Monthly Archives: April 2011

Easter nest cupcakes

Fortunately all the ingredients you will need can be bought at your local corner shop and the recipe is truly easy!

You will need

  • 6oz / 150g butter
  • 4oz / 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3oz / 75g self raising flour
  • 1 oz / 25g drinking chocolate / cocoa powder (I use bournville)
  • 4oz / 100g icing sugar
  • drop of milk
  • Cadbury’s flake bar
  • Packet of mini eggs – I use Cadbury’s but you can use any kind really.
  • 12 paper cases

Reheat your oven to 180 deg C / 180 deg F or gas mark 4.

Easter bun recipe:

Cream 4 oz / 100g caster sugar with 4oz / 100g butter. Once light and fluffy, add 1 oz / 25g of cocoa powder / drinking choc , and 2 eggs and mix. Once combined, fold in 75g of self raising flour. Divide the mix between the 12 paper bun cases and pop in the oven. Cook for approx 15 minutes at 180 deg C. The cakes should have risen and a skewer inserted in the middle of one of them should come out nice and clean.

Place the buns on a wire rack to cool.

Easter bun frosting

Cream 2 oz / 50g of butter with 4 oz / 100g icing sugar and 2 tsp of cocoa powder. Add a dash of milk to loosen the frosting a little. Pipe or spoon on top of the cakes once they have cooled.

Immediately after putting the frosting on the cakes, break up one cadbury’s flake and scatter it on the frosting. Settle 3 cadbury’s mini eggs in the middle of the ‘nest’.

Eat and enjoy!

Topsy Turvy Adventures in Tranquillity

Traditional Yogaspirit Classes – April to July 2011:Wednesday nights

7pm – 8.30pm at Meole Brace School, Shrewsbury

Topsy Turvy Adventures in Tranquillity


  • Start date: Wednesday 27th April 2011 – End date: Wednesday 13th July 2011
  • Half term: Wednesday 1st June 2011 – Reserve dates: 20th July 2011

April 27th, May 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, June 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, July 6th, 13th, (20th)

  • 11 weeks £66.00

To teach engaging classes that are developed with contemporary life in mind, offering a haven of vitality, rejuvenation and tranquillity for busy people in Shropshire.

This term we will concentrate on developing the following:

  • Strengthening and stretching the shoulders – with particular regard to easing tension in the shoulders and upper back
  • Flowing movements in line with the breath to align the inner and outer expression of the breath and body
  • Inversions


A. To teach the following postures:

1 Utkatasana / Chair pose

2 Utthita Trikonasana / Extended Triangle pose

3 Dvi Pada Pitha / Bridge Pose

4 Padahastasana / Standing forward bend pose

5 Vrksasana / Tree Pose

6 Ardha Matsyendrasana /Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

7 Salamba Sarvangasana / Supported Shoulderstand

8 Supta Hasta Padangustasana / Reclining Leg Stretch

9 Chandra Namaskar

B. To teach the following meditation practices:

10 Mantra meditation

C. To teach the following pranayama practices:

11 Ujjayi Breathing

12 Surya Bhedana Pranayama

How to get to the venue

The class is held in the Library of Meole Brace School in Shrewsbury.

To get to the Library, please go to the main reception of the school (photo on the school website home page), and enter the lobby. Go through the doors in front of you and walk across the hall on the left. At the back of the hall on the left there is a glass door which leads to a courtyard garden, go through this door and through the garden. You will see the library to the right. Go through the door straight in front of you and turn right, the library is on the right. toilets and changing rooms on the left.

School website:


Dealing with body odours at work and home

Unfortunately there are several chronic diseases which cause body odour which can range from being weird and unexpected (sweet smell associated with diabetes) through to being pungent or offensive (e.g. Trimethylaminuria).

Here are some thoughts from me about how you can deal with such awkward aromas:

  1. Check with your GP whether you should be avoiding any particular foods which might be contributing to the smell (e.g. Choline and Trimethylaminuria)
  2. Do a ‘reality check’ – ask some trusted friends or family members about your odour / perceived odour. You want an honest appraisal, so choose people who will give you real answer rather than polite answer. It is a good idea to do this at the end of an ordinary work day. Find out what the impact of odour is with your different work layers on and from different distances e.g. standing in a lift, sitting around a board room table or chatting one to one.
  3. Talk to your GP about trying a probiotic supplement to help support your digestion.
  4. Try a chlorophyll supplement such as body mint which seems to magically reduce many body odours.
  5. Make sure your clothes aren’t contributing to the problem by cleaning and drying them properly, especially if they are stained with bodily fluids such as sweat or urine. Also check coats and jackets for smells and make sure they are regularly  dry-cleaned. Make sure your washing machine is clean as a dirty washing machine can impart a musty smell onto otherwise clean clothes.
  6. Keep your breath smelling sweet by cleaning your teeth regularly, using an antibacterial mouthwash and addressing any mouth symptoms such as ulcers with your GP.
  7. Ensure good personal hygiene by bathing frequently, using antiperspirant deodorant and other products that are appropriate. ‘Reality check’ different products with friends and family for effectiveness and pleasantness. Your workplace will have different rules / norms for perfume and scented products so make sure what you wear fits in well.

How do you manage the malodorous?

My top five books for when I am ill #1

When having a flare up or a hospital stay, there comes a point when you are ill where you transition from complete incapacity to incapacity and boredom. Wooziness from painkillers and IV antibiotics makes concentration difficult, as does general life on the ward with it’s interruptions and strange sleep patterns.

Reading is a great way to pass this time, but anything too complicated makes my head spin.

Maybe you are looking for something to put in your hosital bag, or a gift for someone stuck on a ward somewhere. Here are my top 5 books for this period of time, and they work equally well for convalescing at home too:

1. Anything by James Herroit but I particularly like ‘all creatures great and small’ and ‘It shouldn’t happen to a vet’.

2. Anything by P G Wodehouse but in particular the ‘Carry on Jeeves’ from the Jeeves and Wooster series.

3. Anything by Agatha Christie but in particular The mirror crack’d from side to side and Murder on the Orient Express

4. Elizabeth David’s collection of articles ‘An Omlette and a glass of wine’

5. Driving over lemons

What are your top five books for the twilight zone between complete incapcity and incapacity and boredom?

Walking with style – Marni polka dot shoes

I think these gorgeous shoes are just low enough (3.5 inches/90mm) to be comfortable and easily bright enough to bring a bit of spirit to any outfit. I could see them rocking with a black,brown or navy suit in the winter, or bringing a bit of colour to a linen outfit in the summer. Pairing them with green, turqouise or orange would make all the colours pop in your outfit.

£370 from Net A Porter.


These Apple pie polka dot shoes from Irregular Choice are very cute and would work equally well the suggestions above.

£49 from Irregular Choice.

Healthy wardrobe vs poorly wardrobe

A flare up of a chronic health condition can cause a dramatic change in weight, for example with Crohn’s Disease swift weight loss occurs due to the diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite. After my worst bout of CD I left hospital weighing less than 6 stone (85 pounds) and was able to fit into a pair of size zero jeans (UK size 6).  At 5ft 4in that was a very uncomfortable weight and size – I was constantly cold, sore, and my bones were very noticeable. On the other hand steroid medication caused me to put weight on – up to 11 stone (154 pounds) – equally uncomfortable for me – look at those weights again, nearly double in weight from my lightest to my heaviest.

An added complication is that after a couple surgeries I find tight waistbands very uncomfortable, especially if they are low rise.

I have now learnt that I need to have a range of sizes in my wardrobe to cope with the ‘healthy’, ‘poorly’ and ‘too healthy’ periods of my life.

Useful wardrobe items that can shrink or grow slightly include:

  • Boyfriend style jeans which can be belted to fit
  • Straight leg jeans with spandex which can expand or contract to fit
  • Tunic type tops
  • Ribbed vests and t-shirts that can expand and contract – but look just as good loose or tight
  • Waist button extenders
  • Belts
  • Yoga pants
  • Suits for work which can either work as a summer suit, or when you lose weight – you can wear in the winter with heavier layers

What clothes do you find useful for accommodating weight loss / weight gain associated with your illness?

How to be a great recipient of an April Fools joke

Yesterday’s post was all about planning an April fool’s joke for the workplace so today I thought I would look at the flip side – how to be a great recipent of an april fools joke.

1. Don’t be hurt – you are not the only one who has been tricked today!

2. Have a sense of humour and join in with the spirit of the day. The chances are your colleagues thought you would be a willing recipient of the joke.

3. Recognise the creativity and planning involved in any particularly elaborate pranks.

4. If you are the officer prankster – expect to fully get your comeuppance one day and be very gracious when you do!

5. If, on reflection,  you have concerns about the joke that was played on you then it would be fine to mention this to someone appropriate at an appropriate time. Examples could be where it caused you embarrassment in front of a customer / client, it could have gone wrong and caused an injury or it could have cost the company money.

Have fun and do let me know in the comments below how you got pranked today!