Favorite Finds (the chic edition)

favorite finds

Eric and I have a lot on our plates right now, as we prepare for our move in just over one week. I have definitely had my moments of near-craziness, but we are doing our very best to stay sane.

at-home-with-madame-chic-jeneric-generation

Yesterday Eric worked from home and I took the day off. Shortly after asking Eric for a “we can do this” pep-talk, I received a book in the mail that instantly improved my day. Ever since Eric’s mom introduced me to Jennifer Scott’s blog, I have been hooked. I talk about her first book, Lessons From Madame Chic on JenEric quite a bit (here and here), and after the first review I wrote of her book, Jennifer Scott linked to it on her blog, and promised me an ARC (advance reading copy) when it became available.

Of course I should not be surprised that a pursuer of all things chic and meaningful would remember her promise to a small, humble blogger. I received the book in the mail, signed, and with a hand-written note tucked inside. Just as I suspected: she’s a real gem. I started reading the book, and am feeling very inspired. Madame Chic at Home (coming out this October!) was just the thing I needed as we prepare for our new home in a new state soon. I can’t wait to review the book on the blog in the near future.


And with that, here are a few of my favorite finds from the web this week:

How to choose a blog posting schedule that works (I am working on this)

The best books on writing you’ve probably never read

I’ve started a pinterest board dedicated to my ultimate limited wardrobe (I see a few patterns developing…)

I watched this documentary on Netflix recently, and oh my. My new hero perhaps? I am utterly fascinated. I recommend it if you want to feel like you, too, can accomplish anything. (seriously, can we talk about this??)

This post spoke to me: 5 tips for growing your blog organically (without sponsorships)

I am really happy about all the shows and online-series popping up about ballet in the past few years. Here is the latest that follows young dancers as they prepare for one of the biggest dance competitions in the world.

(Also, a guide to loving ballet)

What have you discovered lately? Do share. And have a wonderful weekend! Ours will be spent with family, friends, and a lot of cardboard boxes that need to be packed up.

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As I stated in my last Favorite Finds, I want to try something new with this series: for you bloggers, share a blog post you have written this past week in the comments! I would love to check it out (if I haven’t seen it already), and we can give each other a little exposure while we are at it.

 

Doubt and Decision-Making

making-decisions

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my twenties is this: being afraid of something is not a sign that you should recoil from whatever it is you are afraid of. In fact, the opposite is most likely true: there is freedom and growth in saying yes to the things that scare you. Afterward, the difficult thing is forever behind you, and you are free do it again in the future. Because you have already done it. It is now a part of you.

When Eric and I made the decision to move to Oklahoma, it wasn’t because we were overwhelmingly unhappy. There were still a lot of things we loved about living in DC. But when we started talking about the possibility of moving, it became apparent that it was a good decision on paper. It was still a little bit scary. And thus the decision to move became more a decision to trust that the paper version was in our best interest.

I used to think that big decisions should be obvious, but I have found that most of the time, that isn’t the case.

A few months ago, Lydia Mag published my article on making decisions in their first-ever print issue (which is fun! And exciting! And all the other writer-emotions!). If you are interested, I am posting the beginning below:

This September marks five years of big-decision making in my life. This anniversary is notable because I have always been tormented by making big decisions. And here I am: a survivor. Five years ago, I was finishing up college. I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and at the time living the furthest from my parents I had ever lived—forty five minutes. But like many of my generation, I was afflicted with wanderlust and knew enough about the places I had been to feel deeply connected to Washington, D.C.

I interviewed for a couple jobs directly following graduation, one of which I suddenly wanted more than anything else in the world: an entry level position working for a U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C. I had been heavily involved in politics throughout college and thought I wanted to enter that world. I was offered the job. While I was ecstatic when I got the news, I still found myself pacing the hallway outside my childhood bedroom shortly after I got the call. Soon, another emotion began to overwhelm me, and if felt a lot like doubt.

You can read the rest here.

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What do you think? Do big decisions overwhelm you? How do you make big decisions? What have you learned about making decisions? Have you made any big decisions recently?

We Are Moving (to a place where we can breathe)

I’ve turned in my two-weeks notice at work, which means my life is my own again. Not to say that I am a slave to my job exactly, but that I was enslaved to secrecy for the past few months. And now I am free.

This past spring, as we were driving home from work, Eric and I had a conversation that began as a usual rant against his stressful job. I casually chimed in about how he was working too much and that it was killing him. We both talked about how there are things we are passionate about, but don’t have the time or energy for. The intensity grew as we came to the conclusion that the hectic life we live here in Virginia (5 miles from DC), is keeping us in a hamster wheel of stress, and  causing us to consistently push what we want out of life to the back burner. And life is too short.

Eric suggested moving to Europe. Which surprised me.

I was surprised a second time when I found myself suggesting that maybe the change he was craving could be found closer to home. My home. Oklahoma.

Oklahoma was our long term plan. Eric has lived in the DC area his entire life, and he has always enjoyed Oklahoma when we visit my family there. It was the place we wanted to move to eventually, when the time felt right.  But as we sat in our parked car in our assigned parking space, outside of our apartment building, we felt crowded and stifled. And just like that, the time felt right.

we-are-moving

The past few months have been a time to say good bye, mentally and physically. Good bye to friendships and Eric’s family, our church family, our neighborhood, Trader Joe’s (don’t get me started), the National Mall (especially at night), Eastern Market, the bench next to the Potomac River where Eric proposed to me. It’s been a nostalgia-overload.

I moved to Washington, D.C. five years ago. I was all by myself, with two suitcases and nowhere to live. The things this city has taught me are things I could not have fathomed before I moved out here. That’s how growing works. But saying good bye to a city that feels like a character in your personal story: it’s not easy.

At the same time, the thought of going home is just the right thing. It’s just the right time, even though the parting is bittersweet.

In Oklahoma, we will have a house with a front porch and a back patio. A luxury nearly unimaginable at this point in our lives. To be able to step outside and breathe fresh air without needing a reason to do so sounds too good to be true. And also: why have we been depriving ourselves of so much fresh air? That sentence was saturated with metaphors.

The past five years of my life will always be meaningful and nothing short of life-changing for me. But right now, I am looking forward to the next chapter. I am looking forward to breathing.

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Favorite Finds (and an idea!)

favorite finds

As part of my Favorite Finds series, I thought it would be fun to add something new: from now on, when I post my favorite finds, I am going to request that you share your best blog post (that you have written) of the week, in the comments. It will be a place to self-promote, yes, but also a place to read the best of the best from other bloggers. A place for mutual, platonic blogger love, if you will. And who knows, maybe I will share a favorite or two in my next Favorite Finds. Let’s help each other out, shall we?

The secret to becoming a standout (this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, and I couldn’t agree more with this secret to success!)

I am a yoga newbie, and I’ve been doing this 20 minute practice on a regular basis. I definitely feel my core strengthening!

If you are a writer (or pursuer of any other creative career), you will relate to this.

beauty-quote-jenericgenerationDo you save “the good stuff” for imaginary futuristic dates? This is food for thought.

My good friend, Amanda, just moved to Germany with her family a few weeks ago. While I’ll miss her like crazy, she started a blog to document her adventures and German observations. I think you will like it.

This really spoke to me (it probably will to you, too): David’s thoughts on how the 40 hour work week fosters a lifestyle of spending more money. I think he is on to something.

You guys. I think I have found my new style icon.

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed my favorite finds from this week. Don’t forget to comment with a link to your best blog post of the week! And then click around to find new blogs to love. Have a wonderful weekend.

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