Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday I'm In Love

Happy Friday! And for everyone celebrating Passover, Happy Passover. And to everyone celebrating Easter weekend, Happy Easter. I'm just going to be celebrating spending time with my family this weekend. ;)

It was a full week here on the blog, I somehow managed 5 posts (never happens)! If you missed them, there were words about dreams, about memories, about health, and about warmth

And then of course there are the Friday favorites:

Have you guys seen the 8 million flower petals "bursting" from a volcano in Costa Rica? The photographs are so beautiful, but the video is even more amazing. Spoiler alert though, all this beauty is for a Sony TV advertisement. :/ Still, it's a gorgeous ad, and a fantastic concept. I could watch the video every day!

Since my day job is designing kid's clothes, I'm always looking for fresh inspiration. I love how designer, Ryam Teran and photographer, Natalie Chenier have joined forces in creating whimsical children's clothing and a super sassy lookbook for their Wild & Whimsy brand.

Have you heard of FabergĂ©'s Big Egg Hunt NY? There are hundreds of giant egg sculptures all around NYC right now, designed by famous artists and designers. I've only seen one myself, but @jtpinay's Instagram is filled with photos of these stunning eggs!

One second spring is here, and the next, it's snowing again! Either way, doesn't this Clementine Limoncello Champagne Cocktail look like the perfect spring party beverage? Yum.

Justina Blakeney's blog probably makes an appearance on my Friday favorites a little too often, but I just can't help it, I love this lady's style! She recently revamped her patio, and now it looks like the perfect place to host a spring gathering. Just add a pitcher of that citrus champagne cocktail, some tasty snacks, and lots of friends!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Between Lenses: Warmth

Today I'm linking up in the "Between Lenses" photography challenge, a collaboration between Tara Victoria and Of Trees and Hues. These ladies have been hosting this monthly challenge since January, and I happen to love this month's theme - "Warmth"

"Warmth" to me equals happiness. It's what reminds me to be grateful for the little things. Warmth is walking to my local farmer' market on a sunny Saturday morning, feeling the sun beating on my face, smelling the seasonal fresh flowers, and gazing at the smiling people strolling around. After a long and cold winter, this beautiful past weekend evoked an even greater feeling of warmth. Spring was definitely in the air! I picked up the colorful yellow/orange tulips above to celebrate the beginning of the season. It was a small moment that made me immensely happy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wellness Wednesday: Go Green, Get Healthy, Shop Local

The Wellness Wednesday tip for today is to shop local for your groceries. It's good for you, good for the environment, and good for the economy! The biggest bonus of buying from local farms? Your food will be so much tastier, because it's a million times fresher than the stuff that sits around in trucks and grocery store shelves for months.

Seeing my local farmer's market slowly beginning to fill up with fresh produce is one of my favorite things about spring. Currently it's flower and herb season, which is just as wonderful. While I can't wait for fresh, green, leafy veggies and bright, ripe berries to arrive, I do love the colorful tulips I picked up last weekend.

What's even better (and more cost efficient) than buying from your local greenmarket? Planting your own garden! I'm a city-dwelling girl, so while this isn't an option for me right now, if I had a little land of my own I would totally do it.

Greenmarkets aren't just in big cities anymore, so there's not much of an excuse to not buy locally grown food. You can use the Local Harvest search engine to find farmer's markets, CSAs and local products near you (USA only, but I'm sure there may be something similar in other countries).

Here's a few links on the benefits of buying locally grown food:

11 Reasons To Buy Locally Grown Food

How Buying Local Benefits the Environment

The Nutrition Benefits of Eating Locally

4 Good Reasons To Buy Local Food

10 Tips For Buying Organic Food On A Budget

One of the biggest complaints I hear when it comes to shopping at a farmer's market is that, "It's too expensive!" My answer to this is - don't you want to feed your body the very best? Is "cheap" a word you really want to associate with the food that fuels your body? I'd rather skip the fancy clothes and buy the fancy food. And it's really not that expensive. Another good option that's even less "expensive" is joining a food co-op or a community garden.

It goes without saying, that even when shopping local, try to buy the organic stuff. The good think about farmer's markets is that you can meet the farmer face-to-face and ask him about his growing methods.

Do you shop local, grow your own food, use a CSA or share your time at a food co-op?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Capturing Memories While Traveling

Before the days of Instagram, people used to share their travel photos on Facebook. Way before that, they used to take photographs on film, develop them, and place them in a photo album. Instagram is nothing like a photo album. My favorite Instagrammers don't share millions of photos of themselves, their family, and their friends. But they do share hundreds (or thousands) of photos of scenic views, food, coffee, with maybe a selfie thrown in for good measure occasionally. When's the last time you looked through an old family album and saw a close-up food pic, a stylized coffee photo, or pages and pages of landscape with no people in them?

This weekend I was browsing through photos from a trip Taz and I took back in 2011 to Barcelona. That was during my pre-blogging and pre-Instagram days, and I thought it would be fun to revisit the photos and put a post together on exploring that city. There were so many great photos of our adventures there, but the best part was…..we were in lots of them!

When I looked at these photos, the memories just came flooding back to me. It wasn't about where we were…it was about how we felt there. We were so happy, so excited, so in love with each other and so in love with the moment. When I look at the photo above, the first thing I see isn't the National Museum of Catalan Art - it's us!!

We weren't afraid to ask someone to take our photograph (because the sign for "can you take our picture" is pretty universal in any country!), but we also mastered the art of the "couple selfie" early on.

And we weren't afraid to be silly and strike a pose….

Or to bust out the camera during dinner time….

The reason I bring this all up is because….the more trips we go on, the less photographs we take of each other. These days I'm so focused on capturing the perfect photos to share on Instagram, or post to my blog, I figure I only need a couple good ones of us….and I don't like to be trigger-happy with the camera. Looking back at photographs from the Barcelona trip has made me realize the mistake I've made on our more recent travels. While we still get a few good "selflies" in now and then, these are almost always thanks to Taz. While I'm pointing my camera at a famous landmark or beautiful landscape, he's patiently waiting for the opportunity to grab the camera, turn it towards us and squeeze our faces into the frame. And I'm really glad he does that, because photos like that are so much more powerful than the ones that end up on Instagram. 

We travel to expand our horizons, to embrace other cultures, to find something new, and to create memories. The ability to take a photograph is just a wonderful bonus that allows us to capture those memories and save them forever.

For instance, if I ever forget what a gentleman Taz is (doubtful), I'll always have this photo of him holding all my shit and still smiling for a photo while doing it.

Well, this post was surely "selfie" overload, but if you made it all the way till the end, thank you!!! I promise the next travel post will be filled with pretty landscapes and historic landmarks (and maybe just one "couple selfie"!) 

I'd love to hear about your favorite photo-captured memories. Feel free to share a link with your comment if you'd like to include a visual!

Monday, April 14, 2014

How to Achieve Your Dreams: Write Them Down!

A couple of weeks ago I began a new post series titled  "The Dream Series". When I say "dreams" I'm referring not to the unconscious ones you have while you're asleep, but the conscious, waking ones that shape who you are. What I'm really talking about is goals. Because to me, the two are one and the same. "How to Achieve Your Dreams" just sounds so much more fun than "How to Achieve Your Goals", doesn't it?

One very important way to ensure your dreams come true - write them down! This past weekend I had a spin class/dinner date with a friend of mine who had some exciting news to share. She had just accepted a job offer at one of her dream companies. She used those exact words. In the same breath she told me that, about a year ago, she had made a list of the top companies that she would love to work for, and this company happened to be #2 on the list. And then something just clicked inside my head. Lately, I've had several people around me fulfilling goals/dreams, and inevitably at some point it comes out that they had written down this dream somewhere before.

So if you have a dream swimming around in the back of your head, do yourself a favor, take out a piece of paper and write it down. Maybe even start a dream journal. But if you're really unorganized like me, just write it down anywhere! I have a notebook for blog and business inspiration, but sometimes random ideas pop into my head and I write them down in various small notebooks I keep in my purse or in the Notes section of my iPhone. Getting your dreams out of your head and into the written word is the first step to making sure they happen.

Of course that's only the first step! My friend who got that dream job? She's a super-talented, extremely nice, and very hard-working lady. I know she put in a lot of time and effort to make sure that she was a great candidate for the position.

Once you write down that dream, get specific. How are you going to make it happen? Write it all out and then get to work. And keep in mind...

"Dreams don't work unless you do." (John C. Maxwell) 

But that's a post for another day. ;) In the meantime, start writing!

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