July Highlights

july vmmv highlights

july vmmv highlights

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Despite being absurdly hot at times, July was the perfect combination of sticky, sparkly, summery, stylish, opinionated, and colorful. I made two of the easiest desserts that surprisingly turned out delicious for how few ingredients and how quickly they went together. Summer is all about simplicity. I was also all about spouting modern views on some undying issues, and apparently you’re all about reading them because yet again those two were some of my top posts for the month–Thank-you! July was also about a real-life pinning expedition: I went to an estate sale almost weekly in the hopes of discovering some design inspiration for the blog makeover—inspiration that will all be revealed *huge gasp*…tomorrow!

There’s months of blogging that seem like I’m pulling teeth, racking my brain for inspiration, and sometimes dissatisfied with my own creative limits. And then there’s months that topics and sentences, collages and images just pour out and this all feels so very right. July was one of those months. It was a much-needed slower month, a pause in a year that has been rather laborious with little fruit to show for it but I guess that’s why Fall is the Harvest months: all these early days spent working are about to show fruit and I’m so ready to see a bounty.

Tomorrow’s August 1st. Wow. I normally loathe August, but this time around, I think we’re at a stalemate. I’m still not a fan of the crazy heat stubbornly sticking around, but with the blog launch planned, an upcoming weekend away with two of my best girls, and a return to something of a schedule, I’m thinking August won’t be all that bad. Here’s to the start of a new month!

 – <3 A. 

The Best Kind of Bummer

sailinvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyI can’t really seem to accept this real life thing. My calendar says “Wednesday” but my head is in complete disagreement. Did you know there’s studies on this whole post-vacation-depression, moody blues? The University of Vienna’s Physiology Department calls it the “contrast effect:” “Vacationers cease to be used to stress and thus react more strongly when confronted (with it) again.” Ok, yeah, (well duh), but the University of Vermont did an interesting study of “tweets” and found that the tweets that “expressed happiness increase(d) logarithmically with distance from an individual’s average location.” So sad! So the further away we get from our normal life (average location) the happier we become! *sigh* and I guess you could say, then, that the closer we get back to our average location, the more blue we become. So true.

My long-weekend away was so fantastic though: Three different lake tours, a full boating day where I think I consumed an entire watermelon solo, a few quick dips into cold, cold lake-water, early evening forest walks, late night board games, silly 80’s movies, sno-cones, and time spent with the sweetest people who made four blissful days seem like they could go on forever: they didn’t. But regardless, I’ve got some memories to keep me going till the next trip away and I don’t care if “well-needed vacations” in the end “bum me out:” They’re still the best kind of bummer.

**This Friday I’m scheduled to do a first review of my new blog design so hopefully I will have some little sneak peaks for all of you imminently…thanks for being patient!**

 – <3 A. 

How to Choose a Color Palette

estatesale

vintage cameras

vintage cameras

belted vintage suitJuly has been a sort of estate sale mecca. My fav vintage store sends out almost weekly emails when an estate sale is happenin’ somewhere around my town, along with a few pictures to tease VIP shoppers on their list into coming to the sale. **Yep, I’m VIP status and it feels good.** It’s always rather thrilling to look through the pictures and see if this week’s sale is a goldmine for my current fancies. I never really understood the people who shop for fun, to me the store-crawl is kind of exhausting, but for some reason, the estate sale bug is a different kind of monster. I suppose because there’s such an element of mystery. If you go to a store, you have a certain idea of what you’re going to find, but an estate sale? There’s untold treasure there and the hunt for it is the best kind of adventure.

I’ve mentioned it before but my blog is currently undergoing a behind-the-scenes makeover (soon to be launched!). The wonderful designer I’m teaming up with to help me with the VMMV facelift asked me to do a little homework to help the re-design along and one of my assignments was to come up with a color palette that inspired me. Easier said then done. Having a favorite color is one thing, but creating a cohesive palette is difficult! There’s so many different colors I love and so many different combos that look great together but the easiest way I discovered is to just start to track down what colors you’re attracted to again and again: what sweater color on a rack of twenty calls you over to pull it out for a closer look? What swatch of fabric catches your eye on an aisle of bolts? What outfit combo do you wear almost weekly? Why is that clutch your favorite? So, for the last few weeks, I started tracking the things I was drawn to when I was out hunting and sure enough, a palette quickly emerged: A cobalt blue bottle collection, blue and green teacup patterns, a host of black and white vintage cameras (one of those had to come home with me), a fantastic white tufted headboard, an eclectic mix of chairs, and a lime-colored vintage suit complete with a belt, buttoned, faux pockets, a fantastic low back, and a price tag too high for my adoration of it to overcome my better sense. After I looked at my pictures, I went to Valspar’s pretty genius color selector and found actual colors that matched the hues from the objects I kept looking at and that was that: a palette! This isn’t the final one I’m going with for my blog, but it’s one of my faves just the same and it happened pretty much painlessly.

– <3 A. 

Ring of Fire

july 4th vmmv

july 4th vmmv

july 4th vmmv

“I fell into a burning ring of fire, I went down, down, down and the flames went higher, And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire, The ring of fire”…that was my Fourth of July…not that I slipped into some relationship of unrequited love like poor Johnny, but just because it was seriously THAT HOT: Burning ring of fire hot, never stop sweating from 8:00 A.M. to Midnight hot, instant melting popscicle hot, the air with the thickness of lava hot, straightened hair instantly transformed into lion frizz-mane hot…but despite all of that, I had a pretty perfect day because all of my favorite people were within eyesight and earshot and I will never grow tired of BBQ and sparklers, stained asphalt feet and too much watermelon, firecrackers, fans, and California summer. There’s something profoundly nostalgic about the Fourth of July, and I hope it never changes.

– <3 A. 

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       That Redhead                      Old and New

June: Highlights

june vmmv highlights

june vmmv highlights

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 I am honestly becoming really rather worried about the state of these months. I hardly even get used to the idea of being in one and it’s over. June has been a month for gaining some satisfaction for long-made plans: I’m two-thirds of the way through my annoyingly difficult tests for my new adventure, I finally got admitted to my program (for all of modernity’s speed, Universities still like to kick it old-style and snail crawl every move), my blog has begun to do some behind-the-scenes shifting (yay, yay, yay!) in the very capable hands of someone you will hopefully learn more about in the near future, and I’m beginning to see little light glimmers at the end of some tunnels I felt like would never reach fresh air again.

Even though I think I put on a pretty convincing facade, I’m really not a very patient person. I want things done and I want them done NOW and I will plan and organize and work hard to get them done unlesssss those things that need to be done are out of my hands and then the oh so helpless feelings of relying on other people begin to gnaw away at my (I admit it!) control-freak self. Thankfully, while I was patiently desperately, tearfully, and whining-ly waiting pacing this month, I did seem to have some excellent time with my wonderful dad, made a few treats, tried a few projects, and had a good stiff drink (sort of). I also began to come to terms with a new path even though sometimes things slip a bit, and in the end was reminded for the 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 time that I should probably not worry so much?…yeah, it’s a good idea at least, isn’t it?

– <3 A. 

May: highlights

may vmmv recap

may vmmv recap

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May was all about mothers, birthdays, a little fashion, and a LOT of dessert. Apparently I had the munchies this month because I made some of my all-time favorite sweeties, and, thanks to all of you, I hit my personal milestone.

You may have noticed fewer posts this month, that’s partially because of my big announcement, and the time that has been involved with getting myself ready for that and all that it entails, but also because of something exciting that is happening to the blog. In my last highlights post, I mentioned that May may be bringing something special to the blog but alas I was slightly preemptive on that foreshadowing so you must all wait and wonder until all is revealed. I’m shooting for the end of the summer: summer used to mean quiet, sluggish days and lazy nights, but I’m preparing for a rather active one. I’m chock full of ideals and hoping my motivation will last me because I have much to do!

-<3 A. 

15,000 Views

vmmv 15000 views

vmmv photography

15000 views

vmmv 15000 views

vmmv 15000 viewsHappy Memorial Day weekend! VMMV officially hit 15,000 views on Saturday. I had predicted based upon viewing history that that historic moment would occur sometime in May so I sort of pre-partied and pre-photographed my 15,000 views party of one…and now I get to share…

I hear of so many people deleting their facebooks/other social media sites because they get so caught up in comparing their life highlights to other people’s that there is actually a burgeoning new social-media-depression-effect: As in, “my homepage isn’t as exciting as your homepage, I must be failinggg.” So, people delete or take a break from the digital world in order to stop comparing themselves. Sad? extremely, a little pathetic? absolutely, but, understandable? completely. I think the comparison cloud is an even more dangerous storm to stumble into as a blogger. You visit other sites, lust after certain photoshop layouts, other bloggers’ seemingly never-ending ideas, sidebars full of ads, and begin to panic.

Especially in the baby-blogger years, baby steps are ok though, and celebrating small milestones are essential to keep the motivation flowin’. My milestone? I set 15,000 views back in December as a new goal and here it is May and I’ve slowly inched towards it with all of you wonderful, faithful viewers who viewed away until 15,000 came and went. It’s dangerous as a blogger to keep such close tabs on viewership, and now that I’ve reached this milestone I probably won’t be such a hovering mother over my numbers, but, it sure felt good to see those triple zeros.

– <3 A.