Musings

A Clean Home is a Happy Home.

Hello, my dear friends! A happy Friday to you all. Perhaps this is a bit of wishful thinking, but it did feel like there was a slight autumn chill to the air today…Which has me thinking about how I’ve almost been writing on this blog for a whole year. That is so amazing! Perhaps I’ll do a post about what I’ve learned in my first year of blogging. I’ve enjoyed this yearlong adventure, and I can’t wait to continue on this journey!

Today’s blog I wanted to talk about the notion that a clean home is a happy home. I’ve written in previous blog posts that our homes needn’t be impeccable to be cozy and homey, and I still stand behind that. HOWEVER, I will say that a clean home makes for a happy home.

I write this blog post from my room that is a bit more messy than I’d care to say. And it’s making for a hectic mind. Too much stuff laying around has a way of making our minds reflect the state of our surroundings. I’ve always struggled a bit with being a messy person. It takes a very conscious effort for me to put things away instead of leaving them where I set them down. And the older I get, the harder I try to be a tidier person. And I will say that I have gotten quite a bit better at it, but there is certainly always room for improvement.

I’ve seen a sentiment floating around the internet that I absolutely adore. The idea that we need to begin thinking of cleaning in a brand new way. Instead of thinking of it as a chore and something we do NOT want to do, we think of it as an act of self care. The idea that we DESERVE to have a home that is clean. It seems like such a simple change, but it really has had quite a profound impact on the way that I view cleaning. And it’s really changed me, because as I write this, I’m compiling a list of all the things I’m excited to do around the house tomorrow.

For example, I’m excited to do my laundry tomorrow, because how wonderful is it that I have a washer and dryer to clean my clothes with? And how wonderful is it to have clean clothes?

As always, it’s the little things in life…

And on that note, my dear friends… I will sign off and wish you all sweet dreams, as this is another late night post.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

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Eco-friendly

I Made the Switch to Reusable K-Cups!

Hello, my friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful, caffeinated Wednesday! Or if you are less  caffeine addicted than I am, I hope that you are having a wonderful Wednesday all the same!

I drink coffee every single day, one or two cups per day. Last summer I was able to ween myself off of drinking coffee, but here we are… there are certainly worse vices…

A vice related to my coffee drinking, but not a result of the actual act of coffee drinking… was using k-cups that WEREN’T REUSABLE. I had even tried to use a reusable k-cup! I bought one and everything, but it did not work! For whatever reason, it wasn’t compatible with my Keurig. And as guilty as I feel saying this… I just didn’t try to make it work or even buy a new one… until now.

Today is day one of using my reusable k-cup and I am NOT going back. I will say that it is a little bit more labor intensive, as you have to clean it out, but that’s really not a problem for me.

On the Midwest Mattie blog we are all about saving money AND saving the Earth. Making coffee at home is already better for your pocketbook and for the Earth, but if you are using a Keurig, I couldn’t recommend purchasing a reusable K-cup enough.

I’m trying to make changes in my lifestyle that are doable, and sustainable. It doesn’t do much good for us if we try to make too big of a change at once, and then ultimately give up because it was too much, too fast. And I understand the allure of going big or going home, but I think that going at a pace that works for us and will continue to work for us is the best way to go about change. And being HONEST with ourselves. Only we can know 100% if we are doing our best to be sustainable. People have different factors in their lives that may change their ability to make an assorted amount of change in their own lives.

Thinking about things that we do EVERY SINGLE DAY that we can change is important. Despite my best efforts, there are days when I get a coffee from a coffee shop and it’s in a plastic cup. And I always feel guilty when I do that, but it is not an every day thing. We will all make mistakes. We cannot be in complete control of our lives and our surroundings 100% of the time. We just can’t.  We have to do our honest best.

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Read With Me

Read With Me: Anne of Green Gables.

Hello, friends! A happy Wednesday to you all! I’ve mentioned before that I’d begun to reread Anne of Green Gables, but I felt like dear Anne deserves a blog post all her own.

I read this book many a times when I was younger, and absolutely loved it.  I also watched the 1985 movie centered around Anne. And I’ve begun to watch the show on Netflix, Anne with an E! The show is quite different from the book, and I’ve found it so far to be considerably darker than the book. However, I have only have finished season one, so I can’t fairly give a review on it as of yet.

I’ve always enjoyed this book, but I don’t think that I initially picked up on how beautifully it’s written. I so desperately want to crawl into the world of Avonlea, and reside at Green Gables.

This post may not be as structured as other blog’s book reviews, but this is a new venture for me, and I want to experiment with it. I’ve written so many papers for various English classes that I could scream, and I would like this to be more relaxed than those.

I thought that I would break down this book into quotes, scenes, and overall feelings I have. I suppose if you haven’t read Anne of Green Gables, you may get some spoilers in this post, so be warned…


“Poor little soul,” she murmured, lifting a loose curl of hair from the child’s tearstained face. Then she bent down and kissed the flushed cheek on the pillow.”

Oh, Marilla! You do have a heart! How tender is this moment? Marilla’s heart is quickly warming to Anne. How could it not? A loyal friend, such as Anne, unable to continue being friends with her best friend, Diana. How could your heart not ache? Marilla loves Anne and these special moments of tenderness just make my heart sing! The characters in this book are written so wonderfully, and are near impossible not to love. And the character development of them all, after meeting Anne, is flawlessly done. Marilla, you softie, you…


A scene that I find to be excruciatingly endearing is when Anne comes back to school after being gone for quite some time. It warms my heart to see how excited everyone was to see her. And all of the things they want to give to her! Plums, flowers, teaching her a new pattern of knit lace… so wonderful and simple. I’m sure Anne would agree… how romantic! Pair that with Anne expressing to Marilla how wonderful it is to be appreciated. I couldn’t agree more, Anne.

And oh, Gilbert! All of his attempts to woo Anne are in vain. No strawberry apple given to her by a man who called her Carrots will she eat! No sir! Oh, poor Gilbert. I applaud Anne for sticking to her guns, but how could you not feel a pang of sympathy for ol’ Gil?

Not to mention their rivalry in school, which is stated to be good-natured on Gilbert’s part, but certainly not on Anne’s…


I hope one day to be as wise as Anne… Until then, I’ll just take inspiration from her. I think it’s important to not only find inspiration from those older than us, but also from those younger…

“But really, Marilla, one can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?”


I will talk about simple living until I’m blue in the face, but for anyone questioning the validity of a life lived simply instead of lavishly, I recommend this book to you. Anne Shirley says it best when she says…

“All things great are wound up with all things little.”


And our sweet Anne, ever the romantic… How sweet a sentiment! And a sentiment I couldn’t agree more with!

“Ruby Gillis says when she grows up, she’s going to have ever so many beaus on the string and have them all crazy about her; but I think that would be too exciting. I’d rather have just one in his right mind.”


And oh my goodness! When Anne helps save Minnie May’s life and she can be friends with Diane again! How exciting and heartwarming! Their friendship and love for one another is one of my favorite aspects of the book. I think that it’s so wonderful how they were able to find each other, and remain close friends through the years.


“Well, anyway, when I am grown up,” said Anne decidedly, “I’m always going to talk to little girls as if they were, too, and I’ll never laugh when they use big words. I know from sorrowful experience how that hurts one’s feelings.”

This is such a wonderful sentiment, and one that I think is important. As children, the way we are spoken to by adults isn’t always what we wish it to be. And now, as an adult, it’s definitely something I want to remember, to treat all children with kindness and to treat them as I would have wanted to be treated as a young one. Treating them fully as a person who is capable of feelings and unique thoughts. AND able to use big words.


“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

It can sometimes be easy to lose faith in the world around us, and the people within the world, but I love being reminded that there are so many wonderful individuals as well. Ones that we have met, and ones that we have yet to meet!


“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

I haven’t much to say about this quote, other than it’s a wonderful way to look at life. There’s always tomorrow!


I feel as though any Anne of Green Gables book review wouldn’t be complete without talking about when Matthew buys her a dress with PUFFED SLEEVES! And Matthew’s endearing shyness when going about buying it! I personally think that there is nothing wrong with liking pretty things, and giving something like this to Anne, an orphan who hasn’t had a life filled with pretty things or pretty events… It’s such a kind, kind, thing to do.


“Well, I don’t want to be any one but myself, even if I go uncomforted by diamonds all my life, declared Anne. “I’m quite proud to be Anne of Green Gables, with my string of pearl beads. I know Matthew gave me as much love with them as ever went with Madame the Pink lady’s jewels.”

I love this scene so much. Especially coming from Anne Shirley herself, a character who, at the beginning of the story, wasn’t very happy with herself, inside and out. It’s so heartwarming being able to see her journey through life, growing into a very confident and content young woman.


On a much, much, sadder note… Matthew’s death. The way that L.M. Montgomery chooses to write about Anne’s feelings about his passing away is very true to life, I think. You’re not always sad when you’re grieving or mourning, there are oftentimes where you do find joy in life, and then perhaps a sense of guilt afterwards. As sad as it is, of course, I think that this being a part of the ending of the book only showcases the impact that Anne has made on Matthew and Marilla’s life, and vice versa, all the more. They’ve all changed each other’s lives in truly wonderful ways. Matthew and Marilla gave Anne a house, but I think that Anne really made it a home for all of them. I just cannot express my love for them as a family enough.


I want to end this blog post about Anne of Green Gables on a happy note, so let’s talk some more about Gilbert, shall we? And how Anne and him are FINALLY on speaking terms, and the sacrifice he made for her. I must say, I really enjoy their dynamic. Throughout all the drama that goes on between them, it seems as though they always respect one another. When a book or movie sets up two characters as love interests, they usually go through a phase of absolutely hating each other. HOWEVER, in most love stories, one of the characters is typically truly awful to the other, often doing things that are quite inexcusable. I think what this book does right is that neither of them are every heartlessly cruel to one another. Gilbert jokingly calling her Carrots is about the extent of it. And Anne certainly doesn’t give him any slack for it.

And at the ending, when he gives up the position at the school so that she’s able to stay with Marilla… and she forgives him for calling her Carrots and he walks her home… And you start to jump up and down in your chair a little because FINALLY.

Oh, this book! I’m writing this having freshly finished the book, and goodness, am I feeling a bit weepy. What a wonderful, wonderful story.  A book that is so absolutely timeless in nature, having been penned over a hundred years ago. I enjoyed reading it now just as much, if not more than I did when I was younger. I really can’t express my love for this book properly. If you haven’t read it, and even if I have spoiled it a bit in this blog post, I really would recommend still reading it. My writings and ponderings about it are quite clumsy in comparison to the novel itself.

Gosh, I love this book. Onto Anne of Avonlea next!!!

Thank you so much for reading, my kindred spirits!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Engaged Life

Allowing Ourselves to be Hopeless Romantics.

Hello, my friends! And a happy Friday to you all! I hope that your weekend is of to the most wonderful of starts, and without too much of my chatter, let’s get started on this blog post!

There once was a time, that lasted for quite some time, where I refused to admit to finding anything romantic. I exclaimed deep distaste for all things romantic — being given flowers, romantic comedies, and above all, sincerity of feelings. Who would ever admit to liking those things? Not me! When it was even hinted at that I had any resemblance to feelings of the romantic sort, I would get offended beyond belief. How dare they!

Goodness gracious. How silly was I? There are many things that could be seen as the root of it all, but I suppose the biggest one was my fear of sincerity. I’ve mentioned this in many a post, but it really did run my life when I was younger.  As I’ve mentioned time and time again, I was the most sensitive of children, and as I hit my teens, I went all the way to the other side, being embarrassed by the depth of my feelings, even for silly, inconsequential things.

I wanted desperately to be a cool girl, and cool girls don’t have any feelings, right? They find romantic comedies trite, right? Being given flowers is completely unnecessary, RIGHT? I had that way of thinking embedded into my brain, for whatever reason.

Oh, my…  Thinking of the way I used to be is exhausting. Nowadays, I let myself like romantic things, and to not feel the slightest bit of guilt in regards to it. So what if my heart flutters when I watch a John Hughes movie, and Andie FINALLY kisses her crush, Blaine? Why did I ever think that was something to be ashamed of?

I suppose that yes, I did want to be seen as a cool girl, but I also thought it was the only way that I could be seen as… seen as… oh, I don’t know, a girl that “wasn’t like other girls”.  Yes, yes, I know. That’s a completely awful thing to think, but I felt that’s what I had to offer the world.It is also totally possible that I watched 500 Days of Summer too much.

And here is the thing, my friends. There are some women in the world who do not like romantic comedies, or being given flowers. And that is 100% fine. What is NOT fine is for us hopeless romantics to feel as though we have to scoff at all things romance to be found interesting, because that is NOT the case.  AND it is also not a good thing for those among us who truly do not enjoy big gestures of romance to feel as though they must pretend that they do. 

The right person for us will be like-minded and not mind if we shed a tear or two after we’ve listened to Elvis crooning, “For I can’t help, falling in love with you.” Instead, they’ll be touched by our sensitive hearts.

I cannot speak for those who are perhaps more practical than I am when it comes to romance, but I certainly can speak for myself. And I will go so far to say that I think that movies need to realize that it is GOOD to have a sincere love story. Not every love story needs to be filled with characters that are constantly making wise-cracks and not being sincere in the least! I’ve watched my fair share of bad romantic comedies to know that it’s something that seems to be done in the majority of modern movies.There’s enough harshness and ugliness in the world, why not allow ourself some romance and fluff in our movies?

And heck, let us have that attitude in our own life as well. Write love notes to our significant others, revel in getting flowers, and allowing ourselves to be sincere in all that we do. Romantic gestures look different for everyone, and I’m by no means trying to say that EVERYONE must be a hopeless romantic, I’m merely saying that I wish that it wasn’t seen as a negative thing for someone to be fond of all things romance. I understand why people are concerned about wearing their heart on their sleeves, but I really want to suggest that perhaps it’s not a bad thing to do. 

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

One Last Lunch.

Hello, friends! And a happy Friday to you all! Today’s post is one that was not planned at all. I had another post ready to go, but then I felt compelled to write this. It’s more of a journal entry than a blog post, but I still felt the desire to share it on my blog.

I suppose a small bit of a context, for those who don’t know, I’m moving on Monday to Traverse City, and today is my last day at my job in Mount Pleasant.

Today is my last day on CMU’s campus.

For the foreseeable future, anyhow. I knew I would feel wistful for the people, but I didn’t think I would be wistful for the location, but sitting here on my lunch break, I do feel melancholy.

I’m sitting on a bench by the fountain and the pavilion where I had my prom photos taken, years ago. There are other people taking their lunch break, riding their bike, or even going to their transfer orientation.

I think it’s easier to feel wistful when it’s sunny out. When it’s cloudy, I just find myself feeling mournful. There will be beautiful sunshine filled days in my new city, but they will not be this one. At this bench, by this fountain, eating this lunch. That’s just the nature of life, although I struggle with that fact.

Through various trees and bushes I can see the building where I took my first creative writing class. The brick exterior is slightly outdated, but still charming in its own way. I would argue more so than the newer, more expensive buildings. I can feel myself getting sunburnt as I run my bare feet through the grass.

It’s so easy to be impatient for the future, or to be nostalgic of the past. If that’s the case, why is it so hard to be present in the now, when in its own way, it’s a mixture of the two? I’m trying to soak it all in, the sound of the lawn mower across the way, the rice stuck in my teeth, and even my furrowed brow, brought on by the absence of sunglasses.

I’m living in the present because before I know it, it will be the past. I spent snow days in my dad’s office, on this campus. I accompanied my mom to “Bring Your Child to Work Day”, but that was then. And this is now.

Now looks a little something like this: I’m sitting, in the sunshine, with rice in my teeth, accompanied by the summer sounds of my sleepy little town, until I can no longer hear them. And though I do feel wistful, I also feel content.

—————————————————————————————

A little different of a post today, my friends, but I hope that you enjoyed it all the same. Life is forever moving, and it can be far too easy to get caught up in the changes. Sometimes, all we need is a moment or two where we allow ourselves to be totally present of the world around us.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

What Makes a Home?

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! As always, I hope that this week is treating you well. Today I wanted to write a blog about the concept of home, something I find to be a bit more complicated than a place with four walls and a roof. Let’s dive in!

I know that I’m very blessed to have had multiple households where I’ve grown up to feel safe and loved. It’s not always that way for everybody. Sometimes we need to find and create our own homes. They don’t need to be big and fancy, in fact, I prefer them to be small and cozy. It can be a place of your own creation. I’ve been thinking about this more and more as I get ready to make my first big girl move — moving out of Mount Pleasant.

As I get older, I also begin to think of the home I’ll want to provide for my children, once I have them. What kind of home would they want? The kind of home we want for our children, we should aim to create for ourselves. If we want a place where a child would feel safe, we need to have an environment where we also feel safe in. And I know that life is hard, and it can be unfair. Sometimes we’re forced to endure situations where we do not feel safe or loved. Maybe the only safe place we have is the one we create within ourselves, and that becomes our home.

In addition to creating this safe and loving atmosphere for ourselves, we must also be sure to produce an atmosphere where others can feel safe and cared for. I became all too aware of how greatly others need a safe spot when I was working with elementary school students. For many children, school was where they felt safest, and where they felt most cared for. It was the closest thing they felt to home, being at school. Feeling safe is an important feeling that people can often take for granted. I know that I do. And it’s not lost on me how fortunate I am. Until I win the lottery, I will not be able to build physical homes for people, but I can always make sure that people feel cared for and that they feel safe.

And it’s certainly not always easy. We interact with people who are rude to us, and it doesn’t exactly make us feel up to replying with kindness. And we can’t forget to keep ourselves safe in the process. Both physically and mentally. This can be very difficult, and I find it quite tricky, finding the balance. I worry so much about seeming rude, but we must remember it’s better to be seen as a little curt, than to put ourselves in a situation where we’re in harm’s way. You deserve to feel safe, too.

We must do our best to create a space where people feel safe and comfortable but never at the price of our own safety. Which is easier said than done, I know…

It’s not selfish wanting to be safe.

Perhaps I’ve spun this idea of a metaphorical home too far from my original sentiments, but I do believe that they’re connected still. Everyone has different resources and different opportunities in life, and as always, all we can do is our best. ❤

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

A Journey into Self-Love

Becoming Confident in our Intelligence.

Hello, friends! And a happy Friday to you each and every one of you! For today’s blog, I wanted to make an addition to our self-love journey series. And a very important one, I will say. Becoming confident in our intelligence. 

Nothing embarrasses me as much as being told that I’m wrong, or that I did something incorrectly, or if someone flat-out tells me I’m not smart. There are so many aspects of life that can make us feel self-conscious, and for me, intelligence has always been number one.

Not only that, but it’s been the hardest  one to overcome.

I took a literature theory class two semesters ago and felt horrible about myself for the duration of the semester. People were able to theorize Nietzsche with ease, and whenever I tried, I was met with, “Um, well, not quite”.  I was surrounded by an entire classroom of people that I found to be quite intellectually intimidating.

I remember spending Halloween night feverishly writing a theory paper, not understanding anything at all. Knowing I would do poorly on the paper, and cursing myself all the while for being stupid.

And it’s so much easier to say things after the fact, but at least now I can say that I know LOGICALLY I’m not stupid. It’s so much harder to acknowledge such things when in the thick of it. Feelings are all too good at clouding our logic.

When we feel extra down about ourselves, there are a few variables we can consider.

Have I reached out and asked for help? When you’re worried about feeling unintelligent, asking for help can be the hardest thing in the world. It’s something that I struggle with constantly. That being said, it is SO important.

Asking for help is a sign not only to ourselves, but to others, that we are committed to learning. It doesn’t even have to be in terms of a formal education. Asking questions about fixing a flat tire also shows a desire to learn, which should be admired.

There will be people in our lives that WILL be smarter than us. That is life. We’re not in competition with them, we’re in competition with our past selves. LEARN from those in your life who you deem to be more intelligent than you.

Am I  surrounding myself with people who are making me feel dumb? And I don’t mean hanging out with very intelligent people, I’m referring to people who are intentionally bringing you down. Hanging out with people who we deem smarter than us can be difficult, but ultimately, we can learn so much from them. Another thing to remind ourselves of is the fact that everyone has a different skill set. Theirs may just be different than yours. And that’s okay! If that is the case, it’s the perfect opportunity to educate each other. How wonderful is it that we live in a world where we can share knowledge?

I also believe it’s important to use our knowledge in a kind way. Too often, people will hold their knowledge over others heads, using it as a weapon. We should aim to teach others, instead of keeping it all to ourselves. Also, I must mention that teaching is one of the best ways we can learn. Which is a win-win for everyone.

We needn’t know everything about EVERYTHING, but we should work to be knowledgeable about things that interest us, things that will benefit us, AND things that will benefit those around us.

And as hard as it is, we must be kind to ourselves in our education pursuits. Learn at our own pace, ask questions when needed, and to never stop trying.

Thank you so much for reading, my lovely friends. I hope that your day is a wonderful one.

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

 

Musings

Returning to my Bookworm Roots.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! This week has been a pretty good one. I’ve been minimizing my screen time considerably, which makes me feel so refreshed! I mentioned in my last blog how I have been sewing quite a bit, but I’ve also been reading!

When I was younger, I spent most of my time reading. I read a couple of books per week, devouring them whole. I think around middle school is when I began to read less and less. And that continued into high school and college. I would read for my classes, but seldom did I read anything for pleasure. Nor did I enjoy reading most of the books I was assigned. I fell out of love with my dear friend, books.

Only recently have I begun to read for fun again.

I was always one of those people who read multiple books at a time, and it turns out, I still am! I’m reading four books currently. I’m thinking I want to start a section on my blog where I discuss the books I’m reading, so look out for that!

I’ve begun to carry around a book with me wherever I go, so that I can read instead of being on my phone. During my lunch break, I’ll try to read instead of scrolling. I’ll still look at my phone, but I’ll break up my screen time with some book time! Or last night, when I was at the laundromat, I brought a book along to read while I waited for my clothes to dry. I find I have an easier time reading when I’m not at home, probably because I’m not focused on all the things I could be doing instead. So a bit of a tip, if you can’t concentrate on your book, go elsewhere! I favor coffee shops, parks, and believe it or not, the library.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with being on our phones, but what I dislike is how automatic it is for me to grab my phone when I’m bored or when I have a free second. I want to break myself of that habit. I think it’s okay to be on our phones, but I think we need to work on being more intentional with our screen time. I think when it gets to be a problem is when we think that being on our phone is our only option when we have leisure time. Sometimes what we need is some mindless scrolling, but we certainly do not need it all the time.

Nowadays I have the worst attention span, I will watch tv AND be on my phone at the same time and STILL be bored. I find that I need several layers of stimuli. Which is such a bad habit to get into, because you end up not being totally focused on either activity I’m old enough where I can remember a time where I didn’t need to be entertained as much as I do now. I am trying to get back to that.

I also enjoy reading because it feels much more intentional. You’re making an active choice to NOT be on your phone.Which, if you’re anything like me, is your default. Bored? Go on your phone. Lonely? Go on your phone. Uncomfortable in a social situation? Go on your phone. Whatever I do, I like to make sure that I’m being intentional in it. I will say that pretending to make a phone call is probably better than a book to remove oneself from an uncomfortable situation…

Another thing I’ve rediscovered is how wonderful it is to read myself to sleep. I did it all the time as a kid, but now I spend my time before bed on my phone. I am all too aware that I shouldn’t do that, but I do it anyway. I’ve been trying to read more before bed, and it helps me get to sleep so much quicker. If I’m on my phone, I can stay up for HOURS, even when I’m past exhaustion. Reading allows me to listen to my body’s signals, and to pick up on when its time for bed.

As with anything, this process is taking time. Before I had a phone, reading was the thing I did without thinking, but now, things are different. I’m working on trying to get better with my choice of free-time activities. I’m not trying to villainize people who use their phone instead of read, not at all. I think there are definitely times where we need some mindless activities. I just wanted to share this blog to inspire others to revisit what we loved in our younger days. Perhaps it’s time to make a visit. 🙂

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

Engaged Life · OOTD

Head to Toe: My Engagement Pictures

Hello friends! Happy Monday to you all! Today’s blog I wanted to do a little something different. It’s sort of like an OOTD, but it’s more so a breakdown of what I wore/how I did my hair/makeup for my engagement pictures! I am by no means an expert in fashion, hair, or makeup, but I do thoroughly enjoy putting looks together.

I’ve said many a times that it is NOT necessary to buy an outfit for EVERY occasion, but I will admit that I did buy a new outfit for these pictures. My clothes don’t fit very well as of late, and I wanted to feel confident during these pictures, so I did buy them new. Had I not waited until the last second, (the day before), I probably would have tried to find them at a thrift store, but alas, I did not.

I did, however, incorporate some pieces that I already had, so I didn’t COMPLETELY go off the shopping deep-end.

And off we go!

Hair.

I am not confident in my hair-styling abilities whatsoever, so I just straightened my hair. I don’t know what straightener I use, I’ve had it for years and years. I can’t imagine straighteners work all that different from each other, so this one doesn’t matter so much!

Makeup.

 I chose a pretty natural and simple makeup look, pretty much the same as the look I describe in this blog post. The only difference being that I took the color, Cyprus Umber, from the Modern Renaissance palette on my lash line. I don’t like how eyeliner looks on me, especially black eyeliner, so I choose to do a more subtle look. I like taking a little brush like this, and do a thin line along my lases. It creates a look that is both subtle and slightly  dramatic. And the brown makes my green eyes POP. I think it’s important when taking engagement pictures to choose a makeup look that is very close to your day-to-day makeup, just elevated slightly. They’re pictures that you’ll have for the rest of your life! You want to still look like YOU. It’s definitely not a time to experiment with vastly different makeup looks, because some looks photograph better than others. If you do want to do a look that is very different from your regular look, I recommend trying it out ahead of time, and taking photos of yourself. That way you have an idea of what it will look like in your engagement pictures!

Accessories.

Necklace: Bobby bought me this necklace for Christmas, so I can’t find the exact one, but here is one that is similar. I think that a simple necklace is perfect for photos.  It makes you look just a little more put together quite effortlessly. I seldom take this necklace off, so I didn’t even really think about not wearing a necklace! It’s important to make sure that your necklace matches with the neckline of the shirt you’re wearing. Some necklaces look better with a neckline than others. Just something to be conscious of!

Here is one that is similar to mine!

Pearls: I’ve always adored the look of pearls. They are so timeless, and I think it’s important for engagement pictures to feel timeless. I hope one day to own a pair of real fancy-pants lady pearl earrings, but for now, I’m a-okay with the ones I have. I believe in quality over quantity, but something like earrings, I can’t seem to justify spending heaps of money on. I’m fine with a handful of well-chosen cheap earrings. I generally opt for earrings that are more dangly, but again, I wanted to make sure things looked timeless, so, pearl earring it was! Below I’ve listed the exact pearls I  bought, and then a similar, cheaper, pair from Amazon.

The set I bought.

And here’s a cheaper alternative, using my Amazon Affiliate link!

Watch: Again, I wanted to choose an accessory that I thought to be quite timeless. I think that a delicate watch can be so striking, especially a faux white leather one. I’m not normally a fan of gold, or even a rose gold, but I found this watch to be quite charming. I think that if it were to be a silver watch, (which is generally my favorite) the white wouldn’t stand out as much. I think that sticking with one accessory on the wrists is a good idea. The star of the show should be your engagement ring! Pick additional pieces that are beautiful and simplistic so as to not take away the spotlight from that beautiful ring on your finger!

The watch I bought.

And here’s a cheaper alternative, using my Amazon Affiliate link!

Fake Nails: Speaking of the spotlight being on our rings… Arguably one of the most important things for engagement pictures: THE NAILS!!! My nails are generally in some sort of disarray.  Whether it be from me picking at the skin surrounding them, ripping them off, or even my sad attempt at giving myself a manicure. I generally go for red nails, but I thought that with my outfit being blue and white,  the red would make me look better prepared for a fourth of July barbecue, and not engagement pictures. So instead, I went with a  mauve pink color. I didn’t want to mess with with the nail salon or painting my nails myself, so I bought this pair of fake nails. I am 100% sure that I put them on wrong,  but they look better than my plain nails would’ve! So, success! I also included a nail polish color that is similar, in case you wanted to get them done at a salon or do them yourself! Not everyone is as inept at nails as me! (Ha!)

The set I bought.

And here’s an alternative, if you want a similar look with no fake nails!

Shoes: The shoes I wore are about five years old, from Cracker Barrel. I couldn’t find the exact pair that I have, so here are some similar ones that are honestly even cuter!

Option One.

Option Two.

Clothing.

Shirt: As I stated earlier, I’ve recently put on some weight. As a result, I have very few clothes that fit me correctly. I want to be able to be comfortable in the clothing I wear, especially for such an important occasion as engagement photos. When I do purchase something, I like to find items that are useful for me now, and items that could be useful to be if I were to fluctuate in weight again. A white t-shirt is such a wonderful option to have, and can be so flattering on everyone. Phew, that’s a lot of talk for saying I bought a white t-shirt.

Here’s the one that I bought.

And here’s a cheaper alternative, using my Amazon Affiliate link!

Skirt: As I mentioned previously, I want to purchase clothing that will serve me for a long time to come. This skirt is perfect for that, because it’s a true wrap skirt, so it will fit my waist at many different sizes. I also find this silhouette to be so flattering. I knew that I wanted to have a more fitted top paired with a looser bottom because I find it looks the nicest on me, especially in pictures. It’s important to know what works for YOU. These pieces that work great for me may not work for you at all, but maybe they will! Which is why I wanted to list them!

Here’s the one that I bought.

And here’s a cheaper alternative, using my Amazon Affiliate link!

And that’s about it, folks! I’m pretty sure that’s a recap of everything that I did/wore for these pictures! This is a different blog than what I usually do, but I had a lot of fun with it! I am not a fashionista, a makeup artist, or a hair stylist, but I enjoy it all the same!

If you do choose to purchase any of the products I’ve listed from Amazon, I will make a profit from it (with no extra cost to you!), as I am an Amazon Affiliate! No pressure on you to purchase anything, just wanted to give some options! ❤

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

Musings

A Writer’s Worst Nightmare: Writer’s Block.

Hello, friends! Happy Friday to you! I hope that this weekend proves to be refreshing and relaxing.

I come to you, my friends, less prepared than normal. I have 10 drafts of posts that I want to write, but can’t seem to execute them as I’d like to. My perfectionism comes out in full force in my writing. I want to write these blogs as well as I can, but it sometimes puts me at a freeze .

I think of little snippets of stories, poems, or blog posts, but can only seem to get a little bit out. It’s miserable.

Then, the spiral happens — I become convinced that I’ll never write anything good ever again. Not only that, but I tell myself that I’ve never actually written anything good ever.

This feeling, I’m sure can be shared with anyone who has a creative soul. It’s quite troublesome imagining ourselves as fraudulent in the field(s) we feel comfortable and confident in.

And then, there are other days when we have heaps and heaps of ideas, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to create them all. Those are the most invigorating of days.

I am going to be speaking about writing, but you can, of course, apply it to whatever creative endeavor speaks to you.

I am of the opinion that one must write through the block.

Which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t write about things you aren’t passionate about, not at all. I’ve found that if I continue to write, I will eventually find something I find interesting. Even if that thing is writing about not being able to write.

In all of my creative writing classes, we do exercises that help us open up our mind to writing.

One of them that I find to be most helpful is setting a timer for a couple of minutes and writing whatever comes to mind. Even if it’s utter nonsense. Sometimes, you’re so fixated on an issue in your life, you’re not able to write about anything else until you are able to mull it over in your head and/or on paper.

Another good exercise is to compile a list of some of your favorite words. Oftentimes this will fuel your brain and you’ll be able to write a poem/ story centered around those words.

Another thing that I find to be SUPER helpful is to find inspiration in different forms of media.

I’m heavily inspired through poetry, nature, and short stories.

I think that consuming art of any media will help you create.

We do not exist in a vacuum, our work benefits greatly when connected to our world.

It’s much too easy to become frustrated with ourselves when we’re unable to create as much as we’d like to, but it’s so important to KEEP GOING.

It’s true, you’ll never write anything good ever again… if you don’t continue to write.

You’ll make your own nightmare come true if you give up on your craft, and what a terrible thing it would be to deprive the world of your creativity!

Being a creative-type is difficult, because we can often find ourselves being much too hard on ourselves.

For me, comparing my writing to my peers’ is like shooting myself in the foot. 

It hurts nobody but myself, and it does NO GOOD. 

If available, go to readings. Little gets me as fired up for writing as hearing other people’s stories. When I go, I always bring a notebook so that I can write down my ideas.

Which brings me to one of the most important tips of all — WRITE DOWN YOUR IDEAS.

Otherwise, you WILL forget them. It doesn’t matter how great of an idea it is, you WILL forget them. 

I cringe to think of all the ideas that I’ve lost because I’ve failed to write them down. This is especially true for when we wake up in the middle of the night after having the most bizarre dream. You think to yourself, “How could I forget this? It’s so weird!” Trust me, you’ll forget.

Sometimes, sleepy time Mattie leaves notes for awake Mattie that are utter nonsense, but sometimes… they give me inspiration for something really wonderful.

(A bad night’s sleep can result in a really great work of art.)

Another writing tip I have is to write about what interests you. It doesn’t have to be life-changing, you just have to find it interesting.

I used to be far too caught up in having my writing feel BIG and IMPORTANT. It just led me to not write as often as I would’ve liked to. Not everything has to mean something, although when you’ve taken as many creative writing courses as I have, it’s hard to NOT find meaning in everything. 

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae