My friend and I are attempting to take a photo every day and started a joint blog to keep each other motivated and accountable. Unfortunately, we've both been slacking off the past couple weeks (myself more than her). The most I can muster up while I'm going through a creative block is the sunset outside my window.  Now I'm thinking of doing a sunset photo a day, but it'll probably get boring after a few weeks...

These sunsets have inspired me to tackle yet another project I've dreamed up.  More on that coming soon.


Gratitude - Jan 17

Last week I…
+ baked a brioche pastry with mixed berries and custard
+ baked a brioche loaf
+ baked a boule
+ made this lasagna with pasta from scratch
+ made fresh fettucine with a tomato sauce from scratch as well
+ tried on various panama hats (without much success)
+ wore short sleeves due to the 80 degree weather
+ bought a pair of running shoes
+ ran half a mile (the most I've run since high school)
+ caved in and bought some eyeshadow primer (part of my "take better care of my appearance" resolution)
+ wore makeup over the weekend. All because I finally bought that eyeshadow primer! 

This week I will...
+ do a thorough cleaning and purging of things I don't need
+ bake more bread... so good for breakfast.
+ work on Valentine card designs
+ run a mile...!


Baking Goals

Another goal I've added for 2011 is to bake something every week. Last year I set out to learn how to make bread, which was really fun to learn through Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes. It took all the kneading and intimidation out of baking bread. But now I'm ready to move on to something more. I recently bought Tartine Bread and I have to admit I'm a little nervous buying new equipment and attempting my own starter, but it ties in to one of my other goals: taking more risks. It might not be a big risk, but it's still something to me. It will require more time, effort, and money. But if this is something I'm thinking about pursuing I need to take the next step.

In the boule above the hydration percentage is higher than my usual.  I also tried out the spray bottle method in addition to pouring a cup of hot water in a broiling pan.  Both of these methods create steam in a home oven to get a nicer crust.

Gratitude - Jan 10

+ Dinner at Melisse with my family
+ The next night's dinner at Park's BBQ (with the sighting of a reality star)
+ wearing my oxfords out for the first time
+ receiving a pair of lovely brown boots from my aunt. she couldn't fit anything else in her suitcase and gifted them to me :)
+ watching pushing daisies on netflix (unfortunately just finished the series)


Garden Update

It's January and my tomato plant is still fruiting.  It's been at the green stage for a while now so I'm thinking maybe I need to bring them inside?  The weather doesn't got below freezing at night so I'm not sure it's necessary.

Last spring Gary got me potted tulips because I told him it made me sad to throw away cut flowers all the time.  My aunt put the bulbs in an empty container and to my surprise they're sprouting!  I did a little google search and it said I should bring them in if I want them to flower.  But my tomatoes have been doing fine so maybe the tulips will too.  I'm obviously not an expert.

The basil plant is looking pretty sad though.  Not bad for $3 at Trader Joe's.  Mint is also looking a little sorry, and my cilantro and thyme are no more.



Candy Cane Joe Joe's from Trader Joes. Better than Oreos! Wish they carried them year round.


Happy New Year

Happy 2011! It feels so good to start a new year, even if it's all in your head.  I have lots of ideas that I am so excited to start working on.  Do you keep new year's resolutions? I never really used to until one year I decided I would stop drinking soda.  It was really tough the first couple months; I'd beg my mom to allow me just a sip of her cola (like it was a drug). But by the end of the year I did it!  No more cravings for the carbonated drink. I drink soda every now and then but not nearly the daily basis I used to! Since then, I've realized that I can accomplish a lot if I set my mind to it.  Seriously, quitting soda, as simple as it is, sounded impossible to me at the time.

So here it is, my goals for 2011:
+ Start running. I've never enjoyed running...ever. But I want to see if I can do it. My goal is to run more than one mile non-stop.
+ Be friendlier.  I am a shy person and it comes off rude, but I'm not trying to be!  
+ Take more risks.
+ Take a photo every day.  My friend and I started a joint blog to motivate each other and I'll be posting my photos here as well.
+ Take bread baking more seriously.  I have so many ideas swirling in my head about this.  The Tartine Bread book is so inspirational! 
+ Get better at photography. As in, maybe stop photographing in aperture priority.  Am I a fake if don't use my camera in full manual?
+ Take better care of my appearance.  Just general grooming and upkeep, nothing fancy.  I think I dropped the ball on this last year. For example, I got one hair cut in February and another in December.  To say my hair was really unhealthy and rough and scraggly is an understatement. 

I have a few more things I'd like to accomplish, like moving out, set up my business legitimately, and try doing the no impact experiment, but they aren't quite set in stone like the ones above.  

What are your goals for the new year?