tag: how-to

how to make almond milk

January 16, 2013

i made my own almond milk! i made my own almond milk! and, it was really easy. why didn’t i do it before?!

(deep breath) ok, guys. i’m super excited about this. i just learned how to make almond milk at home, and can’t believe that i’ve never done it before. it’s easy, quick and much less expensive than purchasing it in the store! it tastes really yummy, too. it has a more nutty taste to it and mine was a little thinner than regular almond milk (which i prefer). it tastes wholesome and it feels good to drink it. like, “yeah, i made this almond milk. gulp gulp”.

how to make almond milk (1)

today, i’m gonna teach you how to make it, too! you should also know that you can pretty much use any nut (cashews, macadamias, hazelnut, pistachio etc) and can also play with the flavor and consistency. like vanilla almond milk? just add a little vanilla bean!

what you’ll need:

- 1 cup of almonds
- a glass bowl (to soak them in)
- a blender
- a nut milk bag (or some panty hose!)
- 4 cups purified water

how to make almond milk (2)

step 1: place 1 cup of almonds in a glass bowl, fill with water and let soak in the fridge over night (or for at least 8 hours). the step is really important, soaking your almonds is what brings out all those really great nutrients you’re looking for.

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step 2: give ‘em a good rinse.

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step 3: place in a blender and add 4 cups of purified/filtered water. this 1:4 ratio is important and stands true for any nut milk you make at home- 1 part nuts 4 parts water.

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step 4: blend on high for a minute or two – maybe even touch that ‘liquefy’ button for a second.

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step 5: place your nut milk bag in a big glass container.

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step 6: pour the mixture into the bag & glass container.

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step 7: squeeze the juice from the almond pulp.

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step 7: pour you a glass.

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step 8: gulp gulp.

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Posted by in indie fashion

braids are all the rage but unfortunately for me, my fingers haven’t gotten the memo. they still feel as backwards as the day they were born, but i’m going to take natalie’s advice and just keep practicing! here to help all my other backward-fingered-friends is natalie borton, with her latest braids of glory series.

you’ll find videos for both the braided bangs and the double braid, both of which walk you through doing the braid yourself.  be sure to also follow this series, as more braid tutorials are still to come! (pssst.. make sure to glance around natalie’s beautiful blog while you’re there, especially her posts on confidence, healthy eating and intentional living.)

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how to set your gravatar

March 27, 2012

Posted by in crafty blogs

how to set your gravatar

hello, lovelies!! although ghtr isn’t set up to view everyone’s gravatars in the comment section, i can still see them on the ‘back-end’ of the blog and i’m always surprised by how few people set up their gravatar. not only is really fun, but super easy, too! here’s how:

but wait! you say. what is a gravatar? gravatar is an abbreviation for globally recognized avatar and once you register yours based on your email address, an avatar will be associated with your account. then, when you post a comment on a blog that requires an e-mail address, the blogging software checks whether that e-mail address has an associated avatar at gravatar. if so, the gravatar is shown along with the comment. cool, right?

1) save a photo to be used as your gravatar on your computer. a gravatar avatar can be up to 512 pixels wide, but is displayed at 80 by 80 pixels by default. your image must be be square- otherwise it will be skewed!

2) visit gravatar and click on ‘get your gravatar today’.

3) enter your e-mail address (be sure to use the one you most commonly use to comment with), then confirm and create your account.

4) upload you image and save. you’re all done!

5) start commenting like a maniac!!

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how to make your own tea

January 27, 2011

hello, friends! today i have a very special guest post for you from my dear friend christy from nordgrains! as our husbands work together, it wasn’t long before we found each other and became quick friends. she writes a fabulous blog on healthy living, yoga and nutrition (a must read!) and today is sharing with us how to make our very own tea. i’ve had several cups and it’s just about the yummiest tea i’ve ever had!

how to make your own tea
Tea is funny. It is both companion and social prop. “Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things,” Chaim Potok writes in his novel, The Chosen. But C. S. Lewis said, “Tea should be taken in solitude.” In wintertime I cannot help but wish for tea nearly every day. I am not picky: it tastes good in the presence of company or in the company of silence. There is indeed something magical about good tea, but there is even more magic in great tea, and even better—in pretty tea. A couple weeks ago I accepted an invitation to explore the verb “create.” It is a tricky verb–that business of creating–especially if one’s greatest temptation is comparison. Comparison and competition stripped away, I am creative. One of my most delightful qualities is my uncanny ability to explore and marry flavors. So I set out to make my own tea. I was so inspired by the abundance of options before me that I soon penciled in a new goal: one day cultivate my own tea garden from which I can harvest rich, home-grown flavors.

Tea bags are surprisingly easy to come by. I ordered mine online but also found a small variety at local health markets. Some resources suggested making tea bags out of cheesecloth. One problem: I am a sans sewing machine, completely novice DIY-er.

how to make your own tea

My first purchase was a big handful of organic Colorado mountain mint. I rinsed the leaves and made small bouquets to hang in a dark, dry space. I also cleaned and chopped organic tangerine rind. My flavor collection was completed in the bulk aisle of Whole Foods where I gathered cinnamon sticks, cloves, anise stars, cardamom pods, a few other spices, and some jasmine green tea leaves.

how to make your own tea

Always somewhere between hateful and grateful of our semi-arid climate here on Colorado’s Front Range, I did not wait long for my mint to dry. Now here’s the deal. When you buy regular old tea bags, the ingredients are so minced and chopped that you eventually stare at a mass resembling a soggy cud, having no visual connection to any real plant-based ingredient in the cotton satchel. Tea should be pretty. I did not chop and crush my mint leaves. I broke them only small enough to fit inside the tea bags. This way the leaves expand, grow, and turn a brilliant green in the tea cup!

how to make your own tea

Tea tags? Organic cotton string, card stock, and a stamp pad.

how to make your own tea

As I was reaching for my stamp pad, my hand brushed my button bucket. I know, it is probably strange to have a button bucket when I do not know how to sew, but I recently learned that I have a strong attraction to button buckets: they are a rite of passage for women. Does not every woman have a button bucket? I should be horrified to learn the negative. My own mother had a small, rarely used sewing space in our house. As a little girl, I found the specific sewing implements frightening and bizarre, but I loved to steal away and run my fingers through the button bucket. Back to the business of tea, I decided that tea tags should be lovely, and what better opportunity than to decorate with beads and buttons? This way, I can give tea to others and contribute to other women’s button buckets. My tea will be the gift that keeps on giving.

how to make your own tea

The final order of business was to examine the individual tea leaves, spices, and “things” I had collected and start crafting real brews. Here is what I landed on. None have disappointed.

nordgrains Nordgrains is about health and wholeness. Like seeds, we already have the substance to grow and live big, vibrant lives. Sometimes we forget what we already have. I hope to help you find nourishment for your continued growth.

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diy terrariums

October 29, 2010

diy moss terrarium

yeah for terrariums!!  why do i love them so much?  there’s something about a protected little self sustaining eco system that just makes me happy.   i’m so excited that i finally made some, i’ve been wanting to for months and months- and i think they are so pretty.  they were easy breezy, too- here’s how!

diy moss terrarium

first collect some containers to use as the terrarium.  you could buy them new, but i found these at our local thrift store.  the tall one is a separate top and bottom that i found that thankfully fit together, and the low one came together.  i think it used to be some kind of kitchen gadget? anyways, as long as they are glass and fit together- they’ll work!

diy moss terrarium

then, i spray painted the bottoms black to match each other and filled them with a few rocks to help with drainage.  i just grabbed these right out of our driveway!

diy moss terrarium

next, you’ll need to find some live moss.  i stumbled across this moss during our nature walk, but you can also order it online.

diy moss terrarium

next you’ll need a few little plants to fit inside.  i bought these two succulents ($2.99/ea) from our farmers market.

diy moss terrarium

now, all you have to do it assemble it!  i cut some of the moss to make it fit just right, then wedged the little plants in between the cracks.  i placed a few extra rocks around as well, some to help hold up the plants, but mostly just for looks.

diy moss terrarium

give it a good watering and voila!  you’ll want to keep it out of direct sunlight to prevent it from drying out, and you’ll only need to water it (from the base) about every month or so.  if a plant doesn’t make it- don’t worry, you can just try something else, as they are easy to rework.

diy moss terrarium

i think they are my new favorite pieces in our home!

{look within picture by katie daisy} {photos: bonnie forkner}

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Fantastic rain barrel via Our Little Acre

To have an abundant garden you have to invest the time and energy to create a consistent and appropriate watering schedule for your plants. This will vary from garden to garden, but most plants will grow their best when provided with an average of an inch of water a week.  Sometimes the rain obliges, but most of us have to help our gardens along and supplement water.

The basic watering rule of thumb:

Water deeply, water slowly and water wisely.

When you water deeply and slowly you allow the water to permeate down to deeper layers of the soil, promoting deep root growth.  This creates a stronger, healthier plant with a greater resistance to stress and drought.

Watering wisely means knowing the water needs of your plants so you water enough for them to be healthy, but not so much that you are wasting water.  It also means treating water with respect and making certain that you are practicing responsible water conservation.  It means watering the roots of the plants, not the leaves. It usually means not using a sprinkler.

Fancy mini rain barrel by Bas van der Beer via Apartment Therapy

Watering your yard with a hose end sprinkler wastes water. Water is lost to evaporation, some parts of the garden are over watered, while others are under watered, and a large percentage of the water you use ends up running off the surface of the soil – doing your plants absolutely no good. A good test of how much water is actually reaching the soil is to place cups throughout your garden, underneath leaves and also in exposed areas.  Turn your sprinkler on as you normally would and then check the cups to see how much water is in them.  This is the same amount of water that is reaching the root zone of your plants.

Square rain barrel

My preferred method of watering a garden is through drip irrigation.  This is a system of small hoses that is wound through the garden, around plants and under the mulch.  When it turns on, it releases a slow, steady drip of water that travels deep into the soil.  There is very little waste from evaporation and the roots of my plants are watered, keeping fungi encouraging water off of my plant leaves.  Soaker hoses are another choice, although by the time you buy enough to take are of a large garden you have spent about as much as a DIY irrigation system.

I buy local for my irrigation supplies, but I highly recommend Irrigation Direct or The Drip Store. I have had many clients buy through both of these sites – they experienced friendly and knowledgeable customer service and great products.

Round rain barrel

I have my watering system on a timer.  If the weather has been very dry and hot I will supplement water, but mostly I just set the system up once and let it do its thing. I follow the manufacturers directions regarding winter preparation and spring wake up, check the lines regularly, am careful where I dig…(learned that the hard way)…and call for help and advice when I need it.

I cannot recommend rain barrels highly enough -aren’t these ones pictured gorgeous! I use my rain barrel to water my containers and house plants as well as to supplement water the gardens when needed.  I absolutely love them and encourage you to try them out.

Rain barrels can be a bit pricey – here are some links for tutorials to make your own:

http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/hot-tip/how-to-25-diy-rainbarrel-094708

http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/how-to/how-to-make-a-rainwater-collection-barrel-043903

Here is a great idea from Michelle Kaufman – creating attractive screening for inexpensive rain barrels!

Have you tried rain barrels yet?  How do you water your garden?  Any tips or tricks to share – I would love to hear them!

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our home redesign on young house love

happy saturday!  just popping in to say that our home is featured on young house love as a reader redesign! you can see our kitchen makeover with before and after pictures as well as a list of supplies and products that we used.  of course, don’t stop there! young house love features an amazing how-to section, lots of videos and their own house tour- plus sherry and john are two of the most genuine sweethearts you’ll meet.  if you want to explore further, here are a few helpful links!

view the full home makeover

diy thrift store frames

painting your own cabinet knobs

and even more photos over on flickr!

let me know if you have any questions, and i hope you have sunny weekend! xo, bonnie

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Posted by in handmade

glitzer jewelry launch

inspired by a recent trip to fuji, glitzer recently launched a brand new collection called paradise. it’s full of lovely & romantic pieces, perfect for valentines day!

moo mini product catalog

in addition to all their new products, the lovely charmaine has created a fab way to promote your business!  do you remember when we talked about moo mini’s?  glitzer created a lookbook collection by binding five moo mini cards together: four key pieces from the new collection plus an introductory image showing the theme behind the collection. it’s a straightforward yet brilliant idea that transforms a simple card into an elegant keepsake.  it’s difficult to have your items with you or even a portfolio at times, so this is a quick, compact, and innovative way to showcase your items! visit glitzer ideas for the tutorial!

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