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On the eve of my gap year

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”~Socrates

Tomorrow my youngest child starts school. There is sadness that my baby is growing up and all that, but it is also a bit like Christmas Eve.

I’m having a gap year.

I know that traditionally it is used for high school graduates taking a year off to travel or what not before starting university. But I’m claiming it to describe what I am doing this year: not going back to work despite both my children heading off to school so that I can discover myself.

Sounds a bit airy fairy. Maybe it is.

When I first set out to have kids and be a stay at home mum I never imagined how tired, crummy, grumpy, zombie, frustrated and generally worn down I would become over the 6 years that followed. We all know there is boundless joy, laughs and surprises with kids, but kids are yin and yang, up and down, highs and lows. All these combining forces are like physics. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Especially on me.

I have changed.

I’m going to find out who this new person is, take her out for a run, do some yoga with her, get her to take some photos, paint a picture with her and then see what kind of career moves she wants to make in 2016.
It’s going to be quite the year, huh?

I couldn’t do this without the support and encouragement of my husband. He’s THE BEST.
I hope one day I can be the breadwinner and he can take a gap year.

Here is me, post mountain hike with the kids, post dinner making, post 6 years of full on, 24/7 motherdom……

I wonder what I’ll be like post gap year?2015/01/img_0657.jpg

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Vegan Mud Cake….it’s a TARDIS! – Monday Made

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“Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey.”~The Doctor

Had a big party on the weekend. Made a big cake for it that kind of speaks for itself. It was vegan. It was delicious. It was bigger on the inside.

TARDIScake-1   TARDIScake-2   TARDIScake-3

TARDIScake-4   TARDIScake-5   TARDIScake-6

TARDIScake-1371   TARDIScake-1347  TARDIScake-7

I used a 30cm square tin and did a triple batch of the recipe, cooked it for 1 hour 50 minutes at 150deg fan forced. I wrapped up my tin in a couple of brown paper layers so the edges wouldn’t dry out. Cut it into quarters, stacked it up using plenty of peanut butter icing as glue and then set to work on the fondant….

For just a regular everyday cake, I make this recipe in a 22cm round tin as follows:

What you need:

  • 2 cups plain flour (could try GF flour….)
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (good, heavy dense stuff….I wish I’d weighed mine to give a more accurate measurement)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons bi-carb soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups raw sugar
  • 1 ½ cups rice milk (or espresso)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (I don’t really recommend olive oil unless you REALLY like that taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod)

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees fan forced (165, normal). Line a 22cm round tin with paper.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients, except sugar, together in a mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix until well combined. You can do this by hand or on a medium speed in an electric mixer.
  3. Pour mixture into tin and bake for 50-60 minutes. Do not open the oven before 45 minutes. I usually wait until the cake pulls away from the side a bit or doesn’t stay completely sunk when you push the top. It will not “spring back” because it does not contain a lot of rising agent. Waiting for it to do so will lead to over cooking. ICK!
  4. I like my chocolate cake with a bit of peanut butter icing on top. I talk about how to make that in general terms here at the very last point in the “what to do’s”. It is not an exact science. Make it to your own taste. For something a little more grown up, try a coffee icing…….

Unravel – Monday Made

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“While you are away, my heart comes undone, slowly unravels in a ball of yarn. The devil collects it, with a grin. Our love, in a ball of yarn. He’ll never return it so when you come back we’ll have to make new love.”~Bjork

It’s not perfect. It’s not even in tune a lot of the time. But that’s not the point at this stage. It’s more of a brain dump. Just getting down ideas for later development.

These ideas were supposed to overlapping male and female voices building in texture. But there is something missing. Some kind of moving, driving element that is distinctly lacking. Oh yeah, and actual male voices and not just me doing laughable impersonations of a man!