Podcast Suggestions {Earth Day Edition}

Hey party podcast people! Remember way back in January when we shared our goals for 2015? Well, one of mine was spreading the news about great podcasts.  Maybe you listen to them and maybe you don’t, but after reading this you MUST.  Podcasts are pretty nifty. I think of them like blogs for the radio.  Some podcasts have huge budgets and a big staff and others are created by an individual out of their home office (or closet!).  Plenty of podcasts are free and simply ask for donations if you really dig the program, but obviously you don’t have to give any money if you can’t spare it.   Podcasts are really easy to download (for free!) and you can also subscribe to your favorites and they’ll automatically upload to your phone, computer or ipod each time there’s a new one.  I find podcasts through iTunes, but if you use a different music program just do a quick google search and you’ll certainly find a tutorial about how to find, download and subscribe to podcasts.

I loveeee listening to podcasts because radio is awesome, but commercials suck!  It’s also nice to be able to really control what you’re listening to in the car.  I get so frustrated, annoyed and tired if I don’t have something good playing on the radio.  I love music, but sometimes I want to learn something nifty in my spare time and podcasts are perfect for bits of information or unique perspectives on different topics.  Today I’m going to share some recent interesting episodes that have a little something to do with the environment, ’cause ya know, earth day was yesterday and arbor day is tomorrow! Did you do anything special for yourself and our planet yesterday?  I hiked to the top of Mount Sanitas and I won’t forget about it anytime soon – SO sore. Totally worth it of course!

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  • Freakonomics – Why Bad Environmentalism Is Such An Easy Sell - I cannot sing enough praises for Freakonomics Podcast. Their tagline is “the hidden side of everything” and they really stick to it! I learn something new with each episode.  This podcast really challenges my approach to thinking about different topics too. The episode I linked to is a perfect example.
  • The Memory Palace – Lost Pigeons & The Arctic Bowhead Whale – This is a super short podcast, only about three minutes, but that’s one of the reasons I love The Memory Palace. It’s quick.  It’s like a song, but it’s a tidbit about the past.  Again, I learn a lot from this podcast, especially about historical figures that don’t make it into history books.  Usually I fall asleep upon hearing the word history, but each podcast is so short that I stay awake and I pay attention :)
  • Strangers – Falling Slowly – This episode in particular is really heavy so just know that going in.  It’s definitely worth a listen though.  Strangers took me a little bit to get used to mainly because of the narrator’s voice, I just couldn’t place it, but after hearing that she’s a Denmark native and that she records her episodes in a closet, the tone and sound made more sense and was easier to listen to. Who knows, maybe it won’t phase you at all, but it really threw me off at first.
  • Stuff You Should Know – Will We Soon Be Extinct? – This podcast is extremely easy to listen to.  The Stuff You Should Know hosts are funny dweebs and they basically do a bunch of research for you on a specific topic or question.  I love this podcast for its conversational tone and approachability to topics that could seem a little overwhelming if tackled by oneself.  The internet is an enormous resource, but these two hosts dig around, find a bunch of good sources and spell it all out for you.
  • Invisibilia – Entanglement – This may be my favorite podcast episode of all time. The Invisibilia podcast is about invisible forces that shape human behavior, which is intriguing because you end up learning a lot about yourself during these podcasts.  Do we really act on our own accord? I’m not so sure.. anyway, this episode talks about how we’re all connected and touches on a story about synesthesia, which is so damn interesting I had to listen to it twice.  I don’t want to give anymore of the episode away, just go listen to it right meow! All the episodes of Invisibilia are stellar so subscribe!
  • Radiolab – Galapagos –  Radiolab is like a science and philosophy lesson combined with stories about you and me.  They interview a bunch of great folks and each episode is on a unique topic.  There are actually a bunch of great environmental episodes so if you’re really interested in that type of thing (and you should be :) ) go ahead and subscribe to Radiolab!

I think that should take up a fair amount of your weekly commute!  If you don’t listen to podcasts DOOO IT. It will change your life. Really. You will actually value your time in the car instead of pressing scan a billion times and cursing your flimsy car antenna. If you’re not crazy about the environmental theme than leave a comment about topics you’d like to listen to and I’ll suggest some goodies!

 

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Making a Space for Native Bees

Happy Earth Day (again)! We’re excited to check in this afternoon with a second post, especially one about making a space for native bees in your backyard!

You may not be aware, but the honey bees that we all know and love for the pollination services and delicious honey are not native to North America. The bees arrived in North America by Europeans in the 17th century, and they are such efficient pollinators that over time our agriculture became dependent upon the insects. This dependency is due in part to honey bees living in such large colonies that we are able to easily move from field to field in portable hives. I love the idea of fostering different habitats in our backyard for a variety of animals from birds to insects to mammals; especially since observing these animals in our backyard is such a simple way to introduce and connect Alex and Luc to nature. As such, one day I would love to have a colony of honeybees in my backyard, but I know that requires time that I don’t have right now to learn about their care and monitor the hives throughout the year, not to mention the work that would be required to collect the honey. Meanwhile, our native bees are really interesting insects that receive relatively little attention yet are the perfect guests for a low maintenance backyard! Knowing that, we thought Earth Day was the perfect time to encourage everyone to invite these gentle creatures into your yard!

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Today when discussing native bees, we’re referring specifically to Mason Bees, of which, there are over 100 species in North America. Unlike honey bees that live in large colonies, Mason bees are solitary insects and they do not produce honey. Another difference between the two types of bees is that Mason bees do not sting unless squeezed or stepped on. For that reason and for their interesting nesting habits (read more below!), they are a great bee to encourage to nest in your backyard; kids will enjoy watching them create their nests without the threat of being stung!

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Happy Earth Day!

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Greetings fellow earthlings and a happy earth day to each of you!  You may have noticed a major theme on Seasoned is our love of mother nature so naturally earth day is one of our favorite environmental holidays.  Earth day is pretty awesome for a number of reasons: there are a bunch of great events held around the world and at educational facilities, these events spark interest in folks and may lead to greater environmental awareness and responsibility on an individual and business level, and it gives us an excuse to talk about how much we love the natural environment.

We are all SO LUCKY to have an amazing planet that puts up with our shit. Am I right?  I feel absolutely blessed (a term I never use, this might be the first time actually) to step outside in the morning and take a deep breath.  To experience natural wonders large and small. To be rained on. To get sun burnt. To see wildlife and to get stung by bees. Nature is wonderful and it’s powerful.  If you’ve never felt absolutely stunted and small because of the natural environment around you, it’s time to climb a mountain or paddle a kayak far away from the shore.  There is nothing I love more than feeling absolutely terrified of how small and insignificant I truly am when I’m in the presence of a monolithic landscape.  It is times like these that I realize oceans and mountains will and should be here long after I’m gone.  They should be enjoyed and appreciated for centuries and they shouldn’t be taken for granted, not even for a day, which is why I love earth day so damn much.  It’s the largest, most celebrated environmental holiday in the world and thank god mother nature. It’s one measly day, but I’m ecstatic that we even have that because maybe someone who littered yesterday will know better today and teach someone else why it’s wrong tomorrow.  What message are you passing on today? How are you bettering this beautiful planet that we have the privilege to live on?  If you can’t make it to an event today, simply go outside and marvel at the world we live in and remember, earth does not belong to man, man belongs to earth.

Later today we’ll share a little project that was inspired by earth day, but until then, check out these eco-sculptures we featured last earth day or learn how to take better photos of the natural world.

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Arugula Walnut Pesto

Nuts are our ingredient of the season. We’ve been using them for sweets, drinks, and snack bars. Today we’re finally using them for a savory condiment!

I didn’t even know I was looking for it, but I found my new favorite condiment in this arugula walnut pesto! I think I overdid the traditional basil and pine nut pesto, because the past few times I’ve had it, I just wasn’t excited by the flavor, but the peppery-ness of the arugula and parmesan combined with the savory walnuts and olive oil and the zing of fresh garlic allows this pesto to brighten any dish, creating the perfect cure for grey days when you’re faced with another late spring snow!

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I have to admit, I didn’t go to the grocery store with arugula on my list and the intention of making this pesto, but when a super-sized container of arugula landed in our fridge,  I was looking for a way to use it up!

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Nutty Links

Hey all you nuts!  We heard some pretty interesting stuff about almonds, pecans, walnuts and the rest of the gang lately and we wanted to share it here.  As we thought about past stories to feature, we realized most of them are from the same news site; the research is funded by a variety of sources though.  After reading through these links, you could probably guess what station our car radios are tuned to right now!

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Walnuts improve brain performance!

Apparently a handful of nuts a day keeps the doctor away.

If you listen to NPR regularly, you may have heard the story about almonds drain on California’s already stressed water supply. They may use a lot of water, but as others are reporting, per calorie of food produced, using water to raise beef or dairy cattle is less efficient per calorie.

In Texas, groves of wild pecan trees are being cut down and plowed over to make room for specialty pecan orchards that are favored in Chinese markets.  Unfortunately this means the future of the wild pecan tree, which is also the state tree of Texas, is being threatened.

If you’re a sad sufferer of nut allergies, you may live to see a solution. Three cheers for molecular biologists!

As you know, we’re a fan of nut butters, especially homemade nutella.  This nut butter cookbook looks like an intriguing kitchen companion.

We’ll leave you with this delicious looking peanut butter snack cake by one of the cutest cooking bloggers we follow.

Happy Monday!

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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.

 

Katie Here:

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Hey there! After one week of paternity leave, Calder was back at work this week, and I was slowly learning what our days would look like with two little guys. Right now they’re long and lazy, which isn’t too bad :-). Luc spends a lot of time in the Ergo, while Alex continues about his days with lots of requests to “go side” (i.e. go outside) and for “popcols” (popsicles). Alex also takes any chance he gets to give Baby Luc a kiss, and Luc seems to be a good sport about taking all of the kisses and love taps from his big brother in stride. So, all in all, these days couldn’t get any better are going to be even more fun when Sarah arrives this weekend!

Sarah Here:

What a week!  Lots of hikes and a bunch of work. Tonight I’ll pack my bags for Boulder and hang out with Catahoula Cash.  Kev is at a conference this weekend and originally I planned on joining him, until we remembered we had a dog. Oh yeah. Whoops!

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Happy Friday!

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DIY Macrame Plant Hangers

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Macrame has long been my favorite fiber art.  Although there are some crazy complex macrame pieces out there, when it comes down to it, you’re just tying knots!  Making macrame plant hangers are similar to making friendship bracelets except on a slightly larger scale and at the end of the summer you don’t have to cut them off.  This project is great for beginngers and advanced fiber artists alike (yes, you’ll be a fiber artist if you create one of these plant hangers ;) ) because you can tie a couple familiar knots or mess around with complex combinations of knots – it’s totally up to you.  I’m basically giving you an outline of how to make a plant hanger, but I want you to flex your creative muscles and make it your own unique macrame piece.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of the finished pieces either, so feel free to tag us.

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Welcome Baby Luc!

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While we’ve mentioned that the newest member of the Live Seasoned family arrived, we thought it was time to formally introduce the little guy! Meet Luc Turning Muir D.

I was 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant (more on that in another post!) when I went into labor with the help of the full moon. Luc arrived on Easter after a relatively easy labor, weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces and measuring 19 inches long. In his short time on the outside, he’s been a champion eater and sleeper!

More about his name ~

  • His first name is pronounced like Luke.
  • His big brother Alex calls him baby Luc, and now we do too :-)
  • He’s named Turing after Alan Turing, the inventor of the computer
  • And Muir after John Muir, the naturalist

I hope you’re ready for a few more baby-related posts because we’re having too much fun photographing and caring for this little guy.

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Homemade Nutella

 Nuts are our ingredient of the season. You can visit our full archive of nut posts here.

When we picked nuts as our ingredient of the season, I was excited because I knew it would encourage me to try some new recipes, and this homemade nutella is the perfect example. We are a nutella-loving household, but I had never thought to make my own until now.

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If you aren’t familiar with Nutella, it’s a chocolate and hazelnut-based spread from Italy. The original recipes consisted of mostly chocolate and hazelnut, but unfortunately the main ingredients for the modern recipe are sugar and palm oil. And that’s why this is a treat worth making at home, because as you’ll see, this recipe has a solid base of hazelnuts and chocolate. Of course, it also means that making this batch will cost more than picking up a jar from your local market, particularly if you buy quality hazelnuts and choclate, but I think you’ll discover that it’s worth the price. Additionally, jars of homemade nutella make great gifts from the kitchen {in fact, if only I had thought about it sooner, this would have been the perfect treat for Easter baskets!}.

Homemade Nutella

Homemade Nutella

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Toast the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet in a 350F oven. Be sure to stir them every few minutes, and they will be done when they just start to brown and their skins blister (may take anywhere from 7-10 minutes).
  2. Once done, immediately pour the nuts onto a clean kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. It's ok if some skins remain stuck to the nuts. Let them cool completely before using.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (we like to use a pyrex measuring cup in a pot of simmering water).
  4. In a food processor, finely grind the hazelnuts until they begin to form a paste. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla, and continue processing until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Add the melted chocolate and blend well.
  5. If there are any chunks of hazelnuts, strain them out. The nutella will be thin and runny until it cools. It will keep on the counter for up to two weeks (if it lasts that long!).
http://liveseasoned.com/homemade-nutella/

It’s common to spread nutella on toast, but that doesn’t interest me. I prefer it with a banana or on a scoop of vanilla ice cream. How do you eat your nutella? Straight from the spoon?

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You Are Enough

ENOUGH

You have enough. You do enough. You are enough.  I’m constantly thinking about abundance, about enoughness.  I feel as though I have so much and yet my bank account is never abundant.  It’s always almost completely empty. Yes, like empty, empty.  Why? Because my bills life is abundant.  I’m paying for college, for rent, for food, for gas, mostly for gas actually.  I have enough.  I could live off the food in my fridge for at least another two weeks, but I’ll probably go grocery shopping tomorrow.  My clothes will last years before they grow holes, but I’ll buy a new dress this summer.  My bank account could use some fluffing, but instead I’ll drain it for a plane ticket to Colorado. Abundance. Abundance and the piece of mind to grasp onto all these good things and enjoy them while I can because while life is abundant today we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

I’m constantly struggling with this idea of work and money and time and life.  It’s pretty confusing and I’m sure none of us have it completely figured out.  I do know that I value my time and happiness above all else, money included, which is why I will try to make this freelancing thing work as long as I can.  I know money buys pretty things and it buys travel, something I adore, but it doesn’t make life any easier, although I’m sure sometimes it appears to make life less stressful.  Each day I strive to experience the world on my own terms without the comfort of a 9-5 job.  Some days it’s really easy and other days months I cannot seem to find enough gigs to pay the rent.  It’s really shitty sometimes and somehow you feel that failure to find work independently as a reflection of yourself instead of our society that values worker bees instead of happy ones.  It’s tough, but there’s enough to go around.  I could easily get a different job, but an bigger bank account does not equate to increased abundance, at least not the kind I’m thinking of.  Abundance is spare time, happiness, and laughter.  Abundance is care packages, volunteering and bartering.  Abundance is a million things and each of us know how to practice abundance in our own way.  If you yearn abundance, share some of your own and it will come back to you.  Until then, know that you have enough. You do enough. You are enough.  That is my current mantra and it would delight me if some of you adopted it today and tomorrow and forever.

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