When we can embrace the season we’re in, life is easier. Lean into winter and give yourself what you need to be comfy and cosy. Winter is a reminder to turn inwards and go a little slower. It’s a welcome reminder that it’s OK to have a change of pace. The rain keeps me indoors and the cold keeps me bundled in layers of woollen knits and blankets. Slower days to contemplate, to reflect, to grow stronger and plant roots.
Andrew Williams is a humble expert in zen garden philosophy and design. Originally from the Washington D.C area, he has called Japan home for the last 10 years. He lives in Kyoto with his wife and two beautiful young kids. Before coming to Japan he was a professional garden designer, designing and building large-scale residential gardens in Denver, Seattle, and Kauai. I was so thrilled he agreed to share his knowledge of Japan with me, you're going to love our conversation.
Simply calling Sally a recipe developer and a food photographer doesn’t capture the joy in what she does. Scrolling through photos of her baking adventures, I’m transported into a romantic world of pastel hued cakes and fluffy chocolate puffs. Her recipes have descriptions like vanilla and passion fruit sponge with pistachio butter cream and sticky gingerbread with lemon marscapone frosting. Sally's creations most definitely bring me joy, I was delighted to chat her about what brings her happiness (aside from baking).
Cooler days means retreating inside with warming bowls of soup. Filling your belly with homemade vegetable soup is a nourishing self-care ritual, it's maximum satisfaction from minimum effort. You can easily make this soup recipe midweek. And like all good recipes, you can substitute lots of the ingredients for whatever you have on hand.
The change in season from summer to autumn inspires me to retreat indoors. I love easy dinner nights with friends and family, playing card games and sharing plates laden with crisp grapes, local cheeses and fresh baked sourdough. It's food that can prepared within minutes and left on the table for grazing all through the evening.
I first had a smoothie bowl in Seminyak, back in the days when we could travel to tropical Bali. It was the most beautifully presented breakfast I'd ever seen – vibrant pink berry smoothie topped with lush tropical fruit. Since then I've been making them at home every summer. I've tried lots of combinations of flavours and the chocolate banana combo is my current fave. You're going to love it too, I have no doubt. Plus it's wholesome and healthy!
What better way to say I love you than with a home-baked dessert. This cake ticks all the boxes for me, it's delicious, pretty as a picture and easy! I bake a lot and it's the first time I've used cardamom and rose water in a cake, coupled with the lemony flavour of the icing it's such a treat. I'm sharing the recipe here for you to make for someone special, and yes, that special person can totally be yourself!
This week I'm chatting to Australian stylist Jason Grant, "Home is my creative space, my sanctuary and a place to hide away. The way we live and decorate our home has never been more important. I like my home to be comfortable and creative with a focus on natural style."
I chat to Sarah and Emma from Read & Hall about their daily rituals and the small things that bring them joy. "Slow living to us is prioritising your own needs and is about making the everyday things you do as nice as possible. Feeling good in what you wear, making lovely food for yourself and drinking from a nice cup. All enhances your experience of each day."