Nature

Ocean Trails Reserve Hike

A few days ago Bub and I decided that we wanted to go hiking. We were set on Point Mugu again when we realized we weren't quite in shape to scale that beast of a mountain, so we chose another trail closer to home. We ended up at Ocean Trails Reserve. You have to trek through a particular president's golf course to get to the trail that we went but it was worth it.

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Once we hit the bluff we took the trail to the left. It's unpaved, rocky, and the last five words on the precautionary sign read "proceed at your own risk". As soon as I saw that, I knew there was no way that Bub was going to go on the other 'safer' trail, so down we went. 

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Of course I ended up picking up some trash. You guys, mylar balloons are NOT the business, they're cute for all of five minutes but when you release them, they almost always end up in the ocean. Also, there seems to be a lot of crab/lobster pots that wash up along this particular stretch of the beach so I've been trying to brainstorm a way to bring them up the narrow trail.

Secretly, I was hoping that I'd be able to find some rope to send off to Planet Love Life as a donation, and I did. Until it didn't want to budge from underneath the rock that it was stuck under. I asked Bub to try his hand at it and he couldn't do it either. I also hadn't even thought about finding any rope on our hike so we had no knife to try and cut it. "Leave it. That rope's not going anywhere." 

Don'tTellMeThatThisRopeIsn'tGoingAnywhereBecauseThisRopeIsGoingWithMe! I found myself a sharp rock and soon just started hacking away at it. I mean, when I'm determined, I'm determined. Ha! 

Overall we had fun though and I totally intend on going back to try and find more rope. Prepared for next time though, with a knife and some gloves.

Amanda ❤

Meet The Vaquita

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This is the Vaquita. They are the smallest porpoise in the world. They never stop smiling, and there are less than 30 of them left making them the world's most endangered marine mammal.

They are critically endangered and their extinction is only imminent. Save the Vaquita Day is July 11th and they may not even make it. They are endemic to a small area in the upper Gulf of California.

Vaquitas are the most critically endangered marine mammals in the world, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Between 1997 and 2008, unsustainable deaths in gillnets caused vaquitas to decline from around 600 to 250. Since 2011, the resumption of illegal fishing for a large endangered fish (the totoaba) increased the decline to 34% a year, resulting in only 60 vaquitas remaining in December 2015. The swim bladders of totoaba fetch large sums of money in Hong Kong and Chinese black markets. In response to the alarming rate of decline, the Mexican government instituted a two-year gillnet ban throughout the vaquita’s range (2015-2017), increased enforcement with the Mexican Navy, and compensated fishers affected by the two-year gillnet ban ($72 million). Despite these substantial government actions, illegal fishing continues and will likely result in extinction of vaquitas in the next few years.

In 2015 the Mexican government implemented a 2 year ban of gillnets throughout the Vaquita's range in hopes that this would help the population recover. The Mexican government has determined that emergency action is needed to temporarily remove some of the remaining animals from their threatening environment and create a safe haven for them in the northern Gulf of California.

Officials estimate the plan will cost more than $3M in 2017 and will rely on a variety of funding sources, including donations from the public, private organizations and non-profit groups. There is an urgent need for immediate funding to avoid delaying efforts.

Every donation is vital in keeping these beauties alive. Every bit counts.

If you'd like to donate, or want to learn more about this precious little porpoise, visit VaquitaCPR.org

Amanda ❤

Panda Visits The Natural History Museum

Last Saturday I got out of class early and thankfully realized that I didn't have anything to do that day except go home, lay in bed and watch Netflix for the rest of the day. So instead, I decided to go to the Exposition Park Rose Garden for some inspiration. It's actually my favorite place. It's a veritable joy to be there, for me. The beautiful roses, the aroma, I love it. 

Exposition Park Rose Garden

While I was there, I decided to go visit the Natural History Museum. If it looks familiar to you, it's because the side is also known as 'The Jeffersonian' on 'Bones'. 

Los Angeles Natural History MuseumI'd never actually been there so it was a pretty cool little day trip. 

T-Rex and Tricerotops

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Tricerotops SkullSo while in the Dinosaur exhibit, I came to the conclusion that the only reason I would probably be afraid of the T-Rex is because it would be trying to eat me, but what would have definitely scared me on pure sight would be this Triceratops (on left). I don't have anything to compare it to but the skull alone was easily the size of a SMART car. The entire car. So I can only imagine how big the rest of it would have been. 

American BuffaloSomebody at the museum has a sense of humor. While in the North American Animal exhibit, I saw this vignette of the American Buffalo and had to laugh. It's like the buffalo is looking at the skull as if to say, "Sucks to be you". LOL! 

4644 Carat TopazThen there's this. While in the Gem and Mineral exhibit I saw this GINORMOUS, beautiful blue topaz. 4,644 carats. It's literally the size of a mini pound cake. 

All in all, it was a pretty good way to spend the day instead of laying in bed watching Netflix. I relaxed a bit, got some inspiration and it gave me a fresh start.

Amanda ❤

Panda Escapes To: Exposition Park Rose Garden

I learned about this place sometime ago when I went to the LA Times Festival of Books last month. I didn't visit it that day, but I knew I had to come back, and soon. 

I went back one morning when I completely forgot that my morning class wasn't going to be meeting that day, so I thought it would be the perfect time to visit and kill some time until my next class. *UGH* Delight! There are approximately 15,000 rose bushes with about 145 different varieties of roses, and you better believe I tried to smell all of them! Some roses aren't fragrant but some roses are, and for those that were, let's just say, I was having nosegasms. They ALL smelled so good! 

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 My favorite out of all of them though, were the 'unforgettable' roses, which I believe is the second picture. For a Monday, I definitely couldn't complain about spending the morning there. 

Have you ever visited the Exposition Park Rose Garden in LA? Did you have a favorite variety? If you're ever in LA I definitely recommend having a small picnic there and taking pictures. I know I can see myself doing a shoot there! 

Amanda ❤

Cactus Planter

Cactus-Planter

The other day I was in my apartment and I decided we needed some plants in the house. So off I went to Home Depot. I was originally looking for plants that required little sunlight because the area where I intended to place said plant, receives about 45 minutes of sunset light a day. To my dismay I didn't find any. But as soon as I saw a small aisle full of cacti and succulents, I immediately knew what I was going to do. 

I already had the bag of potting soil so I just needed to find everything else. I grabbed a few succulents that I felt worked well together and were varying sizes, and a galvanized bucket. I filled the bucket with the soil. I put the largest succulent in first and staggered the smaller ones around it. The plants need about 4-6 hours of sunlight so I usually put them outside right before I leave for work and bring them in when I get home. I got succulents because I figured they're harder to murder. Yes, I'm known for not taking care of plants too well. I water them every other day, and so far, they're still alive. 

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This is the corner at the top of my stairwell where they sit. I'm thinking I need to get a small corner table to put them on but for now, this works. 

This is what it looks like, up close. 

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XO Panda

Amanda ❤

Cesar Chavez Park

A few days ago I went on the longest bike ride to date.(Post coming soon) It probably isn't as long as others may have gone but beings that I don't actually own a bike, I borrow my sisters, so I don't ride very often. Well, on that adventure I came across a park that's kind of hidden and it's the cutest little park!

Caution: It's about to get photo heavy up in this beesh. 

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There are four different playgrounds in the park. This is just one of them. Kids were playing at the other three and I didn't want people to think I was some creeper taking pictures of their kids.

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 There are tons of grassy areas and benches to sit and relax in. 

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Along the paths, they have these cute little stampings and each path has it's own theme

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There's amphitheater type seating that was closed off. I wonder what they have there. I'll let you know if I see something later on in the summer. 

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For some reason, I always like taking pictures of lamps. 

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Flowers are everywhere. These were the three that I thought I could name: Lily's, some form of a rose and Gardenia. I love the way Gardenia smells. 

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The park also has a community center with a waterfall in the middle of the driveway. You can read who Jenny Oropeza was on the plaque. I went inside to see what kind of stuff they offered there, and they have a weight room, a rec room with table tennis, shuffleboard and tv's set up. They also had another room that was filled with couches and whatnot to just sit and relax. Of course there were a bunch of teenagers in there so I just headed back on out and into the evening sun.  Also, probably on weekends only, there's this little kiddy train that goes around the park. I think I'll be riding on it sometime soon because I'll definitely be coming back to this park. 

//Panda

Amanda ❤

Probably The Most Perfect Day

 

Sugar Sugar- The Archies

 

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Yesterday was my day off so I headed straight to the movie theater to FINALLY watch 'The Lion King'. I loved it. The opening scene couldn't even end before I started crying. So of course, I cried when Mufasa died. When I got into the theater, no one was there but 4 other people trickled in and each took their seats. Everybody was far enough away from everybody else that we could sing without the other people hearing. You best believe I was singing!  

Afterwards, I found a cache. I also had to run a small errand to pick up some more brita filters. Then, I headed to the art store to buy some gouache.  I bought the most awesomest shirt which I've renamed, 'the one woman wolf pack' shirt. Bonus points if  you just got a mental image, and a new purse that I'm totally in love with. Some girls are shoe girls, I'm a purse girl and I like 'em big but I made a concious effort to get something smaller than what I normally get. 

It sprinkled slightly which produced: 

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DOUBLE RAINBOWS!!!

I had my first caramal apple spice to ring in the new season. Ate pad thai and caught up on an episode of 'Jersey Shore' with a friend. Later I grabbed a beer from the bar where another friend works and laughed at some guy trying to dance to soul music. Let's just say he wasn't rhymically inclined. Oh, hell, let's just put it out there! He couldn't dance! When I got home I caught up on the last 4 episodes of 'Project Runway'. I'm kinda digging Anya's style. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have a cuddle buddy to recap everything with and keep me warm. 

Now, I'm off to work on a project that I've been putting off for like a month or so. 

Have a good Saturday. 

XO PANDA

Amanda ❤

Healing Stones: Black Tourmaline

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    Last Friday I headed back to the Farmer's Market to pick up some more healing stones. After the first two, I also grabbed a little pamplet listing all the other stones/gems/minerals and their corresponding healing properties. I picked up Black Tourmaline (which I'll be talking about), Garnet, Moonstone, and Rhodonite. 

    It says to use this stone to deflect and protect against negativity. This mineral can be used to prevent one from being victimized by the negative energy of others. Wear or carry this stone when encountering dense or negative energies (anger, insecurity, resentment, etc). You can read more about black tourmaline's properties. 

    I've seen one too many 'Eureka' episodes, and remember from high school science, or maybe it was middle school, that energy simply does not dissipate but is transmuted into another form. Hence, turning that negative energy, in the case of this stone, into something positive for the wearer. Ask anybody who knows me closely enough for me to trust them with things about my life and they'll tell you, I haven't had a peachy 26 years of life. I've had more than my fair share of unfortunate events. 

    Maybe it's a psychosomatic thing but later on that Friday when I felt a slight pang of anxiety start to creep up, I reached for it, started rubbing it in the palms of my hands while walking around downtown and said a little prayer. Next thing I know, 30 minutes later, it had gone away. When I got home and looked more into the stones I had bought, I read that rubbing this stone will charge it with magnetic electricity intensifying luck and happiness. Since then, I've been carrying it around with me at all times. 

    I'm a naturally happy and positive person and this may be a mental thing also, but since I've been carrying this stone, I've felt an even greater amount of positivity in my being and that isn't a bad thing at all. 

Do you use healing stones? Do you believe in them or do you think they're just a bunch of nonsense? Let me know.  

XO Manda

Amanda ❤

You're Crazy But I Love You

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I'm talking about California.

Last week, it was 90-something degrees. 77º at 8pm. 

Friday the 5th we had a 3.8 earthquake where I literally woke up a minute before it happened. I woke up, looked at my phone to see what time it was, stared at the ceiling for a couple seconds dreading getting out of bed, then it hit. SCARY! Did I mention I HATE earthquakes?

Last night, it rained like there was no tomorrow.

Today, it's been the windiest I've seen it in a very long time. 

 

You've got some crazy ass weather Cali, but I wouldn't live anywhere else. (OK, Maybe France...)

Photo Via We♥It

Amanda ❤