Sarah’s Fall Favorites

Katie shared her favorites last week and now it’s my turn.  For me, autumn is all about accessories.  I love layering leggings under maxi skirts and wearing wool socks in my Minnetonkas.  I never leave home without a pair of convertible mittens, which keep my fingers toasty yet always at the ready for photo snapping.  I do have to admit that my favorite fall items aren’t clothes, they’re cup accessories! Once the cold weather comes, I always have a jar of tea in my hand complete with the Cuppow and Holdster, which are both made in the USA.

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1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 

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Two Bits

Instead of the usual links posts, each Friday we’re going to start sharing some tidbits from our week.  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

Sarah here:

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I went on a great 6 mile hike in Boulder this week.  My brother and I hiked Bear Canyon and then up to Mallory Cave.  The cave was closed due to the threat of White Nose Syndrome, but the landscape surrounding the cave was just as captivating. Unfortunately it has been a bit stormy here and we haven’t hiked as much as we wanted to yet.  This weekend is supposed to be beautiful though!

Katie here:

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With the babysitter here and my day’s work running on the computer, Sarah and I took the opportunity to visit a local kombucha tap room. I usually buy a single bottle of kombucha at a time and never am adventurous to try some of the more exotic flavors, so this was a fun opportunity to compare flavors and find some new favorites. This experience deserves its own post with plenty of photos to share and a discussion of the great flavor combinations and our friendly waiter/kombucha brewer. More on that soon!

 

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Sarah’s Appletini

Apples are our ingredient of the season. Check out Kate’s german apple cake right here.

I’m a fairly new martini drinker, but I can see these appletinis showing up on a regular basis around here.  They are full of fresh juice (& alcohol!) and they taste like Autumn!! Really, these apple martinis are fall flavored.  This recipe makes enough for two martinis so grab a pal or drink both. If your plan is the latter then have a great afternoon at home ;)

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DIY Pore Strips

Kate and I are always concocting potions. You may remember Kate’s DIY dry shampoo, deodorant or her rosemary body scrub.  Today we’re teaching you how to make homemade pore strips so call your girl friends and schedule a sleepover, because you’ll make more than enough for one nose!

Have you ever tried Biore pore strips? They’re the amazing!  I mean, it is creepy how much I love seeing tiny stems of dirt, oil and blackheads, but it is also awesome knowing that the gunk is no longer in my pores.  Even though I love the instant gratification of pore strips, I do have a few complaints.  For starters, they are expensive.  I don’t have a big budget for bath and beauty products so spending at least $6 ($1 for each strip) on a box of pore strips is an extremely rare occurrence.  I also feel like I only have a 75% success rate with the store-bought strips.  Sometimes they work SO well and other times they don’t adhere to the side creases of my nose, which is where I have the most black heads. When a friend told me about DIY pore strips, I decided to try them out for myself and share the results with you guys and gals.

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German Apple Cake

Apples are our ingredient of the season. We started with a healthy juice, and today we’re indulging in a simple and delicious cake that comes together in minutes – perfect for a dose of mid-week baking!

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Nothing makes my day more than a request for a baked good from Calder and A.Max. This weekend they discovered the big apple tree that’s a few doors down from our house and heavy with ripe apples. The request: turn these apples into something, anything… Calder and I got to picking while Alex sampled.

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Katie’s Fall Favorites

Hey! We put up this post with little information, but does it need much?

It was a cool and rainy day in Boulder, the kind of day that makes you think of your coziest fall outfit. Mine includes my well-worn loved Aurora Middle English shoes and those Gap Skinny jeans that really do fit so well, even on a girl who never really thought of her soccer legs as skinny. I also love a good scarf, especially one from a business with a good cause. Speaking of good causes, I love to support an artist with good style and quality wares, my Bookhou bag is one of those purchases, and in this dry weather, I always toss in some rich hand cream. Have you started dressing for fall? What are your favorites?

Complete list of links below. LIVESEASONED_fall14_favorites

a  1 . 2 . 3 . 4  and a  5 . 6 . 7 . 8

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Two Bits

Instead of the usual links posts, each Friday we’re going to start sharing some tidbits from our week.  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 . *High five, it’s finally Friday*

Sarah here :

liveseasoned_fall14_friday-1-2Cash and I are enjoying the {slightly} cooler hiking weather in Chapel Hill, NC this week, but Oy! those mosquitoes. Back off bugs!  On that note, do you wear bug spray? I never, like never ever, think to put it on. I think the last time I wore bug spray was in 2010…

liveseasoned_fall14_friday-1I’m going to BOULDER, COLORADO! Woohoo! The Seasoned Sisters are reuniting for ten days in the Rockies and I couldn’t be more excited.  I’ve already created a google map of all the hikes I want to do (way more than I have time for), yoga studios I want to practice at (I’m going to practice yoga IN A YURT) and breweries tea factories I want to tour. Vacaaaaation! Oh yeah, and I’m really pumped to see my sister, brother and nephew. That’s obviously my first priority.

And Katie :

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I’m also excited for the big family visit next week! It’s the first time any of our east coast family is coming to visit, so it’ll be so much fun to watch them reconnect with little Alex in person, rather than their daily photo updates. I’ve been using the visit as the motivation I needed to finally add some decorative touches to our places. Like placing some of our tillandsia into large glass vases on a bed of sea glass and shells from our time in Saxis. And hanging burlap sacks on a big blank wall in my craft room/office/dressing room (basically the best and messiest room in the house). It’s been fun to find creative ways to decorate this place without investing too much time & money or making too many holes in the wall since we’re just here for a year or so!

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My second tidbit? This doesn’t have a picture because we don’t have one, but guys, we have an uninvited animal that visits at night! We would assume it’s a mouse, except there’s no mouse poop and this guy or gal only eats our vegetables! We keep a big bowl of fruit and non-refridgerated veggies on the counter (tomatoes, cut avocados – don’t judge).  Right next to this bowl we keep enough carbs (multiple loaves of bread, bagels, rolls) to make any gluten-free eater cry. Anyway, there have been a few times where I saw “nibbles” out of tomatoes, but (get ready to laugh), I thought maybe the fruit flies did it! We had a fruit fly problem, and I thought they just got really hungry and really aggressive. So I didn’t say anything to Calder. Then last night we left a cut avocado on the counter. In the morning, Calder referred to it as a “work of art” because the flesh was neatly below the peel by a 1/4 of an inch peel all the way around the pit. He thought that I meticulously dug it out while not removing the pit, meanwhile I thought he did the same thing! That is the moment we looked closer and realized that we could see teeth marks in the ‘cado and confirmed that indeed, we have a veggie-loving intruder; one that doesn’t have a taste for all of that bread! What is it? a squirrel? a mole? a fruit bat? or is it actually a mouse? ugg.

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Now you – what’s going on over there?!

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Fresh Apple, Carrot, Ginger Juice

Apples are our ingredient of the season. Before falling down the rabbit trap of indulgent baked goods, we’re kicking of this series with a wholesome, homemade juice.  liveseasoned_fall14_applecarrotjuice-8

Now that apple season has arrived, I find myself juicing those little gems on the daily.  We have a whole host of apple beverages in store for you this season, but we thought we would start out with some fresh cold juice while the weather is still warm.  I never feel better than when I wake up and immediately make myself a big jar of juice and a cup of coffee.  It’s 1 part routine, 1 part you’re doing yourself a favor-if you know what I mean.  I’m also not a big breakfast eater, so juicing allows me to fuel my bod without munching too early, which I almost never have the appetite for.

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Welcome September!

On the first Wednesday of each month we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us, with a particular focus on animal activity, celestial events, and our farmers’ fields.
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With school starting, September always feels like the actual start of the new year. Of course I want to start by restocking my office supplies when I see the fresh school supplies in the stores, don’t you? Yet while I’m looking at the zillions of new pens it’s also the moment I start to mourn the end of summer. It’s good to make a little list of everything to look forward to, like the start of sweater season, cozy evenings inside, afternoons baking apple treats! This month’s Seasoned View provided another nice reminder to perk up – did you see how green those photos were? Yet another reminder that while the nights are getting cool, the days are still plenty warm.

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When I was living on the East Coast, September was always such a fun time to explore the woods. As you know, Sarah and I are year-round hikers, but after a dry hot summer, we could usually count on more rain to arrive with the cooler days in September. With that rain, the woods came alive as all sorts of fungus pushed up through the leaf litter. It was always such a spectacle with colors that were almost too vivid for my camera to handle! {Sarah here: Last week while playing frisbee golf in the woods, I was constantly admiring the various mushrooms.  I started to annoy my bf because I kept making him ‘come look!’ at all the different types, every two minutes} It’s also a time rich with animal activity as birds are migrating overhead and mammals are scurrying through the woods looking to collect food and bulk up for the winter months. Now that we’re in the mountains, I’m excited to see how September’s weather changes our hiking trails.

Earth and Sky

This section is going to be all about keeping your head up, looking and listening for September’s migrating birds and celestial activity.

September falls in the middle of peak activity for migratory birds. So many species are on the move – from the shore birds that started their journey towards the end of summer to a variety of warblers, orioles, hawks, and even owls that are moving throughout North America. Rather than talk about a few specific species this month, I thought it would be a great time to talk about what we can do to help the migrating species, mention some fun facts, and provide a few resources if you would like to learn more and follow along with the migrations in your area.

There are a number of things that you can do throughout the migration seasons, and even throughout the year, to help ensure a successful trip for the birds in your area.

  • Keep your feeders stocked. Provide quality, energy dense feed to fuel their journey (add more black-oil sunflower seeds to your mix, put suet feeders out). This includes your (dye-free) hummingbird feeders too!
  • Provide clean water. Quench their thirst, and make it attractive to them by keeping the water moving either with a bubbler or pump.
  • Keep pets indoors during this time. If the birds have landed in your yard for a meal and a rest, you don’t want your pets to disturb or kill them.
  • Provide native habitat. Depending upon the current state of your yard, this may require more work and time than the previous points, but it’s one of the best things you can do to attract birds (and bonus – your native yard will likely require less work and water than one planted with non-native species!). Native plants provide both food and shelter for the birds.
  • Reduce or eliminate pesticide and other chemical applications. It’s a problem for the entire ecosystem, including birds, our waterways, and us. ‘Nuff said?
  • Turn off your lights at night! Many migratory birds fly at night, using the stars as their guide. By eliminating light pollution you’re helping them navigate.
  • Reduce window reflections. Millions (500 million on average) of migratory birds die every year by flying into windows. This is especially a problem in cities with tall glass-covered buildings. An article this past spring discussed work that’s being done to try to remedy this by using glass that deters the birds. If you find that the windows in your house are targeted by birds, closing the curtains or putting up large decals (at least for migration season) on those windows may help.

If you’re interested in following along with this season’s migrations, the Cornel Lab of Ornithology produces a bird migration forecast. It discusses what species you should expect to see moving in different regions of the United States. After reading one forecast, it becomes clear that migrations are dependent upon current weather conditions. Some of the best times to see large populations of migrating birds is directly after a cold front passes, leaving clear cool and rain-free days and nights in their wake. A more detailed discussion of the interplay between weather and migrations as well as a discussion of day versus night migrants can be found here. As I mentioned above, many species migrate at night, landing around dawn to feed and rest for the day. If you really want to increase your chances of seeing a wide variety of migrating birds, get out early (when the dew’s still heavy on the cobwebs) and look for the closest native habitat with water.

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Still holding your eyes to the sky, you’ll see September’s full Harvest Moon on the 9th. The first official day of Autumn occurs on September 23rd (Bruce Springsteen’s birthday!) when the sun is directly over the equator and there are nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. Then it’s bye bye sun for us in the Northern Hemisphere. This month’s new moon occurs on the 24th, making it a great evening to get out and look for faint objects in the night’s sky. If you’re looking to find a planet this month, you may have some luck finding Saturn. On September 28th around midnight EDT, the moon will pass just north of Saturn in the constellation Libra. Let us know if you see it!

Fields and Festivals

Have potatoes popped up at your market yet? If not, they should soon! This is the time of year when those crops that require the full summer growing season are finally ready for harvest. You can include apples, pumpkin, and other winter squash on that list too. It’s also a time when the mid-day temperatures start to cool off enough to allow farmer to grow a wider variety of greens again. That’s in addition to the watermelon, summer squash, peppers, and cucumbers that you’ve been enjoying for a few weeks now!

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It was a couple Septembers ago when Sarah and I volunteered at our farmshare’s sweet potato harvest. If you have the opportunity, I think it’s always worth visiting a farm to see how your food is grown and harvested. This farm uses draft horses for anything that would typically require a gasoline-powered tractor. On this day, the horses pulled a plow that would overturn the dirt, unearthing the sweet potatoes in the process. It was our job to follow the plow and separate the potatoes into “firsts”, those without any blemishes, and “seconds”, those that were cut by the plow, nibbled on by mice, or damaged in some other way. Once separated, the potatoes would have to sit out to cure for a couple of days before going into storage. Curing dries their skin, minimizing the chance of the potatoes getting moldy while being stored. What a relaxing, yet invigorating morning that ended with fresh-baked sweet potatoes for lunch!

Since the fair and festival season is dying down (although our favorite Bloomsburg Fair is still to come!), we thought it would be fun to highlight a few of the nature-related holidays that are on the calendar this month.

So much going on, and plenty of days on that list reminding us to take a moment and appreciate this great planet. We hope you’ll do something that makes it a better place this month. Maybe even something that takes some thought and time, like biking to work, planting something native for the migrating birds, or taking those shorter showers.  And of course we hope you celebrate the season’s bounty too – with jugs of apple cider, piles of potatoes, and bushels of beans!

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Ingredient of the Season : Apples

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.

After putting a spotlight on rosemary last spring and mint this past summer, we’re turning our attention away from herbs and focusing on one of our favorite fall fruits : the apple! Get ready for a slew of apple posts; we have plans for everything from pies and crisps to butters and sauces. We’ll probably throw in a trip to an orchard or two, some cider tasting, and some apple crafts. But today we’re just going to start with the facts.

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