australia guest blogger: daydream lily

our third aussie guest blog post comes from another favorite of ours, the lovely liss of daydream lily!

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One of my favourite things about life in Australia is summer road trips!

Open roads, windows down, making a mix for the trip, road stops in little country towns for coffee and muffins, stopping off to explore, documenting the trip….
bliss!

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Liss from Daydreamlily (http://www.daydreamlily.com)
Liss’ new online shop Stylemilk (http://www.stylemilkshop.com)

cream spinach soup & cornbread

today’s recipe comes from our new intern naomi! i haven’t had a chance to “formally” introduce you guys to her yet but i will soon :)

These random days of gorgeous spring weather we’ve been experiencing, have me thinking one thing – SUMMER. My friends and I have already jumped the gun and pulled out the vinyl records and grill for summer-like evenings outside. My mind is on warm weather and night time meals, so I wanted to share a simple soup recipe paired with some delicious cornbread. I especially love this cornbread recipe because it is made with yogurt instead of butter. The meal is simple, light, and perfect to eat at the picnic table in the backyard with friends!

Both recipes come from my Moosewood (an organic and vegetarian restaurant based in Ithaca NY) cookbook which has proven to be a favorite of mine.

Cream Spinach Soup

Ingredients:
1 Large Onion
2 Medium Potatoes, peeled & chopped
3 Cups of Water
2 Tsp Salt
1lb. Spinach, cleaned & stemmed
5 Med Garlic Cloves, peeled only
1.5 Cups Milk (can be low fat, I like 2%)
White Pepper and Nutmeg to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place onions, potatoes, and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer until potatoes are fully cooked.
  2. Remove from heat, add spinach and garlic, cover and set aside.
  3. Heat up milk in a large skillet.
  4. Puree spinach and potato mixture.
  5. Once pureed, stir in heated milk, white pepper, and nutmeg.

Squash Cornbread:

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Egg Whites
¾ Cup Greek Yogurt (can be nonfat)
1 Cup Cornmeal
1 Cup Unbleached White Flour
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
  2. Grease an 8”
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, yogurt, and eggs until frothy.
  4. In a smaller bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed together.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Australia Guest Blogger: Lauren Brooks

My friend Lauren has lived in Australia for a couple of years now. She is British and has settled into the low key lifestyle Australia has to offer perfectly. She has an adorable blog that she uses as an online visual diary – sharing her thoughs and inpiration with the world. She let’s us take a peek into her lifestyle there. Below she shares her thoughts on Yamba one of her favourite beaches.

Here’s her Blog Baumbach

The Yamba Story.

I live in the land of sun and sky, beaches and beauty. I moved to Australia from the UK just over two and half years ago and have based myself in Brisbane.

Just over three hours drive from home and I can be in Yamba. One of Australia’s best-kept secrets, same beauty and wonder as Byron Bay but imagine it before the travelers took over.

 
One pub perched on the cliffs overlooks the beach and a perfect place to sip beer and soak up the views. The home of Billabongs creator and a pro surfer attraction with the famous Angourie surf break just down the road.

Yamba calms me, it has a presence and a serenity that I search for and haven’t found anywhere else yet. Beautiful coastline, perfect for learner surfers like myself to practice my surf skills and to get tossed around by the waves.

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Pitching a tent and spending a few days is all you need to unwind and escape from the city.
Yamba I love you with all my heart, one day when I have made my mark I will buy a plot near the beach and call you home.

north star bar

last week my friend geron played a short set at the north star bar- it’s been a while since i’ve been to a show there, actually. i think it’s because of the location- it’s a little out of the way, over in the art museum area -but it’s such a great venue to see bands in before they get big.

upon entering the corner pub you’re met with the same bar that has been there since prohibition, mahogany bar top, wooden ceiling fans, tin roof and all.  walk towards the back and go through a door on your right to get to the stage area, a wide open room with wood floors.  the stage is covered with well worn oriental carpets and in front, a staircase leads down to a lounge area with bright green walls that could probably tell some great stories… i thought i’d share a few pics from the other night!

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image 1; image 2; all others by me.

geron’s first single will be available very soon on itunes!

temari

“temari is an ancient folk art form originating in china and later introduced to japan by traveling chinese monks. first crafted as a child’s toy from remnants of old silk kimonos, temari evolved into an art form adopted by noble women in japan’s imperial society and handed down from mother to daughter.”

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awesome. must learn how to do this. all of the above by julie and co.

march moodboards

our creative team sent me some outtakes from the march catalog that they didn’t end up using, so i decided to have a little fun with them and create some mood boards – each centered around a theme: castaway, in the city, and swim.

castaway

she treads barefoot through the sand, her skin tickled by the salt and sand.  she dances along, dipping her toes in the ocean and stopping to pick up sea shells that shine like pearls. she drapes herself in sheer fabrics that don’t add any weight, so she can take off in whatever direction the breeze blows her.

(items pictured: summer layers skirt, fp-1 rainforest maxi dress, starlight lovers dress, fp-1 tie dye sunburst maxi, open stitch beach tunic)

the city

evening sets in and the temperature in the air cools as she steps out for a night on the town. dressed in bold colors and patterns, crimped hair and red lips, skin glowing from the day’s sun and eyes alive with excitement,  she dances down narrow streets into the magical night.

(items pictured: fp-1 tie dye sunburst maxi, rugby stripe column, sheer yoke floral skort, seneca rising live twice short, pleated florals top, buttoned up in pleats skirt, crosswords maxi tube dress, daughters of the revolution striped tunic, lady in leopard dress)

swim

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she takes a breath and dives deep, the cool water shocking her skin after the sun’s intense heat.  she savors every second of the feeling of freedom one gets when they hit the water.  all other sounds are drowned out, it’s just her and her thoughts as she moves languidly under the surface.

(items pictured: fp-1 wavebreak smocked tube dress, crochet bikini, summer layers skirt, lace cropped kaftan)

which of these mood boards/ lifestyles do you guys identify with most?

yoga stops traffick

our director of design and image is taking part in an event this weekend called “yoga stops traffick,” with the goal of helping the odanadi organization put an end to human trafficking in india.  last year 1,500 people joined together in yoga studios, parks, beaches and mountaintops around the world to show their support.  the event takes place tomorrow, march 12th, all over the world.  here in philly you can join in at mount airy yoga between noon and 2 pm, and provide a suggested donation of $20.  for more info click here.

image source.

what’s in your bag?

i always loved that scene from the breakfast club where ally sheedy dumps out her giant bag, revealing all the clutter she carried around.  maybe because i’m the same way… my friends make fun of me because i always have so much pointless stuff in my bag and it takes me forever to find my keys in it.

it’s fascinating to see what’s inside peoples’ bags, it gives you a little peek into their personality. here our some of ours!

our office coordinator:

graphic designer:

creative design assistant:
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graphic designer:
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videographer:
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creative director:
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jemma:
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and me:
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p.s. thanks A. for the awesome idea!

studio visit: sullivan owen

earlier this week i had the wonderful opportunity to visit the studio of floral and event designer sullivan owen, which just opened in queens village in philadelphia. i love talking to people who are passionate about what they do…their love for their craft is infectious. i could have spent an entire day in her beautiful studio listening to her talk about the artistry behind floral arrangements and watching her work.

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when designing her studio space, sullivan wanted to use a soothing palette with shades of soft gray and white so that when entering the space, your attention goes straight to the flowers. indeed- when i walked in, my eyes were immediately drawn to the pops of color peppering the studio.

when she was younger, sullivan worked at one of the first urban outfitters stores. she recalls the president of the company visiting often to chat with employees and see how the store was doing, and it was a huge inspiration for her to see someone with a dream who was able to make such a successful career out of it.  her dream was to tie together her fine arts background with her love of flowers, which is exactly what she is doing today.

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in addition to floral arrangements, sullivan owen offers complete event design – from mood boards and color palettes to textiles like bouquet wraps and table linens. to her it is about creating an entire atmosphere- an idea that reminded me very much of our free people stores.

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bits of inspiration from around the studio: vintage knick knacks, beaded belts, books and handmade table linens from her own wedding.

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a beautiful wall of vases and jars that can be rented for events – with the exception of the shelf of vintage glass bottles, which are her private collection inherited from her grandfather and serve as inspiration.

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when i arrived, sullivan was in the back finishing up an arrangement, and i sat and watched while she talked excitedly about how the floral industry is starting to attract a younger audience of people who appreciate the fine arts.  with her own background in the arts, her approach to putting together an arrangement is very much like an artist painting a picture – paying special attention to color and texture, and layering in a way that is also almost like fashion.

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a mood board hangs over her work table and incorporates fashion, color and landscape – all things she thinks about when putting together a bouquet.

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the flowers sullivan works with are all very special – for example at top left, a ranunculus that comes from japan where these delicate flowers are designed to be perfect. the one at bottom right is a dutch variety of the ranunculus, with a really unique color gradation. at top right is the anemone, a beautiful black and white flower with hints of purple that is one of her favorites to work with.

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above and below are what she calls the “spare parts vase” – where the flowers go if they’re cut the wrong length, the stems break or they just don’t make it into a final design. she doesn’t like to throw them away, plus they’re quite beautiful!

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she gave me a quick little lesson in putting together the above bouquet, and then i tried my own:

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i think i could use some help… luckily sullivan is going to be holding classes at her studio so you can go learn all about how to put together the perfect bouquet, and then take it home with you :) i will definitely be attending! you can find more info on the classes here.

the studio is open by appointment only – i definitely recommend checking it out. go see the website for more info and to see more photos of her incredible work: sullivanowen.com.

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last image via sullivan owen website.

Hint, hint, give him an idea for Valentine’s day!

Make his heart race or make her shine with pretty lace and sexy silk. Pretty slips that can be playful and worn dressed up outside the house. Make cute with delicate accessories or add coolness with moccasins and tattered satchels. She will become an angel for the day!

Visit our Valentines day shop here

at home with a visual display artist

today i have a special tour for you of the home of one of our visual display artists who lives out in california! she actually used to work here in the home office, but relocated to the west coast to work on displays for our stores in the western region. she’s very talented and the epitome of a free people girl, as you’ll see in the photos of her home and personal style.

i’m already jealous.

you can see that she has been hard at work – on our spring store displays!

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i love the record player, and the requisite chewbacca mask – we have a bunch of them floating around home office :)

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she told me that her grandmothers have been huge influences on her life. the photo at top left is her grandma ella, about whom she says, “she died when i was young, but i resemble her most and admire her work ethic and grace. she raised my dad and he raised me to explore and travel. he took me on trips across the country when i was young and as an adult. that father, daughter time has been so rewarding to me as an adult. we have been on a lot of adventures as a family!”

the most important thing in her home is the “wall of objects” at bottom right. she’s pointing to a photo of her grandmother joan, about whom she says “she taught me how to sew, crochet, knit, and cross stich. i spent a lot of time crafting with her. she and my mother taught me how to be creative in everything i do throughout the day. the two of these ladies have been very inspiring!” she also collected giraffe figurines, and the ones at bottom left were the first ones in her collection.

check out the slideshow for lots more photos of her lovely home!

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display work

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personal style

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her dog (right) meets claude (left).

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thanks so much for letting us peek inside your home! and thank you to claude’s mama for taking the pics :)