Friday, January 29, 2016

The Direction of my Blog

I've been thinking a lot lately about the direction of my blog.  And I've been having a difficult time organizing my thoughts on the subject.  But let me try.
I started Hominy Girl 5 years ago.   ^ That's the first picture I posted!
So much has changed for me in those 5 years and lately I've been feeling different about what I'm creating here.
The sole purpose of my blog is to be an outlet for me and I'm not really sure what that looks like at this stage in my life.  
I have faded in and out of wanting to become more involved in the blogging world over the years.
But my priorities have always lay elsewhere than online.
That is not to say I don't treasure this space.  I do and I'm not going anywhere.
I'm just trying to figure it out.

After we returned from St. Barths I started thinking a lot about internet sharing.

My relationship with Facebook has ebbed and flowed throughout the years and I've continually found it confusing. The dual "facebook personalities" of some people I know are enough to make me question the whole thing...I've definitely had some head scratching moments.

As I'm getting older, I'm thinking more and more about my own participation in social media.
At the very core of it all, I don't like the addictive quality to checking Facebook numerous times a day.

I asked K what he thought about Facebook and he said "It's Show and Tell every day".

I believe that the concept of Show and Tell with children is to build confidence and listening skills. I think it also introduces a healthy relationship with competition and materialism. However, I don't know how that translates here in adulthood. Maybe the answer is that it brings us back into a more childish (read: immature) mindset?
I struggle with statements like that, because I know just how hypocritical I can be.  But I do think that.
I do think Facebook is immature!
I also think that for the antisocial it can really provide much needed connections. For those of us not really connecting, simply "lurking", for lack of a better term, the effects are more negative.  
Do you agree? 
For whatever reason, sharing our vacation photos on Facebook made me question what I was doing. It made me think a little different about the motivation and impact of life online.

I feel like I began blogging at a real turning point for everything.    
Back in 2011 there were not many bloggers who were making a living off their blogs, quitting their jobs to take it full time.
And now, I think it's incredible that so many women are making real careers out of sharing their thoughts.
I have no issues with the new direction, I'm along for the ride. Blogs have always inspired me and I continue to look forward to so many different people's posts.

When I started blogging, K and I were a new couple and I was excited to simply share anything and everything about my life in love.
As our relationship has progressed and we have become focused on our future, I have some new thoughts on blogs...
Like blogs with children...

I have read several posts from young mothers regarding the concept of "watermarking" all of their photos for safety and security.  I think this is such an incredibly protective and thoughtful decision. I do think, though, that public blogs would do best to protect their children by simply keeping them offline.

It's amazing to me how technologically savvy children are these days.  It makes me so curious as to what the future holds.  It also makes me nervous.  The internet can be used as a weapon and bloggers are not strangers to cyberbullying.  And I think we may have only touched the tip of the iceberg with all of that.
Time will tell.
My point, though, should I ever actually reach it, is that I worry about a bully finding a mother's blog and using it as ammunition on her child.
 A funny diaper story, a family camping trip, nursery decor...there is no predicting how things could be twisted and used against. I don't know how I will handle this myself, but it's something that I think about.
 
So, you may be wondering, Where is all this coming from?  What's going on?

And that's just the point.
I'm looking to change some things up over here.
I have always enjoyed writing. My college major was English, concentrating in Creative Writing, and it has been a huge part of my life.
I'm planning to start writing more.
This entire post is centered around the concept of online sharing.
Clearly, this is something I like to do.
But I am looking to become more intentional and selective with what I'm sharing here.
I love to express myself and consider this blog to be the perfect avenue for my voice.
I simply plan to make it more authentic to where I am currently in life.

Thanks for reading.
xoxo,
Laura

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Life Lately

This weekend was really great.  We spent time with family and friends.  
We ate good food.  
And we spent a decent amount of time doing nothing at all.
Win. Win. Win.
--
This past Friday night we had Paisano's for dinner.  They offer half priced pitchers with large specialty pies on Fridays so this is something we do fairly frequently.
Oh look, here I am at the table!
I am still getting used to my new hair.  It's completely transformed my look.  It has significantly cut my primping time, which is a welcome change for the new year.
Anyway, pizza night!
--
Saturday was the most gloriously lazy day.  I slow cooked a boston butt all day, which gave me the perfect excuse to stay cozy inside.  My friend Carrie came by and we had such a nice time just sitting and chatting.  It really made me nostalgic for the college days when that was how we spent so much of our social time...Watching tv together and doing nothing but hanging out.

Later that night we had dinner with my parents.
We had the delicious pork and I ordered macaroni and cheese from Publix.
I figured I'd share the Publix part because I was really happy with it.  
It was $15.00 for a large sheet pan and it really tasted great.  Nothing too fancy, but sometimes mac just tastes better when you don't have to cook it, am I right?  For that price it's something I'll consider for future holidays/celebrations.
I also made my favorite salad: spinach, berries, candied walnuts, and parm.
--
Sunday was an exciting day!   
My friend Kristina and I hosted our first focus group for our new business venture.  
A little over a year ago, we began discussing the idea of starting a business together.  It was right around the time I was knee deep in wedding planning and so we put it on hold.  Over the last several months we've been pulling ideas together and this past Sunday, we decided to present our work to a few trusted ladies to get general feedback.  It was an invigorating discussion and we both feel much steadier moving forward.  Realistically hoping to launch in December! 
We bribed our test subjects with cupcakes and champagne.  
(Pssst. Cupcake does BOGO during happy hour on certain Fridays.The black bottom is my favorite flavor.)
 --
And that's it
It's nothing crazy, but we are just loving a low key lifestyle these days.
What's been going on with y'all?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Chillin' Chillin'

Just popping in to say hello!
Things have been going nice and easy in our neck of the woods, how about yours?
Winter has finally come to Charleston and I'm so happy.
This cold weather really invigorates me.
I am sleeping so well...Hibernating if you will.  
I've also been preoccupied working on a few fun projects! 
So yea, everything is good and I hope to catch up here soon.
Until then, Alfie selfies:
 
  
TGIF!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Humpity Hump!

What's up Wednesday!
I have this little tinge of a cold that I'm trying to scare off with lots of water and sleep. 
Hence, my weekend recap is coming at you today.
On Friday night we went to see 'The Revenant' and then to Zia for dinner.
Perfect little night if you ask me.  I personally thought the movie was a bit long and drawn out, but it was still a fantastic film.  Anyone else see it yet?  K had been looking forward to it for months.
Saturday morning I met our realtor for a few house showings (!!!!!!)  I am beyond excited to be starting our hunt!  That night we stayed in and I made a pizza.  This is wheat crust with bacon, cherry tomatoes, chopped bell pepper, and corn.  
 
On Sunday we had a birthday celebration for my father-in-law.
Oh and here's my new 'do! 
How is your week going so far?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Life Lately

Gosh, it's been nearly 2 weeks since I posted about our Christmas
I'll catch you up since then.
Last week was a short week at work for me and we kicked off the weekend Wednesday night.  We had a fantastic time at the Jump Little Children show and I ran into several people from my college years.  It was great!  I was equally thrilled with hearing Michael Flynn (Slow Runner) open for them and, considering he plays from time to time around town, I'm going to make an effort to catch his future shows.
It was packed!  All of their shows sold out within minutes. 
Music Farm selfie: 
We decided to roll with the "good ole days" theme of the night and hit up Huddle House on our way home.  K was cracking himself up taking pictures of me eating.  So maybe this will give you a chuckle, too?
I'm telling you, I reeeeeally enjoyed my pecan waffle.  I want one right now.
--
For New Years Eve (Thursday) we planned to do something a little different and camp at James Island County Park for the night.  For the past 4 years we have stayed home and we wanted to mix it up but not have to deal with any transportation issues.  We prepared a really delicious meal and stayed cozy by the campfire.

We had cedar plank salmon, yellow rice, and roasted/charred asparagus. So good.
After dinner we did the Festival of Lights and then walked to the gift shop area with our little boo. 
Once back at the campsite we were surprised by a fireworks show put on by the park.  It was really great show, especially considering we weren't expecting it.  After a decent night's sleep we woke up to rain and packed up as quick as we could to head home.  
New Year's Day was so grey and dreary and we spent the day reading and watching football.  In fact, that's how we spent Saturday as well.  It was so nice to do absolutely nothing for a couple days!
I have been re-reading all of my David Sedaris books. 
I am trying to make a point to read more thought provoking material because it really makes me feel good.  I love talking about it with K afterwards.   I get in a habit of picking out chick lit at the library because it's so much easier to find, but essays and editorials are so much more fulfilling.
--
On Sunday we decided to venture out of our cave for brunch at Smoky Oak.
They have a great bloody mary bar and (I think) the best burgers in town. 
--
This week has been all about getting back in the groove.
How is 2016 treating you so far?

Monday, January 4, 2016

St Barths, Part III

This is one of those posts where I feel like,
"Wow, I can't believe it's been a month since our trip!"
and at the same time also,
"Geez, That feels like a year ago!"
Weird, right?
Anyway, Here is my final recap from our fabulous time on St. Barths!
--
Day 5: Tuesday 12/1/15
When planning our trip, I made sure to arrange the dates so that my 30th Birthday would be a full day on island, not traveling in any way.  
After swinging by the airport to book our departure flight we decided to hike to Colombier Beach.  Colombier Beach is only accessible by boat or by about an hour long hike.
Here is a view of the island from the start of our hike.
Now, in my research I had read that the hike was not a leisurely stroll.
I had no idea what an understatement that would be. 
The hike is extremely difficult- rocky, slick, steep downhill. 
Don't let these charming stone steps fool you.
They eventually lead to a jagged torture slope.
 
We decided about half way down (once the thong of my flip flop began to give way) that we would not be able to make it back to our car considering the walk back would be entirely uphill. 
I'm stressing the difficulty in my description here because I did not read any such comments.  I read things like "Perfect for a picnic lunch" and "beautiful views" and I just wish I had been prepared for the intense reality.
We stopped for a while at this rock formation to take in "the beach" and then made our way back.
  Being the birthday girl, I declared that the only additional exertion of my day would be blowing up my pink tube and wading into the water at St. Jean.
And so it was: Later on we got dressed up for our last night out!
I had been saving this dress to wear on vacation because it's a little more va va voom than I usually wear.
We had a little photo shoot at the cottage before heading out and this one made me laugh. Gotta love a good self timer snafu!
 
 
That night we had dinner reservations at Bonito.
 This was the most gorgeous restaurant I have ever been to! Stunning views:
K arranged for a little birthday surprise after dinner: 
 
Bonito was one of the highlights of our vacation and I would say that it is not to be missed if you find yourself on St. Barths. 
It was the biggest cherry on top of our trip!
--
Day 6: Wednesday 12/2/15
On Wednesday we packed up and bid adieu to our cottage.
 I loved seeing all of the different languages in the guest book:
 We grabbed breakfast at the bakery before turning in our rental car. 
This man deserves a medal for driving us around safely the entire trip:  And then it was time to go...
Our trip home was utterly exhausting.
We were the people running on the moving sidewalk in Charlotte.
While unpacking Alfie proclaimed there will be no more vacations without him:
 
And VoilĂ ! Our St. Barths vacation.
(links to Part I and Part II)