Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sh*t Girls Say

Have you seen this making its way around the Internet today? Hysterical is really the only way to put it.

I can't resist anything Juliette Lewis because of The Other Sister and this lovely performance in college.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our Festive Christmas Decor in Photos

Yes, occasionally people fall off the face of the earth, which is what happened to me over the last three weeks apparently. I am having major regret that I wasn't able to celebrate the holiday season to the best of my ability, like I normally do, but such is life. My class is finally over, Kyle has a few upcoming days off and I'm getting into the spirit of this special time of year!

Even though we've been at our new place a month, there's still an entire room to be unpacked (yikes!). This, of course, does not mean my Christmas decorations were relegated to said room. Priorities, people, priorities. Granted, doing a quick house tour before showing off my festive decor would probably make more sense, but we're playing catch up and a house tour looks like it won't be in the cards until 2012.

Thus, a speedy and effective Christmas decoration tour of the house of Sutherland (apologies for the slightly blurry shots. We're still trying to figure out the fancy pants camera we bought a couple months ago):

The tree in all its glory. There were some sans Moe,
but you know I can't resist that little guy.
A mixture of gilded pinecones, framed Christmas artwork, ornaments
and Christmas books from childhood.
The wish tree from our wedding I refuse to toss.
Mini glitter birds to decorate the tini branches.

I got some great use out of these pinecones this year.
I originally spray painted them for a baby shower (I still plan on posting about)
and they came in handy for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Paired in a crystal bowl next to a Diptyque candle... Heaven.
One of my favorite decorations. It's a frame my grandma put together.
There's a Christmas art project from each of her 5 kids during their childhood
(my mom made the Santa in the middle).
Nothing says Christmas like 3 St. Nicks and some Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.
My tree is bird themed even though in real life I feel birds are rats of the sky.
One of my favorite ornaments. I bought a couple in Vienna a few years ago.
They're simple and pretty.

I love my Santa garlands. Also a find from Vienna.

I hope you've all been having a lovely holiday season and that you are looking forward to what's to come in 2012.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Reflections on December 1st

First off, I've been thrilled at how many people have posted the video of Zach Wahls on Facebook in the last two days. If you believe in love and you believe in equality, what more is there to say, really? I'm happy I know many people who think this to be true.

Second, December 1st marks World AIDS Day. For the first nine years of my life, I was lucky to have a godfather, Chuck; we always called him our "fairy godfather". He'd send me and Ginny stickers in the mail just for the hell of it and would always call to ask about 'his girls.' I really, really loved him (and still do). He died of AIDS in 1993, and my sister and I talk about it now, how when you're a kid and you think you'll live forever, you can't empathize with your parent when she loses her best friend, which is what happened to my mom. It must have been awful for her.

In the early 90's, a lot of people were dying from this disease, and since huge advances in antiretroviral medication treating HIV have lowered death rates in our country significantly, it doesn't get talked about as much. To me, this day is always a good reminder that there are people throughout the world, men, women, children and babies, who do not have access to proper medical care, and die from it all the time. ALL THE TIME.

Finally, it has been an anxiety riddled week, which has bummed me out slightly because to me, this really is the most wonderful time of the year. December 1st (which is today, if you haven't had a chance to look at a calendar) is typically the day Kyle and I get our Christmas tree. I bake cookies, we listen to Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas and decorate like chipper little elves (I may be the only one who resembles a chipper elf during this process, not gonna lie).

However, we're still only done unpacking half our stuff, and until we clear it out, we have to wait to get our magical tree. And start merrymaking festivities, of course.

So at this point I feel I should mention Kyle's mom, Cyndi. I have to say, I really hit the jackpot when it comes to mother-in-laws. She's a very thoughtful person and could tell how stressed I was, as well as bummed to not be enjoying the holidays in my usual style.

Lo and behold, she turned my frown upside down with a little gift yesterday:

Santa Gift Tags from Rifle Paper Co.
Red and white baker's twine (you can get it here).

Kraft paper

Cyndi surprised me with these goodies because (1) she knows how much I love Rifle Paper Co., (2) she also knows how much I love wrapping my Christmas gifts with kraft paper and beautiful twine and (3) she knew I needed cheering up and went out of her way to do so.

And truthfully, it kind of reminded me that at the core of the holiday season, it's not about decorating or music or elves or gifts...

It's about celebrating with the ones you love.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Weeping on a Wednesday

This is incredibly moving... please watch!

And never forget:

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."  -- Nat King Cole

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tooting my Aris Horn

Yup, tooting my own horn to once again stall out my last Africa post. Over the summer, I had the pleasure of helping Trey Russell of Aris on The Coast redesign his website, and I have to say, it turned out fabulous!

 Austen and Ryan over at Unique Eye Marketing not only helped reconfigure the site, they also filmed this clean, artistic intro video which you can watch on the homepage as well.

If you live in south Orange County and haven't had a chance to pop in, do yourself (or the lady in your life) a favor this holiday season. For the woman who loves Alexandre Birman shoes, L'Agence clothing, Barton Perreira sunglasses, Simon Pearce crystal and Diptyque candles all in the same place, Aris is heaven on earth.

If heaven had a stylist, I suppose.

Hope you're having a simply fashionable Tuesday everyone, just like Edde, Aris' resident manager/pug extraordinaire.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I haven't forgotten...

... about this blog!

And don't worry- there's still one more Africa post in the pipe, so get excited (or groan, if you're over hearing about it)!

A couple excuses (because they're always fun):
  • Two Thanksgivings and a 90th birthday party for Kyle's Grams.
  • Getting a new place and moving into it!
  • Trying to finish this course before the end of December. 
  • Preparing for a girls weekend (!!!!) with my sister in NYC this weekend.
  • And, you know, life in general.

To keep myself from feeling like too much of a blog slacker, here's some Pinterest pinsperation for you while I attempt to not have a nervous breakdown.

This is all well and good, but my new house
is looking AWFULLY sparse without the things...
A little chaos currently at the new abode.

Has this claim been substantiated?
Can someone please tell my husband this?
The complaints I received for the amount of books I own
was a little ridiculous. This is not Fahrenheit 451, people!
And I refuse to buy a Kindle!

Not on the street corner or anything, but you know...

I need a pair of swimming pigs to call my own.
Bed is my mistress currently.
Apparently, Sheniqua is the one hustlin'. This made me L-O-L if you will.

If you love procrastinating on Pinterest as much as I do, you can follow me here.

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving filled with your nearest and dearest.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Africa Celebration Week: Day Three

If you read yesterday's post you know we're backtracking to the end of our safari during our first week in Botswana. Thus, we ended with our standoff with the elephants as we headed out of Moremi Game Reserve.

Our fearless leader got heat stroke whilst driving from sitting in the 115 degree sun the ENTIRE time and while it sucked for him, he did manage to get us back to Okavango River Lodge in one piece. Do you know what it feels like to go swimming after being caked in dirt for four days in a row? The answer is heaven. It feels (and felt) like heaven.

Staying there was what we called glamping (glamourous camping). Each tent had lights, cots and a little bedside table, complete with turn down service (a major plus in my humble opinion!). To get an idea for our accommodations, take a looksy here:

You know you're not in Kansas when you can take glass bottles of booze into the pool.
I couldn't miss an opportunity to post a skinny photo of myself.
Gurs loves a good lady fan.
Feast your eyes on sexpot Gareth, everyone. He's the guy in blue at the end of the table
(not to be mistaken for the guy in the purple hat).
We thought the baboons had stolen all photos of him, but we were wrong, thankfully.
With a full bar at our fingertips for the first time in days, you know we partied like rock stars. Mixmaster KayKrayKray kept the tunes bouncing all night with her fabulous iPod, thus the gals took advantage and taught a few of the local femmes how to dance like complete American idiots. I think they appreciated it. And there may have been a somewhat heavy conversation about racism in there as well, but the highlight came after the bar closed for the night and many of our (possibly very inebriated) crew went swimming in the river next to camp.

After a hippo got in the water.

Luckily, everyone's alive and shockingly has all their limbs, but I was asleep and thus didn't see my husband run wholeheartedly into the treacherous water. This is a good thing.

Next day's adventure took us to the the local grocery store before our drive to Kasane (most definitely more treacherous than swimming in a river with hippos). You know what makes for a great hangover cure?

Ass pies.

 Africa's got that one figured out, apparently.

In regards to the road from Maun to Kasane, let me say we had a pilot (you know, the kind that fly planes) driving our car, and even he was scared shitless of the terrain and hideous driving skills of the locals. It did allow for some rousing conversation however, and we did spot the only ostriches of our trip.

Kasane was a one day stop, but provided one of the most memorable sunsets of my life. We went on a boat cruise along the Chobe river, and since it was low water season, the amount of game we saw in a square mile area was completely insane.

Gives new meaning to Baby Monkey (Going Backwards) on a Pig, doesn't it?
Not so cute suddenly, right?
[insert Hungry, Hungry Hippo joke here]
Little guy was stuck in the mud!
But his brother helped him out. Beyond adorable family dynamic.

Dusk is my favorite time of day no matter where I am in the world. This is going to sound completely contrived, but when I have the chance to enjoy that moment where the sun eclipses over the side of the world, I feel like it gives meaning to my day and allows me to reflect on what I did and what I'll be doing the next day. When I was in Africa, during sunset I would feel completely at peace. There's this calm that seems to settle over everything and everyone, and I found myself staring at the sky in silence until the colors would start to shift from yellows and reds to blues and purples.

Phenomenal stuff.

The next day marked our journey by car, boat and foot into Zambia from Botswana. The border crossing consisted of the following gems:

It was a Sunday and everyone was donning their most colorful clothing; I appreciate reasons to dress up.

Once our border crossing was done, we hired a taxi to take us to Jolly Boys. This seems to be the current trend of this post, but I'll let the photos do the talking:

Nothing says ADHD like drawing raunchy tattoos on each other in a taxi bus.
"I feel kind of bad about spraying water on him.
Wait, is he breathing? Yeah, he's breathing. Sooo... wanna do it again?"
I was a cat for Halloween, btdub.
On our first night in Zambia, we partook in a booze cruise. You know, a luxurious trip down the Zambezi river with a completely open bar. I think the people that run this normally make money off their customers, but we made it a mission to make back our cash in booze. They clearly didn't know who they were dealing with.

The man in a purple hat.

Unintentionally completely matching.

It's ok to be envious of our matching t-shirts. And if you can read you'll realize that no, we're not Christian missionaries.

Groggy and hungover, but always up for a good time, white water rafting down the Zambezi was on the books for the next day. Unfortunately, the people that took the photos of us haven't gotten back to me, so there's no photo evidence we did it. Having said that, I feel I should mention I've never been on a vacation with a group of people where I've been the sissy. You know, the person who's clearly the most afraid of any somewhat "dangerous" activity. I like to think I fall in the category of being somewhere in the middle: up for an adventure, but cautious to a point.

I was the sissy by a mile, there's just no denying it.

In my defense though, we did do death defying things, and I stuck to the following MO: "Guys, I love a good adventure, I'm just really afraid of dying." I feel it's a logical assessment of where I stand.

But peer pressure. Good ole peer pressure. While I was vocal about my fear, I did end up doing almost everything my friends did.

Which is how I ended up in Devil's Pools. However, I have a spectacular baby shower to get hopping on, so we shall start with that on Day Four of our African celebration.

Happy weekend and try to make every moment count!
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