9.19.2012

Boston Public Library

One of my co-workers went to Boston a few weeks ago and when he got back, we talked about how much he loved Boston Public Library. When I was living with Emily last summer, I loved going to the library because it is so big and beautiful and has free internet for the public. I just came across some of the photos on my hard drive of the library that I took while I was there.





Ate my lunch and read a book here for few hours

Ok, now comes the good part. Last summer I started noticing that lots of people were doing little self portraits of themselves. I thought, yes of course, I need one too. And what better location than a beautiful library on a clouded rainy day? I remember that there was a tour group right outside of this room and I wanted them to move along so I could take my self-portrait. I patiently waited for them to leave. Then I went in this room, set up the camera, and took this shot. 



Time out. How did I think this was going to be a good pose? First ballet position in the feet, and my hands look like I am showing my mom a wedding dress. Oh no. 

Photo shoot #2
Emily and I were driving around some small town on a Saturday morning in Massachusetts, possibly Pembroke. I saw this sign and told her to stop. My dear friend, Malinda, goes by Lindy. So I needed to take a picture for her. This one turned out ok. 


But as I was headed back to the car, this man was confused. He thought we had stopped because I wanted a picture with him. So of course, Emily told me to just smile rather than explain. Here is the result... Warning. This is probably the biggest smile I have ever had on camera. She caught the nose and everything. Good work, Em. 


And while we're on the topic. I saw this little gem on my hard drive as well. Sarah Jane must have taken it on April Fool's day when we were "snowed-in" to our apartment. Rather than wreck the masterpiece, we just put a bench outside of our window and climbed out that way. I remember that I had to meet my dinner group that night, but I was late because we were taking pictures of our door. So I must have been in a real hurry to get there. 


But oh my. What is this outfit? Cream jeans, grey shirt, my all-time favorite jumper (that Melissa bought at Goodwill for her first pregnancy), my pink cardigan (that I bought from Sally Dowse at the Lone Peak Chamber choir garage sale), my cream jeans, thick white Costco socks, and my favorite Hawaiian sandals (stolen from my mom's closet). 

I know you're not supposed to really post photos of yourself looking less than flattering. But with such unique photos like this, who could pass up this opportunity?
So next time you don't like your outfit. Think of me wearing my plaid jumper running with my plate and mug to grab some grub.  
And I am sure you'll feel good soon. 


9.17.2012

Favicon

Pretend I am Oprah for a second, and listen to me share one of my favorite things:

FAVICONS.

I love them so much. In fact, since I have started my job the use and importance of a favicon (and Mormonism) has been the topic I have debated the most.

Unfamiliar with favicons? Well let me tell you what they are.
The word is a combination of favorite and icon. They are tiny little square images that are 16 pixels by 16 pixels. They are not a JPG or a PNG, but an icon file that is saved as an .ico file. They are used as branding / bookmarking on websites. They go next to the title of the webpage if you have a tab open. Like so:



You also may have noticed them here in your bookmarks bar:


The reason I love them is because I am a heavy tab-user. I always have at least 8 tabs open with music, email, and projects I am working on. When I am jumping from one tab to another, I am usually skimming the text but my eye is focused on the favicon. 

Which brings me to my purpose. I love Google Reader. I subscribe to all of my favorite blogs on google reader and organize them by their categories: friends, design, fabric, food, and inspirational. 
This is what my DESIGN category looks like: 


This is what my FRIEND category looks like.


Clearly, my friends folder doesn't have a lot of personality in the favicon department.
I want to change this. 
So if you want me to make you a favicon for your blog, let me know and I will send you a little .ico file of something you want. But I'll be honest, the most frustrating part about making things for other people is all of the back and forth. Like, let's look at this shade of pink or change that font, or make that a jagged edge instead of a curved edge, etc. I don't want to have a lot of back and forth here so in this case, I will take your suggestions of what you want, spend 15-20 minutes making something and then send it to you and hopefully you love it because I probably won't change it if you don't. I still love you, but I want to make lots of these for all the readers I love, rather than one favicon that one person likes. 

I have never added favicons to blogs others than a google Blogger blog, but it is super easy to add on your own. So, no worries there. 

Because the image is so tiny, it is good to have just a few details in the image but nothing too complicated. Here are some of my favorites:




 I think it is a little weird to use a photograph for a favicon, but Martha Stewart seems to get to do whatever she wants. 


Here are a few sites with favicon examples: Smashing Magazine  Sitepoint  

Happy favicon day to you! 

9.11.2012

My Country



Yesterday morning I was telling a co-worker about this new cutting board at Target. I was explaining how I had seen it online. I love that it is a wooden cutting board with dark blue edges, but most importantly it is in the shape of America. I told Sarah, "I think I need it because I just love America!"

I didn't end up buying the cutting board, but I do love that shape. It's the perfect size. It's big but it has detailed and unexpected edges. She's a beaut. 

The 4th of July is such a favorite for me and this year I felt a little jipped because of an untimely natural disaster (more on that later this week). I didn't spend the holiday thinking about my beautiful country, something I am used to doing. I like putting out a flag and saying the pledge of allegiance to myself. Sometimes I wish that there was a time of day when all Americans have to stand up and say the pledge everyday, like we did in grade school. 

I love America and I love the space. Last year when I was driving to move to Texas, I couldn't believe that I just got to drive and drive for so long. We drove for 3 days and we still only covered a small portion of this great nation. No one stopped us, no one cared that we crossed state boundaries, and no one asked us for any proof of residence. We have soo much space that we are just free to traverse. 

I love that there are so many different cultures in America. I have only lived in Texas for a year, but it is completely and totally different than Utah which is different than New York, which is different than California, which is must different from Virginia.

This morning I listened to a September 11th tribute on the radio, followed by a lovely rendition of "My Country Tis of Thee." I still don't know why the terrorist attacks had to happen and I don't know enough about foreign policy to have an opinion on how best to handle it. But I do know that I am so lucky to live in the United States of America.

When the attack happened, I was in junior high. My friend Kelsey, who I grew up with, was always composing piano songs. We would always take a break from playing as young girls and go listen to her latest songs. She wrote a song called "Returning Home" in 9th grade about 9/11. She was able to perform it at our year end Grand Concert at the junior high. It was an awesome performance and such a beautiful song. Every year I listen to it on September 11th. Here it is:



God bless America

Cutting board image from Anthology

9.03.2012

Change

When I was in high school, there was a paper I wrote in my AP language class. I can't remember exactly what the prompt was, but I wrote about my childhood neighborhood. I weaved through stories about my street, the dogs, the new trees that were planted, the friends that moved in or moved out, the re-models, etc. I was still in the process of learning how to write a thesis statement. I was excited when I finally settled on this one:
Change has become something I depend upon.

When I got to college and made lots of life transitions, I added to the story. I wrote about my classes, the evolution of my neighborhood, relationships gone good, friendships gone bad, etc. But I decided not to change the thesis, because I still really like it.

Fast forward 6 years, and I still really like it. I like change. I like variety. I like having a fresh start. And I like that I can always depend on having variety and opportunities to switch things up.




My sister Melissa just moved into her new, beautiful home. My mom, little sister Lizzy, and I were around when she was moving in and deciding where things should go. Even though it's been stressful for her, it is still fun. It is exciting to have a new layout and a different way to store all of your cardstock. It is awesome to have a new decorating situation and have to look at your belongings in a new way. And although she has her hands full, she is also going to bring a precious new life into the world in just a couple days. We are all just thrilled and so excited for this new baby boy.

To top it off, Aaron and Melissa's oldest is going to start preschool next month. Talk about a lot of transition. We have been discussing it a lot (she wrote a blog post about it too), what her new life is going to be like, what freezer meals we could make, etc. When I got home that night, I realized I was wanting a change too. I came home and set up a new rug, bought a new shelf and rearranged my belongings. That feeling of newness is just contagious.



In fact, I have noticed that every time I have a life change, I have had an unconscious assumption that I need new clothes. It's not that I want to change my look or style at all, but just have new memories with a fresh wardrobe. Now of course I am way too practical to do a wardrobe overhaul, but I do like to pick up a few new things. I think clothes hold memories. I didn't realize it until a couple years ago. I had just put on my dark red sweater from Gap. It's pretty cute. It is knit but has these little ruffles and buttons on the neck. The first time I wore it was on a first date with a boy who ended up becoming pretty important for a time in my life. So now whenever I wear it, I think of him. Or let's take my blue linen shorts for example. I bought them on a whim at Target at the beginning of a summer when I was living at home and was going to be babysitting and doing yard work for my summer income. The blue linen shorts almost became a symbol of the summer. Light, breezy, super casual, but went with everything. I now wear those blue linen shorts every weekend they are clean. It might have something to do with the fact that the Texas heat is almost unbearable, but I also like to think it is because I have that summer-at-home feeling whenever I wear them. It's like the sisterhood of the traveling pants... but way different. Either way, clothes have memories and associations for me. So when I am on a new adventure, it is fun to start the adventure with clothes that have a blank canvas and can adapt to whatever I want the new adventure to be. So here's to having a great clearance section at my local Madewell!

Yesterday I put new Texas license plates on my car. It's official. You know you are really committing to a place when it starts to involve the government and a big piece of metal that says where you belong. I am really lucky because I got the new license plate design they just released. Here it is:


Isn't it lovely? When I first saw someone driving with this plate, I thought it was for sure a vanity plate. But no, siree Bob. This beaut was definitely the basic. 

So folks, I am liking all these changes. I am finally feeling like a real settled local. Go Texas!

license plate image