Book Inspired Date: The Memory Of After by Lenore Appelhans

For past Book Inspired Dates posts go here!


 My review of The Memory Of After by Lenore Appelhans (formerly known as Level 2) | Amazon | Goodreads|

I thought this would be a nice, low key Valentine’s Day (really any day) date for people who want to just stay in and really spend some time together without all the typical Valentine’s Day hoopla.


The Inspiration

The idea of an afterlife, Level 2, where you replay memories

So basically in the book, when you die, you go to Level 2 where you live in a chamber & spend your day plugged into computers where you have access to view all your old memories or the memories of others by way of a very elaborate system of credits. Your memories can be loaned out and you can borrow other peoples memories. It was interesting to think about which memories I would never want to relive and which ones I’d find myself watching over and over again. You could borrow the memories of others like travel memories, or someone’s memory while reading a book or a going to a concert, etc.

For this date, I was thinking how it would be really nice to sit down with some of our old pictures and relive those memories. So that’s the inspiration!


The Date

{Plan} Step 1: Dig out those boxes of photos. Print out the ones from your phone and Facebook because dammit you will want those pictures in your possession should the zombie apocalypse happen and you can no longer get on the Facebook to look at your pictures.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

{Plan} Step 2: Make a playlist of loooove songs to be playing in the background (or a mix of YOUR songs…Will and I have a playlist of our songs…they are filled with sweet and silly (seriously, I Like Big Butts is on it).  Or feel free to listen to the one I made for y’all!

{Plan} Step 3: Pick a project to do with your photos — a simple as changing out the photos in the frames you have out (I always forget to do this) or buying new frames to put pictures in, start a scrapbook (I think this one is cool), something like this, this, this, this, this, or the million other things you could find on Pinterest.

Step 4
: Get all your photos out and reminisce away! This is the important step. Before you do any thing with those pictures take some time to talk about the memories from each one and maybe why you picked it. Laugh or share an “off camera” memory of when this picture was taken. Talk about that day, that moment, how you felt. Taking a walk down memory lane is good for the soul, in my opinion, and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of life or the future or the day to day life things…but sometimes it’s just nice to reflect on the sweet memories of the past and how far your love has come. The conversation that will be sparked from your memories will be lovely!

BILWVEJCcAAGzcy.jpg_largeAh, this memory. Will and I were such babies — this was back in 2007 (he was 18 I think and I was 21). We hadn’t even been dating a year. I had just gotten back from a trip to Europe in the summer and we had the best date ever — I had flowers waiting for me, I made him pasta with pesto that I brought home with me from Italy and had a candlelit dinner, we took silly pictures, laughed and just generally had an amazing day. That so-drunk-on-first-love euphoria. <3


Step 5: Complete your project after you are done walking down memory lane and then display those memories!

IMG_5537Photo credit here

Step 6: Follow up with some takeout or cook dinner together and settle in for a favorite movie together.


What did you think of this book inspired date? Have any fun photo/memory related projects that would work well with this? Because Will and I are seriously doing this sometime soon because we have a bad habit of never printing our photos out and I’m still looking for a few different project ideas!

Book Inspired Date: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

I’ve been meaning to bring back my sporadic Book Inspired Dates posts but I got lazy and was feeling pretty uninspired with all the wedding hoopla and then getting settled in as newlyweds! But I’ve been trying to get creative with the dates that Will and I have been going on now that we are a married couple and I feel my inspiration coming back! I also wanted to change the format so it wasn’t multiple dates in one post — we’ll see how that works out!

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

| My review of Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt | Amazon | Goodreads|

“When I read Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt back in February I KNEW this was going to be my first book inspired date when I got my crap together enough to do one of these posts again. I was talking to Will while I was reading it and said I COULD NEVER DO THIS (I barely made it through my social media diet for a week). If you don’t know what the book is about the basic premise is that a girl finds out that her boyfriend has some secret internet girlfriend and she decides to give up all things modern and make her life more simple. OBVIOUSLY funny things happen and she realizes all the ways she relies on modern luxuries that weren’t available in the 60’s and that  maybe life wasn’t so simple back then either. I’m SO attached to my phone, the internet, my ipod, Netflix, etc. that I just can’t imagine life without those things and all the other things we use on a daily basis (Hello hair straightener!)


The Inspiration

Mallory’s plan to de-modernize & disconnect from technology


The Date

Step 1: Put your phones/ipads etc in a drawer, a safe or SOMEWHERE where you won’t touch them. I don’t know about you but I have a bad habit of checking Twitter or email even when Will and I are together. (He’s guilty of checking ESPN on his phone during date night). They won’t be coming out ALL day/night until the date is over.

Step 2: Start the afternoon portion of your day by breaking out some classic board games! Ideas? Yahtzee, Monopoly, Battleship, Mastermind, Sorry, etc. Enjoy each other’s company and conversation without the background noise of tv! Bonus points if you actually have vintage board games. Double bonus points if you have a record player and can play some music while you are playing!

Classic-Yahtzee-300x300Photo Credit: The Game Aisle

Step 3: Get out your mom or grandma’s cookbook (or search the internet before the actual date) and pick something that you’d like to make together. I feel like everything in my mom’s old Betty Crocker cookbook is BUTTER BUTTER BUTTER so we are going to be INSPIRED by a recipe and make something modified. The recipe I picked out? I’m either between Swedish Meatballs or a casserole — both such classic dishes that I could easily lighten up. I love this recipe for lightened up Swedish meatballs and this skinny broccoli mac & cheese! Bonus points if you wear a vintage looking apron.  Double bonus points if you get your man to.


Photo credit: Casserole dish | Apron

Step 4
: After dinner, rather than heading over to see what’s on Neflix, it’s time to get out! I’m giving options for this step due to the fact not every area will have every single one of these.

vintage2Photo Credit: Skates  | Ice Cream | Drive In

* Find an old fashioned soda shop or ice cream parlor! We have a couple near us! (If you can’t find anything old fashioned any ice cream stand will do!) Bonus points for being romantic and putting 2 straws in one shake. That would never fly with Will — he doesn’t share well.
* Go to a roller skating rink ( I miss the really old one where I used to live — the one around here is too modern for me…no character!)
* Go find a cool vintage store and check out clothes and other fun things from different eras!
* Go to a drive in movie! I am SO stinking excited because we found two that are decently close! You can use this search engine to see if there is a drive-in movie theater near you! (If you can’t find a drive-in sometimes movies show at different parks or school in the summer outside.)

Step 5: Remove your phones from where ever you stored them. Kiss all of your technology because you missed it so much. Check your phone/email/social media sites and realize the world didn’t implode without you for the day/evening. It felt pretty good not to be glued to your phones/tvs/computers, yes?


What would YOU add that you think would make a perfect GOING VINTAGE date night? What board games would you play? Do you have any cool retro restaurants/ice cream parlors/arcades/drive in theaters near you? And just out of curiosity, do you find yourself pulling out your phone in social situation (like dates or hanging out with friends)? I’m trying to break the habit – I’m good with being polite and not doing it with other people but with Will I’m TERRIBLE at it.

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt | Book Review

Going Vintage Lindsey LeavittBook Title/Author: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
: Bloomsbury – March 26th 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA
Series: No!
Other Books From Author: Sean Griswold’s Head, Princess for Hire series

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this as an e-galley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

Upon finding out her boyfriend has a secret online girlfriend (a girl whose avatar name is BUBBLEYUM), Mallory declares she’s completely swearing off  guys and modern technology as a way to get over Jeremy, avoid the rumors flying at school and make her life less complicated. Her inspiration for “going vintage”? A list of goals she finds in some of her grandmother’s belongings from 1962 when she was in high school. The list includes things like run for pep club (there isn’t even one!), sew a homecoming dress (she doesn’t sew!) and do something dangerous. Making her life less simple ends up being a whole lot more complicated than she realized while she’s running around to start a pep club that Jeremy’s (cute) cousin joins, avoiding Jeremy and learning how to live in the 21st century without her cell phone, internet or the other modern conveniences she’s used to.

This is my latest “work-out” read (I like to workout and read — helps me not think about the pain) and it was just perfect to read while on the treadmill as it was an easy story to get into right from the start. Going Vintage was light and fun and absolutely adorable! It’s the kind of read that is easy to breeze through and is perfect when you are looking for something that isn’t depressing or dark or issue-y. Going Vintage was a happy-making book that dealt genuinely with typical high school experiences and family matters as we watch Mallory struggle through her list and with her new de-modernized life (seriously she says goodbye to all things that didn’t exist in 1962)!

I loved Mallory and watching her learn more about herself through this experiment. She’s your average girl with your typical problems and, while I can’t say she was one of those characters I was like HEY BESTIE, I liked her and found her easy to identify with and relate to. It was just really fun to watch her realize who she was apart from Jeremy (which is SO hard to do when you end a relationship) and stumble and triumph through this list and the breakup. It was the kind of growth I really enjoyed reading. Don’t get me wrong, I love TOUGH issues that shape people but I also really enjoy stories of people who grow and change without all that kind of stuff. I loved watching her maneuver through school with rumors and remember that she HAD friends before Jeremy, stretching herself to try new things and learning what to do with her time now that it doesn’t consist of everything Jeremy. So easy to relate to! Where do you sit? Who can you still talk to? How do you tell your parents? I loved see the light bulb click on that perhaps she didn’t think everything through but I love the way she keeps challenging herself even knowing that perhaps the grass isn’t always greener or that the technology isn’t the reason everything went wrong. I loved watching her learn to enjoy LIFE and new experiences.

Bonus points: YAY for family involvement in the story — sister, grandma and parents (involved in that OMG-MY-PARENTS-ARE-ANNOYING kind of way). They have their problems for sure but it was nice to see a family, who had their own problems and quirks, but were THERE and a positive force.

The only tiny thing I’ll say was that there were a lot of different pieces of this plot outside of the breakup and the list — a storyline with her grandmother, things happening with her parents, NEW boys in the picture. Sometimes some of those pieces felt choppy and not as well fleshed out. I’ll also say that I wish some of the characters were more memorable to me — some were really well written and others just felt more flat for me. PS. I LOVE MALLORY’S GRANDMOTHER THE MOST AND WANTED MORE OF HER!

All in all, Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt was a cute book with a ridiculously fun plot that is easy to get into and was a great story of finding out who YOU are outside of a relationship  (a lesson even a married lady like me needs to remember from time to time) among a few other things. It was pretty light, sweet and generally a bit predictable  (in some areas and not in a bad way — like how I think of those Disney Channel original movies I used to love — Double Teamed and Cadet Kelly FTW) and I really enjoyed it. I can’t say it is a book that changed my life or blew my mind but I really, really enjoyed it and it was such a fun and refreshing read in the midst of darker or more intense stuff I’ve been reading! If you are looking for a lighter read that is funny, different and so easy to relate to — this is a great one! Weighs in high on the fun scale!


 For fans of: lighter reads, a contemporary YA read that is cute and fun and don’t delve into heavy stuff, a romp through high school, great character growth, books without invisible parents or family, sweet romances

Going Vintage Lindsey Leavitt


Let’s Talk: Have you read this one??  Heard of it?  If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? Who was your favorite character? Did it make you think about all the technology that you rely on because I sure kept thinking about how I could never do it! But it made me honestly want to go on a social media/tv/electronic diet a bit and remember that life happens outside these screens!

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