christmas, part I

Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas was very good to me this year. Our christmas vacation was filled with nothing but family and good memories. We spent a week up in Heber City, Utah in a log cabin deep in the woods and I actually am surprised to say, I wouldn't have had it any other way. The company was precious, the food was over the top to die for, the cabin was magical and the week itself was one that will never be forgotten. I can't get enough of my family. With my sister and her family moving back home to Georgia where my parents are, and the chances of my other sister and her family moving back home to Georgia, and with the zoo and I left in Utah, this week was a little bittersweet. I am so excited that my sisters are moving back home near my parents because going home to Georgia will be even more of a blast when I go home. It does sadden me a bit that they'll all be together in my favorite place in the world, together. So I did not waste any time at the cabin. I spent all that I could with my family. I am excited for what this new year will bring for the zoo and I. Though we'll be some of the last standing it Utah, I think we can make the best of it and take advantage of the mountains and crisp air while we can, because we ALL know... we ain't living here for the rest of our lives. I am just glad that I have the zoo by my side, all of the time, to keep me company, keep me laughing and keep me happy and grateful for everything that's around me and for everything in my life.

I am very grateful for my family. I am very blessed that we will be together for eternity and that they are mine all mine. They are so important to me. I hope you were able to spend some special moments with your family for christmas. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

merry christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry christmas to all! i feel so lucky and blessed to be cooped up in a cabin in the snow with my family and all of the kiddies. we are having a ball just basking in each others company, sitting by the warm fire, watching christmas movies and playing a butt load of scrable & greed, our personal favorites!

Christmas Eve was a blast, even more so with children. All of my nieces and my nephew were able to witness Rudolph pulling Santa's sleigh in the snow as I hid outside under the deck ringing the sleigh bells and the Zoo hauled his little toosh across the snow to shine a flashlight covered in red tissue paper for Rudi's nose. The kids were about to loose their minds! The whole night we've been tracking Santa as he had been busy swarming the homes of families all over the world. We watched him fly through the town, over Paris & Ireland and then he made-way over the states in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and before we knew it, Santa and his sleigh landed smack down in Heber City, Utah and the kids were about to wet themselves. THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. so they watched and then scurried quickly to bed so that Santa could squeeze through the Chimney and lay about the presents and stockings with care.

we've been having so much fun so far. with the smell of the homemade cooking a'fixin' in the kitchen, while the boys ski down the slopes, and the week ahead consists of snow shoeing and sledding adventures with aunts and uncles galore! we're in for a great treat!

hope you all have had a very merry christmas! and may the new year be ever so good to you!

fred & rita jive away.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I think I was meant to be in my prime during the 1940's. I don't understand why this epic style of dancing does not exist today. I mean, it does, but it's not praised like it was during it's time. To be quite honest, this is the best dancing around. Fred Astaire was a king on the dance floor and he'd give you a zoot suit riot. I cannot, for the life of me, stop watching this old hollywood swing dance clip from the film, "You Were Never Lovelier" starring Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. What's even more amazing is whoever created this youtube clip, paired it with my one of my favorite Elvis Presley's songs, "Bossa Nova Baby" not to mention it's REMIXED! Can I get an amen? I love how Fred & Rita dance with such a nonchalant swag and ease. They are so cool to me. I am not even kidding. I love them and their moves.  I must take swing dance lessons. I must. I will drag the zoo in with me and we shall jive away. I remember watching the movie "Swing Kids" when I was little and I was just in the zone whenever they'd dance away. What a fun decade. I also remember how lucky I got when I was a freshmen in High School and at church the youth were able to learn a few swing dance moves, and all of my friends and I became obsessed and from then on out, at every stake dance, we'd jump and jive. No, we were never any good, but the fun we had was unreal. I could jive away my whole entire life. I think I'm going to starting in 2013, that is, if we don't die on Friday : DOOMS DAY. rut-row. 


Monday, December 17, 2012

I know it's all been on everyones mind about the unfortunate event in Connecticut. It's a horrible thing to turn on the news and learn of others misfortunes and see children lose their lives too soon. The whole situation is hard to wrap your head around. When you sit back and watch the news, and keep up with the updated facts of the situation, you can't help but say to yourself how scary the world we live in is, how you feel you can't trust anyone but yourself. When in reality, i don't think that's the case. Though there is a lot of bad in this world, I think we need to focus more on the good and when we do that, the world will become more beautiful and loving. It's the news that brainwashes us into believing the horrible negatives of the world.

Actor morgan freeman (whom i admire) put it brilliantly into words regarding Connecticut's nightmare on Friday. He said,

   "You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why. 

     It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris are household names, but do you know a single VICTIM of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

      CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox New has plastered the killer's face on all their reports hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

       You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news." - MORGAN FREEMAN

Pretty blunt I know, but to a degree it's so true. Thankfully within the past couple of days I have seen articles of the news regarding the victims and mourning for them, but I had the same thoughts. I was watching the news and they had a student at the school over the phone tell them verbatim what he saw and what he heard during the shooting and I couldn't help but think to myself, "He's a child! Why on earth are you pulling teeth to get him to relive that moment? It's a horrible thing to ask of him. His innocence was just taken away."

I want to thank President Obama, not that he's reading this obviously, but I watched both of his speeches and I was touched. I was very thankful with how he handled the situation, with the love that he spoke with and the fact that he reverently announced and acknowledged every victim in the Connecticut shooting. He did it slowly and he did it in a way with love and with humility. It hit me hard. It turned my attention to those heros and victims and it broke  my heart.

I do think, and want to give credit to my personal social media because everything that has been posted or plastered on the web has been dedicated to the teachers who became heros and lost their lives for these kids, and for the children who lost their lives too soon. Nothing has been said about the shooter. Nothing has been said about the number count of lives being lost. Everything was of solitude and sending their prayers and thoughts to the families who went home feeling helpless. And ironically, seeing everyone in the United States come together as a nation, as Americans to support their fellow Americans in a time of loss really was beautiful to see and to reminds us, that though the world is scary, and yes there are some awful people out there, there also is a lot of good. And if the news focused more on the good, I think it could change and effect the bad. It doesn't cost anything to be nice to people, and that's how we can begin to change the bad ; to show affection, to show service, to show sympathy, to show kindness and humility. It's what the world needs. Support.

Here's a personal comparison which may come off really stupid but honestly, it's the truth. I dont mind Oprah, but I can't watch her show. She means nothing but good, I know that. But every time I have tried to tune it, it was a negative story, something bad that's happened to someone and she brings them on the show to highlight the bad and have the person relive the moments that most likely haunt them. I just always remember feeling put down, or sad or thinking, there is so much bad in this world. So I choose to not watch Oprah's show. I can't fill my life with negativity. I know to not be naive and think that this world is a perfect place but at the same time, I'd rather revolve my life around happy people, good people, people who pick themselves up from tragedies and rather than hearing the horrific story, I love to hear their heroic story and how they decided to change their lives or gain the good from their misfortunes. I love to hear about deeds, good deeds and service. I hated hearing all of the negativity about Hurricane Sandy, it broke my heart, but when I heard/watched the passionate service that was given to those struggling towns from their fellow American people, I was touched, and I shed tears of joy and proudness. And instead of highlighting the negativity, it highlighted the good in people and if anything, it brought a nation together. That's what I love. And that's why I choose to watch Ellen Degeneres' show. I don't think there is anyone happier in the media than this woman. And for that, she is loved and people crave her because thats what we need everyday, is a good laugh, a happy story, a story about service and good deeds. I find myself crying when I watch her show whether it be crying because she did something hilarious with the people involved at her show, or becomes she highlighted service being done in the year 2012 for people in need. Positivity is contagious. That is why people are drawn to her, because when a day is gloomy, when times get tough, when trials dig deep, we just want to be loved.

Sorry, that is just what came to mind when Freeman emphasized how the media craves and displays the negativity, because that is what sells. It just reminded me Ellen, and how she is a form of media that praises GOOD.

I think it's amazing that this video of goodness is being shared all over the web after Connecticut's disaster. People have become saddened over the fact that something so horrible could happen and that this world is a horrible place. We just need to stop and remember the good.

In this time of trouble and heartbreak, let's focus on the lives of the victims and their goodness. Let's commend them for their heroic decisions the teachers had to make to save the lives of other children. And let's remember to focus on them and the children and their goodness and the beautiful lives that they lived, and the wonderful legends they left behind. Let's pray for their families and keep them close in our hearts. And let's remember the goodness of this world. And let us not forget the love of our Heavenly Father, and through him we can be comforted and learn to love with compassion and to forgive as a child would. And know that He is always with us and He'll never leave our side.

"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard... do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."

My heart is with Connecticut.


you scream, i scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

looking for a fun and unique christmas gift for the ones you love? something out of the blue and ordinary. here you have it: ICE CREAM! there is something about that ice cream up there that makes me go crazy and goo good ga ga. isn't it a pretty spread of cream? the texture is beautiful and the flavors sound deliciously legit. there is this ice cream website i came across and im obsessed. jeni's splendid ice creams.  im in love with the layout and design of the site, im in love with their mission and ideas, im in love with their descriptive detail in their writing of how they came about, and im obsessed with their packaging and photography of their ice cream products. that's right, you can order this special ice cream online. i know, what's the point when you can go to your local grocery store? well, it's just so dang cute, and filled with numerous flavors that you can get no where else that it makes for a really great gift for those ice cream lovers out there. you can buy the icecream in their popular collections, or you can buy a single pint of the flavor. what is fun is that they pipe in their two cents in suggesting what flavors taste good together if you want to mix them up a bit!

here's what jeni has to say about her superb ice cream. her description really makes you wanna jump on board.
   "we create ice creams we fall madly in love with, that we want to bathe in, that makes us see million-year-old stars. we devour it out of mason jars, coffee-mugs-whatever we can get our hands on. handmade american ice cream = bliss with a big B. every single thing we put in our ice cream is legit. generic chemist-built ice cream bases and powered astronaut-friendly gelato mixes? no, ma'am. we build every recipe from the ground up with luscious, snowville milk and cream from cows that eat grass. with that exquisite base, we explore pure flavor in whatever direction moves us at any moment, every day, all year."

kind of makes your mouth water huh? jump all on it for the holidays! if you decide to give it a try, i'd love to know what flavors you tested and fell in love with!

all in a days work.

Monday, December 10, 2012

thank the heavens above. the semester has come to an end. and for once, im grateful to say i've produced some work that i feel is worthy enough to appreciate rather than toss in the garbage. school happens that way when you study art, a lot of times you produce really expensive, well, crap when it's exercise assignments to meet the needs of your professor. this semester, i was lucky enough to be challenged and go in a direction with my oil paintings that i've never gone before and im happy to say im really excited with the outcome. though it's been and overload, it's been successful and i can't wait to get these paintings up and running to share with all. i hope you find them as beautiful as i. christmas is around the corner, and i can't wait to spend it with my family. have a great week and be safe!

christmas vacation jingle jams.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

christmas vacation is just right around the corner. im ready to kick back, drink that nog and shimmy around the tree as i jam to my favorite christmas tunes. here's my official christmas playlist for december of twenty-twelve. jingle all the way. 

j'adore jcrew!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

well, it's done. it ain't perfect, but it sure was fun. it's something i love doing. with room for improvement, im going to keep working on my watercolor fashion illustrations in hopes that people will find something special about them. i'd love to sell these along with my other paintings in my etsy shop that is currently under construction. im hoping to take care of a lot of things over the holiday vacation to get my shop a boomin' for the new year. with school wrapping up, im really excited to also jump back on some of my older paintings from over the summer that i never finished.

happy birthday to the zoo!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

it's somebody's special birthday today! can you tell how thrilled the zoo is to be turning 28? zekey is a special man and i hope he knows it! he's made the past ALMOST three years of my life an adventure that is nothing short of dynamite! he provides me my kicks and giggles and a lifetime of fun and for that i'm grateful. i hope he knows he's a loved kid! the older he gets, the younger he becomes! i love that he's my boyfriend forever. hubba hubba. happy birthday zekey zoo!

evolution of the jcrew watercolors.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

finally! im back to doing what i love most in watercolor, thanks to a whoppin' finals assignment. the ONLY thing i enjoy in watercolor are fashion illustrations, everything else im horrible at and toss it in the trash. but when it comes to fashion, im crying over excitement. last semester i focused on some oscar de la renta runway fashions. it was my first time conquering this sort of thing, and so i was timid throughout the whole process. i plan on selling the oscar illustrations, but this semester im focusing on fashion illustrations with more pizzaz : jcrew spring 2013 collection. i want every single outfit. every. single. one. so im saving my pennies. but in the meantime of saving, i'll be watercoloring away! these too will be sold as prints, but not until the next year! i'll keep you posted of the finished products! wish me luck!

this might tickle your fancy

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