Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Sale Rack > Blogging Party Exchange

Caridigan/Jeans: H&M, T-shirt: Gift, Rosette: Gift, Necklace: Suubi, Boots: Rocket Dog, BumBag: Epoh, Handbag: A gift from my Aunt Barbara! (She made it for me!! I LOVE IT!!)

A few weeks ago I was paired with the beautiful Lauren (from Traded Dreams) for the 2012 New Year Blogging Party over at Casey Leigh's blog! Lauren is such a sweetheart and her blog is amazing! Her and her husband adopted a beautiful little boy from Ethiopia and are now in the process of bringing home another little one from Ghana! After reading through her blog and emails back and forth, I mentioned that I was going to an adoption conference in Georgia (I'll explain that in another post!). I know that we live in a big wide "small" world, but I still wouldn't have seen what was coming. She was going to the SAME conference! What were the chances!? I think I was the most blessed blogger in this whole exchange because I got to meet my pair! And let me tell you, you will definitely want to visit Lauren at her blog, she is such a lovely and inspiring girl! As part of the gift exchange, Lauren gifted me this adorable "Love One Another" T-shirt and my new favorite accessory, this yellow rosette! Thanks Lauren! See what I gave her here! ♥, mK

Monday, January 30, 2012

Priorities and The Hand-Mixer

A couple weeks ago, my friend Megan over at And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson and I began chatting quite a bit on priorities and simplifying our lives. A lot of people talk about this around new years and often times make resolutions to make it a reality. Megan and I didn't want to just talk about it, we wanted to implement it into our every day lives and encourage others to do the same!

It's so easy to feel like everyone else has their lives together when we look in on their highlights reel, aka Facebook, blogs, twitter, etc. Who doesn't want to share about the good things happening in their life? I mean, what person posts photos of the day they were humiliated, the day they were sick and covered in tissues,  or writes posts about sitting around all day watching tv with out any friends to call? Maybe there are a few, but the truth is that we love to share about the good in our lives. I know I do. It's way more fun to share the highlights and its a great thing to be positive! But this weekend, I was reminded of just how refreshing it is to also hear about other people's struggles, not so that I can laugh at how lame they are, but rather to be reminded that I am not the only one with "hand-mixer moments".

Ok, so you are probably wondering what I mean by "hand-mixer moment". It's actually quite humorous, and I really wanted to share it with you all today. It may change your opinion of me, but I am completely okay with it because I am not a rainbows and ponies type of girl! I am not always up! The story goes as this, just a month after moving to Nashville, Dustin and I were finding ourselves extremely bored. We had settled into our apartment, decorated it and did all we really could within our financial budget. We didn't have extra cash to go out all the time so we ended up getting to know Jim and Pam Halpert dangerously all too well. (That's The Office, for those of you who do not watch it) One evening I decided to cook up an amazing dinner for Dustin and I... and the four other empty chairs around our hospitality sized dinning table. However, despite my extreme efforts to be positive, the frustration of feeling alone was beginning to boil inside. I had cooked a half dozen potatoes and reached for the hand mixer, salt, milk and butter to turn those spuds into some tasty mashed potatoes. Knowing that only Dustin and I would enjoy this mouth watering dish, tears of anger began to take route down my face. My dear husband didn't realize what he was getting himself into when he began to engage in the situation. Just like a light switch, I flipped. I screamed "I hate it here" and began stabbing those poor potatoes with the electric hand mixer. Potatoes flung all over the wall, my clothes, the floor, but the sudden release of anger taken out on those innocent potatoes never felt sooo refreshing. Smoke started filing out of the little motor of the mixer and I was not finished, stab stab stab and the metal beaters were bent in half, potatoes all over the kitchen. I looked at my husband and to my surprise he said "Feel better? I'm jealous I didn't get to break something!"

Okay, so I am sure you all are thinking I am crazy, but the truth is we ALL have moments of shear frustration. We all struggle with things, we all go through hard times. There is no way of escaping it. And, we can't be afraid to share it! We can find great support in sharing our hardships. Sure, there is a point where we need to be balanced and guarded of who we share with, but it is important and very healthy to allow people to help us carry the load when we are too weak to stand tall.

Today, Megan and I are both writing about our mission to bring simplification to our lives. Neither one of us have 'arrived' yet and this Friday, we are inviting you to write a post about how you have or are trying to prioritize or simplify your life and then join us here to link up and share with other bloggers and readers. If you feel like you just can't seem to get everything done, you are not alone! Both Megan and I will be sharing more in depth, our individual goals to live a more wholesome life by realizing our priorities and cutting out the unnecessary things that take away from things like family, husbands, joy, etc.

We do hope you will join us! In the meantime, enjoy your Monday! Take time to relax, enjoy your loved ones and eat a good meal! ♥, mK
Top Photo: Source

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wanna Sponsor FTGR?

February is right around the corner! Wow! If you are looking to partner up and get your blog or shop name out there, I'd love to invite you to sponsor FTGR! You can learn more about sponsorship right over here! ♥, mK

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Guest > Filmmaker/Photographer Andrew Hewson

I am thrilled to introduce you to this week's guest, filmmaker & photographer Andrew Hewson of Grey Area Productions. I met Andy many years back while he was working with a Film School in Australia. He has gone on to do many amazing things in his field including the documentary Sex + Money which he will talk about in the interview. Dustin and I had the awesome privilege of being able to view the film while it was touring this past fall. I'm so excited that Andy has taken the time to be my guest today and share his heart on film and photography! Thanks for joining the conversation today, it's gonna be good!

mK: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Andrew: Well, I was born and raised in a small country town in Southern New Zealand, had a farm with sheep, four other brothers and sisters and went to a school that had a total of 30 students. Family moved to the city when I was twelve to be closer to grandparents and have been here ever since. After High School I spent three years traveling the world, mission work in Asia, Photography in Canada and studied film in Hawaii. Currently back home in New Zealand helping to rebuild our quake ruined city of Christchurch.

mK: What got you started in film making & photography?
Andrew: I have always wanted to be involved with movies and TV. When I was young and insecure I gravitated towards the acting side of things because I wanted to be famous. Then after a great disappointment with the casting of a major film I was restored to my correct place in film making - behind the camera.

MK: What has been your experience in starting your career in film/photography?
Andrew: My focus has never been on making it. As far as I see it, if you want to 'make it' you have to sell something along the way. And I only ever do projects that are close to my heart so selling out of those would be abandoning my own heart. I started photography and film making out of a love for beauty and that's how it will stay, if it doesn't it will not longer be art.

mK: What have been some of your favorite projects to work on?
Andrew: My favorite is the project I am currently working on, its about the High Country of New Zealand which is some of the breathtaking scenery we have and its under threat. It's something that is very close to my heart as I grew up in that countryside and its also in my opinion the most beautiful spot in the world.

mK: What are some of the challenges you have faced working in your industry?
Andrew: Early on I really struggled with feeling like I had to make things like everybody else did if it were to be successful. But that is an awfully restrictive place and my direction has been to avoid anyone or anything that wants to restrict or change what I have inside of me. I'm not interested in making anything that isn't in my heart so it's alienated me a bit and means my work hasn't been widely viewed, but I have a belief that if its good enough it will be seen.

The Lovely Lucas & Rachael from Grey Area Productions on Vimeo.

mK: What is your approach to what you do? Does it have greater meaning to you?
Andrew: If its something that I can't connect with on a heart level that I won't do it. Everything I choose to do has great meaning in it because I create from the heart and it's like putting a piece of me in everything I do.

mK: Do you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring film makers and photographers?
Andrew: Don't prostitute your heart and dreams in the name of making it. 'Making it' is a sham in itself and an empty lie. Get a clear vision and a clear agenda and objective while your young and never stray from it. If something doesn't line up with your heart then forget it even if it means your going to get 'experience' and get 'into the industry'. You can only sell out once and most people do it while they are young and spend the rest of their empty lives wishing they had just stuck with their first love. I definitely haven't 'made it' but from where I am, that's what I see.

mK: You were part of the documentary, Sex + Money, tell us a bit about that project.
Andrew: Sex+Money started about four years ago with a group of young journalists traveling around the world documenting injustice. From their discoveries they published a book called, Sex+Money: A Global Search for Human Worth. Since it's release they became aware that the issue of Human trafficking wasn't just an international problem but a domestic problem. In response to this a documentary was created focused directly on the United States, Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth. After filming and editing for two years we recently finished up a 50 State tour in December screening the film in two cities in each state.

mK: How did you get involved with working on this film?
Andrew: A class mate of mine from Film School has always been very committed to global injustice and seeing much depth and potential in her we stayed in contact after School and when she Produced this idea I was asked to help film it.

mK: What was it like working on a film that sheds light on a social issue of this sort?
Humbling and overwhelming. At first I found it hard to connect with the issue as it was in a foreign country. Of course I found it horrific but to care from a heart level it took some time to sink in and for me to feel as though I would if it were in my own country or happening to my own friends or family. It seems like such a massive issue that is so far gone to try and combat or turn around, but the truth is we were born to end injustices and combine as a people to see an issue through. So at times it was hard to see if we were actually making a difference but then we had amazing glimpses of people getting set free or courageous stories that set you alight to burn even more.

mK: What was it like to be a man working on this documentary, hearing the stories of women so greatly effected by men in their lives?
Deeply confronting and quite painful at times. We all have our histories that we wish never existed but they make us who we are. For me it was painful to see how I have personally contributed to the brokenness of certain women in my life and how I in a way had been part of this great machine that has been tearing women apart and sexualizing them since the beginning of time. It's also been empowering because I see so clearly now that the responsibility lies with the men. If we loved and protected our women as we should, as we were born to, as we secretly desire to, then all of these problems would be nothing but stories. I'm not talking about just your sister, your girl friend, your wife and her friends but every girl, young and old. Treating them as if they were your own and remembering that the girl you hold in your arms is someone's daughter and although she may seem tough and happy, ALL girls need safety and love. Women were born to be protected and Men were born to protect them. We have a lot to learn from women, its a great credit to them that they can love through thick and thin, you hear story after story of broken and abusive relationships where the woman stays with the man who is destroying her, it's because its in her nature to commit and love through thick and thin. Sure she has found love in the wrong place but at least she is living what she was born to do.

mK: What has been the most impacting or memorable part of the tour?
Meeting a sixteen year old girl from California who was taken from her home town and trafficked to Mexico and we interviewed her two weeks after being home. She sat in the chair in front of the camera and had animals on her slippers and pajamas on with her Mother and brother and sister off to the side. It was then it hit my heart, this was a girl, a young innocent girl, like my own sister that age, yet when she spoke and cried those words should never come out of a girls mouth her age. I think she broke a lot of people on the team and from there it was personal. The Producer of the film has really taken her under her wing and she is growing up to be the most amazing woman.

mK: What do you, as part of the crew, hope to accomplish with this documentary?
Andrew: Awareness as always was the first and primary goal of the documentary. Its scary how its been going on so long and how few people know it exists or are prepared to accept that it exists. I know for myself after the first year of filming I came home at Christmas and my American cousins were there and they all asked me what I had been doing and I told them. They said, 'surely not' and 'no that doesn't go on in our state' and I had to say well actually we just spent a few weeks filming specifically in your state. Its a mixture of not knowing what it looks like and non-education of what makes it up, like the proceedings to prostitution and a blatant selfishness and refusal to accept that other peoples freedom is your responsibility as well.

mK: What's next for you now that the tour is complete?
The Tour was the longest thing I've ever done, living on a bus with 15 people for 5 months and driving across every state multiple times! No personal space, time or choice so I am happily home back in New Zealand and working on local projects close to my heart and focusing on how I can help the rebuild of our quake-destroyed city and its people.

mK: For those who have not seen Sex & Money, will they be able to purchase a DVD or see it else where?
You can buy the film and merchandise from our website: www.sexandmoneyfilm.com - You can also sign up for a mailing list and get connected locally in your city or state to help.
mK: Any final thoughts on the film Sex + Money?
A lot of things have to change in this world, but it all starts with ourselves. Let's get rid of our own shame and forgive where necessary, then we can start with a clean slate and begin to think about helping the greater cause of humanity. I think the most important thing is that even though the documentary will open your eyes to things you hope weren't around, there is so much joy coming out of all of this. I've never seen humanity get behind an issue and pour time and resources into something collectively. And it goes further than just the current 'cool' injustice phase. Slavery will end in our lifetime.

mK: What is your favorite film?
Man on Fire. Interesting choice for a favorite I know, but I choose that because that film had a major impact on me and was a clear vision of the type of film I saw myself creating. It hit me at a pivotal time in my life and fulfilled what I felt in my heart towards effective film making.

mK: As with all my guests, I like to ask: As a guest in someone's home, what meal would you hope to be fed?
Fresh fruit & Vegetables.

mK: As a host, what would you choose to serve your guests?
Lamb Roast! 

In addition to Sex + Money, we both recommend taking the time to check out the blog, Good Women Project as well as the film, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls -The Human Trafficking Documentary by the International House of Prayer [IHOP]. Since Dustin and I are in Nashville, a Nashville-based organization I also recommend to checkout is Abolition International.

Thanks again, Andy, for sharing your story and being a beacon of light to this dark world through art! For those of you reading, Andrew has his own blog that you can read and follow HERE, as well as Facebook Here! If you have comments or questions for Andrew, all comments below will be forwarded onto him. Or you can contact him via Facebook! Have a wonderful Wednesday! ♥, mK
Photos: All photos are by or belong to Andrew Hewson or Sex+Money.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Month is it?

It's January, right? Today was one of those days that living life to it's fullest took precedence over the long list of things Dustin and I wanted to get done this afternoon. It is a gorgeous blue sky, sixty degree kinda day, so we took a long lunch, loaded up the mountain bikes and headed out to the lake. As we sat on the grass in shorts eating our picnic lunch, it was hard to believe that it is January!! Seriously? Knowing we aren't gonna be able to hit the slopes this year after all (ugh!), I think I'd be content to just skip over the rest of the winter and take in more days like today! But hey, if snow wants to fall, I will not argue one bit! I hope you each are enjoying your life today! Make it a good one! ♥, mK

Monday, January 23, 2012

Film Fashion Midnight In Paris

It's a small world, or so it seems at times! One of my friends from my years of living abroad in Brisbane, Australia just recently moved to Nashville! Not only did she move to this amazing city, she settled into a nice little home right down the street! Of course an exciting reunion of this sorts had to be celebrated with a girl's night! We rented the movie 'Midnight in Paris' (Trailer Featured on the Right). If you haven't seen this Woody Allen film, I do suggest it. We both absolutely loved it. It is full of art, music and fabulous scenes from the twenties in Paris. Both my friend and I have been to Paris, so til the end of the movie, we were already dreaming of returning to this romantic city!

Part of the movie that I became very enthralled with was the styling of Rachel McAdam's character, Inez. I loved the casual yet chic look she maintained through out the entire film, managing to keep it simple, yet look stunningly classy. And the fun part is, it's quite easy to recreate. Although, I did choose a different style of wedges for this look!

1 > Naomi Wedges: Piperlime 2 > 1969 Denim Shirt Dress: Gap 3> Belt: H&M 4> Bag: H&M

Have you seen 'Midnight in Paris'? What did you think? ♥, mK
Photo Sources: Picture One, Two, Three, Four & Five.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Sale Rack > Date Night

The other night, Dustin called me from work (which is just the spare room in our apartment) and asked if he could take me out on a date when he gets off. Isn't he cute! I was thrilled with where we went although it may make us look pretty dorky. We dined at the fine dining location of Wholefoods! It was soo good! I love eating there, plus it's in one of my favorite sections of Nashville; Green Hills.

What I wore >> Ring & Shirt: H&M, Dress: Pollux Clothing Company, Scarf: The Guest Room Closet (more being added in the next few days), Tights: Target, Boots: Salvation Army, Purse: Herbergers, Jacket: Ross.

Enjoy your Wednesday! ♥, mK


It is important that we, as bloggers 
(and well anyone using the web), know what is trying to be passed in Washington D.C. 
Please take the time to read about SOPA & PIPA, two bills that aim to censor the web. What sounds good in theory, to end piracy (Which I am all for ending piracy), this bill goes too far and takes away our liberty! For example, if passed, the government will be able to shut down our blogs if we even accidentally post anything that we do not have the rights to. This could include lyrics, a video, a photo, a link, etc. Yes, even if a reader adds something to your comment section that you do not own, because it is your website, you are held responsible. It's pretty scary stuff and is very similar to what is currently being used in China. Which, as someone who has used the internet in China, it's extremely limiting.
Read the Actual Bills (SOPA) Here & (PIPA) Here!
Read more insight (HERE) and Sign the Petition HERE and/or HERE.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th.
♥, mK

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Style Me Orange

This is the peak time of year for Oranges! If you haven't picked any up from the store or market yet this month, you sure are missing out on these citrus delights. My favorites are blood oranges, clementines and tangerines!

Here's a simple way to pick good oranges >> Choose firm, heavy oranges with bright, smooth skin. All though it will be tempting, try not to choose oranges that look almost too perfect as they very likely have been dyed or waxed to appeal to the consumer.

As the "Produce King's" daughter, let me tell you just how good these yummy oranges are for you and your body >>  Adding oranges to your diet can help cleanse your body, prevent heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, combat fevers, dissolve gallstones and lower high blood pressure. And that's just to name a few! Also, the high calcium level in oranges promote formation of strong bones and teeth. Winter time is the perfect time to be eating oranges, lucky for us here in the Northern Hemisphere, as it really does help fight against colds by boosting your immune system!

This fresh orange sorbet with bittersweet chocolate is something I will be making very soon! It looks so delicious! Another thing I love about oranges, is the literal color of an orange. Here are some orange inspired items that brightened my January afternoon!

Style From the Top >> Orange Pillow Set, Fox Earrings, Orange Owl Print, Orange Manicure DIY, Shaved Ice as Nice Dress & Tangerine Zest Dress.

Enjoy! ♥, mK

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Guest > Meghan Sara on Greenwich Village, NYC

Today I am very excited to have Meghan Sara from Adventures in Mediocrity guest post here on FTGR! She is one of my lovely January Sponsors, so please make her feel welcome and leave a comment for her below or on her blog! Thanks and enjoy her post, it'll make you want to travel! ♥, mK
P.S. If you entered last week's giveaway, check >Here< to see if you won!

Hi Guest Roomers! My name is Meghan Sara, and I blog over at Adventures in Mediocrity. A lot of my blog material comes from living in the greatest city in the world, New York City (totally impartial here). There are tons of awesome things to do in the city, but whenever I get the chance, I love to spend a day down in Greenwich Village.

The main hangout in the Village is Washington Square Park, my favourite park in all of Manhattan!

It's fun to get lost in the maze of streets. Unlike Midtown and Upper Manhattan, from the Village down the streets are no longer a neat grid, but a dizzying haphazard of streets and alleys leading from one adventure to the next. Beautiful brownstones, old churches, and interesting architectural details like this! (photo above)

Bleecker Street is one of the most famous streets in the Village, spanning almost the entire West Village area. There's high-end shopping, like Juicy Couture, Coach, and Burberry, loads of vintage records stores, not to mention the best pizza in all of New York, John's of Bleecker Street!

But if you're on Bleecker Street, you'd be remiss if you didn't stop in for one of Magnolia's famous cupcakes. This cute little bakery specializes in super sweet, adorably decorated pastel delights. Be sure to try the banana pudding! 

I hope you enjoyed my special tour of Greenwich Village! Be sure to stop by if you're ever in the Big Apple! And for more New York stories, tips, and trips, check out my blog, Adventures in Mediocrity!