HOME TOUR WITH CARLY BURSON prepare to get crazy inspired

20151101LK Carly tour-085 Have you been following along on our Home Tour series? We travel around the country and find interesting people doing cool things, step inside their home, and get to know what makes their space a home. From Austin, Texas to Des Moines, Iowa we’ve fond artists, makers, prop stylists, graphic designers, and now the founder of sustainable accessory & apparel line, Tribe Alive.

Tucked in one of Ft. Worth’s charming neighborhoods, we are hanging out with Carly & her adorable daughter today and talking all things creative, inspiration, and what makes a good dinner party. Take a look & prepare to leave feeling very inspired.

20151101LK Carly tour-002INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Hi, I am Carly Burson. I am 32, currently living in Fort Worth, TX & I am the Founder & CEO of Tribe Alive

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR SPACE?

The light. We have windows everywhere you turn and every room is saturated with beautiful and bright light.

carly_1WHAT HAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE BEEN?

Since becoming a mother I’ve had to let go of some of my expectations for how my home is styled. Though I am not a believer in children taking over a home, it’s just reality that their things and activities will end up becoming a part of your space. I want my daughter to be able to play and create no matter where she is so I work to incorporate things into each room that appeal to her imagination and my taste. It’s a challenge but fortunately there are some really great children’s brands out there with stylish options.

20151101LK Carly tour-188HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO GIVE YOUR HOME SUCH A COHESIVE LOOK? WE ARE OBSESSED!

My style is pretty minimal and rooted in a love of neutrals, clean lines and soft textures. I consider my taste fairly simple which makes cohesion easy to achieve.

YOU SEEM LIKE SUCH A FANTASTIC HOSTESS, ANY SECRETS FOR GREAT HOSPITALITY?

I’m far from a great hostess but because I come from a long line of them I’ve learned a few things over the years. Growing up I watched the women in my family plan everything around food. It’s how we celebrate time together and in a way it’s how we show love. For me hosting people in my home always involves great food. Or what I hope is great food.

20151101LK Carly tour-233WHAT IS A MUST HAVE FOR A GOOD DINNER PARTY?

Real conversation. Life is short and time is precious and there’s just no room for small talk. Discuss things that matter and open up the opportunity to learn something from each other in the process.

20151101LK Carly tour-323HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR INTERIOR STYLE?

My interior style is centered around neutrals, modern classics and minimalism. I believe in simplicity and investing in fewer but better things and feel my home represents that sentiment. I wouldn’t say my style is influenced by anything or anyone in particular, but there are certainly places I look for inspiration. I gravitate toward brands like West Elm and love their take on subtle but rich textures, modern prints, clean lines, and always the best in color.

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Photography by, the lovely, Hilary Walker

THE IMPORTANCE OF MORNING ROUTINE make today awesome

IMG_4440Does your morning routine look like this: wake up, reach for your phone, check your email & texts, and maybe look at Instagram if you’ve got the extra minute? There is nothing wrong with picking up your phone first thing (hey, we are guilty of it), but sometimes a pesky email from a boss or a rude text can dictate the tone of your day & no one wants to wake up stressed out.

This month we’ve been challenging ourselves to spend ten minutes, first thing in the morning, to wake up with an easy, phone-free morning routine. Taking just ten minutes to breathe, stretch, set intention, and have a little alone time before the rush of the day kicks in is an amazing way to take back your morning & set yourself up for a healthy day.

IMG_4365SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS:

If your phone is normally plugged in to your nightstand or right next to your bed, try moving it across the room. This forces you to get up & out of bed when your alarm goes off. Normally, we would all run back to our warm, cozy bed, but this week you are going to move to the living room and spend the next 10 minutes in your new daily routine.

To help get things going, I drink a small glass of water & turn on the coffee pot. By the time the coffee is brewed and cooled down a bit, my morning routine is wrapping up and the coffee is already made. This is a great start to a morning already.

pure delight 1MEDITATE FOR 2 MINUTES

Despite what you might think about meditating, there are lots of different ways & a mass of health reasons why meditating, even a few times a week, is incredibly beneficial. I’ve been starting off my mornings by setting a timer for 2 minutes and sitting in a quiet place, with our eyes closed, focusing on our breath.

I increased those two minutes to four the next week & then again in two-minute increments as the weeks roll on. So far I am up to eight minutes & it’s the best part of my morning. Sitting in my office with a candle lit, the smell of coffee coming in through the kitchen, and eight glorious minutes to just wake up, check in with how I am feeling, and set personal intentions for my day. It’s insane how much better I feel & how my reactions have changed when met with stressful situations.

IMG_4432CELEBRATE YOUR MORNING

You did it! You woke up a few minutes early & chose to spend a little time on yourself this morning instead of jumping right into the work day grind. How do you feel? Sure, a little sleepy maybe, but hopefully you feel more grounded and prepared to take on the day.

Our days are filled with people needing things from us –  that email,  your attention, your input – and while that might just be part of the daily grind, taking a few minutes out of the morning to give yourself a little love, a good pep talk, and a great cup of coffee will help make the grind a little better.

If you are looking for a little extra love, try some Simply Pure clean coffee creamer. Only five simple ingredients & your morning cup of coffee just got seriously upgraded. I am partial to the French Vanilla, but I hear the Hazelnut is pretty divine as well.

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lauren and sylvia

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

ARTIST PROFILE | KRISTA SIMMONS your favorite food writer

Photo Mar 14, 10 42 36 PMFor all you travel-loving, Food Network obsessed birds out there, today’s profile is totally up your alley! Meet Krista Simmons, Travel & Leisure Global Corespondent, Columnist for Departures Magazine, & New York Magazine contributor – and don’t worry, that’s just her day job. When she isn’t traveling the world scoping out the best spots to eat, drink, & be merry, she is judging on Knife Fight, Top Chef Masters, and Hell’s Kitchen. Yep, get out your pens boys & girls, because her interview is not one to be missed! xoxo, LK


HELLO!

Krista Simmons

CURRENTLY BASED IN

Los Angeles, CA

YOU HAVE SUCH A GREAT JOB, TELL US ABOUT IT!

I’m a multimedia culinary travel writer and on-camera personality, which means I spend most of my time scoping out food trends and culture from around the globe, then sharing them with the world through my words, images, videos, and broadcast media. It sounds like the dream job, and to me, it absolutely is. I came to my current position organically, creating my career and carving out a niche as I developed and honed my skills and voice.

Like any self-made career, it took some time before I felt stable as a freelancer. (The hustle is very real!) I think my backbone in the food industry combined with working in a traditional newsroom has given me the chops to figure out how to build things to where they are now. Though I do still love seeing my words in print, I’m really drawn to digital media and the way stories can be told in such unique, visceral ways. I’m obsessed with accessing my audience through my social feeds — my two faves are Snapchat and Insta — and I really feel most at home when I can showcase my enthusiasm and other people’s stories on camera.

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WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I’m totally inspired by people who have mastered the art of innovative digital storytelling. So often I see news agencies and brands jumping on the bandwagon and not making the effort to put resources into creating dedicated teams for storytelling on various social platforms. I am obsessed with how Vox Media creates engaging, meaningful, rich content for Snapchat. It’s the perfect example of how you can be smart on that platform while remaining connected to the younger audience. It makes me wish I had a whole social/digital team behind me so that I could craft my own digital publication. Some day!

WHAT DOES BEING CREATIVE FOR YOU LOOK LIKE?

Being creative is about seeing the beauty in the world around you, and remembering to recognize and appreciate the abilities and gifts others have without being envious. It’s also about working hard, really There’s often this idea that being creative means you’re this crunchy hippie that just floats around creating. The most successful creatives I know also happen to have incredible business acumen, and that’s no coincidence. People sometimes think my job is to be a jet set leisure lover, and let me tell you, I never turn off. I am constantly cobbling together ideas as to how to capitalize on my creativity. Finally, it means never giving up. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been told “no,” but I’ve kept pushing. Progress isn’t made in one giant leap, it’s done in several successive small steps.

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR DAILY INSPIRATION?

I try to surround myself with positive people who are equally driven. You’re only as good as the team you surround yourself with, so rather than focussing on superficial stuff, build your #squad to be a bunch of motivated badasses rather than just a slew of pretty faces.

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HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A TRAVEL WRITER?

Since I was a little girl, I was obsessed with PBS food television — Julia Child, Martin Yan, Huell Howser, and this amazing show called “Great Chefs, Great Cities.” I traded that for cartoons every single day. I guess it was meant to be. Since I could work I’ve always been somehow involved in food, whether it be working front-of-house, harvesting produce on organic farms, or working at a winery in college. I’ve also always been into creative writing, so when the opportunity came to marry the two, I just felt compelled to make it my life’s work.

HOW DO YOU GET UN-STUCK WHEN YOU ARE IN A CREATIVE RUT?

When I’m in a rut, I know it’s time to get on the road, not on assignment, but for pleasure. I travel so much for work, and it’s a very different experience than a vacation. Even though what you may see on social media is fun fun fun, it’s exhausting collecting all that content — the video, the interviews, the air travel, the editing, all of it. Every once in a while I just need to pack up and experience something without expectations, and that generally gets me back in gear.

WHAT ADIVCE DO YOU HAVE FOR AN ASPIRING CREATIVE?

Just do you. Be true to yourself and what you love. Work hard. And definitely take some interest in learning how to market yourself and your work. The rest will follow.

WHERE CAN WE FIND MORE OF YOUR WORK?

You can find me on Instagram, Snapchat at Krista_Simmons, kristasimmons.com, and as a Global Corespondent for Travel + Leisure online. Thanks for following, and happy creating!

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photography by Wasim Muklashy

4 EASY WAYS TO REFRESH YOUR HOME FOR SPRING

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Hi friends, Kelly here! Spring is here & summer is just around the corner, so if you’ve been following along with our tips on spring cleaning, you know that we are in full de-clutter, simplify, & refresh mode. We are all about some easy (& affordable) ways to refresh your space, so we are sharing some of our favorites below!

For me, spring is a season for open windows, floral candles, and gardening. It means winter is finally over, and I can look forward to the farmer’s market, weekend getaways, and workdays from the patio! Today, I’m excited to share simple ways to refresh your home in spring!

SIMPLE WAYS TO REFRESH YOUR HOME IN SPRING

ONE | Invest in a new area rug — or swap the rooms your area rugs are in. Area rugs can completely transform a room. While you’re exploring area rug options, be sure to clean your area rugs, too! There is no better time of year to be sure your rugs are fresh and clean. (This rug by Nuloom is a new favorite of mine!)

TWO | Explore colorful accents to brighten your home. Throw pillows are my favorite home accent — but there are plenty of accents, large and small, that can brighten your space.

THREE | Bring your throw blankets out of hiding. One of my favorite ways to create a welcoming and cozy living room is to keep throw pillows and blankets in plain sight. Invest in a straw basket to store your pillows and blankets. Straw baskets are not only great for storage, but they’re pretty, too!

FOUR |Find a favorite floral candle. There’s nothing better in spring!


 written by Kelly Zugay | image

SHOP TOUR | DISTRICT

MBA_8540Chicago friends, are you ready for your new favorite furniture store? Meet Chris from District Chicago your new one-stop shop for everything mid-century, vintage finds, curated collections, and quirky little odds and ends. His shop is full of personality & you always walk out with a new favorite item! I promise, this is a shop work making a visit to the Windy City for! Check it out below.

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WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Chris Murphy

WHERE CAN WE VISIT YOUR SHOP, DISTRICT?

4835 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
312.933.1144

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SPACE?

District is a thoughtfully curated vintage (and new) furniture and home accessories store.

district 1TELL US ABOUT HOW DISTRICT GOT STARTED

District got started completely organically. All my life I collected vintage items, restored them and placed them in my home. Then, when I got sick of them, I would sell them and replace with a new vintage item. My home was always changing. 6 years ago I was in a job that I hated getting up for. It was sucking the life out of me. For the first time in my life I quit a job without having another lined up. I started interviewing with company after company and wasn’t going to settle this time. Meanwhile, money was dwindling away. I got down to $50 in my bank account and decided to sell a Mid Century Modern dresser that I had repurposed for my bedroom. It sold 30 minutes after I posted it. Although it was quick money, it didn’t click that that could be a career at that point.

That money got me through the next week and I was back at ground zero. I took what money I had left and went to a thrift store and bought another dresser. I then went to a hardware store and purchased some paint and a sander. Once finished with the dresser I listed it again on an online classifieds site and within an hour it sold! Then it hit me. I quickly turned my garage into a workshop / showroom for the items I was refinishing and next thing I knew a year had gone by. Now 6 years later, I have my own retail storefront, two great employees and an eclectic mix of refurbished vintage furniture as well as new custom sofas and even our own planter and candle lines!

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WHAT DOES BEING CREATIVE MEAN TO YOU?

Being creative, to me, means following the beat of your own drum. If you make something and it makes you or someone else happy than you are creative!

WE ARE SO INSPIRED THAT YOU’RE CONSISTENTLY ABLE TO STAY CREATIVE. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR EVERYDAY INSPIRATION?

I find my everyday inspiration through travel. Being a professional “picker” I get to travel the roads all over the United States. This lets me see things that you just don’t see on a day to day basis. Old run down towns have such character that you can’t help but dive in, get to know the locals and find out the history.

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WHEN YOU GET IN A CREATIVE RUT, HOW DO YOU GET UN-STUCK?

It’s not very often that I get in a creative rut. It’s getting harder and harder to find the good unique pieces, but as soon as I find one it automatically sparks the creative juices. I can literally look at a piece I am about to begin and feel that it speaks to me about what I should do to it!

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN OPENING UP THEIR OWN SHOP?

I would say to follow your passion. I have inspired so many of my friends to follow their dreams and build their careers. If you love what you are doing, it makes life so much more enjoyable.

district 2OKAY, WE ARE OBSESSED. WHERE CAN WE GO TO FOLLOW ALONG & BE DISTRICT JUNKIES?

We are about to launch a brand new site over here – www.districtchicago.com & Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to go for great deals, new pieces, and a deal every once and a while.

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BELEN BUTTON

HOME TOUR WITH NICK & JOSEPH

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourAre y’all ready for this insane home tour? No matter your decorating style, everyone can jive with Nick & Joseph’s love of creating a welcoming space, furniture with a story, and designing a home their friends never want to leave. We would expect nothing less coming from this dynamic duo (hello, prop stylist & graphic designer power couple) but after seeing their space we are itching to pack up and move to Des Moines and create our own little modern bungalow! 

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour

NICE TO MEET YOU:

Nick Sellers (27) and Joseph Wanek (29)

CURRENTLY LIVING IN:

Des Moines, Iowa

WHAT DO YOU DO?:

Nick: Graphic Designer at Meredith Corporation

Joseph: Freelance Prop Stylist

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour

WHEN PEOPLE WALK INTO YOUR SPACE, WHAT IS THE FEELING YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE?

We have large windows on both sides of our living room, so we want people to have a sense that they’re sitting outside. We have a large screened-in patio on the back of the house and, in the summer, we fill it with as many plants as possible. Last summer we had about 7 full-sized palm trees out there! It’s partially because we love the way plants make a space feel alive, but it’s also a way to create privacy from our neighbors.

Because we can only be outside for half the year in Iowa, at the end of the season we try to bring in as many plants as we can, so it feels like we are sitting on our patio even when it’s snowing outside. Our neighborhood is full of 1950s “California-style” ranches and that also helps dictate our space’s indoor/outdoor vibe.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWE ARE OBSESSED WITH YOUR LIVING ROOM – TELL US A BIT ABOUT IT

Given the clean lines of our mid-century home, we wanted the decor to feel fresh: decorated, but simple and modern. When we moved in together, we merged our two different styles using the items we had from previous apartments, creating an eclectic mix between mid-century and industrial. While some of our decor items are flea market finds, we have many pieces that have stories behind them. The oversized industrial coffee table was rescued from an old building Joseph’s family owned at one time, while the armchair, credenza, and other wooden mid-century pieces throughout the home are Nick’s grandmother’s original furniture. The great thing is that you could spend thousands of dollars at West Elm or CB2 for similar items, but we got them for free and they have been passed on from family members, making the space much more personal.

Another feature we love is our black accent wall. In a way, the TV visually blends in with the wall, so when it is not in use, it looks like there are just two staghorn ferns offset to the right. It’s a good way to hide electronics that would otherwise stick out.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR HOME?

We love the mid-century character of our house and that it has a better allocation of space than older sectioned-up homes we looked at in the area. For the most part, the living room, dining room, and kitchen all feel like one space, which is closer to the open concept being built in homes today. We also love that the large windows on both sides of the living room are original to the house and that the window supports create mini shelf space, the perfect spot to set more plants!

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST DESIGN CHALLENGE?

One challenge was choosing the right paint colors. Our home’s color palette goes from white to black and what seems like every shade of gray in between. Grays and whites are the hardest because you can end up with a very blue or brown gray, or a dirty beige white. While all the colors work together, each space has its own shade, giving every room its own personality.

Our other big challenge was deciding what to put on the walls. It’s tough because, art is so expensive, we’ve been waiting to find the perfect thing for above the couch and we just haven’t found it. Stuck somewhere between having bare walls and spending a small fortune, we decided to create our own art. We bought the oversized frames from Ikea and went to the Des Moines Botanical Gardens to take up-close, almost abstract photos of palm trees and got them printed on a large format printer for fairly cheap.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourView More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourIF YOUR HOUSE HAD A SPIRIT COCKTAIL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

More like, what wouldn’t it be!? We love entertaining, especially in the summer when we can be on the patio, and the type of gathering usually determines the signature drink. Our favorite mixed drinks are margaritas, mojitos, mules, and martinis but we also show wine and champagne a lot of love.

One of our favorite cocktails is one taken from a rooftop bar in San Diego. “The Cougar” has a ridiculous name, but it’s a summery take on a Greyhound.

 

THE COUGAR

2 shots pear flavored vodka

Splash of St. Germaine

Fill the rest of the glass with Simply Grapefruit juice and ice and do an optional sugared rim.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP, DO YOU HAVE ONE YOU TWO SWEAR BY?

The right playlist can make or break a party. Our favorite is Pandora’s Hipster Cocktail Party station because it can work for a dinner party or for a more lively get together.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour

DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN STYLE & WHAT INSPIRED IT

Our style is modern but still warm and livable. We have such an eclectic mix of things that it’s hard to define. We definitely think balance is key. Whereas the living room has a lot going on, we balance it out with simplicity in the other rooms. Some of our black accents bring a polished and sophisticated feel to the space and help ground the pops of color and greens from the plants and art.

Our style has many influences and is forever changing. It changes based on the space we live in, places we travel, and what we see at work. Because we both work in the world of publications and design (we both met on a photo shoot) we have the benefit of being around other creative people and seeing what great new trends are coming up.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour

WHAT IS NEXT & WHERE CAN WE FIND MORE?

Although we are at a point where we feel good with our home’s decor and renovations, we still have a long way to go. We hope everyone will check out our brand new lifestyle Instagram, @nickandjosephstyle, to see before photos of our house, travel experiences (including our recent trip to Thailand), entertaining inspiration, and upcoming DIY home projects. But let’s be real, you should actually follow it to see more pictures of our cat, Julio!

Joseph and Nick

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour


Photography by the lovely, Lauren Konrad

WHAT IS A LIFESTYLE COACH?

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 8.18.35 AMHowdy! Have you heard people talking about Lifestyle Coaching? It’s kind of like a Life Coach (but different) and also kind of like a Business Coach (but also different). Luckily, we happen to have a Lifestyle Coach on the LK team & she allowed us to ask all the questions you’ve been wondering. So, meet your new best friend, Natalie Canizares! 

Dying to know what the eff a Lifestyle Coach is & why you really might love one? Read on!


WHAT IS A LIFESTYLE COACH?

A Lifestyle Coach is someone who partners with you to help you achieve your goals by dismantling limiting beliefs and unhelpful patterns while also holding you accountable and cheering you on. It’s almost like having your own personal cheerleader in the arena of your well being, who isn’t afraid to tell you how it is.

I personally focus a lot on balance as a coach because I feel it’s so key to maintaining long-term success. Balance to me looks like being able to indulge without feeling like you’ve completely ruined your life! It’s not about being perfect, it’s about knowing how to come back to your center whenever you feel off.

 

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WORK WITH A LIFESTYLE COACH?

People work with me because they want to:

  • Lose weight
  • Increase their energy
  • Manage stress
  • Ditch dieting
  • Stop counting calories
  • Feel better in their skin
  • Gain confidence
  • Feel mentally clear
  • Start a yoga practice
  • Sleep better
  • Improve complexion
  • Improve digestion
  • And the list continues…

Essentially coaching is meant to help you get from where you are to where you want to be as quickly and efficiently as possible.

 

WHO WORKS WITH A LIFESTYLE COACH?

Coaching is great for someone who is ready to commit to change but isn’t sure how to really make that happen for themselves.

HOW DOES LIFESTYLE COACHING WORK?

Logistically speaking I work with clients virtually and via telephone so I’m able to help women all around the world from the comfort of their own homes.

The way I work with clients is 50% mindset 50% practical tools. This is a big reason why people see results, pretty much right away, because we don’t just talk about what’s going on for you and what you can improve, we create actionable steps you can take immediately. So after every session you walk away with clear things to work on. Each week builds upon the last week and brings you closer and closer to your goal. With the ultimate goal being that these new healthy habits become integrated into your life so much so that they become second nature.

One aspect of my coaching that can be really helpful is learning how to eat for your body specifically. There is so much contradicting nutrition information out there and it can be extremely confusing to try to understand what you should and shouldn’t eat. I help people cut through the fluff and learn how to eat in a way that really works for them. No two bodies are completely identical and sometimes the smallest tweak in your diet can make a huge difference in the way you look and more importantly in the way you feel.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LIFESTYLE COACH & A NUTRITIONIST? 

From my understanding nutritionists and dietitians mostly focus on food and meal planning. While I absolutely help people improve their diets that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Aside from diet I also teach breath work (to alleviate stress and balance the body), meditation, personalized yoga classes, and other self-care practices.

 

WHY DID YOU BECOME A COACH?

After years of struggling with body image issues and imbalanced health I became passionate about nutrition and lifestyle and how I could improve these things for myself. My path led me to working with a Life Coach, which is when I realized I too could help other women find balance in their bodies and lives. As soon as I realized this I enrolled in school and started my business, and that was almost three years ago!

 

So, what do you think? To help empower you to feel like the beautiful, amazing, bad asses that they are, Natalie is offering free 30 minute strategy sessions! Click here & get ready to kick that goals ass!


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5 STEPS FOR SPRING CLEANING YOUR SPACE

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Well hello you beautiful spring-time birds! If you’ve been around LK HQ even for a little bit, you know we are not shy about our love for spring cleaning. Chuck those chunky sweaters into storage until next season, pack up those ponchos, and demote those down jackets to storage – spring cleaning week is here & we have a plan!


Hello! Kelly here & about a month ago, my husband and I marked a Spring Cleaning Weekend on our calendars… and suddenly I’ve realized our Spring Cleaning Weekend is happening this weekend! (cue scary music)

Despite having lots of work ahead, spring cleaning has to be one of my favorite things to do. I love the feeling of a fresh start, a clean house, and the satisfaction of making sure we have only what we need.

I love the feeling of a fresh start, a clean house, and the satisfaction of making sure we have only what we need.

If you’re going to be spring cleaning, too, I recommend taking a peek at a couple of my favorite resources for living simply: Un-Fancy and The Minimalists! Both resources share a lot of amazing content — all about living simply and doing more by having less. Definitely worth reading!

SPRING CLEANING

We wouldn’t be prepared for our Spring Cleaning Weekend without a plan. Here are a few of my favorite tips for spring cleaning:

1. Clean room by room. Spring cleaning can be overwhelming when you think of your entire house. By cleaning room by room, you’ll allow yourself to feel accomplished when each room has been cleaned.

2. Clean from the top down. When dusting shelves and cleaning cabinets, you may find yourself getting the messy all over again. Clean high up surfaces first, so you can finish up by cleaning or vacuuming the floor.

3. Get organized. As you’re cleaning, be mindful of what you want to keep and what you want to donate. Create and fill a donation box along the way. When we’re finished cleaning our house, it’s super easy — and rewarding — to pack up the boxes and bring them to Goodwill for donating!

4. Use natural cleaning products, if possible. I’m a big fan of using natural cleaning products, for overall safety and wellness. (This is my favorite multi-surface cleaning product!)

5. Let the fresh air in. The best part about spring is finally being able to open windows and let fresh air in. I love the feeling of a spring breeze coming through our house.


written by Kelly Zugay | image

STUDIO TOUR WITH THE CITIZENRY

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Are you guys ready for the most amazing studio feature ever? Get ready to go behind the scenes of Dallas-based, socially conscious home décor company The Citizenry. Not only are their products amazing (but, seriously, go shop their collections right now) the company has the most amazing heart behind it. Founders, Carly & Rachel, take us to the back of the shop, show us what being socially conscious yet design forward means to them, how to turn your passion into a full-time job, and some stellar advice.

If this doesn’t get you inspired on a variety of levels, we’ve got to check that pulse. Pour yourself a cup of coffee (or wine, no judgement), scroll down, and get ready to meet your new favorite girl bosses.

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NAMES:

Carly Nance & Rachel Bentley, Co-founders of The Citizenry

CURRENTLY LOCATED IN:

Dallas, TX

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR WORK:

RACHEL: The Citizenry is a socially conscious home décor company that partners with artisans around the globe to bring their stories and artistry to the modern home. The idea behind the company really came from our own frustrations trying to find beautifully crafted items for our own homes. We were looking for high quality, handcrafted pieces, from a company serious about social impact and sustainability, at prices that didn’t break the bank. That’s a tough combination to find. We started researching and realized there was an opportunity in the market to create this home décor brand we wished already existed.

CARLY: When we thought about the items we treasured most in our homes, they all had a story behind them – either the story of the maker or the place where it was from. We decided to build a site and design products that give people the next-best experience to traveling the world and meeting these master craftsmen face-to-face. Our model is a little different from other brands that source artisanal goods. Every item on our site is an exclusive design that we develop in partnership with artisans around the world. We also sell all these pieces directly to consumers online, so people can get luxury-quality items at the fairest prices possible (no unnecessary middlemen or additional retail markups). We also take a different approach to our artisan partnerships. We work under fair trade standards and invest in long-term sustainable partnerships. In addition, we invest 10% of proceeds back into the artisan communities we work with.

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TALK TO US ABOUT INSPIRATION – WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST?

CARLY: Each season we design a new collection inspired by and crafted in another corner of the world. We built that into our model because we’re both so inspired by other cultures and their crafts. We now work with over 300 artisans across 4 countries, and interactions with each artisan group usually light huge creative sparks during the development process. That’s why we insist on traveling to every artisan workshop and visiting our partners in person.

There’s something really inspiring about watching our partners execute techniques and designs they’ve been making for centuries. My design inspiration always comes from a traditional pattern or technique to start, and then we work to put a modern spin on the design.

RACHEL: I’d say that I draw inspiration from the beautiful, natural materials. I’m obsessed with quality – and we pick geographies for new collections based on the quality of a particular natural resource, like leather or rare fibers, and then we highlight that material in our designs.

For instance, in Argentina, we work exclusively with the most premium leathers sourced from the rich grasslands of the “pampas” and use vegetable- based tannins to soften and enrich its natural beauty. In Peru, alpaca is the star. For our throws, we selected weaves that make the alpaca material as soft as it can be and the result is just brilliant.

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WE ARE CURIOUS, WHAT DOES BEING CREATIVE MEAN TO YOU TWO?

RACHEL: Whether it be art, furniture, or ideas, creativity is bringing disparate things together in a way that’s uniquely your own.

CARLY: Solving problems in new ways or with a unique point of view.

WE ARE SO INSPIRED YOU TWO ARE ABLE TO STAY SO CREATIVE. WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION IN THE EVERY DAY?

CARLY: I do my best to surround myself with inspiring people who challenge me to continue to think differently. I constantly have email threads going with my creative circle of friends and former colleague. The brief: send something that’s really beautiful, really inspiring, or really useful. That’s it. The ideas, imagery, and thoughts in my inbox tend to light little creative fires.

RACHEL: Inspiration starts at home for me. Because my primary focus is on managing the operations and finances of The Citizenry, by the time the weekend comes, I’m desperate to do something more creative and hands-on. On Saturday mornings, I typically recharge by spending a few hours baking, planting succulents, or flipping through design books.

_K1A0510_webTELL US ABOUT THE START OF THE CITIZENRY. HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO TURN YOUR PASSION INTO A BUSINESS?

CARLY: I spent my career working in consumer insights and brand strategy at different advertising agencies, and it felt like it was time to put my money where my mouth was and try to build a brand of my own. The Citizenry is a combination of all my personal passions: travel, design, and doing a bit of good in the world. I really believe the things you’re passionate about are not random. Somehow they are your calling, and you should pursue them. I decided to take the leap way before I was officially “ready,” but it’s been an incredible adventure ever since.

RACHEL: During my time at Bain, I sought out projects that focused on consumer goods and building incredible retail experiences. Once we did the research to prove there was an opportunity for The Citizenry to marry consumer demand with building market access for talented artisans around the world – well, I wasn’t turning back. I believe what we accomplish with our artisan partners everyday is profoundly important, even though it’s deeply challenging. That combination keeps me motivated to keep pushing forward.

_K1A0493_webWE ARE CURIOUS, WHEN YOU ARE IN A CREATIVE RUT HOW DO YOU GET UN-STUCK?

CARLY: I pour a cup of coffee or glass of wine (depending on time of day) and peruse old travel photos and notes from past artisan visits. I always find something inspiring – an image, a moment, or feeling – when I look back at glimmers of adventures past.

If that doesn’t work, a trip to the local art museum or any well-designed space tends to get the wheels turning.

RACHEL: Walk the streets of whatever city I’m in at the moment. Running in Central Park never fails. Or get outdoors into some beautiful countryside.

_K1A0960_webWHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING CREATIVES?

RACHEL: As a woman, you’re always quicker to doubt yourself and your own capabilities and experiences than you should. Some fraction of those concerns may be valid, but the majority aren’t. So, ignore all of them.

CARLY: Trust your gut. Be a ruthless editor of your own work. And always be prepared to fail. If you’re not walking on that scary ledge, you’ll never create anything truly original.

Oh and above all, forgive yourself. That’s a big one. Everything you create won’t be insanely amazing, and that’s ok. Be grateful for who you are today but keep fighting for what you want to create and what you want to eventually become.

_K1A0830_webWHERE CAN WE GO TO FIND MORE GOODIES FROM THE CITIZENRY?

Head to www.the-citizenry.com or follow along on Instagram. There’s a lot more about our behind the scenes process on the blog.

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5 WAYS TO FOCUS ON WELLNESS

image185New Year’s is always the time to make resolutions, set goals, and re-commit to life changing habits, but I always feel that way about Spring. The snow has melted, the birds are started to chirp, warm weather is slowing sneaking in, and I always feel re-energized to set goals and make things happen.

This season, we are all about wellness. Not wellness in terms of the latest fitness trend, but wellness in terms of mind, body, and spirit. We are trying to take time for ourselves, put healthy boundaries around commitments, and do things away from our computers that inspire us. So, naturally, I wanted to share five ways we are focusing on our wellness!

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ONE: Schedule some “you time”

Personally, I love baths. I love alone time & I love taking 20 minutes to slip into a bath, away from screens, and unwind (a glass of wine doesn’t hurt the process). But, much like you, “me time” is the first to go when things get busy & life gets hectic.

I encourage you to make “me time” as important as those happy hours with friends. Without dedicated time carved out in your schedule to be alone, pamper yourself, or indulge in something (a good book, a dance class, lunch at the museum, etc.) there is a tendency to burn out, get stressed out, or exhaust oneself. Cut that terrible cycle off by making time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a ton of time, maybe just 15 minutes a day just doing something that you love. Try it out & see how it changes things.

TWO: Feed your body well

Natalie, our fabulous Health & Wellness contributor talks a lot about checking in with your body after meals & asking yourself how you feel after eating. To me, this is better than any dieting trick because when you choose to feed your body well, your body feels really good & wants to keep going & kicking ass right alongside you.

A lot of times we are so busy thinking about other things that we don’t realize how we feel after we eat.  If you take a moment after a meal to notice how you feel it can be extremely informative. This will allow you to make choices in the future based on feeling rather than guidelines that you follow. You will know that after you three slices of pizza you feel bloated and tired and after you eat a salad with salmon and avocado you feel satiated and energized. Therefore the next time you are presented with the opportunity to choose what you want to eat you can remember how you felt after you ate that specific thing. Making a decision is a lot easier when it comes from a place of feeling as opposed to from remembering what’s on your list of “yes” foods and “no” foods.

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THREE: Simplify your beauty routine

Rethinking your beauty routine might seem like an easy one to skip, but hear us out! Replacing those products on your counter with clean, non-toxic options will help your skin in the long run & ensure a healthy body inside & out. Ditch your trendy face wash full of ingredients you can’t pronounce with clean products like JĀSÖN Gentle Basics.

Their Gentle Basics Facial Cleanser is ultra-mild, hypoallergenic for dry, sensitive skin and doesn’t cause redness or irritation. Great for exfoliating all that icky winter skin away & it’s free of parabens, so your skin will be looking healthy & radiant, naturally!

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FOUR: Be intentional

If there is one thing I want to improve in my wellness routine, it’s becoming more intentional about my time & less anxious about my to-do list. Okay, well technically that’s two, but, to me, they go hand in hand.

We are pulling a page out of Yoga’s book and trying to set intentions for our day. Meditating on these intentions throughout the day help with emotional stability (meaning, they calm our anxious minds) and stress reduction. It is important to set an intention rather than a goal, because intentions happen from the inside where goals are more external. Intentions can be anything from, “I intend to make someone smile today” to “I intend to let myself be happy.” Coming back to those intentions when things get out of hand, hard to handle, or so messy you just want to give up, will help center you, re-focus your mind, and give you the calming kick in the butt to keep going that you needed.

FIVE: Fill your mind with good things

 It’s tempting to come home after a long day & turn on the TV and zone out a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Netflix binge-watch session, but sometimes it’s better to turn the TV off and fill your mind with things other than the latest House of Cards season.

Pour a glass of wine, slip into something more comfortable, and spent the night reading something good. Whether it’s the latest New Yorker or something random off your bookshelf, it’s important to expose yourself to new things. Boost your imagination and creativity, get inspired to do something new, or indulge in a little self improvement, no matter the reason, reading allows you to unplug & unwind while stimulating your brain in a new way!

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This post was sponsored byJĀSÖN Gentle Basics. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!