Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chapter One: Pre-College

So I made a commitment to use this link up to share my fitness story and then chronicle my journey to 13.1 miles. After briefly stalling last week, it's time to get to it.

A Mommas Desires And Pacifiers

I was never really into sports, probably because I was never really good at them. I tried soccer in first grade and that didn't end well. I cried that I wanted to go in, and then when they put me in I cried that I had to run too much. I was totally the kid that joined the team for the orange slices. 

Though I missed any calling with sports, dancing called my name and I danced ballet, tap and jazz from when I was a little nugget all through high school. 
My first and last dance recitals!
In high school I had dance classes at least three nights a week and I ate well. I packed healthy lunches for school, though some days I would just eat a bagel and cream cheese. And other days I would eat three Otmis Spunkmeyer cookies for lunch. But overall, I made good choices. 

My senior year I was a pom and we had pretty intense practices three times a week. We would warm up, do some aerobics and run before we even started practicing our routines. And this was no little dance. We did seven minute, non stop, high energy routines, leaving you breathless by the end. 

I'd kill to have those arms back...
Like many teenage girls I always felt I could lose a few pounds, but overall I was pretty satisfied with my myself. I wore size nine jeans, but I don't think I really looked like a nine. My junior prom dress was a size six, and I later squeezed into it for my sophomore sorority formal (that's another story).

An awards assembly senior year of high school, I'm in the striped shirt
So even though I didn't work out intensely or have a perfect diet, I was pretty healthy. Then I graduated from high school. Poms and dance stopped, and I spent the summer babysitting (aka snacking) and hanging out with my friends every waking minute (aka tons of junk food). Before I even left for college I could tell that I had gained weight, and already needed to buy some new clothes. Unfortunately at the time this didn't register with me that I should probably be careful heading into college life. 

When I look back at high school pictures it's so funny that I'd love to be that same size again. Like I said, at the time I wasn't unhappy with myself (and I'm not now either) but I didn't realize how healthy and fit I was. Whenever I go back to my parent's house this picture from my sophomore year spring break in Miami sits on my dresser and it's good inspiration of where I know I can be if I work hard. Well...I maybe won't be able to exactly look fifteen again, but you get the gist!

I'm fourth in from the left
So that was life in high school, and it got bigger and better in college. No pun intended haha! Stayed tuned for the next installment which includes a slew of bad choices and some really embarrassing pictures. This week has been a pretty good one, but I've been on extra good behavior knowing I'll be at the beach for three days this weekend...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

What am I loving? Well this week...everything! It's really just one of those weeks that has been awesome. I think it's in large part due to my relaxing weekend where I spent hours on the couch Saturday watching "What's Your Number", "Something Borrowed", and "The Notebook" back to back. No shame.

It's only Wednesday so let's hope that continues the rest of the week, but with the plans I have I think it will.

I'm loving...

That students are back!

They may or may not be excited to be back on campus and in classes, but I'm so glad that they are back. I love my colleagues and have really been enjoying my office, but my job centers around students. Having a buzz on campus gives me a different kind of energy, and after meeting with students throughout the day Monday I became even more excited for the year ahead.

My new planner

Well it's in the mail, but should be in my hands shortly! I bought a Groupon for May Books a few weeks ago and finally ordered my planner yesterday. I'm an indecisive person so it took me forever to pick out a print and monogram to customize my design. I seriously got to the checkout page and clicked back to edit the design at least three times. I'm typically more a pink/yellow kind of gal, but with an apartment that's mostly blue and green I've decided to try out some new things. I'm already wishing I had ordered something pink...

I'm beach bound for Labor Day!!!

I just realized that I haven't been to the beach (during the summer and actually spending time on it) since May 2011. What a shame for someone who used to live 10 mins from the ocean. My best friend's family has a house in Kure Beach and so I'll be joining my best friends from home and our beaus for three days of beach time amazingness. Can. Not. Wait. I'm not looking forward to traffic on 95, but going to stay positive about that.

I hope there are a lot of things you're loving this week too. What are your plans for Labor Day? Anyone else getting out of town?

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Best Kind of People

After seeing this cute kitchen artwork on Pinterest months ago, I knew I'd love to have the same thing in my kitchen some day. I mentioned it during "Oh So Pinteresting Wednesday" about a month ago and as I've been attempting to actually make all of those pins this was next on the list. Another thing from Pinterest that's intrigued me is the idea of using shoe box lids instead of canvases. Hello, so cheap! So for less than a dollar I created this:

Shoe box Lid: $0 (well, I guess I did pay for the shoes...)
Paint: craft stash
Modge Podge: craft stash
Wooden Spoon: $.88 (for a bag of 4 from Walmart, so now I have 3 new ones for the kitchen!)
Total: $.88

I win!

This couldn't be more simple. Tape off your box...and use painter's tape. I used scotch and it tore off the shiny part of the shoe box to leave the more cardboard part. It might actually be a good idea to just take a bunch of shoe box lids and spray paint them white to have a stash of faux canvases. It took quite a few coats to cover when I just started with the plain lid.

After finished with painting, add your quote, design, etc. Modge podge, then hot glue on a cheap wooden spoon and voila!

I painted the words freehand and while the spacing worked out decently I hate how the first "people" and second "people" look completely different. I almost painted over the first and repainted the word, but I got lazy and just modge podged it. Now I stare at it every day with regret.

I've still got a ton of shoe box lids and some projects in mind so keep your eyes peeled. Stay frugal, stay crafty!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend Getaway

Last weekend I took Mr. Charming on a surprise trip for our year and a half anniversary! I left out these goodies along with a note that included a packing list instructing him to be ready after work on Friday. He is pumped to finally have his own Tervis Tumbler because I have a million but most are pretty girly!

And why he likes the "other" USC, that's a long story...
We embarked after work and he still had no idea where we were going! As soon as I knew we would be moving to Richmond I bought a Living Social for The Inn at Kelly's Ford which is on the grounds of a historical battle site from the Civil War. It's less than two hours from our house so it was super easy to get to and it was pretty secluded, but we enjoyed that. We ended up having one of the "cottages" instead of a typical room which was nice because it was HUGE, and also had a ridiculous bathroom.

We just had some drinks on Friday night when we arrived and I tried Shocktop Raspberry for the first time...awesome! The next morning we woke up to this...

It was absolutely gorgeous outside and I could have sat on our little patio drinking coffee forever. Unfortunately that didn't happen when I forgot my bathing suit and we quickly had to drive back to civilization so I could grab one at Target. Luckily they were all on super clearance, and there was a Sweet Frog next door to grab some treats before we headed back.

We went canoeing on the Rappahannock River which was a blast except that the water level was so low we got stuck a few times. It still made for a fun adventure! If we're ever able to go back I'd love to also go horseback riding and enjoy some of the other activities they have.

Dinner outside Saturday night was amazing, this picture says it all...

After an amazing crab cake (LOVE being back near the Chesapeake Bay!) we decided to also indulge in dessert. The waitress suggested her favorite, a cherry bread pudding in rum sauce. Thank goodness we didn't have a candle at our table because this sauce and an open flame would have been dangerous. I'll leave it at that.

Had to get a picture with this awesome background!

Sunday we checked out and headed to the Fredericksburg Battlefield. It was gross and a bit rainy, but Mr. Charming is also Mr. History and supposedly he had been dying to go here for ages. We watched a short film and went on a tour of the battleground, and at the end MC was answering questions for people on our tour and provided a short Civil War lesson. Thanks teacher!

Though I wasn't too excited at first it was pretty cool to learn about this battle and more about the Civil War in general. I've never been into history too much but clearly I learn more about it every day now.

This house was pivotal in the battle, and now is the president's house for the University of Mary Washington...too cool right?!

In the actual trenches where Confederate soldiers defended Fredericksburg from the Union, he was totally geeking out.

After the battleground we headed to downtown Fredericksburg for my favorite part of the day...lunch! Sammy T's was some of the best food I've had in a while. When I opened the menu to an entire vegetarian/vegan page I knew it was going to be a good meal. I got an awesome stuffed potato (I know, loaded with cheese...) and vegetarian chili. For a nasty, rainy day this was the perfect meal.

Naturally I then found the nearest sweet shop, Colonial Cupcakes. And they don't play around, the guy working was actually dressed up in colonial garb. Made for a good laugh. What I loved about this place was all of the cupcakes were bare and then you could choose your own icing. After that they had a whole table with different sprinkles and toppings to dress your cupcake. The cream cheese icing was so buttery and smooth...drooool

Yes, the big one was mine
It was an awesome weekend, and made it hard to come back to reality last Monday. Even though it was just the weekend it was nice to have a mini vacay after going nonstop since we moved two months ago. There are so many awesome things in Virginia and I'm excited to have many new places to explore. During the trip I picked up a map of all of the wineries in the state and am hoping to cross many off the list...

Though I'm still wishing I was back on the trip, I'm excited things are getting busy at work with the start of a new academic year. So cheers to great week and new year!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Foodie Friday

Back on the first Friday of this month I established "Foodie Friday" as a way to showcase what I cooked throughout the week and share recipes. As I've been doing a lot of culinary exploring in my new kitchen I've loved sharing some awesome dishes, but don't feel the need to provide individual posts for a lot of them.Who knows, maybe I'll start a link up of my own one day? I mean if I were to do one I only see it fitting that it would be about food #fatkid

Another place to follow what I cook is on my "I Pinned It, Then I Did It" board on Pinterest where I've kept track of things on Pinterest that I've actually created. So here's what I've dabbled in over the past two weeks that are new recipes to me, enjoy!

Fun name right? It definitely caught my eye! This is a tomato based Israeli dish with eggs. I would have enjoyed it better if the eggs hadn't completely set but I've yet mastered cooking them exactly how I like em. Recipe via The Shiksa in the Kitchen.

BBQ Mushroom Pizza
Nom! I didn't find anything super appealing when I flipped through our pizza cookbook this week and decided to be adventurous. This past year my sister I were on a kick of making these awesome BBQ mushroom quesadillas with portabella mushrooms. I had been craving them and so turned it into a pizza.

Super simple to do here. Get a crust of your choice (I use Trader Joe's whole wheat) then throw some baby bella mushrooms and chopped onion into a pan to sautee and cook down while your oven preheats. Get them nice and soft! Sub BBQ sauce for marinara (I used Jack Daniel's Honey Smokehouse), then some shredded mozzarella, throw your veggies on top and bake. Voila!

Eggplant Penne
This one is actually a Hungry Girl recipe. I typically shy away from many of hers because they all call for low fat, sugar free or substitute ingredients. I'm trying to eat real food and chemicals so sometimes it's just not what I'm looking for, those I can typically adapt with the real ingredients. This one however was different, and it was awesome! Sauce had a bit of a kick to it from the red pepper so if you're not about it then leave that out. Also the recipe called for a whole eggplant but once I used a half it was enough so I'd suggest doubling the recipe when you make it. 

Quesadilla Rancheros
Saw this recipe on Real Simple and knew I could work with it! I kicked up it up a notch and added some black beans and onions inside the quesadilla for another little punch of protein. I left the egg yolk slightly runny which was awesome, and then mashed an avocado slice on top before I ate it. So flippin' good! Trader Joe's has an awesome salsa verde if you'd prefer to buy some vs. making it. 

Make anything awesome this week? I always love to hear about new recipes!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back on Track

I could not even believe the traffic on my blog last week when I linked with "Inspire Me: Healthy". I had over 300 views on the post that day (now 500+ and counting) and 11 comments, which was insane but awesome. Seeing so much encouragement from readers about my journey to finish a half marathon was great, and reinforced my reasons to hold myself accountable via my blog. The support I get along the way is an amazing boost!

A Mommas Desires And Pacifiers

So I know the whole point of me doing this link up until I really start training is to tell my fitness story. This week was going to be the first chapter starting with high school and life before college. But I went out of town last weekend and with orientation and students back on campus this week at work life has been crazy. So I'll delay that post just a week.

However I am so proud of myself for this week I've had so far! I ate a bit too much this weekend on mini-vacay so I got right back in line on Monday after feeling kind of gross. Workouts so far this week:

Monday: 20 minutes of intervals on the elliptical and then another 20 of intervals on the treadmill
Tuesday: Bodypump, 20 minutes on the elliptical and a 10:45 mile
Wednesday: Saw Train last night and instead had a mini Papa Johns pizza and two beers...whoops 
Today: Bodypump, ran two miles in 21:14 and walked one mile

Besides last night I've been eating pretty decent as well. At a training with catered lunch on Tuesday I even resisted a beautiful piece of carrot cake with gobs of cream cheese icing. I settled for a Dove dark chocolate once I got back to my office. 

I'm feeling great this week and am planning to go to a free yoga session Saturday morning at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Here's to hoping all of my hard work isn't unraveled this weekend! And that I actually get you a real post next week...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top 5 Tuesday: Tips to Make Your Life (a little) Easier

For the past two years I've awaited the day when I would "just" have to work. On my 12+ hour grad school days I would daydream of having a full time job and finally having time to do everything. Well I was wrong.

I definitely have more time now than a few grad school semesters, but this past spring I actually had a pretty sweet schedule. Now I don't typically get home until 6:30pm from the gym, then it's time to make dinner. If Mr. Charming has practice (he coaches high school sports) then we eat even later. I tidy up, get things ready for the next day and like to be in bed by 10pm and read until 11pm. Then it all starts again.

So we're really talking about a three and a half hour window at night to actually accomplish anything. Wait...what? (ps. who gets that reference?)

The other day I tweeted:
Take the extra 10 seconds to unsubscribe from emails vs. just deleting. 
You'll thank yourself tomorrow 
And you'll see below it was actually useful advice, unlike my typical random twitter posts about what I'm doing or thinking. Hmm... So from there I decided to share some tips that I've either always had or have discovered to save some time and make life (a little) easier. 

1. Unsubscribe From Unwanted Emails
You all know you get them (I see you nodding your head), those daily/weekly/monthly emails from stores or organizations with coupons/sales/announcements/etc. When I finally sit down at my personal inbox at night going through those first makes the task so daunting. So for the ones you always immediately delete, take the time to hit unsubscribe. They did it and you should too...
2. Prepare the Night Before
Choose an outfit, layout your clothes, and make your lunch the night before. I know your mom always tried to get you to do it in high school, and you always wished you could in college. Well now it's time to be a grown up and actually do it. I absolutely hate being rushed in the morning so this has really helped to save twenty a few minutes of trying on everything in my closet before I find something suitable.

3. Plan & Prepare Your Meals for the Week
Another no brainer, but so great. I personally don't care for all of those little chalkboards or displays on the wall for the menu (this ain't no restaurant!) but a simple list will do. I just picked up these awesome notepads from the Target dollar spot and they are perfect. On Sundays I pick a meal for each day, shop and then prepare. Each meal I make involves some sort of chopping or dicing of vegetables so I've been trying to do that ahead of time on Sunday and keep them in tupperware until needed. Time saver for sure!

A wee bit crinkled from actually taking it shopping!
4. Separate Your Gmail Inbox
I discovered this recently and it's changed my life. This is a tip for Gmail users, I have no clue if it works with any other email accounts. Go to Setting-->Inbox-->Inbox Type and change to "Priority Inbox", then adjust "Inbox Sections."

I've now separated my inbox into four sections: Unread, Starred, Follow-up and Everything Else. This way what's new is always on top and needs to be filtered or responded to, things that are important enough I need to keep in view (and not file in a folder) are starred, and when I open something and can't respond right away it goes to Follow Up. My goal has been to answer through all of my Follow Up items each night. Then any read messages that aren't filed or marked will filter into Everything Else.

5. Coupon Codes
Now here's a tip for everyone. It may not actually make life easier, but it will make life cheaper! I've only started doing this a few months ago and have no clue how I never thought of it before. Whenever you're going to buy something online Google "Coupon codes for XYZ store". Mostly likely you'll find something that works. I've found a free shipping one for Tervis Tumblers and some additional 10% and 15% ones for other places. It really can't get any simpler than that!

Hope these can be useful, do you have any great easy tips for making life a little more simple?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hometown Glory

Have you ever had this project that you've dreamed of for months? In your head you've planned everything out. You've been able to see the finished product. Then you've anxiously waited until you had enough money, time, patience etc. to complete. This is my project.

Our walls photograph horribly, but they're really a nice tan shade-I promise!
After seeing so many prints and artwork of this nature all over Pinterest, I was really interested in the idea. With plans to move in with Mr. Charming for quite a while, I immediately envisioned these frames above our bed. My original plan was to hang them the day we moved so I could claim my side of the bed, because we would always fight over that side. I ended up getting my side sans pictures (of course) but still waited for the day when they would hang above.

The hard part was that we didn't know we were moving to Richmond until late May. So when I daydreamed I just pictured all of the states I was hoping I'd get to move to in that middle frame. Virginia was a top choice, so I was pleased when we both received Richmond job offers.

Though I had the plan for a while, I had a hard time figuring out just how I'd manage to cut out the states. I figured I would mess them up if I tried to do some tracing/free hand kind of thing. That's of course what I ended up doing and they're not too bad. Now I love Maryland, but let me tell you...she's a b*tch to cut out.

I ended up finding this site (yes, driver's license info....I know) with clear, solid pictures of each state. I enlarged them to fit in a word doc and printed them out. I then got some navy and white scrapbooking paper and went to work. I cut the excess from around the state print and taped it to the scrapbook paper (just some loops of scotch tape, because of the SB paper texture it shouldn't tear if you buy the cardstock kind) and then cut around the print out, which left me with the state cut out in the SB paper. Sounds easy--but I'm pretty sure I gave myself carpal tunnel by the end. Taped the states onto the navy, then cut out some little coral hearts and taped them to our hometowns.

When I was searching for letter stickers to use for the words I legit gasped in AC Moore when coming across these. If you look very closely, you'll see they have a yellow quatrefoil print. Now, of course you can't really notice this as the prints hang on the walls, but we have quatrefoil all over our bedroom so I found them quite fitting. And all around adorable.

I'm still enjoying walking into our room and gazing at them. My idea finally came to fruition and I did the project all in one night! I definitely have a bad habit sometimes of starting a craft and leaving it in the corner for a month until I finish it. I'm working on that. I still have two more things I'd like to make for our room, then decoration in there will be pretty much complete. 

Additionally, I'm slightly annoyed that Maryland goes so far to the left that there's no navy showing between the state and frame. I'm thinking of doing a little bit of plastic surgery on her for a sliver of navy. I'd probably mess the entire thing up and should just stay away. 

What project has currently been on your mind? Now's a better time then never to get started. Make some plans and shopping trips this week and get crackin' this weekend!


Friday, August 17, 2012

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

And that somewhere just so happens to be my porch!

On Sunday I had high hopes of spending the day by the pool with a book after running errands and cleaning all day Saturday. Though the pool did not become a reality I realized some days you just need to sit around and do whatever comes your way.

I woke up with a big cup of coffee and read for a bit, then decided to finish a painting I started a few weeks ago that's going in the kitchen. Then decided a trip to the Christmas Tree Shops which is literally a 40 second drive from my apartment. Dangerous!

We've been on the hunt for patio furniture and haven't had the best luck so far. I had spotted a table and chairs a while back at a decent price there and just my luck it was marked down even more today. Then we also saw an awesome double glider which even matched the dining set (double score!). We got both for just about $100. Winner winner chicken dinner! Minus the chicken part...

The table even has two more chairs we folded and left in the storage closet
Next mission is for some outside pillows for this piece
Then we spent the rest of the afternoon putting it all together. One would think that the glider would be the difficult one, but we actually ended up having to take the table apart and put it back together again to correctly fit with the glass top. Mr. Charming someone forgot to read the instructions before beginning the setup.

"Hey mom, what about me?!"
It all turned out great in the end and we ate our first meal (amazing Avocado Pasta--look for a recipe link on my "52 in 52" page) outside which I've been waiting to do for weeks. We're lucky to have a porch that backs up to trees so we don't have to stare at a parking lot or be stared at by our neighbors.

Twinkle, twinkle! Obsessed with these lights
I didn't make it to the pool but I did get to curl up on the  new glider and read with my string lights are on, and it was another beautiful kind of happiness!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Last week I saw some blogs I follow link with Inspire Me: Healthy a fitness link up by Don't Quote the Raven and All in My Twenties. I've started doing some more fun and mindless link ups because they make for an easy post, and I love that scouring Pinterest can turn into a blog post for me, but I really liked the idea of one with some weight to it. No pun intended.

A Mommas Desires And Pacifiers

When I signed up for a half-marathon a few weeks ago, one thing I noted was that I would use my blog to chronicle my journey and really to also just hold me accountable to training and getting my butt in gear for the race. Using this link up I can hopefully share my training victories and triumphs as well as general health and fitness information I encounter.

My real training will not start until the end of September, though I'm using this time in limbo to keep up my cardio endurance and put together a training plan. So I decided that I should start my story at the very beginning, going back in time to write about my journey with fitness where it began right after high school. I gave a short glimpse of this story a few months ago, but chapter one will come next week. I do however want to note a few things up front.

In no way am I any type of health professional. Any knowledge that I share is something I've gained from reading books/blogs and doing health and wellness research. I'll admit that I've definitely followed some unhealthy diets and trends and in no way are my past health habits a picture of perfection. But it's what I was told, what I listened to, and what I did.

Over the past two years I've become much more knowledgeable on the subject especially after giving up meat and doing massive amounts of research on vegetarian diets and sneaking more protein into your daily meals. I was flabbergasted when I saw a nutritionist at USC in May to check out my typical diet/exercise plan and see if I was eating enough of the right kinds of foods, and she really didn't have much advice to give me. Though I was looking for some type of golden nutrition tips and suggestions and was almost let down to know I was on the right track, I quickly was excited that for the first time in my life I am on the right track!

At the end of the day I just want to treat my body right. From experience I know I feel best when I exercise regularly and eat well. I'm trying to feel my best and be my best, and my body definitely deserves the best. I also have a massive sweet tooth so it makes me feel better when I do indulge...

So if you care to, follow me along on the ups and downs of my fitness days past and as I work towards conquering my first (and hopefully not last!) half-marathon. It's not going to be pretty but I promise there will be some laughs...and probably some sweaty post-run pictures of me to make fun of!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Time for some gratitude and positive thoughts, What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm absolutely loving...

That we finally got patio furniture this weekend! More to come on this soon...

After a year and a month I've finally hit 100 miles on  my Nike+ app. For all the runs I did without it there's probably a few more but it's decently accurate. Now I need to set a new goal of miles for this next year!

I was already in love with Phil Phillips' Home and then they decided to use it when promoting the Fab Five during the Olympics. Now I'm obsessed. I gasped and turned the volume all the way up in the car last night when it came on and then made Mr. Charming sit in the car with me and sing until it was finished after we had already gotten home. That also reminds me I'm loving that the Olympics are all over Comcast On Demand so I've been re-watching anything and everything I want!

These two furballs. And the fact that truly love each other. Seriously I every time I turn around they're cuddling, sniffing each other or fighting. Ahhh sisterly love.

Last but not least I love that my family (minus the bro) is coming to visit on Thursday night! My sister is on her way back to South Carolina to start her sophomore year so they're going to break up the drive. She hasn't seen my new apartment yet so I'm excited to finally have her here. Also I'm loving that Mr. Charming and I will be joining them in September for Parent's Weekend at USC and the first football game vs. Mizzou now that they've joined the SEC!
Can't wait to break out my garnet & black and return to Cola town!

Hope there's lots that you're loving this week. I'm also loving that it's Hump Day, half way to the weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012



Linking up again with Ginny at Organizing Homelife for Simply Sensational Tuesday!

It's no secret that I absolutely love to travel and explore new places! I definitely have a major case of wanderlust and am continuously building a list of places to see and also brainstorming how to document my travels and adventures. 

I've wanted to create a big map to track my travels for a long time. When I worked for my sorority one thing I loved was that we have a huge map at our headquarters that shows where all of our chapters are located across the country. Since then I've been fascinated with the idea of creating one for my own travels.

Then I met Mr. Charming and in just a year and a half (coming up this Saturday-crazy!) we've traveled to 11 states and countless cities. Now that we're living together I felt it would be much better to document where we've traveled together, and let's face it if I put every city I've been to on a map it would get a little crowded. I became inspired by a project on Young House Love using a vintage map. I started scouring Ebay and found a National Geographic map of the US from 1956.

Just old enough that Hawaii wasn't yet a state!
Then it was time to figure out what to do with it. This map is HUGE. It's about the size of one of those big movie posters so I knew I would have no luck just finding a bulletin board to post it on. I ended up getting a huge collage frame at Walmart that was also advertised as a poster frame if you removed the collage mat. Then I got cork squares and hot glued them to the backing, having to cut a few to cork the entire back. Removed the plastic and put in the map.

I'm now wishing I had put a coat of modge podge or something on top of the map so it looks less papery and also to protect it. I may go back and do that. But I grabbed some map pins from Office Max and went to work with red pins where we've traveled and green pins where we've lived while we've been together, this part was so fun!

The Southeast is of course our most heavily traveled region
The finished project now hangs in our living room, which I'll soon be sharing now that it's just about finished. I love looking at it and cannot wait to put more pins all over it.

This project also inspired me to update my travels page a bit. You'll now find a Google map of where I've traveled rather than just the states I've hit. I also discovered Tripit this week and have added a widget with my upcoming trips. For some reason three of them are currently showing up so looks like I need to fix that!

How do you commemorate your travels and adventures? Any cool trips on the horizon?