There is a lot of talk in the blogshpere about Thanksgiving. I know this is due to our American friends celebrating a Thanksgiving holiday, something we don’t do as such here in the land of Oz. In reading about Paul’s letter to the Colossians today I was reminded that thanksgiving should be our remedy to every whisper of discontent that comes our way.

Colossians 2:6–7.  “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

John Knight reflects on this idea further. Thanksgiving is essential to the Christian life because it’s an expression, whether in thought, word, or deed, of our satisfaction in who God is and what he has done for us in Jesus (Colossians 2:9–10Ephesians 5:1–2). It’s essential because it flows from the understanding that the Lord’s steadfast love endures forever and that his faithfulness is to all generations (Psalm 100:5).

I am thankful today for so many many things. But most of all that He has dealt with me, my sin and I know His love that endures. Do you?

Real Life Homes

Real living is about having space for family life, creativity and fun play with all the big and small people in your home. It is a place to rest, reflect and revitalise one another in conversation, care and comfort. Home is where the rules can be relaxed as we simply learn to”be”. It is also the place we make mess, do the laundry and say sorry. Home sweet home is the place we share with those we love.

Real life homes…

Welcome to a new mini blogging project that profiles real life homes. This is real living, with kids and chaos, the pets and the washing. This is a little piece of home that some of my friends have agreed to share with you. They have fabulous design sense and style and manage to make the everyday look wonderful. So stay tuned for some great ideas. If you would like to be a part of the project let me know!

Look close and you will see fabulous fabric, real hides, leather, wood and stainless steel. And little touches of red…….

Celebration Cake – Chocolate and Guinness

The celebration cake you have all been waiting for….Chocolate Guinness Cake from Nigella Lawson’s Feast. You can find the full recipe and comments here. We were all pleasantly surprised that it was so so good. Not too rich but incredibly moist and robust enough to stack two cakes on top of each other. The cream cheese frosting makes it look like a really creamy pot of Guinness and it works well with the chocolate. This picture is the second cake that we ate with more family the day after the day itself. With 7 mouths 2 feed in our home you can never have enough cake or candle action!


  250ml Guinness
  1 cup butter
  75g cocoa
  400g caster sugar
  140ml sour cream
  2 eggs
  1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  275g plain flour
  2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  300g cream cheese
  150g icing sugar
  125ml heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F, and grease and line a 9 inch springform tin.

2. Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, and add the sliced butter. Heat until the butter is melted, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then pour into the saucepan. Finally, beat in the flour and baking soda.

3. Pour the batter into the greased and lined tin, and bake for 45 mins to an hour. Leave to completely cool in the tin – it is quite a damp cake.

4. For the icing, beat the icing sugar and cream cheese together. Add the cream, and beat again until it’s a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake until it resembles the frothy top of a pint of Guinness.

Fig, Ginger and Coconut Cream

I have been contemplating cake for weeks. My man has a significant birthday fast approaching and I have been asking friends about their best cakes, flicking through books and magazines looking for the best cake recipe ever. I have had a great time revisiting a large pile of Donna Hay magazines which continue to inspire years after publication. But what has finally narrowed down my search was Books for Cooks, a compilation of the bet recipes as tested by the team from Books for Cooks from London’s Notting Hill. You know Notting Hill don’t you….from that famous Hugh Grant  and Julia Roberts film! It is a wonderful place full of small boutiques and fabulous markets. I had the privilege of visiting this special place for a browse and quick bite to eat, years ago when we lived in London. A special aunt shared the visit and every now and again I remember the occasion and would love to dive back in for some more inspiration. It has floor to ceiling books on every possible food item and process. Their books really are special because they only include the best recipes from the years offering of other cookbooks. So you are likely to get a bit of Nigella, Jamie and a Women’s Weekly classic all in the same book. Heaven.
So while I have made my choice for birthday cake, you will have to wait a few days to see that one. Instead this was my experiment with dried figs, glace ginger, coconut cream and garam masala. I was after something with a slight Asian/Eastern/Mid Eastern influence. It is fabulous….I have plenty of it too if you would like a slice!