Thursday, November 10, 2011

Writing My Heart Out. Literally.

A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.  ~Charles Peguy

        Have I ever mentioned my love of quotes? Well, I guess I will now. I love quotes. Sometimes I find on that I love, and it just makes me feel like someone climbed into my brain and then summarized 'me' in a few short sentences. I stumbled upon this quote of William Faulkner's that "The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with" and oh my goodness, do I agree with that. I have been working on a story of mine which I am planning on being finished with by January 1st, and at this point it's like pulling teeth! Sometimes I wonder why in the world I ever wanted to be a writer- a fact that my entire family can attest to after witnessing more than a few "I stink at this, what am I thinking? My brain produces nothing but crap!" rampages. And that is when I think "Hmm... Maybe a life of flipping burgers at McDonald's wouldn't be too torturous."

Maybe my problem is just that I'm lazy...

        But then in the end, I (very painfully) tear something passable from my guts,  and sometimes, sometimes, I get out something completely earth shattering (at least to me) and the world is right again. I suppose that it's the price I have to pay. After all, "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. (Ray Bradbury)" and that is the real reason why I write. Because I can't live without it.

        I think I'll just repeat this 1,000,000 times..."And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. (Sylvia Plath)" and stop doubting myself! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In My Dreams... Paris!

I've been dreaming nonstop about Europe lately. Sadly, I spent all my travel funds last September backpacking across France, Italy, Monaco, Slovenia, Austria and Germany, so now I'm stuck at home fantasizing that I'm in Paris. :(

I would love to go to Europe sparing no expenses and pay for everything myself. Since I have no hopes of that happening too soon, I figure I might as well start planning (and dreaming) now! So location by location, I'm going to outline my dream vacation, starting with Paris.

Last year I got to spend four days in Paris, but I honestly could've spent a whole month there. Paris is filled with the most beautiful architecture, but what I really noticed were the clothes on all of the beautiful Parisians. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, the reigning style is hiker chic or sweatshirts and jeans.

That's me, in Paris. Someday... Someday I'll go back!

Now, I've always been interested in fashion but I kind of sunk into the casual style of my surroundings as I grew up. Then I traveled to Boston when I was fifteen, and suddenly my eyes were opened to the beautiful chicness of the outside world. There's something magical about dressing how you want to and using different patterns and colors to achieve the aesthetic that is most pleasing to you. I get giddy to a sad degree when browsing clothes or when I see a color scheme I really love.

Let me tell you, the giddy factor was about 1,000,000X when I was in Paris. I think my head was probably spinning around and around trying to take mental notes of everything I was seeing. There were so many people, and they all looked gorgeous! I was trying so hard to figure out the formula that they were using, because they all kind of seemed to match, but everyone was dressed pretty differently.

I quickly realized that color wasn't too popular with Parisians (it was a little bit disconcerting to arrive for the first time in a foreign country in a bright red sweater and realize everyone is wearing black). Most people were in black or maybe gray, but most definitely not reds or neons. French people also know how to dress their bodies. The majority of people I saw were in silhouettes rather than extremely voluminous shapes, and believe me, it works.

Ergo, the first thing I would do on my dream trip is:
1. Dress cutely. I would have about 16 suitcases and wouldn't have to worry about "Will I really wear this? Will it fit into my backpack? Will it get dirty after wearing it 7 times?" I would completely overpack and most importantly, I wouldn't have to carry any of my bags.

Et, voila! Here are six examples of how I would love to dress if I were in Paris. Since one of my top aims during traveling would be to blend in, I would dress mostly in black, dressed up clothes. I would wear heels too, because I wore loafers and sandals and felt kind of dowdy.

2. I would stay wherever I want. During my stay in Paris, I stayed with a friend, which was awesome because it meant four nights of free lodging. But next time, I want to go all the way and stay somewhere that has a true Parisian feel (although the one bedroom apartment I stayed in was probably more "Paris" than the swanky hotels actually are).

My first choice would be the Hotel Mathis Elysées Matignon off of the Champs-Elysées. It's modern, as most luxury hotels in Paris are, but it also has a classical air that I love. I want somewhere that I can pretend I'm Marie Antoinette, as well as be able to see a busy street outside my window. I've lived the hostel life, now I want to experience the Hotel Mathis Elysées Matignon life. 

Because who wouldn't want to stay at the Four Seasons in Paris? The Four Seasons is pretty much synonymous with glamour in my mind, therefore it's also on the top of my list. 

And then at the end of the day, I would settle down at a sidewalk cafe and enjoy a macaroon from Ladurée. YUM.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Laughter Is The Best Medicine. Really, It Is.

I have watched this, oh about... twenty times, and each time I laugh so hard I'm almost crying. I want to be like these people when I'm 80. Seriously, how cute are they?

And when I thought it couldn't get ANY cuter, I saw this in the suggestions at the end of the video:

Just what I needed to lighten my outlook after a long Monday.

Friday, June 3, 2011

As I Live Now.

My sister is getting married on August 26th, and I'm a bridesmaid. She still hasn't picked a color. Two and a half months and I still don't know what color dress to look for. Can you tell I'm rolling my eyes as I write this?

Two months may seem like plenty of time to you, but to me, it's terribly last minute. She's bouncing back and forth between black and tan, and I'm crossing my fingers and praying my heart out that she doesn't pick tan because I look pale as a sheet in tan. Plus, who sells fancy dresses in tan? No one, that's who. Black is good, I'm comfortable in black. 

In my dreams I would look like this:

But since I know I'm not Bar (and that dress is a tad trampy for a wedding. Or... the general public) I'm thinking of going with something like this:

My jaw literally dropped when I saw this dress. IT IS SO PRETTY! The way it's draped... the length.. ah! Doesn't just looking at it make you all tingly inside? Okay, maybe it's just me. 

But, since I don't have the shoulders for a strapless gown (not trying to be self deprecating, I just know what my body isn't made for), I want to have straps like these added. 

Sandra Dee. My inspiration for life. Embarrassing fact: In high school I had a collage of photos of her on my binder.

The only problems are 1.The dress is $230. Way too much for this 'frugal' Swede, and 2. My sister's wedding dress has the same kind of sheer lace shoulders so I don't want to be too matchy-matchy with the bride...

What I will do, we shall see! Ah, the perils of being a bridesmaid!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 3

Today's challenge was to name your favorite brush, and since I don't brush my hair (I use a comb) I'm going to tell you about the best makeup brush ever.

Behold, the bareMinerals Kabuki brush. I bought the bareMinerals makeup that it came with a few years ago and it totally gave me acne, but it was really worth it because I got these awesome makeup brushes. I don't know what they are made of but they feel like such nice quality. I used to buy cheap makeup brushes that were kind of rough on my cheeks but this brush feels so soft. It gives you just the right amount of makeup unlike other brushes that give you one concentrated swipe of makeup and then soak up the rest of the powder forever. I wash it about once a month (way less often than you're supposed to, but hey, I've survived!) and in the roughly five years I've had it, it still works just like new. Yep, so worth the price and the acne! :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 2

Write about your favorite purse: After I read this prompt I spend a really long time browsing through pictures of beautiful purses on Polyvore and wishing I could have all of them. I love purses. This purse is  tops above any purse I've ever owned.

I bought it about two years ago and I have used it for everything. Seriously, this purse goes with everything, as shown by the below outfits.

I used it when I was in Europe last year and it had just enough room to hold my valuables but it was small enough so I didn't feel like I was hefting around a suitcase. I'm telling you, best purse ever.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

10 Things I'm Thankful For.

Since I haven't done this before, I am going to begin with the things I am most overtly thankful for. As time goes on I will name more obscure things that I am really thankful for.

  1. My nephew.

I adore my nephew. I didn't realize it was possible to love a human being like I love him. It always makes my day to come home and see him. He's getting to the stage where he is always giggling and smiling, and let me tell you, there is nothing that makes my day more than that baby's smile.

2. The sun. It may seem like a given, but in Seattle, it isn't. It's weird how quickly my mood picks up just by seeing sunlight.

3. Books. Need I say more?

4. Bread. I love bread. Especially of the garlic variety.

5. Hair. You can tell me it's dead protein growing out of my head but I won't listen! I love hair, and I love trying out every single brand of shampoo, deep conditioner and homemade remedy on my hair. :)
What was I thinking when I cut it off? :D

6. High heels. I could spend a million dollars on high heels, but I'm frugal (read: cheap) so I frequently peruse the discount shelf at Kohl's because they always have Vera Wang shoes for really cheap. So I guess I'm thankful for discount high heels.

7. My parents.
They gave me everything I needed growing up. I'm not talking about material possessions, I'm talking about emotional, spiritual support. They instilled in me a love of Jesus and always made sure I knew how loved I was. In this world that's not a given and I'm so thankful I was given the parents I have.

8. Music.
At the moment, this song particularly.

9. History. I am a huge history nerd. Anastasia's Album was my  absolute favorite book when I was little and I have probably read it a million times. I love ancient history (the ancient Greeks, Bible-time history) and I love modern history (World War I and II) and my favorite time period is the American Revolution. This ties into #3. I am wild about historical fiction, particularly books like Celia Garth, The Yankee Stranger, Annie Between The States... I could go on naming books for days.

10. YouTube. I don't know why, but I have this innate need to hear people talking. I love going to Youtube and just watching people talk. My favorites are Leonardo Dicaprio, James Stewart, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley (Yeah... that's my embarrassing confession for the day).

I've been getting writer's block lately and I think I really need to just get into the habit of writing something everyday. I do better with pre-set blog post ideas so maybe I'll browse blogs for ideas like this one and the A-Z list of the men in my life that I can do each day. Any ideas? :)