Do You Know Your Neighbors? (Losing the Neighborhood)

Rooftops.
When we were young, a smiling Mr. Rogers asked us to be his neighbor. He taught me more than to put popcorn in my peanut butter and jelly. He taught me to believe in community, to smile and make friends. To be kind to strangers.

Does anyone in real life have neighbors like our friends on TV do?

Lucy and Ricky had Ethel and Fred. Fred and Wilma had Betty and Barney. Wilson was always available for a strange metaphorical lesson for the Taylor family on Home Improvement. George Feeney was always willing to lend an ear on Boy Meets World, Joey and Chandler were right across the hall whenever Monica and Rachel needed some friendly banter, and Winnie Cooper will always be the epitome of the girl next door. 

Although many of these TV friendships were created for easy plot conventions, I can’t help but think about how people treated their neighbors 40-50 years ago. When you could easily skip across the street to borrow a cup of milk or trust your kids to go knock on the neighbor’s door to ask their kids to play. When you could ask your neighbor to help you with some handy work or when bbqs and Friday night happy hours were shared events. 

I’ve never interacted with a neighbor that way and that makes me sad. 

A 2013 study by State Farm shows that only 25% of American know the names of their next door neighbors. 

What happened to our sense of community? And how is it hurting us?

We’re all too busy inside with our “social” media and Netflix binges. Our focus is on individualism and in turn our needs are more selfish and our sense of responsibility to community have gone way down. We are more alienated now then we have ever been. Also, we are all full of mistrust and weariness. We live in a world where we have every right to be scared of our neighbors.

Is our focus on individualism and our  mistrust of others linked? I certainly believe so.

Ryan and I live in a condo/townhome community, surrounded by hundreds of neighbors. We walk the walking trails and pass the same neighbors again and again, greeting with a slight nod of the head or a half-smile. Despite all of this, I know the names of only one couple that lives across the street. And it’s all because they made the effort.

They came over and greeted us when we moved in two years ago. They smiled big smiles and insisted that if we ever needed anything, they were there. It was comforting. Six months later they saw us moving in some new used furniture we bought off Craigslist and they very kindly gifted us a beautiful dresser and mirror they were trying to sell. Every morning they greet me with a bellowing “Hello, Katie!” Since then I’ve introduced myself to a few other neighbors and have been met with a little apprehension on their end. 

Sometimes when I take Maggie out at night, barefoot in my pajamas, I become overcome with anxiety that I’ve locked myself out of the house. My keys and cellphone safely locked inside while I’m abandoned out in the cold in my ugliest pajamas. Who’s door would I knock on to let me use their phone? Who should I trust? Who would trust me?

I try to hold the belief that most people are good at heart. But it’s hard for that hope to withstand when you read the news.

Our alienation and individualism is cutting down our civic duty. In this highly connected world we are very disconnected from those closest to us. Our neighbors. When shootings happen in schools and neighborhoods are threatened with homicides and robberies and community riots get out of hand are reaction is to hide and blockade ourselves rather than work together for a common good.

Isn’t putting aside our differences and working together for a common good what our nation was founded on? I can’t help but see that if we started to rebuild that connection with our community, if we started to bond together and help one another, our mistrust will also lessen. 

How do we put the “neighbor” back into the “hood”? So tell me, do you know your neighbors? Are you involved in your community? 

Where Do You Draw The Line with Social Media?

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I have a love hate relationship with social media. I don’t think I”m wrong in stating that this is the norm. At least once a week I have a Facebook friend who declares they are deactivating their account forever, and then they return a week later with a rant about Comcast and selfies with their dog.

We can’t stay away.

It’s simple enough to see that social media has changed our world drastically in a short matter of time. Now, we cannot imagine a world without it. We check it countless times a day, we share what we are eating, where we are going, what we are buying. We share our views on current events, complain about the jerk at Starbucks and humblebrag about our gym workouts. It’s what we do. And that is fine.

 But when does the net of the world-wide web become less of a way to reach out and grow and more of a trap. When does social media hinder us from actually being social?

Don’t mistake me, I love many things about Facebook and Instragram and Twitter. I enjoy seeing what close friends who live states away are up to every week. I’m the girl who will actually click-through all 122 pictures of your beach vacation. I enjoy browsing through the adorable photos of your kids and your pets. I like to see the life updates of acquaintances; new jobs, engagements, weddings, babies, new homes, graduations. I like seeing you do fun and happy things with your loved ones.

I enjoy celebrating and documenting my life and updating friends and family on outings, life updates, and fun photos. I support your choices and will validate them with likes galore.

But somewhere I have to draw a line.  Lately I’m becoming more and more angry with social media. Lately it feels like the rude uninvited party guest that crashes the party, eats the last of the nachos, brags about how awesome their life is, talks badly about every guest behind their backs, and makes you go home early feeling miserable about yourself. 

Social media has every characteristic of a toxic friend:

It’s Rude: Social media intrudes into every aspect of our lives. It’s there in between my husband and I in bed. In the morning we both reach for our phones rather than reaching for each other. On our commutes we bury our heads in our phones, scrolling through our Instagram and Twitter feeds instead of having some quiet contemplation time. We sit down to catch up with our spouse and refer constantly to “awesome” articles we read online, or a blog post that caught our attention, or the newest cat video. It’s hard to imagine a conversation that does not include at least one reference to something we saw online.

Are we even thinking for ourselves anymore? At get togethers with friends, Facebook is causing silence as we “check in” to restaurants and share pictures of our meals and post statuses saying what an awesome time we are having. But are we?

It’s Needy: Social media sucks us in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost 30 minutes or more of my life just trolling through Facebook and Twitter. How many times I’ve back stalked someone on Facebook or looked through countless photo albums. Or when one link on twitter leads to reading 6 BuzzFeed articles. Social Media is that annoying friend that says you never spend enough time with them. They always want more. 

It makes us feel miserable: People only present their ideal lives on social media. You will never see people posting repeatedly about their colic baby, their vomiting dog, their annoying in-laws, their leaky roof, or how their spouse is driving them absolutely nuts. Social media bullies us into thinking our lives are miserable compared to what we see online. Similarly it also makes us feel like our lives aren’t worth living unless we have perfect things to share online. The comparison games leaves us feeling joyless and worthless. We think the things that makes us happy aren’t true unless someone validates them. 

It’s a Dictator: The other week I was catching up with a friend at her house when I witnessed her baby walk from one end of the room to the other. I let our a “woot!” and asked when this milestone happened. My friend responded, “oh last week, didn’t you see the video I posted on Facebook?”. Unless you are constantly checking your feed your are apt to miss out on people’s exciting news.I can’t tell you the last time I had a lengthy phone call with a friend or when news was spread personally rather than a big announcement on social media.

Facebook dictates social news. It has taken over as the way to learn about your friends lives, rather than actually, you know, be social with them on a one to one situation. 

It delivers false promises: Social media promises to make us feel connected to one another. In turn we feel the need to constantly check our news feeds, fearing that we may miss out on some fun story, news, or event. We want to be part of everything. But our FOMO (fear of missing out) makes us so disconnected from ourselves, our needs, that we eventually miss out on what is most important – what makes us happy as individuals.

We are promised community a place to share ourselves and find someone else that will say, “me too!” Instead we have turned into a society of people so desperate for a sense of connection that we sit with our eyes buried in social media blind to the fact that our loved one sits right next to us doing exactly the same. 

Has social media made us all socially awkward? Has it made us lose touch with our independence? In a world of selfies have we lost all sense of self? We declare that selfies are a way to show our uniqueness, our own special beauty. But if we are all so proud of our own beauty, why do we need to share it 5 times a day and constantly check to see how many likes we have received?

Where is the line drawn between sharing, documenting or celebrating your life and searching to one up your friends and acquaintances and prove that you live a worthy life?

I don’t know how to escape it when it’s all around us. We’re headed to Jamaica for a family vacation soon and even my mom was surprised when I said I wasn’t going to take advantage of the free wi-fi at the resort. Escape is hard to find when you live in a world where everyone around you is dependent on social media.

I find a time everyday where I simply put down the phone. We try to have a no phones allowed time each night and stay off of Facebook in bed. But when our cellphones are the only way for family and friends to reach us in times of emergency we can’t simply put down the phone and walk away for a long period of time. 

So I want to know. Where do you draw the line with social media?

xoxo Katie

Back in MY Day…

Back in my day, 80s and 90s nostalgia

Every generation goes through it. Every generation looks at the one behind them and tells tales that start with “Back in MY day.” My parents filled me with tales of the shortest mini skirts, not being able to wear jeans (or even pants for my mom) to school, driving in cars without seat belts, and typing college papers on typewriters.

Maybe it’s because I’m on the cusp of being a narcissistic millennial but I believe my generation is seeing the biggest gap between generations. 

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1985. Bowl cuts and mickey mouse sweats were all the rage.

Being born in 1983, my generation is the last to remember a childhood free of the internet. This equated to more time outside, more imaginary play, more creativity,  less pressure, less pop culture and sexual awareness, less over saturation,  and in general more innocence. 

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Summers at the shore. 1989.

Back in my day, messages weren’t conveyed via texts but by handwritten notes. Usually multiple ones a day and even better if they were written on Sanrio or Lisa Frank stationary. Keroppi was the best.  keroppi Instead of collecting followers and likes on social media I collected stickers, pencils, erasers, pogs, and little plastic animals.  In the summer I lived outside.

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1990, at my favorite place, the pool!

I spent my days at the pool, either swimming around and playing pool games like Sharks and Minnows or Run the Bases or playing My Little Ponies or Barbies in the grass while eating ice cream that cost 25 cents. In the evening I’d be running around with the other neighborhood kids playing kick the can or capture the flag.

Rainy days were spent inside playing the skateboarder pizza delivery game on Atari or Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo. If my brother was doing his own thing I’d transform my entire bedroom into a Barbie house or set up an imaginary school or store. If we were really bored we’d torture our dog, Missy. 

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1987, pushing MIssy around in the shopping cart. Check out those shorts!

I know the way to hit my brother and get away with it was to slap him with my slap bracelet. Other accessories included stick on earrings, snap together beads, jelly bracelets, and a plethora of scrunchies.

My most treasured toy was my Samantha American Girl doll. 

We had awesome sleepover parties where we’d play Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board and apply heavy blue eyeshadow on each other and then have fashion shows in our nightgowns and crimped out hair. 

My summertime wardrobe consisted of Umbros and a baggy t-shirts (bonus points if they featured sun flowers) on top of my one piece Speedo or my SUPER cool floral bikini.I wore huge plastic glasses for most of my childhood because that was the only glasses option. At least they were pink! I was unaware of dressing trendy or cute.

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1988, playing My Little Pony with my brother at the beach house.

When I got to fourth grade, the best place to shop was Limited Too, back when they sold preppy vests, stirrup pants, and boxy sweatshirts. 

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1996. Obligatory State Park sign during our family “West” trip. Seventh grade was the year of the sunflower.

My family owned a few of our favorite movies on VHS but most of our movie collection was made up of movies we recorded from TV to our VCR. It was so exciting when we’d get a free promo weekend of HBO or Showtime because then we could record all of the newer movies! My mom would record General Hospital everyday on the same beat up VHS tape and we’d watch it together in the evening, rewinding the tape at the end so that it was ready to record tomorrow’s saga all over again. 

I had my own cool pink radio/cassette player which I would use to play my favorite tapes: Amy Grant, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Ace of Base and the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. I also perfected the skill of waiting for my favorite new song to come on the radio and pushing “record” just in time. 

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1995, down at the shore in my Umbros. I always caught the biggest fish on my Pop-Pop’s boat.

Recess was spent playing Horse, 4-Square, trying to knock the other person off the other end of the see-saw, or pretending to do gymnastics on the balance beam. We all believed in the mythical tale of the kid who once swung so hard on a swing that he flipped himself all the way over the swing set. I looked forward to rain days so we could have inside recess and play teacher and write on the chalkboard. The go to classroom chore was being the student who got to go outside and clap out the dirty chalkboard erasers. 

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1991. Troll dolls on Christmas morning!

We had a computer in the house but it was mostly used to make very pixellated Mother’s day cards printed on paper that you had to tear the perforated edges off of.  When I was in 7th grade the word internet started to be thrown around.

When I was in 9th grade my parents secured a second phone line so that we could log onto AOL and be able to receive phone calls at the same time. Yet we still didn’t spend too much time online because there wasn’t much to do. I was still happy about the second phone line because then I could spend HOURS talking with my friends on the phone.   

In the early teen years I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio. The entire inside of my closet was covered in magazine cut outs of Leo. Love. I couldn’t wait to get my newest issues of Seventeen and YM Magazine.

I listened to Jewel’s “Pieces of You” album on repeat. The first CD I ever bought with my own money was Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissett. I was with my Pop-Pop when I bought it and he made me play it for him when we got home from the mall. It was so embarrassing.   By 8th and 9th grade the internet was gaining popularity. Now the only reason I logged online was to chat with my friends or boys. 

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1997 Easter. Baby doll dress and platform sandals.

 In high school your AOL profile defined you. I would sculpt and edit mine on a daily basis. There was so much pressure in listing our favorite bands and movies and choosing song lyrics or a quote that would make you seem cool. No one was cool.  Still, the only thing I did on the internet was chat with my friends and meet boys. It was an experimental adventure. But honestly, I formed some good friendships and even met a few in real life and became pen pals. All innocent fun! 

I thought I was so cool because I doused myself with tommy girl and wore skater clothes. Delias was the coolest place to buy your clothes! But you had to order it via the phone or by a handwritten form that you’d send in the mail with a check. I had the coolest patent leather Airwalks. I made my mom drive around to all the surrounding malls to find them. No online shopping for us. My go to body product was Bath and Body Work cucumber melon and I displayed it proudly on my dresser.

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2000, Junior Prom. Where are my eyebrows?

My friends and I would make a lot of at home music videos and comedy videos as well as take a lot of staged dressed up photos. We had to be stingy with the photo taking though as film was expensive and it would usually take us weeks to get the film developed I got my first real cell phone when I got my license. I drove a 1988 Honda Accord that was originally owned by my grandmother and then passed down to my mom, then to my older brother, and then finally to me. I loved that car.

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2001 High School Graduation day, I loved my Honda Accord.

When I wasn’t jamming out to my latest mixed tape I was blasting my walk men that I hooked up via a tape deck. My big Nokia phone, complete with a pull out antenna, was kept safely in my glove compartment. I only turned it on when I needed to make a call, and for emergency’s only, like to tell my mom I was going to be 10 minutes past my curfew. 

There was no Facebook or even MySpace. The only thing you had to worry about online was scripting the perfect “away” message on AOL Instant messenger. Your confidence and identity was built offline.

Life was (dare I say it again?) more innocent and free. What are your best memories from “back in the day”?  

SMD's Blog

Easy Tips to Improve Your Photos for Instant Sharing (part 2)

Today I am over the moon excited to introduce you to a fellow blogger Christina. Her blog Route Bliss is an impressive showcase of her talented photography, writing, and sweet tips on travel and healthy living. Today she is taking over A Beautiful Little Adventure and sharing some intro photography tips – teaching us all simply ways to make our photos ready to share on social media. Take it away Christina:

Hello everyone 🙂 I’m Christina I blog about travel, photography, and healthy living over at Route Bliss. Katie asked me last month if I would be interested in guest blogging, and with all that was going on at the time, I kinda dropped the ball (oops! Sorry again Katie!). So, to make up for it, I brainstormed for something to share with all of you over here at A Beautiful Little Adventure.

I actually came up with a longer list of tips to share, so I’ve split them up — the first half I blogged recently over at Route Bliss (click here) — and today I’m sharing the other half …

Okay, so you have a blog … or an Instagram/Twitter/Facebook profile you want to share images on.

Your only camera may be the one built into your phone.

You might want the images to be “pinworthy” too … but you’re limited on ways to make the images look better (i.e. lack Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements) …

So what can you do to make them better without expensive software? There’s two tricks that you can use that don’t require an app on your phone or fancy editing.

#1: Light

Photography is all about light — let in too little light and you can’t tell what you took a photo of, unless its of the stars on a moonless night with a long exposure, and too much light probably means you have an image that has little detail to it because its washed out.

You don’t even need an app to improve the light in your images … just a few tricks and techniques!

Here’s a few scenarios:

Scenario: Let’s say you’re out with friends/family and want to take some selfies or photos of everyone else. Its a bright sunny day, perfect weather for photo-taking, but don’t want the image washed out from the bright sun or everyone in silhouette because you put them in the wrong spot.

Solution:  Find an open shade under some trees, an awning on a building, in the shadow of a building to place everyone (and/or yourself) … essentially, a place where everyone is not staring squinty-eyed at you because you have them staring into the sun. If that’s not an option (perhaps you’re posing in front of a landmark), just make sure that the sun is at their (or your) back. Here’s a couple of examples …

lighting example - cowboy on horseback at the Fort Worth Stockyards by Christina McCall

You can see the sunlight on his beard, but thanks to the cowboy hat, the rest of his face isn’t washed out.

And if you can’t find open shade, do what I did in this image and find an object to block the sun as much as possible, simultaneously creating some sun flare 🙂

lighting example - teepee near Cortez, Colorado by Christina McCall

Scenario: You’re at home and you want to take a photo of something (food, a new outfit, your kids or pets, etc). If you’re like me and you work all day, odds are the only time you have to take photos for your blog is in the evening. And then your photos have a yucky yellow cast to them because soft white light bulbs we all have in our homes.

Solution: If possible (especially now that it gets dark later outside), shoot earlier in the day right after you get home from work or during the day on a weekend. Place the item/person you’re photographing near a window — north and south facing windows are best — and take advantage of the natural light instead.

The first image was taken in front of my back door that faces southwest (its a full panel of etched glass which helps diffuse the light a bit) …

lighting example - yellow billyballs by Christina McCall

This one was taken during the morning in my bedroom, which faces northeast — you can tell the light is diffused behind it thanks to white mini blinds and sheer curtains

lighting example - book and coffee mug by Christina McCall

Scenario: Not many windows in your home? At a place where the lighting situation isn’t within your control or favor?

Solution: Create a reflector to bounce what ‘good light’ you can find! You don’t need a fancy photographer one either …  white poster board or a white sheet, t-shirt, or a towel will work, as well as mirrors and tin foil, which also make awesome light reflectors. Have a white wall in your home or see one where you’re at that’s near a window? Use it, even if its cloudy out! Clouds are a diffuser of light too 🙂

While I used the same idea of using an object to block the sun as mentioned above, I took advantage of my client wearing a white tee to bounce light back onto her black lab (which are hard to photograph tonally btw).

lighting example - girl and her dog by Christina McCall

White, as well as silver and gold reflective surfaces, bounces light! White provides a neutral tone to your image, silver will create a cooler tone, and gold will warm up the image (which makes it great for dreary days).

#2: Composition

What can take an okay image to fabulous? Its composition … here’s a few ways to improve an average setting or portrait:

Rule of Thirds is easily explained as dividing your image into thirds (horizontally and vertically) and then placing the object off center to draw attention to where you want the focus. If you were to shoot a landscape like the one below, for example with the horizon and the VW bus at the center of the image, it would be a bit boring. Placing the horizon at the bottom or top third and placing the bus on the ‘center point’ of the right line and the bottom line draws your attention to the bus as well as the view off in the distance.

composition example - VW Bus by the Rio Grande River near Taos, NM by Christina McCall

Leading Lines are great for drawing a viewer’s attention to something in the image — a person, an object, or just a general direction. For instance, in this image from the Clinton Presidential Library, there’s nothing at the other end of that I’m focused on, but the lines draw your attention to the people down below as well as the continuous emblems visible in the columns.

composition example - Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock, Arkansas by Christina McCall

In this image at the Rio Grande Gorge, I used the bridge to direct attention to the mountains in the distance. While I broke the Rule of Thirds by not waiting until my brother was closer to a ‘center point’, his presence helps provide scale to the scene.

composition example - Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos, NM by Christina McCall

Try another perspective — get down low, find some place you can climb/step up to shoot downward. Photographing someone shorter? Kneel/squat down to shoot them at their eye level. Here’s a few examples from some of my past pet portrait sessions …

perspective example - eye level with canine by Christina McCall

perspective example - on the ground with canine by Christina McCall

perspective example - shooting downward at canine by Christina McCall

perspective example - shooting downward at canine by Christina McCall

Questions, want more tips, or is there something you’d like to know more about photography-wise? Leave a comment below, tweet me, or drop by my blog to view my how-to archives!

Thanks Katie for hosting me … and Maggie, please don’t be upset with your mom that I posted other dogs’ photos on her blog!

Christina – Maggie is just fine with that – as long as she gets to model for you sometime in the future! Thank you so much for sharing your talent and tips! – Katie

5 Friday Favorites – Procrastination

Five Friday Favorites

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The other night I found myself in an all too popular situation. I had a big post to finish writing, dinner to cook, and a still hadn’t completed my daily run. But instead of getting on top of any of these tasks I was instead glued to my phone, constantly refreshing my feed and clicking on every single article in twitter. Each article would lead me to another article, and another, and another, and another.

Pretty soon a whole hour had passed. I’m a pro at procrastination.

But the fact that I just couldn’t tear my face away from my phone begged me to ask the question:

How did I procrastinate before social media and smart phones? Before I had a smart phone, I would be sitting with my Macbook in my lap, quickly turning myself into a serious stalker on Facebook.

Before Facebook was introduced in 2004, during my senior year of college, I would put off writing assignments by chatting on AIM or by feeding my addiction to Snood. (remember snood?! The first candy crush!)

i-want-to-study-but-theres-a-computer-in-my-room

But, even so, I believe I spent more time off the internet than on because we could leave it behind. It wasn’t always constantly with us, taunting us with adorable cat videos, Miley Cyrus articles, or 5 billion ways to cook, decorate, dress, and live better on Pinterest. When I seriously needed to get work done, I would post a fun little ‘away message” on aim, leave my dorm room and head over to the library. Oh the glorious library. I loved sequestering myself in one of the little cubicles tucked away in a quiet corner on the 3rd floor, surrounded by the musty yet loved smell of old books, with only a pen, a notebook, and a stack of books.

That is an almost unimaginable scene in this day and time.

As are these 5 ways I used to procrastinate before the internet took over:

Be ready to feel like the internet is the most unhealthy, anti social, destructive tool ever.

1. Go running

When I didn’t want to study for biology, or rewrite that one damn poem for the 10th time, I’d lace up my running shoes and go for a long run. Yes, I still run now, but it’s at a scheduled time that I often put off because I’m too absorbed reading facts on IMDB or Buzzfeed articles.

2. Play with my dog more

Before smartphones, Maggie would receive more one on one cuddle time, ball throwing fun, and long walks. She and my childhood dog, Missy, would benefit from me putting off work. Maggie’s smart – she knows that petting her with one hand while I shop online with the other is not quality time.  She promptly jumps down and scowls at me from a chair across the room.

3. Talk on the phone

Yes, it’s true. I would actually use my phone to talk to people, with my voice. In high school I’d spend HOURS on the phone. I now hate talking on the phone. What happened?

4. Clean/Organize

To avoid doing  any other project I would turn to cleaning my room or organizing my project. Just proves that you can accomplish SO much when you don’t want to do the one thing you really should be doing.

5. Nap

Naps are a beautiful thing. Before, if I had writer’s block or just wasn’t feeling into a project, I’d take a 30 minute nap and wake up feeling refreshed. Now, I still go lie down in bed and  tell myself I can take a 30 minute nap – but instead of promptly closing my eyes I find myself scrolling through blogs and instagram. Pretty soon my 30 minutes are up and my eyes are more tired than ever. Fail.

So basically, I’d be living a more enriched and productive life. So, why is it so hard for us to disconnect from our phones?

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And if you need some help prolonging any task you wanted to complete today, here are 5 articles to assist you:

Jennifer Lawrence’s Insightful Guide to Life

This Woman is a Professional Cuddler

Dinovember: One couple brings wonder back into childhood

Gadget Sickness: In case you needed more proof that our devices will be the end of us

11 Terrifying vintage ads featuring children

Have a great weekend!

xoxo katie

 

 

Five Friday Favorites 9-27-2013

Five Friday Favorites

Dedicating Friday to a list of 5 of my favorite things from this week. And because I love alliteration so much, they all must start with F.  Fun!

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Free Yourself

The dangers of social media – I wish I could give up social media – but I know I never will. I just love stalking everyone’s photos too much. That’s pretty much my favorite of social media, the photos. But yet, I find myself on Facebook and twitter way longer than I should be, wasting precious moments of my life. I’m guilty as the rest of the world – taking pictures of my food and stupid selfies.  How far will it go? I hope that in 10 years we’ll look back at this time and laugh to ourselves, “Remember when we were so obsessed with checking our phones every single minute? Remember when we could barely look our friends in the eye because it was so not the norm? Remember when we didn’t let ourselves feel feelings because we were so concerned with the feelings of others. Remember when we couldn’t prove that something happened unless it was documented on social media? I bet the leaves wouldn’t even have changed colors if we didn’t take 200 pictures of them. Remember when nothing was sacred? Remember when we forgot to live our lives?” I really hope that happens.

Inspired by this  post by a fellow “real” blogger Glennon: Six Reasons Social Media is Dangerous For Me  

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Flabbergasted

An open letter to the parents of the Stephentown 300

I’m just simply shocked that this happened. 300 students broke into NFL Brian Holloway’s home for an “epic” house party and destroyed his home. Worse – they documented all of the party preparations and party happenings on social media. It is estimated that there is over $20,000 in damages  and countless items were stolen. Even more shocking; Holloway refused to arrest any of the children. He’d rather help them from making such devastating choices in the future. You can view his personal website, including photos from the damage and screenshots from the students twitter updates here: http://www.helpmesave300.com/

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Fall TV

On a less serious note, all my friends are back on TV! Excited for:

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Fun Find!

Wine Cork Candles

wine cork candles

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wine candles wine candles wine candles

We recently did a weekend in the Finger Lakes, NY wine country, and came home with a lot of souvenir wine bottles. I know you can use a simple taper in your wine bottle, but I found these on Amazon and thought they were so fun and cute!  What a great way to showcase your favorite wine bottles and memories. I think they’ll be perfect for outdoor occasions especially – just may want to fill the bottle with sand so it doesn’t tip over. A cheap gift for your wine lover friend. You can buy them on Amazon for under $12.00

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FICTION

The Light Between Oceans

I was memorized by the beauty of this book. Haunting, tragic, and beautiful all at the same time.

The Light Between Oceans

Have a nice weekend!

xoxo katie

Happy to link up with:

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