Glitter in the Dark

When Zhenya from Being Zhenya came to us with the idea of incorporating glitter into a photoshoot, we wanted to do something different. Although glitter is often seen for its unicorn-like qualities, we wanted to do something that was opposite of unicorns: darkness. 

We wanted to juxtapose the glitter with darkness to represent the mask we all sometimes put on. Although we may cover ourselves with things that are happy on the outside, that doesn't always reflect how we're feeling on the inside.  With that being said, it's also clear that this brightness can also be further illuminated in the dark. 

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Jo Marie MKE x Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique

A few weekends ago, we had the pleasure of partnering with fellow Milwaukee blogger, Jo from Jo Marie MKE and her journey of saying "yes" to her dress at Miss Ruby , a bridal boutique in Milwaukee. 

Finding the perfect dress for one of the most important days of your life can be overwhelming, but it's usually an overwhelming feeling of happiness and support from those around you. 

We had the pleasure of photographing Jo's journey with her best friends and family as she tried on a variety of dresses. She looked like an absolute princess and said, "yes!" Check out some of the photos and dresses below. Obvoiusly, we would never show any photos of her actual dress--we ain't bout to ruin that surprise. 

Thanks to Josette for asking us to tag along for such a special moment. We couldn't be more excited to share these photos with her and with you.

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How To Hygge

Since we started planning our trip to Denmark this winter, we also started researching Danish culture and trying to learn some of the language. ("Haj!!!") One of the things that kept popping up when learning about Danish culture was the concept of "Hygge". Hygge, pronounced "HOO-GA", is an atmosphere intentionally created for maximum coziness and joy. That's the easiest way to explain it. It can mean anything from hanging out by a fireplace, drinking hot cocoa, eating tasty pastries, wearing giant sweaters, basically anything that makes you feel like you're getting a giant hug. 

We were totally enamored with the idea of Hygge and have tried our best to adopt it into our every day life. Here are some ways that we try live a hygge life on the daily: 

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Candles

We have at least one candle lit at all times. We usually have one scented candle lit and then other non-scented candles lit throughout our apartment. It's the greatest feeling to be able to turn off all of your lights at night and to just sit with candles. 

Our favorite scented candles are ones with warm tones to them. Some favorites include this Mahogany Tobacco candle from Target, this Tabac and Leather candle from Crate and Barrel, and the Camp Kinnickinnic Candle from Big White Yeti. 

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Baths

Nothing goes better with candles than a warm bath. We love filling up the bathtub and surrounding it with candles. The most important part of a bath, of course, is making it smell amazing. Some of our favorite bath products include Dr. Teal's Relax & Relief Bubble Bath and Fern & Nettle's Bath Tea

Music

Along with a perfect bath, relaxation music or sounds are key. Kaitlyn loves to relax with relaxation music or meditations (such as Oprah & Deepak's Meditation Experience). 

Alex prefers Bon Iver, but if you're doing hygge right, then you could really listen to anything. Even metal music, I suppose...

Card Games

We're super competitive people. So we get REALLY into board games and card games. While it may not be the most relaxing thing, we love sitting down for a game of Uno or Egyptian Rat Screw. 

Sweaters

If there's an excuse to wear a sweater, you better believe we're going to be wearing one. There were even some days this summer where we just turned on our air to be able to wear sweaters, watch Christmas movies, and pretend that it was snowing outside (we're not the hugest fan of warm weather, if that wasn't already obvious). 

Really, to the Danes and to us, hygge is just intentionally being happy with the little things. Trying to minimize and be content with small moments can really be harder than it sounds. So if we can give you a piece of advice, sit down with someone you love, light some candles (and a fireplace if you can!), make your favorite dish, drink your favorite beverage and soak in that moment. Clear your mind of all the little things nagging for your attention and just sit and be in love with that single moment.

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Tell us! How do you Hygge in your every day life?

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. 

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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.