New England Destination Guide

New England Destination Guide

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New England Destination Guide

I am very excited to have connected with Tomiko Harvey at Passports and Grubs to write this New England Destination Guide! A fellow colleague – Jessie Leiber over at Little Legends Design suggested I do a New England travel guide of the places my work has taken me. Below are some places off the beaten path that are perfect for the aspiring adventurer.

In addition to being a graphic designer, I am a fine art photographer who has exhibited work in over 32 exhibitions in the last 3 years. As an avid traveller, I have made a point to go to the receptions of these exhibitions to mainly network, meet new people and see a new place. I’ve been lucky to have exhibited abroad as well as nationally and have exhibited in almost all of New England. Today, I will share with you gems that cannot be missed that I have discovered while adventuring around New England!

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1. Pomfret, CT – Celebrations Gallery and Shoppes

Unfortunately the shop has since closed, but the town of Pomfret, CT is certainly a destination off the beaten path. Located in the heart of Windham County Connecticut, it is a town that boasts beautiful rolling hills and bed and breakfasts that promote a country vacation. The town it’s self is known for a strong artist and crafters community and it’s businesses are a reflection of that. While on a vacation in the country you can stop by local artistsan shops and find the local dressmaker, furniture maker, holistic health practitioners, ceramics and other unique products. One must not forget to stop by Martha’s Herbery for local greens and herbs.

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2. Beverly, MA – Cabot Street Studios

This business has since dissolved and is now Zeitgeist Gallery. I had my first studio at this location for about 6 months. I feel like Beverly often gets overshadowed a lot because Salem, MA is right next store. The tourists flock to Salem for it’s obvious charm, but Beverly, has a lot of charm of it’s own. It is a small artist and holistic practitioner community that is well connected. With Montserrat College of Art right there, it is a great resource and destination for an emerging artist.

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3. Greenfield, MA – The Boxcar Gallery

This location too has since closed (noticing a trend here??). I swear there are galleries my work has been in elsewhere that have remained open! Greenfield is a hub of commerce and culture and one of the cool things about this gallery was that yes, it was indeed an old Boxcar – turned – gallery! Also interesting to note that this particular exhibition had original works of art from JMW Turner. It was pretty cool to exhibit my work amongst a classic. Greenfield is nestled in the Hampshire County in Western MA, and a great location spring and fall – especially so to see the foliage.

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4. Cambridge, MA – Gallery 263, Kathryn Schultz Gallery, University Place Gallery

Cambridge, MA is an interesting city as it houses many famous universities, businesses and is a high tech cosmopolitan city that boasts historical charm. The combination of the past and the future provides a unique symbiosis for emerging fields in art, science and technology. Cambridge, MA has a lot of unique gems and museums to walk through; for example the Harvard Natural History Museum and the MIT Museum provide invigorating stimulation.

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5. Provincetown, MA – Gallery Ehva

This destination has a fond place in my heart because my family and I would take me to Provincetown every summer growing up. As a child, I had dreamed of exhibiting in Provincetown and finally it happened in June 2014! I had met a gallery owner through an arts festival in Provincetown and we connected and planned to exhibit my work in their upcoming show that reflected Amy Winehouse; it featured works done by my age group (20 somethings) which was rare for me. We later partied the night away in Provincetown.

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6. Bethlehem, NH – 42 Maple Contemporary Arts Center

After going to college in the infamous Christmas City in Pennsylvania, being accepted into an exhibition in Bethlehem, NH was the ultimate irony. Bethlehem, NH is very different than Bethlehem, PA especially it’s location. In New Hampshire it is situated in the middle of Franconia National Park. A location where you can see the sights and hike the mountains. My work was accepted into a show called the Bee’s Knees which promoted the depopulation of the Bee species at a location known as “The Tallest Toy Box in Town” – 42 Maple Contemporary Center.

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7. Gloucester, MA – Rocky Neck Arts Colony

Noted as the oldest artists colony in the country, Rocky Neck Arts Colony is nestled in Gloucester, MA – a charming, unique fishing town on the North Shore. The Rocky Neck Arts Colony community center is located in a renovated church in downtown Gloucester on a stretch of rocky land that sticks out into the water. There are many unique shops, galleries and restaurants to wander around. It is a nice way to spend a summer day without having to go all the way to Cape Cod.

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8. Bar Harbor, ME – MDI Biological Laboratory

This exhibition was unique as it was located at a biological laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. The exhibition was celebrating the centennial of Acadia National Park. I have heard of Bar Harbor being an excellent summer destination and with a unique combination of art and science it was a road trip not to be missed. Traveling only 5 hours from Boston, made it be an accessible getaway for the weekend. The trip was short enough where you weren’t stuck in the car all day but long enough to motivate you to stay longer. The area was magnificent with it’s scenic views and blue horizons. It’s a perfect destination for the outdoorsy and the beach goers. As an emerging artist in the field of art and science exploring the biological laboratory was a dream. It was interesting to see the scientists working there and the types of people the reception attracted.

There you have it! The above locations have a fond place in my heart for they are slightly different than your typical country destination or even your beach community. Adventuring to these locations has been an eye-opener for me to see new sights and senses. It had never occurred to me that you can combine travel with exhibiting art, but if you make a point to attend the events it will naturally become a part of it.

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Kristi Beisecker is an artist and freelance designer in Massachusetts. In her spare time she creates photograms using electricity and organic materials with analog darkroom processing. She also reads and writes about science and spirituality, composes and performs music and gives spiritual guidance.

Check her out on Social Media: instagram | twitter | facebook | pinterest

Top 5 Nutrition Hacks for the Busy Woman

Top 5 Nutrition Hacks for the Busy Woman

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In a world that never stops moving, life can get pretty busy, overwhelming even. And even when nutrition is a priority, it can often fall down your list of priorities and become forgotten. Because your job is more important. Or your kids are more important. And of course these things need to be taken care of. So when you only have a minimum amount of time to think about nutrition, using nutrition hacks can save the day.

I live a busy life: between working on my master’s and curating my blog into a business, sometimes it seems like I don’t have any free time. BUT over time I’ve developed a few tricks to keep up with my nutrition even when it seems like there’s barely time to breathe. Here are my top nutrition hacks for the busy woman.

• Sneak in nutrients
• Plan to go shopping once a week
• Pre-make meals
• Make snack packs to take with
• Know when to compromise

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Sneak in nutrients

This is a fairly simple strategy, and one of my favorites. In short, it’s a game of replacements. Replacing one less nutritious food with one more nutritious food takes practically no effort, apart from remembering to actually do it.

There are two ways to look at this strategy: one is to look at it as adding a more nutrient dense food, the other is to look at it as removing a more harmful food.

In the first strategy, for example, you could replace your morning breakfast toast with fresh fruit. And to be honest fresh fruit might take even less time to prepare, as it’s generally ready to eat. Fruit is more nutrient dense than toast because calorie for calorie, it contains more nutrients.

In the second strategy, for example, you could replace your standard, sugary peanut butter with natural peanut butter (i.e. the only ingredient is ground peanuts and maybe salt). In this way, you’re eliminating not only unnecessary sugar, but also harmful preservatives. This takes literally zero extra time, and can make a huge improvement on your health.

As time goes on, you can replace more and more foods, making a seamless and time-efficient transition into a healthier diet.

Not sure what foods to replace? Grab a copy of my Unhealthy -> Healthy Food Replacement Cheat Sheet from my free resource library by clicking the photo below

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Plan to go shopping once a week

The biggest mistake busy people make is not planning meals ahead of time. It can seem so much easier or faster to just stop by the store everyday on the way home to pick up what you need for dinner, but I can guarantee that this is actually wasting your time.

Not only are you spending extra time in the store, but you’re also leaving yourself no room to pre-make meals, which can be huge time-savers. You’re also leaving dinner up to a whim, which often means you’re not making the healthiest choice you could be making.

What I have found is the most efficient way to deal with shopping and meal planning is to sit down once a week and write out all my meals for the week, then just do one big shopping trip. Now there are a few tricks to making this planning process efficient and effective, and you can read about my process in my post “Top 5 Meal Planning Tips to Help You Stay On Track.”

Pre-make meals

As I mentioned above, pre-making meals can be a huge time-saver. To cite the classic example, making up lasagna and then sticking it in the fridge in the morning so you only have to throw it in the oven when you get home. Another example would be something like pre-forming/seasoning some burger patties on the weekend so that you just have to throw them on the grill when it’s time to make dinner.

Another way to look at this is to plan leftovers for dinner. I like to make a big pot of chili on the weekend and then eat the leftovers for lunch or dinner throughout the week.

Make snack packs to take with you

Snacks are often the undoing of our nutrition plan. Say you get hungry at work. It’s still 2 more hours til you get off, so you walk down to the vending machine and grab whatever looks good. You know it’s not the healthiest, but you gotta eat right??

The best way to avoid this trap is to bring snacks from home. Not only are these cheaper, but they will be a much healthier choice come mid-afternoon.

Some of my favorite snacks to bring to work are raw almonds, carrots, hummus, and homemade granola. The biggest idea here is to make sure you’re not just bringing your own bag of chips rather than buying them from a vending machine.

Related: How to Painlessly Cut Junk Food Out of Your Diet

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Know when to compromise

My final tip is to know when to compromise. You aren’t always going to have the time to be healthy, no matter how much planning you do. So it’s important to know which things are least-harmful to compromise on.

For example, take the mid-afternoon snack craving we talked about above. If you really are hungry, you can compromise and get something from the vending machine. At the same time, you can choose to get something healthier than potato chips. In terms of health, if they have Nature Valley granola bars I would choose one of those. If you’re more concerned about clean eating, Fritos are actually the way to go, because they have no preservatives.

Another example might be one day you realize you’ve forgotten to plan a lunch for the day and you’re already trying to rush out the door. Instead of skipping lunch to have a pity party, it’s healthier for you to go ahead and buy something on your lunch break. Just as long as you’re not reaching for something that comes with fries.

Really, the key here is moderation. You won’t always be able to perfectly keep up with your nutrition, and that’s ok. As long as you keep unhealthy foods to a minimum, your overall health should be just fine.

So now my question for all you busy women out there is: What do you do to keep up with nutrition? Are these all things you already do, or do you have a few extra tips you could share with me and my readers? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. ☺

About Rachel

UntitledRachel is a blogger and Bioengineering masters student who lives in Clemson, SC (go tigers!). After studying conventional pharmaceuticals and how they target specific ailments, she applied that knowledge to figuring out how essential oils can work to treat the same ailments, and ended up creating the blog The Essential Girl. When she’s not blogging or sciencing the shit out of something in the lab, she likes to drink tea, nom on popcorn, and binge Netflix with her Astrophysicist boyfriend.

Social Media:
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Email: rachel@theessentialgirl.com

Worcester, MA – Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Worcester, MA – Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Worcester, MA – Saturday I attended the Gluten and Allergen Free expo. I was invited as a blogger to participate and network and cover the event. I’m not sure if this is coming from a non-gluten-free patient, but I found the event to be slightly disappointing. I am trying to translate some food items in my life because of my hypothyroid disease and found the information that I did get to be informative, but most of the booths are food-based which is great and all and was fun to taste the different gluten-free products out there. I was surprised by the quality of some of them and how some of them did taste like the ‘real thing’ (if you will). But there weren’t many informative booths. People I could actually come up and talk to without being swarmed by crowds of people wanting to taste the food. The people that were there where swamped with handing out samples, which made things to be very unapproachable. A few booths did have a spokesperson there but otherwise it was hard to network. Also definitely one of the smaller conventions I’ve been to. The Boston Travel Trade show was huge, but that was also more centered around sales and marketing so the people whom I wanted to talk to where right there. Here it was a bit different.

Regardless, I am glad I went as it did give me an eye-opener and how to approach switching gluten-based products to gluten-free ones. Below are a handful of pictures from the event.

    The Simple Truth

    The Simple Truth
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    Royal National Park

    Depending on your perception, life can be indefinitely complicated. What really matters is the truth. Truth creates understanding, equality, peace, love, freedom and is what ultimately unites all of humanity. The real truth merely asks that it is checked against your own reality. Only then can it become real and truthful.

    The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply — Khalil Gibran

    There is nothing easier to know than the truth because it is life itself. The hindrance is desire. When understood, problems shift perceptions to stem from that of not knowing the truth of life. You cannot control life, but you can control the way you see it. The way to do this is by adhering to the truth.

    A man should look for what is and not for what he thinks should be — Albert Einstein

    Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. Consciousness is an energy, and thoughts are levels of energy. You can subscribe to good levels of conscious energy by focusing not on what you see, but how you see it. The universe as it relates to energy, life and consciousness can be understood. This is the ultimate truth that has the power to transform mankind.

    What confuses me the most is why people spend their whole lives acquiring money, only to spend all of their money trying to get their life back— Dalai Lama

    The sight of a marvel landscape or astonishing phenomenon becomes a peak moment for most people. Why is this? Your mind opens up to the present moment when something is special. The truth is, every moment in life is special and you can be open to life most of the time, you just have to see the truth to see life. Nothing will ever make any real difference in your life unless it affects your relationship with the balanced physical world, thereby, only changing your mind. Changing the world does not change us. The change in frame of mind institutes the end of unnecessary suffering, conflict and confusion.

    Truth is found in the content feeling that resides on a moment to moment basis. The truth demonstrates that you do not need to experience negativity to enjoy positivity. The bad will still happen, you will just perceive it differently.

    Mental health is no less important than physical health. Meditation is a workout toward the truth.

    Imagine the nature of a monkey; crazy and sporadic. Now imagine that monkey is drunk out of his mind, and was just stung by a wasp. This personification begins to characterize the nature of a free human mind on a day to day basis. The fact that the mind constantly fishes and strives for content aligned with logical explanations is hardly apparent until you challenge yourself to suppress your mind of any reasoning for a period of time. The practice of meditation is essentially the practice of calming the drunk stung monkey within. With this daily practice the beautiful talent of mindfulness begins to develop and strengthen. Like a muscle, your mind becomes stronger and is better able to control your thoughts according to your happiness, efficiency and desires. Mindfulness is a generally underrated skill that when mastered has the ability to conquer fears, doubts, undesired emotions and is only limited to the imagination. The connection between the truth of life and meditation is strong. Perception becomes clear, and doubts dissolve into irrelevance. Most importantly, the practice reveals the gift that lies within everyone and defines truth itself; the present moment.

    The present is the ultimate gift and truth of life.

    Everyone is given the present in every moment and will continue to receive it forever. The concept of the future and the past are distortions of the present that keep people chasing what isn’t, thereby missing the present in the process. All of what people want lies in the present. Most people just don’t know how to unlock their mindfulness of its existence. The present has to be our goal, because it is the only thing that exists.

    Full acknowledgment of the truth will not happen over night. It begins with acceptance of the phenomenon that is the natural world. Mentality is powerful. When aligned with recognition of the balance of life, it persuades true life to shine through. All the best things will happen to you, and so will all of the worst, if you don’t know the truth.

    The more present you live, the more fulfilling life gets.

    Fulfilled: Is the way we feel when we are completely open to all of life. Becoming fulfilled allows you to feel the way you want to feel all the time. Fulfillment is true happiness. Any doctor will tell you that good feelings in life come from a release of chemicals such as dopamine, endorphins, adrenaline and serotonin in your brain. They do it by allowing you to experience true life. Like a drug, its effect is temporary and must be up kept with the knowledge of life’s truth which is eternal. If you disassociate your fulfillment from the happenings in the environment around you, you are allowed to become fulfilled 100% of the time. True freedom comes when you are able to stay fulfilled independent of what happens in the environment.

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world — Mahatma Gandhi

    If everyone looked at the big picture in life, we would see the same thing. The underlying enemy of mankind narrows down to cognitive dissonance. Overcoming this frequency and learning the simple truth would unite human beings, and we would all live in paradise.


    Product Review: dōTERRA essential oils

    Product Review:  dōTERRA essential oils
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    Kari Cummins

    These past few weeks, I’ve been lucky to connect with Kari Cummins from over at Mom on a Mission and she was looking for product reviewers of dōTERRA essential oils! I have heard of the brand from several of my holistic/alternative health friends and have been wanting to try them but not splurge on a bottle only to find out it didn’t work for me (which has happened before). She was gracious and sent me a few product samples of Peppermint for invigorating of the lungs, Melaleuca for minor skin irritation and Lavender for stress related symptoms and Breathe, On Guard and Digest Zen for bodily dysfunctions. At the time I was going through heavy stress inducing insomnia and my normal stress relief routines weren’t working. Well the Lavender has certainly helped my stress relief and for that I am grateful for, I am curious to start working with essential oils more for other areas of my life. For Kari it had given her a huge wake up call in regards to the chemicals we put in and around our bodies. She has written about her experience over on her blog: How Essential Oils Change Her Life.

    When I received the package from Kari, I quickly opened up the Lavender sample and placed it on my temples. I immediately felt relief as that is where I feel stress the most and continued to work with the oil in that way. I then realized it may last longer seeped into an herbal pillow I have used to help me sleep. So the rest of the bottle I poured into the square pillow and keep it by my nose when I sleep. It had  the same effect. IMG_0893

    Once I am able, I look forward to offering essential oil content on my blog after some use of the product in it’s full size. Herbal/plant based remedies have often worked well for me and it may just be because I am drawn to the plant world; being an Aquarian with Capricorn stellium and all ;).

    Click the related articles below to learn more about essential oils and how they can help you leverage your life and even help relieve mysterious bodily issues! And check out Kari Cummins’s blog on a more in-depth testimonial for dōTERRA essential oils!

    Bar Harbor, ME – A Taste of Blue

    Bar Harbor, ME – A Taste of Blue

    Team K has taken on Bar Harbor! My intern went to Bar Harbor last week on a family vacation and I am here this week for one of my artist receptions; Pine Needles and Rose are being exhibited at the MDI Biological Laboratory through September. So far it’s been a dream and very reminiscent of my trip to Big Sur in 2013. The coast is just as dramatic. I left Boston at 7 am and arrived on Bar Harbor Rd at 11:45. I made a few stops along the way for food and bathroom breaks but otherwise the drive was very painless. It seemed shorter than I expected.

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    Due to the anticipated cloudy weather tomorrow, I decided to do most of the scenic sightseeing today through drives.

    Unfortunately for me it was $25 a vehicle to get into the parks of the popular places; sand beach, etc. but I was content driving along the coast. There are a few free entrances to the Wild Gardens, etc. that I will be making a visit to tomorrow before my reception. I ate at Bar Harbor Beerworks and had their mussels which were amazing! I then did a little shopping and pick up blueberry incense and jam and a couple of postcards.

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    Virtuosity

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    A rare but brilliant walk of life is to allow specialty to become not specializing.

    Coach Glassman, otherwise known as the founding father of Crossfit, defines fitness as work capacity across broad time and modal domains. This concept applied throughout the years of life, results in the definition of overall health. I have found value in increasing the scope of this definition to include adventure skill sets and applied understanding. This value holds its worth in an achievable mentality that builds a genuinely fulfilling lifestyle that prioritizes health and understanding to foster longevity and compassion.

    What benefit belies the pursuit and application of human movement, health, fitness and psychologies across all domains of life? Health is a challenge, and so is life. Aligning both battles on the same plane extracts positive energy from within and unleashes excitement to explore the potentials of the human capacity to move and understand. The challenge constructs a sport, and goals come in the form of achieving an improved balance. Naturally, the result of greatness conjures a beautiful compromise, as is optimized health, fitness and movement.

    Improvision is the human condition. You’re born. You die. And in-between you improvise.— Ido Portal

    The result from expression of this type of exploratory and healthy mentality is virtuosity; to do the common uncommonly well. Within the acquisition of virtuosity comes a profound energy that gifts curiosity, fulfillment and happiness. To exercise this daily lends inspiration to explore all perceived potential over many domains of life, and to perpetually develop weaknesses to increase overall capacities. This genre of exercised understanding brings on an increased margin of experience that expands the readiness for change, which is really just another word for life.


    Stonington, CT – A Day in the Life of…

    Stonington, CT – A Day in the Life of…

    Tuesday of this past week, a colleague and fellow entrepreneur invited me to be her assistant for a cover shoot for a luxury magazine that she is building. The team she built was coming from New York to Stonington, CT. She had booked a mansion that was on the market (which was actually right across from Taylor Swift’s!), an up and coming pop star – Kristine Elezaj for a cover girl (who made iHeartRadio’s Top 20 Rising Star competition), fashion designers; Carmen Marcvalvo, Bibhu Mohapatra and Slyvio Kovacic. It was a great day for a shoot.

    I woke up very early on Thursday for the cover shoot and drove to my colleague’s house. Then we drove to Stonington, CT for the day. 13533150_3145000224227_2026566947744880184_n

    We had gorgeous weather for the shoot and it was fun to meet and network with like-minded individuals and creatives. Sometimes if you are not living in New York or LA it’s hard to network with the right crowd. I don’t have any connections in the creative industry in New York so it was great for me to network with these people but also to have this experience. I hope something will come out of it! FullSizeRender

    As an assistant of my colleague, I got to help out with the little things; a main job was to hold the reflectors for the different looks and shoots, but also to take behind the scenes pics and other miscellaneous things. I’d love to do more things like this. It’s a nice balance of contributing and being a part of a major production. Maybe something I can add to my repertoire of my visual marketing brand.

    The biggest surprise and fun of it all was literally the day after the shoot, I woke up to find my instagram feed from the people I’ve followed from the shoot flooded with press buzzing about it! The photos were featured on Enquirer, OK, Star and Radar magazines.

    Check out my behind the scenes short:

    The Bicycle

    niles2Out of the numerous mechanical inventions that human-kind has come up with, perhaps one that has the greatest potential to enhance an exploratory and spiritual mindset is the bicycle. Not only does it serve as an active form of transportation, it provides a platform for adventure.

    In its integrity, the bicycle can be seen to metaphorically demonstrate the acquisition of a joyful and simplistic lifestyle. By adhering to a notion that does not continuously strive for never ending amelioration to all of life’s nuances, but rather content and simple gratitude, the beauty of existence glows more intensely than that of a life experienced by chasing expectations or problems.

    I want to wake up and put my best face forward to the day. If I take care of myself the day is going to take care of me. | Ultra Romance

    As a sport to many and a hobby to others, bikes create experiences. People first started riding bikes at the turn of the century. It was about getting out to the country side and being independent. People still exist today that are spearheading this movement. As compared to a person who has become integrated into certain modern societal cultures, these people subscribe to a frequency that is more heavily in tune with the relationship between them selves and the appreciation for the present moment. In this sense, the reward of existence that matches the aesthetic of discovery carries an identical reward to that of a bottomless bank account. With recognition that everyone is given the present moment and will continue to receive it forever, the greatest gift that promises to keep on giving, may in fact be the bicycle.

    Connect Deeper

    If this article resonated with you, check out my lifestyle.

    I’m Niles

    LIFE IS WILD. ENJOY THE RIDE. 13043577_10205931100545589_1830278714234636204_n-300x300

    I enjoy looking at life through the lens of the bigger picture. To me, this reveals that our most powerful tool is our free will. It provides freedom of choice that ultimately affects our well-being and happiness. Perspective lends inspiration to exercise my free will, and new experiences build my appreciation for the art that is my ambiance.

    Myself, along with everyone in this world is unique and has something compelling to offer. I believe answering the simple question of why I get out of bed in the morning holds the key to becoming fully authentic and fulfilled throughout my life. To express my true self I am actively pursuing everything that inspires me to be a better version of myself day in and day out. If I can align my battles with passion and joy, in my mind I’ve won the game of life.

     Connect Deeper

    https://www.instagram.com/nilesackerman

    http://vsco.co/nilesa/grid/1

    https://medium.com/@nilesackerman

    Worcester, MA – Gluten Free Expo July 23 – 24

    Disclaimer:

    As a lifestyle specialist, when I came upon this event that is being hosted in Worcester I thought it would be an interesting backdrop to create a content series. While I don’t want to offend those who have to deal with gluten  and other food allergies on a day-to-day basis because of medical sensitivities by saying that it’s just a luxurious ‘lifestyle’ – it does fall under the Food category which is considered part of the lifestyle categories.  As I expand this blog, I want to make sure that all lifestyles are considered and no one is excluded. Not to mention sampling food is always a plus! 😀

    This July, Udis Gluten Free and Glutino are presenting a Gluten Free and Allergen Free expo in Worcester, MA! It is aimed to be an educational experience on the realities of those suffering with gluten and other food allergens. While I am not aware of a strong stereotype with this group, this expo helps make aware of the various struggles and challenges that this group of people struggle with on a day-to-day basis. While I don’t have an allergy, I am always exploring and experimenting ways to improve my diet as someone with hypothyroidism, gluten certainly has an effect on my energy levels!

    Sometimes finding the right ingredients is key to making a traditional gluten filled recipe gluten free yet still making it taste the same. A huge challenge those with Gluten and Food Allergens face is that sometimes the substitutes aren’t exactly perfect and the taste can be off, or the recipe just doesn’t turn out right. For the weekend of July 23 – 24, the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly expo will provide classes on how to over come this translation struggle and will help educate you on how to find that perfect recipe. Sometimes if you don’t know where to look, it’s hard to find what you’re looking for!

    Additionally, it may be hard to trust certain brands and companies to make a truly gluten and allergy free food item. At the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly expo you will be able to sample supposedly gluten free food and snacks from over 100 brands. This will allow you to taste gluten free food without making the commitment to buy the entire thing – as gluten-free products can be pricer!

    And the best part about attending this expo is that you’ll be able to mingle and socialized with your favorite vendors, authors and bloggers (like yours truly) and be able to ask them questions or experience a new brand together. If you are just beginning your allergen free journey, be sure to check out this expo as it will help create the footing you need in order to educate yourself on the gluten and allergen free community.

    Directions Below to reach the Expo:

    When

    July 23 & 24, 2016

    10:00 am – 4:00 pm

    Concessions open for beverages only.

    Where

    DCU Center-North Exhibit Hall
    50 Foster Street
    Worcester, MA 01608

    Click HERE for directions and transportation.

    Click HERE for parking.

    Tickets

    Adult Tickets – $15 for a One-Day pass

    Taste of Iceland 2016

    Taste of Iceland 2016

    Ever wanted to make it over to Iceland but never got around to it? Iceland has promoted themselves as a ‘stop-over’ destination and an inexpensive international getaway. I only made it through the airport terminal on the way to London last spring but reading all about the facts and trivia along the way on Icelandic air definitely made me want to go back. The young couple on the right of me were staying for 5 days and through WOW you can get a flight for as low as $380!

    It’s a perfect getaway spot, though once on the island things can be pricey, but with all destinations, a little research and budgeting you can still have quite the experience! But why not put all that effort in? Besides this time of year Iceland is cold, if not colder than Boston and you can still get all the same flavors through attending a Taste of Iceland!

    Taste of Iceland is an action-packed weekend at various locations throughout the year. This year’s Taste of Iceland happens to be March 4th – 7th. If you’re not in the Boston area, don’t worry, the event is scheduled throughout the country to promote Icelandic flavors and culture.

    The one that I’m particularly interested in attending and enjoying is the culinary collaboration between Icelandic chef Thrainn Freyr Vigfússon, head chef at Blue Lagoon’s LAVA Restaurant and American chef Matt Foley, Executive Chef at The Merchant. The menu sounds delightful and intriguing. I’m always up for a good nibble.

    The other cultural activities sound good as well, they’ve got an Icelandic band playing at The Middle East on Saturday, March 5. A film screening of Rokk í Reykjavik, a documentary that explores the expanding rock scene in Iceland; a literary event that “celebrates Iceland’s robust storytelling culture with a discussion lead by Eliza Reid, a Reykjavik-based writer and editor who helped found the Iceland Writers Retreat, an annual gathering for published and aspiring writers”. A Taste of Iceland is a great way to get to know the culture before going there.

    Check out the schedule of events from Iceland Naturally.

    The BLT that Made me Fall In Love

    The BLT that Made me Fall In Love

    This past weekend, I went to the Boston Globe Travel Trade Show and got to experience and sample numerous destinations, learned more about travel writing, and lifestyle demonstrations. It was a great time, and an eye-opener, possibly life-changing event for me. It definitely open some doors and it could lead into some lucrative collaborations.

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    One thing that I was pleasantly surprised about was tasting Chef Joel Frahm’s

    elevating BLT that he demonstrated at the Culinary stage at the show. I am not a

    fan of lobster and found his dish to be pleasantly delicious! It made me want to travel to Maine to Chebeague Island Inn especially and have more!

    It was a traditional BLT, tomato, lettuce and bacon bits but he added a lobster spread of some sort. I unfortunately missed the beginning of the demonstration but so I wasn’t exactly sure what was in it, but you could hardly tell there was lobster, yet it was delicious. To me, lobster can be very bland and is one of the few foods that I feel should be dressed up to really bring out the flavor.IMG_0210

    Chef Joel Frahm works for the Chebeague Island Inn in Maine – the Inn is only seasonal – and has a select menu describing delicious dishes utilizing local food to provide the freshest and most authentic New England tastes. Frahm grew up in Arizona with a passion for cooking and a love of food. He moved to Portland, Maine after becoming apart of the Cinque Terra through this experience he became distinguished through his use of New England island flavors and fresh local food.

    Thoughts on Reconciliation

    Thoughts on Reconciliation

    I was in love with him. So very much in love, and now that we haven’t spoken since last July, the time apart has been painful, yet healing. It gave me time to think about the what ifs, gave me time to think about if we were to ever reconcile, what might happen, what might I say.

    I never, ever, felt this way towards anyone else in my life. Our connection was so strong, deep and powerful.

    Yet, for various reasons I suppose, I couldn’t have him. And I’ve felt this before with someone else previously, to be in love with someone whom you cannot have is a great pain that no one should have to experience.

    Yet, I did and said all that I could say to him, about our connection, and so it is time I feel that I should just move on. Loosing someone whom I had thought was a friend to me, and then felt that I was just used and walked all over for is incredibly breaking.

    Most days I feel broken and depleted, like the life and energy has been sucked out of me. I tried so hard to show him how much I cared, despite our circumstances. Yet, I felt he took it all from me and gave nothing in return.

    When I do go into a deep introspection, and think about my true feelings for him, despite how he’s treated me in the last year, the feeling of love is still there.

    If this some sort of test, the universe is putting me through, then my god, I hope that I overcome it.

    Just several weeks after he cut contact with me, I had a dream that I somehow found out about a party he was having at his house on social media and decided to crash it. In the dream, I was able to stay clear of his vision, enjoying the food that was there, talking amongst the guests. As the guests started to clear out, he found me and embarrassed I started to turn around to leave. But instead of yelling at me for crashing his party, or calling me out, he looked at me and said “Stay”. That was when I woke up.

    If that wasn’t a sign of what to do, I don’t know what is. That was last Summer though and it’s been months since then. When I was verbally harassed by a girl whom I thought was a friend, I reached out to him, and he didn’t even respond.

    Yet, every single psychic I’ve met told me that we’re supposed to reconcile and build something after that. And having a psychic consensus that strong is kinda rare. One told me that he’d come back when I was in the ‘light’ again, but no way in hell would I let him get away with what he did to me. You cannot abandon those who you supposedly love. The fact that he wasn’t there for me, when I wanted him to, I feel speaks volumes. But then I go back on what I do feel for him, despite what he’s done and I still do love him.

    So, if a reconciliation is for me with him and I in the future, I suppose I just have to move on, until then. I mean, that’s the whole point in a reconciliation though isn’t? That it’s supposed to happen when both of us have mostly moved on…

    Thrifting, Dog Walks and Zia’s

    Thrifting, Dog Walks and Zia’s

    Yesterday I met up with my artist friend Heather who I met at the Younger Than Amy Show in Provincetown back in June and then later met up with our mutual friend Hilary. I recently gave Heather an old keyboard piano that I had so she can learn to play and we promised to meetup one of these days. Yesterday was one of those days! We went thrifting and then Hilary and Heather and I went to Nauset Beach to walk their dogs and we said goodbye to Hilary as she went back to work. Heather and I went to Zia’s a Pizzaria and Cafe type of restaurant. I had a calzone and she had an Italian sandwich. It was a lot of fun and it was nice to hang out again after the show too. We’re going to try to hang out more. I was going to go chanting with Hilary this morning, but I ended up not sleeping well last night and was really tired and we tried to get together again this afternoon before I left town, but it got too close to the time I was going to leave.

    Hello world.