July 31, 2011

Envy vs. Admiration

Topsy tail and Cupcakes 057(this is not the outside of my house.)

The other day, on our way to somewhere else, my mom and I took a detour into one of the oldest  and most prestigious neighborhoods in Austin, called Pemberton Heights.  It’s pretty much my dream neighborhood, and driving through it lights a fire in my SOUL. 

Yes, I said that.  It lights a fire in my soul. 

I bet living in an old home comes with its own set of challenges, but I think I’d take them in a heartbeat for the opportunity to live in a house like some of the ones we saw on our drive (like the one above).  They just don’t make things like they used to, do they?  Character is sacrificed for practicality and whichever materials are cheapest for the builders.  It’s a shame.

As we were driving through, oohing and aahing and admiring these people’s homes, I thought to myself about the difference between envy and admiration. 

Envy is seeing something that someone else has and allowing yourself to feel “less than” in some way.  Comparing yourself to them, and feeling as though you don’t measure up.  There’s a negative connotation behind envy, and being envious is pretty much an ugly thing. 

Admiration is seeing what someone has, whether it be a material thing or otherwise, and simply appreciating and respecting it—understanding that it probably took a great deal of hard work to achieve.

Admiration is a good thing.  It inspires us to work hard for the things we want—to follow our dreams, to change things about our lives that aren’t working or aren’t pointing us in the direction we’d like to go.  Admiration is a much nicer feeling than envy.  It’s a positive energy to feed off, rather than a negative one.

For those of us who read a lot of blogs or otherwise spend a lot of time on the Internet (Pinterest?), it’s easy to get caught up in wanting things we don’t have.   I’ll be the first to admit that I exist in a fairly consistent state of disgruntlement over things I wish I had—some of them material things, some of them not.  But I think we need to be so careful about crossing the line between envy and admiration. 

I dare say that the type of people who allow themselves to be eaten up by envy are never the type who achieve those deepest desires of their heart.  Being jealous and envious wastes far too much precious energy that would be better utilized elsewhere.

I think it’s perfectly OK to admire others and what they’ve achieved in life.  But 9 times out of 10, I bet those folks achieved what they did out of a sense of empowerment and good old-fashioned hard work—NOT envy.

  Just some thoughts for your Sunday.  I needed to write them, and I hope that maybe some of you needed to read them.

jennisig

July 29, 2011

New Friends Friday!

Hello there!

It’s Friday again! (I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of that!)

Today I’d like to introduce you to two new awesome girls who recently signed on to sponsor!  I hope you’ll take a moment to check out their blogs… these girls have got it goin’ on!

First we have Meg from May Contain Nutz!

mcn

2-Jul-09_21

Meg is a seriously crafty and talented girl with her own Etsy shop, and her blog is full of fun little stories from her life, helpful DIY tutorials, and the occasional mouth-watering recipe. It doesn’t hurt that she’s totally adorable, either! :)

Go make a new friend!

 

Next up is Sarah from Silly Grrl, a self-proclaimed design nerd and aerial ninja!

SG

sarah-july2011

Sarah seriously amazes me, and I know you’ll love her too.  She’s a talented web designer (sells premade blog templates in her Etsy shop), but also an AERIALIST, y’all.  Don’t know what that is?  You’ll have to go check out her blog to learn more.  Hint: It’s awesome!

I adore her edgy style, and I KNOW you’ll love her too.  Head on over for a visit!

Happy FRIDAY!

jennisig

July 28, 2011

How-to: Topsy Tail. The braid for us slow kids.

Lately I’ve noticed plenty of talk around the blogosphere about fabulous, intricate braids like the fishtail or even the classic french braid.  Some other bloggers (like Katie) have posted great tutorials, but as it turns out, I have pretty shiesty finger/eye/hair coordination and can’t for the life of me braid my own hair. 

It is a sad spectacle when I attempt it; one which usually ends with lots of frustrated expletives and general bitterness towards the world.

Enter the topsy tail.  Remember?  You probably wore your hair in a topsy tail when you were just a little ‘un, and I say let’s bring it back.  It’s more interesting than a ponytail, but less exasperating than a fancy braid.

It’s the braid for us slow kids.

Here’s the steps:

1 2 3  4

5

Topsy tail and Cupcakes 015

If you try it, blog about it and send me your link! I wanna see! :)

Happy almost-Friday!

jennisig

July 26, 2011

A little bit of w(h)ine.

Tuesday dinner 035 (this just saved my life)

Tuesday dinner 053 Tuesday dinner 055(Haven’t done my hair in approximately 2 weeks.  It’s just too hot.)

Tuesday dinner 075 (delicious recipe here—I subbed salmon)

 

This week has been weird, and it’s only Tuesday.

Don’t worry, nothing bad has happened.  Unless you call horrible writer’s block and complete lack of zest for life BAD.  (Ok, when I put it that way, it DOES kind of sound bad.)

I blame this on PMS and the 146 degree heat, and expect it should pass within a few more days. But tonight?  Tonight calls for wine and ice cream.  I’ve already enjoyed (and am still enjoying) the wine, and I plan to indulge in the ice cream as soon as I hit publish on this post. 

A few notable things have happened, by the way.

a) Edd had an MRI, and his tumors are shrinking!  We are so grateful.

b) I went to Allison’s and held her baby a while, during which time he cried his first REAL tears.  As in, actual tear drops.  Allison said to me, “oh!  This is his first time ever crying real tears!” 

Basically, he was genuinely unhappy to be with me.  Is this an omen?

c) It is so hot out that the sun is actual charring our plants.  Like, blackening them.  Living things are curling up, turning black, and dying.  Is it any wonder that I’m grumpy?

Tuesday dinner 085

Anyway.  This post wasn’t meant to be gripey, but it’s just how I’m feeling at the moment, I suppose.

I’ve decided that tomorrow will be better.  But today?  Wine.  And ice cream.

We all have those days, yes?

Hope you’re having a fahhhbulous week. :)

jennisig

July 24, 2011

the Lost Art.

A couple of days ago my mom dropped in and brought me a notepad she’d bought at a store called Back Home here in Austin.

She knew I would love it, and I did.  Amazing how a silly little pad of paper can bring so much happiness… and inspiration to revive the lost art of letter writing. 

WHY don’t we write more letters?  Email is great and quick, but there’s nothing quite like receiving a letter in the mail that was lovingly crafted by hand and delivered over long distances, just to arrive at your doorstep and reside in your actual home (versus your computer).  It’s something tangible, and sometimes I feel like truly tangible things are getting harder and harder to come by, these days. 

I only wanted to suggest that you find some beautiful stationery or cards that will make you actually WANT to write letters to the people you love.  To make their day when that unexpected little surprise arrives in their ACTUAL MAILBOX!

My mother-in-law sends me snail mail fairly regularly, and whenever I see my name on an envelope (which would be practically never, if it weren’t for her), I snatch it up excitedly and often find sweet notes, articles she thought I would like, or pictures from our last family get-together. 

There’s nothing else quite like REAL mail.

Below are a few photos of that notepad my mom gifted me with. There are different (wonderful) quotes at the bottom of each page!  Here is the manufacturer’s website if you’re interested in finding out where you can buy one.

July 24 002 Letters July 24 006My first letter was to Matthew.

Letters July 24 013 Letters July 24 018 Letters July 24 021   “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.  Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”  Roald Dahl

I suggest browsing through the stationery on Etsy… I promise you’ll find some you love!

This shop is one of my favorites.

Hope you all have a nice start to your week!jennisig

July 23, 2011

Bittersweet.

Last night marked the end of an era in my life.

A chapter came to a close, and not without tears and remorse.  Joy interminged with sadness. Triumph with regret.

I held Matthew’s hand tightly during this chapter’s closing—enjoying every moment as much as I wished each moment would never end. 

I drowned my sorrows in a cocktail.  I stuffed my face with peanut m&ms. I wiped away hidden tears throughout the remainder of this bittersweet event.

And now?  I feel it is official. I am an adult.  Just like Harry and Hermione and Ron.

HP

Ha.  Ok, maybe I’m being a tad dramatic. 

You don’t think differently of me now that you know I’m a Harry Potter nerd, do you?  Because I promise I will judge YOU if you say that you are NOT.  Or pity your poor soul, at least.  ;P (kidding)

But in all seriousness, I’m sad to see this saga end.  It was a great story, and you get pretty attached to the characters.  Those who’ve seen it: do you think they’ll try and make more movies with the children?  I hope so, though I don’t know if they could ever be as great as the original stories.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

"Don’t pity the dead, Harry.  Pity the living.  Especially those who live without love.”

jennisig

July 21, 2011

A post about almost nothing.

I wanted to write a blog post today.  I really did. 

But then I got busy revamping my sponsor page and doing some other stuff, and all else fell to the wayside.  Now it’s 4 PM, I still haven’t showered or changed out of my PJs, and I also haven’t shaved my legs in longer than I care to mention.  Just FYI.

I think I’m going to go to the gym now (so I don’t feel like such a sloth), and then I’m going to get myself cleaned up and cook dinner so my husband won’t stop liking me.

Here’s a couple pictures of some sweet little faces to hold you over for the evening. 

GC and to pack list 020

GC and to pack list 015 

Precious babies. 

 

Check back soon for less lameness.

jennisig

July 20, 2011

I can’t think of a title for this post, and I’m really too hungry to sit here any longer.

Just figured I’d be honest. 

My mama and I went back to Boggy Creek Farm this morning, so I decided to dress up like a true Austinite for the occasion (aka a little hippyish).

Yes, I get dressed up when I go to farms to buy produce.  Doesn’t everyone?

BCF and JH headband 054

BCF and JH headband 053

BCF and JH headband 062

{ dress and belt: Langford Market, necklace: Tiffany’s, headband: c/o Janelle Haskin }

A while back, Miss Janelle Haskin gifted me with this pretty little headband from her Etsy shop.  All of her items are handmade and knit/crocheted to order, and they are truly fabulous.  I wore another of her headbands here.

Check out her shop, and if you like anything you see, use the coupon code STORYOFMYLIFE to receive 10% off!

You’re welcome.

jennisig

P.S. I’m also guest posting HERE on how NOT to pack for traveling and HERE on why they say “home is where the heart is.”

July 18, 2011

The day my house was clean.

On Saturday evening we had guests over for dinner, which meant I spent most of Saturday afternoon having a minor anxiety attack as I scurried about, cooking and cleaning up a storm.  The degree of difference between how we actually live and how our house looks when we have company is pretty substantial, and I tend to underestimate how much work is necessary to bring things to standard—hence, the last minute crises.

Seriously, how do all those spiders get in the house?  And I’m pretty sure their sole purpose in life is to spin webs in ever nook and cranny of my home, catch bugs in them, and then immediately die.  So gross.

When Matthew and I finished polishing up the house, we surveyed our work and gave ourselves a pat on the back.  Now, if only things would STAY looking that way.

Of course, I snapped some pictures so that I could look back fondly on this event: you know, that day my house was clean.

*Sigh*

**Worst Housewife Ever Award**

Dinner July 16 001Water with citrus and mint.  Cause that’s how we roll.

 Dinner July 16 030

Dinner July 16 018Can you hear the choir of angels singing?  I can. 

Dinner July 16 015 Oh heck yes.

Dinner July 16 019 Dinner July 16 024 Dinner July 16 027 Dinner July 16 032

Also, I would just like to say that for pretty much the first time ever, a small child liked Matthew.  And he liked it back.  And it was pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  Made my heart happy.

Dinner July 16 045

jennisig

PS – Check out my recent guest posts HERE (on the best and worst of blogging) and HERE (on why Austin is “weird.”)

July 17, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Treasure Hunt

I just spent the last four hours hyperventilating at the Austin Citywide Garage Sale.

No, seriously.  I got 3 huge boxes of amazing, antique books for six dollars.  SIX DOLLARS!!  At most antique stores, I’d be lucky to find a good looking old book for that price.  Today?  Sixty-one books.  Six dollars. Yes, I counted them.  And if you were wondering, that’s 9.8 cents per book.

SCOOOOOOORE!

(If you know me well, you know I like to decorate with old books. I think the guy selling them today was a little startled by my level of happiness bliss psychotic excitement when he said I could have all three boxes for six bucks)

The rest of my loot included an old suitcase for a buck, a crystal sugar and creamer set, some twine, and three fabulously peeling, worn, and rickety old frames (BIG ones!). 

I pretty much couldn’t be happier with this day.

ACW Garage Sale 006 ACW Garage Sale 021 ACW Garage Sale 025 ACW Garage Sale 034 ACW Garage Sale 042

ACW Garage Sale 038 

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!!

jennisig

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