Friday, January 21, 2011

Burning Man tickets

Guess who bought their Burning Man tickets yesterday?

{BM 2007}

We did!

Now to work out all those other details....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

L&P and the bottle makes 3 tonight....

What should we call it? The Comfy Kiwi? Maybe not...

Mike's brother-in-law has this bottle of Southern Comfort that he has had since his 21st birthday...

Lets just say this bottle should have been consumed a long time ago. Well, he keeps trying to make us drink it so that it will go away, and we finally we gave in.

This magical, sugary beverage is the birthday boy Southern Comfort mixed with L&P....

By the way, L&P stands for Lemon and Paeroa. It's a kiwi soda drink that is just so sugary... Then again I don't normally drink soda so I don't really care for any sodas, but this combo was really yummy on this hot evening.

Especially with the star ice cubes in it :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Music Monday!

Totally cool. 

You know you've written a great song when it sounds awesome in Mario Brothers sounds...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A garden miracle

Remember when the storm killed my dahlia?

The other day I kicked Marmite out of the house, and in protest he sat right in the pot where the destroyed dahlia had once lived (I hadn't done anything with the it yet).

{What are you doing Marmite?}

It couldn't have been very comfortable because there are seashells and things covering the dirt. He fidgeted quite a bit, but wanted to curl up in a little ball.

{Marmite hatching an egg}

He looked like a little chicken on a nest.

Or a strange kind of hybrid plant.

Then, a few days later I was just outside looking at my garden when I noticed a miracle!

Ok, so it's not like magic or anything, but it is more fun to think that Marmite sat on the pot like it was alittle nest and out came a little baby dahlia.

{The dahlia wasn't destroyed by the storm after all}

Isn't it cute?

Risen from the ashes of the old dahlia. Probably stronger and wiser this time...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Music Page (click on tab under header)

I just thought I'd draw some attention to my music page, which you can go to by clicking the Music tab under the Mermaid Tracks heading.

Currently the page tells a story; but eventually it will be more of a central area to be informed about my music. 

 It will soon be in need of an update.... So, check on it every so often.  

Here is the page as it stands today:

Music is the glue that keeps my head from falling off. Does this make sense? I have no idea, but I do know that if I did not have music I would probably go crazy. I'm sure a doctor somewhere is able to prove this...

I taught myself how to play piano and sing at a young age, but never really got serious about it until my early teens.

I attempted some piano lessons a few times, but always get side tracked by my own way of doing things. Some people are envious that I am not limited by the structure of music lessons, but I also envy them for their ability to use their structure as a guideline.

I actually had a bit of a following through high school and into my early 20s. There was even a mural of me painted on the wall in the music department in high school and I was starting to sign autographs and get other aspiring artists stalking me after shows. Although, I was still only playing other people's music. I struggled to find my own voice for a long time but knew it was there.

I soon decided that it was important for me to shift my main focus onto finishing my degree, and so my music took a back seat. I do not regret this decision because music has always been more personal than a desire for fame.

The dry spell began... Suddenly I was making everything more important than music, even though in my heart it was still my passion. I still managed to play and continued working on my own songs, but I barely played for others. I even managed to record a few songs and hand out a few demos, but my confidence in my own work was lacking and I never fully embraced it.

Then one day a girl I know approached me at work saying she had heard my music at a party and everyone there loved it. She looked me dead in the eye and desperately said "I need more."

Since this moment I have found my voice as a musician and have since been writing songs like the mad woman I am. I have no problem playing shows without a single cover song, but I still love to do them. It's a habit I just can't quit! After all, they are what have shaped me into the musician I am today.

I still have a hard time getting out there and playing for others. I feel limited by my lack of music theory and know that the next step for me is to embrace the music lessons. I have been talking about releasing an album for the last few years, and this is still something I know I will do when the songs are ready.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

My top 10 of 2010. Plus one for good luck in 2011

Yes, I know they are not the top 10 photos of my children, but as the sister to the Paper Mama, I reserve the right to override her rules and make up my own....

So for me, this is just my top 10 of the year :)

Plus one for good luck in 2011, and also because I couldn't decide! 

My favorite animal friends photo

{Just call me the human animal bed}

 I love this photo.

It started with just me and a couch.

I was sleepy so I laid down for a quick nap.

Within seconds I had every animal in the house laying on me.

It was pretty hilarious to see them all suddenly spring into action trying to get the best spot next to the human. Everyone of them is a bit jealous of any attention, so they were fighting over my love.

Farley (the curly white dog by my head), was like trying to get as close to my face as possible.

You can see that Pepper (Jack Russel) is still trying to figure out how to lay where Inky (the all black cat) is.

Cleo (white and black cat) has recently passed away, but you can see that she is a wise old girl and knew that being close to love is better than fighting over love. 

My Favorite human friends photo 

{From left to right - Humans: Nedra, Shannon, and Nicole- Animals: Sydney and Tucker}

We have all been best friends since 6th grade, and because of going off to college and living in other countries; this was the first time that we were all in the same place at the same time for any great length of time. It was so nice to be able to hang out with both of them when I was back home this year.

The dogs are kinda cute too.

 Don't forget to visit Shannon's blog. Share the love.

 Favorite photo of Mike

{Mike and my beer}
 This is probably my favorite photo of Mike, but that's hard to choose.

My favorite self portrait

{Nicole and the dahlias}

I was actually trying to take a photo of my tattoo, and it just turned out kinda cool. Kinda like an album cover photo... Like "I'll just look over here for some unknown reason, but you know I'm having really deep thoughts"... That's how I see it at least. 

My favorite wedding hunt photo

{There's a giant at the door!}

Mike and I spent a lot of time hunting for a place to get married when I was in Oregon. This particular place was super cool, but was like a 9 hour drive from Portland, which is not ideal for people flying in from New Zealand.

This is the way my humor works... I thought we could have the ceremony in this little building.... It would be so funny!

If you are curious to know, this place is called the Noonan House in Jacksonville Oregon. There's more to it than just this building...

My Favorite Family moment photos

{Chelsey and Ruari}
In this moment we were all having lunch in Portland with Mike's family from New Zealand. To me this photo captures a moment for our families meeting, but also that moment where my little baby niece is giving me the "I love my auntie" look and my sister is giving me the "I'm so glad you are in here" look.

We had a very close call with my sister this year, and I am thankful to have her in my life. I was lucky enough to spend most of my trip back home helping her around the house and baby sitting my little Ruari.

 My favorite "memories" photo

{Vegas baby}
I had the most awesome time in Vegas this year, and this photo reminds me of that! I am sitting at a Mario Batali restaurant in my hotel, in my sister's awesome dress that she lent me, and drinking a martini. I love martinis.

The thing about Vegas is that you can have almost any experience there that you want. It will cost you, but you can have the family vacation, the trashy vacation, the drifter vacation, the drunk in the casino vacation. I am a Vegas advocate! I would get married there if my Grandma wouldn't kill me :)

I love you Grammy!

This photo reminds me of the totally awesome time we had! I've been to Vegas 3 times, and this one was by far the best trip!

And by the way, I went to two Mario Batali restaurants, and the little one upstairs was my favorite. This one was good, but the food in the other one was stunning!

My favorite "reality" photo

{Good morning}

I suppose I like this photo because it shows the reality of a night out in Vegas... Yes, another Vegas photo. I'm telling you, it was such a great time! This is me with no make up on, reluctantly up at like 10 am, right before the free continental breakfast closes, and soaking up the morning desert sun.

Ah... Vegas... I love you...

My favorite accident photo that appears to be of me but is not.

{Portland Nicole, and some guy in the back distracting from me}
 If you are familiar with Portland: this photo was taken outside of Powells downtown. I just bought Coraline (which I read in Vegas in a jacuzzi), and Mike's family was visiting from New Zealand. They were all waiting outside for me to pay.

When I got outside Mike said he wanted to take a photo of me... Which he did... This photo.... I thought "aw, that is sweet, what a nice boyfriend." Then I found out he was taking a photo of the guy with the mullet behind me.... Boys....

Still, its one of my favorite photos of me. And really reminds me of Portland.

 My favorite photo not taken by me

{Look! Chelsey's gonna have a puppy}

 My Uncle Jeff took this photo. It is creepy I know, but it is so cool! It's my sister and her chihuahua Angus. He likes to hide in your shirt. Makes him feel secure or something... Silly puppy.

 My favorite "moment" photo

{Happy Birthday to me}

So, this is the day that Mike proposed to me, which also happened to be my birthday last year. My man is a really great and experienced four wheel driver, and I had been on numerous four wheel drive adventures with him, but never a quad bike, which was also part of his job. So for my birthday he wanted to share with me something about him I had never seen.

This photo is only one small but amazing moment in a collage of amazing events to continue through the whole day. Ending with me and Mike being engaged.

That little town below is where I have lived for the last 5 years. I kinda miss it. What a beautiful place.

PS... In case you couldn't tell: that is me in the photo.

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The Paper Mama