Well, I have reached a new milestone. It has been 700 consecutive days of lunch notes! To celebrate, I thought I would give something back. I started posting lunch notes online as a way to hopefully build a community from which I could find inspiration. After a week of posting lunch notes, I thought I would quickly run out of ideas. I mean, how many different ways can you tell a 4-year-old to have a super day?
This post is simply to serve as a public service announcement of sorts. These space tourism posters courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech are amazingly beautiful. The combination of art and science speaks to my two favorite subjects in school. The best part is that they are free to download and you can print them if you'd like. I would love to print some of these and decorate my walls.
I like all of the posters, but my favorite have to be the Grand Tour, Mars, and Jupiter posters. The Grand Tour poster has that retro feeling. The colors/shapes speak to the space feel. I like the bold colors of the Mars poster and its collage feel. The Jupiter poster is great because of its colors and dreamlike qualities. Which posters do you like most, and why?
Wow! I have always had different ideas on how to improve our kids' rooms, but this father went a step beyond anything I have ever dreamt up. I feel like I really need to step up my game now. Kudos to this guy. I hope his children have fun with it.
Not long ago, my wife and I decided to give each of our children memorable experiences in lieu of physical gifts for milestone birthdays. Therefore, before our daughter Abby turned 5 we sat her down and said, "you get to go on a trip for your 5th birthday--you choose the adventure." She seemed excited and had only two requests: she wanted to go on an airplane and she wanted to stay somewhere with a pool. After some questions to try and narrow down the options, we found out one more thing she wanted to do was see a show. At this point it seemed fair that New York City would be a good option. NYC would be a quick plane ride, there are plenty of shows, and a pool shouldn't be too difficult to find.
After careful planning, we had come up with a trip that would pack a lot of things into just 2 days. Our journey would start on a Friday afternoon and end Sunday afternoon. We decided to stay in the heart of Times Square because it offered the most accessibility. We were going to see a show, check out Rockefeller Center, go to the M&M store, and do A LOT of walking. I also had a surprise planned to enhance the experience. And of course, I would need to pack some notes to keep the creativity going throughout this mini vacation.
There was great anticipation leading up to the trip. When it was finally time to leave, Abby was so excited. We got to the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight. After close to 5 hours of delays we finally got in the air. I have experienced a lot of delays/cancellations in my life, so I was getting worried that either our flight would be cancelled or that Abby would be turned off by air travel. When we finally boarded, it was dark and Abby was ready to fall asleep. It made me proud that she was such a trooper through it all, but I was a little disappointed that she wasn’t as enthusiastic as I thought she would be to fly through the air.
When we landed everything was good again. While waiting for a taxi, I told Abby that we would need to ride a cab to our hotel. She made everyone in line laugh when she innocently asked, “We get to ride a cow to our hotel!?” Once in the taxi, she fell fast asleep.
We arrived at our hotel and *SURPRISE* Grammy was there to greet us! Abby, despite her sleepiness, was thrilled to have one of her favorite people there to share the trip with her. Now that it was late, though, it was time to get to bed so we could enjoy the next 36 hours of non-stop fun.
Saturday morning we got up early to have breakfast at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This is a ‘50s-themed diner with aspiring Broadway performers singing and serving meals. The experience was a perfect start to our day. The singing was phenomenal and the food was great. After enjoying the meal and show we then proceeded to check out the Times Square shopping. First the M&M store, then Toys R Us, and then the Disney store. Abby was loving it. Grammy and I were loving it, too. After a couple hours of shopping (and Times Square in the morning is a wonderfully uncrowded place to be) we headed to the Top of the Rock. It was here that I wanted to show Abby the scale of the city. Abby really enjoyed the views.
Later in the afternoon we got ready for the show. We took the subway to East Village and had some New York style pizza before walking to the theater. We were on our way to see the Blue Man Group. Neither Abby nor I had ever seen them, so we were hoping this would be a fun experience… and it was! Abby was on her feet for most of the show because she was so excited to see what was coming next. She really loved it when I got to be a part of the show. One of the blue men had me throw marshmallows into his mouth from a distance of about 20 feet (and 2 out of 3 marshmallows ain't bad). This show really felt like the exclamation on the trip. Saturday night after the show we did some more shopping before going to bed.
Sunday morning we woke up early to have breakfast and swim for a half hour. After that we walked Grammy a few blocks to the subway and said our goodbyes. We were so thankful Grammy was there to share Abby’s once-in-a-young-lifetime trip. Abby and I then proceeded to quickly run to Central Park before coming back to the hotel to check out. We covered about 24 blocks in a matter of 20 minutes and still had time to enjoy a quick glimpse of the park and stop for a drink.
Abby really enjoyed the “cow” ride to the airport this time since she was able to check out all the buildings. Thankfully there were no delays or issues getting on the plane, but we did arrive about 3 hours ahead of our flight. So, Abby and I passed the time people watching, drawing in her Moleskines (a gift from her Aunt), and eating airport food for lunch. When we finally arrived home we were both spent from this whirlwind trip. We walked/ran almost 13 miles. I was so thankful we had beautiful, sunny weather the whole time. It was such a great experience and hopefully Abby will take those memories with her throughout her life. I can't wait for the next great adventure!
The other day we were enjoying some time at Bounce-n-Play. While I was stacking blocks with my son I thought "building a tower" would make for a great sketch. However, when I sat down to draw it out I realized the idea of stacking blocks correlated quite well with stacking sticky notes. So I did a few sketches to try and figure out how to go about creating something.
I still wanted to create a single note that could be shown off on social media like I always do, but I took it further by adding on to the tower. Eleven sticky notes later I had a sizable structure. The following images showcase the process from start to finish.
The process for sketching is never really defined. Sometimes the "Thing To Do" takes place before the sketch is done. Today's sketch is a good example. Yesterday I was playing with my daughter and had a blast (pun intended) turning an ordinary box into a rocket that provided us entertainment throughout the evening. This experience gave me the idea to create a sketch called "Build A Rocket."
With a box, markers, tape, scissors, and a lot of imagination we were able to turn this ordinary box into a rocket ship complete with an eject button, a cardboard pet dog/cat taped to the side, and lots of smiles. Her imagination runs wild and I wouldn't have it any other way! The whole reason I sketch a note everyday is to show that there is a lot we can do -- both kids and adults -- to insert a little fun and creativity in to our day. This image shows the true essence of Lunch Note Sketch. Let's get creative!