Tag Archives: lifestyle

Style File: Botanical Prints

July 21, 2017

Who doesn’t love an art gallery wall? If you have a large wall space, then a gallery is the perfect way to fill your spot. Personally, I now lean toward designs with symmetry. I love the look of a gallery with same size frames. It gives a sophisticated and clean look even with multiple pieces of varying art. (And I absolutely swoon over floor to ceiling galleries.) Recently, I wondered what I was going to do with the set of six frames with matting I had purchased. I remembered how much I adored botanical prints and even found several printables for free. Granted, they’re not the real deal vintage print, but it sure to does bring life to my wall now.

These free printables by A Daily Something are what I used for my wall. But with a simple Google search, you’ll find that a botanical gallery is just one click and print away. For larger or vintage prints, Etsy is great source.

adailysomethingblog

 

Here’s some inspiration for your next weekend project.

botanical print

Free printable for this set at PoppyTalk.com

Poppytalk.com

 

 

 

botanical prints

 

botanical prints

botanical prints

7 Musts to Look for in a Spouse

July 29, 2015

2b PhotographyLast night I met a close girl friend at the eclectic Mexican restaurant one street over from where I live. We normally have our weekly talks at the gym after church on Sundays.

“I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with someone like that,” she confessed as she was telling me about the ex that was reaching out to her. We all saw that coming. He’d realize he made a mistake and come crawling back. We, humans, are so predictable.

The first three to five months are what many people call the “honeymoon” stage: sweaty palms, butterflies, and blindness. Seriously, we are blind. It’s not because the person is always hiding their flaws or bad habits, although some do. My girl friend would often smell cigarette smoke in his bathroom. The funny thing is that smoking was not a deal breaker to her. Even if they aren’t hiding anything, we are blind because we simply don’t know that person yet.

We often can only see the good and admire the qualities we like in that person. The focus is what they are offering us and what we have in common. Although common interests are nice, they are not paramount. This is a revelation to me.

I admit that I’m a sapiosexual. “What the heck is this?” you may ask. By definition, it is one who finds intelligence as the most sexually attractive feature (thanks, Urban Dictionary.) I’ve become so fixated on one quality or two that I overlook red flags that are waving and yelling, “Mayday, mayday!” My focus has been on our common interests and my likes and dislikes of that man (his style, his interests, intelligence, etc.)

This, to most, doesn’t seem like a problem. However, recently, I read an article in Elephant Journal that made me change my whole perspective:

“Love is more than a series of likes and dislikes, attraction and interests. If attraction is based on what you like or dislike about the person, it is a setup for failure. Likes and dislikes change over time, and remain at the surface level of human expression. Common interests change, appearances change, language change.”

Ten years ago, I didn’t know that I would absolutely love sushi and coffee. They are now my two favorite things. Ten years ago, I also bleached my hair too blonde. We change. We grow and evolve. If the sole reasons we are with someone are based on likes and dislikes, then overtime, we may not still appreciate or like those things.

“The only constant is change,” Artisan states.

So what exactly do we look for in a person if we are aren’t looking for attraction, likes and common interests alone?

Here are 7 Musts to Look for in a Potential Spouse:

1. Character – What is the integrity of that person when no one is watching?

2. Chemistry- Physical attraction. This seems self explanatory.

3. Competency- Can this person hang on to a job? Or are they always going from thing to the next?

4. Culture- Can your cultures blend? Do you have similar views on finances, education, and spirituality?

5. Commitment- If a person can’t keep a commitment with other things, then something is wrong.

6. Communication- Can you identify your own feelings and the other person’s feelings?

7. Core Values- Are your core values the same? Do you have the same beliefs?

Although intellectual conversation about literature and art is fascinating to me, it is not what will see a marriage through during its most turbulent times. And as a close friend said to me, “That type of conversation all the time sounds exhausting!”

It is the core traits that are sustaining and nurturing that should be most sought after.

Brittany Windle

Follow Brit on Twitter.

(Photo Credit: 2b Photography)

(Resource: Family Life)

TED Talks: Inspiring Women

June 25, 2015

Stories of great courage and lessons learned are the themes of these TED Talks. These speakers will remind you that no matter your story, it can and should be used for a greater purpose.

Piper Kerman

You will want to watch this TEDx talk from Piper Kerman, the woman whose memoir inspired the show Orange is the New Black.

In the talk, Kerman tells the story of how, at age 34, she was sent to federal prison for delivering drug money a decade earlier. She shares the lessons she learned on the inside — lessons about prison survival, lessons about a broken justice system, and larger lessons about life.

Leslie Morgan Steiner

Leslie Morgan Steiner was in “crazy love” — that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. Steiner tells the dark story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explaining how we can all help break the silence.

Meera Vijayann

This talk begins with a personal story of sexual violence that may be difficult to listen to. But that’s the point, says citizen journalist Meera Vijayann: Speaking out on tough, taboo topics is the spark for change. Vijayann uses digital media to speak honestly about her experience of gender violence in her home country of India — and calls on others to speak out too.

Sarah Kay

A performing poet since she was 14 years old, Sarah Kay is the founder of Project VOICE, an organization that uses spoken word poetry as a literacy and empowerment tool.

Brittany Windle

Follow Brit on Twitter.

31 Bits: Eliminating Poverty

June 23, 2015
Sophia Bush in Gulu, Uganda and the women of 31 Bits.

Sophia Bush in Gulu, Uganda and the women of 31 Bits.

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw Sophia Bush in a long, white and black checkered skirt surrounded by a group of women in Uganda. I couldn’t help but read what her latest adventure was. She was and is still visiting the women of 31 Bits. She is a part of a project that will be telling the stories of these artisans.

31 Bits is more than just a jewelry company. It is a business that was founded by five women from California who saw a way to eliminate poverty with fashion. One of the founders, Kallie Dovel, returned from a “life-changing” trip from Uganda during her senior year of college. “Kallie brought a box of the jewelry back, and we fell in love instantly. We sold the jewelry to friends and ran out within weeks. That’s when it hit us. These women had a skill, but needed a market,” the founders state in their story.

Green accessories from the Summer Collection

Within a year or so of traveling back and forth and selling the jewelry, they implemented a five year development program where the women of Gulu receive health education, finance training, counseling, and business training. They knew that these women needed more than just a paycheck. “After five years in our program, the women graduate, leaving with an education, a career, social equity, confidence, and a voice.”

The beads of each piece of jewelry is handcrafted and made from recycled paper. 99% of the materials are from local markets in Eastern Africa. “All of our products are carefully crafted by hand. From the first cut of paper to stringing on the final bead, every detail was thought through. You might find tiny differences from bead to bead, but we call those the “perfect imperfections” of having a handmade product. Each piece is unique and tells a story because it was made by a real person.”

Summer Collection - the "Marrakesh" necklace

Summer Collection – the “Marrakesh” necklace

Arach Nighty grew up a child enslaved to the war traveling through Eastern Africa. She never had a chance to go to school, and didn’t think her own children would ever get to either.

Arach Nighty grew up a child enslaved to the war traveling through Eastern Africa. She never had a chance to go to school, and didn’t think her own children would ever get to either.

Sophia Bush sums it up beautifully with these words: “31 Bits was born to help rehabilitate a war-torn region. To help empower the most disadvantaged women. To return hope to families. And these amazing ladies have done it. Their stories will move you to tears, make you thankful for the sheer magic that is the human spirit, and bring so much joy into your heart that you’ll realize you’re clutching your hand to your chest just to feel it beating, and you didn’t even notice that you put it there. Being conscious of what you support, even through such simple actions as buying a bracelet or necklace for a loved one, can literally impact entire communities halfway around the world.”

Impact an entire community by supporting companies like 31 Bits. Every purchase is life-changing.

Article by Brittany Windle

Follow Brit on Twitter.

Hayden + John

June 10, 2015

Hayden and John of Tuscaloosa, AL wed at the beautiful location of Stonewood Farms. With a touch of southern charm, the chateau style home made for a lovely location. Blush pink was the feature hue of the event.

2b Photography2b Photography

2b Photography

2b Photography

2b Photography

2b Photography

2b Photography2b Photography

2b Photography

2b Photography

2b Photography

2b Photography

2b Photography

2b Photography

The Details:

Photography: 2b Photography 

Florals: Connie Taylor

Venue: Stonewood Farms

Makeup: Anna Catharine Rutherford

Hair: Danielle Ivy

Wedding Planner: Taylor Crute of Mobile, AL

Favorite Four to Follow

June 5, 2015

A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s why we love Instagram. These fantastic four inspire us from their healthy living tips and motivating words to their images that simply make us smile.

Heather Brown

A local blogger and social media expert, Heather has made her mark in Birmingham. My Life Well Loved is a lifestyle blog featuring healthy living, style, and recipes. We love her new “Style the Bump” series. We can’t wait for the arrival of Baby Brown!

My life well loved

My life well loved

The EveryGirl

Ranked by Forbes as a Top 100 Website for Women, TheEverygirl.com is the life map for Everygirls everywhere.

The Every Girl

Toast Meets World

Toast is a King Charles puppymill rescue. The instagram account is full of adorable pictures that will make you smile and remind you of such a great cause.

Toast Meets World

Toast Meets World

Kayla Itsines

Kayla is a personal trainer and author of Bikini Body Guide. She has been seen in magazines including Marie Claire and Elle. Her motivation helps women of all walks of life from those desiring to lose weight and those like she who struggled with being underweight. Her account is sprinkled with inspirational quotes, before and after pictures and yummy recipe ideas.

Kayla Itsines

Kayla Itsines

Article by Brittany Windle

Follow Brit on Twitter.

Hide Your Crazy

June 27, 2014

hide your crazy

You’ve been wronged. Severely wronged. Falsely accused. Judged. Hurt.

You want justice, right? You want to see that person get what’s coming to them. YOU WANT THEM TO SUFFER BECAUSE YOU ARE SUFFERING. I think we’ve all been there-we become defensive, run our mouths, get loud, seek revenge, plot out the oppressor’s demise. It feels grrrrrrreat! Sound the Rocky theme song!

But then what? What gets accomplished? Are you truly satisfied?

In my experience, the eye-for-an-eye/take-off-your-heels-and-arm-yourself method never puts out the fire blazing in my heart, mind and soul. Never. It simply causes a wildfire not only within myself, but it consumes everything and everyone around me. My testimony is ruined. I am simply not a better person. I am not healed. I am not satisfied.

In March, I went through one of the most trying times in my life. Wait, let me correct that- THE most horrible time of my life-especially as a teacher. Wrongly treated is a complete understatement. I never knew that people could be so unjust, prideful, illogical and down right cruel. I definitely experienced a teacher’s worst nightmare-parent/student anonymity, a meme posted on social media taken out of context, unsupportive administration and politics. After the incident happened, I felt my heart sink like the heaviest ship on the sea. Waves were crashing around me. I was drowning. Can’t. Get. Air. Feeling abandoned,I was left out in the cold to defend for my livelihood, my career, and my reputation.

I truly didn’t understand why God was doing this to me-why he was letting it happen. I could understand if I was in the wrong, BUT I WAS NOT. And it SUCKED. I was an amazing teacher (yes, I’m tooting my beautifully-polished horn because it’s true). My evaluations (18 for the year to be exact) were all glowing beacons of light illuminating my success as a teacher in the classroom. I loved my kiddos of all races, backgrounds, personalities and abilities. I simply loved teaching. But sadly, in today’s education world, that isn’t enough.

And if that drama wasn’t enough, my beloved grandma passed away, and I was in a fender-bender-all within the same month. It was just too much. TOO MUCH.

crazy girl

I had two paths to choose from-the one less traveled or the jam-packed highway of human nature. How I chose to handle this situation at school truly made all the difference-not only in my professional life, but as a person. Was I hurt? YES. Was I angry? YES, YES. Did I want to run up and down the halls revealing the story of my injustice and the truth to every single teacher and student? YES, YES, YES. Did I want to slap the teacher who started running her mouth spreading gossip about something she knew nothing about? YES, YES, YES, YES! But what good would it do for me to allow all of this fuming anger, betrayal and sadness to control me? Nothing. So, I chose to rise above. I chose to handle everything and everyone with dignity and class. I chose to hide my crazy and act like a lady. I chose to trust God with it ALL. I allowed HIM to be my defender, my judge, but more importantly, I allowed Him to be THEIR JUDGE. And you know what?

It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I finished out the year in a blaze of glory. I was nominated for a teacher celebration event, made the top 10 at the local mall, walked a fashion show and even won (let me tell you-I had to giggle as the odds were stacked against me). It was clear that my actions were being acknowledged and blessed by the Big Man upstairs. After feeling like a failure, my efforts and passion for teaching were applauded. I also received news that the healthy project I had been working on for months for our school was accepted-I helped earn $7000 and an amazing title of Healthy Zone School for my campus (even though I wouldn’t be there to enjoy the new benefits, I was pumped.)

More important than all this recognition and success, I accomplished the most amazing thing ever-I chose to be humble. I chose to bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut, extend grace and show respect to people that I felt didn’t even deserve it, and relinquish all human instincts to fight. Through this, I learned so much about myself. It was truly remarkable. It felt like I had won-I had passed the hardest test of my life. I was able to shine like a diamond-separate myself from the norm. I chose to react in a God-like manner and because of that, I was, in essence, victorious. That was my justice.

I FOLLOWED MIRANDA LAMBERT’S ADVICE-I HID MY CRAZY AND ACTED LIKE A LADY-BEST DECISION EVER! I am now living my dream-fashion, fashion, and more fashion! If this unfortunate event hadn’t happened, I would have probably chosen to stay in my comfort zone. I’m about to be 30 and enter a brand new FABULOUS chapter of my life. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Not a single thing!

Brynlea Cunniff

Handmade Home Wedding

May 13, 2014

wedding1

It’s that time of year… I can hear the church bells ringing and see the flower petals floating down the isle before the bride. However, weddings are expensive, and the costs can become overwhelming. If you are planning a wedding, be thankful that handmade, vintage and rustic are all in style.

As I perused one of my favorite wedding photographers, Morgan Trinker, I came upon the perfect combination of simplicity and charm. “Less is more” has never been more true.

wedding6

wedding5

wedding7

wedding 2

wedding4

wedding9

wedding8

wedding13

wedding14

wedding10

wedding12

wedding11

For more pictures and the couple’s story, visit here.

Brittany Windle

Follow Britt on Twitter.

Balance & Self-Discipline

March 5, 2014

balanceart via

Intention-based rituals.

According to The Power of Full Engagement, up to 95% of our lives are based on habits.

95%! This is pretty crazy. Almost too high to believe. This means that most of our strengths and not-so-great aspects of our lives are likely rooted in habits that we have cultivated - consciously or not - throughout our lives.

The urge to eat the ice cream out of the carton when no one is looking and our ability to jump out of bed in the morning are both likely tied to habits we have crafted over time.

Knowing that habits have such a HUGE influence in our lives means that we can choose to shape positive rituals that reflect our deepest values and intentions for each area of our life.

Continue your reading here.

Style & Substance: Sarah Mason

November 22, 2013

Sarah1

A note by the door bell reads: “Do not ring. Children sleeping.” Knocking, I am greeted by three year old Alice with a warm smile, she still in her pajamas. Her tasseled hair falls gently across her face, and behind her is Sarah, her mother. She hugs me, and I am reminded of her genuine and authentic self. I first met Sarah and her husband, Will, at Redstone Church. These two are the perfect duo with their apparent chemistry on stage along with their impeccable talent both in singing and instrumentally. Sarah and Will are owners of Mason Music with two locations in Cahaba Heights and Mountain Brook, AL.

Sarah looked effortlessly beautiful, and she always does. She’s able to create an outfit which looks comfortable, trendy and classic all at the same time. I am in awe of how she makes it look so easy and fun:  mother, business owner, music teacher, and worship leader.

Her effortless style goes beyond her clothing but to her home as well. Splashes of color through art work, drapes and pillows make each room unique, classic and comfortable.

Will&Sarah

Sarah, and her husband, Will.

“The story of Mason Music began when Will and Sarah met in 2006. Home from touring nationally as the guitarist for Moses Mayfield, Will was introduced to Sarah while she was visiting Birmingham on her summer break from the University of Missouri- Kansas City. Almost immediately, the young couple began writing and performing music together.” (Read the rest of their story here).

Sarah, a woman of style and substance, was my first pick for this column. As she welcomed us into her home, she gracefully answered our questions on balancing life and defining what beauty means to her.

What are your favorite places in Birmingham for a night out with WIll?
When it comes to date nights, I really enjoy either staying in Cahaba Heights and hitting up Mudtown or the Olive Branch, or going downtown. When we decide to venture out, we enjoy trying new places. We love going to concerts when we can and try to support local musicians.

Playroom1Play RoomHow do you balance work and family?

Finding a balance between work and family is a challenge. Owning a business with my husband is rewarding, fun, exciting, and also causes a lot of bickering. I have chosen not to put my kids into full time daycare because I really want to invest in their lives while they are young. Since I am with them a big part of the week, my husband  puts more time into the family business. When I start to feel like work is taking over my life, I try to remind myself that the time I have with my kids is limited, and they are more important than any business I will ever be a part of.

What advice can you give future entrepreneurs?

If you have a desire to start a business, do what comes naturally to you. For me it was music. I realized that I had a gift for teaching, and there was a need in the community for a teacher like me. Will started teaching guitar lessons while I taught piano and voice, and things just grew from there. In order to build a successful business you need to find a mentor who knows a lot. We had a great guy who helped motivate us and give us great inspiration. You need to be willing to take risks with your money and time. You need to be good at networking and building relationships. These are the main things that helped Will and I as we started our company.

Sarah2

What quality is most beautiful in women? How do you define beauty for yourself?

I think a confident woman is a beautiful woman. It doesn’t matter what she looks like on the outside or what she is wearing. Confidence is super attractive. Beauty is a person’s idea of what is pleasing to the eye… I think most “beautiful” women have attractive faces and bodies, but how can we tell they are beautiful just by looking? I think you have to know a person before you can qualify them as beautiful.

WhiteRoom2

Sarah’s favorite room in her house, the guest bedroom, is adorned in all white with hints of blue on the handmade quilt.

WhiteRoom3WhiteRoomSarah

With the pressures of the media bombarding women to look a certain way, how do you keep a healthy balance?

I try to remind myself that I am a unique individual. I don’t have to compare myself to the women I see in the media. If there is someone that I admire for their talents and abilities, I think it’s okay to notice what style choices they are making and wearing. It becomes too much when we start to idolize people that are famous, or the images of women we see.Like I said before, it all comes back to confidence. If you are confident in who you are, people will find you more attractive.

Den3-1

Den1-1

 ~ Brittany Windle

Follow Britt on Twitter.