These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things…

One of the perks of being a gifted individual is an interest in, well, everything!

The IEA staff is a passionate group with many different interests and hobbies, which often lead to very interesting collections. Here are some of the things IEA staff members like to collect:

Zadra: I LOVE notebooks, journals and fountain pens. Lately, I’ve also really gotten into Nail Art. People’s imaginations are so boundless! Pinterest is my favorite place to get new ideas on how to decorate my nails, but YouTube has great tutorials, too. I also enjoy Tarot cards – the decks are the perfect combination of beauty and math!

Jennifer: Sticky notes abound in my life because I get ideas all the time in so many places and can’t stand not being able to jot them down as they come. A friend in one of my college literature classes actually bought me speech bubble sticky notes because I used them so much for my thoughts and commentary in my books! My desk at IEA is also covered in sticky notes – in my organizer, as a to-do list, on the edges of my computer, and on all of my projects. I can never have too many books, either. I love reading and will read almost anything. Classic literature, business, popular fiction, personal growth, sports, poetry collections, how-tos, education…the list goes on, and I am continually looking for more space to keep all of them. I don’t go anywhere without a book, a pen, and a pad of sticky notes.

Louise: Collections often define our interests and our minds as we change and develop through life, but my collection defines the life of others near and dear to me, my children. I cannot seem to throw anything away, from the little note left by my bedside, scrawled and interestingly spelled in blunted pencil, to those daily reports from nursery school, certificates of swimming achievement and numerous birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Mother’s Day cards. Each precious item jolts a memory to mind. Unlike most collections, they are not housed systematically, but in wicker baskets ready to be explored, with smiles, whenever the moment arises.

Tiffany: One of my favorite things to collect are pressed coins. I’ve been collecting them for years and probably have over a hundred of them. The bulk of my coins are pennies from Disneyland, which is a mecca for the most avid pressed penny collector. Disneyland even has a few pressed quarter machines! But I especially love the ones that I’ve collected while traveling. It’s a great way to remember an event or time in your life and I love that every pressed coin in my collection has a story behind it. I have ones from Hawaii, San Diego, Sequoia National Park, Seattle, Alaska, and Spain. When I was in Barcelona, I pressed a coin at the Tibidabo amusement park and on it was an impression of their famous ferris wheel. More recently, I collected a pressed penny with a scenic image of Washington’s Snoqualmie Falls, which I got minutes after my husband proposed to me. Not every place or landmark has a pressed coin machine; but when I do find one, I’m there ready to press the shiniest penny or quarter in my wallet.

Lauren: One of my favorite things to collect is salt and pepper shakers. I have always enjoyed adding a little spice to my life and salt and pepper seem to be readily available at meal times. During my life, I noticed that salt and pepper shakers came in all shapes and sizes and in some cases were works of art. I began to purchase salt and pepper shakers during my travels as a way to remember a place I visited. My collection has grown to more than 30 sets of salt and pepper shakers. I recently inherited a collection of salt and pepper shakers from my aunt, as well as from my mother from when she was a child. They are treasure that I hope to pass on to my daughter, 7 years old, who loves organizing them in a variety of ways.

Brianna: While I tend not to be a collector of “stuff,” one thing I am always looking to gain more of is trivia facts. Jeopardy! has been a long time favorite of mine. You know that feeling you get at the library when you realize how many books exist compared to how many you’ve actually read compared to how many you will actually read in your lifetime? I call that despair. The world is so fascinating and vast, and it can be overwhelming to recognize how little we truly know. Collecting sizable statistics and information about a variety of subjects helps me feel more connected to what is happening in the world and all around us. One thing I love is the website sporcle.com. It has quizzes about everything! For anyone who loves trivia and timed challenges, I give my stamp of approval to this site. It’s how I learned all the countries and capitals (and flags!) of the world.

What do you or your kids like to collect? Please share with us in the comment section below!

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