Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Inspirations

New moons, new thoughts, new scenes. I feel like I've grown a lot over the last year or so, with new loves and ideas and passions to follow. I woke up to a text from a dear friend this morning telling me how amazing he's doing in New York, and I couldn't help but be a little jealous. I'm at a stalled point in my life that makes me anxious and nervous for the next step to happen. People say it will happen when it's meant to, but it's so hard to be patient and wait. 

Until then, I'm loving on these beautiful scenes and things.
A restored 200 year old rectory in the English Countryside. I could just imagine scenes from a Jane Austen novel unfolding through those wild, overflowing beds. I adore the contrast of the formal garden with the undulating hills behind.

So dreamy. To continue on with a country theme, I take you to my renewed love of taxidermy and skull collecting. Seen here from an old Matchbook Mag shoot, the overabundance of the collection could just scream out backwoods hillbilly... but somehow it doesn't. I'm fascinated by seeing how these animals work (albeit trophy hunting is not my idea of how to accrue such a collection), as many of them I'd never be able to approach in the wild. I'm fascinated with the beauty they portray, even after their life has ended.  

source via Matchbook Mag

Of course, my equestrian love could never die out, but it's taken an overwhelming hold on me. I love and adore the horses that I ride, but seeing the beauty and charm of them... it just kills me not to be around them every chance I can get. 

Beautiful illustrations of mystical and erethral beings, like this snake charmer by Henry Justice Ford, are catching my eye and giving me dreams of filling my walls with them. 

Dreams of becoming a mermaid and just swimming away always flow through my dreams, but lately that feeling has been in full force. At times, I want to just run away and disappear into mystical lands and waters. Sometimes reality just wants to shove you a new one, and I'm not good at taking it.

 Easy, bohemian textures and gorgeous warm colors have been comforting. Bringing in warmth and sunshine that can be hard to project on your own. This scene from Instagrammer Ramblin Starr brings out just enough texture, warmth, and comfort that can easily be missing from styled homes. I enjoy the messy-ness of the bohemian/hippy trend. 

source via Ramblin Starr
And, of course, the need to travel never seems to wane. I'm dreaming of castles and landscapes shrouded with mystical stories and history. Faeries and other realm beings seem to bring out the romantic in me, and I just can't help but want to enjoy that feeling. 

Recently, I've had classic country hits on replay. Dolly Parton may just be my favorite person in this moment. How can you not see the beauty and passion in this lady?
Even in age and (a lot) changes in her physical appearance, the lady is a true icon. 

With all these new ideas and loves, I feel the need to really refocus, clean house, and rejuvenate. Part of me wants to hold onto all of the old things I've known and loved, but part of me just wants to dump it and run. Learning, loving, growing... being more of a soulful person, rather than just a shell. Time to fill 'er up!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I decided to take a new approach with my blogging style. 
I hope you enjoy.

What is Homesteading?

This is a question I've faced over the last two years of working on my Master's project. Initially, it started out as a simple question. What defines homesteading as we experience it today? Many people use the word without realizing the historical context that accompanies it, without understanding the foundation of it. Over the course of two years, I attempted to break it down into more understandable context, but found the history and roots of homesteading was much more complex than what we believe it is. Homesteading has evolved from a basic idea of working the land in order to gain ownership of it (circa the Homestead Act of 1862) into a complicated process of multiple practices and purchase of land in order to obtain self-sufficiency for oneself (and an addition of family for many people). 

Practices like apple pressing for cider date back to original homesteads of the West. Seeing (and hearing!) the cider fall from the bottom of the press into a container was like a breeze blowing through your hair on a hot day. Tasting said cider is like enjoying nectar straight from the gods, if there ever were such a thing. 

Taking a whole fruit and grinding it into oblivion carries it's own satisfaction that one cannot recreate, without some possibility of jail time. This fruit, which you once thought was hopeless, creates such beautiful, harmonious juice and makes you wonder what other depressed ideals also carry merit underneath their surface.

Cider not only serves as libation for the thirsty, but given some time and quality assurance, that simple libation will transform into hard cider and then again into vinegar. These processes aren't just symbolic of homesteading itself, but of the people who choose to homestead. Some think they aren't worthwhile, others fail and fail again at homesteading projects until they're worn out and tired. Then that worn and tired fruit transforms into a feeling of satisfaction and sweet life that cannot be replaced by any other means. 

Homesteading, like apple cider vinegar, is healing. It's helpful. It serves a function that no other short term processed product can replace. (If you don't believe me, look up the benefits and uses of apple cider vinegar). 

Homesteading isn't just a trend. It isn't just about being self-sufficient. It's about living a healthy, productive, sweet life.

A life full of memories of years past. Of dreams and hopes that might never come true.
Of heartaches and disappointments. Of community that never fails to amaze you.

And of bountiful harvests created from tiny little seeds. 
Seeds of change. Seeds of joy. Seeds of hard work and devotion.
Seeds of love.
Nurtured and cared for by hands covered in calluses and scars. Those hard hands that can change a log of wood into splinters one minute, yet gently carry a sickly newborn foal into the laundry to pray for it's survival. This is the life of a homesteader.

The juicy, vibrant life of a homesteader. 

All photos by Yours Truly.  You'll be seeing many of these nuggets.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Updates, Changes, and So On

Life is crazy. Some times, I find that I'm constantly on the go, while other times I have absolutely nothing on my plate and can't seem to get the energy to do anything else but sit around and try to relax. Since June, I've been swamped with more of the former than the later, and I haven't had much time to really sit down and decide what I would like to do with my life, and my blog for that matter. I have a hard time deciding on whether to develop my blog into a full-time gig or to devote less and less time to it until it unknowingly disappears. I'm terrible at writing my thoughts and communicating them effectively, but in the end, I always seem to want to come back here to relay my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I've missed having that sort of outlet, but sometimes I worry about how I come off to other people. Sometimes I'm goofy, other times, not so much. I can be offensive and brutal, but sometimes more reserved and come off as fake. I worry about all these things. Needing approval and support is something that I've always desired out of life, but communicating that through a blog is hard for me. These thoughts have provoked me to think about many options of where this all could go. Things that people like aren't always my cup of tea... so I try, and I try to continue to plow through it. However, I think I'm beginning to develop and feel my own way.

Thus, some changes will probably be happening around here. My focus is a bit different than when I originally started this blog; I've grown and matured, and need to take some steps to reflect that in my writing and my own style. Being more organized and focused on what is happening not only in my life, but in my style and need to express myself.

Now be warned: changes are headed to Living on the Chic. And I'm pretty ecstatic about them.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Road Trippin' Along the Oregon Coast

In the craziness that has been my life the last few weeks, I managed to get my mom out on a road trip. We started out along the Oregon Coast, with these amazing views. 

Thanks to PopSugar, we had some great supplies to make the trip that much better. 

For the beach, the Turkish towel was amazing. It folded up nice and small so it was easier to carry, and dried quickly! 

Although it was a little windy, this beach stop along the Oregon Coast in Florence was amazing.

The Lemon hand wipes were another favorite, as we would thrift shop, picnic, and even better, when we got covered in sand. My mom absolutely loved how the aloe left her hands nice and soft, and I enjoyed how clean the lemon made my hands. I'm always a fan of lemon, and to have it in wipe form, it's amazing. There were a bunch of other goodies in the box, but you'll have to check them out for yourself! Visit the PopSugar Must-Have blog to see what has been in previous boxes.
If you're interested in getting your own PopSugar Must-Have box, you can get $10 a three-month subscription with the code: JUNESELECT10, but it ends soon! 

We've had so many adventures, I cannot wait to share more stories. Check back in for more picture of the Redwoods, Crater Lake, and more stops on our trip.

POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.