Monthly Favorites · Uncategorized

My July Favorites.

Hello, friends! A happy Friday to you all! Can you believe it’s August already? My wedding is in two months! What!!! I’m so excited!!!

I thought that I would do a July favorites for this month, as it has been quite some time since I’ve done one! Here we go!

  1. Eyeliner! I’ve gone through many a phase with eyeliner. Middle school I was very addicted to black pencil eyeliner, messily applied to the top lid and bottom waterline. Then I moved onto black liquid liner in high school, and I went a little crazy with the winged liner there. And then, at the beginning of college, I did a little bit of brown pencil liner. And after that, I didn’t really do much with eyeliner. But for the past week or two, I’ve been getting back into liquid liner. I’ve had an Elf liquid liner in a navy blue shade for longer than I’d care to admit… but I’ve been putting a thin little line of it on my lash line. I thought it would look a little strange with my black mascara, but it really doesn’t!
  2. My kitchen table! I ordered this table a couple months back, but we finally had it delivered! I love this table so much, and I think it’s a very classic piece that we will have for many, many years. It seats six and has an insert that makes it quite a bit longer. We keep the insert in it at all times, so we don’t have to worry about storing it somewhere. (Ha!) I love how neutral it is, and that it will match whatever decor our hearts desire.IMG_3567.JPG
  3. L.L Bean Dress. This dress!!! I am so in love. It is so cozy, and even though I bought it only a little bit ago, it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a favorite for a very long time. Which is what I consider before making a purchase! And blue is one of my favorite colors, and one of the colors I think flatters me the most.IMG_3772
  4. Journaling. Although journaling is nothing new for me, I’ve been making an extra effort to make time to journal EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s such a wonderful way to work through problems you may have, or even to document the small joys in life. As much as we’d like to hope we’d remember all these wonderful memories, we can’t possibly remember every single day of our lives. And that’s where journaling comes in!
  5. Bar soap. I remember being a kid, HATING using bar soap. To be fair, the ones that foam and bubble are far more whimsical, but not as good for the environment, as I’ve learned. Bar soap requires little to no packaging, and can last you for such a long time! I love it!IMG_3767
  6. Brown Boots. I’m a fan of all things fall, and these boots just scream fall to me. And what’s even better is that they were less than ten dollars! Just like the dress I’ve listed, I foresee these being a favorite for many a year.IMG_3742
  7. Trip to Frankfort . This was such a wonderful day! I had such a lovely time going to Frankfort with Bobby’s family for the fourth. It’s such a cute little town, and being on the beach all day… pure bliss. I can’t wait to take another trip to the beach.IMG_3411
  8. Wedding bands. I was SO happy to find our wedding bands. And they are so beautiful, and so us. The fact that after the wedding, we’ll be able to wear them for the whole rest of our lives is so amazing! How blessed are we???IMG_3325
  9. Banana bread. Perhaps banana bread will be my claim to fame… although I cannot take credit for the recipe. Bobby LOVES when I make this, and I even made some for his boss the other week! And the smell of banana bread… is there a banana bread perfume? If so, I desperately need it.
  10. Anne of Green Gables! This book has been a favorite of mine since childhood, and I reread it for the first time in such a long time, this month. And no surprise here, I loved it just as much, if not more. A classic book that I think everyone should read. It’s such a lovely book to read when you want to fall back deeply in love with life.IMG_3604

Thank you so much for reading, my friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

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My Favorite Recipes

Bake with Me: Banana Bread

Hello, friends! A happy little Monday to you all! Although as I write this, it’s closer to Tuesday than Monday. Sometimes the day can get away from us, my friends… And as a result, this blog is going to be a bit of a short one.

I posted a link to a video I made a little while ago onto my Facebook page, but I never made it a blog post of its own. This isn’t a recipe of my own creation, so I will link the recipe right here!

I make this recipe ALL the time and get nothing but compliments when I do. I think that cooking and baking is such a wonderful way to express our loves for others, and what could be better than receiving a sweet treat from a loved one?

I don’t post very much onto my Youtube channel, but I think it’s a fun way to supplement some blog posts, or to capture memories. I’m certainly more of a writer than a cinematographer, but I enjoy it as a creative outlet all the same! I like to think of them as home movies! Home movies that you can watch from wherever you are! So yes, this is a bit of a self-promo. 😉

And so, I present to you, my friends, my SECOND Youtube video.

Thank you for reading/watching!

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

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

Musings

Moving with Mattie.

Hello, friends! This blog is brought to you by an IPhone photo I took months ago, and a blog post predominantly penned on my smart phone. Not how I usually do things, but sometimes, we just have to make do with what we have. My laptop is packed away, my camera battery is dead, and I’ve had hardly a spare second today! I should be able to have a better quality blog post come Wednesday, but today has been a busy day spent packing and moving.

It’s so crazy to think that I’m moving from my little town of Mount Pleasant. I’ve moved a time or two in my life, but I’ve lived in Mount Pleasant for the past eighteen years. And today is officially the day. Well, technically tomorrow is the big move-in day, but yesterday was my last night at my little ol’ apartment. Tonight will be spent at a friend’s house. And then come 9 AM, move-in appointment!

I’m such a terribly sentimental person that I can’t help but wistfully think of every little thing as my last time before I move. I even felt a bit melancholy about it being my last time at the laundromat. If I let it get any further, the next thing you know I’ll be saying farewell to the dumpster that’s behind my apartment.

Oh, isn’t packing just the most dreadful thing? I’ve done my fair share of it, but I’ve never gotten any better at it. I definitely didn’t start the packing for this trip until waaaaay later than I should have. You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to shove it all into boxes and bags.

I’ll admit, the packing up of my fridge magnets made me the saddest, of all my packing done thus far. Bobby, ever so practically reminded me that there will be a fridge at the new apartment.

But that fridge isn’t this fridge!

There are things I will not miss, of course. How gloomy it was to only have one window in the whole apartment, how horrendous and prison-like it felt.

And I don’t want to give off the impression that I’m not excited for this move — I’m SO excited, but gosh, am I bad at saying goodbye.

That’s when I need to remember that it’s not a firm goodbye!!! It’s just a “see you soon”!!!

Again, this post isn’t like what I usually post, nor is it terribly long, but I thought it would serve as a good update for all of you, my dear friends.

Thank you so much for reading!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Simply Summertime: Five Simple Living Activities for Summer.

Hello, friends! A very happy Monday to you all! Today I wanted to write a post that is slightly reminiscent to this one, but different enough that I thought it was worthwhile to share. I felt compelled to write this in order to provide some inspiration for summer activities that are simple and don’t include spending unnecessary amounts of money.

  1. Admiring the flowers. I suppose that this one could work for spring as well, but I’m from Michigan, and you never know when these beauties will finally make an appearance. Appreciating flowers can happen all sorts of ways. You can find flowers in their natural habitat, or you can go to a grocery store to admire all of the beautiful pots of flowers they have. And maybe buy one or two… Or, see if anyone you know has a garden and would be willing to donate to your flower fund! I especially like the thought of that because then you have a patch of flowers that represent so many wonderful people that are close to you! My mom has a beautiful variety of flowers that come from many loved ones’ gardens.
  2. A picnic lunch. I absolutely adore picnics. I think they’re a lovely way to feel as though you’re eating out for much smaller of a cost! You may even be able to make a picnic lunch using food you already have in your kitchen. It’s a wonderful thing to do, especially when all you have are bits and pieces. A couple odd carrots, a handful of berries, and a chunk of cheese could be the base to an absolutely lovely picnic. And if the weather isn’t being kind, it’s also fun to have an indoor picnic! It’s the perfect rainy day activity. Rainy day picnics with a board game are such a wonderful way to pass the day!
  3. A scenic bike ride. Owning a bike is so wonderful because it can be put to practical use, when you have somewhere you need to be, or a leisurely purpose, when one has nowhere they have to be, but they just want to be out and about. You can look and see what sort of trails your town has, and take advantage of them. Some towns may not have such trails, but you could still bike all the same! You could maybe even sneak in an errand or two, especially if you have a nice little basket attached to your bike. Maybe a quick trip to the farmer’s market or to return some books to the library.
  4. An air-conditioned read. Speaking of libraries… I think that libraries, of course, are wonderful year-round, but there’s something about summertime library visits that are all the more magical. Maybe it causes me to reminisce of my summer breaks as a child, or maybe it’s because the air-conditioning in the library is such a wonderful refuge from the heat outside. Either way, this is one of my favorite activities to do in the summer. And once you have gotten your fill, you can continue your read under a nice and shady tree. How lovely!
  5. Wandering the Farmer’s Market. And speaking of farmer’s markets… I love a good farmer’s market. It’s so heartwarming to see so many hardworking individuals with so many wonderful things to sell. Maybe switch out getting your green beans from Meijer one weekend to buy a package of them from your local farmers. Or skip baking a loaf of banana bread to buy one from a local baker. I love making my own food, but I also love supporting local people as well. Bigger companies won’t care if you do or don’t buy one single loaf of bread, but for small businesses and local farmers, it will mean much, much more. I think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t spend yourself broke at farmer’s markets, but I definitely would suggest going and supporting your neighbors!

Thank you so much for reading, my lovely friends. I hope that your day has been wonderful so far, and that you’re able to take a minute or two today for yourself. A small thing or two that makes you happy!

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

 

 

Monthly Favorites

My Game Night Favorites.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday to you all! I thought today I’d write about some of my favorite games to play. I have a previous blog post that details the importance of not only community, but game night as well. I really enjoyed writing that post, but I failed to mention my favorite games to play on game night! I feel like people don’t often make posts about board games, so I thought I would fill that void! (Although I’m sure that many lovely people have written posts about games, I just haven’t seen them!)

  1. Scrabble. Ah, a classic. I am TERRIBLE at this game, and I mean TERRIBLE. Regardless, I really enjoy playing it. I am a horrendous strategist, and the second I see a word that can be played, I play it. I think that this game is also really wonderful for younger children because it teaches them new words and helps them work on their spelling. I remember playing various word games with my mom and being blown away with how many words she knew. And by the end of the game, I knew the words, too! It’s a great and sneaky way to learn, even for adults!
  2. Cover Your Assets.This is a game that is fairly new, as far as I know. And oh my goodness, is it fun. It’s a quick-paced card game that is sure to bring out the competitive nature of everyone, but in a fun way. (Notice that Monopoly failed to make this list… I get very competitive.) And it’s super easy to pick up on, which I like. There are plenty of games out there that I can’t play because I can’t figure them out. (I’m ashamed to admit that I still don’t understand how to play euchre… I know, I know… How dare I call myself Midwest Mattie, right? Maybe one day…)
  3. Chameleon.As of right now, this game is probably my favorite. I’ve tried to explain this game to many a person, but my words fail me. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. Or you can read the instructions and reviews for it. That works as well. Another fun and silly game that is sure to be a favorite at any game night.
  4. Scattergories. This is probably the game that I played the most as a kid. My mom, brother, and I played this one all the time. It’s also wonderful because it really stretches your brain muscles. Which I think is really important. I remember trying to argue to my mom and brother that Kim Kardashian could be considered a historical figure, but they shut me down on that one. Fair enough.
  5. Uno. I don’t think that this one needs too much of an explanation. I think that most people have probably played this. I know there’s a bunch of different versions, but I just have the classic one. I think this game is so great because it just brings out the silliness in everyone. Especially when a Draw Four is played. And the most tragic — when one fails to say uno and they’re required to pick up the stack. Ugh!

Thank you so much for reading, friends! I hope that you enjoyed this post, even if it’s much shorter than usual. I’d also like to hear your game night favorites!

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