Thursday, July 31, 2014

diy: tie dye with dye baths

A couple of summers ago I worked at a camp and I became obsessed with tie-dying things. It got a little ridiculous. They had a whole tie-dye setup so I was really easy to dye whatever I wanted. At home, it isn't as easy. You can buy tie-dye sets, but they are a little more pricey than I prefer. And I don't want a whole setup, I just want to do one tie-dye set in the colors I choose, without spending a lot of money. For some reason I thought that using dye baths wouldn't give a very successful tie-dye look, but luckily I was wrong! This is by far the cheapest way to tie-dye a bunch of fabric. I did about 8 yards and spent around $2 on the dye.
You will need some dye powders in the colors of your choosing, white fabric, rubber bands, salt, hot water, buckets, and gloves if you'd like to keep your hands clean.

I layed my fabric out and just gathered it from side to opposite side, crumbled it up and put a rubber band around that section. I repeated this up and down the length of the fabric.  I didn't want to do anything really fancy with the rubber bands, I wanted a simple tie-dye look/pattern.
To start, add 1 cup salt to each container. This helps the fabric absorb the dye better.
Next add your dye powder and the hot water. Look on your dye for instructions on the right amount of water. Stir the mixture until the salt and dye is dissolved.
Put your tie-dyed fabric in the dye bath. If you want the fabric to be all one color, submerge it completely. Otherwise, only put half of it in the bath and leave some of the fabric out. Another method is dye the fabric completely in a light color, rinse it out and then re-tie it and dye it again in a darker color. I did this with a couple pieces of fabric and it worked really well.
Leave each piece in the dye for the amount of time your dye recommends. I left mine in for 20 minutes each. Next, just cut off all the rubber bands and rinse each piece of fabric with cool water.
I put my fabrics out in the sun to let the dye set in a little more before I washed them. There was still dye in mine after washing them out for a while. After this, I washed them with like colors in the washing machine. I will be making some kimonos out of these whenever I get a chance! And a few of these we have taken to the beach to lay on. Love 'em all! I don't know what it is, but I really like tie-dye. A little too much, I know.

xo, Savannah


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

recipe: homemade drop biscuits

I was house sitting recently and found myself with a little extra time in the morning. It's weird how you stay at someone else's house and your routine is just not the same. You don't have access to all the things you usually have access to and it strangely becomes pretty freeing and then you make homemade biscuits for breakfast. These biscuits are really easy though so I should really add them to my breakfast repertoire. 
Homemade Drop Biscuits
Ingredients:
- 2 cups All-purpose Flour
- Tbs. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1/3 cup cold Unsalted Butter, cubed
- 2/3 cup Buttermilk
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
3. Add butter and break down the butter and mix it in with the flour mixture with your hands or a fork. Stop when you have pea sized butter/flour pieces.
4. Add the milk and stir it just until incorporated.
5. Drop the biscuit mixture into a buttered casserole dish, in 12 equal pieces.
6. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until they are just a little golden on top.
I ended up making some white gravy to go on top of these but you could serve them with some butter and jam too! More butter, always good. 
xo, Savannah

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

the beeswax cleaning process

We have mentioned this before but earlier this summer, we got bees. It's really exciting! We only have one hive so the bees really aren't really much work to take care of. We got our first bit of honey when the bees first got here, and it's delicious. We won't be getting much honey for a while now though. We had a tiny bit of beeswax and I decided that I wanted to learn how to clean it. When we start getting a steady flow of honey, I would like to know what I'm doing. This small amount was really good for experimentation and I apologize for the un-glamorous photos. Beeswax isn't all that pretty. So, the first thing I did was put the wax chunks in a pot of water.
Bring the pot to a simmer just so the wax is all melted.
Turn off the heat and let the pot cool completely. The wax will begin to harden on top of the water. The honey will sink to the bottom. The bee debris will separate from the wax for the most part.
Pull the wax out of the water and rinse off any loose debris.
At this point I remelted the wax and poured it through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the rest of the debris.
When it hardens back up again, you can remove it from it's container and use it for whatever you would like!
Beeswax is good for a lot of things, stay tuned to see what I used it for recently!

xo, Savannah

Monday, July 28, 2014

recipe: chicken tortilla soup

There is a restaurant here in Nashville that is one of our favorite places to go, because it's delicious and it never fails. Taco Mamacita. Awesome-ness. Anyway, they have this tortilla soup that is to-die-for. I mean.... it is soooo good. The way they serve the soup is also pretty interesting. They give you a soup bowl that contains avocado, chicken, cheese, tomato, cilantro, and maybe something else and then they serve the broth on the side. So when you are ready to eat, you pour the broth over all the ingredients. We decided that we needed to find a way to have this at home, anytime we wanted it, and that is exactly what we did. I don't think this recipe will ever get old. Now the secret is in the whole experience. I promise you will get done with the broth part of the soup and think... this broth isn't that impressive. Trust me. Keep going, it'll be worth it.
Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Ingredients:
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 2 medium onions
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- The juice of one lime

Toppings
- 1 lb. cooked pulled (or cubed) chicken
- avocado, diced
- fresh tomatoes, diced
- goat cheese crumbles or greek yogurt or sour cream
- lime wedges
- cilantro
- tortilla chips or strips

Directions:
1. Dice onions and bell peppers.
2. Cook onions and peppers over medium heat in olive oil and butter.
3. Add garlic, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper and coat the onions and peppers in the seasoning.
4. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Blend the whole cooked mixture together with an immersion blender or carefully pour into a blender and blend in parts. Either way, blend it until it's all one liquidy texture.
7. Add the lime juice to the broth and season to taste.
8. To serve, add a little of each topping to your bowl and pour the broth over top.

The last time we ate this (maybe 2 days ago) we used greek yogurt and it was pretty delicious. Just the right amount of tang. Goat cheese crumbles are good too because they melt so well in the soup, it's almost like a cheesy sour cream-y ness in your soup. You could also could use some queso fresco crumbles. All are great options! Now, I think I've talked this soup up too much... Lower your expectations and then go make this soup. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

xo, Savannah


Sunday, July 27, 2014

the way everlasting

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" -Psalm 139:23-24

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

diy: nameplate necklace

I've been making these necklaces for a while now and people seem to really like them. I figured I'd do a tutorial on how I do it, so you could make one too! You will need some polymer clay, a small stamp set, something to roll the clay out with, something to cut the clay with (a knife will do), a toothpick, some jump rings, a lobster claw clasp and some chain.
Pre-heat your oven to 225 (or whatever your clay says). Roll your clay into a ball.
Roll it out to be about 1/4 inch in width.
Cut two lines in your clay.
Stamp whatever word you want in between lines.
Cut two lines to make a rectangle and poke to holes in the top corners.
Peel the rest of the clay up and you have your nameplate. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After the clay cooked, I added a layer of gold paint to make it shine more. You can skip this step.
Attach jump rings to the necklace and to the chain. Then attach the chain to the jump rings and to the lobster claw.
And then you have your necklace! I've done these with many many different words, you can see them in the shop. And if you don't want to make one yourself, you can always order one from us!

xo, Savannah

Friday, July 25, 2014

home sweet home

Anytime someone asks me why I moved to Nashville, I cringe a little. The truth is, there is more than one reason. I could get into all of them, but the simple answer is... I moved here for music. The reason I picked Nashville was because music was here. It's so hard for me to admit that that was even a factor in my decision to move. When I am asked this question, I never want to vocalize the real answer, because by the end of the conversation, I will have had to admit that I am a failure.

Three and a half years ago, I came to a point in my life where I just didn't know what to do. I had graduated college, taught for a semester, really disliked it, and felt pretty defeated. I had attended a music school for a semester in college and I really hadn't been right ever since. After the semester in music, I had to finish my degree in art, and while I love artsy creative things, it just wasn't satisfying. It actually kind of felt like a burden. So here I was, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life, and I couldn't think of doing anything that didn't involve music. I loved writing songs and I just loved music so much. So my next decision was pretty calculated. LA and New York are way too big, so I thought, "I need to go to Nashville." I had never been to Nashville in my life and I knew absolutely no one there. Soon after this thought came to my mind, my mom, my friend and I were in Nashville browsing apartments, you know, just for fun. This all seems like a blur. Have you ever felt like you were just going through the motions? Like your body was in overdrive and you were almost unaware of what was happening. Maybe you were aware, but it just went so naturally you didn't really have time to comprehend it. This was me and while on that three day trip from Texas. I found an apartment and got a job. A week later, I was working and living in Nashville and it all happened so quickly.
I lived in Nashville for a good three years before I did anything with my own music, and even still it was one writer's round. That's all. I've recently realized that while music is what physically and inspirationally brought me to Nashville, it isn't why I was supposed to come here and it's definitely not what has kept me here. Now I can't tell you exactly why I'm supposed to be in Nashville, and exactly what is going to happen, all I know is that this is where God wants me right now. I have learned so much, grown so much, and I could lose my mind thinking about where I would be if God hadn't intervened on my behalf. I knew I was supposed to move to Nashville, but it didn't make any sense. I was scared and I certainly wasn't brave or obedient enough to make the move on my own. When I think back, it's all just seems like a blur. It literally seems like God just picked me up from a town in Texas and dropped me in a place where I belong. On the surface, it seems like I had this grand idea and that I was embarking on a journey to accomplish my dreams. But it was really all God. He rescued me when I didn't know I needed to be saved. He pulled me out of my comfort zone so that He could occupy my time rather than all the burdens I had taken upon myself. I needed to be alone. I needed to learn about myself (cliche, I know.) I needed to learn to make decisions without others telling me the right way or right answer. I needed to meet new people. I needed to grow up, I needed to take responsibility of myself. Most of all, I needed to look to God and rely on him for everything. EVERYTHING. Isn't it crazy to think that there is someone who knows your needs more than you do?
So now if you ask me why I moved to Nashville, I will tell you... God brought me here. I thought I was a failure because I moved 700 miles away from home to pursue something that I haven't pursued at all. But He just needed to get me here and show me that He's got this and He used my love for music to accomplish just that. Sometimes God just has a funny way of trying to get our attention.
xo, Savannah

Thursday, July 24, 2014

diy: painted black and white photo

This project was a total experiment that went really well! Half of this tutorial is done on your phone. Apps are amazing little things. To complete this tutorial you will need the Afterlight app (or any app that will edit your photo and convert to black and white), the CamScanner app, a printer, mixed media paper, a few paint brushes and acrylic paint in the colors of your choosing.
Open up your Afterlight app.
Select the picture that you want to paint. This was a photo I took while walking downtown, nothing special, just some pretty flowers. Open the contrast tool and turn the contrast way way up.
Then make your photo black and white. I used the "raven" filter. Save the picture.
Now open the picture up in the CamScanner app and click the check mark.
It will convert your picture to a black and white photo, no gray tones. Save this photo and e-mail it to yourself.
Then print the photo on mixed media paper. This stuff is super thick, but should fit into your printer just fine. Also, this paper is good for painting on without causing rippling.
Start painting random white spots on your paper. I just did a few flowers in each color.
When you think you have enough color, let it dry and hang it up! Or frame it. Or just prop it up like we did, this paper is super thick after all.
xo, Savannah

Photos by: Nikki Berra/ Edited by: Savannah

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

recipe: breakfast buckwheat

We are teaming up with Bob's Red Mill over the next few months to bring you some tasty recipes using products that are new to us, and probably a little less heard of in general. Let me stop here and say that while Bob's Red Mill is sponsoring these posts, our thoughts and feelings about the company and products are 100% from the heart. I (Casey) have Celiac Disease so I can't eat gluten, and I have been using BRM products for about 6 years now. We only recently discovered that not only does BRM make a lot of great products, but they also are an awesome company. If you want to be inspired, watch the video at the end of the post. Everyone who has seen this video gets a little teary eyed, so beware. Seriously, we want to be besties with founder, Bob Moore. He has this crazy idea that if you make a good product and treat your employees well that the money will work itself out. I wish more companies felt that way!

One of my favorite things is that the company is employee owned. Another other thing I love about the company is that they are trying to expand our food horizons. They sell less common ingredients like buckwheat groats (featured in this post) and sorghum. There are so many grains that are not common in America that are common in other parts of the world, so thanks Bob for letting us know about them! If you do nothing at all, please watch their video at the bottom and fall in love too :) 
So what do buckwheat groats taste like? They have a nice, nutty flavor. The texture is probably our favorite part. It's like a mixture between quinoa and orzo or rice. There are lots of different things you could make with buckwheat groats, savory or sweet. We decided to go the sweet, cinnamon-y nutty berry-licious breakfast route. It's easy. It's delicious. It's breakfast buckwheat.
Breakfast Buckwheat Recipe
(Serves about 4)
Ingredients:
- 1 Cup Buckwheat Groats
- 2 1/2 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Canned Coconut Milk
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 Tbs. Shredded Coconut
- Stevia (liquid or packets to taste)
- Berries and slivered almonds for topping

Directions:
1. Bring water to a boil and then add buckwheat groats and cover.
2. Reduce to simmer for 20 minutes and then let groats sit for 5 minutes.
3. Fluff with a fork and add coconut milk, cinnamon and shredded coconut. Combine everything very well.
4. Serve in individual dishes and garnish with berries, slivered almonds and shredded coconut.
Ok first watch this video, then make something awesome with buckwheat groats and let us know what you think!
XO- Savannah & Casey 
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