Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gold Disc Name Necklace Giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Himi from BlueSunflowers, the Vancouver-based shop specializing in gorgeously handcrafted jewelry and bridesmaids gifts. Himi found a home in 2010 with her Etsy shop, which features engagement rings, bridesmaids gifts, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and stacking rings. She gets to do what she loves every single day, creating pieces that sparkle and shine.

I am a single mom, raising my kids full-time, working from home every day," she says. "Surrounded by shiny, sparkling, beautiful jewelry. I couldn't be happier!" How awesome is that?

She's giving this Gold Disc Name Necklace to one lucky reader! The necklace hangs from a 17" chain, with a 16mm disc, and the best part? You get to personalize it with the name of your choice, a word, a nickname or any special word you wish! This disc will hold anywhere from 4-7 letters; your choice of word/name MUST be between 4-7 letters. As Himi describes, the necklace is "a beautiful, minimal yet statement piece." Yes, it most definitely would make the perfect fall accessory, don't you think, friends?

For your chance to win, simply visit BlueSunflowers, and leave a comment below, telling us what you'd pair the necklace with if you won.

For additional entries, you can (please leave a separate comment for each entry)...

*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 in your Tweet!

A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, September 3rd, so you've got a whole week to enter. Have fun, friends! xoxo

Style Guide: Too Cool for School

Yesterday, it was all about the brain -- all the tools you need to help you stay organized and succeed -- and today, it's all about the best looks for back-to-school. There are so many fun styles to choose from, but I've always been a fan of the crisp, simple look. Maybe that's why I love polo shirts so much? Here are my seven favorite fashion and beauty finds...

1. Short sleeve pink polo, $19.99.
2. Orange leather watch, $69.99.
3. Ice disc studs, $24.
4. Classic red lipstick, $4.97.
5. Sunglasses, $8.39.
6. Printed culottes, $68.60.
7. Initial necklace, $28.
Your turn, friends: What's your favorite back-to-school look? Understated? Bright and flashy? Lots of accessories? Share your favorites in the comments, and here's to a fashionable new you! xoxo

[Top photo via We Heart It]

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

10 Fun Back-To-School Supplies

Growing up, my favorite part of August (aside from my birthday, of course!) was always back-to-school shopping. Armed with a dream and list, I literally rolled up and down every single school supply aisle, occasionally running my hands over a glittery notebook or a colorful pack of pens.

The possibilities seemed endless, which, when you're full of all that youthful innocence, is just about the best gift in the world. Truth be told, I still love to shop the back-to-school section; school supplies are my version of a Louis Vuitton designer bag. Check out 10 of my favorite picks, from pencils to pencil cases...
1. A classic tote big enough to carry all those textbooks, $17.97.

2. This weekly/monthly planner so you don't miss any of the good stuff -- or any tests or papers -- $8.99.

3. Fun pencils to remind you to take care of yourself, $12.

4. These inspirational pens to keep you on track, $20.

5. This gold dots pencil case so you never lose the above pencils, $30.

6. File folders to match your gold pencil case, $16.

7. These notebooks for a daily dose of encouragement, $6.

8. A confetti iPhone case to put a little party in your phone convos, $18.

9. Flash drives with a fun pop of color to make you smile, $36.

10. ...and a pack of band-aids in the event of a broken heart or run-ins with mean girls, $4.25.

What's your favorite part of shopping for school supplies, friends? Do you organize everything days in advance or just throw it in your backpack on the first day? C'mon, it's time to fess up!! xoxo

[Top photo via We Heart It]

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"A time to build up, a time to break down...A time to dance, a time to mourn...A time to cast away stones...A time to gather stones together..." --The Byrds

[Photos via That Kind of Woman]

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

An Open Letter To Our Old Car (aka The Blue Bomber)

Dear Blue Bomber:
If you had asked me last week if I'd be writing this letter right now, I would have said you were crazy. But as we all know, life has a way of throwing us curve balls when we least expect it, so here we are.

There you are, above, in all your brilliant glory. You've been with us for nine whole years. You've become such an important part of our lives, and as the resident writer in our family, I feel that it's my duty to give you a proper send off. It's only fitting, really, and it's the least I can do.

You came to us in 2006 -- on my 25th birthday, to be exact. You were sleek and shiny and new; we all marveled at the promise you brought to our lives. Promises of new beginnings. Promise of new adventures. Promises of new memories. All these new things, not as a family of four, but as a family of three.

After all, you were the first car my mom bought after my father died. Granted, buying a new car had always been a partnership between my parents, but my father, being an engineer, naturally took the lead, asking the right questions, inspecting the car to a "T" and taking it for a proper test drive. So when it came to you, well, my mom was sort of in new territory. It would have been understandable for her to call upon one of my uncles, who would have been more than happy to offer advice and help her choose the perfect new set of wheels, but that's not how my mom rolls (pun intended!). That's most definitely never been her style. Instead, she took charge of the situation, and she amazed me so much. The way she was just so unafraid in the face of such an overwhelming decision? It was downright inspiring.

Little did we know that our first meeting would set the tone for our life together. We knew you were something special, which might be the reason we named you Blue Bomber. You were a fighter, a force of strength, and you needed a name that reflected that. You saw us through countless road trips to Alabama's Gulf Coast and to Ohio; you were also there for us when we just wanted to tool around town on a random Sunday afternoon when a frozen custard craving had us in its death grip. You helped us get through medical crises, like that one time when Stella got her head stuck in a kitchen chair and she scratched me when I tried to free her -- I had to go to the ER and take a round of antibiotics for that one. Or when my mom had her first colonoscopy. You don't mind me talking about your colonoscopy on my blog, do you, Ms. Bear? Ahh, such good times.

Like I said, you represented a new era for us. Sure, we may have been a bit unsure about it all, but you helped us find our footing. You helped us realize that, yes, we can make it, that we can do it and that we're on the right track. We needed that boost of confidence, so thank you for that.

As the years rolled on (again, pun intended...), so did you -- literally! You may be older now, with a few more dents and scrapes, but then again, so are we. We've all been battered and bruised a bit by life and its many twists and turns along the way. But we keep going because, really, what other option do we have? We can let life crumple and overwhelm us or we can continue to fight the good fight. If you ask me, I'd much rather continue to fight.
We were all sad when you began to break down last week. We knew the time had come for us to part, and although there's a new car (above) parked in our garage (welcome to the family, Captain Cobalt), let me be clear about one thing: Although we had to get a new car, you'll always have prime parking in our hearts. Your parking space will never be replaced.\

Goodbye, Blue Bomber. I'm sure you'll be just as good and reliable to your next owners. Make sure you treat them right and show them just as much dedication as you showed us. The highway of life can be one scary road. Thanks for taking us on this wild ride with you! xoxo

Vintage Photos from Oberlin College in 1970

As the old saying goes, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

I'd say these photos from Oberlin College definitely fit the bill. Aside from the obvious fashion differences (Bell-bottoms! Paisley shirts!), the students of yore could pass for today's youth. The only other major difference? There was a revolution going on: co-ed dorms were becoming the norm! Apparently, though, not much else has changed, which is sort of comforting when you think about it.

What was your college experience like, friends? Are you in college now? If so, what are you studying? If you could go back and change one thing about those pivotal years, what would you change and why? xoxo

[Via TIME]

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back-To-School: 8 Must-Have Desk Essentials

I just shared the above photo on Instagram. It's my new planner for the "new school year." I use quotes because, although I'm not technically in school anymore, the early fall will forever give me those first-day butterflies. It will always feel like a new beginning to me, the perfect time to hit "reset" and start over.

I almost feel like a Back-To-School superhero because that's sort of how I approach things. I feel empowered and ready to take on the world. And while I'm not completely well-versed in my superhero knowledge, I'm sure of one thing: Any good superhero would be nothing without their equipment.

To kick off our week-long celebration of all things Back-To-School, check out the eight must-haves on my wishlist for my desk (aka, the kitchen table!)...
1. "I Am Very Busy" planner because the title says it all -- and it comes with stickers AND colored monthly tabs, $20.

2. A framed print to keep you motivated throughout the day, $10.

3. This desk organizer because I'm *that* person whose papers end up scattered all over the place, from $28.

4. A minimalist oak magazine holder for storing all my "research," $59.

5. A small notepad for jotting down brilliant ideas (and the occasional Netflix pick...), $8.

6. This pretty gold stapler for when you run out of said paper clips, $28.

7. A special bullet pen in gold because everyone knows that fun writing depends on the instrument, $8.

8. ...and a cup holder so you don't lose all those pens and pencils, $38.

What do you think of these picks, friends? Is there anything else that you'd add? What's on your desk RIGHT NOW??? xoxo

P.S. More Back-To-School fun here and here. :)

Twitter Hashtag Talk: #SingleBecause

There's nothing I love more than an inspiring Twitter hashtag (hello, #HistoricalRealityTV!), so when I started seeing people tweeting about the single life a couple months ago, I was intrigued.

Did they have some wise knowledge to share? Yes! Here are a few more of my favorite gems, including some funny ones that had me chuckling all day...

What Twitter hashtags have you loved recently? How would you complete the #SingleBecause...? xoxo

P.S. I'd loooove to connect on Twitter, friends! You can follow me for lots of astute pop culture observations -- and the occasional polo shirt photo! :)

Man Candy Monday.

Happy Monday, friends, and welcome to a brand new week! Just think: It's a fresh start, a new beginning, a clean slate. We're celebrating all things back-to-school this week, and what better way to kick off the theme than with a man who is a true champion of education. He created the Department of Education. He's my mom's favorite president. And he has a warm and calming smile...

JIMMY CARTER!!!!!!!!!!

"We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams."

Friday, August 21, 2015

Have a fun weekend

TGIF, friends! How was your week? What are you doing this weekend? We plan on taking it easy and maybe taking a relaxing walk if the weather holds up. I'm also shamelessly excited about The Unauthorized Full House Movie on Lifetime! I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

Who's up for a getaway to Melbourne?

These white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles look delicious!

Congrats on the new blog design, Krysten! Everything looks beautiful.

Would have loved these pencils cases in high school.

Send your name to Mars without leaving your house!

The trick behind Mona Lisa's smile?

Yummy Alert! It's Neapolitan popsicles!

Great places for new moms to work.

Career Tip: Never eat lunch alone.

How to stay focused and productive when working from home.

On simplicity.

This Jim Henson documentary looks awesome!

Wouldn't you love to get married in Paris?

Never-before-seen photos from Charles and Diana's wedding.

The shockingly sad state of maternity leave in the U.S.

LOVE these state cutting boards.

Little girl asks Hillary about equality pay.

Terrified of public speaking? These tips might help.

Dream Home Do or Don't: Whimsical water faucets.

...and check out this spaceship home!

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

[Photo via We Heart It]
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