Sweet & Savory Life

Category: Blogging (page 1 of 3)

Since I’ve Been Gone

So, I haven’t posted in a while. I have come to accept that it’s okay that I don’t know what the true vision I have for this site is. I’ve worked really hard to figure out lots of things in my life, but have learned that the things we inherently know don’t take any work to figure out. And I am not sure if I inherently know anything about blogging, except that sometimes it feels more like work than fun, and I am trying to focus on things that feel natural. It’s been an interesting process, to say the least.

If you want to learn more about yourself, strip away the things that distract you. For me, that means not working on anything. I use my creativity to distract myself from a lot of things, and in a way it had begun to feel like I was using my powers for evil instead of good. So, I am cleansing my palette and seeing what I come up with. I’m hoping that what I discover feels so natural that I wonder how I never thought about it before.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to:

- Journaling

- Doodling

- Bowling (we joined a league for the summer!)

- Watching Girls on HBOGO (just started Season 2; I am now on the Lena Dunham bandwagon.)

- Collecting paper/trinkets for a scrapbooking project I might embark on

- Counting down the days to our Destin trip

- Participating in a six week NerdFitness challenge

- Killing it at work

- Planning mine and Shelton’s wedding on Pinterest (except we’re not engaged – oops)

- Still trying to accept the outcome of The Red Wedding

- Embracing summer – it’s finally here!

- Unpacking (still)

- Couponing

- Loving Shelton every single day (truth nugget)

- Gearing up for the Zac Brown Band concert next weekend! (I like my chicken fried)

- Daydreaming a little bit less, living in the moment a lot more

 

What have you been up to? Sometimes just making a little list like this one every now and then is a good reminder of just all the things you’ve accomplished!

Rave on,

Sarah

Breaking Down + Breaking Free

Do you ever feel like you’re just starting from scratch?

purple field | sweetandsavorylife.com

That’s totally where I am these days.

I’m big on awakenings – many I have shared here with you – and though I am so fortunate for my moments of clarity, lately I am reminded of just how fleeting those awakenings can be. We learn things, we forget, we revert, we learn again. Life is a cycle. And as I am circling back through some emotions I haven’t felt in a while, I am reminding myself that it’s okay to struggle.

It’s okay to still be wrestling with thoughts, feelings and compulsions that (most of the time) are out of my control. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to loosen my white-knuckle grip I am so good at and *attempt* to relax. It’s okay to second guess things I’ve thought about myself for my whole life. It’s okay to admit that sometimes, I’m just not as emotionally stable as I think I should be.

I had a breakdown last week. It was eye-opening and a bit core-shaking in a way. I haven’t felt the same since, and in a weird way, things feel different. Different in a good way, because I feel like I am truly starting a new chapter in my life. The breakdown was largely stress induced.

New Job + Moving + Creative Restlessness + Realization of New Goals = Exhaustion

you're famous to someone | sweetandsavorylife.com

Put quite simply, I feel as if I have truly reached a new level in this life. I am 25. I have a good job. I have a great relationship. We are building a life together. There is money in our savings account. I care about new things. My priorities have shifted. And my life is completely here in North Carolina – not in Texas. All of these amazing things Shelton and I share on a daily basis, but I don’t get to share them with my Texas Tribe. It’s safe to say I’ve been living on Texas Time up until I started working at Suddenlink. When I worked at home,  it was so easy to focus on Texas and everyone I love there because 1) I had more time and 2) I didn’t show up to North Carolina and instantly attain new BFFs.

But that’s changing now. Through work I’ve met so many amazing people – people that invite me over to craft and drink tea (Nikki, I love you), people that invite us to parties, people that invites us out on sushi dates… We’re making connections here and settling here, and I don’t think I had accepted that until just recently. On one hand, it is so great to know that if I told Shelton tonight that I wanted to move back to Texas, he’d be on board 100%. But, I feel it in my bones – it’s not time. There’s too much left to do, I whisper to myself. Secrets left to figure out.

I want to look back on The North Carolina Years and feel so much joy that I get choked up. It’s like Andy said last week on The Office Series Finale: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

 

Whoa. If a quote could stab me in the heart (in a good way) that’s the one that would do it.

And here’s the thing: I am in the good old days. For the rest of my life, I’ll cherish these years, this place, the choice I made last August to come here. Why not make the absolute most of it? So, I have decided to collectively take a step back from a few things.

1. This blog, and blogging in general. I already have a full-time job, and it’s not running this site. I need to break out of the mindset of thinking in blog posts, positioning my life around DIY projects, and endless hours in front of this screen.

2. Crafting and creating. This is a touchy subject for me, because since I was a little girl I have always fallen back on my creativity. But I need to learn the difference between hobbies that bring me pure joy from the ones that suck the life out of me. And that means not distracting myself with project after project. I need to focus on me. Also, I need to be okay with not working on anything “extracurricular” before I dive into any new activity. I need to wipe my mental slate clean.

3. Thinking too much about my Texas connections. I can miss them, I can shoot them a text to let them know they’re on my mind, but then I need to go back to my North Carolina life. Just as I am on my own path, they are on theirs. And I am so happy for all my loved ones that my heart could burst, but feeling melancholic about playing phone tag does me no good at all.

Letting go can be so hard, but once I am able to, I always feel rejuvenated in a way.

pb&j

So, prepare for some sporadic + awesome posts in the future. I’m on no one’s timeline but my own, and goodness gracious, that’s an incredible feeling.

Rave on,

Sarah

Happy SITS Day to me!

SITS is an online community where female bloggers have the opportunity to connect with one another and share their stories. If you are a new blogger, I highly recommend visiting their site and signing up. It’s a great way to meet other awesome women out there and build your fan base.

If you are a brand new visitor to S&S Life today–welcome! I am so happy that you’re here, and hope that you’ll hang out a while.

Sweet & Savory Life | sweetandsavorylife.com

My name is Sarah and I tend to post a lot about…

* DIYs I’ve completed. I live to create.

* Heart-to-Hearts I had to get off my chest.

* Delicious food I can’t get enough of.

* My Health & Wellness journey.

8 things I love about myself | sweetandsavorylife.com

You can certainly read my full story and intro, but here are the highlights:

* I grew up in rural East Texas and now live in Eastern North Carolina.

* Head over heels for this guy. (He even posts from time to time.)

* I do my damndest to live with an open soul and love with my whole heart. I stumble often (and then write about it).

* I strive for balance in my life, and am learning every day how to fully accept myself.

* Marketing Specialist by day, creative hippie by night.

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

I blog because I have (what I believe to be) a gift for sharing my experiences and the emotions that inevitably follow, and nothing makes me feel more aligned with the Universe than hitting “Publish” on raw content and starting a conversation.

I am working towards something big, though I am not sure what yet. S&S Life is my vessel where I savor the sweetest parts of my life and (hopefully) encourage others to do the same. I am as honest as possible and never paint paint a picture that is prettier than my own real life. As you know, life isn’t always pretty, and I have explored that understanding through rougher topics such as divorce, change, and grief.

Sweet & Savory Life | sweetandsavorylife.com

Here are some posts that I re-read to this day when I’m needing a pick-me-up, or just to be reminded of what is real in life (compared to what may be going on in my head).

On dealing with divorce and outside perceptions:

* Sinners VS Saints

* An Expected Turn

On change:

* I am a bucket of emotion.

* The past three days.

* Jump Like You Mean It (a favorite!)

* There is no such thing as “the right time.” (another favorite!)

* Live & Love This Moment

On grief and loss:

* About Ken

On maintaining creativity:

* Create More. Hustle less.

* 12 Things I’ve Learned About Photography

On physical acceptance (a toughy, for sure):

* I AM ENOUGH.

* I almost didn’t go to boot camp this morning.

* 8 things I love about my body.

Sopapilla Cheesecake | sweetandsavorylife.com

Thank you so much for stopping by S&S Life. I love to connect with other bloggers and hope that you’ll follow me at least through one of these channels:

S&S Life Facebook Fan Page ~ Attention Bloggers! I do follow back from both my personal and fan page. I am trying to reach 200 followers by April 1st – your help is greatly appreciated.

Monthly Newsletter ~ A different theme each month and I love to feature fun ideas. See an example here.

RSS Feed ~ P.S. Feedly is my new favorite feed reader now that Google Reader is leaving us.

Instagram & Twitter

Let’s stay connected and keep this party going, shall we?

Rave on,

Sarah

Create more. Hustle less.

water-reflection-1

A couple weeks ago, Shelton and I were coming home with a hot dinner in tow when I saw this. This is the entrance to our apartment complex, and for a while now I’ve been waiting for the water to be still and glass-like like this so that I could take a picture of the trees perfectly reflected. Sometimes you wait and wait and then when you least expect it, things just happen. When they finally do, you let your dinner get cold so that you can experience them wholeheartedly. I’m sure that’s a rule somewhere.

I’m doing a lot of re-thinking and reflecting in my life lately. Reassessing my priorities – asking myself questions like, “What is the most important thing to me right now?” and “Am I spending my time as I should be?” and “What makes me feel fulfilled?” and then most importantly… “Am I doing the things that make me feel fulfilled often enough?”

In case you were wondering, the answer to that question is “No.”

When I started blogging in 2009 (I can’t believe it’s been almost four years), I did so because I needed a creative outlet and I craved attention. Only one of those is a good reason to start an endeavor like blogging, but hey. At the time both my professional and personal lives were extremely stressful and taxing, and I saw blogging as an escape. It was also around this season of my life that I drank just about every day and on the weekends I would listen to music and write aimlessly until 4 am. I would do things like this instead of working through my problems. I numbed my feelings like you wouldn’t believe.

A lot has changed since then. Like, I don’t even live on the same planet anymore. Which is very ironic, because my old blog was named Sarah Planet.

Why do I blog now? If you’re a blogger reading this, or a hobbyist of any kind – I encourage you to ask yourself the same question. Why are you doing what you do? Has your motivation evolved or changed since you began?

Mine has. Every time I receive a comment, my heart flutters. I get the same feeling when I get a new “like” on Facebook. But blogging is not an escape from my life anymore – it’s a way that I celebrate my life. All that being said, I continue to put way too much pressure on myself lately when it comes to blogging. I am incredibly driven by my firstborn mentality, most of the time to a fault. My inner critic is just so mean. I spoke about my tendency to self-shame in this post about fitness, and guess what? My inner-critic uses the exact same tactics to make me feel like shit about blogging and my creativity.

“Sure, that’s a good post, but no one will read it.”

Emma and Elsie are so much smarter than you. Why can’t you post as much as them?”

“You are doing this all for nothing.”

So mean, right? These thoughts make me not want to post, cause me to think more about other blogger’s styles than my own, and leave me feeling uninspired and numb. The truth is that I love my voice/writing style now more than ever because it is more open and honest. I think the projects I have posted recently are very inspired, and I’m proud of them. When I publish a heartfelt post, I feel like I am aligned with the Universe. And those are all good feelings.

But then comes the hustle of promoting my posts on Facebook, pinning my own images, tweeting, etc. and the good feelings dissipate because newsflash: the blogging community is huge and I’m not the only one pushing my content. There is so much focus on self-promotion within the community that it’s become more important to me to receive feedback/praise on my posts than the actual act of posting.

That’s sad. But, makes sense once the pieces are put together.

So, I have decided a few things based upon these realizations. I am going to create more and hustle less. If I am hustling more than I am creating, something is wrong and I should stop immediately and give myself a break. I am going to show up and be present in my own life, and always be proud of my successes both on and off the blog. I will do all of these things even if no one is watching, it seems like no one cares, or no one gives me praise.

Create more. Hustle less. | sweetandsavorylife.com

I will create from a raw, honest place. Not a place that is driven by recognition. When I create good, honest, heartfelt content that I am sure will resonate with someone else, I will lightly promote it. And then I will post again when I am inspired, and so on and so forth. My hope is that this will be a healthy cycle of creation, not one where I constantly feel like I’m not good enough. Because that is simply not true.

I am good enough. My content is, too. And if this ever feels like work, I’m gonna back off. I’m gonna re-read this post. I am going to remind myself of all the things I’m doing well in my life outside the blog (work, relationships, personal development, etc.). I’m gonna keep being raw and keep being me.

I love the person I’m growing to be. It’s shit-hard sometimes, but crazy worth it. Wouldn’t change a thing.

-Sarah

One Lovely Blog + Liebster Award Nomination

sharing the love

Sharing the love. Heart pin from bando.

I recently have been lucky enough to be nominated for a couple blog awards, One Lovely Blog Award by the always lovely Janey Lambert and the Liebster Blog Award by a new bloggy friend (and fellow SITS-ah), Cluttered Genius. Since I am lazy, and the nomination “requirements” are similar, I’m going to pull a Janey and combine the two. I don’t know who ever actually wins these different blog awards, but I think they’re a great way to connect with people and increase your network. So, here it goes!

Side note: If you’re a blogger and looking for new people to connect with, I recommend all these ladies!

One Lovely Blog Award + Liebster Award

One Lovely Blog Award, Step 1:  Thank the person who gave you this award.

Janey, you hold a special place in my blogging heart. I feel so lucky that we were paired together in a CD swap a couple years ago, because I’ve enjoyed your posts and tweets ever since. Thank you so much for nominating me – I know it comes from your blogging heart as well, and that is why it feels so lovely. (See what I did there?)

One Lovely Blog Award, Step 2: Share seven things about yourself.

  • Listening to voice mails make me nervous.
  • When Harry Potter ended in 2007, it was hard for me to read new things because nothing was as good.
  • Nothing makes me happier than a brand new sketchbook.
  • When I was little I had a pet calf named Clarice that I would feed with a massive bottle.
  • I’ve never been happier in life than I am right now.
  • I somehow wear the color pink everyday.
  • Being wrapped up in a project makes my heart sing.

Liebster Award, Step 1: Tell eleven things about yourself.

  • If I could live in the world of Mad Men, I would.
  • I will never-ever-ever turn down Panera. Ever.
  • It’s a little sad just.how.excited I get about snail mail. (And no more delivery on Saturday? What is the world coming to?)
  • I’ve probably had one too many if I start asking where the nearest What-A-Burger is.
  • Nothing feels more perfect to me than a quiet evening at home.
  • I’m totally addicted to those gypsies on TLC.
  • I love trying new restaurants!
  • When it comes to crafting, I consider myself a Jane-of-all-trades. Maybe one day I’ll master something.
  • I need to go to Europe. Soon.
  • If we go to brunch, I prefer my eggs over easy. Unless Eggs Benedict is on the menu. Then all bets are off.
  • Overcast days are my favorite.

Liebster Award, Step 2: Answer the eleven questions specified by your nominator.

  • Who do you look up to most? Why? That is a tough question! I look up to my mom and Shelton the most.
  • Do you watch reality shows? If you do, which is your favorite? If you don’t, why? Anything on TLC. Anything.
  • What is your favorite book of all time? Impossible to answer.
  • Favorite band of all time? Aerosmith!
  • If you had to pick a song that best described you, what would it be? The Pretender by Jackson Browne (one of many).
  • What is your biggest fear? That I will lose someone close to me.
  • Night owl or early bird? I can swing both ways.
  • If you’re willing to share, what’s your most embarrassing moment? I was walking to my very first college class and slipped and fell. It was raining and my white bermuda shorts were completely covered with mud. I still had to go to class though, and I felt so embarrassed because I smelled like a wet dog.
  • Cats or dogs? Dogs.
  • When you have nothing else to do, what do you find yourself doing? Writing. Aimlessly.
  • What’s a talent you wish you had? I wish I could sing.

Liebster Award, Step 3: Ask eleven questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer.

  • What’s a smell that takes you back to childhood?
  • The mountains, or the sea?
  • Do you ever meditate?
  • What’s one electronic you can’t live without?
  • Do you have a personal motto?
  • How many states have you been to?
  • What’s your favorite dessert?
  • What is a movie that always makes you laugh?
  • Do you believe that you’re creative?
  • Do you have a favorite season?
  • What’s your dream?

One Lovely Blog Award, Step 3. Pass the award on to 15 other bloggers:

Liebster Award, Step 4. Nominate eleven bloggers:

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