Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Apples with caramel cream cheese dip

I made these yummy goodies for the kindy teacher for Christmas gifts.  They loved them so much they wanted the recipe.  I have pinned a number of different ideas for gifts. I got the original idea from this post.  I changed out some of the ingredients for a caramel sauce recipe that I had and chocolate bars we get in New Zealand.  

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Apple with caramel cream cheese dip

1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 kit kat chocolate bars
8 apples
8 (1/2 cup each) mason jars

Mix together the sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla in a microwave safe bowl.
Heat on high approx 1 minute until smooth. Leave to cool.

Mix cream cheese with 1/3 of the caramel sauce. Mix until smooth.
Divide evenly amongst 8 jars. Wipe rim.
Spoon the remaining caramel sauce into each jar.
Crush up both chocolate bars.
Sprinkle crumbs evenly amongst the 8 jars.
Place lid on jars.
Top each jar with an apple.

Wrap in cellophane and tie with ribbon. Keep refrigerated until ready to give away. 

I remade it again for my birthday party afternoon tea and served with sweet biscuits and wafer sticks along with the apple.  The caramel sauce is also great served with icecream or sticky date pudding.  Next time I will try it as a cheese ball.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hello forty

Celebrating a milestone.  40 - It really is just a number but a great reason to celebrate.  Some say life begins at 40, others it is all down hill from here.  I have been doing a lot of reflecting  and reading lately.  There are some great ideas out there.  Thought I would share some of my life lessons as I look back to look forward. Bucket lists are a great idea but don't forget to look back at what you have already done and celebrate.

I came across this idea at Susannah Conway - 40 lessons from 40 years.  She has also written a piece about getting older.  An interesting read.  I discovered it through Ali Edwards site where she also talks about getting older.  I also found this gem by Nichole Heady at Papertrey Ink - thank you cards to people who have inspired me.  Definitely something that I want to do.  And also at A Holy Experience - be the gift.  Pay it forward.  

In no particular order - 40 lessons from 40 years
1 Slow down. Don't be in such hurry to move on to the next thing. Celebrate your successes and learn from  your mistakes.
2 Be you

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3 Find what you love to do and do it often. That thing that you always wanted to do. Go do it
4 Make memories
5 Respect people who make time for you in their busy schedule, but love people who never look at their schedule when you need them
6 Be that kind of friend
7 Finish what you started even if that means calling it quits
8 Shine, not so that others can see you but so that through you others can see Him
9 Step out of your comfort zone. You will be surprised at just how much is waiting for you there.
10 Don't do things just because everyone else is doing them. Do it because it is right for you
11 Discover what clothing suits you and have fun getting dressed
12 Live with less. Many people already do
13 Give thanks. Someone is praying right now for the things that you take for granted
14 Find your voice and speak out
15 Just breathe
16 Be brave
17 We are all messy and in need of grace. God is not an option, He is a necessity. Don't believe that He will not give you more than you can handle. He will. It brings you to Him. It doesn't make you weak – with Him you are stronger
18 Learn to forgive.
19 Find the music that makes your soul sing. Play it loud.
20 Share your story. Chances are someone is going through the exact same thing and they needed to hear they are not alone
21 Give people the benefit of doubt. You don't know their full story. Remember you can't change someone else but you do have a choice about how you react.
22 Don't compare your backstage mess to someone elses on stage performance
23 You are already amazing
24 Do things when (or as soon as) you can. When you leave little things they turn into big things.
25 Be happy – now.
26 Leave room in the margin. 'In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps' Prov 16:9. You don't have to be in control of everything
27 Be generous. When you go from this life you can only take what you have given away.
28 Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take a moment and make it perfect
29 If you look for the extraordinary in the ordinary, you can train yourself to see it.
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30 Wherever you are be there
31 Marriage isn't for me. The best thing you can do for your marriage is to turn the M around. Me into We. Do things for your spouse that they love just because. Love is a verb, it doesn't consist of gazing inwards, rather it is looking outwards together in the same direction
32 There is no need to be perfect to inspire others, let people be inspired by how you deal with your imperfections. It is not who you are that holds you back, it's what you think you are not
33 Enjoy your food. Eat healthy, try new recipes, add flavour
34 Dream big. Keep a journal
35 Having kids doesn't get any easier as they get older, it just changes. Find out what they like and who they are and grow with them.
36 Keep it simple. Use what you have. Where possible work out how to make things for yourself. It costs less and usually there is less waste.
37 Keep finding good books that you can't put down
38 Learn how to enjoy your own company. If you can't pick yourself, who else will?
39 Say no to things so that your yes is absolute
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40 Do not fear the years to come – Life gets more fabulous if you let it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I choose - November

I choose
My intentions from One Little Word for November is 'connect enough'. As I look back to last month I find that it flows well from accomplishing enough, as I have finished things I have made more time for relationships.  I booked in the social event with the women at church.  A day of crafting and catching up with people I know.  There weren't many there but it is a start of things to come.  I have been more available and am looking at how I can invite connections into my life.  I came across this quote on the net.
#quotes.  Be that person
I want to live like that.

While I haven't finished the projects that I started I am well on the way and in the process have discovered some things that I want to implement into my life next year that will help with staying on top of my creative projects.

A big jump forward has been in getting together the plans for our studio space. This started as a dream 10 years ago and is starting to take more shape as we are realising it could become a reality next year.  Exciting.  It says much about God's timing.  I am always wanting things to happen.  To be sorted and in control.  It is when I let go and live in the margin that God does mighty things.

Choices for November
Be available for people
Keep simplifying so I can

This little light of mine

Our group finished the latest study from Hello Mornings and the next one isn't starting until later in the new year.  So our fabulous group leader found a great Christmas advent study -Keeping our Hearts focused on Jesus by Good Morning Girls.  It has daily readings and some great activities to do with your kids.  I have become so much more aware of how busy things get around Christmas and am looking forward to the focus that this study will give me, especially as I prepare for what is ahead each day.

I was motivated by the first activity to light a candle and went out and bought some bits to put together a family advent candle set. It didn't take much but it has brought some great discussion to the dinner table conversations.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

That's the way the world goes round

Last night we went for a family outing to check out the new playground at Pukekura Park.  We picked up fish and chips on the way.  The boys could hardly wait to check out all the cool new things that were there. Their favourite thing next to the flying fox was the water play area.  They spent loads of time there sorting different ways to dam the flow and send it gushing down the hill.

As we moved around I sat to watch as the boys climbed aboard the spinning wheel for more fun.  Not my thing I'm afraid as my head can't handle the spinning.

As I watched I saw how the boys could either sit on the mat or hold on to the ropes for all they were worth or if they wanted a rest could hold on to the pole in the centre and watch as the world went by. 

It got me thinking.  Life is just like this.  Our world is a busy one.  We rush about in our busyness trying to keep up with everything that is going on.  It wasn't designed this way.  What if for a moment you could stop and cling to the One who designed it instead of holding on for all you are worth and trying to fight it?  

    Romans 12:2
    Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
Seems like things would look a whole lot clearer.  And they do.......

Just a thought

I choose - October

I choose
My intentions from One Little Word for October is 'accomplish enough'.  Quite fitting really.  My intentions were to look at what I had started that needed finishing and to move ahead with new things.  I have been doing quite the opposite.  Starting new things before finishing what I need to and continually trying to catch up with what I am already doing.

Choices for October
Finish the projects and classes that I started
Make dates for social events that I have planned
Visit businesses for information about building our studio
Keep blogging

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I choose - July, August, September

I choose
July was half way through and I started writing this post. 3 months later and I found the draft I had started.  I have been very absent of late.  I keep thinking that I should post a small note at the top of my blog "If I haven't been here it is because I am living"  not that I don't have things to write about.

My intentions from One Little Word for July was 'enough dreams'. For August was 'care enough'. For September was 'plan enough'.

As I dwell on all of this I can see how appropriate this is for me right now.  With travelling, all the sickness we had and busyness of life, you just knuckle down and weather the storm.  The what ifs and doubts creep in and I wonder just what I hope I have of accomplishing the day to day, let alone something bigger   There is often no room for dreaming.  I find it hard to take care of me let alone others.  I had plans just what has become of them?

Where am I at now?  Only because of what I set in motion here.  Grounded in faith I weathered the storm. What I wrote in this post  keeps me going.   Seems I am not the only one who knows this.  I caught up on blog reading and found this at Beautiful Things.  I love how when you are tuned into the voice of God you are more aware of his whisperings.
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