Two Autumn Playlists to Obsess Over (with Sophie Roads)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Being on a college campus for just about two months now, I am realizing how rare it is to find someone without earbuds almost attached to their heads. At first, I found this off-putting due to the lack of opportunity to connect with people you encounter, however, after an extensive study (and by extensive study, I really just mean trying it out for myself) I discovered that having music surround you as you walk to class, study, or just sit on the lawn to rest boosts your mood and can encourage you throughout the day

Today, I am so excited to share with you not only Sophie's October playlist, but also last month's too. Let's just say I did this on purpose and not because life can be crazy and things can go unfinished every once in a while. Once again, Soph KILLS it with both of these playlists. Whether you are on a college campus or on the way to work or school, these songs will make your day go from ordinary to one with more life, joy and growth. And, that is what we are all going for anyways, right? Check out her top autumnal picks below.

October // 16 

September // 16


My favorites from both playlists include "June, After Dark" by Elliot Root (the rest of Elliot's music is beautiful, too. Worth the listen!), "American Money" by BORNS, Bon Iver's "33 'GOD'", and lastly "I Want You" by Marian Hill. You can check out Soph's past playlists featured on the blog HERE (June // 16) and HERE (August // 16). Or, just follow Sophie on Spotify HERE (oh, and me too, HERE). 

What are your favorite picks? And, how will you take this playlist, or just music in general, with you this fall?

Thoughts on Snail Mail & Why it Should Live On

Thursday, October 6, 2016

It is no lie that the days of snail mail are long behind us. Yet, still, we jump up and down and smile at the sight of a small letter in our mailbox. It is then quickly ripped open and our fingers race through the contents like devouring the first piece of cake. Next, if display-worthy, it is carefully taped to our wall among loved photographs and todo lists. While love letters remain the most romantic gesture, what happened to the days of simply writing to friends and family just for the sake of a hello?

Today, I thought I would compile a few reasons as to why the art of the letter should live on. Without further ado,

01 | Captures a Moment in Time

Around the holidays last year, a girl named Carleigh reached out to me commenting that she has followed my blog, Creating A Lovely Life, and Instagram for a while now. After a few emails back and forth, we decided we were true kindred spirits. I suggested becoming pen pals so we could keep up with each other more than just through the picture-perfect perception of the internet. She was immediately up for it and we have been "pen pals" ever since. One of my very favorite things about this practice is looking back on her letters and seeing what has happened in her life, how she has grown, and other small bits of information. While I am an active journal-er, I think it is equally important to share your life in written form to someone else as it is to yourself.

02 | Refreshes Your Addressing Skills

It is sad that less and less people know how to write a proper address on an envelope. Even more so, which side the stamp goes on (the top-right, if you are curious). Though a simple reminder, it is nice to be refreshed on "real life" skills.

03 | The Mere Thought

A sweet text message or phone call takes minimal effort since our phones are our built-in sidekicks, while a hand-written note requires one to go the extra mile. To sit down, think, then write. Though it does seem silly that this is such "effort", this is the world we live in. And, that's okay! The era of the smart-phone and ability to connect with anyone (anywhere, at any time) is beautiful and an easy way to spread joy with each other. Yet, as we move forward in technology, it is a shame to forget the positives of past practices.

04 | Personality in Handwriting

This past spring, I was in a season of writing endless thank you notes. And, while I am very grateful for such generous people in my life, by the 23rd letter I was drained. I could not write "Dear so-in-in, Thank you for the so-in-so, I love it so much..." anymore. Then I took a step back and thought: this is important. I cannot be doing this out of a simple formality, but I should be doing this because not only am I showing my gratitude, but I am showing my personality through a simple handwritten thank you. We all want to be known and valued, and sharing such a small part of you as your handwriting -- no matter if it is neat as a pin, messy, or legitimately kindergarten-level -- is an easy way to do so. 

Who will you write to this week? Grab a cute card (pro tip: buy locally, or better yet- make it yourself!) and write a heartfelt message to your dear friend, roommate, or parent. Do not worry about length-- verbosity is not an indicator of love, mere thought is. 


Seven Things to Remember During Shifting Seasons

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

"Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart.
-Myla Kabat Zinn

As summer moves into fall, we notice the physical change of our surroundings -- the cliche falling of leaves, the warmer colors entering our sidewalks, and even the sweaters taking summer's place in our closets. We smile as we feel the chill in the morning but are instantly filled with regret as the afternoon warmth seeps into our overly excited clothing choice of boots and corduroys. So, here we are, amidst what I call the transition season.

Yet, this term should not only be allotted to a physical changing of seasons, but additionally to the ever changing ebb and flow of circumstances in our life. This can mean a new experience or change in job, a new city, neighborhood, or school, an emerging relationship or loss of one, or even just shift in priorities -- from work to family to friends to everything in between. Times as these can be trying, yet let us not lose heart. Here are a few ways we can keep our head up in a season that is trying to challenge us.

01 | Remember that being vulnerable is good and brave. Do it often and give yourself major props when you do. (*Que Treat Yo' Self 2016*)

02 | Look outside of yourself. Look up. Remember you are not alone in this.

03 | Breathe. Rest for, like, 20 minutes. Watch some trashy TV and give your brain a rest.

(JK about the trashy TV. But, sometimes The Bachelor does wonders to remind us that we really haven't reached rock bottom.)

04 | Calm yourself with these wise words from Theadore Roosevelt: "Do what you can with what you have where you are." Tomorrow is a new start. Heck, in a minute from now can be a new start. 

05 | Lean on someone. Open up. Allow people to be here with you in this time. 

06 | Even when you feel ______ (i.e. overwhelmed, disappointed, heartbroken), show up. Maybe not to the every party, but show up to life. Choosing to not zone out and escape from your circumstance allows you to grow and focus on the here & now.

07 | Remember that this is all temporary. My grandfather (and later my mother, currently my roommate) would always instill in us that "this too shall pass". And, it's true. It will. Let's have patience and rest in the discomfort of it all.

For those who have experienced a shifting season in their life, what is the best advice you have received to deal with the discomfort of transition?
by mlekoshi