FALL10X10 // 2018ED.

It’s been a minute hasn’t it? Well if you follow us over on Instagram, you would know that we spent half of October traversing around Iceland for our way belated honeymoon. While I did plan a 10x10 challenge for the trip (more on that later..), I made the last minute split decision to join the #FALL10x10 challenge as well. Originally the ICELAND10x10 was going to cover my images on the ‘gram, but I had some pieces in my closet I wanted to play around with!

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FALL10X10

ETHICAL // SUSTAINABLE
Conscious Collection Convertible Overalls (similar)
Curator Ida Mock Turtleneck
Voloshin Timi Top
ABLE Mules (similar)

PASSES THIRTY WEARS TEST
H&M Floral Shirt
Urban Outfitters Sweater
Knee High Boots

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Unlike the SUMMER10X10 where I planned out the outfits, these were put together based on how I felt that day. I was worried that I would find myself drifting to the same pieces and rewearing outfits (which I am not against….by the way). Thankfully each look had their own moment. Clearly, I was feeling a little sassy on day007. I was going for Twiggy vibes, but in hindsight I could’ve turned this look into a Halloween costume with a pair of aviators, whistle, and baton. (If you feel what I’m putting down...)

Now for the overalls! I originally bought this for the SUMMER10x10, but didn’t account for the production time. Which was totally my bad! I should have planned better. It’s one of the many reasons why I appreciate Conscious Clothing. They use natural materials and each piece is made to order, which is great for SO MANY REASONS! One, it’s slows down the fashion industry so there isn’t any waste floating around. Two, because it’s made JUST FOR YOU! So special! I have worn these overalls a handful of times, but only like I did in the day001. outfit. For this challenge, I wanted to play around with the versatility of the piece, since that was the reason why I bought it in the first place. Sadly, this particular piece is discontinued, but there are other lovely overalls and pinafores over on there page to gawk at.

stay tuned for the iceland10x10
and all the dang pictures you know
you’ve been dying to see <3

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A PROPER PORCH HANG
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In every relationship, date nights are a must. It’s a way to spend some time with each other without the distractions of the everyday. For us, we wander around a lot and our love language really is quality time; No matter what we’re doing, as long as we’re together… it’s always a date. But sometimes you just need those fancy nights. The date nights where you purposefully dress up a little bit, pop a bottle of wine, and shmooz your night away.

Enter Porch & Proper

Ever since Indeblue closed down, we always wondered what would come of the building. When we saw that it was painted black, our interest was definitely piqued and we kept tabs on their Instagram page, patiently waiting for their opening. Porch & Proper focuses on contemporary cuisine inspired by the world, but sourced locally and seasonally. With the collaboration of owners Jason and Casey Simkins (both managed many Starr Restaurants) in the front end and Executive Chef Ryan McQuillan (Talula's Table, Mercato, Yardley Inn) at the helm of the kitchen, you know good food was coming to the neighborhood.

With the end of summer being a bit busy, we made a reservation for the first day we could. Thankfully, it was just in time to taste the inaugural menu before it switches over next week.

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OUTFIT DETAILS : HIM

NEEDLES SHIRT - IRON & RESIN // LEVIS // CHUCKS // STEELY GOOD LOOKS

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We arrived a little early just so we an snap some pics of us looking snappy. The parking is limited out front of Porch & Proper, but you can use the church lot next door too. But there is ample amount of street parking closely if you don’t mind a very short stroll.

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OUTFIT DETAILS : HER

BOYFRIEND BUTTON DOWN - URBAN OUTFITTERS // PENCIL SKIRT - UNIQLO (similar) // MULES - ABLE (similar) // CLUTCH - ANTHROPOLOGIE (similar)

BEVVIE OF CHOICE

SUMMER WATER (picked up at COOKS LIQUOR)

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Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by the GORGEOUS Moroccan tiled floors and a bright white and light atmosphere. It’s one of our favorite interior design tricks. Dark on the outside, light on the inside. The withholding of baited breath and the exhale. It was spacious and welcoming in the front room, then as we were led to our seats in the alcove, it became more intimate and romantic. The dark grey green walls melted into the plush crushed velvet upholstery and the candle lit votives bounced around salvaged windows and thrifted frames that decorated the walls.

The Summer menu did not disappoint. We started with a few small plates of Bread, Dayboat Scallops (the leche de tigre sauce was….so good), Melon Gazpacho, and Donuts & Foie. For mains, we decided to go with the black bass and short rib plates. To finish off the meal, we shared a French Press of single origin coffee over some bread pudding and olive oil cake.

We may have to make visiting Porch & Proper at least a quarterly thing.
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BLUE HAZE

Although not really a popular or new song by any means, this Amber Run track has been playing in my head nonstop. Hence the title of the post. It's sad and hopeful at the same time. It's a little disillusioned, but with the anticipation for the light to come through the fog. If you click through the link to watch the video, you'll find it quite mesmerizing with the double exposures and the dualities.

It's a weird feeling to have to be floating and drifting, either you're along for the ride or you have to start swimming to get on in the direction you want, or even need to go in. Although the swimming option is hardly ever the easiest route, sometimes the seas are calm, but other times there are thrashing swells and an undercurrent that tires you out.

But maybe the song has been stuck in my head because of these new blue hued specs I recently picked up in a thrifting trip...shrug.

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outfit details

TIMI TOP - VOLOSHIN // WHITE TROUSERS - THRIFTED // FRINGED SLIDES - TARGET // SUNNIES - THRIFTED // JUNIPER STRANDS - 31BITS // MARKET TOTE - CAMBIO & CO. 

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NO FORKS GIVEN

We wish we could take credit for that pun in our post name, but it's the book title of nomadic chef and fellow Filipina Yana Gilbuena. We had the pleasure of attending one of her pop up KAMAYAN feasts in collaboration with Philly's own resto with the ono grinds Poi Dog. And it was quite a night.

kamay...what?

Alright, before we go any further, let's clarify what a KAMAYAN is. Quite literally it translates to "by hand" in Tagalog, the prominent language of the Philippines. Yes, it is a meal eaten with no forks (see full circle here) or other utensils, but it also is served family-style on top of banana leaves. You serve yourself and are able to craft the perfect bite at your fingertips. See "eating by hand" isn't weird in Filipino culture. Historically speaking, if no one ever came to the Philippines and brought over the "domesticated" way of eating, we would still be eating with our hands. It's more natural. More tactile. And it's rooted within all of us. As children, we all ate with our hands. Discovering textures, learning dexterity. With my hands, I ate rice and longanisa (a sweet sausage) for breakfast and for dinner: Daing ng Bangus (fried milkfish) with rice (there's a theme) and some sort of sasawan (dipping sauce). Even sometimes to the questionable eye of my parents. I didn't think anything of it. To be honest, some foods are just easier to eat with your hands than fussing around with a fork and spoon.

But eating by hand in a public, HELL TO THE NO. Even Western finger foods like ribs, wings, and crabs need to be eaten in the privacy of my own home. I don't know where the switch in me turns on and off, but if I look deep, I know some of it is rooted in the familiar story of a culture clash that is prominent in fellow first generation children. When I was younger, I read "Fat Kid Rules the World". In that book, the main character, an overweight high school boy, was always conscious of the way he ate. But this punk rock kid who GNF, Curt, pointed out that everyone eats weird. There's no hiding it. Try as you may, no one looks cute when they're eating. And it's true. So why do we put our guards up and try to look all dignified while we eat. The way we eat doesn't matter, it's the food.

...and filipino food is bomb.com

When I heard about the new wave of Filipino chefs bringing the foods I grew up on to the modern scene...STOKED doesn't give my feelings justice. A part of me thinks "freedom" or "a sigh of relief" or maybe a "seen"-ness I haven't experienced in that foodie space. It wasn't "validation", moreso an excitement that others can enjoy the foods of my childhood. It's weird ownership and pride. Honestly, writing this post is kinda like therapy. Realizing the narratives of what I thought were two opposing sides (eastern and western) didn't have to stay in their pretty little boxes. That both sides of the coin can co-exist with one another. Kamayan is more than just eating with your hands. It's community. It's family. 

 
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WOAH THAT GOT A BIT DEEP AND HEAVY.
SO HERE'S A LITTLE BREATHER. We all love a good neon sign right?

 
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okay back to the
salo series x poi dog
A FILIPINO HAWAIIAN kamayan

Firstly I just want to say thank you for all the people who put this together. It brought my back to my roots and definitely filled a void that I didn't realize need filling. The night was a great way to celebrate my dad's birthday (older gen meets new gen). And above all else, it was beyond delicious. From the tasty cocktails all the way to the crumbly goodness that was the polvoron made with moonshine (get I put a catering order for that....honestly SO GOOD). The Sinigang Poke was by far my favorite and definitely a dish I want to try re-creating at home for afternoon snack. // KATRINA


I haven't eaten a full meal with my hands since probably childhood. There were ZERO utensils on the table. Anyone that knows me, knows I hate being sticky or just messy in general. At first I thought this idea of banana leaves on the table with food on it would trigger my OCD in the worst say. Much to my surprise, this meal had an opposite effect. I felt ver at east, comfortable, and felt more connected to the group of strangers around us at the table.

The food was unreal. All of it was an incredibly delicious pairing of Hawaiian and Filipino cuisine. My personal favorites were the garlic rice and the lechon (pork belly with crispy skin).

My first experience with kamayan was incredibly positive. It's a way to connect with friends and family over food in a more intimate way. I highly recommend everyone try to experience it at least once in your life! // JUSTIN

the FOOD

SINIGANG POKE
Atlantic Salmon / Tamarind / Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes / Red Onion / Green Pepper / Puffed Rice

TA(PA) PIPI(KUALA)
"Dried" Short Rib / Calamansi / Shoyu / Alaea Salt / Garlic

HAPA HAWAIIAN CHICKEN
Chicken Two Ways: Huli Huli & Inasal

LECHON KAWALI WITH DINUGUAN SAUCE
Crispy Pork Belly / Blood Sauce

GARLIC COCONUT FURIKAKE RICE

POI

MACADEMIA MOONSHINE POLVORON WITH CHARRED COCONUT
Belle Isle Moonshine Wheat Cakes

 
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the COCKTAILS

PAU HANA
Belle Isle Grapefruit / Calamansi / Tamarind / Cinnamon / San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa

LAKAMBINI
Belle Isle Honey Habanero / Lime / Coconut Two Ways / Li Hing Rim

 

A little birdie told me a bartender at 1 Tippling Place is responsible for the evening's cocktails. Just in case you had FOMO or anything.

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Interested in experiencing your own NO FORK FEAST?? Perla on Passyunk hosts them every Wednesday and Sunday evening that we've been meaning to hit up. Or more fun, host one yourself!! The dog days of summer are hopefully coming to a close, so backyard gatherings with friends and food sound like an ideal situation. Kamayan dinners don't necessarily have to involve Filipino food. Just eating with your hands ("Kamay" is Tagalog for "hands" by the way) and spending time with your community. Just make sure you have a wash bowl handy (hehe) and some towels close by.

And don't forget to order Yana's book NO FORKS GIVEN. She's still offering it at the pre-sale price of $15 off. Make sure you follow her story and her travels through Instagram @SaloSeries.

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thanks mom for the photo
we swear we do things together

URSA FINE Comment
CHANGING GEARS

So I am pretty dang excited about this news...

i have my first collaboration

This whole situation was pretty kismet and was all through luck / chance / star alignment... oh and the beloved Instagram. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's rewind real quick.

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If you know me, I am pretty picky...or as I like to say INTENTIONAL for pretty much every aspect of my life. From the clothes I wear to the places I shop from to the food I consume to the people I let into my inner circle. Everything is purposed and purposeful so nothing gets wasted. I started making these changes (specifically through my wardrobe) a few years back after being fed up with the industry I worked in: fashion and retail. From unfair working conditions to the toll it was taking on our actual environment, I had to constantly ask myself: "Is it worth it?" I appreciated the art and design behind it all, just not the way it was made. I looked toward slow fashion, conscious consumerism, the sustainable movement, and even the craftsmanship of artisans and makers for inspiration. 

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Now when I started this whole "blogging" thing, my aim was to connect people with stories. So when this company found me through the #MAGANDANGMORENX hashtag (a story for another time), I knew this was someone that I would love to work together with. Their story is just in its early chapters, but it is one that I felt an instant kinship with. Not only because we have the same motherland, but because same ideals and beliefs. Let me introduce you to...

CAMBIO & CO.

Owned by Gelaine and Jérôme, they focus on sharing the beauty of Filipino craftsmanship by teaming up with artisans and makers from the Philippines. Through their products they empower local communities, practice ethical production, and keep culture alive.

The name came from the Spanish word CAMBIO for 'change' because as Gelaine put it "We wanted to change how business is done and how people shop". (Same girl...same.) She says the name doesn't apply anymore since the company has evolved and transitioned more into supporting the craftspeople of the Philippines. But the way I see it, CAMBIO is similar to the Tagalog word for 'gears' KAMBIYO. It's the switching of gears from the what is normal and automatic as society and current culture has defined shopping and consumption to be. But when we stop the cycle and ask the right questions, we slow the process down. There's more thought behind every movement. More intentionality. And as anyone who has ever driven or attempted to drive stick, switching gears is hard in the beginning, but when you get the hang of it...you, your wallet, and the environment is better off for it.

As for the product assortment...It's gorgeous. From handwoven bags to jewelry made from surplus fabric, there's purpose behind every product. You can learn about the brands that they partner with and the social change that comes from the purchase of every piece. Personally, I've stocked myself with their version of the trendy net bag: the AURORA ABACA MARKET TOTE by Habin and the JOEY POUCH by Gouache. The tote is made from Abaca, a renewable and sustainable fiber made from the discards of the banana harvest. The material is handwoven in a macrame lotus pattern, so it gives all the boho vibes. The pouch is a good carryall to have. Currently it's housing our GPS Simone so it's easy to pack for any adventure we head out on.

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now for the giveaway...

At the end of the month, I will be giving away the TALA EARRINGS by TAYO. These reminded me of an heirloom necklace my mother gifted me and has been a well worn piece in my layered necklace look. TAYO (which means "to help stand" "to build" or "us") works with the non-profit Wipe Every Tear. They empower women trapped in the sex trade by building up survivors and helping them to realize their freedom, regain their hope, and see their future.

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HOW TO ENTER
FOLLOW @URSAFINE on Instagram
Find the post with the TALA EARRING by TAYO
LIKE and LEAVE A COMMENT
**one entry per user p+ty**

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Giveaway will end at the end of the month (08/31) and will be announced on Tuesday, September 4 because Labor Day weekend and I don't want you to miss out. Be sure to tell all your friends, share away, you know...all that jazz and a bag of chips.

If you don't want to press your luck and just want to snatch some goodies up yourself, use the code URSAFINE15 for 15% off your first purchase at Cambio & Co. 

 

URSA FINE Comments
SAGE & DUST
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I'm not sure about you, but I'm the kind of person who likes the feeling of being small. Staring into the abyss of the ocean. Standing next to a mountain where you can't see the summit. And in the vastness of the universe, having the acute awareness that you are not even a speck of dust in the timeline of creation.

Now hear me out...
I said "small" not insignificant

We were all born for a purpose whether or not we like to believe it or even seek it out. Some people will never fully walk into the greatness that their life can be. It's not always a career or some life changing event, it's more of a way of living a life that fulfills a greater calling. But the feeling of being small is more comfort than anxiety driven. It's the feeling being cradled and cared for even with the whole big wide scary out the world beats on.

Now we've been to plenty of places where we have felt this feeling. Cadillac Mountain at sunrise. Sitting at the shores of Lake Louise. A fly on the wall at some random event, but to add to the list were the various landscapes of our trip to Oregon. We started in the lush evergreen ridden area of Portland, but two hours later we found ourselves in the middle of a desert. Unbelievable until you actually do the drive and sit in awe of how you can still see Mount Hood in the middle of miles and miles of sand and sage bushes.

We covered a lot of ground in the four days we were there. But it was a birthday trip for the boys and it was well worth it. Smith Rock was a mid stop between Portland and Bend. Okay it was my mid stop between Portland and Bend out of the suggestion of our friend Dana. But I think the stop was a happy surprise for the rest of the crew. Coming up to the volcanic rock formations with Crooked River flowing between, the level of stoked was off the charts.

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Also we know I'm extra and couldn't not take the opportunity to look like a fool...So we had a mini photoshoot

VOLOSHIN Luna Romper // Old White Tee (similar) // NISOLO Huarache Sandal

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Towers of volcanic ash rise like the spires of 

a cathedral out of the sage & dust of the 

high desert.

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If this post has you feeling any sort of way...Go for a drive or a walk. Breathe some fresh air. Lay out on the lawn and make shapes with clouds. We suggest listening to Joseph or Wild Reeds because that was our soundtrack for the drive between Portland and Bend, but whatever tickles your fancy is pretty alright too.

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SUMMER10X10 // 2018ED.

SUMMER...Oh Summer. How in the world are you almost over?!

I swear we were just in Miami...I mean, it sure feels like it outside. Since then, two full months have passed. Some holidays. A few birthdays. Vacas (read about VA here and stay tuned for PNW coming in a few days...workin' on it!). Summer as an adult goes by in a blink of an eye. Between working the day job and the weekend filled with activities, time goes. And while we have had a few exciting things happen, the SUMMER10x10 Style Challenge was the perfect way to play with the newest additions to the wardrobe.

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so what is a 10x10...

The 10x10 Challenge is creating 10 different outfits with 10 different pieces from your closet for a period of 10 days. These pieces do not include athleticwear, pajamas, socks, underwear, accessories, hats. The pieces that are included are outerwear, tops, bottoms, dresses, and shoes. The rules are loose, but that's the general gist.

Since this is my second go at the challenge, I've learned a few things since Spring. The most important: outfit plan beforehand so your looks don't look the same every dang day. The second: getting decent pictures of yourself every day is HARD without a cool coworker or a tripod. It partially worked out that I had a trip planned for about the same time, so conveniently Instagram husband was on duty for the back half. But it was still a trip that I wanted to fully enjoy and be immersed in, so proper photos still weren't taken. If you follow us on Instagram (oh hey @ursafine) and been watching the stories, you've already seen the looks. But if you haven't, I'm including them here too. Hopefully by the next 10x10, I will have a little at-home studio set up to take better outfit shots. Or just bang out all the outfits in one day, you know "blogger" life.

 
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the summer10x10

ETHICAL // SUSTAINABLE
Made-By-Me Draped Vest - Nisolo Huaraches - Vetta Boyfriend Shirt
Voloshin Playsuit - Vintage Wranglers - Vintage Caftan

PASSES THIRTY WEARS TEST
Oversized White Tee (similar) - Ruckus Tank - Top Shop Booties
Free People Denim (similar denim is the ABLE Slouch in Lucely // use THIS LINK for $20 off your first order)
 

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GET LIT
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When WAX + WINE opened their doors a few months back, I knew exactly who I had in mind that I would take: Husby's mom and sister. So when Rachel's birthday came around, Justin and I wanted to treat her for a girls date in the city. So we had her invite some of her closest friends, we made a planned a day, and then we were off.

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A short walk away from the PATCO line, the WAX+WINE studio sits alongside some of the city's cutest boutiques and antique shops. Close to the corner of 11th and Pine, you will come upon the minimal, but bold black and white sign. By now, you should know I live for a black exterior, but then you walk in and you're greeted with this old world charm meets contemporary flair aesthetic. The Art Nouveau-esque chandelier with the dark mahogany cabinet and crown moulding give the space it's character, while the lucite chairs and neon signs bring the flair.

Once seated we were able to pop the bottle of rosé I brought (yes this place is a BYOB) and hang out until our class began. See, WAX+WINE is what they call a "Candle Bar". Customers can create their own candles with their own custom scent combination. While you're in the Scent Room, there are also various vessels to put your candle in; black glass, amber glass, and various travel tins. Then customers go back to their table, learn to balance out the ratios (a little tricky and can be very mess), blend into the melted wax, and pour into their chosen containers. The best part is, you don't have to wait too long for the candle to fully set due to their blast chiller process.
Badabing Badaboom.

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With over 75 fragrances to choose from (and endless blending possibilities) it truly fits in with the "Made For You" trend that's been sin vogue these days. We've seen it everywhere...from haircare brands like Prose and Function of Beauty, to skincare with Curology, and even with Care/of Vitamins (click here for $40 off your first order).

Birthday girl dabbled with Gardenia for a while, but then realized it wasn't her jam. So she switched out the scents and went with a Champagne Georgia Peach that was reminiscent of a Fuzzy Navel brunch-y cocktail. Justin's mom went with a mix of Midsummer (a pachouli blend) and Orange. Rachel's friend Sarah's candle smelled like walking through the meadows at Longwood. That's the funny thing about the sense of smell. You can always be taken back to a memory or a place with just a quick whiff.

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BLACK HONEY

- a blend of black teakwood and honeysuckle -
Takes you back to the phosphorescence of the first blooms on a summer morning with a tinge of smoke from the bonfire the night before. Also name of a really good Thrice song.

WEEKENDER : VA

This summer is filled with a lot of these little mini trips. It feels like we've been traveling a lot and after a couple of years of "staying put", us putting in miles now is pretty expected.

Our first trip was to Miami Vous Conference with the Fervent fam. Then, last weekend we headed down to Virginia again to hang with Justin's family. Next in the queue is Portland to celebrate a very dear friend's birthday, but before we get ahead of ourselves, here is our VERY quick review of our pretty chill weekender in VA.

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We left Jersey with a barely rising sun on Friday morning and we arrived back in the Garden State to the moon just barely over the horizon Sunday evening. So when we say quick, we mean QUICK. But with no agenda and with the intentions of resting and spending time with family, it was nice and chill filled with lots of reading, swimming, and laying poolside catching that much needed Vitamin D.

 

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Friday Night after checking into the timeshare was pretty quiet. Everyone was tired from the drive down, so headed to the market to pick up food for the week and pizza for dinner. Husby being Husby, he had the brilliant idea of making brownies for dessert, topped with ice cream, it was a sweet ending for the first evening in Virginia.

After a slow start to the day, three cups of coffee, some pool time, the family headed to Yorktown for some Ben & Jerry's. If you find yourself there, we definitely suggest trying Cinndoughrella. It's a blend of Cinnamon & Caramel Ice Cream mixed with Cinnamon Bun Dough, Shortbread Cookies & Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookie Swirls. DELICIOUS. Something I wouldn't suggest is the smoothie...they're too sugar-y and basically just use fruit juice, fray, and apple juice. This is a secondhand review, but I trust the source.

So after filling up on sweets, we decided to walk off those calories. We visited the Yorktown Victory Monument.  We took pictures with said monument. We read the signs, learned a few things. I recognized the obelisk from a Trans Am Bike Race documentary I watched a few years ago. Told Husby about it and without asking exactly what that race entailed, we suggested we do it together. I think he was a little sugar high. But people did say he was a prophet as a child, so you may see me biting my tongue in the future.

We will see.
**If you never heard of the Trans Am, it's a bike ride from Astoria, Oregon ending in Yorktown, Virginia. It's a LONG ride. Let's work on those backpacking weekends before thinking of this one.**

Afterwards we headed towards Colonial Williamsburg. You know just to walk around. Go back in time. We had the intention of doing a Ghost Tour, but remember to make sure you're signing up for the one you want to do. The one we wanted to do had some story reenactments and were able to get into the buildings at night. However, that was not how our evening unfolded. We were attacked by mosquitoes and bats and heard 3rd/4th/5th-hand ghost stories....fear factor was at a null. But the town at night was quite magical. Just remember to avoid the poo piles.

WE DIDN'T GET TO SEE A COLONIAL WOMAN CHURCHING BUTTER...
BUT DOES WEARING A VINTAGE 1940s APRON DRESS COUNT AS APPROPRIATE?

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RICHMOND

Richmond kinda capped the beginning and end of our VA travels. We stopped through on the way down. Okay, it's not really "on the way", but we take the long way when there's things worth discovering right? When we arrived into town early Friday morning, coffee was first on the list. We decided to stop by Lamplighter after a friend of a friend suggested it, deff weren't disappointed. And the a/c was a nice escape from the brisk muggy air outside. Also, we were just killing time until we headed to breakfast.

Is it still called "brunch" if it's on a Friday? Well whatever meal it was, we headed to Pasture in the downtown area. Let me tell you, not sure why this town loves Fritos so much, but Frito Pie changes lives!! A bed of Fritos covered in a ménage à trois of vegetarian chili, onions, and cheddar cheese. Deff going to have to recreate that for a party soon. As for actual meals, Husby ordered a grilled cheese and I went with a Chicken Fried Portobella. If you're into Soft Shell crab, this was literally the same texture. Honestly, I would drive through Richmond, just for this sandwich. If someone has a copycat recipe, please comment with it!! I need it in my life.

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After food we did some quick shopping in Cary Street. Stopped through some consignment shops, Need Supply, and Brick + Mortar. I was good though. I only walked away with a vintage black dress. Yes another one. But this one is more maxi length and a checkered pattern. Do not judge me. I like my black dresses!!

 

We decided to drive back through Richmond to get lunch on Sunday before the long drive home. We ended up getting tacos in Scott's Addition at Don't Look Back. Now you can't leave without having desert right? We heard Charm School was the place to be. So that's exactly where we went next. Thai Iced Tea in a fresh made cone? Why yes! Thank You! Husby went with a combo of Cereal Milk and Iced Coffee topped with Toasted Fluff. When we got there, the line was understandable, but when we left it was out around the block! Then we found out it was National Ice Cream Day, but isn't every day ice cream day?

 

until the next weekender
peace love & live for the adventure

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PURPOSE OF PLAY
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Who else has that typical Type A personality?? For the most part, I am the girl who is on top of things. Professional List Maker should really be a career choice. I like organization (even if it's an organized mess). Itineraries are my jam. I love clean minimal Swedish design. But when it all comes down to it, I know I'm a control freak. And sometimes that comes as a detriment to my creative side.

If you know me in the real world, I'm usually never without some sort of craft project. Most of the time, that craft has been knitting because it's the most travel friendly option. My friends and family call me a grandmum, but that's quite alright with me. I believe I am just living up to one of my nicknames "Kitty Kat" because of I always have some yarn or string to play with. Being self taught meant lots of mistakes. In Japan, there's this thing called "wabi sabi"...

the acceptance of transience and imperfection

It wasn't the first time I had to come to terms with my eagerness to attain perfectionism; that's an ongoing lesson. However it did teach me to find beauty in the flaws. That even if it's not "perfect" it still is an accomplishment. Oh you missed a stitch, well that's what makes it perfectly unique. It tells stories like the smile lines around your grandparents' eyes.

Rows and rows of knits and purls seem rigid, but there's a rhythm to it. Different patterns creating crescendos across the work. Counting stitches like a time signature. It's the dance of the needles intertwining and releasing. I've heard, in passing, that tying knots is a therapeutic way to calm anxiety. It slows the mind and shifts your focus. For me, it's a form of meditation.

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For all those reasons and because I love learning different types of crafts, the transition to macrame was an easy one.

I've always admired Emily Katz's work. So when I heard she was holding a workshop in the city to tell her story and teach macrame, it was already a done deal. She learned the craft from her mother and it became something they bonded over, which touched me for when have some cubs of our own. It was also inspiring to me to hear how she got to her current success. This wasn't her first go at being an entrepreneur, but she persisted and this fell in her lap and she ran with it.

While she was teaching she mentioned that the beauty of macrame is the spaces between the knots. They're like breaths between the actions.

Remember to breathe

When it came to creating our own wall hanging, I placed the intention of no expectations. That what will be, will be. Learning a new craft is always filled with experimentation. With my first time at macrame, it was just seeing where the rope wanted to go. The beauty is that the knots are loose and you can always them out. Nothing is permanent. Nothing is set in stone. It's a practice.

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FATHERS DAY THE GARDEN WAY
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We feel like every time we come here, we have the same spiel. "We've been slacking." "Sorry for the lack of posts." Et cetera. Et cetera. Well....you know it, so we'll spare you. Instead, we'll give you a way delayed Father's Day post. And no...the photo above does not allude to Justin being a father. He's a plant father by means of the transitive property, but THAT. IS. ALL.

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A couple weeks ago, we headed to Longwood Gardens after work to celebrate Father's Day. If you've never been there, let us give you the quick lowdown. Longwood Gardens is a park just outside of Philly limits in Kennett Square, PA founded by Pierre S. du Pont (yes of that Du Pont family). The grounds are covered with natural meadows, meticulously pruned formal gardens, and a green house that is an architectural marvel. Most times, people only come to Longwood for the holidays. And while yes, you definitely should see how the gardens transform for Christmas, you're really missing out on everything else. My husband was one of those people. Since we arrived before my parents, we did a quick (and I mean QUICK) run through some of my favorite parts in the park.

I went to the woods...

you should know by now that we will take any and every opportunity to quote thoreau

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We did a speed-walk through the formal garden that has flowers organized by color (Type As rejoice). From there we went through some Secret Garden tunnels that emptied out at one of the fountains. Think Gatsby fountains. It was very luxurious. Couldn't get a great shot of them (since y'know crowds), but we did manage to awkwardly take some going in the other direction with a background of a pond and the only treehouse I was able to take Husby into. Sidenote: that particular treehouse is not well ventilated, so if you go in the summer...be quick about it. The afternoon sun casted the best shadows.

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The Meadows are one of the newest additions. This is the "drive by" route you can take if you don't want to do the full trail that exposes you to some cool pollinators, wildflowers, and if you're lucky foxes. Something else that's new is the Beer Garden on the premises. This is where we met up with my parents and we were too busy chowing down on pizza, salad, and beer to really photograph the really quaint string lights hanging over picnic tables with an Americana / Bluegrass band playing as a sweet couple danced alongside. The major plus side to the Beer Garden is that the beer doesn't have to stay within the limits of said Beer Garden. Yes, that means you can roam free with your beverage. So ladies and gents, if your significant other is not at all interested in learning about plants and all their beauty (and they are of legal drinking age, of course), here's your chance. 

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Now the whole point of coming to Longwood Gardens was because my dad wanted to see the Illuminated Fountain Shows. Now yes, water fountains can be like very blah. But this is a spectacle. Light show, water show, fire show all set to various themes every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The evening we went was Motown. You better believe we Marvin Gaye and got it on. If someone can clarify how they put fire on water....please comment below, we really would love to know.

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We're sure this will be the first of many posts at Longwood. Magical backdrops for many photo ops. And my parents just relocated to the Main Line. We should just be Members at this point, but maybe we'll pick up that card the next time we come through. The five acres need to be properly explored and with every season, it will always be changing. Even in a controlled environment, change will always be a constant.

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MAKE YOU MINE

A lot of our friends have been celebrating anniversaries lately, so the lovey dovey vibes are real. We love love. We love that our friends are in love. We love celebrating love. And, quite honestly, the world can always use MORE LOVE...it is The Golden Rule after all.

If you find yourself here, it's probably because you saw the little preview on our feed earlier today. And if not from that, well we have a sweet almost-midnight treat for you. 

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cue the video

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We threw the word "magical" a superfluous amount of times while describing our wedding day (well wedding day 2.0....because we're extra married). But it honestly was. It's true what the old adage says, time really does fly by. We are thankful for our friends Allie and Scott who pulled us aside and told us to take it all in. We are thankful for our friends and family who were able to dance under a night full of stars. You really filled our hearts with more warmth than the campfire could ever give us on that cold day (and we thank you for being such troopers!!). And to the amazing team who made the night run smoothly and capture every moment... 

thank you. 

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WEEKENDER : MIAMI

If you follow along with us on Instagram, you may have seen we did a quick trip to Miami last weekend. Literally under 48 hours in Magic City, but it was a well worth it trip. The main reason why we went down there was because our lead pastors at Fervent Church invited us to join them in attending this year's Vous Conference. But you know us, even in a little weekender, we were bound to go wandering even just a little bit.

 

Saturday

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VOUS CONFERENCE

The whole point of this weekend was Vous Conference. Sadly, we missed Friday night's session with a sermon from Rich Wilkerson Jr. and a performance by Andy Minneo (both a total bummer). But Saturday was a full on day of goodness and truths. Definitely feel blessed for the experience of being poured into by leaders like DawnCherie Wilkerson, Brooke Ligertwood, Erwin McManus, and John Grey. We also cherish the growing fellowship between old friends and new. And we (anxiously) excited for what's to come.

 
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MIDDAY PICK ME UP

After a back to back session, we had a short break to grab some lunch before one more session and our breakouts, so...tbh we got Sbarro because it's fast (and it's cheap). Where we did splurge a little was when we hit up Joe & The Juice. Now originally, we were planning on going to some other coffee shop, but when I saw Joe & The Juice, I got a little excited. I miss having a plethora of juice bars to choose from back in my New York days!! I ordered The Guardian (tumeric, black pepper, pineapple, carrot) and requested it be put in my Keep Cup because I'm a weird crunchy kid that likes the environment, but I still feel weird about asking people, but like earth. Husby ordered a Chocolate Shake and hung out by a fiddle leaf fig.

 

THE REST OF THE DAY

We were too focused on real life stuff to document any of it #sorrynotsorry. But in a nutshell... a few more breakouts, dinner at Yuca with the Fervent fam, back for the last sessions with worship led by Brooke Ligertwood and the Vous Worship team (they have a new album out btw, you should listen, it's really good) and throw your wig out sermon by John Grey. It was the last night with everyone together because most of them had an early flight that they were long gone by the time we got up on Sunday.

 
 

SUNDAY

but first...brunch

Saturday morning we stopped by local coffee shop Panther to grab much needed caffeine for everyone. You know, leave it to us to find the most hipster (but hella cute) coffee shop. Bless them for being patient with us for our very long and detailed order. But when we stopped by, we came across Icebox Cafe and knew that was where we were going to have Sunday brunch. We're suckers for really clean design and tasty food. I, of course, got my staple Avo Toast with a poached egg and Husby got the Eggbox. We both ordered juices because....they were tasty. This time I went for a beet juice with a shot of ginger (you know that zing in your step) and Husby ordered a refreshing melon medley.

 
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MNL OR MIA?

We swear Miami was a testing ground for us going to the Philippines later this year. The humidity was cray. The heat was ridiculous (especially carrying at least 20lbs in each of our packs after checking out of our Airbnb). And all the tropical plants were giving me life.

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Lincoln + Ocean

The Airbnb we were staying at was close to Lincoln Road Mall, but I didn't want to leave Miami without showing Justin the super tourist-y side of South Beach : Ocean Ave. Also it was a bit of a memory lane in formative years. See this is a good idea in theory, but after carrying our backpacks in thick suffocating humidity, this was a really bad idea. It's not even that long of a walk!!!! But that heat is a killer. Thankful for little safe houses like Caffe Italia with iced coffees and pastries. 

As mentioned before, we're suckers for design. So the Art Deco vibes with Spanish influences were things we were taking it. Hence all the cute buildings. Also, the Versace house. Because when you're in South Beach being a tourist doing touristy things...it's a thing you have to stop do.

So that was our little weekender in Miami. It was a short but full one. Maybe we'll be turning this into a  series. We know of at least one more Weekender we'll be doing this year. But leave us a message below of what you think! Also any suggestions for the next time we're in Miami?? VOUSCONF2018 was good that we already got tickets for next year! That will be closer to the university, so all suggestions for places to hit up are so very welcome! 

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GEN FAVES : MAY18

What even happened in May? Honestly!! We feel like it was just yesterday we were all dropping those Justin Timberlake memes and now all of a sudden he just played in Philadelphia over the weekend. Where did this past month go? Where did time run off to? Thankfully our church is doing a series on rest, so hopefully we'll learn to be better stewards of our time over the next month (because we have as much time in the day as Beyonce, so NO EXCUSES ANYMORE). 

so onto the faves...

 
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green thumbs

We both have a history of our parents working in horticulture, whether it's in landscaping, gardening, or even in soil research for agriculture. We figured we should give it a shot for ourselves, so off to the local garden center we go. Since we were house sitting for my parents, we headed to Bucks Country Gardens, a little bucolic gem right outside of Doylestown. We picked up a few plant babies like new jade plants, dragon finger, sansevieria, and our first zz plant. We have a few plants coming in the mail too, so fingers crossed we get them before our trip to Miami next weekend.

 

as for music...

There have been two songs (and music videos) that we've been playing on repeat. The first one is by our friend's band Blame Candy. Pathetic is a video that fulfills all those glam rock 80's vibes that have the same vibrancy as the upcoming season ahead. Now John Mayer on the other hand...is just all around good tunes. New Light is the normcore meets random low budget random beach studio green screen that we never thought we needed. The man is a unicorn. Both songs are ear worms you definitely will find yourself singing hours/day/weeks/months later. 

 
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We know that's not much for the month. We mostly kinda just "lived" this month, just soaking up moments. We're definitely coming out of a hibernation mode as you've read in our previous post THE CALL and we're putting together a few things to go with that. But there are a lot of changes going on. We've been helping my parents pack up and move, so that's why we've been in Bucks County a lot lately. We're also working on doing more community events and meeting new people. Real relationships. Deep relationships. 

June...we're ready for you.

BLOSSOM
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It's your turn to

B L O S S O M

There are seasons for dormancy
To gather strength in the waiting
Then there are the seasons where you get
A little brighter, a little bolder
But you can get
A little wild
A little out of control
In these moments
Remember to stay grounded
There's a balance to all of this

There is a time for everything
You may only bloom once a year
And you may think that's the prettiest part of you
But there's beauty and purpose
In all seasons

Because through it all
You're still the same flower
The same tree
The same human being...
There's just something new that you have
Yet to discover

THE CALL

No, that's not a Backstreet Boys reference. Although that is a great song.

It is more like an answer to something we've been praying and hoping for. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of getting married / moving in together / planning another wedding / getting married again, you wouldn't think that we were having a spiritually dry season. Although all of that was for us (and our families), we felt like our dreams were put on hold and our passions went to the wayside. We've been taking the past few months to really invest time in pursuing the life we want to live. Now we don't want to give away too much because we would rather walk it out than just talk about it, but we dream big and that is so overwhelming.

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Then we reminded ourselves

you can fear failure
but do it AFRAID anyway 

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Earlier this year, I got back into the yoga studio. I definitely missed having a place to practice outside of following classes at home. There's something about having a teacher guide you through positions and meditations that you don't get when you're just going through the motions. It's probably that human connection, the timbre in the teacher's voice, the scent of palo santo pre-practice and lavender post, the gentle touch for proper alignment or to push you deeper into a pose. 

A month or two ago, the teacher spoke about dharmas. The way she explained it was that your dharma is your fundamental truth, like your essential being. While in meditation, we were asked to explore what was our specific calling that is our true self. What came to mind immediately was a drawing I made in college called "Beauty in the Rubble". In short, it was a pile of trash but still finding a masterpiece in it. Ever since I was younger, I could always see the allure in what was classically defined as beautiful and the weird and strange having their own. This led to me repeating to myself with every cleansing breath the following... 

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And yes that is my truth, my call, my reason for being. To find the grace in a sunrise to being patient in waiting for a lump of coal to become a diamond. Every breath let out into the universe held that mantra. Every creation produced, whether to plan or with imperfections still held that truth.

But then in the following weeks after, that mantra slowly turned into "I am beauty." With a little throwback to Jenny & Tyler's "Called Beauty" playing on repeat in my head radio, it's hard to not take it as truth. It's easier to see that something special in others than to see it for yourself. I often find myself discrediting something I have accomplished because I think I am unworthy of that attention, like I didn't deserve it. And that stems from years of struggling with self esteem, not fitting in, and being passed over for not being "loud" enough. 

Through the Identity series, we glanced over the story of Hagar running away from Abram and Sarai. In Hebrews 16, an angel of God meets Hagar in the wilderness and tells her that she is pregnant with Ishmael and that the Lord knows her miseries. That is when Hagar names God "El Roi" the God who sees. And to be seen is to be known. In turn, I have adopted that into my identity. God sees me. He knows me. I am beautiful. I am worthy. 

Through that abundance I will carry that out in what I have yet to create and in the conversations I have yet to have. To make people feel like they are special, that they are seen and cared for. Not another product of mass production. Not just another "small talk" that will be forgotten in a matter of moments. Being intentional in this way stretches me to be vulnerable and get deeper. But I am willing (afraid, but willing) to answer that call.

MAY-BE WE SHOULD CATCH UP

Did you catch that one? Too obvious...oh well! So here we are, mid-way through May. Miss us? While we can sit here and discuss the plethora of reasons why we've been a little M.I.A. lately, let's just get to it. Life happened, you know how that goes. And nothing major either, just living. If you missed our GEN FAVE : APR18, you didn't miss much. We ate a lot of tacos and that's all we had to taco 'bout.

 

So let's start from where we last left off. Before the VA Getaway. Before introducing you guys to our adventure set up. Guess that puts us at our Earth Day post.

So in that post, we casually showed some snapshots of us on a random trip to Cape May. A few years ago, we went off season and loved the vibe of the town before the rush of people. So since then, we try to take one trip down there before Memorial Day Weekend...you know, before madness starts. While we were down there, we popped over to a cute little spot (pictured above and a sneak peek for a future post) for a quick bite before heading toward the mall for some light window shopping and donut consumption.

 
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This past week was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions all at the same time. Thursday was my co-worker's last day so we went out to Cantina Los Caballitos to celebrate his new beginning. While I am super happy he's moving on to his next step, the office is definitely going to be a quiet place in his wake. Sunday was, of course, Mother's Day. Since my own mom is currently in a different country, we spent the day with Justin's family. Sadly, the weather got the best of our plans, but we still had fun eating ice cream, roaming a little town, and taking some selfies on the train tracks.

 

Now we raved about Liza Anne before in our GEN FAVES : MAR18. But we were blessed to see her perform live at Boot & Saddle. Surprisingly, it was our first show at this venue. We definitely recommend getting the Fried Cauliflower...Korean BBQ style. But back to Liza Anne. Even before seeing her perform, her music always resonated with us. From her first album Two that gave us major haunting Daughter vibes to her second album Fine, But Dying giving us happy music for sad people. But seeing her live and hearing her tell the stories behind the songs, was such a freeing vulnerability we aspire to get to. AND she covered Dreams by The Cranberries and that left me in a puddle of emotions. Word from a pretty bird told me that she will be recording it soon.

 
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Like we said before, life happened. But on top of that, we have been feeling like we hit a wall. I'm not new to the blogging game. I have had made my attempts before, but always put an end to it because it felt "useless". We never started this to become a paid influencer / to get free stuff / anything you think that "fabulous" blogger life looks like. The reason behind us starting this was to share stories; ours, the ones that inspire us, and potentially being blessed to tell yours. We want this to be an authentic space and we already talked about being vulnerable so...here we go.

We dream big and sometimes when we don't see success the way we think we deserve, we start playing the comparison game (we know we shouldn't but...we human). This morning we read Jessica Lawlor's piece about the reasons why any of us blog and that hit us...hard. We are passionate about this and we hope that comes through. But sometimes, when we don't hear from readers, we feel like we're just throwing words into a void. We want to feel like all of this "stuff" that we're doing is not for nothing. Investment in faith is hard. But there is no reward without risk. We need to keep believing in ourselves instead of discrediting ourselves. Like my hella motivational morning tea bag read...

Your strength is your own belief.

Then we are reminded that we have only been doing this for a 5ish months now? We've grown slowly, but steadily in Instagram and Facebook. We don't try to trick the algorithm or even try to begin to understand how that thing works. We don't want to buy followers because we feel like that's playing the losing game of "follow & follow back". We honestly hate the word "engagement". Like we get it. But that word is supposed to be left for a special moment. Not to be a quantified analytic. Sure we can casually double tap like anything. But when it comes to comments, we want to start a conversation. Not just a series of emojis just to garner traffic to your own page. It feels tricky when all we want is for people to be real. We want our readers to feel like they can be our friends, in real life and even on these social platforms. Don't be shy, we don't bite!

Additionally, we also know you can't expect different results doing the same thing. So while yes, we will be continuing the blog posts...we will also be trying different ways for our content to reach you guys. Also we're really going outside of our comfort level and trying to make real world connections outside of our bubble (we love popping the bubble and exploring new places...but meeting new people is a whole level of anxiety that just thinking about it makes our skin crawl). We'll try to be more consistent with new content, but let's be honest, we know we won't. We will post at least once a week, at least we'll try to. But we will always be consistent in continuing conversations. So feel free to comment, message, send us a funny boomie on Insta-Stories, anything your sweet heart desires (within reason okay??).

Let's be friends.
Let's make the night shine.

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A VA GETAWAY

You know how some weeks can be super productive. Then other weeks, there is no desire to do ANYTHING. This week was a rough one and we're thankful that it's the weekend. We're also thankful for local coffee shops that play Death Cab for a Cutie and make for the perfect afternoon coffee situation for productivity. We should be putting together our Mother's Day gifts, but we're at the April and we STILL haven't put together that Getaway post. So, here it is, a month later.

Better late than never right?

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We believe in celebrating change. We also believe that sometimes you have to escape to find a sense of calm before an onslaught of information of a new job hits you over your head. A month ago, Justin left a past job for a better career opportunity. So we took this as a reason (not that we needed any reason) to go on a mini trip to celebrate. Even though it was just an overnight, it felt like a week because of how chill everything was (ok...except the DC traffic).

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If you know us IRL, you know our (okay...my) obsession with tiny houses. I'm still trying to convince Justin that we can make it work, but everyone (including my parents) tell me his 6'5'' frame won't fit (they're wrong, but I'm trying). When I came across Getaway, it was a no brainer that we would eventually book a stay there, so this little celebration escape was just a reason as any.

With Getaway, you get to choose where you would like to get away from (I see what you did there). The choices were between New York, Boston, and DC. Because we are Philly-ish based and were only really available for the weekend, we were between New York and DC. Where we usually head north to the Catskills, we decided to go towards the Blue Ridge Mountains for a change of scenery. Now I won't tell you exactly the location (they like to keep it private), the Getaway houses are within 3 hours away from the major cities. The fun thing about Getaway is you don't get the exact address or the name of the house until a few hours before check in. If you are a planner or don't appreciate a little "last minute" spontaneous adventure...this may not be the thing for you.

We got in pretty late, since we left after work on a Thursday. The roads were dark and drove around the property looking for the name of the house until we found it. The cabin was warm and toasty and came with a s'mores kit we wish we had more time to take advantage of. For an overnight or a short get away, it's a great space. But I do wish that there was more storage, sometimes I felt like we kept tripping over our things.

The little cabin in the woods focuses on really unplugging and appreciating the environment and people you're surrounded with. It was a good opportunity to reset, be creative, and take in that "slow" lifestyle we really appreciate. We woke to the sun shining through the trees and got ready to take on the rest of the day. 

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A trip to the mountains is always made with some serious views. However, the March winds were a little crazy, so unfortunately we weren't able to go on a hike like we would have hoped for. But despite that, we drove through Shenandoah National Park and found some choice spots before heading back home.

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PEDRO & SIMONE
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Meet Pedro. He may not seem like your typical adventure van...but he’s ours.

The 1999 Honda CR-V lived without a name for the first few years of me owning him. One day I was sitting in traffic and found myself staring at the little butthole of the blue Labbit by Frank Kozik hanging on the rearview mirror. So I thought...maybe Blue Bunny. But that was an ice cream brand. Finally I landed on the sassy version of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit and we have Pedro.

This isn't my first car. But this is my first car that's not a Volvo. I used to drive a 1993 Volvo 960 then the Edward Cullen car (C30). But after a series of unfortunate events, I was left without a car and a job that was about a 2.5 hour commute every day. Thankfully, my uncle had an extra car that was just taking space in his driveway, but it was a little...special. When I first got Pedro, you couldn't open the driver side door from the inside (which now has been fixed and I learned a new skill). Also to make sure the obnoxious alarm doesn't go off, you have to click buttons like a secret code so that's fun.

Pedro may not be Overland material, but he gets us where we want to go. He's taken us plenty of trips to the Catskills, through the rolling fog of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a winery/brewery tour in the Finger Lakes. Hopefully he can hold up in a cross country trip one day.

Along with his trusty kidekick Simone the GPS (a Christmas present from Mom and Dad), we have quite the crew for all the adventures to come..

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EARTH DAY 2018

Around these parts, we're really into Mother Nature.
Here are a few ways to celebrate Earth Day 2018!

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GET IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Reach out to your town center and find out how they're planning on celebrating Earth Day. There are usually fun activities for the kiddos and it gives you an opportunity to properly recycle those weird items you can't usually put in your curbside bin (electronics, shredded files, furniture, old medicine, et cetera). 

 

GO PLOGGING

plogging - swedish origin
TO PICK UP LITTER WHILE JOGGING

We've really been into Nordic culture lately (recent viking baby showers and hygge is everything). So when we came across this concept of plogging, we were right on board that train. Honestly, we should have jumped on this sooner. Whenever we went hiking and saw any form of non-compostable waste, we would always look in disgust...but we wouldn't do anything about it! That's messed up.

But now, we're trying to be more aware of our surroundings. We don't limit it to jogging because we know fully well that that isn't in my(Katrina) wheelhouse.

TIP: Bring Hand Sanitizer and a Designated Bag
**we did not use the bag pictured above for litter**

 
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HUG A TREE

Or at least appreciate all that this earth has given to us. That trees are natural filters for the air we breathe. To sit in awe and wonder of soil pushing new growth that soon turns into the food we consume. How everything was made to interact with each other to be in harmony. And it was not only "good", but "very good" (Gen1:31).

 

eat wisely

Oh food. We love food. Seriously...we had two posts about food alone this week (not counting how many times we have mentioned coffee on any social outlet lately). We can talk ad nauseam about food culture, but here's the quick gist. When you can, eat local and organic. Can't do everything organic? Stick to at least getting the dirty dozen. Know your sources. Is the farm biodynamic? Are they organic? When was the produce picked? How long has it been sitting on the shelf? If you don't know your sources, at least limit your animal product consumption if you don't. Make friends with farmers and growers. They want the best product for you to enjoy and probably has all the heart eyes for the earth.

Oh and make sure to bring your own bags when food shopping!!! We get a lot of compliments on our Apolis bag every time we head to the market. But we also have DIY-ed some from old graphic tees that weren't being worn anymore. 

 
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TO SHOP OR NOT TO SHOP

We are a big advocate of shopping your closet. One, this really forces your creativity and Two, it decreases the amount of landfill waste when people tire of their clothes. 

But if you do want to shop...

Here's our short list of brands that either are already awesome or are teaming up with organizations to give back to the earth this weekend. 

Girlfriend Collective - uses sustainable materials // 10% of net profits from the Globe collection will be donated to the Rainforest Action Network

Herbivore Botanicals - 20% of proceeds will go to oceana.org // free standard shipping // CODE: OCEANA (valid 04/20 - 04/22)

Patagonia - Earth Tax // promotes mending clothing for longer wear

Seed Phytonutrients - natural ingredients // recycled paper packaging // free shipping + free callous balm // CODE: SEEDSQUAD (valid until 04/22 11:59PM EST)

United By Blue - hosts cleanups // one pound of trash for every product sold // some products Made in America (decreased pollution from travel) // oh and peep Justin in one of their hemp pieces

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CONSCIOUS CONSUMERISM
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I often find myself talking about "conscious consumerism" a lot. Which sounds more #firstworldproblems than it really is. In terms of "fashion"...

SIDENOTE

I really dislike that F word. Trends are so fleeting and I'm here for the long haul. Also another side note, we do air quotes a lot here.

...it just means thinking a little bit more before making purchases. If you caught the InstaStory the other day, I stopped myself from impulse buying Michael Kors Keatons for a more responsible / helping me get closer to zero waste Keep Cup.

 
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What that looks like in more detail...

Decreasing the amount of fast fashion that is purchased. And when I do, make sure I will get more than 50 wears out of it. (This is based off the #30Wears test, which isn't enough for me.)

Supporting sustainably made goods, whether that means it is ethically made or made with materials that has a minimal carbon footprint.

Spend more on higher quality goods that are made well, which in turn means you have a more curated wardrobe that will last you a lifetime.

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this isn't limited to clothing!!!

It is applicable to any type of retail. Slow your roll!!! Think twice, maybe thrice, before making purchases. These aren't rules, moreso guidelines to practically and slowly incorporate it in your everyday until it becomes a natural practice. 

any day is a good day to start a revolution

THE NEXT BLACK

We really were trying for a full "week" of consecutive content, but we got a little distracted yesterday when we got an email from our friend and videographer Micah Hamilton. The first edit looks SO DOPE and has all the feels. We can't wait to share the wedding video with you...but until then, watch this instead <3 

 
 

After going to University and being in the industry for a while (hey I'm not going to date myself),  there are a lot of things I disagree with. The chain is inconsistent. Quality has fallen. Craft has been replaced with mass production. The pollution is at ridiculous level from beginning to the end of a piece's lifecycle.  Fashion moves too fast. And we keep regurgitating the same trends in seemingly different ways. Is there anything new? Is there a future in fashion? When will our advanced technology run side by side with the fashion industry? How can we give back to the world...the earth...ourselves? The Next Black talks with innovators and makers ready to shake up the status quo.

LEAF

Remember a couple of days ago, when we said we were "flexa-tarians"? TL:DR? Well in quick summary, we are Flexible Eating Vegetarians. What that practically means is that we don't cook meat at home, but that doesn't mean we will always eat animal product when we do go out. Justin and I are huge foodies, so saying "no" to food is not really an option for us.

Keeping that in mind, it just so happens that some of our favorite local places are strictly vegan/vegetarian...no, not just "friendly", but straight up vegan/vegetarian. With more and more of our friends choosing that lifestyle for health, fitness, personal reasons, etc, we've been asked where are the best places to go. We tend to be the people you come to when you need suggestions for date night, coffee, and general eats (so if you're ever in a slump, don't be too shy to DM us on Instagram//Facebook or send us a message). 

Now we like to #EATLIKEALOCAL, so after walking past Leaf on multiple morning walks through town, we took advantage of last Friday's DROP DEAD GORGEOUS BEYOND PERFECT THANK YOU BABY JESUS weather and treated ourselves to an afternoon walk and yummy food. Super casual sit down dining (that does offer pick up service if you want to order for work week lunch) is a nice change of pace from other quick-bite type places. It made it feel a little bit more of a casual date than just hanging out on a Friday night. Also there aren't many sit down vegan restaurants this side of the Delaware within a 30 minute drive...soooo it's already winning points in our book. The menu is straight and to the point, a decent juice/smoothie offering with buch on tap, starters, salads, mains, desserts, and a rotating ice cream special. And yes, it's all VEGAN.

Oh! And it's owned by three sisters! So YAY for #girlpower and DOUBLE YAY for women in business!

what we ordered and would
ten out of ten recommend

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger with Sprouts, Avo, BBQ Sauce on a Sprouted Grain Bun // Raw Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles // Iced Coffee with Almond Milk // Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Ice Cream topped with Pretzel Pieces

PENCHANT FOR PENNANTS
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If you know us personally, you know how we like to support local businesses and makers. And we super support brands who do "more". For us, that means fair trade, ethically made, sustainable, low footprint, give back to the community, etc etc.

So it's no wonder why United By Blue is one of our favorite things in Philly. Not only do they have great coffee (hello Reanimator) and sweet treats (get the doughnut) and pretty STELLAR photographer (our wedding photog Kelly Smith), they also have this great program where they promise to pick up one pound of trash for every product purchased. Oh and did we mention they also hold clean-ups all across the country? Yea, they're awesome. On First Friday this month, they launched their collaboration with True Hand Society (local tattoo/design studio) and Oxford Pennants. Of course, we had to stop by and pick one more to add to our small collection, especially since they were limited runs!!

We were super close to getting the "IN JAWN WE TRUST" banner, but knew full well that that wasn't really "us". And we already had the "May You Never Lose Your Flame" from Bridge & Burn. So we stuck to our typical "black" color scheme (are you tired of this yet?? #sorrynotsorry) and picked up the "1776" pennant that was low-key Philly without being PHILLY, so that no matter where we go, we will always have a little bit of home with us.

shop the full collection here