GradHop Shopping: Fireside Camp Supply

Friday, March 28, 2014

Continuing with the outdoor theme....Fireside Camp Supply is a wonderfully fresh new local outdoor gear shop here in Philadelphia.  For all you Urbanites trying to get your camp-on, Fireside sells and rents out tents, stoves and other camping gear.  Fireside carries products such as backpacks from Montana's Kletterwerks, Stanley thermoses, and Poler Camp Stuff.  The owner is friendly and pretty savvy in the outdoor world.  Her website lists some great campgrounds beyond the city limits---> here.  Fireside is a wonderful gift shop; filled with kitschy cardboard animal head trophies, Paine's cedar and Pinon pine incense (for your manly-man) and fauna-inspired saturn press prints.  There's plenty of knick-knacks and essentials....freeze-dried food, pocket-knives, headlamps, etc.  I am a huge fan of Minnetonka and their selection of moccasins is spring ready for the hippie-boho:)  

Are you a First Fridays fan?  If so, bring your favorite 6-pack and stop by the shop tonight for some S'more making and mingling with the locals.  What a great way to meet some new friends and learn more about the gear and camping scene here in Philly.  

Fireside Camp Supply
2207 South St 
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(267) 928-2757 
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11-7pm
Sunday 11-5pm
Closed Monday

New Zealand Part 1: The Sites and Scenery

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We all have a bucket list of places and countries we dream of visiting in our lifetime and New Zealand has been at the top of mine.  This past month, I had the opportunity to raft down the Clarence River with some awesome Kiwis, hike through the beautiful Routeburn Trek, hang out with some baby seals near Golden Bay, and bop around the wineries of Nelson. With many hours by car, plane and bus logged in, the memories were worth every mile and bump along the way.  The trip started off in Kaikoura in the South Island to raft down the Clarence River for six days.  We ventured through the clear blue water (so clean you can drink out of it!), while rafting through the canyons and volcanic rock formations. Even if you're not much of a "camper", the crew kept you well fed and entertained each evening.  Shortly after we ventured south to the Routeburn Trail, near Milford Sound and Queenstown.  After roughing it for a few days, we jumped back into the car for a long hike up to the top of the South Island.  We landed in Wharariki Beach to my favorite holiday park, filled with free-range peacocks and wild horses!  It was over to Nelson from there to spend time in the park listening to Opera and sipping beers at the Free House with the most welcoming people in the world.  Eventually, I flew up to Northland to spend an amazing time with my Aunt, whom I've never met.  We shared views of the old whaling town Russel and Omata Estate Winery in the Bay of Islands. I could write and ramble for paragraphs about the beauty this country has to offer, but it's a place you need to see for yourself.  Don't fret, I will be posting about the great markets and shops this country has to offer next.... 

Book Review: Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail By Cheryl Strayed

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Published in 2012, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, was given to me by my cousin and best friend.  Six years ago, she experienced the loss of her mother and this memoir written by Chery Strayed, gave a sense of empowerment and determination. It's not only meant for the ladies but any adventurer at heart.  When she was 26, Cheryl sold her belongings and decided to buy a backpack and endure the pilgrimage along the famous Pacific Crest Trail. She started this 1,100 mile hike at the Technapi Pass and ended not to far from Portland at the Bridge of Gods, completely solo.  The author had come to a crossroad in her life and looking to clear the fog that had formed after the passing of her mother, due to cancer.  Shortly after her death, Cheryl's own marriage began to fall apart, along with her spirit and sense of self.  Lacking complete knowledge and experience with hiking or camping, Cheryl picked up The Pacific Crest Trail, Volume 1: California and described it as "an idea, vague and outlandish, full of promise and mystery.  Something bloomed inside me as I traced its jagged line with my finger on a map.  I would walk that line..."  

Throughout her journey, Cheryl speaks of her loving "hippie" mother, memories of her half-siblings and the absence of her paternal father.  Many of her internal battles were seen through bouts of drug abuse and various sexual partners.  Strayed writes of friends, fellow hikers and the kindness she experienced along the route.  The injuries she prevailed along the way (loss toe nails!), and self-revelations that written of will have you packing your sleeping bag and boots for a much needed therapy hike with nature. Wild reminds us through all of our struggles, we each react differently, but we are all connected and going through these experiences together.  Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is currently being filmed into a major motion picture by Reese Witherspoon portraying Cheryl Strayed.

The Essential
2. Women's Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX $139

Eats of the Day: Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Capers

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I'm always looking for ways to spice up my veggies and this came from a little inspiration while dining at the White Dog Cafe in University City (delicious by the way!).  It's an easy side dish or quick snack of roasted cauliflower, with a tasty curry flavor.  
1. Preheat oven at 425˚
2. Cut up the cauliflower into florets and spread on to a baking pan.  
3. Sprinkle extra virgin olive oil (or Coconut Oil), cumin seasoning, tahini and parsley over cauliflower.  
4. While baking, rotate cauliflower over and cook for 15-20 min, or until tender and crispy brown.  
5. Place into bowl and mix in Tahini sauce, raisins and capers.  
6. Add lemon juice, garlic or salt & pepper if needed.  I didn't have any pine nuts, but I highly recommend throwing them in if you have them!  

Serve warm! Feeds about 4-6 as a side dish.

Old City Philadelphia Shopping: Scout Men and Women's Vintage Shop

Monday, January 20, 2014

I ran into Scout Salvage and Vintage Rescue shop in Old City not too long after they opened and I couldn't wait to stop back.  Now settled in and decorated, the walls are hung with old farm fruit signs, antlers and other randomness you could pick up for yourselves.  The dressing room still smells of sawdust and constructed like a wee wooden cabin.  Betsy, the store owner was certainly pleasant to chat with and was heading out to LA next week to pick-up more vintage clothing for her shop.  She's no rookie, coming from the Brooklyn Flea market, she was raised in Harrisburg and hoped to open her own shop her in Philly.  I fell in love with her selection of vintage cowboy boots ($25-$150) in beat-up camel, black and turquoise leather.  The clothing selection is a crazy-cool mix of 50-70's dresses. shirts, and tops with some military threads thrown in, priced from $20-$40 for the clothes.  Industrial furniture and refurbished wood are great personality pieces for your pad, costing no more than $150.   Smaller home knick-knacks make nostalgic gifts such as mason jar shakers, music beer steins, and Incense from the West.

21 North 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 
(267) 225-5814
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 11am - 7pm
Friday-Saturday, 11am - 8pm
Sunday: 12pm - 5pm
email: Betsy@scoutsalvage

Philadelphia Vintage Shopping: Immortal Uncommon Resale

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It was my second visit to Immortal Uncommon Resale on 18th and Samson (directly above the Manhattan Bagel).  It’s been here for YEARS and was unaware of its existence until recently; very sad, considering I attended college around the corner.  If you’re a vintage and consignment shop lover, this is one of those finds you need to pop in to every week/month.  The shop owner, Caren, carries everyone from Louis Vuitton to Kate Spade at some pretty fabulous prices.  Local design company Sa Va (no longer in business), can be picked-up for 50% off their last collection for Spring 2014.  Pretty pastel blouses, slim work pants and floral prints----> are on point for spring trends.  My booty is aching to get in the two-piece tweed pant suit with fur collar by Philosophy by Alberta de Ferretti for $150.  PETA supporters beware, she does carry some fabulous fur coats from designers such as Jaques Ferber.  I rarely saw anything over $150, except for a Derek Lam Envelope bag for $300 and a pair of leopard Louis Vuitton calf mules for $500.  Most items are priced around $30-$75 depending on the designer. A chic Calvin Klein black trench goes for $75, a pair of leopard flats by Dolce & Gabbana Leopard for $150, and WESC leather bomber jacket was about $65.  The German-born owner has a love for world-war actresses and nostalgia with lovely posters and photos of Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn as the decor.  

Immortal Uncommon Resale: Trendy & Vintage Consignment
125 S 18th St. ~ 2nd Floor
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am to 6pm 

Local Jewelry Designer: Mack & Jane

Friday, January 10, 2014

I had the pleasure of meeting local jewelry designer, Jane Makransky of Mack & Jane.  She hails from the burbs' of DC but resides in our lovely Radnor.  While studying law, Jane always had a passion for making jewelry.  She has a love for fabric and texture, which inspires her to use fine Italian and Greek leather with vintage beads and Swarovski crystals for her current bracelet collection.  While selling on Etsy, a Santa Monica company discovered Jane's necklace line and decided to include them in gift bags for their client's parties.  This year's Oscars will be providing selected guests with Mack & Jane bracelets in their gift bags! Pretty exciting! For the spring and summer, Jane will be bringing back her seashell necklaces, hand-threaded through gold chains.  The designer keeps true to her style, not too trendy so don't expect any skulls or eyeballs here.  They would make great gifts for your mom or the lady who rocks a suit all day.  Currently, these items are retailing between $65-$70, depending on the boutique.

Sold in these local shops: 

Jacques Ferber 

Dragon Fly

Bags N' Bangles: 537 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA

Sache Boutique

Boutique Belle Abeille

Lauren Hair Style Salon

Fuzion Style