Free From Cooking, Victoria, Cosy Jumpers and Family Knits #LittleLoves

I loved joining in with my first ever #LittleLoves last week, but I can’t believe it’s already been a week since I wrote my inaugural post! The last week has been a strange one here, with everyone in the family (except me and the dog) falling victim to the latest round of bugs. Routine has gone out of the window somewhat and we’ve been living very quietly. Thankfully everyone seems to have gotten back to normal now, so I’m off nursemaid duties and ready to round up my highlights from the week!


This week I’ve been really enjoying poring over my new favourite cookbook Easy. Tasty. Healthy. by Barbara Cousins, a book packed full of recipes for people who want to avoid gluten, dairy, refined sugar, soya, eggs and yeast (phew!). While that may sound like a long list of things to take out of your diet, this book makes it look quite easy, and there are so many recipes I’m looking forward to trying out. The book was recommended to me by a nutritional therapist I’ve been seeing due to a chronic illness, and as the author herself is a qualified nutritionist, you know that where food is concerned, she really knows her stuff. I know that people can sometimes think going ‘free from’ is a bit faddish, but in cases of chronic or autoimmune illness, it can often really help. And although I’ve *only* gone gluten and dairy free myself so far, the recipes in this book make me think the rest wouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve already made the sun-dried tomato and mackerel pate (pictured), and let me tell you, it’s divine!

Easy Tasty Healthy Cookbook and sundried tomato and mackerel pate.JPG


On to what I’ve been watching this week, and I loved snuggling up with the first couple of episodes of  Victoria on catch up at the weekend. I adore period dramas like Victoria, The Crown, and (my all-time favourite) The Tudors. It’s fascinating to get a peek behind the scenes of what life might have been like for some of our most famous royals.


I tend to dip in and out of podcasts, but this week I really enjoyed listening to Sara Tasker’s Hashtag Authentic interview with Sas Petherick on How To Stop Caring About What Everyone Thinks. I’m a renowned people-pleaser, and often find myself worrying about what people might be thinking about my writing and my blog. Where I live in the far North of Scotland, blogging isn’t really a ‘thing’ yet and although a few businesses write blogs on their websites, the only dedicated family and lifestyle blogger I know of is – well, me. I often find myself wondering if people find it frivolous or ridiculous, and it’s certainly true that I worry more about the opinions of people I do know than those of people I’ve never even met.  I need to work on being a lot more confident about what I’m doing. After all, surely there’s no shame in doing something that you really enjoy!


Yay! I’ve actually got something to say this week – I’ve been loving wearing this cosy jumper I bought in Topshop on an annual shopping spree to Inverness earlier in the year. I love that Autumn brings the opportunity to pull on knits and layers – because let’s face it folks, the weather has been getting COLD! Excuse my sun bleached, frazzled barnet in the picture though – my hair gets really damaged over the summer spending so much time outside walking my dog. I think I need to invest in some Autumn/Winter deep conditioning treatments. Any excuse to spend an extra ten minutes in the bathroom has got to be incentive enough.

Cosy Knits.JPG


My sister has got all of us (* well, apart from my husband) into knitting lately, and at the weekend the boys and I went to a ‘learn to knit’ session at our local library which we all really enjoyed. I’d love to say I made the beautiful blanket in this picture but I have to confess all credit is due to my clever MIL. Nope, the only thing I have produced so far is that rather shabby looking square – no zooming in, now, please! At the moment I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to make things, I’m just enjoying the relaxation – would you call it mindfulness? – of watching my moving needles and listening to them peacefully click-clack. If you need something to encourage you to take a breather for a few minutes I’d definitely recommend it. Kind of like yoga but with wool instead of downward dogs.


And if you’re wondering how last week’s sauerkraut turned out, well, wait for it – it still looks pretty much like a pile of cabbage at the bottom of a jar. I think I’ll give it another week or two to work it’s fermenting magic and see if that makes a difference. In the meantime, if you’re eager to try some out for yourself, you can find a recipe for it here.


We’ve had a long weekend from school this week for in-service days – after only a month back in the normal routine I have to say it couldn’t come soon enough for me! Despite getting up most mornings at 6am, leaving the house by 0840 has never been my strong point. Roll on the October holidays I say, and until next time, hope you all have a lovely week!


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