North + South | Change of Season

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While this is definitely not a fashion blog, those of you that know me know that I do love clothes.  I like reading about clothes, shopping for them, pinning them, and most of all wearing them!  Although the weather may not have flipped a 180 on us, a change of season just happened!  That means the style is changing, too.  Since I’m from the US, but living in Chile, I figured it might be fun to do a few style moodboards for both the northern and southern hemispheres!  On Monday, I asked you what you thought about capsule wardrobes.  These are a few staple pieces I would add to mine for the coming seasons.

Fall2014NorthIn the northern hemisphere, this is the season of falling leaves, pumpkin flavored everything, crisp winds, and warm scarves.  This was always one of my favorite seasons in the US, because the colors on display during this season just scream beautiful.

accordian-pleated midi-skirt \ over-the-knee boots \ oversized scarf

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On the opposite side of the world, Spring has finally started to make an appearance.  The trees are budding, it has been quite rainy, and I am looking forward to all the blooms that will shortly follow.  This season, it is all about graphics and comfort for me.  These style trends are fun and easy to fit in with other staple pieces you already have in your current collection.  pleated maxi \ graphic tee \ tote + zip bags

What pieces do you love this season?

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Himalayan Salt Crystals


This weekend Derek surprised me with an unexpected gift.  We went to Noche de Colores in the city this past weekend, which I will touch on more in another post.  At this event, there were several artisans from the local shops from around Barrio Italia.  This part of town is known as the hipster haven of Santiago, so you can imagine the industrial look of this barrio (neighborhood).  Anyway, a beautiful and calming light caught my eye as we were perusing the different boutiques.  It came from the Heima stand which was full of glowing crystals.  The man told us they were salt crystals.  I fell in love.  He told us all about the natural healing benefits of these beauties, I took a card, and we continued on our way.  Then the next day, Derek surprised me with my favorite lamp for my birthday!! So, of course, I researched.

himalayan-salt-crystal-lampsaltcrystallamp2salt-lamp-ions^My desktop wallpaper is from an artist that I love – Parima Creative Studio^

What on earth are salt crystals?

Salt crystals (a.k.a. Himalayan salt) are simply crystals that formed from salt.  People use this type of salt for cooking, beauty treatments, natural healing, and so on.  The larger crystals are sometimes used to make salt crystal lamps.  It is usually pink, orange, red, or white.  You can also make your own salt crystals!  This is a really fun activity for kids, so I am excited to try this in the classroom.  After all, this is the UN’s international year of crystallography!

What’s so great about them?

  • Salt crystal lamps purify the air by emitting negative ions.  They attract moisture from the air and then evaporate it with the warmth from the light inside the crystal.  This is beneficial for your health, because many other daily items such as your computer, smartphone, TV, fridge, etc. all carry positive ions.  This helps to create a balance in the air to improve its quality.
  • Reducing stress is another fantastic benefit to having a salt crystal lamp.  Research has shown that negative ions in the air can actually improve your mood and energy levels.  People with anxiety, insomnia, migraines, attention deficit, etc. are especially recommended to own one.
  • They are an inexpensive and beautiful way to add some color to your home.  Even if you aren’t in to all the natural healing methods out there today, you can still find a reason to have a salt lamp.  These are very beautiful, and they last forever.  The glow is so calming, and they make perfect night lights for kids’ rooms.

Where should I put it?

It is up to you where you would like to put your new lamp, but there are a few suggestions for ultimate benefit.  If you work from home, you should put one in your office by the computer.  I put mine on my desk for these photos, but I usually keep it on my nightstand.  I like to blog in bed, so having the salt lamp near by helps to balance the ions in the room.  Also, I watched a Youtube video that recommended using the salt lamp as the only light before you go to bed to ensure a proper night’s rest and restoration of energy.  Another site says to leave the salt lamp on at all times of the day.  I don’t do this, because we are not home all day.  However, if you work from home, this would be a good suggestion.

saltcrystallamp

What else can I do with Himalayan salt crystals?

Himalayan salt crystals are used for so many things.  They are natural, and many people have taken notice of their healing attributes.  You can cook with them, use them for at home beauty treatments, utilize a slab for a serving tray, create jewelry, detox your body, decorate your home, or think up your own unique ways of incorporating them into your life!

himalayanpinksaltSalt-Plate-Giveaway_1saltcrystalsbeauty^endives, olive oil, & himalayan salt | salt plate | lavender soap how-to | calm dead sea salts^

Have you used Himalayan salt before?  What did you do with it?

XOXO,

maria

 

DIY | Fresh Floral Arrangement

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This weekend was beautiful and full of birthday activities.  My friend and I planned an afternoon of girly glory.  We hit the floral stands, picked out a few blooms, made some lunch, poured some wine, and created our own floral arrangements.  **Please note:  I am not a professional florist, and this was just for fun!**

What You Need:

  • Greenery
  • Little Blooms
  • Big Blooms
  • Garden shears (or scissors)–Cut all at an angle before using!
  • A beautiful vessel
  • Water
  • Wine (optional)

I must have flowers always and always. – Claude Monet

Step One: Mix and Match

Go to your local flower stands or shops, and just pick what catches your eye.  Check around on Pinterest to see what kinds of arrangements and flowers you like.  You can ask them for help as well for a good combination.  You need to get some greenery, small flowers, and larger ones.  Hold them together to see if you like the combinations.  I always like to get some buds and some open flowers as well, because I think it makes for a more garden fresh look.  When you bring them home, make sure you cut the stems at an angle and remove all leaves that fall below the water line (about half of your vessel).

flower-arrangement

Step Two: A Base of Greenery

Make your base of greenery.  You may notice different lengths, because I prefer an airy and asymmetrical arrangement. The evergreen look stood out to me this time, but there are so many more options based on the season!  I want to try something with succulents and sword fern next!

greenery arrangement-greenery

Step Three: Add the Small Blooms

A mix of smaller flowers with larger ones always gives a fresher feeling.  It also helps to fill in dead space.  I always thought you needed to start with the larger flowers and fill in, but that isn’t the case.  For my arrangement, I chose small berries and gypsophila (baby’s breath).  These can be stuck inside the greenery and poke a few around the outsides as well for an airy look.

floral how tofloral arranging

Step Four:  The Big Boys

Once you have your greenery and small flowers in place, it is time to add some more texture with the big flowers.  We really needed some color in our white apartment, so I went for colorful ranunculus and white roses. To add a bit more visual interest, choose some buds and some open flowers.  This allows your arrangement to change over time.  Fill these flowers in the dead spaces as the main attraction.  I added the water last, because I didn’t want it to be too high.  Using a funnel or watering can makes this really easy.

how-to-floral-arrangement2how-to-flower-arrangement

Step Five: Find the Perfect Place

This is the easy part.  After your arrangement is complete, all you need to do is find the perfect placement.  (After a few photos of course!)  To make the flowers last longer, you can add more water and cut the stems.

flowersfriendsflowers2Flowers add such a whimsical feeling to any room.  They bring smiles and color!  Share your creations with me on Instagram with the hashtag #miamangos!  Happy arranging!

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy? – Oscar Wilde

XOXO,

maria