Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Swings

Last week I attended the Dutchess County Fair for the first time in my life. I traveled up to Rhinebeck, N.Y. for the fair which has been around since 1845. It was a mega country fair with tons of agriculture, fried pickles and classic carnival rides. One of which I snapped a photo of and it landed on the front page of The Millbrook Independent today! See below.

Click here for all my pictures from the Dutchess County Fair in the Independent. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How I made my Tepee Garden

How I made my Tepee Garden 

July 20, 2013

Two years ago I decided that I needed a tepee in my life. I was really into the blog HonestlyWTF and they had a DIY post about how to make your own tepee. I instantly feel in love with the idea and decided to get to work.

Building the tepee structure with my dad.

I first built the tepee for my Burning Man themed graduation party in 2011, check out the post here. My father and I went into the forest and cut down the trees ourselves and a family friend provided a few more tepee poles to use. With fabrics I found at the thrift store I sewed together a cover for the tepee. I used denim, velvet, my childhood Star Wars sheets, and floral prints to name a few. I made a patch work quilt for the structure.
The tepee was a hit at the party; it became a peaceful hang out amongst all the fun. My friends had intimate conversations; face painted, gave each other massages and even slept in the tepee.
Graduation Party 2011
After the party was over with all the work that went into building it I had no intention of taking it down anytime soon. The tepee eventually became apart of my family's property. In the winter we decorated it with Christmas lights. It survived snow, rain, sleet and hail, but eventually the quilt wore out. I decided to take the quilt cover off and let the tepee stand as a skeleton.
Christmas in the tepee

This summer I decided to give the tepee new life by turning it into a tepee garden.
In the early spring I started gathering seeds, planning how the garden would be structured and what would grow inside of it. I decided to grow climber plants up the tepee poles such as morning glories, cardinal climbers, black-eyed susans and beans. The inside of the tepee garden would have a mix of herbs and vegetables including lavender, sage, oregano, dill, cilantro, peppers, peas and tomatoes.
Baby cilantro in a eggshell 
I got the idea from the Free People Blog to make an egg crate garden to start my seeds. In the egg crate garden I watched my baby plants begin to grow in their eggshell homes. Some plants did well in the eggs other didn’t make it. I learned quickly that gardening is a process of trial and error. You are never always going to get it right the first time. But the seeds that did well flourished like my cilantro, beans and peas.

As time went by the plants started to outgrow their eggshell homes and the temperature was warm enough to finally plant them outside.
My Gardener Guru and good friend Nikki Jimmo came over to help me break ground. We overturned the dirt in the tepee so I could sit inside and have plants surrounding me at all angles. We planted beans and pea seeds directly into the soil as well as placing the egg starter plants in the garden. Getting everything in the ground was a lot of work but we could only imagine what it would look like when it was in bloom at the end of the summer.
Slowly as the days began to get warmer my plants started to grow. I remember the day the baby pea plants just popped right out the ground. Their presence was reassurance that this was really happening my tepee garden was growing.
Planting sage, lavender and mint. 

All of the plants growth was staggered different plants peaking at various times. The peas came in the late spring, dill and cilantro grew in the early summer, while the lavender and sage flourished in the mid summer. The tomatoes arrived by mid July and the morning glories blossomed in early August. Watching each of my plants grow from seed to full shape I learned to appreciate each stage of its life. Evolving from tiny sprouts, to vines and finally a bright flower full of light.

Although summer is coming to an end the tepee garden hasn’t peaked.  The cardinal climbers vines have grown to the top of the tepee but still need to produce red flowers. I am hoping in time for my birthday in September.
Spending the summer weeding, planting and eating the harvests of the tepee garden has been a healing experience. Every morning I look forward to running outside and seeing something new that has grown or bloomed. It has served as a peaceful sanctuary for me anytime I am upset, stressed or sad. As soon as I step inside the tepee garden and rub my fingers with the lavender and smell their sweet scent whatever was bugging me feels far away. The tepee stands tall in my yard, it has a presence. It’s a symbol of my presence on earth.

More photos of my tepee's evolution below. 


Monday, August 12, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

MV: The Flea Market

This would be my go to outfit for going to an outdoor flea market. I love the idea of the cuff earrings with the baby doll dress and a big floppy hat.

Reporter in Marthas Vineyard Day 2

Reporter in Marthas Vineyard

Next week I am going on vacation to Marthas Vineyard, MA. I have to report for the newspaper while I am there, I decided to makes some fantasy outfits perfect for a work-vacation.
Reporter in Marthas Vineyard

Crop top, $77 / Billabong shorts / Loeffler Randall short boots / Madewell / FIELD NOTES Stenobook, $13

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to Hula Hoop

I have been wanting to make a hula hooping tutorial forever, but since I am a wee bit of a perfectionist I have been hesitant to make one. After two years of being an avid hooper I decided to stop procrastinating and make one already. So low and behold my first tutorial is below! It is by no means perfect, but I hope it is helpful for those beginner hoopers out there. In the video I show how to hula hoop and the booty bump. Both fun and easy hooping tricks for beginners! Queen Lavender (my new kitten) helped me make the video, check it out plus some photos below.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Get Away

Last week I got a chance to get away with some of my best friends for a much needed adventure! Emily, Jasmine and I have been anxiously awaiting to head down to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to stay with Emily's grandmother since we bought the tickets three months ago.  We flew down there for some much needed ocean fun and bonding time. This was our third time heading to stay with Emily's grandmother altogether and our first time making the trip post college. It was wonderful to spend quality time with my ladies and discover parts of Florida we hadn't in the past. Although we were still in America, we were in a whole new environment which made it feel like we left the country.
I went on a total photo taking frenzy during our trip and I wanted to share some of my shots from the Atlantic Ocean in Ft. Lauderdale, South Beach, Little Havana, Vizcaya Museum and Garden and other spots throughout Miami. Although I love being in my garden in Connecticut it was really nice to be in a place with a whole new landscape that I don't have back home. I enjoyed chilling on the beach, seeing banana and mango trees grown naturally, iguanas crawling around the deck, aloe plants, cuban coffee, palm trees and beautiful sunsets. 
This is the street that we stayed on in Ft. Lauderdale. Every morning we would pack up our swim suits and towels get into grandma's (Yes I can call her that, everyone does) red convertible and drive off into this scenery to the beach. It was perfect.
This past year my level of obsession with plants and nature has sky rocketed. I have never in my entire life payed more attention to nature. Especially now that I am starting my own tepee herb garden (more about this on the blog soon) at my house I love discovering new plants. They are living things too ya know! I loved being in an environment for hot weather plants like palm trees, succulents and giant aloe plants.
We decided to discover Miami's rich historical side. With a trip to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Vizcaya gave me feel a overwhelming sense of nostalgia as if I was in France at the Palace of Versailles or the coast of Cape Town on Robben Island.
Vizcaya was built as the winter estate to Chicago businessman James Deering from 1859-1924. Today Vizcaya is a National Historic landmark and an accredited museum. Above is the outdoor swimming pool, isn't it a dream!
Emily and Jasmine standing out in front of the Barge on the Biscayne Bay.
This is the east terrace and Main house that look out over the barge. The view that this side of the house gets is a vast crystal blue sea.
With a back drop this perfect we had a photo taking frenzy!
The barge looks like a classic Greek ship that has been attached by pirates and left to age for centuries. I love the look of it. 
Who doesn't love perfectly trimmed bushes!
The most precious Tea House your pretty eyes ever seen.
Vizcaya isn't only an amazing house but the gardens really take it to a whole other level of wonderful. Diego Suarez planned the gardens from 1888-1974. The formal gardens were finished by 1922 containing a geometric plantings, architectural structures and sculptures. The gardens are located between a native mangrove shore and a forest.
A shot of the barge from the Secret Garden.
Succulent City up in here.
It was at this point that Emily and Jasmine where about done with Vizcaya and decided to take a break under some shade. Me on the other hand carried on because I had to see more of this wonderland while I still could.
Deering made a choice to preserve this environment and build the Main House along with Biscayne Bay made him one of Miami's early environmentalists.
Finally we were all officially Vizcaya-ed out and made out way to Little Havana for a taste of Cuba.
Do you know what the Bay of Pigs Invasion was all about? Well I'll give you a hint Fidel Castro was definitely involved!
I first saw this man in a shop with a lot of Virgin Mary statues. We both left at the same time and I realized in the sun his mouth was full of gold teeth. He started speaking to me in Spanish and I hated that I couldn't respond to him. But he did understand me when I asked to take his photo. 

Dominos, dominos, dominos. I love watching old people games outside.

Giggling on the beach. 
I snapped this pink palm trees on Ocean Drive which is Miami's main location to see and be seen.
Oh the drunken margarita. I would say this drink is a South Beach must. But definitely to be shared among friends.
Emily's grandmother has and continues to live a fabulous life. There are photos of her throughout the house from all points in her life. I love the two above because she looks like Lena Horne or Elizabeth Taylor.
Her house was perfectly decorated with vintage furniture. I wanted to take home the pink dresser in our guest room so bad.
Emily is an awesome painter. She recently started her own company where she paints her art on eco-friendly bags for sale on Buying one of her bag helps support patients by helping them buy a colostomy bag and supplies. I have one and I am obsessed with it I hang it on my wall as art or use it when going to the store as a re-useable bag. Above was Emily's work space in the sun room. 
Our last day in Miami we ended up have a BBQ was some hilarious fellas we met on the beach.

Grandma let us invite them over for some hamburgers, hot dogs, fishing and swimming.
Grandma's care taker and grounds keeper Tony was a gem to us throughout the entire trip.
And there she is Miss Thang!
The final supper was delicious and filled with laughter and happy smiles. It would have been perfect if we didn't have to go to the airport later that night...
Good thing the Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport looks great during sunset. Hope to see you again soon Florida!