‘For she had eyes and chose me’. ย Othello, William Shakespeare

One bright, early, August morning, I boarded a coach bus with other tourists.  It was my first visit to the UK.  We ventured from London, through the Cotswolds,  destined for William Shakespeare’s town of Stratford on Avon.  
The Cotswolds proved to be as picturesque as imagined.  After snooping in little shops and sipping tea solo next to a graveyard,  I returned swiftly to my seat on the bus.  Unfortunately, there were some passengers, who never came back on time, so we had to leave without them! I instantly felt nervous for them, their belongings left on seats directly in front of me.  Sinking down into my spot, I grimaced and closed my eyes asking Our Lady and their guardian angels to help them find their way back to Ye London Town.  While others, raucously encouraged the driver to press on!

And press on we did.

Throughout the drive, the countryside took my breathe away. 

Arriving in Cottage Lane, we approached the twelve bedroom house, I spied a dear garden in front which was busy with workers. Before I entered, I exchanged words with the old gardener who caught me eyeing off some gigantic turnips.  He stated one would be his dinner.  I suggested he might have to fight a certain Peter Rabbit for it who I swore had travelled far in pursuit of loot and hid under the blackberry bush as we entered.   He chuckled.  

The house itself is the birth and childhood home of Anne Hathaway who was William Shakespeare’s wife. Not much is known about her which I find a little mysterious and intriguing.  Her farming father who owned the house, sadly died, eventually leaving Anne and William a small sum of money to use for their wedding and early married life.   Though they didn’t live in this house for long, together the couple filled their lives with a gaggle of children.  This made me think fondly of my own which I had left home down under. 
I was desperate to explore inside, carefully noting  the low beams, which made me duck my head. I wondered how giants would have lived in a place such as this? I think back then, people were most definitely shorter! 
 The wooden floor which was uneven spread under my feet.  It reminded me of old rickety wood from a railway track.  It creaked as I stepped upon it. Upstairs, beds were made of what seemed like itchy looking hessian. Small wooden shoes were placed beside.  The shadows of those who once walked this sweet home, were now sketched in the memory of the faded candlelight which had burnt out long ago. By looking straight up you could see underneath the thatched roof which had been diligently restored.  Wire held it firmly in place. We were told, It is a very costly way to make a roof, however it lasts an incredibly long time.  
A few dusty books were dotted around the house. Old recipe notes lay across the dining table and copper pots and pans adorned the kitchen. It seemed popular and practical at the time, to leave springs of herbs and flowers which while drying, filled the air with sweet smells such as lavender and thyme.  Though we had limited time, I meandered a little, poking my nose in various rooms here  and there.
Eventually, a smoothed back step which was worn down from hundreds of years of being treaded on, took me again out to the garden.   I stood frozen in modern time while busy bees, buzzed by.  I slowly soaked in the final details before we headed east.  I breathed in the history of the place which had caught this historical house lover’s attention, the  moment I set my beady eyes on it in the brochure.  The serene place which Anne Hathaway called ‘home’. 

Have you visited here? What do you think of thatched roves? Ever hit your head on a low lying beam before? 


Feathered girls and a soup for days

Picked up the girls yesterday, the feathery kind. So far we have had Iggy tell us his is ‘chicken bok bok’,  Cece has called hers ‘Miss Rose Mary’ & Olivepip has called hers ‘Miss Anne Shelley’ ๐Ÿ“.  We went with Isa Browns because they tend to be more like pets, and they are, they are so lovely.  We’ve carefully clipped a few wings, done properly, your chickens should not even notice.  The feathers will be sent to our penpals

It’s finally Spring here in Australia, so I’ve cleared the gutters, topped off the compost bins, mulched the existing plants and spotted the worms.  PIanted poppies to make poppy maidens, Rosemary, nasturtiums and rocket to make tea, to eat and for the chickens. The raspberry & strawberry plants are in the fairy gardens where we will picnic around ready for the warmer days ahead.  If you live in western Australia, we have found great fairy garden pieces from the shop ‘Rave Discounts’. They make sweet gifts too. 

I’m not a great gardener by any means. But I like the idea of keeping costs down and doing things organically where I can. Plus the children have always used nature as their playground no matter how big our land is. We don’t live on acreage. I wanted to move to a farm but that was not God’s plan for us. We have a block next to the city. We are trying to live off our land as much as we can, the land where God wants us. I love living where we do. We have a friendly, kind community. Our dear neighbour was sweet enough to give the children a box full of gardening gloves for their little hands all the way from England. We don’t have many toys and so books and the garden are our thing.

 The book, ‘Sunflower houses’ by Sharon Lovejoy is an oldie but a goodie. It Helps kids make things out of what they grow. Though we don’t have fireflies sadly where I live, we are able to do most things suggested.  

Today the weather has turned from glorious to nasty.

Some of us are not feeling well.   Though gifts from friends, lift their spirits.  

This Chinese style corn soup in the tastiest, easiest soup to make for when you or your loved ones don’t feel well or even when you all feel excellent but need an easy meal. With a bit of supervision and practise, responsible kids can make this. 

Sweat on the stove – one can of creamed corn with one onion chopped up and a knob of butter or about a tablespoon of oil. Add as much chicken stock as you desire per the size of your family. Bring to boil and stir in a few egg whites, cooked when they turn white. Add shredded chicken for a more heartier soup. Serve with sour dough bread or whatever bread you have. ( for larger families double the other ingredients

There are discussions about oxygen, carbon dioxide and why we need trees.  Reading and thinking skills are being worked on, lactose free food planned by a twelve year old foodie who is designing a website for a free computer class which is provided by our local council.   There’s the demands for sharing of blankets in the patio lounge room whilst eating roasted zucchini sprinkled with Himilayan salt and left over kale salad, topped off with Nature’s Way Cacao Pepitas (a favourite snack which has 5 times more antioxidants than almonds).  Off the iPad, ‘The Green Ember’ and classical music stream from audible.  Nomenclature cards have been pinned to Pinterest for printing later on whilst leaves and rain can be heard playing tag on the roof as the girls look on.  My girls, the ones that fill my days with noise, joy and laughter. 
Love Leah ๐ŸŒฟ

Berry good gluten-free cake in a mug

This week, we celebrated the queenship of a sweet Lady, where because she is the perfect example of a devoted mother, she was crowned queen of heaven.  Oh the benefits of having this heavenly help!  Mother Mary guides me to loving her son more and helping me with my own children.  

This week,   The kids have been off their food because they have colds and sore throats.  The toddler is asking for cake.  Sugary cakes will bring down their immunity further, not these cakes!

Have you ever tried Mug cakes?  

You need a microwave for this recipe.  I rarely use the microwave (husband bought) unless I’m heating up the heat bag.

Try Sarah Wilson’s recipe for strawberry cheesecake muggin-

1/4 cup almond meal or gluten-free plain flour

2 tablespoons organic desiccated coconut (if it’s not organic,dried fruit will have Sulfur dioxide to stop it from turning black due to oxidisation, this preservative isn’t good for asthmatics)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon pistachios, chopped, plus extra to serve

1 tablespoon of berry chia jam or 2-3 strawberries (organic is best, too many pesticides otherwise) chopped, plus extra for serving.  (The only sweetener in this recipe is a small about of rice malt in the jam.)

1/4 cup milk of any kind.

1 tablespoon full-fat ricotta, plus extra to serve (Or homemade cream cheese which is so easy to make, anyone interested in a post on how I do this? Please say in comments) 

Please all of the ingredients into a massive microwave-safe mug and mix with a spoon. (My darling sister gave me the massive mug featured, however they sell them for a few dollars in Target)

I placed them in for 1 min 20 secs, although the recipe stated 2 minutes, the cake overflowed, you may have to adapt this, depending on the power of your microwave.

Serve with dollop of ricotta and the extra pistachios and jam or berries. 

 Omit dairy or add dairy free for vegan.

Come back tomorrow to see a post on boosting immunity gummies instead of lollies that will kill your guts! 

Happy sweet Thursday friends, 

Leah ๐ŸŒฟ

ย  bloom where you are planted

For some ridiculous reason, I’ve never tried this before.

It’s so simple.  

For celery- 

1. Put butt in shallow water and place in warm spot of sun on kitchen bunch or near a window.  Keep topping up water each day.  2.  When you see the centre piece has started to re-grow, place in soil.  The whole plant should grow again.  

For shallots-

1. Place cut roots in glass of water, watch them shoot up and plant as above.

I’m going to try these in pots.

Good for little kids or the green thumb that isn’t! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope we all grow closer to God in a small way today.  Maybe by smiling at someone who has caused us pain, because Friday is a day where our Lord knows only too well what it’s like to suffer.  

May we bloom where we are planted and sow love today.

Happy floral Friday!

 Leah โค๏ธ๐ŸŒน

Fermented blessings

(Previously shrineon.me.)

So starting from scratch and to cut a long flower story short, on this blog, you’ll read simple little stories of our life.  Because years ago, when I realised the importance of simple things.  The healing began.  God heals  my soul through frequent confession and my gut through gluten & sugar free living.

I’ll be posting about these lifestyle changes and other blessings in my life.  How I embrace grey hair, Catholicism and homeschooling.  What it’s like to be a mum of a toddler who wrecks our house, but has blessed our lives.  Not to mention, living with kids in university.   I’m trying to live the little things.  

Though my grandmother died when she was a young mum.  She has always been present in my life.  I’ve out lived her, as has my favourite father, his sister and her grandchildren.  Her stomach and bowel issues claimed her life.  However, I have prayed to her forever and I believe that God has helped me through her intercession.  Grandmothers know best!

Apart from getting married and having children, the next best thing I did in life was going gluten free and cutting out refined sugar. I recently purchased the book by Sarah Wilson ‘simplicious’ from target.  This is what inspired me to start a fresh blog on all my musings.  Thanks Sarah! 

Some of the content I knew, however, I love how it felt like home to me.  I was familiar with certain aspects through my qualifications in business catering.  Also because my favourite mother, brought us up with a very mindful manner not just in faith, but with an alternative and wholelistic point of view when it came to health. (You will spot my parents who shall be named Darby & Joan commenting from time to time on this little blog of my musings, because they are my greatest supporters ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜˜) However, the greatest thing I love about this book is the fact that it inspired me not to waste.  Don’t waste time, don’t waste money, don’t waste good food!  

So this is where it begins, with all things that matter to me.  God first! Bullet proof coffee second! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My marriage second, my children, their souls and their education, what we eat, my friends, my garden, my books and all the kombucha & coffee we can make together.

You can follow me on Instagram @leahshouse where I love snapping at my kids, I mean photos of what I’ve had for breakfast and the only two spells I like, ones of a floral kind and teaching my kids how to.  I also love to ramble about my book finds @leahslittlewords.  

I like to pray for my friends including you and ask if you could spare one in return.  For now I hope you can catch this batch of fermented blessings I’m throwing your way from my little house to yours.


God loves ya!

Leah ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒนโ˜•๏ธ