Posts tagged humor
Altitude Summit New York City

Ahhhhhhh and EEEEEEk. Sorry to greet you with such outbursts this morning, but I'm HERE friends. This thing that I've been contemplating and pondering and wishing about, it's here. And I'm here in New York City for the first time ever.

Super big thanks to my hubs who has loved this blog into being through his abundant support and encouragement. This whole experience is a treat for me planned out by him. Thank you, dear.

Hugs and kisses to my kiddos who are gonna make my time away no less than exciting for him, too. Listen to your father.

I'm reposting the reflection I did from my armchair during AltSLC. I've been an #altsummitwannabe for a while so enjoy the tongue-in-cheek rendition.

If you want a window into what's going on live, join me over on Instagram at @parscaeli. Hoping to snag some great photos. You can also follow the hashtag #ParsCaeliatAltNYC.

Wish me luck!

xoxo, MJ


Originally posted January 2013:

As many of you know, I'm a big fan of Alt Summit. I've followed founder and co-owner, Gabrielle Blair, for years, and I've learned oodles from their online classes through the Alt Channel. I actually purchased a ticket to Alt NYC and had to cancel out. To me the brand that Alt has established is one of unique, fresh, over-the-top creativity, unsurpassed in its innovation and attention to detail.

I blog for fun, to connect with lovelies around the world, to stay inspired... so I can't say, like many of my blogger buds, that heading to Utah for a few days was a noteworthy and important business expense. I kinda just wanted to go to dance the night away with friends and be wowed by the great business cards and keynotes. Maybe bring back some signature swag. Is that so wrong?

In my head, no.

However, 2013 was not my year for Alt SLC.

If you follow Pars Caeli on Instagram (yeah, come on over, I have some really corny jokes for you), you saw my ode to the magnificence and rockstar partying through the hashtag "altsummitwannabe." Yes, yes, I do use humor as a coping mechanism. For example, I did enjoy this round table discussion but maybe not as much as I would have if Jen and Sandra were leading it.

My networking opportunities? Well, not so Alt fab.

But, at least I could add my homage to blogging through my fashion choices (while my ladies touted a much grander sense of style...)

Big, big thanks to my tweeps who played along and offered their own glimpses into what an Alt Summit Wannabe's world looks like.

Honesty here? Despite getting a nibble from sponsors, I knew I couldn't attend Alt SLC this year when I found out the date. Why? My daughter, C, age five, had her first ballet performance on Saturday. Until now she's been overcome by stagefright despite her amazing natural abilities and love for dance (no bias here). So, though I was swayed by the glamour and the glitter, I knew I had to be in the auditorium seat with my loud clapping hands and gleaming smile to cheer on my favorite new ballerina.

That doesn't keep me from getting all that I can from the photos, quotes, and detailed recaps floated out on my favorite blogs. And when you find something this good, well, you just have to share it.

You'll find below an unmatched list of amazing recaps for those of you who fell into the Alt Summit Wannabe category and for you beautiful attendees, too. Have a missed some awesomeness that must be shared? Post it in the comments, and I'll update the blog roll here.

  • You're gonna wanna read all 73 of these lessons from And Then We Saved learned
  • Catherine shows off her outfits over on Walking with Cake
  • Even amazing bloggers like Megan need a burst of inspiration. Read how she got her groove back over at the Fresh Exchange
  • The dynamo Melanie recaps the highlights we can all take away over on Inward Facing Girl
  • Over at Mama love Papa, Morgan admits (we already knew it) her great affinity and talent in photo booths and pinpoints great speakers
  • Adina from Gluten Free Travelette throws down some bulleted lists you don't want to miss
  • Gabriel, AKA the Artful Desperado, offers some advice we don't often hear on Alt
  • Erin from Art Social has everything you need to know
  • Mariah has the skinny on how to make amazing photos with props on Oh, What Love Studios
  • Designer Rachel of Pencil Shavings Studio put together an awesome takeaway menu from her time
  • A brilliant recap of mega talent, Stefan Sagmeister's naked keynote from Sandra at Raincoast Cottage
  • And don't miss Sandra's notes from her roundtable with Jen from Classic Play: Makers Gotta Make
  • Two great posts from Erika of Foxtrot Press to keep us thinking and engaged, check here and here
  • The Curbly viewpoint offered by Alicia
  • All sorts of inspiration and notes from PJ over at Bunny and Dolly
  • You better believe that bloggers hustle harder, and Amber over at Damask Love has all the info
  • Kristiina reveals 5 things she didn't expect to learn over on a Typical Housecat
  • Cal has great photos and insights from her experience. Check them out over at Call Me Cal
  • Speaking of awesome photos, you gotta check out Karen's over at Chookooloonks
  • Jill of Terra Savvy shares some lovely thoughts on Alt the second time around
  • You must see Brittany from the House of that Lars Built unbelievable hat (and all the other fun)
  • The New Diplomat's Wife says it all in five quotes
  • Little Lessy takes you through each day's lessons with great graphics, too.
  • Lisa of Elembee breaks it all down in two posts for us, find here and here
  • Need Alt survival tips? Get them from our girl Squirrelly Minds, Tan
  • Lauren gives us the deets on her outfits and her takeways on Stylized Existence
  • Allison of Engaged and Inspired shares her snapshots
  • Party like its Alt SLC from the one and only Kelly of StudioDIY
  • Leslie reminds us of the power of friendship through her experiences at Alt and making new connections over on her blog Leslie Fandrich
  • Side note: she also took photos of some of my favorite Alt people - go check out those gorgeous gals
  • A must-see: Sheri's showcase of the Alt business cards over on Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt
  • Joy tells it like no other and reminds us to be our truest selves and shares the secrets from successful bloggers on Frock Files

** Hugs to all of you beautiful people who have come back to check on things while I've been away. Did I tell you that I've missed you?






You're a really special 1 in 385 million to me.

Dear Blog,

It's almost your one-year anniversary, and I have to break it to you - you've hit middle-age. You see, in the blogosphere, a meager nine months is the average active lifespan of a blog. After this period most blogs are left by the wayside, abandoned URLs with low click rates and limited posts. Fact is, dear blog, you're one in 385 million blogs already out in cyberspace. And more than 100,000 of you are started every. single. day.

But, stats aside, my beloved web home, you have become a living, breathing creative space. And most days I find myself refreshed by your clarity of focus, relaxed in your organized aesthetic, and warmed by the generosity of those who also come to visit this address.

Let me share with you a few things I've learned and loved about our near-year together.


Paint the walls orange with blue polka dots

Blogging is freedom. I can express myself and any old way I'm feeling or thinking. I can choose to be positive and upbeat, silly and childish, serious and heavy, or none of the above. I can post seven times a day or take a month off (sorry about that December to January stint). My blog can be exactly what I want it to be at any old time of the day or night - and really, there's nothing else in my life for which I can say this.


Get a plan, stick to the plan and stray from the plan

I've learned that an editorial calendar is essential to successful blogging. What's this, you ask? That rough sketch of an outline where the daily posts are mapped out and regular series return on the same days week after week. I have written it out and crossed it off, and I have stuck to the proposed plan with a soothing rhythm and joy. Readers come back to see what they want to see on a regularized basis. But also I've received those inspiring emails or the middle-of-the-shower brilliant ideas that make me crumple the schedule in the cupholder and try something totally different. And I can do that, and it's all good, all welcome here in this space.


Make holes in the walls

I feel like the couch would look better over on that wall. Oh, wait, it's a sleeper sofa, and I'm here by myself, and there's a staircase in the way. This n e v e r happens with the blog. Enter through the back door and move that widget over, convert from one to three column design, add an instagram feed. And then change it all next week when I want a look that reflects something fresh and new. In blogging, invigorating design is encouraged and rewarded. Let your readers know that you're thinking of them and switch your look around.


Be a pal

Mom was right on this one. Be a friend to the bloggers you meet. Blogging success like any other success in life is about making real connections. You have to be willing and engaged in visiting, chatting, commenting, liking, posting, and retweeting all the goodness see others doing. Oh, and you can't just be in it to up your own numbers. That's the fastest way to becoming a blog has-been. Through this writing adventure, I've connected with amazing ladies from around the world, and I've been inspired to be more and do more.


The more you, the better

What makes you stand out amongst the 384,999,999 others? The you-ness. Blogs are inversely lovely to mass consumption, eg: the more you can be authentically, uniquely you, the better your blog can be. Find and use your voice. Hone in on it. Craft photographs as only you would see them. Overlay that fantastic font you know says wow. The world needs your blog.

There are already 99,999 other copycats arriving by sundown.


So Pars Caeli, you might be middle-aged in blog years, but you're always fresh, rewarding, and a wee bit intoxicating to me. Hugs to you, interweb cozy. Can't wait to see what's cooking for the terrible twos.

xoxo, MJ

PS. What do you love mostest about your blog?


Itty Bitty Lovelies in Illustration


Monday greetings, friends! Are you tired out from the Oscars last night? (raising hand here) I attempted to work and blog while watching. Nope, failed there. Nevertheless, I was delighted by the glamour on the red carpet (yes, Jessica Chastain) and disappointed by the hosting and wowed by the musical presentations.

I told the kiddos that the red carpet is the Super Bowl of Fashion, and my daughters got into the festivities dressing up in my college formal dresses and interviewing each other with their imaginary microphones. Really cute.

So, here we go last week of February. A something different for you today. I have a soft spot for illustrations and hand lettering. Today's Itty Bitty Lovelies are just some fun eye candy to bring you a smile to begin your week. Check the P.S. at the bottom for a super helpful and informative illustration from my girl, Paige.

MJ's Itty Bitty Lovely for the week: spend at least two minutes just looking at someone you love. This week don't talk, don't let them realize you're doing it, and gaze at your loved one. I spent some time this weekend just staring at my children, trying to memorize each wrinkle and hair - appreciating the fabulous souls they are right this moment. You don't need kids to do this - pick a coworker, BFF, spouse. 2013 needs more grateful contemplation. Let's contribute our part.

You are the Cheese! Art Print

       From Poppy & Red on Society6

Retro Geekery poster, quote print, pop art, nursery art, inspirational quote, motivational wall art - Viewmaster, expand your view A3

From RestyleShop on Etsy

8x10-in Will Rogers Quote Illustration Print

From Unraveled Design on Etsy

xoxo, MJ

P.S. If you're thinking you'd love to find your way into a magazine article/feature? Check out Paige's info illustrative.