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Friday, January 31, 2014

Thankful Fridays: 2014 edition.

Thankful Fridays was one of my favorite parts about blogging last year.  I decided it was time to throw it back into the mix this year.  I highly recommend you join me, even if you don't blog about it.  Forcing yourself to find things you're thankful for or things that made you happy in your week, even if they're silly things, can really change your attitude.

1.  Pitch Perfect 2 is coming out.

If this is your first time hearing this, just go back to bed now.  Your day isn't going to get any better than this.

2.  Encouraging comments, emails & tweets.

Because having a ton of people who would be strangers to me if it were not for the internet telling me they're excited for me is such a weird, incredible gift.

3.  TFIOS trailer.

Be right back while I go cry for approximately 37 days while I remember how good this book was.  Also, that has over 6 MILLION views and only came out about two days ago.  Please, try to tell me that this generation doesn't like to read.

4.  Authors.

More specifically, authors who have the ability to string words together in a way that just makes you feel.  I'm looking at you, John Green.

5.  Gold paint pens.

Because yes.

P.S. Book update:  I'm halfway there!  I only need to sell 155 more things to meet my goal.  You guys are amazing. 

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sponsor Love: 2013 Life Lessons & A Giveaway.

With all that's going on, I've definitely had writing on the brain.  So when it was time for a giveaway, I thought it would be cool to do a writing-themed giveaway.  Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, these prizes are a great way to add more words to your everyday life.

And really, who doesn't love list making supplies?

And for inspiration on things to write about, I asked these pretty ladies to tell me one thing they learned in 2013. 

Check out this month's featured sponsor:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Thank You and A Surprise.

You guys.

Your sweet comments, emails, and tweets about last week's post blew me away.  I am so, so, so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you.  Your encouraging words made the worry I had over post that so much better.

So thank you.  Never underestimate the power of choosing to believe in someone else, and then beyond that, choosing to tell them that you believe in them.  To say it made my week would be a massive understatement.  You are all amazing.

I am well on my way to selling 310 products, so thank you.  To keep that going, I have a pretty awesome idea to tell you about.

A Valentine's Day Mystery Box.

Each box includes:
A current product, a new product not even available yet, a product exclusive to these boxes, and at least one other surprise.

In other words, you get at least $40 worth of hearts and glitter and all that is good about Valentine's day for $20.  Free shipping, Guaranteed to be there by Valentine's Day.

So be your own Valentine.  Or send one to your BFF and make her week.  Or drop a hint to your significant other.  You know the drill.

Thank you for being so incredible. I feel so supported on this journey, and that means more than I could put into words.  You are amazing people!  Downright amazing.

Check out this month's featured sponsor:

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Scariest Post I've Ever Written.

This is one of those things you just have to dive right into, so here it goes.

I wrote a book.

I’ve wanted to write those four words on this blog for a long time, but I’ve been too afraid.  Afraid of failure.  Afraid to answer questions like, “Why isn’t your book published?”  Afraid that it would get published and no one would ever buy it.  Afraid that people would buy it, but they would hate it.

I decided I wasn’t going to be afraid anymore in 2014.  I decided I was going to be brave.

So, you guys.  I wrote a book.  A novel.  66,405 words of my own.

I wrote a book, and my book is going to be published.

Really, truly published.  Published, as in you can buy it on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or Books-a-Million.  Published, as in you can download it to read on your Kindle.  Published, as in those 66,405 words will be printed on paper and bound into a book that you can hold in your hand.  Published.

I’m choosing to publish through a newer, smaller indie company.  It’s a risk.  But I decided I wanted take risks this year.

So I’m doing it.

Part of the risk is that there are some costs involved.  I promise I will never, ever use my blog to ask for money for anything because I think that’s dumb and also a little shallow.  I am, however, setting a goal.

If I sell 310 things from my shop, that will cover the costs.  So, if you’re in the market for some new accessories or need a gift for someone, it would be awesome if you would think about simultaneously helping me achieve my goal.  You’ll get a pretty cool headband and I’ll get one step closer.  It’s a win-win.

Also, if you have a blog that you would be willing to let me share this on, that would be incredible.  Whether you could share this post, just tweet the link to my shop, or anything of the sort, I would be forever thankful to you and would be happy to return the favor in any way I could.  When it comes to chasing dreams, we’re all in this together, right?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading my words.  I cannot wait to see what this journey holds, and I am so incredibly excited to be able to share it with all of you.

And now I'm going to stop staring at the screen and just push the publish button, because sometimes you just have to jump.      

Monday, January 13, 2014

In a year of blogging.

A year ago today, I started blogging.  That's if you don't count the post where I started this blog and then didn't do anything with it for seven months, which you don't.

I started blogging because I got married to a medical school student.  After the wedding planning was over, I had nothing to do with my time and he had too much to do with his.  Blogging was my way of feeling like I had something I needed to do that I enjoyed.  I have loved it so much and am so glad I stumbled into this corner of the internet.  To celebrate, here are three things I've learned in the past year:

At the end of the day, the only opinion of your words that matters is your own. 

Yes, it feels awesome to have people agree with you.  Yes, it feels super awkward sometimes when people disagree with you.  But if you're not proud of what you're writing and saying, neither one of those things matters.

Believing in other people inspires belief in yourself.  

One of the coolest things about blogging is getting to see snapshots of other people choosing to go after their dreams.  It can be so encouraging.  Reading about someone deciding to move across the world or quit their job and pursue their dream is beyond inspiring.  Reading their stories makes me want to believe in my own.

Blogging inspires creativity. 

Or writing inspires creativity, or painting inspires creativity...fill in the blank however you like.  The point is, sometimes if you're needing or wanting to be creative, the best thing to do is to just force yourself to be creative.  Pretty soon that fake creativity inspires real creativity which just inspires more creativity.

And now, I will leave you with some of the search terms that in some strange, bizarre way have lead people to my blog this year:

-"Triple D girl flashes chest in publix accident." <---HOW did this lead you to my blog?  How?

-"How to be happy if you hate your mom?" <--- Can't help you with this one.

-"Why am I so happy all the time?"<--- When you figure it out, I hope you come back and let me know your secret.

-"Pictures of girl I hate" <--- Well.  Alright then.

-"How do I make Chelsea write me a letter?"  <--- You can just ask.

-"Why should I be a pirate and not something else?"  <--- A lot of reasons, really.

 Thanks for reading my words for the past year, you guys.  Sometimes I have no idea why you do, but nonetheless, I'm extremely thankful.

Happy one year to  And cheers to many more.  xo

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fridays are for being creative.

Fridays are for being creative.  They are for crafting and reading and writing.  For making new things for my shop. 

Fridays are for dreaming and deciding to take risks and just see what happens.  

And, of course, Fridays are for hanging out with this guy. 

Just chillin' in his Christmas sweater, as one does. 

Happy Friday--it's the very best day of the week.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

my wedding was pretty funny.

Our wedding was perfect.  It absolutely reflected everything I wanted our wedding to reflect, and I loved every single second of it.  It was the best night ever. 

That being said, there were some pretty hilarious moments at our wedding.  You're welcome in advance.

The missing tux. 

The downside of groomsmen getting dressed so soon before the ceremony?  Not enough time for them to realize they don't have the right tux!  One of Chris' groomsmen had been in a super hipster wedding recently and grabbed his skinny jean suit on accident.  He lived 2 1/2 hours from where our wedding was, so he had a friend break into his house and get the suit.  With them both going 100 and meeting in the middle, he managed to make it back just in time to walk down the aisle.  What's funny is how he isn't in any of the photos, and then just randomly appears during the ceremony, sweating profusely.

The wrong cake. 

Two weeks before my wedding, the cake lady calls and cancels on me.  First she tells me that I was a terrible client and she just couldn't handle it, and then she said, "you're being so nice, I'll just tell you the truth:  I really want to go on vacation for Christmas."

Yep.  I'll just let that sink in for a second.

Almost every bakery around was booked or closed for Christmas, but thankfully I found this saint of a woman who felt terrible for me when I cried on the phone and told me she would make my cake.  She was so incredibly sweet that I'm not even mad about getting the wrong cake.  But let me just show you.

That, ladies and gents, is my wedding cake.  The one that says true love and has a horseshoe on it and looks a little elvish.  The funniest part was walking past it for the first time with my mom--she saw it and immediately tensed up, and then turned around so slowly saying, "What a pretty cake!"  I guess checking to see if I was going to have a bridezilla meltdown.  I didn't, and it was delicious. 

The MIA Limo Driver. 

After the ceremony, everyone went to the the reception hall while we stayed behind to take pictures.  Long story short--our limo driver went straight to the reception hall without passing go or collecting two-hundred dollars.  Oh, and without picking us up.  So we were just hanging out at the church with no phones and our photographer who had a car so tiny we couldn't have fit in it if we tried.  Luckily, my dad had a bad feeling and turned around to come check on us.  We ended up driving Chris' brother-in-law's car to the reception.  Chris felt terrible, but I think it's a really fun memory.  Hey, remember that time the limo driver just decided to drive himself to our reception?  Yeah, me too. 

We got a lot of pictures like this while we were just hanging out in the parking lot waiting for someone to come get us.  Totally worth it. 

The Missing Cake Cutter. 
The person I had asked to cut my cake decided to leave the reception early.  I told my dad, and he turned to a family member and asked them to cut the cake.  They said, "No, we paid someone to cut the cake."  No, no we didn't.  So I turned to the first person I saw--the wife of one of Chris' groomsmen.  I barely knew her, but that didn't stop me.  

"Hey, can you go cut the cake?"
"Umm.  Like you want me to go cut you a slice?" 
"No, can you cut the cake for everyone?"
Horrified expression.  Sweet Nod.  Gulp. 
"Of course!" 

I will be thankful to her forever.  I sent my best friend over to help her and will always remember looking over at a completely butchered  slightly mashed up cake and my best friend laughing so hard she was crying, just saying, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, this is ruined, I'm so sorry, I just ruined your wedding." 

It's moments like those that I will always cherish.  They will always make me smile when I think of our wedding day.  We always tend to recap the perfection of weddings, the details that lined up perfectly, the seamless way the day flowed.  But I think it's fun to remember the non-perfect.  The missing groomsmen and the wrong cake.  The fact that it rained.  The laughter we shared recapping these stories on our honeymoon.  Our wedding day was absolutely perfect, but these "imperfect" things are part of the reason it was so perfect to me. 

So what about you guys?  Any imperfect wedding stories?  Do tell.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bravery in 2014.

I've never chosen one single word for a year before, but the thought of doing so really inspired me this year.  After writing out all of my resolutions, I chose the word brave.  [with hustle and create as a close second and third.]

I want this year to be a year of action.  A year of taking risks and not being afraid to fail.  A year of becoming exactly who I want to be, regardless of what anyone else may think.  A year of making every day count, full of experiencing life and taking big chances.  A year of making things happen.  A year of celebrating more and worrying less.

A year of being brave.

It takes bravery to make things happen. 
It takes bravery to be yourself. 
It takes bravery to decide where you want to be in life, and then do everything you can to get there. 
It takes bravery to live fiercely and without regret. 

I am planning on doing every one of those things this year, so brave seemed like a good word to choose.  That, and brave is not a word I would have ever used to describe myself in the past.  And I want to change that.

2014 is going to be good because I'm deciding to make it good.  And to bravely take on everything that comes my way this year.  Because I don't want to be sitting in the same spot on January 1st, 2015 thinking of all the things I missed out of because I was too afraid of __________.

So that's 2014 summed up in three words for me.  What about you?  What does 2014 look like for you? 

Happy first Friday of the New Year!  Cheers to making it count. 

all sources for images can be found here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in a picture.

A blurry picture, but still my favorite.  This was last New Years when we were on our honeymoon.  We started 2013 out my making wishes and lighting lanterns on fire and sending them into the sky, watching them float over the ocean.  I remember feeling so hopeful and full of anticipation at what 2013 would bring as I watched it float away.  Because really, I had no idea of what our new life was going to be like. 

I think that sums up 2013.  Exciting, hopeful, anticipating, and having no dang idea what was going to happen.  It's been a year of adventure and discovery, and I have loved experiencing all of it with Christopher. 

Happy 2014, you beautiful people.  I hope it brings you more than you could possibly imagine.  I'm counting on it.