Inspiration: Light & Bright Spaces

I have never fancied myself an interior designer. But sometimes I think that’s really held me back from making places truly my own. I’ve always rented, and in the back of my head I’m always thinking, “eh, I’ll care more when we buy our first home.” More and more, however, I’m learning the importance of putting in a little extra effort to make my home feel more like…well, home. Now that I am married, it’s been so fun to learn how to decorate together, and to see how our styles often align. Of course there are always differences, namely my inclination towards bright colors.

Here is some of my inspiration for seamlessly incorporating bright colors:

1. I love this use of bright furniture, mixed in with neutrals. And the luggage? Amazing.

2. A few bright pieces against a mostly white background (the white lamp is great too!)

3. Britt Bass is known for her colorful aesthetic, and her home tour certainly does not disappoint. I love her color-coded display of books to subtly add some brightness.

4. A little color on pillows, in art, and even from flowers goes a long way.

5. I want all of this. Those textiles are just perfect, as is the entire studio tour.

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It’s Friday, Y’all

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I do love how Friday never fails to come around. It’s just so predictable like that. This weekend, we are heading here. Beautiful views and cooler weather? You have my heart.

To peruse:

Oh boy, honeyhoney has a new album out. So good. I know what I’ll be listening to on repeat.

5 Free Online Tools for Freelance Writers. Or any writers, really.

A short, but sweet, TED talk on success – and how not to achieve it.

Do it For the Process. Important reminder for creatives, professional or not.

The Onion’s review of Jurassic World.

Do yourself a favor: listen to this podcast now. Like, right now.

— Have a beautiful weekend!

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5: Non-Fiction Books I Want To Read

5-non-fiction-books1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I have been thinking about this general topic for probably a year now. It all started by stumbling upon Caroline’s blog, Un-Fancy. I believe that is where I first heard about this book, and really began to explore what living more intentionally (and perhaps minimally) could mean for my life. I have yet to buy this book, but it keeps popping up everywhere – to rave reviews. Perhaps it’s time I bit the bullet.

2. It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell. This book that has been on my radar since reading about it here. This memoir chronicles Andie weight loss journey, beginning in childhood. I have not always been the biggest reader of memoirs, but this one really has my interest. Andie’s blog is really relatable, and I love her overall voice (and her great recipes too!). I would imagine that her life story would be no different.

3. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. I first heard about Jon Ronson, and his book, over on this podcast. It was so fascinating to hear about the world of people whose lives have been turned upside-down by mistakes they made on the internet. We’re living in such a digitally social world now, it’s easy to see how some take their sharing too far. This review from Forbes.com makes me even more intrigued: “I was mesmerized. And I was also disturbed.”

4. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Do yourself a favor: go watch Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability: “The thing that underpinned this was excruciating vulnerability, this idea of, in order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.” The talk spoke to me in such a real way. I realized that my struggle with vulnerability was not just my own – its universal. I have seen many recommendations for this book (her second of 3), as it dives even deeper into the transformative power of vulnerability. Yes, please!

5. Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. On her blog, Sarah bills herself as a, “writer, speaker, recovering know-it-all.” Oh, I so get that. This book pushes back on what we perhaps think we know, by exploring the intersection of feminism and Christianity (an intersection that is often hotly contested). I have been intrigued for a while, especially learning more about her background, and the biblical focus of the book.

What non-fiction has been on your radar?

Read On!

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On Comparison

Sophia Amoruso

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Oh my. I could talk about this for hours and hours. Days and days. Forever and…well, you get it.

For pretty much my entire life, I have compared myself to others. As a (painfully) quiet adolescent, the comparison centered on my friends, on my perception of what I so desperately wanted to look like/be good at coupled with the complete cluelessness of a teenager.

Now as a 27-year-old, the questions remain, they are just delivered in a different way. I see the lives of so many on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and on carefully curated blogs, and they look so right. Better even. As a self-proclaimed serial comparer, I should have steered clear of those platforms about 5 minutes after I joined. But my stubborn nature wants to beat this compulsion. I want to learn of social media and the larger digital community can be a help, not a hindrance. Like it or not, these platforms are not going away. This issue is not going away. So what can I do?

  • Simply be aware Aware that no one’s life is a perfect as it looks on Instagram. That no one’s marriage is as completely blissful as it seems on Facebook. Everybody struggles, probably daily, and those beautiful online representations may sometimes come from those struggles.
  • Realize there are two sides Comparing hurts everyone. I often build up resentment towards someone without any provocation. Why would I ever want to purposefully hurt a friendship, strain my marriage, harbor anger, when it all stems from my feelings of inadequecy? It’s simply not worth it.
  • Know your truth So often, these comparisons begin when I lose sight of my truth, of who I really am. As a child of God, I am loved. As a wife, daughter, sister, friend, I am loved. Life is never perfect, I will mess up a lot, and I will do things right a lot. I will have bad days and good days. I will feel beautiful and ragged. I will be positive and negative. And. So. Will. Everybody. Else.

For another beautiful look at the comparison thief, read here.

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It’s Friday, Y’all.

It’s almost the weekend! With another blazing hot couple of days ahead, I plan on doing indoor, a/c-cooled activities. No shame in my game. Either that, or finding the nearest body of water and jumping in. For a southerner (or mostly-southerner), I have a rather low heat tolerance.

To peruse:

So You Think You Can Dance is back. My favorite audition.

The Gift of Presence over on Becoming Minimalist.

An ever-present thought recently: Why You Should Do a Wardrobe Cleanse.

Mom Jeans vs. Dad Jeans. What you always wanted to know.

370 renovated square feet. This home tour is inspiring, even if you have a larger space.

I really want to make this recipe.

–Have a beautiful weekend!

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How to have a better tomorrow.

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(Find print here)

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

I so often find myself doing the exact opposite. Eh, I have nothing to do tomorrow, so I’ll just put it off until then. Or the next day. OR THE NEXT DAY.

Here are some of the steps I’ve been taking to do my best today:

  1. Never let a piece of paper touch your desk more than once. Sure, shuffling paper around can make you look busy, but I’ve been learning (the hard way) that being busy does not always = being productive. Touch it once, get it done, move on!
  2. Tackle the large (or unappealing) projects first. I admit, I’m still working on this one. It’s so easy to open up my email and go for the easy responses first. Or to push the difficult projects to the afternoon. But you know what? That never works! Everybody’s productivity peaks at different times, my peak is solidly in the morning. It could even look like listing out the steps needed to get the project done in the morning, and tackling the hardest steps first, leaving a few easy ones to look forward to in the afternoon.
  3. Look forward to your day. Again, not perfectly in practice over here. But I find that when I look forward to something as simple as the coffee I’ll be drinking in the morning, I find that the morning ends up being much better. Late afternoon tends to be even harder for me, so maybe I treat myself to some chocolate, or take a walk outside, or plan out the day’s exercise routine.
  4. Take breaks, take breaks, take breaks!  Schedule them, set an alarm. Get up and move at least once an hour. Everybody says it, but seriously, this is legit. Also: the moment you find your mind wandering, get up and move!
  5. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. I am a feeler, big time. This has been my only saving grace in exercise: when I think about how good I’ll feel afterwards, it makes me want to do it more. The same applies in life, work, etc. This may not be very specific, and perhaps a bit woo-woo, but it works. I know I’ll feel better when I accomplish the major item looming over me, and on the flip-side, I’ll feel worse and worse the longer I stretch it out. Never underestimate the power of feeling.

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