Monday, August 31, 2015

Comeback Thoughts

 Image via Pinterest...If you know original artist, please let me know for credit. I couldn't find it. 

I am not sure where this post will go or how much I will a ramble, but know that it's from the heart and been a long time coming. It's refreshing to write again....even if my words may not be the most poetic or grammatically correct. To be back on my own "little" Blogger account and feel somewhat safe in a community of women that have supported me for so many years, friends/family both on and offline, is an answered prayer from God.

It's been almost two months since I have opened my Blogger account (yes, I still use Blogger), looked at my "stats", scrolled through Instagram, read my favorite blogs, pinned images or shopped for clothes.

Who am I? What happened? Why did I suddenly decide to walk away? Wasn't this my most beloved hobby? Why did I stop caring about a "business" and passion that I grew and built on my own (along with my husband's photography grace)? Why would someone work so incredibly hard for 3 1/2 years for something they believed in and then abandon it without a second thought? 

I took several weeks off from posting and limited my time on social media. I realized I was spending entirely too many hours on the computer and on my phone. I was neglecting the most important parts of my life, missing out on moments and not focusing on what mattered most.

If you're not careful the online world can suck you in, change you, turn you into something that is false and twist notions of what's "really" real. You begin to second guess yourself and feel as though you're not good enough, young enough, pretty enough, wealthy enough, popular enough and the list goes on. You watch others become crazy successful, witness those same people going on exotic sponsored "work trips" via Instagram posts and then new social media outlets become the "latest" thing like Scapchat or Periscope. You're head starts to spin and you finally stop and wonder...what the HELL am I doing? What happened to YOU? Where did YOU go? Why did you put what REALLY matters on the back burner just to try and prove yourself to people that you've never met? How come you've put so much pressure on yourself that you lost all self confidence, motivation, drive and can't seem to find the "fun" in the very thing that used to make you so happy and was a saving grace in the darkest time in your life?

Yes, all these questions, feelings and thoughts came from me...maybe you've asked yourself the same ones  too...whether you blog or not. Maybe you have been feeling the same pressures, going through the same scenarios or experiencing the same emotions in your own life.  

That's okay. Actually it's better than okay...these questions that you ask yourself prove that you are human and that you for yourself, your loved ones, the influence you have on others and what you really want to focus on during your time here on earth. 

This summer has been a a good way. We had the best time and I actually was "present" seven days a week. Yes, I wanted to ship my kids off a millions times, but it was the first summer in several years that I was career/blogging/work distractions. The kids are back in school and the house is eerily quiet, but I had my mind made up that I wasn't going to blog again and now here I sit. I am truly missing it and the day-to-day interactions I have with so many of you.

I am not sure what I will feel tomorrow or the next, but one thing is for sure, I will find my fire again...

Thank you with every ounce of my being if you have stuck around, commented on recent social media posts and for not "unfollowing" me. This hasn't been easy and I apologize for not being as supportive and loyal to you has you have been to me.

I have a feeling I will be here again soon with my original share personal style and inspire... regardless of what the masses are doing these days. Trying to remind myself of that.

At the end of the day, "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Even though I beat myself up about certain things and at times feel as though I lost my "Shanna" spark, memories we captured this summer remind that I am blessed regardless of my online presence and that I made the right choice to step back, "smell the roses" and embrace moments that have been so graciously given.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Live the Life You Love...

Today's post might seem like it's coming out of nowhere, but it's not. It's been a long time coming. After a few weeks of prayer and reflection, I came to the conclusion that I need to take a break from blogging. I have had numerous conversations with myself leveraging the pros and cons of my decision.

My heart hasn't been in it for awhile and the summer months haven't made things easier. I want to run my blog, not have it run me. I also want to be proud of my posts and create content that you guys love and want to read/see.

I also want to focus on living the life I love...being with my family, friends and myself. I am spent worrying about taking pictures, editing, writing, posting quality content or beating myself up about certain things. I hope to find the fun in it again, rediscover my original passion and enjoy this space. At this moment, I want to embrace my personal life and not waste a single second stressing about a small piece of my life's pie...this blog.

I am positive that I will be back. It's a ginormous part of who I am and know I would miss it tremendously, but ready for a little time away. I can only hope that you guys will still be here when I do come back.

Your encouragement, support, love and friendships mean more than I could ever express. My blog has changed my life...for the better. For that, I am grateful, humbled and appreciative.

I will still be around on Instagram and Facebook, so in the meantime, I hope you will want to follow along there.

I love you guys and will be chatting with everyone again soon...I am sure of it.

This is not goodbye, just see ya soon! xoxo


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Because I'm Happy...

  Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Hallmark through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Hallmark Signature, all opinions are my own.

Happy with Sprinkles on Top

Summer months are always crazy, hectic. We are constantly on the go, planning fun activities with our friends and family and enjoying every ounce of summer break. This time of year just makes me happy.

I have a few fun plans with my best girls from college marked on the calendar. We always try and get together for birthday celebrations, but this time we will be killing two birds with one stone and celebrating birthdays and the arrival of a sweet baby girl.

I have always gone to Hallmark not only for unique gift ideas, but for their special occasion cards as well. I literally could stand in the card aisle for hours, read dozens of cards for a good laugh and even buy a few to put in frames for decoration. 

I was so excited when I came across the Hallmark Signature cards. They are seriously the most creative and original pieces I have ever seen. I picked up the "Happy" card to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday. It has the cutest, three-dimensional sprinkles on top. My oldest daughter actually thought she could pick them off the card and eat them. Ha! 

I had to share it with you guys and also plan a summer outfit around its vibrant colors. The card I picked up inspired me to wear this colorful tassel scarf & bright cobalt blue pants for a friend's annual summer party a few weeks ago. Who knew you could find style inspiration from a greeting card?

I actually picked up a few more cards, but I can't show you because they are a surprise (my anniversary is this month and there's another surprise occasion coming soon).

You guys definitely need to stop by Hallmark and take a peek at the collection. Many of the cards are frames, come with a piece of jewelry attached, utilize items to decorate your home/office space with and are all full of adorable charm. Each one is truly a piece of art with dozens of styles, shapes and materials to choose from.

Express Cobalt Ankle Pants Summer 2015
Tassel Scarf
Old Navy Top (sold out: optional color & optional sleeve & another cute idea) // Express Pants // Jessica Simpson Wedges // Tassel Scarf (option here and here) // Bag (option here and here) // Daniel Wellington Watch // Kendra Scott Earrings // Sunglasses (option here and here) // Kendra Scott Ring

 Take a look at the short video below for more information and ideas from the Hallmark Signature cards. Be sure to follow @HallmarkSignature on Instagram.