Best of the Season : Summer 2015

At the end of each season, we take a look back and highlight our favorite posts. See previous Seasonal Bests here.

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Summer flew by! Let me say here and now that this was the Summer of Kate.  She created SO many posts this summer and I’m eternally grateful for her hard work and dedication to Live Seasoned so if you enjoyed this summer, know that it was mostly brought to you by Katie. We love summer for so many reasons: the sun, the berries, the beach, our birthdays, we could go on and on. We even added an extra week, did you notice? We both agree that autumn is pretty awesome too.  The cool, crisp smell of the leaves in the air mixed with a cup of hot tea and every cliche fall activity we can think of, yep, that’s why autumn totally rocks.  Before we move on to fall, we wanted to take a look back at summer and highlight our favorite posts. If you had a fave we didn’t mention, we would love to hear in the comments!

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Best of Dinners

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Best of Desserts

  • Katie’s pick : I think I’m still tickled by how perfectly the Pineapple Flowers fit the fourth anniversary gifts of fruit & flowers. Plus, they were so easy to make and looked beautiful. I’m exciting to have this little trick in my repertoire for future dessert decorating. 
  • Sarah’s pick : I ate so many Lemon Bars that I became ill and I would do it tomorrow if I had them in front of me!

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Best of Popsicles

  • Katie’s pick : I have to admit that I loved the Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Popsicles because they were delicious, but also because I could give them to Alex at any time of day and not feel guilty about it!
  • Sarah’s pick : You know it’s a good summer when we have a best of popsicles category.  I loved Katie’s Lemon Cream Popsicles.

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Best of Drinks

  •  Katie’s pick : Let’s just say that I have to make another batch of lemongrass simple syrup today to keep the Lemon Lemon Gin Fizz(es?) coming through the weekend.
  • Sarah’s pick : I think my homemade lemonade post was technically in the spring, but I made lemonade more times than I can count this summer.

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Best of Crafts

  • Katie’s pick : Does it count that I love the moth watercolor from our Mad about Moths post? I would love to be able to paint like that.
  • Sarah’s pick : I’m still in disbelief that you can print out an enormous photo for only ten bucks, which means the winner is Cheap Oversized Photo Art.

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Best of Wedding Crafts

  • Katie’s pick : I know it was only four years ago, but I really loved looking back through our wedding day through the DIY projects. While I loved making everything, my top project would have to be the bunting, because we still bring it out for special events like birthdays, including decorating the hospital room where Luc was born!
  • Sarah’s pick : I loved looking back at Katie’s wedding and seeing all the details that made it so very special.  This was a hard decision for me, but because I still carry the Purse around (four years later) all the time I have to pick it as my favorite wedding project. Ps. I totally saw two other bridesmaids using their purses this summer too!

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Best of Health & Beauty

  • Katie’s pick : With our new high-altitude home and all of the time we spend outside, I’m so excited that I know how to make DIY Mineral-based Sunscreen. While it’s already great, I’m hoping that batch by batch I’ll customize the recipe to something that’s just right for our family. 
  • Sarah’s pick : I use Katie’s Summer Face Oil every single day. I love the way it smells and feels and I love knowing my scientist of a sister concocted it on her own 🙂

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Best How To

  • Katie’s pick : Because we had just as much fun doing it as writing about it, I’m going with the Camping with Little Kids post.
  • Sarah’s pick : Even though I don’t have kids, I loved Katie’s post Cooking with Kids.  I was surprised at how many great ideas she had (har har 😉 ) that pertained to cooking with little ones.

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Best of Photography

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Best of Nature

  • Katie’s pick : I liked writing the shark species spotlight, because it actually helped me to get over some of my fear of knowing that they were swimming so close to our summer stomping grounds! 
  • Sarah’s pick : I love Katie’s new Species Spotlight feature and I’m totally partial to the Argiope aurantia aka cool yellow spider because in this case, the more you learn, the more you love.

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Best of Travel

  • Katie’s Pick : The beach! Maybe because we’re still here and living it :-).
  • Sarah’s Pick : I loved revisiting Cannon Beach & Haystack Rock through photos.  It truly was one of the most amazing tidal pools I’ve ever seen.

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Best Around the House

  • Katie’s pick : While not exciting, and definitely not our typical type of post, I have to go with my post about Recovering Photos from LaCie RAID Drive because the end result was so valuable to me (saving over a decade worth of photos!) and because it feels so empowering to be able to do research and fix a software problem myself.
  • Sarah’s pick : I loved writing Five Best Earth Friendly Products for an Outdoor Shower because it gave me a chance to research the companies that I use and love so much.  I found out so many interesting and inspiring facts while writing the post that I’m actually excited to buy more of their products.  I love feeling like an informed and responsible consumer, how dorky am I?

And that’s it, another summer in the books. We always think it goes by too fast, but that’s part of the reason why we blog. Having this record of the season helps to remind us that while we may not have had time for every adventure on our list, we still did a lot and had a fantastic time! We hope you did too. xo

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Best of the Season

At the end of each season, we take a look back and highlight our favorite posts. See previous Seasonal Bests here.

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Even though it doesn’t feel like spring, we’re happy to turn our sights towards longer days, warmer weather, and a variety of new topics starting with the introduction of our ingredient of the season next week! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy clicking back through our favorite posts of winter. If you had a fave we didn’t mention, we would love to hear in the comments!

Best of Soups & Sides

  • Sarah’s pick: I’ve been eating this crab chowder recipe for the past twenty years, but it is still one of my favorite soups of all time.
  • Katie’s pick: I never thought of myself as a creamy chicken soup fan, but we were introduced to an amazing version this winter!

Best of Desserts

Best of Drinks

Best of Crafts

  • Sarah’s pick: I have no idea how to knit, but I still love reading Kate’s Project Sweater Updates.
  • Katie’s pick: I loved everything about our new Christmas stockings, that they were so easy and fast to make, and that I know they’ll be hanging on our mantel for years to come!… now to think up a forth design for next year.

Best of Potions

  • Sarah’s pick: I know this Natural Orange Cleaner isn’t for your skin, but this potion is so cheap and helpful around here!
  • Katie’s pick: Lotion bars, as they’ve now become a staple in our dry Colorado climate!

Best of Nature

  • Sarah’s pick: I say this with painful pangs of jealousy in my heart: I love reading about Katie’s snowshoeing adventures in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Katie’s pick: I (finally) got one of the ENO hammocks for Christmas that the rest of my siblings have been raving about, so Sarah’s tips for winter hammocking really struck a cord.

Best of Travel

  • Sarah’s pick: I had so much fun writing this post about How To: Save for Travel and creating a budget and savings plan for my trip to Nepal later this year.
  • Katie’s pick: The German Christmas Markets post was such a fun read for me because it took me right back to our trip, and made me wish that I could steal away a week to visit the markets every December!
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Best of the Season

At the end of each season, we take a look back and highlight our favorite posts. See previous Seasonal Bests here.

I don’t know about you, but for me fall seemed to creep along during September and October, and then November passed in a flash! I can’t believe that Monday will be December. I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s making it seem different this year, it probably most definitely has something to do with Little A being old enough to start enjoying the magic. Anyway, while we’re excited to jump into winter with both feet, we also love taking a moment to look back and relish all things fall.

Best of Main Dishes

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  • Sarah’s pick : I’m a big fan of Katie’s Roasted Root & Squash Soup for three reasons.  First, it is a dish that spans two seasons and can easily be modified to include whatever roots and squash you have on hand.  Second, it is packed with veggies and can be vegan if you leave out the cheese garnish.  Third, it is a great recipe for a beginner cook.  No tricky steps or hard to find ingredients in this dish.
  • Katie’s pick : Sarah’s Thanksgiving Inspired Tapas! Every time I look at that post, I wish I were a guest at the table. It’s a perfect twist on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and looks delicious. And I have to admit that I usually shy away from tapas restaurants because I assume that I’m going to leave hungry, so I really like the idea of serving tapas at home, and know that I won’t be craving more because the leftovers are in the fridge.

Best of Desserts

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  • Sarah’s pick : I’m in love with the mini no bake pumpkin pies.  They’re creamy and chewy and they are packed with protein.  I’m not going to pretend that I always eat healthy desserts, but these pumpkin pies are my new favorites.
  • Katie’s pick : I’ll take a good apple crisp any day, especially one with cranberries! And yes, I’m totally cheating, because this should be in the “Best of Breakfasts” category for me.

Best of Alcoholic Drinks

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  • Sarah’s pick : Katie served me my first Apple Sidecar and I remember taking a nap immediately afterwards.  This time I took her advice and added a big chunk of ice to my drink. Delicious and festive, this apple sidecar deserves a spot on your holiday cocktail menu.
  • Katie’s pick : It’s been a long time since I had an Appletini, but Sarah’s post took me right back to a bar in Philly where we would get cheap appletinis at happy hour. I’m sure they have nothing on Sarah’s well-garnished drink. I’ll just add it to the growing list of post-baby drinks!

Best of Non-Alcoholic Drinks

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  • Sarah’s pick : There was no contest here, Kate’s Sparkling Cider Mocktails are by far the best non-alcoholic drink of the season.  I wish I had a little crew of kids to serve up these special drinks to.  I know they would really appreciate them.  I always loved Shirley Temples growing up, but they’re no comparison to these special sparkling holiday mocktails. Without any kiddos around, I make these mocktails during the middle of the day as motivation to keep editing and accomplishing menial tasks around the house.
  • Katie’s pick : I’m eyeing Sarah’s Fresh Apple, Carrot, Ginger Juice. That sweet and spicy combination, just seems so perfectly refreshing at any time of year, but especially have a good fall hike… and really, really miss when Sarah and her juicer lived with us!

Best of Cheese

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  • Sarah’s pick : My favorite was the first cheese we featured, Nut Crusted Brie. I love the gooey baked cheese along with the crunch of the nuts.
  • Katie’s pick : Brie with Truffle Honey. I want to eat it every day.

Best of Crafts

  • Sarah’s pick : I loved looking back at the craft category and seeing how many natural crafts we made this fall.  I enjoyed making the leaf garland and outdoor twig wreath, but my favorite has to be Kate’s dried fruit garland.  I just love the look of sliced oranges and apples, if you haven’t made it yet, turn on that oven!
  • Katie’s pick : I had as much fun making the witch window silhouette as I did seeing it every night in our window. I also think it’s a project that was worth the time and effort, because we should be able to reuse it for years to come.

Best of Style

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  • Sarah’s pick : We don’t do many fashion features on Seasoned, but I do give glimpses of my daily threads.  I’m loving these dressed yet comfortable pixie pants that I picked up at Old Navy.
  • Katie’s pick : Admittedly most days you’ll find me in yoga pants, but when I do get dressed to leave the house, I’m wearing some version of my Fall Favorites. So maybe I’m picking it not necessarily because it’s the best style, but because it’s my perfect fall wardrobe, and it never gets old.

Best of Potions

  • Sarah’s pick : Even though this potion was a tiny bit smelly, I enjoyed making my own pore strips.  Super duper cheap and really easy too.
  • Katie’s pick : I’m going with the Dandruff Shampoo because it was so stinking easy to make, and it worked!

Best of Nature

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  • Sarah’s pick : Can I cheat and mention two posts? First, I loved researching and writing about the Boulder Flat Irons Hike almost as much as I enjoyed the trek itself.  It is so much easier to take photos and really enjoy the landscape when you don’t have a crazy hound dog along for the walk. Second, I had a great time making the photograph and turning it into a quote celebrating the Autumnal Equinox.  Celebrating natural holidays is very important to me so spending time outside this year and creating this image was my way of thanking the earth.
  • Katie’s pick : I found Sarah’s Tips for Taking Fantastic Fall Photos to be so helpful. It’s not specifically a nature post, but it’s the type of post that inspires me to get out there and enjoy nature a bit more, even if it is through the lens of my camera.

Best of Around Town

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  • Sarah’s pick : While this better suits the category Best of Around the World, I had a great time revisiting Thailand for this Bangkok City Guide.
  • Katie’s pick : I loved our visit to the local Kombucha brewer. Getting the chance to taste-test so many flavors at once was a great exploratory mission. I now know that I love so many flavors beyond my old stand-by. And it was awesome to discover this Boulder gem with Sarah.

Any favorite posts that you didn’t see on the list? Let us know in the comments 🙂

 

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Best of the Season

We’re starting a new feature today. At the end of the season (in our books, Autumn arrives with the start of September), we will be highlighting our favorite posts from the season. Just a little looking back and savoring all that was summer before we move on to fall.

Best of Main Dishes

  • Katie’s pick : I was about to go with the fish tacos, because those are a current craze in our house, but looking back through the archive, I saw the lamb meatballs, and they win out. They are ingredient and time intensive, but they are so worth it. If you haven’t tried making them yet, this savory dish will be perfect for cool fall evenings!
  • Sarah’s pick : Even though I haven’t made them yet, the fresh spring rolls are my favorite!  The final product looks so pretty and I love how they can be customized to each eater’s tastes.  Anyone want to come to a spring roll party?!

Best of Desserts

  • Katie’s Pick : I loved Sarah’s popsicle series. Getting to sample the pops first hand makes my mouth water and brings back the flavors every time I look at one of those posts. I loved how simple the recipes were, and even typing this I want to run out to the store and pick up the ingredients for my favorite, the creamy toasted coconut. My only complaint? that there wasn’t time for more!
  • Sarah’s Pick : Avocado popsicles FOREVER! Seriously. I need to live where avocados are always in season (where is that?) because I can’t get enough of these pops.  They’re delicious, filling, packed with fiber, potassium, and good fats, what else do you need?!

Best of Alcoholic Drinks

  • Katie’s Pick : I’m torn here. I love a good mojito, and still remember how much I savored every sip of the watermelon mojitos we made in June. But, I’ve yet to try Sarah’s ginger cuke cocktail.
  • Sarah’s Pick : The spicy ginger cuke cocktail is my absolute favorite, not just of the summer, but of all time.  I find myself stocking up on ginger beer every time I’m at the store. Whenever I juice a cucumber, I juice two extras so that I always have fresh cucumber juice on hand for this cocktail.

Best of Non-Alcoholic Drinks

  • Katie’s Pick : Sarah’s agua fresca post, because it opened my eyes to a completely new-to-me drink. Then I started to notice a variety of fresh agua frescas in my local market (they make them from the uber-ripe produce rather than letting it go bad), and I’ve been hooked!
  • Sarah’s Pick : I love Kate’s mocktail post from earlier this week. Those fresh, fruity and bubbly drinks are such a treat!  I wouldn’t mind being the designated driver if I was served a grapefruit, fig and mint mocktail.

Best of Crafts

  • Katie’s Pick : Sarah’s tillandsia display, because it’s awesome and it inspired us to get creative with air plants, like using them to decorate the walls of our outdoor shower.
  • Sarah’s Pick : I love the tiny, up-cycled, hanging, glow vases (enough adjectives, eh?) because they were SO simple to make.  At our most recent party, we hung them underneath a pergola and guests were stopping and photographing them all night!

Best of Style

  • Katie’s Pick : I was really inspired by Sarah and Kristin’s scarf tying post. Next step – actually put one on my head.
  • Sarah’s Pick : I’m loving Kate’s knit post, especially the hat for Alex. I can’t wait to see it on his little big noggin.  I also wished I knew another photographer because this post made me realize that we need to do more style posts!

Best of Potions

  • Katie’s Pick : Homemade deodorant for the win. I use it every day (and have for years), and its proven itself to work great time and time again.
  • Sarah’s Pick: Dry Shampoo to the rescue! This post title couldn’t be more accurate. I sprinkle some dry shampoo on my bangs every other day. The sandy salt scrub is a close second, but I definitely use the dry shampoo more often.

Best of Nature

  • Katie’s Pick : I’m going to have to go with my Colorado hiking series, because I enjoyed every thing that went into those posts, from the actual hiking to the documentation, and learning about the plants in my new home. It’s a series I’m hoping to continue with contributions from Sarah. {Sarah here: hint taken!}
  • Sarah’s Pick : I really enjoy Katie’s Monthly Welcome posts because they keep me in tune with what’s going on in nature.  I’m usually up to date with what fruits and veggies are in season, but sometimes I’m in the dark with the animal realm.

What about you? Did we do anything that really tickled your fancy this summer? Anything that you wish you could forget? (don’t worry we’ll still love you)

Sarah and I just finished up our big fall-planning phone call. Although I was dragging my feet at the beginning of the week, I’m beginning to get excited about the change of seasons and can’t wait for some of the posts we have in store. Of course we’re keeping it all a surprise, but if you have any requests, our ears and eyes are open.

We hope you have a fantastic Labor Day weekend, full of food, friends, crafts, and a bit of nature too!

 

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