Friday, September 30, 2011

Have a lovely weekend

Happy Friday, friends! First, I'd love to welcome new sponsors Barberry & Lace, I Adorn U and Blowfish Shoes -- check out all the awesome goodies they have to offer! How was your week? What do you have planned for the weekend? I'm excited to see the new film 50/50 tomorrow (have you seen it?), and then on Sunday, we're going out with some friends. Plus, it's quite the exciting time for my town. Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid are back in town shooting an upcoming movie, so you know I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for them. I hope you all enjoy the first weekend of October (where did the time go...?! I've got another fun series planned for next week, but in the meantime, here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

The joy of being a twin.

Wouldn't you love to live in this farm house?

The English countryside.

Do you have a craft room?

Dorothy's ruby slippers are going on the auction block!

Aww: Barbie and Ken's wedding photos.

Smoothie, anyone?

The power of uncles...

No more apologies.

The most powerful women in business.

Remember these tattoos? More pretty ones here.

Colorful architecture.

Genius: An autumn party!

A funny way to make friends.

Adorable.

Stop bullying now. (More on bullying next week...)

I love this dress, don't you?

Everything about Odette is amazing...

Geek love.

Spooky Lego houses just in time for Halloween.

I sort of miss old telephones, don't you?

Finish this sentence: A perfect partner would...

[Photo by Nikaela Peters]

Fashion Friday: Polo pride

I just couldn't resist sharing the newest addition to my polo-shirt collection. Sign...oh, polo shirts, how I love you.

Do you have a favorite shirt, friends? One that you wouldn't mind wearing all the time if you could? xoxo

Girl Crush: Adele

Three words: I love her. Her voice. Her lyrical genius. Amazing.

...and her new song, Someone Like You? Yes, it's pretty much my new theme song. Isn't she brilliant? Sigh...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gold arrow bracelet giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from new sponsor Mary Beth of I Adorn U, an Etsy shop where she "blends the surrealism of Las Vegas with the naturalism of the desert to create a unique art form that combines the fantastic and unexpected." And her pieces are just that: Fantastic, whimsical and unique. From the Best Friend necklace to the adorably cute gold bunnies bracelet to the Coral Flight bracelet, the items all have a dainty elegance to them, don't you think, friends? What do you like? Do you have a favorite?

Mary Beth is offering this Gold Arrow bracelet to one lucky reader. It would be the perfect gift for a friend, wouldn't it? I'd love to wear it for good luck too!

For your chance to win, simply visit I Adorn U, and leave a comment below, along with your email address. And for an extra entry, LIKE I Adorn U on Facebook. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow evening. Good luck, friends! xoxo

Update: Congrats to winner Jen! Thanks so much! :)

MEMO TO MEN: The "L" word

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: Three magic words.
DATE: September 29, 2011
Boys, you're about to witness to a very historic moment today. A day that, quite honestly, I never thought would come sometimes. A day I thought was out of the realm of all possibilities. A day that I thought had as much chance of happening as my going an entire day without doing something completely and utterly awkward.

But, boys, the day has arrived. There's no point of postponing the inevitable, so I'll just come right out and say it. Alright, here it goes...

I. Am. Humbled.

Yes, you read that correctly. I've been humbled...something in this wide, expansive cosmos has caused me to jump back in amazement and awe. You, the majority of you boys, say "I love you" first in relationships. According to a study, two-thirds of couples report that the guy gushed "I love you" first. Now, granted, I don't have any stats from years past for comparable purposes, but this seems pretty spectacular to me, don't you think?
So this has me wondering: What pushes you over the edge into I-want-to-say-I-love-you territory? Is it the stars of fate that are aligning so well? Are you just tired of being single? And what happens if I don't return the lovely gesture? I don't want to say "I love you" because I feel like I have to, and you know very well that I'm not going to say it if I don't damn well mean it.

But just to play Devil's Advocate here: Is there a reason women are hesitant to be the first ones to drop the "L" bomb? Do we view a man saying "I love you" differently than we view a woman saying the same three words? Women are seen as needy and vulnerable when they put their feelings on their sleeves, so maybe women aren't as quick to throw those words around so quickly. Men, on the other hand, are seen as feeling and sensitive when they express their feelings, so maybe they feel a bit more comfortable being the first to say it.
So is there really a stigma attached to who utters those three fateful words first, boys? Do you have any stories to share? I'd love to hear! xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

National Coffee Day: What's on your mind?

Today is National Coffee Day, and since it's been grey and a bit rainy this week, I'd love to know: What's on your mind? Let's pour some virtual coffee (or hot chocolate, if you like...) and chat!! xoxo

P.S. You can get free coffee at Krispy Kreme and 7-Eleven.

P.P.S. A MEMO TO MEN coming your way shortly!

[Photo via Pinterest]

Dream Vacation: San Francisco fog

With Halloween just a little over a month away, how beautiful (and almost haunting) are these photos of San Francisco by photographer Terence Chang? The fog gives the city a sort of mysterious vibe. I've always loved fog and find it incredibly calming and romantic, don't you? Have you ever been to San Francisco, friends? xoxo

P.S. Of course, if you do go to San Francisco, don't forget to wear some flowers in your hair. And, yes, now that song is going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day... :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love Lounge: The upside of unrequited love

Friends, we've talked about unrequited love before. And you know that I'm all too familiar with the perils of unrequited love -- it tends to taunt me like a wild night in Vegas, only with less fan dancers and glitzy slot machines. But what we haven't talked about very much? The person you become years later, long after said unrequited love has walked out of your life and out of your heart.

Take ex-Marine Man, for example. Remember him? We were co-editors of my old college newspaper (ironically, the one I am now the adviser for...). I was a young, naïve (OK, more naïve) girl who had just turned 20, and he was a "mature" 25-year-old who had seen the world and lived. I would have gone to the ends of the Earth for this guy. That was the best year of my college career -- and before you say anything, yes, I still managed to learn a thing or two about journalism. The year ended, and like the changing of the seasons, time passed, and we went our separate ways.

But then I started to realize something: All those "loves that never were" did in fact change me. They helped me grow as a person. It was weird, but even though ex-Marine Man and I hadn't dated, it sort of felt a bit like a breakup, almost as if I was saying goodbye to a part of me. True, ex-Marine Man didn't know how I felt, but that didn't stop us from forming a friendship, and we're changed forever by friendships, whether we admit it or not.
So maybe we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss these as failed attempts at love and regret them in one fell swoop. Maybe, after all, they do have a place in our lives. Maybe it's only in looking back years later, through the lens of time, that we can figure out where exactly that place is. For me, maybe that place is a newspaper office where two editors once poured over huge dummy layouts (yes, this was in the stone age before the days of InDesign). It's a nice place to go to every once and awhile.

I'm curious, friends: What was the unrequited love that made the biggest impact on you? How did it change you? Did you ever end up telling the person how you felt? Do you think unrequited love is overrated? I'd LOVE to hear your stories... xoxo

Three pretty things: The Etsy edition

A deer pillow to lull you into sweet dreams of your wishes...
A bracelet to give to a friend so she never forgets about her wishes...
...and a set of fall stationery to send well wishes to your favorite people.

Tell me, friends: What is your wish today? xoxo

P.S. A special surprise in the comments... :)

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"But if you can’t look inside you...find out who am I to...be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty." --TLC

[Photos via My Summer Twist]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Letters To My Future Husband: Letter #136.

Dear Mr. Melissa Blake:
I recently came across this interesting quote from Oscar Wilde...

"Men always want to be a woman's first love. Women have a more subtle instinct: What they like is to be a man's last romance."

I'll be the first to admit, Sweetpea, that I've never given much thought to the order of things when it comes to our relationship and its place in time. Well, OK, maybe I've thought about it just a little bit. The insecure part of me is certain that you wooed quite the prettiest of beauties by the time I waltzed into your life. On the other hand, the over-inflated ego part of me is certain that you will have absolutely no idea what a great love is until you lock eyes with me for the first time.
But beyond that, I do wonder: Is the number of people we've dated before each other really so important? It seems like there's a pride thing that goes along with a guy being a woman's first love. Maybe you don't want to be compared to anyone else and don't want your own insecurities to get in the way of the relationship. Surely, we are going to grow and learn things from our past relationships -- things we'll take with us on our journey together -- so maybe this need to be the first love shouldn't be so important, you know? It sort of boggles my mind, though, when I think about what you'll have been like in a past relationship and what you'll be like when we meet. The same person? More confident? More mature? Maybe you'll have become a better listener (I hope so...) or developed a party habit (I hope not...).

And, is there even a difference between love and romance? Do they even mean the same thing? Is one better than the other? Does one last longer than the other? Because, really, doesn't everyone want the one that endures. No one wants the one that is fleeting and feels like more of a summer romance than a life-long love affair. I know that's the kind I'm looking forward to. I want the one that is serious, passionate and all-encompassing.
And another thing I'm certain of? I'm going to be your greatest love affair of all time. I'm going to be your last great romance, and we're going to be in this crazy, wild, rollercoaster of a love affair together. For the long haul. You're stuck with me, Sweetpea, so buckle up! Until we meet...

[Photos via Le Love]

Banana bread

I have a new food obsession, friends: Banana bread. We've been making batches of it like crazy around our house in the last few weeks, and it's the perfect warm treat for a fall night. I've even added a sweet glaze to the top -- you know my penchant for sweets, friends! I'm dying to try the recipe here.

What about you, friends? What homemade treats have you made recently? Are you a baker? If so, what's your favorite food to bake? What recipes are you dying to try? Let's chat, shall we? xoxo

P.S. Another homemade favorite!

P.P.S. A Letter To My Future Husband coming up this afternoon! :)

Ranch wedding

How romantic is this Colorado wedding? Marcy and Dave chose Colorado, or Coco as they call it, because that was the place they started their journey together just a few years ago.
I'm loving all the little touches, like the rings holders, the cute folded-paper game (which contained instructions like "kiss the groom" or "kiss the bride") and of course, the adorable flower girls... xoxo

[Photos by Aubrey Joy]

Monday, September 26, 2011

Never Be You

I wrote this one over the weekend. I got to thinking how we'll always encounter people who criticize us and try to make us doubt just who we are, All too often, we take their words as the truth. But what we really need to realize? Their words, no matter how strong they seem at the time, are just not worth listening to. :)
Is the sky falling on your world tonight?
'Cause you're realizing it's your cold heart that's your only company
You can pretend that you're better, but we both know that pretending forever is such a long time
away I don't need you to tell me who you think I should be
I've already figured it out on my own

You thought you had me fooled
Thought that I'd do whatever you wanted me to
Thought you could break me without even trying
I once stood in your shadow, stood close enough for you to touch
But now I can see the sun, it's coming up
And don't you know I've never seen such a beautiful morning
So go ahead and try to tear me down, tell me I'll never make it
It doesn't matter anyway 'cause I know who I am
I'll never be, I'll never be, I'll never be you

You're so used to being on top
Does it make you feel better to push me to the ground?
But you forget, your words, they no longer sting
You think you've won, but you'll never get the best of me

You thought you had me fooled
Thought that I'd do whatever you wanted me to
Thought you could break me without even trying
I once stood in your shadow, stood close enough for you to touch
But now I can see the sun, it's coming up
And don't you know I've never seen such a beautiful morning
So go ahead and try to tear me down, tell me I'll never make it
It doesn't matter anyway 'cause I know who I am
I'll never be, I'll never be, I'll never be you

And oh, you forget, oh yes, you forgot, your words, they no longer sting
You think you've won, but you'll never get the best of me

You thought you had me fooled
Thought that I'd do whatever you wanted me to
Thought you could break me without even trying
I once stood in your shadow, stood close enough for you to touch
But now I can see the sun, it's coming up
And don't you know I've never seen such a beautiful morning
So go ahead and try to tear me down, tell me I'll never make it
It doesn't matter anyway 'cause I know who I am
I'll never be, I'll never be, I'll never be you

You thought you had me fooled
Thought that I'd do whatever you wanted me to
Thought you could break me without even trying
I once stood in your shadow, stood close enough for you to touch
But now I can see the sun, it's coming up
And don't you know I've never seen such a beautiful morning
So go ahead and try to tear me down, tell me I'll never make it
It doesn't matter anyway 'cause I know who I am
I'll never be, I'll never be, I'll never be you


[Photo via My Summer Twist]

Mobile garden

How would you like to ride to work in a greenhouse on wheels? That was the inspiration behind the world's largest mobile art exhibition in Chicago. As part of the recent Art on Track festival, riders hopped on board the famous el train and were greeted by windows, seats and floors that had been turned into a lush, living gardens. Even more awesome: The train circled Chicago's downtown Loop for 5 hours. Wouldn't it be so peaceful to take a train like this to work every morning? It would sure beat those sometimes-smelly, dirty and loud trains, don't you think?

What is your morning commute like, friends? Do you take a bus? A car? Or do you walk? Fun fact: My father walked to work nearly every single day and loved it! xoxo

[Via This Is Colossal]

Man Candy Monday.

Good Monday morning, friends! How are you doing this morning? I've been featuring quite a few funny fellows lately, so I thought we'd continue with the trend -- you can never really have too much laughter in your life, can you? This guy's smile makes me weak in the knees. He's quite skilled at carrying a conversation (yay for small talk!, and he seems like a giant kid at heart, which is always incredibly sweet...

JIMMY FALLON!!!!!!!!!!




Friday, September 23, 2011

Have a romantic weekend

My awesome friends, what do you have planned this weekend? Being the first weekend of fall, a little trip to the apple orchard, perhaps? We picked up our first batch of apple cider donuts today, and I've been tempted all afternoon to just dive right in...aren't they delicious? And speaking of food, I'm also planning on heading to one of my favorite restaurants. Have you been to Sweet Tomatoes? I'll see you next week, but in the meantime, check out my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

Genius: Cheat sheet placemat!

This fabric is perfect for fall, don't you think?

Should you forward that email? (Hilarious!)

What's your secret?

You've got it, Sandra Bullock!

What a beautiful blog.

A new way to buy gift cards...

Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?

Best friends forever.

Ahhh, a relaxing pool...

A hilarious guide on how children play with toys...

Oh, commas, you funny little things...

Yay, grilled cheese!

Congrats, Jillian!

Sigh...a gorgeous fall party.

How do you deal with procrastination?

So many pretty colors...

Hello, Don Draper!

These bobble head robots are cute.

A lovely simple wedding dress...

...and a beautiful countryside wedding in Australia!

[Photo via Brookelyn Photography]

Fashion Friday: J.Crew's fall collection

I can't help but love the retro, '60s-mod vibe of J.Crew's fall collection. Don't you love the eye-popping colors, too?

P.S. Isn't that trench coat awesome? :)

[Via Refinery29]

First day of fall

Happy official first day of fall, friends! Can't wait for cider donuts, relaxing in front of a warm fire and of course, comfy sweaters!

[Photo via Pinterest]
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