Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why I Love...You've Got Mail

I am introducing two new series for Banana Grove Designs in the next two weeks. One of them is a guest posting series scheduled for every Wednesday called Inspired. I am extremely excited to introduce it to you and will do so in greater detail next week. Very very excited!!!

Today, I am beginning a series that's just for me and won't run at specific times. As you may have already concluded it's called "Why I Love..." The possibilities are endless. It could be a review or just me gabbing about something I enjoy, but because I love a lot of things, I'll never run out of material. Trust me. First up:

Why I love...

One of my favorite movies is You've Got Mail. I put it in when I want something warm and fuzzy playing in the background while I work. Here are reasons why it's something I love...

1. This movie proves that you don't need raunch to have a great romantic comedy (a concept that seems foreign today). Good acting, beautiful directing, intelligent writing and a simple plot make it timeless and one of the best of its kind.

2. This movie makes me fall in love with seasons. Autumn, winter and spring are showcased to perfection. It almost makes me want to spend a year in New York City. (But then I remember that it's a movie and the streets aren't really that pristine and creeper-free.)

3. The BOOKS! There are lots of fun references to classic children's literature and novels in general. Also, the bookstore sets are so incredibly detailed and it's fun to recognize things on the shelves.

4. All of the scenes in which Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan's characters interact... They have the easiest time communicating and being together even when they're arguing.

5. The music. I own the bouncy, happy soundtrack to this movie. Harry Nilsson pretty much rules the whole thing.

6.Every set in the movie is so detailed and perfect. I even like the gym. But, I would especially like to live in an apartment like Meg Ryan's and own a bookstore like The Shop Around the Corner. Basically, I want to live inside the movie.

7. The supporting characters add so much to the story. Even little Steve Zahn and his haircut add a lot. And the scene with Dave Chappelle outside the cafe is hilarious.

8.  I love that I saw something new after having watched it 30 somethin' times. It was only then that I recognized what she thought that made her cry at the end... She realized that he showed up at the coffee shop after all. (After watching it so many times, I consider myself an expert on what the characters are thinking.)

9. This movie reminds me of my mom. This has been one of her go-to happy movies since it was released in '98.

So, there you go. I've learned that I am super-invested in this movie to a possibly unhealthy level. And you've learned that you should go watch You've Got Mail. If you've seen it, what are some of your favorite things about it? (I'm assuming you liked it, but if you didn't I'd be willing to calmly read why.) :)


Monday, July 28, 2014

Get Used to This...

I told my family they needed to get used to seeing this! For the first time ever, I'm taking pictures and thoroughly enjoying it! I think it must be because I know a lot more about what I'm doing now? Makes sense, don't you think? I've decided that in order to promote consistent practice, most blog posts I write from now on should include a photo I've taken.

Here are a few I took in my yard this weekend! My friend Erin actually owned the lens I mentioned in this post last week. She's letting me use it before I decide whether or not to buy (thanks, E!). So far, I'm loving the results...

I had a wonderful time with my friends from South Carolina over the weekend! We had a lot of catching up to do, so a great deal of the visit was spent just talking. I am always refreshed by their encouragement and wisdom. We did find time to watch Pacific Rim and do some shopping, though. :)

Have a happy Monday...


Friday, July 25, 2014


I'm looking forward to this weekend! Long time friends from South Carolina are driving up to visit with me and my family for a day or two. They're a couple who have been like an aunt and uncle to me over the years, and I can't wait to see them! We'll be spending a lot of time talking, drinking sweet tea and enjoying summer out on the screened-in porch. I hope your weekend is just as relaxing. :)

Links and things from the week...

-I finally started reading this! I've only finished the intro and foreword, but I can already tell I'm in for a good read.

-Looks delicious! Sparkling Grapefruit Sangria by How Sweet It Is...

-This article blew my mind a little. According to this, we've been saying Dr. Seuss's name wrong all this time!

-Now, this is original...congrats to Tammy of Lemons, Avocados and the Bay on marrying her man and being ushered away via lightsaber!

-Take a look at these travel tips. They're brilliant.

-I'm quite close to ordering this t-shirt from J. Crew. I'm waiting for it to go on sale. I know it will eventually. It's just a question of who gives in first.

-Very interesting little guide to reading body language and how it can help you understand where a person's coming from.

-I wish I could come up with and execute projects like this! Kinsey can and Kinsey does. It's a lavender oil bottle necklace diy...

-This brought joy to my heart. I love Sherlock Holmes and who better to play elderly Sherlock than Sir Ian McKellan, the king of British wise guys. It's gonna be good...


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bridesmaid Necklaces

Back in May, I was so honored when my friend Lauren asked me to create necklaces for her bridesmaids to wear in her wedding ceremony! The amazing Ben and Ashley of Rosey Red Photography took a few shots of the necklaces on Lauren and Paul's special day, and I thought I would share...

The necklaces were custom made...sparkly navy blue sandstone wrapped in sterling silver with a coral jade accent bead and a personalized initial tag.

Of course, I have to take this opportunity to congratulate the beautiful bride and her handsome groom one more time!

If you need custom-made jewelry for your wedding, to give as a gift, or for yourself, don't hesitate to let me know! :)


*all photos c/o Rosey Red Photography

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Photography Class Update

Hey Everyone! So, I'm loving the class by Candice Stringham on using my DSLR. It's been very informative and easy to understand! One of the biggest things I've recognized in taking the class is my need for a new lens. I've been using my mom's Canon Rebel (thank you, Mom!) and the lenses she has go no wider than f/3.5. Because I'm shooting small things up close 75% of the time, I think I'm going to invest in one of these open aperture lenses that Candice recommended:

Have any of you photographers used this? Reviews?


Monday, July 21, 2014

Loving What You Make

Right now, I'm in the midst of lots of developments for Banana Grove Designs in areas like blogging and marketing. It's all very exciting! Recently, though,  I have felt the need to take another look at the most important area of owning a jewelry shop...the jewelry.

For a while, I have been dissatisfied with many of the pieces in my shop. I'm realizing what a problem it is for me to sell something if I'm not absolutely in love with it! To be honest, I'm not a jewelry fanatic, and I usually have to really like something in order to buy it for myself. Some people might think I shouldn't be selling jewelry when I don't naturally own or like a ton of it, but I view it as a positive thing! If I'm making jewelry that I would love, it means I'm being highly selective. Customers can only benefit from that.

With these thoughts in mind, I've spent some time figuring out what I like to produce, what pieces I love the most, etc. and developed some goals:

  • I purpose to LOVE everything in my shop
  • I purpose to make pieces that are simple, but visually interesting 
  • I purpose to have a greater role in producing elements instead of merely assembling them (The pieces I've loved the most, I've had a greater hand in producing, by the way.)
  • I purpose to make things that fit my own style
  • I purpose to plan each and every thing I design so I can bring it to customers more efficiently
  • I purpose to learn new techniques that will allow me to make more of what I love

Do you have goals for your own business? Are you making sure that what you produce is something you love?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Closet Building

When I went on my birthday shopping spree last week, it was the first time I clothes shopped with so much intentionality! I went in with a vision and came out feeling great about the results. (I had a great time with my sister, too!) The vision came from thoughts I've had recently about what we put on our backs and the best way to invest in it.

Honestly, I've come to the conclusion that I spend more money on cheaper clothes than I would if I bought better quality things that last longer! I've decided to try building a working closet of well-made, versatile clothes to gain some control over the quality and quantity of stuff I buy. Really, all this means is that I am purposing to not buy something cheap just because it's faster. If I think I need something, I'll plan and look for a version that's well-made and that I love. When my family and a few of my friends heard about my closet building, they gifted me with a shopping trip where I picked up some basics. There were a lot of summer sales, so I really wound up paying as much for some things as I would have at a cheaper store. They just felt so much nicer. Here's what I got:

NY & Co. Black Pencil Skirt (sold out. similar.)

I'll probably share more about this little process with you in the future. It's nice to feel purposeful in an area of life that I deal with every single day: getting dressed. Do you have a purpose in mind for how you buy clothes?