From March 5th-April 17th, I'm taking a social media fast (details here). During these 44 days, I've invited guest bloggers to post each Saturday. Please enjoy reading all about these lovely ladies and their blogs in my absence!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Letter to Myself

This post was scheduled on March 4th. The below letter is inspired by Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet.
Button down, thrifted Ralph Lauren | Cardigan, thrifted H&M | Pants, Old Navy | Shoes, Keds | Necklace, Target | Glasses, prescription Ray-Ban

Dear Lily,

Things are getting real. It's March--the month where all the sweat, all the angst, and all the hope collide with the bitter taster of dejection and the soaring sensation of ebullience. It's begun already--disappointment and exhiliration pepper life's canvas, a beautiful mess of clashing colors and haphazard textures.

I cannot mince words: college decision month will not flit by like a breeze. Sometimes it will storm. Sometimes the gray gloom on the heavy clouds will seep into your mind; do not, however, let it seep into your soul. For without sorrow, there is no delight. There will be sunshine amidst the rain. After all, aren't the clear skies following a storm most brilliant?

I'd like to keep this short, but let me offer you some advice:

1. Don't compare

Your greatest fear is wistfully watching those who did not work nearly as hard as you enter more prestigious colleges. Stop it. After all, didn't the lovely and wise Sara Bareilles say "compare where you are and where you wanna be and you'll get nowhere?" The admissions process is so subjective, and where your applications are accepted or rejected cannot define your worth. You are more than a college decision. And above all, regardless of your outcome, remember one word: empathy.

2. Let loose

Don't be so hard on yourself. You cringe too often at circumstances that have gone awry. There exists no eloquence without babbling, no sweet without acidic, no poise without stumbling. It may be a bad day, but embrace it. Things will get better.

And certainly look to the future with hope, but do not forget the present. The quotation, "I look to the future because that's where I'll spend the rest of my life" is clever and true, but what about now? How are you spending the present?

College is overly romanticized. Swept up in a frenzy of what will happen, we leave what is happening behind. Pick it up. Dust it off. Dance a little. It's normal to long for college. But do not reject the rest of your high school experience (I'm telling you now--you'd better go to prom again). You may miss it. Savor every remaining moment of this phase of life you'll soon shed.

3. Don't overanalyze

Each decision may seem monumental and life-changing, but remember what your former English teacher told you: everyone ends up doing what they're supposed to do regardless of which college they attend. Stuff happens for a reason, yo! Keep your eyes open to the possibilities. 

I'd like to keep rambling, but calculus and other joys beckon enticingly. It's for your own good that I'm doing this now. You best be grateful. Please excuse my inconsistent colloquial and formal prose today; many things are on the mind. I pray these words find you well. My parting thoughts: Put what you've already learned in life to good use. You're well-equipped for this. Go get em, kid.

All the best,

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Saturday, April 5, 2014


Note: this post was scheduled on March 4th. This is me improvising since I was unable to receive the final two guest posts before I left the blogosphere. But hey, we all are swamped with priorities outside blogging, so it's no big deal. I like being spontaneous anyways. Below are five of my recent instagram posts, a smaller size than usual so you can take in the entire photo all at once.
Found these beauties for only $3. Nothing like flowers to brighten up a cold winter day
Made with chopsticks and love
Dreaming of summer
"If you say we'll be all right, I'll follow you into the light." --The Light, Sara Bareilles
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Maiken of Part of me

Hello, dear imperfect idealist readers! I'm Maiken and my blog is briefly called Part of me. I'm from Estonia and me, my fiancé and our fluffy mongrel Elvis live in a small small (circa 5600 people) town in a more than 40-year-old grand house (hence the consistent reparation and renewal). I have bachelor's degree in natural science and I work as a project manager in a company that sells fresh water and cleans wastewater.
Below you can read my answers to Lily's questions that handle blogging, my style, thrift shopping, my best bargains and my other interests.

1. Tell us the story behind your blog. What prompted you to start blogging? How did you choose the name? What is your blogging mission?

I published my very first blog post on February 18, 2009 so not long ago my blog actually had its 5th birthday and to be honest I didn't even notice it, oops. Time flies... But the reason why I started blogging in the first place was the desire to record all my trips, outfits, film reviews, all the important and beautiful (and not so beautiful) moments and events, my best thrift and other finds, my life universally.

The name Maikeni blogi - part of me is half Estonian (Maikeni blogi in Estonian = Maiken's blog in English) and half English. By the way, Part of me is a song by Chris Cornell and back then it was one of my favourite songs. And I'm not sure if it's a mission but it's definitely nice when I can inspire my dear readers to thrift shop and recycle because thrift shopping is like a valuable adventure that enriches our lives.

2. Describe your style and tell us how it has transformed.

When I was in primary school I probably wore the things my parents bought me and at the same time was daydreaming about some very stylish (or quite the contrary - "stylish") pieces like neon orange platform shoes with a white sole and crazily embellished flare jeans. In high school I experienced an all black everything phase, a hip hop phase, an over the top Barbie pink phase... yeah, better let's not talk about that.

But since university until today I have been wearing everything I like and want to wear and it's truly liberating. I can't say my style is strictly this or that because it can be pretty much anything - fancy, casual, sporty, preppy, feminine... anything I feel like wearing at the moment. I don't actually care what's in or what's not and I recommend this philosophy to all the so called fashion victims ;)

3. Tell us about the best bargain you’ve ever scored.

My best bargains are certainly from thrift shops: for instance a Kenzo cardigan/kimono (€5), a brand-new pair of Versace for H&M lace-up suede boots (€8), Miu Miu slide loafers (€4), once again a brand-new Lanvin Black heart (cards) Acne denim dress (€6 or €8), Charles Jourdan pumps (€1), Beverly Feldman loafers (€8), a Moschino skirt (€0), Ray-Ban sunglasses (€2)... but I'm going to stop naming them now because the list is already long enough. And you can click on the prices if you want to see those bargains with your own eyes!

4. Thrifting—yay or nay?

A big big yay, obviously, and pretty much every outfit here includes something thrifted. Thrift shopping is my favourite way of shopping (in the honourable second place comes sale shopping). In my book paying the full price is almost always pointless.

5. How do you balance blogging and life?; 6. What are your favorite things to do outside of blogging?

If all goes well I blog once a week but when the times are extra busy and tough (like now) I must ignore my imaginary schedule. I do what I have to do and that's what I call balancing. If I must skip a week then I do because quality matters, not quantity. And I always give my best.

Now, my favourite things in addition to blogging are thrift shopping, working out (currently I have an exercise bike phase), (mostly nature) photography, orchids, gardening, travelling and road tripping, a certain amount of cookery too.

So, I hope you enjoyed the post and found something interesting among my answers to Lily's questions. I definitely enjoyed doing this and I want to thank sweet Lily who gave me the opportunity to guest post. And before I finish - feel free to visit my blog Part of me (←click) and let's meet! See you!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Francesca of Vintagelillies

Tell us the story behind your blog.

Hi! My name is Francesca Bond and my blog is vintagelillies. I started my blog when I was 13, the summer before I started high school. I had been reading fashion and beauty blogs for a few years, and decided I wanted to contribute my own outfits and ideas thus my blog was born. I wish I could say there is a cool story behind the name of my blog, but I only chose it ebecause I liked vintage style and the flower lilies and thought they sounded cute together. Although, a little funny story is that I spelled lilies wrong (I added another L) and didn’t even realize it until a year later! I never changed it and don’t think I ever will, it feels like a part of the blog and is kind of quirky. Anyways, the reason I blog is to inspire others and show people different outfits they can make, and my interpretation of trends. It’s not all about the style though, I also want to inspire others though my little rambles and philosophies, I hope some people listen. J

Who or what inspires your style?

My style is inspired by quite a few different things. I think my personal style changes day by day, depending on my mood and what I have been surrounded with. I read a lot of magazines, style books and blogs so they influence my style a lot. Parisian style is my biggest inspiration right now, I love how effortlessly Parisians dress and always try to achieve that look.

If you could only pick five items from your closet to wear for a week, what would you choose?

Wow that’s hard, I guess I would choose my favorite pair of skinny jeans, a cream oversize sweater, my trench coat, a white tee shirt, and my blue booties. I hope underwear was already counted. My go-to outfit is an oversize sweater and skinnies and think I would be happy in that, although I would feel a little like a cartoon character wearing the same outfit every day. Also my trench coat is my favorite piece in the whole world so that definitely has to come.

Give us couple shopping and/or style tips.

Hmm I’ll just give a few of my general style tips. A white tee is essential in every wardrobe. Stock up on skirts because they are easy ways to dress up outfits and can be worn with most sweaters. Find style inspiration everywhere, especially people on the street, and remember what you like and apply it to outfits in the future. Always try to look presentable because you never know what the day will bring. And finally, no matter what you wear, don’t try to be someone you’re not and be confident in yourself. Nothing looks better on a girl than confidence.

How do you balance blogging and life?

It gets kind of difficult because I have a pretty busy schedule. The hard part is not writing the posts but finding time to take the photos. I need to find the right location, outfit and timing and it gets pretty hard, which is why I only update about once a week. I just remember that blogging is a priority and focus on making time for it.

What’s on your bucket list?

My number one thing is to go to Paris. I imagine it would be a lot like when Audrey Hepburn goes in “Funny Face”. I want to experience Paris like a Parisian and see all it has to offer. I also want to start my own magazine, fall in love, meet Justin Timberlake. I dream big.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I’ll be 26, and I see myself living in NYC in a tiny apartment interning at a magazine or newspaper trying to make it as a journalist, if all goes well. That’s where I would like to be in ten years.

How do you approach life? What’s your philosophy?

Life is a very confusing, crazy experience. Everyone is just trying to be the best they can be, and make it. My philosophy is that is you are happy, kind, and generous, no matter what happens in your life you will have succeeded because you made a difference. “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

What are your greatest fears and biggest dreams?

I have a lot of fears unfortunately, because I’m a huge worrier and sometimes get scared about things I can’t help. But I know that everything will turn out alright and that if I work hard, I can make my own dreams come true. So my biggest dreams are to raise a family, work at Vogue and start my own magazine and be happy with my life.