Category: lifestyle


WordPress has just informed me that today is the first anniversary of this blog! To celebrate, I shall introduce you to my new blog, Sweet Wanderings. I will be moving to London for a year whenever I am granted a visa, most likely sometime in July-ish or August maybe, and I will be blogging my journey and experiences there! I may still post some crafty things over the next year, but probably not nearly as much because I will be busy seeing as much of London and Europe as I can while I’m there, and I can’t lug all my crafty stuff with me!

Looking back over the past year, I’ve written several posts on Smashbooks because I love them, and I’ve completed two of them. I started this Smashbook last fall and posted about the beginnings of it. Now I’ve been to a few more places, and it’s all filled up!
Travel Smashbook

Travel Smashbook - New York City

NYC – Julie Andrews book signing and Broadway show

Travel Smashbook - Paris

Paris day trip from London on my birthday

Travel Smashbook - New Zealand Bungy

Bungy jumping in New Zealand

Travel Smashbook - Portland

fun times in Portland, Oregon

Travel Smashbook - Muir Woods, SF

Muir Woods, a beautiful redwood forest across the bay from San Francisco

Travel Smashbook - San Francisco

beautiful San Francisco

Travel Smashbook - Los Angeles

Warner Brothers Studio/Los Angeles

Travel Smashbook - Los Angeles

Hollywood, California

Travel Smashbook

I love my Smashbooks! I bought a big red one to fill during the next year or so, since I figure I’ll need a lot of room with my adventures living in London. 🙂

If you liked this post, check out my other Smashbook posts: Smashbooking and 2012 Smashbook – Complete!

SMASHbooks have a LOT of pages. I haven’t counted them, so A LOT is my estimate. I’ve finished my Smashbook of stuff from the 2012 year, which I actually didn’t start until May. I also decorated the cover, and it makes me totally happy.

Smashbook Cover

Here’s a sampling of the pages.

Smashbook Page

Smashbook Page

Smashbook Page

Smashbook Page

Smashbook Page

Smashbook Page

If you aren’t familiar with Smashbooks, you can find an explanation and some other pages from my 2012 Smashbook here, as well as pages from my International Smashbook (I’ll be posting more from my recent trips soon as well!)


A third and final 2012 reflection post. I saw these prompts and couldn’t resist reflecting on this year in yet another way. I can hardly believe all this is from just one year…

1. Me! – picture of yourself (you don’t have to show your face). What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2012? 

2. I Love You – picture of your husband, boyfriend, children, pets, etc. 

3. Still Laughing… – a moment you’re still laughing about now…tell us a story. 

Once upon a time (Memorial Day weekend), a girl and her boyfriend decided it would be fun to rent a jetski while visiting Detroit. The jetski turned out to be defective, and said girl was somewhat scared for her life. The Coast Guard rescued her while the boyfriend took the defective jetski back to the renter people, and they got their money back and lived happily ever after, except for the huge bruise on her leg that there’s still a mark from.
This picture of me with the coast guard captain just amuses me.

4. Winter Wonderland – a picture that reflects Winter.

5. Birthday – share a birthday picture (your own or someone you love). 

my friend Corinna hanging her birthday present

6. Friends – a picture with friends (this could be your friends or your children with their friends). 

7. I Was Inspired… – could be a picture of your inspiration (person or thing), or inspired by… 

This woman (named Corinna, coincidentally also a good friend of mine’s name) was my tour guide on a photography tour of London. I loved it – she inspired me to travel even more and to get a DSLR camera to take more creative/interesting pictures of wherever I am.

8. Spring Fever – a picture that reflects Spring.

 
Spring in London

9. Travel or Vacation – a picture taken on vacation or on a recent travel experience…even if it was only a few miles away.

Abbey Park in Leicester

10. Summer Days – a picture that reflects Summer. 

Deep fried snickers bar at the state fair.

11. A Day In My Life – a picture of a typical day in your life. 

Drinking hot chocolate at my computer out of my disappearing TARDIS mug. This reflects how much I love Doctor Who, as well as how I work in my office every day.

12. All Smiles – a picture that makes you smile or of smiling faces. 

This cat is just too adorable. Every time I see him lying on the floor like this (pretty much daily) it makes me smile.

13. Autumn Harvest – a picture that reflects Autumn/Fall. 

14. Family or Home – a picture of your family or a picture that represents family/home for you. 

A magnet on my grandma’s fridge.

15. Celebrate! – a picture that reflects a celebration. 

Fourth of July fireworks.

16. Let’s Do It Again… – a picture of something you’d like to do again soon. 

I’d like to go back to New York City. Maybe not “soon”, but there is so much to see and do, and my visit was too short.

17. I Miss You – a picture of someone or something you really miss. 

I miss these two. This picture also makes me smile.

18. Beautiful – a picture of someone or something you find beautiful. 

Gorgeous orchids from the boyfriend this fall.

19. Dress Up – this might be a picture from Halloween or not…but someone who is all dressed up! 

Revenge of the Nerds – Halloween at the office.

20. Macro – share your favorite macro or close-up image. 

21. Holidays – a picture from the Holiday of your choice. 

Ugly Sweater holiday contest at the office. 🙂

22. My Favorite – share your favorite picture or memory from 2012. 

View from a hot air balloon. What a big, beautiful world we live in.

23. Don’t Ever Change – something you love about yourself, someone, or something that you never want to change. 

My Jasmine is my favorite cat in the whole world. She comforts me daily. I love her SO much, she is perfect to me and I hope her cuddly, purry, sweet, adorable self never changes.

My 2012 in Pictures

I posted a few pictures in my year in review post, but I’ve loved this year and wanted to expand on that and do a photo-only 2012 post as well. After my UK trip, I was inspired to get a DSLR camera, and I have since taken a LOT more pictures. I narrowed them down to 20 photographs, highlighting my important moments and a few of my favorite pictures. Very few of these have been posted on my blog, and no crafty/foodie stuff is included, because I wanted this all to be new and different to my readers.

Click on any one to see it larger and see the caption.

Christmas Cards

Now that it’s December and the magical holiday season is upon us, I plan on doing a lot more posts than usual, because I love it. A lot of them will be shorter, just showing off my decorations and holiday themed stuff, but my goal will be blogging 2-3 times a week this month. Yay!

First up, my Christmas cards. I had never had any interest in sending them before, but I like getting them. I bought these in January at Barnes & Noble for at least half off, and I thought they were adorable. The box only came with 14 cards, so I tried to limit it to mostly people I don’t see often who I thought might like one. If you got one, feel special. I may send out more next year.

Kitten Christmas Card

I kept it super simple by just writing a message in the store-bought cards.

inside of Christmas card

Most of my handwritten messages were a variation of, “I wish peace, love, and happiness to you this Christmas season.”

Christmas Card envelope

I love the envelopes they came with. And I got sheets of blank labels to print out the addresses and return addresses, and bought holiday themed stamps, too.

So excited was I to send my first Christmas cards that I had them ready to go by Thanksgiving, and I mailed them out the weekend after. I’m looking forward to getting a few from my friends as well!

My Life Goals

I love making lists. I have a ton of them on listgeeks.com. I was probably around 14 when I made my first list of things I wanted to do in life, and I have been mentally adding and crossing things off for a decade now. I recently found my old one and it looks something like this, with my completed items crossed off:

  • travel overseas
  • ride an airplane
  • ride a train
  • go to Florida
  • go to England
  • meet Julie Andrews
  • go to California
  • go to New York
  • go skydiving
  • go on a cruise

I have been able to do a lot of the things I wanted to do in the last ten years. Just this week I spent a few days in New York City and met my favorite celebrity, singer/actress/writer Julie Andrews, at a book signing for her new children’s book, which crossed off two things! I no longer want to go skydiving, as I floated in a crazy skydiving simulator and I’ve gone bungee jumping and looved it. I have a trip planned to California in a few months. And a cruise will probably happen in the next couple of years.

me at the top of the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand

A few months ago I wrote out an updated list of all the things I want to do now, and since then I rode in a hot air balloon and met Julie soon after seeing a Broadway show. As you can see, much of it involves traveling, exploring, and trying new things.

  • meet Julie Andrews
  • re-visit New Zealand
  • move to a different country
  • live on the US West Coast
  • ride in a hot air balloon
  • ride a motorcycle
  • visit Japan
  • go skinnydipping
  • visit a real, old castle
  • visit Toronto
  • see a Broadway show in NYC
  • go on a cruise
  • go scuba diving or snorkeling
  • marry the love of my life
  • try skiing
  • visit the Louvre
  • ride in a horse-drawn carriage
  • see a movie at a drive-in theater
  • kiss in the rain
  • make a souffle
  • Go on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg
  • see Julie Andrews’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • ride over the Golden Gate Bridge
  • go on a road trip with no predetermined destination
  • lie out on a nude beach
  • go parasailing
  • try a raw, vegan food diet for a week
  • go waterskiing

Manhattan skyline at sunset

I am looking forward to doing all this over the years, adding more items and crossing them off. And now I have a poll for today, as I am curious…

Ramblings and Photos
It’s that time again! Needless to say, my photos have a 4th of July theme this week.
1. Patriotic
Where I currently live, my town’s 4th of July parade passes right in front of my apartment complex. This makes it inconvenient to leave for a few hours, but it’s pretty cool that I don’t have to go anywhere to see this fun parade. I thought these balloons, carried by people from a local balloon shop, were fun and very patriotic.
2. View From Above
My delicious strawberry shortcake treat from the Lion’s Club next door being viewed from above.
3. Mosaic
This is a 3D puzzle that the boyfriend put together, a mosaic of clear plastic in the shape of a sapphire diamond.
4. Something Tiny
Moshi has tiny toes, nose, and whiskers. Yes, I love taking pictures of the cats, and Moshi is an especially good model because he actually stays still.
5. Vibrant
If there was just one vibrant thing I saw this week, it was definitely the fireworks. I didn’t take this picture, the boyfriend did, but I love the shot, and I remember this moment in the show with all the pretty, sparkly white ones.

Recently I found a box of memorabilia from my past international trips, which seemed like the PERFECT opportunity to buy an International Smashbook and fill it up! Here are a few of the pages from this fun smashbook so far:

Italy and Greece were the destinations for my first international trip, so I kept just about everything I got my hands on as a souvenir. I included tickets, brochures, postcards, receipts, anything in the native language that I thought was cool like water bottle labels, etc…

I LOVED Greece so I had even more stuff from it.

And a few years later I went to New Zealand for a month, an AMAZING country and one of the best experiences of my life. I love that I can smash some of my memories into this book. It’s just so much better than keeping them all in a box to be sorted through with confusion in the distant future.

And here are a couple of London-y pages that I LOVE but haven’t filled in yet (if I do fill them in… I dunno if I want to cover the illustrations up!)

Feel free to link up here if you have any smashbook pages you want to share!

If you liked this but haven’t seen my first Smashbook post, check it out!

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This week was another Scavenger Hunt I enjoyed. I’ve started editing my photos a little more, doing some cropping here and there and other minor things, but I leave most of them alone. I really love getting a naturally good shot without having to mess with it. This week I’m going to switch back to the normal format and not do the gallery, because a lot of people don’t bother to click on them and see them big anyway (even though they look better big!) 🙂 Linking up with Sarah Halstead this week.

1. Sunset

I didn’t see a lot of interesting sunsets this week, and usually buildings and trees are blocking my view, but I caught this cloudy one peeking between the trees and thought it was pretty.

Paper Heart Camera

2. Sweet

I could not choose between these two pictures, because I think they are both sweet. I went to my cousin Katie’s wedding yesterday, and there was this fantastic dessert bar with all these adorable and delicious desserts: cake pops, tiny cupcakes, macaroons, cheescake shooters, etc. and I just loved looking at their table. And the couple was just super cute and sweet; it was adorable watching Katie and “hot Ryan” throughout the wedding and reception and how in love they are. And how sweet it was that they didn’t stuff each other’s faces (though that would be harder to do with the tiny desserts!)

3. Hanging Around

This panda backpack and penguin, gifts I’ve given the boyfriend, are hanging around his computer chair. This subject matter has so little color anyway that it’s barely noticeable that it is in black and white. 🙂

4. Funny Face

Moshi kitty is totally making a funny face at Jasmine. They act like siblings, and this was right after some playful roughhousing, so this is only natural. I love it.

5. Space

There’s a space between the two trunks of this tree, and also I’m really taking a picture of space with a shadow under it. Also a great illustration of how brown the grass has gotten due to the worsening, hot drought here in Indiana.

I hope you all enjoyed this week’s photos!

Socks, Beer, and Doctor Who

Interesting combination, right? Well, there’s no actual beer involved, just this:

I gave it to the boyfriend for his birthday because he loves Guinness, and I had seen the idea on Pinterest (naturally) which can be found here.

Basically, I just got a couple of black socks and a white sock (the kind with fuzzy stuff of the inside so the white resembles foam):

I folded over the black sock, stuffed the white sock in it so that the white sock stuck out, and messed with it until I got something that resembled beer. It was fun – I was probably more amused than the boyfriend, but he actually likes getting new socks and liked the glass so it all worked out.

I also want to show you this poster that I was given by my friend Dave and hung up in my bedroom (and you can tell I was excited about it because it takes me forever to get around to hanging things up).

All the Whovians out there will probably know what this is from – one of my very favorite episodes where the Doctor goes back in time and meets Van Gogh!