Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Women's Only Rhino Safari in Namibia!

Ladies! Ever been to south africa? Ever wanted to? Let me inform you on some of the adventures in store. There are women-only luxury travel companies out there offering jeep safari, wine tour, sea kayaking, whale watching, animal watching, and everything else you can imagine relating to african travel. Ever imagine yourself as a nature safari guide? Well, it's not THAT far fetched. Ready for a career change? Or maybe just out of curiosity, right when you need them, there are Southern Africa Guide Training Schools there for you. Would you like to know a bit more about basic tracking techniques and wilderness survival strategies? Then the Bush Skills Academy at Phinda Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa may be right up your alley. This 4 day, 3 night adventure, led on foot by a seasoned ranger, will teach you this as well as provide fascinating background on Phinda’s plants and animals. You can specialize in photography, or for those really hard-core gals trying to keep it real, you can learn such practical things as how to set up camp, basic rifle handling, radio procedures and basic 4X4 driving. Who knows what opportunities such training can offer! In Namibia, you can join a Save the Rhino Trust team on an eight day walk (complete with camel train) into the heart of the Namib Desert as the trackers research and monitor the rare desert adapted black rhino. Let's talk about this majestic creature. The black rhino is close in color to the white rhino with a grayish brown color to its skin. Several explanations are given for the origin of the name "black" rhinoceros. Some say it is because it is from the dark colored mud covering its skin after wallowing. Unlike the Northern and Southern white rhinos that have very separate ranges in Africa, the black rhino species boundaries do overlap in some areas. For example the South-western black rhinoceros lives in the desert and dry savannah areas of Namibia and south-western South Africa. This species is a little larger and its horns tend to be straighter than other species. Get to know this ancient, wise, dinosaur-like endangered animal and it's raw beauty, up close and personal. You'll be able to pass on these pictures, memories and stories to your grandkids, who probably will never see this animal. If your time is limited on your africa safari but you would still like to spend time amongst rhinos, you can participate in a rhino darting partnership program in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. Play an important role in conservation by performing assigned tasks once a veterinarian safely anaesthetizes the rhino. When looking for a company offering africa vacations booking, make sure you don't miss out on the opportunity to take a wine tour through the Cape of Good Hope. A good luxury travel service will take you on a journey through the Cape’s historic, breathtaking winelands as you cruise through green, fertile valleys nestled amongst dramatic mountain scapes. You will sample gourmet food in award-winning restaurants and taste wines at some of the finest Cape wine estates. I bet you never imagined that an african safari could include the beauty of raw nature AND visits to wineries, charming villages, monuments and museums! Whether you choose to camp in the winelands area for a few days or opt for a day’s tour from Cape Town, this is a truly astonishing part of the earth, so don't sleep.

Practicle, sassy shoes for the winter season.

If you are a woman like me, you are constantly asking yourself, how can I get just the right mix of city sass and everyday comfort and practicality in my shoes? Well I'm here to tell you all about my two favorite new pairs of shoes. One is a Dansko clogs. Mary jane style, brownish black to match my mascara- what I love about this ambiguous, versitile color is that you can pull it off with black OR brown outfit and it matches both! Talk about a two for one. And they are soooo comfy AND classy that I can wear them at the office, where I have to be on my feet alot, and they are just as comfortable as wearing crocs or merrills, with the added classy touch of leather. We are talking quality footwear. Dansko, the daring danish drop kick of all casual footwear. Where did they come up with this? Well, a unique Danish clog was discovered by husband and wife team, Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup, in a tiny Denmark shop in the late 1980’s. The shoe took them by storm and they secured the exclusive rights to the design in 1991, when Dansko, Inc. was born. Within a few years, word had spread and you can now find many lines of Dansko footwear in retail shops worldwide as well as a multitude of online shoes retailers. Get to the shoe store! Oh, and you should all know by now, I'm gonna talk about boots. did I mention the knee high black walking boots they make?? FIERCE.
Now onto my second favorite new pair women's dress shoes. Cole Haan! I scored these insanely exquisite pair of leopard print flats by Cole Haan, and yes, I'm getting away with it at the office AND on the dance floor. Never heard of them? Cole Haan shoes have a long lasting reputation for quality, craftsmanship, service and style, with long line of products for men and women. In addition to footwear, Cole Haan also manufactures jewelry, handbags, outerwear, belts and hosiery. Currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nike, Inc., Cole Haan products are available globally in the finest retail stores and online distributors. When talking quality and discount shoes, enough can not be said about Cole Haan. Their clogs are also completely sweet. They make stretch mule walking shoes, too, for the more athletic days. And of course there is a great men's line too, if you're looking to do some christmas shopping. When browsing for online shoes, look for style, comfort and quality. Try to find a good source for cheap shoes, with a good selection of casual shoes and cheap boots. I'm telling you, a great pair of clogs are a must have for winter fashion survival. If you don't have a good pair of ugg boots and at least a couple different colors of clogs, you should really invest now before the best stuff gets bought up. The secret is out! And ladies, we should be celebrating- the hottest new shoes are actually comfortable. Furry boots, clogs, flats. Yes! You won't catch me in those old blister giving old fashion heels. That's about as pas-e as smooth jazz. Unless of course it's halloween and I'm dressed up like a witch.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Elegant Home Accents for the Holidays!

So many birthdays in October! My brother turns 22 next wednesday, and he says all he wants is to go out for sushi, but I'm sure what he's really hoping for is some elegant home accents to satisfy his secret love of home interior decorating. The big, beautiful Banana Mannor mansion where he lives could always use some more reproduction antique furniture, but maybe I'll wait for Christmas to drop that one. For now, we've got to get things looking great for the halloween pirate party bonanza. My garden is drying up with the cold weather, so I'm thinking, how am I supposed to create fabulous center pieces for the coctail station and dinner table? Well, I found some low cost silk flowers and a really sweet pumpkin wreath that really captures the essence of autumn. And if I don't have time to bake a pumpkin pie, I'll just bust out some seasonal scents, filling the manor with the scrumptious smell of pumpkin spice potpourri. Careful tho, it's an aphrodesiac! As for the lighting, well, ambience is EVERYTHING, I tell you. Especially when you're dealing with hosting a pirate party in an old historic mansion. With the accordian players wailing away, the fireplace roaring, the spiced rum being passed, the acrobats warming up, the geishas lounging around the hooka, and the exotic animals prowling around the staircase... what's missing? Well, amidst the merriment, the perfect finishing touch in this picture will be the candles. To heck with electricity, let's be authentic to the theme here. Being environmentally conscious AND having a taste for the finer things in life, my favorite kind of candles are soy candles, and clean burning organic candles. I always use glass votives and tall candelabras to prevent fire hazard...halloween parties can get pretty out of control, and tho we intend to raise some ruckus, we don't want the house to burn down literally. The neighbors are already pretty chilly towards us, and we can't afford another strike against the fire marshall!

And with Christmas coming right up, it's time to start considering last minute gift ideas . I'm always looking for something unique for my pops, who collects antiques. They've got ships in a bottle, old wild west relics, retro cuban theater posters, a huge collection of drums from all over the world, and some pretty phenominal persian rugs. Not to mention the furniture! It's like a museum in there. Well, he'll never know the difference- handmade antique reproduction furniture is absolutely the hottest new stuff on the market. I found this totally awesome blanket chest bench,
handcrafted from wood, manufactured in Indonesia of mahogany that has been kiln dried. Score! And don't worry about having to dig through dimly lit antique wearhouses full of termites, because beautiful hand crafted furniture is available on the internet! This piece I found shipped from Cashiers, NC and arrives in 10 days. Can't wait! And while I'm at it, I probably should be thinking of my mom as well...she's alot less materialistic and likes to keep it simple. I usually go for coffee, chocolate and candles for her. Maybe some french milled soap and a set of soy candles would do the trick. Happy Holidays for the whole family here in North Carolina!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How can I creatively commemorate the life of my beloved pet?

Anyone who has ever had a beloved pet pass away knows the pain of such a loss, and sometimes we just don't know what we could possibly do to commemorate that celebrated animal friend we so dearly treasured. A pet's love is unconditional, and if you ask me, that's the best kind of love to have in this world. It's what really makes the world go round.
The way you memorialize your pets life can be as unique and meaningful as the pet you have known and loved his/herself. So, whether you bury or cremate, consider a decorative cremation urn for your pet. Hold the ashes in a ceremonial memorial vessel. Go for something extraordinary. Look in the right places and you will surely find cremation urn distributors producing unique Cremation urns, and be sure that you will find something perfect among the one of a kind works of art, which truly celebrate and honor the qualities of the individual spirit. Unique pet urns can be a reassuring, pleasant way to remember your dog or cat, especially when they are hand crafted with love by artisans who truly put great purpose and meaning into their work. These funeral urns are works of art as well, sitting beautifully and significantly on your mantle or altar. Discount cremation urns can also be tracked down through reliable cremation urn distributors.
And if you chose to bury, perhaps you would be interested in a burial urn for your pet. When my beloved family cat Fala died, I was searching for info on where I can buy urns
and I found a fabulous art urn among a fabulous selection of cat burial urns. But we didn't stop there, we worked with the artisans at a company called Shine On Brightly to make careful selections of the beautiful textiles, colors, and patterns, and even sent in a photo for a customized art quilt to hang above Fala's altar which holds a beautiful glass funeral urn
surrounded by candles, flowers and his favorite cat nip toys. Fala was a fat black and grey tabby cat, with large green eyes and the cutest toothy smile. Some people mislabeled him as surly, but I believe he just had emotional issues, which he struggled with his whole long life. Sometimes he just needed space. We let him go outside alot, where he got his aggression out by catching rodents and birds and leaving them lovingly at our door step as an offering.
When he died at the ripe old age of 17, we had to choose between ceramic, glass, and wooden urns, which were all clearly designed with love by artists who understand my cat's important role in my life and my refusal to forget Fala and move on as if nothing had happened. Finally somebody can support me in my attachment to my deceased feline friend. His artfully glazed and inscribed pet urn bears testament to Fala's happy place in cat heaven, where I'm sure he is happily curled in the everloving lap of the lord and sipping milk, rolling periodically in fields of catnip and frolicking in fields full of mice with all his fuzzy and content kitty friends. It makes me smile just to think. So come on now, make the impermanent permanent with a spectacular pet urn.

What's the Buzz about Call For Creativity?

Today at the coffee shop, while researching DIY publishing for my poetry, I discovered this rockin new website called Call for Creativity. This growing online networking device is one of the best artist resources out there on the web. You can post an article about a creative topic and it will not only appear in the Resources section, but will also be syndicated to various websites. Members create profiles which feature their artwork... this is wayyyy over myspace's head, guys. No obnoxious pop up ads or underweight desperate groupies or creepy stalkers or anything. They don't even try to sell you ipods. What a relief. It's strictly art, by and for artists. For art's sake. I've been looking for a legit artist social network lately, as its easy to get to feeling weighed down and drowned out in this sterile high tech fast moving cold hard capitalist society when you are a free spirited, sensitive butterfly like me. Browsing the artist directory at C4C, I don't feel quite so alone! You can find out a lot about these people in their special interest section of the extensive, descriptive, highly personalized profile. There's crazy artists like me, magical bartenders with secret side lives as knife makers and leathersmiths out there finding ways to fuse creativity with technology?! That's what I call evolution.
If you are looking to do some collaboration, or maybe you just need an answer to a creative inquiry, then, my friend, you can post a Call for Creativity and one someone from the network will respond to your call. And you want to holler at somebody in particular more casually, you can set up a conference call in that section. The support staff is always there to help make things happen! This is seriously THE underground spot for college social networking.
Not your average creative arts club! You will find plenty of fringe, so if you're feeling like the lone weirdo or underappreciated campus creative genius, get on the computer and start browsing the creative directory at C4C. Bikers, silversmiths, herbalists, bakers, fire dancers, collage artists, painters, jewelry makers, graffiti writes, human statues, sculptors, trapeze artists, poets, writers, lone trombonists, unite!
C4C can help connect you, the artist, to a gallery where you can display your work and increase your art sales. The networking potential is endless, kind of like a fractal. There is a great page of links to other interactive art organizations
and you always have a fair shot at being featured as a featured artist at C4C or getting your work on the website if you respond to the frequent artist call for entries. Call for Creativity is great for college students and outcasts alike. I've lived on the outside of institutionalized education more or less and had a pretty dang vibrant creative life anyways, but I never rule anything out. If I were an art student in college, I would be hitting up Call for Creativity's creative directory as a resource for all of my projects. And probably making alot of super hip friends and business connects in the process.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Leaf Season in Asheville!!! Bask in the spectacle.

Our leaf season is the most beautiful thing on the east coast. No joke. I've missed out on it 2 years in a row, and this year I'm sticking around for the spectacle. The most brilliant reds, yellows, oranges exploding in splashes of color, contrasting against the clear bright blue sky... hiking through the woods in the Blue Ridge Parkway is sure to amaze you. You will be stunned, impressed, and seduced by mother nature's colorful explosions in the mountains around Asheville, North Carolina.
Vacations are certainly not only for summer time! There is nothing like a weekend get-away,
and October is the perfect time for a mountain vacation.
Trust me... it's truly a splendor. I was impressed with the leaf season in Vermont, but it didn't compare with the majesty of ours. Witness the supreme majesty of the WNC mountains in October! And check out the LEAF festival while you're here. It's a swingin good time for the whole family. We have all kinds of Bed and Breakfast or Vacation Rentals to meet your style so start doing some research now. Places might get booked up as the word spreads that we have the most bangin boombasticly beautiful leaf seasons on earth. Anyone looking for great place to stay in Asheville would find plenty of cottages, rentals, and cabins in the woods if they are going for the nature immersion, and bed and breakfast options for the urbanites. Properties range from cottages with long-range views, to a bed and breakfast in walking distance to downtown.
Brilliant maple trees riot with red orange, and glowing yellow. Dogwood berries blossom bright red. Beautiful poplars, oaks, cedars and ferns line the paths and arc overhead, you will be amazed by our famous bright scarlet sumack. Joepye weed grows about 10 feet tall with purple heads that crane up to the heavens. You'll be naming your next kid after a tree, guaranteed.
Got your hiking shoes on yet? Really, don't miss out. Pack a picnic of fresh berries, vegetarian sandwiches with locally grown organic greens, olives, and of course some fine wine or locally brewed beer. Strap on a banjo or a baby acoustic and hike up to a perfect spot underneath a beautiful tree. Smoke one, strum some tunes to your honey, snack on wild growing chickweed, and relax in the sunshine filtering through the leaves, the glorious leaves. Can you hear the bluegrass in the background? Can you smell the crisp mountain air? Can you hear the crunch of leaves under your boots? Good vibes all around in the autumn of Asheville, NC. So seriously, folks, come on down for some swingin, gospel singin, sweet tea drinkin, banjo strummin, bootleg moonshine sippin, good old fashioned southern sight seeing. Need some inspiration? A Vacation? My advice for you? Take an hike!!

Get The Fall Fashion Before You Get Flashed On

Boots with the fur.... everybody in da club was lookin at her.... T-pain said it best. Them fur boots are hotter than ever these days and if you don't already have some, its time to strut on down to the shoe store and cop a pair. Or two... And don't even think about packing away your favorite cute summer dress, chile, cause you gonna shut it down like this: rock a pair of tights and some ugg boots with that dress and throw on a couple layers on top and you're set. They go especially well with denim and khaki diggs. Avoid the hype, lines, high prices and devil worshipping goths at the mall - hit up a discount shoe, boot, and sandal store for women, men, children cause discount is the way to go. Why pay more?? These are brand names we're talking. Ugg, Dansko, Cole Haan, Merrell. Get them cheap now. I pretty much live in my Merrells. They work as slippers, hiking shoes, good for loafing, cruising around town, climbing trees, and dang, everythang! They look cute with yoga pants, jeans.... but when I rock a skirt I go for the fur boots or my timbs. Shoes. You gotta have them. I like to keep it simple, and with my back problems I can't wear alot of high heels. Anyway you never know when you're gonna need to bust a move and run, son ! Or break dance, or scale a fence... that's why I like practical, comfy shoes that don't mess us my posture or get in the way of my active lifestyle. Try walking into a yoga studio with heels.. you will get some funny looks. My footwear reflects my lifestyle of hustle and bustle. I'm ready for action in a good pair of boots. I like to check out the latest trends on the internet. Online shoes ! That way you get the hottest styles before everyone else even knows they are on the shelf. Quality footwear is important in this day and age! I just can't go loafing around in flip flops all year round (altho when I lived in the Carribean, I could...) One of the only things I like about cold weather is that you get to wear more layers, get more creative, accesorize. I might be a hardcore hustler but I'm still a girl. Not THAT girly tho, I mean my closet isn't full of every color of the rainbow. I lean toward brown, black and khaki casual shoes, and if I can't walk 10 blocks in them without whining, I probably don't own them. Okay fine.. I have a couple pairs of heels. But I don't really need them, I'm already tall! So gimme those Merrells and I'll make it through the day, shoot, I'll make it through the winter. Oh and Uggs at the club, no bad attitudes please. Instead of being jealous go on and get your own.. just better not be the same color.