Tag Archives: blogging

In Search Of: More Delight! (+20 ways to find it)

Hey guys! The other night I was clicking around on a few favorite bloggy-type sites (as ya do) and was struck by how many bloggers feature lists of cool things they want to do in the coming year or before they turn a certain age. What a great way to challenge yourself to mix it up. Plus, the added benefit of blogging = a)accountability, but also b)sweet content each time you check an item off the list!

Basically my blog was green with envy and I needed to hook her up with a list POST HASTE! But wait a minute, I thought to myself, we’re already 2.5 months into the new year and my birthday is FOREVER away. Can I really just put together a list like this on a random Tuesday??

Short answer: Yes. When you write the blog, you make the rules.

Long answer: I created this blog to encourage myself to keep looking for, and FINDING, delight. Actively searching for life’s unexpected pleasures is something I try to do on the daily. But making a list of things I expect to bring me joy works too. I don’t need to feel bad about not having an “occasion” to set myself up for delight. I can just make a list and start checking things off!

So here goes…

  1. Visit the Miami Seaquarium – Planning to check this one off THIS week!
  2. 10 Day Ballet Challenge 
  3. Rent a Surrey Bike
  4. 24 Hour Digital Detox 
  5. Mini Near-to-Home Vacay/Stay-cay – Don’t need a day’s drive to justify renting an Airbnb for the weekend. 
  6. Take a MOOC – Totally left-field subject matter encouraged. 
  7. Go on a Boat Tour or Day Cruise – Zip past Miami mansions and watch the sunset over the skyline or BETTER YET…head to the Bahamas for the day. 
  8. Complete a Whole 30
  9. Dine at a Posh Indian Restaurant
  10. Finish a Loom Knit Project
  11. Go Geocaching 
  12. Play a Super Involved Board Game 
  13. Plant an Herb Garden
  14. 30 Day Pilates Challenge
  15. Make a 3-Layer Birthday Cake
  16. Memoir Month – Challenge myself to read as many as possible before the calendar page turns.
  17. Support the Performing Arts at FIU – A night at the theater or ballet? Yes, please!
  18. Create a Piece of Art for Hanging 
  19. Visit a New City
  20. Eat Conch Fritters – When in Rome! 

I’m so excited to get started!

What’s on your “In Search Of: Delight” list? Do any of the items above strike your fancy? Which would you most like to see a blog post about? I’d love your thoughts!

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Finding Delight in 2015!

end of 2015 selfie

2015 has been an absolutely amazing year. So much happened (!!!) but I still can’t believe we’ll be on to a new year in just a few short hours. I’m so excited for everything 2016 holds in store but for now, CHEERS TO 2015! The year I saw my brother marry the love of his life. The year I watched my sister star in a musical she wrote. The year I cheered as Chet earned his PhD. The year I got engaged. And the year I packed up my Subaru and moved down to the very southern tippy-tip of the U.S. of A. I’ve made so many wonderful memories this year with my friends and family.

Having a blog is such a cool way to look back and reflect on all the neat things going on in my world over the past year. I’ve never been too great at life documentation. The commitment of keeping up a scrapbook seems over-whelming. I’ve tried to pour my heart out to diaries and journals to no avail. At the end of the day, I like writing and creating for other people. Not just myself. So, thank you! Thank you for checking out my corner of the internet once in a while. Thanks for reading what I have to say! It means the world to me…and it encourages me to write things down, cherish my memories, and feel blessed with good fortune.

I promise to keep posting in 2016! I hope you’ll swing through (and say “Hello!” if you do). But now, as we close the books on 2015 here on the blog, I’d like to take a look back at a few of my favorite posts from this year!

15 favorites from 2015:

Life Lessons: Handwriting A memory of a childhood decision inspires me to take a more assured path to self-improvement.

No-recipe Recipes Meals to turn to again and again when you’re too lazy to get fancy but too awesome at ballin’ on a budget to hit up a restaurant.

4 Career Building Tips for the Newly Hired How to make the most of your big kid job.

Restaurants are not Food Culture A lot of my year was spent working on the local food scene in Lexington; this post was inspired by the people, places, and food I encountered along the way.

My Reverse Bucket List There are tons of things I still want to do but sometimes it’s fun to reflect on the things I already have!

Photo Diary: Wedding in Savannah, GA Andy and Dawn get hitched!!!

We’re engaged! Chet asked me to marry him (on his own birthday no less!) and I SAID YES!

We moved to Miami! I left behind The Bluegrass State and now our home is in The Sunshine State.

5 Tips for Writing Killer Emails Sometimes you just gotta address your pet peeves via a blog post!

Showing off my new home workspace! Now that I’m working from home I thought it was important to create a functional and rad work station.

Full. The Musical My sister is a bad-ass. That’s all there is to say!

It’s my birthday!!! (+50 facts about ME.) I turned the big 3-0 this year and also shared some little nuggets about myself for y’all to enjoy.

I stopped paying women compliments on their appearance and here’s what happened. This was my most read post of 2015!

November Stitch Fix Stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a whole LOT of selfies in front of a full-length mirror…what can I say, I love Stitch Fix!

Delightful New Orleans Wedding Our dear friends Carrie and Ganer tied the knot and we had a blast celebrating their love.

And a few awesome guest posts: 

DIY: Peppermint Christmas Wreath Katie Nedvidek showed us how to make an adorable holiday wreath on a budget.

In Defense of “Go Set a Watchman” Katie Berger shared her thoughts on Harper Lee’s new book.

I talked to a woman for 4 hours on the train. Rachel Wigginton told a super touching story about an encounter with a stranger.

mid-week round-up #44 Adam Swanson took the reins for a link lovin’ Wednesday feature.

Cooking up a taste of home. Sheryl, Ashley, Katie, and Carrie tell us the foods they prepare for a little taste of home.

Happy New Year, my loves! I hope you find lots of delight in 2016!!! ❤

On Writing: A First Attempt at Self-Reflection.

typewriter

As you may have noticed, Finding delight. and writing in general have taken a bit of a backseat for me these last few weeks. Long work days, with long play days (I’m trying to enjoy Summer to it’s fullest while it lasts : ) interspersed as well, fill up my calendar to bursting. I figured this step away would be a great time to reflect on my writing. I strive to continue to grow and remain, as ever, a life-long learner. Here is a current assessment of my writing–

I’ve always felt an intense need to know the stories of others. Perhaps due to some innate, busybody quality so deeply ingrained in my curious person I seek them out without a moment’s hesitation. Or maybe, and this is certainly the more forgiving explanation I tend to hope is true, it is within these narratives I collect that my own story gains meaning. Yet peering down a dark, forgotten alleyway in someone else’s story in search of clues to create your own is troubling.  I once saw a newspaper cartoon sum up the marketability of our stories rather aptly. Two bookshelves were shown in the memoir section of a bookstore–one labeled “People with lives way better than mine,” the other “People with lives way worse than mine.” As a reader, these subsections are comforting. Escapism and reassurance. Self-help and self-congratulation. But as a writer, I end up wondering; how can I tell my own life without touting my privilege or weighing the tragedy I’ve encountered against others’? Will anyone peer around a corner in my life and, startled, run right into themselves?

As I’m seeking to incorporate my own story into my writing much more than ever before, not always as the subject of- but at least the framework for-, I find this familiarity with the stories of others to be both a strength and a weakness. I know how to tease emotion to the front of the page. I have an understanding of what readers find compelling. I am honest. But I worry about relatability. I worry about form and length. And most detrimental, I still believe I can make the words and thoughts of another more beautiful than I can make my own. The reader is my best friend and my greatest enemy. I concern myself with people’s perceptions and approval before the first word hits the page. I’m not going to bullshit and say I would write for no one, that is a lie. I want everything I write to be read. I write FOR readers. In the end, I believe this audience awareness is an asset.

All of this being said, there is no particular aspect of my writing which keeps me awake at night. Yes, I could stand a refresher course in grammar–specifically commas, my writing teacher brother so sweetly pointed out. (I can’t help that I love them.) I have a penchant for writing as if my words will be spoken not read. Sometimes my style is anything but succinct. But I’m not losing sleep over any of these assessments. I know they can be rectified with practice and patience. What keeps me awake at night are my ideas and brainstorms. I lie in bed going over all the directions a topic could go, the sentences that could snap, the sources I could pull from. Even the perfect wording to an email comes to me as I settle in and keeps me restless in the dark for hours. For far too long these thoughts were overwhelming and resulted in little more than daydreams and conversation fodder. But more and more, I am learning to just wake up and write.

In the coming weeks I shall explore what this assessment means for me as a blogger and will attempt to work towards regaining some consistency with my posts. I am working with a Writer’s Group for accountability purposes (which is super nerd-alert exciting for me) and camaraderie. My current goal for the next week is not just to WRITE but to work towards a more organized process. Any writers out there? What are your favorite organizational tips? I’d love to try my hand at some of your ideas or discuss them with my new writer’s crew. : ) 

 

 

In the name of transparency…

laddertothemoon

I’m not awesome at cooking and have never cooked my way through an entire cookbook in order to get awesome. I haven’t radically changed my diet to mirror neolithic, paleolithic or WWII times nor am I actively trying to shed pounds. I’m not training for anything. I don’t live in a gorgeous neighborhood in some hipster city or spend all my time going to concerts and flea markets. I’m not sartorially gifted. I haven’t taken any symposiums on HTML or photography.

I live in the real world. I have a full-time job and responsibilities and seasons of Netflix to watch. I don’t have time to do Pinterest projects every day of the week. I’m also kind of lazy and not independently wealthy. I like simplistic, sustainable approaches.

I feel like this “lazy girl” (read: simpler) approach to all of the above (learning, healthy living, cooking, discovering, decorating, dressing, business) is a voice lacking in the blogosphere. We all have busy lives, so why shouldn’t we focus on doing less in order to live more?  So, if you’re cool with this lazy girl’s commitment to life-long learning and search for the good life by way of an easier lifestyle then I think that’s what I can give ya. Some “smart laziness” if you will.

I really like the idea of maintaining a “lifestyle blog” for the breadth of editorial possibilities that can fall under the umbrella of “lifestyle.” But I’d like to highlight ways in which we can make our lives easier and happier. Cheaper and less stressful. I’d like to LEARN how to live a more thankful and productive life by writing about what’s working and what doesn’t instead of telling other people how to be. I’d like to share knowledge and books and adventures.

Basically, I just wanna write about the shit I wanna write about. Because I like to write and would love to get better. Because I want to have a greater purpose behind new tasks and research. Because I’m seeking a mental and creative outlet to supplement my day-to-day. Because sometimes I miss having an audience.

(Andddd….in total and COMPLETE transparency, if you’ve ever had any sort of online blogging presence and I know you even a little, I’ve probably read it because I’m a big internet stalking weirdo. So, I may as well return the favor and let you creep MY life for a change.)

I think that’s quite enough of the introductory, boring stuff. Let’s start the real fun tomorrow. : ) I’d like to devote Wednesdays to a mid-week round-up of links I’ve recently found and would like to share. So, check back tomorrow!

(Painting: Georgia O’Keefe, Ladder to the Moon. 1958.)