Archive for the ‘Random Interests’ Category
Oh so busy lately! I really haven’t had much time at all to scrapbook in the past few months. I did get to go to a mini-retreat in the Hershey area with some friends. I only got 4 pages done, but hey… any completed layout is an accomplishment! It was also a nice day because my usual scrap buddy, Andrea, and I went with our hubbies. While we scrapped, the men took our little ones to Zoo America, which is the Zoo attached to Hershey Park. We joined them for dinner and then hit Chocolate World before heading home.
Our families walking towards yummy chocolatey goodness:
Miss Victoria seemed to enjoy the ride:
and afterward, when they give you your free sample of chocolate, we gave Tori her first taste of wonderful chocolate.
Here we are shopping for some yummy-ness to take home:
Our family has been quite busy with little trips and activities… in other words, our lives have been chock full of moments to scrapbook, but lacking time to do so!
We had a weekend fun trip to Pittsburgh- we went to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. Tori LOVED it and she really liked the aquarium:
We also explored Phipps Conservatory:
I have LOADS more pictures but I’ll spare you. Lastly, here we are at Mt. Washington:
We also recently went to a little amusement park that is near where we live. We took my nephew and my scrap-buddy Andrea, along with her husband and little one, also joined us. We had a very fun day:
Here’s her first carousel ride:
She wasn’t too sure of it at first, but once we got moving, she enjoyed herself!
There’s also a mini waterpark there, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all on the 90 degree day!:
oh yeah, and did I mention, we also moved a couple of months ago?:
This was from one of our first nights in the new place. Tori was trying to see what cabinets she could fit into. She determined that this one fit the bill.
Our house has a lovely yard, full of flowers:
oh… and…. a pool
We absolutely adore our new house, yard and pool. It has been just awesome!! We didn’t move far from where we were… just a little closer to our town and work. Plus our house is much bigger than what we had previously… we’ve found our forever-home and we couldn’t be happier!
While we’ve been ridiculously busy, I have found some time to be crafty, and not much of it was in scrapbook from. I’ve made a few cards and I made this sign for my niece’s recent 16th birthday bash. It was Alice in Wonderland themed:
The Cricut and the Mini-Monograms cartridge came in very handy! I was pretty happy with how it turned out!
Probably one of the bigger projects I took on was getting Tori’s room decorated. I found several adorable ideas on Pinterest (man, that site is addicting) so I did my own spin on my it:
I painted a tree and colorful leaves, had shelves put on the branches (thanks for your help with that part, Dad), and then decorated each shelf with family photos and small keepsakes. I also had purchased letters at Michaels and hung those up in the corner.
There are painted bugs on two of the letters. The butterfly I bought that way and the dragonfly was unfinished, so I painted that one. Overall, I think her room is super cute:
I have some other plans of fun things to do in the house… just need time to do it!
I’m planning to attend the scrapbook retreat in November, which should give me some solid time to scrap! Also, our plan for our house is to turn a large room upstairs into our craftroom/playroom. It’s coming along, but we still have to do a little more work. Then, the plan is that Tori can be playing in the room while I’m crafting (and while Daddy is on the computer in the same room). Hopefully it all turns out!
We’re also planning a big vacation to Orlando, Florida to visit my brother, sister in law and nephew. We’re also planning to splurge and spend a day at Disney while we are there. I already just placed an order with Scrap Your Trip (scrapyourtrip.com) which included some Disney themed paper. I’m SOOOO excited! Our first big vacation as a family! And it will be a fantastic adventure to scrapbook!
To celebrate our anniversary, the hubs and I decided we need to go on a little getaway. Deciding where to get away to, though, was not an easy task. I thought about going to the Poconos. I had been there with my ex and would like to go back and create new memories with Dave, but I’m not 100% sure that it will be Dave’s cup of tea.
After MUCH deliberation, we decided on Philly. It’s only a 3 hour drive from home and there’s no shortage of things to do.
It would be our first weekend away from Victoria. I had been away from her for a weekend a couple of weeks prior while I went to the scrapbook retreat. I was nervous, but I knew Daddy was with her all weekend. This time we were both going to be away from her. She spent the weekend with my parents. Obviously, Grandma and Pappy successfully raised 3 children, so I wasn’t too worried, but still… it was our first overnight excursion without the bean, how could I not be a little on edge?!
We took Friday off so we could get packed up, drop the little one off with the grandparents and head out on our way. As usual with us, we left later than I would’ve liked (you know the saying “He’ll be late to his own funeral”?- that is the definition of us…).
Of course, we got stuck in some traffic trying to head into the city. I had hoped that we would spend a weekend at a bed and breakfast, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find one that had rooms available. We found a decent hotel at a good price, so that’s what we ended up doing. Our hotel was just outside of the city, by the airport, which at first, made me hopeful that we would not encounter traffic. I should’ve known better. We checked in around 7, found a place to eat after driving around aimlessly for almost an hour, and then went back to the room to decide what we would do the next day. We decided that we would do a bus tour of the city. It was a pass that allowed us to hop on and off at various locations throughout the city.
We grabbed a quick breakfast and headed downtown. We parked near the Reading Terminal Market and bought our tickets for the bus. We waited a few minutes for the bus to show up, and when it did, we immediately went to the top of the double decker bus. Luckily, even though it was mid-November, it was a beautiful day!
It was definitely a bit on the chilly side when the bus was in motion, but it was manageable.
Many different murals- which we learned that Philly is the city of murals because (according to our tour guide) whenever someone is caught spraying graffiti somewhere, they have a choice of either doing prison time or helping to paint a mural to beautify the city.
One of the first US hospitals- did you know that surgeries were performed in the atrium during the day because (due to lack of electricity) surgeons needed to use sunlight to see? Neat… and a little scary!
After touring around awhile, we got off at South Street. We were hoping to go to a place that a friend recommended to get a cheesesteak… however, the line was out the door and around the corner. We walked down to South Street a bit.
We decided to walk back up towards Independence Hall. It was under a bit of construction though:
We were incredibly hungry at this point so we hiked over to the Reading Terminal Market. Honestly, I wish we had spent more time here. There was so much to see in this market area!
Dave and I are fans of Man vs. Food, and there was a place that was visited on the show that has a stand in the RTM.
DiNic’s had a yummy pork sandwich that was featured on Man vs. Food, and we waited in a LONG line to obtain one of these.
It was roast pork with provolone and broccoli- it was very good, but could’ve used just a hint of salt (I think because the broccoli was bit on the bitter side). We got a treat for dessert and explored the Reading Terminal Market a little more.
Holding up his favorite kind of lollipop
Finally, we made our way to dinner, though we honestly weren’t super hungry because we had just eaten lunch 3hrs before hand. But we had reservations at the Melting Pot, so we went and still managed to eat more than we should’ve!
Cheese Fondue- SOOOOO good!!
We headed back to the car and then to our hotel. I was utterly exhausted!! We wish we would’ve tried to tour more things, instead of just doing an over view… but Philly isn’t too far away so I imagine we will go back again some day soon!
Sorry this wasn’t a terribly exciting post, but we had a fun weekend together, just the two of us, which probably won’t be a regular occurrence. I sure did miss the little one though and was SO happy to see her (and I think the feeling was mutual).
I do plan to make a scrapbook for this trip. It will probably just be a small 8″x8″ one, but I have some creative ideas for it. I haven’t really been able to do any scrapping since the retreat. I’m hoping that I can change that soon. I will have 11 days off from work during the holiday break (YAY!!) so I am crossing my fingers that I can make at least ONE day a scrapbook extravaganza!
I haven’t blogged in awhile, but that’s really because I’ve been so ridiculously busy. Art camps started at my art center and that means I work overtime and am left exhausted by the end of the day. Plus, Dave and I have been jamming things into nearly every evening of the week.
I did have time, a week ago, to host a Scrap-a-palooza at my house, which was lots of fun! There were 5 of us in my dining room. It was cozy, but it worked and everyone had a good time! I started my next album, which is going to be an outdoor adventure album. Since we have so many photos from different camping trips, whitewater rafting trips, and even a river float trip, I decided to combine them into one album.
Summer Band has come to an end for me… and I have to say that it really sort of saddens me! I didn’t realize just how much I missed playing and having the camaraderie of fellow musicians. I also really enjoyed the challenge of new music and feeling like I had to “conquer” it. And while, yes, the first rehearsal was laughable for me, with me hitting 10-15% of the notes, I ended with being able to play probably a good 85% of the music. There were definitely some spots where I still struggled, but over all, I was pleased with how far I had come in 6 weeks.
The best part about Summer Band was that I was able to talk a friend of mine, Karen, into joining with me. She played French Horn, but didn’t own one, so she hadn’t played in quite some time. I emailed our director, Avi, and asked if Karen could borrow a horn. He said he was able to get one for her, so Karen joined the band! We had a great time and she said that she too, struggled with some of the music but was still enjoying herself.
We performed 3 concerts. My mom and my brother and his family, along with Dave and our friend Josh, came to our first concert, which was on PSU campus, in front of the library. We sounded pretty good, I thought and it was interesting to have my first concert in YEARS! Here are a few photos that were taken by PSU photographers for the Live website:
Our director, Avi, who is so nice and incredibly patient!:
A nice shot of me playing in the flute section (pink shirt):
Karen in the French Horn section:
The 2nd concert was at a retirement village called Foxdale. That was an indoor concert, and the audience loved us! My boss, Steph came to it and my friend Aimee came as well, and I got to chat with her a bit afterwards. She also used to play in the band, so I’m hoping to convince her to join with me next year!
Our 3rd and final concert was in down town State College, at the Central Parklet. We had a decent sized crowd, and we sounded our best, I thought. Dave came to that one as well, along with our friends, Josh, Helen, Blake and Kerrie. It was really nice to have so much support from my friends!
I’m in the sunlight:
And with that, band came to a close:
It was such a fantastic experience, and I got to meet some really great people and make a few new friends, including Avi, who we’ve hung out with several times already, even though band has ended. I hope that I continue to play and practice. I’m contemplating joining a community band… we’ll see about that. I may not play again until next summer… which will be Avi’s last year, so I’m extremely hopeful that someone else will continue the program. I really appreciated the no-pressure atmosphere to get myself back into playing.
A picture Karen took of me after our last concert:
it’s probably better if you don’t ask…
In other news, Dave and I have decided to finish our basement. We began cleaning out the garage, so that we could move boxes out of the basement and into the garage. My dad and brother are going to come over and work on it over the next two weeks. I can’t wait to see it all done and have more space! We’re probably going to move our current cr-office into the space, and make it a crafting/gaming/computer room, with a futon or something else too, in case we have more guests than our guest room can handle.
In the process of cleaning out the garage, I kept uncovering so many things from my musical past. Sheet music, medals from indoor percussion and regional band, along with photos and band programs (I’ve apparently played Irish Tune from County Derry a minimum of 4 times). With Summer Band just ending and finding all of this band paraphernalia, I just felt this sadness that I let go of such a huge piece of my life for so long. I’m so glad I had this opportunity to play again, but it really sunk in while cleaning out boxes how much music played a crucial role in so many aspects of my life~ I made life long friends, learned to be a pretty good player and had fun! I hope that I keep playing… even if it is only during the summer.
So, I’ve definitely been busy, with art camps, scrapbooking, band, team trivia (another thing my friends and I do during the summer months) and working on our basement… little time for blogging! I’m sure I’ll have more time once art camps come to a close.
Until then, I hope to keep doing the things I love, just without getting the chance to write about it all!
Many moons ago, when I was in high school (ok, so it’s only been 12 years since I graduated), I was just about as big of a band geek as one could possibly be~ which is why I titled this with something I used to write in my friends’ yearbooks. I played the flute in marching and concert band all 4 years of high school, and I participated in nearly every activity that I could~ flute choir, wind ensemble, county band (two high schools combined once a year for a concert), and was also lucky, and at the time, talented enough to go to District Band and Regional Band. Basically, we had to audition for our band director who then met with other band directors from high schools in our district (about 15-20 of them) and bargained for spots, such as “I have a great flute player that should come, so I’m willing to not bring a saxophone player…” etc. Once you get to Districts, you have to audition for chair placements. The top third go on to Regional Band, which is a combination of two districts… top chairs there goes on to State band, which is basically as high as you can go. My first year at Districts, I didn’t place very well. I was chair 9 out of 12. My last and coincidentally senior year, I placed 4th, which meant I got to go to Regional Band! I remember being so excited when they called my name! It was a huge honor, and I was thrilled to be able to go for my last year of high school.
I also had many friends in band… and some became super close and some I still keep in touch with to this day. I loved band and my friends so much, I even joined indoor percussion during my junior and senior year~ on cymbals!! It was fun and we were actually pretty damn good! We got 1st place at every competition for those two years and were the KIDA (Keystone Indoor Drill Association) Champions both years! Aaahh, those were the days! When I went to PSU, I struggled with music for a bit… I wasn’t a music major, but I still really wanted to play. I joined the Baby Blue Band at PSU Altoona (where I went for my first two years of college). It was fun and we played at the PSU Altoona basketball games… when I came to the main campus at University Park, I auditioned for the Blue Band, but I was one of 12 people going for 2 spots… and I was a little rusty from not really playing as hard core as I used to. Instead, though, I found a concert band to join for the fall semesters, which was comprised of non-music majors, or music majors on a 2nd instrument. In the spring, I joined the Pride of the Lions Pep Band, which had tons of Blue Banders in it but also people like me, who just wanted to play. We had two bands, and we’d take turns playing at the PSU men’s and women’s basketball games. Nothing too strenuous but it kept me playing!
Then I graduated in 2002… and my flute remained in its case. Why am I telling you? Because this past week, I decided to bust it out again! I found out through the faculty/staff Newswire that there is a summer band at Penn State (yes, I’ve glossed over it before, but I work at PSU ).
It meets twice a week for about 5 or 6 weeks, and then we have a few concerts.
My first practice was a bit surreal. I lived and breathed band for years, and had spent countless hours of high school in the band room. I hadn’t been in a band room since concert band of my senior year of college… suddenly, 8 years later, I found myself in one again and feeling slightly like a fish out of water! I found the music with my name on it and had a seat. The guy next to me introduced himself, and said that, like me, he was staff here at PSU and hadn’t played in years. Then he joked “You’ll have to carry me!”. I laughed and said “yeah right, I’ll be glad if I can hit any notes tonight!”. The conductor is a grad student, and I found out this is actually the second year he’s organized this. He had us all tune up, which for a moment paralyzed me… I hadn’t had to play a tuning note in ages and wasn’t sure if I would remember how to hear whether or not I was off pitch. Luckily I did and adjusted my flute as necessary.
We jumped right into practice, starting with Irish Tune from County Derry which I had played numerous times before. It slowly started to come back to me, though there were a few very high notes that I dropped an octave, but still played along. After making our way through that one, we moved on to a symphony from Lord of the Rings, and a march. I struggled with them since I never was an amazing sight reader, and plus, throw in the fact that I am incredibly rusty from the years of neglecting my flute! I hit maybe 10-15% of the notes from both of those songs, which was a little disheartening at first since I actually used to be a fairly talented player. But I followed along and tried my best. I sort of chuckled to myself throughout the entire 90 minute rehearsal at my absurd playing skill (or lack thereof), but I still had a good time.
I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and seeing if I can gain back any of the skills I once had. For now, though, I’m thrilled to have this no-pressure opportunity to play again after so many years!