The Odd Thing I Started Collecting

Hello Lovely,

There's something about starting a collection that feels nostalgic. When I was young, I collected every Babysitter’s Club book I could find (hoping it would make me millions some day - and the books were just awesome). I even have 3 Barbie dolls in my collection (but still don’t have the one I REALLY want). But that’s not the collection I’m most excited about. As if Babysitter’s Club and Barbie Dolls aren’t odd enough, I have a major obsession with something and it was actually Lauren Conrad who inspired this obsession.

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In this excerpt from Lauren Conrad’s book Celebrate, she explains what she collects: “…my home office is overflowing with an admittedly ridiculous number of gorgeous, patinated brass pieces covering just about every inch of the room. That’s not an exaggeration; I have roughly three hundred brass candlesticks and vases, and I’m always looking for an excuse to use them. But trust me, I have a very good reason as to why I have curated this seemingly absurd exhibit. During the year leading up to William’s and my wedding, I began obsessively scouring eBay, flea markets, and antique shops for vintage brass for our reception tablescapes . . . and I promised him that the collection that was rapidly taking over our home was a thoughtful investment that I would use for years to come. Let’s just say that these days, it’s hard to come to a gathering at our house without spotting some brass. If you’re a habitual party thrower, I strongly encourage you to invest in some key items; it will end up saving you a good amount of money in the long run. It will also make you very popular when your friends are throwing parties of their own.”

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So what do I collect? I became obsessed with collecting glassware and white ceramic dishes. Every time I travel I look for a piece to bring back with me. I have glass bottles from Amsterdam and Switzerland, and can you believe this isn’t all of it? I love going through the home section of TJ Maxx (it’s literally the only section I shop in). I collect cool shaped wine bottles and I only recently replaced my lost rectangular ceramic plate (still haven’t even used it).

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Why do I collect these things? I genuinely admire food photography and became passionate about it, about two years ago. So I’m constantly expanding my collection to have various props, tablescape decorating tools and nice things to serve it in for my recipes. I probably only have just over 40 pieces, but my mother is still ready to put me out over it.

QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO START YOUR OWN COLLECTION - CUPCAKES & CASHMERE

1. If possible, collect something you can use. I love the French vases, because they're something I can display, then pull down to fill with flowers. Collections become sad when they gather dust on a shelf—or in a box.

2. Collect timeless things. Collections can take years to amass, so they should stand the test of time. Rather than collecting something of-the-moment, consider classic items that will be just as cool in five or fifty years.

3. Be mindful of kitschy-ness. The line between kitschy and cool is particularly thin when it comes to collections—a set of ceramic containers can be cool. A set of chicken-shaped ceramic containers? Not so cool. That being said, the beauty of collections is that you're free to collect what you love! If chickens are your thing, go for it.

4. Don't become too attached to your collection. At the end of the day, they're just objects. Be careful not to cross the line from collecting to hoarding.  If you come to a point when your collection is causing you more grievances than joy, either consider editing it down, or find someone to gift it or sell it to.

I'd love to hear: Did you have a collection as a kid? Anything now you could see yourself collecting now? How do you decide what’s worth collecting? Is it sentimental, for profit or do you have a hoarding problem like me? Share your collections in the comment section below!

Why I'm Afraid To Get Too Personal On My Blog

Hello Lovely,

In an age of oversharing, it's easy to become that person who snaps a photo of every single meal, document every part of your vacation and broadcast relationship troubles. We're encouraged to be open and speak our minds. We've learning keeping secrets can be dangerous and we've reframed many hurtful labels. All of which I'm sure has been to help society become more open-minded, uninhibited and explorative creatures. But is there a price to being so open? What are the real risks? I originally started this blog as something to do while I looked for work, but over time it's become very therapeutic for me; giving me a reason to get up, get out and try new things. And when the feedback started coming in, the positivity encouraged me to do more, share more. But lately, I haven't wanted to share as much. It wasn't until I started reading, Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis that I realised how much I was really holding back and how superficial a lot of my content had become. If you want to check out the book for yourself, it's available on Amazon - I totally recommend it.

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What are my insecurities? This isn't one of those posts where I can simply list the reasons. A lot of my reasons are intertwined. When I really think about what stops me from getting too personal it's one thing: fear of backlash. I wish I could share about my weight struggles without people complaining that I'm delusional because I'm skinny and there are people with real weight problems. But what people don't know is I often receive unnecessary comments on my weight with people asking if I'm pregnant. I wish I could share about my mental health struggles without fear that a future employer would see this and think I'm too unstable for the job. I wish I could share about my relationship issues without my exes feeling vindicated somehow. Or the fact that sometimes, even after undergoing surgery at 19, I still have bladder accidents and wet myself. And as much as I wanted to share that a few weeks ago I went to the police because I feared someone I only went on two dates with might have been stalking me, I just couldn't find the strength.

What makes it worse, is for the past five years, I've worked with really vindictive people. The kind who go out of their way to get you fired by setting you up to fail or outright lying on you. And if they had access to my deepest personal problems, I just knew they would find a way to use it against me. None of this has been easy to deal with. I mean what's the point of owning a personal blog if you can't truly be yourself on it, right?

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So how have I been dealing with it? I recently started sharing more Instagram stories. I realised a good way to get personal is to get more real on social media. One thing I'm secretly insecure about is the sound of my voice. I can't explain it, I just don't like the sound of my own voice. So years ago I assumed others don't either and haven't been much for speaking. (Hence why blogging is so appealing and I never tried vlogging). But by sharing videos of the various stages of recipes I try or videos of myself getting ready or hanging out with friends, I'm getting more comfortable with speaking in front of people. I always thought people would look at me strangely if I'm recording a video in public, like I would look vain or something. To challenge myself, I went to a wine tasting (where I wrote a small portion of this post) and took selfies and a boomerang while at a table with other people. Was I self-concious? Of course I was. But I knew the fear of what others think about me was crippling my growth so I had to do something about it.

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The same with working out. When I was in Houston staying with a friend, we went to the gym in his community and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't work out in front of those people, even though they didn't know me. I went back to the apartment and worked out there, but deep down I knew I was cheating myself. I started sharing more about my workouts on my IG stories as a motivation to myself to continue. But the truth is I'm so inconsistent with working out lately, my diet isn't what it was before I travelled for the summer and I actually put back on some of the weight I lost, so I feel like a failure and I hate sharing failures. (Who doesn't, right?)

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Well, those were some of the biggest and the baddest in no particular order . I genuinely feel a weight being lifted off as I close out this post. I really appreciate all of the love I've been receiving as I open up. I want you to know it really is a reminder to think positively and be grateful for how far I've come, instead of how much further I think I need to go. The truth is, everyone doesn't need to know everything about your life, but you also shouldn't be so ashamed of the truth that you create a completely false life just to please others who are probably struggling with the same shit as you.  To quote Rachel Hollis, "More than anything, I hope you’ll rest in the knowledge that you can become whomever and whatever you want to be, my sweet friend . And on the days that seem the hardest, you’ll remember that— by an inch or a mile— forward momentum is the only requirement."

5 Times I Felt Incompetent and How I Dealt With It

5 Times I Felt Incompetent and How I Dealt With It

I hope this post shows my human side. We all make mistakes and we all fall short. Whether it's that relationship that ended after 2 years or only 2 days (yes I have lost a guy after only 2 days) there is always going to be something in life that makes you feel incompetent.  Today I want to share, in no particular order, about five times I felt incompetent, which is going to involve me "putting a few people on blast".

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