Movin' on Up!

It's amazing how the little things make such a big difference. I am so grateful for little things like an 'fridge with an icemaker and actual crisper drawers that work! I was taking a shower this morning and I was just so happy that there was a drain cover! So, I thought that my excitement over my recent move could best be summed up in two lists. One list of things I love about my new place, and one about the things I do not miss about my old place.

The top 5 Things I love about my new place

  1. Sunroom/Patio - this is AWESOME. Better than a deck.
  2. Location - very convenient, nice family-like neighborhood
  3. Ceiling fans - these make a huge difference
  4. Extra 1/2 bathroom - This is great too!
  5. Washer & Dryer - It's been 10 years since I've had access to my own!

The Top 5 Things I will NOT miss about my old apartment
  1. Crazy, crack-head people who live there or visit there.
  2. The guy (if one moves out another one moves in) who constantly rev's his motorcycle in the parking lot.
  3. Dragging groceries/laundry up and down dirty stairs.
  4. An AC that is always either clogging up or not working at all.
  5. A landlord that one day decides he's going to stop taking care of a place.
As soon as we are settled in, I'll post some pics of the new place!

Tiger Encounter at the Alabama Gulft Coast Zoo

Wow. I'm so glad that we were able to have this opportunity! It really is one of those once-in-a-lifetime sort of things. I truly love animals; They are as beautiful as they are amazing.

Sheena and I posing (sorta) for the camera.

When we arrived at the zoo, I was unsure how the tiger encounter was set up. I was surprised at how generous the zoo was with their program - Patrick and I had Sheena, the 8-week-old tiger cub, all to ourselves (along with 2 handlers). They brought her out to a pen with toys and a small pool and we got to pet her and play with her for half an hour. It was great! It was sure hot outside and she enjoyed a nice dip in the cool water. The only time she sat still was when she was in the pool and we were pouring hand fulls of water over her little back.

If you ever make to the gulf area, be sure to check out the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. I loved my time there. It's wonderful. I really think the animals are happier in this zoo than any other zoo I have ever been to. They have toys, fun obstacles, and climbing areas for each animal. How often do you see that sort of things for bears when you go to a regular zoo? Never! Most of the time, the animals are just pacing back and forth. AGCZ had a lot of large cats as well, which are one of my favorites. I spotted 4 leopards (teehee), 3 bobcats, 3 Serval cats, 4 tigers + 1 tiger cub, and 3 lions! That is more than some of the larger zoos I have been to in the area.

Here are some photos to share of my tiger cub encounter! I've got some video from a flip video camera, but I haven't figured out how to optimize for Web yet! Enjoy!

A nice shot of her cute little face.

She enjoyed playing with the strap on my bag - kittens and string!

A Little Design Humor

While I'm busy working like mad (1 designer down, 1 designer on vacation), packing my entire 3 bedroom apartment up to move to a new place, AND working on consulting/freelance jobs, I thought I would post this little jewel. Tiger photos to come!


Baby Announcements

My very good friend recently asked me if I would design baby announcements for her 2nd child. I was pretty excited! I love to do stuff like this - it's a fun diversion from my day-to-day work. I asked her if she wanted something elegant or something fun. She thought she might like a fun announcement that matched the baby's room.

I bought some 5"x7" envelofolds© by envelopments© ('adobe' was the color) from a site called Remote Assistance (one of the only places that allowed small orders). I printed the announcements on textured, cream card stock that I bought from Hobby Lobby and tied them up with some shiny ribbon that matched the envelopes! I sent her all the ribbon I had, so I don't have a complete final package to photograph. I liked the way they turned out!




Studio, Sweet Studio! Office Re-design Unleashed.


I finally have my office "together" enough to blog about it! I have had it painted brown for AGES now, but it took a while for my furniture to arrive (Ikea was cheap, but it took FOREVER to arrive!), then it took a while to unpack everything, then it took a while for me to get the time to decorate. There is always so much stuff going on that it has been hard for me to devote time to my office decor. I've been buying things here and there.

This was office decor on a shoe-string budget. The furniture was provided by my office, everything else was done by me! I thought I'd share some of my decor tips with you!

  • Do you have an ugly desk? I did. Check out www.fabricguru.com for a great deal (and cheap shipping) on some home decor fabric for a spiffy table/desk covering!
  • Need some storage bins? (Image 2 ; 2nd shelf from top) Find some old stationary/envelope boxes and turn them into treasures. Print a pattern or image of your liking on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 sticker paper. Cut to fit the front part of your box and viola! Customizable storage bins practically for free!

  • Studio, Sweet Studio. I took this Veer poster that I got in the mail over to my on-campus copy shop and had it matte laminated for just a few bucks! Suh-weet!
  • It's the little things, like my hot pink bucket, that add a little spark. This hot pink bucket was $1.99 at Hobby Lobby and it's an excellent place for pens, scissors, and post-it notes!
  • If you like change, try a clothes-line approach to office decor. Along one wall, stretch some thin wire from one thumb-tack to another. Then you can clip some nifty art or some design inspiration along the wall - when you want something new, simply unclip and change it out! I added a backdrop behind mine - it's actually a grass beach mat (only$1 at big lots!).
  • Try hanging something from your ceiling. I used to have three, red paper lanterns. I really liked the way it added some dimension to the decor. This time I found this nifty, clip orb for $7 at one of the shops downtown. Then, I clipped some brown/pink/cream paint swatches from home depot into each one! Simple, easy, and partially free!
  • If you have a small office, don't be afraid to paint it a dark color! It actually made my office feel a lot larger. Just choose accent colors that brighten things up a bit!
  • Check out places like big lots, the dollar tree, and hobby lobby for great deals on little accents for your office.

I *heart* Tigers.

My tiger encounter is set for July 19th at 2pm! I'm so excited. I can't even remember where I found this site, but I am so glad that I did. I've always wanted the chance to interact with a tiger. Patrick and I get to play with 20lb tiger cub, Sheena, for 30 minutes! I'm taking lots of photos and hopefully I'll get to bring a flip-cam along as well! Visit www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.com for more information about "The Little Zoo That Could".

Follow Me!

I'm blogging about twitter. Once upon a time, that sentence would have been complete nonsense. Now, I'm going to go twitter about blogging about twitter... *ahem*

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It's Been Almost a Month! Time for an Update!

WOW. It's been almost an entire month since I have touched my blog. Could this summer be any more hectic?

So, what has been going on?

My mom moved to Alabama! She arrived in Auburn June 3 weeks ago and I've been busy helping her get settled in. It's so great to have her here so close to me! She has a business partner/manager for her motel in Colorado and things are going well. She can spend some time away from that place and collect her thoughts for a while. It's good to have her here near me. I hope we get her all settled in soon so we can spend some time doing something besides emptying boxes!

The UPAA Symposium was a great success! Not only did our photoshop presentation go well, but the entire conference, hosted by Auburn, went extremely well. Because my mother and brother just arrived in town, a couple of days before the conference, I missed some incredibly talented photographers! The National Geographic photographer, Steve McCurry spoke. I did get to see enough of Michael Grecco's presentation to be very disappointed when I had to leave early. I hope that I get the chance to use some screen recording software to record my PS CS3 tutorials for posting on the web. Stay tuned.

I've been working independently with the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) again to help them get a collective look for their suite of materials. I really enjoy working with the subject matter and I think it's a great thing for the state of Alabama.

June was birthday month! I turned 30 this year! WOW! I still feel like a kid, so I don't care what number I am :) June is a very heavily celebrated month with 4 very important birthdays, my in-law's 40th anniversary, and father's day all in ONE WEEK.

Patrick got me the sweetest bday presents! A chococat makeup travel container, filled with funny little japanese candy that I like! He also got me PeeWee's playhouse Volume 2 on DVD, and a sweet book that you fill in the answers to. I had planned on getting on two of the books so we could each fill it out! He beat me to it. Here are some pics!

I really loved the color combination Patrick used on my Bday cake!
The candles were really cool!

I love Chococat! The book is really sweet. I am going to buy one and fill it out for him too.