Its school again!

Seriously, the summer vacation just flew by and I have a blog post brewing about all the fun things we did.

But in the meantime, Faith and Aaron have gone back to school.

Faith is now in Kita Gimmel (3rd grade) and Aaron is now in Kita Hay (5th grade).

Can they slow down just a bit please?

Thrill of the Chase – A Book Review

 

Title: Catching Saul
Author: Angela Stevens
Series: Thrill Of The Chase
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance
Stars: ****
Goodreads
Amazon

Saul Chase has no secrets from Lowri Connor… 
…it’s a shame the same can’t be said about her. 

When Saul’s fiancée dumps him a month before the wedding, his best friend, Lowri, brings the tequila and a shoulder to cry on. After 17 years, they have supported each other through countless break-ups and shared EVERYTHING—except sex. The first rule of having a best friend who is a girl is never, NEVER date her. 

But after arguing with his ex-girlfriend, Saul gets drunk and questions their only rule. Why hadn’t he thought of this before? After all, she is the perfect combo of sexy and fun. 

However, plans to sweep Lowri off her feet go awry when an unexpected visitor turns things upside down and Saul realizes Lowri has been hiding not one, but three secrets for many years. 

Catching Saul is a friends-to-lovers contemporary romance written for readers who love emotional romantic fiction with a side of suspense. Known for her heart-warming, and heart-wrenching, romance series, Angela Steven’s first standalone in this brand-new Thrill of the Chase Series will have you anticipating the next book before you finish the first! 

So, get your fix, buy Catching Saul and binge-read your way to a happy ever after. 

My Review

What a lovely start to what I hope will be a long series. 

Fast paced and romantic, this book and it all. 

I loved the history between Lawri and Saul and could feel their bond from the very beginning. 

I’m looking forward to more Chase stories. Hopefully Nate is up next.

*I reviewed this book for #TBConFB 

The Magician’s Blood – A Book Review

 

Title: The Magician’s Blood
Author: Linda G. Hill
Series: The Great Dagmaru
Genre: Romance, Gothic Romance, Fantasy
Stars: *****
Goodreads
Amazon

Award-winning author Linda G. Hill brings you the secondok in her modern-day Gothic romance series.

Herman Anderson is in love. Thrilled to travel across Canada with her boyfriend as his assistant onstage, she returns to her hometown—the first stop on the Great Dagmaru magic tour. Anticipating a reunion with her brother, instead she finds her family has moved without a trace.

Stephen Dagmar’s career as a stage magician is taking off. With Herman by his side, his only concern is her father’s dislike for him. But as Herman’s father makes a prediction and resolves to come between them, Stephen’s family curse returns to haunt him.

Darkness descends as the reality of the Dagmar’s incubus bloodline surfaces for the first time in over a generation. Can Herman and Stephen’s relationship survive this new trial? Will Herman survive at all?

A sinful tale of beauty and romance, love and determination, The Magician’s Blood will chill you and leave you breathless for more.

*18+ Contains explicit scenes.

My Review

I’ve been waiting for the 2nd book in this series for what seems like for ever and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

Full of magic and intrigue, the story kept me gripped from the first page to the last.

I loved the development of Stephan and Herman’s relationship as well as the further glimpses into the supporting characters.

While this book concludes the story nicely and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, the very last scene gives me hope that Stephan and Herman and their friends (and foes) will be back.

*I reviewed this book for #TBConFB 

Blue Hair, Yes I Care.

Just over a month ago I took the plunge and dyed my entire head blue (with a little bit of purple thrown in for good measure).

It was only after I left the hairdresser that it occurred to me that people would be curious. That they would stare and ask me questions.

Silly that I didn’t think about that before I did it right?

So, my socially anxious self prepared for the stares and questions.

And…

The only people who make any kind of fuss are children.

They stare, they point, they ask why my hair is blue and if they can touch it. They get such a huge kick out of it.

Adults on the other hand spend way too much energy pretending not to look. You can practically see them holding themselves back from asking me questions.

So yeah, its been interesting.

I’m not sure I’m going to keep it blue once it really starts growing out. So far you can’t really see the regrowth. And the purple mainly washed out so I have a really funky whitish strip that I like.

I guess I will keep it as is for a few more months and then decide what to do.

 

The story of our (not so) little miracle.

When we made aliyah, we made the heartbreaking and very emotional decision, not to bring our dashies with us.

You can read about it here. Suffice to say it was the best thing for them. And they landed up going to an amazing family, they are spoiled rotten, go for car rides and vacations to the beach and sleep on the bed. We get regular updates on how they are doing and pics of them all the time.

When Paul started his new job, which is a work from home/remote office job, we decided that we would look into getting a dog.

One of my stipulations was that we would take in a rescue dog, a doggo that needed a new home. Whether because they had been abandoned, or were too old to be adopted or had health issues. After having to give up our babies and seeing the love and care they were given in their new home, we wanted to pay it forward.

So one day a few months ago, I got a call from Vanessa, her pupper’s sister needed a new home, would we be interested?

Well, maybe.

I called the vet who was in charge of looking for a new home for Nessi and got the details of her current human. Within a week we made a plan to go see her and within a week from then we brought her home.

Here is her story.

When Nessi* (and her sister Sox and the rest of their litter) were about 2 weeks old, they were found on the side of a main road, their mum had been hit by a car . The pups were split up and went to a variety of people to hand rear them.

When they were about 5 weeks old, one of the foster moms older dogs attacked Nessi and cracked her skull/jaw. She was not allowed to be adopted out until she was fully healed.

She was then adopted out to a wonderful guy in Tel Aviv. Because of the pups losing their mum so early, they all have varying degrees of anxiety and other issues from not having that maternal protection. Nessi also has a few extra issues from her attack at 5 weeks. Her human spent hours and hours with her and a trainer working through her anxiety and issues and helping her overcome them.

And then her human got sick. Unfortunately his illness meant he was unable to look after a rambunctious, energy full, crazy puppy and he had to make the very hard and heart breaking decision to re home her.

Which is where we came in.

On 4th April, Nessi came to live us.

For the first day, she lay in one spot, refusing to move or interact with us at all. We left her alone, put out food and water for her and basically ignored her even though we just wanted to shower her with love.

When it came time to take her outside before going to bed she wouldn’t let us come near her to put her leash on and Paul spent ages sitting on the floor with treats, tempting her to come close enough to him to get it on.

That night she slept on the couch in the lounge and would not come sleep in her basket in our room.

To cut a long story short, she warmed up to us within a day or two. She has now taken over the entire house. She sleeps on the couch with us when we watch TV. She sheds everywhere. She sleeps in her basket in our room at night or on the mat next to Paul’s side of the bed.

She loves playing tug with her rope or her rubber bone and get super excited when the kids come home from school.

She loves the children and lets them lie all over her and kiss and hugs her. She is very much a puppy and loves to bite and chew everything, especially people!

She still has very bad anxiety and we give her homeopathic doggy anti-anxiety pills twice a day which definitely helps but we need to take her to training. She really doesn’t like strangers, especially when they come to our house, so we need to help her deal with that or we will never be able to have visitors again.

All in all, adding Nessi to our home has been the best decision. We love her and she brings joy into our home.

*Nessi in Hebrew means miraculous.

6 months

No I’m not pregnant. Just been absent. For 6 months.

For some reason I just stopped blogging. No great secret, no shocking reason. I just stopped. I also seem to have stopped using Twitter. Again, no idea why, no real reason. I just stopped.

So, whats happened over the last 6 months?

Paul has a new job. Its a pretty cool position in an awesome company that he gets to do from home.

We got a dog! Her name is Nessi which means miracle in Hebrew. She is the cutest floof ever, even when she bites and nibbles to get your attention. I will write another post all about her soon.

The morning after Nessi came to live with us.

The kids have finished school and are well into summer vacation. In September, Aaron will be in 5th Grade and Faith will be in 3rd Grade. Where has the time gone?

Our third Pesach in Israel. It was a good evening with my family and our friends.

We all finally got our Israeli passports. This means we can travel easily throughout Europe. So give me your suggestions. Where should we visit?

I dyed my hair. Purple and blue! I love it.

Other than that, the last 6 months have been pretty quiet. Just the way I like it.

Hopefully I will be back in the writing mood now and will post more often. Or not. No promises.

 

My son the chef.

For a little while now, Aaron has been wanting to cook with me.

Last week he decided that he wanted to do all the cooking without me.

So, with a little guidance in recipes and how to execute them, Aaron cooked dinner for us every night last week.

Here is what he has made so far.

  • Mashed potatoes (that he then added onto left over mince to make a cottage pie)
  • Hot dogs with fried onions
  • Chicken breasts in soy and sweet chili sauce
  • Couscous
  • Burgers
  • Spaghetti Bolognese

Tonight he is going to make mac and cheese.

There have only been a few #KitchenKlutz incidents, a scraped knuckle while peeling potatoes and burned finger tips from a hot pot handle. But that’s to be expected, he takes after his mother after all.

Photo by Paul

I’m ordering some kids cookbooks for him so he can continue to learn and explore the kitchen.

If you have any easy, kid friendly recipes you love, please feel free to share them.

Cheesecake and Berry Weekend

I’ve been craving cheesecake for over a week and even though I bought all the ingredients last week I only managed to make it this week.

It was so easy and delicious.

Easy Cheesecake with Berry Reduction
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 


Course: Dessert
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 packet plain biscuits, Petit Bur or Tennis Biscuits
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted margerine
  • 1 pinch salt
Filling
  • 2 packages cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 splash vanilla essence
Toppinb
  • 1 package mixed berries or berries of choice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thickening agent (corn starch)
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
Crust
  1. Using a food processor (or a plastic bag and a rolling pin), break up the biscuits until they are a medium to fine powder, bigger bits are ok too.

  2. Add the sugar, salt and margarine and mix well.

  3. Prepare a round springform or pie dish and press the crumb mixture into the base, pressing it slightly up the sides.

  4. Set aside.

Filling
  1. With a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

  2. Gently pour the mixture over the crumb base.

  3. Bake in a 180C oven for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool before adding the berry topping.

Topping
  1. While the cake is baking, add the berries, water, sugar and thickener to a pot on your stove.

  2. Mix well and bring to a rapid boil.

  3. Drop the temperature to a simmer and allow the berries to reduce by 1/3.

  4. Allow the berries to cool before pouring over the top of the cooled cheese cake.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Easy Cheesecake

3 Years

We have been living in Israel for just over three years now.

Some days it feels like yesterday and some days it feels like forever.

My Hebrew still sucks but my kids are fluent.

They are both doing well in school (with some serious encouragement) and have so many friends.

Im still at my awesome job and Paul is freelancing and being an amazing house husband (I hardly ever have to do a load of laundry myself).

We have amazing friends, Israelis and Expats.

You cant ask for anything more.

Life is good.

A taste of autumn.

After experiencing an unseasonably warm autumn in Israel, we had highs of 29C, its finally started getting cold and rainy.

What better way to spend a cold morning than baking?

I decided that cinnamon-y stewed apples were the way to go, and it just so happened we had some vanilla ice cream in the freezer and I also had the last of my Moir’s custard powder from SA that was begging to be used. 

Apple crumble was a go!

Hot Apple Crumble
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 


Course: Dessert
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced into 2cm chunks (I used Granny Smiths, you can use any type though)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or marge
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

  2. Place the diced apple, first lot of sugar and cinnamon, and the water into a pot.

  3. Bring to the boil while stirring and then drop to a low simmer.

  4. Keep stirring until the apples have softened.

  5. Place apples and any syrup into a pie dish.

  6. To make the crumble, using your hands, mix the flour, remaining sugar, butter, and cinnamon until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.

  7. Pour the flour mixture over the apples in an even layer.

  8. Bake the pie for about 30 min.

  9. Serve hot with ice cream and custard.