The seasons are changing

I love seasons. I’ve always said I love New York because it has all the seasons – crisp and snowy winters, bright springs, warm and sunny summers and gorgeous autumns. Now, I don’t live there but that’s another blog post for another time.

I love nature. I’ve always loved the outdoors and as a child my sister and I would play outside until dinner. I often think back on those days, those we’re good days.

Moving to the house on the lake in the summer was great, nature was great and I fell in love with my surroundings:
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It’s a place that I look forward to spending every season and now that the first frost has hit I’m actually a little excited about what’s next:

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I’m hoping for snow this year (well after my parents arrive for their/my first English Christmas) as winter is my favourite time if year!

What’s your favourite season?

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The bread revolution – baking with alternative flours

The bread revolution began a year or so ago with bakers, health specialists and independent shops starting an uprising against supermarket bought bread.

The thing is bread should only have 3-4 ingredients and no artificial adjectives however, if you look at the back if your shop bought loaf you’ll see a list of 8-10 so called ingredients (say what?!?!).

Azodicarbonamide (even the name scares me) for example is used in the food industry as a food additive, a flour bleaching agent and improving agent – these type of adjectives can be harmful and cause deceases which you don’t want to have. I’m not a preacher of health as I believe it’s a life choice however, I do think that as we have one life we might as well do our best to stay here for as long as possible – to me that means treating my body right!

Also my philosophy in life is if I can’t pronounce a word I shouldn’t go near it – now, this proved fun in our each for a house as I implemented the same philosophy. That’s a perfectly insane sane one right 😉 anyway each to their own!

I attended an alternative bread making class by thehornbeam bakers in the winter where we made a variety of breads with alternative flours and I was hooked!

Now that I have my own little kitchen I tested out my skills last weekend.
This one is spelt, cinnamon, honey and chia seed cookies – I’m not the best baker but they tasted better than they looked 🙂
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You know my obsession with rye bread so I had to try and make it myself – It turns out my rye and flaxseed bread was out of this world!

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These flours are no more expensive than the normal white nutrition less flour you get in the shops so next time you want to bake maybe try the flour next to your usual buy. It’s so worth it!

What’s your favourite bread?

Herbs – growing my own

I love herbs, I put anything from tarragon to paprika in my scramble eggs, love a good flavoured water with mint and cucumber and my homemade guacamole is full of coriander and chilli! I don’t go a day without adding a herb or five to my meals.

It might come as no surprise that I couldn’t simply stick with the shop bought dried herbs and had to not just buy fresh ones but actually grown my own too!

First things first – select your herbs. Then all you need to do is get some soil from the garden, find a pot to grow them in and remember to water them. That’s it!

I picked mint (because it’s just fab), parsley (because I need to eat more of it) and oregano (because I love Italian food) – all perfectly fine reasons right?!

Here’s how they looked at the beginning:
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The good thing is that herbs are incredibly low maintenance so after a few weeks we got to this stage:

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We’re currently at this stage and I’m hoping to start using them in two weeks time 🙂

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Which are your favourite herbs?

Do you ever stop dreaming?

My blog is personal to me and as you know from about me I set out to write it as a sort of therapy / reflection / diary of life.

One of the things I’ve been contemplating is whether we ever stop dreaming? I see myself as a realist, I get up and get on with things, I get things done and don’t dwell on them – it’s who I am, take it or leave it. However, as you get older I think your dreams slow down a little bit and I’ve learned that you don’t have to hurry to get there. So I had a cuppa:
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I can be impatient, which is why Welly is probably good for me. I tend to want everything at once but he once said that he doesn’t want our lives to pass us by and I love that. However, when I invited my sister to a walk and a pub lunch in the country and her reply was ‘we’re not 50 yet’ it really made me think. So I made myself a cocktail:

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I think that as you get older your goals and dreams become long term rather than short term ones – for example you can’t renovate a house in a month or even two and that’s OK.

I am still a dreamer and I don’t ever want to give that up. I’m also a doer and I will make my own dreams come true, they will just take a bit longer to get there which is AOK with me!

My food obsession – rye bread

You should think that after having lived in London for a good eight years I shouldn’t have cravings for Danish food any longer and I don’t, apart from rye bread and pickled herring (who would gave guessed that one).

I absolutely love food and don’t stick to one particular type or culture of food however, when I want something comforting I always go back to what made be happy as a child. So it’ll probably come as no surprise that the two things I always ask my parents to bring is pickled herring (any variety) and rye bread:
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Rye has been named part of
the world’s healthiest foods due to it’s nutritional benefits and disease preventing goodness. I believe that every body reacts differently to food however, my body loves rye bread as it keeps my cravings at bay, keeps me fuller for longer and it helps my digestive system. I like a healthy selection:

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The only trouble is that it disappears too quick when I have it in my house so I’ve decided to start making my own. So today I started the ‘starter’ and will keep feeding it 25g rye flour and 35g water each day until it’s ready to use.

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I admit it’s not the most attractive thing in the world but it will be worth it. I will of course keep you updated with how it turns out – what’s your good obsession?

London, this one’s for you!

It’s a tough one to crack sometimes, I should know – the countryside or city life? Well, what if you don’t have to choose?

This week has been one of incredible highs in the city of London. I’ve been part of something pretty awesome with work, met some of the social world’s most inspiring people and worked with an amazing team.

After eight years of living in one of the world’s most inspiring cities I still fall in love with its harsh, cool and yet welcoming atmosphere. Who says early morning starts are so bad http://instagram.com/p/tW3gb4RuO5/

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There is always something to discover and as I walked down Bricklane with the crew from Alternative London I realised that you never stop discovering things in The Big Smoke. Who knew that there is art on most posts in Bricklane made by a 62 year old east end metal worker? I didn’t, but it blew my mind:

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People always say to look up when you walk in a city but yet most, including me, look down. I’ve made a promise to myself to start looking up, love the city I’m in and appreciate how truly amazing it is to see this place develop each day.

Thank you London, this one’s for you!

What do you love about your city?

The fruit of our labour – eating what nature has on offer

The whole idea of moving to the house on the lake was to enjoy the outdoors a bit more, live a healthier and happier lifestyle and have more space. We have all of this but what I didn’t foresee was all the wonderful fresh food readily available on our doorstep – by the way, this is now our doorstep ;-):
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As you know from my recent thoughts on how to destress during the evenings I love I good walk around the lake. Recently I’ve indulged in these tasty blackberries:

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These delicious little plumbs were a welcome surprise and were enjoyed as a snack:

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However most incredible of all was these delicious crayfish, which Welly turned into an oh so tasty pasta dish with a crayfish bisque:

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Knowing that the nature around us is so full of life and goodness makes me even more aware of how important it is to be living an eco friendly lifestyle and using natural products!

I can’t wait to see what else is around the corner as the seasons change.