well said // fall writing inspiration.

via design love fest and created by gabriella sanchez
i am a strong believer in the idea of  to write well is to read well. there are times (aka, most days) that i have no idea what to write about, or what to say quite frankly. yet, these are days that i take that cue to put down my pen and read. and to read abundantly, and often, and deeply. to notice every phrase, not just in a novel, but in  news articles, on blog posts, and on the back of my shampoo bottle. (okay, that last one may be a stretch, but you get the idea.) because, there is a lot we can learn from others and loads of inspiration & those hummm moments to be had. so i say, let's have them!

here are seven pieces of writing i have been inspired by recently. ergo, please stop reading this post and read some of these people's talented work. ah, i love fellow creatives.

one // dear american christians, by abigail green.

two// self care by kelsey marie.

 in relationships via darling magazine 

four // my bedroom studio: a metallic story by jordan stokke

five // a fall feast: friendsgiving via anthropologie blog

six // about a girl: arden wray via urban outfitters blog

seven // hyper island talks to jen gotch via bando blog (a video!)

who or what are you inspired by on a regular basis? and, do you think there is a correlation between reading and writing?

yours truly,

p.s. i used the word "ergo" in a piece of my writing. can you say "winning"? or, maybe just trying too hard.


#10encouragingdaysproject // on stopping the glorification of negativity.

about two months ago (also known as: this post is long overdue), i created a project i decided to call the "ten encouraging days project". each day, for ten days, i posted an encouraging note on social media (instagram: @cate.marg) that was on my heart that day. i tried to also make them somewhat creative and not written just on normal mediums, making it fun to experiment with type on something other than a white sheet of paper. i used the hashtag #10ENCOURAGINGDAYSPROJECT on each post along with a short caption sharing a little more behind the few word phrase. 

i created this project because i have realized in the past year or so that we as a society glorify negativity. we complain just to fill silence and always find a way to pick one dislike out of a situation. "i can't even" and "literally cannot deal right now" surface a majority of the conversations i hear at school, as girls dwell on the one unfortunate aspect of a circumstance at hand. i think that people (myself included) complain for one of two reasons, one) just to hear yourself speak or two) to find a way to relate to those around you. if you find yourself under the first reason, then i'm sorry i cannot help you. learn to be at peace with silence every once in a while, sista friends. but, the latter is more common in our lives, i think. i find myself at times desiring to keep a conversation flowing by giving in to the temptation to talk about a common negative thing both me and my company are undergoing. "can you believe that mrs. so in so assigned us that paper and expects us to get it done by tuesday?! that's ridiculous", "ugh, this weather puts me in the worst mood", or "i wish there was more [fill in the blank] here", the list goes on. these are just a few of the ways i find myself focusing on negativity. yet, let us be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. not that it has to always go into the deep parts of our lives (though there is much beauty in those moments), but that it goes beyond the weather, beyond the gossip, and beyond the present complaints. because, let's be honest with ourselves: it is easy to gossip, complain, or talk about nothing (except for us introverts; small talk is pure pain). yet, what good are we doing (for ourselves, for others) if our words are only devaluing people? it makes our words cheap and undependable. let's challenge ourselves to take genuine interest in others and not default to what is easy to talk about, when we can instead relate to others in love and light and truth.

likewise, i simply wanted to use a platform as self-focused as instagram for something other than glorifying myself and my life. at times, i can get caught up in what my life appears like via the internet (which is so, so silly-- but maybe some of you can relate) instead of what really matters. so, i took an active step to not focus on myself, but others.

i will try to stop rambling here, and let my photos speak for themselves. below each is the instagram caption i added to the photographs when i posted. 

day 1 / September 22:
"often times, it is so easy for us to get bogged down in our inadequacy, failures,  even our mundane routines that we forget how amazing it is to just be alive. so, for the next ten days, i will be sharing a daily note-to-self (equally for you as it is for me) that hopefully renews our lives for life & others & ourselves. i will try to be more meaningful than "you go girl", but no promises. here's to what I'm going to call the #10ENCOURAGINGDAYSPROJECT !! (so, if you hate excessive encouragement, plz unfollow)"

day 2 / September 23 / first day of autumn:
"don't underestimate the beauty of new seasons & changes in life. (and, the literal changing of season-- aka happy FALL, you guys!)"

day 3 / September 24:
"it's true. You really are. (i on the other day, am capable of devouring 3+ cookies in 0.0983 seconds)"

day 4 / September 26 / after i took a day break:
"in the spirit of forgetting to post yesterday...: perfection only steals joy, beauty & creativity. (plus, being perf is SO last year anyways)"

^^ my second favorite of the ten ^^

day 5 / September 27:
"repeat this to yourself daily. (especially when doing statistics homework.)"

^^ my third favorite ^^

day 6 / September 28:
"a lyric from Sara Bareilles' new song, "She Used to Be Mine": "she is messy, but she's kind". thankful for friends to share the messy & authentic stuff with. because, in our flaws we are loved & cared about, and THAT is the most beautiful thing."

day 7 / September 29:
"the three magic words-- treat. yo. self. (you deserve it.)"

day 8 / September 30 / also, the day i got new shoes:
"mid week pick-me-up. (also, pun was definitely fully intended.)"

day 9 / October 1:
"late night encouragement/inspiration from my mag of choice-- Darling. because, while I'm a big advocate for expression through style, we are more than what we clothe ourselves with & overall more than what our "outward-self" deems us to be. and, to me, there's a lot of power in that."

day 10 / October 2 / also, my birthday:
"and to conclude, 10/10: CELEBRATE! celebrate the little victories, big accomplishments, the good days, the bad days, & everything in between. it makes life a lot more fun."

^^ this was my very favorite^^


i know most friends have already seen these photographs and read these captions due to their existence on instagram, but i decided i wanted to share it with more of the world. and honestly, i am quite proud of this project. i have always been impressed with those who can follow through with day-to-day projects, and though 10 days does not even compare to a full year project, got to start somewhere, right? anyways, this project was not only fun for my creative-self, but good for the soul. sometimes it is crucial to refocus our mind on the positive things, even amidst negative circumstances.

so, how have you been encouraged recently? and, who in your life needs encouragement in this season? let's overflow with optimism, friends.

yours truly,


write it down // on the art of journaling.

( side note: my absence on the ole blog has been partially due to what this entire post is about. )

growing up, i always kept a journal or diary writing down the really dire life circumstances: which boy in my class i thought was cute or how i would never wear yellow and red together. the latter was actually so important that it received a full page in my fourth grade journal, followed by the phrase "ugh, mcdonalds!". i am proud to say that i have only broken that vow once, and with the more sophisticated shades of mustard and maroon. yet, as the teenage years rolled around and schedules began to be filled, i rarely sat down to write just for the sake of writing. unless you count the notes app on my phone or a word document (darn you, technology). i blamed its absence on my busy routine or a lack of inspiration. yet, it was those times that i really wish i would have consistently journaled. will there ever be proof that i once wore polos and khakis on a regular basis? or that paper i somehow scored an A on? and, did that time i walked out of the bathroom as a high school freshman with toilet paper on my shoe really occur? who knows, i did not journal about it. though the embarrassment or excitement of these moments is ingrained in my mind, i feel as if there were plenty more where that came from that are forgotten due to not being documented in some way.

as august rolled around this year, i reviewed my new years resolutions and was reminded of my most specific goal-- journal. other goals included deep, vague concepts like "live simply" and "maybe get bangs" (which i've decided is one big heck no). my dear friend, Sophie, gave me a beautiful journal this summer during my time in North Carolina. it is covered with a vintage-esque map print and has what i like to call "proper paper thickness" (this is a priority for yours truly). so, i decided to write again, no matter how sporadic or messy my thoughts were. i reminded myself that this is for me, and me only. (and maybe my children later in life, when i find high school breakups and tripping up the stairs funny.) for just a few minutes a day, i tried to actively pursue the art of journaling-- with a real pen and real paper-- instead of scrolling continually on my computer, only seeing my words in perfect type.

like i said a few posts back, i am a rule-follower at heart. in the past, i have set up guidelines for myself  to form a habit, saying "cate, you will journal every single day." however, the thin margin of creativity left me only seeing my notebook as a chore rather than something to abide in. so my rule was simply this: just write and let it flow naturally. as i go on month four, i now write a few pages almost daily sincerely out of pure desire to document. i am no pro on the art of the journal, but here are a few reasons why i think it is so important for all of us to do so.

one. the therapeutic aspect. somehow getting thoughts from your head to paper, can not only lift a burden from your shoulders, but even help you to figure out situations more clearly after physically seeing your words (especially without a backspace button). plus, it's a big stress reliever. particularly for the person (ahem, me) who cannot get herself to the gym if her life depended on it. 

two. kills the perfectionist. when you begin to journal, you are hesitant at first as to how to go about it. i am pretty sure my first page in this year's journal went along the lines of "hey journal. is that how you journal? anyways...". yet, by page three, you are starting to write as you would think or talk to a friend. you learn that this is your space to fill with your words, no matter how ugly or jumbled they are at times. this is one of the only instances where i would stress to be selfish-- for your only audience is the personalized pages of your journal, so if you need to write about how great your hair looks today without the fear that you are "that girl", i say go for it. 

three. documents time. this is so important and so beautiful. though a photograph can say a thousand words, so can a thousand words! write down the eventful times and the mundane days. looking back in a month, year, or ten years can be so amazing-- you can see the growth that has happened since then and reflect on how the past has shaped present-you.


therefore, i say: hey, you. go pick up a journal from target (pro tip: if you want to appear as a hardcore journal-er, purchase a moleskin) and just write. write your worries, fears, hopes, prayers, and the day-to-day stuff that you think is not noteworthy. remember to get it all out and leave nothing stirring in your mind or heart. journaling is just one way to allow you to learn the wonderful lesson of being still (in a world that tells you to go, go, go) and letting go (as you are surrounded by people who praise gossip and grudges).

but, if you are a regular journal-er, how has getting your thoughts on paper aided to you well being?

yours truly,