An Online Love Story

My husband and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary this weekend on July 1. And I think it's about time that I come clean. The truth is,
This post goes out to all you single girls who might be embarrassed about admitting that you are have thought about looking for love online. I know the feeling.

Little girls don't dream about meeting their prince charming online. We dream of running into him at a bookstore or some other 'meet-cute' like in the movies. The truth is, even in this day & age where we are addicted to our cell phones, Twitter, and Facebook it still feels taboo to admit that you are/were an online dater.

Back when I met Chris, Match allowed you to "connect" with the other person so long as one of you had a paid account. He did, I didn't. Nowadays, I understand that you both have to have paid accounts to connect. #whatsupwiththat

After talking online for a few weeks (I wish I had those transcripts!) He invited himself along to a Christmas party I was going to in downtown LA. I let him pick me up at my house & broke rule #1 of online dating: Always meet somewhere neutral. Maybe that's why,
Or maybe it's because we were both out of our element. The party turned out to be a hipster-artsy-photographing-rooftop-affair. Talk about awkward. He did take me to play a game of pool after the party, which somewhat balanced the terrible first half. 

I didn't think I'd ever hear from him again, until he called, the very next day, asking to take me out on a real date. And then the next day, and the next. It was that sweet 'getting to know you' period of talks that last till 5am and that first {foot-popping} kiss. 

I loved his confidence, that he knew what he wanted out of life, and that he lived a life of faith. Surprisingly, after our first date, we rarely talked online. It very quickly turned into a real-life relationship.
All because of a little website called match.com. The moral of this story is: You can find real love online. In fact, I recommend it.


Evolution of a Blog Design

You guys know that designing blogs is one of my favorite things to do, right? And one of the benefits of learning more graphic and web design is being able to pimp my blog occasionally. My new design stemmed from a desire to move to 3 columns and also wanting to modern-ify my space a bit.

Recently, Kristen and Emily shared the evolution of their blog designs and I thought it would be fun to follow suit today. My 3-D {real life} friends will remember this design, circa 2010. My first ever blog design:

The scrapbook-y ness of it is just terrible! All that brown & dank. I think the thought process was that we were moving to Dominica (in a hot air balloon) with our old fashioned steamer trunk and adventure gear. The map background, the light guiding our path, it makes me gag little now. And how about that awesome Pirate font?

Fast forward to Summer 2011. Round two:

So much better, but still not wonderful. At this point, I was learning more about Photoshop, design, and coding. These overly saturated colors hurt my eyes now, but the clean white background made a world of difference.

At this point, I started taking blog design seriously & spent the fall learning about the proper way to do things. When I installed my last design in January, it finally felt like I had a 'real' blog. And I started really blogging.

I'm still fond of this design, it was just time for a change! The fonts and color scheme remind me of my grandparents generation, which I love, but the whole design was a bit heavy.

With this new design, I decided to challenge myself to really code as much of it as possible without relying on image slicing. The way the sidebar & menu overlap with opacity and scroll over and under the triangles makes me slightly giddy inside. As do the pretty image sprites for social networking icons & the fact that my logo changes upon hover. Even the sidebar titles are pure CSS!

The one thing I'm not really sure I'll be able to stick with long-term is the triangle pattern on the sidebar. I love it today, but I know that triangles are a passing trend. Thankfully that pattern will be easy to switch by changing one line of code.

What do you guys think? Let me know if you find any errors!


#thirdworld birthday tattoos

Can you guess which one is mine? I know, I know, it's obvious. I'm the whitest girl on the island - even after 2 years of sunbathing. Don't worry Ma, it's not real.

It was Clare's 30th birthday on Friday and as part of her epic birthday adventure, we got henna tattoos done at a local "parlor." I say it in quotes, because well, you'll see:

Do you see where how the word piercing doesn't match the rest of the sign? That is because it said "perforation" until a few months ago. "Yes, I'd like a perforation please." The owner's speak very limited English, so I imagine it was a Google Translate gone wrong.

Some other interesting things to note about this sign are the address (no street names here) and also the 2 telephone numbers (which are probably he & his wife's cell phone numbers.) Typical Dominica. Which may also explain why Jack Sparrow is in the sign.

In case you couldn't figure it out, my tattoo says "everything's gonna be alright" in one of my favorite fonts: Carolyna Cute. And the brown smudgies washed away easily once I made it home.

I have plenty more birthday adventures to share if Clare doesn't get around to it first. I've been a busy bee lately: applying for jobs, baking birthday cakes, going on birthday adventures, and finishing up a new blog design for Priceless Adventure. I have several posts planned for this week & hope to have the new design up tomorrow!
How has everyone been? I missed a lot of posts this week.
Did anyone post something fun that I missed? Leave a link!


Going Back to Cali Sale

Let's talk about a little oddity here on the island. The 4th semester sale - or 5th semester in our case. (Confused? Check out the semester flowchart.) We are moving back to America in t-minus 7 weeks & have a lot of stuff that we just can't take back with us within our 70 pounds (each) luggage
allowance. 70 pounds go much more quickly than you think!

I've been photographing all the things we aren't taking back so that I can try to sell them on Facebook. Weird, right? But American products, even used, are a big deal here because it's hard to ship them over. We've accumulated a lot of stuff in our two years here that I need to sell.

So what exactly is it that I'm selling? A whole lot of random crap. When we moved here we did not ship barrels of things like a lot of people do. I will be giving away my used clothing & shoes, but will try to sell things like pots & pans, kitchen utensils, shelves, school supplies, extra beauty products, and anything else that we bought here. 

After figuring out how easy it is to make a Facebook page, I decided to create one just for my sale. That way I can interact with "buyers" that I may not know (students or locals) without actually having to be their FB friend on my personal account. And don't worry, the irony of selling items on Facebook in a developing county is not lost on me. 


Artist Sheanna Marie + Giveaway!

It's been a while since I shared a blog makeover with you guys! Last month, I worked collaboratively with Sheanna Marie to digitally incorporate pieces of her artwork into her blog design. It was a blast to use lots of texture and color in this design.

Today, Sheanna and I are swapping posts. I'm over at her blog talking about What's in my Designer's Toolbox and she is here to tell you a little about her artwork.

Hello To All! First, I would like to thank Katie for sponsoring and doing a blog swap with me. Now, to let y’all know a little about myself and my artwork. I am what you consider a self-taught artist. I have no formal or college training in art. I actually went to college for business tech/management and entrepreneurship.

On that note, when painting, I mostly use acrylic mediums. I try to keep the strokes loose so that they can still be seen in the end product and allow the colors to mix themselves during the painting process. As well, I often use mediums that enhance the texture of my paintings. I know that when I connect with a piece of artwork I immediately want to reach out and touch it and grasp a deeper connection with it, I want my viewers to do the same. I find that I primarily use brighter more saturated colors and primary tinted tones. Usually, I have an emotion that I feel is represented by a particular color.

I would say 90% of what I paint is what I call ‘prophetic art.’ Prophetic art is art that is created from a direct connection with God. I often find while praying and or worshiping in song and dance that God gives me visions/pictures that I can see in my “mind’s eye” that have a specific meaning and truth to them. The other 10% of my paintings, basic landscapes and such, I paint just to see if I can as well these are the kinds of paintings I teach to my private students who are often beginners. - Sheanna Marie

I am so excited to announce that Sheanna has generously offered to giveaway an 8x10 matted, signed print of the beautiful peacock feather painting that inspired her blog makeover!! {seen above} This beautiful print will be given away to one lucky visitor, through the rafflecopter below! The winner will be announced Friday the 15th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Journey Forward ∴ 11

So today, I'm supposed to be talking about an accomplishment I've made that brings me closer to my word this year, "Relax." Does going on a vacation to St. Mararten count?

Other than that, the only thing I can think of is I've been reading a lot more recently. In the last month I've read 5 books! I decided to increase my Goodreads yearlong goal from 12 to 20 books because I'd already finished 11 of the 12. I'm a little behind in my book reviews, but they will be coming soon for both the Fifty Shades series and the Maze Runner series.

Seriously though? I feel a little lame for "book-reading" being my biggest accomplishment in the last month. I wish I could say I did yoga or meditated everyday, or took long sunset walks where I reflected on my time in Dominica.

Even more seriously? I wish I could say that I found a job and was able to stop worrying about where we're going to be in two months. And by that, I mostly mean what I'm going to be doing because Chris will be busy studying for the biggest test of his medical school career, while I try to get reacquainted with real life back in America. More than ever, I need to relax.

1  ∴  2  ∴  3 ∴  4 ∴  5 ∴ 6 ∴ 7 ∴ 8 ∴ 9 ∴ 10

Suggestions on what I should read next? I haven't decided yet!