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Friday Favorites (with a twist)

Friday Favorites

It’s been a rough week.

Last week, I shared with you my feelings about the relationship between authenticity and audience as a blogger (click the link to read more). It was one of those rare moments where I finally felt comfortable with myself, and trusting of you, to share something a little more personal. After not getting the best response afterward, and add to that some major allergy headaches, it’s been a long path to get to Friday.

So instead of sharing my favorite links from the internet this week, I thought I would do something different. Today, I share with you a few quotes from some of my favorite bloggers who are fighting tooth and nail to keep things real around here:

“Shame on me for giving someone else that power. Shame on me for allowing some hypocritical jerk to make me question a decision I have not doubted for ONE SECOND since Henry was conceived…Should I stop sharing as much personal stuff to protect myself? Maybe.  But nothing truly great has ever happened from being cautious and scared off by criticism.”
~Erin Gates

“I’m the daughter of loving parents, Chris and Elaine, I’m a blogger, a Southerner, a hopeless lover of animals, patterns and anything shiny- and I’m also gay. That fact may make no difference to some of you reading, but being able to be 100% myself here means the world to me.”
~Grace Bonney

  • Whenever I think of an example of the risk of opening up to our audience, I think of Grace Bonney’s post in 2013 where she came out to her readers. It takes a lot of strength to take that leap – even more so when you realize she was potentially alienating herself from the very readers who help keep her blog (and business) up and running.

“My purpose is to share and to connect with you, those that choose to come here and read it. And damn, I’m lucky to be able to say I can do that. I would fear the day I’m not allowed to express myself the way I do now because someone told me it wasn’t “brand-friendly.” 

So, don’t conform. 
Don’t seek acceptance in the dark.
Don’t look for approval in every move you make. ”
~Christina Topacio

  • Christina, aka Profresh Style, has often written about her life unabashedly and candidly for her readers – offended be damned. Her post, “Conformity Is For The Stupid” is one I refer back to from time to time when I need a reminder of why we all got into this in the first place. That, and we share a birthday – how cool is that?

“To be honest, it’s hard to put into words; clean, sparkling words that live on blogs. Especially, especially on a style blog. I’ve wanted to share so many times but fear stops me. “Shut up and wear clothes” it says…Maybe it’s not about the clothes that bring you here (meh, or maybe it is) but maybe it’s about life. Everyone has a story and maybe you just want to hear mine.”
~Kendi Skeen 

  • Kendi Skeen of Kendi Everyday is one of the first bloggers I followed. I appreciate her writing about her history with anxiety and depression, and how it affects her life now. She’s also open about the struggle to be honest with readers and maintain a fashion-based blog, which are not always known for praising openness.

“…I just want to mention that in today’s final hours I’m making the choice not to label it as a “bad day”. It’s served as a reminder to accept these unexpected challenges as a motivation to keep fighting and to appreciate the encouraging people in my life who cherish my investment and never fail to give back.”
~Kayley Vandenberg

  • Kayley Vandenberg of That’s Your Gold (formerly Sidewalk Ready) is another blogger I’ve been following for years. She’s unabashedly honest about her feelings, love, and life – and has been an inspiration for me over the years to share, even when it hurts. Maybe it’s the midwestern connection (we both grew up in MI), but I’ve always come back to her blog, even after she or I have been away for a while.

I genuinely hope that whether you like the blog or not, you have a great weekend. 

I, for one, will hopefully spend my weekend outside, among the trees (if my allergies aren’t too bad), or near the water, trying to let go of the previous week while looking ahead to the next.

Home Inspiration: Going Green

Home Inspiration: Going Green

Clockwise from top-left: The Everygirl / Design Sponge / Sarah Vickers via The Glitter Guide / The Aestate

Home Inspiration: Going Green

We’re moving today, and while we’re only moving a few buildings over, it still has me excited to decorate a new space. I’ve been going through my Pinterest boards recently for inspiration, and noticed a trend lately – a lot of green!

Green isn’t a color I gravitated to in the past, even if I’ve used it in a lot of my home decor choices in the past. I love hanging pictures of nature on my walls, and it’s a color that seems to work better with our “apartment beige” walls and carpet. It also matches up well with our neutral furniture, which is always a good thing. I’ve always fought against the terrible paint colors in apartments, but lately I’ve discovered it’s better to work with it instead. If green works, it works!

I’m looking forward to adding more green elements indoors, perhaps with a new shower curtain, some more nature-inspired wall hangings, and textiles – and plants, of course. We have more (and better positioned) windows in our new place, and I’m hoping they’ll bring in enough light to grow a small herb garden (I’m tired of paying so much for herbs…seriously). Our current place is so dark that almost nothing has survived the past year, so I can’t wait to live somewhere that things might actually grow.

This is also the first time we have a real balcony space we can decorate without the worry of cats eating our plants or people stealing our patio furniture. I can’t wait to make that a calm, plant-covered space to relax and enjoy as the weather gets warmer.

Moving to a new place is always a hassle, but knowing I get to decorate a place from scratch is a great motivation to get through it – even if it is only a short walk between the two places!

Life Lately

Life Lately

Happy Monday!

Last week was a long, dreary one (thanks to a rainy PNW winter), and I’m happy to be starting Monday off on a much better foot…if that makes any sense. Here’s a little taste of what I was up to last week:

  • Started off the week feeling like I was catching a cold, so of course I picked up some wine to help fight it off (antioxidants, amiright?). Not sure it worked…haha…but it was a great bottle of wine that paired nicely with Ree Drummond’s Roasted Butternut Squash Salad and steak!
  • After getting one of the worst breakouts I’ve had in years, I hit up Amazon for some skincare magic. It turns out something in my multivitamin was causing it, so goodbye vitamins…and hello to Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel. This stuff smells amazing and really does the job! I’m also loving the Embryolisse Lait-creme Concentre, and the OGX Argan Oil Body Lotion
    I’ve used for years (I think I’m on my 4th or 5th bottle). My skin is much happier now from head to toe!
  • To help bring some cheer into such a grey and rainy week, I decided to do some thrifting. I came home with a few silk scarves and some new handbags that are perfect for spring. I can’t wait to share them with you when the sun comes back out and I can photograph them!

Here are a few other things I enjoyed online over the past week, if you need a bit of a mid-day distraction. Hope you are having a great start to your week!

  • Here is a list of 10 “little-known” beauty products with amazing reviews on Amazon. I’ve heard of most of these, but I was interested to see a $40 straightening iron that outclassed most $200 versions! (Byrdie)
  • Man Repeller’s review of the J. Crew Fall/Winter ’16 show has the perfect slideshow to get you ready for spring. I know, the clothes are fall/winter, but the colors are straight springtime! (Man Repeller)
  • If you’re like me, and shudder at the thought of staying at a crap hotel near your alma mater, check out this video on “graduate hotels.” A design company is turning crappy, outdated college area hotels into amazing, luxurious, and nostalgic experiences for returning alumni. I’d gladly visit my old college stomping grounds more if I knew I could stay in one of these, rather than a seedy motel! (Goop)
  • The Savannah College of Art & Design recently unveiled a project that turned unused parking spaces in a parking garage into functional, beautiful micro-living spaces for college students. They are looking at solutions for cities dealing with housing shortages, and found that while there often isn’t space for housing, there are 5 parking spots for every 1 car in the U.S., which means precious land in our major U.S. cities often sits empty. Living so close to Seattle, I know firsthand how tough it is to find any housing…let alone decent housing within a realistic budget. I’m excited to see where this project leads, to be honest! (Design Sponge)

Friday Favorites: The End…for now

Friday_Favorites_Holidays

Hello Everyone!

Sorry for the delay – cleaning the apartment yesterday took longer than I expected. It ended in me taking apart our vacuum cleaner. There was so…much…hair in there.

Anyhoo, here are some links I’ve been enjoying around the internet lately! I think this is my last Friday Favorites of the year, so I better make it count, right?

  • So I guess instead of naming their children after characters in Frozen, parents are naming their children after Instagram filters? I guess all the new Ludwigs will fit in nicely with the Olafs out there? Parents are weird. (Apartment Therapy)
  • I tend to get super lazy about cooking after the holidays, probably because the lead up to Christmas is a flurry of baking and high expectations. Goop offers up their favorite one-pan dinners as a nice solution when we’re all feeling like something comforting and easy. That, and doing less dishes is always a good thing! (Goop)
  • Design Sponge did a travel guide for…strangely enough…Toledo, Ohio! They listed a ton of places that I’ve never been before, and a few that were a huge part of my growing up in the area. If you’re from there, but haven’t visited downtown in a while, check it out – it sounds hipster central, but hey, isn’t everywhere now? (Design Sponge)
  • MODG IS BACK!!!!! This was one of my all-time favorite blogs back in the day, and after a bit of a hiatus, she’s back with even more snark, period humor, and brutal honesty that’s sadly missing from blogging these days. Welcome back!
  • If you’re looking for an elegant, simple no-bake cookie recipe for the holidays, House & Home has you covered. They made a beautiful video tutorial on how to make the most indulgent, decadent holiday treat- buckeyes. Yes, chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls. I laughed my way through it, but I also kinda want one now. (House & Home)

Well there you go! I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m trying my best to avoid the Star Wars mania around here (because I am the asshole out there who doesn’t care), shop for new sneakers, and start on that baking/high expectations marathon I mentioned earlier!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

My mom and me after my christening ceremony, where I famously flipped my first bird…
and it certainly wasn’t my last!

Here are some of the things I’ve been enjoying on the internet this week:

– Ikea is discontinuing their Karlstad sofa, which I assume means people like me are scrambling to buy extra covers before they’re gone! (via Apartment Therapy)

– In more Khloe Kardashian news (check out last week’s link to her workout closet), she is helping launch the app Begroupd, which allows people using group messages to create polls. This should make it easier to figure out where everyone wants to meet for drinks, since it keeps everyone’s answer in one place, I guess. Of course, this also means you have to have enough friends for this to be worthwhile…

– Design*Sponge did a before and after tour of a beautiful home I would move into tomorrow!

– In honor of Caroline Issa partnering up with Nordstrom, The Coveteur shared Issa’s guide for a fun and glamorous trip to Seattle! I’ve been to some of these places, and can’t wait to check out the rest!

– Into the Gloss just gets me and my love of bar soaps. This week, they featured their picks for the prettiest and most luxurious bar soaps on ropes!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! We’re hoping that the renovations to the upstairs apartment are done soon, so we can go back to living our lives a bit more peacefully. For the past couple weeks we’ve been dealing with endless noise, a spider infestation, and getting sick from chemical fumes leaking into our bathrooms. All I want to do right now is take a nice, long shower without getting high – is that too much to ask?

See you Monday!