A teacher once told me, "Live for today, but look to where you want to be ten years from now." One of the prompts for my college entrance applications was, "Imagine you are 80 years old, surrounded by your family and friends and they ask you to talk about what you have accomplished so far in life. What would you like to tell them?"
Both of these questions have helped me put life in perspective, to treasure seemingly mundane moments and celebrate the big ones. However, my vision of what life will be like in ten years is blurry at best, much less sixty years. It is easier for me to ask myself, "where will I be five years from today?" This is the exact question that the book "5" created by Live-Inspired strives to help you answer.
"5" is an interactive "play"book (not workbook!). The pages are creative and colorful, and the prompts that you are asked to respond to are engaging. This book doesn’t focus on the "I should do’s" (like paying off my student loan), but encourages you to plan for the "I can’t wait to do’s!" (like teaching abroad!)
While "playing" through this book was not a life changing experience I enjoyed it. I really liked seeing my priorities, values, talents, successes and aspirations written down explicitly on paper. I also liked the inspirational quotes, life stories, and crazy ideas on every page.
I think this book would be a great present for a recent grad, a person starting on a new career path, or a new retiree. No matter where we are in life we’re planning for what’s ahead; this book is a fun reminder that it’s never too early or too late to realize our goals.
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?" —5
The novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008! Having sold over 50 million copies and being translated into many different languages, this popular novel was followed by 7 sequels, 2 films, several television movies and plays.
The story takes place in the quiet setting of Avonlea, a farm town on Prince Edward Island. Brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt an orphan boy to help care for chores around the farm. Instead, they are surprised at the arrival of Anne Shirley, a red-haired girl with an abundance of imagination! Marilla and Matthew grow to love Anne and this series of novels follows her life as she grows up in Avonlea. Much of the story surrounds Anne’s experiences at school as well as her adventures with her friends Diana, Jane and Ruby. Gilbert Blythe starts off as Anne’s enemy and rival, but they eventually become friends and marry.
Having red hair myself, when I was a child I could relate to Anne’s dislike of her pale skin, freckles and red hair. One of my fondest memories of this book is reading about the incident when Anne accidentally dies her hair green! I had wished I could dye my hair as well, but Anne’s experience dissuaded me since at that time I definitely did not want green hair. Now I’ve learned to embrace the hair color and the rest of what comes with it.
Anne of Green Gables has inspired many travelers to visit this part of Canada and she is the theme of many tourist attractions there. If you are unable to travel to Cavendish, Prince Edward Island to visit the famous farmhouse, forest and other sites that the author drew inspiration from, you can enjoy these sights for yourself through the watercolor illustrations found in the Anne of Green Gables Diary from Writer’s Bloc. This undated diary is sure to bring back fond memories of the misadventures of Anne Shirley.
Now that summer is over, many of you are looking for ways to preserve and display the memories of vacations and fun times with family and friends. A great way to do this is by making a scrapbook style travel journal!
If you are looking for a lively journal full of color, then you might like the BBurn Memories Album, which is what we chose to use for the New York City album shown in these pictures. Mmmm… food is always one of the favorite memories from my travels! The pages of this album are embellished with cute cartoon characters and there are plenty of stickers to add to the fun. For those of you that can’t get enough of stickers, Lamb-Lamb makes speech-balloon stickers to add thoughts to your pictures as well as nostalgic stickers that can elegantly frame a photo.
Personally, I do not like to damage my photos by gluing them into a scrapbook or journal, instead I prefer to use photo corners. The BBurn Memories Album comes with a set of photo corners, but they can be purchased separately if you are using a different album. For adding small cut-outs and delicate objects to your album you can’t beat the Sakura Quickie Glue Pen which is designed just for this task.
For a more traditional and classy looking album, Clairefontaine’s Travel Journal is available in both medium and large sizes. This journal alternates heavy-weight black pages for displaying photos and mementos with lined white pages for taking notes. Or, step outside the box and use Clairefontaine’s Multi-Color Notebook to make a scrapbook style travel journal. This notebook’s colorful pages are sure to make your photos pop!
Of course, a handfull of colorful Gelly Roll Pens for making notes and designs is an asset, especially when using dark colored paper. Do you have any tips on creating photo albums? If so, feel free to share your ideas with us.