I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. I know me and I know I just won’t keep them. But I have been doing a lot of thinking and researching lately on getting back to the basics. I really want to slow things down around here. Do a lot less running and spend more time at home. I want to cut down on our grocery spending. I want to do more from scratch cooking and yet I want to keep it simple too. I’m going to slowly work on stocking my pantry and my freezer with items to make spending time in the kitchen fun and yet quicker and easier so I have more time for other things. I also want to eat more wholesome foods and a lot less processed foods. I don’t really have a plan but I have picked up a few books to start reading and I’ve gotten some great ideas from blogs I like to follow.
I want to try new things in the kitchen. And so the other day I tried my hand at homemade bread. Have you ever read the ingredients in store bought bread? It’s scary. I had never made bread before but I took the plunge. And it was fun! And it filled the house with a delicious aroma! And my loaves looked beautiful (to me anyway)! And they tasted great! But, I didn’t let them cook long enough. They were a little doughy. On the bright side – a friend of mine stated she likes them that way – they toast up great in the toaster! So, I will put baking homemade bread down as a win for me and something I want to keep experiment with and do more often!
And I tried my hand at making homemade vanilla extract. I had no idea how vanilla extract was made. I knew about the vanilla beans of course but had no idea it was just vanilla beans and extract. How easy. And the way they smell all ready – oh my! The hardest part is waiting the two months or more to see how it turned out! I have six bottles sitting in the back of a kitchen cupboard. I’m hoping to keep some and use others as gifts. I got my instructions and the beautiful labels from natashaskitchen.com. I used label paper I had here at home to print the labels onto and cut them out. Again, super easy! I plan to try my hand at making lemon and orange extract too. And again – no extra, unnecessary ingredients. Just plain and simple and fresh!
Today and Friday I get to sub as an Associate at the elementary school. Something else I’m trying – I said get, not have to. It’s more fun to get to do something than to have to do something. It’s amazing how just changing the way you say something can change your outlook! So I get to sub at the school. Now, I do enjoy subbing and especially for the Associate I’m subbing for the next two days. I get to attend PE class with the preschoolers and library with them too. And I get to spend the majority of my day with different groups of children helping them with their reading skills. Of course, I love to read so reading with the students is just plain fun. I even get to spend a class period doing just that – reading. I oversee the class as they have quiet reading time and so I read too! It’s fun to get out and something different and rewarding once in awhile. And I get to see Drew throughout the day so that’s a plus too!