What I fear is not Trump himself and what he will do. What I fear is what he's ignited in his followers. The power he's given to hate, bigotry, misogyny, racism, sexism, and homophobia.
One of the biggest struggles I've had since quitting my job is feeling like I'm just a housewife with a hobby. It's especially been bad since we've moved into the new house because a lot of what I do relates to the house. Anytime I meet someone new or have a conversation of any sort, I want to be sure people understand that I work. That I do things. I am not just a housewife, damn it! But then it occurred to me, so what if I'm just a housewife? I mean, really, so what? What on Earth is so bad about that?
Sure, it's 100% true that I never in my life thought I'd be anything close to a housewife. I thought I'd have a career, at least in the traditional sense of the word. You know, some job where I answer to people and they pay me and stuff. But life changes. There are plenty of things that I thought I would do or wouldn't do and I'm doing them and not doing them. Ahem. Cough. Cough. Leaving the city and moving back to INDIANA.
I also never thought I'd be running my own creative business either.
But I'm a liberated gal so the word housewife is supposed to be dirty.
We change, we grow, we want different things. That's called growing up. And maybe there are hundreds and millions of people who are doing the exact thing they always thought they would. But I guess I'm just not one of those people. And that's totally OK.
And, seriously, what is so wrong with being a housewife? I keep saying that, I know. But that's because I'm not really sure if I know what's so bad about it. I think we (or I guess maybe I) associate the word housewife with so many negative things. Sell out. Lazy. Dependent. Spoiled. Not in the real world.
But the truth is, I'm none of those. Mr. T and I make incredible sacrifices so I'm able to stay home and devote my time to our home and my creative biz. Sometimes I think about all of the things we could do if I was working. How much money we would have. We wouldn't ever struggle at all. But I wouldn't be happy and we wouldn't have the life we want.
Life is so much more than job titles and a paycheck.
So maybe I am just a housewife. But there's really no just about it. I do a lot of things. I cook, clean, and manage the finances. I organize our house and our life. I make things from scratch so we can eat better. I do these things because I'm good at them and Mr. T is good at professoring. I do these things so Mr. T can do what he loves and focus on that. We both play a role. We both do what we're best at.
If I had a job, I wouldn't question it or feel weird about it. Even if I hated it and it made me a horrible person to be around (because it totally did). I wouldn't feel guilty about going to a job that I hate because it would just feel normal. Because it's what you're supposed to do. But isn't that kind of messed up? And isn't that the same thing as being a housewife just because it's what you're supposed to do? Seriously, it's not any different.
I love what I do. All of the things I do. I'm a housewife. I'm a creative entrepreneur. And I'm a doggie mom. I might never make enough money to support us, but I'm happy. Mr. T is happy. And I'm a hell of a lot more awesome to be around than I was when I had a corporate job.
Women's lib doesn't mean we all have to go out and go to college and get a job and be some career driven corporate gal. It just means we get to choose what we want. We get to decide our path. No one else gets to or has to. There are no rules about what we can and can't do. If you want to work, you get to. If you want to stay at home with the kids, you get to. If you want to stay home to cook, clean, work on your stationery store and blog, and look after your dog, you can. There's nothing wrong with it. And you shouldn't feel weird or bad or anything. Because it's totally OK.
Just do you. Be you. Do what makes you happy. Do what works for you (and your family).
Mr. T has been talking about this castle-like hotel ever since I first met him. I'm actually pretty sure he's been talking about it before that, but I can only account for the time I've known him. So we finally decided to take a trip to Ravenwood Castle & Medieval Village over his Spring break.
We were originally supposed to take the trip in January. But with all the madness of the house we had to reschedule it. I'm glad we did because going up to this place in the snow would have been terrifying (also really pretty, but mostly terrifying). And, I appreciate Medievaly things because of Mr. T (he's studying Medieval History). I really have no idea about any of this stuff. I barely even know how to spell the word Medieval (it's almost as hard as Rensselaer). But I really did enjoy the place and we want to plan a return trip in the fall.
Now, on to the trip.
Ravenwood Castle sits among Hocking Hills in Ohio. If you're not familiar with the area, GO! It's so pretty there.
The trip up to the actual castle is a little scary. It's in the woods so you get to travel along a scary little dirt road to get there. According to the folks that work there it is a pain in the ass in the winter. They often have to help people get up there. But I bet it would be magnificent.
Where we stayed.
We stayed in the Medieval Village, not the castle itself. The cottages are all different and we chose the Clocktower. It was two floors. The main floor had a little living room area, the bathroom with a garden tub, and a little kitchenette. The top floor was a loft with the bed. And there's also a little balcony that overlooks the trees. It was super cozy. Apparently families have stayed there, but I definitely think it leans more towards couples get away. There's not a lot of privacy and there was only a tub (no shower).
What we did.
Even though the place is nestled in the woods, everything is well lit so I never felt that we were going to get murdered like I did during our trip to a cabin in upstate New York. Our phone signals were spotty. But, honestly, it was nice to disconnect for a couple of days.
There's also no cable. Our cottage had the tiniest TV ever. They do have a little library with books and DVDs. And they have tons of games. They let you take both to your room as long as you bring them back. Mr. T and I spent hours playing Monopoly, just like we did on our honeymoon. And we watched the worst Rob Zombie movie ever.
There's also lots of things to do in the area, you know, like hiking and stuff. But we didn't do any of that. We just wanted to enjoy the room and some R& R. So we spent a lot of time in the tub, drinking champagne, and eating snacks.
We called ahead so we knew the kitchenette just had a fridge and microwave. We brought some snacks. Just fruits, cheeses, crackers, and things of that nature so we didn’t need to cook.
They serve breakfast and the muffins were incredible. I seriously ate four each morning.
They also have a pub that serves light food and alcohols. Honestly, I was not impressed with that. The chili and beer cheese soup were good, but the rest wasn't much to write home about. They do have a restaurant open on the weekends.
You can also take all of the drinks you want back to your room. Mr. T and I ordered a bottle of champagne and they took it to our room for us complete with glasses, napkins, and a cute little set up. So that was a nice touch.
The thing I love most about trips to places like Ravenwood Castle is how much you feel like you're escaping everyday life for a little bit. I love being a tourist and seeing the sights of new places. But there is something about disconnecting and holding up in a little cabin for a few days. No to-do lists or schedules or worries. It was the same thing that we experienced on our honeymoon and it's awesome.
All in all it was a great trip and I really hope we can go back again someday.
Because I'm all about embracing the fun lately
Because if there's something that makes your hair prettier, I'm all over it.
If you haven't grabbed a copy or subscription, you should probably get on that.
Because life is all about balance and I want to be fun again.
What I've been into lately.
Guess what, you guys?!? It's the shop's anniversary this month. And obviously we need to celebrate with an anniversary sale. First things first. Let me get all teary eyed. One whole year ago, the idea that I had been working on for months officially came to life when I launched Chaotic & Collected Stationery. I still can't believe I did it or that I'm still doing it. It's been one hell of a year. Lots of challenges, frustration, and tears (and I expect lots more of that). But also a ton of fun and excitement (please say there will be more of that). I kind of can't believe how far I've come. I'm so incredibly excited for this year and to see where this lil' creation of mine can continue to go. And I have lots of plans! More craft fairs, new & improved pictures to help you really see and get to know the products. Custom sales. Exciting stuff.
You might also notice a few changes around the blog as well. Like, say, my logo and a new fun lil' signature that I'm going to add to all of my posts. I feel like the blog kind of suffered last year because I was all "HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE" or "SHOP SHOP SHOP". So this year one of my goals is to actually stick to my content calendar and make this blog awesome. I have so many ideas. My brain might explode.
Anyway, the point of the post. I want to celebrate with you! So I'm having a Chaotic & Collected Anniversary sale! All month long you can enjoy free shipping + 15% off anything (and everything) in the store. Just use code anniversary at checkout.
And thank you so much for supporting me. Really. If you've given me moral support, made a purchase, or just liked any of my stuff. It all means the world to me. Without support from all of you I probably would have abandoned this whole thing a long time ago!
Because writing about love is terrifying (but also a really sweet touch to your wedding).
Because people who are anti-Valentine's Day can have fun too.
2016 is off to a pretty good start, you guys. I know we're only a few weeks in, but after some of the events that closed out last year, I'm thankful (and welcoming) all of the positive things around me right now. So, obviously, I thought this was a good time to talk about the latest things. Here’s what I'm into/what's going on lately.
Listening to: Adele. And I can't stop. I broke down and bought the digital CD of her most recent album the other day off of Amazon. And now I'm kind of sad that I don't have the actual CD to listen to in the car.
Watching: Making a Murderer. I have heard 994 things about this docuseries thing on Netflix. So I needed to jump on the bandwagon and check it out for myself. We're two episodes in and it's really interesting. I have so many questions that I hope will be answered, but don't think it's likely. I've also heard a lot about the backlash and the bias of the makers, but I'm trying to ignore that and just watch it. It's definitely good though, folks.
Accomplishment: I sold out of one of the first items I made for my stationery store. And I'm pretty proud of that. It also came right around my year anniversary which I thought was pretty cool.
Beauty: I've kind of, sort of, maybe decided to grow my hair out. I tend to go in waves. Mostly because I wait to get a hair cut and then realize how much I miss having long hair. I haven't found a hair stylist in the Midwest yet and it's cold so I've been enjoying my long locks. The only issue? I hate (I mean h-a-t-e) blow drying my hair. Since it's been purple I've been working to blow dry it a little more so the color doesn't run. But it takes so long and I'm a drippy wet mess when I get out of the shower. So I finally broke down and bought a hair towel thing when I was at Target the other day. And man do I love it. It cuts down on drying time, frizzies, and it's kind of fun to wear. I can't find the exact one that I purchased online, but it was made by Conair and I found it in the section with all of the brushes and hair accessories at Target.
Obsession: All of the home things. Obviously. We're in the early stages of figuring out the real décor (you know, paint and stuff) and I'm both nervous and really excited. Expect a lot of posts about that in the coming weeks/months.
What about you? What are the things that you're into lately?
Because this year I'm taking control and this year is going to be awesome.
I talk a lot about Holl & Lane. And you might be tired of it. But I can't help it, you guys. I just love it so much. Really, this magazine is going big places so you definitely need to get on board. We're going to start charging for issues and I really do hope that you'll help support our magazine so we can continue to create something so beautiful and wonderful.
So to help you out and because we love our readers (and because I'm the Social Media Coordinator), we want to offer a little Holl & Lane discount for all of the readers of Chaotic and Collected. You can get 15% off any issue with the code CHAOTIC&COLLECTED. Click here to purchase or click the image if you're feeling fancy.
Please note that the discount does not work on subscriptions. But those are actually $7.99 for 6 months. Which means you get three issues + two bonus issues so that's a pretty sweet deal all on its own.
So go get an issue. Help support us and treat yourself to something really amazing for the new year.
Holiday traditions are the best. No matter how big, small, or silly they may seem.
The holidays are awesome. Holl & Lane is awesome. So the holiday issue of Holl & Lane? More awesomeness than I can describe.
That post where I talk about some of the fun things I'm into lately.