Tagged: christmas

Jan 28

A Walk in the Park

I read an article today, and it really stuck with me. So much that I wanted to share it AND write about it. The article is here: http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/the-value-of-remembering-ordinary-moments/384510/

As I’m sure everyone who reads this blog knows, I’m an avid journal keeper. I’m a visual journaler, so I add drawings and doodles to my writing, but I write every day. This article discusses how interesting it can be to remember the moments that seem mundane, and I can’t agree enough. I think sometimes we spend so much time trying to get from place to place and accomplish goals and attend events and finish tasks and so on and so on, that we forgot the simple things that bring us joy in the moment. As you work hard and endure stress to become the person you want to be, it can be so rewarding to remember how you got there when you do. In 30 years you’ll remember the pride you felt at finally finishing grad school, but will you remember that beautiful spring day that you took a walk in the park with a friend?

I was really struck by the author saying that he kept a small token to remember each day – a movie ticket or a scrap of wrapping paper from a gift. This made me chuckle a bit because I am such a hoarder of small objects like this. I’ve been journaling for several years, but I’ve been keeping small “scraps” for much longer. I have tickets from almost every single movie, concert and show my husband and I have ever seen together since the day we met, and that’s been almost 19 years now. And yes, I kept bits of wrapping paper from Christmas this year and stuck them into my journal. I keep an envelope in the back of every book and I stuff all of the little bits of things in there. The other day we finally took the caution tape off of our dining room light – it’s pretty low and the constant stream of workers who’ve been here drying and repairing our house needed to avoid hitting their heads. My husband pulled it down and came and asked me if I wanted it – he knows me all to well.

Anyway, I feel really strongly about journaling and memory keeping in general. If you’re interested and think it’s something that you want to do, I’d love to help. I’m not an expert but I can certainly help you get started and figure out what works for you. I think lots of people find it intimidating, but if I can do it, anyone can. I think there’s also an expectation that it’s very time consuming. I spend about 20 minutes per day working on my pages – sometimes more sometimes less, but 20 minutes is probably average. That includes the artwork. I show my artwork much more than I do my actual journal writing, but it’s not because it’s super private. It’s actually because I’m embarrassed by how boring it is. I don’t write anything revolutionary, trust me. But one of my favorite things to do is to go back and read through my old books. It’s so much fun to remember these seemingly insignificant moments and also to see how far I’ve come. Journal keeping has literally changed my life.

Here’s part of my wrapping paper collage from this past Christmas. 🙂

Wrapping Paper 2014


Dec 29

Merry Chrichmas, Darling

I had a fantastic holiday, and I hope that you did, too. I gave an received some incredible gifts, but more importantly, I spent time with my family and had a blast. I want to tell you about one gift I received that happened to be my favorite. My little nephew, Manny, was so excited to present me with this beautiful glittery red box with a bow. The tag said “To Chrich”. Seriously, so adorbs.

To Chrich

I opened the box and inside were photocopied pages from a How to Draw Animals book. There were step by step instructions for a kitty cat, a polar bear, and many others. I thanked him profusely, and he told me he just knew I would like them. What a sweet little boy. He made me get all teary!

The real point of this post though is just to share some art that I’ve been working on. Here are a couple of things from my daily journal. First, my 11 year old nephew got an XBOX for Christmas – he was pretty excited to say the least. 🙂 This is ink & water soluble crayon.

Noah's Gift

I got a new purple furry jacket, as well as a Hello Kitty hat, so I drew myself wearing both. Watercolor.


I also got this new paint that I’ve been wanting. It’s a brand called Pebeo out of France, and it’s cool because once you paint with it, a chemical reaction makes these really incredible patterns and swirls. The set I got is the Prisme Fantasy, and it makes a sort of honeycomb pattern. It’s quite beautiful and very fun to use.

New Paint!

I’ve also been having a blast playing around in my 2nd Yearbook Journal for the last couple of months. This is where I typically go to splash paint around, try new techniques, and just to create for the sake of creating. Sometimes the pages turn out beautiful, sometimes not so much! Either way, it’s a place for me to play as well as stretch myself and test out new media. So here are a couple of recent pages that I’ve done there.

Happy Holiday


So that’s about it for now. We’re getting close to 2015, and one of my favorite things to do at the close of a year is drink a good beer and read through all of my journals for the year. It’s the best way I know of to reflect on a year and to make plans and dreams for a new one. I sincerely hope that 2014 has been everything that you wanted it to be. If it wasn’t, take those shortcomings into 2015 with a positive attitude and a renewed intensity. I hope that all of your dreams come true and that you laugh every single day. XOXO


Jan 03

Underground Lair

I did a quick video tour of my art studio AKA the underground lair. I hope you enjoy it!


Dec 30

Christmas 2013

Our Christmas was great – I certainly hope that your holiday was as well. We spent Christmas Eve at home alone. We opened our gifts and then watched Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, which is our favorite holiday movie. Mike got me perfect gifts as usual – some new storage for my underground lair, as well as a SWEET label maker, and a copy of Wreck This Journal. For his gift, I took some of his old tees that were too big for him and made them into throw pillows for his new couch in the Man Cave. I think he really dug them. 🙂

Old Tees turned into throw pillows


Christmas morning we went over to my sister’s bright and early. We all had breakfast together and then opened presents. It was really cool and we all had a great time. My sister got us a popcorn maker!  Like a real kettle popper. We haven’t tried it yet because we’ve been busy, but we’re planning to today. We spent the afternoon with Mike’s family in Grand Rapids. There are LOTS more people and kids there so it is much more chaotic, but it’s equally as fun. We had a ball and it was great to spend time with everyone.

 Christmas Day 2013


It was a long day, but so worth it! We had an amazing time. I hope that you did, too. 🙂


Dec 02

Cuddly as a Cactus

This past Friday, Mike & I went to Grand Rapids to see Straight No Chaser at Devos Hall. It was SO much fun! They put on a great show, and we even got some holiday tunes. My 2 favorites were The Grinch and Jolene. Anyway, these guys are adorable and the singing seriously blew me away. Incredible. I’d see them again in a hot second. I should have a video in the next few days – as soon as it’s ready I’ll post it here.

 Straight No Chaser

Saturday we hit the fairgrounds for the antique toy expo. It was bigger than I expected! I found a Star Trek coloring book from 1975 that is amazing. For some reason Kirk dresses as a clown and Spock as a pirate. It’s weird but totally awesome. I also found a couple of full color Star Trek calendars, one from ’75 and one from ’76, in a DOLLAR BIN. So that was pretty exciting too.

Yesterday (Sunday) we put up our Christmas tree. We have 2 trees, one that’s really nice and thick and a pain in the butt to put together and decorate. Then we have another one that we call our chintzy tree. We put up the chintzy tree when we aren’t hosting any holiday events at our house because we can have the whole thing up & decorated in under an hour. This year, we did Thanksgiving here, so we are free and clear to go for the chintz! We have a really good time searching for really awful ornaments for it, and we use a set of bright orange lights leftover from Halloween. It’s become a really fun tradition for us.

Our Chintzy Tree


Nov 11

Santa Claus, The Devil & Elvis

I had a busy weekend, but it was jam-packed with awesomeness! Friday afternoon I had a root canal, so it was a pretty low-key evening. Mike made soup for dinner and we watched Knight Rider.

Saturday morning we got up and headed downtown for the holiday parade. Mike & I are not typically parade goers, but our friend Jason LOVES Christmas and was totally stoked to see Santa, so we agreed to meet him at the Green Top for hot toddies. We had to park a zillion miles away, and we were worried that when we finally got to the Green Top, it would be jammed and we’d end up standing around all morning and not even being able to see the parade because of all the people. Boy, were we wrong! The Green Top only had about 6 people there, so we were able to get a great table right in front of the windows, and we had an amazing view of the parade. Plus it was toasty warm, and the coffee with Bailey’s was delightful. It was so worth the long walk and the hassles of the traffic. We had a blast watching the parade and catching up with up with our old pal, Jason.

On Sunday, we were up and at ’em again – this time we went to WIDR studios on WMU’s campus to meet a friend, The Devil Tom Black. The Devil gave us a tour of the studio, and we got to watch him in action just a bit!

 WIDR's The Devil Tom Black

After our radio experience, we were famished, so we hit Nina’s Café on West Main for the first time ever. I got the Elvis Waffle – a Belgian waffle covered in peanut butter, bananas, chocolate syrup, and maple syrup. It was pretty freaking incredible. I’ve never eaten at Nina’s before this, and I feel like I want to move in. 🙂

 Elvis Waffle

On Sunday evening I went to Bell’s Brewery for Trivia with my homies. For the first time ever, we actually placed in the top 3 and won a prize! It was really awesome and the perfect capper to an amazing weekend. I hope your weekend was as much fun as mine was!! XOXO


Jan 04

Oy With the Poodles Already!

The last couple of weeks have been sort of eventful, so here’s a catch up of the haps. After Friday 12/21, I was off work until after the first of the year, as was Mike. We started our vacation off with a bang – The Peaches were in town, so we got to spend some time with them, which is always a pleasure. Peach Pit is still a complete jerk (yet somehow lovable) and Peach Fuzz is still adorable & sweet. I sure wish those kids still lived around here so I could see them more often. Anyway, the old gang hit the town and we had a ball. Also, I wore a dress! That’s pretty big news! I only took one picture the entire night, but it’s a DOOZY. Peach Pit is so pasty white that I think the flash scared him.

 Peach Pit

We spent Christmas Eve at our house with my family, and it was nice. We ate, opened presents, ate dessert, and then chit chatted for quite a while. It was a very nice afternoon. Christmas Day was spent in Grand Rapids with Mike’s family, and that was really nice, too. It was a madhouse with a zillion people, but a really great madhouse. The kids got walkie talkies so that was fun!

The day after Christmas I woke up and my throat was sore – I felt like I swallowed broken glass. I shook it off fairly quickly though, and Mike & I ran a few errands. My throat never felt great, but I managed. Well, things went rapidly downhill from there! I got worse and worse and ended up spending the rest of the week and the weekend either in bed or on the couch. I was MISERABLE! It was completely horrible to spend my vacation sick. I was able to catch up on all my DVR’d shows, though, which is the only plus. I am still a couple of Vampire Diaries behind, and I haven’t watched any of this season’s Gossip Girl yet, but what the hay, it was cancelled anyway so I’ve got all the time in the world now, right? I also got sucked into a Gilmore Girls re-watch, and man oh man, do I love the hell out of that show. I think the entire series is up there with Veronica Mars season 1 for best show ever ever ever of all time. I managed to get some work done on my sock yarn binky as well. It’s coming along nicely.  

So, I rang in the new year with Mike at home – we watched the ball drop, and I drank about 3 sips of a beer before deciding I couldn’t finish it and dumping it. So yeah, I was THAT SICK. Mike did drag me out of the house on New Year’s Day – it was our last vacation day so we went out for lunch and made a quick trip to Target for some supplies, but we headed home right afterward because I was still feeling pretty pooptastic. I DID score this amazing furry hat/scarf combo that has ears AND a hot pink lining. I am definitely wearing it to the Winter Beer Festival next month. I know this is an awful pic, but I was wicked sick and the lighting was bad, and you will just have to deal:

 new hat

I am not even 2 months past my foot surgery to correct the bunion, but Mike & I have decided we want to be runners, so we are going to start the Couch to 5K program next week. I am not 100% sold on the idea that I will ever be a “runner” but I think it’ll be fun to try. I honestly have no idea how my foot will do, but hey, I’m going to give this a whirl and see where it takes me. Everone I know who runs has said that they never thought they would be a runner or enjoy running and then they ended up being in love with it. Maybe that’s me! I have a sneaking suspicion that it IS NOT, but we shall see. And again, there is the whole question of my foot – I am not sure that it’s even up for it. I’ll know more next week when I try the program for the first time. I’ll give you a full report.

I think that’s it for now. I hope your 2013 is freaking epic.


Jan 04

Woman Up

Jan 3 4 2012, originally uploaded by trishsworld.

Behold my new planner notebook in use! The full page per day format is a little weird. There’s so much space, which is different, but as you can see I’m making do. I’m pretty proud of my robot, and yes, I am currently rewatching Dawson’s Creek.

Christmas at our house was insane! We had about 20 people here. The house feels spacious when it’s just the 2 of us, but add 18 more bodies and it feels like a hotel room. Everything basically went off without a hitch, and about 3 minutes after everyone walked out the door Mike collapsed into a deep 2 hour nap. We were pretty spent. I am incapable of napping, so I was pretty jealous.

Overall, our Christmas holiday was pretty great. We spent time with my family on Christmas Eve, and it was very nice. We had a yummy dinner at my mom’s, ate some dessert, and opened gifts. My mom got us this super cool electric heater that looks like it has a fire burning. It’s really warm, and we are liking it. My sister got me a Mr. Beer kit, so of course, the day after Christmas I was brewing up some beer!! It is fermenting now, but I’ll be bottling this weekend. I’m stoked to name my brew and design some labels for my bottles!! I am accepting name suggestions so if you have one, hit me up. It’s a pale ale if that matters.

Mike and I both had the week after Christmas off, and it seems like we were kind of busy even though we didn’t really have anything going on. The week went so fast and I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to spend more time together. Oh well. We are heading to Texas in a few weeks, I’m sure we’ll get some QT then.

As for New Years Eve, it was low-key. We had a few friends over and we played some games, drank some beer & champagne, and just had a fun time. I’m sort of shocked that it’s 2012 already. I always thought my mom was crazy when she told me that time goes by faster as you get older. Turns out, she was right, and I’m old. 🙂

In other news, my friend Stephanie & I are all signed up for an art class at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. It’s a painting class focusing on oil and acrylic. I am TERRIFIED. What was I thinking signing up for a class? I’m not an artist! I’m a doodler at best. What will I paint for crap’s sake? I’m seriously having panic attacks just thinking about it. I keep telling myself that once I go to the first class it will be fine and I’ll see that there’s nothing to be so scared of. I need to just Woman Up and stop being a little B. But I’m still sort of freaking out. Class starts this coming Monday, so holy hell, think happy brave thoughts for me until then.

That’s it for now. I am waiting for pics from Christmas so I can post them. The mustaches were indeed a hit, and I can’t wait to get my paws on the family photo with all of us wearing one! But anyway, I hope your holiday was swell, and that 2012 wildly exceeds your expectations. Rock on.


Dec 23


Group Pic, originally uploaded by trishsworld.

I was at Dollar Tree this week shopping for holiday gift bags, and I came across these packs of self adhesive fake mustaches. There were 6 in a pack for a buck. So I did what I had to do…..I bought 10 packs. I know they will be a huge hit on Christmas Day for the family pictures. I can’t wait to see how the little kids look in them!

Anyway, I took a pack to Gallagher’s with me last night and we all had a ball with them!! I know this pic is blurry, but it’s the only one that has all of us in it. Except for Rachel, who was still at work and came later.

Merry Mustachio Christmas!


Dec 19

Holiday Madness

Things have been so crazy lately. Things are always crazy, but we are spilling over into insane this last week!

I was in New Jersey at my company’s headquarters for most of last week. It was a stellar trip – I honestly believe that I have the best boss on the planet. I didn’t make it into NYC to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, so I’m a little bummed. My extremely generous boss told me that he couldn’t get away to take me, but he offered to hire a driver to take me to the city for the afternoon. While that was a very sweet offer, I didn’t want to go alone. I’m sure I’ll see it next year, though.

I got home on Friday, and I was exhausted from the trip, but there was no time to waste – my niece’s wedding was the very next day, and Christmas was a little more than a week away. Where had the time gone? Was I finished with my shopping? NO. Mike’s entire family is planning on spending Christmas Day at my house, and did I have any idea what we would eat, where we would all sit, etc? NO. Do I still have 2 handknit holiday gifts languishing on the needles? YES. Since I’ve been home I’ve been scrambling to get all these little details figured out.

Oh, and the wedding! It turned out very nice. My niece is too young to get married – I still see her as the tiny little girl she used to be. She seemed very happy, though, and she looked beautiful. I wish these 2 the very best.

 Alexis & Joshua

Also, here’s our holiday card for this year. I drew a family portrait, and then had them printed on postcards. The drawing is ink and colored pencil, and the background and text was added digitally. I also sent 8 of these out via Postcrossing to people around the world. Most of them have already been delivered and I got some really sweet notes in return. Anyway, if you don’t hear from me again before Christmas (which is likely since I’m swamped!!), I hope your holiday is extra joyous and merry. The very best to you and yours this holiday and in the new year. Kisses!!

 Holiday Card 2011