cait +tiff


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C / Update on the Reboot

debbie

Photo by Irving Penn

Hi. So last week, I boldly declared that I was going to fill my brain with all the inspiration I could manage, and be a changed person by Friday. The thing is, when you are filling your body with pizza and cocktails, it’s sort of hard to feed your brain online classes and meaningful literature.

The actual update on what I said I was going to do:

  • Take online class. I did not take an online class. I did look at them, and consider it, but then I went to happy hour.
  • Read a whole book. There was no way this was ever going to happen, I don’t know why I set myself up for failure, I never even looked into what book to read.
  • Starting Yoga again. I DID THIS. It’s the hot kind, and I sweat so much that a woman stopped me in the street after class to make sure I was ok.
  • Go to a museum. I did this too! Actually, I did it twice, so I think I get double points and one of the trips to a museum counts as taking a class.

According to my math, that is 3/4-ish, so I feel pretty good about my inspiration week. And, AND, I am filling this week with even more artsy shit that makes me want to create again. I do want to get back in to making things, my hands are getting restless. I saw the Irving Penn exhibit at The Met yesterday and I just filled with energy, in a way that I haven’t experienced in a while. I am not a photographer, but Penn has done some of the most incredible work I have seen, and it’s impossible for me to look away from it. So I bought the $70 coffee table book, which weighs 1400 lbs and is going to be an awesome carryon.

So I did some of my self-imposed homework, but the thing that I found most inspiring this week, was having conversations with people I love about the work I am doing right now. I have a lovely job and work for a friend, but my brain has started to wander.

I applied for a job a few weeks ago that I was SO EXCITED about. It seemed like the perfect fit, and I took a lot of care with my application and cover letter, and I made my friends read my CV and sex it up for me. I felt so good about sending it all in, and I was confident that I would be a great fit for the job.

I haven’t heard anything back, and it’s been two weeks, so that ship has probably sailed. Which is fine, ship sail all the damn time, that is what they are supposed to do. But as I have been talking through all of these things with people this week, it has become pretty clear that I need to get back to making things. It’s where my brain goes back to before I go to sleep, and it is what my brain has filled with while I am walking around New York.

So, I am getting back into it. I even got a new notebook and fancy new pencils this weekend, and you know I can’t waste back-to-school supplies.

Have a lovely Tuesday.

caitsig

 

 


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C / I’m a Wombat

wombat

Guys, this is really exciting. I am in New York right now and I have amazing news…I am a wombat! Isn’t that great? Let me explain.

I met up with my cousin yesterday, one of my favorite people in the world, and he told me about Primal Zodiac signs. (If you think astrology stuff is garbage, stop reading. I don’t know if it is or not, and I don’t even know if it’s my business, but I think it’s interesting.) Your Primal Zodiac is a combination of Western Zodiac and Eastern Zodiac signs, so in my case, I am Taurus, and I was born in the Year of the Boar.

In Primal Zodiac math, that makes me a WOMBAT. I love wombats.

Now, I am not going to make you read my wombat zodiac, but I definitely thought about it. According to the internet, which never lies, I am

  • Strong, determined, sensitive, and stubborn. (check)
  • Can be a reclusive weirdo until the wombat feels comfortable with her people.
  • Once the wombat is comfortable, wombat will not stop talking. To everyone.
  • Smarter, stronger, and more agile that people think
  • Also, and this is a direct quote “This sign can be painfully over-indulgent and procrastinating to the point that others wonder how it is they get by day to day.” (um, check)
  • When the wombat does stop watching Netflix, the wombat cannot be stopped.
  • Wombats like cosy, familiar places, and like nice things (check)
  • Wombats like wine, and “they do like to indulge in worldly pleasures a bit too much.” (This is kind of a judgy website, jeez.)
  • Hosting parties is their wombat jam, and they don’t really like the club. Wombats don’t like crowds.

I won’t go into the love stuff too much but a few important things:

  • Wombats are great friends, love giving advice and like small groups
  • Wombats are cautious, but when they commit, they commit.
  • SUPER SNUGGLY
  • Should trust be betrayed “expect to see the rare but legendary rage from this quiet but powerful sign.” Wombat Khaleesi up in here.

 

Lastly, career things, which I really like reading about right now.

  • Even though they can be shy, wombats put on a good show, and love storytelling
  • Wombats love creative self-expression and the arts (check)
  • Wombats are LAZY (check) and need inspiration and drive of they will just eat ice cream off their bellies all day and watch Brooklyn 99 in their underwear (I’m paraphrasing.)

 

I know how silly it is that I just wrote out my zodiac stuff on this blog, I know that. But I have never read anything that sounded more like my best friend describing me. I am making Tiff do this too, and I want you guys to look and see if your description works for you, too. Do it here, click. Do it, and tell me what you think.

Your favorite wombat.

caitsig


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C / Straight/Curve

straightcurvy

I am so happy right now. I just found out about this new documentary, Straight/Curve, which is about the crazyballs issues of image and weight in the fashion industry. The trailer looks great, and I am hoping it lives up to what I think something like this can do.

I know it’s not a catch all, and talking about the problem is a really good start. There are so many insanely messed up issues with body image in media, and my ranting about it will not add anything new to the conversation at the moment, so watch the trailer, see the movie, and think about these things. They matter, and it’s up to designers, stylists, photographers, and whoever else in the industry to make choices that reflect actual women, and not make women feel like garbage.

Image via Straight/Curve movie


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T / shooting lovebirds

Photo Credit: Our Labor of Love

Photo Credit: Our Labor of Love

I’m shooting my first wedding next month!!!! And I’ve got an engagement shoot coming up too!  And I couldn’t be more excited and touched that I was asked to.  #makingit right?  So many of my favourite photographers have weddings in their portfolios.  They’re kind of a big deal.  They give awards out.

Except I’ve never shot a wedding before.  But I shoot children.  I’ve shot children’s birthday parties.  It’s a freaking bloody mess.  So I can swing this right?  With a little help from my friends of course.  I’ve been following all these guys for years.  And of course, they’re not actually my friends. We’ve never met. But because I’ve seen and adore their pixels, I feel like we’d all immediately become pals when the stars aligned.

So in an effort to figure out how and what I’m gonna shoot when the big days come along.  I thought I’d share all the inspiration.


Photo Credit: Alex and Betty

Photo Credit: Alex and Betty

I’ve been following Betty’s food photos for the past while (we even made contact recently!!), but only recently got super into the wedding photography biz she has with her husband, Alex.  How cool would it be to have a beautifully, happily, super gorgeously curated couple shooting your wedding? I love their use of depth of field, all the negative space. And the magic.  That’s basically the most importance thing right?

28-intimate-dorchester-backyard-wedding

Photo Credit: Alex and Betty

10-intimate-dorchester-backyard-wedding

Photo Credit: Alex and Betty


Photo Credit: Zachary Davis Photography.

Photo Credit: Zach Davis Photography.

I love that Zachary and his partner Jodi state that “we think love is a big deal” on their about page.  This Fargo, ND-based couple take the most beautiful naturally lit, organic, earthy photos ever.  It’s everything I basically aspire to.  There’s also just something about these photos. The sense of the warm in the frigid cold of the hinterland.  Of Americana.  I love them so much.


weddings_maingallery005

Photo Credit: Our Labor of Love

Whimsy and delight.  That’s something else I’ve got in my sights when it comes to celebrations of two people together.  The folks over at LA-based Our Labor of Love (it’s killing me that I can’t put a U in there) are exactly that.  Everything they shoot is just so freaking fun. They even have a photobooth.

Photo Credit: Our Labor of Love.

Photo Credit: Our Labor of Love.

Photo Credit: Our Labor of Love.

Photo Credit: Our Labor of Love.


Photo Credit: Celine Kim.

Photo Credit: Celine Kim.

I first discovered Toronto-based Celine because she had shot a friend-of-friend’s wedding (thank you Facebook – social media at work!).  And then I just fell in love with the way that she was documenting all of the love, babies and places in the little, yet huge, part of Canada that I’m from (hello Southern Ontario).  Also, Celine gets the whites perfect. All the time.

Photo Credit: Celine Kim.

Photo Credit: Celine Kim.

Photo Credit: Celine Kim.

Photo Credit: Celine Kim.


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T / happy monday / bibliogram

Photo Credit: Jujubunny via Miss Moss

Photo Credit: Jujubunny via Miss Moss

I love books.  Stories in whatever form they come in.  But in recent months, I find that I’ve been diversifying where I get them from.  I’m not talking about Amazon, which basically has every book.  I’m talking about recommendations.  I thrive on the work of fellow ENFJs.  So recently, my reads have been coming off of social media.  First there was What Should I Read Next? And then, Patton Oswalt was the one who told me about the one I’m about to read. And then I discovered all of the Instagrams.  Another rabbit hole. From professional overlay artists to photographers and true book lovers, I’m really digging the diversity of books on my feed these days.  Light, composition, and the actual books themselves.  These guys are my faves,


@bibliofeed

@bibliofeed

@bibliofeed was probably the one that started it off.  I’m also more than a huge fan of co-founder Holly Hiday’s wardrobe.  With a roving collection of curators, @bibliophile asks a fellow reader to take over their account every week. What happens next is an incredibly diverse array of lit.  Also pretty photos of books 🙂


@booksss.0k

@booksss.0k

The moment my eyes caught this photo, I was in love.  @booksss.0k, also known as Adam the art student who really loves books.  Each shot is so carefully composed and lit to convey the book’s content. My heart swells.  Oh right, there are reviews to boot, and an occasional deep dive into high quality YA lit. All the thumbs up.


@foldedpagesdistillery

@foldedpagesdistillery

@foldedpagedistillery are a collection of lady book lovers, some are even teachers. I love how each photo is seriously styled around the book.  Serious thinking here, guys…and a good sense of humour too.


@ice_cream_books

@ice_cream_books

Last but not least is the ice cream with the cherry on top.  Literally. Ha ha. I’m so punny.  Each book, often quite from the high minded literary section, is matched with an accompanying frozen dessert. “Postmortal swered by a @paleopassion strawberry paleo passion pop?” Yes please.  Or perhaps, “A pack of @weightwatchers Snack Size Double Caramel Swirl Ice Cream Cones complements the stylish insanity that @simon_doonan details in his hysterical and irresistible book The Asylum: True Tales of Madness from a Life in Fashion?”  Genius. @ice_cream_books is exactly what you think it is.


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C / together and stuff

Transitions are hilarious, easy, and always lots of fun without any confusion whatsoever. Or the opposite. Uprooting is a mess, and resettling is sort of like trying to make a house out of legos and rapidly melting ice cream. It’s a weird time, so I am calling in reinforcements, and tapping into some experts on how to keep my brain and body from exploding into a million pieces.

On Tuesday night, I attended Together, a traveling speaker series with Glennon Doyle Melton at the helm. You may know her blog, Momastery, or her book, Love Warrior. Her story is one of recovery and acceptance, with a huge amount of humor. She is monumentally brave with herself, highlights her vulnerability, and is above all, honest. She, along with host Jennifer Rudolf Walsh, have pulled together women from all walks of life, with incredible stories of bravery, love, and strength.

Right, so it’s a self-help-type thing, and my snarky, stubborn guts feels weird about things like this. They even gave you a little booklet where you write down your manifesto and strengths and dreams and a bunch of other things that are really hard to figure out in the allotted 45 seconds. My self-loving brain and my shit-talking brain had a long conversation about whether or not this is total garbage, and the self-loving side actually won.

Strangely enough, I like doing things that make me feel better about the hard parts of life, and I think it’s really valuable to listen to remarkable women talk about real, honest, vulnerable stuff. I get that this might sound like I’m elbow-deep in inspiring Pinterest quotes with stock photo sunsets in the background, but that’s fine.

So because I didn’t record the whole thing on my phone that really needs to be upgraded, below, are internet-provided clips of the ladies on stage. Honestly, these clips don’t do the  speakers justice, but you get the idea.

Glennon Doyle Melton

“We can do hard things.”

Dr Jaqui Lewis

“Friends, we need to vote like our lives depend on it, like our love depends on it.”

Seane Corn

“You only ever teach what it is you need to learn, quite frankly.”

Valarie Kaur

“We can tell our own stories, author our own articles, make our own films, launch new campaigns, influence government and the media, and organize through technology and innovation. We have the tools to make love public in ways we haven’t seen before.”

Gina Rodriguez

“You are enough today, and the second you accept yourself is the second everybody else around you does as well.”

caitsig

 

 


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C/ The Get Down

the-get-down

Photo via Tube Filter

With the advent of Netflix in Cambodia, a whole new world has opened up to people that sometimes just want to stay inside. Sometimes, those people are me. My current Netflix bright spot is The Get Down, a music-laden series on the beginnings of hip hop, life in the 1970’s Bronx, and of course, love. Everybody loves love.

The characters are raw, imperfect, beautiful, and silly talented. The lead love story is between Ezekiel and Mylene, played by Justice Smith and Herzien Guardiola. The two of them make me feel like I have accomplished nothing in my life. Most of the cast members are new names for me, with the exception of Jimmy Smitts, who I have loved since his days on LA Law, and Jaden Smith, the prodigal son of never-aging beauty-robots, Will and Jada.

Also, and I understand that my focus might be different that others, but the clothes are amazing. Some of the disco suits are hilarious and cringe-worthy, but there are so many pieces that I want to snag for myself. You could pull a lot of these outfits and wear them now, and my affection for the high-waisted, booty loving, denim culotte is only growing.

I highly encourage watching this show. It has had mixed reviews, but if you are into hip hop, the historical side of the greatest city on earth, and Donna Summer, get down on it.  (Sorry.)

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caitsig

 


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T / appreciation / max wanger

Photo Credit: Max Wanger for DesignLoveFest

Photo Credit: Max Wanger for DesignLoveFest

If you told twenty six year old me, which is basically when I started blogging, that in the next 5 years, I’d start taking photos that I was really happy about, I would have looked at you doubtfully.  Because at that point, I was sitting in a very old library writing about cholera.  And I had other plans.  But I did have my eye on one photographer back then, and I still have my eye on him now.

Picture-1

Photo Credit: Max Wanger for Joanna Goddard

Max Wanger basically has the family, wedding, lifestyle, travel, and look book fields all up in his bag.  He shoots for all the big guys (read: Condé Nast Traveler, Nordstrom, Vans). Over the last nearly decade, he’s built up a loyal following (me!).  If you’ve been paying attention to lifestyle and fashion photography over the past decade, you could probably recognize a Max Wanger. From his signature use of negative space, which many blog enthusiasts first saw on Cup of Jo in 2009, to the lights and brights in all the campaigns he’s shot for Ban.do, and all the prints (I have one in my office, thanks to Cait), I love his use of fun and whimsy, and also immense feeling that each shot gets perfectly.  It’s something I find myself reaching for every time I pick up my camera.

Photo Credit: Max Wanger for Ban.do and Max Wanger for DesignLoveFest

Photo Credit: Max Wanger for Ban.do and Max Wanger for DesignLoveFest

newblog_32

Photo Credit: Max Wanger

futoran_18

Photo Credit: Max Wanger

This summer, I’ve had the chance to do everything from look books to families, and soon, couples!  I’ve been looking back at these shots and every time I do, I’m feeling happier about them.  It’s not emulation, but it’s definitely an appreciation of his style.  And I just want to be as good as him one day.  I’d also be happy with being 75% there. 


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C / this mix

I am constantly searching for things that make my days brighter and a little bit more fun. Because I often work alone, I try to keep music upbeat and often turn to embarrassing pop to keep the day moving. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly times when the only option is putting on the Les Miserables soundtrack (the 1992 live cast version, not the movie version, don’t be ridiculous) and singing Eponine’s parts poorly and loudly. Lucky for me, Tiff is able to rescue me from myself and has far better taste than I do. She also has the patience to constantly hunt for new cool tunes and share them with me.

She sent along this mix on Sunday and it has been my soundtrack for the last three days. It’s a fun one, with mostly remixes from the 80’s and 90’s including, but not limited to: Listen to Your Heart, Just One of Them Days, and the King of Wishful Thinking. I honestly don’t know what else I need.

It’s so good. Perfect mix of chill and fun and OH MY GOD ITS THAT SONG I LOVE THAT SONG!!!!

I hope it helps you through your Tuesday.

caitsig


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C / massive crush / kate mckinnon

kate-mckinnonIf you have talked to me in the last few days, it has probably been about Kate McKinnon. I saw Ghostbusters on Friday, and it’s been a full on love spiral ever since. There is a scene in the movie (not ruining anything here) where she has these blaster guns and goes nuts on some ghosts and I just lost my damn mind. It was so awesome.

In case you don’t know everything about her, like I might, she has been a shining star on Saturday Night Live for the past few years, and is known for her spot-on impersonations of Justin Bieber, EllenHillary Clinton, and my personal favorite, a woman abducted by aliensShe is a comedy hero, has made me fall out of my chair with laughter, and isn’t afraid to take on any character.

She also happens to be a total smoke show. It’s probably wonderful to be born with that face, but my unending crush doesn’t come from a face alone. She knows how to carry herself on a red carpet, and she/her stylist has great taste. She is one of the first openly gay cast members of SNL, got her start on The Big Gay Sketch Show, and I am sending big high fives to her lady, Marla. Nice work. True to form, she doesn’t take herself too seriously, and seems to be enjoying the ride.

kate-bluwIn Versace at the Ghostbusters premier.

kate-blackAt the Emmy’s in J Mendel.

kate-whiteGorgeousness from her feature in Elle.

I hope this one doesn’t stop moving. The more I see, the more I love. I also just found out she is younger than me, so I am dealing with that a little bit.

Go see Ghostbusters, now-ish, and join the Kate Crush Club. caitsig