Cactus Flowers

Why I Blog

How often do you ask yourself why you do what you do? Sometimes I’ll go months without thinking about it and then other times it’ll be at the forefront of…

Cactus Flowers

How often do you ask yourself why you do what you do? Sometimes I’ll go months without thinking about it and then other times it’ll be at the forefront of my mind for weeks on end. I’ve been checking in with it a lot lately and just started jotting down things in a notebook, which turned into this here blog post.

If you’ve been here a while, you know that I sort of have a patchwork of careers behind me; I graduated college and became a high school music teacher for a few years, then moved to NYC and was a musical theatre performer for another chunk of time, and during my time there I fell into creative blogging  & making and have been here ever since. I used to think it was a totally random path that I had taken, but looking back it’s pretty clear that I’ve always been driven toward creative fields. I think what was difficult about teaching music and performing onstage for me was that those are two lifestyles where you have about a zillion people to answer to. Whether it’s students, teachers, producers, directors, you’re holding a lot of weight on your shoulders and are responsible for the success and happiness of hundreds of other people.

When I discovered that blogging was a thing, that you could be creative just for yourself, and share that with the world, it sort of felt like a breath of fresh air. It’s far from the only reason that I love blogging, but it’s a huge benefit for me. I’m the boss. I make the plans. I concept the projects, good or bad. I have myself to answer to and I think that’s exciting. And also, as a people-pleaser from way back, it alleviates the stress and anxiety I would feel when I felt like I couldn’t provide what my students needed, or didn’t live up to an audience’s expectations. In this world, I’m my own compass and that’s very freeing.

And aside from all that, just the chance to be creative in so many ways on a daily basis is such a fantastic challenge. I’m surrounded by people who are spinning out these beautiful ideas and changing the way that the world looks, whether you realize it or not. It’s inspiring and invigorating and keeps my brain pumping to stay in the game. We get to write every day, take pictures every day, work with our hands every day. I feel pretty lucky about all of that. And then I get to turn it around and share it, to hopefully add some beauty and inspiration and creativity to the world. That’s the crucial part for me. I think that the world needs every bit of loveliness we can add to it, and I strive to do that every day, even in my own small way.

The icing on the cake? The people. You guys. My colleagues. Blogging is so fascinating to me, in that it connects people who otherwise would never have crossed paths. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written or shared something and gotten responses from you all that have helped me in one way or another — moral support, tips, suggestions, a different perspective, or just a virtual high five. I think it’s good for the world for us all to know that perhaps we’re far apart and different in many ways, but we can relate on more levels than we think.

So what do you do? And why do you do it? Seriously, I’d love to know — leave a comment and let’s chat. xoxo

Keep it real

Keeping it Real // Our Manifesto

I’ve been doing a lot of checking in with myself, especially since this post. It was so wonderful to hear you all chiming in, and heartening to know that so…

Keep it real

I’ve been doing a lot of checking in with myself, especially since this post. It was so wonderful to hear you all chiming in, and heartening to know that so many of us often feel the same way. So we’ve been going back to our Lovely Indeed basics a bit lately, to be sure that our compass is straight and we’re spending time on the things that matter to us. And when I do that, I always go back to our manifesto. I’m not sure if you’ve ever read it but you should give it a read — it’s everything we strive to be here, and reflects the way we like to live. One of my favorite parts: Loveliness isn’t difficult or expensive. It’s not exclusive or elusive. It’s everywhere, and there’s plenty to go around. Check it the rest of it; hope it inspires your day! xoxo

2016

Twenty Sixteen // Desktop Wallpaper

Hey lovelies — here we are. Back at the start with another chance to do it right. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? This has become a tradition around here, and…

2016

Hey lovelies — here we are. Back at the start with another chance to do it right. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

This has become a tradition around here, and one of my favorites. I don’t do resolutions, but at the end of every year I sit down and think through what I need to focus on in the future. I boil it all down and it becomes this: a barometer of how I’m living, whether I’m on the right path, and where I’d like to be in a year’s time. Pretty much none of it is tangible or quantifiable. It’s more about what’s inside. And for me, I’ve always found that when what’s inside feels good, what’s outside tends to fall into place.

You should go back and read through my old ones (links are below). It’s pretty interesting to see what’s stuck around, what’s totally new, and what’s cycled back in from a previous year. Do any of these ring true for you? What would be on your list? In case this gets ya right in your ever-lovin’ heart, you can download it to add to your desktop as a little hug from me to you. Let’s make this year a beauty. xoxo

DOWNLOAD DESKTOP WALLPAPER

See past years: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

shoes

Get Inspired // My Fave Instagram Feeds

It’s no secret that I’m in a serious relationship with Instagram. It’s like having a personally curated art gallery at your fingertips, all day long. Lately there are a few…

shoes

It’s no secret that I’m in a serious relationship with Instagram. It’s like having a personally curated art gallery at your fingertips, all day long. Lately there are a few folks I’m following on the ‘Gram that I just can’t get enough of. Some people just get it, ya know? So I thought I’d share my recent favorite Instagrammers here, in the hopes that they inspire you and can add a little something to your feed that your eyeballs will love.

thiswildidea

@thiswildidea

Possibly the greatest collection of dog photos ever. Theron takes his pup Maddie on adventures that you definitely don’t wanna miss.

hol_fox

@hol_fox

Holly’s love for color and sugar come together to make an insanely beautiful feed full of the most exquisite sugar cookies you’ve ever seen.

leslieshewring

@leslieshewring

Leslie’s feed is so lovely — it’s a gorgeous example of a truly cohesive feed. She usually sticks to a simple, serene color palette that’s like a little vacation for your eyes.

candyminimal

@candyminimal

Candy Minimal is the brainchild of Matt Crump, another incredible Instagrammer! This feed is chock full of simple, bright images that’ll make your mouth water they’re so pretty.

happymundane

@happymundane

The Happy Mundane feed always inspires me with its simple, clean lines and angles. So many of Jonathan’s snaps are of simple subjects like walls or corners, but his take on them makes them look endlessly interesting!

linesacross

@linesacross

Rachel’s bright feed features a couple of hashtag series that I just love, like her dressed up pineapples!

almostmakesperfect

@almostmakesperfect

For me, Molly’s feed is a perfect mix of slices of life, DIY projects, and things that are just plain pretty. She’s got a knack for putting a new, fresh twist on trends that you never expect.

littledrill

@littledrill

Shelby’s styling is what makes her feed so fascinating to me! I can always tell which images are hers as I’m scrolling through my feed, and they always make me smile.

andrewkuttler

@andrewkuttler

I always have to look twice at Andrew’s photos because they’re so cool and often play tricks on my eyes! He’s super clever and the composition of his images is just brilliant.

corinanika

@corinanika

If you can’t take a trip to Greece, Corina’s feed is almost as good. Scroll through her images and I dare you not to want to jump on a plane ASAP.

So those are my faves! I’m always looking for more fun peeps to follow — leave a comment with your favorites and I’ll check ’em out! And don’t forget to follow along with the Lovely Indeed feed right here. xoxo

Blue Sky Palm Tree

Why I Love Instagram So Dang Much

I asked recently what you all thought the future held for blogging, and some of the responses were so cool! One in particular had to do with Instagram, and it…

Blue Sky Palm Tree

I asked recently what you all thought the future held for blogging, and some of the responses were so cool! One in particular had to do with Instagram, and it got me thinking about how much I love that platform and exactly why. Because I know that I love to share there, like so many other people, and I know that I especially love to see what everyone else shares there, too. Sometimes even more than reading blogs. And I think I’m figuring out what it is that’s so awesome about it.

For me, it’s like the most beautiful timeline of my life with Ryan (and now Henry!). Ryan did this super fancy, nerdy thing with our tv at home — he set it up so that the screen saver on our tv is a random slideshow of all of my Instagram photos ever. Seriously, it’s one of my favorite things in the house. Sometimes we’ll leave it on and I’ll find myself taking a walk down memory lane just watching different photos slide across the screen. And it’s the best documentation of our lives together. We look back at photos and have the best time remembering things — trips, projects, meals, parties, weekends at home, getting married, bringing Henry home.

But beyond that, I love that Instagram encourages users not just to slap any ol’ photo up there and call it a day, but to be creative and intentional with the memories you make and share. Have you ever taken part in a Weekend Hashtag Project? Every Friday, Instagram encourages users to share a photo with a new, creative hashtag that they’ve made up. And they’re all so thoughtful and they encourage you to look at the world in a new way, which I love. They also have introduced me to so many creative people from all around the world, and I think it’s fascinating to see what other people share and what their version of beauty is.

Not to mention, how much fun is it to live vicarously through people? I love when people take trips and Gram it up — it’s so inspiring on so many levels. I’ve planned trips or outings to so many different amazing places because it looked fun on Instagram. No joke. It’s broadened my world (I truly mean that — no irony or sarcasm!).

So what about you? Are you as into it as I am? I know it’s not for everyone — lots of folks find it overwhelming or just plain too much. Why do you love it? Why do you hate it? Tell me your thoughts! xoxo

fall color palette

Two Quick Things

Hey hey, it’s Friday! And so to let you get on with your Fridaying, I just have two things to say. Thing one: I have decided that a fall color…

watercolor

Hey hey, it’s Friday! And so to let you get on with your Fridaying, I just have two things to say. Thing one: I have decided that a fall color palette doesn’t have to be all oranges and yellows and browns. I accidentally pinned all of these pinks and corals and neturals and navies on my Pinterest boards, and I hereby decide that it’s my go-to fall color situation this year.

fall color palette

Watercolor. Stairs. Recipe. Camping. Quote. Cake. Rocks.

Thing two: thank you. I don’t know if you’ve felt it here on the ol’ blog, but I certainly have — I’m a little scattered lately. With baby brewing and the big move, I feel like I can hardly keep track of everything. But all of your words of support and kindness about the new house and the little guy are so appreciated, along with the fact that you just come back to read each day. I truly make an effort to share things here that mean something special to me, and I hope you feel that. So thank you for being rad and just being. And hey — have a great weekend! xoxo

Coffee Table Books

Coffee Table Books

It’s funny how as you get older the things that you collect change. I used to really not get the whole coffee table book thing, and now I love it….

Coffee Table Books

It’s funny how as you get older the things that you collect change. I used to really not get the whole coffee table book thing, and now I love it. I love being surrounded by these books that are so inspiring and full of beautiful images, and I find myself flipping through them again and again. I especially love books that we’ve collected on our travels or have a cool story. If your coffee table needs some friends, here are a few of my favorites to flip through.

Things Come Apart by Todd McLellan is so cool I can’t take my eyes off it. He takes everyday objects like vacuum cleaners or pianos, smashes them, and then organizes the pieces. If you like organized things, you will lose your mind for this one.

Things Come Apart

Coffee Table Books

Coffee Table Books

Humans of New York started as a blog and became crazy popular. Brandon Stanton has been wandering the streets of NYC for years, photographing and interviewing people he comes across. It’s a completely fascinating (if not somewhat romanticized) look at the city and the people in it. It really makes me remember how incredible New Yorkers are.

Humans of New York

Coffee Table Books

Coffee Table Books

Well-Read Women has got to be one of the most beautiful books ever. I started loving Samantha Hahn’s watercolor work when I got into the blog world, and I was so excited when she came out with a book. It’s filled with gorgeous watercolor portraits of fictional heroines, along with quotes from their stories. So lovely.

Well-Read Women

Coffee Table Books

Coffee Table Books

We came across Paris versus New York on our trip to Paris, and we literally stood in the store and looked at every page. It was that charming, we just couldn’t put it down. We decided to leave it in the store but then Mr. Lovely surprised me with it at Christmas. He wins. It’s got these awesome illustrations depicting the differences between two of my favorite cities.

Paris versus New York

Coffee Table Books

Coffee Table Books

I know I’ve said it before, but I still love our Artifact Uprising photo books. Some of my favorite books to have around are photos of our travels and adventures, and this one filled with photos from our Tahiti honeymoon is still on top of my list. If you haven’t tried Artifact Uprising, you should!

Coffee Table Books

Coffee Table Books

I’d love to know if you have any fave coffee table books! And if you’re not a book person, what do you have on your coffee table? Leave a comment and let me know! xoxo

A List to Cure the Monday Blues

A List to Cure the Monday Blues

What? Monday?! When did this happen? Let’s keep it simple today. If you’ve got the Monday ickies, here’s a good ol’ list of thoughts that are keeping me going this…

What? Monday?! When did this happen?

Let’s keep it simple today. If you’ve got the Monday ickies, here’s a good ol’ list of thoughts that are keeping me going this morning. Maybe it’ll help you too.

A List to Cure the Monday Blues

Can you tell I’m so ready for summer? LA is hovering now in the low 70’s, and I know that I should be grateful it’s not cold or rainy like some folks’ springs have been. But I’m always anxious for the next season to get into full swing, and right now is no exception. I’m dying for a beach day that’s warm enough to bake in the sun. Yeah!

Okay but back to my original point. What’s keeping you going this fine Monday morning? xoxo

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Are you guys music lovers? Music is so a part of my life I need it like water. I was actually a music major in college, and it’s still part…

Joni Mitchell

Are you guys music lovers? Music is so a part of my life I need it like water. I was actually a music major in college, and it’s still part of my profession at times. Mr. Lovely and I are always listening to records & the radio, making up songs, or plunking stuff out on the piano or ukulele. I really think it’s good for my soul.

Recently I’ve been on a Joni Mitchell kick. She’s not new to me; I’ve been listening to her since I figured out I was secretly a hippie, sometime in college. But I’ll leave her music for a long while and then come back to it and remember that I never should have stopped listening to it because it’s so good. I mean come on! Do you listen to Joni? It’s like she’s seen the inside of my heart. Gah.

Right now my favorite is All I Want from the Blue album. It just feels like a sunshine day with the windows open, and being young, and happy, and hopeful. Do you have reactions like that to music? These lyrics just get me:

I want to have fun, I want to shine like the sun,
I want to be the one that you want to see.
I want to knit you a sweater,
Want to write you a love letter,
I want to make you feel better,
I want to make you feel free.

Her lyrics are just so simple but so true. I feel like she’s one of those artists that’s somehow able to take the things that everybody feels and express them so eloquently.

Side note: I just read back through this post and it sounds like an entry in my high school journal. So many feelings! Haha! Whatever, I’m leaving it. And while we’re on the subject, do you have any musicians or artists that just get you? I would love to know who! xoxo

pinsyellow

Pinterest Party

Brace yourself, guys — I’m getting all fancy with my Pinterest boards lately. I decided to do this experiment where I try to pin things all in one color palette…

Brace yourself, guys — I’m getting all fancy with my Pinterest boards lately.

Pinterest Party

I decided to do this experiment where I try to pin things all in one color palette for a short period of time. Have you ever tried that? It happened once by accident for me and I thought it looked so pretty when I looked at all of my pins together. So I tried it on purpose! Turns out, it’s a bit of a challenge.

Pinterest Party

It’s tricky for two reasons. First, you really have to scour the internet for inspiring things in the color palette that you’re working on. And second, if you see something else that you want to pin but isn’t in the color palette, what the heck do you do? I ended up pinning those things to a secret board for a while until my little experiment is over.

Pinterest Party

But anyway, if you go to see all my pins you’ll get the idea. You’ll also notice where it abruptly began, because the colors get all mixed again. I probably won’t do it forever, but right now it’s a really fun creative challenge! And it kind of makes me curious — have you ever manipulated your pinboards in a similar way? What do you think about when you pin and share an image? xoxo