Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update


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UK Update | Two Weeks Down

 

The remains of Canterbury Castle

The remains of Canterbury Castle

Our life in the UK has become much easier as we’ve settled into a semi-routine, discovered our favorite cafes and met a couple people. While we have become more comfortable, there are still quite a few issues we are working to sort out, so there is still a feeling of restlessness between us.

Canterbury is a gorgeous city with lovely parks and historical buildings at every turn. We are still in awe that we live here! Canterbury is actually a very tourist/university-driven location, so us being Americans don’t cause us to stick out at all. Taylor has met Canadian, French, German and Bohemian students and teachers. Go to any cafe and the possibility of hearing at least two or three different languages around you is quite high.

Of course living in a tourist and college town does have its downfalls we will need to acclimate ourselves to, such as having droves of people visit the city centre each weekend and the normally peaceful evenings turning into loud nights each Saturday due to students.

We are currently continuing to live in our tiny flat, however we reserved a flat that will hopefully be ours very soon. Waiting on hearing back from the realtor is making us even more restless, but the flat currently has people living in it that aren’t due to leave until the 16th of October so we just need to be patient.

Thankfully our money situation has improved, as well.  We were able to sign up for a UK bank and received a debit card recently, although we’re being sparse with our money as we  want to have as much as possible in the bank ready to be delivered to the new flat if we are able to obtain it.

We have slowed down on being ‘touristy’ to save money, although we did visit the Canterbury Castle recently. We plan on visiting the gorgeous Canterbury Cathedral that I love snagging photos of, we just haven’t been able to make time to visit.

The Fun Stuff:

We’ve started drinking A LOT more tea. At cafes you get an entire pot of tea for half the price of a coffee, and tea bags are much cheaper. I love tea!

Though some groceries offer an ‘American’ section, we’ve yet to find one, although Uncle Ben’s ready-made rice meals are very popular over here.

Eating at restaurants is very different. We have had several meals where our waiter wouldn’t come back to our table! We would sit there not eating for 5,10,15 minutes to no avail. At first it was surprising and confusing until we realized that, unlike in America, waiters are not supposed to bring the check (or bill) until they are waved over. We are quite used to being handed the bill without asking for it, but it is considered rude to do that over here.

Slang and Phrases
‘You’re having a laugh’ -meaning – ‘You must be joking’
‘That’s not bad’ -meaning- ‘That’s good’
‘Quite good’ -meaning- ‘A bit disappointing’
‘Takeaway’-meaning-‘Take out’, ‘to go’, or ‘delivered’
‘Go to hospital’ – a normal phrase used instead saying ‘go to THE hospital’
‘Watch the football’ – as opposed to ‘watch football’ (without ‘the’)–and of course football is soccer
‘Redneck’ – they think it means anyone from the South!

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Happy Blog-iversary!

Today is my ‘8 year’ blog-iversary. I wish I could say I had 8 years of riveting posts, but I can’t say that I do.

I’ve used this blog (under two different names) as a means to journal and share creativity. I haven’t always needed that outward form of expressing myself, so there are many empty moments through the archives. However, I thought I’d share some interesting times in my life as I go through college, marriage and career changes in the span of 8 (more like 5-6) years.

2009: One year into college, 2009 is the year I really start blogging!

I discover my love of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s fashion and get my first non-restaurant job. 

I am faced with the horrible choice of being forced to get my first touch screen and data-mandatory phone! (Back when phones were phones)

I realize I want graphic design to be my career.

I made many, many t-shirt d.i.y.’s. This one is a dress from a 4XL t-shirt. 

I get engaged in a surprise photoshoot.

2010: The year I decided to link my Tumblr and Twitter to my blog and almost all my posts have NO TITLE. What an archiving nightmare.

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I realize what a hoarder I am

I get super into Photoshop (some more)

I made my brother this adorable Max from Where the Wild Things Are costume

I get into photography.

I get obsessed with fashion photography and move to Chictopia for. a. while.

2011: I graduated college (mid-2010) and move somewhere with no Internet until I got married so I

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Post about my bridal portraits

Self-designed wedding invitations

Getting Ready

My awesome wedding party

A beautiful ceremony

And the reception (that I starved at)

2012: Working at an exhausting daycare job and feeling so creatively unfulfilled, I began blogging again!

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I opened an etsy store selling vintage purses. This later turned into designing flyers

I tried blogging something more meaningful for the first time on the blog. (I’m still struggling with this, but I have so much to say these days that the hard topics must be given a voice!)

I got a job as a secretary which quickly moved into managing websites! 

I started noticing some sad realities in my life. Mainly the gradual decline of friendships and relationships. 

I tried my hand at d.i.y. journals!

2013: The year I blog fairly consistently! 

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I start (and fail to finish) and 365 day Photo Challenge

I tried (and fail to succeed) to organize my blog

I hint at all the friendship struggles I was having (but still try to remain positive and not get too deep)

I try my hand at recipes! Yum! & Coffee

I “win” a fun blogging award and answer questions about myself!

My husband graduates with his Master’s degree and I realize what that means for us

I finally get promoted from managing websites to managing and designing websites! Finally using that college degree to the fullest extent! Except, my creativity for blogging leaves me. 

I learn the hard way about friendships. And, of course, give a vague nondescript version of the story.

2014: After a short lull (only like 6 months, no big deal!) I decide to start blogging again! 

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I’m trying to find my focus for 2014. I love d.i.y. and photography projects, but I really want to try my hand at writing more serious posts. I’m a quiet person and have let that affect my opinions on topics, so as not to offend or hurt feelings, but I don’t think that’s a good reason to keep quiet anymore. I hope I can find my path as I begin this blogging thing over again. Every year seems like I’m starting over, because I’m just trying to find my way. Here’s the beginning: 1, 2, 3


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Insecurities and How Mine are the Bomb

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Looking back, my journey with naturally curly hair has been a big battle. Curly hair is so difficult to manage, and when I was a kid, it seemed  the “only” way to manage it was by hiding it completely under a fog of de-frizzers and heat or chemical-straightening options.

In fact, my pre-teen years were spent thinking my hair would just eventually ‘calm’ down as I aged. I had no idea what adulthood (and arguably reality) actually looked like.

My teenage years were spent straightening my hair as much as possible. I didn’t understand my natural hair and it was frustrating that no matter how carefully I followed the (sans heat) steps to “sleek, straight hair”, all I got was brushed out fluffy, frizz.

Eventually, I learned a few tricks of the trade which got me past the wear-it-in-a-low-bun phase, but just because I learned how to better manage my hair doesn’t mean I understood my unique texture. Maybe partly because of all this:

2005 Seventeen Magazine Covers

These Seventeen magazines, circa 2005, were my teenage go-to’s. Maybe once or twice a year there would be an article on ‘curly’ hair, but the model clearly did NOT have curly hair, merely shiny, soft curling-iron curls. (Probably something that fueled my naive hope to “grow up” and get calmed, sleek beautiful waves.) I never saw anyone else with the type of hair I had, except my family members.

Honestly, the hair in these magazines aren’t even the biggest issues, though, which is kind of the point of my attempt at airing out my own insecurities. Just look at those magazine captions. Was I the only one who was disappointed when their oh-so-helpful tips and tricks for ‘Perfect Hair, Skin & Makeup-For You!’ failed oh-so-miserably? Thanks, Photoshop for giving me unrealistic views of women! Little did I know my skin, makeup, lips, outfits, body and especially my frizzy hair would never look like those magazine models!

Even now, as a graphic designer who spends every day in Photoshop I still have trouble disassociating the models–as human beings–from their overly-Photoshopped magazine versions of themselves.

Except when Photoshop blunders like this happen:

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I saw these two movie covers in Hastings with two totally different versions of this poor guy. To note, his arm is in a different position and his chest and abs look like two totally different people. Even the angle of his head is weird and the scar on his side is different. I mean, at least keep the Photoshopping consistent, right?

I’ve seen amazing shifts lately, in general, with people really starting to grasp the idea that this built-up view of perfection is all a digital hoax. In fact, it almost seems like a trend to call foul (fowl? sports metaphors? what?) on companies who really take liberties with changing their models’ appearances. For instance videos like this one which shows a beautiful person transform into a completely different person (including hair texture!) all with editing tools, and ad campaigns like this which shows, not only different age and body types, but also features an amputee and paralympian competitor. Also, i can’t forget to mention my frizzy haired saviors from Naturally Curly who have helped me truly understand my hair texture and help all people celebrate their hair instead of hating it.

Honestly, these small changes are awesome. It’s not enough, but it’s a start. I would love to see this ‘trend’ of awareness become more than just a trendy eye-opener and really seep into our culture. Photo editing isn’t going away. It’s a fun tool that nearly everyone uses these days. (Instagram filters for the win) So it’s not JUST about shaming companies who use it unnecessarily. Yes, they have a powerful way of influencing people and they should use that for good!

However, it’s also about changing those everyday conversations we all have. Instead of  “I’m so fat!” how about trying to edit our perspective into a body-positive one; “I’m so awesome, and I’m proud that I’ve been exercising.” Giving ourselves positive motivation can completely change our outlook. Then suddenly our positive attitudes are all like, “Look how awesome my legs look!” In fact, look how awesome this chick’s body-positive messages are; so much so that I would love to have her confidence.

Or, going back to one of my biggest insecurities: ROCKING my frizz on East Texas days like today that are so humid my hair could possibly balloon up into an mad scientist-esque proportions.

A body-positive society starts by changing our inner-conversations, which leaks out into our everyday conversations, which could eventually completely change our childrens’ conversations. Maybe future generations won’t even notice or worry about their ‘imperfections’ because they are surrounded by people like us who decided to change their fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, frizzy hair-shaming ways.

Let’s change the conversation. Let’s motivate ourselves, not to ‘be skinny’ or ‘be perfect’, but to be happy with who we are.

We are all more awesome than the Photoshopped versions of ourselves.

 

 


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Telling A Story: The Wedding Party

We had the best wedding party! I love all of them so much and am so thankful for their supportiveness. These ladies and gents made our wedding hilarious, fun, and so much more memorable.

Memorable Moments:
My girls–Tori, Katy and Charity using all their talent and love to help me look special
Groomsman, Nathan, looking depressed in every photo
The two guys from Tay’s band, Modern Miracle, playing Modern Miracle songs on guitar and keyboard
Best Man, Zack’s amazing speech which meant the world to us
My girls and I scrunched up on a couch that was next to a window which gave us the perfect view of the guests finding seats outside

Don’t forget our wonderful flowers girls and ring bearer–my two second cousins from my mom’s side and my little brother. They were awesome!


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Telling A Story:Getting Ready

At the beautiful wedding site, Enoch’s Stomp Vineyard and Winery, the bridesmaids and groomsmen got ready–in separate rooms. This was so fun–I loved being with my close friends and family as they helped ‘do’ me up. They were so supportive and caring and I only wish I could repay the favor in their future!


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Finishing Up a Chapter

Sometimes you have a wonderful story to tell. You think long and hard about the story process—how the beginning shall begin, how the middle will raise expectations and excite the minds, and how the end will pull the whole thing together into a beautiful, inspiring conclusion.

And sometimes you have a week like this:

-Three final projects due by tomorrow
-Aton of cleaning
-A ton of packing
-A ton of moving
-A ton of responsibilities that have been put off

So. Oh, also, I’m tired. Sleep deprived. But, since I can’t work on my projects because I’m at work, I’ve decided to take a little break and do some online shopping for SUMMER CLOTHING:

I love this tunic. Forever21 $8.80

A simple, lovely tank. Not too tight or short. Forever21 $7.90

An awesome romper. I’m wary to buy rompers, because I have a longer torso, but this one is stretchy! Forever21 $9.80

AND FOR MY DO-IT-YOURSELF FIX:

You can buy this shirt, sure, but it appeals to my D.I.Y. nature(and I could make it for cheaper!) Forever21 $13.80

Ok. This slashed tee is a bit much. But I do like the idea. Definitely going to D.I.Y. it Forever21 $11.80

Oh and to explain the list—I’m moving out of the campus apartments. I’m moving in with my Mamaw and finishing out the last semester of college there. Once I move in there, I’m really not sure at all what my plans are. I hope to find a summer job, save up some money, start planning my wedding, and graduate college. After graduation…whew. More scariness. I hope to dive straight into my work field–searching for a job that can start my career in design. That…is very scary.


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Color Therapy Wardobe

I found this article on color therapy and how people are choosing to dress how they feel. While colors do have some sort of emotional/mood connection does wearing certain clothing based on color actually change your mood?

I think if we were to truly dress how we feel and used colors to express that feeling we’d all be dressed in rainbows! We’re all sorts of emotions on an everyday basis!

Maybe I’m missing the point. I’m not downing the idea. I love colors. Does color really express a mood? Does my wearing black or pink or yellow really emit a certain mood to people? I may be happier on one day and more stressed on another day, but for the most part I feel the same regardless of the clothing color.

Color Moods, according to ask.com:

Wearing Green – Nurturing and Earthy

Wearing Blue – Serenity and Calm

Wearing Gray or Black – Invisibility and Blending In

Wearing Orange – Energetic and Creative

Wearing Pink – Open Heart

Wearing Purple – Unique and Special

Wearing Red – Powerful and Confident

Wearing White – Fresh Outlook – New Beginnings

Wearing Yellow – Cheerful and Happy

[photo credit]


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Pointless Outfit Post

And here are my Goodwill boots! I’ve already gotten compliments on them! 🙂 The one thing I don’t particularly like is the heels make very loud noises when walking. Of course, knowing that everyone is about to hear me and look at me makes me more aware of how I’m carrying myself. I like these boots. They make me feel edgy and awesome. No fear in saying that, either since we all really just want to be confident. ❤130525

Alsoo…To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. TWLOHA is having a facebook event and invited everyone to write ‘love’ on their arm. No sense in not joining in. ❤

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A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock&Roll

boots 004boots 005I bought some cowboy boots. 🙂 I found these at Goodwill for $6.00 and they were almost perfectly what I’ve been looking for—they’re more of an ankle boot and they’re rugged. It was a very easy shoe to buy, needless to say.

I wasn’t planning on it, but today I was inspired to DIY these straps. There are two black, pleather straps from an old, old purse, and I had a black, studded belt that was too small for me so I cut it in half and, voila! Also, if I need a “plain” boot look I can just slide the straps off.

There are several inspirations for this look, but a very wonderful blogger from London–living in New York (Karen from WhereDidUGetThat) has definitely inspired me. Her shoe collection is massive yet very versatile! She can wear heels one day and studded Converse the next. This is one picture of a very small portion of her collection and you can see there are lots of shoes that I gathered the inspiration for the rugged look of my boots. =)

Karen from Where Did U Get thatkarenboot1In other news, this week has been good. 🙂 Tay and I had a good time Tuesday just sitting on the square with coffee chatting until midnight. Just enjoying each other’s company, simply, was good. 🙂


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Pointless Outfit Post

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I love this outfit. I didn’t wear it today but everytime I was home I put on this huge sweatshirt—it’s so comfortable! I’m wearing it now! haha If it’s still rainy tomorrow I may throw it on. I love it. Instead I wore this most of the day….

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This outfit sort of happened by accident. I also bought this red cardigan the same day I bought the sweatshirt. I love it. 🙂

I woke up to rain, rain rain today. Class and work was cancelled because the campus hardly had any electricity and no internet. So I didn’t do all that much. Went to lunch with my mom and her coworker—-her office had to stay even though they couldn’t get work done.

And now you should take a moment and look here: ilovelocalcommercials.com