Monday, July 28, 2014

Words to live by

Quote via the tao of Dana

Sometimes we forget that the journey is just as important as the destination. Having major dreams and plans we aim to achieve is an incredible source of inspiration and motivation. But it's just as important to remember to celebrate every step of the way and to appreciate every single effort that we put in. Even the obstacles, failures and every single tear we shed can be a source of growth and renewed strength. Just like so many other tiny little things that we tend to overlook or take for granted.

For the past few years, I've been making a conscious effort to pay more attention to those seemingly little and inconsequential things. A good laugh with my family or friends. A delicious meal devoured on a patio (a gorgeous sunset is optional). A bunch of flowers bought for no reason at all. A long lavender-scented bubble bath and a glass of rosé after a particularly exhausting work week. Reading an unputdownable book late into the night. A box full of office supplies delivered straight to my door. Waking up with the sun in the morning and viewing every single morning as an opportunity to start afresh. New lipstick that makes me glow... This may seem like nothing in the grand scheme of things, but I am infinitely grateful for every single thing that puts a smile on my face, any given moment. And I feel that I've been living a much happier life ever since I started to put this theory in practice.

How do you celebrate every day? Do you pay attention to those little things that make life more beautiful? What is that one thing that never fails to make you smile?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Etsy finds: Pretty photo albums

Image via: WatermarkBindery cherry branch photo album

This past Tuesday, I gathered all my courage and set about to sorting out a bunch of boxes full of old clothes, notebooks, magazines and just stuff in general. Admittedly, it's not the most fun and enjoyable activity you can do on a random afternoon, but I find the act of getting rid of old things oddly soothing and relieving. Don't you?

And what's more, even among all those useless dust-gathering things, I managed to find a few hidden gems (hello, my high school journals). I fell upon a few boxes filled to the brim with photographs, letters and postcards. And browsing through them made me feel kind of nostalgic, in the best possible way.

With our lives proudly displayed on social media these days it can be hard to believe, but I really belong to a generation that wasn't born with a smart phone clutched tightly in the hands. I can still remember those times in high school when we used landline phone to set up dates (with our parents usually lurking nearby), when we had our photos developed (and not stored on Facebook and Instagram), and when we used to send each other (gasp!) letters and postcards.

Don't get me wrong. I'm just as dependent on my iPhone and addicted to Instagram these days as the next girl. But there's something so wonderfully old-fashioned about the slightly faded ink of the photographs. And don't even get me started on all the happy (and sometimes bittersweet) memories that it evokes.

And since making photo albums again was one of the items on my summer bucket list, this was just the perfect incentive for me to start hunting down that perfect blank albums. Per usual, I turned to my trusted Etsy, and I sure wasn't disappointed. Below is just a small portion of my current favorites, and while I'm trying to pick the winner(s), I would love to know: do you ever have your photos developed? Do you make your own photo albums? If so, where do you buy them? Any tricks of the trade you'd like to share?

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