Monday, December 31, 2012

a year for me + a look back on 2012

Image credit

This is probably going to sound incredibly selfish, but I kind of feel like 2012 was a year for me. That's not to say it was all about me, me, me (I swear I'm not that vain.. nor am I that interesting), but it is to say that I somehow managed to unearth a new version of myself this year, one that I'm pretty content with.

I've discovered that one thing I find true value and contentment in is personal growth and evolution. So many Decembers, though, I have looked back upon the year gone by and thought "Why didn't I find the time to do XYZ..." Not this year, though. This year, more so than any other year, I feel as though I'm a better, more authentic version of myself now than when the year began in January. I didn't accomplish everything on my mental list, but I think the difference is that this year I was purposeful. This year I was all about action. I always say the first step to self-improvement is self-awareness, but change can't happen unless you take steps to do something. I made this year about doing something.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

christmas: accomplished

Fear not, friends, I'm alive! By my count I haven't posted in almost two weeks. Two weeks! But I promise, it's with good reason. A ton has been going on! In the past two weeks, Jason has sold the rights to his last name to a company called (and, as a result, was featured in major press like USA Today, CNN Money, and CNBC... what?!), we've taken a last minute trip to San Francisco (don't worry, that post to come...) AND Christmas has come and gone. As you can imagine, it's all kept me more than a little busy, but happily so.

Friday, December 14, 2012

on creating my legacy

// photo credit: mutablend on Flickr via swissmiss // type by me //

I met an amazing woman yesterday. Her name is Mary Lyn, and she's the owner of Big Fish Power Yoga in Jacksonville, Beach. Now I don't know Mary Lyn that well, this being our first meeting, but she just had one of those energies about her. It's an exuberance and an openness that's contagious. Amidst our conversation, she brought up the idea of one's "legacy," as in what is the legacy you want to leave with the world, and it really got me thinking about what I want my own legacy to be.

I mean, let's be honest here, LEGACY is a big, scary word. It implies finality and grandeur, things I'm not so comfortable with as a 24-year-old. But the way she posed the question to me was so approachable. It was less about what do you want to be remembered by (hi, a little morbid, right?) and it was more about what do you want to contribute to other people. That, I thought, is something I'd like to explore.  

For Jason, his legacy (at least right now) is IWearYourShirt. Encompassed in that are the ideas of creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit and hard work. Have I helped him over the past few years build that legacy? Sure I've helped, and he would tell you the same, but it's not MY legacy, ya know? Don't get me wrong, my heart still completely beats for his business because it's both of our livelihoods and we'll always be a team. I will work for IWYS as long as I possibly can because I want to help Jason succeed and I believe in what he's built. But it also makes me think, if I could create my own IWearYourShirt in a sense, what would that look like?...

You guys know I love to be happy. You could call it my one true mission in life. Every day I at least try to bring color and laughter and contentment to the world through whatever I'm doing. But that's not what really gets me excited. What brings me the MOST joy is trying to help other people do that. When those of you out there comment, text, tweet, email or whatever me and let me know that something I have written here has affected you positively, it's the greatest feeling in the entire world. It makes me feel like there's a bigger purpose to what I'm doing (beyond silly parenthetical expressions and craft projects.)

As much as I love talking (and if you've met me, you know I LOVVVE talking), I think I love listening  even more. I love hearing stories from other people's lives and finding out what motivates them or what gets them excited. I love that people have different experiences and different opinions than me, and I enjoy the challenge of putting myself in their shoes. But though we're all different, I believe (or hope, rather) that the one thing that connects us is our desire to be happy.

So that's what I want my legacy to be. Helping other people live their happiest, most joyful, most free lives.

How am I going to do that? I have no freaking idea. Don't worry, I'm not going to run off and become a yoga instructor or a life coach or what have you, but I hope it will be something. Whether it's just through the evolution of this blog, or it's a future business, or it's some weird underground coffee shop where everyone congregates to sip lattes and craft until the wee hours of the morning, who knows! All I know is that it's something to think about as I move forward into the next year.

So what did we learn here? Well, pretty much nothing, I suppose. I don't know what this ambiguous goal is or how I'm going to get there. All I know is that the seed is now firmly planted in my mind. I simply wanted to get my thoughts down and share them with you all so that, one day, probably years from now, when I have created what I hope will be my legacy, I can look back to this blog and know it started today.

Do you feel like you know what you want your legacy to be? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

holiday diy | no-sew personalized felt stockings

Today's project came upon me entirely by accident.

You see, there are a set of very ugly stockings sitting on my dining room table. These stockings were my first attempt at "personalizing" $1 stockings I found at the Dollar Tree. I thought I was being so clever. I wanted to cut out some cute ornaments in colorful felt, hot glue them to the stockings, and somehow they'd turn out just like these adorable bright, modern stockings on Etsy by rikrak. Yeah... not so much.

Monday, December 10, 2012

holiday diy | painted animal ornaments

Lions and tigers and dinosaurs, oh my! Dinosaurs? Yes, dinosaurs!!

Remember when I said I wanted our tree to be colorful and whimsical? Well, that was just a nice way of saying I actually wanted our tree to look like a rainbow and a toy store met in a dark alley and had a tussle over a can of gold spray paint. The aftermath? Surprisingly beautiful.

Friday, December 7, 2012

a friday fave (or five) | little holiday lovelies

It's been a rough few days around these parts. While I won't get into specifics, I will say that sometimes it's the simple things in life that bring us comfort. Right now I'm holding on to the holiday spirit desperately and allowing the joy that this season brings to wrap me up like a warm blanket. As lights go up around us, holiday specials begin airing on TV and Christmas tree lots pop up on every corner, I'm reminded of cherished Christmas memories from my childhood. The excitement, the tradition, the joy of it all.

And so today I thought I'd share with you five simple holiday items that are filling me with the holiday spirit. These things have me counting down the days until Christmas and they make me smile in spite of whatever kind of day I'm having.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

i hate running and why that's okay

Saturday was a bit of a milestone, friends. I did something which seemed virtually impossible to me. I ran my very first 5K.

Now, I know what you're thinking... 5K? Really? Philanthropic college students can run 5Ks when they're hungover. Elementary school kids probably run a 5K in laps around the jungle gym. And I'll be honest, whenever I heard of people competing in 5K races, it's not like I belittled their accomplishments, but it just never occurred to me that it would be something huge enough to celebrate.


Monday, December 3, 2012

holiday diy | colorful ribbon wreath

Christmas time has officially begun in our household. I spent four hours yesterday visiting countless dollar stores, Walmart, Target, and the list goes on, trying to snag inexpensive holiday decor supplies. As I mentioned before, I decided I wanted most of our holiday decorations to be handmade since I can never really find decorations that are exactly what I'm looking for. (They're either too country, too traditional, too plastic-y, too cheap looking... I could go on and on. Whatever, I'm picky!)

This year, I didn't care as much about having a central look or theme, I just knew I wanted everything to be whimsical and colorful. So that's what I'm going to try and do with everything I make. Yesterday I got supplies for handmade ornaments, embellished stockings, and... today's DIY - a new holiday wreath!