Best of 2015 Playlist

By February 27, 2015 Music

playlist_trees2

It’s only the end of February but there’s already so much good music out! So here are our favorite songs of 2015… so far. A few highlights include Belle & Sebastian, José González, and Punch Brothers. We hope you stay warm this weekend and relax with this chill, happy playlist.  

 

 

You can check out our old playlists here: 1 | 2 | 3

 

NOLS: Backpacking in the Pacific Northwest

By February 20, 2015 Photography

nols_group

Three summers ago in May and June 2012, I embarked on a one month NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) backpacking trip in the Pacific Northwest. I spent most of the time traveling through the Pasayten Wilderness in the Okanogan National Forest. If you’ve never heard of it before, NOLS is a wilderness school that “takes students of all ages on remote wilderness expeditions and teaches them technical outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental ethics.” Students are usually in their mid 20s, so I was actually one of the youngest students on the trip. A typical course is usually one month long and led by two instructors. However, the last week is spent on a student-led expedition where you navigate through the back-country without the instructors. Here is a more detailed description of my course. Even though I took this trip a few years ago, all the snow we’ve been getting here brought back memories of my experience so I wanted to share a few snippets. This is just a tiny glimpse into the amazing diversity of landscapes I saw. I could write several much (much much) longer posts on exactly where we went and how we got there but I’ll try to keep it short for now.

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The pictures above are from our very first campsite in the Pasayten Wilderness. Because it was May and still early in the season, the mountains were completely covered in snow. And yes, it was freezing! It even snowed some days on the trip and we did plenty of snow camping at our higher elevation campsites.

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Climbing up to see these views was the most intense hiking I’ve ever done. It’s colder and windier than you care to imagine and the inclines are so steep you’re not sure you’re going to make it. But you do, and you see this, and it’s completely worth it.

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I have very vivid memories of us singing Simon & Garfunkel nonstop while hiking this ridge. It was cold.

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nols_pizza

The highlight of backpacking is obviously back-country cooking! When you’re backpacking, your mornings and evenings are completely centered around cooking. Every day starts with a warm breakfast, packing lunch and snacks for the day, and ends with the slow process of cooking dinner. Most of the recipes we made came from the NOLS Cookery or just from our imaginations. Back-country pizza is the best food in the world. No contest.

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This was my home and my outfit for about 30 days. Trust me, it’s all you need.

nols_landscape

Seriously living the life. If you’re really into the photos, you can explore my friend Caroline’s flickr. She is a photographer and documented this adventure in amazing detail. Have you done any backpacking before? I would love to see! Let me know what you think.

-Tara

 

Valentine’s Day Bloody Mary

By February 14, 2015 Food

Bloody Mary Garnishes

Happy Valentine’s Day! We decided making Bloody Marys would be the perfect way to celebrate this red and pink holiday. Plus, these are made with whole tomatoes pureed in the NutriBullet, so they are extra fresh and wholesome. It only takes a few minutes to blend everything together so this cocktail is a great Valentine’s brunch add on. Have you ever tried making your own Bloody Mary’s?

Bloody Mary_Ingredients

Ingredients (Serves 2)
4 large tomatoes
4 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp Tabasco
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Old Bay
3 shots of vodka
 
Garnish
lime
celery
bacon
olives
Old Bay and salt for the rim

Bloody Mary_NutriBulletTomatoes

Directions
Start by pureeing the tomatoes in your NutriBullet. You will most likely need to do this two at a time (just don’t go past the max line). You can easily do this step in a blender or food processor as well, depending on what you have on hand. In a large pitcher, mix the tomato juice, lemon juice, lime juice, worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Tabasco, salt, pepper, and Old Bay until combined. Add in the vodka, adjusting for your taste preference.
 
Pour some Old Bay and coarse sea salt onto a flat dish. Wet the rims of two tall glasses. Roll the rims of the glass around the Old Bay and salt to create a festive rim. Pour the Bloody Mary mixture into the cups and add some celery, bacon, and olives to finish. Yum!

Bloody Marys overhead

Bloody Marys

This is the second recipe we’ve posted using our NutriBullet (our first was a Fig and Raspberry Smoothie). We seriously love this thing! It’s a game-changer when it comes to smoothies and mixed drinks. Have you made anything exciting with yours?
 

Watercolor Valentine’s Day Cards

By February 11, 2015 Design

Today is extremely special to us because it marks one year of blogging! Our very first post was our Punny Typographic Valentine’s Day Cards and now we’ve come full circle. Have you all started preparing for Valentine’s day? This year, we’ve decided to switch things up and try watercoloring. This was a fun and relaxing exercise and we ended up with a few cards we really like. We hope you enjoy this very colorful post and feel inspired to make some of your own cards.

I Love You Card

Cursive Love

xoxo card

Paints

Cursive Love Card

Be Mine Card

Love Card

Cards

Be Mine Card

Have you made Valentine’s day cards for your friends, family, and loved ones yet? Have you tried using watercolors before? We would really love to see what you have come up with! If you’ve run out of time to make your own cards this year, here’s a nice round up of some typographic valentines freebies from the Chic Type blog.
 

Raspberry Fig Smoothie

By February 7, 2015 Food

Smoothie Overhead

Ingredients:
4 frozen green figs (from Trader Joe’s)
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
1 banana
3/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. agave

ingredients_overhead

This smoothie is quick, easy to throw together and makes a really unique, creamy, sweet flavor. Just throw all your ingredients into your nutribullet or blender. The smoothie will be a dusty rose color that feels perfect for winter. Plus, it’s packed with tons of beneficial nutrients. The figs, raspberries, bananas, and chia seeds are all rich in dietary fiber. The figs are loaded with calcium and the raspberries and chia seeds are full of antioxidants. Plus, the chia seeds have a nice kick of protein.

Raspberries

figs

smoothie_raspberries

Antiquing in Christiansburg, VA

By February 2, 2015 Photography

antiques

Last week we were on the hunt for some unique planters for these cute little succulents. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful but we did end up checking out a really cool, two-story antique shop here in downtown Christiansburg, VA in the process. Cambria Emporium has been around for over 25 years and has so many amazing treasures you could get lost for hours like we did. Here’s a little peek.

marilyn

buckets
oldmachine

machines

One of our favorite parts of visiting antique shops is seeing all the old packaging. We’re seriously suckers for this stuff. The typography and the colors were so different than they are today. Don’t you love it?

packaging

sleds

wall

book

If you ever find yourself visiting Virginia Tech or in Southwest Virginia, Cambria Emporium is worth stopping by! This place is quite a gem.

 

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