17 October 2014

Fancy Friday: Pretty Paper

left to right: IKEA, TJMaxx, Target $1 section for HEY! postcard & washi tape

#iovpenpals is in its second month and I hope everyone who's joined is having a great time! I've had a few questions regarding where to find fun stationery, so I decided on this Fun Friday I would include some photos and links of my favorite places to find great paper!

that great big pile of mess makes me so happy when I see it at TJMaxx...look at these cute thank-you's! Only 4.99! :) 

I have three top favorites that are probably unexpected: Target (hello $1 section), TJMaxx & Marshalls, Anthropologie & Paper-Source clearance racks and random boutiques. I put random boutiques last because while I love fun paper, I really don't like to spend a whole lot on it! And one of my favorite reasons for loving TJMaxx & Marshalls choices is that many of them are earth-friendly or recycled based which makes my heart happy :-)

all from the Target $1 section -  see how you can make the same card look different? So much fun! 

What to look for on clearance racks? Mix-match items. I love to find fun envelopes or sets that I can make look special or unique. No one wants to send the same card time after time or receive the same stationery that you sent out--variety is the spice of life!

card from TJMaxx, washi tape from Target $1 section and the lip sticker is a band-aid (hello, resourcefulness) 

A couple of other tips for fun letters?

absolutely love these gifted cards. The giant gold star confetti is leftover from school days and the washi tape is...Target $1
  • Washi Tape (tip, buy at Target -$1-or in bulk) 
  • Fun Stamps (they don't cost any more and they sure jazz up an envelope) 
  • Stickers (have you ever looked at Thrift Stores? They have great random grab-bags) 
  • Postcards- I like to send alone or include in with the letter I'm sending
  • Artwork - clippings make great little add-ins to letters! I'm always on the look out for cute things to include in letters. They make it 100% more awesome. 
  • Lettering - pull out your calligraphy pens and get to work - or markers, or even colored pencils! Whatever floats your boat skipper. 
  • Sealing Wax - seriously, look into this stuff! You'll get addicted!
Still want some more ideas? Look at my Going Postal Pinterest board! 

Happy Letter Writing! 

16 October 2014

Listen Learn Love

Serial & Spoken Word. I discovered the Serial podcast from the producers of This American Life and have been listening to it at work. I love to listen to music but it even music for eight hours a day can get monotonous. So I try to mix it up with podcasts, audiobooks, old time radio and music. THIS podcast has got me hooked! Today is the latest episode and after finishing the rest of them on Tuesday I’m super excited to listen to it! It’s a crime story, so it may be a bit macabre for some but I really enjoy it—definitely captures my attention while attending to spreadsheet after spreadsheet. I find that the spoken word really works for me in terms of all-day listening and keeping my focus on my work as well.

Preparation & Persistence. I’m trying to remember to prepare for everything life throws at me as well as preparing for every day individually. It makes such a difference when you even just lay out your clothes the night before as opposed to getting up wondering what in the world you’re going to wear! Anyone with me on that? In this, I’m also being conscious about when I messed up, why and how it affected me, my day and those around me. For example, if I don’t prepare the night before the next morning can be hectic for everyone  in the household since I tend to leave earlier than anyone else in the morning. My decision to not prepare affects us all. So I’m persisting in preparation even when my goal wasn’t met. Not giving up just because I failed one day…get up the next and start over!

Connection & Candy. Come on guys, we’re headed into the holiday season: it’s CANDY TIME!!! I love candy. I realllllly love candy. Chocolate, Candy Corn, Sugar, Sour, Sweet, Gummy, Hard & mostly anything. I love candy. Which means I have to walk and exercise and M O V E so I don’t become one giant sour patch kid. Which leads me to the connection piece.  Every night after work my mom, sis and I try to walk. It’s the one time of the day when our conversations are all together and we are all in one place. We don’t always feel like walking but we try to do it everyday. And it’s the best time. I can look forward to that time of connection when our focus is solely on each other and being out in nature. We see wildlife, it spawns conversation. We talk about our day, our goals and our futures. It’s the perfect connection time.

So what have you been up to this week? Listened to anything new? Learned anything? Anything you just love recently?

08 October 2014

Zero & Quiet

personal photo

I had an email sitting in my inbox for like a week. Entitled "The history of our world in 18 minutes." And because I operate on inbox zero (link here), this kept bugging me! I would be like, gotta to watch that TED talk so I can get the email out of my inbox. Until, one day at work, I just decided "you know what? I know the history of the world that matters, anything in 18 minutes I can google and watch later." So I deleted the email. And I felt set free. The tool that is supposed to make our lives easier and more convenient was clogging my ability to focus on what really mattered. 

Do you do this? Do you allow tools to become your focus instead of keeping them in their friendly toolbox and using them when necessary? Email, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Etc. Etc. Etc. (I don't even know what all the kids (because 25 is so old haha) have going on these days). Somehow, these things have taken over our lives and become the focus instead of the tools to improve our focus. 

I don't have all the solutions. But I happened across this on Instagram today and it totally hit me where I'm at. "...make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (1 Thessalonians 4:11) When you apply this verse to the INternet and business and social media, woosh. Conviction + grace + hope + dependence on the approval of Christ alone." - @jessaconnolly  

Lead a quiet life. What would that look like? What would my ideal day look like? It will be different from yours, but I decided to include here what my ideal day would look like to keep me accountable to achieve it. 

my ideal day: 
  • Wake up with an hour of quiet time before preparing for the day, and be able to spend that time in prayer, reading and writing 
  • Prepare for the day at a leisurely enough pace to allow for conversation with the ones I love
  • Attend to the day's schedule, accomplishing and prioritizing so that I have time for meaningful conversation, not procrastinating constantly which never allows time for connection 
  • Dinner with those I love
  • Outdoor Activity enjoying the sunset 
  • Prepare for bed 
  • Retire early enough to enjoy a good book before lights out! 
So, now that my ideal day is set-up, how do I get there? I'm doing it with two goals for October:
  • Lights out at midnight (trust me, this is earlier than most of my nights) 
  • No phone before bed (THIS will be hard. VERY hard.) Studies have proven that phone-light before bed keeps you awake, so I'll stick to my trust hardbacks, thanks so much! 
God created me not because He needed me, but because He wanted to give me a purpose. And I don't believe that purpose was to answer email and live a constant flow of social media. I love connections, but I need to focus on connecting to my roots and my family. I need to focus on doing what matters to Him, and fulfilling my heart in the process. I want to fulfill my purpose, not take up space. And I'm excited to focus more on that and leave the clutter behind. 

How do you cultivate quiet and zero distractions from your ideals? What makes it happen for you?

03 October 2014

Fancy Friday: FOMO

highway 1

I used the term FOMO recently and a friend thought I was cussing (haha). Ooops! No, actually no, I wasn't cussing. FOMO: labeled as the Fear Of Missing Out. FOMO. And I think, thanks to social media, that we all suffer from this to a point. Unless of course, you're one of those lovely beings that are fully disconnected from social media and fully engaged in your present life on which point I congratulate you!! (How do you do it?) I love being in contact and connection with my friends on social media. I love to see into their minds via Pinterest. I love to see their day-to-day viewpoint with Instagram. I'm not active on Twitter and I don't have Facebook, but I suppose they have their purposes as well. But there is something about a blog that just can't be replaced! I think because you intentionally have to go to the website, look at a post, read it and then comment - you're in a deeper level of connection! Sadly, #instagramatemyblog. Have you seen that hashtag? It happened to me! But I'm recovering.

This Fancy Friday I've provided a few links from around the interwebs that I found interesting - including some more in-depth articles that have spoken to me lately.

if you don't do it someone else will desktop download

how I'm conquering my Instagram addiction  (also known as FOMO, I loved this!)

when you realize your Sister, aka, your BFF, is actually all of the 7 friends you need according to this article

there is no perfect decision (this inspired me to start blogging again, even though perfection isn't possible)

the 20-something project (as a millenial, this was really interesting)

tiny tea tox (looking to lose weight for the holidays? this worked for me this summer!)

wonder why you're here 

la diva pleated maxi (this skirt is so gorgeous!)

Have a great weekend!

02 October 2014

Throwback Thurday: Highway 1 Drive

 I have to be honest: it doesn't feel like Fall here! As sad as that makes me, I thought I would share some of the photos from a drive we took on Highway 1 this year. Enjoy the throwback to the summer--and pray for California. We need some crisp weather (not to mention rain)! I may being a bit melodramatic - but boot season, I love you! Come quickly!

01 October 2014

October 1st: On Being Intentional

Today is the start of a brand new month: and one of my favorites at that! September is beautiful, but October is the favorite. Perfect colors, enjoying the expected surprise of Autumn and gobbling up everything that puts the taste of fall in our mouths!

I'm so excited to announce two things that I've been working on.

First, I'm now the assistant editor of She's Intentional, the official Dainty Jewell's blog, launched this past Monday! Dainty Jewell's is a modest apparel company specializing in timeless, elegant modest designs for women. I love the owner of this company, I met her in person, finally, a few years ago and she's just lovely! A newlywed, and a lady in her early twenties, Charity is just a sweetheart! (And she has a pretty fantastic name to boot, IMHO.)

One of the reasons I'm so excited about She's Intentional is because it is more than just an extension of Dainty Jewell's, we've created a place where ladies, of all ages we hope, can come and find be encouraged to be intentional in their daily lives. This dream was birthed last December when a friend and I were lamenting the loss of intention in young ladies these days. More than ever before, this generation has the world at their fingertips, yet they don't take advantage of the opportunities given them. They have incredible opportunities to succeed, to stand out and to make a difference and it seems that getting started is the hardest part. (Fear is a killer, folks!) So, with She's Intentional, our mission is to create a renewed purpose of what really matters in life by being intentional in all that we do. "It is a place where life is addressed for what it is: a beautiful, God-given gift that should be shared with others who hold the same values and beliefs." You'll see us talk about fashion, weddings, real life, inspiration and all the in-between that make up our lives! We have a wonderful team of bloggers to add daily variety.

Second, the post that got me involved with the Dainty Jewell's blog (not named She's Intentional at that point) was the interview I was asked to do for the blog! (It all starts somewhere) I'm excited to share that interview with you because in it I share some things I don't often share on the blog here. My heart, my life and a little peek into my world. So feel free to pop over there and read my interview by clicking the following link. Embrace the Certainty of God's Love. 

Will you head over and check out She's Intentional? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments!

23 September 2014

Happy Fall!


It's the wonderful season of Fall!! My all-time favorite time of year, everything is crisp and cool, we get rain (finally, California can sure use some) and we get to wear all the best textures: wool, leather, sweaters and layers. LOVE Fall!

I didn't share these photos on my blog last year, but in honor of fall, throwing it back to last year's very fall-y photos taken by my friend Jennifer Hardwick over at Earl Grey Blog.

I absolutely love this gorgeous sis of mine! We had a ladies day and had so much fun exploring this gorgeous place up at Apple Hill (our Fall favorite).

This was pre-Petra and Pella was just loving the leaves and grass!

So, how about you? What do you love about Fall? 
And if you love Fall things, head on over to Chelcey Tate's blog where she has some great free Fall printables


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