Featured Artist: Meagan Jameson

I have this idea to feature different artists on YoF (by the way, YoF, is my new kewl way of referring to Year of Fun). I want to chat with people I love who make art and inspire me to do better and  then share that on the interwebs.

To kick this off, there is no one I would rather interview than a woman I have known my whole life.  She may not even consider herself an artist, but I think she takes fun and gorgeous pictures of her daughter. Admittedly I am biased because she is my sister and that daughter is my only and favorite niece, Kenley. But here she is Meagan Jameson.

Location: Muscatine, Iowa
Hobby or career?: Hobby
Jobby job: Loan Operations Manager
Favorite thing to do for FUN: Go out to Wild Cat Den and hike the trails or have a picnic with my husband and daughter.

 
Where do you come up with the ideas for your pictures?

I stalk Pinterest. And Google Image searches can be really helpful as well.

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VALENTINE’S DAY 2014

Do you plan to continue as she gets older? Where do you draw the line?

I would like to as long as she lets me!

Do you think social media lends itself to presenting a “perfect life” to the world? When you share these pictures, are you trying to show everyone how perfect you are?

I posted about this very issue on Facebook at the turn of the New Year.  “I’ve been thinking a lot about New Years resolutions and as I’m reading everyone’s status about being better and doing more I can’t help but think that what I really want from this new year is different. In 2014, I want to stop beating myself up for all of my shortcomings and instead embrace all that I am not. Of course I want to be healthier, happier, and more organized, and I want to be more intentional with my time. But I also want to stop comparing myself and my life to the stuff I see in blogs and on Pinterest and Facebook and really love and appreciate all that I am and all that I have just as it is today.” 

EASTER

EASTER

Do you like my cute picture? Is my picture cuter than yours? It is something I struggle with and think about a lot. If someone posts a picture of their house looking perfect and my house is covered in crap and dirty laundry, it doesn’t feel good. Except that was probably their ideal picture of their house. You can’t compare your every day to someone else’s best picture.

How are you doing with that?

I’m doing better than I used to.  Now, I try to use it as motivation; I’ll pick one fun craft or dessert to make for each holiday or make a more focused effort to accomplish a small DIY home project.  I’ve read posts from bloggers themselves who acknowledge that they don’t put all the bad and mundane life stuff in their blogs; mostly because nobody wants to read about how you got your taxes done or that you have a days worth of dishes in your sink.  It’s the culture and business of blogging.

HARRY POTTER WEEKEND

HARRY POTTER WEEKEND

What is the hardest thing about being a mom?

For me, the hardest part is that my husband and I have opposite schedules. It is great for Kenley because we don’t need day care. But we are both home alone with her. It feels like being a single parent. We don’t have a lot of time as a family of three and that is hard and stressful.

What is the best thing about being a mom?

Her smile and her laugh–all of the bad things that have happened that day or that week melt away. It makes my heart happy. She could scream at me all day but if, when she’s going to bed, she smiles and snuggles into me,  it is the best thing.

Do you have a favorite photo?

Yes. I love the Harry Potter’s. I’m sure when she is older, she will roll her eyes but I love them.

 

Meagan has also been doing some maternity pictures for her friends…what do you think? More than a hobby?10150574_10102093970762749_1504279208_n

Weekly Obsessions-April 22

I had an obsession-free week last week, or rather it was all work. But I’m back! And this week I am waaaaaaay into…

1. Comfy Summer Shoes

Like these Naturalizers that make me feel like a 23 year old in both activity and appearance:

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And these Grasshoppers.

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For real, it’s like walking a gel mat. My friend with psoriatic arthritis turned me on to this brand and, girl, THANK YOU. Chicago street fests, here I come.

2.  This Pendleton Notebook 

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I spied a set of three of these adorable journals months ago at Foursided, one of my favorite stores in Chicago and also the location of my new gig (more on this later). When I purchased them back in January, they were added to my “Empty Notebooks” shelf, but I took this one out this week because my personal life was feeling a bit disorganized. At work, I fill up notebook upon notebook with, well, notes and lists. They keep me on task at work, so I figured I should do the same at home. Between the adoption, listing the condo for sale and hosting a whole slew of people, things are getting pretty crazy round here and I need a beautiful place to keep it all running smoothly. #heritageblanketpatternskeepmesane

3. Tuesdays

Tuesdays are my new Saturdays and I’m loving it. With my new gig as a Friday-Sunday shop girl at Foursided (remember how I love this store so much that I went to it on one of my first YoF excursions?) and my regular gig at the theater Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Tuesdays have become my day. I sleep in. I make a delicious breakfast and/or lunch. I organize my life in my Pendleton notebook. Yes, I occasionally succumb to doing neglected work for the theater. And sometimes I run house errands or go to the doctor, but mostly, I enjoy the sun streaming in through the kitchen windows, blog or write and catch up with the world. Tuesdays are my moment of zen in an over-scheduled, over-worked, kinda crazy week.

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What do ya’ll do to unwind on your day/days off? Provided you have them, right?

What’s with that anyway? Sometimes on a Tuesday, I’m like, “Why do we all work so hard and so much when sitting here in the sun, thinking or writing or talking to someone else is so satisfying?” Does all the work allow me to appreciate this moment more? Or does the fleeting nature of this moment make me resent how hard I work?

But them I’m like, “But I help make art happen. And I bring theater to kids who might not have it otherwise. And I cut out tons of little rain drops to make a cute window display for April.” And that’s cool.

Anniversary Times

Yesterday was the hubs and my second wedding anniversary. Our weekend of eating and cleaning was, in fact, part celebration. We did not leave our trip to West Elm completely empty-handed. Since the traditional two-year present is cotton, we splurged on some great sheets and a new quilt for our bed (Elphie has chewed many holes in the old one). I love the chevron pattern against the simple (yet double-sided) coral quilt. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

We also went out for a drink and dinner on Friday night at Fountainhead (one of our favorites, fantastic rooftop deck in the summer), which is something we hadn’t done in a long time. We realized that we had both been so busy with work and adoption stuff that we had been neglecting date nights.

So yesterday, we tried to create another date night by walking to the cute corner store that sells alcohol, sandwiches, chocolates and pasta (a fine mix if you ask me) to grab a champagne split. We had also purchased some fish and brussels sprouts in preparation for making an anniversary dinner to enjoy at home.

Well, we tried a traditional french recipe on the fish–except we used some grapefruits instead of lemons–and it turned out horrible. I mean horrible. Like congealed fish with buttery/grapefruit flavor. We had to dump it. So we sat down with our champagne split and our delicious roasted brussels sprouts (just tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin then roasted for 40 mins at 400) to partake in our wedding anniversary tradition: watching the wedding video our friend Gregory made for us.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The video is about 10 minutes long and, to me, it is perfect. It captures everything that was special to us about our day from getting ready and walking down the aisle (a wooden plank on the beach) to the canopy decorated with homemade tissue flowers (credit mostly due to my mom, though others certainly helped), to our best friends and family speaking and witnessing, to our kiss and the spontaneous hugging and dancing that immediately followed, to the dinner, drinks, and dances and, finally, to one of my favorite moments, the men’s exact dance replica of that heartfelt pop classic, N’Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.”

We talked about watching it every year, about forcing our kids to watch it every year, and it made our night, congealed fish and all, so much better. Also, we may have then eaten a bunch of Haagen Dazs to make up for the fish. Happy Two Years to my boo!

Also, I’m sure we can’t be the only ones who have had anniversary plans fall through or not work out (though it did also kind of happen to us last year in London. Sheesh). Tell me about your not-so-perfect anniversary celebrations.

Weekly Obsessions-April 6

This week I am totally obsessed with Spring Cleaning. I have been a madwoman. No closet, dresser, or counter top has been safe from me. This weekend, after cleaning the entire apartment, the hubs and I went through every storage space/surface in our bedroom (including the closet-yikes), the hall closet and both bathrooms. Everything is organized, pretty and clean.

I would like to think this is something we would do every spring to rid ourselves of that which we’ve accumulated over a long winter of hibernating. However, I know better. We are super motivated in preparation for listing the condo for sale. In fact, part of Saturday’s organizing included visiting with our realtor on the market, listing price, and some things to change/fix up before listing. We plan to fix all the holes in the hallway walls and then paint. And, of course, going through the living area and second bedroom with the same fervor for cleaning and organizing. That second bedroom in particular is going to be a doozy.

However, the weekend wasn’t all work. The hubs and I rewarded ourselves with a trip to a few furniture stores to pack away ideas for the new place. We are both totally obsessed with West Elm’s Mid Century Modern Collection, so we peeked into a few vintage shops to see if we could find anything similar at a lower price. We did find some similar pieces, however they were the about the same price…Not to worry, though, we will keep looking!

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I mean, come on. Gorgeous.

I also took the hubs on his first visit to Bang Bang Pie Shop. Biscuits and vegetarian gravy topped with an egg. French silk pie. Need I say more? Just go.

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The face of the happiest and most satisfied of campers.

Oil Pulling Follow Up

I had a few people text/email me about oil pulling after I posted about it, so I thought I would find a good article with tips and pointers about it to share. I was reading this article from Wellness Mama, when some celebrity/fashion news show on E (it was on in the background, ya’ll) started talking about how quickly this trend is “sweeping Hollywood.” So I guess it may be too late to be “the first” to try it. But who cares? So many benefits, I say go for it.

Anyway, check out the link to her great article about the essentials of oil pulling like don’t spit it out in your sink; really give it 20 minutes; and and don’t gargle! Let me know how it goes.

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