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….


Finally Friday | Relaxation

Some people indulge in a nice long bubbly soak…I fold things neatly into my wardrobe.

wardrobe organising

Have I mentioned that I like stripes? What helps you to wind down after an intense day? Happy weekend! :-D

1 Comment

Finally Friday

I need to get back on this blog! I have loads of ideas but no opportunity. It’s not even that I have no time, it’s just that when I have the time it’s not always possible to get to the computer. Much as I appreciate the WordPress app, blogging from my phone just isn’t good enough.

So here’s the plan: I’ve spent the past 6 months since Baby Girl arrived, looking forward to Fridays. Because after Friday, is Saturday. That normally means that I have back up and don’t have to do everything by myself. Even if back up sometimes needs gently nudging out of bed…

So I’m starting Finally Friday. A short thought, that sums up the mood of the week. Or something that just came into my mind at some point during the week. Perhaps it’ll have a photo accompanying it, perhaps not. So….hey, I hope this plan works :-)

Hi everyone! It’s Friday tomorrow! Watch this space :-D


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…


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.


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 :)


I’m coming back knitting!

Hi everyone!

Thank you for your ongoing support whilst I strayed away into the unknown since the middle of the summer that was, has been and is no longer. The weather in London is still mild and has actually been sunny and relatively warm in the last couple of weeks. I’ve even wondered whether or not another drought is on the way, crazy, I know.

Anyway, I’m planning on bringing an end to this last hiatus in blogging. And I thought I’d give a sneak peek at what woolly things I’ve been busying myself with recently as a starter.


Next week is National Wool Week in the UK, and I’ve been knitting quite a lot in the last month or so. These little booties are hopefully making their way halfway across the world in a matter of days, as soon as I get some long awaited news of the arrival of their intended new owner! I’m so excited, any time now!

Well, sneak peeks should not be too long, so I’m going to rest my eyes from the screen now and pick up my needles again. I’m enjoying catching up with all of your blogs in the meantime though. Have a great week!



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