Savannah Forever & Always

Savannah, GA. There are few places I’ve been that have resonated with the soul like this city. I first visited when I was look at going to SCAD for grad school; it was where Andy introduced me to his family and where we honeymooned. There have been quite a few other trips in addition to those memorable visits, but no matter how much time I spend there, I am always ready to go back. After a incredibly busy holiday season, Andy and I decided to spend Christmas this year past year on a quiet vacation, just the two of us. And by “we” decided, I mean I came up with the idea and brought it up incessantly until he gave in.

We spent three days just walking around, enjoying the incredible weather, and visiting some of our favorite haunts like Mate Factor – I have never had anything quite like their Dandy Blend (dandelion latte), and they always have a some sort of baked good or breakfast sandwich that I just have to try. We took a walk through the more touristy section of the historic district and stopped for a bit to watch the truffles being made at Choclat by Adam Turoni. We walked along the River Walk and lazily perused our favorite shops along the way. It was glorious.

For our Christmas Lunch – that’s right: it’s fancy enough to be capitalized -, I took Andy to The Olde Pink House. I’ve been with my friend Rebecca, but it was his first time. They were doing a special three course Christmas Dinner, and Andy assured me that it was everything I promised and more. We sat in the upstairs ballroom which was decked out in holiday themed Southern splendor.

The trip was over all too soon, and we had to head back to Florida. Odd side story: as Andy and I were heading out, we saw firetrucks heading into the historic district. We didn’t think much of it at the time, but it turned out the a fire had broken out at The Olde Pink House in the same ballroom we’d had dinner in two days earlier. Fortunately, they were able to get everyone out, and the blaze was put out fairly quickly. There is smoke and water damage, but the historic building should be okay. We might have to check it out on our next trip, just to make sure.

Etsy Shop: Sofia Zakia

There are hundreds of incredible items of Etsy, as my mile long “favorites” list can attest. Recently I was looking for some quirky earrings and unexpectedly I found myself looking at this beautiful pair of gold moon bunny earrings. Turns out they were real gold and those shiny little bits on their tails were real diamonds. Unfortunately, this did put them a little out of my price range, but you can bet your ass that I have them bookmarked for a special occasion. In case you’re curious, those earrings are the third picture down 😉

Completely gorgeous and a little strange, which is exactly my style. One of the things I love about Etsy is that no matter the day, there is always something incredible to be found. Plus there is the added bonus of supporting a small businesses; I love that Etsy has provided a platform for artisans to get their work out there for the world to see. Thanks to the power of the internet, quality unique goods are never more than a click away.

Tiny But Mighty: The Kitten Lady

The internet is a funny thing: one minute you’re watching random YouTube videos; the next you’ve tumbled down a rabbit hole to a new obsession. I was mindlessly clicking around, and then I saw Rosalita. I saw this video by the Kitten Lady (Hannah Shaw) about her rescue. She was so tiny and in such a helpless situation; after watching her rescue, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I started following @kittenxlady on Instagram, and I checked in as often as I could to see what progress had been reported.

This is Rosalita now. She is fat, sassy, and, unfortunately, showing some small developmental issues, but that is part of the magic of the Kitten Lady. She knows kittens so well that she not only recognized that something was off, she is going to get this little cutie whatever help she needs AND will make sure that if there are any long term issues, that she will be adopted by a family that understand her needs and knows how to care for her.

The work that Hannah and her partner do isn’t limited to fostering and kitten care. They create informational videos and do lecture series on kitten care, TNR, and general cat facts. They help people better understand the tiny tigers we share our homes with and how to give them the best care possible.

Hannah used to be based out of DC, but now she has relocated to the west coast. One of the first things she did when she moved into her new home was build a fantastic kitten nursery complete with everything a kitten could need to play, grow, and flourish.

Her wonderful work doesn’t stop with her kittens – she also helps create winter shelters for some of the TNR cat colonies. I’ve read about some truly incredible females over the years, but the Kitten Lady and the work she does, strikes such a chord with me and has me feeling #goals so very much.

To find out more about this incredible woman and the work she does, you can check her out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or her Website.

Goodbye 2018

As I sit here squinting at my screen (because I haven’t put my contacts in yet) and trying to eat my breakfast while being swarmed by fluffy little food bandits, I stare out over the freshly de-Christmased living room and feel both sad and strangely satisfied. The holiday season is over, the sparkle and lights packed away again for another 11 months, and the “new year” looms before us misty and unknown. 2018 was an intense year, for me personally and for the world in general. For my little family unit, the year was full of painful new beginnings and even more painful goodbyes. Andy and I both started new jobs, which, while fun and exciting in theory, have left us both hustling to beat that steep, steep learning curve and too exhausted most evenings to do more than lay on the couch together and watch Netflix, occasionally reaching out to provide a reassuring hand squeeze to whichever of us has had the worst day. That being said, we are both starting to get our shaky baby fawn feet under us. I don’t feel like I am going to throw up when I pull into the parking lot anymore, and Andy is stressed, but frankly killing it and I couldn’t be prouder of him. Not to brag, but my husband is kind of brilliant and I can’t explain how incredible it is to see so many other people finally realizing the same thing.

We also had to say goodbye to Andy’s Aunt Charlene, who was quiet and reserved, but one of the loveliest people I’ve met. When Andy first introduced me to the family, she and her husband were two of the first people to take me under their wings and make sure I felt like I belonged. We also had to say goodbye to my beloved furbaby Octavian. He was my partner in crime for 14 years, and while I love all of my cats, there will never be another like him. On the list of hard goodbyes was closing up my dad’s estate. Dealing with all of the legal shenanigans that came with him passing without a will and selling the home that I grew up in felt like more than I could handle sometimes. Now I am sitting on the other side with the last i dotted and the final t crossed, and I feel like it is time to focus on letting go and moving on.

Just thinking about how much has happened, I can’t believe we actually made it through, but we did and while I know logically that tomorrow is just another day, and I’ve never been much of the “new year, new me” kind of person, I am ready to shed the baggage and anxiety of the past year and step into the potential and cautious optimism of a new phase. Even if it is merely symbolic.

Image from here.

Gift DIYs for Your Weekend

I think we all got a bit lucky this year with Christmas being on a Tuesday. There is an entire weekend to pull last minute gifts and treats together before the big day. If buying isn’t your thing, making is still an option. The internet is rife with idea and tutorials to help you come up with something special for the people on your list. This DIY round up come straight from one of my favorite channels, HGTV.  There are so many great ideas available, but I decided to narrow it down to six that I thought were fun, easy to create, and customizable. Here are my top picks.

Elf Wine Bottle Covers

Lavender Bath Fizzies

Embroidery Hoop Photo Frames

Spinner Wand Cat Toy

Monogram Doormat

Felt Tablet or Smart Phone Cover

Hopefully this gives you some ideas and helps get that last bit of creative crafting going. Do one last trip to the local craft supple store, throw on your favorite holiday movie, and see what you can come up with.