Sunday, 25 May 2014

This and that ...

I just quickly wanted to pop in today to say HELLLOOOOO. It has been so wet and grey here in the North of England, but if I am honest, I have rather welcomed it. I am not sure how I will feel by Thursday with half term upon us and kids at home being cooped in, but for now it has been rather fun and mostly quite chillaxing.

Today I even managed a little time in the garden, yes with my rain coat on and I feel rather satisfied that things are slowly starting to take shape out there.
In fact I am actually super proud of my veggies (OK, there are only a few), but they are all planted from seed, which has been fun. The potatoes and kale is doing tremendously well and the spinach and beetroot is slowly coming into their own. Today I planted out the broccoli and rather sad looking cucumbers, so we will see what happens to these.


I am feeling just a tad excited bout the beautiful Camelia Japonica that I bought yesterday for a little spot in the back of our garden that has been rather neglected for quite some time. Largely because this gardening lark can be quite expensive, so it really does take time to get where you want to. It has also been one of those spots that I had far too many ideas for what I wanted to fill it with, but I am really pleased with my final decision and look forward to seeing this beauty grow.

We also bought another couple of  beautiful Hydrangeas, one blue and one pink and just for fun I bought a St John's Wort. So for now I really haven't the foggiest what I am going to do with it, but I reckon that I will find many a good use for it somewhere along the line, especially seeing that I have recently been discovering that there are quite a few nifty tricks one can do with the odd herb and weed growing in the garden.

So for anyone who struggles with a cough that won't go away and one that's been lingering for a while,or for anyone who just fancies a little lymphatic cleanse (we all need it!), or for anyone who wants to boost their immune system, clear their skin or calm the nerves (reckon I will be needing it again towards the end of the school holiday!), wander into your garden and look for a weed called a 'Cleaver' (pictured above), and for anyone up for a giggle it also goes by the name of 'StickyWilly', so for once we might actually be happy to enjoy a little sticky willy every now and then (who would have thought! pardon me!!!). So basically what you do, pick a very generous handful and make sure to rinse it well and then chop it up, pour some cold water over it and let it stew overnight (with a lid on) and then the next day you can strain it off and drink up to five glasses of the water. To be honest it's actually quite tasty and the good news is that you won't die, I am still here. So for a full lymphatic cleanse you really need to drink it for a week, somewhere between three to five glasses per day and for those of you who can't be bothered with the overnight soaking, you can always stew it up as a tea with hot water if you like, either way it taste quite good.

So after this morning's little session in the garden, I enjoyed a little time playing games with the kids before embarking on a spot of Paleo baking. I have decided to try out the Paleo diet again, even though I have been here before as I am a firm believer that if something didn't work for you once it doesn't mean it won't work for you at another point in time. Our bodies are constantly changing and especially when you are ill. Take for example my attempts to remove ALL sugar from my diet (no honey, syrup, dried fruit, no nothing!) for over a year and if I am honest it felt like it made ZERO difference, now on the other hand I have seen the most AMAZING changes in my body since cutting it out since the 6th of January, so my motto: Keep on trying. Now I feel ready to slowly embark on the odd treat every now and then and today's cake is no exception. In fact it is just a tad indulgent and very chocolaty and has a smidgen of palm sugar and some delicious forest honey to tickle my fancy and reignite that little sugar devil in me!
So basically Paleo baking is tricky as most gluten free flours are rice based and seeing that you can't eat any rice or other grains, I used almond flour and coconut flour and I must say the cake turned out rather scrummy. For the ganache I used coconut cream and cacao and rice malt syrup. Lets just say it made the perfect Sunday afternoonsie.

So despite the fact that I have mountains of crochet awaiting, as I am in the midst of having to pull out my entire Nordic shawl that I crocheted whilst on holiday, as it seems that for some reason I have this massive triangle at the top rather than a straight end (don't ask as I honestly don't have the answer!). I have been putting it off as I think I need to be in the right frame of mind for this job!

I am also nearing the end of weaving in some ends for another little project I am working on, but more on that next time.
So why not start another project just when I should really be focussing on making a start on my starflower mandala?!! Seeing that 'should' no longer features in my vocabulary, I figured why NOT. So this afternoon when the kids went off to a party I quickly started cutting out the pattern for a dress I have been wanting to make for a while. Now don't hold your breath as dressmaking really isn't my forte, but I am determined to make at least one this summer.

You see when we went to South Africa, Ma bought me heaps of gorgeous fabric for my birthday which means no more excuses and basically that the girl's got to get on with it. I am actually quite excited by the prospect, just wish I knew a little more than I do, but hey that's all part of the fun, so watch this space!
So that's it for today. I hope you all have a lovely week ahead. Before I go I just want to say a big thank you for all your lovely comments on my previous post, you are all quite special and for those of you who wanted to know how the Prince concert went, lets just say that it was MAGNIFICENT!!!! I am just a little more in love with the man and his music than I was before I went, my golly he has oodles of talent!
Time to sign off.
Warm Wishes


  1. The gardens looking lovely even in the rain, I did a little bit of planting today too, St John wort is good for lots of things, the herbalist puts it in my medicine mix, I'm not sure about the Cleavers though, but we have plenty in our garden !! last year when I pulled some out I ended up with rash on my arms, much to my sister laughter about sticky willies and rashes. The cake looks yummy good luck with the dress making I've not be well enough to even think about using my new machine, happy half term
    Clare xx

  2. Your afternoon tea looks scrummy and I love your plates. Such a lovely and interesting post, thank you for sharing :-)
    Tracey xxx

  3. How beautiful your garden is looking. I know exactly what you mean about enjoying rain and inside time. It means I don't have to feel guilty about not being doing outside things. The cake looks delicious, a clever choice of ingredients to avoid the rice flour. I wish I had a slice right now! I hope you have a lovely bank holiday Monday. CJ xx

  4. oh well done for the veggie patch, mine is a disgrace and I'm leaving it for the wildlife! The chocolate cake looks too nice! and commiserations for the shawl, how did you manage that!! interesting to hear about the Cleaver, have a good half term, good luck with the dress, it's all happening! Heather x

  5. Your garden and plantings are looking great Hannapat - and I wish you well with your lovely camellia! That is a very tasty looking cake, your flour substitutions have worked very well! Such a pity to have to pull back your lovely shawl after all that time spent on it, but you'll be glad you did. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of your foray into dressmaking - all the very best with it; take your time and enjoy the process! How sweet of your Ma to buy you fabrics - a very acceptable gift! Happy school break with the children, I'm sure you'll have lots of fun and frolics m'dear. I've so enjoyed your post lovely Hannapat, especially as all your activity caused me to think that your health has improved somewhat - keep up the good work! xx Sending lots of love, Joy xoox

  6. Your garden looks full of promise and very well done on maintaining your diet, The fabric looks fabulous and I cant wait to see the finished object. Good luck with your camellia, I bought one too this weekend but in my case I am just hoping it survives until it blooms.

  7. It's nice to see you again. The garden looks beautiful and so well-maintained. Your crochet and sewing are coming along beautifully too. I hope you've been feeling well and that you aren't cooped up for too long this week.

  8. Your garden is looking so gorgeous Hannapat - you must have been working so hard. It will be very rewarding to see it all develop over the next few months.
    Pooey about your shawl - HOW annoying is that !! But you absolutely have to keep at it because the colours are SO lovely together.
    Have a great week,
    Kate x

  9. Dear Hannapat
    I enjoyed the catch up news in your post. Your garden is looking lovely. I look forward to seeing the progress on your dress - I am supposed to be making a skirt, but have only got round to tracing the pattern so far! I have given myself a deadline of finishing by autumn, so that I can wear it with boots...
    Have a good week (despite the rain and it being half term!)
    Best wishes

  10. I am so glad that you had such a good time at the concert!! That is so good. Your garden looks very pretty indeed and you should be very proud of your veggies, especially as you grew them from seed! I hope that you get lots of lovely produce over the summer. You certainly seem to have a lot of WIPs there, have fun! xx

  11. Well my lovely, to say all that you eliminate from your diet you don't half make them cakes look good! I never knew that about that weed, I've some at the bottom of my garden, won't be so quick to get rid of it anymore! :) x

  12. Stickywilly sounds fabulous! And I totally get your pride in growing your veggies from scratch; it takes patience and love like most worthy things in life.

    It's good to visit you again and to catch up with your rich snippets of life.

    It's very rainy here in France too! Everything is so green :-)

    Stephanie x

  13. Glad to see you here! LOVE the rain photos of your yard...SWOON! You've been a busy girl - glad you are feeling so well these days, and hope you get a few more days of "chillaxin" to come! XOXOXOX, my creative friend!

  14. My Lovely Hannapat it is so lovely to be reading all your news again as it seems to have been an age since we spoke. My goodness you have been busy - I must admit that I have been smitten with the allotment programme and am itching to have a little go at gardening myself - not quite ready for the allotment just yet though! I am keen to grown a few salads and vegetables so I will follow you Hannapat. I love your fabric and cannot wait to see what you make, bet it will be just fab knowing you. My goodness Hannapat what I would give for a piece of your yummy cake right mouth if fairly drooling here over it. I really enjoyed this post Hannapat because, as always you fill it with so many interesting and colourful news, fabulous! Have a lovely week Hannapat, big hugs and loves

  15. Wow, you have been busy Hannapat! The garden is looking lovely. And I never knew that about cleaver! Thanks for sharing this, will give it a go.
    The cake looks yummy, and your shawl is looking amazing!
    So glad you enjoyed the concert!
    Gill xx

  16. Thanks for the info about the plant. Hannapat, I have been to GP and I have high blood pressure are there any plants you can recommend that might help.
    your cake looks and sounds scrummy. You have been very busy

  17. Gosh that read was better than country living magazine....thank you!. I am trying to get gluten free and your paloeo cake sounds just the ticket, also I shall stop throwing cleavers and hooting with laughter and start drinking it instead. Your dress will be gorgeous and the rain WILL stop, please let it stop one warm day is not enough ha h a
    Hugs Lynn xxxx

  18. Hello my dear, I've been away for far too long, my apologies! But oh, what a fantastic post to catch up on! You are just oozing creativity! I love everything you have shared here (even the shawl, the colours are lovely even though it's proving a challenge...). I am insanely jealous that you got to see Prince, I am, have always been and will always be mad for him... ;-) Cxxx

  19. Hello lovely Hannapat! Such a great post, filled with creativity and good ideas! I love the delicious looking cake and your pretty shawl and your garden is looking wonderful, well done on growing veggies from seed! I sometimes garden in the rain too :)
    I'm glad you enjoyed the concert :)
    Helen xox

  20. Hello lovely, such a lovely post filled with good things! That chocolate cake looks so delicious! Shame about your shawl and I completely have to be in the right frame of mind to unravel a project. I'm sure it will be gorgeous though as your projects always are. So looking forward to seeing your dress! Beautiful fabric. I am "dabbling" with dressmaking too at the moment and I am completely loving it! Hope you had a great weekend.
    Marianne x

  21. Ooh, that cake looks scrummy. I'm trying to take control of my diet at the moment, not sure I could cope with Paleo though, my natural inclination is toward veggie or even vegan food.

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