Mermaids & Summer Plans

Announcing…

Recently I posted about South Dakota travel. There was a reason for that because….I’m going on a road trip this week, one that goes through South Dakota and ends up in Northern California! After my exploratory trip to the Bay Area in March that included presenting at the Tech Fashion Week Fashion Blogger event, I decided I liked it enough to go back for the summer.

I’m excited for what the adventure holds. I’m hoping for lots of farmer’s markets, trips around the Bay Area and starting a garden in a climate where the growing season in longer than two frost-free months a year. If you have a favorite spot in California, drop it in the comments. I hope to travel around a little bit while I’m there.

To celebrate my impending departure, here’s an outfit (if you can call it that) from my last trip to California and some FAQ.

Q: What are you doing there?

A: Well last trip, I went to Half Moon Bay dressed up as a mermaid  (that Halloween costume wasn’t going to re-wear itself) and got drone footage of it so I think the answer to that question is WHO KNOWS REALLY.  But the responsible answer is I’ll be working on my freelance writing and hopefully getting really incredibly inspired by redwood trees and the absence of mosquitoes. It’s all pretty much remote work anyway so not much will change except my zip code and my ability to afford things.

Q: Where are you living?

A: In the South Bay in a house that’s way too full, a bathroom that’s way too shared, a refrigerator that’s packed and I’m just adding to the problem. I did live in a sorority house for two years so I think it will be a lot like that, but with more discussions about start ups.

Follow my adventures on Instagram to see what I’m up to.

What are your summer plans? Let me know in the comments!

The Return of the 1920s Style Formal Dress Trend

So you’re getting ready for all those fun spring events and you need a dress…if all the current trends of today aren’t quite your thing, or you just want to stand out, why not look to the past for inspiration? Gatsby style may have fizzled a little since the 2012 movie heyday, but 1920s inspired party fashion is a perennial classic (and my own personal favorite fashion era). Honestly who wouldn’t want to wear the flowing fabrics and beaded accessories?

This post is sponsored by Wardrobe Shop, a kind of a one stop shop for finding your next outfit for spring formals, weddings, or just looking really, really good for brunch. You can look like you just stepped off the set of Downtown Abbey.

Let’s take a look at three fun ways to incorporate a vintage 1920s look into your formal wear. Go for the entire head to toe look, or choose just one fashion element to elevate your look with a hint of vintage glam.

Hats

Fascinators and decorative hats are for more than royal weddings and the Kentucky Derby. Dress up your look by taking a cue from the stylish women of history. Choose a hat with a plume (see photo below), flowers, ribbon or a combination of all three.

Dresses

Formal wear trends frequently borrow from decades past, and styles this season are no exception. You can find the ruffles, tulle and lace of yesteryear in styles that will fit right in at weddings, parties and dances.

Faux Fur

A faux fur (or “vegan fur”) wrap is just like what my great-grandmother wore, but better because it’s cruelty free. It adds a bit of warmth on chilly nights, but way more importantly a lot of glam.

Shoes

Don’t forget shoes! Pair any of the above looks with your favorite heels or check out button up boots and vintage inspired shoe styles.

4 Ways to Try Edible Violets this Spring

edible violets on cupcakesAre Violets Edible?

Violets can be used for more than violet crowns and bouquets. Although sometimes considered a lawn weed, violets are edible as well as beautiful. Just make sure they haven’t been sprayed with chemicals and wash them first. To make gathering wild edible violets easy, I use a $3 mini colander from World Market. It’s only available in store, so here are some other ideas if you don’t have one near you. It’s also great for herbs, berry picking and other small garden harvests.

The shade loving flowers are blooming right now in the Midwest. If you have them, don’t let your chance to eat flowers pass you by this spring. They’re here for a limited time! Try these four recipe ideas for preparing edible violets in a beautiful way.

Violet Flower Recipe Ideas

Wondering how to eat violets? The pretty purple flowers add a luxurious touch to meal time. And according to the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, the flowers contain soluble fiber. Win.

Violet Flower Tea

Fresh or dried violet flowers and leaves make a light, refreshing tea.

Violet Flower Cake Garnish

Frost a cake and add the flowers (cut off the stems) as an all-natural, organic, vegan and gluten free cake decoration. Pair it with a homemade cake banner for extra flair.

Violet Flower Salad

Add a handful of violet flowers to a salad for a pop of color. The flowers don’t have a strong taste so they blend right in. Violet leaves are also edible so try adding those to a salad too.

Violet Flower Ice Cubes

Add a floral touch to drinks when entertaining. Just freeze violet flowers into the water when you’re making ice in a tray. So easy!

Violet flowers add a touch of natural whimsy to your meals that will delight your guests. Some children (and adults!) might need a little encouragement to eat a flower, but it’s a great opportunity for understanding and appreciating the culinary gifts the wild world has to offer.

How to Create a Vision Statement and Change Your Life

One goal setting technique that WORKS.

Today I’m sharing how you can try the technique that helped one woman manifest the partner, children and job of her dreams in four years. Curious? I was too! You have to hear her story!

My friend Faith introduced me to her vision statement and powerful vision board techniques that can help you make changes in life and reach your goals, and I want to share them with you so you can make this the best year ever. It works by setting your sights on what’s possible. It’s all about intention.

Set your sights on what's possible. It's all about intention. Click To Tweet

create a vision statement

How to create a vision statement

Faith discovered this technique during a time of hopelessness.  “At the time, I was working in a dysfunctional workplace, was in a painful and unfulfilling relationship and was 35 with no hope of creating the family/children I barely dared to hope were possible,” she says.

Here’s the technique she used: write a statement about how your life is in the future, and date it with a future date. Make it as specific as possible with a focus on the feeling of gratitude you have for meeting your goals.

“It should be written in present tense, as if you have already achieved your goals and created your vision with an example of the specifics. It should also be reviewed and altered on a regular basis as your vision evolves, continuing to add details and change things as needed.”

This could be in addition to a vision board collage with images, or by itself.

Does this sound crazy? Read the rest of Faith’s story before you decide.

How a vision statement can help you change your life

Four years later, her life is completely different. She attributes it in part to this create a vision statement exercise which helped her focus on what was important to her. She’s moved across the country, found a life partner with whom she has two beautiful children, has a fulfilling career in an emergency room and is pursuing a medical degree. That’s a dramatic transformation for sure!

It was Faith and her story that encouraged me to try creating a vision board collage and vision statements at the start of every year. I started in 2016, and it helped me reach my professional goal of adding three new publications to my writing portfolio, as well as some personal life goals. You still need to put in the work, but putting the vision in a written or visual format can keep you focused. As Faith said, “Life still has its challenges but I feel better equipped to handle them.” I’m so grateful to her for sharing her story in hopes of inspiring others!

What do you think about this goal setting technique? Read more about how to transform you life with vision board exercises.

4 Unique Places to See in South Dakota

This post is sponsored by Hot Springs, South Dakota and the South Dakota Department of Tourism, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This summer I’m planning a pretty big road trip, one that goes through South Dakota. (More on that to come later!) I visited the Black Hills, The Badlands and Mount Rushmore with my parents when I was younger on our way to Colorado. It’s definitely something every American should try to see at least once. There is more to see in the area though, which is why these lesser-known tourist destinations are on my list to check out in Hot Springs, SD:

Wild Horse Sanctuaries

There are two wild horse sanctuaries you can visit and see horses roaming free in their natural habitat. Ever since I read Misty of Chincoteague at age 10, I’ve found it fascinating that even today horses run wild in the United States.

Mineral Water Health Spas

I’ve visited natural hot springs in the Colorado mountains as well as mineral spas in Switzerland and I can easily say that it’s one of my favorite vacation activities. The mineral water spas in Hot Springs, South Dakota are much closer to home and open year round.

Pioneer Museum

The area has a ton of history, so it’s fitting that there’s a pioneer museum. It would be of interest to anyone who liked my Pioneer Park post. While I’ve been to several pioneer museums as a child and for article research, I never tire of them!

 Wind Cave National Park

Here you can tour one of the longest caves in the world as well as hike through a National Park that has buffalo, elk, deer, coyotes, antelope!

If wild horses, mineral spas and pioneer museums aren’t your thing there are way more attractions to check out including a mammoth site and fossil museum. If you’ve been to the Hot Springs area, let me know what you think is the best place to check out.

What to Wear

>Summer road trip advice from a Midwesterner – here’s what you might want to pack.

1. Summer boots – good for adventuring. These come in three colors.

2. An embellished dress for looking good in your Instagram shots 😉 This one will look like it fits right in at the Pioneer Museum.

3. Cat’s eye sunglasses

4. Embellished denim jackets are everywhere now, and they’re so practical for keeping mosquitoes off!

All photos used with permission courtesy of the South Dakota Board of Tourism.

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