Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A sweet little gift

I love knitting, I love the art of it, I love the zen feeling it gives me to turn a strand of fiber into something gorgeous.  I (mostly) self taught myself via YouTube videos, and got a bit of tutoring via a good friend via FaceTime, about 3 years ago.  

I enjoy knitting for myself and my own family, but when really good friends have babies, I love knitting for them too!  Wee little knitted garments and toys are joyful gifts to give.

Here is the latest little lovely off the needles.

The pattern is Pepita on Ravelry, I altered it to have no feet though.  I feel like babies grow in length so fast, that putting feet on something limits the time a baby can wear something.  I hope my friend Natalie likes Pepita as much as I do!

Baking bread

Baking is one thing I LOVE to do!  Bread is always a good easy place to start learning I think, and it is always a great way to pinch pennies, and fill up your tummy when times are rough.
I took advantage of a cooler summer day here in the UK yesterday and made a nice big loaf of french bread to go with a Cesar salad for our dinner.  Simple and delicious.  I utilize my bread machine for the heavy work of kneading and rising at just the right temperature, and it always comes out just right.

Here is the recipe I use for my bread machine:

French Bread

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (olive or whatever is your preference)
  • 1 tablespoons dry milk
  • 1 Tablspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt (I use Kosher)
  • 3 1/2 Cups of flour (I use a half and half mix of whole wheat and AP)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Add the ingredients into your bread machine as they are listed with the yeast being the absolute last thing, set your machine to 1.5 lb loaf, dough only setting, and let it go!
Once the machine is done with the dough, I turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, and roll it out into a nice rectangle (roughly 13-9 inches) then slowly roll up from the wide end, allowing the ends of the loaf to be slightly tapered.  Once your loaf is formed, put it on a baking sheet, and allow to rise for about an hour.  Once it is risen well, score the loaf 3 times with a sharp knife and put into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  (time will depend on your oven of course)
Once the bread is golden brown, pull it out of the oven and baste with 1 Tablespoon of warm water, with 1 tsp of salt dissolved into it. 

 (our oven here in the UK is quite a bit smaller than US standards, so I have to squish this loaf onto a smaller pan, and therefore isn't as long and lovely as normal)


Monday, July 29, 2013

I got my yoga on this morning.

In an attempt to re-familiarize myself with a solid yoga practice, I am following a few yoga videos via YouTube.  This morning I followed this Hatha Yoga practice, and I am feeling quite relaxed, yet ready to be productive in my day now.

If you are starting out with yoga, remember to be gentle on yourself, it is much harder to stick all the poses than you might think.  Wear comfortable clothing that will no hinder your movements.  I practiced this morning in some worn out leggings and a light weight hoodie with a sports bra, but ended up in just the sports bra and leggings about halfway through, I got sweaty okay ;)  If I had been in a group class I probably would not have been comfortable taking off my top, as my abs are a bit fluffier than I would like them to be, but really be comfortable in your own skin, especially in your home!

Time to do some crafts with the kiddos and do some light housework for the day...yay (or not).

Namaste my friends!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Taking this blog in a new direction

I've made up my mind to blog more, as in almost every day.  I know how much people hate lengthy status updates on Facebook, so in an attempt to reduce that on my end, I am going to make my blog that much better!

I've blogged minimally about our recent move to England, and my becoming a vegetarian, and getting my family on a cleaner eating regime, but that will become more of my focus on the blog from here on out too.

Change is good, and this year has been full of it for me.  I am realizing more and more what makes me happy, and what I want to do on a regular basis.

Since moving to England, I have successfully planted and maintained my first garden, with a few minor setbacks, and fresh ideas, I can't wait to make next year's garden a lot more successful!

I'm still loving ASL, and have thoughts of being an interpreter when I get back to the states, but I have also renewed my passion for yoga, and would really like to make that a lot bigger priority in my life in the coming year.  I've even begun looking into becoming a certified yoga teacher, so I can share my love of the practice with others.

I will probably oft write about my love of food, and cooking as well as share recipes, and food pictures(something else I know irritates certain people on Facebook)!

Good, new things to come from me, I can't wait to share it all!