Hey everyone! I thought it’d be fun to do another Ask Anne post, this time on video! I shouted out on Twitter and Facebook to see if you had any questions, and you did! I love chatting with all of you and getting to know you, and hopefully, these videos make that more possible!
Look at all these beautiful women. These are all friends that I met through blogging. Isn’t that amazing? We read each other’s blogs, we emailed, we tweeted, and then we became friends. Natalie, Stephanie, Rebecca, Lauren, Kim, Anne, Lizzy and Katie – and that’s not even all of them.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about these relationships, and about how to start a movement and gain traction for my blog. To be completely transparent, I lost about half of my daily pageviews when I switched over to wordpress. I tell that to my blogger friends (like the girls featured above), and they just stare at me with a confused look and say “WHAT?!” Because that is a blogger’s worst fear, is it not? That you make some switch or move in an effort to make your platform better and it actually sets you back in huge ways. Yikes.
I think that a lot of it has to do with Pinterest. My blog really started to explode when my DIY Chevron Bulletin Board post blew up on Pinterest. Raise your hand if that’s how you found my blog. I’m sure there are a lot of you. But when I switched to WordPress back in September, the link formatting changed and that slight alteration in the web address of that post deterred traffic enough so that my pageview count dropped by half. That was really terrifying.
I’ve been working for months on how to turn this around. But honestly, I think when it all comes down to it, I’m kind of grateful for this set back. Really, I’m not bullshitting you right now. It has really taught me to value my traffic in a way that I didn’t before. I am not taking it for granted anymore. Ever since this setback, I’ve been more engaged, more genuinely interested in my readers, in my blog friends, and more invested in getting to know all of you as a way of building this community. I’m not just relying on retweets and pins anymore, although I can’t discount those things as unimportant because they are important. But I’m not leaning on them as much anymore. I’m not looking at the numbers as faceless and lifeless like I used to, but now, I see each and every one of you in the count.
I am so thankful for all of you. And when I found this video today through Libby, I was like “Yes! That’s it! That’s what I want!” I want to embrace those of you who first followed me, which frankly, is all of you at this point. This is still a small operation. I want to get to know you, to treat you as equals. I think that is a really empowering way to live your life, isn’t it? I’m so sick of the mean side of blogging. We all know this – the jealousy, the cutting people down, the talking behind each other’s backs. It’s just all so, so ungrateful! And it really disgusts me to the point that sometimes, I just want to throw in the towel.
And then I get an email from one of you saying that a post that I wrote off the cuff and didn’t think much of really touched your life in that moment, and I remember that I’m not doing this to look cool or to be famous or to make gobs of money. I am really doing it because I am passionate about people, and want to empower others to live beautiful lives where they know their worth and can share their love and passions freely with others. And that starts with getting to know you guys. So thank you to the girls listed above, my sweet, sweet readers/fellow bloggers turned real life friends. And thank you to my first followers, my faithful readers, who comment and email and tweet. Every time you do, it reminds me to float back down from the intangible and lifeless world of numbers and remember why I’m really doing this. Maggie, Louise, Bella, Amanda, Heather, Alyssa and so many more of you. You’re the best.
So this has been sort of a brain dump, and isn’t grammatically correct in places but I hope that you see it more as us talking over coffee and getting to know each other and me thanking you for your friendship, and that you leave with a smile on your face and your heart filled up with positive energy and love instead of bitterness and jealousy. I’m done with those sorts of coffee dates/blog post reading experiences. Here’s to friendship!
It’s been awhile since we had a giveaway around these parts, hasn’t it? Well, to get into the holiday spirit, I partnered with the wonderful Skyler of Lily and Olive Designs to giveaway a Custom Address Stamp just in time for the holiday card season.
I met Skyler a few months ago, and have just loved getting to know her. She has a heart of gold, a passion for creativity, and a strong desire to make her mark in the world in a positive way. I’m so excited to share Skyler’s work with you today.
Lily and Olive officially opened over the summer, and Skyler has been working so hard to bolster her shop and spread the word! I just love her heart for what she does – and I hope you do, too! Enter below to win a Custom Address Stamp and check back here soon to see if you’re the winner! In the meantime, head over to her shop and check out her Christmas card designs.
This post is sponsored by Lily and Olive Designs. All opinions are my own. Winners will for the Lily and Olive giveaway will be announced within 48 hours after the giveaway ends on December 11, 2013 at 11:59pm MST.
A few months ago, I found out about a new magazine starting out of Denver called Fellow Magazine. The publication, which would be published quarterly and only in print (at least to start), would be committed to lifting up the lives and work of inspirational people who are changing their communities through creativity, art, food, business, service and more. Because I am a firm believer in the power of “me too,” I immediately jumped on board.
Fellow started with gatherings to get the word about, and all summer and fall we have been working tirelessly (and for free!) to get all the content written, photographed and designed. It’s been an incredible process. Though we are starting out by featuring our community in Colorado, we plan to spread out to other cities soon. I have had the pleasure of working with talented people like Kelsey Brown, Shaun Boyte, Levi Tijerina, Sarah Ann Noel, Jarrod Renaud, Adam Bove, David Fiser, and many, many more. We will be printing with Artifact Uprising so that we can support our local community – it’s truly an amazing thing we’ve got going on here.
We are at a critical stage in getting this project funded on Kickstarter. We have less than 3 weeks left, and have about 60% of our funding goal left to raise. We need your help to get this magazine up and running. You know me, I never post about anything to my readers that I don’t fully believe in and support, and this is such an occasion. I don’t want you to feel like you need to support monetarily unless you really want to, but I would appreciate it if you would share about the Kickstarter via social media, email, old fashioned flyers in your office – anything to spread the word to others who might be interested in supporting the efforts of the Fellow community.
Gifts for pledges include a meeting with the Fellow editorial team, an Artifact Uprising wood block set, a Fellow tote bag, a photography session with Levi Tijerina and more.
We need this magazine in our lives. It’s all about authentic and loving community – and lifting up the endeavors of those who are fighting to make a difference in the world. The aesthetic is gorgeous and the commitment strong, and we welcome you into the Fellow family. Thanks so much, friends! Let me know if you have any questions, compliments or concerns! XO
You can give to Fellow’s Kickstarter campaign here.
A month or two ago, we had a housewarming party to welcome our loved ones into our new home, and to celebrate this milestone in our life. I still can’t believe that we own a home. There are days when I pull up into the drive or pause while cooking dinner, and look around at all it’s beauty and newness (it even has that new house smell, still) and I am just so thankful that God blessed us with this amazing gift. We feel so lucky to have found this house in this neighborhood in this town in this state – sometimes it just seems like there was a divine plan orchestrating it all.
Back in the spring, we were talking about a cross-country move. We were craving community, and I wanted to be closer and more involved in the college where I did my undergrad. It didn’t workout. Nope, not at all. Instead, less than a month after we returned from that little research trip, we were under contract on this home. Turns out, we live across the street from some amazing new friends, and I have found a new close-knit community in Colorado bloggers and publications like Fellow Magazine. And that doesn’t even bring in how Spencer’s life has fallen into place. All of this to say, we feel really lucky.
We invited our family and a few close friends over to our home at the end of September, and hosted a big dinner and a time for everyone to mingle and look around the new place. Minted took the party to the next level with their gorgeous table decorations, including signs for the treats, snack bag stickers, and table confetti. It added so much to the kitchen table, and you better believe I was admiring this set up the whole day before everyone arrived (and I was Instagramming the crap out of it – were you following along?).
My wonderful friend Rebecca Caridad of Manzanita Photography came and snapped photos. I also made some cookies, and wrapped them in little cellophane bag sealed with stickers that had my new logo on them. It was the week or so after my new blog design launch, so I wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of the big news!
We worked really hard to get our place looking great before everyone came over. It wasn’t possible to get every room put together, but honestly, I need to have more compassion with myself because we had only been here for a 3 months or so and the place looked great. Spencer and I like to call our style “rustic modern” – a term we thought we coined, but now I’m seeing a lot of my blogger and stylist friends say that they love this style, too. West Elm was great for this – our kitchen table (similar) and jar lights above are from there, as well as a ton of pieces from my office (stay tuned for my office tour post!).
Another thing I love about Minted is that they aren’t just a resource for cards and calendars. They have an incredible community of independent artists, and in the last year have developed a really unique and beautiful collection of prints in their shop. I have always loved art, but have had a hard time figuring out what pieces to add to my collection because I struggled to find art that spoke to us and our story. Minted really satisfied this need. I created this gallery wall in our bedroom above our dresser with their prints (save the black and white landscape photograph in the bottom right, which is by Austyn Elizabeth Photography) to try and capture that naturalistic, quiet tone we were going for. It turned out so well.
The party was a hit! I’m so glad we did it, even though it was a lot of work. We have this gorgeous house, and I want it always to be filled with laughter and friends and love. In the next few months, I want to share more photos of our kitchen, bedroom, and upstairs. It’s still a work in progress!
This post was sponsored by Minted. All opinions are my own. All photography by Anne the Adventurer unless otherwise noted.
Have you seen the new Hunger Games movie yet? Oh. my. Lord, you guys. It’s the best. Catching Fire > Hunger Games. BY FAR.
One of my favorite aspects of the second film is the fashion. It seems to me that they wanted to take Katniss and Peeta’s fashion up a notch, and still connect them with their roots in District 12 while revealing that they have, in fact, been swayed by the Capitol’s influence. If you haven’t read the books or seen the movies, and you have no clue what I’m talking about, first – go read and watch, and second – just check out the pictures below. The fashion is incredible. That cowl? The sweater? The leather jacket. Gorgeous. I’d wear all of these pieces in real life.
I thought it’d be fun to look around and gather some pieces that are similar to the Catching Fire look so we can have fun recreating it in our own lives. Like I said, I’d wear all of these pieces in my normal life – but I tend to stick to the naturalistic fabrics and neutral colors anyway. What about you? What do you think of the fashion from the new movie?
Katniss’ leather jackets are ah-mazing. I’m starting to feel a little silly right now with how obsessed I am with this movie and the fashion, but we all get our inspiration in different ways. There is a reason why that movie is blowing up right now. So back to the leather jackets, the middle one above? How it crosses over and has a bit of a cowl look? Yes, please. Leather jackets can be really expensive, but considering they last so long and it’d be an investment piece, it really seems to pay off in the end. Shop the look below.
Check out my Pinterest board “Hunger Games Inspired Fashion” for the full collection of inspired items I found!
I am really the worst at being sick. I am so sensitive and in tune with my body that even the slightest ache or pain can send me into a tail spin.
In the past few years, I’ve made valid attempts to bolster my immune system, and just be a healthier person, holistically. There are days when I wish I could go back to the times of my youth when I would take a prescribed antibiotic without question – just pop it in my mouth and, lo and behold, I’d be better. But of course with age comes more experience and knowledge and responsibility and, oh yeah, irrational worry. The joys of growing up! You realize you’re not infallible, and then, you start to hear about the woes of antibiotics and so forth, and the walls just come crumbling down.
I’m not one of those anti-antibiotic people, but I do think that I should learn to trust my body’s ability to fight and resist illness more. I wonder, is it possible for me to holistically support my immune system and also trust my health practitioners to properly treat me when my body needs it? I think so.
In my effort to answer this question, I thought I’d share a few of my wellness habits. I’m not a doctor, so me sharing this is not in any way me saying that this will work for you or that this is the right way. The following is what I have found to work in my own life, and I thought it’d be interesting for us to chat about it as a community as we try to learn to trust ourselves, our bodies, and our healthcare practitioners. You know the drill – if any of this sounds like it’d work for you, go chat about it with your doctor and get their green light! I don’t want any of you suing me ;)
Daily Vitamin – I take a raw, food-based daily vitamin because I like the idea that there are no fillers in it, that the nutrients are real and not synthetic and manufactured, and that it’s from real food that is untainted by pesticides. I also have a sensitive stomach, and food-based vitamins are easier to digest. Do I even need to say why a daily vitamin is important? The way we humans eat today, we just don’t get all of the nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes etc… that our body needs. A daily vitamin will help your body get the basic elements it needs to stay healthy and balanced.
Probiotics – Probiotics help with digestion, and can bolster your immune system by aiding the healthy bacteria you already have in your gut fight against the unhealthy bacteria you get from colds and other sources. I’m sure more research would help solidify this, but it is strongly believed that probiotics can help treat a whole slew of digestive disorders, help with yeast imbalances and infections, and help prevent colds and flu. Because I hate taking a ton of pills, I have found that drinking probiotic drinks like kombucha or Kevita help me get in my daily dose of probiotics. You can also get them in foods like yogurt and kefir.
Rescue Remedy - My acupuncturist recommended I start using this spray (you can get it in other forms, as well) to help me with my anxiety. I use it when I fly, and when I’m struggling with general anxiety, and it really seems to help calm me down.
Drink Water (from an environmentally friendly, BPA-free reusable water bottle) - I was always the water bottle girl in high school, carrying my Nalgene from class to class. In college, I had a little collection of cool bottles going, and then I learned about BPA. Nalgene has since introduced BPA-free bottles into their line, but I use SIGG pretty exclusively now. I also like CamelBack bottles for the convenience (you may think I mean the backpacks. No, I’m the weirdo who carries the waterbottle around by my teeth. See Instagram for proof of my weirdness – husband caught me in an intimate and candid moment with my beloved CamelBack Eddy).
More important than the water bottles, though, is the fact that you’re getting enough water in everyday. 60% of you is water – it’s essential. It flushes toxins out of your body, and just helps in keeping your body moisturized. The major reason I was the water bottle girl was because I really believed that drinking a ton of water would legitimately help me with almost every issue – colds, tiredness, stress, etc… I still believe this. According to MayoClinic, the Institute of Medicine recommends that women get about 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of water a day, and men should get about 3 liters (or 13 cups). If you have a .6L Sigg, that’s more than 3 bottles a day.
If you exercise a lot, if you’re sick, if you live in a hot climate, or if you’re pregnant/breast-feeding, you need more water. When I was on my cycling trip, I got really dehydrated one day and it was such a terrible feeling. It set on so fast, and I felt so sick. It was really scary. So, do you get enough water everyday? Carrying a reusable bottle with you everywhere you go will help you keep up with it.
Acupuncture - I started getting acupuncture treatments when I started my eating disorder recovery at a treatment center last year, and it has done wonders for me. I am treated specifically for my anxiety, but it has helped me all around gain more focus, have more energy, be more grounded, and stay connected to myself and my emotions in ways I never really experienced before. I think it’s important to find a practitioner who is well-educated and certified, and who you can really trust for their professionalism and compassion. I’ve found that, and I’m so thankful to have an advocate in her. For more information on acupuncture, visit the Worsley Institute’s website.
Exercise – There really is no magic pill when it comes to being healthy. The intense wish for this is why get-thin-quick diets are so popular, and why our culture is addicted to stories of magic dieting and extreme weight loss. I’m so sick of this. Health is such a comprehensive process that requires intention, engagement and consistency, and exercise has such an important roll in this. The CDC recommends that the average adult needs at least 2 hours and 3o minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week. For even greater health benefits, they recommend 5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week.
For some of you, 5 hours may feel like a lot! For others, 5 hours may seem like a wimp’s workout. Since part of my eating disorder was obsessively over-exercising, I get it. There needs to be a balance there. But we really just need to get out and get moving, that’s the bottom line. Our heart needs it, our circulation needs it – everything needs that movement. I find that when I get a good workout in where I’m engaged and present, my mind is more clear, my body feels loose and my emotions are more balanced.
I totally know how you feel if you don’t know where to start. This is where investing in time with a certified personal trainer can help you form a plan and be encouraged. I think DVD’s like Tracy Anderson and Jillian Michaels are great, but when you’re first starting out, that one on one attention from a trainer can be really helpful so that you are making sure you’re being safe and not risking injury. Also, workout clothes are fun. I love this sweatshirt from Athleta.
Balanced Diet - One of the most important things I’ve learned/gained in the last year is the time I’ve spent with my nutritionist. I’ve learned so much about healthy, balanced eating, it’s seriously amazing. I don’t know how I went so long without this knowledge. I thought I knew so much about healthy eating, but there is so much more to the word “balanced” than just following nutritional guidelines or counting calories. There is a psychological side to it, which can help with things like trying new foods, making good food choices at restaurants, how to stop eating when you’re full even though your plate isn’t empty, and so on…
A balanced diet, and by that I mean eating with proper nutrition (get those veggies in), foods with limited preservatives and additives, and also allowing yourself the occasional treat, is so vital. A favorite dish of mine is this Spicy Kale Salad I made a few months ago. For more info on balanced eating, I’d seriously recommend investing in time with a nutritionist, even if it is only a few hours.
There is so much more to discuss on this topic of wellness that I thought I’d make this a series. In Part 2, we’ll talk about my wellness habits when I feel a cold coming on, or if I’m struggling with the flu or a sinus infection. And I think Part 3 will be about mental health. If you have any suggestions or things you’d like to see talked about, let me know! I’m not the expert, but I’d love to talk about this with you all.
I’ve been in such a funk lately. Everything feels… stalled. I was on such a roll, and was feeling so empowered, and then BAM! That’s usually how it goes though, right? Everything is swell and fine, and then the Universe gets wind of it and suddenly, everything goes awry. I was chugging along with writing and freelancing, making great progress at the gym, cooking more at home, making new friends and then BAM! Spencer gets sick, has to have a minor surgery, and has been sleeping for three days with a 100 degree fever while I am constantly hovering and worrying. I was sick last week, had to cancel my Dabble class, and now I’m behind at the gym, behind on email, behind on writing, blahblahblah.
I’m such a worrier, and sometimes I wonder if I manifest my worry and then it plays out so I can go, “See! I told you so! What I worried about happened!” Just so I can keep up this worrying game, as if it is empowering in some way. Obviously, it’s not like my worrying manifests a cyst in Spencer’s body that he has to get removed, but I think I like to lie to myself that worrying helps me stay in control when it obviously does not.
I trick myself into believing that worrying about getting the flu helps me not get the flu, when it actuality it makes me stress, which inflames my body, lowers my immune system, and ups my risk of getting sick. You get the idea.
I’m trying to figure out ways to snap out of it. I really want to write down an ideal day, one without worry and instead, marked with empowerment and joy and fulfillment, and then take a step back and visualize how I can make that a reality.
Snag this Lindsay Letters mug in her shop!
I think it’d be something like this: wake up early (having gone to bed early the night before), go to the gym and get a good, strong workout in, eat a healthy breakfast, take a shower and get ready so I feel like a dignified human for the rest of the day, answer emails, write, brainstorm collaboration ideas, talk with my lovely readers on social media, read a book, make a yummy dinner for Spence and I, and enjoy some wine while we watch Mindy Project or Friends…
Doesn’t that sound nice?
Man, I feel happier just thinking about it. And sort of on the verge of tears, too, because I want it so bad. It’s just one of those days. #oceanofemotion
How are you all doing? Are you ready for the holidays? I’m excited to share some pictures of the decorating I’ve been doing around here. Stay tuned. XO.
I am a big TV fan. And when I say big, I mean BIGTVFAN. I love storytelling through film, and man, we are lucky. We are living in another golden age of television. I tend to be more of a comedy girl, mostly because I am such an anxious person that, most days, I just want to laugh (and not canned laughter, but really laugh). Parks and Recreation, Mindy Project, New Girl, and Modern Family – these do the trick. Another cure for anxiety – to be moved to action, to be inspired by the notion that there is something bigger than myself out there that I can reflect on and learn from. There are only a few dramas out there right now that tend to make me feel that way, including Newsroom, Parenthood, and The West Wing, which isn’t even on anymore (thank God for Netflix!).
TV is an incredible storytelling medium, and it seems that the one dream that I’ve carried with me my whole life is the desire to be a part of it all, whether as a writer, producer or actor. For me, it isn’t about escaping from the truth of our lives or using it as a way to elude or skip out on responsibilities or hard emotions. It’s a way that we can more fully understand and appreciate who we are at our core – our love for adventure, a desire to laugh, inspiration to learn, a dream of being a part of something greater than ourselves.
What are your favorite TV shows?
Parks and Recreation
The West Wing
Spencer’s Office Christmas Party is coming up in one month (one!), and I can’t believe how fast time is flying. The theme is a something like “a glitzy and glamorous night,” so I’m trying to drum up something fun to wear for our night out on the town.
I’m completely in love with this outfit I put together while browsing around the internets this afternoon. It feels ultra glam! And that lipstick? Va-va-voom!