Yesterday was a day of loss and sadness but also of gratefulness and truth. My dear sister-in-law recently lost her grandfather to cancer – which was heartbreaking to see. The funeral was held at the beautiful Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Malvern. Everyone who knew, loved or whose life was somehow touched by this man gathered to say farewell. It was a touching service – a life was remembered and celebrated.
Even though it was a sad day, there was a lighter side – a lesson to be learnt. Funerals tend to reawaken the senses and remind a person of how fragile and precious life is. The father’s message was simple: enjoy life, cherish your loved ones, do the things you have always wanted to do. I think most people let small, inconsequential things bother them. They let daily life get in the way and they tend to walk with blinkers on, only seeing what is bothering them at that moment in time.
I’m a culprit of this. I worry, worry, worry about silly things, and moments that should have been enjoyed and cherished pass me by. From time to time we need a reminder, a kick up the pants. Life is not all about bills, washing, work, that flat tyre… We need to live for every moment, live in the now, have fun and chase our dreams. The father who held the service left us with one question: How have you lived your life so far?
I ask you the same question. ‘How have you lived your life so far?’ Are you happy with what you have done with your time? Are you doing what makes you happy? Are you living for every moment? Please know that my intention is not to make anyone feel guilty or depressed here. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t say yes to the above questions. Growing up and living life is all about learning to find a balance – I’m sure most struggle with this.
I’m just sharing what I found to be encouraging advice. Sometimes we just need to stop for a moment and be still. God put us on this earth to please Him and worship Him, but His intention was and still is for us to enjoy life, to enjoy each other. You only need to look around you, at the magnificent nature that surrounds you, or look inside yourself, at your complex body and unique personality to realise that it was created to be enjoyed. I believe God did not create such a complex, awe-inspiring world for it to be ignored or unexplored.
The world is ours to explore. Our talents are God-given for us to use.
Stop procrastinating. Have fun!
Do you need a chocolate fix to get you through the week? I’m not sure if you spotted the moreish looking cupcakes further down the page… I posted photographs of these little babies – without the recipe.
I did it just to keep you all in suspense 😉
I won’t make you suffer any longer though. Here is the recipe for my Chocolate Caramel cupcakes.
Recipe taken from Donna Hay Magazine – Issue 65.
Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour, sifted
¼ cup (25g) cocoa, sifted
¾ cup (135g) brown sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate buttercream icing
185g unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups (240g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
½ cup (50g) cocoa, sifted
1 ½ tablespoons milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla in an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until pale and smooth. Spoon the mixture into 12 x ½ cup-capacity (125ml) tins lined with cupcake cases. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer (I baked mine for 21 minutes). Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the chocolate butter icing, place the butter in an electric mixer and beat for 6-8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla and beat for a further 10-15 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Spread the cooled cupcakes with the icing to serve. Makes 12.
This is where I added the twist. I scooped out a little hole in the top of each cupcake with a teaspoon and filled the holes with caramel (I used Nestle Treat Caramel). I halved the buttercream mixture and unashamedly added caramel to the one half – creating a glorious, almost mousse-like icing.
I quite like that half the cupcakes were topped with a fluffy light buttercream icing and the other half were crowned with a gloriously smooth caramel/chocolate icing.
So simple to make and even easier to eat.
I am so blessed to have another cousin in my life!
Dear little Cole has won the hearts of every family member due to his sweet nature, gorgeous little face and just for looking so darn cute!
I recently attended his 1st birthday – what a bash!
The theme was red and blue stripes and dots. I decided to make iced biscuits in the shape of a “1” for every guest to take home. This was my first attempt at making royal icing…quite an interesting (read tiring) experiment.
I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to be creative though – and I finally put one of my ideas into action.
I hope everyone enjoyed eating them as much as I enjoyed making them.
Presentation is very important.
Other treats at the party – baked by my talented cousin, Bronwen.
I used individual letter stamps to create the personalised bags for each biscuit.