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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pros + Cons: Living in a Studio Apartment.

At the end of May, we moved into a downtown studio apartment.  I absolutely adore it.  It's my favorite place I've ever lived and it makes every day feel significantly more cool.  If you're thinking of moving into a studio, my vote is yes, yes, and yes again.  However, as with anything there are good things and not so good things about living in a studio.

Pro:  There's way less to clean.  Less space, less cleaning.  More happiness.

Con:  If one thing is messy, your whole house is messy.  In a house with rooms, you can just shut the door on a mess.  In a studio, if you leave your laundry out on the bed...well, you look like a slob.

Pro:  You'll get out of the house more.  I adore my studio, but it's just one big room.  Getting out of the house is a must.

Con:  If you live with another person and are both home at the same time, you are  a l w a y s  in the same room.  I realize that a better wife may have put this under the pros list, but no.

Pro:  You'll accumulate way less junk.  We moved into a studio at the end of May, and I am still throwing away stuff from our old apartment that we thought we needed.  Here's the thing:  If there's space, you'll fill it.  If there's not, well, you won't.

Con:  Unless you've lived in a studio before, you'll most likely have to get rid of at least half of your stuff.  This ended up being a pro for me--I had entirely too much crap--but it can be overwhelming at first.

Pro:  Way less steps to the coffee maker in the morning.  Bonus points if you set your coffee for the night before, because it's really great to wake up to your entire apartment smelling like coffee.

Con:  It's a little difficult to have pets.  I have a really small dog, so it's the perfect amount of space for him.  If he was any bigger, though, I'd feel really guilty about the lack of space for him to run around in.

Pro:  Utilities are way cheaper.  There are less lights, less electric, and way less space to heat and cool.  So that sad, giant bill you get every month will shrink quite a bit.  Rent is also usually much cheaper.

Con (or maybe a pro):  Studio apartments usually don't attract families.  The cheaper rent and often really great amenities (I have a rooftop pool, hello) tends to appeal to people in their twenties.  When a bunch of younger people live in the same place, there are lots of parties and lots of music and lots of visitors.  On the weekends, I love this and think we live in the most magical place in all the land.  On the days when I've got to wake up for work, not so much.

What do you think?  Would you ever live in a studio?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy to be Alive, Because: Summer & Fall.

1.  I'm having entirely too much fun with the Party Party App.  Mostly just with Gatsby, but hey.  Who doesn't like having a photo booth in their pocket at all times?

2.  I can't get fall off my brain.  I love summer and am usually so sad to see it end, but I'm getting more and more excited for scarecrows and pumpkin spice lattes. 

3.  Because I have fall on my brain, I've already ordered the fabrics for my fall headbands.  Here's a little sneak peek...I can't wait to get my hands on them!
4.  In an effort to get more serious about my shop, I'll be creating an entire new line for fall.  I am SO excited about this.  That means that as of August 18th, all of the current pretties will be gone.  Until then, you can use the code "SEEYASUMMER" which will mark everything down 25%.

5.  It's still summer.  Because even though I am extremely excited for fall, it's still July, and I love that can cart myself, a book, and a mimosa up to the pool this weekend.  But let's get real...I live in Florida.  I'll be doing that until December. 

What made you happy to be alive this week?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

10 things you hear when your husband is a medical student.

Let me start off by saying that I love being a med-school wife.  I love it because being married to someone who is doing what they absolutely love is really just the best thing in the world. Yesterday, Chris delivered a baby, so we celebrated with champagne.  I mean, that's just fun.

Of course, not everyone understands that, and sometimes that lack of understanding comes across in the form of terrible  hilarious  rude  interesting comments.  Some people are legitimately interested and ask normal questions or make encouraging comments.  On the occasion that I meet a doctor's wife, I'll get something like a salute.  And maybe a cookie and a whisper that it gets better soon. But most people say a variation of the same ten things.  Every time I hear them, I think, "One day, I will write a blog post about the words coming out of your mouth."  Today is that day, my friends.

1.  But it's like a job, right?  He gets paid to go to school?  Did you get paid to go to school?

2. he doesn't make any money?  Crazy thing, with the 80+ hours a week my husband works at the hospital and studies, he doesn't have a second job.  I know, I know, what a bum he is.

3.  Loans are such a bad idea.  So is giving unsolicited financial advice.

4.  How do you even live like that?  <-- WHAT IS THIS QUESTION?!  Why do I hear it so much?!

5.  "So are you like, poor?"  There can only be two outcomes to this.  Either we are, and it's offensive that you would comment on it, or we aren't, and it's offensive that you would think so.  You should just always skip this question.

6.  You guys must have so much free time since he doesn't have a job.  

 7.  Oh!  So it's like Grey's Anatomy?  I can't even tell you how many people say this after I explain something like residency.  I've never actually seen Grey's Anatomy, but I usually just say yes anyway.

8.  Why didn't you just wait until after med school to get married?  I don't, maybe?  Let's just go ahead and say that if someone is already married, you should probably never, ever ask them why they got married.

9.  It must be so nice to never have to go to the doctor!  On the days I'm feeling feisty (ahem, every day), I'll ask them if they've ever seen anything on TV about someone who was not a doctor, but kept a full stash of prescription drugs in their house...they say yes, and it's almost always a 60 Minutes or a documentary on a serial killer their talking about.  So there's that.

10.  So do you like, make tons of money?  

Honorable mention:  
I had already written this post, but I was just in the elevator and someone asked me: "So do you just sit at home and wait for med school to be over, for like four years?  You just sit there?"

. . . . 

Thank you, kind stranger.  I now have the perfect ending for my blog post.

Do you ever get "interesting" comments about what your significant other does? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Writer's Block & Growing Wings.

Real talk:  I have had the worst writer's block of my life since April.  I think it started with turning my final manuscript in.  I spent years bouncing this story around in my head, trying to think of new ideas.  I would hear a song on the radio and my first thought would be that a certain character would love that song.  I would wake up in the middle of the night and ask myself what their favorite fruit was, what they were afraid of, what they wanted out of life.

And then I sent in the final manuscript, and all of that was over.

Except, it wasn't.

I still assign songs I hear to these characters.  I still dream in book scenes.  The only difference is, that story is over.  It's been started and finished and printed.  And while that is wonderful, it's made it extremely difficult to do any sort of new writing.

And then this week, the lovely ladies at Litfuse tweeted this image:

And just like that, I want to write all the words, ever, all the time.

Because those are my words.  Those words are in my book.  And seeing them typed out so beautifully like that?  It makes me want to write more.

So here's to new writing adventures.  Cheers to new stories, new blog posts, new ideas and words that dance in your head until you absolutely must get them down on paper.

"Sometimes you just have to jump out the window and grow wings on the way down."-Ray Bradbury

How do you deal with Writer's Block? 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happy to be Alive, Because: Friday & Gatsby.

1. Friday is here, people!  I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: Friday just sounds so much sweeter on some weeks rather than others.

2. Chris. I've had a crazy, crazy week. One of those where you try to figure out everything in your entire life and then question everything you figure out at least twice. To have those weeks while living with someone you love that actually cares about your life? Incredible. 

3. As of this week, my book has been out for 3 months! That means I should be getting the first report soon. I can't wait to see how things are going and to try to decide next steps for that. 

4. I haven't had creamer since July 8th. This is huge, because I am a coffee freak connoisseur. But I was absentmindedly reading the back of a bottle and realized just how much sugar I was drinking (guzzling) first thing in the morning. I mean, as soon as pumpkin spice creamer hits the stores this will all go out the window. But it's nice to know I can actually do it. 

5. Gatsby cries every morning until I open the blinds. Then he sits and just watches out the window. It's the cutest thing ever.  

What made you happy to be alive this week?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One Big Thing I've Learned This Year: Getting the Most out of Life.

how to set goals that matterThis year was the first time I sat down and really thought about what I wanted to get out of the year.  Instead of just making goals, I tried to focus on lessons, experiences, fullness.

I'll never go back to just setting goals.

Having these things in my mind and written down where I can see them has helped guide my year.  It's helped me make decisions, both big and little.  It's made me choose things I wouldn't have normally chose and do things with a different attitude.

On January first, I made a list of what I wanted this year.  I wanted to be brave and adventurous.  I wanted fullness of life and new experiences.  I wanted to hustle my backside off and be proud of myself at the end of each day.  I wanted to live and breathe all things creative.

I have succeeded and failed in these areas many times already, and it's only July.  But there is way more bravery, experience, hard work, and creativity in my life at this moment than there would have been if I would have simply sat down on January first and decided that I wanted to lose five pounds and clean out my closet in 2014.

Goals are fantastic, but they can go beyond a project that you can begin and end.  For me, that's scary.  I don't like it.  I can clearly begin and end a 30-day workout, but at what point does "be brave and take risks" get crossed off the list?  Probably never.  And that's probably one of the greatest things that's happened to my life.

So if you feel like maybe you're not getting all you wanted to get out of this year, I really think you should try this.  Focus on how you want to feel and what you want your life to look like at this time next year.  Make some goals that you may never be able to cross off your list.  There's no time like January first, and there's no time like July fifteenth.

What are some things you'd like to get out of life this year?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy to be Alive, Because: The Office & Coconut Coffee.

1.  Holidays that fall on Friday mean days spent on the water.  

If holidays could fall on Fridays all the time, that would be fantastic.

2.  We've started watching The Office again.  This is my first time watching the show all the way through a second time, and I had really forgotten how perfect it was.  And how the whole show is made up of really good one-liners.

The office quotes

3.  My grandparents were talking about what kind of coffee I liked, and my grandpa said, "I bet she likes coconut coffee, because that's the kind of coffee that's in her book."  To know my grandpa actually read my book just warms my heart; the fact that he remembered the coconut coffee detail just melted me.

4.  I mailed out more headbands this week than I've ever mailed in a single week before.  That makes me really happy because it means I have an excuse to keep making more.  {psst...this code is still good.}

5.  For the first time in forever, I have zero plans this weekend.  And I could not be more excited about it.

What made you happy to be alive this week?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy Life Advice.

how to have a happy life

Walk barefoot at least once in every new place you go. 

At least once a week, do something that scares you. 

Find a lipstick that you love, and wear it whenever you're having a bad day.

Always be reading a book.  Even if it's just a page a day, always be reading.

Every now and then, put your iphone down and just live in a moment instead of taking a picture of the moment.  Make a memory just for yourself, not for your instagram friends.

Make to-do lists, but don't be afraid to ignore them.  Sometimes real life can't fit on a to-do list, and that's okay.

Start fresh every morning.  Have a cup of coffee and treat the day like the blank slate that it is.

If you're passionate about something, work it into your life.  It doesn't matter if it's impractical.  Life is too short to ignore the things you're passionate about.

Work hard at everything you do.  If you're not going to work hard at it, get rid of it and work hard at something else.  If it's something that has to be in your life, like a job you don't love, suck it up and work hard at it anyway.  You're never going to be happy with something that you're lazy with.

But be lazy sometimes.  Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Recognize moments of pure happiness and hold on tight to whatever causes them.

Always be dreaming.  Big dreams, small dreams, doesn't matter.

Remind yourself, often, of how fantastic you are.  Whether it's the fact that you have awesome handwriting, that you're amazing at your job, or that you cook really great breakfast, remind yourself that you are wonderful.

If you love the people in your life, tell them.  In as many ways and as often as you can.

Get yourself a puppy.  Because, duh.

What advice do you have for a happy life? 

Monday, July 7, 2014

How-To: Make Long-Distance Friendships Work.

When I was 14, we moved from Tennessee to Florida. In Florida, I was always the youngest of all my friends, so I had to stay behind when they went off to college. I moved to Lakeland, back to Melbourne Beach, and then to Orlando. Point being, I've got friends and family spread out over quite a few places. As someone who's best friends are located in different towns, I've learned a few things about making friendships work no matter how far apart you live. 

1. Make an effort to stay in touch, even if you feel like it's one-sided. 

For awhile, it will be. House hunting and job searching and settling in can be a lot to juggle. I went from graduation straight into wedding planning. I would go days without even looking through my texts. But when I did, it was like a virtual hug to see that my friends hadn't stopped texting me just because I moved away. 

Just because they can't answer every call doesn't mean you should stop calling. Just because they can't text back every time doesn't mean you should stop sending them hilarious memes. Keep 'em going. 

2. Don't expect them to call you every single time they're in town. 

This is especially true if you live in the same town as their family.  When you announce you're coming back to town, everyone expects to spend a lot of time with you, your family being at the top of that list.  So don't be upset when you find out they were in town...they may have needed to jet in and spend a few days with family, or they may have had an emergency at home. Either way, if they don't tell you they're in town, it's for a reason. 

3. Send letters.

Nothing makes my day like getting a letter.  So go to the dollar section at Target, grab some pretty paper, and write a quick "thinking of you" down. It takes such little effort, but can totally make someone's entire week. 

4. Realize that they have a new life now. 

So ask about it! Don't only talk about what's going on in your life and the town that they left. Let them talk about their new life and new friends without feeling guilty. The best kind of friends want their friends to have other friends wherever they are. When I moved to Orlando, my best friends from college always made sure to ask if I was making any friends.  They encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone to meet people, and that made me feel stable in a time of transition. 

5. Have coffee together!

FaceTime is a beautiful thing. "What are you doing right now? Having ice cream? Cool, me too. Let's FaceTime and eat ice cream together."  FaceTime has totally revolutionized long-distance friendships because you can do it from anywhere, and it takes such little effort. 

What do you think helps make long-distance friendships work?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dealing with Summer Hair: Pretty Little Headbands.

There comes a time every year where I really get the urge to chop all of my hair off.  I pin pictures of shaggy bobs and decide that I'm going to have short, wavy hair that doesn't even touch my shoulders because it's too dang hot to have long hair.  But then I remember how much I love being able to throw my hair in a bun and I cancel my salon trip.  I'd say this is a pretty common theme with women everywhere once the summer hits, but because I live in Florida, this epidemic tends to happen a few weeks after Christmas.  If I went by the weather, I'd be chopping my hair off every other week from January-September.  So instead, I make headbands.  And bows.  And anything that will make it look like I tried with my hair, when we all know I didn't.

Few things make me as happy as falling in love with some fabric, taking it home, and staying awake way too late making as many different types of headbands as possible from it so I can have new stuff in my shop.  And that's just what I did this week.  These black + white + gold headbands may be my new favorite thing ever.

Pick a few up for yourself and use the code SUMMERHAIR for twenty-five percent off any order of $10 or more. 

Happy summer.  Here's to messy buns and pony-tails and pretty little things in your hair.