Sunday, September 29, 2013

Best of the Blogs Pinterest Link-Up!

Well, it's the moment we've all been waiting for...the Best of the Blogs Pinterest Link-Up! Three weeks ago, I challenged you guys to make a special Pinterest board as a way to spread the word about our favorite, small blogs. We chose a minimum of five blogs with under 300 followers, and then pinned at least one favorite post from that blog. The goal was to try and help these blogs to get more followers, so they will be encouraged to keep blogging and posting the writing we love!

Before we get to the linking-up, I thought I'd spotlight the blogs I shared on my board....


Two pins from The Secret O.W.L Society.

Two pins from Avoiding Atrophy.

Two pins from Rainbows and Penguins!

One pin from A Country Victorian.


Now for the linking! Don't forget to link to your actually Pinterest Best of the Blogs board...not your account, not your blog, your board! Also please make sure you've pinned this event button (at the top of the page), and that it links back to either this post or the announcement post. And most importantly, be sure to check back in later to visit everyone's boards!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Some inspiration to get you to the weekend....

{On Pinterest}
...Remind Yourself...

{On Pinterest}
...Stay Creative...

{On Pinterest}
...Don't listen to small minds...

{On Pinterest}
...Don't just tolerate...

{On Pinterest}
...Just have some fun....

{On Pinterest}
...Sometimes, you need to fall down a rabbit hole....

{On Pinterest}
...So get out there!...

{On Pinterest}
...All you can control, is how you handle something...

{On Pinterest}
...Go do them!...

{On Pinterest}
...Too short...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Creativity and Adventures

{via}
As a chronically lazy person, I do best with a busy schedule. Ironic? Maybe, but it's true. When I have free days, I end up spending too much time on the computer, or watching TV, or something else a little bit useless. On busy days, though, I find the most inspiration. I feel more relaxed and upbeat after a crazy, creative, happy day than one I actually spent resting. That's not to say I don't feel the need for breaks...I do. It's just that my best breaks consist of spending an awesome weekend working at a fair with the best friends a girl could hope for (like last weekend!), curling up with books that might be challenging but are worth it, and finally tackling a pile of clutter. 

I said I was lazy....but I do like a sense of accomplishment. 

To me, happiness means creativity, creativity leads to adventure, and adventure means a full life. So really, it all comes down to an attitude. If I wake up in the morning and consciously decide to make the best of the day and live with a zest for life, it will be a great day. 

Sometimes, I forget that my big goals, like skating and school, are part of being creative, too. I'll start to view them as chores, instead of as opportunities that will lead to even greater opportunities. Instead of feeling like I 'can't be creative right now' because I don't have time to write a novel, I should find little ways to instill that creative attitude into every aspect of my life.

If there's one thing that's rang out loud and clear to me, it's that life is an adventure. Some people's adventures consist of exploring the Amazon and touring Europe...and some don't. But that's OK. Because the act of living, of relationships, of getting an education, of reading, of working, of doing every little thing throughout your day, is an adventure. 

So go live your life. Work towards something big. Get up and do that little task you've been dreading, because it will bring you closer to your goal. And drink a cup of tea while doing it. I swear it will make it more enjoyable.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Channeling the 1920's

Reader (and awesome friend) Emily requested a post with 1920's-inspired outfit for Gatsby Day at her school's spirit week, so here we go! (First reader request! *psyched*).

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Most people have a pretty clear picture of 20's fashion. I mean, flappers are pretty hard to forget. That being said, I think it's one of the hardest eras to emulate while using modern pieces. Here are some tips for creating a look evocative of the times! :)

Go Full Glamour
{via}
Remember, the 1920's was a decade of social change and modernizing. It's often associated with a rebellious nature, which included the drastic shortening of hems and makeup becoming a daily routine. In short, emulating the 20's is all about making a statement. 

To make your vintage statement, go a little heavy on the makeup. Red lipstick is obvious, but try your hand at a bit of a cupid's bow instead of your usual lip shape. Big doe eyes were very desirable, so coat on some extra mascara (or falsies!) and don't be afraid to sport some dark eye shadow and eye liner. American Duchess has a great tutorial on getting the Doll-eye look here.

Realize that there's more than just flapper
While fringe dresses and long beads are certainly among my favorites, the 20's look includes so much more! Get the Working Girl look with a slim skirt, button down, tie, and straw cloche hat. Go for a beachy-casual look with a tanktop, close-to-the-head-hair, flowy pants and wedges. 

A great and feasible way to do the 20's is to go for an evening or afternoon look. These dresses were in the classic drop-waist shape, and usually in pastels. They offered sheer and lacy fabrics with wide sashes.

My personal favorite is to go all art-deco. Go for bold geometric prints, funky jewelry, and color combos like black/gold, black/silver, red/blue, and white/black. Flowing, slim dresses with close fitting cloche hats or turbans, topped off with a structured clutch, is a great bet.

Top It Off

For a perfect 20's look, don't forget a head piece! The 20's featured lots of close-fitting hats and hair styles, so think small bucket, cloche, and turban hats. If you'd rather be hat less, however, pull out a metal head band; the more ornate, the better! {For those of you going hat-less, here's a great tutorial on Pinterest for 20's look hair!}

Pulling It Together
{on Polyvore] {on Pinterest}
Here's one option for putting together a 20's style outfit using pieces in your closet. Since most of us don't have fabulous flapper dresses in the backs of our closets, I stuck with fair modern/classic pieces. So, this look may fail a bit on historical accuracy, but I think that it achieves the general look. Both the skirt and the top echo the lacy, delicate fabric theme. The skirt is a great vintage length, with lots of flowiness while still falling relatively straight. Simple, black vintage heels are a classic edition, plus a wool cloche hat to really anchor the art deco look. Wear with lots of mascara and red lipstick to up the vintage factor.

So there you have it: an easy look to channel the 20's. Hope this helps, Em! :)

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Have a question, comment, or post suggestion? Check out my 'About' page and email me!

Also, don't forget about the Best of the Blogs Pinterest link-up hosted here on September 28! Hope to see you then!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

9.11

I had this all written out to post tomorrow, but after lots and lots of craziness, I never got to it. But here it is today. Honestly, what I'm saying isn't something that should be hear only on 9.11, anyway. It's something we as Americans should remember ever day. Thanks. :)


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It's now 12 years since the 9.11 attacks. There's still an ache when we think about it. I cry about it every year. But in some ways, the memory has become less vivid. The day still carries on like  normal. There will be the 'where were you?' questions, but otherwise, the day goes on. And really, that's kind of sad.

We need the pain, because it reminds us of our love and loyalty for our country and countrymen.

We need the tears, because it shows we haven't forgotten those that lost their loves.

But we also need the hope, the passion, and the full force of American pride that seems to accompany this day.

So while you're remembering 9/11, don't forget 9/12! Remember the feeling? Everyone said hello to you on the streets? Random strangers helped each other? Families came together?

If one good thing came from 9/11, it was the reminder that Americans are strong in a crisis. We might be going along all hum-drum with our lives, depressed with politics, arguing over laws. But then, something happens that threatens our country, and we are able to pull together. And that, in many ways, is what has made America great.

I really don't know what to say about today, guys. Except to pray. Pray a lot. Ask God to help our country, help those still in pain from 9/11, and be with those in the military still fighting today. Ask Him to please, please keep another 9/11 from us, but please bring 9/12 back. That's a feeling we could really use right now. Pray for our country's leaders, that they might follow Him, and pray that we might always stand up for our country, our families, friends, and neighbors, our Constitution, and our faith.

Just don't forget. Please, never forget.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Straight From The Page: America For Me

"Tis fine to see the Old World, and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of the kings,
But now I think I've had enough of antiquated things.

"So it's home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

"Oh, London is a man's town; there's power in the air;
And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair;
And it's sweet to dream in Venice, and it's great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living, there is no place like home.

"I like the German fir woods, in green battalions drilled;
I like the garden of Versailles, with flashing fountains filled;'But, oh, to take your hand, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her way!

"I know that Europe's wonderful, yet something seems to lack:
The past is too much with her, and her people looking back.
But the glory of the present is to make the future free:
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.

"Oh, it's home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that's westward bound to plow the rolling sea,
to the blessed Land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars."

-'America For Me' by Henry Van Dyke

Currently reading:

Beginnings of American Literature (A Beka...for lit class!)

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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PS...Don't forget about the Best of the Blogs Pinterest Link-up on September 28!



Saturday, September 7, 2013

"PSSSTTT! CHECK IT OUT!" ll A Pinterest link-up to share the best of the blogs!

Want to know a [not so] secret blogging tip? Pinterest is amazing for blog traffic. Seriously, if a post gets slapped on that beautiful form of social media, your views will sky rocket. I've found some of my favorite blogs via Pinterest. I'm sure you've had similar experiences, too.

So in between pinning amazingly chocolatey treats and dapper men in suits, why not make the most of Pinterest's awesomeness?

What are some of your favorite blogs? Chances are, some are on the small-ish side. Wouldn't it be great if more people knew about them? Think how encouraging another follower is to bloggers!

With that thought in mind, I present to you....


The point of this link-up is to share the very best of blogs that might not be getting the most recognition. It will help notify people of similar taste about your favorite blogs, increase traffic to those blogs, and give you an excuse to peruse archives. :) What could be better?

Here's how it works....

1.) Choose a minimum of 5 smaller blogs to pin from. For the purposes of this link-up, we're saying 'smaller' is 300 followers or less. Again, minimum is 5, but there is no limit!!

2.) Create a Pinterest board for this challenge. You can title it whatever you want, but please include the image above, with a link to this post. It's all about spreading the word! :)

3.) Choose at least one favorite post from each blog, and stick that darlin' writin' on Pinterest!!

4.) Check back here on September 28 to link-up your Pinterest board! Then, stick around for awhile to check out everyone's pins. You just might find a new favorite read!

So, what do you think, guys?? I'm excited!! Remember, just because you must choose a minimum of 5 blogs and 1 post each, that is by no means the limit! Feel free to pin as much as you want, just make sure each blog has 300 followers or less!

Questions? Planning on joining? Please leave a comment!

Thanks guys! I'll see you on September 28. :) Happy pinning!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How do you like your books??

The Book Chewers have done it again! Another clever, cute, and far too fun link-up I can't resist. Today's prompt is 'how do you like your books?'. Make a list of your reading faves, and then string together a couple combos that our sounding really good right now.

(click here to join!)
Locations:

Snuggled up in my bed, under a warm afghan.

On the bench outside of the skating rink waiting to be picked up.

Laying on top of pillows in front of the wood stove in the middle of winter.

Laying on the sun porch couch, with lots of light.

Genres and Authors:

Mysteries, especially good classics like Agatha Christie.

Dramatic, high-energy adventure books like L.A. Meyer.

Classic romances like Jane Austen.

Fan-fiction, like Nancy Springer and Pamela Aidan.

Young Adult, like John Green.

Something bonkers, like Lewis Caroll.

Well-written fantasy, like J.R.R. Tolkien.

Snacks:

A big handful of M&M's.

Chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, all mixed together in a coffee mug.

Tea, especially peppermint.

Soft, gooey brownies.

Homemade good for you candy.

Right now I'd like.....

To lay in the sun porch with The Two Towers and eat some good for you candy.

To perch on the skating bench with a Bloody Jack in hand, with a big handful of M&M's.

To curl up in my bed with an Agatha Christie, and tea, and M&M's.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Creating A 4-H Memory Book

Well, fair season (and therefore the start of a new 4-H year) is just around the corner! Why not use this time to get organized?

It seems that 4-H and paper go hand and hand. Between judging sheets, recognition letters, awards, and announcements, things pile up pretty quick. But you can't just get rid of the stuff (or at least sentimentalists like me can't :p), sooo, what's a girl who despises clutter and is just a tad OCD to do??


Solution: Make a 4-H Memory Book.

A 4-H Memory Book is basically just a compilation of everything you've ever done in 4-H. It can house photos, project records, newspaper clippings...whatever tells your story! They're easy to create, and can be anything from elaborate scrapbooks to a simple binder like mine. I love them because they're a little less rigid than 4-H Record Books, making paper storage easier (always a plus, right?!).

I've had the book above since my first year in 4-H, way back in 2006. It's great for not just memories, but also for reference when I'm creating 4-H resumes or filling out award applications. But since it's just too stuffed now and I've had to create I new book, I took the opportunity to take some pictures to share! Below you'll find my simple steps for creating one of your own!


1.) Gather all the stuff. For some reason, I can never create memory books as I 'go along'. Instead, I usually just shove all of my old papers in a folder and forget about them for a couple of months. So, search the house, find all the scraps, and settle down somewhere with lots of floor space!


2.) Give your binder some personality! If you buy a big enough binder, these things will last you for years. So liven yours up with some 4-H spirit! I like to use my binders to show off my 4-H bumper stickers, and memento stickers from national trips. 


3.) Sort by event. Everything Fashion Revue in one pile, and resumes in another. Throw out the trash. When you're done sorting, organize each pile in chronological order, and then stick them in the binder in chronological order. TIP: staple ribbons to the judging sheets. It cuts down clutter, keeps them flat, and adds visual interest!!

4.) Make a cover page. Since these are organized by 4-H year, I make a cover page to section things off. On it, include the dates and a list of all 4-H events you participated in. This is also a great place to add a fun photo!


5.) Stow un-hole-punchable things in the pockets. Like name tags, Georgia peanuts, and water chesnuts. :)


So there you have it! An easy, clutter-controlling way to keep all those 4-H mementos. :) What with the new 4-H year starting up, this is a great time to get organized! And don't forget, you can usually exhibit these at the fair!

Thanks for reading! :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Straight From The Page: The Owl and the Pussy-cat


"The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note."

-The Owl and the Pussy-cat by Edward Lear, found in Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages edited by Harold Bloom.

Currently Reading:

Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages edited by Harold Bloom.

Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and Lily of the West by L.A. Meyer