Thursday, April 26, 2012

eat well guide

I just discovered this website called Eat Well Guide. It's a super useful tool for finding restaurants that use locally-sourced foods. It also shows you all of the farms, farmers markets, and food organizations in your area. Some of my favorite organic restaurants in Rochester are listed on there, but now I'll be able to easily find sustainable restaurants wherever I go.

You're welcome :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

{sustainable fashion spotlight} Maiyet

In this video for Maiyet's Spring/Summer 2012 collection, soft, beautiful, pastel-heavy pieces are totally compatible with the natural, beachy setting where the video is shot. And you can never go wrong with Feist. The socially-conscious Maiyet partners with a nonprofit organization called Nest which promotes "prosperity, entrepreneurship, and dignity in places that need it most." Together, they source and work closely with artisans from Colombia, India, Italy, Kenya, Mongolia, and Peru, paying fair wages and providing training and development for the artisans they work with. Maiyet is sold exclusively at Barneys.

note from dad

My Dad wrote this to me in my birthday card this year. Sometimes his words of advice seems like no-brainers, but he has a way of reminding me of oft-forgotten things in a simply stated manner. Sometimes you find yourself wrapped up in your hectic schedule and busy thoughts and these simple notions can start to wander astray. Whereas independence and self-reliance are incredibly important in life, having friends that you both need and rely on is even more important. That is something that I've had to learn to balance out- while I'm a very friendly person, I'm also discernibly independent and introspective. These past few years I've realized who my true friends are and I know, without question, which people will still be in my life 10, 20, 50 years from now. Our lives are going to go through a lot of changes and it's not always going to be as easy to stay in touch, but it's something that you need to do. As for giving up on my dreams, that's something I'm confident I will never need reminding of. But it's good to know my Dad's got my back. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

{hippy eats} baked oatmeal

recipe courtesy of Heidi Swanson

Serves 6-8

    • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
    • 2 cups rolled oats
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
    • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 bananas, cut into 1/2” slices
    • 1 1/2 cups berries
    • Maple syrup for drizzling
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
2. Combine the oats, half the nuts, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl whisk the milk, egg, half the butter, and vanilla. Combine wet and dry mixtures together.
3. Arrange bananas in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Add 1 cup of the berries, then top with the oat mixture.
4. Add remaining berries and nuts on top, then bake for 40 minutes.
5. Let cool slightly, then drizzle remaining butter and maple syrup on top.
I did a couple things differently, and it stilled turned out amazing.
    • I used vanilla soy milk instead of milk.
    • I left out half the butter and the maple syrup for drizzling.
    • I used stevia zero-calorie sweetener instead of cane sugar.
I used strawberries for the bottom of the baked oatmeal and blueberries on top.

The gooey bananas and strawberries on the bottom took this oatmeal to a whole new level.

{craft time} water-bottle "flowers"

Wish there was such thing as beautiful, blooming flowers that didn't die? Let me introduce you to these plastic flower petals made from recycled water bottles. My friend discovered these in a craft book called Upcycling by Danny Seo. These are so simple to make and you can get as creative as you'd like with them. We made them today at an event that we held on campus and everyone had so much fun experimenting with them. My friend also used a decoupage technique with old newspapers which worked out great.

1. Paint tree branches green. These will be your flower "stems."

2. With bottle caps still attached, cut water bottles in half.

3. Use a hot glue gun to attach the top of the bottle cap to the edge of your branch.

4. Start cutting petal shapes out of the plastic. When you're done with this, bend the "petals" out so that they resemble a flower.

5. Now's your chance to get creative- you can paint the petals different colors or decoupage old newspapers or magazine pages onto them.

6. Display your new flowers in a vase or a recycled glass container. Now you can just let them sit pretty on your desk or nightstand 'til the cows come home.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

milan photo diary

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Last semester I studied abroad in Florence, Italy and spent those four months traveling all over Europe. I chronicled my travels over at my old blog but would also like to share my adventures on here as well. Milan was by far the most glamorous city I've ever been to. In my opinion it even surpassed Paris in terms of style and fashion innovativeness. During my weekend in Milan I visited the famous concept store Corso Como, ate gelato (obviously), treasure hunted in Milan's high-end vintage stores, did a LOT of walking, and spent hours perusing stores like Versace and Prada pretending that I could afford more than just a keychain.

brooklyn grange rooftop farms

I recently came across these rooftop farms which have sprouted up (pun intended) in several cities like New York City and Philadelphia. Brooklyn Grange Farms is a one-acre rooftop farm located in Queens, NYC that grows organic produce and sells it to local community and restaurants. They hope to inspire others to install rooftop gardens of their own and their goal is to "improve access to very good food, to connect the city more closely to farms and food production, and to make urban farming a viable enterprise and livelihood."Brooklyn Grange grows a wealth of different tomato varieties as well as salad greens, herbs, carrots, fennel, beets, radishes, and beans nine months out of the year. 

Pretty neat, huh?! I only wonder why people didn't think to do this sooner.

Friday, April 20, 2012

5 ways to celebrate Earth Day

Hope you're all having a joyful Earth Week! I couldn't be more excited for this weekend for two important reasons- 1. my birthday and 2. Earth Day

I was not born to hippy parents. In fact, I haven't a clue where my tree hugging tendencies derive from. I seemed to just innately love the earth and want to protect it. I attribute this to being born the day before Earth Day. Spring is my favorite season and I think April is the perfect month to be born in. To celebrate these two important events, the plan was to go camping up in North Carolina for the weekend. However, the weather gods do not seem to be on my side and there are severe thunderstorm warnings all weekend, so camping is going to be postponed until next weekend.

Here are some realistic ways that you can show Mother Nature some lovin' for this year's Earth Day.

1. Visit your local farmers market

Produce tastes so much better when it's fresh, local, and in season anyways. Give back to both the environment and your local community by ditching the grocery store for the week and shopping local instead. Round up a group of friends, check out the free samples, and take the time to catch up on life. Most farmers markets also sell locally made art, gifts, and trinkets.

2. Cook a great meal

Now that you've got all this fresh produce, get your friends together and cook an awesome meal together. Here are some great recipes that use produce that's currently in season.

3. A repurposing project

A great way to use old glass containers is to remove the label and repurpose them as holders for makeup brushes/ pens/ lip gloss/ whatever your heart desires. I filled up an old glass jar, filled it up with colored sand and stones, and now use it to hold my makeup brushes. It's a unique, pretty way to display my makeup brushes.

4. Go camping

Nothing makes you appreciate the environment more than basking outdoors in its greatness. Round up some friends and camping gear and head out for a weekend of camping. Just made sure you clean up after yourselves while you're on the trails!

5. Travel lightly

Ditch your car for a day and bike, walk, or take public transportation wherever you need to go. My campus employer Outdoor Recreation hosted an event this week called "Travel Lightly" to reward students that biked, walked, took a shuttle, or carpooled to campus that day. We had a bike parade and held a raffle, and made the front page of the newspaper the next day. It's a really simple concept that can make such a profound impact on the environment.

What else will you be doing this weekend to celebrate Earth Day?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fruit & Nut Salad

One of my more spectacular salad creations consisting of:
spinach//cherry tomatoes//chopped peaches// walnuts// goat cheese// olive oil// balsamic vinegar

healthful hippy heaven.

corals & florals

1. bracelet by Sheila Fajl 2. dress by Araks 3. blouse from H&M Eco Conscious Collection 4. bag by Matt & Nat 5. skirt & blouse by bhalo

Brighten up your wardrobe with these spring-inspired eco-friendly fashion choices. I can't get enough of this season's corals, florals, and gold.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

{hippy read} animal vegetable miracle

This book changed my life.
Or at least the way that I eat in it. 

Calling all hippies, vegans, carnivores, and cookie monsters alike- no matter what you may call yourself, you should really pick this book up and read it from front to back.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle tells the story of a family that decided to eat only what they could produce on their very own farm in rural Virginia. Rather than preaching benefits of a vegan/paleo/pescetarian, etc. diet, AVM promotes a "locavore" way of life- eating whole, unprocessed foods that are organic, local, and in season. Barbara Kingsolver enlightens you with overlooked facts about America's food industry while keeping you entertained with her witty recaps of life on the farm. The book also contains tons of really awesome recipes, all of which are available on their website.

Rather than making self-promises to shun all animal products, I have vowed to be more conscious of what I eat. I now think about what it took to get my food from its place origin to my plate. 

And sadly, that means no more bananas. 

...okay one banana per week won't kill anyone, right?

Monday, April 16, 2012

repurpose: what's old is new again

old stairs into bedside table//mason jars into food storage//pallets into shelving unit//glass containers into flower vases//pallets into movie room seating units

Just a few creative ways you can repurpose old things into new, unique home decor. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

{hippy eats} avocado egg salad sandwich

As a child, egg salad sandwiches were pretty much a staple in my diet.  My mom made a big batch of it for me a couple of times a month and it was one of my favorite lunches. I haven't had an egg salad sandwich in years, mostly because the mayonnaise in it gives it a bad rap. For some reason I've been craving a good egg salad sandwich so I decided to give it a healthy revamp. I used a small amount of mayonnaise and then added avocado to the mix. Not only is it healthier than the traditional recipe, it tastes ten times better too.  In case you're clueless as to how to hard boil eggs {...not me of course} this article tells you how to make "perfect hard boiled eggs."

What you need:
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 Tbsp vegenaise
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt
After hard boiling your eggs, peel the shells and mash with a fork. Add the avocado and mayonnaise and mash in with the eggs. Add the paprika and salt to taste. Enjoy with 2 pieces of multigrain toast.

I {Heart} My Job

I have a pretty awesome job. I work for my school's (the University of South Carolina) Outdoor Recreation program, specifically in the Sustainability department. We have several different programs within the department, including an "Adopt-a-Waterway" program, a Carbon Neutral initiative, our own organic urban garden, and a new Carolina Community Garden. For the Carolina Community Garden we built 20 raised beds on campus, and each semester groups of students and/or faculty are able to rent them out- for free. It's a great opportunity for students who want to grow their own vegetable garden, and we're already seeing tons of success with it.

Last week several campus organizations participated in an event called Earthstock. We had crafts, healthy organic food catered by the local Rosewood Market, and bands playing as a kick-off to Earth Week.

For a fun, outdoor-related craft, we made these groovy paracord "safety bracelets." You can find the instructions here.

I'm quite impressed with how mine turned out- brings me back to my boondoggle days!

{my manager Katie and her happy dog Rivers}

{fellow O-Rec'er Justin teaching people how to make safety bracelets}

 Another table was making these flower and star-shaped wildflower "seed bombs," which you can essentially just throw anywhere that things grow. Pretty cool. I found an awesome tutorial online you should check out if you'd like to do some seed bombing of your own.

{yummy organic eats from Rosewood Market}

It's pretty rewarding to go to a school that is so persistent about engaging in environmentally sustainable practices. And it's going to be pretty depressing having to leave it behind after I graduate, but I'm excited to see the program evolve and expand after I leave and to know that I was a part of it.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Adventures in Asheville, NC

A couple weeks ago my mom flew down to South Carolina (where I attend school) from New York to visit me. We decided to ditch Columbia and book a hotel in Asheville, NC for a couple nights. Asheville is an adorable little hippy city snuggled cozily into the Blue Ridge Mountains. "Go local” signs hang on every shop front and local restaurant, and green-friendly building developments are sprouting up left and right. People totally dig the environment here. They love playing outdoors and are intent on making sure the earth stays in the same shape they left it in.
Ever eaten at a farm-to-table restaurant? If not, then you should.  It’s basically a restaurant that sources its food only from local farms (usually within a 100 mile radius) which is not only better for the environment (less oil used to transport food) but it also allows for a more sustainable local economy. In most cities you would need to scope out an establishment like this, but in Asheville it’s hard to eat somewhere that isn’t reliant on locally grown foods. When my mom and I arrived in downtown Asheville on Tuesday afternoon, we sat down for lunch at a restaurant called Early Girl Eatery. It had a diner-like appeal, but with exceptionally better food.
I enjoyed a tempeh reuben sandwich with a side of beets, and also picked at my mom's black bean cakes which were oooh so delicious.
We spent our days in the NC mountains exploring the extravagant Biltmore Estate (the Vanderbilt’s “play house” which happens to be the largest private home in the country), hiking Chimney Rock, and window shopping. Oh and going to see the Hunger Games at the theatre… OBSESSED.
{tulip gardens and wine cellar at the Biltmore Estate}
{Bellinis and a delicious pesto pizza that brought me back to my days in Tuscany}
{incredible views from Chimney Rock}
This trip left me totally torn about my future life plans- I could totally see myself living somewhere in the mountains with a dozen acres, some animals to play with, and plenty of wildlife to explore.
Mountains or beach, mountains or beach? Can I have both?

{hippy eats} spelt berry salad

Pretty soon everyone's vegetable gardens will be overflowing with sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes (aka nature's candy), aromatic basil, and crunchy kale. Here's a recipe that's great for making use of these seasonal veggies.
  • 1 cup spelt berries (or grain of preference)
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup kale
  • olive oil
1. To cook spelt berries, bring to a boil with 3 cups of water, then lower heat and simmer until all of the water has been absorbed (about 1 1/2 hours).

2. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil then roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft.

3. Once the spelt berries are cooked, lightly sauté the kale in olive oil until tender.

4. Toss the spelt berries, pesto, tomatoes, and kale together in a large bowl.

A Warm Welcome

When one hears the word "hippy," the following are often things that come to mind...

{head o' dreads, scantily dressed, potentially under the influence, with a slight stench.}

I'm here to prove this conception inaccurate. Hippies are real people too! Yes I care about the environment- but I care about fashion, design, and personal hygiene as well. I'm what you call a refined hippy. The 60's hippies were of our yesteryears and this decade has seen a brand new breed of hippy. It has resulted in an influx of eco-conscious fashion apparel and accessories, "green" buildings, natural cosmetics, and oh so much more. 

I'm here to give you the scoop on the latest sustainable fashion designers, share some of my favorite healthy, hippy recipes, and indulge you with my ceaseless wit and humor (ha- just go along with it).
So to my proud hippies of the future, welcome and enjoy!

{me throwing peace signs at the Lennon Wall in Prague- in homage to my 60's hippy predecessors}

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