I’ve mentioned a few times here that I’ve been in kind of a weird place lately. I’m not really sure what it’s all about. I’ve just been feeling really introspective and like I needed a change, but I wasn’t sure what. I’m still not really sure I have all the answers, but I’ve decided for now to just follow my heart. I haven’t been feeling as motivated to work on projects or blog posts and I’m giving myself permission to let that go a little bit. I started another part time job this week that will keep me pretty busy for a while and we’ve had issues with our internet lately, so it makes sense to slow down on blogging right now. I’m not saying that the blog is over, just that I need some time to figure out what I want. Writing here helped me through a difficult time in my life and I don’t want to abandon it just because I’m having a late-twenties crisis.

Picture1_570x570

Have any of you ever been through something similar, when you feel like something just isn’t quite right in your world? Or is it just me making life needlessly complicated? I do think that it might be time for me to find a new hobby. Blogging is not bringing me the joy it once did and has become a bit of a chore. I’m not quite ready to let it go, but I’m not holding on all that tightly either. We’ll see where this leads me.

the making of a story (570x570)

The reasons why I’m considering trying my hand at creative writing are another story for another day, but today I’d like to tell you about a book that has been indispensable in my self-directed learning on the topic. Despite having a BA in English I have never, ever taken even a single creative writing class. I simply had no interest in writing fiction, and the concept of creative nonfiction was unknown to me until very recently. All of my English classes focused on literature and theory and I wrote a lot of papers, a few poems, but never a single story.

I know that one does not simply write a book without any prior knowledge or experience. I knew that writing the kind of book that I would like to read would be difficult. I had no idea where to start the process of learning how to write fiction. So I googled and read reviews and this book was a clear frontrunner. The paperback version is relatively inexpensive on Amazon, but because I wasn’t sure whether this would be more than a passing interest I checked it out from my local library instead. I should’ve just ordered it straight away because it is excellent. I’ve been taking copious notes and will probably purchase the paperback to keep for reference. I checked out another title on creative writing in audiobook form and didn’t even finish it because it was so theoretical. The Making of a Story offers concrete guidelines, examples, and exercises. It really is like taking a class, but it was free and I don’t have to go anyplace (my two reservations about taking an actual class).

If you’ve ever wanted to get into creative writing but didn’t know where to start, or if you’ve tried it and weren’t pleased with your results, give this book a read. I feel so much more confident now and am excited to start writing soon (I’m still in the planning and contemplation stage now).

Hello my friends! Did you have a good weekend? We spent ours cheering on the Tigers and visiting with friends and family. I wish every weekend could be a three-day weekend. I somehow let the entire month of August slip by without a sponsor shout out post, so here it is. Better late than never!

iusb_760x100.14115147_fktg (570x75)

Little Eli is the brainchild of friends Amelia and Meghan. Meghan makes jewelry, Amelia works with concrete, and together the two of them have some seriously covet-worthy creations, like their new line of concrete jewelry! They also have several pieces that would make great gifts for wedding season. They’re working to expand and move studios but you can still view some pretties in their Etsy shop.

Concrete Hexagon Pendant. Metallic Gold or Silver Finish. Gray or Black Concrete Jewelry. Necklace. Minimalist. Subtle. Cement. Gray.

Concrete Hexagon Pendant. Metallic Gold or Silver Finish. Gray or Black Concrete Jewelry. Necklace. Minimalist. Subtle. Cement. Gray.

sprigs (570x75)

Sprigs Jewelry and Accessories has over 100 items to choose from and they are all adorable so you’re sure to find something that you or someone you know would love. Ashley also has lots of options for customizing colors and finishes so if you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for just ask! The majority of her creations are earrings but this simple and elegant birthstone bracelet is actually my favorite.

birthstone bracelet

Anna Birthstone Bracelet

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Every month I like to feature a worthy nonprofit. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of call centers all reachable by one easy to remember number: 1-800-273-TALK. Anytime, 24/7, you can dial that number and reach a trained counselor in your area. I spent several years answering calls at my local crisis center while I trained to be a social worker, and if I wasn’t afraid that I’d recognize the voice on the other end of the phone there have been times when I would’ve called myself. I’ve never been actively suicidal, but I do struggle with depression and I have had what we psychobabble folks like to call “suicidal ideation.” Suicidal ideation is a symptom of depression and is treatable. The counselors you’ll reach by calling the Lifeline have very specific training in how to help someone climb back from the depths of hopelessness. The call is always confidential and always free. If you’re in the Baton Rouge area, you can reach our local crisis center directly by calling 225-924-3900 or 1-800-437-0303.

Have a great day, y’all!

About this time last year, I was searching high and low for a round side table that was at least two feet tall to use as a nightstand. It was much harder to find than one would have imagined! Most accent tables were only 18″-20″ high, and even without a boxspring on our bed that height is awkwardly low next to the mattress. I ended up eventually getting a friend to help me make one out of copper plumbing pipes.

017 (2) (380x570)

So you can imagine my mixed emotions when I spotted not one, not two, but three adorable and appropriately sized tables at my local Target the other day. Option #1 was even adjustable, but I couldn’t find it online. It was marked down to $72 in-store. Still a little expensive, to my mind, but I like it.

photo 1 (428x570)

The other two were $80 each. The one on the left is especially dreamy. You can view them online here and here.

photo 5 (428x570)

Although I wouldn’t say I’m in love with the two nightstands we have now (one is the copper and wood construction pictured above and the other is this from Ikea), my yearning for a replacement isn’t nearly deep enough to spend $70-$80 on a new one. That’s probably more than I spent on the other two tables combined. But if you’re in the market for a new nightstand or accent table these are excellent choices! Like I said, I especially like the two-tiered option. It’s made of iron, rather than aluminum, and is more traditional than trendy.