Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A little trick for hard decisions

The last year gone has been full of some of the bigger decisions I've ever made, the kinds that remind you that everything in life is a tradeoff and result in ghost ships to salute from the shore.
I don't know what you're like, but I'm definitely an over-thinker who can easily let thoughts start to run rampant in my mind when I'm mulling a choice over.  A little trick I learned to get me out of this state is to ask myself this question:

'What would I want my daughter to do in this situation?'

I've found that asking myself this brings a freedom to be honest with myself, it pulls my thoughts together with speedy maternal clarity, and snaps me out of puddling around in circles.  I think we can all tend to shuffle around the truth when it comes to ourselves, but putting our maternal (or paternal) hat on brings out what we already know to be right and best.  It also means we will make decisions that we'll be proud to tell our kids about one day, whether we already have little ones in our lives or they are still entirely imaginary (as in my case).  Pretending to be your own mama can help you realise that you might already know best.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Banana doughnut

Flicking through my photos from NYC a couple of months ago and I came across this flowchart:

Did I mention I spent five and a half years at art school?
Inspired by a banana doughnut I ate from the timelessly excellent Balthazar.  Yes you are.

Happy weekend!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Who are your top five?

I can't remember if I've written about this before, but I'm a big believer that you are the average of the five people you spend the most amount of time with (credit: Jim Rohn).  I read this recently and it follows that it really struck a chord with me:

"Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with. And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes. And the changes are what you become. Change the outcome by changing your circle.”

Seth Godin, via the folks at my dream workspace.  Know your desired outcome, your circle and change accordingly.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Kumquat Marmalade. Or, Chopping Tiny Fruit for Hours.

If you have a kumquat tree you will know that when they are in season the fruits will suddenly grow abundantly, seemingly all at once, and you will feel like some kind of giant harvesting tiny oranges one by one.  This was the case at A's dad's farm, which led to our first delicious round of marmalade.
All the kumquats!  Faded view of our hero, the serrated knife, is also in frame.
So delicious was this Kumquat Marmalade that when our local supermarket incorrectly priced them (in our favour) this weekend, we went home with 6 more bags of these tiny orange friends.  Cue more feeling-like-a-giant-cutting-things time and we now have 12 jars of the sweet jammy stuff.

The recipe we followed is here, with some tweaks / tips taken from here because David Levobitz is the jamming king; we added a couple of limes for taste and the little serrated knife is key - both for cutting through the tough-ish citrusy skin and poking the seeds out as you do.

We had so much fruit we started measuring in bowls instead of cups.  The recipe calls for 2 cups of sliced kumquats and we ended up with 5 bowls.  Multiply the sugar, prep time and boiling minutes accordingly i.e. we went to bed pretty late.
The finished product!  Extra delicious with a hard cheese.
As you might be able to tell, the making of marmalade coincided with us playing around with a pro camera for a week, so the photos for this post are a little fancier than normal.  Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fold your socks, ok?

I am sure the world does not need yet. another. take. on the this book sweeping the nation/s, but as a newly turned Konvert I can't help but do a little gushing, as you might expect from anyone who has recently joined a borderline cult*.  I don't even bundle my socks anymore, it's all about folding them gently so they have a chance to rest (I wish I was joking).

Following Marie Kondo's method falls into two parts - firstly discarding, and then once you've completed that you can begin re-ordering; I am almost through the first part, but have cheated and simultaneously started with some of the second.  There are enough reviews and synopses out there to give you an idea of what she's is all about (or the book itself is a very quick read) hence I thought I'd stick to sharing one particular highlight I enjoyed from adopting her methods:

Hang clothes on a hanger, if they look happier that way, and then arrange them from dark to light because “clothes, like people, can relax more freely when in the company of others who are very similar in type, and therefore organizing them by category helps them feel more comfortable and secure.”

The 'before' picture.  If you only do one thing for your wardrobe this year...
...seriously just go, now (and I really do mean right now) and buy yourself a set of matching hangers, purge and then re-hang all of your clothes in this way.  These were seriously the best $25 I have spent this year!
Be sure to purge your clothes beforehand, according to her methods - holding each item in hand and throwing out anything that does not bring you joy and "does not fall into one of three categories: currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or must be kept indefinitely."

Ouffff - breathe it all out as you cut the fat!  Your wardrobe will feel lighter and you will too.

*A quick reminder: I have also been known to SoulCycle and CrossFit, so I am very susceptible to borderline cults in general.  Also, it should be known that I do live in a tiny studio apartment by myself; if I lived with company or moreover had bebes... well, I'll just have to report back on how that goes :)