this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


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Happy Easter!

Just popping in to wish you all a Happy Easter. Without Easter Sunday, there would only be Bad Friday and no good in the Easter story. So I’m thankful for God’s grace and for the hope and joy after suffering that comes wrapped up in the gift of Easter.

Another piece of good news that has less of a wide-reaching impact and more of a personal one, is that Baby Girl arrived last week! ♡ She was a tad early, and the birth didn’t go as we’d hoped, but words cannot express what a joy it is to finally get to know the little human that has been growing inside me for the last 9 months.  It was all worth it… and the poo and feeding and crying and lack of sleep hasn’t dampened anything… except perhaps the urge to blog :-P

So please forgive my impending absence. I’ll be back hopefully in the not too distant future (and resolve not to flood this space with endless poo reports when I return!) In the meantime, thank you for being there, supporting and encouraging me. Take care! X


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Happy Valentines Day!

Well just a quick post to wish you all a happy Valentines Day. I don’t really get involved in this fest but there’s no reason to avoid it. So I thought I’d share a photo of the POM bottle I keep water in at the moment, to make sure I remember to stay hydrated. I love it, it just makes me smile every time I use it.

POM bottle

And this is another photo… it shows a bit of a round belly and some knitting. It’s what I’m busy with at the moment, knitting some pretty things for a friend’s wedding next week. I still haven’t sorted out my outfit, argh! I sure hope she has some sunshine for the big day, it’s almost been chucking it down and blowing up a storm non-stop…

Knitting Belly

Now I’m going to take a break and make some silly chocolates with Google’s latest Doodle… have a lovely weekend and take care! <3

Valentines Google Doodle

Valentines Google Doodle


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Not-so Frivolous Friday… and some very sparkly lemonade ;)

I’ve been promising to let you in on something for weeks.. perhaps even months. I even dropped some obscure hints…but I couldn’t find the words, or it was easier to just veg, nap or snooze rather than deal with this post. You probably haven’t even noticed… or you’ve given up on me for dithering so much. So, as you are actually reading this, thank you in advance for being here even though I’ve been so random!

My sister sent me a link to the following article and I thought it was the ideal way to break the news. For me and hubby it is BIG NEWS. For many it might just be run of the mill, for others perhaps it will be exciting and for more people than society acknowledges, it may be upsetting. I don’t know right now, what the outcome will be and for how long. This is a daunting journey that I have had no control over from the beginning, and blogging has been a real lifeline in helping me process life and keep going. For this I am truly grateful. Now that I’m anticipating the only enduring “ambition” I’ve ever had coming to fruition this Easter (God-willing), I wanted to share my news with you and also thank you for being there for me, friend.

Are You Ready

I’m going to let this article do the talking…
Please click through ;)

All hilarity aside, I’m going to need a lot of wisdom and strength for the steps ahead. I’m finding it difficult to even type the words and put them out there, the concept seems so unreal to me right now and I almost dare not say anything out loud. Sorry for this non-announcement, but it is about what you are no doubt thinking that it’s about if you clicked the link above… and I hope to be sharing the accompanying knitting projects that I’ve been doing, “soon”.

Talk about an awkward post..! Take care, and have a good weekend :)


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Happy Winter Solstice!

From today onwards, the days will be getting longer again! Somehow, this year more than in previous years, I’m so ready for that! Perhaps it’s the very windy and rainy weather recently.

Anyway, thought you might enjoy popping over to Google to see how those ever creative guys have been celebrating this. I think you might agree that they’ve got the right attitude to winter ;-) I’ve got some backlog on knitting reports that I owe you among other things. I hope I will get those done in the New Year:

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The Christmas period being what it is though, I’m not even pretending that I’ll have another post out by Christmas… and unlike some very organised people out there, I have not written a few posts and scheduled them to be published in case you have time between watching the Queen’s speech and scoffing the turkey with all its glorious trimmings to sit down and click on my blog.

So! May I wish you all a very blessed and peaceful Christmas. I’m especially thinking of those of you who may be spending Christmas away from home or are expecting to have a lot of quiet or lonely time this Christmas. That is how the Christ child spent Christmas too – far away from home, with a stable for a shelter. I doubt it looked anything like the ones depicted on Christmas cards with golden bales of hay and fluffy clean animals standing there respectfully gazing on. The shepherds and wise men didn’t turn up immediately either although angelic school Nativity plays have repeatedly taught us otherwise. There was most likely no stuffed turkey with roast potatoes, no hint of Brussels sprouts and certainly no Christmas pudding or crackers.

It’s not the child we sing about in Away in A Manger (“no crying he makes”) that brings me great comfort in times of despair or sorrow. It’s the homeless Christ, who started life on earth as a refugee and who went on to associate himself with beggars, lepers and sinners, whom I remember at Christmas time and put my trust in through the years’ highs and lows. It’s this gift that I hold onto for life and not just for Christmas.

So I sincerely hope your holiday time won’t be full of tension, stress, a manic last minute dash round the shops for those presents or the cranberry sauce you forgot, the racking up of debt for the new year, a mind dulling TV marathon, heartburn accompanied by a delightful hangover… all the unhappy trimmings of Christmas the sentimental ads will have us believe we need.

Take care and go easy on the mulled wine. I look forward to seeing you in 2014. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a very meaningful and lemonade-filled year together.


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Inspirational knitting sessions!

Wow is it already Friday?! I’ve been making progress with the grey snood and having some relaxation in the process… been enjoying some TED talks whilst working the yarn. Thought I’d share a few that particularly inspired and challenged me. Kinda made knitting feel like a really productive task – enjoy! And take care this weekend – thinking especially of everyone affected by the stormy weather and tidal surges affecting the UK. Hope you’re all ok <3

A talk about lollipop moments! “There is no world, there’s only 6 billion understandings of it. And if you change one person’s understanding of it…you change the whole thing.”

A talk about how feminism most definitely isn’t dated, with a lot of humour, realism and passion.

Our current education systems educate creativity out of children. We need to be “…seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are, and seeing our children for the hope that they are.”


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Happy Birthday Doctor Who!

I don’t know how many Doctor Who fans there are among you. I’m not a real fan, my sister can keep that accolade, but I could not resist some fun distraction today from Google. If you haven’t already had a go, it’s a really good time waster for a Friday evening… head on over to enjoy the fun :)Doctor Who - Google Doodle

After I posted my first time on Facebook, I beat my own time and did it in 11:42, mainly because I kept pressing on the wrong square on one of the levels. (Yes, if only… haha.) If you feel like forgetting about the past week and just heading straight over to the weekend, I’m wholeheartedly recommending this doodle! Happy weekend everyone! Take care.. <3

 


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Flaky Frivolous Fridays and a big Thank You

Hi friends. I’m sorry I’ve been really flaky recently. I said I was back. I visited your blogs. Left a few messages here and there. Then I went AWOL again. I’ll come clean soon I promise – God-willing. (One of you already sussed me out…but who?? :-P ) In the meantime… I wanted to share this cool video. I watched it and thought of all of you…

“for a second there I was thinking, when did they put cushions on the subway? Really comfortable.. thank you.”

For over a year now, you dear friends have been the cushions on the subway I’ve been riding. I’m so grateful. Thank you. Have a lovely weekend…take good care, catch up soon!


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Distraction and procrastination

Anyone else find that summer is a difficult season during which to concentrate? There is so much life happening around, that I often forget what I was in the middle of. (Not that I am complaining – don’t get me wrong. After half a year of languishing in winter, I would not dare complain! )

Yesterday evening, I was trying to concentrate and get some tasks sorted:

I must say it was more than difficult. The sun was shining, the sky was beautiful and blue. I just wanted to be outside. Besides, there was a cat prowling about the garden as intrigued as I was, by a bird that was making a racket. It was a blackbird that I caught sight of for a while as it perched on a low roof, but could now no longer see. It was relentlessly “becoming more excited” (scroll to the end of the linked page and you’ll see what I mean).

Such a drama unfolded before me, it was hilarious. The cat was prowling about the garden with great poise as though it was on an undercover mission. Suddenly, a thud against the back fence startled me from my thoughts. There had been a failed attempt to grab the offending creature – which incidentally did not stop calling. The cat swiftly flattened itself against the ground darting its head from side to side as though pretending that it never lost its dignity. It settled and flexed as though unsure as to whether or not pouncing again was a good idea.  Eventually, having held several different stances and come to no clear decision, it opted for the classic decoy tactic, darted at speed across the garden and leapt over the fence into next door’s.

Oh and it re-emerged not long after, prowling about again, lifting its paws stealthily with each stride in the parched grass. Hunter-like. As the bird continued to call unperturbed.

Until some children burst out of a neighbouring house into the garden screaming, pursued by a grinning grandfather wielding a water pistol.

I ask you, how is one possibly to get any work done in such an environment? And how can such a small creature as a blackbird, produce such a resonant sound?

Here’s something calming in case you need it. A great familiar soundtrack for summer… happy weekend! 


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Summer is here people! :)

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If only we’d known there would be a summer at all this year, while we were stuck in the doldrums of the long winter ;)

The Great British Summer has arrived! Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. Enjoy it while it lasts!

I wonder how many roundabouts will have sunbathers on them this weekend. How many sausages will be incinerated? All the supermarkets will be out of instant barbecue trays for sure (I haven’t actually noticed that many on sale yet this year). Lucky I’ve still got a couple from an end of soggy summer sale from last year or whenever ;)

Have a lovely weekend everyone. Enjoy your holiday US readers! We don’t need a holiday here, it’s like Christmas has come early but without the cold! Time to put the lemonade on ice :-D


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Make mine a sparkling lemonade please…

Happy July! We had a relatively scorching hot, sunny day in London yesterday. It was glorious, if a little bit of a shock to the system ;) “Change” is threatened, with a glimmer of hope for next weekend, but we won’t be holding our breath too much. Anyone for tennis? The tournament has so far been full of surprises, I wish I were there in the sun today – have any of you watched Wimbledon in person?

Talking about surprises, I have been the grateful beneficiary of a few very pleasant ones over the past half a year or so – a few awards that I have regrettably been remiss to acknowledge properly. My sincere apologies to five lovely bloggers who have dropped such thoughtful gifts of encouragement on my blog along the way and made me smile. They were especially meaningful as I was struggling to get words out and not actually writing a lot at the times when I received them! As I have said in the past, I am so touched by the generous kindness out there from all of you. My heartfelt thanks for reading and holding conversations here!

This time I’m going to break all the rules of awards there ever were, and do my own thing!

First of all, I hope you will forgive me for not nominating any other bloggers for the awards below. I wanted to acknowledge the people who gave them to me, but I will not be writing any more award posts after this one. I’ve recently started using my Facebook page to share blog posts that have inspired and challenged me. That way I have a focus for Facebook and a focus for the blog – I can share posts I’ve enjoyed easily as I read, rather than dawdling half a year to write something like this! I hope you’ll check my page out, click like to subscribe if you do indeed like it and please visit the links from posts I’ve enjoyed and share the love!

this is lemonade on Facebook

Secondly, one of the good friends of this blog, Diana, shared a post about personality colours not so long ago and I went and googled it and found this file. It’s a short version of the real thing I’m guessing, but a whole lot of fun! I wonder what colour you are – do have a go and let me know in the comments below what you think and what colour you are… I’m BLUE :) Exactly what I would actually have expected!

Thirdly, just because I’d love to find out some random things about you dear readers, feel free to answer the following questions on your blogs and link back in the comments to let me know you’ve done it!

  1. Do you take sugar in your tea or coffee? I used to take sugar in my tea because my dad did. Then I tried it without and haven’t looked back since. My dad no longer does either. With coffee, if it’s rich and aromatic… white but no sugar for me thank you! Sometimes I do fancy a bit of sweet to make it taste something like the coffee creme chocolates that started me off on coffee in the first place though…
  2. Are you happy with where you live? I was shocked to read this report. I hope the views of my neighbours were taken on a miserable, grey and rainy day when everyone was simply grumpy and would rather not have been answering a lot of questions. I personally feel privileged to be living in London in spite of all the slightly smelly and grimy things about it. I like to call the not-so-nice bits “culture” whilst keeping my personal belongings with me at all times :P
  3. Sun or snow? Definitely sun. But not hot and humid if I get a say – I actually love sunny winter days when everything feels crisp and fresh, hot with breezy shade is herrrrrlich too. Love snow too, preferably not in London though!
  4. Do you listen to music while you are working on something? Only if I don’t need to focus very intensely. If I’m writing (e.g. blogging) it’s got to be instrumental music,  I get very distracted if there is singing or talking in the background, especially if I like the song or find the conversation interesting. But if I’m doing chores, cooking or painting for example, music helps to motivate and focus me and beats are great!
  5. Evenings in or out? I prefer no more than one or two nights out a week if it’s with a group of people. Coffee with one or two friends at a time don’t count as I love to sit back, people watch and have a lazy natter! I love a bustling house too and prefer entertaining at home simply, without fuss. 
  6. What do you wish you were doing right now? Having a barbecue or a picnic, wiling away a lazy afternoon :)

And finally and very importantly…

Blog of 2012 Award

Thank you to the wonderful Mags, one of my oldest blogging friends, a colourful ball of energy, creativity and optimism; and to Rabbit, an undaunted adventurer in all things edible (she has just started baking as well as cooking) for the award from last year! Do check out their inventive blogs if you want to be inspired! (Please click on the image to take you through to the rules and info on the origins of this award.)

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Liebster Award - a nerdy crocheter

Thank you to A Nerdy Crocheter for the Liebster Blog award. Her beautifully crocheted projects are an inspiration and pleasure to read about, do go on over and get ready to admire her work!

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Beautiful Blogger Award - licking the plate again

Thank you to a Licking the plate again for the Beautiful Blogger award. Click through for a very tasty, travelling view of the world, and another view of the UK from a slightly more northerly perspective.

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Shine On Award - Alicia Benton

And last but not least, thank you to Alicia for the Shine On award (I’m not soo late in writing about this award ;)) She has been taking part in a challenge to write every day for a month, so go and check it out!

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To see previous award posts and visit some blogs I’ve nominated in the past, simply click on the award icon in the menu bar on the right. (You may need to maximise your browser window as this menu bar is set to be hidden on a smaller window.)

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