Archives for category: Green Design



In life, as you age, you encounter people… and learn how you, and others, conduct themselves and try (emphasis on try) to relate to others. You will figure out if you are one of those people who keep all the secrets of success to yourself or if you find joy in helping others. Personally, I am the latter. Although…there is something to say about commending those who seek the clues to success on their own.

Currently, I am two weeks out from starting a new chapter for my life in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain. I visited two years ago and have wanted to move there ever since. Finally, the timeline is effortlessly presenting itself for me to move abroad. The unknown of what will unfold because of this decision in the years to come is the most exhilarating feeling in the world.

All of this has made me think back to when I first decided to embark on that journey across the globe two years ago. I initially sought out my friends who had gone on similar travels in order to pick their brains about every question I could think of. My hope was that they would give forth some advice – or better yet, help paint the daunting / terrifying picture of traveling to a land I had never been to and was extremely far away from anyone or anything I knew, and where I didn’t know the native languages. However…that wasn’t the case exactly. My questions would get answered but not much was ever given forth. I mention this because, I would find it immensely enjoying to sit down in front of a computer and notepad with someone and help them plan out their WHOLE trip. Maybe I should be careful what I wish for, ha!

To each their own I am learning as I “age”.

During my travels I kept a Note going in my phone about some things I felt would be convenient to know prior to or during my travels. So here they are:

  • Don’t bring a hat – and if you do, make sure it’s able to be packed into your luggage…not atop your head. Unless you’re like me and don’t mind looking like an oddball on the plane with 3-7 hats stacked on your head.
  • Pack on the lighter side because if elevators do not exist in the buildings you are visiting, than it will be quite the task to get those suitcases up to your flat.
  • Walk to the end of a train (not front) because there will be less  people which = less bodies, which = not as hot (if summer).
  • Bring a bluetooth speaker (boombox).
  • Carry a wine opener. But pack it in your luggage not your carry on. (because of the knife that comes with most openers)
  • Have euros (or the country’s currency) on you at all times. As well as ensure you have a debit card that has an international chip on it, however be wary of the fees. Get an international credit card that doesn’t have international transaction fees. I recommend Chase Sapphire’s card.
  • Bring a swiss army knife – you never know when you will need a tool. Again, put in checked bag – not carry on.
  • Bring hand sanitizer.
  • & Wet wipes that can be used for all body parts. You never know when a public bathroom won’t have toilet paper. #nightmare
  • “Lo siento” means I’m sorry in Spanish. You’ll need this to apologize for not knowing the language and if you run into people on accident so you don’t come across as a rude tourist.
  • Never book through Vueling airlines out of Spain. It is a nightmare to get checked in. Get to the airport EXTRA early (3 hours) if you do book with them.
  • Know how to ask where the bathroom is in the language of the country you are visiting
  • Keep your cross body bag in front of you, not behind you.
  • Just nod to the peddlers – there is an immense amount of people selling items to you in certain areas of Europe.

To be truthful, traveling to Europe was not nearly as daunting as I had originally imagined it to be. Their money is worth a few cents more than ours and lucky for us we have smart phones that can convert on the drop of a dime, literally – and translate for us in a matter of seconds. The metro systems in multiple countries was super easy to use, enjoyable really. #adventure – Adventure is just the mentality you have to go in with and know that if an emergency happens no one’s going to leave you high and dry…you just might have a large medical bill…which leaves me with my last tip! Purchase travel insurance. You’ll feel a whole lot better while traveling.

And that’s all I have for you guys for now! As I begin my life living abroad I will be sure to create another “Tips List” and post at a later time. Feel free to leave any advise you may have in the comments below.

Thanks for following and have a wonderful day!

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Owning my own spa and wellness center has always been on my radar, so it’s no coincidence when I stumble upon centers of the like. There are so many routes and niches that you can create when entering into the holistic and pampering industry. So when I discovered The Springs LA on Instagram I was intrigued. It encompasses a few things that I find myself seeking out in separate places – but all under one roof. Yoga, juicing, smoothies, massage, hot stones, and colon hydrotherapy to name a few.

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My roommate and I decided to go on a little weekend getaway to LA for Memorial Day weekend to celebrate her new found freedom as a recent graduate from USD. As the awesome crony she is, she was down for whatever, so I lined us up an adventure filled weekend. And since I had my eye on The Springs LA we were definitely stopping in.

We got into LA on Friday morning, went to the LACMA for the afternoon, then had lunch at The Line Hotel’s Commissary restaurant (a must!) and went out Friday evening to Toca Madera and Ysabel’s. We called it an early night so that we could wake up Saturday morning in time to catch our 9:00am yoga class at The Springs LA. The Springs is located in the arts district of Los Angeles. Perhaps it was because everyone went out of town for the holiday weekend but we found the city to be quite mellow compared to the hustle and bustle we were expecting – it was nice.

Once parked, the gate to the center was rolled open and we walked in and was greeted by an open and sunny space with a Palm Springs meets warehouse feel. Simple and cheerful. We were directed by the juice bar attendant to walk to the back to check into our class. We tucked our items into the cubby holes in the yoga room and began our morning yoga session.

An hour and 15 minutes later we awoke feeling more limber and relaxed. We pursued the items for sale – lots of cute little items such as oils, candles, jewelry and fitness gear. After we walked back toward the front where we purchased a fresh made green juice (Northstar was our choice) and headed out.

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The Springs LA is a really neat concept. With it’s open casual space I can only imagine all of the events that take place within this center, and to add to it, they have a restaurant in the works too. I highly recommend a yoga class and juice if you’re in town. Your first class is free! After that drop ins are only $15. Juices are pricey (about $10), but you can’t put a price on healthy liquid gold like that. 🙂

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I’ve been gone from this little blog here. I’ll address that when I’m ready; however, good momentum is happening in my life after a few hardships (see my instagram for a little bit of info somewhere in there). So much to blog, so little time.

These are two one-hour npr TED Radio hours I recently listened to and have rocked my world. Most people in my immediate life keep hearing me talk about them. If you don’t know what a TED talk is, you need to know. So start here! 🙂

The future of technology … We knew this stuff. We talk about this happening and what it means. But what are the brains saying about it? Well…..they’re just as scared – and stoked as we are.

My one overall thought is: (you’ll understand this comment better if you actually listen to the links) …we need to be in on it together, as one honest, peaceful loving specie. We have to ensure it will only do good. We’re talking robots and other realms here people. Call me crazy but two centuries from now, mark my words, they’re going to be tele-transporting. Or damn near close to it. What do you think? Crazy balls or duh?

Put a headphone in and get some stuff done while listening to what’s going on in the world of technological advances and how it relates to the digital age and persona. Click each link here: & then press the play button next to the words “Listen to Full Show” so that it will play all audio clips in playlist.

http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/438902974/screen-time-part-i?showDate=2015-09-11

http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/440141277

Thoughts on the topic highly appreciated! Looking to start threads and talk to people. Wishing you all health, determination, love and faith. Good night!

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Evolution. What a vast concept. It’s hard to even fathom all the faces the “human” has worn. And whats more, where we came from. I am a believer that all we are is star dust combined with an infinite amount of chemical reactions and mating cycles…so I guess that would consider me a bit of a Darwinist. Charles Darwin was an evolutionary biologist who stated that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Which brings me to the topic of this blog post: Biomimicry. 

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Biomimetics is something that fascinates me, and recently I have written two different papers on it. One was its application into the Interior Design industry and the other was the history of it and it’s application into architecture. So with that said, I’d love to inform you about it here.

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Biomimetics is also referred to as biomimicry and bioinspiration. To start with, bio means “life” and mimesis means “to imitate”. The Biomimicry Institute‘s definition is: a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. The Wikipedia definition is a tad more scientific, surprisingly: the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes. So basically taking a look at the nanomolecular structure of nature’s most time-tested and successful processes and mimicking them into human designs, be it architecture, materials, systems, products, etc.

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To give a few examples… We look to leaves to show us how to develop solar cells, we study the composition of the grid on a moth’s eye for better light absorption by solar panels, we look to Arctic Poppies to show us how we can make solar panels move with the sun throughout the day and even how we can build houses that rotate with the sun’s pattern.

24 Heliotrope house_final 3000077-poster-640-heliotrop-1Heliotrope House designed by Architect Rolf Disch, in Germany. See article: Heliotrope House via Fast Company

rotating-green-dome-designAnother example of a helitropic house by distributor Solaleya. See video via YouTube

When considering architecture and the ability to self-regulate temperature we can examine how termites, the architects of nature, construct their mounds in order to be a close-looped system where the interior remains at a constant temperature while enabling them to harvest their food (fungi). Pictured below is the comparison of the Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe designed by architect Mike Pearce and engineers Arup Associates, and a termite mound. See article: Eastgate Centre via Inhabitat

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Another example I see as extremely beneficial in the application of medical facilities is a shark’s skin. A shark’s skin is composed of dermal denticles with longitudinal grooves that not only allow a shark to be swift but ensuring biofoul, like barnacles and algae, not be able to attach themselves to the shark’s surface. This concept can be translated into antimicrobial paints for hospital walls, ship hulls (lessening drag, increasing oil efficiency, lessening global impact), as well as creating more efficient water suits for humans.

Shark SkinAnd the list goes on. I am so excited to see what the future holds for such a promising discipline. Being able to apply such efficient natural engineering into the built environment can only help mankind become more synergistic with the planet’s cycle, ensuring that we create sustainable habitats that lessen our footprint on this beautiful place we call Earth.

Here are two great TEDtalk videos that go more into depth about Biomimicry:

Janine Benyus

Michael Pawlyn

Such a cool idea to create a home from airplane scraps. I love the shape it gives the roofline against the horizon and hills. There is a 4 minute long video clip that shows how the pieces were brought to this hillside location (helicopters, shut down roads and all) along with a TON of pictures, inside and out, rooftop balconies to the interior furnishings. You would have to be an heiress in order to actually foot the bill on this one. See Francie Rehwald’s house in the link below:

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Houzz Tour: A Salvaged Airplane Becomes a Soaring Hillside Home.

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With plentiful pictures exampling the techniques that it takes to accomplish solar heating,  in both summer and winter, with just the use of the sun’s rays (no solar panels or such)- this article expounds the ways in which architects are plotting lots and designing windows, walls, and roofs & overhangs, so to effortlessly blend a home into the rhythm of life. It might sound like some things are being repeated, but it can’t be repeated enough until a designer can draft this passive home in their sleep. The man himself and his glorious ways of thinking, Frank Lloyd Wright, are mentioned. Concrete’s benefits are talked about. Shades for the windows are touched upon. And the truth about the insulating properties (“R-value”) of glass-box homes are addressed. Please, read on:

Sunlight Used Right: Modern Home Designs That Harness Solar Power.