Tag Archives: spring

Love Weekends: It’s Strawberry Season!

strawberry fields 1 I went a touch overboard on the strawberry picking. In fact, I stayed up until 1:30 am last night cutting up strawberries. I just had to. It was a huge money saver. The strawberries were something like $1.60 per pound. And farm-fresh strawberries are so much better than store-bought. I froze a bunch for smoothies, gave some away and dehydrated a metric ton for our road trip. Ok, maybe not a ton, but a lot.

Strawberry fields 2 This weekend I also gave the commencement speech at my alma mater. It was only the departmental graduation, but still, it was kind of an insane honor. I was super nervous and I spent the majority of last week perfecting the speech. I’ll post it here tomorrow. It was actually a really good exercise and I feel like I really summed up the past 6 years of my life. I also think I gave some killer advice. We’ll see what you all think. ūüôā

strawberries! On Sunday I also visited my mom. We shopped using coupons and I got several shirts and a couple of bowls for a little bit of nothing. Hey, it’s what she wanted to do for Mother’s Day, I swear. She’s a shopping Sherpa. I always leave the store feeling like I just ran a marathon.

How was your weekend? Do anything exciting? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

love,
melanie

Love Weekends: Come On, Spring!

  baby fern

I sure know how to pick the best time to live in an Airstream. Last summer was tough with all the rain and crazy storms and then this winter was longer and harsher than I most I remember. I’m more than ready to just feel like my old self. I’m ready to shake off the winter funk and frolic in the outdoors. This weekend we did just that.

creek through park

I never thought I’d call myself a “hiker,” but it’s becoming my new favorite hobby. It’s free, it’s exercise and it gets me outdoors. Bonus, dogs like hiking too. This weekend at our local park, I made George take one trail just so we could follow a pair of pugs… and their owners. I’m such a creep.

little white flowers

These first little signs of spring are so encouraging.

bridge through woods See all the little green stuff trying to poke it’s way out?!

Sprouting tomato plant

Also, I’m insanely excited about the first little sprouts for my garden. I hope I can keep them alive! I check on them multiple times a day. I’m trying not to be a helicopter parent and overwater my little beauties, but I’ve never grown something from a seed before! (Crazy, I know.)

How was your weekend? Are you seeing spring in your neck of the woods? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

 

Love Weekends: First Signs of Spring

Pathway in the park I don’t think I’ve ever been so desperate for warm weather in my life. Sunday was such a relief. George and I went to a local park to really get the most of the 70 degree weather. We saw way too many cute dogs and I have a terrible case of puppy fever. At one point I almost stole an adorable brindle pug whose head was way too small for his body. Puppy fever is real people.

Lake at the park But alas, spring is a fickle b*tch. The low today is 18 degrees and there’s ice in the forecast. Oh spring, why won’t you stay?!

ducks How was your weekend? Did you get a tiny taste of spring?

Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

How to Make Money at Flea Markets

flea marketOne of the best ways to unload a large amount of junk and make a few extra bucks is to sell your wares at a local flea market (or as some call it, a swap meet). In my experience, we’ve had much more success at a flea markets than at yard sales. Yard sales require the customers to drive to your house. Yard sales don’t have as many vendors, so they don’t attract as many customers. And people also seem to want you to offer you .10 cents for everything at a yard sale.

Over the past couple of years, George and I have sold a large chunk of our earthly wares at the Raleigh Flea Market. During this time, we’ve also acquired an array of tips and tricks to the flea market game. Here’s what we’ve learned:

1. If your flea market is outside, check the weather report! People will not shop if it is raining, super cold or very windy. It is also a total bummer to sit outside in harsh elements all morning. Bad weather can also ruin your stuff. For example, if you sell books, even a little bit of rain will completely ruin your stuff.  Bring tarps or a large tent even if the weather report is in your favor.

2. If your flea market takes reservations, call early in the week to book a good spot. Scope out the best spots the week before and ask for those specific spots. Look for spots near a bathroom or an entrance. These areas are higher traffic, therefore, your items are more likely to be seen.

3. Know your competition. Visit the flea market a couple of times before selling to scope out the competition. What is everyone else selling? Are their prices high or low? What can you offer that other booths may not?

4. Know your market. In the beginning, it is hard to figure out what sells, but by bringing a variety of items, you’ll be able to quickly narrow down your scope. For example, we’ve found out that vintage clothing does not sell at our flea market, but I’ve been to huge flea markets, such as the Rose Bowl, where vintage clothing sells like hotcakes.

5. You’ll want to narrow down your scope a bit, so you don’t have to haul your entire house to the flea market, but keep things diverse. We’ve had weekends where only our furniture had sold and we’ve had weekends where only small knick-nacks sold.

6. Create an appealing booth. Put your best items at the front of the booth to draw in customers. Spread items out and display them in a shop-like way. Go to the mall to get inspiration! No one likes to get on the ground to sort through junk. Put your items on tables, display clothing on racks and play music that reflects your style. Check out the picture below of our last set-up. We put our most eye-catching items towards the front of the booth. The painting of the pig drew in so many customers!

flea market set up

7. Price your items slightly higher than you the amount you would take. Some people at the flea market like to negotiate. Some don’t. If you see someone is hovering over an item or you can tell they may be a bit shy, let them know your low price.

8. With that being said, don’t take a price that is less than you feel comfortable with. People will always try to get something for nothing. Someone else will come along and you’ll sell that item eventually. Don’t worry too much.

9. Don’t take it personally when someone balks about the price. You know what the item is worth to you. Some people don’t see the value in it and never will. Ignore those people. When we bring George’s art out to the flea market people balk about the price and try to offer us less. The pieces are original and often take hours, if not days, to complete. We price it fairly. The end.

10. Have fun, talk to people, put on sunblock, dress in layers, bring a chair, lots of snacks and relax! Selling your old junk is easy money.

Have you ever sold at a flea market? Got any tips? Leave ’em in the comments!

love,
melanie

Maple and Rum Horchatas

horchata1I like my milk heavy on the coffee. Is that how that saying goes? No? What I’m trying to say is a big glass of plain, dairy milk makes me cringe.

The first time I encountered horchatas was when I lived in L.A. I was scared to try them because I thought they were a big ol’ glass of watery milk. But we ordered one anyway and boy was I was wrong! Horchatas are refreshing, delicious and made from rice water and almond milk– which I actually enjoy. I also enjoy a little refreshing nip of rum–if you know what I’m saying.

Here’s my recipe for the perfect adult horchata.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¬†cup of uncooked long grain rice
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 4 shots of your favorite rum (We used Sailor Jerry’s¬†for the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors.)

horchata2

Pour the rice and water into a ¬†blender. ¬†Blend the rice until it breaks up, but isn’t total mush– about 1 minute. Let rice and water stand at room temperature overnight.

The next day, strain the rice water into a pitcher. Discard the leftover rice. Whisk the almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup and rum into the rice water. Serve over ice.

So much more refreshing and relaxing than a glass of milk!

What is your favorite summer drink?

love,
melanie

Tart, Ginger Cranapple Juice

homemade cranapple juiceIt seems like everyone is juicing lately. I have to admit, I’ve been on a couple of juice cleanses and I absolutely hated it. Let’s be real, ya’ll. No green juice is ever better than a real bacon and egg breakfast. And to be honest, I feel better eating high protein, low carb instead of the other way around.

But George loves apple juice. He is such a little kid sometimes. And I do worry about the boy’s sugar intake. I can be a real mom sometimes. So, I was looking for ¬†a way to make a healthier, lower sugar, apple juice. Here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients

  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup of cranberry juice (no sugar added)

I don’t have a juicer, so I made this one in my blender. It works well, but it would be smoother if you choose to make it in a juicer.

Peel, core and cut the apples into bite-size chunks. Peel and cut up the ginger. Add the cranberry juice to the blender first, then add the apples and the ginger. Blend until smooth and pour over ice. Enjoy!

Cranapple ginger juice

Tart and gingery! Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? Do you think it lives up to the hype?

love,
melanie

DIY Ombre Sunglasses

sunglasses7

It seems like the ombre trend will never die, huh? Oh well. I love it and I’m not afraid to omber-ize everything– including my sunglasses.

Here’s the how-to:

sunglasses1Supplies:

sunglasses2

Step 1 (Optional): (Enlist your husband) to drill small holes into the ends of your sunglasses. This will allow the ombre effect to be carried to the ends of the sunglasses. If you skip this step, you will just have to end the thread earlier on the sunglasses and leave the behind-the-ear-part empty. (Fancy terminology, huh?)

sunglasses3 Step 2: Place a piece of tape sticky-side up onto the back of the glasses. This makes the process much easier because the thread won’t slide around.

sunglasses4 Step 3: Tie a knot on the end of the of glasses closest to the eye.

sunglasses5 Step 5: Begin neatly wrapping the thread around the sunglasses. This is where you can be creative with the process and switch up your colors.

Step 6: End the thread by neatly wrapping through the hole drilled in the end of the sunglasses. Tie a knot and dot the ends with fabric glue for extra strength.

Step 7: Repeat on the other side!

sunglasses6Annnnnd done! We’re ready to hit the beach!

love,
melanie