Saturday, 25 July 2015

'her life is better' v pound cake makes everything better!

This week's been a week of 'her life is better.' The single and child-frees envy the marrieds with children, and the marrieds with children envy the seemingly carefree life of the singles - or at least the child frees. With social media constantly streaming perfection everywhere I guess it may seem that we are not living the glamorous lives of others. It's reassuring to know that not everyone buys into the constant facebooked, instangrammed happiness on display.

I've had conversations with a few female friends - all in different situations with the common denominator appearing to be the missing element in our lives. Whether fun, family, babies, or a partner - there was a lack. A few years ago this would have resulted in self-pity and commiserations but I guess with age (just a little!) comes wisdom. We know these constant happiness machines churn what we choose to put in them. It's rare that someone will really share they're having a terrible day being stuck in an unhappy relationship, or that they're fed up of living the single social life. Everything seems overrated, or underrated based on how we choose to perceive things. 

I seriously doubt that any situation is always perfect. Of course we all want what we don't have sometimes, yet we must also realise that taking time, a breather, eating cake and reading a book or bird watching (if that floats your boat) is just as worthy, just as necessary and 'fun.' It doesn't always have to be globe-trotting, a constant pursuit of success and adventure or the next step up! The next step down can sometimes be just as, if not more important to our well-being. Speaking of a step down, my swimming lessons began yesterday - floats and all! It was so much fun:)

So please take a breath, stretch (that's underrated!) and start the beginning of whatever makes you happy. Even if it's lying down doing absolutely nothing, so be it. If you're feeling bad, guilty or sad - have an off day or a few days, reach out to friends and family who make you laugh and know that it will pass. And in this vein I have gone back to basics and baked a pound cake - light, moist, airy and so simple! It's flavoured with strawberry yoghurt (you can change this to any other flavour) vanilla, and lemon zest. Trust me you'll forget about everything as it bakes and fills up the kitchen with sweet comfort.

Adapted from Laura Vitale’s Italian pound cake recipe.

140g Strawberry yoghurt (or any other flavour you like!)
110ml rapeseed oil
190g sugar
2 medium free-range eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
1 ½  tsp vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour

Pre-heat oven to 180c or 160c (fan)/gas mark 4

Whisk eggs until fluffy and combine oil, salt and yoghurt.

Add the sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract and slowly add the flour, until you have a loose silky batter.

Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool at least 20-30 minutes and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

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