Monday, June 29, 2020

back to blogging!


Oh, hey. It's been awhile.

I'm normally not one to comment on how long it's been since I've posted, but I feel I owe it to this space, and to my readers, however few and far between.

My goals for this blog have ebbed and flowed over the years. I've had periods of collaboration after collaboration, gifted opportunities, hosted meals, occasional pay. When I first started, I was in the midst of a sales job, on the brink of quitting to go to graduate school, and felt like the blogging world was my oyster. And sometimes, it still feels that way!

But over the years, my priorities have shifted. I made my way through grad school, and I'm working four 10-hour days each week. I got engaged, planned a wedding, got married, and we bought a house! I've had a lot going on - a lot worth documenting - but I just haven't felt the same urge to sit down and document it anymore. And that makes me sad to think about, because I love writing! I love sharing! I want to connect with others, and look back on my posts for years to come. Blogging used to be my own way of story telling, and I do miss it.

That being said, new life changes brought on new hobbies, like renovating and decorating our first home. I started making Boom cards for work (think Teachers Pay Teachers, but like an app), which has been a fun way to earn a little extra cash. I've also started passing the time by doing puzzles, watching movies, and reading books. I dream up ideas for blog posts every week with the intention to write one on my days off, and then I don't. 

I've gotten down on myself about blogging in the last year or two. As other local bloggers started making better connections, landing more collaborations, and ultimately working harder than I do, my desire to share started to dwindle. Blogging just to tell my story began to feel silly, to be honest. I was constantly reading about needing to have a niche, needing to provide purpose to my readers, needing to produce more more more, and in truth, I just didn't make the time for that. I didn't want that.

Anddddd, you know what? That's okay! There is no "right way" to blog, especially as a hobby. There is no need to harp on my mindset shift. There might not even be a reason to be like "heeeeey, remember me? I stopped blogging because XYZ." But I do miss sharing my life. I want to post more about our wedding. I want to [finally] post a million pictures from our honeymoon in Hawaii. I want to dive into our home renovation plans, our house buying process, my favorite books, all the things...just not on a timeline. No apologies, no expectations. All fun.




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Monday, May 25, 2020

memorial day weekend | what I bought (and what’s on sale!)

'Tis the season for shopping! Right? Perhaps. When quarantine first hit, I had literally zero desire to shop for anything...even home stuff, despite the fact that we just bought our first house. But lately, I've been getting the itch! I have almost no interest in buying clothing fit for a brunch date with the girls or a date night with Ryan, because to be honest, I still don't feel like making big plans just yet. But loungewear, workout clothing, and swim suits...count me in!

I decided to round up some items I've purchased recently and loved. Most are on sale, so what better time to scoop them up? (if you're in the market for something...we're all in different financial situations given the current state of the world. remember - you don't need anything!).

Clothing:

Aerie Play Real Me 7/8 High Waisted Leggings - $27.96 -  (pictured below) I've talked about these before, and I will talk about them until the end of time. I LOVE THESE LEGGINGS. I got paint on my navy blue pair when we first moved into our house, so I scooped up a new pair while they were on sale for under $30. These are literal butter. Only downside - they do show sweat. I've been working out at home, so I don't care much about that right now. But these are my absolute favorite for taking out the dogs, running errands, or just hanging out around the house.

Aerie Play Real Me High Waisted 7/8 Legging



lululemon Free to Be Sports Bra - $48 - (pictured above). Okay, this is the only one that's not on sale because most of lululemon is never on sale (sigh), but this is my new favorite sports bra. I'm typically a medium in sports bras because of my broad shoulders. I ordered an 8 in this bra and it fits perfectly! Definitely more of a splurge than I usually go for, but I always reach for it.



Adidas Cloudfoam Pure Shoes - $49 - Hands down my favorite sneakers for walking and for work. Not a fan of them for running/working out, but they're a solid pair for athleisure. So light! Marked down from $70 to $49.

Nike Tempo Running Shorts - $22.97 -  (pictured below) I've been on the hunt for a good pair of athletic shorts and I completely forgot about these bad boys! It's SO HOT in Florida already, and most times, I'd rather reach for shorts than leggings (and I haven't hopped on the bike shorts train). So easy to pull on and go!



Aerie Jacquard Longline V Scoop Bikini Top - $34.95 (with their high cut cheeky bottoms...free!) - Purchased both in Fresh Bright. I love Aerie everything, but especially their swim suits. High cheeky bottoms are my favorite!
Also, if you love this swim suit, it's a part of the sale, too! Bottoms here, similar top here.



Home:

I've purchased quite a bit for our home lately, but next to none of it is on sale right now. If you're still interested in where I got what, you can follow me on Like to Know It, but I figured I'd just share what's on sale! When I posted our bedroom update on Instagram, I had a few people ask me where the rug was from. I went back and forth about buying this rug for weeks, and I am SO HAPPY I went for it. It's gorgeous in person!




Summer sales are my favorite! I'm holding out for a new couch, maybe around 4th of July or Labor Day. What's been your favorite sale to shop this weekend? 


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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

what i've been up to, quarantine edition

Here is a brief update of things I've been doing/working on during the quarantine. This is not to say that I am productive every day, or even 50% of every day. I'm doing the best I can. Like most, I'm being thrown for a loop right now. Some evenings, I look back on my day and think, "what did I even do today?" And I refuse to shame myself for that.

Now, on to the good stuff. In the last couple weeks, I have been...

  • Making from-scratch meals at home. We had several cook books on our wedding registry, and since moving into our house with a full-size kitchen to work with (and all this newfound time on my hands), I've been keen to experiment more in the kitchen. I made a couple recipes from Cravings - lemony arugula spaghetti caccio e peppe (with linguine, since that's all we had) and sriracha caesar salad (with added sardines...because I discovered that I like them?!). I even threw together a prosciutto and arugula salad with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella tossed together with lemon juice and olive oil for lunch one day last week. Putting together meals that are a couple steps outside of my comfort zone has been a lot of fun for me - I think my husband has especially enjoyed this new hobby of mine, as well.
    *Food photography to improve over the course of this quarantine, hopefully.



  • Researching home decor + furniture until my fingertips bleed. Dramatic, but seemingly accurate. I haven't spent time thinking about how to decorate in so long, and it feels overwhelming. I'm the queen of indecision (trying to work on it), and I'm also torn between wanting to invest our money in quality pieces and stretching our budget by spending money on cheaper alternatives. Style wise, I'm drawn to a combination of modern, bohemian, and farmhouse. Isn't that called "eclectic?" To be determined. 
  • Reading. I've already read two and a half books since the start of COVID-19 (half a book meaning I finished a book I'd been reading for about a month beforehand). I set my GoodReads goal a little lower this year (12 books instead of 25) so that I could alleviate my focus from how many books I'm reading to how much I am actually enjoying a book. I've been mostly sticking to contemporary romance novels this year. I'm planning on writing a post about the books I've read in the last year soon!

  • Wondering why I've never attempted to make my blog a full-time job. Ha! Just kidding, but really. In truth, I know I've never put forth a great effort to monetize this blog. It's always been fun for me to write about my life, and even though I talk about things I buy and enjoy, I hardly consider myself an "influencer." I love to write and share stories, and that's why I blog. I've (personally) always felt like it's kind of hard to capitalize on that. Unless, of course, I wrote a book. 
  • Signing up for SkillShare. My aforementioned point. I've always loved writing, ever since I was little. It's even been said that I'm a good writer (...you know, by my family and composition professors in early college). I used to have book ideas flittering about in my brain pretty frequently. In the last few years, my inspiration, motivation, and dedication to the craft fell by the wayside. I've been wanting to take a few creative writing and character development courses, just to see if I can spark an old flame. I may never write a book, but it'll certainly never write itself! 

If you have a lot of new time on your hands right now, what have you been doing with it?




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Thursday, April 16, 2020

officially joining the quarantine


Greetings, from the strangest days we've all lived through thus far.

What a month it has been, right?

We bought our house on Friday, March 13th. It feels like a lifetime ago when it's been just 34 days. Groups of less than 250 were still able to gather in public places. Ryan and I didn't think twice before going out to lunch as a mini-celebration of our closing. We went to a wedding the next evening. We were on the brink of change, and like many, didn't realize just how quickly it was going to alter every aspect of our lives.

But even though it's been about 4-6 weeks since everything started unraveling, it didn't really hit me until about a week ago, when my work situation officially changed.

I work as a speech-language pathologist at a pediatric outpatient facility. In the last month, we went from seeing our full caseloads, to no patients, to medical-priority patients. More recently, I went from working my usual four days per week to one day per week. I have to take PTO (up to negative 80 hours) for the other three days until that runs out. Or that's the plan for now, anyway. What I've learned lately is that while nothing is certain, things could certainly be worse for me. All I can do is roll with the punches, and that's what I will continue to do.

Until this point, it's been difficult for me to relate to everyone "quarantining." Going to work each day (sans patients), seeing my co-workers, taking a lunch break all felt relatively normal. I watched TikTok's to "bored in the house and I'm in the house bored," and I thought to myself, "what's that like?"

Alas, now I know, because I'm among the people whose worlds have been totally flipped upside down. I might be late on the uptake, but I think it's finally time I let myself grieve the loss of normalcy. I know this is not forever. But it is right now, and it is for the foreseeable future. And while society is telling me to make the most of this time, I think it's okay to figure out what that is going to look like for me...and if that means I've spent the last day and a half on the couch with my head in a spin trying to figure out how to proceed, then that's what that means.

How have you been handling COVID-19? What does life look like for you right now?


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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

update: moving out of our apartment!


I can't believe I'm saying this, but our time in our tiny shoebox apartment has officially come to a close. We bought a house, and as of two nights ago, we are all moved in! I'll be following up with a post about our house-buying process and design updates, but for now, I wanted to dedicate a post to our little apartment.



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