Saturday, June 21, 2014

Solstice and other musings

Welcome summer! Thought it doesn't really feel like summer right now. Mainly because I'm inside enjoying the air conditioning and it's just a little bit cloudy overhead, made even darker by the lush green leaves from the forest of trees my little cabin in the woods is surrounded by.

I've been enjoying the warmer weather this week all the same. In fact, for most of this past week and the week before I was on a mini vacation around Maryland and West Virginia with my fiance who was visiting from Oklahoma.

I haven't really posted on here in awhile, mainly because I've been suffering from a lack of creative drive and also because I've just been too dang busy! For those of you out there working in jobs that might not really fuel your passions, I am sure you can relate to me when I tell you that even just working a regular 9-5 job can completely drain the life force right out of you if it's not something you're passionate about every day.

I started this blog in the hopes to escape all of that, to try and find a little piece of my own creative space here in the great, wide internets. I love to write, and I still write pretty much everyday but I just haven't found the time nor the motivation to share that with anyone else here for some months. I don't think there are very many people out there who read my musings anyway, so I suppose no one has really missed my ramblings. But I gotta say, it does feel good to see the words start to fill up the screen again. I hope that I can stick to a better posting schedule in the future, I have so many ideas for postings and stories and blogs to share, even if no one ever reads them. I want them out there.

That leads me to this post, about summer, this being the first day of summer and all. It feels like a day for new beginnings, regardless of whether or not it looks summery outside. And even if I definitely don't feel summery inside. My vacation was delightful, a refreshing reminder that it's so important to take time away from the things that drain us. To step outside into the sunlight, to cool off with a dip in calm waters, maybe even fly through the trees while harnessed to a cable. To remind ourselves that no matter how far down we might be weighed by that hefty weight called responsibility, there's still time and room for fun.

There's still space for creativity, for warmth. For spots of sunshine and summer.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Currently 4

Well, I have been horribly remiss with my blogging these past few weeks. Things have just been so busy around here with work, getting the house in order, my BIRTHDAY! and I haven't even really had time to schedule posts, I really need to get on that. Also, now that we are all done with winter (Yes, I said it, winter is OVER. In fact I refuse to acknowledge any freak storms that might happen in the next week. Today was 83 degrees, bring on the warmth!) so I shouldn't be making up any time for work either. Which means it's time to start preparing for vacations and holidays! I definitely don't have as much travel planned this year as I have in years past, but I am hoping to take some mini trips to anywhere over the next few months.

Now, onto what has been going on this week and this Sunday currently:

Reading: Kristen Britain's "Green Rider" series, it's good. High fantasy, definitely similar to what I usually read. Also reading the Untethered Soul (along the lines of Buddhist traditions, but I'm not sure I like it yet, or at all. I don't like the idea of trying to "get rid of part of myself" as the book suggests with the constantly "on voice" people usually hear in their heads.)
Writing: Homework assignments mostly, unfortunately.
Listening: I have really been in an Alternative Country mood the past few days. I think it's the heat and the sun, so I've been listening to Neko Case a lot. Probably also brought on by Lydia Loveless
(Alternative country for some reason always means double bass. And that's alright by me!)
Thinking: About redecorating the basement, and how I really need to plan out more blog posts. I have so many ideas and haven't really done a thing with them.
Smelling: Beef stew. nuff said.
Wishing: That weekends lasted longer than 48 hours.
Hoping: for the determination to actually go for a run tomorrow. And every day this week. I really need to get back in shape. Especially since summer is coming, and I have so many cute dresses.
Wearing: Shorts and a tshirt and a bandana.
Loving:The Baltimore Farmer's market! This was my second Sunday ever going to this market and it's wonderful! I picked up some mint, lemon balm and lavender as well as a huge pot of other assorted herbs, and a pot of mixed lettuces that I am very much looking forward to eating in the coming weeks. I also got some smoked peach jam and that will be part of my Monday morning breakfast. I am actually looking forward to Monday morning :)
Wanting: My fiance to come visit so that I can show him around the market. He's from here and has never been to the market before. Though Farmer's markets aren't usually his thing, but I think he'd enjoy this one. Especially once I take him by the fresh donut man. Yeah...mmmm
Needing: A stud finder. Need to hang curtains and some bars to hang my pans from.
Feeling:  Quite accomplished, yes it was a short week but I got quite a bit done. That's what happens when you have to wake up at 6am on Saturday AND Sunday. Soooo much time. I still want longer weekends. :D

I so love participating in Sidda Thornton's Sunday Currently posts. I really need to make sure I keep up with them each week!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Currently 3

Well, this is my third edition of the Sunday Currently and I still enjoy the prompt. It really helps to kind of stop and take a moment to think about not just what has been going on throughout the day and week but also to reconnect with what I'm actually working on. You know, rather than going through the motions of just doing things, it's nice to be present with each item. Plus I love lists.

This weekend has been really busy, I decided to make a trip out to Ikea yesterday and note to self: Don't go to Ikea alone or with a small hatchback. Getting things into the car is hell. Getting things out of the car and into the house is hell. And according to Buzzfeed, and it really is true, putting Ikea furniture together is Satan's favorite hobby. Truly. I always jack something up when trying to put that damn cheap and still so addictive furniture together. When it's just a bookshelf or 4 piece table, no problem, I can usually work around the slightly wobbly shelves. But when it comes to the really nice kitchen cart I was actually looking forward to using...not so much. Think anyone will notice if I just glue it together? Also, going to Ikea in a dress, totally fine if you're just picking up a couple of plants, maybe some pots or prints. A dresser and a kitchen cart? Wear pants. Wear pants and bring a friend. Silver lining? I didn't regret the $1 frozen yogurt.

Today was great too. I went to my first bridal show in Baltimore and I LOVE free samples! Also, I think if bakeries are going to provide free tastings they should also give out gym coupons. Just saying. I'm still not sure on ANY of the particulars of the wedding yet, but I loved all of the venues and Rouge Catering's bacon sticks and s'mores on a stick? DELISH! 

Well, I guess it's time to get to the point of this post, without further ado here's what's going on currently:

Reading: I took a trip to the bookstore yesterday and picked up Sadie Jones' "The Uninvited Guests" and Helene Wecker's "The Golem and the Jinni." I started reading the Uninvited Guests last night, it's interesting. Very post-Victorian. I'm not sure if I like it yet, it's almost like the author is trying to hard to be one of the Bronte sisters, but the premise sounds intriguing. I love dinner party mysteries.
Writing: conference post responses for my non-profit marketing and design classes
Listening: I've got the Gilmore Girls on in the background.
Thinking: about all of the things I need to do to get the house in order.
Smelling: nothing at the moment
Wishing: still wishing for magical unpacking fairies.
Hoping: I have a couple of business ventures that I'm hoping come to fruition before the end of 2014, I don't want to jinx anything by sharing it too soon, but hopefully they will be shared on the blog in the coming months.
Wearing: t-shirt, jean capris, and my favorite comfy red cardigan. And my engagement ring that has been successfully resized and cleaned and looks perfect. As well as the "mod square" pink polish by Essie.
Loving: Free cake samples and bottomless mimosas!
Wanting: a new camera.
Needing: A bigger closet, or less clothes. Probably a bigger closet.
Feeling:  A blend of accomplished and overwhelmed. It's a weird feeling. I've gotten a lot done this week, but I still have so much to do! I need a personal assistant just to get through the day to day.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Sunday Currently 2

Well this has been quite a hectic week for me. I just moved to a new house and I'm trying not to feel too overwhelmed by all of the boxes and clutter that are currently taking up space in all my rooms. I'm also doing my "anti-snow dance" while looking for the Elsa of the Northeast because I really don't want another snow day tomorrow. As nice as another day of unpacking would be, I can't afford that time off of work. First world problems I suppose. Though I'm stocked up on beer, tunes and some delicious fresh focaccia bread from the local bakery AND I've got a fabulous wraparound deck that is just begging for a warm mug of tea during an early morning snow.

Here's what's going on with me Currently:


Reading: blog posts and decorating books. I have so many ideas for the new place, I hope I can share a lot of the ideas I use here on the blog.
Writing: I'm not really writing at the moment, too busy unpacking. Where are all my pens?!
Listening: to an episode of the Gilmore Girls. Love that show! And my fiancé has the Clone Wars cartoon on on his side of the FaceTime connection.
Thinking: about the kinds of flowers and plants I want to grow first in my new garden!
Smelling: fresh paint and the shampoo my salon uses since I just got my haircut today
Wishing: no snow!
Hoping: to have everything unpacked and hopefully set up for a housewarming party by the end of the month. My new dining table is getting delivered on the 27th and I can't wait to share this custom piece with friends and family. It's beautiful, unique and just plain cool.
Wearing: jeans and my rocking Mickey Mouse tank top. Unpacking and moving is quite a workout.
Loving: the view from my windows. All trees and seclusion and the occasional deer.
Wanting: packing elves to help me get all my stuff unpacked and put away.
Needing: packing elves to help me get all my stuff unpacked and put away.
Feeling: a little frazzled by the move but still pretty happy.

Hope everyone else is having a fabulous weekend! And if you're in the Maryland/PA/VA area, snow or no? Are you all prepared for what is hopefully the last snow of the season?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

More blogging ideas

As many of you reading this blog can probably tell, I am by no means a blogging expert. In fact I've been blogging for a whole month and a half (consistently) at this point. So who am I to give out blog prompt advice?

Well, I'm just a girl who has always loved blogging. Since the very beginning I have loved reading what other people have to say about their lives, their interests, their passions, careers, homes, what have you. And I know that sometimes it can be a little bit difficult to constantly come up with unique and interesting posts that people might actually WANT to read. I know it's sure as hell hard for me!! And I've got the benefit of tapping into years of other people's experiences with blogging to help. Heh.

One thing that has really helped me this past month to be consistent with my blogging is something that almost every successful blogger uses and expounds at great length. Scheduled posts. Though what does that really mean to us newbie bloggers? I mean at first I thought, ok so they just go through a calendar and write a blog idea for each day? And then as I researched it more I realized that many bloggers pick a day or even a couple of days and plan out their upcoming posts. This is actually pretty easy to do if you have weekly themes to your posts like "Friday Favorites, Meditation Mondays, Tasty (or Travel Tuesdays)," so on and so forth. You kind of get into the habit of thinking about and specifically writing for these daily prompts.

But what if you don't have recurring themes like that? Or if you don't WANT to have a set theme for each day because maybe it will pigeon hole you into ALWAYS having to write the same kinds of posts every week, which can get a bit boring and redundant. Well, I have some posting ideas that might help. If you're interested in travel, you should take a look at my list of 13 Travel Writing prompts to start. And if you don't have a specific interest but are just a renaissance gal or guy, here is a list of 14 Random prompts for ya:

Are You Creative?

1. Write a post about sketching, provide prompts and ideas and sketching know-how
2. How to paint with <insert chosen medium here> 
3. List out some journal, collage, drawing or writing prompts. (Like this post! :D )
4. (Into decorating?) Providing a step-by-step guide for decorating any space


1. Write a how to on sewing your favorite item (skirt, pajama pants, bags, etc)
2. Write and/or show the process in creating a decorative item for your favorite holiday
3. Handy with re-purposing Ikea furniture? Tell us how!

Interested in Psychology?

1. Write about tips for dealing with anxiety (I know I'd read it!)
2. Time management tips and tricks for the chronic procrastinator!
3. Tips for better communication with your spouse or significant other

Talented Chef?

1. What are your top five easy-peasy, favorite recipes?
2. Meal planning for dummies (for reals yo, I still don't get it...)
3. Try a new recipe a day, or week or month!
4. Top ten kitchen must-haves!

Of course, you don't have to use these exact ideas, but maybe they will spark a creative fire in you and help to break through that blogging block if you find yourself stuck and in need of a good blog post! Happy Blogging!

Monday, March 10, 2014

March Mini Monthly Milestones

Prague, 2011
The image above is where I spent my spring three years ago. Traveling Europe has always been a dream of mine, kind of ongoing since I've already been to 5 European countries in less than 3 years...Yet, I've been daydreaming about Prague a lot lately, I wish I could add it to my travel itinerary for this year as well. Maybe...or maybe I'll just keep dreaming.

Until then I'll just focus on some more immediate dreams and milestones that I would like to reach. At the beginning of the year I set out to accomplish a number of different goals or milestones each month. January I wanted to write more, and I did. Though I didn't keep up with it as much in Feb. However, in February I wanted to work on loving myself more and while that is going to be a very long work in progress, I think I've come a long way in just over a month. I still have my moments, as so many of us do I'm sure. But it ain't nothin' a kick ass song like this one can't fix. (Ok seriously, that song is just the bees knees. And can we resurrect that phrase? I love it.)

So my March milestones are as follows:

1. Keep working on developing a solid morning and evening routine. I have been in desperate need for some routine in my life for quite awhile. I can't keep falling out of bed an hour and a half (*cough*2 hours*cough*) after my alarm goes off just to have barely enough time to brush my teeth, put on semi-decent clothing, feed and walk the dog and then rush off to work. That is seriously what my mornings consist of most days ya'll and it's just...well it's a giant pain in the rear! So...yeah time to work on that.

2. This month I am going to be working on blog and web design more. I have a couple of ideas for how I would like this blog to look and sure, I could work with a professional designer (and I just might at that in the future) but I would really like to try and figure some things out for myself as well, if I can. So that'll be fun.

On a side note, I realized yesterday that I had completely forgotten to update my Bloglovin button when I changed my name around after I first started blogging. (I went through a brainstorming process before landing on "Spotted Sunshine.") It's probably not a huge deal now since I'm so new and have like... 2 followers (I love you guys be tee dubs!) But I imagine it's probably confused and turned off some other would be yeah I am pretty sure/hope that's fixed now.

Also...I need to take more pictures. Because, I've heard, that pictures are good or something. 

3. I'm moving to a new place this Friday. YAY! so my third milestone is to pack, clean, unpack, clean and start DECORATING! I am beyond excited for the new place. It's just...I could gush. I will gush, in another post. It's amazing and I love it. Check out this post for some pictures!

4. More self-love and positivity. With the move and everything else that life throws around, I have been having quite a stress-filled and anxiety riddled time of it lately. So this month, I am going to work on just trying to be positive and calm as much as possible. Especially since next month is my birthday and I want to start the big 2-7 off right! Know what I mean? 

5. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise. (It's emboldened, italicized AND underlined, so you know I'm for serious) One of my fitness goals last year was to be able to dead-lift 300lbs by my 27th birthday. That is NOT going to happen unless I get bitten by a radio active spider in the near future unfortunately. So I plan to start working out a lot more this month. I don't plan on overdoing it (which is I think what burned me out before) but I definitely need to step it up. Plus I have a wedding and a super hunky fiance to prep for. Plus he's all Drill Sergeant, running all the time badass. And I'm just over here like "Man I could eat another Papa John's family sized cookie." womp womp womp. Time for this cookie monster to get back to the gym!!

That about wraps it up for March's goals. What about you guys? Got any milestones you're hoping to achieve this month/year/lifetime?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Sunday Currently 1

So I'm totally procrastinating (slash also multitasking? yeah that's a little better..) on my programming final exam in order to join up with the "Sunday Currently" link up.

Here's a little bit of what I've got going on Currently:

Reading: Python and various other programming documents. And book-wise: "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" an interesting read about changing your mindset to reduce stress and anxiety and you know, all that new-agey *being a better person* stuff. It was hard to get into at first but I'm enjoying it.
Writing: essay answers to my programming final & multiple drafts for various upcoming blogs I'd like to post.
Listening: Dance music. I am really LOVING the BPM station on my Sirius satellite radio. Particularly the song "Ten Feet Tall" by Afrojack. It is an AMAZINGLY uplifting song, and makes me think of Fiance every. single. time. *love*
Thinking: I should really be finishing my exam. And how much I'm looking forward to moving to my new house this week. And wondering if I'll finish packing in time...
Smelling: English Laundry No. 7 For Her. It was in the March Birchbox and holy MOLY does it smell wonderful! Just like spring/summer and all kinds of happiness.
Wishing: I could pull a Jeannie, cross my arms, nod my head and all of my stuff would be magically transported to my new home and unpacked....and for an A on my final exam.
Hoping: that spring has actually sprung and I can start gardening next week!
Wearing: comfy jeans and a tshirt
Loving: warmer weather
Wanting: Actually nothing at the moment...well maybe nachos.
Needing: to finish packing and this final exam...oy
Feeling: Surprisingly calm and ready to be in the new place.

Thanks for reading! I'm going to stop being a slacker now and finish...something....the exam maybe? Hope you all have a lovely Sunday!