Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 Things I Can’t Live Without: Alaina of Live Creating Yourself

Live Creating Yourself.
I started reading Alaina’s blog, Live Creating Yourself about a year ago and was instantly charmed by Alaina’s sweet, easygoing personality. She is the type of girl that you could chat with for hours. Alaina works as a graphic designer in Chicago and muses daily on her love of interior design, fashion, and travel. It’s no wonder I enjoy her blog!
 
The history, the architecture, the cities, the clothes, the music, the food, the wine, the Riviera, the chic women, the sexy men, the language. I love anything French, and I find myself dreaming of my next trip to Paris every. single. day. I cannot imagine life without French culture inspiring me day in and day out.
What can I say? I love wine.
Sure I'd love a certain $5000 couch, but since that isn't happening any time soon, I can keep on doing what I do best, and that's decorating on a budget. My apartment was almost entirely furnished with items I bought on Craigslist, thrift stores, or Ikea. Fortunately, flea markets, resale shops, and garage sales are some of my favorite places to be on a Saturday afternoon; and finding the perfect whimsical accent or a piece of furniture in need of some DIY TLC gets me excited likes it's nobody's business.
I believe traveling is the best thing a person can do for themselves. You will learn so much more about a culture by experiencing it than you'll ever learn from reading about it. More importantly, you grow as a person by taking yourself out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Last year I trekked around central China - the part of China no one ever visits - and I ended up hiking a mountain, sleeping in a Buddhist monastery, and eating duck blood. True story. I can now say with certainty that I hate hiking, have a new appreciation for budget hotels, and prefer French cuisine. But I would have never known for sure had I not tried the alternatives.
Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, Nora Ephron, Helen Fielding, Charlotte Bronte, Stephanie Meyer, Elizabeth Gilbert, Philippa Gregory, Jane Green - just a few of my favorite female authors and screenwriters whose work inspires my creativity, whose success motivates me, whose characters I feel like I've known my whole life, and whose stories prove that a good love triangle can bring a nation together. Or tear them apart depending on how you look at it... (Team Jacob!)
I love showtunes. I blame my mother for this addiction. I saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat for my 5th birthday. I saw Les Miserables and the Phantom of the Opera twice by the time I was ten. Fifteen years later, my iTunes library is chalk-full with songs from the Broadway classics and golden age of movie musicals - Singing in the Rain, anyone? Not to mention there was a period in high school when my friends wouldn't ride in my car in fear that the Newsies soundtrack would be in the CD player. It's a blessing and a curse, I tell ya.
I lived in London for 5 months and didn't hear thunder the entire time I was there. I love London. But that was the most depressing realization ever. Hey - I'm a Midwestern girl. I'm used to tornado drills in school and thunder so loud it hurts your ears. And every time I see a huge green orb on the radar, I get giddy, bunker down in my cuddlies, pop some popcorn, and wait.
Summer doesn't hold a candle to this time of year. First, not only do I get to wear my leather boots, sweaters, and scarves, but I don't have to worry about the 95 degree humidity causing sweat stains to show through my shirt (or bridesmaid dress, which actually did happen this summer). Second, this time of year revolves around the golden trifecta of holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I mean, what's not to love? The costumes, the feasts; the changing leaves, the first snowfall; trick-or-treating, Christmas shopping; scary movies on repeat, Nat King Cole on the radio; Thanksgiving break, Christmas vacation; carving pumpkins, decorating the tree; the list goes on...
Chocolate chip cookies take me to my happy place. Again, I blame my mother for this addiction. Coming home from school to the smell of fresh baked cookies was a regular occurrence at my home. Sometimes I wish I had a time machine...
As much as I love to travel, nothing compares to coming home. It's the place I'm most comfortable, most happy, most myself. It's the place I can wear sweatpants all day, watch Meg Ryan movie marathons, sing Bette Davis Eyes at the top of my lungs, have fully detailed conversations with my dogs, dance around in my underwear to whatever song I love that day, take naps, try yoga for the first time without anyone watching, and sit at my computer for hours on end doing god knows what. It's home. And that's me. I'll be giving a lecture on how to be cool at Northwestern next month.
 
 
Thank you so much for including me, Paloma! This is one of my favorite blog series and it's an honor to be a part of it.

16 comments:

sylvie said...

thunderstorms, travel and all things french? alaina has officially charmed me and i am looking forward to following her adventures! terrific post, paloma!
xo,
sylvie of silver lining

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

I am with Alaina on all of it- especially #2,3,5,8, 9 and 10; most especially 2 and 10:) Thanks for featuring Alaina's '10'- very fun to read!

Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

wonderful post!
So true, nothing compare to being home.

YELENA said...

We have a lot incommon!)
allglamthings.blogspot.com

Jenni said...

LOVED YOUR LIST!!! We have a lot in common. Great pictures you posted along with each item! :)

Kate from Party Resources said...

I love it! Especially the love of wine (check), travel (check) and this time of year! (check)

savine said...

Made me think that I have to create my own list :) some of the things like wine and home will be included!
Thanks!

http://savine.wordpress.com

Jessi Lou, The Chic Addict said...

Wow, we have a lot of the same favorite things! Let's be friends, Alaina!

http://thechicaddict.blogspot.com

Kristyn said...

I am so with you on the joy of dressing for fall weather (and equally anxious about sweating in a bridesmaid dress)

Amy R. said...

Seems like a totally cool gal! Great list and I love the house pics!

Amy R.

PJ said...

I love a girl who loves showtunes! Thanks for introducing me to another great blog.

Courtney {a thoughtful place} said...

Minus the thunderstorms, I could have written the same list. Just recently found your blog and LOVE it. So excited to get caught up. where have I been. I am your newest follower!

Caitlin @ Sacramento Street said...

What a great post! Even though we are BFF's I learn so much about you in this post :)

xoxo, C

Marsha Sefcik said...

Came across your blog via twitter and i just had to comment that I loved this post....absolutely loved it! Perhaps it's because it was so personal, I'm not sure... but thanks for writing it.

Megan {Honey We're Home} said...

How fun to read Alaina's list- seems like she really put some effort into it. And any girl with chocolate chip cookies on the top 10 is a friend of mine:)

Bailey@ peppermintbliss said...

Showtunes...for real...you are my people. There is not a day that goes by in my commute that my playlist does not skip from something like 50 Cent "Magic Stick" directly to Mary Martin, Peter Pan "I Won't Grow Up"...variety is the spice of life baby, and you, my dear, are some fresh dill (my favorite) xoxo