Garden, Graphic Design, Life

Farmers Markets — Eat local!

This post is going to ramble a bit. Consider yourself warned.

I am not a huge fan of summer weather. Maryland summers are humid, hot, sticky, stormy… I am more of a spring and fall weather kinda girl. That being said, summer really is the best season ever. The days are longer, schedules free up, activities are more active… and my favorite… the food! My garden has been doing really well this year. And just like last year, I want to really expand my planting area in the future. I only did a little expansion this year, mainly because I didn’t want to fork over too much cash money.

I’ve got 10 tomato plants, peas, strawberries, green beans, lettuce, peppers… all sorts of goodies. And what I don’t grow in my garden, I have been really enjoying shopping for at local farmers markets! It’s great to eat local foods and to support small businesses and farmers.

I am so lucky that we have a farmers market ON CAMPUS at the University of Maryland. Every Wednesday I walk over and buy delicious, fresh goodies. This week I bought blueberries, raspberries and tomatoes. Did I mention we also have a sustainable food truck!?! I bought a lamb sandwich and fresh lemonade. It was AMAZING. The vendors sell so much yummy stuff (hormone-free meats, fresh-baked pastries, dipping sauces, fresh eggs…). You name it, you can probably find it there — well, as long as it is in season.

As if that wasn’t awesome enough, Howard County offers a traveling farmers market. I’ve only gone once at the beginning of the season, but it too was a great experience. I bought fresh eggs and some yummy greens. Fresh eggs are amazing. I want my own chickens… too bad my dog would probably play with them to death.

I’ve really gotten into eating fresh, organic produce lately so I am going to interrupt my own post to share some awesome blogs I’ve stumbled upon recently and I love. If you are interested at all in eating organic or less processed foods, check out these three awesome blogs: Food Babe, 100 Days of Real Food & Deliciously Organic. I’ve got a whole organic chicken in our crockpot cooking for dinner tonight using a recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. My step sister also has an impressive blog about eating healthy: Fuel My Family. They are all awesome — check ’em out.

Also, don’t worry. I’m not about to turn this into a health food blog. Just figured I’d share since I started rambling about vegetables today 🙂

OK, back to farmers markets.

The real reason I wanted to write this post was to talk about how Dana, my bff, has started selling her baked goods at a farmers market in Laurel! That’s right, Little King’s Confections will be at the Main Street Farmers Market EVERY THURSDAY! I am so proud of her 🙂

Little Kings

Little Kings Farmers Market

Little Kings Confections

Little Kings Confections Market

OK, ramble almost over. See that logo on Dana’s booth? Yup, I designed it. It was really simple to do in Adobe Illustrator. I used the fonts Lavenderia for “Little King’s” and Code Light for “Confections.” The crown was a free clip art that I swapped from black to white. It is adorable 🙂

 

Little Kings Confections logoo

Happy ramblings & happy Friday!

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Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday, Life

Hope Ornament: #BloggersforSandyHook

A week ago today, 26 lives were cut short by a senseless act of violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Today we blog for Sandy Hook.

As part of the #BloggersforSandyHook tribute I wanted to share an ornament I made for our tree this week.

In honor of the grieving community and the 26 people who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday in Newtown, CT., I made a “hope”ornament for our tree.

IMG_2348

I really like the idea of having this on my tree each year to remind me to hug my loved ones extra tight, especially at Christmas.

If you want to make one too, here is what you’ll need:

  • Gold paint
  • Thin paint brush
  • Crystal beads or gems (26)
  • White ribbon
  • Christmas ball ornament (it can be any color)

Using Martha Stewart gold metallic paint and a thin paint brush, I painted the word “Hope” onto an ordinary glass Christmas ball. I chose to write the word in basic handwriting versus anything fancier — I like that it looks like something a kid could have written, plus I don’t trust my ability to paint in cursive. I then added 26 small dots all around the word “hope” to symbolize those who passed away at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lastly, I painted one gold star as a tribute the bravery exhibited that day.

After the paint was dry, I carefully went over it all a second time so it really popped on the ornament and on our tree.

Next, I removed the silver top of the ornament and placed 26 crystal beads inside, again, one for each life lost. They are super sparkly and look really pretty inside the ornament. The beads I picked are plastic and sort of chunky, and I’d imagine that little girls would have loved to make necklaces out of them.

As a last step, I put the silver cap back on and tied a white ribbon to the top of the ornament. I added a bow where the ribbon meets the ornament as the final touch.

hope

I was having a heck of a time taking a decent picture of the ornament and didn’t do the best job. It is beautiful and because of all of the gold paint, crystals and white ribbon it looks rather ethereal — which seems very fitting.

 

To all those grieving in Connecticut: May your lives be filled with hope for a better future and your hearts be filled with the happiest of memories of the loved ones lost. You are in our thoughts this holiday season and inspire us each day to hug our loved ones a little bit tighter. 

I am truly sorry for your loss.

Jess