Straight Out Of: Anne of Green Gables

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Outfit inspiration photo, locket, easy hair tutorial, white blouse fabric line,  Anne of Green Gables scarf, vintage botanical print, boots

When the cool Fall air starts slipping over my window sills in the morning, and the sun goes to bed a little earlier each night, all I want to do is cuddle under a warm quilt with a favorite book. Anne Shirley is an old friend, and I’m very much looking forward to spending an afternoon together, getting reacquainted.

I was excited to do a fun roundup for you, of soft colors and boots, vintage flowers and pearl drops, but really all of these things are just reminders to see the magic around you. To venture out and explore, and to stay in and luxuriate in your own imagination. Autumn is the season of full library queues, of lovely touches and cozy plans. It’s a time to remember old friends, to make space for dreams, and to re-center yourself as one more beautiful, wonderful thing is this beautiful, wonderful world.

So this month, feast your soul, imagine what can one day be, and re-center. I’ll be over here, doing the same.

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In My Bag

I always find it fascinating to hear what must-have items friends carry with them at all times. Everyone seems to have a few signature things that they absolutely need, that will get them through whatever the day holds. Here are mine!

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A small notebook

When left to my own devices, I have post it notes and shopping lists spilling out of my purse, stuck to my phone case, and perched precariously on the handle of my grocery cart. Finally I wised up and bought a few pocket notebooks. I use one at a time and try to restrict my list-making to that area only. At the very least, it’s a central place to keep all my post it notes so that they don’t blow away before I get where I’m going.

Pilot G2 Pens

If I’m writing, I want to be writing with a Pilot G2. It is the most passionately reviewed product on Amazon, and for good reason. If you are a pen nerd/aficionado, you know the unique and underrated pleasure of the perfect pen. I don’t go anywhere without one, and it’s my first choice for Project Life journaling.

Pouches

For corralling all those small things like pens, chapstick, and Purell. Make them bright, and get them in multiples. I also have one for my drawing pencils and travel watercolor set, so that I can grab them and go when I don’t want to take my whole bag along to sketch.

Lip balm and a kicky lipstick

I cover all my bases by carrying a soft moisturizing lip balm for day, and a bright, opaque lipcolor for whenever the situation seems to call for it. I use it as a stain when I’m feeling pale, and slick it on when I wish I had worn something different that day. It always helps.

Sunglasses

For escaping during my lunch hour or getting a little privacy on the commute home.

Sketchpad and Watercolor set

Lately I’ve been enjoying experimenting with urban sketching (see my Pinterest inspiration board here). I love to play with color and turn off my  mind for half an hour during my  lunch  break or after work. I find myself engaging with my environment in a totally different way, and I love flexing these muscles for the first time in so long. I keep everything I need in one pouch so I can grab and go.

What are your must-have items that get you through whatever the day throws at you?

 

 

 

Straight out of: Little Women

We’ve finally had a few good warm days, here in Boston. The kind of days when the shade is full of breezes and the sunny stretches of sidewalk remind us what summer is going to be like. When that summer feeling finally arrives, with its bright hot sun and the windows thrown open to let in the cool of the evening, I get in a Little Women mood. The long walks in the woods, the wildflowers, the letter box for sending secret letters. Meg’s garden wedding happens in the summer, and Amy spends long days on the Italian coast, sketching in the Mediterranean air. It’s all just fantastic, from the book to the 1994 movie.

So today I thought I’d share a roundup inspired by the story. Something to remind you to look for the romantic, to get your surroundings down on paper. I want to give you something to feel adventurous about, to remind you of your own extraordinary gifts. Summer is a season of softness, warmth, gentle gestures, and unexpected pleasures. So channel your inner Meg, Jo, Beth, or Amy, and go do what you love to do and enjoy it free of pressure. Here’s your permission.

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Sunhat, skirt, journal, bouquet, illustration, headband, colored pencils, mailbox

Why not?

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Fill a notebook with sketches or photos of all your favorite neighborhood spots?

Gather all the craft supplies that you’re never going to use and make a fun care package for a niece or nephew? Type up a short children’s story and send it to them to illustrate?

Go to Sephora with a friend and pick out a few perfume samples for the other to bring home to try?

Change out all your plain manila folders for pretty patterned ones?

Pick a favorite movie as beauty inspiration for the week? Pride and Prejudice? 16 Candles? An Education?

Pick up an extra package of your favorite snack and send them to a friend? Doodle all over the box like we did in high school?

Finally replace the worn heel caps on all the gorgeous shoes that you haven’t been able to wear lately?

Stash a lovely rose lip balm in every jacket pocket?

Rearrange your furniture for a fresh look and a new perspective?

Throw open all the windows and fold down your sheets and blankets to air?

Write your current favorite quote on a canvas and prop it on your nightstand?

Leave work early and go for a pale pink pedicure?

Frame all your black and white photos with bright floral mats?

What are your “why nots” this week?

 

 

 

Mothers Day: All the Moms

Once a year, we take a day to celebrate the moms in our lives. We honor mothers in all their forms: the women who gave birth to us, the women who are our role models and guides, the young moms who we watch grow wiser and kinder every day. Here is a little roundup of tokens of love and admiration for those selfless #girlbosses without whom we just couldn’t be ourselves.


99 Things that Bring Me Joy
– A beautifully illustrated guided journal to help her record the joys that make her unique. ($10.75)

Ashley Mary Daydreamer Pencil Case– For all the little things that moms carry with them to save the day. ($10)

Global Greetings Stationary– Charming illustrations on gorgeous, cover-weight flat cards. ($22)

Bearing Flowers Dishtowel– To and fill the kitchen with Spring, even on a Monday night. ($20)

Yarn Bowl with Leaf Handle–  For holding onto her yarn or just the keys by the front door. ($42)

Dual Birthstone Ring– each tiny stone represents one of her children, no matter how big they’ve gotten. ($250)

Savannah Bee Body Butter– This five star concoction, made from royal jelly and delicious essential oils, will remind her to relax and take some time to herself every now and then. ($26.50)

Lilly Pulitzer Hartley Sunglasses– The gift of a little glamour, these sunglasses look beautiful on every face shape and lend a rosy glow after even the longest winter. ($98)

I’m Outta Here Luggage Tag– For all your upcoming adventures together. Especially good when paired with your guide book of choice. (12.95)

Liberty Print Compact Umbrella– To brighten rainy days with a little luxury she would never buy herself. (£48.00)

The Best is Yet to Come– a printable to frame as you like. ($5.40)

5 Lovely Things to Try at Home This Weekend

  1. Make a beautiful piece of art

    Make this simple floral monogram painting, or try your hand at illustrating a favorite recipe to frame in the kitchen. You’ll be surprised how meaningful and great it turns out.

     

  2.  Review your spending from the past month

    I know this doesn’t sound like the relaxing weekend you had in mind, but as Lauren Ver Hage writes,

    “Regardless of what your goals are, doing a “post-mortem” at the end of each month is a super useful way to stay on top of your spending habits. It’s a good way to learn from your mistakes, and it reinforces the way you feel — good or bad. It’s much more difficult to brush off problems and ignore them if you’re forcing yourself to sit down and confront them repeatedly.”

    Look at each of your expenses, and then ask yourself these ten questions that will help you gain insight from your spending that you can use in coming months. The Financial Diet has even made us a Google Sheet to make this task easier.

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  3. Switch out your old photos for fresh new ones

    You know how I feel about living with photos. After a while of looking at the same photos on the walls, things get a little stale and we don’t get that same shot of happy energy when we walk in the door. Surround yourself with the places and people that make you happiest right now. Swap out the photos in your frames, or try an Instagram display or ombre gallery wall!

  4. Start telling your story

    We all have a story, lessons we have learned and a precious legacy we feel called to uphold. This could be the history of our own struggles, of the family that came before us, or the treasured traditions of our religion or culture. Your point of view matters, and now is the time to raise your voice. Spend a few hours recording your story in a book, Google Doc, or blog post.

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  5. Laugh really hard

    I love Aziz Ansari. He seems like such a good guy and his humor is super relatable. Start with Netflix’s Master of None and then go check out his stand up on YouTube. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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                                     That’s it for today, friends. Have a wonderful weekend!

The Perfect Everything and the Luxury of Choice

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Is it just me, or have you also been noticing recent blog posts like “The Perfect Spring Wardrobe”, “The Perfect Day at the Beach”, or even “The Perfect Messy Bun”? The seasons change, or we get a little bored, and we are gripped with a sudden need to become our perfect selves, with the perfect body, the perfect sandals, the perfectly effortless perfect life.

The obsession takes us over, and it’s not (only) because we’re fashion-conscious and a little vain, it’s because for so many of us, deciding what we will wear is deciding who we will be. And each of us can’t wait to find out, will today be the day that I finally become my perfect self?

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Magazines know this and trot out the obligatory Perfect Trench Coat, or Perfect Floaty Dress For Summer Weddings. You’ll be marketed ten versions of the same Perfect Red Lipstick before spring is over. We spend hours scouring the web for the item that will catapult us from our same old selves to the woman we see in our mind’s eye.

About five summers ago I was visiting Israel with Birthright and stopped by a pharmacy to grab a bottle of nail polish for a DIY pedicure in our hotel that night. Now, Israel is a very modern, high-tech place, but the smaller shops off the beaten path just don’t have the same selection as we’re used to in America. I was given five choices of nail color, picked the best pink, and was on my way. Picture the store displays in the States: hundreds of polishes, so many shades that you can browse for hours. On one hand, that’s great– you can always find something new and exciting!– but it also leads to choice paralysis and a nagging feeling like you might miss what suits you best. The pursuit of perfection can be an exhausting endeavor.

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I loved that late-night pedicure at a moshav in the beautiful north of Israel. I felt pampered, beautiful. It was a little effortless. I wasn’t second guessing, I wasn’t wasting time comparison shopping. I was glowing from hiking all day, from trying new foods and making new friends, and I was happy to spoil myself for a few lovely moments. I wasn’t looking for perfect, I wasn’t hoping for luxury, and found that “good enough” was very freeing indeed.

So many of us have the luxury of choice. And it is a luxury; proportionately few people in our country are privileged enough to have the time and money to care about their “spring look”. The ability to choose what we wear and shop for something new is a great luxury, and one that we often take for granted. It is when we get swept away in our indulgences, obsessed with the perfect thing that we hope will make us our perfect selves (at last!), that’s when our privilege starts controlling us. That’s when nothing seems good enough, and we are paralyzed by choice.

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So what do we do? We still have to get dressed, we still want to feel like our best selves. We just want to be easier, more natural, less grabby and panicky. Here are a few things I’m going to try.

Get that glow somewhere else

Maybe we don’t need to look perfect to feel like our best selves. Remember me in Israel, hiking all day and sparkling, feeling alive? When do you feel that way? Maybe after a day at the sea, with salt in your hair. Maybe when you go dancing, or when you finish a tough tractate of Talmud. What brings you that deep, purposeful satisfaction?

Trust what you love

Where did the joy go? Remember when you were a child and immediately knew what you LOVED? We bury that visceral reaction as we grow older, in favor of logic, tact, and anticipatory anxiety. Go to a store and see what attracts you. What colors make your heart leap? What textures feel good on your skin? Find what makes you happy and trust it. Don’t make it hard, don’t make it into work.

The truth is that no one else cares if your capsule wardrobe is a perfect austere blend of blue, oatmeal, and gray. No one else is as invested as you are in your Perfect Leather Sandal or Perfect Diamond Studs.These things only have value insofar as the happiness they bring you. That is what people will notice. They will see that you dress in a way that brings you happiness, that makes your day better. They’ll see your glow. And you can use the rest of your precious time and energy living your juicy life.

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