The Sunday Series January 21, 2018

The Sunday Series Vol. 10

Happy Sunday, friends. I hope your morning is off to a great start and you’re able to relax a bit before a new week ahead. Today’s Sunday Series covers a variety of topics, from a new hat brand to a yummy recipe to try, an interesting article on photoshop and a hair oil. As always, we hope you join in and share what’s caught your attention this week in the comments below!

 

Julia – Last week I saw an article on Twitter that immediately caught my attention to click through and read. And funny enough, Thomas saw it too and sent it to me. It was about how CVS is no longer materially altering their images in stores, online and on social media. They are also asking brands that they carry in their stores to follow suit and do the same. They will apply a ‘beauty mark’ sticker to label unretouched images so that it’s clear to consumers when an image hasn’t been altered, but they’re also encouraging brands to make it clear when an image has been. They are planning on rolling out this initiative in April and hope to have it complete by 2020. In an industry full of photoshop, that’s a big challenge to pursue, but an important one.

 

In a world full of marketing, brands take every step they can to try and boost sales. Somewhere along the line brands discovered higher returns from using more “beautiful” models. With advancements of digital editing technologies and rapid increases in camera quality and file sizes, we’ve reached a point where an image captured of someone represents nearly a blank canvas. In my opinion, photoshopping has reached a breaking point where people aren’t even looking like people. This move by CVS is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done to create industry standards to help consumers decipher between what’s retouched and what isn’t.

 

There’s so much imagery constantly, from every corner of the internet, social media, magazines and storefronts, that we don’t even realize how often we’re shown and reminded day after day of these unrealistic standards. Yes, many of us know that they’re not real, and we are able to decipher that and ignore it, but what about younger generations growing up in this day and age?

 

I’ve always made an effort not to photoshop. I’ve only ever wanted to connect with people and I find that’s easiest by being myself. I’m not perfect and frankly, nobody is perfect, so I don’t get how I would benefit or you would benefit from me digitally altering my appearance. Most importantly, I and thousands of other influencers and celebrities are setting an example for millions if not billions of people around the world. I think that self love is crucial to our happiness in life and making any effort to reduce unrealistic standards in the media and online digital world will get us one step closer.

 

Thomas – One of the most incredible powers of Instagram is its ability to connect people. Especially creatives connecting with other creatives. I don’t do it too often but when I come across someone whose work really catches my attention, I make an effort to reach out and say a few kind words through Direct Message. It could be my careful selection when reaching out but I’m often amazed by how many friendships this leads to.

 

That’s how I remember meeting my friend Lucy Laucht. If you don’t already follow Lucy on Instagram you should, she’s got an incredible eye and has a knack for capturing images that make you want to know more. In an Instagram world full of overly edited photos that are stretched to the max of their digital limitations, looking through Lucy’s photos you’ll notice a simplicity and complexity at the same time.

 

So why am I talking so much about Lucy Laucht? Well she co-founded a hat company, Tio y Tia, that just launched this week and I wanted you to know about it. In her past she led social media for a number of years at J.Crew and then left to be a freelance photographer and art director where she’s worked with incredible brands to help them tell incredible product stories. It was only a matter of time before she created something of her own. The hats are handmade in America with amazing craftsmanship, make sure to check them out.

 

LauraIt’s about time I share my all-time favorite go-to comfort food recipe, vegan mac n’ cheese! In no way am I a vegan, but I am slightly lactose intolerant and I also don’t love the texture of most cheeses. I had never been exposed to a classic American mac n’ cheese dish growing up because my parents never knew what it was since they mainly cooked (delicious) Cambodian food dishes. However, when I tried homemade mac n’ cheese (with breadcrumbs!) for the very first time I was all heart eyes, albeit somewhat immobile afterwards. It became more like a 3x a year dish because of how heavy it was for me to eat. I’m also making a conscious effort this year to eliminate dairy from my diet since I’ve experienced some skin issues after consuming it. So, in comes this vegan recipe which I first tried when my former vegetarian roommate cooked it for her vegan boyfriend. My mind was blown. I couldn’t believe how much the sauce tasted exactly like cheese – I could not put my fork down! (By the way, I’ve tried vegan cheese before and I was definitely not a fan). What does the sauce consist of, you ask? Well to name just a couple ingredients it’s partly made up of vegetables and nutritional yeast. Yes, vegetables! Who knew?! I’ve made this dish so many times and eat it as a side with chicken or as a meal on it’s own with some oven roasted broccoli or peas. Two tips when cooking this: I don’t own a Vitamix or blender so I used my food processor to mix the sauce, therefore, I soak my cashews for 30 minutes as mentioned in the notes below the recipe. Secondly, I use rotini pasta because I love how the pasta curls hold the sauce. So delicious. I’m salivating just thinking about it. I hope you enjoy this recipe if you decide to try it! I can assure you it will become a Sunday night staple. Bon appétit!

 

Margaret – Just popping in to tell everyone about a product that has saved my mornings when I’m getting ready on the fly. Ouai hair oil has become a staple in my hair care regimen. My hair is thick and naturally curly/wavy, so with Charleston humidity there’s no telling how it will air dry. It has a mind of its own. Well, until now. First, with two pumps of the lightweight oil, I run my fingers through the ends of my damp hair. I twist the ends around one finger to lock in a natural curl. Next, with the remaining residue left on my hands, I pull my hair back as if I’m pulling it into a ponytail to lock in any fly-aways. My hair dries so well when I use this oil. The fragrance and shine it adds is a bonus, too. The reviews on the product page were really helpful in making my decision, as many women with different hair types believe it makes a difference for their hair.

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