Skins

I am not usually openly proud about not fitting an acceptable body image, because I know it would scare the world if they really knew just how much self esteem I have.

But this video shook me to my core.  Kim Selling says everything I’ve ever wanted to hear.  Because there’s not enough pain or misfortune or ill favor to wish upon those enemies that put you down.  Because you feel so bad for those people, even those who know you well, who you love, who pity you for your weight, yet live desperately in their own way.

We are all despicable, wanting, in need of improvement, missing something, losing something, ruining something.  Some of us are just strong enough and brave enough to wear our flaws for the world to see.

Unraveling

I haven’t been scared since I moved to college.  That’s not to say I didn’t feel apprehension, anxiety, or worry.  But real scared, where I didn’t know what to expect or what would happen, and I have no control over the situation?  It’s been a long time.

I’m unraveling.  I hate to quantify or qualify relationships, but it’s the easiest way to put it – the last of my best friends have left this place.  Haley moved to Los Angeles, and I feel such a hole in my heart.  I knew this time would come but what I didn’t expect was feeling so utterly lackadaisical.  Though I’m not the type to spend every free moment with my girlfriends, I am suddenly very aware that I’m alone, the last one.

This is all very dramatic for something as inane as moving from your college town out into the world.  And being the last one isn’t even true, as there are fistfuls of people still here who I love and adore and will miss when I’m gone.  But it’s these last months of waiting, not knowing where we will live, where we will work, or who will take over our current lease, that are simultaneously killing my spirit and revving me up for the next big thing.

All of this is garbage, nothing talk.  To put it out there feels good and I never forget that I have a best friend for a husband.  But learning where to re-direct your energy, planning for the uncertain, that’s scary.  Scary, exciting and just what I need.
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By the way, I use handkerchiefs.  My husband thinks it’s gross.  This is a picture of one of my favorite hankies.

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I grew up in a neighborhood everyone called Sunset Park, after the giant park nearby.  Sunset Drive, the hub, was the quintessential middle-America-divinity: cul-de-sacs, candy canes on every mailbox at Christmas time, and the best candy at Halloween meaning every one from town came to our area to trick-or-treat.

My brother and I walked the neighborhood endlessly as kids, with our dog in tow and without a leash usually.  We swam in neighbor’s pools, babysat their kids, shared forts and tree houses.  But my favorite part was the old ladies.

For the record, I’m reclaiming the term old lady.  I feel like it sounds bad but I mean it with so much dignity, respect, and reverence that it truly is an honorable title.  The cult of beauty created by companies selling us stuff have really taken away the respect from aging.  Anyways, the old ladies in my neighborhood were the best.  My main gal was Ruth.

Ruth was the kind of woman that made me not afraid to be old.  Her hands were like knotted tree stumps, her skin was wrinkled to infinity, and she walked with a shuffle.  But she never complained, was always laughing and telling me jokes, doing puzzles, baking and gardening.  Her den always had a card table with a puzzle going and sometimes I would sit and work on it while she went about her day.  She always asked me questions and was genuinely interested in me even though I was five, six, seven years old.

From my visits with Ruth came a love for something strange and wonderful and whimsical that has only grown with age: my love of miniatures.  Her kitchen and dining room walls were lined with small shelves and cabinets, full of miniatures.  Glass animals, bronze trees, scenery, a marble, a miniature washing board.  I loved to stare at the tiny details.  Now, you’ll find small things all around my house, some with functions, some without.

My best friend knows this about me and has told me for years about her dollhouse in Tennessee.  I’ve heard about this masterpiece for years, but it wasn’t until Christmas when she moved back there that I started getting pictures.  Without her permission, I wanted to share them today as an introduction to my love of the tiny, as I will be sharing more tiny things I keep around the house.

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(violet-jane)

That tiny sun deck!  I would live all up in that house.

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I always wanted an intricate dollhouse but had to settle for copious amounts of Polly Pocket.

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So much wicker!  But the kitty on the bed is seriously too cute.

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Those floors!  And a dollhouse in a dollhouse!  My eyes are watering!

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Busy wallpaper and the tiniest rake and cat food bag ever!

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Boys being boys being boys.

When I’m in Tennessee, we are going to play with this dollhouse so tough.

Something to look forward to

I always need something to look forward to.  I don’t care if it’s a year away, I can follow that small speckle of light in the distance for a long time.  Because of this, I’m always planning trips years in advance.  My current itinerary:  Beijing in November to visit Connie, road trip to Tennessee with Bryan to visit Ashley, Destry and Dorothy next May, and then Los Angeles to visit Haley, Becca, and Kristin in the Fall of 2015.  Whew.  I’m out of (internet) breath now.

I mention my beautiful future plans because I’ve had what can only be described as a bad attitude this week.  Everything I do at work feels menial and pointless, the days feel longer, and I am getting way too excited about the move and the trip to sit at a desk for eight hours a day.  Luckily my mood changes with the wind, so next week will be better.

 

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(Our new gimpy art print from Stay Home Club – he’s smiling!)

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(Cleaning out the random nails and screws floating around my desk drawers – randomness is perfect.)

IMG_3944(The thick and curly haired struggle is very real, my friends.)

We are headed north this weekend, I get to meet the last bit of Bryan’s family from Alaska, scout out rental houses, and of course, Target.  I’ve assured Bryan I’ll get over my zest for Target once we live so close to it.  One time, my brother asked my mom and I what was the big deal with Target?  I laughed because he asks the questions I’m sure all men are wondering.

 

Buy and Buy Again

It’s rare for me to re-buy a beauty product.  Usually I am always trying new products or new brands, but the older I get, the more I value quality and product loyalty.  One of my goals by the time I’m thirty is to use all natural skin care products and basically being more educated about the things I’m putting on my face.  And while I’m not sure my makeup will ever be all natural, it helps to use quality products – there’s no reason to limit the chemicals you clean and moisturize with if you are just going to go totally cheap on makeup.

These are some of the skin care and beauty items that I buy and buy again.  They are affordable, and I’ve bought each of them at least twice.

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MAC Pro Longwear Blush (my color is Stay Pretty)

This compact lasts a long time, the color is smooth even though it’s a powder blush, and it blends easily with bronzer and illuminator.  I have pink undertones and I have never found such a perfect pink for my cheeks.  My next goal is to find a cheaper drugstore dupe for this color, but I doubt I’ll find one with such a smooth formula.

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H20 Plus Water-Activated Eye Make-Up Remover

This was a freak purchase at TJ Maxx years ago –  I saw it, needed eye make-up remover, and thought it looked nice.  I loved it so much that I used it sparingly, worried I wouldn’t be able to find it again.  At that time, even an internet search didn’t turn up anything for this brand.  Now, it’s readily available and I bought it again at TJ Maxx a few months ago.  A dollop of this gel in your hands, a dash of water, and you can rub it all over your eyes and eyelashes.  It has never stung my eyes and it rinses quick leaving zero makeup.

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LUSH Silky Underwear Dusting Powder

I already blogged about LUSH Dusting Powders here, but I’ll never stop gushing.
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e.l.f. Brush Shampoo

For three dollars, this was worth trying.  I am of the Church of Dr. Bronner’s, and have always used that to clean my makeup brushes, but e.l.f. blew that out of the water.  This gel, which is hilariously likely of the exact same ingredients as the eye make-up remover above, has similar positive qualities – it rinses nicely and pulls out color quickly.  You get a lot of bang for your buck with this, and I will definitely keep it around for brush cleaning.

s1586262-main-hero-300MAKE UP FOR EVER Mist & Fix

I bought a small spray bottle of this for cheap at Sephora.  I’ve always liked make-up setting spray or even a mist of water on my face after putting on make-up – it softens the blending and makes me feel less chalky and dry especially in the winter.  At Boy’s Club Prom this year, my friend Carly was talking about a spray a friend used while they were studying abroad in London.  It set their make-up so when they trekked around all day, they didn’t sweat it all off.  I asked her what it was called, and it was this same product I already owned and had used that very night!  I had never put it to the test until dancing and getting sweaty that night and it keeps everything in place.  There are a lot of make-up setters I’ve tried and never bought again – until I found this little beauty.

 

What are some of the products you buy and buy again?  Have you experienced good or bad things from the products above?  Comment below!  I want to get to know my readers!

 

xo

 

Invisible

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(Me, Bryan and Jon years ago)

Today, I watched a wonderful commencement speech by Jim Carrey at the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa.  It was funny but also wise and full of thoughts that don’t make it into enough of these speeches.  I have to say the speaker when I graduated presented the most cliche, boring, droll, low energy speech you could ever imagine.

“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world.”  I wrote this down as I heard it, and revisited it later.  Why did this strike me in such a strange place in my heart?  It could have been because I have never feared being invisible or yearned for any spotlight.  But I do fear being a part of the status quo, especially a status quo that is failing in so many ways.  I thought to myself, maybe that’s why I never sought approval from the masses.

I’ve always known that being a part of something big, being in the spotlight, meant having to care about acceptance, because without it, you’d lose your spot in line.  Acceptance and attention equals existence when you live life that way.  We talk about over-saturation of social networking and the need to document every single thought and moment in time.

But we never talk about over-saturation of opinions – we have reached a point in this world where every possible opinion on every possible scenario is expressed, represented, fought over, reported on, gathered over, and then forgotten.  Over and over and over and over again.  It now has no meaning; to care about anything, any cause, is almost as comical as trying to champion an international charity, right?  Remember Bono everybody.

I don’t actually believe that trying to do international charity or caring about a cause is a bad thing; I would march on Washington for women’s reproductive rights at any possible chance.  My point is this: the world is too big now and opinions don’t matter.  What matters is what you do in this world and the impression you make on others.  Jim Carrey’s speech brings up good points about community and being a positive force to the people around you, because we are so inconsequential in the scope of the universe that that’s all we can ask.  He suggests dropping your fear that you mask as practicality (totally me!).  Ask the universe for what you want and put your spirit out there, take away concern from the people you love with kindness and humor.

It felt good listening to him speak, because I thought about the rich love I have in my life, with my friends and family and husband.  I thought about how free I’ve always felt and how grateful I am for that because so many take it for granted or are unable to feel free and feel loved simultaneously.

Watch the video here.

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(Friends on our way to the wedding.)

 

Never over neon

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(Neon pencil shavings)

Neon has been everywhere this past year, and I don’t know if it’s my Maui childhood or my participation in Parks and Recreation sports, envying the teams with bright jerseys, but I love this trend.  I also hate the word trend; since I live in Idaho, there’s no need for me to keep up with any expected image of what is current in the fashion world.  So when I like a trend, either it’s something I’ve always liked and/or I’ll never stop liking it and it isn’t the passing facade that it often is to those in big cities.  I pity those who think they are fashion forward because they abandon every passing fad as new ones replace old ones; to me, being fashion forward has more to do with comfort in your skin, and personal style and taste, which cannot be bought, borrowed, or stolen.

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(part of my birthday present from Connie – photo booth strips from my bachelorette party.  I taped them to my vanity mirror, so I can smile at my girls every day.)

It has been an emotional past few weeks, with Connie moving to China and two other friends getting married, I feel like I have experienced the full spectrum of emotions possible in the human psyche.  We are traveling to Beijing to visit her at the end of November, and we are finishing visa paperwork and counting down the days.

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(plucking leaves and thorns off dozens and dozens of roses)

I officiated/coordinated my first wedding, and I felt proud to be standing up there with two people so dear to me.  I learned so much and feel very secure in my future goals of running my own event coordinating business.  With every event, I know I’ll learn new lessons and be able to guide brides and hosts to make the right decisions and keep them stress free.  Riannon, the bride, was an unbelievable breeze, and she was so gracious and calm, even with the preparations the day before.  A friend of hers did the flowers, and I got to experience the amount of work that goes into arrangements, costs for bulk flowers, and the subtle tricks of the trade when presenting flowers at an event.  Basically, it was an emotional and professional and motivational and aspirational roller coaster that has really energized me for future things to come.

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(Moscow Mules in copper mugs we got as a wedding present)

We have a new bar cart that I’ll show another time, but it has really motivated me to try new cocktails.  Bryan’s mom’s friend got us copper Moscow mule mugs as a wedding present, so it’s been fun to mix ginger beer, vodka, mint and lime juice for a great drink in a cold, cold cup.

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(Bright Lab)

Check out Bright Lab, the new company of Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day.  I’ve been following her blog for over five years and knowing her wonderful taste and influences, I knew I would love any business venture she embarks on.  These are paper orb lights and come in the greatest packaging.  The best part is your involvement in assembling – all it takes is scissors to cut an opening and slip the orb over the lightbulb.  I chose one of their pre-set color combinations, but you can make any combination you want.  I’ve even gone to their website just to try a few colors together and then they assemble it onto a strand to show you what it would look like.  The picture above are my lights from outside my house looking in – they are hanging on a hook in a bundle.  But they look good in any way – you can stretch them out to create a light garland, or you can bundle it up into a chandelier shape.  They are bringing a lot of warmth to my house as it gets darker earlier and colder by the day.

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And finally, what I have been so excited to share with you all.  If you are a fan of Field Notes, then you know that when they offer a secret, unexposed color series, you trust Field Notes to send you something spectacular – so spectacular, they don’t even want you to know what’s coming.  So I bought a three pack of notebooks, with absolutely no hint or idea what they would look like, only that they were part of this year’s color series.  I got my unexposed color series Saturday.  I opened it to find this:

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WHOA!  They must have gotten the memo that I love neon, and my expectations could not have been more surpassed.  Their past color series have always been great, but this vivid, fluoro set of colors is unreal.  There are more in this color series, so I may definitely have to order another set – I wonder if they will continue with neon combinations, or release something even more eye popping.  I love all things paper, ephemera, packaging, and stationery so trust my recommendation that Field Notes is the best pocket/purse notebook out there.

xo babies!