Monday, January 17, 2011

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is one of the most fascinating books I've read in awhile....this book is wonderful, inspiring and the story of a WWII survivor who endured torture, survival at sea and through it all found found the strength through Christ to visit and forgive his persecutors. I read it on the EFX machine at the gym and time passed so quickly as I lost myself in Louie's story - I HIGHLY recommend it to all readers!
Next to read...."The Alchemist" given to me by my friend Kim for Christmas!

Packing a carry-on...my essentials

One of the best aspects in traveling of being a woman is that you can carry a purse bigger than your suitcase and no one can tell you that it's not legit. This week I have to carefully pack my carry-on...I made of wish list of things I wish I had packed to Europe, and this time they'll be there!
  • Lip-gloss/Chap-stick
  • An empty water bottle (to refill on the other side of security)
  • Lotion - my skin gets so dry on airplanes
  • Eye-Mask - to actually get some sleep on the plane (also considering earplugs)
  • Ipad - to watch movies, read, write, play game
  • Book - (I'm packing "Devil in the White City")
  • Snacks - we're traveling on American Airlines, might as well be called 'Nickel and Dimelines'...they charge for snacks and they are not even good! I'll be packing a healthy snack box...details to come.
  • Cozy Socks - to be comfy on the plane (I'm bringing my Peppermint-scented Shea-infused socks from Bath and Body Works that I got for Christmas)
  • Laying clothes - you never know what the temp will be on the plane. Since it's below freezing in Chicago and 80 degrees in St. Lucia, I will be wearing jeans and a sweatshirt to the airport with a tank underneath. I am not sure what we're doing about coats on the way to the airport...hmmm.
  • Hair-ties
  • Journal + pens - I love to write.
  • Camera + Underwater Camera
  • Cell phone and charger - for emergencies
  • Starbucks Via (as a coffee-addict I might need some java on the fly)
  • Sunblock - my skin is iridescent from living in Chicago during mid-winter...the proof is right here (above)....this skin burns when it sees sunlight, I use SPF 45!
  • Passport, Driver's License + Credit Cards
That's all I can think of now....with more packing this week, I'm sure I'll come up with more additional.

Traveling in 2010...

I love to travel and this past year have been so blessed to be able to take so many lovely vacations around the world and country! This past year we have traveled more than we have been in Chicago it seems! As we are packing our bags again for another wonderful trip, it's great to look back through our pictures at 2010 adventures and all the wonderful places and people we've seen!

In June, we traveled to Marco Island Florida....
We spent a night in Miami, from a plane delay....
In July we stopped in Boston, MA....
And caught up with our family at Cape Cod,...

In August we traveled to England...
The Netherlands...
Germany...
Italy...
Austria...
Switzerland...
and France!
For the Holidays we saw our family in Ohio...
And Maryland...
...and then finally back to Chicago!

We thank God for all the blessings of travel and time spent together that He brings into our lives! We love to travel, adventure and make fun memories together and we love to share our expeditions with friends and family!

Ipad Review - Thanks to TCS Software


I am so happy to be an Ipad user; a million thanks to TCS Software! Even though the Ipad looked amazingly cool when it came out, I was still hesitant to jump into the Apple market because I have always been strictly a PC user. However, now I would highly endorse it to most technology users and media consumers because I am extremely impressed my Ipad’s many uses and its overall functionality! Already, in just one month, I have truly put my Ipad to use in hundreds of ways!

I love the Ipad’s size….it’s mobile, portable, has enough space to type comfortably on a touch-screen keyboard and still fits conveniently in my purse! As an Interview Center Coordinator for a major university, graduate student and free-lance musician, having access to my email accounts with a Wi-Fi connection lets me keep track of my music students, schedule gigs with clients, coordinate essential interview schedules and stay connected with my professors and coursework, all from my Ipad at basically any location! Last week I was away from my office at an Expo and I still manager to coordinate a significant interview schedule for my client; receiving the list of selected candidates by email, contacting the preselected candidates and creating an efficient schedule on the Ipad’s “Notes” application. Once the schedule was created on “Notes” I exported it easily to my office-based email. Without the portability of the Ipad, I would have had to create the schedule during overtime hours. I also sync my Ipad with Google Documents, keeping my calendar current as I plan and organize my events, gigs and meetings.

Not only is my Ipad functional, it’s also fun! While waiting for hours in doctors’ offices or riding the EL to downtown Chicago, I enjoy playing games or listening to music that I have downloaded from the App/Itunes Store. I also purchase my assigned book-club books on my Ipad through the Kindle Application, allowing me to read novels wherever I go, without the hassle of carrying heavy books around with me. I have an entire library in my purse (including sheet music and graduate school texts, fun novels and in my purse!)

In Chicago the weather is constantly changing and I absolutely love The Weather Channel’s Ipad application! I check it every morning and multiple times throughout the day to know what will happen weather-wise. Once you tap the icon, the application immediately shows the current and future Doppler radar of your area. It also alerts you of severe weather warnings in your area and keeps you updated on the hurricane season – which is important if you enjoy storms as much as I do!

Musically, from the App Store I downloaded “Uke Tune” which is a ukulele tuner. There are similar applications for every instrument available. The application can play standard or custom tuning notes. For standard ukulele, it plays the 4 string pitches; A, C, E, and G to allow you to tune your ukulele by ear. This month, I brought my Ipad along to gigs and have used it to tune up my instrument prior to performances!

I’m sure I will discover a hundred more uses for the Ipad! What a great tool and I would recommend it to many people seeking out an entertaining, functional and portable wireless device.