Welcome to my Gluten Free Lifestyle Blog!
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!
I’ve decided, much like many others have done before me, that I’m going to start a blog. I’m inviting you to join me as I muddle through the year cooking, baking, photographing and living.
So that’s fun isn’t it!
Before I get started with all the gluten free food posts, I should probably introduce myself so you know what you are in for:
(That's me doing my best to look cool, calm and in control. Generally I'm not, but it's always good to start how you mean to go on).
The Main Stuff
My name is Jen.
Let’s just pause there a moment to clarify that my name, Jen, is not short for Jennifer, as you might assume it to be. It is, in fact, short for Jennine. If I had a grain of rice for every time I was mistakenly called Jennifer, I would have quite a lot of rice by now. Perhaps enough to make a delicious risotto or a paella. Unfortunately, nobody actually gave me a grain of rice when they got my name wrong, so all I have are the memories.
Last summer, July 15th to be exact, my wonderful partner Dom proposed to me on the beach in Cumbria. We are now busily planning our wedding and hope to tie the knot this coming summer, as long as we are permitted and the pandemic is under control. Planning a wedding in the uncertainty of a pandemic is pretty stressful, I can tell you! However, that is a post for another day.
We currently live between Norfolk, London and Cumbria, in the U.K., which is as wonderful and also as confusing as it sounds. Our main base throughout the pandemic has been our delightful village in Norfolk and I’ve been so blessed to become part of the community throughout that time. We’ve also spent a couple of months in Marshside House, our holiday home in West Cumbria. We’ve attempted to avoid London this year for fairly obvious reasons (those being; too many people, not enough space, little access to nature). We are really blessed to be able to enjoy this living arrangement, it’s definitely something we don’t take for granted and we love being able to share what we have with others. Something that isn’t possible right now but hopefully will be again in the future!
First and foremost, I am a Christian. I believe that we are all made in the image of God, that we are all loved beyond our wildest imaginations and that we are all created to have individual relationships with Him. Up until nearly 3 years ago now I was a staunch Atheist, but several things happened in my life which made me reassess everything I thought I knew. My life has completely changed since becoming a Christian and I am thankful for this every single day. If you have any questions about my beliefs or how I got to where I am today, please feel free to message me, I’m so happy to talk about my journey to faith. I’m sure it will come up from time to time on here!
I’m also a feminist and fiercely support the betterment of the lives of girls and women around the world. I know there are people who believe it isn’t possible to be both a Christian and a feminist, if you are one of those people, message me and let’s chat! (I’ve got a great reading list for you).
Speaking of which, I adore reading and always have. When I was a child I would read anywhere and any way I could. While walking along I would often have my nose buried in a book, which seemed perfectly normal and reasonable to me, though probably much less so for the people who walked past me and had to dodge out of my way! I enjoy anything from sci-fi and fantasy, to crime novels, to theological books or biographies. The only genre I don’t have much time is romance. More specifically, period romances. I’m really sorry, but I found Pride and Prejudice boring. Please don’t hate me! (And while I don’t enjoy the book, I think that Jane Austen was pretty awesome).
I also love any creative pursuit I can get my hands on. Crafts, painting, sewing, music, card making, whatever it is, I’ll give it a go! My most recent creative dabblings were; an advent window spanning 6 panels (go big or go home!), a music video (it was really basic but fun to learn a little about how to put videos together), and, I’ve not completed it yet, but I’m designing my own lingerie set to sew!
As some of you know; I like a challenge and I really enjoy learning, but I’m also painfully perfectionistic which can be crippling. This is something I am working to overcome because I want to live a full life and be free to engage in pursuits that I enjoy, without constantly becoming my own stumbling block. For a long time I actually had a huge aversion to posting anything on social media platforms, so this blog is a big step for me! I’m far from perfect and learning to embrace my imperfections rather than beat myself up for them - anyone else out there know what I mean?!
Other mildly interesting facts
I’m left handed, I grew up in Switzerland, I was a member of the Royal Ballet, I love cheese on my food (basically, if you can see the food beneath the cheese, you don't have enough cheese. I’m gently trying to reduce my cheese intake though because I loathe the cruelty inherent in the dairy industry), I love performing but have crippling stage fright, I also love writing and my first piece is getting published this year, woohoo!
Phew. Breathe. That was a lot of information.
So why food photography?
As much as I have a love for so many different things, my biggest and most enduring loves have been photography and cooking/baking. I’ve been gluten free by necessity for over 12 years now, which kickstarted an obsession with teaching myself how to cook and how to create food that I can enjoy without the horrible consequences of digesting gluten. I’m also vegetarian by choice and have been for about 4 to 5 years now. As well as this, I avoid a lot of dairy and instead use nut based replacements, as dairy can be too much for my stomach. So often I have people ask me what on earth I DO eat! In a way, this blog is an answer to that question, and, the answer is: a lot!
As for photography, I grew up in a family of photography lovers. I’ve been surrounded by cameras since I can remember. I almost took photography at university, but, wanting to be sensible, I chose to study psychology instead. My love of photography has endured however, and now, in my early 30s, I’ve finally decided that I will study photography and dedicate myself to developing this passion.
This blog allows me to combine both those passions; to improve my photography skills while sharing my love of food and the creativity involved in both. I also hope that, in time, it will help me to build my own business, because life is too short to not do what you love.
My love of combing food and photography goes back quite some way. Check this out, some of my early Facebook food blogging:
And, then, check out this weirdly prophetic comment thread (ignore the weird head talk):
For so many years, people from all different parts of my life have encouraged me to build my own cake business or to own a cafe, to go into photography full time or some combination of the two.
So, what I’m getting around to saying is that this blog has always meant to happen in one form or another, and I’m finally getting around to building a career around photography and food a mere 10 years down the line! Hopefully, both my cooking and my photography has improved somewhat since then; I’m so excited to get started and share my love of food creation with you! Just to clarify, this food blog will be focused on gluten free food, it will also be mostly vegetarian and low on dairy. So, if that’s your thing then I think you’ll love my blog. If not, give it a go anyway and you might surprise yourself! If you have any further questions about me or anything I mentioned in this post, please feel free to write a comment or message me on one of the social media platforms.
I’m so happy to have you here!