Autumn Apple Crumble


Warm comfort food,woolly warm jumpers, steaming mugs of coffee, a cosy corner with a warm blanket and a good book or a long walk in the crisp Autumn air , when you think of Autumn what springs to mind ?

For me its all the above and the smell of warm apple crumble straight out of the oven. That warm apple and cinnamon smell that just makes the whole house seem so cosy. The middle farmer came home from work last week with a bucket of fresh apples so I had to make some crumble. The one thing about being coeliac is the flour, it is just rotten in most things and baking is never as nice but I think I nailed this crumble and it was just as nice or nicer than my old recipe for apple crumble. It lasted all of one night and was eaten by all the farmers with custard, what more could you want on a dark Autumn evening only warm crumble and custard.

So here is my apple crumble, if you want to make it and you can use normal flour then just change your flour for normal and leave out the xanthan gum.

  • Tray for baking crumble in, I used a glass one.
  • I used about 8 apples but use as much you need to have a nice layer in your tin.
  • 210g or so of gluten free/ normal flour.
  • 2 teaspoons of Xanthan gum if you are using gluten free flour only.
  • 50g roughly of porridge oats.
  • 70g sugar can use brown or white whichever you have.
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
  • 170g butter salted or unsalted butter.
  1. Peel and cut up your apples put them in your tray and cover with some extra sugar and a good sprinkle of cinnamon.
  2. Put your flour , oats , sugar , cinnamon and xanthan gum if you are using it into a bowl and then hand mix in the butter till it looks a little like bread crumbs and you have no lumps of butter next. ( leave out your butter for a few hours so its soft makes it so much easier to mix).
  3. Cover your apples with the crumble mix and then cover it with tin foil for the first 25 mins in the oven, bake at gas mark 5/6, this gives the apple a chance to cook and not just your crumble topping.
  4. After about 25mins take off the tin foil and put it back in the oven till your crumble topping is nice and golden. Take it out and enjoy with some custard.

So that’s it a very easy and we all think tasty Autumn Apple Crumble hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.

The Power Of Three.


One question I am away’s asked is ” How do you manage to fit in everything you have to do in a day?” and up until a few months ago I wonder as well how I managed it. I do know that a lot of things were missed on and I was constantly chasing my tail in a state of constant stress about what I had to do and beating myself up about stuff that was forgotten or just not done. I wasn’t as organised as I am now and I had no direction from week to week.

That was when I started to look at Slow living a lot more and I came across planning your day into three’s. Now this might not work for everyone but it has been a huge help to me and I actually get so much more done now than I ever have. I am not beating myself up anymore that I haven’t reached on my to do list for the day/week and I am not stressed about how much I have to do, so I wanted to share it with you as well.

At the start of my week, normally Monday morning at breakfast I take a few minutes to see what really needs to be done that week, the things that just can’t be put off and I pick three as my main todo’s for the week. If there is more than three that could be done I add them to the list in case I get the three main ones done and have some time to do more.

So for example for me this week my main three are : order a skip , cut the grass and sort college for Liam. These are my main three but then I have six others on the list if I have time to get them done then it’s a bonus this week and if not at least the main three are done. I do the same when I am in work so I will have a list for work and for home.

I then break each day down into three’s as well, so say today my three is pony camp, moving calves and going to the bank on top of my ususal housework, dinner making jobs. I will be delighted to get these all done but I also have extras on the list if I get to them and if I don’t I will be happy with getting my three done. This system for me has been a life saver and has taken all the stress and pressure out of my day because I am always getting my three done and that’s such a good feeling, it also makes me more organised so I nearly always get all the extras on the list done. As well I have found if I have reached my three at lunch time I don’t feel guilty anymore heading off with Sid somewhere in the afternoon because I have reached my set goal for the day.

Three things a week and three things a day is also a very reachable goal for anyone, setting yourself three goals a day you are getting 18 little jobs done in six days on top of your general day to day which is a lot of extra done a week. I have found it a total life saver and I am on top of all my jobs which were just piling up on me because now I have been slowly chipping away at them with no pressure. Now there will be times when you might have to change your three a day half way through the week, maybe you or a little person in your house is sick or you have visitors or just life in general gets in the way. When this happens me I still stick to my three main things for the week but am freer with my three for the day.

The power of three is so good, I have no stress now at the start of the week about all that has to be done and none of that feeling you get when you set yourself a target and don’t meet it which is great. It motivates me to do more each week with no pressure because if I only reach my three I am happy its not 23 things I have to do.

I hope you try it and find it as helpful as I have ! if you do try it let me know how you get on. 

Our Blogging Month Is Over.


We have reached the end of my challenge I set myself at the start of June, to blog everyday for the month, post to Instagram everyday and use Instagram stories more. The month flew by and I have loved every minute of it, getting into a routine of writing my posts at night to post the next morning.  I have used Instagram stories everyday except today ( Sid tried to break his face by falling on it today) and posted a photo to my Instagram. I missed two days blogging, one was near the start of the month and one was Tuesday which must be a personal record for me. I have loved every minute of it, I did wonder at the start if I would pass day three of the challenge but here we are on 30th June.

So did blogging and posting to Instagram everyday actually make much difference to my platforms?

To my blog it made a huge difference, my first blog I had a few years ago I was so good at posting to it but this one I was always a bit lazy. I always had an excuse as to why I couldn’t write a post, too busy, to tired, too early in the day, too late in the day or just nothing to post about. This month was the best decision I have made for this little blog and it is only a very little blog as far as blogs go!. When I started this month my monthly views were between 300 and 500 and this has now gotten to 1600 which is a huge jump for me  and I am delighted so many people took the time to come say hi. The amount of interaction on the blog hasn’t increased that much but I am also very bad at commenting on the blogs I read so maybe that’s something I will work on for July. I have never had a day when I didn’t have something to write about which is always good. So yes for blogging I think it is the case of more is better and you also start to hear your voice coming back.

Instagram now on the other hand is a bitch, there is no other way really to describe it. It is a place that tries to suck the good out of you and just make you depressed and feel totally crap. This is a place you need to really not care about the numbers because they for me and lots of others I know are in a constant cycle of change and not always in a good way.  I am on Instagram years and in the past three to four months have been really trying hard to up my game, I took a course, interacted with lots of other people and followed loads of new ones. Really tried hard with my photos and did anything over the month really change ? not really if you were to compare it to the change in my blog.  My followers at the start of the month were 692 they are now as I type 700, during this month I have reached 700 four times though and every time within 2 to 3 days I will be back to where I started or less, this is so depressing, I think now its a platform for the really big  and little fish like me just get eaten up and lost. On the plus side my stories have grow from 40 views a day up to 71 views so maybe video is the way to go ?. The other thing I found was that for me posting at 7am worked so much better than posting in the evenings so in the future that is one thing I will keep up.

So there is my month on the scale of it I am only a tiny speck on the blogging or Instagram world but they are my tiny specks and I love them both even if one is a bitch to use. I am loving stories as I am just to old for Snapchat so that is another thing that will stay now as well.

So will I keep it up now for July and longer? or will I slip back into my old lazy half arsed ways ?

Thats up to you, I am going to make you decide what it is you would like. Would you like three/four times a week on set days ? so you know that 7am on that day a post will be there or would you like me to keep up the everyday as best I can ? please leave me a comment here or on my Twitter or come give me a follow on Instagram so I might stay at or even pass 700. Whatever you guys let me know you would like to see I won’t be back till Monday because I am taking the next two days off.

Look forward to seeing which you want.

 

I Am Going To Write.


” Say yes to new adventures” – unknown

” The key to success is to start before you are ready ” – Marie Forleo

While I was cleaning the car today, which is the worst job ever and took me an hour, I got a very exciting phone call. There is a new Women’s magazine launching at the end of September. It will be called Life Plus and I have been giving the task of writing a monthly piece for it all about slow living, I can’t believe it! . I am nervous and excited in equal measure, I have only ever written for you guys and now what I write will be online somewhere else and eventually in print, in a real shop!.

So over the next few weeks I will be settling down and writing my first three pieces, can you believe it ? little old me getting a chance like this. I will keep you guys posted on when it’s out so you can all give it a look.

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.

 

That Summer Fear.


Does anyone else have the summer fear? That fear of the sun and needing to show a little more skin than normal? Well I had the fear, I didn’t always have the fear but now I do. I was totally care free, the minute the sun came out so did the short skirts, shorts and little tops I was also a size 10!.

Then life caught up on me along with years of chocolate and bad food choices and lets just say it all landed from my hips to my knees. I am at the moment a tight size 12 or a loose size 14 and I carry 80% of my weight around my hips, tummy and the tops of my legs. Carrying your weight here results in rolls over the top of your jeans and having to get the waist size bigger than you need just to fit your legs into. This is the reason I feel the same fear now each summer, I need to keep my legs covered. They are not the prettiest pair, they are well covered with lumps and bumps and wobbly bits and they are snow white as you can see from the above photo ( I was really feeling the fear by putting that up their for the world to see ) you nearly need sun glasses to look at them.

Then this beautiful warm weather arrived, everyone else was in their shorts and pretty dresses, so as the saying goes feel the fear and do it anyway and that’s what I did. I had bought two pairs of linen shorts at the start of the summer with the plan of wearing them at some stage but all the time secretly hoping the weather would never come. Then the sun arrived and I just couldn’t cope so after the jobs that need to be done to let your legs out like shaving and such jobs the shorts went on. I did spend a good ten minutes talking myself into leaving them on, leaving my bedroom and then I walked down the stairs and outside into the world. Now its Thursday and I am still wearing shorts everyday, I have been to the shops in them, on the school pick up and so far no one has told me to put my legs away and I haven’t frightened the sun.

When you feel there is a part of your body that no one should ever see it nearly makes you break out in a panic sweat just thinking about it but it is really ok to just do it. I am now loving my shorts and heading for 40 this year I need to embrace what I have because I will never have the legs, tummy or hips I had in my teen’s and twenties but what I have now is all mine and I am going to let these bumpy, white and stocky legs get some sun and see some of the world.

Who else has the summer fear? How do you cope? leave a comment below and let me know.

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 ?