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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WOW Wednesday: Tea leaf eggs

image

Chinese Tea Leaf Egg Shell

I’ve been away for so long and I’m missing this space. Doesn’t mean I’ve not been aware of beautiful things though in spite of my baby brain!

Just wanted to share a thing of beauty. A friend made me some Chinese Tea Eggs this weekend and I just love the pattern on them when you peel off the shells. They are also delicious. Enjoy!

Hope you are all well xx


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Smiley Friday!

I spent most of this week not knowing what day of the week it was. I actually went through yesterday, thinking it was Wednesday, until hubby came home and commented that it would be Friday today. I managed somehow to completely lose a day in my week, but it is a relief that it is actually Friday ;)

I just wanted to share something fun that happened today. I accidentally splashed a bit of water onto the desk when setting a glass of water down a little unsteadily (been a bit clumsy lately). The result was intriguing. Nothing special I suppose – any scientists among us might teach me something about what happened – but I’m content right now just to let it make me smile.

watersplash

Hope it makes you smile too (and I’m loving the new WP smileys too – how about you?)… happy weekend!


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The transcience of bricks and mortar

In the UK we have a very emotive relationship to our buildings. Prince Charles and his passion for preserving heritage juxtaposed with someone like Norman Foster, who has been widely credited with bringing British innovation to the international stage, demonstrate the wildly disparate attitudes that exist.

In the economic downturn, one strong measure of public confidence was the effect on house prices and house buying. News articles abounded with stories of people frustrated with being unable to afford their own pied à terre, with corresponding opinions regarding how the Government was or was not managing the situation effectively. Unlike many countries including our continental counterparts, we are a country obsessed with acquiring our own “real estate” however insignificant its footprint when compared to those who are in possession of vast country pads.

In recent floods that have ravaged significant areas of the country, one of the most devastating things has been watching home and business owners in despair as they inspect property that has been damaged or destroyed by water. The repercussions extend far beyond simply being deprived of shelter from the elements, and the most traumatic consequences are often eventually emotional ones.

That’s why this magazine article interview with photographer Marcel Heijnen was so interesting to me. It suggests a completely different approach. Heijnen poignantly portrays these objects that we project our need for security and permanence onto, as what they really are: beautifully untrustworthy, prone to modification and destruction.

Photographer reflects the changing face of Asian cities | Marcel Heijnen

Click through for video article about photographer Marcel Heijnen


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What’s News?

I wanted to celebrate the fact that Getty has made millions of images free to use and that WordPress has done some tweaks to make it easy for us to do this…but the site is probably overrun by enthusiastic bloggers because it was not available for ages!

I thought it would be interesting, on the back of International Women’s Day, to see what kind of photos would come up when I searched for “women“.

The images that emerged gave a far from “international” representation, and so many were of young women shopping, having coffee together, working out or partying! You can draw your own conclusions from that, I can’t claim to have trawled through all 10492 pages resulting from my search and I most certainly did not take scientific statistics based on the pages I did look at.

I can only say I did quite enjoy looking through the site, and will be enjoying it in future I believe. I’ve always enjoyed visiting Getty images exhibitions when I’ve had the chance to drop by. The debate over them making images so readily available for free use is a hot one… I’m not going to enter into any discussions or assert any opinions on anything mentioned above under the pretext that raised blood pressure would not be beneficial to me right now… any excuse to be lazy. But feel free to say your piece ;)

I’d just like to know whether anyone did this while they were pregnant (see below)? I must say, having started my antenatal classes recently, I was really relieved that the other couples don’t seem to have swotted up too much on all the available (overwhelming) information out there…

I’m preferring trying to up my R&R quota… but does that mean I’m in denial? I think today, the baby has mainly been listening to BBC News on repeat in the background whilst I’ve been continuing my attempts at organising my life doing lots of filing and tidying my desk… an ongoing losing battle perhaps…


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The Battle We Didn’t Choose

I haven’t done a Treasure Trove Thursday for a long time. It’s not because there aren’t plenty of treasures in my life. It’s just that I have found the deeper thoughts often escaping me recently – the time and space to sit and reflect and write what I have reflected upon, in such a way that is appropriate – they’ve been scarce lately. But I wanted to share with you this website and talk that I stumbled upon today, and to thank you for your friendship.

We all go through battles we didn’t choose. Photographer Angelo Merendino and his wife Jennifer chose to share their battle with the world through some beautifully simple and honest images. The story of Jennifer’s journey with breast cancer is a very intimate one. Angelo does not make his wife out to be a heroine of pedestal status. I was touched by how theirs was ultimately a simple love story, a story of family and friendship, a story of the need of human beings for each other. Yes, ultimately it is a story of a very personal loss, but also a story that has already been an inspiration to many.

Today is not a day too late, to tell those around you that they matter to you. That you love them. That you need them. That you treasure them.


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Watch: Photograph of Jesus

this is lemonade:

I’m going to cheat this Frivolous Friday, and share this gem of a find. No my week has obviously not been as eventful as B’s from Make, Do and Spend, but it just got a bit more interesting having viewed this short film.
Enjoy and have a lovely weekend! :)

Originally posted on Make, Do and Spend:

I popped into Seven/Five Production’s weekly meet-up this evening, where they were showcasing a selection of excellent short films

Among the many excellent and engaging shorts was ‘Photograph of Jesus’

This is not a new film – the video was posted on YouTube back in 2008 – but it’s new to me, and I think it’s brilliant!

What do you think? Do you have any short film recommendations?

View original


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Treasure Trove Thursdays : Sunshine and kisses

A little snapshot of my bank holiday weekend. Nothing unusual apart from going to the wedding of a lifetime. Full of tears and laughter, I haven’t attended a more special wedding in my life. I’m currently feeling a little bereaved because it was just the most delightful and wonderful day, but it was over all too quickly.

I was in spring cleaning (more like office organising) mode all last week:

shredding

There is still plenty of work to be done but there are some colourful and pretty side effects of sorting through paperwork. Even though this went straight into the recycling!

peeling

On Sunday, there was a big meal to be had, during the preparation of which I had the opportunity to compare three different vegetable peelers. I’ve never really used any in the style of the colourful ones. The all-metal one was mine, inherited from a previous landlord. Having more than one peeler in one’s possession makes a lot of sense if one does not want to prepare meals alone. I have in mind to acquire a new cheerful plastic one sometime soon!

kissing

…and Monday transported me to the “epic” wedding (not my usual word for a wedding, but one that’s been banded around Facebook ever since the big day!) It was truly special day for me personally, a really meaningful event that I’m not expecting to forget for a long time to come.

lilac ivy

As a real bonus, the wedding took place in the most beautiful setting, which we were able to take full advantage of  and relax in. Absolutely perfect. Only thing that could have improved it for me, was remembering to bring my sunglasses! We had some beautiful sunshine, it’s something special after the long long winter. Every ray of sun is like a sparkle of magic and makes me feel so alive.

paper bag candlelight

I’m still glowing from the beautiful day. Pity it was a work day afterwards and we could not stay on till very late as we had quite a way to go afterwards.

Did you have a bank holiday? How was your weekend? I can’t believe another week is almost over again. We’ll be half-way through the year soon and I feel like the year’s barely begun. Anyone else feel this way?


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Tasty Toasties: Colours of Spring ~ Quick Tortilla Wrap Pizza ~

I got some light protest in the comments under my first Tasty Toasties post. Some of you were of the opinion that the addition of cheese would have been in good order. I do not disagree. I usually have cheese on the brain, and this has been the case ever since I left the cheese out on my posh beans on toast. I have well and truly learned my lesson. This quick toastie has two cheeses: a cheddar from The Lake District Cheese Co. (I had to include a link because it’s such a cute site!) and a lovely crumbly and tangy Lancashire cheese.

Tortilla Wrap Pizza

I don’t know about the part of the world you are in, but London has been finally launched feet first into spring. It is as though the sun saw the calendar and was as surprised as me. What? It’s March already? Huh? I haven’t shone yet this year, hurry! And we’ve had five days of sunshine straight (or at least that’s how I remember it to be). It’s still cold, but there are signs of busy spring activity already. Green shoots poking through everywhere, and birds and squirrels getting all excited, suddenly full of life and bustling about.

I spent five minutes watching a squirrel running to and fro, checking up on its stash of snacks in the garden earlier. It happily polished one of them off, then proceeded to lick itself all over and stretch about in the sun before prancing off along the fence.

So that’s the backdrop to today’s uncomplicated toastie. I prefer thin crust pizzas so this is right up my street, but to be honest, it’s just as easy to roll it up and eat it like a wrap, I might do that next time.. I put it in the oven, ten minutes at 200°C or about 395°F – basically, until the cheese melts into that bubbly, oozy goodness we all love. After taking it out of the oven, I finished it off with some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then cracked some black pepper on top. Even if it rains tomorrow, I’ll be satisfied, because today I celebrated some lovely spring sunshine with a cheery toastie while it lasted.

Tortilla Wrap Pizza - tortilla wrap, tomato puree, anchovy paste, olive oil, grated cheddar, crumbled Lancashire cheese, sliced pomodorino tomatoes, sliced green olives, pea shoots, balsamic vinegar, freshly ground black pepper

On a separate note, here is my update on my February goals. Basically, it was more a success than a fail… I did the things that I wanted to do the most. I am behind schedule for getting in front of the post office counter to send my parcel off, but otherwise, I’ve completed some fun project there which I will hopefully share about soon. I have completely failed to fill one of the mini sketchbooks I made. I’m suffering still, from the blank page problem…

February Goals Update

Did you set yourself any goals for last month? If yes, how did you do? If you need any cheering up, I hope today’s little bite of spring helps – have a good week!


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Gluten Free Banana and Peanut Butter Pancakes

I hereby present to you something interesting, simple and quite yummy. You can make it with two ingredients, but I made it with four and then went right ahead and made it into a meal. I was totally inspired by Joy of Oh Joy! who has a little cutie called Ruby, she has good taste has Ruby. I made a more grown-up and (very slightly, perhaps) less healthy option.

Here’s my brunch for one. You could always make it a light breakfast and share between two (if you must). I got four small pancakes out of the following quantities.

Gluten Free Banana and Peanut Butter Pancakes | this is lemonade

Gluten Free Banana and Peanut Butter Pancakes, served with bacon and rocket

Ingredients | One each of the following:

  • Ripe banana
  • Generous teaspoon peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, you decide)
  • Tablespoon Greek yoghurt
  • Medium egg
  • Rasher of bacon (optional)
  • Handful of rocket (optional)

1. Mash the banana into as fine a pulp as you can. If it is ripe enough, a fork is sufficient for this. Mix in the peanut butter and then the yoghurt making sure the mixture is as smooth as you can get it. At this point, the mixture will be quite thick.

2. Mix in the egg. A small whisk may make it easier at this point, but I found it easy enough to fold in the egg carefully using the fork. Make sure you incorporate all the ingredients well.

Gluten Free Banana and Peanut Butter Pancakes | this is lemonade

Gluten Free Banana and Peanut Butter Pancakes | this is lemonade

3. If you are just planning on making the pancakes, then go right ahead and skip this step. Otherwise, fry the bacon in a preheated frying pan. I like to use a non-stick pan so that I don’t have to add extra oil. When the bacon is crisped and brown, remove and leave to rest on some kitchen paper to soak off any excess fat.

4. Turn the heat down and spoon the pancake mixture into the bacon fat (or preheated oil) before turning the heat back up. Fry the mixture until you see little bubbles appearing all over the mixture and a faint browning at the edges. This will cook more slowly than standard pancakes and if you try to turn them too quickly, they will collapse so be warned!

Gluten Free Banana and Peanut Butter Pancakes | this is lemonade

5. Serve immediately. I sandwiched the bacon and some rocket between the pancakes. The flavours of the salty bacon and nutty rocket worked really well with the peanut buttery pancakes to make a very satisfying meal!

Gluten Free Banana and Peanut Butter Pancakes | this is lemonade

I hope you give this a go. It’s simply a glorified fried egg so it’s really fun to make if you have the time, especially if you like bananas – the riper the better because the sweetness comes through perfectly :) Do you have any favourite weekend treats in the kitchen? That idyllic weekend morning, when we all supposedly spend relaxing hours in the kitchen, making a fabulous breakfast or brunch…does that happen in your home? Well this was a real treat to make and to eat, and did not take much time either – my favourite bit :)

Gluten Free Banana and Peanut Butter Pancakes | this is lemonade


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Jumping on the bandwagon of lurrrrve?

Love Hearts at Westfield E20 | this is lemonade

Love Hearts at Westfield E20

This week has seen two festivals celebrated a lot with the colour red. The Chinese Lunar New Year and yesterday’s Valentine’s Day. Without further ado, I’m going to share some photos of my red week. No overdosing on chocolate for me last night in the name of love, just as I haven’t done Lent properly before, I don’t really do Valentine’s either. But there’s no need to hate. It’s always good to be reminded of our need to show love – I served up a good meal, and to make it truly a special and meaningful occasion, I didn’t take photos! (I have to say though, I made proper nice roasted potatoes for the first time, and they were delish if I do say so myself – I’m having the leftovers tonight and I can’t wait, ha!)

Chinese New Year of the Snake | this is lemonade

Chinese New Year of the Snake – took me a while to realise the numbers are a snake!

Red Tape | this is lemonade

Red Tape – I used one to decorate one of my handmade mini sketchbooks

Fattet Moussaka at Le Comptoir Libanais | this is lemonade

Fattet Moussaka at Le Comptoir Libanais with aubergines and pomegranate seeds – very yum!

Red Bike Racks at Westfield E20 | this is lemonade

Red Bike Racks at Westfield E20 – I really liked these!

Strawberry FroYo in the making | this is lemonade

Strawberry FroYo in the making

OK so this last one is not red, but I could not help it. I’m a one trick pony, old dog, old tricks… whatever, but after Christmas, I bought myself a heart shaped cookie cutter, and look what I did with it :P (I did have to pour out the runnier, outer part of the egg white though, as the hole is smaller than the one I usually cut out with a glass.)

Sunny Fried Toasties Valentines Edition | this is lemonade

Sunny Fried Toasties Valentines Edition

I must say I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Valentine’s Day. I avoid all the red aisles in the supermarket and gasp audibly at the hiked up prices of flowers and chocolates to my own embarrassment. But I’m thankful for the reminder to treasure those I love more and to show my appreciation of them. I thought this article was quite a meaningful one, despite romantic love being all well and good. From a glance at the comments though, a lot of people don’t agree. What do you think? Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

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