Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Where did you go summer?
We are not having very summer like weather here in West Michigan.
It makes it easier to work in a cubical when the skies a dark and gray like they've been,
but I miss boating, and sun bathing, and getting a tan after work!!
Please come back!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Night Knitting Club

LOVED this book!! It was such a great story, and I'm happy to learn that there is a sequel. Seriously, whether you knit or not, this is a very touching book about a group of women who unexpectedly grow fast and strong bonds. It's really a great book. To learn more or buy the book click here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July

We spent the 4th at a welcome to Michigan party and going to LA party.

Then we made our way back to town and celebrated the 4th.

Luckily we got our own private fireworks show because we missed them on the 4th. We decided to stay at the bar and avoid the massive crowd outside. We were able to see a few fireworks through the bar window.

Monday, July 6, 2009

3rd of July

I had a great weekend celebrating America's Independence, I hope everyone else did too. We had great weather and friends in town.

The 3rd felt more like the holiday than the 4th did. Friday afternoon was spent sitting on the beach getting extremely sun burned. I forgot how much I love the beach. It was perfect.

Friday evening we had a cook out and bonfire at a friend's house.

And we were lucky enough to have a private fireworks show!

Monday, June 29, 2009


This weekend Ross and I were invited to my high school friend's wedding. It was in Warsaw Indiana. We decided to make a weekend of it and first went to Chicago to visit Ross's friends then made our way to Indiana for the wedding.

We had a great time at the wedding. The bride and groom looked great and the wedding was beautiful!

I had a great time reconnecting with friends from high school, who I don't think I've seen since we graduated. We will have great stories to tell for quite some time!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

A little late I know, but that's what happens when you don't have the Internet!

Anyhow, Ross and I went up to Ludington State Park to spend the weekend camping with his parents and extended family. I really enjoy Ludington State Park, and this year did not disappoint.

We took our kayaks up and kayaked for 3 hours, and got a great tan! :) Ross caught quite a few fish, he was on a roll! I wish I had pictures, but I wasn't too confident in my kayaking abilities so I decided against bringing my camera.

We did catch the tail end of a sunset up on the dunes. I was able to bring my camera there.

Ross's brother, Shaun and his girlfriend, Kaylen came up too. I thought this was a great picture of them!

Ross and I had a mini photo shoot, these were some of my favorite!

Sorry about the Survivorish bandanna, I got mocked all day for it, but my part was burning and I hate that!!!

Hope your Memorial Day was as fun as ours!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Books! is one of the greatest inventions ever! It is a great website to trade books. Any kind of book, cookbooks, children books, fiction, non-fiction, anything. You simply set up an account with a user name and password, post 10 books you are finished with and start shopping. The books you request are free to you, you pay nothing, not even shipping. If another person requests your book, you pay the shipping and mail it out to them, shipping is around $2.60 per book. Not bad at all.
The only downside is that you can only request books if you have credits, and you only get credits if people request your books. After you post your 10 books to start up your account, you get 2 free credits to get you started. I have never ran out of credits, but I can see how that might be a problem.
I highly recommend checking it out. You can look through the site and see what books are posted before you sign up. You might like it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


1. The Earth & the Heaven, 2. Audrey Hepburn & Gary Cooper in Love in the Afternoon (1957)

"I believe in pink. I believe laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing; kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles."- Audrey Hepburn

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Win a Bike!

Look at this sweet bike! This would have been PERFECT for my life guarding days. I hate to say it, but I missing those days at the beach. Not the kids, the rocks, the bathrooms, the boats, the cuts, the dead fish, the creepy randoms or the babysitting duties, but definitely the peacefully quiet mornings and evenings and of course the ducks!
Anyway Madsen Cycles is giving away this bike and you can WIN! Lucky for us, we could both win because they are giving away 2 bikes! Click here to enter!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More From the 50 States

Well as we all know, I became quite infatuated with The 50 States Project. The first assignment was for each participant to photograph 'people'. I posted some of my favorites.

This round of the project, the assignment was to photograph 'habitat'. Here are a few that I really liked and found interesting.

Of course I have to start with Michigan, because, I am Michigan!

"Future Home - New Hudson, Michigan, 2009" © Peter Baker

I lived in one of these bad boys, and I loved the cozy double wide very much, unfortunately, our neighbor also enjoyed our cozy double wide and its occupants a little too much. So our stay in the lovely double wide was short lived.

There is no caption to go with this picture just a title, and I think once again, Peter the photographer for the state of Michigan, captured Michigan in this photo perfectly, even the title is fitting. With the hard economic times here in Michigan showing no signs of letting up, many people are downsizing and moving into smaller, more affordable homes, such as these trailers.

The photo from Delaware is very interesting after seeing this photo from Michigan.

This caption accompanied the photo.

"I live in a small beach town on the coast of Delaware and there is a huge disparity in types of housing here. A lot of the houses in town are second homes for wealthy tourists from the DC area. The only industry here are service or retail which creates an huge economic gap between the locals and the tourists. Due to the inflated price of real estate because of the proximity to the beach a large majority of the locals live in modular homes and trailers. This single wide trailer still sales for upwards of $200,000."
There were two other pictures that related to each other.

This one from Vermont.

"Peter King, builder of Vermont Tiny Houses. Bakersfield, VT" © Seth Butler

With this caption.

"On the perimeter of his personal one-eighth acre garden and Tiny House, Peter King of Bakersfield, VT, carries his unicycle and juggling implements before an inaugural evening ride around his current Vermont Tiny Houses project in honor Earth Day, 2009. A former busker who currently lives off-the-grid on less than $14,000 USD income per year, Peter King is now thriving as a teacher, gardener, carpenter and homesteader while building houses 10 ft. by 10 ft. by 10 ft. [sometimes taller] and managing to work an average of three days in a given week. King is very excited about Buckmister "Bucky Fuller", sustainable community and de-industrialization. He is now planning one of many future micro-socioeconomic experiments where community farmers work together to encourage people in living a more simplified life, teaching the ideas surrounding building small self-sufficient but scalable, reduced-carbon-footprint communities of Vermont Tiny Houses and Gardens which have recently become quite appealing, especially given that people are looking to cut back in the midst of the current economic downturn facing all the United States of America. In a recent Burlington Free Press article, King was quoted as saying "You can live a fantastic life in one of these things [Vermont Tiny Houses] if you're clever... You never feel claustrophobic or trapped because you're always two steps from the door.""

And this one from Washington.
With this caption.
"Caleb Goodaker-Craig, a student at the Evergreen State College lives "off the grid" in a one room cabin. He has no electricity, running water, or even an address. He enjoys the peace and quiet afforded him by living alone in the forest, free from distractions of traffic, television and neighbors."
It's amazing to see how all four actually relate together maybe for different reasons but they all are looking at downsizing. Four entirely different states completely relate to one another.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Here's To Happiness

A blog I check on a daily basis, rockstar diaries, is posting lists of happiness compiled by several different people. While I highly doubt my simple list will be featured on her glamorous blog, I emailed my list to Naomi, aka Taza, anyway.

Here is my list:

1. Waking up with the early morning sunshine shining on my face
2. Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies
3. Knitting
4. A good book
5. Learning something new
6. Peonies
7. Old photographs
8. Good friends
9. Hot Tea
10. Camping

Check out all of the other magnificent lists rockstar diaries has collected!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Through The Viewfinder

I finally tried it! I bought the required camera back in October off of ebay, and just today I made the light blocker and started experimenting with 'through the viewfinder' photography. To learn more about what ttv is, here is an article.

These are some of the pictures that actually turned out, my mom took the pictures of the flowers!

These are the ones I experimented with. The flowers turned out much better! I think there is too much light getting in on the ones I took. I didn't fix anything on the pictures except for cropping, which could use some practice too. The first picture is of some wine bottles on my kitchen counter. The second one is the lifeguard chairs at the Spring Lake Beach, where I've spent many summers!

As you can see, I need a little more practice, but I thought I'd post what I had!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Art House Co-op

My friend Holly sent me a link to Art House Co-op and to one of their photography projects to join. It took me about 2 seconds to decide to join the project...and about 2 more seconds to join a 2nd project.

The first is a project called A Million Little Pictures. Here is the brief explanation of the project from their website.

"One thousand people from around the world will document their lives in 24 frames using a disposable camera. An exhibition will be held showing over 24,000 photographs."

Basically, you sign up for the project and pay a small fee, and they send you a disposable camera and you shoot 24 pictures just living your life, you develop the film just at a one hour place and mail the pictures in. The exhibition will be held in Atlanta, and in the city with the most participants...I doubt it will happen in my city!

The second project is called the 10,000 People Project. Again, here is a brief explanation of the project from the website.

"You sign up, we send you a sheet of paper with a word on it, and then you create a visual representation of the word. The catch is that 10,000 other people are doing the same as you. How many different ways will tens of thousands of people interpret the same word?"

They both sound very interesting and fun to me. It's not a big commitment or heavy time constraint, it's just easy and laid back. I'm excited to get started on both!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Lisa Rupp at Lisa Rupp Design is offering a free printable calendar. She posts each month at a time. You can find them here.

I just printed March!

Visit her blog for more fun designs.

The 50 States Project

I'm not entirely sure what to do with this blog now that Honduras posts are done. I know I don't have many (if any) followers, but eventually I'd like the blog to grow and develop a life of its own. I think I will push for that once I know what I'm going to do with it!

For now, I will post about interesting things I find while browsing the Internet.
Here is one!
California People post by Jeremy & Claire Weiss
This is The 50 States Project. One person from each of the 50 United States was selected to participate in a photography project. Each person photographs assignments that best portrays their home state. The first assignment was to photograph people. This is the photograph for the state of Michigan, and I think the photographer captured the essence of Michigan very well. Peter Baker, the photographer also added a title and a description of his photo, see below.
"Joe Diesel, Ypsilanti, Michigan, 2009" © Peter Baker
"Joe McEachern is a mechanic in Ypsilianti who specializes in converting diesel vehicles to run on vegetable oil. He's a young entrepreneur as well, starting a veggie-powered party bus service that shuttles college students to local bars, driving business interests and providing safe rides to the partiers. He is part of a hopeful future for Michigan, using mechanical ingenuity and environmental passion to create new opportunities for the state."
This is such a symbolic photo and a great representation of the state of Michigan's economy right now. With the Big 3 auto makers struggling, and GM announcing that they are in more trouble than they thought, and as a result, smaller businesses losing work, it's hard here. The only way things will pick up is with the hard work and innovation of individuals. The Big 3 should look at Joe McEachern's design and ideas and learn from the 'average Joe'. Get on board!
I really enjoyed looking at all of the pictures for each of the 50 states! I can't wait to see what photos the upcoming assignments will be. Check out the pictures from your state!

Monday, March 2, 2009

El Fin!

The End! I gave a presentation at church with Suzanne about our trip this Sunday, and while I had a great time in Honduras and have enjoyed being a part of Hands In Service, I am ready to be done. So this post will conclude my posts of my Honduras trip!

What I have left to post about is the actual project I went down to work on. It is a day care center called Santo Domingo Savio.

This is what the center looked like when we arrived.

This building was already built when we got there, we had to build a similar building adjacent to this one, in this area.

This is what the structure looked like when we finished.

Suzanne and I were in charge of painting the inside of the first building. Paul needed a break from the manual labor and joined us to paint. This is what the inside looked like before we painted.

This is what it looked like when we were finished. The colors are Lemon Curd and Sassy Lilac.

This is our entire team in front of what we built.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the pictures of my trip. I hope to do more things like this in the future. I get asked all the time if I will go back. I would like to go back, but I'd also like to go other places and see other things. I will go back maybe in a a couple of years to see how things have progressed and changed since 2009.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kelly Rae

I won! I won! I won!

Since I don't have the internet, I was slow to find out that I won a giveaway sponsored on Kelly Rae's Blog.

I hope I wasn't too late getting back to her! As soon as I receive the gifts I will post them for all to see!!

Until then please check out Kelly Rae's blog and etsy shop, you will love what you see! This is one of the many things she's created.

Hands In Service Projects Part 3

Hands In Service helped a woman named Nelly realize her dream of opening a school for the disabled. She accepts students that the other schools won't. Her students are mostly deaf or have Downs Syndrome.

Nelly fell out of a tree when she was twelve and became a paraplegic, and her school wouldn't take her back since she was in a wheel chair.

In 1997, Nelly and her husband Nelson had opened a school in her home, and she realized she needed more space to teach all of the students. In 2005 Hands In Service started building classrooms and dorms for the school. Today, the school is named CasAyuda, which translates to 'helping house".

This is a picture of one of our team members Eric in the blue, Suzanne, Nelson, Michelle, and Nelly in the front.

Nelly has different class rooms for different subjects. The goal of CasAyuda is to provide the students with life skills that they are capable of doing that will make them money.

This is their cosmetology room, where the deaf girls learn to cut and style hair.

They also sell their paintings and pottery.

This was the first project that Suzanne worked on. She helped build these dorms for the girls who attend the school. Nelly gets a lot of students from the hills and other places that are quite a ways away since this is the only school in Honduras that accepts challenged students. Since the students come from so far away Nelly allows them to stay in the dorms free of charge and she also feeds them for the week for free. A lot of the students can't afford to pay the tuition, so Nelly charges them on a pay scale depending what they are able to pay, and parents of other students who are able to help out, will always give more than their share of tuition to help the others.

While we were visiting the school, we had a light rain, and a double rainbow formed over the school, it was pretty cool.
You can also the building on the left in this picture is under construction. They are adding a second floor. The entire school continues to grow. It gives hope to many families in Honduras.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hands In Service Projects Part 2

Sorry for the delay in blogging. I have gotten a little tired of going through all of the Honduras pictures, but I will keep plugging on. I would like to have all of the posts complete on the blog, it will be nice to have it all together I think.
The second place we went to see was the Nutrition Center in El Rosario. Suzanne, who was on the trip with us, helped build the Nutrition Center so she was excited to see the progress.

This is the outside of the center. This was built so that the kids in the town would have food to eat during the day, this is kind of like a school cafeteria.

These are a few pictures from inside the center. All of the appliances were donated. I am not sure how many people utilize the center, but it isn't very big. There are two stoves and ovens though, and they said they get used a lot.

This is just the common gathering space.

It was nice to see that the facility is being used and is being well taken care of.

While we were in El Rosario, we met up with Manuel. He is a boy that Suzanne met and became friends with while she was working on the center a few years back. Manuel was nice enough to bring us to his house and take a couple of pictures.

This is Suzanne in their kitchen. You can see what they use as their stove behind Suzanne. It is that metal trash can and it is difficult to see but there is a pan on top of the can. They burn a fire in the can, by looking at the charred wall, a fire or two got away from them.
These are all of the people living in the house. You can see the bed to the right, the kitchen is through a door to the left and there is a small room behind the people in the picture and that is it. I believe there is only one bed for all of those people.
I will try to post more often, I have a few more things to show you!