Sweet and airy dress for when the weather warms up and you can no longer remember snow, sleet and freezing rain. By After Shower.
Summer is the perfect time to hit the hiking trails and reconnect with the great outdoors. Find the nearest forest preserve or “hike” an urban landscape and get to know a new area near your home. Whether it’s a beautiful view or a building you never noticed before, when you explore on foot, you’ll be surprised at what you discover.
The key to a successful hike is the right gear. These lightweight and loose fitting denim shorts from Rachel Jane NYC will keep you cool and looking cute no matter where you go. The large pockets are perfect for storing any interesting found objects you may pick up along the way.
This navy blue and white striped tank from ET AL., ETC. is the perfect versatile summer piece. It’s casual enough to wear on the hiking trails, but stylish enough to set you apart from the other urban hikers. Made of breathable cotton fabric, this top is the perfect way to beat the heat along the trail.
You never know what Mother Nature will have in store. Make sure that you’re prepared, come rain or cold weather with this pink and black cotton zip up jacket by kitco. Stylish and functional, the large collar can be pulled around your neck to keep you warm if the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse.
You’ll need to carry a few essentials with you while you’re on your hike. This cute cotton hip pouch, a more stylish version of the fanny pack, by LMcreation is the perfect solution. It’s big enough to fit a cell phone, a few snacks and anything else you may need; plus, it will keep you hands free. Best of all, it comes in a variety of colors to match every outfit.
Start your weekend off with an adventure! Hit the trails or the sidewalk, whatever it may be, and see what you discover right in your own backyard.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been missing the Seasonal Handmade column, so you can imagine how happy I am to announce that Jennifer Simoni is ready to take it on! (She’s obsessed with tags too :) Here’s her first column, full of love for cold winter weather. Welcome her in the comments, and let her know what your favorite seasonal activities are.
Everyone’s so down on winter. True, it’s cold, icy, and dark. But there are so many fabulous reasons to love winter, I think its time to give it another chance. Here’s a few reasons why I’m such a fan.
What other time of the year do you get to sport your favorite ski sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves? I love scarves. I try to wear the lightweight ones in the summer, sometimes, but it doesn’t work. It’s hot. So as soon as it gets cooler, I have a scarf on always. They’re cozy, they keep me warm, and sometimes, I’m just more comfortable with one than without. The Blue Birds and Blossoms shop has great hand-knit scarves to satisfy my craving for something cozy, new, and blue.
Another great thing about winter is that good feeling you get when you walk into your home after being outside in the cold. Or when you wake up on a Sunday morning to a snowy, blustery, blizzard-y (I made that word up) day. You’re ridiculously happy to curl up on the couch with a book, magazine, old movie and just stay put. (Maybe if you’re motivated, stir up a little soul-warming chili or soup.) This scene is even more perfect with a cozy, warm blanket like this gem from the Two Seaside Babes shop.
Dry skin can be an annoyance during colder months. My hands age 100 years every winter. But instead of cursing the scaly skin, I use it as an excuse to buy luxurious soy lotions. The Scents in Soy shop has many different scents using aloe, shea better and soy. (I am also a big fan of soy candles, which help give my home a more homey feel. ) While on the subject of dry skin, my poor lips are crackly all winter long. I’m incredibly addicted to chapsticks that are extra moisturizing in different flavors, like these from Long Winter Farm. I leave them in coat pockets, purses, jeans pockets, because to be without, even for a few hours, is horrifying. Holly Berry Designs has an ingenious, adorable solution I recently came across for chapstick-addicts like me. A little zipper pouch that attaches to my keys.
That’s just the beginning of my list. There’s a million reasons winter is so cool–pardon the pun. Are you ready to embrace winter and give it another chance?
From scarves to gloves to sweaters, knits are an obvious choice during the winter months. The cold weather may be dreary, but resist the urge to dress in blacks and grays. After all, this fashion season, brighter is better when it comes to everything knit. Bold colors and neon hues quickly transform knit winter staples into bold and modern statement pieces that are sure to add some new life to your wardrobe and perhaps even brighten up your day.
This red bolero knit jacket from Amy and Pia is the perfect way to add a punch of color to your current winter wardrobe. The 1950s-style jacket features three-quarter length sleeves, a wooden button closure and a universally flattering v-neck cut. Hand knit with chunky yarn, this beautiful piece would be perfect in an office setting, stunning over a formal dress, and could also be worn during the early fall and spring months.
Not for the faint of heart, this bright orange loop scarf by Moonsun is a bold fashion statement made for those who aren’t afraid of color. Hand knit, the length and width of the scarf lends itself to its flexibility, allowing it to be worn many different ways, including as a cowl and hood. Providing layers of warmth, this scarf is sure to keep you cozy and warm, and to brighten your spirits during the coldest winter weather.
This matching bright blue hat and cowl set by Alisa Design is the perfect way to add a dash of color to a neutral-colored winter coat. Beautifully made, this set features an open knit design that is both breathable and stylish. Falling above the shoulders in a lacy pattern, the cowl has a vintage feel to it, while still being functional.
*The heart and knitting needle print featured at the top of this post was created by Block Party Prints.
While other months may be able to stake claim to being most bountiful October is probably one of the most interesting months during which to eat local. Many places, even in the cold northern regions, still have the tail-end of summer harvests trickling in as the short-season, cool-weather crops we saw at the beginning of spring make their reemergence and the long-season, fall-specific crops make their debut. It makes for a combination of flavors and textures that cannot be accomplished during any other time of year; meals based on cool weather staples — many green and leafy — spiked with the fading flavors of summer and complimented by the hearty, warming hints of autumn and the impending winter.
As you venture to your local farmer’s market and on-farm stands this month take both plenty of reusable produce bags — small, lightweight — and larger, heavy duty reusable sacks to cart back your finds; they’ll range from tender baby spinach leaves to heavy, heirloom squashes. Here’s a short list of what you should be on the lookout for:
Winter Squashes & Pumpkins
- Pie Pumpkins
- Cinderella Pumpkins – like that pictured above, actually a scrumptious variety of squash.
As a bonus, hard-skinned squashes and pumpkins store well under even adverse conditions, making them prime candidates for edible decor. Stack a few of your favorite small varieties atop a cake stand for a center piece, allow larger varieties to adorn front walkways and porch steps until they make their way to the dinner table.
Late Summer’s Leftovers
- Peppers – hot, sweet, mild and bell.
- Beans – bush and pole
- Summer Squashes
Of course I would be remiss to leave out the star of last week’s column, apples, like those pictured above. And, since I couldn’t possibly include every in-season item in any one column, do be sure to check out previous installments of What’s In Season Now for more ideas.
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All Produce featured in this week’s column was photographed by the author and sourced from local, Michigan farms. To find farms and farmer’s markets near you check out Local Harvest.