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daily inspiration for creative natives

daily drifter: freedom circa 1984

daily drifterAlly R.Comment
"Obscure Dogma" by Fabrizio Ara FAHC

"Obscure Dogma" by Fabrizio Ara FAHC

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
— George Orwell, 1984
"Untitled" by Toby Harvard

"Untitled" by Toby Harvard

"74110013" by Matsuki Narishige

"74110013" by Matsuki Narishige

"Dos imensos dias em que fomos tão grandiosamente pequenos" by Tuane Eggers

"Dos imensos dias em que fomos tão grandiosamente pequenos" by Tuane Eggers

"Untitled" by Martine Eshuis

"Untitled" by Martine Eshuis

"Untitled" by Lola Li

"Untitled" by Lola Li

"Williamsburg, VA" by Ivan Echevarria

"Williamsburg, VA" by Ivan Echevarria

"cherry pop" by Samantha Ashcraft

"cherry pop" by Samantha Ashcraft

Italy 2017" by Sofia Podestà

Italy 2017" by Sofia Podestà

"La musica è vita" by marcus greco

"La musica è vita" by marcus greco

"Entrance"  by Chang-Yeol Choi

"Entrance"  by Chang-Yeol Choi

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daily drifter: dusty clockless hours

daily drifterAlly R.1 Comment
"As montanhas também dançam, lentamente, a dança do desintegrar" by Tuane Eggers

"As montanhas também dançam, lentamente, a dança do desintegrar" by Tuane Eggers

Even the damned in Hell have the community of their suffering.
— CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree
"I'll be back soon" by Anton Krasnikov

"I'll be back soon" by Anton Krasnikov

"scirocco." by Guglielmo Cherchi

"scirocco." by Guglielmo Cherchi

"The Village in the Mountains" by Lucas Marcomini

"The Village in the Mountains" by Lucas Marcomini

"Jesus Christ Superstar" by Piero Donadeo

"Jesus Christ Superstar" by Piero Donadeo

"Portland OR . 2017" by gilbert terrazas

"Portland OR . 2017" by gilbert terrazas

"San Francisco, CA" by Ivan Echevarria

"San Francisco, CA" by Ivan Echevarria

"untitled" by Toby Harvard

"untitled" by Toby Harvard

"Untitled" by Kathryn Young

"Untitled" by Kathryn Young

"Self portrait" by The little fawn*

"Self portrait" by The little fawn*

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counterculture: Why I Make No Apologies

countercultureTaylor P.Comment

There was a point in my life when I was known as an “A-P-O-L-O-G-I-S-T.”

I literally was called this by more than one person and at the time it didn’t really bother me. I laughed about it, self-effacing, depreciating my self without a hint of awareness about what being such entailed. My awkward self would process things accordingly:

Them: “Ouch! I stubbed my toe!” 
Me: “I’m sorry!”

Them: “My dog died today.”
Me: “I’m so sorry!”

Them: “I hate my coworker so much!”
Me: “I’m sorry!”

What I probably should have followed up with would be an account of how I am a sensitive person, an empath, who feels things intuitively and picks up on their sorrow or pain. I just wasn’t sure how to say that in a way that didn’t sound ridiculous. By saying “I’m sorry” it meant so much more. It meant “I support you. I am here for you. I can imagine how that feels and it sucks. I am trying to walk in your shoes to understand.” So being labeled an apologist, over time, gets grating. Because I wasn’t apologizing just for the sake of apologizing— I was trying to connect in a meaningful way and did a poor job of it.

The more ironic thing was that an apologist isn’t even what I was. An “apologist” is actually “a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial” according to the dictionary. I was just under-confident and unable to communicate fully. I have a history of feeling too much, thinking too much, and generally carrying all of that weight around for no reason other than some misguided overwhelming guilt and the unconscious thought that I somehow could take in someone’s pain or sadness so that they would feel less of it. I still wish this was how it worked because I would do it in a heartbeat. 

I totally believe that we should all take ownership of our actions and especially apologize meaningfully if a situation warrants an apology. There are so many times that I look back and wish I would have apologized for something I did or said. I can think of very few times in my life that I did something intentionally to inflict hurt on someone though (I can count those on one hand)— but when I have one can rest assured I probably felt worse than they did about it and agonized over it for many years.  Sometimes so much time has passed that it would be more awkward to apologize than to simply let it go and hope that the person knew you saw the error in your ways. I have a few of those, too, and I imagine they know I had regrets.  I still think about them and wish I would have had better awareness to make things right when things happened rather than waiting too long to where it was immaterial.  

But now in my thirties I have learned THAT there are things we should NOT apologize  for.

We should never apologize or make excuses for who we are or what we do. If I am living in righteous and humble ways, it’s not my responsibility if someone passes unfair judgement on me or makes false assumptions— That’s on them. Someone that has known me even for six months intimately would only know a small fraction of who I am, and I imagine most people are fairly complex, so I shouldn’t have to apologize for my complexity or my intensity. I am an extremely driven and aggressive person and I have implemented rather high standards over the years but the highest standards are on my shoulders. I am long-winded-- I love to write. I love the written word. I am a person of great verbosity and being apologetic will not phase me from being genuine and true to my form.  I have been and will probably always be a person that walks to to beat of my own drummer. I had an ex send me a video on dancing in a style he felt was more refined than my own and I said, "Why on Earth would I want to dance like everyone else? How boring!" Hell or high water, I dance the way I want to and don’t care if I look dumb doing it. I’ll apologize only when it negatively affects others. 

We should never apologize for not putting up with bad behavior. Nope, nope, nope, nope.  If someone mistreats me, I have every right to explicitly tell them how I feel about it. If it affects me, I shouldn’t have to apologize for standing up for myself. I have self-awareness enough these days to know when I am at fault or if the other person is at fault (or in many cases, if we both are.) I spent a lot of time holding my tongue in the past and it wounded me. Now I say exactly what I think with as much kindness as I can muster and in the end I have no regrets about that. I’m just learning to be a little bit more concise and straightforward about it. 

We should never apologize for having a past. Yes, I wore black in high school (FYI: not a gothic/devil-worshipper but just had an eating disorder and was ashamed of my body! THANKS, Naysaying Relatives!) I had a lot of boyfriends/partners. I was married once. I have debts. I changed majors. I owned a cafe/vintage store/venue that crashed and burned after a year. I come from a dysfunctional family. I started more projects than I can ever finish in this lifetime. I have had bad things happen to me that shouldn’t have happened to anyone ever. I did burlesque.  I used to cuss like a sailor. I used to drink and sang karaoke a bit too much.  I have written a few ranty-angsty letters before to boys— my point is, all of those things are part of the fabric of who I am, but they do not define me. Every year I grow, I become, and I transcend. I learn and evolve. The person that inherently defines me is my rather spirited character but the person I was even a year ago is a ghost and shadow of my former self—I barely recognize her at all. Life is fluid and ever-changing and so are we. 

We should never apologize for walking away in the spirit of self-preservation. If I have walked out on someone, there is a huge chance that I had really, really good reasons for doing so. It’s never a decision I make lightly.  It doesn’t mean I stopped caring about the person but it does mean I am not going to play anymore. I am too old to engage in toxic relations with people and want to focus that energy on the people and things that bring joy and passion into my life. 

We should never apologize for bad/sad/messy/off days. Sometimes we all have bad days— sometimes we’re antisocial or awkward and that is okay. I was super-guilty of being self-conscious about not being a “small talk” person or apologizing for being unhappy when legitimately horrible things were going on in my life— but no more. I’m letting that freak flag fly. Welcome to my (creative) mess. 

We should never apologize for being sensitive. I was often accused of being “oversensitive” in the past and now that I’m older I have kind of balanced out and am sensitive on a palatable level. But that doesn’t mean that I should never be allowed to cry, or be upset, or have actual emotions about anything. In a society of disconnect, being sensitive is a liability. My sensitivity is what comforts my daughter when she cries and cuts people slack when they clearly are having a rough patch. I should never have been made to feel ashamed for feeling things more deeply than some people do. 

I apologize for the things that matter.

I support those who need supporting and whether it comes out as “I’m sorry” or a long diatribe about how much I love and am there for them, it’s genuine and from the heart and people that take issue with that just need to get over it. I’m NOT sorry about that one. No one should ever have to apologize for being kind.

We should only apologize for the things that are worth apologizing about. We shouldn’t have to feel guilty or sorry about things that are out of our control. Just because someone doesn’t take ownership doesn’t mean you have to. We should use that energy in more profound and constructive ways to fuel our inner fires and become what we are meant to be. So guys— no apologies. You’re officially on notice! :)

 

 

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Let's Party!: 25 Amazing DIY Easter Egg Ideas You NEED in Your Life Right NOW

Maddie C.Comment

It's that time of year again where everything is full of life and flowers are blooming everywhere. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, there is something very wonderful about dyeing eggs. Some of my fondest memories from my childhood were in the kitchen, painting and dipping eggs and putting those little plastic shrink wraps with the chicken or bunny printed on them. Traditionally Easter eggs were a symbol of fertility/rebirth/bored farmers, but the egg game has definitely hardcore evolved the last few years (blame Pinterest!) I'm really excited to try some of these out with my own kids this year and make some new traditions and memories (terrarium eggs, anyone?!) I want to do them all--they're so pretty! What kind are you wanting to do this year? The possibilities are endless! 

via Artistic Moods (work by the talented Dinara Mirtalipova)

via Artistic Moods (work by the talented Dinara Mirtalipova)

via SheKnows
via Whole Foods

via Whole Foods

via My Poppet
via Oh Joy!
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roll call: april

roll callSonam A.Comment

HELLO APRIL!


This month is starting off with a bang (rebranding! yay!) and we have a bunch of new features, amazing products,  and new writers to add to the mix.  It's the season of rebirth and we're evolving into our best iteration yet! Click through the gallery below for a sneak peek of (just some of!) the magic this month:

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daily drifter: feelin' fine, feelin' good

daily drifterAlly R.Comment
"老泥妹" by k ying wong

"老泥妹" by k ying wong

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.
— Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat
"neukölln." by Robert Basik

"neukölln." by Robert Basik

"icefalls" by Veronika Gilková

"icefalls" by Veronika Gilková

"..." by Stephane Grasset
"untitled" by Toby Harvard

"untitled" by Toby Harvard

"Chloé, 2017." by Giulia Micheila

"Chloé, 2017." by Giulia Micheila

"Noa | Worthy Is the Lamb" by michel nguie

"Noa | Worthy Is the Lamb" by michel nguie

"Rims" by Susan Blase

"Rims" by Susan Blase

"untitled" by Lucía Pereyra

"untitled" by Lucía Pereyra

"Klimt Memory" by Naomi

"Klimt Memory" by Naomi

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hygge: mint julip edition

hyggeMaddie C.Comment

These are the simple, cozy things. When the world is hectic and emotions are high, it is nice to focus on the feeling of the ground beneath your bare feet, the cool hardness of the ceramic plate, or the soft fluid feeling of petals. This week we are rounding up some of our favorite minty marvels from across the world:

sources  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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daily drifter: the accolades

daily drifterAlly R.Comment
Pietrisycamollaviadelrechiotemexity.
— Lemony Snicket

In matters of meritocracy, sometimes we haven't the faintest idea what is going on. We humbly oblige some more moderate version of ourselves to demonstrate how to behave in modern society, yet our current society is full of upheaval and a future that has yet to be determined. We call them the accolades, these momentary glimpses of privilege and centrifugal forces that we often take for granted.  Some call it divination or intervention. We walk blindly or swim into their seas, letting the current and the windswept sand direct us where we're meant to go and where we belonged all along. 

 

xoxo,
Ally

"Untitled" by Alex Dietrich

"Untitled" by Alex Dietrich

"homesick" by Giuliana Massaro

"homesick" by Giuliana Massaro

"red 6" by William Boulter

"red 6" by William Boulter

"Flight over Nazca desert" by _GOZ_

"Flight over Nazca desert" by _GOZ_

"Untitled" by Kathryn Young

"Untitled" by Kathryn Young

"Selfie underneath the stars" by Matthijs Bettman

"Selfie underneath the stars" by Matthijs Bettman

"San Francisco, CA" by Ivan Echevarria

"San Francisco, CA" by Ivan Echevarria

"hopes" by topshiha sultana

"hopes" by topshiha sultana

"My city through my eyes" by Maria Evgenidu

"My city through my eyes" by Maria Evgenidu

"Untitled" by Benedetta Falugi

"Untitled" by Benedetta Falugi

"Portland OR  .  2016" by Gilbert Terrazas

"Portland OR  .  2016" by Gilbert Terrazas

"De nuevo al frio" by Em Bernatzky

"De nuevo al frio" by Em Bernatzky

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counterculture: and like the phoenix, i rise, i rise || ten meditations

countercultureTaylor P.
"lone descent" by Dafni Kemeridou

"lone descent" by Dafni Kemeridou

THE RISING TIDE

Life can be painful and confusing but at the end of the day every experience shapes and molds us. The end goal (we hope) is that we evolve into better, kinder, wiser versions of ourselves. The older I get, the more I try to refine myself as a person and become a better version of myself. But that better version isn't without growing pains or failures. There are many times I have made lapses of judgement, poor choices, and thrown caution to the wind. I will continue making mistakes and I know that, but I will do my best not to make as many.

When I had my daughter, something within me changed. I am no longer the person I once was-- in a way I became the person I used to be, only I took a detour. In some ways it has made me more loving and patient, but in other ways it has made me more discerning about who or what I want in my life for the next cycle. I am no longer shackled to the things that held me captive before, and although there are different limitations now, I feel more responsive to the world and more confident about my place in it.

Last year I crumbled to dust and was almost swept away by the events of life, but somehow I found courage and strength to rise from the ashes. I am no longer the same but something different. But it also means no longer tolerating that which does not create happiness. When any relationship, big or small, brings you more pain than joy it is time to let go. If I have learned nothing else these last 31 years, it is that I now know when to walk away and when to stay. 

I am focusing on raising our daughter and giving her an awesome start at life as much as I am able. I have started meditating have been on a silent self-improvement campaign, living mindfully, and streamlining my life. I am surrounding myself with people that are not so focused on material things, or status, or constantly dwelling in negativity or drama. Although I have always been one to take accountability or eat crow where it is due, I am furthering those initiatives by being more self-aware and preventative. I am more determined to build and maintain those relationships where it feels mutual and being the best mom, daughter, girlfriend, friend, and acquaintance I can be. I am educating myself on so many subjects right now, kickstarting a business, writing books, volunteering, and throwing myself into my new job with all of its meaningful work. I am casting out disingenuous friendships and dishonest relations and striving toward being around people who have integrity and make me want to be and do more. Selfish and selfless but nevertheless growing. But I want to be a better version of myself for my family and for myself


Throughout this process, I often return to these TEN Meditations Fit For a Phoenix:

1.  ACCEPT (AND RESPECT) WHAT WE CANNOT CHANGE
I read this article and it really resonated with me. I think much of the time we feel like we are in control but it is such an illusory idea that we have control over anything in our lives. Even our decisions, however minor, generally have a process. It can be frustrating to recognize this powerlessness within us. However, there is great courage in allowing everyone the space and respect to be their own person. There is great sacrifice in loving yourself and accepting that your power lies not in what you can control but how you navigate the sea of change. 

2.  NEVER REMAIN NEUTRAL (BUT TAKE THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE OFTEN)
The great Elie Wiesel once said: "We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere." I think it is important to have integrity and stand up for yourself (or others) when there is injustice. Remaining neutral may be peaceful but it order to help influence change in our society or improve the quality of life for others it is of paramount importance that we find our voices and be willing to intelligently and compassionately support those who need our support.  If we can take the path of least resistance, that is ideal, but in all things we should be mindful of
the fact that collectively we have the opportunity to make big or small changes within our circles or communities if we are willing to try. 

3. FORGIVE WHAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND
We all make mistakes and misunderstandings are a direct result of not being the same person. I know I am often guilty of only seeing my perspective until I remind myself that other people process things differently and no one is wrong in that respect. Perception is reality. So I am very conscious of trying to think through the motivations of others and attempt to understand where they are coming from and why they do the things they do. I may not forget the transgressions but this has allowed me to forgive them, for the human error exists in us all. Just because I don't understand something or share the same values doesn't mean that the other person’s process is any less valuable or real. This fantastic guided meditation by Deepak Chopra is so helpful in combatting the negative and disparate feelings resulting from this confusion. 

4. TAKE COMFORT IN THE PASSING OF TIME
When my childhood pets died suddenly, I thought I would never heal. I probably cried every day for at least a year. They were with me through so much of my life and the world felt very empty and lonely without them there. The grieving process for any end can be long or short, fast or slow, and has its own way of operating. Grief doesn't have a timeline or a guidebook. Whether a physical death or a figurative one, we are reminded of our mortality, of the clock ticking, and of the feelings associated with uncertainty. We must take comfort in the fact that we are able to have time now to manifest change within ourselves and within our lives. Rather than taking a fatalistic approach to life, we should make every minute count with those we hold dear and consciously not take them for granted. We can take comfort in the fact that slow or fast, we can choose to create wonderful experiences during the passage of time that will be timeless. 

5. BE PRESENT
Along with being more self-aware, being present in our lives is of great importance. I know at times I am guilty of looking at my phone a bit too much or distracting myself from feeling or experiencing on more profound levels just to escape momentarily, but in an age where connection is fleeting we need to be more present and in touch with not only ourselves but the world around us. There are so many details we probably miss every day if we would just look up and interact with our environment and the ironies of life. 

6. REFLECT ON IMPROVEMENT
Start a bullet journal. List goals, accomplishments, and create detailed plans for improvement. Really evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on the person you want to be without the limitations of societal or personal obstacles and outline the steps to achieve your dreams, even if you don't know what you want 100%

7. BE MORE VULNERABLE
Don't let bad experiences hold you back from love or happiness. I know for me personally I accumulated bad experiences in a mental suitcase and traveled around from place to place saying,"Oh no-- I've seen this before." It wasn't until I met my current boyfriend that I realized that after years of thinking I had all these issues and hangups that made me unloveable that I actually DIDN'T have those things-- I just made poor choices in who I made myself vulnerable to and often we were incompatible in that respect. So I went into this relationship with no roadmap-- I went in sans suitcase and I found that by being MORE vulnerable, letting my guard down, and not letting my past mistakes discolor the very bright and sunny portrait that I was-- I was loved and accepted for who I am intrinsically, regardless of my faults. And now I don't feel the anxiety, fears, or insecurities that came with all of the others because I am being the best self I can be (not what someone else expected me to be) and being completely transparent. 

8. TAKE A LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN
Like many of you, I have fears: fears of failure, fears of financial ruin, etc. Real, legitimate, crazy making fears about not being good enough. When we constantly compare ourselves to others and their successes, we are focusing meaningful energy on something useless and depressing. Sometimes we have to take calculated risks and take chances that we normally would talk ourselves out of. By putting the focus back on ourselves and taking INSPIRATION from the things that enrich our souls rather than being green with envy over what we feel we have yet to accomplish, we can map positive strategies to maximize our success. Be consistent. Be intentional. Rather than worry about potential failure, reorient your mindset to what success looks like and attempt to make your dreams come true. You won't know if you can succeed if you never try it. 

9.  CREATION IS CATHARTIC
There seems to be a strong correlation between wellbeing and creation for those geared toward more artistic endeavors.It is a mutually symbiotic relationship.  I feel more alive, more vibrant, and more confident when creating things than in any other aspect of my life. It is my lifeblood, how I recuperate, and is generally what keeps me in good spirits the majority of days. Having that outlet is important. When faced with a creative block, I have to really work hard at other areas of my life to generate the enthusiasm needed to sustain the same level of expansive optimism that I normally take for granted. The catharsis lies in the ability to channel more articulate ways of doing things, as the more you do a particular task the better you can accomplish it in the future. By creating, you maintain some semblance of control. Like other creators and artists, you can find unique ways that work for you to get the creative energy flowing. 

10. RISE ABOVE
Always be your best self. Always treat people as you would like to be treated. Respect those is different situations from your own. Don't rush to judgement. Remember that when you face adversity, it builds your character. If you aren't changing then you are stagnating. Rise above your limitations. Rise from the ashes and become your higher self. 


What are some things you do regularly to improve your life?


 

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daily drifter: burning bridges

daily drifterAlly R.Comment
How can you rise if you have not burned?
— Hiba Fatima Ahmad

The theme this week around here has been a poignant one. We ask ourselves two questions:

1) How far do we persevere to lose ourselves for love?

and 2) When do we know when to give up?

There are no simple answers. Situations are complicated-- relationships are complicated. We live in a digital age where friendship is often a shell, a guise, surrounded by fragile bridges. We strike those matches, say that we have had enough, and let those fires of Babylon burn. 

In order to rise above we must fall below. It takes great adversity to often build the best character and sometimes takes burning bridges to find other routes to our destination. The journey of life is a series of layers-- we are constructed of stars and finer things. But beneath our sordid frame lies a fire that burns ever brightly, ready to engulf that which needs transcending. I am the Phoenix. Watch me burn and live again. 

Have you ever burned a bridge? Did you strike the match and never look back?

"Self portrait." by The little fawn*

"Self portrait." by The little fawn*

"A luz saindo pelos olhos" by Tuane Eggers

"A luz saindo pelos olhos" by Tuane Eggers

"STRTLGHT" by Anthony Bailey

"STRTLGHT" by Anthony Bailey

"Di nuovo verrà l'estate V" by nonplusultra22

"Di nuovo verrà l'estate V" by nonplusultra22

"dry the river" by Christopher Mongeau

"dry the river" by Christopher Mongeau

"pomelo fruit 6" by William Boulter

"pomelo fruit 6" by William Boulter

"untitled" by Joseph Rustia

"untitled" by Joseph Rustia

"untitled" by David Paton

"untitled" by David Paton

"18A_0142" by Andi Singer

"18A_0142" by Andi Singer

"the light" by Adrielly Alves

"the light" by Adrielly Alves

"pragmatic anarchism" by Michel Nguie

"pragmatic anarchism" by Michel Nguie

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daily drifter: everything is alright | everything is finite

daily drifterAlly R.Comment
When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.
— Wisława Szymborska

President Obama spoke tonight for the last time as President. Regardless of your political leanings, I know many of you feel the difference in the air. The world feels unsettled and listless but full of sparks of energy and hope. The future is full of confusion and exhilaration. We wake up every morning saying a silent mantra of "I'm OK" but are we really? We're sitting on a thin line between war and peace and we're worried about when and where the other shoe may drop.

Yet on some levels we are at war within ourselves. We sit on the precipice of change yet we stare into the brightness of our screens and drink our caloric maximum to dull the sensation of having no control. We have faith or lack it but there is this air of difference that permeates everyone and everything. We distance ourselves to stay intact and fear being vulnerable to the dangers and pleasures that life brings.

I'm OK. You're OK. Everything is alright. Everything is finite.

What does yesterday, today, and tomorrow look like for you?  
 
                                                                                        <3, A

"Sadness is a blessing" by Sacha Bertrand

"Sadness is a blessing" by Sacha Bertrand

"Surrogate" by Piero Donadeo

"Surrogate" by Piero Donadeo

"Untitled" by Toby Harvard

"Untitled" by Toby Harvard

"Untitled" by elif yalim

"Untitled" by elif yalim

"Untitled" by William Danton

"Untitled" by William Danton

"White (II)" by Isabella Bubola

"White (II)" by Isabella Bubola

"Untitled" by Kristina Zdravkov

"Untitled" by Kristina Zdravkov

"Somos um pedaço de cada possibilidade" by Tuane Eggers

"Somos um pedaço de cada possibilidade" by Tuane Eggers

". | barracks without soldiers" by I'm from Caravaggio

". | barracks without soldiers" by I'm from Caravaggio

"Untitled" by Em Bernatzky

"Untitled" by Em Bernatzky

"When the summer heat dissolves memories" by AirSonka

"When the summer heat dissolves memories" by AirSonka

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interior superior: the city in color

interior superiorSonam A.Comment

This week we are very enthusiastic about adding those little pops of color and texture into our spaces. Whether "home" is in the city or in the suburbs, our wellbeing is often influenced by the spaces we inhabit (see this article and this one for more info.) Many in the design industry know this quite well, but what about the rest of us? Here is a weekly roundup of some unique ways you can add a more dynamic aesthetic to your living space. Elevate your mood = elevate your life, right? 

Also, if you're a creative native, don't feel bad if you're not a "minimalist." A lot can be said for a messy desk (or house.) For example, you might be a creative genius. Or maybe you are just a sloth like me-- I won't judge! 

P.S.--We are HUGE fans of this fantastic app. You should be, too!

Warm matte finished wood and pops of complimentary colors can add so many happy vibes to an otherwise plain kitchen (source)

Warm matte finished wood and pops of complimentary colors can add so many happy vibes to an otherwise plain kitchen (source)

Patterned tile in your kitchen or bathroom is great, but taking a color out of it and reproducing it in your textiles or dinnerware is even better! How pretty is this? (source)

Patterned tile in your kitchen or bathroom is great, but taking a color out of it and reproducing it in your textiles or dinnerware is even better! How pretty is this? (source)

Sometimes your "pop" of color can be warm tones against cooler ones. The result is clean, modern, and inviting. (source)

Sometimes your "pop" of color can be warm tones against cooler ones. The result is clean, modern, and inviting. (source)

Live plants, warm earthy shades (green, blue, and brown) can liven up a space while still looking effortless. (source)

Live plants, warm earthy shades (green, blue, and brown) can liven up a space while still looking effortless. (source)

Adding an accent pop of color in a room and tying it in throughout the house with your belongings can aid in pulling a theme together without being overbearing. (source)

Adding an accent pop of color in a room and tying it in throughout the house with your belongings can aid in pulling a theme together without being overbearing. (source)

Vintage vibes abound, using complimentary vintage pieces and poppy bright colors (such as on the door) can be party in the front and business in the back. We love how these vintage pieces mesh so well with the new ones! That rug really pulls everything together also by adding playful texture. (source)

Vintage vibes abound, using complimentary vintage pieces and poppy bright colors (such as on the door) can be party in the front and business in the back. We love how these vintage pieces mesh so well with the new ones! That rug really pulls everything together also by adding playful texture. (source)

Happy murals, bright (but not too bright) colors, and whimsical rugs can create a safe and imaginative space for the kiddos. (source)

Happy murals, bright (but not too bright) colors, and whimsical rugs can create a safe and imaginative space for the kiddos. (source)

Although we wouldn't recommend doing this to EVERY wall or EVERY room, extremely bright pigments can be eye-catching and spur the creative native in you to action (as can coffee.) (source)

Although we wouldn't recommend doing this to EVERY wall or EVERY room, extremely bright pigments can be eye-catching and spur the creative native in you to action (as can coffee.) (source)

Unique geometries and bright contrasting colors really make this space feel comfortable and friendly. (source)

Unique geometries and bright contrasting colors really make this space feel comfortable and friendly. (source)

The pops of color here and wood texture are phenomenal and make the room seem cozy despite its size. (source)

The pops of color here and wood texture are phenomenal and make the room seem cozy despite its size. (source)

Prints with similar styles and colors can work beautifully together while creating interest.  (source)

Prints with similar styles and colors can work beautifully together while creating interest.  (source)

Bright colors work well against wood furnishings and white walls while not appearing overly cluttered or ambiguous. (source)

Bright colors work well against wood furnishings and white walls while not appearing overly cluttered or ambiguous. (source)

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counterculture: becoming velveteen in 2017

countercultureTaylor P.Comment
"Untitled" by Kathryn Young

"Untitled" by Kathryn Young

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.
— Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

 

 b e c o m i n g 

In 2016 I was faced with the daunting task of reevaluating myself as a person and as a company. I was forced (sometimes kicking and screaming) to embrace my imperfections as a new mother, daughter, girlfriend, and brand identity and it caused many direct and indirect changes in how I decided to move forward with this brand and its complexities.

I came into the beginning of the 2016 a very broken person without a definitive direction. I had lost my job I loved, completely lost my motivation, a lifelong dream felt like it had died, and I was in a very painful relationship that was sucking the very heart out of me. I became much colder as a person, more distracted, and the blog suffered as a result. But in the midst of chaos there are little miracles that give us greater insight into who we are and where we need to be.

2016 was a year of profound change for me on a personal level and it helped me reconnect with my higher self, my true self, in ways that were nearly a decade in the making. I became a new mom after a very horrible pregnancy and childbirth experience but it gave me strength I never knew I had and the confidence to let go of fears about myself and my competency as a human being. I had to take time out, which I never had the time to do the past several years, and that made me reevaluate who I was as a person and where I wanted to be. I was able to do a lot of self-reflection and the mental and emotional footwork that can only come in solitude and time which made me a better person in all aspects of my life. It started out as a very destructive year and ended as a very healing one in which I came to terms with the fact that I was stronger and more capable than I ever realized. Even when tragedy might have struck, as it almost did multiple times this year in sometimes major ways, I was able to overcome fear and anxiety in ways I previously had been unable to. 

b e c o m i n g  REAL 

I transitioned into this new year learning that success isn't always a linear process. Sometimes it means taking two steps forward and two steps back (or, in my case, ten) to be able to articulate yourself correctly. Sometimes it means reevaluating the image you see for yourself and making adjustments to your perception of who you are as a person versus who you are as a quantitative brand. Talking about ourselves so often while engaging in a balancing act between being publicly present  and disengaging our egos can be a tough act to follow at times.

I think as a creative person it can be quite difficult to put yourself out there as a brand in a way that doesn't become disingenuous and self-serving. For me, being introverted in an extroverted way often becomes uncomfortable. You are letting people into your private life or at the very least a carefully curated image of who you are and what you want to present as a divine truth of your character or vision. Because at the end of the day, on some level, it is a business or a gallery showing-- there is really no escaping the reality that it is not intrinsically genuine 100% of the time no matter how much you wish it were otherwise. That would be impossible to achieve even with the best intentions. And by speaking so much about my personal experiences, I fear that it comes across as a level of narcissism and superiority that doesn't actually exist within me. I am much happier behind the brand, behind the scenes where I am not a figurehead for a cause. 

In my daily life, I often strive for being honest to a fault and transparent so it is sometimes difficult for me to "put myself out there" when I really just want to bury my head in the sand and pretend someone else is manning the helm that is prettier, wealthier, and more creative. We often want to come across as more put together, more light and airy, more fun and vibrant-- all while engaging in the daily struggles of existence that never make it from pen to paper because of fear or hesitation to show what is more sacred and less interesting to the masses.

For myself as a company it has been a long and arduous journey fraught with may hats and may mistakes along the way. I feel as if I am always embarking on some new venture or another. This blog has been a labor of love-- of finding what works and what doesn't. Life gets in the way and despite my best intentions it usually leads to a hiatus as a result of the ill-fated writer's block that comes with piling too many things on your plate at once. I'm surprised I'm not a culinary genius at this point with having so many pans in the fire! Consistency has been a disappointing and unachievable goal placed on the back burner somewhere between careful planning and differing reality.

This distilled version of myself is something I struggle with, as I often think if we push data too far in one direction we become flat and meaningless but the other direction we can come off as narcissistic and petty. For anyone that knows me on a deeply personal level it is probably quite surprising that I would choose to brand myself so publicly as I am an intensely private person. I struggled with poor self-image most of my life and was extremely uncomfortable when put in situations where I had to share myself or sell my persona as something shiny or flawless. 

I grew up with my nose in books and my head in the stars so I am not interested in the spotlight but as a lifestyle blogger I know that branding is important. You are selling yourself as a brand and not a breathing entity at times and need to meet the expectations of your readers even if they differ from actual concrete reality. This can be often be disconcerting and exhausting, though, because there is often a pretty obvious disconnect between the integrity of who you are as an evolving person and the stability of your image as a "brand." We don't think it matters but as a rule most people don't like change and there is an unspoken level of perfection that we like to see other people strive for in order to inspire that vision of perfection for ourselves. 

I am probably the least likely person to win the perfection award but perfection can be achieved when we stop holding unrealistic expectations of what perfection is which has been a tough lesson for me in life. So if I have any actual goals this year for this blog on a personal level, they are to be more articulate  and more genuine as a person and as a brand. You will likely not see perfection this year but instead be privy to little imperfections, tiny failures, and something more representative of being more tangible.

 


For the new year, my current process is three simple words: BE MORE VULNERABLE.

What is your mantra for the new year? 

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daily drifter: day + age

daily drifterAlly R.Comment
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark: the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
— PLATO

It's a new year and things feel vastly unstructured and unsettled. The weather is unpredictable and so is the political climate. Yet there is hope in the light as well as in the shadows. The energy and vitality of singular moments and of tangible dissonance seem to echo as much from our past as of our future. We are in the golden days of opportunity and in a new age of collective synergism. We are in a time of alternate universes where seemingly real things appear surreal. Now is the time to be everything that you are and to walk into the light sans blindfold. Welcome to the Parallel.

                                                             xoxo,
                                                                       A

 

"Se un dì di novembre andassi in Grecia" by Maria Evgenidu

"Se un dì di novembre andassi in Grecia" by Maria Evgenidu

"kitchen clutter" by Kathryn Young

"kitchen clutter" by Kathryn Young

"San Francisco" by Ivan Echevarria

"San Francisco" by Ivan Echevarria

"untitled" by Giuliana Massaro

"untitled" by Giuliana Massaro

"impediment*" by Topshiha Sultana

"impediment*" by Topshiha Sultana

"allthingsmary" by Magdalena Bodzioch

"allthingsmary" by Magdalena Bodzioch

"Northern Lights" by Ludovica M. B.

"Northern Lights" by Ludovica M. B.

"Untitled" by Mike Lund

"Untitled" by Mike Lund

"Untitled" by Sanja Prodan

"Untitled" by Sanja Prodan

"Untitled" by Toby Harvard

"Untitled" by Toby Harvard

"phantom limb" by T. L. Parker

"phantom limb" by T. L. Parker

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baby love: TOP 35 Best Children's Books For Any Age

baby loveTaylor P.Comment
My daughter Aurelie Wren is eight months old today and she LOVES books. During my pregnancy I set out to build a library for her. and have slowly added to it since she has been born. Early on I noticed she was a quick study and the majority of the regular babyish board books didn't hold her interest for long, so we ended up branching out to a variety of books (many of which were for older kids) and she seems to really enjoy them. She does like Disney a lot (Minnie Mouse, Doc McStuffins, and Elsa being the banes of my existence right now--"Let it Go," right?) so those books are definitely part of the mix, but here is a list of Aurelie's favorite books outside of the Disney universe. Several of these are best read TO your kids if they are very young, but as they get older they will be able to read them all by themselves which is a plus.  Click on the images for more info!

My daughter Aurelie Wren is eight months old today and she LOVES books. During my pregnancy I set out to build a library for her. and have slowly added to it since she has been born. Early on I noticed she was a quick study and the majority of the regular babyish board books didn't hold her interest for long, so we ended up branching out to a variety of books (many of which were for older kids) and she seems to really enjoy them. She does like Disney a lot (Minnie Mouse, Doc McStuffins, and Elsa being the banes of my existence right now--"Let it Go," right?) so those books are definitely part of the mix, but here is a list of Aurelie's favorite books outside of the Disney universe. Several of these are best read TO your kids if they are very young, but as they get older they will be able to read them all by themselves which is a plus.  Click on the images for more info!

This book is absolutely beautiful in a distinct style that is very midcentury meets Marimekko. Part of a series, Kiely's images are simple with lovely colors and shapes that are easy for infants to process but also aesthetically pleasing for us adults. I have always loved Kiely's designs and this book is no exception! 

This book is absolutely beautiful in a distinct style that is very midcentury meets Marimekko. Part of a series, Kiely's images are simple with lovely colors and shapes that are easy for infants to process but also aesthetically pleasing for us adults. I have always loved Kiely's designs and this book is no exception! 

This is probably her favorite book (and almost mine, for that matter.) Hiroe Nakata's watercolour illustrations are very cute and inviting and the whimsical writing is a crowdpleaser for the littles. Aurelie talks to the baby and we have a blast reading it. Out of all of her books, this one has probably been read the most!

This is probably her favorite book (and almost mine, for that matter.) Hiroe Nakata's watercolour illustrations are very cute and inviting and the whimsical writing is a crowdpleaser for the littles. Aurelie talks to the baby and we have a blast reading it. Out of all of her books, this one has probably been read the most!

I could say 1000 amazing things about this book, but to be more succinct I will say the following-- Adorable and simple drawings, great colors, highly informative, and a whole lot of fun to read. 

I could say 1000 amazing things about this book, but to be more succinct I will say the following-- Adorable and simple drawings, great colors, highly informative, and a whole lot of fun to read. 

I don't know how familiar you guys are with Carson Ellis, but if you haven't been exposed to her beautiful work, please do yourself a favor and pick up this book. The wife of Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, she is an accomplished artist, designer, illustrator and storyteller. Her art has a very distinct style and she has illustrations in several children's books at this point, including the Wildwood series that she and her husband have produced (which is a must for young adults, imho.)

I don't know how familiar you guys are with Carson Ellis, but if you haven't been exposed to her beautiful work, please do yourself a favor and pick up this book. The wife of Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, she is an accomplished artist, designer, illustrator and storyteller. Her art has a very distinct style and she has illustrations in several children's books at this point, including the Wildwood series that she and her husband have produced (which is a must for young adults, imho.)

Aurelie loves to eat, so this books definitely up her alley. This series is probably one of the better touch-and-feel types of books and as an added bonus it is in three languages! The illustrations are super cute also. 

Aurelie loves to eat, so this books definitely up her alley. This series is probably one of the better touch-and-feel types of books and as an added bonus it is in three languages! The illustrations are super cute also. 

This book is AMAZING and the colors/illustrations are phenomenal. The story is fun and educational, but hip in a way only MOUK can be. If you haven't watched Mouk on Netflix, add it to your list and set a night aside with the kids because you will probably end up binging it with some popcorn and juice boxes. The theme song alone had me hooked. This book also includes colorform-like stickers! Woohoo!

This book is AMAZING and the colors/illustrations are phenomenal. The story is fun and educational, but hip in a way only MOUK can be. If you haven't watched Mouk on Netflix, add it to your list and set a night aside with the kids because you will probably end up binging it with some popcorn and juice boxes. The theme song alone had me hooked. This book also includes colorform-like stickers! Woohoo!

This was Aurelie's first book and even at eight months old she is still pretty hooked on it. The illustrations and reading are simple and an exercise in comparison, with a lot of focus on B+W solids and voids with red accents. A very good book for bedtime!

This was Aurelie's first book and even at eight months old she is still pretty hooked on it. The illustrations and reading are simple and an exercise in comparison, with a lot of focus on B+W solids and voids with red accents. A very good book for bedtime!

Speaking of bedtime, how cool is this book? You can project constellations on the wall or ceiling and teach the kiddos all about the universe. It is part of a series of books like this with different subjects but definitely a super fun, interactive book for the kids at night. 

Speaking of bedtime, how cool is this book? You can project constellations on the wall or ceiling and teach the kiddos all about the universe. It is part of a series of books like this with different subjects but definitely a super fun, interactive book for the kids at night. 

This book is really neat and goes through a variety of locations. Aurelie loves the colors and illustrations. There are tons of flaps that have objects behind them. At her age I have to help her with them (since it is for older kids,) but she really gets excited to see what is behind them!

This book is really neat and goes through a variety of locations. Aurelie loves the colors and illustrations. There are tons of flaps that have objects behind them. At her age I have to help her with them (since it is for older kids,) but she really gets excited to see what is behind them!

Olivia is spirited and wild and reminds me a lot of Aurelie, so I can see why she gravitates towards this book. Witty and delightful, this book is a keeper. 

Olivia is spirited and wild and reminds me a lot of Aurelie, so I can see why she gravitates towards this book. Witty and delightful, this book is a keeper. 

This is a super sweet book with darling illustrations. The colors are very vibrant and the story is a beautiful affirmation of the love between a mother and child. 

This is a super sweet book with darling illustrations. The colors are very vibrant and the story is a beautiful affirmation of the love between a mother and child. 

This book is so cool! It has the best animal sounds and neat illustrations. It's touch-and-feel and sound rolled into one and very affordable! We read this one a lot and mimic the sounds. 

This book is so cool! It has the best animal sounds and neat illustrations. It's touch-and-feel and sound rolled into one and very affordable! We read this one a lot and mimic the sounds. 

If you're looking for a cute story with midcentury styling, this book is perfect. Kids will love the witty narrative and simple design. 

If you're looking for a cute story with midcentury styling, this book is perfect. Kids will love the witty narrative and simple design. 

Aurelie really loves this book and it goes in our rotation fairly often. The pages fold out and it is very interactive and informative about typical places in a city. Dwellstudio can do no wrong in my eyes, anyway, but they definitely hit the mark with this one. 

Aurelie really loves this book and it goes in our rotation fairly often. The pages fold out and it is very interactive and informative about typical places in a city. Dwellstudio can do no wrong in my eyes, anyway, but they definitely hit the mark with this one. 

Because who does love le petit prince? Featuring Antoine de Saint-Exupery's whimsical illustrations and in two languages, this book is simple but sweet. 

Because who does love le petit prince? Featuring Antoine de Saint-Exupery's whimsical illustrations and in two languages, this book is simple but sweet. 

An older book but Aurelie is all about it. It's very funny and a delight to read and see. 

An older book but Aurelie is all about it. It's very funny and a delight to read and see. 

Aurelie Guillerey is a wonderful illustrator (and Aurelie Wren's namesake) and this is just one of many books she has illustrated I love.  Her style is playful and the book is very nicely produced and colorful. This and "Worms" are pretty great but there are several out there that she has worked on that you need in your life. 

Aurelie Guillerey is a wonderful illustrator (and Aurelie Wren's namesake) and this is just one of many books she has illustrated I love.  Her style is playful and the book is very nicely produced and colorful. This and "Worms" are pretty great but there are several out there that she has worked on that you need in your life. 

As an adult, this is probably my favorite children's book ever. Aurelie loves it, too, although it is a bit long so it may be best to read a quarter or so at a time. The illustrations are breathtaking and the ideas within it are very inventive and help the imagination soar while educating on cause and effect. 

As an adult, this is probably my favorite children's book ever. Aurelie loves it, too, although it is a bit long so it may be best to read a quarter or so at a time. The illustrations are breathtaking and the ideas within it are very inventive and help the imagination soar while educating on cause and effect. 

These Jane Foster books are simple, playful, and elegant. Aurelie really responds well to them and talks to the animals!

These Jane Foster books are simple, playful, and elegant. Aurelie really responds well to them and talks to the animals!

This book is very dynamic and well-illustrated. It is a great tool for teaching the alphabet and makes learning very fun!

This book is very dynamic and well-illustrated. It is a great tool for teaching the alphabet and makes learning very fun!

We love, love, love, love this book. The story is adorable and the illustrations are very beautiful. 

We love, love, love, love this book. The story is adorable and the illustrations are very beautiful. 

Midcentury style-- hip enough for the hippest parent but also fun for your littles!

Midcentury style-- hip enough for the hippest parent but also fun for your littles!

Two words: Saul Bass. This book is clever, colorful, and great for children and adults alike. 

Two words: Saul Bass. This book is clever, colorful, and great for children and adults alike. 

I love Marc Martin. Aurelie loves Max. The illustrations are top notch and the story is grand. 

I love Marc Martin. Aurelie loves Max. The illustrations are top notch and the story is grand. 

This might be one of the most beautiful books ever. The illustrations are lovely and it is highly educational with beautiful prose. Aurelie loves the pictures right now but I know she will love the words when she is a bit older. It describes all four seasons and is a great introduction to the natural world, 

This might be one of the most beautiful books ever. The illustrations are lovely and it is highly educational with beautiful prose. Aurelie loves the pictures right now but I know she will love the words when she is a bit older. It describes all four seasons and is a great introduction to the natural world, 

Charley Harper had the coolest style and this is evidence of it. I love being able to introduce his work to Aurelie so early on and she loves the bright colors and abstract shapes. It's a win-win for everybody!

Charley Harper had the coolest style and this is evidence of it. I love being able to introduce his work to Aurelie so early on and she loves the bright colors and abstract shapes. It's a win-win for everybody!

A great introduction to M. Sasek, this book is a compilation of several of his books about different places and the illustrations are unreal. It is an amazing book about the world and cultures around us and kids could spend hours looking at the beautiful artwork. 

A great introduction to M. Sasek, this book is a compilation of several of his books about different places and the illustrations are unreal. It is an amazing book about the world and cultures around us and kids could spend hours looking at the beautiful artwork. 

Roger Priddy is a baby-book-making genius. This book is lovely with flaps that fold out to reveal sweet animals. We read this book a lot and it is very cute. 

Speaking of cute, this story and its illustrations are simple but great. It's definitely a "make voices" kind of book!

Speaking of cute, this story and its illustrations are simple but great. It's definitely a "make voices" kind of book!

I love this series of books. Aurelie loves to touch all of the different shapes/numbers and it is very well-constructed yet simple in design. 

I love this series of books. Aurelie loves to touch all of the different shapes/numbers and it is very well-constructed yet simple in design. 

We own a lot of the Babylit Primers and Aurelie "oos" and "ahhs" at the bright colors and fun illustrations. This one is probably our favorite, with Emma coming in at a close second. I highly recommend this series for younger folks-- the graphic design is simple but perfect. 

We own a lot of the Babylit Primers and Aurelie "oos" and "ahhs" at the bright colors and fun illustrations. This one is probably our favorite, with Emma coming in at a close second. I highly recommend this series for younger folks-- the graphic design is simple but perfect. 

Another Priddy book but this one is super cute and functions as a rattle and teether as well. Bonus!

Another Priddy book but this one is super cute and functions as a rattle and teether as well. Bonus!

This book is very fun and re-tells several fairy tales in a completely quirky fashion. The illustrations have an eye-catching playful style and it is fairly easy to read for a beginning reader. 

This book is very fun and re-tells several fairy tales in a completely quirky fashion. The illustrations have an eye-catching playful style and it is fairly easy to read for a beginning reader. 

Not to shamelessly plug my book, but Aurelie really loves it and we read it pretty often. It is part of a series and features bright and vibrant watercolor/gouache illustrations of cityscapes with a simple narrative. 

Not to shamelessly plug my book, but Aurelie really loves it and we read it pretty often. It is part of a series and features bright and vibrant watercolor/gouache illustrations of cityscapes with a simple narrative. 

Apparently Aurelie is Priddy fan (maybe he is the "baby whisperer"...) but she loves this book. It is a great touch-and-feel book and very affordable. What are some of your kid's top picks for 2017?

Apparently Aurelie is Priddy fan (maybe he is the "baby whisperer"...) but she loves this book. It is a great touch-and-feel book and very affordable.


What are some of your kid's top picks for 2017?

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LET'S PARTY: 10 Ideas for a Hip Baby Shower

Maddie C.1 Comment
Planning for a baby shower can be exciting but also overwhelming. 

Planning for a baby shower can be exciting but also overwhelming. 

Throwing a shower in the near future? Here are some quick tips for having a creative shower while maintaining your sanity. 
 

Source: Offbeat Home

Source: Offbeat Home

Source: Minted

Source: Minted

Source: Bustled Blog

Source: Bustled Blog

Source: LoveGarlands

Source: LoveGarlands

Source: Ruffled Blog

Source: Ruffled Blog

 

 

 

A month or two before the shower, you should try to get a list together for the items to new parents might need. Several big chain stores offer registries and some, like Target, even include complimentary gift bags for the new mom. Some apps, such as BabyList, combine any stores so the guests are able to have a wider selection of choices should they decide to bring gifts. You can also specify non-monetary gifts (such as making dinner, babysitting, or handmade items)-- which is great for guests who want to help out but may not be able to afford larger items. In lieu of cards, many suggest asking for board books, which can often be found at several stores for a price far less than a card would be. 

 

One of the most difficult things to do is to make the guest list. If you are throwing the baby shower for a friend, be sure to feel out how they want their special day to be and who they want to be included. Some folks may want a traditional shower, while others may want to include their partners as well in a unisex shower. Be realistic about how many guests you can afford comfortably and don't be too shy to ask for help from other relatives to cover the cost of food or venues. Community centers, restaurants, someone's home, or parks are great and usually inexpensive places to have showers. Invites can be expensive, so make sure to look into all available options (whether digital ones that you print yourself or design your own!)


There are tons of free party games and print-outs available online. Some of our favorites are word searches, messages to the newborn (sage advice from the elders!), favorite songlists, and more classic silly games. Other activities that might be fun for guests could be painting baby blocks, decorating onesies, making headbands, or playing baby bingo. If you are having drop-in events, leaving multiple games or activities  out on the tables can be fun while being low-key. Also, if you are having younger guests, having some coloring sheets and crayon sets or more kid-centric activities can give the parents a much-needed reprieve. 

 

 

Did someone say donuts? If you want to have a baby shower that focuses on sweets, donuts can be a quick and relatively inexpensive food for a baby shower. You could either make your own or order some through your local bakery. It is advisable to have a few "normal" flavors as well as some more unique ones. Thrifting donut stands and platters  or hitting up a $1 store for some you can glue together and paint can save much needed cash as well and still look very lovely. You can handwrite "flavor" cards in person or use a chalkboard if you have one.  The best part about the donut bar is that there will likely be some leftovers! Woohoo!
 

 

Something pretty interesting we have been seeing lately is hand-painted cookies. These can be done with food-safe dye and the look is absolutely lovely. It is a simple way to dress up some otherwise plain cookies and give your guests something one-of-a-kind to enjoy. If you're really feeling ambitious, it might be fun to allow guests to decorate their own cookies! 

 

 

 

 

One of the hardest things (but alternately one of the most fun activities) is picking out the colors and decor. There are so many cute themes, even for gender-neutral showers. Garlands and balloons are extremely easy to put up and take down and can be made relatively quickly or bought for a reasonable amount. The effect is festive but also simple, which is great when you are throwing a shower together. By using decorative elements that are simple yet lively, you can buy more practical tablecloths and flatware/dishware in solid colors that compliment them. A dash of gold or silver can go a long way in presenting a more upscale theme.  

 

 

 

Ombre is where it's at! We love the trend of ombre cakes and cupcakes, which are often easy to make and literally require adding or subtracting food coloring to the frosting. It creates a minimal yet lovely effect that your guests should find aesthetically pleasing. You can also use ombre as a tool with other non-food items, such as dip-dyed tablecloths or backdrops. Adding a solid banner, flags, or arrows can be a playful touch for a table setting as well. 

 

 

 

 

If you can manage it, fresh flowers, when bought in bulk, can be lovely to add to the tables and really liven up a room. Carnations or peonies are beautiful and come in a variety of colors. There are also many types of edible flowers that can be arranged with the food or as a topping for finger foods. This is especially wonderful in the Spring or Summer and can be symbolic of welcoming life into the world.

 

 

 

 

There are tons of small appetizers that can be made efficiently and inexpensively. We really like Hawaiian ham and swiss rolls, cucumber dill sandwiches, fruit picks, and vegetable stackers. For desserts, buttercream mints and thumbprint cookies are extremely easy and quick, but one can also make macarons in bulk fairly easily if one is wanting something more substantial. We really love these coconut nests, though, which can be topped with malted eggs, jellybeans, or Jordan almonds. 

 

 

 

 

 

When your guests leave, it is always nice to thank them with a favor or some sort. Some really cute ideas we have found are to give them a mini succulent or flower seeds, candy or popcorn bag with a rattle, tea bags, or Rolo cigars. It can be a small gesture but it is great to help your guests to feel included in the special day with the parents-to-be. 

What other ideas have you thought of? Feel free to comment below with tips of your own for our readers! <3 

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daily drifter: chasm

Ally R.Comment
“I've often thought that there isn't any "I" at all; that we are simply the means of expression of something else; that when we think we are ourselves, we are simply the victims of a delusion.” 
― Aleister CrowleyDiary of a Drug Fiend

As human beings, we are faced with a quintessentially large task: to leap over the chasm or not leap over the chasm. With reckless abandon, we start into the abyss and its dark eyes and unknown reaches stare back at us. Every decision we make is a risk. We often risk falling-- sometimes into unknown depths-- seeking our destiny and always pushing forward. What was the hardest decision you ever made? Did you reach the other side with ease or did you fall into the shadowy depths?

 

xo,
Ally


"Untitled" by Asele Suleyeva

"Untitled" by Asele Suleyeva

"08" by Alma Drnovac

"08" by Alma Drnovac

"transbordo Saône" by Lucia Marquesx

"transbordo Saône" by Lucia Marquesx

"Untitled" by Pablo Belice

"Untitled" by Pablo Belice

"Untitled" by Carolina Conte

"Untitled" by Carolina Conte

"Untitled" by Pat C.

"Untitled" by Pat C.

"Untitled" by Anne-Sophie Landou

"Untitled" by Anne-Sophie Landou

"untitled" by Kiki Li

"untitled" by Kiki Li

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baby love: 10 best nursery ideas for 2016

Taylor P.Comment

1. Graphic Print Walls Adds Depth to Small Spaces

2. Importing Colors from Artwork Can Make Neutral Spaces Pop

3. Paint Crib Rails to Create Visual Stimulus 

4. Painting Walls Using a Gradient or Dual Tones Spruces Up Rooms

5. Composite of Same or Similar Materials Can Create Quick Contrast 

6. A-frame Tents Can Be an Exploratory Space for Your Baby 

7. Vintage Furnishings or Prints Highlight Nostalgia + Creativity

8. Using Similar Shades/Tones Makes Contrasting Colors Shine

9. Make a Library + Reading Nook to Promote a Love of Learning

10. Simple Graphic Prints + Text Add Variety to a Small Space

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daily drifter: impossivel

daily drifterAlly R.Comment

 

 

“Only if you are possible, everything will be possible.” 
― Santosh Kalwar



As we let go of the old and embrace the new, we embark on a journey of great magnitude. We become ourselves in the realm of possibility. Somehow the future is always such an abstract concept and then suddenly we wake up and realize the future is now. We dance into the realm of impossibility and carve out our own niche of what is possible and real. What are some of your possible (or impossible) plans?


xoxo,
Ally

"oblong hobnob 1 - 14'' x 20'' - 2015" by Harold McNaron

"oblong hobnob 1 - 14'' x 20'' - 2015" by Harold McNaron

"Tradiciones" by [María JPM]

"Tradiciones" by [María JPM]

"New York State of Mind" by Hayden Williams

"New York State of Mind" by Hayden Williams

"A3" by Wendy Sama

"A3" by Wendy Sama

"Childhood Project 008" by Naomi

"Childhood Project 008" by Naomi

"untitled" by Kiki Li

"untitled" by Kiki Li

"Chasing Light" by michel nguie

"Chasing Light" by michel nguie

"Que tal o impossível?" by Tuane Eggers

"Que tal o impossível?" by Tuane Eggers

"Untitled" by David Paton

"Untitled" by David Paton

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the beeline: 10 Things I Learned About Pregnancy

the beelineTaylor P.Comment

I just recently completed my first pregnancy. Although the books tell you an awful lot, every pregnancy is unfortunately different and filled with its unique experiences. Although I was extremely excited to welcome our daughter into the world, I learned so many things about pregnancy that I never really thought about before in quite the same light and likely never will think about in the same way again. Thus, I have compiled a list of things below that I learned since the first trimester: 

1. Birth Control Is Not As Foolproof As You Thought

If you have irregular periods and are on birth control, you can totally be blissfully unaware that you are very much pregnant. Even if you take your pills/shots/etc the way you are supposed to, there are absolutely no guarantees that you won't fall into that percentile that gets pregnant. Once you are pregnant and start asking around, you'll find out that at least half of the people you know were using birth control when they found out they were with child. 

If you have irregular periods and are on birth control, you can totally be blissfully unaware that you are very much pregnant. Even if you take your pills/shots/etc the way you are supposed to, there are absolutely no guarantees that you won't fall into that percentile that gets pregnant. Once you are pregnant and start asking around, you'll find out that at least half of the people you know were using birth control when they found out they were with child. 

 2. Time and Space Are Suddenly Irrelevant

Everything starts happening super fast (whilst seemingly moving super-slow) when you are in the baby territory. Day-to-day you will spend wondering if your baby is ever coming out and then you will look at the calendar and realize you are a few months from delivery and have a panic attack and want him/her to stay in there forever! 

Everything starts happening super fast (whilst seemingly moving super-slow) when you are in the baby territory. Day-to-day you will spend wondering if your baby is ever coming out and then you will look at the calendar and realize you are a few months from delivery and have a panic attack and want him/her to stay in there forever! 

3. Yes, I Really Am Having a Baby! 

It sometimes takes forever to start really showing, especially if you weren't rail thin to start with. You might seriously considered carrying around an ultrasound photo as evidence just in case, you know, folks think you just ate too much pecan pie over the holidays (even though you so ate the hell out of that pie!) And every time you cancel plans on your friends because you are bent over a toilet (which unfortunately may happen a lot,) you want to scan your friends some pictures of your medical records just to exonerate yourself. 

It sometimes takes forever to start really showing, especially if you weren't rail thin to start with. You might seriously considered carrying around an ultrasound photo as evidence just in case, you know, folks think you just ate too much pecan pie over the holidays (even though you so ate the hell out of that pie!) And every time you cancel plans on your friends because you are bent over a toilet (which unfortunately may happen a lot,) you want to scan your friends some pictures of your medical records just to exonerate yourself. 

4. Morning Sickness and Other Atrocities Are For Real

Yeah, your friend that was pregnant that said she "loved" being pregnant? Obviously she didn't have the all-day nausea, hormone-induced pregnancy tumors in your mouth, horrible round ligament pains when you roll over, and splitting migraines. Lucky girl. Morning sickness is real and awful. Some women have it their entire pregnancy. You will get body hair in places you never thought possible, stretch marks will reign supreme, and constipation is a common daily occurrence. Oh, and hemorrhoids, because why not?  And those are all the wonderful things you might look forward to if you don't have actual complications. You will be in constant disbelief that your body can go through all of this insanity and remain intact in the end. 

Yeah, your friend that was pregnant that said she "loved" being pregnant? Obviously she didn't have the all-day nausea, hormone-induced pregnancy tumors in your mouth, horrible round ligament pains when you roll over, and splitting migraines. Lucky girl. Morning sickness is real and awful. Some women have it their entire pregnancy. You will get body hair in places you never thought possible, stretch marks will reign supreme, and constipation is a common daily occurrence. Oh, and hemorrhoids, because why not?  And those are all the wonderful things you might look forward to if you don't have actual complications. You will be in constant disbelief that your body can go through all of this insanity and remain intact in the end. 

5. Your Baby Will Have a Party In Your Belly (sometimes all night long!)

Every time he/she moves you'll replay that scene from Alien in your head. Or this one. If your baby is a night owl, you will be blessed with the lovely feeling of almost falling asleep only to have someone start kicking you in the ribs or the bladder at 2am. Also, falling asleep is difficult because you wind up being so uncomfortable trying to get in the right position to sleep. Is this everything you ever dreamed of? Of course it is, silly!

Every time he/she moves you'll replay that scene from Alien in your head. Or this one. If your baby is a night owl, you will be blessed with the lovely feeling of almost falling asleep only to have someone start kicking you in the ribs or the bladder at 2am. Also, falling asleep is difficult because you wind up being so uncomfortable trying to get in the right position to sleep. Is this everything you ever dreamed of? Of course it is, silly!

6. You Just Want It Over With 

"Can my water just break already?" Everyone keeps telling you that by the time you are in labor, you don't even care what happens so long as the baby is out. Your body is doing so much crazy crap by the second trimester that you can't wait until he/she is out and about just so you can achieve some sense of normalcy. And then you feel selfish and start worrying about the gross realities of labor. 

"Can my water just break already?" Everyone keeps telling you that by the time you are in labor, you don't even care what happens so long as the baby is out. Your body is doing so much crazy crap by the second trimester that you can't wait until he/she is out and about just so you can achieve some sense of normalcy. And then you feel selfish and start worrying about the gross realities of labor. 

7. Pregnancy Brain is the Bane of Your Existence

Did you lose your keys again? Or your other child? What were you getting at the supermarket again? Why did you go out for milk and end up with tacos and plastic wrap? What was I talking about? These unsolved mysteries can only be attributed to pregnancy brain and its extreme ADHD-like tendencies. 

Did you lose your keys again? Or your other child? What were you getting at the supermarket again? Why did you go out for milk and end up with tacos and plastic wrap? What was I talking about? These unsolved mysteries can only be attributed to pregnancy brain and its extreme ADHD-like tendencies. 

8. Granny Panties are the Shit

You find out that maternity clothes are actually amazing (and primarily ugly.) Those XXL panties you used to mock in the store are now your BFF. And say goodbye to your waistline, breasts, and most of your shoes because things are about to get weird and big. Really big.  

You find out that maternity clothes are actually amazing (and primarily ugly.) Those XXL panties you used to mock in the store are now your BFF. And say goodbye to your waistline, breasts, and most of your shoes because things are about to get weird and big. Really big.  

9. You Will Probably Be Full of Hate (and Food)

You will pretty much spend the first two trimesters being upset and wanting food. Pregnancy hormones are like PMSx1000. It is like a superpower. A very, very horrible one that you are not always aware of. You can bounce from being extremely apathetic to giddy happy to totally hateful in a span of .05 seconds. Your significant other will live in constant fear that you will be like this forever and you just hope that they are so happy with their new kiddo that they forget this period of matriarchal tyranny after the baby is born.  

You will pretty much spend the first two trimesters being upset and wanting food. Pregnancy hormones are like PMSx1000. It is like a superpower. A very, very horrible one that you are not always aware of. You can bounce from being extremely apathetic to giddy happy to totally hateful in a span of .05 seconds. Your significant other will live in constant fear that you will be like this forever and you just hope that they are so happy with their new kiddo that they forget this period of matriarchal tyranny after the baby is born.  

10. Strangers WILL Invade Your Personal Bubble

Because as if pregnancy isn't uncomfortable or invasive enough, everyone has to ask you extremely personal questions that under normal circumstances would be completely inappropriate. And then, of course, everyone starts touching your belly because THAT'S NOT WEIRD OR INAPPROPRIATE AT ALL, AMIRIGHT? 

Because as if pregnancy isn't uncomfortable or invasive enough, everyone has to ask you extremely personal questions that under normal circumstances would be completely inappropriate. And then, of course, everyone starts touching your belly because THAT'S NOT WEIRD OR INAPPROPRIATE AT ALL, AMIRIGHT? 

What weird things have some of you learned so far with your pregnancies (or those of folks around you?) Inquiring minds would like to know! :-)

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