Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE THRILL OF THE HUNT


A few Sundays ago, I was sitting at home on the couch and decided I needed a little adventure.  Ever since we saw Oblivion, I've been wanting to buy the Procol Harum record in order to listen to "A Whiter Shade of Pale" on endless repeat.

Wade had told me a few days before to just order it online.  That's where Wade and I differ, though.  He loves online shopping, and I prefer to find my items "in the wild".

With a vast sea of online retailers, it is almost impossible to not find the item you're looking for online.  With just a few clicks of the mouse and a keyword search, you could easily locate the item and cross reference it with other retailers to find the lowest price.

Where's the fun in that, though?

To me, I love the thrill of the hunt. Walking into a store, not quite knowing if they have what you're looking for and then the elation when you stumble upon it.

It's real.


You can feel the weight of it in your hands, touch it, and turn it over to see if there are scratches that wouldn't show up in online photos.

Of course there are times when a brick and mortar store won't have what you're looking for, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.

So on that lazy summer afternoon, I wandered down to the local record store and did find the album I was looking for.  I plopped it on my record player when I got home, turned up the volume, and let the sound waft through the house.

Maybe I could have found a version of the album in more pristine condition, for a cheaper price, or even have just downloaded it, but I liked walking into the store and flipping through things in person.

When I first thought about this post, I was thinking along the lines of instant gratification--that people have become accustomed to having things right away at their fingertips that we can't wait patiently for good things to come along.

I scratched that, though, because part of the reason I did go to the local record shop was because I wanted to listen to the music right away.  I didn't want to wait for shipping, and, yes, I would have been upset if they wouldn't have had it in stock.



Let's go back to just saying that I prefer the thrill of the hunt, though.  I think that sounds better.


So what do you prefer?  Online shopping or picking your items out in person?






Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WELL HELLO THERE, FRIEND


This was my view for the past few days.  I could get used to floating on the water, watching the sun rise and fall each day (although I'm not going to lie and say that I saw it much of its ascent). 

Sorry for the absence around here.  It's one of those tricky blogger things where I felt guilty about not posting, but then quickly laughed at myself at how ridiculous that sounds.  Work was busy, and I just couldn't bring myself to stare at the computer a minute longer than I had to.   

I thought about posting a quick "Hey there!  If you haven't noticed, I'm not here" post, but decided against it.  You don't need a reminder that I'm not here, even though it would have given me some sense of false satisfaction that I had said something. 

Guilt is a crazy thing and something I've combatted against my whole life.  This place is a sense of refuge for me, though, and shouldn't be seen as another burden. 


So anyhoo, as you probably guessed by the picture above, we went to the lake this weekend.  It was a quick getaway, but a nice respite from the normal workaday hustle and bustle. 

We got our hair whipped around by the wind as we sailed across the water, jumped in ice cold springs, ate too many chips, and shared a ridiculously large margarita with our fellow passengers (the largest margarita on the lake, in fact).


I also got to try stand up paddle boarding, which Devon taught me is referred to as SUPping (did I spell that right?)  At least I have cool friends that know the lingo for stuff.  All I know is that I saw Jennifer Aniston doing it in a magazine and thought that if that's something she does to get her sculpted arms, then I want to try it.


I would love to do more if I lived by any body of water.  Maybe someday..

It was fun rushing through the water in a speed boat, but if I was in the market for a boat, I think I'd go for a sailboat.  I'd like to cruise a little more and ride the wind wherever its going. 

And then we had to finish the weekend off right...

with some frozen custard.  What is it about being in the water and out in the sun all day that makes you ravenous for anything salty and sweet?  Well, we got our junk food fix, that's for sure. 

It was nice to come home, though, and get to see Maisy Mae and sleep in my own bed.  I'm such a homebody that I wouldn't mind a staycation where we just stay at home for a week.  There are always so many fun projects on my mind that I never seem to find time to do that it would be nice to have countless hours to piddle around instead of trying to cram everything into a weekend.  It sure would be cheap, too.  Wade does make the best margarita around, in my opinion, so at least we have that covered.

Did you have a good weekend?  For you fellow bloggers, do you ever feel guilty about not posting a lot during the week?  We all need a summer vacation, right?

Monday, July 14, 2014

MY FAVORITE APPS: POSTAL PIX

 So the other week I shared my favorite photo app, Hipstamatic, for getting those cool, vintage looking photos.  If you've downloaded the app, are you loving it?  If so, then you've probably started wondering how to get all these awesome pictures from your phone to your hands.  Enter Postal Pix.
 
Postal Pix is a free app that allows you to select photos from your phone and then ships the prints directly to your door within a few days.  There's a printing option through the Hipstamatic app, but the prices are much higher than Postal Pix.  I like this option since it's hard to find a place to actually print the 4x4 size photos that Hipstamatic and other apps, like Instagram, produce.  You can also print traditional 4x6 pictures and collages, too.  Bonus!

 

App Name: Postal Pix
Cost: Free
Description:  Lets you order real photo prints of pictures from your phone.
Available: iPhone and Android

Review:  Awesome sauce!  I feel the prices are fairly reasonable.  Each 4x4 print is $.29 + shipping.  That's a little more than Target or Walmart, but the easy process of printing the 4x4 size directly from your phone makes it worth it. 

I usually print some off every few months in a large quantity to save on shipping.  I have consistently been impressed with the prints and speediness of delivery. 

So once you get your prints in your hands, what do you do with them?  I've collected quite a few over the past few years and am still trying to find ways to display them that doesn't involve storing them all in a box in the closet. 


For the majority of the prints, I just stack them in one of these cute little containers.  I found this peach one at Target a few years ago.  I like the idea that they're put away, but also available if someone wants to flip through them. 


My favorite display option has been this photo tree, though.  I talked more about it here.  It was so easy to make.  We found a few tree branches in our backyard and painted them.  Then I just used clothespins to hang up the photos.  It's an easy way to have a revolving display of up to date photos in our house.




Do you have any photo printing apps you like?  What's your favorite way to display photos in your home?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ONE OF MY FAVORITE QUOTES // FROM THE MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL

The Million Dollar Hotel

When I was in high school, I was really into U2.  Like, really into them.  I still love their music, but back then I had to get my hands on everything U2.  I read biographies about them, listened to The Joshua Tree on repeat, and I was even a U2 lemon for Halloween one year.

Man, I wish I had a photo of that.  You see, they came out of a lemon at one of their concerts, so naturally I thought that would be a great costume idea.

Plus, I found a yellow trash bag in our garage so already had the majority of the costume done.

So when I heard that Bono had written the story for a movie, I just had to see it.  The Million Dollar Hotel was already out of the theaters (blame a lack of social media or reliable internet for my tardiness), so I went ahead and purchased the VHS.  This was an investment, you know, since I knew I would undoubtedly love the movie and would be watching it over and over.

It wasn't a cinematic achievement by any means and did terribly in the box office, but I loved it nonetheless.  I don't know if it was my teenage angst that turned anything not mainstream into the greatest thing since sliced bread, but there was something about this movie that has stuck with me through the years.

Upon further reflection, it's this quote that has made the movie into a classic for me.


"Love can never be portrayed the same way as a tree, the sea, or any other mystery.  
It's the eyes with which we see.  
It's the sinner in the saint.  
It's the light inside the paint."


As I'm writing this, I have a yearning to watch it again.  I'm hesitant, though.

What if I don't view it the same way?

What if it doesn't have the same impact on me?

I've changed and grown and I'm scared to take away that piece that my 17 year old self thought was so enlightening, so revolutionary.

Maybe it's best to let her be and allow her to think that she's still a rebel wearing her beaded hemp necklace she made herself and watching movies that others just don't get.  


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Have you read a book or watched a movie you loved when you were younger and thought was so insightful again years later?  Did you have the same reaction or did you find that it wasn't as good as you remembered it?


Monday, July 7, 2014

SEEING KANSAS CITY THROUGH NEW EYES


My niece and her friend came to visit us in Kansas City the other weekend, and we had a blast.  I love when we have visitors so that we can see the city through new eyes and fall in love with it all over again.  It's fun playing a tourist in your own city.  These ladies were up for anything and were so sweet, and I had such a great time going about town with them. 

Our first stop was the 39th Street West area, home of the always fabulous Donna's Dress Shop

The next day we had a bit of a scare with Maisy Mae.  I took her to the vet since she was sneezing up a storm and turns out she has the bunny snuffles.  An adorable name for a somewhat serious bunny cold.  She's on antibiotics now, though, and seems to be feeling a lot better. 

So after we got all that cleared up, we decided to head out to hear some live music in Lawrence.  But first, we had to start the night off right with fruity (virgin) drinks served in real pineapples.  (See here for my recipe for a large batch of this delicious drink.  Just leave out the rum for the virgin version.) 

Maisy Mae wanted in the pictures, too.
The last day of their visit, we went down to the City Market to look around at the farmer's market and made a quick stop at Beignet.  I visited New Orleans when I was in 8th grade and have always had a hankering to have those delicious beignets again.  These were ok, but didn't quite melt in my mouth the way the ones in New Orleans did.  Still, it was fun to introduce the girls to them.


Last time the girls visited, we explored the Nelson Atkins Museum, so this time we just enjoyed a fun picnic on the expansive lawn. 

We even saw Not a Planet, the awesome band from the night before, playing bocce ball.  It's a small, wonderful world.


The weekend was fully complete when we all made flower crowns.  Sure, we could have just bought one from H&M, but this was a lot more fun and let us each customize ours to our own specifications.  (I even made a smaller version for my 2 year old niece.)

Hanging out with these beautiful ladies reminded me how each of us has our own likes and dislikes that make us unique, and I really admired how these girls were so supportive of one another even though they have different tastes.  They are a wonderful example of how girls should support one another, while still being proud of who they are.  They're headed off to college this fall.  They have the world at their fingertips.  I know they will stumble at times, but I also know that they have tremendous things ahead of them.  I'm so excited to hear about all of their adventures.  Setting out on your own is scary, but knowing you have a good friend to always turn to makes it a lot easier.


Thanks for the fabulous weekend ladies!!  Come back soon!


Do you feel the same way about having visitors and seeing your city through new eyes?

And if you feel like mingling with other bloggers, jump over to Life of Meg's Monday Mingle blog link up, a great way to learn about fun new blogs!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

WEEKLY WEARS: BIG, BOLD STRIPES


I've definitely jumped on the black and white striped bandwagon.  I just can't get enough of them.  When I saw this skirt, though, with its big, bold green and white stripes I knew it was time to break into some color. 

Do you ever get one track minded with your color choices?  Two years ago, I couldn't get enough of peach, last year I was mad about mint, and this year I find myself looking for everything spring green.  It's funny how tastes change over time.  (I'm still a sucker for peach and mint, though.)  I wonder if it's a product of me changing tastes or if I'm being swayed by magazines and TV ads into thinking the color of the season is now my favorite.  Either way, it's a pretty color.



I bought these sandals at Old Navy last year on sale.  In fact, I bought them in three different colors.  It's really hard to find comfortable sandals, and I'm all about comfort.  A few years ago, I succumbed to the fact that I don't like wearing heels.  Due to my knee problems, I don't even like wearing wedges.  I fought it for a long time, but finally came to terms with the fact that it's a-ok if I don't wear heels. So any time I find comfortable flats that are cheap, I'm all over them.  
Skirt: c/o eShakti // Top, Sandals: Old Navy (old) //  Hat, Necklace: Target (old)
 I received this skirt from eShakti and am so impressed with the quality and fit.  I got to pick the style and size I wanted and then was able to customize it even more by selecting if I wanted it to hit above my knee.  Each piece is customizable, so you can make your outfit tailored just for you.  I also wore this skirt to a play last week and got tons of compliments on it.  It is the quintessential summer skirt.  Whenever I put it on, I feel like I want to run through fields of wildflowers.

eShakti has generously offered all This, too readers with the following coupon code for 10% off your next order now through July 24th: karifindes.

What is your favorite color this season?  Have you found you tastes change over time or are you fairly consistent?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

WHY I WRITE


The lovely and sweet CJ at Above the River asked me recently to participate in a blog hop entitled "Why I Write".  At first, I hesitated to participate since I wasn't sure what to say.  After thinking about it for a few days, though, I thought that these questions are an interesting way to delve deeper into my writing.  I often downplay what I do and did the same thing with this opportunity.  I just write a few posts for my personal blog.  Does that make me a writer?  I think it does.  We are all writers of our own story, be it over blogs, letters, or yearly birthday cards.  Our thoughts and ideas written down mean that they will live on past our own inner monologue.  In a nutshell, that's why I write.  For a little more detail, though, read on.

What Am I Working On?
My current writing focus is on blog posts.  Since my early 20s, I always wanted to sit down and write the great American novel.  It still seems like such an insurmountable task, though.  I would want it to encapsulate everything I've learned through this crazy roller coaster called life, so maybe it's something I'll get to when I'm older, sitting on the deck of my beach cottage, watching the waves roll in, and thinking back on the past that brought me there to that day. 

For now, though, I want to chronicle my life through words and pictures on my blog.  It's a biopic of my life and something I want to be able to look back on and "remember when".


How Does My Writing Differ From Others in My Genre?
You know, one of the biggest fears for me when I started my blog is that no one would want to read what I had to say, because it's just the same as what everyone else is writing.  What I've come to realize, though, that this couldn't be farther from the truth.

My writing is difference than other lifestyle blogs, because I'm writing it.  My voice, my experiences, my thoughts are what make my writing different.  I don't have to strive to be different than others, I just have to write the way it comes natural to me.

I've come to enjoy using a conversational type of writing, or writing the same way I may say something.  This means that my writing may not always be grammatically correct, but it does convey a more natural flow that makes me feel like we're having a conversation instead of you just reading an article I've written.  With blogging, I think this is a really important way to engage your readers and build friendships.



Why Do I Write What I Do?
This question is what really sucked me in.  I've been thinking about this for a few weeks now and still feel an entire post could be devoted to it.  Basically, though, I write a blog so that I may feel that others know me.  Having an innate introvert personality in a world where most conversations are largely based on surface level things--how's the weather, going anywhere on vacation this summer--I worried that sometimes I cut my inner thoughts off from others.  Anyone else feel like they do this sometimes, too? 

For the things that are difficult to verbalize, I often find it easier to write them down.  It's still difficult to really share my inner thoughts, even on the blog, but being able to say things (or write things) is a way to know you're less alone in the world.  Others may feel the same way or be thinking the same thing and blog/writing is an avenue to have these conversations.

The most wonderful thing about bloggers for me has been the relationships.  I can't think off a better way to get to know someone than by them walking me around their typical day through pictures and writing.  It's these often mundane and overlooked things that make a person so interesting.  To let people in and to know people this way has been an amazing experience.  Even though I've never met some of my readers in real life, I still consider them friends.  What a crazy, futuristic world we live in, right?

How Does My Writing Process Work?
Basically it starts with me sitting down at my laptop in the kitchen, then realizing this is going to take longer than 5 minutes and switching to the couch.  I wrote a post a few months ago about learning to enjoy the writing process.  I would try to write my blog post as quickly as possible just to get it done and check it off my list.  I'm now trying to make writing a more enjoyable process by finding a comfy location and turning on a record.  Sometimes it's hard to make the creativity flow.  I've been struggling with this a lot in the summer months.  I might need a break or just more courage to post some of my deeper thoughts and observations.

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I'm nominating Meg from Life of Meg to continue this blog hop.  Meg's blog shares stories from her life and recipes that I need to try once I learn how to cook:)  I actually met Meg in person a few weeks ago and she is just the sweetest person!  Her blog is as fun and authentic as she is.  I'm so glad to have found another blogger buddy in Kansas City.  You should definitely check out her blog and keep an eye out for her post about why she writes.