Welcome to Finding Something Lovely. Sip a cup of tea and stay awhile. Here you will find a little piece of calm and perhaps, something strangely lovely too.
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Beauty lives all around us.
So my love month is over and that usually means that I need to create a new vision board in my entryway.
But truth was, I felt more sad to take down February’s board than excited for March’s vision. So I’m going to leave it up. It’s my home and I can make up the rules right? Ha! It makes me think of all those people who leave up the Christmas tree all year because they are too sad to take it down. Oh the plights of the soft of heart!
So the love, well honey, it’s here to stay!
Fess up 🙂 Who still else has V-day decorations up? Once they come down what do you replace them with?
I have been pondering Mary Oliver’s instructions for living a life.
Instructions for living a life: pay attention, be astonished, tell about it.
— Mary Oliver
So when a friend posted this on Facebook, I took notice.
I am particularly drawn to:
– If you don’t like something, change it
– Open your heart to new things
– All emotions are beautiful
– Appreciate every bite
– Wear your passion
I believe that I have been given a life in abundance- Not just a life that can be wasted away in front of the TV but a life that was made for living and doing and being and creating and sharing. I live a passionate life- a life that I can choose. I have chosen my path to trod. My path is towards a beautiful tomorrow.
I lived in a little dorm room while I was at University. The room itself wasn’t too bad- it was modern and private and I wasn’t forced to sleep next to a stranger! But it wasn’t awesome either. We were not allowed to have heaters in our rooms due to the fire hazard and yet the nights flirted around freezing all winter. Brr! The bed was shorter than I was and yet friends from other dorms and I often squeezed onto this tiny bed for a snooze after a night on the town. Honestly, the room wasn’t anything awful, but living is such tight quarters required a lot of problem solving for a livable, enjoyable space.
Step 1: Personalise
My university forbade us from sticking anything to our walls. We were not allowed to use sticky-tack, presstick or pins to adhere anything to the walls incase paint was torn off the walls. After 10 seconds of this craziness, I popped an old record album cover up on the wall. Truth is, by the time I moved out, every square inch was covered in some sort of love note or post-it. When I pulled everything down, I did peel some paint off. But I just painted the blemishes with some white artists paint and white out. The room passed meticulous expection without so much as an eyebrow raise.
Step 2: Love your bar fridge
Seriously? That little guy saved my life. Dorm food is sketchy at best of times, and seriously lacks actual fruit and veggies at it’s worst. In this fridge, I stored everything from milk to fruit to cooked chicken strips that I managed to funnel back from trips home. I stored cookies, rusks and crackers right on top of the fridge for a one stop meal extravaganza.
Step 3: Learn to love your neighbors *and if you can’t love them, at least communicate with them*
Here is our little wash up area in the flatlet that us 9 girls shared. Not every young lady was blessed with a mother who taught them how to clean up after themselves. This our ‘kitchen’ on a good day. Yikes!The dishes were out of control and attracting attention from the insects. Not awesome. One day, I went out to microwave my heatsock when I spotted this:
For extra good measure, and because the bathroom around the corner was borderline 3rd world, she added this:
What steps have you taken to deal with small restrictive spaces? I have been so fortunate to not have had a smaller space to live since University. I am meant to roam free 🙂 What is the smallest space you have lived in?
When you’ve exhausted all possibilities, remember this—you haven’t.
*Robert H. Schuller*
I love dandelions. I’ve explained why before– to me they represent wishes- and wishes are really just secret scary dreams. The dreams that we are too afraid to admit. The ones we acknowledge only over birthday candles or shooting stars. The ones that someone might make fun of us for or tease us about. You know the dream you’ve been carrying.
By the time we reach adulthood and marriage, and we get sensible jobs and start doing the responsible thing, we have starved that dream. Maybe we tried once or twice. Perhaps we tried many times and this dream just didn’t come to be… and we gave up.
I had given up the dream of being an artist… having tried twice and failed…but I was recently inspired to try again.
Let’s chat friends. What dreams have you pretty much given up on… that maybe might just spring back into being if you just tried?
This post was started as a calm encouraging light in the dark world that creatives face. Artists are too often enchanted by the sexiness of darkness- the ease of negativity that seems to fuel the anger that ‘creates’. But this, my friends, is a sad dark path to travel.
The powers of creativity are much stronger in the lightness of loveliness than in the depths of darkness. Darkness loses power when faced with light. Positivity is more difficult to embrace and yet stronger than the ties of Darkness.
Sometimes, the sex appeal of darkness is very seductive. Sometimes I can barely pry myself away. Sometimes the comfort of gloom is much too enchanting. And I justify it as benefit to my art…
But is it really benefiting anything? In the same way piranha’s feast on prey, that darkness consumes the best ideas-the purest forms of delight and leaves nothing but the carcasses for viewing. Is this the art we want to create?
I do not want to leave a legacy of death and decay in my wake.
Plan’s the man. I love a good plan around these parts- and boy, do I need a good one right about now.
This year is packed with many many commitments, some for work, some for university, some for personal and spiritual growth and others for the wellbeing of my little family and homestead. I’m excited for the growth this year will bring- but just a little terrified at the steps we are taking.
If I could boil my plan down to three simple words (thanks to Chris Brogan) they would have to be:
Love. Enjoy. Streamline.
First and foremost, this new year will be able being with those I love and care about. With so few hours in the day, I believe it is important to invest in those around you right now. Not on Saturday, not after the laundry, but right now. Sometimes that looks like a sister date. Sometimes it sounds like a phone call. But always, it focuses on love and blessings.
Saying ‘Yes’ to things instead of hunkering on the sofa to ‘relax’. Enjoy purposeful relaxation. Enjoy crafting and making beautiful things. Enjoy making mistakes. Enjoy trying something new and scary. Enjoy daily exercise.
Say yes to life and enjoy more beauty in everyday than in dreamland.
The consequences are fairly high. 🙂 That’s right. I went there.
When it comes down to it- there are a lot of things that happen to run a healthy household- even without children. And there are many things that we do that A. don’t benefit us or B. don’t bless those around us. Those things have got to go! Out with the clutter, in with the homemade bread. Out with the takeout and fast food, in with a clean kitchen ready for gourmet cooking (mac and cheese anyone?). I’ve got a plan to use less chemicals and more hot water. It is all about habits. Time to create some good ones.
I know, I know. These are not goals. They are not going to help me lose 10 pounds or give me a boost in my career. They will, however, give me the direction forward.
And going forward is so much better than staying put (and letting flies lie on my eye).
What words do you envision for life in 2011?
Hands up to anyone else who is terrified of 2011…Don’t leave me hanging here-
God knows and loves me enough to have given me a strange and unlikely coping mechanism in times of turmoil and distress- like taking odd photos of my darling pup (featured beautifully above).
This is the year I turn 23. The year, according to the life-plan of my 18-year-old self, that I was going to have my things in order.
My things are, of course, not in order and this leaves me feeling terrified. And a bit silly for being so terrified.
I’ve got a date with my planner to, well you know, make a plan. How did you break through the initial panic change (and duplicate digits) bring?
Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.
American Beauty came out in 1999 when I was far too young to be allowed to watch it. With all that nudity and controversy it wasn’t even a blip on my 5th grade radar screen. It was only in High School that I first watched the film and was immediately in love. Who needs to date high school boys when there were all these great movies suddenly available?! My appreciation of the film, while late, is certainly vast. And this scene is by far my favourite. (Although the close runner up is the scene, “Uh, whose car is that out front?” “Mine. 1970 Pontiac Firebird. The car I’ve always wanted and now I have it. I rule!” I, too, feel victory when he says the ‘I rule’ bit.)
This scene with the plastic bags, it really is a beauty. The whole idea of watching life so much closer than we currently do is a terribly romantic thought, isn’t it? It reminds us to stop moving so fast. Slow up and take some notice!
Sadly, I do miss the electricity in the air before a storm- sometimes I forget to watch the sunset or kiss my husband goodnight. Instead of being in the now, I am in dreamland, somewhere between the past and the future where things happen but through a misty overhang of nostaglia and sweet imagined regret.
Christmas is tomorrow and this film is my Christmas reminder that the land I physically inhabit is not imaginary. It is a place where plastic grocery bags dance in the wind and friends and family gather around the dinner table to celebrate this wonderful season.
This reminder is today’s something lovely- Today is all we actually have.
When we moved into our home last year, we realised the previous owners had forgotten to plant plants in the flower beds. The flowerbeds became dirt beds.
I’ll let you in on a secret. I am not a gardener. Blame it on allergies or fear of the strange African insects, it doesn’t matter. Truth is, I avoid gardening outside at all costs.
My darling Hubs mows the lawn every week keeping the lawn nice and neat, and he does a great job keeping the trees and other plant life alive but those dirt beds are in bad shape. They are covered in weeds and malnourished dirt. Flowers? Nope. Living plants? Doubt it.
Sometimes I feel so frustrated that I am not a gardener who can whip out the spade and the trowel and dig and plant and water and life springs forth. But maybe this is a matter of perspective.
What do you see?
(Via Fibre Active)
Do you see weeds or wishes?
A little punk rock band from the early 2000s released this song that points to Dandelions as the proof of perspective. A little boy journeys into a field and collects little yellow dandelions for his mom. His mom sees loves in the weeds. Personally, I see Benadryl and a nap.
What weeds do you grumble about that maybe might be flowers with another perceptive? For me, it is literally the weeds in my garden. With a different perceptive, I can choose to see that life maybe lives in that soil after-all.
How are you choosing to view your ‘weeds’?