Entries in favourites (7)

Saturday
Oct132012

Favourite sweeties - Day 20 - 31 Days of Food 

Here in Ireland we call candy sweeties. My favourite sweeties at the moment aren't even available here. They are pretzel M&Ms!

I love the crisp coloured shell, the slick of chocolate then crunch of slightly salty pretzel. Here's an example when salt & chocolate work perfect together.

What are you favourite sweeties?

That's it for now...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Thursday
May102012

May 2012 I'm ...

PONDERING - how life changes, how when one door closes another always opens.  Today I have come to the end of something.  Something I haven't really enjoyed but something I knew I had to go through to get there. Something that took a lot of fighting to show up everyday and take part in.  Something that was tough.  Something that stretched me because it was all that I am not, but I did it I made it through. Today I feel closer to there, although I don't quite know where there is on this journey, what it will exactly look or feel like, but I do know where I am going, I know what I need to do.

RESTLESS - Since I returned from the USA in December, I have had an itchy feet feeling of where I am at right now is not for long.  I have a restless feeling in my bones 

RECOVERING - from my first ever 1/2 marathon.  The horrid weather, meant I ended the race cold and wet.  Unsurprisingly after 13 miles in driving rain.  But now along with heavy muscles I have a sore throat and a cough.

CATCHING UP WITH - my friend Lucy.

WATCHING - Mad Men, Blue Blood & The Wire Season Two

READING - I've thoroughly been enjoying posts by Lem at the Identity Specialist

EATING - Chicken Noodle Soup, hoping to have a recipe for you tomorrow

LISTENING TO - Don Williams new album.  I remember the first Don Williams tape I heard, my parents bought it when I was seven and we listened to it constantly in the car on long journeys.  I find his gravely voice kind, graceful and very soothing.  His music is a default setting for me when I am frazzled because it makes me feel safe.  On his latest album my favourite song is his duet with Alison Krauss.

DRINKING - Jasmine tea with lots of honey, amazing for the throat, and giving energy when your feel a bit depeleted.

TALKING TO - my friend Siobhan on the telephone

ORGANISING - My spaces

BUYING - a special birthday present for my mum

CREATING - I am thinking about my first eBook

WORKING ON - changing that draft into something ready to query

SINGING - no singing for me this week because of my sore throat.

PHOTOGRAPHING - my eyes are looking for new light, its time to walk with my camera, my real camera not my phone

COOKING -  I've been working on a new chocolate chip cookie recipe where you freeze the dough, hoping to post that soon.

WRITING - a guest post for my dearest friend Gina 

So my friends what are you doing this week?

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Saturday
Jan142012

Favourites 

 

I have been really sick since the 4 January, I have done very little but snuggle up with a book, or some articles on my ipad, and watch movies, hoping and praying that my asthma combined with the buggy thingymajiggy that has been bothering me, would just bug off!

The upside of being sick, is that I have had a lot of time to read, and I have some absolutely brilliant things to share with you, the downside of being sick, is that it takes a huge amount out of me to do anything.  Being creative - writing, and taking pictures has been a struggle.  But instead of collapsing under the heaviness of feeling unproductive, I am trusting that this enforced rest, is sharpening my vision, and giving me tools, to bounce back, as soon as I am well enough.

Here are some superb posts, that I have read in the past few days - looking forward to hearing what you think.

Well, have you read the Steig Larsson "The Millenium-series"? I haven't read them put off my the subject matter, but I did want to see the film.  It was one of the most haunting, but fascinating pieces of cinema I have ever seen.  I left the cinema feeling violated, but deeply aware that what I had seen was only a tiny representation of what people in our society suffer in pain and abuse on a daily basis.  

I still feel shellshocked from some of the images that graced the screen, and I wonder what the director was trying to achieve, by filming it in such a way.  Jay Bakker  posted this article about it on twitter, it sums up extremely eloquently my own feelings about the film.

I found this article by Scott Williams on how to use and understand twitter really engaging - lots to put into practice.

These letters by Rob Bell and Max Dubinsky blew me away - I love letters, can you imagine receiving either of these by snail mail - what a joy, to sit and read them on paper, and revisit them from time to time.

Enjoyed reading Michael Hyatt's blog on a daily basis, this post in particular caught my attention from  

Absolutely great article on Dicken's by the late great Christopher Hitchens

These quotations - 

"We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Castaneda

"When I stop praying the coincidences stop happening." ~ Corrie Ten Boom

"When it seems you're going through hell, just keep going. You dont camp there." Rick Warren

"Faith is but a name for learning how to go on without knowing the answers." Stanley Hauerwas

"Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey " Alex Noble

“E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.” 
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing

What have you been reading/thinking about this week?

That's it for now ...

 

Nics

Salt and Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Wednesday
Oct122011

And in the morning - I'm making PANCAKES

Pancakes are possibly the best thing you can make in the kitchen ever - well, maybe not ever, but they are without doubt the best breakfast.  I love making them, and could easily cook them everyday without tiring of them.

I have so many wonderful food memories that involve pancakes - making them, eating them, flipping them!

We had Pancake Day parties at University filled with flipping competitions, and pancakes laced with all the alcohol we could get our hands on.  The Bailey's one's were a hit if I remember correctly, the gin and tonic one's, left quite a bit to be desired.

Pancake Tuesday was always a big event in our house, and I remember mixing batter, standing on the chair beside my mum in the kitchen.  Gran made great pancakes, little tiny one's that she would feed my brother and I as a snack in the afternoon, or for elevenese.  The perfect size for little people, they are still perfect for children's tea or parties. When she came to visit at our house she used to bring her tins and more often than not one was filled with mini pancakes, they were sweet, thick, and slightly chewy, they were just perfect, and we loved her little pancakes, and war would be declared if there was only one left and we both wanted it. When my little sister was tiny I taught her to make pancakes standing on a chair beside me at the stove.  

Today both my brother and sister love pancakes and ask me to make them for them at every opportunity.  And I pretty much always oblige.  They even telling me in advance when they would like them, so that I can make the batter the night before.  Making the batter the night before helps make them light and fluffy - I am sure there is a science lesson in there, but folks, science isn't my strong point, so I'll skip it.

Pancakes are my favourite breakfast to make for guests, family get togethers, or even in the middle of the night at parties, when dinner was oh so long ago, dawn hasn't yet risen, and breakfast seems like decades away.

Simple, Sublime, Succulent! They take no time at all to make, and everyone who is everyone enjoys pancakes.  Even my wholemeal one's are a hit.  I think I have perfected the easiest, simplest and best recipe.  It comes from years of practice, and scrapping batter from pans.  Once I learnt to make pancakes as a child, I made them nearly everyday, in fact my mum banned me from making pancakes, because that's all I ever made, because I was terribly good at making a mess to accompany the pancakes, that as a nine year old, I wasn't so great at tidying up.

This is my perfect recipe - the buttermilk is the secret.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 4oz self raising flour or self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 pint buttermilk
  • 3oz golden fair trade caster sugar
  • 1 large organic egg
  • butter to grease

 

Method

 

  1. Lift the Aga simmering lid grease with butter at least 1/2 before cooking - otherwise a greased with butter griddle or frying pan over a medium heat.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, make a well in the middle
  3. Crack in the egg, and beat into the flour with an electric handwhisk, the mixture will get bitty quickly, have the buttermilk on hand to pour in as you hold the beaters in the other hand
  4. You may not need all the Buttermilk, sometimes I use less than 2/3s of the amount stated
  5. Mix on high for 2minutes until the batter is smooth and all ingredients well incorporated
  6. If possible leave the batter to sit covered overnight in the fridge, otherwise leave it for as long as you can before cooking
  7. Cover a wire rack with a tea towel, and set beside the cooker
  8. Using a large spoon ladle one pancake onto the middle of the griddle - I cook them one at a time because I like quite large pancakes usually 9" in diameter
  9. Let the pancake cook until the bubbles that have formed all begin to burst
  10. Using a palate knife quickly slice under the pancake and flip over, cook for about 30 sec to one minute, flip again, both sides should be golden, and the pancake all puffed up and if ready, place onto the wire rack, and cover with the tea towel
  11. My favourite way to serve them is with butter, sugar, and lemon

 

Or as my brother and sister enjoy them stacked high with bacon and maple syrup.  I once had a friend eat them with ice cream and nutuella - how do you like to eat yours?

That's it for now ...

 

Nics

Salt and Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Monday
Aug292011

August's Favourite Things

 

I really adore this photograph that I took of my dog Coco, on my iphone as we sped along in the car.  Sadly she is not with me anymore, as she passed away last winter, and at the moment I am missing her acutely.

I have just order these two albums - cannot wait for them to arrive.

Finally I have gotten round to reading this rather controversial book, and I have to say I love it, I am nearly at the end, and I think I will probably read it again to think over all the points that are raised.

I have really been enjoying hanging out on this blog - the prints, that I ordered have now arrived and are hanging in my study.  ! the lady who writes it, and makes these delicious items, Chrissie Grace - is an awesome artist.  I just can't get enough of her work.  Seriously you need to go and hang out there now

Take some time to listen to this documentary on the BBC iplayer

Just loving this post by the Southern Eclectic.  Seriously, respect, to anyone who can write so well and give her opinion so honestly on a topic that sparks fly about.

I am feeling really good that a big project is now finished, and I can get started on the next one, lots more to come on that in September.

What have been your favourites this month?

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt and Sparkle = Life Remarkable

 

 

Thursday
Jun022011

Favourite Things 8

 

I loved this post so much from Mike Friesen's blog lastnight, that I had to share it with you in its entirety.  Guys, seriously head over to his blog now, and just be blown away by the quality of his writing, and the depth of his thought.  He is a writer that asks questions, and plays with concepts, ideas, thoughts, and gives us as reader's, much to think about.  The depth of his thoughts are powerful.  This post lastnight could have been written by Solomon himself.  For those of you girls waiting for that man, read this and be encouraged, know that he does exist, and believe, believe, believe that you will find him.

Here are some thoughts on what I think it means to be a Proverbs 31 man:

Who can find a virtuous and capable husband?
One that is more valuable than fine chocolate.
His wife can trust him,
His presence will deeply bless her,
He protects her dignity and loves her,
All the days of his life

He will learn to be assertive when he needs to,
He will learn to be passive when he needs to,
He will help drive the kids to practice and events even if he is tire,
He will be engaged with the finances and the chores,
He will learn to love her mom and dad,
He will turn off sports and watch Katherine Heigl movies

He will remind her that she is a woman,
He will affirm her beauty and his love for her,
He will actively listen to what she has to say,
He will only fix her problems if she wants help with them,
He will make date nights a priority for their well being,
He will not be engaged with her passions and desires to make those

He will smoke cigars and drink scotch (if that’s okay with her),
He will rub her shoulders and back after her long day,
He won’t be afraid to cry in front of her after enduring something hard,
He will be strong and move towards confrontation,
He will learn to love and trust in her wisdom,
He will ask her how her day was and listen to her

He will clean out his hair in the sink after shaving,
He will put on deodorant so his smell doesn’t contaminate the room,
He will take care of the kids and the situation if he wants some loving,
He will see foreplay as necessary if he wants to keep getting loving,
He will do his best to help make the bed in the morning,
He will do his best to give her the knowledge and humor that she needs

 written by Mike Friesen 

Coke Zero - I have always enjoyed a glass or too of Coca-Cola.  It was my guilty pleasure, and every now and again I will enjoy a glass.  I like the pop of the caffeine (I don't drink normal tea, or coffee) so I am not used to the lift of those vastly consumed drinks. But then I discovered coke zero, and I have to tell you I am in LOVE.  It doesn't have that strange bitter taste of diet coke, instead it is pretty much identical to regular coca-cola, sure there is a hole where the sugar should be, and it isn't 'The Real Thing' but it is an amazing alternative, if you don't want to consume the crazy amount of sugar.  Go try it and let me know what you think folks!

If you are looking for some fashion tips, you will find plenty of inspiration here and here

This quotation from a cup of my favourite jasmine tea, made me smile, especially because we had Gina and Gray to stay lastweek, and it was simply wonderful. 

"A home without guests is no home"

I love having guests, it makes me very happy.

I have just started reading these two blogs and am really impressed with their content.

I am really enjoying reading about Emily's journey with Compassion here

What are you favourite things online this week ... looking forward to hearing.

That's it for now...

Nics

Salt and Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Thursday
Apr212011

Favourite Things iii ...

 

Maria, Fearghal & Daisy

I have been locked in a huge edit this week, and I wanted to share one of my favourite images from that, with you. 

As we have travelled through Easter Week, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of Emily's thoughts at her blog - there are some lovely ideas, and pictures, reading her words, is like a cool glass of homemade lemonade on a hot day.

I have thoroughly been enjoying this blog - it is full of words that make you think, and examine.  Thoughts, and ideas, that help you find the direction you might be looking for, or to question the way you are going.

We are learning this song, at BCGC, and I have been wandering around singing it all week.  It's true isn't it 'All you need is love?'

 

The first time I watched this movie, the tears rolled down my cheeks.  The story, touched my heart, and I knew that I too want to experience a love like this.  Having read virtually of all Nicholas Sparks's novels, a printed copy of The Notebook had eluded me. I am not sure, why, but somehow, I hadn't gotten round to reading it.  That has now changed and I am so glad it did.  Lastweek I borrowed it from a pal.  She said it really wasn't great, and definitely not as good as the movie. I adored it, and ready it cover-to-cover in virtually one sitting.   As I read of Ally and Noah's love for each other, I look up with hope, that I too will be able to know this, and have a great love story.

Sparks's skill as a storyteller is second-to-none.  His characters, themes, and words are universal, magnificent in their simplicity.  They allow me to get lost in another world for as long as the book is open in front of me.  

Image courtsery of http://thecia.com.au/reviews/n/notebook.shtml

My favourite quotation is '"You can't live your life for other people. You've got to do what's right for you, even if it hurts some people you love." (Noah, The Notebook; by Nicholas Sparks)

Are you living your life for you?  If not, what is stopping you?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

That's it for now.

Nics

salt and sparkle = life remarkable