Grateful In April…

I don’t often send out information about other people to check out, but this week 2 individuals I feel the need to share, yesterday Irina and today this lady Melina who runs m.a.d. woman and the Grateful In April campaign.

I got to work with Melina when I lived in Australia back in 2007 (yikes!). She is one of the loveliest, most inspirational women I have met and was possibly one of the first to introduce me to being aware of positive thinking, gratitude and sharing a message that can help other people.

5 years ago she set up Grateful in April, each day in April she sends out a motivational, inspirational email. This campaign has grown immensely over the last 5 years, she does a lot of charity work in Melbourne throughout the year, helping people live healthier, happier, more environmentally friendly lives.

People from around the world contribute to the blog (I did last year, woo hoo) it is just a really nice campaign to bring in to light the simple things in life that we may take for granted but should be grateful for.

Gratitude is something that we can overlook, being thankful for the roof over our heads, the clean running water, friends, family… There are so many things and when we feel like times are tough and that the world is against us, and that is the time we need to search for what we are grateful for…

At the end of a really shitty day, maybe it is a cup of tea or a TV show or a text from a friend…

Focusing on the good bits makes the bad bits less bad or even forgotten for a while.

The Five Minute Journal that I got for my birthday gets you to start your day with 3 things you are grateful for and end the day with 3 amazing things that happened…

If you struggle finding things then maybe signing up for the emails will help give you some focus specifically on gratitude…

To sign up you can at

Have a fabulous Tuesday

Jen x


Saturday Kitchen

Saturday Kitchen

I got this recipe from the Elephant Journal and Sarah requested I shared it in Saturday Kitchen, so here it is. Just for the record, Susan has tried it and says it’s delicious too. I have copied and pasted the original recipe and put my side notes where I made some changes.

White Lasagne with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

You will need:

Mashed sweet potato – I steamed the sweet potato and added some butternut squash too

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 t/l olive oil
  • 1 quart water or veggie broth – I added bullion powder to the steamed veg before mashing it.
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper

Bring water or veggie broth to a boil, toss in potatoes and cook until fork tender, around 15 minutes. Drain, mash and season to taste with salt, pepper and 2 t/l olive oil. Set aside.

Spinach – I just put the spinach layers in raw and used baby leaf spinach.

  • 1 t/l olive oil
  • 5-6 oz baby spinach, chopped

Heat oil in a pan and sauté spinach until wilted, around 2 minutes. Set aside.

White Sauce (vegan Alfredo sauce)

  • 1 t/l olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 t/l lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 t/l fresh cracked pepper

In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté onion until soft. Combine onion with all other ingredients in a high powered blender (such as a Vitamix. If you have a regular blender, soak cashews in water for at least two hours and then drain prior to blending). Mix until a nice creamy consistency is achieved. You can add more cashews or water to thicken or thin the sauce, respectively. Set aside.

Vegan Ricotta – I added chilli powder to this because I like my food spicy

  • 1 t/l olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 14 oz package of extra firm tofu, drained
  • 2 t/l lemon juice – I used lime juice because I didn’t have lemon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 3 cups fresh basil – I used some dry basil because I didn’t have fresh

In large skillet, heat oil and sauté onion until soft. Combine onions with all other ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of ricotta. Set aside.

* lasagne sheets – I used gluten free pasta sheets

* 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley

To assemble and bake:

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease a 9X13 inch pan. 180deg c

Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of the pan.

Arrange 4 lasagne noodles across the pan, it’s okay if they overlap a little. Layer half the ricotta, 4 noodles, sauce, sweet potatoes, spinach, sauce, 4 noodles, sauce, remaining half of ricotta, and 4 noodles.

Top lasagne with remaining sauce (reserving about 1 cup or more for topping—I make a little extra, because I like it saucy!) Make sure noodles are evenly coated and top with 1/2 cup fresh snipped parsley.

Cover baking pan with foil and bake for 50 minutes or until noodles are cooked through. (I cooked mine for an hour).

Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving and top with heated white sauce and extra parsley if desired.

I cut this up and put it in tin foil trays and have frozen portions, I have reheated it from defrosted (about 20mins covered at 180deg) and from frozen (about 60mins covered at 180deg) and it still tastes amazing.

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Can you create your own destiny?

If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me. Take responsibility for your life.

I found this on a post it note which I wrote at some point and it has come in to my eye line just when I needed to see it, must have read or heard it somewhere and thought I would need to read it again.

It was kind of ironic that I found when I was thinking about getting my tarot cards read again.

I am not sure I believe in card readings but at the same time am always intrigued by them… I have had them done a couple of times and they have said the same thing.

The first guy I ever had do a reading was pretty good, he told me some stuff that was un guessable like the layout of my mum’s house and that it was connected to another family member. From my palm reading he told me about my personality (which I have read books on and there is scientific research on) and these people are good at reading people (ever watched Lie To Me? You should watch it, people are fascinating).

Other blah blah I was told the last time, your life is going to be based around your career, there is not much about a love life but there could be something around Christmas (yeah that has passed and no boy) who would be older (but that could be days or weeks not necessarily years) and there might be someone younger (again could be days or weeks) and you will travel with work – that travel could be between my house and the gym though… talk about covering all bases!!

And it’s kind of where my life is and has been for the last 5 years… As I write this I have just talked myself in to saving cash and not bothering with another reading.

I do wonder though if the first card reading had made me subconsciously make choices that I might have otherwise chosen differently.

I know a couple of people who regularly get their cards done and live their life by what they are told. One of them has travelled the world because of what she had read, which is maybe not a bad thing if it wasn’t something she had considered before.

I am more a believer in creating your own destiny, if you don’t like the direction your life is going it is up to you to make the changes you need. The cards I suppose are just looking for some reassurance.

Whatever it is, you are the only one who can make the changes to your life.

Your job, home, social life, friends, weight, fitness, beliefs…

The rebel in me wants to prove the cards are wrong, maybe there could have been a boy at Christmas time and I chose not to see him just to show those cards…

How often has someone told you something about you (not a fortune teller, but a family member or friends) that you believe to be true? You are shy, you are nervous, you don’t believe in yourself, you are not confident?

How quick are you to believe that is right about you?

On the other side when you are paid a compliment you don’t take it on board so quickly. You are confident, you are beautiful, you look amazing, you are smart…

We seem to challenge these positive thoughts and accept the negative.

Is it the same when we get cards read? We believe the bits that we want to believe.

I prefer:

If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me. Take responsibility for your life.

I would love to hear what you believe & think about it. Do you live by the cards or make your own destiny?

Totally ramble topic today, have a great Friday

Jen x







What do you stand for?

I quite often talk to my Warrior Women about values and why it is important to live your life by them.

You might have different values for different areas of your life. Your relationship values might be different from your work values.

There might be some that no matter what area of your life they are there, set in stone.

Trust for me is a non-negotiable. If I don’t trust someone then I can’t have them as a friend, can’t do business with them, I don’t even want to have to deal with them at all if possible.

What is it you stand for?

You might not be sure what your values actually are, so a good place to start is make a list of what you would like your values to be.

What would you like other people to see in you?

Thinking about yourself as a 3rd person sometimes makes it easier and you might find that the list of what you would like is what you actually are.

Having your standards and living by them gets you respect.

It fills your world with people that you want to have around you, that are good for you, that can help your life be the best you would ever want.

You also respect yourself, which in my opinion is the best thing you can have.

You don’t sell out, you don’t give in to peer-pressure, you understand your WHY, and you will feel strong.

So take 10 minutes today and write out some values that you either have or would like to have to stand by.

Jen x

Beetroot, Carrot, Banana & Chocolate Cake (I promise it is delicious and goes lovely with the Chocolate Mousse)

Beetroot, Carrot, Banana & Chocolate Cake (I promise it is delicious and goes lovely with the Chocolate Mousse)

Beetroot, Carrot, Banana & Chocolate Cake (I promise it is delicious and goes lovely with the Chocolate Mousse)

1 cup coconut flour (if using another flour you will need more than 1 cup, coconut flour is very dense)

1 cup grated raw beetroot

1 cup grated raw carrot

4 medium (6” or longer) bananas mashed

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

¼ cup dark brown muscovado sugar

4 medjool dates chopped

1 cup homemade almond milk

½ cup olive oil

½ cup cacao powder

Put all the wet ingredients in to the food processor with a metal blade and puree them together. Then change the blade to the plastic needing blade and add the dry ingredients. Process until well mixed (you might need to stop and push down a couple of times).

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

Using non-stick cake tin – I use one that you can release the sides from the base, lightly grease round then put cake mix in.

Bake for 45mins

Leave to stand for 5-10mins before releasing from the tin.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

½ avocado

1 tablespoon nut butter

2 tablespoons cacao

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

½ teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)

100ml coconut milk

1 tablespoon desiccated coconut flakes to top

1 tablespoon goji berries to top

Blend avocado, nut butter, cacao, vanilla, cinnamon and coconut milk together, put in a dessert bowl sprinkle topping (could use chopped nuts instead of coconut) leave to chill.