L I V I N G | art

The beauty of being an individual. Two people can look at the same thing, but see it completely differently. There’s so many characteristics that influence each person, like age or experience. No one is going to form the same picture because no one’s influences are exactly the same. But if you can bridge the gap between the parallel of each person’s perspective, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of one being an individual and you’ll realize, there’s so much to learn and gain from another person’s way of seeing things.

D O I N G | an IKEA hack

I bought an IKEA STUVA shelf for Rain’s bedroom, one that was small, simple and white. This shelf has 4 predrilled screw holes under the base of the shelf, allowing you to customize and build with other STUVA series furniture. I chose to customize this shelf with a new set of legs. Well, actually, the legs were salvaged from an old, red painted mid century credenza my neighbor was tossing out. I unscrewed the legs from the credenza knowing I can use them for a future project. Now, 1 year later, I dusted off those red legs to create my own IKEA hack.

NOTE: I’ll eventually sand and paint the legs white, but for now, I kind of enjoy the fun, bright red legs for my little 5 year olds room. I think it suits her well.

D O I N G | in Surry, Va

This weekend we ventured outside the city of Portsmouth and into a more rural area of Southern Virginia, to College Run Farms in Surry county. College Run Farms is a pick-your-own farm that allows customers to the enter the fields and harvest their own crops. We have made it a tradition to visit the farm for a couple seasons now and I’m always impressed with their outstanding farm production. They maintain an ambitious picking schedule, rotating their fields with seasonal fruits and vegetables. From strawberries to pick in May, blueberries in June, sweet corn in July, followed by their last pick-your-own crop of the year, pumpkins and gourds in October. The farm is run by the founder, Farmer Steve, his wife and their two kids. It’s open daily from late April through October and are closed for winter months. This place is sincerely worth sharing, as it’s given my family many reasons to keep coming back. It’s allowed us to teach our kids more about agriculture in ways we cannot do in the space of our own garden. College Run Farms is not too far from home. It’s about an hour away, but it makes it worth the drive knowing we’re supporting a great place with honest staff, a day filled with adventure and coming back home with freshly picked seasonal crops. The farm has an impressive corn maze. You can choose to use the map they provide or have a little fun and opt from using it. We chose to take the long route, by running in circles and hitting many dead ends, but after about 20 minutes we pulled through and made it out. The weather was very overcast Saturday, the temperatures were cooler than we planned for, but the running and excitement of the corn maze helped warm things up. We spent a couple of hours on the farm that day. After the corn maze we headed over to their fields for pumpkin picking. Normally, you could drive your vehicle through the paths between the rows of pumpkins. However, the weather wasn’t favorable from rainfall that morning. The farm includes a few acres of pumpkins and gourds with over 30 different varieties to choose from.  We parked as close as we could to the patch and walked until each of us found a pumpkin to bring home.

After trekking through acres of pumpkins, Rain decided she was most happy with the plain, small, perfectly bright orange, “Neon” pumpkin. Caelen chose one of the large varieties, the “Hercules.” With a little help from their Papa, they cut their pumpkins straight from the vine.

Now, we all knew walking into the pumpkin patch, that whatever cut we’d have to carry back. Though Caelen insisted he was happy with the large pumpkin he wanted, despite it’s weight. He was a champ and carried his Hercules pumpkin all the way back to the car by himself.


K I T C H E N | one pan pasta

From garden to table. I picked every ripe cherry tomato I could find out in the garden today, along with a couple stalks of basil from plants that have grown wild. Which inspired me to try one of those “one pan pasta” meals I’ve read about. I didn’t believe it was as easy as it sounded: an entire meal, made in one pan, under 10 minutes. The closest meal I know how to make, in one pan, under 10 minutes is Ramen Noodles (and that’s not exactly a meal to be bragging about making). But this recipe really is as simple as it’s name.

One Pan Pasta adapted from Food52
12 ounces linguine
4 1/2 cups water
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small onions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
10 basil leaves, chiffonade, plus extra for garnish
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
parmesan cheese, for serving
METHOD combine first 10 ingredients in a large straight-sided skillet, with the linguine laying flat in the pan. Bring to ingredients a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, turning the pasta frequently with tongs until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with extra basil and serve with parmesan.
NOTE the pasta will result a silky, creamy sauce during the boiling method.