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#WorldElephantDay

It’s #WorldElephantDay, everybody!  I adore elephants.  They’re one of my favorite animals.  So I figured this would make for a perfect post!

So here are some fun facts about elephants:

  • Elephants are the largest living land mammal and females have the longest gestation at 22 months
  • Female elephants stay together in groups led by a matriarch that tells them where to go and when
  • Male elephants stay with the group until they’re around 15 at which time they will form an all male group
  • Elephants and peanuts don’t really go together – they don’t eat them in the wild and they aren’t fed peanuts in zoos
  • Elephants’ closest relative on land is a rock hyrax  (and if you’ve never seen one, they are adorable)

  • Elephants can call one another in a pitch so deep that it creates seismic vibrations that other elephants can pick up through their feet for up to 110 square miles in optimum conditions
  • Elephants are keystone species and play a critical role in the structure of their ecological communities
  • An elephant’s brain weights 11 pounds, making it the largest brain of all land animals
  • Elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror and show signs of self awareness and empathy

  • Elephants can create tools, sometimes modifying branches to use as flyswatters
  • An African Elephant’s tusks can grow to over 11 feet long and can weigh 220 pounds
  • There are more muscles in an elephant’s trunk than in the entire human body and it is strong enough to rip down a tree and delicate enough to pluck a blade of grass
  • Elephants have no natural predators and yet the African Elephant is vulnerable and the Asian Elephant is endangered
  • Humans are the biggest threat to elephants through poaching, habitat destruction, and deforestation
  • Despite the Ivory Ban of 1990 and the effort of many countries since, elephants are still being killed at an alarming rate

Just look at these creatures

Sir David Attenborough said it best (as he usually does) when he said “The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?”  That’s why World Elephant Day is important.  And there is good news this year!  The price of raw ivory dropped in China more than 50% between 2014 and 2015 according to Save the Elephants latest survey.  And according to National Geographic, the Proportion of Illegally Killed Elephants (PIKE) has dropped to its lowest percentage since 2009.  Yay progress!

But numbers about elephant poaching are notoriously hard to verify and there is still so much to be done.  But when it comes to what an individual can do, the answer is plenty!  After there was so much public outcry about the treatment of elephants in shows, Ringling Brothers agreed to phase elephants out of their circuses by 2018.  The voices were heard.

And there are a lot of fun ways to get involved.  World Elephant Day’s website has a pledge for people to sign in support of their efforts.  You can download the #EleeDraw 2016 coloring page here and post a picture of your creations to Instagram (be sure to use the hashtags #EleeDraw and #WorldElephantDay so everyone will be able to see!).  You can also snag some rad elephant harem pants at a discount today from The Elephant Pants, an African Wildlife Foundation corporate sponsor.  So you can save the elephants and look awesome doing it.  Or you can have fun and doodle while you get the word out, like me!

Keep an eye out for a new elephant themed card in the Etsy shop this weekend!  Happy #WorldElephantDay everybody!!

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Chin up, Buttercup

It’s been a long and depressing summer so far, to be honest.  The feeling of goodwill from our #SpreadSomeLove promotion has run low and there is so little to be happy about in the news. I saw a post earlier that really summed it up:

Ain’t that the truth?  So there hasn’t been much by way of Blythewood adventures, festivals, crafting, or anything really.  Between that and the heat, what was the point?

I’ll tell you what the point is. Pokémon Go, that’s what!  I swear that game has done more to unite us as a people than anything else in the past ten years.  I’ve seen people driven to take their dogs for an extra walk, to get out of the house, to strike up a conversation with someone new, and all because of this game. It’s been fun.  It’s been a lightness that I think we all needed.  There have been more people on the state house grounds congregating for Pokémon than I have seen in a long time.  And it feels so good to know it isn’t a protest about a flag.  Just people having fun with friends and making new ones along the way.


Nine year old Wendi would have flipped her lid over this.  🎶Come with me, the time is right.  There’s no better team.  Arm in arm, we’ll win the fight, it’s always been my dream! (Pokémon!)🎶

Beyond that, Ghostbusters was everything I could have asked for.  And there is a new ice cream place in our little town which was a welcome escape from this triple digit summer.

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Is anyone reading anything interesting this month?  I am stepping WAY out of my comfort zone to read The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone.


It is in this awesome slip cover.  And I kid you not, when you slide the book out, it says “There’s a reason we’re afraid of spiders…” behind the book.  As if I need another reason.  (I’m probably going to regret this.) What’s on your summer bookshelf?  Tell us in the comments!

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A Work in Progress

There have been a lot of disappointments over the past week.  From the chaotic political scene to the new Ghostbusters theme to Congress once again managing not to do anything at all.  Not to mention, the Rio Olympics are looking to be quite the spectacle and not in a good way.  Obviously some of these are heavier than others.  Like this ungodly heat!

So I’ve decided to focus on the things that make us happy.

We mailed out all of our #SpreadSomeLove cards which was strangely fulfilling.  If not the chance to bring a smile to someone’s face, then definitely that awesome feeling of mailing out an enormous stack of snail mail.  (I looove snail mail!)  There has been a lot of progress in the Etsy shop inventory!  Cards will be available for purchase starting on the Fourth of July!  We have a small selection to start with but it will grow, don’t worry.  And we will have a few options for custom crocheted goods.  Please make sure to come by and check us out then!

As for other news, our dogs got a chance to try out home cooked dog food this week.  We figured why not know exactly what they’re eating.

This particular recipe consists of:
3 lbs of ground turkey
1 1/2 cups of oatmeal
1 can of no sodium added peas
1 large zucchini – shredded
2 large carrots – shredded
1 package of frozen spinach
2 eggs (shells and all)
2 tbsp coconut oil

Cooked in a crockpot on high for four hours and then thoroughly mushed together.

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And as you can see they LOVE it!

And of course, we couldn’t leave out our cat children, so they got homemade treats this weekend:
1 can of tuna drained
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 egg (no shells this time)
1 generous helping of catnip
1 tbsp olive oil
water to achieve dough texture

Roll into croutons and dry on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Mose was a bit hesitant at first, but once he realized there was tuna inside there was no going back!  (To be fair, they look and smell pretty wack.)  And then in usual cat fashion, he decided they were beneath him and refused to touch them again.  Tiny will eat them though.

In other news, Kira got a new day job!  Very exciting!  Congratulations, Kira!  In the spirit of the library, I made her this tiny book shaped card which I felt merited a photo.

 And also today is her fourth anniversary with my brother from another mother.  In honor of the two of them, please enjoy two of the photos from the wedding that took me four years to actually upload anywhere.

IMG_8127 Can you tell it was 107 degrees by these pictures?  I feel like they actually managed to not look too sweaty somehow.

Cheers everyone!  Go forth and #SpreadSomeLove

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#SpreadSomeLove

It’s been a crazy busy week! But overwhelmingly, our #SpreadSomeLove promotion was such a success.  The stories we heard were so moving.  Declarations of love, thank yous just because, reminders to keep your chin up, and just words of comfort.  I’d be lying if I said we weren’t brought to tears a few times.  But this was so fun and the response was wonderful.   I can’t tell you how many times people told us how the promotion touched them and how glad they were to see a little light in the world, even from such an act as small as this.

To recap, we offered to send out cards to a loved one through the week after the tragedy that struck Orlando last weekend.  We didn’t make it a whole week.  And there couldn’t have been a more wonderful reason!  We had 100 requests in the first 24 hours!

If the website and hashtag on our cards brought you here, or you received an anonymous card, I’m so glad you’ve found us.  Someone cared about you so much, they just wanted to send you some words of comfort and love.  And we hope it brought a smile to your face! I wanted to share a few photos of the cards as I was filling them out and getting them ready for the post.  (If you got a Christmas stamp, just know we were blown away by the response and were using every resource we had available to meet the demand!)

After the bulk depleted our brown cards, we did the rest in some bright, lovely colors!
Mose was by my side through the whole process!  My little helper 😊

On a side note, we had several people express interest in donating toward our next #SpreadSomeLove promotion and that option is in the works.  We’ll let everyone know over social media when it’s up and ready!  Much love to all of our readers!  Thank you all so much for making it happen!

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Look for the Helpers

I had intended when I woke up this morning to write about Kira and I going to Doko Fest yesterday.  It was fun.  A lovely, sunny day with my mom and my dog and my best friend, listening to some fantastic music and splitting a watermelon next to a beautiful pond.  It was really idyllic.

But then I heard about Orlando.  And once again, I find myself at a point where I can’t quite grasp that something this horrible has happened.  The worst mass shooting in American history was not what I expected to wake up to.  But who ever expects something like that?  Who would ever think that going into their school, place of worship, or a movie or nightclub with their friends would ever end in tragedy?  My heart is heavy for the families of the victims.  In South Carolina, we found ourselves faced with horrors like this just last year.  And it was amazing how the country stood with us.  Just as #PrayForCharleston took over Twitter, so has #PrayForOrlando.  And while prayers are great, it’s really important for us to do something.

Regardless of what your stances on hot button issues are, at a time like this, the most important thing is love.  To show others that you care.  Mr. Rogers can sum it up far better than me.

When times seem bleak, and hope seems lost, just remember that there is still good in the world.  Look for that brightness in the dark.  Hold onto it.  And share it with others.

For this week, through Saturday June 18th, I want to help you reach out to someone.  These are nothing special, just some quotes that I always loved or a simple hello, but I’ve designed some little greeting cards.
Cards 1
Cards 2

If you reach out to us at DokoMorning@gmail.com, I will send one of these cards to a loved one of yours.  Free of charge.  Just let me know in the email the name and address of the recipient and a one or two sentence message that you’d like written inside.

The cards read:
“You’ll be in my heart from this day on now and forever more. -Phil Collins”
“You will never regret being kind”
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
“Courage, dear heart. – C.S. Lewis”
and of course, “Hello”

Tell me which you want and let someone know that you love them.  We need to stand strong together as a country and as human beings.  And being kind and being loving will get us one step closer.  #PrayForOrlando and for each other.  Keep their families in your prayers and all of the other families that have lost someone to senseless violence in these dark times.  Thank you.

Update: After a mind blowing first day, we’ve actually gone through all of our free cards! The people that I’ve had the chance to meet through this experience have told me some amazing stories. And the most prevalent theme was love. You’re all amazing! Thanks for participating! And don’t worry if you didn’t catch us in time because we will definitely be doing this again!

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Hilton Head Island

Hi there!  Wendi here.  (Wow, I just gave myself a Nick Jr. flashback…)  But anyway, Hilton Head Island!  I adore HHI for loads of reasons.  Not the least of which is the loads of childhood memories I have from there.

But I just had the chance to go back with my big sis and her family for the first time in years.  And despite getting absolutely roasted on the beach, we had a lot of fun.

Ah, the blissful calm before the storm, when we had no idea how badly burnt we were lol


The first stop on any trip to HHI has to be Shelter Cove for a margarita and some next level Mexican chow from San Miguel’s – Mexican on the Marina.  If you’ve never been to San Miguel’s, you have to check it out!  The chimichanga del mar is to die for!  And it’s a must to start every trip by saying hello to the statue of Neptune.

“Poseidon, look at meeee!”

So, my fellow South Carolinians and friends from elsewhere, a brief history of the island is in order.  There is evidence of human inhabitation on Hilton Head going back 10,000 years or so.  Originally, the semi-nomadic natives, the Escamacus , lived on the island and you can still find remnants left behind by them.  The most notable of which is the shell ring in Sea Pines Plantation.

But the history of the island as we know it began in 1663.  Captain William Hilton aboard his ship, the Adventure, sailed from Barbados up to see the land granted to the eight Lord Proprietors by King Charles II.

Pictured: Not William Hilton

He found an island within the Port Royal Sound and named it “Hilton’s Head” after himself.  Because why not?

During the Civil War, the island was hugely significant.  It was the base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports of Charleston and Savannah.  The Union also built an enormous military hospital on the island.  After the war, hundreds of ex-slaves came to HHI where they could buy land, go to school, or join what was called the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers.

The island went from private game reserve to defense against the Axis powers to logging enterprise until in 1956 when the James F. Byrd bridge opened the island up to car traffic from the mainland.  In the same year, Charles Fraser, an environmentalist and real estate developer, built Sea Pines Resort. The whole design of Harbour Town centered around his efforts to save an old live oak called Liberty Oak, which he was buried beside when he passed away in 2002.


Pictured: Actually Charles Fraser chillin’ with a gator

And after passing the ordinance in May 1983, Hilton Head was officially a town!

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I hadn’t been up to the top of the lighthouse in more than a decade so I made a point to climb to the top so I could take photos for all of you!

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And of course, the obligatory harbor selfie had to happen!

Hilton Head has also been home of the Heritage Cup since 1969, a stop on the PGA tour ever since. Inside the lighthouse, they keep some memorabilia from the Heritage cup including a ceremonial club and the winner’s Tartan.

Of course, no stop to HHI is complete without hitting up the Salty Dog Cafe!  Kevin has not made it easy to show off his souvenir since he requires constant pets now that I’m home.  He must have missed me while I was away ❤️🐶


And for my entire life, Hilton Head Ice Cream has been an iconic part of the experience. I love their Oreo ice cream so freaking much. (To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever bothered to try any other flavors…  Why mess with perfection, right?)


So now Kira and I are going to have some of the pint I brought home and watch Game of Thrones!  Cheers, friends!  And may your favorite character survive this season!

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Island Fever!

Hilton Head Island!  I was born there! 


And now I’m back.  Ahh there is nothing quite like the smell of marsh air and salt. But I’ll be posting all about the island at the beginning of next week! Stay tuned!