Ginger + Vanilla

Ginger is our ingredient of the season. You can find our archive of ginger posts here and our previous featured ingredients here. Today we’re adding something sweet to the docket.

Get ready to start planning your next dinner party, because we have the perfect dessert : vanilla ice cream + ginger spread. This is such a simple combination, but the results are phenomenal. ginger_icecream

We used Talenti Vanilla Bean Gelato for the base, and topped it with a syrup made from Ginger People’s ginger spread. I scooped some paste into a ramekin, added almost an equal amount of water, and microwaved it for a few seconds until the syrup was warm but not hot. Then I gave the mixture a good stir and drizzled it over the gelato.

Can’t find ginger paste in your grocery store? Amazon delivers.

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And I’m not joking about the dinner party. Sometimes a fancy dessert is in order. Sometimes you can plan ahead and bake something the day before. But sometimes, a tub of ice cream is the way to go. This combination takes that easy dessert and dresses it up just enough to leave an impression.

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Plus, maybe it’s time that we make ginger the new flavor of fall! Pumpkin’s had its run. #outwithpumpkin #gingerishot #gingersarehot Wait. Am I doing this right?

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A Day at Circular Quay in Sydney Harbor

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Your first stop in Sydney will inevitably include a trip to the harbor and really it should, it is the most beautiful and active harbor I’ve ever seen. There is so much going on around The Quay that you’ll have no trouble spending an entire day in this area.

First, take a stroll up and down the steps of the Sydney Opera House and wander around the backside to watch the ferries streaming back and forth to Manly beach. If you can, try to spot the Sydney Harbour bridge climbers and contemplate if it’s something you’d like to do yourself.
If you’re hungry, head down to the Opera bar. Nestled right under the opera house near the water, the Opera restaurant and bar has mostly outdoor seating, with a few tables undercover. From this vantage point, you’ll be able to shift your gaze from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the majestic Sydney Opera House all the while making sure those ballsy Sydney seagulls don’t steal a hot chip from your plate. Watch it, because they will.
After you’ve had a bite, wander slowly around the harbor, taking in the sights of street performers and beautiful sounds of street musicians. Over the course of the weekend that I stayed in the Sydney CBD (central business district) I discovered a handful of new favorites. There is some serious talent hanging out at the harbor waiting to be discovered or simply playing in-between gigs.
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If it’s the weekend, the street artisan market will be in full swing. Wander the long way around the harbor (past the big cruise ships and the Park Hyatt) until you see the bridge overhead. Wander through the lovely lawns of the park and take a rest under the bridge on the Adirondack chairs. Then hit up The Rocks Market. Simply head down George street until you see Argyle Street and you’ll run into it. Weave through all the market stalls, following the market onto Playfair Street. If you’re feeling an afternoon snack or brew, the market streets have ample offerings in the way of food stalls and sitdown restaurants.
After some shopping in The Rocks, roam back towards George Street and The Quay and you’ll see the back entrance of the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s free of charge so enjoy and leave a donation on your way out if the experience spoke to you.
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After art comes gelato. There are a plethora of places nearby, I had Royal Copenhagen, it was divine. I highly recommend the passionfruit, but go ahead and sample them all first.
Take a nice rest on the lawns in front of the art museum while you watch tourists enjoying the harbor for the first time and locals making their way home from work. Let flocks of Australian white ibis invade your spaces as you listen to your new favorite street musician.
If you’re feeling energized, walk back up through the rocks to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Stroll to the center or climb up into the Pylon Lookout and watch the golden hour cast a beautiful color on the city of Sydney with soft yellow light. If that sounds like too much work, head into the Sydney Theatre Company, or one of the other dozen theaters, take a seat, and enjoy the show.
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Moroccan Spiced Shepherd’s Pie

Ginger is our ingredient of the season. You can find our archive of ginger posts here and our previous featured ingredients here.

I mentioned this dish in my recent farm share post, and with fall right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to add this to your repertoire.

This dish includes all of the best comforts of shepherd’s pie with added interest from the Moroccan spices and added simplicity from the sliced potatoes. The first time I made this we took it to a friend’s house and everyone around the table (from the 1 yo to the adults) loved it!

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We are big shepherd’s pie fans, but honestly, I never make it because I don’t want to mash the potatoes. But as soon as I saw this recipe, I was all in because the potatoes are sliced instead of mashed. The recipe is from Modern Israeli Cooking, with just a few slight variations…  I have a feeling you’re going to see us mentioning this book many times throughout the season!

This dish also appeals to me because it takes familiar ingredients and makes them a platform for introducing new flavors through the spices. And, from a Seasoned perspective, we love a good savory dish that includes ginger!

Moroccan Spiced Shepherd’s Pie

Moroccan Spiced Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups veggie or beef stock
  • 5 potatoes peeled
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • more paprika for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat about 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a sauté pan. Added the chopped onion, carrots, and bell pepper and sauté until they begin to soften and the onions are slightly translucent.
  2. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a fork as it cooks.
  3. When the beef is no longer pink, add the ginger, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, and tomato paste. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the parsley and stock. Bring the filling to a low boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. While the filling is simmering, preheat the oven to 400F.
  7. Put the peeled potatoes in a pot, cover them with water, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 12-15 minutes, until the potatoes are just undercooked and slightly firm. Drain the potatoes, cool slightly, and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
  8. Stir the peas into the filling, and transfer it to a 8x11 (or 9x13, which worked for me) baking dish. Arrange the potatoes on top of the filling, overlapping slightly as pictured. Brush the potatoes with olive oil and season generously with paprika and salt.
  9. Bake for about an hour until the filling is bubbly and the potatoes are golden brown and cooked through. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
http://liveseasoned.com/moroccan-spiced-shepherds-pie/

Promise me, the moment temps dip below 60F, you’ll give this dinner a try. It’s delicious, comforting, and perfect with a glass of wine!

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Recreating Family Portraits Year After Year

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We’ve all seen the amazing examples, family photos taken in the same spot, with the same clothes and poses, a decade spanning the two. We wish we had one of those, but hey, we’re working on it. Year by year we’re taking the time and energy (and appropriate bribing methods) to sit down on the front porch of the beach house and snap a family photo or five.

We don’t bother checking to see who sat where or looked in which direction, however, we’re hoping to amass a large group of photos that depict our growing flock and shifting group of friends who stop by. Sometimes we take a photo during Russian Christmas wearing masks and holding our dogs and other times we scrounge up all the elephant pants we own. Sometimes I accidentally wear a tank top that says fuck on it. It all depends on the month and the amount of caffeine running through our bloodstream.

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Backpacking on the Ozette Loop

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Hey there! In July, I hiked the Ozette Loop in Olympic National Park in Washington. Although I completed the loop as an overnight backpacking trip, the Ozette Loop would also make a nice day hike.  The nine-ish mile loop starts in a coastal forest environment, forks right and winds its way across boardwalks until it dips slightly to the coast. Walking along the beach is the more challenging section, but only because you’re trudging through sand. Eventually, you reach Sand Point, a gorgeous outcropping with a large rock that you can climb atop of. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset and the ease of the return trip makes it possible to hike back during twilight and even as darkness falls if you’re not keen on camping. Over the course of the loop, the elevation change is less than 500 feet and beside the beach, most of the trail is on a wooden boardwalk. It’s nearly impossible to get lost and while you should always take a map, you shouldn’t need to consult it even once.

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I found the Ozette Loop to be equal parts easy and exciting. As I mentioned, there’s not much elevation change and much of the trail takes place on a wooden boardwalk through coastal forests. While hiking on a boardwalk can be a bit boring, it gives your brain a chance to focus on your surroundings instead of your next steps. Walking amongst giant hemlock and cedar trees and seeing beautiful ferns and moss dripping with moisture had me thinking about ancient reptiles, sea creatures, and dinosaurs (turns out the first dino bone discovered in Washington happened just a couple years ago).

After about three miles, you’ll shuffle down a short and steep section (there’s a rope to aid in your decent) that spits you out on the sand. At this point, my hiking partner and I took off our shoes and shirts, found an enormous downed tree and had a quick snack and snooze. Then it was time to march on along the beach. Looking out towards the sea stacks we thought about the expanse of the Pacific. Was the trash on the beach from Japan? Some of it seemed so.

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I opted to hike the two beautiful miles along the beach in Chacos. I tried bare feet for a few moments, but the sand was a bit too coarse for comfort. There was also a fair amount of sharp debris, kelp piles, driftwood and rocks covered in barnacles underfoot. Depending on the changing tide, there will be a few impassable headlands. You’ll have to scramble up over a big boulder or two (apparently there are ropes to assist, but we didn’t see or use them) or hike into the woods to navigate around them. These areas are evident and I found them to be easy enough to manage with an overnight pack. I thought that navigating around the series of downed trees was more exhausting, mostly because I’m short and those tree trunks are huuuge.

As you make your way around the headlands, be on the lookout for the Wedding Rocks petroglyphs. I’m sure I would have missed them if my friend hadn’t pointed them out to me. They are so amazing we thought that they might be fake, but a quick google search proved us wrong. I had seen petroglyphs in Mesa Verde, Colorado, but these were radically different not only in style (obviously) but also in size and definition. Thinking back, I wish I would have prepared myself for that moment because I would have stayed and enjoyed them longer instead of thinking I was being duped. I had expected to see small paintings, not large rock carvings. The petroglyphs were carved by the ancestors of the Makah tribe using tools made of rock and bone.

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Soon enough you’ll reach Sand Point and a whole host of campsites. We wandered around for a good bit trying to find a site that was semi-secluded, which proved to be tough since we rolled in late on a Friday evening. Although we could see other tents from our site, once the sun went down I truly forgot that anyone else was around. There was also the option to camp on the beach, but we liked the sheltered feel of the forest. If you do camp on the beach, know where the high tide line falls or you’ll wake up soaking wet. The next morning, bask in the sun and eat your breakfast on the beach before hiking the 4ish miles back to the trailhead.

Know before you go :

  • As always, Leave No Trace.
  • No pets, use of weapons, or wheeled devices on the trail.
  • Reservations and permits are required for overnight camping between May 1 and September 30 & must be made no more than 48 hours in advance. (The website said 72, but we were told 48 at the station. It may depend on the month)
  • Campfires are prohibited between the headland north of Yellow Banks and the headland at Wedding Rocks including Sand Point.
  • Only use driftwood for fires. Don’t gather firewood from the forested areas. Use existing fire rings or build fires on the beach to prevent damage to tree roots.
  • All food, garbage, and scented items must be stored in a park-approved bear canister. Bear canisters are available to rent when you pick up your permit.
  • Max group size of 12 people.

Water & waste :

  • There is a creek at Sand Point and Cape Alava, but beware that Cryptosporidium and Giardia are present in coastal streams and rivers. Bring a purification system or boil your water. Iodine is ineffective against cryptosporidium. I didn’t know that until this trip. I’ve been using iodine all my life. I ended up purchasing these chlorine dioxide tablets, which treat both Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
  • Pit toilets are available at Sand Point and Cape Alava. Elsewhere you must bury your waste and paper six or more inches deep and seventy steps from water sources and your campsite. LADIES! Always take your used toilet paper with you after you pee. It’s offensive to see it on the ground. I carry a plastic ziplock that I put all used toilet paper in. It’s that easy.

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What to pack for a day trip :

If I’m day hiking, sometimes I like to be extravagant. Wine with dinner while watching a sunset, anyone?

  • Apply sunscreen + bug spray before you leave
  • Water
  • Purifying tablets
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Knife
  • Snacks
  • Lunch or Dinner
  • Wine?
  • Sunglasses
  • Pullover
  • Rain jacket
  • Chacos
  • Camera
  • Hammock + straps
  • Headlamp

What to pack for an overnight trip :

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The food we packed :

We started later in the day after we ate lunch so we packed snacks, dinner, and breakfast for our overnighter. And wine. And weed. Relax, it’s legal in Washington.

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Reconnect Retreat in Tulum, Mexico

Happy Monday babies! Last night I finally bought my flight to Mexico. I’m hosting a meditation and movement retreat in Tulum from Oct 19-24th.  I’m heading there a few days early and staying through Los Día de Muertos and initially, I had this hesitation about missing Halloween (my favorite holiday!), but how often will I get the chance to celebrate Dia de Muertos in Mexico, ya know? I made the right choice, right?

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After I bought the ticket, I had this insatiable urge to know everything there is to know about Tulum. I’m arriving three days early, but I’ll want to get a good headstart on all the eats, shopping, sipping, and such so I can give my guests great recommendations. As a seasoned traveler, I know this notion of knowing where to go ahead of time is ridiculous. There’s no possible way to know exactly where to go, what to eat, and what to do, but I gave it the old college try and so here I sit, three hours later at nearly 5 am still reading about Tulum. I’ve found what I always find when researching a destination, an endless hamster wheel of the same exact recommendations from bloggers. Either these places are the tops OR everyone reads the same blogs and constantly recycles recommendations, never straying from what was introduced to them on the internet. Ah, the traps of travel in the twenty-first century.

After seeing the same restaurant pop up on every list, I made a mental note to look into the back story after all my general Tulum researchin’ had commenced. Funny thing, the very next Pinterest image I clicked on was actually a Conde Nast photo story about the American couple who runs said restaurant. Maybe I’ll go, wait in the two-hour line and report back, but maybe I’ll opt for a nameless cart on the roadside that’s been around for decades before all the tourists (and NY expats) flocked to Tulum to open restaurants. Depends on how hangry I am, but I’ll report back on that.

Besides all the restaurant recs, I’ve read up on biking Tulum, visiting ruins and cenotes, and of course SHOPPING! For the past few hours, I’ve imagined wandering around Tulum town with my sweet little retreat guest as we fill our bags with colorful handmade goodies. I’ve pictured us waking up early to salute the sun before heading off to the ruins, followed by a dip in the sea and a barefoot wander down the jungle beach road. I see us all with hands full of tacos and smiles on our faces. Laying on the sand and in colorful hammocks and poolside with midday cocktails. I see the beauty and balance that comes when we decide to take a moment to care for ourselves like we’re the most important people on the planet if only for a few days. Then we can get back to the emails, texts, phone calls and favors, but for retreat week, we’ll have to slow down, forget the wifi password, and work on reconnecting with the ones sitting on the beach beside us.

Here’s a link to my Tulum, Mexico Pinterest board if you want to see all the tasty taco stands I want to try out during my trip & here’s a link to the Rest + Reconnect Retreat that I’ll be hosting. We have a couple spots left if you need an October getaway!

*Photos by my sweet & savvy travelin’ friend Erin.
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Two Bits & a Giveaway

 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.

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Sarah here :

Happy Friday! It’s been only a few days since Kate and I left Saxis and parted ways, but man, do I miss her! I’m so grateful for our daily connection through this website and our joint Live Seasoned Instagram page and for that I want to thank YOU.

Kate and I started this website because we love learning, experimenting, and sharing our findings with you, but if there was no one on the receiving reading end, knowing us, we probably wouldn’t feel motivated to post here. So THANKS! It means a lot to me, to us, that you’re here. If you know someone else who would dig our material, needs recipe inspiration, wants to take a hike, or could use a bit of travel advice, send them over. As a gesture of gratitude (because saying it will never be enough) we’re hosting a teensy giveaway on our instagram feed. Head there for the details.

Now that I’ve shed a tear of gratitude and somehow turned that into self-promotion, we want to send you over to some sources, specifically a couple of print magazines that we love. These mags inspire us and encourage us to be our best selves and we hope they’ll do the same for you <3

Misadventures is my favorite** print magazine. Misadventures is a wee little babe yet, with only three editions, but I love it so damn much and I’m excited for it to take off like wildfire. Here are ten reasons why I love Misadventures mag :

  1. Misadventures is outdoor and adventure focused magazine for women, by women. Most outdoors magazines are written for men, by men. I love those magazines too, but I’m elated to finally hear from adventurous women. The top 10 magazines for women are about either about how to make yourself or your home look good. I think both those topics have merit, but I’m stoked to see something different that focuses on my interests.
  2. Misadventures features in-depth reporting and storytelling. In the age of social media, our attention spans are shrinking, but thankfully Misadventures mag features a few long form journalism pieces in each issue. I’m a sucker for a solid story, get outta here with those blurbs and sound bites, I want something solid.
  3. The covers of Misadventures are beautiful. Each cover features an outdoor lifestyle photograph. The cover and the photographs throughout are not overproduced, stylized, or heavily edited. It’s a welcome shift towards photojournalism and away from traditional magazine photography. I also loved that the back cover of the Winter 16 edition featured a couple of postcards to cut and send.
  4. The content to advertisement ratio is refreshing. There isn’t an advertisement on every other page or ads that disguise themselves as product round ups or stories and for that I’m grateful. I actually found myself complimenting the ads that do appear in the magazine because they’re tasteful and telling instead of in-your-face and selling.
**I really mean it.

 

Katie here :

Bet you didn’t see me coming! It’s been so long since I’ve posted a few bits about myself. I’m just relying on Sarah to do the heavy lifting and that includes expressing our feelings so perfectly. She has a way with words and I’m sitting here tongue-tied with all of the feelings and a pile of knitting on my lap.

I have to agree with Sarah’s points about Misadventures. It’s a stinking awesome magazine for all of the right reasons, and I’m psyched that we found it when we did. BUT I want to talk about another print magazine that amazes me with each issue : Taproot.

  1. Their tagline is “the magazine for makers, doers & dreamers”.  Each issue is written for the whole person with sections titled “head”, “hands”, and “heart”.  The stories and projects within these sections are linked by the issue’s overarching theme. This summer’s was Grow, the next issue is Trade, and then comes Rest. Their issues are so rich and diverse because their readers are too!
  2. The current issue on my lap is 110 pages long. That’s 110 pages of completely AD-FREE content. Do you know how much material you can fit in 110 pages?! Honestly I look at a single issue and think that this has to be the best yet, but surely they’ll run out of content for the next issue. They never do.
  3. Just as with Misadventures, Taproot digs deeply into topics. They have a nice mix of long and short stories, perfect for whatever I have the time to read. The articles may highlight an individual, a food, or a craft. The writing is fantastic with perfect attention to detail.
  4. The “do” sections are so diverse! A single issue will contain baking recipes, knitting and crochet projects, wood and paper crafts, potions for your medicine cabinet. With a nice range of technical difficulty.

Admittedly, I don’t feel like I’m doing the magazine justice with these four points. But I’m definitely not alone in my love for this publication, because I just learned that they are increasing their publication rate from 4 issues/year to 6!

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Ingredient of the Season : Ginger

 Every season we like to pick one ingredient and find a variety of ways to love it and use it. You can find our complete ingredient archive here.

Ginger is our ingredient of the season this fall, and we’re already feeling the warm fuzzies. If you’re a ginger fan, then you know what we mean: that warm feeling and bit of spice that hits your tongue, then travels to the back of your throat and makes its way to your stomach when you sip on a hot mug of ginger tea. Can you feel it too? But we’re not biased, we love ginger in all of its forms, whether it’s baked into a cookie, used to spice up a curry, or sipped in a cocktail.

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Throughout the fall we hope to experiment with new uses for ginger in the kitchen and around the house. Along the way, we’ll use ginger in all of its forms, from raw to candied, and pickled to brewed.

The photos throughout this post were taken by Sarah when she was working closely with ginger farmers in Jamaica.

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Biology

The ginger plant is an herbaceous perennial, growing 3-4 feet tall with slender green leaves and yellow flowers that bloom from white to pink buds. These characteristics make it a lovely plant that is commonly grown in flower gardens in warm climates. Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family along with turmeric, cardamom, and galangal (popular in Thai cuisine).

Even though we often refer to ginger as “ginger root”, from a biological perspective, we aren’t actually using the root! It’s the rhizome, or underground stem, of the plant that is harvested for consumption. Both roots and shoots grow out from these rhizomes to produce new plants.

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History

Ginger dates back over 3,000 years to the Sanskrit srngaveram meaning “horn root” in reference to its appearance. In Greek it was ziggiberis, in Latin, zinziberi, and in Middle English, gingivere, which is why in English we know it as Ginger.

Ginger is believed to have originated from the Indian subcontinent since the ginger plants in that region contains the largest degree of genetic diversity. Sharing a history similar to many spice originating in Asia, ginger made its way to Europe via the spice trade being exported to Ancient Rome from India.

Production

The top ginger producers include China, India, and Nepal. As well as Asia, ginger is quite popular in the Caribbean Islands. Ginger grows easily in these lush tropical climates.

When Sarah visited Jamaica in 2009 & 2010, she worked closely with ginger farmers on education, prevention, and remediation of common ginger root diseases.

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Uses

The use of ginger in cooking varies from one culture to another. Throughout Asia, it is common to see ginger used in a wide variety of savory dishes, whereas in Western cultures, it is much more common to see ginger used in desserts, particularly baked goods. In India ginger is a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. Then there’s the Jamaicans, who we will be forever thankful to for brewing their ginger into non-alcoholic ginger beers. And you can thank the Japanese for that side of pickled ginger that comes with sushi.

We’re excited to explore this wide range of uses throughout the season, and we hope you’ll enjoy the ride!

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Welcome September {2017}

Near the beginning of each month we like to pause and make an intention for the month, thinking about what the new season will bring, whether it’s in the way of animal activity, farmers’ fields, or environmental events. *You can find our archive of previous welcomes here (a few months are missing from the archive, we’re bowing our heads in shame).*

Let’s start with a good old confession : having just come back from the beach, this post is hard to write. It’s not that I’m heading into September kicking and screaming, it’s just that I feel like the door to summer hit me in the rear.

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BUT I know that come tomorrow morning I’m going to find myself a pumpkin something or other, pop something in the oven, and start day-dreaming about brisk fall hikes amidst the foliage.

Below I’m sharing a few more things that I’m looking forward to as well as a bit of news that made me so happy and had me looking backwards (by a few years!).

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