12/17/12

PCB: Instax

This weekend, Eddie and I drove down with my family to my Grandparents' house in Florida. I was excited to be able to go and take Eddie because he'd never been. I hadn't even been since we started dating three years ago so I was looking forward to going, too. As soon as we got there, a wave of memories flooded over me. It was strange to be somewhere that I hadn't visited for a few life seasons and for it to be so very familiar. I'm quite thankful that we got to go, even if it was for a short time!
Our trip consisted of catching up, relaxing, exploring familiar places, and having a mini Christmas celebration since they won't be coming up to Atlanta this year. It was a sweet little trip packed full of family time...and a lot of amazing food :)
I've been carrying around our Instax camera lately and took a handful of photos during our trip. I love watching them slowly develop and seeing the permanent memory that they each hold. The tree in front of my Grandparents' house where my sisters and cousins used to play, my handsome man, family, special spots on the beach...they feel like instant keepsakes.

Looking forward to going back again!
Steph

12/14/12

Christmas Time is here...

It finally started to feel like Christmas time this past week! With the weather being so unseasonably warm, it's been feeling more like September than December, so I decided to do some Christmasy things to usher in the season over here. I started by spending an afternoon at my parents' house baking and decorating gingerbread cookies. The smell alone brings back happy holiday memories!

Later on in the week, Eddie and I got our tree and got it all decked out. My Aunt has a tradition of giving everyone a new ornament every year so I have quite the stash of ornaments. It's so fun to go through them and remember past Christmas memories and such! Plus, our apartment is starting to smell like pine and I loooooveee it! 
Later on, I used a few extra tree branches to make a wreath for the door. The apartment is officially in Christmas mode! Happiness!

Hope you're having a sweet holiday season!

Steph

11/10/12

NFS Global Forum

This time last week I was on a plane on my way home from San Francisco! I flew over for a few days to attend Not For Sale's Global Forum. It blew my mind! It was such a jolting experience in many ways. I came home greatly encouraged and even more motivated to do something about the issue of human trafficking.

Look out this next week for a post or two about the trip and the forum!

11/6/12

Mercier Orchards

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Last month, the family took a day trip to Blue Ridge to check out Mercier Orchards and go apple picking. It was a little more than an hour away which made it a perfect mini getaway. The orchard has been open since 1943 and was pretty amazing! They have a sweet bakery and cafe, as well as a huge general store that sells pretty much every apple product known to man. Apple cider, tarts, pies, wine, butter, candy, bread…it was serious. We ate lunch at the cafe and wandered around the store for quite some time.
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After a while, we rode out to the orchard and meandered through the apple trees, tasting as we went. In order to decide what kind of apples you want to take home, the owners suggest you try each type before you pick a bunch. So pretty much, we wandered around munching on freshly picked apples the whole time. It was so fun and the whole experience has made me semi obsessed with apples, ha. The orchard has over sixty different varieties of apples and I think we only tried about six of them. I'd definitely love to go back again next year!
Isn't the view gorgeous? I can't even imagine how it must look now that all of the trees are changing colors.
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I was so in awe of how many apples grew on each little tree! I just walked around, amazed at the simplicity of it all. It was such a mind-clearing and calming day. Eventually, we filled our bags to the brim with apples and headed back to the general store to pick up some more goodies.IMG_8911
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Handsome stud. He took most of the photos that day but I had to get some of him, too!
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The shop had the best cider ever! We took a jug home but it didn't last very long...we devoured it within a few days. If you're ever in North Georgia I definitely recommend checking this place out!
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I also shot some film on our trip so those photos will probably make their way on here at some point, too.

Steph

10/8/12

Cold Brewed Tea

Over the summer, tea time often looked like this:
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I discovered cold brewed tea and had a fun time experimenting with different types of tea and infusions. The benefit of cold brewing is that, rather than quickly forcing the flavor out of the tea leaves like hot brewing does, the cool water slowly pulls the flavor out. This brings out different aspects of the tea and can change the flavor.
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I tried cold brewing a few different types of tea, some with added ingredients, some by themselves. The first combination I tried was black tea infused with peaches. After mixing them together, I left the mixture to brew for about eight hours. Any longer than that and it began to get a bitter tinge to it. I was a little disappointed with this one because the peach taste was barely discernible at all. Overall, though, I really liked the different taste that cold brewing brought out in the black tea. It's much softer and sweeter than when hot brewed. IMG_6783IMG_6794 
Next i tried an oolong tea. Didn't end up drinking this one...the dried fruit in the tea made it murky and icky looking. I'll have to try again with a plain oolong sometime!
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My favorite of all of the infusions was definitely the rooibos with mint. Because the rooibos doesn’t get bitter if left too long, I left it for a day which allowed the mint to come out a lot stronger. Plus, the color of the tea is an awesome deep red which I always love. Interesting fact: A huge amount of rooibos tea is grown in South Africa and 'rooi bos' means 'red bush' in Afrikaans.
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Have you ever tried cold brewing tea? What was your favorite?
Thanks for reading!
Steph