Lizzy’s Lip Gloss

‘Do not despise small beginnings.’  Zechariah 4:10

There is something very satisfying about learning a new skill.  Our Friday evenings used to consist of buying ingredients after school to make cupcakes or to make another failed attempt at millionaire shortbread.  This Friday was different we decided to make lip gloss with the many ingredients I had gathered for such a product.  Where do we begin?  My daughter suggested YouTube a genius idea.

The first recipe we found was just Petroleum Jelly,  Coconut Oil. Vitamin E Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil and Lipstick.  The consistency was good and the colour was amazing.  We convinced family to be our guinea pigs and waited for feedback.  List of things to change:

  • The jar was too large
  • The gloss was too runny
  • It didn’t produce a consistent shine

We did some research on Pinterest one essential ingredient we had left out was cosmetic grade beeswax.  It made such a difference the lip gloss consistency suddenly it looked so professional.

The next project was the container, these containers were smaller, they had a screw lid and they protected the lip gloss from the elements.


William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616

Sonnet 98

From you have I been absent in the spring,

When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,

Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,

That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,

Yet not the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell

Of different flowers in odor and in hue,

Could make me any summer’s story tell,

Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.

Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,

Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;

They were but sweet, but figures of delight,

Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.

Yet seemed it winter still, and you away,

As you with your shadow I with these did play.

I took this picture at the beginning of April. I’ve always loved spring everything comes alive, bare trees show signs of life sprouting leaves and blossom. This year it feels very different; in winter you can hide away behind dark nights and closed curtains but the brighter days and longer nights force you to face the absence of loved ones in the stark reality of them never returning.

The birds sing away on the trees oblivious to your lack of desire to sing without a care.

Like the blossoms on the trees that bloom, grow and fade; grief will lose its intensity and colour will return to life again.

Jamaican Fruit Cake

Good Friday 2019 has brought back so many memories of mum and dad. I didn’t have fried fish and bun and cheese but I decided to bake. I wanted to capture all the aromas of my childhood. Strangely enough I wasnt a fan of fruit cake as a child, it was always in the house. I suppose I didn’t appreciate the time and skill that it took to make these little pieces of heaven. Mum never shared her recipes but she never weighed anything it was all intuitive. So here’s my version.Ingredients500g Stork Margerine500g Dark Brown Sugar500g Self Raising Flour5 Large Eggs1 bottle of Port1kg Mixed Fruit5 tsp Baking Powder5 tsp Cinnamon5 tsp Mixed Spice2 tsp Nutmeg5 tsp Vanilla EssenceMethodPreheat the oven 180cBlend mixed fruit and portBlend sugar and butter.Add 5 eggs slowly.Add blended fruit, cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg to the sugar, margerine and eggs.Add flour and stir until all ingredients are folded together until the spoon stands up in the mixture.Divide the mixture into cake tins. 2 10 inch tins and 2 9 inches.Bake for 50 mins until firm to touch.

10 Reasons to try bereavement counselling

Bereavement Counselling! Why Bother?

  1. You need to take time for yourself.

After all the hospital appointments: registering the death; collecting the death certificate and the funeral arrangements you realise you haven’t had a minute to think.

2. It’s good to have someone who allows you to talk.

It might seem a tad self indulgent but it’s an opportunity to talk without being interrupted or diverted to another subject.

3. It takes the pressure off your family

When things get on top of you, you have a safe place to explore your emotions.

4. It’s great to be listened to.

In this world of blah blah blah; Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter etc. You can speak to someone face to face who gives you empathetic nods; sharp intakes of breath – nothing beats that human touch.

5. It helps you to help others.

You are in a better place to help others going through bereavement. You have experience of articulating that indescribable pain.

6. Can be more effective than taking medication

Some doctors if you mention depression they are offering sleeping tablets or anti depressants (which are fine if you need them) but I have found talking about my loss more effective.

7. Helps you to deal with the loss

Helps you to realise that you can take baby steps during the healing process. There are no quick fixes; just time and patience to get back to feeling normal.

8. Freedom to be honest

You don’t need to perform; you can let the mask slip that hides the unbearable pain inside.

9. Focus on the present and the future

Where are you now? Where do you want to be? Counselling allows you set yourself goals both short term and long term. Take a class; take up a hobby; change jobs; go travelling, all these ideas can be explored.

10. You don’t have to face the grief alone

Taking one hour out of your busy week to talk about your grief removes the feeling of isolation. You can begin to untangle the complex feelings that come from losing a loved one in a safe space.

Upcycle Ikea

I love the brightly coloured fabrics in IKEA. The colours are so vibrant and excellent for children’s soft furnishings especially if you want to avoid the stereotypical blue and pink.

Level of difficulty – Simple

Time to make – 1 hour


2 reasonably priced double quilts

5 metres of lightweight wedding.

Sewing machine

How to make a cot quilt

  1. Divide each quilt into 4 equal rectangles
  2. Turn the fabric inside out and attach the wadding to the fabric on the sewing machine.
  3. Leave a wide enough space in one seam to turn the fabric on the right side.
  4. Use an embroidery stitch to edge the quilt.
  5. To add more detail to the quilt embroider around the flowers.

Great gift for baby showers, birthdays and Christmas.

Mother’s Day

2019 will be the year of many firsts. Around the corner will be the first Mother’s Day without my mum. In the shops there are adverts for meals, presents and cards.

The day started with a visit to the cemetery. Looking around at the bewildered relatives trying to make sense of their loss.

Gathering at the graveside I reflect on Mother’s Days in the past. One year we bought mum cooking utensils. She thanked us kindly and she said next time buy me something for myself. Every year after that perfume or flowers, but her favourite gift was money. Strangely enough she was a shopaholic and a saver.

Mothering Sunday was always special it was a time to say thank you mum loved cards with lots of words telling her how amazing she was.

Everyone called her mum whether they knew her or not. If anyone was having problems with their parents, husband, wife, friends mum took them in and gave them sound advice to help them move forward.

She loved to cook; nothing gave her greater pleasure than feeding someone who’s hungry and offering more.

It was always the Saturday before Mother’s day we’d ask dad ‘have you bought anything for mum?’ The response was always the same. ‘’ We would have to take him to the florist or to Boots to save the hysteria from mum.

Back to a cold day in March you’ve moved from your warm armchair to a cold grave. Dead flowers are removed replaced with fresh ones. Sleep on beloved, sleep on.

Cheese and onion crisps

20170825_160256.jpgWhat would you give a packet of cheese and onion crisps? Well my brother was willing to risk his life. Every year my mum would buy a big box of crisps for Christmas. Well mum realised that they wouldn’t last so she hid them in a high cupboard above the stairs.

My brother didn’t let that stop him; he rested one foot on the banister and the other one on the post. He managed to release the catch and open the door to a blue and white box holding hidden treasure. His younger siblings stood below in eager anticipation of those rustling packets. He was their hero.

As Christmas approached; he did not let his conscience bother him he continued his escapade.

Judgement day came Christmas morning – ‘bring down the box of crisps!’ The opened box rustled with its much depleted contents. Mum peered inside to see two lonely packets of crisps.

‘Who ate them?’

‘We did,’ the youngest confessed.

She was pushed and shoved in the back and called ‘supergrass’.

Looking back she must have known she cleaned the house and emptied the bins.