A Photo A Day: My Summer Project Life Project at BPC

How to scrapbook a large trip in your project life album using a photo a day projectAs soon as I got home from circumnavigating the globe, the first thing I did was complete the entire summer’s project life pages in about 3 minutes. How you ask? Go see over at Big Picture Classes!

Since my passion is traveling and then telling our story through scrapbooking, it only makes sense that I would be passionate about sharing how I do that with you. I created an entire class with Big Picture Classes doing just that for shorter trips. See it here. But for such a large trip, like our summer, I wanted to be able to create a full album and to stay up to date on my Project Life Album. Thus was born my Photo a Day project. To see my finished pages and read more about it, visit the Big Picture Classes blog!


What I Learned // America Edition

An expat returns home to America, after a year in Asia, and shares insights into how things have changed and how things have stayed the same.

As with my other What I Learned in Korea posts, I loved being able to record little details and things that happened. Then when I returned to America from Korea, for a visit, so many things came flooding back to me and so many new things had happened there! It really is an amazing experience to go back home after being somewhere so different for so long. I did not want to forget these things, so I recorded them. Most of them are ridiculous. Enjoy!

This is a list of musings, of observations, of hard and fast facts, of opinions, of completely made up fairy tales. These are things I have learned or was reminded of on my recent visit back to America after moving to Korea a year ago. Things about myself, things about America and things about things. Believe them or not, I believe them to be true.

  • Biscuits, Potatoes and Starches. Oh my!
  • Target, the land of beauty.
  • Wal-Mart, the land of stuff.
  • I need all the stuff.
  • Cars are a blessing and a curse.
  • No one walks in America. Why?
  • Air conditioning. Because one’s body should never truly know what season it is.
  • Mom. <3
  • The land where sweet tea flows like water.
  • No wonder immigrants get confused at international restaurants. Literally nothing tastes like the real thing…
  • You mean there is a store where you can buy everything you need, at the same time and drive right up to it and then right up to your house in a car to unload it all?!
  • We are popular in America.
  • It is quite saddening to go from being a millionaire won spender to being a normal dollar holder.
  • Men’s pants crotches are at the normal level.
  • “Ill just stop and pick one up on the street on my way”…oh wait.
  • America really needs to see the beauty in street vendors.
  • SODA….
  • Fried stuff.
  • Sake Express…
  • I am drawn to every water source, no matter where we are in the world. Lakes. Springs. Rivers. Creeks. Oceans. Pools.
  • Bathtubs.
  • Hey! Lets all flush our toilet paper! SCORE!
  • Maybe I don’t always like it that everyone speaks english….Sometimes it’s nice to tune everything out and only be in my head or to be able to just focus on my conversation.
  • Clearly I need to pay better attention to the news. This Donald Trump is for reals?!?!
  • “Everything has changed so much. I don’t understand the sugar packets on the tables at restaurants anymore” -me looking at the different coloring/branding of the sugar packets on tables at restaurants.
  • I need Kimchi.
  • Dear American Satellites. Get better internet please and thank you.
  • America, you are the only place in the world that makes you take off your shoes while going through airport security anymore. #getwiththeprogram
  • Apparently I am now terrified of driving.
  • TSA agents really do have hearts and really do want you to eat pancakes. (bless you nice man who let us on the plane even though our bags were too heavy with bisquick!)
  • America, I will see you again.

Want more of This is What I’ve Learned but the Korean Version?! Check out Vol 1, Vol 2 , Vol 3, Vol 4

Shoe DIY

Use embroidery thread and your imagination to update your sneakers! Click through for full tutorial over at Lauren-Likes Blog!  I have a small collection of adorable shoes that is growing slowly and I’m slightly obsessed with these cuties. I have been itching to alter a pair of shoes lately and I saw these adorable sprinkles sneakers by ISpy DIY and was over the moon inspired. Then my sister gave me this old pair of canvas sneakers she didn’t wear any more and I literally could not wait to get home and add some stitches to them! Shoe DIY by Lauren Likes Blog_4194Shoe DIY by Lauren Likes Blog_4197 It was so simple to update them. If you know how to thread a needle you can totally master this! After a bit of experimenting, I found that the best way to do this was to double my thread and get a HUGE piece and not tie off after every +. I literally just freehand stitched them and try to keep them generally the same size and keep the spacing consistent. The thicker your needle is the better. The three photos below show my stitching technique if you’re not sure how. But It is as simple as cross stitching!

Shoe DIY by Lauren Likes Blog_4198 Shoe DIY by Lauren Likes Blog_4199 Shoe DIY by Lauren Likes Blog_4200And after less than an hour I was done! And man they are cute! I’ve been wearing them everyday, especially to the playground, because that’s what grown ups do! Shoe DIY by Lauren Likes Blog_4215Shoe DIY by Lauren Likes Blog_4203Shoe DIY by Lauren Likes Blog_4205There are so many possibilites of different shapes, colors, words (!), that you can do with these! I picked up a few pairs (plain and patterned) at Target on sale this summer and they are really comfy and were the right price (less than 10$). Such a fun and easy DIY. What are you going to stitch?!

Book Reviews: Summer Reads

Book reviews and recommendationsSo many books. I have so many books I want to read. My ScribD library is overflowing with books. And at this point I am beyond obsessed with audiobooks. So many books. Here are the ones I read this summer! 

Station 11: Elise recommended this book so many times, that I finally read it. I always find post apocalyptic type books interesting, so I was game. This book had my favorite elements in it: flashbacks and multiple points of view and the weaving of stories together. The premise of the book is that a strange flu has wiped out the population and now there are only very few survivors left and they are surviving in this no electronic, dog eat dog kind of world. (reminded me a lot of the show Revolution, which I LOVED) The story follows a traveling symphony, a random guy, a famous actors ex wives and a prophet. There is no love story and really no gripping plot. It didn’t have a lot of action and never really caught my attention. I felt like the individual stories were a little mundane and I just couldn’t see how they were going to tie together. In the end, they did by a small, thin thread. I was just happy to make it through to the end. Life after civilization collapsed was interesting, but overall the book was not very gripping.

This book is for you if you like post apocalyptic societies, slight suspense and like a look into normal people’s lives and thoughts. You also must be able to follow multiple jumps in stories, time frames and characters to keep up with the constantly changing point of view.

Chasing The Dragon: This book was recommended to me by a friend who has actually meet and ‘observed’ the authors work. This book is about an English missionary who just got on a boat to see where she would end up and figured she would find ministry opportunity where ever that was. And she did. She settled in Hong Kong, but about 40 years ago when there was a ‘Walled City’ inside Hong Kong that was an empire for debauchery and a display of the poorest, most brutal, filthy and sinful portrait of humankind. She began a youth ministry in the city starting with what she thought ‘church’ was supposed to look like and soon found that she needed to start where the boys were: in brothels, gambling rings and drug dens. She formed relationships with all the gang members and leaders and lead them to Christ. She found herself in quite the unusual circumstances daily, but relied on the Lord for direction and He was always faithful. She went on this mission on her own accord and simply prayed as the Israelites did, that manna would rain from Heaven, and it did. Her needs were always met and she soon become one of the main players in helping the walls of the Walled City fall, from the inside. By the time she and her small team had created tons of homes for boys to detox, there was slowly becoming no where for them to go for drugs anymore as the work of the Lord was so plentiful and final in that city. She is a firm believer in praying in the spirit and asking the Lord for direction and then following it each minute of the day. I am always fascinated by books about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I love reading about social issues and how they are addressed best by people who have experienced the same issues themselves. This book was fascinating and inspiring.

This book is for you if you are curious about spiritual gifts, Chinese culture, social issues and starting a movement/social service endeavour from the ground up, one homeless addicted gangster at a time.

The Night Circus: This is it. This is the book that rekindled my faith in books. It reignited my love for reading. Not that I had ever totally lost it, but I was struggling to finish books and read consistently, until this one. This may be one of the best books I have ever read. Truly. (well, listened to) Ok, the premise: two magicians (like real magic, not tricks) have a game or challenge they play, where they will both train a child in their form of magic and then the kids will grow up and compete in an epic magic battle. The children are only slightly aware of this and how it works. A boy and a girl are trained and both inserted, in very different roles, in The Night Circus. It is unlike any other circus, it is fascinating and every changing and dreamlike. Then there is a little boy who attends the circus, falls in love with it and well you can guess….There is no way to describe the book without giving away all the best parts. Just know it is the most beautiful, engaging, imaginative, colorful, evocative, amazing imagery producing book you could quite possibly ever read.

This book is for you if you love the circus, magic, the intertwining of stories, the power of childhood innocence, hopeless romanticism, intrigue and reading about things you only wished were real. This book is captivating and intriguing and will keep you guessing and on your toes. You will fall in love with every out of this world character.

Dark Places: Terrell and I listened to this book together as we drove around Germany, so it holds a special place in my heart just for that reason. But also, we BOTH loved this book. As soon as we would get in the car, T would say turn it on, we have to find out what happened. As with all Gillian Flynn books, this is weird, suspenseful, thrilling and addicting. About 30 years ago a family was brutally murdered and the 7-year-old daughter survived. The older brother is blamed and sent to jail for the murder. Now a group of nerdy, creepers pays the now grown up little girl to reinvestigate the murder because they don’t believe her brother did it. The story is told in flashbacks to each person on that day and then jumps to present day as she revisits each character. I had zero idea of who did it. It was SO good. It had an insanely surprising and strangely happy ending. The movie was just as good. They changed very little from the book and I was really impressed with the actor choices.

This book is for you if you liked Gone Girl, suspenseful, dark murder mysteries.

Sharp Objects: Another Gillian Flynn home run. I also flew through this one. A reporter is sent back to her hometown to cover little girl murders. Her mother/family is Cray Cray with a capital C. It’s all so weird. I kind of thought I knew who did it and was surprised to find that I was right and wrong at the end. This is by far the weirdest of the three books though. Very graphic descriptions of sexual scenes and the narrator has cutting issues and everyone is crazy and weird and disturbing. It made me uncomfortable a few times. But I did love the small town vibe of everyone gossiping and hiding crazy secrets.

This book is for you if you liked other GF books and like murder mysteries with dark twists.

That’s all for now. I have started reading and haven’t finished A Million Little Ways (loving it), Winters Tale and All that is Solid Melts into Air. What are you reading?!

Ps. More book reviews here .

Let’s Keep In Touch


Hi friends! There is always something exciting going on around here so be sure you keep in touch! Stay updated on all things Lauren-Likes with however you prefer to read. There are some new classes, new designs, new features and more coming up and I don’t want you to miss out. I have so much to tell you about riding the Transiberian Train this summer, I have some really fun and simple/intense DIYs coming up, new book reports and of course scrapbooking and art journaling galore!

If you prefer to read blogs in a reader, I suggest Bloglovin or Feedly. So be sure to add me there. 

Make sure you are signed up for the newsletter as some fun freebies are coming out VERY soon! 

For daily crafty inspiration and more photos of life in Korea, let’s connect on Instagram @laurenlikesblog 

And be sure to take a peek at the new classes page where I have links and info for all the current classes I’m teaching and will add more as they come (hint: soon!). 

So, let’s stay in touch. There are good things brewing around here…

Creative Captures Recap: How I Craft

IMG_0233CC2IMG_0260 IMG_0289IMG_0308IMG_0317CC1

Last week was another fun and inspiring round of Creative Captures!  The photo prompts were based around how we craft and make. It was lovely and so educational to get tips and peek into the behind the scenes process of people’s creative minds. I am always amazed at the talent in this crafting community. You can see all the posts under the hashtag on instagram #creativecaptures. I hope you will join us next week, as this is a consistent photo challenge that runs the second week of each month with prompts geared towards crafters. You can find all the old prompts if you want even more inspiration here.

Above are the photos I posted in response to each prompt. Below is my explanation of them. 

Monday: Analog. My messy desk space.
Tuesday: Digital. My top three digital tools. My big camera, my phone and my computer (aka photoshop)
Wednesday: Crafting Tip. The photo of my husband using the drill to make a me a loom! My tip was to never underestimate the power of DIY. To always try to make things yourself if you cant find what you want or it is too expensive.
Thursday: Ephemera. A menu I kept from a fun dinner with a friend.
Friday: Pattern Mixing. Patterns on patterns on patterns to create a fun banner for my office!
Saturday: Inside My Idea Notebook. My idea board to hold lots of fun and inspiring paintings!
Sunday: Start to Finish. A printable travel planner I designed, from the first sketch on my desk scrap paper to the finished product! (PS I will be sending that planner out in my newsletter soon, so be sure to be signed up for it!) 

And some instagrammers who participated and are just SO inspiring! You should check them out! 


Thanks so much ladies! Will you join us next time?! 

Week in the Life: My approach

Im in WITL

Every year Week in The Life rolls around and I am intrigued for a brief flutter and then move on. I have always felt that I did not have the energy to do a whole album or mostly that my life was boring and I didn’t really want to document the everyday little things. I did, but couldnt quite figure out how. Its just the two of us and in the past I have had a very ‘boring’ and confidential job, so taking photos at work would be 8 hours worth of desk shots and that does not sound fun. So I have always let this week come and go. But not this year.

I have realized that even though I don’t really want to document whats in our fridge per say, I do want to document our way of life. Since moving I have felt that I have documented all the big, fun events, but not the simple stuff that we often get questions about and that we will want to remember 20 years from now. So I am going to use the group momentum of WITL to help bottle this time in our lives up. I will be adding my photos and stories right into my Project Life album but I wont really be doing a day to day type breakdown. Instead I have chosen a few stories or ‘ways of life’ that I want to document. I am just using the supplies I have on hand, but these day of the week templates are really beautiful and I may find a way to work them in (if not this week then another). I hope to take a laid back approach and not fret about having certain photos on certain days, just the general idea and will be perfectly fine adding in photos from other weeks to help complete the big picture. I will likely complete pages based on themes (see below).

If you are unsure about the intensity of WITL but still want to participate, create your own way!

Here are the stories I want to focus on this week: 

Transportation: how we get around, subway, scooter, bus, walking
Our home: decor, each rooms functions
Our office/classroom at work
School events, friends, places, kids, etc
Groceries: grocery shopping, foods we like, meal planning, etc
Food/Eating Out: favorite restaurants, routines
Shopping: the local stores and our busy street of open markets
Outfits: what we wear, closets
Routines: morning, evening

If you are taking a non-traditional approach to WITL let me know in the comments!

5 Years!

5 17 18 19 31 34 38 professional wedding pics 062 professional wedding pics 164IMG_0132IMG_0137  IMG_0135IMG_0134IMG_0214  It’s hard to believe that five years ago somebody let those two babies get married. It’s even harder to believe that five years later we are functioning grown ups living our literal dream. Five years are somehow a very long and very short time. In five years you can move 3 times, get 3 degrees, become a doctor, work 11 different jobs, visit over 15 countries, live in 2 different countries, sell everything you own and start over. All in 5 years. But quantifying it does not tell the whole story. There are countless arguments and 70×7 times more laughing. There are friendships made. There is change and growth and transition. There are homes built and walls decorated. There are adventures taken and traditions created. There are photos and photos and photos. There is new and there is old and there is a mixture made. But in the end, there are still the same vows: forever I am yours and you are mine. All the stuff, all the feelings, all the words, all the moments. They are ours.

So let’s go and see what another round of 5 years can bring because if it is anything like the first 5, well baby, I can’t wait.

Photos are from our engagement, wedding and then our five-year anniversary where we celebrated by putting a love lock on the Seoul Tower. 

Creative Captures: How I Craft

Creative Captures How I Craft

YAY! It’s Creative Captures time! 

Creative Captures is a photo challenge that last 7 days and is during the second week of each month. The photo prompts are geared towards crafters but are simple and versatile and are up for your interpretation. So please join in as we share our creative captures on instagram under the hashtag #creativecaptures. You are welcome to join us each day or you can save the prompts and do them at your own pace. Read how this challenge got its start and find tips for instagramming better here. You are welcome to save and share the prompt list however you would like as long as you credit/link back here or on instagram @laurenlikesblog.

This week we are capturing around the idea of How We Craft! There are always so many questions about ‘How do you make that’ or ‘What is your process’ and people are always fascinated by How Makers Make! And most makers love to share how they make! So lets all share how we make and learn from each other this week.

Each day capture a photo, inspired by that days prompt, and share it under the #creativecaptures hashtag.

Monday: Analog.
Tuesday: Digital. 
Wednesday: Crafting Tip. 
Thursday: Ephemera. 
Friday: Pattern Mixing. 
Saturday: Inside My Idea Notebook. 
Sunday: Start to Finish. 

I can’t wait to see your interpretation of these prompts and learn how you create! We can all learn from each other, even the most simple or basic tip to you can be a game changer for sometimes. So share and share freely! See you on the hashtag starting on Monday!

July Currently

July Currently

In July we are…..

Traveling Everywhere, literally

Finally settled back in at home

Starting the school year

Decorating my new office!!

Dreaming of a million new DIY ideas

Overwhelmed with the idea of scrapbooking this epic summer

Saddened that this summer is somehow ever faster than it started

Soaking in all our time with friends back home

Squeezing all the littles (who aren’t so little anymore)

Remembering how excited I am for this wonderful job that I love

Pulling out all my old bags of tricks for my new position as elementary counselor

Pretending to not be as excited as I am about all the kids crafts I get to do this year

Missing Germany’s abundant ice cream shops

Soaking in my own sweat: Hello Korean Humidity

Packing and Unpacking my 4 suitcases of stuff from the USA

Battling Stuff Depression

Making a mental note to not bring back so much stuff from the USA

Avoiding cleaning my craft room

Staring at all the pretty craft supplies I got in the USA

Feeling healthier back in Korea

Missing unhealthy American foods #biscuits

Dreading dressing up like a grown up for work

Celebrating Terrell’s 29th birthday and our 5th anniversary!

Pretending like I’m not actually going to see my friends and family again for another year

ELATED that lots of my friends and family are coming to Korea to visit this year!!!

Craving Korean food

Watching: nothing! Too busy living

Reading: Dark Places

Missing our own Korean home

So glad to be back in our Korean home

Oh July, you were a doozy of emotions….