5 things I’ve learned so far this month.

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1. Don’t run important errands with your kids the day after Halloween. In fact, don’t go anywhere. Make like Charlie with his golden ticket and take those sleep-deprived suckers straight home. October 31 may claim to be a holiday of all things spooky, but November 1 is the true day of little zombies and monsters. Nothing is more frightening than a 4-year-old throwing a five-alarm tantrum while waiting in line to vote early. I was attempting to vote at a library (of course the quietest of all the places), and was so flustered that I ran out of there with her and a book I did not check out under my arm.

2. I have a doppelgänger at Walmart.  I live in a two-stoplight town just north of Asheville. “The Walmart” is the epicenter of everything. It’s the closest place to buy all the things without driving into The Big City. Judge if you must. So I was at The Walmart, when one of the employees tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and he was all, “Whoah! You’re not her, but you look just like her!” He didn’t know her name, but apparently there was a woman who used to work in customer service there who is my twin. Apparently she still shops there a lot even though she no longer works there, so perhaps I will run into her one day. And if I see her in the check-out lane with a case of Mountain Dew, I’ll remind her what refined sugar does to our midsection.

3. Job hunting is like, HARD. Searching for a full-time job after freelancing part-time and mom-ing full-time for the past nine years feels like re-entering public school after being homeschooled. Only there aren’t any cool kids wearing pink or even art freaks dying to take me under their wing. I just keep putting myself out there, trying to sit with anyone in the proverbial career cafeteria who has an open chair. And I’m wishing I spoke Korean, had technical writing experience, or a deep love of vaping. Because that’s what these companies want, and I don’t have it. That being said, if you know of anyone looking to hire a stellar communications professional in Asheville or to work remotely, I’m your woman! (Kidding, not kidding.)

4. The “Insta” in Instagram is lost. I’ve really noticed more and more that both professional and personal accounts on Instagram have taken the instant spirit out of what used to be a spontaneous social media platform. If you’re scheduling out your Instagram posts or running your images through Lightroom and not simply using the filters readily available or (gasp!) #nofilter, you’re going against the entire purpose for which Instagram was intended. I’m an old school Instagrammer. That’s why most of my images aren’t of the highest quality and my comments are only as quippy as my brain is sharp at that instant.

5. “Funky Cold Medina” is a song about date rape. They’ve revived this song on one of my favorite radio stations, and the more I listen to it, the more horrified I get:

She said, “I’d like a drink, ” I said, “Ehm – ok, I’ll go get it

“Then a couple sips she cold licked her lips, and I knew that she was with it

He also drugs his dog, and there are definite anti-transgender undertones as well (remember Sheena?). And I used to roller skate to this shit. Can you imagine if this song came out today? Although there was “Blurred Lines.” Nothing blurry behind the meaning of that song.

That’s all.

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What Nobody Tells You About ‘Kondo-ing’ Your Closet.

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If you aren’t familiar with the term “Kondo,” it comes from Marie Kondo, who has become the household name in tidying up and decluttering. Like Googling and Tasering, Marie has hit branding pay dirt with her name transforming into a domestically blissful buzzword.

I Kondo’d my closet last year. First, I read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upand it was indeed life-changing. While her methods apply best to people who don’t share space with others, you can still Kondo areas of your home (like your closet) that solely belong to you. So lets stick with the closet example. There are many details involved (like special ways to roll and fold your underwear), but the premise is that you only keep items that “spark joy.” You go through every single article of clothing, holding it between your fingers, and if it doesn’t spark joy (i.e. make you happy), you get rid of it. Forget who gave it to you, or holding onto it with the hopes that it might fit one day, or that you might have a reason to wear it if you change jobs. If it doesn’t spark joy, it’s gone.

What this book doesn’t come with is a warning not to Kondo areas of your home when you are in a depressed state when nothing brings you happiness. The day I Kondo’d my closet, I could’ve held Robert Downey, Jr. in my hands and been as joyless as the Rockbiter from The NeverEnding Story:

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I got rid of everything. And do you know what happens when you have no clothes? You might think, “Shopping!” But when you are on a budget, chemically imbalanced, and super down on your body to begin with, it’s tough to fill those voids with any urgency. So no. No shopping spree for me. Instead, I did (and still do) a lot more laundry. And a lot of wearing the same thing two days in a row when I know I won’t see the same people. I’m slowly building back up my wardrobe, but when it brings you no joy to buy things in your current size, and you’re waiting until you lose at least 10 more pounds, it’s quite the process. Plus, even though Ms. Kondo swears once you go tidy, you’ll never go back, I went back. I just cleaned it again, so you can actually walk into my walk-in closet, but it’s not the wrinkle-free beacon of minimalism it once was (for a whole month in 2017).

I’m thinking of bringing back the muumuu. Then I can finally open up my store of oversized dresses called Everywhere A Muumuu. I swear I’ll do anything for a pun. In fact I just (as in this very minute) bought this vintage maxi oversized dress from WanderWears on Etsy. Yup, I feel the spark. Will I still feel it when I’m holding this dress in my hands or more importantly when I try it on? Or is this just a momentary shopping high to be followed by buyer’s remorse? We shall see, Marie.

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On a related note, I’m looking for more Instagram influencers to follow for style inspiration. So far I’m loving @styledsnapshots, @lovelyinla, and @laurabrown99. Who are your favorites?

#MomMemes

I’ve been reading and “hearting” a lot of funny, clever, quippy thoughts on Instagram (SO many from @TheFatJewish) and realized, “Hey! I’m funny and clever sometimes.” My husband tells me I say one truly funny thing a year. I think he’s a tough crowd. I like to think I say at least 32 funny things a year, but you be the judge. I’m not the first person to come up with the hashtag #MomMemes. In fact, more than 6,000 others have beaten me to the punch. Not all of my memes will be mom-related, but between sickness, snow days, and winter break, I’ve been in a parenting purgatory of sorts since before Thanksgiving with little time to come up for air, exercise, or contact/conversation with other grown-ups. The struggle is real. Thanks to my friend, Christy, who co-created the vacuuming one — I like to think it doesn’t suck. Ha! Is 11:44am on a Tuesday too early for a cocktail? Day two of winter break and SO many to go…

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Instagram Inspiration: Photographing Shadows

Jed’s back in school and how I’ve missed my pre-pick-up-from-preschool walks. The trick to finding time for these is that I pretend his school is over at noon rather than 12:30, which gives me a half hour to roam North Asheville by foot. And even though I sometimes pick the same stretches of street, I notice different things every time.

For my first walk of the school year, I adopted an idea from Fridaville’s Creative First Aid. Skirt! Publisher and Founder Nikki Hardin has the most amazing brain… I’m just thankful she has a blog so I can get even a glimpse into her thoughts. For this particular activity, she suggests going out and taking photos of only shadows on a sunny day with Instagram. Here’s what I found:

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I liked walking with a purpose… other than toning and burning calories in my FitFlops, of course. As a writer, it’s nice to take a break from words and focus on something that’s strictly visual.

What fun themes have you focused on with Instagram? I’d love to see your pics! Follow me on Instagram at (what else?) lindseyliving, so I can follow you back!

Accidental beauty.

I was working on my latop from the couch when I looked out the window and saw this storm approaching from Tennessee. The contrast of the dark grey sky behind the bright orange and yellow trees was too pretty to pass up. I’m no Annie Leibovitz or Deborah Triplett, but this is the best I could do to capture the moment:

And again, all Instaglammed:

Isn’t it cool how the photograph looks like a painting?  No idea how that happened, but I love the effect. I suppose I have a sub-par camera (read: iPhone) and my shaky hands to thank. Sometimes the most beautiful things happen by accident.