On My Bookshelf

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I'm currently Reading The Happiness Project, (which is amazing) but here are some others that spark my interest for new things:

Inspirability, by Pash

How to be a graphic designer, without losing your soul, by Adrian Shaughnessy

Astronauts on the Moon, by Hallmark

ABC, by Marion Bataille

Grid Systems, by Kimberly Elam

The Brand Gap, by Marty Neumeier

The Story of Earth & Sky, by Washburne: published in 1935 with this cute handwritten note in it :

"Danny - We hope the facts in this book will match your curiosity. Best success in your future studies. Sincerely Louis & Margery"

I just love old books.

Yes that is an old letter guide, how awesome right?

Book Find: Inspirability

I found this book second hand off Amazon for three dollars (plus shipping). Three Dollars. 40 designers speak out about their work and what inspires them. The book is made out of green velour material with a spot like varnish. This is the reason I will not buy e-books.

It's a How Design Book, published in Cincinnati, Ohio, 2005. Here are some of my favorite people I look up to and strive to be as good as:

Book Find: Astronauts on the Moon

Growing up, I always wanted to be an astronaut and to this day I still would love to have that job. How amazing would it be to go into space? Well everyone knew I loved space and I often received gifts relating to that. I don't remember when, where, or how I encountered this book, but I am sure glad I did. After a little research, I found out this book was published in 1969 or 1970, printed in Singapore and published by Hallmark Card, Inc. I am such a sucker for old books and space.

Strawberry Lemonade + Russian Tea Cakes

Its summertime! Which means LEMONADE season. I had some left over strawberries so I decided to make some homemade lemonade! And what do you know, lemonade taste horrible without some cookies to go with it. Russian tea cakes are one of my favorite family cookies that usually only get baked around Christmas but I decided they would pair nicely with the lemonade. Here's the recipes:

Lemonade:

Heat 2 cups of sugar + 2 cups of water until sugar is dissolved completely, let cool. In a blender mix 1 pint of strawberries, 1/4 cup of water and 3 squeezed lemons (I put some of the zest in there as well). Combine syrup and blender mixture in a jug and add a couple cups of water to your liking.

Cookies:

Cream together 1 cup of butter (light) and 1/2 cup of powder sugar, then add in 1 tsp. of vanilla, 1/4 tsp. of salt, 2 1/4 cups of flour (whole wheat) and 3/4 cups of nuts (optional). Roll into balls and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 until light brown. Roll into powder sugar while warm and once again while cooled.

Bon Appétit!

Date Night Jar

I have a friend getting married and instead of only giving them a card I decided to make a gift that would help them come up with creative date nights. I used popsicle stick and wrote out date ideas and colored them according to what season it was associated with. I even included some blank ones so they could create their own. Now they don't have an excuse to try something new!

Ikea Wastebasket

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I went to Ikea for the first time a couple weeks ago and found this little gem. My office is yellow and gray color scheme so I thought I'd spice it up a bit. I just painted the top and bottom rims with a yellow acrylic from the craft store. And there were punched out circles of the metal mesh that I also painted.

Ikea is an amazing store if you've never been. Ours is three hours away so it becomes a day trip! I can't wait to go get more.

There's this website that devotes it self to hacking Ikea products. Pretty amazing.

Book Find: Just Cocktails

It's no secret I love antiques and books. A couple weeks ago I was in one of my favorite shops at Sylvan Beach and I came across this book. It was made out of wood and had a hinge for the binding! How awesome is that? 

It was published in 1939 so I'm unsure if it was a first or second edition. I'm not sure if I'll ever make any of these cocktail but what a great find for my collection.

I love it when I see this. Can you imagine hand binding multiple of these?

I love how the "Gay Nineties" (which they later describe as the 20's) is considered for the old-timers.

Have you ever heard of a Jigger or a Pony?

Thats all, unless you need a guide for the proper drink ware to use.

Italia Memories.

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The summer after my second year in college I had the great pleasure of studying in Italy (or vacationing). It was a trip with my fellow college classmates, most whom I didn't even know. I had all the images from the trip on my computer and never looked at them so I decided to make a couple photo books, one for each city. I had so much fun going through them all and compiling the books and now they are proudly displayed on my coffee table!

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We flew into Milan, which turned out to be a lot like New York City, but with a gorgeous Cathedral. Then we rode a train to Florence (my personal favorite). In Florence we visited the Boboli Gardens, which are so stunning. I could have a picnic there every day. In Florence, we ate so much pasta and gelato, but it was so delicious you'd never get sick of it.

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From Florence we traveled to Rome and saw the all amazing Colosseum. I literally was speechless. It is such an amazing structure and since I love history and all antique things this was the greatest place on the earth to be. We went through the Vatican Museum and saw the fantastic Sistine Chapel (in which I did get yelled at for talking to loud and taking pictures). All in all it was an amazing trip that I would recommend anyone do at least once in their life time.

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Fruit Pizza + Sweet Little Girl

One of my closest friends, Chynna, graduated from college and invited me to her family get-together. I didn't want to show up empty handed so I made a yummie (healthy?) snack. I bought a pack of sugar cookie dough from the store and an assortment of fruit. I cooked the dough in a pizza pan as directions called for and let it cool. I used an 8 oz. container of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla for frosting and topped it off with the fruit.

It looked so delicious I didn't want to cut into it!

And to top it all off Chynna's niece decided to sing a beautiful song for us. This will make anyone's bad day better.

(Incase you were wondering, that is a chicken finger in her hand!) Congratulations Chynna!

Rainy Run

I've been trying to get into shape recently and my friend Chynna introduced me into trail running. Every Thursday night the Albany Running Exchange runs a different trail. The first time I was so scared people would judge me because I couldn't even run a mile but it was really laid back and the people were so friendly. Anyways, we loved the trail so much (it was around the corner from my house!) we decided to make it a more frequent event. So, Saturday morning we got up early and ran. In the cold, rainy weather. Yep. I think it was more fun than it was exercise, but it's better than sitting on the couch!