Friday, October 12, 2018

Have You Tried the 'Capsule Wardrobe' Thing?

Have you guys seen the phrase "cooler on the internet"? Maybe it's popped up on a keychain or in the Instagram bio of someone you follow. It's kind of a funny way to admit the difference between "internet life", e.g., the things we show our online communities vs. real life, e.g., the dishes from last night's dinner that are still sitting in the sink. There are all sorts of things that come up as "cooler on the internet", or even "talked about on the internet", that don't seem to be as big of a deal in real life.

This brings me to capsule wardrobes. A lot of bloggers I follow have been talking about reducing their wardrobe for certain seasons or occasions. There are a lot of different approaches to building a capsule wardrobe, and I've even seen some bloggers call it a 2-week capsule wardrobe when they're packing for vacation. I don't think this is 100% the idea behind a capsule wardrobe, but I suppose they are treating the clothes they choose with intention, and in that sense, they're on the right track.

Interestingly, the term "capsule wardrobe" was coined in the 1970's by a London woman, according to Wikipedia. Then, the article says, in 1985 Donna Karan came out with a line of 7 "easy pieces" for a woman to incorporate into her daily life. At the time, Karan's philosophy was that women had become routine at everyday tasks like putting dinner on the table, and she wanted to empower them to approach style with the same confidence and determination.
Mood board details: 1, 2, 3, 4

Then, we all know how Steve Jobs wore his signature turtleneck, jeans and sneakers combo every day. Other successful uniform-touters like Zuckerberg and Obama say they save time — and mental energy — by not having to make so many decisions when they look at their closet.

And, of course, there are other benefits: sustainability, cost savings, less clutter.

All that being said, the arguments on the internet are widespread and pretty convincing for why we should all be ditching our extra stuff. From a lot of the capsules I've seen, this way of dressing often leads people to determine a single palette of mostly neutrals — which makes sense, easier to mix and match. (Except, shoutout to Elsie Larson for keeping her capsule fresh with some serious patterns in the dress category) I have to be honest and say I enjoy adding color and random patterns into my wardrobe, so I've felt like a capsule wardrobe might limit my enjoyment for dressing myself.

My fall/winter wardrobe is far, far less extensive than my spring/summer wardrobe, and I tend to view the four seasons as two collective "cold times" and "hot times". So, my "cold time" wardrobe needs some updating — and some decluttering. Maybe this post is the inspiration I needed to try out a capsule?

I make no promises.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk

I love my hometown. Really, the only bad thing about it is that we don't have a Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's is insane because their prices are good AND they come out with crazy seasonal products that tempt me to drive all the way to Kansas City to get my hands on 'em. I've never gone to KC just for Trader Joe's (yet), but I admit it's typically the last of my itinerary before heading home.

TJ's has some crazy autumnal products, including fall harvest salsa and pumpkin pita crisps, but the one that caught my eye the most was the pumpkin spice almond beverage. I dreamed of a perfect world, a world where my coffee was supported with just the right hint of a sweet and spiced nondairy creamer. I thought, oh my. Think of all the savory, seasonal overnight oats I could create!

But then I remembered I'd have to drive 3 hours to get it.

So, I solved my own problem (and potentially yours, too!) with this recipe. And, bonus! Tomorrow is National Coffee Day, so if you don't have plans... Now you do. :)

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk

- 2 cups almond milk (you can make your own or use store bought)
- 1 tbsp pumpkin purée
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Sweeten to taste. I added about 1/2 tbsp maple syrup.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.

I'm really happy with how easy and sweet this recipe turned out — I think it'll be a go-to for me each year! Would you add it to coffee or just chug it on its own?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

We Joined a CSA!

Well, I guess this announcement is a little late, but Austin and I have been part of a CSA this year through some of our local friends who have a farm! Dustin and Lacy Stewart manage a number of things, and somehow, they all turn out to be amazing. Our CSA experience has been no different. Dustin and Lacy call their farm the Stewart Settlement, and they have a beautiful piece of property in Pleasant Hope, MO, where they've even built a wedding/event venue and a couple of AirBnB's. Check out Lacy's blog for more insight into the type of people they are — I think you'll like 'em.

I say this announcement is a little late because we're already halfway through our CSA season! We started back in April, and we'll be receiving farm-fresh goodies through November. If you don't know what a CSA is, let me back up. It stands for community-supported agriculture, and the way it works is that you pay a farmer upfront to receive a share of their crops throughout the season. CSAs are designed to support both the farmer and the consumer — having customers pay upfront for a share of crops often allows farmers to have the capitol they need to buy seeds, meal and anything else they might need to get the heavy-duty growing season started. In exchange, customers receive a crop share (often on a weekly harvest day) and an opportunity to get a closer look at where their food comes from.

Each Tuesday, I love the surprise of going to pick up the goodies and seeing what we'll get to eat that week! This summer we've been getting a lot of yummy tomatoes and cucumbers, kale and green beans. It varies a lot, so we don't get the same exact things every week, and I'm always super excited when we get a big, fresh bunch of basil. I've loved getting to visit the farm and seeing where our food comes from, and it means a lot to us to know we're supporting a small business with our dollar. Honestly, before I started writing for FEAST magazine, I didn't think too much about what I ate or where it came from. Now, I consider where my food is produced. The way the farming and grocery industry works means a lot of veggies I could buy in the store might be organic, but they could have been grown in Mexico or California and come a long way on a truck. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense to get those same foods from friends down the road.

All that to say, joining a CSA has been really good for Austin and me. We've been stretched in the kitchen (in a good way!), but we still have no idea what to do with fennel. Ha!