Even though we’re back in Blacksburg and busy getting into the swing of school, we’re holding onto summer as tightly as we possibly can. We’re excited to start celebrating fall on the blog soon, but not quite yet. So, here are a few floral color palettes to keep summer alive. Just like last time, you can download all of these color palettes from Kuler if you are an Adobe user like us. We took these photos over the last few years from all around the world- from here in Blacksburg, to Charleston, SC and all the way to Portugal. Let us know if you like our photos or end up using these palettes as inspiration for a project!
Blacksburg, VA | Download
Blacksburg, VA | Download
Charleston, SC | Download
Lisbon, Portugal | Download
What started as a Sunday search for some summertime berry picking ended in some very sparse peach picking. Apparently, mid-August is crazy late in the berry picking season in central Virginia and every single place we called had been closed for weeks! We decided that we should just pick some peaches instead, but were almost unable to do that. One of the orchards we wanted to visit was also closed for the season, and the others cautioned us because there were so few peaches left! We were pretty determined, so we headed out to Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet, VA anyway. We had a wonderful time walking up and down the rows of peach trees, even if there were far fewer peaches than normal. We were able to do pretty well and came away with a handful of beautiful donut peaches. They were sweet and delicious and definitely did not disappoint.
Once we got finished picking, we decided that making sangria would be a fun use for our little peach collection. We picked up some other berries and fruits and got to work.
Peach Sangria Ingredients
-3 ripe donut peaches
-1 pint of blueberries
-Several sprigs of mint
-1 bottle Reisling
-approx. 2 cups seltzer water (depending on how strong you would like the Sangria to be)
The instructions are pretty simple. Wash all your fruit and berries, dice them, slice them, and put them in your pitcher. Add the bottle of wine and then add the seltzer. Cover the Sangria and let it sit overnight. Enjoy! We chose to make our batch a little less strong so it was super light and crisp and the perfect summer drink! The lemon and mint in particular gave the sangria a refreshing and flavorful twist. Let us know if you get a chance to make any fresh Sangria before the summer ends.
It’s a rainy, cool summer day here in Virginia. We wanted to share some mellow summertime songs to go with the mood. We hope you enjoy. Let us know which songs are your favorites or if you have anything to add.
We decided to make these candles on a whim while walking through Michael’s looking for inspiration (we find ourselves here a lot…). We knew we wanted to experiment with candles but wanted to try something that we hadn’t seen before. Welcome DIY Colorblock Beeswax Citronella Candles! We were drawn to these tiny flower pots and decided to add some citronella (a natural mosquito and bug repellent), making them the ideal outdoor candle.
-6 small flower pots
-painter’s tape (as we learned from not having any, electrical tape will do in a pinch! and if you remember from our geometric coasters, masking tape will work as well)
-1lb organic beeswax
-around 1/2 tsp of citronella essential oil
We started by painting the pots. Place the painter’s tape on the flower pots where you would like your block of color to end. Press down firmly. Tip: try ripping the tape lengthwise to create a narrower piece. This will help get it to lie flat on the round object. Once you’ve done this, paint the colors to your liking. We chose simple black and white as a contrast to the organic looking ceramic pots. If you try something different, show us! Let these dry and then peel off the tape.
Now for the candles! We used a very makeshift double boiling technique to melt the beeswax (as if you were melting chocolate). This worked for Tara in the past with soy wax, but the beeswax really stuck to the pot! If you try this method, you might want to use an old bowl or an actual candle making pot. It took us about 5 minutes for the wax to melt fully. Next we added a few drops of the citronella essential oil (amounting to about 1/4 tsp). Although it smells very powerful at the time, the smell fades dramatically once the candles cool. We recommend adding about twice this amount.
Next comes the fun part! We used the metal base of the wicks to cover the hole on the bottom of the flower pot. This worked surprisingly well. Katherine held the wick steady while Tara poured in the hot wax. Then we held the wick in place with pencils or scotch tape. This was not the best method in the universe. Open to tips please! We found the wax started to crack around the wick after it cooled. We guess it’s from the wick moving around too much. Any ideas? After your candles cool, they are ready to go! The citronella should ward of the mosquitoes while you hang out on the patio.
With summer in full swing, we’ve been craving fresh fruits and vegetables. We decided it was the perfect time to try our hands at making fruit and veggie chips. These turned out pretty well and were an awesome snack to take to work the next day. We definitely have some room for improvement but are excited to share our process with you! Here’s how we did it.
The Fruit: Apple Chips
3 apples (we used golden delicious and fuji)
Cinnamon Sugar (2 parts sugar & 1 part cinnamon)
Directions: We don’t have a mandolin so we sliced everything by hand and did our best to get the slices as thin as possible. This is the hardest part! We placed the apples evenly on a baking sheet and sprinkled each side with the cinnamon sugar. Then we baked these at 250 degrees for around an hour, flipping halfway. The edges will start to curl up when they are finished. Use a metal spatula to remove them and place them on a cooling rack. These will still be more soft than crunchy, but are so delicious and really pretty!
The Root: Beet Chips
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 clove of minced garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions: In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slice the beets as thin as possible. Add the beets to the bowl and mix them until they are fully coated in the oil mixture. Allow them to marinate for 15 minutes or more if you’ve got the time. Place them evenly spaced on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through. They will start to look darker and shrivel up a bit when they are done. Place them on a paper towel to dry out (think bacon here).
The Leaf: Kale Chips
1 bunch kale
Generous pouring of olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Directions: Of course! We could never forget our friend kale. We love kale. Wash and dry your kale. Chop (aka tear) it into bite size pieces, removing the stems and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. We didn’t use any strict measurements here but instead just kind of eye-balled it. First we poured some olive oil over the kale and shook the pan around until it was evenly coated. Then we just went to town on the spices! Bake at 300 degrees for around 30 minutes. Pro Tip: Be careful with the cayenne pepper- it comes out pretty fast and makes for a spicy snack.
There you have it! Our novice attempt at veggie chip making! We welcome your feedback and tips if you have any. Happy snacking, friends.