Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Desert Rose

Excited to share my review of a recent STING concert, I attended. The review is at BlueSkyCampfires.This blog is dedicated to music and art for the souls, and I am so proud to be apart of the content! I hope you read and enjoy the review. Please feel free to share your thoughts on blueskycampfires blog with me as well.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BELIZE in a Cohune Nutshell-Section: 1

This past September, I traveled to Belize Central America. When I was planning my 30th Birthday celebration, I was originally looking into Brazil as my go to destination. There is something fundamentally inspiring and wholly spiritual in seeing the Christ the Redeemer statue.Photo By:

That sense, that pit in your stomach, can only be attained by being in the presence of something so great. But in doing my research for Brazil, I realized the plane tickets were incomprehensible in price. While surfing my favorite blog spots and reading my travel books, I came across Belize. This extremely diverse culture drew me in instantly. With it's rich history, astonishing scenery, and friendly locals, this is exactly what I needed to surround myself with for my big birthday bash!

My husband and I quickly started planning and saving and I decided to gear my whole trip around yoga, food, and relaxation. Most of the time when I travel, I have such a heavy agenda, and I want to see everything. This trip I just wanted to enjoy the people and images around me. Rent a Jeep and go where our thoughts lead us that day. I google searched Yoga and Belize and came across two spectrum's of the country. Yoga and exploration in the Jungle at Black Rock Lodge This place is an Eco tourists dream vacation. Located outside of San Ignacio, C.A., they pride themselves on being 100% off the grid. For Belizean's this is virtually impossible as I learned on the Eco Tour as both China and Canada have their hands in the Belizean government's pockets, monopolizing the energy sources and forcing communities to pay top dollar for their product. The locals could do so much better if they were able to produce their own resources and then get paid by the gov't as they do here in the states when they start providing energy back, but unfortunately it is not run that way in Belize. Black Rock also has all of their water provided from the local mountains and the Macal River. All of their restaurant and staff food is organically grown and re-fertilized by compost consisting of food scraps and waste. BUT the way that they do it, and the way that they use their man made wetland to re-fertilize, is pretty amazing and frankly humbling.

The other location we chose was Akbol Yoga Retreat, This beachfront sanctuary would leave any weary westerner in absolute bliss and peace. There is something to be said about finding a place where you could wake up each morning, look outside of your seafront cabana and see endless waters and unbounded futures with limitless time.

When we arrived in Belize I was instantly challenged by customs on my motives for arrival. "Had I undergone a change?", "Had I gone Rasta now?" You see my passport photo is before my natural dreadlock state, to which I learned in Belize, means I am an honorary rastafarian and could only be sung Bob Marley songs at my window at gas stations, and deep Creole conversations by little Mestizo boys. Surreal. The other crazy thing about the Rasta's is I really only saw Rasta men, while traveling around the western part of Belize and on the island. So I had a conversation with a very inspirational man who called himself the Rasta Ripper in San Pedro. He informed me that most of the Rasta wives and girlfriends stay in Dangriga, a little afro-carribean beach town in the Southern region of the country. Most Belizean men aren't known for being the most faithful or virtuous companions to their female counterparts. So the fact that they left them for months at a time to make money in the tourist beach towns, leaves a little more to my imagination than just financial stability for the family.

On our way down the Western Highway, I could see that sense of adventure and fear coming over the face of my husband as I explained to him that I had no map or clear directions to Black Rock Lodge. I told him to buckle up, this is what backpacking is all about. You will find your way. And in a country like Belize, the people were all to ready to help and not demand for pecuniary tributes in return.
We were not expecting to go up such an intense six mile dirt mountain road with rocks attacking you at every turn but once you saw those jungle palms and jesus lizards and sprawling Macal River....oh what a sight to behold.

Once arriving at Black Rock we were greeted by the most amazing staff. In those 5 days we were able to experience river tubing, horseback riding, vaca falls, caving, Eco tour, spider hunting, learning about medicines used by the Mayans, night hikes and Yoga in the Palapa.

We also ate some incredible vegetarian options. Fresh potato soups, beans and rice with chunks of some of the freshest organic vegetables. Handmade pasta with creme sauce and perfectly cooked flan. They even brought me a piece of cake with a candle in it to end my birthday night. A good place to be. In the middle of the jungle, under the stars, blowing out my candle, with a wish and good friends.

While in the Cayo District, we traveled to Mountain Pine Ridge. We got to visit some of the main attractions that drew my attention in my research. Caracol Ruins, Rio on the Pools, 1,000 foot falls, and Coppola's five star restaurant at Blancaneaux. We found the most lovely little town in San Antonio. My husband and I felt we could see ourselves living there years from now. It was the perfect blend of beautiful scenery. The houses featured every color of the rainbow. Kids running around playing soccer. Mothers and daughters walking back from the markets. The energy was really alive in San Antonio, and I got a great feeling in my heart every time we drove through that little town.

When we found out that we were going to be in the heart of the Jungle, trampsing around with jaguars, toucans, and howler monkeys, I had the most thrilling sensation in my heart. That sensation that makes your pulse race a little bit faster, your blood course through your veins more warmly, your eyes go a little hazy from glee and adrenaline. I was completely open to it, and I was not disappointed in my journey so far. But now after 5 glorious days, it was time to head to the coast. Travel back through Belize City, which is pretty much just a dumping ground for tourists off the cruise ships. It is not the "true" Belize that I know it to be now. San Pedro and Akbol were calling our names. And my tan was needing a little pick me up.

I would love to thank, Giovanni, Jessie, Elvis, David, Rogelio, Avrel, the cook staff, the German Sheperds, the tarantulas for sheer entertainment and consistency, all our new friends and fellow travelers we encountered and everyone else at Black Rock Lodge who made our stay absolutely unforgettable.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This Yogic Life

Yesterday 10/8- I was invited by OM ON Yoga Studio to participate in a photo shoot for the new website. What an honor and what an experience to meet with some of the most dedicated students of my home away from home.
I look around and see all these beautiful women and strong men, and it made me realize just how much growth I have really gone through in the last 2 years, and how much further I have yet to go on my journey.

I posted on RVA Yogi's meet up website that I have recently come to the conclusion that there are parts of me that have been missing, and can only be found through a regular Yoga Practice and spiritual awareness. Photo by BlueSkyCampfires

This, I truly believe is my new Mantra for the rest of 2011. Understanding why I am surrounding myself with the people I do in my life and the material items I select. The nutrients and food that I put into my body. This is all apart of understanding the Yogic journey.

"In waking, eating, working, dreaming, sleeping
Serving, meditating, chanting, divinely loving
My soul constantly hums, unheard by any
God, God, God"

Quote from Paramahansa Yogananda

Online Photo Credit

I find that this journey is all consuming in a way that is welcoming and loved. I wake up wanting to do yoga. I go to sleep wanting my 15 minutes of savasana. I think what more can I do to take myself on this Karma yogic experience even further.

Photo By: BlueSkyCampfires

Friday, August 12, 2011

Standing in the Shadow of Greatness.....

As a musician, I sometimes wonder the genuine quality and raw talent of artists today. You don't have many people writing lyrics like Jim Morrison, that cut you to the core and you recite standing on tables in hotels in Amsterdam. You don't have tone like Billy Holiday- where that twinge of awkward throatyness sounds almost too good to be true. We don't have La Vie En Rose, Piaf's interpretation of perfection and Dinah Washington's perfect use of a language. SO SUBLIME, yet so far away from most music today. Again raw talent.

I am not a HUGE Beyonce fan. I know that she has a true passion for her performances, and it truly looks like she puts her whole heart and soul into her shows and her fans. I had to post this video of her rehearsing for an American Idol performance in the Spring. I was blown away by her sheer understanding for her instrument.

She has the most incredible control of her voice. And the soul and feeling that you get from her when she sings each note.... that is not something that you can teach. That is like dancing a contemporary number with your voice. Perfection. The fact that she is also singing without a mic, and without the use of auto tune furthers my now undying respect for her and her craft. Everyone should be so lucky to witness art in it's finest interpretation. How it was supposed to be used, how it was supposed to be defined.

Thank you my beautiful sister for making my heart skip a beat....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

White is the new Black!

It's a hot-Summer and all I can think about is where is the nearest ocean at?
I needed some inspiration so I looked to one of my favorite colors to wear- WHITE.
The symbolism for wearing white can mean any number of things.
Primarily white being the color of purity.

White and Black have the biggest visual contrast to the human eye. Day and Night. Good and Evil. White is the extreme end of the spectrum of color. It is associated with nature- clouds, flowers, ice and snow.
It has religious connotation. Ihram clothing worn by Muslims during pilgrimage. Egyptians saw white as the color to wear during death. And how about the white flag of surrender in times of war.

Whatever you view the color "white" as, it is one of the most calming colors for me to wear. I love neutrals, creams, taupes, browns, and white. I find them stunning with my skin tone and even better with a tan.

Here are some images that I was inspired by this summer and my own take on the perfect white bohemian summer frock.

The skirt is from H & M organic fabric collection, Tank is from Nordstroms, Earrings are from the new Fall 2011 Cache collection, Bracelet is from NEED SUPPLY, Sunglasses are RayBan Clubmasters, and the Necklace is from House of Harlow 2010 Collection.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Love this collaboration

There is nothing better than an underground star hooking up with one of rap games most notorious MC's.
Alex Ebert is killing the music Indie scene and doing collaborations with everyone you can think of including RZA of Wu Tang Clan. This video shows you why I heart him, and why I love anything that sounds like you could download it off a soundtrack of an Akira Kurosawa film- Kung Fu movies- my secret obsession! Enjoy

Alexander - Truth from Alexander on Vimeo.

Belize here I come!!

With only 20 days left till I head to Belize, I have the perfect outfits to complete my DREAM 30th Birthday vacation! This trip has meant so much to me, in that it is the first VACATION that I have taken with my husband since our Honeymoon. Even though backpacking across Asia and Europe 2 years ago was a huge trip of a lifetime, my intentions for that was more about experiencing my spirituality, the people and photography. This trip is truly about relaxing, Yoga, sunbathing and throwing in a few excursions here and there.
Now all I need to do is have the most fashionable, comfortable attire to trek, stretch, meditate, and swim! Oh and chillax' with my best friend-in our cabana's. I am traveling inland to the Belizean Rainforest to the Black Rock Yoga Lodge. We will be near the Big Rock Waterfalls and Rio on the pools. We will hit up some Mayan Ruins and then take a jeep back to Belize City to boat over to Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye to stay at Akbol Yoga Resort and tan, swim and snorkel at Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
So here are the outfits that I have picked so far- a good blend of dressy, casual. A perfect trek uniform, Trail Runner lightweight shoes. All my favorite Yoga gear from Lululemon, my trip to India and Om On Yoga boutique. My new Japa Mala beads and my cozy havana's. Oh and don't forget the perfect Fall must have a pair of foldable black Ballet flats- perfect to travel in. I have the Yosi Samra brand from NEED SUPPLY - but I will probably pick up a pair of Corso Como brand as well in another color. Take my advice- my choices are all you need to look Resort Chic with that hint of Bohemian Hipster that I LOVE so much