My Favourite, Simple Summer Drink

Tuesday, 30 June 2015



Just a quick post today. I wanted to tell you about my new favourite drink this summer; and no, it's not beer. I probably should have put it in a Kilner Jar with a pretty straw, but I don't have one to hand at the moment, and I thought hey, why not show it how I drink it, which is admittedly, by the pint.
It's so simple, it's not even a recipe, it's more something that maybe one of you wants to try too. I read the (very technical term) tea water on Nishaantishu, and whilst I'm not entirely sure what she meant with it, it made me try the following and I just found it too refreshing to not share.

1. Mix:
* a little lemon juice (a teaspoon or so)
* a couple of tablespoons of Earl Grey (as in from a cup of tea)
* a lot (proportionally speaking) of drinking
 water
... and possibly some ice-cubes.

2. Enjoy

Sometimes I also replace the Earl Grey with Green Tea to mix it up a little.

What's your favourite summer drink?
I hope you're having a splendid day :)

P.S. Obviously make your own choice about how much lemon juice to use (or leaving it out altogether), I've heard that if you drink too much, it can be bad for your teeth; I drink it highly diluted and never before brushing my teeth, but I'm clearly no authority on dental health or health in general for that matter.

Things to Try Thursday - 25/06/15

Thursday, 25 June 2015


A delicious little goats cheese tart I had at a restaurant called Verde. I'm going back to this weekend!
Let me tell you people, I'm having a very exciting week, well my kind of exciting. After my course finished last Wednesday, I spent a couple of days just letting it sink in, I didn't do anymore reading on it or anything, I just wanted to give my brain some time to process what I learnt (I need that sometimes) and I came back feeling really refreshed this week. I've been meaning to start a blog about employee engagement for a looong time now, think around a year, and now I'm finally working on it! I'm using Squarespace this time round and it's just so much fun; I can't wait for it to be ready to go live. The other thing I'm excited about is that I'm going to Germany tomorrow to visit my mum for her birthday on Saturday - wahey to getting to spend some quality family time together. Like I said, all round an exciting week. Here's some things I'd quite like to try.

Food


♥ Oh yum! Combining sundried tomatoes with broccoli is genius - Greek Broccoli Salad

Definitely wanting to get our popsicle making on again:

♥ Chocolate Yoghurt Ombre Pops | Coconut and Mango Rice Pudding Pops | Chai Creamsicles
(all via this list)
&
These also sound amazing Rhubarb and Elderflower Ice-Lollies (how beautiful and delicious do they look?)

Handmade [Other]


♥ Always love a very simple top - Sewn Raglan Shirt Tunic in Linen Grid

I recently started falling in love with the A Beautiful Mess Site again (I'm doing their Blog Life course at the moment, which is proving very useful to me) and their blog has seriously made me look forward so much to getting our own house at some point in the future. Here's some projects I particularly liked the look of:

♥ Gotta bring all these instagram beauties into the house - 10 Ideas for Square Photos

♥ Absolutely in love with this Corner Gallery Wall

♥ I don't even drink coffee, but 1) this could work for tea too and 2) Daniel does and I like the look and smell of it - Espresso Cart

Like I already told you, we had a big tidy at the weekend. One thing that I haven't found a good solution for is my jewellery. Does anyone have any good suggestions?

How's your week been? Have you come across anything exciting you'd like to make?
Much love,

Johanna

Book tip: The Life Changing Art of Tidying

Monday, 22 June 2015

I've become obsessed with folding clothes* - in the best possible way, but let's start at the beginning: I kept coming across this book The Life Changing Art of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever (link here if you're interested) which, let's be honest, is a pretty bold title - changing your life through tidying, yeah right. I was intrigued though, so I ordered it (and had Daniel make a lot of fun of me for buying a book about clutter and tidying, which would surely just add clutter to our room).

It came on Friday and I LOVED it; how can a book about tidying be such a pleasant read? I finished it on Saturday and genuinely couldn't wait to get tidying, so after turning an old skirt into some yarn in the morning (well attempting to and yep, turning more hippie by the day) I got to it. I won't go into the method (because you should totally read the book), but let me just tell you that I'm a total convert and I'm really hoping that I'll be able to keep it up, because the way our room and bathroom are organised now does make me happy.

(I also like this article about it)



fairly random selection of books and also, Daniel would like me to point out that his meticulous card organisation was in place beforehand. 


One thing I'm not on board with though, is the throwing away aspect; I'm not saying other people should be burdened with my old stuff, but the charity shop for example was happy to take the clothes I sorted out and like I introduced earlier, I'm planning on becoming very good at turning old, unwanted pieces of clothes into funky yarn to then turn into crochteted/knitted baskets/bags/you name it. Overall though, I think keeping your house organised with this method, can help to shop and give gifts a lot more consciously (something I said before and will probably say a million more times, has become very important to me); I just don't think that means perfectly usable things should go in the trash when there may be better alternatives (which of course there aren't always).

I don't want to end on a negative, so let's get back to the positive. In a way, I do think the book is a game changer - I really did find her writing (even if translated, it's about what's between the lines anyway isn't it) inspiring and uplifting and I'm loving our room at the moment, and most important of all I guess, I can see myself keeping it up; I can only recommend it (do try to recycle where reasonable though ;) ).

Have you read the book? What did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have a lovely evening.
Love,

Johanna

* Unrelated to this post really, but I just wanted to get it out there; people often use the term OCD for when people are very neat and tidy and like things organised and it really bothers me. It's like saying someone's depressed when they're just having a bad day or are a little sad, both are actual illnesses. OCD is not that cute, little perk someone has, it's a crippling mental illness that can seriously impact people's days. Rant over.

Exciting News: I'm going on an MBTI course!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Hello you beautiful people, I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend with plenty of comforting cups of tea and a good book.

I'm so happy to share with you that last week I finally made the decision to sign up for doing the MBTI foundation course (my decision was helped a lot by the 20% off OPP kindly offered on those courses if done in June). I've been fascinated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a personality type indicator used for personal development, for years now, and I'm so so excited to properly learn about it and to by the end of it hopefully (let's all cross our fingers) have the qualification necessary to administer the test and give feedback on it.

I want to tell you so much about it, but I think it's probably better if I wait until after the course (so what I'm telling you is based on actual knowledge), but if you want to find out more about it, just google it. I'm just so excited, because I think it'll go so well with what I want to do in my career more generally (i.e. help people become more engaged in their work, see here for more info). According to OPP (the European distributor of it), applications of it include:

• Conflict management
• Decision-making
• Leadership development
• Managing change
• Building resilience
• Team development
• Career development and orientation
(link to their page on it here)

How perfect does that sound?? I spent the weekend doing the first (online) module for the course (so interesting), and am about to go to Oxford for three days to do the main taught bit of the course. Did I mention that I'm excited?

I hope you have a splendid Sunday evening.
Love,

Johanna

Things to Try Thursday - 11/06/15

Thursday, 11 June 2015

How refreshing do these watermelon juices from Borough Market look?

Hello beautiful people, it's once again Thursday (in case you didn't notice) and it's actually sunny today which is a nice touch; I was wrapped in a blanket for most of this week up till now, because I for some reason insisted on wearing shorts, so this is a nice little change. We've had pretty tasty food over the last week or two as well; delicious mushroom risotto with mushrooms from Borough market, Halloumi and courgette burgers with smoked paprika sweet potato wedges and a harissa-lime dip, as well as some delicious sea salt dark chocolate and oat cookies (based on Rosie's, but with a few changes due to availability issues for the spelt flour and my desire to put oats in). They were tasty and the best is, I still have cookie dough in the fridge! I also really want to try these with Lindt's coconut dark chocolate and their caramel fleur de sel dark chocolate nom nom.

Anyway, here we go with some things to try, eating and otherwise.

Food and Drink

♥ This seems like a fairly summery dish - Grilled Aubergines with Olive Oil, Garlic, Parsley and Feta Cheese

♥ I think this herby-sweet combination could work a treat - Herby Shortbread Clouds

♥ Hello delicious potential brunch recipe - Spiced Sweet Potato with Crispy Fried Egg

♥ This Ultimate Veggie Sandwich looks ultimately exciting and tasty (I'm actually keeping this tab open, because I might have to make it for lunch)

♥ A Simple Olive Oil and Parsley Pasta - yumm-ay

Knitting & Co

♥ I'm in love with the simplicity of this jumper. I bought some green wool the other day which I might just have to use for this - Il Grande Favorito

♥ I just love the colour of this one - although that's not the actual pattern, you can find the pattern here

♥ Quilting seems like something pretty fun to get into as well, doesn't it? Beautiful Tiny Tile Quilt

♥ I'm not sure if I could rock these, but I think they're definitely very cool - Floral Lace Shorts

Have a great remainder of the week.
Love,

Johanna

Things to Try Thursday - 04/06/15 Making

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Today I thought I'd give this a slightly different focus, one of hand-making things, because one, I just haven't come across that many recipes I'd like to try this week and two because I just keep finding myself incredibly excited when I come across cool patterns (which Daniel finds very entertaining, but don't you worry, I'm not going to take offence from anyone who does the same when putting their hands on a new deck of cards hehe). I learnt how to knit from Siobhan last year and haven't looked back since. I've enjoyed knitting so so much and I definitely want to continue it, but now I also want to learn more; I want to learn how to crochet and how to sew. I think the reason why I am enjoying it so much is because I recently realised that I'm an incredibly habtic person; I love feeling different materials, which is probably also why I talk about coziness so much. Anyway, I know it's not necessarily the season for knitwear, but I thought I'd put together a little Things to Try Thursday for patterns that I've come across and that I'd like to make, and I'm considering including a little 'others' section for them in my upcoming Things to Try Thursday, what do you think?

Here we go:

♥ | I love how the simple crocheting on the edges transforms these fairly simple pieces - Edged Linen Wrap & Blanket (wouldn't these blankets make the most wonderful gift for a mum-to-be?)

♥ | This seems like a perfect first sewing project, I might even attempt this without a sewing machine, or is that completely crazy? - Incredibly Simple Scarves

♥ | How cozy does this look? (I know I know, it's finally getting warm and I'm posting cozy scarves, but then you gotta make them some time so they're ready for when it gets cold, right?) - Cozy cowl

♥ | This Yoga Shawl is just dreamy. I think it'd be the sort of piece that I'd live in.

♥ | I'm actually attempting to make this one at the moment - Crochet Basket

 ♥ | I really want the crochet workshop book from Erika Knight, particularly because I want to make this Crocheted Laptop Cover and this Contemporary Clutch

I'd love to hear what you're making at the moment/what patterns/projects you've saved for making in the future :)

Have a lovely day,

Johanna

On clothes

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

*Not a fair representation of my/our wardrobe, it's really a lot messier and fuller!


Over the last couple of years, I started to pay a little more attention to the things I buy, from cosmetics to appliances to clothes. I question whether I really need something now, to avoid being wasteful. Now, I'm not saying I only buy the absolute essential, nor that I'm actually being good even by my own standards, but I usually ask myself the question whether I a) really need it or b) whether I think it would make me happier, and if so, I try to go for good quality that will last a while, though I'll admit here and now that I still own for example H&M clothes, but I'm in the process of making those (and other labels too) a minority in my wardrobe. I love H&M as much as the next person, I'm just working towards finding a different balance.

I'm trying to spend more on clothes. Yes you read that correctly, more. I don't mean buying more clothes, but spending more money on good quality pieces that I will a) get a lot of wear out of and b) that I at least think have been produced fairly. I used to think that if something was really simple and plain, like a tank top or a simple long sleeve, the sort of thing I'd wear on a daily basis, it shouldn't cost much, because you know, it wasn't special. The irony of that only got to me a couple of months ago. Shouldn't the fact that I wear those on a daily basis mean the exact opposite? Shouldn't it mean that they're what I spend the most on or let me rephrase, buy the best quality (which of course isn't always synonymous) for the clothes that will be in contact with my skin for the majority of the time rather than the clothes I'll wear for one or two special occasions? I decided that I should. And boy am I glad I did, the good quality/fairly produced/slightly more expensive clothes I bought recently feel SO GOOD ON MY SKIN. It literally makes me happy several times a day. 

I know I can't make you feel it, but I'm trying to bring across, just how cozy this feels!






I am so glad there's finally brands out there that produce clothes that are not only (if that can ever be an only, it's so important, but hopefully you get what I mean) produced fairly, but also clothes that feel wonderful and that I like the look of; because, even if it's incredibly shallow, if I don't like the look of the clothes, I might buy them and feel slightly better about myself, but I wouldn't wear them, which, even if not an as grave waste, would still be a waste.

Armed Angels is my favourite brand for good looking and fair clothes at the moment. They don't have a UK site yet, but should you find yourself in Germany, I definitely recommend finding a shop that stocks some of their products (or if you're super keen, they also deliver to the UK). I could easily order for several hundred pounds from their site, but I'm just going to give you a link to my absolute favourite product from them: click. This is the top I'm wearing in the photo above and it literally feels so good. I didn't even know clothes could feel this good on my skin, and since I basically live in this top, I've bought it twice. And the best/worst is, I wasn't even going to buy it first, because it's just SO simple; in hindsight though, that's what I love most about it :)

Like I mentioned before, the concept of having a capsule wardrobe absolutely fascinates me and it's something I'd definitely like to work towards with good clothes. I'm finally admitting that I just like to live in cozy tops and that that's ok. 

Do you have any fair labels that you love? I don't really know any brands like this in the UK yet, so if you know any, I'd hugely appreciate it if you could share them with me. In the meantime, have a great day.

Love,

Johanna 

P.S. I'm also really getting into making things/clothes/accessories lately, I find it so gratifying it's unreal, but maybe I'll talk about that in another post, for now, here's a photo of me rocking the funky necklace I made a couple of weeks ago: