Sunday, August 29, 2010

Days 3-5 of the Mighty 15

So far so good! I'm staying with my 15 though I'm already noticing some things. Like my jean skirt could fit much better. And of course I stained 2 items immediately! But the rules say:

1. Select 15 items from your closet: These can include shirts, trousers, jeans, cardigans, dresses, etc — in short, clothing. Make your final selections by August 30th.
2. Use unlimited accessories: Remix your outfits relying on all of your jewelry, shoes, scarves, outerwear (blazers/suit jackets do not equal outerwear!), and belts.
3. Captain Obvious: your pajamas and lounge-at-home clothing do not count, undergarments do not count, gym clothes do not count.
4. Make the COMMIT LIST: Document your list on your blog, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, loose-leaf paper, etc. Feel free to snap photographs of the items, list them — get creative! This is your commit list, and you can’t stray from it. Stain on shirt? DEAL WITH IT. Cat ripped your pants? Get a SEWING KIT.
5. Keep a diary: Document your outfits each day, whether it be via an “outfit of the day” photo or a log of what you’ve worn and how you’ve mixed it up.
6. Ask for help!: Call your friends, pen a blog. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for help on creative ideas on keeping your wardrobe fresh!
I'm holding to #4- Stain? Deal with it! So back into the wash they went with some TLC and a prayer. I completely forgot to take a photo of Day 4 so it was the black shirt from the Gap with the ON khaki bermuda shorts. I'm sure I'll get another chance to photo those later! Here's what else I've worn so far:
Day 3
Day 4 was of course the missing picture and Day 5 was this:

Bread: Round 2: Herb Bread!

A taller loaf on this 2nd bake.
Today we polished off the last of that first batch of bread and I do think each subsequent loaf (it made four 1lb loaves) was better than the last. Perhaps the extra sitting time helps? Here's a photo of the 3rd loaf of batch 1 of the Master Recipe Boule.

You can smell rosemary all through the house!
I also made up batch 2 today and added the fresh rosemary and thyme. So nice to use up some rosemary, let me tell you. This stuff grows like a weed! I need to give some away! I wish basil grew like that. Hmm..a project for another day. Back to the bread. True to my style, I threw the dough together, mixed in the herbs (will do that way earlier next time, exhausting to mix) all in the storage container this time.
Woo hoo, right? Whoops. I put it right in the fridge and forgot to set it out to rise. I realize this about an hour later? Ish? No problem, it's likely just sitting there waiting to rise. However, when I opened the fridge door, to what should my wondering eyes appear? Insanely risen dough!  I made it fill about 1/4 of the bucket. Last time it about doubled, maybe a little more, and it took all 2 hours. This time in a short time, it has quadrupled!
I was a bit lost as to whether at this point to just leave it in the fridge? Or to put in on the counter to have it's alloted rising time (could it rise more? even possible?) and then back in the fridge? Courtesy of a culinary genius who takes my calls, I was told to go ahead and put it in the fridge, the yeast had done it's work.
A few thoughts from this: why did it rise so fast? Even in the fridge? It says to use lukewarm water in the book, but it also says 100 degrees, this is not lukewarm to me. I was feeling lax about it, so I just cranked up the water and didn't check the temp; this must have done it? Second, this is way more than the last batch rose, about twice as much. Perhaps this bread will be so much lighter? The last bread didn't seem heavy like some homemade breads can be. Though I wouldn't have called it fluffy. I'm very excited to bake it tomorrow and see how it is!
Side bit: I tried using the books suggestion for lazy sourdough by not washing the bucket after the last batch of dough, but just scraping the sides and letting that mix in with the new. I'm sure my faithful follower just shuddered as she read that, but it does get cooked, Mom! Hopefully this new batch will be a little more sourdoughy. It didn't say how long that takes to start up? Ah well, easier than a true starter!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 2 of the Mighty 15

Day 2: Gap top, ON skirt and shoes, bracelet from awesome little consignment shop in Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

Earrings from Steele's

Finally an outfit to go with my wooden bracelet! I found it for pennies at a great little consignment shop in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. I'm wondering how long I can go before I repeat an outfit? Could I possibly make it the whole way? Let's see, there's supposed to be some math to figure this out. Flashing back...flashing it "8!" Is that right? That's also assuming everything coordinated. We'll see!
Desperately needing a trip to the afore mentioned ironing board... how will I do up this one? But it is a great dress! Got to love Old Navy!
10 of the Mighty 15
And last but not least: 11 through 15 of the Mighty 15. Have to cover your bum! I have Gap Khaki pants, Long and Lean jeans and denim skirt and the khaki bermudas and green/khaki skirt are from Old Navy
6 through 9 of the Mighty 15
Here we have yet more from the Gap family, but wait? What's this? A little NY & Co? She does shop anywhere else? Top right is from NY & Co, bottom left from Gap, all else from Old Navy. This documents my previously unknown blue fetish.

The Mighty 15

Here they are, the Mighty 15! I've chosen 2 dresses, 8 shirts and 5 bottoms. Lord, be with me! But really, you can only go up from work out gear (when you're not working out) right?
2 through 5 of the Mighty 15
L to R (top), khaki short sleeved sweater (it's very light, I don't have a death wish) from the Gap, white pin tucked T from Old Navy. Bottom: flower shirt- Old Navy, black shirt Gap. Can you tell where I shop? Hmm...I really mix it up, don't I?

The 15:30 Challenge!

Day 1: Dressed up Boden dress
Project: Get out of my yoga pants! A fabulous blogger I follow cited a fabulous blogger she follows and so I've come to find this 15:30 challenge! What is it? Pick 15 items of clothing to wear for, ready? 30 days. Now obviously, not undies, PJs, workout clothes, just day to day wear.  I think this was originally for those folks stuck in a rut of outfits to challenge them to remix, but for me, it's challenging me to actually use the cute clothes in my closet! I own an iron. I do! Hard to believe, I know, but it's in my room. Just wishing someone would do something other than stack clothes next to it on the laundry board. I'll be posting my choices and the ways I can mix and remix it. I've had a lot of fun already just digging through my closet and finding things I love! And things I love that will, never, ever fit (appropriately) again, and things that really shouldn't be there at all.

Factors: It's still incredibly warm and muggy here, but hopefully within the next 30 days it will cool a bit. If so, I will re-look at my choices and possible trade shorts for pants as needed. Also, I'm not factoring in special events (on the off chance any happen) but I am figuring on my church clothes coming out of this.

So now I've laid out my choices, it turns out I love navy. Who knew? Had you asked me I would have said brown. Hm. This is useful already!

Here's a photo of Day 1! A wonderful brown Boden dress that's been in my closet, wanting to be loved, but needing something to go with it. I decided it would be 1 of my 15 and managed to dig up a necklace I've never worn and some beady straps! Dress: Boden; Necklace: Payless; Shoes: Old Navy.

Holy Rising Yeast, Batman!

Glorious bread, round 1!
So, I'm embarking on this bread adventure, ready to try my luck, no matter how many tries and low and behold, the first batch. whoa. My butter is happy to be on this bread. I'm posting the the book I'm using, and no, I'm not one of those cool bloggers who gets sent free stuff to review. Just an Amazon junkie who bought this book hoping not to drive 30 minutes to Publix to get the closest thing I could to great bread. Why doesn't this town have a real bakery?? The book is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

Now this is the basic, "Master Recipe: Boule" as they call it. The book has more (thank goodness!) And yes, it did only take 5 minutes of actual work a day, over two days to start it. It has to sit quite awhile, but that doesn't require anything from you other than counter and fridge space. I really didn't expect this to work out so well initially. First of all, I'm not much of a baker, I'm more of a stove top kind of lady. Second, I made 2 loaves and tried to squeeze them on the same stone in the oven. And did I mention my dough was all kinds of wet? And I grabbed too small of dough balls to start? This is like idiot proof bread- perfect! I love all bread, all carbs, let's be honest, but I adore crusty bread. I'm stuffing my pie hole, as I type, hopefully no butter on the keys, with crusty, $4/loaf kind of bread. That I made. That I have enough for 2 more loaves just sitting in my fridge, waiting to be brought to life. I'm. in. heaven. The only true crime here is that it's too late to make an awesome cup o' joe to go with it. WAIT! I bought decaf the other day! I knew there was a reason! I love it when I outsmart myself!

Next project: Herb Bread variation. 
It recommends thyme and rosemary, but I already have fresh rosemary growing out of control in my backyard. Do I really want to go to the store for fresh thyme? I bought some herbs a bit ago, I'll have to dig through the fridge and see if there's any thyme there...

After that? Baguettes! That is typed with glee and a little bum wiggle in my seat! I can wolf down a baguette like a starving Frenchie! When I get really good I'll have to run my bread past the true Frenchies and see if it passes muster!

Here goes!

I've decided to share my thoughts with the world! Well, the world that decides to read this. Probably just you, Carrie! I'm taking on some projects that I want to keep track of, which is how this all started. First, I'm going to master crusty, fabulous bread. I AM. Second, I'm trying desperately to get out of my workout clothes/mom look and morph into a Yes, I Own an Iron/mom look. There was a time I had style, approximately 5 years ago... This seems like the best way to keep track and document it! As well as all my other thoughts. Hopefully it serves as a good release and if someone else enjoys it, hey! Bonus!