Tag Archives | Friends

#Reverb11 Mini Muses – Begin, Meet & Read

Image :: Winter Berries

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
(Arthur Ashe)

December—and reverb#11—are in full swing. With the end of 2011 coming near, it’s a perfect time for reflection. I’m approaching the reverb project differently than last year. This post is a recap of my first three Mini Muses—the beginnings of 31 prompts I created for #reverb11. Thanks to those of you who are reverbing with me, it means the world.

Image :: Outtake

Where did 2011 begin?

New Year’s Eve with my Mister and two close friends. We had a great night, even though things did not go as planned. (When do they ever, really?)

In January 2011 I worked at my old job, lived in my old apartment, drove my old car. There is no way I could have imagined 2011 would bring about so much change.

Even with all the struggles and challenges this year has presented, I am incredibly grateful for and happy with where I am today.

Image :: Regan&Kaileen

Who did you meet?

Moving to Chapel Hill this summer provided ample opportunity to make new friends. The picture above is of me and my friend Regan on Thanksgiving morning. She has become the fearless leader and ultimate hostess of this amazing group of women. We met through our partners, all whom are students at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler business school. Regan has helped to cultivate something really special—a group of supportive, craft making, story sharing, wine drinking, cookie baking, Bunco playing and good-time-having ladies.

I have also met a bunch of great people since starting my new job. The team filled with creative, talented and super smart folks—and as a corporate recruiter, I meet new people every day. Interviewing is one of my favorite parts of my job because I get to ask questions and hear stories. Even during one of the most stressful conversations (who isn’t nervous in an interview?) people have so much to share.

Through blogging, I have met several inspiring women. Here are a few I hope to get to know better in 2012:

Courtney Pearce – Yoga G33k
Sarah Kathleen Peck – It Starts With
AshleyTia – That is all.
Sarah – City Mouse Speaks
Kelsey Brown – Happyolks

Image :: Another Summer Day

What books did you read?

Reading is like exercising and saving money—easy to put off, but so worth it. I bought more books than I could ever read in a year, then declared I won’t be adding more books to my library in 2012. I listened to a few great audiobooks, including:

Bossypants by Tina Fey
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Most recently, I read Loving Frank and am now working my way through A Place of Yes. I’m keeping track of my reading progress on GoodReads. I’d love it if you connected with me.

#Reverb11 Your Way

You deserve a gold star if you have read through this whole post wondering, “What is a reverb?”  Check out the #reverb11 hashtag on Twitter … or read a take on it here.

It’s not too late to join and there really are no rules. Do what you want, what you can. I know some people who just answered one prompt, others who answered all of them on December 31. Any time is a perfect time to get started.

Image Credits: Winter Berries via Shandi-lee // Outtake via LaurenKelseyPhotography // Regan & Kaileen on Instagram // Another Summer Day via Always Be Cool

One more thing… Join me in celebrating a season of sparkle! Sign up today to receive Inbox Inspiration and Muse Memos.


Creative Weekend To-Do List


My will shall shape the future.
Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own.
I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me
or I can be lost in the maze.
My choice; my responsibility; win or lose,
only I hold the key to my destiny.
(Elaine Maxwell)

Happy Friday, my lovelies! How are you? I’ve had a great week—beginning with a holiday on Monday and wrapping up with my 2nd blogiversary this weekend.

I am overjoyed with the excitement around Sparkle Swap and am really looking forward to seeing new friendships unfold. Registration closes tomorrow, so make sure you sign up soon if you want in on the fun!

A special thanks to Micaela Maxham for sharing her Truth, Love & Insight this week. I just adore Micaela & her readers who are so incredibly creative, sweet & amazing.

The following creative to-do’s are intended to inspire happy weekends. Consider this a friendly tap—or slight tug—towards exploring little delights and exceptional joys this weekend. I invite you to share your creative to-do’s in the comments!

celebrate 2 years of blogging amazingness
remember special moments with a sweet diy
meet up with a girlfriend for coffee
journal, meditate, or think on this
play with new Sephora finds
write snail mail love notes to friends
cook spicy fried veggie deliciousness
switch out to fall wallet & purse
send out Sparkle Swap surveys
snuggle up & watch a movie
go bowling with friends on Saturday night
find a pair and shop for a good cause
 clean house & get ready for another amazing week

Image Credit: Francesca via Astrgony


Truth, Love & Insight – Micaela Maxham

Inspire Card Bloom

This week is flying by! The Sparkle Swap is underway (come on, you know you’ve got to sign up!) and my 3rd year of blogging begins on Monday.

There’s so much I want to do—prioritization has become a major pain point for me recently. I’m letting the tiny waves of anxiety wash over me. These are exciting times. My aspirations might try to get the best of me, but I know that the dust will settle and what’s most important will bubble up to the surface.

Today’s Truth, Love & Insight interview with Micaela Maxham will make your heart soar. Last week’s post featured Hope Wallace Karney—isn’t her creative approach to life fantastic?

I’ve followed Micaela’s blog Dolce Vita for a long time. She’s one of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve come across on the web. If you aren’t subscribed to her delightful posts, I recommend you check her out. Here’s a little introduction from Micaela, in her own words:

Hello lovies! My name is Micaela and I’m happily visiting from my little corner of the internet, Dolce Vita. I’m a Texas girl with a heart that belongs in Europe. A newish wife, vegetarian, lover of films, the written word, and everything vintage.

Micaela Pic

1. How did your blog get started?
I was going through a huge change in my life — a new job in the middle of devastating heart-ache. I needed a place to wear my heart on my sleeve and I just wrote… even now at my happiest, i like to go back and remember that girl I was. I wish I could tell her that everything will work out beautifully and blogging would become one of the best gifts to myself.

2. What motivates you to continue sharing your story with the web?
My readers, many who have become dear friends I know I’ll keep for life, and a handful I’ve been lucky to meet in person. We share our lives together, not just through posts but phone calls, texts throughout the day, emails, and good old fashioned letters. It’s surreal to think it was blogging that brought us together.

Even the silent readers who may never comment motivate me to keep sharing my story. I believe in connections, in being inspired, in relating.


3. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself as a budding blogger?
I can sum it up in this quote I read in What I Know Now: “You’ll get to the point where you’re just pleasing yourself. When it’s all about where your heart is, that attracts a lot of energy. Everything else follows… Becoming completely raw always works.” (page 50)

4. If you could go forward in time, what is one question you would like to ask yourself? How do you imagine you might answer it?
Q: Was it worth it?
A: Absolutely.


5. What are your favorite creative resources?
Lyrics, excerpts in books, art, blogs, my husband. I piece together typed quotes that have stayed with me and bits of art into collage postcards (I believe in keeping in touch even if it’s a quick hello).


6. Who inspires you online? Offline?
Online: my favorite bloggers, including my twin sister and best friend / etsy.com / the selby
Offline: my husband / thrift stores / used bookshops / my family


7. How do you make every day an extraordinary adventure?
I wake up blessed to enjoy another sunrise– just that puts everything in perspective.

1 Horizon

Images via: Micaela Maxham


Sparkle Swap

Meet me in outer space

We cannot live for ourselves alone.
Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads,
and along these sympathetic fibers,
our actions run as causes and return to us as results.
(Herman Melville)

Hello my sweet friends. I hope the beginning of September is treating you well. My 2-year blogiversary is around the corner and to help celebrate, I am hosting a Sparkle Swap!

This swap is all about bringing cheer to a fellow blogger. Send a package with 4 unique gifts — a bit of sparkle, a treat that soothes, something sweet, and a surprise. In return, you will receive snail mail love from a new friend.

To participate, sign up by leaving a comment below with one thing you’re looking forward to this season.

Some key details:

  • The swap is comprised of 4 gifts — a bit of sparkle, a treat that soothes, something sweet, and a surprise that your buddy will love.
  • To participate, you must have a blog + need to be willing to ship internationally.
  • Registration ends Saturday 9/10/11 at 5:00 pm EST. Leave a comment to join!
  • Please mail parcels by Tuesday 9/20/11.
  • Open, enjoy and blog about your package when you receive it!

Once registration is closed, I’ll email surveys out to collect addresses, likes, dislikes and anything else you want to share with your swap partner.

By leaving a comment below, you are agreeing to the details outlined above. Let me know if you have questions or special requests.

Are you lovelies ready to start swapping? Let the sparkle, delight & snail mail love begin…

Image Credit: Meet me in outer space by Misserion


Friendships, Love & Community

Pretty Mailbox

A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil;
but it needs a little mulch of letters &
phone calls and small, silly presents
every so often – just to save it from drying out completely.
(Pam Brown)

Sometimes my friends who don’t blog ask me how I meet people online. I find that it’s kind of hard to understand unless you live in (or have at least visited) this neighborhood.

It doesn’t cost much to move in —

An internet connection plus some time, heart & creativity will lay a decent foundation.

A willingness to share your story builds the frame.

A desire to participate in community provides a rooftop.

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and StumbleUpon are the vehicles that help us get around town.

We bring cookies to new neighbors in the form of trackbacks and comments.

We build businesses. We attend workshops. We network. We host block parties.

There is nothing virtual about the friendships that have grown out of my time online. I’ve met mentors, soul sisters, heros and best friends.

I’ve shared gifts, letters and so much love, often with people I have never met face-to-face. When it comes to friendships and community, it doesn’t matter if you are on- or offline.

If your heart is filled with joy, you are in the right place!

Image Credit: via we♥it


Reverb 10.19 A Little Piece

honey and tea

A huge connection exists between what you are
willing to receive and what you actually get.
(Amanda Owen)

Reverb 10.19 – Prompt from December 19, 2010 (Leonie Allan)

Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

A few things healed me this year — my misterthese ladies, Reverb 10 and the I time spent with loved ones this year. In 2011, I’d like to do a little healing by embracing wellness and healthy living from the inside out.

Join Reverb10. Share your story. }

Image Credit: Lavender Fox via We ♥ It
Inspiration: A Little Piece by The Jezabels


Reverb 10.16 She’s My Person


She’s my person.
If I murdered someone, she’s the person
I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the
living room floor. She’s my person.
(Dr. Cristina Yang)

Reverb 10.16 – Prompt from December 16, 2010 (Martha Mihalick)

Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

Tiffany Joan and I have known each other since 2003. We met as randomly assigned college roommates and have evolved into the best of friends.

These days, we’re living nearly 2,300 miles apart and it’s tough to keep in touch like we once did. Yet, we remain close and dedicated in our support of one another.

I visited her earlier this month. We laughed, told stories and caught up.

She inspired me to spruce up my apartment. She reminded me that eating healthy can be an enjoyable experiment. She made me think about having fun while getting in shape.

During our visit I learned that no matter where we move or how different our lives become, we’re still the same girls we were back in college. She is my person and I’m hers.

Join Reverb10. Share your story. }

Image Credit: Grey’s Anatomy on ABC


Reverb 10.14 Time

pocket watch

Time is the coin of your life.
It is the only coin you have, and only you
can determine how it will be spent.
(Carl Sandburg)

Reverb 10.14 – Prompt from December 14, 2010 (Victoria Klein)

Appreciate. What’s one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

Time with friends and family.

Trips across the country.
Visits from out of town guests.

Sweet, unexpected emails.
Cards and care packages.

Random phone calls to say hello.
Video chats & moments frozen in time.

Big nights out and cozy evenings in.
Dinner, drinks, movies & games.

Tickles, snuggles.
Hugs, kisses and chuckles.

{ Join Reverb10. Share your story. }

Image Credit: Daydreams via we♥it


Reverb 10.9 Napa Valley Sparkle Party


I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party
because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
(Nancie J. Carmody)

Reverb 10.9 – Prompt from December 9, 2010 (Shauna Reid)

Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010?
Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

who. @gwenbell @kaileenelise @caligater
what. The magical launching of #reverb10
when. Just two short weeks ago
where. St. Helena, CA

reverb coffee shop

We gathered to write, conspire and send our passion project into the world.

cafe cali

We drank coffee in the morning and sipped on wine at night.

We talked for hours. We were silly, serious and everything between.

reverb spoons

We spooned in a king sized bed on our last night together.

say goodbye

We had a sparkling time we’ll always remember.

Join Reverb10. Share your story. }

Image credit: via KaileenElise


Reverb 10.7 Aiming for a Perfect Blend


Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
(Jane Howard)

Reverb 10.7 – Prompt from December 7, 2010 (Cali Harris)

Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

This year was a little wild. I changed jobs, shifted gears, and took on new projects. Through this evolution, I felt my web presence fluctuate. When responsibilities offline took priority, I felt like I was neglecting something important.

Last year I was lonely and craving sparkle. I launched kaileenelise.com and quickly found my soul sisters.

This year has been different and anything but lonely. I’ve established some great connections with coworkers. I have deepened in my love for my mister. The community I discovered this year was right in front of me—waiting patiently for me to step away from my laptop.

One of my motivations behind becoming 1/3 of Reverb 10‘s HQ was to rediscover the magic of the interwebs. The response and love for our project have been astounding—and even if I had an extra 7 hours each day, I could still use more time to connect with fellow Reverbers.

Looking towards 2011, I hope to have a better blend of offline and online community. I intend to make connections that span both worlds—meeting up with people I’ve fallen in love with via Twitter and blogging & inviting my friends who I know IRL to jump online.

Join Reverb10. Share your story. }

Image credit: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! via WeHeartIt


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