Smile (again)

We are still in summer holidays and the kids are at their last day camp this week (the next two weeks are a whole other story, school only starts on 1st September).

This particular camp starts at 08:00 and ends at 16:00. So I have been going to work early while Paul takes the kids to camp and then goes to work and then I leave work early to fetch them and Paul comes home a bit later. It all balances out.

But, since I leave for work early (06:30 to catch the 06:45 bus), I am not catching my regular bus and driver. And while the driver I do have is very nice he isn’t my happy go lucky regular driver and I’m definitely not getting my usual happy start to the day.

But not today! Today, as I got off my early bus and started crossing the road to get to my office, a bus at the opposite stop honked his horn at me, I looked up and there was my regular driver, madly waving his arm out the window and grinning at me.

Day made!

These two make me smile too!

These two make me smile too! *photo by Paul

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Scottish oatcakes of yumminess!

As you know, Paul is diabetic, and I am always trying to find yummy sugar free food to bake or cook for him.

Paul tends to eat a bowl of oats with fresh fruit in the mornings but its getting boring. I work with a lot of UK products and last week, Scottish oatcakes kept popping up. So I googled and found a variety of recipes and yesterday I tried out a simple Scottish oatcake recipe.

These biscuits can be used in place of bread. Spread some butter, honey, jam or cheese on top or just have them plain right out the oven!

Scottish Oatcakes
Yields 16
A quick to make, yummy biscuit. Can be served with butter, cheese, jam or as is.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 250g oats, whizzed in the blender until they become a flour consistency
  2. 25g butter, melted (I used margarine so they are dairy free, you could also use oil)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 150ml hot (not boiling) water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Set aside a bit of the oatmeal flour for later.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together until you have a rough dough ball.
  4. If its too sticky add some more oats, if its too dry add a dash of water.
  5. Dust your surface with the oatmeal flour you set aside earlier.
  6. Roll out the dough about 2-3mm thick.
  7. Take a clean glass and cut out rounds.
  8. You can re-roll the scraps until there is nothing left.
  9. Place rounds on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. These were delicious fresh out the oven with a bit of butter.
  2. If you are not using them right away you can warm them up in the oven for a few minutes before serving although they are just as delicious cold.
  3. Store them in an airtight container.
Adapted from Penny's Recipes
Adapted from Penny's Recipes
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

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#Zombieprompts – Share some old family photos

I have a whole wall full of family photos (and a whole bunch of much more recent family pics that need to be printed and put in frames and hung up).

IMG_5478

My absolute favourite photo is this one.

We are not entirely sure who he is. We think he may be my moms grandfather. I found the photo when I was going through my grans old photos. She had photos from her wedding, photos of her brother and other important family photos and then this one. There is no writing on the back and Paul is convinced its just the photo that came with a frame. But…

I dont think frames came like that back in the day. It wasnt in a frame when I found it, just tucked in loose with the others. And, he looks like my grans brother. Definitely family!

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#ZombiePrompts – My 5 favourite blogs

So a few days ago, Sam from Tech Girl mentioned on Facebook that she enjoys catching up on my blog, even though we don’t have that much in common.

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It got me thinking and I remembered this prompt from #Zombieprompts. I have roughly 50 or so blogs in my feed reader at the moment. They run the gamut from mommy blogs to photography blogs to entertainment and lifestyle blogs. narrowing them down to 5 is going to be a tough one.

Harassed Mom

I met Laura-Kim online ages (and ages and ages) ago, and have been an avid reader of hers for all that time. Laura has a large family (4 kids!) and I love reading about how she manages her kids, home, work and passion for the blogging community. I especially look out for her awesome tried and tested recipes. When Laura isn’t blogging at her personal blog, she is over at South African Mom Blogs.

6000.co.za

His tongue is as sharp as a scalpel and he never fails to make me snort laugh. Mr. 6K is from the UK, living in Cape Town, has family (including a beagle) and in his own words ‘does science for a living’. Underneath his biting and often dark humour are harsh truths and eye opening facts. I always feel like I should grab a bowl of popcorn when one of his posts turns up in my reader. Oh, he also takes some awesome photos.

Tech Girl 

I have to include Tech Girl on this list, not because Sam mentioned me but because her blog is a regular go to for me. Tech is one of the things we do have in common and I really enjoy how Sam and her team break down the latest trends, games and general tech stuff into simple, easy to understand posts. They post about everything from Pokemon to curling irons, to the ins and outs of blogging. They also review a HUGE variety of products, apps, games and gadgets. I particularly love the small glimpses we get into Sam’s personal space, furnishing her home and cooking up a storm(trooper) are my two favourite examples.

jewgal

Adina has a way with words that is spellbinding. She doesnt post often but when she does I make sure to have some uninterrupted time so that I can properly concentrate on her posts. Adina writes about her her religion and faith and how she stands up for what she believes in, never wavering from her path. She writes about her family and their adventures. In every post no matter the subject, she manages to weave her soul into the story and often leaves me with tear in my eyes.

Bloggsy Malone

I’ve never met Dave IRL, but one day when I do meet him, the first thing I’m going to do is give him a great big hug! You see, Dave is one of the most inspiring people I have come across. He is a recovering addict, who writes honestly and openly about his experiences. His frankness and willingness to share his journey is a treasure. Dave is a wonderful writer with a fantastic sense of humour,he also takes awesome photos of CT. Oh, he also loves cheese. No really, he LOVES cheese!

So those are the 5 blogs that really stick out for me at the moment. What are some of your favourites?

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Smile

Many years ago, when I first started working, I was given this little nugget of advice, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

Even when you are speaking on the phone, smile. Your smile will be conveyed through the phone and the person speaking to you will hear it and respond in kind.

I’ve noticed, the happier the people around me are, the happier I am.

What really drove (haha) this point home, is my regular morning bus driver.

Every single morning when I get on the bus, he greets each and every passenger with a boker tov (good morning) and nisiyah tov (good travels). On a Sunday morning he adds the greeting sh’vua tov (good week). On a Thursday he wishes everyone a Shabbat shalom before they get off the bus. At the beginning of the month he will add chodesh tov (good month) too. He is always smiling, laughing, having a conversation with the passengers seated near him. He never gets upset at the traffic/other drivers and he plays an awesomely eclectic collection of music.

I tend to start my day with a smile on my face and a spring in my step and it is directly attributed to the awesomeness that is my morning bus ride.

On the odd occasion I take an earlier bus, the driver is usually quiet, mostly polite and will only greet me if I greet him first. My mood for the morning is definitely not as bouncy as usual.

So, when those mornings happen, I try to be the one with the smile, the happy greetings, the effervescent bounce and hopefully my mood will rub off on everyone around me.

'Cause this kid has the best smile ever!

‘Cause this kid has the best smile ever!

I guess what I’m trying to say is, smile dammit!

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Peanut butter ice cream

I usually make ice cream in my churner but that requires some forethought and planning and since this was a last minute decision I went will a ‘no cook’ ice cream. 

image

Basic ice cream recipe with peanut butter
A simple 'no cook, no churn' dairy free ice cream
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 box dairy free cream
  2. 4 eggs separated
  3. Half cup caster sugar (I use sugar replacement to make it diabetic friendly)
  4. Splash of vanilla
  5. Any addition you like I.e.
  6. Peanut butter
  7. Crushed biscuits
  8. Fruit
  9. Chocolate
Instructions
  1. Whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
  2. Slowly add in sugar and blend gently.
  3. Add egg yolks and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl beat cream until about double in size.
  5. Combine both bowls together.
  6. Gently fold in your addition. I used about 3 tablespoons of sugar free smooth peanutbutter.
  7. Place in freezer proof dish, cover well and freeze for at least 2 hours.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

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Pumpkin!

My mommy in law sent me a recipe for pumpkin bread and last night I finally managed to make it.

The original recipe called for 3 cups of sugar and white flour. Since Paul is diabetic I switched things around a bit so he could also enjoy it.

When I started writing up this post I realised that I had only taken a quick picture of the breads before going into the oven.

bread

The loaf I brought to work went so quickly I didn’t have a chance to take a picture either. So I asked Paul to take a quick picture and send it to me.

Why I was surprised when he didn’t just send a quick cell phone pic is beyond me. I know better.

What follows is the gorgeous styled photo shoot he did.

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

And now for the recipe.

Pumpkin Bread
Yields 2
Yummy, sweet pumpkin bread
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
  2. 2 cups sugar replacement (original recipe calls for 3 cups sugar)
  3. 1 cup oil
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 2/3 cup water
  6. 1 and 1/3 cup white flour
  7. 2 cups wholewheat flour (original recipe was all white flour)
  8. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  9. 1 teaspoon nutmeg (I didn't have so I left it out)
  10. 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I didn't actually measure, I just poured a whole lot in)
  11. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  12. 1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds since that's what I had on hand)
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 180C.
  2. Prepare 2 bread tins.
  3. Cook your pumpkin and then drain and mash it.
  4. Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  5. Split the mixture between the 2 tins.
  6. I kept a little back and used my 4 teeny tiny little miniature bread tins, just for fun.
  7. Bake for between 45 minutes to an hour. I stuck with Hilary's suggestion of an hour (I put the mini tins in for the last 20 minutes).
Notes
  1. Enjoy hot out the oven with melted butter.
  2. Its equally as good, cold the next day.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

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#ZombiePrompts – Whats in my handbag?

I’ve done this before, take a look here and here.

IMG_5280 (1)

 

I currently have the following items in my bag:

  • Wallet (the Knomo wristlet purse from the first handbag post above, a little worse for wear but still going strong).
    • My ID
    • My bus/train card
    • Various store club cards
    • Bank Card
    • Medical Aid cards for me and the kids
  • ₪1 in coins (now in my wallet).
  • House keys.
  • Cell charger and adapter.
  • Headache and tummy ache pills, just in case.
  • A broken plastic ring that I told Faith I would try fix.
  • 3 random pieces of paper.
  • A card with 4 hairbands on it (I tend to lose or break them at an insane pace and I cannot have my hair loose).
  • Sunglasses (when they are not on my face).
  • Deodorant because its hot as hell and I don’t want to stink.
  • A bottle of water because its hot as hell and I don’t want to dehydrate.

Not so much stuff and I’m pretty proud of myself for not having too much junk in there either.

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I downloaded, deleted and re-downloaded Pokemon Go.

Firstly, I totally missed out on the original Pokemon craze. I just never saw it/got into it and had no idea what it was about or why it was so popular.

When Pokemon Go was released there was a lot of hype, naturally, and it looked interesting and easy. Also, I walk a lot since I don’t have a car and it seemed like something I could easily incorporate into my day.

So, I downloaded the app and it was awesome. It was fun and easy and totally addictive. I had to stop myself from going for a walk at all hours of the night.

But after a few days I deleted the app. Why?

  • It chowed my battery. I already have to recharge at least once a day, I was now recharging at least twice. And yes, I did all the battery saving tips I could find, it is still a huge battery drain.
  • I kept having to log in if the app wasn’t in use for a period of time, which was annoying (apparently this issue has been resolved in an update to the app). 
  • The servers were overloaded and a lot of the time I couldn’t access the app anyway.
  • I work 9 hours a day. I travel for almost 1.5 hours a day. I actually enjoy being home to bath and feed kids and spend time with my husband. Besides my walks to and from the bus stops, I don’t actually have much time to go out and play the game.
  • It was taking up too much head space (you know, that addictive, have to play all the time, head space).

So I deleted the app. 

And I was ok with that. Until the weekend.

Then I was out and about and I saw lots of people playing and I actually had the time to play but my app was gone and I was sad (ok, not THAT sad since I didnt download it again).

But now Im thinking, what if I make this a weekend game? Only play on weekends when Im not busy with family? Do I have the self control and willpower NOT to play during the week?

So I re-downloaded the app and I’ll see what happens.

pokeball

 

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Did you know?

I learn something new everyday. 

Today was all about bergamot.

You know, the flavour in your Earl Grey tea? Or in your favourite body wash?

Well, I always thought that bergamot was a herb/flower. And it is. But that’s not where you get your Earl Grey, fragrance or skin care products from.

No, you get that from an extract of the oils in the skin of the Bergamot Orange. This little citrus is similar in size and shape to an orange but the colour of a lemon. It smells similar to the herb and flowers but all the scents and flavours you get in your products such as tea, perfume, body lotions are from the citrus.

The herb, also knows as Crimson Beebalm, is part of the mint family and has a pretty red flower and is used in traditional medicine, in particular it is used for its antiseptic properties. Although it has been used as a tea, specifically to help with throat infections, no Earl Grey here.

By Joe Schneid, Louisville, Kentucky - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6691558

By Joe Schneid, Louisville, Kentucky – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6691558

The flower, which is technically WILD bergamot is ALSO known as Bee Balm, and it has a small cluster of white flowers and is also part of the mint family. It is also used in traditional medicine as a medicinal tea in treating colds and flu.

So, now I know and you know, unless you already knew. Did you?

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