Lesson I’m Always Learning: Amy Woodside OF OKREAL

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A lesson that you’re always learning really means the mistake you’re always making, right? For me:

1. Patience. When you have a big vision and limited resources, it’s easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed. One day at a time is a great mantra for control freaks like me. 

2. The reality of sacrifice. I have this persistent and ridiculous idea that I can pour all of myself into every area of my life at once and not burn out. Realizing that if I’m devoting all of my energy and time into work, then my social life is probably going to suck. And being OK with that.  

3. Driving things without forcing them. A constant push and pull between making something happen and letting it happen. You need a blend of both approaches. 

Amy Woodside is the founder of OKREAL, an incredible website built as a resource for a modern community of women who are striving to create their own path. She’s also the co-owner of Happy Bones, our fave place to caffeinate in NYC. 

P is for pARIS

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It all started in the nadir of winter when we were hosting the Girl Gift Gather Book Club. The book we were reading, The Artist’s Way, asked us to write a letter from our 80-year-old self to our current self. Among the suggestions that I relax, have more compassion, and use eye cream (my imaginary 80-year-old self is trés wise), there was a recommendation that I travel alone.

As you may know, I’m big into travel. But, travelling solo never seemed like an option. Like many young women, I was fed a myth that it was dangerous, risky and asking for trouble. When an opportunity came about for me to spend three days by myself in Paris, during my birthday no less, my 80-year-old self challenged this way of thinking. Of course I can travel alone. I live in New York City. I can handle anything! Certainly the charming streets of The City of Lights.

So, on the eve of July 29th I boarded a plane to Charles De Gaulle and the adventure began. I arrived in Paris the morning of my birthday bleary eyed and buzzing with excitement. I got to my charming studio apartment in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, showered and immediately took myself to lunch around the corner at Café de Flore. Over a glass of rosé and those delicious potato chips they serve, I basked in the Paris sunlight and watched the people go by (I even spotted Sofia Coppola).

My days were filled with wanderings and wonderings. During my strolls through Jardins des Tuileries and the Marais, I noticed how much easier it is to marvel at a city when you don’t have a companion to distract you with chatter and conversation. Free of anyone else’s agenda, I took my sweet time planning my days, changing my plans and pursuing each and every one of my whims. One day, I ate only a croissant, a chocolate eclair and a Berthillon ice cream before dinner. It was marvelous!

My blue journal became my companion as I sipped cappuccino at Boot Cafe and aperitif at Cafe Charlot. Even now, when I read through my rambling notes and descriptions of the beautiful Parisian couples surrounding me at Chez Julien, I am filled with a joy unknown to me before this trip.

I am an amenable person. I’m constantly trying to find a balance between what I want and what others want. But travelling alone freed me of my constant negotiations. Without anyone to consider or please, I could prioritize myself in a way that is particularly challenging for me during my day to day. In some ways this trip was a crash course in getting to know myself. And one of the most valuable things I learned is how much I enjoy my own company. The journey culminated in taking myself out to a nice dinner at Clamato (it was ridiculously amazing). I sat at the bar, left my phone, my book and even my journal in my bag and enjoyed an hour and half long meal–alone. No distractions. Just me. It was one of the best dinners I’ve ever had.

 

I’ll be sharing a Paris travel guide and some more thoughts on traveling alone on the blog in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Chelsey 

A beautiful weekend

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 Image via @ feiffers

Image via @ feiffers

Cook like ladies of literature? Yes please.

Giving Birth In Different Worlds. A photography series that captures, in closeup, the faces of women in the final stages of birth in Sweden and Tanzania. A beautiful reminder of how universal our experiences can be. 

Women killing it at The Emmy’s this year. And of course, Viola Davis’ beautiful speech

Two awesome interviews from NYMag this week. One with formidable memoirist and poet, Mary Karr. And the other with the incredible writer and director, Nancy Meyers.

A beautiful book.

A beautiful blog.

A beautiful woman

Have a beautiful weekend!

Image via Caroline Engell Feiffer’s pretty, pretty Instagram.

we did it!

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#tbt from last week. All packed up and ready to leave our apartment, we had to take one last pic! 

Four years- engaged, married, pregnant, birth and first year of Oliver’s life in that place. So thankful for the way those walls so deeply supported us through a whole lot of growing up. 

Our old apartment at it’s very cleanest!

Oliver basically learned to walk in these halls.

Move in date four years ago! We were so so excited!


And now we are in the process of finding the perfect home for our little family here in California. A home that will nurture, support and inspire us during this next chapter of our lives! We think we may have found that place! We are checking it out today so fingers crossed and send us some good vibes. But for right now I am feeling grateful for where we have been and so so so excited for where we are now!

xoxo

Christina

Lesson I’m Always Learning: Lizzie Garrett Mettler of Tomboy Style

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Since launching my retail business The Reed in May of this year, I’ve been learning how to better my business every single day. Whether that’s discovering and implementing an app that makes shipping product more efficiently or getting to know my customers’ needs and wants more intimately. It may be a tired cliché to say this, but every mistake has been a learning experience and has made the business undoubtedly stronger. I love making mistakes! On the more macro level, I am constantly learning to be OK with where I am and enjoy the process. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and think, I must expand, I must grow by double digits every month—not true. Success isn’t marked necessarily by growth, it is also marked by satisfaction and doing good work. We’ve become a culture obsessed with businesses that rocket to the top out of nowhere—I think there is something to be said about businesses that choose to stay small that really care about their goals that don’t include spreadsheets. My goal is to continue to offer women apparel and accessories that are thoughtfully made and serve as functional and stylish wardrobe staples and I will continue to learn how to do that in the best way possible. 

Lizzie Garrett Mettler is the founder of Tomboy Style, a blog dedicated to exploring the spirit and sense of the Tomboy. She’s also the author of a beautiful book of the same name. This year, Lizzie launched, The Reed, an online destination that combines regularly added editorial with a shop that supplies clothing and accessories you need to move well, pack smart, and look great.

A BEAUTIFUL WEEKEND

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 Image via  @mansurgavriel

Image via @mansurgavriel

A few fashion-themed stories to celebrate the end of New York Fashion Week. Here’s to a beautiful weekend in NYC!

Words of wisdom from Diane von Furstenberg

Karlie Kloss and Christy Turlington sit down for lunch to chat college, activism and feminism

Monica Bellucci is a Bond Woman thank you very much. 

A beautiful blog.

A beautiful magazine.

A beautiful woman.

P.S. How dreamy is this pic? It’s from Mansur Gavriel‘s Spring/Summer 16 show. Two very cool ladies started this insanely beautiful brand and we are all about it. 

Back to School

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  Wellesley College, MA (1969) © Bradford F. Herzog

Wellesley College, MA (1969) © Bradford F. Herzog

I always get a little nostalgic for school at this time of year: the crisp, untouched notebooks, the packs of sharpened pencils, the clean, new book-bags. This week, I got in touch with my inner student and created a Fall reading list for myself. I thought up a list of books (old and new) that would challenge and excite me and I bought all of them in one go. It felt weirdly indulgent and also wonderful. I love seeing them all sitting on my desk waiting to be read. And, knowing that I’ve got another good read ahead of me makes the sadness of finishing a truly great book a bit more bearable. 

The Secret History by Donna Tart: Pulitzer Prize winner, Donna Tart, explores an elite New England college, a charismatic professor and a few students faced with a moral dilemma. 

The Fran Lebowitz Reader: And so continues my love for female essayist who are all wit and good writing. 

The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen: Purity is Franzen’s latest novel (and all anyone seems to be talking about) but this is my first time reading his work and The Corrections just seemed so compelling (family drama around the dinner table) that it seemed like a good place to start.

Fate and Furies by Lauren Groff: This season’s hottest new read. One marriage. One book. Half of it told from his perspective. The other half told from hers. 

Happy fall and happy reading! 

Chelsey

Lesson I’m Always Learning: Eliza Blank of The Sill

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I continue to be surprised by people – by their passion, dedication, and focus. More specifically, I continue to be surprised by the achievements of a team that works together towards a singular mission. The strides we’ve made at The Sill year-over-year have been huge. It makes setting the goals feel like a lesson I’m always learning – because it seems that with every goal met I look back and think to myself, “Remember when we thought that was impossible!?”.

Eliza Blank is the founder of The Sill, our favorite place to discover houseplants. The Sill bridges the gap between plants and people, offering products and services tailored to each individual’s style and budget so they can find a perfect plant for their home.