How To: Follow Through on Your New Year's Resolutions

social-curator-01-2018-45.JPG

If you're anything like me, you may be thinking what resolutions? I don't know what you're talking about... But I'm here to tell you that it's not over yet! Just because you may have fallen off the resolution wagon doesn't mean that you should give up on them all together, my dear! 

It's easy to go a week or two without doing any active work on all those goals and changes you decided to make this year, and it's also completely okay to take a little break. BUT a break is not forever, and sooner or later, you'll have to get back into things.

Check out the tips below to help with committing to all of your new year, new me goals!  

1. The Buddy System

There's a couple of different ways that resolutions with a partner can work--both of which operate on the idea that you are not the only person to hold yourself accountable. 

Maybe you and your best friend are trying to hit the gym a few times a week together, or quit biting your nails, or perhaps having more family meals at the kitchen table. If you and your pal have the same resolution, you can help to remind and encourage each other, and you can actually engage in the activities together. Everything is more fun with a few friends!

An alternative solution involves mutual moral support for different goals. You and your friend/sibling/partner create a supportive alliance so that you can nag her about swearing less and she can slap your hand away from your biting mouth. What fun!

2. Baby Steps 

Making a big change in your habits is difficult, and many resolutions require a lifestyle shift. Whether you're trying to eat-in more, spend more time with family, or learn French, you're going to have to change your current habits to be successful with your new ones.  

Making changes is hard, so even if your resolution is a much bigger shift, start with something small that you can change every single day. Maybe you're going to make your bed, or set out your clothing the night before, or do your dishes immediately after you use them. Whatever you choose--make it manageable. 

Over time, add more small changes to your day-to-day task list, and watch your entire lifestyle transition. As you're making little changes, start focusing on the big one(s) too!

3. Write it Down 

There are loads of small things you can do to encourage yourself every day, and communicating with yourself is a great way to start! My three preferred methods of self-communication are reminder notes, journal entries, and my planner. 

  • Make a few sticky-notes with important tasks, bits of encouragement, and gentle reminders for around the house. After a while, they'll start to blend in, so rewrite them on different colors and put them in a new place!

  • Write a to-do list for every day or week. Put small things like laundry as well as bigger things like be nice to strangers. Cross things off when they're finished.

  • Start a journal to keep track of your thoughts and feelings as you live and grow, but don't put too much pressure on it. It's okay if you don't have time to write every day, or even every week. But writing to yourself is a great introspective tool.

  • Lastly, get a planner, or use your phone to organize your tasks and responsibilities. Physically writing things out has a therapeutic quality for me, but just having all of your plans organized into one place will make you feel much more on top of things.

4. Don't Quit

As is mentioned at the beginning of this post, it's easy to break our New Year's Resolutions once we take a few days or weeks off. Rather than give up after a period of inactivity, just start fresh. 

The New Year isn't the only time to make a big change--in fact it may not even be the best time for each individual. Revisit your goals every month, and even if you haven't done a thing towards them by June--start there! You've still got half a year to change your life!

5. Remember That You're Human

At the end of the day, we must remember not to put too much pressure on ourselves. If your plans for change aren't going as well as you had hoped, that's okay! No one will ever be perfect, and sometimes a monumental change is a little too much to hold on to.

Don't be discouraged by failure; think of failure as a new starting point. If this isn't your year in one way, it's bound to be in another. Look for the changes that you're making without even realizing, and try to encourage those! Grow naturally, and enjoy the struggle a little. Because if change wasn't a bit of a struggle, what would be the point of it all anyway? 

Tell us how your personal growth is coming along! 

Don't forget to follow Mod Bettie on Instagram! 

Valentine's Day Discounted Sessions are NOW available for booking!

Bio.jpg

How To: Write a Love Note

machine-writing-1035292_1280.jpg

Let’s pretend that we’re waltzing through the ballroom of an Elizabethan manor—corsets cinched tightly across bosoms and hands clutching layers of sheer fabric. Or perhaps it’s 1916 and you’re daydreaming about your honey coming home from the front line—imagining the quickening of each breath as you hold each other. It could even be 1974, and you’ve just arrived at your Aunt Martha’s house for the whole summer, lamenting over how you won’t be seeing your sweetie for three entire months. What choice do you have but to pen word after word of careful and adoring prose for your darling?

While it may seem rather archaic in today’s technological world, the effort and intimacy that goes into a handwritten (or typed) love letter will not go unnoticed by your partner, and writing down your affections is a great way to reflect on how wonderful, sexy, and special that person is for you.      

Love notes don’t need to be Shakespearean sonnets, but they’re a nice way to come right out and say how you feel about your love. Whether you want to write a steamy description of everything you’d like to do when you get home from work tonight, a list of all the reasons you’re happy to be with someone, or a heartfelt note reminiscing about the joys you’ve experienced with your partner over the years, this guide will help you get started.

This guide is split up into three styles of notes to get you started, but most of the tips and tricks will be helpful regardless of what type of letter you’re trying to write.

Naughty and Oh So Nice

Oh baby, if you want to get him hot and bothered, details are key. Sexy love notes are a really fun way to get your partner turned on and thinking of you, and he can keep the naughty gift to read over and over.

pencil-918449_1280.jpg

When you’re writing any type of personal letter, you want to try to have a conversational tone—there’s no need to be formal—so reading what you’ve written out loud is an easy way to see if it sounds like normal speech or not. Starting by telling why you wanted to write a letter is a good way to begin naturally, and you can transition into the descriptions from there.

i.e. “Hey honeybun, I’m sitting at work and I can’t stop thinking about last night, so I wanted to write you a little note telling you about all my favorite parts…”

Once you get into the meat of the note, don’t be afraid to be specific about what exactly is so sexy about what your partner does, or what sexy things you want to do. Here are some example sentences:

I love the way your hands move so slowly/quickly/roughly down my inner thigh/hips/back…

I want to kiss from your jaw to your belly button and then…

Let me wrap my legs/arms around your hips/shoulders as you pull of my shirt/bra…

Something to remember is that as the author of this note, you are creating the voice behind it, and you can be as tasteful or as provocative as you’re comfortable with.

Sentence Starters:

  • I love how you…

  • Remember when I…

  • When you do (sexy thing), it makes me feel…

  • I want to/you to…

  • I like it when…

Check out the word banks below for ideas of different words you can use to mix things up:

words.jpg

Hot Grammar Tip: Don’t forget that most adjectives can be changed into adverbs like softly, slowly, and roughly!

2017-11-2117.45.53.jpg

Steamy Tip: While you’re perfectly welcome to use bold terms like penis, cock, dick, vagina, pussy, clit, etc, you can also allude to those areas without being as blatant. For example, instead of saying, I love when your dick is in my pussy, try, I love the way you feel inside me. Or rather than, I could feel your hard cock against me, you can say, I could feel how excited you were as my hand reached between your legs. This is not to say there’s anything wrong with the first sentences, but if you don’t ever speak that way, you may not feel comfortable writing that way either.

To finish up our tips for a smokin’ love note, here’s a brief example of a few lines:

…We climbed into the backseat of my car. I was wearing that silky yellow skirt with no panties, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was playing softly from the radio. I remember your lips tracing the length of my neck and the way our breathing seemed to match up. It was cramped so we decided to get out of the car, and you gently laid me down on my back across the hood. Your head was haloed by the light of the moon above you, and the car creaked beneath my shoulder blades…

Overall, just remember to have fun with it—your lover is going to enjoy whatever sexy little story you come up with!

Love Lists

Love lists are my favorite type of I love you to give to my partner, and I think they’re the easiest and most fun to write. Essentially, a love list is just a list of things/reasons/memories that you love about your dearest, but it’s not quite as simple as a numbered or bullet point list (though you can always make one of those too!). Think about Harry’s speech at the end of When Harry Met Sally, and that’s pretty much exactly it.

note-2527454_1280.jpg

I generally pick a theme for a love list, so here are some possible themes:

  • Cute things your darling does without realizing

  • Plans for lots of things you want to do together in the future

  • Things that your cutie may not like about themselves that you love

  • As many inside jokes as you can think of

  • Your favorite memories of times that were especially funny/romantic/etc

Sometimes a love list will be embedded in a different sort of love letter, like a general note where you’re telling your honey how much you love and miss them, and you insert a list of things you miss about them, but love lists make really pleasant stand-alone notes too.

Love lists can also make fun sexy notes if you want to list some of your favorite lovemaking moments, or favorite things you do when getting it on. In general, they’re very versatile!

On to the examples! My love lists usually follow a structured form where I repeat the same few words for the beginning of each sentence in the list. The following example shows how you can make a hypothetical love list about things that haven’t even happened yet:

…I can’t wait to keep learning and growing with you by my side. Let’s pick some really exciting grad schools together. Let’s save money for a trip in the next six months. Let’s keep loving each other (not hard at all). Let’s find new jobs and think about new cities to set our goals on. Let’s not forget about the creative outlets that we’re passionate about. Let’s make some huge pots of soup. Let’s go to a nice restaurant and get a little dressed up. Let’s watch some movies. Let’s go visit my parents. Let’s go to Chicago this autumn. Let’s make some art together. I love you so much. Let’s get a puppy…

Love lists can be about so many things—they can really focus on a bigger picture, or they can be very specific. They can encourage growth, or they can reminisce about times past. Here’s another example of a love list that focuses on very specific details:

…You’re simply the loveliest person I know, which makes it especially convenient that I get to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you at 3:30 in the morning when I’m sticky because I’m so hot in our sweaty apartment, and despite my attempts to inch away from your warmth, you follow me across the bed and say “hi” and make kissy noises. I love you when you try to force me to share food with you, but then you finish it anyway. I love you when you tickle me and I crumble to a heap on the floor as a means to escape. I love you when you fall asleep for three hours in the afternoon and don’t text me back, and I know you’re fine, but I still worry anyway. I love you when you’re groggy after a nap and just want to hug. I love you when I wake up first and tell you that you should get up soon, but you’re naughty and still in bed when I get out of the shower. I love you when I forget to reply to a text and you ask how I’m doing because you got a little worried even though it’s only been twenty minutes. I love you in the morning when I have soft dreams of us making love and awaken to do just that—eyes closed as our mouths find each other for sleepy kisses. I love you when you tell me I’m soft...

Love lists are the best when they’re very specific details. They can be serious, romantic, funny—anything. They’re guaranteed to make your belovèd feel extra special, and it’s always easy to think of things that you adore.

Regular Ole’ Love Letters

For a general love letter, you can really write about whatever you’d like. These can get extremely sentimental and mushy, but really, what’s the point of writing any declaration of love that isn’t sentimental and mushy?

love-1945681_1280.jpg

I generally encourage writing how you feel, and not being afraid to be too sappy or over-romantic—that’s the point! If you think about your lover all the time, write, I think about you all the time. Throw in those little specific details, but don’t fixate on making them perfect. I think if you’re going for a classic love letter, you should be as over-the-top as possible. Here’s an excerpt:

I want to be near you every hour of the day, though I’m especially fond of the early mornings when we’re barely awake and full of sleepy kisses, whispered sighs, and peaceful breathing.

There’s no one else like you and the fact that I managed to find you and that I get to keep you, well, I’m honestly the luckiest girl in the world. I hope you never tire of my cliché declarations of love, because I’m so stuffed with them that if I don’t express them periodically, I will actually burst with all the love I have for you, you incredible, wonderful, lovely boy. I feel like the more I tell you, the more I want to tell you! I love you, I love you!

Gushy? Check! Ridiculously emotional? Check! Heartfelt? Absolutely. However, you’ll notice that of the three types of love notes that we’ve covered in the guide, this one is the least specific to either the writer or the receiver of the note. If you’d like to incorporate all three styles into one letter, all the better!

And of course, if you’re looking for the entire package, spend some time writing a few love notes, and book a Mod Bettie session to really knock your lover’s socks (and the rest of their clothes) off.

Tell us your favorite writing tips!

Don't forget to follow Mod Bettie on Instagram!

Bio.jpg

DIY: Pressed-Leaf Greeting Cards

Living in Michigan means we pay a lot of attention to our foliage—specifically around the time of year that we associate with pumpkins, sweaters, doughnuts, cider, spooky stories, and all that jazz. Yes, we’re talking autumn (or as those of us who like to make fun of people when they trip call it, fall).

The surest sign that fall is coming must be leaves! We’ve got our yellows, our oranges, our reds, browns, and even a few purples here and there. The smattering of colors we see across a stretch of woodland this time of year is genuinely breathtaking, and since I was a little girl, I’ve always been fond of collecting the most beautiful specimens for pressing, saving, and crafting with.

Pressed Leaves - S. Hurd

When one has a large collection of pressed leaves, one must decide what to do with them. I love them most of all when I can showcase them, so I generally opt for framed collages, scrapbook pages, and—my personal favorite—greeting cards, which is what this blog is about.

Now when you begin a leaf-pressing project, don’t forget that the pressing process takes a week or so. Once pressed, the leaves pretty much stay in that form indefinitely (I have a shoebox full of pressed leaves and flowers that are probably around ten years old).

You’ll want to start with a thick, hardcover book. Growing up, I always used my mother's copies of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology (fitting for October, don't you think?). I wouldn’t recommend using a book that’s incredibly special because shoving leaves between the pages can damage the book over time causing staining, wrinkly pages, and spine separation. I like to try to put at least an inch of space between each leaf as I fill a book in, and be sure the leaves don’t have any moisture from outside on them.

Pressed Leaves 2 - S. Hurd

The leaves you press should be freshly collected—once they start to dry out and wrinkle, they won’t fully flatten as easily. I usually give my leaves a week at minimum, but you can check on them after a few days and see how flat and crisp they’re looking. Once the leaves have been fully pressed, you’re ready to start crafting!

Greeting Card Supplies:

-       Cardstock

-       Patterned/Scrapbooking Paper

-       Liquid Multipurpose Glue

-       Scissors

-       Colored Pencils/Markers (optional) 

Leaf Supplies - S Hurd

Start with a long rectangle of cardstock and fold it in half to make the card base. Because the cardstock is much thicker than regular paper, I usually use an object, often the long part of a pen or the handle of my scissors, to smooth down the crease where the card is folded several times pushing down hard against the table.  

As for the size of the card, it’s really up to you. I usually just use whatever paper I have lying around, so my sizes always vary. My personal favorite for the base of the card is not actually cardstock, but watercolor paper—it offers nice texture to the card.

Once you have your card base, cut out rectangles of patterned paper to put on the front of the card—one or two layered offers a bit of depth. I usually eyeball the squares and cut them by hand—they don’t need to be perfect in my opinion.  Glue them on by smearing the entire back of each piece with glue and smoothing it onto the card base.

Glue Paper - S Hurd

Once you have your patterned paper on the card, just start playing! Try different leaf combinations and arrangements until you find what looks nice. Sometimes I’ll do a few of the same type of leaf together, sometimes I’ll go for different color combinations, and sometimes I’ll just do one leaf if I’ve really got a showstopper.

Cover the backs of the leaves with glue, and place them on one at a time. Once they’re in place, you can write a little greeting on the front if you like, or you can just wait and write on the inside.

To finish up, take your card, place a piece of paper towel over the top to catch any glue oozes, and stack a few books on top of the card to press it flat overnight. And voilà, you’ve got handmade, seasonal greeting cards!

Greeting Cards - S Hurd

What’s your favorite fall-inspired craft?

Don't forget to follow Mod Bettie on Instagram!

Bio.jpg