Monday, 30 July 2012

A calming visualisation

I'd like to share this very simple grounding, calming visualisation with you. My Reiki master described it to me several years ago and since then I've used it when I need to calm and centre myself and protect my energy. It only takes a couple of minutes, though can be longer if you want:
Sit down comfortably in a place where you won't be disturbed, close your eyes and  take a couple of breaths to relax.
When you're ready imagine roots growing out of your feet and digging into the ground, reaching further and further into the earth, digging through the top layers of the earth then deeper down.
When your roots are deep in the ground see them wrapping around a large, beautiful crystal. It can look however you want, whatever springs to mind. I tend to see black tourmaline, which is protective and grounding, and is solid and reassuring looking. Here, in this place, you are centred and stabilised, rooted into the earth.  
Next imagine your roots drawing up energy from the crystal. Gentle energising light flows up from the crystal and into your body, filling you with warm golden light. This energy is protective, healing, loving. Stay here for however long you want to.
When you're ready picture your roots gently withdrawing. You can say something like "Thank you universe for this healing, positive energy" if you're comfortable doing so. Open your eyes and allow yourself a few moments to 'come round' to your surroundings.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The good thing about the rain is...'s given me an excuse to buy rainbow striped wellies.

Any happy rain things happening for you chaps?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Chocolate Orange Bran Muffins

As promised here is my recipe for bran muffins, which I've finished tweaking and am now happy with. You see I developed a taste for 'Nakd' bars, but at 75p each it tuned into an expensive habit! So I decided to try making a replacement at home - something that I could have as a healthy, sweet, filling snack at work instead of the bars when fruit isn't enough. Whatever I made had to be cheap too. The resulting muffins are generously sized and I've worked out that they cost about less than 30p each (including electric for the oven). They're filling and make a good breakfast with a glass of milk, or a mid-morning snack that will keep you fuelled up.

Makes 8 to 12 depending how big you want them

85g Wheat bran
25g Fructose
35g Flaked almonds
100g Sultanas
1tsp Orange essence
2tsp Cocoa powder
125g Self raising flour
½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 Egg
235ml Plain natural yoghurt
80ml oil (I used corn oil but any without much flavour of its own is fine) 

Turn on the oven to heat to 190 degrees Celsius. Mix the wheat bran and milk and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Line a muffin tin.

Beat together the egg, oil and orange essence.

Sift the four, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into the wheat bran mixture and stir in. Add the egg and oil mixture and beat together until just mixed. Stir in the sultanas and almonds.

Spoon the mixture into the lined muffin tin and bake for around 20 minutes.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Just a quickie

This week's 5 minute de-cluttering update:

2nd July - First go at the first quarter of the bedroom cupboard (it's big and it's crammed full of stuff so I'm playing it safe and tackling it a little at a time). Got rid of loads of useless papers and a stack of magazines for a friend.

3rd July - I was in migraine territory so didn't do anything. At all.

4th July - Second go at the cupboard - the first go was for throwing out stuff, the second was for organising what was left.

5th July - Moved onto the second quarter of the bedroom cupboard, got rid of a couple of little bits but mainly picked out things that didn't belong there and organised what was left.

6th July - More of a stock take than de-cluttering today as I decided to got through my gift cupboard and remind myself of the gifts I've stashed away there for birthdays and Christmas. Turned out to be a great idea as there were things I'd bought or made and forgotten about, and I was on the verge of buying duplicates.

I've finished off several crochet projects this week and will post about them when the light's better so I can get better photos. I've also been baking bran muffins and have come up with a recipe for them that I want to share with you, so watch this space for something healthy and sweet.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Recycling a worn out jumper and storing unruly plastic bags

Over the past few days I've made a couple of things that have come about because of my decluttering mission. When I cleared old clothes out of the bottom of the wardrobe I found an old lambswool jumper that I loved but that had shrunk and had a small but obvious stain on the front that wouldn't come out. I was going to throw it out but then I thought of all you resourceful folk in blogland and thought 'What would they do?'. I'm no expert at sewing but I got my sewing box out, chopped off the body of the jumper and turned it into a cushion cover. I'm happy with how it turned out and pleased that I get to have those lovely colours around rather than throwing it in the bin. I've kept the arms in the hope that I'll find a use for those too. I may try making arm warmers or something.

The other thing I made was a tidy for all the plastic bags that have accumulated. I mainly use my own bags and keep one folded up in my handbag for shopping, but plastic ones still slip through the net. I keep them because they can be useful but man, do they get in the way. So I dug out a ball of DK yarn from the stash in a colour I find unpalatable and was never going to use for anything else (why did I buy it? No idea - bad shop lighting maybe?) and knit up a bag tidy.

Ugly but useful! It hold about 20 bags. If you know how to knit this is very quick and easy to make, so I'll quickly jot down the pattern here.


25g (approx) Double Knitting yarn (I used acrylic, any smooth yarn would do)
4mm straight needles
7.5mm straight needles (this doesn't matter too much so if you don't have 7.5mm use 7mm or 8mm instead)
(Optional - a 5mm or 5.5mm needled for casting off loosely)


Using 4mm needles cast on 30 sts and work in 1 x 1 rib for 1 1/2 inches.

Change to the 7.5mm needles and work as follows:

Row 1: K1 *YO, K2TOG. Rep from * to last st, K1.
Row2: Purl

Repeat last two rows until work measures 14 inches.

Change back to 4mm needles and work in 1 x 1 rib for 1 1/2 inches.
Cast off loosely (otherwise you won't be able to fit any bags in!). It helps is you cast off using a 5mm or 5.5mm needle.

Sew (or crochet together) the back seam. To make a loop for hanging up the bag holder either crochet a short chain, cast on 30 sts and cast them off again or find a bit of ribbon. Attach the loop to the top and stuff with bags.


De-cluttering update:

29th June, papers on the dressing table = a goodly pile

30th June, DVDS = 7 that I havn't watched for at least a year and won't watch again.

1st July = A 12 inch stack of CDS

I also had a thorough tidy up yesterday and caught up with a few jobs around the house so I feel more comfortable than I did at the beginning of the week and I feel that I've made progress. I've been introducing good little habits like spending a few seconds wiping down the sink after doing the dishes and those things are stopping mess from building up again.

P.S - Dragonfly, welcome to my blog, I'm glad you're enjoying it!