Snapshots from Australia : Thursday, April 11, 2013

Exploring a little bit of Brisbane and the Queensland museum.

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Brisbane.

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Pretty buddie.

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Best ice cream bar in the history of the WORLD.

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Cheers and love,

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

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Snapshots from Australia : Tuesday, April 9, 2013

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Cheers and love from Down Under.

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

AUSTRALIA!

G’day from Down Under! The weather is incredible, the sun wont stop shining, and I cant seem to get tired of swimming in the ocean.

It’s lovely. Perfectly lovely.

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Hi from the Aussie and the Yank!

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Packing up.

This is how I pack a carry-on for an international flight.

Now this is not my first international flight, or even my second, but my most recent international flight was USA to Iceland and the most important things in my carry-on were my doll Mara and my pink blankie.

It’s been a while.

So that being said, I might have overpacked. But this is what I did and after the trip I’ll let you know if it was too much or not enough.

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Firstly let me say my new carry-on bag is huge. Massively huge. If things get dire I could probably wear it as a skirt… or maybe a parachute. Sheesh. Anyway…

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I am packing an entire outfit change. Partly because it’s going to be a warm day in Aus when we land and also because I dont trust airlines to be able to get my luggage from point A to point B and want a back-up.

{from left to right}

1} Dress

2} Wool socks {these are in case the plane gets cold}

3} Light hoodie {again, for the plane. I wont travel without this thing}

4} Compact purse {I like to organize things to the hilt and this nice flat job fits into just about any space quite nicely, and holds #5}

5} Sunglasses

6} Bag of assorted food. Nuts, granola bars, dried cherries, and some tea. Why? I get hungry a lot and airplane food is dumb. Just saying.

7} Flip flops {again, in case of lost luggage}

8} EMPTY water bottle with built in carbon filter. To be filled up once I get through security from a water fountain or sink {hence the filter}

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A bag of assorted odds and ends and emergency items. As well as my clutch wallet that contains my passport, identification, cash, currency, and a Visa debit card. My emergency bag contains the following items that I plan on using shortly before we land to hopefully avoid looking as bad as I think I’m probably going to look on arrival. Not holding my breath but I figure I would try. 😉

9} Tic tacs and chewing gum {for the pressure}

10} Lip balm and tinted lip balm

11} Natural sleep aid

12} Mouthwash*

13} Travel sized toothbrush and toothpaste*

14} Hand lotion*

15} Mascara

16} Face and hand wipes

17} Portable phone charger

*= the only carry-on items that will have to be placed in a separate bag for security. I purposely take as few liquids and gels as possible.

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Fun stuff.

18} Sketch book and markers, pens, and colored pencils

19} Journal

20} Gratefulness journal

21} Reading glasses

22} DVD’s {some of my faves: Dickens, Disney, and DC comics ;)} and a thumb drive with a few extra movies  {it’s a 16 hour flight, for goodness sake!}

23} Sonic Screwdriver

24} My adventure buddy: Pascal

25} Ear buds and headphones

26} iPod

27} Instax camera

I wanted to take a book but I cant make a decision so that may or may not get thrown in later.

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There you go… I feel like I could face anything with that stuff.

Oh. Remember what my room looked like before?

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Yeaaaaah. Pretty bad.

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Well this is what it looks like today. Before and after. It’s a beautiful thing. And my floor is vacuumed which is even happier.

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Gracious. You’d think I was moving. But hey… the airline gave me 2 free checked bags and 2 free carry-ons. Why not use them? 😉

Hopefully I’ll be able to blog a bit from Aus… but if not, I shall have lots to tell and show you when I return. 🙂

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Posey, packing, and the best way to fold your shirts.

Hello, my name is Alaina. This colorful disaster is how my room looks when I pack. Yes, every time. I will say this time it seemed a little extra chaotic this time because I happen to be packing for a 3 week adventure in Australia.

Yes. Australia. Down Under type of Australia.

I leave Sunday. I’m a little bit excited.

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Rainy days are for british tea and listening to Les Miserables.

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Oh, you havent met bunny yet. Well this lop-eared fluff ball is called Posey. She joined our crew last Saturday and she is settling in beautifully. Technically, she belongs to mom but we are buds and I’m still going to miss her when I’m gone. She’s a sweetheart.

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She’s still fairly little as you can see… oh and apparently she likes to hang out in my closet.

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Time for a new soundtrack… this time, Tangled. On repeat. And I sang. And danced. And sort of packed. Pascal is very little help with packing, by the way.

So that was my day. To be honest, I enjoyed it. Everything is still a mess but most of my packing is done and I just have odds and ends to finish up before leaving on Sunday.

If you’re interested in absolutely the best way in the entire world to pack shirts… keep reading… if not, then enjoy the rest of your Thursday and…

Stay beautiful,
~Alaina

The Best Way to Fold Shirts :: DIY Wednesday… only it’s Thursday.

{this is how the Army teaches recruits to fold their shirts, by the way. My brother Gabriel taught me =) }

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See how neat it is? And nothing comes unfolded.

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Step 1: Lay the shirt out flat.

Step 2: Fold the hem under 2-3″

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Step 3: Fold in both sides and sleeves.

Step 4: Now fold into thirds.

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Step 4: Roll it up!

Step 5: Tuck the roll into the folded end to secure.

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See? Neat, tidy, and so awesome. I love it for globetrotting, but also for keeping my drawers neat at home. It will save space, keep you organized, and they double as an excellent substitute for snowballs if you need something to throw at someone. 😉

Bahamas Cruise :: Day Three :: The Wide Open Seas

We disembarked from Nassau Sunday morning for our “sea day.” In the morning, Dad bought tickets for us to go on a several hour “behind the scenes” tour of the ship. We got to see the galley and the laundry and the bridge and even meet the captain! It was fascinating and very informative, but unfortunately there were no cameras allowed. 😦 Sad day.

Then in the afternoon we had a memorial service for my grandfather who had passed away the week before. My dad and his siblings all spoke and my mother played the piano and it was really a lovely service. It’s a blessing to be with family.

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Goodbye Nassau, it’s been fun. Stay awesome.

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Goodbye really beautiful water and warm weather.

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It’s windy up on deck.

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The crew make up these towel critters in your room every night and also fold them out of the pool towels on the deck lounge chairs. They are really cute. Bunny and elephant were my favorites.

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My dad and his siblings and my grandmother.

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We’re only missing three… I love my family. Michael, Katelyn, and Gabriel wish you were here!

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My grandmother, “Besta.”

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Okay, I know these are fuzzy and dark and not very good but they are just happy snaps and I love these two crazy kids a lot. Really. We had just gotten through a fun day and a freezing swim complete with racing each other down water slides and shivering in the oceanic wind. They are pretty rad. Jo and Beka, thanks for sticking around.

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I ended this day with singing karaoke for the first time {sorry, no pictures, I was a little busy holding a mic 😉 } and then by sitting out under the stars again and enjoying all the fresh air and wild beauty that was surrounding me. And also by working on my ability to photograph stars without a tripod but that’s a whole different story…

“I have loved the stars to fondly to be fearful of the night.” -Galileo

In all it was a wonderful trip and a grand adventure and I am so grateful for the experience.

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Joy {Favorites Friday}

This is one of the truest statements I have ever read in my life.

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Oh my friend, comparison is a very poor reflection of reality. Dont let it ever steal your joy.

May you be filled with more joy than you can contain. Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Bahamas Cruise :: Day Two :: Nassau, Bahamas

Best. Saturday. Ever. 

No really, it was. We had a fantastic time exploring Nassau, swimming in the ocean, and soaking up the sun. The water was an extraordinary shade of blue, and pretty chilly, but that didnt stop us from having a great time as you can see.

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So much color. Makes my heart happy.

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“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” {Isak Dinesen}

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Hm yes, I think I could contented live as a beach bum for a while.

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I love these kids. They are awesome and I am so glad we travel around and hang out together.

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My adventure pal.

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I ended my day with eating alligator at dinner, then wandering on deck enjoying the stars and the sky and the island lights and my music and the wind rushing off the water.

It was glorious.

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Bahamas Cruise :: Day One :: Miami, FL and the Wide Open Seas

My grandmother took all of our family on a weekend reunion cruise the first weekend of February. It was wonderful and we had a fantastic time getting to see new places and family again.

If you havent ever taken a cruise you should consider it because they are incredible. Everything is taken care of and you dont have to worry about anything. You just sleep when you want, eat when you want, and play the rest of the time. They’re great!

Anyway, here are some shots I took the first day at our hotel in Miami and as we set sail.

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Good morning Miami, thank you for being warm and sunny even though it’s only February.

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Warm enough to wear strappy sandals even. I was a happy girl.

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It must be nice to live somewhere that is warm enough year round to have an outdoor pool you never cover and can actually use. I would miss winter, but the warmth was a nice break.

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Sailing out of the harbor.

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The wind was ferocious as we got out to the open sea… but for a girl raised in Iceland and Oklahoma it wasnt at all daunting. I happily stayed up on deck and let the wind tangle my hair. =)

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I ended my first day of vacation by babysitting my adorable nephew, Travis-man. I miss this little guy and his parents because they live so far away, so I was happy to get to hang out with him a bit.

Day Two coming soon!

Stay tuned and stay beautiful! 😉

~Alaina

Adventure {Favorites Friday}

Well I have been neglecting my blog sorely the past couple months. I am determined to get back to blogging now however and will start off with showing you a bit of graphic design work I did recently.

I am slowly learning to work past my immense dislike for photoshop so that we can have a healthy working relationship. 😉 But still, I find it’s best for me to work on small projects, this particular one was for my new Facebook cover photo.

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I’m happy with how it turned out. What do you think of it?

Oh and speaking of adventure in the great wide somewhere, my next post I’m working on is about my recent cruise to the Bahamas. It was fantastic and I cant wait to share some images with you!

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina