to us deciding that it is a good time to take the dummies away! And I am doing a free course on mental resilience, every bit helps right. I love a bit of bringing in positivity into your life! Hence the silence on the posting front, but I am here!

Back to the dummies; I have been following my instincts a lot with Austin and Aria and listening to their needs. The same in this situation, I feel that they are understanding more and need the dummies less yet seemed more addicted than ever. They could now ask for them, look for them, point at them and I even thought they could smell them. I have removed them from the room now and they had some radar that said where there are. We only offer them at nap and bedtime, but they were creeping into the rest of the day.

Wednesday, day 3 of no dummies: At the weekend we took them away but gave them back at 3am mostly because I couldn’t deal with being awake but that didn’t work, as Aria knew that they existed so went ballistic when they were not given. Now we are forming a different bad habit, cuddling to sleep. In hindsight I see why they went down so well without lots of cuddles, DUMMIES! Hay do what works for you in the moment parents.

It is a little shame that we were basically at the sleeping through stage and now we are back to the start again. I am finding that you need mental strength such as you have never known during this process. Challenges all over the place; what are we doing you may think to attempt this during lockdown? Never one to stand down, I am holding firm but not alone, my husband is my rock in times when I am feeling like I want to falter or cave. I look to him to be our strength, do not forget that you are team. Always, but even more now that we are all staying home, do not be shy to lean on each other.

On the third night dummy free, after holding Aria a little before bed she drifted off, with no crying and they slept through. Me on the other hand found it so hard to switch off for fear of Aria waking that I feel like I was up all night. I think everyone needs to wean off the comfort of a dummy, even the parents. I believe that is where the battle is fought and won, it is us that want to grab for it when the babies can’t settle or at 3am when they wake.

Positively it is like we are growing closer to the twins in the way that we now get to cuddle them a bit longer to get them to go down and even seeing their little personalities blossom without the old friend we call ‘D’ in the house now in fear of the babies understanding and asking for them again. It’s a process, we not magicians it has been hard, and I am sure there will be a few more days of work in it. I remind myself that this is not permanent and the same can be said for anything challenging or difficult with children.

Tuscan mince and ricotta filled pasta

We bought large pasta shells because I insisted that they look luxurious and would be great for a dinner party. They have been in the cupboard since the start of lockdown, their time had come. It is much easier than the images and recipe list would suggest, give it a try it is a nice treat and feels a bit like you went to an restaurant in Siena.

Mince of choiceRosemary 2 sprigs chopped
1/2 tub of ricottaMixed herbs
¼ – ½ Chorizo chopped into small cubes1 tbs fennel seeds toasted and ground
1 onion chopped1 tsp ground cumin
500g Pasta (If you don’t have the large use any)Black olives roughly pulled apart
Sundried tomatoes- not a necessityBlack pepper and salt
3 cubes frozen spinach defrosted or freshChilli flacks
Preparade Tomato sauceLemon zest of 1 lemon
The chili flakes here were added to the tomato sauce for the adult portion

Fry your onion in a bit of oil, I added a pinch of salt at this point once translucent add the garlic but drop the heat. I forgot to toast my fennel so move the onion and garlic to the side and did it in the same pan; see in the image below. This happens to me a lot and I am not one to dirty and pan unnecessarily. Add the mince to brown, after about 2 minutes add the herbs; Mixed herbs, fennel, cumin and 1 sprig of rosemary. Add the defrosted spinach and half of the chopped chorizo, fry until the meat is cooked and has a nice colour. You could add more salt at this point, we jsut added a pince once I had removed the childrens portion.

Remove from the heat and add the Ricotta and lemon zest stir until it is well incorporated. I added a piece of sundried tomato while assembling but you can just add a handful of chopped pieces now and mix through. Cook the pasta as directed on the packaging, drain and cover with some olive oil. This can be done during the cooking process or after depending on when you want the dish to be ready. I cooked the filling in the afternoon and set it aside to cool and kept it in the fridge until I needed it for the children’s dinner.

Once the pasta has cooled down a little you can start assembling, but first put a layer of your tomato sauce on the bottom of the oven dish. Now start filling and I even think this could be fun for the littles ones if they were a bit older.  I put the rest of the chorizo in the bowl with the cooled down mince and just spooned a little with each scoop. Then place them on the sauce in a woven like pattern so you can fit the largest quantity of shells in the dish.  

Top the dish with the olives and cheese and top with the chopped Rosemary to finish. What you will get is warm, comforting Tuscan flavours that brings the Mediterranean sun right into your home. We made two dinners and two lunches for us and the sae for the Austin and Aria. This would be great served with a salad if you have anything in the house, but we were a bit low on fresh foods.

Start your week fresh

We made it people! How was your Easter weekend? ‘Mondays’ or in this case Tuesday, can be hard, it’s not just me, right? So far so good here, Husband is back to work, I played with the children ( thank you Mini Music Makers!) and fed them lunch. Daddy has now stepped in for a little play before naptime.

Feeding Austin and Aria, yes take a medal, everyone is fed

It was last night while sleeping that what I wanted to share came to me, and it is not rocket science, but it has definitely had an impact on my life. It is wise words from my Mother, and it is for days or weeks that things do not feel like they are going quite your way. In my life I chose to be happy or aim for happiness. I have met people along the way that say they don’t feel the need for constant happiness, and they need to feel their pain. If that is you, and it works then by all means, do you.

The sanctuary of our garden after bedtime

At some point during my childhood I started to experience anxiety and depression, I was overwhelmed with pressure from school. My parents tried to guide me and give me advise but it is only in my adult life that it makes sense to me.  It may be that you need a level of emotional maturity to process all the feelings that you have or receive from others. I admittedly was and still am sensitive to others and what they put out, many years and I still get it wrong but for the most part I can tell if it is mine, or someone else’s emotions. If it is not yours; breath, move through it move on. Easier said than done, I know.

Smile and the world smiles with you. Look at yourself in the mirror and even if you are feeling low/ depressed smile.  
Chose to be happy that day. It is infections and soon your mood will lift.  
Put on your face/ make up and take on the day. This was a little more relevant when I was working but even during lockdown and isolation if you feel like you need a pick me up put on your ‘war paint’. Indulge in make-up free days, if not now, then when!!?  
If there is someone that is giving you a hard time, pay them a compliment. Do not be disingenuous but find something that you like be it their tie or shirt and say. Many years of this and I love paying people compliments, people are so guarded in today’s world.  
Breath – Technically this one is from my Dad.  
Take life by the horns, that old classic, but hay don’t knock it.  
Do/be you.  
Find that what brings you joy and bring more of that into your life. If you are not happy chances are you are not doing what you truly desire.  
Focus the things you want in your life not the things you don’t.  
This too will pass.
Here is Mamma Sue’s sage advice and a few bits I have picked up on my way.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the sunny Spring days and that some of the above can support you in your day. I am aiming to share a delicious recipe with you later in the week so keep an eye out for when I post that.


Happy Easter to you all. I hope that you have enjoyed the weekend with friends and family, whether at home or via social media. Immediately once I started reading this book it made me think of our current position. Not because we are in the same space but just because what we are living through is also so foreign to us, much like the people in this book must have felt when their new laws were instated.

Flawed is written by Cecelia Ahern an Irish novelist; this lady has so many titles under her belt and awards straight out of the gates with her debut novel PS, I Love You. Just note from the outset this is a two part with Perfect being the next book. I only found this out on the last page, if anyone has it let me know I would love to read what happens next.

It is a modern setting with a highschool girl,Celectine as the central character, she is not one for lots of attention and just wants to live a simple but organised life. The society that she lives in has laws just like we do but they also have a Flawed court, The Guild, were if you do anything ‘morally wrong’ in their eyes you get branded! Stealing, lying, disloyalty but also helping others already branded, The Flawed, is a punishable offence.

Celestine is also dating one of the flawed judge’s son, Art. They live a happy and perfect life until it takes a crazy twist and Celestine gets swept up in the Flawed world and becomes their poster girl. It turns out unbeknown, even to herself, she has a defiant nature. Just what is needed to revolt against the Guild.

If I get into much more I will be giving bits away, what I will say is that this read challenges you, and is even unsettling at points. It does transport you and you will get that feeling of escapism.

I’ll be on the lookout for the sequel at Lambeth Library once they are open again. Library’s are such a wonderful resource that our government provides in all boroughs, I would love to encourage you to join your local library. There is a huge selection of books and waste is greatly reduced by sharing rather than purchasing your own books. There are also other perks like the digital library where you can take out books and magazines or story times for children. Currently all these activities are on taking place online, try Wriggle and Rhyme with Lambeth Library. Happy reading all!

Beetroot and Feta muffins

We have had some pre-boiled beetroot in the fridge for 3 weeks now and I spotted a recipe for feta and beetroot muffins that I have been baking in my mind for almost as many weeks. Unfortunately, the state of play while I was making said muffins was chaotic at best, so I have no images of the process but at least I do have some of the final product.

1.5 cup of self-raising flourCrubled feta
1 teaspoon baking powder½ cup grated mature cheddar
2 preboiled beetroots roasted and blendedMixed herbs
1 cup of milk or half and half 
2 tablespoons of yogurt, not needed 
1 egg 

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees and spray your muffin tins with non-stick, mine is from South Africa as I’m not sure they do it here in the UK. I also dusted it with flour from the sieve and some I spilt.

The beetroot went into the oven first and once roasted for 20mins it should have some colour but also its sweetness will be released. Place it in a jug and blend with a hand blended, set aside. Sift together the dry ingredients, you can add a pinch of salt, I didn’t as it is for my 18month old’s.

In a jug combine all the wet ingredients and whisk. I added a splash of reserved beetroot juice, because, why not? I added half the wet ingredients and then added the crumbled feta and added the rest of the liquid and herbs and cheddar cheese.

Presto, put the mix in the muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes, once cooked I freed them with a knife and left them on a drying rack.

Emotions on lockdown

I hope that you have had a good start to your week. Considering that I did a post on finding your happy at home last week I felt that it would only be honest of me to post what Monday and today was like for me. For some reason on Sunday night I woke up with familiar feeling of anxiety and a helicopter going over our area. I just couldn’t drift off again, after going to the loo and then googling why the helicopter was out and finding nothing I tried again.

Since then really, I have felt very anxious. Anxiety is something that I have suffered with in the past but through a controlled and busy life I have got it under control, for the most part. There are those moments when I have lost/ misplaced something that it rears its head but not day to day.

A few years back, more like 6 years back, we were living in a house share and had a carefree life for the most part, but it was then that I suffered the most. My heart races and during the evening I would get night sweats, so much so that it feels like you are over heating but no one else in the house felt it. I was on Beta-blockers and anti-anxiety meds but chose to work through the emotions and do yoga to push myself into a better place.

I had already been practicing Kundalini yoga, but we were also partying a lot and there was a lot of alcohol involved in that. I needed to stop drinking to get the anxiety under control. There was also an element of worrying about my job as a store manager, I just took it all to heart so much and thought that everything was up to me. This is just a brief glimpse into my history with anxiety.

During my pregnancy I promised myself and my unborn twins that I would not carry over my anxiety, stress and anger over to them. As if by a miracle I didn’t, my pregnancy went very well and my moods were calm and controlled, for the most part.

Now 3 weeks into isolation I just felt the wave of anxiety come over me. It is the racing heart and then tight chest that gets me. It is more of a physical feeling than being mentally bogged down. I considered that it could be a shared feeling as the entire world currently has feelings of fear and uncertainty. I ended up doing kids yoga with Glowyoga and then followed it with a quick Kundalini yoga class with One Woman Revolution that focused on Balancing Prana & Apana. Look I feeling better, but its a process, so I a going to have to work through it and take daily steps to improve it.

There are other things that I will be doing that can help, such as making my gratitude and wish lists and getting things on my mind out, the blog will help with that. Keeping the houses reasonably organized, I think this is actually a bigger worry than I let on. All day I tidy but at the end of the day it is still like a bomb hit. I would say making one noticeably improvement a day will encourage feelings of accomplishment.

This is were I am at right now and I wanted anyone that reads my blog to know the realities of life, both with children and now during the Corona lock down. As I always say we are in it together, try reaching out to someone if you are feeling a bit down, helping others will boost your mood to. Keep safe and I’ll be working on another post for later in the week.