Snapshots of June

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Hello Everyone,

June really snuck up on me. May was my birthday month, and it goes by so quickly that it feels like summer is already here. Incredibly, the warm weather has me now dreaming of autumn, which of course makes no sense. I hate to rush the seasons, but I love the autumn colors so much that I decided to take some photos with warm browns to satisfy myself.

I must say that the one thing I love about the summer is the thunderstorms. We have had such angry rain and thunder lately, and I cozy up inside and scribble in my notebook. I’m cherishing these days that the wind is still a bit cool, because soon we will be sweltering and I’ll be scrambling for the shade.

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Some things I’ve been loving lately is looking at color palettes, especially ones inspired by the clouds. Here’s an example!  Color has always been important to me, and I love collecting palettes from paint stores and home stores to cut up and use. Maybe I’ll work on some sort of project with that soon.

I’ve been addicted to this beautiful tumblr account because the forest scenes are so dreamy. The story I’m writing right now has a large part to do with the forest, so the inspiration from this is amazing. Totally recommend checking it out!

I hope everyone has a beautiful June.

-Heather

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Navigating a Personal Crisis

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Hello Everyone,

I haven’t undergone a major life crisis, but over the past few weeks, I’ve had many small personal ones. It’s funny, sometimes little situations or changes can make me feel icky and unsettled, like I need a new layer of skin to shield me from everyone else. These things came up for various areas of my life, and I had to learn how to persevere, the way we all do from one time to another.

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Here is some advice if you have felt abandoned or lonely or out-of-sorts: Life goes on as long as you are deciding that it does. Buy yourself some flowers, make yourself some coffee, put on your favorite records, light your candles at night, go to sleep early, go to sleep late, watch all your favorite shows, buy ice cream in the middle of winter, kiss your dog, hug your friend, draw something, write something, play the piano (poorly), buy a book you may never read, and be happy. There are things changing in my life and I don’t always have control over that, but I realized that while sadness may always come in life, so can happiness. Sometimes they exist at exactly the same time.

“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an 

open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when

I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should 

reach out and touch someone.”

-Maya Angelou 

 

Book Club: February 9th, 2017

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As you may have gathered from my previous post, I reread The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was so magic and wonderful and a beautiful story to dive into during these cold winter days.

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This is one of my favorite books of all time, and I highly recommend that you read it if you haven’t already!

Best quote:

“Where there’s life there’s hope.”

I also think it’s one of those stories that you can return to every so often and be charmed over and over again. As for me, I’m nursing a cold and stuck inside due to the feet of snow that are piling up outside my windows. I’m thinking of something a little different for my next read. I love the snow outside, but The Hobbit got me in a spring-y mood. I’m itching for the days that it gets warm in the afternoons and we can maybe plant some new flowers.

(I’ll leave you with another quote from the book because they are all SO good.)

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

Book Club: January 19th, 2017

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I took an unusual turn into Virginia Woolf, unusual because it felt like a very summery book, and we are in the dead of winter. It was a nice reprieve, as I found myself in a nice hot bath, reading through and imagining these characters playing out their parts in the beautiful environment with the ocean in the background. Virginia Woolf’s technique in this book is very different, with almost every paragraph switching character perspectives, giving us insight into their lives and minds. My mind was whirring as I read, and it meant that I almost always had to be in a certain state of mind before picking up this book again.

It was unusual and beautiful, but most importantly, it made me think.

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Favorite quote:
“Let us again pretend that life is a solid substance, shaped like a globe, which we turn about in our fingers. Let us pretend that we can make out a plain and logical story, so that when one matter is despatched—love for instance—we go on, in an orderly manner, to the next. ”

Have any of you read this before? If so, what did you think of it in comparison to her other work? I took out another one of her books that I didn’t get around to reading, but I was wondering if it was similar. I quite enjoyed this. I would recommend if you want to get swept up in an unusual story with an unusual way of telling it’s story.

-Heather

Wonderful Things That I Received for Christmas

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For awhile now, I’ve been itching for a record player to play my favorite music on. I wanted to tangibly be connected with the songs, and I was overjoyed to unwrap one on Christmas morning.

My parents felt extremely nostalgic as they showed me how to properly use it and care for it, and I sat by the player and watched the records spin and stayed in a blissful trance.

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Some other amazing and thoughtful gifts that I received:

-A locket with my initials engraved on the front

-The Illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

-A collection of all the Harry Potter books in paperback

-A scarf from Italy

-A cross-stitching kit

-The new Pokemon game (thanks to my brother)

-Lush bath goodies

-A new watch

(and tons more)

 

I’ve been looking through all of these things lately and trying to use them and enjoy them. Sometimes after Christmas is over, I find that I forgot a lot of gifts or put them to the side. This year, I’m trying to use them all.

I decided that I was giving myself a gift this year: the will. I want to give myself the will to go out and do whatever it is that I feel like doing, or want to do, or should do. Life is too short, that is that realization that I have come to. Does that sound cheesy? Oh well. I don’t want to miss out on things because I was too lazy to seek it.

This brings me to my favorite quote from one of my favorite writers:

“If we wait until we’re

ready, we’ll be

waiting for the rest of our

lives.”

-Lemony Snicket

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Evolving

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The one thing that I hope for myself in the New Year (besides the list that I previously posted about) is that I continue to evolve. I think about the past, about the versions of myself that I used to be at other times, and I am happy with where I am now. I’ve continued to grow and to not be afraid of where change might bring me.

It is such a beautiful thing to keep evolving, to never stop being curious about things.

I find that far too often, curiosity and creativity is squashed, but if you chase the things you wonder about, your life can be so much more.

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And I don’t mean evolving in a Pokemon way, but, I suppose that works too. I think my plans to continue this pattern is to not have a pattern at all, but rather, to live spontaneously with a general path in mind. I have already started a few new ventures that I am excited to share very soon, and I am in love with the way they are shaping up.

What are your thoughts on change and growth?

-Heather

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Winter Night-Time Routine

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-Turn off electronics

Just do it!

-Warm up

I use a hot water bottle or a heated blanket. This completely relaxes me on a cold winter night.

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-Turn on Christmas lights

This is the season of light. I truly believe that. When the sun won’t stay up in the sky as long, it’s great to get into the routine of turning on your (hundreds and hundreds of) Christmas lights.

There is something beautiful about lighting up an interior with little twinkles everywhere. I have lights up year-round, but there’s obviously way more right now.

I got these beautiful LED’s that look wonderful around minimal holiday decor.

-Catch up on TV shows

The nights are cold and the energy gets focused inside of the home. Because of this, sharing stories with families and friends by watching movies and TV shows is comforting and exciting. Some of my favorites right now are The Crown, Parks and Rec, and The Office. The warmth of being by the fire and drinking wine and hot chocolate with people you love is irreplaceable. It’s one of my favorite parts of the season.

I also MIGHT keep watching Pretty Little Liars since I have to recap before the last season.

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-Scroll on Tumblr/Pinterest

This is where I break the electronics rule.

-Spend time in front of the fire

I suggest cuddling with a pet.

-Get ready for bed

This involves taking off my makeup and brushing my teeth, cleansing, moisturizing, etc. This can sometimes be the hardest time of the night for me. I often get so tired that I don’t feel like doing anything of these things and would rather just crawl to the bed.

Lately I have been using my Clarisonic to buff off any lasting makeup before bed. I think this is really effective at getting rid of dead skin as well, and I have an abundance of that with the chilly weather. The cleanser I’ve been using is so silky and smooth that my skin feels so fresh after. I follow up with a night cream.

I end all my nights snuggled up with extra blankets. There is a beautiful thing about staying warm in the middle of a freezing night. I just moved my bed next to my window, and I love waking up to beautiful snow on the ground. That tends to motivate me to get some sleep. The wintry morning awaits.

 

What is your night-time routine?

-Heather

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A Painter’s Process // Fall to Winter

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I sat down and painted not too long ago, and then I watched Simply_Kenna’s Youtube video entitled, “A Painter’s Process,” and I wanted to showcase my thoughts about painting the colors of fall into winter. I realized that the two seasons, while very different in many ways, have beautiful corresponding colors. Maybe it is the way that one season bleeds into the next, and the hues that we appreciate start to bleed together too.

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What I love about fall is that there is a warmth to it. There is a happy, cozy, beautiful shade of brown that represents fall the best. This was the first time that I realized that my favorite pictures to take were those of warm browns and orange colors. They make up the pinecones, the acorns, the furry squirrels that run by, and they especially make up the fiery fierceness of the maple trees.

But as the days lull on, the leaves fall, and they die, and the world seems stark. But there is color to be found. I can see it when the sun falls on the countryside, illuminating the hills and highlighting the best of New England.

And then, there are those beautiful colors, my favorite colors, and they are the cool greys and blues.

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The way that these things naturally come together is inevitable. It is the organic cycle of things. I watch the way the brown leaves kiss the grey skies and I can feel that winter is coming. Sometimes we rush from one thing to another, trying to gather the most of each thing, compartmentalizing those things. But sometimes, those things belong together for a little while, sometimes they compliment each other. I am enchanted by that theory.

What does your environment look like to you right now? When you look outside, what colors do you see?

If you’d like to see what else I’m up to, you can catch up with me on Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest!

Talk to you soon,

-Heather

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Election 2016: Don’t Give Up. Stand Up. ✮

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So, we can all agree that we just went through the worst election process in the history of this country, and when America was put to the test, it failed.

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Now what?

The whole world is looking at us with sadness and disgust and anger, even when the responsible American citizens went out and voted for the much more qualified candidate. We are waking up to a new country  and all we can do is watch in shock at the circus in front of us. We are looking at our neighbors, our friends, our family members (who we used to respect) in a much different light. The choice between kindness and hatred was momentously disappointing. As a young woman who’s concerned with the wellbeing of human beings in general, I am let down by the amount of damage that has been done and cannot be taken back. This is the country we are forced to live in, and we have to come to terms with the fact that a very large amount of people care more about themselves than the lives of the less priveledged.

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We read so many books and watch so many movies where the heart of the story is defeating the villain, and sometimes we forget that the villains are very real and very dangerous in our own realities.

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If you are someone who voted for the losing candidate and you aren’t sure what to do now, I will give you some inspiration. This is what we do.

-We continue to be kind, and to show others kindness. It is evident that the lack of it was what pushed so many to vote the way they did.

-We educate ourselves on the legislatures and laws that are being passed at the state and federal level. This means understanding how it will effect our lives, and then getting out there and voting.

-We stand together as women and help out the other women in our lives. By supporting each other, we will be stronger and our voices will be heard. We will stop pitting women against each other because of jealousy and envy and instead will encourage women to be the absolute best that they can be.

-We will work hard to support minorities and those who were not listened to. We will hold each other’s hands and try to understand our differences. We will protect them as much as we can.

-Lastly, we will be good people. We will smile at others that we see on the train, we will hold the door when someone has their hands full, and we will be patient when the other people in this country are expressing their frustration. We will stand together, we will show up for each other, and we will prove to the world that there are people in this country that still have human compassion and are willing to put out their hand and pull each other back up.

This is a dark time in our country, and it will be in our history books. But we are still alive, we are still living it, and we will have to make it through this in unity.

Here are some quotes from some of our favorite stories that can help us relate to this situation.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” –Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters

And finally:

“Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”

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Salem Chronicles

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Hello everyone,

Yesterday we went to Salem! We returned again for our yearly visit and enjoyed all the spooky and witchy happenings there.

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The thing that always leaves me in awe is the preservation that they practice in Salem. There is so much there that is gorgeous and historic and original that I was completely overwhelmed. We didn’t get to go running around in a graveyard this year, but hopefully we can do that soon. Seeing the old headstones is stunning and humbling. I know that there was a lot of “scary” things going on in the streets and there were lots of haunted houses, but the history of Salem is really the best part. And, the crazy ass witch trials are scary enough, and those actually happened.

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We did something this year that we have never done, we went to see The House of the Seven Gables. I’m glad that I waited until now to do the tour because I’m not sure I would have appreciated it when I was younger. There was no photography allowed inside (or practically anywhere in Salem) but I got some shots around the exteriors. To be around such deep history and such timeless storytellers was incredible. We were walking up hidden staircases and entering tiny little doors and I felt like I was in a Harry Potter book. This is the back entrance into the gardens.

I embarked on this trip with my mom and my best friend Emily and we had the best time. It was cold, very cold, and quite windy. But it finally felt like fall. We all had boots and jackets and were bundled to be walking around the cobblestone streets.

I’ve been to just about every museum besides this one in Salem, and the way they have preserved the buildings is cray. Some of them date back to the early 1600s, others spanning until the 1800s. Touching the wood and the brick and imagining the way people lived back then really transported you. And so did our corndogs.

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This was a little spot that we sat under while waiting for our tour. The place was completely packed this weekend. The gardens were amazing and quite lush for being late October. After our tour, we saw that they put little fairy lights on in the top of the canopy. It was magical.

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The coolest part of Salem is how different all the houses and buildings look. Some date back to times long ago, and some are new structures. All of them coexisting together were so exciting.

We also so many, many dogs. And many of the dogs were dress up in Halloween costumes, to our wonder.

There was an abundance of witch shops and apothecary jars and tarot cards galore. We soaked it all in and refrained from taking pictures (at their request). I really think that the crowds fueled the excitement. When everyone around you is dressed up and in the Halloween spirit, there is an energy in the air. I was so happy to be a part of it. All of us were in our glory.

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The air was crisp and our noses were cold and my fingers sometimes shivered as I snapped pictures. But it was worth it. My mom swears that we are descendants of witches, but all that we found on our trip were heartwarming trick-or-treaters and lots of people in cloaks. This is truly the best time of year.

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Look at those leaves!

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This is where I’ll hopefully be studying my potions. In all honesty, the witch shops were so cool. We went in to as many as possible. One of them was called “Divinations” with spirit boards that were over $200! I was half pretending I was shopping for my trip to Hogwarts.

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My favorite area is Pickering’s Wharf by the water. This was where we almost lived. I love the sea and I’m charmed by the old houses by the wharf. We braced ourselves against the windy air and walked a bit by the ocean. It was cold and wonderful.

I’d like to come back when he crowds aren’t so congested. I’d like to really be able to learn about the history and walk around without feeling wiped out. Because of the amount of things to do, we always leave feeling exhausted. But that’s the fun of it! We tire ourselves with junky food and Halloween drinks and history lessons. Of course we were exhausted!

The city is magic, no pun intended.

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As the sun set I snapped this last picture and loved the way it looked. The church is beautiful and ominous and lovely.

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Of course, I couldn’t go without buying some books. I got some spooky reads here, The House of the Seven Gables by Nathanial Hawthorne and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. My House of the Seven Gables book is stamped that I bought it at the House of the Seven gables. You know, that’s pretty cool. They covers are also lovely.

And that’s about it for my Salem trip this year. It was amazing. I’m happy I spent it with my mom and Emily. We all had a great time and learned a bit of history and enjoyed our spooky season. I thought I’d share my pictures with you to show the incredible experience. Now, time to watch some Hocus Pocus.

To see what else I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest!

Be back soon,

-Heather