Snag a pastry this morning and sit for a while cause I’m kicking off the weekend with a round-up post of links + reads that I finally got to sift through. Feast your eyes and read away! There are definitely some great pieces in here:
+ Some awesome snippets of when Lena Dunham’s interviewed Mindy Kailing – read the full version on Rolling Stone.
+ I’m all about this piece on The Right Way To Steal Ideas from Fast Company.
+ The Loren Hope Look Book is so well done in copy, design, photos – everything.
+ A fabulous idea and really great move by Amtrak to give writers free train rides.
+ In case you were wondering, here are 12 Things Happy People Do Differently.
+ Forewarning that this article may be NFW and more risqué than the usual content here, but too insightful not to share. The story of the Duke University Freshman Porn Star is definitely one worth reading – lots to reconsider and think about.
+ Anyone getting ready for Spring cleaning? Take these pro tips on What Not To Do When De-cluttering Your Home.
+ If you’re craving some real pages to thumb through, here’s Refinery29′s list of Best Books. I’m adding Me Before You, Looking For Alaska, Magical Thinking, and The Goldfinch to my list.
+ This Kickstarter is getting started! Read about The Great Discontent print magazine.
[ photo by Sweet Root Village ]
This post isn’t what you think it’s about, nor is it what I thought it’d be about. I received this Buzzfeed article this morning from a dear friend and stopped in my tracks. I think it’s safe to say that we all have our insecurities about appearances and the way we define beauty for ourselves and though the content of that article sadly doesn’t surprise me I definitely identify with it, and perhaps you do too.
I was a little late to the world of makeup, learning from my college roommate at 20 years old. I never learned not because I wasn’t insecure, but because 1) I was lazy and 2) didn’t want to spend the money investing in so many products [makeup adds up!]. Needless to say, I slowly immersed myself into the world of compacts and tubes and soon enough realized that I was building my beauty around these knick knacks sold in all shades of everything. I had to step back to remember the girl who went through high school and most of college without leaning on makeup as a crutch. Even now, I wear makeup [the impromptu iPhone photo above shows some of my faves] but I keep it natural + minimal and make it a point not to wear it every day if I don’t feel like it. Makeup’s purpose is to enhance what’s already there, not create or define what isn’t.
What do you rely on to make you feel beautiful? What defines beauty for you? Lupita says it best, “You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What actually sustains us – what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and those around you – that kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.”
Word of mouth. Reputation. Referrals. Recommendations.
We greatly rely on these methods of trust to consider anything these days, for books to fill our shelves, traveling hot spots, job searching, shopping…nothing is regarded higher. It drives business, connects people, and creates stories which I’d say is a mark of success for anyone or any company. Produce something well, with passion and integrity in quality and people will talk, share with their friends, and there you’ve got your natural marketing department. Maybe it really is as simple as that. Chew on that for a while. Thanks for those little lessons, Walt.
Last night was full of amazing moments too great not to share, so here’s a little Oscars 2014 recap and six of my favorite gowns from the evening: [top row] Emma Watson in Vera Wang, Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen, Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture [bottom row] Cate Blanchett in Giorgio Armani and Lupita Nyong’o in Prada. My pick from the night is probably Kristen Bell’s Roberto Cavalli shown below. Oh, to wear a gorgeous gown like one of these.
I loved when Ellen ordered pizza and broke Twitter with a selfie, Pharrell danced with Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, and when the director of 12 Years A Slave jumped on stage after his acceptance speech. JLaw tripped again. Gravity swept the Oscars with a grand total of 7 awards, and now I feel I should actually watch it even though I get motion sickness. The speeches from Lupita Nyong’o, Cate Blanchett, and Matthew McConaughey were incredible, and P!NK’s performance in honor of The Wizard of Oz was breathtaking [okay, yes I cried] and my favorite of all.
[ photos via Huffington Post ]
Who’s up for a weekend trip? I’d love to road trip down to the Carolinas or finally make it to Philly for even just a day trip. Pack up your car, buy a train/plane ticket and get out of town for some breathing room when you need it and don’t have any PTO. If you pack light, all you need is one of these weekenders and you don’t even have to check anything in [who likes to do that anyway?].
Grab a friend and one of these beauts and hit the road:
1 / Baggu duffel bag in chestnut
2 / cuyana canvas and leather overnight bag
3 / Everlane reverse denim weekender
4 / Muji water repellant polyester bag
5 / Herschel Supply Co. packable duffel bag
6 / Kate Spade Saturday weekender in steel blue signature zig zag
When you meet someone for the first time around here the second question you’re bound to get is, “And what do you do in the city?” to which I take a deep breath and go through my schpeel. Over the past 6 months I’ve pared it down to some effect of, “I work for a small stationery graphic design company managing the operations/business side of things and freelance on the side in weddings and design” but most people [even most of my friends, frankly] still don’t understand what I do or what it looks like. I get this question all the time, so I thought I’d just write about it here.
As the studio manager of Fig. 2 Design, I’m in charge of all things operations – things like filling wholesale and retail orders, managing inventory, communicating with clients + fielding inquiries, marketing campaigns, you name it. Our company is made of 2 people: me and my fabulous boss, Claudia, the designer behind it all. Our studio is cozy and just perfect for us, but that also means that we both wear every and all hats of the business. There’s no room for “that’s below my pay grade” or “I don’t have time for that”. We’re team players and the heart and soul of my job is to make her job easier so we can produce and release more products. My life at Fig. 2 also consists of being a second pair of eyes for Claudia. I’m not a designer by trade, but have an eye for it [though it's different than the Fig. 2 aesthetic] she trusts my judgment. We go over the designs together and I’m able to input my thoughts from what I think needs tweaking to sharing my instant favorites and suggesting what would be great to photograph together for marketing purposes. If you ask me, we’re one fine team and as my Instagrams + Tweets often suggest, I do love every day working for her.
So I spend 4 days of my week at Fig. 2 and the other day(s) I freelance. Translation: I work on side projects for various clients [mostly other freelancers/small business owners] and what I do depends on the client. Sometimes I’m loading up content for a new website launch or pulling inspiration for moodboards, other times I’m formatting company documents to have a cohesive look and branding. I assist at styled shoots and have done a few on my own just for kicks. Many of you know I moved originally to the DC/VA area to consider pursuing wedding planning full time, which I don’t intend on doing but I still coordinate weddings as a side gig. The schedule of the rest of my week is generally flexible and I do get to enjoy the luxury of camping out at coffee shops, but don’t be mistaken…the work still has to get done! And while having a “flexible” schedule can be nice, the freelance life is a lot about self-management and often never sleeps because the work follows you everywhere if you let it.
Whew! Now what if I said all that to you when we first met? Pretty sure you would’ve stopped listening two paragraphs ago, so I think I’ll stick with that first one-sentence bit.
[ photos by Vicki Grafton and Kimberly Chau, respectively ]