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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Travels

Spending the Fourth in Frankfort.

Hello, friends! Happy Friday! I write this post, sunburnt as can be. I had such a wonderful Fourth of July yesterday, but definitely could have used some more sunscreen. Luckily, I had a sun hat on so that I didn’t get burnt on my face at all. Bobby’s family and I spent the day in Frankfort, Michigan. We sat on the beach, we wandered downtown, and we enjoyed the fireworks. Such a wonderful day!

Below is a picture I took whilst on our way to Frankfort. I love barns and always watch out for them while on a road trip. And hey, red, white, and blue! And that fence is so endearing to me. Absolutely loved it!

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This cutie pie yellow shirt is actually Bobby’s cousin, Jaden’s, but she let him wear it because it was starting to get a little chilly out! And how cute is it? I love it!

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I’m such a sucker for all things Michigan, cabin decor, or beach decor. The little shops in downtown Frankfort were really speaking my language. I have such a soft spot for knick knacks, but I am proud to say I bought zero knick knacks! Go me!

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How beautiful are lighthouses? As it got later, we were able to see it shining out on the water. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture any really good photos of it at nighttime, but that’s okay. I still had the experience. As great as photos are, it’s even more important to enjoy ourselves in the moment. 🙂

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Nothing much to say about this photo, other than I love looking at signs for businesses. I don’t know much about graphic designs, or such things, but I know a cute sign and lettering when I see one!

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How beautiful is this place? Truly so blessed to live in the Midwest, and even more blessed to live in Michigan!

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As the we furthered into the night, we began to get apprehensive that there would be a thunderstorm, but luckily for us, theses intense skies produced no rain, thunder, or lightning!

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Ah, the feeling of cold sand in your toes… or in this case, scalding hot sand that makes you wish you hadn’t left your sandals by your beach towel. When nighttime rolled around, the sand definitely cooled down, and felt MUCH better.

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Again, how adorable are downtowns and their signs? I adore them endlessly.

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How I wish I could’ve captured a photo where the lighthouse was in focus, but try as I might, the grass wanted to be the star of this photo. Oh, well!

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And the fireworks! It was so fun being able to watch the fireworks from our beach towels.

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This post is quite short, but I like the idea of being able to capture my day in photos, as opposed to always capturing them with words. In addition to my blog being a place filled with my thoughts, my outfits, and my home decor, I would like it to be a sort of photo diary as well. A great way to capture memories.

I hope that you had a wonderful fourth as well!

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Engaged Life

When Serendipity Strikes: We Bought Our Rings!

Hello, friends! I hope that you are all having a wonderful Monday! It’s so crazy to me that come Tuesday, Bobby and I will have been at our new apartment for one whole week! I’m still working on getting acclimated, because it feels like we’re on vacation mood, and not like we actually live here! That could be due to the fact that I’ve been frequenting the pool every single day… but I am DEFINITELY not complaining. My freckles are coming out, full force.

We have been doing some shopping around lately for things that we still need. A couch, being the most important — and the most expensive… I suggested we wait a little bit to buy one, to which Bobby decided that what we really needed was bean bag chairs. Yes, bean bag chairs.

And believe it or not, they’re not easy to find, nor are they cheap. The cheapest ones that I have been able to find are like $20, and that’s online. They’re even harder to find in the store! It seems a lot to spend on bean bag chairs, but maybe I’m just cheap. The search still continues…

So, cut to Bobby and I on day two of bean bag chair patrol. We find ourselves at the mall, going to many a store. We begin to pass by Kay Jewelers, and Bobby suggests we stop in to look at wedding bands.

The woman who helped us out was SO nice. Bobby was looking at some black rings, but ultimately decided on buying one that is more a grey/silver color. I was able to find one that matches my engagement ring so that I can wear them both together. I cannot wait until we actually get married! We’re under 100 days! We have so much left to do, but I think we’ll be able to get it all done. I need to pick up my dress from the bridal shop still, but we’re getting there! Just taking it one step at a time.

When we go to check out, the woman helping us out told us that both of our rings were actually on sale! She also said that the brand of ring that Bobby chose NEVER goes on sale, but here it was! And then she asked me what I was doing in Traverse City, because I told her that I had just moved here, and I said I wasn’t sure yet, so she told me that I should apply, because they’e hiring currently! So, I applied! And now I wait… Even if I don’t get the job, I still feel really blessed for that experience.

I love every experience that we have as an engaged couple, but oh my goodness, am I excited for us to be married!

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Crafting · Eco-friendly

Sewing Stories: Reusable “Cotton” Pads.

Hello, friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful Monday so far! I had a lovely weekend, which was, of course, too short. A wonderful, simple, little weekend. Going to lunch with my friend Tenley at Ponder, wandering around an estate sale, and SEWING!

I’ve seen so many different DIY’s for making these little “cotton” pads, but I thought I’d share my experience. In everything I do, I’m quite utilitarian. Food? Tasty, but not pretty. Home decor: Useful first, cuteness last. (I know, shocking!) And sewing… As long as the stitches keep things together, I’m fine. Pretty stitching is not my top priority.

I find these pads to be pretty darn cute, but that’s mostly likely because I find everything small to be adorable. I’m sure that someone who is better at sewing could make these even cuter, but I think that all in all, they turned out pretty well! They did what they were supposed to do — remove makeup!

Materials Needed:

  • I used terry cloth. If you have any old towels that are getting a little dingy, you could use those as well.
  • circle stencil. This can be all sorts of things, get creative! I used a small glass, but you could choose so many different things. A cookie cutter, an old jar, or even the bottom of a shampoo bottle! Whatever you choose, make sure that it’s just a bit bigger than your desired size, because you’ll lose a little material from cutting and sewing.
  • Some paper, for said stenciling. I recommend reusing some recycled paper for this step! I used the paper that came attached to the fabric.
  • Pins, for two different steps. Very important!
  • Sewing needle, or a sewing machine. (I sewed this by hand. A sewing machine is on the top of my want list, though…)
  • Thread. I used a thread that was close to the color of my cloth, but it could also be cute if you chose a contrasting color!

Okay, friends! Here we go!

Step One. I used my stencil to make a circle on the piece of paper. I suppose some people may be able to free-hand this, but I wasn’t taking any chances! Once you’ve traced it, cut it out!

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Step Two. After you cut out the stencil, pin it to the fabric. I also pinned the fabric to itself so that it wouldn’t shift at all, as shown in the below picture.

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Step Three. I cut out the circles two at a time. You could do more or less, depending on how thick your fabric is.

Step Four. Depending on how thick you want these to be, you can do varying layers of fabric. I chose to do three.

Step Five. I sewed all three of the pieces together! There are so many ways that you could go about this, but I just sewed all the way around the little circle, nothing fancy. If you want to speed up the process, you could definitely use a sewing machine.

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Step Six. Remove any loose strands and snip any excess fabric.

Step Seven. Remove your makeup! Yay!

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Thank you so much for reading, my friends! I had such a fun time with these. They were SUPER easy to do. And they worked like a charm, too!

Happy crafting!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

A Journey into Self-Love

Allowing Ourselves to be Three-Dimensional.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! I am extra excited for this week to be done because I have a hair appointment on Saturday! EEP! I haven’t gotten it done since November! I am SO excited to get my roots done to continue my quest to look like Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, aka my blonde inspiration. 😉

Today’s blog has been something I’ve been thinking of a lot lately, especially since getting more serious about my blog. Although this topic still applies to those who don’t blog, of course. I think it’s something that most people will be able to relate to.

How often are we expected, on the first day of class, to say our name and list three fun facts about ourselves? These icebreakers always caused me great turmoil. What should I say? What will others say? Will they like me? Would they like me better if I talked about my other interests?

We are all three-dimensional people with many interests and opinions. I think it’s quite common for us to try to find a niche for ourselves and then become disheartened when we don’t completely fit in. I think it’s a pretty common desire for humans to want to belong  somewhere, but gosh is it hard. As three-dimensional people, we have interests and hobbies that may seem to not go together.

We cannot be defined so easily.

Being three-dimensional is hard enough in real life, but on the internet, I find it to be even more difficult.

My interests change day to day, and I want to be able to focus on all of them! I think that when we are interested in becoming a blogger, it’s difficult because we are on the search for our niche.

99.9% of the articles I’ve read giving blogging advice say to only blog about something very specific, say cooking, fashion, or simple living. They say that if one tries to cover too many topics, their readers will lose interest, as every post may not apply to them.

I will, respectfully disagree with this nugget of advice. As writers, we are not only interested in one topic. We need to give our readers the same faith that they are three-dimensional as well, capable of having many interests.  It is possible for people to have more than one interest.

I know that I do.

I like writing about my experiences, advice, slow living, cooking, fashion, and my faith. And in the future, there will probably be even more that I want to write about. I hate the idea of only showing one side of myself on my blog. I don’t think that it would be very honest of me to do that.

It’s hard trying to determine what sort of blog style you fit under, I haven’t been able to find one that I feel fits perfect. I like the term lifestyle blog because it is so vague, which allows me to still blog about everything I’d like to.

Some bloggers come from business and marketing backgrounds, which allows them to be able to market themselves effectively. I, however, come from no such background and am naive to the world of marketing.

There are so many lovely online personalities that I follow that talk about their worry of branching out to different topics, because they think their audience won’t respond well to it. It makes me so sad. We shouldn’t have to shove ourselves into a niche just so that people will consume our content.

It’s hard enough being ourselves in person, why add another area to our life where we try and make ourself into something/someone that we’re not?

And I personally don’t see why people advise bloggers to only write about very specific topics. When I find a blogger, I enjoy if they talk about many different things. That way you can relate to them on a different level. Hey, I like cooking AND sewing, too! 

We can like things that may seem to contradict each other. Maybe we like scary movies but we also like Disney cartoons. Perhaps we like wearing beautiful floral dresses AND a black pair of jeans with Doc Martens. There’s no reason we can only like one or the other. If that’s the case, why do we feel the need to portray only one? I don’t know!

I can’t tell you how many times someone would ask me, “Oh, what’s your favorite movie?” and my brain would scramble to find something that people would think was cool, because they expected something indie or obscure. The truth to this question? Legally Blonde and The Sound of Music. Why did I feel the need to act as if everything I liked was so hipster and cool? Silly Mattie from a few years ago. Silly!

We cannot change what other’s perceive us as. We just have to know that we are more than that. We cannot continue to squeeze ourselves in a niche, just because of what we look like, or something of the like. We are all more complicated than anyone could imagine. And we are allowed to express and pursue all of our interests.

This is why I’m so thankful to all of my lovely readers. You let me write about whatever I feel the need to, and enjoy it all the same! I love that this blog has allowed me to keep in better touch with family and friends that I don’t get to see much. Thankful, always thankful.

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

 

Musings

The Importance of Community and Game Night.

Hello, friends! I hope that ya’ll are having a great Monday! Today was such a gloomy lil day,  which I usually enjoy, but I’ve been really craving some sunshine lately. April showers bring May flowers though, so that’s a thought full of sunshine on its own!

As an introvert, I generally default to wanting to be alone, but I think it’s times like those that make it all the more important to seek community. I grew up being so excited for holidays because it meant that I would be surrounded by all of my favorite people. It was always so fun to me and made me wish that there were more holidays. But you know what’s really amazing about being an adult? There’s nothing stopping you from making your own holidays! Anything can be an excuse for getting together with the people that you love.

That being said, I still get very nervous being the host, so I haven’t done that as much as I’d like to. My apartment is also the size of a hallway, but that’s neither here nor there. Hosting shouldn’t be about what your home looks like, but the sense of community felt is what’s important. I lose sight of that sometimes. I question what I have to offer, I don’t have the nicest apartment, I’m not the best cook, and I’m not the best hostess, but those things aren’t the most important thing when it comes to building a community. We all have our talents and when everyone is able to come together to create a fun night, it makes the night all the more special. There are so many ways one can contribute, making a homemade dish, supplying chairs, or even bringing a deck of cards. The list really goes on.

I think with social media we face a brand new problem, we’re so connected with one another and disconnected at the same time. I love that phones are able to connect us with people that are so far away from us, FaceTime is one of my favorites. I love being able to FaceTime Bobby when he’s away for work and I’ve been able to FaceTime my Grandma recently! It’s so much better than talking on the phone! There are so many wonderful ways that the internet allows us to connect with people and it’s a great way to make an online community, but I will say that it does not replace having that community in person.

Sometimes we aren’t so lucky to have friends near us, or maybe even friends at all. I remember my summer before college, all of my friends had already left and I felt so alone. I would bike around town and it made me feel a lot better. I yearned for that interaction with people and wanted nothing more than to feel that sense of community. I think that sometimes we just need to be around people, even if we don’t directly interact with them. Humans naturally need that interaction. I know that on days when I’m feeling especially down and lonely, it does me so good to be out and about.

Just as we need our alone time, we really need time with other people. A sense of community is something that is so important. As an introvert, sometimes it’s hard to recognize that I need that time with other people. And not to isolate myself! That’s another thing that I tend to do. One of my favorite ways to socialize with people is to have a good, old-fashioned game night. It’s especially great if you’re just getting to know people. It busies everyone and makes sure that there aren’t (as many) awkward silences. Add some yummy snacks to the mix and BAM, instant success.

The amount of social time people need varies, but it’s important for us all to build a community. I think that community is an overlooked aspect of life. I think it’s crucial that we don’t let community fade into the past. We have to be conscious in our efforts to create our own community filled with people who lift us up and help us grow.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope that you enjoyed this post!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

It’s Okay that your Pinterest DIY was a Fail.

Hello, friends! Happy Monday! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend and were able to spend time with your loved ones. I had such a lovely weekend. I was able to spend lots of time with my favorite people, eat lots of yummy food, and most importantly, celebrate the fact that He is risen!

This blog is brought to you by my Sunday morning. I found a really cute Pinterest recipe for chocolate covered strawberries that looked like cute little carrots. I bought all of the ingredients and was so dang excited to make them, but when I got to making them… they sure as heck were not coming out as cute as I had expected. Something about me, that I’ve probably mentioned before, is that I am quite the perfectionist. This does not serve me very well, because I also have this thing where if I’m not able to do something perfectly, I just… don’t do it. I have this expectation of myself that I should be able to do something for the first time absolutely perfectly, which never is the case. I get embarrassed so easily and when I think there’s a situation where I could end up being embarrassed, I want to avoid it at all costs.

It’s not a good thing, because I don’t ever want to leave my comfort zone and as you know, not much growth happens inside of our comfort zone. Being embarrassed is natural, we can’t always be perfect at everything. Which may sound super obvious, but it’s something that I struggle with a lot. I want to be good at everything and when I’m not automatically perfect at something, I don’t want to do it. I’ve talked in previous blogs about how there isn’t as much fear if you consciously choose not to do something, because you can tell yourself, “Well, if I wanted to try and do this, I probably could.”, but at the end of the day, you really don’t know what would happen or how good you would or wouldn’t be at something.

I think that Pinterest DIY’s are a good example to use for many reasons. The first one being something that I hadn’t really even though about, until Bobby brought it to my attention in the midst of my Easter meltdown. The fact that a lot of things on Pinterest are probably edited in such a way to make them look perfect. Which isn’t to discredit the hard work the creators put into their craft, I merely want to point out something that we all probably know on a deep level, but forget about it when consuming online media. This applies also to social media in general, whether it be a Pinterest DIY, an Instagram influencer’s life, or maybe even a Youtuber’s romantic relationship. It’s so easy for us to consume this media and let it influence us in a negative way. We think that we can’t create or express ourselves because we won’t be as smart, as pretty, or as famous as other people. Which puts us into a box that restricts us from getting better at things, because we worry that we won’t be able to do it perfectly.

Another thing that I’ve said before in previous blogs is that sometimes we need to look at the big picture of things, instead of getting too focused on the little things. For this, I was so concerned with how this dessert ended up that I was forgetting how excited I was to see all these people that are so dear to me, I was only thinking about this Pinterest DIY. In my head, Easter was dependent on the outcome of it. Which I can go ahead and say was not the case at all. It’s so easy to look back on myself and think about how silly it is that I was so flustered about this, but Sunday morning, this was SO important. The mean part of my brain was telling me that if it turned out poorly nobody would like me and I was a failure and that I would never be good at anything. What the heck! All because of a Pinterest DIY! These mean and silly thoughts are only amplified when it comes to other things, such as school or work.

I wish I could say that I have advice for these feelings, but I’m still trying to figure out how to manage them myself. I suppose the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to practice, practice, practice, even if you feel embarrassed, or stupid, or like you won’t ever be good at anything. As hard as it is, that’s really the only way that you can learn to be better at things.   It does not benefit you if you only give yourself one little chance to be good at something. You’re restricting yourself and making it a given that you will never get any better at something. It’s much better to try your best at something several times and decide that you don’t enjoy it than spend your life wondering if you would enjoy it and maybe even be really good at it. I think it’s okay to enjoy doing things that we’re not really great it, but I don’t think it’s okay to try something once and decide we’re never going to do it again. And as for most of my blogs, if not all of them, this is mainly a big ol’ note to self.

I like sharing my struggles and experiences with the world on the off-chance it speaks to at least one person. Blogging is something that is a combination of things that I feel confident and also scared about. And the things I’m confident in or not confident in change day by day. I love writing and generally think I’m a decent writer, but some days I convince myself that I’ve never written anything good in my life. Putting myself out there on the internet is scary, I worry that people think I’m silly for trying to pursue blogging, but the other part of me loves it so much that I don’t want to stop, even if someone were to think it’s odd. I guess that the fear we feel sometimes is worth it when we’re able to find the things that we’re truly passionate in.

Thanks so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Note to Self: You don’t Have to Buy a New Dress for EVERY Holiday.

Hello, friends! Happy Friday! The weekend is upon us, thank goodness. I am so excited because this weekend is Easter and I get to spend time with not only my family, but Bobby’s family too! How crazy is it to think that in six short months they will officially be my in-laws? It’s so exciting!

I think it’s important to celebrate our small accomplishments, but gosh, some feel so trivial.  This being one of them — I didn’t buy a new dress for Easter. I typically buy a new pretty dress for every holiday, which is so wasteful, because I have so many pretty dresses already. I suppose I felt like I had to, so that when I took photos, I wouldn’t be wearing something that I had already taken pictures in. How silly is that! I looked at bloggers I liked and noticed that they seldom wore clothes more than once. I thought that to be a blogger I had to keep up with that and even try to replicate it! Lately, I’ve been trying to find fellow bloggers that enjoy simple living and don’t buy new dresses for every holiday. The people I followed were all lovely, but I found that following them on social media gave me this extra itch to shop. Keeping our social media filled with good influences as opposed to bad influences is something that I’ve really been working on lately. Along with trying not to use social media quite as often. I think that the two paired together can really improve our life.

I don’t think that it’s inherently wrong to love our possessions, but I do think we should avoid loving the idea of possessions. I think that owning things we do not love and cannot use is where the problem is. There are certainly dresses that I’ve bought that I did not love, I only bought them because I thought they would work for one particular occasion. Afterwards, it sits in my closet, unworn and unloved. To be clear, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting pretty dresses, I personally never feel more confident than when I’m wearing one. For me, they have purpose and I love them. For someone who does not love them, it wouldn’t make sense for them to buy them. I think the issue is buying clothes (or items) that you don’t love, or only buying something for one use. I’ve seen the idea online of shopping one’s closet, which I absolutely adore. I want to start doing this more. To fall back in love with what I already own and if I cannot do that, donate the piece so that hopefully someone can find joy and use from it. I am trying to get rid of pieces in my closet that don’t work with many items. I want to eventually have a closet full of pieces that can me mixed and matched with all my other clothing. This takes time and I’ve been slowly beginning the process of getting rid of useless pieces and obtaining pieces that I find to be more useful. Which sort of brings me to another topic: buying clothes that are timeless versus clothes that are trendy. Perhaps another blog about that? I get so long-winded in these! I need to be better about that, but it’s so hard when you’re so passionate about what you’re talking about!

I think I’ll finish the post here, so that this post doesn’t end up being too long! I hope that you enjoyed reading and I can’t wait to be back with another post on Monday! Happy Easter!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae