Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Hats Off to My Contribution!"


Ok, corny title, I know, but it fits. A while back I started a profile on tripadvisor.com after months and months of lurking. Since then I've posted about 2 reviews of places I have been (you can read them, and be my "travel buddy" here). Well, after doing that I got an email from TripAdvisor telling me that they're sending me a free hat for my contributions. Strange. Good marketing, I guess, but now I have just another thing that I don't really need. I'm not complaining though...you never know when you'll want a random ball cap that won't break your heart if you lost it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse:






(Taken from our balcony, 20 February 2008 with a basic digital Canon Powershot camera).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

PinkBird's Picture: Costa Rica



As someone who had only seen monkeys at the zoo, seeing them up close and personal was unforgettable. After a rain forest hike through the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio near Quepos, Costa Rica, we were ecstatic to find relief from the jungle's heat and humidity. As the trail widened, the dim tangle of large tropical vines and trees opened to a vast beach. We rushed through the soft sand, threw down our daypacks, tore off our hiking clothes, and dove into the crystal waters of the Pacific Ocean. A perfect moment....after a relaxing dip, some splashing, playing, and floating, we headed ashore to lie on the beach. Walking toward our packs, we spied a group of White-throated Capuchin monkeys in the trees where the rain forest met the beach. We quietly approached the monkeys and observed them as they climbed about in the trees. This one was peeking right back at us!

(For another PinkBird's Picture from Costa Rica, click here).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

PinkBird's Frappr Map--

Why not join our frappr map? (It's a map showing all of PinkBird's Feathered Friends) I started this 'cause I thought it'd be neat-o to see where all PinkBird's friends and customers live. To add yourself, click here. (A side note: it's been awhile since I've looked at/thought about/updated this map...)

Here's a lil peak at the map:


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tag!

I finally got a "Tag Cloud!" I found the code here, and did a little tweaking of my own, but I'm so happy! I've been wanting to have the most popular tags (read: labels I use frequently) in the sidebar for while now, and Blogger has no code for it. So, woohoo! Thanks to the Compender for the code! Now you can click the most popular tags and read all my blog entries with that tag. The size of the label's font also lets you know its importance. Of course, the tags/labels listed are not all the labels I've used, just ones with 6 or more uses. Woohoo!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

PinkBird's Picture: Love, Philadelphia, PA



This is my version of a Valentine's Day post....ever since we've moved to the East Coast, we've fallen in love with Philadelphia! (It's only a few hours drive from where we currently live). So, here we are in Love Park/JFK Plaza.

I wish you love, and peace, and happy travels. You are Light. You are Love.

Monday, February 11, 2008

PinkBird's Travel Pointers (Volume III):


After recently earning a free night at a hotel, I thought it was time for another edition of PinkBird's Pointers...so, here are some more travel tips:

1. Join hotel and airline rewards programs. This may seem obvious or even silly (especially if you're thinking, "I never stay at ____ Hotel") but...a few stays here and there can earn you rewards. For example, last summer we spent a few nights at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore's Inner Harbor (it's not a bad hotel, especially if you stay on the Regency Floor). Then, recently we spent one night there over a weekend. A few days later we got an email telling us we'd earned a free stay. We didn't even know we were working toward a free night, and now we have one to use at any Hyatt, and depending on where we stay, that will be a savings of up to a few hundred bucks!

2. Can I get this at home? If you experience an awesome snack, an wonderful bottle of wine, a lovely beverage, or beer, take a picture of the label so you’ll know exactly which one you had. (You can also keep the cap, label or package, but this can get messy and lost). Who knows? Maybe you can find it when you’re back at home.

3. It's no secret, I'm crafty, and I love to make things. So, when I'm traveling I live to look for thrift stores (in England and parts of Europe called Charity Shops), craft stores, bead shops, and the like to buy unique beads or charms that I can then make into one of a kind memory jewelry when I return home. I'm also quite lucky that I generally travel with people who are either crafty or patient and will wander around and not complain while I'm comparing beads and chatting with shop owners.

4. When traveling, I often like to bring a shawl-size scarf to function as a sweater substitute, scarf, head wrap, or even a blanket on a train. I bought a lovely scarf in Morocco last year and wore it quite a bit while walking around cities near the sea. I looked good and liked the fact that I was wearing something "local." The scarf also gave me several different looks as well as layers for cooler weather. (Tip 4.5: Layers! pack items you that are versatile and that can be added or subtracted in layers for warmth and comfort!)

5. Pack with color coordination in mind. This means, if you’re a “match your shoes to your purse to your belt” person, pick one color, like black or brown, and go with it. This way you’re not packing a belt, shoes, or handbag in every color. Also, you'll want to be comfortable, so if those cute red ballet flats are a bit snug, why not leave them at home.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Potential

Well, I'm already into the 3rd week of my beginning Drawing class...I was really nervous the first week (and still am). The second class we did line drawings, and drawings of boxes, and drawings of each other. It's not exactly easy for me, especially as I look around at all the other people in my class (who, oddly enough are all guys!) I can see that they have had some form of drawing class before. But, why compare myself to them? So what if I've never drawn before? I've got nothing to prove. Having no drawing experience opens me up to learning more and not being tied to what I've "always done" or what another teacher liked.

Having said all of that, here are a few of the better drawings I completed for homework. The guidelines where that they had to be line drawings (of the specific items the teacher wanted us to draw), the lines had to be dark, slow, and smooth, and you could not erase. The last drawing, of my shoe, was difficult, I just couldn't get the laces to look right in earlier versions. So, I took them out and drew it again without the laces. They are not masterpieces, but I believe I have potential:






Saturday, February 09, 2008

Passive Aggressive Notes

My latest guilty pleasure:
I've only recently discovered this site, Passive Aggressive Notes, (www.passiveaggressivenotes.com) and have since spent far too long perusing the notes and laughing myself into a tizzy. The site bills itself as "painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings from shared spaces the world over." It may help you realize just how petty some of our/your issues may really be. Seriously, it's amazing what people will write (rather than say) to other people. And, I know that my college roommates and I could have been the stars of a site like this back in the day!

(And, if you like those Passive-Aggressive little letters, you may like Found).

Sunday, February 03, 2008

stuff.

I read an article recently, which only reinforced some of the feelings I already had about "stuff" and consumerism (which is both hard to deal with and at times contradictory to owning a web-store, I know). Some days I feel like my closet is over flowing, or that I end up buying things that come with entirely too much packaging and well...it's all just stuff. So much of which I do not need or even want. Part of some new "goals" for myself involve acquiring less stuff.

I think a lot of people are familiar with strange loss of energy or just the drainage that can come from being in a place (a cubicle, apartment, car, office, etc.) that is really cluttered. Though sometimes clutter and "stuff" can be hard to avoid I really believe it can drain your energy and some how gives off "negative vibes." And, having moved around a lot and around the world I end up living in places that were bigger or smaller than my previous residence so, every time I move I end up feeling like I own too many things or not. Anyway...

A few years back I began asking myself a few very important questions before buying anything (aside from food, really). These questions went something like, "how will my life improve if I buy this?" "How will other's lives improve if I buy/own this?" "Can buying/owning this change my life/other's lives and how?" Asking questions like this can really cut down on the amount of stuff you own (or that owns you), it helps you save money, and helps you decide/realize what it really important to you. Anyway, you can read the article yourself HERE.

If you're really interested in the costs behind things we buy/use everyday, this book, Stuff: The Secret Lives of Ordinary Things is also really insightful.

So, with all of that said, I'm off to rummage through and donate some of my not-often-used things that I no longer need. (I've found that preschools, especially private, non-profit ones can usually use some of the random supplies I no longer need/use).

Travel light,
Bekki

Saturday, February 02, 2008

in other news:

Happy Groundhog's day....

For me, today was full of unexpected things...I saw my favorite art teacher at Trader Joe's, then later, while getting my haircut (it's now a shoulder length bob of sorts) my stylist cut herself....while trimming my hair she snipped her finger...that's never happened to me (to my knowledge) while getting my haircut. I supposed I could go on all philosophical about these events, but instead I'll tell you that the Groundhog saw his shadow today. Too bad I already have Spring Fever.

Friday, February 01, 2008

she's crafty:


Not sure how old I am here...
and I'm not sure that I remember this exactly
...
but doing crafty projects in the backyard always meant fun times!