30 September 2013

Music Monday: Ben Rector

This song randomly came on the 'ole iPod the other day and managed to send me into tears.

I think we all want someone to call our forever love, no matter how many time we try to convince ourselves and others that we don't.

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22 September 2013

Sunday Confessions: Not Really Confessions

I Can Quit Anytime I Want// Another appointment for another tattoo has been made! It was supposed to happen tomorrow, but my tattooist (I can't even being to tell you how excited I am to have someone who I believe shall be my regular tattooist!!) had to unexpectedly go out of town, so I have to wait another week.

Chillin' With My Mom//This weekend there has been and will be more time hanging with my mom. I think last weekend/week scared the bejesus out of us all so family time was just what we needed. Even if it came at the expense of a few other pre-planned activities.

Trimming the Fat//I don't know what it is about that phrase but it makes me giggle. Anywho, I did a pretty big purge this weekend and it was BRILLIANT. It's weird how sometimes we feel like we have to hold onto things even though we know that doing so isn't in our best interest.

Drawtastic//If you have the unfortunate pleasure of following me on Instagram, you'll have noticed that really all I've been posting lately are really terrible photos of all the not so great drawings I have been doing. Thankfully those drawings are getting a bit better with each go round, but I'm actually pretty excited about a drawing I did this weekend.

I still need a lot of practice and need to figure out how to draw hands, but I am totally digging this one.

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18 September 2013

Draw Something

To say I'm a "bit obsessed" with drawing right now is a bit of an understatement.

As  kid, like most kids do, I used to get lost in my drawings for hours. I even remember getting up early on Saturday mornings to watch a drawing show in our local PBS channel. And Bob Ross's painting show--one of my absolute favorites! I always looked forward to the "kids college" programs in the summer because it meant I'd get a new sketchpad and drawing pencils. Those were pretty much gold in my eyes.

I'm not exactly sure at what point I abandoned drawing. We didn't have an art program once I started high school and I'm quite certain that had something to do with it. And once I got to college, there was no WAY I was going to take a class, even if it was Drawing 101. There is something to be said about being terrified of trying something you gave up a long time ago.

Anyway, my picking up the pencils and sketchpad again was a little bit of a fluke. While flipping through the stack of tattoo designs/ideas I have saved in a notebook, I started sketching out my own ideas. Flowers. Swirls. Butterflies. And that turned into drawing the flowers in my garden (or attempting to draw them) which eventually took me to my favorite online resource for learning how to do just about anything, YouTube.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been having a lot of fun rediscovering my love of drawing. I even went out and bought myself some fancy new sketchpads. It's been pretty amazing how quickly the things I learned as kid are coming back. I still have a heck of a lot to learn and relearn, but I'm feeling like I'm off to a good start.

Or it could just be a case of beginners luck, which if it is, I'll take it!

Below are three of my favorite sketches that I've done recently. I'm trying really hard to not look at them and pick out all the flaws and/or things I need to improve on. Instead, I'm trying to enjoy the  new journey while looking forward to seeing what I will learn tomorrow!

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16 September 2013

Music Monday: Andrew Belle

I need another weekend.

I've spent the last few days bouncing between the hospital, craft store (to buy new drawing supplies) and dithering around the house to keep my distracted while listening to Andrew Belle's new album.

It's how even if for a brief moment, music can make you forget about all the crap that is going on around you.

Belle's new album Black Bear came out in August and is one I have been flip-flopping between Paradise Valley ever since.

Narrowing down a "favorite" song to share on the blog was pretty difficult. There isn't a track on the album that I skip to get to something else--he's that good ya'll.

But this morning when I was listening to it while getting ready for the day, I found myself hitting repeat on the song Wants What It Wants. The lyrics Come if you believe me//Come if you remember the way//If not then I will find you this time//Wishing you had stayed just seemed to hit me something fierce and I've been humming them all morning.

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15 September 2013

Sunday Confessions: Bloggers Dilema

I had originally had this uber witty, fun filled post planned for today.

But then life happened as it tends to do.

I think all bloggers will tell you there is a precarious balance between being open and honest on your blog and being too open and honest on your blog.

Today, that is my struggle. How much do I divulge without making myself sound like I'm out seeking sympathy, my family being annoyed with me (although there always seems to be a slight bit of "annoying" when it comes to how my family has viewed me in the past so I guess that doesn't really matter) and still keeping some sense of honesty about this place. And keeping that sense of honesty not just for my readers, but for myself as well.

So today I pose the question to you. How you do decide how "personal" to get on your blog?

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13 September 2013

Life Lately

I'm calling it.

Fall has arrived! Yes. Yes. Yes. We had near 90 temperatures on Wednesday, but Mother Nature seems to have her hot flashes under control and we are back to actual fall weather.

I reserve the right to completely change my "Fall has arrived!" statement next week should things change.

Creating//The creative bug has been buzzing about the last couple of weeks. It's been equal parts awesome and strange. Awesome because I LOVE making things--starting with a blank slate and ending up with something "new" at the end is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Strange because I've been finding myself doing things I haven't done in a very long time, the main one being drawing. This past week I found myself constantly reaching for my sketchpad which hasn't happened in I don't know how long. I even bought a new one AND a new set of pencils. My drawings are still pretty awful but like I said the other day with writing, sometimes just getting whatever image I have in my mind down on paper is enough, even if it doesn't exactly look like I thought it would/should.

Hooking//The crochet hooks have been doing their thing still. I have a list of a few things to make for friends, but decided to take a "creative mental health" break this week and make a couple of things for myself. Are these minions not the cutest?! The little one, Carl will go to live on my desk at work. The big guy, Tim, will reside among the sock monkeys. I will admit at first glance they look pretty easy to put together (I timed myself, the little guy took about 6 hours from start to finish) but all the details were a little tedious. If you'd like to make your own minion army, Ami has a fantastic pattern and tutorial over on her website: All About Ami--Minion Pattern.

Anticipating//I know it is still over 3 months out, but I'm going to New York, ya'll!! In December I'm off to hang out with Vickie and Heather in the Big Apple! If anyone has any cheesy tourist stops, I'm all ears. I've been there a couple of times already but it's been a few years so I'm ready to geek out like midwestern tourist!
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12 September 2013

Songs That Define Me

Oh. I'm totally stunned. Another post about music. It's been so long since I've discussed this topic.

Can someone please come up with the sarcasm font?! Because if you aren't going to make fun of your regurgitated material, who else will? K....thanks.

The other day my friend Micah sent me a link to upcoming link up on Helene in Between which is happening today!!

It may (or may not) be surprising to some that I have an ever revolving playlist on my iPod (the original, not the fancy new fandangled gizmo I carry around me all the time now a.k.a. my iPhone) called My Life. It's a playlist of all the songs that remind me of me--whether it be a songs from a particular moment, a song I feel like I identify with or maybe even reminds me of a feeling or a person. Most of the songs change pretty frequently, usually from being overplayed from constantly hitting the repeat button while sobbing, "OMG....it's like he/she reached into my soul and drug out the word I couldn't come up with on my own" or something a little less dramatic. Either way, I think you get the point.

There are however a few songs that have stood the test of time. They've been the constant "hits" of the playlist, the greatest hits if you will. These are the songs that would be required in the movie version of my life.

Good Love is On The Way


32 Flavors

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Heart of Life

What songs define you?

Helene in Between

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11 September 2013

The Write Stuff

It doesn't happen as often as I'd like, but there are days when it feels like the pen in my hand has a mind of its own and the ideas just come out of no where.

This is how the last few days have gone. And it has been glorious!

But the best part about it, none of it has been for the blog.

I've had essentially the same story running through my head for the last few years, trying to work out how to put it down on paper. It's your standard romantic comedy with what I would like to say has a little more comedy than romance (just like my real life!). There are no earth shattering revelations or life changing "ah ha!" moments.

I have at least a half dozen variations of it in notebooks and scraps of paper around the house, but until this version it never felt right. I finally feel like the I have the characters and story where they need to be. I'm fully aware that when it is done, it will be tucked away on my shelves and unlikely to be read by anyone else.

But sometimes, writing just for the sake of writing is worth it.

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08 September 2013

Sunday Confessions: The "I'm Over It" Edition

I'm fully aware that the following is going to make me sound completely egotistical and uber bitchy. But we've all had moments like these. Moments where you've had it with the "mAss lOvE!" of something you've held dear to you for a long time. Like when the fashion industry decides to embrace riding boots or your favorite color because the new "accent color" for EVERYTHING. Or a hobby you've had since you were a kid all of a sudden blows up and everyone looks at you like you've lost your mind because you're not super psyched about something they've just uncovered (likely via Pinterest) that you've been doing for a long time.

This is my rant and I won't apologize for it. I'm absolutely aware there are things I have said or done on this blog that would fall into someone else's list. One of them being that I have a blog. And that is O.K!

Health Fads: I am kind of over hearing all about this new thing that people are doing. You may have heard about it. It's called juicing and substituting smoothies for meals. Oh. That's right! Isn't that that thing I was telling my friends about a couple years ago when I stopped eating animal products and then they all told me I was weird and that it was gross? I'm not faulting anyone for trying either considering I've been doing it for quite awhile. Let's just stop pretending it's new or this amazing thing you just discovered. Because it's neither and I don't want to hear your bandwagon speech.

You Are Not a Photographer: Oh and that new camera you bought does not make you a photographer. Get back with me AFTER you've taken a few thousand photographs that weren't "ideas you found on Pinterest" and then we'll chat about fstops and ISO.

Commentary in General: As humans we LOVE to talk about other humans. It must be part of our DNA or something. But the constant need to voice our opinions about what someone else does or says or wear or whatever, where does that come from? I'm guilty of it myself and my initial thought when I do it, of why I disagree with something is because I personally won't have done it. This is a topic I plan on revisiting in the near future. And something I plan on changing in myself.

Tattoos--kind of on topic, but not really: My new tattoo has turned into an extremely annoying tattoo. I don't remember having such an issue with my previous tattoos and up until today, it hadn't been an issue. This freaking thing itches like I was attached by a swarm of mosquitoes. I know this is normal and I'm sure it happened with my previous ones, but I must have blocked it. Oh and the whole, "wow--I can't believe you got such a small one done. I thought you were really into them." snarky comments need to end. Yep, got kind of a small one because as any good consumer will tell you it's best to research the end product before diving head first in a major commitment.

And to anyone who feels like any of the above are directed personally to them (I know you are out there!), I leave you with this. Which I found on Pinterest, so if you want to join my wagon, we ride at dawn!

Do you have anything to confess this week?

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03 September 2013

Music Is My Anchor


I am super excited to "officially" reveal my new tattoo. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you've likely already seen it.

My friends tend to either laugh or roll their eyes when I tell them I have a "wish list" of tattoos and a list of ideas for tattoos that is a combination of a folder on my computer, a board on Pinterest and a plain 'ole notebook. And there are even some who say "Huh, I never thought you were that kind of girl." Side note: What does that even mean?! Three people told me that the day of my appointment for this new one. People are weird. 

As I said in my post the other day, not all of my tattoos have a special meaning or story behind them. They don't all symbolize something special or a moment in time. This one on the other hand does and I absolutely adore it.

If you've spent any time on the blog you may have noticed I live and breath music (one of the saddest things for me is that I'm tone deaf and don't have even the slightest bit of music talent in my bones--I think this is why I appreciate what musicians are able to do). It provides the daily soundtrack to my life. I listen to it when I am happy, sad, at work, at home, walking the dog. Any chance I get, it is on in the background.

Music keeps my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground. It keeps me who I am.

I've known for a long time that my "next" tattoo would be related to music, it just took me kind of a long time to figure it all out.

Friday, I joined my friendS Jen and Brittany went to see Shannon st Acorn Tattoo in Traverse City to get some ink done. She was fantastic to work with. We all went in the general ideas of what we wanted and all walked out with tattoos that we love!

My original plan for this tattoo was to have it done in two parts--the anchor on one ankle and three music notes on the other ankle. The anchor because music keeps me grounded. And the three music notes to represent me and two of my closest friends, (V & H) who were brought together by the music.

Brit had a feather done (sorry, no photo of that one), Jen a tattoo of Michigan and me with my anchor.

Shannon working on my tattoo.


The final tattoo!

To say I am happy with how the tattoo turned out would be an absolute understatement. It turned out far better than I had expected. I will definitely be making an appointment to see Shannon again to get my next piece done.

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02 September 2013

Music Monday: Ben Taylor


I can't remember the last time I struggled to come up with some something for Music Monday.

I guess that is the curse of listening to the same album over and over and over and over and....I think you get the point.

But fear not!

Ben Taylor and his beautiful voice are here to save the day.

Lady Magic

Wicked Ways

Nothing I Can Do

Happy Monday ya'll!

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01 September 2013

Sunday Confessions

Seriously?!: Can we all just agree that summer colds are the worst. I woke up yesterday morning with a full on hackey cough, sore throat and plugged ears. And today is worse which means lounging about the lake this afternoon just became less appealing.

Slacker: I only worked out once, ONCE, this past week. And I don't feel bad about it. I plan on getting back on track this week, but it was really nice to actually be home at a decent time every night after work.

Sloths: O.k......what is the deal with the sloth obsession?! It seems like they are all over the place. It's a bit weird really. I mean....I guess they are kind of cute, but really?!

Pieces: I'm already planning my next tattoo, as in already sketching it out and trying to figure out if a certain set of song lyrics will fit into it or not.

Over It: Call it just an overwhelming sense of frustration in general, but I'm kind of done with people who constantly feel the need to tell you why they don't like something. I've had more "Yeah, I would never do that" or "I would never get a tattoo there" from folks about my new tattoo than I've had "Nice--I totally dig that you dig that". I get it but it's been really hard to not respond, "For the briefest of moments, we aren't talking about you, so step off". I'm too nice to do more than just smile and mentally whap the person upside their head.

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