Hey, it’s almost the end of February! Often one of the hardest months to get through mentally because we’re all getting a bit sick of winter’s cold, snow, and short days. BUT ~ March starts next week, and while more snow is sure to fall, it seems to be that it’s also the month when we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So we just wanted to wish you a warm and cozy weekend, full of winter indulgences like afternoon matinees in front of cozy fires with big bowls of simmering soup, because before we know it, this season will be far in the rearview mirror and our weekends will be packed with all the projects that those warm and sunny spring days initiate.
At the end of each season, we take a look back and highlight our favorite posts. See previous Seasonal Bests here.
Even though it doesn’t feel like spring, we’re happy to turn our sights towards longer days, warmer weather, and a variety of new topics starting with the introduction of our ingredient of the season next week! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy clicking back through our favorite posts of winter. If you had a fave we didn’t mention, we would love to hear in the comments!
Best of Soups & Sides
- Sarah’s pick: I’ve been eating this crab chowder recipe for the past twenty years, but it is still one of my favorite soups of all time.
- Katie’s pick: I never thought of myself as a creamy chicken soup fan, but we were introduced to an amazing version this winter!
Best of Desserts
Best of Drinks
Best of Crafts
- Sarah’s pick: I have no idea how to knit, but I still love reading Kate’s Project Sweater Updates.
- Katie’s pick: I loved everything about our new Christmas stockings, that they were so easy and fast to make, and that I know they’ll be hanging on our mantel for years to come!… now to think up a forth design for next year.
Best of Potions
- Sarah’s pick: I know this Natural Orange Cleaner isn’t for your skin, but this potion is so cheap and helpful around here!
- Katie’s pick: Lotion bars, as they’ve now become a staple in our dry Colorado climate!
Best of Nature
- Sarah’s pick: I say this with painful pangs of jealousy in my heart: I love reading about Katie’s snowshoeing adventures in the Rocky Mountains.
- Katie’s pick: I (finally) got one of the ENO hammocks for Christmas that the rest of my siblings have been raving about, so Sarah’s tips for winter hammocking really struck a cord.
Best of Travel
- Sarah’s pick: I had so much fun writing this post about How To: Save for Travel and creating a budget and savings plan for my trip to Nepal later this year.
- Katie’s pick: The German Christmas Markets post was such a fun read for me because it took me right back to our trip, and made me wish that I could steal away a week to visit the markets every December!
I’m a big fan of crispy, salty snacks, but I feel pretty bad about myself when I eat an entire bag of kettle cooked chips. Maybe you don’t, which I applaud you for, and that case go open another bag while you read this recipe. I think these garlic and parmesan roasted chickpeas are the perfect substitute for potato chips because they provide the crunch and the salt that I’m craving, but they also pack some protein. They’re baked, not fried like chips, and really you could season them however you see fit. I recently kicked my chips and dip habit (thank you, thank you very much) and I found I’m baking these up quite often to satisfy my salt tooth. Is that a thing? It is for me at least.
Hey travel bugs! I’m extremely amped to write this post full of tips about saving money for travel because I’m in the midst of a big savings year right meow! I have a huge trip planned for the end of 2015 and if I want to make it a reality I need to keep it at the forefront of my consciousness. For me, a big part of successful savings starts with being mindful of it. If I’m always thinking about the trip and being frugal, I’m much more likely to skip the little extras: the cup of coffee, the random tank top, the $4 bar of delicious dark chocolate, you get the picture. This post applies to any big ticket item you want to save for not just a trip. Maybe you want to splurge and get a fancy new DSLR (and by you I mean me), or pay off a huge chunk of student loans, or put aside money for your snazzy wedding, whatever you’re planning, you can save for it and these tips can help you!
Step One: Estimate Your Travel Costs
First things first. How much do you actually need to save? I get questions like this all the time: ‘how much should I save for a cross country road trip’ or ‘how much do you think I need for two weeks in Brazil’ and at first these questions seem unanswerable, but in truth, they’re pretty easy requests and they can be worked out with a pen, paper and a tiny bit of research. The short of it: what I need for a cross country road trip is probably not what you need for a cross country road trip. Why? Because we all have different lifestyles and ways of traveling. That’s why it’s important for YOU to estimate your own travel costs and don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.
This is the third post in a series where I’m slowly taking you on the adventure* of figuring out how to recreate the sweater above. The original sweater belongs to a friend and has been well-loved and well-worn for at least a decade or so. Over that time, it also became slightly felted. I’m knitting a new sweater to be exactly like the old in every way except length – the new one will be a touch longer (one diamond cable’s length).
In the first post, I introduced you to the sweater, it’s three cable patterns, two yarn options, and two swatches using those yarns. Both of those swatches were too small to match the original sweater, but I was able to work out the stitch patterns. By the second post, I had found a yarn and needle combination that produced a swatch that was the perfect match to the sweater! I also discussed blocking in that post.
Today I’m back to share a minor update ~ mainly that actual sweater knitting has commenced, and I’m about halfway done with the body of the sweater!
I also wanted to share my initial pattern notes for each of the cables. I often see a cable stitch that I’d like to incorporate into my own projects, but if it’s part of another pattern then I either have to buy the pattern of figure it out through trial and error. Of course, sometimes I get lucky and will find exactly what I’m looking for in a stitch guide, but even that takes a bit of hunting. Each of these distinct cable patterns can be incorporated into any variety of projects, from hats and sweaters, to throw pillows and afghans.
The notes are written as if you’re knitting in the round and moving along each row from right to left, which is often the case for a sweater. If you need any help translating them to a flat piece of knitting, please let me know!
Worked over 7 stitches and 4 rows.
- Row 1 : purl 2, knit 3, purl 2
- Row 2 : purl 2, pass the third stitch on the left needle over the two stitches before it, knit 1, yarn over, knit 1, purl two
- Rows 3 & 4 : purl 2, knit 3, purl 2
Worked over 14 stitches and 22 rows.
- Row 1 : knit all stitches
- Row 2 : knit 1, purl 5, c1b, purl 5, knit 1
- Row 3 : knit all stitches
- Row 4 : knit 1, purl 4, c1r, c1l, purl 4, knit 1
- Row 5 : knit 6, purl 2, knit 6
- Row 6 : knit 1, purl 3, c1r, purl 2, c1l, purl 3, knit 1
- Row 7 : knit 5, purl 4, knit 5
- Row 8 : knit 1, purl 2, c1r, purl 4, c1l, purl 2, knit 1
- Row 9 : knit 4, purl 6, knit 4
- Row 10 : knit 1, purl 1, c1r, purl 6, c1l, purl 1, knit 1
- Row 11 : knit 3, purl 8, knit 3
- Row 12 : knit 1, c1r, purl 8, c1l, knit 1
- Row 13 : knit 2, purl 10, knit 2
- Row 14 : knit 1, c1l, purl 8, c1r, knit 1
- Row 15 : knit 3, purl 8, knit 3
- Row 16 : knit 1, purl 1, c1l, purl 6, c1r, purl 1, knit 1
- Row 17 : knit 4, purl 6, knit 4
- Row 18 : knit 1, purl 2, c1l, purl 4, c1r, purl 2, knit 1
- Row 19 : knit 5, purl 4, knit 5
- Row 20 : knit 1, purl 3, c1l, purl 2, cir, purl 3, knit 1
- Row 21 : knit 6, purl 2, knit 6
- Row 22 : knit 1, purl 4, c1l, c1r, purl 4, knit 1
- c1b ~ place next stitch on cable needle and hold to the back, knit 1 next stitch from left needle, knit the stitch on the cable needle
- c1r ~ place next stitch on the cable needle and hold to back, knit next stitch from left needle, purl the stitch on the cable needle
- c1l ~ place next stitch on the cable needle and hold to front, purl next stitch on left needle, knit the stitch on the cable needle
The pattern below is for four bobbles, two worked in one row and two worked in a second row, with the bobbles alternating in a vertical pattern. The four bobbles are worked over a multiple of 10 stitches 4 rows. I like this bobble pattern because they lay flatter and don’t seem to eat up as much yarn as some of the more traditional bobbles.
- Cast on 3 stitches.
- Set-up row. Knit 1, k1fb into next two stitches, knit 1, k1fb into next two stitches, for a total of 10 stitches.
- Row 1 : (k1,p1,k1,p1) into the first stitch, k4tog through the back of their loops, (k1,p1,k1,p1) into the next stitch, k4tog through the back of their loops
- Row 2 : purl all stitches
- Row 3 : k4tog through the back of their loops, (k1,p1,k1,p1) into the next stitch, k4tog through the back of their loops, (k1,p1,k1,p1) into the next stitch
- Row 4 : purl all stitches
- Repeat rows 1 – 4
*Go ahead, you can laugh at my use of the word adventure to describe this series, and if you do, know that I won’t be inviting you over for knit night ;-).
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
I have to admit, this is a week I’m happy to put behind me. Nothing bad actually happened, just a consistent flow of minor stumbles. And since this is all I have to share, I’m sharing it ~ maybe you’ll get a laugh, or you can commiserate if your week was equally blah. The babysitter arrives, I leave the house with my laptop to work, sit down at the coffee shop and realize that my laptop’s COMPLETELY (won’t even turn on) uncharged and I don’t have a plug. Next day, I finally try on a sweater that I knit for Alex, photo above. He looks sooooo stinking cute, but I know that the sweater’s going to fit him for about three days before he grows out of it. We had to take our car to the garage, and what should have been a 30 minute trip turned into a 2.5 hour adventure because of the silliest traffic jam at a freeway onramp. Yesterday the little man gets sick. Today, he wakes up at 4:30 throwing up, so I wake up at 4:30 to be thrown up on. awesome. Fortunately, the high note of the week is that he seems to have the bug out of his system. How do I know? Around 9 this morning he requested cold refried beans for breakfast (no joke!). I was hesitant to serve them, but then I figured, maybe his little body knows. He ate about a quarter of a can, and he’s been as happy as a clam ever since. Ending the week on a high note!
I almost feel bad writing this after I read Kate’s Two Bits, but this week may have been the best of 2015! These past two months work has been slooooooow. To keep the cost of my business low, I don’t advertise. I get a lot of work through referrals or by seeking it out myself and for the most part that works out really well for me, but sometimes there’s nothing going on. Fortunately my luck changed and last week I worked in Houston, Texas and this past week I had a really cool gig at the North Carolina Central University Art Museum. Those jobs left me feeling motivated, which is so much better than how I’ve been feeling about work and my own self worth.
Besides the photo gigs, I accepted a new part time position at a local pottery studio! I’m super excited to work on production as well as all their media materials. I can’t wait to have a project to work on that isn’t so personal. It’s nice to be a little bit removed so that I can clearly look at the brand and figure out how to represent it in the best possible way. I’m also pumped to get out of my house and into a studio a couple days a week. The studio is way out in the country side near the Haw River, which is a really pretty drive from my house. No more hermit-working-from-home lifestyle for me! Well, at least for two days a week. 😉
I’m certainly not the first person to pair gnocchi with peas, parmesan and herbs, but it was such a great combination that I had to share it here in case you haven’t tried it yet. I made gnocchi the day before with vodka sauce and it was AWFUL. Like so bad I couldn’t finish it so I tried again with an even easier take on the sauce.. garlic and herbs all day in this house. I was able to put this all together in less than twenty minutes, which means it’s the perfect ‘I don’t wanna cook, but I want a nice warm meal’ type of dish. If you’re vegan, leave out the parmesan and maybe substitute in some toasted pine nuts. You’ll also have to replace the butter, but that’s an easy one.
Even though our days are packed, one of the things that we always make time for is keeping up with the news. We think it’s important to be well informed citizens, so we read everything, but by far our favorite articles are those covering science, environmental, travel, and adventure topics. Today we thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite sources of science and travel news, and we would love to hear yours!
- Science Daily – I think this is one of the most comprehensive sources of science news on the web. It covers every topic from environment (our favorite) to health and physics to technology, making their subject lists extensive and easy to browse for the precise topic you are interested in. I also love that they start each article with a brief summary of key points. I dare you to go to their site and not waste a few hours skimming articles.
- NY Times – who doesn’t love the NY Times Science section? I particularly love their videos, illustrations, and interactive features (like this one explaining the higher number of earthquakes associated with drilling for geothermal energy in California). If you’re a teacher, those short videos can be such a great supplement to lessons; I would use them all the time at the college level, but since they are writing for the layperson, I think the material works at the high school level too.
Beyond the sites listed above, we like to follow a number of organizations doing good work. These entities all have their own websites, which is what I’m sharing below, but realizing that I don’t have time to visit their sites regularly, I’ve found that it’s much easier to keep up with their work by following them on Facebook (i.e. liking their page). This makes my Facebook feed so much more interesting and educational, and you’ll often find us sharing stories from these sites on our Live Seasoned Facebook feed. In fact, I find myself opening it with the intention of “reading the news”; crazy, huh?! Anyway, here are a few of our favorites:
- National Park Service – Being lovers of national parks, it’s a no-brainer to follow this feed. They share bits of history as well as current events happening in the parks across the country. For example, the photo above was posted last week and introduced us to the Yukon Quest!
- Specific National Parks – similarly, we follow some of our favorite national parks, like Canyonlands so that we get all updates (from road closures to animal sitings) from our favorite parks.
- IFL Science – and finally, one of our favorite Facebook pages, with the best name is I F*cking Love Science. They often share some of the more bizarre science news as well as hot topics.
So that’s where we get a lot of our science news. Hopefully we’ve introduced you to something new and exciting. And we would love to hear from you! If you’ve discovered something that we haven’t mentioned, please tell us about it in the comments.
I really didn’t know what to call this warm milk creation. I certainly don’t want to call it that. It is kind of a mix between horchata and Spanish rice pudding, but I wouldn’t want to offend anyone by calling it that because I made this recipe up. I don’t really know if it is anything like authentic Spanish rice pudding or Mexican horchata and that’s why we’ll refer to it as Sarah’s warm winter drink, a name that’s completely non-descriptive, whoops. It’s a pretty awesome drink though and you can make it several different ways so don’t let its disappointing name discourage you. Vegan? We got you covered too. Like most recipes and projects on Seasoned, we try to give you the gist of the recipe, but encourage you to make it your own. Katie and I cook depending on seasonal ingredients and what’s in our cupboards, which means lots of these recipes are adaptable.
Hey there! We’ve checked out to start our long weekend a bit early. See you back here next week! xoxo