Happy Vernal equinox! Here, without further adieu, is my list of summer favorites.
Firefly Jar – Catching lightning bugs on warm summer nights was one of my favorite childhood pastimes. Although I was tempted to capture them, I never trapped them in jars, choosing the more humane route of releasing them. While I still get a rush from seeing the first few bugs of the season, I was happy to receive this cute little gadget from Walter last Christmas. It’s a fun and more permanent way of keeping the glow of summer lit all year long, which is exactly what I intend to do.
Maritime Aquarium – Like most kids of the 90’s, after seeing Free Willy for the first time, I developed an interest in becoming a marine biologist. This of course, followed my desire to be a paleontologist (Jurassic Park), investigator (Harriet the Spy), and many other careers glamorized by pop culture. Despite the fact that I’m still not exactly sure what I want to be when I grow up (ha), I’m fortunate to live near the water, where I can play a researcher and, by volunteering at the aquarium, a marine biologist.
After signing up and interviewing, I was given a 3 day crash course on – what else – marine biology, pertaining to the Long Island sound and its creatures. I now spend the majority of my time there bonding with the animals, educating guests about the exhibits, and interacting with children. Aside from spending time with my new favorite marine animal, the dogfish (more on this later), the best part is seeing how the aquarium is run from behind the scenes.
WEI Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask – I love the packaging for this mask – it looks like a painting kit! It comes with 8 single use (twice for me) pots and a brush. The mud in this mask is golden root, an exceptionally powerful antioxidant mixed with China Clay (kaolin) that helps detoxify pores. It’s smooth as silk and after each use my face feels clean and fresh – a must for hot summer days!
Arepas – I had never tasted these tiny Venezuluan cornmeal “sandwiches” before visiting Masas in Norwalk, and after my first bite, I knew I was hooked. I can’t even venture into that part of town without a deep and serious craving for the Pabellon (shredded beef with plaintains and black beans). Fortunately, arepas are extremely affordable (about $4 each) and filling, so although I can only polish off one for lunch or dinner, I always buy extra for later. If you’ve never had an arepa, google it and find a arepera in your area!
MOMA PS 1 Warm Up – While a trip to the MOMA leaves something to be desired, the experimental live music and art installations at Warm Up never seem to disappoint. Held in PS 1‘s courtyard, Warm Up stays true to its name by delivering a dance party on sweltering hot Saturdays throughout the summer. Every week huge crowds gather to dance the day away, drink beer, tour the gallery. and people watch.
On one particularly steamy Saturday, I attended with my fellow dirndl ambassadors, who, not surprisingly, had no problem knocking back the German beer on tap. While I was able to keep up, I recommend substituting a water every other drink or so, and wearing breathable fabrics. Prost!
Pinterest – For a dreamer like myself, Pinterest is, by far, my favorite social media platform. Whenever I’m in need of inspiration, I turn to the endless amount of gorgeous pictures, recipe ideas and DIY projects. It’s like a visual smorgasbord and I never seem to get full.