Halloweekend recap

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Hi friends! And Happy Halloween to those of you who are celebrating today! TBH, I feel like Halloween has come and gone already, and feeling like I really need to rally tonight lol. Between the Trunk or Treat, class parties, friend parties, we celebrated. The kids have tons of candy and fun memories. We good. But we’re still going to bring it strong tonight. 😉 High fives to all of my mama friends out there pushing through; we’re almost there!

It was a super fun weekend. To kick things off, we celebrated P’s birthday with her friends from school + her cousins! The kids had a half day on Friday, so it was the perfect afternoon for a party at Wild Katz. I love parties like this because the kids can run around, the parents can chill, we sing “Happy Birthday” and eat cake, and done. Minimal cleanup required. 😉

I found this cute banner on Etsy:

ordered cupcake toppers, and picked up green candies from Party City.

For treat bags, I filled them with ninja turtle masks and curly straws, slime, nostalgic candy, and the star of the show was these pizza cookies from Simply Bliss.

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Slow Cooker Pork Roast

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Sweet and tangy glaze takes this slow cooker pork roast from just another crockpot meal to a tasty and fantastic meal.

Slow Cooked Pork in square baking dish

Pork Roast with Glaze

This slow-cooked pork roast is both company worthy and also perfect for a lazy weeknight dinner. I’ve served this pork with smashed potatoes, over rice, (it’s really great with this mushrooms pepper rice pilaf) and stuffed into soft rolls.

This roast was a delicious surprise the first time I made it. I’d originally planned to oven-roast the pork in a more traditional style. However, in the interest of not spending my weekend evening working in the kitchen, I decided to put it in the crockpot that morning instead.

I found the original recipe on allrecipes.com and tweaked it a good bit to meet our needs. (Truth be told, it doesn’t have much in common with the original, but credit where it’s due, right?)

I did not expect the meat to cook so quickly and be falling apart at dinnertime, but it was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing.

The sweet, tangy glaze takes just a few minutes to simmer and whisk together and the resulting meal is well worth the extra moment to make it special!

pork in crockpot with juices

Pork Roast Recipes Slow Cooker

Slow cookers or crockpots are an appliance of which I have more than one. If you are an avid slow cooker user like I am, you might understand the need for more than one. So, let’s talk about my favorites:

First up is this Read more

Caring for a loved one through cancer

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When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, the emotional impact is monumental. Here, counsellor Nadia Wyatt shares her story, and the things she learned along the way

Caring for a loved one through cancer

We were on holiday in Spain, during Easter in 2014, and were returning back to the UK on Wednesday. My daughter had been complaining she was not well toward the end of our holiday, but we thought nothing of it other than maybe the late nights were too many for our five-year-old. On Thursday, we took her to school as normal. I went to work, to my clients, as normal. But by midday, the school called to ask us to pick our daughter up as she looked grey. I thought, grey? We just got back from Spain, she’d be tanned not grey! Anyway, I went to collect her and took her to our GP to check her over as the school had worried me. Our GP asked me to bring her in first thing the next morning. When we did, he organised an ambulance to take us to our local hospital, where they would do some tests.

After the tests, the next morning, Saturday, they called us into a big room. They told us that they believed our daughter had leukaemia – cancer. They organised an ambulance, and took us to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

It was so quick and so shocking that I don’t think any of us had time to digest or process what was happening. Our five-year-old daughter was eventually diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the treatment of which is two and a half years of chemotherapy, steroids, alongside hospital stays and visits.

None of us could grasp what was happening, and we were told that we had to stay in hospital for two to three weeks until they had done all the tests. There was so much information given to us, and we met so many different doctors, consultants, and nurses. We saw so many terrible cases and poorly, desperately poorly, kids and babies. It was too much to process and absorb.

Over time, I could see that I was spiralling out of control. This ‘didn’t happen to people like me’, I thought. ‘I am the counsellor, I am not the client.’ But cancer does not discriminate. It was just desperately awful. To watch your fragile child struggle, be in continuous pain, and look so dreadfully sick, and be given a cocktail of chemotherapy and other drugs, is just horrendous.

The lessons I learned

What did I learn from this whole horrendous episode in my life? It is so important to seek professional help from the very beginning. I was a counsellor with years of experience, so surely, I could help myself? Over time, I realised I could not. But it was too late by this point. I was really in a bad way, mentally. I scheduled an appointment with my GP, who prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and sleeping tablets. I was also referred to a psychiatrist. In the end, I was having intensive counselling and EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) therapy to help with processing of the trauma that I was living through.

I learned that my husband is an incredible carer for both our daughter and me. He stood by me when anyone else would have walked away. In the hospital, we were allocated a social worker to help us, as they said most couples separate when faced with situations like ours. I am forever indebted to my husband of 30 years for supporting me when I was struggling with my mental health. It’s not easy for coupl

Insanely Delicious Pumpkin Lava Cake

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Insanely Delicious Pumpkin Lava Cake

The recipe that has been hurting my brain for 4 years is finally here. Our insanely delicious pumpkin lava cake is going to blow up Christmas desserts for the rest of eternity. 

Aren’t you a little like me? You get to that big Christmas meal and go back and forth on which dessert you want to bring to the table, something chocolate, a little pie – oh but you ate pie for a week after Thanksgiving, so maybe not…

a photo of a serving of pumpkin lava cake in a small white saucer. the cake is sitting in a thick sauce that has seeping out of the cake and the cake is topped with whipped cream.

Pumpkin lava cake to the rescue!

I saw all of those chocolate lava cakes for years but never fully enjoyed one, so I decided that we need a pumpkin version. All the spice of a molasses or gingerbread feel but 100% pumpkin. I wanted to feel the Christmas spirit and for me that means smelling it and tasting it. You know I’m right, you walk into a place that smells of Christmas and you’re instantly all tingly like you are a little kid again. Chocolate is awesome, but Christmas needs spice!

a photo of a white ceramic baking dish full of a baked pumpkin lava cake.

Ingredients for

Am I having a spiritual awakening?

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What is a spiritual awakening, how do you know the signs, and how do you embrace this newfound shift in how you see the world? We answer your top questions about spiritual awakenings (and how you can find support in your journey)

Am I having a spiritual awakening?

Spirituality can have different meanings to different people. Generally speaking, it involves recognising a feeling, sense, or belief in something greater than yourself. This could mean that you feel there is something more to being human than what you experience physically through your senses, and/or that you feel like we are all a part of some greater whole which is cosmic or divine in nature.

Unlike religion where there is often a specific, organised set of beliefs and practices typically shared by a community or group, spirituality may be more of an individual practice, focusing on a sense of purpose and peace.

Am I having a spiritual awakening?
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

What is a spiritual awakening (and what does ‘having a spiritual awakening’ mean)?

For many, a spiritual awakening is a call to a higher consciousness and state of deeper mental awareness. This process typically shifts your worldview, transforming you on a personal level and shifting your mindset.

It can be called by different names (enlightenment, bliss, or discovering nirvana). It can create feelings of both being unnerved or uncertain at first, as well as wonder and excitement. Our modern idea of a spiritual awakening in the western world was first made popular by psychiatrist Carl Jung, who described it as coming back to the original self.

What triggers a spiritual awakening?

A spiritual awakening can be caused by many different things. Big, life-changing events such as the death of a loved one, serious illness, or divorce can trigger a spiritual awakening, as can traumatic or near-death experiences, or an existential crisis. Other common triggers can include mental health crises and midlife (or quarter-life) crises.

For others, there may be a more subtle, gradual shift without a clear catalyst. Practising activities that promote a greater sense of self-awareness are thought to help activate a deeper conscious awareness. These can include:

  • mindfulness
  • meditation
  • caring for and connecting with plants or animals

But how do you know if you are having a spiritual awakening?

What are the signs of a spirit