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

 

 

 

 

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

A Journey into Self-Love

Overcoming Perfectionism in Our Homes.

Hello, friends! And a happy Friday to you all! I hope that it is beautiful and sunny wherever you may be. The weather has been so lovely  the past couple of days, which is a wonderful change from how rainy it has been. I love myself a cozy, rainy day as much, if not more than the next person, but my goodness, after awhile… I’ve been soaking up all the sunshine I possibly can. That being said… it is certainly a rainy day today. Oh, well. I’ve been watching some really nice history documentaries the past couple of days, which is especially nice on a rainy day. In-between the unpacking, of course.

I had hoped that I would have the entire apartment all spick and span by the time Friday’s blog had come around, but alas, no such look. That being said, Bobby and I have made SO MUCH progress. I’ve been doing laundry like nobody’s business. We made the decision to do ALL the laundry, because the old apartment complex was so dang stinky. The hallway REEKED of cigarette smoke and it seeped into the apartment. And there weren’t enough windows to ever air it out!

I’m eager to show you the apartment once we’ve completely unpacked, but for now, I thought I’d write about overcoming perfectionism: in the home.

I absolutely adore organization and organizing a cabinet full of tupperware is my idea of a relaxing afternoon. However… I do have a tendency to organize myself silly. I want everything to be PERFECT. And when it isn’t, I just want to quit. Unpacking has been sort of a struggle for me, because nothing has a spot that’s 100% its own yet. I have to keep reminding myself that I just need to get everything put away first, and focus on the final organization later.

I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Perfectionism can be all too relevant in every single aspect of our lives, but perfectionism in the home is its own breed. An example I can use is my bed. It’s comfortable, the sheets are clean, and its even made! And yet, I still don’t feel great about it. For whatever reason, the comforter is still wrinkly, the sheets don’t match, and I haven’t cleaned the pillow cases yet! Not to mention that the comforter itself is more a winter comforter…

Yikes! All of that stuff is so shallow, why does it vex me so? It’d be so easy to blame social media for our need to have a perfect home, but these feelings go back much farther. They can go back to television, and magazines, and even just going to other people’s homes. Even if we don’t want it to be so, our brain naturally wants to compare things. It makes us realize who has a bigger tv, more expensive furniture, and who has more square feet in their home. And it’s so easy to get wrapped up in that. Frivolity isn’t ALWAYS a good thing…

Another example I have would be my seasonal dish cloths. I went through a phase thinking I needed one for every holiday and season. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fall, you name it, I probably have it. And the idea of displaying them in the wrong season? No way! Or how about displaying one with coffee stains on it? Certainly not!

I wish I could say I’m immune to such bouts of shallowness, but I’m not. I’m much better with it now, though. Stained Christmas dish clothes can wipe up spills just as good as an unblemished, seasonably appropriate one can, even if you are using it in June…

With this new apartment, I’m learning more and more to be grateful for what I do have. And becoming conscious of what I should be focusing on. I am so thankful to have sheets that are clean, counters I can clean up, and even more so, a roof over my head.

It’s so easy to fixate on how things look, instead of their function. The function is what is the most important. We must make do with what we have, and try to remain grateful for it all.

My bed may not be outfitted with the most expensive comforter, my pillows may be mismatched, and it may not have the most ornate headboard, but it is a clean and safe place for me to rest my head at night.

And I think we can still decorate our home and delight in the act of it, without needing it to be PERFECT. We don’t need to spend heaps and heaps of money on trendy pieces for our home to feel cozy. Heck, most of my favorites pieces that I have were either hand-me-downs from friends or family, found on the side of the road, or from Goodwill.

Decorating our home is a wonderful way to express ourselves, but it is not the only way, nor is it the most important thing to focus on when creating our home. I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but truly, all we can do is our best. Our home doesn’t need to be straight off an HGTV makeover show for it to be a cute and cozy home, more than worthy of having friends and family over. The home itself matters little, it’s those inside of it that are the most important.

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

 

 

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

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

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