FRESH EDIT THE
issue one |
everyday inspiration for a fresh life and home
While our family has fully embraced and fallen in love with our Florida lifestyle, I can honestly say when we find ourselves in a snowy wonderland like Montreal, our Michigan roots start to show and we are all excited and happy to jump in and play in the cold.
l a e r t n o M T H E
M AG IC
Story by Tabitha Blue
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru Ahhh, Montreal. A city that transports you to Europe without actually taking you there, with it’s French culture and amazing architecture. It’s no wonder it’s a snow-dusted fairly tale come winter. Okay, maybe a little more than snow dusted.
After living in Florida for a few years, we were craving a romp in piles of snow. Well, my husband, not so much, but I definitely was. We bought coats, packed up the kids and made our way to Montreal, just in time for an incredible snow storm… for us, it was like a dream! The night we arrived I could barely get my kids off of the snowdrifts lining the sidewalk long enough to get them to the nearby square for classic winter fun, like snowball fights and building a snowman. For my youngest two, it was their first romp, and boy did this city know how to make it a memorable one! I’m sharing a few top spots on Montreal and thought it was the perfect kick-off to this cold-weather inspired edition of The Fresh Edit.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
Top Things To Do In Montreal Start at Mont Royal for it’s winter wonderland. This tree-filled, slope offers amazing and expansive views of downtown. If you’re there during a fresh snowfall, you can even take advantage like the locals and snowshoe, sled, or cross country ski to the top for the postcard views.
Photography by Christopher Blue
Try Poutine. There are so many great places to get good poutine. While it doesn’t look the most appetizing, believe me, you’ll be happy you tried this dish. Start your day out right by indulging in a classic bagel (sweeter than a NY bagel as they’re boiled in honey-infused water before being baked) or brunch in the heart of the city’s Golden Square Mile. If you’re in a shopping mood, get your holiday fix along Saint Catherine Street finished with the famous window display at La Maison Ogilvy’s, browse the boutiques at Mile End (Montreal’s Soho), pick up a souvenir on a walk down the cobblestones of Saint-Paul Street, or even take in one of the many markets. When you need to warm up, get across the city through the Underground City, and discover plenty of shopping and restaurants there as well. Head to the Old Port skating rink to have a skate and take in the beautiful views of Old Montreal. Walk the cobblestone streets (or take a carriage ride) in Old Montreal and feel the magic of Christmas. Make sure to stop by The Notre-Dame Basilica. It’s ornate, jewel-toned figured and architecture whisks you away to Europe (plus it’s where Celine Dion got married!). And don’t miss the nearby Noel Eternel boutique for a souvenir ornament. Just a short drive from the city brings some of the best skiing on the East Coast and so many other fun outdoor activities such as dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing! Enjoy a classic Québécois meal at a sugar shack! We journeyed to a restaurant called Au Petit Poucet in Val David where this local favorite served hot chocolate while we waited. The wait was totally worth it. From the meat pies to poutine to pea soup to maple pie and maple lattes…. we were in foodie heaven. Just up the way from there is Village du Père Noël… Santa Claus! Even after Christmas, we had an amazing visit with the big man himself. It didn’t take long for my little ones to explore the rest of the activities like tubing, train rides, sack sledding, reindeer petting, and zip lines. It gave us hours of enjoyment despite the 15 degree temps. Aria even had a little nap in the warming tent.
3 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
There is a beautiful childlike magic in exploring a new place with your family. Experiencing new climates, new foods, new cultures; these opportunities of growth and discovery are some of my favorite memories.
4 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
ON THE COVER THE MAGIC OF MONTREAL Tabitha & her clan travel through the Winter Wonderland that is Montreal.
HOME & LIFESTYLE
GRATITUDE Discovering the art of being grateful.
HOME REFRESH HI/LOW 5 Hi/Low items to freshen up your home.
MARGIN Building in margin & reclaiming your story.
WE CAN DO HARD THINGS
PERFECTING YOUR HOLIDAY TABLESCAPE
WHEN YOU JUST CANâ€™T Keep going, keep doing & keep growing.
FOOD & DRINKS 18
PUMPKIN SPICE SALTED CARAMEL HOT CHOCOLATE A decadent treat sure to warm your belly and bring a smile to your face.
MORE CHEESE PLEASE The art of the charcuterie & cheese board.
CHOCOLATE EXPRESSO LAYERED CAKE
CRANBERRY COCKTAIL & MOCKTAIL
DECADENT HOLIDAY BRUSSLE SPROUTS
PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS
29 5 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
CRANBERRY BLISS BARS
STYLE & BEAUTY 31 36
FALLING FOR FALL BOOTS All the boots weâ€™re loving this season. 10 ITEMS | 20 OUTFITS Our take on the current capsule wardrobe trend.
ON THE ROAD: PURPOSEFUL PLANNING Make your time on the road just as much a part of the fun as the final destination.
ON THE ROAD: THE ESSENTIALS Our checklist of must have items for any successful road trip.
ON THE ROAD: TOP 20 SONGS PLAYLIST All of the tunes you need to make your car a moving party.
DENVER PHOTO TRAVEL DIARIES A few snapshots of our time in Denver.
EASY ONE STEP OMBRE VASE
RUSTIC JUTE PLACEMATS Add a little texture to your holiday table with these easy & rustic placemats.
THE ART OF GIFT WRAPPING Personalizing not just the gift, but the wrapping for the ones you love.
FESTIVE GOLD GLITTER WINE GOBLETS The perfect bit of sparkle for every holiday season.
SPECIALTY ICE CUBES Take any cocktail to the next level with these customizable ice cubes.
I N E V E RY I S SU E 8 9 10
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Q&A BLOG HIGHLIGHTS
C ONTR I BUTOR S
TABITHA BLUE EDITOR & CHIEF, WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, MODEL, STYLIST
BRIONY SKERJANCE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, DESIGNER, ILLUSTRATOR, PHOTOGRAPHER, STYLIST, WRITER 6
CHRISTOPHER BLUE BUSINESS MANAGER, AUTHOR, RESEARCHER, SALES AND DISTRIBUTION
a little volume for your party lashes
hydrate and prep your eyes
jet black runway lashes
Rodan and Fields Ad
get the long, luscious lashes every girl dreams of
brighten and set your eye look
perfect primer for all night eye looks
6essentials for the
perfect Holiday Eye 7 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
LETTER from the EDITOR Hello! that the season of shorter days brings us. Even after the holiday decorations are put away, we can embrace the restorative opportunity to enjoy the uber comforts that seem out of place the rest of the year. Instead of just marking things off of our to-do list, I challenge you to pause, to think about what you enjoy and how we can be thankful in the midst of it… and I guarantee you’ll begin to find more and more things to be thankful for.
Welcome to our VERY FIRST ISSUE of The Fresh Edit. Yes, capital letters are needed... I’m excited. Right now we’re fully into the holiday season and the cooler weather (which is finally happening here in Florida too!). Both bring with them some of my favorite recipes, things to wear (hello, boots!), and all-around good feelings. I think some of my biggest seasonal memories have to do with feelings… the excitement of waking up early on Christmas morning, the warmth from the oven cooking something yummy, the stillness that comes with the first snow, and the unexplainable joy that comes from being surrounded by all of the festivities the season has to offer.
Speaking of, I’m SO thankful for YOU! I’m thankful for you believing in me enough to read our very first issue of The Fresh Edit. I’m thankful for the people in my life that helped and encouraged me along the way. I’m thankful for the creativity poured into these pages. My hope is that it will encourage and inspire you to have a winter season that you can cherish and fully enjoy. This issue is full of recipes for the season, from side dishes to desserts (Pgs 18-29). Check out our road trip story – inspiration to kick off your travels (Pgs 42-45) and DIY ideas to easily amp up your entertaining (Pgs 52-63). One of my favorite spreads is in the fashion section we’re sharing how to style just 10 items in 20 different ways making such a different in how you view your own closet and wardrobe (Pgs 36-41).
You know what I don’t really remember as a child? The busyness of it all that seems to try to wrap its tight grip onto our adulthood. The stress of hosting a party or finding a gift that’s “just-right.” Thinking about these colder months and all that they bring our way, with the excitement of a child, really gives a different perspective. I’ve been reading lately about the Danish word hygge (pronounced hoo-guh), which is really more of a feeling as well. It’s the full-on embrace of all things toasty, cozy, and restorative. Choosing gratefulness for the things we do have; for example, candles, hot chocolate, and cuddly blankets, rather than let the long, cold days of winter bring us down.
So friends, cheers (with our mugs of ho-cho of course) to “wintering” and slowing down enough to enjoy the season.
The takeaway? It’s time that we embrace the “wintering,” the slowing down and deep breaths 8
q&a WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE/ LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS? Least favorite: all the Christmas-themed movies my wife records on Hallmark channel. - Sam, Florida Fave: the feeling of it all...happiness, family, the music and lights, and food. Least Fave: when it’s all over and fruitcake. - Tabatha, Pennsylvania Favorite is family. They’re everything. Least favorite, Black Friday Shopping!!!!! It has become a ridiculous show. - Kari, Florida The decorations.... LOVE! Taking them down... No Love! - Martin, Mexico My favorite thing about the holidays is the atmosphere it brings to people. For the most part, people are happier and full of love and joy for others more than other times of the year. What I dislike most about the holidays are the lines and waiting times. Lol. That is one reason my online shopping has increased! -Debbie, Florida
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO PARTY DISH? Bacon-wrapped, cream cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers!!! - Michelle, Connecticut Harvest Pumpkin Dip!!! It is delicious, plus gorgeous when you serve it in a pumpkin! And... only sweetened with dates and bananas - no sugar- for the win!! - Kimberly, New York It’s not food, but I love it when I can make crock pot cranberry cider! - Rebecca, Florida
WHAT IS YOUR FAMILIES OUTFIT CHOICE FOR HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES? I am old, so I go for the old fashion dress up. However, I am ok if others want a comfortable attire. - Dee, Florida Out in public, definitely a dress up type. - Matt, Florida Casual-comfortable or pjs. Or some may dress up. Lol. I guess anything goes! - Angela, Michigan Comfort, always comfort. - Dave, Florida
9 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
48HRS IN NEW YORK CITY
EIGHT WINTER LIP FAVES
WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MOUSSE
New York dances to a completely different tempo than our coastal sea-water life, and yet my heart beats to the tune of both. A harmony that plays together quite well, actually.
Fall is the perfect time to swipe on a deep and sultry color. Of course, you don’t want it coming off with every sip of your pumpkin spice latte.
Whip up a delicious white chocolate peppermint mousse with just three simple ingredients! A perfect sweet treat during the holiday season.
DIY FAUX SHIPLAP WALLS
BEST ICE SPICED MOCHA RECIPE
EDUCATIONAL HOME WALL DIY CALENDAR
We decided to celebrate the progress (not the perfection or finished product) in this bathroom update, and share how we added DIY faux shiplap walls on the cheap.
Whip up this simple yet delicious spiced mocha syrup for an easy chile mocha latte or the best spiced iced mocha any time of the day! A little bit of sweetness and a little bit of spice for the perfect pick-me-up!
Ready to make your own DIY Educational Wall Calendar? It’s easy and you probably already have most of what you need on hand. Either way, here is a detailed list below.
HOME MIX IT UP IT’S TIME TO DITCH THE RUBBER GLOVES AND HARMFUL CLEANERS FULL OF TOXINS AND GIVE CLEANING YOUR HOUSE USING THIS SIMPLE AT HOME RECIPE A TRY! IT’S INEXPENSIVE, NON-TOXIC AND MADE FROM INGREDIENTS ALREADY LYING AROUND YOUR HOUSE.
ALL PURPOSE SPRAY RECIPE 1/4 CUP WHITE VINEGAR 2 CUPS WATER 10 DROPS EACH OF EUCALYPTUS,
100% PURE ESSENTIAL OILS
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PEPPERMINT, AND WILD ORANGE
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HOME & LIFEST YLE
“I’ve found that so much gratefulness comes in perspective.”
Gratitude is a funny thing. We all already know how good it is. We want it in our lives. We welcome it with open arms... and then life. Life happens. We get into the so called nitty-gritty and the day to day, and many times our lofty goals fall to the wayside. I think that’s exactly where the misstep happens, we view gratitude as a lofty thing, a grand goal. When we think of thankfulness, our minds wander the path and stop at the BIG things... our family, a home, breath. And yes, we all can truly be so grateful... but what happens when the busyness of life takes over? Breath happens without us thinking about it. That house that we’re so grateful for is a mess. And our family is reduced to little people having a tired fit over bath time. I’ve found that so much gratefulness comes in perspective. The chores that used to be the most daunting, that I’d procrastinate over or have my own little tired fit about have actually become moments of gratefulness. As I pick up socks off the floor or wash another load of laundry (with four kids, there is never a shortage of
it), I’m grateful that I have a houseful of littles when there are so many that dream about it. After our own struggles through multiple pregnancies, what a gift to have so many to care for. To wash up and wash after. To follow around with a vacuum and laundry basket (speaking of, robot vacuums are my jam lately!). As I teach my kids how to clean up the table after dinner, to wash dishes (my least favorite chore), and to put their laundry away, we play music and dance our way through the routine. Why? Because it takes our minds off of the burden and frees us to a new perspective… to be grateful for all that we have. The next few months are a time where consumerism is at it highest, and also where generosity reigns. A crazy juxtaposition. We are encouraged to make a list of stuff that we want (yep, I do it!) and yet we can find so many opportunities to serve others and give of what we have (yep, we do that too). So this season, as we find ways to blend the two, as your schedules get full and your homes feel the changes, allow yourself some breathing room to be grateful, in both the big and the small things.
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HIGH/LOW winter HOME REFRESH
Reimagining and revamping your interiors with the changing seasons i s f u n , b u t i t c a n a l s o b e p r i c e y. S o w e t h o u g h t w e’d s h a r e a h i g h / l o w option of some of our favorite home accessories out at the moment.
No 1 - World Market Natural Wood Pillar No 2 - Target Beige Cut Knot Throw Pillow No 3 - Macy’s Martha Stewart Dutch Oven No 4 - West Elm Terrace Bar Cart No 5 - Target Chunky Chenille Throw Blanket No 6 - Pier One Everest Ivory Rugs
No 1 - Pottery Barn Carved Pillar Holder No 2 - Anthropologie Tufted Amal Pillow No 3 - Macy’s Le Creuset Dutch Oven No 4 - Overstock Butler Graci Antique Bar Cart No 5 - Crate & Barrel Coze Knit Ivory Throw No 6 - West Elm Distressed Wool Rug 14
WHAT’S BETTER THAN A GREAT LIMITED EDITION TEE?
A GREAT TEE THAT GIVES BACK!
With every limited edition monthly tee that you purchase, FRESH MOMMY BLOG will help a family in need. For many families living near or below the poverty line in the United States, putting nutritious food on the table can be a huge struggle. That’s where you can help. Funds from your purchase help provide meals, blankets, and toiletries for families struggling, and many that are homeless.
I T â€™S
A B OUT
MARGIN By Christopher Blue | Photography by Briony Skerjance
We are ingrained in a culture that says, “It’s ok,” and often encourages us to live life on the edge. Even though it is an invigorating feeling to be close to the edge, sometimes, we were not designed to live our entire life... ON THE EDGE!
It’s ok to build in margin to allow your passions and pursuits to have first chair and to place your limited time toward your gifts and talents that cause you to thrive! These gifts often invigorate us with more passion and energy toward other endeavors.
It is much better to live with margin for error built in or breathing room if you will. Our journey of life is much more productive and enjoyable with margin along the way.
But this works two ways as well. Margin should be given to allow your gifts and talent to help others and make this world a better place. So be sure to use your gifts and talent to bless others as well as yourself and see how good that makes you feel.
So what do I mean in practical terms? Let’s focus on three main themes that will cover most our life’s journey. Time, talent, and treasure. We all have been given the same amount of time. 24 hours per day. No less. No more. So what we choose to do with those hours is up to each of us. Life is short. Breathe in the moments. Science has proven that sleep is a key player in good health and overall well being. Sleep is the time when our bodies restore, revive, and maintain healthy brain function. It is important to be able to say no to some good things in order to rest and put yourself at your best for the great things you are passionate about.
Your body needs time off!
LASTLY: TREASURE What do I mean? Money...money...money! Money makes our world go round. We only have so much to do so much. Unfortunately, many in our society are willing to sell our future to have it all now. There is a lack of patience. Margin in your finances will help you and your family with patience. The good book says to be content with the place you are in. Such sage advice. Our culture has lost contentment. To learn to be ok and happy with what we have means we’ll actually enjoy the present. One of the best ways to build margin in your finances is to form a budget. Don’t let your money tell you where to go. Be honest about where you are currently and
So build in some ME time to make sure you get good amounts of sleep or cat naps. I know for you new moms, this is tough. I see how much (or how little) my wife sleeps most nights. But be a little selfish and enlist friends and family to assist in this when possible. But margin for time isn’t just about sleep. Schedule margin into your daily life. We live in a such a fast-paced world that it’s so easy to not allow for any time between events. I remember a recent weekend, we had something Friday evening right after we finished up work on a project. Then Saturday morning was grocery shopping and errands for our house, followed by two different birthday parties. Time was needed to mow the lawn and clean the house, and our kids were begging for some quality family time. Can somebody say “too much”? It can suck the fun right out of the weekend that is meant to be a time to reflect, regroup, and reenergize.
The best way to begin building some margin in your time is to learn to say NO, even when it’s good, to allow time for great! NEXT UP: TALENT Each of us has something to offer this world. Our lives are always going to have someone either enlisting you to help
build their dream or minimize your gifts by placing more value on their own. Allowing margin to explore and empower your gifting and talent is important to a fulfilled life. We all need to know we are valued and important. Our gift or talent showcases those attributes.
then make a goal and do your best to hit the mark. You tell your money where to go. A budget is also a great way to manage expectations of the family, especially children. Too often we believe the lie, “standard of living=quality of life.” This is not true. Realize you can discipline yourself to enjoy a better quality of life without spending beyond your standard of living. When you begin with a budget, you’re able to stop living on the edge financially, and that’s a good feeling. It all takes time. Don’t worry or hurry but enjoy the journey. It’s better to want than to owe!
It all starts with a decision to change. Then take one step at a time. Pick one area to begin building margin and then watch the momentum take over into other areas as well. Baby steps with baby goals. You can do it. I believe in you.
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FOOD & DRINKS
A SWEET DECADENT TREAT PERFECT FOR THOSE COOL FALL EVENINGS 18
Going into the second half of the year, the cooler seasons are upon us. That means it is time to bust out all of our favorite layers to help us battle the crisp air. It’s a time when we all crave a little more warmth and all those things that bring us comfort. What better way to battle the chill than through a delicious drink layered with flavors?
INGREDIENTS 20 Ounces Milk 20 Ounces Cream 10 Ounces Dark Chocolate Chips 10 Ounces Hershey Caramel Kisses 1/2 Cup Pureed Pumpkin 1½ Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
TOPPINGS Whipped Cream Caramel Sauce Ground Sea Salt
DIRECTIONS First step is to warm your milk and dark chocolate in your sauce pan over medium heat. Once it’s melted down, whisk in your cream and chopped up caramel chocolates. Once all of the chocolate is melted, you will then whisk in your pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and sea salt. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until creamy. (Serves 5-10 people) Recipe by Tabitha Blue Photography by Briony Skerjance
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FOOD & DRINKS
MORE CHEESE PLEASE
MASTERING THE ART OF THE CHARCUTERIE & CHEESE BOARD I T E M S TO INC LUDE: 3-4 CH EESES, 2-3 MEATS, 2-3 NU TS, 3-4 F RUITS, 1-2 SPR E ADS, 2-3 C R ACK ER S/BR E A DS, 2-3 VEG E TA BLE S
POMEGRANATE SEEDS CASHEWS SALAMI GREEN OLIVES
MATURO CHEESE GOAT CHEESE RED GRAPES
MANCHEGO CHEESE WATER CRACKERS
CRANBERRY MULTI GRAIN CRISPS PEACHES DILL PICKLES
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ESPRESSO LAYERED CAKE Recipe by Tabitha Blue | Photography by Briony Skerjance
INGREDIENTS ESPRESSO CAKE 2½ CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR 1 TEASPO ON BAKING POWDER 2 TEASPO ONS BAKING SODA 1 T E A S P O O N S A LT 1 T E ASP O ON C I N NA MON ¼ TEASPO ON GROUND NUTMEG (IF USING FRESH NUTMEG, CUT IN HALF) 2 TA B L E S P O O N S I N S TA N T E S P R E S S O P O W D E R 3/4 CUP UNSWEETENED C O C OA POWDER 2 CUPS SUGAR ½ C U P V E G E TA B L E O I L 1 C U P M I L K , R O O M T E M P E R AT U R E 1 C U P B R E W E D C O F F E E , R O O M T E M P E R AT U R E 2 E G G S , R O O M T E M P E R AT U R E 2 T E A S P O O N S VA N I L L A
WHIPPED MOCHA GANACHE 2 C U P S H E AV Y C R E A M 1 TA B L E S P O O N I N S TA N T E S P R E S S O P O W D E R , P I N C H O F S A LT 1 6 O Z S E M I S W E E T C H O C O L AT E C H I P S
DIRECTIONS PREP: 15 MIN MIX TIME: 30 MIN SERVINGS: 12
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8” round cake pans. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, espresso powder, cocoa, and sugar together. Stir to combine well. In a separate bowl, add the oil, milk, coffee, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk well until completely combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing gently between each addition. Evenly distribute the batter between the baking pans and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
Allow to cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Gently run a knife between the cake and pan, then gently remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably overnight. Heat the heavy cream, espresso powder, and salt in a saucepan until it is starts to boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then stir to melt the chocolate and combine with the cream. Do not stir until after the 10 minutes or else the frosting will end up grainy! Chill in the refrigerator until completely chilled. At least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Pour the ganache in a mixer and whisk on high until doubled in volume and light in color. Cut the two cakes in half to make four even layers. Slather the whipped ganache on each layer of the cake and layer the cakes on top of each other. Run an offset spatula on the sides of the cake to smooth the ganache on the sides.
23 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
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WITH EVERY LIMITED EDITION MONTHLY TEE THAT YOU PURCHASE, FRESH MOMMY BLOG WILL HELP A FAMILY IN NEED. For many families living near or below the poverty line in the United States, putting nutritious food on the table can be a huge struggle. Thatâ€™s where you can help. Funds from your purchase help provide meals, blankets, and toiletries for families struggling, and many that are homeless.
FOOD & DRINKS
CRANBERRY MOCKTAILS/COCKTAILS PREP: 5 MIN MIX TIME: 5 MIN SERVINGS: 6
// INGREDIENTS // 6 oz Ginger Syrup 12 oz Sparkling Cider 12 oz Cranberry Juice One bag of frozen Cranberries One sliced Lime One bunch of Fresh Mint
//PREPARATION// 1. Chill your glasses. 2. Place your festive holiday ice cubes in each of your glasses. 3. Pour in your drink mixture. 4. Dress your glasses with sliced limes, fresh mint, and a few tart cranberries. 5. For a more adult version with a kick, swap out the Sparkling Apple Cider with Hard Apple Cider.
CRANBERRY, BACON, WALNUT & BLUE CHEESE BRUSSLE SPROUTS PREP: 5 MIN COOK TOP: 15 MIN SERVINGS: 6
// DIRECTIONS // Chop brussels sprouts in quarters and wash. Mix maple syrup, oil, dijon, and salt and pepper in a bowl with the brussels sprouts to coat. Chop up the bacon and cook in a medium to large skillet. Set aside once cooked, but leave grease in the pan. Cook the sprouts for 10 minutes in your skillet. Add in garlic, bacon, cranberries and chopped walnuts and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Once you remove pan from heat, top with blue cheese.
// INGREDIENTS // 1 bag brussels sprouts ½ pound bacon ½ cup cranberries ½ cup chopped walnuts 1 clove minced garlic 3 tablespoons maple syrup 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon dijon Dash of salt and pepper Blue Cheese (to your liking, I like a lot)
27 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017 - 2018
PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE MUffINS PREP: 10 MIN BAKE: 20 MIN SERVE: 12 MUFFINS
// DIRECTIONS // // INGREDIENTS // 1¾ cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin puree 1 cup granulated sugar ½ cup packed brown sugar 2 large eggs ½ cup melted butter 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 8 oz cream cheese ¼ cup granulated sugar 1 large egg yolk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 2. Grease muffin pan. Set aside. 3. In large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, and brown sugar. 4. Beat in eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. 5. Slowly whisk in flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. 6. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined. 7. Top each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter. 8. Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 9. Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
CRANBERRY BLISS BARS PREP: 10 MIN BAKE: 30 MIN SERVE: 12 BARS
// INGREDIENTS // For the Blondie 2 cups brown sugar 2 cups Bisquick 4 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup dried cranberries 3/4 cup white chocolate chips For the Frosting 4 oz cream cheese (softened) 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups powdered sugar Juice of 1 lemon For the Decoration ½ cup dried cranberries 2 oz white chocolate chips
// DIRECTIONS //
Mix together all the ingredients for the blondie and pour into a greased 11x13” pan, or two smaller pans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool before frosting. For the Frosting Mix together all ingredients until smooth and spread over cooled blondie. The frosting will be very creamy. Feel free to place in the refrigerator or freezer to harden a little before topping with decoration or serving. Although they are so good, it’s hard to wait, and I rarely do! For the Decoration Cut blondie into bars. Sprinkle cranberries over the top. Warm the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish for 15 second intervals and stir in between. Make sure not to scorch chocolate. I only needed to heat mine for one interval. Drizzle over the top of the bars.
29 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017 - 2018
RECIPES for your
Winter Evenings 3 drops White Fir 2 drops Frankincense 2 drops Grapefruit
Long Winter Nap 3 drops Lavender 3 drops Wild Orange 2 drops Shield (love the immune boosting properties!) 2 drops Cedarwood
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FA L FLAILNLG FOR
Over the knee boots instantly elevate any look. If there were any boots that would have me singing, it would be these. “These boots were made for walking…” right off the runway.
Story by Tabitha Blue Photography by Briony Skerjance
31 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
BEIGE Low and comfy, these boots are easy to slide into and wear with anything! Another plus? I can still chase the kids around in them.
POP of COLOR It’s easy to add a pop of color to any outfit with boots! Go with a subtle shade to ease into it, or go bold with a vibrant option. Embellished versions are all over this season’s trends as well. The key here is just finding something you like, because if you like it, you’ll wear it!
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CLASSIC COMFORT A timeless shape in a classic bootie style… going with this cut means that these boots will stand the test of time and last you for many seasons. And because of the low heel, they’ll be a go-to you’ll want to slip into for both style and comfort.
SHADES of GREY Soft Sexy Suede plus a great heel. No wonder these are my new favorite neutral boot.
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S T Y L E & B E AU T Y
S M TE
I don’t know about you but when I wake up in the morning and head into my closet, there are a select number of clothing items that I always find myself drawn to. These are the few items I own that I feel my best in. The feeling of “best” can take on a number of descriptors, that of comfortable, powerful, and/or sexy. These pieces are my go-to items and are kept in constant rotation, getting the most wear. That being said, if I’m drawn to only a select number of items in my closet, I had to ask myself, why am I keeping all of the others? Why am I giving up precious closet space to items that I really don’t need? After having this small personal revelation about excess, I found myself inspired to try my hand at a modified version of the current capsule wardrobe trend. Seeing people really minimize their closets to just a selection of key items looked like a fun challenge to me, and one that I was excited to take on.
M Y C A P S U L E WA R D R O B E PANTS
Ripped Jeans, Jeans w/o Rips, Black Leather Leggings
Pencil Skirt, Mini Skirt DRESSES Black Maxi Dress, Grey Sweater Dress, Cocktail Dress
White T-shirt, Jean Button Down, Black Long Sleeved Blouse, 2 Slogan T-shirts
First things first, I went into my wardrobe and began purging it of all the items I rarely wore, separating all of my pieces into three piles: keep, donate, and toss. Once I completed the task of purging, I happily got to taking inventory and organizing the items that I had selected to keep. Taking inventory of your items is an important step, because the capsule wardrobe is usually only around 25-35 items. This is including shoes, coats, purses, accessories, etc. Going through your picks after the purge gives you an idea of what key items you need to go out and invest in, if there are any. The most important part of that sentence is “key.” When it comes to capsule wardrobes, you need to make sure you are picking items that can be worn with almost every other item in your closet. It makes the shopping process a little more intense, but also keeps you from splurging on items you don’t’ really need. I thought a fun way to show this in action was to give you a few styled examples of how I would use a selection of my keep items.
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Long Line Cardigan, Oversized Boyfriend Sweater
Black Leather Jacket, Jean Jacket, Down Winter Jacket
Over the Knee Boots, Ankle Boots, Closed Toed Dress Flats, Tennis Shoes, Classic Stilettos, Sandals
Crossbody Bag, Backpack, Handbag
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E S SE N T IA L S F OR L I F E
ON the ROAD
Over the years, our family has picked up some key essentials that help make any roadtrip (no matter the length) a successful one for the memory books.
Purposeful Planning for a Family Road Trip There are times we all feel the urge to travel. Sometimes, the most feasible way is hitting the road… and lately, it’s been something our family has been endeavoring for more of. There is nothing that can replace the connection that comes from investing time in one another. Nowadays, when we see a chance, we pack up our bags and let the wheels spin on the pavement, adding memories to our banks in the process.
4. Let go and have fun!
What’s the reason for your trip? Hopefully it’s to enjoy time with loved ones! If that’s the case, then all the other things don’t quite matter so much! If we get too focused on the goal, we’ll lose site of all the magical moments along the way. As each moment passes, you can’t get it back, so make the most of your time away!
But planning a trip on the road, and especially with kiddos in tow, can definitely be intimidating. Since we’ve already had quite a few opportunities with our four kids, I thought I’d share how we plan out a fun and adventurous road trip, while making it to our destination in good time.
1. Decide on a route.
Clearly, this isn’t news, but it’s important to plan your route with the end in mind! Decide if you want to go more scenic or if you’re more about speed. The mindset you go into the trip with makes a difference!
2. Make intentional stops.
Nothing trips up a road trip like stopping 5 minutes after you get back on the road. While the occasional emergency stop will happen, we like to make our stops at places we can find a bit of grass for the kids to run while we take turns changing diapers, getting snacks, fueling up, etc. Getting all of these necessaries done at once, and allowing everyone to burn off a little energy, makes for a better drive overall.
3. Pack what you need without overpacking. This one is harder to determine until you’ve done it a few times! We now have a hitch on the back of our vehicle with a rack to hold our suitcases, so that only our road trip necessities are in the car on the drive. For this tip, pack everything you think you need, and then go back and remove a good 15-20% of what you’ve packed!
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Road Trip Essentials
While you’ll already be packing your own essentials, tossing clothes in your suitcases etc., here are a few items we never drive away without… Books on tape (or downloaded to our devices) Car charger (for said devices) Disinfectant spray. I like to make mine with essential oils so it can be used for hands and surfaces. But either way, at some point, you’ll need it (think emergency bathroom stop with no soap). Ziplock bags. These are great for dividing snacks between kids, for holding wet suits (or clothes), keeping leftovers, and more. Plan B: No matter how prepared you may be, sometimes things don’t go to plan. Be flexible or have an alternate vacation plan early to avoid crying out loud if things change.
ROAD TR IP PLAYLIST 1. I Drove All Night
14. All Summer Long
2. Life is a Highway
16. Body Like a Backroad
4. Sweet Home Alabama
5. Dare You to Move
18. I Really Like You
6. Chicken Fried
19. Shut Up and Drive
7. Dancing in the Moonlight
20. There’s Nothing Holdin’
Florida Georgia Line
Carly Rae Jepsen
Zac Brown Band
8. Can’t Hold Us
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
9. Hometown Girl Josh Turner
10. Glorious [Clean] Macklemore
11. Don’t Stop the Music Rihanna
you can listen to our playlist on freshmommyblog
12. This is How We Roll
[feat Luke Bryan] Florida Georgia Line
13. Empire State of Mind
[feat. Alicia Keys] [Clean] - Jay-Z
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OILS for the
peppermint A go-to oil for SO many things… one of those multi-purpose oils from our natural medicine cabinet! We use it for upset stomachs (from nausea to digestion issues), headaches, when we need energy, I’ll add a drop on my toothbrush for fresh breath and for gum health, pain relief and tension relief. Another way I use it for travel is to add a drop to a wet washcloth and leave in the shower to let the steam and aromatherapy do it’s work to open sinuses and alleviate travel wear.
lavender This is another “do-it-all” oil and it’s pretty easy to say, when in doubt, use Lavender Oil. It’s moisturizing and calming to the skin (making great for burns, sunburns, and dry skin), antibacterial (great for cuts and scrapes), can help to mentally relax and calm (used to calm during the day as well as helpful for sleep), and is great mixed with pretty much any other oil as well!
100% PURE ESSENTIAL OILS
USE COUPON CODE:
10% OFF EVERY ORDER W W W. S PA R K NAT U R A L S . C O M
Such a great cleansing oil. First, I like to keep Lemon oil on me to add 1-2 drops to my water (in glass bottles only) as a great detox. If I am traveling with a diffuser (sometimes, not always), Lemon is very purifying and cleansing for the hotel room air. It’s also perfect for stains! Just 1-2 drops on a stain will help preserve your clothing until you can get home to wash it since it gets out grease, gum, crayon and more. Just a drop behind your ears and on your wrists can help reduce or eliminate anxiety (great mixed with lavender). If you suffer from allergies, you can use a couple drops of Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint 2x a day on the bottom of your feet to help! Lemon oil is also something you can add with honey to warm water to fight coughs, sore throats, and fever (just make sure to use a pure oil that you trust for any internal use, which is why I use Spark Naturals).
melaleuca Otherwise known as Tea Tree Oil, this is an antibacterial, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, analgesic and insecticidal… so basically it’s also good for everything! Mix with Lavender for sunburns and cuts, use on bug bites, bruises, blisters, and cold sores.
Denver PHOTO T R AV E L D IA R I E S
Story by Tabitha Blue
Photography by Christopher Blue
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There is something so magical about a fresh snow, and introducing our littlest to it with some time away through a whirlwind trip with her on my hip was the perfect way to do it.
It only took five years. Five years of Florida living, warm winters, beach for Christmas and total avoidance of cleaning layers of snow and ice from the windshield on a daily basis throughout the winter months to make my heart grow fond for the absolute beauty of a winter wonderland.
“It was beautiful. It was scenic. It was breathtaking, both figuratively and physically.”
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CAN DO HARD
THINGS Story by Tabitha Blue | Snapshots by Christopher Blue
“I’m scared. I don’t know how.” His whispers came through as he leaned back on my chest. He’d been playing, the lingering scent of sweat and dirt still in his hair, those soft, whispy locks from his still-baby years. A baby to me anyway. “I know.” I whispered back. “You want to know what else I know? We can do hard things.” Arms in an envelope, I knew this moment was something to pay attention to. It was a big day, a day of firsts for us all, as a family. We drove a UTV (an ATV large enough to hold our clan) though the bumpy trails of the mountainside. We rode horses over similar mountainside trails. We spent a day under the sun taking in the sights, the fresh air, the random horse stops for a restroom break. And as I thought about it, my little four year old’s fear and insecurity of riding such a large animal for 50
heading towards the mountains on horse back
the first time, I realized that I can tend to walk through life much the same re! u t n e v d way. Apply a an a dy for rew rea c e l o h bold lipstick? Yeah the w I’ve got this (even so, the first time intimidated me). Change a diaper? I can do it with almost one hand (and yet at this too, the first time scared me). Write a sentence or two? Okay I can do that. Cook a meal? I can throw something together. But give me something new, different, a big opportunity…. I’m scared. I don’t know how. For a long time I let those words be my red flag, my stop sign. Fear was a big halt on my life and for embracing new things. Even this magazine? It has been a dream of mine for a long time… but the fear. What if no one wants it? What if no one downloads or reads these pages we worked so hard to put together? I had to let the dream rise higher than the doubt. As the calendar ticks down and the days of the year are numbered, it’s so natural to take stock of life; of where we’re at, where we want to go and what we want to do. We look over the goals from the past and many times feel defeated by time… I was supposed to do that. We shrug and move our goals over to the next year’s list. I remember when a studio for my business was just a dream. Until it wasn’t. We found a place, a space I liked. We toured it, worked out the details and then came the words, “I’m scared. I don’t know how.”
asked. “It doesn’t work? We don’t renew the lease? We move in?” That last one was a bit of a laugh… until it wasn’t. The lease was signed, we began the remodel and then when a home purchase fell through, we moved in. A family of six in a loft with a back room converted to a bedroom. And guess what? It was amazing! We grew closer, we enjoyed living downtown for a season and while there we found our new home that launched our House to Home series. The lesson? Things don’t always turn out just how we’d expect them to be, but that doesn’t mean they always turn out bad. Sometimes the unexpected ends up becoming the biggest blessing, and even when it’s not, I’ve learned it’s not something to be afraid of. With each change and each season, I’ve grown.
Just call it the school of life. Here’s the takeaway, dreams can be scary. Big goals? Downright chilling. The effort in starting something new or trying again? Hard. But do you want to know what else I know? WE can do hard things. As you take stock of your goals, I hope you look at them with renewed vigor. I hope you jump when you get the chance and ride when it’s scary. I hope you just start. Start something, somewhere. From the little steps to the big ones, keep putting one foot in front of the other towards your objective. You won’t end up anywhere you want to be if you’re not moving. And sometimes we won’t know how amazing something is until we try it. At the end of our horse ride, after an hour of Skylar waxing on about how amazing it was, he concluded that he wanted to have his own ranch full of the very thing that used to scare him; horses.
“What’s the worst that could happen?” My husband 51 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
me and m
y brave li
perfecting Your Holiday Tablescape ITâ€™S THAT TIME OF YEAR AND WE ARE SHARING OUR TOP FIVE TIPS FOR SETTING THE PERFECT HOLIDAY TABLE 52
OUR FIVE TIPS ON SETTING UP A BOMB HOLIDAY TABLESCAPE No 1 - Layer in natural elements. We did this with wood grain and our DIY jute placemats.
No 4 - Set the scene with light. We layered in some mini battery lights and lots of candles to give our table a warm inviting glow.
No 2 - Mix your metals. Forget the old rules; Gold, Silver, and Bronze all compliment one another beautifully.
No 5 - Use what you have. Be creative and think outside the box. Here we used Christmas bulbs and tags and made place cards. We also used a flowy curtain as a table runner.
No 3 - Accent your table with lots of green. Mixing faux and real.
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DO I T YOUR SEL F E A S Y O N E S T E P O M B R E VA S E
GATHER YOUR FAVORITE METALLIC SPRAY PAINT & A CLEAR VASE. TURN THE VASE UPSIDE DOWN & GRADUALLY SPRAY FROM THE BOTTOM UP TO CREATE A NATURAL OMBRÃ‰. 55 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
F L E S R U O Y T I O D R U S T I C J U T E P L AC E M AT S
STEP ONE Gather Jute, Hot Glue Gun, & Scissors.
STEP TWO Start wrapping the swirl.
STEP THREE Once you have your swirl started, add hot glue every few inches to hold in place.
STEP FOUR Continue wrapping and gluing until you reach your ideal size mat.
STEP FIVE Cut the end piece on an angle and use glue to secure. 57 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
the art of
Don’t stress over wrapping a gift. Instead make the wrap just as much from the heart as the reason you’re giving it in the first place! A little DIY doesn’t have to be overwhelming and, in fact, it can be just the opposite while saving you money in the process. Start with a blank slate like butcher block paper. The great part is that it can be dressed up or down!
There are a lot of design options when it comes to wrapping paper. My favorite is Brown Butcher Block paper or Chalkboard paper because they’re a perfect base for a fun DIY.
This is where you are going to grab all of your ribbons, bows, twine, yarn, stamps, stickers, and every other decorative accent and let your creative juices flow.
When it comes to choosing a bag, I like to go with a solid color or brown paper bag that I can personalize for the recipient.
You want to start your wrapping off on the right foot, which means collecting all of your supplies (scissors, tape, trimmings, paper, bags, etc.) and having them all in one place for easy access.
thank you notes
Since it is the season of giving, you will more than likely have lots of opportunities to say thank you. I like to have little notes ready and on hand for when those moments arise.
PS DIY STAM AL POTATO E ID VE YOUR JUST CAR O T A AND TO A POT SHAPE IN STAMPING. GET TO HAT! ASY AS T IT’S AS E
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Festive Gold Glitter Wine Goblets
DIY - Glitter Coblets
ADD A LITTLE SPARKLE TO YOUR TABLE WITH THIS EASY DIY
DIRECTIONS Step One Clean and dry your glasses. Step Two Tape off where you want your glitter to go on the glass. I personally put it at about the 3/4 mark. Step Three Apply your ModPodge to the part of the glass that you want to glitterfy. Step Four Immediately shake on your glitter. I suggest using a light hand, keep in mind you can always go back with another layer. Step Five Step back and let it dry. Step Six Apply second coat of ModPodge over the glitter to help seal it. Step Seven Peel off the tape, pour in your drink of choice, and enjoy. 61 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
Fancy & Festive H o l i d a y
I c e
C u b e s
FINISH OFF YOUR HOLIDAY COCKTAILS WITH THIS CUSTOMIZABLE DIY 62
CRANBERRY & MINT ICE CUBES PREP: 5 MIN SETTING TIME: OVERNIGHT
// INGREDIENTS // 1 bag of frozen cranberries (or any other fruit you prefer) 1 packet of fresh mint (or any other fresh herb
// DIRECTIONS // 1. Add your selection of festive fruits like cranberries, raspberries, or strawberries to your ice cube tray 2. Then add your greens; such as rosemary, mint, spearmint, cucumber, etc.
or greens you prefer)
3. Lastly, top it all off
with water or other liquid and let freeze overnight.
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stor y by Tabitha Blue | photography by Briony Skerjance
I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing today. Sometimes I just need to get away… away from the chores like laundry peeking out from the corner, away from the constant “mommy” requests which can be beautiful at times and distracting at other times, away from the house remodel that is so exciting, draining, dream-making (like literally I’ll day dream of the next thing to add to the list!). Today, I wanted to get away because I wanted to focus on this, a note to you. A bit of a journal entry as I’m going to sit undistracted by the swimming of cappuccinos and people I don’t know (white noise if you will), to pour out here, to you. Maybe I’m writing this because my heart for this magazine is to inspire you to say, I CAN! Life isn’t perfect for anyone and even great photos and glossy pages can’t make it that way. Instead of comparing (because we’ll all find the good when we look and the imperfections when we want to see them), let’s inspire each other toward greatness. If there’s anything I want you to know today it’s this, you’re not alone. If you’re in the thick of the waves and fighting to keep your head up I want you to know, I’ve been there, and goodness, many days I still am. We’ve all done it at some point, hit the proverbial wall of “I can’t” and some days it’s a few times over. Can’t can come in so many forms. It can come in fatigue when you’re just done and don’t want to continue. It can come in sadness, in fear, in pain, and even in joy. I know the feelings of wanting to hide when creditors are calling, or the agony of starting over when you just don’t want to. I remember the gut punch after losing our baby and seeing the beautiful bouncing babes of others and I just didn’t want to start again, feeling pain and anger that I had to. I recognize those feelings of being used and abused and wondering what kind of life I had left in me… and friend I want to tell you this today – If you’ve got a pulse, there’s still purpose and passion brewing in you. We’ve just got to find the right place to pour it out! But, friend, your story isn’t finished! If you’re going through hell… don’t stop! Keep moving forward.
create something beautiful. We have that choice daily. I keep this photo on my computer desktop to remind me that life happens (and also because I haven’t cleaned off my desktop in ages, it’s a mess!), and it’s my choice to allow circumstances to stop me or I can embrace the opportunity rising before me. Ready for a couple of practical solutions? Something we’ve started in our home lately is asking ourselves this question, “What is the one important thing today?” Sometimes it’s a project, sometimes it’s writing, sometimes it’s a big goal, and other times it’s a small one. Sometimes it’s family time. While I still have my list, I’ll choose the most important or the most urgent and learn to celebrate when it’s crossed off. Then, I can move on from there knowing my one big thing is done and everything else is cake. So this might not be something new, but stepping away from what seems overwhelming is one of the best ways to clear my head and get a fresh perspective. I know when I give myself some time off, I come back prepared and ready to take on whatever tasks are in front of me, and the work I put out is so much more productive and enjoyable. It’s amazing how a break can bring you a completely new mindset. In a world of more, take the opposite ideal and stop multi-tasking. Even though I know better, I still do it! Focus is such a integral element of creativity. So together, let’s do less (at a time, remember that one big goal), but do it better! To wrap up this coffee-house rant, a letter to you, I hope you keep going. Keep doing, keep being, keep growing and I can’t wait to see the amazing things that are poured out from you!
The article my husband wrote about margin (page 16) can so apply here too, because I’ve also hit the wall of “I can’t” when I’ve had higher expectations on myself than what I could manage. I’m a natural list maker, and sometimes when I get going, the list is longer than there are hours in the day. There are times when a plan doesn’t come together as I’d hoped and then I’m left with, “there isn’t enough time for something to happen, to start over, to change… I can’t.” This photo is one that was snapped during a photoshoot when things weren’t cooperating with my intentions. This was an “I can’t” moment. A moment I had a choice; to give up and leave everything on the table or to press on and 65 | THE FRESH EDIT winter 2017-2018
Fresh Manifesto We will not be afraid to create something. Everyday. There will be good and there will be bad, so we will choose to see the good. As long as we have a pulse, we will have a passion. We wonâ€™t let our story end before we do. We will keep writing it, filling the pages with laughter, adventure, and love. For there is nothing g reater than a life well loved. We believe that every day is an opportunity to move closer to your dreams, to try something new, a new stillness, a new food, a new hobby, a new destination, a new coffee. And then just as we breathe in the scent of something good, we will savor it. We will talk to strangers, be a child again, take risks, and embrace failure as our teacher. We will talk less and listen more. Choosing to see beauty where others donâ€™t. Planning to live life to the fullest, planning to live freely, and love hard. We will seek out every opportunity to be amazed.
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