DIY Garden Gate

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed building the gates. I share what I do/build to show that you too can do it! The garden gate was a plan in my head and thankfully it came out just as I pictured. This really was an easy build. I am NOT a skilled woodworker, so when I say you can do this… I really believe that! You can see past posts on gates I’ve done here and here.

*You may have to adjust your volume. I apologize ahead of time if it’s loud.* The music is by my daughter. She wrote the lyrics and music and sings. The song has special meaning to her. I hope you enjoy it.

Peace be with you today and everyday! Like the song’s title “Stand”, I hope you take a stand to be happy, healthy, to love big, show kindness, be the one to reach out to someone, to care, and most of all to love yourself. Koko

 

 

 

DIY Tea Box Repurposed

IMG_7506

I am a huge note taker. Also, for me, there’s a comfort that comes from the feel of physically writing or even doodling. It’s also a wonderful way to clear the mind. Because my mind doesn’t rest, writing things down helps to relieve having to think/remember everything. I like to write on note cards (3×5’s). They are the right size. I can fit them in my purse, or pocket, and they tuck nicely in the corner of a nightstand or drawer.

Ok so, I have 3×5 cards littered in a few places. I’ve been meaning to buy a card holder. Well, I’m not the most patient person and it was late last night when I decided I NEEDED a card holder. I was making tea at the time of this “thought”…and the box my tea was in would do nicely. Shall I continue? Okay, you’ve twisted my arm…

IMG_7540

Before I show you what I did…I made tea, of course! I like this tea with raw honey (neat info on  raw honey ) and raw cream.

Continuing…

IMG_7501

This tea is really seriously delicious. If you are short on time to measure out the spices (like here  or here) to make your own, give this one a go! 

IMG_7502

Only three bags of tea left… I took out the insert.

IMG_7503

I decided I wanted to keep the lid and sides to help reinforce the box. Plus the peacock is so adorable! 😉 They were too big folded inside, so I measured, and trimmed. 

IMG_7505

Fold the flaps down.

 

IMG_7510

Add the 3×5 cards. I made the tabs by cutting a few cards. Now I’m more organized. A more “Zen” workplace and I feel better having all my notes in one place. 

I could have gone out to buy one, but truth be told, then I wouldn’t have this cute box with a monkey on it!

I’ve said it before, and I will continue saying it…I appreciate your support, kind words, and follows. As the card reads on the desk…THANK YOU! Your comments make me smile and your kind words make me sigh! These past few months I’ve needed it more than you can know. THANK YOU.

Take care of yourself. Peace, Koko

DIY Simple Wall Fix In Seconds

Remember the desk I repurposed? (see it here) The wall I’m referring to is the wall I see when I am creating at my desk. I had troubles doing anything with ugly holes staring back at me the whole time! I’m talking at least 20 unsightly holes! I took a shelving system down because something I am building will be in it’s place: Hopefully sooner than later, (waiting for my order to come in). Back to the ugly holes in the wall…I needed a quick fix.

My solution…

IMG_7318

See how to “DIY” lampshade here. Great place to set my computer glasses!

Yes, a door! Voila! The ugly sight was fixed in seconds. (I will do a proper job with spackle later…) Since this is what I see…I wanted to pretty-it-up, by adding the antlers and it was simple enough to do…

IMG_7276 (1)

The string was something I had on hand. It was too thin so I braided three strands for a thicker “rope”.

IMG_7278

Seeing a wall full of this was not very inspirational.

IMG_7274

I screwed in two of theses hooks. (See tip below for easy pilot hole start.)

IMG_7271

Tip: You need a nail and a hammer…But keep in mind you want the nail you use to be thinner than the screw, otherwise the screw will not have something to bite into.

IMG_7272

Tap the nail in (Not too far. Just a few taps will do.) See the hole near the right side of the nail?

IMG_7274

Tapping in a pilot hole helps to guide the screw in. Just screw in the screw!

If you have an unsightly wall, you can fix it fast, by using an old door, new door, shoji screen, even a lovely quilt. This quick fix allows me to breathe easier seeing something pretty until I can get to repairing it.

Here’s to making the life around you beautiful. Peace, Koko

Mouse over the pics below to see the caption…Something I didn’t know! Found out accidentally! Teehee!

 

DIY Green Onions!

Hello Everyone! In case your computer can’t play the video or you just don’t feel like watching the minute or so video, here it is in mere words!

This is for all of you out there that don’t think you have a green thumb!

This tip will restore your faith in your growing skills, because believe me, if I can do this, YOU can too!

The video basically shows how you can re-grow green onions.

  1. Get ahold of a bunch of green onions.
  2. Cut the green onion where the white part of the onion meets up with the green part. (Use a sharp knife or sharp scissors.)
  3. Place the white part with roots attached in a glass.
  4. Fill with good, clean water just above the roots; about 1/4″ to 1/2″ above the roots.
  5. Place in a sunny location.
  6. Change out the water every day or so.
  7. Wait for it…wait for it…to re-grow!
  8. When plant gets to desired height, repeat steps 1-7!

Green onions can be grown year round! So those of you who can’t wait for spring to grow something…well here’s a way to grow something “green” even with staring outside at three feet of snow!

I hope this post finds you happy and healthy. Eating well, doing good things for yourself and others is all part of happy-and-healthy. I love having something always growing in my window sill. I usually have two to three green onion bunches growing at a time. It makes me happy and that in turn keeps me healthy! I hope you share this tip with your friends and family and they too can feel the satisfaction of having a green thumb!

Peace, Koko

DIY Desk From an Old Dresser

Using what you have and repurposing is what this post is about…

A space of my own.

A space of my own. See how to on the lamp shade here.DIY Lamp Shade

(I will be repeating some things incase some of you don’t watch the video.) 🙂

Click on the link here…DIY Dresser to a Desk

Tools Used:

Sander (DeWalt)

Sand Paper 80, 100 grit

Jig Saw (Ryobi)

Craft Paint (white)(water)

Paint Brush

Socks

Here is the old dresser.

Here is the old dresser. I had taken out the bottom two drawers years ago and added shelves. I painted it black as it went with a few of my other curbside finds when I was about ten years old! Yeah, that was some time back!

I used to sit on a bar stool because I was so little and I didn’t have the experience of using a saw or power tools and no one to help me. I improvised; which was something I did a lot as a child. I wish I had pictures of the awesome playhouse I built out of old pallets. Fun times with imagination!

Okay flash forward to the future. This “desk” was a side board for a bit, a table to house some books and knick knacks, and the latest; was used as a stand for an adorable fish tank.

I wanted to create a space of my own where I could draw and didn’t have to “clean-up/put away” every time. I found a new place for my fish tank and decided to re-purpose the already re-purposed piece!

I pencil marked where I needed to make the cut.

I pencil marked where I needed to make the cut. Got out my Ryobi jig saw and lopped off 3 inches so the desk would be more comfortable to sit at using a chair rather than a bar stool.

Double checking the height of the desk.

I sanded the whole thing using 80 grit sandpaper and finishing off with 100 grit. After sanding, I gave the desk a good wipe down and double checked the height of the desk.

khjlkj

I didn’t sand it all down to bare wood. I left some black to give the piece dimension.

Let the fun begin…I simply took white craft paint and watered it down. Armed with a paintbrush in one hand and a sock covering the other hand, I set out to white wash the piece. Going along with the grain of the wood I painted long strokes and then wiped off the excess. Some areas I wanted it to be brighter so I just added more paint. Remembering to always go with the grain of the wood. Adding and rubbing away with the socked hand until I reached the coloring and effect I was going for.

I decided not to seal the desk with wax or a poly. To me this wasn’t necessary. Not out of laziness, just not needed. However if you decided to do a project like this and choose to seal…by all means, do so! I figured I am not needing to “protect” it and perhaps in the future if I wanted to wash it over with another color I could easily do so.

So basically what this is about is using something you already have in your home. I am making a point to NOT buy things I don’t really “need”. I really want less things in my life. And taking a table that was essentially sitting around not only made me be creative moving things around my home, it gave me a new piece of furniture that I can really put to use. Since remaking this desk, I use it almost daily! Now that’s what I call smart! And not having to spend money to do so was even smarter!

Making a space for just you is important. It can be a corner of any room. A comfy chair to knit or read or a desk to create. A place where you can be you and do a project or craft or read or simply look out a window. A spot where you can breathe again. I need to breathe again and this little area helps me to do just that. I can breathe and sort through my thoughts in my tiny creative space.

I hope you make a space of your own. It’s important. YOU are important. Remember that!

You, my followers, are in my thoughts. Take care and may peace follow you.

Best, Koko 

Check out the video to see a couple of my kitties photo bombing and the cat tree/scratching post I built. They do use it! 😉

How To Store Purses and Bags

If you’re like me, you have more than one purse or bag. After all, each has its purpose, so a few are necessary! Now, since you can’t use them all at the same time, you toss them in your closet or have them piled high on a table somewhere. Sound familiar? Some time later….you reach for a purse or bag you haven’t used in a long time, only to find their shape has gone away! I’ve got just the solution.

Note:  This is NOT JUST FOR WOMEN…..MEN THIS IS FOR YOU TOO! Laptop bags, satchels, cross over body bags, purses…hey I’m not judging. Just saying I’m not excluding you! 😉

Purses and bags piled up in the closet was me. Moving several times has taught me to be more organized… and well my motto is… “An organized home is a happy home.” One day I was organizing my closet. I had a bunch of scarves in paper sacks, crushing one on top of the other, also taking up valuable space. It hit me…why not put them together?!

Bags sadly collapsing. (insert tear here!)

Bags sadly collapsing. (insert tear here!) 

All you need are scarves. The fluffier the better. You can use old t-shirts, baby blankets, a few of your 180 pairs of socks! Anything soft will work.

All you need are scarves. The more fluffy the better! You can also use old t-shirts, baby blankets, a few of your 180 pairs of socks! Anything soft will work. 

Stuff away!

Stuff away!

Nice and stuffed! Integritiy of bag is in place! Great way to store winter scarves. Win-win! I love that. :)

Nice and stuffed! Integrity of bag is in place! Great way to store winter scarves or anything soft that’s not needed at the moment. Win-win! I love that. 🙂  

I am going to admit these are just a few of the purses/bags I have. I may or may not have 10 or 15! I do use them all, and I love them all, and each has a special memory attached, as all bags were gifts to me from my family over the years.

I hope this tip will help you out which in turn will help all the sadly misshapen purses and bags all over the world to stay in their original form! 😉

Smile friends for life’s too short to waste a second of it!

Hugs and more hugs, Koko❀ ……………… Oh and this is how I store them ………..

Displaying them this way makes it easy for me to find  what I need as well as out in the open makes me remember what I have!

Displaying them this way makes it easy for me to find what I need as well as out in the open makes me remember what I have!

lak;djf

See that cute puppy? It’s a purse! Hahaha. I told you all my bags were gifts! This one is from my son. According to him, “You had to have this Mom!” (Green “Ash” sneaker wedges from my daughter. “Mom, everyone needs a”cool” pair of sneaker wedges!”) And I totally agree! 🙂

Boston Terrier purse... up close and personal! ;)

Boston Terrier purse… up close and personal! 😉 Adorable right!?

The end… If you want to see what I’m up to, you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram or both! I don’t always post all the things I build, create, do, but a lot of it makes it onto one or both of those!

I appreciate it from the bottom to the top of my heart that you follow me!

Peace, Koko❀    (This time it’s for real… byeeeeeeeee!)

How To Store Seeds

There are many ways to store seeds. You can use plastic zip baggies, jars, small paper bags, tiny boxes (ie. jewelry boxes). Below is one of the ways I store them.

Allowing a few cilantro plants to bolt.

Here, I’ve allowed a few cilantro plants to bolt.

Collecting cilantro seeds.

Collecting cilantro seeds. I like to use a white paper towel so I can see the seeds. As for seeds like my oak leaf lettuce; being white/light grey, I will sometimes use brown paper towels. Clear large zip bags work great too for light colored seeds, well, for any seeds for that matter… 😉

One way I store them is making “paper towel” envelopes.

Cut a paper towel to size. This one was a "select a size" type paper towel and I cut it in half.

Cut a paper towel to size. This one was a “select a size” type paper towel and I cut it in half. (Oh and the seeds you see here in this photo happens to be onion seeds.)

After putting a a bit of seeds in the center...I eyeball folding the paper in three. I a third of the paper over the seeds then the other third over that.

After putting a bit of the seeds in the center…I eyeball, folding the paper in three. A third of the paper over the seeds, then the other third over that.

Then I fold that in thirds. Folding the bottom third towards the middle then the top third I make a triangle...

Then, again in thirds. I fold the bottom third towards the middle (over the seeds). The top third I make a triangle…

See a triangel? :)

See the triangle 🙂

I then tuck the triangle into the slot made from folding the paper in thirds.

From here I just tuck the triangle into the slot made from folding the paper in thirds.

When planting the seeds I will plant the paper towel too. Why not compost it? 🙂

Label the packet. Don't forget the date too!

Label the packet. Don’t forget the date too!

There you go, one way to store seeds. As I said before, there are many ways to store seeds. Why I especially like this method of seed storing is when I do plant them, I’ve pre-measured out the  perfect amount of seeds. I take a “packet” and all the seeds in “said” packet get planted. No fuss.

So allow a plant or two to bolt and collect the seeds. It’s so satisfying to know year after year the plants you grow are from seeds you’ve collected. It’s also nice to save money not having to buy more seed.

Tip: Only collect seeds from plants that you know taste good and grow well. If you allow a “poorly” producing plant to bolt and collect seed from that, you may be growing more poorly producing plants. So allow the best looking plant to bolt and collect from that one.

Tip: Make sure before you harvest the seeds the plant has finished blooming and has dried. I usually leave the plant alone until it’s dead. However it is difficult to control the weather and if you have especially strong winds, you may loose your seeds; such as lettuce seeds as the seeds have the same type of fuzzy tops like a dandelion and that fuzzy head will catch the wind and fly away! You can cut the plant and dry them indoors. As I type this, my bolted lettuce is drying on hooks above my kitchen sink.

Tip: I don’t worry too much about getting each seed totally “clean”. The fuzz or bits of dried stem won’t interfere with germination.

Eat well, be well. It’s up to you to take care of your health. Eating organic and non-GMO foods are great ways to a more healthful YOU! You’d be surprised how small changes you make can add up to huge benefits later on.

Cheers, Koko

Thank you for reading. I’d love to hear your comments. Do you have a favorite way to store seeds?

DIY – Make Your Own Bed Frame

lakdfj;aldskjf

If you can’t find a bed frame that you like…build it!

I’ve never found a bed frame I was happy with. It started with making bed frames for my kids at all stages of them growing up. I wanted them to have as much play space as possible because every kid needs space to make epic Lego scenes or twirl around to their heart’s content, am I right?! So their beds were built up high so they could play underneath (ie; camping reading nook etc.) and as they got older, desks were built-to-suit to fit nicely under.

I wanted a frame high enough to keep the dogs off of the bed. So this is my build…

3/4″ Plywood: 2 sheets, depending on what size frame you are building.

4×4’s Legs: However long you need, buy accordingly.

2×4’s Sides, top and bottom of frame: However long you need depending on building for twin or queen or king. Also 2×4’s for the underside of the frame for support. (see photos below).

6″ Carriage bolts, 2 per leg = 8

Hex nuts for the carriage bolts = 8, one per bolt.

Washers = 8, one per bolt.

“L” brackets for support on the underside of the frame.

Felt for each feet to prevent scratching of your wood floors as well as a buffer between the 4×4’s and the 2×4’s (see picture below).

Paint or stain

Tools:

Chop saw

Skill saw

Hammer

Wrench – Proper size to use on hex bolts.

Drill with proper size drill bit to drill holes. Also, drill for screwing screws into 2×4’s.

Screws or nails

Clamps – trigger clamps

Measuring tape

I want to start off by introducing this...

I want to start off by introducing this tip…This is felt. I buy it by the sheet and cut it to suit. I use them under most furniture to help me move them around the room without needing any help whatsoever! How cool is that!?

See the felt? I doubled the felt because this build is heavy! I was all out of dark brown felt, though the white isn't really noticeable. I could take a marker and color the edges...again, not a big deal. ;)

See the felt? I doubled the felt because this build is heavy! I was all out of dark brown felt, though the white isn’t really noticeable. I could take a marker and color the edges…again, not a big deal. 😉

The basic build is to first figure out the height you want the frame to be. Don’t forget to account for the measurement of the plywood on top. In this build I used 3/4″ plywood.

I used 4×4 for the legs. I wanted the chunky look, plus it’s very sturdy. I measured for the height and cut the 4×4 using a chop saw.

Measuring out for a queen size I measured and cut 2×4’s for the frame to go around the entire bed. You can screw or nail the 2×4 together creating a “box”.

alkdjflakjdflakjf

To attach the legs onto the 2×4 “frame” you can use trigger clamps to hold the 4×4 into the corner so you can pre-drill for the carriage bolts. I pre-drilled one hole per side corner off setting them so one is closer to the top on one side and one is closer to the bottom. I drilled through the 2×4 into the 4×4 all the way through!

lkajdflaskdjf

After the holes are pre-drilled I inserted the carriage bolt. This is where the hammer is needed to pound the bolt through. Once the bolt is through I used a washer and then a hex nut to secure the 4×4 in place. Before I go on I want to mention: Before the legs are set into the corner, I cut felt to put in the corner before I placed the 4×4 leg. The felt is to prevent the wood rubbing against each other.

What do you think of the floors? It took me a day and a half to lay the wood and one day to stain and seal. A walk through post about the floors coming: please stay tuned!

ladkjf

After the legs are bolted in place, I cut the plywood to fit using a skill saw. Drill the plywood into the 2×4 sides.

laksdjflaskdjfals;kf

Here you can see the felt in places where the 4×4 would touch the 2×4 sides. And you can see how I’ve off set the bolts.

lakdsfjasdklfjjaslkj

Here you can see I’ve run 2×4’s across the underside of the frame. This is for support. I also used “L” brackets for more support.

At this point you can leave the wood natural, paint it, or stain. I chose to stain it. I had left over stain from doing the floors. I just rubbed the stain in and let dry. I then did one coat of water based poly on it.

IMG_1674

lkajdflakjdf;lakdsjf

Kitty approves!  I need to do this technique on the lamps so they look like they match! Woohoo, another project. 😀

Tips:

If you have trouble finding 4×4’s you can use 2×4’s for the legs using 2-2×4’s in an “L” fashion.

When building a high frame such as a bunk bed style on top and say a desk area under, use 2×4 supports on three sides.  And for the ladder you can add more 2×4’s for the rungs.

Buy untreated wood only. You don’t want pressure treated! Some stores don’t carry untreated in the stores, but may be able to order it. ASK!

If you can’t find the right bed frame…build it!

If you want to see what I’m up to, follow me on instagram or twitter. I put up different things that don’t always make it onto the blog.

Share your smiles and your good wishes around. You never know who might need it! Now go out and be awesome!  Best, Koko ❀

Fitness Challenge Push-ups

Fitness needs to be fun. You are more apt to stick with something if it’s fun. If it’s not fun, at least find something about it that motivates you!

I was chatting with a fellow blogger, Matt from https://techchucker.wordpress.com about my son and I challenging each other to a push-up contest. He had to do double what I did. We were playing video games that night and every time he’d “die” or do a bad move, we’d have to drop and do push-ups. During about 2 hours of game play I did 300 push-ups which my son happily did 600. We both still had more push-ups in us, but decided we might regret the soreness the next day! Surprisingly we both weren’t that sore. Though on day 2 we could feel it in the pecs! It was a fun challenge I won’t forget.

Matt and I decided to challenge each other to do push-ups! The rules are really relaxed…just do as many as you can in a day. Now both of us made a base line video to kick off the challenge. He did a whopping 50 in one shot. I got in 25. You can see his here. And mine below.

The challenge started on June 17, 2015. It’s to go for 20 days straight. I started that day (6-17) doing 85 push-ups (Not on my knees but “military” style or otherwise known as “guy” push-ups) with reps of 10-15. I continued with doing 85 on the 18th and 19th. On 6-20 I had to switch up and do incline push-ups, using a chair as my incline, gripping the sides so my hands/wrist placement can be altered. As I mentioned on the video I am trying to heal a bad injury to my left elbow. The pain was getting pretty bad that I couldn’t sleep on day 3. This ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injury is a long time healing process. The elbow also dislocated too. In the beginning the injury was so bad I couldn’t move it and for almost 2 weeks I couldn’t really use the arm. I’ve actually come a long way. I have full use of it, but in certain positions it will remind me very quickly that it isn’t 100%. I know what you are thinking…, “Then why the heck are you doing push-ups?” Believe me I’ve asked myself the same question. The short and simple; I was challenged! More so, I love the fun it brings.

The new incline chair push-ups: side grip did wonders for my elbow (as well as for my neck and traps. Another injury I won’t bore you with). No intense pain or outward swelling. I really wanted to do this challenge justice for the sake of the challenge, but I also had to take care of my elbow. On 6-20 I did 180 push-ups with new grip doing reps of 20-40.

On 6-21 I finished the day with 260 incline chair push-ups: side grip

I know my elbow isn’t happy and it has started to dislocate a couple of times on me, even with that, and some shooting pain before I started the different position, so far, it’s been worth it. The incline isn’t agitating my neck and traps too badly either. I’m already noticing a difference in my body and that is what it’s all about. Shocking muscles! If you keep shocking your body to do different things, amazing things happen. I’m excited to see how I feel and how I look on day 20!

Come on join us. You’re already a winner! There’s no pressure, so just have fun with it. Challenge yourself; do as many as you can in a day!

Follow me on twitter as I will be posting my push-up numbers using the tag #PushUpChallenge

I believe in you! Come on let’s spread the good energy!

Thank you for supporting me with your kind words, your follows, and shares! My followers are the best. I really mean that!

Monday’s around the corner, make it awesome!`

Best, Koko

Easy Braided Bread Recipe

asdf

Ooooh yeah! Who doesn’t like fresh hot bread?!

The notion of making bread used to scare the bajeebers out of me. Notice it used to? I was given a bread machine forever ago. You know, a “box-like” machine where you dump all the ingredients in and hit the start button? Out pops a beautiful loaf…(for me, only rarely!) I never understood why I’d have a nice loaf of bread one time and then the next time the bread would come out so flat the only thing it was good for was to shoot skeet with! I lost confidence. Baking bread became frustrating, something I was too afraid to mess up on, so I stopped baking. (Insert sad face here*) Once I learned about yeast and the proper way to use it, the fear went away. Let the bread baking commence!

Just learning a couple of simple steps/tips, changed my view-point. I am no pro bread baker, but let me tell you this, if I can bake this bread, anyone can too! And once you do, you may find it very difficult to buy bread again. The taste of homemade bread is well…bake a loaf, and you will see what I mean.

Here goes…(Entire recipe is near the bottom of the post.)

Add the salt to the flour.

Add the salt to the flour. Pink salt! Yep this is Himalayan Pink salt. Not only is it pretty, it’s good for you!

adf

This is what yeast looks like when it’s alive and active! Well yeast doesn’t get like this on its own. This mix has warm milk, honey, and of course yeast. If you want to check out some fun info about honey, look here.  Tip: If your yeast doesn’t look like this after about 15 minutes then check the yeast expiration date; it may be old. Or the temp of the liquid could have been too hot and subsequently killed it. Or if temp is too cold the yeast says, “Nope, still hibernating”.

sfd

Make a well in the flour. It should look like you pushed a ball in the center of the flour or basically scooped out some from the middle. (I’m only saying this because some of us don’t know what it means to make a well…) I hope that was a decent explanation. Pour the readied yeast mixture into the “well”.

lakdj

Don’t stir yet…add the lightly whisked egg…

df

Now stir! Stir from the outside in, as in with each stir you will be pulling a spoonful of the flour into the liquid. Stir until you get a “rough” dough. Not like this… Notice the mug? Its made by Molly Hatch. Super cute right?! Bought it at Anthropologie.

Roughly looks like this! :)

More this. Rough mixed dough looks like this! 🙂

asd

Dump the rough mixed dough onto a lightly floured surface. Begin to knead. And knead. And knead.

Kneed the dough until nice smooth.

Knead the dough until smooth. It could be smoother than this 😉 Put the dough in a large clean bowl, covering it with a clean cloth. Set it aside in a warm place until…

This is what the dough looks like when it's doubled in size.

…It doubles in size. This is what the dough looks like when it’s doubled in size. It’s like magic!

lkdjfs

This was a second loaf I made. This time I separated the dough in three pieces right after I kneaded it. I knew I would be braiding it using three “strands” so I figured I’d separate it into three balls before the dough could rise. It worked out very well. So you can either let the dough rise in one ball and then cut it into three equal pieces or cut it in three before it rises; and cover each bowl with a clean cloth and let them rise as usual. Both works!

After the dough doubles in size, turn out the dough onto a clean surface and shape it into three long "bread sticks"!

After the dough doubles in size, turn out the dough onto a clean surface and shape it into three long “bread sticks”. Braid it like you would any braid, carefully tucking each end piece under to hold the “strands” in place. Notice my strands are not totally smooth…no worries still comes out great and tastes even better! In other words; perfection is not necessary.

All braided.

All braided! Put the braided bread on a greased cookie sheet/baking pan. I use coconut oil to grease pan as coconut oil has a high heat tolerance, not to mention very healthy.

Now don't forget to brush on the "glaze". If you do, it's not ruined. I've done this a few time! Fresh hot bread is still fresh hot bread. The glaze just makes it look so pretty!

Now don’t forget to brush on the “glaze”. If you do forget the “glaze”, it’s not ruined. I’ve forgotten it more than once! Fresh hot bread is still fresh hot bread! The glaze just makes it look so pretty!

You can slice this or tear it!

You can slice into this from top to bottom, or cut along the side, or tear it!

Homemade butter on fresh hot bread! Oh my! You can see how I make homemade butter here!

Homemade butter on fresh hot bread! Oh my! You can see how I make homemade butter here!

Note: All ingredients I use are organic/non GMO, or the very best I could find. Stores are starting to catch on how much consumers want organic. Finding most ingredients/foods in an organic form is quite possible.

Braided Loaf

The Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 cup whole warm milk

2 teaspoons good honey

4 tablespoons butter, softened (melted is fine too)

1 whole egg, lightly beaten

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt

For the glaze: 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoon milk. I make it ahead and store it in the refrigerator.

The How To:

1. Heat the milk in a small sauce pan. It’s been years since I’ve used a thermometer. I test it by touch. (It’s ready when it doesn’t feel cold. Warm, a bit over tepid temperature), however if you want to use a thermometer about 105 degrees is about right. (If the temp gets too high just take it off the heat and wait until it cools.)  In a medium bowl, mix the honey and soften/melted butter. Add the warm milk. Then add the yeast. Stir slowly until nicely combined. Leave for 15 to allow it to work its magic!

2. While you are waiting for the yeast mixture, in a large bowl, add the flour. Stir in the salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.

3. In a small dish, add one egg and whip it slightly. Set aside.

4. After the 15 minutes your yeast mixture should be nice and bubbly/alive looking. Pour the yeast mixture gently in the flour well. Add the beaten egg. Now with a wooden spoon, stir pulling some flour with each stir, until a rough dough is created.

5. Lightly flour a clean surface and knead dough until smooth. Place in a large clean bowl, and cover with a clean cloth. Find a warm spot for it to rise. I usually am cooking something so next to the stove is a good place. You know it’s ready when it doubles in size; usually around 2 hours (Depending on how warm the spot is. Sometimes it’s ready in an hour, sometimes it takes 3.)

6. Grease a baking sheet. As I’ve mentioned above, I like to use coconut oil.

7. Turn out the finished rising dough on a clean surface and cut it into three equal pieces. Begin to roll each into long strands; like a long bread stick. After all three strands are made, start braiding them together. I fold the pieces under and it holds just fine. Set the braided bread on the greased pan. Cover it with a clean cloth and let it sit for 30 minutes in a warm spot to rise.

8. Preheat the oven to 375°F. I usually start preheating oven about 20 minutes into the braided bread’s rising.

9. Brush the bread with the egg yolk and milk mixture.

10. Bake bread for 30 minutes. You will know it’s done by the golden color. Every oven is different, so start checking at 25 minutes for color. I’ve baked this bread for 35 minutes and it was still fine. For my oven; 30 is perfect! When done, I remove the bread and set it on a wire rack to cool. Cool completely if storing it in any container, because if you don’t, it will get soggy! If storing is not needed, dig right in while it’s warm. Now for a bit of homemade butter and good jam or honey…oh my!

This is a great bread to go with soups or stews. You can make garlic bread with this or top it with cheese. You can add cheese into the dough! This is great sliced for toast too. It makes for a great egg sandwich bread. And if there’s any bread left a couple of days later…tear it up and make it into a strata! Want a recipe for a strata? Mention it in your comments below. 🙂

This bread is a great bread to gift to family and friends and great to serve up anytime bread is called for. It’s very enjoyable to make and the presentation is lovely. Give it a try!

Thank you for reading. If you want to know what else I’m up to, you can always follow me on twitter and instagram!

Wherever you are, don’t forget to pull your shoulders back, smile boldly, and breathe! My hopes for you this week is for your to find your center and enjoy something that makes you happy.

Cheers, Koko

Please “like”, “share”, and “follow”. Your comments are fantastic and I read everyone!