Full hearted life

Saying yes to new experiences and opportunites!

Archive for February, 2013

Thirty-six Thursdays – Make mince pies


Like many things on my 36 before 36 list, I really couldn’t tell you why I wanted to make mince pies. Perhaps it was the girl in my old office you used to bring in delicious home made mince pies every Christmas. Or perhaps I just haven’t been that impressed with the supermarket offerings in recent years, which leave a fatty coating in my mouth. Or perhaps I just wanted the satisfaction of making my own.

Do you know how long it takes to make mince pies? Three days. Minimum. Unless you buy a jar of mincemeat. But no. I had to make mine from scratch. Fortunately, Frugal Feeding has a wonderful recipe for mincemeat, which I went with. I was slightly sceptical about the inclusion of an apple, but the finished product tasted delicious and smelled just like Christmas. Note to self: Make sure container lid is properly sealed when shaking mincemeat.

Frugal Feeding also has a recipe for shortcrust pastry which, going through a gluten-free phase at the time, I didn’t go with. Big mistake. I am not going to link to the pastry recipe I used because it really didn’t work for me. It didn’t roll out well and came out very hard and brittle. It may just have been me – I am not known for my pastry making skillz.

Despite the rock hard pastry, I would definitely like to try making mince pies again. If anyone has a foolproof shortcrust pastry recipe, please let me know. Also, does anyone have any suggestions for using up leftover mincemeat?

Monday munchies – Emergency soup

emergency soup

So how are we all going with our New Year’s resolution to eat more healthily? Unfortunately, over a third of us would have broken our resolutions by the end of January. A quarter of us wouldn’t have even made it a week! And last week’s Valentine’s chocolate and candy binge would not have helped. Or was that just me?

Regardless, it’s never too late to start over! And Amy’s Emergency Soup will definitely help you get back on track. It’s easy, delicious, nutritious and keeps really well. It is the perfect end to those cold February days we keep having. Because my husband in a carnivore, I added in some leftover roast lamb on the second night, which worked well. But the vegetarian version is equally good. Enjoy!


4 cups of mushrooms – I used chestnut, but use whatever you like
3 carrots, chopped
1 brown onion, diced
1 parsnip, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
1 cup barley, pre-soaked and drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 head celery, chopped
2.5 litres vegetable stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper and fresh parsley, to serve

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  2. Add onions and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.
  3. Add the parsnip, leeks, carrots and celery, and cook for a few minutes until softened.
  4. Add the stock and the barley and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Serve with fresh parsley.

Radical change; or why I’m not doing a 30 day yoga challenge

yoga stretch mike baird

My Bikram yoga studio regularly runs 30 day challenges – 30 classes in 30 days. They are a really great way to improve your practice and learn about yourself in the process. I’ve done a few in the past and when I when I saw that they were running one to coincide with my 12 week transformation, I thought it would be great to include one in plans.

Then I thought some more and decided that I didn’t actually want to do one this time round. A few people have asked me why not, so please allow me to explain.

The 12 week transformation is supposed to be about radical change. For me, that means changing everything, not just one thing. By undertaking a challenge I would be committing 3 hours of my day every day for the next 30 days. Yes, it would be possible to fit this in, but I would have to turn down a lot of other opportunities to make it happen. And as the challenge would be my main focus, I wouldn’t be doing justice to the other changes that I’m trying to make.

The changes I’m working towards are lasting changes. I know that every time I do a challenge I get yoga burnout. I complete the 30 days and then need to take some time off. Usually a four week minimum, which is not great and makes it harder to get back into the studio and breaks the yoga/exercise habit. I would much rather do 3-4 classes a week for an extended period of time and get into the habit of going to class regularly than going hard then not at all.

I am changing my behaviours over the next 12 weeks, well, 10 now, and I need to be able to change them in all aspects of my life – study, career, creative, home, relationship, health, and spiritual. It would be so easy to change just one and let the others slide until one of them became an emergency priority and then the others were ignored until a different one of them became the next emergency priority.

I’ve lived that way for far too long and it just leads to stress and feeling overwhelmed all the time.

So while I need yoga in my life and I heartily recommend doing a 30 day challenge at some point in your life, this time I’m saying “No, thanks.”

Photo courtesy Mike Baird.

Lovely links

Valentine cake Karen Newman

Hello lovely people! How have you been? I have had a brilliant week! I attended my first ever Twitter party (yes I am *finally* on Twitter), finished the first week of my twelve week transformation and spent a wonderful Valentine’s day with my husband. I also discovered loads of amazing links for you.

Amy wrote a wonderfully honest and authentic piece on how her yoga training is changing her life.

Joy shared some fantastic blogging tips.

Pamela wrote about getting more than she bargained for on the massage table. WARNING: NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH!

Oh wow, so useful: How to get started when when you’re a life-long procrastinator. Thanks Bev!

And finally Cassie shared a beautiful post on what love feels like.

How about you? What treasures have found on the internet this week?

Photo courtesy Karen Newman.