tips & tricks | blogging

If you're reading this post, chances are that you either have a blog of your own, or regularly read those of others. Following up from a brief post last month, a few more Fernweh staffers are sharing their thoughts on blogging this month. What do you say?

Kendall says:
An important thing to remember is that your blog is not your diary. A diary is meant to be private while a blog is meant to be read. Because of this it's important to maintain a balance, as with all things. You don't want to divulge too much personal information or unload all your emotional baggage where anyone is liable to see it. Save those things for your diary or best friend. But it can also become dull if you remain stoic and vague in your posts. Find a way to talk about your life & your interests in a way that is interesting and relatable without being too close for comfort. It definitely takes some practice -- I'm certainly not there yet -- but when you get into it, blogging can be a great way to both talk about yourself and meet other people.

Katie says:
Blog for yourself. If you try to taylor it so that you'll get followers or comments, it won't be any fun for you. Make sure that you blog about things that you're interested in, and don't try to become a cookie cutter blog so that you "fit in." Also, don't try to become like your favorite blogger. Be yourself. Blog about what you enjoy. That sounds so cliche and obvious, but it's really true. If you try to force yourself to become something that you're not really interested in, blogging won't be any fun for you.

Abbey says:
It's not the words in your story, it's the story in your story. Writing has never been my strongest point. It used to bother me. I felt like I could never find the words I wanted. I've learned to put down the thesaurus, to stop putting priority on a recently discovered word, and to tell my story - plain and simple. Because the words are already there. They're in what really happened, and they're perfect. 


an ode to denim shorts

(shirt: vintage, shorts: hacked-up jeans)

There are certain things that, to me, are just so evocative of summer. Muggy humid days and warm sun on grass and brief starry nights. And, of course, sunglasses and straw hats and denim cut offs.
Such a simple piece of clothing says so much about a season. My shorts, a hacked-up old pair of my mum's jeans from before I was born, have seen at least fifteen summers. You can see the hems unfolding  and there are ink splatters too.
And this summer is going to be an ode to denim shorts, and to the lifestyle that comes with them. To long nights and lazy days and endless laughter. To travel and festivals and picnics. To batik classes and photography workshops and flower-crown making. To summertime.



now and then || roadtrip flashbacks

Now, it's a quiet room; fan whirring, two lamps on, and stars twinkling outside the window.
Then, it was a quiet night; crickets chirping, one camping light on, and the same stars twinkling overhead.
Now, it's a (mostly) clean car driving short distances in town.
Then, it was a car cramped with supplies and dust picked up along the way, driving impossibly far on impossibly straight roads.
Now, it's a soft bed and a regulated temperature.
Then, it was a slippery sleeping bag and toes on warm sand.
Now, it's memories.
Then, it was life.

counting down the days to the next roadtrip.


if I were a colour

Libby says...
if i were a colour, i'd be hazy grey on misty november mornings.

Abbey says...
if i were a colour, i'd be that hazy gold shade that seeps through the walls of your tent in the morning.

Hannah says...
if i were a colour, i would be the colour of sky meeting sea.

Katie says...
if i were a colour, i would be the bright blue of the sky right after your airplane goes above the clouds on a rainy day.

Kendall says...
if i were a colour, i would be a dark green, the colour of trees in the springtime when the sky is darkened with anticipation of a storm.

Carlotta says...
if i were a colour, i would be a soft grey that changes shades in different light; soft rose in the morning, tranquil dove in the afternoon, and peachy white in the evening.

If you were a colour, what colour would you be?


hair wrap tutorial

I love the look of dip-dyed hair or a few bright highlights, but I'm not quite brave enough to permanently dye sections of my hair. Fortunately, there's a super easy, quick way to add a pop of color to your hair, without any commitment! Hair wraps have been one of my favorite things to wear this summer--here's a little tutorial on how to get some yourself.

What you'll need...

- scissors
- embroidery thread in two colors of your choice
- a section of your hair

Let's get started!

1. Gather a small section of hair where you want the wrap to be. I chose to put it towards the front, but you can place it in the back as well, where it's not as noticeable. Regardless, the section should be fairly small.
2. Tightly braid the hair.
3. Knot the first color towards the top of the braid.
4. Tightly wrap the thread around your hair. Make sure to watch for gaps and push up accordingly (I should have done a better job of watching out, hah). When you run out of the first color, knot the second one to it and continue wrapping.
5. Wrap until the end of your hair, then knot it and cut off any extra thread hanging out.
6. All done!

This is such a sweet style to play around with! I haven't had more than two wraps in at the same time, but it would be so fun to have five or six in. Just be sure not to brush the wraps, as it will cause them to loosen, tangle, and fall out. Enjoy your new summer look!



night owl

I used to be more of a morning person, but as I grow older, I think I've evolved into more of a night owl. I've accumulated a bad habit of staying up later than I should. During the school year, it often results in tired eyes and a need for caffeine, but in the summer, it's not a big deal because I can sleep in. And I love it.

There's something about the night time that makes everything come alive, in a different sense than during the day. It's like all emotions are somehow exaggerated -- if I'm sad, I become despairing, but if I'm happy, I'm on top of the world. The absence of the light also makes me braver somehow. It's easier to spill secrets at one in the morning and it's easier to take a dare in the glow of the streetlights than it is under the sun.

Because of this, perhaps, night is when I am most inspired. It is when it feels best to write and to create. I tend to get my best ideas right on the edge of sleep. Sometimes, in the morning, I'll look back and realize they were actually terrible ideas I thought of before. But at night, it felt perfect.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Or both, or neither?



in the summertime

In the summer, I don't want to spend loads of time on my appearance; simple and fast works for me. But just because you settle for a tank and cut-offs doesn't mean that it has to look frumpy! The back of this tank I chose has a pretty crocheted open back (unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it), which allows a breeze to sneak through and perfectly worn denim short are always a winner. Add a belt and a statement necklace for a little extra pizzazz and you're good to go!

Happy summer!




There's nothing like hanging a few hundred feet above the ground, suspended in the sky by only a cable, and soaring over treetops and river bends with the wind in your face. 

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to go ziplining. It wasn't something that I would normally do, but I figured that since I had the opportunity, I wasn't going to give it up. I'll try anything once, I told myself. I was nervous at first, stepping onto the platform, but once I jumped off, it was over so quickly I don't really remember thinking anything more than, "Wow". I did scream, but you know what? I made it. And it was beautiful.

The whole experience reminded me of this quote that my grandma has on a print in her house:

"If you hold on to the handle, she said, it's easier to maintain the illusion of control. But it's more fun if you just let the wind carry you."

I think that can be applied to a lot of things in life.



how to beat the heat

I live in Texas, so one of the staples of summer time, right up there with barbecues and campfires, is the heat. Last summer we had weeks of days where the temperature would be over 100. It broke lots of records. I know that it's not like this all over the world (be thankful!) but it can still get pretty hot. So here's some tips for dealing with those sweltering days of summer.

1. invest in some good warm weather clothes. Shorts, tank tops, sundresses. Anything light and flowy is bound to be more comfortable than layered tops or pants. Going barefoot is always a viable option, but it's also great if you can find some stylish yet solid sandals to wear when you have to venture across pavement or hot sand.

2. drink lots of water. It seems obvious, but especially if you're outside, it's important to stay hydrated. Take a water bottle with you and fill it up with ice cold water before you leave.

3. on that note...eat cold food as well. There are an abundance of fruits & veggies -- watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, etc.  -- that make delicious chilled snacks. The heat is also great excuse to delve into popsicles and ice cream cones, of course. I found a recipe for ice cream sandwiches that looks good, although it's usually best to limit time using the oven, as that can really heat up the house.

4. go swimming. What better way to cool off than in the pool, lake, or ocean? Another alternative, if you don't feel like going anywhere, is to turn on the sprinkler. That's my childhood, right there. See also: water balloon fights and slip-n-slides.

5. simply stay inside with the air-conditioning. There are a lot of things you can do indoors, like go bowling or watch movies or read at the library or I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

A few last minute tips: whenever you can, stay in the shade; get one of those hand-held fans; and keep your hair up in a bun or a ponytail to get it off your neck.

Stay cool, my friends.



ode to summer

It goes like this:

The blackberries fade from green to crimson to black, hanging deliciously tantalizing and low on the vine.
The stars seem to shimmer in the night sky even brighter than before.
Adventure and camping and roadtrips--that is all that needs to be said about that.
The air cleaves to your body, warm and sticky in a nice sort of way.
The night holds off longer and longer, waiting in shades of peach and marigold.
The cool blue-green expanse of the water has never felt this good.
And you--you're waiting in the wings as the season takes center stage, just enjoying and anticipating and soaking up the precious months.

This is summer and this is how it goes.



a final exam survival guide.

no. 1 - move your workspace outdoors. sitting at the deck table (right next to our newly planted garden!) is making the process a whole lot more bearable. 
no. 2 - bribery. it works, guys. my mama bought sparkling water lemonade (the only canned drink i will ever love) and said i could only have it if i was studying. all of the sudden, making dozens of review flashcards seemed like fun...
no. 3 - take a break. get in the car. hop on your bike. go somewhere. the greenhouse is my chosen place of respite.

Back to studying for me. Any tips? I'll take 'em. 


suburban summers

cartwheels, sunflowers sprouting on the side of driveways, bare feet on hot pavement, lawn chairs, green grass, running through the sprinkler, wanting to be somewhere else but at the end of the day being happy where you are.



let's go to the beach

The beach is always a good idea. My extended family have just spent the bank holiday weekend in Swanage, Dorset. I've built sandcastles, played rounders, and eaten umpteen icecreams. Over the past four days, I have also seen more flags and bunting than ever before, watched some crazy relatives swim, and laughed so hard my stomach hurts.

Let's go to the beach again soon, okay? 


june playlist.

Us fernweh girls seem to say this every month, but I can't believe it's finally june. It's probably safe to say we've all been waiting for this. For some of us, summer has already begun, and as for the rest of us - we're frantically studying for final exams. That, or procrastinating by listening to our june playlist. Most likely the latter. It's pretty fantastic, you should give it a listen
ps. please excuse my chicken-scratch penmanship. if you can't read something, just let me know. i won't be offended, promise. ;)


saying hey to June

Summer has finally arrived for most of us, and with it, many plans and dreams for the next few months. We're loving everything about summer, from maxi dresses, to barefeet, to warmer weather, campouts, fresh berries, and summer music. For this month's calendar, we compiled a list of summer activities for June. What would you add to the collection? Happy First!