Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"Closing time...Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..." --Semisonic

[Photos via My Summer Twist]

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In The Pursuit of Happiness: Jennifer Lopez on love and dating

I've always admired Jennifer Lopez for her powerhouse personality and even bigger powerhouse set of pipes. She's never been afraid to be herself, even in the face of some harsh critics and a very public divorce. So when J.Lo speaks, what do you do? You just shut your mouth and listen, naturally.

She recently spoke to SELF magazine about love and learning to be alone. And her thoughts of a certain "C" word? Well, it's pretty much everything I've been thinking. Forever. And ever.
"All the old clichés about women need to be undone. Enough already. We're in the other position now. We are desirable older; we can date younger guys, and it's not this big taboo! Men have been doing this for years, and it's no big deal. Enough with the clichés about women."
Well said, Ms. Lopez. I've talked about the Cougar taboo a time or two before, and it's still something that truly baffles me. There's such a double standard between men and women when it comes to love and dating, and I often wonder if that gap will ever be bridged. Or, are we destined to love on opposite sides of said gap for eternity? What do you think, friends? xoxo

Adorable wooden dolls

I find Donna Wilson's wooden dolls oddly mesmerizing for some reason. The hand-painted dolls were inspired by Wilson's journeys to Japan and Scandinavia and are modeled after people she has known in her real life. Aren't they adorable, friends? They'd fit perfectly on a bookcase or perched on a bedside table, don't you think? I love Glen's little tie!! xoxo

Monday, January 26, 2015

MEMO TO MEN: Four things more important than looks...

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: More than looks...
DATE: January 26th, 2015
Well, boys, let it never be said that I'm a shallow person. You should know me better than that by now. After all, I've laid my heart at your feet for some six years now, and, in the words of today's hip teens, I always tried to "keep it real" with you. Because I think you deserve nothing less than the honest truth.

We're sent so many mixed messages: Pretty people get ahead, beauty is only skin deep, don't judge a book by its cover. I'll be the first to admit that said mixed messages can easily play with your head. They can start to swirl around, spinning faster and faster, until you're dizzy and can't see straight. It can make things frustrating. It can make things complicated. It can even make things a bit heartbreaking.

But! You're in luck, boys, because I have my own little not-so-secret secret to share: I'm going to fall in love with who you are far quicker than what you look like. What, you don't believe me? Oh, ye of little faith. Over the years, I've discovered four things that are far more important than looks...

1. Your dazzling personality: This includes things like your sense of humor, your gentleness and your kind-hearted spirit. I need to be able to connect with you on that deeper level that goes way beyond the physical.

2. Your relationship with your family: You can tell a lot about a guy -- or anyone, really -- by how close he is to his family. If you've been estranged for year, well, that raises more than a few red flags for me. A man who loves his family is aces in my book!

3. Your passions: I want you to be excited...about something! Maybe it's your career. Maybe it's your Fantasy Football picks. Maybe it's a new hobby. Whatever it is, embrace it fully. Everyone needs to find some passions in life. These passions can make all the difference in the world -- not just to you, but to everyone around you.

4. Your sexy brain: This should be a no-brainer -- pun intended! Your brain is your biggest asset, so make sure you use it wisely and often. Let's have long, lingering conversations, but let's not be afraid to tease each other with witty, flirty jokes.
The overall lesson here: It's all about the long haul with me, and a big part of that is that deep connection we make. I hope that connection is as important to you as it is to me. What four things would make your list, boys? xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

Found: 6 motivational posters

Have I ever told you how obsessed I was with Friday Night Lights back in the day? I never missed an episode, and Coach Taylor never failed to inspire me week after week. Even though most of his advice was directed at his band of rag-tag football players, so much of his sage wisdom could also be applied to life in general...

This is just the sort of motivation I needed on a Monday! Do you have a favorite quote, friends? Were you a big fan of the show? xoxo

[Via BuzzFeed]

Sponsor Spotlight: Aristocrafts

I'm a sucker when it comes to little details at weddings -- you know, those sweet touches from the bride and groom that seem to put a personal stamp on their wedding. I've always found it to be such a romantic gesture, which is probably why I love designer Monica's Etsy shop Aristocrafts so much. The Madrid-based boutique specializes in all things wedding, such as custom-made wedding handkerchiefsbridal hair accessories, bridesmaids gifts, groomsmen gifts and even Christmas winter wedding accessories. And the pretty icing on the cake? All the accessories are accented with Swarovski crystals, pearls, feathers and beautiful laces. How awesome is that? Read on for more about the launch of Aristocrafts, online shopping tips and Monica's favorite winter wedding trends! xoxo

Keep in touch...
Official Web site: Aristocrafts
Tell me about your shop. What's the inspiration behind its launch?
Aristocrafts is a couture vintage-inspired bridal accessories shop. All the designs, creation, photos and shipping are done entirely by my hands. Ever since I was a little girl, I've had a soft spot for handkerchiefs and their delicate nature, but always regretted that with the modern days, handkerchiefs seemed to become more plain and functional, losing their elaborate beauty. I also wasn't satisfied with the fact that if I wanted to have a beautiful hanky, it had to be a vintage one, as I couldn't help but imagine how it was back in those days when the lady who owned the handkerchief opened it from a pretty new box and placed it in her purse for the first time, or carried it down the aisle on her wedding day for the happiest tears of her life.

So in 2011, inspired by a beautiful vintage handkerchief that I received as a gift, I decided to design and make a few handkerchiefs for the vintage-loving bride and opened my shop on Etsy. My first handkerchief sold in less than two weeks after opening, and the rest is history.

Over the years, researching about antique eras and in old wedding magazines, I discovered numerous other vintage products that captured my attention, so I began expanding my product lines to lockets, pouches, hair accessories, garters, cuff links and pocket squares. My shop has evolved since those first bridal handkerchiefs, and I can't wait to see what the future will bring!

Your shop features so many inspiring finds. What inspires you the most?
The European aristocratic life of eras gone by, nature and, of course, love stories.

What are your top 3 tips for shopping online and finding great deals?
I live in Spain, and I love online shopping as it opens many opportunities of sourcing out unique finds from all around the world, from foreign language books to vintage laces. My tips are...
1. Read the description of the item from A to Z. It really helps to make an informed purchase.
2. If you still have questions, don't hesitate to contact the shop owner.
3. Take the time to research. Sometimes the item you are looking for isn't on the first two pages of your search results; it may be waiting for you on page six.

What are some of your favorite wedding trends for the winter?
I always imagine a winter wedding as Victorian elegance in shades of silver or gold, a white fur wrap and muff for the bride and a dashing over coat for the groom.
What is your favorite piece in your shop and why?
I love all the pieces in my shop dearly. Hand-making my items makes me feel connected to each piece. If I had to choose one, I would say my Royal All Lace Hanky. I think it's one of the items that best represents my love for the days gone by and Aristocrafts' aesthetics.

Man Candy Monday.

Well, friends, can you believe it's the last week of January? ACK! Where does the time go? Today's guy is an oldie but a goodie. He one ruled the silver screen. He was the utmost in suave. And he was deep with intensity and all sorts of mystery...

ROCK HUDSON!!!!!!!!!!

"I'm notorious for giving a bad interview. I'm an actor and I can't help but feel I'm boring when I'm on as myself."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Have a lovely weekend

Happy Friday, friends! What are you up to this weekend? I've so been enjoying reading all your responses to the Reader Survey 2015, and don't forget -- there's still time to take it. Also, feel free to email me at mellow1422 (at) aol (dot) com with your thoughts if you'd like. Would love to hear from you! I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

Seriously lusting after Jordan's PINK bathroom!

How cute are these mini cookies on a straw?

This dad turned his entire house into...

Now I'm dying to see The Theory of Everything.

Dream Home: All of this.

What do you think about bloggers covering controversial topics?

Henry David Thoreau on the art of walking.

Pop quiz: Can you answer these basic anatomy questions?

One writer on her childless regrets.

Would you try any of these movie-themed wedding ideas?

So many pink balloons, so little time.

Loving this collection of quirky household items.

Homemade Twix bars, anyone?

These conversation heart napkins are making me excited for Valentine's Day!

Oh, I most definitely need this t-shirt.

Good questions to ask about a company's culture during a job interview.

My mantra -- I seem to have a lot of them!

Yay, Humans of New York raises more than $400,000 for inner-city students.

The case against white wedding dresses...

...and six ways to wear black wedding dresses.

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

["Sleep In" print by Kate Spade Saturday, via West Elm]

Apple pie popsicles

The Friday links are coming up this afternoon, but I couldn't resist sharing this gem I just came across. Apple. Pie. Popsicles. Don't they sound delicious? xoxo
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