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.


12 Comments

A thought for 2014

We’re on the verge of a new year. For most of us reading this, it will be yet another new year. But through the ups and downs of 2013 and recent years, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I live my life. Where I invest my time and efforts. Some of these thoughts I’ve shared with you. Some of these thoughts have been inspired by you.

At the beginning of 2013, I had a go at making some resolutions. I have never made it through many weeks before I lose my resolve. I realised that I don’t like them because they are too prescriptive and restricting. I came up with some specific goals, and I would say that I have largely lived this past year in the spirit of them.. but not to the letter! A year is a long time, and I can’t even predict what will happen from one day to the next, let alone for a whole 365.

This year, I’m not going to attempt any resolutions as such, but I will continue bearing in mind lessons I have learned. I tried to live 2013 intentionally and mindfully, building on relationships that I have offline as well as online. I guess the overall idea is summed up in this thought-provoking talk by Ric Elias and also the first video I shared in another recent post:

I’m interested to know what your outlook for 2014 is. Not how you predict it will go, but what attitude you intend to have, going into the year ahead. I still intend to knit, cook and get creative as much as I can, but I’m hoping to have less time for that soon. More on that in the not too distant future I hope!

Well I wish everyone happy celebrations and einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr (I love how the Germans put it – roughly translated – a good skid into the New Year)!


5 Comments

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:

image

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.


13 Comments

Easy pasta salad

So I’ve started eating more eggs because I kept getting hungry too quickly and realised I was not eating enough protein. I’ve also been keen on pasta recently, so although it is winter, I decided to make a salad. Well, a nice and warm one 🙂 I bought this pasta on a whim when I spotted it in the supermarket. It is fusilli bucati which I much prefer to solid fusilli. I guess it just looks more fun!

Eggs and fusilli bucati

Eggs and fusilli bucati

I cooked more pasta and eggs than I needed so that I could have some leftovers for an easy lunch the next day. I didn’t combine it all together in case I wanted to tweak the ingredients a little and jazz it up. I love leftovers!

So the recipe (if you can call it one) is very simple…the quantities are up to you. In fact, the next time I intended to add in olives so that will be the first variation on this mélange – I just take a look at what is in the fridge and chuck it in!

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, diced
  • 3 tbs sweetcorn kernels (I used canned, it is winter after all!)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 tbs grated extra mature cheddar (I used the delightfully named Tickler cheese)
  • mayonnaise to taste
  • 1/2 cup fusilli bucati, cooked and tossed in olive oil
Method

Combine the first five ingredients so that the mayonnaise coats everything well. Then mix in the pasta.

I tried following Delia’s tips on boiling eggs, which I pinned this week on a new board I started to collect cooking techniques. They worked perfectly!

Warm pasta salad with fusilli bucati, corn, egg and avocado

It’s snowing on my page again! How lovely and festive. Much nicer than the tempestuous breezes that hit our little island from the end of last week, causing flooding, damage, injury and loss of life. I hope you guys are all ok…

…and here is an update of the next day’s salad, with added olives, wholegrain mustard and a bit of freshly ground black pepper. You can probably tell I fancied more mayo in this version too. Sorry, I only thought to take a photo of it when I’d almost scoffed it all (YUM!)

Warm pasta salad with fusilli bucati, corn, egg and avocado


16 Comments

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 ❤

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.”


9 Comments

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