July 31, 2013
Today might just be another Wednesday for you, but for us, it's a big, big day. A special occasion, really. The end of something we're not sad to see go. The beginning of something else, even though we're not quite sure what that will look like...
Once again, I haven't been completely honest with my blog. For the last two years, actually! August 15th, 2011, I wrote a post about Matthew starting up law school, and now here we are, almost August of 2013, and he is pretty much done. The guy crammed a three year program into two, because he's crazy like that, and while he won't graduate officially until December or take the bar until February, we are done with living apart.
See how I slipped that in there? Living apart! For the last two years, I only saw my husband on weekends and holidays, because he went to school in a different city. Sometimes he wouldn't come home a weekend at all, if he had too much work to do, or finals to study for. I've spent more time alone in the last two years than ever before in my life, and of course it was lonely and frustrating at times, for both of us. For safety reasons I never broadcasted that I was living alone all week, even though it was such a big part of my life the last two years. It's hard to keep that kind of thing quiet, you know? When all you want to do is scream, "I WANT A NORMAL LIFE! I WANT A HUSBAND! THIS ISN'T WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!"
I say that with a smile on my face, really. We survived it. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say we thrived during this period, especially in our own separate endeavors. Matthew and I are both really independent individuals, we both had plenty of our own stuff going on to keep us busy, and I actually wonder if his living away during the week made the whole thing a little easier on both of us. Like, an out of sight, out of mind type of thing. Since we weren't living together, I couldn't focus on the fact that he was always studying and never had time for me. Instead, I just did my own thing. Kept up my blog, started my business, made lots of relationships here in Austin. It worked out, and now, tonight, he'll come home and this will be over. We'll have to acclimate to each other again, find a new routine. But I think we're both so excited for that... it's like letting out a breath you've been holding for a long time. A sigh of relief. "Real life" won't start until he gets a job after the bar, but wait, scratch that. THIS IS real life. It's our real life now. Being together again. Learning to put someone else at the same level of priority as yourself. Waiting for our new home to be finished. Enjoying time with my mom in the meantime. Dreaming about the future. Working hard to make that future happen. This is real life NOW. We always have to remind ourselves to stop waiting for it to begin, when it truly already has.
Anyway, PHEW. It feels good to get that off my chest. I'm so excited for what's to come, you guys! Matthew and I really want to have FUN this next year. He still has lots of work and studying for the bar to do, and he starts an internship this fall, but we want to try lots of new things (remember the Happy documentary?) and really work on our relationship before bringing little spawns into the picture. Wish us luck. ;)
*PS - I feel the need to apologize for the quality of that picture up top there. We snapped it on my phone at our new house last night, not thinking it would ever be shared, but it turns out I don't have many pictures of me and Matthew together... since you, know, I barely saw the guy the last couple years. ;)
*PPS - crazy how much progress there's been on our house in barely over a week, right?? They just started framing last Monday!
July 30, 2013
If you haven't visited the Ruche website yet, get on over there and swoon away. Classy, flattering, vintage-inspired clothing that is super affordable and diverse and lovely. I can't say enough good things about this brand! I am PUMPED to finally be working with them. (Also check their blog for a post about our partnership later today!)
If you're attending Texas Style Council this weekend, look for Ruche at the Prom party (I'll be hanging out with them a while too!) and they'll have a floral backdrop and props for photos, free jewelry in exchange for a survey, and
July 29, 2013
Today I'm participating in Meag's series called Coast to Coast Styles, and this week she's featuring ladies from different parts of the U.S. and how they'd dress for an easy weekend outing in their town. I wore this outfit to brunch with friends yesterday morning - nothing fancy, just cutoff jeans, a cute scalloped tank top, and a fedora to cover my unwashed hair. ;) One thing I truly love about Austin is the lack of pretenses here. It's such an incredibly laid back city, and you are not expected to be dressed to the nines whenever you go out. Totally can't tell the bums from the millionaires half the time in this town.
Hope you have a fabulous Monday!
Shirt: from my latest Stitch Fix! The only thing I think I'll keep. Wasn't a huge fan of my box this time around, but I'm happy as long as I get one really good item | Pants: cutoff Loft jeans | Hat: Target | Necklace: c/o Altar'd State | Sandals: Nordstrom Rack
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Visit the other ladies participating, too!
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Visit the other ladies participating, too!
South - Me :)
Midwest - Kiley
Northwest - Jade
California - Sara
Mountains - Meag
July 26, 2013
Hey look, there's been progress on our house! We're just a wee bit excited. Been living with mom nearly three months now (is this summer flying by for anyone else??), and they JUST poured our foundation and started framing in the last week. I knew building would be tedious and frustrating, but it's hard to really fathom until you experience it yourself. Anyway, things are going fine and we are so grateful. It's pretty darn exciting, though, to see our little space in the world starting to take shape. If you're new here or need to catch up, check out this post about why we made the decision to leave our old home and build a new one!
Hope you all have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful, restful weekend. Here's a couple featured SOML sponsors to entertain you the next few days. Check 'em out.
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Meet the ever-lovely miss Chelsea from a blog called Lost In Travels. As you may suspect based on the title, Chelsea and her husband are ex-pats and currently living on a tiny island in Korea (teaching English!)... head right over here for a great introduction to their story, or maybe here and here where Chelsea answers some really fun questions! This girl also has some great travel tips laid out for you, so if you're in the market, don't miss those. Go on over and say hello!
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Next up is pretty Jenn from a blog called Quirky Pickings. Doesn't her smile make you want to smile? ;) Jenn is an aspiring novelist and fellow Texan, and you can head right over here for a great introduction to her blog. She also has a tab called The Griffin Inquisition with links to 32 other fabulous posts inspired by prompt-type questions, many of which you might like to steal from her for topics for your own blog! Check out day one for a little more info about the inquisition, and don't forget to let Jenn know you stopped in today!
July 25, 2013
A few weeks ago I received an email from someone over at Altar'd State, a brand I had not heard of and was actually super excited to receive an introduction to. Austinites, this store is brand new over at The Domain (near Anthro!), and if you haven't stopped in yet, it's a must. The interior is absolutely beautiful and the products well made and more affordable than you might think. But what really makes this store stand out is the heart behind the brand. Their slogan is "fashion focused, cause motivated," and you get that feeling as soon as you walk in the door. Read a little more about their story here, and explore the brands and causes they support here. The proceeds from many of your purchases give back, and on "Mission Mondays," 10% of net proceeds go to local charities. Neat, huh?
This Monday I had such a nice time with the girls at the store, trying on outfits and snapping some photos of the gorgeous touches all around the place. I loved everything I tried on, but ultimately this little number came home with me - lace and leather and gold? Don't mind if I do.
Dress, necklace, and bracelet c/o Altar'd State
Have a great day!
July 24, 2013
The other day Matthew came home from school and announced that he was a changed man. He had watched a documentary on Netflix called “Happy,” and he had decided that he was ready to try lots of new things and have lots of new experiences. According the documentary, intentional behaviors and novel experiences make up a whopping 40% of one’s total happiness, and Matthew says he’s ready to claim that slice of his pie, so to speak.
This brand new outlook of his pleased me greatly. I am all about trying new things and having new experiences (maybe that’s why I’m a generally happy person?), and thus far, I often didn’t feel I had him on board with me in that regard. I mean, I totally understand that he’s been a little busy with law school the past couple of years, so he got a free pass for a while. But now that school is winding down (he only has two more weeks, omg), things are about to get real. Pretty soon maybe we’ll have some semblance of a normal life, and we’ll be able to incorporate normal activities and habits into our lives. We have grand plans about how fantastic that will be. But happiness only exists in the right now, right? You have to figure out how to be that now, or you’ll never figure out how to be it.
So out of curiousity, I watched the Happy documentary, too. Have you seen it? It’s a few years old now, I believe. (Here's a short trailer.) I was both intrigued and touched by it. It covers happiness research over the last 25+ years and people’s stories all over the globe, and it was just so great to be reminded that there’s so much more beyond our little bubbles, so many other ways to be and so many other definitions of happiness. According the research, only 10% of our happiness comes from things like our wealth, our health, our jobs, and our social status. 50% of our happiness comes from our genetic makeup, which I found especially interesting. The documentarly claims that most of us are born with a set happiness range that we typically fall into, regardless of whether good or bad things happen to us. I find that to be pretty true with myself and people in my life.
And the final 40% is that intentional behavior. Researchers recommend making even the tiniest changes in your routine, like running a different route on your jog or going to a different grocery store or what have you. It’s all about tricking your brain to produce more dopamine, the happiness chemical. So if you’re someone who often finds themself in a rut or even depressed or just not as happy as you’d like to be, perhaps try signing up for a cooking or pottery or watercolor class, or hitting up a new lunch spot, or just taking a different route on your drive home. Worth a shot. ;)
What type of activities do you find make you most happy? Personally, I get a mini-happiness-high whenever I’m around dogs, beautifully presented food, and when I’m doing things that fulfill me, like writing and photography. It also feels really great to connect with other humans - whether they be people already in my life, or someone I just met in line at the grocery store.
Hope you have a happy Wednesday. :)
July 22, 2013
*More around-Austin posts here.
July 19, 2013
We dont get a lot of rain here in Texas, so when we do, it’s kind of like a special occasion. To me, anyway. There’s nothing I love more than a good thunderstorm and the sound of rain and the way the house goes all dark and cozy and candles and hot tea become suddenly quite necessary. It's been stormy all week, so I've been in bliss. Today it's sunny out, though, and I’m writing this on Ommwriter Dana II, with ambient sounds #6 playing in my earphones, which involves wind and rain. And drip, drip, drip at the sound of each keystroke (#7). It’s pretty heavenly, I’m not gonna lie. Now all I need is some blackout curtains and I can recreate my rain storm anytime I please. :)
I had a mini photo session this morning, and I picked a little handful of these pretty white lilies (or lily lookalikes, I don’t claim to be a flower expert). They smell so nice, and I’m sure they’re the result of all this rain we’ve had. I’ll enjoy them all throughout the day as I edit photos. Loving life today. Happy Friday to you, and enjoy your weekend…
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Take a moment to visit today’s featured SOML sponsors! These ladies are fabulous. :)
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July 18, 2013
As promised yesterday, part II from The Prairie! I'm so excited to share these photos with you. This place is like a big fluffy cloud. That's all there is to it. We stayed in the Seabury Suite at Liliput Lodge, and it was just the most perfect thing. I cannot wait to go back with a book and some writing and plans to relax and soak it in instead of work. Rachel Ashwell, can you come do our new house? ...Please?
Brittney from Smitten Imagery and Pearl. We wanted to keep her.
The next set of photos are from the Ranger's Lounge, which is the office and common area at the Prairie. You go here for coffee and breakfast in the morning, and it's just as divine as the rest of the place. See for yourself!
Marie and our fabulous Chef (also Pearl's daddy!)
Thank you so much to Marie, Kim, and Rachel Ashwell, of course, for the lovely hospitality. Counting down the days 'til my next stay. :)
To see more photos from around the property, check out the Part I post here!