Art from the past

Art

Personally I have always enjoyed creating anything beautiful using any medium…BUT…I always got so frustrated because the picture in my head just didn’t look anything like the physical end result! Then in 2014 I started painting classes at Beate Naudé in Richardsbay.  These social painting evenings were the highlight of my week!  Beate is an amazing art teacher who guided me into actually painting something I was proud of…and no I’m not claiming Picasso end results!!  So I thought I’d share a few of my first paintings with you.

Mykonos-01Plaas-01Succulent-01Sunrise-01Kaapsche Hoop-01

Easy Potato Rolls with Gravy

Dinners & Lunches, Recipes: Braai

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I think I have mentioned before, that the way I cook is on impulse. I see some ingredients in my cupboards or fridge and then I feel inspired with some idea! Some successful, others… well you can’t always have a winner😄 These potato rolls also came to existence through this process. My husband and I both thought that this recipe was one of the winners, well he asked for seconds!

The puff pastry jumped into my hand as I opened the freezer, now usually when I see puff pastry I think of the absolutely delicious sweet potato rolls. You can never fully decide if they count as food or desert?? But since we’re in #lockdown currently, my resources were limited, but I did have potatoes and cheese!

So here is my new savoury version. Potato rolls with gravy… but it could also be a good option to substitute the gravy for sour cream? If someone tries it, please let me know what the outcome is!

Ingredients

1 roll of puff pastry

About 2 cups of mashed potatoes

Spices for mashed potatoes. I used: Mixed herbs, paprika, salt & pepper

About 2 cups of grated cheese, depends on personal preference.. I prefer lots and lots🧀

Gravy (Homemade would be amazing, but I just used a sachet.)

Recipe

1. Pre-heat oven to a 180 degrees C.

2. Cook potatoes, drain, mash and mix in spices.

3. Unroll the defrosted puff pastry. Spread the mashed potatoes on the puff pastry, covering the entire surface. Don’t spread it too thickly.  Cover the surface with grated cheese.

4. Roll the puff pastry and cut the roll into smaller pieces. Each piece can be about three fingers wide.

5. Place rolls in an ovenproof dish and brush with milk/eggs.  Bake between 30-40 minute. The time will depend on how thick your rolls are. It should be browned and crunchy.

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6. Take out of the oven. Plate the rolls and cover with delicious, thick gravy or try sour cream.

7. Enjoy!

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I hope you will have an inspired and blessed day!

xx

J

The good old favourite: Chocolate fudge

Something Sweet

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Some recipes are just worth sharing again, by again I mean that on the internet this is not a brand new creation 😊 But man…it is still deliciousssss!

Still being in lockdown during this corona virus epidemic, our ‘essential’ sweets started running out! This forced me to look in my recipe books and grocery cupboard, and just there and then the idea was born…something sweet that brings back childhood nostalgia to have with good coffee! You will see our Bialetti coffee was paired with this delicacy👌

Let’s jump right into it!

Recipe

250g butter

500g icing sugar

100ml cocoa

2 eggs

2 packets of Marie Biscuits, crushed

IMG_77961. Melt butter in the microwave. (I used the microwave just because it’s quicker, but you can also do the recipe on the stove top if you prefer to do so.)

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2. Sift the flour and cocoa into the melted butter and mix thoroughly.

IMG_78203. Add the eggs and mix. Microwave for about 2 minutes.

4. Add the crushed Marie Biscuits and mix through.

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5. Transfer the mixture to a container and press down to compact. Place it in the fridge,        but before it completely hard cut it into blocks. Smaller is better as this fudge is very          sweet.

Chocolate fudge with coffee

  1. Enjoy with good, bitter coffee☕ or whatever your preference is!

Have a blessed day!

xx

J

Devotional: Start Doing

Art, Devotional

Start doing_Autumn leafs_-01

An Inspirational ‘lesson’ I have learnt during lockdown

We are currently in a very interesting time. The year 2020 has brought us a fast spreading virus which actually lead our country to locking down for 21 days. Who could’ve seen this coming!

I know this is not the best of times for a lot of people – those affected by the virus, people sitting without an income during this time and the people suffering from depression and are forced to be alone. For me though, I’m loving this lockdown. Living in the city, every day is a rush from point A to point B and back. For the first time in quite a while we have time to spend together as a family and – as soon as my one year old goes to sleep – I have time and energy to spend on those little projects I never have time for.

One of my “projects” was to make painting time for myself – painting is the one activity where my mind can just switch off – and then another “project” was to make more devotional time with God. For this post I was fortunate enough to combine both!

Please note that this was my first ever video post and I encountered a few problems. Learned a lot through this process! Next one will be better 🙂

 

Hope you feel encouraged!

Stay safe. Start DOING and God loves you!

XX

J

Diversity is good!

Art, Devotional

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On 1 February 2020 I wrote the following words in my journal:

“Be different. Be yourself. The one who God made you to be. Don’t try to be like others and don’t compare yourself to others. You will then always feel that you are not good enough.

God gave you everything that you need for His plans. Use your talents and stop complaining about what you don’t have.”

 

These were harsh words to tell yourself! But sometimes that’s necessary. If you want to grow as a person, you will sometimes need to stop and ask yourself earnestly, “What do I need to realize of myself, and what do I need to change.”

It’s so easy to not feel good enough in specific areas in your life, to not feel pretty enough, to not feel sufficient. Why is this? Because we compare our success to the ability and success of others. Example: I love painting. I scroll through social media for ideas, see something that someone else has painted and think, wow, that’s beautiful! Now I want to paint it as well…but guess what, it doesn’t look like their’s and it will never. We are not the same person! We don’t have the same talents. We don’t have the same abilities…ideas…creativity…etc etc – in short: WE ARE NOT THEM.

There’s nothing wrong in finding inspiration from others. God likes community. He wants us to interact and learn from each other. But the purpose is to build people up through it. To build His church. He doesn’t want you to feel not good enough just because you cannot do something in a way someone else can.

Today I want to encourage myself and whoever also needs to hear this. Diversity is good, embrace it. Start looking for your own unique ideas and interpretations of it. Look for help when you need it, but learn from it and don’t see yourself as a failure just because you didn’t know how and will now still need to take time to practice the new skill/advice you’ve received. Remember, someone who is a master in a specific skill has spent quite a few hours to practice their skill. And importantly, enjoy what you are doing! We need to find joy in everything we do. God gave you gifts and talents to enjoy, but more than that, He gave you these gifts and talents for His enjoyment. So use them! but in the unique way that God intended for you to use them.

Have a blessed day!

God loves you.

xx

J

 

BEING BEAUTIFUL??

Devotional

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I struggle with two major things in my life. I tend to compare myself to others and then I judge myself accordingly…I’m never the winner at the end of a comparison and my judgement is harsh! “I’m not good enough,” is what it boils down to.

Thoughts like these one’s come up…Other woman are prettier and look better on their well posed and edited photos on social media. They have  bodies that’s in-shape and fit, no cellulite, a nose that’s not too big or too small, smooth skin. In want that one’s legs, why can’t my hair and make-up look like that! …and the list goes on and on.

This mindset inhibits personal growth, because I can’t see my own value and worth -so how do I want others to see it if I can’t?

The question I had to ask myself was, “is this true beauty?”

Is this kind of beauty not just the packaging? And yes, it’s nice to receive a package that looks attractive. But what if you open a package that’s packaged in the most beautiful way – bows, ribbons, glitter – everything you need to really catch the eye. When you open  it… there’s only a pair of plain socks inside – or whatever item you think will be a disappointment.

What was the purpose of the beautiful packaging then? Just to deceive you?

I would rather get a package wrapped in old newspaper, but when you open it, it’s a valuable, beautiful package/gift on the inside. And you?

That’s the difference between the way the world sees beauty and how God sees beauty. Because, make no mistake, one day the “packaging” will be torn off and the “package” the inside, will be revealed before God. What will He see? Did you put all your effort in to decorate the outside or did you make the inside worth while?

I’m not saying we should neglect ourselves and not care about our bodies. Your body is a temple of God. It’s important to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of you body, but we shouldn’t spend all of our time and effort only on the outside and envy others because they look prettier, are skinnier, have expensive clothes and gets more “likes” on social media. We should work on our insides. When God looks at my heart I would like Him to see a caring and giving heart. I would like the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) to be intertwined in my innermost being. I would love my life to look more and more like Jesus’s life looked on Earth.

Just as we are not supposed to be vain and show off our looks,  we should also not proclaim our beautiful insides to the world! The Bible says your one hand shouldn’t know what your other hand does. If you’re kind to someone or help someone, we shouldn’t tell everyone about it like the pharisees did. Keep it to yourself and know that God – who is the One who matters – will see it and will be pleased.

People with a beautiful inside will in any case shine so brightly, people will notice you. Not for your worldly beauty, but see something different in you and be drawn to that beauty.

So let’s stop focusing on “worldly beauty” and let’s work on having “true beauty” – the kind of beauty that really matters and can make a lasting difference.

 

Hope you’ll have a blessed and beautiful day 🙂

xoxo

J

WHO IS THIS MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE?

Devotional

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King of Kings, Lord of Lords,

Who is this wonderful, mighty God?

Righteousness goes before Him,

and His biggest trait is love,

Who is this wonderful, mighty God?

 

His powerful words created a world so fine,

So complex, so extraordinary.

His words also created intelligent creatures in His image,

And all of this from dust…

Who is this wonderful, mighty God?

Mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

Heavens proclaims his Glory.

The whole Universe is held by Him in one hand.

What a big and glorious God!

So big, so glorious, but still a caring, loving God

Who wants to hold your hand and walk your journey with you.

Who is this God?

Our minds won’t ever comprehend the greatness, strength,

Glory, almightiness, stillness, creativity and love of this God.

Great is His power, great is His name,

The King of all Kings, The Lord of all Lords.

The one who sent a Saviour from Heaven to us,

To reconcile the creatures He made –

But who turned from Him because of their sinful nature and selfish ways –

With Him.

This God then sent His Holy Spirit to guide and lead us in our ways –

We are never alone.

Who is this wonderful, mighty God?

God is a trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

He is the great “I am.”

He is everything anyone could ever need and so much more…

He is trustworthy.

He is yesterday, today and tomorrow.

He is the beginning and the end of time.

He sees everything, hears everything, knows everything,

But still He cares for us – with our sinful nature and selfish ways.

He made a way back to Him through Jesus Christ.

He wants to walk our journey with us,

Through the good times and bad.

All we need to do is acknowledge Him,

Believe in Him, trust Him and spend time with Him.

He knows us, but He wants us to know Him...

This is only possible by spending time together to build a relationship.

Who is this God?

This God is much bigger and greater than we could ever imagine,

and this God, we have the privilege to call

Our God, our Saviour, our Father, our great and almighty I am.

This God, whom is our God – we have the privilege to serve,

To learn His ways and work for His Kingdom.

To share the Good News about His Son,

And to walk – daily – with His Spirit.

What an amazing privilege we have to be called sons and daughters of this God –

And to call Him, our God and our Father!

What an Uncommon King we serve!

 

May you all have a blessed day!

xoxo

J

Easy & Delicious: Three Ingredient Bread with Delicious Toppings

Dinners & Lunches

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Bread is definitely one of the big loves of my life. A freshly baked bread, still warm from the oven, thick butter…yummyyyy! But as amazing as homemade bread is…the preparation can be a bit discouraging.. Luckily there are a few quick and easy winner recipes out there,like the ciabatta,  this is also one of those winners!!!

To  bake this bread you will need a mixer and exactly 3 ingredients. You then have lots of choices for possible toppings…you know, just for extra flavour and excitement!!!

Ingredients

500g Selfrising flour

500g Buttermilk

1 sachet Cream of Mushroom Soup

Method

Mix all ingredients together, I used the K-beater of my Kenwood mixer. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bread pan and bake for approximately 1h at 180 degrees C.

Toppings

When the bread is baked, place on a wooden plank and cut into slices – hold bread with  a cloth as it is still hot and cut using “long movements” to ensure you don’t squash the fresh bread;-)

Place sliced bread on aluminium foil and fold the sides of the foil to form a container.  Melt butter and Bovril/Marmite and pour over bread. Top with hands full of cheese and close foil at the top. Place back into the oven for a few minutes for the cheese to melt.

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Alternatives: I haven’t tried any alternatives yet but I’m sure a Mediterranean olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and basil, or a sweet option like cream and brown sugar caramelized on top, maybe caramelized onion, bacon and honey – could be options to consider… Let me know what you think and alternatives you have tried!  Lets be creative and adventurous:-D

Hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as I do. Have a blessed day!

xoxo

J

DEVOTIONAL: EVERY DAY IS A FRESH START

Art, Devotional

Every day is a fresh start

Every Day is a Fresh Start

Yesterday has passed, we can’t add or take-away anything.  We can’t change anything we said, didn’t say, wanted to say – or do…and to sit and worry or be angry about things in the past not only ruins the new day that started but also ruins the new opportunities that may come your way.  It stops us from smelling the roses, seeing the new sunrise and listening to God’s voice – and we know God is not in the loud noises but in the soft whisper of the wind – so we need to listen carefully 🙂

The author of Lamentations starts off by telling us in chapter 3 about God’s wrath and the bad stuff he has seen, then in verses 22-24 he says this, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’”

Ecclesiastes 7:10 tells us, “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’  For it is not wise to ask such questions.”  When we look back at the “old days” we want to remember only the good things that happened but we forget it wasn’t all good…or we look back and only remember the bad stuff and forget it wasn’t all bad.  We are not objective about the past.  Matthew 6:34 “Each day has enough troubles of its own.”  So why go and worry about yesterday’s troubles or what the future may hold.

No matter what happened in the past when you cry out to the Lord, Psalm 40 tells us God reaches out and helps us. Psalm 40:2&3 “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”  Ecclesiastes 7:14 says “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this:  God has made the one as well as the other.  Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” In other words…life is unpredictable, so why look back or ahead, just enjoy today and make the most of it.

Smell the roses; look at the sunrise 🙂 and search, with optimism and expectation, new opportunities, new excitement, love, laughter and new ways to help those in need.

Have a blessed, wonderful and NEW day!!!

God Bless

XOXO

J

LUNCH BOX IDEAS: EASY & DELICIOUS OATS CRUNCHIES

Dinners & Lunches

My aunt loves baking different kinds of cookies, bars and other yummy and delicious goodies.  This is one of her winner recipes.  It’s super easy, filling, delicious and if you add a bit less sugar – like I do sometimes – it is a healthier snack option as well.  I’ve even added cranberries and dark chocolate bits.  The sky’s the limit…experiment and let us know what wonderful alternatives you made!

Make a batch, keep them refrigerated and just add to your lunchbox for that 10 O’Clock or afternoon snack…Mmmmmm!

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I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!!!

XOXO

J

DIY: UNIQUE BIRD CAGE LAMP/COAT HANGER

decor

A lamp/coat hanger with endless possibilities…

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A floor lamp made from a coat hanger and bird cage lamp.

HOW THIS DIY FLOOR LAMP WAS DESIGNED

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I like change and I like original decor…not something you will find in every other house, shop or hotel.  This is not always possible, since I also love buying from shops and markets and I also follow trends to a certain extend, but I like originality rather than mass production.  Designing is a bigggggg passion of mine and luckily I married a very handy husband who can bring all…or let me rather say some of my plausible ideas…into existence!

One day I walked through the isles of one of our local grocery shops and saw this beautiful little wooden and black bird cage.  Then and there I decided this will become a lamp…and it did.  We bought a light fitting at our local hardware shop, some electrical cord and we already had an extra light bulb at home.  My hubby then unscrewed the top wooden knob of the bird cage, fixed the fitting, connected the cord and at the other end of the cord installed a light switch.

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The next question I had was, “where do I want to hang this?”  So the idea of a coat hanger came to mind.  Yet again I called in assistance from my loving husband, I dragged him down the isles of our local hardware shop – again – on the look out for “black steel things” 🙂 …I usually go to the shops with an idea and then know what I want when I see it, not planning too far ahead 🙂 … so we found the black steel hooks, we decided to use the wood pallets we had at home for the stand, for the top we bought a steel curtain rail end and then he made me this beauty!!

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STYLE IDEAS

Here comes the fun part…

This lamp/coat hanger stand gives you multiple options!  I just bought a few hang plants and a copper wire diamond at a market to hang on the coat hanger.  BUT you can chop and change what you hang, someone even suggested to hang a clock.  You can also hang photo frames with family photo’s.  And the day you decide to hang your bird cage lamp somewhere else, you can even start using the coat hanger to hang coats 😉  Just remember when you style this floor lamp keep balance in mind..more than one smaller items clustered together and bigger items on their own for instance, but it will depend on the specific items.

So go out and be creative…the sky’s the limit ❤

XOXO

Janine