Friday, May 29, 2015

Have a breezy weekend

Happy weekend, friends! What are you doing this weekend? I've got a few spring cleaning projects that I've been putting off, but no more! I shall conquer them over the next two days! And speaking of the seasons, I've got a fun series planned for next week. Hint: It combines two of my favorite things -- summer and Etsy! In the meantime, I hope you all have a relaxing weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

What would you include in your travel journal?

7 products to help you make the most of summer.

Good advice on failure.

Can you pass this medical terminology quiz?

Random Trivia Alert: Fascinating facts that hardly anybody knows!

Do you agree with this work mantra?

We just started watching this show on Netflix this week and are loving it.

Try these unexpected places for blog inspiration.

Dream Vacation: America's most overlooked small cities.

Amazon is launching a handmade marketplace. #ShoppingAddict

It's Tina Fey and Amy action figures!!

Do or Don't: Food hats (via Swiss-Miss)

Playful farm wedding in California. So dreamy and romantic!

Couldn't have said it better myself.

This mom's to-do list tactic is awesome!

SO excited that Ireland voted YES on gay marriage.

Doesn't this cookies and cream cake look delicious?

I'm not sure what rock I've been living under, but I just discovered Miranda Sings...and I'm hooked!

The most anticipated TV shows of the summer.

...and how many of these underrated shows have you watched?

**Don't forget to enter the Svelte Basic Capris Giveaway! You've got until next Tuesday -- and lots of ways to enter!

P.S. In case you were wondering, I got a clean bill of tooth health!

P.P.S. I changed the commenting format to make it easier, so let me know if you have trouble with it! :)

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]

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Love Lounge: Saying Hello and Goodbye

I found this quote on Pinterest ages ago and have had it sitting in my drafts folder ever since. Seeing as how I tend to get pretty hung up on words and their meanings, the sentiment in this quote stuck with me.

For a long time, apparently.

It sort of reminds me of when we talked about the emotional power of the phrase 'I love you.' Just like those three words, 'hello' and 'goodbye' are incredibly charged with meaning, even to the point of being overwhelmingly so. I mean, think about it. You meet someone for the first time, and you find yourself needing to get over that first hurdle. One of you is going to have to say it first. Even if you're dying to meet this person (I'm looking at you, Mr. Melissa Blake), there's still that slight moment of nervous tension as you feel a lump forming in your throat and your mouth becoming completely dry. How do you find that little piece in your heart that wants to be the one to say it first? Where is that little piece that will ultimately -- both literally and metaphorically -- push you ever forward?

And on the other end of the spectrum? Well, I've never been a big fan of goodbyes and not just because of the supposed "ugly cry," which, by the way, is just an evil rumor because we all know that crying is never ugly. Goodbyes are heartbreaking in their finality. It's the end, once you realize that something is over or that you'll never see someone again, the weight of that can be quite enormous. Where do you go from there? How do you pick up all the pieces and move on? I've said a lot of goodbyes in my life -- some were welcomed and some were not -- and the hardest one will always be the goodbye I said to my father. Or rather, I should say that I was forced to say that goodbye.
And maybe that's my least favorite part of goodbyes. They can make you feel completely out of control, like someone has just hijacked the reins of your life and refuses to give them. We say goodbye, but sometimes, we don't have a say in when we say them. Does that make sense at all?

In the end, I can't help but separate all these pieces into two piles...

*Hellos are a new beginning; Goodbyes are the door closing shut forever.
*Hellos are leading to something; Goodbyes are a one-way down a dead-end road.
*Hellos give you hope; Goodbyes leave you feeling empty.
*Hellos are about saying goodbye to your past; Goodbyes are about saying hello to your future.

Whoa. #MindBlown.

Do you ever feel this way, friends? Which one do you think is harder to say? When was the last time you said 'hello' and the last time you said 'goodbye'? How did each make you feel? I'd love to hear about your experience! xoxo

Dream Vacation: Gardens of Marqueyssac

The Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac are a beautiful collection of gardens on the grounds of the 17th Century Chateau de Marqueyssac in France. The gardens, constructed high above the Dordogne River, contain more than 150,000 boxwood trees and form spectacular winding walking paths.

And, how cool are all those different shapes? Weekend road trip, anyone?? xoxo

[Via Haute Design]

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Confession: That Time I Became Afraid of Sharks

I'll tell you when it all started, friends. It all started with that mesmerizing mood music and a little fin gliding through the water. It looked like the makings of a quaint little movie about the sea, maybe about a band of misfit pirates and all their merry adventures.

Or rather, that music seemed cute and that fin seemed little at the time. Fast forward a few more minutes (those minutes seemed more like an eternity...), cut to a woman's legs, the sight of blood and, well, it all began to come together.

The Big Bad.


My past is full of traumatic shark encounters. I couldn't have been more than 8 years old when I saw the movie for the first time. I'm referring to the original JAWS movie here. The others scared and scarred me, to be sure, but there was nothing like the terror of that first one. The terror seeped into my bones and coursed through my blood (no pun intended...). And no, it didn't make it any easier to know that JAWS was a robotic shark; if a shark that big is opening its mouth with teeth that look that sharp, you best be thinking I'm not going to sit there and calmly say to myself, "Oh, it's OK. It only LOOKS real..."

Then when I was 13, I went on the JAWS ride at Universal Studios during my Make-A-Wish trip. Big. Mistake. It practically felt like I was IN the movie. A few years after that, there was a shark attack in the Gulf of Mexico while we were visiting my grandparents. Now, mind you, this was the SAME Gulf of Mexico I spent many an afternoon frolicking in -- well, used to frolic in, I suppose. Not anymore.

Suffice it to say, sharks have never been my "bae," as the hip young people might say.

Why this sudden and sharply focused reminder of my youthful trauma, you may ask? This year marks the 40th anniversary of the movie's theatrical release. It was one of the first movies I remember that left me completely terrified. I probably spent half the film with my eyes closed, peeking out only when that scary music wasn't playing. I've only seen it on television, so I can't even imagine how utterly haunting it must have been on the BIG screen!

You'd think that I'd be older and wiser by now, that I'd somehow outgrew my fear by now. Sadly, nope! The fire of fear still rages, and perhaps it always will. In fact, I've had JAWS 3 sitting on my DVR for more than six months now and still haven't watched it yet.

What's your 'JAWS,' friends? You know, those movies that leave their mark on you for life? Any irrational movie fears? Go ahead and leave your confessions in the comments. Let's commiserate together, shall we?!?!? xoxo

P.S. Three shark tees and behind-the-scenes movie photos! :)

Emotional Animated Short on Death

Get the tissues ready: I couldn't resist sharing this poignant short video on death. My mom shared it with us last night after she showed it in her grief group at school. It's one of those simple videos packed with a powerful message. As my mom said, "It's only two minutes, but delivers an important message as to what is important in life when all is said and done!" My thoughts exactly! xoxo

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real...There's just too much that time cannot erase..." --Evanescence

[Photos via My Summer Twist]

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Svelte Basic Capris Giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Svelte, the Canadian line of shapewear for women of all sizes. The brand began as a one-stop-shop for comfortable leggings, but they've quickly expanded to include shorts, skirts and tank tops, all of which would make for a perfect summer outfit.

"We wanted to create a product that was between suffocating shapewear and low-rise jeans, something comfortable that worked with your silhouette and still made you look nice," says founder Liliana Turecki. "This was the idea behind Svelte -- to create high-quality basics that flatter all body types and figures and remain cozy and easy to wear."

They're giving away a pair of their Basic Capris in blue ($63 value) to one lucky reader! The classic legwear is versatile and stylish with a high waist and can be dressed up or down. And the blue color goes perfectly with the upcoming summer months, don't you think?

For your chance to win, simply visit Svelte, and leave a comment below, telling us one thing you're looking forward to this summer!

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

*Fan Svelte on Facebook
*Follow Svelte on Twitter
*Follow Svelte 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 + @SvelteLeggings in your Tweet!

A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, June 2nd, so you've got a whole week to enter. Have fun, friends! xoxo

Disabilities In The Media: Toys For Kids With Disabilities

Growing up, I was obsessed with Emma, my favorite Cabbage Patch doll. At that time, there weren't many other dolls like me, so during one of my surgeries, my doctor put casts on both of Emma's legs. Sure, it was a relatively small gesture, but it made me happy to think, "HEY! Emma has glasses and casts just like me!"

Well, some 25 years later, it's nice to see a new line of dolls carrying on the tradition. It all started with Toy Like Me, a Facebook campaign advocating for more diversity in the toy industry, especially when it comes to children and disabilities. Parents also shared photos of the makeovers they gave their children's dolls to make them more relatable, and when Makies, a UK doll maker, got wind of the campaign, a new line of exclusive accessories was born! The dolls, which can come with accessories like hearing assistance devices and walking aids, can also be customized according to skin tone, hairstyle and facial features.
And the best news? Makies is now working on a character that uses a wheelchair! What a wonderful doll! It's so important for children with disabilities to feel included and feel like they're represented, and these dolls would really help them cope. They'd have something to comfort them as they go through all those scary medical moments.

Aren't these dolls awesome, friends? I love the prospect of a simple doll breaking down disability stereotypes and myths. This could be the ultimate teaching tool. Way to go, Makies! xoxo

P.S. More disability inspiration: Push Girls, child with disability on Parents magazine cover, superhero window washers, disability PSA, Miss You Can Do It and models in wheelchairs hit the catwalk!

[Via Jezebel]

Family Photos: Good Day Sunshine!

I'm heading to the dentist this morning (cross your fingers for pearly white health!), but I wanted to share a couple of fun photos from over the weekend. My heart's swelled every time I spot green -- a color I've been spotting a lot of lately!

My mom's perfecting her selfie game, while I'm beating her at the Yahtzee game!
And what Family Photos post would be complete without Harry and Stella? They loved snuggling right next to each other...

How was your Memorial Day weekend, friends?!?!? Anything exciting happen? All I can say is, "HELLOOO, SUMMER!!!!!!" It's going to be a good one -- I can feel it... xoxo

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sponsor Spotlight: RedBD Bridesmaid Dresses

With the start of wedding season just around the corner, get ready for all things fashion, color palettes and love. Daisy from RedBD is zeroing in on one of those trends. The UK-based fashionista designs dresses for brides and bridesmaids, and with years of experience under her belt, she knows a thing or two about planning the perfect day. Read on for more of her tips and inspiration! xoxo

Keep in touch...
Official Web site:
Become a fan on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Get inspired on Pinterest

Tell me about your shop. What's the inspiration behind its launch?
I graduated from fashion designing college in 2005 and have been designing dresses for brides and bridesmaids for 8 years. I found that more and more new couples are choosing pink or red as their wedding theme. And the brides are trending to choose red or pink dresses for their girls. I founded RedBD on the premise that Being Perfect is Equally Important for Both Brides & Bridesmaids.

Your shop features so many inspiring finds. What inspires you the most?

1). FREE Professional Advice: You can get professional suggestions on choosing dresses for brides or bridesmaids from our wedding planning adviser.

2). Custom-Made Service: RedBD offers shades of red bridesmaid dresses, including finished standard-size and custom-made size according to your body shape. This is also free.

3). High quality & Affordable Price: RedBD ONLY offers high-quality dresses in affordable price because we understand the importance of the day. For most of new couples or ladies, limited budgets don't allow for the expensive luxuries. We also offer a wide selection of bridesmaid dresses for under $100.

What are your top 3 tips for wedding shopping and finding great deals?

1). Dresses should be suitable for your wedding theme and color.

2). Choose dresses according to the body shapes.

3). Take the weather condition into account.

What are some of your favorite wedding trends right now? What really makes a summer wedding stand out from all the rest?
Beach weddings or garden weddings. I love beautiful scenery as the wedding background! Also, bright bridesmaid dresses, special wedding decoration can also set your wedding apart!
What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
Just a simple dress, but this style is never out of fashion. And I love this color!
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