Saturday, April 23, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day Everyday

 Yesterday was Earth Day although events were held all week in the Florida Keys, my destination to celebrate was the Help Yourself Cafe in Key West.  This lively cafe sits on a corner and its outdoor seating area is filled with beautiful plants and fragrant herbs.  It was mid-day and a warm 85 degrees out and my first stop when we arrived was to a booth serving fresh coconut water where I was given a large cold green coconut and a straw to enjoy its  refreshing benefits.  Fresh coconut water is available everyday at the cafe bottled for a quick pick me up but there is something extra fun about drinking it straight from the coconut. This popular beverage is filled with electrolytes, vitamins and minerals and is considered a natural energy drink.  I usually buy it pre-packaged in health food stores and various markets around the country and enjoy some before or after exercise and to re-hydrate. As with anything else...nothing beats fresh!

Recycling, reusing and reducing waste are important steps to maintaining a healthy planet and as consumers we can also reflect our personal beliefs by supporting handmade art, local business, fresh organic foods and natural home and beauty products in our choices. 
Enjoy Life and Celebrate the beauty in this special place we call home...Earth.

Earth Day event at Help Yourself Cafe in Key West

Help Yourself Cafe in Key West
 Help Yourself Cafe
829 Fleming Street
Key West, FL

A restaurant providing Key West with delicious organic food in their garden setting cafe seven days a week from 8AM-4PM.  
To re-inspire the passion for eating food as it should be:

 With a mission to inspire and nurture people and communities to help themselves through food and lifestyle choices, Charlotte (Charlie) Wilson opened Help Yourself CafĂ© in October 2008.

Enjoying fresh local coconut water in Key West

Lurey Taylor, Key West Artist
I visited the other booths while listening to some live music and met an artist selling her designs using beach glass, driftwood and shells as mosaics and beautiful wind chimes.

 Adam Russell from Honest Works Island Pottery

I also met Adam Russell from the southernmost pottery company in the United States, Honest Works Island Pottery demonstrating the process of turning a pot on the wheel in front of the Help Yourself Cafe.  His friendly manner and colorful pottery have inspired me to visit their website and Key West gallery to choose something to take home to my cottage by the sea.

Kelly Lever and Adam Russell, co-founders of Honest Works, are ceramic artists focusing on making a positive impact on culture with their beautiful functional ceramics and attitude.
As stated on their etsy site..."Artwork is our time out of time, meditation. It is our way to bring forward a tangible version and a viewable collection of thoughts and ideas."

I look forward to keeping up to date following their blog which is filled with gorgeous words, descriptions and photo's of their pottery and Key West lifestyle.
Organic Foods:

Help Yourself Cafe Organic Market in Key West is open on Mondays 11AM-5PM offering a delicious assortment of fruits and veggies in front of the cafe.  Bulk items such as grains, nuts, seeds, beans and dried fruit are also available any day by bringing you own jar or containers.

Crested Butte Farmers Market in Colorado

Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry at the Crested Butte Farmers Market 
 I am spoiled by living part of the year in a quaint ski town nestled high in the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado where I became involved in starting an organic market four years ago. The Crested Butte Farmers Market, has grown each year to become a vital part of the community providing artisan cheese and baked goods, sustainably produced heirloom vegetables, grass-finished and pastured meats and hand-crafted art and jewelry. 

The Crested Butte Farmers Market in Colorado

The Crested Butte Farmers Market is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of sustainable agriculture within Crested Butte. The market is open Sunday 10AM-2PM June through October and soon will announce the week night the market will be open.

A bounty from Annie's Organic Buying Club in South Florida

Annie's Organic Buying Club in South Florida

Annie's Organic Buying Club in South Florida

Two weeks ago I joined an organic buying club Annie's Buying Club, which delivers amazing fresh produce to the Fla Keys.  Each week I am delighted with the beauty, assortment and taste of the produce I receive in my order.  One week there may be strawberries, pears, lemons, asparagus, romaine, grape tomatoes, fingerling potatoes and carrots and the next will be pineapple, white radishes, apples, bananas, kiwi, artichokes, broccoli, zucchini and yellow squash. I order the full selection and receive plenty of delicious produce to last throughout the week.

 The Good Food Conspiracy Market on Big Pine Key has been offering healthy foods and fresh soups, sandwiches and juices for decades and the back yard patio is a charming place to enjoy your lunch.

Food for Thought in Marathon, Fla Keys is a vegan raw cafe nestled in a beautiful healthfood/bookstore offering a variety of smoothies, fresh juices, coffee, espresso, tea as well as daily raw specials, soups, salads, wraps and grain bowls. Most items are gluten/soy
free.  It is a great atmosphere to shop for groceries, enjoy a delicious soup or salad for lunch and pick out a new book or two for yourself or a gift.

 Green Lodging in the Fla Keys:
Parmer's Resort, Little Torch Key
The Gardens Hotel, Key West

HAPPY EARTH DAY !!!! Here are 10 things you can do NOW to make the world a better, safer, cleaner place ! ~ ~ Sharon Conners
1. Walk or Bike to work
3. Change your lightbulbs to LED's (CFLs contain Toxic Mercury!)

4. Get rid of toxic cleaning and personal care products and replace with all-natural, biodegradable, non-toxic and/or organic products.

5. Go MEATLESS 2-3 days a week ! (Reduces greenhouse gasses, petroleum consumption and groundwater/soil contamination from factory farming)

6. Go ORGANIC ! It's not as expensive as you think. You ARE what you eat. If you EAT healthy, you'll BE healthy !!

7. Plant a garden ! If you don't have land, a patio or porch containers will do. Make sure you use ORGANIC soil, fertilizers and SEEDS !

8. Get rid of toxic things in your environment /house : plastics, vinyl, particle board/MDF, carpeting and replace w/natural eco-friendly, non-toxic alternatives like solid wood, tile, ceramic, glass, woven grass (jute,hemp, sisal), wicker, bamboo, cork, recycled glass, natural stone.

9. Invest in an air purifier for your home. (Make sure it DOES NOT create ozone) 

10. Invest in a whole house reverse osmosis water filtration system. Almost all city water is contaminated with highly toxic fluoride and chlorine which cause serious health problems as they're breathed in as gases while showering, absorbed through your skin or consumed while eating/drinking. Not to mention 100's of other dangerous chemicals that contaminate water hexavalent-chromium 6, arsenic, barium and more.

Now that you have a list of things you can do right away... GET TO IT and have a HAPPY EARTH DAY.... EVERY DAY !! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Touched by the Wind & the Sea

 Re-decorating the living room in our seaside cottage has been my creative project this past week in between managing my jewelry business and I thought I'd share some of my favorite images along the way.   Florida's light is so bright and nature's colors so vivid I hope it inspires you to -- Celebrate Color & Live Happy!

Palm Trees, Ocean Breezes, Sun and Sand
Southermost Point Cafe Beach, Key West     

Marathon Key, FL

 A Tropic State of Mind
Little Torch Key, FL

Key West, FL

 Springtime Flowerburst

Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry

Luscious Pink Guava

Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry

Hear the Ocean Calling
Little Torch Key, FL

Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry

Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry


Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry

Dream in Color
Half Buck Freddies design store in Key West

Key West Style store in Key West

Sandy Beach
Key West Style Store in Key West

Tropical Island Brights

Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry

Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry

Half Buck Freddies in Key West

Key West Characters

Mother daughter Flower Bracelets ~ Nancy Yuskaitis Jewelry

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tampa, FL

Bayshore view towards Downtown Tampa

We recently enjoyed visiting Tampa, FL for the week.  Although it rained varying degrees from light sprinkles to raging downpours with thunder and lightening there was also tornado warnings, heavy wind, flooded streets and power outages.

We still managed to go out and enjoy a few restaurants at night and catch up on our visiting.  These photo's are from this visit and previous ones when the weather was beautiful.

One evening we had a fabulous time at Bin 27 Bistro in Hyde Park.  It's a beautiful modern restaurant with wonderful service.  We chose to order from the Tasting Tuesday menu which included a wine pairing with every course that was perfectly matched to complement each dish.  The Lemongrass-Chili Butternut Squash Soup was amazing as was the Chocolate Expresso Tres Leche Cake and the Citrus Beignets with Orange Sherbert.  The Blackened Tilefish was too blackened for our taste so the next time I'd order lightly blackened but the overall dining experience was very special and so was the company. Cheers!

Hidden Garden Pool

Spanish mossy trees

Downtown Tampa in front of the Children's Museum

Downtown Sunset

Hyde Park Village

Hidden Garden Pool on a rainy afternoon

Tampa Bay

Tree-lined Streets