Monday, September 15, 2014

Little Pip-speaks: G'mi's House

A couple quick Pips from her "trip" last week with the grandparents.

Pip-speak #1:
Piper: I miss Mommy and Daddy.
G'mi: I do too. How about two more G'mi & Papa days and then they'll come home?
Piper: Two like me! I am two, and then we tell each obber about our trips!
Pip-speak #2:
Piper: G'mi what are you going to do while I take a rest?
G'mi: Well Piper, I think I will clean up the kitchen, maybe read a little bit, and wait for you to wake up.
Piper: If you and Papa want to play while I sleep, it's ok G'mi. 

Pip-speak #3:
G'mi {seeing Piper spinning Fin around}: Be careful girls, someone is going to get hurt.
Piper: Yes, G'mi. It is going to be Fin.

P.s. you can check out all of the pip-ster's witticisms here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Show Your Real: Allie

Sometimes when I hang out with awesome people, I find myself hoping that maybe, just maybe, I'll soak up some of their cool. Like hipster osmosis. Or maybe I can just catch some of the talent runoff. Or possibly be considered by someone as cool by association. It doesn't really work. But it doesn't stop me from trying!

So I'm excited to be connected in any way with today's guest writer; Allie is about as cool as they come. She's about a million things I'm not (tiny, adorable in hats, self-employed...) and another million things I am- but better (designer, blogger, photographer). I maybe don't love the twinges of jealousy I have of her glam life, but I do love how she's always inspiring me, and knowing no matter how big a rock star she is, she's still humble to her core, passionate about loving people well, and a constant encourager of those around her. We'd be lucky to absorb even a little bit of that spirit.
I love keeping it real. Unless someone shows up at my house unexpectedly and I haven't cleaned in three weeks (which is all the time). I literally have said, "No you can't come in right now. My entire house is a disaster." I remember my friend looking at me, giggling as she tried to bypass my arm. She soon learned that I was 100% serious and a little part of me died in embarrassment. Just keeping it real, I suppose. 

Now that you know that about me, I should probably introduce myself. My name is Allie Lehman. I'm 27, married and I own a couple of businesses. I love working for myself but over the past two years, my real has felt surreal. My highs have felt quite high but my lows have felt pretty dark. 

Most people say that owning your own business is "so freeing." It's extremely true but they don't tell you how isolating it can be. You convince yourself that 14-16 hour workdays are normal and that you couldn't possibly spend an evening just relaxing. If you work more hours, you'll make more money! Work harder!

I can attest to the fact that if you believe these things and accept them as truth - you will find yourself without friends, quite stressed and pretty sad. I didn't understand that I was at this point until I reunited with one of my best friends in NYC. We spent the day at the park in Brooklyn catching up and I was actually being my old self. My husband (who's also my business partner) looked at me at the end of the day, shocked by my carefree spirit. I cried on the plane ride home because I knew that (besides my husband and my brother) I didn't really have any friends back home. 

To be fair, I did have friends but by that point I had been such a lousy friend that I didn't believe that any of them would have any interest in sticking around. Thank goodness I was wrong. As soon as the plane's wheels hit the ground, I promised myself that I would be the friend I wanted...NEEDED. It had to start with me being less selfish and embracing vulnerability. 

Over the past few months, I've been so blessed by my friends. The smallest things like texting all day about goofy things instead of burying my head in work brighten my week. Booking trips to see the ones who live too far and sending care packages enrich my life. I know that only 8-10 months ago, I would have seen those things as distracting. I want to go back in time and hug that version of myself. Because that's honestly all I really was looking for. Nobody talks about this part of entrepreneurship but I hope to continue to help people realize that they're not alone. 

PS: If I want to get more real, I can NEVER spell "entrepreneur." Ever. Thank goodness for autocorrect. 

Show Your Real is a series of guest posts centered around the concept of authenticity. The goal is to encourage each other to expose the reality of our lives- good and bad- and to foster a sense of community that goes beyond the often suface-cy interactions of social media. We invite all of you to participate! Please comment, link, and hashtag to spread the #showyourreal love. If you would like to contribute a guest post in this series, please email me (cjsbowden at gmail dot com).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mighty Nine

Do you know what nearly a decade of marriage looks like?

Well for me...I suppose that depends on the day.

Some days it looks adventurous. Holding hands, running through life that it swirls with unexpected twists, and exhilarating turns.

Some days it looks comfortable. Two people in quiet, natural rhythm with each other.

Some days it looks romantic. Stolen glances, quick kisses...and long kisses. (ok. and some really long kisses).

Some days it looks chaotic. Scattered schedules. Scattered toys. Scattered thoughts.
Passionate. Familiar. Busy. Boring. Supportive. Harsh. Exciting. Steady. Friendly. Difficult. Loving.
It looks like all of that. Some days.

And on the very best days, it looks like this:

Two smiling faces, with a sea (alright...a man-made lake) of experiences already traveled, and a shared view of the sunny sights still to come. 

To me, this day, nine years of marriage looks pre-tty good. And it feels even better.

Happy Anniversary, my love. I think you're mighty fine.

{P.S. More sappy anniversary posts...}

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New look, new (to me) sounds

You see that there header? Awww yeaaah.

I was feeling the urge to mix it up around here a little bit. Nothing against graph paper (for real, how can you hate on tiny little orderly boxes?) but I had that theme for the last few years so it was time for a little refresh. So for the past few nights I've stayed up entirely too late wrestling with some HTML to get a few simple buttons looking "Not Janky" (that's a super technical web designer term, obvs). It's definitely not perfect, but hey, we don't do perfect around here. (we do do #showyourreal plugs, apparently) I like to think that I have at least decent design sensibility, but then at the same time I also know I'm a more plus more plus more plus stripes plus sparkles!! kind of person. So I tried to rein that in as much as possible, so no sparkles, but obviously I had to include the stripes at least.

Anyway, it seemed kind of anti-climatic to roll out a fancy new blog outfit, and not have any new content, so I thought while you click around here a little bit (maybe grab a button for your site while you're at it?) I'd give you some tunes to listen to.

I will never brag about either my taste in songs, or my ability to spot the next big musical thing...or really even my awareness of the fact that most things I think are new have actually been around for decades. But hey, I like what I like! And what I like, at least today, are hip-hop covers turned acoustic, retro booty dancing and anything where Dolly Parton prances around in black-and-white. So that's what you're getting.

The guy kills me. Every time.

How bad do you want to go to Dollywood right now? Scratch that, how bad do you want to go to Dollywood in the 90's right now?

Remember that time I played cello in the fifth grade? I could've been somebody.

ps. more music silliness in the archives. Warning- I really do mean silliness. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fashion Fashion

More Fashion Fashion, with the Party Party app. Because if I'm going to go to the effort of getting dressed every single day, I might as well tell the internet about it. 

Up first: my favorite jeans (AE of course), with my favorite pattern (stripes, of course), with 79 bracelets (of course), and my rainbow sandals (of course).

  Shirt: J. Crew Outlet. Necklace: Tiffany & Co., Jeans: AE. Ring: Birthday present.
Bracelets: H&M, my grandmother's from Mexico. Sandals: Rainbow.

Then, in the  #showyourreal category, we have me all sweated up after a run (ok...mostly walk...) around the neighborhood. On the scale of fitness cuteness, I could probably do a bit better...but I could definitely do worse. And in any case, at least I'm getting out there. Related: Anyone else do the Couch to 5K plan? I kinda love it (as much as I'm able to love running.)
  Tank: Old Navy. Headband: AE. Shoes: Adidas/DSW.
Sports bra(not shown, thank goodness)/leggings: aerie.

Here's the behind the scenes shot of my newest round of bio pics -otherwise known as Courtney stands awkwardly in her backyard, trying to act all serious writer/approachable blogger/halfway normal person. Good thing I had my security blanket- in the form of 1 million bracelets and a giant scarf (plus my fav jeans and sandals again!)

Tank/Jeans/Bracelets: AE. Scarf/Bracelets/Ring: Forever 21.
  Necklaces: Etsy & Vintage shop in Denver. Sandals: Rainbow. 

Wait, did someone say awkward? In that case, let's take this to another level and get my coworkers involved. I'm sure they wouldn't mind taking a few fashion pics in the middle of their Starbucks run. A blog takes a village, after all. (thanks Amanda!)
  Shirt: Gap Outlet. Ring: Forever21. Necklaces: Target
Jeans: AE. Sandals: Rainbow. 

Annnnnnd, let's end this on a high note- my fav destroyed denim (I actually got a compliment on these from a stranger the other day. It was a mom taking her 8 year old to the Katy Perry concert, so I maybe should question the source a little...but no...I shall accept the compliment), paired with a fancy necklace, a side bun to disguise some dirty hair, and the addition of some lipstick...a monstrously rare occurrence in my life.
 Shirt: Urban Outfitters. Necklace: Charming Charlie.
  Belt: Target. Jeans/Shoes: AE. 
LIPSTICK?! Maybelline Vivids- Shocking Coral

So that's what it's looked like around here the past few weeks. What's been in your closet rotation?
P.s. Check out the inaugural round of fashion party reels, or follow all the fashion fun on instagram

Friday, August 29, 2014


Fab little Friday roundup of stuff that’s caught my eye lately…

Current Obsesspins
My HOA strictly forbids painting my door any color except for 3 pre-approved, nearly identical shades of black. (seriously), so if I’m going to have any entryway fun, I’m going to have to accessorize. Hoping I can make this happen with a homemade stencil + a plain ikea mat.
I’m kind of obsessed with floral kimonos right now. Go ahead…imagine me saying that in my OMG Rachel-Zoe-inspired fashion girl voice…but I mean it. (P.s. Have you seen the Ascot and Hart collection? Bloggers turned Target shoppers, turned Fashion designers. It’s like they’re living my life in reverse. Only way, way better.)

Some days (all days) you just need a little dose of adorable. And for those situations, I have an entire board of images at the ready. (Bonus win: Keeping my furry obsessions contained to pinterest saves me from having to clean out any real-life cages).

I don’t have a spot in mind for another quilt, but this design could convince me to go for it anyway. (Plus by the time I finished it 3.7 years from now, I’m sure I could find somewhere to put it!) I’m loving the idea of a color blocked design- it ends up looking like a large scale madras pattern. And you know I’d work some striped binding in there somehow….

Because I obviously needed a way to make tiny carb nuggets even healthier. (Pro tip: alfredo sauce).

We’ve got big dreams for the master bath…which will likely come to fruition sometime in 2027, but still…it’s fun to dream.

…And the view’s amazing.

What are your latest Obsesspin? Any boards I need to know about?

P.s. In case you missed the last round, or if you want to dive into all my Pin-related archives.
And feel free to follow my full file of fancies right here.