Trip Tips: Visiting an Estate

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that I love to travel, but I LOVE to travel.  If I won $10 million in the sweepstakes, I would be booking trips around the world the next day.

I’m also one of those people that loves to research destinations, and tries to find memorable places to spend time.  In my various travels, I’d say that my favorite places to explore are grand estates.  I love wandering around the grounds and buildings, and imagining what the lives of its past owners must have been like.

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A few reasons why I love visiting estates…

  1. It’s easy on the wallet.  Visiting an estate is often cheap, and sometimes even free.

IMG_0152      2. It’s a great way to connect with the past.  When you walk through the     house/mansion/ruins and outbuildings of these old (rich) families, you are able to imagine them living their daily lives.  Many estate homes have the original furniture and possessions of the owners, and seeing these (sometimes quirky) items allows you to gain a deeper understanding of just how different and similar their lives were to ours.

IMG_0153       3. It’s good for your health!  An estate just isn’t an estate without its “grounds.”  Every estate I’ve visited includes landscaped gardens and walking paths that can allow you to feel like you’re in another world while getting all your steps in for the day.  Visiting an estate on a sunny day makes getting fresh air and exercise easy and fun.

IMG_0156      4. It gets you off the beaten path.  If you’re like me, sticking to the well trodden tourist spots can get a bit boring after awhile.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against visiting the most famous attraction in the area, it’s usually famous for a reason, but adding a lesser known destination to your list can be refreshing.  Wandering through an estate lets you feel personally connected to a place because visiting someone’s home is always a bit personal.

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Have you visited any estates in your travels???

 

 

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Bullet Journal Flip: One Month In!

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I love jumping onto a good bandwagon, and the Bullet Journal phenomenon definitely qualifies as a GOOD bandwagon!

Before I start into my one month flip, I thought I’d say a few words about the inspiration behind my recent jump from using traditional planner to using the bullet journal system.

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Created by Ryder Carroll, the bullet journal system is meant to be an efficient and flexible way to log tasks, events, lists, and important information using just a pen and blank notebook.  Now, if you are anything like me, you might be thinking…BORING.  I’ll admit it, that was my first thought!  Walking away from beautifully designed planners, with inspirational themes and colorful interiors wasn’t really appealing to me.

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In fact, I came upon this system about a year ago, gave it a try, and went right back to a professionally designed system.  It just didn’t hold my attention or loyalty.

May I introduce you to the inspiration behind this one month of exclusive bullet journal planning…  Drum roll please!

If you are even slightly interested in the bullet journal system, but love beautiful design, you must check out Kara at Bohoberry.com.  I honestly can’t even remember how I came across this blogger/Youtuber, but not only did Kara show just what was possible in the bullet journal system, she also presented designs and fun embellishments that I was able to replicate easily.

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That being said, my bullet journal relies heavily on Kara’s designs, and I’m loving it.  I’m sure that as I continue to use the system, I’ll find myself personalizing my pages and will find my own unique style, but for now, I’m really enjoying using her systems!

Although I started out with a DIY dot grid notebook that I blogged about here, it didn’t take me long to take the plunge and buy her much loved Leuchtturm 1917 notebook from Amazon…  I mean, I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, buying the supplies is half the fun!  Maybe that what was missing from my first foray into the bullet journal world…

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Anyway, one month in and I’m on page 53.  Did I mention that these notebooks include page numbers and an index?  It’s like they were made for bullet journaling!

Actually, I just saw that Leuchtturm1917 came out with a new “bullet journal notebook.”  So I guess that one really is created for bullet journaling…

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I digress…  Essentially, I’ve been extremely happy with using my bullet journal for the past month, and can honestly say that I expect to be using one this time next year.  I love that each new week/month I can experiment with a new layout and design, it’s like getting a new planner every week, without having to spend the money and without the disappointment when the first one didn’t work out.  Awesome.

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What about you?  Have you tried the bullet journal?

* If you love the “You Are Smart” card and wonder where it’s from, it came with my lovely Inkwell Press Quarterly planners that I’ve abandoned.  Lovely planners though, and a great company.  I hope to find a use for them in the future!
** SOME THE LINKS ABOVE ARE AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS, WHICH MEANS THAT I COULD RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU PURCHASE ONE OF THE PRODUCTS BY USING THE LINK.  I ONLY POST LINKS TO PRODUCTS THAT I’VE USED AND LOVE!

Etsy Goodies: Quote Sticker Printables!

QUOTE STICKERS etsy 1Did I mention that I’m on Etsy these days?

Yes, my sister’s and I are collaborating on TheMadMadamMims Etsy shop… That’s a lot of mmmm’s….

Since I’ve been spending quite a bit of time creating little goodies for the shop, it occurred to me that I ought to mention it on my blog!

I plan on highlighting the latest and greatest Etsy bits on a weekly basis, but we’ll see what happens.  Those of you that have been following me for awhile might know that consistency eludes me from time to time, but weekly updates are the plan!  Feel free to let me know what you think 🙂

My most recent project was to create a set of stickers for planners, journals, or any flat surface good for stickers.  I’ve been using a bullet journal lately (more on that later), and have been wanting a fast way to add a bit of pizzaz and positivity to my pages without breaking out the trusty scrapbooking kit.

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I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too sure how these would turn out, since I’d never tried printable stickers before, but they’re awesome!  I printed them on Avery Full Sheet Labels (which I should’ve bought from Amazon…half the price!).  I was skeptical these at first, due to the matte finish, but turns out…I love the finish!  It goes so well in my bullet journal!

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I did buy some clear Avery sticker sheets as well to test a glossy finish, but haven’t tried them out yet.  I have heard good things about them, so I picked up a pack when I bought my matte sticker paper…we’ll see!

What do you use to decorate your bullet journal or planner???

* THE LINKS ABOVE ARE AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS, WHICH MEANS THAT I COULD RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU PURCHASE ONE OF THE PRODUCTS BY USING THE LINK.  I ONLY POST LINKS TO PRODUCTS THAT I’VE USED AND LOVE!

Everyday Life in an Art Journal

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There’s just something magical about starting a new art journal, at least for awhile!  Art journaling has been part of my life for almost 10 years now, and I’ve definitely had my ups and downs.  Want to know what the greatest obstacle has been to my art journal practice?

My amazing iPhone!

 

When I tried to figure out why I’ve been recently neglecting this hobby that I so consistently kept up for years, I realized that my habit fell off at the exact time I bought my first smart phone.

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So now what?  Well, I’m not getting rid of the iPhone, I’m a modern woman after all!  I’ve just got to train myself to notice when I’m on my phone out of boredom, and draw instead…  Easy peasy?

What hobbies have you found yourself replacing with time on your smart phone?

 

Misfit Update: So Many Flashes!

After ending my last Misfit Flash Review post on a high note, and with a brand new replacement tracker, I’ve come to feel like I’m in a pen-pal relationship with this company.  I can say with plenty of experience that the customer service reps at Misfit are lovely, but all of this correspondence wasn’t something that I was really going for when I bought one of their products.

The replacement tracker I received lasted another month, then stopped responding, just like the first one.  I contacted Misfit again, and went through the troubleshooting process before receiving another replacement.

48 hours later, my replacement-replacement Flash stopped responding (in record time!).  I emailed the company again with the news, and after a few back and forth’s, was informed that they would be sending me another replacement.  But not just any old replacement, a new Misfit Shine!  The much prettier (and more expensive) sibling to my basic flash.

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Fine with me!  Might as well try it out.

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I received it yesterday, and true to the website pics, it is beautiful!  I chose the sea glass version, and it definitely is an aesthetic step up from the Flash.  Beyond its looks, this tracker says it can go swimming with me, and it responds to light tapping to check my progress and the time.

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As far as first impressions go, that’s all I’ve got.  I’d like to buy a nicer wrist strap for it, but experience tells me that I should hold off for a bit.

I will be holding my breath for the next 2 months.