Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Five Hop and 5 Little Confessions

Welcome to the Friday Five!  We invite you to write your own Friday Five post about anything you want and link it up with us below!  Just one stipulation: if you link up, it must be a Friday Five type of post!  Today's guest Friday Five post comes from Jacquelyn who writes the blog justjacq.

Hi everyone! I'm Jacquelyn and I blog at justjacq about fashion, healthy living, and being on a budget.

 neon tjmaxx sleeveless 

I'm from the Philadelphia area and one of the favorite things I love about blogging is connecting with women all over the world!

justjacq collage july 

Every month I cohost a linkup called 5 Little Confessions with women from Utah and Missouri: Aubrey, Kimberly, and Carrie. 5 Little Confessions is really simple: every month we host the link up and invite you to share 5 little things with us! There is no set theme, although we each end up picking our own theme. I love this link up because I get to find new blogs and read 5 new things about you every month!
Grab button for 5conf  
<div class="Grab button for 5conf" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="NBD" width="250" height="250" /> </a></div>
Although this guest post is intended to invite you to link up with this month I also want to encourage you to collaborate with blog friends! It's so much fun coming together and working on a project with people from all over and sometimes have never met (I've never met my cohosts!). This linkup started with an email from Carrie asking if we'd be interested in working on something together. Then we each threw out linkup ideas and settled on this one. After that we all volunteered to work on a separate part. Carrie designed the grab button and emails us monthly to remind us about the linkup and I create the linkup code and email it to everyone. We all work on promoting the linkup and encouraging others to join in. There aren't many hobbies/jobs that give you an opportunity for such amazing teamwork!

Won't you please link up with us? Link ups are the first Wednesday of every month and this month's is August 6.

Here are the past 5 "5 Little Confessions" we have done! 
1. March: I wrote about 5 secrets
2. April: I shared 5 jobs I've always thought about doing
3. May: I discussed why I continue blogging even though I was getting kind of bored
4. June: Books were on my mind this month!
5. July: Foods I just can't handle.  

Carrie from Curly Crafty Mom
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Aubrey from Dreaming About Someday
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Jacq from Justjacq
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Kimberly from Olive the Things
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Thanks for sharing this with us Jacquelyn!  Be sure to check out her "5 Little Confessions" and link up if you can!

And now it's your turn!  Do you have a Friday Five post to share with us?  Link up below and be sure to check out some others in the hop!

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guest Post: Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

Have you been itching to try your hand at making your own fresh bread at home?  Well wait no longer because Farin of The Newest Vazquez's has the perfect recipe for easy homemade bread!  Your house will soon be filled with that delicious smell of bread baking!

Ingredients: 1 packet of Active Dry Yeast (I used Fleischmann's Yeast)
3 cups white flour, additional as needed
1/4 cup Milk
5 tsp. Sugar
5 tsp. Butter
1 tsp Salt
Cooking Spray for loaf pan

1. Get a bowl, and mix 1 packet of Active Dry yeast with 1 cup of warm water. Stir it up well until it's no longer lumpy.

2. Take the butter you set aside and microwave it until melted. Stir butter into yeast water.

3. Continue to add your sugar, salt, milk and then (gradually) add flour to the yeast water.

4. Stir it up. It should look like the photo below.
---As you can see, I underestimated the size of bowl I would need. Get the bigger bowl the first time. It's better than more dishes.

5. Continue to mix it together, adding flour gradually. I added about 4 cups to reach the desired texture in the photo below. It might be different for you, but basically it should reach the point where you can hold it and it stops sticking to your hands when you pick it up.

6. Let it sit in that bowl for an hour. Cover it with a towel (to keep dust out).

7. When you come back, your dough should be somewhat larger. At this point I forgot to take some photos, but it's around 1.5 to 2 times it's original size. This is why you should get the large bowl from the beginning.

8. Flour your cutting board and poke your dough. It will shrink back down. Put it on the floured surface and start kneading it for around 10 minutes.

9. Spray your loaf pan with cooking spray.

10. Roll it into a 'log' shape, that fits inside your pan. Next time I'll be more careful to make the top smooth, since mine came out pretty lumpy because I just threw it in the pan.

11. Let it sit in that pan for another hour. It will grow more, and probably over the sides a bit. Cover with a towel.

12. Come back and back it. I baked the bread at 400 degrees for 30 minutes exactly. It came out easily, I just flipped the pan and the loaf slid out onto the cooling rack.

12. Let it cool.

13. Slice. Enjoy!

That looks amazing!  Can't you just smell the delicious scent of warm bread coming out of the oven?  Thanks for the recipe Farin!  Be sure to check out the original post and more on her blog!

Have you ever made homemade bread?  What's your favorite?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blog of the Week: The Heart of a Flower

Welcome to blog of the week!  This week's blogger of the week is Courtney who writes the blog The Heart of a Flower. 

Tell us a little about you:
I'm Courtney, a Connecticut girl who loves to write, take pictures, immerse herself in the world around her. There is just so much to see, to breathe in, to live.

What is your blog about?
My blog is about my life and focuses mainly of my writing and photography. A lot of it has to do with my New England surrounding - shoreline Connecticut to be exact. There are so many hidden treasures in my own backyard that have yet to be uncovered.

What is your favorite spot to visit in the Northeast?
I absolutely love Madison and Mystic Connecticut. I've been to Heath, Massachusetts when the season was right about to turn Autumn and it was the most breath taking thing I have ever seen.

What do you love most about blogging?   
I get to write about my life and get feedback from people who are going through similar things. I like to be able show my part of the world, and also read and look at other blogs and build friendships.

What is your favorite form of social media?
My blog, I can post longer statuses and a whole lot of pictures!

Thanks for sharing with us this week Courtney!  Be sure to check out her blog this week and follow her on social media!

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