Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eco-lifestyle: Vertical gardens

Vertical gardens are all the rage these days in the modern sustainability circles. A vertical garden is the perfect solution for apartment dwellers who don't have a little plot of land to toil or a rooftop to transform into Eden.

The benefits includes reducing noise, cooling a building, filtering and oxygenating the air and of course, producing delicious organic food. Vertical gardens can consist of herbs, vegetables, ferns or whatever you fancy. I found the best pictures of succulent vertical gardens so I think if I were to tackle this project, I would go the succulent route first.

I found instructions here.

1. Build a frame with a 2'' depth and cover with wire mesh. Or buy one at Succulent gardens

2. Place soil over screen and run your fingers over the screen and soil to move through screen. Make sure there is very little air space between soil and screen.

3. Snip some cuttings from mature plants. Make sure the stems are 1/4 inch in length or smaller. The cuttings will need to heal and form a scab for about one week before planting. Store cuttings in a cool shaded area before planting.

4. Poke the cuttings’ stem ends through the mesh and into the soil. Leave the frame lying flat in a cool, bright location while plants take root, about 7 to 10 days after planting, then begin watering.

Once plants are securely rooted―this takes between 4 and 12 weeks―display the frames upright in an area that gets morning or filtered sun.

Water as soil approaches dryness, about every 7 to 10 days. To water, remove frame from the wall, lay flat, water lightly, and let soil drain before hanging up again.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Inspired travel: Mini vacation

Though I am a hiker, biker and nature lover, I am not a camper. After a long day traversing the outdoors I like to enjoy a comfortable bed and a warm shower. But, after seeing this adorable "camper" I think I could change my mind.

This MiniTear teardrop trailer is so light it can be hitched to the back of a Mini Cooper!

The back opens up to a slick little kitchen - complete with a collapsable table.

The cabin has a cozy bed with a night light for reading and cubbies for your necessities.

I would get one of these compact picnic backpacks for the trip which has been on my wish list for a while.

And maybe even this sweet little portable sewing machine... just in case your struck by sudden inspiration to make a...sundress. Ok, I know it's random, but it was too cute to exclude on my list of compact fun!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Inspired home: Cottage dreams

I love my condo and I am so completely grateful for it. But, I long to live in a cottage loaded with charm like this one. The Highland Park three bedroom (not including the den), two bathroom Craftsman beauty fits my vision.

Love the red door, big porch, the architectural details in the windows, hardwood floors and oh, to have a yard! I'm already decorating it in my head... for more beautiful homes check out Take Sunset

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Healthy beauty: Flax seed meal

We all know we need our antioxidants and Omega 3s because they fight cancer and slow the process of aging - to name just a few benefits. But, we all didn't know that you could take your daily dose in just two quick, yummy tablespoons. Flaxseed meal is an incredibly simple way to add these nutrients to your diet. You can add it to cereal, pancakes or waffles.

Here are some fun facts about flaxseed meal. Remember, we are talking about two tablespoons. It delivers as much fiber as 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal. You have to eat 30 cups of broccoli to get the same amount of lignans (a natural antioxidant). One serving of flaxseed meal contains 2400 milligrams of Omega-3.

I use Dr. Bob's Red Mill Whole Ground Flaxseed meal which I buy at Trader Joe's. But you can also find it at Amazon. Next week I'm going to share my secret trick for adding it to my daily diet - without having to bake!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Eco-lifestyle: Bamboo drinking straws

There is a mass of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas. Read more here. The ramifications to this are staggering. Not only does it kill wildlife who get caught in the tangle, marine wildlife is consuming the particles of plastic which obviously makes it's way into our food. The need for alternatives to plastic are obvious and require immediate action. There are a multitude of new products emerging every day. Bamboo drinking straws is one such product that caught my eye. It is a small change we can all make is replace the use of plastic drinking straws.

These lovely bamboo alternatives are not only cool but biodegradable and last much longer then their plastic step-sibling. For more about bamboo read my post about bamboo here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I was so happy to discover two different blog posts on elopements this week. Elopements are something very dear to my heart. I have created a business based on elopements because I passionately believe in them. As much as having the big day with a hundred of your friends and family is exciting, fun, spectacular and sometimes just plain necessary, I think there is a sweetness and magic to sharing the epic moment that you commit to each other privately. An elopement allows a couple to celebrate their love without distraction. The hopeless romantic within me likes the idea of "running away together". I imagine spontaneously whisking off into the night like a couple of crazy teenagers - with nothing but a suitcase, a tie and a white dress. It is so meaningful and intimate. And so very attainable. It's embodies everything love should be - simple, pure and genuine.

This adorable couple held a civil ceremony in Boston and had a photographer follow them around for the day. The elopement was featured on Forget-Me-Not weddings and you can check out more photos and details here.

This couple featured on 100 Layer Cake gathered a few of their closest friends and family members for a mountainside ceremony near the Kern River in the California Sierras. The resourceful bride crafted her own dress and bouquet. More details here.

Inspired table by Atlier Joya

I spotted this beautiful tablescape over at Atlier Joya, a San Francisco based florist, and just can't stop thinking about it so I'm going to stick it on the blog for everyone to enjoy. I wonder if I could make that light fixture with the mason jars...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lifelong Cinderella: Tiara for all occasions

I recently watched the Movie “Million Dollar Mermaid” which featured the fabulous Esther Williams swimming in a deliciously sparkly tiara. I sighed and said “I would love to go swimming in a tiara”.

My S.O. didn’t miss a beat and responded “you would love to do everything in a tiara”. I was about to whack him in the arm when I thought about it and said, “It's true, I would like to do everything in a tiara.”

And why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t you? Like Esther Williams, if you are tiara worthy, you are not just tiara worthy on your wedding day or if you have a royal bloodline. You are tiara worthy all the time. Here is a collection of lovely tiaras you can wear anytime, including a weekend at the pool (just don't get your hair wet).

You can read books in a tiara as demonstrated by this lovely model from Lo Boheme's Etsy shop.

You can wear a tiara as a posh accessory to a cocktail dress, as demonstrated by this gorgeous Bando piece that looks like a starfish.

Or even just hanging out on a lazy day seems more elegant in a tiara. This affordable piece was spotted at Jane & Davis on Etsy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eco-lifestyle: Très trailer

I am inspired by the iPhone. I am enamored with the convenience of having every tool I need at my fingertips. I used to carry a cell phone, iPod and a camera. Before I switched cell phone carriers, I had them all in one sweet little package - not to mention all the applications I never knew I couldn't live without. What does the iPhone have to do with trailers?

Pre-fabricated modular housing reminds me of the iPhone concept. The former "trailer" market has transformed into a streamlined green building art form. I love the idea of simplifying life with cleaner, simpler and just plain cooler designs with a multitude of uses. And the best part is they are ecologically friendly, designed to leave a small footprint on the land. Clean contemporary lines, paired with simple, ecologically-sound materials make for stylish spaces that maximize their functionality.

Imagine having a 500 square foot home complete with ample closet and cabinet space cleverly built into nooks and crannies, open living space with ample windows that can withstand the elements, and a home so packed with energy efficient construction options that it can operate independent of any sources outside itself. This is the concept of the prefab home, and here are a few of my favorites:

HOM based in Los Angeles not only offers prefab homes, but with a product line of furniture, lighting, textiles and accessories, it incorporates an entire lifestyle that is crafted to be simple, purposeful and ecological.

{photo credit: HOMlifystyle.com}

Modern Cabana based in San Francisco offers a great starter package into the prefab world with a fully finished 10 x 12 studio starting at $11,500.

{photo credit: moderncabana.com}

Not only does Reclaimed Space of Austin, TX have some of the most charming prefab cottages around, it takes sustainability to new heights by offering homes with materials cultivated from deconstructive projects like old barns. The company provides green building options such as photovoltaic solar panel systems, wind turbines, solar water heaters, rainwater collection systems, waterless solar toilets and composting toilets.

This adorable abode by Reclaimed Space was displayed by Dwell on Design and was auctioned on eBay for $75,000. Proceeds were donated to Habitat for Humanity. The irresistible interior decor was created by Ecofabulous using green products.

{photo credit: reclaimedspace.com}

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Inspired place: Green Acres Lavender Farm

I have returned from my travels in Northern California. I had a lovely time visiting with family and old friends in my little city by the bay. On the way home, my S.O. and I stopped at the Green Acres Lavender Farm in Atascadero which I've always wanted to visit. It was breathtaking. The second we stepped out of the car the sweet scent of lavender immediately permeated the senses.

We met the owners who are warm and incredibly knowledgeable on the topic of all things lavender. Sadly, the farm is up for sale as life has taken the owners on a new adventure. The property would make for an incredible bed and breakfast so if you know anyone in the market... There is also some resident cats who will need new homes all of which were really sweet, friendly, beautiful kitties. I've already got dibs on Sir Felix of Lavender who I have fallen madly in love with.

The lavender isn't in bloom until July, so I am aching to go back during their 5th annual lavender festival July 10th. Maybe I'll see you there!

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