aspen & pine

a journey in creativity and mindful living

Month: June, 2014

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Jordan, my husband, meets with some guy friends every Tuesday, and that is my chance to cook all the lovely things he’s not too keen on for dinner. So while he’s grilling some steaks, hotdogs, sausages, or hamburgers, I’m making something with eggs, potatoes, and pastry for dinner (along with something green of course). Tonight I made this delicious galette recipe by Joy the Baker with some fresh green beans. It lived up to my expectations and more!

This week I loved:

Am I my brother’s keeper? by The Hill of Beans

This is an awesome tip for whipping cream using a mason jar!

These 7 unique non-toxic houseplants on A Beautiful Mess are so awesome, and I love that they mention which ones can handle neglect.

7 invisible benefits of living simply by be more with less

Lastly, The story of the mexican fisherman is part of our life philosophy


strawberry basil sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet

After having a divine strawberry basil sorbet at Milk & Honey in Chattanooga, I decided to try and make it myself.


Makes: 1400 ml, (~1 1/2 qt)

4 cups sliced strawberries (or 1 1/2 lbs or 2 pints whole)
1 cup sugar, heaping
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Sprinkle sugar over strawberries and stir lightly, then cover and let rest one hour. This draws out the juices from the strawberries. When the hour is up puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Place in fridge and wait until chilled completely (several hours) before churning in your ice cream maker. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into containers and freeze in your freezer by stirring every 20-30 minutes until hard.



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Don’t you just love those flowers? They are from my Grandma’s garden and I just had to pick a bouquet for our table. The table we have been doing some planning for our road trip in July on. One of my favorite websites for planning is roadtrippers. I can find new destinations and plot our route. We always put the route in google maps at the end to get better directions though (and so it’s consistent with our gps). I am excited because we will be leaving soon (in five weeks), but I still have a lot to do like meal planning, and finalizing our plans. We find that when we have plans, it actually gives us more freedom to be spontaneous on the trip because we know where we are going and how a side trip or extra day somewhere will affect us. We also don’t waste time trying to find a campground at the last minute. Free campsites is where we turn to keep our costs down.

This week I loved:

This neat off-grid cabin

Living Tiny as a Way to Follow Your Dreams

Becoming minimalist on The Pursuit of Selflessness




The Munstead lavender and chamomile I bought at Radical Roots Farm have grown quite a bit since I got them. I am very excited for these to flower. I want to try adding lavender to foods and beverages and make my own chamomile tea!


My seedlings (clockwise) are organic lettuce, aster flowers, basil (in the little purple pot) and organic broccoli raab. I bought all my seeds at Walmart and was surprised to find an organic brand called Home Farmer, they are also the ones that came up and have grown the fastest.


All my pots except the blue and purple ones were second hand from my Grandparent’s which was quite a money saver!


There’s the plentiful mint that comes up every year. My Grandpap planted this originally, but I transplanted some next to my container garden and it has taken off wonderfully. My plan is to eventually turn this area into a raised bed for herbs.


Our strawberry patch has been producing wonderfully for us, my Mom came over and picked with me the other day. We share the work and harvest with my parents and grandparents. Unfortunately it’s also a weed farm, and bermuda grass has become the bane of my existence.


I hope you enjoyed this tour of my tiny garden, and are inspired to start you’re own (even if you are convinced you don’t have a green thumb and hate weeding).

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Munstead Lavender

We photographed a beautiful wedding Saturday that took place on a horse farm. Instead of the normal sit down meal or buffet line, this couple had food trucks come to serve their guests. The reception had a very fun atmosphere, and the food was by far the best we’ve had at a wedding. We are hoping this becomes a new trend! Sunday evening we went up to the Shenandoah National Park to have a picnic with my family. We had a great time with good food and good people!

My little attempt at gardening is going well so far this year. I’ve decided to do all my planting in pots so I don’t have to weed, and starting smaller so maybe I will be successful and can pretend I have a green thumb! I will be doing a garden post later to show you what I’ve been up to.

This week I loved:

These pretty printable coloring pages and stationary

Ugly produce needs love too from takepart

Stop saying no to your husband by unveiled wife

FitSugar’s 10 tips for sustainable weight loss

Money saving tips for real life on apartment therapy