Living

Do You Still Hand Write Thank-You Notes?

Thank you Notes

I wrote a dear friend a thank you note a couple weeks back because she had done something so so sweet and kind for me. When I saw her again, she thanked me for my note and told me that she almost never receives hand written notes these days. At first I was little shocked, but then I remembered last winter when I sent flowers as a thank-you and had to talk the recipient out of profusely thanking me. In both of these instances, these women let me know that very few people send more than an email out now.

With the ease of email and the cost of stamps (hello 50 cent postage stamps :() I guess I can understand a little bit but even being a millennial, I can see the advantage of hand written notes. For one, your note will stand out amongst the bills and junk mail, something that’s harder to say about a thank-you email. Second, it’s a chance to show some personal style through your choice of stationary. And lastly, it’s just good manners and people like good manners.

Now I won’t say I’ve always been good at sending them-in the past I’ve really struggled with it. But I will say that since I’ve made it a priority (I actually add it on my to-do list) I’ve found that my personal and professional relationships have benefitted greatly. Here and Here are a few of my favorite options to help you in case you tend to run out quickly like I do and Amazon delivers straight to your door!

So here’s my question: Do you still send thank-you notes and flowers? If not, why?


Lazy Mornings

This week has been nuts. Meetings, scheduling, volunteering, paperwork, etc. It seems like the busier I get, the less I want to actually do things. Today, I actually daydreamed about staying in bed all day and watching Netflix while I doodle and eat food that was delivered straight to my door. It was a splendid dream. Then I saw Pink Peonies Instagram photo in which she was wearing the perfect robe and it felt like a sign. But who has the luxury of an unproductive morning these days? Certainly not me. 🙁 So instead, I created a mood board of what it might looks like to have one of those beautiful, lazy, listless mornings. And of course, I had to include the robe made of perfection.

Lazy Morning

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Doesn’t that robe make you want to just lay in bed and feel glamorous? Seriously. And having a coordinating throw to snuggle in- is it too much? Not for my dream lazy morning.

So spill it- have any of you had a completely lazy and ridiculously unproductive morning recently? If so, I’m totally jelly!

 


Three Great Summer Movies for 2015

My husband loves summer blockbusters. I do not. Movies packed with action but light on plot are not my idea of a great afternoon. But just because most movies out during the summer are explosion-filled fluff, doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great summer flicks out there.

Far From the Madding Crowd is based on the famous Thomas Hardy novel with the same title. I’ve actually already seen this one and I LOVED it. My husband did as well. The main character is strong, yet human and Carrie Mulligan does a wonderful job. This came out early in the summer so check for it at dollar theaters and Red box.

Mr Holmes is another British film with Ian McKellen as the famous Sherlock Holmes on his last case. I haven’t seen it yet but it’s on my list and the critics loved it!

This last movie is one I just heard about and can’t wait to see. Many people that have seen it say that it’s funny, touching, and the only issue with the film is that it’s too short. I love the idea the premise of the movie- that life can change and begin again at any time.

So what movies are you watching this summer? Have you seen any of these or recommend others?

 

 


Settling Into Yourself

Peony and Marble

I’m sure that we’ve all had times when we’ve taken a step back and realized that we’re not where we thought we’d be or even who we thought we’d be. It’s not necessarily a comfortable moment but I’m coming to realize that’s OK. In reading Dan Harris’s book 10% Happier he talks about meditation and how we find discontent when our idea of how things should be confronts the idea of how things are. I’ve thought a lot about it and how it relates to my life, my goals, and my general ideology. I’ll admit that I used to be somewhat of a self-help junkie- working at Franklin Covey will do that to you- and I’ve taken so much advice to heart but honestly, there are so many conflicting messages out there. We’re told to by some schools or thought to “never stop improving” and then other camps declare to “love yourself” so much and so hard until everything becomes clear. 

But is any of it true? Are there any magical mantras that will fix lapses in confidence or times when you’re sure you’re the strangest, most unloveable creature? Well, I haven’t read every single book out there but I’m pretty sure that there isn’t. Now it doesn’t mean that all of these writers and gurus are complete hacks (although some of them certainly are) but rather that they found their personal compass, their “personal truth”, if you will, and want to share it. So how do we find our “truth” when we’re in the middle of life, deadlines, and everything else? How do we decide what message we should repeat to ourselves when times feel rough, or when life feels all turned around?

I can’t claim that I have the right answer but I’m working on having the right answer for me. I’m trying to walk that fine line between over-planning and letting go and I’m not always good at it. In fact, I often struggle with the balance of it all. But even though I’m not even close to mastery, I think that it’s good to talk about it with other people. I’m always surprised when I’m struggling with something and find out that there are many other people who are struggling with the same issue, especially when I was sure that I was the only person that couldn’t get it together on that certain thing. I feel ridiculous each time I come to that realization. There is power in common goals and even in common suffering and we do a disservice to ourselves and others when we pretend we have it all together because we don’t. None of us do.

So I’m here today declaring I’m imperfect and still finding my way. I’m still on the path trying desperately to settle into myself, my life, and my relationships with others and that I’m fine with it. Or at least I’m working on it.


A Southern Opinion on ‘Go Set a Watchman’ (No Spoilers)

go-set-a-watchman-harper-lee

Guys, I wasn’t sure that I was going to read this book and then I ended up finishing it in one night. I’m sure most of you already know that I love Harper Lee, her book To Kill a Mockingbirdand most things Southern but after hearing somewhat negative reviews on the book I wasn’t sure if I could let my view of Harper Lee’s near-sainthood be tainted. And Atticus Finch. Oh, Atticus. How I envisioned you (looking like Gregory Peck, of course) standing for all truth and righteousness despite the cost. Maybe even in spite of the cost. And knowing that he would be racist in this book made it hard to pick up.

But I did read it and even liked it. Is it as good as To Kill a Mockingbird? Nowhere close, in my opinion. But is it worth reading? Absolutely. First, despite it’s unedited state, Harper Lee is a woman who can tell a story. She gets a little long-winded sometimes in this book, but it usually adds depth to the story and she ends up rerouting us to her point eventually. Second, and probably most importantly, this book gives you a look into the complexity of the South, her history and why her future will be painful. I love the South and I’m dyed in the wool of Dixie (or should I say dyed in the cotton) but explaining why I love this conflicted place is only slightly harder than trying to explain why she is the way she is. This book ambitiously takes on that task and humanizes the people living there while doing it.

Go Set a Watchman is as relevant today as it was when it was written. I know that it’s a strong statement, but with all of the recent racial turmoil we’ve had, it’s fitting that this was published now. Harper Lee swore up and down she’d never publish again and many are still questioning “why now?” I can’t speak for Ms. Lee but I’d like to hope that she saw what was going on around her and decided we needed it. And we do. We need to understand the past so we can more clearly see the present and better shape the future. Ms. Lee was our watchman in 1964 and her voice still clearly rings out to us today.

If you want to read more about the controversy surrounding the publication, check it out HERE.


Why my iPhone is Full of Photos

Photos on my iPhone

*I need to thank you all for the love yesterday- I didn’t expect such an outpouring of support and it was simply wonderful. You guys are the best. A few of your comments actually inspired me to write this post.*

The screen shot above is a mere fraction of the photos I keep on my phone. I have so many photos on my phone, in fact, that my phone is always nearly full. The husband always tells me to delete a few (or more than a few) photos to free up space. Sometimes I do, but most of the time I just can’t. What happens instead is I end up looking through my photos and thinking about the moments each one represents.

Each snapshot is more than the ‘likes’ it receives, it’s a piece of my life. On hard days, or even just really boring moments, I often find mind myself turning on my phone and scrolling through my photos. In doing this, I’m reminded of all of the truly awesome and amazing things about my life. Travel, family, friends, adventures- all of these things are blessings in my life. When life gets a little rough, which it sometimes tends to do, there isn’t much that helps me get out of that funk faster than remembering how good I have it. My phone carries more than enough proof. Proof that I’ve had great moments, truly lived and have been loved.

I will admit that eventually I run out of space (how did I ever think 16 gigs was enough?!) and I have to load some of them to my hard drive. Each time I do this I usually resolve to do two things: 1. Capture and appreciate more of life’s moments and 2. Next time buy a phone with more memory.