Women: Well Written, Well Read

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I stumbled across the reclusive Italian author, Elena Ferrante, this week and was so inspired and intrigued by her writing and her story that I simply could not wait to share!

All four of her the iconic Neapolitan Novels have now been ordered from Amazon and I am eagerly awaiting the first read. The Neapolitan Novels follow the relationship between two best friends as they grow from girls to women. Every word I’ve read about Elena Ferrante speaks to her ability to capture female relationships, so I am more than excited to begin the series.

This morning, after purchasing my books,  I fell down the rabbit hole and found a few articles on the mysterious author. Take a peak at one of her only interviews, a review of the first book in the series (My Brilliant Friend),  and the article that began my obsession, Elena Ferrante Is a New Breed of Literary Girl-Crush. Plus, New Yorker podcast, Out Loud, talks with Elena’s translator about the mysterious power of the author and her books! 

“Relationships between women don’t have solid rules like those between men…I was interested in recounting how a long friendship between two women could endure and survive in spite of good and bad feelings, dependence and rebellion, mutual support and betrayal.”

– Elena Ferrante

xx

Chelsey

 

No Plans Reading List

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So often our weekends are filled with grandiose plans: dinner parties on Friday evening, apple picking adventures on Saturday afternoon and cocktail-fueled brunches on Sunday morning. These weekends are always fun and filled with love and laughter, but often, they can be exhausting and a touch overwhelming.

Sometimes, weekends are best when they are left alone. No plans or agendas, no people to see or things to do. Just lazy mornings in bed, strolls through farmer’s markets and plenty of time to wander around the house drinking tea and going slow. On these beautiful, no-pressure days we like to catch up on all the articles, videos, websites and blogs that have piqued our interest throughout the week. So, on this sun-filled Saturday, we offer you our No Agenda Reading List. Just a few of the things that have inspired and delighted us this past week. Enjoy them anytime, day or night, plans or no plans, weekend or weekday.

Catch up with Erin Boyle on her blog, Reading My Tea Leaves. She’s got us daydreaming about one-day gardens and channeling the nuns when it comes to our home-decor.

Discover a new girl crush. Ours is Laila Gohar, the beautiful chef behind catering company Sunday Supper. Read her charming interview with Madewell here. And make her French Toast tomorrow morning!

Find inspiration for your home. Fall inspires us to redecorate and we’ve been taking lots of notes from this blogging momma’s Nashville home.

Become a feminist. Listening to Emma Watson’s U.N. speech on gender equality had us all inspired and excited about the changes we’re seeing for both women and men. See the speech and a few thoughts on it from The Daily Beast here. (And learn more about He For She here!)

Have a beautiful weekend (Click here to discover a few more links we’re loving!)

xx

C+C

 

A BEAUTIFUL WEEKEND

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We’ve been eating up Domino Magazine’s collection of fashion innovators at home. We were particularly inspired by art collector and jewelry designer Christophe de Menile and her quote about feeling at home: “I FEEL MOST AT HOME WHEN SURROUNDED BY INTERESTING PEOPLE; IT’S A STATE OF MIND THAT MOVES WITH YOU AND ISN’T SPECIFIC TO PLACE.”

A Beautiful Magazine.

A Beautiful Blog.

A Beautiful Woman.

Have a beautiful weekend! 

Libra

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This New Moon in Libra is pretty dear to me. It marks the two year anniversary of my New Moon Gatherings. What started off as a few close friends gathered around some wine and chocolate in my then messy art studio, now a much more polished Girl Gift Gather/art studio hybrid, has unfolded into an ever expanding rotating group of inspiring beautiful women that come every month and share a bit if themselves with each other. I have seen miraculous transformations take place, high intentions set and received, deep healing, and just the magic that unfolds when women join together, with open hearts and minds. 

Now…A bit about Libra!

Libra is ruled by venus and is a lover of all things beautiful, poetic and harmonious. We are coming out of the sign of Virgo, meticulous, organized and can be a bit neurotic. Libra is a much needed breath of fresh, autumn air.

Libra reminds us that without beauty, love, balance and partnerships, having the “perfect” life is meaningless. This is a time to reset, re-balance, return to your personal truth. What is the motivating factor behind your actions? In your relationships are you focusing on how to be of service or on keeping little resentment files? Let beauty be your guiding light and let love inform all of your choices. Libra loves this!

Happy New Moon!

Christina

When Miley Cyrus crashes your Party

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September represents so much to us: the start of a school year, early mornings, day planners, sharpened pencils, fresh energy, big ideas. We’re so thrilled to get back into the swing of things after a Summer of slow, easy living. But often, in our fervor to create, make, do and succeed, we miss a little something.

Here at the Studio, we’ve been all about our GATHER episodes. Over the last month, we’ve connected with amazing artists, makers and creators to feature their work in all sorts of new and exciting ways. We’ve strategized filming schedules, organized menus and even redecorated our space.  We’ve prepared guest lists, episode themes and topics of discussion. We were ready to dive in headfirst when…Miley Cyrus showed up. And we do mean actual, literal Miley Cyrus of Party In The USA and sticking-her-tongue-out fame.

For the next while, they are filming a blockbuster movie in our building featuring Miley Cyrus. As we type, they’re building a huge sound stage, setting up a tunnel of lights and creating a racket beyond comprehension. As a result, our big plans to film the GATHER episodes over the next few weeks have been halted.

Sometimes, we’re so wrapped up in our plans that we lose sight of the flow of things. Instead of taking stock of the now, we fixate on those things we decided on months and even years ago and we pursue them, doggedly. We chase them even when the timing doesn’t feel right or they’re simply not working out. We become so attached to the decisions and choices we made in the past that we lose sight of the present, and all of the magical opportunities it has to offer.

We’re learning a lot about going with the flow this week.  We’re pretty sure this will be lifelong lesson. So today, we encourage you to release your expectations and the tight grip you have on your plans. We say, go with the flow, because who knows what wonder lies ahead or when Miley Cyrus might show up!

xx

C+C

 

Creating The Space

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Sometimes, getting back to business is about creating the space to get back to business. And while a chilly Fall breeze has everyone in NYC swapping their Summer wardrobe for their Fall one, why not take the time to clean up and clear out. 

 image via garancedore.fr

image via garancedore.fr

Start with the space where you do work, not your desk or your office (we’ll get to those), but your computer. If yours is anything like mine, it’s a dumping ground for links you love, photos that inspired you that one time you were looking to redecorate your apartment and half-written essays on The Redwoods and the value of communication. Next time you have a rainy Monday evening with nothing to do, instead of watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook, organize your bookmarks, label your files, empty your trash and clean out your Downloads folder! And whilst you’re on this digital cleanse, clean out your Inbox. (This I say as a complete hypocrite because I’m 756 full and I just can’t seem to get that number any lower!). But, if you’re a stronger person than myself, you will do it. People tell me, it feels awesome.

Reward all your hard work and organization with a beautiful desktop image. Make your computer a zen space and then perhaps your work will flow a touch smoother. If nothing else, it’ll be prettier to look at. Head to Design Love Fest for backdrops that are so colorful and inspiring you’ll actually want to open up your computer and create!

Now, as for your desk, office, studio or cubicle, just do it. Clean it up and clear it out. Make the space you work in empty but for the few things you absolutely need. A little piece of art for inspiration is encouraged, and maybe a book or two for reference, but a clean space is a clear mind and a clear mind welcomes new ideas! Buy yourself some new notebooks and some colorful pencils if it’ll give you an excuse to create order (or if you just yearn for Back To School shopping!) Indulge this Virgo energy while you can!

P.S. If you’re looking to real amp up your creativity make sure to read The Artist’s Way with us as a part of the Girl Gift Gather Book Club

xx

Chelsey

Business Girls

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This week, we’re talking small steps and giant leaps for Girl Gift Gather. We’re drawing up business plans, meeting with the Small Business Association and getting into the nitty gritty of incorporation. When we’re up to our eyes in numbers, spreadsheets and contracts it’s nice to hear a little something inspirational. So with business and back to school on our minds, we share with you This American Life and the young and impressive Asia Newson. Asia is Detroit’s Youngest Entrepreneur (she’s 11) and she has a real sense of confidence, business and joy. Her company, Super Business Girl, is possible our favorite thing ever. We’ll be taking our cues from her from now on!

Listen to Asia’s interview here and make sure to stay tuned for Act 1 where This American Life producer, Alex Blumberg, talks pitch perfection with legendary investor Chris Sacca — take notes!

Saved by the Bell

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As Fall descends upon New York City in a flurry of apple cider and falling leaves, we are met with that old familiar feeling — Back To School.

Many of us still see September as an unofficial New Year. We are taken back to that first day of school, when the world was No.2 pencils, unopened text books and promises of the year ahead. 

After months of vacations and Summer Fridays, we’re beginning to settle into our September schedules. We’re transitioning out of the short weeks, long days and late nights of Summer and embracing the everyday rituals and early mornings of Fall. 

There’s a comfort in routine; a sense of peace in knowing that the months ahead are made up of early morning coffees, busy afternoons at the office and family dinners at 6pm. Weekends will be reserved for Fall activities such as apple picking, farmers markets and strolls through the park. Evenings will greet us earlier and earlier (and often with a nice glass of red wine). 

We encourage you to lean into that feeling this month. You have taken the Summer to relax and recuperate, now come to Fall with a renewed energy. Start taking pottery class, pick up a weekly Yoga routine, buy a new book for bedtime reading or simply take the time to clean out your closet or organize your schedule.

Though some are sad to see Summer go, most are ready to pack up the beach towels and bikinis and pull down their binders and backpacks. This week on the blog we’ll be sharing a few of our favorite ways to organize, focus and structure your Fall so you can harness some of that “Back To School” energy!

Here’s to a beautiful week!

C+C