Real Chat: Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

May 5, 2012

(via Creature Comforts)

Part of the reason I started this series was due to a few comments I had from other bloggers that eluded to the fact that they thought I must have the perfect life. What?! Hold the phone. No one has a perfect life. I realized it was time to get REAL and CHAT about real life topics. This theme seems to be floating around the blogosphere, and I was so thankful that Jess Constable wrote this post, which inspired Ez’s “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” Challenge. I hope you can take the time to visit a few of the incredible women pulling back the curtain to some of their real life challenges.

I started this blog as a creative outsource for me, and it remains such. My goal is to inspire and uplift. I tend to think people don’t like to read about dirty laundry when they have their own to deal with. For me, I gravitate torwards friendships that leave me with a smile, uplift the spirit, encourage, or inspire creativity. Its the same when I choose which blogs to read. However, I think sometimes, as we talked about last week, there can be too much of a good thing. You start to believe crazy things like you MUST have a big bouquet of pink peonies on your table at all times, that your kids should have white fur rugs in their room, and that you should a closet full of DVF and Christian Louboutins. Sometimes, instead of being inspired, we start to compare. So now its my turn to break down some of those false ideas you might have about me and my life…

1) I am not very domestic. I tend to lean towards meals with 5 ingredients only. I am terrible at deep cleaning. My husband does a better job cleaning the kitchen than I do. I do laundry only once a week. The thought of having to fold more than a few baskets a week makes me want to hide. If you open my drawers, they are messy. I have a messy art mind. The majority of the time if you knocked on my front door, I would be running around picking up toys before I answered.

2) Sometimes as I am working, my kids are running around me in circles! I will have a little one at my feet, and my toddler begging me to play a game with him. I am blessed to be able to work at home with my kids, but it also can give me so much guilt of being home, but not being able to give them all the time I want to. I want to be able to be 100% there for them. Someday…

3) I am a graphic designer and a blogger. I love both. However, I will never love them more than my children. This is why the above can be is so hard for me at times. I actually can’t wait for the day I can be a full time stay at home mama. Many women have great ambitions with their careers. Mine is simply to pay off student loans and medical debt so that I can be closer to my children. My husband is an incredible teacher. We have decided together that it is what he is meant to do, and we make the financial sacrifice for it. We both work hard to pay our debt off, and this is why I work. We are blessed to have a wonderful marriage though, so I would rather have the struggle of finances.

4) I blog often about products and fashion….all of which I genuinely love, but in reality I am a curator for others. I only allow myself to buy a few things per month. The rest goes towards bills. As you know from my outfit posts, I get creative. I thrift, re-purpose, and pull from all the amazing clothes I still have from when I worked at J. Crew;) I buy all my kids clothes from a consignment store. By creating style boards and featuring favorite product finds, I feel as though I can get it out of my system without having to buy:) There’s my secret.

5) My house is not fully decorated….its not even fully furnished. Since the move, we are taking one room at a time, and adding furniture piece by piece. I do not have the interior design gift. It takes me forever to figure out how I want to style a room, and because of this I have blank walls everywhere but my family room and spare room. We are renting our home and hope to someday buy some land and settle near our family.

I could keep this list going, but I applaud you for reading this far. I hope you can relate in some way, and know that every person always has a struggle, and no one has a perfect life. We have that ability to encourage each other and help each other through these topics, and that is why I am choosing to be vulnerable with you! It actually felt really good to write it all out;) My blog will always be a reflection of what I love, and I will always seek to uplift and inspire, because that is what makes it worth it for me. But now you know a little more of the who behind all the pretty:)

Okay time to wrap it up….my daughter just dumped a whole bottle of water on the carpet….

If you are up for it, write your own “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” post & link it with Jess and Ez!

Swatch Style: Spring Dose

May 4, 2012

I could play with pattern and color all day long:)
These were a few looks that stood out to me this week!
Hope you have a fantastic Cinco de Mayo weekend ahead! Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for the REAL CHAT post! I will be participating in Ez’s challenge “Things I’m afraid to Tell You.”
Fun Links for your Weekend:
A round up of 25 DIY Pouf Tutorials.
40% off all these amazing jewelry pieces!
Homemade Nutella where have you been all my life?
An outdoor movie party is a brilliant idea.
Crazy about these mini piñata cookies for Cinco de Mayo!
I won these cards on my friend Rachel’s blog, and now its a new favorite shop!
In Case You Missed It:
Real Chat: Over Socialed
Lookbook Post: Do Not Block
Goodbye April, Hello May Favorite Snapshots
Take 3: Sangria Dress, Drink, Decor
Printable Mothers Day Prints/ Note Cards

Free Printables: Mother’s Day Prints or Postcards

May 3, 2012

Love Is All I Have For You (Download Here)
Because You’re My Favorite (Download Here)
I admit I was a little excited to have an excuse to play around with some new photoshop elements and fonts:) I designed these prints for you to use this Mother’s Day if you are in need of a note card, post card, or gift to give! They are 5 x 7 in. and you can download and print for free! Print on nice paper, cut out, and add to some textured paper for a thoughtful card or just frame as a print! These are designed so that you can give to a friend, MIL, or someone who just deserves a thoughtful note.
Hope you Enjoy!
*I found these fun lace brushes from Pugly Pixel! 

Take 3: Sangria Dress, Drink, Decor

May 2, 2012

Coral red dress on a Spanish patio, while drinking a class of Sangria? Yes please! Who wants to join me?? Sometimes, its fun to dream, but rest assured, everything I post here is for inspiration and creativity only. My life is most certainly not always a dream. I have been talking about this subject a good deal with bloggers. That is why I started the Real Chat series. Ez of Creature Comforts is starting a series tomorrow on the topic of sharing the real and the not so pretty with readers. I suggest you tune in! You won’t want to miss!
* P.S. I want to hear your suggestions for topics on the new Real Chat series! What do you want to discuss? I have some wonderful guests lined up to share with you as well! Shoot me your ideas:)

Goodbye April, Hello May: Snapshots

May 1, 2012

A round up of some of my favorite moments from April…

My dear friend Jen’s wedding (don’t you love the birdcage?) / Me and my hot prom wedding date (earrings c/o BMB) / Little Miss Nina Ballerina / Bead Table at the local Antique Market / Gabriel in gingham makes my heart melt / My sweet little goddaughter / Cooking class with a fun bunch of friends / Getting my baby fix again (can you tell I love them?)

May and October are my absolute favorite months, so I welcome the start of this month with open arms.  It seems to be that time of year where new life is everywhere. Graduations, First Communions, Weddings, Baptisms, Engagements, etc. It also means Gabe will be done teaching soon and we get him all to ourselves for the summer! 
What are you looking forward to this month??

P.S. If you are lucky #39- Erica, you have won the September Wren Giveaway! I will email you for details!

True Beauty Files: Do Not Block

April 30, 2012

What is it about the obviously stated rules that make you want to break them??…

(Tee: H&M, Jeans: Banana Republic (similar here or here), Shoes: Urban Outfitters (similar), Necklace: DIY, Belt: H&M (similar here or here), Clutch: Target, Bracelets: Gift, Francescas)
 It was Gabe’s idea…;) Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. They seem to always go faster than you hope they will. Friday night, I had the pleasure of meeting several fellow Atlanta bloggers. Its so nice to be able to talk to people who know the same blog language! Saturday and Sunday was a whole lot of this and this. Gabe and I got to sneak away and witness one of my dear friends weddings. We also got to dance the night away….a definate plus:) 
By the way…thank you all who tuned in for one of the first Real Chat posts Saturday! Your feedback blew me away! I was so encouraged and motivated by you. Many more fantastic topics coming up this month:) 
Style Word: Sometimes its best to start with the essentials. I would say a red heels polka dot tee are essentials for the all american girl. Run to H&M and get your self some polka dots for $5.95. Yep. 
P.S. Its the last day to enter in the giveaway for the $100 shop credit to September Wren! Also the last day to grab a sponsor spot for May! Email me for the new sizes and stat info.
The True Beauty Files:
A lookbook for the modern modeste.
“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.” 
~ Audrey Hepburn

Real Chat: Over Socialed

April 28, 2012

Good morning friends:) This week I was close to quitting twitter. No particular reason other than the fact that I was feeling tired of all the distractions. Some days, I don’t want to be seen or heard, I just want to be…and enjoy being. You might find this surprising since I am a blogger, and my line of work involves a good deal of social media and the internet. However, sometimes, there can be too much of a good thing. We can consume to much of what we enjoy and feel the effects afterwards. What happens if you don’t realize you are consuming too much? What if there are no obvious after effects? Read on, and leave your thoughts!

The unthinkable happened at a friend’s wedding last month. As the groom was asked to confirm his desire to accept the bride as his lawfully wedded wife, he held up his hand, as if to say “wait a minute.” The audible gasps among the attendees turned to relieved chuckles as he pulled out his iPhone in the middle of the vows. He was tweeting, “I Do,” to his hundred or so followers.
At a coffee catch-up yesterday, the person I met with was too busy typing meeting minutes in Google Docs to actually have a face-to-face conversation with me. Even after I received his play-by-play account of our meeting via email, I left feeling as if we wasted time and never went deep enough to discuss specific, critical issues.
On New Year’s Eve last year, as thousands of people counted down from ten to one, I looked across the Sydney Harbor foreshore. I was shocked that most revelers were taking photos of the fireworks instead of actually watching them.
….Are we entering an age where capturing the highlights of our lives has taken precedence over actually enjoying those very same moments? The problem is, we must choose between capturing these moments or viscerally experiencing them as they unfold.
You will want to read this full post by Daniel Galati. He points to the elephant in the room of what our culture is experiencing….an overdose of social media. There is of course a way to keep things balanced, and if done so, it can be a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, or network for your business. Every person has a different level of involvement. For instance, my mother – zero. If you want to talk to her, you give her a call or email her. My sister Angela takes a break from facebook every summer to invest in her friendships in person, and to enjoy life with no distractions. Sometimes, we need to step away to actually know how much it is a part of our lives. If you have time, read Kate Gabrielle’s post on her clean break from social media and her results.

(source via Bonnie Tsang)

So tell me, what are your thoughts on this? How do you balance the time you spend on social media?
Ultimately, its always a good challenge to ourselves is to take time to make a phone call, visit a friend, or even email someone you love. Invest more time in experiencing real life:)
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