Monday, September 1, 2014

How I Dress Nicely For Free

     Three outfits practically free? That's ridiculous, yet it's what happened over the summer. These outfits I found snapshot worthy are all borrowed, hand-me-downs, and inexpensively accessorized.

 
     Scarf: Garage sale find (maybe $2); Shirt: Borrowed

 
     Dress: Borrowed


     Shirt: Hand-me-down; Pants: Hand-me-down, Necklace: Ebay ($4!)

     Just goes to show you can dress nicely for dirt cheap if you have amazing friends and family who loan you clothes or give them to you as hand-me-downs.

~Madeline

Random Thoughts: Life, Decorating, & Succulents


       Here are my random thoughts lately.

1. God wants to give abundant life! To you. To me. He traded his life for yours. You (and I) were on death row. He said, "Take me instead." Now we can live fuller, more grateful, amazing lives. Read this incredible story: How to Get Really Living Instead of Merely Existing. You won't regret it.


2. The other day my dad calculated one million pennies would be around 3 TONS...(6,000 lb.) of pennies. Uh-oh. We might have a few problems. I'm the girl who is collecting one million pennies. And I don't doubt, but sometimes I wonder what I've gotten myself into. When friends start suggesting I go on Good Morning Texas or make this big, I kind of start wanting to think small. I know God will do this, even if it's not in my lifetime. Read more here.

3. Clearing clutter is exhaling after holding your breath for too long, and decorating breathes life into a home.


4. How to overcome decorating paralysis.

5. The plant I'm not killing (for a change): A mini rose succulent. Love it!

 
6. Sometimes sad things make me happy if they're sung with enough passion and evoke emotion. Like the end duet in the Broadway Beauty and the Beast when the beast is dying, and she sings about how he's changed her and how she's found her new home, and it's so sad but so happy, and you know it will turn out right, but if it didn't it would stop the world from spinning and you just know Belle is an amazing person. Things like that (that only make sense in a run-on-sentence.)

~Madeline

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Breaking Outside the Intended Medium (Madeline Style!)


     When you are writing or doing anything creative, eventually you run out of inspiration. You don't necessarily burn out, but you need fresh ideas and inspiration.

       The best way to get inspiration is not to go read or listen to other writers (if you are a writer.) You don't need to go look at art (if you're an artist.) You don't need to go listen to music (if you're a composer.) No.

     You need to break outside the intended medium.

     What does that mean?

     Don't do what you think you would do to get inspired. Get outside your comfort zone, and maybe do something a little wacky. Before a writers' meeting with a dear friend a few weeks ago, I did three things. They're great ideas for whenever you need to just go a little cray cray for a while.

     Use these ideas and others to start your own breaking out project.

1. Grab some markers and one piece of white paper. No rules. Go. What happened? Try it with a friend. Tell them to just go. I ended up with scribbles, patterns, and words galore. All on top of one another and mixed up. It looked awful. I should frame it. (Those might sound like contradictions, but to me, they are one and the same.)

2. Drum on your washer. Scare your kids. Or your dad, if you're me. So maybe this is better to do if no one's around. If, however, you get the urge to spontaneously freak out your household, go for it!

3. Hug a tree...or a pillar or a lamp post or a vacuum cleaner! Literally. Hugging a person-ish-shaped object will be weird and a little fun. You might even end up drawing a mustache on your vacuum cleaner if you're feeling extra wacky.

     The point of these ridiculous exercises is, sometimes, we just like to get a little crazy. That's ok. We're very creative a lot of the time, and we need to get our wiggles out and come back to our project with fresh ideas and awesomeness.

~Madeline

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Our House Pictures...That I Finally Got Uploaded!


     Welcome to our home. We love it here, and we hope you will too. It's a perfectly imperfect space. At 2,300 sq. ft. it is just a little bigger than No. 1.

     We love the flooding of natural light in almost every room, and we love the openness of it all. We're in the process of doing so much to it, but we invite you to join us.

     Click here to see all the *imperfect* pictures.

~Madeline

Friday, August 22, 2014

Three Less Popular Books by Very Popular Authors

     These authors are famous for their classic works, but did you know about these books?

     1.  And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie ~ My favorite Agatha Christie novel; A thrilling mystery! Do not read before bed (too scary!) Age 14+

“The oth­ers went up­stairs, a slow unwilling pro­ces­sion. If this had been an old house, with creak­ing wood, and dark shad­ows, and heav­ily pan­elled walls, there might have been an eerie feel­ing. But this house was the essence of moder­ni­ty. There were no dark corners - ​no pos­si­ble slid­ing pan­els - it was flood­ed with elec­tric light - every­thing was new and bright and shining. There was noth­ing hid­den in this house, noth­ing con­cealed. It had no at­mo­sphere about it. Some­how, that was the most fright­en­ing thing of all. They ex­changed good-​nights on the up­per land­ing. Each of them went in­to his or her own room, and each of them automatical­ly, al­most with­out con­scious thought, locked the door....”
 
Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

     2.  The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare ~ She is the authoress of The Bronze Bow and The Sign of the Beaver, both of which you've probably had to read for school at some point in your life. This, despite the title, is not eerie. Age 12+

"What a pity every child couldn't learn to read under a willow tree..."

Elizabeth George Speare (The Witch of Blackbird Pond)

     3.  Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen ~ One of her less popular but still incredible romance novels. On my top ten books right now (along with And Then There Were None) Age 12+

"But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way."

Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)

     That concludes the list. Have you ever read any of these?

~Madeline

Thursday, August 21, 2014

31 Days: 500 Words a Day


     Inspired by Jeff Goins, I am challenging myself to write 500 words a day (starting today) for the next 31 days. I know it's the middle of the month, but I'm going for it!

     Writing is a challenge because when we fail to get in the habit of it, we do it a lot less, and therefore aren't as good at it. I know that when I have not been writing for awhile, my creativity isn't flowing as well.

     It's very interesting that I should stumble upon this idea of writing 500 words a day for 31 days because at the beginning of 2014, one of my ten new year's goals was to "develop the habit of writing for five minutes daily." I've definitely been developing that habit, even if I'm not always consistent.

     So what about you?

     If you have any interest in joining me for these 31 days, whether you are writing a book or blog posts or journal entries, I'd love to hear form you in the comments or in my inbox.

     I know lots of you out there would love to get some words on the page.

     And do this math.

     31x500=15,500 words!

     You could practically write a book in a month. Granted, not a Moby Dick or Gone with the Wind, but hey! you'd have a great start!

     Who's with me?

~Madeline

5 Stylish Travel Essentials



     When I travel, either on a boat, on a plane, or in a car, I have found these five items not only practical but very stylish. And I admire stylish travelers (but if they are in Paris, I'm mostly just jealous.)
  1. Scarf ~ You never know what the temperature is going to be, and it can fluctuate especially if you're on a longer trip. Take a scarf. It's good for around you neck, in your hair, or around your shoulders.
  2. Small cross body purse ~ This is my latest find. You really can't put a whole lot in here, but it is wonderful for a "pocket-sized" book, lip balm, and mints (or whatever you like to keep on you.) That front pocket on mine is where all my cards go (mostly library cards and gift cards LOL.)
  3. Journal/Book ~ I like to read and write, but I usually don't do both on the same day. Wherever I go, I probably have a book to read or a journal to scribble genius ideas in.
  4. Pen/Pencil ~ Oh the great debate! Pens are my preference, but you never know when they'll leak all over your new cross body purse, so pencils are great too. Even if you choose a book over a journal, you never know when you'll need a writing utensil. When someone asks, "Does anyone have a pen?" you get to be the one who hands it over with a flourish that says, "I came prepared."
  5. Fuzzy socks ~ For cold planes, hotel rooms, or long car rides, these are just as amazing as a scarf. I have at least ten pairs right now.
     What do you take on your travels?

~Madeline