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Lauren Kennedy

In The Kitchen: Adding Life to Your Groceries

485 727 Lauren Kennedy

Last week on the blog I started a new collection of talks around being In The Kitchen. I don’t know about you, but here at LSK we’ve been talking so much about how this time has changed everything for us. Things that we used to think were such a chore have now become a cherished part of our routine, and we’re finding ourselves digging into new passions like never before. One of those passions for me has been spending time in the kitchen – taking extra care in what I prepare, and all the steps along the way.

With things being the way they are recently, I’ve been thinking so much more about what I use and how I use it. This week I want to share a few tips on how to preserve those precious groceries we’re buying and make them last as long as possible in order to reduce waste and save on fewer trips to pick up groceries.

More than ever, I think I am realizing why my mom is almost mentally trained not to waste any food considering the culture during her childhood. I always had no problem tossing certain things, but now I have a greater appreciation for what I put in my straw bag at the farm shop. These times have brought more scarcity than we have experienced in our lives, and I am all about making my produce last as long as possible + for the first time have researched what veggies remain fresh for longer.

I wanted to share some tips that have really helped me. It has been such a new topic to educate myself on!

SHELF LIFE

This article and graphic have both taught me so much!

 

 

WASHING

  • Rinse with water. You can use a vegetable brush on tougher roots.
  • Veggies will hold the longest if you wait to wash them right before use.

TOOLS

  • Swag Bags: It keeps our veggies fresh for up to two weeks + they are made with the healthiest materials.
  • Almond Cow: Jase and I were having a hard time keeping almond milk in stock. It was always out at the grocery store after quarantine started, so this has been an absolute game-changer. And it only takes 5 minutes!

HERBS

  • Your herbs will be happiest standing in a glass of water, where just the stems are wet.
  • Store in the fridge or on the counter.

ROOTS

  • Store in the refrigerator in a container with some airflow.
  • Keep potatoes in a paper bag to minimize light exposure (that is what causes them to sprout!).

GREENS

  • Refrigerate in an airtight container.
  • They like a little moisture but not too much. Sometimes it helps to add a damp paper towel into the container.

TIPS

  • If you feel like you won’t use your veggies or fruit before they will get bad, freeze them! Did you know even raw butter and cheese freezes well? Cut, peel, and remove excess from your produce, and store in these biodegradable storage bags.
  • With bread that is going bad, make croutons!

Info source: @wearebrightland

Thinking Bigger: Serving Others and Supporting Small Businesses

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

Although this time is full of struggle, re-adjusting, loss, learning to homeschool, and bits of frustration or maybe even fear, there are positive ways we can support each other! This time has reinstalled a sense of camaraderie and community. Do y’all agree? Many are serving more than they ever have. It’s a beautiful silver lining to this pandemic. When loneliness sets in, I encourage you to check in on someone else or send a thoughtful note or gift to a loved one; I guarantee it will bring you joy and will only bring comfort to others!

Here on the blog, we’ve implemented a new series of talks on Thinking Bigger. Last week we touched on How Simplicity Changes Everything, and this week I wanted to talk about serving others and supporting small businesses – A topic that has really been on my heart and surprisingly, has also helped me process during this time.

My family lives in Dallas; we are so close, and it was really tough to cancel the trips we had planned to see each other, not knowing when the safe next time will be. One way that has helped me feel so connected is by sending them presents that remind me of them or fun little things for my sweet nieces! And all the while, I order the items from small businesses. You bring a company joy while sending joy to someone you love, and it doesn’t have to be big!

Another long-winded, yet rewarding project we have been diving into is all things home and finishing the furnishing process! With the intension of supporting small businesses, I feel like I have entered an entirely new world of discovering some incredible companies! It makes the purchase that was on the to-do feel much more purposeful.

Fun Ideas

  • Create your neighbor a bouquet of flowers from the backyard.
  • Write a note to someone you are grateful for.
  • Call your grandma.
  • Give to a charity that provides meals to others during this time.
  • Cook a meal or cookies and deliver it to someone it would help.

Gift Ideas

  • Send a bottle of wine from here (it’s organic and biodynamic and delicious!)
  • A toy for your friend’s puppy from here, here, or here.
  • Send something cute from here.
  • This Box of Sunshine that gives 100% of proceeds to Baby2Baby.
  • The cutest organic clothes for kids.
  • For new mamas.
  • Healthy products from here.

For the Home

To follow along with items I’m getting my hands on, or to see how I’m constantly learning and processing throughout this time, stay up to date on my Instagram. x

How can you serve and support others during this time? Jot down a few ideas and try to implement one this week!

 

Shop My Look Here: Shorts, Top, Sunnies, and Shoes

 

In The Kitchen: Adding New Purpose To Your Cooking Routine

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

I have always known that I have an affection for healthy food, a fascination for the origin of where organic produce is grown and harvested, and a love for experimenting with new recipes and flavors, but I have come to notice that time and lack of energy from a full schedule eliminated space to explore and grow in these passions. Cooking became more of a chore, gardening was a no-go since we weren’t at home long enough to sustain it, and sometimes just picking up dinner from the Erewhon food bar was way easier than thinking about what to whip up. Not to mention, the task of cutting veggies and doing dishes just seemed daunting and anything but enjoyable.

It’s like a new world has opened up during this quarantine time. Cooking has become what I look forward to every day, our garden is thriving, the local farm we discovered is my happy place to buy organic and biodynamic produce + support a small business, and dishes seem like a breeze. I have been cooking almost every night with the windows open and the Florida Georgia Line radio playing, and Jase sometimes is creating the most beautiful cocktails next to me with freshly squeezed watermelon and orange. I am more intentional about using the produce we have because not many other options like we had before are available, and I have such a strong desire to feed our bodies with nutrition to keep our immune systems strong!

I started a Master Class and Alice Waters is inspiring me to plan meals based on the ingredients I get from the farm, and it has brought about this whole new light and intention to cooking and meals! This time is truly bringing new purpose to what used to be a mundane activity. Now I cook out of necessity for health, conserving the produce we have, and it has allowed so much space for creativity. Who knew that I would develop a new excitement for making homemade salsas from the pretty tomatoes or roasted carrots from the cookbook I never had a chance to look through? There are truly so many silver linings in this time of unknowns, sadness, loss, and confusion. Embracing them makes every day a little brighter!

How has this time added to your cooking routine?

I’m excited to share with you over the next few weeks a few of the things I’m doing in my kitchen right now as a part of my In The Kitchen series – things like how to maximize your produce, what to grab when shopping, growing your own greens, and more.

Follow along with me here, or at my Instagram where I often post a meal I’m cooking or kitchen must-have I’m loving. x

Shop My Look Here: Top, skirt, sunnies

Thinking Bigger: How Simplicity Changes Everything

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

I have been reflecting on this time a lot, and as I am sure most of us are, thinking about new routines and positive habits that we have developed during this stay at home order that we want to bring with us as we enter back into “normalcy,” which I assume will never be the same. Although this time has so much heaviness and devastation that surrounds it, I continually think about how wonderful it has been to be forced to stop, to pause, and to be where we are.

These reflections have led me to start a collection on the blog focusing on Thinking Bigger – Over the next few weeks, my hope is to cover topics that have been developed in this time like the power of simplicity, serving others, new rhythms and routines, and digging into new passions.

Before this pandemic, the general answer from the majority of us when asked how we were doing would be, “we are so busy.”

Even though our days still remain full since Jase and I’s work has shifted and continued, our days look so incredibly different. We are able to start our day in a more restful way, we have been spending hours in the fresh air and sunshine every day, we have been extra present and available for little Bennett doodle (our 5-month-old puppy), and we are more intentional with who we connect with virtually + having time and space to think about others more, to help small businesses, and the list goes on. Not to mention, shows such as The Today Show (the majority being filmed from their homes) and even my husband’s show (currently transitioned to interviews on IG Live) have all felt so personal and so genuine, which I think we have all craved without even knowing it.

I didn’t realize how much mental space was taken from coordinating and deciding on social plans, organizing travel schedules, unpacking just to repack, going to appointment after appointment, and driving to and from everything. This realization has given me a little hint as to why I feel like we are doing things so differently during this time. I really had to sit and think about why we didn’t spend our evenings outside before this since the time in the evenings have stayed quite similar from then to now, why cooking felt more like a chore then and is a joy now, why FaceTiming with family and friends felt distracted then and is longer and so focused now. As I have realized in the past through my own experience is that traumatic times seem to show us immediately what is important. It filters out the fluff and hones in on necessities to live – the simplicities that keep our joy kindled.

The things that this time has brought that I feel so grateful for: hearing the birds outside, noticing things in nature that I have never had the time to enjoy before, listening to music all day, buying our groceries from a local farm, starting a masterclass that has taught me so much about cooking, planting a garden, going for long neighborhood walks while getting to know the neighbors from a distance, and reaching out more to friends and family to check-in.

One last thought: isn’t it so interesting to think that this is so similar to how our parents and grandparents grew up? Neighbors knew each other, people borrowed an egg from the person next door, so many gardened and enjoyed the simple things, cooking and dishes were day to day tasks…

Questions to leave with:

What has changed in your routine that you feel thankful for? What is one thing you want to continue when the world starts opening up again?

Shop the tank here.

Force of Nature: A Clean Alternative to Bleach

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If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably heard me rave about my love for this natural all-purpose cleaning product that I recently discovered. During this time of a worldwide pandemic, I think so many have been tempted to use chemicals even with knowledge of the harmful effects. Did you know that bleach and other harmful cleaning products affect our respiratory system and our immune system, which is something we need to be extra strong right now!

A sweet girl DM-ed me about a month ago telling me about Force of Nature and how much she loved this clean alternative to bleach. So I gave it a go! And oh. my. I am so giddy about it! Jase and I have been using alcohol as our disinfectant for products/mail/food deliveries, but we are trying to conserve it as much as possible, so we haven’t been using it to kill germs on the surfaces in our home. I have been deep cleaning our house once a week (OCD in full affect!) and have used FON on our wood floors and surfaces two times already – I give it a major five stars!

This solution is only 3 ingredients: salt, vinegar, and filtered water. They provide a beaker (that plugs in), a tube of the concentration. You fill the beaker with your own water and insert the solution, turn the beaker on and wait 9 minutes. It is converted to electrolyzed water when an electrical current changes the chemical composition of the solution into two new ingredients: hypochlorous acid, which is the same germ-killing substance our immune system makes, and sodium hydroxide, which gives this solution extra disinfecting power! Then you pour this into the spray bottle that they provide.

This nontoxic disinfecting solution powers through odors, grease, grime, soap scum and sticky, icky messes as effectively as bleach. The best part: it cleans virtually any surface – sealed stone, glass, stainless steel, wood, laminate, porcelain, composite, grout, tile, plastic and rubber. Other things to use it on: baby gear like strollers, highchairs, car seats, kids serve wear and utensils, sports gear, rugs and furniture, makeup brushes, backpacks, lunch boxes, thermoses, straws, sippy cups, yoga mats, reusable bags, fresh-cut flowers, patio furniture, camping gear, diaper bags, front load washers, retainer cases, toothbrushes, children’s toys, pet habitats, sponges, cars, the fridge, humidifiers, door handles, mail, and the list goes on!

Also, many people have been asking me if it has a scent. It smells like a pool (not for long), but honestly, that smell makes me feel extra productive when it comes to cleaning. It smells so fresh and I love it!

Extra Bonuses:

  • This keeps toxic chemicals from going into our water systems.
  • It reduces plastic waste from typical cleaners by 97%. It is Green Seal certified for environmental excellence.
  • The shipping boxes and Activator Capsules are 100% recyclable.

What’s not to love? DM me on Instagram or comment below to tell me how you like it! Stay safe and healthy everyone! xx

Self-Care Tip: Bath Must-Haves

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

While there are many things about this season that have been challenging and difficult to process, I’ve been taking extra time to be grateful for the things I do have, and find light in the little activities that bring joy, rest, and make me feel whole. I think now more than ever, it’s important to find ways to take care of yourself, and to allow yourself to find peace. One of my favorite ways to practice extra self-care is by taking a bath! 

Here are a few Self-Care Tips and my Bath Must-Haves that have quickly become a part of my everyday routine: 

I often talk about this brand because I absolutely love their products! These bath soaks are made with many great (and of course, clean) ingredients including essential oils that add such a calming and soothing aspect to my bath routine! (I’ve stocked up on their bath line and love to rotate through them as a part of my bath routine).

Any time I take a bath, I’ll use this beforehand! Dry brushing has so many great benefits, but before baths, especially, it’s a great way to practice self-care by activating your body’s release of toxins before you soak. 

These bath salts are simply the best! I love this brand because the ingredients are pure and raw, and they also assist in fighting off toxic build up in the body while hydrating and nourishing my skin – a self-care must! 

This scrub is an item that takes my time for self-care to the next level. It’s made with brown sugar and hydrating sweet almond oil that not only smells amazing but also leaves my skin feeling so moisturized afterwards! 

This sponge I’ve talked about a few times before because I simply love it! Not only is it a bath must-have staple for me, but the amount of body wash it’s helped me save has been amazing. It has quickly become a self-care item I cannot do without.

I’ll use this particular bath soak on nights when I’m extra tired and need help getting rest. It’s also a great aid to your body when you feel you might be getting sick or are already under the weather! 

When I’m feeling stressed and want to relax, I make sure to use these bath salts that help calm my mind and soothe my muscles! I love the way it smells and knowing that it’s helping my body while I cut out time for self-care is such a bonus. 

However you’re feeling in this season, I hope you find time to do something that adds extra care and relaxation into your routine! x

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