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bougainvillea

A beautiful bush found across the street from my neighborhood Publix.

Finally blooming, here’s my bougainvillea.

Ruffles of vibrant flowers resembling the flouncy bottom of a flamenco dress can be spotted blooming all over Florida. Bougainvillea in shades of pink, fuchsia, lavender and purple are definitelythe showboats of warm weather landscapes. They have a wow factor, and they know it. Suffice to say, those cascading branches of floral beauty can pretty up even the most dismal yard. Hmm, I should know.

Beware though, all that vivid color hides a tricky, little secret––thorns and boy do they pinch! I don’t profess to know any special secrets about cultivating them except that they love the sun and are fairly drought-resistant, which is just another fancy way of saying that they’re tough to kill.

Don’t let pesky thorns get you down though. Check out the gardening advice below for getting on a best friend basis with your bougainvillea. As for me, I’m still in the acquaintance phase.

Gardenista

Southern Living

more books, please!

I’m back! The first order of business is a book recommendation:

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Lo Blacklock, travel journalist, has finally landed her big break: a spot on a press junket for the luxury yacht cruise, Aurora Borealis. Departing from London, the yacht is sailing to the picturesque Norwegian fjords, where a select group of travel writers will be treated to otherworldly views of the Northern Lights.

The scenery is breathtaking. The food is exquisite. But something is off. Lo is certain that she’s witnessed someone being thrown overboard. A body drifting out to sea and a blood-smeared cabin window aren’t the scenic views she was hoping for her first night aboard. After alerting the appropriate crew members, Cabin 10 is thoroughly inspected and a head count of everyone onboard is conducted. No one is missing. Everything appears fine, except her gut tells her it’s not.

A once-in-a-lifetime trip turns dicey as Lo sets out to dig for the truth like any good journalist would. With each passing hour, the intimate yacht setting starts to feel claustrophobic, especially since there’s a good chance she may be rubbing elbows with a murderer. Frazzled and sleep-deprived, she wonders if it’s her best career move to keep pressing the captain and crew with questions. Readers will be rooting for her as she puts her investigative skills to work in this Agatha Christie-style thriller. It seems cruising isn’t always gourmet meals and spa treatments. Sometimes it’s murder.

be someone’s sunshine

sunshineartstpeteweb

Art by: Jeffrey Sincich and Josh Stover

The world has its share of critics. Any quick search on the internet or stroll on social media will confirm it. Unfortunately, now more than ever, people can hide behind their virtual armor while plonking away at their keyboards releasing quick diatribes. Negative internet trolls aside, you also have to contend with every day encounters with people who have zero manners or those who want to unleash their negativity on vulnerable targets. Mean girls are real and so are rude dudes. This brings me to my new favorite quote: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

It may sound cliché, but you never know the positive impact a compliment, shared laugh in a coffee line, or simple “how are you?” can have on someone’s mindset. Please quit looking down at your phone or snapping a photo of your fancy latte, and be present. Notice humanity, smile, empower someone, and watch things get better. I promise you it will not only shift the rhythm of your day, but it will make someone else’s a little brighter. Be someone’s sunshine, even when your own skies are gray. That’s how the light gets in.

P.S. For anyone still in school, never ever let someone sit alone and eat their lunch. Invite them to your table. You will never regret being kind.

P.P.S. Ignore the queen bee who tells you not to do it—be kind. If you saw the movie, Mean Girls, you know things won’t end well for her anyway.

October 24, 2016 - 4:38 pm

Maddy - Love the positive thought!

August 28, 2016 - 6:58 pm

Melanie Humphrey - “For that’s how the light gets in.” So true! And, yes, be the one who befriends the kid sitting alone. Be kind, like Becky.

hurray, jeep wagoneer is making a comeback!

wagoneer


wagoneerkjp

@kjp

navywagoneer

Wagon Master

nostalgia
noun

a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically a period or place with happy associations.

Wagoneer Love

It’s official. The Jeep Wagoneer will launch a 2018 model bringing back an American classic. I’ve never been into cars, but there’s something about a Wagoneer that makes me happy like a second grader with a rainbow-flavored snow cone. Riding in one, you can imagine yourself dashing off to a beach bonfire or an epic road trip to the Keys. Unfortunately, the new version will be competing with the Land Rover and Range Rover so the price tag should be hefty. The good news is if you own a vintage Woody, it will be worth even more after the launch.

Young, preppy millennials are surely going nuts over the news. Countless magazine-styled photos of vintage Jeep Wagoneers can be found on Instagram and Pinterest. But for those of us who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, it represents more than an aspirational lifestyle. It’s our childhood. The boxy shape and faux wood paneling brings us back to the good days. I never had a Jeep Wagoneer when I was a kid or teenager. Yet, I remember them with an endearing fondness for all things from that time period like Dr. Scholl’s sandals, home phones affixed to walls with long coiled cords, and listening to music on vinyl.

Road Trips Remembered

Growing up, our family had a Chevrolet station wagon. It looked like an enormous, aqua shark gliding down the sunny Florida Turnpike. Road trips before air bags, seat belt regulations, and backseat air-conditioning conjure up images of my mom or older siblings consulting a Rand McNally map while my dad stubbornly insisted he wasn’t lost. Long stretches of highway with no electronic devices to entertain us meant you had to make your own fun. Just as we were about to die of boredom, my older sister would reach over the front seat (no, she wasn’t wearing her seatbelt) and turn the radio dial. Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 saved us from killing each other.

My prediction is the 2018 Jeep Wagoneer will be a hit among all ages, and even vintage models will get swooped up in the craze. Whether you grew up around them or your grandparents owned one, you get it. That’s the thing about nostalgia. It tugs at your heart in a fierce way rendering you all warm and fuzzy for a time long gone by. It’s not just a car—it’s a feeling.

senior photo shoot season is here!

Since my new photography website is under construction, I thought I’d pop over to the blog and post. Don’t miss out, those obligatory yearbook photos can never truly capture the real you. So let’s chat about your session ideas and bring your vision to life!

For more details, email me at zaida@zphotograph.com. Here’s a small sample of the beauties (inside and out) I have photographed in the past.

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christina28web

britt15adj2Bweb

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