What happened next…

What happened next…

I was going to take some time today to blog about having another baby (wahey!) and some interesting dynamics that have exposed themselves since then but I really feel that I need to finish the part of the story I left off at before looking forward. It’s probably the most complex part of the story to write about, convoluted and mirky and extremely personal so bear with me (yet again) as I sort through memories and time and try to give useful insight into our life with OCD. Read more

Autumn: beautiful leaves, crisp air, panic attacks.

Autumn: beautiful leaves, crisp air, panic attacks.

It’s finally Fall. One of my favourite times of the year. The air smells delicious, I can finally wear scarves and toques while taking Matilda to Kindergarden (prompting a child there to ask if I’m sick. No child, geez. I just like being cozy, ok?!) Candles and tea are very appropriate and I can stuff my face with all things pumpkin. Fall, however, for the past two years, has also brought with it sudden, random moments of panic – constricting chest, shortness of breath and vivid fear. I have been sitting on writing about this next part of our story for months. It’s still hard for me. I am still recovering, two years on and that surprises and frustrates me but that is just the way it is. So, bear with me if I have to take a break to cry in a corner and then remind myself of the miracle of the past two years.  Read more

Lemon Yoghurt Cake (Ina Garten modification)

Lemon Yoghurt Cake (Ina Garten modification)

I am a firm believer in ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ and I practice this by eating and eating and eating. I love food. It’s serious. I just got back from London a few days ago where I got to eat everything I loved when I lived there (except crispy shredded beef. Next time, chinese food, next time).

I also am constantly deciding to cook and, therefore, eat healthier food but I hate missing out on the food that I love. Butter! Cheese! Sugar! Life is tough, eh? So last night, after eating healthy all day, I was jonesing hard for a desert of some kind and my super-helpful husband asked ‘what can we bake?!’ that thought stuck in my head and wouldn’t go away.

I am a spontaneous baker and grocery shopper, which leads to an empty pantry. I knew we had yoghurt so I googled yoghurt cake. What did people do before google? It’s like magic. A recipe for an Ina Garten Lemon cake popped up and I just happened to buy lemons that day so while Patrick put Matilda to bed I started baking this cake. I decided to change the recipe, making it healthier but without knowing if it would even taste good in the end.

Honestly, it was amazing. Light and spongey, super lemony (I want my lemon deserts to be really, really lemony) and so, so moist. Patrick and I ate our portions hot and fresh out of the oven and the rest was packed off to Matilda’s kindergarten today. It’s dangerous having that stuff in the house. Make this cake. Make it now and eat it for breakfast if you have too.

Yoghurt Lemon Cake (adapted from Ina Garten)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (slightly less than 1/2 tsp, please)

1/2 cup honey
1 cup plain fat-free yoghurt
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup olive oil

Sauce:

1/3 cup sugar (I’m sure this could be made with honey too, I’ll try that next time)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Line a loaf pan with baking paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup honey, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

We did not use the whole of the sauce, but whatever is left over could be used as a syrup for a glass of delicious lemonade. It would just be a shame to waste it!

Let’s start at the very beginning…

Let’s start at the very beginning…

… it’s a very good place to start. I may judge you a little if you didn’t just sing along. (But before that, a little preamble)

The first post I wrote about our experience with OCD was so well received and I am touched that so many people took the time to either write me or others in my family about how it moved them. Turns out, though, writing about something as fluid and personal as mental health is harder than I thought. It’s hard to structure something in a coherent format that you are living with day to day, where experiences and thoughts flow into each other and do not fall into neat categories. So this post will simply describe how Patrick and I got together and what role OCD played in our relationship. I’ll then write another post detailing how things spiralled out of control. Once that’s done, I’ll start looking more into specific topics of living with OCD.

Now to the beginning:

I can remember the first time I ever saw Patrick. My parents had moved to Cologne and I was visiting them from Berlin. Read more

‘My’ OCD (and not in the cute way)

‘My’ OCD (and not in the cute way)

I’m sure you’ve heard it a hundred times. I’m sure you’ve even said it. Talking about how it drives you crazy if the forks aren’t always in the ‘fork’ spot, or if a picture is just slightly crooked. How you have to iron your underwear, even though you know that just isn’t sensible or how your ‘Twilight’ books, all from the same publishing house in the same series are not all the same height (seriously, Atom, what’s up with that?!) And you know, I get it! I really do. I used to say that, too, (although my character is about as far ordered as you can get) and I used to think nothing of it.

Until I started dating Patrick. Read more

Paper Gardenias

Paper Gardenias

*update – I’ve added some pictures from the actually wedding of the finish product below*

Yesterday, I got to go teach a bunch of wonderful ladies a craft of my choice. I am not an amazing crafter, but I love being creative. I also don’t have a huge arsenal of skills that I can pull from, so I usually just share what I am working on/interested in and, perfectly for Spring-themed crafting, I am currently working on paper flowers for my brother Luke’s wedding. Read more

Level Up

Level Up

A couple weeks ago I deleted Facebook off my phone. Here is an update on how that’s been going:

– I immediately looked at my phone less and felt more focussed. It’s happened so much that I reach into my pocket, turn on my phone only to realise that there is nothing really I can do with it right then. It’s been pretty crazy to see how subconsciously I sometimes reach for my phone and not having Facebook has made me more critical of my use of my smartphone in general.

– I really no longer feel the need to know what everyone is up to. In fact, when I do go on Facebook, I haven’t been trying to catch up with everything I’ve missed, which is what I thought would happen.

– I started using other Apps more to fill time. There are times when Matilda watches shows, or is playing happily in the bath, when I would normally be looking around on Facebook, but seeing as I can’t do that anymore, Pinterest and my go-to ‘Lifestyle’ App ‘Flipboard’ (there is something really slimy about writing Lifestyle app. It kind of makes me feel dirty. Hm) have become my time fillers. Not good. I had decided to really keep my eye on that consumption when…

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