Friday, March 30, 2012

Have a fun weekend

Good evening, friends! Did you have a good week? What are you doing this weekend? I played hooky this afternoon and went to see The Hunger Games (Have you seen it? Did you like it?). I haven't read the books yet, but the movie has made me curious to see what happens next! Enjoy your weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

What a cute rainbow sweater.

A beautiful love story.

And a last-wish wedding.

Bravo, Pinterest!

First, there was the Switcheroo project. Now, there's Hana Pesut's fruit project.

Soft pretzels are soooo delicious, aren't they?

10 letters written by U.S. presidents.

The hard life of a 2-year-old.

London is still calling my name.

Easter fun for the grown-up set.

How pretty are these porches?

Lovely reminders.

Remember my thoughts on cheating? Well, here are 9 supposedly legitimate reasons...

Can't get enough of the pizza sleeping bag? There's a baked potato bean bag chair too!

Look, it's Mad Men's Sally!

Did you buy a lottery ticket?

Aren't cherry blossoms the perfect sign of spring?

How wild are these geometric rooms?

A toddler's rules of possessions...

[Photo via Bippity Boppity Boo]

Fashion Friday: Ombre tights

The ombre trend seems to be everywhere right now, and thanks to Tiffany, we can add one more place to the list: Your legs! How beautiful are her hand-dyed tights, which come in shades of navy, sunset (my personal favorite...), coal and fuschian violet. Bravo, Tiffany! xoxo

[Via Happiness Is...]

Pizza sleeping bag

I've never been much of a camping gal, but this pizza sleeping bag made by B Fiber and Craft Emporium almost has me daydreaming of laying under the stars or roasting gooey s'mores by the campfire. Who's with me? xoxo

[Via CMYBacon]

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tear Me Down

One word, friends: Bullies. I honestly don't get them. They're sad. They're cowards. I wrote this one this afternoon with those thoughts in mind. If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that I won't stand for anyone getting bullied. Ever. xoxo
So here we are, crossing paths again
I walk by and avoid your gaze
Because nothing I say ever makes a difference
You just hear what you want to hear
And make up your own mind anyway

You, you try to take me down
Try to make me second-guess myself

You thought it would be easy to tear me down
It won't be
You thought you were intimidating
It doesn't work on me
I've grown into the person I want to be
So why isn't that enough for you?

Since when do you think you're better than everyone?
It must be hard to see the world from way up high
Wearing your crown and sitting on your throne
Do you ever feel alone?

You, you try to take me down
Try to make me second-guess myself

You thought it would be easy to tear me down
It won't be
You thought you were intimidating
It doesn't work on me
I've grown into the person I want to be
So why isn't that enough for you?

Well, good luck on your mission
Your mission of destruction

You thought it would be easy to tear me down
It won't be
You thought you were intimidating
It doesn't work on me
I've grown into the person I want to be
So why isn't that enough for you?

You thought it would be easy to tear me down
It won't be
You thought you were intimidating
It doesn't work on me
I've grown into the person I want to be
So why isn't that enough for you?


[Photo via We Heart It]

Underwater ink

I had to do a double-take when I spotted a due Colori, the newest photo series of underwater ink captured by Italian mastermind Alberto Seveso. I love how the colors blend...doesn't the ink look like a silk scarf in some of the photos? Genius! xoxo

P.S. His Ink Surfing is equally amazing! :)

[Via Eight Hour Day]

Sponsor Spotlight: Meant For A Moment

I love the idea behind Tara's shop, Meant For A Moment: Each item is designed for a single moment in time. Read on for the inside scoop on her inspirations and how she found the courage to follow her dreams...

Keep in touch...
Official Web site: Meant For A Moment
Become a fan on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
So tell me a bit about you and your shop.
My Meant For A Moment shop is filled with illustrated prints, stationery and custom illustration options that really are meant for a moment. None of my designs are created specifically for any occasion. Each one is created as a sentiment you would see or read and think, "Oh, that is so Susan right now," hence the name, Meant for a Moment. It is most important to me to be unique. All of my designs are hand-drawn or painted by me. My Etsy shop features all of my uniquely illustrated designs, recognized for their whimsical nature and loving sentiments. In my shop, you can purchase custom illustrations, M4aM stationery and illustrated prints.

What inspired you to start the shop?
I was working a really tedious 9-5 job as a graphic designer, and I was yearning for more creativity in my life. Sitting inside the walls of my cubicle was cramping my style, and I didn't feel like I had that glow any more. Illustrating always gave me a glow of confidence, and I had lost it in the mix of my 9-5 job. So I made a deal with myself, 'to be remarkable.' And that's how it all began. On my lunch breaks, I would sketch greeting card designs and write clever, quirky little sentiments all over anything I could find. My mind became consumed with the creations of this card line, "Meant For A Moment." Everything I saw turned into a future card. Friends would catch me saying, "Oh, that would be a great greeting card!" all the time. It was really a fun time. As word spread about my illustrative pursuit, I began to receive inquires about custom illustrations. Soon, I had enough inertia, energy and courage to follow my dream. I left my 9-5 job and created my company, "Meant for a Moment Designs." I opened my Etsy store a few months after I had all my ducks in a row, and it has been a glowing adventure ever since.

In this recession economy, what are some ways people can still look chic for less?
I have been hooked on Pinterest, and I have found some amazing hair tutorials that are out of this world. With a combo of great nails and hair, you can have your sloppiest fashion mishap ever, but people will notice your pretty hands and styled hair and know that under it all you really have it 'going on'!

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?Most of my greetings and prints are inspired by someone in my life. my dad says it's like reading my diary; I laugh because he is kind of right. I really love the Hold Your Hand print that reads "It's not going to be easy she said, but if you promise to never let go of my hand I think I could hold onto yours forever" I was falling madly in love when I created this print, and it is actually a drawing of my fiance, Dave, and I -- we're in the midst of planning our wedding for July. It was a super amazing time for me to feel so in love with someone so fast. I actually gave him the print for our first Christmas together, and it is hanging in our bedroom now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Letters To My Future Husband: Letter #153.

Dear Mr. Melissa Blake:
A reader posed a rather interesting question a few weeks ago...

How long are you going to write these letters?

Hmmm, I didn't know exactly how to respond. Maybe that's because, really, I've never given the question much thought. But I suppose it's one to think about. How long will I write to you? Another month? Another 6 months? Another year? Until we meet? Until we get married? I'm not sure. Usually, I cringe at the thought of uncertainty (as you'll learn, Sweetpea), but I'm OK with this unknown, at least for now. I'm not in any big rush to hurry up and finish writing these letters because writing them, actually, is half the fun. When I think back over all the letters (and there have been a lot, Sweetpea), I've honestly learned just as much about myself as I've learned about what I want for us and imagined what our life will be like together. Who says that has to end? Seems to me you can't ever really put a time table on that, can you?
Truthfully, maybe these letters don't have a definitive ending. Maybe it''s impossible to draw some neat little line and be able to say, "Yes, the story contained in these letters in complete." Because like these letters, life is never really complete. Our life story, I mean. I know, I know. There is a literal ending when we die, of course, but what about the time leading up to that? When can we say, without a doubt that, "Yes, I've made it. This is exactly where I'm supposed to be"?

Some say this whole life business is a linear process. I'm not so sure I agree. Because sometimes, we will regress. I know I have. Sometimes, we will jump ahead one step too many and get ahead of ourselves. I know I have. And probably more than once, we'll fight it every step of the way. Sometimes it's the scariest things in life that give us those special moments to reflect upon later in life, when we're old and gray and sitting on our front porch sipping our lemonade and chuckling at the crazy stuff we did as a bumbling youth - like the time I refused to eat lunch in the car in Arkansas on a 95-degree day out of principle. "Keep driving," I told my mother. Needless to say, I was near dehydration by the time we arrived at the hotel three hours later. Another lesson learned, I guess. What? I've never told you that story? Oh, just you wait, Sweetpea.
Searching. Exploring. Laughing. Crying. I suppose that's the transformative journey these letters have taken me on. And I don't intend to get off the ride any time soon, Sweetpea. Until we meet... xoxo

[Photos via Le Love

Dream Home: Balloon lamp

I'm in love with the magical feel of this balloon-shaped lamp this morning. Created by Francesc Crous and Alessandro Calogero, the bright minds (pun intended) behind Barcelona-based studio CrousCalogero, it reminds me of a whimsical fairytale and would be perfect for a child's room, don't you think, friends? Plus, you can suspend it from the ceiling for a nice, soft glow. Part of me secretly thinks it would be fun to pull that string and daydream of flying away! xoxo

P.S. Five more balloon-themed posts.

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

[Via My Modern Met]

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"And there's no where in the world I'd rather be...than here in my room dreaming about you and me." --Selena

[Photos via My Summer Twist]

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

MEMO TO MEN: The value of honesty

MEMORANDUM
TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: The honest truth
DATE: March 27, 2012
Boys, every so often when I'm watching TV, someone will say something that just resonates pure truth to me. Take a recent episode of Revenge, for example, in which this guy utters these words...

Whether we're together for a day, a week, a year, 10 years or forever, I'll always be honest with you.

Oh, honesty. That little word. It's a pesky little word, isn't it, boys? And yet, it holds so much weight in relationships -- both romantic and platonic. Maybe that's why, then, it's always surprised me when I see basic honesty ranking pretty low on some people's priority list; sometimes, it seems like honesty isn't even valued at all, instead, merely cast aside as if it were yesterday's trend. Dishonesty. It's almost become one of those nasty habits. Sure, it starts out small. Maybe you tell little white lies about what you did with your friends last night. But before you know it, lies are rolling off your tongue so fast and easy that even you're beginning to believe them. It's a scary thought, isn't it? It would be so easy to fall in one fell swoop and fall down the rabbit hole of your lies.
And by being honest, I'm not just talking about honesty when it's convenient for you, boys. I'm talking about full-blown, would-never-dream-of-lying honesty. There's comfort in knowing that at least one person in the world will always be honest with you, isn't there? It makes you feel as though you have someone to walk beside you in this crazy world, where everything can feel so uncertain at time. This can make all the difference in the world. I can guarantee that I will always be honest with you, boys. No matter what. Of all the ingredients for a healthy relationship, honesty takes the cake for me.

Because honesty, boys, comes down to a matter of respect. Respect for the other person. Respect for the relationship. And of course, respect for yourself. It means that you value yourself and the other person to want to make things work, to try your best and see where this relationship will take you. And that's the honest truth, boys. What do you think...? xoxo

[Photos via Le Love]

Question of the Week: Question #18

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 Shannon, who asks...

You have mentioned in past blogs that you don't drink. I was wondering, is that for medical reasons, social stigma, or just because you don't like it? Have you ever drank before? Do people in your family drink?
The short answer: No. I don't not drink for medical reasons. I don't not drink because I'm a recovering alcoholic. Truth be told, I've never drank before. I know that's not the most popular answer for someone my age, but honestly? I've never understood the allure of drinking. There are too many instances where said drinking has gone beyond what would be considered social drinking and into the danger zone -- the kind that leave you stumbling and mumbling and running off to Las Vegas looking for the next available Elvis impersonator. What is appealing about that? I'd much rather wake up in the morning and remember what happened the night before than have zero recollection of anything. That would terrify me. Yes, some may think this is being a prude, but I suppose what is comes down to is not wanting to lose that control that comes with alcohol-induced inhibition. Because, really, you can enjoy anything just as well sober as you can when you've kicked back a few -- is that the correct term?

Now don't get me wrong. I'll be the first to admit that I've developed my share of vices in my 30 years. At the top of my list is that pesky little devil known as retail therapy. It's evil, I tell you, pure evil. In fact, I'll be indulging in it today. I can shop with the best of them. So I suppose we all have our unhealthy habits, don't we? I guess drinking has just never been one of mine. Besides, being less than 4-feet tall, it probably wouldn't take too much to get me tipsy... xoxo

[Photo via Le Love]

Switcheroo

Hana Pesut's photography project Switcheroo features couples dressed as one another. How mesmerizing are these photos? My mind is totally blown by the photos of three and four people! Eeeps! Do you wear your significant other's clothes? Would you? xoxo

P.S. Isn't switcheroo just an awesome word? It's one of my favorites! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet Musings Paperie Giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Michelle of Sweet Musings Paperie. She creates stationery, prints and bags -- all with a whimsical twist. Her prints, especially, make me want to jump through the computer screen and into the action. Don't you love the vibrant colors?

She's offering a $15 gift certificate and free shipping on any item in her shop to one lucky reader. What would you choose, friends? My favorite is this relaxing beach print or this twirl tote bag (because we all know how much I dream of twirling...).

For your chance to win, simply visit Sweet Musings Paperie, and leave a comment below, along with your email address. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow afternoon. Happy hunting, friends! xoxo

Update: Congrats to winner Ann. Thanks so much! :)

Love Lounge: Did you have a quarter-life crisis?

Did you have a quarter-life crisis, friends? I was reminded of my own little mid-'20s, post-college, what-the-heck-am-I-doing? meltdown when I discovered Lizzy Stewart's illustrations. Her sentiments are spot-on -- all that wondering where your life is going, wondering why things aren't magically falling into place after graduation and seeing your late '20s looming on the horizon.
It happened to me a few years after I graduated from college. It was one of those moments that sticks in your head like a movie you know you'll never forget. I was shopping, and as I was checking out, the cashier said, "Thank you, ma''am."

Ma'am.

What happened after that is sort of a blur. I probably just mumbled a thank you in return and got out of there as fast as I could. When did I become a ma'am? How did I go from a youthful young lady to a ma'am, I thought? -- a term reserved for, well, lack of a better word, not me. Ma'ams were the sort of women you'd see playing afternoon Bingo and telling "In my day" stories. The fact was that I didn't feel like an adult. At all. So when had I become one? Somewhere along the way, I got to thinking that once I got that coveted college degree in my hands, everything would fall into place as if the stars were aligned just for me. I'd have everything figured out.

The real truth? I was actually left more confused. Who was I? What did I want in life? Where was I going? For the first time since kindergarten, my "life canvas" was blank. It was time for me to forge my own path, for me to make my own to-do list and for me to paint that canvas.

Did you feel like this when you were 25, friends? Do you know anyone who went through this? What has helped you deal with those growing pains the most? If you're not 25 yet, do you think you'll grapple with these issues when you hit the milestone birthday? xoxo

Guest Post: Luck be a (Mad Men) lady

Hello there! It's Jillian from cornflake dreams, and like Melissa, I am a huge Mad Men fan. I was so excited to see the show return on AMC last night! As a marketing communications and design professional, it was easy for me to get sucked into the swanky advertising world of the 60s. I admire all the hard work that goes into each episode - all the retro fashion, music and decor is spot-on. It's fun to watch the show with my mom. who will occasionally shout out "your grandmother had a clock like that!" or laugh because a product's packaging brings back a memory from her childhood. Above all, I love the clothing and accessories of the characters. Betty, Peggy and Joan all dress like ladies and it makes me wish i had more lady-like dresses hanging in my closet.
via - via - via - via
The show has inspired its own collection over at Banana Republic. Here are a few of my favorite pieces...
I would love to incorporate a few of these lady-like retro-inspired dresses into my wardrobe...
Are you a mad men fan? Who are your favorite characters?! (I love Joan + Rodger Sterling). A huge thank you to Melissa for inviting me to guest post! Stop by cornflake dreams any time for more fashion, travel and design inspiration.

xo,
Jillian of cornflake dreams


P.S. I'm also guest posting for Jillian today. Hop on over and read my favorite Mad Men fashion here .

Man Candy Monday.

Good morning, friends! I'm excited to share today's lovely lad with you. Let's continue with the funny fellas trend, shall we? My sister introduced me to this guy a couple of years ago, and I haven't stopped laughing since. He always keeps you smiling. He isn't afraid to be himself. And he seems like the type of person who you'd feel completely comfortable around...

BILL HADER!!!!!!!!!!

Fun fact: Bill knew he would marry his future wife the very first time they met because she had Star Wars curtains in her living room.
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