California Here We Come

Uncategorized

By the time this post goes live, I’ll be in California. I’ll be in LA for three sun-soaked days saying hello to some of my dearest friends (Christina, I’m looking at you). After LA, Mike and I will drive north to Ojai for a day strolling through the town and camping in a state park – I haven’t been to Ojai since in years but I have the fondest memories of visiting the town with my whole family when I was little. From Ojai, we head to wine country for a family wedding. This too promises to be full of sun and smiles. And then, the most exciting part of the whole trip — 3 days in Big Sur.

Despite taking many road trips (and even a dedicated west coast road trip), Mike and I have never been to Big Sur. We’re already planning breakfast at Big Sur Bakery, afternoons at Pfeiffer Beach, and sunsets at McWay Falls! The final leg of our trip will be two nights in the Bay Area. It’s going to be 10 magical days of Joni Mitchell, California produce, stunning views, walks along the beach, and long chats in our rental car. I can hardly wait….

Chelsey

Mood.

Uncategorized

Inspired by Phoebe at The WW Club, I started making a monthly mood board. It’s a bit ritualistic, a bit creative, and a bit goal oriented. You know, just enough of everything but not too much of anything so that it’s still a fun, easy, post-work activity.

Sometime during the first week of the month, usually a Tuesday night or some such mundane day, I grab a nice glass of wine and some cheese (or just tea and cookies) and spend a few guilt-free hours perusing Pinterest. I wander down a creative rabbit hole (you know, the kind you usually only find yourself going down when there’s a pile of work in front of you that feels urgent and impossible) and let one image inform the next, eventually deciding on a few standout styles/colors/interiors/haircuts/shoes that I’d happily stare at for the next 30 days. I try not to take the project too seriously or get hung up on the details. It doesn’t have to be perfect. There will be a new mood for next month. It’s just a creative ritual, one that doesn’t feel overwhelming or weighed down by goals and ambition. It’s like a coloring book or knitting — the joy is in the doing, the product is just a perk. 

Up top is September’s mood board. Time and tea feel like a big part of this month: back to school, back to traditions, back to cooler temps. And with NYC painted in rakish, bare-faced models how could I not include a little fashion (fur-lined Gucci loafers anyone?). Mostly, seeing these images every time I open my computer reminds me just how many places I can find inspiration…and just how much cool stuff there is right at my fingertips. Yay for the internet and all that.

Chelsey

P.S. Get in a MOOD with me — I’m uploading my boards to Pinterest. Becuase, why the heck not?

The Wild Unknown

Uncategorized
 Image via  The Wild Unkown

Image via The Wild Unkown

What if you have it all wrong? What if nothing happens for a reason? What if it’s all just a series of guesses at what you think you want? What if you’re wrong most of the time? What if it’s just failure after failure? What if your life is a series of random choices that don’t add up to anything but a lack of direction? What if you’re lost? What if feeling ‘found’ is a weird nonsense allusion? What if everyone is doing better than you? What if everyone is disappointed in you? What if you never find your way? What if you run out of time? Why aren’t there any guarantees? 

These are some thoughts that are both terrifying and honest. They are mine, but I’m sure you’ve had them too. I really hope so. (Not because I want you to suffer, but because if I’m alone in this I just might explode). I have had a lot of these thoughts lately. Maybe it’s because I’m in my Saturn Return, maybe it’s because I’m in my late twenties, or maybe this is just a part of life no matter your age, success, or luck. Word on the street is, being in my twenties makes it worse, but this is definitely a life long relationship with doubt, self-worth, and future wants and needs. 

I like to think of this blog as a place for inspiration, joy, and connection, with a big emphasis on joy. I don’t want to bring down the tone of the room or anything, but if you’re reading this and expecting an answer to the problem of ‘what the hell is happening and where do I belong’ stop reading now. I’m just as confused as the rest of you. 

Where do I belong? What do I want? Where do I want to go? These thoughts are on an endless loop in my head right now. I’d pay good money for someone to give me an answer that is guaranteed to be correct. I know that’s not how it works but damn, I wish it was. 

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately: what if the Universe isn’t planning, orchestrating, and managing our lives so we can become some beautiful, happy, fulfilled thing? What if the Universe isn’t thinking about us at all? What if it’s not about the Universe helping you close your deal, or process your grief, or take away all of your financial problems? (I don’t know about you, but I never talk to the Universe more than when things are really hard and/or I can’t find a parking space). What if it’s not about what’s being given? What if it’s actually about how how we receive?

Let’s imagine that the Universe is throwing miracles our way every second of every day; the world is just one big minefield of miracles. Sounds pretty great right? Well, yes and no. The truth is, we all tend to have strong ideas about what we need and what we want. As a result, we can be closed off to a lot of opportunities, ideas, and paths. So, this means that the Universe can be bombarding us with miracles that are incredibly valuable to our well-being but, because they’re not quite what we’re looking for, we feel like we’re getting nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. (Reference inner monologue at the beginning of this post for more details on exactly how that feels). You know when you get exactly what you want and you think about how the Universe is great and you’re filled with faith? Well, what if that moment (you know you’ve had it, it’s called happiness without anxiety) is nothing more than the moment when your wants/needs match up with the miracles that the Universe is throwing your way? It’s not that the Universe has your back in that moment (and doesn’t have your back in other moments) it’s just a coincidence that you and the Universe are on the same page re: what you need right now. 

This doesn’t mean the Universe is less with you. It actually means the Universe is offering so much more than you’re willing to accept. It also means that things might not shake out exactly how you want them to. But maybe, what you think is great and magnificent is missing all kinds of awesomeness? The truth is, I don’t know. But, just keep swimming I guess? 

Chelsey 

Austin, TX

Uncategorized

In May, Michael and I found a short moment between his graduation and my work to fly down to Austin for some much needed r & r. The trip wasn’t nearly long enough and Texas floods meant we didn’t get to go out on the boat quite as often as I would have liked. But, we managed to have a truly delightful trip made up of slow mornings, long walks with my dad’s new puppy, Texas BBQ, and even an adventure to Johnson City for homemade peach ice cream and a tour through one of the vineyards.

 Enjoying the handmade peach ice cream they sell on the roadside every spring and summer in Johnson City. 

Enjoying the handmade peach ice cream they sell on the roadside every spring and summer in Johnson City. 

                                                                                  So much beautiful produce! 

                                                                                 So much beautiful produce! 

  Brought my  Marias ' to the farm. 

Brought my Marias ‘ to the farm. 

 Lazy mornings and some pretty perfect light. 

Lazy mornings and some pretty perfect light. 

 A dog walk complete with a dreamy sunset and the scent of white oleanders. 

A dog walk complete with a dreamy sunset and the scent of white oleanders. 

6 things

Uncategorized
 Image via  Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

And suddenly it’s Summer. Not officially. But let’s be real, it’s in the air. We pulled out the fan, I’ve started wearing my cut off shorts, and sandals are in full rotation. Since Spring wasn’t really a thing this year, the arrival of summer is a surprise and a gosh darn relief. As I did last year, I’m sharing a few summer goals/wishes/plans. Because, well, it’s 80 degrees and that’s reason enough!

Books + Sun. I really, really want to perfect the art of laying in the sun with a good book this summer. Simple, but perfect. This book is on my reading list next. 

Horseback riding. This was on last year’s list, but I didn’t manage to get it done. Second time’s a charm.

Barton Springs. We’re in Austin this week and this spot is an old favorite. I can’t wait to dive in. 

Picnics. In the park, at the beach, on my stoop. No more dining inside for me! 

Pickling. Because, we’re signed up for a CSA again and it’s a good solution for all those fresh veggies and busy weekends. Plus, picnics.

Aperol Spritz. This summer, this refreshing, Italian cocktail will be my drink of choice. 

Happy unofficial summer!

Chelsey

Woman

Uncategorized

…we might have known sooner that the most reliable predictor of whether a country is violent within itself – or will use military violence against another country – is not poverty, natural resources, religion, or even degree of democracy; it’s violence against females. It normalizes all other violence.” — Gloria Steinem

Yesterday, Viceland, launched a series with Gloria Steinam called, WOMAN. It’s an eye-opening, heartbreaking documentary/news series that tells the story of women around the world. Particularly how their abuse, disenfranchisement, and oppression limits the growth, stability, and success of communities and countries. 

This show is not for the faint of heart. It is powerful and sometimes painful. But it is important to witness the the truth. And here, in personal stories of everyday women, Gloria is showing us the truth and bringing the talking circles of the 60’s and 70’s straight to our computer screens.

Watch, learn, and then let’s create some change.

Chelsey

Mexico Magic

Uncategorized

Last week, I hopped on a plane for a few short but beautiful days in Mexico. Once again, I was visiting my dear, dear god-sister in Mexico City. But this time around, we ventured out into the countryside for a weekend in ‘the real Mexico’,

We visited the small town of Tepoztlan, a couple hours drive south of Mexico City. The entire town sits in the cradle of towering mountains. The cobblestoned streets are lined with brightly-colored houses, vigilantly guarded by scrappy dogs. Every which way you turn, you’re greeted with the power and beauty of nature. It is strangely relaxing to be so consistently reminded of your size in the grand scale of things. 

The first morning, we hiked up the Tepozteco Mountain to see El Tepoztecoa, a small temple dedicated to the Aztec god Tepoztecatl. The hike isn’t too long (about 45 minutes) and just strenuous enough to make the view (see above) feel really worth it. 

Later in the afternoon, we took a stroll through the market place. The markets here are everything you could ever want them to be. Brimming and bustling. A hive of activity. Young girls lined up in a row, kneading out dough for their tortillas. Weathered women butchering chickens with a chef’s familiarity. Old ladies seated on crates shelling beans and selling cactus. Young children racing through narrow aisles ferrying fruits and vegetables between market stalls. It was loud and hot and filled with the smell of sautéing mushrooms and zucchini flowers. 

Mostly, I spent the weekend drinking Mezcal, strolling through flower-lined streets, and eating handmade tortillas. It felt so good to truly be on vacation. I travel a lot and a lot of the travel I do is in big cities. I love visiting them; soaking up the culture, enjoying the incredible food, walking the streets for hours on end. But sometimes, these trips can leave me exhausted and ready for a vacation from my vacation! It was so delicious to take a weekend and move slow, enjoying the beauty around me and the people I love. 

Here’s to more magic in Mexico!

Chelsey

P.S. A few suggestions in case you ever visit:

Lunch here. The most amazing view + authentic Mexican food.

Visit the markets and bring plenty of cash – there’s great food and incredible ingredients but there’s also an entire market dedicated to clothes, crystals, hammocks, hand-weaved baskets, and more. If only my suitcase had been bigger!

Hike Tepozteco Mountain early in the morning before it gets too hot. The temple site doesn’t open until 9:00am but it will take a good 45 minutes to get up there. 8:30am is a good start time. 

Get spiritual. Tepoztlan is a bit of a spiritual hotspot and there’s some seriously healing energy believed to be present. Indulge in a little healing whether it’s going for a massage, picking up a new crystal, or getting your tarot read. 

 

OMG SPRING

Uncategorized

I did it. I tempted fate and bit the bullet and pulled out my summer clothing box yesterday. It’s been well over 50 degrees everyday for the past couple of weeks. Plus, Daylight Savings. Furthermore, I’m sitting outside in a t-shirt as I write this. So, I’m just going to say it. Winter is over. Spring is here. I think it’s for real. 

To me, the first few days of Spring smell like college. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it brings a smile to my face every year and it makes the transition extra sweet. I’ve spotted a few eager buds springing to life on the trees along my block and even the plants inside our house are waking up – our orchid exploded in the last week and is now showing five glorious flowers. 

These early days of spring wouldn’t be complete without a few daydreams about the magic April and May have in store. Below, a little spring dreaming to inspire you.

Open days at the Garden Conservancy. So I can get up close and personal with all those May flowers. 

These shoes. Because it’s open toe season ya’ll.

Eating outside. Especially here, here, and here

A day trip to Keene, NY complete with picnics, and farmer’s markets, and hikes through the hills. 

Iced coffee and then some from this new spot in Brooklyn.

Dresses. Jumpsuits. Skirts.

Here’s to Spring! 

xxx

Chelsey

 

The Future Is Female

Uncategorized

Happy International Women’s Day! We’re taking this day to honor and shout out some of our favorite not-for-profits that support women around the world. Send them love, take their pledge, sign up for their emails, send them money, or just share them on your social media platform of choice. These people are doing the hard and important work and we are grateful to all of them. 

Girls not Brides: a global partnership committed to ending child marriage so girls can more freely strive for their full potential.

It’s On Us: dedicated to keeping women (and men) safe from sexual assault. 

Girl Upsupports UN programs promoting the health, safety, education, and leadership of girls in developing countries.

Planned Parenthoodprovides reproductive health services in the United States and internationally. (We wrote a post on all of the incredible work they do here.)

He for She: creating gender equality around the world. 

Women for Women Internationalsupports the most marginalized women to earn and save money, improve health and well-being, influence decisions in their home and community, and connect to networks for support. 

P.S. You can get this rad t-shirt at Otherwild

Skin Is In

Uncategorized

 

How is it already February? Truly, where did the time go? Perhaps I got distracted by all the travel, the unseasonably warm weather, or the snowstorm that blanketed an entire weekend. Somehow, it happened and we are here. February. A notoriously chilly and depressing month. Our feelings about it are well documented. And despite St. Valentine’s best efforts, no amount of dyed roses, saccharin-sweet chocolate boxes, or smiling teddy bears can change what is ultimately Winter’s cruelest warrior.

However, I’ve recently discovered that there are some delights to be found in this short, brutal month. Chiefly, time. Something about February smacks of boredom and futility. It is hard to get out of the house, let alone get shit done. What we are left with is a month of quiet evenings and slow mornings. And do you know what is perfect on a quiet evening or a slow morning? A face mask. Also, a good exfoliation, a hot bath, and an at-home pedicure. As I’ve recently discovered, February is a perfect month for nurturing your cold, winter-worn body. And since there’s nothing else to do, you have plenty of time to indulge in all sorts of lengthy, elaborate beauty rituals that Fall, Spring, and Summer are simply too exciting to make time for. 

So,  below are a few suggestions as to how you might want to spend your lazy, long weekend. Forget dragging yourself to the museum, or cleaning your apartment, or doing laundry. Forget going out for a boozy brunch, or forcing yourself to go to SoulCycle. Instead, hole up in your overheated apartment with a selection of skincare goodies (because you’re not spending money on brunch/laundry/shopping you can afford to be a little decadent here) and give the largest organ in your body a February treat.

Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask

Perfect for the classic best-friends-in-bathrobes-and-face-masks-watching-Clueless kind of night. Plus, it’s all sorts of moisturizing for you.

Dr. Jart Water ++ Water Fuse Water-Full Hydrogel Mask

After seeing every model on Into The Gloss say they used this religiously during/after a flight to rescue their skin from recycled-air grossness, I had to give it a try. I now use it religiously after I travel. But, it’ll do nicely if you’re in one of those apartments where the radiator’s been on full blast since October and your skin feels like paper. 

One Love Organics B Enzyme

I use this as my cleanser all year long. It’s made with organic ingredients and has no parabens, phthalates, or other nonsense ingredients that are science code for poison. It feels incredible on your skin and is so gentle and clarifying.

ExfoliKate

The dreamiest exfoliator that over was. I love how exfoliating feels but I’m always scared I’m damaging my skin. This one has been lauded for being gentle and effective. 

Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Scrub

It smells so good. Seriously. Plus, the packaging is pretty in your shower. And it’s all natural. But mostly, it smells good enough to brighten up any winter day

Hot Oil Treatments

These are so simple and so good for your hair. I’m not super into using products in my hair but sometimes that means it gets ignored (read: dry and sad). These are easy to use, good for you, and they travel well (good for winter hair AND summer hair!).

Glossier Balm DotCom

The only balm I use anymore. It’s just so good and has the perfect weight and shininess. I use it on my lips all the time but also on my cheekbones and eyelids when my skin is looking a little dull. I’ve also gifted it to everyone. (You know who you are).

HeyDay

If you get a little stir crazy at home, then brave the cold for a facial at HeyDay. It’s easy to book and super low maintenance. You don’t need an afternoon free to spa and steam, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. You can just come in, lay down, give your skin a little attention, and walk out the door 30-60 minutes later. 

Happy February!

Chelsey