Lifestyle

Tiles of Ezra: Texture on the Walls

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

We’ve been so grateful to be able to take extra time in creating our home. Though it’s taken longer than expected, the process of getting to put care and intention into every area has been so special. As it’s finally coming together, I wanted to take time on the blog to share this exciting project. So many of you have been asking for before and after pictures – coming soon, I promise! In the meantime, over the next few weeks, I wanted to feature a few areas of my home and brands that I have come to love so much, in a series we’re launching on the blog: Making A Home.

One of my most grateful finds has been Tiles of Ezra because their sustainable and handmade tiles completely inspire me. In the aim to make our home-renovation free of toxicity, discovering this company that cares just as much about a healthy homemade my heart explode! In the process of creating a new home, Georgia Ezra was at the top of my list to gather imagination and inspiration.

I am such a person of minimalism, and I remember fearing that tiling the entire wall in the powder bath would create too much materiality in that space. I was DM-ing Georgia (praise hands to small businesses!), and she was the one who showed me how amazing it would be – And she was right!! Now it might be my most favorite room in the house, and the bonus of all bonuses, the tiles make me feel like we brought nature in. It makes it extra peaceful, serene, and meaningful! It is such a gift when a company aligns so well with organic and non-toxic lifestyle values, and Georgia is now such a sweet friend, and that is the biggest blessing of it all!

Hope you’re enjoying tagging along with my house updates – More to come as we’re launching our Making A Home series here on the blog.  What are some design risks you have taken that turned out to be the best decision?

In The Kitchen: Where and How to Shop

682 1024 Libby Absten

I love how much time have been able to spend in the kitchen lately! I have mentioned this before, but being able to take extra time planning meals and cooking has become a new routine in this season that I have come to love so much. Eating healthy and knowing what I an consuming has always been a big part of my life, but now more than ever I feel like it’s a passion of mine that has really developed with more time to practice it! 

On the blog, I have started a new series called In The Kitchen, and over the last few weeks I have talked about adding new purpose to your cooking routine and have given some practical tips on ways to maximize the life of your fresh groceries. This week I thought it would be helpful to talk about where I shop for my groceries and a few tips on how to shop – Things that I think can so often be overlooked in the day to day of a week spent at home or the craziness and potential fear of grocery environments lately. 

WHERE TO SHOP

One of my very favorite things about this time has been the discovery of our local farm. While Jase and I are so lucky to have one close enough for us to go to, the idea of shopping local and supporting small businesses has been a value instilled in me during this time that I will not leave behind! 

While many of us may have the first thought that shopping small comes at a greater expense, many things like produce, especially fruit and veggies, can actually be cheaper or often on sale and at a better quality, ultimately lasting you longer than your nearby chain grocer. 

Shopping small or local is also a great way to cut out on the stress of the grocery store during this time! When you relieve yourself of the many negative emotions that can so often be identified with a stop at the store, this activity can actually become a cherished part of your routine. I know for me, I love showing up to my local spot and taking time to see what fresh picks are available – wandering up and down the rows (while practicing safe distancing, of course) and taking it all in! This care that I have developed in my routine for where I shop and what I buy has caused me to have even greater care and excitement in what I prepare. I cook based on my inspiration from the ingredients purchased. It has been a game-changer for me!

Another great place to shop, that isn’t so small, can be Whole Foods. While this was often considered not within budget for many families, the new deals and offers that have been extended to Amazon Prime Members (which so many of us are!) makes it practical once again. It’s also a great option for those pantry items that can be more expensive at your local spot. Things like nut butters, canned goods, healthy snacks and treats, or alternative milks are actually similarly priced (or on sale / specially priced) to your opposing chain grocer and oftentimes made with more quality or organic ingredients! Such a win.

HOW TO SHOP

Now that the stress has been relieved from dreaded trips to the grocery store, the need for a detailed list of things to get in and get out as fast as possible has also gone out the window. While I have my routine items I always get – protein options, potatoes, pastured eggs, leafy greens, and nuts – I also make room in my trip to look at what’s freshly available and think of meals I can create using what’s right in front of me! 

A great way to start doing this is to shop for more universal items that can be created or added to anything. Items like sweet or regular potatoes can be chopped into quarters for a tray of roasted veggies with broccoli, zucchini, onion, and asparagus – or cut vertically and baked into fries! Proteins like pastured chicken or ground grass-fed beef can be added on top of fresh greens and healthy grains with roasted veggies to make into a warm bowl or served on top of a crisp salad. Your pantry items like noodles, canned foods, or nuts can be cooked or chopped and mixed into any meal to add a different texture or a more filling variety. And fresh herbs and spices can take any meal to the next level!

There are just so many options, but the goal when first starting is to shop for a variety of versatile fresh foods that can work together and then let your creativity work as you go throughout your week! 

A FEW OF MY GROCERY STAPLES 

  • Pastured eggs
  • Organic almond butter
  • Organic raw nuts for making home-made nut milk
  • Organic spring onions
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Raw butter
  • Siete tortillas and chips
  • Siete hot sauce
  • Organic dinosaur kale
  • Organic lettuces
  • Organic red peppers
  • Organic green beans
  • Organic garlic
  • Organic white rice
  • Organic potatoes – purple, red, sweet
  • Organic tomatoes
  • Sauerkraut
  • Organic fresh spices – cilantro, basil, dill, mint, oregano, sage (we grow these in our garden but are a must!)
  • Organic beets

Where are you shopping in this season, and what healthy recipes are you making in your kitchen? I’d love to hear from you! Follow along with my kitchen routine here on the blog or at my Instagram where I often post meals I’m making or grocery items I’m grabbing. xo

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!

 

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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

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