Fall is finally here in this sleepy little New England town. The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing, cider and apples fill farm stands across the area, and pumpkins sit on porches glowing orange. It’s been so long since I’ve experienced a Fall in New England. It’s picturesque in every way.
Things are slowing down a tad at the farm which has been allowing me a chance to fall into a better work rhythm and get inspired. Not only do I have seasonal recipes in the works, check back next week for a pear treat, but also all things made by Laura Lee are ramping up for Christmas (get your custom orders in soon), and I’ve announced on my music pages that I will begin performing again.
Transitioning of seasons is always a time to look at the transitions we make for ourselves. For me, going back to performing again is a giant step. I feel old doubt falling away like leaves from the trees. I even launched the old music website and have been posting on the Facebook Page with updates. More importantly, I’m writing songs again. Songs that I actually like. As an artist or a musician, we’re always our own biggest critic. We expect levels of perfection that we wouldn’t ever ask of anyone else, but I’m delighted to be in a place where I’m content.
While I haven’t written that Top 20 hit about a quaint little New England town in Fall, I’m looking forward to sharing tunes with you soon.
Oh… heeeeyyy there! I know it’s been a minute since I’ve written a blog post. I’ve been running around like a crazy farmer working my tail off between growing veggies, slinging plants, making jams, and taking care of cows. I’ve been a busy girl. All while prepping for the holiday season that is rapidly approaching. (Insert exhausted emoji here.)
I’m not complaining. You know me… I live for the thrill of working, creating, playing in the dirt, and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. So much so that I have to remind myself to stop and take a minute to just breathe.
That being said, I thought maybe you could take a moment to enjoy a special moment with me. A couple weeks ago, (yes, that’s how far behind I am on website updating, blogging, and shameless self-promotion), I was featured in an amazing online publication! Handmade Seller Magazine reached out to me because they loved my blog so much! This subscription-based publication features a variety of articles from handmade sellers and their process to blogging, advertising, and plenty of other topics for the small, women-owned business. I’m just delighted to be apart of it! You can check out snippets in the link here or sneak peak down below.
I’m excited and feel like this is a pretty solid article. I hope you enjoy. I look forward to getting back on track and sharing fresh recipes with you as well as new creative creations. Thank you for your continued support!
I know with my last few posts it’s more than apparent that I’m in full swing for Spring. It started back in February for me while I planted hundreds and thousands of herbs, geraniums, and other beautiful plant babies. I’ve since added new items to the shop, got vaccinated, had three interviews and articles come out about made by laura lee, paid off my truck, and still found time to enjoy being back in New England. Sometimes the hustle and bustle can be a little exhausting, but it’s all so rewarding that I don’t really mind.
In fact, it’s amazing to look back at the little plant babies in February, versus now. Hanging baskets are now cascading from their pots, herbs are towering over their little containers waiting to be cooked with, and the geranium flowers are almost fluorescent against their backdrop of green leaves. I’m grateful each and every day to not only be playing in the dirt, but also still be able to maintain made by laura lee.
Admittedly, it’s not sunshine and rainbows all the time, because you can’t have those without a little rain. But even on those days that are overcast and overwhelming, it’s always nice to know that sun will always come back. I know I’m not the only one that gets that feeling like they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, whether you’re still working from home, homeschooling from home, waiting for work to start back up, or really whatever is going on in the midst of waiting for this damn pandemic to pass, you’ve got someone there for you. Even if you think you don’t, you do. Reach out no matter how hard. Hang in there.
We’ve all told someone to hang in there. The fact of the matter is that I tell myself that everyday. I tell my friends to hang in there often as well. We’re all hanging in there together and I made this “Hang In There” Hoop for a friend to express just that. You can share it with someone you care about as well. Let’s keep being there for one another, act with kindness and compassion, and get through this together.
I’ve been quiet on the blog the last month, my apologies. If you have time, I have a lot to share. Take a break, grab a cup of tea and let’s catch up….
Spring is here. There is something magical that happens amongst the flora and fauna as warmer weather begins to creep in. It’s a time of rebirth and growth. I feel as both my personal and professional life are experiencing this same seasonal change as well.
As may or may not know or noticed, I came home to Massachusetts over the Christmas holiday and have been helping family and friends with farms, recovery from surgeries, etc. Life has a funny way of working sometimes and as many of us know, it can certainly be unexpected. Without going into too much detail, I have decided to stay in Massachusetts to continue to help my father on his farm as well as take up a new position at Paisley’s Farmstand and Greenhouse.
Paisley’s & I
I spent my high school years living around the corner and down the way from Paisley’s Farm. I began working there sometime between my junior and senior year of high school and quickly acquired the nickname, “Field Hoe” as I spent a majority of my time in the fields picking produce fresh for the farm stand. I potted plants, worked the farm stand, and so much more. It’s been years, but I still have held the job as one of my favorites. It’s been my dream to own my own farm someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, but I’m excited to be back learning everything I can to prepare me for my own operation.
made by laura lee
What does taking a full-time job mean for made by laura lee? Honestly, not much will change! Perhaps the access to wonderful fresh produce for recipes and canning, the endless inspiration for the blog, and running the business out of Massachusetts. In my mind, these are all good things. I feel like when good things happen, they snowball and I am excited to announce that WickedLocal.com, a Massachusetts publication, interviewed me about the news and the business. Make sure to check it out and give it a share. Please.
There have been a lot of sudden changes this year. Moving, new job, new plans & permits for made by laura lee, etc. It’s exciting but in the midst of it all, I unexpectedly lost a dear, dear friend last week. I’ve been working through my grief and am slowly coming to peace with the loss. Of course, there are still moments of collapsing into an ugly-face crying puddle, but as I planted thousands of geraniums last week it gave me time to reflect and realize the beauty in life, loss, and love. Geraniums symbolize so many different things, depending on the color. Overall, they represent love, friendship, happiness, and positivity. All feelings I’ve been meditating on as I plant each one in remembrance of my first love and best friend.
With that I leave you with nothing but love and appreciation. Remember to tell the ones you love that you love them. Live each day with kindness. Take pleasure in the little things. Most importantly, make sure that you are living the life you want to lead.
While we’re still technically in January, February is pretty much here. I would have forgotten that means Valentine’s Day if I hadn’t treated myself to a getaway weekend in Belton, TX. Belton, Texas you might ask? It doesn’t really have too much going for it except their big convention center. Why would I go there? Well, I’m delighted to announce that I bought tickets to go to the Annual Mother Earth News Fair. It is a collection of workshops and lectures for homesteaders and farmers.
I am beyond excited. I have been checking in on speakers almost daily to see who has been added to the list. Last year, I learned so much like how to start successfully fermenting things, which you can see I’ve been putting to good use by my last blog post.
So how is this romantic? Well, technically it’s not, but I absolutely love learning about homesteading, soil care, chicken raising, bee keeping, mushroom growing and more. Getting back to the point though…
Valentine’s Day! It’s something I’ve never been too keen on whether I’m romantically involved or not, but I get pretty excited about this little fruit and veg Valentine’s Day cards either way! You can take a look at the shop for more!
In between embroidering Texas Towels, I took breaks by baking banana bread and pecan pie as well as whipping a quick batch of refrigerator pickles. I love having pickles around as a cool, crips snack or a great addition to a cheese plate or sandwich. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for you! Oh yea, these are a little zingy!
Quick Zingy Fridge Pickles
2 32-ounce mason jars
3 cups of cider vinegar
3 cups of water
2 cucumbers, washed & sliced
6-10 small sweet peppers, washes, quartered, and seeds removed (you can use bell peppers instead)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chili powder
Clean and prep cucumbers, peppers, onions, and garlic
Stuff clean mason jars with cucumbers, peppers, and onions
In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, garlic, salt, sugar, and spices then bring to a boil
When vinegar mixture has come to a rolling boil, place mason jars in the sink and pour the mixture into mason jars
Place lids on the jars and wipe down outside of any spills
While cooling, place jars on a towel on the counter (towel acts as a buffer so the hot glass does not cool too quickly and shatter). Leave jars out until room temperature
Place jars in the fridge. Pickles will be ready in a day or two
A few weeks ago, I snuck up to St. Louis to spend a few days with my mom and her wonderful husband. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. While my folks were at work, I spent my mornings reading with the sunrise and coffee and taking walks around Historic Lafayette Park. During the day, I would catch up on some much-needed adulting I needed to do then saunter off to my mom’s plot at the community garden to collect vegetables for dinner. One night I whipped up this eggplant dish and accompanying main of stewed tomatoes and rainbow chard… more on that to come. For now:
Roasted Eggplant with Goat Cheese, Pomegranate, & Pistachios
3-4 Japanese eggplant, sliced in half the long way
1 four-ounce packet of goat cheese, crumbled
Pomegranate seeds, half a pomegranate
1/4 cup of roasted pistachios
1 tablespoon almond oil (I skimmed the oil off of an almond butter jar)
1 lemon, halved
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 tablespoon honey, optional
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400ºF
Place sliced eggplant facedown on a lightly oiled baking sheet, place in oven and bake until tender. About 25 minutes
Remove from the oven. Flip eggplant cut side up and lightly glaze the cut surface with almond oil and squeeze lemon across the eggplant.
Top eggplant with goat cheese, pomegranate, pistachios, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste
For a little extra pizazz, you can, ever so sparingly, drizzle honey on top with a little extra sea salt.
It’s been a pretty exciting week around here. Last week the laura lee’s kitchen – digital cookbook went live on the website and is now available for download. Not only that, but I was also featured in a write up by Voyage Houston this past week as well. This was the first little bit of press that made by laura lee has ever received. It’s pretty exciting!
Two big firsts for me! I’ve got plenty more firsts coming later this fall as well. I’ve feverishly been working on a new “Fall” line of embroidery that will be featured in the rolling out of the new online store! Doesn’t that sound très trendy? Not to mention, I may or may not already be in panic mode for the holiday gift ordering season. It’s coming, whether I’m ready or not! In fact, make sure to get your orders in.
While I sip my spiced chai, I’ll be sitting here embroidering away. If you haven’t purchased laura lee’s kitchen – digital cookbook, you can order it here. And if you’re unsure about the cookbook, feel free to catch up on some more Laura Lee reading here in the Voyage Houston Article.
It has now been a little over a week since I have finished the Kickstarter Cookbook. It was definitely an undertaking and I learned a lot about myself. I like to bite off more than I can chew, every bit of pun intended. At first, this little cookbook was only supposed to be a little pamphlet or mini-cookbook. Of course, I got carried away with the spectacular idea of “go big or go home.” I began compiling over 100 recipes, photos, etc.
What was I thinking?! After being talked off the ledge, I reigned it in and put together a reasonably sized book for the Kickstarter Incentive. I am incredibly pleased on the final product and believe I have something worth bringing to publishers for a bigger project as well as the potential for more books down the line.
If you donated to my Kickstarter a couple years ago, please make sure to check for updates from Kickstarter. To access the cookbook, you must check your email for the link and password for the cookbook download. The emails come from Kickstarter, not me, and are titled “Project Update: #6, etc.”. If you are having trouble accessing the link, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve moved or haven’t completed the initial survey, please update your information so I can get your incentive to you.
I’m very excited to be getting these out to you so I can begin focusing on the next steps. Thank you for your continued support!
Back when I managed Opa Coffee & Wine Bar, I had my bad ass team, who no matter how tired, how hungover, how whatever they could be, showed up through thick and thin and owned it like a boss. I’ve always seemed to surround myself with badasses. In the music scene, the craft community, and, now, in my very own home, badasses. I’m lucky to know such amazing people.
Every now and then though, in the midst of working two part time jobs, renovating rooms, building gardens, vacuuming up after three dogs, doing dishes, and building a business, feeling like I can’t keep up is definitely a cloud that follows me around. Sometimes, we can’t do it all. Sometimes, we can.
I always opt for the later of the two previous statements. I can do it all. Sometimes it’s a matter of putting everything on hold, taking a nap, and regrouping. Other times, it’s just powering through. This week, I took a little time to embroider. There is nothing like stopping to stitch “#girlboss” for a couple of hours…. talk about meditating on your intention.
We all need to take time to tell ourselves that we are a boss. We can keep persisting. We can follow and live our dreams. With that, I hope you take time today remind yourself of the same. The girl boss in me bows to the girl boss in you. Have a great day!