Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 | Just Live

Living. It has sort of been an overarching motto in my life. Not just because of the obvious reason, that I am a living, breathing human being. I've always known that my life was made for more than just existing. For coasting through the day to day life without a purpose. I think everyone has a purpose, whether we accept and accomplish it or not, we have a meaning. We are here for more than just taking up oxygen. Just the fact that you were born has caused a whole chain of other events. Some people might not exist if it weren't for you. Everyone's life would be different if it weren't for you. For me. For us.

I have a tattoo on my back that says ζήοτε, meaning you shall live, or more accurately it means you must live in Greek. (Since I don't personally know greek I did have it translated by two different people who have studied Greek for years. I could also have the exact letters wrong above, that is just what it looks like in my mirror.)

The point is that I have been focusing my whole life on learning what it means to live and I think I'm finally starting to figure it out, at least as best as any twenty-something girl can.

So with that, I am leaving 2012 behind. Probably one of the best years in my life, in so many ways. I started this year a bit broken and confused. I started it mourning the loss of friendships. Drenched in insecurity. I was still unsure of where life was going to take me. But I did start it with hope. I knew things could change, and sure enough they did.

My "New Year's resolution", if you'd like to call it that, is just to further learn to Live Healthy. Which doesn't mean to go on a diet and loose a bunch of weight. To me it means to be conscience of what I put in my body, to be active, and to be at peace with who I am and the friends and family I am surrounded by. To accept and love myself where I am at, and to continually work towards positive change. To not fear the things which I have no control over.

If 2012 was a year of change, then 2013 will be a year of acceptance, love, peace, friendships, family, and accomplishment.

This new year doesn't have to mean "clean slate" "start new" "start fresh" it can mean building upon what has already been accomplished. It can mean another year to accomplish our goals and live our lives to the fullest.

Happy new year everyone!
Be safe!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New adventures

Welcome to my new blog, Level and Lace.
This is my second blog and a new project that I decided to start working on.
My other blog Knowing Tanya has been about just about anything I can think of, up until now.
This new blog will be focusing specifically on style and design.
All of my fashion posts, diy projects, building projects, and home decor will all go here.
Anything related to styling.

My other blog will remain dedicated to anything I have on my heart,
while this place will be my creative outlet.

Follow along and enjoy!

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An anniversary of sorts

Four years ago we had a crazy snow and ice storm here.

I spent the day with my biggest crush and his friends who were hosting an all day Star Wars marathon... (yep, nerds.)

A few movies in I ended up on a walk, holding hands and covered in icicles, with someone who made me laugh more than anyone I had ever met. That was the first day I started dating the last boyfriend I would ever have.

I can't believe how quickly time passes. How every day I longed to be in that man's arms. Then suddenly one day I was, and have spent nearly everyday in them since.

He drives me crazy all the time, but I love him. I love that he challenges me, and that he doesn't just do everything I want him to do. I love that he pushes me to be more productive, to have stronger character, to not be afraid of everything in this scary world. I love that he holds me and makes me feel safe, maybe for the first time in my life. He reminds me that we can't live our lives in fear.

I feel lucky just to know this man.

Thanks for being so incredibly awesome, Huz. And for carrying my hair ties around in your pocket just incase I need one. Every day with you is a blessing. :]

Friday, December 14, 2012

My grinchy ways

I'm really not one to carry on traditions simply for traditions sake. Call me a grinch, but I just like to be different sometimes. If you tell me to do something, chances are I wont want to do it simply because I want to make my own choices. All you have to say to turn me off to an idea is, "But you have to, it won't be [fill in the blank] with out one."

For example:
Christmas trees.
Alex and I were not all about the Christmas tree tradition. We just didn't see the point in doing all that work just to have a tree in the house for a month and then have to throw it out. "But you have to have a Christmas tree! It won't be Christmas without a tree!!
And thus, our non-tree home idea was born. 
But if you follow me on instagram, you know that this year I was out the the weekend after Thanksgiving getting my tree. Just like all the other die hard Christmas people. And from my pictures you know that there is nothing I have loved more than my tree these last few weeks.
It turns out there are just some traditions that I have come to fall in love with all on my own.
Like Christmas trees.
Last year, I caved and decided to test out getting a tree, and that was all the convincing I needed. There is nothing like having your very own tree. To cut down, to make room for, and to decorate.
In love I fell with that one little tree, and I will get a tree from here on out.

And now I'm caving on my no Christmas card plans...
As much as I feel like they might be pointless, I love getting all those cards in the mail. I love being able to display them. To see that our friends and family love us and want to shower us with some of those kind words.
Yeah, maybe they aren't personal. Maybe they don't have hand written messages (all the time). Maybe the same card gets sent to everyone. But dang it, I love them. And who on earth has the time and energy to write messages to everyone they know? Because I sure don't.

Thus my Grinchy ways are dying, one by one.
And this year I actually wanted to send out Christmas cards of my own. Yep, for the first time.
Unfortunately, with our nearly non-existent Christmas budget, I'm still trying to figure out if we even have the money for that this year.
To friends and family, if you don't get a card in the mail, take this as a card from us this year!
Hopefully next year we can send cards to everyone!

How do you feel about traditions?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

I can't figure out a way to write this post without making it sound like a Scentsy or Walmart sponsored post... Because I assure you it isn't. I'll attempt to tell it anyways.

Last night the Huz (thats what I call him, I like it better than "hubs") and I took a little trip to Walmart to get all those last minute supplies I didn't realize I needed, for a project I didn't realize I was going to do. Sometimes when we make a trip to the store (especially this store) we pick up all the things we have been thinking of getting for awhile, that way we can put off coming back for as long as possible. We also sometimes wander around the store to see what kinds of things they have. It's sort of like "hey, I've been wanting one of these [insert random item here], let's see what quality Walmart has, we are here anyways." And last night was no exception.
I'm not trying to be a snob and say I am too good for Walmart, but I will pay more for something that is better quality. If I am going to buy something, I don't want it to break a month after I bought it. And let's face it, Walmart doesn't always have the highest quality items. Am I right?
We happened to wonder down the "fake Scentsy" isle and decided to see what kinds of scents they had. (We have cats, our house smells bad sometimes). Let's just say we spent way longer than we should have on that isle. We would each smell a scent, followed by nearly throwing up, and then smell something else. We probably should have given up, but we thought surely they had to have one that smelled good. Honestly, I was completely nauseous by the time we left the store. Thankfully, we found one little gem in the millions of scents that we smelled.

I'm smelling it right now and honestly, it is like Christmas cinnamon heaven. And it was only $2.00. 

The moral of this semi long, somewhat pointless story is... if you want to buy some knock off scentsy scents from Walmart, be sure to carry a plastic bag with you. Or just pick up this scent. They may sound like they are going to smell awesome, but honestly they smell like that dessert in your fridge from last Christmas that got shoved in the back and you forgot to throw it out. Which is only a slight exaggeration.

Now I'm off to finish some more Christmas decorations.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas time is here....

All I really want to show you today is some freaking awesome pictures of my house all decorated and cozy looking for christmas. But the truth is, my house is not completely decorated yet!  All I have up so far is my tree, stockings, and some old christmas cards! I feel like I'm so far behind, but everyone else in my family waits to get their tree until the week before Christmas, so I guess I'm not so bad, right?

I plan to have a lot more things finished today and tomorrow. Which means that I need to get off my computer, pull out the sewing machine, and get to work! (And stop looking on pinterest...)

Here are some inspiration pieces I found to get me in the holiday mood:



(tree skirt) via
And a whole lot more if you want to look at my Christmas board!

I have a tree picture, but it is so much less inspiring than all the beautiful ones I am seeing on other blogs! 
I'll just wait until I'm done with everything and maybe it will look better.

Am I the only one that hasn't finished decorating yet?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Best. Season. Ever.

I'm pretty sure Christmas is a small glimpse into what heaven will be like.
Even though I am studying like mad right now for my last final, I can't even begin to describe how happy my heart is that this is where I get to study.
Right next to a beautiful tree. In a clean living room house.

Can't wait to show you all my other Christmas decor.
But I'll have to wait til tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A whole month off

There are my crazy eyes in all of their glory. You missed this face didn't you?
Hmm, sometimes I come off very full of myself, don't I? If you ever think that, I promise you it is my sarcasm.

I just wanted to give you guys a little update about my life, because it looks a bit different right now.

First of all, I quit my job last month! I had originally quit a few months ago, but then they offered me less hours to work around my school schedule, so I stayed. And every day I had to go into work I regretted that decision. I only worked 10 hours a week and they really wanted me to care a great deal about my job. I don't blame them, that is their priority. But it wasn't mine. My priority was doing great in school so I could get a good job working with things that I care about. (By the way, I worked at a bank, so to say I didn't care would be an understatement). That just isn't where I wanted to be, not in any way.

I've always been the person that says, "If you don't like your job then find a new one, or quit. Don't waste your time and energy complaining about it and bringing everyone else down." Honestly, I've never really followed that rule of mine. I've worked in jobs that I hated for months and years because I always felt too bad to walk away. Plus, my dad always taught me to have another job lined up before you quit a job. (Which is seriously some of the best advice I've ever gotten, I've seen what happens when you don't do that, and it's not pretty). I'd like to say that I was loyal and I didn't waste my time complaining, but boy, would that be a lie. I wish I could be that positive person that always sees the best in every situation, but I'm not.

All that to say, for once in my life I actually followed my own rule, and quit. It wasn't that it was the worst job in the world. I know many people enjoy it. But to me, it felt so meaningless. I know that I got the opportunity to make a lot of people laugh or try to brighten there day. I loved it when people would leave saying, "You guys just made my day!" Yep, that happened! But I'd like to make a bigger difference in this big broken world than just putting a smile on someone's face for a few short minutes. Isn't that what we all want? Maybe not, but that is what I want. I want to do something that I am passionate about, something that I won't be incredibly cynical about. That I won't role my eyes at every time I am talked to about how to get some random set of numbers higher. Something that isn't about making money for a company that has more money than anyone could ever dream of having.

I want to be successful in school. I probably could have been and worked at the same time, but I didn't like that the very small amount of time that I was working was already draining me. So I decided to be a little selfish for once, and do what was best for me.

Now, since I will be done with finals tomorrow night, I will have a whole month off! From everything. No school. No work. Just me, doing whatever the heck I want to do. Yeah, I'm pretty excited!

I'll let you know how the month goes.

PS. My facebook page has officially been converted. Here is the new page!  If you already follow me on FB, be sure to follow my new page, as the old one will be deleted within the next 2 weeks!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bye bye FB! Hello productivity!

I'm back, as promised! Actually I didn't promise anything, but I came back anyways! I like you guys too much.

If you read my last post you know that I took a little break from blogging last month. For some time I've felt a lack of motivation. Not just for blogging but for a lot of other areas in my life. I've just felt drained, a little confused about where I am at in life, and confused about how to get where I want to be. I needed some time to step back and breath. Not to feel so bogged down by pressure. A pressure that I have definitely put on myself, to make this a place worth visiting.

Of course we all want followers. We all want to know that we are putting something out there that other people enjoy reading. But I got a little ahead of myself. I wanted to "run with the big boys" and a lot sooner than I think I am actually ready for. I'm still trying to figure out how to fit this blogging thing into my daily life, I'm not ready for a thousand followers (because I'm getting so close, ya know?)

It was a good month off. Honestly, the day after I wrote my last post I wanted to write a new one. About some random thing in my life I'm sure. That was a confirmation for myself that I wasn't done with blogging. Not even a little bit (because I did consider deleting it... GASP! I know).

In the last month I discovered something really important. Something that I have known for awhile, something that I can no longer deny. It's time for me to delete my facebook.

This might seem like something small to you (or something huge depending on who you are), but to me... it is medium. I have a love/hate relationship with facebook. As I think many of us do. I hate hate hate that I waste so much of my time on there. Talk about a motivation killer! But I love to read about what is going on in other peoples lives. I love to see everyones pictures. You could also say I love finding out about people's gossip. Hey, I am human! 

In January I wrote a post outlining some of my goals for 2012. And in it I wrote this:

"Delete Facebook. This is my last goal. It really ties in with all of my other goals because do you know what I am often caught doing (by my husband, of course) when I should be or want to be doing any of the above things? Reading Facebook. Horrible, I know. I just get so sucked into finding out what people are doing where they are going what they are wearing. UGH. It is bad, and I have really thought hard about deleting it for awhile now. It wasn't until I read a post someone wrote about it that I really felt convicted and decided enough is enough, I just need to bite the bullet and do it... soon. I did delete the app off my phone and this has helped tremendously already. My husband is even noticing a difference. I've kept it mostly just to keep people updated on my blog updates, but I just started a page just dedicated to my blog so people can still follow and I can delete my personal page."
Long story short, I did start a page for my blog. I did delete my facebook app. I did spend several months not having much activity on my page at all. And then I went back to school. And all the time that I should have been spending studying, cleaning my house, or doing anything at all that is productive, I spent on facebook. All that time that I had spent not caring about that stuff went out the window. Oh and even though I deleted the app and never re-downloaded it, I just get on to it from the browser on my phone. I'm right back where I started.

I keep giving myself excuses why it's ok that I keep it. I need to stay in touch with people. I just added that friend, that would be confusing if I deleted it right now. As long as I delete it by the end of the year it will be ok. And well, here we are. Less than 30 days until 2013. And I've still tried to give myself some excuses. One valid one was that I couldn't figure out how to delete my personal page and keep my blog page open.

I've come up with a solution. And it involves any of you guys who are my "fans" on facebook page. Basically the only way to do it is to convert my "personal profile" into a "facebook page". Which are apparently different. All of my current friends will then become "fans" and my current blog page will then be deleted. You may be thinking, what's the difference, but there actually is a big difference. For one, I wont have that endless stream of wall feed to spend hours reading about people I don't even talk to. I probably wont spend nearly as much time updating my page or writing new update statuses, because I don't think my blog followers care about the traffic on I-5.

I will officially be converting my page over on wednesday. For anyone that isn't friends with me on FB, all that means is that, if you want to continue to receive FB updates, you'll just have to "like" my new page, which I will have a link for after everything is converted.

For all of my "friends" who don't want to read my blog, well just "unfriend" me or "unlike" my page after it is converted. It is that simple. I wont be offended. I probably don't talk to you anyways.

Hopefully I'll spend my month off from school and work being productive. More on that later.