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Every summer I make my annual summer trip up to Alaska where I grew up, in one of the most remote places you can imagine. I think of it as an artist's retreat to step away from all the hustle and bustle of living in Florida and just get back in touch with the untouched beauty of nature. The mind is free to absorb all of the quietness that comes from being so far away from cities, roads, cars, etc., it's a moment to reflect and just enjoy life in it's most raw state.
My husband and I have a cabin there, as he also commercial dives in the fall for Sea Cucumbers, an Asian delicacy. Most of my family still lives in the area, so it's also a time for me to get to visit with my parents and siblings and reminisce about our crazy childhood! If you want to read some of those stories and learn more about what it is really like to live in the Alaskan Bush, check out my sister's blog www.alaskaforreal.com it is some of the best reading you will find on Alaska, and it's the "REAL" deal, she's lived that lifestyle for almost 40 years!
Here are some of the photos from the trip, one of the best parts about it were the over abundance of whales, they were everywhere! And I am completely and totally obsessed with whales, dolphins, and any and all sea life, they are all amazing creatures to me and I could just sit and watch them all day. The humpbacks were particularly busy this summer, bubble feeding everywhere, it is such an incredible sight. You can spot a very large ring of bubbles in the water moments before they rocket out of the water with their mouths wide open after having circled the small krill under the water and then filling their open mouths as they surge upwards, it's incredible!!
In this first picture you can clearly see the ring of bubbles near the shoreline, this is just moments before the whale burst out of the water.
We of course did LOT's of fishing, one of the things we do every summer is stock up on our winter supply of salmon, halibut, yellow eye, ling cod, and lot's of other delicious Alaskan seafood, and of course shrimp and crab too :) I myself only eat a little seafood every now and then, not really much of a meat eater, but my husband and daughter are serious seafood lovers! This summer my husbands Jamaican mom and her brother came and stayed with us for several days, their first trip to Alaska and needless to say they were in complete awe at all that Alaska has to offer, a trip of a lifetime...and they too went home with their fair share of seafood.
Besides fishing and whale watching, there is so many other fun things to do, beachcombing, cliff jumping, I stay in the boat, there is NO WAY I'm getting in that cold water, smores, bird watching, you name it, there is something to always do while in Alaska. And the view from our cabin, which sits over the beach, is constantly changing and always has something to enjoy from sailboats, whales, birds, seals, and so much more...a true look into the raw beauty of Alaska.
One of the neat things in the area to see is the sea lions perched on one of the "cans" (the cans mark shallow rocks), they are always there and it's amazing they can even get up on the cans to begin with!
I hope you enjoy this little peak into my Alaskan sojourn I take every summer, and highly recommend everyone visit Alaska at least once in their lifetime, you won't regret it!!
As many of you know, I grew up in the wildest, remotest part of Alaska with only my 4 siblings around to entertain and play with. Looking back on my childhood, and seeing how other's react to our wild and crazy stories, I realize it probably wasn't even slightly normal, hahaha! But, while living the Alaskan Bush life I never thought anything off it, it just...was. We learned to entertain ourselves and even at times taught ourselves school...well...at least my sister Tara and I did, the boys were a different story altogether!!
I go back to my childhood stomping grounds several times a year. My husband and I now have our own cabin in the very same small fishing village that we would sometimes commute to by skiff for school. It really brings back memories and allows me to visit with my family, all of whom still live in the area. My oldest brother James lives in the village, and also captains my husbands boat when he is commercial diving in October, my parents and sister Tara live a boat ride away in their floathouses and my two younger brothers Robin and Chris live in the city of Ketchikan (think "road to nowhere") where we fly in by jet and then take a 20 minute floatplane ride out to Meyers Chuck where our cabin is. I will be posting some photos of my recent trip last month, from beautiful sunsets to amazing whales bubble feeding and displaying their tails in all their glory, so stay tuned for those!
One of the things I did while up there last month was to help my sister Tara start her blog "Alaska for Real by the Daughter of a Walrus"! I'm soooooo excited she FINALLY has internet service out in the bush and we can communicate via e-mail on a regular basis, and she now has the most fun, "REAL" Alaskan blog you will find on the internet!! She is a published author that has a way with words that will keep you coming back for more wit and fabulous fun all about the Alaskan lifestyle.
Her most recent blog post is about herself and I growing up and having the kind of bond that two sisters have when they only have each other in the remote bush of Alaska. Please check out her blog and follow along as she posts more riveting stories about the Real Alaska!
So excited about this new giveaway I'm teaming up with on Instagram! Myself and other bloggers are going to be giving one lucky winner a $400 gift card to Airbnb, so you can vacation anywhere in the world you want! $400 will go a long way with Airbnb locations :) Visit my Instagram and look for the photo below to enter, good luck!!
I personally used Airbnb to book a fabulous little space in Costa Rica a couple years ago with my husband. It was a little studio apartment underneath the home of the owners, who were super accommodating and the place was fabulous!! We had a view of the ocean, luscious vegetation, and the best part....the howler monkey's would swing through the trees every morning right in front of our place! We had our own kitchen, porch, masseuse, all the amenities of home and then some. My next vacation I will definitely be looking to Airbnb for an exceptional travel experience!! Here are a couple of photos of our little home away from home we stayed in Costa Rica :) I hope this gets you excited for the possibility of winning the giveaway, fingers crossed for the lucky winner!
The Dubai skyline painting "The Luxe Life"© is all finished up!! The colors in this are so bold and vivid, I love it!! Lot's to look at and take in, makes me want to check this one off my bucket list, I HAVE to visit Dubai one day soon. What travel locations are on your bucket list?
It's always fun to see a painting come alive from inception to finish, enjoy these Work in Progress Pics!
So far, most of my blog has been all art oriented, which is a huge part of my life, but I would also like to start sharing other aspects of my lifestyle. Sharing what I do for fun and health, and I love fashion, particularly high heels :) I think it will be fun to get a closer peak into my life and see how I incorporate my creative side into all aspects of my life.
Art absorbs at least half of my waking hours, sometimes all of them!! We recently moved into a new home that needs to be completely remodeled and I ended up with a fabulous space for my studio, with it's own full bath and walk-in closet, although we are currently using the closet to store our clothes...and my shoes, while our other closet is being rebuilt. Here is a sneak peek of what I'm doing with my studio, more photos and video's to come to show you my "Happy Place".
Since I do spend such a large portion of my time in the studio I'm usually in a pair of shorts or sweats with a t-shirt, and a sweater nearby. Not very glamorous or fashionable! But, whenever my husband and I go out to eat, to the movies, with friends, etc. it's my chance to dress up a little. I tend to lean towards a chic, classy style with button up shirts (obsessed with the Express Portofino shirts), white jeans, blue jeans and a few accent pieces of jewelry, or on a rare occasion I will even wear a dress/skirt and even have this cute polka dot romper hanging in my closet. Since I live in Florida, the summer's require mixing it up a bit with shorts or capri's, tank tops and sandals. But, my one go to is pretty much to always wear heels, with sandals as a quick go to if not feeling to dressy. There is nothing like a pair of heels to instantly dress up an outfit, even the simplest tees and jeans, and I actually prefer to walk in heels, it's more comfortable for me, I have a very tall arch. I will be taking more fashion photos, and posting on this blog and Instagram. I felt inspired to add the fashion aspect to this blog and social media after taking photos of my daughter Aroon Melane for her fabulous fashion blog! It's so much fun, it's like playing dress up, takes me back to my childhood :)
A natural extension of being an artist for me is I LOVE interior design! And with this new home that has almost 4,000 square feet of living, four bedrooms, five and a half baths, all of which need to be completely redone, I have so much opportunity to really delve into it. I've been creating mood boards to inspire me, and you, to follow our creative paths within our homes, and I will be doing more of those and sharing the design process as our new home comes to life. Here is a before photo of the house, it needs an insane amount of work inside and out! Basically every inch of the house and property have to be cosmetically redone, but nothing my husband and I aren't used to, I was a
Mood Boards for inspiration, click on images to see where to purchase all the products shown.
I LOVE to travel! There are just so many amazing and natural man made places to see in this world, that a whole lifetime could never see them all. But, I hope to spend a little more time traveling in the next few years and take in as much as I can. One of the places I regularly visit, and never gets old, is my home state Alaska. We have a cabin in the remote Alaskan fishing village where I grew up and I visit several times a year. I will be heading up there soon to get out of this crazy Florida heat and humidity!! I will sharing photos and stories of my adventures, and hope you enjoy and are inspired to create your own travel adventures.
And finally I will be sharing my journey on being as healthy as I possibly can! Without our health everything else in life becomes unimportant and difficult to enjoy. I've struggled with a low immune system most of my life, so I try to be as healthy as I possibly can, through food, exercise, minimizing stress, etc. Several years ago I had some major health problems, since been fixed, and shortly after that I broke my foot in three places mountain biking, still out on the trails, I didn't let some broken bones stop me, and had to have two surgeries. It was a frustrating period of my life that really made me be thankful for when I am healthy. I gained about 25 pounds and it's been a difficult process losing that weight, but this year I am making a truly concerted effort to get back down to my most comfortable weight. So far I've lost 11 pounds!! I will be sharing more about my healthy habits, recipes, exercise, etc. and hope it will motivate all of you to be the healthiest YOU!!