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Thursday, April 29, 2010

She Believe She Could... So She Did

Walking out of my last final just an hour ago marked the end of my second year of college and the beginning of a three months affair with Summer... I cannot wait to see what memories and adventures I'll get to tell you about. This year was definitely hard but here I am all done (Thank-you God!) and I feel pretty happy and accomplished. I should now finish packing since tomorrow a long car ride home awaits... I can hardly wait!
Photo by my little sister

Saturday, April 24, 2010

They Are All Around Us...

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." ~Albert Einstei
...I choose the latter 

Photo by my sister Melissa

Thursday, April 22, 2010

30 Easy Ways to Save Our Beautiful Planet

Hello darlings, 
In 2008 GLAMOUR posted an article to commemorate Earth Day by listing thirty "Little Ways to Save the Planet".  Here they are...ENJOY!

  1. Think outside the recycling box.   Drop off your old prescription eyeglasses at an eyewear store (find one at givethegiftofsight.com); give that outdated cell phone back to the store; hand over old sneaks at Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program (nikereuseashoe.com) and they'll be turned into playground flooring. Also check outfreecycle.org, a network in which people offer up free gently used items.
  2. Sign up for online banking. If every American did this, 2.3 million tons of wood could be spared annually, and 3.9 billion pounds of greenhouse gases would be eliminated. When you visit an ATM, skip the receipt--those scraps of paper are a top source of litter.
  3. Shop online, too. By some estimates, every minute spent driving to a store uses 10 times the energy of doing that same shopping on the Web. 
  4. Buy local, whenever possible. Purchasing baked treats from farmers' markets instead of buying goods from far-off locales drastically reduces pollution and fuel use.
  5. Switch to green power. Find an energy company that uses good old wind, sun or water (but not from a big dam) for power. Visit eere.energy.gov/greenpower to find a local supplier.
  6. Adjust your thermostat. The average American home emits about 13 tons of air-clogging carbon dioxide annually via boilers, furnaces and water heaters. Put a dent in that by lowering your thermostat 2°F in winter (to 68°F, ideally) and raising the AC temp by the same amount in summer (to 76°F).
  7. Slow down on the road. "Don't speed up, weave in and out of traffic, brake constantly or drive 20 miles over the speed limit, and you can improve your fuel efficiency by about 30 percent," says Diane MacEachern, author of Big Green Purse.
  8. Pick up something vintage. Getting a unique dress is a great move. Old clothes cost the environment nothing (and nobody else will show up in it).
  9. Skip meat once a week. Over time, you'll save pesticide, fertilizer and acres of grain and grass from being used. 
  10. Switch to rechargeable batteries. The regular ones end up in landfills, oozing toxins. 
  11. Stop the catalog insanity. Unwanted catalogs add up to more than 4 million tons of paper a year. Sign up at the new site catalogchoice.org to keep them out of your mailbox once and for all.
  12. Buy makeup you can refill. You avoid wasting raw materials and energy (packaging takes a lot) and you save money. Bobbi Brown, Aveda and Stila all make them.
  13. Order the good kind of fish. During the past decade, the global demand for fish has led to more than 70 percent of the world's species being exploited or fully depleted. "You want to choose Pacific halibut, wild Alaskan salmon and mahi-mahi, which haven't been overfished," says Meaghan O'Neill, coauthor of Ready, Set, Green. Download a handy pocket guide at seafoodwatch.org. You can also watch Happy Feet for more information ;).
  14. Use online music stores and DVD clubs. A lot of material and production energy go into those plastic cases, and millions of them wind up in landfills a year. Visit Netflix, GreenCine and iTunes.
  15. Pick up a reusable water bottle. Cute? Check. Trendy? Check. Keeps plastic out of landfills? Check. Try the lightweight aluminum Sigg bottles (from $16, mysigg.com). Also consider installing a filter on your kitchen sink for delicious pure water at all times.
  16. Skip the screen saver. Better to switch to sleep mode. At the end of the day, turn off your computer and unplug it.
  17. Fix that broken thing. Next time your camera, stereo or iPod quits on you, consider repairing it instead of tossing it. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates as much as 40 percent of the lead in landfills comes from old electronics.
  18. Turn the washing machine to cold. If every American did four out of five loads in cold water, it could keep 50 tons of nasty carbon emissions out of the atmosphere per year, according to the Center for a New American Dream. "It makes my clothes last longer, too," adds Sophie Uliano, author of Gorgeously Green.
  19. Get instantly ecosmarter. Need an environmentally correct dry cleaner? Want to know if your hairspray will hurt the planet? Check out greenmaven.com to find answers and services for all things green.
  20. Look for earth-friendly packaging. Tissue paper, boxes and those pesky packing peanuts all eat up natural resources. Some beauty companies are doing their part with plantable packaging. The boxes for Cargo PlantLove lipstick ($20, sephora.com) and Pangea Organics Facial Mask ($34, pangeaorganics.com) are biodegradable and infused with seeds; plant the whole thing to grow a new green friend.
  21. Be kind to your wardrobe. Tend to little things such as missing buttons and frayed hems so items don't need to be replaced as often, says Simran Sethi, host of The Green series on the Sundance Channel. Consider giving old stuff to charity. (Rachel Bilson, for one, donates her old denim to Teens for Jeans.)
  22. Get some fun, cheap china. You'll never reach for Styrofoam again if you stock up on colorful dishes from a thrift shop. They'll look great at parties (and who cares if they break?).
  23. Just say no to plastic bags--and paper ones. Because plastic never decomposes, it hogs landfills. Paper might seem like a better choice, but it actually uses more resources to produce. Solution: a tote.
  24. Double-side and single-space. You'll use 75 percent less paper. "If everyone did this, we'd save about 6 million trees a year," says Tamara Krinsky, an actress who is challenging Microsoft to change its default margin settings from one inch to three fourths of an inch (sign her petition at changethemargins.com).
  25. Two words: power strip. 75 percent of all electricity consumed by household appliances is standby power. Plug stuff into a power strip with a circuit breaker so that when you turn it off, you shut down all the juice.
  26. Walk, run or bike. Not driving just once a week cuts back on fuel and emissions (it adds up!). Don't forget the bus or train--if every American used public transportation 10 percent of the time, the U.S. would need 40 percent less imported oil. 
  27. Make one green investment. Next time you're looking to invest a few bucks, "consider companies that are committed to protecting clean air and water, and using less energy," says MacEachern. Visit the social investing section at coopamerica.org to learn more.
  28. Go ahead and use the dishwasher. Running full loads is actually less water-intensive than hand-washing. If you do it yourself, don't keep the water running; fill the sink, scrub, rinse.
  29. Be a friend to a farmer. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and get local, organic produce delivered to your table weekly. Find one at localharvest.org.
  30. Hit the park on April 22, Earth Day. Visit earthday.net to see what's going on near you.
Image by Sylvia Adams

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lightning Storm... Inside a Volcano

Hello darlings!
Check out these breathtaking images taken last Saturday of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.  These “dirty thunderstorms" scientists believe happen when static charges are ignited by ice particles, as well as ash and rock fragments from the volcano. It look absolutely fascinating! 

365 days...

Hello darlings, 
This weekend was a very special one. It was Sean's and I one year anniversary. He surprised me by driving all the way to Michigan to see me. We spent two amazing days together and now I have to wait until summer break to see my love again... at least it is only two weeks away. 
Now I must get back to my books and lab reports. After all, finals are just a week away. Pray for me!
As a surprised Sean blindfolded me and took me to the place where our journey started
April 18, 2009
April 18, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Have a Marvelous Weekend!

Hello darlings,
Summer is almost within my grasps and I cannot wait. But to be honest with you Spring will be missed... this year has been absolutely gorgeous!
The view from my dorm room window
This is what I see on my way to the science complex everyday
...isn't it beautiful?
One of the many flowering trees on campus
Walking past these is definitely one of my favorite parts of my day. 

Photos by Me

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Summer Afternoon in the Company of...

A Berry-Guava Lemonade. Doesn't it sound divine? 
Just... 
Step 1- Mash 4 diced strawberries
Step 2- Add 2 tablespoons of sugar
Step 3- Add 4 tablespoons of guava juice... in a pretty glass
Step 4- Fill with ice 
Step 5- Add 6 tablespoons lemon juice
Step 6- For the final touch add lemon slices (as many as you wish)
VoilĂ !
Makes 1 serving

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Te Miro A Ti"

Hello darlings!
Spanish sensation David Bisbal (one of my favorite singers) recently did a duet with Miley Cyrus for the ballad When I Look at You featured in her latest movie The Last Song. I am absolutely blown away by this version. What do you think, dear readers?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Beautiful Hotels... and Breathtaking Views

Good morning darlings,
I have a confession to make... I have a weakness for breathtaking views, so you can only imagine how excited I was to read a recent article by Forbes.com about hotels with absolutely breathtaking views. 
My travel list has officially expanded!
  • Lapa Rios (Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica): Set in one of the last remaining lowland tropical rain forests in Central America, this eco-resort provides you with the opportunity to stay in bungalows while you enjoy the amazing view of the beach AND the rain forest.
  • Wolwedans (NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia): Each separate camp provides sweeping views of virgin dunes, plains and the Nubib Mountains.  Once there you can enjoy everything from a private scenic drive to a hot air balloon ride over the reserve. Then you can enjoy a breathtaking sunset from the Mountain View Suite, a cozy private lodge that is almost entirely open to the outdoors.


  • Enchantment Resort and Mii amo Spa (Sedona, Ariz.): Surrounded by massive rocks decorated with "swirls of gold and red, guests get the feeling they're wrapped in the sands of a giant hourglass". According to Forbes.com Casita No. 31 is the place to stay; with its unobstructed view of Boynton Canyon and the pristine Coconino National Forest.
  • Dreams Luxury Suites (Santorini, Greece): Dangling 300 meters over the Aegean, this resort is so small it only offers four accommodations, all with panoramic vistas over the Santorini caldera. Featuring whitewashed walkways, private pools and colorful doors that "open onto an endless expanse of bright blue ocean".  

Friday, April 9, 2010

Beautiful Places... That Might Soon Be No More

Good afternoon my darlings,
Bing.com recently came up with a list of places that if we don't hurry we might never get to enjoy.  Since the article had a strong sense of urgency in it, I decided to waste no time and tell you, my dear readers, all about it. Now you know where you should book your next trip. Enjoy!
  • Barrow, Alaska- You might be the last generation to see polar bear alive.                                                
Photo by Steven Kazlowski
  • Mount Kilimanjaro- Ohio State University glaciologist Lonnie G. Thompson has predicted that Kilimanjaro may be bare as soon as 2020.
  • Appalachia- "Mountaintop removal” (when mining companies cut through forests, blow the tops off mountains in order to get at the coal within, and then dump the waste into nearby streams) has already flattened nearly 500 Appalachian peaks.  

Photo by George Steinmetz
  • Great Barrier Reef- In 1998, 2002 and 2006, higher water temperatures caused epidemics of coral bleaching, which robs the coral of the algae that gives it its brilliant color.
Photo by Stuart Westmorland
  • Venice, Italy- Rising sea levels and compacting soils are causing this unique city to sink slowly into the water that surrounds it. 
Photo by Ryan Darvish
  • The Everglades- The "River of Grass" looks like a stream these days, thanks to encroaching farms, development and irrigation systems that use up the much-needed water from Lake Okeechobee.
Photo by Jim Wark
  • Glacier National Park- The park counted 150 glaciers within its boundaries a century ago, and 38 as recently as 1968, but that number has now dwindled to just 26, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
(As seen on Arthur Eades's blog)

Which of these would you run to see first? Venice and the Glacier National Park better wait up for me...

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Eat, Pray, Love"... Best Advice Ever




I absolutely cannot wait for this movie to come out... 
what do you think about it darlings?


Friday, April 2, 2010

Could this be the Last Time?

My darlings, 
Today, on our way back to our college campus after enjoying a trip to the mall, my girlfriends and I were in a car  accident. We were all right, thanks to God, but what I felt during and after the crash stayed with me. 
I saw it all happen in slow motion. I bet you have heard it before, that in moments like these you see your life flash before your eyes... well, that is not what happened. Instead I just thought about things... multiple things in a matter of milliseconds. I thought about Sean... "When was the last time I told him I loved him?", thinking to myself that I might not have said it enough.  In my mind I elevated a silent cry to God. I told him how I still had so many things I wanted to accomplish and experience, how we still had many memories awaiting to be made and experienced together, and  how I wanted to be able to hear his voice and tell him "I love you"... at least one more time. Well, He heard my cry... and the minute the car came to a stop I thanked Him with all my heart. And as you might guess, I didn't loose anytime calling my love. 
Sean and I at Rock Island during a beautiful summer afternoon.

Life is short, so don't waste anytime telling those you love how much they mean to you. NEVER take life for granted...