Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Magical Places 3

Cintsa (or Chintsa), South Africa
After our stay in Mozambique, 6 of us went on a week-and-a-half road trip through South Africa (which is a little sketchy safety-wise but turned out to be pretty amazing). We stopped at Cintsa on the southeast coast of South Africa for a night. We arrived at about 2am (which is NOT a safe thing to be doing in South Africa). Anyway, we couldn't find anybody to help us, so we just grabbed a room at the Buccaneers Backpackers Hostel and crashed. We awoke early in the morning and walked out to the balcony and were stunned by the view above. These pictures are altered in no way - it was amazingly breathtaking. The hostel itself was also amazing. Although there are camping sites, the actual hostel is like an eco-friendly hippie treehouse - so great! The next two pictures are of the hostel - if you are ever in the area you should not miss this piece of paradise (although you should be warned that the bathroom facilities are definitely coed).

The picture below is of Autumn and Jeff on the bridge on the way down to the beach. We also walked to the neighboring town to grab lunch. It really is a beautiful area. Not only that, but the monkeys in the nearby trees were pretty entertaining to watch.
Oh, and did I mention the quote on the hostel's website? "If buccaneers doesn't get to your soul, there is something wrong with your karma." Does it get any better than that?


Here are just a few of the new items from DwellStudio for Target that I really like. You should definitely check it out as they are also very affordable.

Hanging Wonder

So, I like to hang things. I mean, hanging as in putting them on a wall so that they are accessible and visible. Usually I have some tote bags, jackets, and purses hanging on a rack on the wall. The thing is, hooks and racks tend to be really ugly, particularly when you take the hanging item off and the hook is exposed to general view. Well, I think that I have found my ideal solution. Ceramic bird hooks from JBA Design. Aren't they great? I think I would leave things off them just so you could see the hooks themselves.

They are available here from Launch Design.

{Via Bloesem}

Monday, February 25, 2008

DIY - Wax Wrapping Paper

So, along with various people, my Blueprint subscription (tragically) was changed over to Martha Stewart Living. Due to the confusion, I received the March issue last week on Tuesday and then the February issue on Thursday (I know....what?). Anyway, I was glancing through the February issue even though V-day was way more than over...and I came across this little DIY for heart wax/wrapping paper. It just seemed like a really fun and easy idea that could be totally versatile. You could really use any shape and use it to wrap up anything that you are trying to make more personal. I've been running so many ideas through my mind - you could do tissue paper stripes or, well, really, anything. Maybe I'll give it a try sometime...

This Little Piggy...

I am totally in love with this leather piggy bank designed by Looksur.

Apparently, it's made from scraps of waste leather. It's available for purchase at the MoMA store. Did I say that I really, really want one?

{Via Design Mom}


So, as Jen can attest, I am totally addicted to American Idol. I hate to admit it, but I find it to be an incredibly fascinating show. Although watching the beginning audtions is okay, I am fascinated by the later shows and watching the development of the singers as performers and vocalists as the numbers are whittled down week by week. So far, although there are several contestants that I like, I have two main favorites:

Carly Smithson, 21

David Archuleta, 17

You should definitely watch to the end of this clip because he is totally great and his comments make me crack up.


So, we found out on Saturday that our 13-year-old golden retriever, Emma, has pretty advanced cancer and probably has about 2 weeks to live. Although we knew she was getting older and not in good health, it still is a shock that we have so little time with her. These kinds of situations are always hard to explain to people who grew up in different pet situations. I grew up in a family with parents who both had indoor dogs growing up, and my Mom always said that if we got a dog, it would be part of the family because she can't stand seeing them outside dying for attention and love. Anyway, so Emma (and 7-year-old MacGregor) are definitely a part of the family. They both live inside and have totally distinct personalities. MacGregor sleeps in Chelsea's room and Emma sleeps on an ottoman at the foot of my parents' bed. Needless to say, it is a really sad situation and it's also really weird to figure out how to deal with it.

Along with our own worries, we really worry about MacGregor. When we got him as a puppy, Emma pretty much became his surrogate mother. Although she is pretty independent, he is totally attached to her. If he sees her leave the house without him he pretty much whines and cries until she comes back. In fact, Chelsea took Emma to her work (at an animal hospital) for some tests today. I didn't know she was taking her until MacGregor came sprinting into my room at 6:20am totally crying. He was up on my bed crying for about an hour while I was petting him and trying to get back to sleep. If I would stop petting him, he would throw his head back on me and start whining really loudly. He also gets all worked up and wears himself out, and then he's exhausted and depressed until she gets back. We're not really sure what is going to happen that time that she doesn't come back.

Anyway, the picture above is an older one of the two dogs at the top of the stairs looking down (a favorite spot). Emma is on the left while MacGregor is on the right trying to lean on her. She tolerates it for a few minutes until she gets annoyed and moves farther away from him.
I know most of you probably think that I'm totally overreacting to this situation, but I have to say that after 13 years together, it is going to be pretty difficult letting her go!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Clothes Mania

I got a chuckle out of Erin's post today. Especially since I know all about her clothes and am, even now, trying to figure out which skirt she chose to wear with the Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt (one that I know well).

Magical Places 2

After our Study Abroad Program finished in London, I rented a car with two other girls and we went on a whirlwind drive to Wales and then on up to Scotland before returning to Gatwick for our flight home. One of our stops was here at Loch Lomond. We stayed in one of the most amazing hostels I have seen. It looks great in daytime, but imagine arriving here after 10pm (it's up a deserted country road) and there being NO other cars in the parking area out front. There were a few lights on inside, just enough to lend it a distinctly eerie glow. We were the only ones staying for the night. After reading about the ghost on the hostel website, I have no doubt that if there is a hostel with a ghost, this is definitely it. Needless to say, we LOVED this place! It was most definitely amazing. I think we ended up staying there 2 nights. Here's a picture of the hostel:
While Jan got an exclusive tour at a local castle from her ancestral clan (Calhoun) that is now part of an extremely exclusive golf club and course, Katie and I decided to go on a hike. We took a little trail through these amazing Lord of the Rings-type forests and winding through beautiful Scottish hills and mountains. We ran across a couple of older men (late 60s or early 70s) on the trail who said that though they live on opposite sides of the country, they get together every year and walk around Britain. At the end of the trail, across the road was an amazing mountain that was shrouded in mist. We decided to climb up the mountain to get to the mist and eat lunch up at the top. Needless to say, we didn't make it to the top. All of those rumors about Scotland being wet were verified as our legs started sinking up to their knees in a bog-like mud. After a near-miss with a mountain goat (beautiful) and resignation at the ever-higher mist, we gave up and ate lunch about half-way up with an amazing view of the lake. We named it Mount Neverest of the Slip and Drip Mountains. We thought we were clever, anyway!

Where You Lead, I Will...Die?

I agree with Anna that I normally skip the whole "quiz" thing, but this one appealed to me as it did her. Apparently, that's because we both would die under a rug. I mean, I knew that we were similar in some ways, but I now feel some comfort that, apparently, we both like to look under rugs.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will be smothered under a rug. You're a little anti-social, and may want to start gaining new social skills by making prank phone calls.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cadbury Mini Eggs

I saw these in the store today and they made me think of my girls. I loved those moments where we would all sit around the table in the kitchen with the orange couch and as each person came in at night, they would join the group to chat and eat these. The only other thing that added up were oreos and milk, which also became a late-night tradition. Ahhh, memories!

Magical Places 1

So I was just thinking about some magical places today (by magical I mean that they intrigued me in some positive way). Here are a couple from my long-ago Study Abroad. My own pics aren't digital and I didn't want to scan them in, so I found these on the internet.

This abbey was founded by Cistercian monks in 1131 AD and is amazingly complete. This location also inspired William Wordsworth, who wrote a poem using it as inspiration which we read on the bus before arriving.
You can find the full William Wordsworth poem here.

Tintagel, England

Tintagel, one of the supposed birthplaces of King Arthur. The old castle ruins sit on top of these amazing cliffs over the ocean. I loved climbing around and the sense of isolation that the place held.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Delightful Afternoon

Well, I think that I will be spending this afternoon with my mom in the hospital hanging out with my 87 year old grandpa who has come down with pneumonia. What does one do to entertain one's grandpa in the hospital (he has told us that he does not watch television during the day, although I suggested that we just close the curtains and convince him that it is actually the middle of the night). It's really hard for him to be inactive, so we are trying to do anything to entertain him. He will probably be staying with us for at least a week after he gets out so we can help him out if he needs anything. I think I may be playing a lot of card games...anyone know where I can get a volunteer to come over for a round of Hearts, Hand and Foot, or Pinochle? Just a warning: my grandpa will kick your trash as he as acquired the talent of being able to count cards.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Couch Surfing

If I were, say, of the male persuasion, I would definitely consider this mode of traveling the world on my own. Sarah introduced me to couch surfing - check it out here.

Cassette Mania

The Scoop has a great post about cassette tapes in our day. You should really check it out here.

Local Etsy Finds

I was inspired by a great blog, Your Heart Out (based in Utah) to post some local finds on Etsy. Here are some of the great ones that I found in South Orange County.

This is a fun example of one of the many tile pendants found at Reach for the Sky Designs (Mission Viejo).

This is only one of the really amazing apron sold by The Cookie Jar (from Laguna Beach).

These are from a VERY local seller (right here in LF). You can see Heatherlea's stuff right here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Don't Brush Me Off

I found these great vintage Valentine's cards by way of Anna. I really loved this one. Who wouldn't love any card that incorporates a shaving kit? I mean, really, this is what I've always dreamed of! Haha. You can find more of these wonderful cards here.

{via Zillah's Gin}

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Girl to Girl

I was at Target today and saw these "girl to girl" Valentine's Day cards that made me chuckle. I think the first and last ones are my favorites.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

the Curiosity Shoppe

I don't know if you've visited the Curiosity Shoppe, but it is full of amazing items that are both beautiful, inventive, and sometimes just really fun and crazy. I love these plates.
Or these owl letter holders.

I wish I had a place for this ceramic bird scultpure.

And I fell in love with this idea. Couldn't you just picture yourself walking around at work or on the street holding your cell phone in your hand with this receiver up to your ear? I think it would be hilarious!

Be Aware

So, I had a moment of pure frustration last night as I was watching the news during the Super Tuesday craziness. I noticed that any other news (world news) had been pushed aside for to-the-minute election coverage. My frustration reached a peak as I heard various candidates express sympathy to victims of the current tornadoes. What tornadoes? I thought. Here I am watching the news for the last hour or so and I have heard NOTHING about this! Now, I realize that maybe there are some who feel the need to hear every two minutes that Romney (big surprise) took the state of Utah, but could we please cut out to get a little news? I mean, REAL news? I want to follow the coverage, but I don't need to hear everything repeated every 2 minutes with no new developments. I mean, did anybody hear the news about Chad? How about the tornadoes?

Anyway, now that you feel my frustration, I will lead to this story about Mozambique that I read earlier today. It seems oddly alien to read a story about this from somewhere that you spent a significant amount of time and places that you recognize, but to which you no longer have a physical connection. Just food for thought. Oh, and did you hear about Zimbabwe?

Music Madness

Wow. Some great music coming to Utah soon for relatively low ticket prices. Check it out here at Your Heart Out. Things like this make me wish that I had actually had money when I lived in Utah so I could have attended great shows like these.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Voting Like Mad

No matter what your political views, I would say that most people could find this election inspiring in that it has caused so much conversation and excitement. I hope you voted today if it was your day! As a friend has said: Isn't it amazing that we are in an election where an African-American man, a woman, a Mormon, and a POW all have a strong chance at the candidacy?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Check This Out

{Via Lee Lou Ann}

Rotten Neighbor

So there's this website where you can look up an area and see what people have written about their neighbors (both good and bad). Now, barring all of the reliability issues and possibilities of internet bullying, it was a really funny website. We looked up everyone we knew and then looked at the posts in their areas. Granted, there aren't that many (unless you look up some really urban areas), but it was still hilarious. I actually got a new word from one of the posts that I would like to incorporate into my everyday vocabulary: "craptacular". It just has a ring to it. Anyway, the site is pretty funny if you want to look something up. You can also just type in a zip code instead of a complete address.

The Good Wife's Guide

I've realized that I really am not married yet because I am just looking for that perfect man that I can "be a little gay and a little more interesting for" - no, really, I mean it. (Just click on the picture to be able to read it)