From the Vault- Road Trip Snacks

Cerulean by Just Jaimee

I’m currently recovering from The Plague, so I’m giving my addled brain a rest this week and sharing some more pages from my Projects folder.

A page I made back in May from our trip to Orlando.

Inspiration- I think I made this for a challenge at the Lilypad. I was overwhelmed by all of our photos from the trip, so I wanted to just scrap one little story while it was fresh in my mind. One of my very first scrapbook pages was about the snacks we have while we fly, so I thought this would be a fun companion page.

Journaling- Jason and I almost always get the same snacks for road trips- Fast Break for me and a blueberry pastry for him, plus flavored coffee and water.

Credits- Cerulean by Just Jaimee

Library of Memories album- Places: Travel (This is where I put random travel pages that don’t have a specific place)

Some recent layouts

Here are some pages I’ve made recently. I’ve been on a crazy page making spree lately and having so much fun being inspired by my Un-Challenge Challenge last month. I have also done a few challenge LO’s for SBB already this month, so I’m just going to lump them all together. My Projects folder is getting out of hand again, so I want to move them all to my EHD. And I’m excited to add more pages to my Summer Pages page.

First up are several pages I made for Mandy’s DSD Grab Bag called Beautiful Blessings. I fell madly in love with this kit and could not stop making pages. (And FYI, you can still get this HUGE grab bag for only $5)

Beautiful blessings kit by Mandy King Architect's Daughter font

Journaling reads- I feel so grateful, not only to have had these wonderful adventures with you, but to have a hobby that allows me to relive them on a regular basis. I am the luckiest of women.

(I know… super sappy…. I was in a mood :P)

Beautiful Blessings kit and Word Art by Mandy King

Grandma Z
Journaling reads- Taking pictures in Grandma Z’s yard.

Beautiful Blessings by Mandy King Architect's Daughter font

My Flower
Journaling reads- Jason picked up this flower for me at a rest stop on our way through Maryland

Back together web

Back Together
Journaling reads- Not the best photo, but what do you expect from an airport parking lot?

(I need to change that to “parking garage)

Inspired papers and journaling cards by Mandy King
Chunk Five and Architect’s Daughter font

I made the next three for challenges at SBB this month. It’s really nice to be inspired by challenges again. I think I needed that break.

Plans Change web

Plans Change
Journaling reads- In early 2011, we were all set to buy the townhouse we were living in. We had been renting it for years and our landlord was giving us a great deal. Then all of a sudden we were told that he had received a better offer from someone else. We went from “We’re buying a house” to “We have a week and a half to pack up everything and find a new place to live”. At the time it was incredibly stressful. We were pretty devastated, but we did what we had to do. We worked as a team to find a new home and move. Our new apartment is in a better neighborhood and we’ve made a wonderful home for ourselves here. It’s the first place we’ve lived that I felt like was truly “ours”. Having the sale fall through was definitely a blessing in disguise!

On the Move by Blue Heart Scraps

Creative Me by Simple Girl Scraps

How It All Began
Journaling reads- I was never a paper scrapbooker. Scissors and glue intimidate me. I’ve never considered myself to be a particularly creative person, but when my sister began designing chat icons, I started playing around in Photoshop to keep her company. While researching tutorials for photo manipulations, I discovered this thing called digital scrapbooking. I was totally hooked! Finally, something fun to do with all those photos my husband insisted on taking! I joined a wonderful forum called Scrappity Doo Dah, found some friends, joined some challenges, and the rest is history. A few hundred layouts later, I’m still madly in love with this hobby.

Credits: Creative Me by Simple Girl Scraps

Teen Life by Word Art World template by Seatrout Scraps

Reflecting Pool Shenanigans

Credits: Teen Life by Word Art World
template by Seatrout Scraps

And here are two more pages from a couple of months ago that I forgot to post.

Pinstriped by Inspired by Dominic Architect's Daughter font

Journaling reads- The guys went to sit down and rest once we got to the Capitol. I was so glad I got to snap a few pictures of them together.

Pinstriped by Inspired by Dominic
Architect’s Daughter font

yorktown web

USS Yorktown
Credits: Capture Life: Spring by Crisdam
Keep Calm by Word Art World
Springtime by Connie Prince
Based on Sketch 22 by Shimelle

I thought for sure I’d shared that last one before. I made it back in June!

Whew that was a lot of LO’s. That gives you a little taste of the complete randomness of my pages. I’m concentrating on summer pages, but I love throwing in other kinds of pages too. It’s all good, it all counts 🙂

New York Adventures- Staten Island Ferry Part 2.

Jason and I went to New York from April 22-26. We took around 2,000 photos. Yeah, that’s a lot. In order for me to tell the New York stories without completely losing my mind and being tonally overwhelmed, I’m going to break them up into small, bite-sized chunks. It might take a week, it might take a month. Probably closer to the latter. But I’m fine with that. You can see more of our New York adventures here.

I posted about the Staten Island Ferry before I remembered  that we actually rode two ferries, one each way. Duh! So here are some photos of our second ferry voyage.

Leaving the port.


Another of the Freedom Tower. You can see the construction at the very top.


Ellis Island.


And Liberty photos from a different angle.





And we made it to land!



Next, I’ll post some pictures of our drive around NYC.

New York adventures- Staten Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty

Jason and I went to New York from April 22-26. We took around 2,000 photos. Yeah, that’s a lot. In order for me to tell the New York stories without completely losing my mind and being tonally overwhelmed, I’m going to break them up into small, bite-sized chunks. It might take a week, it might take a month. Probably closer to the latter. But I’m fine with that. You can see more of our New York adventures here.


Okay so here’s the thing. I get seasick. Even on big ole ferries, which move at a snail’s pace. Did anyone see that episode of the Mindy Project where the guy gets sick on the Staten Island Ferry? Yeah that’s me. So the best thing for me to do on any boat is to grab hold of the nearest immovable object and pray.

Jason, on the other hand, super loves boats. Any shape or size, he wants to be on them. So he ran around snapping pictures, which is wonderful because I spent most of the ride with my eyes closed.

We didn’t get any pictures of the inside of the ferry terminal building. It had little shops and kiosks. We stopped to get drinks and I was excited to see they had Jamaican patties! Although, apparently up north, they’re called “meat patties”.

We got food and were herded into a huge lobby to wait for the next boat. It was kind of like when you’re at Disney and you mistakenly go in for a ride, but the “ride” just turns out to be you walking from room to room in a huge crowd of people and watching things on screens. Only this was less lame, and there was a point to it all. And people weren’t as rude. So actually not like that at all.


We boarded, and you could tell who were the tourists and who had to ride the ferry regularly, to get to work and whatnot. We tourists rushed outside to jostle for the best view.  I found a seat and closed my eyes and pretended to be somewhere else.


Jason did a fantastic job taking pictures! He took about a bajillion of them, so here are a few highlights.



Look at her! With the sun shining down through the clouds! Pretty freakin awesome!


When we made our lists of things we wanted to do in New York, my main one was to see the Statue of Liberty. Unfortunately, due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, she’s closed until the 4th of July for repairs.

Though I wasn’t feeling too hot during the ferry ride, it was amazing to see something in person that’s so iconic, and that has so much significance to millions of people. Even seeing her from far away, it was still pretty fantastic.  One of those “Yay America!” moments. And I’m so very grateful I got to experience that with my favorite person.

New York adventures- Statten Island 9-11 Memorial

Jason and I went to New York from April 22-26. We took around 2,000 photos. Yeah, that’s a lot. In order for me to tell the New York stories without completely losing my mind and being tonally overwhelmed, I’m going to break them up into small, bite-sized chunks. It might take a week, it might take a month. Probably closer to the latter. But I’m fine with that. You can see more of our New York adventures here.

We came upon Staten Island’s 9/11 Memorial unexpectedly on our way to the ferry. We knew we wouldn’t be able to make it to the one in NYC, so I’m glad we got to see this one. I spent a few quiet minutes reading names. It was a rare bit of calm in a very hectic day.




It was really windy and too cold for these thin blooded Floridians!


Jason ran around taking pictures like a crazy person. The view of the city from this spot is amazing.


You can barely see the Statue of Liberty on the left. (More of her in the next post!)


The tall building is the new Freedom Tower. As of May 10th, with the addition of the spire, it became the tallest building in the U.S.



I’ll share a layout I made with this pic later today.

New York adventures: Getting there

Jason and I went to New York from April 22-26. We took around 2,000 photos. Yeah, that’s a lot. In order for me to tell the New York stories without completely losing my mind and being totally overwhelmed, I’m going to break them up into small, bite-sized chunks. It might take a week, it might take a month. Probably closer to the latter. But I’m fine with that.

So here goes…

I guess I should start out by explaining how we got to go to New York in the first place. Jason had to go for a work trip, and I was lucky enough to get to come along. Jason lived in New York as a very small child, but hasn’t been back since. I’ve never been that far north, so we jumped at the chance to explore a new place!

We knew Jason would be doing a lot of work during the trip and we wouldn’t have a lot of free time but we wanted to make the most of it. So we did what we always do when planning a trip, we started making lists of things we wanted to do. We had to do things on the cheap (a surprise trip to New York was not in our budget this year!) But I think we did a pretty great job fitting in a ton of fun things.

We woke up at 3 am on Monday and headed to the airport for our 6 am flight.


Nerd humor- Blue Screen of Death at the Best Buy kiosk.


Security was surprisingly hassle free. I almost always get pulled aside for extra screenings at PBI.


I found a super cool app that let me grab a bunch of videos from YouTube to load on my iPad to watch on the plane. I watched a lot of Shimelle and Glitter Girl that week! (The logo in the top left came with the free version. It didn’t bother me at all though some might find it distracting).


Jason mostly worked during the flight, but found a little time to read.


He takes great in the air pics. I can’t sit in the window seat because I get airsick and looking out the window makes me want to puke. (Things that make Jen want to puke are a running theme throughout this trip).


New Jersey, we are in you!


Newark airport is ginormous. You have to take a train to get around, like in Atlanta.


Got our bags, rented our car, and we were ready to roll!



Next stop- Staten Island

Remembering New Orleans

Jason is home this week, so that means we’ve been watching a ton of Super Bowl coverage. The thing I love most is all the great NOLA shots between the commentary. I feel the pull of New Orleans like no other place we’ve visited.

Jason’s dad and brother live near New Orleans, so we knew we wanted to spend a day there during our visit in 2009. But first we had to get there.

We always take pictures at the state borders whenever we travel. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to have someone willing to take our pictures, but mostly we just snap each other.


The next day, we met up with Jason’s dad and brother. I never got his brother’s permission to put up pics, so this post will be just me and Jason. (John, let me know if you read this!) We ate at the Broken Egg Cafe, which was delicious! You seriously cannot get a bad meal in Louisiana. That is my firm belief. Unfortunately this was before we started obsessively taking pictures of our meals, so you’ll just have to imagine my crawfish omelette.


Driving into New Orleans.


The Superdome.



We walked around the Riverwalk Marketplace, a shopping center by the river.


Then we took a ride on the ferry down the river.

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Such interestingly shaped buildings.

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I’ve realized that it’s impossible for me to narrow down my photos any further, so I’m going to split this into two posts. Tune in tomorrow for the rest 🙂

Photo Walk: Downtown Nashville

I love downtown Nashville. So. Much.

I’ve spent so many hours walking these streets. Visiting my dad at work. Waiting on busses. Shopping. Going to plays and the museum. Running errands. Running for busses. Running to pick up my sister from school. Running to grab breakfast before work. And yes, falling on my butt once or twice from all that running.

I could write a book full of all the memories I have of this place. But until then, I’ll share a few photos we took when we visited Nashville back in November. I’m so glad we got to spend some time, just the two of us, walking around one of my very favorite places.

We took these in the space of about half an hour on our last night in Nashville back in November. They’re a mix of iPhone and big camera photos that I ran through Instagram with the Hefe filter.

Driving over the bridge.

This is new, I think.

I love the mix of architectural styles.

This is where my dad used to work. I would come here every day after school for years as a kid. As a grown-up I would meet him here for lunch (and sometimes a drink).
IMG_8997 IMG_8995


Inside the Arcade.
IMG_8993 IMG_8992

I sent off many packages to Jason from here while we were “courting”.

The ubiquitous Printer’s Alley shot.

The Batman Building.
IMG_8989 IMG_8988 IMG_8987

The stadium.

I could not get enough pictures of the fall colors when we were in Tennessee. 

Standing on the bridge has special memories for us. This is where Jason proposed.



Nashville, you make my heart sing.

Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving was our last full day in Nashville.

Every time we visit, it’s mandatory to take my mom to Shoney’s Breakfast Bar. 
IMG_8046I know there are more pictures from the morning, but I can’t find them. Grrr…..

After we ate breakfast, I finally talked Jason into going to Krispy Kreme. I’ve been trying to get him in there for years! I love Krispy Kreme and there aren’t any stores in So Flo. Which is sad and they are totally missing out. Krispy Kreme is way better than Disney any day. You can watch the doughnuts go on their production journey through a window and it’s just mesmerizing watching them on the conveyer belt moving from the fryer to the glazing to the boxes… it’s magical. And the smell! So delicious!


Can you tell I’m super excited with my snowman doughnut?

We said goodbye to my mom and headed to Dad and Jeannie’s. We decided, after much back and forth, to g to Olive Garden for a late lunch. My family is indecisive to the extreme.

Jamie and I displayed great maturiosity by rolling around in the chairs.


You really can’t take us out in public…

One thing that I love about my relationship with my sister is that we can have serious life discussions one minute, and the next we’ll be acting like complete loons.

We had a really nice lunch of appetizers and picked off each others’ plates. I think we forgot to take pics of the food.


We dropped Dad and Jeannie off and then took J to work. I hadn’t seen her since she got her new job, and I was excited to see it. We chatted to her boss, who said what a good job Jamie was doing. Have I mentioned how super proud of her I am? I think she was a little embarrassed to have us there, well me more than Jason because he knows how to act normal 😛 But I was excited! I knew after I started taking pictures that I’d gone too far in my over-enthusiasm so we left.

IMG_8059But she couldn’t be too surly with me because there were customers around so HA!

Anyway, after that we wanted to go downtown really quick to get some photos with the big camera during the golden hour. I want to do another post with some of my favorite places, but here are a couple from my phone.


Love love love driving over the bridge and seeing the skyline. It makes my heart sing.





After the sun set, we headed to my Aunt Marsha’s for our last visit of the trip. It was nice catching up with Marsha and Claude. My cousin Trey, his girlfriend Honey, and her daughter, Sammy stopped by for dinner.

We didn’t stay long because we had a long day ahead of us driving home the next day.

A super busy, but wonderful day. Way better than shopping on Black Friday!

Super Secret Thanksgiving Surprise!

When we last left our heroes, they had just arrived in Nashville from a perilous journey across the wilds of Georgia…. Actually that was one of the least perilous journeys we’ve had. Our motto is “Any trip where the car doesn’t break down and nobody ends up in the ER is a good trip”.

We woke up on Thanksgiving morning and had a little time to kill, so I took a few pictures around our hotel. The decor was pretty eclectic. It reminded me of the hotel we stayed at in L.A. this summer, only with a Nashville twist.

A very non-Nashville thing was the Menu of Spiritual Texts which was pretty hilarious.


The elevator had red cow hide. I think that was what it was… it was furry.


The lobby had a really nifty dress made of crayons!

And here’s the outside.

We went to Starbucks for breakfast. While we were there, Jason called his parents to wish his parents Happy Thanksgiving and I called my Dad. It was pretty funny because Dad settled in for a nice long chat like usual, thinking we were still in FL, and it was so hard for me not to say “Stop talking! I’m right down the street and I want to SEE you!” But I managed to keep from spilling the secret… just a little longer…

We left Starbucks and drove to Dad and Jeannie’s. My sister had her bedroom windows wide open and her cat saw us. We were afraid the jig was up, so we hustled to the door, hoping nobody would notice our car in the driveway. We knocked at the door and I could hear Jeannie ask Dad to get the door. (We had planned that ahead of time).

He opened the door and his jaw dropped! I will never forget the look on his face. It was so hard to keep the secret, but totally worth it! He gave me the biggest hug and it was the best feeling to be able to hug my Dad again.

My sister heard the commotion in the living room and came out to investigate. I didn’t see her, but I heard this kind of strangled squeaking noise and there she was, hugging me too. Then she rushed into her room, She proceeded to nearly give her boyfriend a heart attack by crying and saying “I need a hug… my sister….” So of course he’s thinking something terrible has happened. Then she said “is here…”. Poor Ryan!

It was so fantastic to see everyone, but we still had one more person to surprise. My mom was on her way and we had to figure out what to do. She recently had a pacemaker put in, so we didn’t want to shock her into a heart attack, but there was no really gentle way to do it. We reviewed which of us knew CPR and hoped for the best. Jason went to go move the car and when we heard her ride pull up Dad went out to meet her (and catch her if she fell off the porch from the shock). I hid behind the door and Jason got out the camera…

She came in and saw Jason first. He got the best picture of her with her mouth wide open when she realized we were there. I won’t put it up here, because I know she’d kill me. But I do have it for future bribery purposes. 🙂 Of course she cried. And no heart attacks so that was pretty nice.

Surprising my family for Thanksgiving was the best! And I totally got the reactions I wanted. I think in the back of my head was the worry that they would all go “You? What are you doing here?”. Luckily that didn’t happen and everybody seemed really happy to see us.

After all the excitement died down, we got down to the business of cooking and visiting.

We didn’t get many pictures of Jeannie unfortunately. She was busting her butt cooking!


Mom made a bacon and cheese roll up thingy.


Jamie, Ryan, and one of their fur babies.


Jason, Jamie, and I went for a walk so I could join in the Mile A Day Challenge. Yes, my sister wears sandals in the winter. She also insisted on wearing flip-flops to my wedding… in December.


Then it was Grub Time! I think this was Jason’s plate.


We had turkey and dressing, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, pork and beans, broccoli casserole, potato salad, deviled eggs, Hawaiian rolls, bacon and cheese rolls, and I’m not sure what else. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. For dessert we had Jeannie’s famous Dirt Cake, fudge pie left over from Jamie’s birthday the day before, and I think one more pie, but it’s slipping my mind. It was sooo tasty! Jeannie did a fantastic job.


Mom sent her iPhone around the table and we all took pictures. Some were less flattering than others (lots of unintentional up-the-nose shots), but here are a few.


This pic is a perfect illustration of how I am the slowest eater on the face of the earth. Notice how everyone else’s plate is empty or nearly so. Mine is almost untouched. This is no reflection on the tastiness of the food, I’m always the last to finish. And how we all put our elbows on the table apparently. And my Dad isn’t praying, he’s about to fall asleep at the table 😛 He wasn’t feeling well and ended up going to bed shortly afterwards.


So that was our Thanksgiving. Sorry for the super long post, but I want to get everything written down before I forget it. It’s only a week later and I’m already forgetting some of the details. It was such a wonderful day and I’m so glad I got to spend it with some of the people I love best in the world ❤