Home Made Iced Tea – Recipe

Like I wrote earlier this week, I experimented with iced tea. My first try was with green tea, orange, lemon, and mint. It was good but the taste of the tea wasn’t pronounced enough. So I tried it again with more tea (green) and without mint (not because I didn’t want to put mint in, but because I didn’t have any left). Yet it wasn’t the taste I was searching for…

So, I switched to black tea. This time again with orange, lemon, and mint, but also a piece of ginger. The tea flavor was exactly what I was looking for, but I didn’t like the aftertaste. I think it was due to the ginger, even though I like ginger and ginger tea.

Finally, my last try was really good! Here’s the recipe:
You need:
– 5 bags of black tea
– 700 ml of boiled water
– mint leaves
– an orange
– a lemon
– 400 ml of water
– granulated or cane sugar, I used one tablespoon, but the iced tea was really not sweet. So if you’re a sweetaholic, I would say to use for about 3 tablespoons, but just trust your intuition, also for the water and tea amounts!

First, boil the water. Next, cut and peel some orange and lemon. I think I used half a lemon and a third of an orange. Put these, some mint, and the tea in a bowl and pour the boiled water over it. Add as much sugar as you want. Let all the flavors infuse for about fifteen minutes. Then I used a spoon to push a little on the fruit to make sure it tastes well.

Now, put some orange, lemon, and mint in a jug. Pour the tea in the jug by using a little sieve. Add water and put in the fridge for a couple of hours.
It’s ready to serve! If it’s cold enough, you don’t have to add ice, but it looks prettier with ice. I wouldn’t use crushed ice, because it melts too fast and your iced tea will become too watery.

There are a lot of variations on iced tea. You could use honey, berries, lime, flavored tea, etc.

You should really try it, it’s very good and it’s much healthier than sodas!

Lots of love,
Laura

The Liebster Award


Did you know about The Liebster Award? Well, I didn’t… Until Isabelle nominated me. First I really want to thank Isabelle. I was very surprised since I had completely no idea what it was and I was a little confused about the concept. But I have the feeling I get it now, so I can write about it.

It’s an award that exists only on the internet. It is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers by fellow bloggers. It was created to help discover new, small bloggers.

These are the rules:
– Thank the blogger who nominated you.
– Answer the 11 questions set by the blogger.
– Give 11 facts about yourself.
– Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
– Let the 11 other bloggers know you’ve nominated them, and give them 11 new questions for them to answer.

These are the eleven questions Isabelle asked:

1. Do you have any pets?
I have a goldfish, well it’s actually my sister’s, and his name is Marcel.

2. Why did you start blogging?
I actually don’t know. I really like crafting and trying out all kinds of stuff. And I just thought it would be great to share it with other people, so others could also enjoy it. Moreover, I like knowing what people think about what I make and I love others to share their ideas.

3. What is your favourite quote?
This is a difficult one, since I post a quote each week. But I’m going for one I haven’t posted yet. A couple of years ago I watched a documentary about Karl Lagerfeld and he said something that made me pause the documentary to relisten to what he said: “Le succès annule. Il faut refaire. Mieux si on peut, différemment de préférence.” Which means as much as “Success cancels. It must be repeated. Better if you can, differently in preference.”
It reminds me that you don’t have to stop because you’ve reached something. There’s always something higher, better. Be grateful for what you have, but don’t be satisfied until you reach what you really wanted. And don’t underestimate yourself in doing so, you’re capable of more than you think.

4. Who inspires you?
I’m not inspired by one person in particular. I can find inspiration in everything, in everyone. It’s in the little things.

5. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I can be noisy, and I love being around my family and friends, but I don’t like crowded places. At the same time, I don’t like being alone at home. The mere presence of someone I love can soothe me.

6. What is your favourite pastime/ hobby?
Well at this moment it’s certainly crafting, cooking, and blogging about it.

7. How tall are you?
I’m only 1m57 :-)

8. Most valuable object.
It’s maybe lousy, but I think that would be my phone. There are so much memories immortalized on it… Pictures, texts, quotes, music, etc. If you would “dissect” my phone, you would enter my world and really know who I am.

9. Most important people in your life right now.
The most important persons in my life are my boyfriend, of course also my family, my mom, sisters, nephew and nieces,… And a couple of friends that I really couldn’t miss. They all make me who I am today.

10. Favourite shop?
I’m quite an online shopper. Noooo, I’m not lazy! ;-)
Two weeks ago I discovered a tea and coffee shop, Blanche Dael, in Maastricht, thanks to a friend. Since I’m a tea lover, it was like heaven! And they have a webshop, check it out! → http://www.blanchedael.nl/
There’s also an other shop that will (finally) open its doors in Brussels the 4th of April. It’s called Flying Tiger, and they sell all kind of stuff. This is their website: http://www.tigerscotland.co.uk/

11. Somewhere you would really like to visit and why?
I’d really like to see  the Niagara Falls. I don’t have a specific reason for it. But one day I will see them!

Now, here are eleven facts about me!

1. I’m from Brussels and I really am a city girl. One and a half year ago I moved just outside of Brussels and I was very happy. The fresh air, the meadows, the tranquility,… But I’m really starting to miss my city. I miss the bustling of the city. I miss going everywhere so easily. So I’m going back. By the end of this year, or at the beginning of next year I will move in with my boyfriend. And it will be in Brussels, doesn’t matter where in Brussels, as long as it is Brussels!

2. Every Saturday I work at a shoe store, Torfs. So I think it’s quite obvious that I love shoes…

3. I’m a student at the Free University of Brussels. This year I will graduate in Work- and Organizational Psychology. So at this time I’m totally procrastinating to work on my thesis!

4. I played the violin for ten years. I really liked it, and I still do. So sometimes I take out my violin and play a little, but I don’t have enough time to play as much as I’d like too.

5. I could eat pasta every single day.

6. My dad is Italian, perhaps that has something to do with number 5!

7. I have two sisters. One is two years older than me, and the other one is seventeen years older. I love my sisters. The relationship with my sisters is incomparable with anything else. You can always be honest with them, and they’ll still love you.

8. I’ve mentioned my boyfriend already a couple of times. We met when I was only fifteen. By now I’m 22, so this year we will be seven years together. He played a major role in who I became. We were just kids at the time and kind of grew up together. Even though we’re still kids – and we promised each other we always will be – we’re not the same persons as we were seven years ago. And I can’t wait to start our life together, to have our own little place, to create new memories together.

9. I love spending the day in PJs. But I also love dressing up. It compensates!

10. I’m a really cheerful person. I love to laugh and I think you should laugh as much as possible.

11. I’m a redhead and happy to be one!

Here are the eleven questions for the bloggers I nominate:

1. What makes you happy?

2. Where were you born and where do you live now?

3. What’s your favourite song and why?

4. What’s your favourite dish?

5. How did you choose your blog’s name?

6. If you could bring someone back to life, who would it be?

7. What do you do to relax?

8. How would you describe yourself?

9. Who are the people you love the most?

10. What are your hobbies?

11. What is the one thing you really would like to do in your life?

And at last, the eleven bloggers that I nominate are:

1. Sommielee’s Blog

2. Between seas and about all things

3. Crafting and Drawing the Geeky Side of My Life

4. Faith and Fitness 

5. Saudat Atta 

6. Sonja’s Bookshelf

7. The Wine Lifestyle

8. Oh my, it’s steph

9. A way of dreaming

10. P.S. I Love

11. Jamie and Mila’s Kitchen

You should definitely check these blogs. They are all beginners, just as I am, just as you all were at a certain moment. Enjoy reading these blogs! :-)

Once again, thank you Isabelle for the nomination!

Lots of love,
Laura

This Week’s Project: Perfect Home Made Iced Tea

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Hi everyone,

During the past couple of weeks, when I went out for a drink with friends, I always found home made iced tea on the menu. Every time I chose this drink – again and again – and I really love it! So I decided to try it out myself. I’ve tried it a few times already, but is wasn’t just quite as I wanted it. I’ve switched already from green to black tea. I’m still trying, and I hope the perfect home made iced tea will succeed by the end of this week!

Lots of love,
Laura

Wednesday March 25

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
– Gilbert K. Chesterton

I think every person – sometimes – takes things for granted. I do – sometimes – too. So this is something I should bare in mind, to be grateful for what I have and the people I love, and show them how much I appreciate their presence.

Have a nice day,
Laura

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Abstract painting made with tape

 

I saw something like this online and thought ‘I can make that too’. And you can do this too!! I really like the result and it’s super easy!

You need a canvas, paint, and (washi) tape. The colors and the size of the canvas are completely your choice.
I started with gold paint. Don’t forget to paint the borders too.

Apply a second layer if needed and let it dry. Then make triangles with tape. You can choose how big or small you make them, and how many you want. Make sure that there is no air left between the canvas and the tape.

Now paint the triangles. Once again, don’t forget to paint the borders.

Let it dry, apply a second layer and let dry again before taking off the tape. When I took off the tape, some paint came off too. So with a small paintbrush I repainted where the paint came off.

Your painting is ready! All left to do, is to find a nice place to hang your painting on the wall.

Lots of love,
Laura

 

 

Fusilli with eggplant sauce


Last week I made a new recipe. It was good, but could be improved. You should definitely try it, with some additions :-) It is an easy recipe, but it takes some time since the eggplants need to be in the oven for about an hour.

This is what you need:
– 3 big eggplants
– handful of sun dried tomatoes in oil
– a shallot
– 250 ml of stock (I used vegetable stock)
– handful of fresh thyme
– fresh chives (as decoration)
– 20 cherry tomatoes
– red wine vinegar
– olive oil
– a chilli pepper
– a sweet chilli pepper
– fusilli or other pasta (125 gr/ person)
What you really should add and I didn’t:
– a zucchini
– black olives

1First preheat the oven to 190°C. Cut the tip of the eggplants and cut them in half. Then cut some lines with a knife into the eggplants. Put them in a baking dish and pour olive oil over them. Let the eggplants bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

While the eggplants are in the oven, cut the zucchini in cubes. Cut the sun dried tomatoes and the olives into little pieces. Also cut the chilli pepper, the sweet chilli peper and the challot, and the cherry tomatoes in half.

6aFry the challot with some olive oil. Next, add the sweet chilli pepper, chilli pepper, and zucchini.

Take the eggplants out of the oven and remove the pulp with a spoon. Mix the pulp in a blender with some pepper and salt.

Add the eggplant cream to the vegetables, with the olives and the sun dried tomatoes. Next, pour the stock into the mixture. Now, it’s time to taste and add some wine vinegar (as much as you want to). Add some thyme and the cherry tomatoes.

Let the sauce simmer for about fifteen minutes and finally add pepper and salt. Meanwhile you can cook the pasta. Before serving disperse small bits of chive over the sauce.

Bon appétit!

Lots of love,
Laura

Potholder made from wooden clothespins

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This week my craft project was a potholder! I saw a picture on the internet and thought ‘I have to make this!’

Clothespins: check!
Glue: check!

1

First, detach the clothespins and glue them together the other way around.

Now, glue all the parts together and let it dry.

After it was finished I decided to put some varnish on it to have a somewhat even surface. Moreover, when you apply the varnish you can take away the little pieces of  paper that stick to the potholder. You can use a toothpick to remove the excess of glue.

Let it dry, which goes quite fast, and it’s ready! You can also paint the potholder and apply varnish when the paint is dry.

Lots of love,
Laura

Best butter biscuits with chocolate(!) ever

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Did you ever want to eat cookies or chocolate, but you didn’t have anything that could satisfy your chocolate urge? Well, it’s what I had today. So I made biscuits! There’re super easy and super good!

Here’s what you need to make +/- 25 easy and delicious biscuits:
– 150 gr of self-rising flour
– 25 gr of granulated sugar
– a pinch of salt
– a packet of vanilla sugar
– 1 egg
– 60 gr of cold butter
– chocolate chips

Sieve the flour. Add all the other ingredients and knead the dough with cold hands. Add the chocolate chips and continue kneading. Put the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about two hours.

First, preheat the oven to 200°C. Flour the surface and roll your dough out until it’s about five mm thick. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper. Now, use cookie cutters (or just a glass or a knife) to make your cookies. Bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy it!

Lots of love,
Laura

Wednesday March 4

My Favorite thing to do is to go where I’ve never been. – Diane Arbus

I love going for a walk somewhere I’ve never been before. People always go to the same places, taking the same roads. There are streets near your home you probably never walked through.

So go… and discover!

Lots of love,
Laura

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