A Vintage Explorer Lookbook

A Vintage Explorer Lookbook

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Hat: Forever 21

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Sweater: TJMaxx

Skirt: H&M

Hair Ribbon: Forever 21

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Pants: Primark

Boots: Bonton

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Sweater: StitchFix

Jeans: Target

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Inspired by my favorite adventurers/naturalists: John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Beatrix Potter, Alexander Von Humbolt, etc. I wish I could dress like this all the time and travel around the world to see the most beautiful national parks.

Here is one of my favorite exploring quotes by my favorite travel writer, Bill Bryson:

 

“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater

sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country

where you are ignorant of almost everything.

Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t

read anything. You have only the most rudimentary

sense of how things work. You can’t even reliably

cross the street without endangering your life. Your

whole existence becomes a series of interesting

guesses.”

 

 

 

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Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh {Part 2}

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh {Part 2}

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I’ve finally edited the rest of the photos from our beautiful trip to the botanic gardens in Edinburgh. I felt a fresh wave of sadness come over me when I was looking through these, I wish I could be back there with all this lush greenery. I think the photos came out great, but I must sadly report that they do the gardens no justice at all.

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Something that I don’t think I emphasized in my first post was just how big the grounds are for the gardens. The greenhouses are just one section of it, the rest being a magnificent park with labeled plants and trees sprinkled around.

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I remember seeing this plant right before we made our exit from the greenhouse area and I thought it captured all the wonderful colors of Autumn.

There is not enough space in my camera or time in my life to fully explore all of this place fully (probably). If I lived there, I would truly go every day, or at least every week. I miss it, I’m feeling very wistful.

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I think these photos show a pretty accurate representation of how green everything was. And you must be thinking, well, obviously, you were inside greenhouses. But that does not matter. I was not prepared for how green everything was, and how it changes how you feel. There is so much research done on the impact that nature has on the human mind. But just entering a place like this will assure you that all of it must be true, because there is a sense of calm and wonder that floats over you immediately.

It is something else. It is otherworldly. We were certainly not the only other people enjoying the space, and yet everyone had this quiet marveling expression on their faces. It was hard to tell who had been there for the first time (except for me, because I was clearly elated) and who had been there many times but continued to be struck by the magic that was contained in those glass houses. I don’t think the feeling will ever leave me, even as my memory starts forgetting the sharper details that my camera so expertly captured. I think the pure sense of wonder will always stay somewhere in my mind.

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Thank you, Edinburgh.

Please let me know if you have been to the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh and what your impressions were. I am also interested in knowing if there is anything similar to this in America. I live in Massachusetts, but very close to Connecticut, and I am searching for any kind of greenhouses like this. Hopefully I find some soon. If I do, I’ll be sure to bring my camera.

Talk soon,

-Heather

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Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh {Part 1}

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh {Part 1}

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I was lucky enough to go on a beautiful trip to the U.K. in the beginning of September. Among many exciting endeavors, I was most excited about our trip to the botanical gardens. I had planned this trip for a long time, and on our second day in Edinburgh, I was able to finally see it in person. It did not disappoint.

I was most excited about the range of plants they exhibited, along with proper identification and careful details! Every second I was wishing there was a place like this closer to home.

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Quite possibly my favorite place in the world. There are more pictures to come.

Talk soon,

-Heather

The Book Barn

The Book Barn

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Hello Everyone,

I want to a very interesting place last week, a place many people have been telling me about for awhile. It is the Book Barn in Niantic, CT, a collection of little barns where hundreds of used books are housed and looking for new homes. Cats were roaming galore. There were goats sitting in a castle playscape. It was an adventure to travel through the summer heat from building to building to peer through the different worlds in each new groups of genres. It wasn’t the cleanest place, or the best organized place, but it was homey and strangely comfortable.

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One of my favorite sections (in theory) was the “paranormal romances” which was actually full of twilight-type books, which is cool if you’re into that. Besides the actual barns full of books, there were also tiny stands outside amongst tables and chairs and cats where new books were sorted, and plenty of people were sifting through them. Everyone had a secret little smile playing on their lips, a knowing nod to each other, a collective love of literature.

I was so happy to be a part of it.

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Have any of you been here before? I know there are other locations throughout Connecticut, and I’m eager to know what others think of them! I got three books while I was there: The Invention of Nature, The Cambridge Murders, and a collection of poetry by Charles Baudelaire.

“Books don’t change people;

Paragraphs do, sometimes 

even sentences.”

-John Piper

 

The Beauty of The Elizabeth Gardens

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. 🙂

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

-Heather

“Do you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by…”

“Do you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by…”

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Hello Everyone,

Over the weekend I visited my friends who live out near Boston. We embarked on an adventure, that is, walking the grounds of an abounded mental institution. The area of Medford State Hospital is actually now turned into a park, but you aren’t allowed in any of the buildings. It was a beautiful day to walk amongst the ruins with two very cute pups. If any of this looks familiar to you, there were some areas that were filmed for Shutter Island!

It was strange to imagine this place filled with people, as it is so quiet and in disarray. There were shattered windows and some fear of asbestos, but we kept our distance from those things.

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As you can see, a lot of the grounds were beautiful grasses and trees.

We are hoping that there will be some renovations done here, as the buildings are so beautiful and ancient looking. It truly is the perfect backdrop for a horror film.

There is a beautiful peaceful feeling to walk where many people once lived, and even died. It was sometimes mysterious, looking into the windows and imagining who used to look out of them onto those streets. And we were not the only ones there! Couples, groups of friends, and other dogs roamed the area. It was an interesting sense of community, a feeling of sharing but also of separateness.

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Look at this adorable little puppy, named Piper, and the newest addition to my friend’s family. If you’ve ever been to this area, let me know what your thoughts are!

Talk to you soon,

-Heather

Sometimes the smallest light shines so bright | An unexpected book store

Sometimes the smallest light shines so bright | An unexpected book store

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I visited the Montague Bookmill in Montague, MA, and these were some of the treasures that I found.

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As someone who lives a pretty stagnant life (as in, I work and a library and write in my free time, staying away from parties and roller coasters) I enjoy a little adventure once in awhile. Coming upon this little book mill was completely unexpected and absolutely satisfactory. I was lucky enough to go on a rainy day (as I love the rain) and the cosiness of the environment was at an all-time high. There were creaky floorboards, old windows, and the sound of rushing water from the river behind us. Plants overtook surfaces and books were scattered in disarray. I secretly wondered how difficult the process of getting married here would be.

It was one of those places nestled in the middle of nowhere that is delightful and stays somewhere safe in the back of your mind. I am thinking back to it now, happy that the experience was full of inspiration, and nothing can touch it.

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And I did end up buying books (of course) and one of them was a book I already have a copy of (of course).

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Please leave any comments if you have been to this magical place or if you have suggestions for more magical places like this that I can explore!

 

“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and

paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge

and power. They are, simple put, the best of places.”

-Jen Campbell