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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Following Through & A Giveaway.

Every year is the year, right?

The one where we'll make goals and actually keep them.

The one where we'll finally do something about our dreams.

The one where we're going to be productive, going to get in shape, going to get organized.

And then February rolls around, and we have a hard time even remembering what are goals were.

So this is just a friendly reminder that it's been 30 days since you made those New Years goals, and that is not enough time to quit.

So keep going, keep dreaming, keep chasing. You're one month down and have eleven to go in this year. The year. Your year.

You can do it, but the catch is that you actually have to do it.

To help you get back some of that motivation that somehow disappears in thirty days, I've teamed up with some friends. We're giving away Blog, Inc. & #GIRLBOSS to help you follow through on your goals way beyond January 1st.



This is your year. You can do it! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

just write: the worlds you've seen.


you worry we haven’t seen enough, 
that time is moving much too fast. 
you think we need to see much more
to make these memories last. 

but there are ten-thousand different galaxies
in the bubbles of champagne,
a hundred-million little worlds
in the way you say my name. 

So yes, our time is short down here
and yes, it goes so fast. 
but don’t forget the things we’ve seen
that make our moments last. 

for I’ve sailed throughout the universe,
and swam in every ocean blue, 
in one single conversation,
if I’m sharing it with you. 

life is full of little moments, 
our own eternities.
so don’t forget the worlds you’ve seen 
by being here with me. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

3 Books I Read in January & Whether or Not You Should Read Them.



I was in a strange and rare autobiography mood this month for some unexplained reason. But, it does explain why I only read three books this month. I just can't tear through them like fiction books.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling


Plot: Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” -via Goodreads

Favorite Quote: 
“I don't want to hear about the endless struggles to keep sex exciting, or the work it takes to plan a date night. I want to hear that you guys watch every episode of The Bachelorette together in secret shame, or that one got the other hooked on Breaking Bad and if either watches it without the other, they're dead meat. I want to see you guys high-five each other like teammates on a recreational softball team you both do for fun.” Her thoughts on married life. 

My Thoughts: I got to a lunch meeting early, so I sat in my car and read this. At one point, I was laughing out loud so much that I put the book down to wipe my eyes, only to notice that someone had parked next to me and was full on gawking at me, presumably making sure I wasn't having a seizure alone in my car. And that tells you everything you need to know about this book. 

Should You Read it?: If you know who Mindy Kaling is, then yes. If not, you need to go watch The Office.

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends by Courtney Robertson

Plot: "For the first time ever, a former Bachelor contestant takes us along on her journey to find love and reveals that “happily ever after” isn't always what it seems. Filled with all the juicy details Courtney fans and foes alike want to know, I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends is a must-read for every member of Bachelor nation." -via Goodreads.

Favorite Quote: This isn't a quotable book. 

My Thoughts: The Bachelor is the show that I hate that I love. But alas, I do love it, making this book seem like Christmas morning. I've gotta hand it to her, homegirl basically just gave everyone the what-for by telling every secret, ever. Wonder what happens when the cameramen go home? She tells you. Wonder what happens after the show ends but before it airs? She tells you. It's a magic book full of secrets that left me feeling so sad for these people, but so happy that I got to know all these things. Very healthy, I know. 

Should You Read it?: If you are a fan of the show, then heck yes. If not, nope. 

Yes Please by Amy Poehler 


Plot: "In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by." -via Goodreads

Favorite Quote: "If you can dance and be free and not embarrassed, you can rule the world.” 

My Thoughts: I laughed and cried and told my husband, "This is SO accurate!" So many times while reading this book. I also loved getting to hear about behind the scenes SNL action. The whole book just felt like catching up with an old friend over coffee. 

Should You Read it?: Definitely.
***
Reading these definitely made me feel like I was getting all the cool-kid gossip, but now I'm ready to curl up in my pajamas and devour some fiction. What did you read this month?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

5 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before my Wedding.


1. Now is not the time to be nice. If you're like me and can sometimes have somewhat of a doormat personality--you're gonna need to dig real deep and find your inner boxing gloves.

Here are some real life examples where it's not the time to just be nice and let someone walk all over you. Maybe these happened...maybe I just have a really good imagination.
  • When one of your bridesmaids has her dress altered six inches shorter than the rest of the group because "it makes her legs look better."
  • When someone calls to tell you they think your shower idea is stupid and they have a better idea for a shower...the morning of your wedding shower.
  • When someone gets to your wedding 20 minutes late and then bangs on the door to be let in as you are about to walk down the aisle. 
  • Any instance where someone tells you that you need to change something about your wedding, and you don't want to. 
You will never have this exact experience again...so enjoy it and don't worry about being nice. Worry about it being perfect for you. And your husband...but if you're marrying him, it's probably because he is great and wants the day to be whatever you want it to be.

2. People are going to let you down...and that's okay. Because people are also going to surprise you with how great they are. Here's the deal: there are some people that you're going to expect a lot of, and they're just not going to come through. There will be people you expect to be a part of your day that will not even make it to your wedding. And you will feel very protective and hurt, thinking, "But this is MY WEDDING! How could you not drop everything in your life to make it perfect?!"

But then there will also be people who really pull together to make sure you have the most amazing day ever. And those people are the best.

3. Don't answer your phone the day of. Better yet, hand it off to someone else. I got so many texts the morning of my wedding. Some were sweet congratulations, but some were things I just did not need to be worrying about--like the 85 people who texted me asking what they should wear.

Just hand it off to someone you trust to tell you if there is actually something you need to see...not just your ex-boyfriend saying he misses you or someone asking if they can give a speech.

4. You really should eat. I'm going to confess something here. The morning of my wedding, I ate McDonalds.


Yep.


McDonalds.

Never mind that we were right by Panera, and I could have had a smoothie or a dainty little quiche. I needed a hash brown, dangit. I will never forget my mom calling my dad and saying, "She decided she wants McDonalds!" In the same way that she had said, "She decided she wants this wedding dress!"

My dad came to the rescue with the hash browns, and as we were making sure everything was set up perfectly, we were shoving our faces with McDonalds. We're the classiest, let me just tell you.

But seriously: You need to eat on the day of your wedding. I promise you will still fit in your wedding dress, no matter what you eat. I tested that theory out for you. You're welcome.

5. If you want it at your wedding, you should have it at your wedding. 

My wedding was on December 29th. These were my colors:


If I could only tell how many times I heard, "But those are more like summer wedding colors, don't you think?" 

If you want it, you should have it. Colors, food, music, all of it. If you don't want it, don't put it in your wedding. Everyone is going to have an opinion and you should probably just smile and nod and then do whatever you want, because it's not their wedding.

What would you add to this list?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

just write: piece by piece.

piece by piece poem

we're all a little broken,
we're all a little scarred.
we're all a little twisted,
jaded, chipped, and marred.
but I can love your broken pieces,
I can love your shattered heart.
I can love the deepest parts that you
keep hidden in the dark.
I can't put you back together,
for that's not what you need.
but I can stay here with you
and love you, piece by piece.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Year of Journaling: 52 Journaling Prompts.

Last week I wrote a post about why you should keep a journal. I thought it would be cool to follow that up with some prompts to help you get started if you're new to journaling, or if you're just in a journaling rut. 

journaling prompts


1. Write an "About Me" about yourself.

2. A list of things you're thankful for.

3.  Small things that make you happy.

4. The last time you celebrated something.

5. The best thing that happened to you this week.

6. Something you want to change about yourself.

7. Something you could do right now to get you closer to where you want to be in life.

8. Someone you love.

9. A skill you want to learn.

10. Your favorite quote right now.

11. Something that you think holds you back.

12. A word that actually describes your life, and a word you wish described your life.

13. Someone you admire and why you admire them.

14. Something you're stressed about.

15. Something that's been making you laugh lately.

16. The happiest moment in your week so far.

17. Write a letter to teenage you.

18. What you like the most about yourself.

19. The one dream you have that you just can't stop thinking about.

20. The biggest way you've changed in the past year.

21. The last bad day you had.

22. The place you currently call home.

23. Your best quality.

24. The last time you tried something new.

25. Three rules you try to live by.

26. Your family.

27. Your bucket list.

28. 5 big goals you have for your life.

29. The last person you said, "I love you" to.

30. A list of things you love about this season of your life.

31. Pros and cons of your job.

32. How you've been spending your free time lately.

33. A list of your favorite books and why you love them.

34. Your best friend.

35. Something you're scared of.

36. Your dream job.

37. Something you're really good at.

38. Your bad habits.

39. A tradition you want to have with your own family.

40. Sum up what you believe in on one page.

41. Your favorite things about the town you live in.

42. Describe your day in 5 words.

43. The last time you broke the rules.

44. Where you hope to be in five years.

45. What you think you would be doing with your life if money didn't matter.

46. Write a letter to your future self.

47. Something you're really proud of.

48. Your favorite way to relax.

49. One way you'd like to grow in the next year.

50. Your favorite way to spend a Friday.

51. A project you're working on.

52. How you think you're making the world a better place.

Now, get yourself a pretty journal* and get started!

*denotes affiliate link, disclosure here.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Your New Favorite Blog: Dream Big & Buy the Shoes.




My name is Emelia, sometimes known as Emmy, Mia, or Britney Spear's BFF & I blog at Dream Big & Buy the Shoes.

Awesomesauce. 

I loved reading blogs and also have always had a passion for writing. I was inspired by the way these women poured their hearts out daily and made me smile and laugh so I finally got the courage to start my own.

My favorite book is "A Million Little Pieces." Even though it was kicked out of Oprah's Book Club it was very eye opening.

My favorite post is "Perks Of Being Engaged." 

My soon to be stepson and all his funny phrases. He's been saying "You have got to be kitten me right meow" lately and I laugh every time.



Comments have been turned off, go say hi to Emelia instead! You can find her on instagramtwitter, and pinterest!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Your New Favorite Blog: Lot 48.



Hi I'm Lauren!! I blog over at Lot 48!  I write about anything that pops into my head, which is why it is so entertaining! (I hope)  I like to write about entertainment, my life, and just, my life.  I don't write about recipes or fashion or beauty or fitness or anything like that, that isn't me.  My cooking skills are minimal, I never know what to wear, and I rarely workout, and I have no idea what makeup is best. Oh well! I absolutely love blogging and am so glad that I have fallen into this amazing community!! 

Fun.  I really, really strive to make it fun.  I strive to brighten my readers day and help people.  That is the #1 goal of my blog, is to help people.  That is why I write posts like this!  

I was at a job I absolutely HATED and was sooo bored.  I spent my work time reading blogs that my sisters had told me to read, and then I just found more and more to read.  And i just fell in love with it!! I was so unhappy, and the community completely changed my life, it really did.  Then i decided to take my blog more seriously and a few months later I had enough cash to pay for a blog design.  And now here we are!! I am so in love with blogging, I don't see myself stopping at anytime! 

Oh no not that question!! I can't pick, it's impossible.  I'll list a few of my favorites.  Anything by Sarah Addison Allen, (particularly Lost Lake and Garden Spells.  But i think Lost Lake is my favorite of hers. I TORE through that book!) Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and Gone Girl, duh, because i'm human.  BUT. I have to say I read it before it was popular, so, yeah. I'm like, suuuper cool. 

If I were a drunk.  I have never had a drop of alcohol in my life so it was really fun to speculate what it would be like if I did drink, because I have no idea how I would act!

 Anything my nieces and nephews do! I love hearing the funny things they say and I love LOVE watching my 6 month old nephew laugh.  And I love posts that mom bloggers write about what kids say.  They say the funniest things!! lovetaza and camp patton do some great ones. 
So there you have it--a blogger who read Gone Girl before it was popular, who has never tasted alcohol but blogs about it, and who just admits she has no idea what you're really supposed to do with makeup. In case you were wondering what your weekend plans were, the answer is that you're blog-stalking all of Lauren's funny posts. 

Comments have been turned off, go say hi to Lauren instead! You can find her on instagramtwitterpinterest and Facebook!

Friday, January 23, 2015

just write: showcase the stars.

chelsea jacobs poem

life can sometimes be so tough,
but then again, so can you.
so don't be afraid of a little chaos,
but let it push you through.
for rainstorms lead to rainbows,
and dark skies showcase the stars.
so don't let a little darkness
make you forget how strong you are.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why You Should Keep a Journal.


It gives you a chance to write without worry about spelling or syntax or cheesiness. You get to write whatever you want without having to think through what it's going to sound like to other people. It's just yours.

It helps you work through things. Sometimes you find yourself in a position where you want to talk about what's going on, but you really don't want anyone's advice other than your own. That's when a journal is a great thing to have.

You can write down why you're upset, who you're mad at, what you're excited about, how you screwed up, and not have to listen to any responses or suggestions.

It gives you something to look back on and see how you've grown. If you journal semi-regularly, you can flip back and see how you've grown and changed. How last year you reacted much differently to having your heart broken. How you used to use the word "impressive" in every other sentence. How what you journal about changes over the years.

There's no one better to tell you about how you've grown and changed than you.

It helps capture the little moments. I love instagram, because I can scroll through my feed and be reminded of all these memories. Journaling is like that, but with everything. You may not instagram how a stranger complimented you on your hair and it totally turned your day around, but you could write it down. You can't instagram the feeling of falling asleep on the couch next to the love of your life, but you can write about it.

Journaling helps you remember and savor the little moments that may not be deemed social media worthy, but are really the important things.

There are no rules. Want to journal once a day? Once a month? Whenever you feel like it? Awesome. Want to draw or scribble or write in terrible cursive? Great.

It's yours, so you can do whatever you feel like. It's not another stressful thing to add to your to-do list. It's just a creative outlet to track your memories. Do whatever you want to with it.

There are some seriously pretty journals. Like this one. And this one. Priorities, obviously.

Do you keep a journal?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Just Write: Goodbyes.

A little note: I messed some sort of setting up when I downloaded the unroll.me app last week, and apparently have not been getting 95% of my emails because they were being immediately deleted. I'm trying to do damage control and figure out what exactly I lost, but if you've emailed me over the last week and a half or so, there's a good chance I never saw it. 

I try to respond to things within a few days, so if you sent me an email and never heard back, please resend it! So sorry for any inconvenience, I'm just technologically challenged over here. 

* * *

chelsea jacobs poem

a romantic for new beginnings, 
she didn’t mind goodbyes
for she had learned some time ago 
a sunset leads to a sunrise. 
others say goodbye with sadness,
tears shining in their eyes 
but all you’ll see in hers is magic
when she says the word goodbye. 
for she’s been craving new beginnings, 
so she doesn’t mind goodbye. 
for it’s been dark a little long
and she needs the sun to rise.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why You Should Start a Blog: 2 Years Later.

Yesterday marked two years of blogging on this little space. To celebrate, let's talk about 5 reasons you should definitely start a blog.

why you should blog

1. It will force you to write. I adore writing. But sometimes, when the only writing you have to do is between you, a pen, and a notebook...it can start to feel boring and pointless.

Having a blog forces you to write pretty often. It gives you an excuse to spend time writing, and it gives you motivation when you're just not in the mood to write.

2. It will open up a really creative side of you. When you first start a blog, you aren't really worried about running out of things to write about. But a few about me posts later, and you have to start to scramble.

There are only so many common things you can blog about, so you're forced to start being really creative. A normal work day turns into a chance to find some blog content, and suddenly, you're looking at things through a much more creative lens.

3. It's a space that's just yours. What you have to say (or write about) is worth listening to (or reading)...and you don't have to wait around for anyone else to start to think so. You can create your own space and put your words out there. And you can write about whatever the heck you want.

Want to comment on the huge political scandal that's happening, but don't want to be the annoying person on Facebook who everyone blocks? No worries, you can blog about that. Feeling super happy and sentimental and want to talk about how much you love your life? Write a blog.

It's your space. You can write whatever you want. And that's really just fantastic.

4. You "meet" a lot of wonderful people. Like-minded and diverse and opinionated...having a blog opens up the door to build relationships with all kinds of other writers.

It reminds me of being an English major and being constantly surrounded by people who loved to read and write and had strong opinions.

5. It builds your confidence. This may be shallow, but it's true. Having people choose to spend part of their day reading words that you wrote builds your confidence.

Before blogging, the only person who ever saw anything I wrote was my mom. I love her, but she is a  dirty liar when it comes to criticism. I really could have gone my whole life writing horrible essays on the purity levels of drinking water and, if I only listened to her, thought I was the absolute best author to ever grace this earth with my presence.

But when a bunch of strangers read your words and say nice things...well, you can take their word for it a little bit more.

Blogging is weird. You put your heart and soul into writing things that you're not even sure anyone will read, much less comment on. You throw your words out into the internet to be picked apart by total strangers.

It is weird. It is nerve-wracking. It is exhilarating. And it is so, so worth it.

So cheers to two years on this little corner of the internet. I'm hoping for quite a few more.

Why do you blog?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Just Write: Sugar Lips.

chelsea jacobs poem

his lips were sweet like sugar,
so you ate up every word.
so sweet you did not notice
that lies were all you heard.
'til one day you stopped and realized
the sugar was no longer sweet
and you were left to wonder
which of the lies you should believe.
it's oh-so-hard to sort between
the lies and something true
when all you've known are sugar lips
that sweetly lie to you.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Six Books You Should Read if You Like to Write.


How to Write a Novel by Nathan Bransford
Good for...getting the inside scoop from someone who has been both an author and an agent. 

“Writing a novel is extremely complicated. So complicated, in fact, that you cannot possibly hold your entire novel in your head all at once. And that’s okay.” 

90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet

Good for...90 days of exercises that will help you get better at sitting down and writing, rather than sitting down and thinking about writing.


Good for...writers who like to-do lists. 


On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King 

Good for...when you want to be reminded of why you love writing so much in the first place. 

Good for...learning how to transform creative ideas into story-form. 

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Good for...when you need inspiration that also reminds you of how necessary hard work is. If you like to write, please read this book. It is wonderful. 

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” 


What's your favorite book about writing?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Your New Favorite Blog: Jenna Grace


My name is Jenna Grace Adendorff and my blog is www.jenna-grace.com.

Inspirational
(in more aspects than one I hope!)

I’ve always loved writing and I’ve had blogs in the past, but I started regularly blogging a few months ago because I got very sick at college and had to come home for the rest of the semester. I was bored, lonely, and wanted a creative outlet, so I started blogging and instantly loved the whole process of it. 

This one is SO hard. I think I’ll have to go with A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving because it made me feel just about every emotion and it stuck with me for ages. I didn’t want it to end!

My blog is very eclectic. I have things about fashion inspiration, food inspiration, and just life inspiration in general where I write on a more vulnerable level. Like I said before, I hope each post is just as inspiring as the next, but I don’t really have a favorite because I’m in the mood for what I post when I post it… so I guess the current post is always my favorite because that’s what I’m passionate about on that day!

Whenever my sister and I are home on break my family watches Psych episodes. I think we’ve seen pretty much all of them but they just never stop being funny.


Jenna's blog is always so authentic and inspiring! She's one of those people where you feel like you get a real sense of who she is when you read her blog--it's not just posts about current fads and things like that. 

So what are you waiting for? Go check out her blog! You can also find her on bloglovin'instagram, twitter, and pinterest!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

6 Ways to be Brave This Year.

By nature, I'm not a very brave person in all areas of my life. I hover somewhere between being a firecracker who wants to live life out loud and having crippling anxiety over the thought of confrontation. 

In 2014, my word for the year was brave. All year long, I worked on living life more bravely. And it was fantastic. 


1. Say yes to something new once a week. I've heard the saying, "Say yes to something that scares you once a day." But that just seems a little excessive to me.

You don't have to constantly be throwing things you're afraid of in your face to be brave. Just try new things--order something new at your favorite restaurant or do something new to your hair or read something you normally wouldn't. Say yes to new things.

2. Plan out your dream. Sometimes, you know what you're dream is. But you're afraid to make a plan to follow it, much less tell someone about it, because you don't know if you'll succeed or not. 

But who cares? You definitely won't succeed if you don't ever start, so start. Make a plan. Make a plan that includes your biggest, wildest dreams. Write it down, talk about it, and follow it. 

3. Go somewhere new. A new coffee shop, a new city, a new country...just explore. 

4. Say what you want out loud. Saying what you want doesn't make you rude. 

5. Learn something new. What's something you want to know how to do, but think you wouldn't be very good at? Try to learn. So what if you're not good at it? 

6. Don't be afraid to disagree. This is so hard for me, because I hate confrontation. I'll make reservations somewhere and ask for a booth, and then not bring it up when they give us a table instead. Or I'll order a drink with no ice, and then just drink it when they put ice in it anyway, because I hate confronting people, no matter how small. 

This doesn't get any easier for me, but the more I speak up, the more confident I feel. Even if it's over something as stupid as ice. 

Bravery is something I'll probably have to work on for the rest of my life. I just don't want to one day look back and think that my life could have been so different had I spoken up more, or it could have been better had I not been afraid to say yes more often. 

So cheers to bravery in 2015. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

just write: simply go.

Considering my blog's name, I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that I love writing. Books, papers, stories, poems...I love it all. It's my favorite thing to do. 

I haven't shared too much creative writing on my blog for the simple reason that I'm nervous. What if no one likes it? What if it's the one blog post that never gets any comments? What if it gets negative comments? What if? 

But in the spirit of 2015 and all I want this year to be, I'm trying my best to say, "So what?" to all of those questions that pop into my head. 

So here we go. 

I love to write. 
I love to write poems. 
And I'm going to start sharing them on here. 
And I really, really hope you like them. 

chelsea jacobs poem

she had magic behind her eyelids,
freedom running through her veins.
and those who said they knew her,
barely knew her name.
for she could never settle
in one place for all that long,
she'd spend a few nights, call it home,
and in the morning she'd be gone.
for she knew life's great secret,
that we all wish to know.
she knew that if she wanted to see it all,
then she must simply go.

Do you write creatively? What's your favorite thing to write?