Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Raw Caramel Chocolate Slice

I have tried a few raw caramel slice recipes before and for this one, I kind of mixed it up by trying a few different things so here it is for you. I REALLY hope you try this as it's just so amazing how delicious dessert can be, that is actually good for you !




















This is packed full of vitamins and minerals and tastes just so divine too!

Firstly, I'd just like to say, if you aren't used to baking with these ingredients, they may seem daunting at first and they do take time to accumulate in your store cupboard and can be a little pricey but they are SO worth the investment as they are all just so so good for you ! It might seem expensive to start with but they last.
























If you don't have a health food shop nearby then you can shop online at Goodness Direct, I have added the links to the items below in the ingredients for you.

Here's what you'll need :

Base:

3/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup walnuts (can use any nuts)
1 cup medjool dates
Dash malt syrup or agave (just to help stick together, but is optional as dates do this, just liked it stickier)

Caramel:

1 cup Medjool dates (I know Sainsburys, Tesco & Waitrose sell these)
1/2 cup Almond butter (can use any nut butter)
1/2 cup Coconut butter (can use coconut oil)
1 tsp Xylitol
Dash of Rice malt syrup
Dash Almond Milk

Chocolate:

1/3 cup Creamed coconut (can use coconut oil)
Dash Almond Milk (approx 1 - 2 tbsp) Do one first and see if it's smooth.
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 cup rice malt syrup


Method:

Pop the nuts in the blender until they form crumbs. Add in the dates and mix. Add sweetener of choice if you like - this helps to make it stickier.















































It will all start to stick together like below:

  
























Add the mixture to your lined tin and push down with your hands to make the first layer and freeze whilst you make the caramel layer.


To make the caramel pop all the ingredients in the blender and mix. When you add the Xylitol it may kind of crystalise a bit so add a desh of almond milk a little at a time until smooth.


It will look like a big thick gooey deliciousness like below..

Spread it out evenly and pop in the freezer for about 20 minutes.


























But first TASTE it. Oh my gosh this is delicious. I ate about a tablespoon of the stuff before adding it to the tray.

For the chocolate layer,  add the coconut cream, cacao powder and rice syrup to the blender and mix.

Spread evenly on top of the caramel and pop in the freezer to set. It should be ready in about 20 minutes and this will then also need to be kept in the freezer. Serve just before you are going to enjoy. 


To make the dessert,  cut a slice and pop on your plate. 


To make the Ice Cream topping you will need:

1 frozen Banana
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp almond milk (or to taste)

Pop it all in the blender and mix ! 

Then pop on the top of your slice and add any toppings you wish ! I added more walnuts, some coconut and cacao nibs.

And oh my goodness ENJOY this delciousness and total goodness !






















Please let me know what you think if you try this, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ! I keep popping to the fridge for a little slice !! YUMMY

x














*this isn't a sponsored post I just want you to be able to get the ingredients you need x

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Spotted Rose in Homemaker Magazine

OK, so I am SUPER excited to write this post...

Those of you who follow me on Instagram would have seen that my little blog got a really lovely write up in the I Spy section of the one and only Homemaker Magazine this month ! Yes, it's actually IN the shops, to buy and has my name & face in there !

It really is such a fabulous magazine. I always find myself swooning over all the DIYs and everything included is so affordable. I don't like when magazines are full of adverts and things you can't afford, but this is a joy to read !! So inspirational. I have even done a few DIYs here and here using the lovely paper from an old edition.

I really am just so thankful to be featured and it was really so wonderful to hear what they thought of my blog from their point of view, boy were they so kind and lovely - thank you so much Homemaker !!

Also, seeing as it's my all time favourite magazine and my 94 year old Grandma pays for my subscription, and she's my craft inspiration (she still crochets)  it's just totally awesome and so so so exciting !!

If you have come over from the magazine, please please say hello below as I'd love to hear from you and I really hope you like my little blog.

Here are a couple of pics of the magazine..... ahhhh !!

























There I am ...


Oh hello my face !! ha.


And here it is sitting on MY coffee table ! I just keep staring at it !! Proud moment & thank you all for reading xxx



























Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tea Towel Clutch




I recently spotted this gorgeous Tea Towel in a National Trust shop at Petworth House and had to have it. 

It was way to gorgeous to dry my dishes with however, so I had different plans for it before I'd even left the shop. 

It was only £5 so a total bargain but I wanted to make a few different things from it as I love the print so much. 

The first thing I wanted to make was a little clutch bag / purse. Sometimes I don't like carrying my big bag around with me, so I love having a bigger purse that I can fit my phone in too. 

So, please bear in mind, I am not at all an experienced sewer and I don't know all the lingo yet so this is a beginners tutorial but the main thing is - if I can do it, you can too ! 

I started by cutting out the size of that I needed to create my new tote. You can see this was 'measured' using my current purse. 

I cut off the stiffer edging and you'll see why later. 


I then folded the towel in half and 'inside out' I stitched up the sides, leaving a gap at the top to 'tuck' the zip in to. 


I love my sewing machine. It used to belong to my 94 year old Grandma and she put it on finance to get it about 30 years ago, so it's really special ! I love that I can use it now. 


I then trimmed off the edges. 


Then for the tricky bit. I got a gorgeous fancy zip from The Homemakery, so this was an easier type of zip for me to do, meaning I didn't need a special zip foot as it goes on the outside, rather that being hidden inside. 

So this shows you below how I put the zip in place and folded over the fabric in to the inside and tucked the edge of the zip under. I pinned it all in place before sewing. 


Just to show you the other edge.


Then I sewed along and attached the zip in place.


See here, no fancy zip foot, make sure you don't go too fast and remove the pins !!


Now for something really snazzy ! Well I think so anyway, does anyone else not really like the look of these 'loops' sometimes on small bags ? I don't know what it is, but anyway, they are handy for carrying sometimes, so I thought I would attach one that could be used or tucked away if not needed ! 

See, I told you it was snazzy ! So to do this I took the stiff egde of the towel and tucked it inside, either side of the zip, like you see below:


Here you can see the inside of the bag. I hand stitched the zip edges together and then hand stitched the edges of the purple loop together so it wouldn't come out if pulled, BUT what this allows you to do, is pull it in and out ! 


So, there you have it, next time you see a tea towel too gorgeous for drying the dishes, think about what else you could do with it instead and get creating! 

Here it is... 


Notice the loop is out in the picture about and look below ..... it's tucked in ! Love it. 


Thank you for reading and I hope I have inspired you to get out that sewing machine and to have a go yourselves ! 






Thursday, 5 June 2014

30 Days of Exercise - Part 1

OK, so anyone who knows me, will know that I am the chubby sister, chubby cousin and also the chubby friend come to think of it, oh gosh that makes me sad.

I am by no means huge at all, I know I am not but I have always struggled with my healthy eating and exercise so something had to change.

I am really not bothered about what I weigh, or the size of my jeans, I just care about feeling good and looking good in my clothes. So this is my aim - my goal.

I recently joined a gym, I then went for a couple of weeks, had a holiday and then lost my groove.

SO I decided to go for 30 days in a row.


Yes, 30 days in a row. (I know you are probably supposed to have rest days but I checked with a couple of Healthcare professionals and they said it's fine). Check with your Doctor if you are concerned before doing any strenuous exercise - you'll discover mine wasn't really all that crazy!

Why 30 days I hear you say - well I read that it can take about this time to form a habit. And that's what I want to do. Make going to the gym, a habit for me, part of my life, now and forever.

So I decided to keep a little diary of just snippets of how I felt each day to keep me going and I thought I would share it with you in case it can in anyway inspire you to try and set a new habit for yourself. Maybe you want to learn a new skill, or get fit and healthy too, it doesn't have to be the gym !

So here it is.

Just a little footnote first, I didn't take any before pictures (I have seen myself enough) and I haven't weighed myself or taken my measurements. I know inside when I will be happy and that's what counts to me. I'll try and describe my changes as best as possible to you.

First, a little bit about the days before I started.

I felt lethargic and kinda heavy and frumpy. I didn't have much energy at all and felt generally down about how I looked in my clothes and especially photos and knew I had put on quite a bit of weight.

My worst points are - my belly, I suffer from quite a bloated one, but I also know there is a layer or two of flab that contributes to it. Also around my waist, at the sides (hips kinda) then my arms....oh dear, anyone who knows me will know I like to be in the middle of a group photo to hide them, or get them cropped off strategically. They have been the bane of my life, like forever. I don't know why I haven't done something before. Theres just too much body fat on them. (Also just a side note here, I don't want to confuse people, but according to my BMI, I am overweight, I am short, 5ft, but yeah, that's whats it says, so I am not just saying it.) My thighs are also v flabby and I have a double chin that creeps in a and out when it feels like it.

So, here goes:

Day 1:

I chose a Friday to start my 30 days on, as I am off, so I would suggest starting on a day off too as it gives you the flexibility to choose what time of day you want to go and theres less pressure. I was feeling pretty rubbish about going to the gym as I had kinda lost my mojo with it, hence why I thought I would give this ago, but I did an average workout and felt GREAT afterwards !

Wahoo, one day down.


Day 2:

Again I was lucky this being a Saturday so I had a little bit of a lazy morning and then being even lazier and taking advantage of having the car (I don't have it in the week) I decided to drive. I am quite ashamed to say this as the gym is only a 10 minute walk - BUT that walk home is hard - so any chance I get, I'll hop in the car. I couldn't find my headphones though, but I managed to find some eventually. Once I got to the gym though the car park was FULL. I mean totally full. I couldn't believe it, there was a craft fair on, so there were NO spaces, so I ended up having to drive home and park ! Can you believe it !! Anyway, then there was one thing after another, I left my phone in the car so had to go back for it, various things happened as I needed a different bag now I was walking, lets just say it felt like the universe was against me ! I made it quite clear how much I was being pushed - but you know what - it felt really good to ignore all that and push through and walk to the gym ! I actually felt really good after and totally accomplished afterwards and proud of myself for not giving up.


Day 3:

This was Sunday so again I had a lazy start to the morning. I drove this day too as I knew the fair wasn't on. haha ! I was also going to pick my Dad up from the airport so I only had about 15 minutes for a workout so I just went on the treadmill. It felt really good to have gone, even though I had limited time.


Day 4:

This was a bank holiday Monday, so again, a pretty lazy start to the day and I felt really good having got over that 3 day hump ! I felt stronger already and kinda found myself kicking the doors open at the gym with my new strong legs. Ha, seems silly but I did feel stronger. I started to notice a difference in my endurance too, I felt like I was sweating more, but I think that was from putting more in to it. It was today I felt my first ever tummy muscle on the walk home ! It soon disappeared, but I got a glimpse of it.


Day 5:

Today was the first day back at work. Now I must stress, I work from home so I know I am very lucky in terms of fitting in the gym, so I hope you aren't too discouraged by this as there is always time to fit it in. Before I 'gave up' I was going before work, but even that for me has been a struggle. When you have the choice to stay in bed - what wins ? But when I was doing this before, I had got to this great point, where I knew I felt better going that not going - I am still working on that though, easier said than done! SO, anyway - I went at lunchtime ! Which meant I only had about half an hour as I had to walk there and back to, but it was great.


Day 6:

Again I went at lunchtime today. I am definitely feeling stronger in my body and today my belly wasn't wobbling as much when I ran ! That felt really awesome!


Day 7:

Today I had far too much work on so I had to go after work. This was good though as it gave me more time to do a bit more. I upped my weights on the chest press and felt quite happy with myself. I hate the big mirrors at the gym though, I look like Michelin man sometimes, well I do to me, but mind over matter - KEEP GOING. Another good tip is to watch music videos - when you see all the incredible bodies, it spurs you on to push a bit harder !

I HAVE DONE A WHOLE WEEK - I can't believe it ! I was saying earlier it really feels like 'I go to the gym' now,  not just I go every now and again and then give it up ! Ha ha.

Just to prove it to you, here is a screen grab from my 'mywellness' account from using my Technogym key at the gym. You can see they work in moves, and my target for the week is 3500 and I did 3969 which is awesome ! (and see - not too much !)

 


I actually feel quite excited to go tomorrow, now that's a first ! My legs feel stronger, I am sure my hips have lost a bit of flab and my arms are getting more toned. My belly still feels big but it's only been a week, I must remember that.

Why not sign up and follow me by email or by bloglovin and follow along with the rest of my 30 days.... here's to next week !

Thanks for reading,





Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Chit Chat Tuesday

I suddenly thought the other day that there must be a lot of other people like me, who work from home, either being self employed or even stay at home Mums who are on their own some or most of the day. 

It can get pretty lonely sometimes, so I thought it would be nice to have a little 'online meet up' with people in the same boat as me so we can have a little chat about a whole load of stuff and keep each other company. 

First on the agenda was that very topic and we shared some tips that helped us feel connected throughout the day and tips for being productive when at home all day! 

It was really fun to connect with like minded people and suddenly I didn't feel like the only one on my own at home ! 

Pop over to twitter and find us at @chitchattuesday and feel free to join in the chit chat next week! 

I am undecided about the best time at the moment so let me know what suits people best and we will go from there. The hour past quite quickly, so we might find it just goes on all afternoon ! 

Here are some of the comments from Tuesday, go follow these lovely people !




Thank you for reading & I hope to 'meet' some of you over there ! 



Monday, 2 June 2014

Come say 'Hello'





I just wanted to get to know you all a bit better so wondered if you would be kind enough to come say hello!!

I love seeing that people read my blog but would love to know more about you !!

If you have the time, maybe when you're having your coffee break at some point today, leave me a little comment with who you are, where you are from, what you do, how you found me or anything else you like and we can have a little virtual coffee & chat together !! Ooh and if you have a blog or a business, please do leave the details so we can all have a little look x

Looking forward to 'meeting you' or learning more about those of you I know xx

Mines a black coffee today, what are you having & who's going to go first.... please? x