Favorite Emojis: Bloganuary Entry #10

Ok forreal, is any text communication complete these days without an emoji somewhere in there? Even my 80 year old grandmother includes emojis in her texts, and it amuses me so much.

Emojis can sometimes say what we don’t want to type, or they can emphasize a reaction to a message. It took me a while to start using them but now, they are a pretty important flare to my communication.

I definitely have my regulars that I go to in order to fully express the feelings behind whatever message I just texted.

So here are my top six go-to emojis:

💕 – Double hearts: I love it. Whatever you just said. I’m feeling it and I love it.

✨ – Sparkly stars: I support you. I want your feelings to be validated. So I’m sending you star sprinkles. A lot of times, it’s combined with the heart above.

🙄- Expressionless: I have no expression after what you just said or what I sent right before this emoji. And really, no expression is an expression. Amiright?

😂 – Crying with tears: I fell out laughing. Whatever you just said, or whatever I sent before this is absolutely hilarious. The more of these emoji, the funnier I found it.

🥰 – Kissy face: I have seen a picture and I want to kiss the face of whoever was in it. I absolutely adore it. Whatever it is.

🤷🏽‍♀️ – Shoulder shrug: You got me, fam. I have no idea how to respond or what you want me to say to what you just texted me. Or…my way of having no opinion which, if you know me, I probably do have an opinion but I’m not sharing it, and though you probably know what it is, I’m not saying it.

What’s your favorite emoji? Do we have any in common? Or are emojis wack? I love them lol.

Let me know!

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Non-Artists Can Still Appreciate Art Museums

“Feed your soul with art.”

People say I’m creative. Idk. I guess maybe. But I do not feel like I’m an “art” person. Not in its traditional sense. At least I don’t feel like I am. There’s some art that I can appreciate, I like color combinations, I can appreciate some objects, I like textures and photography, and I like things that tell a story. But for me to get it, it needs to be pretty straight forward.

So for that reason, I feel as though I am not an art person.

I try to get something out of each art piece that I look at, but sometimes I just don’t get it. And if something is abstract AND called “Untitled” AND there’s no explanation for the piece…that’s really tough for me. When it comes to art, I either like it or don’t like it, and though I occasionally do feel something emotional about a piece for whatever reason, there really are a lot of things that I just don’t understand.

But that didn’t stop me from looking up local things to do and visiting the contemporary art museum just a few miles away.

I’ve always enjoyed being a tourist in my own town. Having wanderlust is great and all, but no matter where you are, there are usually plenty of things to see and do without going far. And now that I’m staying put in Maryland for a bit, it’s even more important to figure out ways to entertain myself locally. So the art museum it was!

On the way to the museum, we drove through some absolutely amazing neighborhoods. We passed multi-million dollar homes, and pulled into the museum parking lot. From there, we were directed to the Arrival Hall, where we were given a map of the property and a brief rundown of the art path, the pavilions, and the overall gist of the space.

Glenstone is a place that seamlessly integrates art, architecture, and nature into a serene and contemplative environment.

The art installations were both indoors and outdoors, which was really cool. There was a walking path that was maybe about a mile around with some outdoor sculptures and exhibits along the way.

Then there were five indoor pavilions that also housed artwork. We visited on a day that was personally very intense, and being in such a serene and peaceful environment on an unseasonably warm winter day was exactly what I needed. The walking, the fresh air, the views, the calm…for me, that was the highlight of the experience. And though I’m not an art person, there were a couple of pieces that sparked discussions between my boyfriend and me. But overall, I enjoyed the calm, the nature, the serenity, and just holding my boyfriend’s hand as we took in the ambiance.

The website for the museum really didn’t tell me a lot. I had no idea what to really expect, and I guess that’s by design. When we arrived, we were told that there was also minimal descriptive information about each piece because they want you to interpret the art in your own way. Some pieces I could interpret pretty easily, or I could find something interesting about it, or the shock factor that I believed the artist was striving for was well achieved.

As a “non-art” person, I may not have had the takeaway that the artists wanted me to have, but I still enjoyed the art museum experience and here’s why:

  • Everyone’s experience with art is not supposed to be the same, and I loved my experience
  • I was having a really stressful week and the nature, minimalism, and serenity brought me peace and calmed me down
  • The museum created a platform for me to use my imagination
  • Some exhibits were thought provoking and stirring
  • Some exhibits were confusing and puzzling, and that’s ok
  • Some exhibits made me more curious about the installation logistics than the art, which made me realize I use a different side of my brain, and I found that actually quite humorous
  • The hours spent there were a wonderful escape from the day-to-day
  • It has been a couple of weeks, and I still think back to some of the exhibits and contemplate their meanings

So maybe I didn’t have the types of thoughts that the artist intended, but I enjoyed my visit and I plan to return.

Are you an art person? When was the last time you visited an art museum?

art museum, things to do in Maryland, Glenstone Art Museum

Easy DIY Winter Hat Holiday Garland

diy holiday garland

Anyone that knows me knows that I love a good DIY project. Something simple that I can make with dollar tree items or, even better, items that I already have in my home, is an absolute winner for me. When I stumbled across this DIY on pinterest, I HAD to make it.

I am still digital nomadding, so my boyfriend and I decided that spending a bunch on holiday decor just wasn’t on our list of priorities. We wanted to be festive, but didn’t want to throw money down the drain on disposable items that we wouldn’t keep, and definitely did not want more items to haul around. So this project really felt like something that fit the bill.

I already had everything in my home, and I thought this was a great way to do something easy while I’m zoned out in front of the telly. So let’s get into it.

Materials:

  • String/yarn
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towel roll
  • Scissors
  • A board or book that you can wrap the string around

Steps:

  • Snip off small sections of the paper towel roll
  • Wrap your string around the board or book about 25 times
  • Cut the end, then cut the bottom section of your string, so that you have 25 independent sections of string
  • Loop and tie the string around one of your paper towel roll sections
  • Continue until the entire roll is covered
  • Push the yarn through the paper towel roll so that it dangles out the other side
  • Grab the string with one hand, and put two cotton balls into the space to form the hat
  • Wrap string around the part of the string that you grabbed and tie in a knot
  • Cut off excess string and form into a pom on the top of the hat

I used eight hats for my space. I hung a piece of string across my fireplace and then tied the hats to the string. I loved how it came out. It’s just entirely too cute!

Another cute project that I tried was this snowball garland. So cute, so simple, and I was able to use items right in my home. Just be sure to keep each string completely separated from each other until you have them hung. They can get quite tangled.

That project can be found here: (I didn’t use glue and found that the project held up fine.)

And ICYMI, of course I posted on IG about my holiday salt dough ornaments which were fun and easy to make!

The video for making this can be found on my IG page.

Have you done any easy diy projects this holiday? Let me know what else I need to try!

Let me know!

Road trip Tip: Read advice columns

Photo by Marta Wave on Pexels.com

The fall is the perfect time for road trips. Something about the leaves and the air just enhances that wanderlust craving. And with people about to hop on the road to grandma’s house for the holidays, there will be a lot of road travel over the next few weeks.

For me, hopping around to different Airbnb’s can easily be hours on the road. Music is a great distraction but sometimes it just doesn’t fit the bill. My boyfriend and I are together ALL. THE. TIME. and it feels like we’ve covered every discussion topic known to man. So when we’re riding along, and we get tired of music, that’s when we read advice columns.

I know, I know. Ummm what!??! But forreal. We read them, and we discuss our take on each situation. And honestly, it’s a wonderful way to get to know more about your partner without being judgmental.

Here’s what we do. We set up the hypothetical situation using the advice seeker’s information and then we fill in our assumptions based on the unknowns. Then we sliced and dice every sentence, debate our viewpoint, and sprinkle in our past experiences, our boundaries, our hopes, etc. It’s such an interesting and entertaining way to see what we agree on, where we differ and why.

There are so many times I’ve said “wow, I can see how that is something I’ve done and it seems horrible,” or “I was once in a situation similar to this and this is what I did”.

There are things about our pasts that we didn’t know about each other and may not have had a reason to even bring up. But when we’re reading advice columns, it jogs our memory and sheds light on the situation we’re discussing.

Our favorite columns are Dear Prudence and The Moneyist. Dear Prudence is a good way to dive into some social, relationship, and family topics, while The Moneyist helps to delve into your thoughts about finances, investing, budgeting, etc.—all things that are extremely important in relationships. You may not realize that your significant other had a specific view about money, or that they were brought up thinking certain things about home life or vacation or work life…so many things are brought to light just by reading these columns!

Reading advice columns and using them as prompts for discussions actually may even help you hammer out some compromises about situations that haven’t even occurred. Knowing how you will address a situation before it even arises*could* help eliminate future headaches down the road. It may not help at all but you never know…it could.

Among our many outcomes, we’ve agreed that rescue is the way to go for pets, that we’ll never co-sign for anything for anyone ever, and that we’ll try our best to put kids in their own bed as soon as possible. Sounds random, I know…lol…but they were all the result of conversations we had after reading advice columns.

Why don’t you give it a try? Here’ a scenario from Dear Prudence. Chat about it with your significant other and see what you guys think!

Dear Prudence, My cousin’s daughter is getting married in November. We’re not particularly close, and I don’t believe I would have been invited if this were a formal, in-person wedding. Due to the current pandemic, however, the entire event is occurring on-line and the guest list appears to number in the thousands. The happy couple have published an extensive gift registry, with the cheapest items starting at about $200, and have sent a series of mass emails expressing their excitement that we’ll all get to share on their special day, with glossy images of their lives together. I have to confess that I feel a little mean-spirited about the whole affair, as this feels more like an aggressive marketing campaign to maximize the return on investment than a family celebration. Is there a polite way to quietly disengage? Would it be rude to not send a gift (and to RSVP that I can’t make it)? My cousin is notorious for holding grudges and will almost certainly kick up a fuss.

WWY?? Do you see that situation the same way or do you feel differently about it? Have you ever tried this? What are some ways you entertain yourselves on road trips? Let me know!

Five pics Friday: Fall and stuff

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

This week was the epitome of early fall here in Maryland. The leaves are changing, the weather was warm, cool and crisp all at the same time, and the evenings are coming earlier and earlier every day.

While fall is awesome for weather purposes, it definitely lets you know that we are properly in the fourth quarter of the year. Winter is waiting in the wings and all of the holiday prep is about to get started in full force.

But in the meantime, I am enjoying my morning walks for coffee and my afternoons with fresh air and open windows.

Here are my five pics from my week.

From top to bottom:

1. Sometimes mail is a good thing I ordered some fun stuff from Etsy, and can’t wait to try it out!

2. The cold, rainy, wind advisory weather on Tuesday was perfect for a dimly lit bar and a glass of Tempranillo.

3. I bought a couple of accessories from Avon recently and these are two pieces that I really love. A simple dainty knot bangle and a sparkly ring. Great pieces to throw on with any outfit! And they were on clearance, so it’s a double win for me!

4. I snatched this cozy number up from Columbia. It will be the perfect addition to my fall wardrobe. The weather dropped while I was out so I wound up wearing it before I even got it home. I am proud of myself because I also bought gifts for my niece and nephew and I am NEVERRRR this early with my holiday shopping. Ever!

5. Sometimes the best pics are out of focus, amiright?

How was your week this week? Did you do anything fall-ish?