Cyber Babies and Real Life

Hi, meet Cody. The hard, plastic, computerised baby that threw me back into a life long past and taught me a few things about myself, Cyber Babies and Real Life.

Cody, the Cyber Baby from another world!
Cody, the Cyber Baby from another world!

So, a few months ago, our youngest daughter, who turns 15 this week, mooted the idea of bringing a Cyber Baby home.

The school she attends, in what I can only assume is a desperate attempt at preventing teenage pregnancies, has Cyber Babies. These computerised dolls are intended to show ‘girls’ what living with a newborn baby is like.

In today’s modern, blended family, society, it really is a wonder that they see this as a valid exercise – my point being, a larger number of children than ever before, are currently brought up with a variety of siblings, be they whole, half or step, that vary in age from Daddy’s new baby, to Mummy’s eldest child already ripe to yield their own offspring.

I digress. Our daughter was very, very keen about bringing home a Cyber Baby and taking full responsibility for it. A point which was fully emphasised by her elder sister, who told her, and I quote, “You’re not sleeping in our room with a noisy baby, you can sleep downstairs!”

As parents we agreed and triple signed a form (basically signing the value of our house away, should Cyber Baby sustain damage whilst in our home!), agreeing to allow our daughter to bring little bubba home.

Daughter was excited about matching accessories, blanket and car seat for baby and cheerfully counted down the days until Cody (Cyber Babie’s name?) came home.

Cody was sent home, midweek and would be ‘activated’ at 6pm on the Friday evening. Super. Lovely.

On the very next day (Thursday) daughter had very high temperature and came down with a really grotty cold and cough. I prayed hard she would be fine by Friday!

You see, at this point daughter was still blissfully looking forward to Cody’s activation and determined to look after him, without help.

Friday came and Cyber Baby activated. Daughter was still very unwell but thrilled (she had missed 2 days at school, not something she ever does lightly, so when I say she was poorly I mean, that poorly!).

Nobody was allowed near Cody, except for a quick hold and to her credit our daughter took care of him for the entire first night.

Taking care of Cody involved wearing a wrist band that was then swiped across his tummy the moment he cried (left crying for more than 2 minutes and you would be penalised for neglect!). Then he would need either feeding with a bottle, winding or changing. At all other times he slept. Whilst sleeping he made breathing sounds.

Cyber Baby was not woken by loud noises, nor was he comforted by human contact. He was a robot baby!!!

At approximately 11am on Saturday morning our daughter came upstairs, where I, in bed( The Pain Pay Off), Living With Seizures, Migraines)

“Mummy, I feel so ill and I am so tired”. My poor real life baby looked exhausted. My heart broke.

Immediately I took Cyber Baby from her, gave her some medicine and tucked her into bed. She fell asleep almost instantly.

Her elder sister turned out not to have a heart of stone and took Cody from me and looked after him for the rest of the day whilst her mum and sister rested. She even took her mattress downstairs, determined to look after Cyber Baby during the night so her sister could rest.

Then I heard it cry. And it didn’t stop. The crying tore at my heart. I tried to ignore the crying as I found myself walking downstairs to find our eldest daughter doing everything she could to shut the thing up!

I immediately took control, said to our eldest to tuck down, I would settle the baby and look after him for a bit so she could sleep.

Now here’s something you should know, although we have 3 beautiful children, I don’t like babies, or even toddlers really. I have loved and cared for my own with a passion and dedication I didn’t know I possessed. I loved and cherished my sisters children in the same way. But if I am out and a baby is crying 99% of the time it irritates me and I have no desire, whatsoever to calm or soothe the screaming baby/toddler. It’s just how I am.

Except for Cody. Even though I slept with him cuddled on my shoulder, which still bare the bruises from rocking, to burp him. I did care. I cared because he was important to my daughter. When he cried, my heart tugged. I couldn’t ignore a plastic, robot doll when it cried, because that was what it had been programmed to do.

So that night I cared for Cody like he was a real baby. It was hard because physical contact wouldn’t settle him in the way it did my own babies, yet he was still cuddled. He barely whimpered and I’d swiped the thing across his tummy and held a bottle to his mouth. Also alien to me as I breast feed all 3 of our babies.

I looked after him Saturday and Sunday night, as well as helping out through the day on Sunday. I didn’t enjoy the experience, but I didn’t hate it either. Because I was doing it for my daughter and that was enough for me.

Cody deactivated at 6am on Monday morning. I felt relief that our daughter didn’t have the pressure of looking after a Cyber Baby anymore.

He is gone and upon her return from school later that day I reminded our daughter of a saying that many African villages have “It takes a village to raise a child”.

I reassured our beautiful girl that when the time comes, it will be as a family that we help to raise our children’s, children.

I read a blog recently about how to ensure you get a good following on your blog, only positive, happy posts would grab readers attention. That leaving ‘space’ was key to not overwhelming your reader.

I would just like to say, I think that’s a load of rubbish. In other posts where I’ve mentioned about pain, Real Life, migraines, I’ve always, always had more comments, as people find they can identify with what I’ve written. I have too much respect for you, my readers, to write a load of happy, crappy flannel, complete with Instagram perfect, white, stylised photos to match.

The picture of Cody was taken at 6am after he had deactivated on the Monday morning of what had been a hellsh, but eye opening weekend. That is Real Life, well the Cyber Baby wasn’t alive but the experience was very real.

If I can’t be honest and share the good with the bad on this, my blog, then I’m not being real. For those of you that have got this far and realise you prefer the shiny, perfect blogs, that’s your choice. To all the rest of you lovely, wonderful readers and honest fellow bloggers, thank you for allowing me to be me, supporting me and sharing in the love that is Real Life. I really appreciate each and every one of you.

Sammie xxx

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Life Beyond Blogging

Hello each and everyone of you who takes time to stop and read this post. I really appreciate you.

Life Beyond Blogging as a thank you here are some beautiful roses xxx
Life Beyond Blogging as a thank you here are some beautiful roses xxx

I have had something of a writer’s block recently, that coupled with a post I recently read on teta lizza has prompted me to write this post.

There are no food recipes. Sorry. Hopefully though, there will be some tips to help all bloggers? There really is Life Beyond Blogging!

Let me explain.

I started this blog over a year ago as a way to document recipes I try, or create and also to let off steam about the various health issues I face – it’s here if you want to read about it!!

I have loved every minute of blogging. The challenge of creating, then documenting my bakes and recipes.

I never, ever expected anyone to read this blog. Yet the sense of accomplishment I feel, when someone leaves a comment, well it is literally ridiculous.

It blows me away every time. Although encouraging others is what I set out to do, I never believed it would actually happen.

Sometimes though, this past week being an example, a combination of life, health, writer’s block gets in the way of me posting as regularly as I’d like. Oh and the odd hospital stay!

Nobody has absolute control over their life. Stuff happens – life happens. We all have a Life Beyond Blogging.

And it’s ok to take a breather. It really is.

When I was hospitalised for 2 weeks over Easter, because my body started having seizures (yeah thanks for that body!), I lost all control of my life.

I couldn’t see my family first thing in the morning, I’d be wiped out for hours whilst my body jerked and jolted about, I even had to tell a nurse when I needed to pee!!

As for blogging, I just couldn’t. I was (am) struggling to come to terms with what the heck was going on with my body and I’m sorry, but blogging about what I was going through wasn’t even on my radar.

And do you know what? That’s ok.

Life happens.

We get sick, work goes mental, family circumstances change AND a gazillion other things happen and we can’t always bake/review/photograph the sunset – you get my drift?

We a have a Life Beyond Blogging and that’s exactly how it should be.

I know for professional bloggers – those who make a living from their blog, that this can be different, but I don’t think any blog should become all consuming.

If our entire focus is on capturing moments via our iPhones, are we actually living, present in that moment? Or will we have missed it and just have a photograph/video as a memory?

Kind of like going to a concert and watching the whole thing through your phone, so you can record it. Doesn’t that lessen the experience and point of going to the concert in the first place?

I enjoy my blog A LOT! But sometimes it’s good to step away, through choice or because of circumstances. If it becomes a burden then I know for me, it’s time to look at my priorities.

That doesn’t mean not being committed to blogging, rather, that balance is important in all aspects of our life.

I haven’t written a ‘personal’ blog for a while. This has definitely got the words flowing again.

My advice to me and you – hey we’re in this together, is, when your blog becomes a source of persistent stress, stop. Just for a moment and give yourself a break. Remind yourself of why you started blogging in the first place. Then if necessary take steps to make blogging fun and enjoyable again.

Maybe reduce your posts per week, take a complete break until you have something you absolutely must write, like in the beginning of blogging, where your chest/head – relevant body part, would explode if you didn’t get it written down and posted.

I’ve read so many, too many blogs recently, that start with an apology for not having posted for a while. It makes me feel sad. Most bloggers understand the difficulties of keeping up with a regular blogging schedule.

Cut yourself some slack. Don’t beat yourself up because you haven’t posted in a while. Live a little and take time out to laugh. Enjoy yourself!

There is Life Beyond Blogging and if we forget that, our blogs will be shallow reflections of a life not lived!

This post has helped me, I hope it helps you?

Sammie xx

 

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Summer Season Of The Senses

Hi, I was inspired to write Summer Season Of The Senses by a blog I read this morning by Sally Tangle. It’s a beautiful post I hope you take time to read it.

Ice cream - a summer staple, during long, hot days.
Ice cream – a summer staple, during long, hot days.

There are certain things that happen, regardless of the date, that let you know Summer is definitely here. The days, unnoticed, have inched there way into longer, light filled time. Lingering, coral pink sunsets give way to a few star studded hours and then, earlier and earlier each morning the bird song fills the air, with it’s tinkling, magical sound.

The bright, apple green hues of Spring gradually give way to lush, deep foliage, studded with spectacularly coloured blooms. The gentle hum of Bees, busy at work, contrasting with the delicate fluttering of butterflies, dancing in the breeze. White, blue, patterned, the butterflies beauty enhanced by the sunshine or brightening cloud covered days.

Summer Season Of The Senses
Summer Season Of The Senses

Grass, freshly cut. Is there a more beautiful smell? A Summer shower, on a hot dusty day, the smell and steam as it evaporates from the quenched earth. A few moments later and all traces of the big, fat, heavy, droplets erased.

Summer Season Of The Senses, smooth sand, slipping between bare toes as waves gently lap at the shoreline. Sun cream slathered on, it’s smell filling the air, as excited children wait until they can splash and swim in the sea. Chatter, shouting, yet all bearable as you lay, letting the sun’s heat, warm you through to your bones. Relaxing in natures own healing therapy. Gulls laughing call, reminding you where you are as the world lazily fades from your hearing.

Summer Season Of The Senses
Summer Season Of The Senses

Picnics with strawberries, warmed by the sun, never tasting better. Kites waiting for a breeze to lift them skyward, higher and higher. Nearby trees offer shade from the scorching sun, rustle their leaves when the breeze finally comes. Sticky ice creams, never needed more, taste more intense as they tied their refreshing coolness.

Summer Season Of The Senses
Summer Season Of The Senses

Intense heat builds, stifling, stuffy. Shirt collars undone, formality softened. Then the release, heavy grey clouds, tinted with yellow. Their ominous presence, for once, welcomed. Silence as wildlife seek sanctuary. Lightening flashes through the sky and thunder rumbles, the silent spell broken. Loud crashes overhead. Heavy sparse droplets fall, gardeners wait, then heavier and heavier until stair rods fall from the heavens.

Rainbow - a sign that the storm has passed.
Rainbow – a sign that the storm has passed.

Bird song resumes as rain disappears, clear blue sky visible against the thunder clouds in the distance. Cool, refreshing air gulped in as windows are flung open. Lightness returns, the heavy oppression passed, for now.

Summer Season Of The Senses restored.

What says “Summer is here” to you?

Sammie x

All photographs my own.

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Spring Has Sprung

Hi everyone, Spring Has Sprung finally. The Daffodils are filling gardens and hedgerows with sunshine, even on the dullest, chilliest days. Newborn lambs are gambolling about in the fields, snow white and bleating for their mummies.

Mmmm this Daffodil looks tasty?
Mmmm this Daffodil looks tasty?

 

Spring is truly the Season of hope. Winter’s icy claws fight with the rising sun, whose warmth and light is needed more than we’d remembered.

The noisy chattering of Sparrows, in their happy little communities, only broken through by the song of a Blackbird. Morning truly has broken when you hear Blackbirds singing.

Spring, with it’s promise of new life. Blossom refusing to obey the flat grey clouds, springs from the trees, once spent, will create Natures greatest show of confetti. Pink and white petals, flutter down, covering the ground like colourful snow.

Gazing up through last years Cherry Blossom.
Gazing up through last years Cherry Blossom in our garden.

 

Winter is behind and the long, scorching days of Summer lay ahead. Treasure every day. Each new bud that turns stark landscapes to vibrant green.

Yes Spring for me is truly the season of Hope. Easter, a prominent reminder, that what was dead, can indeed break the shackles of darkness and live again. Christ who gave His all on the Cross, the ultimate reminder, that when He arose from Death to Life, that we too, can have new life in Him.

An empty cross - a reminder that Jesus died for us all. He did not remain in death, but arose on the third day, breaking sin's curse and making a way to set us free.
An empty cross – a reminder that Jesus died for us all. He did not remain in death, but arose on the third day, breaking sin’s curse and making a way to set us free.

 

Yes Spring Has Sprung, grab hold of the Hope and New Life it offers. Take delight in the sounds of new birth. For One is crying out louder than all others “Come unto me, you weary and heavy laden and I shall give you rest?”.

What does Spring hold for you?

Sammie x

All photos from Pinterest – see my boards @sammiefeasting for details.

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Thank you

Thank you so much. I have just reached 100 followers on Bloglovin’ so I thought I’d send you all a bunch of flowers.

A big Thank you for helping me reach 100 followers on Bloglovin'
A big Thank you for helping me reach 100 followers on Bloglovin’

 

This is my absolute favourite colour combination of flowers (if you’re superstitious look away x).

Obviously I’m unable to send each and every one of my Bloglovin’ readers a bunch of flowers, so I hope you like these?

I never thought anyone would read my blog. Although I wanted to share my thoughts and recipes, I viewed my site as more of an online diary.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled that you are reading and enjoying it. Adding my site to Bloglovin’ was a double blessing as I get to read such a vast range of awesome blogs, that otherwise I’d be oblivious to.

Thank you Bloglovin' readers for your support x
Thank you Bloglovin’ readers for your support x

 

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog,  if you read a post and you love it, leaving a comment is the best compliment you can pay a blogger, so a big Thank you to all those of you who have taken the time to leave comments – and I’m very sorry when my site crashed I lost them ALL

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My Blog 10 Things I’ve Learned So Far.

Happy Saturday everyone! Here is My Blog 10 Things I’ve Learned So Far, in the 6 months since I started blogging.

 

I did it!! I set up my own blog. Who'da thunk it????
I did it!! I set up my own blog. Who’da thunk it????

 

1 – If you put your mind to something, are willing to try, learn, make mistakes, pick yourself up and carry on, you can achieve anything!

2 – It’s completely possible to know nothing about computing and still set up and write a blog. So far everything I’ve posted/photographed has been through my iPhone 4S. Not bad eh???

 

My trusty iPhone. I will start to use a laptop - soon!!!
My trusty iPhone. I will start to use a laptop – soon!!!

 

3 – You have to be yourself! Honesty is key. As is opening up to your readers. Whilst I’m protective of my family (not showing pics/real names), if I didn’t include them in my post it would be very one dimensional.

4 – Post good quality, original content on you blog. Reread it back and if it’s not good bin it! For every blog I’ve posted at least 2 others haven’t made it.

5 – Be polite and reply to comments. As part of Bloglovin’ it’s fab to see my followers increase, but comments on a post mean the world to me. That’s why I was gutted to lose ALL my comments when I faced the WordPress White Screen of Death.

I love WordPress usually - but not when it doesn't work - I'm fickle!!!
I love WordPress usually – but not when it doesn’t work – I’m fickle!!!

 

6 – Take time to read a variety of other peoples blogs and if they inspire you, leave a comment. I read a vast range of blogs, from Hannah Gale to Sally’s Baking Addiction and pretty much everything in between! Through Bloglovin’ I’ve created my own, online magazine. You don’t have to read every blog in your feed, but it’s great to be able to save posts that inspire you.

7 – All the bloggers I’ve had contact with have been really lovely and supportive. The blogosphere genuinely should be a place for freedom of speech and mutual encouragement. Yes you might read a blog and not agree with the content, that’s not an excuse to leave a mean or rude comment. Express your feelings in a polite, positive way – you maybe surprised at the reply!!!

Support means everything.
Support means everything.

 

8 – DON’T rip off other peoples content and pass it on as your own. NOT COOL! I was horrified to learn that this happens, especially on food blogs. It’s simply WRONG!

Totally NOT COOL dude!
Totally NOT COOL dude!

 

9 – Don’t be afraid to diversify. My blog was set up originally to share my love of cooking, recipes, successes and failures! Yet my post Migraineswhy life’s not always sunshine and roses (sorry haven’t figured out how to do links yet!), received an amazing response. It opened my site up to a wider range of people, more importantly it touched individual lives. Life is easier when you know your not ‘the only one’ dealing with stuff.

10 – Keeping a healthy perspective. I was seriousy heart broken when my website ‘died’. All my hardwork, content, comments locked away and I didn’t have the key. My reaction surprised me. This was my baby, something I had accomplished on my own. You understand, right? I was sooooo relieved when I’d pretty much fixed it and recovered most of what I lost. It did make me realise that in all things there should be balance and whilst my blog is important to me, so are the living, breathing, real, touchable people in my life. Don’t neglect them and be sucked into cybersphere. Real, face to face relationships are sooo important!

What do you think?
What do you think?

What have you learned since becoming a blogger?

Sammie x

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Does Your Age Define You?

Hi. How are you? Does Your Age Define You? Does how old you feel match how old you are? In my head I will always be 22 years old – even though I’m in my mid forties. I’m determined that however old I become, my age will never define me. My body may limit me, but I will always search for ways to to live my life at its fullest.

Be inspired to not let your age define you.
Be inspired to not let your age define you.

 

Why should we limit ourselves, just because Society demands that once we reach a certain our hair should be cut to a certain length, permed and then have a blue rinse!!! I know that that is becoming less so these days, but do we /should we limit, or change the way we behave, dress, challenge ourselves just because we reach a certain age??

My mum is a huge inspiration to me. She recently passed her driving test – first time around, after taking lessons in her mid 60’s. She certainly didn’t let her age determine her ability to learn a new skill. I am so proud of her. Firstly for taking on the challenge of learning to drive and secondly, her determination to succeed and pass her test.

Anything is possible if you set your mind to succeed.
Anything is possible if you set your mind to succeed.

 

Our eldest daughter is sitting her GCSE’s this summer and there is huge pressure from her school, teachers, peers and society to ‘do well’.  Whilst encouragement is good, the sheer amount of pressure ‘to do well as the results will affect her choices for the rest of her life’  is rubbish!!

I have friends who have trained to be social workers, teachers and counsellors in their 40’s and 50’s. They worked, married, had children and decided to embark on a new career. I applaud and respect them so much. They truly are evidence that their age did not define them.

Make the most of ever opportunity, it may not pass by you again.
Make the most of ever opportunity, it may not pass by you again.

 

There are some amazingly talented children who master playing a musical instrument at a very young age. Beethoven wrote his first symphony age 5. He didn’t allow others to define his ability, nor should you! I started this blog in my mid 40’s knowing nothing AT ALL about how to go about setting up a website, widgets, thumbnails, plugins, code (half of which I still don’t understand, but I’m learning). I follow all different kinds of bloggers, including – beauty and fashion, lifestyle, photography, food and drink!!!

I quite often wear my hair up, sometimes in a ponytail. I was once asked “At what age do you think a ponytail would be unsuitable?”. I was astounded. Partly because it had never occurred to me that it might become ‘unsuitable’ and partly because I was surprised that someone would even think that way (I am kinda naive!!).

Do you feel confined or restricted by your age? Do you think it’s appropriate, as people grow older that they dress and present themselves at the age they are? Do you prefer to live outside of the box, seeing age as no hindrance to the life you intend to live? Have you accomplished something later in life, that you never dared to believe you could in your younger days?

How does this make you feel?
How does this make you feel?                       Does Your Age Define You? 

I would love to read your comments.

Sammie

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Valentines Day – what Love means to me.

Hello, how are you today?  I’d like to share a few thoughts about tomorrow – Valetines Day.

Pretty swirly heart design.
Pretty swirly heart design.

Valentines Day, for me, is not about cards, flowers and all the other little love touches that surround the day – as pretty, appreciated and adorable as they are.  For me Valentines Day is a gentle reminder, to show all the people in my life that I am blessed to love, that I DO indeed love and appreciate them.

A beautiful rose, blooming in the rain!
A beautiful rose, blooming in the rain!

My hubby and I have always taught our, not so lil children, that love is a doing word.  For me a cup of tea in bed, a thank you for an every day task, 5 minutes just snuggling with my homework laden babies, fills my love tank.  There are literally thousands of ways they show us, as parents, that they love us – and I love that!!

Don't worry, I've got your back x x x
Don’t worry, I’ve got your back x x x

As a family we watch out for each other.  Making time in our fast paced 24/7 world says, you are important to me.  We aren’t perfect, but we are trying.  Recently during our eldest daughter’s exams, her younger sister bought her a little something (usually chocolate – the universal language of love with teenage girls, in fact most girls!!) for everyday she had an exam.  She was showing her big sis love, telling her how proud she was of her and recognising how hard she had worked.  That no matter what, she would always be there for her.  As a mum my heart melted.

Taking time to paint/decorate someone's nails is FUN and shows you love them!!
Taking time to paint/decorate someone’s nails is FUN and shows you love them!!

Our lil man gets up before everyone else at the weekend and feeds our cat and dog.  A small act of love that means we get a lay-in!  My gorgeous hubby brings me a cup of tea, in bed each morning through the work week, I feel loved.  When I have a rotten migraine he holds back my hair, if I’m being sick, I KNOW I am loved.

I married my best friend x x x
I married my best friend x x

I have said before that I enjoy cooking for other people, especially as a way of showing them that they are loved, appreciated, valued and important in my life.  This is not restricted to our immediate family of 5, but our parents, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and honorary family members.  It’s nice to feel special but it’s AMAZING to make someone feel loved.

One of my favourite ways to show love!
One of my favourite ways to show love!

So I guess what I’m saying is that, true love is in the giving and receiving.  When God created Adam, He said “It is not good for man to be alone” and created Eve, from Adam as his helpmate/partner/wife/friend. He gave Adam a person to love – not just God himself.

Heart tree
Heart tree X

So while I love the opportunity to whip up a batch of heart shaped shortbread for family and loved ones on Valentines Day and cook a special dinner for us as a family, really I see Valentines Day as a reminder, to me, to be more loving, show more affection (I’m not really the most ‘cuddly person’) but others are, so I’m working on that. I prefer to do the giving rather than receiving, but others want to show me their love too!  Love is not fixed. It’s adapting to others needs whilst still retaining a sense of who you are – cos that’s why you’re loved!!

So Happy Valentines Day to you all.
So Happy Valentines Day to you all.

I wish everyone of you a Happy Valentines Day, where, no matter how hard you try, you are loved more than you love.  May your Valentines Day be showered by little hearts of love, may you KNOW the truest love of all – Jesus. Let your heart be filled with His Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Grace and Life, that you too can say, for sure “I am loved, just as I am”.

Love Sammie xx

 

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Lovin Bloglovin’ and Pintrest

Hi there, how are you today? I’m finally on some social media websites! And I’m Lovin Bloglovin’ and Pinterest!

If you've got a blog you need some Bloglovin'
If you’ve got a blog you need some Bloglovin’

It’s a great social community/networking site, where you can only join if you have a blog.  You are then able to search other blogs, by category – for example : Food and Drink, Lifestyle, Beauty, Animals amongst many others.

I stumbled across Bloglovin’ whilst searching for other blog sites that were  food/recipe based.  Bloglovin’ seems to have a really positive vibe – lots of encouragement and replies to comments.  A really good, supportive community.  So I joined and I can now be found as ‘Sammie’ on Bloglovin’.

 

Me on Bloglovin'.  As well as my blogs you can see who I follow, what recipes I have saved etc.
Me on Bloglovin’. As well as my blogs you can see who I follow, what recipes I have saved etc.

 

Also I’ve got myself on Pinterest @sammiefeasting.  This is another great site, where you can create boards (a bit like designers have mood boards), of all your favourite things.  So for me, I can pin photos of my love of nature, this world and our universe.  Recipes, colours, shoes (I’m a girl!!!) absolutely anything.  It’s good fun and a way of showing more of who you are, as a person through pictures.

I have to say it is a bit addictive – I never tire of looking at snow scenes or cute animals, so I limit how much time I spend ‘pinning’.  I use it as a brilliant source of inspiration, not just for cooking/baking, but colours, textures, light – oooh look I’m getting all creative now!!!!

Definitely worth taking a look at though!

Find an image/quote/photo you like, create a board and Pin it!!!
Find an image/quote/photo you like, create a board and Pin it!!!

Some of my boards on Pintrest!

Each board gets a different title and has a variety of images pinned to it - I love my 'Just Cos' board!
Each board gets a different title and has a variety of images pinned to it – I love my ‘Just Cos’ board!

I hope you get a chance to check out both sites. They are full of inspiration and most importantly FUN!!

Sammie x

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Showing Sharing Loving Caring

Hi everyone how are you? I hope you are enjoying the start to 2015.  My theme and aim for this year is Showing Sharing Loving Caring. It’s really the essence of why I set up this blog. Showing Love through Sharing, Caring enough to spend time, whether it’s family, friends, neighbours or someone new.

I know for some however, that  Christmas, the New Year and Winter in general can be a really tough time. So wherever you are I’m sending you a big, warm hug. Life can be very tough and it’s during these tough times that we need to show love and be shown love more than ever.

Now I can’t physically visit every single person and sit, listen and spend time with them. But we can all take time to show love to one person, outside of our family and friendship group.

Am I freaking you out or scaring you yet? Yes. Good!!! We can all get comfortable in our own lives, which I  do understand are busier than ever. Even though we have time saving gadgets galore, we still live in a ‘time pressed’ society.

It is still our choice though how we spend our time, what we prioritise as important and those things that are less important. For me my life has no meaning if I don’t show love. That can mean spending time listening whilst someone unburdens their heart. Or no words, just a big warm hug. I also love to cook or bake for people.

Sharing is central to who I am. Once I made a very simple Victoria Sponge Cake for an elderly couple, one of whom had just spent time in hospital. Their faces broke into huge smiles at this surprise gift, but more importantly they felt loved and cared for.

Reach out, you may be surprised by the results!
Reach out, you may be surprised by the results!

I’m most definitely not trying to portray myself as some perfect Saint. I am a pretty normal, fun loving, individual – just like so many other people. So I really want to encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and reach out to just one person, who you wouldn’t normally interact with.

A cup of tea, cookie and natter can become a feast. A feast of time! There is no greater gift, than the gift of love. As a Christian I have the gift of love inside me. God’s love. He has shown me limitless love through His Son JESUS. I am completely accepted and loved for who I am and because of that great love, I want to share love.

We can all have the love of Jesus in our lives – see ‘Important Stuff!!!’ for more information and help, you can also leave a comment (I can reply and do not have to publish your comment if you preference privacy).

I am very blessed to have a wonderful, loving family, the best friends anyone could ever hope for and I love them all. One of my favourite things is a family get together, where we always have the best feasts! Not only do we feast on delicious food, but also on each other’s company. We laugh, smile, share and love.

Feasting does not have to be in large groups. Sharing a bowl of soup with a lonely neighbour, can itself be a feast. How about inviting someone who is on their own for Sunday lunch? Or, slicing up a cake that is left over from a celebration and popping a slice or two round to your neighbours?

Having fun making my pics look pretty!
Having fun making my pics look pretty!

The excitement and sense of fun, before delivering a meal or slice of cake is priceless. You can have all the money you need, but it will never bring you the happiness and peace that sharing caring and loving bring.

So I encourage both you and myself to be greater at sharing and showing love during 2015. Your life will be enriched as you start Showing Sharing Loving Caring and of course Feasting and having Fun.

Sammie x

 

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