Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Giving Up Social Media


What would happen if I didn’t document my days through Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Facebook and Blogger?

Well I’m about to find out. I’m giving up social media for Lent. I normally give up something food related, but over the last year or so I have noticed that my habits have become increasingly dependent upon my iPhone. It is always with me, and I check social media more times a day that I should. It has sucked away my extra time, my attention and my energy. It has stunted my ability to have normal conversations with people I love. 

So it’s due time to give it up for a season – 40 days to be exact. I’m deleting the apps from my phone later tonight. 

I’m weirdly nervous and excited. I hope this will help me unlearn my bad habits – checking my phone at dinner, in the car at stoplights, during commercials, every hour at work when I have a break. 

What will I do with all that extra time? How will I start conversations without, "Hey I saw you did 'xyz' on Facebook/Vine/IG. How was it?"? How will I know what my friends are up to?! 

Guess I'll have to figure it out the normal way - by spending time with people and engaging in real conversation again. Wish me luck. 

See you around April 20th!



PS for some great blog reads in my absence, check out my Daily Reads page! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Ninth "Fix"

I haven't had a "Fix" from StitchFix since last October and was looking to add a few more items for work to my wardrobe, specifically a skirt and a dress. I love the ease of someone else picking items for me and my stylist Margaret knows my style quite well now.

Here is what they sent:

Textured Pencil Skirt

I loved the color and I'm not afraid of a pencil skirt, but it was skin tight! Like street-walker, Kardashian tight. It was the right size on the label, but ran about a size and a half smaller. If it hadn't been so darn tight I would have kept it. Verdict: Return


Cut-out detail blouse
I would have never picked this off the rack as I am not normally an orange fan, but the color was incredibly flattering! I loved the detail in the front, but this was was about a size too big. This brand (Collective Concepts) has always worked for me in a size medium, but this blouse looked more like a large. I even held it up next to the other shirts I have from the same company and it looked like the sizing was really off. Verdict: Return


Fit and Flare Striped Dress
I do love myself a stripe! This dress was the cutest thing - I loved the heavy material, the feminine drape of the skirt and the little yellow belt with the bow, but it drowned me! It was at least 4 inches too wide on both sides. Again, size was right on the label, but this dress looked like an XXL. I could tell it was too big before I even tried it on. Given how oversized it was, I don't think alterations would have worked. Verdict: Return


Dark Rinse Skinny Jeans
I have been searching for a high quality dark rinse skinny jean for almost a year. I have made do with a pair from Loft, but these are the money! They had the right amount of stretch, are super dark and the rise is perfect. Verdict: Keep


Statement Pendant Necklace
At first glance, I loved this necklace. It looks like a J.Crew knock off and is in pretty colors that would work year-round. But I couldn't wrap my head around the price ($34), when I have seen similar necklaces at F21 and online for way less. Verdict: Return


At first glance, I thought I'd keep all the clothes in the fix, but the sizing just didn't work this time. It's not my stylist's fault, as she is following what I entered into the style profile online, but it's a shame they don't let customers return items for the right size (heck I'd pay for the shipping if needed).  I'm going to schedule a fix for next month and ask for a skirt and dress again - hopefully something will work!

If you haven't signed up yet for their service, I highly recommend it! You can sign up directly with them, or use my referral link here.* 

* I will received a $25 credit for each referral I receive. I was not compensated for this post, I just love the service so much!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Currently


Feeding - I'm on a roasted brussel sprouts kick. Also, so much coffee. I need a coffee intervention.

Reading - I just finished "The Happiness Project" and started on the author's second book, "Happy at Home". I don't tend to like books that have a gimmick in them, or focus on self-improvement, but the project actually pushed me to mindfully think about some areas of my life that could use a fresh, joyful perspective. Also, I just ordered "Children of Men", "About Alice" and "Betsy in Spite of Herself" from Amazon and can't wait to get started on those.

Conceding - That sugar is a terrible, horrible addiction in my life. I went sugar-free for the month of January and once February rolled around and I started letting myself indulge again, I felt horrible. I have a ridiculous sweet tooth and that has kept me sluggish and five pounds heavier for years. I am really going to push myself to limit sugar all the time, no matter the occasion.

Also, that if I could wear the same outfit every day I probably would. I'm obsessed with pairing my skinny jeans from Loft with a tshirt and this green lightweight utility jacket from F21 (see photo above).

Needing - To start cleaning out the attic and some closets. Matt and I cleaned out our closets and some drawers this past weekend, but I know there are a lot of things in this house that we no longer use and can get rid of. I am going to clean out one drawer a night for the next week and try to tackle the attic this weekend!

Gearing up for - Mortgage shopping. Matt and I have been on the house hunt on and off for the last six months and it's time to see what rates we can get. We love our current home and have done a lot of work on it, but it's just a little too small and we would love a second bathroom. Also, the neighborhood is a little rough in areas and the schools for the district are not good. Hence the house hunting and the mortgage shopping!

Procrastinating - Getting my hair trimmed and colored and finishing Brighton's baby book.

Thankful for - The warmer weather in Charlotte, solid relationships in my life, Essie nail polish (it lasts so long) and of course my husband and daughter.

Thanks to Danielle for the idea of a 'Currently' post.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

On My Heart: Influence

In 2012, when the first Influence Conference came and went, I watched from afar and prayed for the leaders, hoping that it would go off without a hitch. I read some of the recaps from bloggers, looked at some of the Instagram pictures and made a mental note to consider going the next year. It seemed like a lot of fun and so many women said how much of an impact it had on their lives.

The tickets went on sale for the 2013 conference and I continued to consider it, but as more time went by, I mentally talked myself out of it. We had a new baby and I couldn’t imagine leaving her behind, even though she would have been over a year old at the time. We had financial goals to save for another home, to stock away more savings for emergencies and vacations. I made my excuses: I was not a big blogger, or a business owner, or crafty, or an expert on anything. Why would I need to go to a blogging conference?

But then in the days leading up to the conference, I found myself checking the speaker schedule, and reading tweets and feeling a twinge of envy mixed in with a healthy dose of regret. I should have bought my ticket, I should have been there.

Over the last year and a half, I have felt the overwhelming stagnancy of my heart, feeling as though I have lost a part of my voice in both my online world and the everyday world I live in. I am a storyteller and I felt like I had no stories left to tell. I am an encourager and I felt I had no hopeful words to share anymore. These were all lies I told myself because I felt small and insignificant in comparison to everyone else around me who from the outside looked successful and influential and put-together and accomplished.

I will probably never be a “big” blogger and maybe never have any of my real writing published, or start my own advice column; but I am called to tell my stories and to be an influence wherever I live, both here on the world wide web and in my sphere of every day real life. I wished I had attended the conference the last two years and become part of this network of women who want the same things I want – to make their online and everyday life mean something more.

So this year instead of wishing, I am doing. Tickets to the 2014 Influence Conference went on sale this week and I bought my ticket without knowing how much a flight or hotel will cost, or who I will room with, or who I will meet. I’m nervous and excited and a little overwhelmed, but I also know that investing in my heart and my influence is never a bad thing.

Influence Conference 2014 here I come. Who's with me?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

18 Months


Darling Girl,

Happy 18 Months! You have transformed into a little girl right before our eyes. These last few months you have changed so much and we have loved watching you grow and learn.

You are now 22 pounds and 33.5 inches long - long and lean as always. You are wearing all 18 month  and 2T size pants and all 18 month shirts and dresses. Your hair is so long that we have to have the front clipped back from your face, or piled on top of your head, Pebbles Flinstone style, to keep it out of your eyes. The back of your hair is curly (score!) and is a light brown with strawberry streaks. Your eyes are now a green hazel with blue specks.  You have 10 teeth and we taught you how to brush your teeth a few months ago. It is one of your favorite activities.


You weaned yourself from a bottle very suddenly right around 16 months. You used to drink one sippy cup of milk in the morning, and one with dinner, but you are down to just one cup a day. You eat three meals, plus two snacks and sometimes will eat half of my dinner (after you have already had your dinner) if I let you. I think you have a hollow leg! You have mastered eating with a fork and a spoon and also drinking out of a cup without spilling it all down your shirt. 

Your sleep patterns are still amazing (praise Jesus). You sleep 11-13 hours at night and take an afternoon nap for about 1.5 - 2 hours daily. You like to sleep in until about 8am and that makes your mommy a happy lady.

You have mastered running, can almost jump and also stand on one leg without falling over. I kept a list of all the words you learned between 15 and 18 months - mine, knee, ear, eye, mouth, nose, bottom, belly, hat, owl, balloon, sit, button, hot, cold, bug, dog, cat, cheese, bath, arm, leg, in, stool, up, snow, Elmo, yes, snack, water, outside, bus, hold, moon, hot dog, tall, mouse, milk, eyebrow, tiger, and blocks. That is a lot of words! You can also make lots of animal sounds - mooing, growling, meowing, quacking like a duck and the like. You have also started to say two and three word sentences like "Bye Daddy" or "Bye Kitty", "That's tall", "That's a bus", and "That's snow." You can also identify what is yours, mine or your daddy's and tell us so. You love to wash your hands, help me put laundry in the washing machine and push the "on" button, fake laugh when we laugh and dance and spin in circles. You also know the letter "S", and the colors red, yellow, blue and green.


For months you wanted nothing to do with cuddling, but you turned right back into a cuddle bug! Now you want to hug, pat backs, kiss cheeks and "owies", grasp your blankies in one hand and a stuffed animal in another and snuggle with us any chance you get. You want to be rocked to sleep now and I love it - I'll rock you to sleep until your 16 if you'll let me!

You are a typical toddler - one minute you are full of joy, the next you are full of fire. Your little mind is so hungry for knowledge and your little body is so full of energy. We found a wonderful half-day Christian preschool located just a few blocks from my office - you go two mornings a week and love it! You get to do art projects, learn songs, play outside and take buggy rides around uptown with your teachers. It has been so good for you and we can see how quickly you have learned new things.

Brighton Love, this stage has been so much fun to witness and your constant changes have taught us a lot about parenting too. You are so full of joy, and life and light - every day we fall in love with you a little more. It has been an honor being your parents and we can't wait to see what is next.


We love you!