New Look, New Label, Same Great Salt!

At one point in the very recent past, I was designing and printing my own labels and going through many trials and tribulations, not to mention ink cartridges!  Then, an angel appeared in my life, in the form of my friend Laura.  We were volunteering at a Surfrider event and I was telling her about my “finding a local printer” woe.  Just so happens, Laura owns a successful line of super cute sandals and accessories, called Cocobelle and works with a great designer.  In enters Katya to rock my world!  Katya created something I didn’t even know I needed and now, I can’t believe what I used to have!  With these new labels, I feel proud to see them sitting on a store shelf.  I feel like Katya completely got me and got the product, then wrapped it all up into this cute this package…

Culinary Salts

Culinary Salts

Scrubs!

Scrubs!

The Farmers Market Line-Up

The Farmers Market Line-Up

Moral of the story, don’t be afraid to give up some control in your life and bring good peeps into your inner circle.

And while you’re at it, check out the uber-cute Cocobelle, like these…

LookBook_2014-2 and these…

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Thanks Laura and Katya!!

xo

A Salty Good Update!

As with most new businesses (and some established ones), there is a learning curve.  And while I have been so lucky/thrilled with how Sea Love has been received, that doesn’t mean it’s been easy.  I am constantly learning something: getting packaging feedback from customers at farmers markets, creating invoices for businesses or learning about evaporation and humidity from the chemistry department at University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

With each “struggle”, I have been fortunate to have people happily get on board the salt train.  From the solar company, to the filter expert, to my label designer extraordinaire (who you will read about in an upcoming post).  I am truly thankful to have a team of really smart, enthusiastic and creative people standing with me.

On that note, thought I’d share some recent pics…

Salt crystals starting to form.  Pretty much music to eyes when I step foot in the salt house.

Salt crystals starting to form. Pretty much music to eyes when I step foot in the salthouse.

Scoopful of salt crystals ready to be harvested.

Scoopful of salt crystals ready to be harvested.

Nigari, a bi-product during the salt process.  Can be used to make cheese and tofu.  Homemade ricotta is happening tomorrow!

Nigari, a bi-product of the salt process. Can be used to make cheese and tofu. Check out our last post involving homemade ricotta!

Sweaty salthouse selfie… 120° inside salthouse and still smiling!

Sweaty salthouse selfie… 120° inside salthouse and still smiling!

to be continued…

xo

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

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As promised, here is the recipe for homemade ricotta cheese. Before you stop reading, just know that it is super simple, as in only three ingredients (and a few tools)!!

I am a huge cheese lover and recently discovered that I can use Nigari instead of the traditional vinegar or lemon juice, as the acid.  What is Nigari, you ask?  Nigari (Japanese for “bitter”) is the mineral-rich mother liquor that remains after salt is extracted from seawater.  It contains sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, and magnesium bromide.  Realizing that you may not have Nigari on hand, unless you live close to me, so the recipe below also includes other acids that can also be used.

What you’ll need:

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk
  • 1 tsp of Sea Love Sea Salt (more to top)
  • 3-5 tbs of Sea Love Nigari (or 3 Tablespoons of white vinegar or 1/4 cup of fresh, strained lemon juice)

Kitchen Tools:

  • thermometer
  • cheese cloth (or kitchen towel)
  • strainer
  • thick bottom, straight-sided pot with lid

What you’ll do:

  1. Pour milk in a heavy bottomed, straight sided pot.  Add 1 tsp of salt and gently stir until dissolved. Heat over medium-high until it reaches 200 degrees.
  2. Add 3 tbs of nigari and stir well with a slotted spoon. You should begin to see the milk curdle. If nothing happens after 20 seconds, add an additional 1/2 tbs of nigari and gently stir. (Add additional nigari as needed by the ½ tbs until the milk curdles…

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  1. Once it begins to curdle, turn off heat, cover the milk and let it sit for 15 minutes to fully separate curds from the whey.
  2. Line a strainer with cheesecloth over a large bowl.  If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Using a slotted spoon move the curds gently into the strainer. Slowly pour the whey through the cheesecloth, careful not to break up the curds.
  4. Gently tie the towel and let the curds drain for 45 minutes.
  5. Eat immediately or refrigerate for up to 5-7 days.

It is delicious warm with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Sea Love Sea Salt.  Also delish dolloped on top of pasta or on in a salad, like here…

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A Tip:  As the cheese is draining, you are draining out whey.  Save this, as there are many ways to use it from feeding plants in your garden, adding additional nutrition to your pet’s meals, smoothies, using it as liquid to cook beans or rice.  If you want more ideas, check here or here.

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Next up: Homemade tofu, using Nigari, of course!

xo

B+W = Perfect Combo

I’m a fan of colors and am not afraid to wear them.  However, the black and white combo is super classic and perfect for any occasion.  Here are my two fave B+W pieces in my closet now:

Day:  L Space Wild Child Top and Boho Bottom Classic Fit  Spend the money, get a good bikini.  It will last longer, it will look better and it will feel like buttah.  Monica Wise knows a woman’s body and combines that with a whole ‘lotta style…

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Night: Mikoh Mavericks Side Slit Maxi Dress (on sale right now on Swell.com, btw) Mikoh should be another addition to your bikini arsenal.  The designer sisters also carry super cute clothes, like this dress…  IMG_4962

I love everything that L Space and Mikoh carry.  Literally.  Treat yourself.  You deserve it.

xo

 

Overcoming Injury

Clickity, Clack, I’m back… at least until the next injury.  Clickity clack has been the noise coming from my back.  I hurt it while putting up my farmers market tent two weeks ago.  Thankfully, after laying in a puddle of tears, the chiropractor husband of a local Wilmington Road Runner met me at his office (during off hours!) and saved me.  I have since seen him twice and am feeling much better, as in pain has gone from a 12 (off the charts) to a 1.  If you are local and in need of chiropractic work, check out LeRay Chiropractor.  He rocks.

Which leads me to my 10-day break from running.  Yesterday was my first run in a week and a half and it was bad.  When I say bad, I mean, I felt every step, I had to remind myself to breathe and I wanted to turn around and go home.  There was no dazing off and coming up with creative ideas in my brain.  There was no room for creative ideas because negative talk filled my brain space.  It was so bad that I almost finished mid-mile, until my OCD thankfully kicked in and made me finish out the full last mile.

Three things helped and I would highly recommend:

  1. Create a running loop vs. and out and back route.  This makes it harder to turn around go home sooner than you want.  It doesn’t hurt if you’re running route is inspiring as well, like here…IMG_4934
  2. Cute running attire.  It was the perfect evening to pull out my new Oiselle shorts.  My Chevrona Distance Shorts are my new fave.  They have a good amount of pockets, are super light, non chaffing and most importantly, have a a super cute chevron pattern.  IMG_4894
  3. Good tunes in my ears.  Some runners are against running with music.  I am far on the other end of the spectrum… unless I’m running with friends, obvi.  Tonight the tunes occasionally helped me forget the personal hell that I was experiencing.  I wasn’t exactly singing out load like I usually do, but that’ll be back soon.
  4. Having something yummy waiting for me at home.  Pizza.  Enough said.

While the first step of my run was just as hard as the last step, I felt so amazing afterwards.   Next up is a 5k race tonight.  Not sure I’m ready for a speed, but not everything worth doing is easy.  Get laced up and go for it.

xo

Inspiration via Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson… forward-thinker, founder of over 200 businesses, philanthropist, animal-lover, elephant-saver, Sea Love inspirer. richard-branson-quotes

Branson was featured on The Today Show talking about his latest book (out today), The Virgin Way.  He couldn’t have come at a better time.  I get so excited about the many ideas swirling around in my brain about growing Sea Love, beyond sea salt, and sometimes I need to just slow down.  One thing at a time.

Branson

Branson may be a billionaire now, but would you believe that he stopped his schooling at age 15 and suffered with dyslexia?!  Not a single business class or college degree.  Just a whole ‘lotta creativity, motivation and good peeps surrounding him.  If you need a bit of inspiration on starting a business, following a dream, having more fun, check out one of his bad-ass books. Or go see him in space, for that matter.

xo