Created from images of pressed seaweed collages by Santa Cruz nature artist, Beth Shady. Ten percent of profits donated to ocean conservation.
Sure, there are some stressful and worrying moments. But overall, when you get out on the road and visit new countries you gain in far more ways. This isn’t about just international travel, either. Traveling your own country and being a tourist in your own town can be so beneficially at the same time.
There are no limits when it comes to traveling, except for what you can afford. You can sight-see around some of your most dreamed about countries or choose exotic adventures. Go by rails, car, or even by boat. There are just so many options, and they will all help you in ways that you have never imagined. Read more…
Before I toss anything into the recycle bin, I first try to find another use for it. I call it creative repurposing of materials. Anything old can be new again with a little imagination. I got inspired last week when I was about to toss out some tin cans when I it occurred to me that they would make great containers candles. What a cool, beachy idea, don’t you think? Reuse, recycle, repurpose with a nautical theme. Here’s what you need to do it yourself.
Tin containers. I chose ones used for sardines, tuna and tea. They have interesting, artistic labels too.
Metal pot –With handle for melting the wax. An old pot works just as well or you can use a glass measuring cup and melt the wax in your microwave.
Soy wax— This my favorite. It melts the easiest and burns the clean and clear so you can see items like seashells and rocks that I like to place at the bottom of my candles. They are nice surprises!
Candle wicks with stickers — A must to hold the wick in place while pouring the wax.
Candle dyes– (Optional) I chose to not use color because I like the opaque whiteness of the soy wax and I didn’t want the color to compete with the design on the labels of the tins.
How to Make
Thoroughly wash the containers. To remove residual fish odors, drizzle the insides with lemon juice and let sit in the sun for a few days. That should do the trick.
Place wick, with sticky bottom, at the center of the tin. If you are using more than one wick per candle, make sure they are evenly placed.
Melt wax according to package directions and then add a few drops of essential oil. You don’t need a lot of scent. When the candle burns, it will be stronger than you think.
Pour melted wax into the tin and let sit until harden. If you like, you can toss a few seashells or beach pebbles into the mix for the added surprise.
These make excellent gifts year round, but I love to put them in Christmas stockings. Be sure to keep some for yourself!
If you try this project send me some photos and I will post them here.
If you are like me, you are always looking for the next great place to eat and drink in Santa Cruz. I’ve heard if you want to know what’s going on, hang out where the chef’s eat. One place that comes to my mind is Cafe Cruz on 41st Avenue. I know firsthand. I’ve been there after hours and got some great tips. Another great source of information is the Thrill List. Check out their “ultimate” guide to exploring the Santa Cruz food and drink scene.
As a child I was fortunate to grow up near the ocean. My family took frequent trips to “the Jersey shore,” spending our summers in Wildwood, Stone Harbor and Cape May, New Jersey, which was about a two hour drive from our home in suburban Philadelphia. For the past 25 years my home has been Santa Cruz, California and my trip to the beach is a 5 minute bike ride away. I came here because I wanted to live by the sea in a climate that was temperate enough to enjoy the many ocean splendors year round. Salt water clears my head, brings me peace and solitude and energizes and reinvigorates me all at the same time. Apparently I’m not alone. Many people feel the same way, which is the subject of the New York Times best selling book, Blue Mind by marine scientist, Dr. Wallace “J” Nichols, in which he explores the mind’s connection to water, merging the fields of cognitive science and ocean exploration. It is is a fascinating study of the emotional, behavioral, psychological and physical connections that keep humans so enchanted with water.
I highly recommend his book and encourage you to engage with other ocean, river, stream, lake, pond and “everything water” lovers by participating in the Blue Mind Online Book Club.
Join Dr. Nichols nightly for Facebook Live readings and on Sundays at 6 pm PST for discussions on Facebook and follow the conversation on all social media (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) using the #bluemind hashtag.
Sponsored by Radio Hatteras, Buxton Village Books and Blue Mind Life. Daily excerpts from Blue Mind will be broadcast on Radio Hatteras along with weekly interviews with the author featuring questions from readers and guest protagonists from the book.
Proceeds and donations benefit Radio Hatteras and the Blue Mind Fund. Read along with water-loving friends around the world: January 16th (I know I’m getting a late start here, but you can catch up!) to March 25th, 2017.
I start every day with my morning ritual of stretching (sometimes I even make it to yoga) followed by a refreshing and nutritious protein smoothie. I like to get creative and have fun concocting different blends of nut milks, fruits and veggies. Today’s version is adapted from a recipe found in The Everything Green Smoothies Book. It is one of my favorites. It’s refreshing, delicious and provides me with a hefty serving of greens, protein and fiber. A great way to start the day.
- 1 cup romaine lettuce
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup protein powder
- 1/8 cup fiber boost
- 1/8 cup greens
Blend all ingredients in a blender or juicer. (I’m a big fan of the Ninja.)
My husband Bill told me he wanted to meet a woman who could go on blue water sailing adventures, dirt camping surf trips by boat and who loves warm water salt and spray in her face. So I bought him this. It’s a nautical figurehead, a carved figure typically mounted on a ship’s bow. In the early days of seafaring, when wooden ships sailed the seas, carved figureheads depicting women were also known as “Neptune’s wooden angels.” Early use of these figureheads were varied among the early seafaring civilizations. Vikings used their figureheads to intimidate their opponents and ward off evil spirits, while the ancient Phoenicians used horses to represent speed. Eventually, figureheads came to represent a way for a non-literate person to identify the ship and to show off the wealth and prosperity of the ship’s owner. Their popularity continued to grow until the invention of the steam ship, which no longer included a bowsprit, which is where figureheads were traditionally mounted. They are hard to find. I was lucky to salvage this one in a boat yard at the Santa Cruz Harbor.
Our “sea goddess” now holds a special place of honor mounted above our outdoor fireplace and fits in exceptionally well with our home’s nautical themed decor.
From palate to palette, one of my favorite restaurants is The Haute Enchilada in Moss Landing, not only because it serves the finest menu of authentic Mexican food on the Central Coast, it also boasts an exquisite collection of local art, luscious gardens and uniquely original indoor and al fresco atmosphere. It is indeed a feast for all of your senses.
I first discovered this hidden treasure when a girlfriend of mine suggested we meet there for lunch. I said, “You mean the Whole Enchilada?” Tucked away on a side street off Highway One behind the Whole Enchilada, I had never heard of the place. Now I can’t stop talking about it and it has become the halfway meeting point for me and my friends who live in Monterey and Carmel.
A few Saturdays ago, my husband Bill and I took a leisurely drive down the coast and stopped in for yet another fabulous meal. We started our meal with a trio of house made soups because why not? If you can’t decide, have all three! The selection included chicken tortilla, roasted chile poblano bisque and the soup of the day, which happened to be grilled artichoke. The flavors were balanced and enticing and whet our appetites for more. Since all good things come in threes, we followed our soup sampling with a petite tamal trio of chicken with mole, pork with salsa verde and artichoke & cheese with fire roasted red salsa. All served on a bed of roasted white corn, black bean, cactus salad, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro. These are just a few choices from a broad menu showcasing sustainable and organic local ingredients.
We took a break between courses (wine in hand) to visit the art gallery behind the restaurant to soak in the visual delights of local artists that includes a diverse array of Mayan weavings, hand-blown glass, carved walking sticks and the majestic mixed media “Pre-Columbian” style of art of featured resident artist Luis Solano. (Psst… My SeaweedArt cards are also on sale.)
We topped off our meal with a shared dessert of jericalla, which is a cross between crème brûlée and flan topped with amerena cherries and whipped cream. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. Light, fluffy and a sweet contrasting finish to a very satisfying savory meal.
Sated, we were ready for the ride home. As we got up to leave, we noticed the restaurant proprietress Kim Solano and her husband, Luis, seated at a table nearby. Kim always remembers me by name and asks for my girls. When my daughters were both still at home, I would often take them there for lunch and Kim would stop by our table to say hello. That special touch is just as warm as her Mexican hot chocolate.
If you have never visited the Haute Enchilada I highly recommend it. Take your time and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes. You won’t be disappointed. Also, if you are looking for a unique venue to host an event, you might want to consider their social club. Check their Facebook page for upcoming musical performances and be sure to stop in for Open Studios tour October 1 & 2, 11-5. 7902 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA 831-633-5843.
If you have a favorite local hot spot on the Central Coast or Bay Area and would like me to review it, please contact me.
After a long work week, nothing is more soothing and restorative to me than a relaxing bath with LOTS of bubbles. I first like to soak for a while in calmness and serenity in the warm water filled with Purifying Sea Soak from Arbonne, a unique blend of sea salts, marine botanicals, essentials oils and dried sea water. Then I pour in some body wash, turn on the Jacuzzi jets and watch how high the bubbles will rise. Reminds me of the foaminess of the waves when they crash on shore. It’s my way of bringing the ocean home. Now off to yoga…
I was super excited when I opened the box of raw coconut oil samples from Skinny & Co because I’m a fan of anything coconut and a true believer in it’s health and therapeutic benefits. Before I even tried the products I was pleased by the eco-friendly packaging. All of the products are in recyclable glass containers with metal lids, so no plastic pollution there! Plus the packing peanuts were water-soluble and biodegradable. I was also impressed by the Skinny & Co. story and mission. Founded by two brothers who are committed to living and healthy and holistic lifestyle their raw coconut oil (that’s right, never heated) is wild harvested from the jungles of Vietnam. Read More…