Monday, October 31, 2016

Pumpkin Pie recipe for Halloween night!

Every year I am asked by my boys to make Pumpkin Pie, it all started when they were first able to join in the fun of Halloween night.
Not ever having tasted it I kind of made the recipe up, it worked and over the years I've adapted it to our taste.

Its ever so easy and now its a treat we all look forward to.


Sweet Pastry base (I use a Rick Stein recipe)
1 small firm pumpkin
140g brown sugar
3tsp cinnamon
2tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs beaten
17ml double cream

First scoop out the innards of the pumpkin, you can use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and discard the stringy bits!

Save the seeds for roasting, very tasty!

 Chop the pumpkin into bitesize chunks and then steam them to soften up, leave them to cool down for a bit...


Put the soft pumpkin chunks in a blender and give them a blast so they are nice and smooth, in the meantime make the pastry and part bake the pastry cases, put to one side and allow to cool.

Now add the spices, eggs and cream into the blender with the pumpkin purée!

and don't forget the sugar!

Then pour the pumpkin sauce into the flan dishes and cook for about 30 mins or until the surface has set with a wobble!

Enjoy with lashings of cream or creme fraiché!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The healing of a sad heart...

Im a strong believer in letting nature be the natural way of moving forward when times are hard or sad. Just sitting with a cup of comforting tea whilst taking in the beauty and ugliness of some rosehips from the garden can heal that sadness deep in your heart.

Looking up just at the right time, a beam of light shining through a cloud of sorrow.

Exercise is a great way of pushing through the gloom of the day, Ive taken a leaf out of 5ftinf book and got back on my bike!

Early mornings, no traffic and in 15minutes I'm on top of the world, huffing and puffing the anger out of my soul....

....with a clear head and joy bursting through my smile, its free wheeling down hill to my family, my home, my LIFE!

"Enjoy everyday. There are only seven days in a week and they fly by!"
                                                                      * Frank Herian, my father.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A summer of mixed may need a few tissues.

 Im sat here with a strong coffee and a naughty chocolate biscuit ready to write possibly the hardest post I have ever written. I won't lie, I am already welling up and I'm a tough nut usually!

This summer has been one of very mixed emotions as the title hints, full of frustrations, despair, utter joy and complete sadness.....

...tissues ready?

For the whole of June and July my father was in hospital, my last post "Treading Water" explained about his Lewy body Dementia and the frustrations of not being able to help him. We spent 9 weeks trying to find a suitable nursing home that a) could look after him with his type of dementia b) find one that had a space c) that we could afford even with funding!

It was a tough 9 weeks for both my father and us which was not easy.

We also had a wedding to plan for my little sister and her lovely finance.

We found a care home the week before the wedding knowing that my father would possibly not be able to attend, my sister who lives in Australia arrived with all my nieces and nephew then it all started to go so wrong.

My poor father was very very ill after only a few days in the care home, it was a rush to the hospital with blue flashing lights, two days before the wedding.

My amazing brother stayed by dads bedside during the day of the wedding which was so beautiful, I am so proud of my little sister and new hubby, they held it together so well.

I took them to see dad in the hospital all dressed in their wedding outfits, something my sister was determined for him to see and to make sure he was part of their special day. We stopped at the top of the South Downs on the way back to take some photos and to make the most of such a beautiful evening.

sorry, tears are running down my cheeks......

We had planned to spend the following week all together camping near by as part of their honeymoon, after being told by the doctors that  they could not do anymore for my father we stuck to to our plans, taking turns to be by his bedside.....

...after a long week my dear, gorgeous, loveable dad passed away peacefully holding mine and our mothers hand listening to Nat King Cole. 

We were all there for him, all six of his children, his brother, his sister, his son inlaws.
He was a great man.

An artist, a joiner, a family man, a friend to so many.

We held a beautiful funeral and burial at the foot of the Sussex Downs....

...a place so close to his heart.

His illness brought us together, to spend quality time together, stronger for the next few months ahead.

Last Saturday, my mother and sister walked in memory of dad on the Alzheimers Memory Walk, for all those who have been touched by all forms of dementia.  They have raised so much money between them and from all the lovely friends and family who donated money at his funeral which was sent to the Alzheimers Research UK .

Its a cruel disease which I hope as a family we managed to make it smoother for dad to cope with. I am forever grateful for the special times with my father, the memories, the stories and his pure love for life.

We  miss you dad but you will always be with us x

If you would like to donate to any of the charities I have mentioned above, please click on the links.
Thank you x

Monday, July 18, 2016

Treading water, struggling through, trying to cope.....

As this post title mentions life isn't quite going right for us at the moment and we as a family are feeling like we are treading water.

My father was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia back in 2014 and we've had ups and downs with this horrible disease, challenges that we have over come or adapted to but now its stepped up its game and we've had a really tough 4 weeks.

My poor father has been stuck in hospital all that time, we have seen him change into a person trapped in body he doesn't want to be in, many tears have been shed through sadness, depression, frustration, anger and even joy.
As a family we have had to make some huge decisions that you hoped you would never have to make, daily life and routine has gone out of the window....weve been trying to cope.

Its felt like a LONG 4 weeks and now we are entering another week , waiting for news, constantly on edge... struggling through. 

Occasionally I have been able to get some work done and being creative has been an amazing way to escape, therapy through any kind of art is a great stress relief especially if involves a needle felting needle, stabbing away!

Ive been restocking my Etsy shop with a tropical fruity collection of brooches....

...teaching a fantastic group of ladies needle felting landscapes!

They were amazing and I will definitely be teaching this workshop again soon!

When trips to the hospital have been stressful my drive home over the beautiful Sussex Down have been a huge joy, stopping to take in the stunning poppy and wheat/barley fields, taking in the seasons before they disappear in front of me....


...walking, breathing and taking stock before returning to my family.

Rainy days needed cheering up so adding more stock to my shop and creating new items like these apple brooches.

I know we have a few more tough days, weeks and even months ahead but we do have things to look forward to which will keep our family unit together even if the captain of the ship isn't quite at the helm anymore.

Treasure those moments and don't give up, there are still snippets of joy that you can always share with each other.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

An #Instawalk with a difference!

Bank Holiday morning we decided to take the boys out for a family day only to bombarded with the usual 'Not a country walk!' 'Don't want to go there' 'Ugh!'
So after a family discussion an idea popped into my head, we all like using our phones, 3 of us use Instagram, we all love art, some of us wanted to go into town, some wanted a walk.... how about a Graffiti Insta Walk!

Taking the idea from many Instagrammers and how much #Instawalk can be, we headed out to town (Brighton) with strict rules.

1. No going into shops for shopping
2. We must walk there and back
3. We each can suggest a street or area we know where there is graffiti 
4. We must stop for tea and cake!

 Living in Brighton you take it all for granted and this little trip out was so enlightening. The creativity and skill of the graffiti artist is breathtaking and the places we found them were so exciting!

We ventured down streets we have never been down, looked up at places we pass often without really taking in what surrounds us....

Photo opportunities were popping up in the most unusual places providing perfect Instagram material!

Spending time as a family in such an unique way really made it fun, we talked, laughed and encouraged each other, the young teaching the old some new tricks! *Photo angles, see last picture!

I got a bit obsessed with doors, how they either added to the art or created interesting contrast!

We found out which graffiti artists we liked, new and old, the ideas were unbelievable, some truly beautiful!
As our feet became tired we indulged in Rule 4, ending the day with copious tea and coffee with cake too big to finish. We returned home with phones full of ideas, conversation and a doggie bag of cake!

I would say that was a successful family day out, don't you!

You can catch more of my pictures in a Steller Story that I put together, enjoy!


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