For Her

happymothersday
Hey Mom,
You are a strong, beautiful, and kind woman who is always trying to be better for her family and herself. You are there for me, have always been there for me, and I want you to know I am here for you too. Today is meant for mothers, but I will be celebrating too – because you might have got me, but I got you!
-Katie

Happy Mother’s Day!
You know I’m not one for buying cards, so this year we did something a little different. Not pictured here is the mud we had to walk through and the wind that nearly blew our signs away. If it’s the thought that counts, I hope it shows. Have a great Mother’s Day, Mom! I’ll call ya soon, but until then, I love you!
-Michael

happymothersday
(Click this one to enlarge!)

Levitation

IMG_9547sit
IMG_9566You know what’s fun? Defying gravity.
Just kidding. There is no levitation going on in the above images, just some trick photography. Anybody with a camera, chair, and photoshop skills can achieve the same look. Don’t believe me? Check out this tutorial or this one. Actually, for the last photo you’ll also need some core strength. My abs were pretty sore after that one. The lengths I go to for a cool a picture! Who am I kidding? It was totally worth it.

katie

Our Time to Realign

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Mike and I decided to take this summer off. No work, no school, just rest, relaxation, and reflection. I’m a big proponent of self-care, and I honestly think this is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for ourselves. After graduation, we were both burnt out. We knew we needed to take some time off to get healthy – mind, body, and soul.

With the freedom I have allowed myself this summer, I have had a lot of time to think. Quiet contemplation and introspection has led me to examine my life and the ways in which I interact with the world. I’ve taken time to identify the values important to me, and my relationships with others, nature, and material goods. I’ve developed a sort of personal mission statement or manifesto. One that helps me remember what is important to me, and the impact I’d like to have on this world.

One of the (many) things I took away from this exercise was that I wasn’t happy with the relationship I had to material things. There was too much mindless consumption, too much spending/use without connection, too much baseless desire (which often fed into jealousy and unhappiness). I shared my thoughts with Mike, and he felt a lot of the same things I did. We had long conversations about sustainability, community, and living a more mindful life. What is this all leading up to, you ask? Good question.

You’ll see some changes on the bar and bean as we move towards realigning our life with our values. Expect more of a focus on homemade, handmade, and local (we already do this to some extent, but we’d like to do so even more). We promise things won’t get preachy. This isn’t a platform for us to tell anyone how to live their life. You do you. All we’d like to do is share our journey.

We’ve got lots of ideas and plans, like transitioning to from-scratch bread, roll, and pastry baking, urban foraging, meat and fish curing, beer brewing, furniture building, wool sock knitting, etc, etc, etc.

Ambitious? You betcha. Worth a shot? We certainly think so.

katieplusmike

Coffee & Cats

Coffee and cats. Is there a better way to start the day?
The little black and white cat is a newbie around here. He’s a 6 month old kitty we’re fostering from Heavenly Creatures. Der, our resident senior, is showing him the ropes. We call him Toonces (based on this SNL sketch we love). Toonces, you’re fitting in just fine.

katie

An Update

Whoa. Its been awhile. A long while. Sorry about that. The bar and bean have been busy, really busy. Since our last post, we’ve crammed for exams, wrote final papers, graduated, apartment hunted, moved, and trucked our stuff (and ourselves) over the ocean. We’re still not settled yet, but we wanted to check in. Our new place is lovely and we can’t wait to show you around. We’re no longer Haligonians, but St. Johner’s (or “Townies,” in the local vernacular). We’ve finally found the little downtown apartment near the water we’ve dreamed about. Here we plan to make some changes, to lead a simpler, more sustainable and community-minded life. From building our own bookcases and tables to growing herbs, making cheese, and brewing our own beer, it’s going to be fun – we hope you stick around.

katieplusmike

Lately

We’re only a few months in to 2014, but here’s how we’ve been spending it so far…

1// scoring vintage finds – like this 1930s era jacket
2// cooking up vegan tofu peanut bowls
3// taking ferry trips
4// snuggling this lil’ guy
5// waking up with the sun
6// enjoying the most important meal of the day

mike

Bicycling

About a week ago Mike and I decided to each buy a new bike. We’ve wanted to take up biking for a while now, especially since we live so close to a good biking trail. The pictures above are of my bike, a vintage navy “Free Spirit” complete with basket (and a bit of rust). Although it took me a while to get used to this style of bike (the gears are controlled by a lever in the middle of the handlebars, which I’m not used to), I really love it.

This morning before sunrise Mike and I climbed sleepily out of bed and went for our first official ride. It was tough at times, but also totally rewarding and invigorating. Hopefully the weather will stay mild enough so that we can get lots more bike trips in this fall!

katie