Adventure planning: Brussels

24.1.15 - 12:00
Isn't it odd sometimes the way things turn out? Like that quote 'Life is what happens when you're making other plans' (I'm not sure who said it originally there seems to be some attribution decay see here). Last year I hadn't planned on going anywhere travel-wise. But as time went on I got severe wanderlust and ended up going to Paris.

This year I am going to visit Belgium.
I'm actually not sure if I've been to Belgium before. I thought I had on a school day trip to France, but I asked the friend I went with and she didn't seem to think we did. This was the days before digital cameras, so I probably didn't take any photos.

But that's not why I'm going. We decided to surprise my Dad with the trip as a Christmas gift, he is interested in Napoleonic era military history and this year is the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, which is, it turns out*, 15km south of Brussels.

After the success of the Paris trip I am using the AirBnB service again. I'm a little more apprehensive taking the whole family, but it should be good. We'll have a whole house to ourselves.

I've started a board on Pinterest with some things to do. Have you been to Brussels? Any recommendations?

*Isn't it shocking I didn't know that Waterloo was near Brussels?



Print your own binder

17.1.15 - 18:13
This looks cool. Today I was perusing some planners and binders online and came across this page on the Avery website.

You can get a personalised folder printed and sent to you. There is only the choice of A4 or A5 - but a nicely personalised A5 folder could be a great gift. You could set the inside up with any kind of custom pages - a week in the life set, a holiday journal or an easy to complete December Daily style project. I'd like to design my own, but you could use printable templates from someone like Ali Edwards, Cathy Zielske or there are tonnes on Etsy - like these from Printable Possibility (I've not tried these by the way - it's just an example).

A note on A5 though, you'd have to use custom paper sizes if you wanted to include tabs. That's the issue I found with my Paperchase files. They are made to for exactly A5 paper so anything else, like page protectors, are too big because of the hole punched section. Also whilst we're on the topic of Paperchase - their 6x4 pockets don't fit a 6x4 photo, they are smidge too small, which is fine for crafty projects but a nightmare if you want to slot a bunch of photos in.



'Five minute a day' bread

10.1.15 - 17:00

I've made a start.
As part of wanting to eat more 'real' food I've decided to try making my own bread. I don't want to give up bread entirely, although that would probably be good for me - I'd like to eat stuff without additional chemicals and I want it to taste like bread.

I've noticed that the (admittedly sometimes comforting) sliced white bread we buy tastes of not much. Over christmas we bought a loaf of real bread with cranberries and seeds and it was delicious. Really worth eating. I'd like to eat things that are worth eating. Less but better.

I've made bread before, but I find it extremely annoying. I know, you don't have to do anything whilst it rises, but it still takes that amount of time. I've never been prepared enough to do it in advance. I've tried this no-rise bread from Crafty Kin, maybe I did it wrong but I found it very doughy.

I had checked out the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day website before looking for faster ways of making breads. Now I've finally got to a point where I want to try and have it ready in advance. I got the book for Christmas and it is rising as I write this.

I mixed the dough. Looks gross, but super easy.
Let it rise. Looks even grosser, but you don't have to watch it.
Left it in the fridge.
Cut off a 'lump'. I say lump. Slurrrb is more like it. And managed to form it with a bit of extra flour.
Left it out to 'rise'.

How easy is it?
It's not difficult, but the squishy dough is tricky.

The real test - how does it taste?
It tastes like real bread! It's quite chewy and you know you've eaten it.

There is enough for another boule in the fridge. I'd like to try the pizza next. If we can make Italian style thin pizza I will be extremely pleased. Our trip to Venice has rather ruined any other kind for me ;)