We had a big snow fall over night, waking to a super white blanket. I had to go to the post office this afternoon so took a few photos on my way. Really hope it all disappears by Wednesday (wishful thinking, more snow’s due..).
Who knew Urban Outfitters had such a lovely homeware section nowadays? I spent some time on their website yesterday looking at the things they had to offer, and fell in love with several of the rugs.
We’re hunting for a new rug for our lounge, our current heavy-pile Ikea offering is covered with cat hairs that just won’t come off. I’m seriously tempted by this one, but I think we want a mix of more colours… Nice though.
Rotating rug (£65.00)
The second of this year’s bread adventure, ciabatta! I love olive oil breads, love dipping ‘em, toasting ‘em & ripping ‘em. This bread takes a little more work than a regular white bread, as you need to start the day before with a ferment (a ‘biga‘). This helps give the bread more flavour, and more of a holey bake.
I think my biga didn’t work too well because of how cold our kitchen was the day that I made it, it didn’t seem to ferment that much. Next time I think I’ll leave it longer. The bread tasted really nice, though, and was really good dipped in oil & balsamic. Yum!
I used the recipe from ‘Dough‘, and this blog post documents it all really well. The ciabatta dough itself is quite a wet one, so I didn’t have fun working it… next time I might use my mixer and a dough hook. We’ll see! Tempted to go for round 2 next week, along with another new bread. The great thing about this recipe is that there’s instructions on how to par-bake for freezing – very handy indeed!
Happy Friday, everyone! We’re due snow here today so I’m writing this while wearing two sweaters & three pairs of socks – I am prepared!
+ I’ve come to realise that the daily ritual of making ‘proper coffee’ is one of the most relaxing parts of my day, I think it’s just the routine of it all.. and the satisfaction of the end result.
+ Really enjoying the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living.. always inspirational.
+ A few new (to me) iPad/iPhone apps I’m loving this week: WWF together, Goodreads, Mapmywalk, Fontbook
+ Hunting for new desk accessories, I have a post coming up next week with some of my favourite finds.
+ Bread making! After the success of the fougasse this week, I’ve since made some ciabatta. Really enjoying making different types of bread.
- I really hope the snow doesn’t scupper my trip to Nottingham this week for NAconf. There are some great people speaking & I’d hate to miss it! Otherwise, I’m super looking forward to it.
We took a trip to a local antique-furniture-slash-furniture store, Andy Thornton’s, this weekend. We’ve been meaning to go for a while but finally managed to get there. Set over a few floors in an old mill building, the store hosts a myriad of salvaged furniture, curios and interiors (as in entire wood panelled boardrooms & bars).
I realise this is pretty blurry, but it was too good not to post. So here is hunter fox in all his creepy taxidermy glory! I mean.. WHY?! just.. WHY?! I do like the attention to detail with the extra ammo…
Parts of the store freaked me a out a bit – hello, giant hotdog – but there were some fascinating things to look at! I didn’t know if I was actually allowed to take any photos, so these are just a few that I ‘sneaked’ while we wandered around.
We didn’t find anything to come away with unfortunately, and quite a lot of the stuff was high/over priced. It was definitely worth the trip, though, and was an enjoyable hour or so! If you’re in the Halifax area I’d definitely recommend popping in for a visit.
I wanted to share this video made by Mac Premo of the wonderful children’s book author/illustrator, Oliver Jeffers. I looooove seeing people’s work processes & work spaces, and it being presented in this way makes it even more fun!
I’ve been using a few new hair products lately, some I’ve loved & some not so much. As a background, my hair is currently pretty damaged (after being colour stripped, re-dyed brown, then ombré tipped) so I find it can be dry and definitely needs TLC.
- Moroccan Oil – This is my new favourite ‘use all the time’ hair product. It keeps my bleached ends from tangling too much, and helps LOADS with the dryness. It’s really good for reducing frizz, and smells delicious. I use it after washing my hair, and I’ve tried both the light and normal versions and prefer the normal.
- Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Mask – I’ve tried two hair masks over the past few months, and I think this one just beats the other (talked about below) because of the scent, however this is twice the price. It’s really thick, and after leaving it on my hair for around 4 minutes after shampooing I’ve found that my hair remains hydrated and much less damaged-looking for a few washes after. Leaving it on for too long results in greasy looking hair. I’ve also tried using this just on the bleached tips of my hair which works great!
- Moroccan Oil Intense Curl Cream – My hair has a natural wavey curl to it, but because of the current bleachy dryness it ends up looking more like a frizzy mess. After trying – and loving – the moroccan oil argan oil, I thought I’d give this a go. I’m not impressed at all. The product feels really sticky and the recommended amount left my hair really weighed down. I’m not sure if this is meant to be for just *really* curly hair, but it’s definitely not a product I’ll buy again. In the mean time I’m using this up by sparingly applying a little to my wet hair to control flyaways and frizz.
- KMS ‘curl up’ shampoo & silksheen conditioner – I couldn’t make my mind up over which set I wanted to try, so I mixed it up. KMS is most likely the highest price I’ve paid for shampoo, I usually buy Bedhead tweens which work out really reasonable. I didn’t notice any great improvement with my hair from these two products, although the conditioner did do a great job of detangling my bleached ends. I think perhaps if you had very specific needs then a set of KMS products might work well, but I had to decide between curl/damaged/colour/dryness.
- Bumble and Bumble thickening spray – I saw this on buyapowa and decided to give it a go as I’ve heard great things about b&b products. I absolutely love the smell of this spray, it’s really fresh! It also works great, thickening my hair without any sticky residue, and allowing the hair to be brushed afterwards. I once used a tigi S thickening spray which was like spraying glue into my hair, I ended up throwing that out after a week. I’d definitely buy this again!
- Senscience Inner Restore Intensif Masque – This was the first of the two hair masks I tried, and while the scent isn’t all there (it’s quite strong, and somewhat synthetic), the results are great. My hair feels so soft after using this mask and it definitely keeps my tangles at bay. Like the other mask it shouldn’t be left on for very long as it can make your hair feel greasy and look thin afterwards, avoiding the roots helps but I always like to massage it into my scalp! I will probably buy this again because the price is good.
I’ve just started using Mane ‘n’ Tail shampoo and conditioner, which is a weird one. Originally made for horses and now fully crossed over to humans. I’m liking it so far, it’s left my hair manageable and tangle free, but I can’t say whether it’s great until I’ve used it for a couple of months!
I’ve been working on a new project, but so far it’s all been in my head. I’ve been trying to work out the kinks without actually working out the kinks.
I know this isn’t going to work, and I know that nothing has a desperate need to be perfect straight out of the gate. Things grow & evolve, they get better, the creases naturally get ironed away and the end product turns into a worn-in piece of amazingness that couldn’t just be conjured by keeping it in my head.
So here I am, telling myself AND YOU, to just get on with it. Get that thing down on paper, get that website up without XYZ pages, write your first chapter, take your first photo – as long as it’s something…
The cats have a new admirer, a black and white boy who lives across the road. We were sat watching TV one day and he appeared at the window in our living room. Our cats were pretty oblivious until I put them next to the window, then they all just looked at each other for a while until he jumped away.
In my effort to make more bread in 2013, Saturday afternoon saw Adam & I taking a trip to the supermarket in a mission for fresh yeast. As it turns out, you can get fresh yeast by asking at supermarket bakeries where they’ll give you some for free (or a small charge)! Who knew?!
The first bread recipe I wanted to try this year was fougasse, made with a basic white dough & shaped to look like an ear of wheat. I used the recipe from my new cookbook, Dough, but you can find it online here. I was pretty impressed with how it turned out. We have a pizza stone that came with our outdoor pizza oven/bbq/fire heater, which has now been transferred into our oven for baking bread.