Stella

The Desire to Wander

southafrica

I finally started on a project that has long been on my to-do list: organizing the years and years of pictures on my computer. Although I was dreading this project, I am really enjoying reliving some of the captured moments. I realized that I have been extremely blessed in the last few years to experience the joy of wandering this planet. I thought I would share a few of my favorite pictures from each trip.

To kick things off, South Africa. I studied abroad in Cape Town during college. For me at the age of 21, it opened my eyes to the beauty and the pain that exists in humanity. It was definitely a life changing trip.

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Welcoming Back Endorphins

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We are fairly confident that you already know what endorphins are and their relation to working out. Thus, we will respectfully pass on turning this post into a science lesson and instead, offer up our reflections on our recent re-introduction to that happy post workout feeling. As with many people who have allowed themselves to fall off the working out wagon, getting back on again is tough. But as soon as energy levels pick up and the sensation of being a bad ass workout queen returns, so does the question, “why the HELL did I ever stop being healthy?!” Well world, we’ve experienced that cycle a number of times and it will likely occur again, but in this current moment the three of us are enjoying our period of bad ass bliss!

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Friday Favorites

“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (5)

Magnolias // Stella: Springtime, it seems overly romanticized to me. I’m not trying to be cynical. But since moving to the Pacific Northwest, spring usually equals the beginning of the worst allergies I’ve ever had. For most parts of the country, springtime usually signals a change in weather. Not here. Same gray skies, moderate temperatures, and of course, rain. The saving grace of spring is the abundance of flowering trees. They just explode out here and end up leaving a carpet of pink and white petals. I discovered my absolute favorite tree since moving out here, the Magnolia. They produce these delicate, floppy flowers. We have a pink one in our front yard. The blooms only last for a mere moment it seems, so every chance I get, I just stare at it. My master plan is to surround our house with an army of them.

DIY Desk // Kendall: My sister sent me a picture of her newly curated stand up desk late last week and I have been obsessing over it ever since. Not much else to say other than I want one and I can’t wait to build my own. Such a charming addition to her growing photography studio. Simple. Elegant. Modern.

Our Shared Shelf // Allie: As if I needed another reason to love Emma Watson – she’s started a feminist book club via GoodReads, which also happens to be one of my other favorite things on the web. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Emma has recently shifted her focus from acting to the women’s rights movement and is a pretty astute and outspoken UN Ambassador on the issue. For the book club, titled, ‘Our Shared Shelf,’ Emma selects a monthly read covering women’s rights topics and then encourages discussions amongst the members. Not only does it give me direct access to one of the women I look up to most, but a community of women all over the world who are participating in reading and discussing an issue so near and dear to my heart.

Friday Favorites

“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (3)

Wild Rose // Stella: I absolutely love to wear red lipstick. There is something about it that makes you feel confidant and in charge. However, it has its time and place. For your normal every day, I recommend Korres Lip Butter in Wild Rose. It tints your lips with the right amount of color, leaves minimal shine and keeps them moisturized. Buying lipstick, lip balm and any other lip-associated products is practically my second job ever since I discovered Lip Smackers, so you can imagine I have quite the stockpile. But this is the one product that I can’t seem to do without.

Camping // Kendall: While I am currently praying to Mother Nature for more winter storms here in Tahoe, the continually increasing temperatures have my mind wandering to summer camping months. So many places to slumber above a 1.5″ puff cloud this coming season! As a novice to the adult camping scene (took plenty of family funded trips in my youth), my arsenal is quite low. However, there was one purchase last season that I still get eager to pull out for each trip. My Millet Alpine LTK 800 sleeping bag is perfection and packs up ever so conveniently small. Feel free to read more about this favorite in the attached link. As with all gear there are pros and cons. For me this was a great purchase. It also didn’t hurt that I got it on sale, a frequent occurrence here in Geartopia. Advice: NEVER pay full price.

The Fifth Watches // Allie: Confession – I read one of those silly,”Things Every Woman Should Own Before 30″ articles today. Amongst many laughable items, like a “signature flower” and a “modest one piece bathing suit,” the list included a watch. I became interested enough to do some online shopping during my lunch break and a couple of  my favorite blogs pointed me to The Fifth Watches. I was intrigued by both their simplistic designs and unique marketing approach. As a digital marketer and as someone who knows all too well how saturated and competitive the watch/fine jewelry market is, I have to say that their marketing strategy is brilliant – you can only buy watches every 5th of the month, and they’ve generated so much demand and intrigue that there’s a waiting list just to grab one of these beauties.

Friday Favorites

“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

“Happy Friday!” A phrase (or iterations thereof) that finds its way across all of social media, into every phone call and passing conversation and in the closing line of every email. It has been confirmed, saying “Happy Friday,” makes us happy!

To entertain the theme we would like to introduce our Friday Favorites. Nothing too deep. Just some little fixations that have been occupying our minds in the days leading up to “Happy Friday.” What better way than by each sharing one?! Enjoy.

Swoon-Worthy Art // Stella: Big word of caution here: I do not know anything about art. We took a spontaneous trip up to Seattle to see the “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic” exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. I had read about him a couple of years back and was just taken with his art. To see it in person, wow! Most of the pieces are these magnificent portraits of men of color painted into historical portraits. Even amidst the busy and decadent backgrounds, the subjects of portraits stand out. They are stunning and powerful.

Swimwear // Kendall: That time of year has officially fallen upon us. The annual swimsuit search extravaganza. While I am quite astounded to report this as my favorite of the week, I can’t help how overwhelmingly satisfied I am with what the industry has chosen for this season’s trend. Sporty. I’ve lusted for years to rock a sports bra and bikini bottoms to all things “swimsuit.” At times I have even done so, albeit I didn’t exactly rock it (insert memories of family vacation to Puerto Rico). Thank you swimsuit gods for delivering these new high neckline and athletic designs! No boobs peeping out for this girl.

Aeropress Coffee // Allie: I have always loved coffee. As early as middle school, on Saturday mornings, my mom would let me have a mug of Foldgers, filled to the brim with sugary sweetener. In college, just as my taste in fashion, music and books started to shift, so did my coffee preferences.  I constantly craved dark, black coffee, caring more about the caffeine intake than the actual taste. Recently, I’ve emerged into the third stage of this life-long love affair and have become increasingly interested in the taste of my coffee and the techniques involved in extracting as much flavor as possible. Enter my Aeropress. I’m obsessed with this little gadget mostly because it’s widely known as the cheapest, most convenient way to make an outstanding cup of coffee.

 

Adult Advice #1

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*PHOTO CREDIT FRONT + MAIN

Alright. We have already established that being an adult is hard here and here. But maybe by writing about it and talking about it, we can help each other out. Sure, there’s no substitute for the trial and error method of learning. I’m hoping, however, that by sharing some of our best practices, it can help someone else find theirs.

Adult Advice #1: Make Your Bed Immediately When You Get Out of Bed

You learned that in third grade? Good for you. I just learned that seven days ago. So why am I offering up advice that most of us have had ingrained in us since we were old enough to have our own beds?

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When Did It Start

I had the opportunity to attend a cello performance recently. It was incredible! The cellist played everything from Mozart to Daft Punk. I have always adored the cello and the sounds it makes. It is quite possibly the most underrated string instrument. That is not the point of this story though.

During the performance, I noticed a group of young girls. They were probably 7 or 8 years old at the most. One girl in particular was really getting into the music. She started clapping her hands wildly to the beat as the cellist played a particularly festive song. She had her eyes closed very tight as she absorbed the music.

And then suddenly, her eyes fluttered open. Her body slowed down as she gradually resigned her clapping and brought her hands to her lap. Her eyes darted to the left and saw the other girls, her peers, sitting stoically with blank looks in their eyes. She stayed in that position throughout the rest of the performance. I would catch glimpses of her shooting a quick look to see if any of the other girls had started to enjoy the music. But they didn’t, and it stopped her from enjoying it too.

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