Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Long time no blogging

I'm back and I fully intend to post more frequently this coming year. So much has changed since I last post in May 2014! At the time I was depressed, I had resigned from a job   that made me unhappy, I was starting up my business and we were trying to have a baby and I had a very early loss, and I just lost interest in most things. Then trying to conceive consumed all my mental energy and I just stopped blogging.

The great news is I did fall pregnant at the end of August 2014, carried almost to full term (38 weeks) and we have the most beautiful, healthy, happy little boy. He is my light he makes  me  happy in so many ways. But sometimes like most ( every?) mothers I feel like something is missing, I am a mom now and am losing myself. So this year I'm going to rediscover  me. My word of the year is REDISCOVER.
REDISCOVER me, REDISCOVER my chilhood through my little boy, REDISCOVER my marriage and husband. Just seeing things through new eyes, appreciating what's already here.

I want to take this blog in a different direction too, I want more DIY posts, more sewing, more baking and cooking and some reviews. Some will be baby centered, some will be "selfish", where I'll focus on things that give me joy.

I want to work on my craft space, organise, tidy and sort things out.
I want to cook new things and bake!
I want to read more.
I want to blog.
And this is my start

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Gluten Free Oats and Peanutbutter biscuits

Hi, Just a quick post today, I am very busy -in a good way preparing for my next market day on Sunday, I am so excited to be launching some new products!Now on to today's post.
Being Gluten free often means no treats :(  unless of course you make them yourself. I actually don't make too many treats in general, but this is a great, quick recipe. Even if you get unexpected visitors this can be ready within about 30 min (depending on how long your oven takes to pre-heat)
 I found the recipe on Pinterest and went to the original source. and decided to try it with Organic Oats which is not cross milled. I adjusted the recipe a bit for South African use. Ensure that you find GLUTEN FREE OATS if you want to make this completely Gluten Free.

* 1 cups instant oats (the kind that cooks in about a minute or 2)
* 1 cup brown sugar  
* 1 tsp. vanilla essence
* 1 egg
* 1 cup peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 180°. Mix the ingredients by hand until well mixed
Spoon onto a greased baking sheet , leaving a gap between each Biscuit. Bake 10- 15 minutes until slightly set. Let cool to set completely.

These are divine! They do need to cool down before eating  because they are very soft when you first take them out of the oven. They will crumble! Which is what happened with the first few of my first batch. I left the second batch on the baking tray a bit before lifting them off.

You could add in raisins if you want- a small handful should do the trick.


 Love Lauren

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Our Story

I have decided to share Mark's and my love story

A brief Background:
I lived in Scotland for 2 years and moved back to South Africa in April 2010. After a year of getting back into the swing of things and finding myself unemployed a friend (who was also unemployed at the time) and I started our little events stationery business.

The start of US:
Now not being a very outgoing and "social" person I don't really go to clubs and pubs and meet new people I decided to sign up for on line dating.

At the same time Mark who works from home in IT obviously had no colleagues and also didn't go to clubs and pubs was also signed up to the same site on line dating site.

I sent him a message saying "Hi want to chat?" and we did, we communicated for about a week before we decided to meet in person. (29th March 2011)

Because I was quite paranoid about meeting an "Internet guy" I made sure my friend knew exactly where I was going to be and what time, and no matter how great the date went I'd leave a a pre-decided time. So we met, had a great first date and I left on time, we swopped numbers and real email address's and then started communicating outside of the dating site.

The same week I had 2 more dates with other guys,  the 2nd guy the date went quite well and we agreed to meet again, the 3rd guy not so well and we never met again.

That weekend I had to travel to a cousin's wedding (in the next Province over from where I live) Mark sent me a text wishing me safe travels and that made an impression on me, we landed up by texting on and off all weekend. Our 2nd date was on the Monday evening. (4th April) I also had  2nd date with the 2nd guy that week.
My 3rd date with Mark was on the Friday, (8th April) I met up with him, his sister, brother in law and nieces. It may seem really early to meet his family but it just seemed right.

The next Tuesday (12th April) we  decided to be " exclusive" and only date each other.

Our first picture together

A day trip about a month after we started dating

So we dated and things were going well. The weekend of the 2nd March 2012 I had had a terrible week and he planned a weekend camping trip away for us. A surprise none the less.

The Saturday he planned a lunch after a short hike. He packed a delicious lunch of cheeses, hams, gluten free crackers, cheese nak chips, and a chocolate custard dessert. He even remembered a picnic blanket! We picked a nice spot on the path of a forest. We were about finished lunch when he said he had a surprise for me, he pulled out a ring box and asked me to be his wife. I said "YES,YES YES!" That's the right ring! You found  it!" He had had it made smaller for me but the jewellers had made it half a size too small. My response? "Just shove it on!" Then he pulled out a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses for us to celebrate with.
If you look between the 2 glasses you'll see my ring box.

We got engaged a few minutes before this was taken

At Friends wedding, we were Bridesmaid and Groomsman

Our pre Wedding Shoot, a nautical theme. Photos by Taryn Rahl Photography

So  nearly a year after starting to date  we were engaged. Then the wedding planning started (the wedding itself is a whole different post!)

We moved into our first home together on the 3rd November 2012 and got married on the 23 February 2013.

Some wedding pictures. Also by Taryn Rahl Photography

That's our little love story :)
Hopefully kids will come along within a year or two. But for now it's us, our 2 dogs, 3 cats and 14 chickens.

Love Lauren

Monday, 12 May 2014

Our DIY Home: Back splash DIY and Kitchen

When we moved into our house, our kitchen had no shelves or upper cupboards only a small cupboard either side of the stove, 4 small drawers for utensils and 2 large drawers and the walls were painted a yellowish sponged effect! The first thing we did was repaint the walls our main colour: Corner Stone. Corner Stone is a Grey/Beige Colour.

I knew I wanted Back Splash behind our stove and that I wanted something unique. I eventually decided on a heat proof safety glass and a piece of fabric behind it secured with mirror screws.

We are still working on our kitchen, anyone who is doing DIY work themselves knows that it all takes time. I am in the process of teaching myself to tile and mosaic. Watch this space :)
 Below are some pictures from the day we moved in and some of the work we have done so far.

Our Kitchen the day we moved in

Th fabric I went for and the mosaic tiles

our back splash, we still need to tile either side of it

no upper cupboards :(

my open shelving (and Finlay)

looking into our dining area

we still need to tile behind the taps (the day we moved in)

the day we moved in: preparing for painting- the pantry in the left corner
Hope you enjoyed the brief tour of our Kitchen thus far :)

Shared with: Not just a Housewife

Love Lauren

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Our DIY Home: Part Five: Built in DVD shelves DIY


This is mostly a photo post just showing how our DVD shelf project went. We don't watch TV so we watch a lot of movies and series on DVD. Because of our extensive collection we needed somewhere to store them all. We built them into our entertainment/bbq/braai/lapa room that is attached to the house. The room is an odd shape sort of hexagon, so our solution was to build up instead of horizontal.

               Bailey making sure Mark is building the shelves correctly :)

Cover strips were attached to the back, making it easier to attach to the wall.

                                                           Side one complete

                                         Mark putting shelf 2 into place

 TA DA!  Both shelves up and almost full!

Having a handy husband is awesome :)

Shared with Cherished Handmade Treasures
Love Lauren

Friday, 9 May 2014

Gluten Free Homemade Chicken Schnitzel

Being Gluten Free I am limited to what and where I can eat out, so  I improvise and make my own restaurant style food at home. This time it was Chicken Schnitzel otherwise known as Crumbed Chicken.  I am a free style kind of cook, I rarely follow a recipe exactly  and guess the quantities of the ingredients  I use and more often than not it turns out really good. I guess you can say I'm good at guessing. Baking I do follow the recipe.  So the Cheese Sauce  is a guessing game of quantities.                                        

Chicken Breasts for the amount of people present for the meal
Crumbs (Gluten Free or Normal) I used Orgran                      
2 eggs beaten for dipping Chicken Breasts into  
Oil for deep frying 

Cheese Sauce:
about 50g of Butter  melted in a pot on low
Corn flour - enough to thicken
milk about a cup to 2 cups
Cheese- as much as you would like
Simmer until it's thickened
Season as you like.

Dip the chicken breasts into the beaten eggs : both sides so that the crumbs will stick to it.

                                             The crumbs I use

 Dip and coat the Chicken breasts in the crumbs.

Heat the oil and deep fry on both sides to cook through.
Cook any veg that you want to serve with your meal. With this I cooked up some potato wedges and some Eggplant/Brinjal. It's also fantastic served with Creamed Spinach instead of a Cheese Sauce.

And just for fun, my cat once again inspecting things this time Finlay :)

Enjoy this quick and simple Gluten Free Meal :)

Shared with: Denise Designed, Our Rosey LifeSondra Lyn at Home, Sew Many Ways
Judy's Handmade Creations

Love Lauren

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Divine Creamy Chicken & Avo Pasta

Last night I made this pasta, I seem to make it about once a month or so, It's Mark's favourite and the pasta he requests it the most. I adjusted the original recipe I found to make it Gluten free and I added in some feta. Don't you just love the combination of feta and avo? Or  if you're not an Avo fan the Creamy Chicken is yummy all by its self too.

 serves 2

250ml cream
2 chicken breasts cut into strips
1 chicken stock cube
1 diced onion
some butter for frying the onion
pasta for 2 people
1 whole avo

Fry up the onion and partially cook the chicken strips,season to your liking
Break up the stock cube into the pan and add in the cream.
Simmer gently until the sauce thickens and the chicken is fully cooked. If it needs some help to thicken stir in some corn flour.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta, top with sliced/diced avo and feta.

This truly is the YUMMIEST pasta ever!

Shared with Mamma's Blog Central , Confessions of a cooking Diva
Fearlessly Creative Mamma's.  Sew Many ways  Not Just a Housewife
Life after Laundry. Eazy Peazy MealzYours and Mine are Ours.
A fresh Start on a Budget. Krysta Steen. Judy's Handmade Creations
East Plum

Love Lauren