A Love Letter To London

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dear London, 
       Thank you for making all of my "British" dreams come true and living up to all my expectations. You did not disappoint with your quintessential history and stunning architecture....walking through the streets of London was like walking within the pages of a story or period drama. You came through with the swoon worthy "British Accents" and hearing them in real life made me want to speak "Brit". Your culinary taste is impeccable and you taught me that baked goods, pastries and tea are their own food group and meant to be eaten and sipped daily. For this small town girl, you made "posh" look effortless, but I don't know if I could get away with it outside of England :) Walking in the midst of your architecture and history was living a real life dream that I didn't have to wake up from. I can't wait to visit you again! 


Okay, so maybe I went a bit overboard on my UNDYING LOVE for LONDON, but seriously, visiting London was a DREAM!!! Ever since High School I had dreampt of visiting London and the more period dramas I watched, the more I felt my heartstrings being tugged towards that historic city. While I this post is SUPER LATE in coming to the blog, considering I visited England in March of 2019 (and we are now in June of 2020) I wanted to make sure I captured my travels and shared my adventures with you all. 
At the start of 2019 I had just arrived home from my first International trip to Scotland and Paris and was fully consumed by the "travel bug", immediately dreaming of where I wanted to travel next. It just so happened that we had family who were living in Oxford England for the year and they invited my sister and I to stay with them if we made a trip to England.....that was all the push I needed to book tickets and start planning a trip to England during spring break of 2019! 
We stayed in Oxford for the first few days and then took a bus to London for the remainder of our trip to visit all the London Sights! 
London did not disappoint! And while I honestly think that Oxford was my favorite part of our England trip (and Blenheim Palace was also awesome), London has it's own unique charm that makes you love it in a different way and it's really everything you image it to be and more!!
If you have been following me for awhile, you will know that I am a HUGE period drama/British drama fan, so getting to visit the city that holds so much of the charm I have seen play out on the screen in TV and Movies was truly a dream. 
I am going to share ALL the details for what we saw, did, and ate while in London in my next post, so keep an eye out for that post coming soon!

In the meantime, you can watch my England Travel VLOG to see more:

Have you visited London?

- Madison

Thoughts On Being Single

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Dress: Ross  |   Hair Clip: Marshalls

A couple of weeks ago on my Instagram stories someone asked me about dating and it got me thinking about so many important things in this season of my life. 

I think singleness is often something we look at as a bad thing, like something is wrong with us and our life...or that something is missing. The fact is, I’m single...I’ve been single for 24.5 years (that's weird actually typing it out), but you know what, I kind of love it! Since I've never been in a relationship I guess I don't know what I'm "missing out" on, but even if you have experienced a relationship, I think there is something beautiful to be found in singleness. 
I think singleness is often something we look at as a bad thing, like something is wrong with us and our life...or that something is missing. I mean, once you hit 20 everyone starts asking you “So are you dating yet?”...it’s like being in a relationship defines our status in society! I think the whole mindset around relationships and dating is even more skewed when you have been single your whole life (like me). 
But what if singleness were the best gift? What would you have to change about your mindset to see your season of singleness as a blessing and not a curse?

When our season relies on our mindset, It's all about how we think about and view the situation, because how we view our current season determines not only the outcome of that season, but the lessons we learn in the midst of it. 

If I can't view my season of singleness as a blessing (instead of a curse) and see all the great and positive things about it....if I can't be content in my singleness, then I am never going to be content in a relationship...changing my mindset about relationships and being single might take me changing my plans for life (or at least what I thought my life should look like), an instead rely on God's plan...even if it's not what I expected. 

Here's the real nugget of wisdom I've gleaned over the last 5ish years of my life....If my reason for desiring a relationship is in thinking that it will satisfy some desperate need that I have, then I am going to be let down and dissatisfied when that season comes, because as imperfect human beings, other people cannot satisfy our lives and fix all of our problems...finding joy and contentment in life starts with looking inside of ourselves. 

The fact of the matter is that this SEASON will never come again, so we should embrace it & value it, instead of being disappointed by it. Sure, you might not be where you want to be. Maybe you thought you would be married by now, or at least be in a relationship (fact: 15 year old me thought she would be married at 25). But there is a season for everything, and maybe you need this season of singleness to learn a lesson you need for your next season? 

 Maybe your not ready yet (as much as you think you are) and God knows that (he sees beyond the here and now)! Just like any aspect of my life, my currently non existent “love life” is all about TRUSTING God’s plan and his timing....I could meet "Mr. Right" tomorrow and if that happened I would jump on board with God's plan, but if not, I am fine with my season & find fulfillment in it. 

Of course as the years pass by and time ticks away it always get’s me to asking myself “at what point do I take steps to put myself ‘out there’ instead of waiting for someone to show up on my door step?” (theoretically, not literally, but hey, that doesn't sound like a bad plan). Because if we are being honest, it would be so much easier if I lived in the 1800’s and my parents just set me up with a rich guy who made 10,000 a year, or I met some young rancher who put an add in the newspaper and became a “mail order bride”, instead of me having to figure out this whole “modern dating” thing.

The funny thing is that the other day my mom looked at me and said "You know, I was thinking, if you ever want to try a Christian dating site, you should just go for it, see what happens"..... I'll be honest, I was not expecting her to say that and I honestly had to laugh because since Quarantine started I keep getting ads online for dating sites/apps. In all honestly, I see the positives of dating sites/apps, I can see the huge benefits those resources have for people (especially introverts), but at what point do you make that choice to try it out....is making that choice an act of desperation of taking matters into your own hands or is it an act of self growth and taking a leap of faith? Is really “putting yourself out there” a leap of faith in trusting God, or is it a stance saying you don’t trust his plan and timing and want to do it your way?

(for clarification, I don’t think I will try online dating any time soon…lol) 

The real message though, is that SINGLENESS DOES NOT DIMINISH YOUR VALUE, and it doesn’t take away from your life, just because your path looks different than another, doesn’t mean it is any less important.
I’ve learned over the years that If you aren’t content being single, you won’t be content in a relationship...you have to love and accept yourself for who you are first, before you can love an accept someone else. You have to embrace every season to enjoy the next! 
Relationships were never meant to satisfy all of our needs, as humans we are imperfect people, so what makes you think dating will complete you?

Only God can COMPLETE you, and if we can learn that lesson now, our future relationships will be all the more fruitful & we will value them more because we lived in Joy through our season of singleness!

Use this time to hone your talents, spend time in your favorite hobbies, deepen your relationship with God, serve others, travel, etc. This is your season to grow as a person! 

How are you living with joy and embracing this season?


To The Girl Who Struggles Making Friends

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Skirt: Thrifted  |  Shirt: Thrifted  |  Shoes: Keds (Poshmark)  |  Purse: Thrifted (Fossil)  |  Earrings: Target (old) 

If you read the title and though “that describes me”, I’m here to tell you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

You might feel as though you are alone in this season, but you are not alone in the struggle. 

I’ve always considered myself to be one of those people who can count her close friends on ONE HAND...or maybe a few fingers (if I’m lucky, maybe in some seasons of life, two hands). However, I’m not one of those lucky people who has the same friends for their entire life. Sure, there are still a couple friends I had when I was a younger that I still stay in contact with, but my life has very much been one that encompassed the “friends for a reason & friends for a season” saying.

When I say “friends” I don’t just mean the people whose numbers are in my phone, the people who follow me on social media, or the ones I know will say hello to me when I see them in person and maybe start a conversation...it’s more than just the surface level, I know you, you know me, beyond the trivial.....friendship to me goes beyond that and is deeper.

I count more people as “acquaintances” than I do as friends, and if your someone who knows me and your reading this, please don’t be offended. I think in a world of social media and extroverts we’ve come to redefine friendship as the number of people who follow us, or who are in our phone contacts, or who we see frequently...but sometimes true friendship comes from those you don’t see frequently, but those who are their when you need them and check in on your life.

I've always been someone who struggled to make friends. When I was younger I used to think that there was just something wrong with me...that was before I knew I was an Introvert and that my difficulty with conversation and fear of meeting new people was just part of who I am. However, even though I now understand myself more and know my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to conversation and human interaction the whole "friendship" aspect of my life is still a struggle. 

I mean, gosh darn it....I will be 25 in November and I still haven't figured this thing out!  

As an introvert though, I crave and value deep and meaningful relationships that are created through connection. I want someone who will be there to listen to my deep thoughts or crazy ideas or ask how I’m doing, over wanting to just go out. Friendship in my mind is more a dance of slow intentionality rather than spontaneous events. 

I struggle making friends because I’m an introvert...and I am not using that as an excuse (because trust me, I have stretched myself a LOT this last year), but being an Introvert influences so much of my social life because I’m not naturally outgoing and it takes awhile for people to see the real me (not to mention it takes awhile for me to open up). However, I also struggle making friends because not many people take the time to get to know someone, beyond a first (or second, or third) impression...we live in a day and age where we want instant results and we think that scrolling through their Instagram feed or watching their stories gives us all the information we need...but true connection comes through authentic effort!

In all honestly, in this season of my life right now, I feel as though I have more acquaintances than real deep friendships, and while that can be frustrating at times, I am really okay with that. I am a very independent person, so unlike my Extroverted counterparts, I can easily live a happy life in my own world...however, that doesn't mean that I don't long for people who fill my life up as much as I would hope to fill theirs. 

This last year I have really put myself out there to meet new people. Was it scary? YES!!! Do I still get freaked out being around them even after 8 months? YES!!! Have I met some great people? YES!! Do I still struggle with conversations around them? YES!! However, life is about doing the things that scare you and challenging yourself to grow! I am on a journey of learning to make friends, because making friends as an adult is HARD!!! It was so much easier in high school when friendship just naturally blossomed because your paths crossed over with people who did similar things as you. 

In this season of life, I have learned that I sometimes have to reach out to others, whether it is people I have known for awhile or new people I meet. I often reach out because I know what it's like not to have someone reach out, and I never want others to feel that way. However, one downside to my Introverted INFJ personality is that I have a habit of easily walking away from friendships that are one sided...some call it the "silent door slam". And while that sounds so harsh, sometimes as people we need to make hard choices that are best for us mentally and emotionally, and that's okay. It's okay to "unfriend" people in real life or to take a step back to assess the situation. It's okay to walk away when your lives go different ways. 

So to the girl who struggles making friends, know you are not along! Know it's okay to let go of those relationships that have frayed over the years. Know it's okay to be your own friend for a season. However, never discredit the growth that comes when you challenge yourself to get outside of your comfort zone and do the thing that TERRIFIES you...meeting & talking to new people! 

Do you find yourself in a season like mine?

How have you challenged yourself to make friends?

- Madison

I Made A Dress Out Of A Bedskirt

Monday, June 1, 2020

Dress: Me Made (watch the tutorial Here)  |  Heels: Boohoo   |  Purse: Thrifted  |  Clips: Wallmart

I'm FINALLY BACK ON YOUTUBE!!! While I have been uploading and sharing my travel Vlogs to Youtube over the last two years, I haven't created any other content. I have been wanting to be more present on YouTube forever, but it took a worldwide pandemic and HOUR locked away in my studio to give me a new idea! 
Since I have been spending most of my time in Quarantine sewing in my garage (yes, my studio is in my garage) I decided it was time to start filming videos of my sewing projects, everything from behind the scenes, tutorials, fashion education, etc. 
My first Sewing Tutorial video is LIVE and I am sharing a fun Recycle & Redesign project, turning a bedskirt into a ruffly dress (the dress in this post)!
My style aesthetic lately has been largely inspired by all things ladylike, ruffly, and romantic and this DIY dress is all of that and more. 
If you want to see how I turned a thrifted Bedskirt into a Floral Spring dress, you can watch my video on Youtube or below!

Have you ever made a dress out of a bedskirt?

Would you want to see more sewing videos?

- Madison