DIY Edible Gifts

Do you need a reminder that the holidays are right around the corner? We don’t! WE CAN’T WAIT. too much?

Today we’ve rounded up a few ideas that make perfect edible DIY gifts. There’s a range of options on this list, from nuts in solid and liquid form to citrus peels and marshmallow. Some take a bit more preparation than others (some are so easy you’ll have all of your teacher gifts done in an afternoon). But I may be a bit biased when I say that possibly the best gift on this list is the one that takes the longest to make.

And, as we all know, the best part about giving receiving an edible gift is that you don’t have to remember to put out that neon light up statue of Mt. Rushmore every time Aunt Peggy comes to visit. So get on with it.

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Spiced Mixed Nuts : a truly perfect blend of sweet and spicy. These are super easy to make with basic ingredients (think nuts, honey, cayenne pepper). Just make sure you share more than you eat!

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Hazelnut Liqueur : give this and you will be loved by all. Especially if you pass along a few key serving suggestions, such as mixing a shot into a cup of hot chocolate or a vanilla milkshake. BUT start making this one ASAP, because you need about three weeks of steeping time.

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Marshmallows! : There are so many perks to making your own marshmallows. You can personalize the color and flavor. Cut them out with cute cookie cutter shapes. Pair them with hot co for a real treat. And we aren’t kidding when we claim that these are easy to make.

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Candied Citrus Rinds : Again, another super easy treat. I added chocolate to these, but you can totally skip that. And as a bonus – we shared our orange marshmallows at the bottom of that post.

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Use this post as an excuse to get a jump start on the eating, drinking, and merriment! xo

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Weaving Tree

I want to introduce you to our semi-permanent weaving tree.

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We have a fairly large “backyard”. It doesn’t have grass, and it’s fairly steep in parts. But while it lacks a traditional yard, it comes with a whole lot of adventure.

It’s easy to hike for just a few minutes and completely lose sight of the house. It has great climbing rocks. It has all sorts of wildlife (and the exciting “scat!” that they leave behind).

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I have a goal/vision of wanting to create more magical and adventurous spaces in our wild yard. Places that can become destinations if we’re outside. Some places, like this tree, may encourage the boys to slow down and spend some time there. Other places, like the hillside slides that only exist in my imagination, will zoom the boys down the hill, adding fuel to their already adventurous spirits.
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I started this tree with the boys about a month or so ago. We just wound heavy duty jute around the the two trees, creating a “warp” for us to weave into.

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On that first day, we wove grasses and other natural objects into the weaving tree.

On the day these photographs were taken, I took some wool to the tree. I’m hoping that a few birds may find our yarn and decide to take bits for their nests… although, the boys are such expert knot-makers that the wool may be hard to unwind.

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And that’s perfectly ok. The one rule about the weaving tree is that there’s no right or wrong way to weave.

This zone is for the boys. I want them to know it as a space where they can explore their creativity. When we’re at the tree, I may provide some materials (like the wool), but I’m hoping that they’ll start to experiment with natural materials that they find. Since we’re heading into winter, the pickings are slim, but I would love to see them weaving flowers, herbs, and all sorts of grasses into the rustic loom when spring arrives.
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I referred to this as a semi-permanent space because I’m sure that it will change over time. I’m hoping that the jute lasts long enough for us to create a few substantial weavings, but I’m sure that it will eventually start to break. As it does, we will repair it. live seasoned weaving tree-16 live seasoned weaving tree-15 live seasoned weaving tree-14

If you don’t have good trees or even a backyard, there are other ways that you can create nature weavings at home. This post contains beautiful examples using sticks as the frame and weaving fresh flowers and other foliage into the warp.

Have you created “destinations” in your backyard? If so, I would love to hear about them. I’m always looking for ideas that will excite the boys, both creatively and physically.
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Hexagon Afghan

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This hexagon afghan was crocheted over five (yes, five!) years. To quote little Luc, “(some things) just take a little time”. Granted, he says that when he’s getting ready to jump off the curb, but it’s a good bit of wisdom to remember when working on those seemingly never-ending projects.

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Gift Guides : Dinos in the Kitchen

LIVE SEASONED dino gift guide

Happy Monday! Yesterday we started singing Christmas carols, talking about Santa, and counting down the weeks (six!) until Christmas. With that in mind, we’re rounding up some of our favorite gift ideas – today we’re welcoming dinosaurs into the kitchen. I never realized I needed a taco holder, but now that there are triceratops shaped ones, I need it.

CLOCKWISE: pasta serving spoon / paper towel holder /

taco holder / kids place setting /sandwich cutter

We also love this dino tea strainer, these cookie cutters, and this dino candy mold.

 

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Welcome November

Near the beginning of each month we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us…. this month, as opposed to most, we seem to be focusing on us.

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Gah!

I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to start this post. Sarah made an attempt yesterday, but stalled.

We had a little chat, and I know exactly what our problem is – our minds are going in a million different directions. I find that it often happens at this time of year. We’re trying our best to live in the moment, to enjoy these beautifully crisp fall days, plan a delicious meal with fresh farm share produce, and knit by the fire in the evenings with a mug of cider.

BUT!

But then our mind starts to wonder to the holidays. We start scheming up the gifts that we want to make and special traditions that we want to continue. And since we’re spending so much time inside, let’s think about redecorating that corner of the house that’s been ignored. Then we’re stuck in the Pinterest hole… and well, GAH!

The best thing that I can do for myself is to always make sure that I’m doing *something*. I may chip away at gifts one day, do a bit of cleaning and rearranging another, write plenty of lists to keep my thoughts organized, and bit by bit a clear signal of where life is going rises above the noise.

If your November is off to the same start as ours, I hope you’ll take some time today to get mentally organized and set your intentions for your day/week/month. We love to start by looking back at previous Novembers as we think about how to make the most of the month ahead.

Looking Back

Today I noticed that this is our forth November writing Live Seasoned! You can see what we were talking about during 2014 and 2015 by clicking those links.

In 2016 I think we were feeling the weight of the political climate (I’m sorry to even bring it up!). We didn’t write a Welcome post for the month and after the crazy presidential election, we took the rest of the month off! A clear sign that we needed to turn our energy inwards, comforting and quieting our minds and souls. A year later, I still can’t believe the craziness that has unfolded over the past year, but the elections this past Tuesday have me feeling so hopeful.

November is when we first opened our Etsy shop. Which reminds me that we have to post a few of our most recent potions (they are the best yet!). Look for those soon.

Looking Forward

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for the long dark evenings in the house. We’re all about hygge. For me it means an afghan on every couch, cozy slippers, candles, and a warm toddy in my hand. I’m also looking forward to:

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  • hanging our bird feeders. We hang hummingbird feeders in the summer, but we only hang seeds for the birds during the winter months (when the chances of attracting bears is low). We hang black sunflower seeds in a squirrel-proof feeder. We also hang a few suet feeders around the house knowing that suet’s extra energy can really help the birds during the cold months. We have this one with a tail prop (pic above is from Amazon), and we really do see more woodpeckers at it than the other ones. It’s always exciting to see who comes for a visit!

Festivals and Celebrations

As much as we love our time inside, it’s also good to get out and celebrate the season with others. We love visiting markets at this time of year to pick up gifts for the holidays and to get inspired with ideas for future craft and food projects.

  • November 11-12 : Boulder Mountain Handmade – this is a crafts market that supports our local firemen, whose work is so important for those of us living in the Colorado mountains!
  • November 11-12 : B&N Mini Maker Faires – Barnes and Noble stores across the US are holding mini maker faires this weekend. Last year, our local store invited robotics clubs to present their work and set up a maker zone in the store. We had such a great time and am looking forward to this weekend. Throughout the month, there are many Maker Faires going on across the globe (not associated with B&N).
  • Throughout November : The San Francisco, New York, and Austin Renegade Craft Fairs – this has become a global craft and design fair, and it’s a great way to find local artisans. You can also shop their website if you can’t find a market nearby.

If there’s a festival or craft market that you love – leave a note in the comments!

 

 

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Seasoned View Vol. 29

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find our archive of past months’ views here.

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Welcome, November. Today we’re sharing our joint view. While Katie explored the mountains of Colorado, I biked the streets and swam the cenotes in Mexico. You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or even as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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Taking the Bus from Cancun to Tulum

Curious about international travel? Here’s how to save, here’s how to pack, and here’s your first destination.

live seasoned cancun to tulum bus travel

It’s Monday! Time to daydream for a moment about taking a bus in Mexico. Ohhhh intriguing. A Little bit scary? Meh, it’s amazing. Let me tell you about it. The Yucatan is perfect this time of year. The rainy season just wrapped up and now the weather is quite perfect, warm, but not oppressive. Hurry down soon because once January rolls around, tourists flock to the area for the next couple months.

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