Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I was on Etsy today and saw a really inspiring quote from one of today's featured sellers. It's from Cathy McMurray, an artist from Portland, Oregon:

"Choosing handmade is choosing a slower way of life, one rooted in tradition and creative expression. Handmade always involves a story that is as much about the maker as it is about the product."

(Eclipse print)

Cathy has a great little blog that can be found here at Habit of Art.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

go take a hike.

this weekend was gorgeous so we decided to take full advantage of it by going on a hike. we packed a picnic and headed to Raven Cliff Falls with our dear friends David and Kelly. as a northeast Georgian native, i thought i had pretty much blazed every trail in the area. i found out i was definitely wrong about that. i hadn't even heard of this location until a couple of days ago thanks to google, but it was beautiful and i definitely recommend it!

afterword, we rewarded ourselves with a little old fashioned soda from
betty's country store. love that place!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

plastic island.

ever wonder where all your discarded water bottles, coke bottles, and plastic packaging go? there's a chance that at least some of it has found its way to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as plastic island. this is no joke, there really is an island of plastic floating in the pacific that is estimated to be TWICE the size of TEXAS. it's not a literal island that you can boat up to and anchor down, it's more of an island of floating particles. the pictures above are for an idea of how much waste is out there. there aren't any actual pictures of plastic island.

plastic island is home to tons of plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris. this seems to be America's best kept secret. hardly anyone i know has heard of this and i myself had not heard about it until about two months ago. i decided to attempt to spread a little bit of awareness on this issue.

my first question when i heard about plastic island was obvious. how did all of that plastic get into the ocean? 80% of the garbage is believed to come from land based sources and 20% comes from ships. one of the most alarming matters to me is that this plastic actually makes its way into our food chain because as it photodegrades it becomes smaller and smaller until even the tiniest aquatic life can consume it. pollutants on plastic island range in size from fishing nets to micro-pellets used in abrasive cleaners.

what can we do to help? such simple efforts can help tremendously such as bringing your own reusable grocery bags to the store each and every time you go to avoid using all of those plastic grocery bags. if we quit using them, grocery stores will simply stop producing them. stop buying bottled water. this sounds radical to some i'm sure, but in a country where clean water is readily available and sometimes even free there is simply no need to buy bottled water. if everyone in America would buy a reusable bottle such as Klean Kanteen to fill up at work, school, or on the go the result would be tremendous for our environment. and of course, of course, recycling! reduce, reuse, recycle. those three words make a world of difference.

i'm afraid that our culture has become so fixated on convenience that we forfeit our health and the health of our planet. i think back to the good ole days when milk was bought weekly and delivered in glass jugs that were reused over and over again and wonder why we have strayed so much from those principles. who made these rules that every single product i buy has to come in individual plastic packaging?

dinner at the Williams

i tried out a new soup recipe today that's healthy, frugal, and delish! i found it in an old issue of Better Homes and Gardens that I was perusing while I was at my internship the other day. i followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great. also, for a side dish i sliced a loaf of french bread and drizzled a little olive oil on top before toasting it in the oven.

the drinks are super simple cocktails. all you need for them is a can of frozen limeade concentrate (i prefer minute maid), and coconut rum. make the limeade exactly how the directions say on the can except substitute one of the cans of water for coconut rum. yum!


1-1/4 Lb. trimmed asparagus
1-1/4 Lb. potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 12oz. can evaporated milk
6 slices bacon
1 Tbsp. honey
Shredded lemon peel, Italian parsley, coarse salt, and/or freshly ground pepper

1. Reserve 1/3 of the asparagus. Combine remaining asparagus, potatoes, evaporated milk, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1-1/4 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. Blend soup in a blender or food processor, half at a time.
2. Cook bacon in a skillet and drain on paper towels. Keep about 1 Tbsp of bacon drippings in skillet to cook remaining asparagus. Cook 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Chop bacon and place in pie plate. Drizzle with honey and microwave for 30 seconds. Ladle soup in bowls and top with asparagus, bacon, and desired toppings.

Serves 4!