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Summer is in full swing, and for me, that means one thing - picnics! There's just something so special about eating outside with friends and family, but sometimes picnic food can be a little...boring. There's nothing wrong with sliced fruit and ham sandwiches, but sometimes you just want to kick it up a notch. Enter: gourmet looking but totally easy to make picnic items! Below are some of my favorite, extremely easy salad recipes:
Super Easy Mexican Bean Salad:
Combine (drained) canned chickpeas, blackbeans and kidney beans with chopped red and/or green peppers, canned corn and a minced jalapeno. Toss with lime juice, oregano (if you have it) and salt and pepper. Add some cilantro if you like!
Slice cooked beets (Trader Joes has great ones) into bite size pieces. Add hazelnuts (or pistachios) and a bit of goat cheese, then toss with olive oil, salt and some orange juice and zest - a splash of plain old OJ will do just fine.
Watermelon and Feta Salad:
Toss bite size pieces of watermelon with cubed feta cheese. Add some chopped mint, salt, pepper and olive oil.
What do you think of these recipes - would you try any of them? Do you have any go-to picnic recipes? We'd love to know!
Today I am 25! I do feel a bit older, but not entirely grown up JUST yet! Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes & asked about how Logan is doing - you don't even know how lovely it feels to read all that. :D
Anywho, I figured I'd join the parade and do a goals list for this next year. In case my writing is too messy, here they are:
1. Learn to barbecue
Logan bought a barbecue in March and we've only used it once. I want to understand how it works so I can grill things!
2. Make a pie [preferably strawberry!]
I've never made one!
3. Drink water every day
I'm not usually good about this, but I feel so much better when I stay hydrated!
4. Sew a messenger bag from scratch
I've finally started playing with my sewing machine and want to make a cool bag to use this summer!
5. Write letters to friends
I love snail mail and I love doing things for friends. Perfect combo!
6. Read 1 book each month
I LOVE reading...I just need to remember to always have my next book lined up or I won't think of it.
7. Actually go through The Artists Way book!
I bought this SO long ago and it's just collecting dust. I want to get my creative juices flowing again!
8. Learn to hula hoop and get good enough to spin fire.
I want to be able to do THIS:
9. Practice meditating
I need to empty my brain out! I want to commit to praciting this weekly at least!
10. Journal more often
I was great about journaling at the start of the year and life just got CRAZY. I want to get back into it - I need to check-in with myself more often!
11. Finish our Burning Man / wedding scrapbook!
Another project collecting dust...but I want to have a book to show off our amazing adventure and improptu wedding! [Psst...remember? See it here]
12. Take photos way more often
I have been SOOOOOO lax about this lately but it's making me sad!
13. Learn to paint with oils
My grandpa left me his oil paints when he passed away, I would really like to get them from my grandma's house and carry on his craft!
14. Learn to lucid dream
I had a friend tell me that he taught himself to lucid dream, and could take himself on crazy flying adventures through dreamland....I am going to teach myself!
15. Pay someone a compliment every day
IT HELPS. And it costs nothing!
16. Learn to make jewelry
Seriously, I have been getting so inspired by Moorea Seal, Laura's Roots & Feathers collection, and Sea of Bees...I want to teach myself to make awesome jewels to wear.
17. Have craft days with friends
The time is now!! The friends are here!! LET'S DO IT!
18. Ride bikes with Logan
I swear, ever since we both got bikes, we have NEVER had both of them in working condition at the same time. It's either his wheel gets stolen, or my tires go flat, or his chain breaks, or his tires go flat....it's time to fix BOTH of them and ride the days away!
19. Downsize my belongings!
I am endlessly wrestling with my closet and shelves. I am really bad at getting rid of things, but I don't have the storage or square footage to keep everything! I'm tired of re-organizing weekly, and I think the best way would be to cut down on the sheer amount of STUFF I own!
20. Make one piece of digital art each month!
Just got Photoshop for my home computer BOO YAH! Time to play and see what the old noggin can come up with! My only experience with digital creation so far has been for Blowfish, so I've always had a strict set of guidelines [fonts, colors, dimensions] to work within. I'm really excited to play around with the capabilities the program has and see what design freedom feels like!
21. Master a new summertime cocktail
I've ALWAYS been a seven&seven type of girl, but I'd like to learn a new standard. Then I can make it for all my friends when they come over this summer!
22. Move to San Diego
Yes, you read that right. And it's actually going to happen sooner rather than later. After a long time trying to figure out where we fit in the city, we've come to realize that LA is just not for us. We have tons of friends in San Diego, and the vibe is just so much more laidback and relaxed, so that's our next destination! I'll be moving down at the end of August, and that also means I'll be stepping down from this position.
I'm going to be so sad to leave Blowfish land, but you're in the more-than-capable hands of Amy and Shayna, who have been working with me in the marketing department since last year. The next few months you'll be hearing more from both of them - Shayna is going to start writing for the blog, Amy has been blogging and will soon be taking over our Twitter account! They are the BEST ladies I could imagine to take my place, so don't you worry, it's only onward and upward from here!
23. Have more date nights with Logan
We're married but we're not boring! Keep this stuff fresh!
24. Be present. Keep this in mind daily.
I've been so much better about this the past 2 weeks and it's been an insane shift in perception. Keep it going! :D
25. Be grateful
I realized the importance of gratitude over Memorial Day weekend [not like I just learned the concept, but it really hit home that weekend] and then of course life tossed us a curveball a few days later. Last Thursday Logan woke up and walked into the bathroom and all of a sudden I heard a yell and a crash. I ran into the bathroom to find him having a seizure, which was the most terrifying thing that I've ever seen. I called 911 and they took him to the ER. While we were there he had another big seizure, which was again terrifying and horrible. They don't know why it happened or what is up, we're going to see a neurologist next week to figure it out. Thanks to everyone who wished us well - it's been really nice to have so much support. I am just so grateful to have him in my life and I want to appreciate every moment we have together. I don't want to waste time dwelling on the negative day-to-day nonsense - it's just not important in the big scheme of things.
Anyways, that's my list and I'm sticking to it! This year is going to be the best one yet!
Sending TONS AND TONS AND OODLES of love to you all!
I don't understand drawing on paper. I actually dislike it very much because I always feel like it doesn't allow me to just... be creative. Fortunately, there are other ways to draw! Lately, I've realized how much I like illustrating girls and their cute style, so enjoy these illustrations by yours truly!
Although I am allergic to chalk, I sure do think these chalkboard walls look like so much fun!
Maybe when I have kids someday, I'll have the courage to paint one.
What do you think of this home project?
We just had our Fall/Winter 2012 photo shoot this past weekend, and it was awesome. I can't wait to show you all the photos - but you've got to wait juuuust a little bit longer! :) For now I'll let you know a little bit about the inspiration behind the shoot.
The shoot was based on a German fairy tale: Snow-White and Rose-Red (written as Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot in German). This tale is different than the more commonly known Grimm's Snow White (written as Schneewittchen in German) which was the basis for the Disney movie. Our Snow White is a completely different character. Here is my retelling of the fairy tale.
Snow White and Rose Red
Snow White and Rose Red are two girls living with their mother in a small cottage. Rose Red is the feisty, fiery sister; she is outspoken and loves to run around outside. Snow White is much more quiet and shy; preferring to say inside and read or sew.
There is a knock at the door one dark winter night. Rose Red opens the door to find a bear. She is terrified at first, but the bear tells her that he just wants to warm up by the fire and to not to be afraid. The family lets the bear in and the girls beat the snow off of his fur. Snow White and Rose Red quickly become quite friendly with him, rolling him around on the floor and jumping on him. The bear sleeps on the floor by the fire and trots out to the woods in the morning. He comes back every night for the rest of that winter and the family grows to love him.
When summer comes, the bear tells the family that he must go away for a while to look for someone. A few weeks later the girls are walking through the forest, when they find a dwarf who has his beard stuck in a tree. The girls realize the only way to free the dwarf is to cut his beard, and so they cut it off. The dwarf is ungrateful and screams at the girls saying "You have ruined my beautiful beard! You monsters! You witches!" He becomes quite furious and chases them off, throwing pebbles at their backs as they run away.
Snow White and Rose Red come across the dwarf several times during the summer. Each time, he is trapped, the girls rescue him, and every time he is ungrateful and screams at them. One day they meet the dwarf again but this time he is terrified because the bear is about to kill him. The dwarf notices the girls and decides to offer them up to the bear, saying "Wouldn't you rather eat these young girls than eat me? I am grizzled and tough and wiry, while these girls are soft and tender and will be tasty."
The bear is disgusted and says "these girls are my friends and I would never harm them. You are evil and would sacrifice anything innocent to save yourself." With one swipe of his paw, the bear kills the dwarf. As the dwarf falls to the ground, the bear transforms into a handsome prince. The girls are shocked and afraid at first, but the bear explains "I have been under an evil spell for many years. The evil dwarf bewitched me by stealing my gold and turning me into a bear; condemning me to wander the forests while he spent my riches. I learned from a witch that the curse could be broken if the dwarf died, so I began my mission to find him."
The prince walks with the girls back to their cottage and the whole family reunites. The prince asks if he can move the family into his castle since they showed him so much kindness, and the girls' mother obliges. Eventually Snow White marries the prince and Rose Red marries his dashing younger brother.
[story found on Wikipedia, adapted by me!]
What I really dug about this fairy tale is that it wasn't only sweetness and sugar. There is a curse, a fiesty sister, an evil dwarf, and a rather brutal killing. But there is also a happy ending which is pretty clutch in my book. I liked that we had two characters to play with, and that the two sisters were so different. We decided to go with a Snow White & Rose Red theme, and started planning! A lot of our other inspiration came from photos like the ones below...lots of interplay between shadows and soft light, lots of texture, vintage and modern at the same time.
Our next steps were location and photographer...and we were off to the races! :)
Back soon with more details!