Friday, July 03, 2015

Happy Fourth of July: 11 Patriotic Pinterest Finds

Fireworks! Barbecues! Red, white and blue! You know what those three things have in common, friends! It's the Fourth of July weekend. How are you going to celebrate? Picnic in the park? Lazy afternoon at the beach? We're FINALLY seeing Jurassic World at long last, and I'm just as giddy as my 11-year-old self was when I saw the first movie. Instead of our usual Friday link list, I'm signing off early this week to enjoy some holiday relaxation, but I thought it would be fun to continue our yearly tradition with a round-up of patriotic Pinterest finds, starting with this wall-size American flag...
Decorated mason jar...
Patriotic picnic at sea...
Retro fashion...
Flag cake (from Food52)...
Star confetti balloons (from Etsy shop BalloonUp)...
Sparkly sparklers...
Puppy love...
Relaxing lounge chairs...
July 4th Bingo...
Pretty burlap banner...

Have a good one, and I'll see you all on Monday! And as always, feel free to connect with me on PinterestTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube! See you there!

P.S. More patriotic pins from 2013 and 2014.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

An Open Letter To My Last Name

Dear 'Blake':
I know this letter might come as a bit of a shock to you. I mean, it's not every day that people sit down to write a 'love letter' to their last name -- or really, any other inanimate object, for that matter. It makes the whole reciprocity thing a bit hard when said objects can't exactly write back or answer you. But nonetheless, I suppose this is really what this is.

A love letter.

We go back a long way, don't we? It would be an understatement to say that we have a bit of history together, don't you think? You've made a heck of a lot of appearances in my life over the years, starting at the very beginning when you made your mark on my birth certificate. Oh, little did we know about the magnitude of our journey ahead. As the years rolled on, you showed up on hospital forms, school report cards, birthday cards, magazine subscriptions, medicine bottles, special packages in the mail and various awards.

But my favorite appearances? Well, I couldn't have been happier when I saw you on my first byline as a newspaper reporter. Then, a few years later, you graced my college diploma -- something I'd worked extremely hard for and was so proud when the day finally arrived.

You were there. Through it all. The good and the bad, the simple and confusing, the fun times and the not-so-fun times.

And, maybe most importantly, you link me to my past, to my father, which can sometimes feel like an entire lifetime ago. Every time I see you, every time I write you down, I think of my father. You help me keep him alive in my soul, and it makes me feel like I'm carrying a part of him with me wherever I go. It's a pretty comforting feeling, actually.

The more I think about it, the more I realize something: We just gel, plain and simple. You and I, we're like peanut butter and jelly, like Oreo's and the rich creamy center, like that purple Teletubby and his fashionable purse. I can't hide that fact. Not really, anyway. You fit my personality perfectly -- you're simple, short and to the point. There's something pretty darn comforting in that, too.
Some people can't wait for that day when they can take their partner's last name. They want nothing more than to say goodbye to the past, to the person they used to be. Every married woman in my family has taken her husband's last name. Take my mom, for example. As she tells the story, she couldn't wait to change her name to 'Blake' after living with the heaviness of the Swedish name 'Erlandson' for some 22 years. They say a name doesn't define you. But how can it not? How can it not when it's been with you through all the days, the months, the moments of your life. It's a part of you and you're a part of it. If you ask me, that's something to shout from the rooftops and celebrate.

So, no, I don't want to change my last name when I meet Mr. Melissa Blake one day. I don't. I'm not ready to say goodbye just yet. It's as simple as that, 'Blake,' so it looks like you're just stuck with me for awhile longer... xoxo

Help! Advice For a Reader!

It looks like we've got another first on So About What I Said today! I received an email a few weeks ago from reader Emily, who was seeking advice. She wrote...

I've REALLY liked this guy for months. He's attractive, smart, witty, passionate about similar things and a challenge (dream guy!). I've tried different ways to get his attention (including some crazy, "almost made it" stories), but he seems impossible to contact (no email, rarely on Facebook) and constantly busy with work. At first I wanted to see if I could just send him a letter explaining who I was and my feelings, but it became much more complex. I've still gotten no response/reaction from him; I don't even know if he even knows I've been trying. Do I... 
A. Give up trying and possibly regret it. 
B. Keep trying and risk looking crazy or annoying.* 
C. Give up for now, wait and hope that someday when he's not as busy, he'll still be single and I'll have a chance. 
*If B. What do I do?? Something bold and risky or keep slowly trying little methods?

I found myself thinking for a few moments after I read her note. Oh, how many times had I found myself in her very predicament? Surely, far too many to count! So maybe I'm not the best one to be giving the advice here. That's where you come in, friends! I asked if it would be OK to share her email, and she answered with a resounding, "Sure!"
So, what advice would you give her? Which option would you pick and why? Are you like me in that it's hard to take your own advice?

**Would you like to see an Advice Column of sorts on the blog? It could be fun and a great way to inspire conversation. Are you game? Send your pressing questions to! I look forward to hearing from you! xoxo

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"There's a somebody I'm longing to see...I hope that he turns out to be...Someone who'll watch over me..."

[Photos via My Summer Twist]

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Style Guide: Fourth of July

We've done a few style round-ups in the past, like holiday party dresses, denim on denim and nautical faves, but I'm toying with the idea of making them a more permanent series on So About What I Said -- what do you think? So what better way to test these new waters than by dressing up for the most patriotic day of the year? I'm a firm believer that there's nothing more fun than dressing up to celebrate America's birthday. Here are some essentials to complete the look...
*Stripe pinafore dress, $90
*Gingham head wrap, $22
*Flag bracelet, $39.98
*Floppy straw hat, $22
*Heart-shaped sunglasses, $12
*Light yellow flip-flops, $26
*Flag tote, $12
*Essie in Sunset Sneaks, $8.50

Will you be rocking a similar look this weekend, friends? Maybe something a bit more subtle -- or even bolder? What other Style Guides would you like to see on So About What I Said? Feel free to email me ( or leave a comment below! xoxo

There Are Two Kinds of People...

...which one are you?

That's the pressing question posed on the Tumblr 2 Kinds of People, which features fun illustrations of everyday people, places and activities.

João Rocha the Lisbon-based art designer behind the blog, maintains that there are basically two kinds of people in this world. Those who prefer to watch TV on their laptops and those who like to watch on actual televisions. Those who cut their sandwiches in half and those who cut them diagonally. Those who use bookmarks and those who simply dog-ear the page. A few more of my favorite...

Do you identify with one more than the other, friends? Were you surprised by your choice? Has your preference changed a lot over the years? You can check out 2 Kinds of People for more witty illustrations, and feel free to submit your own "there are two kinds of people..." ideas in the comments! xoxo

[Via My Modern Met]

Monday, June 29, 2015

Will You Keep Your Maiden Name?

Maybe it's because words are my bread and butter, but people's post-wedding names have always fascinated me. How do you decide on your last name? Do you take your partner's? Do they take yours? Do you hyphenate? Or, do you get created, like some family friends did a couple years ago when they took each of their last names and made a completely new moniker?

I'll be doing an Open Letter on this topic tomorrow, but have you seen the recent New York Times article on the recent rise of the maiden name? It looks like they're coming back in vogue after declining in the '80s and '90s. But, as sociologists note, the trend resurgence seems to be more practical than political.

"The pressure is huge," said Laurie Scheuble, a sociology professor at Penn State who studies marital naming. "This is the strongest gendered social norm that we enforce and expect. When they do get around to marrying, they’ve already lived in a household with two names, so maybe it seems normal to them."

Scheuble said several factors could be swaying the modern woman's decision: Women now go to college at higher rates than men, celebrities often keep their names and couples commonly live together before marriage.

The article also cited some amazing stats, including...

*Roughly 20 percent of women married in recent years have kept their names, compared to about 17 percent of women who married for the first time in the 1970s. 

*Last year, 29.5 percent of women featured in the wedding pages of the New York Times kept their name, up from 26 percent in 2000 and a recent low of 16.2 percent in 1990. 

*Women are more likely to keep their names if they are older, not religious, have children from a previous marriage or have an advanced degree and established career.

What do you think, friends? Are you married? If so, did you keep your maiden name? Will you? And, perhaps even more interesting, what are the reasons behind your decision? I'd love to hear all about it! xoxo

[Photo by Linus Moran, via Moment Junkie]

Etsy Love: Watercolor Home Decor

When it comes to design and decor, I've always lived by the philosophy, "the brighter, the better." I mean, I do have these screaming pink sheets on my bed and had a reputation for proudly sporting neon shorts back in the day. My philosophy has long matched my personality, it seems.

But what about a more subdued, laid-back approach? While bright colors make me think of the frenetic hustle and bustle of life in New York City, the watercolor pillows by Euodia Roets give me visions of a quiet summer spent by the beach, in a cute cottage with all sorts shell-themed knickknacks adorning the walls.
Pillows pictured: Bubblegum set, green florals, clouds and sky, hummingbird throw, candyfloss ombre cushion, scallop fish scale and orange striped cushion.

The South Africa-based designer makes sure all her materials are sourced locally. How cool is that, friends? I'm relaxing already -- can't you smell that salty sea air?? xoxo

[Top photos by Euodia Roets]

Man Candy Monday.

Happy Fourth of July week, friends! You know I'm always up for a good celebration, and with the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage last week, I'd say we have A LOT to be excited about. Today's guys (yes, more than one!) really epitomize Americana in the '70s. They certainly had the style and swagger. They watched for bad moons rising. And they hung out down on the corner...


"Put a candle in the window...'Cause I feel I've gotta move...Though I'm goin', goin'...I'll be comin' home soon...Long as I can see the light..."

P.S. Top 10 Creedence Clearwater Revival songs! What's your favorite???

Friday, June 26, 2015

Have a lovely weekend

Ahh, friends! There's nothing I love more than a Friday in the summer. And today? Well, it was an extra special morning when I woke up to the Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide!!!


Seeing so much happiness, love and pride on Facebook and Twitter really made my heart swell. This day has been a long time coming and it's about time!

Got any plans for the weekend? I might try to get a jump-start on that lovely to-do list my mom made for us. Or maybe I'll just end up catching up on my DVR. That's a form of cleaning, right? I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

"Ten Times I Knew I Loved You."

Does your birth month affect your health?

Were you obsessed with Schoolhouse Rock as a kid?

An excellent theory on Jurassic Park.

Mariah Carey is on!

18 amazing movies we'll never watch again.

This golden retriever timelapse is adorable.

On cats and blogging.

10 handy writing tips.

A romantic moody flower arrangement.

LeiLei Secor paid for college by selling on Etsy.

Quiz Time: Which Pink Lady are you?

What an interesting read on your future self and your future happiness.

A man spent six years crocheting Super Mario Brothers 3 map!

You go, Taylor!!

Aww, this stowaway cat is one lucky little guy.

Easy listening songs from the '70s rewritten by the artists after they had kids.

The London Bridge just got, well, a whole lot brighter!

What to teach kids when they get their first email account made me feel old.

Seriously swooning over this Anne of Green Gables-inspired wedding shoot.

Today, #LoveWins and I couldn't be happier or more excited for the future! Have a great weekend, friends! xoxo

And as always, feel free to connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube! See you there!

[Photo via bippity boppity boo]
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