31.01

Cider-with-Rosie-Life-is-worth-the-fight-1 

It feel as though I’ve ‘known’ Stacie for such a long time now, and I’m so glad to be introducing her to you today. Every time I visit her blog I find myself humbled by her experiences, inspired by her courage, warmed by her sweetness, and in awe of her honesty. Stacie’s been waiting for a heart and lung transplant for two years and seven months, and has been sharing her experiences of life on a waiting list via her blog since 2012. Life is Worth the Fight is unlike any other blog I read, and reminds me time and again how incredible the connections we can make via this community are. This week, lovely Stacie took a little time to answer some questions for me, and I’m so glad to be sharing her answers here! So without further ado, let’s get to this interview!

1. What prompted you to start writing Life is Worth the Fight? And what’s been the best change or difference blogging has made to your life?

Life is Worth the Fight was born not long after transplant week of 2012, I had just been put on the transplant list and was discovering all these new people in a community that I wasn’t all that familiar with. I noticed that a few of these people were writing blogs. I checked them out and thought “you know I think this might help me.” So I decided that I was going blog this weird, wonderful and sometimes scary journey. I would say the best change it has brought to my life is that I’m more open with people now, I was very closed off and didn’t want to open up about how I was feeling which is understandable for anyone in my position but I knew there was no way I was going to get through this without my friends and family and they can only help if they know what’s going on with me. It has also been a platform from which I have really been able to promote my condition and Organ Donation and that can only be a good thing.

2. What three words would you use to describe Life is Worth the Fight?

Positive (mainly), roller-coaster, emotion filled [not really 3 words is it?] ;)

Cider-with-Rosie-Life-is-worth-the-fight-4

3. What do you find inspires you most to create content for your blog? I love how honest your posts about living with Pulmonary Hypertension are- they’re so incredibly inspiring.

My PH friends and transplant friends mostly. It’s a hard subject to write about but I get messages from newly diagnosed Pulmonary Hypertension patients or newly listed transplant patients who are scared and worried about what lies ahead and they say that a particular post helped them to see it from a different viewpoint and that definitely helps me write so openly and honestly because those people need to know what they are feeling and going through is okay and the rest of us are feeling the exact same way. Then there’s the blogging community they inspire me to write and keep doing what I do because I get messages from people saying they signed up to the Donor register because of me and my blog and that’s amazing and something I always hoped would happen but never was entirely sure would.

4. Do you have any goals you’d like to achieve with your blog during the year ahead?

My ultimate goal I suppose would be that it becomes “a post transplant blog” and that has always be my end game with Life is Worth the Fight. Ultimately though Life is Worth the Fight is for me and I want it to always be there when I need it and if it helps people in the process that is always a massive bonus.

Cider-with-Rosie-Life-is-worth-the-fight-3

5. You wrote recently about how much you rate audiobooks- me too! What’s been the best book you’ve listened to during the past year?

I really do love audiobooks! I really think everyone should try them at least once. I’m going to have to be a bit biased though. My favourite book of all time is “Kommandant’s Girl” by Pam Jenoff and this year when I fell back in love Audiobooks I brought Kommandant’s Girl and it made me love the book just that much more! It’s been my favourite book since I was about 15 and having it on audiobook just means I can retreat to my happy place whenever I want. I really do recommend it especially if you are into World War 2 romance books.

6. Your blog is my go-to place for Lush product recommendations! Would you give us a ’top 5’ list of your all-time favourite Lush products? :)

Haha! I do have a unhealthy obsession with Lush. My 5 personal favourites? Thats so hard! They are probably going to be seasonal as well which sucks for people who want to go get them. 1. Golden Wonder (only available at Christmas though)

2. Love Locket Bath Bomb (only available at Valentines day)

3. Immaculate Eggception bath bombs (that come out at Easter)

4. The Comforter, I always have at least one of these in my stash and they last ages and smell amazing!

5. The Butter Ball. I’m renowned for being a lazy moisturiser on my legs etc. and this is just a absolute god send!!

Cider-with-Rosie-Life-is-worth-the-fight-4

7. Will you tell us a little about your lovely family? What’re the very best things about being an Aunt to little Jaydon? :)

Being a Aunty is probably what I was born to be. Due to my condition I cannot have children which I am perfectly okay with but I’m very lucky to have my two little nephews Jaydon and Spencer. I suppose the best thing about being an aunt is that I get to be nicer than mummy and daddy do, they have to enforce the rules whereas aunty Stacie gets to sneak them the odd sweetie when mummy’s in a particularly grumpy mood. I get to be the one they want to read stories with and they want to show me immediately when they get a new toy, and the best thing about it all is if they decide they want to throw a tantrum I get to hand them back :-D

Cider-with-Rosie-Life-is-worth-the-fight-5

8. And lastly, let’s play a round of ‘desert island discs’! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring with you? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, ingredients to make two meals, and one luxury item!

I’m surprised at how easy I’ve found the CDs question because I’m not the biggest music enthusiast but I would have two favourites. Taylor Swift “1989″ and Bastille “All this Bad Blood” …. oh no but then I’ve come to love Sam Smith as well no, no I will stick with Taylor and Bastille. Two books easy peasy, “Kommandant’s Girl” by Pam Jenoff and Harry Potter can we just pretend that all seven books is one? I’m going to say the ingredients for two of my all time comfort foods and that would be pancakes and I figure you can also make a cake out of those ingredients too ;) and also the ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognese because that is what I always want when I come out of hospital if I’ve had a particularly long stay. I’m not sure how well these ingredients would last on a island though lol. If I was being super tactical and survival mode though I’d probably be sensible and be like I’d take a Chicken or something haha!

** Thanks to Stacie for taking time out to answer my nosy questions! Click through to Life is Worth the Fight for a read of Stacie’s lovely posts, and don’t forget to follow along via Bloglovin‘ too! **

p.s. If you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, click through to the Sponsor page and book up an advert!

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30.01

Cider-with-Rosie-Happy-list

Eight. Oh what’s that? I thought I heard you ask how many layers on average I’ve been piling on every day this week. And that’s not even including the doubled up socks and the hats worn indoors. What can I say? It’s been the week for it, alright. It just had better snow over the next couple of days now, or what’s it all been for!? This weekend I’m putting together a little afternoon tea for my Mum’s birthday, and have quite the task at hand since my Ma eliminated sugar from her diet about a month ago now so I need to make the tea as sugar-free as possible! If anyone knows any really amazing sugar-free cake/scone recipes, please do leave them in the comments! As a pretty hardcore sugar fiend, I’m kind of out of my depth here ;)

Here’s the week in happy things!…

1. Jason. For a thousand and one reasons, from the bar of chocolate he placed into my hands after he arriving home from an evening out with a friend earlier in the week, to the unfailing support and kindness he shows to me and everyone else too. Forgive me a moment of sentimentality, but I really am so very lucky.

2. A cinema trip to see American Sniper! The film was incredible, but I always go to the cinema mostly for the snacks. Peanut M&Ms and Sprite forever.)

3. 1989. I finally own it, and it’s SO worth the hype. I’ve dedicated an embarrassing amount of time this week to learning the words to ‘Style’! ;)

4. Yoga leggings and sweatshirt-days. Never wrong.

5. Editing using the new version of iMovie. It’s one trillion times better than the version I had on my old laptop!

6. Thursday afternoon’s hailstorm, which then turned to snow. The snow didn’t stick which made me sad, but I enjoyed watching it fall anyway.

7. Finally getting into The Good Wife! Partly because it’s awesome, and partly because Chris Noth.

8. Switching off all the notifications on my phone. I know I know, that sounds like one of those pretentious things people say, like ‘I’m deleting my Facebook’, but really and truly not having beeps and dings and chimes coming from your phone 24/7 is so liberating! AND it saves battery power like you would not believe!

9. Honeymoon-bikini shopping online! Tell me though, how can 6 individual bikini separates each priced £15 add up to £90? I mean, logically I know it makes sense, but I just feel like they should be cheaper. That’s all.

10. Buying my wedding shoes! They’re beautiful! And in need of some serious softening-in ;)

Three posts I’ve loved reading this week :: Carrie’s post about young love (it struck a chord!) || this recipe for baked eggs with braised greens from Camille Styles || & Beth’s sweet photos from a day on Lake Windermere.

What’s made you happy this week? :)

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Posted in 10 THINGS, HAPPINESS

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29.01

Cider-with-Rosie-lipstick

Since it’s rare there’s ever really the right opportunity to showcase ‘stuff’ on this blog (lipsticks and music and whatnot), I decided it might be fun to start rounding off each month with a little selection of my favourite odds and ends from the previous few weeks. Beauty bloggers and YouTubers have been doing it for years, you see, and there’s always something so fascinating about finding out what little things have making someone tick, don’t you think?

So without further ado, here are my favourite, most-loved ‘things’ from the month of January….

H O M E ::

Anthroplogie-blanket

Anthropologie grey + bright striped blanket – {sold out}.

If there’s one rule I live by, it’s that a home can never have too many blankets and throws furnishing it. I’ve added so many to our bed over the past year or so that Jason’s begun to question the logic, especially since we never sleep with them actually *on* the bed, even in the depths of winter! I kind of see his point…

But! This throw was a gift to us both from my Mum for Christmas, and is just about the warmest blanket I’ve ever come across. During the Christmas break, I spent many an hour curled up underneath it with a book in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. It was blissful beyond belief, and the quickest path to happiness I can imagine during the long winter days.

M U S I C ::

Fleet-Foxes

‘Fleet Foxes’ + Pure AirPlay speaker system.

‘Mykonos’ by Fleet Foxes came up on Spotify radio the other evening whilst I was pottering around in the kitchen, and immediately transported me back to 2008. I listened to that song, as well as ‘Winter White Hymnal’ from the same album, over and over again whilst journeying to and fro from college during the first few months I could drive. I didn’t even have the whole album- I just had those two songs jumbled in on a mix CD I’d burnt myself! (Do you reckon children of the noughties will ever do this, fellow children of the nineties/eighties/etc.? I wonder if they’ll ever know the frustrations of trying to write the whole tracklist on the CD cover sleeve, and then making a mistake with the order right at the end!)

I’ve been listening to the album (the whole thing this time, thank you Spotify!) lots this month, and it’s been so fun reconnecting with the music of my teenage years. Also, I must talk about that little sound system! That was a gift from Jason, a total surprise gift! I’d mentioned in passing months and months ago how I really wanted a decent sound system for the house, and then totally forgot about I’d said anything until I unwrapped this one Christmas morning! It’s such a clever little thing- it connects with your phone via AirPlay, and can be switched on and controlled remotely from anywhere in the house. Which is great, since it means I don’t have to go running downstairs in just a towel after I’ve decided, halfway through getting ready in the morning, that a little Beyonce is in order to kick start the day!

B E A U T Y ::

Cider-with-Rosie-January-favourites-nude-lipstick

L’oreal Paris Colour Riche Julianne’s Nude – £6.99.

Earlier in the month, I decided to give my makeup wardrobe a little freshen up in the form of lipsticks. I’d got into a bit of a rut, and was wearing the same couple of shades over and over (and over and over and over…!) These two new ones from L’oreal have been such good purchases, I’ve hardly worn anything else on my lips throughout the rest of January. The nude is just beautifully peachy and brightening, and the red is matte enough that it won’t smudge every time a gust of wind blows hair across your face, but not so matte you’re crying for lip balm by midday. I’ve got my eyes on a couple more from the collection now, that might just wind up coming home with me sometime in February…

Cider-with-Rosie-red-lipstick

L’oreal Colour Riche Blake’s Red – £6.99.

 C O O K ::

Ottolenghi-cookbook

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty – £17.99.

‘Plenty’ has been the recipe book I’ve turned to time and again in January, whilst planning each week’s meals. It’s a vegetarian cookbook, and whilst we do eat meat of course, I think something about the carnivorous indulgences of December have made me crave more vegetable, and fewer meat-based meals throughout this month.

The majority of recipes in the book have a Middle Eastern edge to them, which makes such a lovely change from the Mediterranean style of most of my other recipe books. Think fragrant spices, citrus zest, tahini, and smoked flavours. Fellow hummus/Comptoir Libanais/aubergine-in-all-forms obsessives- this is one for you!

W E A R ::

Barbour-wellies-Cider-with-Rosie

Barbour Jarrow wellingtons – £69.95.

After going through three pairs of Hunters in two years between us, Jason and I decided it was time to switch allegiance with our dog-walking footwear. The lovely folks at Barbour sent us over a pair each from their range to try out, and the verdict has been a unanimously good one from us both. They’re so much thicker and sturdier than the Hunters, and the soles more supportive too. We’ve only been wearing them a few weeks (not that you’d know to look at them- if you can believe it, mine are actually clean in comparison with Jason’s!) so can’t comment on the longevity, but I’m pretty certain they’re built to last as well as looking pretty fancy too. Big thanks to our friends at Barbour for saving us from the misery that is damp socks!

And that’s the lot for January! Tell me, what’s made you tick this past month?

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28.01

Dark-chocolate-dipped-shortbread-recipe-Cider-with-Rosie

Sometimes, in an internet-land where combo recipes are the done thing (you know, cakes topped with macarons, brownies stuffed with chocolate bars and cookie dough, cookies filled with Nutella and topped with glaze…the list goes on), there’s something lovely about returning to a basic recipe. One with no more than five ingredients (three, really, if you exclude the chocolate and lemon zest for good old fashioned plain shortbread). About digging out an old recipe book of your Grandma’s (a dog-eared copy of Delia’s Classic collection), flipping to one of the pages she’d marked out in the back of the book as being worth making, and diving straight in armed with a wooden spoon and a block of room-temperature butter.

Shortbread’s been my sweet treat of choice, lately. There’s something about those little buttery rounds I can’t get enough of! The obsession began over Christmas, when my Mum gave us a pack of biscuits that we demolished during the few days between Christmas and New Year when we never seem to have any food in the house. We’ve somehow had at least one tin on the go ever since then, and so it seemed only right I had a go at baking my own. They really are the simplest biscuits in the world to put together- so much so that I whipped up two batches back to back in no time at all. The flavour combination I’ve made here (lemon + dark chocolate) is a lovely one, but be as creative as you fancy. I saved half of the dough and sprinkled them generously with caster sugar as soon as they came out of the oven instead of dipping them in chocolate, and since they’re such a plain base, you can pretty much add in anything you fancy.

But to be honest, tasty though the dark chocolate and lemon zest flavour combination is, my favourites are the plain ones.

Sometimes, simplicity is where it’s at.

Cider-with-Rosie-recipe-stylingCider-with-Rosie-food-photographySieving-flour-food-photographyCider-with-Rosie-shortbread-doughLemon-shortbread-recipeCider-with-Rosie-food-styling 

I find these actually taste better after they’ve been cooled a good couple of hours, as opposed to being eaten straight from the oven. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but the texture’s just better after an hour or two’s rest.

{Makes approx .15 biscuits.}
Ingredients ::
220g soft, unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
350g plain flour

1 lemon, finely zested
100g 70% dark chocolate

- Beat the butter by with a wooden spoon until creamy, then add in the caster sugar and beat again to combine. 

- Sift in the flour, grate in lemon zest to taste, and stir as much as possible using the spoon and then finish off bringing the mixture together using your hands. Don’t overwork the dough- stop kneading just as soon as it comes together.

- Dust a surface with caster sugar and roll out the dough to between 1/2cm-1cm thick, and cut out rounds using a 3inch fluted cutter. Transfer the biscuits to a lightly greased baking tray, and place into the top of an oven preheated to 150 degrees celsius.

- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the biscuits are just set and are a light golden colour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. {Sprinkle over a dusting of caster sugar whilst the biscuits are still warm, if you don’t fancy adding the chocolate}.

- Dip the cooled biscuits in melted dark chocolate, and grate over a small amount of lemon zest before the chocolate is set. They’ll keep a good couple of days in an airtight tin, if they last that long.

Chocolate-dipped-shortbreadClassic-shortbread-recipeLemon-and-dark-chocolate-shortbreadDark-chocolate-dipped-shortbread-recipe-Cider-with-Rosie-blog

Tag me up if you have a go at making them! I’m @ciderwithrosieb on Twitter and ‘ciderwithrosieblog’ on Instagram :)

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Posted in BAKING, CHOCOLATE., COOKIES, FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, RECIPE, SWEET

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