The Beauty of The Elizabeth Gardens

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The last time I went to The Elizabeth Gardens was months ago, when the trees were still barren and dead. I was gathering information for a story I was writing and the landscape was beautiful despite the leafless trees. The rose gardens were empty, not a bloom in sight. This week, at the height of June, the entire place had transformed. I was in awe as I walked through the lively vines and the bees buzzed all around. The gardens are in West Hartford, surrounded by streets of mansions.

In the center of the main area of gardens is a beautiful gazebo that is covered with vines. It looks like something from a storybook, some sort of fantastic land abundant with different colored roses. There were people crawling all over the grounds taking advantage of the abundant sunshine. The lush greenery is truly magical, and I was in awe the whole time. Each rose was fantastic in color, each arch was wild with botanicals.

We walked around some hidden paths and soaked in the sun. After awhile, we took refuge in the shade and watched the chipmunks scattering under our feet. Whatever troubles I had brought with me eventually melted away.

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This is truly a nature-lovers delight, and I highly recommend going! Let me know if anyone has gone there before, or perhaps has suggestions about similar places. πŸ™‚

If you want to see what else I’m up to, check out my Instagram and Tumblr!

-Heather

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Lighter Layers

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I’ve broken out the lighter jackets. And I am finding that I am totally in love with leather. I loved taking photos of the details in this jacket that I can finally enjoy.

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Details:

Shirt: TJMaxx

Jeans: Target

Shoes: Keds

Jacket: Guess

 

Are you finally getting some sunshine where you live? Let me know what your usual outfit has been this spring. The days vary so much that my closet is living in limbo. At least it keeps things exciting. πŸ™‚

“Everything has changed and yet,Β 
I am more me than I have ever been.”

-Iain ThomasΒ 

My September Favorites.

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Hello everyone!

I’m aware of the fact that I am super early for a “favorites” blog post as it is September 24th, but I wanted to express some unconditional favorites that I’ve been enjoying this month. Usually for a “Favorites” post, I would talk about specific products, pieces of clothing, brands, music, etc. But today I wanted to talk about some small life favorites that I’ve been experiencing. As you may know, this is my first year that I’m not going to school in the fall, and as a result, I’ve been trying to make up some other rituals for myself. Some sort of structure is in order for Autumn, you can just feel it in the air. I look for comfort in routines, and then, every so often, breaking that routine.

This month has been a little weird. There are a lot of changes happening for a lot of people in my life, but I am at a standstill. That isn’t a bad thing. But it is something that takes getting used to. And while I have some projects and opportunities coming my way, I have been working on small things to do for myself. I’m aware of the fact that when I get a job and have to move away from this home, I might not have the time for these luxuries anymore.

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September is beautiful, isn’t it? It really is a time to appreciate the changing world and to change along with it.

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Here are the things I’ve been enjoying this September:

1) A morning cup of tea

Having the time to make a hot drink and enjoy it before my day starts has been so therapeutic. Sometimes I’m by myself, and other times, I share a cup with my mom. Either way, it lets my brain relax and enjoy the morning. Also, hot drinks tend to make you feel more comfy, so when I get out of bed feeling a little unbalanced, a cup of tea is the right fix.

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2) Taking off my makeup after a long day

I love putting on makeup. It makes me feel beautiful and it makes me feel like I’m treating myself. But after a long day of sweating and working and driving and living, taking off that war paint is really wonderful. I love the feeling of having a fresh face, of seeing my natural skin again.

I usually use a normal makeup remover on a cotton pad, and then I use witch hazel as a toner. That leaves my skin feeling incredibly fresh before bed.

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3) Having makeup-free days

This is something I’ve been doing a lot more, and I’m proud of myself for it!

It’s easy to give in and paint up your face because wearing makeup is such a cultural norm that we all do it every day. But a good friend of mine has her “makeup-free” days where she wears nothing on her face and gives it a break, and she always looks beautiful. That really inspired me, so when I feel like my skin needs a break and my pores need to be clear, I give myself a day (or two! or three!) without makeup. And hey, if anyone sees you and you feel scared, just remember that makeup is literally just colored stuff we slather on our skin because we think we look better, and underneath it, we all have bare faces.

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What have you been enjoying this month? Besides products or brands, is there anything you’ve been doing that really allows you to enjoy your day? I will definitely continue doing “normal” favorites blog posts, but I felt this one was in order. I am getting ready for a weekend with a good friend of mine and preparing for a busy month ahead. Cue the spooky music and Halloween decorations, because I am ready. Any costume recommendations?

-Heather

A Day Braving The Heat

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So, it’s pretty hot out. As I’m writing this, it’s a muggy, rainy day, but the day that these pictures were taken was a sunny, dry, very hot day. I had forgotten about these pictures and I thought it’d be nice to put them up. A few days ago I actually took a little break from blogging and going on social media because it’s the dead of summer and I just wanted to have a few days of distance from it all. It reminded me of when I was young and on school vacation.

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Another thing about this very hot day that I experienced, it also brought back the memory of when I was first in my dorm last fall. I remember it was so hot that we were sweating with all the windows thrown open. I bought a little fan from Target, but it was no use. I was ready for fall clothes and the weather had other plans for me. I was looking at my board (that is now by my bed) and saw all my pictures and memories from school. It made me come to the realization that I would not be returning to school in the fall, like I have every year since I was four years old!

That was a pretty weird feeling for me.

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Here’s the other thing thought: I’m working on a lot of great things. And for once I can experience fall and have fun with the season without worrying about school. I’ve got a lot of great projects going on, I’m working with my mom and creating wonderful things, and I’m picking up a lot of new hobbies. I’m looking forward to the next chapter, which is inevitable. Yes, in the middle of the summer, I was anticipating (and reminiscing) about fall.

My mom bought these amazing daisies for my friend Daisy who came to stay with us. The colors are beautiful, aren’t they? My mom is the flower queen, and she’s always bringing fresh florals and plants home with her. It’s because of her that this blog has any flowers in it at all.

I thought the striking colors of these were jaw-dropping. It’s the perfect shot of what summer looks like to me.

How are you bearing through the heat? I know everyone is going through crazy weather patterns right now. Our area is actually in a drought! I live in New England, so that’s a bit strange.

 

“When you do things from your soul,

you feel a river moving in you,

a joy.”

-Rumi

3 Healthy Things You Can Do Today

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Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to talk about easy ways to add healthy habits into your life. I actually uploaded this yesterday, and something was wrong with my files, so some of my pictures weren’t showing up. Here it is again, and I hope you like it!

Being healthy is sometimes just really hard.Β Especially as someone who used to be a college student and is adjusting to life at home, I find myself trying to make better choices every day. I graduated from college over the weekend, and besides continuing to look for jobs, it got my thinking about other things I need to do this summer. One of those is changing my lifestyle. I’m not an incredibly unhealthy person, but there are definitely improvements that can be made. Some of these things are small, like the ones I’m sharing with you today.

  1. Add more fruit to your diet

This seems easy, and honestly, itΒ isΒ easy. The hard part is actively going out and buying the fruit. Sometimes it can be expensive, and it’s better to go to farmer’s markets to get them.

The main idea is to add a little bit of fruit to things throughout your day, whether it’s in your yogurt, your water, or even your dessert. It’s always nice to indulge, so if you want to make something tasty for dessert, try refreshing things like strawberry cheesecake or a cake with raspberry filling. Adding fruit to your water is also a nice kick of flavor and will encourage you to drink more water as well! Fruit it delicious, and sometimes it’s hard for people to commit just to eating more vegetables. Fruit is an easier start.

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Another thing you can do, just eat a bowl of fruit! If you make yourself a little fruit salad, you’ll be eating healthy things and it’s a fun snack. We just bought a lot of strawberries, oranges, lemons, and blueberries. There are so many recipes you can make with these. It’s all about finding what works for you.

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Sometimes when I read, I like to have a snack, and having some fresh strawberries next to you as you read is a perfect combination.

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Down the street from my house, we have a great little farm that sells fresh fruit and vegetables. We gone very once in awhile for a treat, and it always inspires me. Now that summer is around the corner, there’s a lot of pies and tarts that I want to make. Fruit screams summer. FruitsΒ are sweet and colorful and fun.

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2. Eat oatmeal for breakfast

This also seems easy, and yet I always go for some cold cereal. Oatmeal is hardy and delicious. It’s the kind of breakfast that you have when you have a long day ahead of you. I personally love heating up the water and preparing what I’m putting in my oatmeal. When I made this, I used brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey. It just gives you a lot of energy, and even more so if you’re adding fruit to it.

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There’s something about having it on a chilly spring morning. I think it might be considered comfort food. Oatmeal obviously tastes better when it’s cold and you’re preparing for a nice, warm meal. But surprisingly, it’s been rather cold where I live, and it’s the middle of May! It’s healthy and tasty, so it’s an easy thing that you could do this morning. Sharing it with someone else is equally as nice.

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3. Have 15 minutes to yourself

This might seem like the easiest healthy thing you could do today, and yet, it would probably be the hardest to follow through on. Every day is busy, filled with work and tasks. Even the times that we don’t have work, we find ways to keep ourselves busy. It’s in our nature, and it’s ok. However, there has to be some time that is dedicated to you that you can take and do whatever you want with it. It could be reading a book, taking a walk, or (as I do) admiring flowers and nature.

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The truth is, for your body to actually be healthy, your mind has to rest. Relaxing can give you insight and space to think about your day. This is a process that should be repeated every day, over and over, until you are used to giving yourself time. If it seems impossible because your schedule is insane, try going to be 15 minutes early, and waking up 15 minutes earlier.

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All three of these things are just the tip of the iceberg for being healthier. There are obviously many more ways to do it, some small, some big. But this is a first step that can get you thinking in a better way. In the meantime, I’ll continuing eating fruit, eating oatmeal, and taking some time for myself every day. Let me know what you think and what tips you have to add! Hopefully by the summer, I’ll have a much happier and healthier lifestyle.

Talk to you soon,

-Heather

Emerald Gardens

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Yesterday, I spontaneously went to a flower and garden show in Hartford, and I was in shock at what I found.

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There were garden exhibits, vendors selling magical treasures, and flowers, flowers, flowers. It was enchanting and overwhelming to be around all the scents and sights in this place. The whole experience was whimsical, and not anything that I had expected. I didn’t even know this event existed, but it was the 35th year of operating!

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When I saw these lanterns at a vendor table, I was drawn from across the large and busy room. This was actually a whole tree full of Β branch bulbs and butterflies. There were also hanging blown glass and terrariums galore. It took hours to get through all the booths of people.

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My favorite exhibit by far was the one with the piano and water coming out of it. I tried to get a shot of the details, but it just doesn’t do it justice. I returned back to that spot time and time again to gaze at it. The moss on the benches and the ivy covering everything was simple enchanting, there is no other word for it. There were also a lot of other huge garden set ups that were breathtaking.

I hope this is an inspiration for doing things spontaneously and finding treasures like these near you. With the beautiful weather yesterday and the smell of flowers surrounding us, spring was truly in the air.

 

-Heather

 

PS. Camera quality is not great, and I apologize. I was using my point-and-shoot because I left my camera at school.