Next up, 2014

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Last year I decided on themes from 2012 and set ones for 2013, and it turned out to be one of my favorite posts. From time to time, I would look back to see how I was doing at my resolutions or if, most likely as I feared, I had forgotten about them entirely. I’m probably way too proud to say I really did accomplish last year’s goals, so I decided I would do the same style this year.

2013 was the year of…

Creativity. I made great strides as a budding amateur photographer and even won the Innovator Award at my agency’s annual peer-voted awards ceremony for the most creative strategies, ideas and campaigns (and tights, due to my daily variation of colors and patterns).

Relationships. Last year I was excited to announce the return of one of my best friends (now roommate). This year I had another lifelong friend move to the DFW area and managed to make some pretty huge strides in my romantic relationship. November 2012 I was sure I was on the brink of a break-up, yet somehow we grew together in a way I didn’t see coming, leading up to our engagement November 2013. Crazy! No offense meant to the rest of you guys, but I’m pretty sure I’ve locked down the most caring, intelligent, witty, handsome guy out there.

Travel. My real goal, if you haven’t caught on yet, is to make every year the year of travel. In 2013 I visited El Paso, Washington D.C., Austin, Chicago, Wisconsin, Tulsa, New York (twice!), Istanbul and Atlanta. What a great year!

Health. After battling what appears to be food allergies in the form of super swollen eyes and lips, I finally have the uncomfortable issues and itchiness under semi-control. I reached a pretty low place when my physical issues were leaving me ugly and sleep deprived, but I have been so blessed with a loving boyfriend, compassionate boss, tireless parents, understanding friends and the BEST DOCTOR EVER (aka Dr. Crawford). I also got to experiment with new recipes and restaurants in line with my new gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut, bean – free diet.

2014 will focus on…

Engaging. Recently I realized that my natural inclinations to keep my head down in the grocery store and zone out to the tune of my to do list at work are just not what’s important. Life is not at all about me, and I want the way I live to reflect that. Some ways I plan on doing that include smiling more, asking questions, complimenting others, inviting people to coffee and lunches (heck, actually taking lunches) and dedicating one night a week to catching up on message replies, texts, maybe even a “hey, how’s life” phone call or snail mail note. I’ve let far too many close friendships grow distant and opportunities to connect with strangers fall by the wayside. No more.

Using time intentionally. This looks like lining up podcasts for my daily commutes to hear from Ben Stewart, the Bible app, TED talks or Italian lessons. This also looks like using my nights and weekends to pursue others and my interests, rather than pick up dinner at Whole Foods only to waste away on Netflix (no matter how good Sherlock, Parks & Rec and White Collar are). For instance, I have been promised a trip to Italy once I become fluent. Motivation, secured. I came across this quote the other day by H. Jackson Brown Jr.:

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.

Rediscovering reading. When I was younger I read multiple books a week. Now, the same length book takes me at least a month. This year I want to read more, in turn increasing my appetite for even more books. Reading also has the side effects of inspiring creative juices and providing much needed rest, both of which I can always stand more of. I also really, really want to start a book club. I’ve been talking about this for at least a year, and enough is enough. If you’re in the Dallas area and love books and brunch, you should probably think about joining. More info coming soon as I figure out just what this looks like, but I’m très‎ excited.

Traveling. Up next is a road trip to Marfa, a leisurely beachfront long weekend in Maine, Austin for SXSW (and most likely my bachelorette party), another trip (or two, or three) to New York City and of course, our honeymoon. Right now, Italy’s Amalfi coast and Naples or Spain’s islands and Barcelona are in the lead.

That’s it! I could go on and on when it comes to goals and to do lists, but hopefully these themes give you a good idea of where I’ve been, where I’m at and where I’m going.

What have you got planned for 2014?

Imperfection is beauty

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. – Marilyn Monroe

I stumbled across this quote while doing some research at work. I could be way behind on this, but I had never heard it before. I think I speak for both Sarah and I when I say we are self-proclaimed nerds. We geek out easily over art, culture and branding. And in general consider ourselves to be ever so slightly awkward, we only hope it mostly comes across as charming.

One thing I love about finally arriving in my mid 20’s is the confidence that goes along with it. In high school if asked if I played a musical instrument, I’d shyly admit that I played the bassoon all through middle school, for the top band no less. In college I had to admit to new friends that I never drank all through high school for moral reasons and lead a generally safe life all growing up. Sometimes I’d accidentally let it slip that I love to read and I love solving math problems of any kind.

But now I’m so glad that I’ve been a little weird all my life. In fact, I’ve found that when meeting new people and talking about high school days, it’s a way more fun conversation talking about what a nerd you were are.  Being able to confidently joke to my boyfriend’s friends that hell yeah I played bassoon in middle school, and yes maybe it was a bit taller than me back then. And yes, last Friday night I didn’t feel like going out and instead chose to stay in and read my new book with my dog.

Therefore I love this quote. It’s here to say be yourself, it’s beautiful. Because you may not see it now or tomorrow, but someday you wil. Don’t waste your time trying to be someone or something that you’re not. Being who you are is just way more fun. Quirks make you interesting, help you connect with other people, and as you lean into the things that make you who you are, you can feel confidence building up inside you. You’ll start loving yourself and carry that love out into the world and in your interactions with other people.

Because personally, I’ve wasted more money than I care to admit on American Eagle Graphic t’s back in the day. I love being a little weird. Weirdness makes life way more interesting.

I hope this quote inspires you like it did me! Embrace your inner weirdness with me, folks.

This time of life

emma stone and andrew garfield jennifer lawrence{Two of my favorite women completely rocking their twenties.}

Tonight a co-worker and I had the opportunity to attend a happy hour…that started at about 8:45 p.m. She turned to me and aptly said, “A basically 9 p.m. happy hour is no longer a happy hour. That is just a party.”

Spoken like a true 20-something. I’ve been noticing a lot of articles lately about “what it means to be a 20-something” or “signs you’re a 20-something.” While most of these provide endless amusement with their eerily accurate observations, they also promote this sense of unity in knowing I’m not alone. You’d think this would be discouraging to learn I’m not as much of a unique individual as I thought I was, but it’s actually strangely comforting. On one of Soul Pancake’s message boards, somebody asked, “What’s so noteworthy about being a 20-something anyways?” Someone else responded, “Nothing more than any other age.” While I completely agree that this could be true as I don’t have a whole lot of times of life to compare now to, I’d have to say there’s a lot about being at the time I am now that’s noteworthy. I’ve caught myself a lot over the past few months just marveling about how it feels to hit these “milestones” compared to how I thought I’d feel. It’s a strange feeling to spend your whole life wanting to be “old” then finally getting there to realize it’s a whole lot different than you thought it’d be. At the same time nearly everything in my life is changing all the time, and I’m knowing the “adults” in my life a whole new way.

Here’s a couple of the realizations I’ve found myself pondering lately:

Parents are actually always right. At that same moment, you realize that they told you they were always right, not because they were your parents (which is what you thought growing up), but probably because they, too, at some point realized their parents were always right.

Getting married isn’t a happy ending or a solution. And even though there’s a lot of happy engaged couple around you, it turns out the whole process is not nearly as romantic or surprising as you thought it’d be because there’s a whole lot of real life logistics that need to happen as far as jobs, locations of jobs, leases, roommates, and probably so much more.

Being “old” doesn’t mean you have everything figured out. In fact, it seems that most people don’t ever really know what they want or where they’re going. It’s a mix of educated guessing, luck and simply taking the next step. I also know people older than me who have changed their career path completely, taken time off to travel or volunteer for a social cause, etc. There’s not some secret “right” path to life it turns out…and that’s okay.

20 somethings quote

Part Of Your Life

bob marley quote

While I will take any excuse to dress up, I admit I have never really gotten as sucked into the romantic hype of Valentine’s Day as I have into the fact that it’s just an excuse to reflect and celebrate. And that, I am all about.

No matter if you spent your Valentine’s by yourself or with friends, family, a love or even the love, I hope you take the time to read this card (courtesy of my roommate). I hope you reflect on what it means to really love the people in your life. And don’t forget the celebrating part!

As for me, I spent my evening avoiding persistent chocolate cravings (as I’m still holding strong to my decision to not eat dessert at all since January through March). I’ll also be hitting up the clearance aisle tomorrow with the hopes of scoring some Justin Biebers or other likewise completely ridiculous but amazing cards to hand out at my work’s official celebration next week. Wish me luck that the school kids haven’t taken all the good ones yet?

Oh and hey, thanks for being a part of our lives by reading Finding Tiffany’s!

Inspiration: Media high + Finding freedom

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I have had the kind of work week that makes me incredulous that my job is actually considered a job. I got to go to digital media conference in Dallas for two days, which basically means I got to learn (yes!), hear different perspectives on the industry I love and meet new people. For an introvert, it’s amazing how exhilarating it is to walk up alone to a circle of people I’ve never seen before and not only make unawkward conversation (always a win), but also some new friends.

It’s given me a much needed refresher on work life this week and reminded me that I’m lucky to be where I am right now, even though I don’t always remember that. Maybe I’m an optimist (okay, I know I’m an optimist) but when I think back on the different phases of my life so far, no matter how much I struggled or thrived during them, my rose-colored glasses are definitely on. I don’t usually think, “wow this sucked” or “I regret doing this or doing it this way;” for the most part I think, “I’m so grateful for that time because ___.” It helps shift my perspective to tell myself how I’m going to look back on this time of my life and really appreciate it…so I better be appreciating it now!

Feeling ‘free’ has been a bit of a theme for me this week, as you might pick up on from my pinning spree below. These photographs and quotes have been reminding me to take a deep breath, rest a little then get out there and embrace life. I’ve been in a resting phase for a little while now, trying to avoid too many social plans, etc. Now I’m just ready for all that the very busy month of February has planned for me, starting with this weekend: Valentine’s/couples dinner at the very hard to reserve Lucia in Bishop Arts (!), freelance work and celebrating life with friends at a big post-church brunch. Can it just be Friday afternoon already?

Pinterest

A Nickel For Your Thoughts

read quote cs lewis

The most magical thing about writing (and reading) is that moment of perfect synchronicity, when the reader goes “YES, me too!” I have this moment of understanding and connectivity with books and other bloggers (unbeknownst to them) often, and it is exactly that which has always motivated me to write as well. I can only hope that somebody stumbles across something I write and is encouraged, excited or if nothing else, left with a little more feeling of belonging than they had before. So it is with this hope that I broach a topic that has been weighing on me a lot lately.

I think I can speak on Lydia’s behalf when I say that healthiness is an important part in Finding Tiffany’s for us. When you feel 100% you’re better equipped to go out in the world and live life to the fullest. Whether through yoga, running, eating less sugar or finally making it to some doctor appointments, we’re always looking for ways to incorporate more of a healthy lifestyle.

health quote

So…what happens when everything you thought was eating healthily turns out to be actually slowly diminishing your immune system?

I found out this week I’m allergic to nickel, among other things. I’m afraid I’ve grown pretty boring since then, since all I’ve done ever since is research what this means and what I can do about it (Did you now 15% of the population have some sort of nickel allergy?? See, full of fun facts). You see, nickel is in basically everything. Keys, jewelry, zippers, buckles, metal buttons, pens, paper clips, cooking utensils and pans, door knobs, hangers…It’s also in food: wheat, ALL vegetables (including my favorites, spinach and mushrooms), nuts, soy, oatmeal, tuna and beans. And of course my favorites: wine (only red, thank God), chocolate and beer.

I can’t tell you how confusing it has been to retrain my brain these past couple of days. Everything I eat (and enjoy) on a daily basis that filled me with pride for taking care of my body (minus the chocolate and alcohol) was actually building up against my immune system the whole time. Huh.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I do firmly believe that having a healthy body is paramount to living a happy, fulfilled life. Because I believe that there ARE answers out there, no matter how many times you have to visit doctors who make you feel like a crazy hypochondriac. Because I want you to know that other people know whatever it is you’re going through, whether it’s people on our blog, another blog or a random message board. And hopefully, knowing that gives you some comfort. Helps you feel understood and accepted. Makes you feel at home, wherever you are, however you are.

heart sky

As my friend told me this week, after I kinda thought I was going to be murdered while using the sketchiest bathroom of my life in an otherwise fun, quirky place (Lee Harvey’s) only to look up and see someone else had already hit my feelings spot on with the words scrawled on the bathroom wall, “This bathroom is f****** creepy as s***”…..

….Life is all about the shared human experience.

Inspiration: All The Little Things

inspiration motivational quotes

On Finding Tiffany’s, we talk a lot about realizing goals and exploring life, but we’re only telling half the story if we don’t spend some time talking about all the things that help us get there. Inspiration is contagious and can come from anywhere. Starting this week we’ll be bringing you more about all the things that inspire us…pictures, quotes, links, random details from daily life.

This week has just been one of those weeks where inspiration has been a little harder to appreciate and hold on to…between not enough sleep and some pesky health issues, the below have been even more valuable for my sanity!

kitchen art
Italian kitchen art from Etsy that will be hanging in my kitchen: “If you want to live long, you have to eat, drink and sleep” and an Italian idiom that essentially means “At the table with friends and family, one does not grow old.”
The weather this week has been California-worthy. Driving with the windows down in the 65 degree weather instantly brightens my mood.
The weather this week has been California-worthy. Driving with the windows down in the 65 degree weather instantly brightens my mood.
Truth. If you've ever been sick (and it seems like everyone is these days) you know it, too. I've been inspired to take charge this week: revamping my diet (no sugar, lots of green tea, vegetables and protein) and finally meeting with some doctors.
Truth. If you’ve ever been sick (and it seems like everyone is these days) you know it, too. I’ve been inspired to take charge this week: revamping my diet (no sugar, lots of green tea, vegetables and protein) and finally meeting with some doctors.