Categories
affordable Amazon Amazon Fashion anthropologie art art blog ASOS autumn backpack backpacks bags birkenstocks blog blogger boho boho chic boho style book list book reviews books booties boots boyfriend jeans brandname bucket bag cardigan casual casual chic cheap children literature Clark boots collaboration collage color colorful colors comfortable creative crossbody bag curvy cute daily look denim denim jacket denver design design board design envy design inspiration designer designs Diesel Denim eco friendly esty etsy events fair trade fall fall fashion Fall Fashion 2015 Fall Fashion 2105 family fashion fashion blog fashion blogger fashion illustration favorite books fedora fiction For Love & Lemons forever21 Free People fringe fringe leather bag funny gallery gallery wall Gap gojane goodreads Grand Rapids grey guest blogger h&m hair cut hair dye hair style handbag handmade humor inspo j.crew jacket jeans jersey john steinbeck journal journaling joy Lake Michigan layers Leather backpack leather bag leaves life life goals life list lifestyle blog macys madewell meme minimilist style modern mood board moodboard NastyGal native america nature nature walk necklaces nordstrom Nordstroms Nordstroms Rack OOTD OOTD Magazine OOTD Submit opinion outerwear outfit outfit of the day oversized oversized sweater oxfords paige denim paisley personal style personal style blogger pinterest polyvore portfolio Pure Michigan rag and bone Revolve Clothing ring rucksack rustic satchel scarf self love shawl Shopbop shopping shoulder bag showcase simplistic sketch sketchbook smile socks statement jewelry statement necklace street style style style blog style blogger styling suede boots The Mom Edit tooled leather bag Traverse City trees Uncategorized versatile vintage wardrobe wardrobe update winter fashion winter style world Zelda Fitzgerald

Style Post: My “Go To” Casual Outfit for Fall

I love Fall and it’s not just for this reason:

1095d03d380b0aac46ec138bf68d8dd0

What’s not to love about it Fall? (Except of course, if like me, you currently  live in the Midwest, then Fall is accompanied by a gnawing feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach; an impending sense of doom knowing that winter is coming soon). But, I’m handling it the same way I handle all of my life’s problems: denial.

IMG_5959

You know, maybe I am a basic bitch- and maybe that’s ok? because I love all the basic girl things about Autumn: the falling leaves, the brisk weather, and the clothing options: boyfriend jeans, comfy sweaters, colorful  scarves, and boots (LOTS of boots). Comfort is alwayyyys number one.

IMG_5908.jpg

 

Here’s What I’m wearing:

J Cashmere’s Oversized Double V Dolman Sweater, $228.00 (40% regular price) on Amazon

lt-heather-grey-cashmere-oversized-double-v-dolman-sweater-rt

7 For All Mankind Ankle Skinny Jeans in Vibrant Blue

410pRUQLAKL._SX342_

And my trusty Clarks Women’s Desert Boot Lace-Up Boot (in taupe distressed) at  Amazon  for $57.12:

img-thing

 

And here’s a version of my go to Fall Outfit via a Polyvore set I spent way to much time putting together. You can link directly to each specific item from the list below the collection:

 

casual fall day

 

casual fall day by thiswildpreciouslifeblog featuring blue skinny jeans

Jumpers sweater
stylemoi.nu

Rag bone mini drawstring bag
forwardbyelysewalker.com

Blee Inara hamsa charm
maxandchloe.com

Vita fede jewelry
intermixonline.com

Ona Chan trio ring
$145 – wolfandbadger.com

Drinkware
anthropologie.com
Categories
1980's 80's 80's fashion 90's accessories adults affordable Amazon Amazon Fashion anthropologie art blog autumn awesome backpacks bag bags bargain beach style beach wear birkenstocks blog blogger boho boho chic boho style booties boots brandname bright colors bucket bag camera capris casual casual chic cheap chic childhood clothes collaboration color colorblock colorful comfortable commentary crazy crossbody bag curvy daily look deal design envy design inspiration designer designs dolce vita Draped dress dressy dressy summer outfit esty ethnic fabric fashion fashion blog fashion blogger fedora felt hat For Love & Lemons forever21 Free People fun funny gallery geeks gif gladiator sandals gojane guest blogger h&m handbag handmade happiness happy harem harem jumper harem jumpsuit Health/Wellness hilarious hip Hope How To humor ideas inspiration instagram j.crew jacket jersey jersey fabric jersey knit jersey tank jumpsuit jumpsuits Lake Michigan laugh leather Leather backpack leather bag leather sandals life life goals life list lifestyle blog lightweight live colorfully. living lol Lyst macys madewell magazine maxi dress MC Hammer minimilist style modern moodboard MTV NastyGal nickelodeon nordstrom Nordstroms on sale OOTD OOTD Magazine OOTD Submit open toe opinion outerwear outfit outfit of the day oversized personal style personal style blogger pinterest polyvore pop culture positive project prozac Pure Michigan retro Revolve Clothing rompers rustic sale sandals satchel self love shoes Shopbop shopping shorts shoulder bag showcase simplistic spring spring 2015 spring fashion Spring Style Springtime fashion street style style style blog style blogger styling summer summer 2015 summer dress summer fashion summer style summer time swimsuit cover up tips To Do tooled leather tooled leather bag trapeze Traverse City trends trendy trousers Uncategorized unique Vanilla Ice versatile vintage vintage bag wardrobe wardrobe update wellness work studio

Harem Jumpers: Stylish & Comfy Style or 80’s Fashion Relic?

harem jumper OOTD

I am a child of the late 80’s/early 90’s and I loved every wacky, bodacious second of it. Although as we reflect back on those years, it is undeniable that an overwhelming majority of our most painfully awkward and embarrassing pop culture moments occurred in the 80’s.  It was a decade that produced some of the most memorable cringeworthy style fads of all time, such as: Acid wash jeans, scrunchies, hairspray and perms, neon colored wind suits and of course harem pants. Inspired by the greats of the era, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice.


 

(I still firmly believe those were the greatest fashion years of my life. Sometimes I wonder if it was growing up in the late 80’s early 90’s that gave me my flare for the dramatic when it comes to clothes (hence wearing an oversized jumper in 2015 and loving it))

Just recently I saw a picture of everyone’s favorite overgrown man child, Justin Beiber, wearing some serious harem pants and  I literally said outloud: “Hammer did it better.” Bc. how could anyone forget this:

or this:

and while we’re at it, this:

unfortantly, hammer pants were one of the few fashion items my parents refused to purchase for me (along with glittery  pink, fringed cowboy boots). I see now that my parents were doing me a favor because i have a feeling my hammer pants wouldn’t have gone over very well with all the kids at my school in West Texas. So, thanks guys for that.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t fulfill my Hammer Time fantasy as an adult! I am free to make my own bad decisions! Sometimes being an adult IS great, because no one can tell you “no” if you want to buy an oversized diaper jumper and wear it in public!

I was pleasantly surprised with how it fit, although it’s a very thin jersey knit fabric so it attaches its self to unappealing areas (the crutch and the butt). I did wear it on a really windy day which didn’t help with that though. It is really comfortable and I actually really like the styling and draping of the fabric. I had to be careful when I walked because this particular jumper always ended up giving me a wedgie. The jumpsuit I purchased was the cheap version (as usual) which may speak to the thinness of the fabric. Shopbop has a designer brand option which is undoubtably better quality in their  Basic Terrain Harem Jumpsuit, for $158.00:

basic terrain jumpsuit


to wear or not to wear:

It’s not an item I will be wearing very often but it’s really fun to have in my closet for days when I  am feeling bored with everything else in my closet and also because I like to put it on and do the Hammer Time dance in the mirror when I need a quick trip down memory lane. Plus, I bought mine on Amazon for less than $15.00

In conclusion: no one pulls it off like the Hammer but I have a feeling the harem jumper hasn’t had it’s final style moment yet…
harem jumper street styleMy Outfit details: Spaghetti Strap Harem Jumper, $14.95, vintage tooled leather bag, Gottex Women’s Laurent Felt Hat, $79.00 on Amazon, Yara Birkenstock Thongs $120.00

yara birkenstock thongs

 

so the final question is: would you? I am totally okay if your answer is a resounding no.

Categories
accessories affordable Amazon Amazon Fashion anorak jacket anthropologie ASOS backpacks badass Badgley Mischka bag bags BCBGMaxazria beach wear beauty birkenstocks blog blogger body con boho boho chic boho style boot booties boots brands bucket bag cardigan casual casual chic chic CHLOE clothes cocktail dress colorful comedy comfortable converse sneakers creative inspiration creative process crossbody bag curvy daily look deal denim denim jacket design board design envy designs Diesel Denim drape back Draped dress dresses dressy dressy summer outfit espadrilles esty ethnic evening gown EVENING/COCKTAIL fashion fashion blog fashion blogger floral print dress forever21 formal gown free Free People French Connection fringe fringe leather bag Gap gladiator sandals gojane h&m handbag heels hip How To humor infinity scarf inspiration inspo instagram j.crew jacket jeans jersey jersey fabric jersey knit jewelry Joe's jumpsuit lace laugh leather Leather backpack leather bag leather heels leather sandals life life list lifestyle blog live living lol longline jacket Lyst macys madewell Max Studio maxi dress midi dress midi skirt minimilist style MINK PINK mod cloth modern NastyGal necklace necklaces New Balance Nordstroms on sale OOTD OOTD Magazine OOTD Submit open back open toe opinion original outerwear outfit outfit of the day pants pencil skirt pendant personal style personal style blogger photography pinterest pop culture retro sale sandals scarf shoes Shopbop shopping skirt skirts slip dress sneakers style summer fashion travel Traverse City Uncategorized wardrobe update

Fringe Benefits: My Favorite Fringed Pieces for a Boho Update to Any Wardrobe (12 Items under $100!)

fringe skirt ootd

You know those trends that come and go (mom jeans, Birkenstocks, dr. martans, etc) but you can’t let go of? They always hold a special place in your heart and your wardrobe, and no matter how “in” or “out” your beloved trend may become,  you cling stubbornly to it and refuse to let die.

Fringe is that for me. Well, one of many in a long list of fashion faux pas I commit every time I get dressed.

But no matter how ridiculous I may end up looking I pass up a good ole fringed clothing item without picturing myself twirling gaily in the wind wearing said fringed clothing item, ala Buddy the Elf…

elf-buddy-im-in-love

Usually these daydreams involve meadows and music and ponies….but that’s a story for another day.


 

I stumbled upon my new favorite fringed clothing unexpectedly while browsing the boutiques on a mini vacation to Traverse City. I almost passed it up because even for me, I was worried it might be a” bit much” (and for me that’s really saying something) but the imagined twirling I was doing while wearing that skirt was too glorious to pass up.

fringe skirt ootdmy outfit details:Sam Edelman Women’s Faux Suede Fringe Skirt, $53.30, Scoop Neck Woven Camisole, $13.00,

 

So I was inspired to compile an extensive list of some of favorited fringed wardrobe items for even the most conservative of wardrobes:

bcbg drap fringe dress

BCBGMAXAZRIA Women’s Maddie Drape-Front Cocktail Dress (53.00)

topshop fringe sleeveless dress

Top Shop Sleeveless Fringe Dress, available at Nordstroms ($58.00)

freepeople nomad cotton shroud

Free People’s Nomad Cotton Fringe Shawl ($329)

free people suede fringe skirt

 

Also from Free People (the leading authority on boho chic) Free People’s Sedona Leather Skirt, ($329)

asos glamorous wrap cami dress with fringe skirt

Asos’ Glamorous Wrap Cami Dress  ($69.00)

471-Minnetonka-Women-s-Classic-Fringe-Boot-Boots-in-Brown-Suede-Hardsole-1

Minnetonka Women’s Classic Fringe Hardsole Boot $43.00 on Amazon

forever 21 bib necklace

Forever 21’s Fringe Bib Necklace(22.90)

matiko brendan fringe heeled sandals free people

Brentwood Fringe Heels ($150)

fashion union crepe wrap back top with fringe detail asos

Asos’ Fashion Union Crepe Wrap Top($44)

hm fringe bag

H&M’s Black Fringe Bag ($29.90)

french connection spotlight fringe

French Connection Women’s Spotlight Fringe, $90.00 via Amazon

topshop fringe maxi slip dress

topshop maxi slipdress

Topshop Fringe Maxi Slip Dress($90) available at Nordstroms

asos mini suede fringed backpack

Asos’ Mini Suede Fringed Bag ($60.00)

forever 21 tiered fringe midi skirt

Forever 21’s Fringed Midi Skirt ($29.00)

sam edeleman fringe faux suede skirt

Sam Edelman Women’s Faux Suede Fringe Skirt ($61.55)

And just in case you thought I was kidding about the swirling and twirling, a picture that should never see the light of day…

ootd fringe skirt

 

Categories
accessories affordable Amazon anthropologie ASOS asymmetrical beach style birkenstocks casual casual chic chic CHLOE floral print dress For Love & Lemons forever21 Free People gladiator sandals holiday style Hope How To humor ideas inspiration inspiring inspo instagram j.crew jewelry joy Leather backpack leather bag leather heels leather sandals lemon life life goals life list lifestyle blog lightweight lists live love lovely macys madewell magazine maxi dress midi dress midi skirt minimilist style modern mood board motivation NastyGal necklace necklaces nordstrom Nordstroms ocean on sale OOTD OOTD Magazine OOTD Submit open toe opinion original outfit outfit of the day PacSun pattern patterned skirt patterns pendant personal style personal style blogger photography pink pinterest prints project pros and cons rag and bone Revolve Clothing rompers rucksack Sam Edelman sandals Shopbop shopping simple simplistic skirt skirts spotlight spring spring 2015 spring fashion Spring Style Springtime fashion ss 2015 statement jewelry statement necklace street style Stripes style style blog style blogger styling summer summer dress summer heels summer style sunshine tie-dye tips TopShop trends trendy tribal tribal jewelry tribal pendant tribal print unique versatile VSCO cam wardrobe world yellow Zara

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Summer Maxi Dresses: Ten of My Favorites for Every Occasion

It’s finally summer (hooray!) But of course, I can’t just enjoy the weather I’ve been waiting for all year long and instead I have to find something to stress over.

The summer weather poses a few problems for me:

1)  Blindingly white, pastey legs.

2) Lots of uncomfortable sweating in areas best left unacknowledged.

3) And Shaving, lots of shaving…hours and hours of shaving…

 Solution to this very first world problem: 

Maxi dresses!

1) Complete coverage of said sunless legs.

2) Comfortable breeze to sweating nether regions.

3) Coverage of lazily shaved legs.

romantic summer maxi dress forever 21 summer maxi dress

The above maxi dress is from Forever 21 although it looks like it’s not available anymore I found a similar dress also from Forever21 that I think I like even more than the one I purchased:

love21 white lace paneled dress
Love 21 Lace-Paneled Maxi Dress, $34.90

My Sandals are Enzo Angiolini Women’s Jeat Sandal, $84.80 available on Amazon:

Enzo Angiolini Women's Jeat Sandal

Now in no particular order ten of my favorite maxi dresses that I day dreaming of buying to cover up my pastey legs with this summer:

1. In a Dream Maxi Dress from Free People ($350.00):

In a Dream Maxi dress Free People

2. Serilida Maxi Dress from Anthropologie, $198.00

serlida maxi dress anthropologie

3. Maybe Lady Dress from Free People, $118.00:

free people maybe lady dress

4. Motel Wrap Front Maxi Dress with Thigh Split in Floral Print from ASOS, $95.00:

 

5. Chloe Silk Full Length Draped Dress, for *cough* *cough*, $3,660.74 from Far Fetched: 

chloe silk maxi dress summer 2015

 6. All Tied Down Maxi Dress from NastyGal, $68.00

all tied down maxi dress nasty gal

7. Lisbon Dress from Need Supply Co., $98.00

lisbon dress need supply

 

8. Tribal Print Maxi Dress from Forever 21, $27.90:

forever 21 tribal print maxi dresstribal print maxi dress

9. Faded Floral Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress from ASOS, $98.00:

asos faded floral flutter sleeve dress

 

10. Summer Solid Lady Maxi Dress from Free People, $148.00:

 

and one more that doesn’t do much to cover up the pastey leg problem but I am day-dreaming of none the less…..

11. For Love and Lemons Marina Maxi Dress available at Free People, $202.00:

Any “must have” maxis for this summer that you think I missed??

 

 

Categories
80's 90's abstract art accessories acrylic activities activity adults adventure affirmation affirmations Alabama Shakes Amazon anthropologie antique arrange arrangement arrnage art art blog art gallery art ideas art inspiration art journal art lessons art studio art wall artist artists artwork Asics ASOS awesome backpacks badass bag bags beach beautiful beauty birkenstocks blog blogger boho boho chic boho style book cover art book list book reviews books boot booties bright bright colors bucket bag casual casual chic change chic children literature clothes collaboration collage color colorful colors coral craft creative creative inspiration creative process creative project creativity crossbody bag cute daily look decorating design design board design envy designs detail digital design DIY creative DIY project dolce vita download dressy dressy summer outfit eco friendly Electric Feathers espadrilles etsy fashion fashion blog fashion blogger favorite favorite books fitness floral flowers forever21 free free download Free People friends fringe leather bag gallery gallery wall Gap geeks gojane gold leaf goodreads Grand Rapids graphic graphic design graphics guest blogger h&m handbag handmade happiness happy health Health/Wellness hearts home decor home decorations Hope How To humor ideas illustration illustrations infographics ink inspiration inspiring inspo instagram interior design j.crew journal journaling joy jumpsuit jumpsuits leather Leather backpack leather bag leather sandals life life goals life list lifestyle blog Light on Yoga lists live living lol love lovely macys madewell marble marbleizing May minimilist style modern moleskine mood board motivation moving on murals music NastyGal nature nordstrom Nordstroms oil pastels OOTD OOTD Magazine OOTD Submit opinion organization original original art outerwear outfit outfit of the day oxfords PacSun paintings pants paper goods pendant people perfume personal style personal style blogger photography pinterest poetry pop culture portfolio quotes reflection relationships relaxing Revolve Clothing ring rompers rucksack sandals scarf seasonal decor self love shoes shopping showcase simple simplistic sketch sketchbook skirt skirts smile spotlight spring spring fashion spring outerwear Spring Style Springtime fashion street art street style studio wall style style blog style blogger styling summer summer style sunshine sustainable living template The book of awakening the waves tips To Do to the light house traveling travels trendy tutorial Uncategorized unique vase versatile wall art wall decor wallpaper wardrobe watercolor web design website wedges white words work space world wuthering heights yoga zen

The Monthly Inspiration Edit: The May Mood Board Mash-up (Jesus Sandal Couture, The Return of Fat Amy and Alabama Shakes)

 

I’e been wanted to create my own mood board since I discovered the wonderful world of digital mood boards. I’ve always loved making collages and inspiration boards in my journals and on my wall-I love the physical and visual process of creating collages and have spent countless hours absorbed in arranging and rearranging pictures…. something about the process is soothing to me and have found them to be a helpful tool for aiding in my creative process because I often find new inspiration for creative projects and ideas.
With online mood boards it’s like a whole new world of inspiration has opened up to me. There are so many talented, artistic designers and artists out there to find inspiration from-

I’m going to try and do a round-up at least once a month….

BUT

I would really love to see what is inspiring every one else out there and wanted to offer to anyone who might be interested in being a guest blogger and creating their own individualized mood board on This Wild Precious Life. It could be any handful of things that are inspiring you at the moment: books, music, food, shoes, movies, art, diy projects…and give you a chance to share here! If you are interested just email me at thiswildpreciouslifeblog@gmail.com with the subject title “my mood board” and we can work out the details!

moodboard may FINAL

 

So here is what is inspiring me in the month of May (2015)….

Wear- Jumpsuits and Rompers

 

 

 

free people flutter romper

http://www.freepeople.com/clothes-jumpsuits-rompers/flutter-romper/BCBGeneration Womens racer front jumpsuitBCBGeneration Women’s Racer Front Jumpsuit
BCBGeneration Women’s Racer Front Jumpsuit

electric feather green jumpsuit spring 2015

http://electricfeathers.com/collections/wardrobe/products/infinite-rope-jumpsuit-1

WALK- 

I’m really happy simple leather sandals (or Jesus sandals as I like to call them) are making a come-back. I don’t know why every time I see a pair of simple classic looking leather sandals I just want to be walking around in Greece or Italy…so the closest I can get to either of those places at the moment is a pair of my very own jesus sandals.

free people cafe wrap espadrille

http://www.freepeople.com/shoes-sandals/cafe-wrap-espadrille/

birkenstock mayari birkenstook
Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Birkibuc Sandal

http://amzn.to/1dqgBIM

FP collection Durango Metal Gladiator

http://www.freepeople.com/shoes-sandals/durango-metal-gladiator-sandals/_/PRODUCTOPTIONIDS/83886FE0-6740-46FF-AABD-B3BC062AB204/

STEVEMADDEN-SANDALS_DONDDI_TAN-LEATHER

Steve Madden Women’s Donddi Sandal

Blowfish Women’s Gill Fisherman Sandal
womens-steve-madden-d-band-cognac-multi-423403_366_45

Steve Madden Women’s D-BAND Sandal

LISTEN: 

Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes

Falling Faster Than You Can Run by Nathaniel Rateliff

Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens

Pitch Perfect 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Carry:

rebecca minkoff fringe backpack

Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack

jericho backpack free people

http://www.freepeople.com/accessories-bags/jericho-backpack-32078669/

patricia nash vasto leather backpack

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/patricia-nash-vasto-leather-backpack/3816140?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=2375500&fashionColor=&resultback=6239

 

the sawyer etsy bag

https://www.etsy.com/listing/184422924/the-sawyer-hand-made-leather-backpack?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=leather%20backpack&ref=sr_gallery_4

READ- 

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo

What Alice Forgot

a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805210318/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0805210318&linkCode=as2&tag=thiwilprelif-20&linkId=BP5TUZMGSEASXI5X”>

Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

 

Categories
80's 90's abstract art aceo acrylic adventure affirmations Amazon anthropologie apartment arrange arrangement arrnage art art blog art gallery art ideas art inspiration art studio art wall artist artists artwork asymmetrical awareness awesome beautiful beauty bird birds blog boho boho chic bright bright colors bucket list cactus chalkboard change chic circles collage color colorblock colorful colors craft crafts creative creative inspiration creative project creativity decorating decoration design design board design envy designs diy DIY creative DIY project easy craft idea fashion blogger favorite feathers floral flowers fresh fun gallery gallery wall geometric graphic design happiness happy health Health/Wellness home decor home decorations ideas illustration illustrations ink inspiration inspiring instagram interior design joy laugh life life goals life list lifestyle blog living lol love lovely Matisse mixed media mood board motivation murals nature nesting original original art painting paintings paper goods pattern patterns personal style personal style blogger photography pictures pinterest plants poetry pop culture portraits positive print prints project self love spotlight spring Spring Style stars street art studio wall style style blogger styling succulent succulents summer sunshine terrarium To Do traveling trees Uncategorized unique van gogh vase VSCO cam wall art wall decor wallpaper watercolors web design words work space work studio zen

Current Studio Art Wall Inspiration: A Spring Mood Board Refresh!

Today, the birds were chirping and the sun was out and the snow is melting into muddy lakes, but if that means spring is on it’s way…I’ll take it.

studiowall

Some much needed refreshing of my studio walls and work space. I’d like to try and change my art wall at least once a month but we’ll see how that goes!

art studio work space mood board inspirationThis one day of sunny weather has got me feeling all sorts of alive again.  

Categories
accessories activity adults affordable anthropologie bag bargain beauty beenie bill murray blog boho boho chic boot booties bucket bag cardigan casual casual chic chic colorblock colorful cropped collared shirts curvy dress dresses fashion floral flowers forever21 Free People fun funny Gap h&m heels holiday style hosiery j.crew jewelry lace laugh leather leather bag leather heels life list lifestyle blog living lol madewell midi dress midi skirt Nordstroms OOTD opinion outfit outfit of the day oversized sweater oxfords patterns pencil skirt personal style personal style blogger pinterest print prints Pumps Revolve Clothing Shopbop shopping silly skirt skirts smile street style style style blogger tights TopShop Uncategorized wardrobe wedges winter winter fashion winter style

OOTD: Playing with Prints

ootd personal style mixing patterns floral slipit’s that time of the year when I begin to feel even more crazy than usual.I like winter but, a Midwest winter is a different kind of beast. There has been snow on the ground basically since Thanksgiving and by Mid-February the temperatures average below freezing and that doesn’t even include the windchill.

Going outside means putting on every single warm-ish item I can find in my closet and looking like Joey from the Friends episode where he puts on all of Chandler’s clothes: joey-3

and then on top of that, there’s the robber face masks, scarves, gloves and beanies to cover any exposed extremities, like kitty:

winter-is-coming-23184

 


 

I like hunkering down and having an excuse to do nothing, and a snow storm is the ultimate laziness excuse but even that is has gotten old by now and I’ve developed a serious case of cabin fever, going nuts, shuffling around the house, pacing in circles, starting out at the snow for long periods of time, and murmuring unhappily to myself (even more than usual).  My boyfriend took a picture of me while I was peeking in on him just yesterday:

Here's Johnny

har. har.


all that just to say that my already questionable fashion taste is even more questionable than usual, given the previously stated circumstances. But, this led me to mixing prints and layering in a way that I otherwise wouldn’t have out of boredom, coldness, or craziness….

ootd personal style mixing patterns floral slip Details: Floral Print Lace Slip from Dailylook.com, $22.95, Ryan Crewneck Pullover from Free People, $98.00, Stripped Long Sleeve Top, Forever21, $14.90, Bettye by Bettye Zap Booties, Nordstroms, $141.95

oh and here it is with jeans:

ootdprintsfloralstripes1

Floral Print Lace Slip from Dailylook.com, $22.95:

florallaceslip

 

Ryan Crewneck Pullover in Cranberry from Free People, $98.00:

ryancrewneckpullover

 

Stripped Long Sleeve Top, Forever21, $14.90:

stripedcrew

Bettye by Bettye Zap Booties, Nordstroms, $141.95:

wedgecaramelsuedebooties

Categories
abstract art acrylic acrylic paints art art blog art gallery art ideas art journal art lesson art lessons artist artists artwork bright colors cactus Canson change collaboration collage colorful colors craft crafts crayons crazy creative creative project creativity design design board design envy designs DIY creative diy gift idea DIY Holiday Gift Idea easy easy craft easy craft idea easy crafts floral flowers graphic design happiness happy humor ideas illustration illustrations ink inspiration inspiring inspiring quotes journal journaling life life list lifestyle blog lines lists living lol love lovely lyrics mixed media moleskine murals nature oil pastels opinion original art painting paintings paper goods patterns pen pencil pencil skirt pinterest poetry pop culture print prints questions quotes simple sketch sketchbook smile songs spotlight street art succulent succulents sunshine terrarium To Do tree trees triangles tribal upcycle watercolor watercolors waves wax pastels words

More of my sketchbook pages.

 

 

floral sketchbook page quote

 

The start of a new year means a new sketchbook. I get really excited about starting a new journal- especially at the beginning of a new year. It literally allows me to turn a fresh page in my life and re-organize, reflect and motivate. I’ve been slowly compiling pictures of some of my sketchbook pages from this past year or so and funny, I never realized before just how often my pages center around a quote or lyric that is inspiring me at that time. I think because a big part of the reason I keep a journal is to motivate me and to help me stay positive. Oh, I also apparently am big on bright colors and florals.

 

 

 

 

 

sketchbookpagejessross

also, I’m really interested to know (for any fellow art journalists who stumbles across this page)…what your favorite sketchbook/journal is(Mixed media paper, watercolor paper, bound, spiral, small, large….)? I have over 30 journals and have tried all different types and sizes and I am starting to narrow it down to my favorites but I still feel like my perfect sketchbook is out there somewhere undiscovered and waiting. just really want a large sized sketchbook with pages that don’t bleed through…I like the watercolor moleskine sketchbook but it didn’t have very many pages and was quite expensive.
Here are my go tos:

The Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album

(12″ X 8.5″) Professional Folio Series, Hardcover $27.37

click on the picture to view in Amazon

pros: thick, heavyweight, high quality watercolor paper, super absorbent and doesn’t bleed through.

cons: expensive & only has 60 pages while most sketchbooks have at least 100 pages.

 

The Canson 180-Degree Art Book ($13.79)

(8.3′ x 11.7″) 80 sheets 

canson art sketchbook, click picture to view in amazon

Pros:  Lays flat, nice design

Cons: Paper is not high quality, and poor quality paper, rips easily

Strathmore Hardbound 500 Series Mixed Media Art Journal

(11.5″ x 8.5″, 64 Pages)

Strathmore Sketchbook, Click picture to view in Amazon

Pros: Great size and Price

Cons:

 

stormsrootsstitched together quote rjournalpagemixed media sketchbook page lyricsWhat inspires you? Do you have a favorite medium when journaling? What is your go-to when you are sketching or journaling… I always wish I wrote more….  but I never do….abstract ocean blue sketchbook page
journal illustration page

Categories
abstract art acrylic acrylic paints activities activity adventure affirmations art art blog art gallery art ideas art lesson artist artist trading cards artists artwork asymmetrical autumn birds blog blue boho book list book reviews bright bright colors bucket list cactus casual change chic childhood children children literature childrens' activities christmas Christmas decorations christmas trees classics collaboration collage colorful craft crafts creative creative project creativity cute decorating decoration design design board design envy designs detail diy DIY creative diy gift idea DIY Holiday Gift Idea drawing easy craft easy craft idea easy crafts elementary ethnic etsy fabric faces fair trade fall fashion family fashion favorite favorite books feather fingerprint floral flowers free friends fun gallery geometric gift idea gift wrap glitter goodreads graphic design greeting cards gustav klimt happiness happy holiday holiday dresses holiday season holiday style holidays home alone home decor home decorations How To humor ideas illustration illustrations imagination infographics ink inspiration inspiring inspiring quotes j.crew journal journaling joy kids kids activity landscape laugh layers leaf rubbings lesson life life list lines lists literature living lol love lovely lyrics magazine markers Martha Stewart meditation mixed media mod cloth mood board movies moving on murals music native america nature nature walk New Years Resolutions ocean oil pastels original art paint painting paintings paper goods pattern peace peacock feathers pen pencil people pets photography pictures pinterest planter planters plants poetry pop culture pros and cons puppy quotes reflection relationships relaxing rustic seasonal decor self esteem self love shading shoes showcase silly sketch sketchbook skirt songs stars street art style style blogger succulent succulents terrarium the waves tie-dye tips To Do Top travel trees trendy tribal tutorial Uncategorized unique upcycle van gogh versatile vintage wallpaper watercolor watercolors wax pastels web design website winter winter fashion words world yoga

20 Original Winter/Holiday Themed Art Journal Ideas

20 artist journal page ideas

I put together a little Holiday Themed Art Journal Idea List, some of the ideas are a bit simple but fun.

I always find myself journaling and sketching a lot over the Christmas and New Years breaks. I think it’s my way of reflecting on everything that happened over the past year as well as gearing up for the new year ahead (also because I usually like to start the new new calendar year off with a fresh journal so I try to fill up the remaining pages in the old one). Also, I am one of those people who religiously comes up with New Years Resolutions every year…The older I get, the more it’s becoming a bucket list and a reminder for me that life is moving fast. I am a big list person too…I just feel better about my lack of organizational skills when I can cross off even the most mundane tasks.

I also rounded up some of my favorite journal pages from this year….they are nothing like some of the pages I see of other artists on pinterest or tumblr…but they make me happy 🙂 Some of them can fit as examples for the Winter themed list so Ill note them if they do…

 

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

One of my favorite things to do is write down  inspiring quotes, passages, poems r song lyrics I come across and then create some sort of art around it.

ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with inspiring quote
ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with quote
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
succulent and cacti planters
succulent and cacti planters
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page

mixed media artist sketchbook page

abstract watercolor journal page

Categories
book binding book cover art book list book reviews books childhood children children literature classics design design board difficult education family favorite favorite books fiction Gabriel Garcia Marquez geeks goodreads humor imagination inspiring inspiring quotes john steinbeck life life list lists literature magical realism mood board opinion original art perks of being a wallflower poetry pop culture project projects questions quotes reading showcase spotlight the waves Uncategorized words world

Six Life Changing Books

llife changing books

Books saved me. For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading. I genuinely cannot remember a time when I was without books. Even Before I learned to read, I made my mom read my favorite children’s books to me, over and over, until I had  memorized all the words. I would stay up with my lamp on, flipping through each page and narrating my version back to myself.

“At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.”

When I learned to read a whole new universe was open to me. I still remember the first book that transported me completely and utterly into it’s world, a world I never wanted to leave: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I spent months after finishing that book, opening closet doors, shifting through clothes, praying to find a secret passage that would lead me to Narnia.

books

As a child (and still to this day) much of my reading took place late at night. Even as a kid, I had trouble turning my mind off, different anxieties and worries all piling up in my brain and unable to sleep. Books saved me and showed me for the first time, that I wasn’t alone.

Before the wonderful world Goodreads, I compiled a list of every book I read, including the date I finished it and a short review, in notebooks that sat on my night stand. In a separate journal, I still write down quotes and passages that stick out to me, in the books I read (although, Goodreads also has an extensive library of quotes from every book imaginable and allows you to create your own quote list).

A few months ago on Facebook, someone tagged me to come up with Five Books that changed me in some way and that got me thinking……so…. I  came up with a list of six books I’ve read through out the course of my life that have changed me in some way:

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 

Up until One Hundred Years of Solitude, the only “classic” novels I had read were the ones assigned to me for classes in high school.  In fact, it was Mrs. Barney, my English Honors teacher and favorite teacher who mentioned in class one day that One Hundred Years of Solitude was one of her favorite books…I checked it out from the school library that night.

One Hundred Years chronicles the epic rise and fall of the mythical South American town of Macondo, while charting the history of the extensively populated Buendia family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.” (Goodreads)

One Hundred Years of Solitude is the very first book I read as an adult, in which I became completely engrossed in the magnetic, magical, alluring world Marquez created, a world I never wanted to leave.

I had never encountered a writer like Marquez, a genius storyteller, brilliant writer, with questionable sanity.  It created in me a passion for all Gabriel Garcia’s books and introduced me to my favorite fiction genre: magical realism. Solitude was responsible for deepening and broadening my passion for reading and sparked in me a love of words.  Gabriel Garcia Marquez taught me through One Hundred Years of Solitude how to  to look beyond what you can see in the everyday to peer into the beyond.

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Chbosky, Stephen [Paperback(1999£©]

.

 Where One Hundred Years of Solitude is vast and wordy,  making your head spin with detail and complexity, Perks of Being a Wallflower is breathtakingly simple and pure.

The main character and narrator, is Charlie, Perks of Being a Wallflower is responsible for introducing me to  is one of my all time favorite literary characters: Charlie, a shy, introspective, socially awkward, but highly intelligent incoming high school freshman, with a unique and refreshing view of the world.

While Perks of Being a Wallflower is no doubt aimed at younger audiences with it’s simplified style and diminutive number of pages, everyone can identify with the ‘coming of age” themes in the book and misfits trying to fit in.

What endeared me so much to Charlie and Perks of Being a Wallflower was his struggle to understand and deal with his fragile mental health. I am probably not the only one who sees themselves in Charlie, as he tries to understand who he is, why he feels so different from everyone else, desperate to find where he fits in, and to make sense out of life. I wish I had read this book while I was in high school, it would have saved me a lot of stress.

 

East of Eden

3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

East of Eden is undisputedly one of American Literature’s most esteemed masterpieces, Steinbeck’s “magnus opus.”

Out of some strange book stubbornness, I avoided reading East of Eden for many years. Post college, I think I had burnt myself out on trying to only ever read the classics, I was worried East of Eden would let me down, but of course it did not.

But in Steinbeck’s sprawling Eden, some of fiction’s most mesmerizing characters are born. “He expertly explores :explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.”It is a sprawling story of two families and their intertwined destinies.  East of Eden is often referred to as the “classic retelling of Genesis’ story of Cain and Able” through brothers Cal and Aaron. But Steinbeck goes much, much deeper.

Timshel, my friends, timshel.

The Waves by Virginia Woolf

4. The Waves by Virginia Woolf

One of my favorite past times is underlining beautiful passages in the books I read and write them in my journal….While skimming back through my old copy of The Waves, I noticed that almost every page had at least a few lines underlined, while other pages were almost completely underlined.

The Waves is a novel unlike any other. More poetry, than novel, The NY Times calls Woolf’s writing style in The Waves as“poetic brilliance…a symphonic poem” There are six main characters, although Woolf is not concerned in character formation and is written from the perspective of each character’s inner monologue, in which they think and express themselves in a poetic manner. The Waves focuses on the poetic symbols of life. The language is beautiful, sensual, lyrical ,deeply philosophical and life and nature are interconnected.

Geek Love

5. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn is probably the most disturbingly dark and wonderfully strange books  I have ever read (and I’ve read some weird stuff!) Let me explain why:

Geek Love follows the Binewskis, a  traveling, carnival “freak” show family. And by freaks, I mean freaks:  the narrator and heroine, is Olympia, a deformed, albino, humpbacked dwarf, her brother is Arturo, the Aqua-Boy, born with fins for limbs, the Siamese twin sisters, Electra and Ipheginia, and Furtuno, who, in his family’s eyes, is born disappointingly normal. If that isn’t enough, the parents and the owners of the “Binewski’s Fabulon,” are also lacking in genetic flaws, but addicted to meth-amphetamine among other drugs, in hopes of creating more genetically mutated offspring to boost their business and beat out competitors.

Ahabs Wife6. Ahab’s Wife, or, the Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund

Ahab’s Wife tells the life story of the woman who would marry the sea captain who battles Moby Dick, but she is so much more than that. Ahab’s Wife follows her on her journey to find love and tranquility:

“A magnificent, vast, and enthralling saga, Sena Jeter Naslund’s Ahab’s Wife is a remarkable epic spanning a rich, eventful, and dramatic life. Inspired by a brief passage in Moby Dick, it is the story of Una, exiled as a child to live in a lighthouse, removed from the physical and emotional abuse of a religion-mad father. It is the romantic adventure of a young woman setting sail in a cabin boy’s disguise to encounter darkness, wonder, and catastrophe; the story of a devoted wife who witnesses her husband’s destruction by obsession and madness. Ultimately it is the powerful and moving story of a woman’s triumph over tragedy and loss through her courage, creativity, and intelligence.”

Categories
art awareness beautiful bill murray bucket list change charity children comedy creativity difficult dogs family forgiveness friends funny happiness happy healthy Hope ideas inspiration journaling joy laugh life life list living lol love moving on nature outreach pets positive prozac puppy relationships smile sunshine travel trees

blessed are the cracked for they shall let in the light (15 Things You Can Do if You are Struggling with Depression).

A bright light in our world went out and now my heart feels heavy. With everything going on in the world right now: the unending riots in Ferguson, and the constant ISIS terrorist threats, just to name a few, it is Robin Williams’ unexpected suicide that I constantly find myself thinking about. I feel guilty that out of all of the chaos, death, and injustice going on around the world, it is the death of an actor that has affected me most. I asked myself why that is and I think it’s because his suicide was so unexpected and it is sad to think that someone who brought so much joy and happiness to the world, could be so unhappy himself.

robin williams

The loss of any human life is painful, but something about Robin Williams’ suicide saddens me to the very core of my being. I have first hand experience with depression and feelings of hopelessness that Robin must have been feeling in order to take his life. And while I struggle with being “real” and transparent about anything serious on my blog (or any other of my social media outlets) about my life but I realized that writing posts like this were the reason I started blogging in the first place about 10 years ago and that is: 

to reach out and connect to someone (anyone) who like me, often feels “different,” struggles with depression or anxiety, feels hopeless, like they don’t fit in, that are depressed…

and although I try to hide my struggle from friends and family, I think it’s pretty obvious to the people in my “World,” who try to get to know me, (my friends, family, co-workers, ect), know there is something “different” about me. I’m the friend who falls off the planet for days, weeks, months at a time, the friend who cancels plans and no one hears from, who isolates themselves, sleeps too much… my family and other loved ones kindly skirt around the issue but I struggle with depression and have since I was 15 years old. 

What saddens me so much about Robin’s death is that…no one really saw it coming and I hope that he had people he could trust in his life and who loved him unconditionally- his wife, his daughter and I hope he knows he was loved.

and now finally I am getting to the point of this post….

it’s okay. I promise. I swear. It gets better. I know that’s not much, but I have been there in that dark, hopeless place where there is no light, no exit.

And while I never contemplated suicide, there were so many times in my life that I thought I could never be happy in life- where sleeping was always a better option for me than living life- that the drain of just being awake and conscious was sometimes to much-

just keep going. one foot in front of the other, baby steps. Don’t stop striving to be happy, develop your passions (no matter what they are), and when things get hard or tough, try to remember that (and this is what I wish I could tell the 12 year old version of myself, for the 16 year old version of my self, the 23 year old version of myself):

you are not alone. however helpless or alone you might feel. I can tell you because I have been in that place- a place I never thought I could leave- and I did.

I have come up with a list of 15 things I hope will be helpful for anyone who has ever been depressed:

1. Talk to someone, anyone. A friend, family member, co-worker, or anyone you feel you can trust. It is important to get your thoughts out of your head and also a welcome relief to feel that you no longer have to struggle completely alone. Don’t feel that you have anyone to talk too? There are hotlines and chatrooms created with the sole purpose of helping people struggling with depression: http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=urgent_crisis_hotline has a list of resources. Still unsure? My email address is ourwildpreciouslives@gmail.com, I am here.

2. Laugh. I could (and do) watch hours  of funny youtube animal videos at a time..There is about a 95% chance that if I am laughing while on my phone or laptop, I am probably watching a cat in a shark costume, on a roomba, chasing a duck, or a dog with a bad case of the Mondays.

my dog, Henri, in a shark costume
my dog, Henri, in a shark costume

Whatever makes you laugh, do it: silly dancing, corny jokes, baby kittens…find your happy place and visit it often. Laughing is not only a quick way to boost your mood, but the neurological process of laughing also releases endorphins and gives your body a boost of adrenaline (much like exercising), leaving you in a better mental place.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others. In today’s society, with all of our social media outlets, it is hard for me to NOT constantly be comparing myself to other people. Be content with where you are in life and who you are..stay focused on your own hopes and dreams and remain true to what makes you happy. I am not Kim Kardashian and I may not be at the same point in life where it seems many of peers are, but thats okay and I have to constantly remind myself that it is ok. This is your life, and your journey, no one else’s! One of the hardest things for me to do is to change my negative thinking patterns. I noticed that for me, most days I struggle with starting a new day with a positive frame of mind and I used to find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning…once I realized this about myself (and it took longer than you would think!) I had to start forcing myself to think positively in the morning and started coming up with (or borrowing) little phrases or mantras to “trick” myself into thinking positively. To this day, I still go back to one of my favorite mental health spokespersons:

I'm Sailing!
I’m Sailing!

and his favorite phrases: “I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful” and “Baby steps.” Interestingly enough, when I tell myself this in the morning before I get out of bed, I end up feeling better, greater and more wonderful. 

4. Spend time outdoors/ be Active.

photo 2

Research has shown that sunlight is a natural mood booster and one of the easiest ways to fight depression by boosting serotonin levels in the brain. The sun is also is a rich source of Vitamin D and is also shown to help in bone health, heart health and to reduce the chance of strokes. I enjoy spend time outdoors: hiking in the woods, doing yoga or simply taking the time to be in awe of Nature by listening and looking. I have a habit of collecting leaves, feathers, branches, twigs, stones, seashells..ect…

photo 3

and keep a couple of my favorite ones in a vase by my bed. I sincerely feel that spending time outdoors as one of the best ways to re-focus on whats important and to remember that beauty and life is all around me, all I have to do is pay attention to it. 

5. Keep a journal. 

a page from one of my old journals
a page from one of my old journals

I find this especially helpful, if you are like me and tend to be more introverted and have trouble opening up. It helps me to look back on my journals and to reflect on how far I have come. It is also a great way to motivate yourself and a place to channel your inspirations. It also gives you a place to write down positive quotes, bucket lists, and to keep track of happy memories such as: concert tickets stubs and photos. 

6. Keep a daily routine. If you are like me, or the dog in the video in #`1with a case of the Mondays, this is not easy. I confess, This is one of the HARDEST things for me to do. The idea of a consistent, daily routine always scared me and I still struggle with it every day. I always made excuses for why I didn’t need a daily routine…but sometimes this is a very important step for those who struggle with depression. I love sleeping, I always have and used to put off getting up until the very last moment. But as a result, I never gave myself time to wake up, reflect on the day, focus on what i wanted to get done and to have a general sense of well-being. Even though the initial half an hour or so after I am up is a struggle, I feel better, more calm and more prepared for the day when I have given myself time in the morning before rushing off. 

7. Consider meditation/yoga. (dwell in the moment)

namaste1

 This one fits in with many of the other tips. Giving yourself time to reflect on life, or even to be still and think about nothing but your breath, helps to clear your head and give you a sense of well-being. I scoffed at the idea of quiet meditation for a long time, thinking it sounded to new age or something for me. I also have very little patience and always thought “There is no way I could ever sit still for an hour thinking about nothing.” And that thought is still true! I lowered my expectations and started timing myself of how long I could just “be still.” I don’t think I have ever made it past 60 seconds until my mind has wandered. But if you are intentional in trying and most of all, patient with yourself, you will get better at it and be better for it. 

8. Make plans for the future. Have an old friend you want to visit? (Cassie, I’m coming for you!) or have you always wanted to take a road trip, visit the Lourve, eat real soul food? While spending too much time thinking about the future and not enough time in the present is not healthy, it is important to have something in your life to look forward too. It could be that you are unhappy in your career or with your health. Maybe you have always wanted to write a novel or take an art class. It could be as simple as thinking about something different and fun you always wanted to cook for dinner- just give yourself something to look forward to every day! 

9. Weed out negative influences/people from your life.

photo 4-3

easier said then done right? If you are human, chances are you come in contact with unhappy people or negative situations SEVERAL times a day. At my current customer service job, I deal with many unhappy people and even when I try to remain positive, negativity is draining and wears you down.  There is a difference from coming in contact with negative people or situations and ALLOWING negative people/influences space in your life and brain. Do your best when you must deal with these situations. Be your best self and you will leave the situation with confidence and self-assurance, knowing that you did your best. But, unhappy people, generally don’t like happy  people and may try to bring you down with them (misery loves company). Don’t let them- shrug them off and go your own way (frolic in the fields, hug your dog, laugh with a friend) and don’t waste any more of your time or brain space on them than is absolutely necessary. Most importantly don’t feel guilty about being happy. 

10. Create something. 

DSC02025

You don’t have to have graduated from art school to create something beautiful that brings you and others joy and happiness. Maybe you love baking cookies or always wanted to build a bird house. There is something very satisfying in creating something that took a lot of hard work and being able to look at with a sense of pride (even if it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would when you started) and thinking “I made this.” Even better if you can share it with the people in your life. 

11. Take time for yourself. Again, this ties in to many of the other tips. But I just want to re-affirm that it is okay to take time for yourself, doing something that makes you happy. Many of us have spouses, children, parents, friends, co-workers that we spend most of our time and energy on and that is a good and healthy thing (see #13). But at the same time, you shouldn’t  be walking around feeling like a zombie, drained of emotional and physical energy. You are your able to be your best version of yourself for others, and for you when you are re-charged and re-energized. I would love nothing more than an hour long massage by a professional massage therapist (complete with the aromatherapy candles, oils, and whale nosies playing in the background) every few days if time and money allowed. Maybe it’s getting a manicure or having a glass of wine and reading a good book for 30 minutes after everyone else in the house is asleep. These little moments will re-charge you. 

12. renew your sense of purpose in life. All of us have hopes and dreams and desires for our lives. And as we get older, our lives our shaping up to be very different than what we imagined they would be when we were young and carefree (and that’s okay). While I wouldn’t change anything that has happened to me in my life (the good and the bad), because it made me who I am today..rememembering what I am passionate about gives me a greater sense of purpose in life. Don’t sell yourself short of your daydreams and don’t let anyone talk to you out of what you know you want (unless you’ve always wanted to be a gas station attendant or a tool booth worker…then we made need to talk). 

13. give back/ invest in relationships.

photo 1

Balance in life is so important. Too much time spent on only on yourself will cause imbalance, just as much as too much time spent on others (and not enough time for yourself) will leave you completely drained. I promise there is someone out there who feels lost and who could use you in their life. I also guarantee that there is someone out there that YOU are important to and who would love to hear from you. Maybe you are not ready to open up to people which brings me to my next point…

14. Adopt a Pet.

photo 2-2

The best thing I did when i first moved in to my own place 8 years ago and was feeling particularly alone and easily sad was adopting my dog Henri. There is something so wonderful about always coming home and knowing that my dog missed me and is happy to see me. I don’t argue that pets are a big responsibility and you should always consider your realistic limitations (such as money, time away from home, space). If you are not in the position for a bigger animal, how about a bird, or hamster, or even a fish! 

15. Don’t ever give up. Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget that there is ALWAYS hope. You can and will be happy. Life is a gift. I mean it. We have all made mistakes, but that is what it means to be alive and to be human. Today is a new day. Trust me, I know this mushy positive talk is annoying when you are depressed. But please, if you take one thing away from this post, let it be that, I know you will make it through this and you can be happy. Chances are, if you are like me, dealing with depression will likely be something I struggle seriously with again at some point- but even when that happens, there is hope. 

And I leave you with this beautiful tribute to Robin Williams and his thoughts on the beauty of life: 

“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you are ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky, and the stars that are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting start streaks through the blackness, turning night into day, make a wish. Think of me. Make your life spectacular. I know I did.” 

– Robin Williams

All photos used in this post are mine, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use, just please credit me and link back to my blog. Thank you so much! 

Categories
activities books bucket list change chicago childhood cooking funny hair cut hair style happiness inspiration journaling life list project quotes

The Happiness Project.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Lately, I have been reading the Happiness Project, a memoir by Gretchen Rubin. I picked it up, after much hesitation since I had been seeing it everywhere and was a little weary of it, for a couple of reasons. My personal life took a drastic and unexpected turn about a month ago and I was forced to reevaluate my life. I realized that I had not been happy and was not living my “best” life. Every day life had gotten ahold of me and I had stopped enjoying the little things like spending time with my loved ones, taking time to reflect and relax, and doing new and exciting things. This sparked an idea I had to come up with my own bucket list. Well, not a bucket list, but a “life list.” I started compiling a list of things that I wanted to do (not necessarily before I died) that I had been missing out on. My list included simple things like: “cooking dinner more,” “buying a bike”, “spend more time outdoors.” Things that I have always wanted to do and always told myself I would do, but never got around too. I started compiling them in a journal and it kind of took on a life of it’s own. 

So far, my list is 72 items and counting.

The first thing I did on my list, was the most physically noticeable and required the least amount of effort on my part: #18: cut all my hair off! Now, let me explain why this is a big deal. The last time I cut my hair more than an inch every two months or so, was when I was in the 3rd grade (over 20 years ago!) Of course, this was pre-puberty and my peers were merciless. Even adults made comments on it. My brother told me years later that his teacher asked him that first day I came to school after my hair cut, “who is the new boy at school?” 
I tried finding my year book photo but this is the closest pic I could find…another bad hair cut idea of mine (the perm)
Needless to say, I was scarred and scared to cut my hair after that so I let it go and it got looooooong. 

So one Sunday morning a couple weeks ago, I was having breakfast with an old friend and told her I wanted to cut my hair. She got excited and we called around to different salons and took the first open appointment. By lunch time 21 inches of my hair was in a baggy and most of my hair was gone! 

It really is amazing how doing something as simple as cutting your hair can make you feel like a new person and spark you to make changes. 
Has anyone else read the Happiness Project and/or made a life/bucket list?