Monday, May 23, 2016

Homestead of Happiness

This semester, it seemed as if I had lost any and all spark of creativity. I was a puddle of stress and anxiety, feeling as if one thief of happiness after another was surely swiping bit by bit from my once impenetrable drive of self expression. I meandered down dimly lit paths of self doubt and abruptly turned around at any divided road, sprinting home to gather insight from others on what path to take. I was in all honesty of severe mistrust in my own ability to make decisions, and was convinced of the improbability of happiness if I struck out on my own. Some days, if caffeinated to the nth degree resulted in astounding mediocrity. Others, or should I say most, were dictated by the gray cloud of self pity I never willed myself to step out from underneath of. These cumulus puffs of dismality were ones I allowed myself to wallow in, questioning my lack of importance due to my barren schedule when t-charted beside other’s scribbled to-do lists.
In the past 10 months, I learned that i’m happiest and most filled with an indescribable amount of joy when interacting with fresh faces, and enjoy time away from the dullness of those who think they understand every aspect of me.
In the past 10 months, I have been the most selfish i have ever been, ensuring that my own happiness was put on a more accessible shelf and was able to be replenished far faster than others.
In the past 10 months, I allowed my emotions to take a toll on the sanity of those around me, allowing my rain to pour on their once brightly balloon filled parade.
In the past 10 months, I discovered that I have an immense fear of roads yet to be paved, and lack the tenacity to clear them myself.
In the past 10 months, I discovered that happiness is much like a quaint house you must keep tidy, one that can brave storms but certainly does not lack damage in the aftermath of one, a house that's greenery only flourishes if coddled and watered, and whose door exudes benevolence if only repainted with gentle brushes.
I am viewing this change in season and shift in obligations as a chance to revamp my home. As a creature lightest when checking off lists of productivity, i plan to stay busy, fruitful, and most of all, happy. I plan to dodge these thieves of joy and take notes from the sun's selfless nature of spreading light (while also bathing in it's rays). I'm taking these short few months to take mental classes in intentionalism and and courage. I am fixing up my dismal home and heart of stark gray, and slapping a fresh coat of paint on it's walls, rehinging it's doors to be open to new possibilities, and drawing back it's curtains to absorb all the goodness and light life has to offer. Here's to a homestead of happiness.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Glance Back at 2015

2015 was a year of growth, laughter, and adventure. Here's a brief gaze into 15 of my favorite documented memory brimmed days.

Nothing quite like a New Year's Day spent in San Francisco. 

Dancing took place in the moonlight. 

No adventure is complete without a few wrong turns right? Galentines day took place with pressed paninis, a picnic blanket, and of course plenty of conversation hearts. 

Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein. Castles ruins were explored.

A red carpet was walked. Horrific heels were trudged in.  

A graduation of grandeur occurred. 

Boutiques were perused. Homemade peach ice cream was devoured. 

Sunshine and snorkeling. No reception, no problem. 

Tangerine snow cones were licked. My favorite coney was by my companion. 
Coffee shops, mountains, and puppies were spied.

Pumpkins were picked. Heavy clothes donned. It was 90 degrees. Sigh.
Bare feet. Great music. 48 hours of pure bliss.

Immense laughter, further bonded friendships both new and old. Columbus the compass. 

Beignets. Art. Coffee. Family. My kind of day. 

Even through horrific traffic, laughter and fuzzy hearts prevailed. Crinkly eyes and shiny grins were made visible in the dimness through festive glow. 

I hope you all have a wonderful 2016 and please remember that, "the new year means nothing if you are still in love with your comfort zone."

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Note From Me About the Wretched F Word

 Displaying IMG_9443.JPGDisplaying IMG_9443.JPG
As of late, I’ve felt the hot topic of discussion to be the ominous, taunting, stubborn faced future. I crave to be the change in the world, but how? Is there a formula or algorithm to solve worldwide turmoil? What will the analyzation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's work do to prepare me to conquer cultural injustice? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to degrade the public school system. I understand its purpose. All I am saying is that I would be lying if I denied the overwhelming pit in my stomach due to the looming fear of drowning once getting tossed into the, “real world.”
I don’t want my life to be average. I look around and observe sallow faced store clerks and wonder if they ever ask themselves, “what happened?” One might say, “I dreamed of becoming a pilot and gliding through the clouds,” but later admit that his fear of inadequacy was what kept his feet planted firmly on Earth’s soil. I fear that I won’t be enough. I fear that my niche will never be discovered. I fear that my future is determined by one size fits all test results. “Do you have any idea what you want to do after you graduate?” an unnerving phrase that permeates the air of every light hearted gathering of individuals years older than I. This simple good intentioned phrase raises bilicious anxiety in my throat and sours my face. With a shrug of my shoulders in faux causality a rehearsed giggle escapes my lips, and the standard, “don’t ask me that, I have no idea,” attempts to bookend a conversation in my sorest of subjects.  
I’m a list maker. I have a designated place for every knick and every knack. I prefer my thoughts logged and filed into prim folders. The future is a begrudging, atrociously cliche blank page that flitters around, and lacks respect for my love affair with order. I want so bad to be able to determine whether the shade of the paper will be ecru or starch white, or whether times new roman will dominate the sheet or if words will appear in maddening comic sans. It’s quite easy to tell people to, “be the change you want to see in the world,” but how does one simply tug on a hat of resilience and carve paths of worldly revisions? How do I better my environment when I cower, in fear of tomorrow? How do I ensure that I exhale my last breath of life in tranquil confidence that I, an insignificant drop of water in the sea of Earth’s existence, truly impacted?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Golden Day Check(ed) List

Earlier in the season I curated a list of activities I wanted my summer to be brimmed with, the mess below can only be described as its aftermath. I consider myself held accountable, and accomplished. Here are just a few my, "accomplishments" if that word could ever be in the carefree living handbook.

no. 2- June 1st, our first adventure of the season. Peaches were successfully picked, and homemade ice cream instantly devoured.

no. 3- We traveled to Italy, India, and Indonesia in just the flick of a few hundred pages.'

no. 5 & no. 10- I did indeed make quite a few friends, majority of them having shaggy tails and slobbery tongues with intentions good and clear. I'll see you soon Sienna. 

no. 8- Telluride, Colorado's crisp high altitude air provided an extremely exciting excuse to wander and spend hours upon hours discovering the inter webbing of this rocky mountain paradise. I never wanted to go inside; or even leave. 

no. 9- Walton's Fancy & Staple was stumbled upon and will be fondly remembered as one of my favorite (and most frequented) breakfast stops of the season.

no. 13- I hiked quite a few times, always with jubilant company.

no. 15- I must admit, I felt a bit cheesy adding this to the list a few months ago, but honestly it is something I've always longed to do. Hopefully the recipient appreciated it and didn't toss it aside due to its unromantic appearance.

See you next year sunshine days.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On The Agenda Today: Planners

In all honesty, I've tried to conjure up a scenario in which I could live without my beloved agenda and it's nearly impossible. Recently, I've been in search of the perfect planner (if there's even such). As an agenda addict of quite a few years, I find it odd that I haven't come across, "the one" yet so devastatingly, I've been forced to scower for the cutest, most functional planner. In past years I've used a few target, office depot, and most recently Kate Spade agendas, but here are a few I've stumbled upon listed in pros and cons fashion.

DISCLAIMER: If you're a planner virgin, I would NOT recommend spending 25+ on an agenda you may only open twice, planning is not for everyone and I would hate to have you burn more than one Jackson on something you may never even use.

Erin Condren Life Planner 

EXTREMELY customizable
cute motivational quotes
large size, easy to fit in every detail (vastly spacious)
monthly calendar view

steep price
very thick

May Designs Agenda 

the ability to design your own cover
choice of any type of planner (academic planner, fitness planner, meal planner, etc,)
nicely priced (always some sort of special going on)
no spirals (not sure if this is a pro or a con but I figured I should point it out anyway)

extremely small
no calendar view (sadly a deal breaker)
no tabs

Kate Spade Agenda
Kate Spade $36
classic, clean layout
monthly calendar view
nicely sized
covered spirals
quirky quotes

steep price
almost bland, plain Jane

Etsy Posypaper Boutique Planner 

nicely priced
monthly calendar view
covered spirals

no real size comparison (reviews refer to it as "small?")

Lily Pulitzer Agenda 

multiple sizes to choose from
cute quotes and monthly horoscopes

extremely busy (opposite problem Kate Spade faces)
open spiral (risk of bent wires, if used as much as mine)

Paper Source Custom Planner 

(I must confess, this planner may or may not be a personal favorite shh.)
various adorable styles that range from the spunky to sophisticated planner
calendar view

very pricey
uncovered spirals
no option to view customer reviews

Happy planning! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What's In My Bag: Summertime Edition

I consider myself a rather sporadic thinker and believe my purse would indefinitely fall under the same category, so here's a clue into the inhabitants of my catch all "mom bag", summertime style.

My Bag
She's a beaut isn't she? Used, abused, and tossed into the most ungodly of places, this bag has saved my life with its Mary Poppins-like capacity and seemingly unstainable exterior. If I had to, I would buy this bag 50 more times.

                Madewell Transport Tote

Yeah, pretty important right? These are, if not the most important adventuring tools in my bag. Many thanks go out to Columbus the Compass for getting me into and out of many summertime jams.

I'm pretty much on the go, so you will most likely catch a shoe (or sometimes even a pair) meandering about my bag. My go-to shoes would have to be my Steve Madden "Donddi Sandals" they're simple, comfortable, and mold into any outfit, in other words, they're a key summertime essential.

Steve Madden Donddi Sandals 

No sweltering day is braved easily without these gems. Gotta keep these dearies close am i right?

Ray Ban Clubmasters

Michael Kors

Hydration is no small task in the blistering heat, and is always made easier with a cute tumbler.
Kate Spade

Instant entertainment, no explanation necessary. 

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (fabulous let me tell you)

Let's be real, a deceased handheld is no predicament you want to get yourself into. 

Mini Emergency Kit
Deodorant, bare minimum makeup, contacts, a tide to go stick, underwear, and a toothbrush, with companion toothpaste makes spontaneous living a little more comfortable.

Bluetooth Speaker
Whether you're poolside, or stricken with a car capable of only blaring static jams, a wireless speaker will be your best friend on sunny days in need of background noise.
Bose Mobile Speaker II

"A little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about."
-John Mayer

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Seasonal Bookshelf: Summertime Reads

As an avid reader, summertime means one thing for sure, more time for paper back indulgences. Here is list of books I have strung together and hope to finish by the time autumn roles around.
DISCLAIMER: Anti hopeless romantics proceed with caution.

Eat Pray Love
By: Elizabeth Gilbert

I do realize I am late to board this train, but am still eager to travel vicariously and am incredibly ecstatic to gobble up some of Elizabeth Gilbert's thought provoking wisdom.

The Opposite of Loneliness
By: Marina Keegan

This books is a bundle of personal essays and stories woven between two covers. I've also been told that this read will have me in fits of giggles and tears in a matter of minutes.

The Heir
By: Kiara Cass 

As the next installment of The Selection series, this book holds a bountiful amount of promise. Picture princesses meets The Bachelorette. Yes, please.

Far From The Madding Crowd
By: Thomas Harding

Girl power, Three hot guys, Victorian England, AND a movie adaptation. What's not to love?

Paper Towns
By: John Green

If you're an individual who sees movies and then reads the book, please address you're unhealthy habit.

99 Days
 By: Katy Cotugno
Image result for 99 days book cover

Not anywhere near as serious as some of the other books listed, 99 Days seems like a lilting and quick read.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
By: Paige Mckenzie 

Described as the perfect combination of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars, this is a must read.

Girl Boss
By: Sofia Amoruso 

This read is said to be laden with fashion, real-world advice, and inspiration. Get in my hands, now.

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."
-C.S. Lewis