Two Bits

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 a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

Sarah here :

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65 more hours until I leave for Nepal! Don’t worry, I’m not that neurotic, I only counted the hours for you guys.  It seemed more exciting than saying three days.  Thoughts on leaving? I look around and start to miss the littlest things from my everyday life like shrub drinks, grocery stores and really hot showers.  Of course, I’ll miss the big things like my roommates a.k.a. my boyfriend and Catahoula_Cash, but overall I’m ecstatic and excited to begin this new journey.  I have a couple of busy days ahead of me (I’m photographing a wedding tomorrow!), but come Monday at 5 a.m. and I’m off to the east. Can’t wait to share my adventures with you.

Katie here :

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Beach!!!! The highs and lows of our past week in no particular order : sun, sand, water, mosquitos, creme-filled donuts, touch-tank at the visitor’s center, horseflies, 6:30am wake-ups, paddle boards, water sprinklers, teething, afternoon naps. Everything a good beach vacation should be.

We hope you’re soaking up this last weekend of August, and we’ll be back on Monday with one more week of summer fun before we turn our sights (and posts) to fall. xo

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Species Spotlight : Bark Beetles

Mother Nature : she can be so predictable, and its her reliable rhythms that we’ve come to depend upon and even appreciate. Organisms living and working together in ecosystems, cycling energy, recycling nutrients, cleaning the air and water, keeping things moving at the right pace so that there’s no build-up of waste. When these systems are working seamlessly and in sync, we simply notice is the beauty of nature, but when some thing throws the systems out of balance, that’s when we sit up and take notice. All too often, humans are the “thing” that threw mother nature out of balance, and it’s not until the damage is widespread do we realize the impacts of our actions. Today’s post is about just that sort of situation.

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Bark beetles encompass a number of different beetle species that share similar life cycle characteristics, mainly that they all lay their eggs under the bark of different coniferous trees. As I’ll explain below, beetle activity can damage and kill trees. This often happens at a slow rate and is actually beneficial to forests: weak trees are killed, making space for healthy, young trees to grow. The “problem” occurs when bark beetle activity is happening so fast and so intensely that wide swaths of relatively healthy trees are also killed.

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Five Best Earth Friendly Products For An Outdoor Shower

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Taking an outdoor shower is hands down one of my favorite ways to bathe.  A couple years ago, our father installed one at the beach and since then the whole crew has paraded in and out trying to wash the sand from our tootsies.  Because I would rather take all my showers outside under the moonlight, I thought it would be helpful to share our five favorite earth friendly products for the outdoor shower.  These products are all biodegradable and earth friendly, but what does that mean really?

First off, biodegradable soap and shampoo does not mean it’s actually good for the environment, it simply means it can be broken down in the soil within a reasonable amount of time (about six months) by bacteria or fungus in the soil.  Biodegradable soaps can still contaminate water supplies so it’s important to use them at least 200 feet away from water sources.  Never ever bath directly in a river or stream with biodegradable soap let alone other soaps.  That being said, some of these biodegradable soaps are gentle and earth friendly.  They don’t include phosphates and other chemicals that are nearly impossible to break down and remove from the water supply, even in treatment plants.

When thinking about using biodegradable bath products, it doesn’t stop at shampoo and body wash.  If you think about it, anything you put on your skin from deodorant to lotion to bug spray will eventually have to be washed off and added back into our water supply.  Keep yourself clean and the environment healthy by making informed decisions about body products and only choosing earth friendly, biodegradable brands.  Below are our absolute favorite brands and that we are truly proud of.

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 Five Best Earth Friendly Products for an Outdoor Shower:

  1. Dr. Bronner’s Castile Liquid Soap is my favorite body wash and it can even be used as shampoo too!  If you use Dr. Bronner’s as shampoo, make sure you also get the Conditioning Rinse.
  2. Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo really hydrates hair with its combination of argan oil, fatty acids and vitamin E.  I love the story of KISS. Their products are healthy, effective and earth friendly and have been for over thirty years.
  3. Tom’s Natural Toothpaste has been around since 1970. Check out their Reason For Being and tell me that’s not enough to switch to Tom’s forever.
  4. DIY body scrubs with natural ingredients like our easy  Fresh Lemon foot scrub or the Mint, Salt, and Sand body scrub.  Scrubs are perfect for exfoliating rough skin with sand and sugar while also adding moisture with coconut and olive oil.  You could also lotion up with coconut oil after your shower while you’re still damp.
  5. - Big Fluffy Robes are imperative!   They make a great gift too.  After your shower, wrap your hair in a towel, put on a robe, and get inside before the mosquitoes start biting.  Or plant some mosquito repelling plants and take your time getting inside.
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What do you think of our list? Have you ever tried Dr. Bronner’s or Tom’s or Kiss My Face?  They’re all great products and pretty awesome companies.  You can tell by their websites that their companies are run by compassionate and ambitious individuals.  Do you have an outdoor shower? We would love to see a snapshot of it. Tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

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Roasted Lamb Shank with Fruit and Herbs

Lemon is our ingredient of the season! Today we’re cooking up a savory dish, and if you like this, you may want to check out our lemon pasta and chicken with preserved lemons.

The night before leaving for our big trip east, I roasted lamb shanks as a going away dinner. We were going to be away from Calder for about two weeks, and in just a few more days, Sarah’s off to Nepal! So something special was definitely in order.

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Since we loved the creativity and flavor of the chicken with preserved lemons, Calder said we should just make that again (it was that good!). Instead, I decided to test another recipe from the Tagines & Couscous cookbook, and I’m so happy to report that we hit another home run!

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Lemon Foot Scrub

Lemon is our ingredient of the season! So far we’ve used it in a bucklein barsin a savory pasta, and in the shower. Oh, and there are a couple of lemon popsicle recipes! This is also one of our many essential oil posts.

Hands down, one of our favorite perks at the beach is the outdoor shower. We love it for clearing away the sand after a day at the beach, but we also love to bring sand INTO the shower in the form of scrubs. Today’s lemon, sugar, and sand scrub is the perfect zesty indulgence as we’re looking to make the most of these late summer days.

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Two Bits

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 a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

Sarah Here :

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Howdy!  TGIF, amiright?  After work today, I’m headed to Saxis, Virginia to meet up with the whole family.  I’m excited to play and hang this weekend and soak up some family time before my big trip.  This week went by so fast. I guess that’s what happens when your three-day weekends are packed full of fun and you try to squeeze in forty hours anyway.  Have a great weekend!

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How To: Buy an International Flight

Buying an international flight can seem overwhelming.  I still sweat a little when I finally confirm a flight plan even when I’m satisfied with the price.  There’s something about hitting that buy button that makes everything seem so immediate and real.  It can be daunting to check different airports, dates and prices, but with a little bit of background knowledge, buying an international flight can be a satisfying experience instead of a nerve wracking one. Below are a bunch of tips that I always run through before purchasing an international flight.

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Utilize Price Alerts + Travel During Cheap Weeks

While it’s definitely helpful to have flexible travel dates, letting skyscanner choose the right time to fly is an even better deal.  If you are planning a trip, even if it’s two years from now, sign up for price alerts.  Skyscanner will send you an email letting you know when super low fares are spotted on the horizon making it a little easier for you to decide when to fly.  I like using price alerts for destinations I know I’ll be visiting often like Katie in Colorado or for places I really want to visit, but can’t justify at the moment like Jamaica. Price alerts are nice because you don’t have to waste time plugging in a bunch of dates or scouring google flights late at night (I used to be guilty of that) looking for a good time to fly, you can simply read the subject line of your email and make a more informed decision.

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Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Popsicles

Lemon is our ingredient of the season! So far we’ve used it in a bucklein barsin a savory pasta, and in the shower. This is our second lemon popsicle recipe, click here for lemon cream pops. And, summer’s not over yet! You can see our complete archive of popsicle recipes here.

We arrived at the beach house to greek yogurt in the fridge, blueberries in the freezer, and lemons on the counter – right next to the empty popsicles molds. What were we to do but make some blueberry lemon yogurt popsicles?

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Cheap Oversized Photo Art

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How many times have you google searched cheap prints? I have a  l o t. Pretty much every time I have a show or event.  I’m always trying to figure out the best way to produce LARGE photographs inexpensively.  Katie recently introduced me to a new method: Engineer Prints.  Engineer prints reproduce line drawings and graphics with high definition and contrast, but they’re also really great for making large black and white photography prints.  Engineer prints are the perfect low-cost option when you’re looking for a statement piece without the price tag.  Since these prints range from only a buck to $10, the quality is obviously not fit for The Louvre, but they’re definitely awesome enough for a wall in your home or as a focal point at your next art show.

In addition to sharing our love of engineer prints, we also wanted to show you a simple way to add some structure to your print before hanging it. This will help to turn the image from something that looks like a poster into a more substantial piece of art.

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