But this year, for a variety of reasons, things felt different. There was a sense of finality in my visit, and an overwhelming sense of change. I wanted to document every aspect of my trip as a way to remember exactly how beautiful and special of a place this is to me. I did that in a small way through a vlog I uploaded, but nothing was quite as beautiful as when we took the boat out onto the lake.
I captured these images with my new Sony a5100 and edited only by using the auto white balance & color enhancing features. I hope you enjoy this brief peek into my trip. There are many more outfits & posts to come!
Greetings from Maine! Forget Disneyland – to me, our house in Maine is the happiest place on earth. I won’t bore you with the terribly ordinary details, but I’m amused by the most normal things. It’s so nice to escape NYC and just let time slow way down. Naturally, I had to bring my lovely Lola Belle with me to the country. She’s running free and playing with my family’s dog Duke. If you ever get the chance to visit Maine, I highly recommend it.
Since I’m in such a laid back place, my wardrobe needed to match. It’s all Sorels, chic sweatshirts, fur vests, and scarves this week. It’s so simple and so lovely!
Rose gold chain necklace: BaubleBar (no longer available online, similar here)
Step away from the chaos. Disengage from the madness. It’s time to stop giving him our most precious resource: our attention.
(the goddess Selena & her hips are the only spin cycle I acknowledge)
I’ve spent the past few weeks watching too much Charmed, so forgive me if this reads like an early 2000s WB drama, but that man is stealing all our energy. It’s hard to know what stage of grief we’re on because with every new Executive Order, tweet, or unorthodox press conference, the grief cycle resets. These first seven days have felt like I was trapped in an aggressive spin cycle and I desperately want out. The bad news is that he’s not going anywhere (yet), but I don’t have to keep feeding into his sick cycle carousel and neither do you.
Protecting ourselves from the chaos of the news cycle doesn’t mean that we don’t care about the issues. In many ways, the speed at which this administration creates headlines has more in common with fast fashion than we’re comfortable admitting. A short life cycle, shoddy construction, and dangerous working conditions are just a few of the similarities between our current political climate and disposable clothing, not to mention an inferior fit. But now that we’ve made our final sale impulse purchase, we’ve got to make the best of a bad outfit.
As someone whose online and offline worlds are seamlessly blended, I understand the temptation to stare at the never-ending stream of tweets from respected reporters out of FOMO. In an effort to help you recharge, refocus, and maintain some semblance of self-care, I’m sharing a few of my coping strategies.
Consume tweets responsibly
Twitter can be the best resource for news, but in times of change, it can also be incredibly overwhelming. Twitter Moments were initially heavily criticized and misunderstood, but they have evolved into a dynamic source for the latest trending topics, political and otherwise. If you’ve been away from the platform for a few hours, it’s an easy way to catch up on the highlights.
For something more curated, I highly recommend creating a List of your favorite journalists covering the White House and referencing that List instead of your streaming timeline as a way to temper the flow of information. Following editorial properties, like Politico or The Hill, can get overwhelming due to the sheer volume of daily content, so add these to your List with caution.
In only seven days, there have been many references to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and a resurgence of interest in George Orwell’s 1984. Both are dystopian novels that feel all too familiar in this regressive time. Connecting with physical copies of books not only releases us from the temptation of checking our notifications, but it also transports us away from sources of stress into another world entirely. Escapism is a completely valid – and necessary – form of coping.
Until last year, pillow mist was my most frequent type of aromatherapy. After a friend relied on peppermint oil to relieve her nausea and graciously shared her remedy after a medication turned my world upside down, I became converted. I discovered an aromatherapy diffuser at my family’s house in Maine on my last visit and it has regularly helped relieve my stress when life gets a little too intense. I’ve also turned to my friend Nicole at Stone Cold Betch for essential oil uses and blend recommendations. Fragrance can help to recalibrate your space, so whether it’s through aromatherapy or your favorite candle, the slightest infusion can make the biggest difference.
Political news can be like an iceberg, with the headline floating above the surface and complex details hidden below. Stories need time to develop, which is why I advocate for the measured consumption of quality coverage. But don’t get me wrong. We’re all going to get trapped by click bait and breaking news, but I believe that subscribing to institutions like the NYT will contribute to the relentless pursuit of truth we so desperately need.
Work in our own community
While it’s satisfying to know that our #resist tweets are getting under his skin, online activism can only go so far. Protests are an effective form of resistance not only because of their disruptive nature, but through empowerment that comes from uniting with other like-minded people around a central cause. To sustain that momentum, it’s vital that we organize our efforts locally. A great starting point is with the Women’s March On Washington’s plan for 10 actions in the first 100 days. Thinking more locally (for NYC where I live), there’s a helpful website called We Are New York Values that has categorized local organizations that need volunteers, support, and resources. If you’re not in NYC, I hope that you’re able to connect with local groups through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
If you have a tip or resource to include in this list, please share in the comments below.
As I edited these photos, the first set that I shot on my recent trip to Maine, I realized how closely they reflected what I was feeling at the time. A little lost, a little confused, and with an overwhelming sense of being half in/half out of life.
The woods feel like home to me. When I was younger & would threaten to “run away”, I’d disappear into a makeshift camp in the woods behind our barn. I’d sit there for hours with botany and bird identification books, and a notebook for my thoughts. Sometimes I’d be accompanied by my dog or my horse, but mostly it was the silence of the woods, the expanse of nature, and the noise of my mind. These days, sitting still for hours feels nearly impossible and yet, there’s something about being surrounded by trees and the soft rustle of the breeze that makes time pass in a much gentler way.
But onto the clothes! You might remember this dress from my piece on the CUT For Evans festival-inspired collection. From the moment I first saw the images, this dress called out to me. The mixed textures, combining the tougher chambray with the softer floral sleeves, plays with a duality that always delights my senses. I added a turquoise necklace for a more earthly feel and of course, the classic Chelsea boots that go with absolutely everything.
If I have one wish for you, it’s that you get out into the woods at some point during this fall. Make friends with a squirrel. Touch some moss. Listen to the rustle of the leaves. Be completely still. Let nature fill your soul up from the inside out.
My favorite thing about my trips to Maine is the silence. Not the physical sounds of the woods, but the lack of noise from outside stimulation. In many ways, I thrive on the energy of the city but it also takes from my spirit just as much as it gives. In the serenity of the woods, it feels as if I can take the time to create, while in NYC everything is on a time table. When the world is rushing around you, it can be difficult to steady yourself.
During my trip, I’d grab my tripod & my trusty Canon T3i to shoot outfit photos. Lola would come with me, sometimes photobombing my shots, and sometimes running off to cavort with a neighbor’s dog. During this particular shoot, she was content sitting on the sidelines as I pranced back and forth across the road. I cropped her out of most photos, but I left a couple shots of her in just for giggles.
Seasonally, I take color cues from nature. My rule is that if the color can be found in nature, it’s fair game to wear. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, especially as it pertains to blue. In a sea of black, it feels jarring to wear brighter shades, and yet on the best of days, the sky is as bright as can be. This ELOQUII colorblocked dress feels like it was made to be paired with a leather jacket, toughening up the sweet flowers and punchy colors. I love the thick red stripe around the waist, eliminating the need for a belt. The black collar pulls it all together perfectly. Some fit notes, however. I’m wearing a size 28 and I feel like the bottom half of the dress runs a little small. If you carry most of your weight in your stomach, as I do, order mindfully.