pinterest peeks: adventure.

as i am currently having california adventures, here is pt. 2 of our mini series “pinterest peeks” featuring my adventure board.

happy adventuring!

(all photos from pinterest)

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i’m a monochromatic copycat with no style but a lot to say, apparently.

i went through like 17 titles before choosing that one so don’t judge me.

ahem. so, at 4:31 am, as i’m frantically packing, i’m realizing that i will soon see old friends that i haven’t seen in some time… that i will be at graduations… and parties… and dinners… and events… and that i will, in fact, whether i like it or not, be making some sort of statement as to who i have become with the way i look. some people i know will be quick to jump at that sentence and say, “if they are true friends, they will only judge you based on your heart, not your style.” to which i will say, hah. because let’s be real here. i mean, i do attempt to be a genuine, accepting, loving, and understanding person. i try to judge someone only based on their person:: their character, their actions, their lifestyle, etc. i’m sure a lot of you also try to be genuine human beings who only judge people on their innards not their outtards. however… does not the way a person dresses themselves say something about the way they view themselves? does it not say something about the value they place in first impressions, in presence and beauty? also don’t jump on a pedestal, you’ve totally judged someone based on their lime green turtle neck, admit it. just thoughts.

i suppose i didn’t intend to get too overly thought-provoking here but who knows what will happen when you write a blog post at 4 am. i also don’t mean to sound shallow or materialistic. whoops. all the goals being missed by a long shot.

anyway, as all these thoughts are racing through my head, i swung open my closet doors to find this::

ah yes. go meredith. your closet consists of pretty much the same color scheme throughout (grey, black, white, occasional off-white…), everything is flowy, and lord almighty how many stripes can a woman own before becoming a zebra? again, because it’s 4 am, i decided to think real hard about my style choices.

a few weeks ago, i made a quality investment in this book here, hey natalie jean. (totally worth the embarrassment of the man working at barnes & noble directing me to the parenting section, only to ask when i was expecting. oh no sir, no buns in the oven here. just because i wear maternity clothing for flowy purposes does not give you the right to assume pregnancy.) anyway, i bought the book on account of reading a particular blog post from my favorite blogger, and author of the book. in this blog post, and in the book, natalie talked about two things that i’ve literally had the urge to talk about myself for years. and the first was defining your style.

call me a copy cat, but i’ve had this idea, i swear, for forever. even ask my friends… i’ve forced them to sit down at coffee with me and listen to me rant. natalie describes it as “the pinterest disconnect”. see, i could never pinpoint how i wanted to dress in real life. however, i could totally pin how i wanted to dress on pinterest. my style board was filled with flowy grey tunics… and yet when i was at the store i would, for some reason, reach for the brightly colored patterned everything. i think i was trying to overcompensate for my dull social life or something. who knows. then i began college, went through a slew of life changes, and got to a point where while i wanted to be stylish, i also just wanted to be hella comfy. i didn’t want to feel so wrong in my own clothes. so i went to tjmaxx and bought all the grew flowy things.

there was a lot of guilt at first… my mom kept saying, “do you really need another grey flowy shirt? do you really need another shawl? do you really need another black flowy tank top? how many striped things do you own???”  and yeah, i probably own a plethora of striped items. and yeah, i probably get told i dress like a grandma a lot. and yeah, i do buy everything in XL even though i’m a small/medium. and guess what? i looooove it. and i wear it! isn’t that the point of clothes?

which brings me to my second (and final, bare with me) ranting point. do you wear all of your clothes? think about that for a second. quoting from both natalie jean, and the joy of less, there’s this thing called the 20%. you probably wear 20% of your clothing, 80% percent of the time. and that leftover 80%? it’s taking up room in your drawers. i got in this habit of hanging everything i wear frequently in my closet, and leaving everything else in my dresser drawers…i’ll have you know i haven’t opened those drawers barely once this whole summer. i’ve started giving clothes away and getting rid of what i don’t wear because let’s be real. it saves me the embarrassment of convincing myself yes meredith you can rock that skin tight floral print sinchy shirt, going out in public past the point of no return, catching a glance of myself in a mirror, and oh hell no meredith you can’t rock this what we’re you thinking are you crazy why do you even own this??? i find the best way to get rid of that 80% with ease is to just find your 20%, get into your 20% groove, and soon you won’t care for that 80% at all.

so there you have it! a post that’s basically already been posted and written about in two different books that i decided to take upon myself to write at what is now 5 am when i need to be packing for my trip to california where i will impress my old friends with how utterly monochromatic and lame i am. jazz hands!!! i do hope you got something out of this post though. maybe.

farewell, dear ones.

adventure is out there.

hey friends! guess what guess what guess what???

if you guessed that i’m flying out to southern california tomorrow, you totes get a prize. cause that’s what! (excited dance). just so ya know, i grew up in southern califorina. i’ve made it out the past couple summers to visit my older sister who still lives there, and this summer that gorgeous stinker is graduating. super proud lil sis over here. i can’t wait to see her, and all my amazing friends back home… but mostly i can’t wait to eat in-n-out. jokes, guys, jokes. not.

i do get super anxious about traveling and planes and all of the above so if any of you have traveling advice or packing tips or general positive vibes you wanna throw my way, feel free! i wish i could pack you all up in my suitcase and take you with me.

that all being said, i’ll make sure to leave you some posts to keep you company, so don’t go anywhere! & if you wanna keep up with my adventures in california, follow me on instagram for plenty of posts.

much love + california kisses.

my major life change // changing my major.

oh hello lovelies! fancy seeing you here. hope life is delightful!

so, due to frequent request, today i’m going to be tackling the subject that is my freshman year of college & why i changed my major in my second semester. in all honesty, my freshman year carries a lot of pain, & i avoid this story like the plague. it feels like opening old wounds. however, i think getting it all out there would be good for my soul, & maybe one of you out there would get something out of my experience. & that would make me happy. this whole shebang is kind of a journey that’s difficult to sum up in a page of black & white, but i shall try my best. so here’s to hoping i don’t bore you or get too emotional on you!

//

once upon a time, a year ago, i entered university as a vocal music education major.

oh dear…that’s a boring place to begin, isn’t it? ok, let’s begin at the very beginning, a very good place to start. when i was a youngster, like 5-year-old two-pig-tails youngster, i wanted to be an artist. i specialized in fingerprinting, & drawing the world upside down. i did also want to become a fireman, teacher, writer, and chef though… big dreams, i tell ya. once i got to that lovely high school age, however, music became a big part of my life. to this day i know that my involvement in choral activities/drama was really a big part of what kept me & saved me in my very dark high school years. it was in my junior year of high school that i realized i wanted to pay it forward. although i wasn’t much of a performer & doubted my abilities as a soloist, i wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone to pursue a career as a high school chorus teacher.

fast forward to my freshman year of college. let’s not get too into detail, but i’ll leave you with an idea of how i felt… scared, alone, sick, defeated, and all dreams gone. my goal was just to somehow survive. let’s just say life had shown me its worst, its absolute worst, & for once i wasn’t quite able to recover. that first semester was torture. i loved all 10 of my classes & did really well in grade point average, but physically & psychologically i couldn’t keep up. on top of all i was attempting to overcome, i acquired a vocal injury that would put my musical career on hold. when looking for guidance on how to move forward, someone who was supposed to serve as a mentor sat me down at the end of the semester, looked me in the eye, and told me to quit. to give up. she told me i wasn’t cut out for music, and not only that, but i should give up on college as a whole. her advice was to drop out & admit defeat. cool, lady, cool. i’ll have you know i spent my winter break laying in bed. not eating, not sleeping, reeling from a broken (shattered? demolished?) heart, sick from my failure, overcome with confusion, & overwhelmed with this feeling that my life was being ripped away from me. that these people were taking away what little power i had, & i was weak. i couldn’t do it anymore.

i was a moment away from throwing in the towel, when one day my mom just poked her little head in my room & said, “well what if you just change your major?”

so i did.

spur of the moment, i decided to choose a major i really knew nothing about, art. i have always had an eye for art, but as a profession? what can you even do with that? doubt attacked from every angle. but i went for it. i wasn’t good at anything else, so why not? i really had nothing to lose at this point. so i barged into the unknown, & that has shown itself to be the best decision by far.

i guess if i could sum up the main “life lessons” i learned from my experience, they would be as follows.

1.) choosing a different path does not necessarily mean “giving up” on the old one.

i had to come to a point where i realized i was willing to suffer through another semester despite it’s affect on both my physical & mental health, just to prove that i wasn’t giving up on my dreams. so many people attacked me with the words “giving up” and “quitter” and i really held myself accountable, for no real reason, to finish out this path for the mere satisfaction of finishing it. but i learned that when you reach a dead end… it’s a dead end. it’s okay to take a new path. it’s okay to find new dreams that you don’t have to sacrifice your soul for. ya know, sometimes the universe is trying to show you that there are even better horizons ahead. no matter your choice, college // no college, music // art, whatever choice you’re facing in life, closing a door does not mean giving up. never let those words hold you back. you are in charge of your choices. you decide what is going to make you happy and help you along in your path of life.

2.) you don’t owe those turd-heads ANYTHING.

excuse my language. but hey, this one is the biggest life lesson i had to learn my freshman year. in regards to the major change, i felt like i owed it to everyone to keep suffering through music. i felt like i had to prove to all the people in my life that were pushing me into the ground that i could do it, despite their great help. & i was even afraid to change my major because i didn’t want to have to explain myself to those people, for fear of what they would say about my decision. well, news flash. you don’t have to explain your reasons to people. gives em the crazy impression that they’re entitled to an opinion about your life decisions. this is your life, take the reigns. surround yourself with people who support you, and seriously, shoo all those haters away. you don’t owe em nothin.

3.) last but not least, TAKE A CHANCE.

step into the unknown. be courageous. who knew i would discover such a passion? here i am, a studio art major with a hopeful concentration in new media and design. here i am, creating, growing, discovering, and dare i say thriving? this one little choice led up to a boldness in me that i didn’t know existed. i went on to make even more life choices that brought me to the point i am at today. a point where i can promise you life gets better if you fight for it, if you fight for you. your happiness matters.

//

you know, there is so much more i could say, so many ways i could expound, but i will end here for now. i hope you found something you can connect with in these little fragments of my story.

remember, you are beautiful. you are strong. no matter the jagged pieces of your past. use them. grow from them. create, grow, discover, & thrive. refuse to just survive. chose to live a life that you are proud of & that makes you happy.

much love,

meredith massey.

photo fragments & many a rant about our adventures at 7th street market.

once upon a time i fell in love with charlotte, north carolina. don’t ask me why cause i don’t even really understand it. it’s just a cool place, man. some of my best pals reside around that area and we always have the greatest adventures, let me tell you.

no really, let me tell you. if you’re ever around the area, check out the 7th street public market… “7th street public market’s mission is to celebrate the food culture of the carolinas and promote local and regional farmers, food artisans, and entrepreneurs.” it’s a total cool beans place, if you ask me.

do you feel like drooling right now? no? uh, well…i’m about to make ya. so grab your towels folks, cause i’m gonna describe to you how i was getting the rumbly tumblies and therefore grabbed a crepe that changed my life. if you talk to me about crepes though, i’m gonna tell you every single one changed my life. i mean it’s like the universe sets off fireworks just for me every time i eat a crepe (and my life, it changes).

let me also explain you a thing about myself and the way i food. basically, i find something i like…and then i like it a lot. i grew up on a steady diet of i love spaghetti and can you pass the ketchup. and whadya know, i still hog the ketchup bottle and i still order spaghetti every time we eat out somewhere that has spaghetti. it’s usually the same with my crepes. if i’m feeling super duper fancy, i’ll sometimes get a savory crepe. most likely i’ll just slyly steal some of yours. because most likely i’ll be ordering that nutella & strawberries crepe. that’s my thing.

imagine my face when i stuffed it with a creme de la crepe (yeah, that’s it’s name), which is a warm, thick and fluffy crepe, stuffed with nutella, whipped cream, and sweet strawberries. it was like the woaaahhhhhh face mixed with the duuuuuuuude face mixed with the holy-cow-i-can-die-happy-now-cause-MY-LIFE-HAS-BEEN-CHANGED-PEOPLE face (yeah, that’s a face).

whew. it was a kodak moment for sure. oh sorry, did i make you droll? but hey, i warned you didn’t i? well, i hope you’re enjoying story time because i have more life changing stories. this time, about coffee.

this story begins with instagram. you have an instagram? i have an instagram. (let’s be friends?) anyway, i was following this account called not just coffee for quite some time, only to then realize ages later that the place was in fact in charlotte! so i pretty much bribed my friends into a downtown charlotte adventure… the main purpose being to finally go to not just coffeeand get some coffee.

and then, my life was changed. (heh, am i annoying yet?). but no really. the atmosphere was adorable, the baristas super friendly, and the experience all together lovely. and the coffee? remember that story about how i choose a thing i like, and then really like it? caramel lattes are one of those things. and boy oh boy was this caramel latte one for the books. congrats caramel latte, you win best darn one i’ve ever had. your award is the foam on the tip of my nose and the cheesy caffeinated grin on my face. i probably obnoxiously fan-girled over the latte, telling my poor barista that oh my goodness that was the best caramel latte i’ve ever had thank you for your magical barista skills you genie of the coffee pot and he was probably like oh my goodness take your instagram pictures and leave, little lady. so i took my instagram pictures. and then i left.

we did also stop by a little bath and beauty station called small keys, because i’m a sucker for soaps and wanted to grab something before leaving the beautiful city of charlotte.

this soap has been treating my hands very well. i smell like a cup o’ tea all the time, and it’s oh so wonderful.

all in all, it was a quality adventure. friends, food, coffee, soap, and then oh! a piano asking to be played. so best pal sarah tickled some keys for us. i think i probably could have stayed at 7th street market all day, writing, reading, sipping coffee and downing crepes (and you know, having my life changed). if anyone wants to just go on a road trip adventure with me right now, that would be great. there’s really nothing i love more than little markets full of culture and food and bustling life.

okay. end rant here.

love always, meredith.

so, we won an award?

well what do you know? crafted fragments is just a little baby and somehow we’ve already won a beauty blog award? golly gee. thanks, thebeautydorkk!

i’m not really one for following rules (whoops) so i might cheat a little here and just answer a select few of the questions she asked! sound good? let’s get to it.

if you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

i would want to take away all the judgement, all the cruelty, all the discrimination, all the inequality, all the narrow-mindedness, and all the hatred, and i would replace it with love, acceptance, understanding, equality, open-mindedness, joy, and peace.

what superpower would you love to have?

the ability to send hugs to people who need them.

are you good at making new friends?

hm…i’m not sure “good” would be quite the world to describe my people skills. see, i’m an extensively awkward humanoid. and i’m also a total introvert. so i’m pretty much this strange mumbo jumbo of like “all humans need to stay 10,000 feet away from me” and “i just want to hug every human that ever lived.” it’s weird. so it sure depends on my mood. most of the time, though, i love *attempting* to make some quality friends.

describe your perfect relaxation day.

large bed full of fluffy pillows and fuzzy blankets. large cup of coffee. a book to read, the love bug to snuggle with, and maybe a lord of the rings marathon. also, pizza.

what is the first thing that people notice about you?

well, people like to point out that i have a gap between my two front teeth. like i didn’t already know….

do you like dancing?

i only like two types of dancing.

the first is by myself, dancing like a crazy person to some one direction when i’m stressed out of my brains. the second is with the love bug, slow dancing to jazz.

what’s the best post you’ve written about on your blog so far?

i guess the one i am the most proud of is my post about investing in experiences. i scribbled parts of it down on my phone at a coffee shop right after the love bug and i went to a jazz concert. it’s full of life and full of what i believe in. go read it if you wanna!

(and last but not least…)

do you consider yourself a happy person?

i feel like this could be a post in itself. there’s so much that i could say. there’s so much more to me, so much more to my story than just being a “happy” or “unhappy” person. i suppose i would say i have not always been a happy person, no. my life has not always been filled with moments of glee that weren’t overshadowed by seasons of sorrow. there hasn’t always been times of joy without pain. but i will say that i have become a person who aspires to be happy. my pain pushes me forward to seek a life that is filled with joy from within. i have realized that happiness is a choice, because our circumstances never change. the pain never goes away. humans will have their bad days, but they will have their good ones too. so i consider myself a hopeful person. someone who knows happiness can be hers if she is strong enough to fight for it.

//

hope you all enjoyed this special mid-week post and didn’t get too bored with my ramblings… feel free to answer some of the questions in the comments if you want! i’d love to hear what you guys think.

much love, my dears!

wanderlust and welsh cakes.

“she always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world.” -joanne harris

i am so blessed to be best buds with a world traveler. as long as i’ve known her, i just knew she could never be tied down to anywhere at all…she belonged to everywhere and elsewhere. she’s the heroine and the mystery; unattainable and untouchable. and her sense of adventure has continued to inspire me every waking moment of my life. i couldn’t be more proud of my dearest Susanna as that gal is moving to Wales in a few months! i’m going to miss her like crazy, but i know you can never truly hold on to such a wandering soul. be fearless, my dear, in pursuing whatever sets that soul afire.

just to prove how lovely she truly is, look at the darling things she brought back to me from her last trip to europe! heart eyes. i deeply love that silhouette quote, i’ll probably blog about that sometime. also, jelly babies? doctor who anyone? how cool is that?? now i finally know what jelly babies look and taste like! however, let’s direct our attention to the third item. tea. 

i say tea, you say tea party.

tea?

tea partyyyyyyyyyy.

heh…my apologies…i just love tea parties, man. i don’t consider myself too much of a “girly girl” but boy do i love wearing floppy hats, talking in british accents, and stuffing my face with treats. during my last visit with susie we decided it would be a darling time for a tea party, so we cranked up the french music, got out the lace tablecloth and blue china,  and prepared what will probably be our last tea party together for quite some time. and in honor of her move to greater places, we decided to make welsh cakes!

what are welsh cakes?, you may ask. well for lack of a better description, susanna describes them as “a perfect mix between a cookie and a pancake.” which is totally accurate. they’re SO GOOD. i may have snuck a lot of dough beforehand, but dipping them in my tea when they’re nice and hot was quite the pleasant experience. if you would like the recipe, susanna will be sharing it over on her blog (go check it out at miss-adventure.com)!

how darling. i totally made everyone wait until i snapped the perfect picture before letting them dig in…i’m an awful person, aren’t i? anyhow, the tea was a delight, the welsh cakes were delicious, but the company was the best. i’ll miss my kindred spirit for sure.

wander on, beautiful souls.

how to: art journal

let’s get artsy today, cause why not?

quite some time ago a friend gave me one of those gorgeous lotka handmade nepal journals they have at barnes & noble. i never really knew what to do with it, but a few years back i started filling it with different odds and ends i had collected, from leaves to scraps of paper. slowly but surely it has become one of my favorite journals i own! it brings me so much joy to flip through the pages and re-live all the memories i keep in there. i highly recommend starting your own, especially if you’re like me and you keep old receipts or business cards or pressed flowers for memories’ sake. and for that reason, i thought i would do a little tutorial of how to make your own art journal!

step numero uno: gather your materials.

i have always been a collector. i collect rocks, post cards, chopsticks, elephant figurines, glass bottles, sea shells…the list goes on. while those are all lovely things i can display on my shelf, i also collect things like fortunes from fortune cookies which have no real purpose.. except that i like them. if you have things of that nature lying around, make yourself a little envelope or container to put them all in! (i use a little wooden box on my shelf.) you’ll soon realize you probably have plenty of material laying around the house, in your wallet, in dresser drawers, or laying on your desk.

step two: get creative!

beyond step one, it’s pretty much all up to you! if you keep old receipts in your wallet, dedicate a page to paste them all with little notes of why each purchase was so special. if you collect little notes that your love bug wrote you, dedicate a page to pasting all of the love notes! if you have a collection of quotes that inspire you, write them down on the pages. a majority of my art journal is actually full of super sappy / super emotional poetry i used to write back in high school. it’s kinda cool to look through the journal and be taken back to what i was feeling at that moment in my life.

for example: my pressed flower pages.

this is, hands down, my absolute favorite page of my art journal. when i was in 10th grade, someone used to leave flowers in my locker every day. i never knew who it was, or why they were doing it. i was the new girl in a tiny private school. awkward as can be, confused, alone, and in a rather rough stage in life. but every morning, i would open my locker to find these beautiful little flowers. i kept quite a few, pressing them in my geometry textbook and then bringing them home to put into my art journal. to this day, looking at this page reminds me of that time of being so scared and alone, and yet having my every day brightened by such a little act of kindness.

and now, my journal is overflowing. old ticket stubs, lists, drawings…i stuff everything in here. i have so many more pages to fill and so many ideas of what to do with them. i hope this post inspires you a little bit to maybe make your own art journal and discover just how much fun it is!

happy creating, dear ones.

stay artsy.