I'm Trying to Become Comfortable in Front of a Camera Again

I'm not sure if anyone has noticed or not, but I've been keeping out of the camera as of late. June 20 was actually the last time I published a personal style post. It's complicated, and I plan on going more in-depth about what's been going on sometime soon(ish), but for now, I'll just say that I'm trying.

I'm trying to be happier with myself again. I'm trying to be a bit more creative with the spaces I take self-portraits in. I'm trying not to delete every photo of myself. Insecurity is a complicated thing, and it doesn't react well with depression. I think I was also a bit burned out with my wardrobe and the routine of taking photos in the same spot, week after week.

I enjoy personal style and what it stands for so much, and staying out of it in this way has been a huge bummer, even though I was the one holding myself back. So hello. Here's me. Here's a look. It's nothing special, but I like it. These photos were taken as the sun was coming up yesterday morning, from just beside the front window in my house. The sunrise from that room is always lovely, and I was too impatient/tired to wait for the sun to rise any higher.

The dress was something I snatched from my mother as she was cleaning out her wardrobe last year. I have no idea how old it is, but it's got a kitschy, baby-doll vibe, and I'm into it. I swear, half of my own wardrobe consists of things I've taken from people who don't want them anymore. 

I've finally got more of these posts planned, and I'm genuinely making an effort to become comfortable in front of a camera again. So hey, it's been awhile. I'll try to stick around.

DIY Summer Gift Wrap

As I mentioned yesterday, my niece's birthday party was over the weekend. I managed to plan ahead and make sure I had the gifts purchased early enough before the weekend, but I suddenly remembered that I didn't bother looking for any kind of gift wrap supplies. 

That's me y'all.

So instead, I took advantage of supplies I already had in my arsenal, and I think the end result was pretty lovely. I was proud of myself. The gift wrap was complimented. This entire post is me patting myself on the back, but also hopefully giving you an idea or two.

The first thing I did was wrap both packages in basic, brown butcher paper. I got it at a hardware store a few years ago, admittedly for the sole purpose of wrapping gifts, though I forgot I had it apparently (thanks Mom). I had to use packing tape instead of regular tape, because the paper is thicker than the average wrapping paper, but it's fine. It works just fine.

After that, I took the packages outside to prevent a horrible mess in the house. I used three different paint colors that I thought would go with a unicorn theme (ish), and splattered them with a paintbrush. Again, this was really messy, and I had paint all over my grass and hands, but it's fine, I swear. Acrylic paint washes and rubs right off. 

Though I used acrylic paint, you could really use any kind of paint. 

The third step is tying the packages together with twine. I am a person who uses twine for nearly everything, so of course it's always around. I actually recommend that for life in general anyway. Twine is really helpful.

Anyway, I wrapped some around both packages, though not too tight, and finished it off tied in a bow. This specific type of twine probably isn't exactly twine. It breaks easily, but that's great for something that's going to be torn apart anyway. 

For a tag, I used a piece of paper that was cut off of the end of a package as I was folding and taping. I cut it into a basic tag shape, punched a hole in the top, and tied it to the end of the bow. You could easily stick it in the twine before you tie the bow, but it doesn't really matter. Any way works.

And that's it! This kind of gift wrap could be used for literally any occasion, but I think the added paint and nearly white twine gave the packages a sweet, Summer-appropriate look. Like I said, I'm basically patting myself on the back here. Sorry y'all.

Would you try this out?

A Small Impromptu Ramble About My Weekend

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. I've felt the new moon well and truly, and I feel incredibly refreshed. The Summer storm last night surely helped to banish the old, negative energy I've been hoarding on my shoulders. Thankfully.

I was out of town most of the weekend for my sweet niece's first birthday party. It was lovely, and her home has the dreamiest morning and evening view. She's grown into a happy, smiling, animal loving kid, and it's amazing. I can gush about my niece forever.

I took so many nice family photos, though I won't be sharing them here. Some things aren't for the internet. Some things are to keep for looking back on in ten years and smiling. For some reason, I only have photos of her mother from the back? So that's why it's only her. Whoops. I'm pretty sure the one is accidental, and the first photo is purely for the kitten. In case you see this M. Leave me alone. Also, I have blackmail photos, so leave me alone. (I kid.)

How was your weekend? Let's chat.

How I Spent Last Night

I've had insomnia issues for years. I mean, since I was ten, at least. It's been hitting me pretty hard lately, so last night I decided to take it easy, take some photos (not the best quality), and basically walk you through a night with me (and my dogs). Let's begin...

10:21 PM: I couldn't sleep at all last night, and I ended up sleeping the entire afternoon away. I'm up right now, watching bad YouTube and HGTV, and I can hear one dog getting up to mischief in my room. The other is laying next to me. I think I'm hungry?

I just went to check on Romeo, and he was having trouble jumping off the bed. He's so old, poor baby. I grabbed my planners, because I might as well get some work done. Laundry too, I just remembered.

12:26 AM: I just heard a weird noise, and Belle has been whining and growling at the front door. That's cool. I'm not a little freaked out at all. I did eat frozen pizza though. Those things aren't related.

1:43 AM: I'm a little sleepy but not sleepy enough to actually fall asleep, but I'm watching The Haunted Mansion, so everything's okay. Romeo stole my blanket though, and I don't have the heart to pull it from under him.

4:18 AM: The last few hours just flew by. Wow. I'm feeling pretty woozy right now. I still haven't gotten any sleep. I'm currently making coffee, and then I'm getting back to work on blog things and wrapping my niece's birthday gifts for this weekend. I'm going to take photos with the sunrise. I got my blanket back from Romeo, but Belle has half of it now.

Update - 3:51 PM: I fell asleep before I could post this earlier this morning. That's happened a few times lately. It's normal. The usual.

This is what an average night with me is honestly like. I had fun writing this post anyway. Maybe I'll do it more often...

On Making Clothes Last

I don't get a chance to shop very often. Though I adore fashion and styling looks, I don't have the bank account to support even a monthly shopping treat. It's been this way for a few years now though, and because of this, I've learned a few key things about keeping my clothes looking as nice as possible, for as long as possible.

Tip One: If you don't sweat too much in a piece, and it doesn't smell at the end of the day, don't wash it. Hear me out. I know that sounds weird, but no one knows that you're re-wearing dirty clothes but you. Unless you regularly hand wash your garments, a washing machine can beat them up. Not too much at once, but over time, there's an noticeable effect. Personally, I rarely wash jeans or sweaters. I'll even skip on dresses and anything black or white. Washing too much can alter the color of your garments as well.

Tip Two: Throwing your clothes in a dryer regularly can also rough them up a bit. Consider air drying those extra special pieces. I love to air dry my knit wear and dresses. A clothesline outside is perfect (and my dream), but hanging your pieces in front of an open window can make your space smell and feel lovely. That's one of my favorite things to do when it's not so hot out. The atmosphere makes doing laundry worth it. 

Tip Three: Patch any tiny holes or other indiscretions as soon as you can. Small hand sewing repairs are incredibly simple, trust me. If you can't hand sew, I promise it's easy to learn. The internet is a great resource. Repairing your own pieces early can prevent them from becoming too torn up to save. Also, ironing is good (in moderation). Keep everything nice and neat, and a piece that's five years old can still look fairly new.

Tip Four: Of course, it always helps to invest. I'm guilty of buying into fast fashion myself (a habit I'm trying to break), but you get what you pay for. If you invest in pieces and treat them well, they'll last a lot longer.

Do you have any tips of your own for making clothes last longer? Please share! We could all use the advice!

The One Way I'm Embracing Summer

I know I spend a lot of time rambling about how much I dislike the current season, but I've found myself repeating the same process nearly every evening in the last month, and it's actually something I thoroughly enjoy.

Every evening, as the sun is setting, I've found myself in the backyard, reading, roaming, and/or lounging in a hammock. It's stereo-typically picturesque, but I've really been loving it.

Don't get me wrong, there's always a part of me that can't wait for the ability to wrap up in a blanket out in the hammock, but I'll take what I can get.

These evening moments are getting me through Summer. Thanks nature.

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