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Indie & Chic Giveaway

This week’s giveaway comes from Indie & Chic! Samantha started her shop back in 2008 and I was excited when she approached me about hosting a giveaway! To enter to win her bobby pins, earrings and ring (above), you can do the following (each one lands you a separate entry):

This giveaway is open to those in the US/Canada. It will be open until Thursday, May 10th at 11:59pm EST! The winner will be announced on Friday morning. Good luck!

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Things I’m Afraid To Tell You

I was sincerely moved yesterday after stumbling across Creature Comforts’ post titled, “Things I’m Afraid To Tell You” (a post inspired by Jess Constable). I read her post followed by the many brave souls who really opened up and shared a lot. I decided that I wanted to follow their example and post my own today. Not because I love jumping on every bandwagon but the more I thought about it…I realized that I am no better than any one else and I truly long to be real with everyone I encounter. I spoke with Jess last night about this series of posts sweeping the blog world and we agree that it’s easy to blog about purses, travel and interior decor because then it’s harder to get hurt. Hurtful comments, judgmental assumptions and negative attitudes are too prevalent on the internet. My list of fears are a mix of serious & lightheartedness. Thanks for reading.

I’m a slob. Straight up. I don’t make my bed. I don’t like cleaning the bathroom unless I have to. I don’t even really like to shower (and avoid it if possible). Oh and I don’t have a dishwasher so…yeah.

I don’t miss people. That sounds so cold hearted but it’s true. In my adult life, I have only missed one person and that’s Adam (whenever I travel or am away from him). Everyone else? I do alright moving forward. This is a blessing and a curse. While I don’t have to deal with much heartache, I think I can slowly destroy friendships because of this.

I think Ryan Gosling is repulsive. It’s true. Simple as that.

I’m often afraid I’ll place work before the things that really matter to me. I have this thing where I know work isn’t my top priority but my actions tend to reflect otherwise. I’ve been having a difficult time lately trying to find balance and HATE the phrase, “This is temporary. It’ll be worth it in the end.” I could die tomorrow. Why would I want to “push through” an entire year of my life just for something that might happen.

I’m afraid I’ll work for myself full time next year and completely fail. The projects are coming in steadily now and my ultimate fear is that I’ll quit my day job and that will all stop.

My biggest fear is that I’ll be arrested and found guilty for a crime that I didn’t commit. Yeah, I’m weird. But that would SUCK.

So that’s me (a very small glimpse of me). What are you afraid to tell?

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Two Announcements

I have two announcements this morning! I want to announce the winner of the April Photo Challenge. Your lovely judge, Kara, has made her decision and I’m happy to announce that Joel is the winner! His Week 3 submission (below) is the winning shot. He will receive the amazing Debbie Carlos postcards as his prize. I am especially impressed because Joel shot film the entire month! Love it. Congrats, Joel and I’ll be contacting you soon so I can send you your prize.

My second announcement is the winner of the ZOMGIMBORED giveaway! I’m happy to announce that Rhianon H won! She’ll be receiving a tee and two posters from April sponsor Jim Viola. Congrats!

Check back in a bit for another post before the weekend!

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CITY GUIDE: Little Rock

Today’s CITY GUIDE is brought to you by Mallory Nickels of Little Rock, Arkansas!

Rosalia’s Family Bakery is one of Little Rock’s hidden gems. A Brazilian bakery which sprung from a Brazilian restaurant next door, it’s a place people are constantly popping in and out of. It’s got authentic Brazilian coffee, daily homemade breads, and an ever changing array of American and Brazilian pastry favorites from macarons to pao de queijo to cookies and cupcakes. It’s the absolute perfect place to start a leisurely Little Rock morning.

Hillcrest is one of Little Rock’s most beloved neighborhoods with homes aging back to the 1920s. One monthly event everyone looks forward to is First Thursday Shop ‘N Sip. Kavanaugh Blvd. runs right through the middle of Hillcrest and is lined with amazing restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and antique shops. The first Thursday of each month they all stay open late, street music pops up out of nowhere and people wander up and down the street sipping wine, shopping and generally enjoying liveliness!

When the weather is nice, there’s no better place to spend an afternoon in Little Rock than on the deck at Ciao Baci whether you’re looking for drinks, appetizers, a full meal or just dessert. The atmosphere is just perfect and the menu matches. I personally can’t go without devouring the cheese board and the tabletop s’mores are as delicious as they are fun.

White Water Tavernis a local dive bar that always showcases the best live music in all of Little Rock.  Acts range from the local bands Amasa Hines and Velvet Kente to regionally and nationally renowned acts.  Up the narrow staircase and directly above the stage there are pool tables and spaces for people to chat. Out back is a patio area for fresh air and mingling. (White Water Tavern photos taken by Cody Riggan.)

A huge thanks to Mallory for sharing all her favorite spots in Little Rock! Be sure to visit her blog & follow her on Twitter!

Featured image by duluoz cats.

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Colorful Haze

Last Wednesday, I shared that I was taking a step back to re-evaluate and prioritize. I’ve only messed up a few times but other than that it’s been working really well. This week I’m starting Sarah’s #30DaysToSanity challenge for the month of May. I’ve made a few tweaks but it includes the following:

  • No more digital multi-tasking. Take in one article at a time. Focus on one project at a time. Plus, it helps when logging hours.
  • Adopt the 5 blog rule. I’m choosing 5 blogs to read in May. Essentially, my Google Reader is going to hit high numbers. That’s okay.
  • Stop working by 10pm, daily. That doesn’t mean I work 7am-10pm. I allow myself to cook, workout, meet friends.
  • Making creativity + physical activity a daily practice. I’m most excited about this.
  • Try three new things. Mine include: Take a class to learn something new, plant my own herbs, and make my own jewelry.

I’ll be using Wednesdays in May to update you on this challenge! Here We Go posts will resume in June (get ready for lots of information, video tutorials, and helpful downloads!). Also, you should notice that my May sponsor are now on the sidebar! I scaled back this month and chose to only bring on 5 sponsors total (one more coming soon). Happy May!

All photos above taken on my Pentax K1000, Kodak Porta film. Processed in Photoshop. I’m having fun with color lately.

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#snapaphoto April Photo Challenge: Week 4

The #snapaphoto challenge is officially over! How crazy. April went so fast! Wait…don’t I say that EVERY month? Anyways, here are Week 4’s submissions. I just want to clarify that while my photo LOOKS like a candid, I promise I asked her if I could take her picture. The conversation went like this:

Me (nervous): Hi! I was wondering if I could take your picture? *SILENCE*

Lady: What?

Me: Can I take your picture?

Lady: Do I have to look at the camera?

Me: Ummm, nope! *CLICK* Thanks!

Lady: Thanks for asking!

Exciting, huh? To all you participants…how did your experience unfold? Were you nervous? Did you get rejected beforehand? I seriously was really nervous. I only mustered up the courage to go up and ask the woman working at Stauf’s (coffeeshop) because I had to get going to pick up my dog from the groomer. My favorite shot was Jon’s. So much character in his subject AND background. Lovely. Which portrait is your favorite?

Thank you to ALL who participated over the last month. If you’re late to the party, you can look back on Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. The winner of this challenge will be announced on Friday morning after your lovely judge, Kara, chooses her favorite!

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A Free Download To Brighten Your Day!

This past weekend I finalized a project for a client and I got to involve watercolor! I loved it so much I decided to create a freebie wallpaper for you all! The charcoal blob in the middle inspired me to pull a Mumford and Sons lyric. It seemed perfect. I’m digging those bright teals and blues lately. I hope you enjoy! Click here to download ALL versions. It includes a desktop (formatted for a large iMac), iPad and iPhone version! You can download them individually here:

  • Click HERE to download the desktop version
  • Click HERE to download the iPad version
  • Click HERE to download the iPhone version

Enjoy and be sure to share!

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I’m excited to announce the last April sponsor giveaway today (on the last day of April)! Jim of ZOMGIMBORED is graciously giving away two signed posters and a tee that he designed. Amazing! I’m a huge fan of Jim’s work, blog and Twitter feed. He’s always sharing resources, color schemes, and tips. One lucky winner will win these three items and I’m not going to lie — I’m jealous. In order to enter you must:

Once you’ve done both, comment below! The contest ends Thursday, May 3rd at 11:59pm EST. The winner will be chosen at random and announced here on Friday morning. To enter you must have a United States mailing address. Please be aware that shirt sizes are limited and run MEDIUM – XXL. Good luck!

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Good Goods

Lately I’ve been trying to avoid materialistic posts. I tend to get tired of that when scrolling through my Google Reader but beautiful, quality products still catch my eye. I thought maybe once a month I’d post a “Good Goods” post. It’ll be a combination of things I’ve recently purchased and things I have pinned or Evernoted. We’ll be debt free in May and I cannot WAIT. I tend to buy things if we have a little extra cash or if I’ve acquired points through Birchbox. I’m hoping to go on a little shopping trip next month for my birthday but I think I’ll end up feeling guilty. Oh well, a birthday girl can splurge right?

  1. LSA International Centro Carafe. I love water bottles, carafes and pitchers. I don’t know why!
  2. Odette Arrow Ring. I don’t really like wearing jewelry with the exception of rings. This one is gorgeous.
  3. Zoya’s nail polish remover. I’ve never experienced anything better. It takes off glitter and dark polish with ease.
  4. Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment. I snagged this with my Birchbox points and it’s almost gone! Addicting.
  5. Klorane Dry Shampoo. I only wash my hair about 3x a week and so I’ve been trying a lot of brands lately. Need to try this one!
  6. Smashbox’s Brow Tech To Go. AMAZING brow pencil. Worth the $26.
  7. RBG Polish in Punch. Another product I ordered through Birchbox. The prettiest spring color! Goes on smooth.
  8. Panasonic Headphones. Recommended by Sharon and I love them! Great sound and comfortable. I’m a sucker for white.
*CONGRATS to Vanessa for winning the Life in Progress Giveaway from this week. Thanks to all who entered. Be on the lookout for a new (more uni-sex) giveaway on Monday.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. I have NO PLANS so I intend on working for a bit but then enjoy free time by reading, cooking and sleeping in. What are your plans?

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CITY GUIDE : Fort Langley

Today’s City Guide is brought to you by Heather of Tea with Me! I’m excited to share the first Canadian destination! Enjoy.

Is there good food? Is there fascinating history? It’s these two questions that constantly pop into my mind when choosing a place to visit; it so happens that this city has both, plus one downtown street full of chic boutiques. Fort Langley is an overlooked gem when it comes to the Lower Mainland, especially with Vancouver an hour or two away (maybe if Allie is nice she will let me do that guide for you). It’s a hidden secret with the locals and perfect for a low key Saturday.

Start off by going to Wendel’s Bookstore and Café and don’t get frightened away by the lineup, when it comes to food it’s a good sign and it moves at a decent clip. The problem … trying to actually decide on what to get, everything looked incredibly delicious, not to mention the ooey gooey baked treats that tantalize behind a glass shield with seductive whispering, “Take me home with you!”

Once your belly is full and completely satisfied walk down the road for shopping. This is perfect for a day with the girlfriends, unless your fella is in to shopping. It’s time to catch up on gossip between the clothing boutiques, art galleries, trinket stores and even a spa there is something for everyone. There are two treat stores, one dedicated to candy and another for chocolate if you feel the urge to have a little snack or have the same chocolate sweet tooth I have.

Treasure hunters should not miss the Village Antique Mall, a 10,000 square foot place off the main drag full of wondrous items. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but my guess is an individual can purchase a booth and fill it with their items to sell. It can be a little annoying especially if you know what you want, but I find it intriguing to see the style of each person come out.

The Fort to Fort trail, is a flat all seasons trek that connects the first Hudson Bay Company’s Fort Langley site (1827) to the current fort location (1839) which is a National Historic site in the downtown area. The trail takes you through lush vegetation and wildflowers amidst trees to farmland by the Fraser River and Bedford channel.  It’s a serene trek, especially in the morning, when the grass is still covered in dew and the birds chirp (even better when you stop at Wendel’s afterwards.)

Fort Langley was established by the Hudson’s Bay Company, the oldest commercial corporation in North America, over a century ago to trade with the First Nations of the area. The fort isn’t of large size, but it’s still fun to take the kids too, especially around Canada day, when they are doing more interactive pieces. Take them there for a little history lesson, gold panning, and visit the farm animals.

For me, a trip to the town cannot be complete without stopping in at Infusion Bouteaque, either a quick hello to the owners or to try a new tea. They have near on a 100 different loose leaf teas for sale and I love how they have placed them in little bottles for you to open and smell. Its fascinating watching people, shake and sniff, then share the bottles with friends with exclamations of, “Try this one!” They are the tea merchant that first got me addicted to loose leaf tea. As of now they have some help, but if you get lucky and find the owners in, you will see how tea is a pure passion of this couple.

Not as popular as the Vancouver core when visiting British Columbia, but it’s still a fabulous place, well worth a taking a few hours of your day with girlfriends to explore away from the hub of city life.

A huge thanks to Heather for rounding up her favorite places in Fort Langley! Be sure to visit her blog and follow her on Twitter! All photos taken by Heather.

Featured image by p medved.