Do you ever find yourself drawn back to a book you’ve already read?
Sometimes, I find myself drawn back to books and reread them. I don’t know if it’s the story, the characters, the mood the author sets, or me just wanting something comfortable. I know I’ve reread books in a series to prep for a new book or movie that’s coming out. These are books like Harry Potter or Twilight (even though I’ve read the first Twilight book more times than I care to admit).
I’ve read Pride & Prejudice at least four times. I love the world that Jane Austen created in Pride & Prejudice. I love the books that are retellings on Pride & Prejudice from different character perspectives. I just get swept away in the world. I recently went on a Jane Austen movie binge by watching Pride & Prejudice (Kiera Knightly version), Jane Austen Book Club, and Becoming Jane all in one week. This was all while I was finishing the book Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange.
Sometimes when I pick up a book to reread, I feel a little guilty. I have a stack of books I’ve started & stopped sitting on my nightstand. They’re all just waiting to be finished. I’ve got books I bought or borrowed ages ago that ought to be read. But instead, I turn to something more comforting and old. I wonder if it’s because the world around me can be, or is, chaotic and overstimulating with new information. An old favorite book lets me quiet my brain down a bit while still enjoying reading .
Who knows the real reason. All I know is that last night, I paused reading a new book I started last week (Yarn), in favor of starting an old one (Eat, Pray, Love).
What’s your favorite book to reread?
Tonight, I checked off another iconic Duluthian experience…attending a Bulldog Hockey game. If you ever visited or lived in Minnesota, you know that hockey reigns supreme. I’ve been wanting to go to a game ever since I started working at UMD. Kendra and I were due for a friend date so we decided to get tickets for the hockey game. Added bonus, staff tickets were discounted for this weekend. Woo!
One thing that’s interesting at UMD is that most of our athletic teams are Division 2, except hockey. Both our men’s & women’s hockey teams are Division 1. This weekend, the men’s team is taking on the number 2 ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Sadly, we lost 3-2. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a hockey game. I forgot how stressful they are to watch.
Anyway, I welcome you to Bulldog Country!
We all have those friends that we’d do pretty much anything for. Do you have your friends in mind? They’re the ones with who you take the crazy adventures, you laugh until you cry, or you can spend a quiet day. Well, Addy and Aaron are friends like that to me. While we only really started hanging out during the past year, it feels like our circle of friends has been together for so much longer. They got engaged over the summer and I’m very much looking forward to their September 2014 wedding.
Knowing my photography background, they asked if I’d be willing/able to take their engagement photos. Now, if you’ve spent any time reading my blog, you know that I very rarely take photos of people. I’m much more of a landscape/nature/buildings/flowers type of photographer. Taking their trust and confidence in me, I decided to take the bold leap out of my photography comfort zone and whole-heartedly agreed to take their engagement photos. As I’m sure other photographers know, it can be a hard leap to take. I’m soooo glad I did it.
It all happened quickly. Addy asked me on Saturday, we scouted a location and discussed different types of shots on Sunday, and took the photos on Monday after work. We ended up going to the east side of Duluth to Lester Park and 7 Bridges Road. It’s a beautiful area of the city and the fall colors were gorgeous. You might recognize the area from my 30 photo challenge from last year.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the session.
Clearly, this leap out of my comfort zone was well worth it.
Happy October! I may have only written one post during September, but I kept busy and had some fun along the way.
- Worked on my Project Life project. Also completed an online workshop called Project Life Lessons.
- Completed about half of the days associated with the 30 Lists journaling challenge. I’m planning to finish it up during October.
- Crocheted a baby blanket for my friend Jessi. Started a crochet baby blanket for my cousin-in-law and chipped away at the large knit blanket I’m making for my mom.
- New seasons for TV shows. This year I’m watching: How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Glee, and Parenthood.
- West Wing on DVD Seasons 1 & 2 and started in on season 3.
- Watched the final episodes for the season of So You Think You Can Dance and The Newsroom. LOVED the finale of The Newsroom.
- Finally bought the movie, How to Train Your Dragon. It’s one of my favorite animated movies. I rank it right up there with Toy Story, Up, and Finding Nemo.
- Blogs! Tried to keep up with my blog reader and failed miserably. Did manage to keep up with some of my favorites.
- Polished off a couple of young adult novels: Just Listen, The Selection, and The Elite. Re-read Divergent to prep for book three of the series coming out later in October.
- How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack. It’s been a fave since the movie came out a couple years ago. I’ve been in a mood for it this month.
- Mix of Pandora radio and the songs I have on iTunes.
- Crazy busy at work – it’s career fair season.
- Love the Minion Rush game on my iPhone. It features the minions from the Despicable Me movies.
- Downloaded the Notability app on my iPad. Just wanting to try out another note-taking app. Found out about it from a student I was working with last week.
- Had a huge whiteboard installed in my office for long-range social media planning.
- Loving iOS7! It’s the new operating system for iPhone and iPad for you non-Apple folks.
- Photographed sunrise.
- My mom and sister visited for the weekend.
- Reorganized all my Project Life supplies by color.
- Awesome Fab Friday’s at 5 gatherings with friends from work.
- 1st cold of the school year (and also my first 2 sick days).
- Fall colors and crispy weather.
- Lots of in-class presentations for our freshman seminar class.
- Allegiant comes out!
I had every intention of writing a post about the first week of classes at UMD…and then I went and photographed sunrise this morning. Sunrise photos win. However, if you’re curious, I had a great first week of the semester. I got to do one of my favorite job duties, hiring new students. I love making that offer call.
Onto sunrise. Last summer, I photographed sunrise 3 times. This summer has been 0, up until today. We’re about to say goodbye to nice weather and I had no real commitments this weekend. So that made for perfect timing to get up and experience sunrise over Lake Superior. I decided to check out a new spot. I went down to the Canal Park area by the lighthouse and lift bridge. I wanted to try out this spot because I thought I might be able to get some cool lighthouse silhouette shots. I was right! The bonus was a docked ship.
Also, it was a nice reminder that my world doesn’t have to always focus on work (which it has been seemingly doing lately). I have to go out experience this lovely area that I live in. Well, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Hello all! After a little time away, it’s time get my little corner of the internet all revved up again. I really didn’t have a good reason for not writing any posts for almost the last month. I just wasn’t totally inspired to write. While away, I spent a lot of my time crafting and hanging out with friends and family who were visiting me. For the crafting – a lot of knitting and scrapbooking. I was on such a roll with both. It was awesome! Since I’ve been in craft mode this summer, I thought I’d revive the “recommended consumption” post idea with a craft edition.
- A Beautiful Mess – Elsie & Emma are sisters who write about crafting, food, photography, fashion, and many other things. They also have a photo editing iPhone app called A Beautiful Mess.
- Becky Higgins – Becky is the creator of Project Life and this is her main site about all things related to Project Life. You can see my recent post of how I’m using Project Life right now.
- Campfire Chic – Kam has a lovely blend of outdoorsy travel, techy, and crafting
- Rukristin Papercrafts – I just recently started reading Kristin’s blog and love it for the different scrapbooking ideas.
- The Purl Bee – Knitting shop in New York and they often post knitting and sewing projects
- Amy Tangerine – Amy Tan is currently one of my favorite scrapbook designers. She has had multiple product lines released through American Crafts and has an upcoming new mini-kit in the Project Life series.
- enJOY it – Elise is the woman behind what is probably my favorite blog right now. She designed the Project Life Seafoam Kit and she often sells mini-books and stamps she designed, on her website.
- Lemon & Raspberry – Amy is another lady that I recently started following and she writes a little bit about everything. Her main topics are blog tips, memory keeping of different kinds, and inspiration in general.
- Bower Power – Katie Bower actually writes a DIY blog, and she often has different craft ideas and has great photography.
- Young House Love – another great DIY blog with craft projects in addition to their big house projects
- Recently discovered the “Paperclipping Roundtable” podcast. It’s the perfect thing to listen to when scrapbooking or doing other crafty stuff. On Sunday, I ended up listening to 3 episodes in a row.
Idea Generating: Pinterest & Instagram
Besides each of the blogs listed above, I do a lot idea finding on Pinterest and Instagram. I love looking on Instagram because people are posting projects they are working on or have just finished. All the blogs listed above, I recommend following each of them on Pinterest & Instagram. Here are a couple of additional creative sources I follow on Pinterest:
I hope that all the things I’ve shared will help you find some inspiration of your own.
Bonus Listen: “Roar” by Katy Perry – just came out this week. It’s fab!
I’ve been a scrapbooker for as long as I can remember. As I was approaching turning 30, I decided that I wanted to document the year…as it was happening. Right now, I’m still knee deep in scrapbooking my summer 2010 adventure out West. Since I have a lot of work left on that project, I turned to a more non-traditional way of documenting my year of 30. Project Life. Project Life is a memory keeping system designed by Becky Higgins. It’s designed to be simple. All you need is a Project Life Core kit that consists of 4×6 & 3×4 cards used for journaling and filler, an album, pocket pages, and photos & anything else you want to include. I had been following Elise’s first year of using Project Life and decided that it would be the perfect thing to try for this “Documenting 30″ project I wanted to do.
During the winter, I ordered the Seafoam Core Kit off of Amazon (at that point, Project Life was only sold on Amazon) and started incorporating the cards into my summer 2010 project. I was hooked, and I hadn’t even started my true PL project yet. I officially started the week of my birthday and have been loving the project ever since. It has helped me take notice of all the big and little things that happen throughout a week. As I was putting together my layout for the week of July 1st, I documented along the way so that I could share my process.
Throughout each week, I make notes about the happenings of the week in a cute little notebook I picked up at Anthropologie. When I sit down to start working on the layout for the week, I go through my notes and then gather any bits I’ve collected throughout the week. “Bits” can range from ticket stubs to maps to appointment reminders to whatever else I’ve collected. Not everything makes it into the book, but it’s nice to have some stuff to work with during the planning process. This particular week that I was working on, I had a bunch of fun stuff from my day trip around the Bayfield Peninsula in WI.
Next up, I plan everything out. I have white 4×6 & 3×4 placeholders to put into the pockets while I’m planning everything out. This was really handy for the first couple weeks when I couldn’t print photos at home. Having the white paper in place blocks out what might be peeking through from the week before. During this stage, I have my computer out and am looking through & deciding on photos to use for the week. I use post-it notes to jot down what photo or item will go in each pocket. The post-it notes are a life-saver, especially when I’m working on the week’s layout in more than one sitting.
Print all the photos. I recently invested in a new printer (an HP Photosmart 5520), and I love it! When I got my new Mac this spring, I discovered that my 5 year old Dell printer wasn’t compatible. I went with a Photosmart printer since I knew most of what I would be printing would be photos. Like any printer, it kind of sucks the ink. Oh well. I’m really happy with the quality of the photos. I’ve been using Office Max Matte photo paper and really like it. The ink doesn’t smear and it’s easy to cut with my paper cutter.
Next up, the photos get trimmed. I round the corners for all the photos to match the rounded corner look of the Project Life cards. All that is left to do is put everything into its respective pocket. For this particular week, I had the normal two page spread and added an insert page. I had so many photos from all of our adventuring that I wanted to add to the album.
Below is the front of the insert page. Almost all the photos were from Amnicon Falls State Park. 3×4 card is from the Seafoam Core Kit. Label is Paper Source. The page is a Design G pocket page.
Back of the insert page. In addition to the photos of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, I included a map of the islands, a copy of the NPS cancellations I collected, and also the back of the card from the keychain my sister bought. It included a brief history of the Apostles Islands. 3×4 card is from the Seafoam Core Kit and the washi tape is from Freckled Fawn.
Right page: Label is JilliBean Soup. Page is Design A pocket page.
Other product details:
- Pens: American Crafts Slick Writer, Gelly Roll Metallic, & Bic
- Corner Round: no clue as I bought it years ago, probably from Michaels
- Paper: Office Max Matte Photo Paper
- Printer: HP Photosmart 5520
- Photos taken on: iPhone 4S & Canon Rebel T2i
I’m becoming a very big fan of Project Life. It’s as simple or as involved as you want it to be. I highly recommend checking it out! What’s awesome is that now Project Life can be found at major retailers such as Michaels, Archivers, and Hobby Lobby, as well as Amazon.
Note: My friend Laura made a Facebook fan page to go along with her blog (First Class Great Outdoors), so I suggest you wander on over there and “like” the page. Then, you too, can tag along on all her fun travel/outdoor adventures.
I’m guessing everyone has their favorite souvenirs they like to collect while traveling. Just to have a momento of the experience you had at a place. Generally, I tend to take a lot of photos. However, there are also a number of other items that I like to either purchase or freebies I try to make sure to pick up. For me, these are great because they can be displayed, could be great for scrapbooking, are flat (I generally don’t have a ton of extra space for souvenirs when traveling), are inexpensive or free, and have some information about the place I visited. I hope to give you some good ideas of things you might want to pick up on your next adventure.
National Park specific: Park newspapers, Maps, & Passport cancellations – all of which can be picked up at the visitor center.
Park newspapers are great for information and any special events or updates happening in the park for that particular year or season.
Maps are fantastic for navigating around the park as they highlight spots of interest, visitor centers, trails, camping, etc. The maps generally also have some information about the park.
Bonus news: park newspapers and maps are FREE! Also, I like to use the information from the maps and newspapers when blogging. I generally give a little bit of information about the park’s history and reason for existence. It’s nice to get it correct.
Passport cancellations are another great way to commemorate a visit to a National Park. Beyond the initial $9 investment for the passport, these cancellation stamps are free. Each visitor center in each NPS location has its own stamp with the name of the park, location of the visitor center, and date. There are also usually some fun stamps that are probably meant for little kids or the junior ranger program…I’ve put those in my NPS Passport too. You could probably do this momento completely for free and keep all the stamps in some sort of book. However, the official passport has a listing of all NPS locations for each region in the country. Keeps everything nice and organized.
Brochures are another great freebie you can pick up. Often times, these are informative of activities or sights to see. The two in the picture above are from a visit I made to the Milwaukee Art Museum. I made sure to grab the brochure for the Posters of Paris exhibit (which was fantastic, by the way) since I couldn’t take pictures in that part of the museum.
Postcards! Postcards are a great little momento to keep for yourself or to send to someone back home. Usually, postcards are fairly cheap and you can get 3 or 4 for about $1. If you pick out bigger than normal postcards or they are fancier in some way, they’ll cost you a little bit more. Postcards can also remind you of something specific that happened on the trip. Take for example the postcard of the donkeys from Custer State Park. Normally, I probably wouldn’t have picked that one up, but Julie and I had a donkey encounter on our trip. We were stuck in a mini traffic jam with the donkeys and we had one leave some snot on the window. It was a hilarious incident that I really didn’t want to forget. So, I got a postcard.
Magnets are another favorite thing I like to pick up. These will cost you a little bit more, around $4-6 each. My fridge is littered with travel magnets holding up pictures and things to remember. They are constant reminders of how much fun I had at each place and also how much I want to travel to other places.
Finally, Stickers! Stickers are a fairly new souvenir item for me. I started noticing them as I began traveling more on the North Shore of Lake Superior. If you happen to be traveling this way, the Lake Superior Trading Post in Grand Marais has a fantastic collection of stickers to pick through. I’ve taken to displaying most of my stickers on my travel box (a box that houses a lot of travel items such as maps, visitor guides, or travel articles that may be needed for or could influence future travel). Also, the National Parks have official stickers that can go along with the Passport cancellations. I’ve been keeping my most recent ones for scrapbooking purposes.
I hope I’ve given you some new ideas of travel souvenirs to pick up…especially if you’re a scrapbooker of some type. I will admit that I generally don’t collect ALL these items for every place I visit. Take for example, my trip to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore this past weekend. I picked up the park newspaper, map, 2 visitor center cancellations, a magnet, and a few stickers. The next time I visit, it’s so darn close that I’m pretty sure I’ll visit again, I’ll probably only pick up the freebie items at the visitor centers.
Until next time, have fun souvenir collecting!
Julie is visiting me all week and we took a mini roadtrip in Wisconsin yesterday that included Amnicon Falls State Park, Ashland, Bayfield, and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Here’s one of my favorite photos of the day from a stop at Meyers Beach in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore area. Such a beautiful day!