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Thursday, September 18, 2014

roam: puerto rico

I love living here. This island has an abundance of natural beauty, and in some cases it seems so untouched by human hands. I feel like I have walked back in time to moments before humans populated the earth, in the stillness of the world around me I can almost feel in complete solitude in with nature. I know it is unlikely that I will be here forever, so I take all the opportunities to explore and capture the beauty with my camera. So today, I just wanted to share some of my favorite shots from different places around the island. 

Cabo Rojo Lighthouse: the view of the ocean from these cliffs is breathtaking. This is the point in Puerto Rico where the Caribbean Sea (to the south) meets the Atlantic Ocean (to the north). You can typically find iguanas sunbathing on the rocks of the cliffs. 

Cueva Ventana: "Window Cave" is by far my favorite place on the island. We take all of guests here, this is my favorite view. A hike through a cave that opens up to the most gorgeous view of the center of the island.  Green and lush and teeming with life. 

Indian Caves: The native Indians of Puerto Rico were called Tainos and there are actually places around the island with well preserved pictographs. The Indian Caves of Arecibo are a great place to see these, and not to mention a beautiful landscape. The wind is always blowing up there on the north coast, and the cliffs are jagged and rugged - a stark contrast to the beautiful beaches of Rincon.

Cabo Rojo seamounts: Thousands and thousands of years of erosion has formed these pointed seamounts along the coast of Cabo Rojo. These were all once connected to the island, but years of wind and waves slapping against their rocks now leave them all alone against the cliff side.

Sea Grapes: These hearty shrubs dot the coastlines of much of the island. They are perfect for landscaping because of their tolerance to salt, but they also provide the right amount of shade when enjoying the beach for the day. I like to dry their leaves and use them to decorate and paint on.

Rincon beachcombing: I love to beachcomb after a storm in Rincon,  you never know what you'll find! Once, we collected a huge driftwood tree that we later used to build a headboard for our bed. These are just a bunch of grasses that were moved along by the rivers which dumped into the ocean after a particularly bad storm. I love the earthy colors!

Arecibo Centro: We took this photo when exploring the old pueblo of Arecibo. In PR, each town has a pueblo, or public town center, which has a mayor's office, a plaza and a Catholic church. When you enter Arecibo, you're greeted with this dilapidated building just teeming with gorgeous flowering trees and full of prairie grasses escaping the wind from the sea. I just loved the look of abandonment reclaimed by nature. 

El Yunque Rainforest: No trip to PR is complete without a visit to the national rainforest. The sounds, the nature, the dewy mist that blankets everything as you climb in altitude up the mountain. Then once you reach the top of one peak, you are greeted with a lush landscape down below, and yet another mountain to hike behind you. And yes, it will rain. 

Evan and I haven't had as much time to explore as of lately, but we're making it a point to include weekend trips to different spots around the island. You can see all of my Puerto Rico highlights at Afar.com where I have them organized into lists for the convenience of a traveler! Enjoy.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

meet n greet: LilyEmme Jewelry & Hubalou

I'd like to introduce you again to two awesome companies I've shared on the blog in the past (here & here). These women are three of my awesome hosts for this month's giveaway to celebrate THREE YEARS of blogging. Yes, I know it's hard to believe that I've been online for three years (two as "sea, field & tribe" and one year before that as my personal Puerto Rico blog -- in case you were confused).So as part of September, I'll be showcasing some of these folks I hold dear to my heart, as their friendship and support has contributed greatly to the success of "sea, field & tribe".

Based in Washington state, over there in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Valerie of LilyEmme Jewelry creates handmade pieces from recycled materials. LilyEmme is a constantly evolving business that values sustainability and supports environmentally friendly practices. I love to see her at work in her shop - she posts photos frequently on Facebook - because to see an artist at work is like watching a miracle unfold! Valerie supports sustainability and fair trade by utilizing ethically sourced diamonds and gems.

I first met Valerie through Twitter, actually. A mutual follower introduced us, and since then we've stayed in touch through various social media outlets. Now check out her jewelry and pick out something you can't live without, because you have a chance to win a $50 store credit in this month's giveaway!

Hubalou was founded in 2012 by Sarah Masciana and is the home of the Hubalou Wrap, an absorbent, lightweight and gentle bamboo hair towel created to be used in place of terrycloth or microfiber towels. At her stylist’s recommendation, Sarah began using a cotton t-shirt to dry her hair prior to styling and to help keep her natural curls together. Her stylist, Ryan Carrel, put it best: ”terrycloth and microfiber act like Velcro—their texture grabs individual hairs, pulling curls apart, causing breakage and adding to frizz.” While she found this to be true, after a few months of the t-shirt she wanted something more suited for hair care—and something more luxurious. After testing with various hair types and materials, the bamboo-fiber Hubalou Wrap was born. She not only found the right material, but through her testing discovered the new hair towel was great for almost any hair type—not just curls.

I love that Sarah and Kate have created a product from sustainable materials. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing grasses (yes, it's a grass!) in the world, and one of the most sustainable materials.  I met these ladies from reviewing the head wrap (which I use almost daily!!!!) and discovered something else I immediately loved about them too : Texans! Texans always find their fellow Texans in every place they go, and I suppose online works for us since we're separated by quite the expanse of ocean.

AND...they give back! Hubalou has promised to contribute at least 10%  of their profits to charities that provide basic necessities for everyday life to those without. So check out their head wraps and get one for yourself!! You will LOVE IT!

Thank you to Valerie, Kate and Sarah for your contributions and for all that you do to make our world more beautiful, healthy and sustainable.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

menagerie: drinks & juices

I was perusing Pinterest for some delicious drinks and juice blends and I found all these great concoctions! I realize most of them are summery. Okay, yes I know that summer is practically over for most of you - but summer is all year round on Puerto Rico! And September is a month when tourists are lacking, restaurants and bars close down and the heat climbs like it's simply an extension of hot-August. So we're in need a few good refreshing beverages, and I'm sure you are too regardless of your season. So take out a pencil, jot down these names or visit the links to get the recipes, and start whippin up your own!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

three year blogiversary giveaway

Thank you, thank you, thank you for three awesome years of your readership! It's hard to believe I've been blogging for three solid years - where does the time go? I first started the blog back in 2011 under the name Roots, transplanted as a way to keep up with family and friends wanting to know all about life in Puerto Rico. I then expanded the blog to include my other hobbies and passions - sharing my experiences, diys, recipes, photography and snippets of life on the island. My hope is that you have found this inspirational and perhaps learned a little something too!

So to celebrate this occasion, I've teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers and businesses to offer one lucky reader a pretty sweet giveaway package valued at $200!! The winner will be able to choose their $100 giftcard to any company they desire; and they also win a $50 store credit to the lovely LilyEmme Jewelry and a $50 e-giftcard to the adorable ballet flats boutique, Tieks (I'm wearing mine in these photos!). So thank you for being such lovely readers and fans, and good luck! The giveaway is open to International readers, and ends of September 29.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 12, 2014

be beautiful: how to be happy

Let's get philosophical today for the next installment in the Be Beautiful series. You may be wondering what profound thing I might have to say about the topic of happiness. Does it have to be profound? Does it have to be original to be worthy of reading? Does it have to be something new to be worth your time in understanding or absorbing? Perhaps I would just like to share what I have learned and maybe you can learn something from me. Perhaps we can learn something from each other. 

What does the cake have to do with it. Nothing to you, perhaps. To me, it's happiness. I love to eat, I love to bake. I cultivate solitude in baking. I could have chosen a yogic photo too, as I find just as much solitude in my daily practice. But today, it's cake. How does cake bring me happiness? How does anything bring me happiness?

IT doesn't. IT does not bring me anything. Those things are just things. Those activities are just such things. Happiness isn't always something you garnish from performing a tangible act, or given to you from someone else. True, complete, utter happiness is a mental state. A state of bliss. A state of contentment. Contentment with what you have in front of you, at this very second. Not what you had yesterday, not what you have tomorrow. What you have now. Right now. 

Those "haves" do not need to be physical, tangible objects. Those "haves" can be the presence of loved ones, good memories without longing, smiles, time alone with yourself, soft and steady breathing, health...do those things make you smile? Do they release some stress? Do they cultivate some sense of awareness of being present in the moment?

That's happiness. Being aware. Being aware of what you have today. Respecting, honoring and loving it all. But knowing that IT doesn't define you. You are happy and content with or without what you have today or tomorrow, because you recognize those things may change. They won't always be there.

But your happiness can and will be there. If you choose to let it. Yes, it's a choice. Happiness is a choice. It's a life choice. Do you choose it? Because it's not something to wait to choose you. It doesn't pick sides, it doesn't pick favorites. You find the good in the bad, you find the happiness out of sorrow, you put the priority on identifying those things, acts, persons, thoughts, feelings and now moments.

Bottom line?  Happiness can be summed up in one word: Gratitude. How awesome is that? A simple state of mind, a perspective on life, a realization of your daily blessings. Gratitude cultivates happiness. It's that simple. As simple as [eating] cake.
[Photo via Chalk White Arrow]
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

our save the date

The date has been saved. I used Minted to create our postcards and was extremely satisfied with the products and service. Not only did I have to purchase a set of Save the Dates, but also custom order a separate invite for our friends and family invited to Florida. I had to request specific design alternations to a current product (since this event will actually be at a totally separate place and time than the wedding), and the Minted staff performed exceptionally well. Fast production, fast shipping and superior quality. 

I had a hard time deciding which company to use between Minted and Wedding Paper Divas. I searched save the dates at both sites, and even placed an order with WPD which I had to later cancel because I messed up our Florida invites. So I switched gears and went back to the more expensive Minted site and found something else I liked better. With the discount coupons they offer frequently, I spent about the same amount of money I would have at WPD. In the end, I feel it was totally worth it.

The quality is wonderful. The paper is thick and feels sturdy. The designs are original and they support independent artists - you could enter your own design for a chance to be featured! They offered complimentary recipient address printing in a variety of fonts. Their customer service is great and their team really pays attention to details. 

So if you're searching for a site to do you right, then check out Minted. This post is in no way sponsored by them, I'm just a satisfied customer wishing to spread the news so you can end your frantic search too. Check it out!

[Photography by D.S. Photography]
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

surf session photoshoot

A friend of mine needed a small favor last week. She is being featured in a newer yoga/lifestyle magazine that required some photos for the article. We were at yoga, and she told me the story. I offered to help.

I know she wouldn't want me to share any headshots because she hates having her picture taken, so instead I at least just wanted to show you the beauty of the island and how I love the colors of her leggings and surfboard against the stark contrast of the rocks and sky. Her mantra pretty well seems up life: "If I'm salty, I'm happy. If I'm happy, I'm grateful" And being grateful means you've found that bliss. 

I'm no professional - not even an amateur - but I like how these turned out. And I'll get a paddleboarding cruise up north to her favorite hidden spot (caves!) out of it, so not a bad afternoon spent shooting and editing!
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

menagerie: tapas, appetizers & sides

I love small dishes of food. I think it's because I eat all throughout the day, usually little things but many little things. And I love going to eat at places with tapas or smaller plates to share; so you have a chance to sample a lot of their best dishes. Perhaps you're like me and prefer to eat from several smaller plates of food too? If yes, then you'll love this menagerie of my favorite tapas, appetizers and sides recipes, curated from Pinterest no doubt. Here ya go:

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