Friday, August 21, 2015

the white mountains - inaugural trip

at the beginning of summer the beard and i visited the white mountains in new hampshire for the first time. we tent camped at lost river valley campground - which i highly recommend. we hiked a few trails and spent quite a few hours driving aimlessly with the windows down. driving and listening to music is one of our favorite things to do but since we don't have a car right now it rarely happens, so we soak it up when we can.

the main event of the trip was the hike to the summit of mount washington and back down again. we went up via the ammonoosuc ravine trail and down on the jewell trail. mount washington is the highest peak in the northeast and the most prominent mountain east of the mississippi river. i didn't really know what to expect and it turned out to be a lot longer and more difficult trail that i anticipated. but it was totally worth every minute. the ammonoosuc trail was mindblowingly beautiful. the trail was steep i'm not going to lie but it was nothing like the jewell trail coming down. i sorta thought we weren't going to make it for a bit. the first half was shifting rocks and the second half was very tall steps/jumps down between rocks and tree roots. by the time we got to the bottom {just squeaking out of the trees before it got dark - yikes!}, we could barely even stand. but even as we practically crawled down the road to the car i was already talking about summiting another mountain. in case you don't follow me on instagram this is what i posted the minute i sat in the car to recover before going back to the campground:::

{{{all photos copyright darkblck}}}

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

giveaway JORD wood watch

as promised, here my friends is your chance to win a $75, $50 or $25 coupon to JORD wood watches.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

JORD | wood watches

watches are my one consistency when it comes to getting dressed. basically I never go anywhere without one. there are only a few that I keep in regular rotation and these beautiful wood watches from JORD definitely make the cut. they're durable yet lightweight and very comfortable to wear. my favorite feature is that they are well suited to either men or women. in fact, immediately following these photos the beard stole mine, added links into it and has been wearing it ever since. oh well, gives me a valid excuse to get another right?

come back soon for a chance to win a $75, $50, or $25 coupon for JORD

on Seth ::: Fieldcrest in maple


{{{all images copyright darkblck}}}

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

pan seared watermelon salad

A few weeks ago I had this gorgeous grilled watermelon salad at a local restaurant Washington Square Tavern. I've been dreaming of it ever since so I decided to try it at home. Only problem was I don't have a grill. Luckily Google exists and I found an awesome recipe for pan searing watermelon. Although I didn't use many of her extra ingredients I did use her technique for cooking. It's super easy.

Preheat pan with barely enough evoo to coat the bottom. Heat to very high, till it starts smoking.
Place 1 inch thick slabs of watermelon in the pan (be careful of splattering!) and let sear for about 2 minutes then flip and sear for another 2 minutes. Once they've been flipped to the second side sprinkle with a pinch of course sea salt. The first time I tried I used a bit too much oil and cooked them for a bit too long so they became a little limp, however they still tasted amazing. So be sure not to overcook if you want them to have that summery crunch.

For my salad I used kale, spinach and arugula leaves, diced carrots, diced tomato, almond slivers, a hint of finely grated cheese (I used parmesan but I think feta would have been better), and a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. Toss and serve!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

fear and loathing

last weekend I spent a few days in Vegas for a beauty industry conference. it was a really great experience for me, especially since even though I manage a hair salon I don't have a background in hairdressing. it had been quite a few years since the last time I was in sin city so it felt like a whole new place. here's just a few of my photos from the trip as well as some tips/tricks I picked up along the way.

go to the pool 2-3 hrs before closing and pay the $15 for a padded chair in the private area. you'll have the place all to yourself. and you'll lay sideways on the edge of the pool dangling half-in half-out and no one will get mad at you. and the lifeguards will let you stay in the water till all the peasants have left. because you're the queen now obv.

it's difficult to find places to eat before 5pm. most hotel restaurants are only open 5-11pm. find one or two good places in your hotel that serve breakfast/lunch and avoid the buffets. that sandwich on the left was maybe the best deli sandwich I've ever had - from citizen in mandalay bay. the salsa on the right was so good I broke my vow not to go to the same restaurant twice just to get seconds. the pineapple chipotle margarita was remarkably tasty too - from t & t in the luxor.

there is a small james turrell installation in the shops at crystals near aria resort. there is also a picasso exhibit in the bellagio near the convention center.

uber does not operate in vegas or paradise (yet).

the bellagio is in my opinion the most beautiful hotel on the strip, especially inside. the lobby is fantastical and bright. their pool situation is the best setup I've ever seen with a bunch of smaller more private pools instead of a few huge crowded ones. plus, they have the largest chocolate fountain in the world. so yeah.

it's hot there ya'll. go to the pool often. but fair warning the tap water is wretched. it tastes and smells like shit. so you'll probably end up buying lots of bottled water. don't forget to ask for lemon or lime juice in your water when you're out to eat. just be sure to stay hydrated. 

rx boiler room in the shops at mandalay bay is worth checking out. very cool and never crowded, open 5-11pm. it's a steampunk inspired bar/restaurant with a 20's vibe.

(all images copyright dark blck)

there's no such thing as overdressed when you're going out at night. although you might see a few older women wearing prom dresses.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Blogger Friends IRL

One of my favorite things about blogging has always been the community. That actually is what originally inspired me to start my blog. It's rare though that you get to meet blogger friends in real life. So when Gentri texted me to let me know she was going to be in Boston for the marathon I jumped on the chance to meet up with her. Gentri was one of the first I followed and has been a friend for 5 years! Yesterday she did a post sharing her gorgeous photos from our time together, go check them out here.

 {{{photo by me}}}

{{{photos by Gentri}}}

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Featured Artist ::: Jessica Jorgensen

"I love capturing memories, those beautiful fleeting moments we wish could last, and those seconds that reveal something magical about life. For as long as I can remember, every spare second of time I had was spent drawing, erasing, and redrawing until it matched perfectly with what I saw. Before I knew what that really meant, it became obvious that creating was clearly my life’s work. It’s been a beautiful obsession.

The process of painting people and learning about their stories and personalities has always inspired me and it’s led me to realize that portraits are my passion. I love that when I paint I am able to take a single moment in time and save it in a physical object – the painted canvas.

I like to think that every painting of mine holds more than just the strokes of paint and the passage of time it takes to create them, it holds all of my thoughts and good wishes for the people in it. I paint hope and love and joy into every detail so those memories, or that one special moment, can live forever in the painting. A Painting is the physical object that represents those little histories .

A painted memory lovingly captured.

That is the gift I want to offer through my paintings, so that your custom piece of fine art can endure for lifetimes and can instantly take you back to that moment, that memory, that feeling, that person."

J.J. is a very talented artist and a good friend that I met in college. If you get the opportunity to have her do a custom portrait for you don't pass it up. She did this one for me and I love it. I think custom portraits like J.J.'s are infinitely higher quality and more meaningful than having a photo printed on canvas. Take a look at her other work on her website and her etsy shop.

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