Easy Stewed Pears Recipe

“It is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption.”
~ Edward Bunyard

After the excess of Easter it is a relief to be back to simple food again.

One of Autumn’s great pleasures for me is pears. This easy dish is low in sugar, and the cooked fruit can be eaten warm or cold.

They are wonderful on their own, spooned over cereal or porridge or made into a layered parfait with some fresh yoghurt and a sprinkling of chopped nuts or some crunchy granola.

I also like them with a drizzle of fresh cream or a dollop of coconut yoghurt.

Pears are a great source of fibre and are high in anti-oxidants. Plus they are delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 6 to 12 ripe pears, sliced and the cores removed. It’s fine to keep the skins on.
  • Enough water or unsweetened apple juice to just cover the fruit in a large saucepan. If you use apple juice you won’t need sweetener.
  • 1 to 2 cinnamon quills (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon for each quill)
  • 6 dried cloves
  • a peeled and sliced 1 inch piece of root ginger or 1/2 teaspoon of dried ground ginger
  • You can also use a little sweetener if you are using water to cook the pears. A few drops of stevia, or a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup or honey will work well.

Method:

  1. Slice the pears into halves or quarters.
  2. Place in a saucepan and barely cover with water or juice.
  3. Add the spices.
  4. Gently bring to the boil and then turn heat to low and cook for fifteen to twenty minutes or until pears are soft.

Stewed pears will keep for up to one week in the fridge.

Understanding Intuition and Gut Instinct

“Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”  ~ Oprah Winfrey

There is an unseen force that lives within each of us, and that connects us all.  We are energetic by nature, and that energy can guide us if only we can tune in to it.  One of the simplest ways to do this is by learning to honour our intuition.

There are many ways to do this, but today I’m going to focus on one: gut feeling.  Gut instinct or feeling is a primal response hard-wired into every human.

Gut feeling really does come from that area of your body – your abdomen.  It’s not a mind-based wisdom.  It doesn’t come from your heart.  It comes from that primal genetic material that is encoded and passed from parent to offspring.  In humans that is your original eight cells, which are located near your solar plexus. It is also the wisdom of the many bacteria and other organisms that live within the gut itself. We are not just our own consciousness. We are a whole co-creative biosystem that has evolved with an instinct to keep ourselves safe and to guard against threat.

So how do we tune in to this?  It’s easier than you think. Gut instinct does not use words or images.  Gut instinct uses emotions, and rockets along our central nervous system, which can also produce physical reactions.  It operates in 3 modes – neutral, forward and reverse. Some people call this the ‘sixth sense’. Some call it ‘intuition’.  Whatever the name, I’m sure you’ve all felt it and are familiar with it, whether you honour it or not.

In ‘forward’, we literally feel that we want to move closer to something.  We feel good about it.  We feel excited, happy and positive.  We can’t explain why, we can’t find the words for it, but we KNOW that something will work, that the person is good or honest, that this situation will be for the best, that this job/car/person/product/idea/food is the right choice.

In ‘neutral’ we feel indifference. There is no strong emotion or physical reaction either way.

In ‘reverse’ our gut is telling us to back away.  We feel unsure or uncomfortable.  The warning bells go off.  If it’s a mild response, this is where our brain often kicks in and invalidates our emotion (that can happen in ‘forward’ situations too!) by persuading our logical mind with rational thoughts and justifications.  In a strong response we may feel anxious or ill, we want to move back from this job/person/situation, we want to get to safety or a neutral space.  We can’t say why but we KNOW this won’t work well, this person can’t be trusted, something is wrong, it’s going to end badly…

This basic instinct is like a muscle – the more we use it, the stronger it becomes.  If we learn to trust it with the smaller things, eventually we’ll be able to hear and honour it with the bigger things.  This can be especially hard for people who are governed by their mind, which is why I recommend starting with small things that have no big ramifications in your life.

Here are some examples you may be familiar with:

  • Driving to work you suddenly feel like taking an alternative route.  You ignore that instinct and a minute past the turn-off you get stuck in a gridlock that makes you late. If you’d gone the other way you would have missed the traffic snarl.
  • In the supermarket you are drawn to a special: roasted chicken and a vast tub of coleslaw.  You really want to buy it, but that’s crazy.  There’s only you and that’s so much food.  You don’t buy it, and when you get home your sister and her family have arrived and that chicken and coleslaw would have been perfect…
  • You meet a guy, and your immediate reaction is one of dislike and distrust.  Everyone tells you how great he is, so you brush that initial feeling away.  Down the track your instinct is proved right when he turns out to be not-so-nice or trustworthy after all.  You kick yourself because you KNEW it all along!
If you’re a Star Wars fan you’ll know that Master Yoda, the great Jedi has much to say about the Force.  Here’s some of what he told Luke Skywalker…

“My ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us… and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this… [nudging Luke’s arm] crude matter! You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock… everywhere! Even between the land and the ship.”

If Luke learns to master the Force, as other Jedi have done, the Force can provide access to even higher levels of awareness and intuition.  Yoda explains, “Through the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future…the past…old friends long gone.”

Animals don’t question that Force.  And because of that they are guided in incredible ways.  They trust their instincts. This youtube clip illustrates that energy and trust.  It’s magical…

Postscript: I’m a channel, and often that connection informs my writing. It means I sometimes write about things I don’t consciously understand or remember, which I then go and google (welcome to my life!) to find out their meaning.  That’s how I found out about the eight cells.

The Energies of April– 2018

It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” 
~ Vincent van Gogh

Hello, Lovelies :)

April is a month that brings a delicious flow of new ideas and inspiration. Your job is to honour this flow, making room for change in your life and for acting on these ideas and inspired thoughts. If you’ve lacked direction you’ll be glad to know that April gifts you sudden flashes of insight and clarity. Don’t be surprised if you move in a whole new direction, or back to something that you long ago discarded.

Cards for the Month:

I’ve chosen two cards for March for you: one from Colette Baron-Reid’s The Enchanted Map and one from Steven Farmer’s Earth Magic Oracle. Please note I don’t use these cards in a conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channeled information.

Here is what I have received from each card:

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
~Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love

It’s a powerful time for thinking back over your life, identifying projects, ideas or interests you might have shelved because it wasn’t right timing, or you thought you’d outgrown it, because people talked you out of it, or you put it to one side to make someone else happy. Some of those things will still hold energy and interest for you, so dust them off and start over with them. You’ll know if they are good for you because you’ll feel a happy little lift when you think about them. The same goes for new projects and ideas.

The second card I’ve chosen is VOLCANO. 

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”
~Brené Brown

That feeling of enthusiasm and interest is a great compass for you this month. It will show you where to put your time and energy. It will also help you to see where you might have moved into disconnect with people or projects. Tune in to see if you want to keep working on them, get help with them or move on.

In this clear-thinking and creative month make sure to carve out some time for yourself and your projects or interests. Protect your boundaries with people or situations that drain you or waste your time. If anger and resentment come up for you, pay attention. That’s your heart telling you that you’re not in alignment. Sometimes the cure for this can be as simple as making a little more private time for yourself and what matters to you before you go back to your day job, your relationships and your usual responsibilities.

Best crystals this month?

Agate Occo and Hematite

Agate Occo  (also known as Oco or Ocho) are tiny geodes. These crystals bring inspiration and an awakening of our creative abilities. They also support confidence in our ideas and intuition.

Hematite strengthens our physical body, warding off fatigue and negative energy or emotion. It grounds us and boosts our self-respect and self-belief.

Essential oils to support your journey?

Young Living’s Abundance blend is my choice for April. Containing orange, patchouli, frankincense, clove, ginger, myrhh, cinnamon and spruce it has a rich spicy aroma and I find it very grounding and centering. I love this oil for helping me get into a space of allowing, receiving and flow. And gee it gets the creative juices flowing! If ever I feel out of sorts, unworthy, undeserving or out of alignment Abundance is my go-to oil. Usage: A drop over your heart and on your wrists as a perfume and/or on crown of head, back of neck and behind ears work well. So does diffusing the oil of putting a few drops in your bath water.

Want to make your own blend? Each of the following oils will work beautifully on their own but they’ll also make a great combination for diffusing. Orange is uplifting, busts stress and helps us overcome self-doubt. Frankincense elevates our mood and promotes spiritual connection and intuition, Patchouli reduces inflammation and stress in the body and it helps us to feel deserving and open to abundance, Myrhh is a deeply spiritual oil – it’s a resin with a smoky sweet and slightly bitter smell which helps link our left and right brain bringing balance, calm and centering.  (Frankincense and Myrrh are said to be two of the three gifts brought by the three wise men to the baby Jesus, the third gift being gold.) To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

Image from juicingforhealth.com


Wishing you a love-filled, satisfying and wonder-full April.

Lots of love, Nicole❤ xoxo

 

Easter Egg Oracle for 2018

“Hedwig didn’t return until the end of the Easter holidays. Percy’s letter was enclosed in a package of Easter eggs that Mrs. Weasley had sent. Both Harry’s and Ron’s were the size of dragon eggs, and full of home-made toffee. Hermione’s, however, was smaller than a chicken’s egg. Her face fell when she saw it.
“Your mum doesn’t read Witch’s Weekly, by any chance, does she, Ron?” she asked quietly.
“Yeah,” said Ron, whose mouth was full of toffee. “Gets it for the recipes.”
Hermione looked sadly at her tiny egg.”

~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

It’s Easter!

If you lived closer I’d pop over with some Hot Cross Buns or some Easter Eggs and we could sit and have a cuppa and a chat. But the Cauldrons and Cupcakes family is a global community so my Easter Gift to you will have to be a virtual one.

Today’s blog gives you a mini-reading. It’s not a fortune-telling exercise; instead it’s about seeing yourself and your life from a fresh perspective. All you need to do is scroll through the pictures of my Easter Eggs, and choose the one that appeals to you most. Then go further down the page to read the meaning for the Easter treat you have chosen.

♥♥♥ Love, love, love to you, Nicole xoxo ♥♥♥


Today’s Easter Egg Selection

1.  Henny Penny’s Magical Eggs!

 

2.  More Fun with Friends!

 

3. Handmade Organic Chocolate Truffles!

 

4.  My Special Project!

 

5. ♥ Golden Fancy!

 

6.  Green, Green, Green!

 

7.  Elegant Simplicity !

 

8.  Which Came First?

 

♥ The Message and Gift of each Treat♥

Each Easter Treat has a message for you. I have also selected a crystal to best support the message and energies of your choice.  You could wear or hold this crystal, pop it in your pocket, under your pillow or beside your bed. (If you’d like to know more about working with crystals click here) The Power Word is a word to remind yourself of the quality you most need and that you are strongly attracting right now.  You can turn it into your own personal mantra by saying “I choose ___________ ” (insert your Power Word). Your Magical Healing Environment is a place or activity you’ll find supportive and healing.

♥ Henny Penny’s Magical Eggs ! – From Little things Big Things Grow! You are given your ideas and feelings for a reason. You’re coming into a time of great change and shift, and all of it for your own best outcomes and results. All of those niggling feelings and tiny ideas for change need to be given light and space so that they can grow into something tangible, creating a map for you to follow from lost back to being on track again. It’s a wonderful year ahead. Be brave and keep going. Don’t be afraid to make BIG changes. It’s your year for that. And all of this change will lead to stability, harmony and peace.  Best Crystal – Ametrine (or an Amethyst and a Citrine)  ♥ Power Word – Transformation  Magical Healing Environment – Quiet time in nature or spaces that nurture and inspire you.  Nature walks, ocean swims, watching the snow or rain fall as you sit inside drinking a warm drink with your journal by your side, being in an art gallery or favourite cafe, a museum or a beautiful garden.

 More Fun with Friends!  – Life is a journey that’s meant to be shared! What’s needed in your life right now is fun, connection and companionship. A family movie and pizza night, a dinner out with friends, a holiday with your bestie, a camping trip or a cooking workshop. This isn’t online connection – you need skin time, face-to-face time. Make new friends or re-connect to old ones. Reconnect to activities and places that were important to you in the past. Plan a party or a get-together. Work less. Live more. And if you’re in love and it’s all going well? Make that bigger commitment!  Best Crystal – Ruby in Fuchsite   Power Word – Connection  Magical Healing Environment – Anywhere that lets you be in the same space with other people in ways that support or entertain you. This could be your backyard barbeque area, a restaurant, a classroom, or a coffee shop. It could be a weekend music festival or a pottery class, a birthday bash or a school reunion. It could also be a wedding or a baby shower 🙂

 Handmade Organic Chocolate Truffles – Indulging in mindful pleasure!  On one level you are completely exhausted, my beautiful friend. And yet you keep pushing on. It’s time to bring pleasure and down-time back into your life. It’s time to get out of your head and back into your body. Better to choose one exquisite thing than a bucket full of mediocre. It’s time for quality rest and recreation and for gifting yourself the time and space to reinvent and recharge yourself.  It’s also a time for conscious eating and mindful movement as you chart a path back to balance, wellness and emotional satisfaction.  Best Crystal – Garnet  ♥ Power Word – Slow  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – anything that reconnects you to your senses.  Bubble baths, clean sheets, music, sleep, good books, dancing, lying in dappled sunlight on soft green grass, beautiful healthy food, exquisite small indulgences, essential oils, fresh flowers, warm embraces.

 My Special Project! – A Focus On Love! You are lovable. You are worthy of love. If you’re in an existing relationship it’s time to give that relationship some extra love and care. Give yourself permission to fall in love all over again. Love isn’t a fairy tale. It’s fun and hard and tears and magic and pain and growth and sharing. But it’s also incredible! Haven’t found that special someone yet? Know that love is in the air. Love isn’t just romantic love – it’s friends and family too. Go be with them! Happy on your own? Then it’s time for some self-love and acceptance of yourself just as you are. Love those quirks and bumpy bits. Your very existence is sacred. You are a miracle. There is always someone out there for you, and who will love you just as you are, just like you’ll love them. Start to believe that.  Best Crystal – Moonstone   Power Word – Cherish   Magical Healing Environment – Sitting in your heart, and being with your loved ones. Life isn’t scripted, and romance and love grow in the heart of the everyday. Our job is to be mindful so that we can be in that moment and help that love grow. Put your screens down and be present. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a makeover too, if that helps you feel good about yourself and how you walk this world.

 Golden Fancy! – Creative Talents and Ideas! There is something that only you can bring to the world. Your gifts and talents are meant to be shared. It might make a big impact on many people. It might change the life of just one. But if you don’t work to shine your light and share your gifts a little part of our timeline will forever stay darkened., because no-one can replace you and your offerings. No-one. It’s time to move from procrastination to action. It’s time to value your ideas and gifts and to dream your dreams into being. There is so much energetic support for you. All manner of help and miracle-making at your fingertips. So, what’s stopping you? Only self-doubt, and we don’t have time for that anymore. We need you to just get out there and do your thing.  Best Crystal – Smoky Quartz  Power Word – Authentic  Magical Healing Environment – Your creative lair, office or art space, or wherever else you make your magic. Which could be the garden, kitchen, or the counselling couch. This is not a time for learning or planning, it’s a time for doing and being! Thank you for being you.

 Green, Green, Green! – Wherever You Go, There You Are! What’s needed for you right now is a sense of sanctuary.  It might be your bedroom, your study, your altar, your backyard. It might be your writing space or your office. It might be your entire home. It needs to be clean. It needs to be comfortable. It needs to make your heart feel glad. It needs to be a space that reflects who you are and what you love. Move if you have to. It’s okay to end and begin things now. And if the mess is inside you, get help with that. Do whatever it takes to bring yourself back to a place of inner peace and calm. ♥ Best Crystal – Snowflake Obsidian  ♥ Power Word – Sanctuary ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Home (whatever that means to you).  Create a space that allows you to feel safe, comfortable, supported and surrounded by beauty and meaning. Start with one small corner. Simple is fine. De-clutter. Make space for rest and new growth.

♥ Elegant Simplicity – Levelling Up Spiritually.  Spiritual connection and flow is not a difficult or complicated process, although we often try to make it that way. You are coming into a time of deeper connection, deeper knowing, and deeper intuition. Give yourself some breathing space to contemplate the bigger questions in your life. Make time for reading, meditation and journalling. Expect a bigger connection to God, your Guides and Angels and your own Wise Self. Expect answers to those big questions, and a clarity about your way forward. All is well.   Best Crystal – Lapis Lazuli   Power Word – Become  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Sacred Spaces or alone time. Churches and temples, parks, sitting under old trees, your meditation corner, a library or a quiet corner of the house when no-one else is home.

 Which Came First? – Troubles Falling Away!  Sometimes it’s hard to know what happens first… Our troubles begin to resolve so we begin to feel better, or we begin to feel better so our troubles resolve. Any way it happens, know that things are finally looking up for you. BUT you need to let go of the old story about all your troubles too. Open to the possibility that things can change for the better. Even if you never quite understand how or why.  Prayers answered, breakthroughs and an end to going round and round in circles going nowhere. Hooray!  Best Crystal – Tiger Eye   Power Word – Blessings  Magical Healing Environment – Your life! Nothing specific you need to do, and nowhere you need to be. It’s all progressing beautifully. Soon you’ll see that shift you’ve been hoping for.

Join our Book Reading Challenge for March 2018

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”  
~  William Styron, Conversations with William Styron

Do you love to read?

In January of 2017 a group of us embarked on the inaugural Cauldrons and Cupcakes Reading Challenge. It was a fine year of reading, friendship and sharing of our love of stories and all things book-related. Now, in 2018, with a successful Challenge already completed, it’s time to embark on a new year of reading adventures.

This year the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Team has decided to nominate Pencils of Promise as the charity we’ll be supporting through our Book Reading Challenge. Pencils of Promise build schools in the developing world, train teachers, and support kids and communities to be able to access education. In 2018 more than 1 in every ten children around the world is illiterate and in developing countries, that figure is 1 in 3. I’m hoping that our loyal blog community can change that, and help provide opportunities for some of those kids to be able to read, write and learn so that their lives can open out in front of them in more meaningful ways.

Would you like to join us? Let me explain the Challenge to you:

It involves four simple steps:

  1. Read or otherwise consume a book, short story or journal article each month. You might borrow a book from the library, or buy one. It might be gifted to you, or it might have been waiting for you in some pile beside the bed since who knows when. It could be an e-book or an audio-book. It can be any kind of book, story or article at all. A novel, a romance, crime, children’s or young adult’s, a non-fiction book like a memoir or a cookbook or a travel book. It could be a graphic novel. A comment piece, investigative journalism, or even a textbook.
  2. Post the name of the book, story or article you are currently reading or listening to here or have finished during the month on the blog or over on our Cauldrons and Cupcakes Facebook or Instagram page. Feel free to suggest any books, stories, articles or audiobooks that you have already read and enjoyed. That way you’ll be adding to a list of resources that we can all dip into and choose from. I love finding new reading recommendations!
  3. Sign up to become a Team Member of the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Fundraising Team for Pencils of Promise. Here’s the link for you to join.
  4. Download the Book Tracker. Each month write the name of any book/story/article you have read in the corresponding month. It’s fine to add more than one. Then add a small amount of money to a jar for each book you read or go directly to Pencils of Promise and make a donation there. It doesn’t have to be much. Whatever you can afford will be great. Here’s the Book Tracker for you to download – just click on this link: BOOK-TRACKER-3. There’s a space for you to write down your reading wish list. Then start filling in the Monthly Tracker when you’ve read your first book.
  5. During the year I will put up a Book Challenge Post on the fourth Saturday of every month so that we can discuss the books and stories we’ve read or listened to, and swap ideas and reviews. I’ll also be asking you to donate the money you set aside from your completed books and stories to Pencils of Promise. When you donate that money is up to you. Just make sure you have registered as a team member first. It will feel great to help someone else to experience the pleasure and comfort that reading brings. The world needs more readers. If you want to team up for this challenge that’s a great idea too!
  6. During the year we will also be holding a Read-A-Thon so that you can get your family, friends and workmates to sponsor you for the books and stories you read or listen to. It will be a great way for you to indulge in some reading for a good cause, and to raise some extra money towards our goal.

Download this: BOOK-TRACKER-3

I’d love you to get your friends involved, so please feel free to share this post far and wide.

All year we will practice kindness to ourselves by reading.

At year’s end, and at various points before that, we will pass some of that kindness on to someone else in the form of a donation to help Pencils of Promise deliver more readers and writers to the world.

So, that’s our Reading Challenge for 2018. Want to join us? Go add your name below, join our Fundraising Team and don’t forget to let us know what books have you been reading or listening to this past month.

And now for March…

Let’s end the month off with the list of books, stories, articles and audiobooks we’ve already enjoyed in March.

Go ahead and tell us in the comments below, or pop over to Facebook and join me there.

Happy Reading!

Lots of love, Nicole ❤  xx

This is my reading list so far for March:

  • Somebody I Used To Know by Wendy Mitchell. This frank and heartfelt memoir of a woman diagnosed with early onset dementia has been instructive in helping me to understand and better care for Ben’s 92-year-old mum who also has dementia.

It was a busy month looking after family and working on my own book so I didn’t get much reading done. But I dug out four manuscripts that need tidying up and sending off and I read those too. So that’s one book by Wendy and five manuscripts by me. I have also reread my memoir three times!

It will be lovely to hold a published book of my own in my hands one day. ❤

Cadbury Creme Egg and Salted Caramel Cheesecake Recipe

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” 
Mae West

Easter’s almost here. A while ago a friend and I were throwing around ideas for an Easter Dessert. We wanted something decadent but easy to make – one that was seasonal and delicious and a bit over-the-top.

Welcome to the Cadbury Creme Egg and Salted Caramel White Chocolate Cheesecake.

No. Really. It’s a thing.

A once-a-year thing, or perhaps even a once-a-decade.

This cheesecake has a few steps but it is completely easy to make. And yum. Oh, so yum! It’s a white chocolate no-bake cheesecake with a bottom layer of gooey salted caramel, with nuggets of Cadbury Creme Egg and pockets of more caramel strewn throughout, and topped with more large Cadbury Creme Eggs and drizzles of white and dark chocolate. Please, don’t ask me to make this one sugar-free, dairy-free etc. Sometimes you just have to face the fact that a treat is a treat. This one won’t work with healthy substitutions.

Cadbury Creme Eggs are chocolate eggs with gooey fondant filling made to look like the white and yolk of an egg. If you can’t get hold of any feel free to substitute any of your favourite soft chocolate bars. I’m going to make this next Easter with Turkish Delight. I reckon that would be crazily good as well. 🙂

Happy Easter!

Lots of love, Nicole  xx

PS – Excuse dodgy food styling. I am a psychic and metaphysical mentor, not a food blogger. Also, it was almost impossible to stop Ben attacking cheesecake before I had taken a pic. Yes, it’s that good. 😀

INGREDIENTS

You’ll need a greased 23cm springform pan with the base inverted so that the bottom is flat with no lip (or it’s too hard to get the cheesecake out).

Base

  • 250g plain chocolate biscuits, crushed
  • 125g of melted butter

Method – crush biscuit and add melted butter. Use the back of a spoon or a straight-sided glass to push the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the tin. Place in fridge for 30 minutes

Salted Caramel

  • 1 x 380g can of Nestle Caramel Top and Fill
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt flakes (or equivalent)

Method: Beat the caramel and salt together until smooth. Set aside. When base has chilled add 2/3 as a layer at the bottom of the shell and then return to fridge.

Cheesecake Layer

  • 500g full fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup of thickened cream
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 200g white chocolate, melted
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water

Method: beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together on low speed until soft and creamy. Add the melted and cooled chocolate and beat again. Finally add the cooled gelatin mix and cream then gradually increase to high speed. Whip for five minutes. Pour into shell.

Extra

  • 6 Cadbury Creme Eggs plus two more or 8 mini eggs.
  • White and dark melted chocolate to drizzle on the top (about 50g of each)

Method: Chop two large eggs or 8 small ones and sprinkle over cheesecake and then use a spoon to mix gently into the cheesecake layer. Dollop the remaining salted caramel around the top of the cheesecake and then use a knife or the handle of a spoon to swirl it into the cheesecake. Slice the remaining Creme Eggs and place them around the top of the cake. Drizzle the chocolate over the cake in decorative swirls. Return to fridge and chill for 8 hours or overnight.

To serve carefully remove the outer ring of the springform pan and cut the cake into slices. This is a rich dessert so it will give 12 serves, or 8 colossal serves if you want to go straight into a  carb and sugar coma. If you must, I recommend serving this with unsweetened whipped cream or a good vanilla ice-cream.

 

This Quiet Morning

 

“Outside, there was that predawn kind of clarity, where the momentum of living has not quite captured the day. The air was not filled with conversation or thought bubbles or laughter or sidelong glances. Everyone was sleeping, all of their ideas and hopes and hidden agendas entangled in the dream world, leaving this world clear and crisp and cold as a bottle of milk in the fridge. ” 
~ Reif Larsen

It’s raining here at the farm this morning. The kind of rain that drizzles down and stops, drizzles down and stops. There is fog and low cloud, it’s cool, and more than anything I’d like to be tucked up in my bed right now.

The house is quiet except for the tap tap tap of my fingers flying across the keyboard. Except for the occasional burr and tick and hum of the kettle as it heats water for my tea. Everyone else is asleep, even the dogs. It’s that kind of a morning.

Meanwhile, I’m writing.

I remembered something important at 2am. The time Auntie told me about deep listening and how to do it with your whole body. I dreamed it first, which is how I came to remember. Suddenly I was back there in the Kimberley, out walking in the red dirt with my old Aboriginal aunties as they taught me the kinds of the things that have literally saved my life. Then I woke up with a start. Why had I forgotten to include this one incident when it was so important? I needed to get up and put it all down on the page while it was sharp and clear in my mind. So up I got and I huddled in front of the bright screen at my kitchen table, the main lights out so I wouldn’t wake anyone up.

On this early morning as dawn breaks I am still writing. Weaving this new thread into my almost finished memoir. Carefully excising less important words to put these more important ones into it.

And there is still the not-right ending that I am avoiding, hoping that some miraculous insight will come along that allows me to tidy it up in a satisfying and useful way.

I’ll stop now, and have a break.

Maybe a better ending will come to me as we buy groceries, or as I prepare the guest room for our friend who is coming to spend Easter and Bluesfest with us. Or as I make my Cadbury Creme Egg Salted Caramel Cheesecake (I know!). Or as I answer student emails and record videos for the crystal of the month for my membership group.

Or maybe I’ll just have to slog through it and hope it all comes together, word by painful word.

Anyway, enough now. I’m stepping away from the desk. I’m stretching. I’m yawning. It’s time for a shower.

Wishing you all a connected and inspired kind of day, or at least one with a  good cup of tea or coffee and a little time just for you.

All my love, Nicole  xx

Let’s Talk About What Forgiveness Really Means

Image from ba-baamail.com

“There is great change to be experienced once you learn the power of letting go. Stop allowing anyone or anything to control, limit, repress, or discourage you from being your true self! Today is YOURS to shape – own it – break free from people and things that poison or dilute your spirit.” 
Steve Maraboli

 

The energies of this week support forgiveness, and that was what I blogged about yesterday. After which was I inundated with people messaging me to tell me they could NEVER forgive…

So today’s post is about defining forgiveness, so that perhaps you might reconsider that position.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines forgiveness below:

Definition of forgive

forgave play \fər-ˈgāv, fȯr-\; forgiven play \fər-ˈgi-vən, fȯr-\; forgiving

1: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon 

  • forgive one’s enemies
2a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital (see requital 1) for 

  • forgive an insult
b : to grant relief from payment of 

  • forgive a debt

In the middle of a discussion on my facebook page my wise friend Amy Williams wrote

‘I looked up the definition of forgiveness a few months ago because I couldn’t get my head around it. Hearing “can you forgive me?” always made it seem to me that forgiveness was letting the other person off the emotional hook and I was amazed to read that it’s defined as being the act of not feeling bad feelings in yourself any more. It’s for you, not them.’

Forgiving doesn’t mean you approve of or condone a behaviour. Forgive doesn’t mean forget. Forgive means you take the sting out of it. You can’t change it so you stop putting energy into it. For your sake!

You let go of anger and pain and resentment and disappointment. It means that you will no longer give effort to events or people around the areas where you are now hurting. Forgiveness helps you move to a neutral place emotionally and from there you can heal and move forward. It’s not about other people, it’s about you being able to close that door and move on. And yes, sometimes that means forgiving yourself too.

If thinking about a person, situation or event still brings up rage, resentment, anger, pain, hurt, humiliation, worthlessness or any of those other lower vibration emotions, or if you still get triggered unexpectedy into those emotions it might be worth a rethink on your position on forgiveness just so you can set yourself free.

Think of it like cutting energetic cords with the past. You don’t deny or condone the events, but you disconnect yourself from that endless feedback loop of pain. The events of the past lose their power over you. Which gifts you emotional release and a new sense of freedom.

Need a Ritual to Invoke Forgiveness?

Sometimes we benefit from ritual to make the act of forgiveness more meaningful to us. Try this and see if it helps you.

  1. Gather together a candle and matches, a ceramic, metal or glass bowl, a photo or symbolic image of the person or event you wish to forgive, or the name of the event or situation written on a piece of paper.
  2. Light the candle, and stand before it for a moment with your hands in prayer pose, which activates your heart chakra.
  3. Say a small prayer or words of intention that everything you do be for the highest good of all.
  4. Take some deep, slow calming breaths.
  5. Hold the image of the person/event/named-piece-of-paper in your hands.
  6. Hold it out in front of you, muster your sincerity and say “I release you now. This no longer has energetic claim upon me. I release you with Love and Light. I forgive you. I wish you and all things well. And it is done.”
  7. Burn the paper in your fireproof bowl. As this is done visualise or imagine many tiny silver cords easily releasing from your body. Feel yourself come back into a place where the energy is yours alone.
  8. Breathe in white light until your entire body is filled with white light.Then finish by saying “I reclaim my sovereign power. It is so.”
  9. When you are ready, extinguish the candle. Feel that final link disconnect as you put out that flame. Feel the finality of your ritual.
  10. Gift yourself some quiet time for re-integration.

I hope that helps.

Thinking of you and sending much love, Nicole  xx

Smoke rising from extinguished candle close up

 

Want a little Joy in your life?

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” 
Rumi

2018 is a year for connection, community, creativity and collaboration. To honour the spirit of this energy I’ll be writing an occasional post this year about my friends, students and community members to share their work and ideas with you. There’s no financial gain for me to share any of these posts, although I may seek to secure additional bonuses or rewards for you – I’m doing this simply in the spirit of friendship and support because good communities lift each other up.

This morning I’m doing a shout-out for Helen Joy Butler, who has some lovely products she is offering on her website and that would make great Mothers Day gifts, or of course a lovely gift for you.

Meet Helen:

In her own words:

I’M HELEN JOY BUTLER, SANCTUARY CREATOR AND ELEMENTAL SPACE CLEARER

and I work with busy women, to help them reconnect with their life purpose all through the concept of sanctuary.

I believe that by shifting the physical and energetic clutter from our homes, our bodies and our lives we can create space in our mind and our heart which, in turn, gives us the momentum to move forward with our true life purpose.

One of the ways that Helen can help you reconnect to the joy in your everyday life is through her Joy Burst Cards and Joy Journal.

The Joy Burst Cards are a small deck of cards with messages and affirmations to help you find the love, compassion and joy around you each day. They come in a sweet little organza bag, and Helen includes a small surprise gift with each deck. I have given several of these decks as gifts to people, and they are always well received! You can find the link to order them here.

Helen’s Joy Journal is a hard-cover book with a treasure trove of goodness inside. You’ll find journal prompts and questions to help you reconnect to the energies of joy in your life, plus Helen breaks down the concept of joy in ways that make it easier to understand and implement. There are also lined and blank pages to write in, and some delicious mandalas to colour. It would make a lovely companion to the Joy Burst Cards. One of my favourite features of the journal are Helen’s three Manifestos at the end of the book – three full-colour pages, one for home, one for body and one for life – that give you some simple positive statements to reflect upon, use as affirmations and that can help you transform your relationship with your home, body and life. You can order your copies of the Joy Journal here.

These cards and journal are wonderful tools for creating a sense of peace, calm and nurture in your life. Remember to order your journals and cards with enough time for them to be shipped to you, especially if you want them as gifts for Mothers Day which is Sunday May 13 in Australia, the USA  and many other parts of the world.

Much love to you, and thanks for being part of my community, Nicole  xx

 

 

 

 

Forgiveness As A Path To Freedom – Monday Oracle 26 March 2018

“We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.” 
―Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

 

Hello, Lovelies!

March is a month for relationships, commitment to what matters to us, and for being unapologetically ourselves. The more we stay true to ourselves in March the more we will be able to manifest profound and/or quite magical changes! Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of awareness which the oracle card Three of Swords brings us.

This week’s energies support forgiveness. Three of Swords asks us to sit in compassion and empathy, having understanding for ourselves, for our actions and for the actions of others.

Forgiveness is seldom about the other person. It is an act that sets us free – free from the emotional entanglement, the pain, the hold that the person or situation has on us.

Of course Three of Swords helps us to find forgiveness in our hearts for others this week, but most importantly it helps us to step into a place of compassion and forgiveness for ourselves. Whatever we have or haven’t done, whoever we have or haven’t been, we are asked to let that go and to simply sit with the truth of what is in this moment. There is an enormous freedom that comes with forgiveness. That kind of freedom creates possibilities for us to move past old hurts and disappointments so that we can move in entirely new directions.

It’s a week for emotional breakthroughs, relief and embracing that liberating energy of moving on.

 

Supportive crystals this week?

Clear Quartz amplifies intuition and our ability to tune in to Universal and Personal Wisdom. Amazonite helps us to live bravely, defending and protecting what is important to us. Blue Lace Agate helps us speak our truth and Green Chrysoprase (pictured) opens our heart and helps with emotional healing and self-acceptance. 

Image from www.e-rocks.com

 

Helpful essential oils?

I’m loving Young Living’s Forgiveness oil blend this week. Its scent is soothing and uplifting. This blend has 16 different essential oils in it, and resonates to a very high frequency. I often use it on my retreats to facilitate the release of trauma and to help students overcome fear, shame, heartbreak and emotional burdens around betrayal, abuse and abandonment. Place a few drops on soles of feet, wrists, over heart, base of spine and back of neck to help you release negative energy and emotion and move back into a heart-centred space.

Want to make your own blend? Lavender keeps us in flow and relaxed, Angelica invites inner peace and a sense of safety, Frankincense elevates our mood and promotes spiritual connection and intuition and Ylang Ylang opens our hearts and is supportive when we feel anxious or overwhelmed. To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

 

 

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

PS: Monday’s oracle card, ‘Three of Swords’, is from the Inner Child Cards – A Fairy-Tale Tarot. I use any cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book.