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July 27, 2015

703 days of max and sky.

On my 26 Things list I had "Make something that contains all of the photos of my time with Max and Skylar over the last two years." I turned to Blurb to make a photo book with (almost) all of the photos I'd taken of Max and Sky while I was their nanny.I decided to go in chronological order because that made the most sense after I named the project "703 Days of Max and Sky." Obviously that means Sky doesn't pop up until the end, but I think my favorite part is watching Max grow with each flipping page from a one-year-old to an almost four-year-old.Though Max and Sky will always be in my life, I'll never be their nanny again, and I wanted to make sure that I had one solid thing to remind me of how special that time was. Photos aren't meant to be on your computer, which is why photo memory keeping is my favorite kind.This book is something I'll always have, and I'm positive I'll be flashing it around at Max's wedding. ;) I didn't photograph the 200+ page book, but these photos are of some of my favorite pages.

July 15, 2015

patriotic mason jar floral centerpiece.

I saw this mason jar centerpiece all over the place when I was looking for Fourth of July things on pinterest, and fell in love. It was a super easy DIY — all you need is three mason jars, red, white, and blue paint, and some beautiful flowers.

I painted one jar blue and the other two white, then when they were all dry I painted white stars onto the blue one (not well, I might add), and red stripes to the white ones (also, not well). If you care about it looking neat and polished, I'd recommend taping off the white for the stripes and using a stencil for the stars, but I kind of just went at it with all the wrong size brushes, and I'm into the imperfect way they turned out. I bought white daisies to put in the jars — one of my favorites — and called it a day.

July 14, 2015

june book report.

The books I read last month all seemed to have a common theme of despair and sadness, two having to do with World War II and the other outlining a potential post-apocalyptic future. They were all really great reads, but I recommend reading other, happier books in between, to space out the depressing.

The Book Thief. I love the way this book was written — it's told from Death's perspective, and it's about a little German girl named Liesl who goes to live with a foster family during the second World War. Liesl is a freakin firecracker, I loved her character. Without giving anything away, her friendship with man named Max was my favorite part of the book, as were her crazy troublemaking excursions with her best friend, Rudy. Obviously any sort of story set in Germany during this time is going to be a rough one, but I laughed plenty and even though it was sad, it was incredible.
"Somewhere, far down, there was an itch in his heart, but he made it a point not to scratch it. He was afraid of what might come leaking out."

Station Eleven. This book has made me super paranoid about the fragility of life and the world, but it was different than anything I've ever read before, and I enjoyed it. After a disease sweeps the planet and only a tiny percentage of people survive, civilization is basically thrown out the window and a new approach to survival is taken. I loved the way everyone's story was intertwined, and how everything revolved around the death of one man and his life. It wasn't a particularly happy read, but it ended hopeful, which is all you can ask for.
"She had never entirely let go of the notion that if she reached far enough with her thoughts she might find someone waiting, that if two people were to cast their thoughts outward at the same moment they might somehow meet in the middle."

All the Light We Cannot See. This book was a slooooow burn. It took me a while to get into it, and then I had to renew it at the library so I lost some time with it, but once I got back into it I couldn't stop. There are two different stories going on at once, one of which is about Marie-Laure, a curious, blind French girl, and one about Werner, a brilliant German boy. Both come from different backgrounds, but both are affected in a number of ways by the second World War. I loved Marie-Laure. I think she was a sweet character, very bright, funny when the opportunity presented itself, and her story was simultaneously inspiring and heartbreaking. I finished the book in tears, but really enjoyed it.
"Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever."

That's 17/25 of my 2015 reading goal, and Everything I Never Told You is on deck.

July 13, 2015

lemonade fireworks popsicles.

I originally found these through research I did for a post at work, and knew that I had to make them for the Fourth. I have this popsicle mold — and definitely put it to good first use — but any popsicle mold will work.Using small, less than an inch pieces of pull-n-peel twizzlers — because these were for the Fourth, I used the red, white, and blue berry lemonade twizzlers — create the "fireworks" by peeling from both ends until they look like pom-poms. This was the hardest part for sure — when you peel from both ends, the middle doesn't stay pinched together, so you have to hold it all together (which gets tricky).The second hard part is sliding the "fireworks" into the mold without them going back to their original position (flat). The only advice I can offer is practice. Make sure you leave space between the two twizzler fireworks for the popsicle stick later.Once each mold has two pieces of candy, pour lemonade in to fill up the molds. Let them freeze for a few hours, and serve cold.I know I'm a little late on my game and the Fourth has come and gone, but Labor day is coming, which is a perfect time to make these, or honestly, they're pretty delicious for any old time.