Happy Weekend!

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Well, it was a short week, but it sure didn’t feel like it! Reg has been tackling her move into the new place (yay!), and Christa has had a lot of exciting Connecticut Art Directors Club things going on this week and weekend. We’re just excited for a couple days off from work to tackle house projects, hang with friends and take it easy.

Btw- how was everyones Memorial Day?? This was one of the first years we both didn’t attend any sort of big bash or BBQ, but as you might have been able to catch — we’re crazy busy, so we didn’t mind!

cct // My Oma brought Curtis and I some purple basil for an apartment warming present and I’ve been searching for some fun recipes to use this unique looking herb! This Purple Basil Pesto looks damn good, especially on the bruschetta!

rkv // I’m not generally a heels girl, but I’m kind of obsessed with these

cct // This lady has got style – love her Free People profile

rkv // I’m sorry, what? Spicy chocolate-covered tortilla chips. Yep.

cct // Have you guys heard of reverse washing? It’s when you use conditioner first, and then shampoo – strange right?! This super informative article has got me very excited to give it a shot!

rkv // Some good tips on how to shop like an interior designer

cct // Our friend Tara (last mentioned here in her artist profile), has been posting photo diaries from her European travels, and we are now crushing hard on Dingle, Ireland ❤

rkv// 20+ animal bellies that need to be rubbed right now

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Artist Profile: Tara Shupe

Two Octobers ago I had the exciting and unique opportunity to be a Blogshop intern in NYC, and one of the best parts was meeting and co-interning with Tara Shupe! We clicked instantly, with people asking us if we had known each other prior to the weekend workshop. The answer was no, but we worked hard and had a blast getting to know each other and the fun students of Blogshop.

At that time this blog wasn’t even an idea yet (what!), but Tara had a blog, Old Socks and we chatted about her photography (which I didn’t know at the time was so beautiful). She was living in Stamford, thinking of moving to NYC and was interested in taking fern crown selfies with me (aka my kind of gal). Today she is traveling around the world, expanding her photography business and settling back in the midwest. This is her story…

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You get to switch up your focus and subjects a lot — Etsy product shots, European travels, Free People outfit shoots (uh, basically dream jobs!)— what have been some of your favorite career highlights so far? It’s funny because I think I always think my highlights have yet to happen, but I also don’t check in with myself as often as I should and tell myself, “look how far you’ve come!” Some of my personal fav’s though were definitely working with Carissa from “Us the Duo” (photo below) and being styled by Free People, also her wearing one of my deer antler necklaces while she partied with Fergie! I think for a while I got caught up feeling “cool” as I worked on large photo sets, or retouched for Birchbox, Clarins and other well known brands…but although I was learning I found the most success in seeing my personal work grow. Like having my first successful Etsy Holiday, (at least in my mind) or pushing my personal work with every photoshoot.

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What inspired your recent world traveling? How has the experience shaped you or your photos? Big changes were happening in my life and after making the decision that NYC was coming to an end it wasn’t long before I was searching flights ANYWHERE! I had promised myself I would backpack Europe before:
  1. I got married
  2. Turned 30
  3. Left NY – simply bc of flight costs

I still have a few years left before 30, but I made the decision, bought a flight and had about six weeks to plan my month long journey! It was a pretty emotional/crazy last month as I sold almost everything I owned and said bye to people and a place I loved. I was with my best friend the first ten days and then completely alone for 11 days before meeting up with my cousin in Lisbon. Traveling with my camera is never boring, and I actually found I really loved traveling alone…there was something empowering about relying only on myself and at times laughing with myself.

Besides your art, what else do you like to fill your time with? Collin (my Fiance) and I love to travel, and we’ve always been long distance so I think it has really created this love for adventure and traveling between the two of us. I also love being outdoors, or working with my hands on misc. projects – these days crafting for the Etsy Shop.

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You’re originally from Missouri, studied in Iowa, lived in Connecticut and NYC, and now have settling back in Kansas City – have you found a difference between the Midwest and the East Coast as far as inspiration goes? They’re inspiring in so many different ways. The Midwest connects with my soul – I’m inspired by the quiet of nature. It recharges me when I’m not always able to be amongst the craziness. The East Coast however is a creative Mecca! It’s screaming at you everywhere you go and you’re constantly inspired at the talent you see. However, for me it could feel overwhelming, especially if I couldn’t find a balance. At times I think I found that balance, but I was desperate for that mental break to calm my creative mind.

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How has your work progressed over the years — either aesthetically or content wise? Oh man…I love seeing progression in my work and the day I don’t I’ll be quite worried! I would say the biggest changes are in my editing styles. I’m not sure at first I was doing it consciously, but over time it’s molded into a style filled with dark/muted tones with a very intimate feel.

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How do you find a balance between your personal photography from the ones you make a career of? Do they tend to lead into each other, or do you like to keep them separate? I think I used to maybe feel that I needed to do that, but naturally they became one. I feel like you start to create what you’re drawn to and love anyway, so having two styles wouldn’t make sense unless you’re just experimenting. I like to have fun with different editing styles, and I’ve started playing around with Polaroids that I wouldn’t consider my “professional” work. I of course have hopes that some day somebody will be paying me for them! ;)Inspiration can spark from anywhere – memories, places, books, music – what do you like to use as tools to stay enlightened? I should try to be better at this, but my personal muse is my alone time. Sitting, meditating, coffee drinking and really getting in my own head. I like to step away from pinterest and so many common creative “outlets” that can make my ideas foggy with too many ideas and really focus on what I’m really trying to do. I also get inspired by listening or interacting with people that I look up to or admire and it really encourages me to keep following my dreams. Recently I helped contribute to an amazing heartfelt workshop, called Monarch and I left feeling ready to conquer the world!

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Do your photos tend to portray your general personal style? Or would you say you use it more as an outlet to express something you may ordinarily not? Absolutely! I think one thing I’m the most proud of is how my style happened naturally. Although it has evolved, I never had to stop and say…and now I want my photos to look like this! I’m drawn to nature and my friends even used to tease me about only wearing neutrals colors, but there’s something intimate about connecting with the earths color palette.

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Anyone in the art field knows that it’s not always the easiest path to make a living out of — how did you get the business end of things started for yourself? Do you ever partner up with other creative talents, or do you prefer to ride solo? Let’s just say I struggle! There are still SOO many things I have left to figure out. Taxes have become more complicated, but this last year I was lucky to have a lot of longer term freelance work – which can be good and bad. I suggest really understanding your needs, like if you’re going to need really good health insurance, keep that in mind. It seems like with every individual client I figure out something new, (sometimes the hard way) but as long as I’m learning how to do it better I’m okay with that. I use freshbooks for quick invoices and love square for a 3% fee you can brand beautiful invoices and clients can pay with ease. As for collaborating, I LOVE IT! I can be a HUGE introvert and it’s easy to get into the “I’ll do it myself” mindset, but it’s been on my projects I worked with other creatives that I found myself wanting even more to do my absolute best work. I felt like people invested in me and it’s always a great learning experience!

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Any photo or travel gear you’d be lost without? I don’t go on any job, trip or day adventure without one of my three lowepro bags (1, 2, 3), and since I’ve had a lot of bad Hard drive problems, this is my go to rugged HD. And then I always carry a journal.

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Go to late-night junk food? Stupid queso dip & chips, and always hot coffee

Night owl or morning bird? I’m the most productive in the mornings, but I’ve pulled more than my share of all nighters to finish some things!

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Photography can require a surprising amount of confidence and knowledge — any advice you’d give a budding photographer? With very situation I give myself a pep talk. I tell myself, “look you’ve never came out with zero images you’ve been proud of, so keep calm and get into your zen.” For some reason that has always helped, but being mainly self taught there have been moments I have felt very self conscious of the middle aged tech talk – yes I stereotyped it! This has happened to me on multiple occasions, every where from the camera store to shooting and I simply acknowledge my humility and go figure it out for myself. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing, but understand there are far more important things than just having top notch equipment, like composition, lighting and connecting with your subject.

I try to explore new things, like shooting a single scene in different apertures and look at it later and learn what I liked or didn’t like. Take a reflector even on a cloudy day, ask a friend to assist you so you can try something new – make it fun!

A big thank you to Tara for answering our questions! Make sure to also check out her work on her facebook & instagram!

 

 

Happy Weekend!

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Happy Friday, friends! How is everyone liking this cooler New England weather? I think it’s pretty great! Reg is hanging with fam today, and I’m excited to head to the New Britain Museum of American Art‘s summer party tonight – Museum After Dark. Doing anything fun this weekend? xo G&M

cct // We’ve been big fans of KT Smail’s artwork for awhile now, and she just opened up a new shop – make sure to check it out!

rkv // Oh Joy’s fall line is so adorable

cct // Learn to relax a bit! 

rkv // It was tomato week at The Kitchn, and this stuffed tomato recipe looks like some surrious savory goodness

cct // How to cook like you’re in Europe, yes please! 

rkv // How to leave a party – goodbye vs ghost

cct // The Everygirl does it again, this article about fueling confidence in the workplace is so important to me! Be confident girls – get what you want and be happy!

rkv // 14 fruit hacks

Happy Friday!

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With the passing of Maya Angelou, so many amazing quotes of hers are surfacing. While we’d only known a few, seeing them all over the internet has brought so much inspiration and joy. This one really resonated with us and we hope it does with you as well!

Have a fantastic weekend (it’s going to be June, woah!), enjoy our links and see you back on Monday! xo G&M

cct // I’m still in total travel mode, and came across this monthly travel guide to Europe – which locations are best to go during which month! I think I just mentally added a few more trips to my list…

rkv // Healthy cocktail recipes!

cct // I am becoming obsessed with all of the pinterest pictures of popsicles! I think I need to buy one of those little kits asap and make these

rkv // 10 Mod Podge home projects

cct // I’m all about painting my nails at home (and infographics), so this image caught my eye. Become an at-home manicurist in no time!

rkv // It’s nearly time to bare those abs (sigh). This little tutorial will get them looking toight!

cct // I had one of those circular princess bed canopies when I was a kid and thought I was awesome. Cut to grown up canopies – because this thing is beautiful and a DIY!

rkv // Have you guys ever tried shakshuka? I had the delightful North African egg breakfast over the winter at a friend’s house and have been dying to make it ever since. This green recipe looks like it would be super tasty with some nice toasty ciabatta.

Travel Diary // Germany

It’s been a little over 2 weeks since I’ve gotten home from our fantastic EuroTrip, and I finally got my sh*t together, going through all of the pictures and editing them down to post! Today’s pictures will be of our 5 days in Germany – starting off in Frankfurt, moving onto Munich and Nuremberg, and circling back to Frankfurt before we left for Italy. Unfortunately it was a bit rainy and chilly (not unusual), but we had expected it and it didn’t stop us from site seeing. Luckily we had a few clear afternoons with a bit of sun which made up for it!

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^Frankfurt // Although it was a short stop, Frankfurt had the quintessential “Germany look” and we ate a delicious meal right next to the town hall in the old center of town. We had a nice walk by the river, took in all of the greenery (it was so green compared to CT at the time) and nursed our jetlag. We got up bright and early the next morning to head to Munich, but we loved our time in Frankfurt and can’t wait to go back someday for a longer stay.

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^Munich // Curtis and I didn’t quite know what to expect when we went to Munich, but we fell in love! It was clean, not too crowded, full of delicious beers, sausages & pretzels, and overall a beautiful city. We had family showing us around which was amazing, and we joked about how we were on the “Church tour of Europe” (seriously though, Munich has sooo many gorgeous churches!). We stayed right outside of the city so we didn’t get a sense of the night life, but we had to save something for our next trip, right?

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^Nuremberg // Nuremberg is where my Opa (grandfather) grew up, and while I’d been when I was younger, it was so nice to have him show Curtis and myself around. It is a medieval city with a fortress/castle on the top of the hill which we had a wonderful time exploring (the sun came out just in time!). We ate at a fantastic restaurant over the river, explored some more beautiful churches, and had an amazing custard cake before we left – aka a wonderful time!

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We had an amazing trip exploring Germany with family and friends, really getting a sense of it through their eyes. We can’t wait to visit again, and if you have any questions about traveling to any of these locations, let me know, I would love to help if I can!

Onto Italy next! And if you’d like to see more candid shots from the trip, check out my instagram!

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cct

EuroTrip // Germany & Italy

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Words cannot express how excited I am for my family’s little EuroTrip! It is going to be the perfect blend of exploration, relaxation & family time that I need so desperately right now. I’ve been missing my brother Nick a whole lot, and seeing him in Florence in his element will be amazing! It started off as just a trip to Italy, but since Europe is surprisingly small, we started day dreaming about where else we could go. My boyfriend Curtis hasn’t been to Germany, so we wanted to find a way to get there as well – but we probably wouldn’t have actually acted on adding it to our itinerary without the assistance from my grandparents, Oma & Opa, who will be joining us. My Opa grew up there and they got married there, so we’ll be visiting their old stomping grounds and seeing other family who still lives there.

SO – the itinerary is a little loop of Germany {Frankfurt –> Munich –> Nuremburg –> Schlüchtern –> Frankfurt}, then a short flight over from Frankfurt to Pisa on RyanAir and into Florence for the remainder of the trip. This is where we will be meeting up with my parents along with other family members joining us from Germany (full house!) and spending most of our time. We hope to make it to Cinque Terre for a day trip, possibly another day trip to Rome, and definitely some wine tasting in Tuscany. As you may guess I am extremely pumped! I’m off tomorrow afternoon but Reg will be holding down the fort on G&M, so things will be as smooth as ever! I will post a million photos when I return and hopefully get some outfit posts from cute alleyways and cafes as well! See you in 2 weeks! xo Christa

*PS – anyone remember this?

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