Weekend Lake Essentials

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Happy {almost} weekend! I’m packing up for a friend’s birthday celebration. A bunch of gals are headed to a lake house in Pennsylvania for a few days. Besides Cash the dog, here’s what I’m taking:

Whenever I go on a road trip, I make sure to pack a cooler full of snacks. A couple years ago, I started using ice packs instead of plain old ice and holy sh!t my life is easier. No more soggy snacks or watered down condiments. I know you know what I’m talking about.

Lake hangs must involve a boat or a raft. This year I’ll be lounging on pineapple fruit float while I sip cocktails out of my drink bottle, supplemented by tons of water from the camelbak of course. A friends gifted me the RTIC drink bottle a few months ago and I’m in love. It stays icy all day even during the Carolina summer. The widemouth stainless steel is easy to clean too. I can switch from cold brew coffee to agua fresca without noticing any unwanted leftover flavors. This weekend, I’ll be sippin’ on Pimm’s Cups and my take on a Moscow Mule.

Drinking on a float in the middle of the lake requires some serious sun protection. I just bought these Sunski glasses and here’s the recipe for our mineral-based sunscreen. A hat wouldn’t hurt either.

Even writing about day drinking has me ready for a nap. I love these huge fluffy beach towels. They’re large enough to lay on and curl up with. If you’re down to hang, here’s my exact hammock at the best straps money can buy. Don’t forget a favorite book to pretend to read before dozing off.

Now I’m off to clean my car and buy some groceries. I plan on making a couple different batches of veggie burgers and letting that bowl of goodness inspire my shopping list. Our sister, Kristin, made that creation. Here’s the recipe for the kale and pine nut salad.  Kristin is also the one who turned me onto this veggie burger book, which I’ve used for over five years! She’s always placing something delicious in front of me. Hope you find some chill in your weekend. xo

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Beach Reads : Beautiful Swimmers

Teachable Moments is a relatively new series on the blog, you can find the archive here. And you can learn more about Saxis in this selection of posts. And if you’d like to see our favorite sun gear for toddlers, click here.

We just bought the tickets for our big annual trip to the East Coast. We’re so lucky to be able to take this big chunk of time and spend it visiting family both in PA and VA. In addition to that quality time, what I really love is being able to expose the boys to activities and ideas that they may not have at home in Colorado. Isn’t that what traveling’s all about?

Many of our days are spent at the beach, but that’s just a snippet of how the boys spend their time on the island.

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Whenever Poppop’s in town, they spend many quality hours on the boat. There are one to two trips a day to check the crab pots in the bay. Sometimes they stay out longer doing a bit of fishing or line-crabbing, but our primary prey is the blue crab. Their scientific name is Callinectes sapidus, and it has the most perfect meaning : calli = beautiful, nectes = swimmer, and sapidus = savory!

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Welcome July

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, farmers’ fields, and environmental holidays. *You can find our archive of previous welcomes here (a few months are missing from the archive, we’re bowing our heads in shame).*

Sarah wasn’t lying when she mentioned that July’s her favorite month. And mine too, for all of the same reasons!

In my mind, July is everything summer. It’s cannon balls in swimming pools, muggy nights filled with the sounds of cicadas and the glow of lightning bugs. It’s tomato and mayo sandwiches for lunch, followed by California burgers and corn on the cob (fresh from the garden!) for dinner.

Those are the memories seared into my brain, and I’m hoping to create some of the same for the boys. And on that front I think we’re off to a great start. Right now the boys are coated in sand, sunscreen, and lake water. If that’s not July, then I don’t know what is.

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Seasoned View : Vol. 27

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

Happy Monday y’all! It’s July, unquestionably my favorite month of the year. Growing up, Katie and I would have joint birthday parties at the local pool. I still remember splashing around in the sun, getting out only when the smell of the grill wafted over, shivering with blue lips and being wrapped up in a big fuzzy towel then sitting down and opening a pile of presents. I truly feel all kinds of grateful when I think about the happy childhood I had, but seriously, how lucky are July babies? Pool parties every year! Here’s a few summer shots to tide you over at your work station this month.

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You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or even as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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Our Top Sun & Water Essentials for Toddlers

I’m so excited for summer with the boys. They are 2 and 4 years old, and I can already tell that this is going to be a really active summer for us. From the moment they wake up until they pass out, we’re riding bikes, playing in the baby pool on the back porch, and going for hikes in the woods. All that time outside in the sun requires good gear, and a dip or two in the water to cool off. So, below we’re sharing our favorite sun and water gear, because the two go together like peanut butter and jelly (obviously).
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Welcome June

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, farmers’ fields, and environmental holidays. *You can find our archive of previous welcomes here (a few months are missing from the archive, we’re bowing our heads in shame).*

Hello, Summer!

Are you feeling the heat? Based upon our Instagram feed, I sense that most of the country had a nice spring and then transitioned into hot weather sometime last month. Not us, we had an unseasonably large snowstorm in late May, which confuses our minds and the garden. Remember last month’s welcome when I was already talking about the crazy weather BEFORE that storm? But anyway, our hot days have arrived, and we’re loving it!

We’re transitioning to more dinners on the deck, more long evenings playing in the dirt, and (of course), more fresh seasonal eats.

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The image above is from the Library of Congress’ online prints and photos collection. I love these old prints. The designs are awesome, and they tell a story about the times. I also love the idea that the government was trying to get us to work together, a particularly common theme for the posters made during WWII, and even outside of war times there were others about taking care of yourself (eating healthy, exercising, etc.) and some about celebrating American heritage. If you’re looking to waste time online the LOC is a great place to do it.

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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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Summer on Saxis Island, Virginia

In the past we’ve highlighted Saxis Island through photo stories about the watermen and our bike ride to the beach.  Yesterday we introduced you to our favorite spider and last week we mentioned a few of our favorite outdoor shower products.

We already love Saxis for so many reasons, but like most things in life, when you experience them again through a child’s eye you appreciate them that much more.  We wanted to highlight some of the shenanigans going on in and around Saxis this summer with a few photos. Hopefully you also have a favorite summer stomping ground where you can act like a kid again.  If not, let these photos be inspiration to get out there, mess around, and maybe find a spot that you’ll return to each summer.

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Playing in the surf never gets old.  If you have little ones like Alex, we recommend having one adult for every child because you never know when they might sprint right into the waves (Katie here : with these crazy boys I’m starting to think that we need two adults for every kid!).  Alex is one brave boy.  He’s constantly shocking us with the challenges he takes on like diving head first into holes in the sand. Yep, he treats sand dunes and big holes like a slide at the playground and going feet first would be too safe and tame for that tyke.  If you’re the cautious type or you just need a break, you could seek out the nearest bay to play in.  Chances are the water is calm and shallow and you may even find some bayside critters swimming in the water.

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Of course, it’s not all about the kids. Our family has always enjoyed a good game, often it’s a card or board game at night, but we’re also a big fan of lawn/beach games. This year our mom discovered Kubb, and our pop made a set for the beach. Everyone in our group had a great time playing, and recommend this for anyone who loves horseshoes, corn hole, or any similar toss game.

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While we love a good beach day, we also love our water toys.  Each year it seems our family is adding something to the fleet.  This year we acquired two stand up paddle boards.  Stand Up Paddle boards are a fantastic way to hop right onto the water without much set up and hassle.  SUPs can be carried by one person where as kayaks are much easier to transport with two people. SUPs are also a nice way to give young kids a little taste of the bay without taking them too far out in case they’re a bit apprehensive about water.


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As much as we love SUPs, kayaks and classic boogie boards, nothing beats a motorboat. We keep it pretty simple in our family with a small fishing boat, but it feels luxurious to us since we grew up paddling a canoe.  A motorboat allows you the freedom to bring along all the fishing and crabbing you could want and don’t you dare forget that cooler full of drinks!

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While we’re running down docks, pulling up crabs and diving into sand holes, we’re learning about the world around us.  Every moment is a chance to see and experience something new on the island.  We get equally excited about feeding horseshoe crabs at the Assateague Visitors Center as we do about looking at dead dragonflies through a bug magnifying box.  Last year Alex’s first word was “burd”, which he said while watching the seagulls fly by the house. This year we started to teach him the names of different birds as we saw them, from egrets in the trees to osprey watching over their nests. We’re hoping these summers on Saxis instill the same love and appreciation for nature in little Alex and Luc that we have now as adults.

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Summer Essentials : Park Days!

From the popsicles on Monday to cooking with Little A on Tuesday and Sarah’s tips for taking sibling snapshots yesterday, it inadvertently turned into a kid-themed week over here. Meanwhile, Alex, Luc and I are in the middle of an awesome summer of kid fun. What does that mean? Playgrounds and parks. Between naps and rainy day visits to the library, we try to spend as much time outside as we can, so I thought I would share our park/sun essentials.

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Swim/sun suits are the way to go if you have little ones and a park with a fountain. The suits make sunscreen application so easy! … and they aren’t just for kids, my mom just gave me this suit for my birthday. PS. everything on that site is 15% off with the code SUMMER15.

I love all of the cheap options for prescription glasses these days, and am thinking about ordering these sunglasses.

Homemade sunscreen? Check!

Word on the playground is that skorts are a mom’s best friend. I never thought I’d say that, but luckily, there are a lot of great looking and fitting skorts out there. Unfortunately, my current favorite is now sold out, so I can’t buy a dozen more, but this is the “sport” alternative.

Keens are awesome for active little kids. Socks aren’t necessary, they keep feet cool, they are great on dry or wet days, and they dry quickly. The only bummer? They’re targets for stray pebbles.

I always pack a hat, and my favorites are the inexpensive floppy ones.

No matter where we’re going, staying organized is the key to getting out the door quickly. I just bought this small Timbuk2 bag and am so happy to be back on the messenger bag train again, especially when there are so many pockets involved.

And the key to keeping everyone happy in the heat is water. At Christmas time I used Cafe Press to make us a couple of personalized water bottles – they made great stocking stuffers, and now they’re in constant rotation for our park trips.

Little A is such a tough guy that he rarely needs more than a kiss to get back on his feet, but I picked up a couple of these first aid kits just in case we happen upon a bandaid moment. They are compact enough to keep in my bag and in the glove box.


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As is my nature, I try to keep things simple when we head out for the day; it gets us out the door faster and there’s less to keep track of when we’re at the park. Of course, we always pack a snack and my camera :-). What about you? What are your park essentials?

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