august break, no.17: part 2

blackberry & apricot galette

blackberry & apricot galette

This is what happened to the fruit I photographed earlier.

Blackberry and Apricot Galette. Pâte brisée recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

With homemade whipped cream, it was simply marvelous.
I think if photography wasn’t my calling, I could be quite happy as a pastry chef. I love making things like this.

{The August Break is, for me, about not feeling like I have to write here- pictures each day will do (but there are no rules of course, so I can write too if I feel like it!) Basically I am relaxing more in August, and letting summer be summer.
This idea is from the talented Susannah Conway. Click here for more info and a list of participating bloggers.}

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august break, no.17: part 1

More coming later…

{The August Break is, for me, about not feeling like I have to write here- pictures each day will do (but there are no rules of course, so I can write too if I feel like it!) Basically I am relaxing more in August, and letting summer be summer.
This idea is from the talented Susannah Conway. Click here for more info and a list of participating bloggers.}

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august break, no.12: a recipe

warm beet salad

This recipe came with my organic CSA box recently, and it was so good I just had to share it here.
Beets photograph so beautifully too. Though I really would love to start looking for some different linens and props to style my food photos with.

Warm Beet Salad with Sweet Onion & Cumin

3 beets
2 oz olive oil
1 oz apple cider vinegar (I used brown rice vinegar)
1 small sweet onion
1 tsp ground cumin
fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)

Cut stems from beets, wash well, rub with oil and bake at 250F one hour or until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel, dice, and set aside.

In a pan over med-high heat, saute onion in 1 oz of the oil until almost brown on the edges. Then add cumin and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add diced beets and toss until warmed.

In a bowl whisk remaining oil and vinegar together. Add warm beet mix and toss to coat. Season to taste with parsley, salt & pepper.

Garnish with crumbled cheese if desired.

warm beet salad


{The August Break is, for me, about not feeling like I have to write here- pictures each day will do (but there are no rules of course, so I can write too if I feel like it!) Basically I am relaxing more in August, and letting summer be summer.
This idea is from the talented Susannah Conway. Click here for more info and a list of participating bloggers.}

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{everyday etsy}

Handmade finds for everyday life…

from threadedhope
{I love this one especially because I went to college with Lori of threadedhope!}

I would love one of these for each sink in the house. From Whippoorwheel.

Maybe one of these would even make me like ironing more :) From CityChicCountryMouse.

Reusable snack and sandwich bag from evelynfields.
I have been working on making our kitchen more sustainable and reducing our dependence on plastic and paper.

Love these so! From Monkeys Always Look. I read an interview with the shop owner once that really inspired me, and then the other day, I saw some of her garden markers in Anthropologie!

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the tuesday list

I haven’t forgotten about it, though it’s been a few weeks since I posted one of these…

1. Rain. It’s getting to be a bit much. Seriously.

2. I am flirting with eating vegan again for a while. I started reading The Kind Diet (by Alicia Silverstone) this week- it is basically a vegan diet with elements of macrobiotics and no processed foods. I think I will do a month of it as sort of a detox, and then decide where to go from there. I have not been feeling very well lately and feel I need to cleanse my system. Even after a few days of no meat, very little dairy and sugar, and lots of whole cooked grains, beans and fresh vegetables, I feel a lot better.

3. We met some friends for library storytime this morning, and Seth was so in his element- dancing and clapping and playing the shaker eggs. It is so cool to watch him branch out all on his own, he is really becoming his own amazing little person.

4. We’re part of a group yard sale this coming Saturday, and I really need to get on the ball with sorting and pricing my stuff. We have accumulated quite a bit in the almost three years we’ve been married.

5. I am looking forward to seeing Eclipse with my little sister this weekend.

6. I really wish my Polaroid sx-70 wasn’t broken and likely irreparable. It makes me sad.

7. I want a beach day. Rain, rain, go away…

8. I have so many ideas for my business lately, and really looking forward to getting busier with it. Still, even with very few clients there is always something to do.

9. I need to learn how to bake yummy desserts with no dairy and no white sugar. I am going to try some from The Kind Diet book soon. I have learned in the past that though I can live without refined sugar, I really must have sweet things in my life on a regular basis.

10. I am thinking about a few new regular installments on this blog. “Everyday Etsy” would have beautiful handmade things that are also useful in everyday life, and “Inspiration” would have photography, writing, videos, art, design and anything else that has been inspiring me lately. Probably both on a weekly basis. I am constantly inspired by things I see online, and would love to start sharing more of that here.

Happy Tuesday!

Oh, and here is a picture I snapped the other day, purely for it’s heart-melting qualities…
handsome little guy

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The Tuesday List, no.2

1. Trolley ride and fountain play with friends this morning.

2. I have re-discovered that I very much dislike food from KFC and will hopefully never again eat their food.

3. Seth is still teething. oh. so. much.

4. We’re having Manny’s grandma and brother over for dinner.

5. I’m making chili and corn on the cob. I haven’t made corn on the cob in ages.

6. I need to make yoga a regular part of my day.

7. Stress is unhealthy. (hence the yoga)

8. I’ve been eating too much junk lately.

9. I’m going on a sugar fast, at least for several days, to make myself stop craving it all the time.

10. When I am well taken care of, I am a better mother and wife.

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why i love the farmer's market.

Three words: Farm. Fresh. Eggs.

Green Market- Farm Fresh Eggs

Beautiful, organically grown local produce. Better for my family, better for the planet, supports local farmers, and less expensive than at the supermarket- it’s a win-win-win-win : )

Green Market bounty

The atmosphere is just so happy- great music, sunshine and community. Love it.

Green Market, live music

Green Market, live music

Seth eating a carrot spelt cookie and dancing to the music, happy as a clam. Happy baby = happy momma.

Seth enjoying the Green Market

Today was the last one of the season for Delray- I’m looking forward to it starting up again in October. In the meantime I will be in search of local food from other sources, and of course trying to grow some of my own!

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Keep Calm and Snap On

The moment I saw these posters from PhotoJojo, I wanted one for my wall. I have always liked the “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters, which originated in Britan during WWII and are very popular in the blogosphere (hehe I just used the word blogosphere), but this was a poster I just had to have, because it is exactly the reminder I need on a daily basis.


Photography is how I slow down when my life is chaotic. Being able to keep doing what I love, making art with my camera, keeps me centered.

So here is my copy of the poster, which I finally got a frame for and hung today. And here, friends, is the photo of my workspace that I promised ages ago and never delivered on because I just wasn’t happy with how it looked. It is still a work in progress- I would love a shelf up high above the corkboards for vintage cameras and other pretty things, and I have a few other changes in mind too, but now you can picture where I sit while I write this blog and edit photos.

my workspace
If you click on the picture, I have some notes on it in Flickr.
When taking this picture I realized how little natural light I get in my little corner of the living room. It’s bad. I had to bump my ISO up so high, and overall it just isn’t pretty. I really don’t like artificial lighting, and avoid it when I can. But this was really the most logical place for my desk. I wonder how hard it is to make a window… just cut a hole in the side of the house, right? : )

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"the sun came up!"

One of my closest friends recently posted this as her status on Facebook. It made me smile, and reminded me to be grateful for each day. How amazing is it that the universe has gifted us another day of life?

This morning Seth and I are headed off to the Farmers market for a couple more plants for the garden (tomoatoes!), and then a La Leche League meeting, and then a first borthday party for Seth’s sweet little friend Liam.

So, busy day today! Then on Sunday we’re all driving to Tampa to visit Jackie in the hospital.

Oh I have to tell you about my new pants, from Gaia Conceptions. (The shop is on vacation mode for now, but is usually very well stocked and will be again soon with new designs! You can check out the sold items to get an idea of what is offered.) I got the anoki pant a few days ago, custom made to fit me. They look like this:

Only mine are a lovely spinach green color. They are so comfy and pretty much the perfect summer pants. They’re eco-friendly and handmade, which to me is well worth the extra money (and really they cost the same as from a typical store in the mall anyway- only they are much better quality, more unique, and don’t support big corporations). I am definitely planning on ordering from them in the future- I love so many of their designs. They’re exactly the type of business I hope someday to do commercial photography for- how amazing would that be? They can make maternity clothes too! I have decided that I would rather have fewer clothes that are higher quality and ethically made, than tons of things that will fall apart and get ratty looking too quickly, you know?

Have a wonderful couple of days, friends- if you have good weather where you are, do get out and enjoy it!

xoxo, H

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When I wrote this post on TV watching, I knew I wanted t o soon write a post, or even a series of them, devoted to simple living. It’s something that has been on my mind lately. I subscribe to a few blogs about minimalism, such as Rowdy Kittens and Mnmlist, and many others that value simple and eco-conscious living. The wisdom they deliver daily to my google reader has been very valuable and caused  me to really examine how I live and how I relate to stuff. Watching Annie Lennox’s The Story of Stuff was really a huge eye-opener for me about our consumer culture. It is sort a of difficult paradigm shift- I grew up in the nineties, when American culture was really becoming more and more obsessing with stuff. I buy and own so many unnecessary things, telling myself that they are completely necessary because my culture tells me they are, because my culture’s collective mentality is controlled by corporations that thrive on us all believing that we need more and more and more stuff.

I am trying to rethink, reevaluate, and train my mind to stop believing that I have to go to Target and get ______. I am looking at whether or not I really need the things I think I do. Before every purchase I am asking myself if I could be just as happy without it, or of I could find it secondhand or handmade, or at least made sustainably rather than mass-produced. Or if I can make it myself or re-purpose something I already have. I am going through the things I own already- the stuff that clutters the corners of my living space, and evaluating everything based on this William Morris I recently read at Simple Mom: “Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

{source: Simple Mom}

I want my life, and my son’s life, to me rich with experiences rather than things. We all know that stuff doesn’t make us happy, but do we really believe it? Do we live like we believe it?

I still have a long way to go. I still regularly convince myself that I have to have some silly thing I don’t really need. I still make impulse buys sometimes and later look at the thing wondering why I chose to spend our hard-earned money on it. But I am trying. It is a process and a journey- one that leads to a more fulfilling existence and a happier planet- definitely worth it.

Here are some related links that have really made me think lately:

On buying handmade, and quality over quantity/convenience:
(Obviously we need to buy things sometimes, but when we do we can make better choices about what. Handmade, pre-loved, fair trade and sustainable produced are all great options. Sometimes they are more expensive, but they will last longer because of that and will not contribute to unfair labor practices and earth-destroying production methods. I would rather have fewer things of higher quality and ethics than lots of junky things that will soon break and sit in a landfill!)
3 Reasons to Pay More for Your Stuff
The True Cost of Handmade

An interesting article about the cost of constantly buying new cars

On consumerism and happiness:
How to Find Happiness Without Shopping for It
Conspicuous Consumption
12 Steps to Achieving Happiness

Another great article:
Why Fewer Toys Will Benefit Your Kids

Living simply isn’t only about what we buy or don’t buy- it’s just that for most Americans that is an excellent place to start. We would also be much happier in general if we tried living in the moment rather than constantly multi-tasking and being so busy that we forget to just live. Spend more time with people- face-to-face, more time outdoors, more time being creative and learning through experiences and good old-fashioned books. Less time in front of various types of screens, less time shopping or thinking about what we’d like to shop for.

I like this little poem, via Becoming Minimalist:

When sitting, just sit.
When eating, just eat.
When walking, just walk.
When talking, just talk.
When listening, just listen.
When looking, just look.
When touching, just touch.
When thinking, just think.
When playing, just play.
And enjoy the feeling of each moment and each day.

~from Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on this sometime soon… for now I’ll leave you with one more thought- I quote I’ve liked for quite some time, and yet am only now truly realizing what it means ( I even have it on a bumper magnet on my car- how cliche it that?!):

“Live simply, that others may simply live.”

(note: I looked up who this quote was by, and there seems to be debate as to whether it was Gandhi or St. Elizabeth Seton. To me they both seem likely candidates, and I doubt either would care who got the credit.)

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