Jasmine


I LOVE jasmine. 

There are three different jasmine vines growing in the backyard, and they are a few of my favorite resources. The leaves are beautiful, both pressed and freshly picked off the vine, and they're great for scattering around whatever you feel needs a bit of wild decor. The vines make a gorgeous wreath. I've yet to make a large one, purely because I don't want to take down too much of the plant, but you can hardly tell anything's missing after making a small one.


Jasmine is lovely for charging quartz crystals, and you can burn the flowers (safely) for prosperity. The plant is wonderfully feminine, corresponds with the moon, and can attract pure love. 

A bonus? They're usually the last plants in the yard to die off in Winter, only really succumbing to a harsh freeze.

Junk



Okay, so today's topic was something that I wrote in my planner, so it's not exactly fresh or relevant (to me), but I want to talk about it anyway. Deleting comments. Where do you stand?

Personally, I'm all for people deleting negative comments on their content. I don't understand why others get so ferociously angry about that. Why should anyone have to keep negative and/or hurtful comments on their content, to see and be hurt by over and over again? Nope. Not here for it. Delete your negative comments if they make you feel like shit.


For example, there was a specific YouTuber who had a baby last year and kept the gender a secret for a little while. The gender was "leaked" and people were being awful in her Instagram comments about it. They were even more awful about the fact that the YouTuber in question was deleting the negative comments she was receiving. Why should she keep them? It was like they thought she should be punished for it. Why?


I haven't had a ton of "rude" comments myself, but I always delete them, without even a second thought. I'm not just going to leave them there. I don't need anything else to pile onto my rough moments. 

Just don't be shitty. Easy. Done.

Anyway, the photos above are things in my junk drawer. I tried to delete some of that mess, but I only ended up throwing out some expired coupons. 


My Go-To Winter Look



"Wear something else Amber," and to that I say "no," because I've worn a variation of this outfit almost every time I've left the house in the last month. Even yesterday, I replaced the sandals with loafers, and the gray shirt with a black one, and that was it! Everything else was the same. At this point, I don't even know if it's a "uniform" or just laziness. Honestly. 

I love the look anyway. It's perfectly casual and layered, and I'm just enjoying the fact that I've got Levi's and a beanie to cover my ears this Winter.




Can I talk about Winter weather for a moment? I live in North Texas, and we're lucky if we see any kind of ice or sleet or snow in a season. It's actually kind of sad for fans of Winter like myself. We were supposed to get a little bit of snow/sleet yesterday, and I made such a fuss. I bundled up, because it was freezing regardless, and I left a jar out to collect snow, and watched the local radar for roughly two hours, only to watch the storm system dissolve as it reached my town. So I took a nap instead.

I already know I'm not staying in Texas much longer, and that's something I'll go into later, but I'm really leaning towards somewhere up north, where Autumn and Winter and nature are a bit more prevalent. Maybe. I might run off and end up in over my head and in three feet of snow. Who knows? 


I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I have no idea what I'm doing with mine. Probably working. I'm kicking it off with my "2012" Spotify playlist and feeling the deepest nostalgia. 


Everything is Cold


Everything is cold. It's as if I can feel the Earth's stillness, and life is slow. Slow, but not quite paused. That was my initial conclusion. Not paused, because though everything in nature, and everything in my being is moving slower, it's still moving. Everything is cold, and it's time to recover from a hectic holiday season, and a hectic existence in general. It's time to work and rebuild, and to know that this is the flow. This cold is what you make of it.



In a literal sense, I'm fucking freezing. I feel like it's been years since I experienced a proper Winter, and this year's is as proper as it gets here. Our heater is broken, so I've spent my days in three or four layers, with a blanket, and the occasional use of a small space heater. I think my depression is making me colder. Not an attention-grabbing comment (and I hate that I feel the need to clarify), but just a general statement. I think it is. I've been colder than the rest of my family. Like, shivering and wearing gloves so I can still move my fingers, cold. I think it's the depression. 

And yet I drink iced coffee as I write this. It's below freezing outside, and I was just in the backyard, barefoot, in the grass, because grounding is important to me. I am happy in this cold. I am making the most of it.



Garnet


This new year is for blogging about anything I enjoy. I want to start with Garnet.

Garnet is a stone I've admired from afar for awhile. I was gifted a pair of garnet earrings for my birthday, and I immediately fell in love. Which is fitting. Garnet is a love stone. (Ba-dum-tss)


Garnet attracts love, protects against many types of negativity, and helps give the wearer courage. Personally, I've been wearing garnet on days where I'm feeling particularly self-conscious. Doing so ensures that I won't be completely miserable throughout my day. I've definitely been dependent on these stones over the last few weeks.

Astrological sign: Capricorn, Aries

Element: Fire



Get into the Groove



I've spent the last two weeks talking about how much I couldn't wait to get back into the groove of things. It's January 5, and I'm a little wiped to be honest. In the best way though. I have been working and planning and editing my life away this week, and I feel so happy and full about it.

I've already got all of next week's post photos taken and edited, and I want to try a little something different for the week after (and the week after that, for that matter). Next week is designated for experimenting with photos, though now that I'm thinking about it, I need some more for Instagram first...





I gotta be honest y'all, I don't even know what I'm doing with blog posts this year. I want to focus more on photography, so the outfit posts are going to be a lot more chilled out. Mirror photos are simple enough, and I've been a lot more motivated to post what I'm wearing this way. 

I have a lot of ideas for photos, but no clue how to incorporate them into cohesive blog posts. Maybe expect even more rambling this year? Are there any specific topics I should write about?

Anyway, enjoy your weekend. Do something creative. Spend time with loved ones. Spend some time alone. Stay safe. Those up north, stay warm!


Resilience and Resolutions


Winter finally hit in my part of the world around the beginning of December. The remaining plants wilted and went into hibernation, and everything turned gray. Something about gray, colorless Winter is so relaxing. It really is a season for calming down and starting anew. I mean, I'm aware that Winter is literally about those things, but they're all figuratively fitting too.

Anyway, one Monday I felt a bit too restless and cooped up, so I ventured out into my tiny backyard. This isn't unusual, but as I bundled up, I realized that it had probably been weeks since I'd last done so, and I felt sad. I'd been to busy with holiday mess and family mess and general life mess, but as I stepped outside, I felt alright again. 

I immediately made my way to my favorite corner of the yard, where I feel so strongly connected to something bigger than me, and actually let out a surprised-but-not laugh. Though the grass was dead, and the morning glory vines were all cut back, little leaf buds were already sprouting again. It was as if the plants were defying the roadblocks in their way. Naturally, I started thinking about my own life.

I am self-centered?


I'd turned 23 a few days before, and I was honestly too dramatic about the whole thing. In the weeks building up to the date, I was constantly lamenting over another year gone by, still in my parents' house, still lacking an existence beyond the front yard, and completely disregarding how drastically different my life actually was in just a year. When the day actually came, I felt the complete opposite. I felt okay. I felt like I was strong, and nothing was wrong. I felt different, for lack of a better explanation. Everything was fine.

Instead of mourning all day, I felt like a fire had been lit inside me, and I made resolutions for the first time. I set goals for myself, and I'm going to see them through. I will. I can. I am strong, and I will continue to be strong in this new year.


So, my resolutions are:

1. Keep working. I want to do the projects I've been dreaming of. I'm just going to do everything my mind comes up with, and I'm going to continue to push my work everywhere. I have big hopes and goals for my creative projects this year.

2. Stay kind. Last year I said I wanted to be softer, and I failed. I'm an emotional person, and sometimes I am harsh and blunt. That's not going to change. However, I want to be kinder, in general really. Kinder to strangers, kinder to my parents, kinder to the Earth.

What are your resolutions?


The January Edit



It is COLD here now, and all I wear are sweaters and pajamas, layered over and over again - most of the time at least. Everything in this edit is a knit, unintentionally, but it's fitting, isn't it? I've also been really into earthy tones, stripes, and bright colors (i.e. yellow, orange, that pea-soup-green). Bright colors are totally fine for Winter. Why not brighten the mood? Though Winter is wonderful for hibernating and indulging in comfort, a little high energy never hurt anybody. 


December in Stories


Happy New Year! May this one be full of personal achievements and happiness. Remember that it's okay to be happy with your personal life while the world is in chaos. The world will always be in chaos. Stay fulfilled y'all. I wish you the best!

I wanted to start another kind of recap post for each month, without merely mentioning what happened on the blog. I tried that before, and I wasn't a fan. However, I've been a lot better at keeping up with my Instagram account, both with new, exclusive photos and Instagram Stories. Why not share some of my favorite Stories snaps here each month? I'm still working out the kinks, but this could be fun.


The net neutrality vote was a disgrace, but you know, those in charge over here love to fuck everyone. I drink a lot of iced coffee these days. Some more than others.


A view from a work space, and the view from a hospital room. Nothing with me. My grandfather had back surgery.


Birthday things.


The dogs love to cuddle in Winter, and I am definitely taking advantage of the fact. I love cuddling with them more than most things. Also, it's 30-40 degrees colder here now. My skin has thickened, thankfully.


I'm cuddling with the dogs in both of these shots. It's my happy place. I wasn't kidding about that. The photo on the right is from an evening spent cuddling and watching Bealtaine Cottage videos, which are the best, hands down. The photo on the left was taken one morning that I decided to just stay in bed with the babies and read for three hours. I forgot to post the photo until the afternoon. What a glorious morning it was.

What did you get up to in December?


Goodbye 2017


It's the last post of the year! Before I get to all the round-up mess, I want to thank you for being here. Thanks to everyone who has read/is reading this blog this year. I began 2017 with the idea that if I lost my passion for this space, I would quit. I was completely convinced that this year would be my last as a blogger, but you've all kept me going, kept me inspired, and kept the fire burning. Thank you. Seriously. Thank you.

On with it then. In 2017:



Here's to even better stuff next year!


End of the Year Survey


Another year is coming to a close, and I can definitely say that this blog has been around for a moment now. As we head into 2018 together, I want to know your own thoughts on the blog. 

You can complete the survey below or HERE if you'd like, and it would be much appreciated!



A Christmas Eve Look


In which you can see my shapewear, and I couldn't be bothered to edit it out. Why bother? A lot of people wear shapewear. Sometimes I do so just to keep my thighs from chafing. Shapewear is not the point of this post.


I thought I'd attempt one last outfit post for the year. This is the dress I'll wear on Christmas eve, but probably sans heels. Christmas Eve festivities are being held here for the most part, and I'm too partial to bare feet to wear stilettos all day. They look nice in photos though. That's definitely not why I bought them.

(It is.)


So, Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate. I hope your holiday is wonderful and memorable. I'll be back with the regular posting schedule on the 28th. See you then!


Winter



Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice/Yule/Midwinter, and I'm definitely feeling the comfort that comes with the crisp and calm outside. Winter is always a favorite of mine for the peace and quiet it brings, granted after the holidays calm down (not long now), but peace and quiet nonetheless. It's a time of hibernation and regeneration and feeling alive again. It's a time for sleeping in and living slow.



Step outside and inhale and enjoy Winter while you have it.


Gift Wrap 2017



This has been the year that I've rekindled my love for wrapping everything in butcher paper. You can clearly see the physical evidence here, minus the two packages wrapped in traditional paper, so my niece can rip into them easily. I've also given out Christmas cards for the first year, though not mailed because I never got around to walking to the post office for stamps. On the packages for my dogs and parents, I've tied on little faux branch pieces. I'll take them back after, but they look cute under the tree.

On another note, I'm currently trying to create a New Year playlist, and all I've put on it is Harry Styles and Bridget Bardot, and I don't think that's what I was going for, but it's what I've ended up with.

What are you doing for gift wrap?


My Mental State This Season


I do not feel festive. I have waited for this time of year impatiently, and I've written about my excitement endlessly, but as the season arrived in November, so did a wave of poor mental health, and I feel nothing. Maybe not nothing. I feel a bit upset that I'm not up to my ears in excitement, but I'm just not. Christmas is a little over a week away, and I'm not expecting the excitement to appear at all, so this is just where I'm at.

I'm feeling very depressed and very unconcerned about festivity, and all of these posts and photos have been incredibly forced. I still have a few more coming anyway. Maybe.

Blogging-wise, I honestly can't wait to get back to normal posts. I could just say "fuck it" and get back to the usual anyway, but we're half way through the Christmas season, and I might as well keep going. It wouldn't make much sense to suddenly post fewer festive things as the holiday grows nearer (though I've already done that on Instagram, whatever). 

Today I turn 23. I wasn't going to mention it, but the new year of life kind of applies to this topic. I just want to start fresh with everything, and ignore the topical season. I have a lot of plans for next year, and I'm excited to get them going already. I feel like I've reached a new place with this blogging thing, and I'm ready for topics I care more about, things I care more about, and brutal, brutal honesty. It'll take practice, but I want it.

I think the future looks brighter. The now is the issue, you know? I'm trying to be in the moment, but it's not quite working.

I hope you're feeling more festive than I am.


Want More?