Saturday, 25 July 2015

Back On The Blog - Link Up Attempt

I haven't had the will to blog for a very long time, then last week my laptop finally met an untimely demise truth be told it was VERY timely because it was a huge part of why I gave up blogging and commenting on blogs. I still read all my favourite blogs on my phone, but commenting became a problem, especially with Disqus, because I don't know my password. Last night when I read this week's Ultimate Rabbit Hole on The Annoyed Thyroid's Blog, I thought what better way to get back into blogging than by joining linky's again. So why don't you  pull up a chair next to the fire, pour a sherry and join me on my journey to find lovely links to share or if it is too early for a sherry a lovely cup of Chamomile tea like I am having.

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but we are having crazy weather. It has been raining and storming and last night the thunder was rumbling so loudly that I thought our windows would break. Rain is uncommon in Johannesburg in Winter, but when we woke up yesterday morning after a night of rain, everything looked fresh and clean with the dry dust momentarily a thing of the past. It has however left a biting chill in the air. Well, now that we are all warm and cosy let's get to those links I found to share.

Some time back I came across a blog on my Twitter Timeline about a lady who won the battle against Colon Cancer. To me, that would be the worst cancer to get. I know saying that is almost on par with people saying you are lucky you have another child when your child dies. The answer to that insensitive statement would be, so which of your two; three five ten children would you choose to die and the same can be said to that insensitive statement - which part of your body would you like to be ravaged by cancer. Anyway, I spent the morning reading through this lady's blog and she also wrote about the stigma of colon cancer. I didn't bookmark or save her blog and couldn't remember the blog name (although I thought I would) and didn't read her blog again. Months later again on my Twitter Timeline her blog came up. I did not follow her on Twitter, her link was retweeted by one of the accounts I follow. It was this post about The Problem With Not Losing Your Hair When Going Through Chemotherapy and it made me think of how many times we hear of someone who has cancer, who is going through chemotherapy and we think to ourselves that they don't even look sick.  This quote from Nicola Bourne, the lady who won the battle against Colon Cancer “I am far sicker than my long flowing locks allow you to believe" is a reminder not to judge until you have walked in someone's shoes. Embarrassingly as it is to say, I did not bookmark her blog again (I have now) and again I came across her site on another blog about the book Nicola has written "The Fabulous Women's Guide Through Cancer". Nicola Bourne is so inspiring and I have wanted to do a weekly link up for a long time, but you know procrastination is my middle name and a slow computer stopped me from doing it. Her book is available on Amazon, I haven't read her book yet, I can't say if it is because I don't want to tempt the Universe and put it out there that I don't have colon cancer or if I have been fortunate enough not to have been directly affected by someone with cancer or if it is simply because buying something from Amazon and getting it to South Africa would be a mean feat or if it is just because I don't read books anymore, either way I haven't read it, but I have read a couple of reviews on blogs and they are all positive and all recommend that if you or someone close to you is fighting cancer this book will be more than beneficial to you.

Staying on the topic of health is this post by A Cornish Mum on how she found out her son had Type 1 Diabetes. You can read the post over here. A missed diagnoses of Diabetes in children can be fateful. I have changed my eating habits somewhat this year and lost weight, sweets and Lays chips are no longer my substitute cigarettes. My diet is not perfect and I fall off the waggon more often than not, but Mark still drinks far too many fizzy drinks and he complains that his coffee is not sweet enough with four spoons of sugar. He is not a big coffee drinker, but because it is cold and I make coffee at work he drinks about four cups a day and not normal coffee, we now buy  Nestle Cappuccino sachets, which are sweet as it is. I now put sweeteners in his coffee too. I know there is this whole debate that sweeteners are bad for you, but it is better than 16 to 20 spoons of sugar a day over and above the fizzy drinks - I am working on that (for Mark not me).

Sheila's children came up to Joburg for the July holidays. Sheila is our cleaning lady and her children live in the Eastern Cape and she sees them once a year, sometimes twice a year. What has changed in Sout Africa - the disadvantaged are still disadvantaged!! I thought I would bake them some cupcakes and biscuits although Chad says I find any reason to bake. Sometime back also on my Twitter Timeline I found a link to a recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes. I have always wanted to make Red Velvet Cupcakes and this recipe looked so easy and because we are on a healthy eating kick [said tongue {deeply embedded} in cheek] baking for Sheila's children was the perfect excuse to try out this recipe. I baked the cupcakes and Mark who is not a lover of cake and does not often eat the cakes I bake devoured them. His words to me were that they were so good I could sell them. Chad my biggest critic also loved them. I made the cream cheese frosting as well, I am not a lover of cream cheese or cream cheese frosting, but this was so good. Mark and Chad who both dislike frosting of any kind loved the icing as much as the cupcakes. They were so good!! By Monday, they were all finished and I had to bake some more during the week for Sheila's children. You can find the recipe over here. It is also egg free so perfect for little people who are allergic to eggs. I used the frosting recipe on her blog and not the one in the link. My frosting skills leave much to be desired but you can see a picture of the cupcakes I posted on Instagram over here. If there is one thing about blogging that I can honestly say I love and that is the confidence it has given me to try out new recipes.

My spelling has become horrendous, partly thanks to spellcheck we no longer have to think; partly due to my fried brain, I type something totally irrelevant in place of the word I should be typing -probably something I am thinking about, partly due to normal typos and partly due to my old laptop having no letters on the keyboard and my tired and fried brain not being able to touch-type, because I am self-taught and not a proper typist. Whatever the reason I spend more time checking my work; my blog; my emails than typing them and I still miss so many errors until I discovered Grammarly. Grammarly is more than a spellcheck. It is free, but like with everything else there is a paid version that you can upgrade to, which has so much more, but with the dollar/rand exchange rate in South Africa, for now, I am sticking to the free version. It eliminates so many stupid typos and errors because it picks up words spelt correctly but in the wrong context. It also picks up punctuation errors and all those language rules forgotten from school days. Each week you get a report on how you did on Grammarly.

Well, that's me for today, let's hope typos and grammatical errors did not slip through even with Grammarly, you never know with a fried brain. Have you tried Grammarly, have you read Nicola Bourne's book. Do you have a favourite Red Velvet Cup Cake Recipe? Let me know!! I am linking up with The Ultimate Rabbit Hole, I hope you enjoyed the links.

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