Friday, April 26, 2013

Williamsburg Flea Market

As I mentioned in my succulent post, over the weekend, I went to the Williamsburg Flea Market with my favorite friend. Just take the L into Brooklyn, get off at the first stop (Bedford Avenue) and walk towards the river. Here are some shots from the day.
{busy day. loved the solar panels scattered throughout the market}

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Hello! In honor of Earth Day, I'd like to share the succulent plant I bought yesterday at the Williamsburg Flea Market. I'll be sharing a bit about the flea market itself later this week (which by the way, is also a great way to be green, since it's highlighting the phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle"). I love plants, as they look great, but they also provide us with oxygen. However, I'm a terrible plant caretaker because I tend to forget to water them but succulents are a fantastic solution.
I bought my hanging terrarium from the Sticks and Stones booth - please visit her Etsy shop. I'd read about succulents a while ago when I was researching easy-to-care-for plants to bring to my office. I bought some paperwhites bulbs a few months ago and it was a lot of fun watching them sprout and then flower but right now, it's almost dead because I'm a horrible plant owner. Succulents require v. little maintenance, as they only need to be watered once or twice a month. They do need a consistent amount of sunlight and protection from extreme weather conditions (so keep away from open windows and heaters and fans). Sticks and Stones provided me with a little instruction sheet which just explains what I just wrote about the watering schedule and maintenance.
You can certainly make a terrarium yourself as none of the supplies are difficult to find (by the way, Sticks and Stones also sells DIY kits). Succulent plants are most likely available at your nearby gardening shop. I've seen them in the gardening section of Home Depot (and Lowes) too. You'll also need a glass container (or a terracotta pot), some pebbles to line the bottom, a bit of charcoal to prevent mold growth, potting soil (preferably organic), and then optional are the decorative features like moss and figurines and the like.

Here's a shot of my plant: I chose a dinosaur figurine and the succulent plant I got actually blooms!


And here's a shot of Sticks and Stones' business card for your reference:
I hope this post encourages you to incorporate a little more green into your life! Again, happy earth day.

Cheers.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Maya Island Air

You may or may not know that I am headed to Belize at the end of June/beginning of July and I am quite excited about it. I also mentioned that we are staying on Ambergris Caye and that we'll need to take a flight or ferry from Belize City. I booked our flights via Maya Island Air just a couple of weeks ago through their super easy website. It cost $135 per person, round trip, and that amount includes fees and taxes. (FYI, you can also purchase tickets through Tropic Air for a v. similar price, maybe just a few cents more).

After a bit of research, I learned that they don't allow any carry-on bags! The only items that can accompany you on the plane are small ones that will fit on your lap. Why? Because the planes are tiny (and awesome)! Their largest planes seat 12 passengers and their smallest planes seat just 7. I'm quite excited about the flight because I've never been on such a small plane before and I assume the view is going to be quite spectacular. I'm definitely going to have my camera at the ready. By the way, there is no assigned seating on these flights but I'm under the impression it doesn't even matter because everyone gets a window seat AND an aisle seat combo, as there are just single rows of seats on each side.

Because the planes are on the smaller side, their free luggage allowance is up to 50 lbs with a dimension limitation of 62" (length + width + height). They also recommend you use a soft bag that can be mushed into fitting the cargo space. If your luggage does not fit, it may need to be placed on a different flight and you will have to wait for it. I have soft luggage and it's carry-on size (because I never check bags) so I'm not worried. Plus, since it's a tropical climate, I'm packing small clothes and swimsuits that won't take up a ton of room anyway AND I'll probably be sharing luggage with my sister (as we tend to do on these trips). Makes me glad that I'm already a "less is more" kind of gal. The rules for Tropic Air are just slightly different, as they allow two checked bags with a 33 lb limit for each.

By the way, visit the website (and the website of any airline you choose) to check up on the time limitations on ticketing and checking bags and all that jazz so that you can be as prepared as possible. Also, don't forget to check out the customs rules of any country you visit to make sure you don't bring anything that may be confiscated. I checked Belize's recently to find out if they had any rules on bringing food (we wanted to bring some stuff down to stock the kitchen in our hotel suite) and I found out you basically can't bring any food so that's that.

Cheers.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Camera Update (2)

Remember I mentioned last week that I bought a new lens? Well, it arrived! It's nice and compact, like I knew it would be, and it's going to be amazing for traveling with. I've just got to start working with it so I can use it to its full potential.

Look how cute!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Belize: Overexcited

Is anyone else like me, where future plans get you so happy and excited that you're in a good mood (almost) everyday?

Lately I've just been so excited and happy because of my trip to Belize. As I do more research, figure out a general itinerary, finalize transportation plans, it gets me more and more excited. I submitted my vacation time request forms to my supervisor yesterday and that small gesture gave me a surge of joy because it was just another reminder that this trip is happening. By the way, this trip is 80 days away.

On (most) Sunday evenings, I try and find a calming/relaxing activity to do so that I'll be well-rested for the work week. Usually, I treat myself to a pamper evening with a bath and a trashy magazine or a few hours of guilty-pleasure television but this past Sunday, I sat down with my journal and started figuring out what I might wear on my Belize trip. Here are the results:
{my packing list}
{my packing list, illustrated}
So let me repeat the question I posed at the beginning of this post: anyone else get overexcited the way I do?

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

My Snorkeling How To Guide

I can't pretend that I'm some sort of crazy snorkeling expert but honestly, there's not a lot to it. The reason I'm putting together this post is because I love snorkeling. And for anyone out there who is afraid to go or is unmotivated to go, I'm hoping this gives you a little push.
{from my trip to Turks & Caicos}
First things first, what's snorkeling? Snorkeling is just swimming with a little bit of basic equipment: snorkel, mask, and sometimes fins.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Camera Update!



In anticipation of my trip to Belize, I've made a list of things I'm going to need; things like bug spray, new snorkels, etc. But, the biggest thing on my list was a new lens for my new camera. I wanted something that would be functional and practical but most of all, portable. The kit I bought came with an 18-55mm lens. The other choice was to purchase both an 18-55mm lens and a 55-210mm lens, and I thought that was totally superfluous - what am I, a paparazzo? Anyway, the 18-55mm lens is awesome and it gets the job done BUT it's quite large, especially compared to the camera body.
So, I ended up purchasing a 16mm wide angle lens which has a larger aperture than the 18-55mm but is quite tiny and will make the camera small enough to fit in a pocket.

Also, I figure I'll need a backup battery for all-day trips (like to Altun Ha or any of the other ancient ruin sites) so I bought one that comes with an actual charger. The 5R kit I purchased didn't come with a charger; you just plug in the camera to charge it.
I haven't actually received either of these yet, as I've only just placed the order a couple days ago, but I was too excited not to share. I expect both to be quite nice, as I read countless reviews before taking the plunge, so I'll only update if I have negative feedback.

Happy Friday!
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