Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'd like to introduce this years free printable for Thanksgiving. I've been keeping things on the more simple side as far as designs go, so this simple and pretty pen and ink is perfect. You can download it for free through the studio shoppe. Happy downloading!
So in true Stop the Glorification fashion, I haven't written in a while. Why, you ask? I got busy. Haha, I actually hadn't realized it had been so long! I'm still working on instilling the new habit of writing more consistently.
Today I'm going to talk a bit about resolutions. The end of the year is nearing, and it's time to write my list.
I am a HUGE fan of New Year's Resolutions. There is a an area in the notes on my phone labeled NYR...a place where I put notes for self improvements, changes, desires, or goals. Every year, starting in about October to organize the notes I've made for myself throughout the year, I do an evaluation of things...a personal check up, so to speak. I take a look at myself, the year that has just passed, things I had worked on the year prior, and so on, and I make a list. It could contain things that didn't get quite worked on the past year, updates on past resolutions, revisions, new items, and so on. Personally, I really enjoy these lists. I write them down every year so I can track year to year the things I've worked on.
Lets talk about resolutions for a second here. There are a few very important guidelines to adhere to, and these are very crucial. I'll keep the list to just a few:
1. Choose resolutions that are actually attainable. as humans, we like to accomplish things and we get discouraged and deflated if we don't. So why would we place an expectation on ourselves that will cause us to let ourselves down? Let's set ourselves up for success, not self-inflicted disappointment. This means don't set a goat to run a marathon in the coming year if you haven't laced up a pair of trainers since high school. Start realistically and make a goat to run once a week for the first 4 months, and twice a week after that. You get the idea.
2. Don't make grand, sweeping resolutions. Avoid making goals like, "become a more fabulous person!!!!" because that won't happen. How do you define "fabulous?" Start there. If being fabulous always looking your best? Then make a goal to do your hair more often, or get manicures more regularly, or spend a little bit more effort shopping for yourself. Does it mean putting yourself out there more? Not being so shy? So make a resolution to join a book club or other small gathering that isn't going to over intimidate you. Make specific goals, not grand ones.
3. Choose resolutions that are big, but add small ones as well. Give yourself a variety. Again, we like to feel successful, like we've accomplished something, so give yourself some small ones. A few years ago I resolved to stop saying "huh?" in conversations and switch it with either, "I'm sorry?" or "I beg your pardon?" when I didn't hear what someone said. I really like choosing small things in my own daily speech to work on - they're small, attainable and cause me to place more focus on the small daily happenings. Bringing attention to a bad habit or something you would like to change really makes you painfully aware of how often you do it! I realized in making this effort, I really just should listen better instead of saying huh? all the time.
4. Share your goals, or at least write them down. Put them somewhere you have quick access to so you can revisit them every so often. If you have someone in you're life that you're close enough with (which we hopefully all do), share them with that person. Holding yourself accountable only goes so far, but when you tell someone else it makes it much more difficult to avoid!
A big one that I almost always have on my list and revisit frequently is a quote my mom said to me a few years back - I believe it actually initially came from my aunt.
..this idea has created a mantra for me and is a great list to live by.
Never hurry: This used to be a big one for me. I tend to be someone who moves very quickly, be it walking through a store, typing, cooking, getting dressed, anything. I just tend to be very quick, but it got to the point where I always felt like I was racing something or was always in a bit of a huff. On top of that I ABSOLUTELY HATE being late, which made it worse. I worked really hard on it for about 6 months to really be able to let go of that terrorizing feeling of feeling rushed all the time. I drove slower, gave myself more time to accomplish tasks, and trained myself to enjoy things like traffic and long showers. Turns out, I didn't really slow down per se, but I stopped feeling like I needed to rush everywhere. Learning this has really helped me learn to let go in so many other aspects of my life, as well.
Never worry: This one is difficult for all of us, but the idea of not allowing our minds to worry about things we can not fix, change or alter is a very heavy load off our everyday minds. Worrying accomplished absolutely nothing and is a waste of imagination.
Don't explain: Once I started watching out for this in my daily life, I realized how often I do it. The more aware of it I became, the more I realized how making excuses just makes us look foolish. As an explanation tumbled out of my mouth, I started to feel like a naughty child trying to get myself out of trouble. If you screw up, run late, burn dinner, or fall short of "perfect" in any other way, own it, don't excuse it. If you show up late, don't blame traffic, apologize (hopefully if you're terribly late, you called ahead, because we do have manners after all). If things aren't perfect, just accept it, don't do the excuse dance. Miss a deadline at work? Either create better work habits so you don't feel like you have to make excuses, or own up to, admit it, move on and finish the task.
...and lastly, don't complain: this is another one we all do far too often. We complain about the weather, our oooooh soooooooo busy lives, our families, children, clothing choices, food, music, cars...I mean, what do we NOT complain about?? Pay attention to how much you actually do this, you'll be shocked. I'm talking about any type of complaint here, not just ones you formally write to the editor about. I mean little things like the morning grumble of whyyyyyyy are there always shoes all over the floor?? I don't have anything to wear!!! and so on. Remove the complaints...be aware of them before they tumble out of your mouth, consider whether or not it's a necessary statement to make (Does it help someone in some way? Is it productive or encouraging?), does it add something positive to your own day? Begin with being aware of them, then try either not saying them at all, or saying something productive or positive instead.
I've had quite a bit of change throughout this last year, so my NYR list is all over the place a really unorganized. One item will certainly be to spend more time on my blog! I'm still putting my list together and will share it when it's finished. I'll have the free printable for never hurry... up next week for you!
To accompany the second post in my blog series, I've added a free printable for your printing and framing pleasure...A lovely little reminder to find the marvelous in the mundane. I would love for you to print, frame and enjoy these on your wall as a reminder to slow down once in a while. Feel free to download to your hearts content here.
Creativity is piercing the mundane to find something marvelous.
I've been playing around for a while with the idea of writing something along the lines of this series. The idea originated with an entire brand concept, with a brand name, blog name, themes, ideas, dreamed-up and fantasized book deals, the works. I wanted to live a curated life; a life we set out and establish for ourselves, not one we complacently mosey through and I wanted to share that experience with others. It was an idea of creating a beautiful life by surrounding ourselves with beauty that we create, establish and curate. I don't mean the "beauty" that has a price tag attached to it and a tag line of keeping up with the most common of American surnames; the perfect family with 2.5 kids and money to roll around in. I also don't mean the Pinterest "beauty" or same beauty as everyone else. I mean an appreciation for the beauty we walk through every day without so much as a notice - that type of beauty manifests differently for all of us. Going further than that, I wanted to strive to see that beauty where others aren't able to and by learning and growing in this, I wanted to be able to create a more balanced life not only as a woman and individual, but as a business owner and entrepreneur.
It was a great idea and concept that I felt very passionately about. There were notions of living every day creatively, rather that just the pinterest Sunday where you created a less than stellar holiday wreath (#nailedit) and your creative bone dissolves before the hot glue was even dry. I'm not talking about that type of creativity. I'm referring to the creativity that makes us yearn for more; crave it, even. It comes in different forms, can't be picked up at Michael's, and should be different for each of us. This type of creativity and beauty contains the power to fulfill us in ways we didn't even realize we were missing out on.
However, the other huge part of this brilliant world view of mine was not only to live a life of purpose, but more importantly, living one of imperfections. This is a strange concept for most of us because the Stepford Brainwashing Association disagrees. Today's blog post is more for us as women that necessarily business owners and is about finding that balance between striving for the unattainable perfection with the relief we will find when we realize that we won't reach it as well as learning to appreciate the more simple beauties in our world and allowing that appreciation fulfill the gaps that are left by our own imperfections.
Let's step back and think about this for a moment:
Our generation is the first of its kind. We see the struggles our mothers endured, we saw what our grandmothers' definition of perfection was, and we want our own. We want to have ALL of it. Not just the career, education, family, and husband, but we want the perfect picket fence as well. We are perfect mothers, clean and tidy, we bake cookies for bake sales, our kids are clean and healthy, our husbands are well rested and perky, our homes are well appointed and welcoming, we are educated, successful, you could eat off every flat surface in our house, our Halloween costumes are amazing and always handmade, our dinners are all from scratch, and on top of all that, our hair is perfect and there isn't a wrinkle in sight on our firm and porcelain skin.
Those are all the things we are supposed to be. They are all imposed on us by us, which makes it even worse! Our houses are always a little messy, kids are never totally clean until teenage girls reach about 10 and they start to care (boys are NEVER clean, no matter how old they are), sometimes sandwiches make for a great dinner option, and homemade Halloween costumes?? Isn't that what Target is for?
We have collectively managed to create this goal of perfection that is beyond attainability. No one is that perfect, and if they are, they're big fat liars. You know how I know that? I was one of them. Perfect house, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect marriage, two BMWs in the drive way, and a fake smile plastered on my face for so long I forgot what a real smile was or what to do with it. When my marriage and essentially my life fell apart, about 90% of the people in my life were SHOCKED!! I got a lot of, "waaait, whaaaaa, whoooooo, huuuuuu??? buuuuttt???!!" just utter confusion. I had perfected this outward appearance of always maintaining the illusion of perfection that no one would have guessed what was going on behind the curtain. I wanted that perfect life - to appear to always have it all together, always know how to behave, what to wear, and so on. Going through a divorce (even typing that word is still difficult), I felt like a hypocrite. I had all these ideas of living a life of beauty and I felt that after separating from my husband and my "perfect" life, moving across the country and starting over, I had no right to speak of such things. I had no place encouraging others to maintain their relationships when I wasn't able to save my own (good lord this is difficult to write about). One day it dawned on me - my idea of imperfections also applied to myself. I'm allowed to not be perfect. (this is going to deviate a tad for just a sec - I feel like you need to know a little background, but more importantly, I need to say it)
Behind the scenes, I had been miserable and incredibly lonely. It lead to me developing this life theory of living a curated life - not a perfect life, a curated one. A life that I carefully selected, chose each ingredient, and even reveled in the imperfections. In many ways, I walked what I preached, but I realized when staring at the crowd of very confused faces upon the dissolution of my marriage, that I was living that curated life all by myself. I forgot to share it with anyone else and forgot to live it in public. I lived my entire life very much entirely alone. It was like I was conducing dress rehearsals that I wasn't ready to share yet, because I wasn't ready to admit yet how imperfect I really was. Even now as I write this, it makes me very uncomfortable.
I have been really good about reveling in the imperfections personally and within my own character for a while, so now it's time to do them openly. A few years ago, I found myself getting overly excited about weird things (like "bad" weather). I would swoon over road side flowers that were actually weeds and big gusts of wind. I know now that it was a compensation for how unhappy I was, but I love the habit it created. I learned to love what most people view as "inconveniences." It's the idea of, "can't beat em, join em." If something can't be helped, changed or in any other way made better without ripping out ones own perfect locks, they why fight it?? If the weather is going to be horrible, buy a pretty scarf, or better yet, knit one yourself (not a perfect knit, or a difficult one. Heck, forget the pearls altogether and just knit the whole darn thing. Why? Because it's cutting a corner and you're allowed to do that). It's the imperfections in life that build who we are, define our character and make us individuals. Our lives, literally, without these would be Stepford. So why do we fight them? In learning how to balance my life, my happiness, my business and my own character, I learned a few things and have been able to revive these good habits even through a rather rocky last few years. These are a few things I have embraced so that even on a really bad day, I can take a slightly Pollyanna approach and actually mean it.
This is a two-pronged idea:
1. if you can't change it, might as well join it rather than spending the energy you could be using to perfect your blowout talents on something that you will never achieve (or you could just go to the dry bar and they'll blow out your hair for you. $50 is still cheaper than getting your hair tangled around a round hair brush. Admit it, we've all done it). Here are some examples:
bad weather: I own 8 umbrellas, four pairs of rain boots, two trench coats, and more scarves than any one person needs. I owned them before I moved to the east coast. Remember people, I lived in San Diego. These items got used twice a year, tops. When i first moved here, I didn't have to buy anything clothing wise for the chilly winter weather (except maybe the vintage fur coat I found and bought) to keep warm in the nasty winter we had last year. I loved foul weather because I got to wear different outfits, so I was totally prepared. Cant beat em, join em. If your hair looks terrible when it rains, find a super cute cloche hat that everyone lusts over (or learn some really awesome french braiding skills or a super basic chignon). We somehow wear the badge of misery and complaint like one of honor. "ahhhhh, my hair frizzes so bad in this weather!!" or "oh, this rain is ruining my good shoes!" Our culture has made it easier to complain than enjoy. I know it's a little Pollyanna, but try it! Pick up those super cute rain boots at Target!
traffic: first of all, leave earlier. You know there is going to be traffic, so stop fighting it and leave earlier. Secondly, enjoy the ride. You're stuck there anyhow, so you might as well. Load you iTunes up with the songs you would love to sing at the top of your lungs in the shower, but resist because you know you sound like a turkey being throttled and not only can your husband hear you, but so can all your neighbors. Well, not in your car they can't!! Learn a new language, listen to a good book, sing at the top of your lungs...the possibilities of things to do while stuck in inevitable traffic is as endless as the 405 in rush hour. Can't beat em, join em.
messy home: first of all, stop thinking that your home has to be clean. It doesn't. It's an urban myth. I know when you go over to your girlfriend so-and-so's house and her kitchen is all spotless and shinny, it probably wasn't like that two hours before you walked in the door (and if it was and always is, she spends 90% of her free time cleaning while you go have wine with the girls after work and has an unbalanced life, which is not what we're all about here). Homes are meant to be lived in! The homes I find the most welcoming are the homes that feel loved. That doesn't mean organization isn't a must, but if you have young kids, it's always going to be a little nuts. Get organized, not spotless. Is your entryway always a complete cluster? Then create a solution. Let your home be lived in because it is, in fact, where you live. These days, there usually isn't someone at home full time to cook and clean and if there is someone home all the time, it's because we work from home! (ugh, working from home and the guilt of a messy house is a totally different topic). This is where we all need to learn to cut some serious corners. Decide what hills to die on, and die on only those. The whole house doesn't need to be spotless at once, make better habits of putting things away as you use them, do dishes when the meal is over (rather than three days later). Between cutting some corners (think dryer rather than iron), knowing what hills to die on (think clean toilets rather than spotless baseboards), and creating good habits (putting things away as we go), we will eventually release the idea of the "perfect" clean house. That "perfect" is defined differently by everyone, decide what your OWN definition of that is.
Overall idea: If it's already guaranteed to suck, let's make it suck less. Create your own definition of "perfect" and combine it can't beat em, join em.
Step two of this two pronged approach: enjoy the processes/chores/habits you already have in place. Not only should we all accept the imperfections a little bit more, but we should actually try and enjoy the things we do obligatorily or habitually anyhow. Why? Because we can.
you drink coffee every morning: you simply have to. can not function without. may actually die without (I've been watching too much Gilmore Girls #nosuchthing). Ok, well then rather than chugging your 32oz of black coffee as you hop out the door on one foot, struggling to get the other shoe on, while balancing your handbag, coat, mug and sanity, how about you get up 15 minutes earlier, spend some quite time and make yourself a french press latte. Enjoy the process, it's already there, so you might as well revel in it. Why? Because you deserve it.
shower time: again, you already have to do it, so you might as well enjoy it. Pick up a new bottle of body wash, light 5 or 6 candles and take a shower in the near dark. Trust me, it's amazing. It will be your favorite part of the day. Or even better, bring that latte into the shower with you! I mean, what do you think those little shower shelves are for?? It even counts as knocking out two items in the morning routine at the same time! Then, if you have children, immediately go to amazon and order this book and read it to your children repeatedly. That way, when mommy says she just needs five minutes peace, your kids know exactly what you mean. It's like secret mommy/daughter code (or it was in my family when my wise mother read that book to us as kids). Smart woman, my mother.
bedtime routine: J and I were just talking about this the other night - we don't really like our nighttime routine. We do the whole bathroom/brush teeth/get bed ready thing, and then we both get on our phones/laptops. No TV, no phones, no laptops before bed (not to mention all the studies about blue light affecting our sleeping patterns). Read a book if you have to, but just enjoy some quite time especially if you're laying next to another human that you're supposed to love (go on, roll over to them...remember them? they don't have an apple symbol stamped on their forehead so you may have forgotten). If you're tucked into that cozy bed by yourself, do something nice for yourself and spend some quite time doing something you enjoy. In the crazy worlds we have created for ourselves, there is very little quite time. Revisit and use this quite time more wisely, you're email will be there in the morning, I promise. Get in the habit of adding this new idea to your nighttime routine - a new perfume or a specific scent - check out Anthro's candles like this one or a room spray like this one - and use it before bed every night. The human brain is an amazing thing, and associating scent with an action is an amazing tool. Light that candle, go about your nightly routine, hop into bed, talk about your day a bit, read for a few minutes, blow out the candle and go to sleep. That scent alone will start to calm you down, slow down your brain, and make something wonderful out of the mundane task of going to bed.
This is a touchy topic for those of us in a relationship with a work-a-holic (or someone that is self employed; those things are pretty much the same thing). We will talk so much about this later, but just as a nice reminder now, work doesn't belong in bed. Ever. Put the email down.
Stop the Glorification of Busy is also an idea about balance. Yes, our lives are crazy, we have a million things going on at once, but it is our own responsibility to figure out that balance. Let's not just go through our daily routines with blinders on, let's stop and take a look and how and what we're doing. Is there a more enjoyable way of doing it? Can we make it suck less? Is it really even necessary? Let's make a little bit more effort to enjoy the habits we do have as well.
Can't beat em, join em. Create your own definition of "perfect." Make something special out of the mundane.
To follow along with my upcoming series, I'll be adding free printables along the way for your own printing pleasure. I would love for you to print, frame and enjoy these on your wall as a reminder to slow down once in a while. Feel free to download to your hearts content here.
Share this on instagram or facebook and tag or hashtag #stgob (for those who think this is a bizarre acronym (it is) it stands for Stop the Glorification of Busy, the title of the series and, hey look! that's what the quote says!) for a code for a free printable exclusively for you next week!
florals | maidenhair fern | opal | rose gold | lace | modern calligraphy | romantic | blush | peach
Stop the glorification of busy.
In the days where playing the game of volleying one-ups of who's day was more jam packed, who has more on their plate, and who accomplished the greatest amount of rhetoric in a 24 hour period is an art form, we partake in seemingly casual conversations with the eye roll and hand flip of, "oh you wouldn't believe how much I have to do today! My life is just insane!" I've taken a new approach in the last year to look at things differently and reevaluated that exact mindset. In doing so, I've also decided to try and be more transparent as an individual and an artist. I tend to be a pretty open person, ask me anything and I'll answer, but I tend to keep my true personal life and vulnerabilities wrapped up very tightly. Very, very tightly. Going through a major growth period personally this last year has certainly had its ups and downs, but one of the biggest things I've learned is to stop the glorification of busy. It's an idea I have preached for a while now, but I'm finally actually creating the habits to make it happen.
As a business owner, it's exceptionally difficult. We work long hours, all hours, all days, holidays are merely regular days with more letters in front of them, all social media outlets, all phones, computers, emails, and snail mail. Everything is work. We check our email as soon as our eyes open in the morning, we spend hours upon hours on Instagram and call it "work," create lists of 20+ hashtags to tag our every post on EVERYTHING and if trolling pinterest was a paid position, we'd be millionaires. Most of this we do at the cost of our personal lives, relationships and our the growth of our own character, and frankly, sometimes our growth in our own professions suffers as well. Our work defines who we are, and gives us our worth, and it creates a vacuum like absence of others in our lives to be able to fulfill those very roles.
And to that, I say, "no more."
Being busy is good, having business is good, making money is good but sacrificing everything in our lives that is tangibly right in front of us is not. We are so eager to be "busy" that we loose touch of the lives we are living and the people we are sharing it with.
In the coming weeks, I'm going to document the steps I have personally taken to (attempt/begin/try) to achieve this. Not only am I doing this in hopes to help others, but as a way to keep myself accountable, as well as being more transparent, which I'm absolutely terrible at. It will jump around a bit, from the development of bad habits, to allowing social media to define our success and happiness, to living an unbalanced and unfulfilled life and not even realizing it. There will be bits and pieces about my own struggles, the process in which I work, why I do what I do, and the most frequently asked question, "Where did Moira come from?"
My disclaimer is that I don't have all the answers, but I have some trial and errors, some faults and some failures that I am willing to share.
opals, florals and modern calligraphy coming soon to the blog!
I had the pleasure of working with Luica and David, along with Joseba Sandoval of Sandoval Studio Photography and Romance Weddings to create this luscious and romantic wedding held at a private villa in Spain. I was approached by Joseba to meet with his bride who was looking for something lush, organic, blush and peach, and intimate. The villa created a private retreat for their small wedding and their over the top florals were perfectly framed by the architecture of the space.
For their stationery (which will have more details posting this week), I created a pattern based on the Spanish tile that was featured through out the villa. I paired that with the fluffy garden roses and ranunculus used throughout their florals. We choose to keep the calligraphy contemporary to reflect the couples style, and wrapped the suite in antique lace. I added touches of rose gold by hand to each invitation suite, and I still swoon over the final pieces. The brides pale peach gown was just to die for!
Photography: Sandoval Studios Photography | Wedding Gown: Chaviano Couture | Wedding Cake:Sweet Things By Fi | Belt Gown: Carlee Sizemore | Bride Shoes: Chinese Laundry | Candy Bar: Dulce Serendipia | Catering : El Gastor | Chairs And Linen: Pedro Navarro | Cheesecake Design And Cheesecake Table Decor: Reviva Weddings | Creative Direction And Overall Styling: Mar Sandoval From Romance Weddings | Flowers And Ceremony Decor: Pedro Navarro | Groom Suite: Hugo Boss | Stationery Design And Escort Cards: Design House Of Moira | Venue: Villa | Wedding Favors And Drink Stirres: Mar Sandoval From Romance Weddings | Wedding Planning And Coordination: Reviva Weddings | Wedding Rings: Lujan Jewelry
central park | floral | Manhattan | moire | skyline | boathouse | laurel | summer | boater hats | white attire
a suite created to reflect the spring view from the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park of the city beyond.
private estate | angelic sculpture | calligraphy | pale | elegant | black tie | silk | deckled edge | gold
...a suite inspired by an angelic sculpture and a private estate coming to the blog soon!
ocean | breezy | elegant | simple | watercolor | calligraphy | loose | sapphires | quotes | romantic
a lovely suite inspirited by the sea breeze and sapphires coming to the blog soon!
orchard | rose gold | mt hood | organic | bright | formal | apples | blossom
"...In you I wrap a thousand onward years."
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of hosting Kim from Flutter Magazine in my Philadelphia studio. She had asked me to create menus for a dinner party using watercolor that could easily be reproduced for her readers. For all the step-by-step instructions, visit her Hearts A Flutter blog.
ocean | thin | dainty | monogram | blues | cool | feminine | arrow