Hello Again!

Updates | Fig + Honey
Updates | Fig + Honey

I think it’s about time for a little update as I’m sure some of you have noticed it’s been mostly crickets here on Fig & Honey! Life in this household has changed dramatically over the past year and I’m spending most of my time keeping things together!

Over a year ago now, my husband and I made the move back to the states and are settling down in the Detroit area. We’ve bought a new house and have been spending all of our free time (which is scarce) renovating it to match our modern vision.

Over 1 year ago now we welcomed a little addition to our family who has most definitely commanded every bit of my attention.  I never would have thought that motherhood could be so gratifying and so consuming at the same time! I’m loving life with my little one and enjoying these wintery days so I can once again spend time tinkering in the kitchen!

I hope to be around a lot more in the coming months and start sharing with you what inspires me – food, travel, kids and otherwise. I hope to see you around more often too!!

Anjanee
Xx

Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey
Miura Pictures | Fig + Honey

Early Mornings in the Bakery

Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey

Bread is such a staple in our modern diets that we sometimes forget the process it takes to make it. Its role in our lives has evolved as much as we have over the years but it is still true that it’s an essential part of culture and traditions through most of the world in one form or another. Such an essential ingredient of life deserves appreciation for the journey it takes from just flour, water and yeast into the beautifully golden and amazing smelling bread in the end.

Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey

Unfortunately in the States and England, the process of making and buying bread have become quite disconnected. It’s rare to find a local bakery to stop into and buy your daily loaf of bread these days. You can’t see the effort it takes to make the bread and time bakers spend getting the loaves just right. Luckily, more and more artisan bakers are popping up selling their wares at farmers markets and the like. I hope that this relationship continues and becomes a stronger presence against the unsatisfying supermarket loaf.

Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey

I love a French baguette from time to time, but German bread is a whole different animal. It is largely varied all over the country but usually contains rye as the common ingredient. The Germans have an undeniable love for dense and super nutritious whole grain loaves along with bread studded with seeds and nuts of all sorts. My favorites are the walnut rye loaf and the millet, flax sesame seed loaf. The selection is immense but you’ll be hard pressed in this country to find a decent plain boring white loaf. The bread that is the most common must be the brötchen which are little bread rolls that are used for just about every meal. They come in all sorts of varieties from the basic white to the pumpkin seeded roll and make the perfect base for a delicious sandwich.

Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey

Though Germans are renowned for their bread, the local bakeries here are also slowly selling out to the supermarkets and commercial bakery chains. More and more Germans are buying their bread from places like Aldi and outlets which have their bread delivered from large factories on a daily basis. However, luckily, there are still real bakeries that exist in both the cities and in villages. The traditions that have been passed down for years are still in place and will hopefully continue to keep German bread an integral part of life.

Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey

I really wanted to document what happens behind the scenes and my friend Alessandro at Bastian’s was happy to help. I spent a (very early) morning photographing the daily process that results in delicious bread that people flock to the bakery for every day. It’s a finely tuned machine working in the bakery and very long day on your feet. However, for me, the satisfaction others get from eating and sharing what you’ve spent time to make is well worth it!

Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey
Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey

I loved capturing the hard work and effort it takes to produce so many loaves of bread. I hope you enjoy the pictures and make sure you savor that crusty loaf next time you have one!

Anjanee Szczupak Bakery Photography | Fig + Honey

Knitted Herringbone Scarf

Knitted Herringbone Scarf | Fig & Honey

Huge chunky scarves without a doubt secure top place in my winter survival list. The kind you have to wrap around your head at least a couple times and are so fluffy it’s kinda hard to see whats going on beside you. They make it slightly easier to bear the cold weather and make quite a statement in the process. Even though on this side of the world old man winter never seemed to settle in, this scarf helped me get through a few months in the bitter cold of the polar vortex Michigan winter.

Knitted Herringbone Scarf | Fig & Honey

It is hard to image -15°F/-25°C, it just sounds cold but feeling it is another thing entirely. All the moisture is sucked out of the air and everywhere inside and out, is a dry as can be. It’s the kind of cold that hits you the minute you step out and feels like a huge slap in the face. For someone that worships the sun, winter at these temps is significantly harder than usual.  If this year is any indication of what is to come, I’ll be needing quite a few more of these scarves to stay sane!

Knitted Herringbone Scarf | Fig & Honey

This herringbone scarf is definitely one of my favorites. It knits up really easily once you get the hang of the herringbone stitch and is ultra plush. I love the Blue Sky Worsted yarn which is so soft and cuddly, but you could easily swap it for something similar.

Knitted Herringbone Scarf | Fig & Honey

The pattern is from the lovely Purl Bee in New York. It’s one of my favorite shops and blogs when it comes to all things woolen. I could quite easily knit just about everything they’ve come up with!

Knitted Herringbone Scarf | Fig & Honey

The pattern for this Herringbone Scarf can be found here and the materials here.

Knitted Herringbone Scarf | Fig & Honey

Hope it keeps you just as warm as it keeps me!

 

Linen Travel Bags

Linen Travel Bags | Fig & Honey

I know it’s 2 weeks into the year, but I still can’t believe that it’s a new year.  I’m a tad bit slow this year to wrap my head around it. I suppose nothing really changes from December to January, it’s all mental. However, I like to look at it as a fresh start and a whole year to try new things. There are so many things I want to do this year- traveling to more nature based locations, exploring our city a bit more, calligraphy, foraging, woodworking, more knitting, sewing, the list goes on and on.

I realized that there is just so much to learn and owning things are so much more gratifying when you’ve spent the time to make them. I doubt I’ll go nuts and start making everything I own, but it’s nice to be able to say I’ve given it a go. These Linen Travel Bags were very much missing from my travel kit and make my life so much easier, so naturally they were the first thing I was dying to make!

Linen Travel Bags | Fig & Honey

As much as I love traveling, I absolutely hate packing. The only thing worse is unpacking. It turns into a very monotonous experience every time, which gets easier over time but no more exciting. One of the things that I absolutely love is having individual bags to put things in. Shoes, chargers, hair products, unmentionables, etc. It makes life so easy to have everything in its place. Not only is it easier to pack your bags, living out of a suitcase is so much less stressful!

However, I’ve never really been able to find something that I love. I’ve been using Baggu zip up bags for awhile and think they work great. The zipper keeps things in and the nylon is easy to wipe down. Unfortunately, they have discontinued these simple bags in neutral colors which makes things a bit difficult. After scouring the internet for a suitable replacement, I came up empty handed and decided the only way was to make them myself. How hard can a simple drawstring bag be?

Linen Travel Bags | Fig & Honey

Turns out, a simple drawstring is very easy, but if you want a nicely refined product (which I of course do), it takes a bit bigger of a skill set than I apparently have at this point in time. Not to worry, my mother was around to help me out and together we tried out quite a few things before we settled on these.

Since I’m not a sewing expert (yet! I hope to learn much more this year), I don’t have any specific instructions for these yet. However, this video and this video were immensely helpful. The other skills were that of my mother’s and a bit of figuring it out as you go. Apparently everyone in my mothers generation learned these basic skills while in school and unfortunately that was very much lost by the time my generation went through the schooling system. I do wish that I had learned such things, but I guess its never too late!

A few tips – 1. learn to sew straight 2. iron down things as you go, it will make sewing straight lines easier and result in a uniform product 3. practice, practice, practice.

Linen Travel Bags | Fig & Honey

I’m really looking forward to experimenting a bit more this year with all sorts of things. Hopefully I’ll learn a lot and have a house full of great products that I love to use! Is there anything that you’d like to try your hand at this year?

Luxurious Lemon Sugar Body Scrub

 

Luxurious Lemon Sugar Body Scrub | Fig and Honey

After a luxurious full body scrub while on a holiday in Sri Lanka, I’m completely hooked on exfoliating.  I know, perhaps these are things that not everyone talks about. But how can you not want to tell the world after you’ve discovered a whole new meaning of smooth??

I’ve never had a body scrub treatment before – always opting for the more relaxing and potentially painless swedish massage.  Not that I get treated to these that often anyway.  However, after realizing that the body treatments at our hotel were only a fraction of the price you would pay in the States or even Europe, there was no reason not to give it a go.  That and the amazingly delicious chilled lime tea they served. That was a deal breaker.

Since then, I have tried my best to replicate the results.  I suppose having to apply this yourself in a hot and cramped shower is not exactly the equivalent of relaxing completely on a massage table and having a masseuse with perfectly soft hands do it for you. But hey, I’ll take what I can get!

Luxurious Lemon Sugar Body Scrub | Fig and Honey

I really like that this scrub is made from sugar as it slowly dissolves while you are in the shower.  This means less clean up (yes, please!) and a much more gentle exfoliation (no red marks and stinging).  Give it a try.  I promise you will love your new body and I’m sure your partner will too.  In fact, get him to try it too – theres enough to go around!

Luxurious Lemon Sugar Body Scrub | Fig and Honey

I used organic sugar and organic lemons for this. The lest pesticides and chemicals the better especially since your skin is so absorbent.  I also used a mixture of oils. I absolutely love sweet almond oil and coconut oil.  Both are very hydrating and softening but do take a while to absorb with the coconut oil being slightly heavier of the two.  I also like a touch of jojoba oil which is very light and very absorbent.  Rose Hip oil is also great for helping the healing process for scars and cuts and for aging skin, but a little goes a long way.  You can mix and match based on your preferences and what you have in the house or just use one.

You will want about 1 part oil to 2 parts sugar.  This also depends on your preferences – I dont like mine too oily!

1). Choose your oils (organic almond, organic coconut, jojoba, organic olive, rose hip oils are all great choices) and mix together in a  small bowl.

2). Add in the sugar adding a bit more oil if things feel too dry.  The last thing you want is for it all to crumble apart!

3). Add your scent or flavouring.  I used lemon zest and a few drops of lemon essential oil.  Lavender or Rose are also good options!

4). Apply in the shower! I like to apply with the shower turned off so it doesn’t all disappear right away. Be careful, the oils do make the floor super slippery!

5). Gently pat dry with a towel so you don’t rub off all the nourishing oils

Enjoy your super soft skin!

Adorable Knitted Baby Sweaters

knitted duffel coat debbie bliss pattern

My sister and I were looking back at some of our childhood pictures the other day and realized that we were always dressed in matching clothes.  Always.  Without fail. We must have had identical wardrobes which I suppose was much easier for my mother.  Though, as ridiculous as it was, it made for some cute pictures! I suppose my childhood is the reason why I smile when I see matching siblings in their prams!

baby sweaters small

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