ramblings

the balance of busy and happy

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I feel so ungrateful when I complaining about being busy. There are moms out there who juggle children and full-time jobs and supporting their family, and that’s the norm. That doesn’t cover the men and women dealing with illness or single-parent homes or multiple full time jobs, etc etc.

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It’s just me and Josh and our little old house that I love so much. We’re so so lucky, so I curse those moments that I’m screaming because I can’t scrub the paint off the floor. Or the times that I’m staring in disgust at my trim because it needs to be repainted and the floor needs grout cleaner and I STILL don’t have art on my walls. The worst are the moments of clarity, “I’m so happy, why am I acting like an insane person,??”  that are far too quickly followed by more acts of insanity, “I can’t be happy! Happy people have kitchen tables!” (spoiler: happy people don’t need kitchen tables)

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I mean, I spent last night sitting on my couch writing, J was cleaning, we we’re listening to our old record player and drinking leftover IPAs from our housewarming party. LIFE IS GOOD DAMNIT. Yes, I struggle daily balancing my other full time job and this little place that I love so much. I fight to find time for my friends, for my family, for Josh. I plan my evenings down to the second to paint approximately 1.5 rooms (if I make it home at precisely 7:32 PM). I go to work with paint in my hair. We DO finally have a kitchen table, but we don’t have kitchen table chairs. Or a coffee table. Or a TV. We don’t have art, our guest bedroom is in shambles, and don’t get me started on the current state of my office.

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But we have our perfect screened-in porch where we share our day over supper. We have these pictures from our housewarming party. These reminders of all of our family and friends who came to one place to see us. It was such a beautiful day, and each moment I was reminded how happy I am, how lucky I am, and how silly I have been for letting it all stress me out.

I’m still learning, I’m still trying to navigate these waters, I’m praying to find the balance between busy and happy. It’s a seemingly impossible balance to hold for long, but those small moments, where you’re completely overwhelmed, but you can’t stop smiling? Those are the good ones.

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Thanks for letting me ramble today. Not that you had a choice ;) Doesn’t happen often around here, but to write it all out, it was everything. Grateful for all of you and this little place.

quickie

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Moving has taken over my existence. I blabbed a bit about it over on Instagram, but moving is no joke. I thought I was SOO prepared. I made TONS of lists. I packed up my decorations WEEKS ago. But there I was, on a deflated air mattress at 3 AM, in a room still filled with things I don’t remember having and an old yellow couch that use to reside in my dads dorm room in the 70’s. This week has been a mess. And it’s only Wednesday.

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Today, I am slightly more sane because we got a new air mattress that is a luxury air mattress, which probably isn’t a thing, but boy this air mattress feels like sleeping in the Four Seasons after two days on carpet. Besides my new sleeping situation, the main things that are getting me through this move are the little reminders of the home Josh and I are going to build together starting in three short (please be short) weeks. The couch I’ve been eyeing that we plan to buy memorial day weekend, paint chips in hues of blue and white, new vases I can’t wait to fill with fresh flowers, and art I’ve been swooning over for our blank walls.

One such artist in particular is Jenna Kutcher. My brain is move-frazzled, so today’s post is a quickie, a picture book if you will, filled with the prettiest prints by Ms. Kutcher. Enjoy. Share. Be inspired. All that jazz. Jenna is so talented, I love every single on of her pieces. She has a wonderful combination of witty, pretty, and poignant. I’m smitten. :)

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project snail mail with charlotte lane

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It’s pretty unique-the power of a hand written letter. I’ve long been a fan of writing a letter just to say hello, of sending a note to a long-distance friend, of mailing my gratitude to family after the holidays. When one of my favorite local brands, Charlotte Lane Co, began Project Snail Mail this month, my heart leaped with joy. To begin a movement, to encourage others to write to their friends and family and even strangers, that’s something that has my heart.

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It’s a funny generational thing that letters have gone so “out of style.” Technology is this huge, wonderful, amazing thing, but physically writing a letter is so meaningful to me. It’s obviously got some meaning to the founders of Charlotte Lane Co., Kristine Cholakian and Ken Cooke, which is why I asked them the question:

Why do you feel handwritten letters are so important?

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Kristine: In the age of social media, with instant greetings and announcements to “the world” and super-short, unedited snippets, it is a rarity to put the extra effort in. Taking the time to send a handwritten letter is more powerful than we think. The lost art of snail mail is making a comeback, or at least it should. Nothing brightens one’s day more than a colorful envelope amongst a stack of bills. Seeing your name calligraphed or even scribbled on the front makes you feel special. Almost famous. And when you tear open the tiny package to discover a witty, sentimental, lovey-dovey or just plain mushy letter, with crossed out words, ink stains and all, you know that someone took the time to write that to you. You read it through, maybe even two or three times, and where does that note end up? On your fridge, desk, or bulletin board, sometimes for months, as a reminder that your friend, relative, or long-distant love was once thinking about you. That card says a lot about the person who sent it. They picked it out just for you. And the watercolor painting or cartoon doodle, whatever is on the front, becomes instant art in your home. So send handwritten notes. Send lasting messages. Send instant art. Brighten someone’s day. And not just the day they receive it in the mail. But for many, many days to come.

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Ken: If you haven’t noticed, communication has now completely turned digital. While that’s great for so many reasons, many things digital lack personality. A handwritten letter brings a human and personal touch back to communication. It’s personal, unexpected, and thoughtful. A handwritten note takes a moment to write and more care is put into the words. Just think about how quickly you respond to an email versus taking the time to write a letter. That moment goes a long way.
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To me, it’s pretty two-fold. The act of writing a letter is a moment of reflection-where all of my focus is towards this person I’m writing to. I’m not distracted by my Instagram feed or tempted to stop and scroll through Pinterest. My heart is full of love, pouring it onto paper so that recipient can feel what I’m trying to express. I’m grateful my mama pushed me to write thank-you letters after every birthday and holiday, to say something other than “Thanks for _________. I will be using it to do ________”-the age old “Thank you letter formula.” And receiving a handwritten letter? Kristine is so right, you feel so darn special. To know someone took the time, thought of you, and wrote that card, it turns a rainy day into a sunny day.

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Are you super emotional and inspired now? ;) Truly, though I can’t urge you enough to grab some stationary, and write a sweet note to your friend who just moved to a new city, or to your mama who lives 12 hours away, or even drop a note to your next-door-neighbor.

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Don’t have any adorable stationary? While even a piece of notebook paper will do, it’s extra sweet to write on your prettiest paper, and Charlotte Lane is giving YOU 15% off ALL Charlotte Lane Paper with the code SomethingSouthern.

So hop on over, order some pretty cards, and write your little hearts out. And while you’re at it, share your letters on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ProjectSnailMail.

I promise you, it’s the littlest of things that can really fill a heart with joy.

Product images above by the talented Heidi Geldhauser for Our Labor of Love and the photos of Ken and Kristine are by the wonderful Buffy Dekmar Photography. SomethingSouthern product code good until May1st, 2014. #ProjectSnailMail is a movement that should never, ever end and is likely to result in extreme happiness and goodwill among others. 

in a week

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This read on The Every Girl was a total inspiration. Camilyn Beth is one of my favorite designers, I’ve really loved what she’s done over the last year. I would wear anything this lady made. Plus, she’s cute to boot.

Oh Joy’s Target collection was released! Yippee! My favorite pieces are these gold confetti party hats and noise blowers, this cake stand, oh and this scalloped bowl!

I was inspired by ABM’s post on blogging and the advantages to being in such a young industry. I really appreciate the thought-provoking posts I’ve been reading lately on the industry of blogging: where it has evolved from, where it’s headed, and how far the industry has to grow as a whole.

I totally teared up at this WalMart spot. Heart warming commercials get me every time #cheeseball

I rejoined Twitter! I had to take a huge hiatus after I realized what a time-suck it was turning into for me. I do strive to be more cognizant of the world I’m living in and be less reliant on my phone, but there is no denying how valuable Twitter can be. Connecting with others and supporting the brands and the people I love are super important to me. So long as I’m not turning dead-eyed staring at my feed for hours at my time, I think this can be a good thing :)

Over on SoSo /// I whipped up a yummy ginger beer cocktail, the Warby Parker Sun Spectrum collection was introduced, I lusted over some pretty Spring styles, and I chatted a bit about plans for my dream living room.

Tomorrow the weather is going to be beautiful in Atlanta, so I’m hopping to soak up some rays. Dreaming I was the girl in the above pic though ;) Also, on the house-hunt front, Josh and I found a place! We are beaming. The big move is in 2 months, but I can’t wait to share pictures once we’re in. It needs a bit of work, but I’m so so so happy!

What are your big weekend plans? Any one else have exciting news to share?? I’d love hear and spread the joy! :)

Stunning Image above by JD Lorieux

March

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Life Lately: I just came home from my first trip abroad last night, so life is a bit of a whirlwind. I’m a flurry of emotions. The trip was indescribable, I’m struggling hard to put it into words. Adjusting back to reality is an uphill battle.

What I’m Reading: This shouldn’t count because I read it in one night, but I have to share that I just read The Giver for the first time. It was never on my high school reading list, but it was the book for this month’s book club. I seriously finished it in one night in London when my body was still on America time. Fully aware it’s a children’s (high school?) book, but it was so thought-provoking. I really couldn’t believe it did end so quickly. I’m anticipating the on-screen version coming later this year. 

What I’m Excited About: Spring. Apparently, I missed a lovely weekend in Atlanta (not complaining kids. I was in London ;) ), I think March weather will be shaping up quite nicely. Storing my peacoat and boots away for the season sounds just lovely :)

What am I Obsessing Over: Gel Nails. Do you all laugh at me every time I’m years late to the party? But really, I rarely get my nails done because I will just chew them off, and while I’m not the smartest cookie with my money 24/7, I have learned you shouldn’t eat your cash. But with Paris and London on the horizon, I bit the bullet and went for gel nails, and (sadly for my bank account), I’m hooked. I didn’t bite my nails ONCE on my trip. This is a record. They are so strong and shiny and my favorite part is you can’t totally screw them up buckling your seatbelt on the way out of the nail salon parking lot.

What’s Inspiring Me: floral flows, one-piece bikinis, large blooms, fancy maxis, and clean white.

February Was: Everything. I feel like a different person after this trip, but I don’t really know what to do with this new person yet. It’s all so strange. I’m longing to be back in London or to be spending another weekend in Paris.

March Will Be: A new Spring. Day light savings time. Big changes. Adventures. Responsibility.

 

girl crush: emily henderson

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Sometimes, I can be a bit late to the game on things. This amazing thing called Instagram (you’ve heard of it, right?) introduced me to the beautiful feed of @emilyhenderson. I thought-who is this girl with the adorable baby and beautiful house?

Oh you know, just an HGTV star, designer, and stylist-nbd. At first, I only followed her Insta feed for a month or so, until one weekend, I finally remembered to look up her blog.

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Alright, Emily, you’ve trapped me now. Behind the stunning, distinctive style, breathtaking home, and adorable budding family, stands this hilarious blonde bombshell.

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There are a lot of writing styles I’m drawn to: sincere, entertaining, descriptive, etc., but Mrs. Hendo is in a class of her own. She is beyond authentic, hysterical, clever, and honest to boot.

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And that’s just her writing. Her design style is unbelievable ( ya know, she’s an HGTV star and all). I’m constantly pinning, bookmarking, starring, and printing off her work, photos, and inspiration. There is something so fresh and real about her style. It’s classic and modern at the same time. It’s clean but colorful.

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Discovering Mrs. Hendo right when she has started remodeling her new house-now that is perfect timing. I’m loving every second of following along on this journey. If I haven’t sold you, I guarantee one click over to her blog, and you’ll be hooked too.

*All images via Style by Emily Henderson