Seeking Serendipity

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ser-en-dip-i-ty |ˌserənˈdipitē|

noun

the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: a fortunate stroke of serendipity | a series of small serendipities.

 

I have spent a lifetime of holidays in Charleston, with the exception of a few in Maine and Budapest. That being said, Baltimore for Christmas has never come into the light as a possibility  for my mother or myself. Until this year. We switched up our routine, and ventured to our “home” of Baltimore for Christmas.

Christmas has been frankly surreal. I have found myself nostalgic, as I reminisce of my Charleston traditions and yet incredibly content with my Christmas joy. Without having any holiday experience in Baltimore, I found I had no expectations for this Christmas. Christmas 2015 was reinvented by spontaneous activities and a series of unusual events.

I was having a brief holiday catch-up call with one of my best friends when I realized something. It is good to switch it up. For most, holidays are consistently the same. The same people, places and ordeals. I feel that mixing up this tradition is healthy. It is helpful for my mother and myself as I continue to grow into routines of adulthood and she adventures. We can change our plans, like my little family did, but also plans can change on us. Future holidays may be unpredictable. Adapting to these changes while maintaining a good attitude is crucial to keeping up with a positive outlook on life.

There have been spontaneous movies, adventures, drinks and coffee dates. Time spent in my house in Baltimore. Cuddles with my stinky pugs. Lounging with my sweet mom. I’ve been gazing at Baltimore with fresh eyes, attempting to seek out the cool, new and quirky. I have enjoyed holiday traditions with a different set of loved ones and a Baltimore holiday spirit that I’ve yet to participate in the past. It is primarily the people that make this Christmas particularly enchanting, as it should be. The traditions of my past Christmas’ in Charleston could make me sad. They could make me miss people, food and places. Traditions. Dressing up. Endless parties. But what good is focusing on that, when I have all this joy sitting in front of me? Mika my faux baby sister is curled up on the couch, worn out from her wild pursuit of constant adventures. I spent nearly all of my Christmas eve, on the couch. Curled up with my mom, Mika or Lulu and happy as a clam. Sweet moments and new traditions add a bit of sparkle to my memories.

I would not label this Christmas in Baltimore as either “good,” or “bad.” It is honestly neither as it is the first of its kind. I am happy to feel submerged in love. My abs have been sore from laughing  and eyes watery from hours of movies. Christmas in its entirety was peaceful.  Discovering serendipity this week was undoubtedly realizing that putting myself in situations where I must adapt to my current surroundings are benefiting me far more in the long run, even as I soak in the bliss of this holiday adventure.

Xo, Hannah
Happy Holidays!

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Photographed by: Ruut DeMeo, RMD Portraits  | | Hampden, Baltimore, MD

Wearing: Vintage Sweater found at Hunting Ground (Similar here, here & here) H&M scarf (Similar here & here), FRAME Denim Le Skinny de Jeanne Britton, Matt Bernson Tundra boots & Linea Pelle purse (several seasons ago, but it has held up well!) 

Sweet Things

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This holiday season is uh er hmm exciting? Stressful? Eventful? Yes, yes! Eventful. As a college student, Thanksgiving is no break. Thanksgiving is the time to eat, hang with family, possibly relax and then curl into a bloated ball of emotions when you realize you forgot about your project. This is not an attempt to give you an anxiety attack, I can assure you holidays are full of smiles! However, I am cautiously approaching the activities I choose seeing as my academic obligations cannot be put on hold until CHRISTMAS break. So close, yet so wildly far from reach. I have decided to plan accordingly and am hoping to schedule this week to avoid a procrastination meltdown.

I distract myself from holiday anxiety with my favorite thing; clothes. Put on a good outfit and the world is your damn oyster. A solid ensemble is strangely encouraging. Habitually, I dress up on test days. Not a heels and plunging neckline situation, but simply an average cool look. Clothes have the ability to speed up the process of getting things done. Somehow making an ordeal into just another day. I do not rely on material things to satisfy my stresses but I will not deny the comfort of a good outfit. This holiday inspo look is the perfect motivation to have fun with your style! Be playful. Play with accessories, trends, and the world around you.

Clothes are not the only sweet soothing thing in life, there are lots of little things that make life lovely. I’ve compiled a little list of little things about me. Little things that make me Hannah, and all that it entails. Daily thoughts, routines, and things that make me happy. I encourage you to do the same. Write it, type it, or screech it from your rooftop. I know you may be stressed by the motley crew arriving at your home for this week. Or the test you have as soon as your return to school. Or your crazy sister who has decided to turn on you this holiday season. Don’t forget those good things, never forget those little things. The little things that make your best friend hug you, your mom proud, and your puppy lick your face. We are all of the little things miraculously poured into a tender soul. Here are some little things about me…

Little Things (about me)

  • Always buying a book and planning a trip
  • Never leave the house without a sweater
  • Lunch, coffee or adventures with mom? We are both equipped with an “activity” i.e. notebook or novel
  • I’ll take my popcorn with chocolate chips and sea salt
  • Hot tea > Coffee
  • Utterly obsessed with cheerios. If you haven’t heard, the whole lot of cheerios are now gluten free.
  • Lettering is therapeutic
  • I think that cool air sooths my anxiety
  • The only heat I know to be a comfort- sauna
  • Going to the movies is my bliss
  • To do lists
  • Crossing off completed tasks on said list
  • The best beach days are long. You hit the glow of sunset and the breeze that follows
  • Cozy is my favorite
  • Stupidly extroverted. I love my peeps
  • Don’t know how to help me? Hug me
  • Dream day: A stormy summer day in Maine. Slightly sunburned from days lounging poolside and dipping in the icy ocean. Today is the day when the air is cool, fog dense, and raindrops drizzle. A storm if we are lucky. My family friends and I are are scattered throughout the house snuggled up with our books, puzzles, and movies. I am cozied in the library with Mika. Picture us with our messy, sticky, salty curls. The sleepy satisfaction of sun-kissed faces leave us with few words. A paddywax summer candle is burning. The windows are stuck open with crisp air rippling indoors. We are wrapped in snuggles, comfy in sweatpants and covered in various crumbs. A dream day that I’ve been lucky enough to experience many times.

Remember the good and be grateful for the challenges. You my dear, are growing up.

It is in the little things that we find joy as well as true rest.

 
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Photographed by Abby Tierney | | Charleston, SC

Wearing: Elizabeth & James dress  ℅ Beckett Boutique, Zara booties & vintage clutch

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