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.


A little hello…and my first trendy #TBT post

Greetings to anyone who is still hovering around my blog despite my protracted absence…! How are you all?

My little toddler was singing to herself in her cot as I was reading this article. I was getting ready to give up on the idea of her napping today, when she unexpectedly fell asleep….so I though I’d write a little bit of a response to the article – a little peek into what I went through in the early days of unintentionally abandoning this blog space. I know I never set strict confines for the subject matter of this blog, and this is a personal post. However, I’m aware that many of you may not find the topic relevant or interesting. Please feel free to move swiftly onto something else if so, but I hope you are still doing well in your corner of the world, wherever you are passing by from!

In the meantime, for those of you on Instagram, I have recently joined so that I can have some sort of creative outlet… I’m there under @thisislemonade – hope to hear from you!

I miss you all! <3

* * *

My, now very healthy, greedy little toddler, struggled to feed in the early days and was quite severely jaundiced at birth. The doctors could not tell whether her difficulties with feeding caused the jaundice, or the jaundice affected her desire to feed.. either way, it was a very stressful few months at the beginning as she also suffered from reflux and cried a lot needing to be held and refusing to settle to sleep on her own. Looking back, I now recognise the myriad of mistakes I made in terms of attempting to breastfeed, not helped by the seemingly thousands of different changing suggestions and instructions from different health professionals and concerned family members or friends during my most vulnerable time after having given birth.

She is now almost 18 months old and I am able to read about breastfeeding without suffering pangs of regret all the time. I am currently looking back to look forward…..

* * *

After many weeks of struggling with pain, doubt and expressions of concern all around, I finally managed to achieve a couple of days of exclusive breastfeeding – still with some pain, but my baby was starting to really gain weight and seemed to be doing a lot better.

I will never forget the single incident that completely shattered my confidence, which was of course very fragile at the time… I had been banking on an endorsement from my GP to help give assurance to those around, who were concerned for the effects of my struggle to breastfeed on the health of my baby. We were due a weigh-in and check up… I arrived in his office and sat down, triumphantly announced that I was now 100% breastfeeding:


He had been very supportive of my efforts up to that point, but had thoroughly endorsed mixed feeding. His own sister, in his words “supplemented formula with breast milk” – she struggled to breastfeed exclusively and managed to get around it by giving baby some formula first, and then nursing at the breast. My GP could not understand why I wanted to put myself through the struggle to exclusively breastfeed and became concerned I would not manage it.

The grief and remorse I felt at eventually having to give up breastfeeding at 10 weeks has subsided very gradually over the past 15 months or so. I finally had to stop, because in spite of attending every breastfeeding clinic and cafe I could find, the pain was just inexplicable and became physically and mentally unbearable.

By the dawn of 2016, I am hoping that I will have been given another chance to try again. Apart from the fact that not having to sterilise bottles seemingly incessantly has always been a great incentive, I’ve always wanted to breastfeed because it is just the most natural instinct for me as a mother. I know not all women feel the same, and I personally don’t feel the need to preach to those around me that “breast is best” because in my social circles at least, there is enough information out there being promoted by health professionals and so on. Some mothers I know have their own pragmatic reasons for not breastfeeding and enough have struggled and have been unable to overcome difficulties with breastfeeding without everyone reminding them of how they “failed”.

But I hope that, given my previous experience, I will at least be armed with more confidence and have a clearer idea of what not to do next time. And this time, I’ve also put my foot down and refused any visitors in the first few weeks who I know will not be supportive. It’s not easy, but it’s what I have to do to give us a fighting chance. Although I don’t intend it to be a fight… I hope it will not have to be….


FF | Just sayin’

I’m working on getting back onto this blog at the moment with a bit more regularity, but in the meantime I thought I’d share something fun and quite meaningful for an Frivolous Friday post…. Check this Etsy shop out! Opens Sunday!

Hope that brought a smile to your day. Have a lovely weekend! X


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


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


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 :)


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:


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.


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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