Fiesta Friday #24 – gluten free, sugar free but not smile free!

Fiesta Friday #24

So much has been happening this week!

Gluten free diets, sugar free diets argh!

As some of you might have gathered I have been trying various diets to help improve with pain and also hopefully to lose a bit of weight always a plus right?

So I have been predominantly trying gluten free, a bit of sugar free, but finding recipes with the two seems mission impossible and the ones I have found have resounded with a loud “YUK I HATE THIS WHY DO YOU HAVE TO COOK WEIRD FOOD MUMMY” from my kids.  I have to admit on occasion I have had to pretend out of pride that I like it just to keep face as they say.

You know what, also researching a full week of new recipes, cooking from scratch and having them received badly is also quite disheartening.  Now I don’t usually have pre packaged but you know when it is food you cook regularly it is easier than cooking something you don’t know, hence this week I am NOT bringing any food to the party because all pretty much a disaster….


I have had some really wonderful things happen this week!

I would like to share some of them with you if you don’t mind…


The lovely Miss Beretta from Miss Beretta Illustrations finished my headers for both Living in East Sheen and this blog if you didn’t notice the new header I proudly show it to you below and you can pop by my other blog if you want to see the other one 😉

I think I must have been her fussiest customer.  She also did my wonderful gravatar, which I now think is my alter ego…hehe

eclectic_header_wordpress (2)

 So to the party I bring an artist….

Learning Difficulties

Next is that both my children had marvellous end of year reports.  My eldest reached target if not above on most.  My youngest however who has been struggling a fair bit was over target on nearly everything receiving an excellent for both achievement and effort in science and maths.  He even got a on target for english.  He has severe dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD for those of you who don’t know and this year we have spent a lot of time trying to work out how to help him.

I had felt that the teacher didn’t really take our concerns on board fully nor understand him yet what she wrote about him really touched me as it became clear she has spent much time with him and ‘gets him’ very well.  On speaking to the assistant, her words were “oh Miss Cory absolutely adores your son” and so we end the year with her I actually feel a tad bitter sweet now we are moving on to someone new.

However I am still riding high on the reports yay yipee wohoo

So to the party I bring along some clever children…

Wonderful blogging friends

I also want to say that I really adore all my blogging friends.  When I wake up and see all the messages waiting to be read it’s one of the highlights of my morning and always, always makes me smile.  Having this form of communication for me having been isolated for a fair while (though now I am getting out), is really cherished.

It is something I don’t take for granted and am mindful it is always a two way thing, but even so with me having been busy the last couple of weeks the comments and chit chat still flows in and it’s really wonderful!

The reason I have been busy is that firstly I have started a volunteering post for Age UK which is going to get me back in an office environment very part time but what a fantastic feeling and to be able to give back to an organization that I am sure in the future I will need and wish to use, they providing such an amazing service, it is humbling at times.

Also I have secured a part time job from home working for Richmond Aid who help people with disabilities.  They have been absolutely invaluable to me in helping me return back to work and to also give me the confidence to embrace a career change.  I have three roles for them but the one I am really excited about is being a researcher.

They have a stepping stones project which is for youths with a disability of some kind who wish to get some work experience.  I get a profile of someone and try to find companies that are willing to support these youngsters and from my end also match them well.  I completed my first assignment and wow the feeling was great to get a “yes I can support her” and know that said person will hopefully get out, gain some confidence, some skill sets and have something to help them on with their future.

I also help Richmond Aid on a volunteering basis to write their newsletter, I have just written my first pieces and this is due to go to publication, so it is a great feeling having something independent published.

My other bit of news is I secured a contract to start up and manage a Facebook Account and page for a local estate agent.  This was borne through my Living in East Sheen blog.

For me it means finally a regular slim yet useful stream of money going in to my account and feels fab that I can help them out.

My mission is to help them become more Community Friendly as Estate Agents generally have rather a hard lot here as in opinions of them.  This is an independent Estate Agent, family run so a little different than a huge conglomerate and the Owner I am excited to work with as he seems keen to embrace my mad erm I mean out of the box marketing ideas, hehe!

It is with the aforesaid ie blogging friends, support, blogging relationships etc that I decided after much time of wanting to, to make a new nomination.

Do I hear you groan?  grins…Please don’t.


This award to me is something special, everyone’s comments are like gold dust to me.  Everyone has their different personalities, sees your blog and posts in different ways and always has something magical and different to contribute.

There is one person however that always seems to magically catch me with her comments, maybe it’s been on challenging days that she has brought a smile to my face, maybe not, I don’t know but either way, she ‘always’ says the right thing without ever knowing it.

We don’t even talk that much, not like with my lovely fiance Mara who I speak to daily so now I suddenly want to split the award up in to a gazillion pieces and spread to all in thought but the person I would love to start this award to is SammyD from Bemuzin

Most Uplifting Commenter Award

I am making the rules of this award simple

  1. Please pass this award on to one person only, the person whose comments mean the most to you.
  2. Please explain why this persons comments have won a place in your heart so strongly.
  3. Chose a minimum of 3 of their comments to share on your post when you nominate them.
  4. Please back-link to the person that nominated you & mention something brief about your relationship with them.
  5. Please let the person know through a link of the nomination post that you have awarded them this.
  6. Display the award somewhere on your blog.

Here are some of Sammys lovely comments:

She says uplifting things…

You are an amazing writer, Justine. Whatever you are doing, don’t stop because what comes out of you is so special. Sometimes we DO need to tame the kid in the candy store, but you seem to make it work with humor and style and lots of pluck.

She’s a bit naughty…

Justine !!! The last line of your song is hilarious – “keep a generation gap; try wearing a cap”. Ha ha I never heard a song about a condom before LOL

YES, Friday the 13th AND A FULL MOON !! Time for a little mis-behaving if you ask me 🙂. 💋💖💥💥💥

A little bit cheeky!….

You have an amazing amount of energy considering your ailments – kids, photography, cooking, writing, walks, dogs, hubby and now volunteer time!?! sheesh you are a little nuts and a whole lot loveable
*wink wink. 🙂

And sweet…

Oh, sweet Justine, I have such a huge grin on my face. I feel like I’ve been in fairyland with Tinkerbelle. I swear you tell a tale like you are singing a love song and these pictures are so special. Your charming cottage and gardens and family and lunch and …. Pugs 🙂. I love it all. Especially you being a bit of a tomboy *wink


So I bring you a lovely lady also to the party!

I hope your having a fab weekend, enjoying some yummy food, perhaps a glass of wine and something nice in the diary to do or absolutely  nothing at all?

Justine xx

© Justine @

Living in East Sheen blog

Come browse one of my other blogs?

It is a lonely place blog

Come browse my journey with chronic pain!

Lets stay connected!

Lets stay connected!



  54 comments for “Fiesta Friday #24 – gluten free, sugar free but not smile free!

  1. July 11, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    Justine! I’m speechless and teary-eyed and have goosebumps on my arms. Thank you so very much for this LOVELY award. I am so honored and thankful for you and the many wonderful bloggers I have met through you. Next to meeting all of you, this is the best thing that has happened to me in the blogging world. It will take me awhile (groan), but I will love accepting this award and selecting someone to nominate who is just as special as you are.

    I LOVE the new illustration and marvel at how many new projects you are taking on. You are so dedicated to your sons and understand their needs and advocate for them so well; I know others will benefit from your knowledge and care as well.

    As for food – I find avoiding dairy is #1 on my list of culprits.

    WOW, I’m SO CHUFFED that you have honored me. Thank you Thank you, my dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 12, 2014 at 7:14 AM

      Awe goosebumps hey? Now that is good 🙂 well I’ve been hinting to you that I was going to do something for a while and finally a lovely friend made the picture for me and I was ruminating on what to call it as many words sprang up!

      It’s a real pleasure to give this to you really it is so I hope you can enjoy this feeling for a while and have it make you smile 🙂 hugs xx


      • July 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        It is a beautiful award and I am still walking on air to think you selected me. Have a great weekend, dear Justine.


        • July 13, 2014 at 6:02 PM

          heh that is so sweet and well you inspired me to create the award in the first place so there, famous SammyD …. grins x


  2. July 11, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    Your dedication is very inspiring. When do u get the time to write though 😄Congratulations on your new endeavours and good luck with everything.

    Those illustrations look pretty cool. X


    • July 12, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      hah sometimes it is hard juggling and i do have a tendency to take on too much which someone reminded meo f this week but its all good so far the balls arent falling..yet hehe xxx


  3. July 12, 2014 at 2:57 AM

    I love the illustration- it’s very cute! 😀


  4. M-R
    July 12, 2014 at 3:06 AM

    So you do volunteer work ? And with all the rest of your spare time …?
    Good heavens, woman ! – you must whizz about in a constant state of activity ! 🙂


    • July 12, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      i am a whizzer, your know the tazmanian devil how he whizzes around I am like that haha xx


  5. July 12, 2014 at 5:15 AM

    Wow, you have been busy Justine! So much going on…some hard things and some neat things. Love Miss Beretta’s artwork …she did a great job for you!


    • July 12, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      yes very busy lol, crazy busy thank you for your comments lori and yes amazing artowork such talent she has xx


  6. Lainey
    July 12, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Wonderful post! Really chuffed to hear about all your exciting new plans. You’re going to be busy! Good luck and have fun with it all xx


    • July 12, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      thank you lainey, i hope you have a fun weekend planned? I have a fair to go to the one i wait all year for so very excited hehe xx


      • Lainey
        July 12, 2014 at 9:35 AM

        I have flu! Just chilling today, but it’s sunny which is lovely 😉 Have a great time at the fair 🙂

        Sorry we’ve not skyped but I’m at home all next week! xx


        • July 13, 2014 at 6:02 PM

          hey i will try to catch you this week then and so sorry to hear about the flu how yuk you poor thing, i hope your managing to have some tlc xx


  7. July 13, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    Hi Justine – just been over to take a look at the header on your other blog – it’s fabulous too – Miss Beretta is just so talented; I absolutely adore both the headers. Such great news about your two boys and I totally understand about that bitter sweet feeling at the end of the academic year. I used to approach September with so much trepidation – would the new teacher and Jake get on etc…and can I just say that I feel exhausted reading about all the additional things you are doing – how do you find the time? And well done on landing something that pays!! Our local, family run, estate agent sponsors some of the local events and it does make them seem part of the community rather than smart talking, slick, money grubbers!! Your award is so sweet as are the comments from Sammy – thank you for bringing so much to the party! Happy Fiesta Friday!


    • July 13, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      you gave me an idea about them sponsoring locally i will have to talk to them about that. yes I am goign to have to learn to time manage well me thinks hehe….hope you had a lovely weekend selma, did you do anything nice?


      • July 13, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        Thanks Justine – hope you can get them involved in local events – it goes a long way to appeasing the angry hordes and redressing the reputation of estate agents.

        I met a dear friend for lunch in the new pop-up rooftop restaurant at Selfridges. The food was good but we thought that we were being filmed by some secret TV show, the service was so appalling. I’ve just spent an hour penning an email to them, it was so bad. We were waiting for Basil Fawlty and Manuel to appear!

        What have you been up to?


        • July 13, 2014 at 7:29 PM

          Yes you’re right re estate agents.

          Wow sounds like a lovely place to go but surprosed at bad service that’s not good 😦 what made it bad?

          As for us well the fair was yesterday theb today a sporting extravaganza for kids 4-11 yr olds got to try all different kinds of sports in one area to see what they like so a whole day of outdoor fun lol was actually great though exhausting hehe x


  8. July 13, 2014 at 2:48 AM

    Goodness, I feel a little overwhelmed. First of all, love the art work – such fun. And congratulations on having completed such a successful year with your children at school – I’m sure you had a lot to do with that too. And best of luck in you many endeavours which sound very exciting indeed. And of course, your award is brilliant. Thanks for introducing SammyD to us and for all you’ve brought to Fiesta Friday.


    • July 13, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      awe, thank you and SammyD is lovely its great to pass her on …. that sounded a bit odd didnt it? lol

      yes a busy year and even busier now, so some time management needed and prioritising i thinks which i am not always good at xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. July 13, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    It seems you’ve had quite a full and pretty fabulous week missus!!

    I LOVE the header-it’s amazing!

    And congratulations to the kiddiewinks for doing so well, you must be bursting with pride right now 🙂 xx


    • July 13, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      awe i am you know with my youngest it was such a surprise it blew me away really did felt like i wason a hovvercraft for a while hehe xxxx


  10. July 13, 2014 at 7:59 PM



  11. July 14, 2014 at 2:46 AM

    Hey! Great post! I have been a huge slacker lately….and I am sorry. I have missed your posts and comments! I promise to stalk better in the future! I LOVE the new look of your page and your header pic is awesome!!!!!! Glad to hear things are well! Good luck with the gluten and sugar free stuff. 🙂


    • July 14, 2014 at 7:37 PM

      awe thank you feel free to stalk away i love to be stalked on my blog lol and don’t worry i know what busy times are like that a bit like tha tmyself at the mo have some serious catching up to do xx lovely to hear from you


  12. July 14, 2014 at 3:09 AM

    Hi Justine, Congratulations on a successful year for your kids! I can imagine the relief you must be feeling being a mom of two myself. thanks for sharing this with us at Fiesta Friday! Your award seems well thought for and a deserving one too! 🙂


    • July 14, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      awe its a pelasure to share and thank you for coming by i hope you had a lovely party?


  13. July 15, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Hello there it has been ages since I wrote here I have been focused on getting through the day and not blogging much. CONGRATULATIONS on your childrens achievements you must be so proud and relieved – lovely that some things are going well for you. take care


    • July 19, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      thank you yes very proud mummy it was a great week, kept me floating up high for a while xx


      • July 19, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        oh floating is good, whatever makes you float is a good thing, keep it up 🙂 proud mummy – hope that you get some plain sailing for a bit, although as these things go, its plain sailing for a bit and then a bl…….ing big rock suddenly pops up in front of your ship and you barely have to time to say where the flourish did that come from before your ship is sucked into the depths of a whirlpool just behind the rock, and you are spewed out the bottom into an alternate existence – that is my experience anyway, hope yours is always just boring plain sailing ) Poli


        • July 19, 2014 at 9:12 PM

          I know what you mean. I was high. Then out of the blue my pug collapsed and yesterday he does at the vets so it was a horrible time and we miss our four legged smelly friend dreadfully all of us. The rock hit quickly


          • July 19, 2014 at 9:19 PM

            oh dear, I am so sorry, that is terrible. Pets are so much part of our lives and families, and although we know they wont live as long as we do, we kind of put off thinking about it, I love my cat to bits, but I know that at some point he wont be around anymore. So sorry that you had no time to enjoy the floaty feeling, you poor thing, must be terrible for your children too, a big gaping smelly dog shaped hole, I guess your other put is really miserable too 😦


            • July 20, 2014 at 9:50 AM

              he is and i wont get another, not that i havnt thought about it, but the expense plus my back and you cant really replace a dog in its character, they are all individual althought pug is my No1 breed of dog for me they are so special, have amazing character, quite naughty in nature but gentle, plus I love their snorting of course.

              The boys have chosen small hollow pendants which one can put the ashes in, i am not sure they will wear them or hang them up but either way this way they have a memory or a bit of him if that makes sense, that was their choice.

              Thank you for your kind words, poli, means a lot xx


              • July 20, 2014 at 5:32 PM

                hey there – you cannot replace a pet much like you cannot replace any living being, they all have their own personalities and foibles, even though they may have similarities due to their breed – needs time to grieve and adapt to the shock of no longer having them around – I remember when one of my cats got run over the only thing I could think was I hope it is the one and not the other and feeling very guilty that I had a preference, but my oldest cat has been with me since 2006 or so and is a constant comfort on tough days and the second cat was only a baby, a year old and playful but we didn’t have that relationship yet, however I still think of her sometimes and remember her demanding in high pitched wails to be let out. Takes time to decide to get a new pet after one has died. who knows you might suddenly run into one that needs a home, or the local animal shelter has one that needs a home, and maybe you will be ready then. good idea that the boys have pendants, death is so much a part of our existence here, and nowadays it has become unfashionable – a friend pointed out that in the US one doesn’t say died anymore, one says passed – and his question as a psychologist was – passed to where? There is something good in learning about cycles at a young age, even if it is traumatic. HOpe that wasnt all rambly but made some sense to you. Poli


                • July 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM

                  thats interesting how people view how we word things, sometimes i think too much importance is placed on these things, people say things meaning one thing and saying another. How is your relationship with the younger cat now? I take it you lost the older one? Thank you for writing poli it is always appreciated. I have decided to get a hollow silver heart and hang it in my bedroom and plant something in the garden though with my gardening talents or lack thereof never know if it will survive heh x


                  • July 21, 2014 at 7:54 PM

                    Hello there I always like reading anything your write me too – thank you. Regarding the use of language, in some ways, I feel as though by using different words one is trying to hide the elephant in the room. Thankfully I still have my older cat, he cuddles me at night, he climbs on top of me when it is cold and welcomes me home from hard days at work sitting in the garden, and early in the morning he throws himself onto my pillow turns round a few times puts his head on my shoulder and goes back to sleep until I am ready to wake up. I dont mind the cat in the bed, better than the elephant in the room. The little one died in 2009 I think she heard my car coming home and ran out to meet me I still feel really guilty about this, although there was nothing I could do, she was hit by a van. But I stillthink if I hadent driven past our house that day she might not have thought I was on the way home…no use thinking about it. Plant something perennial that you cannot kill – sure the gardener can recommend a plant that will work well for your garden. you could get a dwarf variety to remind you of the pug 🙂


                    • July 22, 2014 at 5:35 PM

                      that is soooo sad about your cat running out and i can see why it plays on your mind sometimes, it would me too, but time heals and we forget a little the intensity of the emotions. We have got one plant for my eldest son, a hydranger which has been tampered with to make it some amazing colour and my youngest i will take down when hes ready he doesnt want to think about it right now xx huggles


                    • July 22, 2014 at 9:22 PM

                      hydrangeas are great, hard to kill, understand that it takes some time for the little one. It does take time and we do forget, although sometimes we remember and there is something good in that too.
                      On a different note I read this today and thought of our erstwhile emails on potty humour it might make you laugh


                    • July 22, 2014 at 9:47 PM

                      Hah I ended up reading three of that blogs posts I liked the one about removing under desk bins lol crazy x


                    • July 23, 2014 at 3:38 PM

                      funny isnt it – if I ever find the pictures I took in toilets around the world I will volunteer to do a guest blogif you will still have me on potty humour


                    • July 24, 2014 at 4:50 PM

                      haha that is quite funny ewe as long as not dirty!


                    • July 24, 2014 at 5:31 PM

                      I am talking text my dear, text, NOT bowls!


                    • July 25, 2014 at 5:10 PM

                      i would never have guessed that, grins x


                    • July 25, 2014 at 5:20 PM

                      I know you worry me often!


  14. July 17, 2014 at 7:59 AM

    Wow, Justine! You have been a very busy woman! I totally admire all of the volunteer work you do! I absolutely love your new header!! Ms. Berretta is such a talented artist and her work has given your blog so much style! 😀


    • July 19, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      awe yes and you know now my pug is in there forever, he died yesterday we are still hearbroken but now he is there in spirit on my header every day which is good, plus I am plastering him all over social media so he never gets forgotten.


  15. July 21, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    I love it, Justine!! It is SO you!!


  16. July 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you
    may be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back in the future.

    I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great posts, have a
    nice day!


    • July 24, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      heh thank you for your lovely kind and uplifting comments i will continue to write 😉 see you again xx


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: