inspiration

That's a Wrap - February 2019

While January seemed to drag on forever, February flew past in the blink of an eye. I tend to love the month of February since that is when it all began for T and I. Our relationship started back in February 2013 and I am so thankful for that.

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This February we decided to head to Colorado with some of our absolute best friends. My bridesmaid Nicole and her boyfriend, Joe, and my sister met us out there with a few other friends and we had the best time. We explored Denver (or should I say ate our way through Denver?) and skied some of the most beautiful trails in the US in Breckenridge. We got to see the Rockies and the Red Rocks Amphitheater and even though there was no show, it was beautiful there.

We laid low for the rest of the month so I figured I would only focus on Colorado for my February collage. What do we think? I am dying to go skiing again this winter so I hope this inspires one of you to come with!

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Rhode Island Ranch: Home Inspiration

Teddy and I are finally situated in our new home and we have big plans for the future (our wallets don’t). We are working slowly to tackle different projects and ideas we have for our little Rhode Island ranch. I have gathered inspiration for us and whether it just be a painting, a paint color, or a plant, these photos have all sparked some sort of idea.

For my full inspiration board, you can head over to my Pinterest. While the 'New Home’ board is pretty explanatory, a lot of inspiration is pulled from the board simply titled ‘Inspiration.’ Groundbreaking, I know.

That's a Wrap - January 2019

There is one way to describe January right now; the days are short and the month is never ending. It feels like the longest month of my life. The weather started fairly nice. We didn’t have much snow but then the temperatures dropped to zero and our pipes froze. Somehow they didn’t burst and god bless because I don’t know what I would have done. It is hitting below freezing temps all of the U.S. right now and I do not know how people are functioning. I am just hoping that everyone is safe.

I thought I would create a little collage to try and manifest warmth. (Haha I know, I know. I’m crazy.) I’ve seen these types of collages all over the internet and wanted to give it a go. I love learning photoshop and graphic design things so as long as it interests me, I think I am going to try and do a monthly wrap up collage each month. Here is my first one. Be nice. I am no photoshop expert.

Think warm thoughts.

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Favorite People to Follow on Instagram

via meg’s isntagram

via meg’s isntagram

Most of you know that I am by no means ever part of those “follow this girl” or this blogger is killing it Instagram story loops.  I do however have a few people that I truly think you should follow if you enjoy the combination of real and messy that I give you every day on the gram.  I wanted to share them with you all on here so you know I mean business. I could probably drag this list on to be about 15 people long but I will keep it short and sweet for you.

 @meghall

Meg, from For the Long Hall, is one of my Instagram friends that I have actually gotten to meet IRL.  She is just as kind and funny in person as she is online and don’t get me started on her little one.  Nell is the most beautiful little girl and more stylish than most bloggers out there. Meg shares her day to day working mom moments and has the best tips for curating a wardrobe, hard boil egg making, and everything in between.  I love her style and her husband is great eye-candy (is that weird to say, Meg?) with awesome dad style.  Trying to curate T’s closet to look like his. Starting in 2019, Meg is doing a year of no shopping. I would kill for that will power. Maybe one day.

 @thetailoredhaven

Another hilarious story teller is Mary Beth aka MB from The Tailored Haven.  Girl posts the funniest stories on her Instagram.  I am new to following her but I can already tell her content is good.  She does not hold anything back in her stories and her home is absolutely stunning.

 @lindsaysilb

Next up is a relatively newer full-time blogger, Lindsey Silberman.  I must point out her Instagram, and her husbands for that matter, to T at least once a day.  I am always so inspired by how real she is.  Her feed is totally goals when it comes to travel and she will tell you how to plan those amazing trips on her blog too.  (Also, you know her writing is good because she was an editor for Town and Country so you don’t have to worry about it being so all over the place like mine.)

 @bethereinfive

Kate Kennedy is a must follow.  For starters, she has written a book that I for some reason have not purchased for myself yet called, Twinkle Twinkle Social Media Star.  If it is any bit as funny as her Instagram page and stories are, you should buy it too.

 @cestriley

Riley of Make Things Co. and I have become such good insta friends over the last year!  We are very similar people, it is kind of crazy but I love that we were able to relate to one another so well when it came to wedding planning.  Her art is incredible.  I am dying for my own “James” print to represent me, T, and the little lady.  If you follow one artist and one artist only, let it be her.

via lindsay’s instagram

via lindsay’s instagram

via riley’s instagram

via riley’s instagram

via riley’s instagram

via riley’s instagram

via riley’s instagram

via riley’s instagram

Other people I love to follow but don’t want to drag this on forever:

Alex Lawrence – her vibes slay me and she has a wicked cool job.

Jenna Kutcher – do I need to get into this? I’ve taken her classes, been a guest on her podcast, she is a rockstar.

Jackie Greaney – hands down goals.

Inslee – an amazing watercolor artist and a hilarious story teller.  Her son, Jackson, is usually the focus and he is adorably entertaining.

Social Media and Mental Health

Taking a break from social media is sometimes extremely needed for your mental health. But what do you do when social media is part of your job? Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay and that is something very close to my heart. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for about 7 years now and I have had extremely close friends struggle as well.

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Content creators, social media managers, and entrepreneurs spend their days scouring the internet and digging through content, reviews, and blogs. It can be hard to unplug and get away from the triggering and depressing news or comments. I wanted to put together a list of five ways to handle social media while taking care of your mental health.

Meditate Daily

Meditation can help clear your mind, reduce blood pressure, and help with your anxiety. There are several apps that you can download to help with this. Carly from Carly the Prepster put together a great post on the effects the app Headspace had on her. I have not had the chance to try it but meditating on my own has been very effective as well in making me more productive and resilient.

Set Limits

It is important to limit your screen time and limit the accounts you are seeing. Instagram has a new feature that lets you see how long you have been on the app and how many hours you spend on it a week. Take control of that. Set reminders to put your phone down. If you take baby steps in the right direction, you will start to notice a freedom you haven’t experienced before. You can also set limits on comments. You can change your settings so that no one can comment on a specific post or you can block certain phrases and words. This will help keep the negativity off your feed. You can add words that trigger you to this list and no longer see comments from trolls and bullies. Also, make sure you are limiting yourself to only follow accounts and hashtags that bring you joy. If an account makes you doubt yourself or feel less than happy, hit that unfollow button.

Give Your Brain a Break

Take a break and take a workout class. You cannot be on your phone while your spinning or lifting weights. You won’t be able to check the apps and that will help clear your head. Your feed will still be there an hour later and your endorphins will have risen. Elle Woods said it best, “ Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy, happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!”…. or their phones? Not sure how to close that one out but you get the point.

Self-Care Goals

Set goals for yourself to accomplish. Your goals can be simple like an exercise class weekly like I mentioned above, or picking up a new hobby like journaling or painting. Writing them down and keep rack of them. I personally have set goals to drink more water and take my medicine every day. They are simple but definitely things I need to work on. I will even be your cheerleader if you want to tell me your goals. I will keep up with you and check in now and again to see how you are doing. Just leave a comment or shoot me an email. Let’s do this together.

Ask for Help When You Need It

Well shit. Easier said than done, I know. Little by little it is something that we can work on. It is also important to recognize those around you that won’t ask for help on their own. You should make sure to reach out. It can be as simple as grabbing a coffee or asking if they are okay. Open the door for conversation if you recognize the following; difficulting concentrating, exhaustion, stomach issues, difficulty sleeping, or muscle tension. A change in mood is also extremely common. Be there for your friends, family, and coworkers and they will be there for you in return.

It is safe to say you all know I am not a doctor so remember if you are feeling depressed, the best choice would be to reach out to a doctor, a loved one, or even me. I am here to talk to any of you at any time. This is a safe place to speak your mind.

Outfit Inspiration

While I love following bloggers on Instagram, their styles tend to be different than my own. That silk slip dress looks bomb on you girl and that crop sweater is fire but neither are my style nor could I pull them off with my body type (I know and accept that by the way). So where do I turn for my inspiration? Pinterest is vibing the same way as Instagram and it is harder to find things I like or would look good in. I head to Tuckernuck.

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Tuckernuck is a retail brand that I totally adore. They have a some of their own designs and pieces that are exclusive to the site or store and they also carry big name brands like VINCE, Emerson Fry, and Barbour. They have curated the best of the best to make it easy for us to shop our favorite timeless pieces. In their words, Tuckernuck is “a boutqiue curated for the classic, American lifestyle and inspired by good, old-fashioned fun.” If that doesn’t make you want to shop there, I don’t know what will.

Tuckernuck publishes a Lifestyle Guide seasonally (I believe?) and it is filled with inspiration. While it would be nice to have all of the clothes featured, I can easily draw inspiration and use it as a guide for the clothes I already have in my closet. The styling is amazing and the guide itself is pretty to look at also since the photography is top notch. Basically, it tells a story. They are able to capture outings and adventures that you could realistically take on the Eastern Seaboard. Tuckernuck does not make you feel like they are out of reach or above you. You are reading through an attainable fashion guide and I love that. I’ll give you an idea of what their photos look like below. These images are all from the FW 2018 lifestyle guide.

I think we sometimes forget that there are still look books and magazines out there to find inspiration in. We are so used to scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest (which obviously I still do) that we forget there are so many other ways to find inspiration. I often feel that people forget real blogs and websites exist since they are so often just turning to Instagram. I challenge all of you to find a new blog or website as a source of inspiration this week. I would love for you to come back and comment your favorite blog or shoot me an email and tell me. I can totally come back here and write another post with other sources of inspiration for all of you. Don’t forget to go outside and look around at your surroundings as well. That will always be my favorite source of inspiration.


Here is a little fun fact for all of you also… today marks Dakota’s 5th birthday. I cannot believe this little lady has been on Earth for five years. She may still act like she is a puppy but that post will be coming soon.

 
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What is Art?

I think everyone has a different idea of what can be considered art. I am by no means an expert on the subject but I think anything can be art. Thoughts, movement, words. There are so many different ways to interpret the world around us and I think it is fair to say even the world around us is a work of art.

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I am the farthest thing from a graphic designer but sometimes I like to create random graphics and they always end up just going on my external hard drive never to be seen again. I thought it might be fun to share some of the artwork I have created on here. It might not make much sense to others or even be considered art to some of you but after all, this is my space, right?

If you are here for writing, there will be some of that as well but today, I am sharing a series I did called Land, Sea, and Air. I would love to know what you consider art or see some of your work if you want to send it! This is a safe space and I promise I won’t share it.

#itsbacheloretteszn

Don't worry if you can't keep up, I can't either.  My family and friends have SERIOUSLY outdone themselves over the last year.  For those that follow me, you know I am getting married in about a month but we have been engaged for about a year and eight months.  

We have a super fun situation in which we both have huge families that we are extremely close with and friends in both states we grew up in (plus a dozen other states).  We live in Rhode Island, where Teddy grew up so that makes half the battle a bit easier.  The best way to sum up what I am trying to say is, we have been partying for the last year and a half.  Right after the engagement, we headed to Sea Isle City for an informal celebration with my close friends and family.  Then, around Thanksgiving, we had a second engagement party in New Jersey because the whole family was in town at my mom's house.  We then proceeded to continue the party in Rhode Island when T's mom threw us an engagement party in Newport.  Are you still following?

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Fast forward to the past few months and I have now had two bridal showers (one in both states) and two/three? bachelorette parties.  It sounds totally crazy but it makes perfect sense to everyone involved, promise, haha.  The weekend of my Jersey shower, me and my besties hit the town in Philadelphia for a night of fun.  I then went to Miami a few weeks after with a smaller group.  Most recently, after my shower at T's mom's house, my girlfriends in Rhode Island surprised us with a night of fun and reckless behavior.  I am guessing you all understand the hashtag now, hahaha.

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I had gotten a few questions about everything and although it shouldn't matter, I thought I would explain it for those curious.  Teddy still has his bachelor party coming up but his friends joined us this past weekend with mine.  If the last year and a half is any bit of a preview for the wedding, we are all in for the best. weekend. ever!

You are a Badass Calendar Review

Not too long ago, I started posting inspirational quotes from my daily calendar on my Instagram stories.  I didn't think as many of you would take notice but darn was I wrong.  You all are constantly messaging me about the quotes, saying thank you, or asking where I got the calendar from. 

 
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I purchased this calendar on a whim when I start my new job.  It had been sitting on my dresser in the box just waiting to be opened in 2018.  I decided to bring it into work at the end of December anticipating the new year.  I was looking to start the new year on a great note and knew that this would help with some daily affirmations.  I read the book, You are a Badass, about a year ago and it changed my outlook on life.  I think more positively and I do not let other's actions hurt my feelings as much as they used to.  I walk to the beat of my own drum (cliche, I know) and try not to worry about others.  I still have my moments, but the book really helped with my confidence and outlook on the world around me.

I was a little bummed when I realized the calendar is just quotes and excerpts from the book but the reminder every morning is still inspiring.  I suggest reading the book in its whole but having the desk calendar to look at each day is a fun reminder.  The fact that they are the same doesn't discourage me from recommending them.  I still would say they are both awesome to read, especially considering the inexpensive price tag.  

If you read the book or have the calendar, I would love your opinion on it.  Do you love it/dislike it?  Let me know!

October Mood Board

Things have been a bit slow around here lately (not that they are ever really that consistent), but I am looking to change that.  I started my new job at the end of September and love is an understatement.  I feel like I was meant for this job and I cannot wait to continue to grow there.  

Since fall has arrived, the temperatures only dropped to sweater weather for a few days while a hurricane was in town. I am in no rush for the weather to cool down but getting dressed in the morning has proven to be difficult.  I have found that short sleeve sweaters are my go to right now.  They are they perfect in between.  And while I cannot sport my bean boots too often just yet, they will be in heavy rotation soon.

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picnic image via sarah vickers | sweater | bean boot painting via meredith hanson