There was a point in my life when I was known as an “A-P-O-L-O-G-I-S-T.”
I literally was called this by more than one person and at the time it didn’t really bother me. I laughed about it, self-effacing, depreciating my self without a hint of awareness about what being such entailed. My awkward self would process things accordingly:
Them: “Ouch! I stubbed my toe!”
Me: “I’m sorry!”
Them: “My dog died today.”
Me: “I’m so sorry!”
Them: “I hate my coworker so much!”
Me: “I’m sorry!”
What I probably should have followed up with would be an account of how I am a sensitive person, an empath, who feels things intuitively and picks up on their sorrow or pain. I just wasn’t sure how to say that in a way that didn’t sound ridiculous. By saying “I’m sorry” it meant so much more. It meant “I support you. I am here for you. I can imagine how that feels and it sucks. I am trying to walk in your shoes to understand.” So being labeled an apologist, over time, gets grating. Because I wasn’t apologizing just for the sake of apologizing— I was trying to connect in a meaningful way and did a poor job of it.
The more ironic thing was that an apologist isn’t even what I was. An “apologist” is actually “a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial” according to the dictionary. I was just under-confident and unable to communicate fully. I have a history of feeling too much, thinking too much, and generally carrying all of that weight around for no reason other than some misguided overwhelming guilt and the unconscious thought that I somehow could take in someone’s pain or sadness so that they would feel less of it. I still wish this was how it worked because I would do it in a heartbeat.
I totally believe that we should all take ownership of our actions and especially apologize meaningfully if a situation warrants an apology. There are so many times that I look back and wish I would have apologized for something I did or said. I can think of very few times in my life that I did something intentionally to inflict hurt on someone though (I can count those on one hand)— but when I have one can rest assured I probably felt worse than they did about it and agonized over it for many years. Sometimes so much time has passed that it would be more awkward to apologize than to simply let it go and hope that the person knew you saw the error in your ways. I have a few of those, too, and I imagine they know I had regrets. I still think about them and wish I would have had better awareness to make things right when things happened rather than waiting too long to where it was immaterial.
But now in my thirties I have learned THAT there are things we should NOT apologize for.
We should never apologize or make excuses for who we are or what we do. If I am living in righteous and humble ways, it’s not my responsibility if someone passes unfair judgement on me or makes false assumptions— That’s on them. Someone that has known me even for six months intimately would only know a small fraction of who I am, and I imagine most people are fairly complex, so I shouldn’t have to apologize for my complexity or my intensity. I am an extremely driven and aggressive person and I have implemented rather high standards over the years but the highest standards are on my shoulders. I am long-winded-- I love to write. I love the written word. I am a person of great verbosity and being apologetic will not phase me from being genuine and true to my form. I have been and will probably always be a person that walks to to beat of my own drummer. I had an ex send me a video on dancing in a style he felt was more refined than my own and I said, "Why on Earth would I want to dance like everyone else? How boring!" Hell or high water, I dance the way I want to and don’t care if I look dumb doing it. I’ll apologize only when it negatively affects others.
We should never apologize for not putting up with bad behavior. Nope, nope, nope, nope. If someone mistreats me, I have every right to explicitly tell them how I feel about it. If it affects me, I shouldn’t have to apologize for standing up for myself. I have self-awareness enough these days to know when I am at fault or if the other person is at fault (or in many cases, if we both are.) I spent a lot of time holding my tongue in the past and it wounded me. Now I say exactly what I think with as much kindness as I can muster and in the end I have no regrets about that. I’m just learning to be a little bit more concise and straightforward about it.
We should never apologize for having a past. Yes, I wore black in high school (FYI: not a gothic/devil-worshipper but just had an eating disorder and was ashamed of my body! THANKS, Naysaying Relatives!) I had a lot of boyfriends/partners. I was married once. I have debts. I changed majors. I owned a cafe/vintage store/venue that crashed and burned after a year. I come from a dysfunctional family. I started more projects than I can ever finish in this lifetime. I have had bad things happen to me that shouldn’t have happened to anyone ever. I did burlesque. I used to cuss like a sailor. I used to drink and sang karaoke a bit too much. I have written a few ranty-angsty letters before to boys— my point is, all of those things are part of the fabric of who I am, but they do not define me. Every year I grow, I become, and I transcend. I learn and evolve. The person that inherently defines me is my rather spirited character but the person I was even a year ago is a ghost and shadow of my former self—I barely recognize her at all. Life is fluid and ever-changing and so are we.
We should never apologize for walking away in the spirit of self-preservation. If I have walked out on someone, there is a huge chance that I had really, really good reasons for doing so. It’s never a decision I make lightly. It doesn’t mean I stopped caring about the person but it does mean I am not going to play anymore. I am too old to engage in toxic relations with people and want to focus that energy on the people and things that bring joy and passion into my life.
We should never apologize for bad/sad/messy/off days. Sometimes we all have bad days— sometimes we’re antisocial or awkward and that is okay. I was super-guilty of being self-conscious about not being a “small talk” person or apologizing for being unhappy when legitimately horrible things were going on in my life— but no more. I’m letting that freak flag fly. Welcome to my (creative) mess.
We should never apologize for being sensitive. I was often accused of being “oversensitive” in the past and now that I’m older I have kind of balanced out and am sensitive on a palatable level. But that doesn’t mean that I should never be allowed to cry, or be upset, or have actual emotions about anything. In a society of disconnect, being sensitive is a liability. My sensitivity is what comforts my daughter when she cries and cuts people slack when they clearly are having a rough patch. I should never have been made to feel ashamed for feeling things more deeply than some people do.
I apologize for the things that matter.
I support those who need supporting and whether it comes out as “I’m sorry” or a long diatribe about how much I love and am there for them, it’s genuine and from the heart and people that take issue with that just need to get over it. I’m NOT sorry about that one. No one should ever have to apologize for being kind.
We should only apologize for the things that are worth apologizing about. We shouldn’t have to feel guilty or sorry about things that are out of our control. Just because someone doesn’t take ownership doesn’t mean you have to. We should use that energy in more profound and constructive ways to fuel our inner fires and become what we are meant to be. So guys— no apologies. You’re officially on notice! :)
It's that time of year again where everything is full of life and flowers are blooming everywhere. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, there is something very wonderful about dyeing eggs. Some of my fondest memories from my childhood were in the kitchen, painting and dipping eggs and putting those little plastic shrink wraps with the chicken or bunny printed on them. Traditionally Easter eggs were a symbol of fertility/rebirth/bored farmers, but the egg game has definitely hardcore evolved the last few years (blame Pinterest!) I'm really excited to try some of these out with my own kids this year and make some new traditions and memories (terrarium eggs, anyone?!) I want to do them all--they're so pretty! What kind are you wanting to do this year? The possibilities are endless!
This month is starting off with a bang (rebranding! yay!) and we have a bunch of new features, amazing products, and new writers to add to the mix. It's the season of rebirth and we're evolving into our best iteration yet! Click through the gallery below for a sneak peek of (just some of!) the magic this month:
These are the simple, cozy things. When the world is hectic and emotions are high, it is nice to focus on the feeling of the ground beneath your bare feet, the cool hardness of the ceramic plate, or the soft fluid feeling of petals. This week we are rounding up some of our favorite minty marvels from across the world:
In matters of meritocracy, sometimes we haven't the faintest idea what is going on. We humbly oblige some more moderate version of ourselves to demonstrate how to behave in modern society, yet our current society is full of upheaval and a future that has yet to be determined. We call them the accolades, these momentary glimpses of privilege and centrifugal forces that we often take for granted. Some call it divination or intervention. We walk blindly or swim into their seas, letting the current and the windswept sand direct us where we're meant to go and where we belonged all along.
THE RISING TIDE
Life can be painful and confusing but at the end of the day every experience shapes and molds us. The end goal (we hope) is that we evolve into better, kinder, wiser versions of ourselves. The older I get, the more I try to refine myself as a person and become a better version of myself. But that better version isn't without growing pains or failures. There are many times I have made lapses of judgement, poor choices, and thrown caution to the wind. I will continue making mistakes and I know that, but I will do my best not to make as many.
When I had my daughter, something within me changed. I am no longer the person I once was-- in a way I became the person I used to be, only I took a detour. In some ways it has made me more loving and patient, but in other ways it has made me more discerning about who or what I want in my life for the next cycle. I am no longer shackled to the things that held me captive before, and although there are different limitations now, I feel more responsive to the world and more confident about my place in it.
Last year I crumbled to dust and was almost swept away by the events of life, but somehow I found courage and strength to rise from the ashes. I am no longer the same but something different. But it also means no longer tolerating that which does not create happiness. When any relationship, big or small, brings you more pain than joy it is time to let go. If I have learned nothing else these last 31 years, it is that I now know when to walk away and when to stay.
I am focusing on raising our daughter and giving her an awesome start at life as much as I am able. I have started meditating have been on a silent self-improvement campaign, living mindfully, and streamlining my life. I am surrounding myself with people that are not so focused on material things, or status, or constantly dwelling in negativity or drama. Although I have always been one to take accountability or eat crow where it is due, I am furthering those initiatives by being more self-aware and preventative. I am more determined to build and maintain those relationships where it feels mutual and being the best mom, daughter, girlfriend, friend, and acquaintance I can be. I am educating myself on so many subjects right now, kickstarting a business, writing books, volunteering, and throwing myself into my new job with all of its meaningful work. I am casting out disingenuous friendships and dishonest relations and striving toward being around people who have integrity and make me want to be and do more. Selfish and selfless but nevertheless growing. But I want to be a better version of myself for my family and for myself.
Throughout this process, I often return to these TEN Meditations Fit For a Phoenix:
1. ACCEPT (AND RESPECT) WHAT WE CANNOT CHANGE
I read this article and it really resonated with me. I think much of the time we feel like we are in control but it is such an illusory idea that we have control over anything in our lives. Even our decisions, however minor, generally have a process. It can be frustrating to recognize this powerlessness within us. However, there is great courage in allowing everyone the space and respect to be their own person. There is great sacrifice in loving yourself and accepting that your power lies not in what you can control but how you navigate the sea of change.
2. NEVER REMAIN NEUTRAL (BUT TAKE THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE OFTEN)
The great Elie Wiesel once said: "We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere." I think it is important to have integrity and stand up for yourself (or others) when there is injustice. Remaining neutral may be peaceful but it order to help influence change in our society or improve the quality of life for others it is of paramount importance that we find our voices and be willing to intelligently and compassionately support those who need our support. If we can take the path of least resistance, that is ideal, but in all things we should be mindful of
the fact that collectively we have the opportunity to make big or small changes within our circles or communities if we are willing to try.
3. FORGIVE WHAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND
We all make mistakes and misunderstandings are a direct result of not being the same person. I know I am often guilty of only seeing my perspective until I remind myself that other people process things differently and no one is wrong in that respect. Perception is reality. So I am very conscious of trying to think through the motivations of others and attempt to understand where they are coming from and why they do the things they do. I may not forget the transgressions but this has allowed me to forgive them, for the human error exists in us all. Just because I don't understand something or share the same values doesn't mean that the other person’s process is any less valuable or real. This fantastic guided meditation by Deepak Chopra is so helpful in combatting the negative and disparate feelings resulting from this confusion.
4. TAKE COMFORT IN THE PASSING OF TIME
When my childhood pets died suddenly, I thought I would never heal. I probably cried every day for at least a year. They were with me through so much of my life and the world felt very empty and lonely without them there. The grieving process for any end can be long or short, fast or slow, and has its own way of operating. Grief doesn't have a timeline or a guidebook. Whether a physical death or a figurative one, we are reminded of our mortality, of the clock ticking, and of the feelings associated with uncertainty. We must take comfort in the fact that we are able to have time now to manifest change within ourselves and within our lives. Rather than taking a fatalistic approach to life, we should make every minute count with those we hold dear and consciously not take them for granted. We can take comfort in the fact that slow or fast, we can choose to create wonderful experiences during the passage of time that will be timeless.
5. BE PRESENT
Along with being more self-aware, being present in our lives is of great importance. I know at times I am guilty of looking at my phone a bit too much or distracting myself from feeling or experiencing on more profound levels just to escape momentarily, but in an age where connection is fleeting we need to be more present and in touch with not only ourselves but the world around us. There are so many details we probably miss every day if we would just look up and interact with our environment and the ironies of life.
6. REFLECT ON IMPROVEMENT
Start a bullet journal. List goals, accomplishments, and create detailed plans for improvement. Really evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on the person you want to be without the limitations of societal or personal obstacles and outline the steps to achieve your dreams, even if you don't know what you want 100%.
7. BE MORE VULNERABLE
Don't let bad experiences hold you back from love or happiness. I know for me personally I accumulated bad experiences in a mental suitcase and traveled around from place to place saying,"Oh no-- I've seen this before." It wasn't until I met my current boyfriend that I realized that after years of thinking I had all these issues and hangups that made me unloveable that I actually DIDN'T have those things-- I just made poor choices in who I made myself vulnerable to and often we were incompatible in that respect. So I went into this relationship with no roadmap-- I went in sans suitcase and I found that by being MORE vulnerable, letting my guard down, and not letting my past mistakes discolor the very bright and sunny portrait that I was-- I was loved and accepted for who I am intrinsically, regardless of my faults. And now I don't feel the anxiety, fears, or insecurities that came with all of the others because I am being the best self I can be (not what someone else expected me to be) and being completely transparent.
8. TAKE A LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN
Like many of you, I have fears: fears of failure, fears of financial ruin, etc. Real, legitimate, crazy making fears about not being good enough. When we constantly compare ourselves to others and their successes, we are focusing meaningful energy on something useless and depressing. Sometimes we have to take calculated risks and take chances that we normally would talk ourselves out of. By putting the focus back on ourselves and taking INSPIRATION from the things that enrich our souls rather than being green with envy over what we feel we have yet to accomplish, we can map positive strategies to maximize our success. Be consistent. Be intentional. Rather than worry about potential failure, reorient your mindset to what success looks like and attempt to make your dreams come true. You won't know if you can succeed if you never try it.
9. CREATION IS CATHARTIC
There seems to be a strong correlation between wellbeing and creation for those geared toward more artistic endeavors.It is a mutually symbiotic relationship. I feel more alive, more vibrant, and more confident when creating things than in any other aspect of my life. It is my lifeblood, how I recuperate, and is generally what keeps me in good spirits the majority of days. Having that outlet is important. When faced with a creative block, I have to really work hard at other areas of my life to generate the enthusiasm needed to sustain the same level of expansive optimism that I normally take for granted. The catharsis lies in the ability to channel more articulate ways of doing things, as the more you do a particular task the better you can accomplish it in the future. By creating, you maintain some semblance of control. Like other creators and artists, you can find unique ways that work for you to get the creative energy flowing.
10. RISE ABOVE
Always be your best self. Always treat people as you would like to be treated. Respect those is different situations from your own. Don't rush to judgement. Remember that when you face adversity, it builds your character. If you aren't changing then you are stagnating. Rise above your limitations. Rise from the ashes and become your higher self.
What are some things you do regularly to improve your life?
The theme this week around here has been a poignant one. We ask ourselves two questions:
1) How far do we persevere to lose ourselves for love?
and 2) When do we know when to give up?
There are no simple answers. Situations are complicated-- relationships are complicated. We live in a digital age where friendship is often a shell, a guise, surrounded by fragile bridges. We strike those matches, say that we have had enough, and let those fires of Babylon burn.
In order to rise above we must fall below. It takes great adversity to often build the best character and sometimes takes burning bridges to find other routes to our destination. The journey of life is a series of layers-- we are constructed of stars and finer things. But beneath our sordid frame lies a fire that burns ever brightly, ready to engulf that which needs transcending. I am the Phoenix. Watch me burn and live again.
Have you ever burned a bridge? Did you strike the match and never look back?
President Obama spoke tonight for the last time as President. Regardless of your political leanings, I know many of you feel the difference in the air. The world feels unsettled and listless but full of sparks of energy and hope. The future is full of confusion and exhilaration. We wake up every morning saying a silent mantra of "I'm OK" but are we really? We're sitting on a thin line between war and peace and we're worried about when and where the other shoe may drop.
Yet on some levels we are at war within ourselves. We sit on the precipice of change yet we stare into the brightness of our screens and drink our caloric maximum to dull the sensation of having no control. We have faith or lack it but there is this air of difference that permeates everyone and everything. We distance ourselves to stay intact and fear being vulnerable to the dangers and pleasures that life brings.
I'm OK. You're OK. Everything is alright. Everything is finite.
What does yesterday, today, and tomorrow look like for you?
This week we are very enthusiastic about adding those little pops of color and texture into our spaces. Whether "home" is in the city or in the suburbs, our wellbeing is often influenced by the spaces we inhabit (see this article and this one for more info.) Many in the design industry know this quite well, but what about the rest of us? Here is a weekly roundup of some unique ways you can add a more dynamic aesthetic to your living space. Elevate your mood = elevate your life, right?
Also, if you're a creative native, don't feel bad if you're not a "minimalist." A lot can be said for a messy desk (or house.) For example, you might be a creative genius. Or maybe you are just a sloth like me-- I won't judge!
P.S.--We are HUGE fans of this fantastic app. You should be, too!
b e c o m i n g
In 2016 I was faced with the daunting task of reevaluating myself as a person and as a company. I was forced (sometimes kicking and screaming) to embrace my imperfections as a new mother, daughter, girlfriend, and brand identity and it caused many direct and indirect changes in how I decided to move forward with this brand and its complexities.
I came into the beginning of the 2016 a very broken person without a definitive direction. I had lost my job I loved, completely lost my motivation, a lifelong dream felt like it had died, and I was in a very painful relationship that was sucking the very heart out of me. I became much colder as a person, more distracted, and the blog suffered as a result. But in the midst of chaos there are little miracles that give us greater insight into who we are and where we need to be.
2016 was a year of profound change for me on a personal level and it helped me reconnect with my higher self, my true self, in ways that were nearly a decade in the making. I became a new mom after a very horrible pregnancy and childbirth experience but it gave me strength I never knew I had and the confidence to let go of fears about myself and my competency as a human being. I had to take time out, which I never had the time to do the past several years, and that made me reevaluate who I was as a person and where I wanted to be. I was able to do a lot of self-reflection and the mental and emotional footwork that can only come in solitude and time which made me a better person in all aspects of my life. It started out as a very destructive year and ended as a very healing one in which I came to terms with the fact that I was stronger and more capable than I ever realized. Even when tragedy might have struck, as it almost did multiple times this year in sometimes major ways, I was able to overcome fear and anxiety in ways I previously had been unable to.
b e c o m i n g REAL
I transitioned into this new year learning that success isn't always a linear process. Sometimes it means taking two steps forward and two steps back (or, in my case, ten) to be able to articulate yourself correctly. Sometimes it means reevaluating the image you see for yourself and making adjustments to your perception of who you are as a person versus who you are as a quantitative brand. Talking about ourselves so often while engaging in a balancing act between being publicly present and disengaging our egos can be a tough act to follow at times.
I think as a creative person it can be quite difficult to put yourself out there as a brand in a way that doesn't become disingenuous and self-serving. For me, being introverted in an extroverted way often becomes uncomfortable. You are letting people into your private life or at the very least a carefully curated image of who you are and what you want to present as a divine truth of your character or vision. Because at the end of the day, on some level, it is a business or a gallery showing-- there is really no escaping the reality that it is not intrinsically genuine 100% of the time no matter how much you wish it were otherwise. That would be impossible to achieve even with the best intentions. And by speaking so much about my personal experiences, I fear that it comes across as a level of narcissism and superiority that doesn't actually exist within me. I am much happier behind the brand, behind the scenes where I am not a figurehead for a cause.
In my daily life, I often strive for being honest to a fault and transparent so it is sometimes difficult for me to "put myself out there" when I really just want to bury my head in the sand and pretend someone else is manning the helm that is prettier, wealthier, and more creative. We often want to come across as more put together, more light and airy, more fun and vibrant-- all while engaging in the daily struggles of existence that never make it from pen to paper because of fear or hesitation to show what is more sacred and less interesting to the masses.
For myself as a company it has been a long and arduous journey fraught with may hats and may mistakes along the way. I feel as if I am always embarking on some new venture or another. This blog has been a labor of love-- of finding what works and what doesn't. Life gets in the way and despite my best intentions it usually leads to a hiatus as a result of the ill-fated writer's block that comes with piling too many things on your plate at once. I'm surprised I'm not a culinary genius at this point with having so many pans in the fire! Consistency has been a disappointing and unachievable goal placed on the back burner somewhere between careful planning and differing reality.
This distilled version of myself is something I struggle with, as I often think if we push data too far in one direction we become flat and meaningless but the other direction we can come off as narcissistic and petty. For anyone that knows me on a deeply personal level it is probably quite surprising that I would choose to brand myself so publicly as I am an intensely private person. I struggled with poor self-image most of my life and was extremely uncomfortable when put in situations where I had to share myself or sell my persona as something shiny or flawless.
I grew up with my nose in books and my head in the stars so I am not interested in the spotlight but as a lifestyle blogger I know that branding is important. You are selling yourself as a brand and not a breathing entity at times and need to meet the expectations of your readers even if they differ from actual concrete reality. This can be often be disconcerting and exhausting, though, because there is often a pretty obvious disconnect between the integrity of who you are as an evolving person and the stability of your image as a "brand." We don't think it matters but as a rule most people don't like change and there is an unspoken level of perfection that we like to see other people strive for in order to inspire that vision of perfection for ourselves.
I am probably the least likely person to win the perfection award but perfection can be achieved when we stop holding unrealistic expectations of what perfection is which has been a tough lesson for me in life. So if I have any actual goals this year for this blog on a personal level, they are to be more articulate and more genuine as a person and as a brand. You will likely not see perfection this year but instead be privy to little imperfections, tiny failures, and something more representative of being more tangible.
For the new year, my current process is three simple words: BE MORE VULNERABLE.
What is your mantra for the new year?
It's a new year and things feel vastly unstructured and unsettled. The weather is unpredictable and so is the political climate. Yet there is hope in the light as well as in the shadows. The energy and vitality of singular moments and of tangible dissonance seem to echo as much from our past as of our future. We are in the golden days of opportunity and in a new age of collective synergism. We are in a time of alternate universes where seemingly real things appear surreal. Now is the time to be everything that you are and to walk into the light sans blindfold. Welcome to the Parallel.
Throwing a shower in the near future? Here are some quick tips for having a creative shower while maintaining your sanity.
A month or two before the shower, you should try to get a list together for the items to new parents might need. Several big chain stores offer registries and some, like Target, even include complimentary gift bags for the new mom. Some apps, such as BabyList, combine any stores so the guests are able to have a wider selection of choices should they decide to bring gifts. You can also specify non-monetary gifts (such as making dinner, babysitting, or handmade items)-- which is great for guests who want to help out but may not be able to afford larger items. In lieu of cards, many suggest asking for board books, which can often be found at several stores for a price far less than a card would be.
One of the most difficult things to do is to make the guest list. If you are throwing the baby shower for a friend, be sure to feel out how they want their special day to be and who they want to be included. Some folks may want a traditional shower, while others may want to include their partners as well in a unisex shower. Be realistic about how many guests you can afford comfortably and don't be too shy to ask for help from other relatives to cover the cost of food or venues. Community centers, restaurants, someone's home, or parks are great and usually inexpensive places to have showers. Invites can be expensive, so make sure to look into all available options (whether digital ones that you print yourself or design your own!)
There are tons of free party games and print-outs available online. Some of our favorites are word searches, messages to the newborn (sage advice from the elders!), favorite songlists, and more classic silly games. Other activities that might be fun for guests could be painting baby blocks, decorating onesies, making headbands, or playing baby bingo. If you are having drop-in events, leaving multiple games or activities out on the tables can be fun while being low-key. Also, if you are having younger guests, having some coloring sheets and crayon sets or more kid-centric activities can give the parents a much-needed reprieve.
Did someone say donuts? If you want to have a baby shower that focuses on sweets, donuts can be a quick and relatively inexpensive food for a baby shower. You could either make your own or order some through your local bakery. It is advisable to have a few "normal" flavors as well as some more unique ones. Thrifting donut stands and platters or hitting up a $1 store for some you can glue together and paint can save much needed cash as well and still look very lovely. You can handwrite "flavor" cards in person or use a chalkboard if you have one. The best part about the donut bar is that there will likely be some leftovers! Woohoo!
Something pretty interesting we have been seeing lately is hand-painted cookies. These can be done with food-safe dye and the look is absolutely lovely. It is a simple way to dress up some otherwise plain cookies and give your guests something one-of-a-kind to enjoy. If you're really feeling ambitious, it might be fun to allow guests to decorate their own cookies!
One of the hardest things (but alternately one of the most fun activities) is picking out the colors and decor. There are so many cute themes, even for gender-neutral showers. Garlands and balloons are extremely easy to put up and take down and can be made relatively quickly or bought for a reasonable amount. The effect is festive but also simple, which is great when you are throwing a shower together. By using decorative elements that are simple yet lively, you can buy more practical tablecloths and flatware/dishware in solid colors that compliment them. A dash of gold or silver can go a long way in presenting a more upscale theme.
Ombre is where it's at! We love the trend of ombre cakes and cupcakes, which are often easy to make and literally require adding or subtracting food coloring to the frosting. It creates a minimal yet lovely effect that your guests should find aesthetically pleasing. You can also use ombre as a tool with other non-food items, such as dip-dyed tablecloths or backdrops. Adding a solid banner, flags, or arrows can be a playful touch for a table setting as well.
If you can manage it, fresh flowers, when bought in bulk, can be lovely to add to the tables and really liven up a room. Carnations or peonies are beautiful and come in a variety of colors. There are also many types of edible flowers that can be arranged with the food or as a topping for finger foods. This is especially wonderful in the Spring or Summer and can be symbolic of welcoming life into the world.
There are tons of small appetizers that can be made efficiently and inexpensively. We really like Hawaiian ham and swiss rolls, cucumber dill sandwiches, fruit picks, and vegetable stackers. For desserts, buttercream mints and thumbprint cookies are extremely easy and quick, but one can also make macarons in bulk fairly easily if one is wanting something more substantial. We really love these coconut nests, though, which can be topped with malted eggs, jellybeans, or Jordan almonds.
When your guests leave, it is always nice to thank them with a favor or some sort. Some really cute ideas we have found are to give them a mini succulent or flower seeds, candy or popcorn bag with a rattle, tea bags, or Rolo cigars. It can be a small gesture but it is great to help your guests to feel included in the special day with the parents-to-be.
What other ideas have you thought of? Feel free to comment below with tips of your own for our readers! <3
“I've often thought that there isn't any "I" at all; that we are simply the means of expression of something else; that when we think we are ourselves, we are simply the victims of a delusion.”
― Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend
As human beings, we are faced with a quintessentially large task: to leap over the chasm or not leap over the chasm. With reckless abandon, we start into the abyss and its dark eyes and unknown reaches stare back at us. Every decision we make is a risk. We often risk falling-- sometimes into unknown depths-- seeking our destiny and always pushing forward. What was the hardest decision you ever made? Did you reach the other side with ease or did you fall into the shadowy depths?
1. Graphic Print Walls Adds Depth to Small Spaces
2. Importing Colors from Artwork Can Make Neutral Spaces Pop
3. Paint Crib Rails to Create Visual Stimulus
4. Painting Walls Using a Gradient or Dual Tones Spruces Up Rooms
5. Composite of Same or Similar Materials Can Create Quick Contrast
6. A-frame Tents Can Be an Exploratory Space for Your Baby
7. Vintage Furnishings or Prints Highlight Nostalgia + Creativity
8. Using Similar Shades/Tones Makes Contrasting Colors Shine
9. Make a Library + Reading Nook to Promote a Love of Learning
10. Simple Graphic Prints + Text Add Variety to a Small Space
“Only if you are possible, everything will be possible.”
― Santosh Kalwar
As we let go of the old and embrace the new, we embark on a journey of great magnitude. We become ourselves in the realm of possibility. Somehow the future is always such an abstract concept and then suddenly we wake up and realize the future is now. We dance into the realm of impossibility and carve out our own niche of what is possible and real. What are some of your possible (or impossible) plans?
I just recently completed my first pregnancy. Although the books tell you an awful lot, every pregnancy is unfortunately different and filled with its unique experiences. Although I was extremely excited to welcome our daughter into the world, I learned so many things about pregnancy that I never really thought about before in quite the same light and likely never will think about in the same way again. Thus, I have compiled a list of things below that I learned since the first trimester:
1. Birth Control Is Not As Foolproof As You Thought
2. Time and Space Are Suddenly Irrelevant
3. Yes, I Really Am Having a Baby!
4. Morning Sickness and Other Atrocities Are For Real
5. Your Baby Will Have a Party In Your Belly (sometimes all night long!)
6. You Just Want It Over With
7. Pregnancy Brain is the Bane of Your Existence
8. Granny Panties are the Shit
9. You Will Probably Be Full of Hate (and Food)
10. Strangers WILL Invade Your Personal Bubble
What weird things have some of you learned so far with your pregnancies (or those of folks around you?) Inquiring minds would like to know! :-)