Shout Out Sunday

Good morning! I technically have a long weekend this since I took Monday off to take the MTEL, so happy 2nd Saturday to me! I’ve been reading up a storm lately and I’ve had a country song in my head, so that’s the de facto theme of this week’s round-up. Mercury is in retrograde AF—can you tell? I’ve been super lethargic and uninspired…I’m hoping the cosmos can get its act together soon and end this tyranny.

Enjoy!

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look at my cute cat!!!
  1. Please bring some joy into your life and read Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. My fingers are crossed that he’s writing another because I truly cannot get enough.
  2. I have treated myself to some shoes.
  3. I have treated myself to a statement earring because LEO SEASON IS IN FULL SWING.
  4. Elsie’s article on how she changed her life is so inspiring!
  5. Kacey Musgraves has this aggressive motivational water bottle and now I need it.
  6. I’m not crying, you’re crying. I’ve had this song stuck in my head for over a week. Pre-order here.
  7. Living for these Target pajamas.
  8. These are literally the best pens on the planet. My therapist agrees, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  9. I can’t even explain to you how much I want this bag. Anyone have $400?
  10. VERONICA MARS IS BACK. All hail Therapy Logan.

Peace out, cub scouts!

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Risk

I submitted the following to the Man Repeller Writer’s Club for January 2018. The prompt was to write about one or all of the following in 500 words or fewer:

What’s a risk you took that you regret taking?
What’s a risk that you’re glad you didn’t take?
What a risk you wish you took?
What’s a risk you hope you take this year?

***

I have been on this spinning blue orb for more than twenty-six years and I have never taken a single risk. Or, at least, it feels that way. I’ve never bungee-jumped, taken a transatlantic flight, publicly declared my love to someone, or gotten a tattoo larger than a postage stamp.

That’s not entirely fair. I’ve done some stuff. I dropped out of college (more than once) but ended up in graduate school, and, I mean, I got married. But, in the moment, these seemed like the safest options, hardly the risks they purport to be. I had played it safe for decades because the threat of the unknown was too daunting.

So, when I started therapy, I didn’t think much of it. It didn’t seem like a risk, because when I’d tried it before, I hadn’t learned anything. I didn’t do the work, I didn’t stick it out. I’d go once, maybe twice, declare it useless, and forge ahead with my life. But by the time my twenty-sixth birthday appeared on the horizon, the nihilism and hopelessness that had characterized my adult life became too overwhelming to bear. My panic attacks increased. I was drinking every day. I was unmoored from reality in a way that was jeopardizing my health and my marriage. And worst of all, I had no fucking clue what to do with my life.

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        And then I met Tanya. Her office was at the end of a long hallway in one of the campus’s newest buildings, which had the sterile vibe of a hospital ward. Her lime green loveseat reminded me of my childhood bedroom. After some sessions, I’ve fallen apart and failed to put myself back together for days at a time. I’ve arranged toys in a sand table and choked on my own tears. I’ve made resolutions, reported successes, and admitted failures. I’ve shown up drunk—she’s seen the worst parts of me up close. And most importantly, I’ve learned to trust another person with my real thoughts, my inner monologue, not just the bullshit performance everyone else sees. The chasm between how I see myself and how others see me is so much wider than I could have ever imagined. Vulnerability is a trip.

Tanya ends every session with the same line: “Remember what we talked about.” Sometimes, that’s the hardest part—remembering that I deserve to be happy, that I’m a good person. That I don’t need to constantly self-flagellate, or be polished and perfect every moment of the day. That I’m allowed to say no.

It’s been the greatest, shittiest, hardest, most wonderful six months of my life. Well worth the risk of actually getting to know myself.

 

Gratitude: Blog Lovin’

Part of my New Year’s Resolution is to express more gratitude. I’m a perfectionist who has trouble living in the moment, so taking daily stock of the little things in life that make each day a little prettier and brighter helps me to stay grounded. I have so much to be grateful for! I’m even letting myself end the previous sentence with a preposition, because 2018 me is super #chill.

This week, I’m highlighting ten blogs that I follow, some religiously, some occasionally, that inspire me to use my voice.

A Beautiful Mess

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No surprises here, right? I’ve been following ABM almost daily for about 5 years. Their whimsical, colorful aesthetic has been a huge influence on how I’ve styled my own home. I’ve tried a ton of their recipes and DIYs (I’ll link a few below). ABM has inspired me to bring more life and color into my home.

These ladies are prolific! Check out their product line, their glasses collection, their e-courses, their cookbook, and their camera bag collab!

DIYs &c. I’ve tried:

Photo Ledge DIY, Vegetarian Tikka Masala, Eggplant Parm Meatballs, Cinnamon Spice Sugar Scrub, Macrame Room Divider, Creamy White Sauce, Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, Veggie Soup, Face Oil, and so many more!

Follow if you love: recipes, home décor, DIYs, crafts, photography

The Band Wife

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This is the personal blog of Laura from A Beautiful Mess. Laura’s aesthetic and style in particular are closest to mine, and she’s a fellow cat mama, so when I discovered her blog, it became an instant bookmark. Her husband plays guitar for Mutemath and tours a ton, which is the impetus behind the blog name. My husband doesn’t tour, but being a musician’s wife is definitely…unique. Us band wives gotta stick together!

Bonus points for all the kitty and baby content!

Follow if you love: style, home décor, DIYs, babies, cats

The Larson House

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This is the personal blog of Elsie from A Beautiful Mess. It’s where she chronicled her heartbreakingly long adoption process and blogs about the joys of her new daughter, Nova. The Larsons’ adoption story has brought me to tears on more than a few occasions…adoption is one of the most beautiful and selfless things a person can do!

Follow if you love: personal posts

Almost Makes Perfect

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Minimalist aesthetic? Neutral tones? Excellent graphic design? Check, check, and check. Almost Makes Perfect is a destination for great DIYs, home decor, and gorgeous printables. I even have one of her rap lyric Valentines up as an art print in my house!

Follow if you love: home décor, minimalism, personal posts, DIYs

New Darlings

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I’ll admit it—I’m super jealous of Christina and Robert’s lives. They’re jet-setting bloggers based in Phoenix, AZ, who have the most gorgeous aesthetic and sweetest pup. Show me your ways!

Follow if you love: home décor, style, beauty, travel, photography

Man Repeller

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Technically, Man Repeller isn’t a blog anymore, although it started that way. It is a fully-fledged, awesome fashion, lifestyle, and beauty site that is #goals for any blogger. I mean, Leandra, the creator, goes to like, Paris Fashion Week. So aspirational. MR is one of my favorite sites on the whole wide internet, so much so that I actually just submitted a piece!

Follow if you love: fashion, beauty, humor writing, silly horoscopes

Sucré Style

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Stacy King (of Sucré, formerly of Eisley) barely ever posts, but the aesthetic when she does is marvelous. Fun fact, I went to a bar in Atlanta based solely on one of her gorgeous posts. Talk about an influencer! Her entire wardrobe is goals, and she has the cutest little fam.

Sucré (the band) released a single today, so go listen to it!

Visit her band’s website, and if you get a chance to see them live, DO IT.

Follow if you love: style, personal posts

Skunkboy

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Alright, fine. This is another blogger I discovered through ABM. Katie is (was?) one of the staff writers for ABM, and has a collab line with BonLook. Skunkboy Blog is where she chronicles the goings-on of her sweet fam, DIYs, and her adorable handmade “creatures.”

Follow if you love: personal posts, sewing, crafts, DIYs, vintage

dum doceo

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dum doceo is the personal blog of my dear friend Annie, a teacher and all-around badass. She’s debuting the blog at the end of the month—don’t miss it!

P.S. “Dum doceo” is Latin for “while I teach.” Annie is really freaking smart, and remembers way more about AP Latin than I do.

Follow if you love: education, personal posts, professional writing

Not Really Oxford Women

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And last but certainly not least, my own side project! My friend Annie (of dum doceo) and I recently applied to study abroad in Oxford this summer, and we’ve started a blog about the whole experience!

Follow if you love: travel, photography

***

What blogs inspire you, dear reader?

xoxo,

c

Pod-Party!

I’m newly obsessed with podcasts. I know, I know, I know. I’m about 5 years behind the time. Podcasts have existed for eons and I’ve just been wasting my life listening to music. Please leave your shade at the door and indulge me, goddamnit.

I’ve been listening to a few killer podcasts lately, some more than others, and yes, they’re mostly hosted by comedians because I have simple tastes, okay?

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image via All Things Comedy

I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast

Jen Kirkman (one of my favorite comedians ever) hosts a weekly podcast on the All Things Comedy network. It’s phenomenal. I can’t even really explain why hearing about her dietary restrictions because of her acid reflux problem is interesting, but it is. Maybe it’s because she’s a hometown hero (Bostonians ftw). I recently read her first book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids, and I can’t recommend her Netflix Special enough.

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image via How Was Your Week?

How Was Your Week? with Julie Klausner

I’ve written previously about Julie’s perfect Hulu show, Difficult People, but it bears mentioning that she has one of the funniest podcasts in the game. Her voice (I mean that in the literal and the literary sense) is strong, sharp, and can make anything interesting—even her lamentations on the closing of the American Psycho musical. She’s not a super frequent poster (she’s got shit to do, people!) but whenever I refresh the podcast app and see a new ep waiting for me, I practically skip to my car and start actually enjoying trafficky commutes. Subscribe immediately!

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image via Loud Speakers Network

Plz Advise with Molly McAleer

Plz Advise is an advice podcast hosted by Molls, who you may know from HelloGiggles, 2 Broke Girls, Drunk History, or just generally being an OG blogger. Some of the reality tv-talk is lost on me, but the general advice given on the pod is actually pretty on point. Her guests are always charming and hilarious. Additional info: Molls has a *fire* Snapchat story @mollsofficial.

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image via Soundcloud

Oh Boy with Jay Buim

Oh Boy is an interview podcast sponsored by Man Repeller. Jay Buim, the host, is a great interviewer because he really lets the guest do the majority of the talking. He just guides with open-ended questions. The first one I listened to featured Tennessee Thomas from The Like and NAF!

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image via Man Repeller

Monocycle with Leandra Medine

Monocycle is another  Man Repeller podcast. It’s hosted by the creator of the site, Leandra, and it’s a stream-of-consciousness monologue about the topic of the week, which range from weekend outfits to IVF. It usually runs about 10 minutes, so it’ll take you no time at all to catch up!

 

What else should I be listening to? I just downloaded 2 Dope Queens because I loooooove those ladies. Send me suggestions!

—DellaBites