Thursday, July 31, 2014

Currently

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Feeling: like I need about 10-gazillion hours of sleep.

Eating: roasted chickpeas. New addiction.

Drinking: chai lattes. Not-so-new addiction.

Watching: our little kittehs sleep. I'm trying to talk Tyler into Midsomer Murders, but he's pretending he can't hear me. Punk.

Reading: a Dominique Moceanu autobiography. #gymnasticsnerd

Thinking about: planning a quick trip to Portland sometime in the fall. I need to travel. ASAP.

Loving: that I finally have a date scheduled to visit Miss Sarah!

Excited about: going to Poplar Bluff next week. Normally that is not something I'd be thrilled about, but I haven't been home in over a year. I'm ready for some pink lemonade and gravel roads.

Stressing over: our apartment. It's bummin' me out right now.

Listening to: lots of the new Sia album. I mean, I think it's great, but Tyler is borderline obsessed.

Worried about: our little Henry--he's showing some signs of health problems again. :(

Obsessing over: this link that Haley sent to me on Twitter. WORLDS COLLIDE.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Segment of the Rainbow

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“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.” --Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

5 Favorites: Skincare

Today I'm kicking off a new monthly series called 5 Favorites. Each month I'll feature five of my favorite items in a specific category (betcha didn't see that coming, didja?). It will cover everything from beauty products to television shows to Etsy shops, and will run until........well, until I run out of ideas. :) Let me know if there's something specific you'd like to see! In the meantime, we'll start with my five favorite skincare products:

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1//Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser: I worked for a dermatologist a few years ago, and this was the face wash he recommended to everyone. I had really bad acne at the time, so I snagged a few samples and was sold. It's one of the few cleansers I've used that actually leaves me feeling clean--not greasy or dried out.

2//Ponds Dry Skin Cream: Maybe it's boring, but it's holy grail for dry-skinned babes like me. It's thick, rich, and clean-smelling.  It does take awhile to soak in, so I wash my face first thing in the morning and put it on; by the time I get dressed and eat breakfast, I'm good to go with makeup. I've tried a ton of drug store and pricey moisturizers over the years, and this is my favorite by far.

3//Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair: Earlier this year I started to notice some *gasp* wrinkles starting to surface. After the tears had dried and the horror abated (I'm kidding guys. Wrinkles, sminkles.), I did a little research and founds lots of favorable reviews for Rapid Wrinkle Repair. I decided to pick some up, and I'm not kidding when I say that I noticed a difference within a week. This little blue bottle will forever be in my skincare arsenal.


4//Mary Kay Timewise Microderm Abrasion Set:  This makes my skin feel sooooo soft. I always feel like microderm abrasion leaves my skin vulnerable, so I love that it also has replenishing serum. I've had professional microderm abrasions done, and while I wouldn't put this quite at that level, it's darn close.


5//e.l.f. Studio Eye Fresh: This stuff just feels sooooo good. I use it morning and night for a little extra nourishment on that sensitive skin around my eyes. It's hard to beat for $3 a pop!


What are some of your skincare must-haves? I love trying out new stuff!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Project Life: Week 30

It's not often that I can say that the majority of my pages came from a single collection, but that's what happened this week-- the Market Street collection by My Mind's Eye.  I'm okay with it; it is my favorite, after all :)

Left side:
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Right side:
PL30R

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Project Life: 13 & 14

Just popping in with Project Life weeks 13 & 14. As always, if you have questions about any of the items used here, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email, and I'll get back to you!

Week thirteen, left side:


12L

Week thirteen, right side:

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Week fourteen, left side:

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Week fourteen, right side:

14R

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vinyl Love: // Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Starting a new little series here on the ol' blog about the vinyl records I love so dearly. First up is this little gem:

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Bon Iver, Bon Iver by (you guessed it!) Bon Iver.

In 3 words: poetic, emotional, monumental

Favorite tracks: Holocene, Wash., Towers

I hesitate to call any record my "all-time favorite"--it's just such a huge label to live up to--but especially a record as recent as this one. Every time anyone asks what my favorite album is, though, this is the one that pops in my head immediately. So I think it has claimed that label for itself, and I'm okay with it. I can honestly say that no other record has ever emotionally moved me as much as this one--"Holocene" made me cry the first time I heard it. It wasn't a sad cry; it was like seeing the mountains for the first time, or coming back home after a long bout of homesickness--when you just cry because everything seems so beautiful and so much bigger than yourself.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On Selfies

I'm just going to lay it out there: I'm pro-selfie. My husband (and undoubtedly other people) think I'm ridiculous, but I'll get over it. I think selfies are misunderstood as vanity, when the vast majority of the time, they aren't. They're an all-too-rare statement of confidence and contentment from women (and men) whose self-esteem and body image is assaulted constantly by impossible societal standards of beauty and constructs of perfection.

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This is a candid photo of me in high school. I was a pretty average looking girl who made above-average grades and had never been in serious trouble. I didn't smoke, didn't drink, and didn't do drugs. I was a shy kid--an introverted bookworm who tried to act extroverted--who was non-confrontational to a fault.

When I was younger, I tried to figure out what part of that led people--family, friends, acquaintances, complete strangers--to assume it was acceptable to comment on my appearance or my body. I blamed myself for awhile, thinking I needed to be more assertive. I thought maybe people were trying to take me down a peg, and that I needed to stop trying so hard to be perfect. As I grew up a little, though, I realized that even well-meaning people can be a-holes and make comments or "jokes" that are immature and hurtful--and that none of that was my fault.

Here's a brief list of my attributes that had been commented on by the time I had reached the age in the picture:
  • My "big lips" (this was pre-"Angelina-Jolie-is-a-hottie" so definitely not a compliment)
  • My "childbearing hips"
  • My "ghetto butt"
  • My "old-lady hands"
  • My turned up nose
  • My flat chest
  • My "thunder thighs"
  • My "ugly feet"
I look at that girl in the picture--the shy, sensitive, non-confrontational, sixteenish-year-old girl--and I honestly can't see how the majority of those comments were even true, let alone necessary to make. Even though I just laughed them off publicly, though, I internalized every single one. I remember sitting down with my senior picture proofs and picking myself apart picture by picture.

Here's the thing: if you asked me my biggest body insecurities right now, five of them still make the cut.

I hate admitting that. Hate it. I hate acknowledging that those (I'm just going to say it) bullshit messages got the better of me then, and still do. I hate that I buy in--even just the smallest bit--to societal standards of beauty, and that I judge myself by those standards. 95% of the time, I'm critical of my appearance. That's weak and ridiculous, and I know that, but it's true. So I absolutely will not apologize for the 5% of the time I feel good enough about the way I look to take a picture and put it on the internet. And neither should you.

Nearly all women have stories like this, and worse--even if they've managed to overcome them, the experience of having your body commented on is almost universal. Like I said, I consider myself to have been a pretty average looking kid, so I can't even imagine how dark and painful these things can become for people extremely far outside the societal standard.  That's why I love selfies. I love seeing pictures of my friends pop up on instagram or facebook and knowing that they held up the middle finger to the judgements of others about the way they look and dress. I love knowing that they felt confident and pretty in that moment--because I know how rare, beautiful, and elusive those moments can be.

So. To sum it up:
Society:  "You aren't good/pretty/thin/lovely enough because you don't meet our constructs of perfection......but LOVE YOURSELF! EMBRACE YOU!.......but not enough to take selfies, because that's too much; its conceit/vanity/self-absorption...........and besides, you don't really deserve it, because you aren't good/pretty/thin/lovely enough because you don't meet our constructs of perfection......." (It's a bloody freaking vortex, you guys.)

Me (and hopefully you): Eff that BS. Let's take a selfie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7 Things Making Me Happy Right Now


1// Needtobreathe has been doing a series of Live Room videos, and just wow. I have seen almost every single tour for the past several years, so you would think that I wouldn't be so moved by their live performances at this point, but they are so good you guys. I have a special place in my heart for these fellas.

2// THIS ARTICLE by Jonathan Merritt. It should be required reading for every person in the Christian community. I want to give it all the amens. And maybe a hallelujah or two.


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3// Lana in Fader. Actually, Lana everywhere, but the photos in Fader are just....ugh, they're perfect. She's perfect. #obsessed #myhusbandthinksimaweirdobutidontcare

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4// A few weeks ago, if I had to list weird beverages I wouldn't like, I'm fairly certain that rhubarb soda would have been on it. It's a good thing I'm moderately adventurous when it comes to trying new things, because I am full-on enamored with this stuff.

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5// THIS IS PETER DINKLAGE'S SENIOR PHOTO, AND IT IS EVERYTHING.



6// Sara Bareilles covered "Chandelier" by Sia and it is gorgeous. I was a little skeptical (even though I love me some Sara!), but then I pushed play and my skepticism vanished about five seconds in. 
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7// This Stay Home Club print. Buying it ASAP, and hanging it where I will see it every day. It just makes me so happy.


What's making you happy lately?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Project Life: 29

I'm just going to apologize right out of the gate for the crappy photo quality. I just wasn't feeling it this week (scrapbooking, I mean), which resulted in procrastination, the pages taking longer than they should have, and me losing any chance at decent natural light in our apartment. Then I realized that I screwed up on the left side, so I had to go back, fix, and re-photograph it--which is why the picture for the left side looks even blurrier/grainier/crappier than the right. I could have tried to lug some lamps around and rephotograph it, but it was 9pm, I was tired, and I just wanted to curl up in bed with a book and be done. #craptasticbloggeroftheyear

ANYWAY.

Even with all that, I'm surprisingly happy with how the right side page turned out at least. It probably doesn't hurt that it represents an exceptionally lovely weekend. That ice cream card is a little cheesy, but it's fun, and that's really what summer's all about right? Right.

29L

29R

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Project Life: 10-12

Here we are again! Another Saturday Project Life catch-up post. This week features weeks 10-12. One of the things I love about being a first-year Project Life-r is that I have zero pressure to make a consistent album. Some weeks it's bright colors--others neutrals. Some weeks it's a ton of embellishments--some weeks none. I'm completely free to experiment with different styles and figure out exactly what I like and don't like.  I think that is very much reflected in these posts--sometimes I wonder what I was thinking with some of these spreads, but I've learned so much already, and we're only halfway through the year! I don't know if I'm any closer to really establishing a personal style, but hey, I have six more months left for that, right?

Week ten, left side:

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Week ten, right side:

10R

Week eleven, left side:

11L

Week eleven, right side:

11R

Week twelve, left side:

12LB

Week twelve, right side:
12R

As always, if you have questions about any of the items used here, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email, and I'll get back to you!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Blogger Confession.

Cliche.

Sometimes I worry that, when I am old, I will regret spending so much time recording my life when I could have spent it living.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summertime Wishlist

Summer is definitely in full-force here in Missouri, where our heat-indexes have been pushing triple-digits and the humidity--well, if you haven't ever experienced Missouri humidity, let me just assure you that it is a force to be reckoned with. The warm temps and (mostly) sunshiney weather has definitely put me in a summertime mood, and inspired a little summer wishlist.

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Sources: 1//2//3//4//5//6//7//8

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Flower Child

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My mom told me once that I have a "hippie soul."

I don't disagree much.

Dress: Target // Kimono: Forever 21 // Shoes: Target // Necklace: Charlotte Russe // Flower crown: whichgoose via Etsy

Monday, July 14, 2014

Project Life: Weeks 27 & 28

I screwed up. Somewhere back around week 25, I threw an extra page in there to capture all our Silver Dollar City day memories and accidentally put a weekly card on that page. In my defense, this was during the Crazy-Scrapbooking-Marathon-Catchup-Session of 2014, so it's a wonder of wonders that I didn't put pictures from last year in there somewhere. I can live with a little mistake. That's the best part of Project Life--that mistake didn't cost me an entire page. I just moved the weekly card into the next spread, added some filler cards, and done. So this week, I actually have two spreads to post: week 27 and week 28.

I went with a simple black/white/gold for week 27--something about the american flag/silhouette picture made me shy away from more bright colors and florals. I used primarily cards from the We R Memory Keepers Farmer's Market set and the Project Life Neapolitan Edition for week 28--mainly because I found the Neapolitan Edition on clearance for 50% off at Michael's and I was really excited to use it! As always, if you have questions about sources for any of the materials I used, I'll be happy to send that info your way.

Week 27, left side:
27L

Week 27, right side:
27R

Week 28, left side:

28L

Week 28, right side:

28R

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Project Life: 8 & 9

Confession--I got really behind on Project Life. Like, six weeks behind. I had all the photos in pockets, but that was it, until last weekend. I had a really productive scrapbooking day and caught it all up in just a few hours (well, minus some of the journaling, but that will hopefully be taken care of today). I took some photos to post here on the blog, and decided to check and see the last week I had shared. I figured it wouldn't be a huge deal if I skipped a couple weeks and just posted the spreads I had just finished.

Um, it was week seven.

Yeah.

Slaaaaaaaaackerrrrrr.

In light of my gross level of, um, slackerishness, I decided to bite the bullet and go back to week eight. I don't normally post on weekends, but for the next couple of months I'll be sharing 2-3 weekly spreads every Saturday until I'm caught up. Feel free to skip them if PL isn't your thing (I promise I won't be offended!).

For starters, here are week 8 & 9.

Week 8, left side:
8L

Week 8, right side:
8L


Week 9, left side:

9L

Week 9, right side:

9R



Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 x 2.

It's been a few months since I've done a 10 Things post, so I thought I'd share some more random facts about myself. Not that I need to try harder to convince you guys that I'm a total weirdo, but....eh. Oh well. :)

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1. When people ask what my favorite animal is, I always say fox (and I do love them), but only because I feel like "unicorn" is not an acceptable answer.

2. I'm fairly socially anxious, and therefore awkward about 90% of the time.

3. I'm told about once a month or so by random people that I look like Hilary Swank, but I have never been able to see it. (I always just hope it's P.S.-I-Love-You-Hilary-Swank and not Boys-Don't-Cry-Hilary-Swank...)

4. I owned a horse when I was a teenager--until it almost killed my father by kicking him in the head. He had to have major reconstructive surgery and plates put in his face.

5. My maiden name is Cosby, and I grew up hearing the same Jello/Cosby sweater jokes over and over. The favorite joke of most everyone, though, was to ask if I was related to Bill. Oh, I get it, because I'm a paler-than-pale white girl. Hilarious. I actually had a relative named Bill Cosby, though, so I always said yes with a completely straight face.

6. I am legitimately not sure if I want children. I love kids--it's just the bearing of them that is freaking terrifying. And also that part about being completely responsible for another human life. You know, minor things like that.

7. If Bob Ross is on television, I will watch it.

8. I have an itty-bitty fear of swimming in the ocean; I'll do it, I just can't think about it too much. I had zero fear until I was snorkeling in Puerto Rico during high school and a very curious, very large barracuda kept getting too close--close enough for me to reach out and touch it if I wanted to. Which I didn't. Do you know how big those teeth look close up?

9.  I don't have a favorite color.

10. My childhood crushes included--in order--Billy Ray Cyrus, Chuck Norris, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the Green/White Power Ranger, Bryan White, Josh Server from All That, and JC Chasez. I was a weird kid.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

50s.

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A photo of my grandmother--proof that she was much cooler than I will ever be, and further evidence that I was definitely born in the wrong decade. I wonder if I will have grandchildren, and if they will look at old photographs of me someday with the same awe and longing that I feel when I look at photos of my grandparents. I wonder if they'll lament that everything was so amazing "back then"--if they'll feel about the 2000's the way that I feel about the 1950s. Or perhaps the 50s were just the most amazing decade of all time, the decade that all decades will forever be compared to. Sorry, 2000s, even my grandkids won't be as wowed by you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On My Reading List

When I was a kid, summers meant warm evenings, catching lightning bugs, and reading all day long. Now that I'm an adult (what?!), summers really aren't that different from any other season in terms of free time, but I still get that same ache to binge-read when the weather turns warm. Sunday was a warm, rainy day, so I shelved my to-do list and spent half the day on the couch with the balcony door open, reading to my little heart's content. Here are a few of the things I'm reading right now:

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1. Philomena by Martin Sixsmith: I picked this up immediately after watching the movie, because the movie was one of the best things I've seen in years (I might be biased by my fangirl love of Judi Dench). I'm really glad I watched it first, because it's different enough from the book that I might not have liked it as much otherwise. Now I just love them both. :)

2. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs: This book is flying by far too quickly. While I haven't quite decided if I liked it as much as the first (it's a sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children), it's having no difficulty holding my attention--I read 100 pages on Saturday evening alone!

3. In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson: Some years ago, I read a book by Tony Jones called The Sacred Way about monastic spiritual practices, and I liked it so much I dug deeper into the topic by buying a series of books called the Ancient Practices Series. In Constant Prayer is one of those books, and it's sparking my desire to get back into some of those practices.

4. The Basic Book of Photography by Tom and Michele Grimm: My photo adventure with Layne a couple weeks ago really inspired me to learn more about my camera and how to use it. I've known the basics for a while since I have a SLR film camera, but I'm far from where I would like to be, so I've been digging into this book to (hopefully!) help me improve.

5. The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain edited by Kenneth O. Morgan:  I'm currently slogging through the Roman period (pre-Roman and Roman history is probably my least favorite part of British history), but once I conquer that beast, I'm stoked to read the rest of this beauty. I brought her back from Powell's the last time I was in Portland (after carrying her around downtown alllllllll day--labor of love), so she's quite the special gem.

6. From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell: This is *technically* a graphic novel, but it's about Jack the Ripper, so I make no apologies. And no, that terrible Johnny Depp/Roman Polanski movie is not enough to sway me from wanting to read it.

Have you read any of these? What are you reading right now? I love getting new suggestions!


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Monday, July 7, 2014

Project Life: Week 26

Now that things have calmed down a bit around here, I'm making it a goal to post my weekly Project Life pages here on the blog. I'm also purposely stating that goal for accountability, so you all can verbally kick my butt if I start slacking. :) This week is finished except for the journaling. I primarily use Instagram photos in my spreads, so if you would like a little insight into the week's events, you can usually find that on my IG.

Left side:
PL1


Right side:
PL2

Oliver approves.
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If you're curious about any of the items I used, just leave me a comment, and I'll get you the source. Thanks for looking!

**Edit: I screwed up and put my "Week 27" card in my week 26 spread; I used an extra page for a busy week a while back and accidentally put a week card in there, so I was off. I fixed it, but not before I published this post. Whoops!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Life Lately

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1. Finally making some progress on my wedding album (only 2+ years after the fact) // 2. Decided I needed a haircut...since it had been a solid year since my last one. Eeek! // 3. Stopped by Grayson Home last Friday to meet the lovely Sharon in person after being internet friends for what seems like ages! So glad that lady is back in Springfield! // 4. I've started a tradition (two times can totally be a tradition, right?) of treating myself to a lavender iced coffee from Elle's after a haircut. I don't need a reason.
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5. Sometimes you just have to ignore the calories and just have Five Guys for dinner. And you also have to sneak-attack photograph your husband when he's not looking so he won't cross his eyes and make ridiculous faces in all your pictures. // 6. Nibbled on some macarons and listened to Lana Del Rey on the way to meet Layne for our photo adventure Saturday. I have literally listened to nothing else since that album released. #obsessed. // 7. We finally watched American Hustle ("finally" should be my motto, I swear). We have a habit of seeing movies at a minimum of six months after they release. But, I mean, Redbox is a dollar, sooooo...... // 8. Henry had to make an unplanned vet visit Monday for a respiratory virus. We debated whether or not to take him, but ultimately it was a "better safe than sorry" type situation. I was super stressed out about him being ill--I swear, I could not handle human children.


If you're reading in the US, I hope you have a happy and safe Independence Day! I'll be celebrating my freedom to read books and drink coffee all day!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Downtown Springfield Photo Adventures

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"Hey, this alley is kinda creepy..."

"Let's go!"


This, my friends, is how you know you've found a good photo-taking partner. Layne and I spent a couple hours downtown on Saturday practicing with our DSLRs, and lemme tell ya, that girl is fearless (and talented!). She's not afraid of alleyways, drunk vagrants, heights, or some mild trespassing--not that we ran into any of those things or put ourselves in any danger of physical or legal harm, mom! I had such a blast, and it was ten different kinds of amazing to have someone who would let me photograph them without purposely making derpy faces (AHEM, Tyler).

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I've noticed that I tend to look at the world a little differently when I have a camera in my hand. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a photographer (if I learned anything from this outing, it's that I have so much to learn!), but I like taking photos, and I love the way a little piece of machinery can reframe my perspective on the space around me. I notice things--textures, contrasts, a sliver of light--and somehow there's a beauty brought out in the mundane. Places and things I've walked by a thousand times are new.

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It's been so long since I've really explored my city or just took photos for the sake of taking photos that I think I kinda forgot about that, and I found out that it's really amplified when you have someone with you. Layne and I wandered up and down streets and alleyways, and there was a frequent chorus of "Oooh, look at this!" and "Hey, that's kinda cool." We were struck by such a variety of things that I really left with a new appreciation for downtown Springfield--plus, we found some new gems to try out, like BookMarx (AKA Heaven) and European Cafe. I can say with a certainty that there are some more photo adventures in our future!

Oh, and hey--grab that camera and get out there!

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Pssst! If you want to see more of our day through Layne's lens, check out her blog post on The Room Journal!

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