aspen & pine

a journey in creativity and mindful living

Month: January, 2015

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teddy bear amigurumi

I tried amigurumi for the first time this past week to make a gift for a friend’s baby shower. I used this free pattern, there’s even a great youtube tutorial to go along with it. I think he turned out great, with just enough lopsidedness to prove that he was handmade with love. It was so much fun that I might make some more little creatures for my hope chest.

Honestly I love the concept of a hope chest. While I want to keep my possessions to a minimum, I think there is still a place for special sentimental items. It is a beautiful tradition that helps us to cherish things we love most in our throwaway society. My Grandpap made all of his granddaughters beautiful cedar chests when we graduated college, and right now mine is still at my parents  since we don’t have room for it. (It’s holding items from our wedding and my childhood,  it’s our mini storage unit, that we don’t have to pay for.)

This week I loved:

What minimalism really is.

Sending letters to prisoners in jail for their faith is something I want to start doing.

Quality over quantity in your life.

4,500 year old Pharaoh’s wife’s tomb recently discovered.




blood orange and coconut marshmallows


These marshmallows were pretty and delicious. The recipe I used is from the December issue of Bon Appetit magazine, and can be found here on their website. Next I want to try these rose water marshmallows created by Mimi Thorisson of Manger, my most favorite food blog ever!

It’s amazing to me how easy it was to make marshmallows. It sounds so complicated, but really it’s as simple as making a sugar syrup and mixing it with gelatin. Here are some pictures of how mine turned out:







My coconut layer didn’t turn out quite as fluffy as the orange one. I think this was because I let the sugar syrup go over the temperature it was supposed to be at.


They look oh-so-pretty rolled in powdered sugar and placed in a glass dish!



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I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a happy year ahead! I am still evaluating last year, and making goals for this one. So far I am hoping to keep our house more clutter free, continue getting rid of unnecessary stuff, blog more, and exercise/get outside more often.

This week I loved:

This new take on being unprepared by Seth Godin.

A view of Christmas around the world.

I am doing 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene. As a beginner I have loved it so far and am super excited for the rest of the month!

Redefining New Years Resolutions with Courtney Carver.