Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reflections: Awesome Again in 2010!

So if you are reading this blog and also know me in real life, you may know that every year since I started going to Loyola my friend Holly and I have chosen a theme for the year rather than making specific New Year's resolutions. This year our theme was Awesome Again in 2010, and I think it lived up to expectations!

Things that were awesome in 2010:

1. Going to library school and learning SO much, including bookbinding which I have always wanted to know how to do.

2. Moving to my new apartment and having an awesome roommate who helped my paint my room blue!!

3. Getting my first car all on my own!

4. Meeting someone amazing :)

Since most of my year has revolved around a) being at school and then b) coordinating leaving school, I can't think of many more specifics, but I think that 2010 definitely allowed me to become awesome again :)

That said, I am excited for our 2011 theme, Shoot for the Sun in Twenty-One-One!! This year I will be graduating from my master's degree program, looking for a job, beginning to pay back my student loans, and trying to be fully financially responsible for myself, so shoot for the sun seems like a good theme to follow because there is a lot I want to accomplish this year! I also want to continue trying to eat more healthily, as well as exercising more by joining the same gym my roommate belongs to. So, wish me luck, and hopefully 2011 will be as awesome as 2010 was!! :) Happy New Year, everyone!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I have had a great holiday so far. I came home yesterday and spent the day alternately reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and napping, then had an awesome dinner with my mom and dad and opened presents. I got a bunch of ornaments, including this guy:

It's a cupcake Santa!! I think he's tres adorable :) I also got some super comfy pj's and slippers. Later my brother and his wife are coming for dinner, which should be super delicious again! I love it when my dad cooks, it's always so yummy, even if he does refuse to accept the fact that I'm a But, to all of you reading this blog, I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! I am gearing up to finally move all of my stuff from Champaign to my new apartment in the next week or so, and then to work on my New Year's resolutions, which I will blog about soon.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Tale of the Voynich Manuscript

With all of the research that has been done on nearly every aspect of our history, it is sometimes surprising to hear that there are still some artifacts and events that escape our understanding. I learned about one such artifact from a classmate who did research on something called the Voynich Manuscript for their final project.

According to Wikipedia (and my classmate), "The Voynich manuscript is a handwritten book thought to have been written in the 15th or 16th century and comprising about 240 vellum pages,[notes 1] most with illustrations. The author, script, and language remain unknown: for these reasons it has been described as "the world's most mysterious manuscript".[1]" Here are some of the images contained within:

Aren't those cool?? There are tons of conspiracy theories surrounding this manuscript. Its ownership can be traced for its entire history except for 200 years when no one knows where it was or what happened to it. Various testing and dating has proven that the manuscript's parchment and ink are authentic to the time period that it is supposedly from (the 15th or 16th century). No one, and I mean no one, has yet been able to decipher the language or code that this manuscript is written in. I am fascinated by this! How, in all this time, has no one been able to figure out what it's about? Is it real? Is it a fake? Does it mean anything at all? Does it contain some sort of astounding secret, or if we ever decipher it will it just tell us something obvious, like poison ivy is poisonous? It's a mystery...

Monday, December 6, 2010


I could happily eat one of these for breakfast every single day for the rest of my life.

Chocolate chip scones are delicious!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I've always wanted... do this:

This morning's snow on the ground made me so happy it is finally winter! And every winter I say that I am going to go ice skating in Millennium Park, but I never have. The last time I went ice skating was....I can't even remember. I THINK it was when I went to visit a friend of mine who lives in New Mexico, but it's been awhile. We tried to go ice skating at an outdoor rink when our high school marching band was in London, but it was closed by the time we got there. At any rate, I'm hoping I can get into the city at least once this winter to give this a shot, and to go to the Christkindlmarket!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmastime is here!

My thought process for this blog entry was just completely interrupted by a delicious looking cheesecake being talked about right now by the Food Network. Le yum.

Anyway. lol as usual things have been pretty busy for me! I have been working a lot at Barnes and Noble, and trying to finish up all of my projects for all of my classes. Although I have enjoyed my classes and would never ever take back my experiences in Champaign, I must admit that at this point I really just can't wait for this semester/December to be over so I can move to my new apartment!

Today my almost-roommate and I decorated her/our apartment for Christmas, and it was so much fun! I really love the winter/Christmas season. The weather is cold so you can wear these:

and drink this:

while sitting near one of these (if you're lucky!):

I had an awesome time the day before Thanksgiving putting up the Christmas tree in my mom's apartment. I can't wait for it to be closer to Christmas so that I can drive around and look at everyone's Christmas lights/decorations! Am I the only one that does that? Is that creepy? Whatever, I enjoy it, it's something my family did growing up and I think it's really fun! I also can't wait to watch all of my favorite Christmas movies! Here are some of my favorites:

But, dear readers, I will leave you with this, my favorite Christmas movie of all:

That's all for today! What are some of your favorite things about winter/Christmastime? :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Project number 1 of 4:

This is for my Preservation class, as part of a presentation on the preservation of cartographic materials (aka maps). I took this last night before I finished it, and since then have added some "tips" to it as well.

I also took a break from working last night to buy this:

All I have to say so far is this: if I could listen to the prelude on repeat all day every day, I would. The rest of the CD was amazing also, though, so I wouldn't want to do that!! Josh Groban wrote or co-wrote nearly every song on the album and plays piano for almost all of them too, and I'm pretty sure it's my favorite album of his to date. I DEFINITELY have to see him on tour, because if the album is any indication, it's gonna be off the chain!!! ....well, as off the chain as Josh Groban gets, which is pretty civilized. We'll put it this way: at every concert of his that I've been to, I've been within spitting distance of someone who is carting around an oxygen

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My "Medieval" Book

I have been working hard lately on my final project for my History of the Book class. I decided to attempt to replicate a medieval book structure. I can't decide how I feel about it yet. First, it was much harder than I expected it to be. Second, I'm having trouble finding the materials I need, particularly some appropriately sized wooden boards for the covers. Third, I think I screwed up the kettle stitches at the top and bottom of the spine. So I may actually be speaking to my professor today and changing my project...we'll see. I can't decide! But here are some pictures of my work in progress. Book-minded friends, let me know what you think, because I don't know if it's of good enough quality to hand in!

My makeshift sewing frame/sewing process:

The semi-finished textblock:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Get Psyched!

We are now a mere eleven days away from the release of one of the year's most anticipated movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1)!!! I must admit, I am both peeved to have to wait for part 2 and excited that it gives me something else to look forward to since one of my favorite film franchises is coming to an end. Just look at this poster:

If that doesn't make you psyched, I don't know what will! So ominous....I CAN'T WAIT! Although I must say, I am a little bit disappointed that I can't go with some of my friends :( I will probably end up having to go alone at midnight. That's okay, though, I saw "The Dark Knight" by myself and ended up sitting next to a guy who was an extra in the movie, so that was kind of cool. I'm also a little disappointed that I won't be able to dress up. Normally I dress as this cool cat:

However, my costumes are at my mom's place 3 hours from here, and I won't be going back home before the 19th, so I can't get them. I suppose I could ask her to mail them, but it's not THAT worth it to me, lol. I also can't find this:

In addition to being an awesome costume, it's also just a really warm scarf, and I'd like it back before gets cold here!

Despite my lack of costume, I am still SO EXCITED for this movie!!!! I acknowledge that this post has fully revealed my level of dorkiness, but I just don't care, lol I am a dork and I don't care who knows it. I love the Harry Potter series, and I am so excited!!!


lol :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pretty Books

Here are some pictures of pretty books and things that I have studied in my History of the Book class :)

The November page of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (Very Rich Hours of the Duke de Berry)


My favorite part about this book is the nifty astrological calendar drawings on the top of each page. Books of hours were what we would call devotional books today; they were used to guide people in their daily/monthly/yearly prayers and listed all the major holidays, saints' days, and so forth.

Manicule from Cicero, Manuscript: Cicero, De Officiis, 1465.

edit: the image was too large to fit, so take a look here!:

I think manicules are so nifty! A "manicule" is one name (there is technically no official term, but manicule is the most accepted) for the various types of pointing hands you see marking important passages in books. They can be either drawn (like this one) or printed. I think they're fun and also sort of creepy! Here's another:


and another:


We also looked at John Bulwer's Anthropometamorphosis (1653). Here are some images:



So there are a few fun images of books we have studied! I think they are nifty :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Lately it seems as though my life has been overtaken with projects! I have had a project due for almost every class nearly every class for the past 3 weeks! I also started working at Barnes and Noble, and I don't know if I have mentioned this here before or not, but I now get paid to work at the Conservation Lab. So things have been pretty busy around here!

But, the project(s) I am most excited to start are my Christmas presents! I bought lots of paper, both for decorating and for printing (don't get too excited, I'm just printing from my computer lol). So most people on my Christmas gift list are getting homemade books this year! I am just waiting for a few supplies to come in the mail and then I can get started. They will be either awesome or horrible, depending on what I pre-apologize if they are horrible, hahaha!! But it's the thought that counts, and I think they will end up being pretty great if I do say so myself! :) And while writing this I just remembered that I need to order MORE if you are reading this, imagine me hard at work, and hopefully soon I will have time to write some more blog entries that don't just consist of "gee I've been busy lately," lol!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." The Bible, New International Version, Hebrews 13:2

Lately I have been extremely grateful for the presence of God in my life. The other day, without ever expecting it, something totally cool happened that I can honestly say was completely the work of God, and I wanted to share it with you all! :)

As many of you know, I bought a car over the summer:

Now, love dear Agnes though I do, she's had her share of issues since I got her. The engine makes a strange shuddering when I accelerate, among other things, and even though she gets me from place to place without issue, she's no superstar in some ways. But, up until now I haven't had any real issues, for which I have been thankful. As a matter of fact, without Wednesday's chance encounter, I might not even have known I was having a problem!

Those of you who know cars will think I'm really dumb for not realizing this, but apparently I had a flat-ish tire. The roads in Champaign are really bumpy and my car isn't the smoothest ride to begin with, so if there was a feeling of the air getting low in a tire I never would have noticed. So I was on my way to work from class, and decided to stop for gas. Now normally I go to either the Meijer or Wal-Mart gas stations, as they usually have the cheapest gas, but that day for whatever reason a voice in my head was like "no, just go to the Freedom station, it's right on your way." This Freedom station is a little shady, but I'd been there before and it WAS on my way, so I went there.

I was the only person there besides a middle aged guy at the pump next to mine. He began a conversation about the weather, and then pointed out to me that my front/passenger tire was VERY low on air, basically flat. I had NO IDEA! So get this: not only does he tell me, but he went inside the gas station with a dollar to get change for me, helped me fill it with air, and told me to call him if I had any more problems because he owns an auto body shop. WHAT?!? He even offered to change/repair the tire for free if it didn't hold the air he put in it.

This, to me, was totally an angel. Now everyone reading this might not believe in God, and that's okay, I'm not trying to tell you what to think, just to share with you this cool thing that I know in my heart was totally from God. I seriously hadn't been to that gas station in MONTHS, and just by going there had a chance encounter with a Good Samaritan who helped me for no other reason than that I was there and clearly clueless about my car's flat. I guess it's just a reminder that no matter where we are in our lives, God is right there with us! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Confucius Say...

So I was looking up quotes by Confucius for my friend (inside joke, long story involving a Chinese, and found this one:

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."

I really like it! I think it's good to remember that even if you feel like you are making slow progress, or even no progress on a goal, that doesn't mean that you won't eventually get there. For example, many of you know about my goal to lose weight. I've kind of hit a plateau and lost some motivation, but just because I haven't been hitting the gym hard or eating exactly healthy at every single meal doesn't mean that the little things I do won't eventually add up, if that makes sense. So, in short, don't give up on your goals if you are not making progress, just remember that going slowly doesn't mean that you have stopped, or that you can't go faster eventually if you want to!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Reason I Go To The Gym

1. To watch television shows like Parenthood


and Glee

2. To be in an air-conditioned building :)

3. To work out, I guess. lol

Monday, October 4, 2010


Ladies and gentlemen, I think it is safe to say that fall has arrived!! I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited! Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. First, it means the return of the most delicious thing ever to have graced my lips, the honeycrisp apple. Observe:

See how they tumble out of the basket, as though they are shouting TAKE ME! EAT ME! Okay, maybe I've gone overboard. But I LOOOOOOOVE honeycrisp apples, and you can only get them during the fall!

The return of fall also means the return of one of my recently-acquired fan-obsessions, football! Football to me means two things. Marching band (like the U of I band that I saw at the U of I/OSU game this past Saturday)...

And, of course, this guy.

This, dear readers, is Brian Urlacher, and he is what we like to call a bad ass. lol my mom met him once by accident, he held open the door for her when she was on her way out of a Chipotle, and she said that he's pretty much a beast. Hopefully we don't have a repeat of last year ***knockonwood*** where he got injured....this guy basically carries the Bears defensive line, as far as my opinion is concerned.

What else....I can't forget that fall means SCARVES and gloves and coats!! When you live somewhere that is cold for almost 3/4 of the year, you get really good at accessorizing with your outerwear. I'm mad because I can't find this:

No, not that I can't find Hermione, but that I can't find the scarf I have that looks like that!! I might have to make a new one. You best believe I will be wearing it to the premier of the 1st part of the last Harry Potter movie in November!! hehehe :)

And, last but not least, fall means Halloween, and Halloween means pumpkins! My friend and I decorated for Halloween last week and it was a lot of fun.

We are going to carve pumpkins soon, too! Hopefully we don't get a repeat of a few years ago when our pumpkins had a little too much fun without us....just kidding :) but you definitely don't want to see your pumpkins like this in the morning!

Finally, just because he's adorable, here is a picture of my brother and sister-in-law's new puppy!! His name is Taz, he is a corgi, and I am going to steal him. Watch yourselves. lol :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


My friend recently posted this survey on her blog, and I am bored and it looked like fun :) hehehe

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse

2. Your hair? Up

3. Your mother? Fun

4. Your father? Working

5. Your favorite food? Pasta

6. Your dream last night? Hanson (lol!)

7. Your favorite drink? Water

8. Your dream/goal? Satisfaction

9. What room are you in? Dining

10. Your hobby? Friends!

11. Your fear? Nothing (not true, but a

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Conserving (books)

13. Where were you last night? BillyElliot!!

14. Something that you aren’t? Normal? lol

15. Muffins? Chocolate!!

16. Wish list item? MacBook

17. Where did you grow up? LZ

18. Last thing you did? Napped

19. What are you wearing? tshirt

20. Your TV? Off

21. Your pets? Rory!!!!!

22. Friends? Awesome!

23. Your life? Hectic

24. Your mood? Great

25. Missing someone? Sorta

26. Vehicle? Blue!

27. Something you’re not wearing? Hat

28. Your favorite store? Target

29. Your favorite color? Blue!!

30. When was the last time you laughed? Always! lol

31. Last time you cried? Friday

32. Your best friend? many!! :)

33. One place that I go to over and over? Chicago!

34. One person who emails me regularly? SPAM!

35. Favorite place to eat? many! lol

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rory the Explorey

This post is going to be mostly pictures. As many of you know, I love my cat :) and many of you also know that she was in the kitty hospital this past weekend :( sadface. She had/has pancreatitis, which is a swelling of the pancreas, and though she has been home since Sunday, she has not been eating and spitting out what she is being force-fed, and I am worried about her. I HATE not being there 24/7 to take care of her, as she is in my future apartment with my future roommate in another city while I am here at school. I so appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers, and hope that my little kitty gets well soon!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What I've Been Up To

Greetings, readers! Lately I feel like I am always starting my blog entries with "gee, it's been awhile, huh?" Things have been pretty busy recently, though! First I stood up in my brother's wedding, which was a ton of fun. Here is a picture of the shoes I got to wear to the reception, and the shoes my new sister (!) wore :)

Fun, huh? :) I wish I could wear sneakers to every wedding! Later that weekend my friend/future/current roommate (it's a long story, I semi-live there already but not, lol) and I painted my future/current room!! Take a look:

It was a ton of fun, and I LOVE the color! It's a very pretty blue, similar to the blue that I had in my room at our old house.

Finally, classes have started, and since I got rid of the internet at my house I have been spending more time reading and watching tv, and crafting! I got together a few "care packages" to send to some of my friends, and also made some birthday/other presents. Since I took that bookbinding class I bought some pretty paper to use to make books, and I am really happy with the results! Take a look below at the paper, as well as the finished products. The blue book was the first one I made, and so that's why the inside is different than the inside of the green book, because I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to cut the paper, etc. But I'm pretty happy with the result, and I hope that once the recipients get them that they like them too! :) (side note: as usual, these pictures were taken using the camera on my phone, so they're obviously not so