Tuesday, September 14, 2010

journey of the soul or journey of the mind?

When my "escape" journey started I had a different idea for my project. Initially the journey I had in mind was exclusively a journey of the soul and my aim was to collect some stories and experiences to highlight the huge difference between life in the city and life in the country. It was a concept that I was trying to develop inside my head and it was fascinating to me simply because as a city girl and mother of three I knew that life in the city had become extremely stressful and very intense. It can literally drive you insane at times! And having experienced moments of depression and "insanity" myself I knew how difficult it is to bounce back and regain control of your life. The pressure women like me are under every single day is the same pressure that dictates us how to act and where to go - basically tells us how to run our lives. Unfortunately in "our world" we are not allowed to stop and take a deep breath, because we constantly need to perform at the highest level in all occasions and in all aspects of life. The strength we need to achieve that impossible dream is beyond ourselves and the price we pay for it is extremely high. On the other end the country sounded like a better choice to me and even though I had absolutely no idea what life was really like in the country areas, the idea of a more relaxed and healthier environment really appealed to me. At the end of the day, mine was just a great desire to slow down my rhythm and bring some much needed relief to my life. So while I tormented myself with the thought of how wonderful it would be to start a new life in the country I also started to ask myself if perhaps what I needed more than anything else was to get in touch with my inner self and really try and understand what I wanted to achieve and where I wanted to go. So that is how the other "escape" project came about and how my mind started to then follow a different path and a new direction. Perhaps my change of direction was due to the fact that I now felt stronger and I was slowly regaining control of my dreams.
My "escape" journey was now becoming a journey of the mind. I was back! But I realised then that, that is what us women and mothers do, we put ourselves on the sideline for the sake of our partners and our kids, we work hard to make everyone happy and comfortable all the time but somewhere along the way we loose sight of our dreams until the day we realise that not all is lost and that after all we are still in charge of our own lives.
For me it was perhaps my old dream of being a writer that started the whole process again, and being inspirational to people is probably one of the other reasons! The word inspirational itself though brings all sorts of great and scary things to mind! Oh well, it was never going to be easy- and that is one thing I am pretty sure of!

Monday, September 13, 2010

escape the everyday

The rain is so refreshing! there's something so incredibly satisfying about the sound of the raindrops falling on the ground and the landscape around. I don' know what it is exactly but it just makes me feel good. It's very soothing for my thoughts and my soul...and it's liberating. It magically releases the stress accumulated over time and helps me refocusing on my objectives and regain the kind of confidence I need to take on my daily challenges. Speaking of challenges, they surely never stop coming at you and sometimes I wonder if I should just step aside and be a witness to my very own (daily challenges, weekly challenges, monthly challenges) instead of taking the leading role and all the headaches that come with it. Is it possible though? Is it possible to live life like a play and learn my lines bit by bit, day after day, pausing and listening to myself and to the ones around me... the ones I love, the ones I hate, the ones I would love to delete forever, the ones that come and go... It should be easy and not necessary to create a peaceful setting, a shelter for ourselves and our loved ones, perhaps a bit of a dream and a bit of reality... it doesn't matter... as long as it feels right and it's filled with what makes life enjoyable and fun. Laughter, joy, serenity...a book, a play, a DVD, music, food, drinks, sand, snow, sky, water, friends...list goes on forever... And there you have it, the perfect state of mind in the perfect hideaway, far away from phones, computers, annoying ring tones and extremely annoying human beings! What's the price for it all? The price? Incredibly that price would be nil as in zero and zero only! What part am I missing here? Where's my mind taking me? If there's a place I can get to whenever I want, where I can relax, dance, cry, do whatever I want and it doesn't cost me anything to get there...then what is the catch? And what am I still doing here? Am I that dumb not to realise that life is just what we want it to be and that the daily routine, the torture that we put ourselves trough each day is just our way of trying to impress other people. Yes other people, not ourselves. In reality I'm already here, in my hideaway place even if my mind doesn't know it and it plays tricks on me, interesting tricks...what a journey I have ahead of me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pebbles, rocks and all things furry...

I love pebbles, I really do, infact I love collecting them, drawing them and am fascinated by their shape and texture.

Monday, March 22, 2010

the creative home

I enjoy moving furniture and artwork around. At my house nothing stays in the same place for too long, my belongings often find themselves admiring the house and garden from different angles. I think this exercise is healthy and creative and stimulates the mind and soul. My kids love changing things in their little spaces too and they also enjoy creating new artwork which could be anything from a painting to a paper sculpture.
We also love to make edible creations of course! We do a lot of baking and cooking and we often make up our own recipes! Yes I'd like to think of ours as a creative home, a relaxed and wonderful place where everyone is allowed to express themselves. "Our little corner of the world"...it's a bit of a cliche' I know, but it's rewarding and good for the body and soul.
Well of course our home is not always a wonderful and creative place but we're only human... and very, very far from perfect!

my little corner of paradise

It's Monday and everything starts all over again

Yes, its Monday. Not always my favourite time of the week but on the other end I do like fresh starts and new beginnings so...why not? I think the best way to approach it, is to...look forward to it! No, I'm not mad and yes I really mean it. I know Monday is Monday and it will never be Friday but I also know - I've learnt my lesson - that it's okay to relax and embrace some of its energy which will hopefully allow me to focus on the rest of my week and be prepared to delegate, allocate, scream, laugh, cry and...all other things in between.
It's not an easy task but it can be achieved easily if planned ahead.
It does help to have a few other plans on the side, just in case something happens. We all know what it's like to deal with work, families and kids! You never know what's behind the corner!
So, get on top of your week and make Monday your best friend - it will be your secret and believe me, it will be worth it!
Some shortcuts might help to. And my recipe below is just an example of course!

Here is my "Monday spaghetti" recipe.

500 gr. Spaghetti
1 tin chopped or crushed tomatoes
half jar of pesto
olive oil, fresh oregano, 1 shallot

For the sauce, heat the oil and shallot in frying pan, add tomatoes and cook on high for five minutes. Add oregano and pesto and mix. Cook for another few minutes then turn flame off. Cook the spaghetti according to packet and when done pour sauce in and mix. Add parmesan cheese if desired.

And never forget that life is about being happy on the inside and enjoy each moment of the day no matter which day of the week that might be. Because - and I'm quoting someone else here - "happiness is not a destination but a journey".

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunday morning

...Then Sunday morning comes and we love to make our pancake recipe below...it's our little indulgence and it's lovely when the five of us sit around the table and...enjoy each other's company...

where does the week-end go?

Yes, that is a very good question!
Every single person in my family seem to always look forward to the week-end so much and then when "it" finally comes we all seem to have so much more on than we would like to, that we just end up rushing from one place to another and get way too tired for our liking!
On a Saturday whether its' cricket, football, tennis or just a play or a party we seem to always have a full day ahead of us and often struggle to get through it! We're getting better at it though! I think! I hope! Why is it though? Why do we need to take up so many challenges? Is it for ourselves or our children or our friends? Why do we do it? I am not sure why other people do it but I surely know that my reason is simple, infact it could not be any simpler...I take up so many challenges simply to keep active and in touch with people. And life may be a bit of a juggling act at times but I feel happier that way , because at the end of the day I just need to know that I've tried my best and given all I have.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Impress your friends

I've had the most delicious lunch today at my friend Julie's house, in her new kitchen to be exact. It was a truly lovely experience. Julie is a wonderful cook and a beautiful hostess and she has the ability to turn a simple meal into a lovely combination of flavours and textures, something very hard to resist!
She served an exquisite homemade quiche with a yummy green salad (with a crunch) and a lovely homemade coleslaw.
It was a great success. Everyone enjoyed it.
And that was not it. Because Julie left the best for last and finished the meal off with a delicious sponge cake with a lemony cream.
That cake was truly delicious and, according to Julie, incredibly easy to make.
So I've decided to share that magnificent recipe with everyone!

Lemon sponge cake

Packet of savoiardi (italian sponge biscuits)
1 tin of condensed milk
3 eggs
freshly squeezed lemon juice

Line a cake tin with cling wrap. Make the cream with the eggs and the condensed milk. Start making layers of biscuits and cream, alternating sponge biscuits, squeeze of lemon (on the biscuits) and cream until all used up. Secure with cling wrap. Set in the fridge for a couple of hours. Decorate with fruit if desired. And voila'. You have created a delicious dessert!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This recipe is a favourite at our house and the kids just love it! Perfect for sunday morning breakfast, brunch or even afternoon tea.

1 and half cups SR flour
1 and quarter cups of milk
pinch of salt
3 tbs sugar
3 tbs melted butter
1 egg

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, add egg, milk and butter and stir until just combined.
Spoon rounds on hot frying pan. Turn when bubbles appear on top.
Serve warm with maple syrup or lemon and sugar or fresh fruit.
Voila'! Enjoy!

CALDESIGN - Live-Dream-Create

Monday, March 8, 2010

country life

the project

What a wonderful way to start my week! I've been wanting to create my own blog for a long time but somehow never managed to. The thought of it has always been overwhelming and scary and still is but I have finally convinced myself that putting together a collection of favourite recipes, pictures, art, words and thoughts would be a wonderful way of sharing experiences and escaping the every day, the routine...A bit like a daily mood board of myself!
When I saw an article about a flower grower and his family in one of my favourite magazines, this month, I just wished I could swap it all for a life in the country. What is it about the countryside (and its beautiful colours and flowers) that catches my soul? It's almost like poetry for me, I get completely enchanted by it...I think the silence would appeal to me and I would probably never get enough of it!
I would love to collect some real life stories - recipes, words etc. - from people that have left the city for the country and loved every minute of it in the process. Once I've collected them I'd like to make them into a book and publish them. I think most of us who live in the city - most of the time - loose sight of what is really important in life and rather concentrate on the things "we want" but that do not necessarily make us happy. If you know what I mean..!?
Of course I'm not a "bloody fool" and I'm aware of the fact that life in the country it's not all dreamy - it's actually not dreamy at all for that matter - but what I'm trying to get at is the fact that although people work harder and longer and do not have the hundreds of shops and many facilities that we have in the city, they seem to enjoy life a lot more, or perhaps I should say "the simple and healthy things in life" - like growing their own fruit, veggies and herbs for example.
So keeping all these elements into considerations I'd like to go ahead with my dream of starting a collection of experiences. I know it will probably take me a lot of time and effort to start and put the collection together but I know it will be a great experience, one that will teach me a great deal about life and family in general and also about myself. Of course everyday will represent a new challenge and big or small I would like to think that I'll be up for it. After all it's the challenges in life that make us who we are.
As I approach and start taking a few steps on the side, I can see that the road ahead of me is long but of course it's just what I expected it to be. "...Surrounded by the bush I can hear the wind and see the trees dancing along to that melody, it's a beautiful and relaxing feeling and - if I may say - incredibly rewarding."