The way I see it, the two work off of each other. They work in concert, and they are even cyclical. If I slow down, I can focus, and give things - and people - the time and energy they deserve. If I focus, and give things the time and energy they deserve, I can slow down, and enjoy the life with which I'm blessed, in all of its big and small glories.
Part of both of those is, for me, this blog and my writing. So to honor my commitment to myself, you get one, too. You get a commitment from me to be here, to write, and to share the pretty, stylish, and maybe even thoughtful things related to the pretty and stylish. I may not write often, but when I write, I will give you that which inspires and speaks to me.
To focus, I've started to organize my thoughts. And as trite as it may seem, in addition to the 1000 lists I adore making, I've spent a little time lately reorganizing my Pinterest. You see, I really do use it. Sometimes, it's a to-do list, sometimes it's a note-to-self, and sometimes it's - wait for it - inspiration.
So without further ado, here's where I'm spending time and energy to start my - our - year. May it be a lovely one for you, filled with success and achievement and adventure - and the joy and peace to enjoy them all.
Practical Style Lessons - not that there aren't a 101 - ok 10,001 - style and fashion blogs out there that proffer advice, but truth be told, that's part of why I started this blog in the first place. So it's back up front, in focus, with both found-on-the-interwebs advice and my own thoughts on how-to.
I Just Need a Gala... This is one of my favorite boards. I'm fairly certain I was born into the wrong social class. I should be attending gala after gala, in gown after gown. And while I wasn't, and am not, I still get to go once in a while, and being that the gala season isn't over yet, I still have to find a little inspiration. Maybe you will, too. After all, sparkly, dramatic, and twirly dresses? Yes, please.
Of Pen, Paper, and Pages - When I started this blog in 2005, it was because I wanted to write. I love to write - and that's why in between the advice and the Pinterest pictures, you'll find my more essay-like posts. I've named 2014 My Writing Year, so I've moved this board, full of writing instruments, places, and thoughts (never mind a few pictures of amazing libraries) onto the top row.
Winter Girl - I am. So if you're not, ignore this board. But if you're at all like me, and find joy in the cozy, the fresh, the crisp, and the chill, there are currently 147 pins full of tartan, blankets, and wintry scenes.
The Face - If 2014 is My Writing Year, it's also the year in which I Will Learn to Take Care of My Face. I'm using the makeup, skin, and colors here to keep my eye on the prize. The prize in which I fully embrace my fair skin and blue eyes and relish it.
On top of my head - I also want to take better care of - and learn to do - my hair. In 2013, I gained bangs for the first time since middle school, and it's opened up worlds of options for me. I even asked my (16-year, exceptionally trusted) stylist for a recommendation on a - gasp! - flat iron. On this board you'll find hair how-tos, pretty styles, and, my own personal fave, hats & scarves.
Home is Where the Heart Is - Part of slowing down and focusing is time with H and my Beans. We've been working on our home for the last year or so, but still have some work to do. So in amongst the paint colors, you'll find design inspiration (yes, I'm fully on the midcentury bandwagon). And a few more libraries.
Where My Heart Wants to Go - Maybe this board should be first. I spent two separate years as an exchange student after high school and during college. My first year was outside of Vienna, Austria, and it changed - quite literally - my life. This year, after almost 15 years, I'll return for a visit - with H and the Beans. I cannot wait to show them (H has been, but it's been 15 years for him, too) where Mama lived, played, and learned to be herself. Oh. And the board has a few other travel ideas, too.
Weekends Around Town - as much as I love a gala, I love me some jeans and slouchiness. This is my ode - and my shopping to-do list, in large part - for the classics and trends I either already or hope to rock when not in the office.
The Best Things in Life Are... In DC - a fledgling board, this one pays homage to some of my favorite parts of what is now for this formerly Pennsylvanian girl, home. DC is an amazing city with so much to offer. Keep an eye out for more here.
Borrowed from the Boys - for both work and weekend inspiration - heck, even for those galas, I've always been drawn to menswear. There's just something so outright sexy and practical and gorgeous in women in menswear.
Things that Sparkle, Gleam, and Twinkle - I'm a sucker for sparkle. Especially completely out-of-reach sparkle. Sure, there are a few costume pieces on here, and I adore Alexis Bittar, but, well, the better the gem, the more the sparkle.
Written Inspiration - no surprise, I'm a bookaholic. Even with my newfound love of Nook, I can't stop buying hard copy books (just last night, I went into Politics & Prose for one thing - which they have on order - and came out with another - Simon Doonan's Asylum, if you must know - it's now on top of the massive pile o' books and magazines on my reading list). But really what they are is inspiration for me for my daily life. I find that my style comes from what I read. And I'm not just talking about wearing turn-of-the-20th-century-like frocks because I (still, and always will) love Anne of Green Gables.
There are more, of course, but these are the ones "up top" right now. I'm sure they'll shift as I do.
So what inspires you? If you use Pinterest, what do you find popping up there most? Is it true to what really speaks to you, or is it a more functional tool?
And what is your style inspiration for 2014?