Amazing Things Around the Web

I love to read blogs. On my iPhone, I have an app called Newsify, and every morning I try to make it through all the posts that have come up. Admittedly, some of them I will gloss over, but there are others that draw me in and move me to action. Here are four posts that I dwelled over for a while – 2 of which I would like to see come true in Kingston, and 2 of which were more for my own personal interest.

The Happy Post Project: Spreading Cheer Via Post-It Note (via GOOD)

Last year, I initiated Kingston Through My Lens. It was an amazing experience, and my plan was originally to run it again this year. However, as circumstance would have it, I need to do something a little less involved for Culture Days this year, and I am leaning towards organizing a Happy Post Project in Kingston. Simply put, people will come and answer the question “what makes you happy?” on a post-it note, and then you display it in some shape or form. Then, you take all the post-its and mail them to The Happy Post Project to help them reach their goal of 100,000 happy posts.  If you live in the Kingston area and want to help me out with this, just send me an email!

Little Free Libraries Around Toronto (via Apartment Therapy)

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As it says in the article, the idea of book swaps is not a new one. I came across Book Crossing a few years ago, and really liked the idea, but I wanted something that kept the books more so in the local community. This idea of little free libraries is great, but the price of purchasing one of their libraries is quite prohibitive, and I really don’t trust my ability to create one from scratch. Most likely, the thing will fall apart, and we will be left with a yard full of books that have been destroyed by Kingston rain (though lately we have been getting no rain…and my lawn is definitely showing evidence of that). That being said, I think Kingston could really benefit from doing something like this – maybe we could use little mailboxes or something like that. According to the little free libraries global map, there is one in Landsdowne, Ontario, on a boat dock…but alas, I do not have a boat. Don’t worry, I will find a way to get this off the ground. Again, I am sending out an open call to people who live in the Kingston area, if you can help in some way (maybe you just happen to have a vast quantity of mailboxes that can be used for this project), please email me!

A $10 Bicycle That Actually Works! (via Apartment Therapy)

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Can you tell I love Apartment Therapy? =P After watching this video, I was amazed not only at the bicycle, but at the man behind it. His process of trial and prototyping, his determination for success amidst the skepticism of others, and the way he used his skill set were inspiring. Though this is not something I would do, I have so much respect for him, and would love to try out the bike!

Monday Giveaway! (via A Cup of Jo)

There are a few personal blogs that I subscribe to, Joanna Goddard’s being one of them. I have this attraction to people who live in NYC and SF, so it seems most of the individuals that I follow are from one of those two cities. Anyways, her giveaway yesterday was this SWEET diaper bag from So Young. I am not yet at that stage of life where I will need a diaper bag, but I forwarded it to Kelvin nonetheless, after which I received a text that said “That is one of the best baby bags I’ve ever seen…How much?”. We then proceeded to scour their website, amazed at all the cool features the diaper bag has, and how it has such a rugged exterior that Kelvin would proudly tote around. In particular, we liked the built in sunglasses case, though Kelvin and I will need to determine whose Raybans will go there. And for those of you who are curious, it is $175, and available at a number of fine retailers as well as online (with free shipping for orders over $50, which this bag definitely is).

Now that I am at the end of this post, I just want to say that I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts. Often times, these thoughts will get sent off to twitter or in emails to Kelvin, my sister, and my parents, but perhaps I should use this outlet more to share cool things I find.

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Project Updates!

Even though beyondmybox is my main blog, I have a few side projects that I’m working on. It seems I can’t really sit still and I like to have a million things going on at the same time (even in the summer it feels like I have tasks to finish all the time)!

Letters to the (Extra)ordinary
Today (and by today I mean July 19) marks Day 75 of this daily letter blog. This was a blog that I started on my birthday to document little (and big) things that happened each day. Funnily enough, I didn’t document the day I got engaged (perhaps it was because I wanted my family and friends to hear it from me rather than from the Internet). Instead, I wrote a letter to a highway. To be honest, there are days that I write retroactively (due to a lack of a wireless connection or otherwise), but I hope the essence is still there for the readers. I can’t believe it’s been this long since I started, and I’m even more excited to see how long I can keep it up! My goal is to make it at least until my birthday next year, though I am finding it really hard to remember what day I’m actually on. Thank goodness for the WordPress app!

The One Day Project
This was something I started on a whim one day in March. I had a red journal that I hadn’t used yet, and I decided to turn it into a traveling diary of sorts. I love writing, but I wanted this diary to be a part of something bigger, so I made up some rules of engagement, drew a synopsis of my day in it, and sent it to my friend Crystal in BC. Since then, this little red journal has been in the hands of five different people, in four different countries, in three different continents! It is definitely an exercise in patience, because the average turn around time from person to person has been about a month. Furthermore, it requires me to relinquish some control of where my projects take me (which is admittedly very difficult). However, I have enjoyed emailing the people whose hands this journal falls into, and like with all my projects, we will see where this goes!

And now for something from the “vault”…

Ink and Paper (Napkins)
Kelvin and I started this food blog quite a while ago, and we haven’t contributed to it since April of last year, after our foodie trip to Montreal. It wasn’t that we’d forgotten about it, it was just that we found ourselves obsessing over our food while eating rather than just enjoying it. And that is no way to have a meal, so we stopped writing. While in San Francisco, someone commented on our super old post, saying she enjoyed reading our series on Montreal. It made Kelvin and I think about whether we wanted to write again, especially after having had so many wonderful culinary experiences on this last trip. We are still stewing over the possibility, but I wouldn’t rule it out entirely. We shall keep you posted!

Aside from these virtual projects, I have Kelvin and my adventure book to update. I am dedicating a good 10 pages of it to this trip, so there will be a lot of cutting, gluing, and writing over the next few days. I wonder how much I will get done before I have to leave Kingston again…

Kingston: where the heart is

Growing up, my family went on a lot of vacations. Every summer, we would head away once, twice…sometimes many, many times. You would rarely see us in town for Christmas, March Break, Thanksgiving, or any long weekend for that matter. Now that I am living in Kingston, my travelling has decreased slightly (though somehow I am still managing to save up money to go on little trips here and there). Yesterday, I got back from my now-annual trip with Kelvin’s family for the KNA conference. It was a lovely time (post to come), but I also found myself experiencing a feeling that I don’t often feel when I am away on vacation. I felt a longing for home, to be back in my own bed, using my loofah, cooking my own food. It was a peculiar feeling, especially for someone who is constantly being bitten with the travel bug. True, this may have been in part due to my bout of tonsillitis, or my inability to keep up with my AQ course while travelling, but a more plausible explanation is that I am really starting to think of Kingston as my home. Looking back at the past few months here, I have narrowed my love for this city down to 5 main things:

  1. The perfect size: Kingston is big enough that it has all the amenities I need (though it could really do with an HK-style restaurant) while being small enough that I feel very comfortable becoming involved with my local community and staying active with neighbourhood happenings.
  2. The perfect location: Located in the middle between Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, Kingston allows me to be close to major metropolitan centres and my family, while being a space all my own. Also, it is 2 hours to Syracuse (perfect for our US flights), and just over 7 to NYC (no further explanation needed :P)
  3. The perfect nod to nature: I love the lake, and to be able to be close to it is wonderful. I can go hiking when I want, biking when I want, and out on the water when I want (usually). I have my own little yard, and I can breathe easy with my windows open.
  4. The perfect community and solitude: To be honest, I was a little nervous moving to Kingston, with most of my friends in other places. However, we have developed some great friendships with people who live here in town, and we are still able to keep in touch with all the people who are important to us. Being away from the hustle and bustle, we have a chance to live a quieter life free from the expectations and comparisons of others, and more true to our own hopes and dreams.
  5. The perfect place to build our nest: With a look to the future, I want a place where I feel comfortable settling down and starting a family. Kingston has been a great place for Kelvin to grow up, and I’m looking forward to how we will continue to live actively in this city. As we settle into a new church community, move into the married chapter of life, and develop our respective careers, I know we will grow to love Kingston more and more.