Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Skin

Squeaky swings and tall grass
The longest shadows ever cast
The water's warm and children swim
And we frolicked about in our summer skin

I don't recall a single care
Just greenery and humid air
Then Labor day came and went
And we shed what was left of our summer skin
- Death Cab For Cutie

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


There really is nothing like a Californian summer. I've been spending my days catching some sun rays by the pool. Floating the Sacramento river. Laying by the lake. Eating watermelon with the juice dripping down my arms. Making my own Daisy-Duke cutoffs. Sipping iced passion tea at my local Starbucks. Riding around on my bicycle. Watching the sun set over the mountains. Painting my nails bright colours. And driving with the windows down, singing "Wild Ones." Just one more week of summer bliss left before I spend the next few months in southern hemisphere winter at home in Durban. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reflections of a BSSM First Year Graduate

It's a good feeling to look back over your shoulder at the year behind you and know that although the risks were many, you do not have a single regret.

Anybody that has seen my post-highschool journey unfold will say it lies somewhere in-between an adventurous travel novel and your average roller coaster ride. There has been much swimming upstream in the name of following this heart of mine, and not so much slipping into the system. I am a firm advocate of being an individual and throwing yourself into the wind of your own dreams whilst not pretending that you're okay with squashing yourself in other people's expectations of what your life should look like. I'm not sure we were created to live under the ceilings of other people's limitations, but were made to run wild and free in the wide open spaces of our heart's longings. 
I made a decision to embrace this way of life when I closed the last high school textbook and although the uncertainties have been ever-present, so has the fun, adventure and fulfilled dreams. 

I made the risky decision to pack my bags last year and board a plane to California with a heart full of dreams, bags full of hope and a collection of question marks in my hands. I spent a year in the middle-of-nowhere at the foot of snow-capped mountains in a small northern California city, and every day as I breathed in the clean country air, I exhaled the peace of knowing that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I can remember waking up daily feeling as though I had been soaking in a bath of God's presence as I knew that I was at the centre of His will for my life and my destiny was blossoming before me. It's almost ironic how God and the dreams in my heart led me to a seemingly insignificant dot on the map which ended up being the place that spent a year carving a statue out of a block of marble that was my life. This year I was refined. This place, these people have looked into me, seen what lies within and then chipped away the fears, uncertainties, insecurities and left me more myself than I've ever been before. Some people that have been here and done this say that they've been changed into a different person, I say that I've been changed into the person that lay within all along yet just needed some help showing herself. So here, under the Californian sun I met myself for the first time. 

And do you know what the best part of this whole fast-paced, whirlwind of a year has been? The people that have stood alongside me through it's entirety. There have been other crazy, burning-ones from every nook and cranny of the globe that heard destiny's call and found themselves here too. Together we have been shown what it really means to live, and discovered have all that a human being was created for. We have learnt that interdependency and not independency is the true order of life and that community is one of our greatest needs and greatest gifts. Has it been tough? Of course. Has it been worth it? One hundred times YES. 

A week from today I will go back to the place I came from, and I've heard it said that you can truly measure the extent of your personal change when you re-enter a place that remains unchanged. My hometown, my family, friends and 'old life' will be the true litmus test of my change. I will be home for just a few months before I come back to California for round two. Second year, come at me. I'm ready for all that you're bringing.

Obsession of the Week

My stationery collection is one that breeds and multiplies itself almost monthly thanks to stores like invite.L which I recently discovered (via puglypixel.com). I am obsessed with those Editorial-styled journals which I would like to convert into a type of travel journal, and would also like to convert the '1000 kinds of stories' journal into a 1000 things I am thankful for journal. Then there's the pretty washi tape which would fine tune my collection very nicely. 
This online store is beautifully designed, teeming with great product at what I would consider to be reasonable prices taking into account that they ship around the globe at no extra cost. Click here to get your order in!


(Going across from top left)
1.) Follow your bliss - Words to live by
2.) Spring nail color palette
3.) A pinterest-worthy bridal shower
4.) Hannah and I close the chapter together
5.) Proof of a year well spend - BSSM 1st year graduate certificate
6.) Self-portrait
7.) New journal - 1 Q&A every day for 5 years
8.) Picked wildflowers and delivered to friends' doorsteps
9.) Empire coffee inside an old train cart
10.) Favorite necklace - Opal
11.) Lace and the lake
12.) Solar eclipse over Whiskeytown Lake

Monday, May 14, 2012


I am a self-confessed Instagram addict and love the thrill of photo editing and photo sharing. I came across this article the other day about a possible launch of an actual instagram camera, and I couldn't help but share it:
"Designers over at ADR Studio in Italy have recently showcased their newest creation, and it appears to be even more addictive than the phone-based version — if that’s even possible. Not only does this square guy boast a 16 GB mass storage device, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it’s also touchscreen operated, with two lenses and an inbuilt webcam application.
Following on from ye olde Polaroid tradition, the camera would also have an inbuilt colour printer, so your shots would be processed instantly on sticky-backed paper. People would even scan your name (which appears on all the paper) to follow your Instagram account online. Stalker alert! It may only be a concept design at the moment, but given the popularity of the iPhone app, we wouldn't be surprised to see this being made for the mass market soon." - Oystermag.com 
Ps: If you're an Instagrammer, follow me. Username jessicaleeswart
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