Orange & Almond Cake

Oranges are our ingredient of the season. We’re filling our archives with zesty drinks, candies,  crafts, and even cleaners!

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This recipe for orange and almond cake produces a deliciously dense cake with just the right amount sweet, citrusy zest to brighten any cold and grey afternoon. And that’s why it’s become a winter staple in our house (of course, yesterday I happened to make it on one of the warmest & sunniest winter days, but I couldn’t fight the urge to bring the sunshine in!). The cake is finished with a sweet syrup made from fresh orange juice, and as a result, it definitely doesn’t need any sort of frosting, rather it pairs perfectly with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee ~ just what you’ll need after a day out in the snow.

The recipe comes from one of our favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem, which we may have mentioned here and here. I’m sure this won’t be the last time we share a favorite dish from the book!

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A note about the ingredients ~

I love this cake’s short and sweet ingredient list. Of course the eggs, butter, sugar, flour, and salt are pantry staples; you just have to pick up fresh citrus and almonds or almond meal.

This recipe calls for the zest from four oranges and a lemon, as such, be sure to buy organic. There are two reasons to think about buying organic: 1. environmental and 2. health. From a health perspective, you’ll often see oranges and other citrus as being a “low pesticide residue” fruit as they are protected by their thick skin. Since those pesticides remain on the rind, anytime you’re using the zest in a recipe, you would be exposing yourself to a higher concentration of the pesticides if you don’t buy organic. And, I’m sure you know this, but an easy way to ensure that you’re buying organic in the produce section is to look for fruit and veg with a 5 digit code that starts with 9.

As for the almond meal, you can easily buy whole almonds and use a food processor to make the meal, but since this recipe calls for a whopping 2.5 cups, I find that it’s easier to just pick up a bag of pre-ground almonds. Not sure where to look? You can always find it for a good price in Trader Joe’s nut section.

When it comes to zesting the citrus, I find that it’s quicker and easier to use a zester that produces the nice long strips of zest. You can zest a whole orange (or four!) relatively quickly, and then use a chef’s knife to give the pile a few chops and create the smaller pieces that you need.

On with the recipe then. We’re trying out a new feature on our recipe posts, and we hope you like it! You can see the recipe below as in the past, but now, if you would like to print it, just hit the “print” button to the right of the title. That will open the recipe without photos in a new window as well as allowing you to print the PDF and/or save it as a file on your computer. yay! If you’re having any trouble or have any suggestions for further improvements to our recipe posts, we would love to hear them.

Orange & Almond Cake

Orange & Almond Cake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cup + 3/4 cup sugar
  • zest & juice from 4 oranges & 1 lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups ground almonds
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Prep the oven and pan. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9.5 inch springform pan.
  2. Mix up the ingredients. Place the butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and all zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low until combined, but do not add too much air to the mixture. Add half the ground almonds and mix until combined. With the mixer on, add the eggs one at a time. Add the remaining almonds, the flour, and the salt. Beat until all ingredients are combined, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary.
  3. Bake the cake! Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Use a skewer or toothpick to test for doneness, you'll want the cake to be baked through, but still be moist.
  4. Make the syrup. When the cake is near done, place 1/2 cup of the citrus juice and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan on medium-high. Bring the juice to a boil and then remove it from the heat.
  5. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, brush it with the boiling juice, allowing the syrup to soak into the cake. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing it.
  6. Serve as is or add a dollop of whipped cream.
http://liveseasoned.com/orange-almond-cake/

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Monday Meditation Challenge

BREATHEHappy Monday! I feel bad for Mondays. While everyone is busy hating them, I’m going to make an effort to be mindful of Mondays. Poor Mondays. I’ll keep you.  Last year we talked a tiny bit about mindfulness and  meditation. I will be the first to admit that I’m not an expert on meditation.  I just know I feel darn good after a few minutes of peace and mindfulness.

MANTRA

I’m giving myself a meditation challenge and I thought I’d mention it here in case you want to play along.  I’m going to meditate every day for the next twenty-eight days. I’ve tried to get into the habit of meditating, but I always end up practicing before and after yoga only.  If I skip class for a week, I’ve gone a full week without focused meditation. I try to practice walking meditation whenever I think of it, but it’s less than once a day.

MEDITATE

So here goes, guys. Twenty-eight days of meditation.  I’m starting small. My plan is to meditate for two minutes a day for the first week! I really want to succeed and I think if I get in the habit of sitting down and keeping my mind quiet for just two minutes a day, it will be a real victory.  The next week I’ll work on five minutes a day.  I don’t want to get ahead of myself so that’s all I have planned for now.  I’ll keep you updated.  Are you going to try it too?  I’ve been using this website to help get in the zen zone.

RELAX

I also created a few images to remind myself to relax, breathe, repeat my mantra and meditate.  For the past few weeks, my mantra has been patience and compassion.  I hate when I cut someone off, get impatient or irritated so I’ve really been trying to work on that.  Wish me luck!

Katie here : Good luck, Sarah! I think this is such a great challenge! I finally did some yoga this weekend with a few minutes of focused meditation afterwards (after a couple of weeks without any), and it felt so good. I used a 20 minute class from YogaDownload that I had on my phone, so I didn’t have to leave the house and could easily squeeze it in during Alex’s nap. The point is, that short dose of yoga and meditation had me feeling good for the rest of the day and left me determined to fit more of both into my days, so I’m excited to take on this challenge with you… I’m going to make one of your images my desktop background as a little reminder to step away from the screen and meditate :-). 

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Two Bits + Creamy Cashew Smoothie Recipe

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share your a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned

Katie here:

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We like to share a photo and thoughts from our week, but I confess, that the above photo was taken two weeks ago while we were on the East Coast. It shows little A in his element  - surrounded by kitties! That guy loves a cat like I would have never expected. He now has 4 stuffed kitties of varying sizes, and while I tried to capture him holding all of them at once (he’s been walking around the house with them), the photo escaped me! Maybe it’s because I spent the week feeling sleep deprived. I stopped drinking coffee while we were traveling for the holidays, but this week proved that I had to start up again (just a half cup in the morning), if I want to survive Alex’s early mornings! The coffee has also given me the power to start a few new knitting projects, finish others (more soon!) and straighten up this house, particularly my craft room/office, in an attempt to get our year off to an organized and creative start!

Sarah here:

I can’t believe January is nearly over! I feel like 2015 is moving way too fast already.  To slow it down, I’ve been taking longer dog walks and drinking bigger smoothies.  That makes sense, right?  This week I came up with a new way of holding Ca$h’s leash.  It’s basically a way to pit my entire body weight against his strength.   That sounds complicated, but it’s really not.  I’ll post a pic to IG tomorrow so you know what I’m talkin’ about.  Yesterday I made an enormous creamy cashew smoothie and it was SO tasty!

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Here’s a smoothie sippin’ outtake. This is why I don’t allow myself to appear in photos.  See my smoothie ‘stache? Cashew smoothies are so creamy and delicious. Yum, yum, yum!

Creamy Cashew Smoothie Recipe

Prep Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 12 hours, 10 minutes

Creamy Cashew Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup of raw cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup tea (I used pineapple green tea)
  • 3/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • drizzle of maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Combine the soaked and drained cashews along with the tea, pineapple and berries in the blender.
  2. Blend until smooth. Add more tea if necessary.
  3. Add some maple syrup or other sweetener if desired and blend.
http://liveseasoned.com/two-bits-creamy-cashew-smoothie-recipe/

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In the Snow with Little A

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We waited until late in the afternoon to venture out into yesterday’s snow. I admit that I had to build up my courage to face the cold temps, but after a big bowl of soup and a few layers of wool, I was ready. Alex’s mission was simple : eat as much snow as possible, and my mission even simpler : quietly follow behind the little guy as he explored.

I think we’d both declare the mission a success.

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Homemade Blood Orange Shrub

As you know, it’s orange season! So we’re breakin’ out all the orange recipes including sweet treats, sparkly drinks and even biodegradable cleaners – watch out!

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I talked to the orange today and he said he is totalllllly cool with featuring his cousin, the blood orange, in today’s recipe.  I’m partial to the blood orange margarita, but since I’m getting over a bug I’ll settle for a blood orange shrub soda.  Have you ever had shrub? It’s described as drinking vinegar, but I like to think of it as flavoring syrup.  It’s the perfect concoction to have on hand while you’re mixing cocktails or looking to spice up your seltzer water.

I’ve been on a shrub kick! I was gifted a whole bunch of shrubs from Tait Farm and I’ve been sucking them down all January.  I love having a bubbly seltzer drink to break up the monotony of my normal coffee, tea and water rotation.  You may also remember that shrub is one of my bedside necessities so when Katie gave me Quench by Ashley English for Christmas, I headed right to the shrub recipes.  I spotted this blood orange recipe by guest contributor Marisa from the Food In Jars blog.  I actually modified the recipe by cutting the vinegar by a third.  I thought the apple cider vinegar was a tad overpowering in my first batch.  It could have been that my blood oranges were a different type than those used by Marisa or maybe our oranges were at different ripenesses, whatever it was I hated knowing the apple cider vinegar was trampling all over the tangy blood orange juice. So here it is shrub sippers, an easy way make your own blood orange shrub syrup.

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Blood Orange Shrub Ingredients:

  • 4-5 blood oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Blood Orange Shrub Instructions:

  • Pour one cup of blood orange juice into a pint-sized ball jar or any glass container with a tight fitting lid.
  • Add one cup of sugar to the juice, put the lid on and give it a shake.
  • Allow the sugar to completely dissolve into the jar.  This may take a couple hours. Feel free to give the mixture a good shake every once in awhile.
  • Add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to the mixture and shake to combine.
  • Store this shrub in the fridge when you’re not mixing up tasty drinks and sauces.

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My favorite way to use this blood orange shrub (and all shrubs) is to mix up a little shrub soda. Simply combine a tablespoon or two of shrub with a glass of icy club soda.  You can also use this blood orange shrub to flavor other favorite drinks like iced tea or lemonade.  Shrubs are also delightful cocktail mixers, but I’m getting over a little cold so no suggestions at the moment.  I’ll get back to you on that one ;)

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Super Simple and Natural Orange Cleaner

Oranges our our ingredient of the season. We have big plans for a winter of zesty recipes and sweet crafts.

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Hey Spring Cleaners! Ok, I know it’s a little early for that. Hey, conscious cleaners! (How was that?) Do you buy green cleaning products for your home? Ones that aren’t so harsh and better for your kids, pet, waters and earth? I hope you do! I currently use Green Legacy garbage bags because they’re big, tough and biodegradable and for cleaning I use Legacy of Clean products. Personally, I cannot use Clorox or any other really smelly cleaners. I quickly develop a really big headache that just doesn’t go away. It’s probably because the chemicals are poisoning my brain or because I’m really sensitive to smells, who knows, I’m no doctor.

Anyway, if you don’t use natural cleansers, you can always start now with this easy natural orange cleaner.  You just need a couple of items and a little bit of time to brew a batch. It’s super simple and you might even enjoy the smell of your cleaning products! This concoction uses white vinegar which is high effective at killing mold, bacteria, mildew and other household germs. If you don’t have a big jug of vinegar, go grab one! Vinegar is cheap and you get to leave the harmful fumes and toxic counterparts of other cleaners at the store. Vinegar is also biodegradable so you can wash it down drains and toilets without adding more chemicals to our water system.

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 Natural Orange Cleaner Ingredients:

  • 1 16-ounce jar (or any glass container with a lid)
  • a heap of orange peals (I used about three oranges worth)
  • vinegar to cover

 Natural Orange Cleaner Instructions:

  • Eat a few oranges. Place the peels inside of your empty glass jar.
  • Cover with vinegar. Screw the lid on and place in a dark, cool spot for a couple of weeks.
  • After a few weeks (or a few months – if you forgot it like I did) strain the concoction so you’re left with only the vinegar.  I like to add one part orange vinegar + one part water to a spray bottle for general cleaning.

Katie here: if you want to make a cleaner that you can use immediately, a quick and dirty trick is to use orange essential oil rather than soaking the fresh peels. Make a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon orange essential oil, then you can further dilute it with water as Sarah does. 

I’ve used this mix on everything in my kitchen, bathroom and living room.  Counters, tables, floors, sinks, molding, walls, etc. and it has always worked like a charm. Like I said, I dilute my mixture by 50% with water to tone it down a bit.  I also always finish cleaning by wiping each surface with water so there’s no vinegar left sitting on my wood floors and other sensitive areas.  I have read that vinegar is capable of deteriorating exposed window seals, dishwasher gaskets, and unsealed grout over time, so these surfaces should be rinsed with water after they are cleaned.  Like any cleaning product warning, I suggest test cleaning on inconspicuous areas first to make sure this product is safe for your purposes.  You could also google the specific materials you’ll be cleaning to see if there’s any information on how vinegar will react to them.  So far I’ve only had positive results and lucky for me, this product keeps me headache free!

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2015 : Finding Peace in the Impending Chaos

I love Sarah’s 2015 resolutions, don’t you? Such a perfect blend of goals to improve her body, mind, and spirit, while thinking about others too. I’ve set a few resolutions for the coming year, but mine are a bit more modest, because if there’s anything I’ve learned since Little A came along, it’s that I’m not always the one steering this ship, and that’s ok.

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Over the past couple of years I would come up with a long list of specific goals and resolutions, and then be woefully disappointed when I realized how few I accomplished. So this year, I tried to keep it simple, most of these are goals that easily integrate into my daily life ~ I’m already mothering, so why not try to do it with more grace? I’m taking photos every day; let’s make them better. As I was writing this post, I couldn’t help but also share a few of my pipe dreams ~ I didn’t declare these as resolutions when Calder and I were sharing our goals for the year, but secretly, it would be awesome if I woke up tomorrow with some kicka$$ leg muscles.

Personal

  • Find peace when surrounded by chaos. Anyone who spends time with a little kid, or at least our little nugget, knows that it can be chaotic. There’s the awesome, mess-making, creative chaos, and then there’s the screaming/moaning, what-the-heck-does-he-want chaos. Over the past two years there were moments when I would get frustrated because I wanted a bit of peace and quiet, but there’s nothing like a baby to remind you that you can’t always get what you want, and that even if the world around me feels chaotic, I can take a deep breath and use it to center myself and approach the situation with a calmness and peaceful demeanor (i.e. get what I need). I realize that with two little guys, the chaos will only grow, and so I’m entering this year with the intention of maintaining a calm presence. I’m well aware that this chaotic baby phase will pass quickly, but also that my attitude while mothering the little guys is so important; I want to be able to look back and be proud of how I interacted with them and Calder even during those weeks of no sleep, piles of diapers, and delivery pizza for dinner.
  • Change up my wardrobe and jewelry. I love my closet of clothes and am so happy when I put together a good outfit, but I often find myself reaching for the same outfits fresh from the dryer. This week I straightened up my closet and my jewelry is visibly hanging on my bedroom wall, so there’s nothing stopping me from putting together a good combo when we’re leaving the house.

Craft

  • We are a bread-loving house, living off of the sourdough loafs from Whole Foods. While they are delicious and we won’t stop buying them anytime soon, I would love to perfect my bread baking. This comes with the added challenges of wanting to bake with whole grains, living in a dryer climate, and at a high altitude. I’m looking at it as a fun science experiment for the year, and I’m going to start with this recipe.
  • Improve the lighting in my photographs. Up until this point, I relied on whatever natural light I could find, but wasn’t always happy with the results. Our sister Kris gave me this reflector set for Christmas, so I’m starting there and with these tips.

Work

  • With the second little guy arriving this spring, I’m taking a big step back from my previous job, and while I love the full-time baby care, I know that I’m happiest when I’m still pursuing some work projects. So, I’m hoping that this will be the year that I finally turn some of my knitting and other creative pursuits into paid projects. This may be as simple as publishing a few patterns. You know that I love to give them away, but I wouldn’t mind being compensated for some of the more challenging patterns that I’ve created.
  • The second goal in this category relates directly to a few projects that Calder has up his sleeve. He’s developing a few apps for the iPhone, and we’ve begun to work together on their design and features; it’s something we’re both excited to see continue and grow this year.

Pipe Dreams

… because if I’m magically able to make these things happen amid the chaos and the bread baking and the new work pursuits, then I’m a magician.

  • More camping. Nothing makes me feel more at peace than a weekend in the woods. Luckily everyone in the family loves it too. Our only challenge is planning the trips and getting out of the house.
  • Firmer thighs. I’m moving all day, and I feel like I’m getting exercise, but what I’m missing are intense sessions that target my legs. I would love a combination of running and yoga, but I’d like to do both without the little guys in tow. Scheduling that time is the challenge.
  • Stay organized. I’m happy with the organization of my craft supplies, the kitchen, and the house in general, but it’s easy to fall into periods of laziness where things don’t get put back in their place (sometimes for months). I know that I’m more efficient and the whole house runs better when I put things away, so that’s the goal.
  • Send more surprise packages. Now that we live so far away from many of our friends and family members, I would love to use the mail to stay in touch. It can be hard to find the time for phone calls (baby chaos is the theme of this post), but it makes me so happy to put together a package and send it off. I would be happy if I could send holiday cards and birthday packages this year.

Boy oh boy, the whole process of setting resolutions makes me excited for the year ahead. What about you? Do you have any resolutions? We would love to hear them, and I’m sure we’ll continue to share our progress throughout the year. Happy 2015!!!

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Feel Better! {Bedside Necessities for the sick}

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Happy Friday Friends!! I’ve been feeling down and out for the past few weeks and I figured I would share my bedside necessities with you in case you’re in the same boat.  I’ve found these ten items really brighten my otherwise stuffy, achey, coughing-fits-forever type of days. Of course I need things like cough drops, medicine, tissues and soup too, but they come and go from my nightstand while these items are there around the clock.

Sarah’s Bedside Necessities:

  • Air purifying snake plant – makes me feel like something is actually alive and well in my bedroom ;)
  • Himalayan salt candleholder brightens my day. I love, love, love candles and crystals so combining the two just makes me smile that much more.
  • Mason jar + Cuppow filled with hot tea makes drinking in bed a little bit easier.  I love my leather Holdster too.
  • Ginger shrub and club soda is the perfect drink to settle the stomach and excite the tastebuds a bit, even when you have no appetite.
  • A handmade lotion bar is the perfect solution for dry winter skin and lazy I-can’t-walk-to-the-bathroom-for-the-lotion-bottle legs.
  • Lip balm is essential for your dehydrated self. Katie actually made the one pictured, maybe she will let us in on her secret recipe sometime soon. ;)
  • A GIR lid is the perfect companion to a huge jar of icy cold water.
  • My tablet is the perfect bedside companion. I can read kindle books without using an overhead light or browse Instagram for hours on end.
  • A few good books are great to have on hand. Right now I’m paging through Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
  • Soft lighting is key to comfort in my book. If I can’t have natural light, bring on the nice glow of a small lamp.

What do you need when you’re feeling sick?  Any of that jazz or something completely different? On that note, I hope you don’t need this article EVER! Stay healthy people!

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Easy Peasy Creamy Chicken Soup

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If you’re feeling under the weather (like me) or low on time, you should probablyyyy make this easy peasy creamy chicken soup tonight. BTW I came up with the title of the post while I was making the soup and that’s how I had the idea to add the peas, so pun originally not intended ;) Anyway, this chicken soup is creamy, delicious and so damn easy to make. Why is it so damn easy?! Here’s why: It only takes a handful of ingredients, most of which are probably in your fridge or pantry already. It’s a one pot meal. It all comes together in twenty minutes. No fibbing here!

Creamy Chicken Soup Ingredients:

  • two TBSP olive oil OR butter
  • one onion, chopped
  • two celery stalks, chopped
  • three big carrots, chopped
  • one cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • three cups chicken broth (or two cups chicken broth and one cup mushroom broth)
  • three cups milk
  • one cup peas, cooked
  • salt, pepper and thyme to taste

Creamy Chicken Soup Instructions:

  • Heat olive oil or butter in a big soup pot over medium heat.  Toss in the chopped onions, carrots and celery. Sauté until onions are clear and veggies are soft.
  • Add the shredded chicken and mix.
  • Toss in a third cup of flour.  Mix all the ingredients so the flour coats everything.
  • Add three cups of broth. I always use bouillon to make a tasty stock, but this time I also added some mushroom broth.
  • Add three cups of milk and mix.  Watch the soup and stir occasionally.  After about five minutes the broth will thicken.
  • Add a cup of cooked peas (I used frozen!) and a bunch of salt, pepper and thyme.

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Crowd pleaser, am I right?  This is the first of many soups of 2015, let’s all hope and pray they are this easy and delicious!

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New Year, New Goals.

Happy New Year!  I finally got around to thinking about goals for this trip around the sun.  Each year I make a whole host of goals and if I feel like I’m slacking, I make mini new moon resolutions too! Fingers crossed that I abide by this list in 2015.

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  • Establishing a daily routine is of PRIME importance this year.  I work as a freelance photographer so most days I’m at home editing photos or simply taking a day off.  I find I get a bit anxious and unhappy if I’m just ‘sitting around’ all day even if I’m doing something I enjoy like reading or cooking.  I’ve read that ‘happy’ people often have morning and/or daily routines. What about you? What do you do when you roll out of bed?
  • Ugh. The subject of sleep. I love sleep SO much. I could sleep at least 16 hours a day and often times I do sleep eleven or twelve hours a night.  Why am I complaining, right? Well, most times I wake up feeling lousy instead of well rested. I feel like I’m wasting the day and the last few hours of slumber are usually punctuated by alarms and crazy dreams anyway.  On that same note, I think creating a regular sleep pattern will help with my overall health. Hopefully I’ll feel more energetic and ‘ready’ to go in the morning even though I only need to cross the hallway to get to work.
  • I finally made a budget.  I’m sure some of you have had budgets for years and others want to go run and hide at the mention of it, but I’m pretty excited about it.  I’m extremely thrifty and therefore I always have enough money for the essentials, but I realized it is important to know how much you’re spending and saving each month.  When I travel I write down EVERYTHING, like every single thing, that I purchase and it is so helpful.  I can see how much I spend in each sphere of life, which is really helpful for future planning and squashing buyer’s remorse. Budgets are also super, duper helpful if you are a freelancer like me.  It is easy to sit back and relax and kind of slack off for a couple weeks, but if you have an earnings goal you’ll actually know if taking a few days off is a good idea.

 

  • Make soup once a week! Possibly my most favorite goal of all time.  I’ve been wayyyyy into soups lately. They’re so easy to make, usually only take one pot and they reheat so well.  Some of the tastier soups will be featured on the blog so sit tight :)
  • I need to camp more often.  This year I went for a bajillion day hikes. I probably averaged four or five a week, but I only camped out a couple times.  In 2013 I slept in a tent for over three months! The disparity is insane, so I plan on fixing that. Oh and I got an AMAZING new tent for Christmas.
  • I think I’ve had more yoga and meditation on my goal list every year since 2011.  Last year, I started strong in January by practicing 27 days in a row, but on the 28th day I came down with mono. That was a big bummer and definitely signaled that I need to practice more, but also pay attention to what my body needs. This year I plan on doing all that and traveling to Nepal to become a yoga teacher! I’m over the moon about my yoga-centric trip.
  • I spend a lot of time on Instagram.  I used to feel guilty about it, but then I remembered my professors were always saying something like, ‘look at photos, decide why you love them and go out and shoot.’ Now I think of my IG habit as an investment in my work!  I see so many beautifully styled photos on my feed and I realized I want to create some of my own.  I’m a trained photojournalist so I was taught not to manipulate the scene at hand, but now that I have a blog those rules are out the window.
  • I have at least four books started at all times.  My goal for the year is to read at least two a month, which shouldn’t be too hard, but we shall see.  What are your favorite books?! What do I absolutely need to read?
  • I feel like I’m pretty good at taking time to get inspired.  I have at least a dozen ideas floating around in my brain at all times, but I completely fail to write them down.  If I don’t write them down, I usually forget them and a majority of the time I never act on them.. I have a ton of cute notebooks and this year I’m puttin’ em to work!

 

  • Guys! Podcasts! I’ve been listening to them for years, but these past few months I’ve really started to nail down some favorites, which makes driving an absolute breeze! No idea what the hell a podcast is or how to listen to them?  It is SO simple, which is why I want to tell everyone!  Podcasts are basically episodes of radio shows.  You simply subscribe to each one by going to their websites or subscribing in iTune or the Google Play Store. Once you subscribe they will show up on your device without you doing a damn thing! (Go on and google it, you know you wanna) Over the past few weeks I have driven approximately 2,705 miles. Actually, more than that, but whatever, that’s a lot of miles.  During those drives I listened to just about every Freakonomics podcast and lots of Stuff You Should Know, That’s Deep Bro, This American Life, Your Mom’s House, and a bunch of others. Find your favorites and enjoy your time in the car. Stop scanning the awful pop radio, please!
  • These next two goals seem relatively simple. Gather my friends at my house and listen to what they are saying.  Doesn’t it feel good to get something off your chest? Don’t be that friend that only calls for that reason, be the one that calls for no reason at all :)  If you’re any friend of mine, you know that I hate the phone. I hate dialing, hate answering, just hate it, so this goal will be a test for me, but I’m hoping I’m successful. I realize, gathering friends at my house is kind of a test for others, but if you fail you’ll still get a phone call and a sticker ;)

 

  • Say #NOPE to self-inflicted guilt, external expectations and silly societal norms. I don’t think this needs too much explaining, it is basically an excuse goal of mine to be easier on myself. Please, please, please adopt this goal too.  I need to constantly remind myself that others’ paths are not my own and that is fine. I’m vowing to focus on mine this year, but LOTS and lots of luck on your journey too!
  • Be mindful. Think big. Act with intention.  This will be my daily mantra and again, it’s just another step to self love so if you’re ready, get on the love train with me ;)
  • Am I living a balanced life? Am I taking care of myself? Am I following my inner voice?  Personally, these are all important questions concerning my individual happiness.  You may have another set of questions.  I’m urging you to figure out what YOU need to ask yourself in order to start living a happier and healthier life.  Although we post lots of recipes, crafting and adventures on Live Seasoned, you may have guessed that our daily lives are not always pumpkin pies and snowshoeing. We sift through the muck of daily living too and for me sometimes it’s a struggle. These few questions bring me right back to square one and basically force myself to identify why I’m feeling just so so.  Find your own set of questions. Be honest with you and remember, “Our first and last love is self love.” so be a better lover!

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We are interested to hear if you made any resolutions this year or if you’re anti-resolutions, tell us more! Xo

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