Wednesday, August 27, 2014 be Authentic: Alisha of The Alisha Nicole

Today's guest is the last in August's Authenticity-themed Inspired series. Alisha runs the blog The Alisha Nicole in which she chronicles the events of her business and provides consultations for other bloggers/small businesses. Alisha's business is jewelry, and when I first discovered her blog,  her story and her very honest way of telling it, resonated with me. I'm so happy she agreed to participate in the series today! Here are her words about authenticity and the person who inspires her to be herself...

When I think of someone who inspires me daily to be authentic, the first person that comes to mind is my mother. She is not only someone that I look up to for pretty much everything but she has always raised me and my sister to embrace who we truly are. Growing up I never saw her change the way she was in fear of what others would think and she is known as the person who will always give it to you straight (without being rude of course).

Growing up I struggled with wanting to always fit in and often felt like I had to change myself or hide who I really was in order to make friends. It wasn’t until my mother began telling me stories about how she tried hard to be someone she wasn’t when she was younger and how it never worked out in her favor. I remember her telling me that we were all created with different gifts and that I was only hurting myself by trying to change who I was meant to be.

That is something that I’ve continued to hold onto well into my adult years. Authenticity has become so important to me because I want people to know the person behind the brand. When I started my blog I vowed to myself to stay unapologetically authentic. I wanted my readers to know that I’m a real person who goes through real life issues. Of course I’m not rude and some things I still keep private but for the most part I am an open book. I want my blog readers and clients to be able to connect with me on a personal level. That would be nearly impossible if I were too busy trying to be someone else. Unfortunately we live in a world where it is so easy for anyone to get online and just make up a new identity or personality.

Of course I have struggled with that too, and I’m sure most of us have. It's so easy to see what is working for others and try to change our ways to see if it will work for us as well. But I quickly learned that that’s not how it works. When I begin to struggle with staying true to myself, what helps me to stay focused is stepping away. I’ll stop whatever I am doing and ask myself “Am I doing this for me or am I doing this because of others?” Asking that one simple question always puts things into prospective for me and gets me back on track!

We are all here for a different purpose and trying to fit ourselves into what someone else is meant to do will never work. Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom, Alisha! Happy Belated Birthday, too, by the way! ;)

Next month in the Inspired series, we'll be hearing from four ladies about who inspires them to practice hospitality! Make sure you stop by!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Le Ballet

I was once a tiny dancer. :) My sister and I both took ballet when we were little girls and loved it a lot. Sadly, there were less than pleasant elements and pressures that accompanied dance as we got older, and we decided to stop. But, there is so much beauty to appreciate and at its core, dance is a form of praise. Sometimes, I wish I still danced in some capacity. Were you ever a tiny dancer and do you still make time to enjoy it? I started a pinterest board dedicated to beautiful ballet here

Friday, August 22, 2014

Box of Chocolates Friday 8.22.14

I woke up this morning, and saw my hair doing something similar to Ana's. Problem. I hope you all have a good weekend! I'll be hoping we get some warm weather sans the humidity in Ohio. It's brutal today.

-I had a moment this week when I wished I was anywhere else...this looks good:

-Really liked these tips from Betsy on building community through your blog.

-Is anyone else wondering how long it will take before the fire that is the ice bucket challenge dies out? Has this sort of thing ever happened before?

-This little blouse is from anthropologie and I just thought it was really pretty.

-It's now on my bucket list to visit this library in Missouri! Incredible!

-What clever mommies do when their kids draw on walls.

-A retirement community jams out to Pharrell's Happy.

-Be yourself.

-This is great...


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back Up...20 Answers

My title today has dual meanings:

  • My Inspired guest poster for today had a rough week, and this is the backup plan. 
  • I often feel like I haven't fully introduced myself on my blog, and I should go back and do a little intro.

Therefore, I'm going to tell you a little bit more about myself in list format (this feels weird, but I know I really enjoy it when other bloggers share facts about themselves, so here goes):
  1. I live in Ohio, but I'm originally from Alabama. I've also lived in Texas and South Carolina. I love where I am now!
  2. Before this year, my job was teaching ESL to South Korean students online for 5 years. (that means, I'm pale)
  3. I don't remember when I was converted to Christianity. It feels like I've been a Christian all my life.
  4. Lord of the Rings was my teenage obsession. (that means, I'm a nerd)
  5. The farthest away from home I've been is Europe: Belgium, The Netherlands, France, and Luxembourg
  6. I'd love to go back!
  7. Good books are as chocolate to me. I love chocolate.
  8. I don't drink coffee regularly, it gives me heart palpitation things. 
  9. I drink black tea instead.
  10. I share my parents' basement apartment with my older and only sister. 
  11. Warm weather is the best kind. I get really restless in long winters. 
  12. I watch the Rocky movies when I get sick. Getting strong now!
  13. My jewelry business is my pride. I never imagined it would be so satisfying to create something out of nothing like this. It holds me accountable in a lot of ways. I'm very thankful!
  14. There are few music genres I don't appreciate. My favorites are soft rock, pop, folk rock, alternative, rock, classical, country, jazz, bluegrass and stuff from musicals.
  15. I'm single cause the Lord hasn't brought the right man around yet. I often feel like just yelling, "Get here, already!!!" (that means, I'm impatient)
  16. My first concert was James Taylor in Albuquerque in 2000.
  17. If I weren't living in Ohio, I'd love to live in California.
  18. I have a bachelor's in English.
  19. Gene Kelly is my favorite. 
  20. One of my favorite vacation spots is Montreat, North Carolina.
Thanks for reading! Tune in next Wednesday for the rest of the Inspired to be Authentic series! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Local Love: Wisp

Today, I'm sharing a haunt of mine. :) Wisp is a small yarn and knitting shop not too far from where I live in mid-Ohio. The owner is Anne-Sara. She's originally from the UK and has an incredible gift for design! Her adorable shop is filled with colorful, quality yarns, knitting patterns, ribbon, knitting needles, crochet hooks, blankets, and handmade knit items. The shop is full of light and just has an incredibly lovely feel. If you're anywhere near Granville, Ohio, you should really stop by! Wisp is right across from the side entrance to the library downtown. Last week, I drove out and took some shots of all the pretty things...

Wisp will soon be launching a website, so those of you who just fell in love with this little shop will be able to purchase gorgeous, quality yarn for your knitting projects even if you're not in mid-Ohio. I'll let you know as soon as it goes live! In the meantime, follow along on Wisp's facebook page.

Anne-Sara politely requested to not be in any photos, but she did say "yes" when I asked if I could get a shot of her cool sneakers. :)


Monday, August 18, 2014

Craft Show #1

This is me at my first craft show (taken on a smartphone early in the mornin'). My mother and sister helped me put together this beautiful little display and Dad helped set up my tent and tables. THANK YOU FAMILY! I had a lovely day manning my little booth with said sister and it was fun hanging out with the friends who were also in the show. We spoke to bunches of people and handed out a lot of business cards, as well as practiced the art of selling in person (no website to hide behind here, just a table). I enjoyed the opportunity to meet more locals and learned a lot. I also got invited to be in another craft show in November, so that's exciting!

I'm just blessed to be doing something I enjoy so much and to be exploring all the different avenues it'll take me down. And I'm thankful to be sharing it with you! Writing to you every week is a huge joy for me! Thanks for following along!

Tomorrow, I'm introducing you to one of the cutest shops in the little hamlet of Granville, Ohio, which is one of my favorite towns. My sister and I have recently developed a friendship with the owner and she let me come take photos (great practice!). See you then...


Friday, August 15, 2014

Box of Chocolates Friday Issue No.1

Thanks to Joanna Goddard, most blogs are posting "Friday Faves" with random links and fun stuff from the week. I enjoy doing the same, but my posts have gone from being called weird little "Farrago Friday" to boring "8.8.14". Well, I like my Fridays too much to not give them a more decent name...

From now on, it's "Box of Chocolates Friday" cause you never know what you're gonna get (that's right, the title's based on that movie reference). I'll be posting links, but I'll also post the most random things I saw, or read, or did or thought. Or you might get something entirely different from week to week. You just never know...

From this week:

-I tried to have a photo shoot with my cat. It didn't go very well.

-12 Wendell Berry Quotes That Will Give You A Fresh Perspective 

-Really cool watercolor mug DIY from Poppytalk! These are so pretty!

-I appreciated this post by Erin Loechner about blogging these days. It's not dying out!

-Don't you think these temporary tattoos Anna blogged about are cool? They look just like jewelry.

-This is from Joanna Goddard. Hilarious flowchart of when to say "goodbye" at a party and when to "ghost" (it's a verb now that means to leave without telling anyone).

-I got this from my friend Heather on facebook... she captioned it, "Everyone is fighting a battle. Some of them are invisible. So hug someone." 'Bout made me cry. :( RIP Robin Williams.

-Sometimes, I go to my pinterest board of gifs, play them all simultaneously and pretend I'm in Hogwarts.


-Have you all heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? It's purpose was to raise awareness of Lou Gehrigs disease and it worked! Thousands of people have videoed themselves pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads and challenging others to do the same. My favorites so far, are the ones of my favorite figure skaters, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir. :)

Y'all have a great weekend! I'm going to spend most of it sitting behind a table at my first craft show! Can't wait!