Tuesday, 21 February 2012

To snowboard, or not to snowboard, that is the question

This winter, I have learned two things. The first, that New England now has the same weather as North Carolina, but with less snow. The second is to snowboard.

I tried snowboarding for the first time 2 years ago in West Virginia. During that trip, I learned that when you snowboard you fall a lot and that this kind of vacation needs some planning, planning on the fact that you will fall A LOT. So far this winter, I have been snowboarding twice and had very different experiences.

The first trip was a go with the flow kind of trip. I realized that this trip worked so well with this laid-back style because of the people I was with and the closeness of the mountain. I went snowboarding with Stacy, who is an avid skier, but had never snowboarded so she was a beginner like me. I also went with Caitlin who, like me, was not a snow baby, and had never snowboarded much. So because of this, we did not need to get to the slopes at 7am and could take our time in the morning getting ready. The other reason this laid back style worked is because the condo was 5 minutes from where our rentals, the slopes, and the downtown area. This makes it a lot less stressful to make sure you can get enough done in the allotted time. Because we had everything at our disposal, we did not have to preplan anything.

The second trip I went on was a pretty planned one. This worked out because there were 3X as many people, professional skiers/snowboarders, and we stayed about 30 minutes from the slopes and rentals. For this trip, we were each assigned a meal, so we did not have to worry about finding a place to eat after a full day on the slopes. This would have been hard because we were in the middle of nowhere. It was also nice that we could just relax at the apartment and stay in sweats all night and not get back in the car (cause trust me you will be sore and just want to lay around). Like my last trip, I got rentals in the morning. But because we were further from the rental place, I had to wake up at the same time I wake up for work, and not feel like I am on vacation. Also, because all the other people I went on the trip with gave priority to the quality of the snow due to their advanced experience as skiers and snowboarders, they get up earlier too.

In the end, when planning a trip to ski, remember three things:
1. Who you are going with; beginners or experienced?
2. Closeness to rentals and slopes
3. Food, cause lets face it, that is the most important.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Will you be my Valentine?

With valentine's day quickly approaching, I thought it would be great to blog about the day. I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of valentines day because I do not think you need to devote a whole day to show appreciation or love to the ones you choose to spend time with. I think you should do this everyday. But, it is nice to not have to organize and prioritize your life so you make sure you spend enough time with that specific person. That February 14 just tells you that today is not about you, but about spending time with that someone special.

That is why I decided to dedicate this entry to Saint Valentine, in the only way I know how. To create your own, homemade, Valentine's day cards. I have attached pictures of cards that I think are great examples of homemade cards. You only need construction paper (preferably pink, white, red, black and purple), scissors, and goggly eyes.

So please get inspired and create homemade cards!

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Ultimate Gift

One of my greatest joys in life is to give my friends and family gifts that are meaningful to them. But, sometimes this can be hard and expensive. The ultimate gift that I have ever given, I have actually done twice, with no re-gifting. This gift is a slideshow of memories and pictures.

The first time I did this was because I blindly volunteered to create a video for my family at my grandparents conjoined 80th birthday party. I volunteered because I thought it was a good way to showcase my skills and talent that I learned with studying at Elon. However, this was a lot more time consuming that I had every thought. My first step was to harass everyone in the family for pictures of their current families and from when they were little. This was very hard and that is why I use the word harass. Once I have compiled all the pictures, I had to figure out an order to put them in the flowed and made sense. So because my family is over 35+ people, I divided it into chronologically and by family. The next thing I had to do was to pick out the right song. I used "Remember me this way" and "We are family." I started with thinking about songs about families, but I also wanted a humorous, upbeat song and songs that related to my grandparents lives. Once I got all the pictures and songs together, I spent a lot of man-hours on making it perfect. It seemed like that last week was dedicated to pure milliseconds of songs to make it transition perfectly. The most satisfying part of the whole gift was not the creating of it, but when I showed it to the entire family. There were laughs, tears and so many congratulations. With all the hard work I put in, I would not have changed it for a second, or millisecond.

I created another slideshow for my group of high school friends when we graduated from college. This was a little more extensive, since we have many, many, many more pictures together. I pretty much did the same thing as I did for my family slideshow by picking tons of pictures, putting them in chronological order and then picking fun and meaningful songs. Some of the songs I choose were "You've got a friend in me" and "I get by with a little help from my friends" and "SexyBack." It was hilarious to see their faces when I gave them the DVDs. They were shocked and in awe of this wonderful creation I made.

Making a slideshow is a cheap and fun way to show your family and friends how much you care about them. It is amazing to see all the wonderful memories that you have created and shared together. I still look at the videos I have created about once a month and am exploding with emotions because of the memories from these pictures.

Monday, 9 January 2012

MovingBackHome Bedroom Improvements

After graduating from Elon in May, I was convinced my life was going to take off and flourish and all these new and exciting things were going to happen. The most important improvement was the ability to move out of my mom's house and move into my own place. However, this was not the case, so instead I did a few improvements to my bedroom to make it feel like it's "my own."

These are the steps I took to improve my bedroom
  1. Find inspiration for a focal piece:
    When I first started renovating my room, I knew that I wanted to make the bed the focal point of my room. Its important to have a painting, flowers, or a bedroom set that can be the main inspiration for your room. With that knowledge, I shopped for the perfect duvet cover. When looking for the perfect duvet cover, the most important aspect that I took into consideration was color. This Moroccan-inspired duvet cover (from Bed, Bath and Beyond - look for discounts) to the right was the one I choose. Not only were the colors beautiful, but also the tribal print matched my personal style. Because your room is an extended reflection of yourself, your room needs to match yourself and your everyday style.

  2. Make the remaining furniture compliment your focal piece:
    Once I found my duvet cover, I took the color scheme from it (black, white, red and purple) and incorporated them into my furniture. My desk and dresser were both chunky and made of wood, while my bed not only had a new modern duvet cover, but the frame was black and modern. Thus, I realized that black and modern was the way to go with my complimenting furniture.

    There are two ways your can update your other furniture to compliment your focal piece. One would be to take an existing piece and paint it (dresser) or to purchase a whole new one (desk):

    I decided to paint my dresser black, because I already liked the shape of it, I just needed it to be a new color. HGTV taught me that painting furniture is a quick and cheap solution to new furniture. All you need to do is go to the local hardware store and buy a small can of paint. Once I painted the dresser, I purchased clear knobs from Anthropologie.

    Since I was not allowed to paint my desk, I purchased a cheaper one from target. I wanted a desk that was modern, black, and had storage available.

  3. Paint your walls to match color scheme:
    It is important that after all this hard work, that you should not forget the framework for your room, the walls. The walls and color serve as a frame and a backdrop. Before my room renovation, my walls were a shade of Tiffany's blue. However, this color did not blend with my duvet cover at all. Because of this I went to Lowes and looked at hundreds of shades of off-white. After hours of contemplating on the right color, I decided on a shade called antique white.

  4. Rearrange furniture:
    The finishing steps I took to make my room my own were first to rearrange my furniture so there was more of a flow to it. Because my room is smaller, I put my bed in a corner so it did not take up the whole floor and moved my dresser and desk next to one another. This created a path in between them and made it easier to get to my closet.

  5. Last minute touches - accessorize:
    Accessorizing a room can really make it look over the top. There are two ways how I accessorize my room to add personal touches. The first is to find vintage pieces from flea markets, auctions or a retail store. My favorite vintage piece is my bronze mirror that sits on top of my dresser (pictured above). My mom actually found the mirror for me at a local auction and purchased it without even asking me because "it screamed Leah." My chair and the knobs I choose for the dresser also have a vintage quality to them. I like the idea of mixing vintage accessories with the modern furniture because they balance each other out. The other way I accessorize my room is with a lot of pictures and memorabilia from trips that I have been on. I think both, pictures and memorabilia, are great accessories for the bedroom because it adds a personal touch to the room and brings back great memories from the past.
So these are the steps that I took to make my move back home a more joyous one. Because of this room renovation, I enjoy being at home and do not look down upon it. I made my room transform from a child's room, into a grown-up one that reflects my aesthetic.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Lucky for me, I have great friends who share influential websites with me. One of my friends shared a link to an entry entitled "20 New Year’s Resolutions For 20-Somethings." This link could not have been more dead on for what members of the Boy Meets World and Tamagotchi-loving generation should do or change in the New Year. It has a humorous take on authentic 2012 resolutions. I have listed a couple that I think are related to my life:

Resolution #1: Before you status update, Tweet, Tumble or Instagram, pause and say to yourself, “is it entirely necessary that I share this morsel of thought with my entire social network?” and if the answer is not, “yes, I absolutely must,” then step away from the Internet.

I think this one is important because a lot of people are sharing their inner, most, darkest thoughts on the social media. Honestly, I do not think the social media is to be used in this way describe above, it is to be used for sharing INTERESTING information with close friends (i.e. interesting blogs or news). So please follow this advice!

Resolution #5: Find a way to save approximately 300 dollars and spend it on a flight to see a friend or family member who lives far away.

I have a lot of friends who live more than 4 hours driving distance so for me this resolution is an important one. Memories made with life-long friends are what matters the most in the world. In 5 years, I will not remember a shirt I got at Nordstrom but I will remember that time I went to Dave & Busters with some of my best friends. This is probably why I am going to have mini Elon-reunion in North Carolina this February! Next stop, Disney or Boca Raton, FL.

Resolution #6: Please stop liking the Kardashians, all of them. It’s not helping anyone, least of all the Kardashians.

I can tell you for sure that I will never stop liking the Kardashians. And I do not blame anyone else who cannot help themselves. This show is just to good not to like. Team Khloe.

Resolution #9: Call someone on the phone at least once a week, and speak to him or her for at least ten minutes.

I am a big advocate of this one. Texting, tweeting and Facebook posts are great for short, simple needs, but who really wants to have a conversation via them. I sure don’t. But calling someone on the phone and you can have a legitimate conversation with voice tone and use sarcasm without getting into trouble.

Resolution #16: Volunteer once over the next 90 days. You’ll feel really good about it, and probably end up volunteering again over the next 275.

I have always been heavily involved with volunteering while I was in high school and college, but since graduation I have struggled to maintain any sort of volunteer work. I think it's important to give back to the community especially since I have so much already given to me. On Christmas, I got to serve food to the elderly. The feeling that you get by making people happy just by talking to them is undeniable. They have so many stories and life experience that they just need someone to listen to them, and I was happy to be that person.

Happy New Year to all!!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Awakening: my first entry

Disclaimer: Contrary to popular belief, I am not writing this blog because I wanted to share my favorite inspirational words that begin with the letter "A" to the world. The letter "A" is a great letter, but a whole blog should not be dedicated to it, or any other letter.

Any who...

I am writing this blog because of my love for all things arranged, and partly due to peer pressure. Yesterday, while g-chatting with Stacy and Caitlin, they were intrigued by my passion for planning various aspects of not only my life, but theirs as well. They found it fascinating that I wanted to spend hours on the computer looking for the perfect pair of boots and dresses for each of them, or that I invited myself over to help them scrapbook [and admitting that I have boxes of supplies that I will donate].

I can trace my passion for arrangements lineage directly to my mother. Once referred to as the "Disney Nazi," she has successful passed down this glorious trait to me. She will gladly plan anything travel- (specifically Disney) related right down to the last detail with a smile on her face. Although I love to plan vacations or day trips, I think the planning gene that I have has taken on a more creative life.

This blog is dedicated to things that inspire or fascinate me concerning scrap booking, event planning or fashion.

I hope you enjoy