Friday, January 30, 2015

Tender Hearts in Paradise

"Paradise was made for tender hearts; 
hell, for loveless hearts."

-Voltaire

Part of this life is experiencing pain and heart break, but have you ever reached a point where you just want to shut everything off for awhile?  When I was a child, I suppose I would have what you call a tender heart; children more often possess this characteristic than adults.  I was not afraid to cry, happy to help other people and quick to love.  Over the years I slowly started to harden; I was ready to assume the worst in others and cried only a few times a year.  I was gradually becoming less emotionally connected to the world and people around me.  I don't know if I even completely realized that I had become less selfless and more indifferent.  After about two years, (not bad years, just no major highs or lows) I realized I was craving something more.  (Continue reading below...)





| Shoes c/o: Sanuk Tailspin via Flip Flop Shops | Sunglasses: c/o Kameleonz | Top: Forever 21 | Skirt: Target (similar here) | Clutch: Amazon | Phone Case c/o Kidogo Kidogo (30% of profits go toward a good cause, read about it here) | Beach: Kaanapali, Maui |

I was craving life, including the highs and lows that came with it.  Instead of progress, I was stuck in the middle of what felt like a monotone lesson from a professor on single celled organisms (basically, my life was boring).  I needed to open myself up to feel more connected again, I needed to be open to the possible disappointments and pain life can bring so that I could again experience the wonderful highs life has to offer too!  I decided to start being more trusting, spontaneous and go for goals I previous thought out of reach.  Since then, I have experienced failures, disappointments and frustration; however, I've also been able to help and love others more as well as feel more gratitude for life.  Paradise is having a tender heart and being open to life.  After all, paradise is all about living.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Reasons of the Heart

"Le coeur a ses raisons 
que la raison ne connait point"

-Blaise Pascal

"The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing," is a rough English translation of the philosopher Pascal's words above.  Life is often expected to be straight forward with little opportunity for purpose outside of our own endeavors to survive.  For some, a full life might be to walk this straight line, but others yearn for the opportunities to be added upon, even if it means the road is more difficult.  (Continued below...)






| Jacket: Nordstrom | Purse: H&M | Booties: PinkBlush | Top: Marilyn and Beverly's | Tights: Nordstrom Rack | Donut: Beyond Glaze | Earrings: Nordstrom |

I am the second kind of person.  I thrive on the idea of progression and my own personal idea of purgatory is condemnation to a life of idleness.  My life right now is proof of my personality.  Whenever I have too much time I feel the need to fill it and commit myself to another job, volunteer work or additional studies.  As a result, I now balance four jobs (not including my blog) and often feel overwhelmed even during my downtime because I have overbooked myself.  However, the accumulation of all these commitments has done the opposite of helping me progress; instead it has tied up my time and kept me from focusing on my real goals and I inadvertently have fallen into a futile lifestyle.  Technically, this "futile lifestyle" is actually a reasonable one.  Surviving and providing enough to be able to live comfortably is not a terrible thing, it is actually safe, secure and certain.  Opportunities for something different are risky and often time guided more by the heart than reason.  Opportunities are rarely part of your same routine and there is often a level of uncertainty associated with them.  Depending on how high the risk, it may be more logical to stay with the same routine, however without taking the risk the benefits of the opportunity would not be available.  On paper, the pros might not outweigh the cons, but often our hearts take a leap of faith and hope for the best.  The reasoning in our hearts is faith; it is a knowledge our logic might never be able to grasp, but yet it gives us the gumption to take risks and make uncertain and difficult decisions.  We all need a little faith in our lives to truly progress.  We need our hearts to give us the reasoning to live a more full life that only come from taking certain opportunities.  While logic is important, don't forget to listen to your heart and take risks that are necessary in order for you to reach your potential.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Shores of Knowledge

"I am but a small child
wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge,
every now and then finding a small bright pebble
to content myself with"

-Plato

The continuous gain of knowledge is one of the marks of progress in life.  Whether it is knowledge through education or experiences, it is the highest indication of personal evolution, and is one of the few things we can gain that we cannot lose.  It is beyond value and the continuous search for knowledge should not be taken lightly.  Today, we are able to get instant answers to millions of questions, just by typing it in on the internet.  While our immediate access to answers can be a blessing, it can also be a curse.  (Continued below...)



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Be Yourself + Conformity

"To be nobody but yourself 
in a world which is doing its best day and night
 to make you like everybody else
 means to fight the hardest battle
 which any human being can fight
 and never stop fighting."

-E.E. Cummings

Be yourself.  Is that not one of the most quoted pieces of advice and yet one of the hardest to follow?  How easy it seems when we are little because we don't know how to be anything other than ourselves, but how difficult it becomes as we get older.  We see what others have and become envious, not to mention critical of ourselves.  Often we try to conform to fit in more comfortably, I've even seen people who promote non-conformity conform with non-conformers and change to fit in with a new crowd of people.  True non-conformity, also known simply as being who you are, does not need to be announced publicly or used in personality contests.  Being yourself is a silent confidence and understanding of who you truly are, and what you really believe.  Your beliefs can still change as you gain real knowledge, but are not subject to pure opinions or the desire to be approved by others.  (Continued below...)



Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Years Part II + Giveaway

"We turn not older with years,
but newer every day."

-Emily Dickinson

I figured a little sparkle and shine was appropriate for a New Years post!  Glitter and sequins make me feel strangely happy.  Perhaps it's the way they catch the light, or maybe because it reminds me of clothing and toys from my childhood.  Whatever the reason, I love glitter and sparkly things!  (Sounds nerdy, I know, but sometimes you just have to admit your inner child is still living on!)  Beyond sparkles and confetti on New Years, it's a time for reflection on the old and contemplating the new.  When I graduated college, I remember I anticipated each New Year's Eve and celebrated getting older. Now that I'm no longer in my early twenties, I have found myself wanting to prolong the start of a new year.  Why is it that we dread age so much?  (Thoughts + giveaway continued below...)



New Years Part I + Nordstrom Giveaway

To celebrate the New Year I have two awesome giveaways for you today!  The first one is worth a post all on its own.  If you're like me, after the holidays your wallets are hurting a little bit, but now all of the after Christmas sales are on.  Nordstrom has especially good sales after Christmas, so this giveaway will give one lucky winner the chance to go on an after Christmas shopping spree.  Good luck and stay tuned for the next New Years post later today!


PHOTO CREDS | KELCIE TALK

I am teaming up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you our first giveaway of 2015! We are kicking off this new year with a $400 gift card to Nordstrom!  Don't forget to check out some of my favorites who are involved in this giveaway: KELCIE TALK, Whatever Is Lovely, Kayleigh's Kloset, Sophistifunk, The Urban Umbrella, A Lily Love Affair, Kiss Me Darling, Sunshine And Stilettos, Meredith Noelle, LegalLee Blonde, Simply Mars, Wild One Forever, Over My Styled Body, Cella Jane, Hearts of Gold Blog, Diary of a Debutante, Fabes Fashion, The Heart of the House, Simply Classy, Love Me, Dani Marie, Gracefullee Made, Baby Shopaholic, A Blonde's Moment, KyMarieC, Mama Fashion Files, Life In ATX, Outfits & Outings, Let's Dazzle Darlings, The Cassi Diaries, The Styled Wife
(Hint: click "read more" for ways to enter if you don't see the directions.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rompers in Winter

"Reserving judgements 
is a matter of infinite hope." 

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Discernment...is that the same as judgement?  We have all been given the gift of discernment so we can make decisions, but at what point is discerning judging; and are these synonyms actually a good substitute for each other?  Although the definitions of the two are similar, I've found there is actually a substantial difference in the application.  It is important that we discern between right and wrong and make decisions that help us continue to progress and become better; however, judgements are sometimes better reserved than expressed.  Judgements are typically directed toward ourselves or others and are what we often use to categorize or compartmentalize people or ideas in our minds.  The problem with judgements is that they are often rash and we eternally sentence a person or idea to the prison of our mental compartments without a fair trial.  (Continue reading below...)