Saturday Snippets: 06.May.2017

It’s felt like another super-busy week over here, and I can’t really believe we’ve officially hit May! We’ll be taking part in our final climbing competition of the season this weekend, which means we’ll probably also be enjoying a beverage or two on Sunday when it finishes 😉

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 06.May.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):


  • It’s been a week of cabinet-making! Jonty was able to CNC all the front and bottom panels for the upper cabinets, and I was able stain them all. We’ve decided to stain the cabinet bottoms black, to match the divider walls, van walls, fridge and cabinet latch hardware.
  • For the upper cabinets, we’ve used 1/4-inch Baltic birch, and finished them with a clear coat of Osmo oil, which seems to be the woodworker’s wax of choice.
  • More latches are on order, once they arrive we’ll be able to put everything together. | Sprinter conversion - sealing cabinets with Osmo

Random bits and pieces:

  • We’ve started to work on finishing the ceiling at the front of the van. The main panel (with the holes for the lights and fan) has been CNC’d and attached. The upper galley-cabinet is no longer on temporary mounting blocks, and is attached properly to the ceiling and wall (finally!). Next up is covering the ceiling panel in our foam-backed vinyl. | Sprinter conversion - ceiling panel up | Sprinter conversion - ceiling panel up

  • Sink update: we ordered another sink (after the first one failed to make it to us), and it’s ready for pick it, so hopefully next week we can show you some pictures 🙂
  • Jonty wanted to put in one more safe guard on the electrical system (to make it easier for us to shut off the power in a, “Holy crap we need to turn off the power now!” situation). He finished that off and cleaned up some more fusing. | Sprinter conversion - battery installation

Pictures during the week of 06.May.2017:

Eeek, I’m afraid I don’t have much to show for this week! It was site visits and van work, with a few climbing sessions in between. I posted my monthly photo challenge pictures yesterday, so maybe I’ll just show you a few of my favourite 🙂 | Vibrant pictures around Vancouver

Happy Weekend!

April Photo Challenge: VIBRANT Recap

April has come to an end, and so has my monthly photo challenge. It was my month of VIBRANT and today I have my VIBRANT recap for you!

We had just over 3 weeks of rainy weather in Vancouver, but that only gave me motivation to seek out as much colour as I could find. Looking back over the month, I think I succeeded 🙂 I love looking at these pictures, seeing all the vibrant colours brightens my mood instantly!

So what did My Month Of Vibrant look like?

The April Photo Challenge took me…

… from lots of rain to intermittent (but intense) blue skies…

… from murals in Vancouver to murals in Victoria…

… from cherry blossoms in the sunshine to tulips in the rain…

… from bikes to kettle bells…

… from vibrant houses to vibrant statues…

… from good coffee to good food…

… from so much pink to so much blue! | April photo challenge - VIBRANT recap | April photo challenge - VIBRANT recap | April photo challenge - VIBRANT recap | April photo challenge - VIBRANT recap | April photo challenge - VIBRANT recap | April photo challenge - VIBRANT recap | April photo challenge - VIBRANT recap | April photo challenge - VIBRANT recap

And just like that, we’re into May and a new challenge word! This month is all about FROM ABOVE and you can check out the details here.

Happy picture-taking!

May 2017 Monthly Word: FROM ABOVE

How did April come and go so quickly? One minute, we’re dealing with April showers, the next, we’re looking forward to May flowers! We did have a lot of rain in April so I definitely made sure to brighten my days with lots of vibrant colours. And with that, my Month of Vibrant has come to an end and I’ll share the full photo round-up in a few days time.

May Month of FROM ABOVE

I have a continually-growing list of words or phrases I’m always adding to, when it comes time to think about what my new monthly word challenge is going to be. At some point, I had written down the phrases “looking up / looking down”, which I kind of liked. But, I thought I would put a positive spin on it. So, instead of thinking about looking down, I’m going to think about my monthly word as looking FROM ABOVE!

What do you see, when you’re looking FROM ABOVE? Is it something interesting in nature? Or maybe you live in a tall building and have a great view of the city down below? Or maybe (like me), you take far too many pictures of what you’re eating? As long as you’re taking the picture from above, all is fair game!

So, I’m dedicating May to my month of FROM ABOVE, and I would absolutely love to see your perspective, too! If you’d like to join in, please do (as many or as little photos as you’d like). I’ll post my findings on various social media places – Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter,  tagging #MyMonthOfFromAbove and #MyMonthOfMay. | May 2017 Monthly Word - FROM ABOVE

Here’s to a month of FROM ABOVE!

Saturday Snippets: 29.April.2017

Goodness gracious – the last weekend of April! I feel like I’m in denial. Maybe because it’s only started to kind of feel like spring in the last week. One more weather fact for you, because we’re Canadian, and apparently it’s all we talk about 😉 On Monday, Jonty sent me the rainfall update for April: as of Monday, Vancouver has had 170 mm of rain in April (the average for the month is 67 mm), and we still had a week to go! However, the sunshine gods must have been feeling sorry for us, because we’ve had more sun than rain this last week of April. Hopefully this is a sign of weather to come?

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 29.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

This was another week of planning and prototyping, but we’ve officially entered cabinet-making season 🙂

The Cabinets:

  • The first half of this week was all about the hinges. What type of hinges are there, what kind do we want to use, do we want to fully cover the 80-20 or not, how can we attach the hinges to the 80-20, what hinges will work with 1/4-inch thick cabinets, etc, it’s all non-standard…
  • The second half of this week was all about the latches. Once we figured out the kind of latch to use on the cabinet doors, we then spent a bunch of time trying to figure out who sold them in the lower mainland, to see them in person.
  • Good news is that we think we have answers to both questions! Jonty used some cheap-o $3 hinges from Home Depot, to prototype attaching them to the 80-20. It involves drilling holes in the hardware, but we think it’s going to work! We also found the latches we want to use, at the local Marine store (which is closing their Vancouver store shortly), so picked up one to try (at a 25% discount!). | Sprinter van conversion - upper cabinet hinges

  • We picked up a few sheets of 1/4-inch Baltic Birch and started making the cabinets! The bottoms of all the upper cabinets will slide into the grooves of the 80-20. The cabinet fronts and sides will fully cover the 80-20 frame. Jonty was able to blitz out 4 cabinet bottoms and 4 cabinet fronts on the CNC machine yesterday. Now we just have to stain / seal them, and attach the hardware and we’ll have usable storage space! | Sprinter van conversion - cabinet bases

Cabinet bottoms, made out of 1/4-inch Baltic birch, will slide into the grooves of the 8020 extrusion. | Sprinter van conversion - cabinet bases

Cabinet bottoms, made out of 1/4-inch Baltic birch, will slide into the grooves of the 8020 extrusion.

Pictures from the week of 29.April.2017:

Last Saturday we were climbing in the competition, but Sunday morning we spent an hour wandering around downtown Victoria, to snap a few pictures before it got too busy. Victoria has a very walkable downtown area, and I absolutely love the old brick buildings! | Downtown Victoria BC | Downtown Victoria BC | Downtown Victoria BC | Downtown Victoria BC | Downtown Victoria BC | Downtown Victoria BC

Happy weekend!

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

What’s that? You think it’s been a long time since I posted a bread recipe, and you’ve been dreaming of finding that perfect homemade 100% whole wheat sandwich bread recipe? Yup, I could sense your needs and cravings, and I’m here to help!

Actually, I’ve been flipping between making our marbled rye loaf and this 100% whole wheat sandwich bread for the last few months. Each holds a special place in my tummy, but this whole wheat sandwich bread is always a personal favourite. It was one of the first types of bread I started making years ago, and once I figured out a few key steps, it never fails to disappoint. It’s slightly sweet and not at all dry or stodgy, like some whole wheat breads can be. It freezes well and toasts up like a dream. What more could you ask for? | Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

If you feel like you’re unsure about diving into a 100% whole wheat loaf, start with a 50-50 mix of whole wheat and white, unbleached bread flour, then keep pushing up the whole wheat content until you find a loaf you love.

This recipe makes 1 loaf and uses 400 g of flour. So, start with 200 g of whole wheat and 200 g of white. I’ve found a nice middle-of-the-road whole wheat bread will use 300 g of whole wheat and 100 g of unbleached bread flour.

A few tips for making a 100% whole wheat sandwich bread:

  1. Whole wheat flour can soak up a tonne of liquid. When you initially start kneading this dough, you will think it is too wet and sticky, and will really want to add more flour. DON’T! I’ve done it before, and the result is not pretty. Give the dough time to rest and absorb all the liquid.
  2. In order to make whole wheat bread nice and soft, you need to knead the bread for a long time OR you can use a bit of a cheats method. Have you ever heard of the stretch-and-fold method of kneading? If not, keep reading!
  3. Give the dough time to rise. Sometimes I find I have to wait longer to see the dough dome over the top of the pan. This is okay! Patience yields fantastic bread. | Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

The Stretch-and-Fold Method:

No, we’re not talking about your daily yoga routine (although, it would be a good name)! This is a way of coaxing the bread to develop more gluten and structure, without needing a lot of kneading time (haha). It’s also a great way to deal with dough that’s on the wet, sticky side.

Basically, you start with a round ball of (probably sticky) dough on the counter. Use wet or oiled hands to gently stretch one side of the dough out, then fold it back over the dough. Do the same with all four sides (think north, south, east, west). After you’ve stretched and folded each side of the dough, turn it over and tuck it into a nice little ball. Cover it with a bowl and leave it sit for 10 minutes.

You’re going to do the stretch-and-fold a total of 4 times, waiting 10 minutes in between. So this process will take you 30 minutes. Each time you finish a stretch-and-fold, the dough should feel much more elastic and less sticky. By the end, you’ll have a nice, soft ball of dough!

If you’d like to see this in action, check out this little video from the bread-master, himself. | Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Timing options for baking your whole wheat bread:

  1. Bake it the same day: Shape it into a log shape, and place it into a parchment-lined loaf pan. Leave it in a warm place to rise until the dough domes over the top of the pan by about 2 cm (1 inch). Then, bake away.
  2. Leave it overnight, and bake the next day: Shape the dough and place it into the parchment-lined loaf pan, but then cover it with plastic and put it in the fridge overnight. Then, bake in the morning.
  3. Leave it for a few days before baking: You can leave the dough in the fridge for up to 4 days, unshaped in a tighly-sealed bowl. Whenever you want to bake the bread, give yourself a few hours, for the dough to warm up, be shaped and rise. Then, bake away. | Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

If you’re looking to boost the nutrients of your morning toast or your daily sandwich, give this 100% whole wheat sandwich bread a try. You might be pleasantly surprised!

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) water
  • 140 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) milk
  • 7 g (1 pkg) instant yeast
  • 400 g whole wheat flour
  • 35 g brown sugar
  • 45 g vegetable oil
  • 5 g salt
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the milk and water for about 35 seconds, to make it lukewarm. Stir in the yeast and leave it sit for 5 minutes to bubble up while you're measuring the other ingredients.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whole wheat flour, brown sugar, vegetable oil and salt. Pour in the yeast liquid and use the dough hook attachment to mix the bread until the dough just starts to combine, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and leave the bread sit for 5 minutes, to start to absorb all the liquid.
  3. Knead the dough with the dough hook, on low speed, for 6 to 7 minutes. The dough should be soft and sticky.
  4. Increase the speed to medium and knead for another 4 minutes. If the dough is extremely sticky, add more flour, 1 tbsp at a time, but otherwise, the dough will be slightly sticky.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured or oiled counter top. Complete 1 round of stretch-and-fold, tuck the dough into a ball and cover it with a bowl for 10 minutes. Repeat the stretch-and-fold (with 10 minute wait) another 3 times. So you will do the stretch-and-fold a total of 4 times, over the course of 30 minutes.
Bread baking times
  1. If you want to bake the bread immediately, roll the dough into a log shape and place into a parchment-lined 8-inch loaf pan. Leave to rise in a draft-free location until the dough just domes over the edge of the pan (30 to 60 minutes).
  2. If you want to bake the bread the next morning, roll the dough into a log shape and place into the parchment-lined pan. Cover with plastic and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, allow the bread to warm up while you pre-heat the oven.
  3. If you want to wait a few days before baking the bread, leave the dough unshaped in a tightly-sealed bowl, for up to 4 days. On the day of baking, remove the dough from the fridge at least 2 hours before baking. Allow the dough to come up to room temperature before shaping and placing into the pan.
  4. In all cases, pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. When finished, the loaf should be nicely browned on top and sound slightly hollow, when tapped on the bottom.

Enjoy this 100% whole wheat sandwich bread! | Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread