Around Here: We’re Home

IMG_9448 IMG_9424 IMG_9415 IMG_9420IMG_9452IMG_9430Were home! And it’s monsooning! Because, obviously.

It is so nice to be back to our home. The place where our bed is. Our stuff is. My craft room is. The place where we know what bus to ride. Where we have a scooter. The place where all our favorite food is just a short walk away. The place where all of our friends will be returning back to in just a few short days (hurry up people). It is so nice to be home.

So far, we have unpacked. Lost a phone. Not been able to get the other phone to work. We have ridden the scooter in the rain. Had a wonderful day of sunshine for Terrell’s birthday. Now it’s back to rain. But we don’t care.

We’re home.

 

A glimpse of Russia camp video

Words are hard to find to truly describe our 3 weeks in Russia. As we are still currently traveling and visiting family, time to reflect is still a few weeks away, but I can truly sum up a little slice of our experience for you. I filmed little snippets of our week working camp in Parfino, Russia and put them all together to try to give you the tiniest glimpse into the happiness of joy of that time. So until I have more words I leave you with this.

All video was filmed on my iphone 5s, edited in imovie, music is by NeedtoBreathe

On The Go Mini! A New Big Picture Class!

Promo 02Adventure. Crafting. Storytelling. 

You have heard those three words from me over and over again I’m sure, but today I am giving them to you in a tangible form. When we went to Hawaii, I pre-made a mini scrapbook album. I worked on it during our trip and came home with a 95% complete book. In less than 2 hours, after I got home, I had a perfectly complete book.

I had an adventure and I crafted the memories to tell my story. 

And now I would love to help you do the same thing. I am teaching the class On The Go Mini over at Big Picture Classes. In this class I will walk you through three different type of mini books you can make, while you are traveling without being time-consuming. We will build a book base together and pack very minimal supplies for our trips. Then I will share the key tips to planning and working on your book while traveling, then we will come home and finish our books together.

This class takes place in real-time. The first video is before my trip, then there are videos of me working on my book during my trip and then a video of me finishing the book after the trip. I show you how easy and stress free it can be to make a book while you travel. I also show you three very different styles of books, from more traditional scrapbooks, to a minimalist book to a fun art journal style book, so no matter what your style is you can complete your book.

Big Picture Classes offers a free two-week membership so you can try out there classes. When you register you get access to all the classes in their database, and believe me there are some amazing ones in there! I hope you will join me to document your summer adventures alongside me in this new class. Let’s get started! Promo 04 Promo 06 Promo 07

Let’s Ride: Project Life Page

Lets ride 01 Lets ride 02 Lets Ride 03This was one of the best days. Spontaneous. Adventurous. A little scary. A lot ridiculous. I dreamed up this page. I envisioned it and had to bring it to life. I made the journal card myself and just painted with water color to give it the two-tone look. Then I hand stitched our route and added the wood veneers from Studio Calico. The best day. The best page. Simple and perfect.

Creative Captures: Everyday Adventures

Creative Captures Adventure

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 theme Adventure! Since I am travelling and I know a lot of you are this summer, I thought we could shift for this weeks photos a bit to looking around us and capturing our world and our adventures! This is a great excersize in creativity, especially if you aren’t somewhere that is new and exciting and you force yourself to look around and see your ‘normal’ life in a new light. So let’s be everyday adventurers together!

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

Monday: Where I Stand.
Tuesday: It’s a Sign. 
Wednesday: Look Up. 
Thursday: Locals. 
Friday: Architecture. 
Saturday: Yum. 
Sunday: Shadows. 

I can’t wait to see your interpretation of these prompts and to see what adventures you can find! Remember, adventure is out there all you have to do is look for it and it will find you! See you on the hashtag starting on Monday!

 

June Currently

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Currently in June I am:

Riding on a train across Russia

Roadtripping through Germany, Austria, Czech

Listening to The Night Circus

Reading A Million Little Ways: Uncover The Art You Were Made to Live

Inspired by the Austrian sunsets

Amazed at the beauty of the Russian Country side

Attempting to keep my heart in one piece as I play with the gypsy babies I love so much

Dreaming of one day decorating a house with all Ikea furniture like the one in Prague

Walking everywhere

Surviving just fine without internet (most of the time)

Feeling so free and at ease road tripping

Learning to drive a stick shift in Europe!!

Barely controlling my excitement at meeting all my blog friends IN REAL LIFE!

Living on less

Eating soup at most of my meals

Caring for a sick husband

Looking UP UP UP at all the beauty in Europe

Saying WOW over and over

Using my camera in Manual!

Itching to make something with my hands

Bursting with new ideas

Missing Korea

Overwhelmed by the fact that Ill be home in a week

Craving biscuits and Sake (not together and not the drink)

Washing my clothes in hotel bathroom sinks

Planning our days as we go

Feeling at home with no home

Summer Craft Projects

DIY abstract tutorial by Lauren LikesPromo 04Make your own stamp step 7 by Lauren Likes

Hi friends! Need a few summer craft projects? Here are a few of my favorites.

Been saving paper towel tubes forever? Heres an awesome (and huge) statement piece you can make with them.

Make some paintchip art.

Paint an abstract.

Restyle vintage jewelry.

Make vintage letters from cardboard.

Make your own stamps.

Learn the 101 of Art Journaling with a free two week membership to BPC.

What crafts are you doing this summer?

Sokcho Travel Guide

Sokcho, South Korea Travel Guide by Lauren LikesWe recently went on our second trip back to Sokcho. It is a beautiful area that is right by the beach and is surrounded by gorgeous mountains. It is a gem. And it is really easy to get around in and there is a lot of english spoken there as they are very used to tourists. The busiest times to go are in the fall when the leaves change, but it is breathtaking. We really loved both of our trips here, so I have put together a quick guide for you if you are going to visit. I hope you love it as much as we do! If you have questions or suggestions please leave them in the comments.

More tips from our first trip here. 

WHERE TO STAY

The House Hostel. The hostel is located very close to the ocean in the middle of the city. The owner speaks great english and this is literally the best hostel we have ever stayed in. It is straight out of an adorable magazine and is very conveniently located within the city. You can make reservations through Hostel World here. There is a local bus stop right out front and the intercity bus terminal is about a 3 minute walk. There are very nice bikes for you to use at anytime and breakfast. The owner will sit you down and give you a map and recommendations of where to go and what to eat, really all you need to do is show up here and you will be set! Sorak National Park is about a 30 minute bus ride from here.

Hiking Hostels. If you only are going to go hiking and do not plan on spending any time in the city, then you will want to stay at a hostel up near the park. There are many hostels here and a strip of restaurants you can eat at and convenience stores so you do not need to leave this area, again if all you are doing is hiking. We have stayed at this hostel and were happy with it, but we wish we would have stayed even closer to the park. You can of course take the bus into the city if you need. Bus 7 and 7-1 will take you into the city and up to the park entrance. You will still have to walk a good ways to get up to the park entrance even from this location. The House Hostel, Sokcho 2015-05-16 09.54.41 HDR-2 2015-05-16 10.10.13

TRANSPORTATION. 
Buses are the easiest way to get around as they are cheap and run everywhere. The 7 and 7-1 take you into the Park and the 9 and 9-1 run along coast making stops at the beaches and temples. The buses only take CashBee cards, so if you are visiting in Seoul and plan to travel to Sokcho, buy a CashBee transportation card, not a T-money card (seoul takes both cards, but Sokcho only takes CB). Taxis are also easy to find and the meters start at 2800won. It is easy to walk here, but the city is fairly large and spread out, so this will only work if you are touring a specific area. You cannot walk from the park to the city, etc.

WHERE TO EAT.
There are a lot of cheap, typical Korean places everywhere in the city as usual. If you are hiking, there are restaurants as soon as you get into the park, but they are pricey and there are some restaurants as you hike on some of the longer trails. If you are staying in the park area, there is a strip of restaurants with Korean food in them, but they are a bit more expensive also. Two specific places we would recommend in the city are: Matsu and all you can eat Korean BBQ.

Matsu is an Italian place that is delicious. For about 15000Won you get an entree (pasta!), appetizer (brushetta!), salad and dessert or coffee. It is a little off the beaten path though, but it is rated the #1 restaurant in Sokcho! I would advise using your GPS when trying to find it. But general directions: take the 7 or 7-1 bus (either going to or coming from the park). You will get off at a the bus stop that is yellow and painted with giant flowers. You will have to push the button as the driver wont normally stop as it is in the middle of nowhere. There is an SK gas station across the street. Walk into the little neighborhood, down the road that looks like someones driveway. You follow this street back into the neighborhood for about 2 minutes and Matsu will be on your right. More info here.

All you can eat BBQ. If you are staying at the House Hostel, this place will be recommended to you and is within walking distance or is perfect if you are visiting the temples and overlooks by the sea. For 11000won (plus drinks) you get all you can eat meat and sides, even fish! It is on the main road before you are enter the seafood district. 2015-05-15 18.01.432015-05-15 18.01.37Matsu Italian restaurant, sokcho HIKING

In the park there are a ton of great and very diverse hiking options. Here are trails we have done:

Daeseung Falls: This is a very easy and quick (about two hours round trip) hike to the falls. This is a great place for a picnic if it’s not too crowded.

Ulsanbawi trail, This hike is very strenuous. It has stairs for about 3 hours and when you reach the peak and it is not a clear day then it can be complete fog, so only subject yourself to this if it’s a clear day.

Cheonbuldong Valley: Very easy and short hike. So beautiful.

Cable Car: Do this. Breathtaking and worth every penny. But book your ticket first before hiking so you can get the time you want.  

Sinheungsa Temples: This is more of just in the park, you don’t really ‘hike’ to it. These are really fun and beautiful!

More photos from these hikes here. 2015-05-16 12.02.03 2015-05-16 12.14.10-2 2015-05-16 12.15.12 HDR-2 2015-05-16 12.18.12 HDR-2 2015-05-16 12.38.02 2015-05-16 14.21.45-2 2015-05-16 15.54.27 2015-05-16 16.36.11 2015-05-16 16.48.47IN THE CITY 

Sokcho Beach: Koreans don’t really do the beach the same as Americans. So there is not a lot of swimming or two piece bathing suits, plus the water is pretty cold. But you can picnic, take photos, play games, etc. This area has food and some cool architecture to see!

Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory/Fish Market: this area has a lot of fun stuff to do and see. There are 3 different observatorys, light houses, temples, overlooks all right together and are all free. You can then stroll through the fish market and see GIANT crabs and all sorts of other things. But be warned, they are really very expensive, 100$ each….2015-05-15 16.28.182015-05-15 16.01.55

Naksana Temple: If you take the 9 Bus out to the beach (different beach from Sokcho beach) and get off at the beach, you will walk straight for a few moments and then go back into the little neighborhood where there are houses and hostels. You will walk towards the back, up towards the mountain, and see this green gate. Enter in and climb up the mountain (maybe a 10 minute walk along the dirt path) and you will enter in the back way. The temple is really massive and has amazing views. You can also enter through the normal entrance. 2015-05-17 13.11.54 2015-05-17 12.03.242015-05-17 12.26.52 2015-05-17 12.51.55For more travel info on other activities such as hotsprings and spa here. 

More photos and tips from our first trip. 

Photos from the train!

Hi friends! Most of you know we are currently traveling across Russia on a train and it has been the most amazing experience. Sitting and watching the Russian countryside go is stunning. I love seeing all the small villages and wondering about each persons daily life. I can’t wait to share more with you but for now here are a few photos of what we have seen along the way! Be sure to be following along on Instagram @laurenlikesblog for more up to date photos.

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Hoopers on Holiday is in Action!

And we’re off! We’re all packed for two whole months into 2 backpacks. We fly to Russia today and wont be back into Korea until July 23. So. Many. Adventures await. Follow along on instagram @laurenlikesblog.

And to not leave you empty-handed, here are some posts from the archives that can help you plan your summer trips!

5 Must Take Travel Photos 
3 Stress Free Travel Tips 
My top 10 Travel Tips Part 2 and Part 1 
Road Trips & Tricks
How to use Instagram When Traveling 

See ya somewhere around the world!

XOXO
Lauren