Peace Out 2015!

liveseasoned_winter14_newyearsresolutionsHappy New Year! Here’s my resolution list from last January.  I totally kicked ass in some areas and in others I completely slept.  On that note, I still sleep a whole ton – probably an average of ten hours a night.  It’s just something I can’t kick. Anyway, I decided to cross off the goals that I didn’t meet and instead focus on the ones that I did. Like any year, there were ups and downs, but I’m so thankful to have this blog and my images to look back on.  Here are some sweet moments from 2015.

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This snowy afternoon brought about some of my favorite weather images from 2015 and the background my my resolutions list. I’m currently in Colorado freezing my butt off and coming down with a cold, but if it snowed like this tomorrow and the light was just right, I would shoot for hours.

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Three Champagne and Shrub Cocktails for New Year’s Eve

_DSC1436Happy New Year’s friends!  This morning we took a few minutes from our hectic, kid-wrangling schedule to create some quick and delicious shrub and champagne cocktails.  Shrub is pretty much our favorite mixer and champagne is hands down the alcoholic bevy of New Year’s so boom – this post was born.  If you’re having a dry New Year’s, no worries, just swap out the champagne for seltzer and ignore the liquor suggestions or stir up some of these delicious mocktails instead!  If you’re down to drink, read on!

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Last Minute Gift for Pre-schoolers

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It’s Christmas week!!! We’ve been having so much fun with Alex this year since he really understands that Christmas is something special, but he’s still asking a lot of questions and trying to make sense of what’s going on around him. “When can we open the presents?” “We get to put the tree in our house?!” “It’s Christmas season, but not Christmas day, right?”

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Gifts for the Adventurer

I’ve traveled plenty, most times with the wrong gear, but when it’s right, I’ve never felt more comfortable and relaxed in an unknown environment.  Today I’m sharing my most beloved travel companions, in the way of gear, so you can scope out a great present for the adventurer in your life.  All these items are highly practical and while they may be on the expensive side, they’ll last for half a decade or more.  If you want your wanderer to think of you while they’re abroad, scope out one of these premium gifts and have them travel in comfort and style.  I’ve traveled without most of these items at least once, but never again, never again.

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lightweightdown A quality, packable down jacket. I was absolutely unprepared and frozen in this photo (and for the next few days) taken in Halong Bay, Vietnam.  On my recent trip to Nepal, I made sure to pack a down jacket and it’s a good thing, because I wore it for a week straight on the Annapurna Circuit.

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

Somehow it’s turned into a busy week around here, but some people have more on their to-do lists than others. I mean, Calder’s laughing at us because he hasn’t even started his Christmas shopping yet! How does he do it?

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Boulder got hit with a big snowstorm today and I was totally unprepared. I should have bought that molasses yesterday so we could be making ginger cookies today. Or ran to the craft store so I could put together some other little gifts. Instead, we’re just playing with play dough and eating leftover tortellini. #lifeishard

So, while the boys nap I’m working on a plan for the next few days.

  • We’ll make those ginger cookies.
  • I want to make some of this English toffee (scroll down).
  • I’m waiting for our Christmas cards to come and hoping to pop those in the mail.
  • We don’t include a letter with our cards, but Plum Organic’s holiday letter template has me cracking up. Ours is above. You just answer a few quick questions and the letter is made for you.
  • I just burned some Palo Santo because it makes the fire in our gas fireplace seem a bit more real and rustic.
  • I’m almost done with Luc’s stocking and then I want to start new winter hats for Alex and Luc. While working on this year’s design, I came across Tricksy and think it could be really helpful for future colorwork projects.
  • I’m now in the last-minute personalized gift stage of my shopping, so I’m spending quite a bit of time here and here. How about you?
  • Yesterday I reserved tickets for our first Christmas ride on the Georgetown Loop RR. Santa’s going to be there! I asked Alex what he’ll say when he sees Santa. “I’ll say ‘ho ho ho’ back to him.” Fair enough…. and yesterday he was going around saying “Merry Christmas Everyone!” to everyone. <3

And that’s our snow day, a whole lot of scheming going on over here.

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Tasting Teas : Pu’er Tea with Dried Orange Peel

Tea is our ingredient of the season this winter. We’re using that as an excuse to do a lot of tasting and to share our finds with you. Also, if you like orange-y things,  it was our ingredient of the season last winter!

When Sarah was in town last week, we made it a point to visit Boulder’s Ku Cha House of Tea. We’re excited to tell you more about the shop and its tea house in another post, today I wanted to share some photos and details about the Pu’er tea in a dried tangerine that we took home for our afternoon tea.

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To make this specialty a fermented tea is stuffed into the whole rind or mandarins or tangerines. The stuffed fruit is then left to dry, allowing the tea to absorbs the light citrus aroma. The tea leaves can be brewed alone or with broken pieces of the dried tangerine peel, thereby amplifying the citrus flavor.

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Spending the Holidays Abroad : 6 Ways to Cope

If you’re traveling or teaching abroad, chances are you’ve missed a holiday at home.  Sometimes holidays pass without you noticing, but other times you miss the cookies, the family time, and the traditions that make each holiday complete.  You might start to feel like you’re missing out on something at home.  I’ve been there.  I have eaten at Sizzler in Thailand (somewhere I’ve never dined at in the States!) on Thanksgiving, had pad thai for Christmas dinner, and had to search within my camping backpack for a ‘costume’ on Halloween in the backcountry of California.  It’s different, it’s fun, okay, it’s kinda fun.  You still miss home, family, and tradition, but hopefully these five tips will have you missing all that a little less.  Over the years, I’ve come to realize as much as I don’t really care about holidays, they are still meaningful and it’s always good to treat that day a bit different when it comes around.

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Plan an Epic Adventure – This is definitely my favorite way to spend a holiday away from home.  Plan something so awesome and amazing that you will remember that day as the best holiday for years to come. Climb a volcano, zipline through the jungles of Thailand, or try SCUBA diving for the first time, whatever you do, do it big.  On future holidays you’ll be able to look back at your expedition with a smile as you tell your friends and family about it.  Sharing your stories on the anniversary of the day will allow you to realize that while you may have missed one holiday at home, there will be many more to celebrate with family and friends

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DIY Christmas Gifts

Jingle bells batman smells… We’re back with another round up of Christmas crafts, but this time they’re ones you can gift to your friends.  On Monday, we shared delicious treats that are perfect for giving and today we’ll round out your gift list by adding a few non-edibles for your loved ones.  These DIY gifts range from easy to advanced (mostly because of the ingredients), but we explain everything you’d ever need to know in the posts, so hop to it!  We also sell a few of these items in our Live Seasoned etsy shop if you’re low on time.  All of these homemade gifts have natural, gentle ingredients perfect for any loving home.  We also love to pair these items with other handmade goods to really amplify the maker aspect of these presents.  We love supporting other crafters and creators so after you whip up these potions, browse around on etsy for perfect pairing gifts if you think your loved ones deserve a little more this holiday season.

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DIY Christmas Presents : Eats & Treats

Merry Monday everyone! Christmas is coming quicker than I can handle, so while I shop online today, I’m also going to whip up a few homemade Christmas gifts that everyone on my list will enjoy.  I love giving and receiving edible gifts. Knowing the treats were made with love and care in someone’s kitchen makes them extra enjoyable.  If you still don’t have a present for me, here are a few suggestions 😉 liveseasoned_spring2015_hazelnutliqueur3-1024x889 liveseasoned_spring2015_hazelnutliqueur6

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Two Bits

Sarah and I don’t have two bits to rub together today (hah!), but we are working behind the scenes scheming up some fun stuff for the season.

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In the meantime, our sister Kris sent us a picture early this morning, and she’s totally winning the race on getting crafty with tea. Those are chamomile & lemon bath balms. They look fantastic, and we are so excited to do some product testing for her ;-).

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