Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Weekend Housewarming...

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Over the weekend, two of my dear friends had a housewarming party. Their home was built in the 1950's so they invited each of their guests to come dressed in 1950s style clothing. While I do not wish to go back to that time period, it was fun to dress up in the fashions of the time and photograph details of their home in black and white. 

One of the aspects that is so wonderful about a housewarming party is seeing how individuals settle into a space and make it their own. I took a little time to photograph some of the details of their space. They had succulents that were center pieces at their wedding, little items that hold special meaning such as a heart shaped puzzle box, creative spaces, and of course their dog Fez. 

Exploring someone's home is a bit of a glimpse into who they are, what they do, and what they are passionate about. It is fascinating to get to see and hear stories about the little pieces that make up the picture of a home. 

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, March 21, 2016

Muse Mondays: Pines...


In a world where it is so easy to only purchase a song or two from an album, it is a special moment when you find an album that you prefer to listen to as a whole from start to finish every time. Today's Muse Monday is dedicated to one such album.

A Fine Frenzy's Pines is truly an experience. It takes you on a journey. When I listen to it I feel grounded in story telling and the natural imagery that is found throughout. There are so many stories woven within these lyrics. Some of the stories, such as the song Avalanches, have a jubilant feeling while others feel more haunting.

This album always inspires me when I listen to it. I can imagine myself sitting beside the ocean, breathing in the sea-salt air, and letting the wind dishevel my hair when I close my eyes as it floats through my speakers. I think that this album also contains so many complex emotions that I sometimes identify with. Listening to these songs makes me feel like I am swimming through a fantastical world of story telling, nature, mystery, emotion, and music.

Do you have any albums that you try to listen to as a whole from start to finish every time?

Simply,
Sarah


Friday, March 18, 2016

March 18th: Friday Favorites...

It is Friday! The past couple of weeks have been crazy and blogging hasn't gone as planned, but I am thankful for today and want to share a few link favorites from the past few week.


This song by Andra Day is one of the most incredible songs I have heard recently. She is such an inspiring and powerful woman and the way that she sings is captivating. If I ever meet her, I want to thank her for being such an incredible woman and sharing this powerful song with the world.


I am also so inspired by the crochet pattern Etsy shop The Dream Crochet Shoppe. Ashlee's work is so lovely and her Instagram inspires the crochet yarn lover in me. Someday soon I hope to purchase one of her patterns and take time to make a fun crocheted garment. In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy seeing her posts and how her creativity continues to be expressed!

Shelter Box

Lastly, this week I learned about Shelter Box. They are a nonprofit organization that works to provide emergency shelter and supplies to help support communities around the world during disasters and humanitarian crisis. As I have been learning more about the work they do, I have been very inspired to donate once I am employed again. Even if you aren't able to donate, I would encourage you to check out their website, learn more, and consider sharing the information with others.

You can also donate directly to help with their work in the Syrian crisis by visiting this link.


I hope that you have a truly great Friday and start to your weekend!

Simply,
Sarah


Monday, March 7, 2016

Small Goals: March 2016...

It is that time of the month again; small goals!

February was a really crazy month. Between supporting my Mom through surgery and recovery, dealing with other life circumstances, and getting sick with a nasty virus, it was a hectic month. However, I still managed to meet some of my goals.

Here were my February small goals:

1. Support my Mom as she has surgery and goes through an intense recovery period this month. 
I am happy to say that I helped support and encourage my Mom as she went through surgery last month. I'm also so incredibly thankful for how my family, friends, and my family's friends have loved and helped through this time.

Most of all, I have exciting news! Mom just found out this month that she will not have to have chemotherapy!!! Words can't fully express how thankful we are as a family. There are still steps in this journey that she has to take to deal with cancer, but we are so excited she won't have to undergo chemo and will be able to return to work later this month!

2. Make sure that I find moments to take care of myself through rest, self-care, and continuing counseling.
I learned to continue to take care of myself in February. I also had times where I didn't do as well at this, but overall I continued therapy and other self-care techniques throughout the craziness of the month.

3. Take time to crochet. haha Nope. This simply didn't happen.

4. Continue working on my zine projectYES! I am so excited that I not only continued working on it, but I also published it on Galentine's Day!!! Eeeee!!! I am really proud of myself for working on this creative dream and thankful for the women that contributed to make it a reality. If you would like to check it out, here is the link to Sistership Zine.

5. Work on my taxes. Well, two months in a row with no progress on this. (Unless stacking tax related paperwork onto my desk counts. Maybe that counts for something?)

Honestly, for how crazy this month was, I am really proud of the success of 3/5 completed goals.

Now, for March!

1. Complete my taxes. I didn't make this happen the past two months, but this is officially the month that this happens.

2. Continue applying for jobs and preparing well for any interview opportunities that I receive. Now that life is settling down with my Mom, it has become vital for me to begin working again. First step is to find a job. I actually have a job interview tomorrow that I am really excited about, but we will see what happens. If I don't receive a job offer for this position it is important that I continue the job search.

3. Read at least two books. Life has been so crazy that I haven't really been reading much. I have also found that I have been spending more time vegging on Netflix than I would like. Instead of vegging in front of a screen whenever I have down time, I want to make it a priority to read more.

4. Work on being a better internet fairy. Last week I blogged about the internet fairy concept and this month I want to meaningfully put into practice some of what I discussed in the post. If you want to read more about being an internet fairy, feel free to check out this post.

5. Journal more. Along with not reading as much, I also haven't been writing as much. This month I want to take time to journal even if it is only for a few minutes each day.


Do you have any goals for the month? If so, you should check out Nicole's linkup on Writes Like a Girl.

Simply,
Sarah

Muse Mondays: Advanced Style...


Today's Muse Monday is the Advanced Style documentary and blog. Advanced Style is the work of Ari Seth Cohen. He photographs incredibly stylish and creative older women and sometimes gentlemen.

I remember years ago when I first learned about his blog that I was so inspired by the ladies that he photographed on the streets of New York City. He has since been involved with the publication of two books as well as in the Advanced Style documentary. I continue to be so inspired by his work!

The documentary is one of my inspirational movies. Whenever I am feeling creatively in a funk, it is one of my favorite films to watch. Each of the women encourage me to bravely be who I am and to be bold in personal style. Honestly, the film and blog posts also help me remember how short life really is. Plus, humans fascinate me and this documentary is full of fascinatingly complex humans. If you have Netflix, I suggest taking time to watch it!

Advanced Style and Advanced Style: Older and Wiser by Ari Seth Cohen.
If you want to add some inspiration to your Monday then I highly recommend checking out Cohen's work on the blog, his books (you can pre-order his newest book here), and the documentary.

Happy Monday!

Simply,
Sarah

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Thoughtful Thursdays: Internet Trolls and Fairies...

Today I begin a new blog series for Thursdays called Thoughtful Thursdays. This series will be a space for me to jot down whatever thoughts that I have been thinking about and want to express each week. It will also be a space where I often ask questions at the end to encourage dialogue and would like to hear your thoughts.

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Lately all of the negativity and ugliness that we have been seeing online and in the world has been really heavy on my heart. While it is important to continue discussing serious matters and to address the hate in society, it can also feel so very overwhelming.

This week I started to think about how I could be more intentional about being encouraging and a positive contributor in the online sphere. I was struck by a thought yesterday; what if I was as driven and intentional to encourage others in the online sphere as internet trolls are to tear down and hurt others? Then, I began to wonder what the opposite of an internet troll would be. I decided upon the concept of an internet fairy.

A quick Google search of the term "internet fairy" gave mixed results. To some it means the magical powers that define when and if your internet will work. To others it means a mischievous but relatively harmless and much nicer version of an internet troll. (Think along the lines of someone inundating a blogger's comment section with cat memes.) Yet, there is another version that fits what I envision. It is the complete opposite of an internet troll. It is the bright and intentional presence on the internet. It means intentionally and passionately encouraging others. That is the sort of internet fairy I want to be.

After thinking about it, I have decided to be more intentional in the ways that I interact online. I have decided to define this change by saying that I am an aspiring internet fairy. Today I want to define what that means to me.

What I mean by aspiring to be an internet fairy:

1. As an aspiring internet fairy I will intentionally choose to encourage others online. (This means that when I see a post or content that someone has created that I think is great, instead of merely thinking, "That was a great article!" I will take the time to leave a positive response.)

2. I will set aside a little time each week to sprinkle fairy dust across the internet. In less whimsical terms, this means that I will actually set aside time that is simply for encouraging others on the internet.

3. When there are serious topics or conversations that I get involved in online, I will do my best to conduct myself in a way that is respectful and not intentionally ugly or hurtful.

Now, in case anyone is worried about my sanity, I am not saying that I believe I am actually a fairy. I am using this concept of an internet fairy because I have always loved the use of story and metaphor to help convey a topic. For me, the concept of being an internet fairy helps take a more abstract concept of how I want to conduct myself online and transforms it into something that is much simpler to express.

So, today I begin aspiring to be an internet fairy and being more intentional in the way I interact online.

What do you think of the internet fairy concept? What if there were lots of people who were as passionate about being positive internet fairies as trolls are about being trolls? How might this change the internet space?

Simply,
Sarah  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tuesday Threads: Velvet Suits...

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Life lately has been a bit crazy. I have been sick with some sort of virus for a week now. While being sick I am still having to learn to deal with other life issues and struggles as they come up in my life and the lives of those I love.

In the midst of all of the craziness lately, I find myself needing some sort of consistency and a creative outlet. I think that blogging more consistently may be that outlet again. To help bring that goal into a reality I have created a general blog schedule and theme for five days a week.

Today I am starting the new blog series for Tuesdays called Tuesday Threads. This series is very loosely themed to give creative flexibility. The plan is that each Tuesday I will post about something that is thread oriented. This may mean fashion, crochet, cross-stitch, or any other topic that is connected to the thread theme.

For this Tuesday I want to write about velvet suits. Since I have been sick I have been in bed quite a bit. Between naps I have had a propensity to research random things online. I have been thinking about women's suits lately, specifically in more of a 1940's style. When researching vintage clothes I often like to browse Etsy to have fun looking at items. While browsing Etsy over the weekend, I discovered the lovely concept of velvet suits!

I am now positively smitten with the velvet suit concept! None of the suits I shared in the photo are in my size, but it was fun to look at them and dream about what I would want if I ever owned a velvet suit. The green suit from Crush Vintage is my favorite, but I also really like aspects of the suits from Savvy Spinster Vintage and the deep purple suit that is also from Crush Vintage. I won't be in the financial market to buy a velvet suit anytime soon, but for now it is fun to browse and dream.

Would you ever wear a velvet suit? Would you try one on just for fun?

Simply,
Sarah