Thursday, April 10, 2014

10 on 10: April 2014

So, I missed March. I'm a little bummed that I did, but it was a boring day and I forgot to take pics after 10 am.

So here we are in April. A regular day, full of happy moments. 

What? You don't have a disco ball next to your bibles? 

Actually made my bed for the third day in a row. It needed to be documented. 

Getting ready.


Lucky lady.

Cheesy puffs are his love language.Pretty sure he's using me as his dealer.

Afternoon fuel. 

Dinner of feelings, with friends, who also have feelings. 

This girl chooses her PJ's for me, whether she wants to antagonize me with cat jammies or impress me with dog jammies. Tonight she compromised, dog top, cat bottoms. She's a clever little critter.

Watercolor skies. 

Linking up with my sweet friend Rebekah!!!
ten on ten button

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Be Crafty AZ: An Adventure to Remember

If you pull the letters from Be Crafty AZ, you can also make the words Be Crazy.
Which, if you think about the fact that I spent 25 out of 72 hours on the road for this adventure, I absolutely signed up for Be Crazy.

And you know what, it was totally worth it.

I left work a little early on Friday afternoon, and sadly not early enough, as I hit awful Friday traffic while I headed south to Katy's house.

I consoled myself with Dark Chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs and a Diet Cherry Coke from Sonic (happy hour, praises!)

Thankfully, as I sat in traffic along the Pacheco Pass, I got to admire California showing off her gorgeous spring landscape.

I mean, right?

Katy and I sat together on her couch for about an hour after I got there, before we were the grown ups we are, and put ourselves to bed. We had an early morning and long day ahead.

Up before the sun, we started making our way out of California.

We were greeted by some gorgeous skies, which my iPhone could do no justice.
And before we knew it, we were almost halfway to Arizona, driving through the great windmills of Palm Springs.

Everytime I have driven through these towering structures, it has been for something really awesome.
(Resolved Conferences and a Bachelorette Party).

This trip was no exception.

Before we knew it, we were in the vast California desert quickly approaching the Arizona border.

Rest stops that promised restrooms and services, were nothing more than dusty boarded up buildings, and abandoned gas stations. Right out of Cars.

Thankfully, Katy and I had bladders of steel, and managed to keep composed for the next 40 miles.
Which looked a lot like this.

For 8 hours to Arizona (and another 8 hours back). Katy and I didn't listen to one song, sermon, or radio show. We just talked. For a total of 16 hours. Ha! I guess we really have the gift of gab.

Finally, we crossed in to Arizona. Crossing something off my bucket list, posing by a "you're now entering such and such state" sign.

Me, Katy, and the Grand Canyon State had a full on photoshoot on the side of the road.
We shortly stopped for lunch at the funniest little town, Quartzsite, AZ, where the people watching and roadside stands were divine. I seriously regret not taking any pictures.

A couple short hours later, we had arrived at our hotel, where we kicked off our shoes, closed our eyes, and caught a couple of much needed zzzz's.

After that, Katy and I headed over to the Lovliest of Homes, belonging to Heather, who was a gracious and incredible hostess with the mostess. 

Where we enjoyed a warm spring Arizona evening with blog and instagram friends, new and old.

 I also spent the evening plotting how I could stash Heather's pup in my purse without her knowing.

And we had a blast taking Instax Pics with each other, and now I totally want one.

Here's Katy and I with Amanda and Lesley

Next thing we knew, it was time to get up and get going off to the Be Crafty Workshop.
But first, coffee.

We arrived on site, at the Old Main at the ASU Campus, and while I ran a quick errand, these ladies transformed the place into something magical.
It literally looked like this when I walked in.

The grand entrance, was exactly that, GRAND.

How cute is my felt flower nametag made by Cole!
It's one of my most favorite things, she makes incredible felt flowers!

And the Be Crafty AZ Team
Cole, Heather, Katy, Amanda, Lesley, and Kate!

With three adorable new friends, Ruth, Rebekah, and Annalea.

And with Katygirl, of course. 

I tried to hijack Lesley's chalk art lesson with a lesson on how to draw Cat Emojis.

Thankfully, Lesley didn't allow that to happen, and I ended up with something pretty awesome. (At least I feel like it's pretty awesome. It needs a little touching up though.

I also met some wonderful ladies, who were crafting at the table with us. It was so fun to laugh and craft together.

And the sweet Be Crafty girls, knowing we had an 8 hour drive ahead of ourselves, squeezed us and hugged us, and sent us on our way, with mason jars full of lemonade.

We headed west, chasing the sunset as we went.

And stopping for a photo op...

Or two.

The next morning, I woke up at Katygirl's, enjoyed coffee with her and her kids. Played some I Spy, read a few books, watched some Tinkerbell, had lunch with everybody, including Scottyboy, and then hit the road for the final leg of my trip home.

Where, I promptly placed myself on my couch for the rest of the night, with a margarita in my Mason Bar Jar, both exhausted and refreshed from a time of being social, and creative, and enjoying friends. It was a whirlwind of an adventure, and one for the record books.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Eye of the Lion.

Oh, hey there.
Well this is a little awkward.
It's been over a month since I checked in over here...

But, as you probably saw on my last post, I've been busy. Really busy.
I also still have Valentine's decorations up. And Olympics decorations.

But I have been adventuring. So much adventuring.

South Africa. Carmel. And next stop, Arizona.
It's been a really fun month ( this point it's been two).

South Africa was a trip of a LIFETIME.

I have traveled in 19 countries now, and my South African Adventure may have topped the charts.

I swam with sharks.
I pet a lion.
I rode a hippo. (okay that's a lie)
And then I spotted a lion in the wild, while on Safari (or as the locals call it, a Game Drive).

In fact everyone was hanging out the right side of our truck, while I looked to my left and saw a lion settling itself down into the shade, I called out to our guide, "Um...I think that's a lion right there." And immediately after I spotted a lion on the left side of our vehicle, our guide spotted another on the right. Hidden in the grass, breathing deeply with a belly full of wildebeest (its liver and carcass right next to us). There were also two more lionesses we would encounter up ahead.

As the lion peeked through at us, I could see the beautiful colors of its mane blending with the tall grasses, and it's beautiful and clear amber eye watching us without any movement.

This moment had been worth all the annoyance of hauling my big camera, all the big clunky lenses and accessories halfway across the globe.

I sat in the back row of our land cruiser, zoom lens on the camera, and manually focused my shot until just the ring of his eye was in focus, and I snapped.

Hands down, this was my favorite picture of the trip.

I had my camera out a lot, everywhere we went. Both my Nikon and my iPhone, and sometimes my dad's GoPro. Because my motto for vacation is, "when all is said and done, all you take home are the memories and the photos".

I'm a firm believer of stopping to capture the moment, especially when traveling.

One of the fun parts too was that Easy Canvas Prints offered me an 8x10 canvas of one of my photographs. There was no question in my mind, that the lion's eye would be my choice. And I have been working on what I'm calling my "Wall of the World" a collage wall along my stairwell, featuring photos I have taken around the world, along with some other prints and things I have collected during my travels.

(This wall is really hard to get a good shot of from the ground level, and even harder to get a shot of from the stairs, apologies for the weird angles).

I have other great pictures, including this one, which I may have to order another canvas for - since Easy Canvas Prints is offering 50% off their canvases! (Yes, please!) There's something about adding the canvas to the wall of framed pictures, that added a little extra character and texture, giving the collage wall a little oopmh. I'm totally a fan!

 Anyway, my goal is to get back here blogging and share some of the highlights of my fabulous South African Adventure! And more importantly, share more photos with you! After all, those are my best "souvenirs."