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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

in love with Avasol

I have been wanting to highlight this brand for a while now, and I'm thankful I found the time over the weekend to take some photos and showcase their amazing all natural sunscreen. Have you guys heard of Avasol before? I was first introduced to them from Capt. Liz Clark's instagram feed - a wonderfully adventurous woman with the ocean in the core of her being. If there was anyone I would take sunscreen advice from, it is this woman. So naturally, being an islander now, I am always looking for better sunscreen options being as it has become part of my [sometimes] daily beauty routine.  

I was impressed, and I'm sold. I will never purchase another face stick again from any other company. Avasol has me by the curly, salty ponytail. Besides offering two tinted face sticks (see last photo; "dark" is on your left, and the regular "tan" is on your right), they also have full body sunscreen too. That's next on my list to try. But first, you are going to want to know why this brand is so spectacular. 

It could be because of their biodegradable packaging - each sunscreen stick is inside a cardboard tube. Or maybe their natural mineral ingredient list - coconut oil, zinc oxide, rosemary extract, beeswax... Or perhaps that all these factors make it ocean safe, people safe and eco friendly? Water resistant for 80 minutes - this is all I wear when paddleboarding and after 2 hours in the full sun, still no burn or color on the face. Protected = beautiful. 

One other thing I love. This is a small company, based in Santa Barbara, CA. That's shopping local for some of you, but at least for me it's shopping genuine, authentic and supporting companies seeking to do the best thing for people and the planet. Much love to these guys. Try them out, you won't be disappointed!
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

DIY: surf fin art

Last weekend, I hosted an art workshop after my yoga class: Frill the Fin . Each person brought their surf fins, and then we used paint pens to doodle and decorate the fins to our tastes. This was such a fun way to add some color and vibrancy to a part of the board that gets overlooked. There are several companies who have realized this, and started producing gorgeous fins like Island Fin Design. However, if you're not one to spend anywhere from $45 to $75 a fin, then try your hand at decorating your own! It was super easy and here's what you need: 

* Posca Paint Pens (or Boardstix), or even Sharpie paint pens - I bought my Posca set from Amazon
* sandpaper, I used 120 grit
* rubbing alcohol and cotton balls
* pencil or sharpie for tracing/sketching
* clear coat spray paint

Start by sanding the fin, both sides if you want to paint on both. Rough it up so that the paint has a surface to adhere to. Then, take a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and clean the fin. This just removes sandpaper dust and other dirt. Let that dry before starting to mark on it. 

With the Posca pens, I noticed that they tend to "bleed" just a little when you draw. So be aware of this when sketching or free-handing because your design will end up looking much bigger than you anticipate. The Posca pens can also be blended very easily - this is my favorite part because I really like to create a bold background of blended color, then draw mehendi designs over that in black and white. Get creative! Take a look at Pinterest for inspiration.... or finspiration heh. 

Have fun! 
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ocean conservation and why you should care: part two

Thanks for reading yesterday, and coming back today for more. It delights me that this topic interests you, and that you can't wait to find out why protecting our ocean will benefit you.

Did you know that the estimated net worth of coral reefs and the ecosystem services they provide is about $29.2 billion/year? I have seen a few examples of figures of this magnitude, but their message is the same. This $h*t is worth protecting. 

Imagine a time you went to a beach (if not a beach, then imagine a time you were mesmerized by marine life in an aquarium or on TV). That beach is pristine, there are white sands, no trash, gorgeous healthy plantlife all around the coastline. You dive into the ocean and you see bright, neon colors of live, vibrant coral reefs. The reef is just alive and full of reef fish, octopus, lobsters, crabs. A world abundant. Now imagine that same beach but this time, it's crowded with people. Each of these people has brought an ice chest and plastic bags full of processed, packaged food. You can't step on the beach without kicking up a cigarette bud, or uncovering a piece of plastic candy wrapper. You gaze at the trees around you, which have been cut down to make space for picnic tables with grills. You make your way to the ocean and dive in - but you don't see coral. You see the cement pilings of a cruise ship dock, you see beer cans and dark dirty water. 

Those are two total extreme situations, but they are reality in many places around the world. Woman biologist, Rachel Carson, warned us of our footprint on the environment, what toxins would do to our water sources, and how that would trickle down to us - for example, traces of DDT being found in breastmilk. Weird science, eh? Okay, so what does this mean to you? Why will caring about ocean conservation benefit you?

Coral reefs provide a number of ecosystem services - things that they naturally do for us. For instance, their durability and strength protects coastlines from hurricanes. They break up the force of waves by blocking that wave energy from reaching the coastline. When we destroy these natural barriers, we become subjected to mother nature's force like no other. Coral reefs hold potential for medicine - corals heal themselves, albeit slowly. Many medicines have been cultivated from what we find in the ocean. They can help us sequester the mass amount of CO2 we are producing. Coral reefs use components of carbon dioxide to build their structures. But if that coral is not alive, obviously this doesn't happen. Corals also provide us employment - fisheries, tourism and recreation. Lately, we've seen a boom in "green" tourism. Eco-tours showcasing the beauty of what we have. But what if we don't have that beauty anymore? People don't want to see trash strewn reefs, reefs with no fish or no coral. What's the point in that? Who is proud of that? 

And you may think, well I don't live on an island or near an ocean so why should I care? Do you enjoy seafood? If yes, then wouldn't you like to still eat seafood when you're much older? Do you want your kids to enjoy seafood? To know what it's like to eat something sustainability harvested from our abundant ocean? Okay, maybe you don't like seafood. Then do you enjoy breathing clean air? Remember that corals help us remove CO2 from the atmosphere, naturally. Even if minimally. The world has a cycle. We work together. Let's not be the kink in the chain. 

I am by no means a dooms day scientist. I don't believe in shoving negative energy down people's throats to get them to care about what I care about. But I do believe in presenting the issue. My view is biased, obviously. You are welcome to your own opinion and I would be thrilled for you to share it with us here! Feel free to leave your comments below.

I hope you learned something interesting! Thanks for reading.
(Art by Mae Chevrette)
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ocean conservation and why you should care: part one

There is this term in science we often use to describe how one generation views the ocean, versus a past generation: shifting baselines. This term was first coined by Daniel Pauly, a renown fisheries biologist who warned us that continuing to fish like we do will undoubtedly lead to overfishing and severe issues for our oceans, and ourselves. He wasn't wrong, that's exactly what happened for several fisheries around the US and the world. Now as we try to climb back out of this hole we've dug ourselves, we've discovered that this "shifting baselines" is a real situation. 

This means that the fisheries, the coral reef ecosystems, the rainforests that we see today is what we refer to as our "baseline". This is what we need to protect, because it's all that we have left. Let's get grim... there is about 10% of live coral reef in the Caribbean. That is amazing right? Can you believe that is all that is left? But imagine if you were a scientist, a diver, a recreational fisher, a surfer, someone who cared, in the 1970s. Your baseline would have been more like 50% live coral (that means that everything else you see that is not alive, is dead and likely covered in macroalgae - a plant that can destroy coral reefs if we don't have herbivorous fish to eat it -- see the cycle??). So in the 70s, if you were concerned about having only 50% of the coral reefs alive and healthy and happy, can you imagine what this generation -- our generation -- must feel about the 10% we see? 

After reading this article, I was inspired to share this with you, not to depress you (although conservation biology is often quite such), but to alert you. I've shared a couple other key articles in the above paragraph too, that all relate to this issue. So what can we do to help? 

First, if you live by an ocean, you can find programs like Surfrider or Mission:Clean Beaches and get involved. They will likely have education programs, beach cleanups and more ways to share this issue with those around you. Education is key! Lack of this knowledge is generally why people throw trash on the ground, leave garbage at the beach, and dump toxic wastes into the ocean. Second, you can also make sure that you're doing everything you can to not leave a footprint: 1) never walk on coral reefs with fins or bare feet, 2.) never anchor or wrap line around living coral, 3.) try to avoid toxic sunscreens or chemicals before snorkeling or swimming in the ocean, 4.) always pick up your garbage when at the beach - and these are just a few, but very helpful ways. 

If you want to get heavily involved, I encourage you to attend public hearings and seminars put on by your local governmental fisheries management councils. These councils usually call hearings for the public to give comments on new fishing regulations. Remember how I said that fishing and coral decline are related? Key player and famous scientist Jeremy Jackson (who I had the privilege to hear at the last Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute conference in Barbados) harps on us scientists to focus our attention to overfishing. He credits overfishing as the leading cause of coral reef decline around the world. So what does that mean to you? Help us promote sustainable fishing practices - encourage locals (especially you islanders!) to leave the parrotfish and other reef-cleaning fishes on the reef. Let the groupers and snappers grow up to reproductive size and contribute to their populations before harvesting. Avoid taking undersized lobsters. All these smart, mindful, sustainable practices will lead to a healthy ecosystem, which in turn will promote coral growth. 

Finally, other ways to promote coral health includes raising the issue of water pollution. Naturally, as a human population, we produce a lot of waste. And where does this waste end up, eventually? Yeah.. the ocean. Sad, right? No way to avoid it. Of course, just think about islands -- the vast majority of an island lives on the coast. Why? Because that's their source of employment, their way of life, it supplies their needs -- shipping, importing/exporting, fishing, tourism. These things produce waste, they lead to polluted waters, they kill corals. Again, help raise this awareness, join a water quality monitoring program, speak to high schools, talk to your local representatives about checking up on industries responsible. Yes, this means you have to stand up and speak loudly. Anyone can do this! If you live by a river, this applies to you. If you have a lake in your town, this applies to you! If you live someplace with any water source anywhere, this applies to you. 

And what will you gain? Stay tuned for Part Two tomorrow.
(Art by Mae Chevrette)
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

mermaids & paddling: finding time for you

How blessed can one be to have such amazing people in their life? Is not the most important - and forever lasting - thing in this earthly time truly relationships? I believe so. Friends do come and go, but I believe that you meet certain people in life at exactly the right time. There are no coincidences.

Some of you may know that I recently became a brand ambassador for the boutique paddleboard company, Suplove. Their fast growing reach first started Down Under, but was then moved to California where they currently reside. I cannot say enough good things about this board, and I will share that with you another time. Today, I just want to share about the importance of finding time to unwind (which relates to paddleboarding for me).

That may seem  ironic coming from the girl who lives on a tropical island, but let's not forget that this very same girl is also a graduate student (can I get an Amen?). But for real, when was the last time you took a morning or afternoon off to spend with some good company - other than your spouse? Like.... a ladies day. It's science that women are naturally better at reserving this sacred time, and regularly scheduling it. I think we understand the importance of stepping away from the workplace, even if just for a few minutes. Subconsciously we know it's healthy, so subconsciously we seek it (i.e. flipping through Pinterest scoring travel photos while you daydream at the office). But ladies, let's be honest with ourselves, nothing beats swapping stories with your girlfriends while doing something you all love. 

For us, it's getting outdoors. I met these three beautiful, strong and encouraging women through yoga. Yoga brought us together, now our love for the outdoors and sharing experiences keeps us together. These photos are from a recent paddleboarding excursion on a beautiful day here in Rincon (thanks to Caitlin for all the underwater shots!). We paddled out to a great snorkeling spot, Steps Beach, then jumped in the water and messed around to cool off. Quality time. Time spent in nature, time spent stress free. 

And then how easy is it to truly embrace the beauty of the world around you. You're in the ocean, eyes wide open in the salty water, arms pulling yourself down toward the reef, body and mind working together, legs kicking you back to the surface and your first sight is a gorgeous palm tree lined beach, blue sky and smiles of the people around you. This is being present.

I encourage you to set aside this time. Get outside, go explore. Unwind!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

i want you: to join the team!

I'm putting the call out to all the bloggers, nature lovers, crafters, yogis, bakers and adventure seekers! I'm looking for an enthusiastic blogger to join me here at sea, field & tribe ! This blog has grown tremendously since its first creation, and I need some assistance now. If you can answer YES to the questions below, then send me a message at chelsea(at)seafieldandtribe(dot)com. I look forward to hearing from you!

1 |  Do you enjoy being outside? Do you travel often and love to share your travel stories and photos?
2 | Do you like to cook, bake or experiment with new ways to make wholesome foods, exploring options of sustainability and homegrown cooking?
3 | Do you love to take photos (and rather well too), sharing your thought provoking images with words of wisdom to inspire others?

If you said YES, then I want to hear from you! Experienced bloggers preferred, but anyone is eligible to apply. I want to expand this team to feature several bloggers, so if the response is great then I'll consider adding more than one person right away! There is no deadline, but I'd love to hear from you as soon as you come across this post!
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Saturday, January 10, 2015

new year

This year has started out in full sprint. The holidays blew past me like a whirlwind, with all my time spent wedding planning, diy-ing, constructing, cleaning, organizing and finding times to visit and enjoy family.  I got back to the island just a few days ago, and then started the usual list making of everything I need to do with my research before April. Time flies. My planner is filling. Sometimes I write things down just so I can immediately check them off. Instant gratification.

In just a little under 4 months, Evan and I will be flying back to Texas for our wedding. Two days later, we take off to spend a month long honeymoon in Bali. We. Cannot. Wait. We've done minimal planning for the trip, so far only booking our first six nights on the island. The rest we feel we can handle once we're there. We like the carefree travel style, although I can't say that I have really traveled much that way in the past. I like a plan. Did I mention that I do a lot of planning?

I want to tackle this new year without trying to reinvent myself. I think I'm where I need to be, I know I'm where I want to be, and I think I should really just focus on finishing one thing at a time. Something yoga taught me - stop multitasking, give my full attention to just one thing. One thing. I suppose that can be my resolution for the year? Does anyone else realize how challenging it is to just do one thing at a time?  I know I'm not alone ya'll :)

So back to blogging after another long duration away. I cannot commit to daily posts, but I will commit to weekly posts. As I've said from the beginning, I treat this personal space as a chance to share my findings, collections, recipes, diys, etc - things I do, experience, feel - in an attempt to perhaps reach out to others in the same boat. Life likes company. I like uniqueness, so I won't be sharing random things that don't hold a significant value in some way, just to fill a quota. I hope you can appreciate that. 

So blessings to you all in this year of 2015 - let's enjoy this trip around the sun with gratitude!
(Photo from Vagabond3)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

health & wellness: detox with ginger & turmeric

I love going down to our farmer's market on Sundays and getting myself a delicious vegan burger with organic, homegrown greens from my favorite local farm and then grabbing an ice cold lemon & ginger tea from the stall next door. I love this drink so much so that I've started making it at home (super simple). Then I stumbled upon a different version from Green Kitchen Stories (one of my favorite food blogs), so I wanted to share that with you today. 

Are you aware of the health benefits of ginger and turmeric? Ginger has antibiotic effects and can help digestion, detoxification, infections, inflammation, joint pain, circulation, nausea and motion sickness. Turmeric is a very strong antioxidant and has been used as traditional Ayurvedic medicine throughout history. It is considered a herb that cleanses the whole body, especially the liver. It is used to support digestion, treat fever, infections and inflammations. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and has been proved to have similar effects as anti-inflammatory medicine.

So here is the recipe for one delicious health infused concoction: 

Ginger & Turmeric Honey Bomb
Makes 1/2 cup
1/2 cup / 120 ml honey (prefereble organic unheated)
2-4 tbsp freshly grated ginger (or ground ginger), depending on how strong you prefer
2 tsp ground turmeric (or freshly grated turmeric if you can find it)
1 organic unwaxed lemon, freshly grated zest
2 pinches ground black pepper

What to Do: Stir together all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and add more ginger or turmeric if needed. Aim for a really strong flavor, you’ll only add a few teaspoons to a cup of water. Store the Ginger & Turmeric Honey Bomb in a glass container. Boil a cup of water and let slightly cool (to keep the benefits from the honey intact), stir in a few teaspoons of the honey mixture and drink. You can of course also add this to your favorite brewed tea.

Image & recipe from Green Kitchen Stories, check them out! 
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