Monthly archives of “February 2012

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(my new) old thing


it’s been ages since my last vintage find post. more from lack of organisation than lack of finds–and purchases (i’m obsessed). but this sweet gift from a lovely friend is a great way to relaunch this blog feature!

item: vintage egg beater
found: car boot sale, uk
cost: 50p

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pure fabulous.

i love supporting good brands. and i love brands with creativity and personality. a little pizzazz never goes amiss either! and a good brand just rocketed in to the land of awesome tonight during the brit awards, so yea, i’m blogging about it.

every since embarking on our real food journey, i have been going with yeo valley organic, pasteured dairy products until i can afford the time and petrol to get to the closest raw dairy farm in bedfordshire. it’s been my halfway house to dairy perfection, reliable, good and–i thought–pretty basic.

not so. watch this.

i am now in love, and almost threw out all notions of aiming for raw milk in future. what a fantastic brand personality. clever, hilarious, genuine, ironic and different.

love. love. love. love. love.

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30 minute strawberry frozen yogurt

ok i nearly died when i found this recipe in jamie oliver’s 30 minute meals cookbook. i love homemade frozen yogurt and i am always doing things at the last minute. usually these 2 things don’t mesh but jamie has done it again. i love this guy. seriously.

now, he added some fancy things like mint and lemongrass and honey and used mangos instead of strawberries, but–as per above comment regarding waiting til the last minute–i didn’t have all the ingredients or the time to go to the store, so, i modified the recipe to the contents of my fridge/freezer and was pleasantly surprised!

here it is:

250g plain organic (raw even better!) yogurt*. the more fat the better, 500g frozen fruit of your choice, 2Tbsp maple syrup (or honey if you prefer).

mix in a blender, adding more fruit until the consistency is as ‘frozen’ as it can get while still moving in the blender (know what i mean?!). when it looks like it just might stop moving cause its so ‘frozen’ remove from blender and put in freezer for 30 mins or so.

*i am sure that if you added a little bit of mascarpone cheese to this it would make it oh so gourmet.

voila! homemade ‘ice cream’ that is suuuuuuuper healthy and quick and lovely for the unorganised but well-meaning momma!

happy v day again!



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happy valentines day from staying awake

happy valentines day y’all!!

what a fabulous holiday. a celebration of love and friendship and family. what could be better?!

i didn’t always feel this way about valentines day. in fact i used to think it was so trivial and silly, and for most people, who don’t know the origins of the holiday, i am sure it feels the same. but last year, i looked into it, in my cynicism, and discovered a meaningful history that inspired me. and guess what? that’s right, i blogged about it. you can read, the thing about valentines day… here.

in light of last years findings, we have started some fun family traditions. not just for momma and daddy, but all of us!

here they are:

sourdough pink pancakes for breakfast (yes, they are still in line with our new way of life) and you can find the recipe here.

sweet cards saying what we have loved and appreciated about each other this year.

and watching,be my valentine charlie brown, as a family before bed.

they are pretty small things, but i like to think that just that little bit of special something, and the cards, will start a family culture of honour, generosity and gratitude for each other.

what are you doing to celebrate valentines day with your family this year?!


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the thing about design and god

i have spent most of this morning looking at lighting and bar design for ground floor coffee. i am loving every minute of it and have found some very chic and incredibly cool things that you may all view on my ground floor coffee pinterest board if you, like me, love a good mood board.

however, some doubting thoughts starting swirling around in my head in the midst of my excitement. why am i doing this and putting all this time and effort into designing something that, genuinely, will be very cool and modern and london worthy, in bedford–and not even in the town centre–but in a community building at the edge of town? i got a little scared. will it be a waste of my time and my good ideas? will people find it? will they want to come out and see it? will they be put off that the community building also houses a church? i got nervous. then, i remembered why i want to do this well. why i want to give my funky, art house ideas to this coffee shop, in this community building.

most churches and community building have cafes now. you know the ones. plastic chairs and tables, cheap cups of mediocre coffee, cheesy names like HeBrews (no offence Bethel!) and Sacred Grounds. i mean come on, you can feel the cringe coming on. its bad. please understand that i have no judgement just a different point of view. and thats the thing. my god, the one i love and have chosen to follow, i have found, is not cringe worthy or twee. he is highly creative: trees and anteaters and those creepy deep sea fish with glowing balls attached to them, seriously people, who thinks this stuff up?! he also has impeccably high standards for design: read the spec for the ark of the covenant and the temple in the old testament. guys, his specifics and attention to detail would put any artist or architect to shame.

the architects and designers of cathedrals used to know this about god. they built their beautiful churches 1) to glorify god with their beauty and effort and craftsmanship and 2) because they believed that people, in seeing the beauty of the church itself, would see something of god. much like the queen of sheba, when she walked into solomon’s temple, saw the way his table was laid and how his servants were dressed and performed their duties (hello customer service!) and knew it was the lord. she then blessed the name of the lord because the excellence of design and service and beauty displayed at his temple convinced her of the beauty and reality of the god he served.

hello! why have we lost this? why have we thought that plastic chairs and tables and instant coffee will do? why are bad websites, un-thought-through logos and twee slogans the norm? why have we cut design, detail, art and creativity out of our evangelism plans?

these things matter! they matter to god. they matter to the creative people who do not know him. they are one–albeit of many–avenues of introducing the world to their loving father. let’s not forget this. let’s not assume it is unimportant.

this is why i am doing what i am doing.

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(new) music monday

so this is the second time-in a row!-that i have published a music monday post on tuesday. i am thinking of changing the name of the feature to: tunes tuesday…maybe. it’s not as catchy.

anywho. one of my dear friends, zoe joy harries, has released her first single on iTunes and i wantedto share the word, spread the love, etc.

to have a listen click here

and share, share, share!

love, sarah

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when i don’t blog for a while

hello faithful staying awake readers. due to several new projects in my life–ground floor coffee, the healthy eating plan, the back surgery, etc–my blog has taken a bit of a backseat.

i am hoping to start blogging more often in the very near future, but in the meantime, i am tweeting (micro-blogging if you will!) on a daily basis.

so if you want to keep up with the daily adventures of the oliver clan, interior design finds, vintage excitements and project updates, follow me on twitter.

continue to watch this space and click here for little mini updates when i have a second alone with my iphone!

love, sarah



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sourdough pancakes: a recipe

these were about the most delicious way i have found to ‘get rid of’ your extra sourdough starter on feeding day. and not to mention easy as pie. start to finish, ten minutes. ready? here it is:

2 cups sourdough starter (room temp), 2 Tbsp unrefined cane sugar, 1 free range egg, 4 Tbsp organic butter or coconut or olive oil, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 Tbsp warm water.

in a large bowl, add sourdough starter, sugar, egg, butter/oil and salt. mix well and set aside. in a small bowl, dilute 1 tsp baking soda in the Tbsp warm water. add the baking soda/water mixture to the batter a minute before cooking to let batter bubble up (this makes them extra fluffy).

my kids loved these with organic butter, maple syrup and a sprinkling of snow (icing sugar!).



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grammar 101

1. it’s ‘i couldn’t care less.’ ‘i could care less’ means you actually do care.

2. literally means it actually did happen. not that it figuratively happened.

3. there, their and they’re are actually three different words!

there now, it’s nice to have that off my chest.

love, sarah