Sep 28, 2015

Wedding Photo "Outtakes"

Because we are silly and ridiculous and just all around weirdos, our photographer Tanya got a number of photos of either Jack or I (or both) being silly at each other.

Enjoy our goofiness!

An silly family tradition from my Dad's side.  Every time there's a family get-together, there's at least one photo involving bunny ears.

I have no recollection of what he said, but this sums up so many of our interactions perfectly ;)

How many times a day do I make this face at him?

The wind gusted so hard I almost lost my scarf and parasol!

"Give us a kiss..."

And finally, my favorite outtake from the day...


In case you missed it, you can see my post with my favorite not-silly photos (there's lots of schmoopiness), and read my post about our elopement here.

Sep 24, 2015

4 Tools for Self Love

Kelly Ann over at The Four Queens has declared this September as "Self-Love September."  I love that idea and I've been really inspired by all the vlogs about self-love she's been posting over on her YouTube channel.  I want to better embrace self-love in my own life - I think I do an okay job sometimes, but I know I am as guilty as the next person of being unnecessarily down on myself.

So in the spirit of Self-Love September, I wanted to share a few of the self-love tools I use in my life.

Create a Self-Love Mantra
A couple of winters ago I was going through a particularly rough time.  I had just lost my paternal grandmother, and I had gone through an extremely difficult break-up and was feeling guilty about it.  On top of that, I was also feeling guilty and confused when, in the wake of this break-up, I started developing feelings for someone else.

In a fit of inspiration one day, I wrote a mantra for myself that has greatly defined how I approach self-love:

I am on my personal journey to ecstasy.

I wrote this mantra to remind myself that I am not responsible for other people's happiness, only my own.  That I will communicate with my friends and partners with openness, honesty, and compassion about my needs and limits, and that I trust them to do the same.  That I am allowed to have a relationship that fits where I am emotionally, mentally, and physically, and not just one that fits where my partner is in those respects.  

And most importantly, I wrote it to remind myself that I deserve to be happy, and to love and be loved.

I think a self-love mantra is a great tool for empowering yourself, to love who you are and what you want out of life, and to embrace being loved by others.  If you don't already have one, give it a go and write your own, or feel free to borrow mine.

Find a Crystal that Helps with Love
Way back when I was a baby pagan in college, one of the first crystals I bought for myself was a small, 4-ish-sided piece of rose quartz.  Rose quartz is a really good crystal for love, especially fostering love.  This piece has always particularly spoken to me of love for myself.  I usually keep it on my altar or in an easy-to-reach place underneath so that I can hold it when I'm dealing with things like self-doubt.  Sometimes I use it in mini crystal grids for self-healing and empowerment, like this one:

Other crystals that can be good for self love include sunstone, carnelian, citrine, and danburite.  A quick online search reveals there are many more that can potentially help with self love, self acceptance, self esteem, and clearing of self doubts.  I would also suggest handling your own crystals (if you have any) and asking them if they can help with self love.

Make Silly Faces in the Mirror
Lately, I've been having a lot of difficult days where self-love is hard.  So I've taken to making silly, ridiculous faces at myself in the mirror.  Being silly at myself adds that little bit of joy to my day, and reminds me not to take these hard days (or myself) too seriously.  I also like the self-love aspect of knowing that I am good at making lots of different silly faces!

I am completely ridiculous and I know it.  Might as well embrace it! ;)

Use Your Love Languages to Express Self-Love
By far, my favorite tool - and the one that helps me the most - is using my love languages to express self-love.  If you're not familiar with the concept, Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book describing the five love languages that humans use to receive and express love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.  For me, I feel I best express love with acts of service - specifically, preparing and serving food for loved ones - and also with physical touch like hugs, kisses, snuggles, and skritches.

So how does this translate to self-love?  I'll cook myself a delicious meal that makes me feel comforted - maybe a tasty and spicy stir-fry, or a cozy bowl of da'al.  Or if I'm feeling more physical, I'll snuggle up with a soft blanket and a book, or take a hot bath (it's like being gently snuggled by water!).  

Tempeh stir fry!  Om nom nom.

If your love language is quality time, make a date with yourself - treat yourself to a delicious meal at a restaurant, or spend a nice evening alone watching a favorite movie.  If your love language is gifts, try making yourself a gift, or even buying yourself something fun or nice - just be careful about this one, because you don't want retail therapy to become a burden on your budget.  Or maybe you best express love with words of affirmation - remind yourself every day that you are awesome, or try writing a self-love mantra like I talk about above.

What are your favorite tools to help you embrace self-love?

Sep 20, 2015

Wrap Up for Fall Bloggiesta 2015

What a weekend!  I feel like Bloggiesta has really flown by, but considering I lost pretty much all of today to a migraine, I got much more done this weekend than I thought I would.  High-five me!  Here's how I did with my to-do list:
  • Participate in at least 1 mini-challenge Clean up my blog roll on Feedly - it's getting out of control! - Done!  I combined these two items as part of the Blogroll Overhall mini-challenge.  Since I don't keep a blogroll on my sidebar anymore, I cleaned up my Feedly blog roll instead.  There were a lot of blogs that no longer update, and some that had been taken offline.  With a few exceptions, anything that hasn't been updated in the last year or so got removed.
  • Participate in at least 1 Twitter chat - Done!  I participated in Friday's Twitter chat about interactions.  It was very engaging, and left me inspired to not be afraid to seek interactions with my readers beyond comments.
  • Finish and schedule my post (posts?) about tools for self-love - Done!  The post is scheduled to go up next Thursday.
  • Write and schedule another Witchy Pinterest Finds post - I wasn't feeling particularly inspired by anything I've seen on Pinterest lately, so I decided to put this one off for a few weeks and see what comes up as Halloween/Samhain gets closer.
  • Read and comment on other folks' Bloggiesta posts - Done!  I've really enjoyed visiting so many folks' blogs, and whenever I tried to leave comments with substance whenever possible.

BONUS to-do items!  Because I finished most of my to-do list, and felt inspired to work on other things, I also did the following:
  • Write up a post with my favorite photos from our wedding - I wrote and posted this yesterday, you can see it here.
  • Write up a post with my favorite "outtake" photos from our wedding - It's scheduled to go up on the 28th.  
If you're new around here, I would love it if you gave my blog and/or social media a follow.  Here's a few ways to follow me (all of these are also found in my sidebar):

follow us in feedly

Colleen's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

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Sep 19, 2015

Our Wedding Photos!

Not long after I woke up today, I realized that today it's been exactly 6 months since Jack and I tied the knot.  Wow!  Happy half-anniversary, my love!!

I never did share our wedding photos on here, so I decided today was an excellent day to share some of my favorites.  Our photographer was my dear friend Tanya Kang, who I've known since college.  You can see more photos from our day over at Tanya's website.

I love how gleeful I look in this photo, and our officiant smiling in the background.  I was fully expecting waterworks because I'm a crybaby, but surprisingly, I didn't cry at all that day.

It was rather chilly that day, so in pretty much all of our photos outside I was wrapped up in a scarf.  It was insufficiently warm, but so much nicer looking than my bulky winter coat!

We found a comic book shop whilewalking through downtown Annapolis.  I squeed over the mini Gojira in the window.  There was also a really cool mock-up of the Infinity Gauntlet

Duckies down at the harbor!  I couldn't stop giggling because I quacked at them and they would quack back.

 Hot chocolate / coffee break at Starbucks to warm up!

I hope you enjoyed these photos!  I'll be posting some of our sillier "outtakes" later on.  And if you're new here or weren't already aware, yes we eloped - it was just us, the Anne Arundel County clerk, and Tanya.  Feel free to pop over to my post from earlier this year to read about our elopement.

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