Merry Christmas?

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Today, a guest post by the lovely Andrea Martinez…

  image via   Still Blog

image via Still Blog

I’ve never been partial to Christmas. When I was a kid, I loved waking up early and opening gifts (who doesn’t), but the melancholy always set in by mid-morning. I was too young to identify it, let alone understand it, but I knew that I didn’t feel good. The party was over, the wrapping paper was already trashed and that was sad to me. The songs leading up to the morning didn’t help either, since the idea of a world in peril saved by the birth of a child was too overwhelming for me. And when I was old enough to get the lyrics to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – specifically the Frank Sinatra version – I cried, or at least regularly blinked back an eyeful of tears. It was just sad. All of it.

As an adult living away from home, I spent Christmas day with friends and their family, but I always returned to my apartment alone with a box full of leftovers and only slightly buzzed. An amusing series of memories to have, but blue nonetheless. One Christmas, I had a serious boyfriend and I thought how adult it would be to go to midnight mass (we weren’t catholic), come home, open a gift and stay up late talking. Nope. We weren’t adults, it felt forced, and as usual, sad.

But, I can’t say that my “Christmas Spirit” is defined any differently than yours. I celebrate as one does – festive meals, late nights out, drinks.  I even sing along to Christmas carols, on the verge of tears usually, but singing is singing, no? I buy practical strangers (here’s looking at you, random co-workers) inoffensive-cheeky gifts for a white elephant party.  And through those activities I accept that there is something different about these days. I suppose that acceptance means that I’m connected to the greater We, if only because We go through this thing together. We are sharing the passing of time, We are laughing at group shenanigans, We are breaking the last Christmas cookie in half. Yes, I’m part of the We, but I am still…bummed.

My mom, the kindest person I know, will give a small gift to everyone she knows this Christmas, just like all the Christmases before. Not because that’s what you’re supposed to do, but because she wants to make sure that everyone feels remembered. She recognizes that people are forgotten. It’s that sentiment that brings on the melancholy. Where she can take that bit of understanding and make it better for someone, I sit and think on it. For a whole season.

The one thing, and maybe the only thing that makes it better is the idea that I am not alone with this feeling. I am not the only person who finds Christmas to be a bipolar holiday, extreme in its fluctuation between merriment and heartbreak. And in the same way that I sit through the entire ASPCA commercial because I need to acknowledge the suffering before I can help, I need to feel the full extent of Christmas melancholy before I can change it.

Andrea Martinez is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and currently lives in Dallas with her rescue dog Ulysses. She dabbles in a little of this and a little of that. 

Some of our favorites

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There’s not a lot left of 2015. How was the year for you? Did you grow? Did you make changes? Did you keep your intentions? Did you make some mistakes? Were you brave? Were you silly? Were you loving all of it?

Something about these dark days and festive traditions gets us feeling all reflective. Today we are sharing some of our favorite posts from this year. We hope you enjoy!

 

This piece by Chelsey about the deeply frustrating way women are rewarded by the media (again & again & again).

 

This piece by Christina, who gets a little bossy about prenatal health (full of all sorts of links and suggestions).

Our incredible #LessonImAlwaysLearnings. Seriously, where we got to pick the brains of Waiting For Saturday, The AstroTwins, Of A Kind, and the founder of Jack’s Wife Freda, to name a few!

 Our most creative time of day series.

And see that picture of Oliver at the top of the page. Click here for more of that.

Also…Gilmore Girls, Paris, French Words & Mary Oliver.

Happy Monday!

xo C+C

 

A beautiful Weekend

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 Image via  Kush and Wiz

Image via Kush and Wiz

Yas Queeen!

Women in the US are ‘Missing Rights‘ according to the U.N’s Gender Equality assessment.

Nobel Prize Winner, voice for women, and advocate for equality and peace. Malala, can you be president

When you realize the genius behind Netflix’ content is a kick ass lady

School girls in Chicago giving us all kinds of hope about the future of this country. A quote from this high school senior: “You can’t really understand or judge a person and their beliefs until you understand why they do it and what it’s like for them to do what they’re doing.” 

Normalize it.

And just in case you haven’t gotten those Christmas gifts taken care of. Our girl, Erin Boyle, has Free Gifts, Fifty Ways that’ll solve all your problems. 

A beautiful company. 

A beautiful tee.  

A beautiful woman.  

Have a beautiful weekend! 

C+C 

fertility & pregnancy | SUPPLEMENTS

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 me 37 weeks pregnant!

me 37 weeks pregnant!

It goes without saying: I am not a doctor. Or an expert on pre- and post-natal health. I am simply a woman that got pregnant, and had a baby. That one time, a year and a half ago. Like many many other women in this world throughout history.

BUT… I also am someone that did totally geek out about nutrition and health for years before getting pregnant. I worked for Dr. JJ, a phenomenal naturopath (you can see our interview with her here & get her new book here), and have a love, bordering on obsession, with healthy alternatives to standard medicine practices. I have a hard lean toward holistic approaches to life’s common ailments. Does my sometimes preachy tone about the benefits of desiccated cow liver get annoying for the people in my life? Absolutely. But, I can say that my pregnancy – conceiving, carrying, birthing, and postpartum – was a breeze, and that Oliver is a profoundly healthy little dude. He’s never needed to take antibiotics, no common childhood maladies like ear infections, etc. And if he does get them, I am confident that there are holistic treatments that don’t incur nearly as many side effects as their alternatives.  So, with that disclosure, and due to the high number of requests I get from friends and family for advice on the topic, I will begin! For the first installment we will take about…

Supplements

1. One year before you are planning to get pregnant (more if you can) it is time to get serious. If you are on birth control, stop. (Also, even if you’re not trying, this is a really interesting look at the affects of the pill on our bodies). If you have been on birth control, your hormones are way out of whack – but that’s okay, bodies are resilient, it will just need a bit of time to rebalance. Start taking a B vitamin complex with folate in it, as birth control zaps your body of this essential nutrient for fertility and baby health. I like this one. This one is good as well. Take this religiously.

2. Do a probiotic flush. PROBIOTICS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND. It’s all about the gut, folks.  More and more research points to the importance of proper gut health. And ladies, you pass that on to your babies, so it is important to keep up with your probiotics while pregnant and breastfeeding. But first, a flush! Get yourself some probiotics and then,  take 1 probiotic every waking hour for 3 days, or until the bottle runs out. So roughly 12 – 16 probiotics a day. The reason for the flush is to inundate your body with these amazing good, happy bacteria allies. Our SAD (standard american diet) completely depletes these healthy microbes that we need to be vibrant and healthy. After the initial flush, continue taking at least one a day (I usually take 4). Also, eat yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchee and other naturally fermented food items as much as possible because they contain probiotics and you wanna stock up! All probiotics are not created equally. I like these.

3. Fish Oil. Our bodies need this. I like these. Take 4 to 6 a day. Don’t pay attention to what it says on the box. It’s not too much. Your brain needs it. Your uterus needs it. Your future baby needs it so it can be a genius it is destined to be. So important. I love these. Oliver chews on them like they are candy (a little weird, but I’ll take it).

4. Everyone should be taking a vitamin D supplement everyday, period. But this is especially true for women in every stage of the fertility game. I use these drops, and when I am especially brave I take these. The latter is so so so so good for you and your baby and the health befits are phenomenal. But it tastes F-ing nasty and it’s super expensive. Things to consider. 

5. Lastly, Green Food! I have spoken about this before. But this stuff, if you can stomach it, is magical. I get mine from the Herb Shoppe or you can get it an any health food store. 2 teaspoons mixed with some water. I pop all my supplements into my mouth and chug it with green food. One fell swoop.

Also – Things to just stop doing…

Non-organic animal products (really non-organic everything, but if you have to do one thing for yourself and your growing baby no disgusting meat and cheese from tortured animals. Can I be blunt? Its almost 2016 – we know this right?)

Sugar. Sugar is everywhere for no good reason. Start reading labels. Does your health food bar have 22 grams of sugar? Just stop. 

NO SODA. Not even (especially!) diet soda. 

Get yourself a water bottle made of glass and keep it filled with filtered water. Get rid of all your plastic, hormone disrupting BPA bottles and Tupperware. Read this article about going green with your household cleaners and this one about cosmetics and stay tuned for the next installment about diet.

xo

Christina

Lesson I’m Always Learning: Emma Tuccillo of And North

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The greatest lesson I have learned is to embrace mistakes. When starting a new business or venture, you are going to come upon challenges every step of the way, many of which do not have obvious solutions. Follow your instincts and if they lead you astray, embrace the mistake, think about what can be learned from the experience, and move forward. It is so freeing to look at my mistakes in this way. Each one is an opportunity to learn. 

 

Emma Tuccillo is the Founder and Creative Director of And North, a curated guide to upstate NY. Featuring the best of upstate travel and lifestyle, And North aims to inspire adventure, collaboration, and sense of community among those in the city and the vibrant regions that lie north

A Beautiful weekend

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 Image via  3191 Miles Apart

Image via 3191 Miles Apart

We know this time of year is all Holiday parties, Hanukkah celebrations, Christmas shopping, and travel planning. But, we hope you’ll take a break from the craziness with us this weekend. Just enough time to enjoy a cup of tea in the morning light and a few delightful reads.

Hillary Clinton won a grammy?

Tina and Amy talking Bechdel testing, competition, and comedy.

One for the moms

Julie Holland on medicating women and their feelings — a super interesting read that questions why women feel so much shame about having so many feelings. One of our favorite quotes below:

 “If the serotonin levels of women are constantly, artificially high, they are at risk of losing their emotional sensitivity with its natural fluctuations, and modeling a more masculine, static hormonal balance. This emotional blunting encourages women to take on behaviors that are typically approved by men: appearing to be invulnerable, for instance, a stance that might help women move up in male-dominated businesses.”

A beautiful book.

A beautiful company.

A beautiful woman

Have a beautiful weekend! 

Roma

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What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Rome? It was just pure magic. Myself, Michael and our two good friends had just two days in the city and we walked the shoes right off our feet. A few suggestions in case you find yourself in Italy’s capital any time in the near future.

 A walking tour. We started our trip this way and it was a great choice. It meant we got a whistle-stop tour of most of the monuments (so we knew what we wanted to go back to later) and some incredible facts about the city and it’s history. I’ve also found that a walking tour at the beginning of a trip is an easy way to get familiar with the layout of a city. Plus, it’s free!

Cacio e Pepe. Because, when in Rome… This great spot is walking distance from the center of the city (so many places I found were a good 20 minute cab ride) and we were pretty much surrounded by locals when we were eating there. And yes, it was delicious! (Rome is a reservations city, call ahead).

The Pantheon. It’s in incredible condition, it’s a crazy amalgamation of Greek, Roman and Christian art and architecture, it’s stunning, it’s free, and a lot of people can go in at the same time so there are rarely lines. It was breathtaking. 

Monti. Is a hip, cool area of the city where many a young twenty-something can be found. We stayed in this area and it was great. Not too touristy and walking distance to everything. Plus, there are some great spots to eat and drink (La Casetta is a gorgeous little cafe covered in vines, Fatamorgana has some damn fine gelato, Mikiway is a concept store filled with stylish clothes, cool decor and charmng knick knacks). 

The Forum, The Coliseum, Piazza Navona, The Spanish Steps…there’s just too much and it’s all so good! I highly recommend downloading historical podcasts for when you’re strolling through the monuments. It’s a cool way to put your whole experience in context.

There’s about one million things I didn’t get to see that I wish I had seen, but that’s for another trip… 

xx

Chelsey

 

 

 

 

Girls, Gifts and Good Vibes

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In our time building Girl Gift Gather, we’ve been blessed to work with women who make, sell, create, and design incredibly beautifully products. And since the season for gift guides is officially upon us, we figured there was no better place to source our favorite giftable goods than our very own community. This way, not only can you purchase a gift that we believe is beautiful, special, and well made, but you can meet the powerhouse ladies behind the brand. 

So, here it is. The 2015 Girl Gift Gather Gift Guide, made exclusively of women we’ve worked with. (Can we just say how freakin’ cool that is?!!). 

These shoes, by this GIRL!

Our favorite face serum by this botanical maven.

We have been looking forward to this beauty of a book being released for over a year.
Erin’s wisdom, style, and wit would be a welcome addition to any stocking in any home.

This beautiful candle set by this beautiful girl.

YES PLEASE! 
(finally a way to have Katie‘s fabulousness in your life while renting an apartment) 

This Jam by this rad lady

This apron from this chef/entrepreneur

A truly beautiful gift, custom built by this master perfumer.

Dr JJ for the WIN

Here’s to buying beautiful things made by beautiful people!

C+C

A Beautiful Weekend

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 Via  @reformation

Via @reformation

Feeling all the good feelings about it being Friday! A few links that are getting us all inspired and excited this weekend. 

Attitude goals for the holiday season. 

Is Mark Zuckerberg setting a new standard for paternity leave? 

Holiday movies that pass the Blechdel test. So you can be merry and pro-women this holiday season. 

Three cheers for the 2016 Pirelli calendar. 

26 Things Every Person Should Do For Themselves Once A Year.

A beautiful shop.

A beautiful book. (See ou interview with the author, Dr JJ, here!)

A beautiful woman

Have a beautiful weekend!