First Snow Cake!

This is part of our ongoing Cooking with Kids series, because bringing them into the kitchen creates bonding moments, opportunities to learn, and plenty of messes! And ginger is our ingredient of the season this fall. You can find more ginger recipes here, but if you want another dessert recommendation, skip right ahead to these chewy ginger cookies.

A few weeks ago, we woke up to our first snow of the season. If that wasn’t special enough, I thought that it was worth fully celebrating the day, and any celebration worth its salt requires a cake. That was the humble beginning of our “First Snow Cake”.

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The base of our cake is a delicious ginger cake and it’s topped with a healthy layer of powered sugar snow. It’s a simple cake that’s easy to bake on a whim and should definitely be incorporated into your next snow day. The recipe and more thoughts on celebrating the everyday below. *I’m thinking that next year the cake has to be baked in this pan.

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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.

 

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Sarah here :

It’s Friday the thirteenth, which means we’re halfway through October!? Our hearts ache. July has always been my favorite month of the year (hellllllo, it’s our birthday month!), but since I moved south, I’m all about October. In North Carolina, the temperature hovers around eighty and yet the leaves are changing and falling, we experience light afternoon sun showers, and the mornings and evenings are a bit cooler. October is hands feet down the best month for hiking. I could sustain this season’s feeling all year long.

At the beginning of the month, I pulled out my boots, but realized, I’m way too early for that down here, lucky me, I’m headed to Pennsylvania today to photograph a wedding. The boots, sweaters, and jackets are packed in the Schubaru so my buddies don’t have to hear me complain too much. And they won’t because I’m headed to Tulum, Mexico on Sunday! This will be my first trip to Mexico and although I can’t remember ten words of Spanish, I’m mucho pumped.

What does your weekend look like? Working on a Halloween costume or two? Curling up with a good book and a drink? Headed into the woods for a hike? Listen to my new favorite podcast : Spooked. It’s created by the Snap Judgment crew and believe me, it’s so good. I’ve already listened to all the episodes while developing film in the darkroom, ooooo scary. Happy Friyay!

 

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iNaturalist

This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed making observations and participating in citizen scientist projects. Check out our first phenology post! And if you know a little bug lover, then this post is for you. And definitely this one.

Are you using iNaturalist yet? We’ve mentioned the app a few times in other posts, but thought that a formal introduction was in order.

iNaturalist provides both app and website forums for sharing your wildlife observations. These observations can be seen by other wildlife enthusiasts, naturalists, and scientists. Basically, it’s creating an amazing forum for collecting data about wildlife across the world, and the best part is that you don’t have to be an expert to contribute data. This is citizen science at its finest!

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Having many observations across a wide geographic area and over a number of years help scientists track data about the location, movement, and timing of biological activity. For example: is the range of a species changing? are they migrating earlier or later in the season? is the timing of plant budding out/flowering/fruiting changing? Simple observations across a large group of people help to collect the data that will answer these questions.

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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.

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Sarah Here :

Happy Friyay babies! As a photographer, people are always asking me, “How long have you been taking photos for?” And my response is usually, “ah, about five years.” As I drove away from the shoot today, I realized I’ve been lying to everyone. I’ve been taking photos for as long as I can remember.

I can remember taking stealing my Pop’s camera and taking it to school in first grade. My teacher promptly confiscated it and when I tried to turn it on at the end of the day, I couldn’t. I was so terrified that I broke it and that my Pop would be upset. I’m not sure whatever happened to that camera, but I don’t remember getting yelled at so I’m sure it was fine.

When I was a couple years older, I was gifted all types of funky polaroids and when I got to middle and high school, my parents bought me point-and-shoot cameras. A lot of them. I wish I were kidding, but I probably went through five or six cameras! One was stolen at a party, another I lost on a ski slope, one was carelessly put in my backpack and the screen broke, another got too hot at the beach and the screen exploded, and so on. Even though I would lose or break these cameras after only a few months, my mom always bought me a new one. She scolded me for being careless, but she never gave up on my love of photography even though at the time, I’m not sure we knew the extent of it.

Now, let’s say twenty years later, I’m still taking photos. I find it intuitive to capture a scene and tell a story and that’s why in 2008 I changed my major from magazine journalism to photojournalism. I can still remember the moment, the first time I said it aloud to my roommates, ‘I think I’m going to switch majors.’ The uncertainty was overwhelming. My parents asked logical questions like, ‘Can you actually make a career of it?’ I wasn’t sure, but I knew I wanted to try and here I am, almost ten years after making that decision and I’m still not sure. I mean, I’m doing it, but it looks radically different than I envisioned and that’s what I hear when I talk to my fellow TU alumni. We’re all hustling, few of us are working at newspapers and even fewer are employed full-time as photojournalists. We’re the freelancing generation. We hustle. We have to prove ourselves at every gig and we’re terrible at business, but that’s not why we got into it. We wanted to tell stories and I think we’re all doing just that.

With this question of, “How long have you been taking photos,” in mind, I looked back through my archives and discovered I have digital images from way back in 2004. Then I decided to browse year by year to see what exactly I had been up to during the last decade of September 22s. With just a single photo, I’m able to remember the days so clearly and the two years that lack an image, I lack recollection. I’m lost without my camera so even if it turns out that I can’t make a career out of it, I can make a life out of it and that’s just fine with me.

On this day :

2007 : I distinctly remember throwing up in the parking lot of a Breaking Benjamin concert although I cannot remember a second of the concert.

2008 : Probably getting stoned on campus, contemplating switching my major to photojournalism.

2009 : Katie Albin and I jumped on a tiny three-foot trampoline, in the middle of Temple’s campus and I don’t think we have ever laughed harder.

2010 : I spent the day at my sister’s apartment in Philly before heading to the Reading Terminal Market to shoot video of street musicians.

2011 : I lazed away with my then boyfriend as I would move to Thailand in just a few weeks.

2012 : I photographed an event on an army base, a new and different experience for me.

2013 : The Schu siblings visited the Bloomsburg Fair with baby Alex in tow!

2014 : I worked a gig in Charlotte that tested my knowledge and techniques. I remember feeling the pressure to deliver that day.

2015 : I learned a new (and horrifying) shat kriya technique during my yoga teacher training in Nepal.

2016 : Whatever I was doing, I didn’t take a photo of it.

2017 : Today I’m taking a three-mile walk across town with Cash to pick up my Schubaru from the shop.

2018 : Will surely be my most important September 22 as I’ll be celebrating my best friend’s wedding. <3

What are you up today? And how about ten years ago? And what about ten years from now? xo

 

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Two Bits & a Giveaway

 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.

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Sarah here :

Happy Friday! It’s been only a few days since Kate and I left Saxis and parted ways, but man, do I miss her! I’m so grateful for our daily connection through this website and our joint Live Seasoned Instagram page and for that I want to thank YOU.

Kate and I started this website because we love learning, experimenting, and sharing our findings with you, but if there was no one on the receiving reading end, knowing us, we probably wouldn’t feel motivated to post here. So THANKS! It means a lot to me, to us, that you’re here. If you know someone else who would dig our material, needs recipe inspiration, wants to take a hike, or could use a bit of travel advice, send them over. As a gesture of gratitude (because saying it will never be enough) we’re hosting a teensy giveaway on our instagram feed. Head there for the details.

Now that I’ve shed a tear of gratitude and somehow turned that into self-promotion, we want to send you over to some sources, specifically a couple of print magazines that we love. These mags inspire us and encourage us to be our best selves and we hope they’ll do the same for you <3

Misadventures is my favorite** print magazine. Misadventures is a wee little babe yet, with only three editions, but I love it so damn much and I’m excited for it to take off like wildfire. Here are ten reasons why I love Misadventures mag :

  1. Misadventures is outdoor and adventure focused magazine for women, by women. Most outdoors magazines are written for men, by men. I love those magazines too, but I’m elated to finally hear from adventurous women. The top 10 magazines for women are about either about how to make yourself or your home look good. I think both those topics have merit, but I’m stoked to see something different that focuses on my interests.
  2. Misadventures features in-depth reporting and storytelling. In the age of social media, our attention spans are shrinking, but thankfully Misadventures mag features a few long form journalism pieces in each issue. I’m a sucker for a solid story, get outta here with those blurbs and sound bites, I want something solid.
  3. The covers of Misadventures are beautiful. Each cover features an outdoor lifestyle photograph. The cover and the photographs throughout are not overproduced, stylized, or heavily edited. It’s a welcome shift towards photojournalism and away from traditional magazine photography. I also loved that the back cover of the Winter 16 edition featured a couple of postcards to cut and send.
  4. The content to advertisement ratio is refreshing. There isn’t an advertisement on every other page or ads that disguise themselves as product round ups or stories and for that I’m grateful. I actually found myself complimenting the ads that do appear in the magazine because they’re tasteful and telling instead of in-your-face and selling.
**I really mean it.

 

Katie here :

Bet you didn’t see me coming! It’s been so long since I’ve posted a few bits about myself. I’m just relying on Sarah to do the heavy lifting and that includes expressing our feelings so perfectly. She has a way with words and I’m sitting here tongue-tied with all of the feelings and a pile of knitting on my lap.

I have to agree with Sarah’s points about Misadventures. It’s a stinking awesome magazine for all of the right reasons, and I’m psyched that we found it when we did. BUT I want to talk about another print magazine that amazes me with each issue : Taproot.

  1. Their tagline is “the magazine for makers, doers & dreamers”.  Each issue is written for the whole person with sections titled “head”, “hands”, and “heart”.  The stories and projects within these sections are linked by the issue’s overarching theme. This summer’s was Grow, the next issue is Trade, and then comes Rest. Their issues are so rich and diverse because their readers are too!
  2. The current issue on my lap is 110 pages long. That’s 110 pages of completely AD-FREE content. Do you know how much material you can fit in 110 pages?! Honestly I look at a single issue and think that this has to be the best yet, but surely they’ll run out of content for the next issue. They never do.
  3. Just as with Misadventures, Taproot digs deeply into topics. They have a nice mix of long and short stories, perfect for whatever I have the time to read. The articles may highlight an individual, a food, or a craft. The writing is fantastic with perfect attention to detail.
  4. The “do” sections are so diverse! A single issue will contain baking recipes, knitting and crochet projects, wood and paper crafts, potions for your medicine cabinet. With a nice range of technical difficulty.

Admittedly, I don’t feel like I’m doing the magazine justice with these four points. But I’m definitely not alone in my love for this publication, because I just learned that they are increasing their publication rate from 4 issues/year to 6!

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Ingredient of the Season : Ginger

 Every season we like to pick one ingredient and find a variety of ways to love it and use it. You can find our complete ingredient archive here.

Ginger is our ingredient of the season this fall, and we’re already feeling the warm fuzzies. If you’re a ginger fan, then you know what we mean: that warm feeling and bit of spice that hits your tongue, then travels to the back of your throat and makes its way to your stomach when you sip on a hot mug of ginger tea. Can you feel it too? But we’re not biased, we love ginger in all of its forms, whether it’s baked into a cookie, used to spice up a curry, or sipped in a cocktail.

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Throughout the fall we hope to experiment with new uses for ginger in the kitchen and around the house. Along the way, we’ll use ginger in all of its forms, from raw to candied, and pickled to brewed.

The photos throughout this post were taken by Sarah when she was working closely with ginger farmers in Jamaica.

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Biology

The ginger plant is an herbaceous perennial, growing 3-4 feet tall with slender green leaves and yellow flowers that bloom from white to pink buds. These characteristics make it a lovely plant that is commonly grown in flower gardens in warm climates. Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family along with turmeric, cardamom, and galangal (popular in Thai cuisine).

Even though we often refer to ginger as “ginger root”, from a biological perspective, we aren’t actually using the root! It’s the rhizome, or underground stem, of the plant that is harvested for consumption. Both roots and shoots grow out from these rhizomes to produce new plants.

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History

Ginger dates back over 3,000 years to the Sanskrit srngaveram meaning “horn root” in reference to its appearance. In Greek it was ziggiberis, in Latin, zinziberi, and in Middle English, gingivere, which is why in English we know it as Ginger.

Ginger is believed to have originated from the Indian subcontinent since the ginger plants in that region contains the largest degree of genetic diversity. Sharing a history similar to many spice originating in Asia, ginger made its way to Europe via the spice trade being exported to Ancient Rome from India.

Production

The top ginger producers include China, India, and Nepal. As well as Asia, ginger is quite popular in the Caribbean Islands. Ginger grows easily in these lush tropical climates.

When Sarah visited Jamaica in 2009 & 2010, she worked closely with ginger farmers on education, prevention, and remediation of common ginger root diseases.

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Uses

The use of ginger in cooking varies from one culture to another. Throughout Asia, it is common to see ginger used in a wide variety of savory dishes, whereas in Western cultures, it is much more common to see ginger used in desserts, particularly baked goods. In India ginger is a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. Then there’s the Jamaicans, who we will be forever thankful to for brewing their ginger into non-alcoholic ginger beers. And you can thank the Japanese for that side of pickled ginger that comes with sushi.

We’re excited to explore this wide range of uses throughout the season, and we hope you’ll enjoy the ride!

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Welcome September {2017}

Near the beginning of each month we like to pause and make an intention for the month, thinking about what the new season will bring, whether it’s in the way of animal activity, farmers’ fields, or environmental events. *You can find our archive of previous welcomes here (a few months are missing from the archive, we’re bowing our heads in shame).*

Let’s start with a good old confession : having just come back from the beach, this post is hard to write. It’s not that I’m heading into September kicking and screaming, it’s just that I feel like the door to summer hit me in the rear.

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BUT I know that come tomorrow morning I’m going to find myself a pumpkin something or other, pop something in the oven, and start day-dreaming about brisk fall hikes amidst the foliage.

Below I’m sharing a few more things that I’m looking forward to as well as a bit of news that made me so happy and had me looking backwards (by a few years!).

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Farewell August!

 Usually, on the first Wednesday of each month, we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us, with a particular focus on animal activity, celestial events, and our farmers’ fields. This month came and went without a welcome and so we’re offering up a hearty farewell instead!

Our August was spent primarily outdoors and for that we’re thankful. I actually slept in the tent this month more than my bed. Beyond all the beautiful weather, the celestial events had us captivated this month. A few clouds got in the way of the Perseids, but the solar eclipse from Saxis, Virginia had us inspired from the first glimpse. We spent the afternoon slipping our glasses on and off, bearing the bugs, and reporting the progress to each other. Bloody marys, beach days, and boat rides rounded out the weeks since. It’s difficult to remember each detail when this past week alone involved not only Margarita Monday but Wargarita Wednesday as well. Hope you had an August for the books captain’s log!

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Teachable Moments : Beach Reads

Teachable Moments is a relatively new series on the blog, you can find the archive here. You can learn more about Saxis in this selection of posts, and here are more beach book recommendations for adults and kids. If you’d like to see our favorite sun gear for toddlers, click here.

beach time = reading time. #amiright

When we start planning for our time at the beach, my mind immediately turns to the books I’ll read. Hours sitting on the beach provide the uninterrupted reading time that we just don’t seem to find elsewhere in life. Wait, if you’re a parent reading this, that statement is laughable. Who sits still on the beach with two kids? And to that, I say, touché. That’s when you teach your kids about the joys of the beach nap.

But in all seriousness, as the boys have grown, I’ve started to think more intentionally about their beach reads. These boys love a good adventure, and when we’re traveling I find that they fully immerse themselves in the new environment. They aren’t sitting around thinking about Colorado and the mountains; instead, they’re exploring!  And what better way could there be to teach them about the place they’re visiting, and the animals and people that live there, than to read books?

I’ve made an effort over the years to stock the beach house with good ocean and bay-related books for the kids. It’s nice to have these books there rather than at home because the stories really come alive when they’re reading about animals that they just saw on the beach and in the marsh. And I know that they can relate to crabbing and fishing adventures when they’ve just spent the afternoon on Poppop’s boat putting bait in the crab pots and casting out their finishing lines.

Below is a list of our current favorites (for reference, the boys are 2 and 4). Admittedly, I’m particularly smitten with books written and illustrated by local artists, so you’ll see quite a few on the list. They add an intimate feel in their descriptions of the place that could never be achieved in a generic book about ocean/beach life.

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The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library

I know opinions can vary when it comes to Dr. Seuss. The wording can be awkward and leave you tongue-tied, which is not the best for reading aloud. But it rhymes, and I’m a sucker for a good rhyming text, especially one that’s educational.  Each book flows really well after one or two readings.

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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.
Sarah Here :
dump trump
When the host of the Apprentice took office, I left the country for four months. I needed a break. I wanted to ignore whatever the fuck was happening here and even though I still can’t bear to watch or listen to the news, it is impossible to ignore the degradation of our society, as much as I try.
As someone who hates arguing, opposition, and confrontation of any kind, I do realize it’s important to let my peers know where I stand. Voices of hate and intolerance should be combated by voices of love. I’m struggling here, but I appreciated reading this guide of Ten Ways to Fight Hate. I took comfort in knowing I actively preach and #9 Teach Acceptance, but I realize I need to#4 Speak Up more often. I often feel like I can’t change peoples’ minds, so why attempt it, but I am trying to adopt an attitude of at least challenging others’ hateful views, even if I don’t believe I can change them. What number are you working on?
 
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Love, love, love to you all. Even Richard Spencer, the alt-right, and the head of state that encourages violence. Everyone needs a big ol’ hug.
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