Sunday the 22nd of January we went to Johnny Brenda’s – a charismatic bar, restaurant and music venue that has a strong presence mainly to do with the amount of awesome bands that sail through there, one being Twin Sister who we managed to catch up with while they sound checked and nibbled on Whiskey doughnuts. Read More
Writing a blogger diary every three weeks, sometimes it’s hard to pick just one thing to talk about. Life has been a whirlwind – a good one, but nonetheless – a whirlwind. Read More
Lately I have come across a few pretty stellar examples of “glamping.” This is not something I was familiar with until recently, but glamping is, basically, glamorous camping. Ideal for those who love the great outdoors, but don’t exactly love roughing it. I for one would definitely be down for some glamping – especially in either of these amazing spots.
Whitepod Resort, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Switzerland
As you guys may have heard by now, we are opening our very first Free People store in Philadelphia this Friday! It is definitely a homecoming of sorts, as we open our doors on Walnut Street in Center City, not far from where the company began. You’ll hear much more about all the special touches we’re putting into the store over the next few days, but today Jemma, Naomi and I decided to take a field trip and head to some spots in the city that are nearest and dearest to our hearts, to shoot our own little Philly lookbook.
I knew right away what my location would be – the street where I grew up. A three story brick townhouse in the Fairmount neighborhood, walking distance from the Art Museum and just a few blocks from the stone walls of the penitentiary. A quiet, tree lined street, where the same construction truck still parks in the spot across from my old house, and marble steps climb up towards doors painted varying shades of blue, red and green.
It was a magical time in my childhood, full of block parties, neighborhood cleanups (when we’d all go out and rake leaves and clean up together), bike rides, scraped knees, and water ice from the park grocery across the street that has since closed its doors for good. Sometimes its nice to take a little trip down memory lane.
After wearing the wingtip boots today I became slightly attached.
Stay tuned for our photos, they’ll be up later this week!
Photos by Julia.
This weekend my mind was running overtime, running overtime with inspiring thoughts. Sometimes I just need a new twist to my weekend in order for the light to come back on again; you can get stuck in a routine and that routine can kill your mind, so Friday I went to New York to see the future Free People collection for June Wholesale. The collection was bright and poppy and reminded me of the Sun, Sand and Sea just what I needed on that brutal cold day.
Being in a new place for a couple of days gave me a new light I saw things that made my inspiration bank fill up and it made me feel alive all weekend, don’t you just love when that happens?
DO: five sun salutations each day, for 30 days.
Over the holiday, I stayed around Philadelphia while a lot of my friends went out of town. With a lot of time to myself, I did a lot of internet surfing during which I came across a blog (now I don’t remember which) where the blogger was talking about their self challenge to do five sun salutations a day, for 30 days. I decided to wipe myself of my previous “I can’t workout at home” mentality, and commit to the same challenge.
I went upstairs to my bedroom, rolled out my yoga mat, and intending to do five sun salutations, ended up doing an entire yoga routine – for an hour! I’ve decided that there is no reason to not do yoga at home. It’s actually even better in some ways. You can move at your own pace, and really hold a pose that feels good to you instead of moving at the teacher’s pace.
Last week I mentioned how I want this New Year to be all about balance. I’ve continued to do my five sun salutations a day in efforts to keep this thought in the front of my mind. On some days I’m in the mood to do more, and on some I do just the salutations. Either way, I get a moment of calmness where I’m completely in tune with my own body. I think this is important for my goal since the first step to getting balance, is knowing what is going on with yourself. I feel like I’m getting stronger, more flexible, and most importantly, a more balanced mentality.
Try it out! Do five sun salutations for thirty days straight.
For those of you who don’t know what a sun salutation is, click on the image above for a how-to video. :)
“In this modern age everything, everywhere seems to lead the senses outward and away from oneself. Don’t be afraid of quiet. Find the time for peace and introversion, and life will have new meaning.”
~ “The way of Tea” by Aaron Fisher
This Holiday I spent some quality time with my family. They flew here from Wales and brought with them a new light; I took a step back and soaked in some quiet – we took peaceful walks around New York where my eyes were wide open looking for unexpected beauty. And, we snuggled on the sofa with our tummies full of hearty foods until we drifted asleep. Christmas goes way too fast, don’t you think? But hey, another celebration is soon to come, New Years Eve and then a brand new year to look forward too!
The highlight of my work week? See here.
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…
My roommate and I finally got out the power tools and hung up some art!
We wore ourselves out!
Oh, and here’s my week’s playlist. Enjoy!
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.
This weekend I suffered from nostalgia, thoughts of home over consumed me and made me quite homesick heavy; it’s always this time of year that I feel this way maybe it’s the dark nights or the grey dreary weather that brings England into my mind… who knows. I spent my days this weekend thinking about Sunday Roasts, long strolls around Notting Hill, and lazy days inside a cozy pub chatting with friends. Here are some snap shots that helped me get through the feeling this weekend. Even though I get like this from time to time, America is where I am and I’m going to give it my all. You only live once, right?
America and British love!
A perfect pub Sunday Roast
The pastel homes in Notting Hill
my golden cocker spaniel
“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”
(artwork by Lief Podhajsky)
DO: acknowledge it
The past few days I found myself in a bit of a funk. I felt out of it and I was getting down on myself for feeling out of it. I’m typically a pretty upbeat happy person, so when I get like this, it’s really unsettling. My mind quickly shoots to, how am I going to make this better? I find myself acknowledging what is wrong – what it is that I don’t like about myself, and how I’m going to work to fix it. I come up with plans in my head: certain practices or consistent efforts that I think will combat my troubling flaws.
In retrospect, I realized how important it is to make note at times like this. We all have faults, and sometimes it’s good to mindfully recognize what they are. You can assess how you feel about them – if they’re something that really bothers you and something that you want to change. It’s about acknowledgement. Actively acknowledging how you feel and what’s making you upset. Without it, you can’t change.
On the flip side – it’s also important to acknowledge the things that make you happy. Take note of what those things are, and work to incorporate them into your life as much as possible. It sounds easy – but sometimes it’s really hard to know what you want and what you don’t.
Either way, happy or sad, it’s productive to acknowledge how you’re feeling and why.