Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cyber Saturday

I came across Merry Thought's pallet swing bed this week and immediately bookmarked it!  Pallets can be used for so many different things, and I love the hammock-y vibe of this bed.  A pallet project is definitely in store for my front porch this summer!

I have been subscribed to Birchbox for a while now, and I love it.  Monthly subscription boxes seem to be extremely popular right now - Jared has even given in and subscribed to Nerd Block and Loot Crate.  And of course you can't deny the huge success of BarkBox!  While scouring the Internet for more unique monthly boxes, I found Hammock Pack - it's a surprise pack designed to let you take a vacation without leaving your home.  Each month brings a new destination, and Hammock Pack sends you different products from that particular place.  I've never heard of any other subscription like this; it's definitely a cool idea!

The Our Humble Abode blog put up a post about their latest easy project - this souvenir shelf.  Using a cheap, vintage printer's tray, they made a simple shelf to hold trinkets from past vacations, including small shells, rocks, and sticks.  I think this is a great idea, and I'd love to fill a shelf like this with traveling souvenirs!

If you're gluten-free like me, it can be tough to find sweets that don't taste like cardboard.  But this recipe for gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies didn't fail me!  They were super easy to make, and even Jared loved them!

Huffington Post featured a video this week of a group of college seniors recreating the intro to Friends, and it's pretty great.  I am obsessed with this show, so I appreciated the spot-on moves that mirrored the iconic opening.

I like to have a seasonal "bucket list" of sorts, things I'd like to do before each season is over.  I almost never follow through with every activity, but it's fun to make a list of goals, especially for summer.  HelloGiggles posted a great list of 101 things to do before summer's end, including fun ideas like camping in your backyard, going to the drive-in movies, and planning a 90s-themed party!

Have a wonderful long weekend!  Thanks for reading, and don't forget to check out my other blog! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Desperate for Inspiration

I had a dream.  I had lots of them.

I was going to be somebody.  Somebody that others could look up to, maybe even admire if I was lucky.  I thought I could do it all:  Write a book.  Learn a particularly difficult piece on the piano.  Save animals and inspire others to do the same.  Make a difference.

I haven't done any of those things.

I find it so very difficult to ignore that inner voice that keeps whispering, It's fine, we'll just do it tomorrow!  The laundry needs to be done, Riley wants a walk, and let's face it:  That Netflix queue ain't gonna watch itself.  That voice is so damn enticing.  How do I drown it out?  How do I do these things today rather than putting them off until tomorrow...or the next day, or the next?

I still want to do all those things.  But the gap between myself and those goals being met seems to keep growing - every day, the gap gets bigger and bigger and I feel a little bit more hopeless.  The voice turns ugly:  You can't do those things, anyway.  Why even try?  You'll just let yourself down.  That voice is also hard to ignore...though it is temporarily quieted by a couple spoonfuls of cookie dough.

Dorothy Parker said, "I hate writing.  I love having written."  This is the problem, in a nutshell.  I dread writing, put it off for as long as I can.  Even these blog posts (hence my weeks-long hiatus).  But once I'm done writing, and I read over what I have written...there is no better feeling.  The same is true of other things:  I cannot stand exercising; my body hates me with every step on the treadmill and every drop of sweat that runs down my back.  But when I'm done and showered, I feel great.  Likewise, going out and meeting new people often seems extremely daunting, and I'd often rather stay in with a book than socialize.  But when all is said and done, and I'm at home after a refreshing night out, I wonder why I don't do it more often.

My question is:  How do you make the end result seem more enticing?  How do you force yourself to find motivation?  How do you inspire yourself?  Online articles tell me to take a walk and enjoy nature, but that's never worked for me.  Here's a couple things that do:

Cut out the distractions.  For me, it's Netflix and the Internet.  The two biggest time-suckers out there.  I choose not to consider books a distraction because they can often be helpful tools when I write :)

Look through old notebooks/journals.  Some of my favorite writing has happened after looking through my old work.  Even if it's a hilarious 8th-grade diary entry about how afraid you are that you'll never find a boyfriend, or can often turn into inspiration for something bigger and better.

Try something new.  I never thought I would like going to movies by myself.  Or Pilates classes.  But after trying both of those things, I felt happier and much more energized.  Taking a random ballroom-dancing lesson was one of the coolest things I've ever done, and it definitely inspired me to try more new things.  (College students have the advantage here:  there are always awesome things going on around campus.)

Change your environment.  I often try to write in my bed.  It's comfortable, there's a lamp, and I have the TV and a book right there.  This is not good.  My bed = laziness.  My bed = bad writing.  When I switch to sitting at my desk, I always get more done.  When I go to the public library, I get LOADS done and am more inspired to write.  It's kind of amazing what a change in location can do for your writing.

Force yourself.  Just do it.  Even if you're dreading it.  Even if it seems like you'd rather do anything else.  Do it anyway.  You'll feel better afterward.  (This is the one I need to enforce the most.)

I so badly want to pull myself out of this slump.  I want to feel better about myself and be more productive.  I want to be a more inspiring, inspired person.  I want, I want, I want...


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The weather these days is driving me a bit nuts.  It's ten times better than snow, of course, and generally, I love rainy, gloomy days.  Sitting by the window and reading/writing is very relaxing when raindrops are tapping on your roof.  One or two days like this is just fine.  When it becomes a week, it gets a little old.  But until the sun comes out and the puddles dry up, I'll have to deal with make the weather more bearable, I've rounded up some pretty things that make the rain look stylish.  Check it out below!

(left to right):
Singing in the Rain Umbrella (from ShopBop) - a cute way to protect your hair from the drops
Rainy Day Bureau (from Humblesticks) - an easily customizable DIY
"Clouds" wallpaper (from Aimee Wilder) - adorable in a child's playroom
Umbrella necklace with glass raindrop (from Etsy) - delicate and whimsical
"Rainy Day" throw pillow cover (from Etsy) - handmade and in my favorite colors!
Rainy Day nail art (from LacqLustre) - actually inspired by Morton's salt!
"Write like a motherf*cker" coffee mug (from The Rumpus) - my favorite thing to do on a rainy day
"Splish Flash" rain boot (from Modcloth) - pink polka dots with a sweet bow on the back


Friday, May 2, 2014

Cyber Saturday

How was everyone's week?  I spent mine mostly staring at my phone, having little adventures with Jared, and playing a video game called Rain - if you're a PS3 owner, definitely check it out; it's more like a piece of interactive art than a game!  The weather has been gloomy and wet, and it's making me feel pretty gloomy too.  I am more than ready for flip-flops and sun!  Here are some links worth noting from around the Internet this week!

The Barnes and Noble blog did an awesome list about problems that only book nerds have.  Almost all of these applied to me, especially number 56 (mispronouncing words because you've never actually heard them out loud, only in books) and number 83 ("I just want to look really quick" - famous last words, spoken just before you enter the bookstore).  Too true!

Buzzfeed posted an amazing collection of terrible MS Paint drawings that summarize entire Harry Potter movies.  This one - summarizing the last movie - was my favorite.  LOLs for dayyyyys!  (Except RIP Snape, love you forever.)

I think it was HGTV Magazine that featured this Etsy seller, who sells geometric throw pillow covers that you can color yourself!  All you need to create your masterpiece is a fabric marker or some paint and a brush.  It also comes in a heart design.

Buzzfeed recently posted a checklist of the most iconic kids' movies of the 90s, including movies like Home Alone, Casper, and Hocus Pocus.  Unfortunately, I have only seen about 75 percent of them; I will definitely be coming back to this list to catch up on my movie-watching!

Gorgeous Shiny Things, one of my favorite home decor blogs, posted a makeover she did on a beat-up old table she found on the side of the road.  She gave it some TLC and a whole lot of paint (click on the link for the DIY!), and turned it into this gorgeous bamboo-inspired side table!

I only just discovered Bows and Sequins - a fashion blog that offers reasonable and affordable outfits, for a change - and I am loving it!  I have been curious about overalls for a while now; I did, after all, used to work them pretty hard when I was in third grade.  She shows you how to wear them over here, and instead of looking silly and ill-fitting, they look very comfy and flattering (as flattering as overalls can be, anyway).  These are from American Eagle and are surprisingly affordable!

Also, head over to check out my other blog, where I posted all sorts of things!  An interview with a puppy mill dog rescuer, a sweet Jack Russell terrier searching for a home, and a feature about National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day!

Have a good weekend!