Monday, January 26, 2015

A Day Away

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There are weekends when I just have to escape the confines of the city. When someone cuts me off in traffic, a pedestrian with a death wish jumps out in front of my far without looking, when I've weaved around too much trash on the sidewalks and start to feel claustrophobic in my own apartment... I know it's time to plan a day away. Sometimes it's hiking, sometimes it's a day in a place that reminds me of home, but always, always, at the end of the day, my heart feels lighter. My mood feels lifted. I feel better and ready to dive back in to the urban clusterf- - - that city living can be.

Chris was in New Hampshire all last week, it's a trip he takes frequently, but one that really wore on us this time around. Could have been because he was there for a funeral, or it could also just be attributed to it being winter and cold and dark and a somewhat lonely time of year. Either way, when he returned on Saturday night, we were both excited to spend the day together on Sunday. We decided to point our compass towards New Hope/Lambertville. Antiques, vintage, and lunch sounded pretty perfect to us, and it was. Almost as soon as we rolled into town, we ran into Ashley and her man, and everything happens for a reason, right? So we all pawed through racks of vintage together and grabbed lunch at the Blue Moose. Afterwards, we went our separate ways and Chris and I strolled over to Lambertville to paw through more vintage and gawk at dogs. 'Cause that's what two people who don't have a dog, but really want a dog, do.

Oh, and my outfit? I happily added this fluffy monster of a coat to my closet on Saturday afternoon, a very lucky find from the URBN sample sale. I pined for this beauty when it was on the racks in 2013, and it was apparently was meant to be. The rest are old favorites, cobbled together for warmth, function, and some semblance of style? Who knows. I liked it though.

And on that note, tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 31, though from the tone of my writing today you might guess closer to 13. Ha. But really. 30 was good and frustrating and heartbreaking and frustrating and maddening and joyful and happy but I learned so much. I found some peace within myself. Something I can only hope to continue finding in this next year of life.

Get the look: FP jacket (similar, similar) // vintage Harley tee (similar) // thrifted flannel // H&M jeans // Converse high tops // FP sunglasses
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

TXSC CAMP 2015: Create A Meaningful Presence

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Texas will always have my heart. I've loved Austin since my first time visiting in college, and with each subsequent trip, I fall a little harder. The land, the people, the scenery... all the nooks and crannies. I've been back several times since, with most of those trips coinciding with an event that I love with equal intensity: TXSC.

I've had the honor of participating in and speaking at several Texas Style Counsel Conference events throughout my years of blogging and they remain some of the most genuine, inspiring, motivating and relatable blogging experiences I've had the pleasure of taking part in. While so many events geared towards bloggers seemed to focus primarily on monetization, popularity and how to get more followers, TXSC dared to swim against the currant, offering attendees a more hands-on, meaningful and connected experience. The sense of authenticity and community at these events is palpable, and I always, always return feeling inspired and excited and above all, motivated. Those few days in Austin each spring were an opportunity to come together with the bloggers I admired, collaborated with, and became close friends with, to share our stories and share our expertise. Woman to woman.

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While past Texas Style Counsel events tended to stick to a more traditional conference format, this year it's going to be even more amazing. Because this year, we're going to Camp. Summer Camp. We're getting back to basics with a pared down, relaxed format (seriously, the camp grounds don't allow heels!)  and a focus on building relationships and meaning in our online community. CAMP: Create A Meaningful Presence (see what they did there?) will be held at a Girl Scout camp just outside of Austin, where we'll be staying together in cabins and gathering for meals in a mess hall (just like real camp - I should know I went to an all-female camp for nine years! Really.). Not only will that format only help to further bring us together, it also solves the problem of finding a place to stay (and a cab) during SXSW.

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TXSC will not teach you how to be a million dollar blogger. You won't learn how to land a collab with a huge company or a magazine cover. It's completely fine if those are your goals -- more power to ya -- but they're not mine, nor are they many other other blogger's.What you will walk away with are connections, skills you can use, more inspiration than you'll know what to do with, and an overwhelming sense of community.

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TXSC: CAMP will be held from March 20-22 and Registration is now open, so if you've been looking for a new blogging conference to attend or have been on the hunt for an event that matches your blogging style, TXSC is for you. The price is slightly higher this year, but the cost includes:

  • Shared, assigned lodging, based on registration type 
  • Five meals (Friday's dinner, Saturday's breakfast, lunch, and dinner, & Sunday's brunch) 
  • Four keynote sessions 
  • Your choice of Saturday workshops (choose three of nine) 
  • Access to blog mentors 
  • Friday night's Create + Connect mixer 
  • Saturday's Khaki Cool Jamboree (party!) 
  • Sunday's Badge Ceremony 
  • Digital headshot c/o Awake Photography 
  • Shuttle service to and from the Austin airport [arrives and departs around 3:00pm on Friday and Sunday]* 
  • More camp swag than you can shake a walking stick at 
  • ... and a few surprises!
When you consider that your food, lodging, and all event costs are taken care of, it sure beats the dough you'd have to shell out for an Air BNB, cabs, and restaurant meals in Austin during SXSW. Plus, we can all pretend we're in Troop Beverly Hills. 

I can't even tell you how excited I am for this one. Spending the weekend with some of the most inspiring and hardworking women I know, sharing our stories, and learning from one another.... well, it's going to be pretty incredible and I truly hope you can join us! 

Let's sit around the campfire together and eat s'mores this March... if you're lucky, I'll teach you how to make a God's eye and some lanyards, too. Because no one leaves camp without a lanyard to give to their mom.
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Don't we look fun?
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(we're super fun)

Have a TXSC question? Feel free to ask in the comments or on my social channels (@OrchidGrey) and I'll answer!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Here & There 1.24

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Guys, remember summer? Yeah... me too. BUT hey, it finally snowed (sort of - turned to rain and slush) last night. In terms of winter Saturdays, today was a pretty good one: experienced my first URBN sample sale (bananas), went to brunch with some friends, cleaned my apartment, and now I'm sitting here watching Friends. It's so cheesy, but I think I like it... and I think it's kind of funny? Maybe this sort of day sounds mundane, but for a rainy day, it was perfect. Chris comes home tonight from spending the week in New Hampshire, and I can't wait! My birthday is this week and we have a full day planned tomorrow. What are you up to this weekend?

Excited to welcome The Awkward Blog as a partner - this Japanese cheesecake recipe looks amazing!

Love this handmade scarab necklace

Yoga doesn't care -- this should be posted in every studio!

Love these over the knee socks

I think I might want to go blonde?

So obsessed with the new Alexa Chung x AG collection - those overalls!

The real deal with Mercury Retrograde

This cardigan is perfection. This one too.

made me laugh - that voice over!

Save an extra 40% off sale items at J. Crew! I've had my eye on these for awhile

Love these sweet little mugs

Yum - these look incredible

My favorite bra is one sale - seriously so comfortable. This one is cute too

The secret problems of other couples (this is an interesting site)

The perfect sneakers for spring and summer - those leopard print ones!

Cute long-haired boys

What a perfect dress for summer

5 Tips for Winter Running

The cutest little backpack

When work takes over your life

Guilt-free Valentine's treats

One of the best books I've read in awhile

Interested in partnering with me? Check out my Sponsor page for more info, 
or shoot me an email at!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Perfect Valentine's Dress

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It gets a bad rap, but I've always been a fan of Valentine's Day. February is kind of a dismal month in my opinion, dark and cold, the home stretch between Christmas and spring. Valentine's offers an excuse to escape all that, get dressed up, and bask in the glow of pink hearts, tons of flowers, and goofy grocery store candy. It's frivolous, yeah, but hey why not show a little love to yourself, your friends and family, your girlfriend or boyfriend or spouse? Go on a date. I could really use a date right now...

To me, it's the perfect reason to indulge a little, find a cute dress and get fancy. I'm still trying to decide which one I'll add to my closet, but the ones below have stolen my heart. Now I just need to figure out where to wear it...
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Left: UNIF Dress // Right: BB Dakota Dress

Do you have a fave? I'm leaning towards the light pink FP dress and the bight red ruffle dress

image above by Mandy Fierens

Monday, January 19, 2015

Life... Behind the Scenes 1

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What life looks like for me lately. Lots of wandering, attempts at beating the cold, discovering more hidden corners of Philly. Always seeking balance, seeking restfulness, and an escape from the winter doldrums. 

+ I tried putting Glee on as background noise and it. is. unbearable. Back to The Gilmore Girls it is.

+ I've devoted this month to getting our place in proper order and about 85% of it feels great. We bought some new plants: a cat-friendly snake plant and a little bamboo, which seems to have come with a sign on it that says "Zephyr Eat Me." Pure feline destruction... the other 15% of our apartment, however, is a disaster.

+ I am finally (finally!) getting back into a fitness routine and it feels so, SO good! Oh how my now-limp muscles missed being worked. I feel like I am slowly getting back to myself after a few months of being in a strange headspace.

+ I'm missing the funeral of a good friend's father this week and I'm feeling upset about it. We got to see him over the holidays, but when something like this happens the realities of being far from family (and "family") is put in stark reality. 

+ Someone stole a bunch of stuff from my brother's car this weekend, judging by what they took, they likely needed it (sleeping bags, coats, etc.), but the thing is, my brother needed that stuff too. It just bums me out.

+ The Kiki Smith engagement gift bit in Gilmore Girls? Yeah, I totally wouldn't turn my nose up at "Wolf Girl".

+ I'm in love with the Narnia murals on the 4th Street Milk & Honey windows. One of my favorite book series.

How is life for you lately? 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Here & There 1.17

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Happy weekend! I spent this cold, sunny day walking through the city and my mind feels clearer for it. Sometimes you just need a day to reset and reconnect. I'm seeing some lady friends tonight and tomorrow have big plans... to clean the house! Exciting, right? What do you have planned? Here's what I'm loving this week:

How gorgeous is this vintage '70s boho wedding dress?

This vintage cape is what dreams are made of - would look amazing with black skinnies and chelsea boots.

Nothing beats a cute crop top, loving this white cropped sweater tank.

Loving Rebecca Minkoff's jewelry line, especially these arrow earrings -- so perfect for Valentines Day!

This was really sweet... and maybe made me tear up.

7 cultural concepts we could stand to adopt in the US. Hygge sounds pretty perfect for the season.

Love this cute hat.

Mara Hoffman makes me dream of summer.

The colors of January.

What a pretty dress.

Big sale at Free People this weekend! Save an extra 20% off sale items - love this cute striped dress, and this classic bateau tee.

Ever wonder what the art sees at a museum?

This looks like the coziest sweater ever.

Two awesome salad recipes - I know... I made 'em!

Such a cool planter.

11 dogs who have no idea where that mess came from. Also this.

This book looks great.

well this is awesome.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Long Enough for Braids

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My hair seems to be making some progress, case in point: braids. I'm not usually one for two, but I'll work with what I've got. Short hair was fun for a bit, but the truth is I haven't felt much like myself since I made the chop. It's funny how much weight we put into our hair, something so impermanent and, well... dead, how much it can define us and affect us when it changes.

Get the look: Vintage thrifted coat (similar) // Vintage denim jacket (similar) // Thrifted plaid shirt (similar) // H&M jeans (similar) // Jeffrey Campbell boots // Free People rings // Vintage bracelet (similar) // Vintage hat (similar) // Free People sunglasses