currently.

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Watching Tosh.0 with P.

Drinking French press coffee with whole milk and stevia.

Remembering how much I love whipping up simple, simple things in the kitchen.

Logging my food with My Fitness Pal and syncing it with Fitbit.

Putting in some hilarious workout DVDs to get my steps in for the day.

Daydreaming about more days at the pool this summer.

Planning for at least one more pool day & a clam feast with my papa this weekend.

Working on going easier on myself & being kinder to everyone else.

Photo Hanging Plans

I have seen “gallery walls” on some of my favorite blogs. I don’t know if it’s too buzz-wordy to use, or if it’s actually what they’re called. (Wikipedia has failed me for the first time.)

So I decided I wanted to try, too. There’s a great empty wall in the dining room area of our new apartment. So when we took our big, delightful Ikea trip, I decided to stock up on lots of inexpensive black frames. I didn’t know what photos I had for what, but I just chose some random sizes, bigger and small, and extras of the really cheap 8.5×11 and 5×7 sizes.

Then I sat down on the living room floor and cut out printer paper shapes for all of my frames. That’s what the other blogs told me to do. Easy peasy.

Long story short, those white paper shapes hung on that wall for a solid two weeks. I tried to make it beautiful. I tried to make it free-form with a little flair.

And it failed so bad.

It took me two weeks to realize that I’m simply not that kind of creative. I’ve been doing well with not bashing myself for things like that any more. I’m simply too structured when I look at something, and need to make sense of things in lines and grids. I think I’ve been able to accomplish really creative things working with a little structure, at least I was able to in my few college art classes.

So I took all of my templates down — again — and set to work lining things up a little bit more. It’s not perfect. But it totally worked, did not make me want to pull my hair out, and now the wall is full of photos instead of ridiculous looking white paper shapes.

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Yeah, I also printed out thumbnails of the photos to stick to the templates. Because I’m crazy just awesome.

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In the spare room, I had some mock Polaroids from my last apartment. I figured out dimensions of Polaroid 300 film, and printed them out on photo paper with crop marks to preserve the right white space.

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For this apartment, I added four new images to the ones I already had, and decided to hang them above the big bay window in the second room. They’re small up there, but I love them. I used the same orange washi tape I had used with them last time.

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And again, because I like grids and lines and plans, I used a strip of painters tape, did some math, and spaced them out evenly so they’d begin and end with the edges of the window.

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And that is wall planning at the new apartment. I still have a few more photos to print and ideas to iron out, but at least not all the walls are blank now.

I’ll save my “after” shots — I don’t think it’ll ever actually feel right to call them that — for now. Maybe it will encourage me to share some apartment tour posts.

Weekend Links

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I loved everything listed here for one reason or another. I thought it was interesting or funny or just worth a click. I hope you find something here, too.

4 Steps to Making the Life You Always Wanted, from Fast Company

I really like some of the quotes from that one. Like:

“You are what you are, you are where you are because of what has gone into your life. You can change what you are, you can change where you are by changing what is going into your life.” – Zig Ziglar

And: “One characteristic emerged as a predictor for success. It wasn’t social intelligence, good looks, IQ, or physical health. It was ‘grit,’ or mental toughness.”

“Eat Less, Exercise More” Isn’t the Answer for Weight Loss, from Time Magazine

One year of cups. Love this photography project.

What is the Shortest Poem?, video by Vsauce

Have a great weekend.

selfie: a minibook.

Back in March, I made my first little book. Right now, I’m still working on it (and two others).

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I’ve not had my healthiest year this year, and like I know I have mentioned before, I’ve been indulging too much and then giving myself a bit too much guilt for it. I haven’t balanced back out just yet, but I know I’ve done it in the past.

In the meantime, I wanted something tangible to remind myself that, you know, I’m not so bad.

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Photos of myself have been a sore spot for me recently. I’m always nitpicking and finding things I don’t like. So I thought maybe this would be a really good project: go through my photos and pick out some that I just love. Photos, of me, that I adore.

It was hard in the beginning. But I’ve started quite a good collection. Some of them are random and ridiculous (like me sunglass shopping in Target). Most (but not all) are actual arm’s-length selfies. A surprising (not really) number include me drinking coffee and cocktails.

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But I love all of them for one reason or another. And they show me feeling good, which makes me feel good to look at them.

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I still love Project Life for documenting everyday life, but little books feel so good for specific events and themes… Less structured, smaller, and easier to not worry about messing up. In my other minibooks, I also feel like I can write more honestly about what I’m thinking and feeling, like a journal. Project Life is something I would probably let more people look through, or leave sitting out in my apartment.

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For this minibook, I decided to keep it simple, with kraft paper and photos. All the photos are either 4×6 vertical images or 3″ square images with little white borders.

I’m thinking about going back and adding some text with a black pen. But for now, the photos are enough. I’m slowly adding to it as the months go, and it’s always sitting on my desk as a little reminder to give myself a break.

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Weekend Links

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Sometimes I think adding to the web with a bunch of links is the best thing about sharing so much online. Here are some links to other people’s stuff I found interesting, funny, or just worth a click.

A Definitive List of Books for All Vacation Occasions, from Barnes & Noble. Obviously I’m interested in the “Beach Town” section.

Online table-side Trivial Pursuit, from Heinz. I feel a little ridiculous sharing this. But I used the QR code on a ketchup bottle when we were at a diner, and this awesome little website showed up, where you can play a few rounds of Trivial Pursuit on your phone while you wait.

For the Albums, from Soule Mama. I love her simple three-ring binder photo albums, the clean white borders, and little labels. Also: “Deleting ruthlessly has been a huge help for me in not feeling overwhelmed.”

12 Practical Steps for Learning to Go With the Flow, from Zen Habits. “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh. Definitely something I’m working on all the time, even if no one can tell yet.

Have a great weekend!