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Disclaimer. This is straight-up a home/diy/lifestyle blog but this site is just an extension of me, not an accurate picture of the whole. Today, I wanted to breakdown a little of that wall by talking about the recent shooting in California and the conversation it spurred on Twitter. I don’t want to do this because it’s the topic du jour or to stir the pot. I want to talk about it because it’s important. Not just to woman, but to a successful society.

I refuse to contribute to the growing amount of exposure dedicated to a sick, sick individual so I will not mention the shooter’s name. What this person did was reprehensible and it has weighed heavily on my mind since last weekend. As is protocol after events like these, people delve into the well-rehearsed “why did this happen?” conversation. Things we’ve all said and heard and read before. “It’s lack of gun control.” “It’s a testament to the crumbling state of the mental health system in our country.” People argue until they are blue in the face and their keyboards are shattered. But the hashtag #yesallwomen that has emerged in the past week is an interesting (albeit unfortunate) conversation that, in the light of tragedy, may birth a new conversation.

Plain and simple, the shooter hated women. Hated them for not lusting for him. Hated them for not chasing after him, but instead being with other men. Hated them for having choice over their own bodies. His plan was to seek out as many woman (and men they chose to be with over him, “the ultimate gentlemen”) and make them pay. Pay for the freedom of choosing.

The purpose behind #yesallwoman is to bring the topic of the misogyny and oppression that all woman experience into the harsh light of reality. It’s not just the hot ones, or the 20-somethings. It’s all of us.

Because I always carry my keys primed as a weapon in parking lots and on sidewalks.

Because I always get nervous walking past men alone.

Because even though I have never personally experienced sexual assault or violations, I know not to drink from a glass I’ve put down in social situations.

Because I lock my doors immediately after getting in my car, and then check the lock again any time I come to a stop and someone is standing relatively close to my vehicle.

Because sometimes the only hint an aggressive “flatterer” will take is “I’m married,” which translates into “I’m already someone’s property”.

Because for every moment of self-loathing I’ve experienced over my weight, I’ve had a moment of thankfulness that being fat is probably a deterrent to aggressors.

Because porn is a fantasy. Woman who choose to be in (reputable) porn have protection. They have signed detailed contracts and have a safety net of professionals around them. Forcing yourself on a woman without her consent is assault.

In rapid response to #yesallwomen, #notallmen has surfaced as well filled with defensive messages about men’s own individual behavior. And it’s important to note that we know. We know not all men are rapists and sexists. We are 100% aware. Our population would be a whole hell of a lot smaller if they were. The point of #yesallwomen is not to disparage the male gender as a whole, but to share experiences and simply let men know the other perspective.

My husband is a great man. He is kind and loving and a proud feminist. But he’s also a middle-class, white male. I would guess he couldn’t personally relate to any of the experiences I listed above. Because as a white man, he is susceptible to the smallest amount fear. He has no reason to do some of the things I’ve been taught to do since middle school. To him, I might even seem a little paranoid.

So, to women out there, you should now that you are not along and your voice does matter and even if there are no sweeping changes brought about by this tragedy, don’t think that the conversation isn’t important. And to the good and gentle men out there, we are not trying to paint the entirety of your gender as the crazies. It is simply an opportunity for you to listen and gain a new perspective, because even though you might not experience these issues first-hand, they do happen and they are relevant.

Feminism is for equality between the genders. Not for female superiority. Sure we have our fair share of crazies too, but the majority of us out there engaging in #yesallwoman only want to be equals and to live free from fear of other human beings.

Two other great articles on this topic:

  1. Not All Men: How Not to Derail Discussion of Women’s Issues
  2. Let the Record Reflect by Elizabeth at REWM


State of the Blog

Hello and happy Monday! I wanted to take today and just update y’all on what’s going on here at Two Live Colorfully. If you come around often, you’ve probably noticed a little less action. Well, that’s because Josh and I are figuring out exactly where we want to go in the next few years and how to get there.

state of the blog

First things first, we’re officially staying in Dallas for one more year. We’ve signed another 12 month lease for our current apartment. We are knee deep in “saving for a house” mode, so it made the most sense to stay where we are while we prepare. Honestly, I wasn’t too psyched about this, because I’m worried about running out of projects and ideas to share with you all over the next year here, but when it comes down to it, there is still plenty of work to be done.

We’re still going to be continuing with our minimalist-lite series as well as moving decor around, upgrading a few things, and maybe even trying a few new “apartment friendly” techniques just for fun!

The other thing that has been taking up most of my time is a new resurgence of working out and eating right. It’s not something I’ve ever really talked about here, but I’ve struggled with weight issues for as long as I remember. And, up until now it always felt like I would have time later to sort it out and get healthy. But you know what? That time is now! I’m officially an adult and there is no longer an excuse to be unhealthy. (Not that there ever really was an excuse.) If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen that I’ve hired a personal trainer to help me out. I’ve committed to six full months with her. For the past few weeks, this is what has been dominating my extra brain space.

I know Two Live Colorfully has been about home decorating and DIY, but I’d like to bring a bit more of our actual life into this our corner of the internet. I’m not sure of the exact details yet, but I’d really love to share a few health and fitness updates with you. Not to take over the site, but just to share a little more of our colorful life. Nobody has a perfect life, even if that’s all you see on the internet. People have struggles and hard decisions to make and I want to be someone who isn’t afraid to share mine with the chance that it could help someone else.

So, three months into 2014 and this is where we are. Lots of changes happening and lots of things to be excited about. I hope you’ll stick around to see where this goes!

Storing Relationship Mementos

 Today is a special day. Today, is my husband’s 25th birthday. Sure, it’s a Tuesday, so it’s probably going to be a little lame, but I do want to take a minute on the blog today to say Happy Birthday to a guy I’m pretty darn attached to.

And instead of doing the normal, rambling mushy post that would probably make most readers want to run away screaming, I thought I’d double team this day and give you some awesome organizing information at the same time!

I’m sure all of us have a box somewhere full of relationship mementos. You know, pictures, love notes, movie ticket stubs. Admit that you have one! Well, up until now, I’ve been keeping all those memories in a box shoved deep into a closet. They almost never cross my mind, unless I’m rummaging through said closet, in which case I’m probably not in a romantic mood.

So, the other day, I took that box out, sorted through the contents and decided to give all these special little items a nice space to hang out. Here’s how I’m storing my relationship mementos!  Get Organized | Storing Relationship Mementos | twolivecolorfully.comI picked up this adorable little spotted box at Target, brought it home, and diligently sorted through every scrap of paper I’d saved from our high school days. Most of it went into an automatic “keep” pile. Notes and songs and pictures; they all make me smile equally as big as on the day I received them. But I won’t be shy about saying that I did not keep everything.

Why on earth do I need to keep a Bridge to Terabithia movie ticket? It wasn’t even that great of a movie. And I didn’t look all that great in those prom pictures anyways. Why do I need five copies?

Get Organized | Storing Relationship Mementos | twolivecolorfully.comWhen sorting through your own collection, try to consciously decide what has a meaningful memory attached and what doesn’t. Keeping every scrap of paper won’t make the whole of your mementos more special. If anything, it’ll just clutter up the good stuff.

Get Organized | Storing Relationship Mementos | twolivecolorfully.comI didn’t do anything too crazy inside the box, just gently laid everything inside where it can easily be accessed. And then I put that box right on our book shelf! No more hiding these little treasures in the depths of a closet. It might seem a little silly, but even just seeing the box out in our home gives me a little boost of lovey-dovey-ness.

And, because, I just couldn’t possibly talk about all this without sharing at least one silly artifact from our relationship. I present you with this:

Get Organized | Storing Relationship Mementos | twolivecolorfully.comOh yeah. Drink this in. This was back in the day when cutting up and diying t-shirts was all the rage. I made this little beauty for Josh’s high school Jazz band concert where, you guessed it, he was the bass player. Yup, I was pretty smitten. Also, I’m pretty sure that awful selfie went up on my Myspace page! Haha!

Happy Birthday Honey!

How do you store your special little relationship tokens? I’d love to know!

5 Meaningful Valentine Ideas

Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared plenty of cute Valentine’s themed projects but today, I want to talk about something a little different. I really do love Valentine’s day. I love the cutesy projects and giving cheesy little valentine’s to my co-workers, but when it comes to celebrating as a couple I find the whole mass-marketed idea of turning an expression of love into an obligation to buy flowers/stuffed animals/chocolates/jewelry kind of gross. I know my husband loves me even if he doesn’t get me a box of gamble chocolates that says so. And, I’d do just about anything to avoid the crowd that’ll be coming in waves to every restaurant in town this Friday. That’s definitely the introvert in me talking, but I just don’t like people enough to spend a “special night” fighting some other couple for a table.

So, let’s talk about how to actually find meaning in Valentine’s day. Here are 5 Meaningful Valentine Ideas that the advertising world would never suggest, even though any of these can do wonders for your relationship.

5 Meaningful Valentine Ideas

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minimalist-lite | intro

Last week, I shared my 2014 one-word objective, “curate”, with you and mentioned a new concept called Minimalist-Lite. Over the past year, I’ve been discovering and developing what exactly this meant to me and this year I’m ready to embrace it!minimalist-lite | intro

But first a little background.

Growing up, I loved stuff. Oh man, stuff was the best! And you know what almost better than all that stuff? Dreaming about one day getting new stuff! As a kid I can clearly remember tagging along with my parents to Lowe’s and making mental lists of all the great appliances, fixtures, and features my grown-up home would have! (Money’s no matter when you’re an adult, right?)

When I got older and into college, I would buy stuff with the intention of saving it for future use. People, I bought giant white ceramic serving dishes while I was living in a dorm room! I saw them at a store and loved them so much I just had to get them. I’d use them someday, right? So, I lugged my new stuff up two flights of stairs and stashed them away under my bed. Granted, I do still have some of those dishes and use them with regularity, but still! The mental state I must have been in to spend the little precious money I had on plain white ceramic dishes with the notion that there would probably be no more dishes like these in the future, makes me sound like a crazy person! I didn’t even have a kitchen for crying out loud!

Then college ended, Josh and I moved to Dallas, and I started to wonder why we had so much G.D. crap! We’re only in our early 20’s; how did we get bogged down with all this stuff? Needless to say, it did not feel great!

This brings us to now. Slowly (and painfully, I might add) over the past year and half, I’ve been working to end my seemingly compulsive need to buy and getting rid of the excess stuff in our home. Working to pay off my credit card played a huge in this mindset shift. At the same time, I’ve been working to form concrete parameters for this Minimalist-Lite concept; to live free from clutter and excess but to still be surrounded by the things that make me happy. I whole-heartedly believe it can be done!

So what exactly is Minimalist-Lite?

Minimalist-lite is a little label for people who err towards minimalism but don’t want to abandon all possessions. Our ambition is never to reduce our belongings to only those that fit into a knapsack, but to surround ourselves with only things are beautiful, meaningful, and useful. We seek contentment above any fleeting happiness advertisements and marketers might “guarantee.” We buy high quality goods that are built to last, not wear out in a year or two. We embrace the notion that every item in our home is something we intentionally decided to keep and we work hard to make sure those decisions aren’t dictated by guilt, buyer’s remorse, or frivolity.

Basically, we still like stuff. But not too much. And only the good stuff.

Let’s get started.

So, this year I’ll be shifting my life (and blog) focus a little bit more towards living better with less and I sincerely hope that those of you who crave more simplicity in your daily lives will join me as well.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing where exactly to start. Obviously, something of this caliber will not happen in one weekend. It’s a long-term commitment to creating simple systems and habits to maintain that simplicity, but trust me, it’ll be totally awesome!

Linked up with:
Home Coming
Huckleberry Love
Home Stories A to Z
Designed by BH
The DIY Dreamer
It’s a Vol
The Blissful Bee