2.28.2012

{a little break}

So, I am going to take a little break for the rest of the week.

Don’t worry, this isn’t me giving up. It’s more of a regrouping, trying to figure out what I need to do from here. I’ll be back on Monday, promise.

Things are just busy. Things are just, overwhelming. I need to make lists; make a plan.

Hope you understand.

You do understand, don’t you?

If you want to keep in contact these next few days, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I’ll be there.

And when I come back, I promise I’ll have lots to say. Oh, and Wedding Wednesday will return next week, bigger and better than ever!

{via}

2.27.2012

{on music}

We all have music that inspires us, motivates us, and keeps us going. I thought I’d share some of my music with you.
 

This is a love it or hate it song, and ever since I heard this song for the first time nearly three years ago, I've loved it.
 

You all know that I love Taylor Swift, but Tim McGraw is hands down my favorite song. Ever.
 

I first heard "Home" almost five years ago, when I was studying in Paris and away from my husband, then boyfriend. If you listen to the words, you'll understand why it hit me so hard while I was there.
 

Believe it or not, there are a lot of things I haven't shared with you on this blog. Let's just say that this song is very, very personal and meaningful for me.
 

If you didn't know, I love Glee. And if you follow me on Twitter, you might see that every Tuesday night, I profess my love for Darren Criss. This is my favorite Glee song, and for good reason. I could, and often do, listen to this on repeat.
 

I'm writing a book. There are two parts to it. This is the first.
 

And this is the second.
 

You might know me as a Taylor Swift, Twilight loving girly girl, but I have a confession: Incubus has consistently been one of my favorite bands, since I was about fourteen. I've seen them three times live, more than I've seen anyone else, and they are still one of my favorites.
 

Let me just say that the first time I heard this song, I ended up in tears. Like, bawling in my car. And I'm not embarrassed.

{monday’s mantra}

{via}

So, it’s a long mantra, but it was perfect for this week. Absolutely, 100%, perfect. Something that I needed to hear, however difficult it was. Because it’s true.

I’m just starting out. Most of us are. And we can’t compare ourselves to anyone else other than ourselves. Because there is nobody else out there like us. We are unique. Our style, however influenced by outside forces, is unique to us. And we are perfect and beautiful in our own ways.

This reminded me of this post that I read by Becka  a few weeks ago. And it reminded me not to give up.

However down I feel sometimes, I intend to fight my way through. It might take a while, but I will fight for what I want. I refuse to accept the fact that I’m destined to live someone else’s life. I’m too special for that. We’re all too special for that. And I hope you know that too.

2.26.2012

{weekend inspiration}

First of all, I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the comments and emails from this post. I guess we all feel insecure at times, and you all have no idea how much better I feel knowing that I have the support and love that I get from each and every one of you. Life isn’t always easy, but I’m trying to make of it what I can, and I intend to make it.

This weekend was alright, I suppose. I had a bad reaction to the medication they gave me for my root canal, so Friday was spent passed out in bed. Not a great start to the weekend. Saturday I went down to a cute little restaurant in Toluca Lake called Sweetsalt, where I met Heather from Twig and Twine. She’s such a sweetheart, and I’m so jealous that she gets to be a part of the Cream event next week! I ended up falling asleep at 9:00 on Saturday night after finally finishing the second season of Downton Abbey.

Sunday was spent apartment hunting, splitting a burger at Red Robin with the husband, and lamenting about my not-so-perfect life. But really, who’s life is really perfect?

It’s all made me realize that blogs allow us to present ourselves as the people we want to be. Not all of us have the happiest marriages {though I’m pretty content with mine}, the prettiest wardrobe, or the nicest apartment. We share what we want to share, and nobody knows the whole story except for those closest to us. And I’m tired of trying so hard to present myself as perfect, because Lord knows I’m not. I’m me, and I think you’ll see that a bit more on the blog these days.

Here are a few of my favorite links from this past week ::

An honest post that inspired this one.
On being a woman. I love this.
Great tips for wedding vendors from a bride.
And for us vendors, something we may or may not have realized.
10 things to remind yourself everyday.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Everygirl launched this week and it’s amazing.
I think I’ve finally realized: it’s okay to like working alone. And I do.
Love, love, love this quote.
I’m always trying to work on developing my personal style.
On confidence.

And a look back at my posts from the past week ::

Finally, {virtual coffee}
Have you entered my giveaway?
Wedding Wednesday, of course!
A day in the life of me.
And lastly, my Oscar’s Friday’s Fancies

This week is going to be tough, but I’ll get through it. Here’s what’s on my mind ::

Believe :: this {also, a sneak peak at Monday’s Mantra}
Talk :: with Victoria about this little blog here
Sponsor :: Hollie’s fabulous blog
And, finally :: prep for my shoot!

{all images via}

{an impasse}

I can’t count the number of posts I’ve written since I began this blog that expose my self-consciousness, my self-doubt, and basically, my selfishness. It’s difficult, this business of blogging. We all want to say that we write for ourselves, that numbers don’t matter. But when you’re writing, hoping to make something of it, numbers do matter. Comments do matter. Page views do matter. And when you don’t reach those goals, it can be rough.

I see bloggers that started around the same time that I did who have twice, three times as many followers, and I can’t help but feel down about it. Is it because they are “blogging for themselves?” {I call bullshit}. Is it because they are more beautiful, more stylish, better writers, better designers? I don’t get it. I have put my heart and soul and energy and time…basically, I’ve put everything that I have into this blog. And when you start a business, that means you put even more into it. You put your faith that eventually, someday, it will become your livelihood. And to be honest, I’m becoming more and more discouraged that I won’t be able to make anything of myself.

Maybe today is an off day. We went looking at apartments, and I hoped, if only for a moment, that I could be one of those people who make a living doing what I love. And make enough money to live in a nicer apartment, one that I can work full time for myself in. I’ve been blogging for a little over a year, and I started my business less than six months ago, but I’m becoming more and more discouraged. And I can’t help that thought from rearing it’s ugly head that I’ll forever be destined to sit behind a computer screen, one that isn’t mine, living someone else’s dream. And I can’t lie. It’s enough to make me cry on a daily basis.

I know what I want. But I don’t know what I want. I’m confused and emotional and have put too much of myself out there to turn around now, I know that. What would be the point? I’ve “taken breaks” from blogging, hoping that they would help clear my head, but they only made me more anxious. But why should I be so selfish to believe that anybody cares about what I have to say? Maybe it all was just a joke. But it isn’t. Not to me. Some people do this for fun, and that’s how I started. That isn’t how it is now. And that’s hard too. It’s hard to realize that something amazing has happened to you, but that’s it. That there’s nowhere to go from here. That I’m at an impasse.

I’m young, I know that. I turned a whole twenty-five last week. Sometimes I get intimidated by the older bloggers, the older event planners out there, thinking that they think I’m too young for this. But God. I’m trying so hard. I’m trying so hard that my heart hurts. And the thought of failing makes my heart break. I don’t want to fail.

I need help. I need help figuring out what to do, because I don’t know what to do. I’m doing it all by myself, without any guidance whatsoever. I taught myself how to run a wedding. I taught myself how to write and how to blog. I taught myself Photoshop and Illustrator and HTML. I taught myself how to create a Wordpress website. I learned, firsthand, blogging etiquette and marketing and how to feel comfortable in social situations. But here’s a secret: I’m so painfully shy it hurts. I was a political science major in college. I was going to go to law school. And the only thing I’m comfortable with right now is the damn contracts I have my clients sign.

But. And this is a big but.

Just because I’m comfortable with it doesn’t mean I like it. I love this blog. I love my readers. I love my clients. I love weddings and I love putting myself out there. But it’s hard. You have no idea how hard it is for me.

So that’s it. I’m going to keep going, but you have to know, it isn’t just for me. Some bloggers say that they do it for them, but I don’t do it just for me. I love it, more than anything, but it’s for you too. Again, maybe I’m selfish for thinking that I have something important to say, something that anybody cares about. But I need to keep going. I have to keep going.

2.23.2012

{friday's fancies}

So, you'll all be happy to know that I survived my root canal. I might even admit...that I may have overreacted a little.

I'm super excited for the weekend for a couple of reasons. First, I get to meet one of my dear friends tonight for dinner! I saw her a few weeks ago for only about twenty minutes, for the first time in a year and a half! So I'm really, very excited to see her tonight. 

Saturday will be spent looking at linens for my shoot next week, meeting a florist, and doing my very first {mini} bridal show! Fun times. 

Sunday I'm apartment hunting and working on projects. It will be a nice {and busy} weekend.

Oh, and obviously watching the Oscars. Which is where this week's Friday's Fancies comes from.


I couldn't find a clutch or earrings that I loved enough as much as the dress and shoes {and I really loved the dress and shoes}, so I thought I'd keep it simple this week. 

Any big plans for the weekend?

2.22.2012

{day in the life}

Saw this recently and thought it was fun. Not that anybody is, but if you’re interested, here is a glimpse into a day in the life of me.


I try to wake up at 5:30, but it usually doesn’t happen. When I documented my day on 2/21/2012, I did actually get up at 5:45. I was pretty proud of myself. And when I wake up early, I usually have the energy and motivation to actually dress myself in something semi-cute.

If I want to be at work by 7:30, I have to leave my apartment by 6:50. I was actually on time! That doesn’t happen often either…This was my first day back at work after my birthday, so I got into the office to see my desk decorated in pink and purple streamers and balloons! My coworkers know me well.

I always try to get out of the office and go on walks in the morning and afternoon. We have a pretty decent view, though I do walk through the parking lot. 11:30 is lunch time, but I didn’t really want to take a picture of my leftover Macaroni Grill birthday dinner. Mainly because I didn’t remember to take a picture until I was almost done…it was delicious though!

In the afternoon, I finally got around to eating the rest of the chocolates that my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day. My favorite was the Grand Marnier truffle. I’m allowed to eat that at work, right? I try to get on the road by 4:00 so that I don’t miss traffic, and if I’m lucky I’m home by 5:00.

If Robert is home late, like he usually is this quarter, I’ll eat my dinner while sitting at the desk and blogging or working on my business. Dinner this night was tomato soup, cheese, and flatbread. Gourmet, right? And if I’m lucky, I’ll have enough time to watch TV afterward. Glee was on, so it was necessary.

Husband gets home usually by 9:30, and we get to spend a little time together before it’s time for bed at 10:30. He kisses me goodnight, and then goes to work on stuff until he goes to bed, typically around 2:00 a.m. {no idea how he does that…}.

*     *     *     *     *

I hope this wasn’t too terribly boring for you! I always like to see how other people live, and it was fun documenting my day. You should do it soon too!

2.21.2012

{wedding wednesday}

Calligraphy

{images via}

Macarons

{images via}

Boudoir

{images via}

Have you taken boudoir pictures? Would you? I did, and I loved it.

What are your current wedding obsessions?

*     *     *     *     *

{giveaway and some winners}

I recently realized that I never notified the winners of the sponsorship giveaway I held on my blog a few weeks ago. That being said, the two lucky bloggers who have won two months of free sponsorship on Something Charming are…

Christianna from the Girl with the Blue Bow

and

Sydney from Take Me for a Twirl

Congrats ladies! If you don’t have a 22 x 125 button to use on my blog, I would happy to create one for you. Just email me with your info to collect your prize!

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Okay, next up, I have another giveaway for you!

ACharmingDesign

One lucky blogger will receive one full blog design done by moi.

Full Design

You all have until 2/29 at midnight to enter, so leave a comment below for each of your entries!

Leave a comment with a blog design that you love.
”Like” A Charming Occasion on Facebook.
Follow me {@joelleduff} on Twitter.
Tweet about the giveaway {please use my handle, @joelleduff, in your tweet}.
Blog about this giveaway, and leave your link.

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Contact me if you’d like to sponsor Something Charming for the month of March, or if you’d like a blog design done! You can view my work here.

2.20.2012

{virtual coffee}

It’s been a while, but it’s time for {virtual coffee}. Sorry I didn’t do my mantra yesterday, but I thought I would just add it into today’s post. I’d like to say that this weekend was great, and there were definitely some great parts, but I feel like I’m setting myself up for disappointment. Which is kind of ironic, since I chose this week’s mantra last week.

photo

Another year older, another year wiser…

Another year happier.

This is saying a lot coming from someone who has struggled with happiness her whole life. But in this past year, I realized something big. Something, as cheesy as it sounds, life changing. You want to know my secret?

Happiness is a choice.

Again, this sounds like it might be hypocritical, but the sad days, for me, are a lot fewer and farther between than they were a year ago. There are some things that I can’t change, and I know I won’t be happy all the time. But for the things that I can change, I am committed to choosing things that only make me happy.

*     *     *     *     *

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve caught the fever and I don’t know what to do with myself.

{via}

*     *     *     *     *

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I did had a great weekend with friends and family, celebrating my birthday. I got a lot of great presents {more than I deserved}, in the form of teacups, books, DVDs, dresses {one of which has navy stripes}, and a pretty bowl. I’m a lucky girl.

My brother, who doesn’t drink wine, even agreed to go wine tasting with us on Sunday. It was a great time, and I only lost $40 at the casino that we stopped at on the way home!

photo 1photo 3photo 4photo 5

*     *     *     *     *

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Something Charming is accepting sponsors for March! If you’re interested, email me!

2.16.2012

{friday’s fancies}

Well, this week went by fast, just like I’d hoped. Not only was husband gone every night this week, but I have something very special to look forward to this weekend.

My brother is coming to visit!

Well, that, and it’s my birthday on Monday. The family is coming up Saturday night to get dinner, and Sunday we are going to Los Olivos for some wine tasting. Monday is my actual birthday, my 25th birthday to be exact, and I plan on celebrating by relaxing at home.

This week for Friday’s Fancies, I made my perfect birthday outfit, and one that I would wear if I had a place to wear it to and no budget. The restaurant I chose for my birthday dinner is more like a pub, so the DVF dress might be overkill…

FridaysFancies

{shoes, dress, earrings, bag}

Told you this blog needed more glitter.

Any big plans for the weekend?

2.15.2012

{on being organized}

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you may now that I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with being organized. I’m constantly trying to find ways to keep myself, my home, and my business organized and efficient. It’s taken me a long time, but recently I’ve found a few tools that really help in this constant struggle. I know that many of you may already know of some of these tools, but I  figured I’d share them anyway.You never know who it will help!

Obviously, Google is amazing. There are so many tools for people to use, for free!  Specifically, I use Gmail and Google Calendars for both personal and business use, and I consolidate personal and business items so I only have one place to check. Gmail’s labels allow me to view my inbox and know exactly what I need to respond to, follow up with, or archive.

Gmail

Google’s shared calendar system allows me to plan everything from blog posts to meal planning, client meetings to my husband’s school schedule. I have it all in one place, so that I don’t need to check multiple places when trying to plan things.

Calendar

Recently, I also discovered Google Chrome. I know, I know, I’m seriously late to this game. I mean really, I was still using IE at work and Firefox at home {by the way, if you’re viewing this on IE and my layout is all wonky, please let me know! I don’t know how to fix it…}. Not only does Chrome have an awesome add-on list, like Evernote {which I’ll be talking about below}, Gmail, and AddThis, but I can sync all my bookmarks and settings across multiple computers. That’s because you sign into the browser with your Google account, so everything is streamlined into one neat little package. I can also mark page to read later with Read Later Fast, open Twitter and Facebook simultaneously with Hootsuite {available outside of Chrome, but I found it at the same time so I lump it into the same category}, and can remove ads from any site with Ad Block.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Evernote. I’ve been hearing about it nonstop since Alt Summit last month {which I didn’t go to but will next year, I promise}. Apparently Evernote is a sponsor of the conference? Kidding, but really. I’ve been hearing about it everywhere, which is why I finally decided to try. And oh my goodness, I’m glad I did.

At first glace, Evernote really only seems like a notebook system. I’ve tried Springpad, and I just wasn’t impressed. I signed up for Evernote a few months ago, but I just couldn’t see the appeal. But recently I finally decided to actually learn what Evernote could do. That’s where the magic happens.

You see, in Chrome {I actually decided to download the browser after seeing this}, you can strip away all formatting with Evernote Clearly and view the content of the post or article without all the junk of the website design, etc. And then you can pull the content from the post/article and save it directly to an Evernote note. Once you’re actually in the application, you can search across all notebooks for certain articles or recipes or notes that you’ve made. That’s what I love now.

Okay, so I get it. There are a thousand different to-do list applications out there, so why is Producteev any different? I don’t know, maybe it isn’t. I just know that I’m tired of trying to find the perfect to-do list manager, but Producteev comes pretty darn close. I can create tasks with subtasks, schedule them to be recurring, and send a reminder email if I want. Tags let me distinguish what type of task it is, and they have an app for my iPhone. That’s it. Basic, but it works. The interface is nice too, which is something I’m kind of picky about. There are a lot of other features that I just haven’t used yet, like sending emails to create tasks. I have the app of my phone, so I don’t really need this yet, but you never know. Could be useful in the future.

So, that’s it. That’s my lengthy and not-so-in-depth review of my favorite organization tools right now. If you’re still reading, I applaud you. I just know that I always like seeing what tools people use to organize themselves, so I thought that some of you might be interested in what I use. But, before you go, a few questions.

What tools do you use to keep yourself organized?

Any features of these great products that I have yet to discover?

And I am racking my brain trying to find the best web-based event planning software solution. I don’t like Wedding Workbook Pro, or any of the CRM or Project Management sites I’ve tried {and I feel like I’ve tried a lot}. Any event planners out there have a solution? I’m tired of keeping my vendor contacts in a spreadsheet…

{Oh, and I didn’t get paid for any of these endorsements. They are purely personal preference and opinion.}

2.14.2012

{wedding wednesday}

I recently saw an article by Bride Finds about the 10 wedding trends they are SO {really, so is in caps in the post title} over in 2012. Some were spot on, in my opinion, but some were way off. Bridal Circle even tried defending them to me {via Twitter}, telling me that “writing your own vows”, which is on their list, only meant those couples who writes their own vows and reads them off their phones. That, in fact, is tacky. But writing your own vows and reading them off of an old fashioned piece of paper? Notsomuch.

Trends come and go, that’s a fact of life. Everyone will look back at their wedding and see something that dates it, whether it’s the tangerine color scheme {hello, Pantone color of the year 2012}, mustache props, or ombre cake. It happens, and that’s okay. I firmly believe that weddings should be a reflection of where a couple are at that point in their lives at that time. Times change, people change, and in ten years you can have a vow renewal that reflect new trends. It’s as easy as that.

So, in the spirit of trends, I thought that I would present some of the trends that I love most right now, even if they will be “outdated” by the end of the year.

Peonies

Luckily, the trendiest flower right now happens to be a beautiful one. Let’s hope that peonies are the next rose, because really, roses never go out of style.

{via}

Alternative Wedding Food

I’m not just choosing this one because I had an alternative food at my wedding. I’m choosing this one as  a guest, who has had one too many meals of dry chicken breasts and potatoes.

{via}

Mismatched Bridesmaids Dresses

Again, I’m saying this as someone who has been a bridesmaid in the past. Your bridesmaids will thank you if you let them choose their own dress {within a set of strict guidelines, of course}.

{via}

Lace

I’ve seen this as a trend that people are sick of, and all I can say is, really? If it’s something that your grandmother had at her wedding, I think that goes in the category of classic, rather than trend. On the other hand, your mother, who got married in the eighties? Not so much.

{via}

Cathedral Length Veils

This is something that was on Bride Finds’ list of trends that they were over. I , on the other hand, can’t get enough of cathedral length veils. They weren’t popular when I got married, but I so wish they were. There is just something so elegant and classy about them, not to mention beautiful.

{via}

What trends are you over, and what do you hope won’t go away?

Now it’s your turn. Link up your own Wedding Wednesday post below!

2.13.2012

{style icons and a winner}

Audrey-Hepburn-7 elizabeth-taylor Jackie O

{audrey hepburn, elizabeth taylor, jacqueline kennedy onassis}

I was on Pinterest, looking for examples of how far from classy our culture has come since the days of Jackie O. and Elizabeth Taylor, but I couldn’t figure out why exactly I was wasting my time. You all know what I mean; my head was starting to hurt just from trying to find a picture of Snooki to use. The infamous Jersey Shore cast member isn’t the only example I have, of course. It’s the Kim Kardashians of the world, Ashley Olson’s frumpy style, and Nicki Minaj’s unfortunate choice of dress at the Grammys that get to me too.

It’s funny, because as Ms. Minaj was walking the red carpet on Sunday, I was just getting home from the wedding I’d worked. I remember telling the girl working with me how impressed I was with the guests, because they were all so well put together. I noticed that many of the Japanese and Korean women there were very conscious about what they wore, and many of the young women even wore pantyhose.

I’ve been to so many weddings, and there is always someone dressed inappropriately. Whether it’s a skirt too short, a dress too tight, or heels too high, it seems like young women just don’t know how to dressed. So I’m sure you can imagine how impressed, and in awe, I was to see a young lady at the wedding on Sunday in a beautiful pink tweed dress wearing nude stockings and a sensible pair of pumps.

It seems to me as if style “icons” these days are anything but. Are these really the women that we are supposed to look up to? Is that all that I can hope for for my daughter? But then I remember that I didn’t grow up watching Audrey Hepburn. In fact, I don’t think it was until college that I even saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the first time. And I like to think that I turned out alright, so maybe young women these days do have hope.

We can choose who we look up to, and we can choose who we have our daughters look up to. We don’t have to settle for role models and style icons who don’t fit our standards, because there are plenty of women out there today who do. They may just not be as flamboyant as Kim Kardashian.

Natalie Portman1B2D3A42 110801_PS_LC_AugSepReese Witherspoon Gwenyth Paltrow Emma Watson

{natalie portman, kate middleton, lauren conrad, reese witherspoon, gwenyth paltrow, emma watson}

Who are your style icons?

*     *     *     *     *

I also want to announce the winner of the Anthropologie giveaway…

Anthro Giveaway

There were over 250 entires {say what?!}, but the $50 gift card to Anthropologie goes to…

Jillian from Coffee, Light and Sweet!

Congrats lady! Be sure to email me with your info so I can send you the gift card. Thanks to all who entered!

2.12.2012

{monday’s mantra}

{via}

This weekend was a great one. My wedding went amazingly smooth, and I really have no complaints or regrets about the day. But this weekend was also so busy that I feel completely behind now. I’m one of those people that really only functions with a clean home, and Sundays are usually my cleaning day. My Sunday was taken, and I’ve barely had enough time to breathe, let alone clean. I blogged for another project I’m working on, so I didn’t have enough time to do my normal {weekend links}. I cooked, but not anything of serious quality. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard right now. I work so much during the week, blog at nights, take care of my home, and try to build my business. I feel overwhelmed right now, but I know all I need is to get organized. I need to figure out a system that works for me. I need to learn better time management.

But more than that, I need to breathe; to realize that all of this won’t be perfect overnight. I’m on my way to getting what I want, and Lord knows I’m working hard enough. I just need to take time to realize that eventually I’ll get there. If I just keep doing what I’m doing now, I’ll get there. I’m not going in circles. I’m honestly, physically and figuratively, working toward something beautiful and wonderful.

All I need to do now, is just breathe.

2.09.2012

{friday’s fancies}

So, this weekend is going to be kind of cool. You know why? Because it’s my first wedding of 2012, and I’m so excited {read :: nervous}! It’s going to be a beautiful wedding, at a gorgeous hotel in Santa Barbara on the beach, and I know that everything is going to go great.

This week’s Friday’s Fancies is my Valentine’s Day outfit, if I were actually going out. I usually just make us dinner, but Robert is going to be gone late every night next week, so no date for us. It isn’t too big of a deal, because I was always gone for Valentine’s Day when we were in college. This is technically our eighth year celebrating, but really we’ve only been together on Valentine’s Day for four of those years. So, see? Not too big of a deal.

But that isn’t to say that I wouldn’t get dressed up if we were going out.

Friday's Fancies

{shirt, pants, necklace, shoes, purse, lingerie}

I’m linking up this week’s outfit with {av} over at Long Distance Loving, so be sure to link yours up too!

{ladylike}

I don't know why the topic scares me so much, but it does. Which is unfortunate, since it's something that I'm passionate about. Maybe it's because I've been burned before by people who just don't understand why I am so concerned about presenting myself as classy, ladylike, and feminine. I consider myself a feminist, which may seem impossible to some since half the clothes of my closet are varying shades of pink. But these days, for some reason, the words feminist and feminine, are not only contradictory, but controversial. It's unfortunate, since women have apparently few choices as to how they present themselves today. At the risk of being, God forbid, regressive, we can choose to stay home with our children and wear dresses everyday. Or we can support women's equality by fighting our way to the top of the corporate ladder and giving our families second priority. Is there no middle ground?

But, I digress. This is not a essay on the complications of being a woman, and the struggle between feminism and femininity. It's more of an announcement, I suppose. Because I want to write about the things that make me, me. I want to write about how to be classy and ladylike, and how I'm personally working toward becoming these things. At the same time, however, I'm having trouble with the fact that a lot of my opinions will come off as expectations, and I don't want anyone to feel bad about themselves because they don't meet these standards. They are my own values, and if anyone applies them to themselves, whether positively or negatively, that's their perogative.

So that's it. That is my disclaimer for a new topic of posts that I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing. I've yet to find the perfect resource online for being ladylike and classy, so I'm creating my own.


{via}

2.08.2012

{inspiring blogs}

First things first, I want to introduce to all of you one of my lovely and beautiful new sponsors, Jenna.

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Funny story, Jenna and I actually went to college together. We didn’t really run in the same social circle, mainly because she was always off studying in amazing places all over the world {literally}. Which is why it’s no wonder that she ended up in South Africa after she graduated, and where she is now.

Jenna’s blog is all about her adventures in her home away from home, including the beautiful places she visits, the recipes she tries, and, of course, her boy.

I also just did a new blog design for Jenna, and I absolutely love it! You should really go check her out, since I know that you’ll love reading about her awesome life {much more awesome than mine…} just as much as I do!

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Interested in sponsoring Something Charming, or in a new blog design? Contact me!

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Since we’re on the topic of amazing blogs, I thought I’d show you all a few of my other favorites these days.

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My favorite for business advice and living with intention! I think I’ll write a post soon about how I try to live with intention.

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I’ve talked about Gala Darling before, but I just can’t get over how amazing this woman is! She is just great at making you feel like you matter, and that you can live an amazing life too.

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I just found this one, and I’m already obsessed. Not only does she give great advice, but she just launched her business. Reading about how she is quitting her job to make it full time made me realize that I can do this, and I will.

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As a photographer, Becka knows that it means to have a creative career, and she is great at saying just the right things when I need to hear them. She also came up with the idea of 100 nos, which I will be posting about soon, and her the birth story of her son seriously brought me to tears.

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I found Today’s Letters a while ago, but for some reason I unsubscribed. Recently, I stumbled upon this blog again, and just happened to read their list of 10 things that make a difference in their marriage. I was sold, and now it’s a daily read. I can’t get enough of this blog! Definitely one of my favorites right now.

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What are some of the blogs that inspire you right now?