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

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Musings

Returning to my Bookworm Roots.

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

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

Only recently have I begun to read for fun again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

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

Travels

A Townie’s Guide to Downtown Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Hello, friends! Happy Friday! I wanted to write this blog because I know that many high school seniors are graduating right about now, so I thought this blog could be helpful for anyone that’s considering CMU.

I’m pretty sure that the word townie is known by most, but on the off-chance it’s just a Mount Pleasant thing, we use it to refer to people who live in Mount Pleasant year-long. It’s generally used to describe people who grew up here and who also went to college at CMU — yours truly.

I wanted to focus on businesses that are local and unique to Mount Pleasant. There are, of course, many other lovely businesses, but I wanted to highlight some of  my favorites!

I present to you, my townie’s guide to downtown Mt Pleasant!

  1. Stan’s! If you’re looking for a place to frequent for breakfast, look no further! For anyone as enamored by small-town diners as I am, you will immediately fall in love. This is definitely a diner where everyone will learn your name, should you choose to go often. Bobby and I generally go on Saturday mornings. So yummy! I have fond memories of coming here after first grade soccer games, and thinking that their grilled cheese was the best one I had ever tasted. They also have pictures on the walls of historic Mount Pleasant, which I love looking at!
  2. Pleasant City Coffee! First, let me say that Pleasant City Coffee has one of the BEST flavors of coffee ever — their banana-nut latte. I almost always choose this drink when I come here. They also have a punch card system where after ten drinks, you’ll get a free one! For any of my fellow coffee addicts, you’ll get there sooner than you know it. I also love this place because every time I’ve gone, they’ve played the BEST music. I always hear some of my favorites here.
  3. Ponder Coffee! Ponder sort of counts for two because they have TWO locations here in Mt Pleasant! One downtown and one on campus. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Ponder to study for exams, hang out with friends, or work on a blog. Both of their locations are also super cute, and I’ve taken more than my fair share of cute coffee pictures here. If you’re in the market for a good study place, look no further! Like Pleasant City, they have a punch card system that works for BOTH locations! Yay!
  4. Green Tree! For anyone who doesn’t know, Green Tree was my very first job! Green Tree is a wonderful grocery store that has an abundance of natural and local foods. My personal favorite part of Green Tree is the bulk aisle! I especially love the it because you can bring your own containers in and fill them up with whatever goodies you may find. Bulk spices come in handy too, especially when you need a spice that you may not need very often. You can get a pinch here and there and not feel so wasteful!
  5. Pure Vitality! This place offers so many unique things, especially for a small town like Mt Pleasant. They label themselves as a juice bar and a spa. I have yet to utilize their spa, but I have definitely had my share of their food. They have wonderful smoothies that I really enjoy because they don’t feel as heavy as smoothies that you may get at other places. They also have wellness shots, salads, and the best hummus that I’ve ever tried. This place is fairly new to our little town, so I would definitely encourage you to check them out!
  6. Redbloom Yoga! This is my absolute favorite place to do yoga. Everyone who works there is SO kind and they are genuinely interested in your growth. The prices are fair, and they have sales and discounts quite often. They provide you with cold water and tea. Every time I’ve gone, the class sizes have been quite small, which is great, especially if you’re new to yoga. A completely full classroom can be kind of daunting. They also sell wonderful homemade jewelry. It’s such a wonderful place to go, especially in the midst of stress-filled college. A nice place to relax. Plus! They have yoga mats at the ready in case you don’t have one, or if you forgot yours!
  7. Gray’s Furniture! For those that follow my Instagram, you’ll see that Bobby and I recently bought a table and a set of chairs. This is where we went! Before even talking about the business, I feel compelled to talk about the building. It is the most gorgeous building. It feels like a fancy New York loft. I know that sometimes they’ve held concerts in the upper levels. It almost makes one feel as though they’re in a Victorian mansion. The ceilings are absolutely gorgeous. What I really like about this place is that in addition to having new items for sale, they also have some beautiful antiques. As to be expected, some things are quite expensive, but there are also some things that are quite reasonably priced! They also have the most darling boutique inside!
  8. Brass Cafe! If you’re feeling like getting a little fancy, this is the place to go! It’s perfect for anniversaries, Valentine’s day, or even just to add a little glamour to your life! I’ve been going here ever since I was a little girl, and I gotta say, it never gets old! Every time I go, I feel like it’s the first time. The experience is just so wonderful, and lets you feel like you’re living in a much larger town than Mt Pleasant.
  9. Headliner’s! Finding a place that you trust to do your hair is difficult, especially when you’re a little shy (like me). I’ve been going to Headliner’s for over a year now, and I was able to go from a very dark brown, to a beautiful shade of blonde hair without ruining my hair. Every single person that works there is SO sweet, and they offer SO many services. I’ve even had them do my eyebrows, and for those that know me, know that this is a BIG deal. I don’t trust just ANYBODY with my eyebrows.
  10. Pisanello’s! If you’re looking for some yummy pizza, look no further! This is the BEST pizza in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. I know that this may be a controversial opinion, but not only do I love mushrooms on pizza, I like CANNED mushrooms best on pizza. And they have BOTH!!! Not only that, but they have the cutest little restaurant where you can sit and eat. They generally play oldies too, which I love. They also deliver, for those who are curious!

And that’s that! My top ten favorite places in downtown Mt Pleasant! I hope that you enjoyed, and for those that are new to the area, I hope this helped out!

Thanks for reading!

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

 

 

A Journey into Self-Love

Healthy Living Through a Child’s Eyes.

Hello, friends! It is Friday! HOORAY! Some weeks just seem to take the longest of times, and for whatever reason, this week has felt that way. This is a post that has kind of been forming in my mind for awhile. I’ve realized that many people, myself included, do not spend as much time outside as we used to. The busy lives we live can make it somewhat difficult to do this. I began to think of this in relation to how we handle exercise. Two different events helped me come across a little epiphany.

Number one: an Easter round of Eenie Einie Over. A game which NOBODY seems to know about. Anyone outside of my family ever play it? I’ve looked it up online and it seems like more people call it Annie-Annie Over.  Anywho. It’s been a game that my cousins, brother, and I have always played when we get together. We played a round on Easter for the first time in years and years. We used to play this game for hours and I don’t remember getting half as winded as I was during Easter. As adults we don’t often do physical activity just for the fun of it. Our activity is calculated into calories, sets, and reps. Or our activity is planned within an inch of its lifeat 10:00, we’ll take a hike, but I have to be back at 1:00 so I can do this and this and this. Which may be a slight exaggeration, but honestly, it’s pretty true to life.

Playing Eenie Einie Over made me realize a couple of things.

The first being how out of shape I am. YIKES.

The second being that I miss playing outside like I used to. It’s fun to be outside and to exercise. To make the conscious decision to allow ourselves to channel our inner-child and be silly and explore the world around us.

We often view exercise as a punishment for not looking the way that we want to, instead of it being fun and allowing us to be thankful for all our body can do. Everyone has different abilities, so what we’re thankful for WILL differ person to person.

I know that many people will disagree with me on this, but I don’t think the gym is the best place or way to become fit. I think that it can be utilized in a way that makes it quite beneficial, but I also think there are many other ways to get exercise.

Number two: On Wednesday, Bobby really wanted to play basketball, so we bought a basketball and went to the park. Something so simple, but we were able to get moving and have fun. Working out doesn’t have to be rigid. For me, I don’t ever want it to be. I know that there are some instances where it may need to be, but I just want to suggest that we start thinking like children again. When not busy, run outside and explore your surroundings. Revel in the world around you and what you’re able to do. Healthy living is so much more than what our bodies can or cannot do, it’s also about what’s going on inside.

Spending time outside allows us to care for ourselves physically and mentally. Walk trails, smell flowers, play a game or two.

Summer is (finally) coming and I’m so ready to take advantage of the beautiful weather. I get giddy when I think of all the hiking trips, camping adventures, and canoe rides I have in the future. Being able to exercise like a child, really allows us to regain a relationship with our mind, our bodies, and the world around us.

As a child, I loved being outside. I still do, but often I feel as though I need to plan out my time outside, but I don’t! And neither do you! Walk out your front door and ask your inner-child what they want to do.  Our hearts long to feel what they once did, we just have to listen to them. Sometimes when I get outside, I  just can’t help it — I want to skip, I want to twirl. Obviously, this is not always a possible thing, but listen to yourself! Really listen!

We have such an innate connection to the outdoors, we just can’t help it! I think that by listening to ourselves, we’re able to strengthen our relationships. If on a hike with yourself, you’ll be able to strengthen your relationship with your body, by giving it exercise. You’re able to strengthen your relationship with the Earth, by surrounding itself with its beauty. You’re able to strengthen your relationship with your heart. Listen to what it tells you. Oftentimes, we don’t let our heart speak with us, because it feels things that we may not want to focus on. Feelings aren’t always practical, which can be hard for us.

Spending time with others in nature is a great bonding experience as well. One that I don’t think you’d quite get if going to the gym. Have you ever tried having a conversation with someone while both being on the treadmill? Nearly impossible, haha! Being surrounded by beauty allows us to be more vulnerable with not only ourself, but others.

In conclusion: listen to the heart you had as a child. Allow them to explore the world, to learn, and to make relationships with others. It’s all too easy to ignore them, as the business of adult life grows louder and louder. Listen to your body, too. What does it need? Listen to yourself and be conscious of the splendor the world provides us. Sometimes, feeling small in the world is what we need. Not unimportant in the world, but just small. Our worries aren’t always life or death. A childlike perspective is sometimes all that we need.

I hope that you are having a great day! And a great weekend to boot!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

 

A Journey into Self-Love

Putting on my Face: My Everyday Skincare and Makeup Routine.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! I wanted to continue our little head-to-toe journey. I started out with clothing and I wanted to do skincare and makeup next! I hope y’all enjoy! And please, let me know some of your favorite makeup brands and tips!

I will say upfront that I am an Amazon associate and as such, I will earn money from qualifying purchases, with no extra charge to you!  That being said, I am not here AT ALL to try and force products on you. I just wanted to show what I use in case you guys were in the market for new products. I also wanted to share some tricks that I’ve learned from my time wearing makeup.

Makeup is something that seems to cause a lot of divide. I want to say first and foremost that I don’t think that one needs makeup to be or feel beautiful. And some people do not feel confident with makeup on and that is absolutely fine. It’s totally your choice. Do what makes you feel happy and confident.

For this little post, I wanted to detail not only the products that I use, but how I use them.

Rose hip oil

Rose hip oil is something that I’ve only recently started using. I’ve seen so many people online using it and I wanted to try it so badly. I always thought that I had oily skin, but as I get older, I’m realizing that my skin is more dry than anything. Especially this past winter, it got so bad. I hated it, because when I put makeup on, my under-eyes and even my eyelids were all wrinkly and dried out. This has been something that has been SO helpful. I’ve been trying to stay extra hydrated so my skin doesn’t get that bad again. The bottle also says that it’s meant to fight wrinkles and fine lines. It also says that it helps with the appearance of scars. And I’m such a sucker for packaging, I hate to say it. The bottle is so cute with the dropper and  little roses it has in it! One feels extra glamorous when using this.

Pond’s Cold Cream

After I’ve let the rose hip oil melt into my skin, I’ll moisturize with the Pond’s. It is very moisturizing and also so good for sensitive skin. My skin for the past six months has been reacting to almost every makeup and skincare product. I tried out a new moisturizer and was broken out on my cheekbone for about a month. I’m already on my second little container of the Pond’s and my skin is so thankful. It’s so exciting being able to find out products that work for you. I’m such a picky person when it comes to such things, I want to keep trying new products until I find the most magical product. This Pond’s might just be it. I will say that after you put the cold cream on, you will want to take quite awhile before putting on your makeup, otherwise it’ll all just slide off. Unless you’re using it for a makeup remover, which it also does, quite well! I use the rose hip oil and the Pond’s twice a day, in the morning before putting my makeup on, and then right before I go to bed. My skin has never been softer!

Highlight/Blush

I’ve been using this same highlight for around a year now. The same exact one, it hasn’t run out yet! I know that you’re supposed to change them out every so often, but I just keep them until they absolutely run out… I still have so much left! And it’s so cheap! It’s meant to be a highlight, but I use it as a blush. I love wearing a lot of brush and tend to go a bit overboard on it. I put it on where you would put blush and where you would put bronzer, because I don’t really think bronzer suits me. I also make sure to add a little extra on my nose because I think that is so dang cute! I like that putting on blush acts as a somewhat more subtle contour. It also adds a bit more color into the cheeks, which is especially nice when you’re as pale as I am.

Foundation

I have just started using this foundation. Before this one, I had used the Too Faced: Born this Way foundation. I really like that this one contains SPF in it, because as someone who is quite pale, I burn VERY easily. I like a very natural coverage, and I find this foundation really does wonders. I usually apply foundation more like a concealer than an all-over foundation. I make sure to focus it on my eyelids, my under-eye circles, and any spots that need any extra lovin’. I generally like keeping my face very natural and letting some freckles peak through. I feel more me when my skin isn’t totally flawless. However, I must say, I do love having some extra help with my eye-bags, ha! I definitely recommend going to a makeup counter to find the perfect foundation match. Try as I might, I can’t seem to be able to match my foundation on my own. I’ve ended up with many bottles of foundation that do me absolutely no wonders. You also end up using so much more product if it doesn’t perfectly match because you have to drag it all over your neck/any other part that doesn’t match.

Blush brush

I’m not a fancy makeup guru or anything, so I use this sculpting brush for a little bit of everything. I use it for foundation, blush, and also on the rare occasions I use bronzer or highlighter. I think this brush is a super great one because it is useful for so many different purposes. I prefer putting on foundation with my hands, so this is really the only face brush that I use. I know that may be slightly controversial, but I find that my hands work in product better! It’s really important to have a brush that’s soft, because otherwise, when applying blush to your face, you’ll end up wiping off all your foundation. Also, it sure as heck doesn’t feel good using scratchy brushes!

Mascara 

This brand was sold where I used to work and I really grew to love it. It’s certainly not going to give you the longest or thickest lashes, but I really love the natural look it gives. I’ve always preferred a black mascara as opposed to a lighter one. I know that some people really love a brown mascara because it matches better with their eyelashes and eyebrows. Again, it all depends on personal preference! I also curl my lashes most days, making sure to be extra careful not to rip out any. It never gets any less scary!

Brow pencil

My eyebrows and I have been through thick and thin — literally. They’ve been good, they’ve been bad, and they’ve certainly been ugly. They’re quite dark and thick naturally. I keep them fairly natural, I pluck the middle of them and I also pluck any stragglers that may be around. Finding the brow shape that we feel best in is such an important thing. I know that when my brows are unkempt, I feel unkempt as well. My brows are naturally quite dark so I don’t fill them in too much, mostly just the tail of them. My eyebrows are also quite thick, but for whatever reason, they’re not terribly long. So I draw them on to be a bit longer as well. I’m not an expert by any means! Nor do I spend much time on them!

Lipstick 

For those that knew me in high school, they’ll remember my red lipstick days. I still love me a good red lipstick every once in awhile, but now I lean towards something more natural. I really like pink for lipstick, something that’s just a shade or two different than my natural lip color, be it lighter or be it darker. I really like this lipstick because it feels extra moisturizing. I’m such an obsessive chapstick user that this is super helpful to me. I like to have a chapstick in pretty much every room of my apartment. If I want to get extra fancy, I’ll go for a red but this is perfect for my everyday makeup. When I want a super duper natural look, I’ll apply lipstick, then put on chapstick over it, and then blot that off. 

Eyeshadow brush

Again, I am not fancy at all when it comes to makeup, so I use this brush for all my eyeshadow looks. I just make sure that my brushes are soft enough that they don’t disrupt all my makeup that’s on my skin. I also make sure to wipe them off in-between colors so I don’t end up with a huge mess on my eyelids!

Eyeshadow 

As I’ve said probably a million times, I like my makeup to be quite natural. Which is quite a change from how I used to be. I used to not be caught dead without heavy eyeliner and red lipstick. Which is so funny because now whenever I put eyeliner on, I feel as though it doesn’t suit me at all! Which is why I tend to stick to eyeshadow if I’m feeling like adding a little something extra. If I wear eyeshadow I usually stick with a dark brown in the crease and a lighter color on the lid. I like beige or glitter for the lid. Usually a light gold one works best for me. I like choosing colors that make my eyes pop. I have blue-green eyes, so I like browns, golds, and even sometimes a purple. I remember going to the Clinique makeup counter the summer before I went into seventh grade and the woman put purple eyeshadow on me and I was so amazed at how green my eyes looked. Everyone can wear whatever eyeshadow color they want, but if you want your eyes really to pop, look towards the color wheel!

Powder

Another case of, “WOW! This packaging is adorable.” It works so amazing though. I like this one in particular because it has a slight purple tint in it which helps with lightening the under-eyes. I used to use powder on the entire face because I was worried about getting oily, but nowadays I only put powder on the places I feel really need it, my eyelids, my under-eyes, around the nose, and my chin. Otherwise, I just let my skin hang out and do what it wants. And let me tell you, it feel so much better than putting tons and tons of powder around my face. Again, some may feel differently! Which is okay! Makeup is a wonderful way to express ourselves!

 

Another little tip that I have is to look towards your family. You may not have family that look 100% like you, but it can often be quite helpful. For example, I look to my mom for makeup inspiration. She is naturally much more tan than I am, but we have similar eye color so I take inspiration from her eye looks. She’ll use some dark green eyeliner on her eyes and it looks quite striking. I’ve tried it a couple times on myself and I really enjoy it!

Makeup can be a great thing to play with, and some people get SO creative with it! I love scrolling through Instagram to see what looks people are able to come up with. I may not be quite at that level (YET!) but I enjoy makeup all the same!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

Musings

How Much Should we Share Online?

Hello, friends! I hope that your Wednesday is going well. Almost to Friday! I’ve been working on this blog post for a little while now. I wanted to make sure that it was executed correctly. I wanted to be very careful to not hurt anyone’s feelings with it or anything of the like. I understand that life is different for everyone and that the internet plays a very different role in people’s lives. As always, I can only speak from my own experience.

I think that for everyone out there, the amount shared on the internet will vary, which makes perfect sense. It’s never in good taste to bully others online, but besides that, I understand that everyone has varying levels of comfort with what they share online. My mom, for example, has absolutely no social media and she couldn’t be happier about it. I one time mentioned that I saw a meal she pinned on Pinterest and she was shocked to find out it was public, “Oh, I don’t like that at all!”. I think that we have to find what works for us, but in a way, of course, that doesn’t negatively effect us. It’s not kind to make posts bullying others, but it’s probably also not in our best interest to make posts complaining about jobs, or even posting things that could deter employers from wanting to hire us.

It’s so tempting to overshare on the internet. From personal experience, it’s especially tempting to overshare when we feel lonely. I don’t really do this anymore, but I used to quite a bit. I would post whenever I was feeling negatively, especially when I was feeling poorly about myself. I would frame it as a joke, but it really never was. It’s right at our fingertips, an abundance of people, all listening ears. I think that every person and situation is different of course, but this can be a tricky thing to navigate. When do we go from being honest online to being too honest? When I’m feeling down in the dumps and am tempted to post online, I will instead do a couple of things.

I will journal how I’m feeling. I am a strong advocate for journaling and I think that it is especially great for moments where we want to overshare. Before the days of the internet, there were diaries. I’ve been journaling since I could write and let me tell you, there are many journal entries I’m glad are not on the internet. Nothing mean or anything, but just plain embarrassing. Journaling allows us to get our emotions out in a therapeutic and private way.

Or, I will call/text a friend to talk about whatever is bothering me. Most of the time we just need to get it out of our systems. I know that when we feel lonely, sometimes we feel as though we have nobody to talk to. While talking to someone who cares is the number one choice, journaling is a close number two. Again, every situation is different. I am not here to judge others for how they handle their feelings, I just want to give some options.

I think it’s important for us to periodically review our own social media and ask ourselves if it’s representing us in a way that we see appropriate. People change and sometimes you posted something that you thought was fine, but you review it and no longer want it online. I don’t think that there should be anything wrong with this. Our social media, after all, exists for us. If we don’t like something that we posted, it is within our rights to delete it. We need to be comfortable with what we are posting, because it’s often people’s first impression of us. I know that whenever I’ve started a new job, my co-workers will always tell me that they stalked my Facebook or Instagram before I started. I’ve also done it when other new people were hired on. I think it’s important to make sure your online persona is one that you feel comfortable it.

We face a dilemma that’s unique to to this generation. It can be very hard to refrain from posting things, because in the moment it seemed like a good idea. For me, a question I try to ask before posting is: Would I be comfortable talking about this in person? Again, this won’t apply to every situation, but I find it to be helpful. I cringe to think of some of the stuff I’ve posted in the past, but you live and you learn.

An example that comes to mind is when Bobby and I got engaged. I wanted to post it on Facebook right away, I was just so excited about it, I wanted the whole world to know! Instead of doing that right away, I did quite a few phone calls and texts to those that I’m very close to. The ones who would have felt sad if they had found out via Facebook.

I think that we must think before we post, even if it’s not inappropriate, will it make someone sad? Is it something that you should try to tell those close with you first, or is it okay for them to figure out on Facebook? It obviously differs situation to situation, person to person, but it’s definitely something to consider.

I think another thing that is very important is to be our genuine self on our social media. I think that for everyone, their online persona versus how they are in real life will always differ slightly. I WISH I was as cheerful as I was online, but sometimes, you don’t feel cheerful. I don’t think that’s being disingenuous, it’s just normal. Being genuine is important in our real life and in our internet lives.

There are also topics that some may find taboo, while others do not. I don’t think it would count as a topic per say, but for me, I don’t like to swear on my social media. I don’t swear in real-life, so for me, it doesn’t really translate to my online posting either. Some people are comfortable swearing online, which is fine. It is their personal decision. Again, what people are comfortable with differs greatly from person to person.

It’s so great being able to share so much with those on our friends lists, but I do think there is something to be said for NOT sharing everything. I think it’s important to have some moments that are private and shared between a couple of people and not the whole internet. However, yet again, I will stress that this differs person to person. I just think that we think before we post. Some people will think over a post and decide they’re not comfortable with it, where others may be in the same situation and find it 100% appropriate to post. It’s really at our own discretion, but I do think it’s important to always think before you post.

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

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

 

 

 

 

Musings · Uncategorized

The Art of Keeping a Cozy House.

Hello, friends! A happy Monday to you! I hope that you all had a lovely weekend! I definitely did. I was able to spend lots of time with my family, which I always love. Not to mention how BEAUTIFUL it was outside. Finally! Spring weather! Sundress season here I come!

I spent most of my Saturday at my Momma’s house, which got me to thinking about how cozy it is. How could I have forgotten that? How can I have a house that’s half as cozy?!

I have never wanted to live in a large home with expensive, white appliances and impractical white furniture. My heart skips a beat whenever I see old farm houses way out in the boonies. I love houses filled with antiques and well-loved furniture. Anything handmade or passed down from generation to generation, I adore. I understand that this is not everyone’s style and that some prefer a more polished and expensive home, but I am not one of those people. For us regular folk, it is also probably out of our price range. We shouldn’t feel ashamed about this, not at all. It’s not what makes a good home anyhow.

I’ll use my Momma’s home as an example, since my nest isn’t quite where I’d like to be yet. Especially right now. I’m trying to sell items I don’t have use for and in the process, I’ve kind of turned my apartment into a big ol’ mess. And let me remind y’all, it is far too small for a big ol’ mess. All part of the process, friends…

The flowers that I posted for the featured image are my mom’s. She bought them for $3.00 at Aldi, then put them in various clear jars and put them at both windows. It’s something that cost very little money, but made her home feel so much happier. It also kind of reminded me of one of my recent blog posts where I talk about little luxuries. My mother bought those flowers to brighten up the space and to give her just a little extra pep in her step. She only spent $3 on them and paired them with some jars that she already had. Not only is it the flowers that cozied up the place, but also the way she arranged them. Coziness goes hand in hand with ingenuity. It’s doing something unique with items, repurposing them when needing a bit of change. I took some inspiration from her and picked some daffodils that grow outside my church and put them on my windowsill. My aunt lent me a beautiful white vase to put them in and it pairs so nicely with the bright yellow of the daffodils. Just that little added something makes a home feel much cozier.

Bobby and I went to Goodwill yesterday and scored BIG time. We’re trying to find home decor for when we end up moving to Traverse City. We were able to find so much wonderful stuff. I bought some wicker baskets, a little homemade cup, and some wooden crates from a winery in Traverse City, two of them! (I also bought a beautiful red and white polka dot skirt, and Bobby found 13 DVDS) and we spent less than $50 on all of that! I want to scream from the rooftops that it’s not about where you buy something or how much it costs that makes the item a treasure. I spent the remainder of the day giddy about my $3.00 wicker basket.

A cozy home is one where people feel comfortable. It is a tidy home, but it does not need to be spotless. It’s simply doing your best. Life gets busy sometimes and maybe laundry isn’t number one on your to-do list. That’s okay. It also doesn’t mean you have expensive furniture or a freakishly large TV, instead, it’s a place where everyone has a place to sit and a feeling of belonging.  Where everyone can relax and enjoy each other’s company. Play a board game, talk to each other, maybe even share a meal.

A cozy home is one where the host/hostess is friendly and makes their guests feel at home. You may not have the most expensive food or be the best cook, but let your guests know that they’re welcome to what you have. Offer them a coffee, a tea, or a glass of water. If they’re spending the night, let them know where the extra blankets are. Act as though you are happy that they’re there, do not act as though they’re a burden! The kindness you give, mixed with the coziness of the home can make for a wonderful time, for both you and your guests!

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in photos and lives we see online. We go to Pinterest for inspiration and instead we start feeling bad about our own home. We follow an Instagram account for DIY tutorials, but instead we feel bad about our skills. This is so harmful to us! We’re so lucky to have these resources, but we must remember that our homes do not need to be copies of what we see online. What’s the fun in that anyways? What makes a home beautiful is the people within it. It’s fun to decorate and create a cozy environment, but at the end of the day, what’s truly important is the time we spend with our loved ones, our home is just a place to make that possible.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

The Joy of Cooking for Others.

Hello, friends! We’ve made it! It’s Friday! I’m SO ready to put on some cozy clothes and relax. Maybe figure out what I want to cook for lunch. Speaking of lunch…

I was lucky enough in life to be born into a family of fantastic cooks. I’ve been fed so many delicious meals in my life. And gosh, homemade cooking certainly is filled to the brim with love. In my experience, the secret ingredient is always love. My family always jokes around, “The secret ingredient is love!” “Oh! That’s why it tastes so good!”.

In our hectic lives, it sure can be a challenge to find the gumption to make a meal from scratch. We typically will opt for something a little easier, a drive-thru or pizza delivery, or perhaps a frozen meal. And believe me, I have utilized all of those and with zest. Especially as a busy college student.

I’ve been making the biggest of efforts lately to make more food at home. As I said in my last blog post, I was making my first-ever homemade batch of banana bread. For those curious, it turned out wonderful. Bobby said it was one of the best pieces of banana bread he ever had! I’ll take it!

I absolutely love that I’ve been getting more into cooking lately. It’s so fun looking for different recipes online, utilizing cookbooks, and, my personal favorite, trying out family recipes. Bobby’s favorite is my Aunt Nonie’s white chicken chili. I kid around with him saying it’s the only reason he proposed to me, hehe.

To me, it’s so exciting being able to give someone a handmade dessert to make their life a little sweeter. Or maybe bring them a little container full of soup when they’re too busy to cook for themselves. It’s a way to nurture those you love. I love when I have days off to spend cooking and baking for Bobby and myself. He is a very gracious eater, he will tell me my cooking tastes good even though I know, 100%, that it is a little too burnt. Or when I overcook rice, he swears up and down that he likes when rice is crunchy. Isn’t he wonderful?

I have many fond memories of cooking and baking with my Aunt Nonie. We made brownies, cookies, goofballs, potpies, deviled eggs, and so much more. Yesterday, she stopped by to bring me some goofballs and I was able to give her some banana bread. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be able to gift her something handmade, as she has done for me my entire life.

I feel like one can use cooking to fulfill each and every love language! Let me explain…

It is a gift you can give to your loved ones, making someone’s favorite meal shows that you listen to their likes and dislikes. People whose love language is receiving gifts, I think, like to know that people are listening to them. If they talk about how they hate the raisins in oatmeal cookies and you give them a batch, despite your best intentions, they probably won’t feel loved. BUT, if you make them a batch of oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips instead, they will appreciate that you were not only listening to them, but also gifted them with something so thoughtful.

You can spend time together cooking, for those whose love language is quality time. Cooking can be done together, which is such a fun thing to do. Decorating cookies can be a fun and silly way to be in the kitchen, even if both parties aren’t very good at cooking.  Another way that you can spend time with each other is to eat the food together! You could have a little tea party with coffee and tea with some yummy sweets or cute little sandwiches. On a side note: why don’t we have more tea parties? All my practice as a little girl was for naught, I have been to ZERO tea parties as a young adult.

You can compliment each other on your cooking, for someone whose love language is words of affirmation. (Me! Me! Me!) Or if you’re cooking for someone else, you can compliment them by saying, “I know that you’ve been working so hard lately, I thought you might enjoy a home-cooked meal. You deserve it!” Or maybe even a nice little pasta dish with a cute note attached. Just showing them that not only were you thinking of them, but you were also appreciating them.

Some people’s love language is physical touch. Bringing someone a fresh batch of cookies with a hug can be a really powerful thing as well. I can’t think of anything cozier than a batch of cookies AND a nice hug! Sometimes life gets complicated, and something so simple can fix it, even for just a moment.

And for the one that fits the absolute best, acts of service! Cooking for someone is such a great idea if this is their love language. Cooking can be quite labor intensive and is certainly an amazing fit. Or, if you have a loved one who cooks for you, doing the dishes for them would be a great act of service to do as a thank you! Bobby does really well at doing the dishes if I make a big meal. Acts of service is Bobby’s love language. I find it so cute, because making a dish for us is like saying, “I love you!” and when he does the dishes, it’s like him saying, “I love you, too!”.

There are so many wonderful ways we can tell each other that we love one another, but today I wanted to focus on cooking. I’m such a sensitive and sentimental person that writing this blog post has made my little heart ache with all the love I have for those close to me! I’m thankful for all the new ways I’m learning to show people my love, and cooking is my new favorite!

Have a great day!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae