Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Question of the Week: Question #12

Have a question? I'd love to hear it, so feel free to email me (mellow1422 [at] aol), friends! Today's question comes to us from Tiffany, who asks...

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I've always loved the movie Back To The Future. It got me thinking about both the past and the future. And then after thinking about how far I've come yesterday, this is the perfect time to think about the future, isn't it? Truthfully, I've always been a bit scared of the future. You all know by now that change and I aren't exactly the best of friends. Honestly, I sort of fear change, probably because I only think of it in terms of bad change. I've been so conditioned to brace myself for all the bad things that change will eventually bring that I've all but closed myself off to the possibility of good change. So it's been a struggle sometimes to see the silver lining in change, to see that good things -- even wonderful things -- can come from change. It's crazy to think that in 20 years, I'll be 50; maybe that will be the new 30? It will be the year 2032, which just sounds completely crazy to me. I see myself still writing, of course. I'd love to live in the Big Apple, maybe writing for a magazine (will magazines still exist?) or working on a book.
That's the practical side of me. The impractical dreamer in me? She wants to have her own talk show. How fun would that be? I can see myself musing about anything and everything!

What about you, friends? Where do you see yourself in 2032? Have you even thought about it? Do you worry about the future? Do you look forward to it? xoxo

P.S. Here are 52 reasons why Back To The Future rocks!

[Bottom photo via We Heart It]

Found: The perfect cure for Monday morning blues

Wouldn't these pennants be perfect for curing your Monday morning blues? You could hang them in your office and wave them every morning before you sat down to work. A little encouragement to start off your week on the right foot!

Tell me, friends: What's your go-to cure for a case of the Mondays? What gets you pumped up for the week? xoxo

Paris versus New York

Parisian graphic designer Vahram Muratyan's online series comparing his two favorite cities, Paris and New York, has long made the blog rounds. Well today, he releases Paris versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities, featuring 105 of his creative illustrations, including never-before-seen ones! I love Muratyan's knack for making everyone's beloved cities come alive on the page in such clever ways, with illustrations covering pop culture, food, even iconic landmarks. Here are a few of my favorites...
He describes his work as "a friendly visual match between two cities told by a lover of Paris wandering through New York. Details, clichés, contradictions: This way, please."

How awesome is that? Anyone feel like taking a little trip? Have you been to the City of Lights or the Big Apple, friends? Which one do you prefer, or is it impossible to choose? xoxo

Monday, January 30, 2012

Letters To My Future Husband: Letter #149.

Dear Mr. Melissa Blake:
I was looking at the calendar a few days ago and realized something: It's almost February 2012. I had to just stop for a moment as I felt a little lump form in my throat. I tried to cough, but it wouldn't budge. It intended to stay there until I acknowledged it. So I suppose I had no choice, I thought, as my mind drifted slowly back to almost one year ago -- to a few days before Valentine's Day in 2011.

It's the last time I was in the hospital for my depression.

There. I've said it. I sometimes wonder if I talk about it a lot with you, Sweetpea. Do I? I only say that because from where I am now, everything about that time in my life is still so fresh, so vivid in my mind. It's like that one movie scene (usually the gruesome one...) that you just can't seem to get out of your head no matter how hard you try. And that's not to say it's a bad thing. It's just, well, the way things are at the moment.
I know it probably sounds crazy, but I can't help but feel as if my struggles with depression define my life more than all my other surgeries combined. Not that it defines every aspect of my life, but I've certainly never marked anniversaries for my surgeries like I'm doing with my depression this year. So that has to mean something, doesn't it, Sweetpea? I've never been so excited and yet so terrified to reach a milestone -- so excited because I can finally look back and see just how far I've come, and terrified because I sometimes feel as though I'm always looking over one shoulder, making sure I don't let the depression somehow creep back into my life. It's all a fine balance sometimes, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm still trying to figure it all out.

I often wonder, too, where I'll be a year from now. Well, you already know the answer to that, but I don't, so just humor me here. A lot can happen in just one year, can't it? My entire life could change -- another thing that sounds both exciting and terrifying -- but I do know one thing: I want to still feel the way I feel right now. Because I feel strong. I feel like I've come a long way in the last year.
I won't pretend I'm all cured. I won't pretend I don't still have some days that are a heck of a lot easier than others. And I won't even pretend that I have all the answers. I don't. But my mom said something very interesting a few days ago. She said that the day I started my classic singing around the house was the day she knew I was getting better. I think she may be on to something, Sweetpea, don't you? Until we meet... xoxo

[Photos via Le Love

Sponsor Spotlight: Sweet Musings Paperie

Today, I've got an awesome interview with you, friends. Michelle of Sweet Musings Paperie, one of So About What I Said's newest sponsors, gives us the story behind her creativity and what likes best about her job. Read on...

Keep in touch...
Official Web site: Sweet Musings Paperie
Check out on Facebook
Follow on Pinterest
So tell me a bit about Sweet Musings Paperie.
Sweet Musings Paperie was started in August 2011 so it’s a relatively new shop. I’m slowly building up steam, enjoying meeting people, both clients and other sellers, and creating products that are whimsical, fashion focused and just simply make me smile and I hope, make my clients and followers smile too! It’s a little classic and a little contemporary.

What inspired you to start the shop?
This is sort of a long story, but I’ll try to make it short. I studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, and after I graduated, I started working as a Marketing Coordinator. Well, my full-time job and life sort of got in the way of my illustrations, and the more time went by, the more I missed it. Over the course of the five years since I graduated, I was working like crazy, I planned a wedding and got married, I bought a house and was trying to make it a home; sadly, my art was slipping farther away. And then I went to Paris on my honeymoon, and I came back with inspiration literally bursting out of my head and onto paper. I was creating illustration after illustration and developed the characters, Coco and Louie. From these two characters, I began creating products featuring them and other illustrations that made me smile. And with each of these products, I started Sweet Musings Paperie.
What's your best piece of advice for people looking for great online shopping deals?
I have a few things I do when looking for deals. I always wait until I have a coupon or there is a sale at stores. And I also try to look in the sale section first. I’m a big online shopper, and I love shopping sites like Gilt, Idelli and Beyond The Rack and similar sites that have designer sales. Other favorite stores and sites are ModCloth, Piperlime, ASOS and Target. I’ll spend more on classic pieces that I know I will want and have for years and look for the deals or shop lower-end for trendy pieces. I always shop around and compare.

In this recession economy, what are some ways people can still look chic for less?
I think you just have to be on the lookout. So many stores have deals all the time to try to bring customers in. And, as I said above, I love to shop stores like Target, ModCloth and ASOS for the really trendy pieces and then mix them with higher-end classics. It helps me feel chic without having to spend a lot.
What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
The custom illustration listing is definitely my favorite. Is that cheating since it’s always different and the project depends on the client?! It’s my favorite because I’ve met so many incredible people through the listing. I always end up feeling like I’ve made a new friend and got to know them and what makes them happy or what they care about. Each project has been so unique and so much fun for all kinds of reasons. I never know what someone will be requesting, and I know it will always be out-of-the-box, original and so personal for my client. I’ve worked on things like illustrations of pets for tote bags, wedding thank-you notes, shower invitations, blog headers and pictures of loved ones. So even if it is cheating, it’s by far my favorite listing.

P.S. A new Letter To My Future Husband is coming up soon! :)

Ferris Bueller Superbowl commercial

Breaking news: Matthew Broderick is back as Ferris Bueller! Have you guys seen the new Honda commercial that's set to debut during Sunday's Superbowl?
It's packed with more than 24 references to the classic '80s movie. Genius! How many can you spot, friends? xoxo

P.S. The Ferris Bueller house!

Man Candy Monday.

Good morning, friends! Can you believe it's the last week of January? I'm not sure where the time went, but it's a very exciting night tonight. Tonight marks the 100th episode of one of my favorite shows, so I thought it would be the perfect time to pay homage to my favorite actor on the show. Although I've featured his character before, this guy is a star in his own right. He's got an intriguing accent. He seems to be quite the prankster. And he seems like the sort of guy you'd want to talk to for hours...

ED WESTWICK!!!!!!!!!!

"I'm all for being in love and whenever I like someone, I end up pretty much completely smitten."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Have a cozy weekend

Happy Friday, friends! What are your plans for the weekend? I'm heading to the movies to see We Need To Talk About Kevin. Have you seen it? It looks pretty interesting, and I've always been a fan of psychological thrillers. While I'm enjoying my buttery popcorn (the best part about going to the movies, really), I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

Romance in New York City!

What music video would you like to be in?

Famous eyebrows.

Genius: Tea bag cookies!

Isn't this Colorado wedding beautiful?

Valentine's Day balloons.

Meet Ms. Brown, the newest M&M with a personality.

Photographers posing with their famous photos.

I want this dress.

The dangers of Pinterest...

In defense of messy desks (remember my desk?).

I miss Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Six things not to say to a childhood sweetheart.

A cape made of spider silk. Would you dare?

Genius: Interactive paintings.

Awesome nostalgic gizmos!

Neat.

A delicious Tumblr all about food!
[Photos via Wit + Delight]

Fashion Friday: Pocket squares

Let's turn the tables and talk about men's fashion today, shall we, friends? Remember when I mentioned how a wedding ring on a man is incredibly sexy? Well, the same goes for pocket squares.
They're so small, yet I'm pretty certain that you can tell a lot about a man by his pocket square of choice. Plus, they add a dash of dapper charm and an old-world gentlemen flair, don't you think, friends? I love the romantic feel too! xoxo

So, where do you fall in the Great Pocket Square Debate? Is it a do or a don't?

P.S. I'm also a huge fan of pocket protectors. They're beyond sexy, but more about that in another post. :)

[Top photo by The Sartorialist, via A Lovely Being]

Pencil bites test

This made me smile this morning. Which one are you, friends? xoxo

[Via I Love Charts]

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Would you rather: Live in the bustling city or in the quiet country?

Confession: Growing up, I had the best of both world. All my surgeries and hospital stays turned me into the utmost, uber-chic city gal. My senses took it all in. The tall buildings that stretched across the horizon. The classic Chicago smell – a mixture of pollution and whiffs of nearby Lake Michigan. The sound of a car honk in the distance or the music of a street performer. And the hoards of people rushing -- always rushing -- to their jobs, iPhones firmly in hand. I loved the hustle and bustle the big, expansive city had to offer.
But I also loved the calming quiet retreat awaiting me at home -- in a small town amidst the cornfields and far removed from the city. Summer picnics. A rocking chair on the front porch. A glass of tall lemonade perched on the wooden table. The sounds of the country and the ears of corn blowing in the wind sweeping over the field. Seeing for miles in the distance.
What about you, friends? Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? What do you like about the city? The country? Do you think it's possible for someone to be both? xoxo

[First two photos by Virginia Gálvez, bottom graphic via The Color]

Grandmother Tips: Part two

Chacho Puebla is back! He recently released part two of his hilariously brilliant (and true!) Grandmother Tips series. This time around, Puebla's great aunt is still front and center with those netiquette signs for navigating the perils of social networks, but there's a fun twist: readers are invited to share their own tips on the Grandmother Tips Facebook page. If your tip is chosen, you can even have your grandmother in the photo. How awesome is that?

[Via 22 Words]

Etsy Love: Terrarium postcards

Wouldn't these postcards be a neat way to give friends a little reminder of spring during the cold winter months?

P.S. Pick-up line postcards and postcard cups! :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Love Lounge: Perils of pressure

Let's talk pressure today, friends. You know, the kind that bears down on your shoulders and tries to get the best of you? It's an evil little monster, isn't it? And after some comments in yesterday's MEMO TO MEN, I got to thinking about all the pressure that comes with Cupid's arrow -- or lack of Cupid's arrow. The vicious cycle starts when we're teenagers. We see our friends having all these new experiences -- seeking out with boys, stealing secret kisses -- and we start to panic. We can't be the last of our friends to have these experiences, we think. So we sometimes just jump in head-without-heart to simply get it over with. Another item checked off our romantic to-do list. Done. Easy as that.

But somewhere down the line, we realize just what a mistake we've made. Maybe things don't feel the way they should. We don't feel those butterflies. We don't feel that giddy, school-girl glow coming over us. We feel, well, nothing. And it's the worst none-feeling feeling in the whole world. And that's when, sometimes, we realize that we let all that pressure get the better of us.
Well, me? I don't want to just do it. First kiss. First date. I don't want to just get them over with. Because that's not what any of them mean to me. They all mean something to me -- every first kiss, every first date, even every first fight -- and I don't want to be left feeling like I let someone else's pressure lead my heart into making the wrong decision. I'm starting to believe that things will naturally happen when they're supposed to, so I'm not going to rush things along. If I do, I'll miss the beauty of the scenery along the way. And something tells me I don't want to miss out on even one second of that beauty.

Do you ever feel that sort of pressure, friends? Are there certain things you've done just to get them over with? Was it worth it? Have your views changed as you've gotten older? xoxo

[Photos via Le Love]

Dream Home: Space bedroom

What an out-of-this-world bedroom -- literally! Ben and Tatjana, the husband-and-wife team from the Netherlands-based design studio Studio Aandacht, used the universe as inspiration when designing sons Max and Raf's room. Every night, you could pretend you were sleeping under a blanket of stars, or that your bed was a spaceship floating through the galaxy! Is it weird that I'm secretly thinking I want this room as an adult? :)

[Via Bloesem Kids]

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"These boots were made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do..." --Nancy Sinatra

[Photos via My Summer Twist]
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