Category: General

GeneralWindow Farms for the Urban Dweller

Want to embrace your green thumb, but don’t exactly have the room for a vegetable garden? Well Window Farms are just the solution for you! 
“Window farming” allows urban dwellers to year-round farming in almost any window. It uses recycled 1.5 liter water bottles, clay pellets, plastic tubing and inexpensive fish tank air pumps to create a decked out indoor garden.
The plants capture natural light and vertically disperses the organic liquid soil throughout the levels of plans. Not only do they look cool, but it can also freshen up your place! It’s also a great way to save money on fresh veggies!
The farms can be used to grow fresh peppers, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and bok choy, to name a few! However, root vegetables are not suitable for the window farm.
WindowFarms.org was founded by Britta Riley, who raised $27,000 in donations as seed money. The project hopes to teach others that they can put recycled consumer goods to use and get the most out of things that are readily available to them. The site already has 4,000 registered users who all manage their own window farms.
The website tells you what you need and the materials will cost you about $30. You can download the PDF from their website or you can buy an at-home kit so you can get to growing your veggies even quicker!
To learn more about the Window Farms project and how to make your own urban garden, visit WindowFarms.org.
(Photos courtesy of MrKate.com)

GeneralDowntown From Behind

 

Have you ever visited a city and wished you had more time to stay and get to know the locals? Well, now you can in New York City! Sort of.
Downtown From Behind is a photographic series that aims to document subjects riding their bikes, on streets, avenues, and lanes below 14th street and captures them visually as they depart from view. Both established and emerging individuals are chosen, leaving a sense of their daily contributions to a bustling city scene!
Lower East Side
 
East Village
Noho Bowery
Soho Nolita
Tribeca
(Photos courtesy of DowntownFromBehind.com)

GeneralDIY: Saltwater Beach Spray!


Summer is fast approaching and as the weather warms up, the last thing we want to do is plug in a flat iron or any other hot tool to do our hair. This simple DIY will help you achieve saltwater kissed waves even if you don’t live anywhere near the beach. The best part is, this style takes less than 10 minutes to achieve and costs less than $10 for the materials. Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 3 tbsp. finely ground sea salt 
  • 3 squirts of water-based hair gel 
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut conditioner 
  • Tap water
  • 8-10 oz. spray bottle
 
 
1. Add all of your ingredients to your spray bottle and add enough water to fill it up. Shake vigorously until all ingredients are combined. 
2. Spray onto wet/damp hair and scrunch upward until a wave begins to form. Spray a small amount and scrunch as you go. Remember, less is more!
3. Either let it dry naturally or use a diffuser for a more tousled look 
And voila! Enjoy that fresh-out-the-ocean look anywhere and keep the spray bottle in your purse for touch ups throughout the day!

General10 Classic Books That Aren’t Boring

Long days and sunny weather are in the forecast, and for me, that’s always meant tan time with a stack of my favorite books! This year, setting aside my unfortunate pile of chick-lit, I’ve decided to dig into some of the classics. Yeah, I know, mental groan, right? Dreary, with big words and a decided lack of anything particularly interesting. Well, that’s what I thought, too, until I decided to change my tune. Could I find any classics that were actually FUN? 

After sorting through some of my old faves and inquiring from friends and family, I present you with a list of classics that are pretty awesome and decidedly unboring.
Jane Austen, 1813
Okay, if you’re into girly love stories, this book might not be for sure. But if you are into romance and grand guestures of affection and gentlemen and dances, then you can’t go wrong. Mr. Darcy will always be my first love.
Mary Shelley, 1823
Widely recognized as one of the first examples of science fiction, Frankenstein is about a monster created in a lab and all the human emotions he and his creator go through. Terrifying, creepy, and awesome all at once. Props to Mary for writing it when she was only eighteen.
Alexandre Dumas, 1855
As the girl whose Netflix queue doesnt even recognize the word “drama,” I still love this book. Here’s the Wiki summary:  “It focuses on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty.” There is buried treasure, hot pirates, and tons of page-turning action. 
Bram Stoker, 1897
Although nowhere near as hot as Eric Northman, Count Dracula is still the original badass vampire. With all the adaptations and spin-offs, it’s a great idea to read how modern vampires got their start. Plus, if you like a certain amount of creep-factor, the Count will do it.
J.D. Salinger, 1951
Often cited as one of the best 100 books of the twentieth century, Catcher in the Rye is chock full of issues that we deal with every day – identity, belonging, connection, and alienation. It’s told from the point of view of Holden Caulfield, a 17 year-old in a mental hospital who describes the events at occured in his prep school the previous December. Fun fact:  it‘s also got a lot of sex and cussing in it.
William Golding, 1954
 
Any Hunger Games fans out there? Well, a friend described Lord of the Flies to me like this: “So, Lord of the Flies = a mixture of ‘Survivor’/Hunger Games, only it’s well-written. Also a quick read.” Sold, right? 
Arthur Conan Doyle, 1892
There is a reason they made it into a movie. It’s action and crime and mystery at it’s best. Just imagine Robert Downey Jr. whenever you’re reading. Also imagine reading with an English accent; way more fun that way.
C.S. Lewis, 1950
Again, there’s a reason they made it a movie. Magical closets we all wish we had when we were little, talking animals, hidden worlds, and epic batttles. Oh yeah, and the main characters get to be kings and queens. It’s like the most amazing combination of fantasy and fun I’ve ever read.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
So, you probably had to read this in high school and hate the fact that I put it on this list. However, I dare you to go back and read it again when you’re not forced to write a comparative essay on it. Here’s how Cliffs Notes describes it: “The Great Gatsby follows Jay Gatsby, a man who orders his life around one desire: to be reunited with Daisy Buchannan,the love he lost five years earlier. Gatsby’s quest leads him from poverty to wealth, into the arms of his beloved, and eventually to death.” It’s set in the prosperous 1920s, so if you’re a flapper at heart this book is for you.
J.M. Barrie, 1911
Okay, I take back the Mr. Darcy crush; Peter Pan was definitely my first and most favorite boy of all time. And honestly, I can’t think of a better time to read about endless childhood and Lost Boys and fairies and flying than those self-same magical days of summer.

One of the greatest things about classics today is that nearly all of them are available online for FREE! The link on each title of the ten books I listed above will take you to the e-book or downloadable link for the book, in case you want to read them on your phone or computer on lunch breaks. Kindles and Nooks often have these available for free as well, as do websites like Goodreads, Open Culture, and ePub Bud.
 
So, have I convinced you yet? Will you add any of these to your “fun” summer reading?
(Pics courtesy of Tumblr.)

GeneralVamps Brings Back The Clueless Crew

If you loved Cher and Dionne, then wait ’til you meet Goody and Stacy...

I’ve watched/memorized enough Clueless to know: Amy Heckerling + Alicia Silverstone = GOLD. So, when Vamps drops later this year, I can overlook any misgivings about vampire movies and embrace Cher Horowitz as a New York City bloodsucker (as long as she’s not premasticating it). Add Krysten Ritter and Sigourney Weaver… I’m sold. Also joining the warm fuzzy reunion: Wallace Shawn, aka Mr. Hall.



(Images courtesy of Oyster, BAM, & Collider)