Archive for the ‘Life’ Category


Wedding update!

February 17, 2011

So my sister’s big day is rapidly approaching – less than 2 days! I am so sorry that I haven’t posted anything more yet on here. I didn’t want to post anything that other people had not yet seen. There will be tons of pics after this weekend of all the flowers that will be at the wedding (made by yours truly!), but here’s a little something I made for them that I gave my sister at her sprinkle (it was a small shower – cute, right?).

Clay Ring Plate

Clay Ring Plate

I made them a personalized ring plate that they can use during the ceremony! Since they won’t be having a ring bearer, the rings can be tied to this plate with the ribbon and left up at the ceremony table until they need them. Then, after the wedding, they could display it by either hanging it with the same ribbon or using a plate hanger. Yay! In the back, I carved “Made with love by N.Hall.” I’m really happy with how it came out. I love working with clay! I want to start making little knick knack type things soon with it. If you have any suggestions or would be interested in ordering something, leave me a comment with your email address and I will get back to you ASAP.

In case you haven’t seen other clay creations of mine, here are two presents I’ve given Jesse. On the left is Sebastian the Ibis, mascot of the University of Miami Hurricanes. And on the right is the clay version of Jesse and I that I gave him at our rehearsal dinner.

Two of my clay creations

Two of my clay creations

I can’t wait to share more wedding stuff with you. Here’s wishing the happy couple a wonderful day on Saturday!


No, I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth…

January 11, 2011

…I’ve just been completely immersed in wedding land and had a bunch of work for my last graduate class. My sister is getting married in about a month and a week, and I’m taking on a number of major tasks for the big day.

Thankfully, it’s winter intersession, so I don’t have any grad school work. I need to try to get a huge chunk of stuff done before my new class starts the last week of January. I also just got another freelance video gig, which will add some more stress and time consumption into the mix. But it’ll also be a lot of fun. I worked with these guys last year for their promos and, well… just look at the outtakes from last year’s shoot.

It’s gonna be a good time. Looking forward to it!

WARNING: If you will be attending the wedding and do not wish to see any details ahead of time, then DO NOT continue reading!

The largest role I’m playing (besides matron of honor, of course) is that of faux florist. I’m making the centerpieces, bouquets, bouts, corsages and favors with ribbon roses. Check out my uber simple site to see examples of previous work. I really need to update and jazz that up. You know, when I have free time. HA! What’s that!?

The favors are done, so that’s one thing off the list. Here are a few of them to show you (courtesy of my terrible camera phone):

Silver/Gray Favor Roses

Silver/Gray Favor Roses

I won’t reveal any more details as far as how these will become favors, but for now just know that the various shades of silver & gray are directly related to their purpose.

I’ll show some more details in subsequent posts to keep you coming back for more. But for now, I’ll leave you with the logo I made them for their Save the Dates. I put a watermark on it so no one would steal it, so disregard the “a hallsmark design” part.

Wedding Logo!

Wedding Logo!

Let’s break that down for those of you who don’t know the happy couple. The test tube represents my sister, who is a chemistry teacher. The wrench is for her fiancee, who is a steamfitter. And the apple plays a dual role – it represents both teachers and the steamfitters! Gotta love when that works out!

I’ll check back in soon with more details, and hope to have some additional posts up in the next few days. Until then, have a great day and if you’re going to be affected by the upcoming nor’easter, be safe!


Quarter-life crisis? Perhaps

November 24, 2010

As I stated in a recent post, I’ve had a sort of mental funk overtake my world lately and I couldn’t figure out why or what to do to get rid of it. It turns out, I’m not alone.

I started wondering if this was some sort of quarter-life crisis. Since I wasn’t exactly sure what the term entailed, I began my web search. Of course, it all begins with the Wikipedia entry. Many of the emotional aspects mentioned in that post rang true for me, which I find oddly encouraging.

In 2005, ABCNews posted an article talking about the growing occurrence of the quarter-life crisis. The Huffington Post chimed in just over a year ago with a quiz to see if you were a QLC victim. Hatch Magazine even came up with a suggested soundtrack to get someone through this time in their lives. It seems many people are thinking about this topic, and that I’m not alone in this. Thank goodness!

The question now is what do I do to get out of a quarter-life crisis? There are many books on the subject, for anyone interested. For now, I’ll pull from a article and an post.

These articles suggest that I stop putting pressure on myself to know exactly what I want to be doing with my life. I should accept that these things take time, that I have plenty of time to sort it all out and that I just need to aim for shorter-term goals that are more accessible. They also say that I need to keep an open mind for new opportunities, and that all of my hobbies are important to expressing who I am. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to feel bad about wanting to do so many different things!

The best thing I got out of my research was that I should not compare myself to anyone else. Everyone goes through this time in their lives in their own way. Some people know exactly what they want to do and are fortunate enough to find it right out of school. Others need to get out in the world and test the waters before they find their fit.

My cousin Jennifer recently started her own flower business, following a personal passion and making her dream a reality. She’s only a year older than me, and creates truly beautiful floral arrangements. Seeing her drive and success both inspires and terrifies me. On the one hand, I think, “If she can make her dream come true, then I can, too!” On the other hand, I wonder, “But, what is my dream? And how in the world can I do it?”

I need to keep telling myself that it’s just not my time yet to fully bloom (flower pun intended). And that it’s okay. No small thing to keep in mind, but I have to if I’m going to keep my sanity.

As long as I keep chugging forward and being honest with myself, my current frustration and funk will pass and I’ll come out of this quarter-life crisis better than when I went into it. I just have to be patient with myself. Any advice you might have on how to do that would be greatly appreciated.

Did you experience (or are you currently experiencing) a quarter-life crisis? What steps did you take to get through it? If you’ve gone through it already, what did you learn from the experience?


Hoping to end my funk

November 8, 2010

Has it really been over a month since I wrote here? Bad blogger! Bad! My mom keeps asking me why I haven’t posted in a while, and honestly, I’m not entirely sure.

Part of it is certainly laziness, but that’s not a good enough reason. I’ve also been in a kind of mental funk lately, and I’m having a tough time shaking it. There are a million ideas swirling through my mind – things I want to do, events happening around me, obligations to fulfill, etc. Somehow, I need to sit myself down and get my brain organized because nothing is getting done this way, resulting in even more mental woes.

So, here’s what is going to happen. I will be writing here again, as well as posting any school projects I finish on my graduate school blog (put up a new one today, actually). I’m trying to clean our apartment and organize it so I can work on crafting projects that have a deadline. I hope to devise a plan to start selling some of my own work as well as other things I’ve been collecting to sell online. And I want to finally start taking care of my body and learning how to exercise. (I say learning because I have never really done it before, and I know it will be a difficult process.)

Yes, that’s an ambitious list I’m attempting to undertake. However, if I want to get myself back on track I need a plan that will accomplish some of what’s been bogging me down.

Have you experienced a similar stall in your life’s ambitions? If so, how did you get out of it? I’d appreciate any suggestions and kind words.

Until next time, I’ll keep shaking these cobwebs out of my head and get my tush in gear. Wish me luck!


Polygamy, TV style

September 27, 2010

So here’s a new show on TLC this season called “Sister Wives” – have you heard of it? In case you haven’t, please allow me to give you a brief synopsis.

The Brown family consists of husband Kody, his three wives (Meri, Janelle and Christine) and their 12 children, plus one more on the way.

Take a second to digest that.

Now add to the mix that on the first episode, Kody tells the wives that he wants to marry another woman and take in her 3 children.


When I first saw promos for this show, many thoughts ran through my head. Who came up with this show idea? Was there a demand for insight into the polygamist lifestyle? Or did the good folks at TLC just want to continue their exploration of unique family dynamics, as seen in shows such as “Little People, Big World” and “Kate plus 8?” Who is the target audience for this show? And most importantly, would it last?

I knew I would have to check it out, and thankfully I caught the replay very late Sunday night of the series premiere. I’m still watching it now as I write this post.

To say that their attitudes and lifestyle intrigue me is a dramatic understatement. Obviously, I don’t understand how they feel. They’ve all grown up in polygamist families, making the decision to be involved in this family structure a no-brainer for them. They see nothing wrong with sharing their husband, raising each other’s children and being open to adding new women to the family.

I would love to hear from someone familiar with plural marriage. Why do these women want to be involved with a man who clearly has a roaming eye? Don’t they want a husband of their own? How do they handle the news that a new wife is being added to the family? Are the women allowed to have multiple husbands, or is it only the men who are allowed this privilege? I know I could look up articles and information online about polygamy, plural marriages and sister wives, but I would rather hear from a real person.

I’m not sure yet if I will plan to watch new episodes or just catch them as I notice them in the channel listings, but I do think I would watch it again. I hope to gain more insight into these women and hope to stop viewing the husband as a total dirtbag (sorry, Kody, but that’s my gut reaction).

I’d also like to hear from you, the readers. What do you think about all this? Is this a show you might watch? Why, or why not? I look forward to your input, and perhaps a spirited debate!

UPDATE 9/28/10 – According to this article (this one too), the Brown family is being investigated by Lehi (Utah) police for possible charges of felony bigamy. Updates will follow as I read more.


Dressed for success, or for a nap?

September 5, 2010

Last week, classes began here at the university and schools nationwide should all be opening their doors this coming week (if they haven’t already). My mother also works at a university, and this weekend we were sharing our thoughts on the college student dress code we’ve noticed over the last few years.

I am floored at the number of students who deem it acceptable to attend class in their pajamas. From flannel pants to bootie shorts, torn T-shirts to spaghetti strap tanks, these young adults appear to be rolling out of their beds and into their classrooms.

This attire has always concerned me. I never went to class in pjs, and rarely left my dorm if I wasn’t showered. Sadly, I was in the minority. Everyday I saw people drag themselves to their desks (regardless of the class time or day) in various states of sleep and stank. Now working at the college, I am often disgusted by what I see (and smell) from some students.

Perhaps the students feel that by paying (or having their parents/guardians pay) for an education, they are entitled to dress however they please. Maybe they think that what they wear is irrelevant to the academic process.

These are not the only possible scenarios, but I would really love to know what makes students think that they should walk into class in their jammies.

I’ve always thought how a person dresses can be viewed as an extension of who they are as a person. By exhibiting a touch of your personality, your clothing can indicate to potential employers how seriously you take yourself and your work ethic while also giving a small insight into your character. Of course, this doesn’t tell everything about someone. I would be disheartened to hear someone founded their opinion of me only on how I dress. However, I am realistic enough to know how vain we all are and to accept that we all judge one another to some extent based on what we see.

At an academic institution, you never know who is visiting. You may pass the CEO of the company you hope to intern with as you cross the quad. The person beside you at the library could be the human resources representative for your dream job. A guest lecturer in your class might be looking for people to sign on for their new start-up. Your big break could be waiting for you at any moment.

Just as people should be aware that the material they post online might be viewed by potential employers (so no drunken party photos or obscene gestures, please), they must also realize that they are walking billboards for their future.

I’m not saying college students should always dress in suits, ties and skirts. Trust me, I don’t dress like a business professional either at work or on days off. But maybe people should consider their level of embarrassment if they were introduced to a very important person while wearing their favorite duck pajama pants.

If not out of respect for your education or your educators, take some time to wear decent clothes out of respect for yourself. Don’t misrepresent yourself and possibly miss out on a great opportunity simply because you were too tired to find your pants.

And take a shower, too. That one’s for the benefit of us all.


Angry and disgusted

July 20, 2010

Every so often, I read a story about someone that really makes me question humanity as a whole. Yesterday, one such story angered me so much that I need to share it.

While poking around AOL News, I found a story on a special-education teacher in Pennsylvania who claimed to have brain cancer. She missed plenty of work, saying she had to undergo chemotherapy treatments. Folks around her were extremely supportive and generous towards what they thought was an ill coworker. When more than a decade of this passed and the teacher had yet to exhibit symptoms, an investigation uncovered a trail of lies.

Friends, family, and loyal readers know of my deep connection to this disease. I find it difficult to fully express my disdain for this woman as she used such a horrific illness as a cover for her deceit. I would love to visit her jail cell and explain to her the deeper severity of what she’s done. Did her family watch her suffer through surgeries, treatments and their side effects? Did she have to endure the pain, anguish and frustration that real cancer patients deal with daily?

What kind of person wakes up one morning and decides to feign a devastating sickness for their own personal gain? She played on people’s sympathies and emotions, receiving acts of kindness and generosity that should have benefitted someone who actually needed them. What’s perhaps more disturbing is that she was a special-education teacher, in charge of children with varying situations that require patience, understanding and compassion. My heart goes out to the children in her classes, as they were under the care of a mentally sick individual with no regard for others.

Jail time would not be enough for this woman. She should have to work without pay in cancer treatment centers, witnessing the struggles and the extreme courage of the people who are really fighting this disease. Maybe then she could begin to understand what a terrible person she is for making those claims.

Have you heard about this woman? Are you aware of other people who have made similar claims? How do you feel after reading something like this?