Monday, October 9, 2017

Adding Style to Everyday Life

Sometimes life can become mundane, and the simple patterns of life repeat and repeat. An easy way to break the pattern of monotony is to add fabric accents to your home.

I could be adding new curtains, a rug, window treatments, table centerpieces or, a new outfit to wear out on the town. My favorite designer Yetunde Sarumi often gives me inspiration on how to add elegance to my home. Her company YS (Yetunde Sarumi) uses unique fabrics from West Africa to create stunning clothes that stand out and make an impact.

Drawing inspiration from her amazing collection, I used a piece of long fabric to create a curtain between the washroom and the mudroom. Every time I look at this personally curated curtain I am inspired to look for other ways to add simple elegance to my home.

Who knew, how easy it could be to create a warm and welcoming home.

                                       Picture of the curated curtain

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Sweet Taste of Vida

Fall is officially here, which reminds me of fond memories of growing up in Ohio. Fall was always a spectacular season with the chilly weather, stunning vivid colors of the fall leaves, and warm spiced apple cider for special occasions.

Now living in South Carolina, I still want to recreate those memories. So I've been inspired to create my own recipe of spiced apple cider. When creating a recipe it is important to use the highest quality of ingredients. To create just the right amount of sweetness in the cider I will use Akron Honey, their honey is dynamic and flavorful. The company owned by Wesly Ian in Akron, Ohio is an Urban Honey and Personal Men's Care company. They use sustainable practices that create the best honey possible.

My favorite batch is Middlebury, which is harvested in Middlebury Neighborhood, which includes Chittenden st.  This neighborhood is as vibrant and dynamic as Akron Honey and it's reflected in the amazing taste and flavor of the Middlebury Honey.

Blending the apple juice with a variety of spices, along with Akron Honey creates the perfect apple cider. When I drink this cider it reminds me that the season has changed, it's a new time and season to create fall memories with my family here in Columbia, South Carolina.

What's your favorite thing about fall?

Middlebury Red 3oz
Harvest Date: 11.11.15
Tastes Like: Extra Sweet , Floral, Medium Smoky
Influences: White Dutch Clover, Black Locust, Japanese Knotweed
Use with: Tea & Coffee, Spicy Dishes (glaze or drizzle), Fried Foods (chicken), Bland Foods (biscuits), Fruit

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Brighten your day!

Looking for an easy way to uplift your day? Fresh flowers are a great way to add elegance and grace to your home. To buy a beautiful flower arrangement can be expensive, but you can pick your own wild flowers for free. 

While on a walk in the up and coming neighborhood of Pinehurst, I found some flower gems that added fragrance and beauty to my home. Strolling on Magnolia Street I found a vibrant yellow yarrow plant and some lush green wild dill on an empty lot at 3007 Magnolia St. Those flowers and herbs allowed me to create a stunning bouquet for my home.  

I love walking the Pinehurst Community, it gives me a chance to see the many turn of the century homes, stroll the wide boulevards of Magnolia St and Chestnut St. The Pinehurst Community Center has free herbs and vegetables for the public to gather at any time. In the past, I have added the (free)  fresh bell peppers and basil to salads, and created a delicious pizza. 

Being able to collect wild flowers in my local neighborhood is such a pleasure and an easy way to add pizazz and warmth to my home. There are so many ways to live an organic and sustainable lifestyle in a fast paced world. 

What is your favorite neighborhood? 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Friendships are the best!

Friendships are crucial! I was so happy when my bestie from childhood arrived with her husband and two cute little ones to South Carolina. We had such a blast eating, laughing, and catching up. I realized that friendship, true friendship is so vital to life. With so much going on now a days its great to have a friend who will always have your back. 

While we were all outside enjoying the beautiful SC weather, my friend mentioned that the mosquitoes here were very strong and she had a ton of bites. My husband and I both laughed and said yes, at own house they are quite ferocious. Thankfully, my resourceful Mom was there and heard her comment, the first things she said was, April! Get your friend some essential oils! I ran into the house and retrieved the lime oil along with some apricot oil as a carrier oil. 

My friend tried the oil and it worked! She was so happy and so were all the rest of us. Soon all of us were doused in oils and thankfully mosquito proof! That way her sweet kids could enjoy the animals and the rest of us could laugh and giggle at their cute kiddie ways. 

Having an organic and sustainable life can sometimes seem hard in this past paced world, but really it can be easy to gradually add simple things that make your life easier and healthier.  Essential oils has been a boon for my family, and each oil has so many remedies for everyday household needs. From Eucalyptus when you aren't feeling well, to Lavender when you just need to relax there are thousands of oils and you can specialize which oil you want to use based on your needs. This is just one of the ways that I keep my family healthy and happy. 

What are some things that you do to be healthy at home? 

Monday, August 21, 2017

The start of a new journey.......

Life takes you many places and is in a constant flux. And so my life has changed, I've gone from a traveling single woman to a married woman who is focused on things at home. With this recent change, I have become more and more involved in the homestead movement. On the future posts for this blog, I will be writing about how to have a more organic and sustainable lifestyle. Quick and easy tips that will transform your life and make it easier to be healthy in this fast paced society. 

While living in Munich, Germany I loved being able to get amazing beers. It was such a pleasure to be able to stop by the grocery and purchase beer for 70 cents and bottled in a glass too! When I returned home I was shocked by the high price for beer, and most of the beer lacked the flavor and artisan love that I found in Germany. So my frugal Ohio-ways came into play and I decided if the price is too high, just make it yourself. I was overwhelmed by the complexities of making beer so I turned to making a simple wine.Thinking about what flowers/herbs I had on hand at home I decided that I had tons of mint, and would make a mint wine. After doing some extensive research I created my own Delicious and Refreshing Mint Wine Recipe. 

Delicious and Refreshing Mint Wine Recipe. 
1. Boil a little over a gallon of water
2. Add Mint 2 cups worth.
3. Boil on a high for 30 minutes. 
4. Add 3 cups of sugar let cool.
5. Once cool add to a gallon container, and add your yeast.
6. Let it sit for 3-4 weeks then bottle and rack. 

I hope you enjoy this refreshing treat as summer turns into fall. You can create this wine with many different kinds of  herbs. Later I will post another recipe that I created using a medley of herbs. 

What kind of wine would you create? 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Falling in Love

Love is such a wonderful thing it just happens to you. When I visitied Zagreb in Croatia I didn't expect to fall in love with the city, but it happened instanteously as love so often does. 

When you are walking the streets you instantly feel as if you are on vacation the air is warm, breezy, and caresses you as walk. You can feel the sea is somewhere near, just waiting for you to visit. There are live musicians on the street jamming it out. And the sight of the stunning buildings catch your gaze. 

The people exude kindness and are always happy to help with a warm smile. Fashionable people strut by and show you how to wear three inch heels on a cobblestone road. 

My stay was accented by a fanastic stay at the hostel Main Sqauare The location was perfect right in the heart of the actiton. Everything was modern, new and expectional. The staff was gracious and kind, they wanted the guest to have the best possible  stay in their city. 

Did I mention the food? It was banging! Every meeal as flavorful and made with love. I swore that someones old grandma was throwing down in the kitchen, at every place I visited. I had some of the most expectional  food of my life. I fell in love with Croatia and hope that you will too.

What city have you visited that you instantly fell in love?

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Carribeean in Europe?

Do you love the Caribbean? Its one of my favorite places, I have  fond memories of sitting by the  beach the waves lapping up and the sun shining bright while relaxing drinking a virgin strawberry daiquiri thinking this is the life and it doesn't get much better than this, and I was right. One of the many things I got right at the age of eight. Ever since I have been looking for the best beaches around the world. Barcelona is truly a gem of a city. It has some of the most vivid and intriguing beaches in Europe, the electric blues and light purple colors of the water, the creamy golden color of the sand and the kindness of the people make it a magical and special place. 

Its a place where you feel as if everyone knows your name, the friendliness of the people along with a great appreciation of the essential things in life  food, music and good times. I always judge a place based on the coffee and the coffee in Barcelona is amazing it is strong and flavorful which is a great representation of the people and the city. 

If you are looking for a your money to go a long way Barcelona is the place to visit. You can find outstanding food for under five euros for breakfast and lunch and dinner will run you under ten. Its a shoppers dream location, I found a vintage fox fur jacket for under 50 Euros at the local Humana store, and there are shops for all price points. I stayed at the Equity Hostel right on the beach for 15 Euros a night. And while at Barceloneta beach there was a Japanese culture festival, where one could try on a kimko, sample japnesee beer andl learn more about the culture. 

There are daily  free tours, of the city which is a great opprotunity to learn about the how the Moors took the city, the Catalan people and the rich and diverse history of the city. And if you look on the publication Time Out you can find the catalan practice, and see people bravely climbing towards the sky. 

Barcelona has the best to offer, the food, music, culture, and shopping are  extradordinary. If you love the carribbean this is a great location in Europe to visit that is much cheaper and has so much to offer. What is the most important thing that you look for when you visit a city?