Favorite Emojis: Bloganuary Entry #10

Ok forreal, is any text communication complete these days without an emoji somewhere in there? Even my 80 year old grandmother includes emojis in her texts, and it amuses me so much.

Emojis can sometimes say what we don’t want to type, or they can emphasize a reaction to a message. It took me a while to start using them but now, they are a pretty important flare to my communication.

I definitely have my regulars that I go to in order to fully express the feelings behind whatever message I just texted.

So here are my top six go-to emojis:

šŸ’• – Double hearts: I love it. Whatever you just said. I’m feeling it and I love it.

āœØ – Sparkly stars: I support you. I want your feelings to be validated. So I’m sending you star sprinkles. A lot of times, it’s combined with the heart above.

šŸ™„- Expressionless: I have no expression after what you just said or what I sent right before this emoji. And really, no expression is an expression. Amiright?

šŸ˜‚ – Crying with tears: I fell out laughing. Whatever you just said, or whatever I sent before this is absolutely hilarious. The more of these emoji, the funnier I found it.

šŸ„° – Kissy face: I have seen a picture and I want to kiss the face of whoever was in it. I absolutely adore it. Whatever it is.

šŸ¤·šŸ½ā€ā™€ļø – Shoulder shrug: You got me, fam. I have no idea how to respond or what you want me to say to what you just texted me. Or…my way of having no opinion which, if you know me, I probably do have an opinion but I’m not sharing it, and though you probably know what it is, I’m not saying it.

What’s your favorite emoji? Do we have any in common? Or are emojis wack? I love them lol.

Let me know!

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Someone I admire: Bloganuary Entry #5

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

This is a really hard prompt because there are truly inspirational and admirable people everywhere. But it’s pretty fair to say that most of the people I admire are women. And even more specifically, they are women in my family. You can close your eyes and pick pretty much any one of them, and you will find someone who has set and amazing example of being a good mother, sister, aunt, matriarch, trailblazer, free thinker, supporter, etc. It is truly hard, no…impossible, to pick only one person to write about. And frfr, I don’t want to poke the hornet’s nest of picking out just one person.

So instead of picking one particular person that I admire, let me tell you five traits that I find are common in the many people I admire.

They choose kindness. Every woman in my family has been through something. And yet they are all the sweetest, kindest people on the whole planet. Yes, I said the whole entire planet!

They stand up for themselves and for others. They all do it in different ways. Ranging from timid and subtle to brazen and spitfire, they have their own approaches, but they speak up. And their approaches are actually quite fascinating. I’ve noticed that there’s a time and a place for each method, and I’ve even used some myself.

Despite obstacles, they persevere. Life is clearly full of challenges. Being able to face those challenges, no matter how big or small, and come out ahead is no easy feat. Watching the women in my life tackle challenges and come out being better and stronger is so powerful and encouraging. They tackle motherhood and marriages and the workforce and entrepreneurship, and of course all of the daily nuances that life can present. Being able to watch them face challenges and persevere gives me so much strength in my own life.

Through actions or through words, they impart wisdom. There is a takeaway from every encounter. Whether it’s a recipe, a history lesson, a mantra about life, a tip for the daily struggle, or a lesson in what not to do, there’s always something to learn.

They love hard. There is never any question about who they love and how much they love them. They express it in their actions and with their words. Often. And without shame.

It may be hard to pick one or even three top people that you admire. But do you notice a commonality among people that make your list? I’d love to hear what you admire about the people you admire!

I wish I knew how to: Bloganuary Entry #4

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Life is about constantly learning. I truly enjoy learning new things, and I seek knowledge, no matter how small. I love that there are so many ways to learn right at my fingertips, thanks to my friend the internet. Whether I’m learning a craft, a recipe, a computer trick, or a dance class, I feel like it’s good to be constantly open to learning.

I love finding random tutorials on pinterest, and I love taking advantage of online resources. I’m currently making my way through a Life Coaching course and hopefully I will finish that in the coming months *fingers crossed*, and I’ve done a few ecommerce courses over the past year that were really interesting.

But if I had to pick one thing that I wish I knew it would be that I wish I knew how to change a flat tire. Of course, there’s a million reasons why this is a good, practical, and important skill to have. I don’t like the idea of being stranded, vulnerable, or possibly in a dangerous situation over something that I could fix myself if I have to. Because tires rarely announce in advance that they plan to go flat, the sooner I know how to do this, the bigger relief this will be for me. So it’s on my 2022 learning list for sure.

But on a smaller scale, here three things I’ve learned to do recently by using online resources:

Fabric Stamping: I follow an artist on IG that uses random items to stamp fabric, and she then uses the fabrics to make bags. I have been mesmerized by her process and thought I could try something similar. So I looked around on pinterest for tutorials and tried my hand at it. Using some remnants from Joann’s, some fabric paint, a straw, and a plastic fork, I created these masterpieces. I thought this was fun, and it’s such an easy way to decorate a space. I also plan to try this on some tea towels. It could make a really cute gift idea, and there are so many different possibilities.









Ceramics: To stay sane during the pandemic, I definitely turned to crafts. One thing I found cute and interesting was clay. Trinket dishes, earrings, and wine charms…I tried them all. I tried both air dry clay as well as clay that you bake in the oven. Here’s one of the many tutorials that I played around with and here are a few of my results.

Beading: I love making my own accessories, so when I stumbled across some posts for making beaded jewelry, I became obsessed! And again, the pandemic caused lots and lots of time isolated in the house, so this was a wonderful creative outlet. Several hundred dollars later (oy!), and I have bags and bags and bags of beaded bracelets to show for it. Here’s one blogger that gives a good bracelet tutorial and below are a few of my results:

What do you like learning? What’s the last thing you learned or taught yourself to do?

Five pics Friday: Fall and stuff

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

This week was the epitome of early fall here in Maryland. The leaves are changing, the weather was warm, cool and crisp all at the same time, and the evenings are coming earlier and earlier every day.

While fall is awesome for weather purposes, it definitely lets you know that we are properly in the fourth quarter of the year. Winter is waiting in the wings and all of the holiday prep is about to get started in full force.

But in the meantime, I am enjoying my morning walks for coffee and my afternoons with fresh air and open windows.

Here are my five pics from my week.

From top to bottom:

1. Sometimes mail is a good thing I ordered some fun stuff from Etsy, and can’t wait to try it out!

2. The cold, rainy, wind advisory weather on Tuesday was perfect for a dimly lit bar and a glass of Tempranillo.

3. I bought a couple of accessories from Avon recently and these are two pieces that I really love. A simple dainty knot bangle and a sparkly ring. Great pieces to throw on with any outfit! And they were on clearance, so it’s a double win for me!

4. I snatched this cozy number up from Columbia. It will be the perfect addition to my fall wardrobe. The weather dropped while I was out so I wound up wearing it before I even got it home. I am proud of myself because I also bought gifts for my niece and nephew and I am NEVERRRR this early with my holiday shopping. Ever!

5. Sometimes the best pics are out of focus, amiright?

How was your week this week? Did you do anything fall-ish?

Airbnb Journey: The Alexandria VA Duplex

After spending a month in North Carolina, my boyfriend and I needed to return to the DC area due to appointments and family events coming up. The search for a place in the DMV as we natives call it (DC/Maryland/Virginia area) that fit our requirements as well as our budget was quite difficult. The area can be pretty expensive, and we wanted to make sure we were within a good distance to our appointment locations.

After extensive searching, we booked a duplex in Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandria is a large city in Northern Virginia that borders the nation’s capital. Like most places, the neighborhoods can range from older and more established to new and recently developed.

As soon as we hit the reserve button, we immediately second guessed our decision. It was a new listing, but the owners had several reviews for other properties. So we weren’t concerned about them as hosts, but we realized we didn’t know much about the actual neighborhood, and we also realized we had not seen any pictures of the outside of the house. After our NC bungalow, the visual bar for our homes was set pretty high.

So of course, as soon as we received the address, we immediately did a google map search of the property. And that did not help our concerns. But what’s done is done, we had paid our money, and that would be our home for a month… unless we wanted to cancel and lose our money. Ummm no.

Unlike the first home, the check-in for the Alexandria duplex did not go smoothly. With it being a newly listed property, the owners were working on final touches in the home up until and beyond our check-in time. Our check-in time was delayed so we had to pass the time, which was hard to do when we were still in the midst of pandemic lock-down and stores are limiting entry. But fast forward a couple hours, and we checked into the home.

The home was located in a well-established aka older neighborhood as we suspected, and visually, the home was not as attractive as the NC bungalow. Once inside, the furniture was older, and there were some areas of the home that weren’t completely finished (ie., blue tape on the walls, a chandelier that the owner had to come back and finish hanging, dust that they probably would have swiffered if they had a little extra time, etc.). But…there was a homely charm about the home and I was determined to make the best of it.

THE NOT SO GREAT:

I really gave the owners the benefit of the doubt–sometimes first rentings just don’t go as planned. I know they wanted to have a guidebook prepared, and I’m sure they wanted the space to be Airbnb perfect. Unfortunately it didn’t happen that way, and by the time we arrived and were able to check in, we just wanted to get unpacked and settled. The moment for the cute arrival had passed, and it just wasn’t going to happen.

Some of the things that made the stay less than perfect included the home not having central heating, so with it being the middle of winter, it was quite drafty sometimes. There wasn’t a ton of space for our clothes, so it felt like we were always shuffling things around just to get things from our luggage. There was only one bathroom, and after having two, it was difficult to adjust to one…though we did it, and it was fine. There was only one television in the house and that wasn’t ideal.

THE GOOD:

There were a lot of great things about the home and the location. We were able to see family and friends since we were close to home, so that was really nice. We were able to both have cars so that helped with getting to our appointments and such with no coordination efforts. We took walks quite a bit even though it was snowing a lot of the time, so we were able to get out of the house and get fresh air. The home had a dedicated workspace and multiple rooms to spread out, which we cannot say about some of the other places we’ve stayed. The home had a lot of kitchen amenities so I cooked quite a bit, which was really nice. I also stocked up on my craft supplies and started teaching myself ceramics, and there was enough space to spread out and craft. The home had this really cute loft area, so we liked escaping to that space to think or just have some alone time. It was also perfect when we had meetings and needed personal space for those. The home had some really cool decorative elements and pictures that I thought made such a nice touch. The neighborhood was so quiet, so we slept like babies. And speaking of sleep, the bedding was so comfortable, I had to message the host to ask about the sheets and pillow cases, and I ordered my own!

AT THE END OF THE DAY we were looking for peace, safety, and a space to work, and this home provided just that. We have been out of that home for about six months and I still have moments that I flash back or miss something about it. It really was a unique and cozy vibe, and sometimes you don’t find that in “perfect” homes, or homes that are staged immaculately. Though it wasn’t the prettiest house on the prettiest street, the hosts were awesome, the space was quiet, the home was safe, and I would absolutely stay there again.

Here are some of the cute decorative touches that I really feel made the space unique and cute.

What if something makes a bad first impression for you? How good are you at finding the good in situations? I felt like a month was a long time to not love the space we chose, so I really focused on what I loved about the home. And it turns out, this home actually had a lot to love!