Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Update: Big Blog Move (and...How Are You??)

Well, hello there, friends!! It's nice to see you again...I've missed you SO much these past couple weeks! How have you been?

As you can probably imagine, I've been working hard at getting things ready for the Big Blog Move -- remember how So About What I Said is getting its own domain? There's a lot of planning and perfecting that goes into the process, and I'm so fortunate to be working with a designer who is helping me through every step. She'll be sending me mock-ups later today -- we've had to tweak a few things with the layout/design -- and once I approve everything, she'll migrate my blog over to its new home!!


So, to take my mind off everything, let's play a little game, shall we?? I call it "5 Things I've Done Lately" because, well, I'm terrible at coming up with catchy titles. Let's chat about what we've been up to these last few weeks! I'll get the ball rolling...

1. Enjoyed two weekends in a row with my cousins! I hadn't seen them in a few years and it was WONDERFUL to catch up!

2. I got my first acceptance for Glamour magazine's Web site!! I'll be writing a disability/pop culture essay -- look for it soon!

3. We lived it up fall-style in the good old Midwest in the best possible way -- by going to the apple orchard!! We last went in 2010, so we were due for another fix. And yes, lots of photos will be coming your way in a future blog post!

4. I took advantage of EARLY VOTING yesterday and couldn't be more excited about this election! #ImWithHer #StrongerTogether

5. My mom bought Spot-It a few weeks ago and now I'm over-the-moon obsessed with it! Have you ever played it? I highly recommend it -- but don't say I didn't warn you about it addictive quality!

Are you game, friends? What have you been up to lately? I hope everything is going well in your neck of the woods...and be sure to share your "5 Things..." in the comments! It won't be long now until I'll be back to regular posting...on my own site!!! Ahhhh, that still doesn't seem real...I am SO excited!! Thanks, as always, for being so patient. You know how much I love you all... xoxo

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

So About What I Said Is Getting a New Home!

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen me allude to a VERY exciting announcement. You'd better be sitting down for this. I'm serious. Pull up a chair. Are you ready?? This is big, I'm telling you!

So About What I Said... moving to a self-hosted Wordpress blog!

Translation (mostly for my mom): The blog is getting its own domain!!!

For the last 8 years, this blog has been my sweet haven -- it's literally been my happy place and my sanity at times, too. I'm sure all bloggers say this, but I honestly can't remember my life before blogging and I don't know where I'd be today without it. This space has helped me discover who I am, who I'm not and even who I want to become. It's advanced my writing career by leaps and bounds. And of course, it's helped me connect with SO MANY amazing people from all over the world.

That's where you come in, friends! Because let's be real, So About What I Said wouldn't be what it is today without all of you; you're just as much a part of things as I am -- and you know I wouldn't have it any other way!!! I mean, we've been through a lot together, haven't we? We've laughed. We've cried. We've even contemplated in earnest the merits of One Direction...if you can't do that among friends, then what's the point, you know?

I'll be working on getting everything organized and ready for the big move (who knew I could amass so many drafts and random links in only 8 years...?) in the coming weeks, but I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts as well -- and I know you've got them because, HELLO, you're awesome and amazing! Did I mention that lately?? Well, you are! Here are some questions to get your thoughts rolling and the creative juices flowing...
1. What design/aesthetic changes would you like to see on the new site?
2. What content changes would you like to see?
3. What suggestions do you have for a smooth transition (because, frankly, my stress eczema is *thisclose to flaring up big time!)?
I'm beyond exciting for this move, as you can probably imagine, but you know me...I wouldn't be me if I wasn't terrified just a little bit. That's perfectly normal, isn't it? Maybe I just need to up the dosage on my eczema cream?

Anyway, let me know your thoughts to the above questions, either in the comments or by email at As always, I thank you all for sticking by me all these years...I LOVE YOU! Now let's go on a new adventure together, OK...?? xoxo

[Photo via We Heart It]

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"Oh, who wrote the Book Of Love...I've got to know the answer...Was it someone from above..." --The Monotones

[Photos via That Kind of Woman]

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My Essay on The Establishment: "An Open Letter To Fellow Suicide Survivors"

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, but like millions of Americans, I don't have the luxury of just "observing" it for a single day. It's something I've lived with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since 2003 -- the year my father committed suicide.

The numbers are staggering: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention estimates that 42,000 Americans die from suicide every year and is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Add in the number of loved ones left behind in the wake of suicide and that number goes from staggering to crippling.

It's those left behind who shoulder such an unbearable burden. I've felt like grief would consume me at times over the last 13 years, and all kinds of questions have swirled around in my head...

--Did my father really think we'd be better off without him?
--Would he be proud of the woman I've become?
--What life advice would he give me if he were still here?

I was able to give voice to these questions in my new essay "An Open Letter To Fellow Suicide Survivors On World Mental Health Day" for The Establishment. The piece went up yesterday, and I couldn't be more happy with it. I know I sometimes post about trivial, fun things, but this type of writing -- this confessional, from-the-soul writing -- is truly where my heart is at at the end of the day. It's a healing way of looking at very heartbreaking and traumatic events in my life.

Here's an excerpt of the essay, which is one of my recent favorites...
I grew up against the sprawling backdrop of the cornfields, in a college town 75 miles west of Chicago. Despite my physical disability, my father made sure that I had a normal childhood—the kind that feels like the perfect home movie when you look back years later as an adult. We chased lightning bugs in the summer and sledded down snow hills in the winter.
Life was simple.
The idea that a loved one died so unexpectedly and so violently shakes you to the very core of your being, and as much as you may wish to deny it, you’ll never be the same person ever again. I never really understood this until I grieved my father. Slowly, however, I realized that not only was I grieving my father’s death, but I was also grieving the loss of my “old life.”
I think, in the end, the real journey I’m on is learning to say goodbye to my old life, not just learning how to say goodbye to my father. It’s important to remember that sometimes, I—you, we—need to try saying hello to our new lives, if just to see how it feels.
You can read the full essay here and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at and let's chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can't wait to hear from you! Love you all... xoxo

Fall Favorite #5: Leaf-Inspired Jewelry

If there's one thing I've learned about fall fashion over the years, it's that it doesn't lend itself to bright, flashy colors. Gone are the loud statements of summer, quickly being replaced by the subdued tones of autumn.

And with the shift in style comes a more delicate, gentle feel, especially where jewelry is concerned. Obviously, I'm a big fan of this trend! Here's what I'm talking about, in six Etsy picks I'm fall-ing for (get it??)...starting with these gold Grecian leaf earrings, $45...
Leaf bangle, $14.95
Maple leaves brooch, $16
Gold leaf ring, $48
Tiny rose gold leaf necklace, $29
Rustic ring, $28

Aren't they beautiful, friends? Which one is your favorite? xoxo

Thursday, October 06, 2016

BIC Office Supplies Giveaway!

Oh, friends!! I've been dying to share today's giveaway with you! For the fifth year in a row, I'm partnering with BIC for an Office Supplies Extravaganza Giveaway! BIC has become synonymous with all things writing, from pens to pencils to highlighters to colorful erasers, but it's their Fight For Your Write campaign, which highlights and celebrates the importance of handwriting and writing in general -- obviously, something I hold VERY near and dear to my heart! Where would I be -- or, who would I be -- without writing in my life?? Scary thought.

Writing is an important vehicle for communication because it distinguishes us and promotes individuality. Did you know that writing is also a critical learning tool for children? Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Together, we want to show children just how great writing can be...and how great they can be!

So, to encourage the writer in you (we've ALL got one, trust me!), BIC is giving one lucky reader a bonanza of office goodies! Check out everything you'll win...

BIC’s 2016 Back-To-School Line Up:

--BIC XTRA Fun #2 Pencils with Stripes: The latest #2 pencils from BIC now come in a variety of bright, two-toned color barrels with stripes!

--BIC Velocity Side Clic Mechanical Pencils: BIC’s newest Velocity pencils feature smooth, dark leads and come in variety of translucent, vibrant colors.

--BIC Atlantis (Color, black and blue ink packs): Comfortable, rubber grip offers a bold, vivid writing experience. Even smoother than BIC classic ink system!

--BIC 4-Color Stylus and Pen: The beloved BIC 4-Color Pen is getting an upgrade in 2016 with the addition of a lightweight stylus!

--BIC Brite Liner Flex Tip Highlighter: The new, flexible tip technology makes highlighting fun and easy!

BIC Office Supplies Giveaway! We'll be using Gleam this time around for entering. For your chance to win, simply visit BIC, and leave a comment below telling us your FAVE office supply. See above for LOTS of extra chances to win. A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, October 20th, so you've got a whole two weeks to enter. Have fun, friends! xoxo

**Please note: The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

(Thanks again to BIC for sending me an awesome Back-To-School package and thank you for continuing to support So About What I Said's wonderful sponsors!)

Update: Congrats to winner Tiesha! Thanks so much! :)

Fall Favorite #4: Voila, Velvet...

What's the first thing that pops in your head when you hear the word 'velvet'? Something smooth? Silky? Even buttery, perhaps? OK, maybe that last one's just me -- I mean, it is almost lunch time, right?

I also think of that song called "Blue Velvet" -- the oldie by Bobby Vinton, not the newer version by Lana Del Rey. You know, the one from 1963 that goes...

She wore blue velvet
Bluer than velvet was the night
Softer than satin was the light
From the stars

Now that I have romantic visions of starry nights dancing in your head, what do you think of the velvet trend for fall? Editors in the know from InStyle to Fashionista are throwing around phrases like "hottest textile" and "fabric of our lives" with wild abandon, and after scouting out some classic street style photos, I'm starting to think they've got a point here! The colors are just dark, rich and moody enough to set the perfect tone. I don't know about you, but I'm sold!

What's the verdict on velvet, friends? Is it a thumbs up or thumbs down? A fashion DO or DON'T?? Anything it should definitely not be worn with? xoxo

[Photos via StyleCaster and WhoWhatWear]

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Fall Favorite #3: Rose Gold Hair

Have you heard about the newest hair trend for fall? I had to do a double-take when I first saw it because it seemed pretty wild and crazy.

Rose gold.

We've seen the trend on jewelry and it's become one of my favorites in recent years, but...on hair? What would that even look like? I was imagining freakishly glowing locks that blind you like the sun's rays or maybe some kind of platinum knock-off. I wasn't all too sure, but I knew one thing: I was intrigued. Very.

Refinery29 even made predictions on its longevity, saying...
"Now, the concept may not seem new, as Emma Roberts debuted a Coachella-ready “desert rose” back in March and Ashley Tisdale tried the color in May. But actresses aside, we’re predicting the trend will have very long legs. Why? The hue — which most closely matches the light that’s cast at the start of a Malibu sunset — looks good on everyone, and is as easygoing as it appears."
Don't believe me?? Here are some of my favorite incarnations of the rosy-hued trend...
Side braid
Floral bun
Braided bun

Gorgeous, right? I like to think I was sort of, kind of, maybe ahead of this trend -- you know, with my naturally darker rose gold hair color. Or, as Janelle says, my copper hair.

Would you try this trend, friends? Do you like it? It's definitely an original look, that's for sure...something that would certainly turn a few heads as you walk down the street like one of those models in the shampoo commercials! xoxo

P.S. Pretty ponytails, fall hair accessories and how I learned to love my red hair! :)

[Top photo via New Beauty]

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"Your love, lifting me higher...Than I've ever been lifted before..." --Jackie Wilson

[Photos via That Kind of Woman]

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Tuesday Tunes: Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'"

Editor's Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.

As I was brushing my teeth last night, I got to thinking about this week's tune and inspiration struck -- is that always how it is?? I usually get all my best ideas at the most random times!

Anyway, I wanted to think of a way to feature a fashioned-themed song today, and I thought of a song I LOVED growing up. You know I've always been a sucker for the classic oldies and one classic stood out above the rest. It stomped out all the competition, if you will (pun intended!)...

Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'"
From Boots

"Boots" is just one of those songs that paints such a powerful image. Years before I ever saw videos or photos of Nancy Sinatra, I pictured this strong woman, hellbent on getting revenge on a former love. She was a scorned woman and she desperately wanted to make her ex see -- and feel -- exactly as bad as she felt. She made no apologies, gave no excuses or even seemed to hesitate in her decision; she was just fiercely determined and, well, knew what she had to do. And do it she did! For the whole world to see. I figure this song was like Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" for the the generation of early feminists. Could that be why I relate so strongly to it, even as far back as when I was an early teen and wanting so much to assert myself and who I was??

You keep saying you've got something for me
Something you call love, but confess
You've been a-messin' where you shouldn'ta been a-messin'
And now someone else is gettin' all your best
Well, these boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

I'm utterly obsessed with the feisty grit here. There's something so freeing about throwing caution to the wind and knowing that you're done believing the lies and pretending that nothing is wrong. Something is very wrong and what's even more infuriating is that the other person would take you for a fool. I've been there before. I've had people not take me seriously -- you know, they look at me, see that I appear rather mild, diminutive and harmless, and think that they can pull one over on me. As if that would be the easiest thing in the world, they think. And then?


I surprise them with just how tough I am -- not with any sort of violence, of course, but with my firm convictions and solid sense of self. Does this remind you of anyone? Some certain Anonymous comments, perhaps? Yes, they may think they have the power to break me, but little do they know that they have another thing coming. It's worse than anything they could ever imagine -- it's pure, unadulterated ME.

You keep lyin' when you oughta be truthin'
You keep losing when you oughta not bet
You keep samin' when you oughta be a'changin'
What's right is right but you ain't been right yet
These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

Haven't you ever had that moment where all the frustration, all the disappointment just boils over and you know you need to make a change -- and fast? I think we all have our limits, you know? What may be acceptable to one person might be completely out of the question for someone else. It's not necessarily the case where one is right and the other is wrong; in fact, I think it's sort of like life in that it is far too subjective to be the same for everyone across the board.
Because when you really think about it, there comes a point in life where you have to BE YOUR OWN PERSON and stand up for yourself, whether it's in a romantic relationship or in any relationship. It's empowering to finally believe in yourself and have the confidence to stand on your own two feet -- or sit up straight in your wheelchair, as is the case with you, if you get my meaning. People will come and go from your life, but there's only one "you" and you have to protect that, you know? You owe it to yourself and everything that you are and everything that you can be. So, go forth and strut proudly in those boots. After all, you certainly deserve it, don't you think? You're worth it!
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin