Friday, 17 June 2011

Weather, lady Grey, smoothie, vegetarian, philosophy

I always find it frightfully disappointing when I wake up early and I see bright sunshine and blue skies, yet a few hours later it's overcast and miserable out. Anything to say weather? What, no apologies for getting me in the mood for holiday weather then letting me down? Nothing? Hrrumph.

I have a small confession. Whilst my sister was down visiting, she got my dad to buy her some lady grey teabags, which she didn't take back up with her. Since then I've had a coupla sneaky cups of it - and I must say it's becoming every so slightly addictive. It's like normal tea but a little citrussy. Sometimes I think it takes like I'm drinking normal tea, but at the same time I'm drinking liquid lemon sherbet; and those two things really shouldn't go together but they really do! I love it, I really do.

That's not all I've been drinking recently though. I made myself this yummy smoothie to drink today:

I know it looks like milk, but it isn't at all! It's actually apple and melon smoothie, and it's majorly yummy! I would have chucked a banana in there too except that we didn't have any, frozen or fresh. There is also greek yoghurt and soy milk in there which go really well.It's delish!

I told my parents I want to be vegetarian again. I was for about a year back in high school, but then my sister left for uni and it seemed too much like hard work to cook different food for just one person. But after a week of eating veggie when my sister was down, I found that I didn't feel meat was necessary in my diet and I was just as happy to continue without it, thanks. So that's what I've done. We had chicken tikka masala last night, or rather, my parents had chicken tikka masala and i had it without the chicken. Since I was cooking, I just cooked the chicken separately and let the parents add their own. It wasn't even difficult. And the vegetable mix was really yumy with masala sauce. Mmmn. Now I'm hungry, I may have to go and grab a snack.

Once I've grabbed my snack I'm gonna leave you anyway, because I have more philosophy revision to do again. This is how it's gonna be for the next few days. Until my exams are over, I'll be spending my time revising. Except for some time over the weekend when I'll help mum with fruit picking at the farm just down the road. But otherwise, yeah, philosophy is a go! And I'm gonna go philosophise!

Love love xx

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Phh, phone, frozen fruit juice, philosophy

Today seems to be a day of making 'F' sounds, that phhh sound of pushing air through your mouth whilst having your top teeth on your bottom lip. I realised this when I looked at my title of today's post and realised that everything in it started with this infernal sound. And there it is again. It is one of the main sounds that I cannot make anymore without putting my teeth in and is the reason why i won't speak to anyone, even - especially - on the phone without my teeth in. They simply can't understand me when I speak, and it's infuriating for both sides. There it is again! It really does seem to be a vital sound for today. I'ts really frustrating to me that I can't make it without my teeth in, because it makes me mumble, and I feel stupid and awkward when people have to keep asking me to repeat myself. But -! That is not the point of today's post really. I don't have too much to say, just a few little points of interest.

Firstly, my new phone seems to be sorted finally! I think it's working, although I'm not certain yet. But it does appear to be, and everything's happy as right now. Being on a simplicity sim on O2 is particularly pleasing, as every time I text somebody it sends me a little note of my balance, and because I get free texts, the balance never changes! It's brilliant! It's nice to be in contact with my friends again; being without a phone is quite isolating. And I know, people survived without them for a long, long time before they were invented. But still, I'm used to being really close to my friends and speaking with them everyday, and not having a phone made that impossible. I was texting H earlier, and it was lovely to be able to hold a conversation over texts with her wihtout having to call her and occupy her attention fully.

Of course, I was trying to text H whilst doing something else myself, too. An this something else happened to be freezing fruit juice. I enjoy doing it, as there's no pressure to finish it before it goes off, I have plenty in supply even though some fruit uices we may only get 'on occasion' and I can freeze it in ice cube bags which gives me really convenient sized amounts of fruit juices! But: trying to balance an ice cube bag and text with the other wihtout letting any juice spill out is not the easiest thing in the world. Note to self: do not text whilst freezing fruit juice. So that gives me apple juice, mango juice, tropical juice and soy milk to use in smoothies at my leisure. That is an incredibly satisfying feeling! I'm not sure if I have any frozen banana at the moment though... I know I have melon, i think I have apple, I know I have frozen coleslaw-mix veggies... but I cannot for the life of me remember whether I have frozen banana anymore. It gets used so quickly, after all. And we don't have any fresh ones currently. I feel a need for banana.

But i think that need shall have to wait. I, unfortunately, have philosophy revision to do. Again. My life sucks right now. I will be so happy in eight days' time when all my exams are OVER!! But until then... revision.

Love love xx

Monday, 13 June 2011

philosophy, sundried tomatoes, focaccia bread, recurrant jelly, coconut ice cream, books

Ugh. It is, officially, one week until my A-level exams. One week until I have to do two philosophy papers which I know if I took them right now I would not be able to do. I am bricking it. I really don't like philosophy any more; this year has been confusing and exhausting and I wish I'd continued studying politics instead. I know, I know, I'm lucky, because I only have 3 exams whilst other people have insane amounts like 6, and I'm lucky to have an education at all when there are poor unfortunate people all across the world who don't have one because they can't afford it or they've been forgotten by their communities or they have problems which seem unfixable. But still. Philosophy is the bane of my life. Right now it's like a big ugly slug-like monster sitting in front of me, and I want to just edge past it and pretend it's not really there, but if I do that it's gonna get me when I'm almost through. I can't focus properly either, I start to look at my revision, and that gets me to the thinking of, oh shit. I'm so going to fail this subject type thoughts, which really aren't constructive and make me sad.

So today, though I looked at a couple of sheets of philosophy earlier, I made the wonderful decision to make bread instead. And not just any bread, oh no. I made sun dried tomato and basil bread. It's fiercely yummy, and I love the smell of it. It didn't occur without hiccups, of course. I've been feeling a little absent from my own head recently, and I forgot to put the paddle in the machine, so when I first started it, it was 10 minutes before I wondered why nothing was being stirred together. Also, I forgot to put the tomatoes in at first, so the had to be flicked in on top in a last-minute panic moment. But, despite these slight hiccups, the bread is good. It's kinda orangey-red in colour, and has lumps of sun dried tomato in it. Here's a picture:

See how yummy it looks? Well, it tastes super good too! I really enjoy making bread, it's a lovely activity, not challenging, it doesn't take up much time actively, although you have to be there for when it beeps, and it's easy to get something that looks and tastes good at the end, even if it's not perfect.

Speaking of which, I'm quite tempted by the thought of focaccia. A blog I follow recently posted about some vegan focaccia they made which didn't turn out as they expected. And this does intrigue me, and I do kinda wanna try making it myself. I think maybe I follow a few too many food-related blogs, I get terrible cravings for lots of food. My head is rather focused on food at the moment, in fact. But anyway, focaccia. Yeah. I've been looking around for some basic recipes which look easy, and though I've found a few, they do just sound like normal bread to me. So I don't really understand what makes them focaccia rather than just 'standard loaf of bread in an unusual shape'.

But back to what I've been up to personally - and, well, I made redcurrant jelly! With my mum of course. It was really fun and cool to watch; and you know, making jams and jellies really isn't difficult. I may have to make much more as time goes by this year. I am feeling a self-made year coming along. It could be fun, actually. See how many bought things you can swap for homemade over the course of a year, and evaluate whether they're worth it or not. I may just do this. But my redcurrant jelly is looking lovely, I am proud of myself, though I know that's a sin:

Mmhmmn, check out that bad boy! The thing I love about making the jelly is how when it works, like this, you can hold it up to the light and see through it. The transparency of it never fails to astound me. Plus, the colour of it when you're looking at light through it, is incredible. It's like treasure.

I really do have a major interest in food at the moment. I'm like a toddler. You know, when you give them a new food and they have to feel it and taste it and smell it and chew it a bit and see what it's like after chewing and generally play with it, rub it through their hair and so on? Yeah. Well, aside from the rubbing through my hair type stuff, I am enjoying my food in much the same way that they enjoy it. It's exciting trying new things out, finding out if I can bite into it or if it has to be cut, finding out if cutting it affects the flavour, and finding out whether my compromised sense of smell affects the flavour (which it does with some foods, where they just don't taste as much as they used to). I've been particularly interested in liquid type foods, because naturally they go down easily. So I've been playing around with various ingredients in smoothies, like soy milk - which, by the way, goes in really well - and freezing different fruit juices. And of course in my rampage of freezing everything I can lay my hands on, I've become fiercely interested in homemade ice cream. There are a few places where they have ice cream recipes I'm really interested in, but a flavour I am intrigued by the possibility of is coconut. I saw that the vegan recipe there in the second link uses coconut milk in it. But I wonder about making an ice cream that's coconut flavour too, you know? You could use coconut milk, and coconut shavings, all sorts since coconut comes in so many different forms. For example, I use coconut oil to oil the ends of my hair. This does have my attention at the moment. I may have to experiment. Although I'm not quite sure about the freezing part of recipes since we don't have an ice cream maker. But yeah.

I'm going to stop now, since I'm working, and have chunnered on for far too long. My last thought is that I've been reading some new books recently which I borrowed from a wonderful friend. I had forgotten how exciting it is to read a new book, not knowing what's going to happen yet. I enjoy re-reading books because you can appreciate clues and subtleties that lead up to major story plots. But new books are magical in their own way-!

Love love xx

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

munchables, frozen fruit, homemade coleslaw, jelly, cardigan

This feels like a very food-orientated post today. Food is dominating my life a little at the moment, I confess. Difficulties eating anything that requires biting into means that I spend a lot of time craving foods that I can't have, or wondering if I can have a certain food. For example: biscuits. I can't bite into them anymore, so I've stopped having them, because nothing takes the fun out of meaningless calories like having to work for them. Also: chewing gum. Now I don't eat chewie all that much. But I like a bit, now and then, when a friend offers. Except that now I have to take my teeth out so it doesn't gum up the clips on the denture or get underneath it. And that makes it something I can't enjoy in public. And so I can't eat it as soon as a friend offers, so why take it from them at all?

So I've been thinking a lot and wondering what foods I can eat. Of course, smoothies are now a staple part of my diet, being absolutely easy peasy to slurp down. And in my quest t try and be interesting and get more than one flavour of smoothie, I rediscovered a book I was given years ago, I think by my grandparents: The Little Black Book of Smoothies. And in this awesome little book, are about 100 recipes for different smoothies, as well as a general ingredients you can add section at the front, which can help if you don't have the specific ingredients for a smoothie. Not all the ingredients mentioned int he front are used in any of the recipes, but it's packed with information. One of the really intriguing things it mentions is about freezing fruit and fruit juices etc. So to this end I have been preparing and freezing all sorts of fruit, like bananas and apples and melons and the like; and I've been freezing juices like apple juice in ice cube bags. And I've got to say, it works! Maybe if I make a smoothie later I'll photograph it. But freezing the banana does produce a smoother smoothie. Interesting tip, huh?

So I've been on a bit of a freezing spree. Having defrosted and turned raspberries into jam and now removed some frozen redcurrants from the freezer too, I've been filling it with other things, namely fruit, but also homemade coleslaw. I'd give a recipe for this, but there really isn't one. It's just cabbage and apple and carrot all grated down and mixed with raisins and mayonnaise. I haven't added the mayonnaise to the frozen stuff, I figure that can go in when I choose to defrost and eat the stuff. But it is very eatable! It's shocking how nice it is with raisins in, they really shouldn't go but they do!

So yeah, back to a point I made about taking redcurrants out of the freezer - I'm hoping, well planning, to turn it into redcurrant jelly over the next coupla days. Another thing I haven't tried yet, but I'm very excited about it, especially after the success of the raspberry jam; which is very yummy, I might add.

My last thought for the day is of the cardigan I've been knitting since last October. I'm a slow knitter, I know... But this has been an epic adventure, as I've restarted it entirely on a new needle size once, and put it down and picked it up so many times, and restarted one piece of it because I mis-read the instructions, and stopped and started until it seemed like the knitting would never finish; and whilst I enjoy knitting, the thought of knitting something eternally and never getting the sense of achievement from knowing that you made that finished garment is incredibly disheartening. But: I finished the knitting part today! Pictures of the three parts will go up later, promise. So now all that's left is to block it and sew it together. But that will have to wait, because right now I have work. So until later-!

Love love xx

Monday, 6 June 2011

Sister, glasses, jam, philosophy, hair

My sister's come down for a visit! It's quite exciting; I feel a little like a dog, eager to please. Not in behaviour, just in that my emotions kinda feel like that. It's lovely to have her, I've missed her, although I didn't know it until she walked in the front door. She's been incredibly busy doing lots of knitting and crocheting and spinning, and it was really exciting to see all her projects, both finished and part-way through.

We've also been to work and found her some new glasses, and some new sunglasses, both of which are rather lovely if I do say so. Her glasses are really beautiful, two shades of purple and really pretty; and the sunglasses are black and white, really elegant. Having reread what I just put, it sounds like a test in my vocabulary! But yeah, so we've been to see my mum at work and found my sister some new glasses. I really enjoy going and looking at all the new frames, it's like window shopping for a new kind of clothing. I do get attached to lots of frames, though, they're all just so nice.

I'm rather proud of myself right now, because I made jam! It was just simple raspberry jam, and my mum helped me a lot, but still! My very first batch of jam!! I feel rather chuffed with myself. I sent a pot home with my friend, H, and she reported back to day that she loved it, which is incredibly pleasing to me. I haven't actually tried it myself yet, as such, so it is perhaps risky to give any away, but I trust H, she's fairly reliable on these things. And I have to give her something to look forward to, she's doing so much revision at the moment. It puts me to shame!

My revision hasn't really been happening too much recently. I've done some, don't get me wrong. But it's minimal. I'm avoiding it at all costs, t the extent that I've cleaned my room, I've cleaned the main bathroom, and I've begun sorting out all my drawers too. It's just philosophy. I know I don't have it down for the exam, and so I really need to revise as much as possible. But somehow, the knowledge that I don't know it all puts me off revising even more! I am lucky, because I only have three exams in two subjects. One of my subjects, English, is over completely. We did the exam in January and the coursework in Summer, and since I've done the coursework an got it over with, I'm sorted! It's brilliant. And I'm not majorly concerned with the Spanish exam, although I know revision is necessary. It's just philosophy. It's like a wall in front of me at the moment.

I'm enjoying the lack of hair at the moment. It's really nice being able to shake my head and have my hair actually move! I wish I'd got some pictures of my hair pre-cut, but it's not so major. It was rather long, the longest it's ever been for me. I have this picture, but you can't really see the full length of it:
See, you can't really tell how long it, since this only shows it to my shoulder. But anyone who saw it would testify: it was loong!

So yeah, I'm gonna go help make supper, maybe do some philosophy revision this evening, and try to get an early night, because my sleep's been a little whack recently. So-!

Love love xx

Friday, 3 June 2011

Holiday weather, shorter, busier, munchables

Don't you just love it when you wake up really early in the morning and it's already blue skies? I love days like that; to me it feels just like being on holiday.That is one of my favourite things to do on holiday - I love getting up early and seeing a crisp, fresh blue sky that promises glorious weather, and either going for an icy dip (very refreshing) or going out to buy fresh bread for breakfast. yeah, I guess we probably eat way too much bread while we're on holiday, simply because having a local traditional-style bakery nearby is so much fun to visit! But then I suppose we eat too much ice cream, too, since I personally always insist on finding a traditional gelateria wherever we are, and having at least one classic-type cone.

So, yeah. In keeping with the weather I've had the crazy mane of hair cut off. It's much shorter. Before, it was at my waist, thick and all really long. What you have to understand is that due to the Jewish side of my family, I have very curly hair. And when my hair was super long, it would dry into sausage curls, which isn't the nicest look really. Now? It's bouncing off my shoulders, in lots of little curls all over the place, and I've gotta say, I think it's kinda cute! I do like it, and combined with the fact that I recently dyed it darker too, I'm liking my hair right now, it's sitting well with me.

What isn't sitting so well with me is the amount of work I have to do right now. With only three A2 exams I'm sure a lot of people think I've got it easy. But when two of those are philosophy, I promise you: it's not!! I have megaloads of revision to do for that if I want to aim for a B, but I'm also aiming for an A in spanish, so I actually need to do some work for that, too. Add to that all the housework which I want to crack on with as soon as my dad has left for Scotland and I'm alone in the house for the weekend; as well as this exam I have in work for a training plan, and you've got yourself a slightly stressed out doozie of a girl. I'm just not sure what to prioritise. Housework is an immediate necessity. My work exam has a deadline of 14th. My exams determine the rest of my life. Help! And of course all this leaves me feeling like I can't justify doing the sewing and knitting that I want to do, and that means that they're just sat gathering dust whilst I while away time worrying about which bit to tackle first on the list of scary must-do's.

Aside from that, at least I'm eating well at the moment. It's another reason I love this weather; the food that comes with it. Summer weather like this is designed for salads, and fresh fruit, and fruit smoothies, and all manner of light, fresh, healthy food like that. Don't get me wrong, I do love winter food as well... it just seems to be so much easier to eat unhealthily in winter, to only eat stodge and to eat too much of it too. Summer is a beautiful season for healthy food to me. Last night we had salad potatoes and salad, and it was a lovely meal. Tonight I'm thinking brown pasta and salad, and I might look out some fish from the freezer to add to it, or maybe just canned tuna. I've been trying to eat veggie a lot recently, particularly because I feel like meat is being shoved down my throat at the moment. I, personally, would choose to be veggie 5 out of 7 days a week at least. My dad would choose to be veggie 1 meal a week, if that. His meal ideas start with, 'what meat are we having?' Mine start with, 'What kind of food do I fancy?' I'm more likely to start with the thought 'stir fry' or 'lasagne'. Dad starts with 'dead animal part'. Blargh. Not my kinda food, I'm afraid.

So yeah, I'm up, the sun is up, I'm gonna go make something of my day!

Oh yeah, ps. here are some pretty pictures relating to life recently!

The new hair length - cheack out how it sits on my shoudlers when straight, rather than sitting at my waist!

And the prom dress in all its glory!

I told you I'd get pictures!

Love love!

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