Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is It Really All Worth It?


I took a walk through this adorable little park on the Upper West Side yesterday with the little man. We sniffed some tulips, took pictures, ran around in circles, attempted to not pull every single petal off of every single flower, sneezed more times that I can count on all twenty fingers and toes, and hung out on the benches for awhile watching the airplanes go by while enjoying the sunshine. 

For some odd reason, it was here that I  found myself questioning this whole blogging thing. 

There are days when I see quotes that say something like "stop informing everyone about your life and start living it instead". You know, to forgo posting a Facebook status letting everyone know you're at a Yankees game and instead actually watch the innings and maybe even know what the score is after the 9th. Or to enjoy the heart-shaped grilled cheese you just made instead of Instagramming a shot of it halfway out of your frame. Or to maybe even just watch The Bachelor without having to tweet every six point seven seconds about watching it. 

I'm obviously not guilty for any of these things. But this all causes me to wonder if I'm wasting too much time online. Too much time on social media. Too much time preparing things for this blog. 

In essence: too much time uploading my life instead of downloading it.

Because when I break down the hours in my day, a heavy portion of them are all spent informing everyone else about my life and what's going on it. Sometimes I even find myself doing something just because I want to show everyone that I'm doing it. Like that heart-shaped grilled cheese. Would I have whipped out the cookie cutter on a random weekday night while alone in my apartment if I there was no Instagram to show anyone that I had a pretty sandwich instead of just an average one? Absolutely not. And that's kind of really sad when you think about it. 

So I stop for a second (you know, in the garden park while my two year old nanny kid starts stomping on worms) and I ask myself if it's really all worth it. The planning, the picture taking, the posting, the social media-ing, the staging. Should I let go of the crazy blogger lifestyle and just slow it all down so I can live my life for me without all of the pressure? 

Sometimes I think yes. 

Then I snap out of it, flip the penny over, and remember all the good that can come from the uploading side of this journey.

Because without all of that I wouldn't have gotten anywhere near where I am today. I wouldn't have made life-long friendships with complete strangers that live seven states away. There wouldn't be a journal chronicling my daily life happenings to look back on one day when I'm fifty and miss my twenty-something year old life. I wouldn't have delved deeper into who I actually am without forcing myself to open up amidst all of these blog posts. My bank account wouldn't have seen any extra side income. These passions of mine that I've recently discovered would most likely still be buried deep down in me somewhere. I wouldn't have challenged myself to get creative, to think like an entrepreneur, to stick with a hobby for longer than half a day, or to just simply put myself out there for the world to see.

So it may seem narcissistic that anyone would think their lifestyle is interesting enough to be worth reading. It may seem ridiculous to stage a picture of your bathing suit just to get a few more likes on Instagram. It may seem absolutely pointless to waste time doing anything other than living your life for you and only you. But without all of that, you'd never get to experience any of the absolutely amazing and life changing positives that come along with it.

And as long as those consistently remain on the heavier side of the imaginary scale, then any of the "Is this really all worth it?" type questioning can just go take a hike.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Very Own Etsy Shop


Well this happened on quite the whim this week, but I decided to open up a little Etsy shop for prints. It's nothing too extravagant yet, but for now I'm pretty pleased with it. 

I had a few readers telling me that I should start a shop and quite a few more asking me where they could buy the prints that I've shown to the blog world as of late. So I figured, why not right? We all could stand to add a little pretty into our lives, so I might as well share my own with all of you if you're interested in it. They're all pink, gold, grey, black, and white. I'm fully aware that this is ground breaking news over here at Two Thirds Hazel. But I know there are many out there who would rather die than see another pink or gold decor item. So if you're at all interested in switching up the colors and customizing anything, I could probably do that for you.

But go check it out HERE and let me know what you think! And maybe even purchase a print or two to add some pretty into your own home. I wouldn't hate it and your walls wouldn't either. Wink.

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Today I have Samantha from The Samantha Life here to share some of her favorite things with you. She believes that no matter how average you may think your life to be, it's still worth being celebrated. And I pretty much just adore that. Plus every time I go to her blog I just smile real big, not only because she's such a doll, but also because her blog design still remains one of my favorites in my portfolio to date. Let's get to know her a bit more shall we?

I'm a 20-something woman who blogs at The Samantha Life. I live my daily life with my husband and best friend (Parker) and do not have any children of the human or fur types - yet. If I HAD to choose my 3 favorite things I suppose shoes, my husband, and cosmos would about sum it up. I like to write about these things on my blog among other things like the occasional DIY project, recipe, or outfit. But mostly I just blog about this totally average-but-beautiful thing called life and love every second of it.


And if that gif doesn't make you happy then you should probably take yourself to the bar just as soon as you click out of this web page. Or go buy yourself a puppy. Or start hump day early. Or purchase one of my prints. Because that sure is one "life is damn good" sort of dance and nothing should be able to ruin it. 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Do You Follow the Rules?

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and U by Kotex but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #UbyKotex http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

So let's take a poll. How many of you follow the "No white after Labor Day / before Memorial Day" rule? Okay I take that back, we're not actually going to be taking a poll today. That would just require too much time and we all know what they say about that. Ain't nobody got time for it. So let's just assume the numbers are split pretty evenly amongst those who think it's a load of crap and those who actually take it seriously.

To those of you who take it seriously: what on God's green Earth is wrong with you? 

I kid, I kid. Sort of. But I'm honestly think the rule is pretty ridiculous. Maybe it's just more of a southern thing that I wasn't taught as a Northeasterner? Or maybe it's an old fashioned "my grandmother made me do it" thing? But whatever it is, it doesn't fly with me. I understand the "not wearing white pants or shoes during the winter months when there's enough slush on the street corners to cover my entire 5'4" being" thing. I mean, you'd just be a complete and utter moron to think that you could maneuver yourself through that filthy grime and still come out all Snow White like on the other side. But as soon as the monstrosity of winter ends and the warmer days come out to play? Oh girl, you better believe I'm whipping out the white denim and the white Sperry boat shoes. 

The springtime screams white to me. And since white is one of my favorite colors (or non-colors) I  basically count down the days until I think it's personaly acceptable to start wearing it. Which to me, is as soon as the thermometer tips off at 60 degrees. Definitely not some random holiday on a calendar.

Plus, hello, guys like girls who wear white jeans so why not get as many booty stares as we can, right? I mean, I've already been doing just that this past month. So much so that I decided to step out of my denim comfort zone and get a little bit friskier. Banana Republic was just what the doctor ordered because they were having a 40% off sale and I was able to score this dress for pretty damn cheap. Er, cheap in Banana standards anyway. Take a look.


It fits like a glove and I couldn't love it more. There's nothing better than finding pieces that look structured and sophisticated but feel comfortable and easy going. This dress is exactly that. I plan on wearing it quite a bit this summer. Dressed up with heels and a blazer for cocktail parties and events, then dressed down with boat shoes and a cardigan for trips to the beer garden and barbecues.

Plus, with my newfound love for U by Kotex products, I'll be able to wear it even on those days of the month when that other pesky "no white" rule comes into play. Cough, like the days when I show up at the drugstore in slippers to stock up on said products and then decide that the only way I'll survive the rest of the day is by eating ice cream for dinner. Oh yeah, those would be the days.


And since, you too, will probably be finding yourself making a run similar to mine within the next month or two (maybe with actual footwear on your feet), why not try the U by Kotex brand along with me so that you can get a pack of three free Goody hair elastics? They'll be attached to both the "Sleek" tampons and "Cleanwear" pad boxes if you're shopping at Walmart. But hurry because the offer is only good while supplies last!

I'm off to go shop for some more white clothing and finish this mint chip ice creams that's currently melting into a puddle of sadness next to me. But before we go, tell me, do you follow the "No white before Memorial Day" rule?


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Mad-Eye Moody and an Instagram Party

It's Monday, I can't breathe, I'm wearing sunglasses in the dark, I didn't get to celebrate Easter, and I just want it to be Friday. How's that for a "welcome to the party" opening line this morning? I promise I'm not as grumpy cat as I may sound, though. Quite the opposite really. 

But anyway, my weekend was pretty lame. Friday night was spent babysitting. I couched it for the majority of Saturday knocking three blog designs off my waiting list. (P.S. If you're looking for a design, my turn around time is pretty short so hit me up!) And yesterday I was forced to hang out on the couch, again, because I scratched my cornea. 

The story goes a little like this: Erin has allergies. Really, really awful allergies that make her eyes feel like there are a thousand and one tiny little bugs crawling around in them even though she's tried every eye drop out there. Which you probably know by now because Erin is also really, really annoying when complaining about them. But she finally went to the allergist, who told her to stop taking Zyrtec for five days so that she could be officially tested. And not taking Zyrtec for five days basically turns Erin into a fucking zombie. This causes her to scratch and rub at her eyes in her sleep without her even knowing it. Which then causes her to wake up with a scratched cornea from said eye rubbing. And then Erin complains more. It's a vicious cycle, my friends.

So instead of dressing up in a pastel Easter party dress brunching and egg hunting, I was posted up on the couch wearing sunglasses with the blinds shut and the lights off. Adorable. Things are looking a bit better today, though, thank goodness. 

But since I don't have too many weekend updates to, well, update you with, I think we're going to go ahead and do a little Instagram recap. Because I haven't done one in months and I feel like taking the easy way out today instead of straining this eye a bit more. Because no one wants to end up looking like Mad-Eye Moody around here.


Even though I didn't get to celebrate Easter, I did manage to at least still decorate some eggs. In gold, with pink filling stuff or whatever you call it, in a box from the dollar area of Target. You know, typical Erin.


Oh and then I obviously had to fill my Insta with (yet another) bull dog on the actual holiday itself. I think the stuff I'm doing is even getting old to me at this point. Gold, pink, bulldogs, decorating, festive holiday crap. That's me in a nutshell.


The allergist I went to last week is located in Times Square. This basically means that I want to die already from the allergies, and then I want to die some more while trying to get to the place that will fix said allergies. Because that area is the only one in Manhattan that can transform me from happy go lucky to "I want to stab all the people with the end of an umbrella" in a matter of seconds. It's just the worst. If you ever visit NYC, avoid it like you would an HIV-infected cockroach.


In happier news, my Little Broski officially graduated from boot camp last week and I couldn't be any prouder. Watching him walk across the stage all serious, strong, and proud to serve his country was truly amazing. I just can't put into words how excited I am for him doing so well. Tears were shed. I love that boy.


My favorite pattern of all right now is the one on this new bathing suit of mine. Polka dots that are random splotches instead of uniform and precise circles. I've been thinking about DIY-ing my plain white IKEA curtains with them for quite a few weeks now. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered the pattern splattered across the cutest little bikini at H&M on Friday. Obsessed.


Fake flowers and new Nikes that don't even know what working out means because I have yet to do any of that nonsense in them. I should really get on that, huh?


I'm obsessed with prints. I spend hours and hours looking at all different ones online. This flamingo from West Elm speaks straight to my heart. But the $129 price tag certainly does not. 


And that's why I've been working on a few of my own lately because I just can't picture myself shelling out hundreds of dollars for pieces of paper that I could probably take a stab at making myself. This "Stop and smell the peonies" one is my current favorite. Hashtag peony obsessed freak. I also made the "More mimosas please" and the geometric pink and gold heart one that hang above my bar cart. And now that my living room is done, it's about time I whipped some up for my room.

Well that does it for me today. I'm off to go rest this eyeball some more and maybe attempt to go grocery shopping for some food that comes straight from the ground instead of a box that says "Peeps" across it. Because I'm pretty sure I've eaten enough of them to have my own farm at this point. Over and out.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wings


"She flies with her own wings."

It's a quote that I've been living by for the past few years. One that fits my life so perfectly that I've  even contemplated getting it tattooed on my body. I've looked at countless examples of it on other people, I've created designs of it in a thousand and one different fonts, I've written on myself in Sharpie to get a sense of what it would actually look like, I've thrown my idea out to friends and family to see what they think of it, etc.

But I've finally come to terms with the fact that tattoos just aren't my thing. I get all itchy just thinking about having something permanently stuck on me, no matter how much meaning the ink holds. Committing to one thing for the rest of my life scares the ever living daylights out of me. And then what about the symmetry of it all? I'm OCD enough that I couldn't have it on one side of my body because I'd feel all lopsided (I'm insane, it's fine) and I can't be feeling that way my entire life can I?

No. So I finally settled on the fact that I wasn't going to get the quote as a tattoo. Cool, got it.

But I still wanted it to hold meaning and be a visible source of inspiration for me. I wanted it to be something that could still be on my body every day, something that others could see and in turn ask me about its meaning, but also something that didn't have to be stuck in the same spot forever. And that's when I decided on getting the personalized gold bar necklace instead.

They've become quite popular over the last couple years. Celebrities get their children's names engraved on them. Some get their husbands initials interlocked with their own with a heart in between. And others write out a word that holds importance to them. I had always loved both the look and the idea behind them, but it wasn't really until this past season of The Bachelor when the idea finally clicked. Clare (you know, the crazy one that I for some reason still loved who was the runner up) has one with the word "creer", the Spanish word meaning "to believe" in English, written across hers. She wore it every day, with everything, and I fell in love. 

So I put my love for the necklace and my love for the quote together and decided that this would be my own version of a tattoo. Because even though it's written across a necklace instead of my skin, it still holds just as much meaning. And here's why:

My Nana died a few years ago, but before she did she had written a poem about monarch butterflies. At her funeral, my family played a video of her singing the poem on a laptop outside for everyone to watch. Sure enough, a beautiful monarch butterfly appeared and landed directly on the laptop screen while we were all watching her sing. I don't really believe in divine intervention but there isn't a single fiber of my being that can forget that magical moment. And that's when I first discovered my attachment to "wings".

Then we have my other grandmother who always used to take me over to one particular window in her house to watch the hummingbirds feed when I was a little girl. I would sit there in amazement as each one fluttered up to the feeder because I had never seen a pair of wings move so fast in my life. And there I had my second set of "wings". Ones that always bring me back to those special memories I have of growing up with my Grama.


The third set comes in the form of my amazing mother. She has been a daycare provider ever since I was born, working in the same classroom every single year. "The Bumblebee Room" is the name of hers. The classroom I went through as a toddler myself, ending up teaching in during high school and college, as well as the place where my mother showed me her passion for children, thus cultivating that same passion within me too.

Monarchs, hummingbirds, and bees; they all have wings. My Nana, my Grama, and my mother; they have all shaped so much of who I am today. And more importantly, each has showed me that being an independent woman who "flies with her own wings" is one of the most important things you can be in life. So with this quote, I not only fly with all of their wings, but also with my own. And with the word engraved on a gold bar around my neck everyday, I have the reminder to do just that.


P.S. Who wants to win a $50 gift card to my most favorite store ever?. No not Chipotle, but Target! I have two special people teaming up today to give one of you lucky readers just that. So go say hi to Sarah Christine from Sarah Christine Style and Kristyn from Carolina Fireflies in order to get your chance at some free money.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Brand New Baby of a Bar Cart


Oh this pretty little bar cart of mine. Forget boys, I'm just going to have a full on love affair with this brass box of shelves on wheels. 

I've been wanting one of these contraptions ever since the very first day I laid eyes on one on Pinterest. It was this exact cart from Target, too, because I vividly remember going online with every intention of purchasing it. That is until I realized it was pushing $150 and my eyes did a couple double takes. I mean, I go to bars that have twofers and dollar beer "beat the clock" specials because I like to keep my money right where I can see it, on a bank statement from savings account. So that gorgeous golden bar cart came out of my online shopping cart just as fast as I had tried so desperately to shove it in there.

But then, one magical day many months later, I just so happened to take a peek once more at this glorious bar cart because I had finally decided to re-do my living room. Fairy dust was sprinkled across the screen and there it was, screaming at me with all its might telling me that it was on clearance and that it wanted to come live with me. I wagered back and forth for, oh, about point five seconds before saying "check please!" and we were on our way to heavenly matrimony.

Add in a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond's World Market section and bing bang boom, I had myself some bright colored liquids to fill up my precious new baby. Maybe one day I'll graduate to some actual liquor... but for now it's just going to remain girly, under age, and cheap.

Because after the amount of money I spent on all of the other things in my living room, water and juice were about all my budget had left to afford. No champs and liquors over here, so pregame before you come over ladies.

I realized rather quickly that decorating an apartment has absolutely no intention of keeping your wallet in check while doing so. Not in the slightest bit. But since I've never really "gone all out" before and actually decided to be serious about making my living room look and feel like a legitimately decorated space instead of a half-assed attempt, I thought I'd go for it and hack away a bit at that precious savings of mine. And now that I did it and it's finally finished, I think it was so unbelievably worth it. Because now not only do I have the most perfect space ever to come home to, I have a newfound passion.

And that's it for the living room tour, my friends. I hope you've enjoyed the ride. Maybe I'll eventually get to showing you around my room whenever I finally get around to finishing it. But for now... peace up, A town down.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Living Room Decor


And that wraps up the picture dump of the new decor in my tiny New York City sized living room. Take a quick breath, there was quite a lot to take in right there.

Okay phew, we made it. 

So what do you think? If you hate it, just lie to me. If you love it, then come sit down right next to me because I'm driving the infatuation bus over here. It hasn't even set in yet that it's actually my own apartment. I feel like the seagull from Finding Nemo screaming "mine mine mine" as I twirl around in the middle of everything. Like, I think you can officially call yourself a freak when you get excited to go home, not because you get to take your pants off, but because you get to see your pretty new space again. Is this what missing your child all day feels like?

My shoebox is filled with all things pink, white, grey, and gold (obviously my most favorite colors of all) as well as the blooms and all my animal friends. Obsessed doesn't even begin to describe my feelings. And I'd say I pretty much stuck to my plan way back when I posted my inspiration board for the room too. So I'd like to just give myself a "yo go Glen Coco" pat on the back for actually doing what I intended for once.

But it doesn't stop there. 

Tomorrow we'll be taking a look at my favorite part of the whole room (besides the bulldog of course, who may or may not come face to face with a can of metallic gold spray paint in the near future). The corner that houses my brand spanking new BAR CART. Someone come hold me because I think I'm love sick. I'll give you one tiny sneak peak for now but be sure to come back tomorrow to get the whole picture.


Source list:

Furniture:
Couch - Craigslist (I didn't die, hooray)
End table - Target (no longer sold)
Coffee table - Target (no longer sold)

Rug:
8x10 Maples Fretwork - Target

Pillows:
Elephant - H&M (so many amazing and insanely cheap finds in their home collection, obsessed)
White floral - H&M
Coral - Society 6 (the cheapest most amazing site ever in life)
Gold dots - Society 6
Ampersand - thrifted

Frames:
Bed Bath & Beyond (don't buy frames here unless you're impatient like me - complete rip off)

Prints:
Bicycle - Pinterest
Pink Punch Bug - Taryn St Michelle
Water color quote - So Shay

Miscellaneous:
Largeooden tray under coffee table - Target
Glass vase on bottom shelf of coffee table - H&M
Chalkboard/Corkboard - Target
Bulldog - TJ Maxx (I peed my pants when I found this)
White heart bucket - Target dollar aisle
Pink striped box - Target dollar aisle
Gold glitter tray - DIY glittered vinyl paper inside a plain white frame

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