"" From Now Till 'I Do'...: November 2009

Winter Wonderland Wedding

3 Things the people are saying

So a winter wedding may be on the cards and whilst it will be much colder than a wedding in September, there will definitely be some positive aspects.

Take a look at some of these beautifully themed Winter Wonderland weddings. Very classy.

Winter Wonderland

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In my kitchen: Flapjack

0 Things the people are saying


After my lovely roast chicken dinner last weekend,  I was craving something sweet. As I had run out of eggs, I wasn’t able to bake a cake. So I had a look in the cupboard to see what I could make with the ingredients I did have: sugar, syrup, butter and oats.

Enter a childhood favourite…flapjack. {To my American readers, this is very similar to a granola bar but a much softer and moist, without any of the fruit and nut}.

Now you wouldn’t believe how difficult it was trying to find a decent recipe for flapjack online. After scouring various sites I settled on the recipe below.


Chopped rolled (cheap porridge) oats 125g

Rolled (premium porridge) oats 125g

Margarine or butter 150g

Golden syrup 75g or 4 tablespoons

Sugar 75g (ideally brown sugar)


  1. Put the 150g of margarine, 75g of sugar & 75g of golden syrup in saucepan and heat until it is all liquid.
  2. Meanwhile line the baking tin with greaseproof paper.
  3. Mix all the oats into the liquid.
  4. Put the mixture into the baking tin & press flat.
  5. Bake at 175 °C (Gas Mark 4) for 25 to 30 minutes. Warning: the timing is tolerant but accuracy in temperature is critical.
  6. Slice into squares before it sets but leave in place in tin.
  7. Leave to cool and set.

Now these flapjacks came out soft and I actually prefer them more crunchy, so my brother (who is a chef extraordinaire) has advised that next time, I cook them for longer time at a higher heat.


You can make many variations to the traditional recipe – add chocolate chips, coat with chocolate on top, you name it, you can do it. As it is such a simple recipe, you can’t really go wrong.

With a cold glass of milk – yummy! Takes me right back to my youth! :)

I’ve gotta lot to be thankful for!

0 Things the people are saying

thank you ‘In all things give thanks’. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Lord I thank you…

  • that I am alive and healthy today.
  • for my family, for keeping them safe, for providing for them and for being with them wherever they are in the world.
  • for blessing me with a wonderful, amazing man, who loves me and who I will soon call my husband. Te Quiero, honey.
  • that in the midst of economic meltdown and redundancies all around, I am still gainfully employed.
  • for blessing me a beautiful home.
  • for the wonderful people you brought into my life, who I can call my friends.
  • for directing us to great new church.
  • for all the people who have been supporting and standing with us in prayer over the past few months.
  • for your miracles and blessing over the past year.

Thank you Lord because you are awesome, mighty and worthy of all praise. I love you.

Happy Thanksgiving!


In my kitchen: Spicy Roast Chicken

2 Things the people are saying

So yesterday I cooked half a roast chicken on my own. Now it might not sound like much, but I'm usually afraid of any piece of chicken bigger than a thigh, as I don’t really know how to handle it, yet alone attempt to cook it.

But I thought this weekend, I would give it a go. Saturdays are my experimental days and I figured that sometime in the near future Christmas dinner will fall to me and it would be good to get in some practice! I did a quick search on Google to get some ideas on techniques and basic steps and off I went.

Easy Sunder Dinner Roast Chicken

I washed, I spiced and I roasted and Voila! An hour and a half later, Mr E and I were tucking into spicy roast chicken, with roast potatoes and vegetables – yummy!

I forgot to take a picture, which I’m slighted gutted about, as it did look rather nice {the picture above is from Google}, so instead I thought I’d share some helpful tips I learnt along the way.

Cooking tips:

  • Temperature should be around 190 degrees, gas mark 5 to allow it to cook evenly. Last thing you want is burnt skin and raw insides!
  • If you like tasty chicken, create your own marinade and let it sit in it for a while. If you have time, overnight in the fridge is good but I did it for 20 mins and it was fine. My marinade is a mixture of ketchup {yes!}, jerk seasoning, chicken seasoning, paprika, chilli powder, Knorr cubes, Garam masala and thyme. I then sprinkle Cajun seasoning just before I pop it in the oven. If you like your chicken mild, simple salt and pepper should suffice.
  • During cooking you should ‘baste’ the chicken at least 3 times., every 20/25 mins or so. Now I didn’t have a clue what this meant, but after a quick Google search I discovered all it means is to take the chicken out of the oven and pour the chicken juice created through the roasting, over it and put back in the oven. Not sure what this is supposed to do, but I think it might help the chicken stay nice and moist.
  • In the last 10 mins turn the heat up really high so that outside gets extra crispy.
  • If you want nice crispy potatoes, boil the potatoes for 10-15 mins, then place in roasting dish, cover with some of the chicken juice and let it roast for around 30-40 mins

Overall the meal was delicious and I will definitely be attempting it again with a full chicken!

Proverbs 31: A Woman that fears the Lord

3 Things the people are saying

Before I start this post, one quick thing to mention. Even though the verses talk in the context of being a wife and mother, a lot of it is still relevant to those of us who are not yet married.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

So, as a Proverbs 31 woman, what does it mean to fear the Lord?

Psalm 111:10 tells us, fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. (NLT)

We also know that the, 'fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment’. Proverbs 9:10

Is it talking about 'fear' as in being afraid in the negative sense. I don't think so. I believe it's more of a positive fear of reverence and respect for the Lord's greatness. The Proverbs 31 woman has an awe-filled, humble regard for her Creator and Lord. She knows God and honours Him above all else and because of this a woman who fears God…

- Is not anxious of the future

- Applies practical wisdom in all aspects of life

- She is strong, both physically and morally

- Will not live for herself alone but for others {especially her husband if she is married}

- She lives for the needy

or in other words...

Every other activity and quality of this woman is based on this all-essential trait:

i. Because she fears the Lord … she does her husband good.

ii. Because she fears the Lord … she works with willing hands.

iii. Because she fears the Lord … she buys a field and plants a vineyard. Her entrepreneurial ventures have integrity and purpose in serving her household.

iv. Because she fears the Lord … she cares for the poor and shares with those in need.

v. Because she fears the Lord … she can laugh at the days to come. She doesn't fear the unknown future.

vi. Because she fears the Lord ... she opens her mouth with wisdom. Her life and words instruct others.vii. Because she fears the Lord … she does not eat the bread of idleness. Her knowledge of God motivates her to work diligently.

Everything in her life is built on this and we should seek to build our lives around God and his priorities.

So how can we take the above and make it practical?


Further reading

A woman that fears the Lord, Now that is beautiful

A woman who fears the Lord Is to be praised  - John Piper

Proverbs 31:10-31 (Contemporary English Version)

0 Things the people are saying
In Praise of a Good Wife
10A truly good wife
   is the most precious treasure
   a man can find!
11Her husband depends on her,
   and she never
   lets him down.
12She is good to him
   every day of her life,
13and with her own hands
   she gladly makes clothes.
14She is like a sailing ship
   that brings food
   from across the sea.
15She gets up before daylight
   to prepare food
   for her family
   and for her servants.
16She knows how to buy land
   and how to plant a vineyard,
17and she always works hard.
18She knows when to buy or sell,
   and she stays busy
   until late at night.
19She spins her own cloth,
20and she helps the poor
   and the needy.
21Her family has warm clothing,
   and so she doesn't worry
   when it snows.
22She does her own sewing,
   and everything she wears
   is beautiful.
23Her husband is a well-known
   and respected leader
   in the city.
24She makes clothes to sell
   to the shop owners.
25She is strong and graceful, as well as cheerful
   about the future.
26Her words are sensible,
   and her advice
   is thoughtful.
27She takes good care
   of her family
   and is never lazy.
28Her children praise her,
   and with great pride
   her husband says,
29"There are many good women,
   but you are the best!"
30Charm can be deceiving,
   and beauty fades away,
   but a woman
   who honours the LORD
   deserves to be praised.
31Show her respect--
   praise her in public
   for what she has done.

This Proverbs 31 women, is she for real?

1 Things the people are saying

When you read about the Proverbs 31 woman, how do you feel? I know in the past I have read it and been like ‘whoa, is she for real?’. Other times I read it and walk away feeling really inspired, ‘how can I be more like her’.

Earlier in the week, I listened to a teaching by Josh Harris, as part of his Proverbs series, titled ‘The Women of Valour’ and I got to view Proverbs 31 in a completely new light. He focused on four characteristics of the valiant women, in order of importance:

  • She fears God
  • She gives her life away
  • She is capable
  • She is influential

Proverbs 31 is a ‘joyful expression of womanly excellence, resourcefulness and skill’ and Josh says we should approach it with humility and faith. Humility in the fact that we recognise that it’s not all about me and God is already aware of my weaknesses and deficiencies already and by faith, knowing that God has good for me in his Word and there is a joy and blessing that come as you study his Word.

When we read any passage in the Bible, there are two questions we should ask ourselves:

1. What effect does God want this passage to have on me?

2. What does he want to accomplish through it?

Over the next week, I hope to talk through what I got out of this teaching and practical ways to apply it daily life.


Options for you…

    1. A godly woman knows and fears the Lord. Is there anything you are living for--personal success, a husband, your children, etc.--more than you are living for God and His Kingdom?
    2. Josh taught us that the Proverbs 31 woman is capable. How can this chapter stir godly ambitions for the Lord?
    3. As Josh taught, the Proverbs 31 woman gives her life away. Is there need around you that the Lord is calling you to help meet?
    4. Concerning godly womanhood, are you following what the world values or are you valuing what God says is praiseworthy?
    5. In what one Proverbs 31 quality would you like to grow?
    6. Men, how can you encourage, cherish and honour the values of womanhood described in Proverbs 31?

What influences your magazine choices?

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I love reading and I love reading magazines. It’s funny how depending on what phase of life I’m going through, it determines what magazines I currently read. I know some magazines are read regardless or are linked to a hobby, but I do find that the majority of the time, the above does ring true.

I remember a few years ago when I was at university, I was really into my female glossies, you know like your Glamour, Marie Claire, Company and InStyle, I loved reading about fashion and beauty, so every month without fail, I would have a copy of each to delve into at the weekend. Then I bought my house and moved to House Beautiful, You and Your Home, Real Homes where I was all inspired by paint colours and fabric swatches!

Fast forward to January and it was You and Your Wedding, Cosmopolitan Bride and Wedding Ideas. {Word to note on bridal magazines, they are pretty much the same month in month out. So after about two months you can probably stop buying them!}

Now I’m not currently buying any magazine regularly, with the exception of Essence {when I find it}, but it is interesting the things that I have little desire to read about now.  I love it when I go abroad though, as there are usually lots of magazine choices that I have never seen before and I always come back with great new additions to the collection. Sometimes I actually prefer the foreign equivalents {Glamour is much better over the pond}!

Another thing about magazines is that I hate throwing them away, so I made sure when I moved house in August, that I finally took the opportunity to get rid and recycle them all. My little sister had a great job of carting all my magazines to the recycling bin! Now, rather than keep the whole magazine I’m starting to take out my favourite articles and keep them instead. This is such a space saver and I’m effectively creating my own magazine, full of pages relevant to me.

My favourite e-zine as you all know is Boundless which I have been reading since I was at University and still find relevant today. As it is online, it is very eco-friendly and I print articles I like, as and when. A lot of magazines are going online now, is this the future?

My current passion at the moment is cooking and I have managed to avoid buying any magazines as I currently get all my recipes online or via the Food Channels. Are there any good food/cooking magazines I should try?

What are some of your favourite magazines and do they reflect your current phase of life?

Who’s in charge of your Schedule?

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To-do lists rule my life at the moment and sometimes I wonder how I will ever achieve everything I need to do in a day. I know as a wife and mother this won’t necessarily become easier as the responsibilities become greater. I need to find a way to prioritise and manage my time better, ultimately ensuring that I am doing what God wants me to be doing.

I found this great article online about how God is teaching one woman about schedules. Have a read and let me know what you think? There are some great principles which I will definitely be applying to my life.

to_do_list-300x200 By Blair Massey

“How can I be better organised”? “How can I use my time more wisely?” “What new technique can I use to bring some balance into my life?” These are some of the questions I ask myself as I pour over my “To Do” list. In a typical day I can have a list of at least ten tasks that need to accomplished; each just as important as the next.

It is easy to can get overwhelmed when there is so much to do. Do you ever think to yourself: “I am tired of being the chauffer, cook and laundry maid–I want to have some fun!” If this scenario sounds familiar then let me share with you what God has been teaching me about schedules.

1. What’s at the Top of Your “To Do” List?

Luke 10:38-42  As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Have you ever had a day where you felt that everything depended on you? Martha was having that kind of day. She had invited Jesus and his twelve disciples over for dinner. That meant she had a lot of preparations to make. Because of all the work involved with entertaining this large group of people, Martha was very upset that her sister Mary wasn’t helping her. In Martha’s mind taking care of her guests was more important than listening to Jesus teach–she could listen to Jesus later. She felt perfectly content with putting the Lord at the bottom of her list of priorities. The result of that decision was that she led a “worried and upset” life.

Martha was focused on the details of the dinner and not on the One for whom she was making dinner. Martha was like many of us. We have our schedules set up for the day, week, month, and year. We work so hard at being organized and productive, but where is God on our list of priorities? Shouldn’t our relationship with Him be at the top of our list? When was the last time you got up early in the morning just to spend some quality time with God? Are you distracted by all the things you need to do?

Mary had her priorities straight. She understood that a relationship with the Lord was the most important thing. That is why she was sitting at the Lord’s feet soaking up his every word. It reminds me of the scripture that says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21). Where is your heart?

2. Pray About Your Schedule

Psalm 143:8 “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”

As I have been growing in the area of relying on God, he has shown me that I need to go to Him each day for help with my schedule. As I pray, I humbly acknowledge that it is His day and not mine. I ask Him to rearrange or clear my schedule so that I can do what He wants me to do. I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed like this and God has moved mountains from my schedule. I have had appointments be rescheduled and deadlines extended. I have found ways to do a job faster, found that I could put a job off to another day and had a friend call offering to watch my son for an afternoon. All these things have happened AFTER I have prayed. I am learning that I need to do this every day and not just when things get crazy. It is His schedule, not mine. No matter how efficient I make my schedule, I have to remember that He is in control and I am not.

3. Pray Throughout the Day

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Our day rarely goes the way we thought it would. Emergencies come up, appointments get cancelled, people let us down and plans change. It can be very challenging to meet the needs of your family when things get tossed up in the air. You think you have everything covered and then it all falls apart. That is why I love the scripture referenced above. It shows me how to handle every change in my schedule–pray continually!

When a challenge comes my way, I stop and ask God for direction. I ask Him how He wants me to handle things. He always provides an answer.

4. Don’t Rely on Yourself

Jeremiah 17:5-8  This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

When things are going well with my schedule and I am able to accomplish all my chores, errands and appointments, I tend to drift away from depending on God. Just like the Israelites, I become self-reliant and prideful. “I have it all covered. No need to worry. I am in control.”

It is easy for me to drift away from depending on God when I am not spending time with Him each day. God in His infinite wisdom always brings me back to Him using a little bit of chaos to show me my need. I’ll be cruising along with “my” agenda leading the way and something will happen that throws me off track. God makes it very clear that I am being self-reliant and not God-reliant. When I come to my senses I get down on my knees and pray for Him to lead the way.

When I take my schedule to God in prayer every day, I am like the tree planted by the stream. My load is lightened because God is taking care of all the details. I am free from worry. When I rely on myself I become frustrated and impatient. Then I am that bush in the wasteland. I won’t see any prosperity coming my way even if it is delivered to my doorstep in a gift wrapped package. All I see is the insurmountable obstacles in my way. I don’t see God because I am not praying. I am not praying because I am too busy trying to fix things myself. Does this sound familiar to you?

5. Don’t Worry About What People Think

Hebrews 13:6 “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

It is easy to get caught up in what other people think about how we use our time. “Am I doing the right thing? What will my friends think? Will they approve?” You only need to worry about what God thinks. You only need His approval. Do what is right and leave the details up to God.

Now I don’t want you to think that you don’t need to be organized or have a schedule. The point I am trying to make is that we need God’s direction. Schedules, agendas and “To Do” lists are just tools to help us be good stewards with our time. Let God decide what tasks are most important.

© 2002 – 2009 Blair Massey

Christian Lifestyle expert Blair Massey is devoted to helping Christian women around the world organize and manage their home, family and life. If you’re tired of struggling to keep up at home, Blair will show you how to unlock your God-given organizing ability so that you can start living the amazing life that God created you to enjoy! To learn how, sign up for her FREE newsletter now at http://christian-homemaking.com/affiliate-faqs

Delia eat your heart out!

1 Things the people are saying

I have tasked myself with learning a new dish every month on my journey to becoming more domestic (read: wife like). There is no better accomplishment than making a really tasty meal from scratch and I’m really enjoying it.

September I learnt how to make Bombay potatoes, October was Fried Rice and November is Beans with plantain. Between recipes online and my mum on the end of the phone, I haven’t faired too badly!

In addition for this month, I also decided to make a cake as well as some cupcakes!

Here are the results! P.S. They all passed the taste test, I’m pleased to say!

Beans (made from Black eyed beans)  - served with rice and stew and plantain

The dark bit to the top right is the bottom of the pot (slightly burnt!). It was enjoyed so much that that was all that was left when I came to take the picture.


Sponge Cake



Look how lovely and moist it turned out! Really impressed. One thing I noticed was how sweet it was, so I will be reducing the amount of sugar used next time.




These babies looked better pre-iced! - my icing skills are a lot to be desired! I made it up okay, but applying the icing to the cakes was a different matter. Definitely need some more practice.

Will be learning in coming months:

  • Yam Porridge
  • Carrot Cake
  • Moi moi
  • Egusi Soup (have made it once, but will be doing it again)
  • Ogbono soup
  • Pepper soup
  • Lasagne
  • Brownies
  • Chicken Biriyani
  • Curry from scratch (not a Patak’s jar!)
  • Quiche
  • Apple crumble
  • Chocolate cake
  • Flapjack
  • Cheesecake {yummy!}
  • Dhal

Some of the above are Nigerian staples, which once mastered can make a meal for a few days.

I’m also keen to learn any good dinner dishes from other cultures so, if you have a good recipe you would like me to try, let me know!

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