Friday, November 21, 2014

Have a relaxing weekend

Woo hoo, welcome to the weekend, friends! What are you doing this weekend? As you can probably guess, I'll be staying in and resting from this evil cold! In fact, as I was typing this, I just sneezed three times in a row -- TMI? Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

Really, Oxford Dictionaries, this is your Word of the Year?

This male news anchor wore the same suit for a year to protest sexism.

Loving all the rings by Colby June -- how pretty are they?

The perfect finds for the perfect cozy weekend.

Dream Home: Soothing blues.

50 U.S. states, 50 deserted places.

Sugar nail frosting glitter, anyone?

Fall is a cruel lie.

Aww, how cute are these sleeping animals?

These 100 questions would be great conversation starters.

The creative process? Oh, I think so... (via Swissmiss).

United States of Thanksgiving.

Good advice: Dealing with jealousy.

Aww, this four-year-old is really upset that she'll never get to meet George Washington!

I love you, Blair Waldorf.

Yes, I'll never get tired of aerial photography.

The science of sleep.

Every terrible ad cliche you've ever seen in one genius video.

How awesome is this Bridesmaid Gift Guide?

...and a gift guide for the modernist in your life.
**A special offer from one of my long-term sponsors: MagnetStreet is having having a 35% sale on all wedding stationery through December 1st. Just enter promo code WETHANK35 at checkout!

**Don't forget to enter the Jacaranda Designs $30 Gift Card Giveaway -- you've got until next Tuesday!!

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

[Photos via bippity boppity boo]

Found: The perfect winter bag

I'm still battling that nasty cold (not fun!), but these leather bags from Etsy shop RARAMODO made me smile this morning. The soft colors! Those pretty gold dots! Almost gets you excited for those winter wonderlands, doesn't it, friends?!?!? xoxo

P.S. Friday link love is coming up this afternoon! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dream Vacation: Glow-in-the-dark bike path

How cool is this bike path in the Netherlands? Dutch-based Studio Roosegaarde recently unveiled the new bike path, based on Vincent Van Gogh's famed The Starry Night, and called Van Gogh-Roosegaard Bicycle Path.

The surface of the path is coated with special paint that absorbs energy during the day so it can glow at night. LEDs also help on those partially cloudy days. you think they'd let me drive my wheelchair on it? xoxo

[Via My Modern Met]

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10 upsides of the common cold

My mom gave me a nice little gift a couple days ago. And, as I'm quickly learning, it's the kind of gift that just keeps on giving. It started in the form of an itchy throat, and before I knew it, my throat was on fire and my nose was all sorts of stuffy! Thanks, Ms. Bear!

So I'm taking it easy today and letting my body recharge itself. But while I do, I got to thinking about all the upsides of being semi-sidelined by a cold. Here are my top 10...
1. Sleeping as long as you want. In the middle of the week, no less. 
2. Watching shows on your DVR and not having to feel the least bit guilty about it. 
3. Having to keep up your fluids. Translation: Any type of soda pop is fair game. 
4. Ice cream to soothe your throat. Enough said. 
5. Wrapping yourself in warm and cozy blankets. 
6. Getting to read magazines all day and calling it medicine. 
7. Putting your phone down. For once, it's not chained to your hip. 
8. Three words: PJs. All. Day. 
9. Comfort food for when you start to feel better. I'm thinking macaroni and cheese! 
10. Knowing that you'll start to feel better as the days go on. It's all about positivity, people -- or at the very least, trying to stay positive.
To my fellow cold sufferers out there... hope you're feeling better! Any cold remedies you swear by? What's worked the best for you in the past?

P.S. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a warm bed and a regular pop calling my name... :)

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"Homeward bound...I wish I was...Homeward bound...Home where my thought's escaping...Home where my music's playing..." --Simon and Garfunkel

[Photos via empty forest]

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jacaranda Designs $30 Gift Card Giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Jane from Jacaranda Designs, the Canadian-based Etsy shop opened in 2007 after Jane left her career in the IT industry in favor of more creative pursuits. Since then, she has since filled her shop with gorgeous rings, lockets, earrings, bracelets and hair accessories. "I had always loved being involved in creative pursuits, and so a few days later, I signed up for a jewelry making class at a local college," she says. "I took lessons for about three years and became completely obsessed with making jewelry."

She's giving one lucky reader a $30 gift card to pick out some favorite pieces! There are so many pretty pieces to choose from -- what are your favorite ones, friends? I'd go for this world map ring, this healing hematite bracelet or this round brass locket necklace, which would look so cute with a family photo inside.

For your chance to win, simply visit Jacaranda Designs, and leave a comment below, telling us which piece you'd choose if you won. For additional entries, you can (please leave a separate comment for each entry)...

*Fan Jacaranda Designs on Facebook
*Follow Jacaranda Designs on Twitter
*Follow Jacaranda Designs on Pinterest
*Follow Jacaranda Designs on Instagram
*Fan So About What I Said on Facebook
*Follow So About What I Said on Twitter
*Follow So About What I Said on Pinterest
*Follow So About What I Said on Instagram
*Follow So About What I Said via GFC (see right-hand sidebar...)

You can also Tweet about the giveaway -- just make sure to mention @melissablake + @jacarandagal in your Tweet!

A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, November 25th, so you've got a whole week to enter. Have fun, friends! xoxo

Wise Words From Readers: On why I love the holidays

The most wonderful time of year is upon us! Yes, I'm talking about the time of family, love, hot chocolate and general merriment. I'll admit that I've been a bit curmudgeon-y this year when it comes to the onset of Santa Season, saying a time or two, "What are these holiday commercials doing on so early?" Then we had the first sprinkles of snow last week, and it formed a pretty light dusting on the ground. So! Maybe I'll get excited sooner rather than later after all. And something tells me you're pretty excited too, friends...

*Getting everything done early so you can enjoy the holiday with family and friends at home by the tree and avoid the part is Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. All together!

*We don't celebrate the holidays much, but I do like driving around and seeing everyone else's decorations.

*Grand kids!

*This holiday season I'm most looking forward to spending time with my husband and our pets, playing board games and watching holiday movies!

*Making peanut brittle.

*Cozy morning with my husband and the boys, with presents and food and no rushing.

*Fire in the fireplace, twinkly lights, cozy. Seeing loved ones. The rush of successful performances and/or students' performances. Memories of going into Chicago with the family to see a show every Thanksgiving when we were growing up.
This year, I'm looking forward to decorating our tree over Thanksgiving, eating lots of my mom's almond cookies, seeing her sing in the church choir on Christmas Eve and UNPLUGGING for awhile to savor lots of family time. There's nothing like the three of us hunkering down in my mom's room and watching House Hunters and The Big Bang Theory -- those are the memories I'm going to look back on in 10 years and smile just thinking about them. Anyway, here's next week's question...

If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would do with your winnings and why?

Visit So About What I Said on Facebook and Twitter to share your smarts -- and don't forget to use hashtag #WiseWordsFromReaders. See you there, friends! :)

[Photos via We Heart It]

Etsy Love: Rose gold rings

I know this is probably my 545562884th time proclaiming my undying love for rose gold rings, but I just can't help it. They. Are. So. Beautiful. Honestly, I just can't seem to get enough of them and am constantly eyeing new ones to add to my collection. I'll have to do a video blog of my ring collection sometime, but in the meantime, here are six of my favorite rose gold-hued pieces, starting with the thin rose gold stacking ring, above...
Pink rose gold arrow ring
Black onyx square ring
Chevron stacking rings
Flower ring
Leaf ring

Your turn, friends: Which rose gold ring is your favorite? Are you a fan of the hue? Is it a color you wear a lot or not so much? I'd love to hear! And send me a photo ( or tweet me with the hashtag #RoseGoldRocks if you're so inclined! xoxo

Monday, November 17, 2014

So About What I Said's sixth birthday

I must confess: I forgot a very important blog-related milestone last week. I'm not exactly sure how I even missed it seeing as how I have a pretty photographic memory when it comes to birthdays and anniversaries. Seriously, ask me what I was doing in, say, April 1993, and I probably could tell you -- well, maybe not with 100% accuracy, but my batting average is still pretty good (is that the correct sports metaphor?).

But I digress. Anyway, as I was just about to settle into the weekend on Friday evening, it hit me. Like a pretty big ton of bricks, actually. Or a sucker punch to the heartstrings. Yes, more like a sucker punch to my very heartstrings. It was...

...wait for it...

...So About What I Said's sixth birthday!

SIX. YEARS. Let's just let that fact sink in for a moment, shall we?

I'm sure I've said this once or twice before, but I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by! I was a plucky lass in her twenties when I hit publish on that first entry in 2008. Initially, I honestly didn't think my blog would go anywhere or even be read by anyone outside of my immediate family. And I certainly didn't think it would be around some six years later. Where does the time go? Picture me saying that in my best curmudgeon-y grandfather voice! Three more things I never expected that have brought me such joy over the last six years...

1. Getting to explore my interests (and discover new ones!): I know it's hard to believe, but I was never really interested in fashion or beauty of any sort before I started blogging. Some may say I was even just a plane Jane. I'm not saying I'm Lady Gaga and wearing meat dresses now, but I'm learning how fun it is to experiment and discover your favorite trends and styles. Plus, I mean, polo shirts -- who doesn't love a good polo shirt?

2. Making so many amazing blogging friends: The blogging community never fails to amaze me. We're quite the force, aren't we? I feel honored that so many bloggers invite me into their lives with each new post and you're able to form such a unique connection. I feel like I've been on such a journey with some bloggers that I've read since the very beginning, and I can't help but smile when a new post shows up in my feed!

3. Writing through my issues: It's not secret that I've been pretty honest and vulnerable over the years. Some may think I've been a bit too open and honest, but from day one, my goal has been to ALWAYS be myself and to tell my story. So, really, I've never even considered being anything but honest, which is something I think people have connected with and related to their own lives. Writing about my disability, my depression and my father's suicide has helped me work through so many emotions. I can continuously feel my shoulders getting lighter and lighter, and I have this blog to thank for that.

And, speaking of posts, here are six of my all-time favorites...
*Three lessons from my sister
*Letters To My Future Husband: Letter #1
*Five questions I'd ask my father
*An Open Letter To You
*What I've learned about suicide
*MEMO TO MEN: My dating options?
I suppose all this blubbering boils down to this: Thank you, friends, for always sharing your stories and for always being who you are. It's a beautiful thing. Let's never stop doing that, OK? After all, we're all in this blogging journey together! I don't know about you, but I'm excited to see what's next! xoxo

Sponsor Spotlight: Rilla

I'm so excited to share my interview with Courtney from Rilla, the San Francisco-based shop named after Courtney's great-great grandmother. She prizes patterns, prints and textures when it comes to her new and vintage finds -- from dresses to tops to bags to jewelry. Plus, there's an entire Living section and a sale section of $30 and under finds. Read on for more of her inspirations, her shopping tips and a special discount for So About What I Said readers! xoxo

Keep in touch...
Official Web site: Rilla
Become a fan on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Instagram
Get inspired on Pinterest
Tell me about your shop. What's the inspiration behind its launch?
I’d had the idea in my head for quite some time, but I didn't actually pursue my vision until I had a trying personal year that basically kickstarted me into action. Basically, though, I wanted to have a creative outlet for myself and do something that I love, which is why I started Rilla. As far as the concept, I've always had a love for vintage clothing as well as bold and unique patterns. polka dots, stripes, crazy bold shapes and unique textiles. I've never been shy about that sort of thing. So, Rilla is a combination of two things about fashion that I love. I chose to carry a mix of new designers and vintage pieces because that’s in effect how I dress. A little bit high and low.

Your shop features so many inspiring finds. What inspires you the most?
Music and travel inspire me. Clothing is very much like music -- you can mix it up as your mood changes. When I travel, I get inspired by the people and scenery. I like to see what people wear in different countries and how styles differ. People watching is my favorite.

What are your top 3 tips for shopping online and finding great deals?
1. As far as online shopping, I use Pinterest a lot. Then, if I find myself coming back to a certain item multiple times, then I’ll usually buy it. Pinterest is also a good way to keep any eye on things you want to see if they are going on sale. 
2. Shop Vintage! When you do this, you are usually saving money, plus you’re getting something unique with some sort of story to it. And, very often, things were constructed so much better back in the day. More for your money, if you will. 
3. Find a few designers you love and buy something from them every season. There are a few designers I love that I try to buy at least one piece from each collection when it comes out if I can afford it. Often pieces like this become a centerpiece of your entire wardrobe for that season. Buy a quality pair of boots that you can wear with everything. Or an amazing jacket that is so unique you’ll wear it for years. Also, check designer Web sites at the end of the season and purchase the current season for 50% off and past seasons for up to 70% off. Trust me, they’ll still look good next year.
What are some of your favorite fashion and jewelry trends this fall?
I’m super into brass jewelry right now and things that look aged, either naturally or not. I love these necklaces by Osei-Duro made of recycled brass. In general, though, I’m loving anything oversized. Big jackets, oversized sweaters. So comfortable, and if you pair it right, it looks put together.
What is your favorite piece in your shop and why?
The Leah Goren scarves are to die for. So pretty.

**Bonus: Courtney is offering So About What I Said readers 25% off all orders from now through November 23rd. Just enter RILLAXO at checkout**
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