lemon + almond poppy seed loaf

I have always been fascinated by how a spoonful of food can improve even the ugliest of moods. If the clouds cry, a hot bowl of soup makes the rain feel softer. If your heart aches, a freshly baked loaf makes the day seem brighter. I learned patience by waiting at the oven's door for a fresh batch of my mother's cookies and I learned joy in the shape of cinnamon buns on a Saturday morning.

 In an effort to explore the beauty of food, I have decided to lend more time to baking and learning how ingredients work together. Recently I baked a lemon + almond poppy seed loaf and I wanted to share it with you. On the roof of the loaf, there are sticky drippings of lemon and sugar. On the inside, poppy seeds dance with a sweet lemon zest.

Ingredients you'll need:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest

The lemon glaze:
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

The recipe can be found here. 

early morning blooms

I rise early in the morning with the sound of a coffee pot and two dogs breathing heavily as they enter in and out of dreams. I tiptoe through my kitchen as the morning birds’ dip and sway beside the window. I look at them and wonder what it is like to have wings.

I grew up dreading the quiet of early morning hours. I hated the loneliness that sunk into my body knowing I was the only one wandering the house at daybreak. If I witnessed the clock before 7am, it gave me a reason to believe I was the only human left in the world. The feeling lasted only a few hours until others awoke and life crept back into the floorboards.  

As seasons quickly change, I have changed too. Instead of fearing the quiet hours of my day, I send them invitations and hope they'll visit often. I dream of rooms so quiet that my own thoughts sound like conversations, the kind of rooms you can only find when nobody else is around. In this house of ours, we have 6 inhabitants; when somebody is silent, another is noisy. Sometimes it is hard to find the quiet mornings I used to dread, but when they finally do appear, I listen for the sound of solitude and I don't confuse it for loneliness anymore.

Yesterday, we went for a wander through our neighborhood. At a slow pace, we looked up and saw how all the trees had little green buds racing towards the sun. We stopped to watch two dabbling ducks swim across the creek and it made me feel glad for springtime. After the show, we climbed a steep hill and as we approached the summit, a wide-eyed lilac flower looked back at us. The flower was growing between pebble and grass, as if it had always been there. I thought to myself: "How did I survive a cold winter without you?"  Now we can finally replace our plastic flowers with real ones!
Pink Vintage Lingerie Thrifted at the Goodwill  
Boots Value Village

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my life in photographs
Happy April! The sun has finally returned home and birds that were invisible during winter are singing on the porch. Soon, we'll be among fresh blooms and grass stained stockings. For now, I'll keep eating like I need to reserve fat for winter until my body realizes that it's actually springtime. I don't know why -- but I always have the appetite of a bear when it's cold outside and couldn't be bothered to eat when I'm warm.

How is your world lately?

Photographs are from my instagram account, my username is amyflyingakite 

The season of heartbeats

As a young girl I was always waiting for springtime. I liked winter for its quiet solitude, I liked autumn for its maple stained leaves and I liked summer for its fruit picking hours, but I loved springtime because it was the beginning of everything. All that was buried between the cold dead grass and the cold white snow regrew a heartbeat in the springtime.

It is the season where we step outside of our cocoons and smell the earth. In the spring air, we feel brave knowing that we have survived the cold winter. After all, not every living thing makes it, most are put to sleep by the cold winter frost. Some of us were tempted to cry as we watched snow bury our gardens and some of us understood that springtime would bring it all back. If you look closely now, you’ll see tiny blades of grass stretching towards the sun, it’s as if the blades are calling out to lady bugs that they’re ready to be climbed. Be warned though: wherever the snow melts, there is a chance of spotting a bad dog owner's decision to keep their pup's crud on the ground, springtime leaves nothing hidden.

 This year, winter felt so long. I wasted away my quiet moments by calling for winter’s grave and sulking when I could not taste the sun. I tried to remember how sunshine tasted like medicine and then I burnt my tongue on hot cocoa trying to take myself there. Spring, the season of heartbeats, it would make me happy if you stayed awhile. 

I've always wanted to do my hair like this. For somebody who is terrible at doing her own hair, I am proud of myself! The braids stayed in my hair well into the evening -- which is clearly a record for me!

Blouse Value Village | Hat Spring | Shorts – Suzy Shier | Boots DNA Footwear

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