Couch Talk - Motivation

This is Vanisha and I, having a chat whilst thousands of miles apart.
V had this idea to host a Couch Talk series - A little like a coffee date and a little like vino with friends. She didn't want to do it on my own, so She asked lil ole me to co-host, and I said yes! And so begins, what we hope will be the start of something big, and something you will all join in with. Think hot drink/cold wine, friends, laughter, and life. There maybe a little weirdness in there too, but what the heck, we're friends!

(If you're taken aback by the length of this post, we've put the questions in bold, if you want to contribute)

Vanisha: Hey lovely, I've noticed lately a lot of bloggers talking about needing a little bit of motivation. Just someone to give them a little nudge to get moving on their goals or to do the little things like clear out their makeup box or do some filing. What are you like when it comes to needing motivation? Where do you get it from? 

Helen: Ummm motivation.......I'm a major procrastinator! I always find the motivation eventually, but if I can avoid something at first, I will. I don't tend to lean on people for motivation unless its a project that needs to be completed imminently. Like you I find I'm self-motivated. There are goals I want to reach and I know the only way of achieving them is to work, hard. No-one is going to be able to motivate me better than myself, unless they have the same goals. I'm not saying I never lean on people for motivation, but let's face it they're not always going to be there. It's important to find the motivation within yourself, even if you need a push at times.

Vanisha: I find that often I go through the motions, should I call a friend? I should. I might pick up the phone and then put it down. And think to myself, I can do this on my own. And most times it works. I mentally give myself a shake and just do what needs to be done. Finding that self-motivation I guess. I think there have only been two or three times in as many years when I've actually leaned on a friend for motivation. Other times I look for it within myself. Mostly it's there. I think it comes from experience - knowing that I've been through so much already and I just can do it...I mean, I  cannot not do it, right?  

Helen: I love your, "I cannot not do it, right?" Right! If you want something bad enough you'll find the motivation. 

Our questions to you: where do you find motivation? When you think you need someone, do you reach out? how do you motivate yourself? 

Much love, 
Vanisha & Helen

Would you like to link up with us next month for a couch talk series?

We would love to have you.
Leave us a comment and we'll send you an email!

Oops I did it again...

...and again.
This is the third time I've changed my shop now, but I'm finally happy with it.

It now contains everything I make and has a cute new name.
So, I'd officially like to open Cherry Pie Treats!

I've moved from Etsy to Storenvy just because I find the format better to work with.

You can check out my shop by going here or clicking on the 'shop' page above; go on look up.

Here are a few of my favourite items currently for sale.




Apple + Blueberry Cake

I have the most important person to introduce to you today. Seriously she's like totally VIP in my world. Its my Mum! She has so kindly agreed to share this recipe with you. Its a firm family/friend/workmate favourite and is perfect for Autumn.

Take it away Mum.....

Well thanks for the introduction Helen.

I must admit I'm not very good with technology but here goes.

My name is Caroline, I'm 56 years old and a mother to 2 children and am known to be a bit batty, sometimes.  I am a real 'mother hen' and love my family to bits.  I enjoy reading, walking, soaking in the bath, going on holiday, baking for friends and just being me.  In fact I'm going away tomorrow to Northumberland in celebration of my wedding anniversary 28 years ago!

I have been told that the recipe below is a firm favourite with all my friends and family and I thought I would share it with you all.

Apple and Blueberry Cake

225g self raising flour, sifted
165g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 medium eggs
125ml milk
1 eating apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 x 250ml cup fresh or frozen blueberries (about 150g)
2 heaped teaspoons demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 160C fan/180C/gas mark 4.
Place the flour, sugar, butter, eggs and milk in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into a greased 22cm spring-form tin lined with non-stick baking paper.
Top with the apple and blueberries and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until the cake is cooked when tested with a skewer.

If desired, dust with icing sugar.
Serve with ice cream.



I'm officially a TEFL teacher #yay, uni days, car boot beauty, brushing up my skills #7weeks!, fur baby, night time reading.

Organized, nom nom time on my own (that book goes everywhere!), #quotetoliveby.

Doing my bit by giving clothes to charity, dreaming of spring, first hot chocolate of the season, writing again!, favourite necklace, old reads.

You can find me over at Jess Is More today whilst she is away getting hitched! I'm sharing my love for Downton Abbey and cheesecake #whatcouldbebetter?

Coming soon.

But for now you can sponsor me. No really you can, its free!

I have medium and small spots available now.
Head over to my sponsor page.


So I totally had a DIY post scheduled up until about 12:30pm, then this happened.

I grabbed  lunch in town whilst waiting for Mum to finish work. My trusty sidekick came too.

All was perfectly happy and well, until I whipped my pen out of my bag and started doing this.

That scrawl is writing, on a napkin no less; this girl is resourceful!

So maybe to you this doesn't seem strange, I write a blog everyday after all, but writing hasn't happened for a while for me.
I used to write all the time. Novels, and plays mostly, but I would try my hand at anything. I didn't set out to be a best selling author, I set out to do something for me.
It takes a lot to inspire me, but coffee shops and books seem to be the magic potion (it helped that this particular coffee shop was in a book store) #bestideaever!

I just wrote. I felt free for those few seconds I was scribbling ideas down on a page napkin and I realised how much I miss it.

I studied Drama at Uni and wrote/directed a play for one of my final projects.
I'm just going to delve into the pit of self adulation here (it was an awesome play!) and share one of the monologues with you.
I'm not going to explain what the play is about, just take what you will from it.

"30 minutes, 1,800 seconds, 1,800,000, milliseconds, to morph into someone I was never supposed to be. I was always told the secret to being an actor, was to pretend you are looking through binoculars into someone else’s life, how distant that life may be however was never made apparent to me. I spend my whole career surrounded by people who are apparently my friends, even on stage there is no escape; characters have friends too. It is only now that I can be truly alone. This room may seem bare to some, a prison even, but lucky charms, good luck cards, and even flowers keep my spirits up. In a strange way I enjoy the solace this profession brings, switching off my radio and phone, are the first things I do when I arrive in the space. It takes more time to switch my mind off though, it’s like removing my brain and putting an alien one in, that never seems that alien. 
It is a little known fact that Lewis Carroll had the potential to be an incredible mathematician. To think that that man that we all love as a writer, could have pursued a career in something that a lot of people hate. I like maths; it calms me. Maths is like the systematic representation of society, piecing itself together, people being numbers. I suppose you could call this theatre ‘average’…well it’s of an average size anyway. I know for a fact that it holds 890 audience members and there are 3 of us on stage, so that makes…. 890 divided by 3.…. 296.66 eyes on me at any one time. I imagine acting is like writing, you can say or write 100 words a minute, but 1000 thoughts a second can come into an author or audience’s mind, how do you, as an actor, show those thoughts, those emotions, those feelings…it’s impossible.
Theatre is a ritual. It allows us to be lost from our feelings and ourselves. I never truly feel that I can tell someone I am myself, I am constantly changing, constantly multiplying, but I feel that if I don’t perform I cannot say that I am EVER truly whole. (Glances down at watch and slowly takes it off and places it down; as if breaking from some chains.) 13 minutes left to stay within the existence of myself. The stage isn't confined by time, the theatre yes, but never the stage. All time, all senses, all emotions stop just before the metamorphosis takes place…and then everything moves once again, ever so slowly at first as if it’s hardly moving at all. Then the speed kicks in, like being punched in the stomach, winded…. all you can see or hear in front of you is a mass of silence and nothingness but you desire for it’s acceptance. Then it stops so abruptly you have to keep convincing yourself that it ever actually happened at all, and you’re ’yourself’ once again. I feel most alone when in front of an audience, after all I am not myself therefore I am alone, always alone, always striving for something that’s never there. (Glances down at watch once more.) It’s not just the theatre that has rituals, as individuals we all have them. Mine is to remove myself completely, like a rubber removing the final etchings from a page. (Begins washing himself, feet first, then hands and finally his face.) I must remove every essence of myself."

Pin List - October

So who is like me and pins everything in sight whilst on Pinterest then never does anything with it?

I thought so.

I've vowed to myself that every month I will pick a range of makes, bakes and activities to do.
That way I get some things crossed off my pin list.

October's Pin List

Inside out chocolate filled strawberries

Skinny chicken pesto bake
Cheesy bacon oven chips

Owl candy bar wrappers

Embroidering leaves

Confetti wrapped presents
Done! Check it out here.

Learn how to cover acne properly

I'm not saying all of these are going to be successful projects, but I'm at least going to try them out.

Perfect: Winter Coat

As I was laying in bed last night trying to think of posts for the rest of September I realized I hardly write any fashion related posts.
I'm going to be honest with you I'm not wildly fashionable. I know what I like and what suits me, but that doesn't always mean its in fashion.

What is fashion though?

Surely if it looks good on you and doesn't offend anyone you're good to go.

I can't really afford new clothes at the moment so I thought I'd start a little series simply entitled; 'perfect'.
Over the next few weeks I'll be introducing you to my 'perfect' fashion items.
All starting with the humble winter coat.

Alas my beautiful nude winter trench coat has finally died (it lasted 3 years), and as autumn is majorly setting in I am in NEED of a beautiful coat.

Cue the oh's and ah's.....

This coat is STUNNING. Plus it fits in with this seasons military vibe = perfect!
From Amazon and priced £49.99.

From Amazon again, but cheaper, £39.99. Don't you just love the colour!?

OK technically not a winter coat and more of a cardigan but SO perfect for autumn.
Get it at JD Williams for £35.00

I had to stop looking at this point otherwise I would have been typing my card details in #budgetproblems

What do you think of my picks?
Would you join in if 'Perfect' was a weekly link-up?

Wander (unedited)

This post is unedited. Just purely me.


I've been wandering a lot lately.
Wandering about me, the future, family, friends, this blog.
It all seems a little lost. Just wondering but never finding a place to end, to settle, to call home.

I get like this sometimes. I like to call it the 'there must be more than this' phase.
It usually doesn't happen very often but lately I've been haunted by it.

I read all your gorgeous blogs and I hate to feel this way, but I get jealous. Jealous of the time, love and joy that seems to be endless in all your lives. I'm not naive and I know it isn't always that way, but right now its all I see.

I spend my days sat at my computer applying for jobs. I don't see friends because they live all over the country and I don't have the money to travel to see them. I don't go out. I'm in the house everyday nearly all day. Its not like I can even afford to go for a coffee.

I keep asking myself, why don't you write a blog post? Why haven't you written one for days? The honest answer would be I feel like I've lost myself from here and its lost me. I feel like I have nothing to post. Nothing anyone would want to read. I could post recipes and crafts all the time, but that's just not me. Yes I love cooking and crafting but I'm not (nor do I ever want to be_ that domestic goddess who first set up Eat.Enjoy.Live.

I'm Helen. Shy, insecure, opinionated, geeky, a loner, and a lover of Jesus. I'm me, and just starting to come to terms with it.

This post really wasn't supposed to be such a downer because I am so blessed in other ways.

I have you. I know its soppy and cliché, but I know all of you who are reading this care.
I've taken the opportunity to travel and consequently I have 'family' in Italy that would do anything for me.
I've passed courses I've been taking for a while with flying colours.

There is something exciting on the horizon and I can't wait to tell you when it is all confirmed (fingers crossed), but for now I'm just wandering.

It starts with you.....PAY IT FORWARD

Have you ever seen the film Pay it Forward?
Yes? You'll know what I mean when I say such a cry fest but so uplifting.
No? Why?! It's so good. Go out and rent it now!

This post has nothing to do with the film, but a lot to do with you.
I got the idea from the lovely Mayra, who originally got it from Shannon, who got the idea from Cassie, and at this point I guess you get the whole pay it forward theme.

In short this is how it all works: (I most certainly may have nicked this bit from Mayra's blog :) Love ya girl!)

The first three people to comment on this post will receive a little gift – something personal from me to you.
The rules:
  • Within a year I’ll create something unique to share with the first three people to comment on this post.
  • But, in order to receive your present you have to play along.  Spread the love on your own blog promising to send a little special something to the first three people who comment on your post.
  • You get 72 hours to re-post, or I’ll have to move on to the next person.
  • Please only comment if you’re willing to pay it forward!
I though I'd follow suit and throw in the twisty bit too....

"I would like to add my own twist to it though. I would love to write you a letter. I will write you a very pretty, very artistic letter - but I'd like it to be just for you. In order to do that, I need you to ask me a question. Or more specifically, ask the Universe a question. Ask anything at all: about life, about your dreams, about ice cream - whatever. I will try my very best to respond with a compassionate, uplifting, and inspiring note. I don't claim to speak for the Universe, but when we reach out to complete strangers and communicate in ways we normally wouldn't, very beautiful things happen."

I think this is such an awesome thing to do for somebody else and I want to do it for you.
If you are up for the challenge then comment below with your question, or e-mail me ( Remember only the first 3 people to comment get a special something but everyone who comments/e-mails with a question for me to answer will receive a little note of love.
Remember to leave your e-mail address below your comments!

There I've done it. Paid it forward. It's all down to you now........

Pan Bagna. A 'posh' word for picnic loaf

Really pan bagna isn't a posh word its a French word. I don't really get why just because you say something in French it is deemed posh. I'm sure the French don't see it that way. To them it's just French.

I think that's quite enough about the French and poshness. Lets move onto the important business of pan bagna's picnic loaves.

I love bread, but bread doesn't like me. Bread = carbs and that  ='s calories.
I'd been wanting to try this recipe for ages, but the bread issue always made me close the recipe book.
Until I actually read it all the way through and realised you scoop most of the bread out!
That's right all the yummy goodness bad stuff in the middle is scooped out and thrown in your freezer for that time that only fresh breadcrumbs will do.
In its place?
A mix of tuna, grilled peppers, sundried tomatoes and natural yoghurt.
That's my version. Really you can squeeze anything you like into it.

Tuna Pan Bagna

Calories - 297 per serving
Serves - 2
Ingredients -
2 crusty bread rolls (just use your favourite)
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
6 small peppers or 2 big ones (you can of course use jarred roasted peppers, just dab off most of the oil)
6 cherry tomatoes (or) 3 sundried tomatoes
Tin of tuna

Method -
Halve the tomatoes and quarter the peppers. Place them on a baking tray. Spray with cooking spray and season. Cook on gas mark 6 for 30 mins, until roasted. Leave to cool.
Mix the natural yoghurt, garlic and dried mixed herbs.
Scoop out the bread from the inside of the roll until you have a hollow shell. Save the inside for making fresh breadcrumbs on another day.
Layer a quarter of the peppers and tomatoes in the roll and spoon on some of the yoghurt mixture. Add half a tin of tuna, and another spoon of the yoghurt mixture. Finish with the rest of the peppers and tomatoes and a spoonful of the yoghurt mixture.
If it looks like everything won't fit just squash it down.
Put the top of the roll on and wrap very tightly in cling film. This ensures that when you unwrap it the sandwich doesn't fall apart.

The best thing about this recipe?
It tastes better the longer you leave it. Make it in the evening, leave overnight in the fridge and take it to work the next day. So yummy!

Let you culinary imagination run wild and give this a go.
It really is so simple and quick.

Roll up, roll up

I've decided to change the way I run sponsorships.
My budget is extremely tight at the moment and sponsoring other blogs is firmly last on my list of important things to pay for.
Instead I've been participating in swaps.
After reviewing the way I handle sponsorships I've decided its not fair to ask you guys to pay when I can't offer you the same in return.

From now on all ad space is free.
You heard that right. Large, medium and small spaces are all up for grabs.
You'll still get the same amount of love as if you were paying, because I'm nice and I want to promote you.

The one rule:
You can only have 1 month's ad space at a time.
I want to make it fair so everyone gets a chance for some lovin'. No renewals etc. You can of course have a different size ad space the next month.
If you, especially on small ads, put the ad in to run for several months I will just delete it. I want this to be a fair system, not just a free for all.

So on to the important bit; promo codes!

Large ad space - LSWAP
Medium ad space - MSWAP
Small ad space - SWAP

The promo codes are limited so that a long queue isn't created. Once those run out I will add some more and let you know via Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

All ad space is run via Passionfruit.
Ready, set, go!

Texas Sheet Cake

It's only Tuesday and already I feel so tired. Personally I think it's sitting at home all day. Staring at a computer and watching daytime TV can only keep a girl sane for so long.
I need something else to fill my days with.
Something cheap, and by cheap I mean costing nothing.
Maybe I'll finally use the cute bits in my craft box I have been building up.
Maybe I'll get through the 11 books that I have waiting to be read.
Maybe I'll discover a new favourite recipe.
Who knows?

What I do know is that I have the wonderful Amanda from Dragonflight Dreams to introduce to you today. 
Take it away girl!

Amanda is the creative force behind the Dragonflight Dreams blog and shop.

Hi Eat Enjoy Live readers! Today, Helen is letting me share with you one of my favorite desserts - Texas Sheet Cake! This is a dish I fell in love with long before I moved to Texas. My aunt (who has always lived in Michigan, go figure) makes this for any big family gatherings, and it is delicious. This is her recipe. I hope you enjoy! :)

Texas Sheet Cake

  For the Cake
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 large cookie sheet with a rim/raised edges, greased
For the Frosting
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 6 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • Optional: sprinkles, nuts, or other small scatter-able toppings as desired

  1. For the cake, boil the butter, cocoa and water together until smooth.
  2. Mix in the rest of the cake ingredients, and pour into greased sheet pan.
  3. Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes.
  4. For the frosting, combine and boil the butter, cocoa, milk and vanilla.
  5. Add the powdered sugar and blend well.
  6. Pour and spread over the cake while it is still hot.
  7. Sprinkle with toppings, if desired.
  8. Let cool, and enjoy!
Thanks Amanda! That looks so good.
Go over and say Hi to Amanda now.

No-one ever told me I was a blogger

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth I just lost myself for a while.
Its been 6 days since I last posted, so lets call that 6 years in the blogging world.
I lost inspiration, which to be honest it is still lost. I was hurting, and I didn't think sharing that with you and the world would help.  I was wrong.
Being unemployed sucks.
You see I had an interview, my second out of a total of 85 applications. Learning Mentor, the kind of job that I've been wanting to do since I was 6 years old, and here I was 24 and finally I had the opportunity.
I guess you know what happened.....
After days and days of early mornings and late nights prepping for this interview; I didn't get the job.
I was devastated. I stupidly put my future into that interview.
I thought it was going to sort my life out, let me move out of my parents home, be financially stable, and visit friends; because not being able to do that really does suck.
I realise now though after days of calming down that it would have only done that on the surface.,
For some reason or another, at the moment I'm not quite sure, God just knew that job wasn't right for me and he has something more fantastic and magical planned. Something perfect for me, it just might not be right now.

Unemployment = no money.
Complete bummer!
Some people don't understand how I have no money to visit friends/family but I'm able to go on holiday.
The honest truth is paying off my debts and being financially stable is more important than visiting friends right now. I love them all dearly, but I have to think about my future, however boring that maybe.
As for holidays, I'm going to Italy in 9 weeks. I've saved up for these trips for years/months.

This is why I've been 'away', I didn't mean for it to turn into a rant.

Menu Plan No.1

Firstly I can't believe its already September.
I always feel a sense of renewal by the time this month comes around, more so than January. I suspect its because of my years working in schools that my year feels like it runs Sep-Sep. 

I've talked about menu planning a lot with you, but realised I'd never actually shared mine. 
I meant to post this yesterday, but interview prep ran away with me. I know, I've got an interview!
Its for a job I've always wanted too, #nervousalready. 
Pray for me on Wednesday please!!

Here it is my menu plan for this week, starting yesterday.
I am planning on sharing some of the recipes with you, but most are first timers for me, so it all depends on how good they turn out!
If you like the sound of a recipe though, leave me a comment and I'll share it, or e-mail it to you.

Menu Plan w/b 1st September 2012
Breakfast – Pepper egg rings on wholemeal toast. (263)
Lunch – Honey mustard parmesan chicken quesidillas. (447)
Dinner – Chicken nuggets, chips and veggies. (367)
Breakfast – Yogurt pancakes w/ syrup and strawberries. (187)
Lunch – Bacon and cheese stuffed potatoes w/ salad. (223)
Dinner – Minced beef and potato pie w/ mash, gravy and veggies. (571)
Breakfast – Bagel w/ cream cheese and tomatoes.
Lunch – Chicken quesadilla and salsa. (197)
Dinner – Spicy veggie egg fried rice. (305)
Breakfast –
Lunch – Mediterranean tuna panini. (336)
Dinner – Basil lemon shrimp linguine. (336)
Breakfast – Weetabix and a banana.
Lunch – Honey mustard turkey wrap w/ salad. (183)
Dinner – Chilli salad bowls. (397)
Breakfast –
Lunch – Chopped salad pockets. (166)
Dinner – Sticky beef and beans. (236)
Breakfast – Veggie packed scramble. (270)
Lunch – Warm chicken nicoise. (371)
Dinner – Mediterranean meatball soup. (301)

The numbers in brackets are the calories per serving. I've put on some weight recently, which is not the way its supposed to go. So in the spirit of September renewal I'm sticking to my low calorie guns.

Notice I ran out of ideas for breakfasts? If you have any that would be great!

Here's to September being an amazing month.

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