I’m typing this while looking at the beautiful flowers starting to bloom in our backyard. The birds are singing, and the leaves on the trees are bright green. I’m grateful for springtime every year, but this year its arrival feels especially significant. I hope you’ve been able to soak in lots of time outside in the springtime air this past week. (We go on at LEAST one walk a day over here, and have been eating all our lunches outside and dinners on the screened porch. It’s been lovely!)
I’m at the stage in this whole quarantine process where this seclusion is starting to feel very normal (and not in a stifling kind of way). Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m starting to realize that I’ll miss a lot of this when things go back to normal. After all, my 2020 word of the year (instead of a New Year’s Resolution) is “stillness.” I feel like I’d been craving some of what this situation has brought to my life, and I want to really figure out ways to keep some of that intact as we transition away from this phase.
What about you? How are YOU feeling this week? Today? Right this very minute, as you read this? No matter what that feeling is, give yourself a moment to really embrace it (good, bad, frustrated, joyful, grateful, annoyed — whatever). It’s helped me so much during this strange time to realize that there are so many layers of feelings involved, and that no one has this all figured out. You’ve got this.
Since it’s Friday, I thought I’d share a few favorites with you! (Bet you didn’t see that coming, huh?) 🙂 Here are a few things I wanted to pass along:
- I used my sourdough starter to make bagels! This was the first way I’d used it aside from just baking standard loaves of bread, and it was fun to try something new. I used this recipe (one recommended by my friend and bagel master, Julie of Be Nice Bagels), and it was easy to follow and worked well. (I used the molasses and honey option instead of barley malt syrup, because it was easier to get my hands on right now, and it seemed to work just fine!) I also used almond milk instead of egg wash, which also worked just fine if you want to make yours vegan as well! This recipe makes a dozen bagels, so we were able to enjoy some fresh and also pop a few in the freezer. I have some work to do to make them prettier (next time I’ll let them rise on two baking sheets to avoid having them touch, which I think will keep them shaped better), but I’ll definitely make these again!
- While we’re on the topic of homemade bread-related things, I wanted to also share this recipe for homemade flour tortillas. One thing this quarantine time has helped with is making us more resourceful, and so when we wanted to have Mexican last Saturday night and didn’t have tortillas, instead of running to the store to grab a pack we remembered that our friend Gwynne had recently shared a tortilla recipe on her blog and made those instead. Not only were they simple, they tasted SO GOOD! (In fact, we’re likely going to whip up another batch tonight!) Note: I’m betting you can use butter or oil in place of the shortening if you don’t have that on hand.
- I mentioned we’ve been enjoying lunches outside lately, and those have largely been in the form of picnics. It’s been fun to enjoy meals either on a blanket in our yard or on our front steps, and we’ve been gravitating toward lunches like smoothies or rice bowls. I love these because they’re fresh, cool, easy to eat (just one cup or bowl!), and come together in five minutes or less. (A go-to smoothie of ours: chocolate protein powder or hemp hearts, frozen banana, frozen cherries, almond milk, a few handfuls of greens.)
- In the time of really working to tune into my feelings and my body, I’m starting to dig into cycle syncing (something I’ve been interested in for a while but hadn’t really put into practice for myself). If you’re not familiar with cycle syncing, essentially it’s recognizing that women aren’t actually meant to operate on a standard 24-hour calendar. Instead, our hormones fluctuate within a 28(ish)-day cycle, and we should make food, movement, and lifestyle adjustments accordingly in order to be at our best (and avoid burnout). I blogged about it yesterday, so you can read a bit more about cycle syncing and my journey with it so far in this post. I’d be curious to hear from you if you practice cycle syncing and have any tips! I’ve found this book to be very helpful.
- As you may have gathered from this post or from following along with me on Instagram, there’s been lots of baking happening over here! And even though I love it (and am all about baking and freezing things for later), the other day when we wanted to bake I opted to go a new route: make dog treats. This turned into such a fun activity: We made the treats (using this simple three-ingredient recipe, and Maggie and I had a blast cutting out the dough), and then we put the treats outside in our cul-de-sac so neighboring dogs could enjoy them during their walks! It’s been so much fun watching Maggie get excited when pups partake in her treats, and I feel like it’s something very small we can do to bring a bit of joy and connection to our neighborhood during this strange time of isolation.
I hope you have a beautiful weekend ahead!