Sunday, 12 July 2015

A Smoothie A Day - Keeps the Grumpus Away!

A few years ago I made a resolution NOT to make anymore New Year's Resolutions.  I never stick to them, no matter how determined I might feel on the night after a couple (or lots) of cocktails!  But at the beginning of the year I do try to come up with a few things I want to change about the way I live.  One of the main changes this year was to JUICE JUICE JUICE!  And when that was over just get on up and juice some more!

There's so many health benefits to juices and smoothies, they're jam packed full of vitamins and minerals.  Plus the great thing is, if you make your own then you know exactly what you're putting into it.  Hello organic juicer and goodbye sugar junkie!

 There's  a lot of different ways you can go with juices and although there are tons of books out there all claiming to be the 'next best guide to your juicing essentials', it's really easy to do on your own too.  All you need to remember is why you are jucing - is it for health reasons or for the yummy factor?  That gives you a bit of direction to start with as then you know how fatty you're happy with your juice or smoothie being.

 Also keep in mind what your own body needs or is deficient in.  Juicing is a great way to get the vitamins and nutrients into your body that you're lacking.  I'm iron deficient so I tend to use a lot of spinach in mine.  If you want to find out more about the different properties and benefits of individual fruits and veggies go to Reboot With Jo and check out the really great list, you can even download and print out a FREE full colour guide and chart to show you the different benefits! 

Or just take a moment to think about what creates a nice flavour with your juices and don't forget to throw in some seeds or nuts.  Experiment and create in a free and organic way as your juicing grows alongside your confidence.

Good luck and have fun!  Namaste friends xxx

Monday, 9 March 2015

Exploring the County - RAF West Raynham

I've been really into urbexing (urban exploring) for about 10 years now; there's just something so fascinating about finding the forgotten and exploring the abandoned.  Discovering new ways to capture a moment of a beautiful building that may soon be destroyed completely, feels so vital to me.  People move on so fast that places often get left behind to rust, decay and fall prey to the grip of nature. But I love that - the feeling of being somewhere that's forbidden and simultaneously forgotten.  You know you're not supposed to be there, but the beauty and intrigue is just too much to resist.

RAF base West Raynham is quickly being converted into business parks, kids playgrounds and pubs.  But before the re developers got their hands on it, TVs 'Most Haunted' team were the last to visit, finding evidence of several resident ghosts on the site, including a Polish pilot shot down in World War Two.

I decided to take a trip there before it was all gone and see what I could find.  

There was a lot to
see; aircraft hangars, the control tower, barracks, houses and plenty of admin buildings, including the old bank!  I loved all the old dials we found, there was something beautiful about the combination of the rust and the delicate parts.

 Some of the buildings were in a pretty bad way, rotting had made ceilings cave in and we didn't venture too far into these bad boys in case of asbestos!

Part of the control panel in the control tower, it was pretty cool up there as there were so many buttons and dials to play with!  Great views too!  All in all it was a fun day of discovery and I'm really glad I got a chance to look around before this part of our history is turned into yet another McDonald's or Starbucks!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Homemade Plum Loaf

In our garden we have BEAUTIFUL plum trees, they were already really well established when we moved in - sort of like a free gift with the house!  Last year they produced a ridiculous amount of plums. more than we knew what to do with.  So we gave lots away to friends and family, then froze the rest until we could figure out what on earth to do with what felt like several tons of plums!

Fast forward to this year and a lack of tasty things to toast (we have a bit of a thing for teacakes and hot cross buns in this house!) and to the bright idea of making plum bread!  Plum bread is super easy and super yummy!  Plus if you're using home grown plums like we were, then it's got an organic edge to it!

  • 375g self raising flour
  • 450g plums, stoned
  • 2 large or 3 small beaten eggs
  • 225g melted butter
  • 200g sugar
  • little warm water if too stiff
Melt butter then place in a mixing bowl and add sugar, mix.  Add all other ingredients, if the mixture is too stiff add the warm water..  Mix then remove and knead.  Grease a 900g loaf tin and pour in ingredients.  Cook on 180 C / Gas 4 for 90 minutes..  Towards the end, add a little covering of butter and sugar.  Serve warm with butter and jam and ENJOY!

The plum bread lasts about a week if you keep it in a tin and will feed about 10 people if you slice it right! 

Product Review - Neal's Yard Seaweed and Arnica Aromatic Foaming Bath

What Is It?  A foaming bubble bath.  Neal's Yard describe this as 'A delightfully fragrant bath to bring a sense of well-being.'

What Does It Do?   It's primary design is for relaxing and soothing you tired folks and returning you to a restorative sense of calm.

Key Ingredients?   Seaweed - has heavy duty detoxifying properties.  Arnica - helps muscle aches, acne, sprains, bruises.  Lavender extract - good for anxiety and restlessness as well as insomnia.  Geranium extract - relieves stress and depression, improves skin health and circulation, among other benefits.  Marjoram extract - good for sleeping problems, back ache, head ache, muscle spasms and bruising.  A great combination of some wonderfully beneficial plants!

How well does it work?   The foaming bath doesn't create lots of bubbles, like some more synthetic varieties of bubble bath might.  But it does smell wonderful and make the aroma and atmosphere in your bathroom feel very relaxing.  Plus it leaves you feeling like you're floating on air!

What We Like About It?   The completely natural approach of this company, with 54% organic ingredients this foam bath is super green!  The smell is so relaxing and  and the way it makes you feel is like you're getting a big fluffy hug!  Plus it's a vegan product - yay!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Dutty Moonshine - Living Room Tour

So I've mentioned previously on here that I've been training up to work on the radio.  I used to produce and present a show in 2008 and finally having settled in one place I'm getting back into it again.

My first interview happened last Saturday night, a group of friends who run the Pond Farm Party Collective entered and won an exclusive gig night with Dutty Moonshine.  For those of you who don't know (tsk tsk) Dutty Moonshine are to swing what cups are to saucers, without them it's all just a little bit pointless and silly really.  With cleverly mashed up beats and vintage swing samples they create tracks that make dancing quite simply, as essential as breathing.  Pond Farm Parties usually put on all sorts of themed parties, privately mainly, but they do also get involved with some stuff at the ever amazing Boomtown.  Dutty being the nice boys that they are, had decided after a while gigging at festivals and all over the world, that it would be nice to do a few private gigs for their fans.


So they put out a shout on (which you can watch above) saying that they had a two week house party tour where ANYBODY could apply, as long as you gave them 250 for the gig.  Now I don't know what you think, but to me 250 for travel, set up and a night worth of entertainment is a pretty sweet deal!  So of course they had a lot of applications, from fans who'd desperately wanted to see them play in their own house!  Pond Farm Parties sent over a ton of photos of their previous efforts for party set ups and won a pretty prestigious Saturday night gig.  So I decided to interview them!

What fantastically grounded, down to earth, nice guys!  I was a little surprised, don't get me wrong I didn't expect them to not be nice, it's just you so often encounter people who've made it big and got a bit of the big time arrogance about them.  None of that though with these two legends.  Not only did they give me a really meaty, interesting interview but they kicked out some seriously FAT tunes for about five hours afterwards!

I have to admit I'd been pretty nervous, despite the pre interview gin!  Listening back I could hear my voice wobbling ever so slightly on my intro, but Dutty Moonshine didn't seem to notice and we even had a few laughs during the interview.  It felt less like interviewing big time DJ's and more like chatting to a couple of mates, if your mates were the sort of people who toured the world playing to crowds of thousands!

I can't wait to put the interview on air and hear what the audience thinks, some pretty exciting exclusive news tucked away in there too!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Homemade Valentine's Card - How to Make a Stencil Card

I decided to make a card with a difference this valentine's day.  I make one every year for Paul and I've done all sorts of cute collages and quirky drawings in the past.  So I tried to come up with something else this year and went for a Spring scene using natural stencils.  Here's how you can make one too!

Paint your card with the colour that you want to show through as the scenery.

Choose some plants and leaves to make the scenery stencils with, you can choose something from your garden or a nearby park.  Attach them to the card using blu tack as that way they'll stay on when you spray.

I used a gold spray paint as I like the colour and it symbolises luxury!  I found a butterfly (which died of natural causes) and used that in the scenery too.

 Once you take the plants, or whatever you chose, off the card the base colour will show through.  The objects come away really easily as well as the blu tack peels off so quickly.

I glued some dried, pressed flowers to mine in the end as well as I liked the added touch of collage colour.

Let me know what designs you come up with?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Lovely Friends!

You know that feeling when you've been out doing things all day and you get home super tired?  You know you ought to eat something, but the idea of actually cooking seems like the equivalent to getting up and running a marathon!

I felt like that the other night; finally rounding my day off with an hours walk home as I'd missed my bus.  By the time I got into the house my fingers were frozen and I was soaked through! I dragged myself inch by inch to the kitchen, consoling myself with the thought of toast and Marmite and I found this waiting for me...

My housemates lovely girlfriend had cooked a yummy vegetarian risotto and left me a huge bowl of it!  All I had to do was stick it in the microwave to warm up and hey presto (or other magic words to that effect) and I had a delicious, nourishing hot meal.  It brightened the end of my day and although I was still soaked through, I had a definite warm glow thanks to her kindness!  I drew her this cat to say thank you!