A Few of my Favorite Things

Happy Friyay! If it’s not feeling great, you have until the end of this post to flip the script and change your moody mood. Don’t rob yourself of a fun ol’ Friday, cause really just don’t rob yourself of anything, except maybe extra work. I woke up, looked around my room and felt all these little pangs of gratitude and happiness for the inanimate objects that surrounded me so I wanted to share a few of them with you. You can admire along with me or minimize this window and make your own little list of favorite things in your life at the moment. Whatevs, y’all!

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That’s that. Just woke up and felt grateful for a few small, but very meaningful little things in my life and wanted to share. Hopefully, as you wander through your day you open your eyes up to all the little things that make your life more joyful and you send them some appreciation.

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Read With Me : The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Want to know something neat? Each time you click through to Amazon from our website, we are kicked back a few cents from each purchase with no extra cost to you. If you ever feel like going wild on Amazon, click through from our site and you’ll be supporting us at the same time! Thanks, yo.

Hey, hey, back with another Read With Me post. If you remember from A Year in Readview, I mentioned Mark Manson’s, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, was on my list. My Pop actually gifted me this book for Christmas, which we finally celebrated two weekends ago.  Once I opened The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, I finished it in two days.

Funny, well-written, and easy to read, this book gives some great advice and introduces a few new give fewer fucks concepts that are surprisingly easy to digest. I was surprised at how counter-intuitive some of the advice seemed to me, but sure enough, by the end of the page, Mark had me nodding along in agreement. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck provides concise, rational arguments for caring a little less. I will certainly be incorporating some of Mark’s tidbits into my meditation practices and classes.

You’ll Enjoy Reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck If :

  • You tend to care too much about everything – people, your job, your problems, etc.
  • You need guidance on what you should focus on / care about.
  • You think you should be happy, but you aren’t quite there yet.
  • You haven’t learned to appreciate the shittier things in life yet.
  • You need a mini pep talk. You want to take responsibility for your life.
  • You’re constantly chasing highs, but not feeling fulfilled.
  • You want to be pointed in the right direction.
  • You want to feel comfortable with your life and therefore your mortality.
  • You are in the business of being a life coach or counselor in some capacity (there are a bunch of great takeaways to share).

Again, I wanted to fill in the benefits of reading list I shared on the Read With Me post with actual examples from the book I finished today, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. I may end up doing this with every book I read this year. I feel like it’s a good review and it tests my list and hey, it might possibly expand it too. We’ll see.

Why We Should Read More Often :

Expands your vocabulary and improves your writing

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck provides a lot of anecdotal evidence. Chapter after chapter, a person was introduced, their story shared, and an argument made. I think this formulaic pattern emphasized an author’s ability (in this case Mark’s) to create the bones of a book that would make readers feel more comfortable and familiar as the chapters progressed. The reader knows basically what to expect with each chapter.

Improves your understanding of the world

In this case, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, improved my philosophical understanding of the world and gave me a few new concepts to process even if they were initially counterintuitive like the following: “Until we change how we view ourselves, what we believe we are and are not, we cannot overcome our avoidance and anxiety. We cannot change. In this way, “knowing yourself” or “finding yourself” can be dangerous. It can cement you into a strict role and saddle you with unnecessary expectations. It can close you off to inner potential and outer opportunities. I say don’t find yourself. I say never know who you are. Because that’s what keeps you striving and discovering. And it forces you to remain humble in your judgments and accepting of the differences in others.”

Prepares you to take action and create change

Again, the action and change creation are more personal in this book. Manson offers practical advice for going about your daily life and some great advice. Even being reminded of concepts I currently employ was super helpful, like so: “…the solution lies in the acceptance and active engagement of a negative experience – not the avoidance of it, not the salvation from it.”

Boosts your imagination and creativity and improves brain function

I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck with a pen in hand. I was constantly underlining quotes and passages and making notes in the margins. This book allowed me to look at meditation and mindfulness from a different perspective. I will certainly incorporate Manson’s themes into my mindfulness exercises and practices, which will help to reach a broader audience, but also to switch up the language I am used to using with my students.  I appreciated Mark Manson’s perspective and capabilities to explain it concisely and therefore his influence in broadening my own views.

Reading sets a great example for those around you

Reading a book with the word F*CK on it certainly turned some heads. Hopefully, if those people gave too many fucks about the curse on the cover they managed to pick it up and take a look some day.

A few* favorite lines/takeaways from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck:

Say, “Fuck it,” not to everything in life, but rather to everything unimportant in life.

An obsession and overinvestment in emotion fails us for the simple reason that emotions never last.

People who become great at something become great because they understand that they’re not already great – they are mediocre, they are average – and that they could be so much better.

The knowledge and acceptance of your own mundane existence will actually free you to accomplish what you truly wish to accomplish, without judgment or lofty expectations.

Everything we think and feel about a situation ultimately comes back to how valuable we perceive it to be.

Often the only difference between a problem being painful or being powerful is a sense that we chose it, and that we are responsible for it.

Fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense.

Certainty is the enemy of growth.

The more you embrace being uncertain and not knowing, the more comfortable you will feel in knowing what you don’t know.

**There are so many more passages and tidbits I could pull, but this list was getting lengthy.

Books I’m reading now :

How Emotions Are Made : The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

1984 by George Orwell

Books I’ve finished in 2018 :

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Tao of Pooh – I read this again as part of Meditative Mondays. You should give it a go!

The Nature Fix – read my thoughts on that here.

Invisible Monsters – read my thoughts on that here.

The Sun and Her Flowers

Again, this isn’t a competition, but if it was……..

Pages read in 2018 : 1344

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Ginger Whoopie Pies

Ginger is our ingredient of the season. You can find our archive of ginger recipes here.

I love a good spice cake. In my book, there’s only one way to improve any good cake : make it portable! That must be why the whoopie pie was invented.

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If you’re unfamiliar with a whoopie pie, let us introduce you. These are small treats made by sandwiching frosting between two small circular cakes. Most commonly, the cakes are chocolate and the frosting is vanilla, but I always felt lucky when I found a place selling the chocolate pies with peanut butter frosting!

Growing up in PA, it was common to see individual whoopie pies wrapped and for sale at farmer’s markets and near the cash registers of mom & pop markets. If you’re in Philly – stop into Reading Terminal and pick up a whoopie pie from the Amish stand. You can thank me later.

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Today we’re sharing a recipe for ginger whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting. This recipe comes from the cookbook (appropriately named) Whoopie Pies. While this is still a fairly common whoopie pie flavor, that book is filled with a wide variety of cake and frosting options for mixing and matching.

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Ginger Whoopie Pies

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 Tbsp shortening
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients: all ingredients from flour through nutmeg.
  3. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar on low speed. Increase to high speed and beet for an additional 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg, beat well. Add the molasses, and again beat well.
  4. Add half of the dry mixture and half of the buttermilk to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add in the remaining dry mixture and buttermilk, and beat until fully combined.
  5. Drop approximately 2 Tbsp scoops of batter onto the prepared baking sheets (leaving about 2 inches of space between each one).
  6. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10-12 minutes. The pies should spring back when pressed gently. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
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The cookbook comes with a candied ginger frosting recipe, if you want to go whole-hog with the ginger.

Personally, I love pairing these cakes with a simple cream cheese frosting. Beat together 8 oz cream cheese + 1 stick butter + 2 cups powdered sugar + 1 tsp vanilla. Spread a generous layer between two cakes.

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In my opinion, these are cakes that get better with age. Give them a few hours or even a day for the flavors to meld, and you won’t be disappointed.

As I mentioned, these are super portable cakes. We had a friend over last week that packed an extra one for the slopes… pass these out on the chairlift, and you’ll become a legend.

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Ginger Apps and Mains

Ginger is our ingredient of the season. You can find our archive of ginger recipes here.

Um, it’s Valentine’s Day. The heart balloons, roses, and piles of chocolate in the grocery store warned you this was coming. And now it’s here.

Our plans for the evening? Prepare and eat at a delicious f-ing meal. Because that’s what love is.

We hope your plans are just as awesome. And if you’re looking to add a bit of fiery spice to your evening, here are four dishes from our archives with a delicious touch of ginger.

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Chicken with Preserved Lemons

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Vegetarian Spring Rolls

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Pumpkin Curry

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Moroccan Spiced Shepherd’s Pie

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Read With Me : The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Want to know something neat? Each time you click through to Amazon from our website, we are kicked back a few cents from each purchase with no extra cost to you. If you ever feel like going wild on Amazon, click through from our site and you’ll be supporting us at the same time! Thanks, yo.

Hey, hey, back with another Read With Me post. I actually felt like I was slacking this past month because I had the opportunity to read so much the first two weeks of the year. Don’t you hate how a past accomplishment can make the current moment feel a little less special? F that! Try to release yourself from that feeling. You don’t wanna be Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused, you know, the football star that never grew up? He sucks. Please go back and watch that and see what I mean if the reference is escaping you. Back to the books!

A couple weeks ago, a cool cat gifted me The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This book is freaking stellar, interstellar? Should we talk about McConaughey movies all day? No. Books! Although there was a movie made about this book. I haven’t watched it and the ratings look pretty low, so admittedly I not going to.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was written by the late Douglas Adam’s and is actually a trilogy (which ended up turning into quintet), which sold more than a million copies in his lifetime. It’s science fiction doused in humor that is suspense driven – so totally quick, easy, and hilarious to read.  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reminded me of works by Tom Robbins or Kurt Vonnegut. Here’s the set of Hitchhiker books and a list of books similar to Hitchhiker’s Guide if you’ve already read it.

 

You’ll Enjoy Reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy If :

  • You like science fiction and humor.
  • You try not to take life too seriously.
  • You can laugh at the absurdity of life.
  • You need a story that can act as a temporary escape from life.
  • You need a book that propels you through it to get back into a good reading habit.
  • You want a book you can read with just about any friend of any age or sex.
  • You’re working your way through a list of ‘must reads’ because this appears on most.

Like I did with The Nature Fix, I thought it would be interesting to also fill in the benefits of reading list I shared on the Read With Me post with actual examples from the book I finished today, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I may end up doing this with every book I read this year. I feel like it’s a good review and it tests my list and hey, it might possibly expand it too. We’ll see.

Why We Should Read More Often :

Expands your vocabulary and improves your writing

While there weren’t so many new words presented, except for made up ones, the sentence structure and syntax was extremely clever in this novel. Sometimes a scene would be set up so vividly only to be ended with a single, simple sentence as if a mega plot wasn’t just played out before us only to never be discussed again. See some of my favorite lines and passages below.

Improves your understanding of the world

This novel presented a refreshing view of the human race. One in which we know very little and aren’t in control at all. I love this idea. I think it’s pretty much accurate so to be able to read a novel based on it and built up with humor on all sides was welcoming.

Prepares you to take action and create change

Even a seemingly silly book like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy can prep you to take action. If anything, the message in this book is that life is too damn short. You have no idea what will happen tomorrow so just by committing yourself to any action or personal change is a triumph.

Boosts your imagination and creativity and improves brain function

Hells yes. I’d say it is rare that I read fiction let alone science fiction. This book not only opened me up to a new genre, but it also presented new concepts for my own daydreams.

Reading sets a great example for those around you

While reading this book, I had no less than a dozen people tell me they a) want to read this book or b) read and loved the book. Woohoo for books bringing strangers together! Now I have to decide who to pass it on to.

 

A few favorite lines from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy :

“She wishes she knew what it was she was trying not to think about.”

“The immensity of time worried him, he could feel it as a presence.”

“The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.”

“Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what’s so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what’s so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.”

“Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.

“Is there any tea on this spaceship?” he asked.”

 

Books I’m reading now :

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

How Emotions Are Made : The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

 

Books I’ve finished in 2018 :

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Tao of Pooh – I read this again as part of Meditative Mondays. You should give it a go!

The Nature Fix – read my thoughts on that here.

Invisible Monsters – read my thoughts on that here.

The Sun and Her Flowers

Again, this isn’t a competition, but if it was……..

Pages read in 2018 : 1120+

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Put a Heart on It.

Still looking for a last minute DIY gift? We have a variety of ideas here.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to share this simple embroidered pillow as a bit of DIY inspiration. While this isn’t made from the softest of materials (more info below), it’s meant to add a punch of color and design rather than as a place to lay your head.

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I made this pillow at least four years ago, and it’s still going strong! Through multiple moves and many moments being sat upon, it’s holding up well. And fortunately, it has remained an enjoyable bit of decor. Seeing that big red heart makes me smile.

The combination of materials for decorative pillow cover and the embroidering adds a textural element that can make a room feel richer and more creative than if all upholstery in a room uses the same fabrics.

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As I mentioned, this is a DIY inspiration post. We aren’t giving you step-by-step photographs and instructions because I made this pillow with bits of material and reused items in my craft room.

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Materials

*The face of my pillow is made from an old burlap coffee sack with the heart embroidered using red acrylic roving. Those blue stripes that you see on the front were on the coffee sack. If you don’t have access to a coffee roaster (that’s where I get my sacks), then you can easily substitute a burlap; look for a tighter weave if you don’t want to see the pillow insert between the burlap fibers.

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  • Option – before you start the embroidery, cut your burlap to the size of your pillow (making sure to leave at least an extra inch of length in both directions for hemming), and if you’d like, you could sew along each edge to stop the burlap from fraying while you sew.
  • Cross-stitch a heart onto the burlap material being used for your pillow face. You can follow the pattern below or customize a heart to the size you want. Cross stitching is as simple as sewing little x’s on your fabric to match the red squares in the heart below. A quick tip to make your cross-stitching look more pro is to always keep the over and under stitches of your x’s consistent. For example, if you sew the line that goes from the upper left to the lower right first (it’s on the bottom), and the other line of the x second (it’s on the top), then you should use that pattern for all of the other x’s in your design.

 

heart_patternIf you don’t want to go through the effort of making a pillow. I think it would also be super cute to cross stitch a little red heart onto a piece of aida cloth (the typical cross-stitch fabric) using embroidery floss. Then you can hang it on the wall framed with the embroidery hoop. Super simple, but super cute.

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Three Delicious Foodie Gifts for your Valentine

Hey lovers! On Tuesday we thought we had the best gift idea ever : alcohol, but what if you or your honey are participating in Sober October February? Good news, we have gift ideas for you too! Now if you’re also cutting sugar this month, you may need to wait until tomorrow’s posts for gift ideas 🙂 Until then.. nom, nom, nom…

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These homemade marshmallows are pretty perfect for topping off a cup of hot co + candy cane vodka. Just sayin’. Also, if you thought you weren’t too big on marshmallows because that’s where I was, try these and tell me they’re not completely different and way more delicious and flavorful than Puffs.

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Nutella, we’re all a fan, but why make your own? Unfortunately, the main ingredients for Nutella are sugar and palm oil. PALM OIL IS TERRIBLE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. Sorry, it had to be said yelled. So make your own!

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I still can’t get over the simplicity of this chocolate cake with buttercream icing. It’s the perfect way to make pretty much any cake one that is infused with love. Our middle sister Kristin, used to make this heart cake, which looks so damn adorable, but it took so much time and effort to achieve. Take it easy this year and top your cake with rose petals.

 

That’s that y’all. Whip up something special for yourself or your loves!

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Snowshoeing

Have you tried snowshoeing yet?

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We believe that spending time outdoors is important year-round. Yes, even in winter! I know that instincts tell us to hibernate when the weather gets cold and the days get short, but that’s when it becomes important to spend some time outside recharging our souls, resetting our state of mind, and burning a few calories.

If you’re new to the activity, snowshoeing is a great way to spend time outside. Once you get the shoes strapped on, just start walking. It’s that easy!

But, if you want more of a challenge, that’s easy too – climb the nearest hill (or mountain), and you’ll be sweating in no time!

We can’t guarantee it, but the chances are good that trails will be less crowded during the winter. That combined with the sound-absorbing quality of snow will give you a truly peaceful experience.

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Snowshoes

This will be obvious to some, but bear with us.

Snowshoes are just “shoes” strapped to your boots that have sturdy frame and a large footprint. It’s that large base that spreads out your weight and keeps you from sinking into the snow.

Traditional snowshoes were often made with a wooden frame and a netting base made from rope, rawhide, or another natural material. Surprisingly (to me), you can still order “traditional” snowshoes customized to fit your needs!

Modern snowshoes have a frame made of metal, a plasticized cloth-like base, and straps that go around your boots. Some also have spikes on the bottom; great for preventing slips when on trails with ice or packed-down snow.

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These MSR Accents are the exact pair that I have, BUT they aren’t pictured in the photo above, because the photographer (little Sarah!) was borrowing them. I’ve used them for a few years now, and have enjoyed every adventure. They come with a steep price tag, but people love them, and for good reason. They are extremely easy to put on, light weight, and have just enough spikes to give you great traction on a variety of snow and ice surfaces. Of course, there are other shoes that get reviews & are much less expensive.

Of course, before you shop, try out the sport. If a friend has some snowshoes, ask them to take you on a walk! Check to see if the parks department, state parks, or nature centers offer guided snowshoeing walks.

If you need to rent a pair, there are a few options:

  • ski resorts : Often times, ski resorts that allow snowshoeing (more info below) will offer snowshoe rentals.
  • sportswear shops : You can also check in at sporting goods shops, particularly those where winter sports and winter tourism are common.
  • nature centers : Our local nature center offers snowshoe rentals.

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Where to go?

With a good layer of snow, the possibilities for snowshoeing are endless. I was introduced to snowshoeing by a friend* in Vermont. We put on the shoes, walked out her backdoor, and were off.

  • your favorite trail : If you have a trail that you frequent in the summer, give it a try in the winter!
  • nordic centers : These are areas that are designed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. You may have to buy a trail pass, but it will come with the benefit/security of walking on designated snowshoeing trails.
  • ski resorts : many ski resorts in the west are located on leased National Forest land. You may not realize it, but that land is open to everyone (even if you’re not skiing!). The same can’t be said for resorts on private land. So, the next time you’re near a resort, check in to see if they allow snowshoeing. It may seem counterintuitive to suggest snowshoeing at a ski resort, but I enjoy the strenuous exercise from hiking up the hills. Some resorts have started to realize that snowshoeing appeals to guests that don’t want to ski. In response, they’ve created dedicated snowshoeing trails on the mountain that aren’t as steep as hiking straight up the hill. Sometimes accessing these trails requires you to buy a lift ticket, but it’s often sold at a cheaper rate than the skier’s ticket.

The photos in this post show us snowshoeing at a combination of the locations suggested above.

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Snowshoeing with Kids

As you can see, we are always snowshoeing with the kiddos. They love getting outside as much as we do!

Unfortunately I think there’s a small window of time when we’ll be able to snowshoe with them when they’re young. Right now, they’re easy to carry. Soon, there will be a few years when they’ll be too heavy to be carried and won’t have the endurance for a good hike on their own. Then, (hopefully!) we’ll buy them their own snowshoes when they’re ready to go out with us again!

Here are a few of our tried-and-true tips for snowshoeing with young kids :

  • pick the right carrier : As you can see, we’re snowshoeing while carrying the kids. When they are really young, we prefer keeping them cozy on our front with a traditional Ergo. The Ergo’s pocket is helpful extra storage on these longer hikes. Once they get bigger, we move them to our backs and into a frame carrier.
  • keep them cozy : When they’re on your front, keeping them close to your body can help to keep them warm, and lets you monitor their comfort. When they move to your back, you lose those benefits, but it’s easy to bundle them up.  We can’t rave enough about this uber cute bear bunting. It’s great because you can keep their hands and feet completely inside. Hats easily fit under the hood for an extra layer. And it’s super durable – we’ve used it for two kids for two years each (buy it slightly big) and it’s still in great shape! We often keep their fleece PJs on as a first layer under the bunting. If it’s a particularly chilly day, we’ll layer a rain suit on top of the bear bunting. It helps to block the wind, but the combination is not too bulky for the kiddos, so they can still easily move around.
  • snacks : never forget your snacks and water! Of course, you know that. I just take something that isn’t too messy and can easily be fed to the kiddos while hiking. Animal crackers or a kiddo snack bar are easy options.
  • sunscreen : need I say more?
  • naptime : think about hiking during your kiddo’s naptime. It’s always worked well for us, and they get a relaxing nap in the fresh air.

Of course, we also love to have some fun with the kids when on a hike. Who can resist rolling down hills and romping around in a field of fluffy snow?!

snow2If you haven’t yet, we hope you’ll give snowshoeing a try! It’s a winter sport that can be adapted to all levels, from a casual walk to a strenuous run.

No matter your level, we’re sure you’ll love the time outdoors on a beautiful winter day, and you’ll earn that steaming cup of hot chocolate at the end of the day! xo

~

*Fun Fact : While on snowshoes for the first time, my friend and I discussed our love of winter foliage, and that became the name of my first blog! It’s only a bit spooky that my last post on that blog was about snowshoeing, especially since I didn’t know that it’d be the last post at the time. Talk about coming full circle! 


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Three Easy Infused Alcohols for your Valentine

Hey lovers! We had the best idea, infused ALCOHOL! Make it for your loved ones or yourself, either way, we think it’s the perfect way to celebrate V-day. If you’re on that sober train, we hear ya, here are a few of our favorite mocktails. We’ll be back tomorrow with some delicious love-infused treats too.

The following infused alcohols can be prepped this weekend and still be ready in time for Valentines, so you have a few days to think about what an easy and awesome gift this is before gettin’ to it.

live seasoned homemade alcohol

Ginger Liqueur – ready in just a day

Rosemary Vodka – ready in just a few days

Candy Cane Vodka – ready in just a few hours

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Donate with Me

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Hey y’all! This past month we introduced a few new initiatives, Read with Me & Make with Me and today we are asking you to do even more : Donate with Me. Kate and I find it’s encouraging and motivating to us if we share our mini goals and ask you to participate. It’s like we’re all in this together. It’s as if each page I read acts as a push for you to read more and each project you complete is the inspiration for us to start another one. Ya dig it?

First, I want to share a few reasons why you should donate it all. We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of possessions so buying and owning less is counter culture. It won’t come naturally, but it’s something we can all work towards in a way that makes us feel good. I’m not asking you to go on a spending freeze or to move into a tiny home. I’m simply asking that you assess what you own and get rid of what you don’t use and need and by doing this you will end up buying and owning less in the future. Here’s why:

Why You Should Donate It All

  • Save money. Buying only the essentials will save you money. You’ll have the financial freedom to travel, pay off debt faster or to save for a larger, quality item that you really want and need.
  • Save the planet. The less we consume, the less we damage the environment. It’s important to think of the true cost or the entire lifecycle of every single thing you buy. Simply doing this will cause you to be more conscious of your shopping instead of simply looking at the price tag.
  • Stop cleaning. Less stuff means less organizing and cleaning. Who doesn’t want that?
  • Buy better, not more. By owning less stuff, you’ll save more money allowing you to buy better items instead of more items.
  • Occupational freedom. Spending less gives you freedom in your occupation as well. I earn less than the median salary for a female my age because I choose to spend a lot of time not working and instead of traveling and visiting with friends and family. I have the financial freedom to do this because I rarely spend money on clothes and objects.
  • Appreciate what you do have. Owning less will automatically give you a greater sense of love and appreciation for the objects you do keep.
  • Lighten your burden. The less you possess, the less burdened you are. You don’t need a large house to store everything and moving about in the world becomes easier and easier.
  • Shift your priority. When you focus less on consumption, your priorities change. You make space for new hobbies, ideas, and visions for your life instead of constantly saving to spend or keeping up with fast fashion and consumption trends.
  • You are not your stuff. The more you covet possessions the more you associate yourself with them and see them as your identity. This could be traumatic if you suddenly lost or couldn’t afford to keep up with your possessions as that would mean losing a sense of yourself.

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How You Should Donate It All

  • Always have a bag or box for the Goodwill started somewhere in your house. My roomie and I leave ours by the front door and drop it off every couple weeks, but you could also keep one in your car, laundry room, garage or at the bottom of your closet.
  • Encourage your roommate and friends to participate. Keep them accountable by asking for photos of the donation box and bags. Involving friends turns it into a competition and you may realize you need something your friend is donating or vice versa.
  • If you contemplate how much you appreciate an item, the answer is probably not much. Put the item in the donation box and leave it there for a couple days or a week, if you aren’t thinking about it or using it, get rid of it.
  • For one month, choose an item a day to give away. This will start to shift your perspective.
  • Notice which clothes always live in your drawers. The clothes you seem to never wear even when all your other laundry is dirty. Get rid of them.
  • Organize similar items together and identify your favorites in each category. Ask your self how many of each thing to you actually need and use. Donate the rest.
  • Release the guilt of giving away clothes and objects that were gifted to you. Just because you’re giving them away doesn’t mean you didn’t value the sentiment behind the gift.
  • Learn about the sunk cost fallacy and release yourself from it. Don’t dwell on money spent, feel motivated about the money you’ll save once you define what you actually need to thrive.
  • If there is anything that brings up negative feelings, get rid of it. Things hold energy and they have the potential to weigh you down. Things elicit feelings and spark memories you had when you got them. Clothes elicit how you feel when you wear them. Be realistic about how you feel when you wear or use items and get rid of them if necessary. Paying attention to these feelings also helps you to choose objects that better align with your style and ascetic in the future, which will further reduce your consumption.
  • Acknowledge that your style changes. Just because you loved a shirt and wore it practically every day for a year doesn’t mean you need to hang onto it if you’re not diggin’ it this year.

 

What You Should Do With Your Donations

  • Drop your donations off at a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or an independent thrift store.
  • Donate your cleaning supplies, towels, blankets, sheets, etc to a local animal shelter.
  • Donate bath and body items, including feminine hygiene products to homeless shelters.
  • Sift through your craft and office supplies and donate them to a preschool or send them to a young person in your life that way they can be creative without it costing them anything.
  • Sanitize and donate toys and books to a preschool, family homeless shelter or local family who may need new stimulation.
  • Sell your items on Facebook marketplace, craigslist, eBay, ThredUp, Poshmark etc.
  • Gift your quality, coveted, but unwanted items to family and friends that way you know they’re being enjoyed.

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