Friday Photo Challenge – Essential Tips and Tools

Today’s challenge was set by Sandy  who also wanted to know whether I had any useful tips. Mine would be to do plenty of planning and preparation beforehand, for whatever you’re doing. A good habit passed onto me by my father.

My three main interests are cycling, cooking including baking, plus travel.


Some years ago I worked with a cycling coach and I’m still using those training plans today. I never ever ride without a helmet the wisdom of which was brought home forcibly when I fell off my bike on the reverse camber roundabout near the Domaine. Gloves are another must since without them you’ll get road rash on your hands when you inevitably fall, or get knocked off your bike, and be unable to ride until they heal. Other musts are a comfortable and well-fitting cycling outfit (bib-shorts and jersey) and sun glasses. I’ll also wear a fluorescent gilet or a scarf round my neck so that I’m clearly visible to other road users.

Cooking and Baking

While it’s wonderful to have loads of gadgets, many are really nice to haves. For example, I have an ice cream maker, a dehydrator, a steamer, a high-powered liquidiser, a food processor and an automatic mixer but I wouldn’t swap my pestle and mortar for any of them. Nor do you really “need” any of them to cook or bake though I grant you they do lighten the load.

I would say however that you need an accurate system of measurement for baking (cups or weights or set of scales) whereas you can be much more by eye with cooking.

I also like to have a large selection of herbs and spices, which I generally only buy in small portions so that they’re always fresh, though I make a lot of things myself such as vanilla extract and vanilla paste.


Doesn’t matter where I’m going or for how long, my bag will always contain these items, or their equivalent in another colour or a seasonal variation.

I’m much enjoying these weekly challenges hosted on alternate weeks by either Amanda or Sandy because they force me to think about what’s in my photo archives and how I might re-use them.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, why not join in the fun?

Friendly Friday

16 Comments on “Friday Photo Challenge – Essential Tips and Tools

  1. We have almost the same travel kit! I use my phone rather than a tablet and I keep my flip flops for the hotel 🙂 For baking I couldn’t agree more on having a scale (my preference) and measuring cups because many so recipes are stated in cups. For cycling … I’ll note you advice.
    Thanks for joining the challenge Sheree. Always glad to see your entry 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think you summed it up nicely with ” plenty of planning and preparation beforehand, for whatever you’re doing” my biggest life hack, has been Costco, we never run out of toiletries 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved this post, Sheree and learnt a little more about your world. I admire you for using a mortar and pestle and herbs in the way it is intended. I tend to be a little lazy in that way. I love fresh herbs but never made my own pesto.
    Have you posted about making vanilla extract and vanilla paste – I attempted some vanilla extract with alcohol once, but it smelt more like alcohol than like vanilla so gave up on that and bought some from the store.
    As for cycling – definitely protective equipment is a must. I just had a conversation this morning with a cyclist about broken glass in the bike lanes on roads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t posted about making vanilla extract or paste. I’ll do it next time I make some. I make pesto all the time, my hubby loves it however I don’t always use basil and pine nuts. I make it from rocket, cartot tops, radish tops, spinach etc and other nuts. The texture is so much better when you make it in a pestle and mortar, same goes for many other sauces. Now you’ve given me ideas for a number of other posts. Thank you Amanda.


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