9/11/17

Pearl Details + The Pursuit of Happiness

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I've noticed that pearls are having a moment lately as an accent detail on just about everything, and this particular trend is really growing on me. It's just a fun way to fancy-up an otherwise simple piece. My first purchase in this trend were my pearl slides (shown in outfit five here), and it didn't take me long to add another piece with pearl details.

I had to resort to attempting a flat lay for this outfit in order to show the details because this top did not want to be photographed from the top-down like I usually do for Instagram. Partly because of the way the sleeves are attached (they are dolman sleeves) and also because I specifically wanted to show the pearl and bow details on the sleeve, that just wasn't happening!
Top (c/o SheIn) | Similar Jeans | Shoes |  Necklace (c/o)

Aside from the selfie-issues the top is great! It runs true to size (I'm wearing an XS below) and it's perfectly comfortable for this type of blouse. It's not t-shirt material (it feels more similar to Portofino shirt material), so it's easy to dress up if you need to wear it with slacks or skirt for an office setting. It's hard to tell from either of my pictures, but the sleeves are open in between the pearl details. The ties are what keep them together, but there's still a lot of air flow going on with them, making it a great transition weather piece.

Front View:
Top (c/o SheIn) | Similar Jeans | Shoes | Bag | Necklace (c/o) 

Monday Motivation: The Pursuit of Happiness

Thanks to the famous words in the Declaration of Independence, in the U.S.A., we're all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On the latter point, there's a quote I've always liked that goes like this: "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." This quote has been attributed to Ben Franklin, but according to many sources such as this, there's really no proof he said that. Regardless of the actual source, the quote rings true for me, and what a funny, challenging, enigmatic thing happiness is to pursue!

In trying to make some life decisions behind the scenes here lately, I've been frequently asking myself, "What makes me happy? Does blogging or my other hobbies make me happy? Would I be happier in a newer house? Would I be happier if I lived closer to family?" I'm always trying to maximize my life and happiness so in order to pursue that goal, I have to analyze what does and doesn't work for me and make changes if necessary.

Most of us always have one or two elusive things in life that makes us think, "When I get ____, then I'll be happy." (Fill in the blank with a better job, nicer house, partner, baby, lose 5 lbs. etc.) When we lived in Seattle, we weren't crazy about the weather, but we had some really great years there with great friends and we were pretty happy. Still, when we decided to move to San Diego, we foolishly thought better weather = better life. After four years here I can tell you that's not the case. The weather is a nice benefit, but it really doesn't guarantee or create happiness in and of itself. And I don't think our friends and acquaintances here are even marginally happier on average than our friends in Seattle were. (And side note, but that whole "Seattle has the highest suicide rate" thing is also a myth.) That's not to say I regret coming here at all. It was a good choice for a lot of reasons, but it also taught me I personally overrated the affect of weather on happiness.

 Besides reflecting on this myself I've been discussing the topic with friends and family and doing a bit of reading on it as well. My husband sent me this article on The Economics of Happiness, and it's one of the most interesting and specific I've read on this topic. It's targeted toward men in some parts, but makes interesting points that are relevant to everyone. Here are some of my favorite points:

"...no matter what income level people are at-rich or poor-they always think making 20% [more] would increase their happiness. Which is why even though the standard of living has been rising for many decades, people aren’t getting any happier."

"People who do more “prosocial spending,” using their money to buy things for others and to donate to charity instead of getting things for themselves do experience a lasting increase in their happiness. But our inner-caveman fights this conclusion; humans naturally want to display their status to other members of the tribe in conspicuous ways."

"The most consistent factor in happiness is the strength and extent of our social network. Whether we’re introverts or extroverts, spending time with others greatly boosts our well-being. Our relationships give us a sense of belonging, identity, security, support, and fun. Study after study has found that having strong, positive relationships with family, spouse, children, and friends provides the biggest boon to our happiness."

In keeping with my Monday Motivation theme, all of that is the long way of saying happiness is always one of my goals. And not just for myself, but I want the same for my friends and family, too! It seems to be a lifelong process of trying, changing and letting go of things to find the right balance for me. I'd really love to hear from you and learn what things you've experienced along the way that did or didn't contribute to your happiness in the way you expected!



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12 comments:

  1. It's said when people have the mindset of needing 1-2 things in their lives to change in order to be happy. There is no time like the present! I like to count my blessings everyday because life is precious! Love that pearl top! What a gorgeous piece!

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    1. Thanks Laura! Love your positive mindset.

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  2. Great post Gina! First, let me say that the pearl and bow detail on the top is beautiful! It looks great with those jeans.

    And as for the happiness portion, I nodded my head a lot during the article that chris sent to you. I know people are doing quite well financially, but they don't seem very happy. Conversely, some of the happiest people I know are ones that don't make a ton of money, but their faith, family, and friends sustain them. I don't like living where we are; I've lived here almost my whole life and this place (although pretty and good for raising families) inspires absolutely nothing in me. Sometimes I think that if I moved, maybe I'd be happier. But would I? Probably not. Who knows, but I think most people chase happiness outside of themselves when we all should just try to create it in ourselves. Easier said than done huh?

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    1. Yes, it's very easy to think one factor or another will really increase our happiness! I also can't help but think my opinion on the happiness of my friends/acquaintances now has also changed a lot since social media. People share a lot more of their unhappy thoughts there than they do in person, so city aside, I think I just know about it more now!

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  3. Such an interesting post - especially the part about how people earn more yet aren't any happier. I feel like there are a lot of things that make me happy - reading a good book and eating yummy food, shopping, spending time with friends, going to fancy events (lol!!!), blogging, being asked to take part in fun blogging collabs. The list goes on! I'll admit that parenting is a LOT more challenging than I thought it would be - as I sit here with twins trying to help them with their 5th grade homework lol!

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    1. Couldn't agree with you more about homework being a source of major unhappiness in the home! It's incredibly stressful here. UGH.

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  4. Pearls definitely are having a moment. I really like the pearl details on the top.

    This so interesting. It is very true that money doesn't buy happiness. That has to be found from within. I definitely sometimes fall into the "when X happens, things will be great" trap. Once I remind myself of all of the amazing things I already have and stop comparing myself, I generally snap out of it, but I don't think anyone avoids those moments completely.

    Nicole
    Nicole to the Nines

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    1. You're so right! I think the key is getting ourselves in check ASAP when we have those "I'd be happy if ______ moments." Easier said than done, but at least being mindful of it is a start!

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  5. oooooh that top is pretty. so pretty. i want it.
    i think the weather thing is very interesting. though i am happier here than i was at home - for obvious reasons - i had a really hard time when i first moved here because of the weather. i thought it would be so fun to have legit defined seasons, something i never really had before. but then it was hard, homesickness plus hating the weather, it was really hard. i didn't know if i wanted to move home or just have better weather. but eventually i got over it and even though winter still sucks the life out of me, i know i am still overall happier if that makes sense. i definitely catch myself thinking if i could just have this or that, make a little bit more money, have more friends or a baby, i'd be happy, but i know ticking things off a list aren't going to magically make happiness stick around. not that i'm unhappy, but you know what i mean. i think it's interesting for sure.

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    1. Yeah, I was pretty shocked about the weather claims! Though they did say there are some extreme climate exceptions, but it probably wouldn't apply in your case. And yes, I totally understand about being happier in spite of not loving the weather!

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  6. Goodness! So much to reply about, I don't know where to start or if I could even finish! But first, the details on the top are darling. Second- so are you trying to get me to move to San Diego or not?! Ha! I kid. I think about all the things in my life at the moment. And I do feel happy. But I also am happier because of blogging and Pilates especially because of how many more people I connect with on a daily basis thanks to both! Same with work. My team is so awesome and amazing. Having them to share the load with makes me happy at work even if the individual tasks can be mundane or boring. So I totally agree with the social network comment! I could go on and on. Interesting topic!
    Caryl | http://morepiecesofme.com

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    1. Trust me, I'd never tell you *not* to move here, but that's purely for selfish reasons! You're so very fortunate to have good friendships there through work and your extra-curricular activities. That's the only area where I couldn't promise you that San Diego would have anything better to offer you! (OK that and baseball....)

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