Friday, May 31, 2013

Breezy green choices for Europe

Uniqlo Slub Maxi Dress (Image Source Here)
I want to move in to this maxi dress from Uniqlo. I want to build a picket fence around it, raise my children in its front yard, and grow old in it. That's how good it is. At first, when I tried it on, I was kind of disappointed that it didn't look as effortlessly glamorous on me as it did on the lovely website model. But I threw on a belt to synch it at the waist, and voila! I had a figure AND a breezy dress option for Europe.

Why you should pack this dress to travel:

  • It's made of a light jersey that stands up well to wrinkle.
  • It can be rolled up very small. 
  • You can dress it up or down with jewelry and shoe pairings.
  • It fits loosely around the legs so it doesn't impede walking strides like some maxi designs.
  • You can buy it in tons of different colors.
  • It's a semi Green option (Uniqlo gets points for recycling and ethically sourcing materials but loses points in possibly questionable labor practices). 
  • It's affordable at... holy crap I just checked the website and it's on sale for $7.90!!!!! GET YOU ONE, GIRL!

Uniqlo maxi
Beaded belt from Sole Shoes and Accessories (psst...they have a scoutmob deal on right now!)
Keen Emerald City walking sandals
Vintage thrifted box bag
Holy smokes I love a maxi for a voyage. Do you have any go-to styles for travel? I'd love to hear what's on YOUR packing list!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Destination, Georgia: Moody Forest and Red Earth Farm

Georgians, you don't have to travel across the continent to California to see a rare and stunning ecosystem with majestic trees. Look no further than your own Coastal Plains region, which boasts the world's only longleaf pine ecosystem. This ecosystem once covered the vast majority of the southeast, but has now been reduced to less than 1% of its natural glory. It has become one of the rarest (and most breathtaking) ecosystems with the most diverse and rare wildlife population in Georgia, and which I was fortunate enough to visit along with my students a few weeks ago. 

In Moody Forest in Appling County, GA, I put my arms around 200+ year old trees. I could almost feel their wise hearts beating deep inside. Kids picked edible berries and grasses, and we saw a rare bird that can only be found in the longleaf forest. In our nostrils was a rich and savory smokiness, coming from a controlled burn not far away. That's how they keep the forest floor healthy and allow new growth to take root and flourish. Georgia author, Janisse Ray, prizes these trees and this forest deeply, saying “I carry the landscape inside me like an ache. The story of who I am cannot be severed from the story of the flatwoods” (Ecology of a Cracker Childhood).  Even from my short visit to Moody Forest, I could sense why. There's something magic about trees that watched our ancestors settle this land, and continue to watch as we tiny humans delve into the depths of the woods with our children in 2013. 

Our guide was the aforementioned kind and spirited author, Janisse Ray herself, who opened up her prized stomping grounds for us to explore, as well as her home and farm, Red Earth Farm, which is another amazing destination once your in the area. Especially if you're interested in ethical, natural, locally sourced food. They do amazing work there, and make it a priority to educate the public about the farm food movement. If you're visiting the longleaf pines, do yourself a favor and schedule a visit to Red Earth Farm too for organic produce or one of their cool workshops (make your own cheese, anyone??)

Janisse was too hospitable, letting the kids roam free on her farm, feeding goats, terrorizing chickens, being terrorized by an over-friendly turkey, and absorbing the good a unique place like this can do for souls. I'm overflowing with gratitude and hope for the future. My next visit to Tavia's Trail in Moody Forest will not be too long in coming. 

How to get there: The following instructions are taken from Shan Cammack and Hilary Smith's Public Lands Profile: Miracle of Moody Forest: "From Baxley, take U.S. 1 north for about eight miles. Turn right onto Asbury Church Road and go about three miles. Turn left onto Jake Moody Road, go about a mile, and then turn right onto East River Road. The trailhead for Tavia's Trail is at the intersection and the office is about a mile to the east." 

For more information about the two trails that run through this ecosystem, contact the Nature Conservancy's preserve manager at (912) 366-9549.

Monday, May 20, 2013

a pop of color

When weather's wet grey
pops of color here and there
brighten up the day.

If you want to start a novice herb garden, grow mint! You can harvest leaves right away for tea, and it will put up with almost any abuse. Forget to water it, leave it in the rain, you name it. Mint don't care. 

You can also add it to juices! Yum! I added some juice pulp to my latest muffin batch, and forgot I had added mint. It actually turned out delicious! Random surprising bites of mint in the muffins really start mornings off right. 

Also, feather hair extensions and pink umbrellas are pretty important too. Make sure you have some on hand. 

What's your favorite method to stave off depression when weather is damp and gray? 

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