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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:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

roam: pacific northwest

Some of my favorites from roaming the Pacific Northwest - in particular, the Redwood Forest and the Pacific coastline in California. Evan and I have such an itch to get back here again. I loved California and Oregon. I've since visited both states again, post-roadtrip 2012, but not in the same fashion as this trip. 

Roaming through the great outdoors is my favorite way to experience a new place. Evan and I both agree that we could happily live in the PNW... if only the water were warmer. I suppose there's a tradeoff everywhere, but that one is almost a total deal breaker for us.

My favorite part of the Pacific coastline was the succulents. The colors were so vibrant. I loved how their seemingly feeble bodies clung to the edge of the cliff sides, taking a beating from the salt air, but still continuing to thrive. Such life!

I collected so many sand dollars from these gray and black shores. This is also where we joined a couple close friends and their son for what we didn't know would end up being our last time all together on this earth. I have such fond memories with Evan here, and fond memories with our friends spent camping, enjoying a pizza in little Crescent City, and chasing their son along the beach. This is where I discovered how precious life is, without even knowing it at the time.
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Friday, September 26, 2014

meet n greet: homegrown collective

My favorite mail order box yet! When I first discovered the Homegrown Collective, I knew I had found the perfect solution to homesteading in Puerto Rico. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to find all natural products, and in many cases I didn't even know what I could make at home to substitute. Until I met Mitchell Rose of the Homegrown Collective! Mitchell reached out to me to sample and review one of their GREEN boxes, so I gladly shared my experiences with the DIY laundry kit (here, here and here) and now I'm thrilled to have them back and sponsoring the Three Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

The Homegrown Collective gives back and supports environmental awareness by providing their members with products that foster self-sufficiency, environmental stewardship and sustainability. Their goal was to make green living more accessible and more fun! How can you not want to try these guys?? Some examples of their past boxes include: Home Remedies & Cure AllsThe Beauty of Coconuts | DIY Detox in a Box to name a few.

I had so much fun learning how to create my own laundry care products with their box, that I've since then completely switched to all natural fabric softener (ahem.. white vinegar, that's it) and have been inspired to seek other ways to green my laundry experience (like, all natural environmentally friendly stain remover). I have nothing but great things to say about the Homegrown Collective and I'm so happy to have connected with such a great group inspiring others to live sustainably! Want to try your own box? Check them out here.
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

photography: bali experience

Evan and I decided not to hire a photographer in Florida to snap some photos on the beach at our wedding after party - because we have several friends who will be there with great cameras and great talent. We instead will take that idea to Bali and let a pro detail our honeymoon experience for a day. I started browsing some options online and came across the talented trio behind Gusde Photography.

Their photos come to life with that dreamy feel that I just love soo much. And we both just want to capture every little bit of this experience in as much color, detail and vibrancy as we can muster. Since neither of us are pros behind the camera, we wanted to step back and put it in someone else's hands - just for a day. 

We're also going to try to find someone to dive with us in Bali and shoot photos underwater too. We still, to this day, have no underwater photos of us diving. None. And talk about color in the Pacific Ocean!? Gorgeous! I'm wanderlusting thinking about my own honeymoon in the not-so-far-off-future!

So I've contacted this group to acquire about a session. Perhaps they'll know an underwater photographer too. Fingers crossed!
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