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.


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 -

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 -

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 -

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 😛

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


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 🙂


2013: We can do this thing… together!

It’s been somewhat overwhelming, reading everyone else’s inspiring posts stuffed with new projects and progress planned for 2013. You all seem to have been ahead of the game, either pre-scheduling posts or mapping out the year to come well in advance. I expected a lull for at least a few days, but it turned out that many bloggers took one day off and were back online on Boxing Day with feature length posts or some even putting up multiple offerings! I decided to sit back lazily, give myself some days off over the Christmas-New Year period and just enjoy all your hard work. Well someone’s got to do it! 😉

this is lemonade on Pinterest   this is lemonade on Facebook

I’ve maximised my absorption period by pinning all the ideas and images that inspired me and fumbling around on Facebook (your feedback would be most appreciated!). I’ve also been organising my life a little around the home (which I hope to share) and I’ve been eating and taking photographs of my exploits in the kitchen (which I also hope to share). I have been thoroughly enjoying the downtime and am making plans to resume my knitting as well, before the winter is over!

The end of 2012 was one of thanksgiving for me. I underwent a routine medical procedure following which I was advised, among other things, not to partake in any housework. With this instruction, needless to say, I gladly complied – thank you for your encouragement 😉 On New Year’s Eve, I was the grateful recipient of a generally positive verdict on my health. I cannot honestly say that I have used every God-given moment of 2012 to its full potential, and with a new lease of life I hope to improve on that in 2013! So without further ado, let me throw out some goals I have for the year ahead:

  • to live by the intention of this blog: be grateful in good times and bad.
  • to get my home, schedule and responsibilities in good order.
  • to get more creative with yarn, thread, pen, camera and food.
  • to give more thought and time to offline, tangible investments in my relationships.
  • to get into pilates. (This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while, any tips welcome!)

Thank you for being my encouragers through the life of this blog in 2012. I am truly grateful and feel so inspired by all the hopes and seriously ambitious goals you have shared for 2013. I’m so privileged to have your support to carry onwards and upwards with this is lemonade. Who knows what adventures and challenges this year will bring? I wish you the very best, much strength and great courage to take this year in both hands and to live it to the full! Happy New Year 🙂


Frivolity and friendship (4) …and finally, for now…

Thank you everyone, for being so enthusiastic about the award nominations thus far. It certainly has been fun writing these posts. It has also helped me to get back into the swing of things, especially since the past few weeks have been exhausting and not all that pleasant. I’ve definitely been feeling very under the yucky weather.

Having already taken a couple of days sick leave at the beginning of the week, I sat up in bed one morning towards the end of last week, and was almost knocked backwards with a horrible dizziness and nausea. Thinking that I was perhaps very hungry, I dragged myself woozily downstairs to make some breakfast and tried to eat it. Half-way through my muesli and not feeling any better, I tried to put my head on the table. That usually works on dizziness right? Nope. I felt so ill, and yet the nausea was not the kind to make me want to throw up. It was horrible. I lugged my body back upstairs and crawled back into bed. I stayed there for another age and finally got up gradually around four in the afternoon. Actually, this time of year, I think we call that evening over here.

I hear that my symptoms were down to a bug that’s going round. I haven’t apparently been the only one to be KO’d by this monster. It took me days to get over the feeling of dizziness. I didn’t dare drive or anything. Hopefully that bug’s defeated for the winter. Hope those of you falling towards winter out there are wrapping up warm and are not inhaling germs from people who indiscriminately sneeze into others’ faces. Ugh. So inconsiderate. And disgusting. Please icky people on the Underground, smother your germs.

Aaanyway public health announcement over and, without further ado, let’s get onto the final award. The first three nominations posts are herehere and here. And the first ever, almost five months ago, is here. So feel free to check these out too for some great weekend reading, if you haven’t already done so!

The supremely creative Matt Gajdoš of Mister G Kids, in his nomination spree, put me forward for the Kreativ Blogger award which I graciously accept with thanks. More about his blog here and here! And in the spirit of all things creative, here are my three nominations:

Kreativ Blogger Award

  • All About Ami – Stephanie is about as sweet as her delightfully cute amigurumi creations. If you love crocheted things, you will love this site. And there will be a long awaited first addition to the family this month, how exciting!
  • How About Orange – Jessica, a graphic and textile designer, has a bright and fresh blog  featuring craft projects, lots of inspiration for people who like to create and not a little bit of orange.
  • ziggyshortcrust – Last but definitively not least, the blog of my first blog friend ever. Ziggy is a friend of elves for a start, but there is so much more to discover than first meets the eye. For a start, she elfed my imaginary daughter for me. Just check this out to see what I’m talking about for yourself.

Thank you to everyone for taking your time to read and comment and like. Welcome to friends old and new! I do really appreciate your being here. Have a restful weekend.


Tea detox : my first lemon-y recipe

Confession: my life is nothing like those bright and beautifully photographed blogs out there. (But I’m working on it – the photos at least!) I have been feeling quite tired and drained. Although having some sun today definitely helps.

White Teapot necklace by LoriennaDesigns on Etsy

White Teapot necklace by LoriennaDesigns on Etsy

With my lacklustre state in mind, I took stock of how much I have been feeding my addiction lately. My tea addiction. I have been drinking tea. Lots of it. Well with all this cold and the gloomy weather, what else am I to do? I usually lose count of how many cups I’ve had at work by the end of the day. Then I’ll finally get home and reward myself with another cuppa…

So a couple of weeks ago, I toyed with the idea of not having tea for a week. A whole week! Crazy. Setting myself up for a fail before I even start trying. That’s why it took me two weeks to even give it a go… 

I woke up Friday morning worse for wear but could not imagine getting through the day on plain cold water and I’m not partial to fizzy, sugary drinks or fruit teas. Then I remembered a drink I had a while ago when I had some stomach problems. So here’s the promised first recipe with lemons in it. It’s really simple and great if you want a drink that’s both warming and refreshing. You can play around with the quantities depending on how much of a kick you want it to dish out – enjoy!

Lemon ElixirLemon elixir with cayenne pepper and ginger

  • 1 litre (about a quart) of boiling water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/8th teaspoon of ginger powder

Simply combine the above for a nourishing drink. I add the water last so that I don’t have to stir! I do not have a lemon tree in my garden. Instead I used two lemon ice cubes from a stash I made up a little while back using PLj’s Sicilian lemon juice. I did add a slice of lemon to make it look more cheerful though – I’m stingy with my lemons like that. If it’s too sour, add some honey. It’s best not to use sugar if you want it also to soothe your gut because bacteria thrive on sugar. (Nice.)

Lemon ElixirI like to filter out all the cayenne pepper and ginger after steeping. I received an elegant Teafusion Teapot from La Cafetière last Christmas, which has a filter at the top that works on a similar principle to a standard French press. Just perfect for serving the elixir. Although if you don’t mind gulping down bits of cayenne pepper, simply stir and drink – you will get a hit at the back of the throat for some added invigoration!

This is also nice served cold straight from the fridge in the summer – a spicy lemonade if you will. Let me know if you try it – I know it’s not anything like tea, but it has lemons in it!