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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The grey season is back!

It’s getting colder in London now. It’s that time of year when I sometimes wish we could just snuggle up at home and not go out again for a few months. Although that would be a bit boring. Not least because it would give me no reason to knit grey, cosy pieces of yarn fabric to burrow into.

I have completed a couple of other projects that I will write about soon enough, but it’s now time to indulge in creating soft wads of grey to envelope myself in. Yes, it’s self indulgence time. Lucky for me, I love scarves. My mum invariably grimaces when she asks me what I’m knitting and I say “a scarf”.  To her, it’s the most boring thing on earth to put your needles to use for. To me, it’s the best thing to tuck into of a dark evening with some random food or travel programme playback on in the background.

Grey Snood Thick n Thin

Do excuse the poor lighting. I’m using a combination of a supersoft 100% merino thick and thin yarn by Stitch & Story that has since been discontinued (boohoo!) and this brioletto yarn in silver, both bought in last winter’s sales. I’m simply knitting in the round in stockinette stitch, although I tried seed stitch for a bit with the Stitch & Story yarn but decided it wasn’t worth the effort, as the pattern isn’t that visible.

I don’t think I updated you on the snood that I was knitting back in May (oops, sorry!) I was really pleased with the end result. It’s another grey one I’m afraid.. and I even tried it on my hubby who simply looked too attractive in it, I might have to give it to him, even though I wanted it for myself haha!  I did post a snap shot on Facebook of the lovely stripe effect I improvised using alternating sections of stockinette and seed stitch. For that one, I used Patons Wool Blend Aran in grey which has a lovely mottled effect making it easy to create a delightfully cosy textured look, although the texture is not as soft as the one I’m currently knitting.

So… how are you all? Anyone else feel like they just blinked and two months have gone by?  Hope you are having a good week, take good care xx


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Enjoying a tasty toastie again!

Aaaah… it’s been months since I’ve wanted to look at food, let alone blog about it – I’m sorry if you actually noticed it… But, things are getting better now. Thankfully, I haven’t gone off avocado or cheese, because these two ingredients look so good together on toast – phew! :)

Avocado salsa toastie

I had to hand a pot of a Mexican-style salsa dip that someone made me take home from a pot luck this weekend. I find it a little acidic so I tried mixing it with some avocado and eating it just like that as a side garnish last night. This evening, after grating some cheese in preparation for a pasta supper later, I felt a bit peckish and decided to put together a quick grilled treat.

I buttered a piece of seeded, wholegrain bread straight from the freezer, mixed about a tablespoon of salsa in with two to three of avocado and spread it onto the slice. I then distributed a tablespoon of freshly grated extra mature cheddar as evenly across the top as I could. Four minutes under a medium preheated grill and I had a deliciously crisp, creamy, cheesy and slightly tangy toastie to go with a quickly thrown together plain omelette (yes, whilst the toast was in the oven, I felt even hungrier).

I can’t say this toastie is much of a looker, but it sure was moorish.. and my belly is thanking me for it now. Yum. Hope you have something cosy planned for the chillier evenings now (unless you live in parts of the world where it’s actually summer right now). Let me know if you’re making toasties!


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Aaaaah Friday!

What a blustery, cold, day… I spoke too soon on Wednesday when I mentioned drought. It’s been pouring it down almost non-stop. Lovely. I guess it’s recognisable weather for the British Isles at least :P

After seeking solace in a hearty winter veggie soup for lunch, I’m thinking of turning a roast chicken dinner leftovers into a warming chicken and mushroom pie this evening, with either roast potatoes or mash – I haven’t decided yet. I hope you will have something tasty to warm up your stomach tonight.

booties2

…and it turns out that a very very sweet baby girl was born not long after I wrote on Wednesday, so the little booties are winging their way across to her. I also thought the card I found was quite adorable, so I took a little photo of it before scribbling in it and sending it away.

I wish you a cosy and warm weekend. Take care friends! Layer on all your woolly socks and jumpers, and dig out your scarves, hats and gloves. Winter is on its way brrr! I’m so glad to be back in your heart warming company :)


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An Ode to Fish and Chips – kind of

I’ve been craving fish and chips for weeks now. I’m serious. That’s not an exaggeration in the slightest.

Daffodills and Ranunculus - thisislemonade.wordpress.com

At first, I virtuously resisted it. I thought about the health benefits of not eating out so much. I’ve been paying increasingly more attention to what goes in my food recently. It’s not really got anything to do with the horse meat scandal, because I have always been an advocate of cooking at home. But it has been helpful that the rest of the UK seems to have been talking about it too. I had also eaten out or bought takeaway more often than I was accustomed to around the time when the cravings started. Perhaps all this is addictive like they say and it was simply a junk food rollercoaster (although, I hasten to say that fish and chips is NOT junk food).

Daffodills and Ranunculus - thisislemonade.wordpress.com

Slowly though, it became about not eating it because I never eat fish and chips alone. I must have someone to enjoy it together with. That is a rule that cannot be broken. But every time I thought about it, I either had enough in the fridge for a good wholesome dinner that could not wait or it would go to waste, or I suggested fish and chips to someone who had had it for lunch. I mean, what are the odds?

In the last couple of days though, it has become a matter of well-being for me, that I get to eat some fish and chips soon. I’m not half thinking about it all the time like some people might be thinking about other things… Argh! I think it’s this winter business. It’s so cold. And the sky is always a dull white – not even grey. This really infuriating, hazy, bright, intense, overcast… white. It tires me out and makes me want to eat fish and chips. And when I’m shivering in the cold, I think of fish and chips.

Daffodills and Ranunculus - thisislemonade.wordpress.com

But I can’t have it tonight. Because I have some salmon that needs to be consumed or else it will be binned. So, just for tonight, I’m going to have some cheesy potato rösti with said salmon. If a girl can’t have fish and chips, at least let her have melted cheese over grated potatoes. And if a girl can’t have sunshine, she’s thankful that fancy buttercups are growing in Egypt because they go really nicely with the daffs that are currently in season in the UK. Even though it isn’t really spring. Yes, there was snow outside when I took these photos on Sunday. The flowers have been helping me smile in spite of everything, I hope they cheer you up too!

Thank you for reading :P

  • a nicely written post that Zemanta suggested. I don’t normally do this, but I enjoyed the read : Fish and Chips (crazymzungu.wordpress.com)


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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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New Year Firsts (i): Woolly Wednesdays

So blogging is a journey, and on a journey you might just take a straight path, but I’m not one of those people. My paths generally are all windy and crooked. They often loop back on themselves and sometimes they lead to a dead end. More often than not, I probably don’t know where the path is and go wandering off. So that’s me. Nuts and confused. Early last year when I tried give each day a theme to help schedule my blog posts, some of them inspired more than others. I’m not going to ditch any of the old ideas, because they are working for me, I’m just adding new ones. So here’s introducing Woolly Wednesdays!

If you have been reading my meanderings for a while, you may have noticed that I love the woolly stuff. And that I have been playing about with it a bit. I got a bit of shoulder trouble at the end of 2012, and although it seems not to have recovered 100%, I can’t stay away from the sheepies and am carefully knitting again trying not to get carried away for hours on end.

In my Wonder Wool post, I shared a hat that I was knitting for a friend. She lives in the land of the recent horrendous bush fires, hence it was not previously appropriate to send it to her. I mean, it was the height of summer during our freezing winter! I had wanted to enclose a surprise in the eventual package, and have made a decision to finish it in time to send it for her birthday next month. The surprise is a first for me and I’m really, really excited. I’m sticking with knitting and not moving onto crochet, because there are different steps I want to practice. Here’s a little peek of what I’ve done so far… what do you think I’m knitting?

What am I knitting?

And why not ask another question to get to know you better? Are you a focused, clear-headed traveller through life or more a hopeless, woolly wanderer? :P

Breakfast Granola


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Happy Monday!

It’s dull, gloomy, grey, rainy, windy, overcast, cold… did I mention grey..? I’d love to restart the day, eat breakfast again and have another go at it. Aaahh well, not an option… how’s your last Monday of January 2013 been so far?

Here’s to a good evening! Do you have any sparkly plans? I don’t know how yet, but I’m going to try and make mine sparkly and hope the sparkles last into tomorrow!


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Scribbling on the wall

Feeling a bit lost for words. Not taking to the blogging very easily right now. I have a load of posts in the queue that I want to write, but the words are getting stuck somewhere and I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps in spite of the beautiful snow.

In an attempt not to get stuck in the black hole of despair, I decided to do something different. A digital doodle using a surprise Christmas present I received. I’ve been holding back and telling myself I’d use it as a reward for having organised things. But organisation is hitting a wall today, and I feel like I accidentally got crumpled up and smashed against the wall with it.

By contrast, you are all being so very impressive. We’re in the last third of January and all the resolutions are going so well! Roxy has not just been sharing a photo a day, she’s been making me envious of the amount of sunshine in the stories attached. Although the snow photo is my absolute favourite so far, followed very closely by the yellow butterfly. Ziggy has already written TWENTY letters with elves on them, and they have been flying all over the world. Ginna even went and ran a marathon on Saturday (woah, yes, I know! I’m in awe of anyone who runs further than the bus stop.)

I feel like a lazy bum, so here is the result of gingerly peeling myself off the wall and trying to do something positive, albeit so quick and unpolished:

Experiment

How is 2013 treating you so far? Have you set yourself any challenges and how are they going?


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Winter: brrrrrr!

Happy new week everyone. The BBC has officially reported that it is winter in the UK (see video link below). I was wearing ear muffs, cosy socks and a scarf indoors – it’s like the equivalent of a duvet day – well, I bought into that one anyway. Hope you are all wrapping up warm and staying safe. Don’t go crazy with those sledges people!

UK Snow

Still from BBC video – click through for article.

OK, I’m off to wrap my hands around a mug of hot soup now… hope the week has flurried away to a good start for you :)


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FF: Fashion {04 Cosy Charcoals}

A fun fashion post is long overdue as is a clothes shopping trip! We had our first snow of winter 2012 this week in London and I’ve been craving greys again in the cold weather.

I love warming greys in winter. Black is a little too austere, but greys are soft and snuggly. Charcoal knits simply cocoon you in cosiness when the pavements are frosty and the sharp winds chafe at your cheeks.

It’s not that cold yet, so a pair of courts/pumps are still perfectly appropriate (although I’d prefer flats in this style), but I am in the market for a good pair of boots and I’m thinking of replacing my tatty boot cut jeans with a new skinny pair. I haven’t braved that style transition yet. Yes, I know I’m a few years late, but I am notoriously lazy when it comes to actually buying new clothes.

I like to browse seasonal trends, window shop, walk around feeling all the fabrics, oohing at all the colours and textures… I just keep my purse tightly closed. Ha! No, I have not been spending my share to get us out of the recession, that’s quite clear from the chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week. My bad.

(Maybe I should think like Starbucks and make a donation to the Government in compensation for my tightfistedness! Their latest “extraordinary” move is rather mind boggling. Nevermind, Costa and even Pret have sofas these days and serve rather more decent coffee. Starbucks’ tax affairs have no bearing on why I haven’t visited in a long long time, so their limping U-turn is not about to drag me back. Still, I’d love to find a favourite independent caffeine haunt in which to wrap my frozen hands around a liquid hand warmer.)

So, what are your clothes shopping habits? Does it get very cold where you are? What are your favourite colours to wear in winter? Do tell all :)

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