Friday, June 29, 2012

DIY: Arrows

While Kat's beating the heat down in Florida, I'm spending the time inside.  Inspired by the summer camp staple of arts and crafts, I've made some camp-worthy decorations my home.
Right now mine are brightening up my mantle in a vase.  Here's how to make your own.
 3/16"x36" round wooden dowels (you can make 2 arrows per dowel), feathers, embroidery floss, double-sided tape, and white glue
 1.  Carefully cut a slit into your dowel.  2.  Trim your feather down to length and place it in the slit.  Wrap short lengths of double-sided tape where you want the embroidery floss to be wrapped.  3.  Begin wrapping your first color of embroidery floss, making sure to wrap over your loose end.  4.  When you switch colors, continue to wrap around the loose ends.  5.  When you come to the end of your last color, use a little drop of glue to hold down the end.  6.  Admire your finished arrow and make more!
 Switch up your colors and band sizes for variation between all your arrows.  I hope this gives you something to do while you beat the heat this weekend!


from florida with love

I've been away all this week doing a training session for work in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Besides the tropical storm that was hovering around at the start of the week , the weather cleared up and has really been beautiful over the last couple of days.  I've been working hard but also taking some time to relax, sit by the ocean, and enjoy the sun.  I'll be back next week with a few projects and some summer fun.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Garden Update

A few months ago, we mentioned getting started on our gardens together.  I have a couple of perennial/herb beds, but this year I also added three raised beds to my front yard gardens.  My backyard is full shade, so most of my gardening happens in the front.  Here's what they looked like when I put them in back in early May.
You can just barely see the little baby peppers, tomatoes, squash, and basil that we started from seed.  All the other seeds went straight into the ground that day (the purple and thai basils are from the farmers market).

Here's what it looks like now, almost 8 weeks down the road.
I've been eating mustard and kale, and they're almost ready to replant.   You've seen some of the herbs show up in drinks and recipes already.  I pulled some radishes this week.  I've got baby cucumbers, tomatoes, and beans.  The okra, calendula, peppers, and watermelon look like they're about ready to open their first blossoms.  Here's some up close and personal views.
 Purple and thai basil
 Rattlesnake Runner Bean Blossom
 Cute Cuke
 Sugarbaby Watermelon
Bean Teepee and bolted mustard

I'll be sure to share more with you as fruits come in.  Until then, check out my instagram.  My garden is one of my favorite things picture subjects. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Refreshments: Gin

Gin and Tonic is one of those drinks that marks summer for me.  The first gin and tonic of the season makes me feel like summer is finally here.   Kat and I are always throwing herbs from our gardens into our drinks, so we decided to create some g&t twists using things from our garden.  Grab a bottle of gin, make one of our drinks, and head outside and enjoy summer.

Cucumber-Basil G&T:
You need:  Cucumber, Basil, Lime, Gin, Tonic

In your glass, tear up 2-3 basil leaves and squeeze a slice of lime over top.
 Add 3 slices of cucumber, a few ice cubes, and 1.5 oz gin (a shot).
Top off with tonic water.
Garnish with cucumber, basil, lime, and a straw for those who are wary of all the stuff floating in their drink (our mom calls these salad drinks).  This one gradually becomes more and more flavorful as the cucumber infuses with the gin and tonic.  It's pretty heavenly, and has natural cooling properties to boot!

Cherry-Citrus Gin and Tonic
You need:  Lemon, Lime, Cherries, Grenadine, Gin and Tonic
Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime and 1/4 of a lemon over ice.  Add a couple of cherries and grenadine to taste.
Add 1.5 oz of gin.
Top off with tonic, garnish with lemon, lime, and cherry, and enjoy.

Rosemary Gin and Tonic 

You need:  Rosemary Simple Syrup*, Gin, and Tonic
Pour 1-1.25 oz Rosemary Syrup into a glass.
Add 1.5 oz gin and top off with tonic water.
Stir with a sprig of rosemary and it's ready!  This drink is a wonderful mix of the piney flavors of both gin and rosemary, plus the sweetness of honey.  It is definitely one of my favorites this summer.
Rosemary Simple Syrup:

6-7 8" Sprigs of Rosemary
1/4 c Honey
1/4 c Raw Sugar
1/2 c water

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until sugar and honey have completely dissolved.  Allow to cool and strain through a coffee filter into a jar.  This will keep about a month in the fridge, but I can't imagine that you'll have too much leftover--it's hard not to make one for a friend or have a second one yourself.

We hope these drinks help you get through the hot days that have been showing up.  We're loving them around here.


Friday, June 22, 2012


We're off to Linville Gorge to celebrate Allison's birthday with a camping trip. See you Monday!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

birthday party to go

Since our little sister was celebrating her first birthday away from the rest of us, I wanted to make sure she got some gifts that reminded her of home.  I tend to go a little overboard for birthdays, decorating for days, making the food and decor match, trucking tons of supplies to wherever the celebration is taking place- so for Sarah I put together a simple package that she could use in her own celebration up there with friends.  I grabbed one of the sparkly garlands I make and sell in my shop, along with some loose paper confetti pieces I punched to match, a few fun striped straws, and a couple of cake flags to top it all off.  I wrapped that all up in some tissue paper with a card and viola- a birthday party to go!

The paper garland, confetti, and flags are all available in my shop and similar paper straws can be found here.

big moves and birthdays

Yesterday was our little sister's birthday. Happy Birthday Sarah!  It's been a huge year for her; from graduating from Pharmacy School (we now must refer to her as Dr. Sarah), to getting engaged, to relocating to Richmond, VA for the next year to work at VCU: we could not be more proud or more excited for her!  This weekend, along with our parents, we drove up to Richmond to help Sarah get settled into her new downtown loft apartment.  We got to see some of the sights, taste some of the food, and experience a glimpse of the amazing southern town she'll be calling home for the next year.  Again we brought our phones along to capture some of the trip and here's a little of what we saw:

Stay tuned this afternoon when I'll be sharing a little package I put together for Sarah's first birthday away from the rest of the family.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

round 2

Sorry for the long silence, friends.  We've all had some busy springs, but with summer in full-swing, we're excited to be back working on this space.  From this point on Kat and I will be sharing tons of new content and we'll have some friends stopping in to visit as well.

Here's a peek at what we were doing in our absence:

So, lots of fresh-vegetable cooking, gardening, grilling, drink-making, and hanging out with dogs and backyard chickens.  Yep, we've been busy.

We've missed you and we're so excited to be back.

(all photos from our iphones, follow us on instagram here and here)