Bulletin Board DIY

DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren LikesBefore, when we had old gross wallpaper, I had a really cute washi taped collage of photos up over my desk as seen below. But I only had 1 desk and it got really cluttered really fast. We were looking for solutions and finally decided to rearrange the furniture in our house. Originally we had a desk in the living room as our ‘entertainment center’ but since we don’t have a TV and don’t plan on getting one, it just didn’t make any sense to have a random desk in our living room. So we moved it into my office and solved 2 problems. I got more work space and we no longer had a desk in the living room. Win, win. When they redid our walls I had to take my collage down and I haven’t been able to settle on exactly what I want to do above my main workspace desk yet, but I definitely want it to be more pretty than functional on this side. But on the other side I needed a bulletin board to post up ideas, to do list, sketches, inspiration, etc. But I didn’t want to invest in anything quite yet and wanted something simple and cheap. And as always, it was a renter-friendly option!IMG_6712This is the space before. I have a large wall, so size wasnt an issue. DIY bulletin board by Lauren Likes 1I wanted to be sure to keep it only over the left desk, to leave room for pretty-ness on the right. I looked around and realized I had bought a white foam board for background photography but it got really beat up really fast and wasnt working as a background for me anymore. So, aha! My quick and easy solution was born.  DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 3Supplies: 

  • Foam board
  • Washi tape
  • 3M command strips

DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 2I simply adhered the board to the wall using 3M Command strips and then used washi tape to make a border.  PS My favorite to do lists are the free ones by Caylee. DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 5 So far I’ve only used washi tape to stick up photos and sketches, but I think smaller/shorter thumb tacks would work well also. (Photo print by Elise) This project took less than 5 minutes to do the whole thing and cost me nothing as I had all the supplies on hand. Simple, quick, effective, pretty. The best kind of project! DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 6And in efforts to keep it real, this is what my office really looks like 98% of the time. Multiple projects at once, on the floor, the bed, the desks. It drives me MAD when bloggers only show small corners of rooms and make it look like everything is perfectly clean and styled all the time. UNTRUE PEOPLE, UNTRUE! DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 4 Lauren Likes Office Lauren Likes Office 2

Photowalk around Gyeongbeok Palace

I admit that I am a link junkie. I have a love/hate relationship with the ‘Friday link roundups’ that everyone is doing because I can’t. not. clickkkkkkkkkkk. Must. Click. All. The. Links.

Well, the lovely Sabine does a quite lovely link up on Fridays and shares some really inspiring art among other interesting things. As I was clicking through her links, I found she had shared about World Wide Photo Walk day.  The event was this past weekend and Sabine was participating in Germany. So I mustered up all my courage and clicked register. I thought there would never be one in Seoul, but there was! I have been wanting to do something like this to improve my skills, have uninterrupted photo taking time and to meet others who enjoy this type of thing. I was so nervous before hand and secretly hoped it would rain so I didn’t have to go. You know that awkward feeling of ‘I don’t really know where I’m going and don’t know anyone I’m going to meet’ feeling?! Well I braved it and walked right out of the subway to a huge group of friendly people with cameras, clearly I was in the right place.

We spent the day at the Gyeongbeok Palace strolling through the buildings and soaking up the perfect weather. I took some of the best photos I’ve possibly ever taken. It truly goes to show what concentration and focus and not rushing can do. I took 250 photos, so I wont bore you with the same building from EVERY angle possible. But this was such a fun learning experience and I made some friends and was able to connect with a group that does tons of cool walks that I can continue to participate in! If you want to get involved in something like this check out facebook groups and do some googling to find one near you!

Travel info: Take the subway to Gyeongbokgung station and exit out of exit 5, this will put you inside the palace walls. To go into see the palace it is $3 or 3000 won. It closes at 6pm and there is a fun Changing of the Guards on the hour from 11 to 5pm. You can spend a few hours here and there is GREAT shopping and other touristy things right outside the palace walls. You can also rent traditional Hanboks and wear them inside the palace to take pictures.

gyeongbeok palacegyeongbeok palace gyeongbeok palace gyeongbeok palace gyeongbeok palace gyeongbeok palace gyeongbeok palace gyeongbeok palace gyeongbeok palace gyeongbeok palace IMG_7772 IMG_7775 IMG_7791 IMG_7797 IMG_7812 IMG_7850

Get Messy 23

Be kind art journal by Lauren Likes

Clearly someone was having trouble being kind lately…. Daily routine art journal by Lauren Likes

I took this photo of us eating dinner at 4pm one day and realized that with it I wanted to record our daily routine as the is the most routined we’ve ever been and its a little ‘early bird special’ ish. PS this is the page that last weeks happy accident occurred from. GetMessy2

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt.Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.

 

DIY Geometric Wall Display



Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes

At the beginning of the year we knew we would be moving and I had my eye on this project from the start so it only makes sense that it was the first project I tackled after we got our new wallpaper this week. I pretty much followed their tutorial step by step and it was so easy and fun! This project took less than an hour to complete and I had all supplies on hand. The supplies can easily be swapped out for whatever is in your office at the time. Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes

Supplies used:

  • Sketching supplies: paper, pencil, sharpie (to accentuate the nail holes)
  • string/rope/cord, etc
  • hammer & nails
  • clothespins or clips to hang photos/art
  • art/photos

Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesOur walls are a white-ish color with thin dark stripes. So, not the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, but so much better and white enough to keep me happy and let in lots of light. We also rearranged our room and technically lost a little bit of space but feel like we have somehow gained space and increased functionality a ton. See the before here. Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesTo create the display design I made multiple sketches and they either need over 50 nails or when I tried to use less it just didn’t make sense. So I used their sketch as a starting point and continued randomly from there and even when I was adding the string I went a little off course and love it even more.  Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes

I got started by just eye-balling my sketch and measuring out how wide and tall I wanted the display to be. I did not trace anything or make any marks on the wall, but a pencil sketch could be helpful if you are worried about it being uneven. I think having a carpenter for a dad made me become a human level so I understand not everyone has this geometrical superpower. (seriously I never measure or use any levelling tools when hanging things-Its my spiritual gift) Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesThis is my attempt to show you to not nail the nails all the way into the wall. Leave enough space to wrap your strings around, sometimes multiple times. Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesI was testing out colors here and neither of us could decide which color to use, so obviously the answer was BOTH. Our last house was more muted and had a very constricted color palate, so my goal is to branch out and create the Pinterest decor of my dreams. Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesOk, it was impossible to take photos as I was wrapping the strings. So I apologize, but Ill try to explain. I started on one nail and tide the string in a knot on it to start and began weaving the strings around the next nail attempting to follow the sketched design as best as possible. (again I eyeballed this and didnt preplan the direction to wrap the nails like they had) I had to circle the nails 2 times to get it to hold and had to hold the string really tight as it kept popping off the nails. I tried to make sure the colors were evenly mixed and tried not to back track too much over the same line and only had to mix the colors on one line once. This took some trial and error and backing up sometimes, but I felt it was easier to figure it out by doing (especially with two colors) than try to sketch it out, that would involve too much brain power. To finish I had my faithful DIY helper (the husband) cut the strings for me  as the whole thing would have come apart if I had let go. To finish I just knotted both ends of the strings on the last nail and trimmed the edges. Each string is just 1 string, but it would be pretty easy if your strings weren’t long enough to add more or if you just are stuck and need to stop there and pick up at another place in the design. Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesThe strings are pretty tight but there was plenty of give to add the clothespins and photos. I wouldn’t use anything thinner than embroidery floss (like I did) or it may not hold. Make sure to pull your string tight enough but not too tight so the photos don’t get droopy or is too tight and you can’t squeeze the clips in.  Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesI played around with photo placement until I was happy and chose to stick with the square sizes to keep it similar.  Now these photos are really easily interchangeable! Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesIf you guys make your own design let me know! There are sooooo many options you could do with this. I’m imagining a circle but with all the crazy triangles inside it? Someone go make one like that so I can see!  Ps you should really check out The Caldwell Project blog who made this project originally. Their blog has SO many great DIYs! Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes

How to get an international job part 1


How to get an international job by Lauren LikesWhen we got our teaching jobs in Korea everyone had tons of questions about how we did it and it was honestly very hard to answer because it took literal years of planning and research. There are so many options of how to get an international job and everyone’s experience looks different, so there isn’t really an easy to follow roadmap. So I thought I would make one by sharing our journey and give you a little direction if you think this path may be for you.

This will be the first part in a series of posts detailing our process.

I am in no means an expert on this, but this is my experience of how we got our international teaching jobs. There are many routes you can take and everyone’s journey looks different. I did an extensive amount of research and reached out to tons of people who had experience doing this, in real life and through the web. So I encourage you to do the same to find the path that is best for you! Hopefully i have broken down the process in a general and understandable way. Please add your suggestions/story in the comments and ask any questions you may have!

 Ways to work internationally:

Time Line options:

1. Fast and Furious: Decide to go to an international teaching job fair the week of and accept a job and move 4 months or less later (we have friends who did this!!). I don’t recommend this route as it is much more stressful, but just like any school, they will be filling positions up until the first week of school, so it’s never too late technically. I recently met someone who moved their whole family within 10 days for a position! Crazy, but doable!

How to get an international job timeline by Lauren Likes

2. Slow & Steady (Our timeline):

  • 2 Years in advance:
    • Decide almost 2 years in advance this is your plan
    • 2 years before you are ready to board a plane: do general research and figure out the hiring timeline and requirements and what you need to do to be prepared for these. (this step is more just a mental preparation thing, but you may need to get an additional certification, etc so this gives  you a year to do this before starting the stressful job search)
  • August 1 year prior to your preferred move date
    • research international job fairs, schools, options, etc
  • September-October:
    • Choose a job fair/recruiting program (note you can find a job on your own by applying directly to schools, but 95% of the time they will want to interview you at a fair. Being part of a program gives you support and guidance also!)
    • Reach out to the different companies to figure out who is the best fit
    • We spoke with the main largest recruiter companies in the USA, Search Associates, ISS, Teachaway and UNI. We chose UNI for multiple reasons: they were the friendliness and most helpful, they accepted me as a school social worker (Some companies work strictly with teachers), they were the cheapest fair (registration wise) and they take applicants with less experience than others may (teachers right out of college). We cannot speak highly enough of this organisation and fair. They were just wonderful and personable to work with every step of the way.
  • November:
    • Most deadlines are around Thanksgiving to be completely registered for a fair to not incur a late fee or be wait listed
  • December:
    • Complete job fair registration and book your hotel, flight, etc
      • It took us months to complete the registration process as we had to apply for a few certifications and wait on them to come in since T was still in grad school, so this stretched our process but if you are currently teaching you should be certified and not have this worry. But the paperwork is VERY extensive and you need multiple references. So start as soon as you choose a company!
    • By December you should be completely registered and in the database. This allows you to have access to all the job openings (many times these schools will not post online, but will only post through these companies as the company does all the up front paperwork work making sure all applicants actually qualify!) and allows schools to search for you in the applicant database (which is how we got our jobs!!)
  • January-February:
    • Most fairs are in January or February, so you should be making travel arrangements in December/January if you need to travel.
    • In January you should begin connecting with recruiters from the schools you would like to interview with through email, skype, etc.
    • Attend your job fair!
    • Normally contract offers are made at the job fair. Depending on the school and the company running the fairs policy you may have anywhere from 30 minutes to 48 hours to decide. These fairs are very aggressive and competitive. Sometimes schools are attempting to hire 30 new staff in a 48 hour period. That means a lot of interviews and if they make an offer and you refuse they need to move on to the next person! This process is not for the faint of heart. Some people receive 8 offers from different schools, some receive none. Recruiters will say no, very rudely, to your face but you must be able to quickly let that go and move on to the next school!
  • February-May:
    • Once you have decided and your contract is signed and you’ve told everyone and celebrated the hard work begins!!
    • You should know what your housing situation will be, furnished versus not. So you need to begin deciding what you will do with your belongings, home, cars, etc.
    • Begin sorting and selling and donating things immediately to make it easier on yourself in the end.
    • Your school will work with you over the next few months to complete paperwork and get your Visa. Do not wait!!
    • If your school is having you purchase your own ticket and is reimbursing you (which is the general policy) you should purchase your plane ticket about 3 months out or earlier (again consult your school). We bought ours in April and got a great deal.
  • June-July:
    • If you are shipping items it takes about 6-8 weeks to get there
    • Over the summer say your goodbyes and soak up your home!
    • Your school may send you to a training or conference, so be prepared to be a little flexible in these months.
  • July:
    •  its time to move!
    • Get to your new home, settle in and start orientation!
  • August:
    • School starts in full swing in!
  • September:
    • Be amazed at where you actually are!

Next up: Surviving an International teaching job fair, Paperwork and the transition process, Were here! Officially becoming expat teachers and what that means

Questions? Comments? Are you working abroad? Tell me how you did it!

Blink of an eye

Graduation 037This post was inspired by a few words that Elise shared, in this post, that sent me into a panic. I felt a weight on me that I needed to get off. I have these moments that are so intensely ingrained into my mind and my heart and I never want to lose them. But I know, when dealing with the human mind, I will. So I frantically began writing so that I would not forget. So that I would have these moments forever. To hoard or to share. Forever.

“All of those seasons? They felt infinite. For better or worse, I was in them, forever. They stretched on and on and on. But now? In my memory those seasons are just moments. What felt like routine is now magic and special because it exists as only a blink.

I want to remember the moments, little love. I want to remember every single one.”

-Elise Blaha Cripe from enJOYit 

I want to remember these moments and store them up for my own treasure chest of delights…..

That time we were driving in Hawaii on our honeymoon to see the sunset at a secret cove and it felt like we were driving to the end of the world and I was scared we were going to run out of gas. The huge lava rocks lined the roads and it all felt surreal and when we got there it was like we had finally found the end of the earth and we were happy to stay there forever. 2014-05-03 20.33.29-2That day I was little desperate when I started college and reached out to my old young life leader trying to make friends. She took me to coffee “and this other thing just really quick that you will like’. That was the day my whole life changed.

All those trips to MFuge that kept pointing me to a job in human service and missions. I’m so glad I listened. Nica! 015Ziplining through the canopy of trees in Nicaragua feeling like I could die or be eaten by that monkey over there at any minute and feeling like I could fly.

Sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor and eating meals in the floor the summer we got married in our new empty apartment. IMG_0261Every weekend of every summer that my family took our boat to the lake. I never want to forget how that giant grill weighed down the boat so much every 4th of July and my dad would still let us go tubing. And that feeling you get at the end of the day when you crawl in bed and everything still rocks and you know you were meant to be on the sea not land.

The first morning I woke up wet from the storm that had found its way inside our tent and thought I had just ruined our lives for thinking we could camp our way across the entire country for a summer. Then a few weeks later realizing I had just set us off on the greatest adventure we would ever take as we drove through the middle of nowhere and the sky was really beautiful and blue and we were just happy. travels and stuff 026Those first moments of meeting new friends who will stay in your life forever. Like when you get cornered in the bathroom talking about wedding photography or you just say “don’t worry I know you’ll like our group so I’ll just put you in it, trust me” or they just walk up and say “I’m gonna be friends with you guys ok.”

And those moments when you meet someone and say “yep I’ll never talk to you again after this you weirdo” and they end up being the greatest people to ever walk into your life and stay forever.

anniversary

 

The weekend we first met and I just liked you and knew I would marry you. And I did.

 

That moment when you’re working kids camp and you cry and want to go home because it is the hardest, craziest thing you’ve ever done. I’ll never forget a single second of that entire summer.

When you step back and see 30 college students in your driveway eating hotdogs and have that tingly feeling like they all are about to change your life and you’re terrified and nervous and excited all at once. november 035The look on his little face when you give a kid a gift and you know they will keep it the rest of their lives and you know you will keep the bracelet they gave you for the rest of yours.

That first week I had my driver’s license and all my friends in the car with the windows down, music blaring and them yelling in the backseat. Then the cop pulls me over in my friends driveway. I was more scared of her dad than the cop. Nica! 069I want to remember that blue-black sky completely full of more stars than any sky has ever held before from that bus window driving up the mountain to our camp in Nicaragua that one night.

That moment when you officially say yes to the job that will completely unravel everything you’ve ever known and then you just buy a soda and sit in the airport and wait on your flight home like everything is the same, but nothing ever will be again. But its ok because that’s how you like it.

The morning I woke up and opened the curtains and saw Korea sitting on that hill and looked at my future.

Get Messy 22

Dear National Geographic, You make my art journal world go round. Climb higher art journal by Lauren Likes

Ps. Those flags are just a really happy accident from another page I made. I’m trying to knock out a ton of pages at a time to harness the creative juices and to get ahead.

Live exotically by Lauren Likes

 

Ps. Get Messy is going through a bit of changes and were officially opening it up this week to casual participants. We will still have our list of fully devoted art journalers posting every week, but if you’re wanting to share pages and build community please start using the hashtag. We truly want more and more people creating. There is a devoted website coming soon that will show the full time Get Messians and a bit of their work so that its easier for you to find who has the kind of style you would like more inspiration from. If you want to be one of those people on the site contact us (if you havent already), otherwise you can just do the casual thing and post to your blog or instagram occasionally on Thursdays! GetMessy2

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt.Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.

Where to Print Photos Anywhere in the World



Where to print photos anywhere in the world by Lauren-Likes

When I moved to Korea, I could NOT figure out how to print my photos. I reached out to some amazing bloggers (in other places in Asia) for help and they were amazing. But I thought, “this is ridiculous, there should be a website with this information”. Then I thought, “I can’t be the only person with this problem. There have to be other people who have moved to a new country and needed help printing photos. ILL FIX THAT.” So I reached out to some lovely ladies all over the world and requested their help for 2 reasons. First, I want a local’s opinion, not a random google search. Second, who better to know and judge photo printing quality, ease and pricing than scrapbookers?!

Here is a list I have compiled (so far) of different printing options all around the world from some really sweet bloggers. I have included 5 continents worth of in-store instant photo printing options (South America we need your help!) and a slew of online, home delivery options. I hope these are helpful for you, wherever you are! Please share with your world traveling friends and send me your suggestions for new stores/online services to add!

Africa

South Africa 

There are a bunch of photo printing places in South Africa, but they are all crazy expensive. After ten months of printing I figured out the best option. Post Net. Post Net has its own photo printing service, but that’s almost as expensive as the photo printers. What I do is I arrange my photos onto an A4 page. I manage to get four on them if the particular Post Net branch has borderless printing, otherwise there are three. But I’m also not too fussy about getting exact measurements.

I print on their cardboard, which costs me R6 (R1.50 a photo), but recently I bought a stack of photo paper and it costs me R4 if I bring my own paper. They also allow you to print on vellum, which is great. The cheapest place to buy photo paper is HP Shop -http://www.hpshop.co.za/. Buying it at a shop is way more expensive.

Post Nets varies in quality because they are usually owned by a married couple, and depending on their preferences, they choose if the printer is laser or inkjet, and what brand. The quality is pretty much high all over the country, though… I regularly go to around six different ones in the country. There are Post Nets everywhere. Get to know the cashiers, and who the “main” person is – when I’m at my local Post Net, I’ll never allow anyone to print other than my main guy.

-Caylee Grey 

Where to print photos anywhere in the world by Lauren-LikesAsia 

Hong Kong

URPhoto : These guys are great. You create a profile, and upload your photos to their site. If you have for more than 200 HKD (about 25 USD worth) of photos, they will deliverer it directly to your house the next day for free! How’s that for service?! They print IG photos (they are 4 x 4 printed on 4 x 6 paper) and they look great. If you are unhappy with the prints, they have a free 10 day re-print service. This is great when you have a bunch of photos to print out for a vacation or a mini album for example.

-Vanessa from Dans-Mon-Crane

Singapore

Harvey Norman: This is an in-store service only. You bring your storage device to the photo center, upload them at the kiosk, and collect your photos usually within the hour. There are twelve photo centers located within specific Harvey Norman stores across the island.

Standard 4×6 prints start from $0.25 each and are printed on quality Fujifilm photo paper. Read more about photo prices and available sizes here.

Fotohub: Fotohub provides online printing, as well as in-store printing services. If you print online, you upload the photos online and they are delivered to you within 3 days. If you bring your photos to a physical store, you are usually able to pick them up within one hour.

Standard 4×6 prints start from $0.43 each. If you print online, this excludes shipping costs. Fotohub also has FotoPackages with great value if you need to print photos in bulk. Read more about photo prices and available sizes here.

-Amelia from Amelia Writes

South Korea

In Korea there are a lot of photo printing options at different types of stores, the problem is finding them. Korea can be very confusing and most stores are very small and are hidden in a huge, obscure building. If you can find those places, awesome! But, the best and easiest thing to do is to use your local Emart or Lotte Mart. These stores are all over Korea, even in small towns. Most stores in Korea don’t have websites with easy locator search features, but some googling, asking around or wandering around will help you locate them very easily. Each store is a little different, some you can upload and order online and pick up in store, some are self-service kiosks, most have someone working the counter and you take in your flash drive and show them which photos to print at what size. 4×6 photos are 300 won (30 cents USD). Asia is amazing and prints 3×4 prints, also 300 Won, and they can print up to a in 25 by 18 in, still considered a photo print, for 3,000 Won  ($3 USD) and the quality is amazing. Your order will be ready in 20 mins.  Easy, cheap and fast with great quality!

Where to print photos anywhere in the world by Lauren-LikesAustralia

Kmart: they have both in-store and online options.

Harvey Norman: these are both national chains and can be found Australia wide.  Both are well priced and reliable/good quality.

Officeworks: Prints are 10cent in store and they offer online services. They are located around almost the entire coast of Australia.

-Delaney from DelaneyPaige  Where to print photos anywhere in the world by Lauren-Likes

Europe

Germany

In Germany there are several good and payable ways to print your photos. My favorite printing service is Pixum. It’s an online printer service, where you can simply upload your photos and they send you a package filled with your beautiful photos. The advantage of Pixum is, that they print in the exact aspect ratio you uploaded your photos. Therefore it’s the only service I know in Germany, where I can print my photos for Project Life. Every other company cuts the photos down to a regular size, so the photos slide inside the pockets. If you print large bulgs of photos you can save up to 17% and the delivery costs at Pixum. And the biggest advantage, they deliver really fast. Most of the time they the package arrives on the next day.

If you need only a few pictures but within hours or even minutes, you can use one of the many instant printers at RossmannDM,Saturn or Media Markt. These instant printers are now everywhere in several shops, so it’s only a question of quality, which company you choose. I prefer f.e. Saturn. They are four to five times more expensive than the online printer services, but you have the photos within minutes.”

xx Sabine from Moments to Live For

When I was in Germany I used Müller. It was fantastically easy, really cheap, and really quick delivery. I just uploaded it to the site, clicked a few buttons, paid with PayPal, and it arrived at my door a few days later. There is an option to collect the photos at your closest Müller but over a certain amount the delivery was free and I was never in a rush. The photo paper is thin, but I never chose the premium option since I was more concerned with price, and it worked perfectly for me. €0.07 a photo made me print every single photo I had ever wanted to print, especially since there were bundle options. When I wanted to print photos the same day I visited a physical Müller store, went to one of the DIY printers and had photos five minutes later.

Where to print photos anywhere in the world by Lauren-LikesNorth America 

USA 

In the USA you have TONS of choices for cheap and fast photo printing. Options such as Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, RightAid, Kmart, Target, Sams, Costco, BJs, and on and on and on. These normally have 3 options: order online and pick up in store (or home deliver), self print at a kiosk or have a photo lab assistant assist you. These are normally ready instantly or within 20 minutes to an hour. These are chains that are spread throughout the US in large and small towns. I’m sure there are many more and are easy to locate as most of them have good websites and your friendly neighbours will certainly help point you in the right direction. I have personally found that Walgreens has better quality than Walmart and they run fantastic deals, less than 10 cent a print! And if you sign up for their newsletter you will get lots of coupons emailed to you and free large prints, etc. I have also found that Walgreens will have photo coupons on their photo site but sometimes better coupons in their actual store ad, so always check both. Pricing can range form 9 cents to 30 cents a print at stores like these for a 4×6 and larger prints go up quickly to be $1-$5 or more.

World Wide Online Photo Printing Services

Because let’s be honest, not everyone will have access to these services or has the time to go have photos printed and/or you prefer quality and convenience of online companies. So here is a list of some of the leaders in quality and world-wide shipping as a few options for you.

Artifact UprisingBeautiful, quality books and prints, higher on the price side.

Costco: Not (normally) a delivery service, but Costco’s are worldwide and have very cheap photo printing options. They have a wide range of sizes to choose from, quality varies by store, but it is a great option!

Fotohub: Fotohub provides online printing, as well as in-store printing services. If you print online, you upload the photos online and they are delivered to you within 3 days. If you bring your photos to a physical store, you are usually able to pick them up within one hour. -Amelia

Origrami: I am blown away by these guys. They are an IG printing company based in Sydney Australia. They will ship 36 prints on matte cardstock with a choice of backgrounds for the back of the photos for 20$ and they offer free shipping worldwide. The kicker is that your prints come in a super cute camera box. They have some great size options, have an app so you can upload prints from your phone and they don’t have to be IG prints only anymore (before you couldn’t put photos from your camera roll for example). Highly recommended. -Vanessa

Persnikety Prints: Leader in quality and options, especially for scrapbookers. Very affordable and they run sales often.

Photojaanic: A partner of Snapfish, Photojaanic is a web-based printing service . You upload your photos online and they are delivered to you within 1 to 3 business days. Standard 4×6 photo prints are $0.19 each, excluding shipping. -Amelia

ShutterflyTons of options, decent quality, frequent sales.

SnapfishSimilar to Shutterfly with lots of options and sales.

I know there are about a million more printing options out there. If you have one you use and love please send me a link and a review and I will happily add it to the list as I want this to be a helpful guide for people all over the world! So send me your thoughts in an email to mrslaurenhooper@gmail.com 

 

Sokcho, South Korea



Sokcho Travel Tips by Lauren Likes***This post is very photo heavy. So all tips and thoughts are here at the top and then you can scroll to your hearts content!

Thoughts/Itinerary: We had a long weekend for Korean Thanksgiving, Chuseok, and The Nami 5 decided to set off and take full advantage of our time. We bought bus tickets ahead of time and made the 2 hour ride up in the AM. We arrived at one of the main bus depots and caught another bus in to our hostel to check in and relax. It was a nice day so we hopped on the bus and went to the beach and walked around the beach front area until we found a cheap Korean restaurant for dinner. Sokcho has multiple beach areas and waterfront boardwalk that reminds me of the beaches in the south of the USA, but nicer. The water is pretty clear, but we went in August and it was really cold. There are a few things to see/do at the beaches, some carnival type games, sculptures, piers etc.

The next morning we walked up to the park entrance, spent some time in the museum/nature center and then headed up to start our hike. We did the Ulsanbawi trail, which are the photos with lots of fog in them. It was MISERABLE. Straight up stairs for about 3 hours, you reach the peak and it is complete fog. So best of luck to you. AKA go on a clear day. The next day, we were miserable and sore and miserable, so we attempted to go up to a waterfall, but took the wrong trail. But we ended up in the Cheonbuldong Valley and it was BEAUTIFUL and not strenuous at all. The trail continued for a long way, but we hiked to a quiet place that we could eat lunch on the rocks. (these are the really clear photos of the streams and high rock formations).

That afternoon we had purchased cable car tickets for $9 or 9000 Won each. The cable car goes really fast and really high and it is worth every penny. Once you get to the top, you hike up (stairs again) to a peak, but you can then climb straight up (using ropes) to get to the tip-top of the peak. (These are the AMAZING photos of us looking over the edge of the whole world). Terrifying, worth it. We had dinner at this delicious restaurant, Matsu, and was such a steal. For about $15 a person you get bruschetta, salad, pasta and dessert.

We rode the bus home the next morning and only hit a bit of traffic. This is a great place to travel, especially during fall as the leaves are just magical here. Check out my friend Emily’s photos of her trip in the fall.  It is incredible that we took some of the exact same photos and they look completely different!

Tips:

  • This is where we stayed. It was very affordable and very nice. It had a bed, couch and floor mats with a bathroom in the room and an efficiency type kitchen. It was very close to the mountain, a little strip of restaurants and was right by a bus stop. If your main goal is hiking a hostel in this area is the way to go, if the beach is your preference stay near the beach and ride a bus up and hike for a day.
  • Like everywhere in Korea the buses are amazing and run all over the city frequently. But the buses running up to the mountain/hostels did end around 10 (I believe) so you may need to take a taxi if you stay out too late.
  • If you stay at the hostels there are some restaurants in walking distance, but they are a bit expensive and serve only (delicious) Korean food.
  • We packed our lunches both days we hiked (food was bought in town and stored in the fridge in our room), hostel provided breakfast and we ate dinner out.
  • If you want to eat a full Korean meal while hiking, there are full restaurants on the trail. They also sell ice cream, souvenirs, snacks, water, etc very reasonably priced on most of the trails.
  • There are bathrooms almost the whole way along the trails. Koreans are geniuses.
  • This can be a very inexpensive trip as the most you should be paying for is transportation (cheap on the bus), food (pack your lunch) and park entrance (about $3 a day)
  • The trails we took were marked as the least strenuous and were incredibly strenuous, so I never want to find out what Koreans think is difficult. AKA there are hikes for all different levels and plenty of families were there
  • You can do an overnight backpacking trip to get to the highest peak if you plan ahead
  • 2014-09-18 14.08.42I whipped up a quick page with the new project life app to some up our trip. Just lovely.

2014-09-09 16.23.40IMG_7322IMG_7046IMG_7048IMG_7057IMG_7060IMG_7073IMG_7081IMG_7083IMG_7095IMG_7096IMG_7101IMG_7113IMG_7117IMG_7129IMG_7133IMG_7135IMG_7138IMG_7150IMG_7159IMG_7171IMG_7177IMG_7178IMG_7182IMG_7188IMG_7192IMG_7215IMG_7232IMG_7235IMG_7239IMG_7247IMG_7250IMG_7265IMG_7270IMG_7286IMG_7298IMG_7311IMG_7315IMG_7312

2014-09-06 17.37.072014-09-06 17.09.57  2014-09-06 16.58.452014-09-06 17.54.57 2014-09-06 17.55.20 2014-09-06 18.07.55-2 2014-09-06 19.02.21 2014-09-17 22.44.12 2014-09-09 16.30.39Photos with text added with VRSLY app. 2014-09-19 10.42.45

Book Reviews

One of my goals for my 14 for 14 project (achieve 14 goals in 2014) was to read 2 books a month. I have already read than 13 books so far this year, some months I have read none, some I have a read at ton. It’s the ebb and flow of life I guess. So here is a quick rundown of the books I’ve read so far and my thoughts on them.

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  1. The Fault in Our Stars: Please don’t hate me, but this book irritated me to no end. It wasnt terrible, I was ok with it. I still need to see the movie and see if it can redeem itself. Too much teenage angst for me. But a quick and easy read for sure.
  2. Bone House: I listened to this on audio tape and was constantly sitting in my car in the driveway trying to figure out what happened next. It’s a classic who-dunnit with tons of twists and love stories and flashbacks and back stories. These semi complicated plots are my favorite. The gist: a teacher is accused of having ‘relations’ with a student. Another student turns up dead and they all assume its him. You’ll NEVER guess who it actually was.
  3. The In-Between: I really like Jeff Goins. I don’t know him personally, but know people who know him. He worked for a missions organisation I have worked with in Nicaragua. The book was more a collection of stories about his life and the time that he was ‘in between’ and what he learned. We all constantly feel like we are waiting on what is next in our lives and that can consume your whole life. His book pushes you to evaluate what you learned in those waiting periods and to really grab ahold of them instead of complaining or yearning and counting them away. Great for anyone in transition or someone who feels they are constantly waiting on the next big thing.
  4. Before Ever After: I randomly found this book by just perusing the library and the spine caught my eye. Treasure chest. The book tells 2 stories about a woman looking for her supposedly dead husband and then there are flashbacks to other stories that follow people all the way back to Roman times. The story is so intricate, beautiful, rich in detail and keeps you guessing. I love how the author weaves all the stories into each other, it is truly fascinating how she does it. But the ending, I’m kinda mad about. It just seemed too easy. But please read it so we can talk about it. This was one of my favorites this year!
  5. Prince of Tides: This was another audio book and the voice was so rich to listen to. It really gave the story more depth for me. This book was intense and long. It is told in flashbacks as the main characters sister attempted suicide again and he is telling their childhood stories to her therapist and obviously falling in love with her. There are some really traumatizing parts and as a therapist/social worker I need lighter reading. But it was SO intriguing. I HAD to know what happened to the characters, they were all so crazy/complicated/lovable. It was an amazing book and a classic, I know its old, but so worth the read. Also, I hated the movie. HATED it.
  6. Divergent: Obviously I was obsessed with this book, no need to tell you about it because everyone is obsessed with it too. This movie is possibly the best book to movie I’ve ever seen. I tend to pick out every single discrepancy but there were none. like for real none. I couldn’t find any. I’m sure someone can, but its the best representation I could have ever imagined of the book.
  7. Insurgent: This one was good.
  8. Allegiant: I thought I would NEVER make it to the end. Kind of like the Hunger Games, things get too complicated, the characters get all moody and it just goes on too long. But I am excited about the movies, I have a feeling they will make the books more entertaining in their Hollywood ways.
  9. Her fearful symmetry: This is around the time when I started my subscription to ScribD (I whole-heartedly recommend this to any reader!) and I was so excited about all the possibilities and started this book randomly (I hadn’t imported all my goodreads saved to read books yet). This book was weird. Like too weird for me. It’s about twins who inherit their aunts flat in London after she dies. She hasn’t spoken to their mother (her own twin) in 20 years. There are ghosts, slight incest and lots of angst and death obsession. No thank you. It was so strange that I had to see how it ended. Yep, ended weirder than I could have ever imagined.
  10. The Lone Wolf: You can’t go wrong with Jodi Piccoult. This book is about a man who lives with wolves but is currently in a coma and his estranged children have to decide whether or not to turn off his Life Support. It has flashbacks (see a theme here) to his life with the wolves and is FASCINATING! And it’s based on a real person! The problems between the kids go on a bit too long and they literally build up this ‘secret’ until the very end and it was a little anticlimactic. But, overall a good, quick read.
  11. The Good Thief: My last audio book (sniff, sniff) before moving. Another randomly found choice at the library.  A little boy missing a hand is adoption by a con man who is running a long con. It is entertaining and has lots of crazy, fairy tale-ish characters. I never saw the end coming and it was kind of sweet. If you are a Sawyer fan on Lost, the con man character reminded me of him. He’s a jerk but you cant help but like him and you know he really is a good guy, just in a different way, underneath.
  12. Happy Handmade Home: I’m totally counting this as a book. I preordered this on Kindle and got it the second it was released (I totally regret not getting the hardcopy. Christmas present, cough cough) I read the whole thing, cover to cover, in a day. It wasnt exactly what I expected. It didn’t have as many tutorials as I thought it would, but has so many really great ideas and inspiration points to jump off of to style your home, have a party, bake, and more. It is beautiful and simple in the wonderful way everything the ABM girls do is!
  13. The Book Thief:  This is possibly the most beautiful, heart-warming, heart-breaking story Ive read in a long time. I really love books about Germans hiding Jews (re: my favorite book of all time: The Hiding Place) during the war. This story is about a 13 year old girl who gets adopted by German family and they hide a jew. The story is told from the perspective of death himself. It is beautiful. Any creative person would love this book, there are drawings and so much imagination is used. The relationships in this book are so intimately crafted and depicted you can really feel the bonds between each character. I cried like a baby at the end. Its going on my list as favorite books Ive ever read. Also, Ive watched the first half of the movie and its beautiful so far, but they had to leave out a lot of details and events as the book is very long and intricate, so Ill forgive them I guess. 

I’m currently reading these books: (side note, you should never try reading more than one book at a time. My brain can’t handle it.))

The Creative Habit: This is my second time reading through this, but the first time I didn’t finish it. I am addicted to this book. I am hanging on her every word and it is literally turning how I think about my creativity and habits upside down. Amazing. I plan on reading it about 4 more times (this year at least). Ive heard quite a few people say they cant get into it, but you have to keep going and keep an open mind as she uses all different kinds of creativity as examples, so you have to do a little of the work yourself to apply it to your craft.

The Living Reed: I joined a book club here and this is what were reading. It follows a Korean family, who are advisors to the king, through 4 generations to present (ish) day. It has lots of factual history and is rich in detail. I’m really enjoying the greater glimpse into Korean history, tradition and culture.

Next up on my reading que is: The Giver, Chasing the Dragon, Gone Girl, Still Alice, Eleanor & Park

What are you reading? Please share so I can add it to my list! If you’ve read any of these tell me your thoughts, I love discussing fictional characters as if they are real people!

For further reading: Other book reviews, ecourse reviews