Tales of Things You Love: Day 4

It’s a lovefest on Effortless Anthropologie this week! For the next several days we’ll be celebrating that warm fuzzy feeling with guest posts, features and — of course — contests. I’ve asked a ton of people to contribute their own personal things they love tales and I hope the community will share in the comments over the course of the week. Valentine or no, EA wants to help celebrate the loves of your life.

This post, which will run each day, contains personal stories from community members and blogs. I asked each person: what is something you love? Could be serious, superficial or sublime. Here are some of their stories.

Eudora Welty once said “a good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” When Roxy asked me to share “something I love” with her readers, I knew right away what I wanted to talk about today. Although I have owned and used numerous cameras over the years, I only truly discovered photography last year, when planning my own wedding. Given the shoestring budget we were on, I knew the one thing I wasn’t willing to compromise on was the documentation of our memories. For me, figuring out what made a good photograph was an exercise in understanding the difference between looking at something and seeing it. With fresh eyes, I began to see beauty everywhere, and the exhilaration of it was so addictive, that a passing interest soon became a full-blown obsession.

I have long been a lover of all things aesthetic, and photography gives me an instantly gratifying way to capture real moments. More significantly, however, it lets me capture suggested moments: little slices of time that don’t actually exist except in my own perception or imagination. A photograph can be the actual creation of something novel, rather than simply a literal regurgitation. In that sense, it is similar to other visual arts such as painting, and offers the added conveniences of the digital age. The creative process, of getting from a picture in my mind to one on your computer screen, is deeply fulfilling. There’s also the thrill I get from having another human being look through my eyes and into my head. I try my best to have what I capture be precisely reflective of what I see. It’s a uniquely private and psychologically gratifying form of human interaction I can’t seem to approximate in any other way.

Of course, an ode to photography would be incomplete without mention of its practical implications to my life. Photography is a passion I share with my husband. We chart out a vision, set goals, and take determined steps as a unified front. Photography gives us an opportunity to work in tandem to accomplish a common end, while spending a considerable amount of time together everyday in the pursuit of something productive and enjoyable. As newlyweds, this team-building exercise has been extremely helpful in bringing us closer together, not least because it tests the bounds of our patience with one another. And having something beautiful and tangible to show for our time together adds a new dimension to our relationship that I cherish deeply.

Honestly, I could go on forever about why I love photography so, but I’ll spare you and end here with a final thought. How beautiful, that from an act that lasts only an instant, is born a memory that endures indefinitely.  

British Anthropologiest
Whenever I try and describe what it is that I love about England, I can’t help but think of poetry. Mostly the kind of stuff I was forced to read as a student but didn’t love then. It always seem so dry and lacking in feeling. As it turns out, it’s all there, just a little harder to find. My favourite poet has to be Philip Larkin and no poet has loved England like he:

“That Whitsun, I was late getting away:
Not till about
One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday
Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out,
All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense
Of being in a hurry gone. We ran
Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence
The river’s level drifting breadth began,
Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet.”

This is, of course the beginning of the wonderful ‘Whitsun Weddings’ – go read it if you haven’t before.

What is it that I love about England? I find it hard to say, to sum up such a thing in such small words. The summers are always lovely – perfect, when viewed in hindsight. Though we grumble about the winters, let’s face it, our winters are more reasonable than most – it’s just our national need to whinge. And even that: solidarity in the ‘whingeing Poms’ (as the Aussies like to call us – looking at you Jen!).

There is no sight to me more welcome than cricketers, dressed all in white stand around on our ‘green and pleasant lands’ on a still day in August as we watch the most beautiful game. Occasionally we’ll even muster up the courage to sing ‘Jerusalem’ to cheer them on.

Lately I’ve gotten to see some more of this country – such as Dorset – and it makes me realise how much I’ve still got left to explore even here.

The history of England is fantastic. Though we, as a nation, have definitely had our moments to regret there’s something wonderful about our long, glorious history: the Empire on which the sun never set.

Fabulous Florida Mommy
There are so many things in my life, and about my life that I love. At the top of my list is being a wife and mother…I absolutely love it! Out of all the hats I wear, this role is the most important and special to me. Taking care of my husband and our four sons truly brings me more joy and happiness than words can begin to express…it makes my heart smile. 🙂

I feel extremely blessed to be married to an amazing and special man. He is my best friend, my biggest fan, and the love of my life. He is an excellent listener, fun to be around, and makes me laugh with his great sense of humor. I truly look forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

Our four boys are all filled with life, laughter, and adventure. They are funny, imaginative, kind-hearted, and very loving. I feel extremely honored and privileged to be their mother. I love spending every day of life with them, teaching them, watching them grow, and experiencing the world in a whole new way through their eyes. Becoming a mom changed my life for the better, and I am thankful every single day for the four boy blessings that I have been given.

Next on my list of things that I love is my job as a Personal Shopper and Stylist. I have loved clothes, shopping, and all things fashion-related from the time I was a little girl, so working in a field where I am surrounded by them every day of life is a dream come true. I love helping my clients update their wardrobes, as well as styling outfits that help them feel fabulous in their clothes. I also love that I am able to work from home most days and even work with clients in other cities, states, and countries thanks to modern technology.

The last of my list that I’ll share here is my love of the beach. We are fortunate to have a condo to stay at on the Gulf Coast and spend a good bit of time there each summer. It is just so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of *everyday* life, spend quality family time together, and truly relax. I love the calming sound of the waves washing on to the shore, the white sand, the crystal-clear blue sky, and the sunset walks on the beach every evening…always a beautiful end to the day. 🙂

When Roxy originally emailed me about taking part in her “Things You Love” week about writing about the things that I love, I had to spend a few minutes thinking about it.  I mean, I love a lot of things: pretty shoes, puppy snuggles, cinnamon gummy bears, the high mountains in Colorado, the low beaches of Hawaii, that soothing, warm feeling in the summer that happens precisely 73 seconds after stepping outdoors (when the sun just begins to really heat up your skin and you think to yourself, “Oh yes, that is nice!”), any awful reality TV show on VH1…the list goes on and on.

But are those the things that I really love? Perhaps “love” isn’t the word that I should be using to describe them.  I enjoy those things, I get pleasure and satisfaction out of those things, my heart even sings when I think of those things; but “love” is a significant word and not one I like to throw around lightly.

I would instead say that real love, true love, is a mishmash of everything in my list above.

True love is a collaboration of all of those fabulous feelings, isn’t it? True love can be pretty and full of snuggles.  True love can be spicy but still sweet; full of both sweeping mountain highs and  the occasional gritty-sandy-salty-beachy low.  True love can be warm and soothing in mere seconds.  And true love is having someone by your side that you can depend on through thick and thin, even if  you’re stuck and can’t escape from an awful reality (TV SHOW  MARATHON).

And so the thing I truly love most is my husband; he is all of those things to me in one single, smart, fantastic package:

(And he makes VERY good grilled cheese sandwiches too, of course, because sometimes true love is ridiculously gooey and cheesy, mmhm.)


Love Anthro, but also love the signature looks from other brands? I simply adore the New Look, originally created by Christian Dior in the 1940s, a legendary silhouette characterized by a tiny waistline and massive, full skirt hitting below the knee. It’s ultra flattering, feminine, and satisfies the little princess in all of us. Even your fairy godmother would approve of such a demure look. I know mine did.

For those of you following Paris couture or just the general blogosphere love fest, John Galliano recently resurrected the New Look silhouette for his Spring 2011 Dior Couture collection. The original silhouette was modernized by adding multilayers of tulle to create blends of colours and new twists on the classic such as adding a cowl neck. Let us now meditate on these pictures for a moment on the genius virtuouso designer that is Galliano. Some drooling may occur.

photo credit: Style.com

Alas, closet full of Anthro and no Dior Couture, Dior Ready-to-Wear, or mad seamstress skills in sight? Fret not, I too felt the same way! But never fear, our existing Anthro closets can indeed be mined to get the New Look silhouette. Find your pouf skirts, a top fitted through the waistline, add in bright lips, the highest heels you can muster, stir, and voila, show off your Anthro New Look love!

To be true and loyal to the original form, use a skirt which hits below your knee. Add a petticoat underneath if you want more volume.

Guinevere Sweater + Convergence 1952 Skirt 
For something a little more cute and less reverential to the original, a skirt that goes above the knee can be used instead.

Odille Blouse + Forever 21 Skirt

Obviously I love fashion and Anthropologie but there are other things that are also very dear to my heart.  After my husband and family, books are what I love most!  For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved to read.  I’m definitely a bookworm!  I have pretty varied tastes and enjoy everything from the Harry Potter series to classics like Huck Finn to contemporary novels by Isabel Allende.

I especially love historical fiction and there’s no doubt that my love of clothing with a vintage flair and quirky details (hence my obsession with Anthropologie!) is heavily influenced by my choice of reading material.  Getting lost in a good book, falling back into a distant time and place — these are the experiences that enrich my life and have helped to make me who I am.  I carry these stories with me long after turning the last page.  I’m lucky that I get to incorporate my love of books into my professional life too since I’m working on my degree in nineteenth century American literature and teaching college literature and writing classes.

In my “spare time” I’ve been developing my love of more contemporary fiction and even nonfiction (especially travel stories).  Closely tied to my fondness for reading is my love of writing and my blog has become a fun source of expression and creativity for me in that area.  Over the past year I’ve really come to enjoy being a part of this blogging community made up of women that are not only beautiful and stylish but also smart, funny, and kind.     

iamsarajane.blogspot.com (Mommyland)
It may sound somewhat old fashioned but growing up all I ever wanted was for someone to call me Mommy someday. That dream came true in March of 2009 when I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl that we named Sydney. She was an amazing surprise, literally, we didn’t find out what we were having and I was beyond thrilled to have a daughter. She truly exemplifies the meaning of love to me. People always tell you that the bond between a Mother and her child is indescribable but until you actually experience it first hand, nothing can prepare you for the emotions you feel. Your whole world and who you thought you were changes in an instant. I remember thinking, ‘my life will never be the same and I will never be the same person that I was’. It was a surreal and very calming moment for me. The first time that I saw her, I knew that I would do absolutely anything for her. Everything about her amazes me on a daily basis, whether it’s secretly listening to her sing a song (Old McDonald is a favorite) or watching her eyes light up with excitement at accomplishing something. She makes my heart swell with love, brings tears to my eyes and puts a smile on my face each day. She is such a funny, smart, sweet, silly and loving child. I feel so lucky that she chose me to be her Mother each time I hear her say those magical words, ‘I love you, Mommy’. The best four words ever!  

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