Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cards For My Loves

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here in the States. Everyone is starting to deck the halls, and our little apartment is feeling more Christmassy by the day. 
Anyway, every year I like to kick it old school and pop a bunch of Christmas cards in the mail to send across the seas to all my loved ones that are scattered across the globe. I've been trying to learn the lost art of hand-lettering, so this year I bought some plain cardboard, got out my marker pen and drew up some of my own Christmas cards and had the most fun doing it. Is there anything better than creating? 
So here they are, my little festive season creations

Friday, November 16, 2012

Guest Post by Lana Cruz

I am proud to announce that this is the first ever guest post that I have featured on my blog, and it's an honor to introduce you to Lana Cruz, the beauty and brains behind the fashion blog 'The Pink Thread.'
Lana has put together her list of 2012's Fall Essentials; items every girl's closet should not be without this season. Enjoy!

#1 Black Fur Vest
I love fur, it is a luxurious item that every girl should have in her closet this winter. And I love it in black because black is always classy and is a little more subtle than a grey or brown fur. So if you are new to the fur world, this color may be a little easier to transition into. I plan on throwing it on over a jacket or a black maxi dress for a chic look.
(Featured image: JC Penny)

This deep hue is perfect for this season. For some reason in colder months I want to dress in darker, richer colors and this one just feels like the holidays! I want to embrace this color in all ways this season, but I think a skinny jean is what I'm craving the most.
(Featured image: Zara)

Leather is such a great texture for winter and especially the mixture of materials, either within one shirt or a leather pant mixed with a chunky knit sweater. The leather is a sleek finish to an outfit, creating a classic look with some edge. It also adds to our collection of darker items to drape ourselves in in these cold holiday months.
(Featured image: Asos)

Anything sequins seems to be my weakness. I dream of wearing them to chic holiday parties and under the glimmer of city lights. I am so thrilled however that this girly fantasy is leaving the 4 corners of my mind and entering my everyday outfits. Whether it is a shirt, skirt or even a pair of pants, this material definitely dresses up an ensemble but if paired with more laid back pieces I think it can still remain in your everyday. 
(Featured image: Bloomingdales)

Another glitzy item to spice up this colder season. I love how a bold accessory can completely create a look. This is another piece that is great to pair with casual items, taking opposite styles to a create a uniform look that makes a statement.
(Featured image: Forever 21)

These are Lana's Fall must-haves, what are yours?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On strategies and such

Today I had a bit of a mind-map Monday. You know when your inspiration is at max capacity and for want of keeping your sanity, you just must jot down an interconnected web of ideas? No? Maybe It's just me then. Anyway, a good friend of mine and I sat across from one another today at the only available table in a claustrophobically busy Starbucks. We mostly planned to get up to speed with each other's life and times, but as it goes when two people with even slightest nerd tendencies get together, the conversation ended up in brainstorming and strategic plan development. Then, Starbucks suddenly appeared to be rather uninspiring so we sat in the Marketing section at Barnes & Noble for the remainder of our hangout. Said friend has been asked to help a brand develop their social media platforms, and seeing as though I eat this stuff for breakfast, he asked me for a bit of input. I could talk strategies all day. Although, due to not having a degree to back up my passions (yet), I often disqualify myself, but today I realized that the way in which I come alive when my mind is left to wander down certain avenues, definitely tells of the direction I'm headed. 

Right now, I am currently desperado to get my hands on some juicy reads in the digital marketing/social media/blogging categories, so let me know your favorite ones because I'm going to single-handedly fund Amazon in the weeks to come. 

Ps: For those of you that could relate to my "On Being Organized" post the other week, check out these great links for tips on productivity and time management that I found on the Creative Women's Circle blog.
- Become a Productivity Ninja
- Organize Me: Desk Space
- Start With A List...
{My monday night's activities}

Monday, November 12, 2012

Soul Food

It seems as if someone in heaven just quickly flicked the heat off and the air-conditioner on, because man, it's awfully chilly up here in NorCal.
I am a beach girl that grew up with salty hair and sandy feet, and life in the tropics was always a fine one. Where I come from, all the seasons blend into one and the only two temperatures we have are hot and not-so-hot. Every now and then when the temp dips slightly below 20 degrees Celsius, everyone dusts off their eskimo gear and acts as though they're about to die of frostbite. It's actually a hilarious sight to behold. 
Life over here in the northern parts of California is vastly different, here, not only does each season come with it's own unique weather patterns, but the entire landscape responds to the season by coloring itself accordingly. Then of course food, fashion and lifestyle follows suit. It's so fun and exciting, especially for a tropical kid.
Yesterday some friends of mine and I went skateboarding along the Sacramento river trail and it was gorgeous. The cold air bit our skin as we rode through it, and although it was a sunshiny day, the sun didn't do a whole lot to ward off the chill. We skated along the trail that was decorated with every shade of autumn, and as the river peacefully flowed next to us, I felt as though I was getting an intravenous shot of soul food with every inhalation. Nature does a whole lot to my spirit that four-walled confines never could. Usually my form of the great outdoors consists of golden sandy miles, waves and palms, but I've exchanged that for snow-capped mountains, rivers and forests of pine, and am learning to enjoy the beauty in each without making comparison to the other. Gosh, creation is simply inspiring. 
{A photo I took whilst hiking in the forest near the Whiskeytown mountains} 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Personality Flavors. What's Yours?

Human beings are a strange breed of animal and they fascinate me to no end. I analyze people like it's my day job and just when I think I've come across the weirdest and most wonderful, I'll meet someone that better deserves the title. Humans are also the most intricately woven, complex creations and they astound me in the way they love, communicate, serve, inspire, create, pioneer, lead and envision. Ever found yourself sitting on the outskirts of a crowd, engaging in some casual 'people-watching' {yes, that is a verb}, and wishing you could just peer through a person, past their clothing or facade and look straight into their being? Ever wonder what's really inside a person? Ever wonder how they function, or what inspires them to their core or how they think and process the world around them? Call me deep, but this is where my mind wanders off to in it's spare time. 

The inspiration for this blog post actually comes from a lecture we had in class yesterday entitled "How do you affect your environment?" We have been delving into the mechanics of leadership as a school, and inevitably we ended up on the topic of personality styles; learning yours, understanding others and adapting in order to positively affect your environment. I eat practical personal growth tools for breakfast and absolutely love this branch of psychology; simply fascinating. 
If you've never taken a personality test, they are about as numerous as the spots on a Dalmatian's back, and most of them have great insight into unpacking the wonder that is YOU. However, my personal favorites are the DISC test and the Myers-Briggs, and it was the DISC that we unpacked this week in class. I've never loved the categorical confines that certain personality tests hammer us into, perhaps that's why I am biased to the above mentioned two as I've found them to do the opposite, liberate not constrain. 
This week we had a lot of fun recognizing ourselves in the various categories, whilst finding it scary how predictable the given human being is and the ease with which our personality traits can be identified. I have learnt so much about myself through these tests, and I believe that one of the keys to success in life is understanding yourself, growing in the understanding and appreciation of others, especially those who seem to see the world through a different looking glass, and then learning to adapt well to your environment. 

The DISC Test as mentioned above stands for Dominant, Influential, Steadfast and Contentious. These are headliner words for 4 different personality flavors. Most people have all four of these to some degree but you can generally identify a person as operating most strongly in one of these quadrants. 
On the Myers-Briggs test, I am an INFJ and on the DISC I am a C/D personality with C being my strongest quality and D following close behind. The Contentious one is a task-oriented individual that is highly information bound, analytical, organized and has a high value for justice and doing the "right thing." A "C" is obsessed with details and has an innate eye for these, they value time immensely and where they spend it is of vital importance to them. They are generally internal processors, that take in the world around them, process it in the laboratory that exists within them and then once conclusions have been formulated will speak and communicate. A "C" is motivated by truth and needs security at all times. They generally do not like change as they have well established routines that they constantly improve for maximal productivity and effectiveness. A "C" generally views life from the perspective of the past and draws their conclusions in life based on previous experiences. They are learners, thinkers and if you are in an argument with a C, expect to be wrong, they seldom share something without first knowing it to be true. 
Then we have the other half of my personality type which is D for Dominant. These are natural born leaders, the ones who make the history books as pioneers and risk-takers. A "D" needs to win at all costs, they don't play for fun, they play to win, and as highly competitive individuals will often race against themselves in order to push the boundaries of where they have been before. They are driven by the thirst for significance and are constantly asking the question "what is the purpose, and what is the point." These are task-oriented visionaries who live for tomorrow, and their motto in life is "get it done." A "D" may be akin to a whirlwind, as everything they do, they do fast. "Ready, fire, aim." D's view people as a resource that can be used to fulfill one of their many visions and have been known to step over people in the name of winning or getting something done. They are list people, and are driven by the sense of accomplishment that they get from completing tasks. 
Combine these two fascinating categories of human personality and you have me. I will not go into the I or the S, although they are my favorite types of people in this world, and actually, all of my best friends fall into these I/S categories making them the exact opposite of who I am. Opposites do compliment. 

If you would like to take the free DISC and Myers-Briggs test online, just click on the links here and here. What is your personality type? I'd love to hear. 

Keep Calm and Go To England

An hour ago I received some splendid news in the form of a missions trip acceptance email. As some of you know, I'm at a ministry school in California as I'm deeply passionate about spreading the love of Jesus to the four corners of the globe. As a part of our year, some 2500 students are given the option of choosing missions trips worldwide, and come April, we get flown to our respective destinations to impact the planet through love and joy. Ever since forever I have dreamed of visiting England; my family tree traces back to the land and I do love the Brits so. As you guessed it, my application for the England missions trips was approved and I will be setting off to the wonderful land in a few months time. I am elated at the fact that I will get to love, honor and serve such a beautiful and influential nation and it's people. April, come quickly!
Here's to tea, scones and posh accents. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

MOVEMBER

You either love 'em or despise 'em, but either way, there's no escaping the annual arrival of Movember. Males everywhere will be growing them, shaping them, trimming them, waxing them, styling them; this is serious business. Handle bars, Vikings, Capt' Hooks, Caterpillars, 007's, Connoisseurs, I expect to be spotting them all this Movember as proud males take to the streets sporting the latest facial hairstyles. 
I personally love Movember because it makes for a good laugh at the competitiveness of facial hair growth and the seriousness with which men take their upper lip. I also love the Movember incentive because it's actually aimed at generating support for prostate and testicular cancer, and the guys who run the organization have done a sterling job at creating a worldwide community all in favor of moutaches and helping fight cancer.  If you've never been to the Movember website, be sure to check it out here and enjoy their quirky graphics and great web design. So boys, get growing your Mo, and may the best man win.
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