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Here is a peek of my lovely wedding day! We were married July 20, 2008 in the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota. Find more images and details about my incredible wedding day on Style Me Pretty.


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Entries in garden (7)


sustainable backyard beginner

This past weekend we participated in the St. Louis Sustainable Backyard Tour. About this time last year I posted about attending the tour. This year when I saw the tour needed more homes in our area, I figured "Hey we have a fun yard, especially one that would appeal to eco newbies". Many of the yards have solar panels, bees, wind turbines...ok maybe not turbines but they are intense!

Our yard offered 5 "beginner" steps towards a more sustainable backyard. The 1st is a standard rain barrel, that I desperately try to disguise with clusters of plants. Because though I love her, she is not a pretty lady.

The 2nd eco project we have is our bokashi compost, which many people were more interested in than I anticipated (and they label themselves granola!). Oh, you don't know about indoor composting? Shame on you (said in a very judgemental tone).

Number 3 & 4 were our upcycled furniture. The wine bottle torches are from the Design*Sponge tutorial, and still one of my favorite patio elements. The pallet table is my internet superstar—my Pinterest one hit wonder.


Lastly we have the 5th sustainable element—our sweet hens! Bonus is their coop is made from a doghouse we found on Craigslist. Someday I'll do a full post on how much I love these girls, but for now just a peek.

We certianly enjoyed the 5+ hours of conversating with 50+ strangers, in the crazy summer heat, but it was definitely exhausting. I do like showcasing a yard that appeals to people just starting to be interested in a green home. Sometimes the "greener" lifestyle feels intimidating or you wonder where to start, but these are just a few of the very practical & simple ways to start. And hopefully aesthetically appealing ones too!


my first CSA & recipes

Another adventure I have been holding out on is participating in my first CSA.

Each week we get a "surprise" bundle of local fresh produce. It has been a bit of a challenge to find way of incorporating new-to-me produce. I'd never cooked with a turnip in my life. And I have no idea what many of the greens are, including the upper right bunch (help!). Most weeks I cut up all the greens and mix together to eat in salads all week, which is probably not the best way to eat exotic greens.

A collection of herbs each week. Basil, thyme, sage, and rosemary.

While it has been a bit of challenge to use up the food during a busy week, I am a fan of joining a CSA simply because it forces you incorporate/eat really healthy foods. I am probably not the only one who needs a extra accountability to eat a large amount of vegetables EVERY WEEK. Bonus that it supports the local economy (of course).

Don't forget to follow Kara and Erin (which I posted about here) if you need garden recipe ideas. And below are the recipes that I or a friend have tried and recommend:

Rainbow Chard Pesto

Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter

Summer Vegetable Tian

Pasta with Kale & Walnut Pesto

Sweet Spicy Turnips 

Sweet & Tangy Sauteed Collard Greens

I'd love to know if you tried and loved a CSA? Or if you have any great seasonal recipes to try?!


easy homemade pickles

Hello! The latest homestead adventure—tasty pickles!

First let me introduce a little {slow food} inspiration, From The Garden And Farm. A blog series from local food delight-ees, Kara of Inspired Kara and Erin of Third Row Seat. They are growing & cooking up an abundance of delicious fresh food and have a great board of inspiration.

When you have an abundance of vegetation from the garden, you've gotta get creative. With an abundance of cucumbers (from a friends' garden), it was time to attempt pickles!

This was as easy as making any salad. You only need a large, clean jar and a few ingredients.

::: homemade pickles :::

3-4 cucumbers (sliced or whole)
1/4 sliced onion
1 garlic clove (slice or mash a bit)
handful of fresh dill
pinch of cracked pepper
1 tbsp sea salt
3 tsp honey
1 cup vinegar (any other than balsamic)
1 cup water

Place garlic, dill, and pepper in bottom of jar. Add the onion and as many cucumbers that will fit. (I added a pinch of dried dill because my herb garden dill is looking really sad after our heat wave). In a separate container mix salt, honey, vinegar, and water until dissolved. I heated this part to help dissolve the salt, but simply stirring works fine too. Pour into jar, topping with additional water if needed to cover cucumbers. Leave overnight and they are ready to eat! This recipe is really versatile and I think you can adapt to any ingredients you have on hand.

*Recipe adapted from this one featured on Rodale


a sustainable backyard tour

Hello Monday.

Yesterday we took advantage to poke around houses in our neighborhood through The Sustainable Backyard Tour. While most yards weren't too revolutionary, there are a few noteworthy projects from the yards I visited.

Above is a bicycle rack made from an old fence that had been thrown away. I have no idea how many hours went into restoring and constructing, but I was impressed with the final.

Below is the roof of a garage. Learning about green roofs was really interesting. It's like a giant terrarium! Benefits include reducing temperature 50%+, longer roof life span, increased real estate value, better water drainage, and storing hot/cool air inside the structure. Isn't it cool (literally and figuratively!)?

Here's to you having a fantastic week!


how does your {herb} garden grow? ::: pt 3

Happy Monday!

Another herb garden post for you! I needed a way to store leftover seeds and after seeing these Williams-Sonoma envelopes, I decided to make my own. And of course I HAD to share the FREE DOWNLOAD with you too. Be sure to pass along if you know a gardener!

If you missed the first two posts, be sure to check out the links below.



how does your {herb} garden grow? ::: pt 2

My how starting from seeds takes time. Remember when I posted my herb garden part 1? Just recentely I felt they were worthy of the title garden. And yes, I cheated by adding a purchased lavender, chive, and dill plant. In case you were wondering why everything looks so large and plush.

For garden markers I didn't get too crazy. Popsicle sticks with stamped lettering is all I need for this simple bucket o'herbs.

Anyone else have herb gardens to share?



how does your {herb} garden grow? ::: pt 1

One of my projects in the making—an herb garden! It has taken some serious patience to wait for these little guys to grow enough for pics, and hopefully soon I will be able to transplant them into pots (and then someday eat). It takes so long...ugh.

To make these starters, I used an egg cutter to cut off the tops of the eggs. Using eggs is just more fun than egg cartons or seed containers. I also used the wrong soil (contains plant food) but most of them have sprouted so I think they'll turn out ok.

How about you? Any edibles in the works?