Introducing – The Friday Five

I used to have a feature on my old blog called “Thursday Three” where every Thursday I’d feature three things, sometimes they’d be related, but mostly it would just be three random things on my mind at that time. By the way, I should probably fess up to being terrible at posting these three things every Thursday, I’m pretty sure the posts were few and far between (as always).
I wanted to do something similar for this blog, not the terrible posting schedule, but the actual having a plan for posting something. I’ve decided I want to do it on Fridays instead though, as a sort of round-up before the weekend, and I’ve expanded the idea to cover five things instead of three. My aim is to do this every week, but anyone who knows me should be aware of my flaking potential by now so we’ll see how it goes.

1. Summer Time Reading

limits of power a perfect bloodloving rose

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One of the best things about summer is lying out in the garden, on the beach or in the park reading a book while soaking up the sun. This summer I want to be reading Sarah Addison Allen’s Lost Lake, Stephanie Laurens’ Loving Rose: The Redemption of Malcolm Sinclair , Elizabeth Moon’s Limits of Power and Kim Harrison’s A Perfect Blood. The first two are new, out this year, the latter two I’ve had on my bookshelf for a while now, I’ve just been putting off reading them. My reason? They are both part of series and I know one is very close to ending (in fact the next and last book in the series is already out) and the other one feels like it is ending soon, and I guess I just want to prolong the fun.

2. Garden tent/teepee

selena lake garden tent

I was having a look through Prima Makes Issue 4 earlier this week. It features lots of summer makes and ideas, and amongst other things I totally fell for the garden tent/teepee they featured (on page 98 if you have access to the magazine). It’s from the latest Selina Lake book Outdoor Living, and I just need it. I can just imagine lying in the garden in my little tent reading a book or just snoozing without being completely exposed to the sunshine. The Selina Lake one looks too nice to be for kids so I assume it would be fine for a grown up to just make one for herself right πŸ™‚ I’ll be scouring the charity shops for old table cloths and bedsheets for the next week, and I already have the poles, just need to clean them up a bit.

3. Mint Lemonade

Mint Lemonade - Ready to drink

Mint Lemonade – Ready to drink

Ok, blowing my own trumpet a bit here. Last week I shared a recipe for making this amazing Mint Lemonade, and since then I’ve probably made it 3 or 4 times. I did take the advice from The Kitchn regarding making up a large batch of simple syrup to keep in the fridge, it definitely simplified the making process, not to mention cut down on the prep time. Win Win really. It’s so refreshing and it’s made me drink less coke and other carbonated soda. It’s probably no healthier than soda calorie wise, but at least I know it’s all natural ingredients. In addition whenever I do drink coke I always want more, it never quenches your thirst, my mint lemonade on the other hand is definitely thirst quenching.

4.GOMI – Get Off My Internets

GOMI

I recently discovered GOMI via some indignant uproar in another forum I’m a member of. Basically GOMI is the online home of website/blog social media snark, if you are a well know blogger, instagrammer, twitterer(?) and you do or say stupid, annoying things chances are your names will come up there and the wolves will descend. I’d say about 90% of the threads on the forum are valid, maybe even more, but they don’t always get it right. Some of the post there have clearly been written by people who are jealous of the person in question, and their attacks are generally quite shallow (to do with looks etc rather than actual blog content). I recently found a few new MUST READ blogs this way (and no I do not mean hate reads), so I guess what I’m saying is: “Thank you GOMI for pointing out some great new blogs for me”. I admit I also like reading the snark for sites that deserve it, and I can’t imagine the owners of those sites are too pissed off at being mentioned to on GOMI, after all a page-view is a page-view.

5. The Freckled Fox

The Freckled Fox is one of the new blogs I found through GOMI. Basically someone started a subject about the blog because they thought she didn’t smile enough on her pictures, and her hair was a weird colour. Seriously?! First of all, Emily from The Freckled Fox is beautiful and I LOVE her hair. I also realized that I’ve seen her before, I’ve looked at her many amazing hair tutorials on Pinterest. I have serious hair envy here :/ As for the no smiling, I guess in older pictures she didn’t do much of it, but from all the pictures I’ve seen recently she looks amazing. Enough of the shallow stuff though, the blog is the important thing. And it’s brilliant; such a great variety of posts, a great mix of fashion, beauty, travel, family life, food, crafts, you name it. It’s one of the few blogs I’ve found that actually deserves the title Lifestyle blog. But don’t take my word for it, you should definitely check out Emily’s blog yourself.

Do you have anything you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments, I love having my horizons broadened.

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Homemade Mint Lemonade – Don’t just Pin it, Do it Tuesday

Mint Lemonade recipe
Finally the time has come for Wikkid Woman’s inaugural “Don’t Just Pin it, Do it Tuesday”. I thought long and hard about which of my pinterest inspired makes would make it’s appearance here, and I actually had something completely different written up and ready to go, but then pinspiration inspiration struck, and here we are with a brand new make and brand new post.

Most of what I pin and do on Pinterest is craft/diy related, so it’s something of a surprise to me that the first thing I share with you all is a recipe. For a drink. But not an alcoholic one, although I suppose you could easily make it alcoholic. Yes, I’m definitely going to try to add something a bit naughty to it soon.

For today though I present the entirely innocent and thirst quenching Mint Lemonade .

Tangy and refreshing

Tangy and refreshing


I first tried and became addicted to mint lemonade when hubs and I were living in Abu Dhabi. I imagine every single cafe there must sell them, it’s very much a Middle Eastern thing, but sadly I haven’t come across it in the UK (although I imagine they would have it at Lebanese or other Middle Eastern restaurants, I just haven’t looked). A while back I looked for recipes for it on pinterest, but they all looked so time consuming and complicated so I just kept putting it off. Which brings us to this morning when I was at the shop and found a couple of nets of lemons in the reduced section, of course that old hankering for mint lemonade resurfaced.

Once I got home with my lemons and a couple of bunches of mint I looked up my food filled pinterest board, the aptly named Yummy Yummy

Let me just say, there is a lot of unhealthy (but oh so yummy looking) food there.

I decided to combine two recipes for the lemonade, as there where things I liked about both. These are the two recipes I used
Freshly Minted Lemonade @ The Runaway Spoon and Mint-Lemonade @ Taste of Beirut.
The first recipe tells you to infuse your syrup with lemon peel and mint, which sounded like it would add wonderful flavour, so I certainly wanted to do that. This lemonade did not have a lot of mint in it though, mostly it look like normal lemonade with a little bit of mint in it, while the mint lemonade I was used to was decidedly more green in colour. Enter recipe two, definitely more green and minty. I also preferred the sugar to water ratio in recipe two, with was 1:2 as opposed to 1:1 in the first recipe. Does all that sound a little confusing? Fear not, here is the recipe the way I made it.

Ingredients:
6 Lemons (these game me 14 1/2 tbsp of juice)
8 tbsp of Granulated Sugar
16 tbsp of water
30 g of fresh mint
700-800ml of water (for diluting)

1. First I peeled one of the lemons and chopped up about 4 springs of mint. I then added the sugar and the 16 tbsp of water to a pan and brought it to the boil, adding the lemon peel and chopped mint. Make sure to stir so the sugar dissolves, once it is completely dissolved you can take the pan of the heat. Set it aside to cool and let the lemon and mint infuse into the syrup.

Time to let the mint and lemon infuse

Time to let the mint and lemon infuse

2. Juice your lemons. I rolled them on my cutting board, pressing down. You just cut the lemon in half, hold it in one hand, push the fork into the center and twist. You do end up with a lot of pulp and seeds this way, but they are easy enough to strain away later.

Lemon Juice and Mint, ready for action

Lemon Juice and Mint, ready for action

3. I then strained the juice into my blender and then the syrup (make sure to really squeeze the juice out of the mint leaves and lemon peel from the syrup.). I then added the rest of my mint leaves and about 300 ml of water. Let the blender run until the mint is all chopped up and then add more water until you get the taste you want. If you plan on serving over ice you don’t have to dilute completely as the ice will help with this as well.

About to add some more mint to the mix

About to add some more mint to the mix

Once you are happy with your lemonade it’s ready to serve, pour into the eagerly waiting glasses or a jug so people can help themselves.

Mint Lemonade - Ready to drink

Mint Lemonade – Ready to drink

I hope I’ve tempted you to try some yourself, you won’t be disappointed. And I found a great tip over at Kitchn for how to cut the prep time a little; just make up a big batch of the syrup (sugar and water) as it will keep in the fridge for a long time.

I’m sharing this post over at The Winthrop Chronicles Share it Link Party #125, why don’t you head on over there to see what everyone else have been doing.