Month: September 2013

the oddball

I was really inspired by a post on Meghan’s blog recently [well, I’m inspired by all of her posts, but this one in particular] because she shared some very personal, very unique attributes about herself and then invited others to do the same. You know, in this online world of blogging, she’s right that its very easy for us to pick and choose how we present ourselves. We edit our images, we spend loads of time crafting individual pieces – almost like writing a book, we delete characters we don’t want presented, even if that’s just a simple subset of our own quirks. So here are ten things that make me “weirdly me”. 1 //  I can tell which of my friends or family is approaching me from behind based on the sound of the way they walk. I guess I pay a lot of subconscious attention to your feet.   2 //  Some days I prefer to spend my time alone with just my dog and no other people. But I also have a …

a fresh approach

[Photo by Chelsea Harms] A new thing is happening here. And you might have noticed it over on the right? Yes, no more monthly sponsorships. Oh no, but why? Okay, well.. it’s simply this. I had certain goals of this blog when I first started – I wanted to create a place of inspiration for others, but by sharing my own experiences and lifestyle. A daily living blog, inspired by nature. Because that’s how I live, or try to: simply and naturally.  Then I slowly started accepting sponsorships for profit. This was nice for a little while, but I think I momentarily lost site of my blog focus. So, I’ve done away with paid sponsorships. But that doesn’t mean I will discontinue my support for my favorites and friends out there in this community. I’ve created a little sub section that many folks refer to as a “blog roll”. You can visit it here and see a curated sample of the wonderful people I’ve met through blogging, as I continue to support them wholeheartedly. For …

places: the intrepid old city

[Photos by Chelsea Harms] I love the old city of San Juan. So much history and culture bottled up into a tiny section of the metropolis.  All kinds of stories materialize as you tour this grand intrepid place – ghost stories, religious stories, miraculous things, ancient things, wonderful things.  I like flying over San Juan – the view of the old fort and the harbors is just breathtaking. Truly a beautiful site as you approach this island that the Spanish once claimed as their own. But walking the roads of ballast stone is another story.  I believe that every time I visit this city, I discover a new street I’ve never traversed, or a new story about this and that. A 2-hour drive from my side of the island, but worth it most of the time. Especially if my trip includes showing folks around the old city. I just love the vibe and its a grand escape from the more rural area that I occupy. Artistic, cultural, inviting and alluring. If you come visit Puerto …

our world is amazing

Home again, home again. After so many hours of flying, I’m finally back to the island and back to reality. This one-week long adventure to the west coast was a bundle of “firsts” for me in travel and my professional career as a scientist. I discovered a lot about myself on this trip to California, and I’d love to share some insight. This was the first trip that I’ve done solo for my profession. This was the first time that I booked a BnB for only me, booked a flight for only me that arrived at a location where no one was waiting to get me (except a taxi), attended a conference on a ground breaking topic in genetics solo from my lab, and made my way across the grand city of San Francisco to find another Puerto Rican amongst the masses. So, I did it. I really did it on my own, and it’s about time. I’m 25 after all, that’s an adult right? Why shouldn’t I be capable of this kind of travel …

giveaway: soul makes jewelry

WOW – this is the very first reaction I had to discovering this shop. I’ve explored Soul Makes many times in the past, and was thus beyond delighted for them to consider sea, field & tribe as their next giveaway outlet! Can I just say that I WISH so badly that I could just win my own giveaway?! I think I might be the biggest turquoise hoarder than anyone else I know, and I have just fallen head over heels for everything in their shop.  Soul Makes was started by two lovers: MacKenzie and Trevor Mars . MacK is the designer and Trevor is the photographer and visionary. Ya’ll seriously, this is some beautiful stuff. I think this is probably the giveaway I’m most amped about, so head over to Soul Makes and do some lusting then come back here and enter the giveaway~  Open to all my readers – lasts one week, so hurry! Remember to use a legit email address because this is how I will contact you if you’re the lucky winner. …

diy: recycled sweater macbook cover via the merrythought

Hello friends! Today I have Caitlin from The Merrythought here to share a great upcycling DIY for your macbook or laptop.  I recently came to know this lovely blog through posts and shares from others in the blogging community, and I just love to follow along in the adventures of this beautiful trio – Manda, Marla and Caitlin. Be sure to check out their blog for more DIYs, recipes, fashion and inspiration. But for now, here’s a guest post to get you ready for fall by recycling some of those old sweaters you won’t be wearing this time around. I have been hauling my macbook around wrapped in a handtowel for the past few months. I’ve been planning on making a case for it ever since I got it but I never got around to doing it. Until now! I had an incredible sweater that I had thrifted because I loved the pattern but it fit terribly. Now it is finally being used!    Here’s what I did:  -Cut the sweater (both layers) 1/4 – …

little fish, big ocean

I’m off the island again – this time, in California! I’ve heard the phrase “Join Science, See the World”, which I think is just finally starting to apply to me. I’m in Walnut Creek, just outside of San Francisco, for a week-long workshop on metagenomics. If you have no idea what that is, then you’re in the same boat as me. That’s right, I’m sitting in a workshop about a topic that I currently know next to nothing about. Yikes! I prepared as best as I could – read several papers on the topic, constructed a poster detailing my work and how it will utilize this technique… but I’m still no geneticist. I’m a ichthyologist. I’m a biologist that studies fish – big things we can see with the naked eye, not microscopic things. I’m out of my element! But this is an adventure for me! This is actually the very first time that I’ve traveled for science on my own with no colleagues, to a place I’ve never been (the Joint Genome Institute), with …

island life: tropical storms

You know when you see a hurricane forming out in the Atlantic or the Caribbean, and you think to yourself, “gosh, how do those people on those tiny islands survive such massive storms?” Well, we actually have nature on our side, believe it or not! I’ll tell you why… I used to have the same thoughts as I watched hurricanes form on the TV, from the comfort of my east Texas home. Even when I lived in Florida for 5 years, I was never truly that concerned about hurricanes – knowing well enough that I would have plenty of time to evacuate north if need be. Now, as I buckle down on the tiny island of Puerto Rico, awaiting each tropical storm or hurricane of the season, I begin to understand that sense of urgency to prepare and always be prepared. It’s different when you have no where to run.  So why do many Caribbean islands escape the wrath of hurricanes? Because, many of us are too close to the equator for hurricanes to form …

travel: India + Nepal

My folks head out for their next world adventure this month. They have been traveling to a different part of the world every year since 2008. So far, they’ve seen: Australia, Tasmania, Africa, Egypt, China, Tibet and now will be adding India, Nepal and Bhutan to that list.  With just a short stop in New Delhi for one night and one full day, they will visit the spice markets and take a rickshaw tour of many old, ancient and famous sites in northern India. This would be my favorite part of their trip and I’ve already prepped a list of spices I’d like for them to bring back to us. As you know, I’m quite fond of India and I love Indian food. If any of you enjoy cooking Indian, then you also probably know how difficult it is to acquire some of the necessary spices and flours.  From there, they head to Nepal and Bhutan where they will spend three weeks. My mother specifically requested to visit the Little Princes orphanage in Kathmandu. How …

culinary: amaranth + espresso banana muffins

This was a new one for me – working with espresso powder and whole amaranth. Have you used either of these ingredients in baking before? Espresso powder is said to give chocolates a deeper taste, and amaranth is a old world grain that I’ve found in snack bars and health food lately. A lot of folks bake with amaranth flour, but I chose to just add the whole little beads to my mix for a crunchy texture amidst the smooth banana flavor. I highly recommend this healthier alternative to banana bread muffins. The recipe is adapted from Super Natural Cooking by (you guessed it) Heidi Swanson. Ingredients: 2 cups white whole wheat flour2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt1 tbsp. fine espresso powder1 tbsp. whole amaranth beads6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temp.3/4 cup natural cane sugar2 large eggs2 tsp. vanilla extract1 cup plain Greek yogurt1 cup mashed overripe banana1 carton of apple sauce, no sugar added (about 1/2 cup)Some semi-sweet chocolate chips *You can find espresso powder at stores like Williams …