Monthly archives of “March 2012

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reflections on 18 months of staying awake


who knows what the next few years will bring. i feel so blown away by how much my life haschanged since starting this blog and am increasingly surprised at the directions my life is taking.

i started this blog because i was bored. i was watching lots of tv, not dreaming, not really doing anything except spending time with friends and being at home and doing a lot of shopping. these things are fine in and of themselves, but i was asleep inside, shopping to fill a void, eating to fill a void, hanging out with friends to avoid being alone. just moving from one day to the next with no real colour or excitement. hence the blog (and title)!

this was my project, to find out what made me happy again. to rediscover the dreams and life inside of me and begin to live.

it is hard to believe that 18 months later i am often to busy to blog (properly!) and am pursing so many different dreams that i think i might need scale back a bit, if at least for a while.

the city girl in me is also very surprised to find a country girl lurking behind all the design and style love. who knew i would live on nearly an acre of land, own wellies and *gasp* plant my first practical thing in the garden. i am surprising myself. and i kinda like it!

i am discovering that in more ways than one (american in england baby!) i am a hybrid person. i garden in dresses, i bake my own bread in thrifted, vintage bread tins and i am in love with this new urban bluegrass sound coming out at the moment in the indie music scene and i love me some mellow country (hello john mayers new album! love it.), but when i am cleaning my house, i like to dance to flo rida. its true.

it is a weird mix that i myself am surprised by, but i am loving the process. mostly because i know it has been supported and fed and nourished by an incredibly good god. in the words of sam’s current favourite song (that he has affectionately named ‘1-2-3-4’):

it’s always like springtime with you, making all things new, your light is breaking through the dawn.

this love is sweeter than wine, bringing joy, bringing life, your hope is rising like the dawn.

this is what you do, this is what you do, you make me come alive.

he is so great. honestly. his goodness and faithfulness to me is astounding. without him, none of the above would be possible, or much fun!

happy saturday.


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ha! just reread my last post (now removed for editing!) and realised that an autosave version, not the complete version is what published! holy cannoli what a blunder. thanks for being gracious. i’ll have it up correctly in no time. happy (very early) saturday! sarah

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music love: old crow medicine show

i have given up on music mondays and tune tuesdays… clearly, my life does not afford the organisation possible for a weekly, set day, feature. ah well. i will still be posting any and all new music finds that i love for your listening enjoyment but it might not be so regular or so schedule…i’m cool with it if you are!

today i introduce to you: old crow medicine show. their sound might not be for everyone, but i certainly loved listening to them. maybe its their urban, bluegrass sound or my dixie-land roots or the fact that it is just interesting to hear some young guns playing old mans music.

have a listen, check out their website and let me know what you think!

happy wednesday!


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jamie oliver’s fabulous feasts




after eating here on our anniversary weekend away i wanted to name our next son ‘jamie’. it was that good. rich didn’t go for it. can’t imagine why!

but seriously, i do love jamie oliver. he believes in ‘real food’, his recipes are–in my experience–100% foolproof and since swapping to real food earlier this year, i have still been able to use all of his cookbooks with only slight modifications.

and his restaurants are just to die for. seriously, i know i get over enthusiastic sometimes….but this is for real. top of my list.

happy monday!

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seasonal veggie melt: a real food recipe


i cannot believe how well this went down with the littles. i was sure it was going to bomb out considering the high veggie content, but they really loved it. maybe it was the copious amounts of raw cheese i grated over it, or the creme fraiche i dolloped on top. who knows and who cares–they ate their greens!

however, before i get into just how i did it, i need to give credit where credit is due. the original idea for this recipe came from katie over at riddle love. her recipes are usually kid tried and tested and i haven’t made a bad one yet. if you are exploring the real food route with a young family, she is an essential read!

here is my adaptation of her awesome recipe:

5 potatoes, peeled and cubed

handful of chives, finely chopped

olive oil, seasoned salt, thyme and ground pepper

toss all of the above ingredients and bake in a casserole dish at 200 degrees C.

while that is baking (should take about 35 minutes),

grate half a butternut squash

cube 1 large courgette (zucchini for the yanks)

and cube a head of cauliflower

stir fry in olive oil and season with seasoned salt. when the veggies reach your desired ‘doneness’ remove from heat and cover until the potato mixture is done.

once the potatoes are cooked through, layer the stir fried veggies and put a cup or 2 of grated raw cheddar cheese on top.

serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and be amazed!!

the reason i loved it so much is that you can pretty much adapt it to suit whatever is in season, or in my case, what was in my fridge this evening!!

happy sunday!


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us oliver girls…


… we like to garden in our dresses.


since we made it through the winter–without getting to cold in our old, but wonderfully charming house–we have decided to stay at number 10 the green as long as we can. and that my friends, means plans. lots and lots of plans! gardening, house decorating (within reason) and lots of summer bbq’s! i have started my list and it has been so fun to dream about how we can make this house ours in the time we are here.

first up is a fruit and vegetable garden.

today was the first day in 2012 where the weather and my schedule lined up to make the perfect gardening day. i didn’t do a ton cause i am still recovering from my back surgery (don’t freak out momma!) but i did manage to dig out last years flower bed with the help of my petite and darling little sidekick.


this little flower bed is getting reworked into a strawberry patch!! i have been doing my research and next weekend the little plants are going in. hopefully we can avoid the outrageous supermarket prices and have a nice crop of our own organic strawberries!

if it works out (i have a notoriously un-green thumb…) you are invited for strawberries and cream!

happy saturday.


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a shout out: introducing faith dwight, photographer


i love this photo.

and this one.

and this one.

and yes, this one as well! honestly aren’t they so super?!

i am shamelessly shouting out here. faith dwight is an amazing photographer and you need to check out her new website.

i love her style. her photos are candid, artistic and (in her own words) tell our story. if you live in bedford, or anywhere near here, she is the one you want taking your pics.

not only is she talented, she is great to work with. she is so sweet and good with kids–being a momma herself–and you will not be disappointed.

i am so proud of my sweet friend for chasing down her dream and rocking it.

happy friday!


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photoday: fun in the sun!

i am an instagramaholic. it’s true. i love me some sweet photo filters and although in another life i would love to pursue photography, i have chosen other dreams to pursue for now so instagram and my sweet iPhone it is!

however, today the sun was so unbelievably amazing that i didn’t need any filters. the lighting was amazing in the early evening and my kids were happily playing in the garden so i took the opportunity to practice my iphoneography. yes, that is a thing!

i love these kids…

happy thursday!


ps you can find me on instagram @stayingawake

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happy pigs in blankets: a real food recipe


this real food recipe was a hit with rich and the kids tonight! the freaking holy grail of cooking in this house, i’ll have you know, is daddy and kids scarfing it down. daddy is never the problem…well actually except on peanut butter popcorn night. he did not like that. the kids, not surprisingly LOVED it, so it’s now one of those weekday lunch things. these healthy sausage rolls, however, will be a fortnightly staple from now on i think!

i don’t know about you, but pigs in a blanket (or sausage rolls…sortof…for the brits) were one of my favourite things growing up. done traditionally, they taste amazing but are full of refined sugars, flours and unhealthy meat. done like this, the real food way, they still taste amazing but are actually nourishing your body! holla!

here’s what you need:

12 ‘just-cooked’ (they will brown when re-baked with scone around them) sausages from happy pigs–this means pigs that get to live like pigs, forage, eat grass and roll around in mud. not pigs that live in pens and eat feed. there is a huge difference in how nourishing or damaging their meat is for us, depending on how they live. if you are interested in learning more about this, there is a great article about it here. but back to the recipe!

a ball of cheese scone dough: this is a savoury adaptation of the fig + maple scones i made last week.

2.5 cups sprouted spelt flour–a wholegrain unsprouted flour will do, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 2 Tbsp rapadura or raw cane sugar.

mix together and cut 3/4 block (1 stick for the yanks) of organic butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. you are aiming for pea-sized chunks. now mix in 1 cup grated raw (or pasteurised organic) cheddar cheese.

in a 1 cup measuring cup, crack and beat 1 organic egg and fill the remainder of the 1 cup measure with organic raw milk. pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together just until combined.

now form this dough into a ball and cut in half


then cut each half into 6 wedges and flatten into little scone pancakes.


now, roll each sausage into its own scone pancake and arrange in a grease casserole pan. i like to use coconut oil for my greasing.


bake for about 15 minutes at 190 degrees celcius and voila! hearty, healthy (20 minute!) meal!

we had them with carrot sticks and a little bit of organic, good-for-you ketchup!

happy tuesday,


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(my new) old thing



what: oliver courier typewriter, where: eBay, how much: £10

i had a little hunt online a few weeks ago for this baby after a tip off from my sweet cousin, helen oliver. i had no idea that there was an oliver typewriter company and i had so much fun learning about them.

check out this excerpt from wikipedia:

Thomas Oliver was born in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, on August 1, 1852. Having become interested in religion, Oliver moved to Iowa, after the death of his mother, to serve as a Methodist minister. In 1888, Oliver began to develop his first typewriter, made from strips of tin cans, as a means of producing more legible sermons. He was awarded his first typewriter patent on April 7, 1891. After four years of development, a “crude working model” composed of 500 parts had been produced.

it goes onto talk about how he went to chicago to find investors and sold the company–keeping 65%–to a businessman who began manufacture in chicago. THEN! in 1928 the company was sold to investors in croydon, england and it became the british oliver typewriter company.

i love it! who knows if we are related or not, who cares really, i just love me a good bit of interesting history: a christian dude named oliver had bad handwriting, so instead of simply working on his handwriting, he decides to invent something to write for him–out of tin cans–and ends up having an international company at the turn of the 20th century and changing the way we all process our words.

your sweet macbook would not have the keyboard it does if it weren’t for this guy.

needless to say, i had to have one, so i trawled on eBay during naptime last week and found this little beauty only 20 miles away and managed to get it for £10! it is a ‘courier’ model which (yes i looked it up. remember?!) apparently is one of the models licensed for production in austria.

i am in love. it is vintage. it is a typewriter. it is an ‘oliver’ typewriter. the only thing that could make it better would be if it was blue or yellow or something. but i am good with my vintage olive green colour. it matches my vintage phone.

now, go discover something cool about your (potential) past. it’s super fun…or super nerdy…

happy monday!