Saturday, March 24, 2018

Memory Keeping: Saint Petersburg, Florida

If I keep saying how much I'm loving pocket page scrapbooking please forgive me, but I LOVE pocket page scrapbooking! It's the best thing since sliced bread. The thing I love the most about it besides that it's so much easier than traditional scrapbooking is that I can mix it with traditional scrapbooking when I want to. It's the best of both worlds and these two pages show precisely that. 

This spread is about the birthday trip I took to Florida last year. The boarding pass page was inspired by the wonderful Kelly Purkey. Check out her process on her blog here.

Please tell me what is your favorite type of memory keeping?

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore

It has been a while since I wrote about a book, but it has also been a while since I read a book that really moved me. I finished Fat Girl: A True Story recently and I was moved to tears by it at least a handful of times. 

This memoir is mainly about Judith Moore's difficult childhood as an overweight little girl who is constantly yearning for love, acceptance and affection from her single mother. At times it is difficult to read because you feel so heartbroken for Judith. It is not a happy book to say the least, but I think this book is perhaps a great reminder to us all to be a little kinder to people because we have no idea of the things that they have experienced in their lives and why they are the way they are. 

Judith's story reminded me very much of my own struggles with weight and how people have been quick to judge me. Not to say that I haven't been that person who has made a quick assumption about someone I barely knew. I have been guilty of this as well. At the end of the day we have to remember that nobody's life is perfect and the way that each of us copes with our hardships is unique to each of us.

Overall I enjoyed reading Judith Moore's memoir. I was a little disappointed because the book seemed to end kind of abruptly, but I think what I enjoyed the most about it is that I could relate to many of the things Judith experienced and felt and knowing that another person in the world has had similar experiences makes me feel a little less like a freak and a little more human and we could all use more of that feeling can't we?

Thanks for stopping by.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Traveler's Notebook: Finca Vigia, The Hemingway House

Product links: Butterfly Stamps, Butterfly Stickers, & Traveler's Notebook Insert.
If you follow me on Instagram it's no secret that I have been obsessed with Traveler's Notebooks in the last year or so. It seems like I am moving away from the traditional 12" x 12" scrapbook pages more and more and instead documenting my travels in these little notebooks that measure about 4.33" x 8.25."

This particular little spread is making my heart very happy because look at all those butterflies and look at Ernest Hemingway's house in Cuba which is full of books! What's not to love? Especially when butterflies and books are two of my most favorite things. Stay tuned for my Cuba trip blog post coming soon.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Until next time!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

What I Learned From My First Half Marathon

I did it. I completed my very first half marathon about a month ago and for someone like me who has never been a runner (as a kid I didn't really run either) I think this is pretty fucking awesome. It took me 3 hours and 27 minutes to finish the whole 13.1 miles which equates to approximately 15 minutes a mile, but it was almost three and half hours of badassery if you ask me and let me tell you why, because running is hard people! Especially when you're out of shape and don't have an ounce of athletic ability in you which I don't. None. Even as a kid I always got picked last for sports teams during P.E. and I have this suspicion that I only got picked because the team captains had no other choice. Yes, I was that kid, the chubby kid who couldn't (and still can't) throw a ball to save her life. A few summers ago I took tennis lessons and I still can't play, that's how bad I am at sports. So to think that I could ever run, let alone run a half marathon is completely out of character for me, but I did it. I actually participated in a half marathon and completed it and while I know I am no poster child for health and fitness and definitely not an expert in running, I think this experience has taught me a few things that I'd like to share with people who maybe want to start running and participate in a race, so here's what I've learned so far:

1.) Get Some Good Running Shoes. They are expensive, but so worth it. Just make sure you go to a running store to get fitted for the right pair. I've attended Zumba classes for the last 6 or 7 years and ever since I started running I use my running shoes for Zumba class too and I can tell a huge difference on my feet when I use regular tennis shoes instead of my running ones. My feet don't feel as supported and they hurt. When you are putting that much stress on your feet they need support and good running shoes are the only option. The good news is that this is the most expensive thing you will buy. You don't need fancy workout clothes or gadgets to run especially at first when you don't know how much money you want to invest into this thing. I did just fine with my Walmart and Target yoga pants and t-shirts that I already owned;

2.) Find a mentor. I was lucky enough to have my boss mentor me through this thing. He is a seasoned runner and he answered my questions, gave me tips and even cheered me on (thanks Jason!). If you don't know anyone personally who is a runner use social media to find someone. I have found that I really enjoy following accounts of people who document their running, fitness, weight loss, and nutritional journeys on social media and I also find them very helpful and inspirational. Most of the time they are happy to answer your questions;

3.) But do what works for you. Everybody is different, so what works for one runner may not work for another. Listening to your body and practicing different nutritional intake methods for long runs, etc., is all part of the learning process. I'm still learning about this stuff myself. Don't feel like you have to do what other runners do. Take the advice or suggestions with a grain of salt is all I'm trying to say;

4.) Don't give up and be consistent. I know this is a given, but it has to be mentioned since there will be times, many times, when you will want to give up because you think it is too hard or you're too out of shape or you think you're too slow or you feel self conscious and uncomfortable. (I was really hung up on how slow of a runner I am for a long time, but I got over it.) The list of why you want to quit is endless and reminds of when people go to my Zumba and Yoga classes for the first time and about 20 minutes into the class they walk out because they can't keep up or can't do some of the moves. I always feel like yelling out, "Wait! Don't leave, it gets easier! You're not even giving it a chance!" Doesn't everything we do get easier the more we do it? Just look back at every job you've ever had and how you might not have known how to do everything at the beginning, but you learned and the more you did it the more it became like second nature to you. It's the same thing with running, it gets easier the more you do it and like anything there will be good days and bad days so be prepared for that as well, but consistency is key; and

5.) Sign up for a race. Nothing will motivate you more than the pressure of having a race with a date set in stone creeping up on you. Believe me it works and 5k races are a good way to get your feet wet and then you can work your way up from there.

This whole experience has made me very happy and hopeful for the future. If I'm overweight with bad knees, mild sleep apnea, sinus headaches, and plantar fasciitis at times and I was able to do this, I'm starting to believe that maybe I can do ANYTHING and that is perhaps the most important thing I have learned from this experience.

I hope to continue my running journey this year and see where it takes me. I would love to lose some more weight, see how my body changes and improve my speed and my confidence. So here's to those of us who dream and chase after those dreams, literally. Onward and upward!

Thank you for reading my story.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

This book is so many things. Too many things. Perverse. Mystifying. Poignant. Sinister. Tragic. And yes, at times even comical.

I thought for sure the sociopath in me would feel absolutely no sympathy for Humbert Humbert. I was wrong (damn you Nabokov!) because for a mere few pages I did. I was sure I would give this book 3 stars out of 5 at the most, but as I kept reading I discovered this type of writing deserves 5 because it is the kind of writing that makes you want to be a writer. I think everyone should read this book at least once in their life.

"Great novels are shocking; and then, after the shock dies, you get aftershocks." -Martin Amis

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Conquer: My Word for 2017

I have always loved the start of the new year because it feels like a fresh start, a new beginning.

Normally I would write down my goals and resolutions for the year and share them here, but this year I'm trying something a little bit different. While I will write down a to-do list for the year, I do not intend on sharing it on this blog. Instead, I will just share the word I have chosen for 2017 which is Conquer. This word will be my point of focus for the year and I will incorporate it into my life as much as possible. I have already put it down in my notebook as shown above, but I want to make it visible to me in other areas too like my office and bedroom so that I see it every single day, multiple times a day even. I have shit to conquer dammit!

If you're unfamiliar with this idea I invite you to check out this video by Ali Edwards where she explains her One Little Word® concept.

Do you have any resolutions, a to-do list, or a word for 2017? Whatever it is that you have in mind for this year, I hope your 2017 is filled with productivity and fulfillment. I now that's what I want in mine.

Until next time!