Taking pictures and styling clothes, my thirst for creativity and inspiration was well satiated that day. The euphoria of childlike happiness tightened my cheeks and pulled the corners of my mouth up into a googely grin that never left my face. Shooting and collaborating with these beautiful & talented bloggers was something of an out of body experience – one where you pinch yourself… hard. Myself six months ago, the girl who liked to dink around with the camera gifted by her parents (one of the best gifts I’ve ever received btw), would never have thought I’d be doing this. I’ve always enjoyed photography as a side thing – especially the portrait and fashion genres, but I sort of stumbled into getting to do it on the regular for work. Free People has opened doors to explore my hobby in ways I’d never imagined.
I love being at work & I love what I do, but outside of the office I’ve been pretty busy too. I’m always sure to fill my weekends with adventures: brunching, city jaunts, record sorting, flea markets, nights out with friends, and of course, shopping. It keeps me moving and it keeps me inspired. Life has been a whirlwind of fun and love.
I’ve snapped some photos along the way to document…
Hello again from Hanoi! It’s 6 am, and we’ve just arrived back on the night train from Sa Pa, and just enjoyed a delicious breakfast of Pho and watermelon juice. We’re about to hop on a flight to Hoi An, a beach town on the south central coast of Vietnam, on the south China Sea. We’re literally doing hair and make-up on the street outside of a cafe…
Hey Austin! We have an amazing event taking place at our store on Lamar this weekend! Stop by this Saturday, 12/17, from 12PM-8PM and enjoy sweet treats and a hot cocoa bar! One of our favorite Austin bloggers, Indiana Adams, will be there as a special guest stylist from 12PM-2PM, followed by live music by The Lovely Brigade from 2:30-4:30PM! With purchases of $50 or more get a special gift bag (while supplies last), and spend $250 and you’ll be entered in a raffle to win a gift card and homemade snow globe!
Giving someone a gift that they really love is one of the best things about the holidays – it’s such a great feeling to see a smile light up their face as they open it. When it comes to holiday shopping though, I’m terrible at it – I get overwhelmed by the holiday crowds and never seem to find that special something that I’m looking for. With that in mind, I thought I’d put together these holiday gift guides with the hope that they can help you too – I must say, even if you don’t know if the girl you’re shopping for is a Candy, Meadow, Lou or Ginger, you really can’t go wrong with any of these items!
DO: finish what you’ve started instead of thinking what’s next.
In a lot of ways it’s good to be ahead of the curve, always thinking what’s next. But sometimes I find myself looking too far into the future instead of revisiting things that I set out to accomplish in the past.
I mentioned last week how I’m always coming up with plans of action to fix a personal flaw or something that’s troubling me. All too often I find myself focusing on something different two weeks down the road. This week it dawned to me – I need to make it a point to refresh and revisit what I set out to do in the first place.
Say I want to work on being a more eloquent speaker (which for me with my tendency to say “like” and 1,000 words per minute talking speed can be a bit tough), so I decide that I’m going to try and speak more slowly, giving myself more time to think about what I want to say. Two weeks down the line, I want to remind myself that I was making these efforts, and revisit speaking slowly with all of the dedication I had originally.
The best way to really fix something – or really to accomplish anything in general – is to stick with it. If you began painting something last month, don’t start 5 more works before you finish it. Finish it. At least for myself, I think this is a strategy that will help me to feel like I’ve accomplished more and to effectively make changes that I’ve been wanting to make.
Our holiday party last night was so much fun! To create the atmosphere of a masquerade ball, Building 543 was transformed with magical lights, bartenders who served champagne while hanging upside down, a ceiling of silver balloons, face-painting stations and touches of Parisian mystique throughout.
By now I’m sure you all know who Abigail is. And, from her frequent popping up here on the blog, you can probably tell that she and I are attached at the hip. She is a loyal and loving companion who trots along next to me wherever I go. When people say that they and their pet were meant to be, I completely understand. Abigail’s my goof and I’m her ball, we’re two peas in a pod…
She doesn’t chew, she doesn’t bite, she comes when she’s called, but Abigail has another problem…
Abigail barks. She doesn’t do it when I’m home, but as soon as I leave, she raises an objection that bothers my neighbor to no end. I get it. I wouldn’t want to listen to it either. But for Abigail the separation anxiety is too much to handle, and she doesn’t know what else to do.
I’ve decided that this isn’t a matter I’m just going to give up on, so a friend of mine put me in touch with her friend that is a dog behaviorist. Stressed and desperate, I got on the phone with her to explore possible solutions.
The psychology behind separation anxiety in dogs turns out to be a fascinating topic. It seems that one of the major solutions is steadily training your dog over time to understand that you are the alpha dog, not them. Since I’ve learned this, I verbally remind Abigail every morning as she stretches awake that I am in fact the alpha dog (this wasn’t one of the trainer’s suggestions, but it’s nonetheless effective and entertaining). The idea behind establishing your dominance is that they will understand it as their duty to be left behind.
So how am I establishing myself in my new role? Little tricks like running my hand through her food and not letting her eat till I say so. With my permission to eat food coated with my scent, she understands that the food she is getting is a generous act of kindness. I am the alpha dog. We’ve also been working on perfecting heel. Abigail should never lead – I walk out the door first; I set the pace; I choose where we go; and it all needs to be done with calm. Her world needs to be zen so that the general state of being will transfer to moments when I’m not around.
Another thing the trainer suggested to calm her down is a Thundershirt (pictured below). Derived from technology used in children with Autism, the contraption fits the dog snuggly and has a calming, anti-anxiety effect. Each time I mention it, I like to shout the word “Thundershirt!” as if it were a superhero call, think, “superman!” (not normal, but I’m the alpha dog so whatever…). To keep it clear – the way in which it should be said – I will include an exclamation mark to spell it out.
The Thundershirt! directions instructed that the Thundershirt! make a peace offering the first time it’s presented to the dog
As you can tell, I’m trying to have a lighthearted approach to the situation, but I’m not going to lie – it’s tough at times. I have amazing support from my friends, yet there are still moments where I can’t help but think how free I’d feel should I hand her off to my parents (who would gladly steal her from me as it is). Whenever I’m questioning if it’s worth it, she’ll conveniently plop her head down on my leg and stare up at me – her big brown eyes peeking out behind wild tufts of hair and melting my heart. It reminds me that I can’t give up on her.
Stay tuned for updates on Abigail’s journey to the bottom of the pack (or should I say my journey to Alpha dogness?). If any of you have gone through similar issues, or have tips on how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs, please share. My ears are open and I’d love to hear what you all have to say.
Holiday Dress Fest at Free People Scottsdale Fashion Square
TONIGHT – 12/8 5pm-9pm
Are you in need of the perfect party dress for your holiday festivities? Stop by our Scottsdale Fashion Square store for a special shopping experience tonight with complimentary treats & bubbly, the fresh vibes of DJ Charlie Meyer, local photography to capture the fun and of course the most fabulous and festive dresses around!
Enjoy sparkling cider and snacks while shopping for your holiday party outfits! Stylists will be on the floor for to help you perfect your holiday look, and for each party dress bought you will be entered in a raffle to win a very special gift basket!
Holiday Concert and Food Drive at Free People Clarendon
Saturday 12/10 2pm-6pm
Ready to kick off the Holiday Party season and give back at the same time?! FP Clarendon is hosting an amazing bash this Saturday from 2pm-6pm. They’ll be showcasing two amazing bands while collecting food for DC Central Kitchen. Please bring healthy snacks to donate (granola bars, fruit cups, etc) all day and stay from 2-6pm to watch The Silver Liners and The Dance Party rock out!
Local Chicago jewelry designer Dallas Maynard will be at our Wicker Park, Chicago store this weekend selling her beautiful jewelry!
They will have appetizers, refreshments, and great music to get everyone in the Holiday Spirit! Plus, with any $150 Free People purchase AND the purchase of a Dallas Maynard piece, Free People Wicker Park will be raffling off a gift set that includes a FP Gift Card and a special Dallas Maynard piece!!
Remember how I told you our Portland store was having an awesome event with artist Rachael Rice? Well she was kind enough to send me a little write up and some photos from the event! I’m so sad I wasn’t there, it looks like it was a magical night :)Read More
This past Sunday was a beautiful day in New York City, and I got to spend it at our 3rd Avenue store crafting with the lovely fp upper east girls and all the awesome ladies (and gents!) who came in!Read More
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