Category Archives: Interviews

Apple Picking with Peck & Bushel

When Peck & Bushel Fruit Company invited us to come check out their new organic apple orchard, they had us at “Honeycrisp”. Plus, we couldn’t resist an excuse to plan a week full of apple recipes!

The morning we arrived, we were met by owners Joe and Jennifer Fahey, who not only toured us around the orchard but had thoughtfully pre-picked some of their tangy, delicious Honeycrisps for us. While Joe passionately told us about the challenges and rewards of growing organic fruit, Jennifer chatted about dressing up place settings with the lowly mini crab apples they use for pollinating and an apple dumpling recipe she’d been playing with. Their enthusiasm for turning their harvest into a community experience makes the Faheys the kind of people you want to have a picnic with.

Peck & Bushel currently has around 4000 dwarf apple trees in nine different varieties, including the fabulous Honeycrisps. Since this is only their second year growing, Peck & Bushel is only selling pre-picked apples this year at the orchard and select local farmers markets and grocery stores in the Milwaukee area (they plan to offer pick-your-own next fall!).

Joe also shared that within the next few years they plan to grow organic sweet cherries and offer treats like signature apple pastries and fresh and hard ciders.



As we tromped around the orchard, Stef’s little boy, Lincoln, thoroughly enjoyed snacking on the apples and made an adorable helper.



A big thanks to Peck & Bushel! We’re excited to see you again next year! If you live in the Milwaukee area, be sure to check out their orchard. And no matter where you live, be sure to stop back later this week for our latest apple concoctions.

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{Featured} Foodie Fave on Cornflake Dreams

I’m so excited to be featured today by the lovely Jillian over at Cornflake Dreams blog in her “Foodie Fave” column! Jillian’s blog is full of chic inspiration for everything from food to fashion to travel (plus she’s a fellow Marquette grad!) so it’s an honor to be hanging out in such fabulous company.

I had the hardest time picking my favorites from the recipes I’ve posted here on HAP so head over to see more of what I chose and to check out the rest of Cornflake Dreams!
cornflake dreams blog

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{Giveaway!} Double Dose of Pet Accessories

***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries***
And the winner is…Emily and her yellow lab, Murray, who will soon be sporting the Scout Tag and either the blue/brown harlequin pattern ribbon collar or the football collar – depending on if Emily let’s her husband make the pick or not! Congratulations!
(Winner chosen using random.org)

Today we have fun double dose giveaway for all you pet owners out there!  With all the blasé collars and ugly machine-made pet tags to be found at chain pet stores, Etsy turns out to be chock full of stylish options!  We featured some of our favorites in last year’s holiday gift guide – including the fabulous sequined collars made by Jen from RogueCollars and the super chic ID tags made by Tessa from MakeYourDogSmile.

One lucky reader will win a pet collar of their choice from Rogue Collars and a personalized pet ID tag of their choice from MakeYourDogSmile. Read on to meet these two crafty pet lovers and for details on how to win!

sequined dog collar by Rogue Collarsstylish dog ID tag

Name: Jen
Etsy store: RogueCollars.etsy.com
Dogs or Cats?: definitely dogs, but I love all animals
Favorite breed?: Great Danes and Boxers (of course), as well as Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs and Dogue de Bordeaux (like Hooch in Turner & Hooch!)
Your pet(s): Rogue, 5, a Boxer, and Storm, 3, a Great Dane (yes, they are named after X-Men characters!)
Pet smooches – great OR gross?: great, just not on the mouth.  My dogs have learned to give me kisses under my chin.  :)
Other crafty hobbies?: My latest have been just making additions to the dog collar line – including leashes and key fobs. Otherwise, I enjoy working on my wedding scrapbook.  It’s been a long drawn out process…I’ve been married 7.5 years and it’s still not done!  :)
I started my Etsy shop because: Storm was in the typical puppy chewing phase and her latest fad was chewing collars.  She literally chewed a collar off of herself, as well as chewing collars off of Rogue too.  I got tired of buying new ones so I found a pattern online, bought a sewing machine and haven’t looked back!
Day-time gig besides Etsy?: I’m a nerd by day, as I work in IT for a large company, supporting their email environment.
Leader of the pack or wrapped around their paws?: Definitely leader of the pack – I trained both of the girls, so they follow me everywhere and obey me over my hubby!  But, on some occasions, I have to say, Rogue can be quite the princess…  I’ve taught her how to say “mom” (yes, literally), and she has learned to use it when she wants something.  How can you refuse a dog’s request when they call you by name?!  :)
Rogue Collars

Name: Tessa
Etsy store: Makeyourdogsmile.etsy.com and HattieRex.etsy.com for people things
Dogs or Cats?: Dogs
Favorite breed?: Labrador Retreiver
Your pet(s): Hollie, black lab; Sofia, Westie; Ryder, mini Australian shepherd
Pet smooches – great OR gross?: Kinda gross, but it’s the thought that counts!
Leader of the pack or wrapped around their paws?: Leader of the pack! My husband is a different story!
Other crafty hobbies?: Refinishing antique junque, painting
I started my Etsy shop because: I had been making and selling at craft shows and one day I saw a mention of Etsy in a magazine.  I set up shop the same day.
Day-time gig besides Etsy?: Not anymore.  I was previously a high school Spanish teacher and also have a Master’s degree in technical communication.
Make Your Dog Smile Etsy

Enter to Win!

To win, just pop over to RogueCollars and MakeYourDogSmile to look for your favorites. Leave a comment telling us your pet’s name and which collar and ID tag you would pick for them!
Bonus! Get an extra entry by “liking” HAP on Facebook!

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{Giveaway!} Permanent Baggage Wristlet

I am SUPER excited to have local Milwaukee artist, Kamryn Kay Boelk, from Permanent Baggage sharing some amazing stuff with us today.  I stumbled across Kamryn Kay’s handmade bags last summer at a local Gallery Night and have been coveting them ever since.  Besides being stylish and one-of-a-kind, all her bags are made with 98% repurposed or recycled materials.

Today, one lucky winner will snag an Eco Chic wristlet of their choice from her Etsy shop!  Read on for more about what inspires Kamryn Kay and directions on how to enter!

a. Give us your one minute bio.
Born in the small town of Oakfield, WI, I was raised by a hard working farm family who instilled the importance of a good work ethic, value of a job well done, and encouraged my interest in art and learning. After attending the University of Wisconsin Fond du Lac and then graduating from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, I began my business, Permanent Baggage, a line of eco-friendly handbags and accessories.

b. What made you decide to start your own business and how did you get it going?
Permanent Baggage began as a public art project my senior year at MIAD. The intention was to create awareness about overconsumption and its effects on the environment by providing an eco-friendly alternative to plastic grocery bags. The idea was to create a whole bunch of reusable grocery sacks, heap them into a pile in the middle of a public park, and just give them away to people. Sadly, the project never really got off the ground. I quickly realized that creating a ” heaping pile” took a whole heap of time! But there was interest in my bags, and the mission behind it, so I continued to dabble in the venture.

Turning Permanent Baggage into a business has been a slow build. After school I worked a full-time job that wasn’t very fulfilling but paid the bills and allowed me to make my bags on the side. They evolved from reusable grocery sacks to haute eco-friendly handbags and I started getting into art shows and consignment boutiques. When the recession hit, I found myself unemployed so I made more bags, applied to more art shows, and set up an Etsy shop. After months of endless job applications and unsuccessful interviews, I was feeling pretty discouraged about finding “work”. Then one day I decided to give up trying to find a crutch job that would be there just in case I didn’t have the guts to see this through and I took the leap of faith. I met up with Mary Gordon – a fantastic local graphic designer who helped me with my branding, organized my mission statement, legally organized Permanent Baggage into an L.L.C., and set to work. I’m now in seven consignment locations, display at numerous fairs through out the year, have an online shop, and plans to grow!

c. Three things that inspire you:
1. Nature – I’m deeply inspired by and have a great respect for nature. I think because of the bags’ repurposed nature they inherently give props to the earth but I also try to sneak it in through their titles or embellishments.
2. The Artist Lifestyle – I’m driven by the desire to live an artist’s lifestyle – the freedom and joy of being able to do what you love.
3. Repurposed Materials – I’m always working with something new and exciting, whether a fantastic piece of vintage French lace, a gritty gray jumper from the 80′s, or cobalt blue leather scraps. Color, texture, and story are my great loves and the constant change of materials keeps my work fresh and interesting.

d. What’s in your tool kit?
My number one tool is my MacBook! Whether answering emails, listening to music, or editing photos, it’s next to me 90% of the time. I couldn’t live without my favorite coffee mug by Jessie Schroeder-Voss. And also my Omni-Grid and rotary cutter – nothing like a good precise cut.

e. What other DIY/crafty things do you do?
I made handmade paper boxes for Atomic Chocolates, a local chocolate artisan. I made molds to cast the paper pulp into so I could easily fold and assemble the boxes without doing a lot of cutting. The hand-molded dried paper was embellished with sewing stitches, lace, satin, bows, and a card. They were these perfect little packages. I really enjoyed making them and the delicious rewards.

Enter to Win!

To enter, simply check out the Permanent Baggage Etsy shop and then leave a comment here telling us which wristlet is your favorite. We’ll select a winner at random on Friday. Good luck!

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HAP in Outpost Exchange Magazine

Thanks to Liz, Janet and the wonderful folks at Outpost Natural Foods who featured HAP in the May issue of Outpost Exchange! We’re happy to see other people are as excited as we are about the “rebirth of the domestic goddess” and all the benefits that come with it. Check out the preview on the Outpost Blog or the full article on Third Coast Digest and if you’re in Milwaukee, head over to Outpost and pick up a free copy!

Outpost Exchange cover

PS: Thanks as always to Michael Coates for providing us with a cover-worthy photo!

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GIVEAWAY!: Organic, Shaken & Stirred Cocktail Book

Here at HAP, we’re pretty big on finding ways to be sustainable, budget-friendly and fabulous all at once. So with Earth Day coming up on Thursday, we’re dishing up a full week of earth-friendly posts and we’re kicking things off with a great GIVEAWAY!

One lucky reader will win a copy of Organic, Shaken and Stirred by Paul Abercrombie, which is full of delectable cocktail recipes featuring organic ingredients and organic alcohols. To enter, just leave a comment telling us one thing you’re doing this year to be more eco-conscious and we’ll pick a winner this Friday.

Organic, Shaken & Stirred, Organic Cocktail Recipes

Paul also gave us the insider scoop on extending organic from your plate to your glass and a sneak-peek at one of the recipes in his book (which sounds perfect for a summer BBQ!):

1. Give us your one minute bio.
I first became interested in mixology – beyond the teenage tippler’s sloshing rum into a half-empty can of Coke – during a trip to Italy. My then-girlfriend-now-wife Gail and I happened into the beautiful lobby bar of the Grand Hotel in Florence and asked the bartender to suggest a drink. “Negroni”, he said. At the first sip, we were hooked. Pleasingly bitter and sweet and tart all at once, Negroni was a revelation. For months after it was pretty much our house cocktail.

Of course, this was the only grownup drink I knew how to make. I began to seek out recipes new and old, and fresher, better-tasting ingredients for cocktails. Eventually, I connected with West Coast mixologists who were among the first to emphasize organic fruits, vegetables, and even spirits in their cocktails. As soon as I tasted these drinks, I was hooked all over again.

2. How did you get interested in organic cocktails and what inspired you to write a book?
My interest in organic cocktails was in many ways an extension of my interest in organic foods. As organic and farm-fresh foods began to take off some years ago, I noticed a disconnect at restaurants. Here you’d sit, enjoying a delicious meal of fresh, in-season foods, yet in the cocktail glass you’d be served the same pre-fab cocktail mix with Day-Glo cherry colored ingredients. I wondered why people didn’t care as much about what’s in your glass as what’s on your plate. Luckily, I began to run into mixologists such as Scott Beattie and H. Joseph Ehrmann who were already leading the charge to bring the kitchen into the bar. I began reaching out to them (read: pestering them). Soon it was a minor obsession.

3. Organic is a hot health topic but alcohol is not exactly “healthy” per se. Are there any health benefits to buying organic booze? Are they offset by the alcohol?
True…booze, organic or not, is still booze. You’re not going to be healthier if the 11 daiquiris you drank last night were organic. Still, as with food, the advantages of avoiding alcohol made with pesticides, fertilizers or fungicides are manifold. Though spirits are distilled – which, it’s argued, cleans the potentially toxic “junk” out of the mix – experts argue that organically grown grain has a better cell structure and that its natural microorganisms encourage the process of fermentation. Let’s face it: organic growing methods are healthier for growers, more sustainable and just plain taste better. (Oh, and most fans swear that organic cocktails are a recipe for more humane hangovers.)

4. What’s your favorite “ingredient” to use when making cocktails?
I’m really enjoying playing with organic ingredients typically found on plates or soup bowls – like rosemary, ginger and carrots. The sweetness and “carrotness” of an organic carrot is amazing.

5. For the home bar, what are 3 key bar tools and 3 key ingredients one should always have on hand?
Without a doubt, my can’t-live-without bar gizmo is my OXO Good Grips Mini Angle Measuring Cup, which allows you to accurately measure ingredients without having to crank your head sideways to check your measure. Also, a good old-fashioned hand lemon/lime juicer. And ice. Don’t skimp on the ice!

With only three ingredients – an alcohol, sweetener and some form of fresh citrus – you can make any number of sours, a foundational category of cocktail that’s sort of the equivalent of rock songs built on three chords. Simple, but great. For example, a margarita is tequila, agave nectar and lime juice. A daiquiri is rum, simple syrup and lime juice.

Once you get the hang of sours, introduce new ingredients such as elderflower liqueur or muddling in an herb. Don’t be afraid to deviate from recipes. If you like more or less sour or sweet in a drink, that’s the right way to make the drink – for you.

Spiked Blueberry Thyme Lemonade Organic Cocktail

Spiked Blueberry-Thyme Lemonade
8 organic blueberries
4 springs organic lemon thyme
3/4 oz simple syrup*
1 1/4 oz organic vodka (such as Reyka, Square One or Prairie Vodka)
1 oz spring water
1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
1/2 oz yellow Chartreuse

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blueberries, 3 thyme sprigs and simple syrup until blueberries are mashed.  Add vodka, water, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and Chartreuse.  Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously.  Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and garnish with the remaining thyme sprig.

* To make simple syrup, combine 1 C organic sugar with 8 oz water in a small saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove from heat and cool.  Syrup can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to a month.

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DIY Beauty with Grace & Ivy

When we were little, my sister and I used to play bath shop, a game which involved taking all of the lotions and nail polishes around the house, blending them into new concoctions and re-selling them to our mom. So naturally my love for homemade beauty products kicked in when I came across Grace & Ivy’s blog and beauty goods. I’m REALLY excited to have Ivy sharing her tips and a DIY recipe with us today.  It’s like playing bath shop…only better!

DIY Beauty Ingredients

DIY Beauty Products with Grace & Ivy
1. Give us your one minute bio.
An artist at heart, I was an interior designer before mommy-hood and got my BFA at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota. Creating things – whether a room, a meal, or a painting – is something I thrive on.

I began the adventure of making my own products in the third year of being a stay-at-home mom. I loved being with my daughter but my brain craved a new challenge. Nap time and the rainy afternoons in Portland gave me the perfect opportunity to explore a new endeavor. When I became interested in creating my own line of skin care products, my husband encouraged me and so began my in-depth research on just how I was going to do that.

2. What made you decide to start your own business and how did you get it going?
I began looking into product ingredients after reading the back of a baby lotion bottle one day. Suspicious of all the ingredients I couldn’t identify, let alone pronounce, I began researching and was horrified by all the petrochemicals and preservatives I was slathering on my daughter…and myself.

Since then I’ve devoured books on crafting skin and body care products, herbal encyclopedias and aromatherapy guides. After a lot of trial and error and very messy kitchen counters, I created a line of skin and body care products that I use every day on myself and my family. Having the opportunity to now sell these products has brought me much joy and inspiration

3. What is your favorite “ingredient” to use when making DIY beauty goods?

I love, love, love to make sugar scrubs and masks. I’m not sure if my reverence for honey began after reading the “Secret Life of Bees” but I really do find it a fascinating and powerful product. It has such amazing healing properties and the fact that it is made by fuzzy little yellow and black bees makes me love it even more. Don’t get me started, I can go on and on about honey…

4. What are 3 beauty products that you couldn’t live without?
Three constant stars in my beauty regimen are my oat and honey cleanser (yes more honey), my oat and herb scrub and my green tea night cream. The cleanser is pure and simple and leaves my skin feeling soft and cleans. The oat scrub, I use once a week, to gently exfoliate and the green tea night cream always soothes my skin, which gets pretty dry by the end of the day.

5. “Going green/organic” is a popular topic with home and beauty products these days. For someone looking to start making the switch to natural products, what would be the first items you would recommend that they swap out?
I would start with the products you use the most on your skin. The ones you leave on, like moisturizers and makeup. These products are readily absorbed into the body, thus seeping toxins in.

As for home cleaning…check out my simple recipes for an all purpose counter/glass cleaner and my favorite dishwashing detergent. They cost pennies to make and reduce toxins in our water and air.

6. HAP blogger Stef is a new mom and you have a little one of your own. What kinds of products work best for babies and their sensitive (and soft!!) skin? Will you be doing a baby line or are your products already baby-safe?

A baby’s skin is highly sensitive and very delicate, so pure, simple products should be used. Avoid mineral oils, petroleum jelly and synthetically scented products.

I recently read that babies in this country are born with more than 200 toxins in their bloodstream, most of which have been passed through the mother via pollution, processed foods, medications, over-eating, cellular waste, and stress. Yikes! Why would we want to add to this?

Grace & Ivy is preparing to launch our Baby line this Spring. It will feature a Lavender & Chamomile baby wash and Baby lotion among other items, which are safe and relaxing for baby. I’m really excited about this line and love using these on myself and my daughter.

7. Some of your combos sound so delicious…do you ever have to restrain from sneaking a taste of your products?

When using such natural ingredients, like honey, brown sugar & cinnamon I have been very tempted to lick the bowl. However, as my husband can attest to…(he tried one of my first sugar scrubs thinking I was baking something)…olive oil, sea salt and sugar don’t taste all that good together…

Grace & Ivy DIY Beauty Products

Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipe:
With the warmer months ahead, it’s a great time to start rejuvenating your skin. I like to use a sugar scrub for this very reason. Grapefruit and rosemary essential oils help refine, detox and relieve congestion in the skin, creating a smoother appearance. The sugar is a natural exfoliate and the honey is a great humectant, which helps retain moisture. I use sweet almond oil for this recipe but you could substitute it with jojoba, olive or even avocado oil.

Grapefruit & Rosemary Sugar Scrub
½ cup organic white sugar
¼ cup sweet almond oil
1 TBSP organic honey
12 drops grapefruit essential oil
6 drops rosemary essential oil**
**If pregnant do not add the rosemary essential oil, instead replace with lavender.

Directions:
To the sugar slowly add the oil, mixing to a consistency you like. You may need less or more oil depending on what texture you prefer. I aim for a paste like consistency. Add the honey and mix thoroughly. Lastly add the essential oils and give a final stir.

This will provide enough sugar scrub for 1-2 applications. Store the scrub in an airtight container in your fridge. It should last a week. Stir up before use and use caution – the oil may make your tub/shower slick.

The result: Super smooth, soft and glowing skin!

Homemade Sugar Scrub Face Scrub

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