Homemade Rhubarb crumble recipe.

Hi guys, after plucking some rhubard from a local market, we decided to get our hands messy on a Sunday afternoon and bake a crumble. I mean, what better than an after dinner dessert made by yourself?

I’ll make this short and easy to follow, the recipe itself for the rhubard crumble is straight forward you don’t have to be experienced to bake this.

Rhubarb crumble

Ingredients

500g rhubarb, chopped.

100g golden caster sugar

3 tbsp port (optional)

For the crumble topping

140g self-raising flour

85g butter

50g light brown muscovado sugar

Method

  1. Tip 500g thumb-length chunks of rhubarb into a saucepan with 100g golden caster sugar and 3 tbsp port, if using. 
  2. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 mins, adding more sugar if you want. When soft (but still holding its shape) and sweet enough, pour the rhubarb into a medium baking dish.
  3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  4. To make the topping, rub 140g self-raising flour and 85g chilled butter together with your fingers until you have a soft, crumbly topping.
  5. Now add 50g light brown muscovado sugar. Mix together with your hands.
  6. Scatter the topping over the rhubarb and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top.
  7. Serve with custard.

and Bob’s your uncle. Enjoy!

A Summer holiday.

Ah, May, you glorious month. Hello to the new season, the month of my parents anniversary and better still, holiday month. We are off on a ten day holiday to Menorca, Spain as a family of three and to be honest, it’s more needed than ever.

With the growing demands of a toddler who loves to tantrum, a busy working life and a whole lot going on back home, it’s great to finally shut off and forget. Or to an extend anyway. No post work rush, no rainstorms soaking me through and with some good fortune, no drama. You bet, I am all in for pina coladas at 9AM and ice cream all bloody day.

We are headed to Glasgow for the day before leaving early Tuesday morning.. 4AM to be exact.. Hello coffee. A day just the three of us, guards down and mooching around sounds just great. I’m hopeful our holiday will be nothing more than magic, family time is my favourite time, what could be better than winding down with your babies? Pray that the flight will go well with us, especially after the dramatic departure from Cyprus last April.

Hold on tight, I’ll get back to you lovely bunch with a whole lot of updates. Lots of love.

‘Dyed’ and gone to heaven

I know, I should probably have selected a better title for my first post in several months, but it’s late and I just wanted to get straight to it. No hanging about tonight, I’ve had two gins and I am pooped.

I’ll begin my venture into blogging with a topic matter a little on the light side, literally. Having not been present online for some time, I’ll give you all a wee update of a slight style change I’ve gone through, hence the title of my post.

If you hadn’t guessed it already, I’ve only gone and went with a complete hair transformation, thanks to the wonderful local salon, Linton and Mac. I’ve went from brassy highlights to a full bleach blonde head of locks, and I’ve never been happier with my hair.

I finally feel as though I have the hair that was meant for me for so long, it’s taken twenty six years but I’m finally finding my feet and finding a personal style that I can feel at ease with.

Blonder, bigger (10lbs heavier, hurrah!) and a little sassier, I’m feeling much happier and stronger within myself. I mean, I even have a bum again, thank you carbs. Call it a comeback, a phase, a quarter life crisis. Frankly, I don’t know and I don’t care, I’m feeling good, feeling happy and I will drink to that.

Hope that all of my followers are well, I’ve had a crazy few months but hope to get in touch soon.

Lots of Love.

Wynford farm.

Hi guys, just wanted to share with you our experience at Wynford Farm over the weekend. Wynford is definitely one of my favourite places to take Eleanor and this will have only been the second visit, I can’t wait to return again, perhaps in the Spring when the lambs are out to play and the gardens are beginning to bloom.

I love Wynford as it has such a range of activities on offer. From the petting zoo where you can feed the animals to the reptile shed and of course the soft play and cafe. It makes for a real day of adventure and we always leave feeling like we have achieved a mornings work.

I like to head out early as it gets quite busy with children’s parties and visitors as the morning gets on and I don’t deal well with the hustle of busy places, I end up stressed. A morning is perfect and we spend a couple of hours at the farm which I feel is a good length of time, any longer and Eleanor would begin to get over tired and grumpy, any less and you wouldn’t get your money worth as it is quite pricey.

On this second trip, with it being January, there wasn’t much going on with the gardens and the enchanted forest with it being the Winter months however we went straight to the animal pens where we were met with some friendly faces and an array of noise.

It was all go at the animal farm, the guinea pigs were scuppering about, the pigs were belting out noise, goats were eager for food and jumping around with excitement, the sheep was making itself known and the alpacas stood proud. There is certainly a lot going on in the one hut and a whole lot of entertainment for the whole family. From time to time you can hold the local pet rats and guinea pigs but on the occasion there wasn’t a zoo keeper around to offer this.

There is a vending machine which has a selection of animal food you can purchase and feed to the animals. We went with a bag of sheep and goat food and all had a turn in feeding the hungry horrors. The goats were loving it and the sheep too, we absolutely made some new furry friends and Eleanor loved it. I could have taken the goats home and I did in fact leave the animal pens feeling like I needed a guinea pig for back home.

Feeding the animals and making some furry friends at the farm

Where would I keep it? Good question. I did leave with the intention on headed to the pet store afterward to expand our brood but my senses got the better of me and here I am, typing this without a new pet guinea pig. I’ll still long for one and a teddy bear puppy, maybe for my birthday I’ll have a wee furry pal of my own (Euan, I know you read my blogs, hint).

Anyway, as if the cute level of the animals hadn’t got me in a great mood, we headed to soft play so that Eleanor could have the chance to expel energy and experience some play at the farm. The baby area was busy with parents and children all around, the noise level was crazy and the fun was only beginning. We started off at the ball pit, a familiar scene for Eleanor as she has one at home which we used to play with often and has been to another soft play area previously.

The ball pit was short lived and she had taken off, climbing up the padded stairs in seconds..em,what? My baby can climb steps?? Queue the worried expressions on both of our faces. Eleanor was delighted climber her way up the steps and back down again. I’ve never known we to climb so well and to be so confident. I mean at seventeen months she is not yet walking, instead she favours CLIMBING? God help us.

Having climbed the steps with such talent and grace, at the top there is a big slide which you can go down with a parent, safe to say that Euan was in his element and couldn’t wait to get Eleanor onto his lap and zoom down the slide. Oh what fun to be a big kid again, we loved our time at the soft play and Eleanor was eager to get down the slide by herself. We had to keep chasing her to get her back to us before she tumbled down the slide deliberately from he own curiosity.

It was a really great way to run off energy and when it was time to leave, Eleanor was pointing back at the play area, she didn’t want to go and had to be comforted by a sweet treat for the car ride back home. I’d have happily stayed but it was lunch time and we had limited supplies with us and the play area was becoming too overcrowded it was only a matter of time before an accident was bound to happen or a tantrum was going to kick off.

We left the farm after a browse around the little gift shop where we picked up fairy wings for the afternoon activities at home which was to be making fairy cakes. When we reached home we had a quick picnic lunch of cheese toasties and settled for a afternoon nap, even Fern our dog joined in. The morning had tired all of us out equally and peace was restored for the remainder of the afternoon. What a way to spend a Sunday morning, we will be sure to return again soon .

Loved ones, animals and playing with your toddler as they beam with delight and explore a whole new world to them. What could be more special or a better use of free time on a weekend? I’ve returned to the day job on Monday morning feeling like I have had a weekend and beaming with pride for my little family. It may be blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year as the calendar goes but I’m here and I am feeling so fulfilled and loved.

Here’s wishing each of my readers a great week, I hope January hasn’t been too hard on you. I like to think of this time of year as a time for hope, making dreams and spending time with your family. Lots of love, Keren.

Family baking on a Sunday afternoon.

Hi guys, it is Sunday all over again with us. Euan is back home from. A trip out to sea and the family is reunited once more. Most excellent, I am always at my happiest when we are all together and taking g in part in some family fun. After all, life is too short to have anything but fun.

As it is the end of January, the bank balance has hit a bit of rock bottom and what we can do with limited funds is well, limited. Trying to stay positive through January to beat the blues and continue to have fun together.

What’s on the cards today? Well, it’s been a slow paced one with us, going at a rate we can cope with and taking it easy. I’ve had a few gins over the weekend and we have had a couple of walks, a trip to the farm which I will share later and are now onto something late afternoon baking after a wee snooze.

Sunday is essentially my favourite day of the week and definitely a day for family time. We picked up a gluten free cake mix while out shopping which makes around twelve fairy cakes and have set about mixing this up for an after dinner treat. Mm, I don’t know what I love more the dinner or dessert?

Anyway, keen to get all three of us involved, we picked up a set of fairy wings for Eleanor as we are making fairy cakes after all, and got the cake mix set out, added a egg and butter, mixed it together with a little help from Eleanor and a helping of cake mix over each of us. Oh, not to mention the floor. Baking with a toddler even the most easy of bakes becomes somewhat of a circus act.

Ta-daa, a few short minutes later, I spooned the mixed into cases, shamelessly licked the spoon and into the oven they went ,ready to bake for around fifteen minutes. During this time we will get the dog fed and go on a walk while they cool off, ready to decorate later.

Eleanor will have fun I’m sure, probably a bath will be calling soon after but not before we get to devour some cake together. It will be an early one from us as I’m back to work tomorrow while Euan has the day off with Eleanor. I’m ready to spend the evening snuggled up on the couch watching a movie before Rolling into bed with a stomach full of fairy cakes.

Happy Sunday, hope everyone is having a good weekend, I sure am.



Love, Keren.

Valentine’s Day planning.

Before leaving on a work venture for the best part of January, Euan surprised me with news of a Valentine’s weekend trip to Glasgoe for some shopping, live music and good food. Perfect, I was..I mean,I am delighted.

As a couple, we love Glasgow and make time to visit yearly. It’s a City where we have so many memories and essentially fell in love in the first place. From drinking grappa at Jamie Oliver’s, to karaoke with strangers in a pub I’ll never remember – we always have a blast whike visiting.

Visits these days tend to be more tame than a wild night out but it suits our lifestyle just fine. We enjoy dining out, having a browse of the shop selection and going to music gigs. In this instance, we are off to see CHVRCHES which I am really excited for. A long time fan since the first album, I’m hoping for good things and have high expectations.

My Husband is pretty good with booking gigs for us to go to and even more so with his hotel selection, we’ve not stayed anywhere terrible yet and we have stayed lots of places over the years. I’m really keen to go back to Glasgow once more and look forward to catching up with all our favourite spots and shops (ahem, urban outfitters).

A trip away just the two of us on the most Romantic weekend of the year will be perfect. It’s so important to take time out together and remember why you fell in love. It’s nice to be able to get out from Parent duties, let our guards down and get a bit of time to relax and enjoy a nice cocktail or two.

To eat alone while at a restaurant without having to pick up spoons from the ground, wipe food from your clothes or have your child pull at your hair in a plea to escape from the high chair is something to take full advantage of. We don’t often head out for meals at home as the reality of having a toddler and sitting out to eat, is not a very pleasant experience. You rush food, you get stressed and all bothered and to be honest you leave wondering why you ever thought it would be a good idea, or at least on my case this is how it goes.

As we head to Glasgow soon , I’m looking for an insight on restaurants to try, pubs to spend some time sitting in and even cocktail bars to sample if the mood takes us! I don’t know how we will work out way through everything I would like to do in just a short twenty four hours but, I’m keen to give it a shot and make the most of the time we have.

Who said I can’t drink ten cocktails In ten minutes? Right? Well, that said I can barely drink one in a hour so yes, ten would be a push but who knows, of I’m feeling it, I’ll really make a go of it. Anyway, any recommendations of haunts to stop by for a nice meal or some leisurely drinks please do send your recommendations my way, I’d love to hear them.

We like anything quirky, something with a spin to it and a relaxed but plesant atmosphere. Nothing too busy nor too loud (I am not a teenager anymore and crowds bother me). Certainly no place where you spend half an hour queuing to get your orders in, we don’t have the time for that.

Here’s hoping I can pull together a light intinery or magical places to visit and enjoy some live music in the flesh. What’s on the cards for your Valentine’s Day?

Keren.

Making conscious changes; Life with anxiety and IBS.

Hi guys, I thought I’d share some information with my general health and a recent diagnosis I’ve had after several years of discomfort and flare ups. It’s been a confusing ride and trying to read what your body is trying to tell you isn’t always easy, especially not when every symptom you have, Google seems to diagnose you with cancer or heart failure. Real nice, huh?

Anyway after way too many weeks of suffering and losing sleep over horrifying Google searches, I booked in to see the GP and get some answers. It was decided that I have IBS, something which so many others suffer with and runs through my family. My diagnosis really wasn’t too difficult as I have most of the tell tale symptoms of IBS so when going to the GP , I already had a good idea of what was going on but wanted to be certain so that I could treat this best as possible at home and make the necessary changes to help improve my situation.

A diagnosis meant that I could stop stressing uneccesarily over my health and perhaps be able to sleep at night rather than lay awake worrying if I’ve had a heart attack or have tumours growing, not exactly great for my anxiety levels and definitely doesn’t help with the fatigue I suffer. With a diagnosis I can now commit to proper plan of action to battle the bloat and improve my health. What was suggested was to follow a low fod map diet – avoiding certain fruits, vegetables and gluten and to eat a healthier diet. I eat well generally speaking but I am ready to improve myself and do better in order to tackle my stomach troubles. Anything to get rid of the dreaded bloating.

Around three years ago I was on a gluten free diet as I had trouble with bloating, stomach pains and cramps but I was never diagnosed other than by myself. I ate gluten free and mostly survived on porridge oats and fruits, salads and gluten free pizza. As a couple, myself and my Husband tend to eat well and excercise a lot through walking. Euan has recently been diagnosed as having a gluten intolerance so I suppose we are on a similar page with regards to health and at least we can help to guide and support one another through this and live a gluten free lifestyle together . I suppose this does make the weekly shop a bit easier (if only more expensive). When Euan first stopped gluten, I was curisng him as it was a run around trying to think of meals to have, foods to get in and then of course the making of different meals for each of us. Now here I am, on the exact same boat and kicking myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to care for and nurture my family and I don’t mind making meals and organising the breakfast and lunches but what I do mind is the time that is consumed by doing so. Trying to be health conscious and really consider what I am buying is time consuming and it is very well time I could have with Eleanor or reading a book yet it’s time I now don’t have spare. To shop for three different people’s needs and get healthy choices, prepare good meals and try to be on top of my game at all times while running around after my wee girl is not easy. To stay on top of everything while working and running a busy schedule is tough as everyone knows I’m sure. Life is super busy and every year just becomes even more so, as they say; life won’t wait.

We are a health conscious family and we really try to be the best version of ourselves both mentally and physically, making changes when required. We are rather fit and try walk everywhere and pass on good habits to our Daughter with regards to her health and fitness. We live for the outdoors and fresh air. To be so active and on the move non stop yet feel blaoted and unwell all of the time really does bring me down and plays havoc on my self esteem and body image. Not exactly what you need when you are crippled with anxiety as it is and over think, worry non stop. The last thing I want to worry about is how I look but with my IBS I really do worry about how my stomach appears, especially at the end of a busy day.

I hate to look down and see what resembles a pregnant tummy, to suffer terrible nausea and migraines each day and struggle with fatigue. A mixture of stress and anxiety and IBS has really taken toll on my health and most days I feel miserable right now and my mood low. With a New Year and a fresh start I’m out to get on top of my health issues and start over. I am going to make more effort to practice beginner yoga – I’ve dabbled with this before during pregnancy but not a lot and certainly not since birth and I am going to revise my eating habits while working with a therapist to ease my anxieties and try to take back control over my mind and body.

I certainly aim to work on my anxiety and try to improve life for myself , I’ve never suffered anxiety until after a few months post partum which ever since I’ve been crippled with horrible thoughts, worries at all times and real bad palpitations. I break out in a sweat, become clammy and panic often so much so that feel that i can’t breathe at times and melt down. I have terrible social anxiety and I dislike social situations, I become nervous and jittery and feel like I can’t cope, I become agitated and visually distressed and can become quite rude and snappy. I can’t deal with busy places and will either not enter to leave when I’m faced with a busy place such as the supermarkets.

I once ran across the road without thinking while there was incoming traffic and nearly got hit by a bike, I was so wound up by this that I went to the local supermarket to grab some juice but the self scan wasn’t working, it wouldn’t accept the bar code, my heart was racing and in a midst of anger and panic I grabbed the juice and ran out of the store without paying. I had stolen a tin of juice while blinded by a haze of panic and palpitations, not a big deal on the grand scheme of shoplifting but I’ve never stole in all my 25 years u til this moment and I think I was always feel terrible for doing so. Anxiety got the better of me and continues to do so, so much so I avoid certain situations now.

I’ve only have anxiety since having my Daughter and I would really like to get ahead of the game and take back my life. This can become bad at any time, like everyone I’m only human and I have good days and bad days but lately most days are bad and I cannot sleep for stress plaguing my mind. My head races, my body aches and I am so run down I can’t be the best version of myself which is no good for me and feels like I fail my Daughter from time to time. I need to get on top of my health, listen to my body and get strong.

To aid my anxiety as mentioned, I have been to a session of cognitive behavioural therapy to help cope and have set out to have a session each second week to work on coping mechanisms for stress and find out what triggers my behaviours so that we can then learn how to prevent and ease behaviour. Between therapy, medication and my change of diet, I hope to see a Great improve with my mind and my health. I don’t expect miracles but they say that anxiety and IBS go hand in hand, if I can work on my stress and try to better my anxiety I would hope this would have a positive effect not only on myself but for my IBS, that’s the plan anyway. Fingers crossed, I’m real tired of having to feel so worried all of the time and have my moods fluctuate not even daily but sometimes hourly. It’s not easy to live in such a way where you lack control.

When I became pregnant In 2017 flare ups with IBS and bloat didn’t bother me anymore and my stomach was absolutely fine, no pain and minimum bloating. I assumed I was doing okay and allowed myself to eat most foods again, besides meat as I became a vegetarian. However neatly two years post partum, old troubles are creeping back, the bloating is fierce and the mood swings even more so. It’s time to say goodbye to all things gluten once again and try to replenish my stomach health.

I won’t miss gluten in honesty as I’ve done this whole diet before, I know what I enjoy and I know what I can and can’t have so it’s just revisiting old habits for myself and really trying to remain focused. With low fod map diets it is important to avoid certain foods that can trigger the IBS so as well as avoiding gluten,I will be skipping on certain other foods from each food group. It is always tough to change diet, especially while raising a young family but as mentioned Euan is too gluten free meaning we can share the same food and eat the same meals to save having to make three different meals, three times a day.

Eleanor will have most of the same food as we do, especially with the little amount she does eat but I won’t be giving her a gluten free diet as this could cause trouble with her body while it still develops and I’d hate to cause any disturbance with her health. What we have as gluten free such as pasta for instance, Eleanor will have with the gluten.

Has anyone else reading this suffered with post partum anxiety and IBS? The two go hand in hand as we all know but I’m looking to seek some help and advice from others who may be suffering too and to reach out to those of you who suffer in silence. I’m here to try to create a support network of possible and I’m available to chat all times, just send a message my way and I’d be happy to share more of my story as I would be happy to hear your advice and thoughts. If you happen to have gluten free meal recipes, coping mechanisms for IBS and ideas of what to do to aid IBS please do, fire away. I’ll always try to remain my most open and honest through my blog and if I can help someone reading this, that always means a lot too.

As always, looking forward to hearing from you all.

Keren.