Utterly amazing :) 6 days ago
had courgettes rather than cabbage. I feel the same way about those! ;) 3 weeks ago
And what a fab pic above – nom nom soup!
Oh – the veg and beans can be any that you like, if you don’t have the exact ones I used. Just use good quality tinned/whatever tomatoes – the batch I did with slightly less nice ones wasn’t half as good. 3 weeks ago
I wouldn’t mind looking like that now, and she’s closer to twice my age…! 3 weeks ago
I know, bit late! Actually, I started this with the year and totally forgot to write about it. Anyway… success has been mixed, so giving myself a reminder at the end of the month to keep going with the goal seems okay, too.
The goal! In the book, The Happiness Project, author Gretchen Rubin begins with ‘Vitality’ – energy. Prioritising sleep, exercise, and also mental energy from a decluttered environment and so forth.
As I say, hasn’t exactly gone to plan over the past month, but it’s all more of a cumulative thing rather than dropping after 30 days.
Onwards! 1 month ago
1 finely chopped onion
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried herbs: oregano, basil, or italian seasoning
pinch dried rosemary
1 finely diced pepper, mixed colours for presentation
½ a carrot, cut into very fine batons
‘some’ shredded cabbage
1 tin beans – cannellini, for instance
1 ½ pints stock
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 oz spaghetti (broken into 1cm pieces)
1 good sprinkling of celery salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
- If you like, soften the onion (and garlic) first – I prefer to just bung everything in and not need to use oil.
- Leaving out the soy sauce and spaghetti, bring everything else to the boil then cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
- Then add the spaghetti and soy sauce and cook for a final 15 minutes, uncovered, before serving.
Thought I’d posted about this ages ago…! Up until now I haven’t been a great fan of minestrone, but this one is soooo good I’ve made it about four times already – my new healthy eating kick involving large pots of soup! The secrets, I believe, are the longish cooking time (worth it!) and the odd addition of soy sauce!
Originally from here1 month ago
Recipe and image from here
Pork loin steak
1 eating apple, sliced
quarter onion, finely diced
pinch sage or mixed herbs
about a quarter can of cider
heaped teaspoon philadelphia cheese
- Brown the pork, remove from pan
- Brown and soften the apple, remove from pan
- Soften the onion and herbs
- Add the cider and return the pork and apple to pan, simmer until pork is fully cooked
- Plate the pork, and add the philadelphia to the pan. Stir until melted, then pour over the pork.
I love the Philadelphia website for all sorts of recipes that help use up a tub. This was sort of a last-minute thing, and very quick and easy to make. My one advice is not to add too much of the cheese, or it gets very rich. 3 months ago
Brr, soup season is definitely back upon us! This one is based on a recipe from the Asda magazine, and was rather nom :)
1 large onion, diced
150g carrots, chopped
500g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 medium sweet potato
100g red lentils
1 litre hot water
1 vegetable stock cube
3 level tablespoons tomato puree
2 level teaspoons mixed dried herbs
- Soften the onion in a little oil
- Add the rest of the vegetables and cook, covered, for 5 minutes or so on a low heat
- Add the lentils, stock, water, tomato puree and herbs.
- Bring to the boil , then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Blend before serving. 3 months ago
Sometimes you just hit a topic that resonates with a couple of areas…!
So, it can take hard work to be happy. And it takes effort to have a social life.
Added bonus of NaNoWriMo (and there are many!) is the perfect excuse to get out of the house and be with a like-minded group. In this month where I’ve been more insanely busy than any (since I stopped studying!) I’ve ironically also been way more socially active.
When I don’t have the excuse – like NaNo – I can retreat into my shell. I think, “Oh, sofa is so much more appealing!” or “Why should I pay for overpriced coffee when I can have a nice cuppa at home?” or even “But it’s dark out!” (added winter bonus: it’s dark out when I leave work anyway, so walking home in the dark at 8pm isn’t all that different!).
Writing groups continue after November. This is me stopping making excuses, and instead looking for excuses to get out and about and be with actual people! 3 months ago
Or, pushing yourself to be happy.
This month I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo. Other than a few nights off, I’ve been pushing myself to write, even when I don’t feel like it. And I’m having a ball! Even if I’m not terribly impressed by most of my scribbles, it feels amazing to have them out of my head, and into a form I can edit – so much easier than the ‘birthing’ in the first place! And there is something of a ‘wow’ that I’ve managed to write some 37k words already…!
So my thoughts drift to next week, when I should (and will!) have crossed the 50k finish line and be the master of my own evenings again. I’ve just proved to myself what I can accomplish when I don’t give in to the slumping default, and I am living how much happier that makes me feel. So – post-NaNo, take over the world: more writing ! Reviewing! Cards! Drawing! Cinema!! Socialising!!!
If I can push myself now, why shouldn’t I be able to do it next month?
Because the little voice in my brain will say, “Yeah, but you’re tired” (some of my best scenes this month have come out when I’ve been too tired to over-think). “Yeah, but what’s the point? Who cares really?” – and there’s the kicker. That’s what stops me 90% of the time, doing things I want.
No, there’s not real ‘point’ in half the stuff I want to do. No one will care if I can’t draw any better on 1st Jan 2014 than I could on 1st Dec 2013. No one will miss my ramblings about the book I just read, or the movie I saw. The cards will get made, even if it’s last minute stressful rather than a fun hobby.
But you know what NaNoWriMo has taught me? Cos there’s no real ‘point’ to that, either – and yet here I am, doing it. I made a commitment to myself and sure the cheering on by the team and the visible word count tracker are all highly motivating. But ultimately I’m doing this for me, ‘cos it’s something I want to do – and THAT can and should carry on past November. 3 months ago
After last Saturday’s mega 4k I was dubious about Sunday being productive, and more so Monday (which never is, post-work). And yet both days I got about target – add a bonus write in (fueled by oh so delicious orange hot chocolate!) on Tuesday and I was suddenly more than a whole day ahead. Woo!
Of course, I squandered it by crashing out on Friday night, but so it goes :)
Today is the start of the final week. I have 12.5K to go – which suddenly doesn’t seem like an awful lot in which to navigate my main character to a finish line!
Happy scribbling, fellow NaNo’ers – may the word count be ever in your favour! 3 months ago
Yesterday was a crazy good day. I was in the creative spirit after a card making workshop – always feel like a creative soul when I’m covered in ink or other craft supplies ;) – and I managed to find the ‘new’ (to me) Saturday write in place. Where over the course of 2.5 hours, a cheese toastie, coffee and a black forest gateau hot chocolate (nom, but sticky!) I rattled out 4007 words, and got back on target!! Whooo!!
Can’t say that they’re desperately good words, or even ones that progress my plot. But they are helping me get my world building out of my head!
This week’s approach – which I think I got to sometime around 11pm on Friday night (!) – is inspired by Julia Cameron, who wrote about writing being less of a struggle if you listen and transcribe, rather than trying to force words to march to your say-so. I so much want a story/plot/all that, but if what’s ready to come forth from my fingers today is a random aside about meeting a goblin in the ladies, then so be it, I guess!! o_O 3 months ago
I know – we’re two days into week 2 already! Yesterday was my least productive day, as I just got home from work tired and craving a lazy Friday evening after what’s felt like a very long week. Managed 500-something, which left me about 1300 down (less than a day), which should be easily catch-up-able over the weekend! Although I would like to get ahead, too… hmm!
Three things I’ve found motivating: one was looking at my word count from last year, where I see I had started to get quite far behind by this point. So, already doing ‘better’ than last year!
Secondly, (re)reading some of the inspiration chats, and part of ‘No Plot, No Problem’ has reminded me not to take this too seriously. Part of ‘the wall’ is, for me, getting too precious about my story. This doesn’t make sense, can’t see how to move this bit forwards, oh this bit is dull. This is NaNo – throw all of that aside, and just scribble!
The other thing was finally making a ‘real’ write-in, where 7 or so of us sat in a coffee shop with our laptops. It’s harder to get distracted with so many other so industrious around you, I think, and while there were the occasional breaks for banter it was also fab to say “I’m stuck!” and have someone toss a random idea at you! And so there’s a surprisingly well-fitting scene appeared in mine that involves a surprise fish, a cat, and a coin being coughed up…!!
Happy scribbling, fellow NaNo’ers! :) 3 months ago
Day 1 was tough – all my online support group talking about starting at midnight, well ahead of the game by the time I get home from work still to put pen to paper! Eeep! Sort of ‘forget’ that last year I wasn’t working full time when I took on this challenge…! Still, first night keenness and I finished ahead of the game a little :)
Day 2, thankfully a weekend, and I polished off all bar 80 of the day’s target before breakfast. Woo! And I liked those words a little better than the previous day – most of day 1’s output will be binned, I already know, as it’s too much exposition. Still.
Day 3 and argh I’ve already hit a funk – I just can’t be bothered opening that document for typing :( Doesn’t help that half the fb group has had a semi-rant about how useless sprints are (“Darling, the quality – it’s just not there!”) which has sort of made me feel that my scribbles to date are useless. I don’t believe that – and I think sprints are the perfect way of turning off the brain and getting something down. Otherwise I sit like this morning…!
Okay, that was my pep talk to myself. I need a plan of attack for today – a scene to run with – and just to get started on it!
To all NaNo nuts: may the word count be ever in your favour! 4 months ago
Wait – where did October go!? Oops – so much for plans. Ahem.
Thoroughly looking forward to prioritising scribbling for a month, getting an(other) idea out of my head, and seeing where the germ of a story – already taken a huge turn I didn’t expect, just in the ‘thinking up vague scenes’ stage – is going to venture over the next 30 days! 4 months ago
As I understand it, the whole point of NaNo is to leave the inner editor elsewhere for the month – editing is for March (according to ‘No Plot No Problem’!) 4 months ago
Back to work – after a weekend, and today a week – and Monday evenings are so not a time to be pushing. No, seems to me that Monday nights are for body brushing, hot baths, face masks, and early nights in bed with a book :)
(Found the image while googling – I thought reading in the bath was indulgent, but now I’m wondering if I can get that set up for November…! :) ) 4 months ago
Recipe available here
Oh dear. I had another one of those moments of getting all the ingredients, but not really paying attention until I started cooking. All those who didn’t twig this was veggie/lentil curry, please leave the room!
And then, as I was pouring in the stock, I was going to make a joke about feeling like I was making soup. Until I took the lid off the pan and found myself looking at… spicy lentil soup! D’oh!
It’s a rather schizophrenic dish, but it did taste nice!
I’d recommend that the overall taste is going to be largely dependant on your choice of curry powder/paste. I went for madras powder, and added a half-teaspoon of garam masala, ginger paste, and some chilli flakes.
I served it with a peshwari naan, and a bowl of greens. Yummy, and very warming as I huddle up waiting for my heating to be repaired! 6 years ago
Poking my head above the parapet in far too long. New job is ace, but it does seem to have eaten my life/brain over the past several months. Now I’m feeling ready to pick back up some of the ‘balance’ I natter on about – and lo: just in time for the unbalanced insanity that is NaNoWriMo 2013! :)
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my first attempt. And it wasn’t so awful – I have all sorts of plans to rewrite and edit, and am really chuffed to have bashed out the kernel of something I could actually mould. And that from starting with almost no clue whatsoever…!
Next month, however, is for a new story. Oh, but where to start? The long-LONG-standing tale, see if I can actually put words to paper? Or the aborted Camp NaNo novel resurrection, with a good chunk of outline and lots of clues about what NOT to do (again) with it? Or, something else entirely – there was always that things with the tree-girl…!
Decisions, decisions! Maybe I need more Novembers in the year, get through all of the ideas :) 4 months ago