Friday, March 30, 2012

Fill in the ____ Friday - 3.30.2012

 Link up with Lauren at the little things we do to fill in some blanks yourself. It's really fun. :)

1.  My greatest strength is  how creative I am - I'm so creative and coming up with new ideas all the time. The problem is just execution   .

2.   My greatest weakness is    going through with execution! VCP is one of the first times that I really executed one of my brilliant plans, but even that is tough. It's hard expanding into a new market!    .

3.  People always compliment me on    my eyes. I wish I had some character thing everyone loved but nope, it's always my eyes. Bright green and with flecks of grey and yellow - they confuse people   .

4. If you found me procrastinating you'd probably find me     reading, tweeting, pinning, or sleeping. Ooooh, sleeping. :) .

5. The most cozy place in all the world is   my bed, but only if curled up with my love (whose birthday is today, actually! So leave him so love in the comments!). And it'd be more cozy with a dog, just sayin' .

6. Something new that I tried recently was    I actually blogged about this exact experience this week! How funny..

7.  This weekend I would like to   relax, get some financial stuff figured out (ugh) and explore DC a little more. I'm meeting my love's cousin on Sunday too, so I'm looking forward to that .
Thanks to everyone coming from Lauren's for stopping by! Say hi in the comments - I'd love to check out your blog too. :) And now...

Things You Missed Here:
the problem with being shy + doing uncomfortable things - I went to an event in DC, and I asked a question in front of a huge crowd. A surprisingly big deal. 
the sponsor call - I love working with other bloggers to get them exposure - interested?

Things I Did Elsewhere On the Internet:
Central Texas: Get ready for an awesome bluebonnet mini session! Do you live in Central Texas? I'm finally offering mini bluebonnet sessions this year on April 7th for a great price & lots of perks - just a few spots left!
Buy my books. Clearly not very glamorous, but help me get money for wine food. Thanks.
My first DC wedding. Not my wedding, obviously. Just... photos! Check it out. :)

Things You Missed In My Shop:
I'm running a little sale just for my fill in the blank friends. :) Just use the code FITBF330 and get 15% off - only until Saturday at 9 am EST! Hurry!

Things I Didn't Come Up With, But Love:

Polaroid Z340 Instant Camera - A 14 megapixel digital camera that also delivers instant prints! How ridiculously cool!
Real Fancy Cats  - I want the fanciest cat ever, don't you?
15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly - Making these mistakes could leave you literally jobless. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

the sponsor call.

For April sponsor spots, I'm going to keep doing things the way I did in March - that is, good spots for relatively cheap. Exciting, right?

Readership around here is pretty steadily increasing, and I'm getting a couple hundred individual new hits every day. The money I get from sponsor spots goes right back into me sponsoring other blogs - what you give is what you get, right? :)

The only thing I've decided to add on for April is this: I'm also open to doing a button swap! A 200x200 for a 200x200. Sounds fair, am I right? For sure. 

If you're interested, you can get in touch with me by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the problem with being shy + doing uncomfortable things (see also: hi, SMCDC)

(The titles of my posts are becoming the longest rants ever. I mean, really. Do you guys love or hate this?)


One of my New Year's buckets was to do more Uncomfortable Things. (No idea what the hell a New Year's bucket is? You need to read this post.) Why? Because sometimes doing uncomfortable shit is fun. And even if it's not, it helps us grow. (After-school special, am I right?)

Since you guys are smart, you can probably guess where this is heading: Last week, I did an Uncomfortable Thing.

Here's what's up: I am so so shy. Not online, obviously, but in Real People Life where I have to actually open my mouth to communicate. I suck in groups with over three people I don't know. I either come off as the quiet creepy girl that sits in the corner staring with huge eyes OR as a total bitch. I'll warm up and you'll see I'm actually nice after I've had a chance to, you know, calm the hell down, but until then I'm so anxious I practically tremble.

This sucks for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I'm new in DC and have approximately three friends.

So last week I went to the monthly DC Social Media Club event. It was all about personal branding, which was awesome because I learned A LOT, but  it was also awesome because it forced me to talk to other people that I could potentially be friends with. I also finally got to meet Rachael, which was great because she was one of the first people to welcome me to DC.

I also actually asked a question. In front of a group of people. Considering I'm the girl who has hardly any recommendations from college professors because she was too shy to ask questions in class, this was a huge step for me. And even though I blushed and the blood was pounding in my ears too loudly to hear the answer, I'm proud of myself.

And here's the thing about doing uncomfortable things that end up feeling good: You get kind of addicted to that feeling. It's a boost in a way. So now, I'm going to introduce myself here and ask that you guys do the same in the comments. Then shoot me an email or give me your email address and let's get to know each other. And if you live in DC? Awesome, let's be friends.

Hi! I'm Valorie. I'm a Texas expat currently living in DC. I love greyhounds dressed as Star Wars characters and I'm really awful at answering the phone. I do non-profit work, and also have my own love + lifestyle photography business.

Okay, now you go! (And if you're one of the people I met at the SMCDC event, great! Hi! It was nice meeting you!)

Oh and, SMCDC? Prepare for me to show up more. (But expect me to blush the first eleventy billion times anyone says anything directly to me.)

P.S. Also, along the vein of doing uncomfortable things? I'm selling a bunch of my books. There's a lot of historical fiction, as well as some classics, and great textbooks (if you're an international affairs student). I know this is totally pathetic, but if you're interested, help me buy wine food.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fill in the _____ Friday - 3.23.2012

Hi there - if this is your first time over here from Lauren's blog, thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment -- I'd love to see your blanks too. :)

I'm filling in some blanks with Mrs Lauren over at the little things we do - join us!

1.  My favorite color is     charcoal grey   .

2.   My home decor color palette includes   a lot of greys and whites with pops of color fabrics and black furniture    .

3.  Other people always tell me I look good in the color     green - it's because my eyes are green too and it really makes them pop    .

4. The color I detest is     hot pink - I cannot pull that color off, it makes me look very ill - and that pukey green color. Ugh .

5. If you were to look in my closet most of the colors you'd see would be   a lot of neutral colors - brown, navy, black - with pops of print and color - cheetah print, purple scarf, etc. .

6. A color that I simply cannot pull off no matter how hard I try is   most yellows and hot pink. Those two colors always make me look like I have sepsis. I can sometimes do hot pink if it's in a print (like in my header, actually, haha), but absolutely no solid hot pink shirts for this girl .

7.  The color of my favorite dress is   bright blue - it's a very cute dress I got from H&M in December and it's SO CUTE on. I tried to find a picture to show here, but it's not on their website anymore, but I know it's still in stores .
Now, the weekly wrap up!

Things You Missed Here:
Conversations with my "man friend" - is man friend too weird? More or less so than boyfriend? YOU DECIDE.
The Lovely March Sponsors - interested in sponsoring Simply, Valorie for April? Rates are incredibly reasonable.
my accidental spring break, getting the right things done, and just effing resting for a second - this wins the award for longest post title ever, am I right?

Things I Did Elsewhere On the Internet:
Central Texas: Get ready for an awesome bluebonnet mini session! Do you live in Central Texas? I'm finally offering mini bluebonnet sessions this year on April 7th for a great price - just a few spots left!
I this decorating tutorial and they turned out precious. I recommend it!

Things You Missed In My Shop:
Photo Print: Why Not? I took this photo when I first moved to DC and was overwhelmed by all the big decisions I was making. It showed up at the right moment to keep inspiring me and pushing me forward.

Things I Didn't Come Up With, But Love:
I try not to be political here, but this Romney family photo was just too funny.
Went to this SMCDC event about personal branding and LOVED it! If you live in DC and love social media, you have to be coming to these events!
Joy Juice is rocking my face off. You have to check it out.

 "Maybe she's born with it? Nah, pretty sure its fotoshopped."

I think that's all the things. Right? What are you guys up to this weekend?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

my accidental spring break, getting the right things done, and just effing resting for a minute


I'm not in college anymore, but I had an accidental spring break.

I work at my non-profit intern job Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Last Thursday, my boss came in to tell me she'd forgotten she had a conference that weekend, going from this past Friday to Monday afternoon. Because she'd be out and we don't have any major projects at the moment, she let me off for those days.

Then, because I am no longer at this job (I *may* have breathed a sigh of relief on my last day), I didn't have anything to do Saturday, yesterday, or today.

Accidentally in love spring break! (Yes, my boyfriend and working friends hate me. Sorry, not sorry y'all.)

When I first realized this, I thought Yes! I will get so much VCP work done during this break! I'm going to be incorporated and have a massive twitter following and be a famous photographer and and and ALL BY NEXT WEDNESDAY

Wrong. Just, no.

I did get some VCP work done, but that mostly happened the first day of my break and yesterday. What I actually did with the rest of my break was effing relax And you know what? I needed that.

I needed to celebrate being 1/4 Irish on Saturday (it's the smilin' Irish eyes that give me away); I needed to bond with my neighbors on Sunday night (you know who the best neighbors are? a middle aged gay couple with a small cute dog - proven); I needed to read, catch up with Joy Juice, do a DIY project, watch eleventy million episodes of Bones, and sleep in, and and and not worry about ALL  OF THE THINGS.

So is my to do list shorter? Not really. But am I more ready to tackle it? Absolutely. By resting, I got the right things done, even if they weren't things I'd actually written down.

We all need to rest sometimes. I feel like we Americans have a tendency to think that resting means you're lazy or weak, but it doesn't. Resting is good because it means we're ready to keep working the next day. So from now on, I'm adding "rest" to my to do list.

Monday, March 19, 2012

the lovely March sponsors

Hello, all. :) Can you believe it's March 19th already? This month has flown by!

I wanted to take a day to introduce you to my lovely sponsors this month. They are awesome, and you should totally check them out. Seriously. :)

First up is Valorie Clark Photography. VCP is almost strictly natural light art, specializing in weddings and portraits, with a little destination photography on the side to keep life spicy. If you're fun and sassy (as I know most of you are), don't you deserve a fun and sassy photographer to capture your special day or event? Of course you do. You can check out the portfolio here, and get in touch here.

My name is Kaity, and I blog over at adventures of an American girl.  I'm just an average college student battling Alabama's crazy weather and massive piles of homework.  I started blogging last May as I was preparing for a summer spent studying in the south of France; I was originally just writing to keep track of my adventures abroad, but I have since follow in love with this wonderful bloggy-verse and my focus has expanded to include all sorts of randomness.  I love to cook and to write and to take pictures - and of course I love to share about all of the above! 

blog  |  twitter  |  shop

Joy Juice helps sponsor my life in more than one way - it keeps me from going a little stir crazy! I'm a little over halfway through the 120 prompts and I love it. Joy Juice is for the ladies out their who think their life is fine. Their job is fine. School is fine. Relationships are fine. Maybe dreams are on the back burner to "reality" but basically, everything is fine. But they aren't happy. I invested in Joy Juice because I realized I deserved to be happy, and so do you.

Go check out all the sponsors guys. They're awesome! For real. 

Oh, you're considering sponsoring my lovely life? Ah, I love you! Check out the deets here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

conversations with my manfriend

I always feel weird saying 'boyfriend,' since at almost 22 he's for sure older than a boy, but 'manfriend' sounds weird too, doesn't it? I guess there's just no winning, is there? dramatic sigh. 

Anyway, if there was ever any doubt that I have issues, that doubt should be gone after you read this conversation with him:

Me: I'm tired. Will you carry me?

Him: What? No. We're walking upstairs, I'll fall.

Me: I meant carry me everywhere.

Him: Absolutely not.

Me: Why not?!

Him: You have legs. Use them.

Me: What if I cut off my legs? Then will you carry me?

Him: I might carry you to an emergency room. Wait -- you're going to cut off your legs so I'll carry you?

Me: Well, if you'll carry me everywhere.

Him: Any paraplegic would slap you right now.

Me: Probably. Are you saying you wouldn't carry me everywhere?

Him: That's exactly what I'm saying.

Me: Rude.

Him: You're probably going to hell.

He's probably right. Anyway. Boyfriend, thank you for putting up with my nonsense. And sorry not sorry for posting this online.

 {Photo taken my above mentioned boy. There, now you have a recent photo of me.}

I'm going to start doing a weekly recap here. (I know, I know, I said I'd do something similar like this once before, but this is for real this time guys.)

Things You Missed Here:
my tastebuds say yes, but my pride says no - fix my coffee problems, guys. 
Tips to Win at Pinterest - Ironically (or maybe not) I'd love it if you pinned this. :)

Things I Did Elsewhere On the Internet:
Sydney +Eric: Engaged | Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX Photography - love this couple, they are absolutely PRECIOUS. Also, I did just a generally bad ass job playing around with the site design, and that deserves some love by itself.
Announcing Bluebonnet Mini Sessions! I am so excited that I'm getting to offer these this year. One session is already gone, so there's only six left. If you want one, jump on it quickly!
If you see me drinking a bud light lime... - Awesome things I pinned.

Things You Missed In My Shop:
Print: Bluebonnets at sunset - in case you fall in love with the advertisement for my bluebonnet mini sessions too much. ;)

Things I Didn't Come Up With, But Love:
Paper'd App - Professionally designed wallpapers for your iPhone was released on Monday and featured on the iTunes store by Thursday. #HappySexyPhoneDay
The Bloggess' Historic Ditch Walk. - Yup, that's Texas.
Everlane - Designer clothes for under $100. That's right!

I think that's all the things. Right? What are you guys up to this weekend?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

tips to win at pinterest

{them + my extra words}

I've been meaning to post this for a while, but I hope the fact that I'm behind hasn't made this post less relevant. As the number of pinterest users skyrockets and the number of link referrals from pinterest have started outpacing the number from twitter (yes, really), I still think learning how to use pinterest well is a good idea - for fun and for business!

I started using pinterest almost as soon as it came out, and so the advice I have here is gleaned from months of experience. I'm not going to pretend its definitive, but I believe it to be good.


1. Have an original profile
This should apply to every one of your social media profiles. Everyone likes a drink and a walk on the beach. NOT everyone is obsessed with greyhounds dressed at Star Wars characters (but I am). Stand out. Say more than you're a student from Somewhere U or a mom of 4 - you're Somewhere U's student expert on how late is too late to study for an exam, or a mom of 4 and watercolor artwork enthusiast.

2. Double check what you're linking to
Once you've got your profile glammed, and you're following a few people (you can follow my boards here), you're ready to start pinning. Now, my biggest pet peeve about pinterest are pins that don't link to what they say they will. If you stumble across a pin for the BEST JUMBALAYA EVER, take a second to click through and make sure it actually links to that recipe. If it doesn't, don't repin it. And when you create your own pin, think about that; i.e. create that pin from within the blog post that recipe was published in, not from the blog's homepage. Otherwise you'll never find it again.

3. Be witty or sarcastic or funny. Just be SOMETHING.
Don't be every other pinner. Don't have boards titled "this is my dream home" or "this makes me hungry." That's what everyone's boards are titled. Be sassy or funny - my recipes board is titled "GET IN MY FACEHOLE" and my alcohol and dessert board is called "Cocktails & Dessert Porn" for instance. Your office will probably block those as being inappropriate, but that just means you're doing something right.

This also applies for the comments section - I don't do it every time, but it's good to put your own thoughts on the pin, especially if you have something funny/witty/sarcastic to say. Doing all this is how the board "Shit Girls Put on Pinterest" went viral.

4. Promote a lifestyle, not a few pictures
The most successful users pin more than pictures of things they like - their boards are integrated to promote a way of life. Taken together, their boards and their pins represent who they are, and you should aim to make your boards integrated the same way - some of what I've already said can help you with that.

5. When you want to get pinned.
We used to say getting pinned down was a bad thing, but now you might want to get pinned. As I mentioned, referral rates from pinterest have surpassed even twitter now, and your blog stats could be reflecting that. So how do you get pinned? The biggest thing you need is good looking photos. Good writing/useful advice is obviously important, but if you don't have good photos to accompany them, forget it. What are they going to pin after all? If you're doing a tutorial, post a before & after photo with the title of the tutorial in your post. This lets people know what that pin has to offer. If you're writing about something else, have a relevant stat made into a picture or a beautiful photo attached to that post (that make sense with the post) included. People like pretty things.

Say you're trying to promote your shop on pinterest -- try adding a pinterest-exclusive coupon code to the photos you pin. I'm actually trying this with my Etsy shop now - I'll let you know how it goes.

Most importantly, just be you. On all social media platforms, be yourself. No one can be you better than you can, and when you're trying to be someone else, everyone can tell. Let your real inspirations, your real style, and your real flair shine through.

Do you have any other tips or tricks to win at pinterest? Leave them in the comments - I know I'm interested!

Monday, March 12, 2012

my taste buds say yes, but my pride says no.

In an attempt to write every day like I told myself I would this month (hasn't happened once), I picked up some of that Starbucks instant coffee at Target. You know the one.

Guys, I have tried so hard to like this coffee. For real. Why? Because my favorite thing to drink when I'm writing is coffee (big surprise). And honestly, I've never once had a Starbucks drink I thought was bad (except a gingerbread latte, but I hate gingerbread so maybe I should have seen that one coming?). So when they released the Veranda blend via, I got so excited!

I know, I know, I could make real drip coffee like the champ we know I am, but these packets seemed so appealing and easy in the mornings when I am too tired for actual measurements.

But, after having tried making it several times, I'm tempted to just throw out what's left in the box and start getting used to making real coffee in the mornings. I've tried making it with the prescribed 8 ounces of water, with more, and with less. I've used creamer to try to amp up some flavor, I've tried using no creamer and just milk and sugar. I've tried drinking it just straight black blonde and that hasn't helped either.

No matter what I do, this comes out tasting waaaay bitter and really burnt.

The reason I'm telling you about this ultimate first world problem (I mean, really) is because I'm hoping one of you lovely people has figured out how to fix this problem and can share the love. That way, I don't have to give up drinking this for good (my taste buds say yes, but my pride says no).

If not, can you please tell me where in DC I can buy a Keurig (and then give me the money for it)? Great, thanks.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fill in the _____ Friday - 3.9.2012

Yup, I'm filling in some blanks again today! Go link up with Lauren to fill in some blanks too. It's fun, I promise. Also, I'm so happy that today's blanks are house themed because I've been meaning to show you guys pictures of the new apartment we moved into a few weeks ago. :)

1.  My favorite room in my home is     the living room    because     it's a) where the living happens, and b) the most furnished and "settled in" part of our new apartment right now .

 (Clearly, I do all my work on the couch, despite having my own desk. Sorry, not sorry.)

2.   My current decor style is     minimalistic, with lots of pops of color  but I wish it were more     vintage-y; just a bit though. I really like how our living room and bedroom turned out, but the rest of the place still needs help .

3.  I wish I could redecorate    an extra room (that I don't have) to make into an office     room in my house to make it more    into a place where I can get some work done - VCP means I work from home a lot! .

4. My dream house absolutely has to have a    big kitchen, fireplace and a porch/deck - absolute non-negotiables if/when I buy a house .

5. One house item I am willing to splurge on is    a good bookshelf - the boy and I read a lot (I just finished Pride & Prejudice, and loved it - anyone else?) .

6. A decor trend that I just don't "get" is    having a living room so modern it looks uncomfortable - your hard couch does not encourage me to sit and stay a while .

7.   Lots of cozy blankets, books, and candles   is a little touch that makes my house feel like home. 

How are you guys spending your weekend? I have work tomorrow, but I'm not sure what's going on Sunday. Whatever you're doing, enjoy it! :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

me telling you how I spend some days, and a small request

Since I had all those guest bloggers last month (seriously appreciate y'all), I never got a chance to tell you guys about what exactly I'm up to here in DC.

Currently, I have two jobs, and I work six days a week. Some days, I do basic intern work at a non-profit (picture me collating paper, calling eleventy billion people, and making coffee), and some days I work as a fundraiser for another non-profit.

It's a glamorous life guys.

The reason it's so glamorous is because as a fundraiser I stand outside all day -- rain, snow, or shine -- and try to talk to hundreds of people every day. If people are nice, they'll actually stop and at least say hi, but for the most part, people aren't nice.

In the few weeks I've worked there, I've been ignored a lot. That's not terrible, but it kind of sucks having people's eyes slide right over you like you don't exist. The worst has been the people that are downright mean.

I've been told to fuck off a lot. I've been told to get a real job, and to go back to my home country and stop bothering hard working Americans (I was born here, I AM a hard working American). Someone once asked my name and then said, "Valorie, your job makes you human filth. Do something actually worthwhile with your time." I've been spat at, one woman almost hit me, and I've got the combinations of "go to hell," "shut up," and all that more times than I can count.

I'm not saying this to complain and I'm not looking for pity. But I will say this: I'm human, and even though I'm not supposed to take these comments personally, I have feelings and hearing that I'm a piece of shit does hurt.

So I'm begging you: Please, next time you see a fundraiser on the street, be nice to them. You don't have to stop, but please smile, say hi, wave, acknowledge his or her existence in some way. Because fundraisers are people too. They bleed just like you do, and they hate to be ignored just like you do. And if you see or hear someone tell a fundraiser to fuck off, be nice to that kid. Because nine times out of ten, they're people who have fallen on hard times - they need to pay rent, or pay student loans. They probably believe in the cause they represent, but they don't want to stand out in the rain for seven hours as much as the next person doesn't.

Be nice to the fundraisers.

Monday, March 5, 2012

You and I? We deserve to be happy. Yes, really.


Happy Monday, everyone! I have the day off of my day job today (totally unexpectedly, I got a text at 7:30 am!), so I've been spending my morning eating, cleaning, and now I'm stopping by here before I'm off to the gym.

Since I have a Monday off, I'm in a good mood and feel like the universe likes me, so I wanted to take a moment to tell you guys about the best investment I've ever made. Spoiler alert: It was in myself.

Good spoiler, huh?

I did this back in April. And I'm just now telling you? I know. I'm sorry. I actually grappled with the decision for a while. I'd discovered Stratejoy, a positive corner of the internet for gutsy girls that want to live their best lives, several months before and had devoured every blog post, every tweet, every piece of advice, every thing Molly and her tribe of brave women had to say. But since I was a broke college student, I wasn't sure if I could actually afford to really invest in one of her coaching sessions or group training calls.

Then, Molly released Joy Juice.

Joy Juice is for the ladies out their who think their life is fine. Their job is fine. School is fine. Relationships are fine. Maybe dreams are on the back burner to "reality" but basically, everything is fine.

That was me. That was where I was in this post, in this post, and in this post (and in a few other posts). Everything was fine, but I wasn't happy. It's not that anything was wrong, exactly. I was just so busy doing college and getting where I was going, that I had forgotten where I was going and why. I had lost the passion, the motivation, the happiness. Things weren't great. And I wanted things to be not just great, but amazing! I wanted to be wildly, unabashedly happy with the life I was living. But I just wasn't.

So, I took the leap. I invested in myself through Joy Juice. I wanted a life that was more than "fine." I wanted a life that I think we all genuinely deserve: a happy, healthy, life in which we get to run after our dreams. Molly's Joy Juice is helping me get there.

Here's how it works: It's 120 journal prompts that inspire you, that make you really think about what you want, what your dreams are, and where you're going. They help you get unstuck, find your dreams again, and rediscover your amazing. I'm currently a little behind on my prompts (I answered prompt 65 this morning, but 76 is already waiting in my inbox - oops!), but I can say that these prompts have given me the motivation and the accountability to really examine my life and realize what I want, and are continuing to help me do so. Because of these prompts, I realized that law school is probably not the answer for me, but photography? Oh yeah. Photography definitely is. And now? I just opened an Etsy shop where I sell artistic prints from around the world, and am close to booking my first wedding. So, thanks, Joy Juice. Thanks, Molly.

Your life might be just fine, like mine was. You may even feel guilty wanting more of anything. I know I did - I'm an only child, I had a car, my parents were paying for me to go to college -- what more did I really deserve to ask for? But you can't look at it like that, because we all deserve to be happy and to own that happiness. You (and I!) deserve our amazing.  Drink up, ladies!

In the interest of full disclosure: I am an affiliate with Stratejoy and Joy Juice. That just means that I didn't get paid to write this post, but that if you do order Joy Juice by clicking on one of my links, Molly thanks me with a small percentage. And hey, maybe if you love Joy Juice as much as I do, you can be an affiliate too some day! It's nice to make money doing something you love, right? Life is good.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fill in the _____ Friday - 3.2.2012

1.  The highlight of my week was    finding THE CUTEST Starbucks in all of DC.

2.   If I had to classify my interior design aesthetic it would be    simple. Lots of basics (grey couch, black furniture) with pops of bright color (yellow blanket, giant red painting on the wall) .

3.  My first vehicle was    a silver Mazda 3 that was destroyed in a crash this past November. :(

4. An item I need to have in my day in order to function is   (I hate to be *that person*, but...) my iPhone. I use it as my alarm, to write myself notes, send reminders to myself, and generally keep in touch with everyone.

5. My favorite way to waste time is   reading. But, "time you enjoy wasting is not wasted." - Marthe Troly-Curtin.

6. Right now I could really go for    some biscuits with honey. It's all I want to eat these days. GIVE ME ALL THE HONEY!

7.  This weekend I will be   working on Saturday, then finishing up all the unpacking and settling in and getting organized on Sunday. My furniture was finally delivered last Saturday and our apartment is still a wreck.
How are you guys spending your weekend? Doing something more fun than me I hope? Whatever you do, I hope it's great.
Also, if you want to fill in some blanks, link up with Lauren - she's awesome, right?  And if you filled in some blanks, let me know in the comments! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March: Kicking It Into High Gear


What is the "It" that I'm kicking into high gear, you ask? Uh, life! For those of you that aren't new to the blog, you've probably seen that I try at the beginning of every month to set out some goals to achieve that month. It holds me accountable, which I need! Sometimes I meet all of them, sometimes I don't meet a single one. That's life, right?

Last month, I did okay! About 50% achievement rate, which yes, would have been failing back in college, except I'm going to grade myself on a curve. I get to do that because I'm the professor of my life.

That sounds so stupid. Even in my head. Anyway. In February, I:

Joined a gym, but not a yoga studio, I got an apartment, I set up a handwriting template, but I still bite my lips (possibly even more now!). I didn't do the staged bridal shoot or be a second shooter for a wedding, but I did set up an Etsy shop to sell my prints AND I scheduled both a staged bridal shoot and when I CAN be a second shooter for a wedding, so those are points in my favor! I hit 100 followers here (hi, guys!), I now have sponsorship spots available (interested? super reasonable prices, promise), and I found a place to go skydiving nearby DC (!!!). A good month, all in all.

Now, in March, here's what I'm planning on:

The Exercise Bucket
Work out three times a week
Become a yoga studio member
Lose 1 pound (I want to lose 12 pounds over all this year, so 1 pound a month)

The Friendship Bucket
Make all my Skype dates with KJ and Cyndi (I miss you guys so much!)
Send cards to friends back home
Send flowers to someone for no reason except to do it

The Self-Improvement Bucket
Stop biting my lips!
Practice calligraphy
Do Rosetta Stone for Spanish five times a week

The Photography Bucket
Do the staged bridal shoot
Schedule a wedding to shoot. (Getting married or want some portraits done? Check out my work here.)

The Internet Everything Bucket
Hit 130 followers on this blog
Start saving up to move my blog to it's own domain
Post 3 times a week

The Creativity Bucket
Write every day
Do one DIY project (I'm thinking of making this painting - my kitchen needs some color!)
Read Uncle Tom's Cabin

The Do Uncomfortable Things Bucket
Find a blog conference to go to
Only use heat on my hair ten times (I'm planning to donate it in May)

(In case you're wondering what the heck these "buckets" are, I explain this whole thing here.)

What are your goals for March 2012? Tell me - maybe we can help each other out toward achieving them!