Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thursday Pearls

"Our wants and our real needs are not always the same.  We want pleasure, plenty, and prosperity - but perhaps we need pain, self-denial, the giving up of things that we greatly prize.  We shrink from suffering, from sacrifice, from struggle - perhaps these are the very experiences which will do the most for us, which will bring out in us the best possibilities of our natures, which will fit us for the largest service to God and man."

~ JR Miller

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

~ Romans 5:3-5

May you have a blessed Thursday, dearest friends!

 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Overberg Baked Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust...


This delicious baked cheesecake is one of our favourite desserts, and we usually just make it for very special occasions...

One cheesecake goes very far as it is quite rich and decadent...thus, one only needs a small piece...hmmm...❤

I like to make a strawberry coulis to pour over the makes the cake that little bit extra special and pretty...

This recipe is very simple and quick to prepare...just be careful that you don't bake it for too long as the cake will crumble when you slice it...  I like to cut my cheesecake into small blocks and place them in cupcake wrappers...

Overberg Baked Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

1 packet chocolate biscuits, crushed
100g melted butter
750 cream cheese
2 tins condensed milk
125ml lemon juice
60ml custard powder
30ml vanilla essence
250ml fresh cream

Mix crumbled biscuits and butter together and press firmly into a loose-based cake tin.  Mix remaining ingredients except cream together.  Whip cream and fold into mixture.  Pour into prepared cake tin.  Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.  Remove and cool.

We served our cheesecake at Nancy's sixteenth birthday high tea...  
I love sipping  tea and enjoying a little slice of this as a treat whilst chatting with special friends...the perfect combination, don't you think...?

I have a special surprise coming for you this Friday {hopefully}, dear friends, so do stop by don't want to miss it!

Blessings to you!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Few Pictures from our Recent Family Day Trip...

 October is quite a busy month for us in terms of family birthdays!  With Sofia on the 12th, Nancy on the 14th and my dad on the 25th, there has been a lot of baking and celebrating around here of late!

One of our favourite pastimes as a family is spending the day at Ebb and Flow restcamp (our local National Parks Board campsite), and for a week leading up to Dad's birthday, we were preparing, planning and getting excited about playing cricket on the beautiful green grass, swimming in the river and having a delightful picnic on the water's edge...

  ^These four make life busy, interesting and fun...

But sadly it was not to be as the weather turned miserable on Saturday evening and we were forced to change our plans.  Now, bear in mind that we had already packed and organised everything for the next day's special trip.  We spent Saturday baking and cooking and thus, we were even more frustrated that the day wasn't as bright and sunshiny as we thought it would be...

^Oh, how cute are these four...?

But our heavely Father has other plans and although it is sometimes somewhat difficult to understand His ways, they are always higher than our own and the best we can do is trust that He knows best.
When we woke up to an overcast, chilly day, we were naturally disappointed, I think especially for the little girls sake as they had been talking about swimming at Ebb and Flow for weeks beforehand!

^Beth is a great big 'buddy' to Sofia...

We then thought a cooler day would be perfect for doing a day trip to Oudtshoorn and taking the little ones to a place where they could play, feed different animals and allow us to spend the day as a family. 
We took a simpler picnic along and enjoyed the day driving, laughing at the little girls (oh, are they so funny!) and enjoying the scenery...

^Sofia and Beth petting the donkeys...

We then arrived at a wonderful place where children can run, play and even do some fun activities including camel rides, called Wilgewandel...I remember going there years ago with friends of ours and I distinctly recall riding those camels!  
Have you ever watched them get up...?  Or been on one when they've gotten up...?  Quite a strange experience!

^Gabrielle...she is such a precious sister!

We decided to rather not do the camel rides (this time) and the girls went on a short donkey cart ride instead and also fed the animals...  There were alpacas and emus as well as goats, sheep, rabbits, geese and donkeys...the little ones loved it!

  ^Feeding the cheeky goat with Sofia (4) and Rebekah (6)...


I think the most fun they had was on the pedal cars...Nancy and Sindi joined them on this and I captured a few pictures of their happy faces!

^Beth riding her pedal car...Sofia was her passenger...

 ^Deep concentration...Rebekah driving her pedal car

^Gabrielle happily ''driving'' her pedal car...

The drive home was rather long and hot, but thankfully there was delicious carrot cake and tea awaiting us at home...{{smiles}}

All in all, I think the day turned out beautifully and Dad enjoyed spending the day celebrating with his family!

I think we are all more than happy to have a break from birthdays for the next while...mine is next and that is only in January...  Until then, we shall enjoy some lovely Christmas planning... 
I love the festive season, and all the delights that go along with it, including baking our traditional Christmas cake!

Dear friends, I so appreciate having you visit and always enjoy reading what you haev to say...thank you for the extra time you take to do so!

Blessings on your Tuesday!

And don't forget...  Receive 15% off on all heartmade purchases by simply entering the coupon code:  PRECHRISTMAS15 at checkout!  Valid till 15 November.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Belle ~ Review

             I am very excited to share this with you today, dearest readers…

I have wanted to write a review on this incredibly beautiful film for such a long time…

I love period dramas, especially those relating to British history…

However, as some of you may know, finding a clean film with good morals and values can be very difficult.

But oh!  Belle is a gorgeous story and a movie I would highly recommend.

I was utterly entranced by this stunning movie; it captured my interest from the very beginning, and I was drawn into the story through the heavenly music, composed by Rachel Portman, the extraordinary costumes and superb acting...

I would love to share my thoughts on this beautiful film with you…  I am always thrilled to discover good films like this one, and feel certain you will love it too.

I will just add that we didn’t show this movie to the younger girls, as the story is a little too far above them and explores the issue of slavery, which could be quite disturbing to the young viewer...  I would personally recommend it for ages 12 and up…

And as with many period dramas, there is unfortunately a lot of cleavage shown. 


This is a film is based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay, who was the illegitimate daughter of an enslaved African woman and Captain Sir John Lindsay, a British Naval officer.

After her mother died, she was taken by her father and placed in the care of her uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Mansfield, at Kenwood House, an estate in Hampstead.  Lord Mansfield was said to have been the most powerful man in England, besides the king.

Dido was raised as their daughter and brought up as a true gentlewoman.

After her father’s death, she inherited a substantial fortune, which meant she wouldn’t have to marry beneath her station in order to secure a living, as Lord and Lady Mansfield believed no gentleman would wish to marry a woman of colour…

It was her cousin, Elizabeth Murray, who had to find a suitable husband of great fortune as she was left penniless once her father remarried…

Sarah Gaden is Elizabeth Murray, Dido’s cousin, who too is under the guardianship of Lord and Lady Mansfield.

A young man named John Davinier, son of the local vicar, was an aspiring lawyer and an apprentice to the earl during the case of the Zong ship, which involved the insurance payment for slaves thrown overboard of the ship carrying them.

The ship’s company claimed to have been low on water, and thus the slaves were disposed of as if they were nothing but worthless cargo…

Davinier took a keen interest in this case, and after speaking to Dido about it and informing her of all that he knew, he was dispelled from the house and told never to speak with Dido again…

Tom Wilkinson plays the role of Dido’s uncle, Lord William Mansfield to absolute perfection.

He was the Lord Chief Justice of England at that time, and was presented with the case of the Zong ship from the lower court…  He was one of the most powerful men in England, and his decision could bring an end to the horrific slave trade…

He wanted to shelter Dido from the case he was judging to protect her and

wanted her to be happy and find her place within society without compromising on an undesirable marriage…

As the story unfolds, one comes to appreciate this great man for who he truly is

“What is right – can never be impossible…”  Captain Sir John Lindsay to William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield

Emily Watson is delightful in her role as Lady Elizabeth Mansfield, Dido’s aunt…

I love her quiet and gentle nature and how dearly she loves her nieces, respects her husband

and fills a needful place within their hearts and lives…

I really enjoyed Emily Watson in her role in War Horse and Miss Potter…and she was simply superb in Belle


  Sam Reid plays John Davinier.  To say that I loved his character would be an understatement!

John Davinier was the son of the local clergyman, and an aspiring lawyer, under the tutelage of Lord Mansfield during the case of the Zong massacre…  He is honest and true and not afraid to stand up for what he believes to be right...

"Yes!  I love her with every breath I breathe!"  John to Lord Mansfield

Gugu Mbatha-Raw is the beautiful Dido Belle, the lady whom this story is all about…

She is not just a fictional character, but a woman who lived and influenced society…

Dido is a passionate young woman, and is not afraid to stand up for what she believes. 

I will let you find out more about lovely Dido…I know you will love her as dearly as I do!

Penelope Wilton as Aunt Mary…

You may recognise her from Wives and Daughters or Pride and Prejudice (2005).

She too loved Dido and sympathised with her, especially when Dido admitted she loved a man of neither fortune nor rank.

One of the many reasons I love this film so much, is the beautiful story it portrays.

Doing the right thing is never easy, but it is good, and in this case, powerful too…

It is not romantic in a sense that it is all the film is about – there is more to it than just a man and a woman of different stations learning what love is truly worth.

It is about coming out of a society that controlled how a person lived, whom they married, and what they did and standing up for what is correct.

 About the Painting…  {Source}

The 1779 painting, once thought to be by Johann Zoffany, is now attributed to an unknown artist. The painting hung in Kenwood House until 1922 and now hangs at Scone Palace in Perthshire, Scotland. It was one of the first European portraits to portray a black subject on an equal eye-line with a white aristocrat, though distinctions are implied by the poses, as Elizabeth's "formality and bookishness are contrasted with the wild and exotically turbanned 'natural' figure of Belle."

The painting is replicated in the film with the faces of the actresses portraying the characters replacing those in the original. Dido's finger-to-cheek gesture is absent in the fictionalised version. The original picture is shown on screen at the end of the film.


Dear friends, I know you will be as delighted with this wonderful period drama as I was!

Blessings to you!
Oh, and do stop by my Etsy shop...I have been adding lovely new items this past week!
Receive 15% off on all purchases by simply entering the coupon code:  PRECHRISTMAS15 at checkout!
Valid till 15 November.

Source:  Wikipedia


Friday, October 23, 2015

How~to~Make Pretty Tea Time Cards...

Hello friends and a happy weekend to you!
After a very busy week celebrating two lovely birthdays, among other things, I am looking forward to a little rest...

Should you be in the mood for creating...I do hope you will join me in creating some paper happiness!  {{smiles}}

If you are needing a sweet little card for a friend to say thank you or simply to let someone know they are in your thoughts, I have just the project for you!

Oh so simple that you will be pleasantly surprised and such fun that you will want to make a few more to stash away in your collection of goodies...{{smiles}}

I saw an idea for a tea time card whilst perusing some lovely blogs the other day, but I decided to change a few things as well as make the actual card a little smaller...

To make these little cards you will need...
Some pretty patterned paper {I love using scrapbook paper}, pearls or gems, a packaged tea bag of your choice {I love Twinings flavourful!}, ribbon or Bakers twine, double sided tape, acid free glue and tools such as a punch, craft knife and distress ink {optional}.
Begin by selcting two coordinating sheets of paper...and cutting the first one to 6" x 4".
Score a line in the middle of the paper - this is your actual card - and fold in half.  
Distress in matching ink all around the inside and outside edges.

Now cut a 2" x 2.75" piece from the coordinating paper and ink around the edges. 
Place double sided tape on the sides and bottom edges and secure to the inside of the card.
Cut another piece of paper to 2" x 1.1".
Distress around the edges and add a greeting of your choice...
Add pearls or gems if so desired and secure greeting to the front of the card...

Now punch a hole in the side of the card, place tea bag in the slot and thread a length of matching ribbon through the hole to keep the card shut...and there you are!

Beth and I had such a lovely time creating these tea cards as thank you gifts for the sweet young ladies who came to Nancy's sixteenth birthday high tea I feel like making a few more to put away!  {{smiles}}

Happy crafting my sweet friends!
 And do come and visit my Esty shop to see some of the new items I have been adding over the past few days...{{smiles}}

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thursday Pearls

"...The fact is, we do not hate ourselves, nor do we need to learn to love ourselves more.  We do need to learn to deny ourselves so we can do something which does not come naturally - to truly love God and others.  Our problem isn't so much a ''poor self image'' as it is ''poor God image''.  Our real need isn't for a higher view of ourselves but for a higher view of God.  When we see and esteem Him rightly, then we will esteem ourselves rightly - as objects of His immense love, whom He has chosen to rescue and redeem from our sin by His grace.  It doesn't get any better than that!"

~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss, The Quiet Place

"No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church."

~ Ephesians 5:29

May each of you have a truly blessed Thursday praising the name of our mighty Lord and King who loves and cares for us so deeply that He sent His only Son to die for sins...He is so good to us!

Painting by:  Elbert Henry Collings

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Sweet Sixteenth High Tea Celebration

 For many months we have been dreaming of Nancy's sixteenth birthday tea...if there is one thing we love in this family, it is celebrating any occasion with a beautiful, feminine tea party, and the more lace, ribbon, flowers and tea, the merrier!

It feels like just the other day I celebrated my sixteenth...and that was almost three years ago...
Nancy found some wonderful new recipes to try, and also asked for our favourite baked cheesecake...oh, such a delicious treat!

 Although the weather looked somewhat suspect and there were a few raindrops that morning, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful day...overcast, yet just warm enough for setting up out of doors...  
We put up our little pavillion and set the tea table underneath....just in case it did rain a little...

The little girls enjoyed a mini tea party with Mom inside...{{smiles}}

Pretty handmade invitations...

Invitations were sent out a few weeks before, and we were so excited to have some sweet young ladies to celebrate Nancy's special day with us...friends are a true blessing!

The sweet birthday girl...all beautifully dressed up for tea time!

The treats...


Salted Caramel Shortbread Squares 

Shortbread ~

225g {415ml} cake flour
25ml cornflour
65g {125ml}icing sugar
180g {195ml} butter

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Rub in the cold butter and press together to form a dough.  Press into a 23 x23cm baking tin and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is almost cooked and starting to turn golden.

Caramel ~

1 tin condensed milk
125g {135ml} butter
150g {175ml} brown sugar
100ml milk
pinch Himalayan salt crystals

Put the ingredients into a saucepan.  Warm over a low heat until melted.  Increase the heat slightly and simmer while stirring constantly until the caramel thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pot.  When it is ready, it should form a firm ball when you drop a little of the mixture into a bowl of cold water.  Pour the caramel over the biscuit base.  Bake in the oven for 5 minutes.  Leave to cool.

Topping ~

200g white chocolate
60ml melted butter
Himalayan salt crystals

Melt the chocolate with the butter and pour over the cold caramel topping.  Spread evenly.  Once it has almost set, sprinkle with a few Himalayan salt crystals.  Refrigerate until completely set.  Cut into squares with a hot knife.  Store in an airtight container.


Overberg Baked Cheesecake with a Strawberry Coulis...recipe coming soon!

Cottage Cheese and Tuna Canapes with Rocket and Cherry Tomatoes

Oh, we had such a delightful time hanging little glass jars and tea cups up with lace, ribbons and Baker's twine...

We filled each jar with flowers from the garden including California poppies, wild carnations and dianthus...

Nancy and I...
We haven't always been the best of friends, but I find that as we have gotten older, we have drawn closer to one another...we have completely opposite personalities which makes life pretty interesting, and oh my!  Nancy has the most creative and lovely ideas...I feel very blessed to have the love of my sister, and I pray we will continue to be close sisters and dear friends... 

Beth pleaded with us to include her in the tea party...even though she isn't quite a 'big girl', she proved to us that she could do all her tasks with a happy heart, so we thought it would be lovely to reward her by having her join us...{{smiles}}  I think she enjoyed it!

Nancy and Beth...  
Pretty tea cards to thank our lovely guests for joining us...

...And so ended a beautiful tea party...certainly one to be treasured forever!

{To a beautiful sister, both inside and are very special to me and to everyone in your family!  Thank you for your kind, giving heart and love for the Lord...I couldn't imagine life without you!
Here is to many more wonderful tea parties and fun times, dear sister!}
Thank you very much for visiting today, sweet friends!
Oh, your cheerful comments always bring a smile to my face! 
Wishing you a happy week!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Roadtripping Delights...

When we planned our little trip to the mountains a few months ago, I had no idea the time would go by so swiftly!  
As the day for our trip away approached, I barely thought about it…there was just so much to be done and sorted out before leaving! 

The drive down from our farm to Bain’s Kloof was lovely and relaxed…we stopped for coffee at a sweet farmstall and took a few pictures…


Ah, and here I am at home once again with ever so many delightful memories and pictures to share…
How we needed a rest after many busy months and a busy festive season ahead!  I didn’t even have a moment to write a post to tell you all where I would be that week…{{smiles}}

You will perhaps remember I visited my grandmother in the mountains back in April…
I visited her again in July, and then two weeks ago my mom, Nancy and I drove down to spend some time with her. 
We were able to relax and recharge at her home in the mountains, as well as stop in at our favourite quilting shop for supplies!

  Spinach growing so happily…

Wouldn’t you love to have a little swing in this delightful spot…?

 A beautiful tea cup...

Granny drove us around, and showed us another wonderful big fabric store as well as a stunning nursery….
We spent the whole of Wednesday in town having a delightful ‘girl’s day out’, and oh, it was such fun!
We stopped for a mini picnic, got lost driving around town, and enjoyed many laughs together…

It was so lovely to have Nancy with me this time so we could go on one or two walks in the mountains and admire the beautiful river and swimming holes from afar…
I confess we weren’t quite brave enough to try swimming…the water is still somewhat chilly!

And the girls and Dad were perfectly fine at home…they went to the beach, played outside, spent some time in the garden and enjoyed having a little holiday without us…


This was where we enjoyed our meals and Nancy and I got a little work in!
 There is no cell phone reception or internet connection in the mountains…so lovely!

 Nancy carries her work along with her in a sweet little mini suitcase…

Oh, look at all these gorgeous crochet cottons…Nancy’s lovely little collection…

Oh, I was very sad to leave the beautiful mountains, but I was also truly inspired to continue doing what I love to do…

I am so glad I could write about our trip away…it is always lovely showing you a glimpse of where I live and the things we do!   

Praying your week is beautiful and creative, sweet friends…

 "You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace.  The mountains and the hills will break into songs of joy in your presence, and all the trees will clap their hands."  Isaiah 55:12