Category Archives: Holiday

Tuesday With Moi – Island Edition

 Tuesday, April 29, 2014 

I can’t believe I had to leave this place…

TWM.April29.14.9Our villa dog had a scuffle with this iguana and, though I only heard it and didn’t see it, I’m pretty sure the iguana ended up winning.  His posture and don’t-give-a-F attitude kind of set the tone for the rest of my day.

TWM.April29.14.10Colour inspiration. (Full disclosure: I spent most of my morning working on the couch. All our friends who we were sharing a villa with went to the beach for the day but David and I stayed behind as we both needed some quiet time.)

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But working from paradise isn’t so bad when you get to do it in your swimsuit! I know it’s lame, but every time I think about warm weather holidays, I still think about the spectacular swimsuit coordination in Mary-Kate & Ashley’s Holiday in the Sun. I will never achieve that level of swimsuit perfection, but gosh darn it I will try! (Does anyone else have this problem? Someone, please say yes. I can’t be the only 26 year-old still basing all her holiday dreams on a movie she secretly loved when she was 13, right?)

TWM.April29.14.12Poolside colour inspiration. I love the burnt orange and the green in the palm leaves.

TWM.April29.14.13Colour inspiration. Green and gold. Blue and rust.

TWM.April29.14.14Love these shadows.

TWM.April29.14.15I was too lazy to get out of the pool so I made David take the 3 o’clock photo. and VOILA! Me. After burning my back at Pat and Jackie’s beach wedding on Saturday, SPF 100 was my BFF. (À la my perfect ‘Holiday in the Sun’ fantasy, I matched my lipstick to my suit here. I can’t remember if MK&A wear lipstick in their movie ((probably not because they were, like, 13 years-old and it was 2001 so we were all wearing Lip Smackers glitter chapstick or whatever)) but I feel like it’s something the characters would do in a modern-day version of the movie.) (Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m sharing this giant secret of mine with you right now. I always prided myself on publicly disliking MK&A when I was younger. Ugh.) (Anyway…)

TWM.April29.14.16These leaves were like sails and they made the most beautiful noise when the wind blew through them!  My favourite lullaby.

TWM.April29.14.17Back in the villa with rumbling tummies. We made snacks, washed the salt out of our hair, took naps, and generally were lazy.

TWM.April29.14.18And then we sat and watched the sun begin to set from the porch.

TWM.April29.14.19Wine on the island was ridiculously expensive so I made spritzers. They were disgusting but they were cold and didn’t taste as disgusting as island water so I drank them.

TWM.April29.14.20Our friends from the other villa came over for a big let’s-drink-all-the-alcohol-and-eat-all-the-food-in-the-villa party. Tuesday night was our last night on the island and we had a lot of stuff to devour!

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So here begins the part of the evening where I started drinking tequila straight and basically just took pictures of people I was talking to. Hi David!

TWM.April29.14.22Hi Pat! (Pat’s the guy that got married on the island. It was so dreamy!)

TWM.April29.14.23I wasn’t talking to this mosaic, but I was sitting below it at one point. It was hugenormous! I kept looking up at it and wondering what would happen if it fell off the wall and onto me. I decided that if it did fall, I’d probably die because it was probably really heavy. Did I mention that I was drinking tequila?

TWM.April29.14.24Hi Pat and Jackie!! So we didn’t finish all the alcohol in the villa but we got pretty close! And as the night wore on, we all got sloppy and told each other how much we loved each other and how much we loved these two specifically because they got married on an island and invited us all to be a part of their celebration and it was perfect.

Oh, friends! They’re the greatest. And St. John is the greatest. And our holiday in the sun was basically the best ever even though I didn’t have 45 perfect swimsuit costume changes for the entire week.

Before we left St. John yesterday, David and I stopped for lunch at a little beach-side restaurant and I literally cried into a margarita because I didn’t want to leave. The warmth! The ocean! The spotty WIFI that meant I couldn’t really stress about work! The friendliness of the locals! The mid-afternoon cocktails! The scary cab rides up super steep hills! The lizards everywhere! The stars at night! The colours everywhere! The sand! It was all so wonderful. And I don’t even like sand!

Ohmygosh, I’m maybe getting teary again.  I gotta go…

So long St. John and so long Tuesday!

(For more photos of my holiday, check out my Instagram. And for St. John colour inspiration, check out our Gradient Instagram!)

Tuesday With Moi: New Year’s Eve

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013. What a year! Already, it feels so long ago.

10Le Chat made many resolutions for 2014. The first is to tweet more. The second is to manicure her paws more regularly, and the third is to overcome her eating disorder. (Sometimes she overeats and gets sick. It’s a problem.) Le Chat’s fourth resolution is contingent on receiving a particular gift; if she does receive said gift, Le Chat would like to learn to use the toilet this year. She thinks it’s far more sophisticated than using a litter box. I couldn’t agree more.

11I’ve said it once and I’ll probably say it a thousand times more as the years come and go, but I can’t help but feel that January 1st is a terrible time to start doing anything drastic and life-changing.  January is bleak. The entire month is essentially a 31-day-long hangover and everything from the weather, to the time the sun sets, and the state of our bank accounts is generally depressing. There are much better days to declare resolutions– birthdays!, anniversaries!, the third tuesday of July! Any day except January 1st.

12I mean, the only pressure I want to feel on the morning of January 1st is that of a duvet atop my sleeping body.  And maybe Le Chat curled on my feet. You know?

13But all that resolution stuff aside, the real conundrum of the season is that I never know when the time is right to take down my Christmas decorations.  It doesn’t feel right to get rid of them before the New Year, but if I don’t do it soon I just know I’ll have them up until February…

14Turns out my rule is this: if the garland still smells nice, leave it for a while longer.  And then paint your nails and use your wet nail polish an excuse to not do any decoration clearing at all. Voila! Conundrum avoided.

15The problem with waiting for the rain to clear is that sometimes it never does. In these cases, you just have to be brave and lace up your boots and pretend to be an American pioneer venturing out into the wilderness to feed your family. Assuming the families of American pioneers needed coffee, booze and chocolate truffles, of course…

16True story: New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day are the two nights out of the entire year where you will never, under any circumstances, find me in a bar, pub, or restaurant.

17Why? Because on New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, the world is full of people with expectations. On these two nights, fate hangs in the stars and people will their destinies to change. Personally, I don’t pay to spend time in tight quarters with people who are frantic for something exciting to happen. It depresses me. I’d rather sit at home with my feet up, thanks.

18Every year, on these two special nights, David and I stay in. This year, I made the two of us a surprisingly delicious dinner. Isn’t it great that we can eat avocados year-’round in England?! Avocados in December– it truly is a great time to be alive!

19After dinner, we opened a nice bottle of wine.

20And then David did some party tricks. It was wild!

21After lighting some candles and putting the chocolate truffles out, our friends arrived.

22And, as they were our hostages until midnight, we forced them to play Settlers of Catan with us.

23They were good sports but I was the winner. Twice.

24And then it was time for kisses and toasts to a New Year.

25But nothing changed or felt any different. And it was still raining. Obviously.

26After our friends left, David and I poured ourselves cups of Detox tea, settled in for an episode of Dexter, and then slipped into a beautiful sleep knowing we didn’t have to do anything the following day.

And just like that, January was welcomed in the laziest, cosiest, most wonderful way. I think it’s going to be a great year!

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My fabulous little life is a whirl of boozy Christmas celebrations, long lunches and belly laughs these days. Prepare yourself for TWM Christmas Crown Edition!

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Considering how much I really detest our current bed, I sure do spend a lot of time in it! Yes, yesterday was another very dark work-from-bed morning. I’m very much looking forward to the Solstice on Saturday and the days getting longer.

9But unlike some days, I wasn’t working from bed all morning out of routine but rather because we had houseguests and I wanted to stay out of their way. My dear friend Max and two of his friends crashed with us for a few days as they journey across Europe over their winter break.  Oh to be in college again!

10See, here they are! Cuties.

11Back in the office, I got into the Christmas spirit with some chalk art before the true festivities started.

12What Christmas festivities? Well, yesterday I was lucky enough (i.e. doomed) to have two 3-course Christmas dinners to attend.  The first of the two was a friend-filled Christmas lunch at Signor Franco.

13Once the wine was poured and the Christmas crackers popped (cracked? opened? I don’t know…), things got out of hand rather quickly. My office buddy, Martin, became a Christmas ninja.

14This classical bust decided a career change was in order and left town to become a Christmas elf.

15And the lady with the sauciest Ladybits in all of Tunbridge Wells got Santa stuck in her chimney!

16After lunch, I went back to the office to settle a few things for the day but quickly realised that the spirit of the season (ahem, wine with lunch) had squandered my ability to get any real work done.

17So I tailed it out of the office and joined everyone else at Fuggles where the merriment continued!

18You know what, I really love Fuggles. It’s simple, it’s comfortable, it’s fresh. Every time I go, I feel like I’m stepping out of Tunbridge Wells and into Narnia… if, of course, Narnia was a bar where interesting people congregated and sipped delicious booze, I mean.

19The ever-changing beer selection at Fuggles is supposedly really great, too, though I wouldn’t know anything about that…

20On my way to Christmas Dinner #2, tragedy struck and I twisted my ankle stepping off a curb and face-planted on the pavement.  As I result, I arrived to Javabean Café with a bloody knee, a run in my tights, and gravel stuck in my palm. So basically I showed up to the party looking every bit the lady that I am… (Thank you, Liam, for this photo of my I want to die face.)

21Despite my elevated level of hot-messness, a wonderful evening transpired with the Tunbridge Wells Writers! We ate, we  laughed, we played a very difficult quiz game….

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And we celebrated a birthday, too! (Happy Birthday, Emma!)

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And Liam’s photos twinkled down on us from the wall like stars in an inky sky… or whatever.

23And then it was time to go so we all hugged goodbye.  (Class Couple 2013 goes to Kat & Sam, obviously! Bahahaa.)

24Once home, I cleaned my wounds and then snuggled under my infinity duvet* to sleep like a queen.

The End and Merry Christmas!

*Like an infinity pool but in duvet form. Essentially, David and I are getting a new bed soon and it’s going to be about twice as big as our current bed. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but we’re upgrading from a Double (i.e. Divorce Bed) to a Super-King (i.e. Happy Marriage Bed).  Last week, when we were preparing for our house guests, we realised we needed another duvet to accommodate them. To solve the problem, we bought our Super-King-sized duvet and gave our visitors our old one (we washed the duvet cover, promise). Wow, so this is a long story!, but the point is: we’re now sardining it under a GINORMOUS duvet until we get our new mattress and already this change is such an improvement. Literally, infinity duvet! Never again will I wake up shivering, wondering where the covers are. Totally life-changing!  I highly recommend.

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Greetings from Minnesota where I’ve been laying low for the past week. After running here there and everywhere seeing my nearest and dearest, I have finally found a moment to share my day with you. Enjoy!

8First, and most importantly, let me introduce you to the newest addition to my family: my MacBook Air! Methuselah is getting angry and uncooperative now that she has to share my affection with another, but she’ll enjoy retirement, I think.  She and the Spinning Rainbow Wheel of Doom will have many happy, quiet years together now that they’re empty nesters.  It’ll be cute.

9These Minnesota days have been bright and sunny but also freezing cold. There’s nothing like a warming coffee to get the gears working in the morning.

10Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? I did. His name was Little Fox and he was (you guess it!) a little fox that would follow me around and keep me company.  When my mom saw this  ornament, she immediately thought of Little Fox and got it for me. It actually looks a lot like Little Fox except my LF stood on his hind legs and smoked a pipe, naturally.  Still, I love him! His scarf is adorable.

11What’s great about the US is that there’s a definitive Christmas season and it begins after Thanksgiving. In the UK, it starts getting cold and suddenly you enter a waiting game where we all watch each other trying to guess who will be first to say the ‘C’ word. Here, we all know that it’s not time for tinsel and holly until after the pumpkin pie has been devoured and someone has gotten trampled at a midnight Black Friday opening at a Best Buy or WalMart. We don’t start listening to Christmas music until Thanksgiving day. That’s the rule and it’s a sacred one.

12We call this room in our house The Library.  I didn’t realise that calling it that was pretentious until I went to college and some girl in a writing class called me on it.  Anyway, it’s a super cosy room and I love our little library, which is full of books that include The Atlas of Middle Earth, a set of Encyclopaedias from the 80s, and basically every book written by C.S. Lewis ever. Plus so much more. It’s a magical place and I have many happy memories here.

Also, my new knit scarf! Isn’t it pretty? It’s by The Gold Thread Collective, a group of insanely talented Minnesotans.  Be sure to do some shopping with them in their Etsy store and, if you’re local (in Minnesota, I mean) be sure to visit them at the Holiday Bazaar on December 7th. It looks like it’s going to be a really fun day and I’m super bummed I won’t be there for it!

13You guys, Minnesota is such a magical place.  People who have never been to Minnesota don’t understand this, but Minnesota, and specifically the Twin Cities, are a mecca of talent.  Food! Music! Art! Medicine! Big Thoughts! There. Is. So. Much. Talent. And whoever made this Huevos Rancheros at The Kenwood Restaurant is among the super talented. It was so good!

14After devouring our delicious meal with our dear friends Sarah Vande Kamp (remember her?!) and Joe Whitson (who should totally do a Tuesday With Vous because his life is like a magical hipster history book), we went for a walk around my favourite lake, Lake of the Isles.  The lake had already started to freeze over and our faces were quickly following suit so we abandoned our walk after strolling only a quarter of the way around the lake.  Despite the frigid temperature and wind chill, it was still a beautiful walk.

15To bring some warmth back to our limbs and faces, David and I stopped at French Meadow Bakery & Cafe for some hot chocolate.  Just like the wizards in Harry Potter, I firmly believe that hot chocolate has healing powers.

16Back at home, we watched the sun set and waited for the next part of our day to unfold.

17Sitting on the sink in our powder room, my mom has put together an adorable rock tower with stones she collected at Lake Superior over the summer.  Isn’t it the cutest?

18I can’t even tell you how nice it’s been being home with my family.  It’s nice to take the time to stop and smell the flowers and to eat too much and drink too much, too.

19It’s also been nice to see my family’s neighbours that I don’t often see.  Neighbours I’ve grown up with who used to feed me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after school and now feed me bourbon. I don’t complain….

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Friends who we kiss goodbye under the mistletoe.

21Every time I visit, I daydream of moving to Minneapolis. And when I do move back, I’m going to move right next door to Bachelor Farmer. This was my favourite dish of the evening, the Beet Carpaccio. The flavours were spectacular, diverse, and surprising in all the right ways.  Everything about the meal was fantastic, in fact– the food, the music, the ambiance, A+ all around! Plus, one of my favourite bars in the city, Marvel Bar, is conveniently located directly beneath. If you go, be sure to have a whiskey sour. It’ll change your life! (Okay, maybe it won’t change your life but it will certainly make your night a little more fabulous.)

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There’s nothing I love more than a hearty meal and great conversation.  Sitting around a table with my love and my parents is one of my all time favourite ways to spend an evening. I’m thankful to have such spectacular people in my life!

23On the way home to the ‘burbs, we drove past the most intricately lit tree in the whole wide world. Every branch is wrapped in white lights and has been standing as a beacon of joy for as long as I can remember.  It’s a sight to behold and you can read all about it right here.

And now, my dears, is Turkey Time.  Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for reading!  KISSES!

Tuesday With Vous: Liam Rogers in NYC!

When my dear friend Liam went to America last month, he pitched the idea of sharing a Tuesday With Vous on video. At first I was a bit hesitant because videos are noisy and distracting and I’m a curmudgeon, but then I thought, wait a second, I LOVE ARTISTIC EXPRESSION! and said yes. Et voila, here are my two English friends, Liam and Nick, enjoying a Tuesday in New York City in 2 minutes and 53 seconds. It’s super cute. Enjoy!

Name: Liam Rogers
Location: NYC via Tunbridge Wells
Occupation: Photographer / Film-maker
Camera Used: Nikon D7000

Are you someone creative and fun who would like to share your Tuesday with everyone? Get in touch & let’s make it happen! xx

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Boston Edition

Boston. Oh, Boston!  I lived in Boston for six years before moving to the UK.  If you’ve met me in person, I’ve probably told you that I lived there for seven, which is a lie, but a well-meaning one as I’m very bad at math and didn’t realise I was lying until right now.  Regardless of the actual number of years, I lived in Boston for the most transformative years of my life. They were good years.

David and I met in Boston and fell in love and married there.  As individuals and as a couple, the city means a lot to us and we had been anxious to get back for quite some time.  When a friend’s wedding gave us the opportunity to take a prolonged vacation in Beantown, we happily booked our tickets and found a sweet little oasis near the beach in Southie to rent.  And it was in this little seaside rental that my Tuesday began.

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Typically, I didn’t take any real time off whilst on holiday and woke early each morning to complete a few hours of work before the rest of the house began to stir.  Jet lag made rising early easy, but the cocktails the night before sometimes made my eyelids long for more sleep.

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If you’ve never been to Southie, you should go.  Go before it changes too much.  Walking around, you can still see the characters that have defined the neighborhood walking down Broadway and cutting through the back streets, but more and more, those quintessential characters are being replaced by 30-something corporate types with good jobs and practical shoes.  The neighborhood is changing; new construction is going up on almost every block, established Boston restaurants are opening new locations in Southie and the greasy spoons and corner pubs are being squeezed out.  It’ll be interesting to see what it looks like in another five years… probably a lot like the South End.

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When we were in Boston, we lived in Southie for two years.  “In Southie.”  Technically, we lived just over the bridge from Boston in a swanky high-rise.  Sometimes we’d see junkies at the bus stop or hear a crowd of sirens moving into the projects when we were walking to brunch, but for the most part we were far removed from the heart of Southie.  Think The Departed, Good Will Hunting, Gone Baby Gone.  We knew those streets existed, but we didn’t live on them.  This trip, we were closer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Ben Affleck and Matt Damon films accurately depict the reality of Southie.  No.  Like any community, Southie’s made up of families who care about each other, their community, and their people.  Sometimes you hear stories about shady characters going missing and bodies washing up in the ocean, but that kind of stuff goes down in any city.  For the most part, people keep their heads down, work hard and look forward to the weekends. For the most part, it’s a really great place.

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Whilst we were visiting, I was amazed by how quickly my life in England seemed to evaporate. My feet remembered the streets like no time had passed and we fell into familiar conversation with our friends without missing a beat.  In many ways, it was good that I was working, good that I had something to tether me to my life in Tunbridge Wells.  If I didn’t, I don’t know if I would have come back.

(Note: I love living in the UK and I love Tunbridge Wells.  I also love Kudos, a new magazine that my friend just started.  I like to joke that it’s the Tunbridge Wells magazine that you can actually read, but really, it’s true– read it! It’s all about living local and loving local, which are basically my two favourite things. Plus it’s super pretty so be sure to check it out!)

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It was our pleasure, whilst away, to share our apartment and our time with my old roommate and greatest friend, Brent.  He lives in Washington DC and works at NPR (so cool, I know) so as you can imagine, the two of us don’t get the chance to see each other very often. It was really nice to just hang out with him again.  Drink coffee in our pajamas in the morning, play Ticket To Ride on the couch, go on long walks and remark on everything that’s changed.  Simple stuff.  Normal stuff.

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After Brent left us to go to a museum with his girlfriend, David and I went for a walk along the ocean.  The day was grey and humid and the ocean oscillated between smelling like heaven and like rotting fish.  After a while, we stopped on a bench to look out over the harbor.  Gulls sounded in our ears, a group of school children picking up trash laughed and flirted in the background, and my heartbeat fell in time to the lapping of the waves. In England, I really miss the ocean.

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We continued our walk to the very tip of Southie where the planes fly so close you feel you can reach up and touch them.  I took this picture to add to my dear friend Casey’s #aplaneaday hashtag on instagram.

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The sky got dark and threatened rain so David and I returned to our apartment.  The roofers across the street continued to work and we heard the slap of shingles hitting the sidewalk as we waited for the rain that did not come.

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David decided to nap and relax for the afternoon so I struck out alone and walked through Southie to Boston to meet Brent and Acacia.  I loved walking through the neighborhood alone and noting all the things that are different.  Cupcake shops and yoga studios are opening where credit unions and sandwich shops used to be. Barber shops and liquor stores still seem to be thriving.  This mural is still on the wall…

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Upon meeting my friends, we decided it was high time to enjoy one of my favourite foods of all time, nachos!  Here is Brent and Acacia looking nacho happy!

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What’s great about Brent is he’s always forcing me to try new things or urging me to do things that I really don’t want to do in an effort to broaden my horizons.  Sometimes these things are fun, and sometimes they are the worst.  On this particular evening, Brent made me take the T at rush hour.  I don’t like being underground to begin with and don’t even like riding the T when it’s off-peak, so you can imagine my happiness when he forced us to cram into a completely full train on a very warm day.  This particular moment is one in which I made him pretend to call for help because I just couldn’t deal.

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Happily, we got off the T in Brookline and explored our old stomping grounds on foot.  I love the architecture in Brookline.  Everything is orderly and the homes stand in confident even rows, brick on brick, sturdy and secure.  The trees are tall and strong and the sidewalks are even.  Brent and I used to joke that you could get pregnant drinking the water in Brookline because the summer we lived there everyone seemed pregnant.  It’s a very popular part of the city to start and raise a family.  Also a very popular place to eat delicious bagels!

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One thing I almost never do is venture anywhere near Kenmore Square when there is a Red Sox game on.  On this occasion, I made an exception and sometime during the first or second inning we all settled into Hawthorne for a drink.

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The challenge with visiting a city you love in which you have a wealth of friends is that there is no possible way that you can spend quality time with everyone.  Rather than picking just a few people to go out to dinner with during our stay, David and I announced ‘office hours’ at bars around the city and urged our friends to meet us there en mass.  For the most part, it worked very well, though I will say that I wish I had time to sit and catch up with everyone individually.  Unfortunately, as humans, time is not on our side and we were content instead to see many great friends each and every evening.

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After a delicious whiskey sour and a beautiful Manhattan, we relocated to Franklin Southie, our old ‘hotel bar’, to see another group of friends and fill ourselves with beef cheek tacos and red wine.

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We wiped our fingers on damp wipes like children and laughed like we didn’t have a care in the world, because when you’re on vacation, the cares melt away and you live in an alternate reality where real life doesn’t exist.

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No matter how long you’re away, some things never change. Laughter, drink and food still draw people together, good friendships never die, and being welcomed home to a stand of twinkle lights will always feel like the coziest welcome ever.

                                                                                                                                                                

As you’re well aware, dear reader, I am now home in my UK home with the cat curled at my feet and the cares of the world heavy on my shoulders.  I’ll admit to being rather glum since our return– I should have taken more pictures, written more things down, seen more museums and gone out with more friends!– but I’m happy to say that I think I’ve mostly recovered from my holiday regrets and am able to move forward and focus on some exciting new projects now.  The holiday blues… if that’s the worst thing going on in my life, then boy do I got it good!

The Badlands

And the Worst Blogger in the World Award goes to Kate Sims!

Seriously you guys, I’m sorry.  I’ve been everywhere but here lately and, now that I’m booking clients, founding events (more on this another time) and moving my business forward, I’m not adjusting to the life-work balance quite as seamlessly as I’d hoped.  In fact, I’m happily drowning in work, but every second that I’m working means I’m not writing for myself and maintaining this space, and no matter how I cut it, that just doesn’t work for me.

So let’s play catch-up and look at some photos from my Wild Wild West adventure.  Today, let’s focus on The Badlands.  Badlands+1 Badlands+2 Badlands+3 badlands+4 Badlands+5 Badlands+6 Badlands+7 Badlands+8 Badlands+9

Badasslands* is more like it!  Seriously, it’s like going to Mars.  How are those land formations even real?  How do they go from looking like extraterrestrial craters one moment to melting creamsicles the next?

As we drove through the Badlands National Park, my head was poking out the window with my camera to my eye as I snapped photos of the strangeness all around.  After hours (and hours and hours) of the flat expanse of Pro-Life billboards and never-ending fields that is South Dakota, I was amazed by how starkly different and unique the badlands are.  It was eerie, this sudden change in scenery, but it was beautiful and welcome, too.

Whilst winding along the wall and around hills, we saw a coyote (or was it a wolf?), scampering prairie dogs with screams like chirping birds, bighorn sheep (above), wild turkeys, bison and deer.  At 244,300 acres, the Badlands are vast, and desolate, any every time we saw a living creature I was moved by their fortitude, ’cause whether you’re a beast or man, living in a place like The Badlands can’t be easy.  As we wove along, my mind kept flashing back to games of Oregon Trail  and I imagined how soul crushing it must’ve been to pull a covered wagon up to The Badlands, wipe the sweat of your neck and let out a low whistle thinking, Damn, we’re going to break so many wagon wheels and lose at least three kids to snake bites and dehydration on this here stretch.  Those pioneers were brave people– if I’d come from Virginia and set my eyes on The Badlands, you can bet your butt I’d have turned around and gone back home.

Or maybe I wouldn’t have.  Maybe I’d have ridden through The Badlands on the back of my pony and thought about how the patterns in the sand looked like melting creamsicles and daydreamed of petting a bison.  Some things never change, after all, and my attraction to The Badlands will always endure.

*I almost made a sheep-noise pun about the Badlands but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  You’re welcome.

Mother

Mothers+DayYesterday was Mother’s Day in The States.  I didn’t call my mom because I’m a terrible person, but I did send her a card (handmade, so there) and I’m pretty sure it even got to her on time.  (Did it?)

Remember when I said I was crap at watercolour painting?  See, I wasn’t lying.  BUT, I’m pretty confident that you can at least tell that the flowers are lupines.  I love lupines!  Lupines remind me of one of my favourite childhood literary heros, Miss Rumphius, who strove to make the world a more beautiful place.  Like Miss Rumphius, my mother makes the world around her more beautiful, too, and that’s just one of the many reasons why I love her so much. She also makes really great food and gives good shoulder rubs.  She’s really great, my mom!

So happy belated Mother’s Day to my mother and all the mothers out there.  But especially to my mother.  I love you.  Thanks for making the world beautiful and thanks for making ME.  xx