Here’s to a Happy Thanksgiving

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It’s been exactly sixty-five days since Christina got on a plane and moved out West. Mostly, we’ve been great. Mostly, it’s been phone calls and Google Hangouts and emails back and forth. But about two weeks ago, we hit a wall and a video feed courtesy of Google simply wasn’t cutting it.

It is hard to be creative in front of a distracting computer screen. It is annoying to have our meetings squeezed into time-difference permitting slots. And most importantly, it is nowhere near as fun to get work done when you’re in a coffee shop alone wishing your friend and business partner was leaning over your shoulder with a cup of tea and a few useful ideas.

But the wait is over! Today is the first official, one-on-one, live, and in-person GGG meeting in many months and hot damn are we excited about it. 

Funnily enough, this coming week will be a big one for live and in-person meetings with the people we love. Thanksgiving is upon us (how did that happen?) and from here on in, it’s all jingle bells and family gatherings.

After recent events, we’re approaching the season with more gratitude than ever before. This time of year is rife with opportunities to get stressed out and overwhelmed: travel anxiety, Black Fridaysales, political bickering at the dinner table. But this year, we’re doing our best to remember how simple it all is; we are all incredibly lucky to be safe in our homes with our family and friends. Nothing else really matters. We’ve all been given the miracle, it’s our responsibility to recognize it and enjoy it.

Here’s to a Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo

C+C

a beautiful weekend

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler working together again and making our dreams come true.  

Love, love, love seeing our GATHER guest and the founder of Hi Wildflower Botanica, Tanwi Nandini Islam, on Design Sponge this week! 

A good idea. Period. 

Having tea with Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gloria Steinem. Serious #SquadGoals. 

Richard Scarry nailing feminism

This is actually a heartbreaking story. But, it brings to light the issue of maternal (and paternal) leave in this country. It is an incredibly important issue to us and this article illustrates the devastating effects our outdated policy can have. 

A beautiful podcast.

A beautiful company.

A beautiful woman

Have a beautiful weekend!

I wish what I wished you before, but harder.

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 Marfa, TX

Marfa, TX

The world is feeling like an incredibly heavy, fragile place these days. So many emotions, so much fear, and a hunger for simple solutions to overwhelming problems. In an effort to process our feelings, open our minds, and heal our hearts, a few sources of inspiration.

The History of the Universe in 18 Minutes. A little perspective, a little humility, and a little something that shines a light on the miracle of this planet and everything around it.

On humanity.

An interview with Mary Oliver that is sure to soothe the soul. 

Kittens!

And lastly, a poem:

The Writer – Richard Wilbur

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten.  I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.

Chelsey

 

A California Christmas

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Last year was Oliver’s first Christmas and we did nothing to announce this huge milestone to friends and family. Actually that’s not fair, we did something… we sent out an email blast saying, “Happy Holidays AND thank you for all the generous gifts you gave us for the baby shower last May that we did not write thank you notes for!” 

Probably not the classiest move, or the most we-are-proud-new-parents-now-look-at-our-beautiful-baby move, but we hoped that our nearest and dearest would understand that we were knee-deep in diapers and spit-up, and were living in a day-to-day way.

Things like “It’s the thought that counts”, “Better late then never”, and “Better something than nothing” were circulating in the air as we pressed send on our Mailchimp blast. 

Fast forward to this year. So much has changed. For one, there are way less diapers and practically no spit up; Chris and I are *starting* to feel like we’re actually getting a hang of this parenting thing. We also moved across the country, away from our friends and family, and realized that we maybe took for granted the inevitable connection that comes from living a stone’s throw away from your loved ones. Now more then ever we recognize the importance and deep value of these relationships and joyful effort required to maintain them across distances . 

What I am trying to say is, for a multitude of reasons, an apologetic, this-will-do email blast was not going to cut it this year. That’s why I was super excited when Shutterfly wanted to collaborate with Girl Gift Gather for a holiday card post. 

For our FIRST FAMILY holiday card we knew a few things we wanted to keep in mind: we wanted to make everyone smile; we wanted to show off our gorgeous son; and we wanted to rub it in everyone’s face (just a little!) that we now live in California where it is always sunny and beautiful, even while counting down the final days of the year. I think we nailed it.

I especially love the way the gold foil lettering came out & the super cool styling of the self-inking return address stamp. Check out those custom stamps I pulled from my Everyday Magic art series! So tropical! And they say “Hello!”. Perfect!

The whole process was a lot of fun. And it feels wonderful knowing that our friends and family will have this tangible, tactile, little piece of love from our family during the Holiday Season.

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. Share and celebrate your family update. Shop Shutterfly for personalized holiday cards that are unique, meaningful and that are just the way you want.

A Beautiful Weekend

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Leandra Medine got real honest (and wonderfully inspiring) about what to expect when you’re trying to expect. This girl is pretty awesome. 

As of November 9th, women in the UK who work full time are effectively working for free through the New Year. Why? Because the gender pay gap for full-time workers is 14.2 percent, and November 9 marks the day that men have already earned what women will earn over the course of the whole year. Seriously guys, that’s a month and half worth of free labor. 

Missy broke the internet!

Jennifer Lawrence was not kidding around about that whole equal pay thing. 

Erin hooked us up with our new winter skin routine

A beautiful shop.

A beautiful book.

A beautiful woman

Have a beautiful weekend!

Why don’t we want to watch women be successful?

GIRL
 Image via  Agony-In-Eight-Colors

Image via Agony-In-Eight-Colors

We’re really all about the love here at GGG. But, today, inspired by a pretty annoying experience whilst reading The New York Times (a publication I usually love) I’ll be throwing a little shade. The reason I am sharing this on the blog and not just in a rant-email to Christina is a) I already did that and b) this article and what it represents is a huge reason why we started Girl Gift Gather.

Today the Fashion & Style section of nytimes.com released a post entitled ‘The Bedford Stop,’ Reality in Williamsburg Is the Perfect Parody’. It’s a short article on the new reality web-series, The Bedford Stop (“a reality show about Brooklyn girls avoiding reality”). This series attempts to show “an earnest (if slightly exaggerated) portrayal of the Williamsburg woman” according to the show’s creator, Mikey Ortiz. The show is unscripted and inspired by Mikey’s friend, Olena Yatsyuk. The trailer follows Olena and her girlfriends as they swipe left, take selfies, and figure out ways to get free drinks. And here’s the thing, Olena and her friends are totally entitled to cry about break-ups, wear risqué halloween costumes, and post to Instagram to annoy their ex-boyfriends. My problem is not in their actions because these women (and all people for that matter) have the right to behave in whichever crazy, wonderful ways they see fit. Especially when they’re in their early twenties.

My issue is that some guy from Florida with mediocre camera skills has taken it upon himself to depict the ‘Williamsburg woman’. My issue is that he has chosen to depict this woman in a tasteless manner that is painfully focused on spectacle and drama. My issue is that The New York Times is giving him a platform to share what, at best, can be called a tired concept for reality TV. My issue is that giving projects like this large scale attention is damaging to women.

I know plenty of ‘Williamsburg women’ who aren’t obsessed with Tinder and selfies. Many of them have their own companies, work hard at their jobs and have fulfilling lives. I know so many of these women that we’ve created an entire website and video series around them. I also know that many (if not all) of these women have happy, healthy relationships with their female friends. They speak honestly and openly with each other. And yes, sometimes their conversations are about texting an ex-boyfriend, or whether they can pull off culottes, or who they get their hair cut by. But, just as often, their conversations explore the current political landscape, the Syrian refugee crisis, the challenges of motherhood in today’s working environment, and how to manage employees when you own the business.

Can I blame twenty-six-year-old Mikey for his lack of imagination and hapless pursuit of fame? Why would he want to highlight all of those awesome women when all he has to do to be written up by The New York Times is convince some twenty-three-year-old girls who are likely struggling with self-esteem and self-worth that they’ll be internet-famous if they let him film them? And while I yearn to ask these girls why they are putting the representation of women into the hands of a man when it’s been proven time and time again that men will present us as shallow, bratty, bitchy, and ’emotional’ in order to get ratings, I know that going after them is not the answer either.

This article is obviously click-bait, and while I understand that the internet is full of junk designed to rile us up and annoy the masses, I also know that The New York Times is a respected publication. It is trusted by successful and powerful people and it claims to share important information. Perhaps that’s what’s so disappointing. This isn’t E! News. This is an article under a publication that has a huge readership who respects it’s opinions. As a result, this is an article that is contributing to how people see young women like myself. And when I walk into an office full of men (which statistically will happen to me more often than not) this article is one more thing that is working against me (never mind the pay gap).

Let’s stop trivializing women. Let’s stop scandalizing their mistakes. Let’s stop giving men opportunities to depict us in the media. Let’s stop watching shows that make women caricatures who are greedy, ditzy, bitchy and vain. Instead, let’s highlight the countless triumphs, incredible work and beautiful progress we see happening among women. We’re trying to do that here and we hope you’ll join us. 

Gather | Brunch & Business

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Last June, we gathered at Local Creative’s #LocalLoft on a Saturday morning to eat brunch and chat business with eleven talented, creative, and successful women. Over quiche, bagels, and a cherry cake situation that was simply out of this world (thanks to Sarah from Salt House Market) we discussed everything from creative ruts to Instagram envy. It was so refreshing to hear these women get real with us about what it takes to pursue what you love. And we’re so excited to finally be sharing this video with you.

Get yourself a cup of tea and cozy spot, and get ready for some straight-up magic…. 

Featuring:

TANWI NANDINI ISLAM of Wildflower Botanica

MARTA FREEDMAN of @H0tgirlseatingpizza & Trixxie

Artist MAE KAUFMAN of @maeelvis

SARAH ASHLEY SCHIEAR of Salt House

KATIE DEEDY of Grow House Grow

JULIA ZANGRILLI of NOVA

KATYA SLEPAK of Mālayā Organics

RAWAN RIHANI of Aurora Botanica

JENNA & NICOLE of Local Creative

A Beautiful Weekend

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 Image via  @aelfie

Image via @aelfie

Let Girls Learn. An article written by the First Lady herself! 

Arianna Grande schoolin’ boy DJ’s on sexism

Why Bradley Cooper’s new movie should actually be Sienna Miller’s new movie

This Australian teen is shaking up the Instagram world and getting real honest with her peers.

100 female directors Hollywood should be hiring,

Congrats to all the marathon runners for last week’s success! (Especially the ladies!)

A beautiful store.

A beautiful book

A beautiful woman

What’s Your Most Creative Time of Day? | Tanwi Nandini Islam

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The first thing that struck us about Tanwi Nandini Muslim was her grace. She’s articulate, thoughtful and incredibly kind. In addition to being a spectacular human, she’s also the critically acclaimed author of Bright Lines, and the founder of HI Wildflower Botanica, a botanical perfume, small-batch skincare and hand-poured soy candle line based in Brooklyn.