What I Learned This Week


  • That it’s still a little too warm for the woolly jumpers yet, still sweating in work when I have one on.
  • That Gluten free apple crumble is just as good as one with normal flour.
  • That life has gotten in the way of blogging this week.
  • That Autumn is still one of my favourite times of year.
  • I learned this week about an inspiring Danish fashion labeln called Carcel , Carcel means prison in Spanish and that’s exactly where their beautiful knitwear comes from. Women in prison in Peru for various crimes knit all their items, you can read their stories on the website, the knitwear is really gorgeous but way too expensive for me I am afraid.
  • If you also like Autumn then here are some Instagram hashtags to check out full of beautiful Autumn inspiration :  #savouringtheseasons , #embracingtheseasons , #aslowmoment , #thisismykingdom , #lovelifeoutside , #slowautumndays , #upandautumn , #mystoryofautumn , #myodetoautumn , #openuptoautumn .

Have a good week everyone !

Our Summer Adventures: Week 1 and 2.


Sorry there was no post yesterday but I want to share with you some of our adventures we are having this summer so I will be posting on a Tuesday now instead of a Monday. For the summer Mondays are mine, the farmer and Sids day off so we are trying to head away from  the yard for that day. So last week it was the farmer who decided where we went and we headed to the beautiful city of Kilkenny. This is a beautiful place to visit with so much to see and do. We parked in the car park beside the river which wasn’t expensive, we were parked most of the day. We headed to the shopping centre first and then back down the town to get some lunch. Now being coeliac getting food out when we are away is always a little nerve wracking because you want to get good food and also not limit the farmers as to where they can eat so we tried Langtons, they had a huge choice for us all and there was no problem with me getting gluten free. After lunch we headed to see the castle which just like something out of a fairy tale. You can go on a tour of the castle but we didn’t we just enjoyed the grounds which has a playground, acres of grass to play on and a beautiful rose garden.

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We then headed back to look at the rest of the shops along the streets of Kilkenny and stopped into a little cafe just across from Kytelers Inn for the best scones and tea I have tasted in ages they even have gluten free. We spent the whole day in Kilkenny and enjoyed every minute of it, its a beautiful place and Sid didn’t get bored once.

So yesterday it was my choice and I brought the farmer and Sid to the Irish national stud and Japanese gardens in Kildare. There is free parking at the stud, there are picnic tables in the car park if you didn’t want to buy food when you were there. It cost 29euro for the three of us to entry the stud which isn’t expensive when you see the size and the up keep of the place. We went to see the gardens first and they are so pretty with a stone track to follow and a map to explain each stop on the way.

Sid loved exploring the gardens and looking into all the little tunnels and caves. When we were finished in the garden we headed to the restaurant for our lunch. It was 33euro for the three of us for our lunch and there are lots of gluten free options on the menu.

We ate our lunch out on the terrace and this was our view along with a swan and her baby.

 

After lunch we headed to the best bit or for me anyway, the stud farm. This place is just a horse lovers dream but it is equally beautiful for anyone. On the stud you get to look around all the stable yards, the stallions have air conditioning in their stables!. You get to meet some mares and their foals, see some of the top stallions they have and meet some legends of racing like Hardy Eustace, who we got to rub he is really friendly.

We got to visit the racing museum, see a video of a foal being born in the stud and learn a little about the man who started the stud back in 1900, Colonel William Hall Walker and how he believed the stars sealed the faith of each foal born and that every horse should be able to see the stars from their stable.

There is a playground near the mares and foals and also a fair door trail right around the stud for the kids to follow. Each fairy they find has an important job on the stud and each child gets a map for them to follow. Sid loved this but he did want to take home this foal, she was such a friendly little thing looking for rubs from everyone who went past. This is a great day out for all the family even if you have no interest in horses and its fully accessible to buggies or wheelchairs.

So there are our first two summer adventures, where have you been this summer on your adventures ? would love to hear all about them.

When The Size Just Doesn’t Add Up.


Should the numbers on our clothes define us, should our dress size in any given shop dictate how we feel about ourselves on any given shopping trip? It shouldn’t but it does and no matter what anyone says to you, you will not be happy in your skin. I was obsessed with the size of my clothes, the number was so important and it was totally depressing if I didn’t fit the size I wanted. I often left dressing rooms feeling physically sick about the way I looked, how fat I had obviously gotten since the last shop and how many rolls of skin I had either above or hanging over whatever jeans I tried the squash myself into. I took how I felt out on the farmer and then I ate more chocolate to add to the rolls.

That was until about two years ago I had a very interesting jeans shopping trip in a large high street store that completely opened my eyes to how silly I was being. The last time I bought jeans in this store I was a comfy size 14, they were my favourite pair, so comfy and a new pair was needed. I went with my jeans to a brightly lit dressing room delighted to get a new pair, then I tried them on, they wouldn’t come past my knees hardly. I checked the size to make sure it was a 14, it was and then that feeling of just hate at how could I have gained more weight ?. I peeled them off and forced myself to get a size 16 to try and then it happened, they didn’t fit me either! and the size 18 was the same they all only came a bit above my knees. Then I laid them all on top of each other that was when  I noticed what was wrong, while the waist size was getting bigger the leg size wasn’t !. The size 8 jeans had the same leg size as the size 18, sure that wasn’t going to work for anyone only those maybe size 8 or 10 but the rest of us were fecked. This was when I started to check some other stores and they were the same, this was what for years was making me hate my size because the retailers were making it impossible for me to have a positive experience while clothes shopping when they all had a different idea of each size. That was the last time I worried about the numbers on my clothes because numbers are all they are, they are not who I am or what I look like.

That was two years ago now, I haven’t been back in that shop since. I found a store that I love , Next who’s sizes have fitted me constantly for the last two years ( this is not sponsored by them I just love their clothes) . I feel good wearing their clothes and I don’t really look anywhere else for my clothes, they also have a great online service which has a great selection for all ages and sizes this is where I normally buy from them.

What the whole jeans thing taught me was find a clothes brand that fits you well, makes you feel good and makes you look good, one you enjoying trying on their clothes. Clothes will never be the same size in every store so a size 12 in one could be a size 16 in another and this is why we need to forget the numbers and wear what makes you feel sexy, beautiful, confident and totally happy in your skin no matter what the numbers say. Trust me it will ease all your shopping stress, It has for me.

What clothing brands do you love? that always have a good fit ? I would love to hear, leave a comment below.

 

Have You Found Your Dream? 


It’s a saying we have all heard “follow your dreams ” that isn’t always the easiest or practical to do everyday. For instance your dream job, that isn’t always going to work out for people, money, time and family commitments all dictate to us our working life and mine wasn’t always a dream, it was torture for a while.

When I was a kid I wanted to be a vet, a writer and a teacher but my world didn’t fall into place for me to do either. So I did what anyone did I started at the bottom and slowly moved up the job levels in different places. As I was doing this and the amount of money I started to earn increased I started back horse riding, I went to college and trained as a Montessori teacher but still not doing anything with these. Then I got a good job, one in an office, one that people stay a lifetime in and I hated it, ever minute of the three years. All the time I was there I was teaching horse riding for a friend at her stables something I hadn’t done for years before just to help her out. That was the highlight of my week those few horse teaching and being with the horses. Our circumstances had changed and improved a lot over the years so when I talked to the farmer about maybe starting our own centre we were able to make it happen. There I was now teaching horse riding full time and with my own yard of horses, I wasn’t a vet but I was with animals all day.

Then a few years ago I got a push to go get a job just the mornings and I was lucky enough to get a Montessori teaching job. So then I was teaching monti during the week, animals in the afternoons and teaching horse riding at the weekend. 

This is where I am now, it’s not exactly my dream job of my childhood but it has shown me that whatever is your true passion it will eventually take over your life. I wanted to teach, I do that now 6 days a week, I wanted to be a vet my life is full of animals horses, sheep and cattle. My hobbies in my 20’s are now my full time job and if I can do it so can anyone else because I started at the very bottom of the ladder. 

I pretty much now have my dream job just minus being a writer but we will keep working on that one. If you are on the path to your dream job this is a quote from Oprah I always remember “ Do what you have to do till you can do what you want to do ” and this has been true for me so far in life. 

What is your dream job ? Do you have it already? Or are you on the journey? 

Our Fun Family Holiday.


2017 has been one of the most stressful years on us and a break was needed. Due to different reasons a short break was all we could go on so myself, the farmer and Sid all headed off on Monday morning for our two nights and three days away from all the madness.

Our first stop on Monday was Dublin Zoo. This is a great day out for anyone with so much to see. We loved the baby Rhino he was such a cutie. It’s amazing to see these animals so close. After the zoo we headed to have a look around Liffey valley shopping centre and then on to our hotel which was The Castleknock Hotel and Country Club.

Sid has an obsession with all things Titanic so we decided we would head to Belfast and The Titanic museum on Tuesday. This is an amazing centre, when you see it from start to finish and hear real survivors tell their stories it gives you goose bumps.

Sid loved it he was actually there and even dressed up as one of the crew.

And yesterday for our last day we headed back towards home and we went to Powerscourt House and Gardens and to Powerscourt waterfall. This is a beautiful place and you can get right up beside the waterfall. There is also a great playground that caters for all ages from the very young right up to teenagers. 

So here are some of the details, The Zoo is great and you could spend all day there, you can bring a picnic in if you want it was nearly €50 for the three of us.  Liffey valley is not Coeliac friendly for food. We stayed in The Castleknock Hotel and Country Club,it’s located close to Dublin, it’s not expensive, its child friendly and the food is good. It possibly wasn’t as well kept or organised as the last time we were there but they are in the middle of extending it so we will give them a break as every other time we have stayed it’s been so good. Belfast was 2 hrs from our hotel and the Titanic was amazing, very easy to get to, good parking, good food but would really suit kids from 10yrs up but Sid did love it. We also went to W5 which is a kids science museum right across from the Titanic centre, that was really good. Powerscourt House and Gardens was €10 per adult to see the gardens we didn’t go but if you love gardens then do go. You can still go around the house, shops and get food without having to pay. For families the waterfall wins hands down ! Kids have a great playground, loads of room to run around, BBQ areas, hot food and shop on site and beautiful walks around the waterfall. This is €6 per adult and €3.50 per child. 

As a short break we had a great Time, where we stayed was close to everything we wanted to see and I can’t wait to plan next year’s now. 

Where are you going this summer ? 

Porridge bread


Who loves their bread ? Me , Who loves really good homemade brown bread ? Me , Who can’t have gluten and misses having good bread ? ME !  and who just loves good bread ? ME well if you answered yes to any of these read on for a really good recipe. Since I found out I am Coeliac before the summer I have been making it my mission to try every made and mixture of gluten free bread and let me tell you they are all pretty crap in varying degrees. Some taste like the package they come in , some are so full of crap they make your mouth feel fuzzy and some are just plain nasty but what do you do ? you are very limited to choices being Coeliac . Gluten free bread is also a total rip off , some loaves only come with four or five slices and are just so expensive. I have found some good multi seed rolls from Lidl which are fairly nice but that is it for my bread intake.

So I had planned that when I was off on my Halloween break I would try make my own gluten free bread. So I spent last week looking up recipes for breads and nearly all were made using gluten free flour which to be honest is not good either , using it stops at pancake making after that I have yet to make a good cake or scones or buns using it. Then one recipe caught my eye and it was for porridge bread. Now porridge oats are gluten free naturally straight from the field but what can happen when they are in the grain store they can get mixed with other grains that do have gluten so the companies how make them can’t guarantee their oats are gluten free. There are lots of companies who do gluten free porridge oats and they can guarantee their oats haven’t mixed with any other grains so for me I can use them.

As I looked more porridge bread recipes up I decided I would give it a go and see how it turned out. I did change it a little because I add honey to it which I used to do when I was able to make normal brown bread.

Porridge Bread :

  • 300g of porridge oats , normal or gluten free if you need them it makes no difference in taste which you use.
  • 1 x 500g tub of natural yoghurt.
  • 1 x egg
  • 2 x teaspoons of bread soda
  • 1 x level teaspoon of salt
  • 1 x tablespoon of honey
  • 1 x 2lb loaf tin greased and lined
  •  I added a handfull of mixed seeds to mine and also sprinkled some on top.

Mix your honey  , yoghurt and egg together and add your seeds. Then add in your porridge , seeds ,  salt and bread soda and mix till well combined then put it all into your loaf tin and bake in the oven at gas mark 5 / 190c for about 50 to 60mins checking its cooked with a knife, it should come out clean when the bread is cooked.

It is such an easy and really tasty bread for anyone and its even better for someone who cant have gluten because it just tastes so good and its easy to make gluten free. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we are at the minute.

Send me some pictures of your bread if you try it to my snapchat @ elaineslife or to my Instagram I would love to see how it turns out for you.

Elaine x

 

Food To Hibernate With.


Hibernation sounds so good except for the not eating for months, that part doesn’t sound as much food to someone who loves her food. The sleep part of Hibernation does sound really good as the evenings start to get a lot darker and the mornings the same. The air is getting more of a chill and you can feel autumn  really starting to take hold. The woolie hats and jumpers are starting to appear and the longing for comfort and warmth is growing.

When it gets to this time of the year all I would love to do is snuggle on the couch with a warm blanket , a huge mug of coffee, a good book or something comforting to eat. You just start to crave heat and comfort. 

When I think about hibernating and the perfect food to bring with me it has to be rice pudding. It’s creamy, warm , filling and sweet. It just shouts comfort and Hibernation, like a big warm creamy hug. So today when I had time I made rice pudding and we were also given some lovely apples today so I stewed some of them to go on top of my rice pudding.

Here is my rice pudding and stewed apple recipe so you can make your own Hibernation food.

  • 250g pudding rice
  • 1ltr of milk
  • 100g of sugar (I only used 70g because I don’t like it too sweet ) 
  • Place all the ingredients into an oven proof dish. Preheat your oven and bake for about 40 minutes at gas mark 4/5 till rice is nice and soft.
  • While your rice is baking peel and cut up two or three cooking apples depending on how much stewed apple you want at the end. Place it in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water , a sprinkle of cinnamon and some sugar to taste. Stew on a low heat till all the apples is nice and soft. 
  • When your pudding is done dish it into some bowls and place some stewed apple on top. Any left over apple goes really well on porridge. 

 So there it is my perfect food to hibernate with. Now all you need to do is find a comfy seat , a snuggly blanket and hibernate for a little bit while you enjoy your creamy pudding.

Elaine x 

Come say hi on my snapchat you will find me here elaineslife or on my Instagram .