Wednesday, July 29, 2015

From Homeless To Million Dollar Mansions

Good morning darlings.
 
 
This weekend was quite memorable. This was what I posted on my Facebook on Saturday;
 
Good evening y'all. I had quite an emotional day. I have been working to save 20 dogs that are on a euthanasia list at a high kill shelter to be destroyed tomorrow. They are all so young, and some haven't even had their first birthday yet. I encounted 1 bad seed who sent me messages that made me question humanity. But then one of my groups sent me lot's of encouraging messages saying that their proud of me for trying and that my heart is in the right place. So far, I've got 2 encouraging emails with possible forever homes. That is a miracle. Would you please pray or think positive thoughts that they all join a loving family tomorrow instead of their bad fate. Thank y'all.
 
Well, they got four extra days, and so far one is confirmed to have been rescued. We're also working on rescuing one ourselves.
 

Then on Sunday, we attended the Charlotte Homerama located in Cheval, an upscale equestrian million dollar home community. Having been through five years of design school, and a decade of experience, you tend to look at homes with a different set of eyes.
 
However, we were impressed by two designs;
 
The Welsh House
 

The home description;
 
"Styled after a classic English country estate, the Welsh House possesses all the luxury of a high-end custom home, with all the charm of an English countryside hideaway.  The home’s pastoral setting beckons those looking to enjoy a simpler life; it’s a place for long rambling walks with the dogs, horseback rides through green pastures, and hours of outdoor play for children.  Upscale, yet always welcoming and gracious, the home itself is a timeless and beautiful place for respite that deftly balances classic style with fresh and new elements.
 
Thoughtfully designed for versatility and comfort, it welcomes any type of family. The wealth of detail in this home continuously delights. There are thoughtful practical elements throughout, including his and hers dressing rooms, a built-in dog bed, and a family “command center.” Touches of luxury appear at every turn, from the Italian marble countertops to the Parisian-style Master bathtub to the timeworn French Oak floors. But what really gives the home its heart and soul are its faithful touches of English country charm, such as the brass tea kettle fixture, the extra-long drop-zone bench perfect for removing muddy Wellies and the classic Aga cast iron range. This is truly a home to inspire, delight and welcome one and all."
 
The Arcadia
 
 
The home description;

"This extraordinary luxury home contains 4 bedrooms with 4 full baths and 2 half baths.  With over 5,100 square feet of heated living space, it is designed with an open floor plan that boasts dramatic vaulted and coffered ceilings throughout.  The opulent master suite has separate dressing rooms, abundant closet space, and an elegantly appointed master bath.
 
The stately Old World exterior features natural stone, tumbled brick, and timber accents.  The windows are premium brand, energy efficient aluminum-clad to complement the majestic, custom front entry door.
 
The home also features a luxurious culinary style kitchen with auxiliary prep station in an oversized pantry.  There are large covered terraces off of the great room and breakfast room featuring natural stone flooring and stained cedar ceilings.  With over 700 square feet of recreational space, as well, this is the ultimate home for entertaining."


Which home would you choose?
 
I'd probably choose The Welsh, but would rather donate the million dollars. I would donate it towards helping educate people about high kill shelters, and how many happy, healthy dogs get euthanized for no other reason than homelessness. Dogs In Danger helps you find a shelter pet to adopt, awareness about spaying dogs to prevent homelessness, and teaching tools to teach your children about the value of life.
 
Many thanks for visiting. Hope you have a good week,
 
~ Kiki Nakita ~
 
You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Bloglovin'.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hodgepodge and Shania Twain's Rock This Country Tour

 
Good morning my dears, I'm joining in with the hodgepodge today, let's get started!
 
Is your home air conditioned? If it's not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.
 
Yes, thankfully my home is air conditioned. Growing up in England we didn't have air conditioning, as it was only ever needed if there was a heat wave. We would open the back door and windows and create a breezeway.
 
What's something in your life right now that falls under the heading 'up in the air'?
 
For about two years now my hubby and I have been working on our family history. However, my paternal grandfathers line is a brick wall. Whether the elder members of the family share is up in the air. To them it's rather akin to airing dirty laundry.
 
Your favorite light and airy dessert?

One of our favorite desserts is a fruit salad which is often on our table during the summer time. I also try to bake a cake as our treat about once a week (270 calories prepared) and I try decorate with fruit from the farmers market. If we have an unexpected visitor I always have cake to offer with tea and coffee.
 
This week I made strawberry cake with strawberry frosting and a blueberry crown.
 

 
When did you last feel like you were 'floating on air'?

On Sunday night at the Shania Twain concert. We were in the front row above the 'important people boxes' and I felt like I was floating above an audience, with fog and lights to boot.
 
Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead...which have you most recently encountered? Explain.

Airport, as we fly many times throughout the year. I spent many hours of my childhood at small airports and actually worked at my dad's aviation business during my breaks in college. 
 
 
Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity...a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?

Oh, how I wish. If I were visiting the Alps I'd want to wear dresses akin to The Sound of Music and dance in the hills.
 
What is one saying or phrase that was considered 'cool' when you were growing up?

Larney. It's a slang word for posh.
 
Insert your own random thought here.

On Sunday, my hubby and I had a date night into the city. Firstly, we had a delicious dinner at The Ashbury a modern Southern restaurant in the Dunhill Hotel.

 





After dinner we went to Shania Twain's Rock This Country concert. It's her first in eleven years, and her last. It was awesome!
 




 
Many thanks for visiting. Hope you have a good week,
 
~ Kiki Nakita ~
 
You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Bloglovin'.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Time Memories

 
Happy Bastille Day, my dears. Today would have been my maternal Grandad's 81st birthday. He passed away in March 2009, and my Nana passed away five months later in August 2009. Just last night I was scanning in a myriad of family photos, and I came across my Grandad's birth certificate. I'm thrilled I have it in my hands. I can't wait to add it to our Ancestry binder, and upload a scan to my Ancestry page.
 
Alas, we have been very busy over at our house this summer. We will definitely look back on this summer with some very fond memories. So here's a few highlights that I'd like to remember.


Patriotic Décor

At the end of June, we had our house pressure washed. What a difference it has made. We had 3 men working for 2-3 hours on the house, pathway, driveway, back patio and pool patio. Afterwards hubby put back up our patriotic décor - some red, white and blue buntings. You see the bird feeder there? It's makeshift until we decide what we want to do, but it has an adorable little bird living in there, and he provides a lot of entertainment for our cat Milly, who perches in the upstairs middle window.


Dining Al Fresco
 
This spring we bought a wrought iron dining set so we could spend time dining outside. This was one of our dinners a few nights before July 4th. We had watermelon for days, a roasted broccoli pasta salad, kebabs, and roasted vegetables. Usually we just have something simple like spinach lasagna, or another vegetarian meal. I'm trying not to buy meat, unless it's a holiday or we're eating out, and honestly we don't really miss it.
 

Country Drives
 
Hubby and I both enjoy adventure, or driving around to discover new neighborhoods. One night we went out of our way and found the most adorable farmhouses, ponds and country lanes. Oh, we're so blessed to live in such a beautiful state.


July 4th
 
This year I made a strawberry jello for July 4th, with whipped cream and lot's of fruit. Earlier that day we drove to Old Salem, to attend the celebrations there. It is the site of the very first ever Independence Day celebrations, and what an idyllic village it is.

 






The Moravian cemetery was quite moving and beautifully laid out.



 
We also had lunch at the Moravian Tavern, which was decorated in a period style.
 


 
Swimming
 
Last summer this time we were installing new parts to our pool, so this summer is the first we can enjoy it for a whole summer season. It has been awesome! Almost every evening after work we eat dinner, then change into our swimsuits and go play and swim in the pool. I usually have the fire pit going, and at the weekends we gather sticks to roast marshmallows to make s'mores. 
 





 
Yes, our dogs join in on the fun too! So how is your summer going? Hope you're building memories with the ones you love.
 
Many thanks for visiting,
 
~ Kiki Nakita ~
 
You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Bloglovin'.

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Share Your Cup Thursday #157

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Grandee's Funeral and Changes in America.

 
Good morning my dears, I'm joining in with Five on Friday today, let's get started!
 
ONE
 
My husbands maternal grandmother "Grandee" passed away last week on June 17th at her son's home in Arlington, Texas. Her funeral was on Wednesday, June 24th at St. Mary Catholic Church in Eugene, Oregon. Her 83rd birthday would have been this Sunday on June 28th. Here she is pictured with Papa on a cruise in the late 1990's.
 
 
TWO
 
We weren't able to make it, but a lot of family on the West coast gathered in Eugene, Oregon for her funeral. Grandee's favorite color was purple, so everyone dressed in purple to attend her funeral. Afterwards, they went back to her home and released purple balloons with sentiments written on them. Here's a picture of my niece, nephew and father-in-law about to release some balloons.
 

THREE
 
Papa has been dealing with the death difficultly. He has Alzheimer's, so every few minutes he continues to ask, "where's Grandee?" and he has been told over, and over again that she's passed. I think he's finally accepted  it.
 
My mother-in-law said that he sat with Grandee in the visitation for quite awhile, and when they came back they asked "Papa, why is Grandee's lipstick all smudged?", turns out he had been kissing her! They left behind a legacy of sixty-one years of marriage, 4 children, 9 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.  
 
 
My husband is the spitting image of his Papa, and has his sense-of-humor. They also have the same love of swimming pools, here's one of Papa in the pool he built at their home of forty-six years in Eugene, Oregon.
 
FOUR
 
With Grandee's recent passing I have been updating her page on Ancestry.com with photos, documents and stories to preserve for generations to come. By 2013, at just twenty-seven I had lost all my grandparents and my dad. Perhaps, that spurred my interest in genealogy. We started with a few handouts from family members who hadn't done much research besides skimming the pages so we had a huge undertaking.
 
It has been such a wonderful journey, and has created such a stability in our family. We've been working on putting together our family history website, but there is still so many tweaks we're going to do before we can share it with family and friends.
 
 
Do you do genealogy, or preserve your family history? I love hearing other people's stories of how they gather all their research.
 
I also recently came across a good resource to help improve my family history research, and blog writing. BYU has free courses on family history and family life. Like me, you don't have to be LDS to take the classes but it's definitely something I admire them for - their love of creating a functional, intentional family.
 
FIVE
 
Oh, and last but not least, did you read TIME magazine's recent article? In 2040 the minorities will be the majority of Americans. Currently, the minorities make up 37.9% of the population but more than half of under 5 year olds are now a minority.
 
Also, the white race in America has more deaths than births at a 3:1 ratio, and more millenials (1982-2000) than baby boomers (1946-1964). We are deemed the most diverse generation yet. I was surprised that only 155,000 white Europeans a year coming from Europe, like me! It's fascinating reading about the changes that are coming to America.
 
Many thanks for visiting and for praying for our family during this time,
 
~ Kiki Nakita ~
 
You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Bloglovin'.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hodgepodge

 
Good morning my dears, I'm joining in with the hodgepodge today, let's get started!
 
June 23rd is National Pink Day. What's your favorite something pink?

Pastel pink is one of my favorite colors. I associate it with sweet love and those who know me well buy me pink flowers, pink gift wrap and cards. Many of my childhood photos are also of me wearing pink, including this one I posted on Father's Day.

There's a story behind this dress. As I was growing up, my parents would go back to the store every year to buy me the same dress one size bigger. I was totally unaware of this until I was told a few years ago. Bless.


 What did you enjoy most about gym class when you were in school? How about the least?
 
My high school years were in England, so we had a compulsory 5 years of physical education twice a week. We had to try everything and pick our favorite classes for the last 2 years. In those years I learned I didn't have much hand or eye co-ordination.  
 
But, I was always willing to try and learned I had a quick reaction. So I played netball and field hockey and was good at running short sprint races or relay.

 What memory is brought to mind by the smell of roses?
 
My childhood village in the heart of England. Every home had an idyllic cottage garden with roses growing over arbors. My sister and I used to go to the church and pick roses and place them above all the graves.

 Do you prefer to read or write?
 
wish I could be a novel reader, but frankly my mind is always busy and it's hard for me to focus and read a book. I mostly enjoy reading books on cooking, baking, genealogy, home décor and biographies. Maybe that's why I enjoy reading blogs, as I get to see a snippet in someone's life and can read a post in a few short minutes.
 
I really enjoy writing, and am currently writing our family history, and hand lettering a book of my childhood memories. I also have a prayer journal that I write into when I read a quote, or find a verse that's on my mind.

 Sam Keen is quoted as saying, 'Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.' Would you agree? Is laziness ever respectable? How will you be lazy this summer?
In the Carolinas we've been enduring a heat wave of 100 degree days, so it's easier to slip into a lazier routine. It can be regarded as respectable so long as it doesn't hinder your day-to-day plans. We make our evenings after hubby comes home from work lazy time. We spend time swimming in our pool, playing with the dogs, gardening or simply cooking and eating dinner al-fresco, it always leaves me feeling much better.

 The Florida Keys, Disney World, or a resort somewhere on the Gulf Coast...which Florida destination would you choose (and why) if the trip were today?
I would choose Disney World. Mostly because I've never been to Orlando, Florida. We lived in Port Charlotte/North Port, Florida for 4-5 months while my hubby was on contract 2 years ago, so we got to see a lot of the Gulf Coast then.

 What question do you hate to answer?
When are you going to have a baby? Or, are you pregnant yet? 
 
As soon as we got married two years ago we've been repeatedly asked about when we'll be starting a family. We didn't start trying until last Fall because we wanted to be settled first. Months came and passed and we had no luck. We went to see a fertility specialist and all of our tests so far have come back as healthy, and normal so we're in the "unexplained infertility" group. I haven't shared this with some family and friends (who don't read my blog), as few understand.

 Insert your own random thought here.
 
Hubby and I got to visit the peaceful and relaxing Wing Haven gardens this past weekend. Such a beautiful place to visit if you're ever up in the Carolinas.
 
 
Hope y'all have a good rest of the week.
 
Many thanks for visiting,
 
~ Kiki Nakita ~
 
You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Bloglovin'.
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