Going Nautical

 

Meet me where the sky touches the sea.

 

 

 

Top Pattern: Simplicity (1940s). Fabric: novelty cotton. Wedges: Quipid.

CREDITS// Photos: unknown, Butterick & Alex Allrich.

Stay Cool With Raw Vegan Mint Coconut Cream Bars

Oh My Popsicle

Happy Friday! The S.O. and I enjoyed a hot and sweaty romp around DTLA to drop of my engagement ring for sizing and browse our favorite fabric stores. Summer heat is just around the corner and nothing takes the edge off than an ice cold dessert.

Our low sugar challenge definitely altered my taste buds and going spoon deep in a pint of ice cream just isn’t as fulfilling as it used to be. These creamy and refreshing coconut mint bars are an excellent way to cool off without the sugar rush.

Raw Vegan Mint Coconut Cream Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups coconut milk
sprigs of mint
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
1 can Eden Foods Organic Cannellini White Kidney Beans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and the sugar on low heat until fully dissolved. Mix in the mint leaves and let simmer a few minutes.

Remove from heat, cover the saucepan and let steep for 30 minutes. Place mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.

Pour the Cannellini beans into a food processor and blend until a smooth paste.

Bring the coconut milk back to a simmer in a saucepan on low heat. Fold in the bean mixture and vanilla. Stir consistently until an even mixture is created.

Pour mixture into popsicle molds.

Freeze and enjoy!

CREDITS// Article: Lorelai Birch. Photos: Lorelai Birch.

The Day After Earth Day

Happy Day After Earth Day! Now what?

Earth Day every day right? Sometimes it’s very easy to fall back into the everyday habits we’ve created. It’s easy when we throw something away to let it, quite literally, be out of sight out of mind. Our culture and economy seem to value convenience above all else. Our lives are busy, we’re juggling careers and kids and money. We often go for what is easy instead of being mindful and recognizing that taking care of the planet in our capitalist society is actually at odds with what that society has taught us to value in its products and in our lifestyle. CONVENIENCE. Taking care of the planet means different choices, a change in our routine and thinking and approach, and it takes time. Maybe it’s time our values supersede these habits. And often, once we get over the initial psychological hurdle, it just becomes something that we do, something that we teach our children to do, and our by-product is a healthier planet and a more mindful generation. Here are some ideas to help you on your path to make Earth Day your Way of Life.

What Happens to Your Clothes?

We all donate our old clothes to good causes, but did you know that your moth-eaten sweater and holey socks do not need to sit in a landfill for eternity? Nope. They don’t! Planet Aid will recycle your unusable textiles, so don’t let them go to waste. Drop them in one of their yellow bins and help save the planet with your discard pile. Find a bin near you.

Compost!

Food waste generates more methane in landfills than it does when it breaks down naturally. Why shouldn’t that organic material have the opportunity to be put to use again to grow other plants? We have our little compost bin on the kitchen counter and we empty it out regularly. It does not smell or attract flies if you pay enough attention to it and make it part of your lifestyle. For those of us in cities that provide a green bin (like Los Angeles for example), lucky us! We can dump all fruit and veggie scraps into it and the city will take it for compost–it says so on the bin! You can make a compost bin or buy a worm bin. Use your compost to garden, to give to friends who garden, to sell on Craigslist, whatever. If you have kids, a worm bin provides endless learning opportunity and some great bonding time and funny memories. <3

Eat the Peel

Why put it in the compost when you can eat it? Yep, eat the peel! Lemon peel, orange peel, clementine peel, grapefruit peel, BANANA PEEL. They are all edible and very good for you. You just need to figure out how you like them served.

Small Things Turn into Big Things

Make big stews for the week–avoid takeout waste and spend less money! Stainless steel storage is a great alternative to plastic tupperware containers. Try Bee’s Wrap instead of plastic saran wrap. Have a trash bag and a recyclables bag in your car to make sure that everything that can be recycled IS recycled (I even have a compost bag in my car). Keep your canvas grocery bags in the car too to avoid plastic bags–wildlife is dying because of them. Turn off all lights and appliances that aren’t being used–even the ones we don’t think about, like the ones that emit a little red or blue light just because they are plugged in. And didja know, you probably did, that you can bring your own cup to Starbucks.

There are so many things we can all do to break this cycle of favoring convenience over our environment, and we have to be clear-eyed about the real impact our carelessness has. We’d love to hear what you do to keep this beautiful planet green–including any favorite nonprofits you spend your time with or give to. We’d love to hear from you!

Go West With Perfectly Posh

GIVEAWAY: Win a free Full Moon Chunk Bath Bar by liking and tagging our instagram post. Offer ends Mon Apr 24.

In some ways the intrigue of going West hasn’t changed. It’s a chance to escape, start over, follow dreams, chase down the golden sun. We both moved out here from the Northeast at different times for different reasons, but our ambitions very much align.

The opportunity to begin again has left us with an insatiable desire for our personal evolution. Most of our conversations revolve around the discovery of new ideas or passion projects that we feel reinforce our ideals and include leaving less impact. Choosing good products that align with our mission as well as our dietary restrictions is no small feat.

Melissa and I can be quite selective when it comes to ingredients. We try to use raw ingredients or simple handmade concoctions to replace over-processed products. We realize though that we often lack the funds, know-how, or time to do everything from scratch.

We were approached recently by a really cool company, Perfectly Posh, to sample a line of beauty products. Their focus as a company is to be natural and also affordable—two things that don’t always go hand-in-hand.

Overall, we were impressed with the quality. Perfectly Posh is cruelty free, mostly vegan, and naturally made. When their products include wheat in some form, they have specified so with parenthesis making it easy to follow for those who are gluten sensitive.

While Posh’s ingredient lists on the label are still a little opaque, their website and their representatives’ knowledge is extensive. We were reassured that all of the products are naturally sourced though first glance at the ingredients list doesn’t give you that image right away. If you prefer raw ingredients at their purest form, then these products may not suit your needs, however, Perfectly Posh is reasonably priced and their quality and sources exceed your typical beauty products.

YOU’RE INVITED: Perfectly Posh Paradise is offering a free lip balm to any order of $40 or more (before shipping and tax)! Offer ends 5 PM Mon Apr 24.

Go West Face Mask ($19)

Love! We both found this mask to be super light with a subtle and pleasant smell. The exfoliation is not severe and the feeling is quite calming and refreshing. This product won our hearts.

Moisturizer 911 ($19)

This one was a mixed bag. While also subtle in smell, once on, it has a pleasant citrus smell. Initially, we felt that it was light and energizing, but Melissa reacted to something almost immediately and had to wash the product off. If you’re sensitive in this way, definitely test this one in a small amount first (as you should with all beauty products).

Beach Blanket Big Fat Yummy Hand Créme ($9)

This hand cream will remind you of summers full of coconut! We loved the light silky feeling as well m, which made sharing this one harder than the rest. And it’s a great size to carry in your bag! How many times have you lamented that your hands needed some love, but you didn’t have purse-sized solution?

Full Moon Chunk Bath Bar ($9) Giveaway!

You tell us! We are giving away this gender bender chunk bath bar made of cedar wood and sea salt. We would love to hear what you think of it! Perfectly Posh Paradise description: Gender Bender is the charcoal based soap. It’s one of the best sellers because it’s so versatile and just flat out amazing due to the natural d-tox properties of charcoal.

Follow two simple steps in order to enter:

  1. Like our instagram post.
  2. Tag a friend who deserves to be pampered.
No purchase necessary. All ages eligible. US & Canada only. Winner will be selected at random and announced on Mon Apr 24 2017.

DISCLAIMER: We were provided with these products for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by any mentioned brands or companies, and/or its affiliates, in any way.
CREDITS// Article & Photos: Lorelai Birch & Melissa Collins.

Why I Can’t Finish A Project

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

Leonardo Da Vinci

While being called ‘creative’ and ‘innovative’ is quite complimentary, there are times I think it’s more of a curse. As I write this, a half-knit scarf is strewn about on the countertop. A hand-pressed paper order remains to be filled. A dress with an unfinished hem is draped over the back of my chair, and other sewing projects are lying in pieces, measured and cut and half-assembled, stored throughout my tiny house. I have more stashes of ideas then I know what to do with. One project can spin off into dozens of inspirations — and a dozen more roadblocks.

Fate

It’s not just the tangible, crafting side that stumbles along. A few weeks ago I hit a bad bit of digital luck, twice. First, my only external hard drive failed. I know better than to work without a fail safe, but I did anyways. Batches of photos and projects from college and a myriad of digital clutter carried with me from computer to computer over the past ten years lost. To be honest, I’m not even sure exactly what it is I lost, but I felt it deeply.

A few hours later? I crashed this blog — and spent a week rebuilding it from scratch.

So whether tangible or digital, it seems there is always some twist in the fabric of the universe conspiring to interrupt. To diverge the well-planned path. To throw a curveball. And, oftentimes, a minor interruption becomes a long-term disruption, and projects remain unfinished.

Wise Words

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from my college animation teacher back at Emerson. I wanted to stay after class, frustrated and eager to restart an already handed-in assignment, because I just wasn’t satisfied with certain parts of how it came together. That’s when she told me, if you keep editing the past, you’ll never be done. Instead use what you learned to make your next project better. Wise words.

Leaving a project unfinished is always something I beat myself up over, but I’m learning to embrace it, albeit reluctantly. I’m working to be more conscious and comfortable in declaring something as ‘finished’ — even though I could still change a few things, or acknowledging that I have simply lost interest.

The hard drive remains broken and corrupted. I decided it wasn’t worth a full paycheck to recover it. The rose-colored memories of candid college photos and old photoshoots on that drive are probably best forgotten. More than likely, the actual ones and zeroes were just grainy, pointless snapshots of people I only met once… and there is probably a reason I was never inspired to return to them in so many years.

In fact, I feel unburdened knowing that I have a clean slate. Sometimes moving on is moving up.