Bangkok, Thailand

2014-12-28 12.50.01Oh Bangkok, the city in which I thought my life would end. Where nothing went right and I realized we were on vacation. from the city. in a city. What is life? So we left beautiful Chiang Mai and flew into Bangkok and I was literally living in my worse nightmare. I had woken up with a stomach bug and having to puke on an airplane is the most nerve-wracking event you can possibly imagine. Thankfully I was able to make it through our flight with only mild nausea and we made it to our cozy airbnb apartment where I got in bed and didn’t leave for days….

I’m a little sad that this is how I spent most of our time in Bangkok, but I’m also ok with it. I was tired. As much as I love the city, this is the moment where I realized when I go on vacation cities just aren’t my ideal locale. I spend half of my life in Seoul figuring out transportation in another language, so doing the same thing in a third language is just exhausting.

So, we made the most of it and had a good time. If you love shopping, Bangkok is for you. My eyes have never seen malls like these before…Huge and Fancy. We spent new years here and saw the fireworks by the river. So pretty! And just enjoyed wandering the city… 2014-12-29 15.46.58This Wat was right by our apartment and is one of the most popular wats in Bangkok. Our apartment was the perfect spot for transportation as it was about a 3 minutes walk from the skyrail and the river taxis, both were really easy and cheap to use. If you are ever given an option, always choose to go by boat. This is my new life philosophy.

I would highly recommend staying at this location. 2014-12-29 15.48.42The Grand Palace.

For about 5$ a person you can get a hop on, hop off pass for the water taxi tourist tours. The river runs through the center of the city (and is the fastest way to get around) and most of the main attractions are on either side. We used this to see a few places, including the palace, but we went the day after new years and it was so crowded that the lines to get on the water taxis were hours long. IMG_9084 IMG_9082 IMG_9079 IMG_9078 IMG_9072 2014-12-29 15.53.27 HDR 2014-12-30 12.09.13 2014-12-30 14.02.05 HDR 2014-12-30 14.04.30-1 2014-12-30 15.45.22 2014-12-30 16.29.04 Lumpini Park2014-12-30 16.52.51 HDR 2014-12-30 17.09.27 HDR 2014-12-31 06.49.58 2014-12-31 20.05.10 2015-01-01 00.40.39I’ll be sharing a post soon with all our stories from Thailand, so soon all the photos will have much more context for you. Where is your favorite place in Bangkok? If we ever go back we will be much more prepared with specific places we want to see next time!


February Currently

FebruaryReading Still Alice, Enders Game
Watching The last season of Parks & Rec
Refusing to watch the finale
Listening to T. Swift on repeat
Loving the (kind of) warm days that are sneaking in + the earlier sunrise
Exploring the Hongik University area
Planning the Hawaii trip with my sister!
Eating hard-boiled eggs + bacon for breakfast
Making a quilt!
Cooking homemade soft pretzels from scratch. YUM! Ps will try a different cheese sauce next time
Laughing at Batman + Nip Nip (inside) jokes
Excited that Terrell turned in his dissertation and is ready to defend!
Dreaming about traveling to ALL the places…
Craving Berry Bingsoo from Wicked Cafe
Organizing lots of friend hang outs soon
Anxious about being able to see all our friends and family in such a short time this summer
Googling Transiberian Railway routes/stops/tips/info to prepare for our summer trek
Grateful for a change in my job next year
Amazed at our students performance in the school play Mulan
Enjoying being able to ride the scooter again now that it’s a bit warmer
Tasting Russian restaurants (also to prepare for summer)
Giddy that I get to hang out with Caylee Grey this summer IRL
Daydreaming about owning a car again…
Dancing all the time as Ive started co-teaching a Zumba class

PS. I know this is technically my second February Currently post, but I changed the other to January since they are posted right at the end of the previous months. Obviously Ive got a minibook in mind….

February photo template from Paislee Press

How to be a grown-up

How to be a Grown Up by Lauren LikesTerrell and I have had the great privilege of leading small groups of college students for the past few years in weekly discussions about life, friendships, relationships, graduating, getting jobs and growing up in general. These years were some of the best years of our lives for certain because we made some amazing friends, learned so much and got to share the tiniest bit of knowledge that we have with them.

I have compiled a list of the questions they tended to ask over and over again and wanted to share our answers with you. These are honestly applicable to anyone at any point in their lives, but in that strange in between time between graduating from college and becoming a well-balanced adult with a mortgage and 401k (we have neither of these and feel we are very well-balanced, but you know what I mean), there is a lot that happens and a lot that you must figure out. I hope that these things will help make that time easier for some of you and will give you a general idea of things you should be figuring out. Our answers are not the best, but they are what have worked for us and for those who are close to us. So, please find what works for you, use these as a starting point.

Practice Financial Responsibility // How to be a Grown Up by Lauren Likes

Budget.  Sorry to start with the most non fun one, but this is the one that I want you to get. As much as we all want free love and passion: MONEY WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE if you don’t get a hold on it now. We are a social worker and a teacher, we have no ambition to be millionaires or to drive fancy cars, but we do plan to take nice vacations, buy the things we need and retire at a normal age. As soon as we got married/graduated from college we began using the envelope system from Dave Ramsey and used the Debt Snowball to get out of debt, while we were still in grad school. Its possible, just ask us. We did it and continue to practice financial responsibility every day. It is HARD. It is TIRING. It is FRUSTRATING. It has CHANGED THE DIRECTION OF OUR LIVES. Take a class, read a book, sit down with someone who is good with their money and have them go through and set a budget with you. Keep it every month. Reevaluate it constantly. Never, ever stop. Set yourself up now when it is just you, a small paycheck and no big real responsibilities. Practicing this skill now will make it so much easier when there is pressure and other people involved. Please, please. Please.

Don’t use credit cards. And on the same note. If you can’t pay for it, you don’t need it. Seriously. I don’t care if it is a repair for your car. Carpool, ride the bus, bike until you can save up the money. Don’t, just don’t.

Quit buying stuff. This is how I answer the question, how do I save money/budget/etc? Quit buying stuff. Seriously stop. In college I bought stuff because it was funny, like a stuffed crow that would sit on the counter and be used in pranks (great investment btw-at that time), but not anymore. Try a month of no spending and see where your money is really going and how you don’t actually need those things. To curb this habit setting a budget is a great start and then asking yourself a list of questions like ‘do I need this’, ‘will I still want this in a week’, ‘how long will it last’, ‘can I buy it cheaper somewhere else or make it myself or use something I already have”, etc.

Go to sleep. Honestly, I don’t need to tell you this because after your first day of working full-time at your new job you will be so exhausted beyond anything you ever thought possible. But as you get more used to it/angry that you are just tired everyday at 7pm, the temptation is to just stay up and watch TV all night just to keep the dignity of your youthfulness. But if you really ask your friends, they are all going to be at 9 or 10pm too. No shame friends.

Don’t be trashy & Don’t brag about it. It’s no longer cute to come into the office hung over and talk about how drunk you got last night (on any night) and how you made out with some random guy. The people in your office are either 2/3 married and don’t care and spoiler alert don’t want to live vicariously through you. Or they are also single and having their own thoughts/issues surrounding their love life and don’t need your bad influences and silly stories to pile into the already confusing mix.

Dating. Dating should be easy (not you, YOU should not be easy, dating should be easy). Too many times I have had coffee with girls/guys (no matter their) age who have complained about how complicated and difficult and confusing dating is, but they are staying in this boring, annoying relationship because ‘I mean I guess I like him and maybe it’s just something we need to work through’. The answer to that is no. The first 1-5 months should be fun! and easy! and all about hand holding! and secret kisses! and pet names! and texting all night! Obviously, you will have issues, but if you’re complaining to your girlfriends in the first month or two, that’s your gut saying ‘this one isn’t the one, don’t waste anymore time on them’. Get out now while emotions and expectations are low, don’t drag out the misery, you, him and your friends will appreciate it. **This is probably the most subjective tip I have, but we all know relationships are hard, but can you imagine how much harder a really hard one-month-in relationship is going to be 5 years from now? Follow your gut people (and those side eyes your friends are giving each other when you talk about it).

Dress like one. I worked in a large hospital and a large school district and we had interns constantly. I would cringe as they walked in for interviews and then for their, sometimes entire stint of working with us, when I saw their outfits. I have no idea how my bosses were able to look past it and ‘hire’ them. The worst part is that I think back on just 5 years ago when I was the intern, and worry if that is what I looked like?! We understand you are a struggling college student, working here for free, while simultaneously pulling late night shifts at bars to pay rent (been there, done that). But ask for some ‘grown up work clothes’ for christmas. Go to a cheap department store and grab a few nice tops and cardigans you can mix and match. We wont judge you for recycling the same 4 outfits but we will judge you for wearing your too small, too low-cut, thrift store, shabby chic, not matching clothes. Trust me, its hard enough to be the intern, try not to look like one. Making the choice to finally buy new clothes when I started my new job that were what I deemed ‘grown up’ and comfortable but still fashionable made all the difference for me. I didn’t necessarily feel a big change in the way people treated me, but I felt I could carry myself with more confidence, I was literally way more comfortable (yes, I shed a tear the day I bought the ugly shoes because I knew my youthful recklessness was over because hospital floors are hard and hurt your feet), and I wasn’t asking my husband/friends do I look like a hooker in this? ehhh, could I get away with it at work anyway though?…. Moral of the story: Buy the ugly shoes. 

Find a Church // How to be a Grown Up by Lauren LikesFind a Church. Don’t know how you feel about religion? Now is the time to find out. Church is a great way to find community, a mentor, friends, (dates) and get plugged into a group of like-minded people to serve and be a part of your local community. Never underestimate the power of a local support system.

Learn some grown up skills like cooking and cleaning. (I’m looking at you too men) You don’t have to become Martha Stewart, but you are going to have to attend events now like baby and wedding showers and you need to have some kind of easy to make appetizer type food skills. You also will be expected to host these things, so you will need to own things like non paper products or star wars plates and your guest will expect to not have to move your pile of half-clean, half being worn out of pile of clothes off the couch to sit down. Learn a few tricks and stick to them if you don’t want to go full on Susie Homemaker. Seriously, its ok (and kinda great) to be known as the person who brings the really great cheeseburger dip to the parties!

Take care of things. We are quickly coming to the point where we can’t call daddy anymore when the car makes a funny noise. I am in no way saying learn to fix a car, but find a mechanic your daddy would approve of and call him when the car makes a noise. Again, this is not about acquiring crazy new skills, it’s just about knowing how to solve the problem yourself and acting on it when it needs to be done, not next month.

Use a Planner // How to be a Grown Up by Lauren LikesUse a planner. You are an adult and your friends are too, so now you guys have adult things to do. You can’t just ‘text me when you’re bored and ill walk over and well hang and maybe get food later’. Your friends now have legit events that are planned and coordinated. You will likely be driving long distances to do things. You will be asked to help plan and expected participate. You need to use a planner, even if its the calendar app on your phone. This is the first step to becoming a reliable adult.

Take care of yourself. You must now shower, eat well, exercise, be on time, pay your bills, get enough sleep, buy toilet paper, get groceries and so much more on your own. It’s no longer communal and it no longer comes in the form of a care package. It no longer is your 4 roommates yelling ‘were leaving and going to the gym, so get in the car’. Its you remembering, planning and going to do all these things on your own now. So, please take care of yourself. You need all those things.

Say no.  Welcome to the wonderful world of saying no. You can say it whenever you want. No, I don’t want to be friends with that person just because my other friends are. No, I don’t want to go out to a bar on a Tuesday night. No, I don’t want to be on that committee. No, I don’t want to eat where everyone else is. You can assert your independence and preferences and protect and schedule your time however you would like. You are no longer at the mercy of your professors or parents or roommates or frat bros. It may be the best part of being a grown up…

Schedule and Protect Your Time // How to be a Grown Up by Lauren LikesSit at home. Remember in college how if you stayed in on a friday night you were the ultimate lame-o? Now if you stay home on a friday night you are a celebrated hero. All your friends will be posting their Netflix and take out on the couch Friday nights on Instragram. Remember how in college you slept till 4pm and napped all the time? It’s because you were exhausted the whole time (which is how it should be if you ask me). But now you have a job and your body will literally reject you. No more naps, no more options to skip class when you’re just not feeling it. You will relish every minute that you get in bed before 10pm, you will crave time alone to just decompress and catch up on laundry and just not have to answer anyones questions or use your brain at all. Seriously, stay home sometimes, actually I advise you schedule at least two-three days/nights at home with nothing to do. This will serve you so much better than you could ever expect.

Go do stuff. Now, go do something! Quit being so tired and watching Netflix all the time! You’re becoming a shut in! Confusing right? It is so easy to move to a new place post college, get a busy job and just veg on the weekends. You must now start to plan your weekend events and going to the grocery store doesn’t count. Find a local group of whatever you like to do to get involved in. Set a goal to go on a hike every Saturday in the summer months, etc. You must find more creative ways to get out do things than the ‘just walk outside your dorm room’ motto in college. But again, YOU get to be in charge of these things! Learn something new, push yourself, branch out, drop those bad habits by replacing them with new good ones. You get to choose and that is so exciting! You will now be a ‘hobby-person’ and its so fun! Your free time is your own now, no more papers. Go have fun!

Be thoughtful. Unfortunately you no longer get to just ‘show up’ at events. You are now expected to buy a gift for the family birthday party you are attending, you should bring a side dish for the family dinner, you should mail cards. Every family is different, but these are general expectations for most family/friend groups. You are no longer the poor college student tagging along with the fam, you are a grown up. Welcome to our world.

Get Organized. Even it is just a shoe box, designate one spot to toss all your important documents in. Because, believe me, when it comes to doing your taxes (for the first time or every year) already having these forms in one place will literally make all the difference. Even if you are unsure about it, toss it in the box now, sort it out later, be really glad you did.

Find a Mentor // How to be a Grown Up by Lauren LikesGet a mentor. This doesn’t have to be all karate kid level. But find someone who is in one or two life stages ahead of you. Maybe they have graduated and have a great job and are settling into adulthood well or maybe they just had their first child or just got married. Whatever you feel is in your future, but isn’t like 40 years away. Hang out with them. Learn from them. Ask them questions. Listen to them. Observe them. Just watch what they are doing. Make sure it is someone you respect whom you feel is doing things the right way. When they bought a new car did they save up for a few months to a year and then buy a medium priced car that has a long-lasting value? Ask them how they did it, what they looked for, how long they planned it, who they asked questions too. Again, this is not a ‘person who has all the answers’ but rather a person ‘who is figuring it out and doing it well and willing to share what they found to be true and best’. This person should be level-headed, available, a friend, but not in your friend group per say. Just be their friend and you will learn so much and they may even cook you dinner…

Tips for Transitioning into the next stage of life by Lauren LikesThese are the things that we get asked the most, preach from the rooftops and pray and hope for each person in a place of transition in their life.  Please forward this on to someone who is approaching the upcoming transition season of graduation. And please add in the comments which of these things you did that was most helpful for you during your time of transition. Share any tips I missed that were really important for you and any resources you find most helpful! 

Keeping an Idea Notebook

The importance of keeping an idea journal by Lauren LikesWe live in a digital world, but the digital world is one of fleeting whims. When I think about my phone I associate it with entertainment, instant connections and actions/thoughts that evaporate. On a daily basis I send 100s of texts, like innumerable photos/posts on Facebook and Instagram, scroll through articles mindlessly and check and recheck dates, times and messages that I instantly forget and have to look at again. My phone does not feel permanent. But, putting pen on paper does. My brain does not associate permanency with my phone, so whenever I write myself a note (in the hundreds of notes that I have) my brain tends to continue turning the thought over in anxiety and not releasing it the same way it does when I put it on a paper list. And speaking of the hundreds of notes I have in my phone, I never return to them. Ever.

Therefore I keep an idea journal. I have ideas about projects or designs or painting or project life or blog posts that come to me constantly and if I don’t write them down, they disappear. I used to keep them in a note on my phone, but again I never checked it, it got jumbled and confusing. I didn’t label it well, etc. The point is, those ideas went nowhere. Elsie from A Beautiful Mess talks about her idea journals often and how she fills them up constantly and we all believe her, just look at their project/product list! (Ps her pie chart of the idea breakdown is dead on) So a few years ago I decided that I would move my oh so precious creative thoughts from digital to analog and truly designate a place for them. And I have never looked back.

Having all my thoughts in one, permanent place is unmeasurably beneficial for me. I am a maker. I make things with my hands. So I need to feel like I am capturing those to-make-with-my-hands ideas WITH MY HANDS. It just makes sense. I can literally sketch out the idea I have quickly, I can scribble notes and draw arrows and connect ideas in ways that you just cant in a note on your phone. I can also see my train of thought. If I write something, cross it off and correct it, then when I’m working on the idea I know what I already thought of and decided didn’t work. This medium also serves as a visual account of what I have accomplished. I can see the tasks or projects I checked off or just crossed off.

Keeping an idea journal helps me remember where I’ve been and where I’m going creatively and give me the confidence of knowing that I will never not have a ‘next idea’ to tackle. 

I carry it EVERYWHERE with me. Like obsessively. I get anxious when I don’t have it. And as you can see, if I find myself with out it, I will add sticky notes in from where I have to make do.

Elise posted a peek into her Action Book (which I also have and use for developing specific projects in-depth) and I was SO intrigued. And in case you are as curious as I am, here’s a peek into a few pages in my idea journal. It is from Target and came in a 3 pack. It is light and compact, but has room enough to draw and get a good list on a page, oh and its adorable. I wish it was spiral bound, that’s its only dilemma, but I’ll remember that for next time!

Some people have notebooks for everything and they are so organized, like Andrea, but I need one quick go to place. One thing to carry. One thing to consult. Even remembering if it is in my phone or in my idea journal is too much for me. Everything goes in here that is related in any way to creating/blogging. 02-2015-02-25 13.15.40 This is my ‘title’ page. It’s a sticky note that I frantically scribbled down during the episode of Gilmore Girls when Lorali decides to not get married and they go on a roadtrip. Such a perfect quote for such an epic moment, oh and life.  03-2015-02-25 13.15.56 I use my journal for ideas, but also for more formal note taking surrounding the creative world. I was probably taking some kind of blog class or reading a post about organizing your blog and wanted to jot down my main blog topics and subheaders under that. I’m glad I have it in my idea journal, because I can refer to it when creating projects as to how they will fit on the blog. 04-2015-02-25 13.16.11 05-2015-02-25 13.16.22 Seriously, SO many projects! I recently saw (I cant remember where) someone use a notecard file system to write down projects they want to complete and keep it on their desk so they can pull out a card for direction and keep track of their projects. That is genius! 06-2015-02-25 13.16.43 Again, formal note taking on the left from a podcast and then frantic idea generating. 07-2015-02-25 13.17.01 Sticky notes from a podcast that I’ll probably never organize efficiently, but they are there if I ever need them. 08-2015-02-25 13.17.14 When I had the idea for this blog post I listed out my ideas and who I could ask to contribute. When I finished the post I marked it as a success! 09-2015-02-25 13.17.28By far the most important page in my book. I refer back to this page constantly for art journaling. I also have a pin board for quotes, but these are quotes I find randomly: in books, in prints, on things I can’t pin, etc. 10-2015-02-25 13.18.09 Rarely do I sketch out my art journal pages, but I needed to collect items for this page and the prompt just took a little more brain power than I could just throw on a page. 11-2015-02-25 13.19.11 More note taking of Sean Wes’s brilliance. 12-2015-02-25 13.19.41 Sometimes idea lists turn into to do lists. 13-2015-02-25 13.19.57As you see these pages are just the beginning, stems of ideas that I just need to get out on paper so I can visually see them and allow them to develop or just lay them to rest. There are notes, sketches, words and references in these pages. They probably only make sense to me, but it is my perfect system for remembering imperfect things. How do you keep track of ideas?


January Project Life Pages

2015 is the year of 6×8 for me. I am trying new techniques and a whole new process of documenting our year. Last year I did weekly 12×12 spreads. This year I am documenting monthly with no major concern about order of events. These are the pages I created of ‘everyday life’ in January. You can see my title page here and my Thailand summary pages here.

This month I also created in batch steps. I printed all my photos, then laid them out in coordinating events or groups or color plus a random pile. Then I arranged them as individual pages, then, like I was playing a card game, dealt cards out from my Studio Calico kits to match photos/events. When I had them sorted/ish, I put them into my album and arranged them like a puzzle. I was just trying to make the layouts work together in the different page sizes. So some photos got moved or tossed out and some events were put in and out of order. Totally fine. Once I was happy with the placement/order I went through, on a few different occasions, and embellished, journaled, tweaked. It was really an easy process and it held me accountable to actually completing the whole month. But I felt that I spent less time on each spread and didn’t love the outcome as much as I did my original pages, which I worked on in smaller batches. So Ill try a different approach for February! 2015 is the year of experimenting! Project Life by Lauren Likes Project Life by Lauren LikesThat black/white bottom left photo of Terrell is one that I hope my great-great-grandkids look at and reminisce about our life and handsome he is. Its just my favorite of him. Also the righthand side is one of those that I love/hate. Its not really pretty, but it captured all the random moments. And that He Said card is from Laurel Lane Designs, the Always Kit. Its my favorite card this year. I am vowing to get more quotes into this book! Project Life by Lauren Likes Ill definitely be doing more themed collection pages this year. Love these street scenes! Project Life by Lauren Likes Project Life by Lauren LikesAnother perfect example of the random/but similar photos. Friend photos, pink photos. Also, please note how amazingly perfect that Rad stamp from Elise fit on there. I have also found that I will use whatever I can reach. When creating these pages I had my stamping stuff out and I used them a ton. I need to remember that and be more intentional about what I set out when I start working on pages. Project Life by Lauren Likes Project Life by Lauren LikesGet Messy Launch Day!!!! YAY! It was one of the best days, possibly of my life you guys.Project Life by Lauren Likes Project Life by Lauren LikesAnd probably my favorite pages of the month. The right hand page documenting my foodie dream of eating street food crabs! And notice how crooked that Rad stamp is there….Im having nightmares about it…Project Life by Lauren Likes Project Life by Lauren LikesAnd then the most Beautiful page of the month! The Laurel Lane Designs + our 5 year engagementiversary! These designs were just too beautiful and perfect to celebrate that wonderful day. Pink stripes are from the Southern Charm Kit and I love you script card from I Love You Like XOXO. Project Life by Lauren Likes Project Life by Lauren LikesThis page is possibly one of my favorite pages ever. I love our hipsterness. The color and pattern coordination. The sentiment on the card. Its just perfect. This month we documented lots of street scenes around our city and I LOVE them. Top left card is from Laurel Lane Designs, also from the Always Kit. Project Life by Lauren LikesLast but not least, Terrell’s trip to China! Terrell (and another female music teacher) took 4 giggly middle school girls to China for a music festival. He and the kids sent me photos to use and he even wrote the journaling for this one!

Products Frequently Used:  Studio Calico Cards, Studio Calico Wood Veneers, Seafoam Edition, Midnight Edition, Elise Joy Stamps

Laurel Lane Designs: Always, Southern CharmI Love You Like XOXO


Jean Smith Photography Part 3

terrell_lauren-100_webI am so sad that this series of posts is coming to a close. See the photo video here and the waterfall photos here. This was our last stop with the incredible Jean and Travis Smith. After they made us feel beautiful and romantic with the waterfall photos, they made us feel like the hipster travelers we are. We put on our favorite, most comfortable, go to travel outfits and grabbed our hiking backpacks (ps they were empty except our clothes we changed out of) and we hit a less crowded night market in Chiang Mai. I felt like we were shooting for National Geographic and oh yeah, people totally thought we were famous and were taking our picture of us getting our picture taken. #famousterrell_lauren-222_web terrell_lauren-225_web terrell_lauren-227_web terrell_lauren-228_webI love that Jean captured the moody night-light and us in our true state of travel. Mixing amongst the locals, tasting the food, pursuing the handmade goods. And of yeah, the fun! The silliness, that’s who we are. terrell_lauren-242_web terrell_lauren-244_web terrell_lauren-246_web terrell_lauren-248_web terrell_lauren-250_web terrell_lauren-259_webThese corn photos are by far my most favorite of the entire shoot. But I’m pretty sure that corn tried to kill me. Never have I been so sick! But Terrell was perfectly fine! And the corn was O.M.G good, so eat it. Dont be scared. terrell_lauren-260_web terrell_lauren-262_web terrell_lauren-266_web terrell_lauren-269_webOh and this last shot. Jean asked if there were any other photos we wanted and when I asked for this I thought she would for sure kill me, it took so long and so many takes to get the light and the motion right. But man oh man, its perfect and she was so game. We are so glad we were able to capture these moments as it is the hardest to get just the everyday photos of yourself and we are so lucky to have been able to work with Jean and Travis to capture these perfectly normal, but brilliant moments of our life here in Asia. Thank you so much Jean and Travis! terrell_lauren-270_web

Get Messy Art Journal Love #2


gm-season01-love-fullIn case you don’t know, Get Messy is an art journaling challenge that has prompts, inspiration and weekly link ups to share your work and build community around this fun creative outlet.

We would love for you to join us here.

For February and March we are creating around a theme, Love. These are the pages I created based off prompts from this season. I actually combined the journal prompts from this week with the art prompts from last week. And that is part of the fun! You can never run out of inspiration with this program!

Friends 1 by Lauren Likes Friends by Lauren Likes Friends details by Lauren LikesThis herringbone page that I made out of washi tape was too good not to snap a photo of it before I added my photos. It was pretty simple once I got the hang of the pattern, just time-consuming and tedious. Totally worth it. Ps I posted a photo in the private member facebook group asking for help because my really cheap washi tapes were peeling. I got SO much great feedback and ended up mod podging the page to seal it all down. Thanks friends! I love that you can always ask questions in the community and you will get so many amazing answers and tips! Herringbone washi tape by Lauren Likes Both techniques used on this page are so simple. Color blocking and doodles, but they make such a great statement. Don’t underestimate the power of simple… Ps if you are a part of the Get Messy Membership program I have a fun video coming for you next week involving this page! I love by Lauren Likes I love detail by Lauren Likes

As you can see we are not all about hearts and stars and romantic, gushy love. So please join us for this in-depth look at the ideas, cultures and personal experiences surrounding love this season with Get Messy Art Journal.



How I use Instagram to plan my scrapbooks

How to use instagram to plan your scrapbooks by Lauren Likes

Instagram is the best. I wish all other social media would disappear and we could just all use instragram. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how I use Instagram to plan my scrapbooks. It’s really easy, you just have to be mindful of it and honestly we are all instagraming our lives away anyway, so it shouldn’t be much of a stretch for you if you are already using this magical majestic unicorn of an app! I’ll show you how I did this on a trip to Jeju + the minibook I made using this technique.

The main thing you have to do is have a plan. Here is what I do:

1. Take a fun photo that encapsulates your experience at each individual place/event/etc.

For example, we went Tangerine picking, so I took a photo of the tangerines. If i cant remember the tangerine picking from the tangerine photo then there is no hope for me….Make sure you are taking lots of photos of your time at each location as normal, but especially if you are using your big camera make sure to snap one quick phone photo that really sums up each stop.

Jeju Minibook by Lauren-Likes

2. Post that one photo on instagram as you are leaving that specific place.

I understand for safety reasons people do not like sharing real-time photos, but this lets you keep the memories fresh. On this trip we were taking a tour bus. So as I would be sitting on the bus waiting on the rest of the group I would post my photo, religiously. Establish a routine: no one gets in the car until mom grams it, etc. Telling your trip mates will help remind you, hold you accountable and make it not awkward to hold everyone up and that way other people can get in on it too!

How to use instagram to plan your scrapbooks by Lauren Likes

 3. Geotag it.

Again, since you are posting as you are leaving, safety shouldn’t be an issue. But if you are still worried, hit the geotag button, make a quick note of where you are and then delete it from the photo. Using the geotag lets you remember EXACTLY what a location is called and have the correct spelling. Especially when I travel internationally or go a lot of places in one trip or to not well-known places or stumble upon completely new unplanned places, I always forget what they are called. This fixes that problem!

How to use instagram to plan your scrapbooks by Lauren Likes

4. Write about it.

This is not the time to post a joke or a deep musing thought, etc. Legit write about what you did. “We went Tangerine picking for 2 hours and came home with a huge bag of fruit for 12$! The kids loved it and Layla ate her weight in Tangerines and we learned the Korean word for xxxxx.” This may not be your everyday style of instagramming but it will let your followers have a deeper glimpse into your trip and it allows you to have all the facts and little things you may not remember when you sit down to collect your memories weeks or months (or years) later. Writing it here in journaling style will preserve it for you!

How to use instagram to plan your scrapbooks by Lauren Likes

5. Create your scrapbook!

This is the fun part! When I sit down to scrapbook I will print all my photos, gather ephemera and scrapbook supplies and begin. I will then sort out photos into events/days/locations and then I will pull up instagram on my phone to help me organize. With just glancing at my feed I can quickly arrange the photos in order of event. Then as I work on each individual event I can open that photo see my location and remember the main points that I journaled about. And usually the photo I instragrammed is my favorite photo from that event so I already have one photo to really spotlight on the page.

Jeju Minibook by Lauren-Likes

Imploring these simple strategies will take away all the guessing and confusion when you sit down to scrapbook and helps you instagram without spamming your followers and tell a complete story! See the whole book here, see the photos of the trip here and here. 

Do you have any tips or tricks you use when travelling to help you remember things on the go?

Kanchaniburi, Thailand

IMG_8955I am so sad that I did not know more about Kanchaniburi before we went to Thailand because we would have stayed here as a leg of our trip instead of just a last-minute day trip we went on. This place is beautiful! We ended up here because we ran out of time in Chiang Mai and wanted to do an elephant experience from Bangkok. We booked a day tour that picked us up, took us (multiple hours) out of the city, took us to these waterfalls and then to an elephant experience and then took us back to Bangkok. I would recommend you spending a few days here. There is so much history here (train rides! Museums!) and some really beautiful natural attractions. IMG_8957

 We hiked the 7 waterfalls in Erawan National Park and swam in a few. Since we were on a tour we only had 2-3 hours but were able to see them all and swim (really quickly though) but you could spend the whole day here! Family friendly and freezing :)

Ps. Those fish are friendly….

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Matching is our super power… #pleasedontjudgeus

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We then went to an elephant camp, that we would not recommend. The reviews did not say anything negative and there wasn’t anything terrible about it, it just was not what we expected nor was it actually nice. We would however highly recommend Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai. 

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If we ever return to Thailand, Kanchaniburi will be one of our first stops! Have you ever been here? What else is great about this place?!


Get Messy Art Journal Season of Love

gm-season01-love-fullThe Get Messy Art Journal Membership Program has begun and is exploding with inspiration! I have so missed consistently art journaling and now that the program is up and running I am so happy to be back on board and to have my routine reestablished. In case you don’t know, Get Messy is an art journaling challenge that has prompts, inspiration and weekly link ups to share your work and build community around this fun creative outlet.

We would love for you to join us here.

For February and March we are creating around a theme, Love. So fitting, right? Here are the first two pages I have made and ps I love them….

I’m really into painting with acrylics right now and made these fun backgrounds (and tons more) and then added my journaling/photos onto them as I founds things that fit.

For this first page I included an accidental instax photo of me and hand cut the phrase “I am happy here” because I am finally back to a place where I am happy with my body again. This idea came about when thinking about the idea of ‘self love’.Art Journal by Lauren LikesThis page is so beautiful for one and so special. I’ve had this page in my heart for over a year and the love prompts were exactly what I needed to get it out and onto paper. When I worked in adoption it wrecked my heart. The act of counseling someone through giving up a baby and through receiving another persons baby as your own is challenging and beautiful and messy. Adoption is the ultimate gift of self-sacrifice and love, on both parts, and I am so lucky to have been able to witness both sides firsthand. These families and birth mothers are people I will never forget and I’m so glad that I was able to commemorate that in my art journal.Art Journal Love by Lauren LikesArt Journal Love Act by Lauren Likes

As you can see we are not all about hearts and stars and romantic, gushy love. So please join us for this in-depth look at the ideas, cultures and personal experiences surrounding love this season with Get Messy Art Journal.