Random Act of Kindness

In my previous post, I had asked each of you to do something for another person that could make their day a little brighter. I had a little doubt because it is the new year and so many people are busy enough with their daily schedules to even stop and think for a moment, but I was surprised to see on Facebook the other day that my nephew took part in a very giving act of kindness.

My sister and her boyfriend Tony have three beautiful kids together. Seeing that yesterday they had off of school because of snow, they had the boys go outside and sled in the neighborhood. Right across the street, there is this awesome hill that all the kids accumulate at for a fun filled day in the snow. Nicole stayed back at the house to make some hot chocolate for the boys, but still was able to keep her eyes on them. Gage (my nephew) and Austin and Noah were out minding their own business, when a kid in his late teens, maybe early 20’s came out to see what they were up to. He had a snowboard with him and asked if the boys wanted to make a ramp with him, so that they could have some more fun. They each did their part in making this extravagent jump on the hill, and they all went flying off of it. Only a couple minutes went by, but the kids had so much fun with this older kid. He ended up having to leave for a busy night of work right down the road, but before he left, he pulled Gage to the side for a quick second. I guess he could notice Gage eyeing his snow board, so he asked him if he liked to board and if he was “regular of goofy-footed”. Gage told him what foot he led with and the kid ran inside for a quick second. When he came out he was holding this snowboard with stickers all over it. It looked pretty worn out, but it was such a cool board, with such an awesome personality. The kid came right over to Gage and said, “It’s yours now, bud!”

Gage has been begging my sister for a board for the longest time now, but they never go enough. Plus, snowboards aren’t so cheap. Needless to say, this was such a wonderful act of kindness, and Gage has been carrying the board around with him every day since then. He makes frequent trips up to his room to check if it actually happened and the board is still there.

The kid never told my sister or Gage his name, but what a great guy he was.

Gage will always remember how a random stranger gave him his first snowboard!

2015 Prints

Lately I have been obsessing over prints. Graphic prints, animal prints, anything you can imagine, I love it all. Anything you can use to spice up an outfit, whether it be a jacket, some shoes, or the smallest headband. Instead of being so matchy matchy, you can ad some flare to your outfits for this 2015 new year (which is so weird btw…2015. W0W)

Floral:

Like all other years, floral has always been a huge hit, whether it be on the runway, the stage, or everyday life. Everyone loves the way they feel when they are wearing some beautiful floral. It seems as though florals are here for good, and I am not mad at all. They are feminine but bold at the same time, and they accentuate the many different personalities of a successful woman! It might be that floral prints will stop being a trend, and start to be the real deal in the fashion world. It has been a “trend” for a very long time and maybe, just maybe, it will stay around for the long run.

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Animal:

Animal prints were covered previously in this blog, and they will continue to be a trend this Spring, but what you will mostly notice is that the animalistic colors will not only be confined to the boundaries of black and white, but be opened up to bright pinks, blues, and greens! Bright hues are again going to be a trend.

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Geometric:

Geometric prints have always been a standout for me. Although I have not gotten around to the perfect geometric print for myself, I always see a variety of ages rocking the bright colored prints all over their wardrobe. This year, different geometric prints are being designed in a perfect clash of bright and dark colors. Specifically, the most appealing prints will be in the black and white tones for those who want to stay true to their color hues.  These prints will become more popular on handbags and shoes.

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Black and White:

I have continued to stay inside my comfort zone with colors for a very long time. You can always see me wearing all black, and sometimes jumping out with a hint of color, but never too much. So, it makes me very happy to know that this 2015, black and white patterns are making their way back onto the drawing board. You will see black and white colors on pants with a variety of different patterns, ranging from polka dots to black and white florals. Another anticipated hit within black and white colors will be stripes on jackets and even on shoes. I am so excited to see how these prints will spice up my wardrobe!

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     Cannot wait to see all these different prints strutting down the street this coming Spring!

Tie the Knot? Or not!

il_570xN.549987247_gomj il_570xN.547915469_t4xu Are you looking to tie the knot, and soon? Well here at Bare and Me, we have come out with our new “tie the knot” rings that would be perfect for this specific occasion. What better way to tell someone you love them, then by presenting them with this beautiful ring.

Soon to be brides can hand out these rings to their bridesmaides for perfect bridal party gifts. Imagine looking at your best friends walk down the isle for your wedding, all wearing these beautiful rings from Bare and Me. Such a perfect piece for them to have as a simple reminder that they will always be in your heart!

These rings would also look beautiful with our stacking rings, which are provided on Etsy as well as many of our other products. What we love about our rings is that they are so simple and elegant that they can be worn alone, but paired with our other rings will make for a great statement!

These rings are made with 16 gage, heavy beaded wire. Although the ring looks as dainty as it does, the wire used makes for a very sturdy ring, and very happy bridesmaids.

Everything here at Bare and Me is handmade in our studios based specifically in Maryland. We always tribe to create the perfect gifts for not only everyday events, but the special times in peoples lives where they want something to remember it all.

If you look on Etsy, many of our pieces have a lot to do with Weddings, each having special meanings.

We make custom jewelry for all over, and like to make them special for you.

Etsy.com

Bare and Me Jewelry

Simple as that!

Tie that Knot!

GoForIt<3

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It seems as though at many points in one’s life, there is always that time where they feel like doing something different. Something out of the ordinary. Something you aren’t quite used to, but so need to get it out of your system.

I say, do it. Why overthink every possible thing in your life? This new year, I feel like I am biting off more than I can swallow, but there are so many things that I want so badly to achieve. But above all the getting into shape, trying new things, and jumping out of an airplane, I want to become a better version of myself. I know I am always one for staying true to yourself, and never changing, no matter what anybody says, but there are some things I need to do to become the best version of myself possible. I want to worry less. I want to speak my mind more. I want to walk a mile in another’s shoes before I pass judgements. Ultimately, I want to become someone that I would want to be friends with. Someone who I can trust to talk to, and always seek them out for better understand. I want to be the person that people like to be around, and honestly..I know I can do it.

Like I said, I am not trying to become a beauty queen, or a rockstar. I am not trying to become a skinnier version of myself, or alter myself physically. I just want to care less and love more.

I am by no means saying that I am a bad person, and I truly believe that I have done a lot of wonderful things in my short lived life. All I know is that I can become better. This year, and all the years to come, I am making changes, for myself, and for the people around me.

I can never change what has happened in the past. I have had friendships gone down the drain, and frankly, there is not much I can do about them at this point. You can only try so hard, and second guess yourself so much, until you do not really care anymore. I believe that everyone can change, and people can become better, and having said that, things will get better. But for now, I will continue trying to be the best person I can possibly be, continuing to focus on myself and the people who mean the most to me.

I will work harder to be successful, take chances, and continue to listen to my instincts.

I will go for it.

Cheers to you! Another Year gone… Is it what you hoped for?

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Well, another year has passed us bye.

Have you said everything you needed to say, done all of the things you wanted to do?

Me, I always try to say and do everything I set out to do but we all leave some things unsaid or undone or take the ones we “love” for granted. I for one want to change this in #2015.

Top 10 Things I want to do:

I want to live a simple life.

I want to be kind and…

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2015 Design Trends

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Now that we have adjusted to the design trends that are dwindling away, it’s time to upgrade our spaces with just a few items that will have you feeling fresh. It’s safe to say that our living spaces affect the way we present ourselves and how we live out our daily lives. For those of you that have New Years Resolutions, having a space that you love will help you accomplish who you want to be,…

View On WordPress

Cheers to you! Another Year gone… Is it what you hoped for?

tumblr_nhg7cwcSYl1tjd3opo1_500

Well, another year has passed us by.

Have you said everything you needed to say, done all of the things you wanted to do?

Me, I always try to say and do everything I set out to do but we all leave some things unsaid or undone or take the ones we “love” for granted. I for one want to change this in #2015.

Top 10 Things I want to do:

I want to live a simple life.

I want to be kind and compassionate for things I do not understand.

I want to live everyday as if it is my last.

I want to love unconditionally.

I want to not judge.

I want to be better at what I love.

I want to be a better someone.

I want to help more people just because.

I want to travel to places I have never been.

I want to be less into what I need and more of what others need.

Top 10 Things I want to say:

I want to say I understand and mean it.

I want to say NO more often.

I want to YES more often.

I want to say YES to jumping out of an airplane.

I want to say “i love you” more often.

I want to say “I am proud of you”.

I want to say “i can do that” and do it.

I want to say “really” can you re-phrase that please!

I want to say “be all you can be” to the ones that really need it.

I want to say what I feel all the time…

I think this list of mine is obtainable and I recognize the things I want to be better at and the things I want to say more often. I want to be the person that always says how she feels when she feels it. I want to live an authentic life and be meaningful to the people I love and the ones that love me. We often overlook the good and happy things in our lives and often take it all for granted. If we look at what we have and build on the future with these solid ideals, we can do anything, be anything and achieve everything…

Definition of “taking for granted:

to accept without question or objection; assume: Your loyalty to the cause is taken for granted. to use, accept, or treat in a careless or indifferent manner:

To give little attention to or to underestimate the value of, to fail to appreciate.

Synonyms:

Trust, rely on, accept, accredit, admit, attach weight to, be certain of, be convinced of, be credulous, be of the opinion, buy, conceive, conclude, consider, count on, credit, deem, fall for, give credence to, have, have faith in, have no doubt, hold, keep the faith, lap up, place confidence in, posit, postulate, presume true, presuppose, reckon on, regard, rest assured, suppose, swallow, swear by, take as gospel, take at one’s word, take for granted, take it, think, trust, understand.

Antonyms:

Abandon, deny, disbelieve, discard, dismiss, dispute, disregard, exclude, forget, ignore, neglect, refuse, reject, distrust.

I wish all of you love, happiness and the best life has to offer in #2015.

Just remember taking people for granted in your life is the one thing that you should recognize and change in 2015.

2015 Design Trends

Now that we have adjusted to the design trends that are dwindling away, it’s time to upgrade our spaces with just a few items that will have you feeling fresh. It’s safe to say that our living spaces affect the way we present ourselves and how we live out our daily lives. For those of you that have New Years Resolutions, having a space that you love will help you accomplish who you want to be, what you want to change, and keep your resolutions in check the entire year.

Simplicity. The first trend you are going to see is simplicity. I do not mean minimalism. I mean using tone-on-tone throughout the space. In the photo below, you can see the simplicity in the design, yet it doesn’t look “sterile.” Just clean, comforting, warm, and inviting. The designer used a palette of grays while mixing in a few different tones and textures to create interest.

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Bold Color and Pattern Mixing. This is almost the opposite of the first trend but still is considered a big trend this year. Designers and clients are not afraid to use color, and not just create an accent wall, but bold color throughout a space. Some colors trends that you are going to see this year are stunning olive greens, bold cobalt blues, and bright turquoise. Personally, I am a fan of cobalt blue throughout a space. Bold color also goes hand-in-hand with bold pattern mixing. Most spaces that you’ve seen throughout 2014 had a neutral color with a couple patterns thrown in. Get ready to get creative and colorful this year, while still achieving a styled, well put together space.

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Juxtaposition. One of my favorite things to do throughout design, is to create juxtaposition in choice of materials and product. Mixing old or classic pieces with new or contemporary pieces create a space that is different. Taking a classic Queen Anne chair and upholstering it with a contemporary fabric or having a contemporary living room with an oil portrait painting, creates an interest that the mind wouldn’t normally pair together. Classic or traditional design styles with a twist of contemporary accents will be a favorite trend of mine this year.

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These were just a few of what 2015 has in store for us. Let me know in the comments below of what you want to hear next! Happy New Year!

Xo,
Jessica Calkins

Home for the Holidays

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One of the biggest things I miss about being home is the smell of my house. I am pretty sure my mom has something baking or on the stove at all hours of the day, because that is just who she is. She has a knack for cooking and baking, and someday I hope I am as talented as she is.

My favorite is when I come home and I smell cookies baking in the oven, especially around the holidays.

So for this post, here is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe found on pinterest!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (use cream cheese in a block or spreadable, don’t use fat-free, light or whipped)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used 1 cup chips and 1 1/4 cups chunks)

DIRECTIONS:

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, cream cheese (measure it by smooshing it into a 1/4-cup measure), sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).

Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.

Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made 28). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.

Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat or spray with cooking spray and place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark. They have chewy edges with soft, pillowy centers). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

This is not an original recipe, although I wish it was.

ENJOY

Thought Catalog: On Being Happy

f3fa3f36addbfbef6695c23d1313004bEverybody has their morning agenda, and by that, I mean the things that you do without even realizing it. For instance. Every morning when my eyes open from a long night sleep, I click snooze on my phone exactly three times before I realize that I need to be an actual human being and do actual human being things.

I sit up, let me feet dangle over the bed while I gather my surroundings, because lord knows I am still half asleep from my rough night of studying and writing silly papers for silly college. Once my surroundings are a bit in place, I take that first eager yet still a bit hesitant, step. I make my way to the bathroom, tripping over a couple of shoes on the way, and YOWWW, who put those heels there? Once I make it to the bathroom I examine myself in the mirror and shake my head because I forgot to wash my makeup off from the night before AGAIN! Why do I always do this? Laziness at its finest people. I wipe off the mascara and the eyeliner, brush my teeth for two minutes, gargle some mouthwash, and here is where it gets interesting. I put the water in the facet on the coldest it could possibly get. I wait for it to get to maximum coldness so I put the toilet seat down and sit, and wait, and sit and wait. Once I think the water is as cold as possible, I form my hands into a makeshift bowl and go to town. I think I throw water on my face about ten times before the job of waking up is really done. The makeup is gone, the eyes aren’t puffy, and best of all, the color is back in my cheeks. There she is. There is Haley. Then, I make my way back to my room, turn on my curling iron, and while that is heating up, I make a cup of coffee.

I am very particular about my coffee, as I am sure most everyone is. My mother got me hooked sophomore year of high school, and I have been a goner ever since. And as I sit here writing this, I am thinking to myself, “Why in the hell would you brush your teeth and then drink coffee?” Oh gosh, that just is silly. I really need to rethink my morning rituals.

Like I said, coffee. Drinking coffee. I love Hazelnut creamer, so after the coffee is done brewing I poor the creamer in for exactly three seconds. 1 mississippi 2 mississippi 3 mississippi. And there you have it. A lot of creamer and a little coffee.

I come back upstairs, coffee in hand, and go to my favorite website. Thought Catalog. Oh, how I love this site.

“Launched 1 February 2010, Thought Catalog is a website dedicated to your stories and ideas”

Thought Catalog is a blog site where many different people can put their thoughts into words, and share those words with the world.

It is an amazing idea, and that is why I read it each and every day.

Many of the posts are funny, fun loving, thoughtful, and just downright weird. But many make you think. And that is what I really love.

So today, like many other days, I am skimming through the blogs when I come across a title that stands out to me.

“How to Not Be Terrified of Being Happy”

The author speaks of happiness being this utopia, or this mystical world that  nobody truly understands the concept of. That somehow, some shape or form, we are always trying to do better than we already have. That we cant stop moving or doing more because things will just fall apart, “like a house of cards”.

Instead of being happy for the things that are going well in our lives, many of us worry about when it will be taken from us, like a game of hide and seek.

I have this problem where sometimes I feel like I do not deserve to be happy. That the people around me deserve better. Because of that feeling, I have a lot of anxiety. Anxiety about life, relationships, friendships, family, school. Everything scares me. It doesn’t mean I stop going about my daily routine, but sometimes I think that I don’t take things for what they are. I over think. “Things are amazing now, but that wont last.”

You may get your heart broken.

People may not like you.

You might not get your dream job.

You might upset your loved ones.

But that will pass, and you will once again, be happy.

“Avoiding happiness just so you can avoid the sting of eventually losing it will ruin you.”

Periods of Joy

Periods of Difficulty

Periods of Love

Periods of Heartbreak

I do not think I have ever read something that has hit so close to home for me. You can learn so much from a 500 word blog. I hope that one day I can meet the writer and thank them for opening my eyes to a world that can be full of happiness and love.

So. Morning rituals can be robotic, and boring, and annoying, but this particular morning, it was a great one.