Archive for May, 2012

Early Vacation

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With our first baby on the way we have been going back and forth on taking a summer vacation. We have so much to do around the house, prep for baby, on the garden, etc. It’s a little overwhelming.Ok, a lot overwhelming! ;)

But then this opportunity came up to spend a week at the lake with Meg’s family and so we decided to throw all caution to the wind and go for it! And to be honest, we are so excited to leave our “to do” list behind and spend a week with family, playing cheesy board games, sleeping in, and taking time to realize how much our life is about to change (in the most beautiful kind of way!).

Here’s to a week of no internet, no cable, slow cooking, and easy living. We’ll see you back here next week!

Happy Memorial Day!

From the Farm

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Canning with Paige: Earl Grey Peach Jam

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Today we are launching one of our favorite summer series called “Canning with… “. This is our third year and what started as Canning with Grandma has now turned into a collaboration with different bloggers and several neighborhood friends. We’ll be sharing a new recipe about every two weeks from now through August. From Sweet & Sour Pickles to Rose Water we’ve got enough to keep you coming back all summer long! So dust off those canning jars and get stashed with equipment. Before you know it you’ll be up to your ears with the season’s freshest fruits and vegetables.

Hi ya’ll! My name is Paige and I write the blog, Come and Take It. Come and Take It is devoted to inspirational living, family style. What does that mean you say? I write about the things I love: cooking, home décor, fashion, and entertaining among others, but most importantly, how our family likes to incorporate all of these elements into our own lifestyle. My husband is in the Army so things can get a little chaotic at times, but no matter where we live (currently near Savannah, Georgia) we will always call Texas home. We are excitedly anticipating the birth of our daughter, due in early September, and love to harass snuggle our dog, Winston, and cat, Charles.

My parents moved from suburban Houston to a small, hill country town outside of Austin, Texas about 5 years ago. Not only was the pace of the every day life different, there were whole new aspects to living a ‘country’ life to get used to, like a full tree of peaches every May.

Over the past couple years I’ve taken on the hundreds of peaches that inhabit our kitchen for the last two weeks of May with cobblers, chutneys, salsas and more. Last year we even turned them into our wedding favors! My mom and I tackled the project this year, and we ended up with ginger peach jam, jalapeno peach jam and now, early grey infused peach jam. Don’t forget the weeks of cobbler for dessert!

Depending on the size and age of your peaches, the process can get a little overwhelming so don’t despair! Our peaches were at the end of their life and were very small, so lots of peeling involved. I’ve included the recipe I followed, but please be aware that every stove cooks differently, so test your jam before you can! ;)

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4 Weird & Interesting Things You (probably) Don’t Know About Us

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May 31st will be Cale and I’s four year wedding anniversary. I cannot believe we have been married for that long. Our marriage is something that has truly gotten better with time and with that has come certain things we have learned to love and respect about each other (for better or worse right?!). Some of the things are sweet, like how Cale is a really great helper around the house, while some of them are just plain weird! Either way it’s the small things that have made marriage so much fun and given it so much character over the last four years. These are the things you can’t stand and yet you love about that person. These are the things that make marriage to your significant other so interesting (ladies you know what I’m talking about!) and without them life would just be boring.

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Creatives Near You: Jana [Little Bird Organic Soda]

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When I met Jana at Altitude Design Summit I couldn’t wait to feature her as one of our “Creatives Near You”. Through Little Bird Soda Jana makes homemade, organic fizzy drinks for weddings, events, and soon…they’ll be available in select places across the US!

” I currently live in Rock Springs, Wyoming (we moved from Kalispell, Montana) to get out of debt and live a simpler life. Wyoming has been an incredibly hard adjustment for us, but it has given me the ability to focus all of my time and passion on Little Bird Soda. My husband works insanely hard to pay our bills, keep me inspired and free to do this, and he’s a lot more business-minded than I am. His business savvy side has kept me on course and has allowed me to dream without making too many irreversible mistakes. ;)

With flavors like Strawberry Rhubarb, Grapefruit & Honey, Fig & Lime, Jana’s got the perfect summer time refreshment! Get ready for some serious mouth watering folks! ;)

Q1) What was the inspiration behind starting your own soda company?

A1) Tanner and I were in Salt Lake City one weekend at the farmers market, and had just sipped an amazing lavender lemonade from a local cafe. I couldn’t believe how good it was, and I kept thinking that with a little bit of carbonation, it would be an AMAZING soda!  I also found out that I was pregnant that weekend, and we kept referring to our precious new babe as ‘the little bird.’ I went home and played around with some fruit I brought back from the market, and came up with my first flavor. Strawberry Rhubarb. When my neighbors asked me for seconds, and then thirds, I thought that it was time to develop the business aspect further. I wanted something creative for the name, and wanted a name that would appeal to the audience I wanted to reach. That’s when I knew for sure that Little Bird Soda Co. was it!! 

 Q2) Looking back what are some of the factors that played a key roll in the growth and development of what Little Bird Soda is today?

A2) Before I started Little Bird, I ran an antique market in Montana (I still do), and wrote a small blog that had a small but loyal following. I believe that the blogging and antique world had a huge impact on the growth and development of my soda. I started out selling at our antique market and quickly sold out the first time! Then I contacted some very amazing companies who I thought would be really fun to collaborate with and they responded with an excited YES! Those collaborations should be out sometime this year.  

Q3) How do you balance a healthy home while running your own soda company?

A3) I’ve perfected my soda making and recipes to the point where one day per month makes the amount and flavors that I need. When I was a blogger, I learned the importance of keeping family involved, and my husband is a very important piece of this whole puzzle. I go to him for advice, ideas, and we keep in communication. Our baby will be born in November, so I’m sure my priorities will change then…so I’ll make sure to keep you posted after the New Year ;)

 Q4) What advice do you have for others interested in selling an organic food product?

A4) My advice would be to RESEARCH your product until you think you can’t anymore. SURROUND yourself with people who are supportive and encouraging. Hire a GREAT business lawyer who has had similar clients and is interested in what you do. BE PATIENT because it’s a long and drawn out process. I’m still working to be USDA Organic Certified! I’m sure I’ll be the crazy one in the street doing the happy dance when it’s all finalized haha.

 Q5) Define what makes a great soda?

A5) I’d say a great soda is like a great wine. I think you should be able to taste all the flavors! If I can’t taste the lemon AND the fig in a batch, I start over. Flavor is really important to me. Fizz is also important. I strive for the perfect amount of fizz without it burning your nostrils or throat! haha

Q6) What is your process for coming up with Little Bird’s unique soda flavors?

A6) I love to go to farmers markets and just think of things I’ve never tried or never heard of in combination with each other and go from there! Sometimes I get inspiration from a great flavor combination I’ve eaten or seen in a recipe. I love that I can have FULL creativity and originality for this. I also run it by Tanner, who is the king of mixing things and trying new combinations. If he thinks it sounds gross, I know I don’t even need to try. :)

AND NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF!


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Fresh & Local: 2012 Summer Guide to OKC+ Farmers’ Markets

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Can you believe it!? It’s that time of year where the tomatoes grow just so perfect in the summer sun and the taste is unlike anything else in the entire season! We love out little garden but we realize that not anyone can afford the time, money, and energy it takes to maintain a garden. With the idea of fresh and local becoming such a popular term these days it’s making it easier for the not so green thumbs to still cash in on some wonderful homegrown vegetables! We like to attend Farmers’ Markets simply because we can purchase fillers that we didn’t plant in our garden and it makes a wonderful Saturday morning for the kids. We’ve also found that even on a small budget you can always find a few cheap veggies AND their shelf life is 2-3x longer than the stuff you buy at the store! Totally worth the extra $0.15 cents if you ask us!

It’s time to officially welcome in the summer by attending a Farmers’ Market near you. Enjoy! :)

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STUFF: Katie Daisy Farmhouse Prints

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It’s that time of year where the windows are constantly open, including the front door, and the old farm house seems to fade into the background of fresh flowers, green grass, and overgrown trees. Evenings seem to slow down a bit and life’s burdens feel lighter.

We love how Katie Daisy encompasses all the joys of a country spring through her lovely illustrations.

Such a sweet reminder of just how wonderful this season is… even when it takes you four hours to mow the lawn! :(

Purchase a Farmhouse Print from Katie’s shop and stop by her blog to see whats new.

From the Farm

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Kara Paslay Designs “Inspire Me” Series: Green Couch Design

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We we’re recently asked to be featured on an up and coming home interior design blog. Have you heard of Kara Paslay Designs? Well if you have not you definitely need to check out her and her husbands interior design company based out of Tulsa. They’ve always got lots of home projects going on with simple DIY’s perfect for any budget.

Kara asked us to share our story behind starting Green Couch Design, and the road we’ve taken to get to where we are today in a new series called “Inspire Me”. It’s a pretty heartfelt post, but one we’ve truly enjoyed putting together and going over some of where we have been and what we have overcome. Sometimes you just need to remind yourself of the process.

We hope it inspires you today as you pursue your dreams! Read the feature at Kara Paslay Designs and make sure you tell her we said hello! ;)

From the Farm

 

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Bye, Bye Bambi (And Other Life Parallels)

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Since we found out last week that we are having a BOY it has been full on baby mode at our house. We are getting more and more eager to meet our little guy. Meg’s starting to feel him move more and also finding it harder to get around. It’s really frustrating when your body won’t let you do what mentally you feel like you can do!

Yep, we’re in full baby pre-prep. And maybe we should have been in that mode a couple of months ago, but we’re trying really hard to slow down life and enjoy the last few months we have together as Cale and Meg. Soon we’ll be adding another name to that list and although it’s exciting we feel like we’re saying bye to a lot of what we knew. What was normal. We’re saying bye to sweet moments of sleeping in on Saturdays, and being able to catchup with friends on a whim.

Josie’s still trying to figure out what is going on…

I’m saying goodbye to my feet. The next time I see you will be when I’m holding our little man.

And we’re both saying goodbye to Bambi.

That’s right, Cale didn’t think the crib design was manly enough (I don’t know why?!) so we are painting it gray with a touch of orange!

We’ll fill you in with more photos later. Can’t wait to share.

But until then, we’re prepping for baby. As much as we can!

From the Farm

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2012 Garden Checklist: May

Click HERE to downolad our 2012, May Garden Checklist!

What a year we are having in Oklahoma. So far it’s been surprisingly wet, and surprisingly cool. Not that I don’t think we deserve it after last summer and winter!

So down to business; how many of you have already started to harvest some early veggies? We’ve already been eating broccoli, and harvesting radishes. Although my radishes didn’t do as well as I had hoped, kind of puny, but we’ll try again next year. If you took the time to get your cool weather plants in, you should be enjoying some harvest right now. And if you’re a hot weather gardener, then your watching your tomatoes and peppers develop for your first jar of salsa! Usually I would be talking about dealing with heat about now, and getting ready for that hot dry spell from the end of May till mid August. While I’ll still include some of those reminders on my list, something different that you’ll see this year is pest management. Due to the weather wonders around here we are fighting more than our normal share of pests. So get out your garden tote and get ready to battle the bugs!

Click HERE to downolad our 2012, May Garden Checklist!

Also, we recently did a week of garden posts on Curbly and couple of those topics may help you check a few items off your May Garden Checklist!

Thanks for reading. Hope this helps and happy gardening!

From the Farm

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Life, It’s Better With Friends (& Babies!)

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This weekend we put on our party hats and headed into the city. Our friends Robb and Courtney are welcoming their second baby to the world, a baby girl in June, and we couldn’t be more excited to share in this journey with them! Let’s just say Meg and Courtney have had lots to chat about and compare (like baby bellies!). We were spoiled with fresh burgers and veggies off the grill along with homemade ice cream (served in the cutest little mason jars)!

Life sure is better when shared with friends! ;)

Handmade decorations in pink and purple… definitely the “cutest” BBQ we’ve ever attended (and Courtney claims she’s not that crafty)! It was the perfect way to welcome their little girl and celebrate with friends.

Thanks for spoiling us with great food and great friendship! We love you both and are still considering that arranged marriage if you are interested! ;)

From the Farm

 

PS Get Courtney’s recipe for Pink Lemonade Layered Cake in the 2012 May Better Homes & Garden Issue (you’ll have to become a member to get the recipe online)!

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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