slow living

Thoughts on Living Simply and Slow Living.

Hello, friends! I hope that your Monday is going well thus far! This blog post is a bit longer than normal, so buckle up, my lovelies!

When I was little, one of my favorite things to do was look through my mini sewing basket. It had pieces of ribbon, small bits of fabric, and buttons in it. I really enjoyed sewing and would spend hours sewing clothes for my dolls. I had a sewing machine, but my favorite was always hand sewing. I don’t know when or why, but I stopped doing activities like this as I got older. It’s sad, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve dedicated less and less time to creativity. Some of this is understandable, as I’ve been going to school and have been working, but I have spent more than my fair share of time just messing around on the internet or watching tv. To the point where my brain feels like mush. And honestly, spending hours watching tv or playing on my phone makes me MISERABLE. If that’s the case, then why the heck can’t I stop? I think as we get older we interpret these activities as relaxation, as a reward for all the hard work that we’ve been doing. And to an extent, I think that’s okay, but I think I’ve begun to take it to the extreme and I’m sure many others can relate to this. 

I’ve somewhat been in a rut lately and I’ve been trying to fill it with shopping,tv, and hours spent mindlessly scrolling. And let me tell you, it has had zero positive impact on me. I don’t put blogging in this category, because while it is online, it really stretches my creative muscles. I’m able to write my little heart out and take photos to accompany the posts. I love it and it definitely feels wonderful to do. But the other things… spending hours on Instagram with no purpose, just scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Or using my free time to watch tv shows that I don’t even want to watch. I’m just watching them because I don’t want to do anything else. I could instead be spending my time doing so many other things. And I’m not saying that I should be spending this time, my relaxation time, doing something that could be deemed “productive”. As I’ve said in previous blogs, it’s SO important to have these times of rest. But I  need to rethink what I do in these times of rest. I find myself so much more refreshed when I spend my time being creative, knitting, sewing, writing, or taking photos. These things replenish me and make my life feel a little more full. It also gives me a feeling of kinship with my elders, thinking about how my ancestors may have spent their time doing the same thing. I can’t quite explain it, but it’s a wonderful feeling. 

It also gives me a sense of slow living. I’m able to sit with my thoughts and create something beautiful. I think it’s the feeling of creating that’s such a wonderful life-giving sensation. That feeling is lost when just consuming. 

Creating is also a way to spend my leisure time not mindlessly consuming. And by consuming, I mean shopping. And now, don’t get me wrong. I love shopping and I probably always will. My Grandpa’s term of endearment for me was “Little shopper”. And I think there’s something special about shopping where you’re able to cultivate a style, whether it be fashion, or whether it be styling the home, that is amazing, but I think it’s important to not be addicted to the feeling that shopping gives you. Accumulating non-stop is not good for anything, your bank account, space in your home, or the Earth. I used to be really good about predominately shopping at second-hand stores, but I’ve gotten away from it lately.

Blogging has been such a positive thing for me, but for a brief moment I sort of got lost in the idea of trying to portray myself as something that I wasn’t, especially on my Instagram. I was constantly buying things that I thought would be interesting to write about. I want to get away from that. I do love fashion and I love sharing the things that I buy, but I want to make an effort to only buy items when I genuinely love them, instead of buying them to look trendy on a blog post.

I sort of had a revelation today. I picked some wildflowers and was just kind of reveling in how beautiful they were. I loved how small and imperfect they were. I was visiting my mom and found in her cabinets this little white teacup, it was cracked and clearly an antique. I reveled in the beauty of the two together. Both things so humble, but when put together, they honestly took my breath away. Which may sound so silly, I totally understand that, but I loved that I felt that way. As a child, I had such an imagination that everything felt somewhat magical and as an adult, it starts taking more and more to feel that sense of wonder. It was a welcome feeling, that’s for sure.

When thinking about living a simpler life, what comes to mind is also living a slower life. People seem to always be in such a rush and given the world around us, I totally understand. I however, have never been good at doing things at a fast pace. For instance, walking. Everyone that has ever taken a walk with me can attest to this. It’s part me having small legs and part me just admiring the world around me. I naturally move at a slower pace. And I have felt embarrassed about this for so long, only recently realizing that it’s not something to feel negative about. It may differ from what we are “supposed” to be or do, but the fast-paced way we live is relatively new. The world used to be much slower and not so concerned with being perpetually busy and doing everything quickly. I don’t like that way of living. I understand that for some people it’s invigorating, but for me, it’s draining. I like doing things slowly. For instance, the other day I did my hair using foam rollers instead of a curling iron. It’s such a small thing, but I loved the excitement that built up from awaiting the curls. Not only that, but they lasted so much longer than if I had curled my hair. Patience can be a beautiful thing.

Gosh, friends! This blog is all over the place. Perhaps I’ll write some more blogs about slow loving and living simply in more detail, but this blog is getting so dang long! This one is less polished than my usual posts, but I think that this way of thinking is something that I’m still mulling over in my head, so I can’t quite polish it any more currently. I hope that my words were able to impact you some and maybe consider living a life that’s a little slower and a bit more simple.

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

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Engaged Life

5 Things to Know when Wedding Dress Shopping.

Hi, friends! I hope that you have had a lovely week! Happy Friday! I’ve had quite a busy week, as the semester is nearing the end. And holy cow, do I have a lot to do. With school, life, and definitely the wedding. Everyone keeps asking me questions about it and for most of them, I have no answers. However, if people ask about my wedding dress, I can gladly say that yes, I have found it!!!

I don’t have it in my hands yet, because I’m still waiting for my size to arrive to Becker’s Bridal, but it has been paid for and everything! Which is such a big weight off my shoulders. I’m so dang excited to be able to try it on and see what it looks like. When I went, they didn’t have my size available, so I had to try on one that was much, much smaller than the size that I wear, so I’m excited to see how it looks!!!

I wish so much that I could post pictures of it on here, but I don’t want Bobby to be able to see it. So, I will have to wait until after the wedding to post pictures of the dress, alas.

Buying your wedding dress is honestly such a strange ordeal. I’ve grown up watching Say Yes to the Dress and definitely have spent a fair amount of time crying during each episode.. I’ve dreamed of the moment my whole life and actually trying on dresses was quite a surreal event.

  1. I think the most important thing about wedding dress shopping is choosing who goes with you. It’s important to make people feel included, but I don’t think you should bring people who will be mean or jealous during it. I think that weddings bring up a lot of emotions in people and sometimes people act in ways that they may not otherwise. Be very careful when choosing who goes with you.
  2. Make sure that you have an appointment! This is something that I definitely ran into when shopping. Most places don’t allow you to just browse the store, so make sure that you have scheduled ahead. Wedding dress shopping probably isn’t something that you want to do on a whim. And going along with my last point, scheduling is a very difficult thing to do. Especially if you have a lot of people interested in going with you. While wedding dress shopping is a wonderful event for you and all who accompany you, at the end of the day, the purpose is to buy a wedding dress. If you’re not able to find a day and time that works for everyone, you may have to choose the day that works best for you. A way you can make everyone feel involved even if they can’t go is to start a group-text and keep them updated. Send them tons of pictures of the dresses, the sashes, veils, and crowns! It will allow everyone to feel more involved, even if they weren’t able to make it!
  3. Make sure you are very upfront with the employee helping you about the prices you feel comfortable with. It’s super easy to get talked into a dress that is far too expensive. How much would it stink if it was way out of your price range and you fell in love with it? So much! I was able to find a dress that was on super sale and was only a little bit more than the price that Bobby and I had agreed upon.
  4. This may be something that is obvious to everyone, but it wasn’t at all obvious to me — having to change in front of the salesperson. I’m a pretty shy person, so this was quite embarrassing for me. It certainly wasn’t my most favorite part of the experience, but the woman who helped me really was lovely and did make me feel quite comfortable!
  5. Another thing that I think is super important to remember is to be nice to yourself when trying on wedding dresses. It’s really easy to feel self-conscious when changing in front of a stranger and let me tell you, I definitely did. Not only that, but there are so many beautiful brides-to-be surrounding you. It’s really hard to not compare yourself to all of them, but it’s so important to not focus on them. I spent the majority of my appointment feeling mad at myself for not looking how I thought I should. And it was very hard to snap out of, but eventually I was able to, with the help of the saleswoman working with me. I doubt that it was her intention, but it helped me to get out of my head and be able to appreciate the beautiful dress I had on me. She told me to close my eyes and to imagine I’m walking down the aisle toward my fiancé, surrounded by my loved ones. That is, of course, what got me to start crying. Just thinking about getting married to Bobby and seeing him in his suit and him seeing me in my dress. Getting married is so much more than looking a certain way and that’s pretty difficult to get your head around.

I hope that my words were able to impact you in some sort of way, even if you’re not getting married. I think that overall, the message I want to convey is that it’s important to keep the big picture in mind. It’s so easy to become fixated on things and to lose sight of what’s important. In this instance, it could be the wedding dress, when the big picture is getting married. Or in college, getting fixated on one assignment, when it’s not the end of the world if you pass or fail. The big picture is the class. And I’m not saying that we should gloss over the little things, I think that they’re super important, but becoming all-consumed with them is not a good thing either. A balance must be found, even if that is much easier said than done. I’m still searching for a balance, haha. 🙂

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Photography

A Jo-Ann Fabrics Photo Shoot.

Hi, friends! I hope that your weekend has been great! I had such a lovely weekend and am pretty bummed that it’s coming to an end!

These photos are from the other day when Bobby and I went to Jo-Ann’s to get some supplies for a DIY I did. Which I’ll be posting a blog post about soon!!!

Bobby is such a great photographer and took these photos of me in front of the fake flowers!

Thank you so much for reading!!! Have a great day!!!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Why We Need to Stop Romanticizing Being Perpetually Busy.

Hi, friends! I hope that y’all are doing well. Today’s blog post is a little different, I suppose. I don’t really know where I want to end up with it, but I’ll start here: I don’t think it’s healthy for anybody to be busy all the time. But it’s something that we seem to treat positively, as though it’s admirable or something to strive for. I think it’s admirable, but I don’t think it’s something to strive for. I applaud every hard-worker out there, and respect them endlessly, I just worry about society forcing busyness onto people.

I think that it’s so profoundly sad that we live in a world where we feel the need to always be busy. I know it’s something that I struggle with. I began to make it part of my identity. I would, in a very strange way, brag about always being busy, as if it made me worth more than I would if I was busy a healthy amount. I think we’re too focused on moving forward, moving forward, moving forward. We seldom let ourselves just be.

I feel as though there are going to be some people that disagree with me on this, and that’s okay. I just really feel like I needed to speak my opinion on the matter. We’re only human, we need time to recharge. I used to work and/or go to class every single day, week after week, month after month. I was miserable. I didn’t have any time to charge, but I would still brag about it, in the strangest sort of way. I don’t know why. Maybe I thought people would think I was a better person, somehow? That’s probably what it was. Which still makes no sense.

Sunday’s are supposed to be a day of relaxation and reflection, but how often do they turn into a day where you try to get your whole entire life together? For me, it’s more often than not. I make myself lists, long, long lists, that are absolutely impossible to finish in a day. I’ve been trying so hard not to do this anymore. Lately, I have been making a list of five things per day. Generally, it has one or two schoolwork things that HAVE to get done, a household chore, and then a couple self-care activities. An example would be:

To-Do List

1.Turn in annotated bibliography.

2. Do dishes.

3.Take meds.

4.Take shower.

5.Post blog.

I think it’s important to have some items on the list that are fairly simple, so that you can feel some accomplishment in your day. Before, I was putting so much difficult stuff on my lists that I would go days without being able to check anything off. And let me tell you, it’s not going to motivate you whatsoever.

Finding the balance is so dang hard, and I’m still trying to find a balance in my life. It’s very hard to do, but I suppose it’s something that we all just need to keep working on. We must continue (or start) listening to our bodies and our minds, so that we know what we’re capable of. And it’s extra important to be honest with yourself about this. Whether it be realizing that you need to do more work, or whether it be you realizing you need to do less work. Everyone is different and we need to accept this. The amount we can get done in a day is different. I’ve always been pretty slow and things take me so long to do. I move at a slow pace and therefore get things done at a slower pace. But hey, they’re still getting done, right?

We need to quit worrying so much about what we should be able to do, and instead, focus on what it is that we can do.

Thank you so much for reading, friends. I appreciate the fact that I can send my words out on the internet and they can reach so many people. Much more effective than a message in a bottle. Although not quite as cool, I must admit.

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

OOTD

I Can’t Wait Until the Flowers Bloom OOTD

Hi, friends! Happy Monday! I hope that your week is off to a great start. My photographer (and lovely fiancé) is back!!! If these photos seem better quality than the ones before, that’s because they are! I have two lenses, and I hadn’t really played around with the other one. This is the result! I think they look even better than normal!

Sunglasses: I honestly don’t know where these are from! I found them abandoned at church camp, many years ago (haha!)

Shirt: Thrifted!

Pants: ModCloth! (But I got them at Goodwill!)

Shoes: Cracker Barrel!

Thanks so much for reading! Have a great day!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

OOTD

A Black and White OOTD Captured with a Self-timer.

Hi, friends! Happy Monday to y’all! My day was pretty great today! It’s hard not to be happy when it stays light out for so much longer. Like right now, it’s seven pm and it’s still so light out! It makes me so happy!! I was also really productive today. I did a lot of schoolwork and started getting my apartment cleaned up. Since it’s finally getting to feel like spring, I suppose it’s time for some spring cleaning!

Bobby is gone for work this week, so my photos may not look as cool, unfortunately. For today’s, I decided to just shoot it at my apartment with the self-timer. I think they turned out okay! This outfit is super cozy and still looks put together! A perfect outfit for school.

Jacket: TJ Maxx

T-shirt/Dress: Forever 21

Leggings: American Eagle

Shoes: Converse

Thank you so much for reading! Have a great week!!!!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

Shopping · tj maxx

A Spring TJ Maxx Haul.

Hi, friends! I hope that your week is going well so far! I wanted to hop on here and share some goodies with y’all that I bought at TJ Maxx. As I’ve said before, I’ve been waiting (not so patiently) for spring, and TJ Maxx had so many cute spring stuff today, so I definitely picked up a thing or two!

Firstly, I bought this super adorable letter board! I’ve wanted one for so long, but I just couldn’t find one that wasn’t super expensive, but this one was only around $8, I believe! I think this will be so cute to use for blog pictures, or even just for decor! So adorable.

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I also bought these super cute linen pants.( I acknowledge that I use the word cute way too often, but I generally find things to be pretty adorable, hehe!) I don’t know if you can see it very clearly in the picture, but the pants are white with dark red stripes. I paired them with a white tank top I had from Old Navy, and then a medium-wash jean jacket, also from Old Navy. These will be so great for not only spring, but also the summer, as I can already tell that they are super breathable.

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I bought this dark navy and white striped jumpsuit. It feels like pajamas, but looks so put together, especially with some heels.  I paired it with a white chiffon shirt. I think it would also look nice with a little cropped white turtleneck. It’s such a great basic piece that simultaneously works as a statement piece.

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I bought this little whicker purse too! It’s so unique and unlike anything else that I own. I only buy black purses, and even then, I only have two of them. I’m not a huge purse kinda gal, but this one just begs to be taken on a picnic, and if you know anything about me, you know I love me a good picnic.

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That’s all, folks, but a couple quick things before I say goodbye!

  1. Sorry for the poor quality of the photos! I took them after it had gotten dark, so I had to use just the light in my room. Also, my lovely fiancé was unavailable to help me take these pictures, so I had to make do with using my messy room and my mirror for them!
  2. I bought the little succulent from Meijer, not TJ Maxx, but it looked so dang cute with everything, I just couldn’t resist!

Thank you so much for reading, friends! I hope that you saw a thing or two that you liked, and since I bought them today, you just might be able to find them yourself! Have a great rest of your week!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Travels

Legally Blonde: The Musical, Wedding Shopping, and the Cutest Bathroom I’ve Ever Seen.

Hi, friends! I wanted to do a little post this Monday because I had such an amazing weekend and took so many pictures that I wanted to share!

So, this weekend my aunt  and I went to Detroit to see Legally Blonde: the Musical! For those that don’t know, Legally Blonde is my favorite movie (tied with The Sound of Music). My aunt bought us tickets way back in October, so I’ve been impatiently waiting ever since. And oh my gosh, it did not disappoint! It was so dang cute!!! It was in the Fox theatre, which is just such a beautiful building. I wish we still designed buildings to be so lavish and ornate. I wasn’t able to get any pictures during the show, but I made sure to snap some of the theatre.

 

 

I also was sure to get some nice shots around the hotel!

My aunt and I also did some wedding shopping. We looked at a few wedding dresses, but I didn’t see any I liked enough to try on. But, we did find a lot of really cute decor and crafting supplies for decorating the church! I’ve decided that I want my colors to be a pale yellow and then white as well. Planning out a wedding while working and going to school can be kind of tricky, but I am do dang excited about it!!!! I’ll post pictures of what I end up doing with the supplies I got, but I figured that a picture of crafting supplies may not be as exciting to other people as it is to me… (hehe)

And oh my gosh, this may be kind of goofy, but we went shopping at one store in Bay City that had the CUTEST bathroom! The whole bathroom was adorned in fake flowers, assorted lotions, and just really cute little knickknacks. I was in LOVE!

 

Thank you so much for reading, have a great day!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Dealing with Uncertainty.

Hi, friends! Hope your week is going well so far! My Monday is wonderful because I’m having my first snow day of my whole college career!  So, I’m spending the day with my friend Rosie, watching Fixer upper and doing face masks. I definitely cannot complain!

I felt compelled to write this post because (weather permitting) I have an advising appointment tomorrow to officially change my major. This will be my third major. Initially, I was an elementary education major, then I was a creative writing major, and now I’m planning on being a child development major with an English minor.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the insane pressure that’s put on young people to find their forever career. My brother is about to start college and is understandably quite nervous. I remember being a freshman in college and thinking that I was 100% positive about what I would do for the rest of my life. And how quickly I realized how clueless I was. It made me feel terrible about myself. I felt like I was never going to find something that I was good at or something that I liked. And sometimes, I still feel like that. College is a scary time in your life, and it’s normal to feel a little uncertain about things.

I told my brother that it’s alright to not know what he’s going to do after college, never mind his whole life. Heck, it’s okay to not know what he’s doing in the next year. Some people may be able to pick a major and stick with it the whole 4+ years, but most have a slightly more difficult time. Uncertainty is to be expected when in college, and it isn’t something that you should feel ashamed of.

That being said, uncertainty is something that extends far past college. Life is so unpredictable, and as much as we try to plan out our entire lives, we never know exactly what the future holds. Which only solidifies the idea that it’s okay to not know what direction your life is going. It’s important to have faith that you’ll end up where you need to be. You’ll figure it out one day. And until then, just do your best.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae