inspiration

Inspiration | May 9

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You’ve probably already seen this video about paying attention and losing the technology, but I thought it was really powerful and well done.

I adored these beautiful photos by Olivia Rae James. I just love her style, and all the flower crowns made the photos that much better. She makes me want to take better pictures.

I listened to an old episode of the TED Radio Hour this week about predicting the future. It was sort of scary and inspiring and exciting all mixed into one.

Joy the Baker’s guide to New Orleans made me want to go and visit immediately.

“Own your desires. Make joy a priority.” Danielle LaPorte wrote a pretty in-depth piece this week about our constant striving to be good in order to be spiritual. I’m still processing it, but there are parts I really liked, like this one:

I wanted to create an ecology for my life that included the rapture of meditation and guilt-free guilty pleasures, a way to live from pure intention without forsaking my primal preferences for, say, telling someone off, sleeping in, the occasional smoke after dinner, and staying up too late to watch stupid movies. I wanted a sophisticated devotion to life without sublimating my human wants — I wanted to lighten up.

Elise’s advice on blogging was absolutely great.

“Make things that help solve people’s problems. Operate like the world is already listening.”

I did my first barre method-inspired workout today and it was hard. I’ve been inspired lately to try new ways of working out – ones that are fun and effective. I’m not sure I’ll stick with barre, but it was fun to give it a try. (Related: I’m back to wanting a Fitbit, badly!)

Things I want to make soon: cast-iron skillet pizza | no-bake French silk pie | raw chocolate brownies.

Two Instagram accounts I’ve been loving lately: @xantheb (bright, colourful photos) and @dabito (so much ice cream and California living!).

Some oldies-but-goodies: thoughts on rejection (3 years ago!), how to make a hanging planter.

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This week I’ve felt a little off-balance, so I’m glad it’s the weekend again. I want to spend it re-centering with some beach yoga, relaxing with my friends, and preparing myself to start off next week on the right foot. As always, you can see my daily adventures by following me on Instagram @lifeinlimboblog. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Washi Tape Frames and My Favourite Quotes

WashiIf you saw my post about my apartment here in Korea, I’m sure you noticed that like all apartments, it didn’t come decorated, and that there were blank walls as far as the eye could see. If you didn’t notice, it’s clearly a testament to my highly creative camera angles (ha) because trust me, they were there.

DSC_1998Slowly but surely, I’ve been trying to decorate as best as I can. This is a one-year living situation (that I am 2 months into already – how did that happen again!?) and I can’t paint the walls, so I’ve had to get a bit creative. Challenge accepted!

DSC_1995I was inspired by this washi tape frames project I saw on Pinterest, originally from Design Sponge. I was also inspired by Recite This, a website that takes any quote or phrase and transforms it into a beautiful poster with a design of your choice. So I pulled together a little gallery wall with some of my favourite sentiments, most of them taken from my Pinterest board full of quotes I find inspiring.

DSC_2019This project really doesn’t require a tutorial. All it takes is a little inspiration, a bunch of washi tape, and dash of creativity. I bought my washi tape at Daiso stores in Korea and Japan (the Japanese stuff was much stickier and better for this kind of project!), but you can find coloured and patterned tape at any craft store.

DSC_2013Print off some quotes or rip some beautiful photos out of magazines and you’re ready to go! I just put mine up in an arrangement I liked and tried my best to tape in straight lines. I failed, of course, (case in point: the above photo) but I’m still happy with the results.

washi collageHere’s my wall so far. On the left is a cute fabric flag with an ice cream cone on it I bought in Japan. The turquoise poster is just a flyer that I picked up from a stack of advertisements at the Tokyo Metropolitan building. I don’t know what either of them say, so if I have any readers that speak Japanese, please let me know! There’s also a funny little poster with the line “I’m very font of you because you’re just my type”, because I’m a nerd when it comes to typography.

Then I have a collection of some of the quotes that I love. These quotes are such great reminders of many of my favourite life philosophies and seeing them on my walls always gives me a mental nudge in the right direction.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle / This idea is always a solace to me when I’m getting frustrated about one particular photo, or blog post, or day of the week, or interaction with a loved one. To me, it means you have bad days but a good life. You may hate something that you create but begin to appreciate it from a distance or when you see how it works with other things you’ve made. If you make a mistake you can start over tomorrow. How you live 80% of the time matters more than the other 20%.

“I want to feel my life while I’m in it.” – Meryl Streep / I want to appreciate the special, magic, wonderful moments as they’re happening instead of after the fact, when I’m looking back. I want to be present and fully engaged for the good stuff (and for the bad stuff). I don’t want to feel like I missed the moment. These are the days!

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt / Self-explanatory, but that doesn’t make it any easier to remember. I struggle with comparison every single day. This quote reminds me to get out of my own head and try my best to stop it already with the comparing game.

“The grass is greener where you water it.” – Neil Barringham / A similar sentiment is “Grow where you’re planted.” This one reminds me that life is what you make of it. With a few exceptions, moving to a new physical place isn’t going to solve all your problems – wherever you go, there you are. And even in the cases when a change of place was really necessary for your emotional wellbeing, it’s still up to you to make it your own.  To me it means: make the most of every situation and opportunity. Reach out, grow some roots, do your best. You don’t get another ride on this merry-go-round.

“No matter what the situation, we are very lucky.” – Julie Andrews / I only recently read this quote, but it struck a chord in me. To me, it just screams gratitude. Count your blessings. Appreciate all the good you have in your life. “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” Practicing gratitude instantly gives me a good dose of perspective in every situation.

“This is water.” – David Foster Wallace / I just printed this one off to add to my wall. It’s from a very wise and very wonderful commencement speech that I love very much. In a nutshell, it reminds me to give people the benefit of the doubt, to let go of the feelings that don’t serve me, and to try my best to be a conscious adult. You can watch an amazing version of the whole talk here.

You might notice that the washi tape is peeling on a couple of the posters. One of the kinds I bought wasn’t sticky enough for the texture of the wall, so at some point I’ll probably have to make new frames with the stickier tape or find another solution. For now, though, I love my little art installation – it keeps reminding me to live a better life.

Summer Jar

This is what my summer looks like. A little jar of colour, that I’m not allowed to open until May 1st. It’s like Pandora’s Box, I’m telling you!

I pinned a date night jar a few weeks back, but I thought it’d work well for summer plans. I realize that it’s not likely for us to be at much of a loss for things to do during the summer, because there’s always something happening that’s fun. I still kind of like the idea of emptying the whole jar before September 1st!

My best friend and I sat in my bed, scrolling through our brains and online summer activity lists to come up with all the most fun things we could think of. I scrawled them all onto multicoloured slips of paper with a black sharpie, and she folded them in quarters and put them in the jar. Teamwork!

We used a little colour-coding system (because I’m more of a nerd than you know) to keep track of which activities take more planning (ex. camping) and which take less (ex. making sangria). We ended up with:

  • Red = we can do it today! (ex. swing on swingsets)
  • Pink = we can do this in a day or two! (ex. throw a dinner party)
  • Orange = we just need to plan a little, but we can probably do it this weekend! (ex. go camping)

Like I said, I doubt we’ll ever be at a loss for what to do, and I’m sure a lot of activities listed in the jar will be ticked off without even having to look at the slip of paper – they’ll just happen naturally. But just in case we do need inspiration, my little colourful jar of summer will be there to offer it.

This is an amazing thing to do on a study break, because it makes you so optimistic about your life post-exams!

Happy studying, my loves. It’s almost summer!

TEDxMcGill: Redefining Reality

Yesterday I was thrilled to attend TEDxMcGill 2011. I’ve always been a huge fan of the TED community, and being able to go to the conference in my city two years in a row has been an an amazing experience. If you have an “X” conference where you live, I couldn’t encourage you more to take the opportunity to go and discover all the great ideas that your community is spreading and soaking up.

I would try and convince you to go, but I’ll hold back from telling you why it’s worth it. Hopefully by not desperately trying to convince you, it’ll ensure that those who do go are 100% enthusiastic and committed to the TED experience and are more than happy to donate their money and their whole day to the cause.

If you’re not familiar with the world of TED, get familiar! (This intro video for TEDxAmsterdam is pretty amazing too.)

The tagline of the organization is “ideas worth spreading”, and I’ve never failed to be either inspired, intrigued, informed or opened up after watching any of the talks. The “x” means “independently organized event”, and they’re held all over the world. The most creative and innovative people come together – people from art, science, philanthropy, engineering, healthcare – and share their ideas, and I find that process one of the most inspiring there is. What could be more beautiful than the sharing of ideas? It’s what makes us human.

Yesterday’s event was no different from my past experiences with TED. This year’s theme was redefining reality, and the speakers team really did an amazing job of organizing the talks into 3 sessions that mirror the process of how we can go about redefining our reality. While I enjoyed every single one of the talks, I want to focus on the ones that left the greatest impression so that I can keep this short and sweet! You can check out the rest of the speakers & their ideas here.

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