*Please know that what I am about to write is not a criticism of anyone else. It is instead a personal evaluation and reflection of things in my own heart and mind.
When I woke up this morning, I did the thing that I do every morning: I scrolled through my Instagram feed. It has become more habit than desire to see what is going on in the social media world around me. However, like often, I saw these perfectly bright bedrooms with happy children dressed for the day frolicking and it made me feel (for an instant) discontent with my dimly lit bedroom in my jammies sprawled on my bed. Though I quickly catch these thoughts and remember how amazing and fun it is that i get to be a part of my own life, it doesn’t stop that little thought stream that lingers.
I have heard my whole life that “comparison is the thief of joy” and i completely agree. But I would go one step further and say that it is also the thief of simplicity. Maybe this is just me, but “social media lives” (what i lovingly call the strangers’ well photographed lives that i follow on Instagram) make me want to lug my Nikon and all my fancy lenses to the market and playground and splash pad if only to capture the perfect example of all the fun that we also have on a daily basis. As I was examining my thoughts, it seemed as if I didn’t post a picture on social media for people to see then it was like our little adventure wasn’t as fun. How crazy is that logic (I am still half grimacing and half laughing at myself)? Is this just me or is this the problem with social media? Seriously, it is like that saying “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” That is how I started to view our days. Play time then is no longer messy, silly, imaginative spontaneity. It becomes perfect placement, cutest clothing, clean surroundings and biggest smile in the light time. And that to me is exhausting and complicated and everything that isn’t simple.
Therefore, I will gladly continue to look and smile at those social media lives, but only to appreciate the beauty and unique talents that surround us. Those thoughts might still come to mind, but I will address them for the silly complicated nonsense that they are and continue on with my simple daily activities.
Growing up when asked who my role model was, I would typically answer Mia Hamm (I played soccer at the time) or my grandmom. Now the only constant answer is Tirzah Glonda Marie Claiborne Counts (aka Gmom). I grew up in the same town as my grandparents. They were constant fixtures in almost any major or minor event. I like to joke that we grew up together because she exuded youth. My Grandmom would host birthdays, slumber parties and just about any other gathering she could. She was and is the life of the party (though I cringe using such a common phrase to describe her…she was the definition of that phrase). It became my goal to get her to laugh so hard she cried. I always wanted my friends to partake in the joy that consumed her when she was “tickled”. If my siblings or I were ever in trouble, she would scold us by saying “if you don’t stop, I am going to paddle your canoe” or “I am going to clean your plow.” <– I asked her often what those phrases meant, but she would always respond with a sly grin and say that she would tell me when I got older…I still don’t know. As she gracefully ages, I hear more and more stories about the fire cracker she was growing up…which just serves to shed more light on her feisty personality now. Shortly after college, I lived with her for about a year. She was my roommate. Needless to say, we share a special bond.
Therefore, I am so thrilled to be visiting this beautiful woman this weekend. Though she is recovering from an injury, I know that I will be the one constantly reminded to have joy in every experience.
I love color and patterns. There is something about vibrant clothing that just makes me excited. Because of this, I like to take a few chances with the clothing that I wear. One of my favorite things to do is mix patterns. Although there aren’t any rules for what you can and cant try, I have compiled a few tips to make it easy (listed them in least frightening to more frightening order).
Tip 1: Same pattern different colors- I just blew my title with the first tip. I know that using the same pattern shouldn’t qualify as mixing patterns, but it feels like it when those patterns are different colors or size. Try, for example, 2 polka dots or stripe patterns. It is especially easy when one of the patterns is more subtle.
Tip 2: Same color different patterns- Hold on, this is where it gets wild :) Honestly, this is easier than you think. Like me, most people tend to gravitate towards certain colors. If you were to survey your closet you would probably find many “like” colors in your tops, pants and skirts. One thing to remember when mixing these is the fewer “extra colors” the less you’ll look like a walking eye bender. Also, repeating prints work great with this; they function like classic pieces and seem normal.
Tip 3: Play with geometry- I have mentioned how I love floral prints and would wear them everyday if I could, but they are very difficult to mix. However, geometric patterns with their lines and well… geometry, are great to mix. Like tip 2, try to stick within the same color schemes with few extra colors. You are free to try triangles, circles, stripes, diamonds, and squares. Example 1, 2
If these seem scary to you, start with tip 1. Try more subtle patterns and then move down the list. The more you try it the mor confident you will be.
As a point of update, I realize that it is not possible for me to ride my bike in a dress. I wasn’t the only one who thought the straight across bar on my bike was a “man bar.” After being backed in my suspicions, I broke down to Jason. He explained that it is just part of suitable and practical road bikes. Because that is so, it would be highly impractical and very impossible for me to wear a dress or skirt while biking. I have had a week now to deal with that fact and I am fine.
1. One of my favorite things about our whimsical home is that there is so much…SO MUCH storage. One of the things that bugs me the most now is that I don’t have enough fancy organizers to make the spaces actually useful. 2. Thinking outside the box completely, but I would use this crate in aforementioned storage as sleek, low shelves…for the little things. 3. These hooks are just too cool. 4. I absolutely love kilim and have a growing little collection, this large, bright pillow would fit perfectly in the wall benches/beds…<– they don’t have an appropriate name or purpose yet. 5. Our garden is growing and we have been able to eat things from it. I have never had a successful garden…nor air plant for that matter and now I want tons of growing things in our home and this is perfect to set them on. 6. I am a big fan of handmade textiles. I love this bag.