Everyone’s journey to building a strong and healthy self-image is a unique one. Figuring out how to project that self-image is even more difficult; style is not just clothing or accessory, it is self-expression. Self declaration. We all go through times of confusion, struggle, and enlightenment, in order to figure all of that out. Today I’m excited to turn over the mic to my friend Victoria of The Not-So-Southern Belle, as she shares her own personal journey to a sense of style. She’s a saucy lil’ lady whose talent is as evident as her beauty and I’m so happy to have her words gracing these pages. So with no further ado…
When Christina so graciously asked me to contribute to Tide and Bloom, I was extremely flattered and said yes without hesitation. Then, I immediately went into a panic thinking what the hell am I going to write about? I’m no fashion/creative/lifestyle authority. But here’s the thing: I don’t have to be. I guess you could say I have my own sense of style, and I own it. That’s all that really matters, right?
I could sit here and say I’ve always had body confidence, that I’ve always known what works for me, that I’m just naturally stylish—but it would all be total bullshit. As the always-sort-of-chubby-yet-cute-girl growing up, I went through a lot of phases. Freshman and sophomore year of high school I wore a lot of t-shirts. My mother used to beg me not to buy yet another “stupid [insert Hollister, Abercrombie, etc.] t-shirt.” Something clicked junior year and I decided to expand beyond my comfort zone. Well, sort of. I have this very distinct memory of the first time I was really proud of any outfit I put together. I used to actually spend a lot of time doing my hair (now, I’m lucky if I even wash it more than twice a week), and I’d just figured out the whole ponytail-with-a pouf thing. I paired it with a red Viva La Bam (oh, the days I actually used to watch MTV) t-shirt, a mini-skirt and these killer white, sporty heels. Yes, I wore heels to high school; quite often, actually.
Now, it may not have been the most stylish thing to wear, but I loved that outfit and it showed. I got so many compliments that day. After that, I started having more fun just wearing whatever the hell I wanted. I think that’s the biggest thing: confidence.
Tide & Bloom officially became one year old last week. One whole year. I honestly hadn’t even thought about what that meant until WordPress sent me the “congratulations, your blog is 1!” notification. In some ways, I’m kind of happy that I didn’t notice or anticipate it creeping up. It shows how comfortable I am with what this is, how it exists, and the purpose it serves. I do not write as a business and I do not plan on how I’m going to be inspired. I can’t say I’ve accomplished everything I’ve wanted since I began this site, but I can say that it’s given me a great deal of joy and pride. It’s not very often that things like that come along in your life, particularly for someone like me.
This journal has been a catalyst for internal growth and a way of reconnecting with what I want for myself in this life. Through trial and error and lots of contemplation, I feel closer than I’ve ever been to figuring out the formula. Yeah, that formula. That mystical holy grail that all us twenty-somethings are desperate for that’ll usher us into full-term adulthood with grace and contentment. One year ago, I had no idea what that would look like or whether or not I had the strength or patience to craft it. Today, I feel like I can breathe easier knowing that great things are worth waiting for and I’m on a path towards finding them.
So, like any other blogger might do, I give you a list of the posts I’m most proud of from the past year. Sure it may be cliche, but I think these deserve a second look since they all were such important moments, all key to making this blog what it is today.
/ preserving your significance
/ parish foods and goods
/ ALL of my Creative Masters and Creative Makers interviews. Can’t pick between them!
/ good italian, pure and simple
/ dear me
/ tips for creating a gallery wall
/ still looking to the wonder
And I also look to the future of course, and set a small list of goals for the second year of Tide & Bloom:
/ more amazing interviews with people near and far who are worth admiration
/ less pinterest and tumblr, more insights into my drawing and sketching
/ lady crush style posts featuring the many inspiring women in my life
/ a recipe post or two? eeeeek
/ if i can manage to get people to let me, more home tours. real homes – full of love and life, not perfectly styled
/ guest posts on food, style, and culture
But I’d also like to hear what you think. Which posts have resonated with you the most? What would you like to see more of?
Have you ever had a moment, where a song’s lyrics, the melody, the timing, leaves you breathless? And maybe on any other given day you just like it or even love it. But on this particular day it brings tears to your eyes. Today (this was written last week so technically, last week) that song was “Cicadas and Gulls” by Feist. It’s always been one of my favorites from Metals, but for some reason today… it feels like a strong wave rushing over me. Quiet as it is overwhelming, it leaves me trembling in awe, floating away in some weird mix of disappointment and desire.
Feist has always been my musical muse and surprisingly I’ve yet to write about her or her music on here. Perhaps because I’ve identified with her for so long that it just sort of feels like part of my spirit. I’ve heard every track, poured over most of her poetry, and am never able to find something that doesn’t sound like a reflection of myself. I’m not sure what it is. She just… gets me.
Is there an artist, singer, actress, or muse that does that for you? I’d love to hear why and how.
[ image via ]
I bow down to the creators of Pinterest. Never have I ever had such organized imagery inspiration to keep track of all the things that make me look or think twice. As you can imagine, the boards closest to my heart are those related to my craft – art, installation, and illustration. Here is some of my favorite illustrative work found via Pinterest:
For more illustrious inspiration, check out my illustration board on Pinterest!
Not sure where I stumbled upon this work, but I’m sure glad I did. The delicacy, the subtlety, the dots… it just all screams my name.. or rather, whispers. Patti Roberts Pizzuto elegantly layers media to create ethereal compositions, sometimes abstract and other times using familiar symbols of home, sky, earth, and sea. The balance she creates has an ancient quality, almost as if they were mental or psychological maps of times past.
The universe, in some sort of weirdly choreographed routine, has allowed me to spend days on end in bed with my computer, a sketchbook, and the remote control. To some, this sounds like a paradise. Nowhere to be, no one to see, nothing to do except be at peace with your thoughts and have the room to create. On the contrary, it’s led me to asking myself some important questions about my role. That’s right – you read right – my role. As a person, an artist, a blogger, you name it. After being removed from active participation in the world, I’m left wondering what is it I do for the world anyways. Like with any other dilemma I’ve had recently, the roads lead me back here to figure it all out.
I want to discuss the importance of preserving your own significance. It’s one of many in the myriad of mid-20s lessons everyone (particularly women) needs to learn, but I don’t think there is a formulaic solution. It’s a quiet conflict that happens within us and can bear greatness and determination as easily as it can surrender and settlement.
When I first began this interview series, I had no idea what I was in for. I thought it could be a fun side project that would push me to connect with other creative individuals and provide a platform for the inspirational voices of others. It indeed does those things, but I couldn’t have predicted how important it would become to me, to my own journey. The opportunity to ask a question and have it genuinely answered with thought and care, is a joy I truly cherish now. To think that people I admire would generously give me their time and a piece of their mind… well, it just really humbles me and motivates me.
I can say without a doubt that this interview is one I’ve anticipated more than any other. Why is that, you ask? Well, it’s a multitude of things. Jacob Van Loon is an artist I’ve admired via tumblr for a while now; I stumbled upon his work organically and have been a fan ever since. Watch the video below and you’ll understand why I’m so enraptured. The infrastructure he builds with pencil and paint is complex and layered, existing somewhere in-between creation and destruction. I’d like to think (maybe hope is the better word) that the universe I draw within could maybe be a neighbor to his own. But enough words from me. Van Loon is the 27-year old sage here and his words are the ones I want to share with you.
I don’t typically post on weekends, but this just couldn’t wait. I’m dying to spread the word about an amazing new online publication that made its much-anticipated debut yesterday, Nellie Magazine. This wonderfully inspiring site is the brainchild and collaboration of some of my favorite bloggers; their honesty, strength, and desire to promote true beauty are attributes I look up to in my own everyday.
I’m super excited to
begin keep reading articles from all of these talented and lovely ladies on the regular and I think you should too! Their manifesto speaks to reaching a wholeness – a balance in life that allows us to become the best versions of ourselves. And if you’ve read any of my self-improvement rants, then you know I’m all about that.
So it’s that time of year. You know, the beginning. And everywhere you look – tv, social media, blogs – you are reading or listening to something about crafting goals for the year ahead. As always, I’d like to think that I’m different than everyone else, but really I’m not. The start of a new calendar year is a ubiquitous marker of time and instead of being cynical and ignorant about it’s importance, I’d rather join the bandwagon and do whatever it is I need to feel like I’m ready for what’s up ahead.
I don’t think I can go a traditional route of making a list of all the little goals I’d like to accomplish because it just feels too mechanical and all the more difficult to follow. There are generic things I’m always trying to improve in my life no matter what the month – trying to eat healthier, trying to be more patient, trying to be active, trying to be a better daughter/friend/partner. The turn of the year doesn’t really mark a new motivation for any of these things because I’m always in progress, always working on getting better at them.
When I say I have a lot of adorable friends, I ain’t exaggerating. I’ve met so many uniquely stylish women that have influenced the way I dress and carry myself. Confidence can be contagious and having a network of amazing friends to back me up is seriously priceless. I’m so thrilled to bring you some New Year’s Eve outfit inspiration from one such lovely lady in my life, and her name is Gentry. It’s no surprise to me that she recently began her own style blog, Girl Meets Bow, since she’s the picture of effervescent charm and effortless class. I couldn’t help myself from jumping on the chance to have her and her words appear here. Lucky for me, she’s also as sweet as can be. I think I see a new style-slash-interview series beginning…