Month: January 2014

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menagerie: healthy new recipes to try

I love using Pinterest for food inspiration. Whenever I have a certain idea for a dessert, or appetizer, I first search for the key terms in Pinterest – like “whole wheat chocolate muffins” – and then glance through until something catches my eye. But lately I’ve been noticing a lot of new “healthier” alternatives in my feed, from other pinners. I wanted to share some of my favorite inspirations with you. Perhaps you’ll get motivated to try a completely new dish or technique!? Crostini Creations via Honestly YUM Coconut Black Rice Breakfast Pudding via My New Roots 30 Days of Juicing via Williams Sonoma Green Pizza via unknown source, but try this one instead Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup via Two Peas and Their Pod Kale, Black Bean & Avocado Burrito Bowl via Cookie & Kate Thai Basil Coconut Lentils via Punch of Yum Slow Cooker Moroccan Tagine via A Hint of Honey Chia Pudding with Plums & Figs via Amelia Green Omelette via What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today? I also discovered some pretty …

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ranch: blue sky land & cattle company

The Blue Sky Land & Cattle Company is a venture by my brother and his fiance’s parents. Together, they own and operate a 440 acre ranch just minutes from where I was raised in East Texas.I took these photos on my first visit to the land after its purchase. Since then, they’ve cleared the fields, built numerous fences and introduced cows and donkeys. It’s gorgeous land, and that’s why I want to get married here. Yes, this would be a beautiful venue. It’s rugged, rustic, outdoors and currently lacks all the necessary amenities of modern life, like running water, plumbing and electricity. How then, can you possibly get married out there? Good question! My dream was something intimate, open views and outdoors. I pictured a large tree, with all my loved ones around me, and a tent with assorted vintage pieces. Vintage and mismatched chairs, tables, china, and antique sofas and lounge chairs. String lights, chandeliers, candles and torches. Wood, succulents, greenery, flower garlands, honey, jams, biscuits, sweet tea… Ivory dress, blush, sage, lavender, grey …

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sustainable living: how to green your home, part one

When I was home in Texas over Christmas, I visited Barnes & Noble a couple times looking for wedding magazines and such. I ended up finding a $3 bargain book about how to “green” your life, particularly your home (The Green Family Book of Household Solutions by Doug Donaldson). I want to share some of the tips and tricks, as a few of these are things I never considered before reading this! In the Bathroom:  Adjust how much water sits in your toilet bowl (used per flush) with a simple trick – fill a plastic water bowl or two with small stones so it sinks; place it in the tank of toilet. Now every time you flush, your toilet uses less water to fill the bowl, thereby reducing the amount of water you need. Purchase a low flow showerhead to reduce the amount of water, but still get the sensation of a full force showerhead. In America alone, more than 1.2 trillion gallons of water goes down the drain in our showers each year. These …

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menagerie: spring wedding inspiration

So we haven’t picked an exact date, but we’re tentatively thinking April 25, 2015 – the last Saturday of the month. I’ve always dreamed of a spring wedding, when everything is in bloom and full of color. I dreamed of an outdoor venue, possibly on my family’s land, overlooking rolling hills and under a large tree, draped with lights and candles. Of course, now that I’ve started looking at rental prices and comparing venues, this dream might be a little too unrealistic. Regardless, I’ve been pinning away on my Wedding Bliss board, collecting all kinds of ideas to make our day special and memorable. You’ll notice I’m liking the blush, sage, lavender and rose gold palette. Here’s what I know I’m doing for sure (if budget allows): flower garlands | these are so natural and beautiful, and easy to create yourself with loose flowers rose gold glitter heels | I want just the right pop of glam, these are it! how to fake calligraphy | because I can’t do the real thing, but love this …

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photography: pure green volume 7

I’m a sucker for Pure Green magazine. I’ve shared them several times on the blog in the past, and I just recently received their latest edition : Modern Homestead. Packed with gorgeous photos, and thick environmentally friendly paper and ink, this small print brings the joys of living with nature right into your hands. I particularly loved this edition. As I mentioned, it’s one of my goals to start living more efficiently by making many of my own products – like buttermilk, tofu, cleaning products and makeup. This magazine was such inspiration for all those things. I loved reading how one couple bought a cheese farm and taught themselves how live off the land, producing a healthier lifestyle in the process. Or the feature on starting your own lost skills workshop. Have you ever wanted to learn how to sew? Or carve or build things from wood? Or perhaps you’ve been yearning to learn how to can (who doesn’t, right?). Well, if you have a particular skill, why not share that with others by starting …

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be beautiful: how to stay active

Staying active is a huge part of my life – for my health and fitness, but also for my mind. I’ve noticed when I don’t engage my body in some kind of activity, I feel lethargic throughout the day, and tend to eat and snack on things that aren’t good for me. Does this happen to you too? I wanted to share some ways that I stay active, perhaps it might provide just the right amount of motivation you seek to get going! First, I was not built athletic – I’m a petite frame and just like any other woman, I have problem areas that I can never seem to tame (hello thighs). But when I took my focus off of concentrating on “fixing” a problem, and rather on just working my core as a whole, I realized I was much more motivated to continue staying active. | CHANGE IT UP |  I found that a routine is NOT the way to go for me. I need change, and I need to make my body …

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menagerie: unique wedding registry ideas

I was talking to Evan the other day about where I’d love to register for our wedding (Williams Sonoma, REI…) Since both of us have been living on our own for some time, and then together for 2.5 years, we’ve already accumulated a lot of the basics. So I started looking up other ideas, perhaps to ask folks to help us financially enjoy our honeymoon to Indonesia? Or maybe to donate to causes that are important to us – like animal rescue foundations here in Puerto Rico. Or maybe we’d like something special that we have yet to buy for ourselves (kitchen aid mixer in aqua). Here are four registry ideas for the unique couple: Thankful  |  This is my favorite option! For $30, you can create a registry with everything all in one beautiful location. With a full spread photo, and options to customize each listing. You can include cash items to help for the honeymoon, and donation options. Best yet, they don’t take a cut of your cash gifts. I think I’ll definitely …

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collect: vintage science lit

It arrived all the way from the UK.. The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson. Have you heard of her before? She’s none other than the lady who single handedly aided in starting the environmental revolution against chemicals and pesticides on our farmlands, cities and suburbs, in particular DDT (pesticide) – through her book Silent Spring. Rachel was a marine biologist during a time when women did not generally hold positions in science. She struggled against inequality, but had a knack for science literature. She wrote on her favorite subjects – the ocean, marine life, and protecting our environment to preserve it for later generations. Thanks to her, the US government was responsive to the pleas to investigate the effects of DDT, which eventually led to its ban. I found a picture of this book on Pinterest, that was bookmarked into a board called “design”, due to its intricate illustrations by Katherine Howe. I knew immediately of the author, and started my search to add this age old beauty to my vintage books collection. I …

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thoughts on engagement

A few weeks ago, I announced my engagement here on the blog, and told you the story of how Evan proposed. Now, I want to share some sweet details of our life together before this ocassion, and some planning towards our next step. The first photo above is a note given to Evan from my parents’ best friends on a December night that Evan and I cooked dinner for all of us at my home in Texas. They have been supportive of me since grade school, through Girl Scouts, college and beyond, and have always been like family. They asked Evan and my brother if either man had plans to marry the woman sitting next to them (big questions!), but before either of them could respond, a list was created. This list was meant as a guide, although it was also a bit of a joke in the sense that I’m sure they didn’t actually expect these things to happen soon. Little did I know, Evan kept the note in his wallet. Little did any …

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time for a new year

Well, I’m back to the island and ready to start a new semester at the university, and a new year of blogging. You may have noticed I did a disappearing act for a couple weeks while I camped out back at home in Texas – the excitement of my recent engagement, and all the fun planning that goes along with weddings, plus soaking in all the great family time took up any blog posting moments I had previously planned. But that’s alright, because now I am back and ready to start fresh! On this lovely Friday, I wanted to share some of my favorite posts that I enjoyed reading over the holidays + a bit of news and goals for 2014! Must Try DIYs –> Twist Your Own Mattress  | Boxwood Mini Wreath | Handmade iPad pouch Beautiful Art –> The Great Wide Open | Observant Nomad 2014 Calendar Wedding Inspiration –> Pie N the Sky Invites | Wedding Web | M.Newsom Photography News –> My Etsy shop will remain closed/partially open until I have …