My highest self.

quote I love quotes. I have one board on Pinterest dedicated to some of my favorite quotes. I was going through that board tonight to find some inspiration for blogging and this quote is the one that stuck out to me the most. Being in my 20s, I often find myself surrounded by peers who are trying to find themselves, to become their highest selves. I think the most popular way people my age tend to do this is through travel. Going somewhere new, trying new things, learning about a new culture. While I think that is fantastic, I can’t afford to travel at this point. But I am so grateful for the traveling I was able to do as a child with my family, including my dad.

But like this quote says, I grew into my highest self through my deepest pain…the death of my dad. Perhaps that’s why unlike my peers, I don’t have that burning desire to go out and find myself or whatever it may be, because I already did that at the age of 14. While it has been almost 10 years since his death, my heart still hurts like it just happened yesterday. But my understanding and outlook on life altered greatly when my dad died. I felt myself mature almost overnight. I knew how fragile life was. I knew how quickly it could be taken away. I knew that there was no way I could take the people I cared for the most for granted. I realized how stupid some arguments are. How it’s not worth it to get mad over tiny matters. How little some of my problems now seemed in comparison. How important it is to follow your passion. How important it is to treat others the way you want to be treated. And so much more.

All of these revelations not made me grow up faster than I’d ever think I had to. I will never see the world the same way as I used to. And I am so thankful for that because now I see everything through much, much clearer and wiser eyes. I know who I am. My core values, beliefs, passions all remain the same. I stand firm in them, unwavering. I am my highest self.

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Community.

library8 Community is a word that means a lot of things to me. Love thy neighbor as thyself. That is at the heart of community in my mind. And despite all of the positive connotations, memories, and emotions I have with that word, I also feel a bit sad. I think America lacks a sense of community. We’re so involved in our individual lives that we’re oblivious to what’s going on in the lives of others in our communities. In my last post, you saw a picture of a community garden . The garden is used to feed seniors in the neighborhood. I see things like that and I have hope. But then I see death and sorrow and despair and I think to myself…it shouldn’t take tragedies to draw us together. What if our sense of community was stronger?

So I went on a walk. In search of community.

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And I found it.

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If you look hard enough, you will find it too. Sometimes, in the most unsuspecting places.

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On a street corner. In a little red house, filled with books.

My Middle Name is Bargain.

Hi, my name is Brittany and I’m a Bargain Shopper. It’s rare that I ever buy anything at full price and if I do, it’s because I’m already buying it from somewhere cheap or it’s just cheap in general. I am also a large proponent of shopping at the Goodwill. I can’t even begin to explain how many name brand and really nice clothing I have found there. Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, etc. Stores where I like the clothing, but would never pay for them at their actual retail value.

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So when I came across a pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans today, I couldn’t pass them up. This brand typically costs anywhere between $170 to upwards of $200. How anyone ever feels okay for paying that for a pair of jeans, I don’t know. They are great quality jeans and made in America (which I fully support), but knowing that I could get probably between 5-10 pairs of jeans for that same amount of money doesn’t make me feel okay paying that out. So, how much did I pay for my pair of 7s today? $15.

DIY Photostrips

I’ve been seeing these Instagram photostrips  floating around Pinterest. I thought they looked super cool, but I don’t have the luxury of Photoshop to make them. I probably won’t be bringing them into Kinkos or cutting them super precise either. But I did some searching around Google for similar projects and discovered that I could just use good old Paint. Just set your dimensions to 325X1600 and you should be able to fit 5 pictures. If you’d like less photos, you can make it smaller. Find pictures of whatever you like or your own Instagram pictures on Webstagram. I plan on printing mine on regular photo paper. I did a Coldplay themed one and I’m pretty happy with it!

Merry Christmas, America.

I love Christmas. Everything about it, really. The snow, the music, the lights, decorations, food, everything. The day after Thanksgiving always feels like the start to Christmas, thus I feel jolly. Of course I did my fair share of Black Friday shopping this morning and besides all of my purchases, some little buttons are what got me really excited. JC Penney’s is handing out FREE Christmas buttons with codes on the back that you can enter online to win things. The potential of winning something makes me happy, but the buttons are also just really cute!

My Hidden Gem of a Lunch Spot

It was a nice day outside on Tuesday and I had already eaten my lunch at my desk, so I decided to take an actual break and headed up the street to Cupcake to treat myself to a treat! If you’ve never been to Cupcake, go. The cupcakes are delicious, the variety of them is overwhelming, but their actual food is delicious, too. I took my bag of goodies (one elderberry macaron and a Betty Crocker cupcake) and headed to Prospect Park, better known as the park with the Witch’s Hat. I had been wanting to go there for quite some time, but never got around to it. Let me tell you, it is well worth it. So peaceful and one of the best views of the Minneapolis skyline. I think I’ll have lunch here again.

Quotes and Canvases.

I really do think Pinterest has turned me into a craft fiend. This weekend involved another trip to Michael’s to try a new project. I wanted something that was fairly simple, so I decided to try these quote canvases that I thought looked cool. Not too spendy to make either. Let me just say, the first attempt was a bit of a struggle. I used too much paint, the letters didn’t come off the way I wanted to, the magazine paper was a bit crumply since I used hot glue. Needless to say, this is a project where you need to find what works for you. For me, I suggest mod podging your magazine pieces down, not putting paint directly on the canvas, and using a good brand of vinyl letters so they’re easy to pull off! Now I want to make these all the time…

Christmas Comes Early

We haven’t gotten to Thanksgiving yet, but Christmas is everywhere I go. And I’ve already started my Christmas shopping. And I may or may not have listened to several Christmas songs this past week. Even McDonald’s has their holiday pies back! So it was a pleasant surprise when I ordered my usual Hot Apple Blast from Caribou and was greeted with a Christmas cup! Ah, how I love Christmas.

Cup of Christmas Cheer