Easy Ways to Memory Journal

Easy Ways to Memory Journal

If you’re anything like me then you have this weird desire to collect brochures, postcards, and bits and bobs during your travels. For so many years I’d just keep them in a box or an end table for a few months, get fed up with the clutter, then chuck them. A vicious cycle of collect, horde, toss, repeat. I had no interest in traditional scrapbooking, but wanted a way to turn these piles of memories into something more than clutter. There have been a few different renditions of my memory journal in the past, but I think I’ve finally found a style that I can stick with.

Erin Condren recently released a new collection of notebooks including a sketchbook option with blank pages. The metaphorically light bulb went off in my head and I scooped a few up in my latest EC order. The perfect blank canvas to document memories. The coils that come on the notebooks are quite small, so I took an old coil I had (I’m that big of a planner addict that I have just random coils) and recoiled it to have more room. 

And the rest is pretty damn simple. Collect things…anything…during a conference or your next trip. Keep them all together and print off sticker photos of your adventure. Sit down and just start adding them into your book. It really is just that simple. I never have any spreads in mind or layout styles. I group like things together and use copious amounts of Tombow Adhesive Tape to paste everything down. If I have any booklets or brochures I’ll add tape to the back of them so you can still open them and view them in the book. One of my favorite parts about this style of memory journaling is being able to open things up and interact with the pages.

Conference lanyards are another clutter annoyance that I found myself holding onto. They’re such important parts to remembering a specific event, but I found that I just wasn’t doing anything with them. So for the last conference I got a lanyard from, I decided to cut it up (*gasp*) and turn it into a paperclip to mark that section in my journal. That way I still have the memory, but without all the unnecessary clutter.

I filmed the entire process of setting up the pages in this post and exactly how I created the lanyard paper clip in the above video. Check it out for ideas and to see just HOW simple this whole thing is. If I have anything left over after finishing up the pages, I feel way better about recycling or trashing what’s left. I feel like I’ve adequately documented the experience and feel fine with letting things go.

How do you document travel or events? Are you a traditional scrapbooker, hoarder of souvenirs, or have another method?

Max’s South Seas Hideaway

Max’s South Seas Hideaway

If you find yourself in Grand Rapids, Michigan, be sure to make a reservation at Max’s South Seas HideawayIt’s one of those places you just have to see to truly believe. The food isn’t cheap (my favorite meal being the Hanger Steak at $32), but if you want to treat yourself and have an experience along with a meal, this is the place to go. They’ve recently updated their menu to add a few more burgers, but the best one is still the Max’s Hideaway burger. Get yourself the Pu Pu platter to try a variety of staples. You also can’t go wrong with the Huli Huli ribs (they also come on the platter).

As soon as the front doors close behind you it’s as if you’ve been transported to a tropical island. The place is quite dim, but warm and inviting. If you plan on taking photos, Night Mode on your camera will become your best friend.

There are two stories full of fish tanks, bars (there are three), and an extensive tiki mug collection. The drink menu is just as expansive as the decor. The Blue Hawaiian is a safe bet if you aren’t familiar with tiki drinks, but the menu has a ton of other options if you want to be a bit more adventurous. If you’re with a group, definitely try one of the bowls. 

So book yourself a reservation during you trip to downtown Grand Rapids. When you’re done, pop over to the new popcorn shop, Mosby’s Popcorn for a sweet after-dinner snack.

The Never-Ending To Do List Method

The Never-Ending To Do List Method

I’m a firm believer that your planner and methods need to change with your needs. There’s no use trying to make a system continue to work if your planning needs have changed. That’s just silly. Plus any excuse to get new planner supplies, right?
2020 has been a whirlwind of a year already and we aren’t even two months in. With the opening of Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts and the expansion of The Oh, Hello Branding Group into inbound marketing, my plate looks like I just went to an all-you-can-eat-buffet. She full. To do list items started slipping through the cracks and I felt like I was losing my mind with forgetting things. Enter, The Never-Ending To Do List.
Now it’s going to be overwhelming at first. Any lengthy to do list will. But there’s just something about writing EVERYTHING down in one place that makes your head feel a million times clearer. Sure you still have to get things done, but you’re no longer holding everything in your head hoping you won’t forget.
Any notebook will do the trick, but I love my Clever Fox Dotted Journal because the cover is gorgeous, there are a ton of ribbon bookmarks, and the paper quality is great. It’s also an A5 size so larger than 5×7 to have plenty of room to write longer to do list items.
I add in random stickers and cross off the list with a variety of bright colors to keep me engaged and excited to cross something else off. It’s all about tricking  yourself into getting more done. I’ll take this master list and piece it out in my daily planner into more manageable bites.
Check out how this planner coordinates with the other two planners in my system in this video. What’s your current planner routine?
The Womb | Frederik Meijer Gardens

The Womb | Frederik Meijer Gardens

the womb frederik meijer gardens
the womb frederik meijer gardens
the womb frederik meijer gardens
the womb frederik meijer gardens
We finally got around to seeing The Womb by Rebecca Louise Law at Frederik Meijer Gardens before it leaves March 1, 2020. It definitely did not disappoint. Frederik Meijer Gardens is a must-see if you’re ever in Grand Rapids, Michigan and one of the few places we never get tired of visiting.
Photographs by Alexander K. Benda
Five Things to Do in Grand Rapids this Weekend

Five Things to Do in Grand Rapids this Weekend

Wax Poetic Candle Bar
If you happen to find yourself in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a few hours on your hands this weekend, here are some of my favorite activities to do in the city.
Make a candle at Wax Poetic Candle Bar
One of the best ways to spend a few hours is creating your very own candle at Wax Poetic. There are a variety of different sizes and price points to choose from whether you’re looking to go big, or just try it out. With over 100 different scents to choose from, you could literally make thousands upon thousands of combinations. The staff are super helpful when mixing your scents and give great recommendations to round everything out. Come back in a few hours to a candle ready to take home with you.
The Local Epicurean
Take a cooking class at The Local Epicurean
As your candle hardens from Wax Poetic, pop over to the nearby Local Epicurean for a cooking class. They offer a variety of different class options from Italian dinners to all things chocolate. Choose between a lunch or a dinner class. It’s best to make a reserve your spot ahead of time and you can usually find a good deal on Groupon. With a bar in store, enjoy a glass of wine as you learn new recipes.
Five Things to Do in Grand Rapids this Weekend
Five Things to Do in Grand Rapids this Weekend
Shop at Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
Pop into OHPG for gifts made my local artists and vendors or a quirky greeting card. The inventory is constantly changing so you never know what you’ll find.
Try to get out at The Ruse Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are a great way to get a group of friends together for a fun activity. Ruse offers some really well-thought-out rooms with detailed themes. The staff is incredibly helpful and no matter if you escape within the hour or not, you’re sure to have a great time solving intricate puzzles.
Get a tiki drink at Max’s South Seas Hideaway
 …
End your day of activities by stopping at Max’s South Seas Hideaway for a cocktail. There are roughly 50 different drinks to choose from including a scorpion bowl that’s on fire and quenches the thirsts of a group. The decor at Max’s transports you to a tropical getaway and you’ll forget where you are for an hour or two. A great way to end a fantastic day in Grand Rapids.