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Change of seasons means a change in our routines. Some of the changes are really big. For those with children, the entire routine of the day and evening changes to school and fall sports schedules, and overlapping plans. Some of us even change homes and look forward to spending the colder months in a warmer climate. But routines change in smaller ways, too, that aren’t quite so obvious. We change our diets – the cold salads that got us through summer change to pots of stew and soup that warm the kitchen. Clothes change. Beauty routines change as we come in from the humidity and sun to a drier home. Cleaning and tidying changes – we are putting away the outdoor furniture and moving indoors, and the opening of school means keeping up with the clutter that schoolwork and projects bring in. So we are going to Routines and Things…

Nona Nielsen-Parker is the Production Manager at Atwater’s — known around Baltimore for their signature soups, salads and sandwiches made with ingredients from local farms. Vegan Chilled Gazpacho, Summer Corn & Chicken, Atwater’s Parmesan & Tomato…. Is your mouth watering, yet? Want the secrets to Atwater’s deliciousness? Nona dished five tips for amazing soup with us… Don’t Just Chop the Veggies. Roast all or some of the vegetables before adding them into the soup.Use Homemade Stocks. They’re easy to make and it doesn’t matter which one you use as your base: chicken, beef, vegetable, mushroom.Time Your Herbs. Add dry herbs at the beginning, fresh herbs at the end.Salting and Peppering is a Process. Salt and Pepper in each step, only add salt at the end if needed.Make in Advance. Make soups 1 or 2 days ahead. If it sits, it’s better. Nona kindly shared two delicious vegan fall soup recipes…

Do you know how Labor Day started and became a national holiday? It was started by labor unions in the late 1800s to celebrate the contributions and achievements of American workers. But in the late 1800s, conditions for American workers were deplorable – they had little to celebrate with long work weeks, poor sanitation, dangerous conditions, no job security, and low wages. One woman made a profound impact on worker’s rights in the 1930s and 40s: Frances Perkins.

The summer is ending with a challenging week. Changing to a “familiar, but not so familiar” back-to-school schedule (but it’s so wonderful to see all the posts of smiling kids in their 1st day outfits). The weather threw curves at us. And for some, September 1st means a return to offices for the first time in a year and a half. We are all totally due for a relaxing holiday weekend, and we have found the perfect accompaniment… BOOZY POPSICLES! Ice pops, made with your favorite fruits and drinks, but turned into an adult version with the added kick of your favorite alcohol. HOW TO MAKE THEM: So easy! Puree all the ingredients in a blender, except alcohol. Make sure all your fruit pieces are completely pureed; lumps of fruit will freeze into small rocks. Add the alcohol and use a funnel to pour the mixture into freezable bags. Freeze…

We love when style and great causes meet — so when Mark and Graham launched their new Pendleton pet collection, it caught our attention! The retro vibes — classic Pendleton design– are inspired by National Parks. As Mark and Graham write on their site: The National Park Pet Collection helps support Pendleton’s efforts to protect and restore the national parks we all love through their partnership with the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of collection items will be donated to the National Park Foundation. Great cause and some pretty great canine style! View the collection here.

The local peach crop is in and this is one of the sweetest crops we can remember – can’t get enough of them! Chilled or grilled, baked, blended or puréed, they work in salads, entrées and desserts. We love this combination of fruits and veggies for a refreshing summer salad. Summer Peach, Berry and Feta Salad with Maple Dressing Dressing:1 T maple syrup¼ C olive oil3 T balsamic vinegar½ t kosher salt½ t ground black pepper Salad:4 fresh peaches, halved and pitted3 T maple syrup8 C spring mix salad greens½ C Feta cheese, crumbled½ C cherry tomatoes, halved (if desired — we definitely say yes!)½ C blueberries or blackberries Optional: ½ C pecans, toasted and chopped Brush peach halves with 3 T of the maple syrup and grill on a well-greased grill for 8 minutes or until tender. Turn frequently. Cool and cut each half into wedges.Whisk together all dressing…

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