Holiday biscuits

21 July 2017

I happened to stumble across this recipe back at Christmas when we were away while I was paging through a magazine.  I snapped a photo of the recipe and promptly forgot about it.  Then, when I was clearing out my phone I saw it again and thought today was a good day for baking since it is Friday and the last day of school holidays!

I am SO glad we did - these biscuits are really moreish, chewy and deliciously sweet.  You are more than likely to have all the ingredients in your cupboard (don't you LOVE those sorts of recipes!?).

All you need:

120g flour
1/2 tspn bicarb
1.4 tspn baking powder
125g soft butter
100g white sugar
100g brown sugar
1 egg
A splash of vanilla extract
1 cup brown rice puffs or rice crispies
90g oats
40g dessicated coconut.
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Heat your oven to 180 degrees.
Mix up the flour, bicarb, baking powder and then add in the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.
Pour in the rice puffs, oats and coconut until combined.
Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes until just golden brown.

If your butter is cold and hard then just melt it completely and add it in the mixture.
Before baking the biscuits just pop them in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.

These biscuits are slightly crispy on the outside and lovely and soft on the inside.
There are so many textures going on.  And kids will love them.
As the title says - these are perfect to take on holiday or in the car for a trip!


Start Somewhere

14 July 2017

Life these days can be pretty hectic.  Social commitments, work commitments, family, kids or no kids, grocery shopping, errands, admin and housework can all get a bit overwhelming.  Then you have your dreams and hopes and aspirations on the side which you want to nurture but it seems almost impossible to create the time to do it.  This is what I feel like most days.  All these THINGS I have to do, yet where do I find the time to do the things I am passionate about and love?  Baking, sewing, writing, photo taking, gathering and creating are my passions.  These things make me happy.  They inspire me.

When I started this new blog last September I had so many big ideas and plans.  Then life happened and it got put to the wayside.  Then these past few months I have been trying to "find my way" again and it always came back to this.  Writing, being creative and sharing it with you!  These are what make me tick.  But all I kept thinking am I going to do it?  I don't have time.

But if there is one thing I have learnt from fellow mama bloggers/entrepreneurs/small business owners - YOU MAKE the time.  Whether it be for 20 minutes before I pick the boys up from school or for 2 hours late at night - I do it.  Because if not now, when?
You have to start somewhere.

Do you have any tips for making time when you have a hectic lifestyle?
How do you fit everything in?
I would love to know and hear about where you started or your plans to get started.
Let's inspire each other!


Currently reading #2

11 July 2017

We are a book loving family and have been reading to our boys pretty much since they were tiny.  Admittedly we were much better with Jack than we were with Harry but luckily Harry is just as interested!  I thought I would share some of our favourite books each week.  We do buy books but not on a regular basis as it just gets too expensive.  The second-hand market here is nothing like the UK (one of the things I miss terribly is ebay and second hand shops!!) I have signed up with the local library and go there most weeks.  Which is an outing with the boys so that's a win for me!


This week I thought I would share some of the Lynley Dodd books on our shelves. We love the Hairy Mclary and friends series. The rhymes and funny stories are fun and easy to read. I never sigh when Jack picks one of these (you know those books you just hate to read?!, well these will not be one of them!).

Other books as well as fun games, party ideas and much more can be found on the awesome website here.

Please do share any favourites that your kids love!  We enjoy reading new books, as it can get a teeny bit monotonous reading the same old thing week in and week out! 

Easy Cut-Out Cookies

10 July 2017

 One of my go-to activities with the kids when I need a fun thing to do with them in the afternoon is to roll out dough and cut out cookies.  I always make sure I have some fun sprinkles in the cupboard too!  I am trying to grow my cookie cutter collection and need to up my game up a bit in this department but while the kids are little; hearts, stars and an aeroplane seem to do the trick.

I try make the dough the day before and pop it in the fridge so it is ready to go as making the dough with both kids is a bit of a handful. Most recipes call for the dough to be chilled anyway as it makes for a better cookie.

The boys love to roll it out and feel it with their hands (and probably eat a lot as well) but seeing the finished product after it has baked and then enjoying a treat is a great learning activity.  I love baking and the process of start to finish and I want my boys to love it too.  I definitely got my passion for baking and cooking from my Dad and I am so appreciative of him for always including me in the kitchen from a young age.

You will need:

120g softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
a few splashes of milk
1/5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder


Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and milk.
Mix in the flour and baking powder until combined.
Roll the dough out to about 1cm/1.5cm thick and then cut out your shapes.
(If you have time then chill the dough for about 30 minutes as it does help!)

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 degrees until the edges are slightly golden.  Don't over bake them!

Happy baking!


Carrot and Apple Cake

7 July 2017

So when it is nearing the end of the week I always look in the fridge and see what food I have leftover and what I can make with it.  Last week it was 2 carrots and 2 apples.  I have been wanting to make a healthier type carrot cake for a while so I searched the good old internet and came across this one from Healthy Home Cafe. - and boy am I glad I did.  It is a winner.

It isn't too sweet which means you can use a rich icing on and it balances the cake out perfectly.
I made it with 2 layers but if you wanted to make it a showstopper for a birthday or special occasion you could definitely make it 3, which would be a big cake.

Did I mention that this cake has NO refined sugar?  And without the icing it is dairy free!
I doubled this recipe and it worked perfectly.

So all you need is:

1.5 cups flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
2 medium carrots, grated
1 apple, grated
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

And then....

- Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Grease two 8" cake tins.
- Sift together all the dry ingredients.
- Add the raisins, apple and carrots.
- Then pour in all the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for about 35 minutes.

I used a basic cream cheese icing, but next time I think I will use a vanilla buttercream.
I just find the cream cheese icing a bit rich for my taste.

300g icing sugar
150g cream cheese
50g butter

Use a handheld blender and combine until smooth and silky.
Ice your cakes once completely cooled.

Honestly - this cake could be made to make muffins or on its own without the icing.
It is wholesome and PERFECT with a cup of coffee.
The kids loved it too.


Simple gloop recipe

6 July 2017

Sensory activities are so important for little kiddos and not to mention, a LOT of fun too. It is good for their imaginations, creativity and curious minds.  Plus it gets them exposed to different textures, smells and tastes (yes they will taste it!!).  This gloop is especially fun and can even teach older ones about what a solid and a liquid is.

If you don't mind mess and want to see your kids have lots of fun, then try this recipe out.  I did it at our table in the kitchen on lino flooring so it was super easy to clean up afterwards.  This gloop is made with cornflour so it wipes up easily.

I even found this quite therapeutic to play with and may have enjoyed it more than the kids did!

All you need is:
2 cups of cornflour
1 cup of water
And if you want to add some colour, then add a few drops of food colouring.
(I passed on this!)

Put the cornflour in a bowl and slowly add the water, let the kids do it and they can see it come together.

With this gloop, when you apply pressure to it or squeeze it in your hands, it becomes solid.  As soon as you let go or just let it slide off our fingers, it becomes a liquid.  This is due to cornflour being made of almost stringy like particles and they do not dissolve in water but just spread apart.  So when you apply pressure, the particles come together - forming a solid.  Interesting hey?!


Currently reading #1

5 July 2017

We are a book loving family and have been reading to our boys pretty much since they were tiny.  Admittedly we were much better with Jack than we were with Harry but luckily Harry is just as interested!  I thought I would share some of our favourite books each week.  We do buy books but not on a regular basis as it just gets too expensive.  The second-hand market here is nothing like the UK (one of the things I miss terribly is ebay and second hand shops!!) I have signed up with the local library and go there most weeks.  Which is an outing with the boys so that's a win for me!


So this week we have:

Jack & the Flum Flum Tree - Julia Donaldson
We adore Julia Donaldson and this book is phenomenal, the drawings especially are exquisite, we love finding all the images within the first image on the opening and back pages.  Can you see the wooden spoons, skipping rope etc.?

Mad About Minibeasts - Giles Andreae
There is a series of books by this author and his fellow illustrator, we love the colours and rhymes.

Up & Down - Oliver Jeffers
This is the same author who wrote Lost and Found which is also a beautiful animated film,  It is simple and he always has a touching story line.

Mog & the Granny - Judith Kerr
We are HUGE fans of Judith Kerr and her Mog series, so anything Mog related is a hit with us.

The Tiger who came to tea - Judith Kerr
And this book is such a fab read, Jack adores it. We were gifted it by a dear friend, Flick.

Please do share any favourites that your kids love!  We enjoy reading new books, as it can get a teeny bit monotonous reading the same old thing week in and week out! 

What we did in June

4 July 2017

I love looking back at photos and seeing what we got up to and this is a good way for me to round up all my memories in one place. Let's see what went down....

There was a huge storm that hit Cape Town and it was pretty hectic.  We took full advantage and jumped in all the puddles.

With rain comes rainbows...

Awesome bark on an old tree.

Walking to the car after school pick up...look how big they look.

Vegan Carrot Muffins - recipe coming soon.

I did a bit of gathering for the first time in ages, I didn't like any of the shots I took really.  I have lost my mojo a bit when it comes to my photography.

Rush on a Sunday morning - highly recommend. 

Jack's new favourite thing to do is colour in, it is so cool. I often join him and I find it so calming.

Tippy toes while he brushes his teeth.

That melts my heart. And yes, Harry has this thing with dish towels!

Harry's favourite thing to do...kicking ball!

When we are leaving the flat in the morning on the school run, both boys know to wait for me at the top of the stairs while I lock the door and carry a million bags.  So cute.

Bike rides are our go-to activity.

Beach time.

Aquarium fun.

Until next month! 

Hello July

3 July 2017

Happy July my friends.  Where has this year gone?  How can it be halfway through 2017 already?  It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time goes the older you get, right?

It has been a while, it feels like this past 10 months has been a bit of a blur what with just feeling like we are constantly in survival mode but the clouds seem to be clearing and I missed you guys and writing and sharing so much that I have decided to jump in again and share some awesome stuff with you this month including our weekend activities, yummy baked goods, stuff I do at home with the kids, wisdom, gatherings and just life stuff.

Let me catch you up on what we have been up to.

Both boys are so much healthier since our ordeal with grommets and tonsils - seriously this was the BEST decision we made for them and while Harry still can be a bit sickly I think that is just an age thing and his immunity building up but Jack has had 1 cold and 1 cough since November.  Guys - freaking awesome. He is like a different child.  Thriving.  It makes me so happy to see him growing and so happy.

I stopped breastfeeding Harry on the 13th April (at 5pm to be exact - yup I remember this stuff!) and it was the best thing I could have done for both me and him.  It was time and I should have done it a while ago.  He eats like a horse now and sleeps through most nights.  AH - the joy of sleep eh? It has changed our lives and whilst I do miss it and most days I yearn for another baby (we still aren't decided if we are done yet) it is good to have my body back and have sleep.  Sleep = happy mom = functioning = well, you get the picture.  I am proud to have fed my baby for 18 months.  ♥

Settling in to South African life hasn't been all roses and fairytales.  Money is tight, stuff is definitely more expensive here, I feel, compared to the UK.  But you buckle down and you get on with it.  Most people are in the same boat all over the world if not worse so you have to put stuff into perspective.
When things seem impossible I make a gratitude list.  And it makes you realise how lucky you actually are.  Warm bed, roof, water, food, love, friends and family.  These are basics but guys, its all you need.  Don't you agree?

We have been here for nearly 16 months now and we love the lifestyle and can see how it is benefiting our family.  I won't lie - we do miss lots of things about the UK but the weather is just not one of them.  Outdoor activities make our hearts happy and even though it is chilly winter here (well chilly in SA standards) we are almost always outdoors still and you just can't beat that.  Plus bonus points for tiring out the kids which makes bedtime SO MUCH QUICKER! haha

Other than that it has been work and normal life as usual, we had a weekend away in May and try do fun stuff with the kids on the weekends, which I will share over the coming weeks. So keep coming back - I love having you to visit my little piece of the world on the interwebs!


30 years old

1 February 2017

Today is my 30th Birthday.

It doesn't feel like it to be really honest, it just feels like any other day which doesn't bother me at all but I am the sort of person  who likes to write things down on such occasions so I can look back and remember.

My 30th trip around the sun has been the biggest one yet. What with juggling two kids under 3, making a huge life-changing decision to move country, actually moving country, leaving family behind, starting fresh& all the emotions that go with it, dealing with two pretty sick babies for 2.5 months which ended in two tonsillectomies within 4 weeks of each other as well as both of them starting a new school a few weeks ago and having 3 jobs.....let's just say it's been pretty damn hectic. But worth every hard, tearful, challenging and wonderful minute.

We don't make huge deals of birthdays me & Manoj. We never have really. We aren't fussed about cards or expensive gifts. We don't really go out for meals - yup happy to admit that - it's the season we are in and will pass! I thought today I might want a fuss but it turns out I really don't.

What I did want was only a handful of things:

  1. Lunch with my husband, without the kids. Who has changed his WHOLE life for me to realise my dream. I remember a few times us talking about my 30th Birthday in the past and I said all I wanted was to be living in South Africa for my 30th. How flipping lucky am I that my wish has come true. So eternally grateful to the man in my life who made that happen for me.
  2. A quiet and very good cup of coffee where I can reflect on my life so far, gawd so deep I know, but apparently this happens with age. Reflection allows me to realise all that I have to be grateful for.
  3. Cake, of any form - this is very important and preferably must be chocolate. I'll probably enjoy this with the kids this afternoon.

I feel quite tearful writing this - I wonder why milestone birthdays tend to do this to us? I feel incredibly proud of what I've achieved in my twenties, the most notable include:

I've met and married the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, I completed my degree, we bought a house, I gave up drinking, I've given birth to two beautiful, healthy and awesome kiddos, met life long friends, rekindled friendships and learnt a  lot about myself, life and grown so much because of it. Been on memorable holidays, realised that experiences win over things every time, I've cried, I've laughed and I haven't slept that much - any memory of sleep is a faded one right now. I've made mistakes, I've made hard decisions, I've been wrong and I've been sad. Ive drank myself to rock bottom
and got back up again. I've been depressed and wondered what this whole life is all about. I've been happy and still wondered what this whole life is all about!!

But I think most importantly I've learnt, I've grown, I've enjoyed, I've lived. Some days, shit, even some weeks & months have been hard. Life is hard - it's all about choices and perspective. It's about getting through it and taking something from it and making yourself better because of it.

Apparently 30 is the age of growing up & letting go of what doesn't work for us anymore. It's usually the biggest change in our lives.  One of my friends sent me this and it's so true and sums it up pretty well.

"I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers  in your ear:
I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.
Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.''
Brené Brown

So is turning 30 such a big deal really? 
No not for me.

It's more of an opportunity to say thank you to everyone in my life who makes me happy and take stock of all I have to be grateful for. It's a time to reflect on the good and the bad and take something from those experiences. To say goodbye to my twenties and a big freaking hello to my thirties.

And of course it's good excuse for cake!

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