The Winner of the Chlorite Phantom Quartz

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“Home is not where you live but where they understand you.”
~ Christian Morgenstern

 

I’m so happy to announce that the winner of this beautiful little Chlorite Phantom Quartz Crystal is:

Pauline Longdon 

Congratulations, Pauline! I know you’ll take good care of her, and I look forward to hearing all about your adventures together.

For those of you who entered but didn’t win, thank you for supporting my blog! It means so much to me that you are here, sharing the journey, and being part of my community.

Stay tuned over the next few months as I give away a few more special stones from my personal collection.

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In other news, Ben is feeling much better and so is Harry. My biggest issue will be keeping both of them quiet during their recoveries now that we are back at the farm.

Now I’m off to water my vegetable garden before the heat of the day, harvest my cherry tomato glut, and plan out some kitchen time. I feel the yearn to cook!

PS – It’s so good to be home!!!

Status Update – Unavailable

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“For a while” is a phrase whose length can’t be measured. At least by the person who’s waiting.” 
~ Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun

We’re all waiting. Waiting for Nicole to finish this round of drugs.

It’s hard going.

One week, three days to go.

Not that we’re counting…

Meanwhile, Nicole sleeps and dreams of flying with Auntie and the Grandmothers. Spirits whisper in her ear. She’s being shown such interesting things.

When she’s awake Bert tells her all about the food she can cook for dogs this blog. She’s getting a lovely list of meaty dog food recipes kitchen inspirations. Brave Harry keeps her safe from flies, moths and the cows outside the bedroom window.

We promise, normal broadcasting shall resume just as soon as humanly possible.

That is all for now.

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2013 – My Blog in Review

Image from Techmest

Image from Techmest

 “And it occurred to me that there is no such thing as blogging. There is no such thing as a blogger. Blogging is just writing — writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology.” ~ Simon Dumenco

 

It’s hard to believe that two years ago I started my blog with a humble post about a recipe for ice-cream plum pudding! Since then there have been 710 posts, 916 852 hits, and 6872 followers.

Something inside me has compelled me to keep blogging, to get up at an insane hour each morning to meditate and then write so that when you wake up there will be a fresh post for you.

I’ve taken my iPhone everywhere so I could snap pictures – of my farm, my food, my life.

I’ve written from my heart, and I’ve blogged almost every day. No matter where I’ve been. The only times I have not blogged have been if I have been simply too ill, and most times I’ve still found a way. I guess you could say my blog’s important to me. And more than that, YOU are important to me.

So today I want to say thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for being part of my beautiful community. Thank you for being my friend.

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I’ve been struggling on this latest round of lyme meds. These drugs that were supposed to be a reprieve for the holidays have given me some of the worst herxing I’ve yet experienced, crippling me with overwhelming exhaustion, brain fog and massive unrelenting pain. It’s been hard to show up this past month or so. I’m behind on replying to your comments, although I read them all.

But I know it shall get better this year, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of my life with you; a little metaphysical magic, some tasty recipes, a sprinkle of farm life and friendship, a dash of practical philosophy. My heart – on my sleeve as usual.

I love you. I’m so glad you’re here. And I’m so very grateful for your support.

I’m looking forward to a 2014 filled with writing, friendship, more great easy recipes and a whole lot of nurture and healing – for you and me both!

Much, much love to you,

Nicole ♥ xx

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 570,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 24 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you! We’re Two!!

Image from The Creative Me

Image from The Creative Me

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” 
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

 

Cauldrons and Cupcakes turns two today. Two years since my first uncertain foray into the world of blogging, with the auspicious post Ice-Cream Plum Pudding: Seriously easy, seriously yum!

Since then I’ve blogged recipes, farm life, gratitude, spiritual journeys, inspiration, owls, crystals and more. Not quite what I expected to be blogging about, but like the Douglas Adams quote, I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

Thank you for your support. You’re the reason I get up every morning to meditate and then sit at my desk to write. I’m so very grateful for you, and I’m glad you came into my life!

I’ll leave you with a few images from our beautiful ‘Soul Sanctuary’ Retreat, here in Byron Bay. We’re having a fabulous time. Wish you were here!

Lots and lots of love, Nicole xx 🙂

Finding the Path…

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Signs are everywhere!

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Follow Your Heart…

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Find Your Tribe.

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Create some space for relaxation, contemplation and connection.

2013-12-08 17.14.57Believe!

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This post brought to you by Randall…

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“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” 
~ Roald Dahl

Hi. I’m Randall. I live in Nicole’s garden, and I keep an eye on things for her. I’ve given her the morning off from blogging.  She was up all night with the hooting owls, the flutter of bats, and all manner of strange visitations.

The Orchard Man was back, swinging his lantern around in the cold last night. And some other lady. She was new, the lady.  Haven’t seen her before.

It happens like that around here sometimes. Oh, the things I have seen…

But of course, we gnomes never tell.  We pride ourselves in that.

Maybe Nicole will tell you all about it herself one day.  Or maybe not.

For now, I’m getting back to minding the crystals, and watching young Harry run around like a loon on the rain-soaked grass. Nice talking to you.  Might see you around.

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**PS If you enjoyed this post please vote for Nicole’s blog, Cauldrons and Cupcakes, in the  Best Australian Blogs 2013 Competition. It’s endorsed by Gnomes. And Fairies. Votes are accepted from all over the world and You can vote here. Thank you. ♥

Please Vote for Me and My Blog!

Image from keepcalm-o-matic

Image from keepcalm-o-matic

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.” 

~ Henry David Thoreau

Hello Lovelies!  I have a favour to ask of you.  You see, I have entered my little blog, Cauldrons and Cupcakes, in the Australian Writers’ Centre’s  Best Australian Blogs 2013 Competition.

One of the categories allows people to vote, as part of the People’s Choice Award.  If you enjoy reading my offerings I would be so very grateful if you could take a moment to vote for me.  The vote is open to everyone, no matter what country you’re from, as the nature of blogging is a Universal one!

BB2013-PCA-vote

All you need to do is click on this link – Vote Here – and scroll down the first page until you find my blog’s name Cauldrons and Cupcakes, check the box beside it, and then continue on to the end of the survey to validate your entry.  It will only take a minute of your time, and it would mean the world to me.

Once again: Vote for Cauldrons and Cupcakes Here

Thanks so much for your support.

Much love to you,

Nicole ♥ xx

The Terrible Dream

Bad Dreams by Wario Girl - deviantart

Bad Dreams by Wario Girl – deviantart

I’m not usually one for bad dreams. Weird dreams?  Sure. And I’ve had more than my fair share of prophetic dreams.  But outright scary and disturbing dreams are usually thin on the ground at my house.

So what form did last night’s dream take?

Well, no-one I loved died, the world didn’t end, aliens didn’t invade and there wasn’t even a hint of violence.

In fact, all I dreamt about was blogging…

I’ve been a little unwell, and missed posting something yesterday. And in the depths of last night, in a waking moment, I worried about being able to write something this morning.

I drifted back to sleep thinking I was awake and blogging from my laptop in bed.  I was tired and a little confused (actually read that as rambling and incoherent) and somehow in the midst of this mad blogging frenzy I pushed the button.

It wasn’t a button I’d noticed before, but in WordPress’s latest upgrades they had helpfully added a DELETE ALL handily positioned right under the PUBLISH button. In my state of foggy exhaustion I pushed the wrong button.

Right before me my entire blog began to disappear.  Post after post dissolved into the ether. Before I could react it was all gone…

The rest of my night I dreamed variations on a theme.

This morning I had to check.  Was my blog still here?

Happily the answer is yes.  But one thing’s for sure. I’m going to download my posts somewhere safe.

Just in case WordPress does ever add that button!

* And as an afterthought I am going to use my dream interpretation technique to pick up any underlying messages.  This is a very cool way to interpret your dreams – I thoroughly recommend it!  Click the link below to visit:

How to Interpret Your Dreams

I’m a Star! Blog of the Year Award 2012

Image from www.partytogo.com.au

Image from www.partytogo.com.au

I’ve been honoured today with another blogging gong. The lovely Lorna of Lorna’s Tearoom Delights has bestowed upon me the Blog of the Year Award 2012. I do hope you go visit Lorna’s blog – it’s full of deliciousness, and she’s a dear Soul with lots of everyday wisdom and crackingly good photography on her pages. Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg I’m so glad I took up blogging. It’s been a big, fun and unexpectedly marvelous form of sharing for me, and I have found great friendship and support out there in the Bloggerverse.

Now, according to the rules of this award, I must nominate others. I’ve selected my nominations based on the blogger’s ability to uplift and engage me, to encourage me, and to broaden my knowledge. Also, the writers of these blogs are just beautiful people. My choices are below:

1. An Unrefined Vegan  Annie’s blog is jam-packed with wonderful plant-based recipes, but she also shares her soul with us in the most tender and open of ways. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just looking for inspiration to bring new meals to the table, Annie inspires, and creates a sense of community and connection. She also created the Virtual Vegan Potluck – bloggers from all over the world coming together to share their best plant-based recipes in a glorious feast of every type of soup, starter, beverage, bread, main and dessert.

Annie - the Unrefined Vegan

Annie – the Unrefined Vegan

2. Sweet Mother Sweet Mother’s blog delivers an opinion – a well thought out and vocal standpoint on any matter of subjects from sexual preferences to gun laws.  She’s  clever, funny, sharp, considered and never afraid to back down from an issue. Sweet Mother makes me laugh often, cry sometimes, and think always.

Sweet Mother, as she often masquerades.  Image courtesy of open.salon.com

Sweet Mother, as she often masquerades. Image courtesy of open.salon.com

3. Theosophy Watch A blog that reminds me of my connectedness to the Universe. This blog is a rich source of theosophical, spiritual and philosophical information, laced with science and all kinds of ‘magic’. It often affirms my own beliefs, or gives me pause to reflect on something new.

Helena Petrona Blavatsky -   one of the founders of the modern Theosophical Movement

Helena Petrona Blavatsky – one of the founders of the modern Theosophical Movement

Thank you to all my readers, and a heart-felt blessing to all bloggers who make the interwebs a diverse ocean of facts, feelings and wonders.

Here’s to 2013 being a fabulous year for all of us, filled with blogalicious goodness.

Image from peasinapod.blog

Image from peasinapod.blog

We’re One! My Blog’s First Anniversary ♥

cakes

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

Wow. That came around fast. Today marks the first birthday of my blogging career – a whole year of sharing words, images and my crazy life. Who ever knew it could be so good?

The truth of how I got started here in the blogosphere is embarrassingly clichéd. December 10, 2011, we were flooded in down at our farm. Luckily we still had power, but the torrential rain certainly limited the scope of activities. A friend had left some DVDs behind, and that fateful (told you it was clichéd!) morning my husband popped Julie and Julia into the player.  “Here, watch this,” he said. “It’s a chick flick. About cooking or something.”

He ended up watching it with me.  If you are one of the last two people left on this planet who don’t know anything about it, you can check out the trailer:

The movie ended, it was still raining, and my husband looked at me. “You should start a blog,” he said. “I mean it. You’d be great.”

“But what will I write about?” I asked.  “Honestly, I doubt if I have very much to say.”

Ben rolled his eyes at me. “Of course you do. Just blab on about the stuff that interests you. Anyway, you love to write!”

So venture down Memory Lane with me and visit  my first ever post – a recipe for Ice-Cream Plum Pudding. It took me most of the day to work out how to set up the blog and upload pictures. (And to be honest I still consider myself a blogging amateur…)

I’m quite a private person, so I felt quite daring putting my life on display. And Cauldrons and Cupcakes does sum up my world pretty well. A homespun yarn or two as we wander around the farm, recipe swaps over a cup of tea and tasty snacks before shooting the breeze about all things spiritual, psychic and philosophical. Oh, and a free guided meditation or reading thrown in every so often, because after all, that’s what I do.

I guess this combo is working – in my first year I’ve already had over 300 000 views.

Chai 3m

I know one thing. I love blogging. I love the friendships I have found online, and the ability to support and share through this medium.

This blog has come to mean something very special to me. And so have you. Thank you, from my heart to yours, for your support and friendship over the last twelve months. I look forward to sharing the journey with you as we step forward into 2013.

Anyway, in honour of the occasion I’ve prepared a party to celebrate. Grab a drink, eat some cake, share some hugs.  There’s plenty to go around. I’m so glad you’re here!

tea party

Bless. Much love to you ♥ xx

(And for the rest of this week? – Christmas recipes, meditations and adventures!!!)