Sunday, August 5, 2012

5 Things: Simple Things that Make Me Smile

I liked doing the 5 Things: Miami post, so I figured I would do some more.  Instead of flooding my blog with 5 Things everyday I decided to make it a bi-weekly post.  I also used to think that if a post didn't have to do with Miami Life specifically (new experience, funny story, good restaurant) then I shouldn't post about it.  Well, I am living in Miami, so I figure writing about my life in general is worthy of blog posting, too!

I also added labels to all of my blog posts.  For example, if you are looking for a particular post where I wrote about food then you can look through the Food Love label.  The other labels I have included are: 5 Things, Books, Crafting, Etsy, Miami Life, Puppy Love, Quelle Horreur (for those funny-because-it-wasn't-happening-to-you stories), Wisconsin, and Work.  It was a interesting to read what I had to say about life in Miami these past two years.  I also noticed my readership went way down after I stopped posting links on my Facebook page.  I've been boycotting Facebook for awhile (I hate the Keeping Up with The Joneses feeling it gives me...) but I have to gone back recently to keep in touch with friends and to be able to share my blog with those who care.  That being said, I really appreciate those of you who do take the time to sort through my jumbled thoughts.  One of the main reasons I write is to try and entertain you.  I hope that you enjoy the silly things I have to share.


5 Simple Things that Make Me Smile

My Turtle Collection

I don't know why, but I like turtles.  Maybe it is because they appeal to the minimalist in me?  They can compact themselves and take their homes with them.  Maybe it is because I had a turtle growing up?  His name was Freddy and he lived in my brother's room.  I think some turtles are decidedly cute and others are not.  I've been acquiring cute turtles from friends and family over the years.

The wooden turtle was from a high school friend.  It was probably the single most thoughtful thing he ever gave to me.  The red and green turtle is from my littlest brother.  He brought it back for me when I couldn't go on a family vacation.  The sea turtle is a gift from a friend when she went to Hawaii.  The rubber turtle is a bit banged up, but I love him.  I found him outside of a grocery store the day that I picked up my family from the airport when they came to visit.  I named him Terrance.  The green stone turtle is from J.  He bought it for me when he went to Milan and I stayed in Lyon with the friend who gave me the wooden turtle.  Oddly enough, he went to Milan with the friend who gave me the sea turtle.  The last turtle is a Littlest Pet Shop toy.  I am a sucker for anything cute and I spent a summer searching for this toy in every Target and Wal-Mart in Milwaukee and Madison.  J finally bought it for me online.  :)

My Maneki Neko Collection

It is a small collection, but I love Maneki Neko nontheless.  They represent good luck and prosperity in the Japanese culture.  Shop keepers will often have them in their windows.  I went to a seamstress in Madison on State Street mainly because she had these little guys inviting me in.  She was a good seamstress.  I hope one day to travel to Japan.  I have been dreaming of that for a long time.

I got my first Maneki Neko from The Icing (teeny bopper store) at Brookfield Square.  It was originally a key chain, which I was collecting at the time.  I was drawn to the colors and I thought he would bring me more money so I could buy Gelly Roll pens (another collection).  The second is the gold one from the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach.  I love Japanese gardens and I wanted to take my parents there.  They have a really well curated gift shop.  I saw this pudgy guy and fell in love.  The third one is light green and it is from St. Pete's.  J and I were on our way to get Ruby and we stopped in a shop that had all sorts of neat stuff.  I like this one because it reminds me of a fun trip with J and when we got to meet our baby.

Foot Prints on the Fridge

I made this project while I was in the School of Education during the Art/Math semester.  In our class we had to teach lesson plans to our classmates and a couple of girls did a lesson plan about how unique individuals can be.  We were to trace our shoes on paper and then make a collage on one footprint represent to ourselves and another for an important person in our lives.  I did mine about J.  These have been hanging on my fridge since the day that I made them.  They remind me of how different we are, the things I admire about him, and how we are walking through life together.

 You can probably figure out which footprint is for me and which is for J.  Mine has the laughing Buddha, the stuff about cleanliness and simplicity, and my birth month.  J's has food on it (because he does most of the cooking), radar and clouds and sky (to represent his career), IQ (because I think he is smart), a lemur (because he thinks they're funny), and a little piggy (representing me having to crane my neck to look at him).

My Goat Print

My mom has this print, too.  It is called Nap Time.  I don't think of the little goat yawning so much as I think of him bleating.  It made me laugh the first time I saw it.  It was the first picture J and I hung up.  It is odd.  It is funny.  It fits us perfectly.

Like I mentioned, this print is named "Nap Time."  I can't really make out the artist's name... artists should print their names so you can read it and buy more stuff from them, but I digress.  I think it is A. Connor?

My Uglydoll Calendar

My family will tell you that I like the ugly, the kitschy, and the weird.  It's true.  I have often purchased things thinking, "Oh, this funny little stuffed animal needs a home.  Don't worry, I'll take care of you."  I've gotten better at making more thoughtful purchases over the years, but now friends and family have taken to fulfilling my need of the odd things in life.  My dad and I share a love for the Hobby Shop that is in Greenfield, WI.  Aside from hobby supplies it also sells newspapers, magazines, and calendars.  He saw this one and thought of me and the two-sided Uglydoll I proudly brought home from my freshman year of college.  He shares my sense of humor (or I share his) so he immediately understood why I would want such a stuffed animal.  This calendar helps me keep track of the days, but it also reminds me not to take things so seriously.  (And that when all else fails, call Dad because he'll make you laugh.)


There you have it!  5 simple things in my life that bring a smile to my face.

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