Thursday, 3 August 2017

Playing catch up...

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know I started  a Wandering Wednesday hash tag a few weeks back as a way of showcasing my travels before social media was a thing, and my move to Canada.

Some of the photos where actually taken on disposable camera and only exist in "old fashioned" prints, if you remember those ;-) Ha that makes me sound ancient but really technology has changed so much in the last decade we forget what we did before social media, right.

I was never a scrap booking kinda kid but having this blog has been my little creative outlet to get these things down while I still remember them and I've been really enjoying the trips down memory lane and sharing them with the hubby.

I've been slow posting I know, writing on an 8 year old laptop was a slow and frustrating process so I just had to walk away from it, but I now have a shiny new laptop and my home internet is being updated so excuses stop here!! I have big plans for this little world of mine, but for new lets get you caught up.

Last weeks #wanderingwednesday took us to Edinburgh, where I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with the girls, when we were all young {ok younger} free and single. Known as “the Athens of the North” Edinburgh has been recognized as the capital of Scotland since the 15th century.

Our first stop, pictured above was right outside our hotel, and is probably the most photographed cottage in the world. The Green keeper's Cottage, located in Princes Street Gardens, a public park in the center of the city. The gardens were created in the 1820s after Nor Loch was drained at the base of the castle due to years of pollution and is now a stunning centerpiece to the city.

The castle built on an ancient volcano is more than 120 meters above sea level and is 80 meters taller than the surrounding lands. Early history of the castle is patchy but it's believed to date back in some format to the bronze age.

The castle changed hands several time between Scotland and England during the Wars of Scottish Independence.  Besides housing battle ready soldiers and hosting queens it has served many other uses, including being used as an arsenal in the 15th century and a prison in the 18th and early 19th century.

Standing in the middle of the Royal Mile, aptly named as it's a mile long street with two royal buildings on each end, St. Giles Cathedral dates back over 900 years. During the Reformation it was divided into a mix use building with a police and fire stations, a school and coal store, as well as the Scottish guillotine and a women’s prison, remaining that way for 300 years

Touristy things aside there is plenty to see and do in the city, we only touched the surface. If your a Harry Potter fan you must stop by the Elephant House where J.K Rowling wrote the first book.

We've talked about making another trip, maybe making it our 20 year reunion to get us all back on one side of the world. For know though the memories we made will keep us going.

I hope you've enjoyed the brief trip around the city, if you get a chance do go visit. There are plenty of low cost flights out there. You will not be disappointed. If you've been there drop me a line, share your pics, I'd love to know your thoughts on the city.

 As always you can keep up to date with our antics on Instagram and Facebook or follow on PinterestTwitter and Bloglovin for updates.

Happy hump day all, enjoy the rest of your week.

Michelle xxx

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Summer Coolers

Happy Sunday peeps, popping in quickly to share these summer coolers. 
I'm up to my tonsils in stuff!! Clearing out the apartment is proving harder then I expected and its hot as hell. I'm in need of something cool but I don't want to sacrifice the work I've done over the last couple weeks on the Betty Rocker 30 day meal plan but a girl needs treats, right! 

In these two, fresh fruit is combined with my protein powder or Agri+ sachets to boost the nutritional value without hitting the calorie count, and they are so easy to make, I have an apple sorbet in the freezer as I type. By the time I get done with apartment it will be ready to go!!

Apple Protein Sorbet

1 scoop vanilla Forever Lite Ultra
8 fl. oz. unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1 banana, chopped and frozen
4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
1 medium apple diced
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp all spice
3-4 ice cubes

Mix together the Forever Lite Ultra with the almond milk until smooth.
Add half the diced apple and Forever Lite Ultra mix to a blender along with all the other ingredients and blend until thick and smooth.
Pour into a large bowl and stir in the remaining apple pieces. Place bowl in the freezer for 1.5 hours and stir every 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.

Blueberry Berry Ice

1/3 cup sugar
8 fl. oz. water mixed with 1 Argi+ sachet
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 cups blueberries

 Fresh blueberries and sprigs of mint for garnish

Add the blueberries, sugar, honey, lemon zest and juice into a large bowl and stir to mix the ingredients together before mashing with a potato masher.
Place the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
Sieve into a bowl, pressing the mixture through to get maximum juice
and stir in a made-up Argi+.
Place the mixed ingredients straight into the freezer and stir regularly until frozen. Once frozen, blast quickly in a blender to create a smoother consistency if that's your thing.
Serve sorbet with fresh blueberries and a sprig of mint.

I'm so looking for to sitting down to enjoy this later, if you give it a try tag me in your pictures @michellenituama I'd love to see your versions. Enjoy the rest of your weekend what ever you get up to.

As always you can keep up to date with our antics on Instagram and Facebook or follow on PinterestTwitter and Bloglovin for updates.

Michelle xxx

Recipes adapted from Aloe matters magazine.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Clean eating sweet potato soup...

We have been doing well since the beginning of the month when we started a clean eating transition but I was needing some comfort this week so I made a batch Sweet Potato soup.
 I came across it here a few years back {yes the recipe hoarder strikes again} but have adapted it to fit in with my Clean 9 detox plan. It's so delicious and with only 179 calories per serving it sits well with the 600 calorie meal element of the plan.

 Sweet potatoes are a great addition to any meal plan. They are a fantastic source of fiber, vitamins A, C and B6. Contain antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties and can improve blood sugar regulation. They are available year round from most good grocery stores however their season is November and December.

1  diced onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 diced celery stick
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Heat a large pot over a medium heat, add chopped onion, and celery and cook for 4 minutes over medium heat or until soft, then add the minced garlic and sauté another minute.

2. Stir in diced sweet potatoes, dried thyme and season with salt and pepper. Add vegetable broth cover partially and simmer for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

3. Using a stick blender puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk and season with salt and pepper to taste if desired. Serve and Enjoy!

 As always you can keep up to date with our antics on Facebook or follow on Pinterest, Instagram , Twitter and Bloglovin for updates.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Get the deets

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Mothers Day Gift Guide...

Mother's Day on this side of the Atlantic falls on May 14th folks, that gives you just 5 days to get organized. This Mother's Day, make mom feel pampered not just on the day, but for the year ahead. From our Aroma Spa Collection to our handmade aromatherapy jewelry we have something for you...

Every mother deserves to treat herself, be it a pampering morning routine that helps her start her day off right or a special treat that lets her to escape the chaos with some quiet time.

Aromatherapy Spa collection
Transform the bathroom into a luxury spa and indulge her senses with this 3-piece collection of aromatherapy spa products: Relaxation Bath Salts, Relaxation Shower Gel and Relaxation Massage Lotion provide the perfect way to unwind after a long day or treat her to a weekend retreat in the comfort of your home. 
Sonya Skincare Collection
An expression of rejuvenation, admiration and love, the Sonya collection’s formulation of ingredients including aloe vera, fruit extracts, white tea and superior moisturizers give back to the skin. They help to rejuvenate and moisturize like never before. Aloe Purifying Cleanser, Refreshing Toner, Nourishing Serum,  Balancing Cream, and  Deep-Cleansing Exfoliator work together to leave the skin looking fresh and radiant. Indulge your mom in this five-step process, and treat her to the luxury she deserves.

Essential Oils Lemon and Peppermint 

A perfect gift option for moms comes from our essential oil collection. Essential Oil Lemon and Peppermint can transform any space in a home, bring energy and vibrance to a work space and can be used to elevate the mood. Why not combine our essential oils with a piece of our stunning, handmade aromatherapy jewelry. Our hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant jewelry is designed to last a lifetime and would make a stunning centerpiece to your mothers day gift.
Antoinette Amethyst Diffuser Necklace
Juliet Black Onyx & Pavé Diffuser Necklace

We would like to wish all those special ladies a very Happy Mother's Day and hope however you spend the day it you make every second count.
As always you can keep up to date with our antics on Facebook or follow on Pinterest, Instagram , Twitter and Bloglovin for updates.
Have a great week everyone!
Michelle xxx

Friday, 5 May 2017

No bake protein granola bar

This simple no bake protein granola bar recipe has been sitting in my drafts for quite some time, I do apologise for not sharing sooner. Consider me scolded!!

 A perfect snack to grab from the fridge on the run, these puppies won't hang around long so you many want to double the batch.

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup chocolate chips

In  small sauce pan melt the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and stir well.
Add in Forever Lite Ultra blend well. When mixture is combined add granola (get my recipe here) and chocolate chips. Stir until combined

Line an 8x8 pan with tin foil and grease lightly with coconut oil. Spread mixture into pan, ensuring even coverage.
Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until set, then peel foil off and cut into bars. Take note they do melt quickly so are best stored in fridge. 

Forever Lite Ultra® with Aminotein® - Vanilla

You can leave out the protein if you choose but I have been using Forever Lite Ultra for a number of years now. Just two servings a day provide 100% of the recommended vitamins and minerals compared to other protein powders we've had at different times in the house. I'll have a granola bar or protein bite on the way to work and a shake around morning break and it sets me up to  lunch.

On a separate note those who follow on social media may have noticed there have been a few changes a foot of late. While the blog has been quiet I have been working on other projects and trying to bring them all in line. I'm slowly getting there. It is a lot of work but it will be worth it in the end. 

I hope you will continue to follow on our journey as we ride this rollercoster of small business ownership. I intend to have everything up and running by the end of the month but in the mean time stop by the business page and if you like what you see give it a thumbs up. All my wellness products are gluten and cruelty free as well as being halal and kosher approved. I will also have range of handmade PETA approved vegan aromatherapy jewelry in stock. You can see the full range here

I'm currently offering 15% off direct message orders for first time customers but there will be plenty more offers and promotions to come as we get up to speed.

If you are interested in anything or need more information, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'd love to hear from you. 

Have a fantastic weekend...


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Hummingbird cake for a winter celebration...

 Twice a year in my office we hold little birthday celebrations for all the "winter babies" and the "summer babies". This time around I wanted to make a Hummingbird cake* which I had come across a long time ago in one of my first ever gluten free baking books but had never attempted. I have adapted it slightly along the way but it wouldn't be me if I didn't have all the right ingredients, right!

I am always nervous agreeing to bake for a specific functions to the point where the fear of disappointment is too much to bear and I say no. I am trying to do better and have more confidence in myself and my abilities but it's hard, right. I know my baking trials most of the time are perfect but that little voice inside can be so load! 
This time round I bit the bullet and told my boss I'd make a cake which she promptly went on to announce to the whole department, so there was no backing out then.
Let me first apologize for the crappy iPhone pictures. It was after 10 pm by the time I got it all finished and I was way passed pretty pictures at that stage. 

5 tbsp. Walnuts
3 tbsp Coconut flakes
Tin of Pineapple
2 ripe Bananas
150 ml Coconut Oil
3 Large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Gluten Free self-raising flour*
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Caster Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Large Egg white
175g Caster Sugar
1/4 tsp Cream of Tarter
2 tbsp Water
*I had some of the Robin Hood Gluten Free All Purpose Flour blend left over from Christmas so to make it self-raising I added 2 tsp of baking powder to 1 cup of flour as per the Ask Nigella forum. Sift the flour and baking powder together and mix well before adding any of the recipe ingredients.
Preheat oven to 195C/Gas mark 5. Grease and line two 8 inch sandwich tins. Chop walnuts and place in a single layer a baking sheet, toast for 8 minutes. Spread the coconut on a separate baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Remove both from oven and put aside.
Place pineapple, with 4 tablespoons of the juice in a food processor, add bananas, coconut oil, toasted walnuts, eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined well.
In a large bowl combine, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and salt and make a well. Add the pineapple banana mixture and whisk until smooth.
Pour mixture evenly into the prepared sandwich tins and smooth top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 25 or 30 minutes depending on your oven, until cakes are well risen and golden. Use a skewer to check the inside.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack to cool entirely.
The frosting sets very quickly so I waited until the cakes where completed cooled before starting to make it. Place all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until thick, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Place a sponge on a serving plate or cake board, coat with an even layer of frosting, then place the second sponge carefully on top. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake, then sprinkle the toasted coconut around the sides.
Allow to set in a cool place, but not the fridge, before serving. This cake can be stored for up to two days in an air tight container. 
Mine didn't last long enough for left overs, everyone loved it and were very surprised to hear it was gluten free.
 If you like this recipe and want to see more recipe trails from the country cottage musings kitchen be sure to check us out on Facebook or follow on Pinterest, Instagram , Twitter and Bloglovin for updates.
Michelle xxx