Moving Forward

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The results are in, and we are still very much digesting the dynamic of this election. We rarely get political with you all, and with no intention do we do so now as a way to isolate any viewpoint. We speak our minds at this moment to express our belief in progression — our advocacy for equality and acceptance for all races, genders, sexualities, religions and backgrounds. We prioritize healthcare, education, the environment, and the common good for our nation and the world.

We are hopeful and strong willed. Now is not the time to wallow and sigh, but to unite and stand together to make change. We are hopeful that our country will be a place of humility, tolerance, and peace. Succumbing to frustration will not let us grow, but only hold us back in our hostilities. Be the light that you wish to see, and take a stance for the reformation we are capable of. ❤


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Happy Christmas!

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Merry Christmas, loves! As always, we are so happy to have you all, and wish you the most wonderful holiday! Hope you all get today to relax with everyone you care for, and stuff your bellies so full it hurts. Have a lovely long weekend, and we’ll see you soon!


Chocolate “Acorn” Treats

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How cute are these little nuggets?! My friend Brittany joined me for a fun Sunday afternoon in making these adorable mini bites, which are *super* easy to make. I made them a couple years ago for Thanksgiving and they were a big hit with the family 😉

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Ingredients:

1 bag of Hershey Kisses
1 bag of mini Nutterbutters
*optional – mini chocolate chips for “stem” of acorn (seen in instagram link above)

Instructions: 

Empty out the bag of mini Nutterbutters and scrape filling out of sandwiched cookies. Throw away filling and keep cookies as filling-free as possible. Arrange on plate or table upside down, ready for the Hershey Kisses.

Unwrap the number of Hershey Kisses as Nutterbutter “tops” and have read next to stove with upside down Nutterbutter cookies ready to assemble.

Heat a medium sized sauce pan to low-medium and touch flat bottom of Hershey Kiss to hot pan. Using the melted chocolate, adhere Kiss to cookie. Continue matching Kiss to cookie until all are paired. *Scrape bottom of pan when necessary to keep chocolate residue from burning.

And enjoy 🙂

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As you may have noticed, this time around I did not add the mini chip stem, which is super cute. Looking back now, I sort of wish we had added them, but at the time I didn’t feel like accidentally burning my fingers, ha. Your move, friends!

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Happy Weekend!

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Hello, dearies — hope you all had a lovely week, and have an even lovelier couple of days ahead of you. We’re stunned that next week is Thanksgiving. How did that happen??? It feels like as we get older, time goes by so much quicker. Are any of you all feeling similarly?

This past week our small home town in CT experienced some devastating news about a young mother, a member of our graduating class, who suddenly passed. In combination of learning this, of the troubling news in Paris, as well as world-wide current events  — it’s definitely resulting in some self-reflection. This week we’re feeling especially grateful for our friends, family, and the wonderful community that we were raised in.

While we have mushy hearts this week, we also still have our care-free nature about us. We’ve rounded up our weekly links for you all, hope you enjoy, and we’ll see you on Monday 🙂


cct // Embroidery with sprinkles, say whaaa?

rkv // Don’t hold yourself back! How to ask for a raise

cct // I’ve just been lovin’ the half up/half down looks these days!

rkv // Last weekend I lopped off about 7 inches of hair, and this tutorial has been my everything ever since

cct // Why Do We Romanticize Stress?

rkv // 15 bizarre, yet amazing, hotels — #6!

cct // So I learned this smiling trick a while back (the last one on the list), and I really do think it helps! Give it a try this weekend while you’re takin selfies with your ladies before going out 😉

rkv // And the best article-title-ever award goes to…. How to Ron Swanson Your Life


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 Valentine’s Day weekend, friends! Hope you’re all staying toasty out there with the ones you love! What’re your plans for the weekend? Ours will likely involve a whole lotta flannel, because it is freezing out there! We may both attempt to go sledding, depending on the weather, because there is ANOTHER potential blizzard heading our way… I just don’t even know what to say any more.

Have a fantastic weekend! PS I want that thumb ring.

rkv // this little list on how to make some mulla on Ebay is so great! I think I may actually give it a go!

cct // baha nail color names are pretty ridiculous

rkv // I found this post on Valentine’s Day from a dude’s perspective to be pretty cute — go figure they all involve being low-key and just spending time with another. Sounds about right, considering my guy and I will be enjoying a wonderful pizza dinner for two 🙂

cct // Well this sounds delicious! Fried lemons, who knew?!

rkv // Om nom nom homemade chia seed jam

cct // I see a fun typography project this spring, anyone have a blank wall?

rkv // The best way to reheat a slice of pizza. Man, I talk about pizza a lot, huh?

cct // I’m all ears on help in the landing-a-great-job department, and these tips are very insightful! I can’t wait to see what else she’s got to share!

For Your Valentines & Galentines

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February is here, and it’s time to start planning those little somethings for whoever it may be in your life. We’ve curated a few pieces that we think could be a perfect thoughtful trinket to let that person know they’re in your heart and mind – be it guy or gal!


Valentine
Red Velvet Pancake Mix
Timex Watch
Talisker
JCrew Factory Gingham Shirt
Garden State Vinyl
iPhone 6 Armband

Galentine
Ban.do Heart Weekender
JCrew Factory Drop Earrings
Tocca Roller Perfume
West Elm Heart-Dot Mug
Ban.do Drink Sleeve
“You Had Me at Merlot” Sweatshirt
Abercrombie & Fitch Sleep Shorts


Happy Weekend!

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G&M is reuniting this weekend in Boston for some quality girl time, and we’re pretty pumped. We have all sorts of things planned, so hopefully you can read about it all soon!

cct // J.Crew Factory has 40%-60% off all items right now, online and in stores! I would say start checking out items for gifts, but I’m more about grabbing myself a few things…oops! I’m thinkin this, this & this.

rkv // Homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese just never gets old

cct // Our good friend and fellow blogger, Lauren, has been killing it on The Kitchn recently with her DIY projects! Check out how to make this beautiful dip dyed table cloth & beeswax candles.

rkv // 30 very real struggles for curly haired girls

cct // You know we’re all about the bourbon drinks, and this Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour sounds amazing

rkv // Christa and I clearly have one thing on our minds today… because this Thanksgiving cocktail sounds positively divine

cct // I’m at a desk all day, and I can definitely feel it in my back – these 6 desk stretches are perfect for a little pick-me-up

rkv // I found A Cup of Jo’s take on “age ain’t nothing but a number” and “you love who you love” wildly adorable and relatable.

Father’s Day Gift Guide

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It’s nearly Dad Day! Time to pick out some of those last minute gifts to show your Pop some love!

01. Heathered Tie // For those 9-5 Dads who are traditional, but wouldn’t mind adding something a little modern to their wardrobe.

02. Beatles vs. Stones Book // Our Dads grew up during the time of two of the most popular bands in history. If your Pop is a music buff and loves to read, this one is perfect for him.

03. ‘Merica Spatula // The Grill Master can’t have too many spatulas, especially when they’re adorned with American Flags! Perfect for the 4th and endless summer BBQs.

04. Dean & Deluca Peppercorn // Good spices are things Dads (and most people) don’t buy for themselves. Splurge on some delicious herbs & spices that he’ll be so happy to have!

05. Enamel Mug // I don’t know about your Dads, but my dad was a big camper. These lightweight mugs were essential to camping, but are making a comeback. Keep Dad in the know with this awesome mug and he’ll be the most stylin’ coffee drinker around the neighborhood!

06. Pink Floyd DVD // Continuing with the music theme, this DVD is a great option for those rainy spring days that New England is oh-so-prone to.

07. Outdoor Thermometer // Dad’s like their home to look nice just as much as Moms. This gorgeous thermometer will come in handy this summer when he looks out the window and decids whether or not to brave the humidity…

Cheering Up

It’s only Wednesday and it’s already been one of those weeks…so we’re trying to cheer up and be inspired with some beautiful pictures! Thank goodness for pinterest and the ability to come across thousands of images that really do make you feel better.

And of course it’s a gloomy day today (womp womp), but even if you’re not feeling blue, hopefully these images will help brighten up your day in other ways!

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