I love to read but I have a love/hate relationship with bookmarks. I’ve tried everything from scraps of paper and receipts to a variety of bookmarks, but they always fail. I’d resorted to dog-earing the pages until a few years ago when I found Bookjiigs! I won’t use any other bookmark.
Bookjigs just came out with some beautiful new designs that are colorful and fun. Check them out if you like to read!
Earlier this year I found a company I absolutely love and want to share with you. I found them on Instagram, but you can also follow them on twitter and Facebook. I enjoyed the photos they posted so much I decided to follow them. When I clicked into their profile what I read inspired a “you had me at hello” reaction.ARTIFACT UPRISING // inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible / bettered by a community of inspired storytellers / driven by the belief everyone has a story to tell. Tell On.
As a storyteller myself, I love the eclectic and creative group of people they feature. I also love that they understand those of us who still enjoy a printed photograph. This is going to date me, but in college I used to love spending hours in the dark room developing film and playing around with the enlargers. I miss developer and the fun of watching an image slowly form on paper. I also love reading a printed book, good stationery and sending handwritten notes through the mail. So it isn’t surprising that I love this company and their mission to help me get my photos off my computer and into memorable prints, books and gifts.
Soon after I started following them I found out they were a relatively new company that had just launched their app through iTunes. I downloaded the app and went to the website for more. I was hooked. I lost track of time reading through the blog and clicking through the website. I love the simplicity of the website and blog. It’s the perfect blend of simple and functional. I decided to order prints and see if the products were as great as the digital side of the company. The ordering process was easy and fun. The hardest part was deciding which photos from my Instagram gallery I wanted to print. (By the way, the photos don’t have to be from Instagram. It was just the easiest way for me to test the product without spending hours on the computer trying to decide which images I wanted to print.)
A week later the package arrived and the prints were beautiful. I love the square prints. The paper is recycled and the quality is great. Some of the photos I chose look better on the matte paper than others, but now I know what to expect next time. I’m already thinking of gift ideas for my friends and family. I can’t wait to create a book too. I’m in love with this company and its products.
I love Christmastime. I have so many fond memories of Christmases spent with family and friends and with different traditions in different cities. One of my most favorite Christmas traditions in Chicago was my book club holiday gathering. I started the book club in 2005 and we began with a few women I’d met through volunteering at my kid’s school. Most of us became friends because of our kids, but we grew to really enjoy each other. The book club holiday gathering started in 2009. It quickly became our favorite meeting of the year because we invited our spouses and made it special based on whatever book the hostess chose. My favorite memory was at Susan’s. She picked the book A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. The book is a collection of stories and recipes about her family and their love of cooking and eating. It’s a wonderful book if you want to be inspired to create family traditions in the kitchen. Because Susan loves to cook and she was inspired by Wizenberg’s book she decided we should all choose a recipe from our childhood to share at the holiday meeting. I decide to make German chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting. German chocolate cake is my dad’s favorite and every year my sister’s and I would make it for him for his birthday. Back then we used Betty Crocker mix and canned frosting, but he loved it anyway. It was a sweet memory that I wanted to share with my book club.
The first Friday in December, we trudged through the snow and the freezing temps with our treasured recipes to share. After a cocktail or two to warm up, we went around and told the stories about our recipes. Linda made Ole Pie because as a kid her family would make it together. It was a Mexican casserole. Trina made Kolaczki’s inspired by her Polish heritage. Kolaczki’s are flaky little pastries filled with fruit, cheese or nuts. Cathy made the most memorable recipe. She made a salmon mousse in a salmon mold. Anyone remember those? If I remember correctly it was a distinctly seventies dish. We couldn’t believe she still had a salmon mold, but it was her mother’s and she remembered many parties where her mother would make salmon mousse for her guests. I’m not a big fan of salmon, but her mousse was pretty good. Natalie made a fruit punch. I can’t remember the name, but it was one of those fruit punches with 7up and orange sherbet. Her story about the family recipe and her mother’s punch bowl had us all in tears. It was very sweet. That night we laughed and cried. We drank too much, ate too much and ended up singing at the end of the night. Susan’s husband Jerry plays guitar and a night out with them always ended in music and singing.
The celebration of food and memories that night connected us in a way no other meeting or book had. There was so much joy in sharing a bit of ourselves with each other. I learned new things about each of my friends that I still carry with me today. I miss them this time of year because I know they are preparing for the holiday meeting that I will miss for the first time. I haven’t joined or started another book club here. I am still reading along with them. I will move on eventually, but right now I am happy to be a long distant member and I am grateful for the memories.
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