cait +tiff


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T / a little bit of freedom…sort of

Can you tell I have an icon?

I keep saying I’m funemployed.  But I’m really not.  There are clients.  There are deliverables.  There are thousands of photos.  But I just get to decide when I work, and how I work.  That morning post-workout coffee is no longer limited to 15 minutes!

Since leaving my not-so-fulfilling full time in-an-office consulting gig last week, I’ve been feeling like Will Ferrell encountering New York City for the first time in Elf.  Except that I can work my way around Photoshop. I’ve been feeling more responsive.  I’m feeling so much lighter (because sitting is the new smoking).  And I am back to my slightly frantic self (see Muppets: Animal).  Cue George Michael, RIP.

But also like there’s a fire under my ass again.  Because for the past 6 months, I’ve more or less been plotting, Dr. Evil style, of my return to the freelance environment.  There are websites that need to get updated.  Portfolios that need to be shared.  The hustle is real and it is so back.  I have plans that need to get manifested.  I even just drafted something called the Berlin Strategy (doesn’t that sound like a sequel to Homeland?).

Except I might choose to catch up on 12 episodes of Supergirl instead while editing photos I took 2 years ago.

I first came across creative accountability in one of Katie’s posts.   And she’s totally right.  We have our clients that keep our work accountable, but as creative entrepreneurs, who keeps us moving forward?  I’m not exactly a start up with a venture capitalist that wants to see returns.  Nor am I actually in school and have classmates to commiserate with.  And a career coach isn’t exactly in the budget. I needed someone else, in Phnom Penh, who was on the hustle, with clients and personal goals and learning to pursue too.  And all I had to do was ask her out!  We meet for regular coffees, look at each other’s work, bounce ideas off of each other and see how each other are doing on that road upwards.  Doodles may be involved.

This all helps to keep that fire under my ass lit, under control, with enough heat to keep me on my toes.  But I also have some time for myself, to feel bored and find ways to get out of it, and to fail, or figure out a whole new set of things I can do (I see you, coding).  The doors are wide open now and I get to pick which one I go through.  Come on baby, light my fire*.

*Oooh cheesey, but I like it.


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humpjump

Photo Credit: Yoongi

Happy Wednesday, friends. Cait just woke up from a nap, because that is where she is in her life, professionally. It’s a sunny day in LA, but all she can focus on is this cool matte black manicure she got a few days ago, so you know, really taking advantage of her surroundings right now.  And Tiff is so freeeeee she almost forgot to do this.  Happy happy Wednesday/Thursday!!!

How have I never heard of Romance Was Born before now? Why has so much time been wasted?

Emily had the bestest time in Georgia and surrounds! Her photos are gorgeous!

Oooo pretty, and perfect for the beach. Who’s taking me to the beach?

Love the words this guy makes! And really digging into his creative process!

Apparently this song takes away anxiety.

First Anthropology, now J. Crew – what’s going on with all the big brands?

Theo James has facial hair! And is some sort of show or something.

Next time in Cali.

Happy Birthday, Prince.

Some good things happening in Russia. 


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C / TLC HAS A NEW SONG

tlc.jpg

Photo via Tumblr

I had a whole other post ready to go, but then I saw that TLC has just released a new song, and I can’t imagine anything more important for me to share. It’s called “Way Back” and it is great, and it was funded by Kickstarter and it wouldn’t even matter if it were bad, I would like it anyway.

I love that T-Boz is hanging on tight to that hair cut, and that Chilli is still rocking the cargo pants with the crop top, and WILL NOT give up on body jewelry. I miss the hell out of Left Eye, and it’s weird to hear their music without her, but that’s sort of an every day thing. The song feels exactly the way it’s supposed to feel, reminiscent of a time when NYT Breaking News alerts didn’t give me cold sweats, and I wasn’t constantly worried that a game show host was lighting the world on fire. Also, Snoop shows up somewhere in the middle and that’s a nice touch.

TLC, Prince, and En Vogue made up the bulk of my sex education. (The Arizona school system wasn’t exactly progressive on the subject.) Listening to Creep, Diggin’ On You, and Red Light Special gave me a lot to think about as an awkward teen, and I am pretty sure solidified my lifelong obsession with good pajamas.

So I hope you enjoy their new song, or at least sends you down a TLC YouTube spiral, like it has done for me today.

I am THIS CLOSE to remembering the rap from Waterfalls. THIS CLOSE.

caitsig

 

 


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T / happy monday / W4W, women for the world

Photo Credit: Bob Adelman

In a 24 hour period this weekend, I both finished up the Big Little Lies miniseries on HBO and watched the new addition to the DC comics-to-film series, Wonder Woman (with a wonderful group of women).  Also, the current American president pulled out of the Paris Agreement Climate Change.  I thought about what was going on in the world.  And I thought about what women and our shared experiences.  The professional world, our homes and our dailies.  Conclusion: women (Angela Merkel and friends, I’m looking at you) will be the ones to save the world.

This tiny little film by fashion blogger Down Under wunderkind Margaret Zhang fits exactly into what I’ve been thinking.  Happy Monday.

PS – Some other great stories about women: The Babysitter’s Club, How to Make an American Quilt, Thelma and Louise, Hidden Figures, Angry Indian Goddesses, The Joy Luck Club…just to name a few.


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C / boundaries

pink

I struggle setting boundaries. I think it’s attached to being a pleaser, I have a terrible time thinking that I am letting people down or disappointing them in any way, and it hasn’t done me any favors.

I saw this Brené Brown video last week, and it stuck with me. There is a part in it where she explains how some people don’t set any boundaries, get taken advantage of, feel violated, don’t do anything about it, and then become angry and resentful. While watching this, I was unconsciously shaking my head “yes.” I feel like that might be a problem.

I am currently taking classes in self-compassion meditation. I pay a wonderful woman named Heather to help me be less of an asshole to myself, and boundaries come up in class a lot. Brené can clearly tell you why they are so important better than I can, and it’s worth the 5:54 minutes.

Will this ever be a fashion blog again? Who knows. Happy Friday.

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humpjump

Photo Credit: CosmicPrint via Victoria McGinley

Hi, happy Wednesday! Tiff’s, like, free as a bird this week, and it feels so good. Cait is not, but is happy to be back in her little LA life after two weeks in Illinois for wedding celebrations. Celebrations make Cait tired, and she’s kind of a giant baby when she’s tired. Hope your week is going well, here is some stuff to stop you from getting things done.

Minimalist wardrobe goals.

My favourite after school, pre-practice snack when I was a kiddo is now going mainstream!

Great little life things I’m gonna try thanks to Katie!

Gangs with business cards! From the 1960s and 70s! Cue design explosion.

Thing I want to do this weekend.  I don’t care who gets annoyed about it.


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C / Malibu on a Wednesday

becca beach

I had never been to Malibu before last Wednesday. My impressions of the place have, up to this point, been footage from Point Break, transitional scenes from The Hills, and that new Miley Cyrus song that I can’t figure out if I like. In my head, it is fancy, expensive, and full of plastic people. Turns out, all of that is true, but there is more.

As a pre-birthday celebration (I really dragged it out this year) my lovely and amazing friend, Becca, offered to take me to Malibu for the day. Due to my current status of semi-employment, a weekday field trip worked out nicely.

Becca picked me up at 7:30am from Echo Park and we got to Malibu around 9am. It turns out LA is really big and there is traffic, surprised nobody ever talks about it.

The Hike

We went to an area called Solstice Canyon, and the hike itself took about 2 hours and about 3.5 miles. There are a few trails in that particular canyon, and we took the one called something like sunset trail, sky view trail, eagle view something, ocean mist, eastern block… I don’t know the name of the trail. There are signs, you’ll be ok. The trail is gorgeous, with amazing views of the mountains, the ocean, and the wildflowers that are currently blowing everyone’s mind. Also fun, we only saw five people and two dogs the whole time we were there.

hiking grid.jpg

The Food

Neptune’s Net! This place goes immediately into my LA hall of fame. I love it here, I love it so much I could marry it. It’s a seafood spot with few other options, and there are two counters to go to, one for the fresh stuff, and one for the perfectly fried baskets of sea creature heaven. Because we are smart, hungry women, we ordered a pound of steamed peel and eat shrimp, 1/2 dozen oysters, a clam chowder, and the combo basket with clam strips, calamari, fried shrimp, and fries. Thirty minutes and 4 buckets of cocktail sauce later, we made our way back to the road.

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*Note: That is an oyster shell full of melted butter, salt, lemon juice, and leftover oyster/sea water. I know it doesn’t photograph well, and I don’t care, its the most delicious thing in the world and I was dipping fries in it by the end of lunch because I am a goddamn adult and I can. 

The Beach

I am under strict orders not to tell you what beach we went to, because it was quiet and peaceful and a little bit secret, and I am not sure how much that happens around those parts. But, if you want to go to Malibu and take me with you, I will totally tell you. We walked past a number of my future homes and a flock of seagulls. Sadly, not the band. (If it were the band, this whole post would be about that.)

malibu empty

The Drinks

Because we are grown ups and it was a Wednesday, we decided that 2pm was the right time for beers. Becca knows everything, so we went to Paradise Cove, a throwback spot that reminded me of the set from Saved by the Bell, when they ALL went to work at Malibu Sands Beach Club. You know where Zach has a thing with Stacy Carosi? The club owners daughter? Oh Zach, you are so basic, and SO lucky that Leah Remini (who played Stacy Carosi) gave you the time of day. Realizing now, that I know too much about this. Anyway, we had a few Modelos on the beach, watched a come college girls taking selfies get knocked over by waves (very satisfying), sent a few questionable text messages, and earned my first successful California sunburn.

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The Plants

Know what is better than being a little tipsy at 3pm and buying a whole lotta plants for your tiny apartment? I don’t. Cosentino’s is a wholesale nursery right off the highway in Malibu. The place in enormous, and they have a billion gorgeous succulents and plants that are ready for their close up. This slightly over-eager customer MAY HAVE purchased 30 of them, all of which are still sitting on the kitchen table.

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The Ice Cream

Grom, in Malibu Country Market square, is fancy and delicious. I highly recommend the seasonal cherry and dark chocolate combo, and there are chairs outside to watch a 19-year-old in a fur jacket vest, trying to steal from a dry cleaner and get CAUGHT. This is obviously something that happened, and provided quite a bit of entertainment while enjoying out gelato and pretending to talk about other things.

grom.jpg

The entire purpose of this post is to get Tiff to come back to LA. If it worked on anyone else, that’s nice too.

Fin.

caitsig


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T / happy monday / visual meditations

Photo Credit: Rich Stapleton for Cereal x Gap

If you asked 22 year old Tiff about meditation and mindfulness, she probably would have stared at you and said “I don’t exactly have time for that.”  In the background, her mother would have said “Tiffany’s been high strung since she was 2.”  This was a fact until this Tiff sailed past thirty.  End of third person monologue.

As a freelancer, I’ve been starting and stopping for the past six years.  When I was younger and nearing the end of a project, my heart would race a little.  Panic and some sort of crisis would set in.  Especially if there was no project on the horizon.  These days, I’ve learned that there is always a project on a horizon, even if I can’t see it.  Sometimes it’s there whether I want it or not.  Or most recently, the thing I needed but didn’t really want.  And in the best times it turns out to be the thing I needed and wasn’t necessarily looking for.

What on earth does career anxiety have to do with meditation?  Basically, I’ve come to terms with uncertainty.  There is no doubt about the help I’ve gotten from my 10 minutes of daily calm.

But sometimes I get my calm from looking at something.  Actually that happens quite a bit.  Which brings me to these little videos from my favourite minimalist biannual mag, Cereal.  They’re so simplistically photographed.  And while the soundtrack isn’t quite “fire crackling in the wind” or “babbling crook,”  the beat is entirely calming.  I could just stare at these and feel my amygdala get smaller. Happy Monday.

Y U K O N from Cereal on Vimeo.


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T / 3 brands

Artwork Credit: Maria Jia Ling Pitt for ManRepeller

The Internet is a funny monster when it comes to brand building.  They come and go.  As fast as you can tweet apparently.  One day everyone’s talking about the newest post-pedicure sandal, and the next we’re up in arms because a skin brand turns out to be a Ponzi scheme.  So last month, I entered the US with my credit card, and a tiny bit of trepidation.  I hadn’t stepped into the land of epic shopping for years.  The majority of these new brands don’t ship outside the US in their baby years, so the chance to get hot of the presses goodies was a little too much for me.  I ordered everything I’ve had my eye on and am so happy to report that they live up to the hype.


Let’s start with my face.  And how Emily Weiss and her quest for saved it.  Indie beauty brands, even those that get $10 million in VC, are still completely new to me.  Compound that with the fact I’m new to the whole minimalist make up deal.  Little did I realize how far down the rabbit hole I would go.  And not only that, these guys don’t melt off my face in this tropical heat and humidity.  The Phase 2 Kit gets me all the flagship Glossier goodies: let’s just say I didn’t exactly realize I needed concealer.  Or my brows needed to get boy-ed.  The Cloud Paint cream blush is so fun!  I had no idea I could mix them all up on my cheeks.  And my favourite discovery has been Glossier’s Haloscope highlighter.  It’s like always having a cup of coffee in your blood stream…except on your face.  You put it on at 6pm and it’s like you just woke up and did a hundred burpees.  It’s a good thing.  Oh right, really great customer service too.


Next is boobs.  Yup boobs.  Mine are ever changing.  And I started looking at my underwire bras with the disdain that comes with anything that’s gone past their prime.  So when Lively came along, I was a little skeptical.  This was too good to be true.  But my lingerie deep dive (read: a bunch of boudoir shoots) opened all the possibilities.  My boobs (and body) really like to change up on me.  It’s like hello Betty! one morning and good night Kate moss the next.  And wireless bras breathe with your boobs.  They’re not just for the “smaller than B” cup class either.  These babies go well into the DDs and a 38 inch band, with thicker straps to boot.


So as a life long Lululemon devotee, I was a little bummed when I noticed a quality decline.  So my eyes (read: credit card) started wandering.  And there was this new kid on the block. With roots in Austin and arms in New York, I started to like what I saw.  Especially those colour pairings.  But could gear from Outdoor Voices stand up to a few litres of sweat, another hundred box jumps and all of the weights?  The answer is yes.  Absolutely.  And your coach will notice your new gear at the same time (true story).  Start off with one of their Kits!  And then fill your entire wardrobe with athleisure.  Because that’s what all the cool kids are wearing anyways.


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humpjump

Photo Credit: Food52

Hi, Welcome to your Wednesday, maybe Thursday. Tiff is finishing her short affair with office life and getting set free(lance) again soon! So she’s counting down those days. Cait is in the midwest, eating most of the cheese, writing speeches, and fulfilling her maid of honor duties for her best friend, Lenore. WEDDINGS ARE HARD WORK, someone should have said something.

Still California dreaming. I wish I could have visited this little off the beaten track spot in the desert.

This makes me happy/sad.

I would totally be on Team Montague.  Hawaiian shirts all the way.

Ooh, Cannes. Slideshow. Liya Kebede makes me feel bad for not wearing this every day.

Have been a fan of this dying brand.  But can’t say I was always proud of it.

Nothing is better than this dress. 

Snack time!

After a week of sleeping on couches, I am heading here as soon as I am back to LA.

Next week’s uniform!

Cait’s next week uniform!