A new life for me – Crystal Palace

I moved to Crystal Palace last year and in many ways, started over. I’m across the street from the incredibly lovely Dinosaur Park. Pepper, C and I spend quite a bit of time walking around in the woods.

It’s leafy and calm. In London but not IN LONDON. Feels like home now.

Listen to this Memory Palace episode about the dinos.

Of course, there is a piece of me that will always miss my Nashville life but it seems really far away from me now.

Distance does that I suppose.

I’m really happy and settled here. It’s beautiful and full of little natural gems. I feel lucky to have such a pretty little oasis literally a stone’s throw from my flat. Here are some bits. x

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Piel Island

Not far from the coast of Barrow-In-Furness lies a curious little island with an rich and interesting history. Earliest records stretch back to the 12th century when King Stephen placed the island under the care of Savignac Monks and the Cistercian order. It was here that for centuries grain, wool, wine and other precious commodities were stored (and smuggled).

What remains of the castle and it’s surrounding fortifications today is mostly a mass of crumbling stone and a pub called ‘The Ship Inn’. This pub has taken care of those that pass through with lunch and a pint of local ale for centuries. Traditionally whomever runs the pub is crowned ‘King of Piel Island’ and the tradition continues to this day. Apparently there is a ceremony that involves you sitting in a 300 year old wooden throne and having beer poured all over you.

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My idea of heaven.

Last July when we visited Cumbria we took a tiny little boat across waters peppered with jellies to explore Piel island and a few pints.

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We made a friend on the ferry over. 😉

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And even more friends once we got there!

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I love a good sheepie cuddle. ❤

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Our tour guide Mr. Chicken was ace.

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A few little jellies…

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That’s it! Piel Island done! x

Coniston Old Man

Oh crap….I’m almost a full year behind on posting. 😦

I have no idea how that happened.

I’m so bad.

I keep doing this to you! All 7 of you who come here. LOL.

Lake District. Summer holiday.

After an initial taster walk around the Lakes, S and I decided to take a crack at the Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag walk. Coniston Old Man is a gorgeous mountain (12 largest in England) which stands 2,634 feet above Cumbria and boasts some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever been lucky enough to witness.

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Swirling layers of fluffy clouds slicing through the horizon. Bright rolling hills carpeted with greenery and napping sheep. SHEEEEEEEEP.

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Ancient boulders jutting from the Earth like sleeping giants in some fantasy novel.

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The surprise discovery of tiny sparkling lakes as blue as anything, shimmering in the sunlight like a bag of sapphires.

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Making lots of new friends.

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Pretty romantic stuff.

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But holy hell, you’ve got to work for it. It’s a proper 5-hour climb with some bouldering and nausea-inducing do-not-look-down-for-the-love-of-God moments (granted that’s coming from a complete mountaineering novice who spent much of last summer drinking craft ale and lazing about. See below the out-of-shape beer goddess in her natural habitat.)

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S was ahead of me most of the climb as I heaved and puffed and swore until my body warmed up and I got into the rhythm of the ascent. Once my lungs caught up and my booty kicked in it was excellent.

It was windy and warm and lovely and challenging. Totally surreal to be up with the clouds. To have climbed your way up to something that high. For me anyway. I’m new!

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We did it in just over 5 hours and we were pretty knackered by the time we got back to the car, but it was really amazing.

Next up… Piel Island!

Summer in the Lake District – Walla Crag, Keswick

When the need for surroundings involving less concrete and more sheep became all-consuming this past July, we took some time off and drove up to Cumbria.

10 glorious days were had. 10 spectacularly restorative days without buses rammed solid with summer tourists. Quiet mornings free from angry elbows digging into my ribcage as I try to squeeze on the 8:00am train into London. Tranquil afternoons. Peaceful evenings. Just clean mountain air, craft beer, and lots of green and blue.

I’ve mixed in a bit of black & white for fun. 

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Take me back please. x

Belgium! Discovering Ghent, Bruges and Brussels…Part one.

Ahhhhhh Belgium! So many reasons to visit this beautiful country.

Picturesque cottages. Quirky Cobblestone streets. Beer. (REALLY AMAZING BEER) Art. Chocolate. (REALLY AMAZING CHOCOLATE) Swans. Misty canals. Moules Frites. Medieval churches. Waterzooi. More beer. More beer. More beer.

I chose Belgium for OPERATION: DECOMPRESS VIA ALL OF THE BEER.

The old Monastery conversion we stayed at in Ghent was absolutely stunning!

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And the historic town centre itself is incredible.

Sint-Michielskerk glowing at night…

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Graffiti tunnel…

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Had a beautiful dinner at De Graslei where I ordered the very traditional Flanders dish “Waterzooi”

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It was SO YUMMY.

All the walking around in the freezing rain made us VERY thirsty. So we spent a lovely evening sampling (pouring beers directly into our faces) a few of the 250 beers on offer at Pub ‘de Dulle Griet

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If you want to drink the gigantic “Max” beer, you must hand over one of your shoes. It goes in the basket, the bell is rung, your shoe is lifted high to the ceiling and here comes your beer!

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And then you drink the rest of the beers…

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ALL THE BEER! Up next…The Design Museum Exhibit Lightopia and WAFFLES!

A Very Autumnal Pug Meet!

I realise it’s Christmas and these photos are from November, but I’ve been a very busy lady per usual so sorryabouthat!

Anyway, PUGS! Enjoy the snarfly, wrinkly, flarpy puggleses and a few Frenchies!

This one is mine.

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My magical Mrs. Tumness.

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Queen of the Flarp. Princess of all of the peppermints. The wuggle wugwuggs.

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That’s her with her Grampa bear.

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And here’s me cheating on her with another wuggs.

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ACK! That face! Love it.

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Annnnnndddd another one!

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Just letting it all hang out. 😛

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And those are mine too! Sir Noodles (self proclaimed King of Pugs) and my other half, Mr. Gimmeyummy!

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Pretty darn magical!

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Happy Christmas!!! xxx

My Brother Arrives!

Hooray for visitors! My big brother recently flew from Nashville to London to visit me (first time travelling outside of the US mind you). This consisted of us basically dragging him around to anything and everything historically notable we could cram into his short stay! We made sure to keep him calm in the face of public transport by plying him with lots of craft beer! Please forgive the combination of bad iphone photos and proper photographs! 😉

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Climbing at Trafalgar Square…

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Imperial War Museum!

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British Museum!

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Boat taxi home on the Thames…

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The obligatory phone booth shot!

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The Emirates Air Line!

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Deep thoughts on the Thames with Dan…

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Off to the Tower of London!

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A little afternoon stroll…

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I already miss ya bro! Come back soon! xx
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Another Glorious Green Park Pug Meet + Being A Tourist…

Prepare yourself for a big dose of HAPPY.

Because PUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGSSSSSS!!!!

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NOODLES is convinced that he is their leader…

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I even brought some friends this time to share in my crazy.

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Who’s pug is this? DOESN’T MATTER – I just had to HUG him.

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Pepper is such a little tart…

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Then off to Tower Bridge for a stroll along the Thames.

ACK!!! Tourists!

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My dog has been more places than you.

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If you live in London you should check out the poppy installation currently at the Tower.

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/ww1-centenary/poppies-in-the-moat

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We ended with pints and grub at Southwark Tavern…

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Fish and Chips!! Yummmmmm.

It was a brilliant pug & London event-filled day! And then it was bedtime for all! Cheers! x

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A Weekend in Worcester…

It was that time again.

Work. Sleep. Work. Sleep.

We needed a break!

One Friday afternoon a few weeks ago, we piled the family into the car (pups included) and headed North for a couple of days of respite.

Goodbye London, hello Worcester!

Our friends live in a beautiful old Georgian house filled to the brim with antiques nestled quietly between neighbouring farms.

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The view from breakfast…

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A gorgeous hike…

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Happy little babies…

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A bit of rain…

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Which gave me plenty of time to explore this amazing house stuffed to the brim with antique tins, boxes, bottles, prints, signs and general oddities!

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Pepper was not at all pleased when we told her it was time to leave! (Neither we were)

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Thanks Linda & Al!!

xxoo

Beautiful Barton-On-Sea and The New Forest – now with MORE PONIES!

Barton-On-Sea is a very special place. When we can no longer stand the incessant hum of city life, this is our escape. A couple of hours in the car driving south takes you to a magical land where animals roam free. Sparkling waters, crumbling orange coastline and The New Forest nearby. Cows, pigs, ponies, donkeys…all just knocking around your neighbourhood as tame as a house cat.
We recently escaped to the sea for a few days of peace and sunshine.

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Car Surprise!

My Dad has always been obsessed with cars. The curves, the sparkle. The speed. The smell of expensive leather. It’s a thing apparently.

Hey Dad! I hope you enjoy this car-themed birthday blog post just for you!! x

Noodles starts us off right with a bit of window surfing on the drive to the park…

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He gets really zen in the wind…

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Pepper spent the entire time being adorable.

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And then the sun turned to storm clouds…

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Super surprise old car festival meet up thing was going on!

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This used to be a VW bus right?

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This is a tow truck and I know that because I can read.

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This is Elvis’ car and I know this because his name is all over it.

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This is Dick Tracy’s car.

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xx

Four Countries in Four Days – Part Two.

Where did we leave off? Breakfast in England. Quick afternoon flight to Italy. Seaside dinner in Piran. Cheeky drinks in Croatia. This clearly is a great way to start a holiday.
As our eventful first night was nearing a close, I suppose we were well within our rights to pass out when we got to Uros’ flat in Ljubljana, but noooooo. HOLIDAY!!

We freshened up and high-tailed it to Zlata Ladjica – The Golden Ship, to drink more beers and meet more friends.

This is where I fell in love with Bevog Tak:

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One of the most beautiful beers I’ve ever had. And the artwork is amazing as well.

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I’m not sure how easy is is to get your hands on Bevog, but if you see it in your local specialty beer shop, snatch it up. It’s excellent.

http://www.bevog.at/#beers

Here is a very blurry and VERY MERRY snap of us after a few drinks:

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On the way home I noticed a little vigil in support of Ukraine…heavy times…

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On that note, we grabbed some street food and made our way back the flat for a well-deserved sleep.

I was lucky enough to wake up to beautiful Slovenian donuts filled with peach jam and super thick dark coffee.

Yum. Thank you to Uros’ brother Niko!!!

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We ventured out in the rain to roam around the city…

Dragons!

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Translation: Tits

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The sculptures around Ljubljana are like something out of a Tool video. Which obviously makes me love it all the more.

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Nightmarish pope related Church doors!

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Yes, that is a turd sculpture. Bronze turds with faces. Spectacular.

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We met up with Ajda and her wee little pup Laika (like the dog the Soviets sent to space!)

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We stopped at an adorable coffee shop for a spell…

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The sun came out eventually…

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Dragon in the sun!!!

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We spent the rest of the day in an Irish pub watching Six Nations and took an early night to prepare for the next day’s events.

x

PUGS! London Monthly Pug Meetup @ Green Park!

The first Saturday of every month there is a gathering of pugs and pug owners in Green Park.

Behold! Pugs galore! All shapes and sizes! All magical and super rad.

Princess Peppermint Sparklechops was ready for it.

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I certainly was. I picked up the first stranger pug I saw. MINE! HUGS! GIMME!

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Puuuuuuuuggggggggzzzzzzzz…

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This is the slugger that did me eye in…

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Sir Noodles got some snuggles too…

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Pretty much the best day ever. x

(Staying) Home for the Holidays.

All we wanted for Christmas was to kick our feet up and RELAX.

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And because these are too fantastic not to share-here are a couple of brilliant shots from the company holiday party.
Can you guess the theme?

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We’ve been dog sitting a little muppet of a dog over the holidays as well so there are THREE pups in our pack currently. Lots of walks and lots of fun at Greenwich park.

Meet Cooper. The Fraggle.

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I took my camera along on one of our walks the other day to capture some more of the magic that is my new neighbourhood.
I seriously cannot believe I get to live in such a beautiful place.

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That view NEVER gets old.

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We made a few furry friends along the way.

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x

You can never have too many ponies…

On a hike through New Forest, a few months back when the weather was still bitter and the Spring flowers were desperately trying to push through, I encountered ponies. Velvety, soft and magnificent ponies. Gentle and wild all at the same time.

It was extraordinary and it made me feel very pleased to be alive and grateful for EVERYTHING good in the world.

I also found some super fluffy sheep and some delightful foresty bits.

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Towards the middle of the day, after hiking for a couple of wintry hours, we stopped in Burley for lunch and I saw this in a shop window…

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This immediately reached in and dredged the whole bittersweet flutter pony childhood tale from my memory banks.

And then on the last leg of the hike, I climbed over mounds of prickly bushes and through deep pockets of mud just to say hello without trying to “capture the moment”…

My husband pulled out his iPhone just at the right time and snapped this sweet little blurry shot of me COMPLETELY in my element.

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Life is beautiful. xx

The most spectacular landscape in England, and parking lot ponies…

We decided to cut through Dartmoor National Park and the day was SAVED!!!

SAVED BY SHEEP!!!

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SAVED BY PONIES!!!

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My husband is brilliant at spotting things way before I see them (because of his super sharp astronaut vision) And he was able to see ponies congregating in a carpark off the side of the road in time for us to hang a sharp right and park the car amongst them.

These ponies were the most ultra chilled out group of ponies I have ever met.

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I’d say they were “stoner ponies” if such a thing existed because they were M-E-L-L-O-W

Check out the utter disbelief on my face.

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Followed by complete happiness…

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After more time petting ponies than we had probably spent in the Dartmoor Zoo, I reluctantly got back in the car, blowing air-kisses at my new fluffy friends as we pulled back out onto the main road.

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Thinking I had seen it all, that the day was not only saved but could not get much better, I made another friend by the side of the road!

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Also mega-laidback and happy to be hugged.

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Next up…RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey

Dusk in Looe and a cemetary stroll…

During our weekend getaway to Cornwall, we spent a few hours in the lovely little seaside town of Looe.

We just missed the sunset…

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On our drive back, we spotted a spooky graveyard poking out from behind some dark trees and. I loudly announced “creepy graveyard”, prompting an immediate  U-turn, and drove down a narrow forest path to an eerie-looking church. It was almost nightfall.

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x

The Eden Project Part II…

Here is the second batch of delightful little flowers and plants from my birthday Eden Project visit!

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Weird and amazing little wood carvings and teensy sculptures…

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The SEED…

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Terminator vibes

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I guess he’s into gardening?

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See you later beautiful biomes!!!!

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Coming up next…Ice cold beaches in Looe and a creepy Cornwall graveyard stroll…

Turning 30 and The Eden Project Part I…

My 30th birthday gift was a beautiful surprise road-trip to Cornwall.

Stayed in the most adorable little cottage…

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With Alpacas in the front yard…SQUEEEEEE!

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We spent an entire day trying to absorb all of the exquisite botanical treasures at The Eden Project

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Lots of photos of flowers and teeny tiny plants await.

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Next up: Even more Eden Project treasures…

A Snowy Day in London…

Recently London was blanketed in snow and it seemed like everyone gave up their constant complaining about the weather for a few days and really enjoyed it!

I took the pups out to do some frolicking!

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Pepper’s not so sure about it…

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But she soon got some cuddles and warmed up a bit…

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Noodles happens to love the snow…as well as affection from his favourite park buddy!

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Okay, so that’s officially enough snow for me!
Bring on some Spring!!!

Going Home…

It’s been a year! First stop – CLEVELAND. Seeing my beautiful Aunts. x

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I even got to spend some quality time with the family pets!

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And no trip to CLE is complete without stopping by Cedar Point.

We rodes some epic and terrifying coasters…

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Ate some massive BBQ turkey legs…

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Then we passed out from jet lag exhaustion!

Followed by a quick flight to Nashville!!

I immediately had a bar party and invited everyone to come out and give me a year’s worth of hugs.

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They complied!

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Toasts were made…

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I was so excited to spend time with some of my besties…

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And baby!

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OOooohhh baby!

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There were lots of babies being made whilst I was away…

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Big fat squooshy pretty babies!!!

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Aunt Jamie ❤

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And some of the babies I knew a year ago weren’t babies anymore, but little tiny people…

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Lunch with my LaLa. ❤

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My mom was just as pretty as I remember her being…

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My brother was still a massive fantasy football dweeb…

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Becca and her fantastic fiance Josh took us out to Dinner at Silo 

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Elevated Southern cuisine welcoming me home proved to be JUST what I needed…

Especially deviled eggs three ways…

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Deep fried greenbeans…

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And pork belly…

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We even visited my beloved Bombay Palace

They were all super excited to see me too! HA!

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Actually, we did a lot of eating.

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And of course, we had to work some of it off…

No better place than Edwin Warner Park…

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See ya soon Nashville xx

My Spanish Animal Friends…

I made a few friends in Spain…the furry four legged variety.

And of course, because I am me, I took their photos…

Farm cats…

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Scaredy cats…

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“Jimmy”!!!

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Look at his big fat grumpy head! xxxooo

This dog that looks like yoda…

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My niece-kitties “Six” and “Seven”…

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Snuggle time!

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Super schnozzle close-up…

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And last but not least, my Father-In-Law’s adorable beagle mix “Benny”

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If this goofball doesn’t bring immediate joy into your heart then something is clearly broken inside of your soul.

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Benny shows off his serious dog model good looks…

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x

Barton on Sea

Beaches, flowers, forests full of ponies, frolicking puppies and double rainbows.

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Rainbows and wild ponies in New Forest!!!

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Amazinggggggg!!!!
xx

The dog park

We’ve got a routine with our pup Noodz that is pretty much the highlight of my day.

At 9:30am every morning a BIG group of dog owners and their gorgeous dogs meet at the park down the street from us for an hour or so of full on doggle action.
Sometimes there are only a few dogs, other times it’s closer to 20.
It’s the best antidepressant you could imagine.

Without fail. Rain or shine. Mud or snow.
I get up every morning knowing that there are wagging tales, big bright puppy smiles, and a community of fellow dog lovers waiting for us across the street.

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Playtime!

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Here comes Noodz!

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x

Itty bitty feeties and warm schnozzles.

I already have a lot of pups in my life.

Noddles…

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Tank (the über-snuggly office pup)

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Soooooooper muzzlepowsch moisture droplet closeup

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Chewywampabear

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He loves nap time with Noodz…

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And Introducing the newest member of our little family…

Princess Peppermint Sparklechops “Pepper” MY BABY PUGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!

Merry Christmas to me!!!!

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Thankfully, Noodz ADORES her.

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She’s amazingly smart and sweet and I love her so very very very very much.

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DREAMS DO COME TRUE! PUGDREAMS!

Autumn in Richmond Park (and pups!)

Richmond Park is one of the most magical places in London no matter what time of year you visit, but an October or November trip is extra special.

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After 4 hours of magical hiking through the woods, the pooches (and myself) were absolutely shattered and had a nice snooze on the ride home.

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Happy Autumn-ing! xx

Tiny Holiday in Kirkby Lonsdale

We decided that our souls needed a bit of open sky a few months back and we took a 4 day trip to Kirkby Lonsdale.

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The raddest steps in England.

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English sweets.

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If you ever find yourself in Kirkby Lonsdale, you simply MUST do this:http://www.ingletonwaterfallstrail.co.uk/

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Those are pennies!

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Penny Mushrooms!

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SHEEPS!

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SHEEPS THAT WOULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES LET ME HUG THEM.

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SADFACE.

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If that wasn’t enough magic for one day – then we visited farms!

And I made friends and kissed fuzzy animal faces and my dreams came true.

I don’t remember this guy’s name, but he was ace.

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Hands down the friendliest goat I’ve ever met.

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BAAAABY GOAT!

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Lambies!!

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Snouts!

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He’s got PIGGY EYEBROWS!!!

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(pig sex photobomb totally happening in the background for extra points)

Which is how you end up with BAAAAABY PIGGIES!

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And buns! So many buns…

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Check out all the feet floof!

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BIG bun…

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Baby cows!

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Hugs!

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Horsies…

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I’ve seen dogs with longer legs…

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Owls…

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Alpacas…

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Soooooper goofy donkey friends…

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Chickens…

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The moment you have been waiting for.

The hugging of a sheep done by ME!

He came right up to me and said hello.

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So I said hello back.

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And he was totally into it!

Best tiny Holiday ever! xx

Parental Invasion!

My parents came to see me!!!!!!!

Of course, we had to go to Westminster…

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As well as Westminster Abbey…

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Mom attempts to soak in more than a thousand years of history…

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Trafalgar Square was next…

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It was pouring down rain off and on, but we soldiered through!

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A stormy stroll along the Thames…

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My gorgeous mom taking in the view of the Thames from London Bridge.

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We stopped in Stratford-upon-Avon (the birthplace of William Shakespeare) on the way up North to experience some of the festivities taking place in honour of his birthday.

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Strolling around the Lake District…

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AND FINALLY, SAFARI PARK HAPPY PLACE!!!

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Sleepytime bear…

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MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE GIRAFFE…

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GIRAFFE KIIIIIISSSSSSEEESSSSSS….

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Look at this guy’s FINGERS!!!

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MAKING FRIENDS LIKE I DO.

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Emus?

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They are very very large and aggressive…

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But THIS dude right here is THE BEST!

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THE END XXOO

Chewdles: The Bromance

By now, you should all be very familiar with my fluffy-fox-creature-pup Noodles.

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AKA: Noodz, Schnoodles, Schnoddles, Knob dog, BeeBee, Noodies, and Noodie Noodie.

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We recently had our friend from Nashville visit us, and he took quite the shine to her.

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Now it is time for you to meet his best friend in the whole wide world.

CHEWY

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Meet Chewy. AKA: Chewbacca, Baxter, Baccy and Chewstifer Bagshot/ Chewstifer Baggins, Chop Suey Chewy, Chewy Chow Mein, and Bubba Lou.

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Chewy is my friend Anna’s Lhasa Apso, and Noodles’ best friend for life.
They basically run the park and wear each other out on a regular basis.

It’s all sorts of adorable.

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We recently took them to Battersea park for a super fabulous doggy play date and adult picnic, and they were inseparable.

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They even got in the pond for a swim!

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The rest of the afternoon was pretty much a feast of fluff and dog wrestling.

Enjoy!

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Those may look like vicious snarling teeth, but I assure you, it’s all just puppy play and they always end up in snuggletown.

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TRUE LOVE!!!!!! XXOO

EDINBURGH IN 24 HOURS…

This was a fast one! Camera…go!

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Sidenote for above photo: Okay, I’m being totally honest here. I’ve had a dream with this in it since I was a kid. This exact photograph. Serious as a heart attack. I’d never seen it before I took this photo. Except in my repeat dream. No idea what that means, but there it is.
Freaked me out pretty good.

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I think most of the things in the castle were on loan from London museums. Which, is sort of messed up.

Hey London, Give Scotland back it’s stuff.

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THIS IS THE EDINBURGH SCHOOL OF UNICORNS

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FANCY PANTS TEA TIME FOR ME!!

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The day winds down…

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One more Unicorn for the road…

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x

Scotland O Scotland

I have always wanted to go to Scotland. I’m not exactly sure why.
I probably watched too much Braveheart growing up.

Oh wait, maybe it’s the accent. I LOVE that accent.

Or the sheep.

Or these MASSIVELY ADORABLE HIGHLAND COWS.

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First Stop, St. Andrews!

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Lunch was at Mitchell’s Deli…http://www.mitchellsdeli.co.uk/#

And the food was AMAZING.

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NEXT UP, EDINBURGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Road Trip to Scotland…

The Road to Scotland is paved with SHEEP!

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And gnarly black trees…

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And brooding countryside…

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Moon shaped hills…

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Pink snow showers…

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AND FINALLY, SCOTLAND!!!!!!!!!!!

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NEXT UP…SCOTLAND!!!

Broadgate Farm and Cows…

One of my favourite places to stay in England is the gorgeous little Bed & Breakfast at Broadgate Farms in Bleasdale, Preston, Lancashire.

With the tastiest Full English Breakfast you could dare to dream of and the cutest most well-stocked guest rooms, there is no other lodging choice for us when we visit my husband’s family up North.

The last time we stayed at Broadgate, I was lucky enough to get to explore the working farm and get a bunch of great shots of the property and the adorable little cows they raise.

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And of course, my favorite and the most important part… COWS!!!

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LOOK AT THOSE SQUIDGY LITTLE NOSES!

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And those super long plush eyelashes!!!

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And the HAIRDOS! AMIRIGHT?

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THESE are the bitty babies.

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This guy almost took my ring off…but it was SO WORTH IT.

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xx

Back from Italy Adventure and Noodz in the Snow!

Noodles is about 5 months old now. ❤

He just gets cuter and fuzzier as time goes on!

He LOVES the cardboard insert of toilet paper rolls.

Weirdo.

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He also loves the snow.

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This is “Paddy” the Jack Russell mix, his BFF at the park.

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And “Zeus” the Yellow Lab.

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And this is “Hercules”.

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Those satellite dish ears!

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My little crazy bunny! x

Hampton Court

A few weeks ago, I got to visit Hampton Court.

My eyes were operating on overdrive and my tiny little heart just fluttered away inside my chest as we strolled around the Palace.

Hampton Court is infinitely beautiful.

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It is difficult to comprehend fully that Catherine of Aragon looked out of these very same windows.

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Unaware of the turmoil she faced…

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The sheer scale of Hampton Court…

The soaring ceilings…

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The exquisite frescos, super-saturated with color…

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Ghosts that have left their mark…

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Crystal chandeliers and marble staircases…

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Massive kitchens…

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How can we process all of this beauty?

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Bask in the majesty…

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The tiny details…

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I really should be sauntering around in a mammoth gown right now…dripping in gems…

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Surrounded by so much magic…

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There is this immense feeling that you are being watched…

And I’ve never been happier…

Meet Sir Noodles the Paperanian

In a feeble attempt to curb some of my cute animal hysteria, I’ve acquired the fluffiest little bundle of cuddles this past November.

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Like ANYTHING could curb my addiction to darling little creatures.

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When we got him at 6 weeks old, he was barely bigger than my hand.

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He has grown like a weed!

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He loves to eat my hair…

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And my face…

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Clocking in at 6.5 lbs now, he is almost as big as a small cat.

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But bath time transforms our little bear/fox cub into a drowned rat.

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He is always on the move!

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And even though he is unbelievably adorable, he is a quite the feisty little beast.

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I love my little floof! x

The Lake District and Lemurs

These shots are from one of my trips up to the Lake District.

The weather was unparalleled the day we visited.

The sun was warm, the air was fresh, and there were CUDDLY ANIMALS!

The Lake District is basically my idea of what heaven looks like.

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I know most people hope for sandy beaches and clear blue seas, but I absolutely adore the countryside.

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There is certainly no shortage of Unicorns in England. And THIS is why we are perfect for each other!

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The only thing missing is centaurs and faeries.

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I mean…c’mon, this is some storybook level scenery.

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We’ve even got the magic forest mushrooms!

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I could just sit down in this field and cloud watch for the rest of my natural life.

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OF COURSE, there is a SAFARI PARK in the middle of Cumbria.

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Fuzzy head nubbins steal my heart…

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I manage to get it together long enough to feed a Giraffe, almost requiring CPR.

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THEY HANG OUT IN CUDDLESTACKS!

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Y’all don’t even know…I’m like…going to pass out right now…

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There are Monkeys everywhere!

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And there are signs all over the place about being careful handling the animals and warning people about getting bitten…THIS IS ALL NOISE TO ME!

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You can’t just wave these things around at me! I’m going to steal all of your monkeys!

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~THE END~

London for the First Time.

Man. I had no idea how behind I was with posting photos!
These photos were all taken at the end of June/beginning of July 2011 when I gleefully flew 4,000 miles to London.

It was a whirlwind week of art, food, history, and romance that ended with me flying back to Nashville with an overflowing heart.

There is so much in London. It’s completely overwhelming.

I present to you, my three weeks experiencing it all for the first time…

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Trafalgar Square

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Charing Cross

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Somerset House

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A stroll along the River Thames

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Southwark Cathedral

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Battersea Power Station and Park

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Millennium Bridge & St Paul’s Cathedral

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Quite the view from the top of St. Pauls!

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The amazing Lloyd’s Building (or the “Sonic the Hedgehog” building if you are me)

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The Gherkin

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The Monument to the Great Fire of London 1666

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Art everywhere. ❤

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Lily Cole on a horse outside of St. Pancras…obvs?

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Tate Britain Museum/V&A/British Museum/Museum of Natural History

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I want this chandelier. I must must must have it.

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Is it weird that I even want to hug taxidermy sheep?

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St. Katherine’s Dock

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Photo22

Deathcab in Brixton!

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The Tower of London

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Tower Bridge, NOT “London Bridge”

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The Shard (in progress)

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Buckingham Palace

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Westminster Abbey

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The Palace of Westminster (“Big Ben” is actually the name of the BELL inside the clock tower, not the clock)

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Stonehenge !!!!!!!!!!!! (1.5 hours outside of London)

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And SHEEP!

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Photo8

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You should go to London.  Just go.

Richmond Park

Soooo… there is this park in London with lots of deer and they just run around and hang out and generally aren’t bothered by your presence.

I went there.

This is what I saw.

Enjoy!

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Big blue sky.

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And my big smile. Twas a happy day.

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xx

Wabbits…

The thing is…I have a really really overwhelming desire to hug animals.

I went to Vauxhall City Farm today and spent several HOURS squeeing about animals.

There was so much squeeing.

Meet Misty. She is very tolerant.

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Misty made my I simply must hug a bunny today or I will die dreams come true.

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Yes, just like this three year old.

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But dude, seriously. CHECK OUT THOSE FEET!

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If Misty didn’t hop around in her own poop all day I would want to put it in my mouth.

So, I settled for kissing her (notice her bun-riffic disapproval).

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LOOK AT ITS FACE! GAHHHHHH! KATIE ARE YOU SEEING THIS!? IS YOUR HEART EXPLODING?

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And then Misty started giving me the side-eye and we knew that her tolerance bucket was full and we kindly returned her to her happy play area.

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And then there was this guy.

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We didn’t get to hang out with him though because he was busy being chubby and sleepy the entire time.

Okay! So onto the chickens!

This guy was cool.

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This guy was kind of a jerk and bit me (but I had my camera in his face so I suppose I might have had it coming).

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This guy had some sort of shrunken head syndrome action going on because the proportions just don’t add up.

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Mother Nature is hysterical.

Ohhhhh, and maybe I hugged some chickens too.

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We had a little moment.

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I definitely like petting them more than eating them.

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So this brings us to these ridiculous fuzzy creatures of absolute hilarity.

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Look. At. THAT. HAIR.

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Hello. I’m an Alpaca.

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And maybe YOU don’t get excited by cows, but I can barely keep it together.

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THIS fella!!!

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And how do you hug a goat you ask?

Easy.

Gently take hold of his horns…

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Guide him ever so sweetly into your loving embrace…

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And then wrap your arms softly around his big goat head and gentle huggggg.

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I know, I know. Seek help immediately.

I leave you with bunny ears.

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xxoo