The Importance Of A Shared Table

 “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him – the people who give you their food give you their heart.” 

~ Cesar Chavez

 

One of the things I am most interested in for myself, and for you, is this: what do we need to do to nourish our souls and feel more connected to our lives, our loved ones, our bodies, our communities, our planet?

An interesting answer to this question has been coming up time and again in my channelling sessions, and it wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s this: one of the most fundamental acts of connection and nourishment is the pleasure of a shared meal.

It doesn’t matter whether that meal is tea and toast or a feast, whether it is served at your own table or at a local cafe or a fancy restaurant. What matters is that time-honoured human ritual of sharing food and conversation, of being in each other’s presence, of making time to truly be present with the meal and with the company. It’s how we have always done things. It’s encoded in our DNA.

So, can you find time to share a table with someone soon? Can you put the screens away and just focus on being present with each other and with the food in front of you?

I’m doing just that this week in Adelaide, and it has been so good for my soul. I’ve also loved seeing other people out and about, catching up over food or a coffee, laughing and sharing and caring.

Wishing you a spot at my virtual table, where we all can share food, love and laughs across the miles, and sending much love your way, Nicole ❤ xx

 

10 Simple Ways To Honour Your Spirit

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
~ William James

 

Here are my favourite ways to honour your soul and to acknowledge and deepen spiritual connection and intuitive wisdom:

  1. Talk to the Divine/God/Your Guides/Ancestors/Angels/Fairies/Mother Earth – know that you are heard
  2. Spend time in nature – it’s good for the Soul
  3. Learn to meditate. Practice often!
  4. Live in the moment
  5. Be aware of your body, your breath, your thoughts, your actions
  6. Be brave – love deeply
  7. Treat yourself and others kindly and without judgement
  8. Make time for spiritual exploration – be creative and use what you’re drawn to
  9. Trust your intuition – it’s like a muscle; the more you use it the stronger it gets
  10. Love and approve of yourself as you are NOW

You’re in my thoughts, prayers and meditations. Know that you are loved.

Nicole <3 xoxo

Magical Leaf Oracle – A Reading for Nurture and Guidance

Leaf Collage Portrait by raerae92

Leaf Collage Portrait by raerae92

“and the leaves were telling secrets to the wind.” 

~ Peter Mulvey

Nature is one place I always find nurture and inspiration. So today I’ve used nature, and that potent symbol of life and growth – the leaf – to gift you clarity and reassurance about where you’re at right now.

Each leaf also comes with suggestions for crystals and activities to support you energetically, emotionally and physically.

Instructions for using today’s post

Scroll down through the following magical leaf images and then let yourself come back to the one you are most drawn to.

When you have chosen your magical leaf, scroll further down for your message, designed to help you feel guided and nurtured.

I hope you enjoy today’s offering.  I deeply enjoyed putting it together for you, and it is shared with much love.

Perhaps you might even consider heading outdoors to find a magical leaf or two yourself!

Love and Light,

Nicole ♥ xx

Let Nature Guide You…

1. New Growth

2. Rich Awakenings

Image from bhmpics

Image from bhmpics

3. Hidden Treasure

Image by Nicole Cody

Image by Nicole Cody

4. Vibrant Striving

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

5. Sanctuary

Image by Devil and Egg

Image by Devil and Egg

6. Foundations

Image by Nicole Cody

Image by Nicole Cody

7. Life Force

8. Purple Cloud

Image from flickie

Image from flickie

♥ The Guidance and Nurturing Gift of each Leaf ♥

Each magical leaf has a message for you. I have also selected crystals to best support the message and energies of your leaf.  You could wear or hold a 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.

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1.  New Growth – Becoming more of what’s aligned to your Highest Good. Now is a great time to begin any plans for expanding, learning and becoming. All forms of study are encouraged and it’s vital that you gather to you a supportive community as you grow and transform. An excellent time for beginning new ventures and creating positive change. Keep annoying and negative people at arm’s length, or tune them out altogether. Focus on where YOU want to go. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.   Best Crystals – Green Chrysoprase, Fluorite   Power Word – GROWTH   Magical Healing Environment – Uplifting company, libraries, workshops, and time alone with your journal and a pen  Make this all about you, and about connecting with people and places that support this upgraded version of yourself. Go new places, try new things, break your old patterns and routines.

2.  Rich Awakenings – Confidence, clarity and direction. This is a time for blossomings. A time for you to emerge from the cocoon and begin weaving your own special brand of magic in the world. A time for truly owning your talents and gifts. Make a plan and be bold enough to then invest energy in that plan. It’s time to get yourself out there – working, teaching, talking, healing. You’re no beginner anymore. Let’s do this! Best Crystals – Any Jasper and Bloodstone  Power Word – SELF AWARENESS  Magical Healing Environment – Your Office, Studio or favourite Thinking Space  Time to be getting those good ideas down on paper, and developing products, services, renovations, businesses or whatever else is tickling your fancy.

3.  Hidden Treasure – Inner Gifts To Be Expressed.  Sometimes the blessings in our life and the key to where we can flourish and shine were right here inside us all along. Stop looking outside of yourself. What things have you always enjoyed? What are the things people ask you to help them with, or to advise on? What do you already know? What ideas and half-completed projects can be taken out and polished up? What simple idea can you run with right now? You are more than you give yourself credit for. Time to see yourself in a new way.   Best Crystals – Peacock Ore (Bornite or Chalcopyrite) or Rutilated Quartz  Power Word – SELF EXPRESSION ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Reconnecting with your life history.  Photo albums, journals, old course notes, places you used to live, favourite people, favourite haunts, favourite music and activities from your past, bookshops and places that remind you of your best self.

4.  Vibrant Striving – Positive Self Nurture. This is a time in your life for focusing on health, vitality, fitness, fertility and well-being. You may also have gifts in this area to share with others. Detox your body and detox your environment. It’s time to heal, to energise and revitalise. Welcome movement, fresh air, sunshine, lots of good clean water and laughter into your life. Do all you can to feel and look fantastic. If you’re called to it, work on helping others shine with vibrant health too.  Best Crystals – Clear Quartz or Citrine  Power Word – VITALITY  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Healers, gyms, swimming pools, the ocean, yoga classes, farmers’ markets – whatever nourishes your body and your soul  Choose foods and activities that fill you with energy and that help you to be all that you can be.

5.  Sanctuary – Cocooning ourselves in love Retreat from the hurry and bustle of the world. Take a pillow, a book, some treats, a loved one – whatever works for you. Create a space where you can rest and feel safe, pampered and secluded, Rest allows time for our subconscious to incubate new ideas and bold plans, but the rest must come before the regeneration can happen. No more overgiving. Set clear boundaries. Make yourself unavailable. Unplug for a while.   Best Crystals – Rose Quartz and Mangano Calcite  Power Word – NURTURE  Magical Healing Environment – Anywhere restful that allows you freedom, safety and solitude. Weekends at home, weekends away, pillow time, hammocks, vacations, health retreats and a little TLC or romance. Or both!

6.  Foundations – Realising your own strength  I know times have been hard recently, but things are turning around. Expect solutions and breakthroughs. Expect to turn the corner. Expect Divine Intervention, and help from loved ones, ancestors, friends and benevolent strangers. You are building the foundation of a strong new life. One founded on integrity and wisdom. The hard road was worth it. Keep working towards your dreams, and don’t give up. Trust!  Best Crystals – Smoky Quartz and Black Tourmaline  Power Word – SUCCESS   Magical Healing Environment – Meditation, quiet time and reflection.  Long walks, time in nature or at a favourite coffee shop. Time to think, to connect, to honour the path. Time to recharge and be still.

7.  Life Force – That energy which connects all things  This is a time of synchronicity, of powerful new connections and relationships, of magical moments and unexpected unfoldings. A time for meeting people or making decisions that profoundly affect your future. A time when you may well feel as if part of your life or your actions are being guided by an unseen hand. It’s important to honour that intuition and flow.  Be open to new possibilities and directions. Be prepared for all you know to be turned upside down so that it can be made better than you could have imagined. Be brave. Say YES to life and to love. Best Crystals – Moss or Tree Agate or a Herkimer Diamond  Power Word – FLOW   Magical Healing Environment – Being in the moment.  Wherever you are, be there. Whomever you are with, give them your undivided attention. Make every task a meditation. BE present. BE aware. Remember to breathe. 🙂

8.  Purple Cloud – Spiritual connection, community and belonging  It’s time to find your tribe. That might be energy from the spiritual realms, or new friends who live in your neighbourhood. It could be an online community or an interest group.  When we have an interest, a passion, a dream – it’s always better to surround ourselves with others who are just as excited about that same thing. Darling, don’t do this alone!!!  Be a friend and mentor to others. Invite friends and mentors into your own life. Sharing creates its own kind of magic  Best Crystals – Amethyst and Sodalite   Power Word – CONNECTION  Magical Healing Environment – Wherever your tribe might hang out.  University, garden club, art classes, dance studio, meditation group, writers’ group, choir, charity group, environmental group, church, spiritual space, on horses or surfboards,

Cloud Oracle – A Reading for your Emotional Well-Being

Image from www.vk.com

Image from www.vk.com

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”
~ Edward Abbey

Today I’ve channelled through some messages for you for emotional guidance and support. Right now there is strong energy for personal growth. The image you choose  will help support you through these changes.

Instructions for using today’s post

Scroll down through the following cloud images and then let yourself come back to the one you are most drawn to.

When you have chosen your image, scroll further down for your message; designed to help you focus on emotional well-being, decision making and life direction.

Trust that you will be shown what you most need to know right now.

Love and Light,

Nicole ♥ xx

The Wisdom of Clouds…

1.  Golden Clouds with Moon

Image © Ionflavio

Image by Ionflavio

2.  Tornado

Image from www.fanpop.com

Image from www.fanpop.com

3.  Heaven Afire

4.  Evening Clouds

5.  Streaky Dawn

6.  Storm Front

Image from www.XtremeD63.com

Image from www.XtremeD63.com

7.  Rainbow Clouds

Image from www.wallpapersnature.info

Image from www.wallpapersnature.info

8.  Heavenly Messengers

♥ The Healing Message and Gift of each Image ♥

Each cloud image has a message for you. I have also selected a crystal for your emotional support and wellbeing.  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.

1. ♥  Golden Clouds with Moon – Clarity and Perspective After a long time of feeling muddled and confused you are being gifted with a wonderful insight into your current situation, and wisdom to make sound decisions about your future.  There is a profound linking of heart and mind happening within you, giving you one of the most powerful periods in your life for creating lasting positive change.  ♥ Best Crystal – Turquoise ♥ Power Word – CLARITY  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Anything that energises you.  Join the gym, go for a run, sit in the sunshine, take a yoga class, go dancing – just get your body moving!!!

2.  ♥ Tornado – Harnessing the force within. Inside you everything is coming into focus.  Everything is building within you, enabling you to unleash incredible forces of creativity, inspiration and personal power.  Set your mind on what you want to achieve, get clear, get a plan and go for it! You can move mountains right now.  The Force is with You! ♥ Best Crystal – Clear Quartz  ♥ Power Word – FOCUS ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Anywhere where you can have that conversation, make that deal, forge that relationship, get that job done.  Don’t be afraid to seek a mentor, or a powerful ally.  Get advice and help from experts.  Do everything you can to make your vision come true!

3.  ♥  Heaven Afire – Heart Healing.  Love, passion, connection, sexual fire and personal charisma are all coming your way. You are beautiful when you glow from within with self love, self confidence and clarity about who you are and what you want in life. Expect relationship breakthroughs, reconnection and new starts! ♥ Best Crystal – Red Garnet  ♥ Power Word – LOVE ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Anything that nurtures you and makes you feel beautiful inside and out.  Get a haircut, update your wardrobe, have a massage or a beauty treatment, go surfing, laugh, dance and let your heart sing by doing what gives you joy.

4.  ♥ Evening Clouds – Endings and completions.  Take heart – you’re coming to the end of a major cycle in your life. Use this energy to tidy up the loose ends, to finish what needs finishing and to put everything in order. Simplify, and rest wherever you can. In every ending is the seed of a new beginning. Know that a bright new future is ahead of you and that you are well loved, guided and protected as you make this transition. ♥ Best Crystal – Snowflake Obsidian  ♥ Power Word – COMPLETION  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Anywhere where you can have time on your own to think, to plan and to finish things. Spend time with your journal at a favourite cafe, go to the library, stay home on your own, or go for long walks in nature.

5.  ♥ Streaky Dawn – Synchronicity and Helpful People. The Universe is conspiring right now to end your social isolation and bring you connection in the form of friendships, employment and other social, emotional and financial opportunities. Expect miracles, breakthroughs and amazing co-incidences.  ♥ Best Crystal – Fluorite ♥ Power Word – SUPPORT ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Reconnecting with people Take a course, join a group, invite some friends over, volunteer, speak to strangers, be helpful and smile often!

6.  ♥ Storm Front – Unexpected Changes  Can you feel it? The wise SOUL part of you is orchestrating big maneuvers, so don’t be surprised if suddenly you feel the urge to make a change, to commit to something new, to take back a commitment that had previously felt right.  You are gathering momentum.  Things can’t stay the way they are.  Get ready – change is coming!!!  And the change is needed.  And the change will be good! ♥ Best Crystal – LABRADORITE  ♥ Power Word – MOMENTUM  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Inspiration  Books, uplifting websites, lectures, courses -anything that gets you into that positive and inspired head space and that gives you the tools you need for what’s coming next. Be unstoppable!!!

7.  ♥ Rainbow Clouds – Easing and Relaxing  The hard part’s behind you.  Make sure you spend some time relaxing now, and letting go.  Bring fun and light-heartedness back into your life.  Practice gratitude and live with an open heart.  ♥ Best Crystal – Citrine  ♥ Power Word – EASE  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Holidays.  Whether it’s an afternoon, a weekend or something longer, plan an escape and take yourself away!

8.  ♥ Heavenly Messengers – Divine Connection  Loved Ones who’ve crossed over, Guides, Angels and other BEings of Light are all connecting with you now.  Be open to their love, wisdom and messages.  Trust in your unfolding psychic abilities. Live from LOVE ♥ Best Crystal – Amethyst  ♥ Power Word – CONNECTION  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – MEDITATION.  Go quiet, and go within.  Spend time on your own, and in nature.  Read, think and journal.  Practice connection and connect with like-minded souls for support at this time.

clouds

Know that you are in my daily thoughts, prayers and meditations.

If you enjoyed today’s post you may also like The Healing Power of Flowers and Fairy Blessings or my Magical Cupcake Readings!

**And if you’re feeling kind, please vote for my blog, Cauldrons and Cupcakes, in the  Best Australian Blogs 2013 Competition.  You can do that here.  Thank you.

Magical Cupcake Oracle – A Reading with Every Cake!

Image from thedailyobsession.net

Won’t you join me for a cupcake and a nice cup of tea?

It’s been a big month of Gratitude and I wanted to break out today and work with two themes close to my heart – cupcakes and all things magical.

Perhaps you read my post a while back titled The Healing Power of Flowers and Fairy Blessings.  In that post we offered a selection of flowers for you to choose from, and each flower came with a message – a mini-reading if you will.

In that same spirit, I now offer you Magical Cupcakes!

Instructions for using today’s post

Scroll down through the following cupcake images and then let yourself come back to the one you are most drawn to.

When you have chosen your cupcake, scroll further down for your delicious message, designed to help you focus on love and self nurture.

These are magical, calorie-free cupcakes and they are made from exactly what you need them to be – butter-cream, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free – whatever your heart desires. I hope you enjoy today’s offering.  I certainly had fun putting it together for you.

Love and Light,

Nicole ♥ xx

Let the Cupcake Love Begin…

Sprinkle Cupcake: Image from the artcareerproject.com

Coffee Choc Cupcake: Image from bouncearoundjumpers.webs.com

Rainbow Cupcake: Image by Kelly Lambert Dashed and Shattered – Deviantart.com

Vanilla Cupcake: Image from fontgirl.wordpress.com

Pink Cupcake: Image from thecookieshopinenglish.wordpress.com

Blueberry Cupcake:  Image from thelongthread.com

Healthy Cupcake:  Image from fleurdelisbakery.com

Frog Cupcake:  Image from amandacupcake.blogspot.com

♥ The Healing Message and Gift of each Cupcake ♥

Each magical cupcake has a message for you. I have also selected a crystal to best support the message and energies of your cupcake.  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.

♥ Sprinkle Cupcake – Lightness of heart. Gradual easing of difficult situations; the need for fun and celebrating small milestones as well as major victories; taking time to relax and lighten your burdens. Things are getting better all the time!  ♥ Best Crystal – CITRINE  ♥ Power Word – EASE  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Sunshine, space, light and calm.  Try a walk on the beach, lunch in the sun, or anywhere that has a feeling of brightness and spaciousness.

♥ Coffee Choc Cupcake – Stability, security and safety. A wonderful time for cocooning, enriching your home environment, personal relationships and self development ♥ Best Crystal – JASPER  ♥ Power Word – ENRICHMENT  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Places that inspire you to enrich your life.  Libraries, bookshops, entertaining at home with family and friends, garden and home decor centres, antique shops.

♥ Rainbow Cupcake – Joy and Optimism.  It’s time for new directions, new ideas, new activities as well as revisiting activities, people and places that gave you joy in the past.  ♥ Best Crystal – TURQUOISE  ♥ Power Word – RENEWAL  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Getting out and about.  Art galleries, weekend markets, live music, movies, parties and adventures.

♥ Vanilla Cupcake – Rest and Self Nurture.  Pull back from busy-ness. Give yourself the gift of time, self-care and self nurture in your life. ♥ Best Crystal – KYANITE  ♥ Power Word – REPLENISHMENT  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Restful places and activities. Sleep in, or go to bed early, take a warm bath by candlelight, get a massage or a healing.

♥ Pink Cupcake – Love, Friendships and Sharing. It’s time to connect with the ones you care about.  Spend time with lovers, friends and family. Kindle romance.  ♥ Best Crystal – ROSE QUARTZ  ♥ Power Word – LOVE  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Heart to Heart Time. Romantic moments, hugs and chats with treasured friends, family time, cuddles, laughter and love.

♥ Blueberry Cupcake – Emotional and Mental Luxury  Positive thinking, powerful emotional healing and balance. Solutions and breakthroughs.  ♥ Best Crystal – CALCITE  ♥ Power Word – EXPANSION  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Time On Your Own.  Time doing what you love, time to just sit and think, life planning, time for journalling or long walks.

♥ Healthy Cupcake – Connection to Nature, Connection to Self.  Let health and wellbeing be your priority.  Get back to natural foods and healing. Exercise. De-stress. ♥ Best Crystal – CARNELIAN  ♥ Power Word – ENERGY  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – The Power of Nature.  Spend time in natural environments. Embrace yoga. Go surfing or hiking. Breathe in big lungfuls of mountain air.

♥ Frog Cupcake – Inspired Creativity and Individuality.  This is a powerful time for creative projects and ideas, and restyling (or launching) your business or your life. ♥ Best Crystal – FLUORITE  ♥ Power Word – CREATIVITY  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Expressing Yourself.  Make music, make art, write stories, build gardens, hang out with creative people, define your own style, create businesses and homes that reflect who you are.

The Healing Power of Flowers and Fairy Blessings

Flower fairy by Cicely Mary Barker. Image from eso-garden.com

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.  ~ Emma Goldman

Flowers are a precious gift from nature.  Their colour, fragrance, shape and texture have a marvellous ability to impart energetic and healing qualities to us.

My beautiful fairy friend Sokli (you can read about her here) and I chose these flower pictures for their energy and how this can positively affect you.  We have also meditated on each image to charge it up for you.

Here’s Sokli’s message to you:

Hiya. Hi Hi Hi! Remember that the Earth is your Mother too, and she loves you very much and so do we. Flowers is always a nice gift for yourselves and you don’t even have to pick them, you can grow them in your garden or go for a nice walk and drink up all their lovely goodness. Even perfumes that smell of flowers are good for you because they still have the magic in them from the flower. Flowers is to make us happy and to give us gifts. I love them very much and I hope you do too, and we made some nice flower presents for you so that you remember how much we love you. It’s a Mothers Day present for EVERYONE. Okay bye and thanks for being our friend. We love love love you Love from your friend Sokli xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The Fairy of Flowers by Cathy Delanssay

Instructions for using today’s post

Today I want you to scroll down through the following images and then let yourself come back to the one you are most drawn to.

When you have chosen your flower, scroll further down for that flower’s specific gift to you in your healing journey.

I hope you enjoy this exercise as much as Sokli and I enjoyed putting it together.

Love and Light,

Nicole ♥ xx

White Rose – Image from fanpop.com

Liatris – Blazing Star Flower – Image from flowerinfo.org

Pink Lily – Image by allbestwallpapers.com

Blue Iris – Image from floweringflowers.net

Nasturtium – Image by flowerfinder.net

Daisy – Image from desktopia.net

Hibiscus – Image by arichards63 Flickriver

♥ The Healing Message and Gift of each Flower ♥

Each flower has a message for you. We have also selected a crystal to best support the message and energies of the flower you choose.  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). The Australian Bush Flower Essence is a vibrational remedy that holds the energy and essence of a particular flower within it. This remedy will be supportive of you right now, and will help you open to positive change and healing.

♥ White Rose – Messages and love from the spiritual realms, loved ones watching over you, the need for self-care and self nurture in your life. ♥ Best Crystal – Rose Quartz  ♥ Power Word – Love  ♥ Australian Bush Flower Essence – Bottlebrush

 Liatris – Fertility, new creative ideas and partnerships, blooming self confidence and identity.  ♥ Best crystal – Citrine  ♥ Power Word – Becoming  ♥ Australian Bush Flower Essence – Macrocarpa

 Pink Lily – Inner strength, confidence, recognition of your worth, ability to act with grace and courage.  ♥ Best crystal – Tourmaline (any colour)  ♥ Power Word – Confidence  ♥ Australian Bush Flower Essence – Dog Rose

 Blue Iris – Rest, relaxation and unwinding of mental tension, an easing of what troubles you, help is at hand. ♥ Best crystal – Amethyst  ♥ Power Word – Clarity  ♥ Australian Bush Flower Essence – Crowea

 Nasturtium – Joy, sunshine, fun, friendship and laughter. Finding the path back to happiness. ♥ Best crystal – Aventurine  ♥ Power Word – Joy  ♥ Australian Bush Flower Essence – Five Corners

 Daisy – The natural world, nature spirits, fairies, physical healing, seeing the unseen, the healing power of nature. ♥ Best crystal – Jasper  ♥ Power Word – Trust  ♥ Australian Bush Flower Essence – Sunshine Wattle

 Hibiscus – Individuality, freedom to walk your own path, unique voice, flow and vitality. ♥ Best Crystal – Carnelian ♥ Power Word – Energy  ♥ Australian Bush Flower Essence – Little Flannel Flower

Virtual Vegan Potluck – Creamy Satay Hotpot Recipe

Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck: bringing vegan food bloggers together to share a virtual potluck, linked by a blog circle – and our love of cooking, eating and sharing. Participating bloggers will be posting recipes – from appetizers to desserts.  Many Blessings to Annie from the wonderful blog an unrefined vegan for bringing us all together.

Links for the entire Potluck at the bottom of this post. You don’t have to be a vegan to join in – the Potluck is all about fantastic healthy recipes celebrating plant-based foods.  Something for everyone!

I have served this vegan recipe at my spiritual and psychic workshops for many years, where it is lovingly referred to as ‘Slop in a Pot’. No matter how big a quantity I make it is always gobbled up.

This dish is great grounding food (not sure what grounding is, or how to do it – click here), and it really nurtures your base, sacral and solar plexus chakras. It is also light enough energetically to allow you to make strong psychic connection while staying in that grounded space.  Needless to say, I eat this kind of food often when I am working!

It’s one of those fantastic recipes, where, once you get the hang of it, can be easily modified to suit whatever ingredients you have to hand. I have often served it to great compliment from people who had no idea (and still probably don’t!) that it was meat-free.

Note to those people with peanut allergies: I have also made this recipe with roasted macadamia nut paste in place of peanut butter. It still tasted heavenly, and the macadamias bring out a real sweetness in the dish. If you choose to use macadamias don’t use strong flavoured beans, tempeh or chick peas as the macadamia flavour will be overpowered.

Ingredients to serve four:

Sauce: One can of coconut cream, 1/2 can of water (you may need a little more), 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 heaped tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon palm sugar or equivalent sweetener, 2 tablespoons of your favourite curry powder, 2 large garlic cloves chopped finely, 1/2 inch of fresh root ginger grated (or use powdered ginger to taste), juice of half a lemon or lime, one sliced chilli or chilli powder to your taste (optional for those who prefer a milder flavour), one tablespoon of oil – coconut is great, but use whatever you have to hand.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan, add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add curry powder and stir well, then pour in coconut cream.  Mix well.  Add all other sauce ingredients, stirring well after each addition.  Adjust seasoning if required. Then add water to thin down sauce. (Hint – this sauce is also delicious on its own, drizzled over steamed, baked or barbequed vegetables, or cooled and spooned over a crunchy salad – just don’t add the extra water, so that it stays thick and rich.)

Vegetables: Two washed potatoes – skin on, one large carrot, one onion, one cup each  (or your best guess) of sweet potato and pumpkin, 2 cups of quick cooking fresh seasonal vegetables such as capsicum (peppers) corn, beans, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower etc

Additional protein: You can add a cup of cubed tofu or tempeh to this dish if you are looking to add more protein. Chickpeas also work delightfully well.

Chop all vegetables. Add root vegetables to the pot and cook for fifteen to twenty minutes on a slow simmer. Add more water if needed. Stir pot occasionally to prevent mixture sticking on the bottom. Check that the root vegetables are almost cooked before adding remainder of vegetables and any proteins that need to heat through. Cook for another five minutes or so until everything is done to your linking.  Remove from heat.

Garnish: While root vegetables are cooking dry roast a cupful of raw cashew nuts and set aside. Cut the other half of the lemon or lime into wedges. Chop some fresh coriander (cilantro) and a chilli (if you like things hot!)

Place a generous serve of rice in the bottom of a bowl, and then spoon the satay vegetables over the top.  Garnish with the toasted cashews, some coriander (cilantro) and chilli slices, and a wedge of lemon or lime. Enjoy! Namaste ♥ xx

To start at the beginning of the Virtual Vegan Potluck so that you can enjoy all the recipes and fun click here!

To visit the blog that precedes mine in the potluck click the image below:

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Nothing Grows Well in Depleted Soil

Bert in the back of the ute, helping with the pasture inspection

Today it looks like I’m blogging about farming.  But I’m not really.  I’m blogging about you.  Read on…

Life on the farm is always varied. Yesterday we went down to the flats by the river to inspect the pasture regrowth. Once upon a time (long before us) this paddock was heavily cropped, year after year, with corn and sorghum. We’ve had the cattle locked out of here for a few months, and with all the rain and warm weather the grass should be springing back nicely.

But of course it isn’t.

Except for the areas where a nice pile of cow dung has nourished the soil. Around the old cow pats the grass has sprung strong and green and at least two feet taller than the rest of the paddock.

That tells us something important.  The soil is depleted, and needs a good feed. If you get the soil right, you can grow anything.

We farm organically.  Where we can we even farm bio-dynamically. We look after our dirt. Right now I have some cow dung stuffed into cowhorns, buried in a corner of my garden, ready to make BD500, a biodynamic preparation for restoring the soil fertility.  It sounds kind of witchy, which is maybe why it appeals to me, but I know one thing – in the areas where we’ve already used it the pasture is lush and green, with great species biodiversity. We also apply a natural rock dust fertiliser called NatraMin to restore the nutrient and mineral levels in the depleted soil.

Yes, alright, Nicole, I can hear you say. That’s lovely, but how does that apply to me?

You know I’m going to tell you…

You are like soil.  Everything grows or doesn’t grow dependent on how rich your interior soil is.

Are you feeding your body well? Are you giving it a wide range of food groups, good fats and proteins, and choosing lots of plant-based foods in your diet to help your body be healthy and strong? If you take this even further, can you choose organic or chemical-free foods, and foods that are grown locally with low food miles? Farmers Markets are usually fantastic for these sorts of choices and you’ll be supporting farmers who care about their dirt.

Raw Ecstasy Food Tent at the Bangalow Markets, Saturday mornings, behind the pub! Great for sweet healthy treats and my favourite tamari almonds.

Best spuds in the Universe – local Dutch Creams…

Best ‘taters ever, all locally grown!

Are you feeding your mind well? Are you giving it new learnings and challenges to help it grow, and stay fit and active? Are you exercising? Are you reading and watching movies and documentaries, creating and travelling and having adventures?

Gubbio, as viewed from the balcony of my medieval hotel, Italy, 2010 *Note: this could also be considered soul food…

Are you feeding your Soul? Are you connecting with people, hugging your pets, spending time in nature, doing things that make your heart sing? Do you meditate, pray or spend time in spiritual reflection? Journalling, writing and other creative acts can be both brain food and soul food, which is a lovely bonus!

Muddy boots from a walk around the farm. After the walk we sat on the verandah and shared scones, tea and a few laughs. Wonderful!

Nothing grows well in depleted soil. Take some time to nourish yourself: body, mind and spirit. The more you nourish yourself, the richer the rewards will be.  Every time. It might take some time if you’ve really stressed yourself out, really run yourself down, really done a number on yourself.

But just like my poor, tired, nutrient-stripped paddock, you’ll come back with some TLC, a little effort and the right basic ingredients.

You deserve to thrive.  But it’s impossible to do that without good soil.  Nurture yourself.  You’re worth it. I promise the results will delight you!  Bless ♥ xx

And if you need some inspiration, go find this movie…

A Cup of Tea and Comfort…

Living and working as a psychic can be quite draining, although I love what I do. It’s not dissimilar to any other ‘caring’ profession, where you are totally focused on the needs of others, in a way that leaves little time for yourself.

I’ve learned that the best way to avoid burnout for me is to work for a few intense days in a row and then have a complete break from clients for a time. And one of the ways I often celebrate finishing my work week is with a visit to Queenies Teahouse, at Nundah Village in Brisbane.

It’s the perfect place for nurture and soul food. From the moment you push open the door with its tinkling bell you can feel yourself begin to unwind. Smiling staff greet you and usher you to crisp linen’d tables, and soon you’ll find yourself cradling a small tasting cup of one of their delightful teas as you peruse the menu.

A visit to Queenies is like a step back in time, where the worries of the world stop at the front door.  In the background the gentle strains of music your grandmother might have listened to – all the old jazz and blues greats, and the sounds of yesteryear – soothe and unfrazzle your senses.  Gorgeous smells waft from the kitchen.

This is no coffee shop with its clatter and noise, laptops and mobile phones. Here you find friends chatting, generations of families catching up over a pot of tea, and individuals having a moment’s respite from their daily madness – a sort of ‘tea and tasties’ meditation for one.

The teas are sublime and there are so many to choose from. There are two full menu pages devoted to the tea selection, with the sorts of descriptions usually reserved for wine lists.

The herbal tea and green tea varieties are as extensive as the black teas, and they always arrive at your table perfectly brewed, or refreshingly iced.

And have I mentioned the food…

Everything is made fresh in the Queenies kitchen – examples include the daintiest of ribbon sandwiches, creamy risotto, savoury mince (that is right up there with my late grandmother’s), exquisite cakes, coconut ice, and of course cupcakes and scones to die for…

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday a friend and I enjoyed ribbon sandwiches and a pot of Creme Brulee Tea, followed by something sweet.

For me, the most moist and delicious gluten-free orange and almond cake, with its own little shotglass of orange syrup and a perfect ball of chocolate ganache of swooning quality…

For my friend, the baked cheesecake with its spicy gingernut biscuit crust and heavenly berry topping…

The menu has all the traditional high tea favourites, and is also vegetarian and gluten-free friendly. And there are lovely treats to take home –  a sachet or two of your favourite tea, a pretty teapot or tea-towel, or perhaps a tiny tea set for the small people in your life.

My wonderful friend, the poet Carly-Jay Metcalfe was moved to poetry by yesterday’s outing.  You can read about it here.

In fact, I was so inspired that I am planning to book the place out and have a Sunday Function here one day soon, where we can combine Soul Food, Spirituality, Blessings and Poetry over a lovely lunch and a good cup of tea with like-minded souls. Stay tuned for details!

Self Nurture in a Bowl – Easy Miso Soup

When I’m tired, or busy writing and don’t want to take too long away from the flow of words, I turn to miso soup. I can eat this stuff breakfast, lunch, dinner and all meals in between!

My soup is never a hard and fast recipe – rather it’s a technique that lets you add whatever you fancy to a simple base, and…  voila! You can whip up a tasty, easy meal in mere minutes.

This is also a recipe that adapts well to vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.

The picture above contains prawns, mushrooms and bok choi, because that’s what I had to hand. I’ll list my staples below and then give you the recipe for the soup in the picture.

Basic Ingredients: Rice, udon or other fresh or dried noodles.  (I like rice noodles for the gluten-freeness of them all!), water, miso paste – there are many types of miso, white is good if you are a miso novice, but choose the one you like the most, fresh ginger – finely chopped or grated, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos, kombu or other dried seaweed (optional).

To fancy it up use any of the following: chilli flakes, dashi or bonito flakes, sesame oil, fresh herbs such as chives, shallots (green onions) coriander, fried shallot, Japanese rice seasoning, toasted sesame seeds

Protein Ideas: tofu; green prawns (shrimp!); raw scallops; chunks of fresh raw salmon, tuna or white fish; raw oysters; steamed chicken (or you can poach it in the soup mixture)

Vegetable Suggestions: finely cut carrot battons or slices, asparagus, snow peas, bean sprouts, bok choi, pak choi, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, firm lettuce like iceberg or cos,  or whatever is in the fridge or garden, cut finely so it will cook quickly

To make your soup, follow the directions below, no matter what your choice of ingredients.

This one (below) has noodles, mushrooms, broad beans and left-over drunken chicken at the base (under all the noodles!). I also made a vegan one that night, replacing the chicken with baked pumpkin pieces.

Easy Prawn Noodle Miso Soup: (this serves four people as a starter or two hungry people as a main) Get your ingredients ready.  Clean and de-vein your prawns. Have enough for about 1/2 a cup per person as a starter or 3/4 to one cup as a main. With big prawns this may be just two or three for a starter. Finely grate about a tablespoon of raw ginger. Allow about a cup of vegetables and enough noodles for half a serving bowl per person. I used swiss brown mushrooms and bok choi, sliced, and also a few shallots (green onions) from my garden.  Keep your vegetables in little seperate piles if the cooking time will vary.

If you are using another protein source have it chopped into small cubes or chunks. Keep all raw animal based-ingredients on their own chopping board, and wash knife and board well before cutting vegetables or tofu.

Cut all vegetables into small pieces, and finely chop any herbs you are going to add.

Prepare your noodles.  If they are dried cook in boiling water until done, drain well and add to serving bowls.  If they are fresh you can heat them in the miso broth.

Place one litre of water in a large saucepan. Add about 3 tablespoons of miso paste (you can add more later to taste if required). Stir and bring slowly to the boil.  Add in the ginger and about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos, and a tablespoon or so of dried seaweed.  Dump in fresh noodles if they need to be heated.  Give them a minute or two in the broth and then add your prawns or other uncooked animal protein. Wait a minute and add your vegetables and/or tofu.  Don’t add the herbs/shallots yet.

Heat until vegetables are wilted.  It only takes a minute or so.  Remove from heat.  Adjust seasoning.  Add a splash of sesame oil and some chilli flakes if you like things spicy.

Ladle into bowls and add any herbs to the top. Eat.

This pic is a snack I made recently without noodles – just wakame seaweed, silken tofu and shallots in the standard miso broth. Mmmmm…..

I’m a miso soup junkie!