I'm sure you know by now that it's Small Business Saturday! I really struggle with the commercialization that goes along with the holidays, but creative small businesses and those who shop them are slowly restoring my faith in humanity. (This is me choosing to focus on the positive. It's not easy.)
I'm pretty excited about my first couple of gift purchases. Two little ones in my life will be receiving Miniature Terrarium Bracelets from Studio No. 2. Artist and owner Meg Hollister creates everything from murals to living art, and today you can win $30 to spend on her creations! The winner will be announced on Friday, just in time for Handmade City on Saturday, December 7th. If you're wanting to give amazing, handmade gifts from small businesses this year, HMC is where it's at. And, of course, Studio No. 2 will be there.
These are some of my all time favorite pieces:
Here's how to win…
One winner will be chosen on Friday, December 6th at 11:59 ET. Open to readers in the US and internationally. This post in partnership with Studio No. 2, all opinions are my own.
Most of the traveling we do is to festivals and multi-day concerts, and Jonesy is the undeniable master of planning. Every ticket, map, and supply is purchased, printed, and packed. I can't think of a time that we have ever had a major problem (*knocks on wood*). My grand dream is to convince him that we should take life (and business) on the road airstream-style, and that he should be the master coordinator of it all. A girl can dream!
But, truth be told, our schedules and finances of late have required a lot more spur of the moment decision making. Instead of planning several months in advance, it's been more like 'hey, there's this show I really think we should go to next week, whaddyathink?' So was the case this past week. I found out Wednesday afternoon that I could get Thursday night off. So we purchased tix and hopped in the car, Wisconsin-bound for The Big Wu & Leftover Salmon at The Majestic Theatre.
It felt very much like an escape as we passed the exit where I would normally turn off for work. The 2.5 hour trip flew by, and soon we were pulling into our friends' hotel (which had a great view of the capitol building). I've been to the Majestic once before for Hot Buttered Rum in May 2009. It was much more crowded this time, but still a lot of fun! We went for Leftover Salmon, but both bands were really great.
Between sets we stopped in The Great Dane Pub. I went with the Old Glory American Pale Ale, which we agreed was better than the IPA Jonesy tried. We are still trying to solve the mystery of why our two beers came to a total of $3.88. The receipt showed both pints, so it definitely wasn't a mistake…weird!
Friday morning was crisp and clear, and we were both a little awe-struck as we made our way out of city. All of the little restaurants and the huge bike lanes had us itching to spend more time there. And, of course, there was a stop at Woodman's for loads of beer that we can't get in Illinois. The rest of the trip home was quiet as we just enjoyed the landscape of Wisconsin in the fall.
In other news...
Career stuff going on:
All of these photos are from my Instagram feed...which I am trying to use more…which you can follow here.
“There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
When I started to plan this website, I knew I wanted to share my portfolio, my design inspirations, and my travels. I have an innate love of travel that has been showing itself for as long as I can remember. The first couple of books I ever picked out for myself as child were the Macmillan First Atlas, and This is the Way We Go to School, about how kids get to school in different parts of the world. I was the only kid I know of sitting for hours on end listening to stories about great-great-grandparents in Sweden, and the distant uncle that worked on the Alaskan Railroad. And I think it's this kind of curiosity that makes me 'hard to keep up with' (my husbands' words) in other aspects of my life, too.
My first project for this site is documenting my study abroad in Costa Rica. Gathering photos and itineraries from 3 months of travel in a country is quite the undertaking. It's been a motivator to start learning Photoshop, and it's also been a good way to sit and reflect a little on my usually-hectic life. I can really appreciate now how fortunate I am to carry these experiences with me. I saw jungles, waterfalls, volcanoes, and crocodiles. I sat wide eyed through numerous earthquakes, rafted through Class III/IV/V rapids, and zip-lined through cloud forests. The photo above was taken from the beautiful lookout point at the end of the short but difficult .85 mile Mirador Trail, in Manuel Antonio National Park, where I saw a poisonous tree and three-toed sloths.
I went here during the fall of my junior year in college. The next summer, I studied abroad on the Le Petit Grand Tour d'Architecture, in Italy and Greece. I even tried to study abroad a third time, two weeks in India over the winter break, but I got booted for someone that was actually in the associated major. (So, I'm still aching for that trip to India!) I only knew a couple people at school that studied abroad, and one from home, so it's really got me thinking…this desire to travel, that seems so much stronger in certain people, where does it come from?
First Post - Volcán Arenal & Monteverde Cloud Forest
I've decided that I'm too impatient to wait unit I have the entire trip finished. Not to mention that might make for a looong read all at once. So, I just finished up the first leg of the first excursion we went on and I'm sharing it right away. It was to La Fortuna, a city at the base of Arenal Volcano.
You can go to the Costa Rica overview page here, or straight to the excursion page here.
If you don't want to miss a post, find Jones for Design on your Feedly, follow on social media, or subscribe here:
Hello, there! My name is Nikki Jones and this is a place for me to write about my travels, my urban homesteading adventures, and whatever else my little heart desires at a given moment. Like many personal-blog bloggers, there are times I write daily and long streteches I'm not inspired to write at all. And that's ok! At any rate, I'm glad you're here.