baking bread

This past weekend I tried baking my very first loaf of bread. I admit, it's an intimidating process to me... taking water and flour and essentially turning it into something whole. I love baking, and find it much easier than cooking, but baking bread seemed on a whole other level. I'm not sure why. Even though it takes a while (4.5 hours for me from start to finish), it's well worth the effort. There's something very satisfying about making such a basic item for yourself, instead of getting it store-bought. Let's be realistic though... it's not like i'll be baking every loaf of bread from here on out, but i'm just glad it worked. Well, 90% worked... the other 10% ended up being a large whole under the top of the loaf. Regardless, for my first attempt i'm calling it a success! Next time i'll be sure to really press down after folding the dough.

I've come across quite a few recipes for bread, but this is the only one that actually had me feeling confident enough to try out... Honey Whole Wheat Bread via Local Milk. Beth makes the whole process seems somewhat magical – and doable! I highly recommend trying this out if it's your first attempt.

Have you baked your own bread? What are some of your favourite recipes? I'd love to try a large, round crusty loaf next.


close to home

I've been on a real "local" kick lately. I know, it's such a trend (insert eye-roll here) but it just makes sense. Although, I wish it was more of a year-round thing. Living in Canada, the farmer's markets and farm stands/stores are abundant with all kinds of delicious, local produce, but come Winter, well, nothing grows in the snow except our beloved Christmas trees. I've been on the hunt, looking for close-by farm stands that are open year-round, with the hope that just maybe I can still buy local, (apples, root vegetables, potatoes) and somehow get real creative with different recipes. (One can't tire of apple pie, right?)

For now though, Fall has yet to arrive, and all of Summer's produce has at least another month or so! Rick and I discovered two new places, one selling this delicious Guernsey cow milk made from a local farm (most milk is made from a mix of different supplied Holstein milk), and another selling all kinds of local year-round meat and available produce. I feel so much better about consuming food grown around our home, rather than flown in from Chile or New Zealand. I'll take mixed greens from California every once and a while, but does Ontario really need apples from New Zealand? It's insane when there's three apple farms within 10–30 minutes of our home. They taste better and the nutritional value is higher having not spent days being transported and jostled around. It'll require more planning to visit each different place for different items, but it's worth it to me. Our fridge and pantry is full of local, healthy goodies and I couldn't be happier about it. Plus I love visiting different farms. It's fun to go, even if we're not buying much.

Do you shop locally? Can you taste the difference? What would you say your area's best produce is? I'd say we have a lot of corn and apples!


in season

Oh August... on one hand, your presence marks the dog days of Summer, where we treasure the last few weeks of the season (secretly looking forward to cozy Fall weather), but on the other hand – peaches. Peaches, peaches, and more peaches. Today I picked up a giant basket of these lovely gems from a co-worker who has a peach farm in the family. They lack the "cosmetic" spray which deals with those little freckles on the skin, which is definitely a bonus. There's simply no other fruit that captures Summer quite as sweet... sooo good.

Right now, there's peach crisp in the oven, as I scour the internet for other peach-related recipes... any favourites out there?


invites :: lauren + gordon

Today I'm super excited to share a set of wedding invitations I've been working on, for the lovely Lauren and Gordon, who are getting married this upcoming September. This set was all about rustic romance, with a classic design and an elegant touch of gold. Printed with dark gold ink on cream, 100% cotton paper, this suite includes the invitation, an RSVP card, and an info card with all the reception details. Lauren completed the invites with a sheer gold ribbon tied around the set, and sealed the envelope with a round gold foil sticker. I love that just a hint of gold here and there really makes these invites shine! It has been such a pleasure working with Lauren, and the fun continues with a program and guest book sign in the works. I love when all the paper elements of a wedding are consistent. It really helps to bring the event together with one cohesive look... a detail guests are sure to notice!

If you're looking to have your wedding invitations designed, or any other paper goods for engagement parties, showers, thank you's and more, please inquire for more information by visiting daniellamariedesign.com or our Facebook page here. I'd love to hear from you!

yogurt + berries

Weekend breakfasts are always so much more enjoyable, aren't they? Or maybe it's just me, since getting up during the work week seems practically impossible. If I could actually wake up earlier, I might be able to have a more relaxed and leisurely morning before a busy day.

For now though, I have my weekends.


this month + thank you

First off, I want to thank you all for your kind words regarding my last post. It's nice to know i'm not the only one feeling this way! You did however, remind me why I do like blogging. It's that personal quality to it that I love most, and I think I will just continue on that path here and ignore all the rest. I'm dying to get a new camera, so hopefully that will inspire a little more creativity, but I'm happy to continue as I have been. It's outlet for me to share things here and there about daily life, and I think i'll do just that. Thank you for the little boost!

So let's kick off a new month with new things to look forward to. It's finally peach season and i'm obsessed. I can eat 3 peaches in one sitting. They make the perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert! And along with it corn on the cob is in season. How great is it that we can now add it to our Summer BBQ's and dinner outdoors? There's so many corn stands along my drive home, it's nice to get a few cobs straight from the farmer to cook that very night.

I've also starting to dabble in a little running every other night using a couch-to-5K training program. So far, so good, but running is not my best quality. It's always been tough for me as an adult for some reason, even though I played so much soccer as a child (I even reffed!). My endurance is low (it's not like i've been getting much cardio these past few years), and my pace is averaging 8 mins/km... but i'll get there eventually. I ran 3.6 km last night, and I hope to run a 5K (and possibly a 2K before that) this October. It's just a fun walk/run so there's no real pressure except finishing, which is nice. Mostly though, I just decided enough was enough. Being a graphic designer i'm sitting A LOT, and it's starting to hurt! I feel like i'll be in some major trouble down the line if I don't start getting more active now. It's been nice getting outside. I don't know what i'll do come Winter (many, many layers I suppose), but i'll figure it out!

What are you most looking forward to this August? How has your Summer been? Time just flies by, doesn't it?