aspen & pine

a journey in creativity and mindful living

Category: LinkLove

link love


I mentioned letter writing in a previous post, and shared some pen pal links with you all. Since then I became a member of the Letter Writers Alliance and started correspondence with someone. I got my first letter a couple weeks ago. It’s such a rewarding experience sharing your life and thoughts on paper with another person far away. I think you should try it!

This week I loved:

25 meaningful things to do now from Courtney Carver.

The Beginner’s Guide to Minimalism on oktiny.

Building a minimalist wardrobe faq.

These portraits of young Native Americans celebrating their culture are beautiful!


link love

Chamomile infused olive oil

This is a jar of olive oil being infused with chamomile flowers. This particular oil I made to go in a gentle baby soap. I have been making soap lately and loved it so much that I’m excited to announce that I’ve opened an etsy shop! It will probably be awhile before it’s really all up and running, but it’s a start and I’m hoping to get some actual soap on there before too long. I’ve learned it takes a very long time to develop soap recipes because you have to wait 3-4 weeks for handmade soap to cure before it’s ready to be tested. So it will happen slowly but surely. I will also most likely be revamping my blog to go along more with my shop, hopefully getting a new look!

This week I loved:

Your mood vs. your reality on Seth Godin’s blog.

10 lesser known National Parks to visit!

An eye opening article about ADHD, Ritalin vs. Recess.

This story of monks in Iraq striving to save Christian manuscripts on npr.

Can sustainable palm oil help slow deforestation? Unfortunately this is still happening, but there is hope for the situation to improve.


link love

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.



link love


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.

link love


Sorry for the silence on here, I just haven’t gotten around to posting much since we got back from our road trip at the end of August. We explored and discovered so many places! The image above are some natural treasures I picked up on Washington’s beaches, one of my favorite places.

this week I loved:

Simplifying your kitchen for the tiny house, or in my opinion, any house!

When simple feels complicated on The Art of Simple.

How to create a life with room for what matters most on More with Less.

Another post by Courtney Carver, including a smoothie recipe, and why we should do things we don’t want to.

A pretty hair tutorial.

I absolutely love the white interior of this small house!

Facts about palm oil and rainforests is something we all need to read up on! Some images of Borneo’s vanishing rainforest on National Geographic.

link love


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

link love


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


link love

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

link love

image by Jordan Baker

image by Jordan Baker

This morning we woke up early to go pick strawberries at Middle River Farms with my mom. It’s something we do every year. Now there’s fresh strawberry pie (my favorite), strawberry ice cream, and strawberry jam to be made!

This week I loved:

5 simple ways to burn more calories when you work out by popsugar

Reese Witherspoon’s photo diary while shooting “Wild” to be released this December

Creating a sabbath away from the digital world

No one has it all together all of the time by Liz Smith.

link love


I hope all the mother’s out there had a wonderful mother’s day this past weekend!

This week I loved:

Honoring our mothers

10 things to add to a simple life by be more with less

The importance of rest

I really want to make some raised beds out of pallets, or maybe something like this and this pallet garden

Another pallet raised bed method, I think this was my favorite