Welcome October 2017

liveseasoned_fall14_autumn-2
Near the beginning 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.
10304627_10152778154441217_2244873255781220523_n

Looking Up & Around

Happy October, friends. Autumn is here and so is the full harvest moon! Set aside some time today to gaze up at that big astronomical body. If you’re familiar with monthly moon names, you may be wondering why it’s the harvest moon instead of the hunter moon, which normally falls in October. The harvest moon isn’t confined to September. It is actually the full moon that falls after the autumn equinox, which we celebrated on September 22. The harvest moon fell in October in 2009 and will land there again in 2020, so it’s rare, but definitely not unheard of.

What else is happening this month? As always, but possibly more apparent this month, are all the changes taking place in the woods. I always think of October outdoors as a month of transition. We experience the leaves, nuts, and seeds falling from trees and traveling in the breeze. Mushrooms are springing up after the first fall rains, while flowers are both blooming and going to seed. Bees are still buzzing (and stinging me), while squirrels and chipmunks scurry around securing their own harvest.

This is quite possibly the most comfortable month to be out and about in the woods. Sunshine, cool breezes and barely any bugs make every hike a great one. I’m spending the week working in Asheville, North Carolina, an area that absolutely explodes with leaf peepers, especially on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tens of thousands of people flock to western North Carolina during October and November to watch the autumn colors slowly emerge starting with higher elevations and trickling down the mountainsides. The elevation range in the Great Smokey Mountains basically ensures that fall color will stick around for at least three weeks each year. There are websites dedicated to tracking the changing fall foliage and it’s impossible to miss the influx of visitors as traffic can be bumper to bumper on the blue ridge and hotel rooms impossible to find.

34429_10150091098511217_2585885_n 67607_10150091101651217_7084011_n66912_10150090858721217_6863949_n 72239_10150090859131217_4944242_n

Fields and Festivals

It’s that time of year when farmer’s markets in my area transition from two days per week to one. I know, I’m spoiled, but sometimes it’s hard to wake up on a Saturday and when that’s the case, what’s a girl to do? I had to make a quiche this week with store-bought mushrooms, WTF. Joking aside though, I love the market at this time of year. The weather is sunny, but the air is cool. I can sip on cider or tea while strolling by each vendor as I slowly make recipe plans and ingredient decisions. In contrast, during the summer, I’m gulping down iced coffee and wanting to put down my bags, take off my tank top, and pass out from heat exhaustion. No chill.

This is the time of year when those crops that require the full summer growing season are finally ready for harvest. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I’m still seeing watermelon and tomatoes along with elderberries, grapes, peppers, and eggplants. Apples, okra, corn, potatoes, pumpkin, and other winter squash are abound as well.

The coolest thing at my market right now though? Soup subscriptions. How freaking neat. Short Winter Soups, a company established by Tova Boehm in 2010, provides each subscriber with a quart of soup every week for eight weeks. The soup ingredients are sourced locally from over a dozen farms. I love this idea and the thought of Tova pouring stirring her heart and soul into delicious soup recipes each week. Growing up, our mom made a lot of soup. Momma Schu’s soups were a staple during family gatherings, soccer games, snowstorms and weekends on the farm. Soccer concession stand fans would actually refer to her as the soup queen. All hail the soup queens among us.

If you’re not feeling the farmer’s market, October is the month to head straight to the fields. Hayrides and pick-your-own patches are some of my fondest fall memories, not just as a kid, but up until a few years ago too. I feel like I’ve traveled the past few falls because I can’t remember the last time I carved a pumpkin or balanced an apple on my head (holy shit that was seven years ago), what a shame! If you need any inspiration for your fall harvest, we have a full pumpkin archive, with a few main dish recipes as well as an apple archive that includes more alcoholic drinks than you could make all weekend. I dare ya.

  • I mentioned watching the leaves change in the Great Smoky Mountains. Ready for your mind to be blown? It’s the most popular national park with over eleven million visitors last year. In.sane.
  • Vermont is also a popular destination for leaf chasers, but really, any forest is bursting with color this month so where ever you are, you don’t have to drive far, tie up your boots and hit the trail.
  • There’s more than just colorful leaves floating around, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta runs from the 7th-15th. It’s always been a dream of mine to attend and one day I’ll remember to make plans more than forty-eight hours in advance. I believe in me.
  • The Earth Harmony Festival is this weekend (October 7-8). The Earth Harmony Festival celebrates eco-living & sustainability.  It’s held on the country’s largest EcoVillage located in Arizona. Did I mention that it’s practically free?! You gotta go.
  • While September was packed with environmental holidays, October has only a couple official ones, including World Habitat Day, which just passed on Monday. We kinda missed the boat on that one, but it’s not too late to stop and reflect on our basic human right to adequate shelter. Maybe you’d like to do some volunteer work this month in conjunction with homeless shelters as a way to commemorate the day?

15250755_10154631041311217_5906513800218486193_o

Capturing the Beauty

How do we hang on to enchanting autumn as long as possible? Take some photos! The time lapse of our apple antics is still one of my favorite photo sessions with the Schu sisters. I can still remember how much we giggled when those were taken seven years ago! I like to balance out the silly with the serious though. I think the film portrait of our sister Kristin, shown above, captures her spirit perfectly. Add that it’s taken on the road that leads to our family farm and you have an iconic photo that will surely be shared for generations. As each season passes, I find it more and more important to take photos of family and friends and what better backdrop than a carpet of freshly fallen leaves? Here’s a tutorial on photographing fall and photographing landscapes in general. Even if you fail to preserve fall on film, I hope you capture it in your heart. Cheesy?! IDGAF.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Five Tips For Shooting Better Fall Photos

Happy Monday! There’s only one week of October left, eeek! Grab your camera and go take a walk in the woods, but before you head out, learn how to take better fall photos. This post was originally published on October 30, 2014, but after a wonderful hike in the woods this weekend, I thought it was worth another look.

liveseasoned_fall14_fallphotography-1-2

Autumn really tends to steal the show in terms of natural beauty, dontcha think?  This year I took a trip to Asheville, NC and after cruising up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway I don’t think I’ll ever take fall for granted again.  I spent three days hiking, driving and simply sitting and looking at leaves.  After the trip I mentally cataloged what went well and what went wrong in terms of the photos I took.  I thought it might be helpful to share a couple fall photography tips here in case you want to capture the season.

  • Zone in.  Don’t be afraid to focus in on one tree, one branch, even one leaf!  Get close, choose your angle and go for it.  While the whole forest is beautiful sometimes when we constantly shoot at a wide angle, the viewer’s eye doesn’t really know where to focus when looking at the picture.  The resulting image will be a mess of pretty hues instead of that amazing sugar maple with fiery red leaves. While you’re busy looking up, don’t forget to look down and around too.  There are multitudes of berries, fungus and seed pods waiting to be photographed too.

liveseasoned_fall14_fallphotography-1-7

  • Photograph your subjects in open shade or on cloudy days.  Cloudy days are great for photographing people; the clouds act as a huge soft box eliminating all shadows.  Obviously you have no control over the weather, but avoid midday sun and its harsh shadows, instead find a big wide open area of shade (near a building, under tree cover, etc) and take portraits there. You should find that the light is even and diffused because of the shade, but still bright enough because you’re in a wide open area.  If the sun is peaking through and creating hot spots (over exposed areas) in your photo, it will be pretty distracting so look around and try to avoid that as best you can.  Shooting in open shade is more comfortable for you (not so hot!) and your subject (no squinting) and the balance of light between your subject and background won’t be as drastic and therefore much less confusing for your camera in turn creating a better image.

liveseasoned_fall14_fallphotography-1-3

  • Shoot when there’s weather. Shooting during a sunny day with blue skies is nice, but shooting when it’s stormy, foggy or rainy is more dramatic and interesting. Weather easily adds mood to a photograph without a subject present.  I especially like shooting dark blue stormy skies during the fall because the contrasting colors of the deep blue sky makes the orange leaves pop even more. Shooting in the rain (or right after if you want to stay dry) looks fantastic during fall.  The colorful leaves that normally look dry (well, cause they are) glisten and shine, which really brings out their color.  Think about how nice a car looks when it’s freshly washed and still has drips of water on it or how shiny your nails look when you put a clear coat on.. it’s all about the glisten 😉

liveseasoned_fall14_fallphotography-1-4

  • Try setting your white balance to Shade.  (Its symbol is usually a house with three diagonal lines next to it)  Shade basically warms up your photograph, which in turn will result in leaf hues closer to what you are seeing with your eyes.  Sometimes photography can be frustrating and disappointing because what we see isn’t what our camera sees.  It’s ok to use the camera as a tool to better create the scene in front of you.  Using Shade white balance is one way I’ve found to help the camera represent changing leaf colors more accurately. Try it and see if it works for you.

liveseasoned_fall14_fallphotography-1

  • Coordinate with the fall foliage.  We think about color whenever we’re trying to create something visually pleasing (interior design, picking out an outfit, choosing a palette for an art project) so it only makes sense to do the same when we’re creating photos.  If you know you’ll be the subject or the shooter, dress to compliment your scene!  This is especially easy in the fall because you generally know what colors to expect. Next time you are the subject of the photo, you’ll compliment the scenery and visa-versa.

liveseasoned_fall14_fallphotography-1-5

I planned on only dishing up five tips, but here’s a bonus that works for shooting in any season and setting: Shoot during the golden hour.  This rule basically runs every photographers life.  The light is warm and shadows are long, which creates for interesting and beautiful photographs.  If you want to shoot the changing leaves and natural scenery, shooting during the first hour and last hour of light is highly advantageous.  The colors of the yellow, orange and red leaves will look even more brilliant during the golden hour so plan your walks just before sunset!

Have fun and happy shooting! Oh and if you snap a shot using one of these tips, tag us on IG @liveseasoned because we would love to check it out 🙂

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Sarah’s Fall Uniform

liveseasoned fall15 autumn poncho-4

Hello, hello, here we are again, in the throws of autumn, spiraling towards winter hibernation.  From time to time, I like to share my seasonal uniform.  I tend to wear basically the same thing every day.  In the spring, I rocked this duster daily, in the summer I lived in my bull’s cap and this vintage bathing suit I found at a thrift store, and this fall it’s all about my new poncho.  Whether I’m walking dogs, taking photos, or curled up in my office chair working from home, I’m living inside this beautiful poncho.  Who wouldn’t want to wear a blanket all the damn time?!

liveseasoned fall15 autumn poncho-1liveseasoned fall15 autumn poncho-2liveseasoned fall15 autumn poncho-6liveseasoned fall15 autumn poncho-5

I have always admired ponchos, but I never found the right one for me that is until about a month ago, when I was supposed to be shopping for a dress for the final ceremony at yoga teacher training.  I’m hot, exhausted, and stopping in every single store I see looking for a dress. Nothing special, just a dress, preferably plain and flowy, but nothing looked right then I see this poncho peeking out of a dark corner of a store full of yak’s wool and knitted mittens.  Not exactly a dress store, but I shuffled out of my shoes and went inside anyway.  As I’m sifting through the rack and telling myself the last thing I should buy on this eighty degree day is a yak’s wool poncho, I see the perfect one.  I pull it over my head, do a little twirl and that’s it, I’m sold.  After a few rounds of bargaining, I paid the agreed upon price of $12.50 and I’m the newest owner of the most perfect poncho in Nepal.  I skip all the way back to the hotel with the poncho tucked safely in my bag.  I won’t wear a new dress for the ceremony, but I will wear a new poncho every single day of autumn.

liveseasoned fall15 autumn poncho-3

I only ever own one or two pairs of jeans at a time. It takes a lot of water to produce a pair. These are my current blue jeans, I’m not disappointed, but I’m also not impressed. You can probably tell that I wear these jeans every day too.  I bought them a couple years ago to replace my old favorites.  Besides the jeans and the poncho, I’m usually wearing some type of basic tank top or simple t-shirt.  Every outfit needs a sensible pair of shoes (I can hear Katie laughing in agreement..) and these Merrells are my most favorite for fall.  I just realized I bought them three years ago and they are honestly in the same condition (maybe a little dirtier) as the day I walked out of the store. (Update as of 07/31/17 – I’m buying a new pair of boots today!)  These Merrell boots hiked up a volcano in Costa Rica, ran across deserts in Utah and crossed the Thorong La Pass in Nepal – so sensible they are.  Hope your fall uniform keeps you as cozy and comfortable as this get up.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Welcome November!

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.

liveseasoned fall15 welcome november hiking-1-5liveseasoned fall15 welcome november hiking-1-2Happy fall y’all.  I’m positive that’s not the first time I’ve used that phrase here this year, but whatevs it’s fall and I live in the south, I can say type y’all all I want!  Autumn is way up there on my list of favorite seasons, they’re pretty much all my favorites, except winter, winter is the middle child bratty step child, but we’re working on our relationship.  For me, Autumn is a time of no excuses, I try to get outside as much as possible even in the rain.

I truly love hiking all year round, but there’s something spectacular about walking through the woods during fall.  The air is cool, crisp and clean and the colors can keep my camera and I occupied for hours.  The summer humidity and bugs are almost nonexistent and there seems to be activity in the thick of the woods.  Animals are bulking up before hunkering down to wait out the winter. Just like the woodland creatures, humans are stocking up on food and hunting as well.  If you are going to hiking during the fall, and you really should, besides extra camera batteries, here are some things to keep in mind:

liveseasoned fall15 welcome november hiking-1-4 liveseasoned fall15 welcome november hiking-1

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Seasoned View: Vol. 20

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find last month’s last month’s here.

Oi. It’s dark outside and it’s 5p.m. even though this happens every year, there’s no way I can get used to it. To offset the outside, I’ve been sprinkling candles about and making my living room a bit more cozy for fall.  In Nepal, most of the landscape was lush and green, but during the Annapurna Circuit trek, there were two days that looked distinctly like autumn.  Here are some of the snapshots I took. Enjoy! Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 6.23.17 PM

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!

10.12.15 print Yak Kharka-34Click for shrub scenery10.11.15 print Manang-38 Click for Annapurna Peaks.10.13.15 print New Phedi-9 Click for her horse10.12.15 print Yak Kharka-48 Click for horses.10.12.15 print Yak Kharka-57 Click for suspension bridge10.12.15 print Yak Kharka-66Click for Yak Kharka.

 

Hope you enjoyed this month’s Seasoned View.  Have a great week!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

Each Friday we share some tidbits from our week.  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 :

_DSC3302

 

It’s so lovely to be home when the leaves are changing.  Autumn is a season I can’t stand to miss.  This week I drank almost two gallons of local cider, took the pup for a few hikes, and edited photos from Nepal for at least twenty-five hours.  Usually it’s equal parts amazing and agonizing to edit travel photos, but this time there’s a bit of inspiration in the mix.  I’m finally pursuing my goal of being a travel writer and while I won’t say too much more right now, I’ll keep you updated on that front.

I also came up with a Halloween costume yesterday, which means I’m scurrying around trying to put it together on the cheap.  Each year, Chapel Hill has a huge party on Franklin Street, an amazing people watching (and meeting) event to celebrate the holiday.  Check our Instagram on Saturday to see the result of my last minute decision 🙂

Katie has been busy keeping this blog afloat while I was trekking and traveling home so I’m sure her bits reads something like this, “Naps, naps, nappity naps since that stinkin’ Sarah is finally home to help with our labor of love.”

Happy Halloween my friends – be safe out there!

Katie Here :

ugg! Today’s been quite a day so far, and I’m running on too little sleep…. but – I’m SO HAPPY SARAH’S BACK! Can’t wait to give her a big squeeze in person!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Eight Fall Fair Trade Favorites

Every so often we highlight brands and products we love. Did you catch Katie’s fall favorites from last year? Here are my fall favorites from 2014 too.

liveseasoned fall15 fairtradefavorites

 

Happy Monday! I knew when I came back from Nepal that it would feel like autumn, but brrrr there is a chill in the air that I didn’t fully expect.  While I’ll probably just shop around in my existing closet to stay warm this season, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the stylish fair trade options on the market right now.  Check out these shops for some threads you can feel great about buying.  The prices might surprise you too!  For instance, the zip up hoodie is only $40, the same price as its American Apparel counterpart and those sweet moccasin boots? Only $40 as well. I’m sooo tempted to pick up a pair, but I’m trying not to spend any extra money until February! Quite a goal, I know, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here are the details on all these lovely fall frocks:

One – The Root Collective is simply a heartfelt company.  I love these flats and although they are way out of my price range, I can admire the goal of the company and respect the price tag for what it represents.  The Root Collective partners with small-scale artisan businesses to handcraft vibrant ballet flats. The Root Collective strives to create a kinder world, and they are passionate about spreading the word about the positive impact that companies can have in the world.

Two – Eileen Fisher produces large lines of clothing all aimed at changing the way the world buys clothing.  Their three aims? Supporting women through social initiatives that address their wellbeing, practicing business responsibly with absolute regard for human rights, and guiding their product and practice toward sustaining the environment.  Who can argue with that?

Three – I’ve always had a thing for Good Society. Originally founded in America in 2007, with headquarters in Germany and an office in Italy, Good Society combines fashion and sustainable lifestyle. Good Society strongly believes in fair incomes for workers and they don’t use pesticide-intensive or genetically-modified cotton crops, only 100% organic cotton for their denim.

Four – This company is near and dear to my heart. Why? Because elegant tees and dresses are designed in NYC and sewn by women freed from sex trafficking in Nepal. Elegantees creates a positive source of income that reinforces independence, a healthy self-image, and confidence. I love how casual and cute this dress is and their other designs are just as basic and beautiful.

Five – These comfy looking zip ups (and everything else they produce) are 100% cotton.  Pact is a certified B Corp that goes to great lengths to make sure their entire supply chain, from the growing and harvesting of the organic cotton to the final sewing of the garment is as clean and responsible as possible.

Six – For how often I practice yoga, I only have one pair of yoga leggings!  My sister actually lent me a few pairs for my recent yoga teacher training in Nepal.  Ridiculous I know, but anyhow, if I had some extra dough, I would purchase these Good Cloth leggings. Good Cloth is outspoken about the lack of understanding in the fashion marketplace about the people that make our clothing and what conditions these workers may face. Good Cloth offers customers a space where they can purchase clothing and accessories that are produced in a way that is kind to workers and the planet.

Seven – I love the simple elegance of this dress. Shift to Nature sources the best of eco friendly brands and they do a damn good job of it.  Their products are made from certified organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and other sustainable textiles and that are also made through sustainable and ethical fair work production and business practices. Shift to Nature is a stock pile of basics in luxury organic cotton leggings, t-shirts, dresses, and active wear.

Eight – I am in deep, deep love with these moccasins and I know I’ll be thinking about them all fall, but I’m at the point where I can be happy something exists and that someone else can buy it – you should be that someone and then you should dance around in my living room so I can enjoy these beauties, but I digress.. Oliberté is the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing factory. They make every single pair of Oliberté shoes at their factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Does it make you feel all warm and tingly inside to to know there are companies out there with big hearts?  Even if I’m not a place in my life where I can support them right now, I feel inspired knowing someday I may through my work or my wallet. Shop responsibly friends. XO

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Happy Autumn Equinox

liveseasoned_fall14_autumn-2Remember this sentiment from last year?  We thought it was too good not to bring it up again.  Ever since I did this quick photo shoot, I’ve been thinking about how much fun it was to have an idea and make it come to life all within a couple hours.  As strange as it sounds, it’s quite rare that I act on my ideas immediately.  I usually write them down and talk myself out of them later.  Often times I think it’s because I don’t have a creative partner (on this side of the country) to help bring my ideas to life.  Whenever Katie and I are together we’re bouncing recipes, products and photo shoot ideas off one another constantly.  Either I move west or stop making excuses for my inability to act because I absolutely love how this little shoot turned out and it was so easy.  This is all to say that Autumn is most definitely a time to act. Seize the day because they’re getting shorter!  By the time I return to the U.S. there will be a chill in the air, but no complaints here, the weather in Nepal is absolutely beautiful right now.  The skies are growing clearer every day, which means more and more glimpses of the Himalayan range.

liveseasoned fall15 autumn equinox

Remember to get outside on Monday, September 28th, for the full harvest moon.  The entire yoga group is going to visit Sarankot, a nearby peak to watch the moonrise and do some meditating.  I’m stoked for such an adventure and I think you should plan something just as special 🙂

liveseasoned_fall14_autumn-1

 

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Welcome September

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.

liveseasoned_fall15_welcome september liveseasoned_fall15_welcome september2

September is a great time to take a hike.  The extreme heat disappears, rain moves in and cooler temperatures arrive.  The damp woods are bursting with fungus. You could even think about joining a mushroom club or going along on a foray this month.  If you’re trotting along you’re sure to see squirrels and chipmunks gathering nuts and seeds for the winter months.  Overhead you’ll hear birds migrating, check out this post to see how to properly prepare for those on the move.  If you’re interested in following along with this season’s migrations, the Cornel Lab of Ornithology produces a bird migration forecast.  You’ll learn what species you should expect to see traveling in different regions of the United States.  Migrations are heavily dependent upon weather conditions.  The best times to see large flocks are directly after a cold front passes and very early in the morning.  That’s why birdwatching groups always meet at the crack of dawn, if you wake up early, head to the nearest native habitats with lots of water.

liveseasoned fall15 welcome september

Bats are also on the move this month.  As fall approaches big brown bats are looking for a place to hibernate.  Cool nights with fewer insects are the primary force that starts the migration to hibernation.  Some of these migrations may be very short, only a few miles from their summer homes.  At this time of year, big brown bats are plump, healthy and ready for a long sleep.  Unheated attics are actually ideal hibernation places for bats so keep an eye out in case some make their way into your home.  You’ll want to have them removed before they hibernate or else you shouldn’t disturb them until spring!

 

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

liveseasoned_fall14_autumn-2

Wouldn’t you agree?  As we (in the northern hemisphere) move towards the dark, it’s important to gather up all the golden moments of autumn and squirrel them away for winter.  Fall always seems to be the season that scurries by the fastest and that may be why it steals my heart year after year.  I’m always trying to grasp onto those last warm weekends and the fresh fall air before the weather turns frigid.

liveseasoned_fall14_autumn-1

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

This year I’m going to try my hardest to spend lots of hours outside (I camped at the McDowell Nature Preserve last night) and appreciate each moment that autumn brings.  I’m also going to make it a point to welcome the long nights of autumn and winter.  Life is about balance and change and the sooner we welcome and appreciate those changes the easier life will be. So dust off your dream catcher, pull out your comforter and screw in a daylight bulb near your reading nook, but before you do that, find your favorite fall outfit, take lots of walks and soak in the season.  Happy Equinox!

 

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone