Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Blog Banner by Tim Kilkenny

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Tim Kilkenny, my internet friend, sent me a message saying he was inspired by my blog name and had created a banner for me, but wouldn't be offended if I didn't want it. I loved the fact that someone wanted to do something for my blog! However, I have been trying to upload banners for months but blogger always said I reached the quota and wouldn't be able to upload anymore. 

I had him send me them anyways and fell in love! It is so unique and fits my blogs name perfectly! AND to my surprise I was able to upload it to my blog! I thought I was going to have to learn html, but it turns out I didn't (although I'm still going to try)! I added my own handwriting to the title because I couldn't find a font I liked.

Anyways, Tim is an awesome photographer and a fellow lover of Cleveland. Please check out his other work on his Flickr! He is also selling a book, called Meet the Cleveland Kid, of his Cleveland photographs which you can purchase through Blurb, here!

12 Thanks: V.1

This year I wanted to do a 365 challenge. If you are unfamiliar with the concept it's one where you take 365 photos, one for each day of the year. However, I work entirely too much and three days a week I work doubles, so there is little time to take pictures, let alone upload and blog about them in a timely fashion. It lasted about two days and then it ended. Then I was going to do a 52 week photo challenge and by the time Saturday of the first week came around I hadn't done it yet, then I had to go to urgent care, and dropped my phone in soup. So, I scratched that idea. I decided I'd do a monthly project. I can do 12... I hope!

This year I am going to do 12 Months of Thanks. Every month I will take pictures of something of I am thankful for. I didn't come up with this idea until January 26. Oops. But as I was editing pictures from my grandma's house it came to me. Plus, being depressed makes me lose sight of what I should be thankful for.

For January I am thankful for dinner dates. If you think about it dinner is the perfect time to meet up with family and friends. So much can happen over dinner. Good conversation, good company, and good food. On the 12th I went over my grandma's house just to hang out. When I would come back from school I would always go visit my grandma, but now that I'm living back home I rarely make it out to see her. It's mostly because Saturday is my only day off, and by the time Saturday roles around I'm either cleaning or running errands.

I went to visit my grandma and ended up staying for dinner. We threw together a quick dinner of salad, tilapia, and potatoes. My grandma is the best, and she is always trying to make everyone comfortable. You can be certain to be offered coffee or tea when you visit. I respected her wishes and didn't take any pictures of her.
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What are you thankful for this month?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

DIY Perpetual Journal Calendar

I saw this project a while ago on Design Sponge and wanted make my own. I figured January would be a perfect month to start because then I would be able to start the journal from day one. I am one of those people who can't start something in the middle of the year. I have a lot of peculiarities about me. It just wouldn't have been right to me to have my journal start in April because then it would just throw it off every year.
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What you need:
  • 190 4x6 Notecards-  this size notecard is actually a lot harder to find than you would think. I ended up buying them at K Mart for more than I would like to spend, but it was cheaper than CVS and WalMart was completely out. I know! How can Wal Mart be out? Also, make sure you start off with more notecards than you would need because I did make several errors, especially while stamping.
  • Vintage Post Cards- I bought mine on Etsy, but depending on what you want and how much you are willing to spend you can also check out Amazon.com or Ebay.com. Also, check out your local antique stores!
  • Paper Trimmer- I got mine at Joann Fabrics, but I know they sell them a lot of places, including Walmart.
  • Berry Box- I bought mine from Sur La Table, but you can find nice ceramic ones from Anthropologie. You can also find an a real berry box from local flea markets or online, like Etsy, Amazon, or Ebay.
  • Ink Pad
  • Pen
  • Date Stamp- I bought mine from Danni on her Etsy site, but now she sells on Storenvy. I also believe you can probably find them on Etsy or other craft stores.

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I started by cutting my cards in half. DO NOT cut more than two cards at a time or they will end up not cutting straight. I also trimmed my postcards to be the same width as my notecards, but slightly taller so they can divide the months.
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Then I stamped all of my notecards. This is a very mind numbing task. Make sure you make a notecard for February 29! You don't need to add years!
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I stamped by day, so I did Jan 1, Feb 1, etc. and then I put the cards in piles by month. It was easier for me.
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The point of the notecards is that you add to it every year with just a little something to remember the day. It's a one line journal! The hardest part is keeping the entry on one line! Your memories can be anything from "breakfast with mom" to "got engaged!"
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It's a really cute idea and I hope to make several for friends.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Currently

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Reading: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. Seriously, such an amazing book. It was so hard to put down from page one. I really like historical fiction, especially stories set during World War I and II, such as The Book Thief. This book is set in 1950s Russia (aka Soviet Union), and it sets the perfect setting for being stuck in a country and realizing that there is really nothing you can do when you have no help from the country. It is very similar to 1984 with the idea of big brother watching you.

Watching: Mad Men Season 5. I haven't started season 5 yet, but I am looking forward to it. I've been waiting for Netflix to have it ever since I ended season 4 months ago. Luckily, Spencer was awesome enough to give it to me!

Working on: Nothing yet, but I need to start a new craft project. I have an idea of what I want to do, but I need the supplies to do so. I'm also trying to brainstorm ideas for where I want this blog to go. It needs a makeover. A while ago I actually made a banner, but I ran of out photo space so blogger wouldn't let me upload it unless I bought more space. Let's face it I'm CHEAP. I am also working on a photo project or 52 week project. I have until tomorrow to figure it out if I want to do it still. Oops.

Thinking about: I am highly considering quitting from one of the school districts. I applied hoping it would be like my student teaching experience, but I was in for such a blow. I am not one to care about what students think about me. What they say or do to me doesn't make me feel like it is personal to me. You know what I mean? But working in this school district is just so hard. I have panic attacks and I can't sleep because I hate doing it so much. I wanted to stick through with it to use it as a learning experience, and I hate quitting jobs, but I just can't do it. Many people have told me that it's not worth being this stressed out about, and I'm finally starting to agree. I'm hoping to get hired with another school district, which I am almost certain will happen. 

Anticipating: 2013. I have 12 months where anything, and I mean ANYTHING can happen. My future jobs, relationships, travels are all up in the air.
Also, anticipating getting over this bronchitis so I can finally start running again.

Listening to: States. I love this band, and now that Christmas (and Christmas music is over) it was the first cd I put in my car and have been playing it over and over.

Eating: Pea soup and drinking Erie Island Coffee Co coffee. My mom makes the best pea soup, and I really need  to eat fast because I have to be at work in a bit.

Wishing: Something good and exciting would happen in my life. I just feel like I'm going through the motions every day. I hate living at home. I don't have many friends and I don't do much. I need something exciting to happening or someone good to come into my life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

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I'm posting this several days late, but better late than never they say. I'm hoping 2013 will be better for me than 2012. 2012 wasn't terrible but I just felt like the entire year nothing good was happening. If it wasn't bad it was just a stand still and I was going through the motions day after day. In 2012, I had plenty of interviews but no jobs. I lost two best friends. I moved back in with my parents. I started paying back school loans. And I continued falling further away from the Lord. I can't guarantee 2013 will be any better but you have to make your own happiness. Here is a list of what I hope to accomplish this year:

1. Read at least one book each month: For the past 2 years I have made it my goal to read 20 books in one year. Both years I failed to read that many, so this year I'm making a more realistic goal. I can read more, but I have to read at least one entire book each moth.

2. Workout/be active: At the end of 2012 I started the Couch to 5k training. However, I ended up catching bronchitis because I ran outside in the cold air and didn't have my mouth, nose, and ears covered. I haven't been able to run in several weeks, so once I get better I need to start over.

3. Take more pictures: I really truly believe my photography has gotten better since I got my camera, but I still have much to learn. I really wanted to do a 365 project, but I already failed. But I think I have an idea for a new project which will take place every month. Just keep an eye out for it. :)

4. Be more intentional in pursuing Christ: This is pretty self explanatory. I need to open up my Bible, find a church, and surround myself with community.

5. Explore Cleveland: It is really hard to enjoy a city when all you do is work. In my last few months in Cincinnati I tried to explore as much as I could. I need to do the same with Cleveland. I don't have many friends here anymore, so it is a challenge to get me to do stuff on my own, but I need to just suck it up and do it. 

6. Get a teaching job or better career: I am miserable being a substitute teacher. I dread going in and I hate not having my own class. It's not what I want to do and they longer it takes me to find a real job the harder I am on myself. I know this goal is hard because I can't guarantee myself a job, but I need to find something better than what I'm doing. I just dread having to start the search over again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Arkansas V.4: The Trip + Instagram

Saturday, December 29, 2012: We headed out at 3:30 am. We weren't sure what time we were going to leave because a huge snow storm was coming up, and we would have run into it no matter what time we left. Becky wanted to leave early because she didn't want to be driving all day. It's a 15ish hour drive!

We ended up leaving right when the snow storm started. The roads were terrible, but I can't complain because I was sitting in the back seat. :) I tried to fall asleep, but I'm a terrible car sleeper. I hadn't slept since 8 am Friday morning! I managed about 20-30 minutes of sleep, I think.

It took us a while to get to Cincinnati because the roads were so bad. But we finally made it and I took this picture in hopes of catching the Welcome to Kentucky sign, but the sign was too far in the distance.
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The rest of the drive was pretty smooth because the snow had stopped. In Tennessee we stopped and ate at Zaxby's then I took over driving through Nashville to Memphis. We tried to convince Spencer to let us eat at Cracker Barrel, but he wouldn't let us. We gave him a hard time about it, and we still expect to go sometime! While I was driving there was a point no one was talking and I thought I was going to fall asleep. But luckily they had pop and so I caffeinated myself up. Also, it started snowing a bit when I started driving, typical.

Right before we got to Memphis we stopped for gas and Becky drove again because I had never seen the Mississippi River and I really wanted to take pictures. I also tried my best to quickly get a picture of the Arkansas welcome sign on my phone. My goal was to get a welcome sign from all the states, but that didn't happen. Guess I'll just have to go back to Arkansas! ;)
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By the time we reached Arkansas we were all about ready to just get out of the car. It had been a long day. With our luck we were stopped in traffic for a bit because of construction, but it wasn't as long as the traffic they had been stopped in when they were coming up.

Around 6 we finally made it to their apartment! We unpacked all their things from the car, and spent the rest of the night unpacking and cleaning. We settled down with some pizza and a movie. Have you seen End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal? You should watch it.

Sunday, January 30, 2012: The next day they took me to see the Little Rock Central High School and Museum. I love being the touristy one and visiting national landmarks. It's actually a cool place to visit. The school was massive!
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On our way back from the museum they drove me past the state capitol. Is it sad that I don't even think I've seen Ohio's State Capitol? We drove through downtown Little Rock and saw a bunch of cute shops and restaurants. People ask what is there to do in Arkansas, but to be honest if you are by the city it's pretty much the same as any other big city.
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Afterwards we headed back towards where they lived and went to lunch at Olive Garden. Then to Target (for the first and definitely not last time during my stay). Afterwards Spencer had to get his car washed twice.... Then we went to Kroger to pick up groceries because they didn't have much and I bought supplies to make avocado pie! :)

We went back to their apartment and just relaxed. For dinner Becky made white chicken chili and we finished watching End of Watch

Monday, December 31, 2012: On Monday Becky and Spencer said they had somewhere to take me but left it a surprise. Knowing I love antique malls (and mentioning I wanted to visit on down there) they took me to Mid-Towne Antique Mall. It was so overwhelming to walk through, but there were some great things there. I took a picture of a few of my favorite finds that I didn't buy. I really really REALLY wanted the sewing machine, but there was no way I was going to be able to 1. afford it, and 2. bring it back to Ohio with me. I ended up buying some old pictures and postcards and an old Prince Albert cigarette tin for my dad because he collects old tins and it had our last name on it.
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Afterwards, we got gas at a Kroger and Becky told Spencer to cash in their lottery ticket. Turns out the ticket was for Ohio not Arkansas. Spencer said the guy didn't notice which is good but still really funny. Then we went back to their apartment to eat lunch and so Becky could get ready for work. One thing I learned from them was that you do not need a microwave to survive. We heated up our food in the oven, and it got me thinking that it's probably a lot healthier not to have a microwave.

After Becky left for work Spencer took me to Arkansas Armory, Inc. to teach me to shoot a gun. I had to watch a quick video and then there was a wait so we headed to Kroger to pick up supplies for our New Years drinks. We went back to Arkansas Armory and took turns shooting. I am TERRIBLE at shooting a gun and shot into the ceiling a few times (oops!). But then we got a target that was a bit longer which was better because I'm short. It is so hard to shoot a gun though! They are heavy and the kick they give is kind of scary. Spencer and I decided that I would just keep the sword in the zombie apocalypse. But if needed I could shoot the boars in the legs if needed (as seen in the picture). Out of the entire target I managed to hit the small skinny leg like 4 times...
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Afterwards we headed to Target (again) to look around and pass the time. Then went back to their apartment and hung out until Becky got off work. Around 7 we picked her up and headed to Papitos Loco for some amazing Mexican food. They had awesome chips!

We went back to their apartment for the New Years Eve festivities and made some mixed drinks, took pictures, and attempted to play a card game. We didn't even make it to midnight because we were all exhausted. Plus, their midnight is an hour behind what I'm used to because of the time zones. So, I didn't feel all that bad. At least I was awake for one of them even though I wasn't in the right time zone. :)
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013: Happy New Year! We started off by going to The Old Mill where they were married. It wasn't open so we just had to look at it through the bars. It was a really cool place and really pretty! Then we went to Bed Bath and Beyond. Spencer kept apologizing for taking me around on their errands, but I could care less because it was better than sitting at my house in Ohio. We were getting kind of hungry so we ate at Five Guys. We attempted to eat at Cracker Barrel again, but Spencer didn't want to wait the 45 minutes. Afterwards we went to... you guessed it... Target!

We went back to their apartment and just hung out. We ended up just hanging out there the rest of the night because we were all exhausted. They had done nothing but run around for two weeks while they were in Ohio, and I didn't have to go anywhere. It was nice to just hang out with people since I've been pretty lonely in Ohio. 

We had our "last supper" that night consisting of steak, Kale Salad (made by Becky), and Risotto (made by Spencer). We opened up the champagne I bought for New Years Eve but didn't end up drinking. All of it was so delicious, the champagne included. We finished off our night by watching The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Spencer couldn't believe the number of movies I had never seen. 
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013: I woke up early and Becky took me to the airport around 8:15. It was really sad to finally be leaving because I had so much fun. I just didn't want to go back to reality in Ohio that consisted of me working and sleeping. Hopefully I can see them again soon! I am so appreciative of all they had done for me while I was there.
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I had a 30 minute layover in Chicago and it was the first time I'd even been to O'Hare. I didn't see much of the airport, but it was really nice! I haven't been to Chicago in several years. I'd like to go back sometime soon, but there are so many other places I'd like to see.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Arkansas V.3: The Last Days

Just some final pictures of my trip. I kind of regret not taking more, but I'm still learning and I need a bigger memory card. :)
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