Friday, 29 July 2011

Rainbow Cake: Could I be a food blogger?

I have seen many variations on the Rainbow Cake but by and large my favourite of favourites has to be the Rainbow Cake from Whisk Kid pictured below.

I have told myself a lot of times, on a whole number of occasions I don't dare count, that I could start documenting my food; pictures, recipes, ease of cooking - the lot, all put up here for vegans and meat eaters alike to visually feast upon. Then I remembered; I'm a lazy chef. I don't like things that take patience or a whole lot of effort. 

I look at recipes and think to myself; "Ah, we don't need that ingredient!",  just so I didn't have to go and pick something up from an out of the way health food store. I like easy cooking. Rainbow cakes - which require six layers to be cooked - are not under the category of easy cooking. That's stress and a lot of food colouring everywhere cooking. Not my style.

But I applaud this new style of cake to the Internet Land, Welcome in Rainbow Cake, you're most welcome here and anyone who cooks you should most definitely post a zillion photos of you so I can drool over your fruity food colouring layers while I visualise myself biting into your cakey, spongy goodness. 

However I'm not too sure I will ever make a Rainbow Cake (does that make me a failed Molly Mormon?). And it's worth noting that I don't do the cooking round here. I gave it up when my health got worse and I resorted to eating out of packets and tins for a while until Bryan learned that fresh cooking saves money. And your waist line. 

These days toast is my speciality. So if anyone has a good Rainbow Toast recipe, throw it my way ;). 

P.S: Holy smokes...I found Rainbow Toast here

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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Old Versus New: The Bathroom.

I'm running a little Blog series called "Old Versus New" in order to make me feel better about moving to a new place - did I mention I get utterly anxious about moving? 

It's basically a comparison project between our old place and our new place. My photo's of interiors are shocking, so it might not be the best photography you'll ever witness, but really - who cares? If you're anything like me you love looking into other people's homes so the quality of the pictures doesn't matter at all. 

First in the series is The Bathroom:


Over head shower.
Hand rails (especially for me.)

No hot water for the majority of our tenancy.
A real grime magnet.
Sink had a huge space at the back - dirt magnet.
Wall paper was peeling off the wall before we moved in.
Big old mouldy wall (not seen in the pictures.)
Bath had several cracks on the outside - what's with that?


Nice big deep bath.
Hot water.
No mouldy wall.
Intact wall fact there is no wall paper to worry about getting mouldy.

No shower - fitting one in will cost hundreds, need to apply for permission to fit one from Local Authority and not willing to plumb one in to raise the landlord's value on the place.
No shower rail or curtain.
Smaller-ish sink. No biggie on that.


I'm almost too embarrassed to show this photo, but here it is. My bog, loo, lavvy, toilet. And that wall. That flippin', fetchin', hecker of a wall ;).


I'm happy with having an old style toilet. It means I can finally put a Hippo into the tank (and yes I am a cheap skate, what of it?)

This bathroom is bigger. Not massive, but big enough to make me happy...yeah I'm quite an easy to please person. I'm also happy about having a medicine cabinet - at least, that's what we called them where I'm from - to store all our crap things in.

Oh yeah and I can feel a bamboo laundry whites/darks mixer basket coming on for this room. Do ya feel me on that?

 It's worth noting that we Scots don't usually have the luxury of an en suite - and it adds a silly amount to the price of the rent or mortgage. I can only assume that because we're not living in new builds that we're not usually afforded this luxury.

However it has long since been a dream of mine to have an en suite in one of the homes I occupy so here's to wishin' and a hopin' - girls gotta have dreams, right? Even if they are en suite related.

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Okay so I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of both old and new bathrooms. 

Join me next week for Part Two: The Living Room. 

I know it will blow your minds! (Or, you know, keep that part of your voyeuristic curiosity satisfied.)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Ro, why must you grow?


In an effort to get better organised for our move I decided to start somewhere that won't overwhelm me too much; my SD memory card. I came across photographs taken in Feb-March and was taken aback by just how much Roman has changed.

Between being a full time Mum, moving to a new place and everything between I have some time to think. And ponder.

For a start I don't think about things too much any more. If I did I think I would be freaked out that I'm married and not only that, I have a child. I am a mother. I thought it would be this massive deal and although it is; the days merge into one, weeks are a lump sum and suddenly I find myself tallying up months and now we're onto the second year of my son's life. 

How can time move so quickly? 

When I held a newborn in my arms I wanted so much. I pondered a lot; I can't wait until he can speak, walk and eat meals with us.

I wonder now how my parents must feel - to know that those newborn babies grew up and had babies of their own. I want that so much for Roman but at the same time, can I really picture it? Yes, of course, in some far away and distant visual but in reality I can't see it because it feels like a million years away. But it will come. And I'll probably cry tears of mixed emotions.

P.S: when you read this post I will hopefully be in the bosom of my new place! I'm running a few scheduled posts that I've written in advance - isn't technology wonderful?

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Saturday, 23 July 2011

Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat.

I don't usually (ever) take to my blog to write about things to do with celebrities (the Royal Wedding aside) because a lot of the time they're getting enough exposure and this blog isn't really about celebs now, is it?

However I make an exception when someone like Amy Winehouse dies so suddenly. No official statement has been released around why she died so let's not speculate or assume right now. All I know is that around 3.54pm today Emergency Services arrived at her home in Camden where Amy Winehouse was pronounced dead at the scene. 

She was clearly troubled and addiction in all it's forms is a horrible life for anyone, but especially a young, talented and creative woman. I didn't like her music at first, but then I heard "Back to Black" and those lyrics really rang true for me at a point in my life in 2007. 

So let's remember something in all this hot mess: a young woman, 2 years older than myself, has died today and that's a real loss to the World in my opinion. So sad for her family. 

Sunday, 17 July 2011

When it is enough?

"The Lord doesn't expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn't (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be."
 Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I think it's definitely something we all do at some point in our lives; compare and contrast with others. 

As I'm sick and housebound I know that comparing and contrasting can be as bad as catching a cold or a sickness bug; it takes hold of me, makes me feel a hundred times worse and leaves me very weak. 

I used to care a lot more about the things I didn't have and the things I couldn't do. These days? I still care, just not half as much. 

I used to be jealous of those with mortgages. But in all reality a mortgage is a bad thing for us right now; if something went horribly wrong there is noway we could juggle a mortgage and repairs. By the time my parents were my age, they had a home and a mortgage but were they any better of than I am right now? They sacrificed, scrimped, saved and went through a lot to keep their home. They endured trials I couldn't face right now and I don't have to face. Because I don't have a mortgage. It's a blessing, not a curse.

So what of comparing your abilities to others? Are you constantly at it like me? 

I'm 25 and barely make it out of my flat three times a month. Of course I am going to compare my life to others. I think even 90 year old's make it out of the door more than me. I used to constantly put pressure on myself to do everything and be everything. I just can't do it any more. I'm frail at 25 and I have to be okay with that because there is no cure to my illness.

There is another gnawing hope inside my heart. Knowing the sweetness of the blessing that children bring into your life I have been craving adding to my family but I know it's not going to happen. One child is probably our limit and I realise this is a personal thing to write about but I'm fed up and exhausted of being asked when we're having another baby (unless you're my Dad because that's allowed.) 

We're probably not going to have any more kids, just so you know, not that it was any of your business in the first place. My failing fertility - again feeling old inside my body - and pathetic state of health is making sure of that. I was very fortunate that I had Roman when I did. 

But I'll tell you something; I am happy. So happy beyond anything I could measure. And I am grateful for the life I have. Because every now and then something comes along and reminds me not to be sad and to realise just how much I am taking on and doing. I'm taking on a lot and half the time I'm not even sure how I'm doing it. All I know is that I pray and somehow Heavenly Father makes all the pieces of the puzzle fit. He reminds me daily that I am doing my full to capacity best.

 And that if I feel that's not enough, tough luck.  It is enough.

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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Home Vanity: Moving Home Edition.

They totally did a major tidy up before they took pics.

In a few short weeks I move to my first 'I get to furnish this place' home since I have been married so I have been indulging in a little interior spying.

My first port of call is Apartment Therapy - a website designed for people who always seem to keep their homes tidy and are pretty nifty with a jigsaw (I don't mean the puzzle, I mean the saw variety...but you knew that, unlike me a few months ago.) This website features the crème de la crème of interiors and the wonderfully put together homes shot on top notch DSLR's by their home owners.

There is no way that I can compete on this league, but I can aspire, right? I can day dream that I too will one day own a 'retro kitsch modern two tone loft.' Okay, what? I don't want to live in loft. Too cramped. But you catch my drift.

Here retro amounts to a cigarette burned couch or those hideous 1900's inspired carpets with lots of puke shade flowers on them. 

I want to be a bread-makin' lemonade pourin' wife. I want to make pies in my kitsch little kitchen and have my sexy husband shoot countless photos of me doing so - you know, all casual and of course I would be dressed 1950s style to complete the look I'd be going for. But I don't know if they sell 1950's style pyjama's and although my husband is sexy it's a rare occasion that you'll catch him taking photos - even though he's talented at it (I never tell him that as I don't like to praise him too often, his ego is big enough as it is.) 

Another problem we've faced living here is the matter of a guest bed. What do you all do when you have guests round? Do they take the couch? Air mattress? Do you have a spare bed? What's your set up?

Ours was letting guests sleep in the spare bed in Roman's room but that doesn't always work out too great and obviously as we're moving we won't have a spare bed. I'm thinking a sofa bed will solve this...or you know we could install a bed into the bathroom like these people did:

Or not.

It all looks so effortless and impossible. But there is one silver lining and it's this; a lot of these people are trying to cram their lives into small spaces. This is something we have been doing for nearly 3 years and we don't have to do that any more. Our new home is ready and waiting with lots of cupboards, storage and..wait for it, because this is good...a handy little antique/second hand furniture store just ONE street behind us. 

I am mega excited, hopeful and very happy. I get over excited about things these days because there usually isn't good news for me health-wise ("No cure Mrs. Quinn."/"Nothing we can do."/"Go home and do nothing." Plus all the notes I get telling me I can't work, can you say frustrated?) and I am very excited about how quickly we've been blessed with this new place - it just appeared, we called up, B had a look around the place and before I know it our place here is up for grabs and we're moving in a few weeks time!

So, when we move, and whenever I get up the motivation/energy/get up and slow (you know, like get up and go ;) I will give you my own version of Apartment Therapy right here on this wee blog. I can't promise pie-making in my awesome more-than-enough-room-to-swing-a-cat-kitchen* but I can promise that it will be mine, it will be genuine and it will be awesome, all in it's own right. 

Oh yeah and I can't wait to make lemonade! Although, seriously, I am not prepared to give myself Type 2 Diabetes so if you know a sugar free/healthier alternative to traditional lemonade, throw it my way.

*No cats will be harmed in the taking of photographs.

Oh yes...and don't forget to vote (below) as I am trying to take over the World and really need your help with that!

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Monday, 11 July 2011

It's All About Me


I would love to be a professional photographer. Why? Because I would love to make money/someone's day by taking photographs for a living. However, I realise it's a very tough job; a lot of physical energy is required that I lack. And it's probably best that I am a photographer for fun because I would have a nervous breakdown every time I had a photo shoot.

I would love to have a cat. I do love dogs, however cats seem less work. Dogs are a constant source of responsibility whereas cats seem to govern themselves. As long as you throw them some food and pay them some daily attention they do okay. Perfect pet for me. 

This is my shampoo. I really, really like it. I really have nothing else to say other than that. And that you should buy it.

I disliked Pinterest until I saw this. Kittens in knickers on a washing line - how can you resist?

Two favourite people in my favourite photograph. Couldn't resist sneaking them in here somehow ;).

I'm a tiny bit feet phobic lately. I love Roman's little tootsies and generally any baby/toddler but if you go beyond that it gets so creepy for me. I am reaching the point where I hate seeing my feet uncovered. My own feet gross me out. Do I have issues?

My life is chaos. When I was better than I am now I was obsessed with organisation; everything had a place and there was a place for everything. Now that I am sick it's all gone to Hell in a hand basket.  

As you can see above I used to be a bit of a poser. I feel so old when I look at this photograph. It was taken over 4 years ago now and I was at this weird fork-in-the-road moment in my life where the World was my oyster and I loved it. Anything and everything felt possible. I was also spiritually where I wanted to be and for the first time in a long time very, very pleased at myself and happy about this. I also miss my straighteners and make-up when I see this photo but one day, some day I will work up enough energy to apply make-up and do my hair again. If things can get worse, they can get better.

I can't demonstrate this in a photo, so here goes: I love to blog. It has saved my sanity on the weeks and sometimes months where I am trapped in the house. I have plenty to be getting on with in life so I am loving the fact Blogger allows you to schedule posts - I can set a post to be published when I am asleep or sick or completely without an internet connection and I find that brilliant. Blogging has allowed me to connect with people and that's important to me; I need to socialise, even if it is on-line. I don't get many visitors and my family are all scattered across the World, so being able to keep in contact with people is important.

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Sunday, 10 July 2011

This is what it's all about...


 "Moments are the molecules
 that make up eternity."
Elder Neal A.Maxwell. 

It's my Dad's birthday today and usually he doesn't like a big fuss made but I am going to share with you a story about one of his birthday's I remember. I think it was his 40th birthday and he really didn't want any fuss made. He's that kind of a guy. We were in France this year and my Mum really wanted to go all out for him. So she had us drawing these signs saying "HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY DAD!" which we plastered on the caravan window and I think a sign even made it onto his car window. When he saw it he was suitably mortified but I think secretly touched. Or at least that's the reaction we were hoping for ;). Anyway, the whole day was awesome and all about us; the kids. Or rather, the family. 

I know that my Mum is a massive influence on how important family is but it's both my parents who've taught me how really important it is. And it's through life's little moments that I've learned this, it was through experiences like the above that I've come to realise just how precious people are.

I once heard (and can't remember where from) a quote that basically summed up life. That life is a flash in the pan experience, it can slip through your fingers very easily and that each moment was worth living because death was an eternity. This life is only brief.

It may feel like it stretches on forever, endlessly, but it really flies by. 

Last week I wasn't sure what meaning my life held any more. I felt so pointless, useless and pathetic. I tried to cry and the tears wouldn't even well up in my eyes. I thought of worst case scenarios in my mind and the tears came freely. I felt horrible the next day because I'd given into these despairing thoughts.

My Dad gave me some advice about feeling like this - although, truthfully, he didn't know the depths of my emotions at the time but I don't think that was important - and it made me eternally grateful that I am his daughter. He basically said that I made the mistake of thinking that these problems and feelings will last forever - when in all reality they are fleeting. And it's true. Happiness and sadness are never constant; they always fluctuate so why should I give into one emotion or the other? 

So, what's important to me? My Saviour's pure love. My Heavenly parents that only want the best for me. My sweet son and loving, caring husbandMy Earthly parents (kind and dear.) My family. The precious few friends I have.

And I am grateful for so much more. So much, much more.

So do I believe we're all made of stars like Moby sung about? No. We're not made of stars; we're made up of molecules. Tiny atoms. And so is time. Life's moments really are tiny in comparison to what we have ahead; eternity. This is why life is so precious, so significant and so worth living.

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Thursday, 7 July 2011

If You Could {Blog Hop}

I'm excited to host my very own Blog Hop.

Here's how it works: Add your blog at the end of this entry, copy and paste my questions to a new blog entry and fill in your own answers! :). For extra brownie points, add my little photo (above) and I'll love you forever!

Let's see what everyone is thinking! 

If you could, would you change your name? 

No. Cara is a nice name to have, I reckon. 

If you could, would you turn back time?

No because there isn't a time in my history where I've been as happy as I am now.

Where did you grow up? If you could, where would you have chosen to grow up?

In the United Kingdom, but more specifically in Scotland. It's a strange place if you're visiting but to live here it grows on you. Like a fungus ;). I believe I did choose Scotland, so that's the funny thing. But if I could now live somewhere else in my dreams it would be Los Angeles and in my not-too-faraway dreams it would be London, England. 

If you could give one person the day of their dreams, who would it be and what would you be doing?

 Bryan. My health would be perfect so we'd be doing normal stuff that most healthy folk take for granted. Going out somewhere, walking a lot, I'd probably break into a run if I had perfect health just to see what it felt like...but this is his day, right? ;). I'm sure it would be very simple and humble, though, because that's the kind of man he is. Either that or we'd be spending the day with Mike Mahler or Bruce Lee (people are allowed to be resurrected for the day!)

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Gnocchi with garlic stuffed olives and sundried tomatoes. And because I am a glutton; vegan cheesecake with vegan squirty cream (of which I have never ever tried.)

What are your If You Could answers? 

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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

On the MOVE!


We're moving! (P.S The photos are not mine, I got them off the rental website.)

I'm always anxious to move somewhere new; although, strictly speaking this isn't a new place. We were baptised and married (and in B's case raised) here so as you can probably guess, there are some sweet memories tied up here.

We also started our married life in this town, so it's not at all unfamiliar to me. I guess I just got comfortable being where we are. And that brings about it's own anxieties. I moved around a lot when I lived in London and I didn't like that; it was a fresh upheaval each time and quite frankly it was annoying. I threw out precious things to me on each move because I couldn't be bothered hauling round bits and pieces - plus I had too much stuff as it was.

I was reluctant to throw anything away the last time we moved and it made things stressful for me. I'm going to have to be better organised this time around. 

So, I'll raise a toast of lemonade to new starts and getting better organised...

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Friday, 1 July 2011

Last Year...


Last year Roman was 5 months old. I did laundry; hung it out to dry, brought it in, folded it and put it away. I organised the corners of our living room (and wanted to die doing it), I organised the drawers of Roman's clothes every 3 months, I vacumed, dusted and polished his room. I aired out his curtains (back in the days when he had curtains!) and would throw open the window as wide as it would go. I unclogged the kitchen sink, poured bleach down the drain in another fruitless attempt to keep it clean, scrubbed and bleached the sink knowing that within a week it would be back to it's disgusting state. I would mop floors, scrub counter tops and even got down on all fours to clean the bathroom floor corners that the mop found hard to reach. The toilet was clean, the bath never had dirty foot prints on it.

Just as I would throw open the windows in Roman's room I would do the same in our room and in the living room. I would carry this work out over a period of a week; scattering the jobs  out knowing full well I was the only one responsible for doing them. 

And suddenly, everything changed. 

I got very sick with mastitis. Loads of washing felt like blocks of concrete in my arms. Scrubbing the toilet free from urine seemed less important to me. I had better things for my energy to do like eat and get better. I recovered from the mastitis but as I have ME it stripped me of my energy. There is even a pile of clean laundry, sitting in a basket in B's bedroom (I say B's bedroom because it's not really my room. My room is the living room and the couch is my bed) that has been there since last summer. A year ago.

I remember that life was very different until I got struck down with an infection. And that's how easily life can throw punches at me. One infection, one virus, one stomach bug and I am knocked out for a year. Everything annoys me now, too. Like you wouldn't believe. I get annoyed when B hangs washing inside and puts the heating on in the summer. The kitchen is constantly dirty. Every room is a mess. There are two over full washing baskets full of months old dirty clothes. The bathroom hasn't been cleaned in a month. I sleep on a couch. I live my life on a couch. I sleep a maximum of four hours a night. I hardly see anyone I know and I don't know who my friends are any more - or if I can call people I haven't seen in years friends.

And there are certain people who swing by every month without a moment's notice. I don't get dressed because it's an effort. Life is an effort so don't expect me to come to the party without my pyjama's, after all that's the uniform of the sick, isn't it?

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