Showing posts with label memories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label memories. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: Year In Review

This year has definitely been one for the books!  I can't believe everything I was able to do and experience this year!  Here are some of the highlights.

The highlight of the year was definitely getting to see the original cast of Hamilton on Broadway!  That is an experience I will never forget because I anticipated it for so long and it exceeded my expectations in every way!  What an amazing year!  I am thinking that 2017 might be a bit quieter but the beauty of a brand new year is that you never know what to expect!  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Purple Rain

As with David Bowie several months ago, I was inexplicably saddened by the news of Prince's death.  I say inexplicably because, clearly, I do not know either of these musicians personally (although Marilyn and I saw David Bowie walking through the streets of London when we were there in 2010) which makes my grief seem somewhat excessive.  However, I believe that music is incredibly evocative.  Just one note can take me back to a particular time and place so when artists who are synonymous with my adolescence die it is like losing a piece of myself.  Whenever I hear a song from the Purple Rain soundtrack I instantly become the 16 year old girl who snuck into the movie with her friends (because it was rated R and they wouldn't let us buy tickets without our parents) during the summer of 1984.  That was a magical summer and seeing Purple Rain with my friends was very memorable and so much fun (we felt like such rebels).  When I heard that select AMC Theaters would be showing Purple Rain as a tribute to Prince this week, I knew that I had to get a ticket.  I saw it last night (I didn't have to sneak in this time) and it was awesome!  The theater was packed without a single seat available (on a Tuesday night!) and the crowd was rowdy, singing and cheering throughout the whole movie.  That it has the thinnest of plots (a tormented singer must deal with his inner demons in order to find love and success) and a terrible lead actress matters not.  Prince is the ultimate showman and this movie is at its best when he is on stage at the real-life Minneapolis club First Avenue.  My attention was riveted on his every move, especially during "Let's Go Crazy," "The Beautiful Ones," and, of course, "Purple Rain."  I was surprised at how tame "Darling Nikki" seemed to me now because it was pretty scandalous back in 1984!  Seeing Purple Rain on the big screen made me mourn Prince all over again because, in reality, I am really mourning the loss of the 16 year old girl who loved this movie so much!

Note:  When I heard that Prince had died, I was with my officers and the majority of them didn't know who he was.  I played snippets from my extensive collection and the only song they vaguely recognized was "Kiss."  What?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Memory Keeping

I have always been someone who enjoys preserving memories.  During my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood I painstakingly placed all of my photos, newspaper clippings, awards, ticket stubs, playbills, invitations, and cards in giant albums every month.  I kept everything!  I also started traveling overseas nearly every year after I graduated from college and each of these trips warranted another giant scrapbook.  Now I have over 30 of these albums!  It sometimes seems excessive but, when one of my closest friends died several years ago, I can't tell you how happy I was to have all of the pictures and tickets stubs from the Broncos games we attended together preserved in albums!  In my 30s I started scrapbooking hardcore, using templates, patterned paper, rubber stamps, and embellishments like ribbon, washi tape, buttons, stickers, etc.
These pages would sometimes take several hours each!  Crazy, huh?  While I do love these scrapbooks and enjoy looking through them, creating them got to be too much.  It started to seem like an obligation rather than a fun hobby and I realized that I was spending way too much time, not to mention money, on them.  I couldn't keep it up and, pretty soon, several years went by without preserving any memories (including three overseas trips).  I had hundreds of pictures on my computer and piles of memorabilia everywhere (some of which I eventually threw away!)  It made me sad so last year I made a New Year's resolution to get my act together and document 2015!  I am happy to say that I fulfilled this resolution (and even documented all of 2014 and the overseas trips I took in 2014, 2012, and 2011) and I will share with you how I did it!

Project Life
I discovered Project Life (go here for more information) about two years ago and I had just ordered a core kit to give it a try when the Project Life App (go here for more information) was introduced!  It changed my life!  The app on my iPhone cost $.99 and included many free layouts and kits.  You choose a layout, drop the pictures from your phone into the layout, and embellish with a card kit.  There is even an option to journal right on the card with many available fonts and colors to choose from!  You can purchase additional layout and kit options (usually for $1.99) and what I love is that, once you buy them, you can use them over and over again.  I have purchased kits for various holidays like Christmas, Halloween, the 4th of July, etc. but my favorite kits are Honey and Everyday Adventure!  When I finish, I save each page and print them through the app.  I like to print 12 X 12 pages (which are $1.99 each) but there are lots of other options.  Since there is a $5.00 flat rate shipping fee I like to wait until I have quite a few pages created before I order prints.  Once I receive the prints, I slip them into page protectors and place them in albums.
I love how these pages turned out and, instead of hours, each one took minutes and cost a fraction of what I used to spend printing the pictures and buying all of the supplies!  I usually create a page the same day I take the pictures, literally wherever I am (sometimes even lying in bed), so I am always caught up!  It is so easy and convenient that I went back and completed pages for most of 2014 while waiting for an oil change!  Even though I do have an expensive camera, I find that the pictures I take on my iPhone 6 are just as good and, since my camera is big and bulky, I use my phone the majority of the time (I took my big camera to Russia two years ago and didn't use it once!).  It is really easy to access the pictures from my phone in the app.  If I do happen to use my big camera, I just transfer the pictures to my phone using Dropbox!
Project Life even allows me to preserve memorabilia!  I ordered these plastic envelopes from the website and placed a year's worth of playbills and ticket stubs (Do you see the one from Star Wars?) inside.  I used cards from the core kit I originally ordered (Everyday Adventure) to label the year and the envelopes will slip easily into the albums. 
I received my final pages for 2015 a few days ago and I am thrilled that I was able to complete a New Year's resolution so easily!  I have already completed some pages for 2016!

Shutterfly Photo Books
I take a lot of pictures when I travel so I decided to use Shutterfly (go here for more information) to create photo books for each of my trips.  They are high quality hard-bound books with thick and glossy pages inside and I really love the way they turned out!
There are hundreds of designs and layouts to choose from and all I did was upload my pictures to the site, drop them into the layout (I chose the same layout for each book to be consistent), and journal a little bit about the pictures.  Once again I transferred any pictures taken on my phone to my computer using Dropbox.  I saved each book on the site and then ordered a copy.  They were delivered to my door in less than a week and cost between $25- $40 (depending on the number of pages).  The first book I made took several days but, once I got the hang of it, I was able to complete the last one in a few hours!
I think they look so professional.  In fact, my Dad thought that the African Safari book was a souvenir that I had purchased in Africa!
Here are some of the pages from the Russia book I completed over winter break!  These books do require a bit more effort than Project Life but they are still a lot easier (and less expensive) than the traditional scrapbooks I used to make for each trip.  I love looking through them as a reminder of the wonderful experiences I had while traveling!  

It makes me so happy to finally be caught up with my memory keeping!  I am not especially adept with technology but I was able to figure out each program simply by playing around with them.  If you would like to preserve your memories but don't have a lot of time or money, I highly recommend Project Life (in the physical form or the app) and Shutterfly!

Note:  I am not affiliated in any way with Project Life or Shutterfly and I was not compensated for this post.  I am just a big fan of each brand and I wanted to share the success I had using them to preserve my memories!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: Year In Review

Jazz Game with Sean - February 2015
Disneyland - April 2015
A New House - September 2015
Zion National Park - October 2015
Make-A-Wish - November 2015


I think 2015 has been very memorable in a lot of ways!  I can't wait to see what 2016 brings!  Happy New Year!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I Heart Road Trips

Recently, I took my car to the dealership for some routine maintenance and the technician recommended that I replace all four of the tires.  Since I replaced all four tires less than two years ago, he thought that they would certainly be under warranty...until he looked at my mileage!  The poor man was incredulous that one person could put so many miles on a private vehicle!  I wasn't surprised in the least.  I absolutely love going on road trips.  There is something so invigorating about taking to the open road for an adventure.
In the span of one year, I've driven to southern Utah three times (for a spring break trip to the national parks, for a leadership conference at Dixie State University, and for my annual trip to the Utah Shakespeare Festival), to Denver twice to see the Colorado Avalanche play the Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames, to Las Vegas to see the Cirque de Soleil show Love, to Montana for an incredible week at Yellowstone National Park, and to South Dakota to satisfy a whim to see Mount Rushmore, not to mention all of the weekend trips here and there.
I suppose my love of road trips stems from my childhood.  My Dad thought nothing of making a few sandwiches, playing the Beatles as loud as he could, and strapping us in for extended adventures.  Just about every summer we would drive to Canada (it takes three days there and three days back) to visit my Dad's family and we would always stop anywhere my Dad thought noteworthy (Devil's Tower in Wyoming, Wall Drug in South Dakota, the Corn Palace in Nebraska, just to name a few).  Oh, the memories and the stories I could tell (ask me about the Canadiana Motel).  I guess my thirst for adventure was inherited!
The school year is almost over (seven days, but who's counting?) and my car will soon have four brand new tires so I am itching to get out on the road.  I have a trip to Denver planned (to see a U2 concert and the Colorado Rockies), I've registered my new SBOs for the leadership conference at DSU, and I just bought tickets for the Utah Shakespeare Festival.  I may have a few more trips in the works and I couldn't be more excited!  Now, can anyone give me a good deal on tires?

Monday, March 30, 2015

California Dreamin'

The trees are not brown and the skies are not grey (in fact Utah has had one of the mildest winters I can remember) but I am still dreaming of California!  Spring break starts for me tomorrow (I am taking a few extra days off) and I will be on my way to California in the wee hours of the morning!  I get to spend three days at Disneyland, a day at the Santa Monica Pier, and I get to see the musical Newsies at the Pantages Theatre in L.A. on Friday night.  I am so excited!  You can follow along on my instagram account (I'm @phaedrasadventures) and I will share the highlights when I return.  In the meantime, here are some of my favorite adventures in California.

Sea World
San Diego Padres game
San Diego Zoo
Wicked
Tour of the U.S.S. Midway
The beach
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