Month: May 2013

favorites: photography accessories + apps

My favorite photography things: accessories, lens, and iphone apps. Try these out for an upgrade or a change from your everyday Instagram filters and plain-jane camera bags. (Note: this is by no means an extensive list, just things I use that I like, as a beginner SLR photographer). //Lens I’m partial to my first Canon lens, in particular the all-around 18-55mm lens. This lens is perfect for up-close shots and great for the average beginner SLR camerawoman. Many times you can find this lens in a bundle with the actual Canon SLR camera of your choice. It’s a great starter lens and is perfect for a variety of shots and settings. //Accessories Invest in a decent tripod. Something that’s a tad heavy in the base and feet, for stability – and one that can fold into a small size for travel and transport.  Extra batteries are uber important. I’ve found that my Canon battery will last quite a while, but I’ve been out in the field with that red blinking light and couldn’t be more …

favorites: tea blends

So last week I introduced sun tea to you. Have you tried it yet? Maybe you need some tea-spiration?  I love to sip tea. A cup in the morning to start the day, one in the afternoon for a pick me up and one at night sometimes to help bring on the sleepiness. Two Christmases back, Evan bought me a beautiful turquoise tea pot from Teavana. It came with a few samples of their teas, and ever since then I’ve been hooked on their delicious blends. So here are a couple of my favorite picks from Teavana. A few of these can actually be made into iced teas for the summer too!

living with a positive outlook

Sometimes this can be a real struggle for us on a daily basis. When we get stressed out or over whelmed, we usually always forget one major thing: to stay positive. It’s so easy to instead just roll into our bad moods and find nothing to be grateful for in the day. This is a real struggle for me when I get stressed out. How about you?  Once last week, after a long and irritating day of emails and phone calls, I drove my Jeep the hour and half route home from Isla Magueyes and turned onto my road to witness this beautiful sight: a carpet of yellow, delicate flowers just blanketing the path up the hill to my home. In this moment, I had to just stop and stare. I felt a little of my stress reside when I was able to take joy in something so small and seemingly insignificant in my day. Once in my driveway, I walked back down the hill and snapped this photo. Which then led to my finding …

culinary: sun tea

Have you ever brewed tea out in the sun before? Perhaps you remember doing this at summer camp way back when, or when you visited your grandparents on the farm?  Well, when I spotted this little DIY over at Free People’s blog, I knew I needed to make this a weekly habit. All it takes are some simple and basic ingredients plus a beautiful day and a lot of sunshine. Here we go: 1. Take a glass mason jar and clean it very well (you’re leaving this drink in the sun so make sure your jar is free of any types of food particles – we don’t want to grow bacteria!).2. Fill the jar with water and place your favorite tea bag inside. I would not recommend using green tea, as this type only requires a very short brew time. Use a black tea, white tea or a flavored tea. I chose mango tea. You can add mint or a squeeze of lemon too! 3. Place the jar where it will receive sunlight for at …

menagerie: spice shop

Hello hello my friends! I’m so sorry for the brief absence, but as I mentioned last week – I’ve started my research diving which does consume my entire day. I wake up at 5AM, drive to the research station and set up my gear at 7:30AM, arrive to the dive site by 8:30AM and dive until about 1PM or later. After which there is debriefing, equipment cleaning and lots more. If you’re curious about what I do as a scientist, please feel free to read my lionfish website which documents my entire project from start to finish. I hope you enjoy reading it — it’s very reader friendly and eye-pleasing, I think! Okay, so you want to hear about my not-so-secret desire to own a spice shop? Evan and I have had this idea for quite some time and it’s sort of an excuse to travel. We both enjoy cooking and baking, and we tend to collect spices or unusual seasonings from our travels or trips to unusual places. My parents even brought back a …

oh, the things to do

For the past month, all my weeks have looked like this. List after list after list…. endless things to do, people to call, emails to be sent, overwhelming senses of helplessness to be felt. Do your weeks look like this? Well, taking cue from Madison’s post this week about goals for the summer, I thought I’d share a few of mine too.  1 \\  Make Time for Myself: with all the research I’ll be conducting starting next week, I just want to make some special time to relax alone and reconnect with myself. Whether this is with a spa day, or a simple trip to the beach, I just want some alone time with my thoughts to count my blessings and refocus my energy to Him.  2 \\ Bake Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free: one particular friend of mine has some food allergies that limits the baked goods she can eat. This past semester, I would usually bake something for my GIS class – cupcakes, muffins, scones, cookies…. but they were nothing she could …

menagerie: farm home inspiration

Feta & Chive Biscuits |  Rustic Carrots  |  Petting Zoo Party  |  Dandelion Fields  |  Gold Leaf Pots |  Lemon & Chia Seed Pull Apart Bread  |  Wild Mushrooms  |  Lantern  |  HoneyComb  |  Bathroom  |  Lavender & Blackberry Scones These are the things I imagine when I think of simple, farm style living. I’m currently reading this book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, in which she uses her own farm lifestyle to describe how to live fully with what God has blessed you with in the moment (more to share about this book later). Anyways, it sparked a conversation with Evan last week as we were driving down to La Parguera to work. I asked him what he would think about having our own small farm when we move back to the States. I told him I think living a farm-style life would be so rewarding. Not only would it encourage discipline and sustainable living, but it would also be a work of love for the two of us to share. He is …

healthy living: ocean minded

  I love this little production by Patagonia. It tells the story of Kimi Werner, an islander living off the ocean and the land in a sustainable fashion. I love how she works to find her place in nature, giving respect to the ocean and marine life. Check out this video to get a glimpse into what it’s like to provide for yourself by utilizing the ocean as your resource. She’s a pretty decent artist too!!  As a marine scientist, it is actually a constant struggle to find the happy medium between fishing and protecting. The ocean is a wonderful plethora of resources for mankind, but when we abuse that through commercialized overfishing, then we lose sight of our place in the ecosystem. How do you live off the land? If you don’t live near an ocean, do you farm or buy local produce? Do you have fish markets, or farmer’s markets in your area? These are absolutely the best options to support a reduced impact on our environment.  Have a great day!

culinary: tropical island açaí bowl

Another Saturday post! Have you ever had açaí before? This “superfood” has been promoted all over the world for its high antioxidants – to battle aging, free radicals (from sun damage) and supports an all around healthy body. You can find açaí in the stores, likely in the frozen fruit section, where you can buy small packs of the stuff to add to smoothies – or check the juice aisle as sometimes its sold in liquid form too. Add a bit to your smoothie, or try this recipe for an açaí bowl with all sorts of healthy tropical goodness: Ingredients: 1 banana, cut into slices 1 kiwi, cut into slices 3-4 strawberries, cut into slices 4-5 small chunks of mango Small handful of blueberries 2 tbsp unsweetened, natural, shredded coconut 1 tbsp bee pollen 1/2 cup of raw, natural granola 3/4 cup of frozen açaí (1 Sambazon package) A splash of apple juice  A squirt of honey Take your frozen package of açaí and add it to a blender with a splash of apple juice. …

photography: some people to know

Okay, so maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but it never occurred to me to follow folks other than my friends on Instagram. One day, I clicked over to the News section and went to “Following” to see what everyone else has been up to and lo’ and behold, I ended up discovering several new-to-me people with some pretty awesome camera phone photography! So I figured I would share them with you, why keep them to myself (of course, like I mentioned I live under a rock, so there’s a good chance you already know and follow all these lovely folks). Enjoy! April Flores  |  Amanda Jane Jones  |  Ana Raines  |  Emily Brock     Janine Tollady  |  Stephanie Somebody