8/19/2017

On Saturday night, we gathered with our parents and Kaitlyn's two brothers on the shores of Lake Michigan and got married. Kaitlyn's best friend of 21 years officiated the ceremony and we wrote our own vows to each other. It was short, small, and sweet--everything we ever wanted. 

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Sunflower Fields Forever

Although we love traveling and experiencing different cultures, it can be incredible what you can find in your own backyard. Well, not literally your backyard, but like two hours out of your backyard. This weekend, we took a mini trip to see the Pope Farm Conservancy in Verona, Wisconsin. This farm features 9 acres of giant sunflowers that are in bloom for a short period of time every year. 

The fields are stunning and look like something out of a fairy tale. The fields are crowded with families, friends, photographers, and painters who look forward to the field's blooms every year. 

The fields themselves are run by a non-profit organization (The Friends of the Pope Farm Conservancy) whose mission is to educate and share the beauty of nature.

According to their website they hope to "preserve the balance of its wildlife habitat and historical features, and protect its scenic landscapes and tranquility for the enjoyment of the public."

The last day to visit the fields is August 20.

With all of the hate and turmoil currently being spread by humans in the world today, it was refreshing to see that the beauty of nature still persists. 

Take a moment to look at the beauty that's around you and near you. What are some cool nature spots near you that you like to travel to for a moment of peace? 

HerStory: Julia Nusbaum

When I first stumbled across, HerStory, a website dedicated to telling women's stories, I knew I had to talk to the creator. And when I found out that were practically neighbors, I got even more excited to tell her story. 

Last week, Julia Nusbaum and I sat down for coffee (along with a torrential downpour) to discuss HerStory and what inspires her. 

Julia was inspired to start HerStory after her work with the non-profit, Thistle Farms. Thistle Farms is a non-profit that helps women who have been sex-trafficked and provides them shelter and helps them build business skills. Julia ran a writing workshop with the women at Thistle Farms and discovered the power of healing and understanding that can be made through storytelling. Not only did Julia see this in other women, but she saw this within herself as well. 

"By learning your own story, you learn so much about how you see the world," Julia said. 

After her work at Thistle Farms, Julia was inspired to create HerStory in 2015. HerStory is a platform that tells women's stories through interviews, fiction, and poetry. 

The name, HerStory, was inspired by Julia's experience as a history major. As a self-proclaimed "stubborn feminist", Julia took as many women's history courses as she could, but found it ridiculous that she had to take specialty courses in order to hear about women in history. 

While in standard history courses, Julia was always left wondering, "Well what was happening to women? We have our own stories that you don't hear about unless you go digging."

Julia wanted to create a place to house women's stories from history and from the present. Even the name itself, HerStory, was a play on the word "history". 

Julia said that the most rewarding part of this whole experience has been hearing from other women who have never had a place to share their stories before. It reminds her that all of her hard work is worth it. People being able to tell their stories makes them feel less alienated. 

"Nobody's alone in a situation," Julia said. 

Each month, HerStory focuses on a theme and Julia specifically remembers women coming together in a powerful way after one month's theme of pregnancy loss. 

"Women were so open and raw," Julia said. "And they were so appreciative of having a place to tell their stories." 

In the future, Julia hopes to conduct more interviews an include stories from a wider population to create a wider and diverse audience. 

If you would like to tell your story, email Julia at herstryblg@gmail.com. 

VIsit HerStory online and on Instagram!

 

On Being Whimsical

It's always so strange to look back at your childhood and compare the person you were then to the person you are now. It's even more terrifying when you get into the middle-school years and you think about the wanna-be punk rock, goth girl you used to be (strong emphasis on the "wanna-be"), but that's a story for another time. 

This past weekend, I took a little time to be a tourist in my own city with my dear friend, Zhenya (from Being Zhenya), and we went to check out The Domes. 

As a kid, I remember The Domes (a set of three conservatories) being huge spaces that transported me to other worlds, with millions of plants and birds that I could easily get lost in. 

As an adult, however, while still magical, The Domes seemed to be so much smaller. It's strange how as a kid you can build something up to be so massive and other-worldly in your mind. 

Like I said though, just because I grew bigger, doesn't mean that The Domes weren't any less magical. My least favorite dome used to be the desert dome (I was never a fan of warm weather), but as an adult, I found it to be my favorite. I loved all of the cacti and succulents and I even made a new bird bestie. 

                                                                                                    Shirt: LOFT//Skirt: Target

                                                                                                    Shirt: LOFT//Skirt: Target

Sometimes I wish that I could go back in time and have the imagination that I used to have. It's incredible to think that every place I encountered as a kid could be a crazy magical world inside of my head. The possibilities were endless and the world had no limits. While it's good to be practical (sometimes), there's something whimsical in breaking through the "real" world and thinking about what could be. 

Milwaukee Patio Series: Palomino

Both of us are huge fans of Southern comfort food and some great southern dishes can be found at Palomino, located in Bayview. 

On the outside Palomino looks like any other Wisconsin bar. Shimmering neon and cream city brick are familiar greetings, but Palomino isn't just any ole Wisconsin bar. Real and real good southern food, a fantastic beer and liquor menu, and southern decor that would make a Texan proud are just a few of those details.

The patio at Palomino is super inviting and is decorated with little gardens that separate you from the street. There's not much car traffic to begin with, but it really helps you feel secluded!

One of our favorite things to get from Palomino is the Mac and Cheese (Kaitlyn thinks it's the best in Milwaukee). It's made with Pimento peppers and has a perfect bite of spice with it's cheesy goodness. 

Palomino also features pies and desserts from Honeypie Cafe, which is the best pie in Milwaukee. We would highly suggest trying their salted honey or salted caramel pies. 

Do you have any suggestions on patios that we should review next? Are you a restaurant that would like us to write about your patio? Email us at hello@sayhellostory.com

Penny Snark

Pin-up queen and modern day Snow White, Jenny, is a Milwaukee-based fashion blogger who is changing the way we perceive fashion and ourselves. 

Jenny first started blogging in college, but found it hard to publish consistent content while being a student. She took a break, started blogging about Milwaukee and now last May, she started her new blogging adventure: The Sconnie Sling. The Sconnie Sling is a little slice of the internet that celebrates vintage fashion, geekiness, and woman empowerment. 

Jenny's first experience in the pinup fashion community was at Dapper Days at Disney World last year where she met other like-minded fashionable ladies. It inspired her to keep going with fashion blogging. 

Her favorite part about fashion blogging has been the connections she'd made with other women in the community. 

"I think a lot of people have this assumption that women who care a lot about fashion are vain or close-minded or judgmental, but it's really not true," Jenny said.  "The women that I've met through the pinup scene have been so supportive and always about building each other up."

Through blogging and Instagramming, Jenny has met many great women who encourage each other to be their true selves. Jenny hopes to spread this encouragement to all of her follower and hopes she can encourage people to be unafraid to be their true selves. 

"We all spend too much time second-guessing ourselves and denying ourselves happiness out of fear," Jenny said. 

One way that Jenny was able to take control of her own fear was through selfies. 

"People can be really judgy about selfies, but taking photos of myself has had such a big positive impact on the way that I see myself," Jenny said. 

In the future, Jenny hopes to continue to help others to normalize, understand, and celebrate their own bodies. She also hopes to someday collaborate with designers and makers on a curated collection or dress. 

If you're interested in collaborating or just want to say, "hey!", check out Jenny on Instagram and over on her blog!

Milwaukee Patio Series: Cafe Hollander

In our ideal world, we would be living in Denmark, and sitting in a tiny cafe overlooking the streets of Copenhagen, munching on some Smorrebrod. But since we're obviously not there, it's always great to have a place here in Milwaukee that feels like you may just be in Europe. 

Cafe Hollander has been a go-to spot for beer and brunch in Milwaukee for many years, so it would be foolish if we didn't include it in our Milwaukee Patio Series. 

With four different locations in the Milwaukee area, we hit up the Downer location the other night for some beer, frites, and salad (it's all about balance, right?) 

Cafe Hollander has an entire book dedicated to its beer list featuring beer from all around the world. If you can't find a beer you like on this menu, then you probably don't like beer at all. We decided to sip on some Hoegaarden, a Belgian beer that's over 500 years old. 

The frites are a must at Cafe Hollander. Definitely get it in a cone (because you'll need it) and try some of their fabulous dipping sauces. We highly recommend the siracha mayo, garlic aioli, and basil aioli. The rest of their menu is inspired by the European lowlands and has other Dutch and Belgian staples.

Cafe Hollander's patio feels like it was taken directly out of Amsterdam and plopped into the middle of Milwaukee. With a cobblestone floor and aged fountain, it truly has a magical quality to it. At night, there are also stringed patio lights that add to the magic. 

Needless to say, Cafe Hollander is a go-to spot for many locals and tourists for a reason. And plus, look at how happy River is. 

Do you have any suggestions on patios that we should review next? Are you a restaurant that would like us to write about your patio? Email us at hello@sayhellostory.com

The Perfect Romper

I have been on the lookout for the perfect romper for a long time. I'm not a huge fan of wearing shorts, but for some reason, if it's in a romper form, it feels more like you're wearing a dress. 

When I was in Memphis this past week, I stumbled upon the cutest shop: Red Velvet Vintage. I was immediately overwhelmed because I wanted to buy everything in the store; from the cute bird blouse, to the 70s-inspired embroidered jumpsuit, to the 50s glam prom dress. I probably tried on at least ten different items and fell in love with all of them, but I couldn't pass this romper up. 

I love anything and everything that looks like it has time-traveled from the 50s, so this romper was a clear love-at-first-sight situation. 

I'm so thrilled with it. With a built-in bra that actually supports, it truly feels like you're wearing pajamas or a swimsuit, which is perfect for hot and humid summer days. 

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Romper: Red Velvet Vintage//Shoes: Old Navy//Bag: Ipsy