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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Feeling lazy but lively

I did want to publish a woolly post today. It’s long overdue. And I had an idea for a Meaningful Monday post last week… but promptly forgot what it was… I’ve been missing you guys, but am feeling increasingly tired and weighed down by a very lively creature in my belly that I can’t wait to meet. Not long to go now…

I’m not personally dancing that much these days… but I hope this video spreads a little of the joy that gorgeous blue sky, with wispy hints of cloud stretched across it, on a whole day full of sunshine has been making me feel today. And this is how I feel about my London Town too. I’ve been feeling a bit WOW today in short… hope that you enjoy what essentially is a Cadbury’s chocolate advert. Ahh well, maybe Cadbury’s will send me a few bars of Dairy Milk just to make my day unbeatable? HAha… a girl can dream big :P

I hope you are all well…Take care! xx


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Not quite a ball…

It’s been a bit of a tough old time since I last posted. Still not out of the woods yet, but consoling myself with some knitting and learning yet again to trust in God’s plan and grace. In the past Sunday, a friend shared a song that I missed. I received news of it just when I needed reminding most. I’m feeling very thankful and at peace.

As I posted on Facebook last week, I’ve started another mini project. I promised to update you today so I’m posting photos below. But I’ve been winding yarn all day today because

  1. I’m currently convalescing and have nothing better to do and
  2. my mini project has run out of yarn and I need to get some more and
  3. my mammoth cable project does my shoulder (and head) in if I do too much at a time (although it has more than doubled since I last posted that photo)

So, today I took apart a project I finished previously that I did not like so much once I finished it. I think I should have used a softer, simpler and consistently coloured yarn for it. But I’m not going to make it again. I love the yarn and the mottled greys in it though, so I did some searches for ideas on balling yarn with a centre pull. What I’ve ended up with is the equivalent of two balls of yarn into a elongated rugby ball shape. Still a ball of sorts I guess, but not what you’d normally call a ball.

Balling yarn by hand

As for my lovely mini project, I could never bring myself to bother with knitting up anything but scarves and phone holders or random not so useful things. I would look at the yarn needed to knit up a cardigan and baulk at the idea. But then, after enjoying knitting up the booties so much, my mum encouraged me to try some mini jumpers etc. saying that they knit up really swiftly and it’s a great way to learn the skills. So I’m currently working up a mini hoodie with the view that it can be for a girl or a boy because I’m not yet sure who’s will eventually end up wearing it. I’d really recommend trying baby knitting if you are just starting out, because my mum was right – it’s addictive!

Corey Cardigan

I’m quite frustrated that I’ve done the back, front sides and just over one sleeve but have just run out of yarn! I can’t wait to get some more! How many yarn lovers do we have reading today? Please say hello and let me know if you have some ongoing projects!

In the meantime, with the yarn I’ve balled today, I’m going to make up a quick snood using inspiration I’ve pinned here and here. Hopefully it’ll be nice and quick and will turn out well. It’s definitely spring though, there is not a cloud in the sky and when I open the back door an unmistakeable fragrance of life wafts in. Hopefully the resulting snood will not be needed until the end of the year!

Thank you all for reading and leaving your comments. I’ve still to respond to some of them. I’m getting quite bad at this – sincere apologies! Trying to get into a good blogging rhythm. Missing some of your blogs too – I can see many friends of this blog have also been busy – thanks for popping by and leaving messages, even when you’ve obviously not had time to post yourselves. It always does me no end of good to hear from you <3


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Peanut Butter Cookies for a sunny day

Peanut Butter Cookies for a sunny day

Greetings all! This weekend I told you I would be baking. But it almost didn’t happen. Firstly, I decided a lie-in on Saturday would be good. It was indeed. Secondly, the weather was not the same beast as depicted in the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, shared on Friday. In fact, it was quite different with not a cloud in the sky:

Peanut Butter Cookies for a sunny dayAs a direct consequence of the aforementioned lie-in, fewer hours in the day remained for me to take advantage of the weather. There was a risk that baking would not get a look in. But it did.

The ingredients and method were really quick, simple and gluten-free to boot. I followed a recipe I pinned here, but reduced the amount of sugar included because I prefer things to be less sweet.

While preheating the oven to 180°C, I mixed together one egg, half a cup of sugar (I used granulated brown cane sugar), one cup of peanut butter and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. I initially disliked the mixture a lot. It was gooey, sugary and didn’t look like it would amount to much. But as I mixed it, my biceps ached and the goo became a delicious smelling crumby golden ball:

Peanut Butter Cookies for a sunny dayThe mixture was then easily rolled into small walnut -sized balls as suggested in the original recipe. I got 23 out of these quantities. To create the cute pattern on top, I simple pressed down gently with a fork to form a criss-cross pattern. I found the peanut butter oils were sufficient to prevent the fork from sticking to the batter if done carefully.

Peanut Butter Cookies for a sunny dayThe cookies only need 12 minutes in the oven to achieve a lovely crumbly texture with a very slightly chewy middle. They are very soft when they first come out of the oven, so I transferred them immediately onto a cooling rack  by pulling the non-stick baking sheet with cookies on top and sliding it over. I then sprinkled a teaspoon’s worth of extra sugar on top for a little extra crunch.

These cookies are great if you want something easy and quick. I can imagine they’d be great on a hot summer’s day, when you don’t want to spend long in a hot kitchen. I can’t say I actually know what that feels like though. Spring sunshine with a chilly breeze blowing will have to do me for now ;) I hope you give the cookies a try and enjoy them too!

Peanut Butter Cookies for a sunny day

Another great thing about these is, that they are at once salty and sweet. A great combination. Their peanutty richness also means that you don’t need to eat many with your cup of tea. I’ve still got over half left. That’s win-win-win in my book! If you made some now, we could meet for a virtual tea and cookies meet-up ;)


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Ha-ha-happy Friday :)

What a week. The weather has been like this. I need some light relief. Thought I’d share a lovely compliment I received via a spambot or person, who obviously has a better command of English than me. I am still trying to work out what this comment is supposed to be about…

Spam comment

Oh on the subject of language, I once visited a church in Norwich on my travels, and was asked by a friendly member of the congregation whether my accent was from Australia. It was a little awkward when I had to say no, I was just from down south :P I put it down to the cosmopolitan City that I live in, plus influences from friends. After all, I have been known to slip into a Malaysian or Nigerian accent without being aware of it much to the amusement of the company I was in. The latter actually happened first at work!

Anyway, enough about work, the weekend is here! I’m going to try making these easy peasy looking cookies for teatime tomorrow and having a little giggle over this clip about people changing the way they speak. And maybe I’ll be doing a little of this too:

Calvin & Hobbes, Spring | from Daily Calvin & Hobbes on Facebook

Calvin & Hobbes, Spring | from Daily Calvin & Hobbes on Facebook

Do you find that the way you speak changes in different environments? Do you enjoy listening to and/or speaking different languages? What are your plans for the weekend? And dare I ask… what season would you say is in your part of the world at the moment?


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Wonderful Spring

I’ve been filled with wonder that spring has sprung. I spent some time bird watching from the window today and wondering why it is that the smallest of birds love to sit fully exposed to the buffeting of strong winds at the very top of the longest thin tree branch that points skywards. I’d be more likely to hide somewhere among the budding branches down below, where there is more shelter. That seems to be what I’ve been doing in the past few weeks when I’ve gone missing on the blogging scene.

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and for continuing to visit, even though I seemed to have passed out for lack of fish and chips. They were real encouragements and it cheered me up no end that such an affinity developed over my favourite deep friend dish! Since that last post, I have eaten fish and chips twice (the last time was two nights ago). I now feel reasonably fortified and would like to return. Perhaps, I might even gingerly hop higher up the tree and feel the breeze… who knows, I might eventually take flight!

For today, I intend to pay back a debt. I owe you a Wonder Wool update. Way back in winter, I posted a little sneak preview to see if you could guess what I was knitting. I was making my foray into baby knitting for a friend. She has since safely received both the hat for her and the knit for baby (as well as delivering an adorable baby girl) so I can reveal what I was knitting for the first baby project I set myself:

Patons Jessica Baby Booties

I intend to do more – I was hooked! They knit up relatively quickly and I learned some new techniques. It’s a Patons newborn pattern involving knitting two rows into each other to form the pretty scalloped edge.

Knitting something for this brand new little person, gave me time to think about the fragility of life. How one person can bring so much joy or devastation to the world. How every small action we take or every word we speak, can have a huge impact on someone else for good and bad. This post from a couple of sisters I love to read, was at the same time thought provoking and challenging along those thought-lines. I thought I’d share it – cherish this moment!

Once again, I thank you for your kind words, even though I have been so slow to respond. Thank you friends! I pray that you have strength in your wings for whatever you are facing today x


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#waitingforspring

Today I woke up around 7. I remember hearing a car pass by and thinking, sounds like the tyres are on a wet road but it’s not rain, sounds sludgy. Yes, that is how I wake myself up early on a Saturday morning.

When I peeked out of the window, sure enough, a winter scene greeted my bleary eyes. It was snowy, in fact there was a mild blizzard blowing.

I’m following the #waitingforspring hash tag today after clicking on it and finding some humorous and positive takes on this unyielding wintry weather.

Spring has sprung – the daffodils have been out for over a week now – but it is really struggling to kick winter out! What’s the weather like where you are?

I wish you a safe, sheltered and warm weekend indoors unless you actually like trudging around in the cold…


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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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