All posts by livingfully2017

Outlander Film Location Tour

Living in Scotland, I had the opportunity last week to go on a one day guided tour of some of the most iconic film locations featured in the television series, ‘Outlander’. If you haven’t heard of Outlander, where have you been? 😉

Hopefully some of you are fans, and will enjoy coming along with me on this journey as I take you through a series of posts of the places I visited and of the fascinating facts I learned and interesting people I met along the way.

The tour was by a Scottish company named ‘Discover Scotland’, and the key highlights included:

A visit to Doune Castle, which featured as Castle Leoch in Outlander.

A photo stop at Midhope Castle (Lallybroch).

A visit to Blackness Castle.

A few hours spent in Falkland and Culross, which featured Geillis Duncan’s House, the town square where Jamie was flogged, and where a little boy had his ear nailed to a wooden post, Claire’s herb gardens, and some other iconic scenes which you can see as we go along 🙂

I hope that you are ready to step back in time with me to visit these places, and to share your experiences of any similar travels that you have been on. More to follow soon …stay tuned, Outlander fans!! 🙂

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My Blog is 1 year old Today! Thank you for being part of the journey :) x

I had a feeling that there was something about this day….an anniversary celebrating not only Kylie Minogue’s 50th Birthday (can you believe it?!), but also marking the very first anniversary of my Blog. It has been such a great adventure so far, and I am grateful to each and every one of you for your part in my journey, in this interaction between us that makes the whole process worthwhile and come to life. Thank you for every button pressed showing your appreciation of my posts, for every comment, and for leaving an essence of yourself in my little blogging world. It means so much. I have learnt a great deal on this journey, and I’d love to write a post soon to hopefully encourage, inspire and cause you to reflect on your own blogging process ~ particularly in terms of your core reason for doing it, your authenticity and purpose, and not seeking after appreciation, but blogging out of love, and allowing the returns to come to you in their own way and timing. My blog is completely non monetised, therefore the ‘returns’ I talk of are more to do with that unique connection between reader and writer, and the knowledge that something more has come of your efforts that may have touched someone else’s life. However, all that for another day. I’ll sign off tonight, and once again say a huge *THANK YOU* ~ now let’s Party!! 😉 Much love. ❤ xx

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Take Time to Notice before the Winds of Change blow in again…

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Photography is a particular hobby of mine that allows me to intentionally slow down and focus on the world around me. To caress moments in time, and capture something of the essence of them, in a world that seems to be incessantly rushing by. There are some rare moments when you capture something that even touches your own heart, and although I am not a professional photographer, I do try to improve and the photographs above, especially the one on the right are a couple of those rare gems that I am particularly fond of. 

They speak to me of the beauty of nature in its changing seasons, and the delicate, even fragile passing of time, the life giving way to death and the sowing of seeds carried almost serendipitously by the wind for new life to be planted wherever it will. 

I wonder if you, like me, crave solitude or at least times of refreshing in a world that is full of schedules and ‘to do’ lists? Time to fully live the season that you are in, and to appreciate it, in this particular moment. There is beauty and grace in the summer and the winter seasons of our lives. And yet, we fear the passing of time, but do we use our time, our lives wisely? 

I don’t know about you, but as serendipitous as a seed falling to the ground may seem, I believe that there is a greater, higher, fascinating order to life. I see so much design and purpose and beautiful intention in nature, that I can’t but allow myself to be breath taken by the seemingly simplest of things. When I really take time to be still, to wonder and ponder at life, I know in my heart that there is a meaning and an order behind it all. We live chaotic lives, but to a great degree we choose to. We choose to close our eyes and our ears to the Love and Peace gently, persuasively calling out our names, compelling us to know that we do have  a place in this grand design, and that we don’t have to live our lives as rootless, purposeless flowers caught and tossed by every wind of change in life. 

There was a time in life when I felt helplessly alone, rootless, tossed by tempest and storms beyond my control, striving to find Peace, but that Peace always alluding me. And yet, now I have an unshakeable Root, a place of belonging, a Love unfailing, and confidence that despite the passing of time, the fragility of my being and of my life, I am held securely both now and for eternity by a God Who Knows, Who Cares, Who sent Jesus Christ in Whose Life I am hidden in God, to die for me, to forgive me, to save my lost soul, and give a purpose and meaning to every fleeting moment of my fragile life. And as I think of using my time, each season, I am compelled to tell you about His Love, His Certainty, His Security, His Peace and Hope, that perhaps someway, some how, by His Grace, these seeds of love will be carried by the gentle, persistently loving winds of the Holy Spirit to take root in your heart and change your life forever, or if you know and love Him already, to deepen your roots in Christ so that you may life a life, each moment, fruitful, flourishing and at Peace in Him, when it is your time to pass from this fleeting life into to the next unshakeable one. xx

QUICK & EASY HEALTHY VEGAN RECIPE # 8

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This, my healthy culinary friends, is one of my all time favourite quick, easy, healthy vegan meals. I call it the ‘tortilla pizza’. I made this this evening, and I don’t know about where you live, but where I am many takeaways do a ‘Two for Tuesdays’ deal on pizzas. And yes, tonight is Tuesday! Have you ever felt like a pizza, but either didn’t want to eat something unhealthy, spend money on a takeaway or just stick a frozen pizza in the oven? Have you ever felt that you just can’t find a shop bought pizza with the toppings of your choice, or without cheese?! Well, this may just be the healthy, quick, cheap and yet surprisingly delicious alternative that you have been craving! 🙂

Once again, with all my recipes, they are just a starting point and springboard for your own culinary creativity so by all means experiment with toppings, sauces, and techniques.

I’ll walk you through my method to kick-start a few of your own ideas.

Firstly, I washed, chopped and gently fried some mushrooms in sunflower cooking spray.

After this, I drained the excess liquid from the mushrooms and put them to one side in a bowl.

I then stir fried a generous amount of fresh spinach leaves, and a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes and chopped white onions, adding seasoning to taste. In this case I used herb salt, cracked black pepper and mixed herbs. Lastly, I added back in the mushrooms and gave everything a quick stir together. I took this off the heat and in a pan, lightly heated a flour tortilla, and once slightly crisp, I spread some shop bought pasta sauce over it as a pizza topping. As the vegetables I used have a reasonably high water content, I was careful to drain them off before adding them to the tortilla base using the handy little holey metal spatula contraption that you can see in the picture! 🙂

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Et voila, in 10 to 15 minutes you have a delicious meal or snack that you can eat either as a pizza or roll it up for a wrap, fold it over as a calzone, or add another tortilla on top and crisp them up on the pan, cut into slices and eat as a quesadilla!! 🙂

I hope you enjoy trying this one out, it truly was delicious and I have saved some of the toppings to take into work tomorrow so that I can have a yummy ‘pizza wrap’ for lunch 🙂 Enjoy!

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QUICK & EASY HEALTHY VEGAN RECIPE # 7

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This is another very easy and quick meal – perfect for dinner after a long day at work, and so delicious!

Very simply, just boil some pasta, and if you like add a little salt to the water. I added spinach and cherry tomatoes into the pan once the pasta was almost ready. Next, I simply drained the water, stirred through some green pesto, added pepper, and topped it off with a little bit of sliced red onion. This was great with pesto, however you can add any sauce you prefer, sprinkle on some pine nuts or chia seeds or other nuts or seeds of your choice, and add any other seasoning or vegetables to your own taste.

Super simple, and yet both healthy and delicious, and ready in less than 15 minutes! 🙂

QUICK & EASY HEALTHY VEGAN RECIPE # 6

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Baked potato in a bed of stir fry veg with pesto and humous.

This is another very quick, easy and tasty baked potato recipe. Slice and bake the potato (once again I cooked this in the microwave for around 6 to 7 mins, but times will vary).

Using sunflower cooking spray, I stir fried some veg and added seasoning to taste, and topped it all off with some green pesto and red pepper humous. Delicious! And the possibilities are endless – try experimenting with your veg, sauces, and seasoning, add beans or sprinkle some sunflower or chia seeds on top – quick, easy, tasty and healthy! Enjoy! 🙂

QUICK & EASY HEALTHY VEGAN RECIPE # 5

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Nothing quite beats a good ole’ baked potato for some healthy comforting food. I work a full time job, and by the time I got home this particular evening, having juggled my various ‘to dos’, I was hungry and at a bit of a loss for what to eat, and I really did just want something quick, easy and healthy.

And so this humble spud saved the day.

You know how it works: slice the potato, I put mine in the microwave for around 7 to 8 minutes, however you can vary the times according to your make and model, or bake it in the oven, or wrap it in tin foil and bake it over an open fire! 🙂 Afterwards, I popped it under the grill to crisp it up a bit, and then ate it with some salad with dressing, red pepper humous and guacamole. I would recommend having something additional such as pinto / kidney / baked beans, etc for protein, but I was far too hungry and tired that particular day, yet this quick and easy meal did just the trick!