Monday, June 29, 2015

Will You Keep Your Maiden Name?

Maybe it's because words are my bread and butter, but people's post-wedding names have always fascinated me. How do you decide on your last name? Do you take your partner's? Do they take yours? Do you hyphenate? Or, do you get created, like some family friends did a couple years ago when they took each of their last names and made a completely new moniker?

I'll be doing an Open Letter on this topic tomorrow, but have you seen the recent New York Times article on the recent rise of the maiden name? It looks like they're coming back in vogue after declining in the '80s and '90s. But, as sociologists note, the trend resurgence seems to be more practical than political.

"The pressure is huge," said Laurie Scheuble, a sociology professor at Penn State who studies marital naming. "This is the strongest gendered social norm that we enforce and expect. When they do get around to marrying, they’ve already lived in a household with two names, so maybe it seems normal to them."

Scheuble said several factors could be swaying the modern woman's decision: Women now go to college at higher rates than men, celebrities often keep their names and couples commonly live together before marriage.

The article also cited some amazing stats, including...

*Roughly 20 percent of women married in recent years have kept their names, compared to about 17 percent of women who married for the first time in the 1970s. 

*Last year, 29.5 percent of women featured in the wedding pages of the New York Times kept their name, up from 26 percent in 2000 and a recent low of 16.2 percent in 1990. 

*Women are more likely to keep their names if they are older, not religious, have children from a previous marriage or have an advanced degree and established career.

What do you think, friends? Are you married? If so, did you keep your maiden name? Will you? And, perhaps even more interesting, what are the reasons behind your decision? I'd love to hear all about it! xoxo

[Photo by Linus Moran, via Moment Junkie]

Etsy Love: Watercolor Home Decor

When it comes to design and decor, I've always lived by the philosophy, "the brighter, the better." I mean, I do have these screaming pink sheets on my bed and had a reputation for proudly sporting neon shorts back in the day. My philosophy has long matched my personality, it seems.

But what about a more subdued, laid-back approach? While bright colors make me think of the frenetic hustle and bustle of life in New York City, the watercolor pillows by Euodia Roets give me visions of a quiet summer spent by the beach, in a cute cottage with all sorts shell-themed knickknacks adorning the walls.
Pillows pictured: Bubblegum set, green florals, clouds and sky, hummingbird throw, candyfloss ombre cushion, scallop fish scale and orange striped cushion.

The South Africa-based designer makes sure all her materials are sourced locally. How cool is that, friends? I'm relaxing already -- can't you smell that salty sea air?? xoxo

[Top photos by Euodia Roets]

Man Candy Monday.

Happy Fourth of July week, friends! You know I'm always up for a good celebration, and with the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage last week, I'd say we have A LOT to be excited about. Today's guys (yes, more than one!) really epitomize Americana in the '70s. They certainly had the style and swagger. They watched for bad moons rising. And they hung out down on the corner...


"Put a candle in the window...'Cause I feel I've gotta move...Though I'm goin', goin'...I'll be comin' home soon...Long as I can see the light..."

P.S. Top 10 Creedence Clearwater Revival songs! What's your favorite???

Friday, June 26, 2015

Have a lovely weekend

Ahh, friends! There's nothing I love more than a Friday in the summer. And today? Well, it was an extra special morning when I woke up to the Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide!!!


Seeing so much happiness, love and pride on Facebook and Twitter really made my heart swell. This day has been a long time coming and it's about time!

Got any plans for the weekend? I might try to get a jump-start on that lovely to-do list my mom made for us. Or maybe I'll just end up catching up on my DVR. That's a form of cleaning, right? I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

"Ten Times I Knew I Loved You."

Does your birth month affect your health?

Were you obsessed with Schoolhouse Rock as a kid?

An excellent theory on Jurassic Park.

Mariah Carey is on!

18 amazing movies we'll never watch again.

This golden retriever timelapse is adorable.

On cats and blogging.

10 handy writing tips.

A romantic moody flower arrangement.

LeiLei Secor paid for college by selling on Etsy.

Quiz Time: Which Pink Lady are you?

What an interesting read on your future self and your future happiness.

A man spent six years crocheting Super Mario Brothers 3 map!

You go, Taylor!!

Aww, this stowaway cat is one lucky little guy.

Easy listening songs from the '70s rewritten by the artists after they had kids.

The London Bridge just got, well, a whole lot brighter!

What to teach kids when they get their first email account made me feel old.

Seriously swooning over this Anne of Green Gables-inspired wedding shoot.

Today, #LoveWins and I couldn't be happier or more excited for the future! Have a great weekend, friends! xoxo

And as always, feel free to connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube! See you there!

[Photo via bippity boppity boo]

Thursday, June 25, 2015

On Disabilities and Changing Perceptions

From the day I started kindergarten, my mom was insistent that I remain in the regular classroom with the rest of my peers. Well, looking back now, insistent might be a bit of an understatement. It was more like her #1, non-negotiable priority. She wouldn't settle for anything less, and way back in the '80s and '90s, full inclusion was something of a rarity.

But she was right. And, as it turns out, the benefits went both ways. Being surrounded by my able-bodied peers gave me a sense of belonging, like I somehow wasn't so different from everyone else and that I was just like everyone else. As early as kindergarten, I suppose, I learned that I should never let my disability hold me back from anything in life.

As for the other kids in my class? Their world view was expanded, a world view that would set the foundation for the rest of their lives. They saw me -- someone their age with a walker and a wheelchair -- and may have thought, "Hey, she's playing my favorite game! She's just like me!"

My mom's not alone in her thinking. A 2013 British study examined some 1,520 children ages 7 to 16. Those who had more face-to-face interaction with people with disabilities ultimately experienced less anxiety and increased empathy about people with disabilities.

"We have known for some time that integrating children with disabilities into the regular classroom can improve attitudes," said study author Megan MacMillan. "What we have established here is just how much of a difference a greater presence in day-to-day life makes."

It's true. When all is said and done, it's really about changing perceptions people have of children with disabilities. Heck, it's about changing perceptions of ALL PEOPLE with disabilities. And like the study shows, a lot of it starts with children. It's so important to introduce them to people who aren't exact carbon copies because that's not how the world is. The world is one giant and beautiful melting pot, which is a pretty amazing thing if you think about it.

Imagine what's out there, if only you step outside and see, friends! xoxo

[Photo via We Heart It]

Gorgeous Summer Wedding Flowers

We can't keep fresh flowers in the house because Harry would devour them in one minute flat (literally!), but every so often, I find myself daydreaming about filling the house with beautiful living greenery instead of just our fake plant that we drape fairy lights over during the holidays!

How gorgeous are Sarah Winward's arrangements? The destination wedding florist's work is inspired by the changing seasons in nature, and she has ventured all over the world creating flowers for couples on their special day.

I'm pretty taken with her summer flowers, obviously. Don't they remind you of walks through garden flowers. Do you have a green thumb, friends? Any flowers brightening up your abode at the moment? What's your favorite flower? xoxo

My Diaries (The Remix): Reading #70

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Family Photos: Lazy Cats! Summer Shopping! Mini Ms. Bear's Kitchen!

As promised, I give you more photographic proof of our summer shenanigans, which have been quite relaxing, actually. Something tells me that we've been hanging around the cats too much -- something tells me their laziness is rubbing off on us. Someone's enjoying the morning sunshine...
And shopping! Oh, how I do love going on my classic Target trips. Yesterday, the sun was shining and it was the perfect summer day to take in a little retail therapy. Of course, all the summer essentials were out in full force. It made me feel like I was on the beach just strolling up and down the aisles of Five Below*
My summer motto this year, courtesy of Target...
Some fun reading for the summer in the form of my favorite magazines...

A trip to my old haunt (my old college library!) to get some work done...

Lots of good summer eats, courtesy of Ms. Bear's Kitchen. Two of my recent favorites: A summer fruit salad medley and a cucumber and tomato salad. The dressing on the cucumber salad was delicious!!

And lots of summer fun, like Yahtzee and, more recently, rummy! I'm on a rummy winning streak right now, so cross your fingers that it continues!
...and the sun burning has begun! #NoFilter #Summertime
But...danger, danger! My mom is trying to introduce at least some semblance of order into our lives. Being a rather obsessive planner, she came up with this chart system. In the words of Miranda Sings, "Are you kidding me...?"

I'm going to do my best and stand my ground on her War on Fun. Are you with me, friends? I figure we're stronger together. C'mon, you know you're dying to relax too, so don't try to deny it any longer! Here's to lots of fun and relaxation!! xoxo

*OMG, I'm not the only one obsessed with this store, right?

Best (and Worst) Fonts for Your Resume

Attention, job seekers! If you're in the midst of searching for that job and want your resume to stand out from all the others in that huge slush pile, consider something as simple as your font of choice.

True, it may sound a bit meticulous and maybe even a no-brainer; after all, it's been drilled into my head since high school that Times New Roman, size 12, is the standard that should be followed at all times.

But! Nowadays, industry insiders are showing some other fonts the love with their new recommendations. Bloomberg spoke with three typography experts to get the inside scoop on putting your best resume forward. Some of my favorite highlights...


*Helvetica: "Helvetica is so no-fuss, it doesn’t really lean in one direction or another. It feels professional, lighthearted, honest," says Brian Hoff, creative director of Brian Hoff Design. "Helvetica is safe. Maybe that’s why it’s more business-y."

*Garamond (perfect for those with lots of experience and have to fit said experience on a single page): "Garamond is legible and easy for the eye to follow," says Matt Luckhurst, the creative director at Collins, a brand consultancy in San Francisco. "Garamond has all these quirks in it, so what that does is allow the eye to see where it should go."


*Times New Roman: "It has been a system font for a long time. It’s been used and misused a lot," says Martina Flor, a letterer and designer in Berlin, Germany. Adds Hoff, "It’s telegraphing that you didn’t put any thought into the typeface that you selected. It’s like putting on sweatpants." OUCH!!

*Zapfino: "It's just really swoosh-y. If it’s your wedding invite and that typeface is for you, go for it," says Luckhurst.

Good to know, don't you think, friends? Do you agree with the experts? What font do you use for your resume? Are you job searching right now? I'd love to hear your stories! Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go and update my resume a bit... xoxo

P.S. iPhone business cards, 5 tips for starting a new job and a peek inside my business cards! :)

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"I am nothing without love...I’m but a ship stuck in the sand...Some would say that I’m all alone...But I am, I'm nothing without love..." --Nate Ruess

[Photos via My Summer Twist]
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