Fourth Of July Fun!

Let me start by saying that I hope everyone had a safe and fun-filled 4th of July! I am happy to report that Nicholas and I had a fantastic one! This year we attended the fghgfdsafgfdsa Oregon Ridge fireworks show in Cockeysville, Maryland. Fireworks at The Oregon Ridge Nature Center are a Baltimore tradition for most Marylanders. It is definitely one of the best spots to get together with your friends and family on Independence Day!

At Oregon Ridge, the show starts with a beautiful performance by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. They play songs ranging from the traditional American favorites to songs from movies and musicals such as Pocahontas and Les Misérables. Then the fun really starts with their amazing firework show! They by far have one of the best firework shows around. sds However, here’s a word of advice: Oregon Ridge has some pretty steep prices ($15 to park, $20 per adult, and $10 for children under 12) so if you’d rather save some money I suggest checking out the firework show at the Inner Harbor, but definitely get there early to get a good parking spot!

Now in order to have the perfect 4th of July outing, there are definitely some things you should know. Humid heat, high refreshment costs, and of course BUGS, all can turn your Independence Day picnic from fun in the sun to a day that’s well… Not so fun. To avoid the dangers of the 4th, here are my tips!

  1. Pack your own cooler: If you go to an event like I did at s Oregon Ridge you know that even buying a single ice cream can cost $5, when you could by a whole box of them for that amount! This year Nick and I packed easy outdoor food. We packed sliced pork, tuna salad, and shrimp salad along with buns and condiments for our friends to make sandwiches. We also had crackers and chips to dip into guacamole and our tuna! We also had fruit salad and a TON of water! They were all easy snacks that were easy to pack and easy to clean up!
  2. Bring your own drinks: When going to any concert or show you’re always at the mercy of whatever drinks the establishment carries. Now I don’t know about you, but I am not a huge fan of overly expensive beers in July heat, so make your wallet and your tastebuds happy by packing your favorite drink. Nicholas and I packed a bottle of gin with cranberry juice which was super refreshing! We could add our ice and fruit in it too to make our drinks extra delicious!
  3. Have a checklist: The only way I ever truly pack everything for an outing or a vacation is if I make a list! I always end up forgetting something important so having a checklist helps me be sure I’ve got all my supplies! For the fourth there are definitely some essential items: bug spray, water, blankets, cash, sunscreen, and plastic ware are all majorly important (I also think packing chairs are great if you’re not one who likes sitting on the ground for long periods of time).

    Now you know the easy essentials for your next Fourth of July outing!

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Wedding Weekend In San Francisco

IMG_1501 Yesterday was an exciting one for same sex couples in San Francisco  after the ban on gay marriage was finally lifted! After waiting four and a half years, same sex couples in San Francisco can finally get official marriage licenses again!  The Supreme Court ruled that ProtectMarriage, the sponsors for Prop 8, did not have legal standing to put the same sex marriage ban into effect in 2008. WELL DUH! No one has any standing when it comes to the love between two people, whether heterosexual or homosexual; LOVE IS LOVE PEOPLE!

Anyway, while it actually happens to be pride weekend in San Francisco, they  are also calling it “wedding weekend” because of all the gay couples coming from all over California to finally marry their loved ones, but unfortunately their fight may not be over. Apparently, the marriage licenses were not supposed  to go into effect until 25 days after the Supreme Court’s decision, but the ban was lifted only two days after the decision was made (with the governors blessing). This is why so many couples are not wasting anytime to say their vows. Many are afraid that their rights may be taken away once again on Monday and they are not taking any chances!

Lawyers of Prop 8 sponsors have already asked the Supreme Court to stop the recommencement of same sex marriages. The Associated Press reported that:

“[Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks] says the Supreme Court’s  consideration of the case is not done yet because his clients still have 22 days to ask the justices to reconsider their decision holding that Proposition 8’s backers did not have legal authority to defend the ban.”

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Picture from The LA Times

In my opinion, people are people and there is no reason for anyone to not have equal rights based on whom they love! So here is my official congratulation to all of the beautiful homosexual men and women out there! You deserve to marry whoever you love and should never be ashamed of who you are! Keep fighting and have an awesome wedding weekend San Francisco!

All About Aztec!

TGIFF—Thank God It’s FASHION FRIDAY! From now on you can expect to see all the latest and greatest fashion favorites on Salty Waters every Friday! angie sweaterLately, I have been all about Aztec prints! I think their just great because anyone can wear them! It doesn’t matter if you are a conservative fashionista or a bit more bohemian-chic, trust me there is an Aztec print out there for you!

The best thing about these prints is that they are great for all seasons AND they add a pop of design that can make any outfit stand out! aztec toms My favorite Aztec items lately are my Classic Tribal Knit Toms! They are super cute and cozy for colder weather, but I’ve even been wearing them with shorts on the not-so-hot summer days!  The same goes for my Angie Neon Tribal Sweater that Nick gave me last Christmas from the Fells Point Surf Shop! I wore it all during the winter and luckily the neon goes great with my summer wardrobe for when I need an extra layer! IMG_1497And Don’t worry guys; us girls aren’t the only ones who get to have all the fun! I’ve seen some great summer tanks and board shorts for guys with awesome tribal designs on them! Or check out Nick in his tribal button down from Urban Outfitters!

Now, for the summer you can find tribal print sundresses or Aztec skirts and shorts anywhere! But it’s not all about these patterns on your clothes ladies—I say: No Aztec outfits? No problem! Add your tribal touch with some really cute (and really easy) nail designs like these:

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Go ahead and add some Aztec flair to whatever you wear to make a statement that no one can ignore!!! Happy FASHION FRIDAY Everyone!

Feeling Kinky?

In celebration of “Thirsty Thursday,” I decided to post my new found favorite drink! Kinky Liqueur—it’s beyond delicious!!!

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Basically, Kinky Liqueur is a heavenly pink mixture of mango, blood orange liquor, passion fruit, and of course vodka! Luckily, unlike most fruity and girly drinks out there, this one is not overly sweet or sickening, meaning I could actually drink more than two drinks without feeling nauseous!

Now I’ll let you in on my secret concoction for Kinky! I mixed a generous (okay VERY generous) amount of Kinky with white tea and pink lemonade! The pink lemonade helps bring out the fruity flavors of Kinky, while the white tea adds a subtle sweetness that tones down the alcohol taste from the liqueur!

KinkyI highly encourage you try some for yourself! Plus, if you don’t feel like brewing and chilling your own white tea, Brisk makes a good mixture of pink lemonade and white tea already made, how easy is that? I’m also thinking a good treat for an extra hot day would be this mixture over shaved ice with blueberries or blackberries—Come on who can resist an original Kinky Margarita?

Another favorite Kinky drink is the Kinky Blow Pop Martini! It’s a mixture of Kinky Liqueur, bubble gum vodka, pink lemonade, lemon lime soda, and an actual blow pop! Its super sweet so taste test before making a big batch,

Kinky Blow Pop Martini!

Kinky Blow Pop Martini!

but its pretty scrumptious and super cute for a signature party drink! For more fun recipes you can check out the Kinky Liqueur Website! I do feel that before I end this post I should warn you, Kinky Liqueur is so yummy that it is very easy to forget that your drinking alcohol, so please drink responsibly, but by all means BOTTOMS UP!

Chef In Progress

With a fiancé who is an aspiring chef, I am constantly opened and informed about a whole mysterious world going on behind those swinging kitchen doors. 8712_4493647498663_2048239455_n From the foodie slang, to the stories about his kitchen battle scars, I have found a new found admiration and appreciation for the culinary arts. Though, I do find that my favorite piece to Nick’s stories would have to be the constant humbled attitude he has towards himself in the cooking field.

Nick has had multiple food jobs, he’s attended a culinary school in Baltimore (BIC-Baltimore International College), and does not go a single day without a chef knife

Back in Nick’s BIC days!

Back in Nick’s BIC days!

in his hand at least once; yet he makes a point to say he is not a chef, nor does he know when he will truly be deemed one. No, he has not had enough oil burns, hospital visits, or cocaine up his nostrils to be called “chef” yet. This is what makes Nick’s thirst and drive to imagine more creatively and cook harder than the rest, much greater and more apparent than the average cook.

There is actually a really great Anthony Bourdain quote that says, “skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.” This I think can apply to most anything in life… Anyone can figure out how to cook or craft or write… But what makes those cooks and crafters and writers out there different from people like Anthony Bourdain, Martha Stewart, or Robert Frost? I believe something in their character, whether it is imagination or determination, separates those who just mosey through life and those who don’t just live life, but make life (or food) worth living for and enjoying.

The fact that being called “chef” is a term that gets thrown around by unqualified franchise cooks, just shows that they do not understand the true grit, heart break, and long nights that being a real chef takes. The real chefs, the ones who are true artists, have an understated bond with food and an immense dedication to their craft. dddd More often then not I hear that chefs marry their work, they cook for long nights, and sacrifice so much, all for their art. While this does scare me… it’s worth it because cooking is Nick’s expression of himself and his creative contribution to this world.

As an avid eater—because trust me, I can throw down some grub, I find the underground, dirty… pretty organic chef world to be actually something quite complex, raw, and absolutely deliciously addictive.

I feel that before meeting Nicholas, I was blatantly unaware of the sex appeal of sauce dripping ever so sweetly off of a chef’s completely original creation.  Their ability to mix science, creativity, and human necessity into something so artistically and naturally beautiful, makes being a chef so much more than what people see (or care to see).

I am very fortunate to be sharing my life with a chef. They work hard and play even harder! Our creativity and imagination can bounce off of each other, and hey… I am more than willing to be his taste tester for life!

Salty Waters: A Blog Without Limits

I guess I’ll start off with a little intro on who I am and what this blog is about… My name is Isabella, but everyone has called me Izzy since before I can remember.

Me at a drum circle back in the day!

Me at a drum circle back in the day!

I am 20 years old, a Maryland native, engaged to a beautiful man named Nicholas, a student at Towson University, and constantly striving to be better than I was yesterday.

I am hoping that my blog will be somewhat of a lifestyle blog, meaning I will include fun events and activities! I plan on including anything and everything in this blog! I love fashion, food, and fun!  I also obviously love music and am fascinated by the many different forms of raw human artistry in this world.

However, while this will be a lifestyle blog; life isn’t really all fun parties and happy times is it? I want this blog to not only include the positive things we have in this world, but I also will use this blog to tell personal stories, my opinions on today’s top issues and to speak about many different scenarios that we can all relate to. I would like my posts to be able to relate to people on all levels

Nicholas and I on our first Valentine’s day together

Nicholas and I on our first Valentine’s day together

and I feel that by making “Salty Waters” a blog without limits, I can truly express all life has to offer, both good and bad (but mostly good of course!).

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Sweet Life Festival 2013

This blog will have posts ranging from fun recipes that I enjoy and the fashion statements that I adore, to serious emotional obstacles that I feel need to be expressed!  I will be including everything from today’s top trends to daily life happenings, and I hope any readers out there tell me what they’d like to read and hear about so that I can include more!

I titled my blog “Salty Waters” because to me it is a metaphor of sorts. It refers to the reality and beauty in life.

Sometimes you hear people use “salty” as a term to say something or someone is upset, bitter, or hurt over something. This to me refers to the obstacles and hardships that we all face. However, salt water itself is a natural healing property. Whether from tears or from the sea, salt water has a way of healing our pain.

To me the title “Salty Waters” is a play on how even on life’s worst days; tumblr_lyt8075muq1r3ldjho1_500 there is still a magnificently beautiful world around us with unparalleled wisdom and gloriousness still out there waiting to be discovered.

Now I believe that’s all you need to know about this blog and while I am highly aware that my blog may never be read by anyone except for myself, I do hope that if it is read that it helps open minds and open hearts to all that life has to offer. Live life deliberately my friends!