Thursday 2 October 2014

September saw so many beautiful things including a Mandala

Hello lovely readers, it seems that I have been a little quiet here lately, but I intend to make up for it in buckets today as I have heaps to share with you. September has been a beautiful month here in the North of England as we were blessed with beautiful clear skies and warm autumnal sunshine. This meant that far too much time was spent on my yoga mat outside and far too little time holding my crochet hook, logging into my computer or let alone mention the old sewer that seems to be gathering a great deal of dust of late. I did however manage to turn my September Monthly Mandala, that I wrote about here, into a cushion and I must say that I am rather pleased with the outcome. It has been my intention for a while to make a ripple blanket, but seeing that I still haven't managed to get around to it, this seems to at least satisfy a small part of that chevron urge, for now anyway. 

 Sadly the light at this time of year is not particularly good in this little space of ours and to be honest the photo doesn't really do it justice. I don't know about the rest of you in the Northern hemisphere, but there has definitely been a shift in light and rooms are feeling much darker (and colder). I have started lighting candles again and there is no doubt that autumn has finally kicked his cold toes under my blanket. For me this change most certainly became most noticeable after the appearance of the Harvest moon this month, did you see it? Oh my it was really spectacular! They say that it tends to be larger and more colourful than other moons due to the tilt of the earth and the reflection from the atmosphere and I have to say that it looked so very big and colourful from the bedroom window.

September has been a month of harvest here too, with runner beans, cucumber, beets, and lots and lots of kale making it into our kitchen. Fortunately it also seems that we may even have enough Kale for another month or two, which is a blessing as we do love a bit of Kale in our house. Have any of you tried making kale chips, if not you must, its so easy (kale + olive oil+ salt+oven=delicious!). I also enjoyed the last of our delicious apples and am currently thinking of ways in which we can squeeze in another apple or pear tree in the garden, but I am faced with the slight dilemma that the little wendy play house is in the exact spot I would like to plant it, so I might have to wait a few years for the kids to outgrow their little space. 

September has been a month of struggle with my health, but it hasn't stopped me from becoming even more obsessed with yoga than I already was (not that I thought that was possible!). I was also incredibly lucky to enjoy two days of being taught by the very talented yogini, Kino MacGregor. Lets just keep this short and say that it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, I really enjoyed every minute of it even though my batteries were a little flat at times, it definitely is a memory I will always cherish. Here is a little memento of my weekend with Kino.

September has been a month of slowly getting back to warmer foods and soups. I have experimented with Vegetable Soup, Tomato and Basil soup and made my all time favourite Carrot and Coriander Soup. For those of you who follow me on instagram @Scrummytritious, some of the recipes are there. For the rest of you, here is the recipe for my vegetable soup.

So basically to make the vegetable soup, you are going to need:
Tablespoon of Coconut oil
7 Large Carrots
3 Large Courgettes
3 Onions
2 Stalks Celery
A generous bunch of fresh Coriander
2 Cubes of gluten free vegetable stock (I use Kallo Organic)
1.5L of water
Some Himalayan Rock salt & pepper to taste

Chop all your vegetables (medium size chunks). Gentle fry the onions and carrots for around 5 minutes, then add the celery and cook for around 5 minutes before adding the stock and water. Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer and then add the courgette. Cook for around 10 minutes max and then add the coriander before blending it partly with a hand blender, leaving some chunks of vegetables in there. Enjoy!

Septemeber also saw the return of a loaf of bread to our lives. We have now been Paleo gosh for around seven to eight months and even though I wasn't having much bread before I was still enjoying the odd bit of grains, like rice and things baked with brown rice flour every now and then. This recipe for this delicious Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Bread is completely Paleo and made with ground almonds. I use ground almonds often, but have never thought of making a savoury bread with it and I must say it was delicious and I will definitely be making it again very soon. 

September saw our gigantic sunflower come into bloom. For some reason we NEVER succeed in planting sunflowers and even though we planted over seven establish seedlings, I think the Raven's and Jackdaws must have been too quick to dig out the seeds still attached to the plant. Does anyone else experience this? Fortunately for us, this beauty was overlooked and how very special for us. 

 September also finally saw the final touches going on to our stairs that has been a WIP for many many months. Earlier this year I had this massive urge to remove the rather tired looking carpet from our stairs. To be honest it is something I have been meaning to do ever since I since I received this beautiful book from a friend for Christmas 2012. The problem you see is that I never thought I would have the guts to pull and see what mess lies beneath an old tattered carpet. Well it seems that one very cold and frosty January morning, those worries and concerns where very far from my mind, instead I felt brave and ready to conquer all (I must have had a mild does of brain freeze one thinks). I must add here that it has taken me a little longer than anticipated, but I got there in the end and wow, what a transformation. I love this idea and it has made such a difference to the light and feel of our very narrow staircase. Thank you Sarah Moore for your wonderful inspiration, it seems collecting old wallpaper does come in handy after all. I used an eclectic mix of mostly old, but a few modern prints are hiding in here too as I really like the combination of old and new. 

Last, but not least, September has also been a month for yet another monthly mandala and this month it was the rather sweet little mandala pattern by Zooty Owl as mentioned here. This fun little Granny Mini Mandala pattern is super quick to work and as I have also come to realise, it offers some rather fun alternative possibilities, but more on that another day. For now though it is show and tell time. 

So for any of you who have joined in the yarn mandala fun, please add your mandala below. For next month I thought it might be fun to try Marinke Slump's 12-round mandala. For anyone interested you can find the pattern on Ravelry

Wishing you all a beautiful October.

Warm Wishes