Last weekend, Michael and I took a road trip north for a little break from the big city. Though we had big plans for snowy walks and small town explorations, we ended up feeling a under the weather and instead of adventuring, we used our time to rest up and relax. We checked into The Spruceton Inn for the night, picked up few books and magazines from their library and cozied up for an evening of drinking tea and reading articles. With it’s bright, minimal rooms, The Spruceton Inn was a breath of fresh air from all the clutter and chaos of our New York lives. Plus, we had the best night sleep ever (those mattresses!). The next morning, after a long lie in, we checked out and headed to the Phoenicia Diner for bottomless coffee, local organic eggs and homemade waffles. Michael and I are naturally very adventurous travelers but after this long, hard Winter I think we were in desperate need of some simple, quiet time away from it all.
The Spruceton Inn is run by Casey Scieszka, a super-cool Brooklyn girl who moved upstate with her husband last year. The inn is a welcome change of pace from the usual antiquey B&B style accommodations on the Hudson. Casey has kept it modern, natural and cozy, filling the lobby/bar with must read magazines and books as well as local brews and whiskeys. In the morning, there’s freshly brewed coffee and complimentary PopTarts. We can’t wait to go back this Summer when we can roast marshmallows in the fire pits, fire up the barbecue and go swimming in the creek!
Here at Girl Gift Gather, we believe pursuing a creative life is the key to long term, genuine happiness; we’re constantly reading books on it, meeting with women to discuss it and crafting tools to achieve it. Lately, we’ve been asking ourselves about the roles we live in and how/if they support our creative selves.
We all know the ways that our society defines success: beauty, career, money, marriage, parenthood, etc. Each one of these values is important in it’s own way. But we’re beginning to wonder what lays beyond them. Who are we when we’re not the roles we play? It’s a big question with an even more complicated answer. Most of us play more than one role at a time (partner-parent-worker for example) and those roles keep us very, very busy. And therein lies a problem. When we’re so consumed with fulfilling society’s prescribed roles, we often cease honoring our creativity and, in turn, our individuality. Do these roles actually address the deeply unique traits of each individual? Shouldn’t we have a little more consideration for the subtle nuances that present themselves in each and every one of us?
If we forego our creative selves in order to be a good partner/parent/employee, are we foregoing more than just a painting class or a singing lesson? Are we in some ways, denying our soul and our selves vital nourishment? We believe so. Life is always changing and happiness is a moving target. We can’t expect any one thing (especially something society has defined) to be solely responsible for fulfilling us. We must be active participants in finding our joy. For us, this means staying connected to our creativity. When we look around at the women (and men) who inspire us most, we find individuals who are deeply connected to their creative selves and are willing to invest in their interests. They don’t ask the world what they’re supposed to do, they ask themselves what they want to do. As a result, they shape our society and bring us into the future.
It is, by and large, a scarier, more challenging, more vulnerable life because it asks us to live outside of what’s known and expected. But, it is the life that we are hoping for.
Image via srta-pepsi
Excited for a Spring(ish) weekend ahead — make it beautiful and bright!
Thrilled to see the hilarious, inspiring and incredibly clever ladies behind Broad City on the cover of NYMAG this week. Women in comedy for the win! Read the profile here.
A year without Mondays? The Dream indeed.
Emily Weiss, the blogger behind Into The Gloss, the genius behind beauty brand, Glossier, and general Lady Boss extraordinaire featured in The New York Times this week. A favorite quote form the interview:“There’s this undercurrent I was thinking about a lot — about feminism and freedom and feeling like a brand that really stands for being yourself, and being O.K. with wherever you are in your life,” she said. “In beauty there’s this idea of this perfect picture, and I think, How about being present in the now, and a little messy?” Read the article here.
A beautiful blog.
A beautiful magazine.
A beautiful woman.
Have a beautiful weekend!
The crawling, the standing, the teething, the laughing, the reading, the contemplating, the crying and the cuddles.
This week, we’re getting the first few signs of Spring. Yesterday, it was warm. Like actually warm! These beautiful days have me hankering for my Spring wardrobe (or a brand new one) so I thought I’d share a little Spring style inspiration from the mecca of all inspiration. Happy almost Spring guys, it’s going to be good, real good!
Jeans + A Tee
Image via Esther
Sweater + A Skirt
Image via Veronica Loves Archie
Image via Gold Dust Girl
Silk + Anything!
Image via Always Judging
Image via Syvende
March is a damn fine month. Not only is it Women’s History Month, but it is also the month that we launched our company one year ago. That’s right, we are one year old! One year of newsletters, blog posts, events, interviews, videos, girls, gifts and gatherings! It’s been incredible. And magical. And challenging. And exciting. And nerve wracking. And exhausting. And exhilarating. And inspiring. And basically, we’re feeling all the feelings right now.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day and it is our great pleasure to celebrate the launch of our business during a month dedicated to the triumphs and successes of women everywhere. Women are the bedrock of our company. They are are raison d’ê·tre, whether we’re highlighting the entrepreneurs of our future or taking inspiration from the pioneers of our past. Women blow our minds and enliven our spirits.
Look around you. Look at all the smart, strong, beautiful, funny, creative women in your life and thank each and every one of them for what they contribute to your world. Look back and take a moment to appreciate the women who worked and fought and advocated for you, whether that means calling your grandmother or reading up on Emmeline Pankhurst. We are so grateful to all of the women we have had the opportunity to share space with in this past year and we look forward to the wonderful women we’ll collaborate with in the years ahead.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement and love! You are everything to us and we are honored to be a part of your world.
Image via One of a Few
A compelling article from The New York Times about women, medication and mental health.
When you only have five minutes for self-care — do this.
The School of Doodle? Yes please!
A beautiful blog.
A beautiful book.
A beautiful woman.
Have a beautiful weekend!
P.S. That dreamy coffee situation is from Martina Thornhill.
It is difficult, surely, to feel an uncomfortable feeling and not try to move it, fade it, or fix it. Isn’t that what so many self-help books promise – the allure of “making it all better”? Like children with scraped knees, we look for the kiss from Mom, and we ask Dad to come into our room and remove the monsters from under the bed. But what if there was a more powerful lesson to be learned from letting the figurative injury settle for a little while? Could there be power in remaining in the uncomfortable place for a little longer than we think we can? Should we hold this like we hold a forward bend in yoga – allow our muscles to relax and extend just past the point when they cry for a little mercy? What if there is power in difficult moments too, and a catharsis to follow?
These days, we have a seemingly endless supply of distractions that aim ever-so-kindly to insure that we are never bored, uncomfortable, distraught, or hungry. At every turn there is something to take away what ails you – whether that magic pill is actually a pill matters not, for it’s not the remedy we ultimately want. What we want is to leave the betwixt and between point that is so uncomfortable. We’ll scratch anything to get out, and so it’s not the thing itself that we want – we don’t care that we’re holding a wooden spoon; we care whether or not it helps us silence the itch we can’t reach.
I think about this as I search for writing ideas. My mind scrambles and I hurriedly try to scratch the itch, to figure out some way away from this horrible no man’s land. A veritable desert of ideas is all that answers me. In an effort to shield myself from the sand blowing across my face, I begin reading and am struck by one line: what if this moment is enough?
At first I scoff, but then I allow the words to hit me squarely between the eyes. It’s true, isn’t it? I think. Even with all the shortcomings I can perceive in it, this moment is enough. Though we ultimately need to reach the calmer seas, and we need to get out of the desert…for a little while, these in between moments are enough. It is enough, sometimes, to feel the discomfort for a time before we aim to fix it, or at least to recognize its value for a fleeting moment. With this realization, I take a moment to calm down and I remind myself that it is OK… to allow myself to be hungry.
~Lindsey Anne Toledo
Lindsey Anne Toledo is a writer and the owner of the fantastic Black Bird Tea Co based in Seatle