May 14, 2017 • Decor
I partnered with EcoScraps to bring you a fun DIY succulent garden just in time for Mother’s Day. Succulents are a great way to liven up any space, big or small, and also an easy gift idea without having to spend a lot of time or money. Personally, I like to receive sentimental gifts and love it when someone takes the time to make me something.One thing I love about EcoScraps is that they’re environment friendly and care about the future of our planet. They recycle food scraps and turn it into lawn and garden products, which is actually affordable and nutrient-rich for your garden. Also, it doesn’t have a strong odor like other soils! I chose to use the potting soil mix for this DIY project, which works for both indoor and outdoor plants. Follow the steps below to make your own succulent garden!
Materials you need: disposable gloves, EcoScraps potting soil mix, succulents, cups, scissors, and a spoonMake sure you have all materials ready to make your mini succulent garden. I used cups I had at home instead of going out and buying pots. I went to my local nursery to pick up a couple of succulents and cactuses and also bought the EcoScraps potting mix. EcoScraps is available in all major stores, including Walmart. I would also lay out old newspapers since it does get messy. I did this in the kitchen so it would be easier to clean up afterwards.
Cut the top of the EcoScraps bag with a scissor and have your cup ready. Scoop a handful and fill the cup about halfway with the potting soil. Using a spoon, slowly depot the succulent and carefully place it in the cup. Succulents are fragile so I would suggest you take your time. Adjust the succulent so it’s in the middle and then fill the empty spaces with soil.
Planting a cactus can be tricky and intimidating because of its pricks, but with the help of a spoon it’s easy to depot. I used a plastic spoon and slowly worked around the cactus to help free it from the plastic pot. I made sure that the bowl I was using was deep enough and created enough space to place the cactus in the middle. Once it’s in the middle I just evened out the soil - easy, right?Repeat steps two and three until you’re satisfied with the end result. Practice makes perfect! This DIY was a lot easier than you thought, right?
You made it! You’re done! Just clean up the mess and show off your succulents.
Last but not least, show some love to your Mom. Tell her how much you love and appreciate her. A cute card and succulent is one way to show it!
Thank you everyone who participated, I loved all the responses. Below is the winner! Please contact me Megan!
Thank you everyone who participated, I loved all the responses. Below is the winner! Please contact me Megan!
The team at EcoScraps has also given me a $50 Walmart gift card to give to one of my readers! To be eligible to win, please write a comment below one thing you love about your Mom. This giveaway is only within the U.S. and winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends May 21, 2017. Winner will be announced in this blog post on May 23, 2017. Good luck!
A couple of days ago after coming back from Canada I drove to Haymarket to visit Burnside Farms. What a hidden gem in Virginia! I've lived in Virginia all my life and never once heard of this place, but my sister recently discovered it and showed me photos. Peak of tulip season passed due to the rising temperatures, but I went regardless to see it myself. I say this all the time, but pictures don't do justice! My sister and I picked tulips, but there are also daffodils to pick as well. People who work here are also very sweet, which is another reason to come back. Have you ever visited Burnside Farms? Next year I'm hoping to go to the poppy festival in California!
Haymarket, VA 20169, USA
April 18, 2017 • Travel
One of the highlights from my Italy trip was when I spent the day at the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. In the morning before heading to my next airbnb I went to Piazza Navona since it was only a 5 minute walk. I've always been fascinated with Rome's history (I'm a history major) and couldn't believe my eyes once I stepped into the historic site. To be honest, the Roman Forum was worth spending time over the Colosseum. I was inside the Colosseum for about 30 minutes or so and many parts were blocked off due to construction. I spent almost 3 hours at the Roman Forum, its huge! So much to see and explore once you're inside. My tip would be to first go to the Roman Forum first instead of waiting in line for the Colosseum, because it can take awhile. Take your time and don't rush, but if you do have extra time I would suggest walking over to Altare della Patria. It's stunning! You can go up to the top and see the sunset from there - it's beautiful.
I took an express train to Firenze and arrived around 10:30am, I had about 9 hours before heading back to Rome. After reading several blogs I planned a packed itinerary for what to do during my short stay. Firenze was a last minute decision because I had to cancel my Venice trip, but I was in awe once I stood before the astounding Duomo Cathedral. I've seen it countless times on Instagram, but it's not the same as seeing it in person. I felt like I was walking into a storybook surrounded by incredible architecture and history. Florence is such a beautiful city, and I would go back in a heartbeat!
WHAT TO DO:-Piazza del Duomo: where you can find adorable shops, restaurants, and major attractions such as the Duomo and Bell Tower. You can buy tickets online (15 euros) to go to the attractions inside the piazza.
-Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore): if you decide to climb up the stairs (400+ steps, no elevator) there's an impressive view of Florence. I climbed midway but had to go back down because my mom didn't want to go up to the top. If you just want to go inside the church, the entrance is free.
-Campanile di Giotto (Bell Tower): you need to climb up to experience the city view (400+ steps) but an amazing sight. Highly recommend!
-Baptistery of San Giovanni (Battistero): look up, there's an amazing gold ceiling. In front are gold panel doors designed by Michelangelo. Stunning!
-Ponte Vecchio: walk across Florence's oldest bridge.
-look up places where they serve the best T-bone steak, one of Florence's specialty. Known as bistecca alla Fiorentina. It's huge and I would recommend ordering one and sharing it with someone, which is what my parents did.
-San Lorenzo Market: great spot to buy souvenirs and leather goods. I didn't get to go inside, but read reviews that there are amazing food and finds. I spent time shopping outside at the market stalls with my parents.
-Giardino Bardini: a hidden gem in Florence. About 20-25 minutes walking distance from Piazza del Duomo, but a peaceful garden with stunning view of Florence. Also, a beautiful wisteria tunnel! I would double check times and also you need to bring cash to pay for the entrance fee.
-Church of Santa Maria Novella
I just came back from my Italy trip and I was blown away by the rich culture and all the beauty in ever corner. Italy has always been on top of my list to visit ever since I was young, but I never thought I would actually set my foot in Italy. I've dreamed of cruising down the Grand Canal in a gondola with a gelato in my hand (so cliche I know) for as long as I can remember. A rush of emotions came over me once I landed and I told myself not to have high expectations because I didn't want to be let down. Sadly, I wasn't able to go to Venice this time although I had already booked tickets since there was a strike taking place at the airport when we arrived. Instead, I decided to spend most of my time in Rome and one day in Florence. I overestimated Rome because I thought I could just spend a couple of days in Rome and see everything, but there is just so much to see and do. I also underestimated how busy it would be. I didn't expect that many tourists, but I can see why people would flock to Italy. I thought I would share my tips and a list of places I visited during the first two days.
-I would check the hours of the museums or places you're trying to visit, because some museums are closed on Mondays.
-Download the app myTaxi, it's like an uber app in Italy. Uber is illegal in Italy although I'm sure you can still find some drivers but myTaxi is very convenient if you need a taxi. I used it to get to the airport and also after a long day of walking around. Very efficient.
-Wear comfortable shoes because you'll be walking everywhere. Almost every tourist spot is within walking distance to each other.
-Wear a crossbody. I brought totes on this trip as well and didn't have an issue with pickpocketing, but always be aware of your surroundings.
-Sometimes photos don't do justice, take a mental photo of everything.
-Wander around and get lost. You can find hidden gems. I found a beautiful street empty of tourists, a peaceful moment away from all the hustle and bustle.
-Don't eat next to a tourist spot, instead go walk a couple of streets away and you can find amazing local spots that are authentic and cheaper.
-Rome actually has water fountains you can drink from. You can actually bring a water bottle and fill it up, there are several fountains around Rome you can fill up from. Water is sourced from their aqueducts and are safe to drink from, but you can also go to their grocery stores and pay about 20 cents for a water bottle.
-If you're trying to visit the Vatican museum, book tickets ahead of time online or if you're planning to go the day of I would go early in the morning and wait in line. I stood in line at 8:20 am (it opens at 9am) and there was already a line, but I got in around 9:15am. There are people dressed up outside of the Vatican and St. Peters Basilica, but they do not work for the museum or church. They are trying to sell you tickets to "skip the line" for double the price. If you're an early bird I would go to St. Peters Basilica first, it opens at 7:30am and then go stand in line for the Vatican. St. Peters Basilica was empty with only a few people when I passed it to go to the Vatican museum. They are right next to each other and it will save you a lot of time instead of spending your time waiting in line for hours. However, April is the beginning of tourist season so I'm not sure what it's like in the upcoming months. I personally think the Vatican museum is worth visiting, especially the Sistine Chapel where you can see Michelangelo's work. Just breathtaking.
WHERE I VISITED:
-Campo de' Fiori: I stumbled into here accidently while getting lost looking for Piazza Navona and there were market stalls lined up fresh with food, flowers, and souvenirs.
-Piazza Navona: so beautiful I visited three times
-Pantheon: entry is free but it's very crowded and I was a bit underwhelmed. surprised at how small it was compared to what I imagined
-Trevi Fountain: I came here during the day and it was packed. I did hear it was beautiful at night and not as crowded, but it's a beautiful sight.
-Spanish Steps: great place to sit down and people watch and also a great place to shop.
-Vatican Museum: I would go here at least once, so much history and astounding artworks. I recommend renting an audioguide because a lot of the artworks don't have much information and you end up clueless as to what you're looking at.
-St. Peter's Basilica: The highlight is the view from up top. You have an option to take an elevator and then walk the rest (about 200 steps or so) or walk all the way up (550 steps), but remember they only accept cash. Michelangelo's Pieta sculpture (Mary holding Jesus) is also at the Basilica.
Florence post will be up shortly!