We’re 24 hours into our journey, having fun during our layover in Seoul, Korea. 5 more hours to go and we’ll be in Hanoi! At 6 am we hit the road for a 5 hr trek to Halong Bay, where we’ll be shooting on the beautiful junk boats. Stay tuned!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to find that in the weeks following Thanksgiving I’m in major need of detox. After letting my gluttony run wild, I turn to the juicer and salads for almost every meal. Plates get piled high with antioxidant and vitamin-rich ingredients to get myself feeling normal again. That’s not to say that things get boring. Au contraire. This recipe is one of the creations I put together when in need of salad creativity. The combination of flavors sounds absurd, but one taste and it’s more like absurdly amazing. Each bite is full of mouthwatering freshness – making it tough to stop eating, but with such healthy ingredients, it’s okay. (Did you know that the calcium in Kale is easier for the body to absorb than milk? And, both butternut squash and pomegranates are FULL of antioxidants.) I swear you’ll fall in love with this one…
1 Butternut Squash
½ Cup of Sunflower Seeds
1 Medium Bunch of Red Kale
½ a Lemon
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
3 Tbsp. Sesame Oil (1Tbsp. for squash and 2 Tbsp. for dressing)
Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and cube your butternut squash, then toss it in a bowl with sesame oil, and spread it out on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet.
Place the butternut squash into the oven to cook until tender (approx 25 min). While it’s cooking, seed your pomegranate, chop your kale, and place it into a large bowl. Squeeze your half lemon over the mixuture, sprinkle with salt, and stir it up. This will help to begin softening your kale so it’s not extremely stiff and crunchy.
Once your squash is cooked, let it cool for about ten minutes, and then mix all of the rest of your ingredients together, and serve.
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.
click on images for sources
On a small island in the Aegean Sea, sits a paradise of whitewashed buildings and bright blue roofs, so blue they blend in with the sky. The island, officially called Thira, is Santorini – essentially the remains of a volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements that were once one large single island. The volcano left behind a caldera – a massive lagoon with steep cliffs surrounding it. It was one of the largest eruptions in history, and some believe it may have contributed to the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. An air of mythology settles over the buildings and cliffs, and I can imagine wandering through winding, narrow cobblestone walkways and imagining the stories they hold. Today the island’s economy relies largely on tourism, and it’s easy to see why. The sloping cliffs allow for stunning views at almost any point on the island and the stark white of the architecture creates a clean, cool setting that would be hard not to find relaxing. Just looking at photos of Santorini can make you feel refreshed – it has quickly moved up to the top of my list of places I want to go.
Photos by Thomas Northcut.
Stay tuned for more info on where our catalog team stayed while shooting our December book, and some of their favorite places in Santorini!
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.
The beautiful back of the Battenburg Lace Dress.
The amazing Studio LTD Platforms.
How cute are these two? Also love the back of the Priscilla Metallic Dress.
Sure sign of a good party – all the heels come off!
Thank you Naomi/Jemma/Lauren for the great photos :)
Let’s meet the lucky lady who won this year’s win your wishlist contest! Get to know a bit about her and why she picked the items that she won :)
Jessica, Sandy Hook Connecticut
What do you love most about the holiday season?
I love to give presents! I always know it’s a great present for a girlfriend if I want it too : ). I also can’t forget about all of the magical decorations and lights!
What are your favorite activities this time of year?
I like to listen to Christmas music and bake festive treats! Cuddling by the fireplace is a favorite also.
How would you describe your style? And, what Free People girl are you?
My style tends to fluctuate with how I feel that day, week or month! I’m probably a mix of boho gypsy and rocker hippie child at the moment haha. I love statement accessories and anything that looks unique. I’m definitely a Meadow girl.
What is your favorite fashion trend this season?
I LOVE feathers, I’m also loving how 60s and 70s style is back!
What is your motto?
It’s hard for me to choose just one! But if I had to wrap them all up into a ball I would say: to seek happiness with whatever you do, always be kind because you never know what someone else is going through, and have a sense of humor because no one gets out alive :)
1. New Romantics Sequin Button Down – As soon as I saw this in the catalog it went right on my wish list! I love a little sparkle and the copper sequins go so wonderfully with the off-white/ivory color of this shirt.
2. Roaring Bead Collar – This necklace is such a great statement. It will dress up just about anything you put on and I can just imagine it for a night out!
3. Lace Curtain Top – I had to get this because I love lace! This top is much more beautiful in person and hangs on the body so well. I might have to wait for warmer weather to wear this one though!
4. Victorian Romance Fringe Top – Talk about summer of ’69 this top is upscale Woodstock at it’s finest!
5. Sunset Beach Hoodie – I love over-sized clothing almost as much as I love hoods! So this pullover was perfect for me; can’t wait to wear it to the beach.
6. Le Deux Velvet Tunic – The perfect New Years Eve dress. The material and pattern of this dress are to die for. This is truly a unique piece!
7. Fp One Love in Florals Boxer – These are just so adorable. They will have so many uses; Pj’s, summer shorts, I could pair them with a sweater and leggings. Endless options :)!
She’s got great taste, huh?! I love everything she picked! Thanks Jessica :)
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.
Our catalog team is always busy – when they’re not traveling around the world shooting the books you see each month, they’re planning the next ones, months in advance. They are departing soon to shoot our March book and we’ll be posting their journal entries for you here on the blog! Stay tuned…
In two days we’re off on another FP adventure- this month’s journey takes us all the way across the world to photograph breathtaking Vietnam, top to toe- a land of dramatic landscapes, coastlines, colors. We’ve got 32 hours of travel in store- a flight from JFK –> Seoul, Korea, Seoul –> Hanoi, Vietnam. We’re so excited to have the opportunity to share this experience with you – we’ll check in over the next two weeks and keep you abreast of all of our discoveries.
Lots of fun store events are going down tonight and this weekend! First up, Scottsdale!
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!
For more info check out their facebook page.
Holiday Glam Party at Free People Stanford
Saturday 12/10 4pm-8pm
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!
For more info visit their facebook page.
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!
For more info and to RSVP visit their facebook page.
DIY for the Holidays at Free People King of Prussia
Saturday 12/10 12pm-3pm
Stop by our King of Prussia, PA store on Saturday to make DIY gift toppers! Bring in a gift or pick up a gift at the store and decorate it FP-style!
They will also be collecting donations for the Ronald McDonald House.
Fore more info and to RSVP visit their facebook page.
Dallas Maynard Holiday Trunk Show at Free People Wicker Park
Saturday 12/10 10am – 8pm & Sunday 12/11 10am – 3pm
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!!
Fore more info and to RSVP visit their facebook page.
As for us Philly home office peeps, our holiday party is tonight!! The theme is masquerade :) We’ll have pix tomorrow! xx
The December Catalog dropped on Monday, and I have to say – it’s a personal favorite. I love the strong photography paired back to the refreshing setting and cool western-inspired styling. It’s such a breath of cool air in all of this holiday chaos. Which is your favorite shot?