Guest Post: Erin

Monday, April 29, 2013

Hello! My name's Erin and I blog at Write. Dream. Run. Sing. 
I will be your guest blogger for the day!! 
Without further ado, I give you....

It doesn't matter how inspiration-dry I am, a quick trip to a forest (even my favorite park will do) will get me right. There's something beautiful and beyond-words about trees. I don't know what it is, really. I was just made to adore them. Bonus points if it's cold enough to wear a sweater. 

Music is what just rips me up inside. What is really cool is that my  mom said I kicked to music while I was in the womb, namely Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." Go figure. Anyways, music is just so moving. It can be inspirational, exciting, emotional, fits any mood. If you are ever at 0% inspiration, go throw on some tunes. I recommend The Avett Brother's "Carpenter" album. It's scary good!

Can we just talk about my love for this sweater? This gray garment of goodness is my partner in crime. I seriously wear this thing everywhere, despite the Florida heat. Outside sources of inspiration are good, even great, but I think it starts with you and what you wear. If you feel comfy and happy, you're going to be in a better mood. Plus, sweaters rock. They always put me in the writing mood. 

Other sources of inspiration include reading God' Word, sniffing my favorite birthday cake scented candle, hanging out with hilarious friends, and trying to notice and appreciate the little things in life. Oh, and reading a good book in the middle of the night always helps :) Go try it!

Guest Post: Meg

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I am overjoyed by the requests I got to do guest posts. Each and every single lady that wanted to has a blog that truly inspires me, and who I would want to be best friends with in real life. Like seriously though, they are AMAZING you guys!

We will start with the wonderful Meg from shake, rattle and ramble. Pretty please make sure you check out her blog, because she is absolutely wonderful!!

I have asked each guest poster (is that a word?) to share five random things about themselves, and then what inspires them. I feel think with the transition of seasons everyone gets in a bit of a rut inspiration wise. I am confident these lovely ladies can give you a new perspective on things, so that is why I asked them to share what inspires them. Enjoy!

Five random facts: 1) I do not wear high heels.  2) I play the cello.  3) There is something oddly exciting to me about being "old" one day; I admire the elderly.  4) I am married to a wonderful bearded man who I've known since high school.  5) I wish I had an on/off switch for my thoughts.

On Inspiration:
My personal definition for inspiration is motivation from an outside or third-party influence to express something sincere.  Sincerity is my central objective in anything I do, and I feel very strongly that art, any kind of art, is sincere expression.  If it is not honest, if it is not in earnest, it is not art. 
Now that you know what I consider inspiration to be, I will tell you what specific things inspire me, specifically.  But first, I'm going to do both of us a favor and skip over the obvious, bohemian answers.  What I mean by that are things such as truth, beauty, love, nature, etc, etc.  I do this because everyone in existence with a heart thunking inside of their chest is inspired by these things at some point. Including them in this would be as pointless as writing, "I am human and I breathe air" in my About Me section.  For this reason, I do not feel the need to write about these in particular.
What I have been and continue to be inspired by most are my relationships with others.  The reason, I think, that I am so easily inspired by these is the great potential they have to provide such a wide range of emotion.  Relationships can be the best or the worst things in our lives.  They can cause us great joy or heaping amounts of misery.  They have the power to get under our skin, to take root in our hearts and grow.  It doesn't matter what kind of relationship.  Whether it is romantic, platonic, professional or personal, this whole "getting to know other people" thing is not for the weak-willed. Go through a list of your favorite songs in your mind.  How many of them were written about a relationship?  My guess is, probably the majority.  It seems to me that nothing gets us people smiling, frowning, laughing, crying, jumping for joy or sinking in agony more than human drama.  And, in turn, nothing is more likely to inspire us, to motivate us to create something sincere.
Because my main form of expression is writing, another source of inspiration for me is some good literature.  I love books.   I love the way that reading certain authors causes me to think the way their book reads.  Do you know what I mean?  Suddenly that author's style sinks into my mind, and I hear my thoughts in their voice all day long.  It's oddly enjoyable.  It sort of feels like taking a vacation from my own brain.
I recently read a book by Daniel Handler, and it completely changed the way I had been approaching what I wrote.  He is so fearless.  I had a refreshed perspective, and no longer felt hesitant about running with the ideas that came into my mind. 
That's the thing about inspiration.  It can't be accompanied by fear or hesitation.  These are the spoilers of sincere expression.  Inspiration also doesn't always (or, in my case, ever) come all at once.  You've got to keep that faucet of creativity on at all times.  Don't reject the ideas that your brain gives you, appreciate them!  Let your brain know it's doing what you want it to.  Run with it. 
"I feel such a creative force in me: I am convinced that there will be a time when, let us say, I will make something good every day, on a regular basis...I am doing my very best to make every effort because I am longing so much to make beautiful things.  But beautiful things mean painstaking work, disappointment, and perseverance." -Van Gogh

Guest Posts

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hello all my lovely friends!

So I had a fabulous idea thanks to the lovely Ashlee at words, ramblings, and the random. She has been having some fellow lovely bloggers guest post on her blog, and I decided I wanted to try it out as well! So if any of you lovely ladies would like to guest post, and be featured on this here blog send me an email!! I will give you more details about it if you are interested! You guys are the best readers in the entire WORLD, and I hope to hear from some of you!

Things That Caught My Eye

1. The sunshine is coming out which has me craving some citrus. (via kerry_photo)
2. Love the light, and the cheesy smile makes it that much better. (via Pinterest)
3. This photo reminds me of summer days riding your bike to the pool, and hanging out with your best friends. (via Pinterest)
4. Glamour (via Pinterest)
5. Can't wait for farmer's markets! Best part of the summer. (via Design Love Fest)
6. Isn't this gorgeous? I feel some photo shoot inspiration coming on :) (via Tumblr)
7. I. WANT. THIS. (via Anthropologie)
8. I hope that one day I can have something cool like a coffee shop on wheels! (via Flickr)

And if you are looking for some good reads, here are just a few that I have been loving lately.
  • Stephanie of Owls in My Heart and her words about the goodness of people.
  • The lovely Shelby of It Is What It Is and her perfect description of why live music is the absolute best.
  • Elise of e+w and her lovely photos that she just took with her new flash.
Oh how I just love lovely things. These are just a few things that have recently caught my eye.


Monday, April 22, 2013

So all you lovely ladies and gents of the internet.. today is my 100th post! Holy cow I can't even believe it! I feel like I just started. It is kind of interesting the time that this post fell around though..

A year ago I said goodbye to one of my best friends in the entire world. He decided that he wanted to take a different path that I was not willing to go down with him. It literally was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. Saying goodbye to someone you loved so much is never an easy thing. This past year has been a tough one, but I honestly have never been happier. I realize now how much it needed to happen. I thought it was the worst day of my life, but now I realize that it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I've talked a little bit about this here and here so I am not going to go into too much detail. It has just been on my mind lately, and I have just been reflecting on the whole situation. I found this quote above on Pinterest, and it kind of hit me.. like right in the heart or something cheesy like that. I just put this quote in perspective of where I was last year, and where I am today.

I wish the girl who was so heartbroken last year could have read this. The girl that felt so betrayed and so worthless. But that is exactly how it was. I was afraid of change. I had my entire life planned out from my children's names to what kind of dogs I would have. Even though I was a part of something so destructive, I still couldn't muster up the courage to get out or have the faith that it would all work out. All I can say now is change can be the biggest blessing. It is ridiculous to think that I thought I was happy last year! Ridiculous! If I would have read this last year I would have crumbled to the ground realizing that the relationship I was in, and the lifestyle I was headed towards was one that could never make me happy.. but change can be a scary thing.

I think people are scared of change because they are scared of the time commitment they must make to it. Change takes time, and that is hard for a lot of people to understand. It doesn't happen over night, and I can tell you first hand that it is not easy. But what I can tell you is there will come a point where you realize things have changed. You will realize that you see the positivity in things rather than the negative. You will realize that you are smiling, even though you have no idea why. You will realize that all the sudden you are happy, and it will be a happiness you never even thought was possible.

So don't be afraid of change. If you wouldn't be happy with how things are RIGHT NOW in a year, change some things around. I can't even begin to tell you how worth it it will be.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I think a lot of women have struggles with this, myself included. We let rude stares, comments, and attitudes control so much of what we do. I know I say this often, but who cares? This kind of stuff has just been on my mind a lot lately. Like I have said before, I am so tired of letting people who do nothing for me control so much of who I am. That is so backwards!
I think people in general need to just be nicer to each other. Like seriously people, girls especially, are so rude to each other! What the heck? When did this become ok? I can't even tell you how many times I have gone out to dinner with friends, to a concert, or just wandering around downtown and had girls look me up and down. Not in the good way either. Do you know what look I am talking about? The one that is like, "Ew" or "Are you serious?" Does that even make sense?! Here is something I have to say to all you people that give those awful, degrading, straight up mean stares... What are you looking at? Yeah, I know I am different. I have short hair, fair skin, and some curves. I dress weird, and sometimes wear glasses that are too big for my face. Sometimes I wear red lipstick just because I can, you can always find me with some kind of a denim jacket or vest, and sometimes my hair sticks up in weird places. I don't have a perfect complexion, and sometimes I dance around in public. But you know what? That is what makes me, me. That is what makes me beautiful.
Everyone has imperfections, so why are we wasting our time pointing them out? I think we all fall into that trap of comparing ourselves to others, and finding things we don't like about each other. You guys, beauty (whatever that even means) is not a contest. It is not a contest because we are all freaking beautiful! Like for real, every last one of us. I am going to stop now for fear of becoming cheesy, but I am just so tired of letting people's nasty stares get to me. Some people may think, "Well, maybe there is something you need to change if you are getting stares like that." but I will NEVER change. I am me, got it? I am happy with who I am, and I don't believe in changing just so I can be part of the norm. Whatever that even is..
Ladies, just be happy with yourself. For those of you who don't think you are beautiful, here I am screaming YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! You always have been, and you always will. So take a look in the mirror and realize it already.

*image via Tumblr

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trying to remember the simple things as finals approach. Trying to remember to breathe. 

*image via Free People


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So my latest photography assignment was to retell a story. Any story! Of course as soon as I heard that I had an instant brain melt down. You can't give me that many options with only a week to decide! Gah!! Horrid.

My orginal plan for this photo shoot didn't end up working out, but I plan on returning to it in the summer. So stay tuned. As for the photo shoot I did end up doing... I decided that all my pictures thus far had been really serious, so I wanted to liven things up a bit. Plus, I just wanted to have a ton of fun. This was our last photo assignment, so might as well have all the fun you can right?

This is why I chose to retell the story of the song 22 by Taylor Swift. Genius, I know. I seriously can't even tell you how much fun I had with this. Just a bunch of girls, singing in the car, walking around the streets, being single, and being free. Basically my only instruction for these girls was, "Just look like you are having way to much fun!" which in return made us have THAT much fun. The smiles and laughs in these photographs are real. There was a point where I decided I no longer wanted to look through the lens anymore. I just wanted to be free with the camera, and see what happened. I am in love with the results.
I love you girls to the moon and back! You are all beautiful, and I couldn't be happier with how these turned out. You guys killed it!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A few days ago I was reading over at The Secret Life of Bee when she shared the most wonderful quote. So here I am sharing it, because it is beautiful in every single way possible.

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be, and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles."
-Anne Frank

Can I get an amen?

*images via Pinterest and Tumblr

the Liebster Award

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A happy dance for the Liebster Award!! (this is what my happy dance looked like considering I had not humans to celebrate with)

So today I found out that I was nominated for the liebster award!! How cool is that!? I was nominated by the lovely Shayla of Shayla Lillian blog. She basically is the coolest, and I am kind of convinced we might be the same person. Who knows really? Be sure to stop by and say hello. Her blog is the greatest!

So for those of you who don't know or haven't heard of the liebster award, here is how it works.
The award recognizes new, small blogs. In addition, it helps yours and other blogs get more promotion and recognition. How cool is that?!

here are the rules for the nominees:

1. post 11 things about yourself
2. answer the 11 questions created by the person who nominated you
3. create 11 questions of your own to ask the bloggers to nominate
4. choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on your blog post
5. bloggers must be notified of their award!
6. no tag backs!
eleven things about myself:

1. I have always secretly wanted to be in a band. Unfortunately, I can't sing OR play an instrument so those dreams might be crushed. I am pretty sure I could learn how to play the tambourine though! Any takers? Anyone...
2. My dream in life is to spend a summer as a hippie (minus the drugs). Basically I want to move to Cali or Hawaii and be a beach bum. I am talking surfing all day, and doing whatever hippies/beach bums do all night.
3. My celebrity crush is Matthew Gray Gubler. I am convinced he is the perfect human, and I don't care that he is like 13 years older than me.
4. I have seen (500) Days of Summer approximately 100 times. This is not a joke people. I am completely serious..
5. I have never been stung by a bee (knock on wood), and I am terrified that if I ever do I will be deathly allergic.
6. One day I will own a St. Bernard. It will happen.
7. I don't believe in paying over $15 for a concert ticket. The most I have paid for a concert in the last 6 months was $7, and if I find a ticket for more than $15 I will whine about it until the end of time.
8. I belive that being out in nature can cure anything.
9. I think my two favorite mixed smells are cigarette smoke and coffee. I don't know why this is seeing as I don't smoke or drink coffee, but something about it comforts me.
10. I could eat ice-cream every day, ALL DAY.
11. Film photography and my yellow lab have my heart.

eleven questions from shayla:

1. What was the first record/tape/cd you owned?
Oh my word... I think it might have been 'N Sync. Or Britney Spears. Both equally as embarrassing. Ooo or maybe it was Aaron Carter?? Yeah...

2. If you could go to dinner with anybody alive today (that you don't know), who would it be?
I don't care how ridiculous this sounds, but I would probably have to say Jennifer Lawrence. I just want to be her best friend, and I'm pretty sure she is the funniest human in existence. If she is busy I will take Matthew Gray Gubler for obvious reasons.

3.  When you're asked to introduce yourself to a new group of people and are supposed to tell one thing about yourself, what do you say?
I become the most boring person on the entire planet, and I say basically word for word, "I am Shelby, and I like music." Yeah... I should probably work on that.

4. What's your favorite form of social media: blogging, instagram, facebook, or twitter? Why?
Man that is tough. I would have to say blogging. I feel like blogging is all of social media put into one giant package of greatness. I think it is the perfect way to share things that inspire you, as well as being a great source of inspiration. Plus, I love the blogging community so much. I have met some of the most amazing people through blogging that I never would have met otherwise. I am so grateful for that.

5. If you could only shop at one clothing store/website for the rest of your life what would it be?
Oh my goodness! Why must you do this to me! I think I would have to say Cotton On. It is the only place that I continually go to where I like almost everything in the store.

6. what was your favorite childhood movie?
The Little Rascals for sure!! I can't even tell you how many times I watched that when I was little. It is the greatest! "Quick! What's the number for 9-1-1?" Haha the greatest.

7. What is the weirdest nickname that you've ever been called?
Shnelbert.... thanks family.

8. What is the best meal you've ever had?
Are we for real right now? I'm pretty sure that is an impossible question. Basically every meal my Mimi and Papa have ever made. No joke.

9. What is your favorite school subject and why?
If we are talking subjects I am currently taking I would have to say photography. I love having a class that continues to push me to be creative, and think outside of the box. In high school, my favorite class was English. This was mostly due to an English teacher who completely changed the way I looked at things and how I viewed literature.

10. If you could live in any country right now, where would it be?
Well I am pretty sure I was meant to be French, so I am going to have to say France. The Parisian culture inspires me.

11. johnny depp or brad pitt? from the 90's of course.
Johnny Depp.. ALL. THE. WAY!

questions for my nominees:
1. favorite book that you read in high school?
2. if you could have front row tickets and backstage passes to any concert, who would you choose to see and why?
3. favorite childhood tv show?
4. why did you start blogging?
5. what item do you currently have in your closet that you couldn't live without?
6. where is your favorite place in the world? why?
7. describe your perfect weekend.
8. have you ever been in love?
9. audrey, grace, or marilyn?
10. if you had to get a tattoo, what would you get, why, and where?
11. what makes you smile?
my eleven nominees:

1. Shawnee from The S Diaries
2. Shelby from It Is What It Is
3. Anna from Anna Apricot
4. Erin from Write Dream Run Sing
5. Stephanie from Owls In My Heart
6. Kaitlyn from Goodbye My Changing Wind
7. Jane from Simply Jane
8. Ruthie from Chapped Lips & Chapstick
9. Corinne from Life Etc
10. Ayley from The Wild Heart
11.Bre'an from St8 of Mind

Thanks again to the lovely Shayla for the nomination!

In case you couldn't tell, basically all I want at the moment is long hair. I miss having long hair so much, and it kind of came out of nowhere. I haven't had long hair for two years, so I think it is time to bring it back! There is just one little problem. My hair currently looks like this..

I've got a long way to go... 

*images via Pinterest

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