Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunny, Yellow Cake Day

Today I cooked a sunny, yellow "Orange Cake" - fluffy and yummy on the inside, crispy and golden on the outer crust. Iced with sweet citrus and puffs of sugar! Yum! A morning at the beach with "our nipper" at Nippers - beautiful. xo xo Pottering with my family in a tidy house after a rigorous day of house work yesterday. Aaaaahhhh.... Love this season, love this time of year.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My first, published Book Review - q.e.d.

Book Review by Tracey Mason on:

'We Have Met The Enemy -Self Control in an Age of Excess' by Daniel Akst

We all have our vices. Think not? Can't drop the habit of that extra sugar in your morning coffee? Can't ditch that monkey on your back that stops you from writing your memoir or completing the renovation of the home that you and your increasing family struggle to live around? Can't give up the wine whilst you cook the evening meal? Can't bear to go to the garage anymore for fear that the car that you have been going to do up for the last thirteen years may tumble upon you and sever one of your limbs?

This book, 'We Have Met The Enemy' helps us to define the habits, behaviours or practices that we most struggle to self-regulate. Importantly, Akst points out from the outset that our potential failings may not necessarily be overtly addictive substances such as drugs or alcohol but more commonly and perhaps more perversely, daily temptations such as: food, procrastination, work, sex, the Internet or even our relationship with our i phone, blackberry or even our television viewing consumption. It is these objects of desire that we are increasingly self-flagellating about.

Upon reading Akst's research it can be quite confronting to realise that indeed one or many of these temptations may require immediate attention, self-monitoring and self-management.

In an age of abundance, excess, morbid obesity rates and waste of global resources (in the Western world), Akst advocates the health and lifestyle benefits of curbing our enthusiasm in our bid for materialism and instant gratification.

We have veered far off course from the Stone Age, when food and family relationships represented survival and protection. In our modern age we are now thrust a limitless array of what Akst coins "super normal stimuli" in a consumerist society, whereby every item is at our disposal and marketed within an inch of its life.

Food is now glossed up, heavily styled and photographed and made to appeal to our very identity in order to provide comfort, relief or even a raise in our social standing. The food we eat can make us 'hot' or not, hip or uncool.

Does pouring our energy into acquaintances or strangers via social networking cause us to neglect our core relationships with our immediate family who require our time and nourishment the most? Are we battling a cold war of internet warfare within ourselves?

Has our resolve and ability to have a handle on the "self" in self-control caught up with the trends of superfluousness pushed our way? It certainly seems not.

The human race is poisoning itself in a bid to "live life to the fullest". And yet, it would appear that the paradox of "living life to the fullest", may very well mean trimming the fat off some of our more excessive pursuits.

It is comforting to know however, as I slog away in an essentially 9 to 5 job, earning but a humble wage, that the old adage of "the simple things in life are often the best", still rings true. Akst illustrates in no uncertain terms that wealth leads to moral decline and degradation. What caused syphillus in the Kings of old, due to over indulgence of wine, food, power and women, were foretelling omens indeed.

The fact that I read Akst's philosophies whilst on honeymoon in a 5 star resort, scratching down notes in preparation for writing this book review, kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, as I battled with my own resolve and consequently said no to dessert and my third wine, all the while being mindful that I was already full to capacity. 'We Have Met the Enemy, Self-Control in an Age of Excess', berates like a chirpy Jiminy Cricket sitting on the shoulder of your social and moral conscience of everyday living.

Indeed, it seems we have met the enemy and the enemy is us. We have perpetuated the very society that is killing us.

An insightful and at times caustic book, but not one to be packed for your honeymoon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Mummy, I picked you a handful of clovers".

The squidgy little paws and delighted little moon face handed me a bunch of clover. These are the simple little pleasures that make my days meaningful.

Catching the light and casting shadows on my kitchen windowsill, Lily's handful of clovers make me smile. xo

Crispy and paper thin now, I can't bear to throw them out.

They have taken up permanent residence in the natural museum that is our home.xo

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Wading through wedding photos, narrowing the field of possible enlargements!?

Each of the many million professional wedding images seem to vary by a millimetre. This one and the top one vary by a smidge of difference!

Going over the light and detail of each one is exhausting and quite hard on my eyes! I love every one of them, each for different reasons.