Happy Sunday! It’s been a while since we’ve shared our weekly favorites, having taking some time off for the holidays. We’re happy to be back this week, with a series of small inspirations and new finds that have caught our attention recently. Keep reading to see what we all loved discovering these past few weeks…
Julia– We got home late on Thursday night and the first thing I wanted to do on Friday morning was check on the house progress that happened while we were away. We’re inching close to the finish line with our completion date at the end of next month, so all the fun stuff (like tiles, cabinetry, paint, fixtures…) are happening now. While we’re not decorating 100% of the house right away, we’ll have all of the rooms that we use on a daily basis mostly decorated, aside from layering details like art, books, small objects, etc. These are the pieces that I believe you can’t just buy, they are things that are slowly collected over time. And since we’re still young, we have many years ahead to layer them up to create a house that feels lived-in with stories and treasures. We have slowly started to buy art, but only pieces that we fall head over heels for, and we always know right away. A few weeks ago when my sister was in town, she wanted to stop by a local art gallery, Corrigan, so we tagged along with her. I immediately fell in love with a collection of pieces by Meg Page. We left and I couldn’t stop thinking about them, so later that day, Thomas surprised me and took me back to get them. I’m so excited to get them framed and hang them in our house (I’m thinking in our master bedroom). They are four original botanical watercolors (the watercolor is layered over and over, that’s why they don’t look like a typical watercolor). I love botanicals, and over Christmas, Thomas’s parents showed us a collection of antique Japanese botanical prints that his great grandfather had collected while in Japan years ago. They let us pick our favorites from the collection to hang in our house as well. They are so special and beautiful. Needless to say, I’ve been on a bit of a botanical kick. I recently found this Etsy site that has the loveliest (and affordable) botanical prints. My favorites are this set of roses, these camelias and these herbs, which would all make for a beautiful collection on a gallery wall.
Thomas– With a bunch of holiday travel over the last couple of weeks, I had run out of pretty much every airplane movie that I’d wanted to see, so I turned my attention to podcasts. I first started listening to podcasts years ago when I was into home brewing beer, but I hadn’t started listening to them again until a few months ago. We started with Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, which Julia and I both enjoyed a lot. But after we finished, I failed to find another podcast that I could listen to more than one episode. I stumbled on Freakonomics Radio and I was super excited to listen. I’d read their book, watched the documentary under the same name and I’d read another one of their books which was a compilation of their blogposts called When To Rob a Bank. Needless to say, I’m a fan of their work. They notice and cover topics that are out of the ordinary from everyday life by having conversations with experts, especially academics. They aren’t afraid to go against conventional wisdom or play devil’s advocate to even some of the most brilliant minds in the world. Below are five of my favorite episodes that serve as a great starting point for anyone interested.
The Demonization of Gluten– Details the history of Gluten intolerance and the more current craze over Gluten-Free Diets.
Why Is My Life So Hard– As human beings we have lots of biases. This details our bias about how we feel about the obstacles that make our life harder and the aids we have that make our life easier.
Are We Running Out Of Ideas– Breakthrough innovations are becoming harder and harder to come by, costing more and more for each improvement.
The No-Tipping Point– Some restaurants are moving to a no-tipping policy as the current system of 15-20% tipping, rewards front of house restaurant staff instead of back of house staff, like cooks. This episode discusses the potential of no-tipping policy gaining wider acceptance.
Is America Ready for a “No-Lose Lottery”?– Americans waste billions of dollars every year with the dream of getting rich by winning the lottery. This episode details rewards based savings bank accounts which pay out the collective interest earned of all bank accounts held at a bank to a handful of winners. That way people have the thrill of playing the lottery while saving for the future.
Laura– Happy New Year! I hope you had a great time with family over the holidays. I don’t know about you, but while the thought of a New Year can be so exciting, it’s a little overwhelming at the same time. On the first day of 2018, I experienced a mental and emotional imbalance as my gut was trying to tell me something. However, I couldn’t pinpoint what it was, and as a result, I had a minor anxiety attack late that evening. It was kind of scary and sent my body into a shock. After a full night’s sleep and some reflection, I was able to identify what those feelings were: one of them being fear of the unknown. This is the first year where I haven’t made a resolution. I’m such a planner (hello, type A personality) that I usually have a rough idea of what I want the first six months to look like based on my goals. To be honest, the reason I didn’t make any resolutions is because 2017 was a HUGE year for me – I crossed almost everything off my list. So I guess a part of me just feels content with where my life stands right now and perhaps I just went into a bit of shock that I didn’t have things mapped out per usual. A full year ahead, a clean slate, and for some reason I can’t mentally envision what life looks like past February. An Instagram follower recommended a great podcast for me to listen to, The Lively Show, and this episode in particular really resonated with me. One of the many realizations I had after listening to it is that I don’t have to start new goals just because of a new calendar year, and I should simply focus on making personal strides day-by-day, one month at a time to slow my mind down.
To successfully do this, I came up with a personal exercise to do each weeknight. I’m calling it “word vomit.” At the end of each weeknight, I’ll pull up a new entry in my Evernote, and for one minute or less I will type out every feeling/thought/emotion that remains in my mind from that day. After one minute, I’ll return to the top of that list and assess each feeling as necessary confronting these emotions with the who, what, why, and how. I will ask myself what made me feel this way, how it affected me, and how did I can handle the feeling. I prefer typing this exercise vs. writing it because sometimes my mind is moving so fast that it’s not actually forming full sentences or I have trouble verbalizing what it is I’m feeling. Therefore, a word vomit approach to getting it all out there may work best for me. I’m hoping this exercise will put my mind at ease so I can actually destress, shutdown for the night and start fresh the next day. And if I’m able to pinpoint the root cause of these feelings then perhaps I’ll be able to make a sound decision or take a different approach when I encounter them again.
Margaret– This Christmas and New Year, I visited my family in Atlanta. For those of you who haven’t explored the city beyond the airport, Atlanta boasts incredible shopping and an awesome ever-expanding restaurant scene. I thought I’d share a few of the places where I chose to either shop, eat, or enjoy, for those of you who plan to visit in the near future. My sister, mom, and I spent time shopping in the relatively new Westside Provisions District, making a point to stop in the Ann + Sid Mashburn shops to pick up one of Ann’s coveted shirts. The husband & wife designer team is inspiring and their story is a fun one to follow. We had fun sifting through the signature classic, yet modern styles of the newest collection. I also stopped in the creatively curated Warby Parker Atlanta store around the corner. We completed last minute Christmas shopping at Perimeter Mall & Phipps Plaza. My dad and I practically ran through these malls looking for the perfect gift for my sister. The Tavern at Phipps was a must-stop for dining before shopping. For brunch I always try to make it to West Egg Café in the Westside. It’s one of my favorite brunch spots in the city. After hearing great reviews, I was looking forward to trying St. Cecilia in Buckhead, and I loved the experience. I ordered their cacio e pepe and savored every minute of it.
One of the highlights of my time in Atlanta was visiting the High Museum of Art in Midtown. The fashion works displayed were my favorite part of the showcased exhibit, Making Africa. A couple of fascinating supporting exhibits were Amy Elkins’ Black is the Day, Black is the Night, and the modern art collection. I loved spending quality time at these places with family and dear friends during the holidays. I’m proud to have grown up in Atlanta, and I’m excited to follow how the city evolves.