For the Love of Books! (12×12 layout)

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I’ve had a lot of fun discovering some awesome books this year.  While I was definitely more engaged in reading books during some months more than others I’ve counted 13 books that I read cover to cover since January.  I have no idea how many books I started and stopped (too many to count!) but these were the ones that kept me turning the pages.  They were my favorites for sure.

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I didn’t really have a plan in mind for this layout except that I knew I wanted to use this photo I had taken in a hotel room back in the Spring.  The colors in the photo were black, white, and orangey brown, hence my *unintentionally* fall-ish looking spread!  I love how it just happens to be October when I’m sharing this ;-)

I normally end up hand writing my text, but since I’m hoping to add a few more books to this list by the end of December I thought a sporadic pattern would help me add in text pieces easily without the additions looking out of place.  IMG_5712

I’m really liking how the orange and gold accents bring warmth to the page.  Warmth and coziness are definitely things I associate with reading a good book, no matter what time of year!

Supplies Used:

Tiny Wood Veneer Shapes (Similar)

Wood Veneer Flower (Similar)

American Crafts Gold Alphabet Stickers

Amy Tangerine Stitched collection patterned papers

My Mind’s Eye My Story Rub-ons

Paris 12×12 Layout

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Woah, there’s been a whole lot of Paris on the blog lately!! Hopefully you’re not tired of seeing/hearing about Paris yet, but in case you are then I’ll just say that this is the last Paris-related post for awhile (that is until a giant mini book makes an appearance.  Ha!)

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If you’re noticing that the photos above look different than the photos below then you’re getting a little peek into the way that I work on my projects.

Usually I’ll keep a project on my desk right right up until the time I share it here on the blog.  I do this so that 1. I don’t forget to share it; and 2. So I can refer to the products as I’m writing up my post.  Since I usually have projects lying around, I’m constantly adding things to them until I’m happy with the look.  Sometimes this happens even after I’ve taken all of my photos and am basically ready to share it on the blog or Instagram.  The photo above shows where I left things last week when I thought I was done.  However, that was before I decided I needed to add a pop of pink, some more layers, and of course a journaling tag.   IMG_5703IMG_5705IMG_5707IMG_5706IMG_5704

I’m really happy that I made the little additions right before sharing the final project.  What do you think?  Sometimes, less is more, but other times it’s those final touches that make everything come together.  Surely I can’t be the only person out there that keeps adding and adding until it feels just right . . . right? ;-)

Supplies Used:

American Crafts gold alphabet stickers

Amy Tangerine Stitched collection patterned papers

My Mind’s Eye My Story Rub-ons and stickers and journal card

Crate Paper Journey accent stickers

September/October Book Roundup

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October has been a slooooooow reading month for me.  Although I had over 20 hours of plane travel in October, I fell into the movie marathon trap. It had been a long time since I’d sat down to watch a movie, so perhaps I felt the need to “catch up”?  I have no idea what it was, but the bottom line is that even though I took a book with me everywhere I went, I only got through about 50 pages *sigh*
Most of the reading below was done in September.  Not a lot here, but still worth sharing :-)
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles:  This isn’t normally a book I would reach for, so I was really happy when a good friend passed along her copy after finishing it.  To me, the story seemed to start out slow, but after about 50 pages things definitely picked up.  The story is set in 1938 New York and follows a young woman through a year in her life.  I know that sounds pretty ordinary, but what makes this book interesting are the encounters that the main character has with people that belong to upper class society along with her drive for independence so she can continue to do things on her own terms.

Building a Business by Maggie Whitley and Elise Blaha Cripe:  I love little e-book gems like this.  I’ve learned so much from Elise regarding small business from just reading her blog and listening to her podcast, so I was excited to hear she had co-authored this e-book.  This book is for anyone who is thinking about selling hand-made goods, wants to take their selling to a new level, or even for people who are generally thinking about making their blogging/craft into more than just a hobby.  There are so many great resources here.  I found myself skimming through some sections that I felt didn’t quite apply to me (or things that I’m just not thinking about yet), but I like knowing they are there so I can refer to them later.

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion: Like others out there I didn’t quite like this book as much as The Rosie Project.  I didn’t laugh as much, and I didn’t find the main character, Don, to be quite as charming.  Maybe I didn’t give myself enough of a break between the Rosie Project and the sequel to really appreciate it, but this one just didn’t click with me as much.  That being said, I still really enjoyed it (which probably says more about how much I really liked The Rosie Project!).  I still kept reaching for it night after night until I was finished.  If you read the Rosie Project and enjoyed it, I’d totally encourage you to pick this one up too.
Currently on my Fall/Winter reading list are: Fangirl, The Sky is Everywhere, The Invention of Wings, What Alice Forgot, and The Art of Possibility.
What are you reading?

Project Life: October 5-11

PL Oct 5-11 CoverThis week’s Project Life spread was pretty special . . . for what are likely obvious reasons :-) On occasions like this I get super excited about using a 2×2 grid layout so I have the flexibility to use more photos. Plus, tiny photos are the cutest, aren’t they?

I was so happy when I found the perfect set of digital stamp brushes to use on the layout.  Geralyn from In a Creative Bubble makes the cutest travel cards and brushes, and her Paris set was no exception.   I had a lot of fun customizing the colors to fit exactly what I wanted on my layouts.      IMG_5675IMG_5690IMG_5689IMG_5692IMG_5688IMG_5684IMG_5685IMG_5686IMG_5687

I’ll definitely be putting together a Paris travel mini in the near future, but this was a fun way to use these photos right away.

Happy Monday, Friends.  Hope you have a beautiful week!

Supplies:

Paris Stamp Brushes by In a Creative Bubble

New Adventures stamps by Kelly Purkey (can also purchase here)

Star Wood Veneer (similar here and here)

Brilliance Moonlight White ink

Adventures in Paris

Paris CoverLet me start this post by saying how grateful I am for the friends that gave me a reality check that visiting Paris and Rome during a 4-day European trip would be too much.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! It felt like four days went by much too quickly in this beautiful city.  I was amazed that we were able to see all of the sites that were at that top of our list and that we didn’t feel rushed.  It would have been icing on the already amazing cake to spend a few extra days sitting around in coffee shops, strolling through shops, and exploring the outskirts of the city, but I’m so grateful for the time we had there.

I remember reading somewhere about how photogenic Paris is- that it’s impossible to take a bad photo.  This is so true.  Even with gray skies, the beauty of Paris still shines through.  This city is like a painting everywhere you look.

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Our first day in Paris was mostly dedicated to getting ourselves set up logistically.  The ten hour flight along with the time change had us both feeling pretty exhausted, but we were determined to get ourselves set on Paris time as best we could.  By the time we got to bed on our first night we had been up well over 24 hours- talk about walking zombies!  It took awhile to get out of the airport mainly because we had to figure out our rental car situation.  One tip I have for anyone planning to visit Paris is to avoid renting a car if possible.  I wish I had read one of the many articles out there that talk about the tricky city driving.  Sometimes I think LA city streets can be tricky to maneuver, but you haven’t seen anything until you’ve tried driving in Paris.

The good news is that public transportation is efficient and pretty easy to figure out.  We got an Expedia tour pass which included 4 days of free public transportation, free museum entrance (which helped out so much to avoid the long ticket lines!) and a tour bus pass, which I’d totally recommend if you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the city (or even if you do!).
We stayed at the Pullman Paris Montparnasse.  If you like modern hotels, I’d totally recommend staying here.  We had an amazing view of Paris from our window, and we were really close to the metro and bus stations.  Beware of the outrageously expensive parking, or just avoid it by not renting a car :-)

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On our second day we picked up our Expedia tour passes and then headed straight to the Musee d’Orsay.  I LOVED this museum.  First of all, it’s cool that the museum was once a train station- just seeing the building itself is reason enough to visit.  But, if that doesn’t do it for you, you can say hello to paintings from the likes of Monet, Manet, and Renoir.

After spending a few hours in the museum, we walked along the River Seine, admiring the bridges, buildings, and overall beautiful architecture.

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On our third day we spent almost the entire day touring the Palace of Versailles and Marie Antoinette’s garden.  I was in complete awe of the palace itself, but especially the expansive gardens.  Marie Antoinette’s garden was like something out of a fairytale.  The pictures here really don’t do it justice. It was also here that I enjoyed the best cup of hot chocolate that I’ve ever tried.  We spent the rest of the day exploring Notre Dame, walking the streets, and of course overindulging in delicious pastries.

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On our fourth and final day we visited the Louvre.  I almost had a meltdown when I saw a sign that the museum would be closed due to a strike against pickpockets.  Thankfully, the museum still opened up mid-morning (cue happy cheers!) and we spent most of the afternoon walking the halls.  The museum is a converted palace that royalty used before the palace of Versailles.  I felt like the layout was partly amazing and partly downright confusing, but I can see why the Louvre is such a treasured museum.
We also enjoyed a bus trip all around the city and made a special stop at the Arch de Triumph where we climbed to the top to get some amazing city views.

20151008_161616Most of our stops were at the super touristy places, but I didn’t mind that one bit.  These have been the places that I’ve dreamed of visiting for the last 10 years, so making this trip a reality was truly the coolest thing ever. 

Have you been to Paris?  Is so, what were some of your favorite spots?  If I ever go back I’ll be seeking out recommendations for all of the cool less-known places ;-)