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Thursday, October 30, 2014

engagement photos: isla y mar

Session Dos: engagement photos with D.S. Photography. Just because I think we're cute! Thanks to Duane for the use of his colorful boat and Renee for letting us borrow her paddleboard. Cheers to love! Evan and I will very soon (Sunday) be leaving for a scientific conference in Barbados. Get ready for lots of Instagram pics of this gorgeous new-to-me island, and some blog posts thereafter! Check Facebook and follow the trip virtually!
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

diy: passport security

As the month concludes, I'm sharing another upcycling DIY inspired by Real Simple Magazine's challenge to readers to find new unique ways to repurpose common household items. Let's review the DVD box. We probably trash these, or have thousands of them somewhere completely unorganized. But why not take advantage of that and utilize them for something other than dust collectors and trophies for your ever-changing interests in movie genres. Enter: passport security. 

Especially if you have a larger family, each with passports you want to keep safe and secure. Everyone picks their favorite movie, tucks the passport inside, and places the DVD back on the shelf, or back into your cultured pile. Hey, if there is a method to your madness then more power to you. Of course, you'll need to obviously remember which movies you did this with - but at least your passport won't just be mindlessly left inside a purse, stashed in a drawer or neatly tucked away in the oh-so-obvious passport organizer clutch. The idea is for security, naturally. I mean, who breaks into a house nowadays and goes for the DVD stash? That's like saying, hey let's steal all these VHS tapes and 8-tracks. What with Netflix, Hulu and online downloading to all our devices, when was the last time you actually bought a DVD? Be serious. 

Ok, I will be serious though. I have a stash of The Office DVDs next to my nightstand, because we watch a couple episodes every night (yup, all seasons even the last two). I would never think to hide my passport in this collection, because clearly it's a valuable treasure to me and everyone wants to get their hands on all seasons of The Office. But maybe that Jaws DVD..... who hasn't seen that a million times? No one would be interested in taking it... Of course, this is completely subjective, but again be serious.

So next time you look at that pile of DVDs resting neatly next to your TV, computer, bookshelf, kitchen island.. start to evaluate their potential as home security devices. You're welcome.
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Monday, October 27, 2014

cameron & natalie

So you may have read that I recently spent some time in Texas. My little brother got married, and I was thrilled to have had the chance to make it home for this occasion. It was a beautiful little backyard wedding, were the couple was surrounded by friends and family. The night was special, and I captured a few shots to memorialize it. 

So allow me to be honest. I never thought my little brother would get married before me. I have been in a couple long term relationships, dated here and there, while he didn't really date at all, except his now wife. In fact, she and I both recall when I told her that I knew he would end up marrying his first girlfriend. I'm thankful it happened. And I don't care about our order :)

But the funny thing is this. He proposed to her on June 22. About 6 months later, Evan proposes to me. They get married on October 11. Six months later, we will get married. Totally didn't plan it that way - they wanted a fall wedding, we wanted a spring wedding. Just funny the connection, right!?

Anyways, it was a beautiful ceremony and reception and the most adventurous part was their trip back to Puerto Rico with us to honeymoon. They had a great time and I hope they'll return again!

Monday, October 20, 2014

DIY: 5 ways to repurpose a shot glass

Upcycling: (v.) the process of turning something old into new again. This month, Real Simple challenged readers to repurpose several common household items. One of those was the trusty shot glass. Did you collect these at one point? Maybe in your wild and crazy college days and now you have a shrine in your cabinet to memories you may want to just leave behind? Okay, I'm not speaking from experience (lies), but I figured these would be a great place to start with that repurposing challenge! 

Here are your five unique options: 
1 | Store Q-tips in them, either out on the counter in the bathroom for guests, or in your cabinet for easy reach

2 | Use them to clean your  makeup or paintbrushes

3 | Store your beach finds, like seaglass, in them and then line your window sill of a brightly lit room 

4 | Sprout seeds in them in the window, or plant a succulent that doesn't need much water or space

5 | Fill with water and add a couple drops of essential oil for a subtle fragrance at your desk 

What other ways have your upcycled your shot glasses? Share your ideas below, and then send them to newusescontest@realsimple.com for a chance to win $100 and to be featured in the magazine! 
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

inspired by rachel carson

Rachel Carson was an inspiration to science and an incredibly influential woman, way before her time in writing, biology and protection for our planet. She pledged her life to environmental conservation, which sparked a movement that led to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a woman in science - a marine biologist living and working in a man's career - she inspires me like no other scientist.

Rachel Carson was a fisheries biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife, but was perhaps most well known for her incredible nature writings. She authored several books including the infamous Silent Spring , which alerted the American public to the dangers of pesticides and fertilizers leeching into our ground waters, poisoning our fields, animals, and ourselves. Her book was met with opposition from chemical manufacturers, and many fought to hush her attempt at public awareness of these environmental issues. Luckily for us, someone was listening, which is why DDT has now been banned, amongst several other chemical pesticides that were once deemed suitable for human contact.

I won't delve into the science behind her discoveries, but if you have the chance to pick up Silent Spring and give it your full attention, then take a gander. This book was an eye opener in the 1950s, and is quite a page turner even now as you take a look back at what we did(not) know about what our human impact has on the world around us.

Photos: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

giveaway: holdfast outfitters

Have you ever found yourself searching for the right style of comfortable all-day shirt? A soft feel, an attractive look, something to wear at all hours of your casual day? Often times with teaching yoga, I'm always looking for a shirt that's not too tight, that breaths and that I can basically just throw over a sports bra and head out. So you can imagine my delight when stumbling upon Holdfast Outfitters, because that's exactly what they make: apparel for the outdoorsy man and woman who may be required to spend some time inside too (that pretty much describes me, and probably most of you readers too!)

So I put their shirts to the test - I wear them to my yoga practices, I wear them out paddleboarding, hiking and to work (the occasional indoors). They hold up great in the wash, the colors remain solid and the prints are high quality. This shark tooth top is one of my favorites, naturally. I follow them on Instagram for some outdoor wanderlusting, and I love to check out their Facebook so I can be one of the first to know when new styles and prints are available.

Roots in outdoor adventure, a small brand company started from the ground up, and now a pretty awesome shop taking off online! These guys know what's up! So Holdfast Outfitters would love to offer you the chance to win $50 to their shop so you can also stock up on some sweet shirts, sweatshirts, hats and supplies!

The giveaway is open to all readers, and will last until Oct. 21! You have one week to enter and spread the word!  Good luck!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 6, 2014

travel: new hampshire

That's right, I went up north. Believe it or not, I ventured out to New England yet again. This is now only the second time I've ever been past Virginia on the East Coast. And it was beautiful! With Sophie in tote, we flew up to Lake Winnipesaukee for Evan's cousin's wedding. It was a gorgeous event, right on the water, with such emotional ties to the location for both the bride and groom - I loved it. We arrived a couple days early, so we spent some time exploring the area, which was just starting to turn into Autumn. The little town of Wolfeboro was quaint and pet friendly; we found a craft beer store (had to bring some brews back, naturally), a little hippie store where I found this, and a couple cute coffee shops where I discovered this new-to-me book. We walked around an antique car and boat show, hiked for a couple hours, and spent time with his family.

The couple were blessed with a perfect weather weekend for their wedding, and we got lucky with the "warm" clothes we packed, considering we practically didn't have anything that would be warm enough if it was as chilly as the New England I expected.

So, Good Morning Monday! This week, Evan, Sophie and I pack up  yet again but this time we head to Texas for my brother's wedding. I'll have a couple inspiring posts + a pretty sweet giveaway to share with you while I'm gone, so stay in touch!
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

the conundrum of the yoga selfie

I have debated writing this post for a few weeks now. I've thought about how to put this into words, how to express what I really feel about this subject.. and it turns out, I'm not entirely sure how I do feel about it. Maybe it's because I'm still new to the yoga teacher community, or maybe I struggle with balancing my personal practice and personal growth with my passion for teaching and inspiring others to try yoga. 

I started out strong, sharing photos of myself trying new poses on Instagram right after finishing my teacher training. I was confident, I was self assured and I had learned to love my body no matter its shape, tone or flexibility. I was on a yoga high, just thrilled with my new outlook on life and enthusiastic about sharing it with others. I was constantly scouring Pinterest and my fellow yogi Instagramers for inspiration, never feeling turned off that they were able to do something beautifully that I was still working on. I know this is a practice, not a perfect. I know yoga is a personal journey of spiritual, mental and physical growth. I am not bothered by seeing others strongly and proudly displaying their skills via social media. Why is that? Because yoga taught me more than just how to take care of my mind and body - it taught me something about living in the present too and loving without boundaries. But I'm torn in how I want to proceed in the manner of which I share my passion of yoga, particularly after reading this very intriguing article on the topic of the "yoga selfie" - a perspective I had not considered in the slightest. There was later a rebuttal article in defense of the selfie. But I'm still torn. Here's why:

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