Last weekend I was feeling “under the weather!” I was struggling to shake off a tummy bug. My husband and son had decided to jump in the car and visit Grannie, so I decided to catch up with myself and the housework. Thankfully, the housework was sorted by lunchtime and then it was “time for me.” As I was contemplating what to do, a friend, whom I had been meaning to see for some time, popped in for a cuppa. That was so nice to sit and chat and I felt so blessed. As I said good-bye I wondered what I could I do to bless my family and welcome them home.
I then decided to get started with Christmas!
However, the thought of putting up the tree and decorations felt a bit too much. Curling up on the sofa with my favourite Andre Rieu DVD lasted for 5 minutes before it hit me:-
I would bake my first batch of mince pies!
Now you might be thinking that this is rather hard work. Not so with my easy mince pie recipe and for someone who loves baking and actually finds it therapeutic. With no-one else in the house I donned my apron and put my new Christmas CD on at full blast! The picture here is the result. We enjoy them them warm or cold on their own or sometimes we might eat them with hot custard if they aren’t so fresh (rarely the case as they get eaten fast once they have been discovered). Some people like them with brandy butter too!
The house was reeling with the buttery, spicy aroma when my family arrived home. What better accompaniment to the mulled wine and the start of Christmas! And we all enjoyed the DVD amidst news from Grannie and mouthfuls of mince pies!
I decided that as I have been making these mince pies and perfecting them for many years now, it was time to share my traditional recipe. Here it is- enjoy!
Last year my husband gave me a set of singing lessons for my birthday. I’ve always loved singing, but never had proper lessons, so I was very eager to start. When my teacher asked me to think of a favourite song to work on, I immediately knew which one it would be.
We all love the rags to riches story that goes around, particuarly at Christmas time, but I was asking myself whether I could think of anyone I knew who had done this. I suppose many of us wish for this to happen, that one day we will strike lucky by either marrying a millionaire, winning the lottery or inheriting a fortune.
I love hearing Cinderella type stories, because it goes far deeper than money or fame, it is about rising above difficult circumstances, overcoming, reaching for the stars, climbing a mountain, becoming the best that you can be and reaching your full potential. I remember attending a workshop where several entrepreneurs were sharing their own stories of how they had started with nothing, but through faith and determination, managed to create successful businesses. They were telling us how they did it and it was certainly inspiring. It stirred up faith in myself, made me believe that I too could go beyond the norm. However in addition, they also shared their own personal journeys of sacrifice, where they had to lose things in order to gain more. They had to believe in themselves and create the right mindset, each day declaring and believing, focussing on their goals and learning to look at the glass as being half full rather than half empty and putting themelves in places with the right people where this would happen.
I went away knowing that this was something I wanted to attain, at least to give it my best shot. I wanted to be the next Cinderella! This was how many people before me had achieved huge accomplishments in many areas of life, refusing to give up even when everyone around them was telling them to do so. I even felt that this was something God wanted for me!
This was why, when I watched Cinderella Man, I was moved to tears and deeply inspired. It has proved to be my favourite film, especially knowing that it was based upon a true story. You can read my review here.
We have recently bought a new car. Unlike our previous car, this one runs on diesel. Now if we put petrol in, it wouldn’t perform well. In fact it would come to a standstill at the garage, where it would have to be washed out and filled with petrol instead! This goes to show that it is important to understand the item you are using, so that you follow the instructions and get the best performance out of it.
Similarly, we as humans have certain requirements. If we eat the wrong food our bodies will deteriorate. It is well-known how certain nutrients provide particular functions for our bodies. Without them our bodies won’t be able to perform those functions properly.
How about our emotional and spiritual welfare? It’s just the same isn’t it. If we neglect to provide ourselves and our children with what we need to flourish in life, we will suffer. For example, if we constantly tell our child that they are no good, they will believe it and start living that way, with low expectations of their ability in life to be successful.
Are you feeling down?
It’s not easy finding a way to be able to consistently feed our spirits with positive truths, but it is possible. However, just as we need to regularly eat the right nutrients to maintain good health, we also need to feed our spirits on a regular basis with the right thoughts. It won’t just happen on it’s own. Believe me, I have tried it. But this is something that is vital to teach our children too. First of all though, we need to be winning the battlefield over our own minds.
Joyce Meyer’s book, The Battlefield Of The Mind does just that. It gives you a small portion of positive truths to read and take with you into each day, that only takes five minutes to read.
Interested? Read a review. It will not only change your mind, but your life!
My four boys have always loved things that go round. From the time they could barely walk, their favourite toy was their sit-and-ride car, on which they spent many hours. They would learn to hold on and walk with it and then later the seat would become a hiding place for their favourite small toys and eventually, once their brother had one too, a racing car to compete against each other with speed right around our house. (more…)
I have lived in Deal, Kent for the past 13 years. It’s a small town right on the SE coast of England, also known as the Garden Of England. It used to be a busy port at one time, but now accomodates those who want to get away from the busy port of nearby Dover.
In the Summer months it attracts probably more sunshine than most of the rest of the UK, which makes it an ideal spot to bathe in the sea and enjoy a meal from one of the many fish and chips shops. There is even a french restaurant overlooking the promenade and on a clear day you can see the french coast in the distance. The beaches aren’t sandy, but as long as you are equipped with water shoes, it’s a great place to swim. At least you don’t return home plastered with sand! (more…)
Love is an over-used word in our society today and yet one that is sadly lacking in many of our lives. Many of us haven’t had the advantage of loving role models when we grew up, to show us real love.
Love is something we all long for and need. Neglect is an all-too-common form of abuse and many would say is worse than anything else.
So how can we teach children about love? We all know that although they can do so quite naturally on occasions, at other times they neglect to share it. Here are some tips to make your family more loving: (more…)
I am trying to decide whether I should cancel my gym membership and take up golf instead! I can’t afford both, so it has to be one or the other! At least the golf course would get me outside in the fresh air and I have been going at it in the gym for almost a year!
Some months ago my husband (who had always been one for watersports) started accompanying his business partner onto the golf course. At first he did it to make his partner happy. They had some good business chats there and were so refreshed that they worked much better afterwards! Before long my husband was coming home with golf clubs, carry bags and even a set of left-handed clubs for me, should I decide to take it up! At this stage I decided that he was getting quite keen and although he used his partner as the excuse for going, was by this time just as keen himself.
So what do you do when you know hardly anything about golf, yet you want to at least show some interest when he’s watching it on the telly? By now they were talking in golf terms, picked up I guess from the clubhouse! (more…)