At Home

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This little nook of mine is really starting to feel a like home. It could possibly be because of all the time I’ve been spending inside, away from this crazy winter. Nonetheless, I am not complaining. These windows hardly hinder my dose of sunshine and the snowy days look beautiful… from inside.
Here is the first peek into my space, my home.

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It is slowly becoming an extension of who I am, my life; a wonderful reflection of who I’ve become.
Just as every space should be. -chels

 

Work Hard

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When things get a little crazy, I tend to forget what everything I’m doing is for. I feel overwhelmed, exhausted, a little lost. I made this little reminder to keep myself motivated and looking towards the bigger picture. We all have sacrificed something to be where we are, our personal opportunity cost. We are here doing what we are doing for a reason, we’ve given up other things in the process and we are all on the path to something bigger.

Sometimes in the moment we forget what that is but I encourage you to think about it. Take this weekend to remember why you’re here. And above all the stress and discouragement, do your best, work hard because it’s your goals that you are working for, whether they are close or far, you are on the path towards them. -chels

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Society 6

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I’ve always been a slightly ‘offline’ kind of person but since starting this blog I’ve found some comfort in seeing communities built in this giant online world. Artists are one of them. Online creative work can now reach so far and connect so many people, it’s kinda unbelievable.

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Society 6 is quite a unique idea. They have created a marketplace for artists and art lovers alike. It’s more than a middle men; it is a supporter of creativity. They produce products with the work of talented artists from all corners of the world.

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I’ve added a few things to my little nook of this community and only hope to see it grow. Check out my Society 6 shop to add some inspiration to your daily life. Be sure to browse the other amazingly talented artists hanging out over there while your at it. Enjoy -chels

Be In Love

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Love. It comes is many forms, it surrounds us in different ways, it likes to make itself known; sometimes unannounced during our most needed times.  It’s the strongest way we’ve been able to describe our connection to joy, passion, sacrifice; love.

Today I look at everything that surrounds me, the people, the places, the things and I challenge myself to make them all matter, make my world one that I am in love with everyday. From my work, my friends and family, the places I spend my time, the things I use… I want to be in admiration for and in love with. These are the connections, the spots where life is not just about me and I want these moments to be the most inspirational parts of my day.

I’m here for a life of love because without love, I wouldn’t be who and where I am today… loved and loving in return. -chels

Air BnB Experience

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Have you heard of Air BnB? It takes the whole bed and breakfast idea to a new level. Individuals can list their spaces for rent by the day or week so you can stay in an apartment for a hotel price.

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While I was looking at places to stay in New York for a weekend, I opened my inbox to travel credit for my first Air BnB booking. What great timing. After sending a few emails out for places that I liked, I booked this one bedroom in Chelsea (how fitting.)

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The only thing I was really set on was having a view and relatively close to a good area. Check, check.

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There was plenty to do in Chelsea and I really enjoyed its proximity to the other areas. Most of my favorite spots were close by and it was great to experience the city as if I were living there.

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The apartment I found was also a good choice. I was able to communicate with the owner, it was cleaned and convenient. Everything I needed. My only suggestion is to email a few places with your plans. Not only will you have a greater chance of booking, they can also offer you a special rate when you communicate with them (depending on the circumstances.)

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I will absolutely consider Air BnB every time I travel now. It takes some effort to find a place but it’s worth it if you stick to the price range of a hotel in the same area at the same time. Hm, now where to next? -chels

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I don’t usually travel with a plan. It can lead to some missed opportunities and some wasted time but I live for that very unknowing adventure. Maybe I have a thing or two I would like to see or accomplish in a new city but after that I leave it up to fate. It works for me because I’m quite inspired by the everyday people and movement of a city, living and breathing this atmosphere I find to be just as thrilling. So here are the places I met and liked along the way. No preconceived ideas or reviews just stumbled upon gems that I enjoyed.

Visiting New York City? Add this map to your smartphone with the Google Maps App.

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Food

El Quinto Pino | A small tapas place with a cozy eclectic feel.
401 W 24th St, Chelsea

The Dish | The perfect diner experience, a great place for brunch!
201 8th Ave, Chelsea

The Grey Dog | Popular. Had a long line but for good reason.
242 W 16th St, Chelsea

Kava Cafe | Small place with great sandwiches & coffee!
803 Washington St, Chelsea

Benito Giacalone | Delicious food with the authentic loud italian atmosphere.
163 Mulberry St, Little Italy

South’s Bar + Restaurant | Nice little bar, chat with some artists from the Academy of Art.
273 Church St, Lower Manhattan

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Shop

Project No. 8 | A culmination of small artist goods.
22 W. 29th Street, Nomad

Brooklyn Industries | Well made clothes with a little NY inspired style.
161 8th Ave, Chelsea

INA | Vintage clothes, maybe you can afford a little designer piece from here.
207 West 18th Street, Chelsea

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Visit

The MOMA | Spend some time, see some art.
11 W 53rd St, Theatre District

The Chelsea Market | Lots of unique foods & an underground wandering experience.
75 9th Ave, Chelsea

The Empire State Building | Must see NYC from above if you can, a little pricey.
350 5th Ave, Nomad

The High Line | A unique public park, walk along an old railway & see the city from a new perspective.
10th Ave, Chelsea

Post Office | Must see this historic post office, send out some post cards while you’re there.
421 8th Ave, Penn Station

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Coffee

Stumptown Coffee Roasters | Such a hip little stop with some amazing coffee.
18 W 29th St, Nomad

Pushcart Coffee | Stop in or out, coffee on a cart!
401 W 25th St. Chelsea

Intelligentsia Coffee, In the High Line Hotel | Another small stop, oh the coffee. They even have drip!
180 10th Ave, Chelsea

Koffeecake Corner | Delicious little pastries & macaroons.
301 W 17th St, Chelsea

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New York City is always a good idea. -chels

Home Sweet Home

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I have a new home here in the district. I moved to D.C. almost a year and a half ago. At that point I had only visited once. I fell in love with the city, applied to George Washington University, got in and moved. 

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I found my first place a few blocks from campus and get this, two blocks from the white house. Crazy. My little studio was charming, small and efficient and will always be a place I will remember as the ‘big step’ I made to get here.

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Then I felt a need for change and started looking at some other places. I was hesitant to use moving as an excuse to change so I stopped looking. That’s when I saw a ‘for rent’ sign on an apartment that I always walked by, admired and thought ‘that would a great place to live.’

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I called. I really only intended to see it, interior design school does that to you. Hello? Can I just come to admire the interior architecture of this fine historic Washington building without any intention of renting it? Oh okay, thanks.

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Ironically enough everything fell into place from there. The move in date was right, the price, location.

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The best things happen when you stop looking. -chels 

  

Twenty-Four

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This weekend was my birthday. It was adventurous and surprising. It was simple and relaxed. A nice reflection of who I’ve become over the last twenty-four years. It’s quite a unique thing to see the accumulation of the years behind us but also shake them off with each milestone and look forward to the years ahead. Growing up is nothing like you expect when you’re younger. You think you will know the answers but instead you learn that the idea is an impossibility in every way, shape and form. I’m looking forward to not knowing what’s next and being a better me with each turn… even keeping a bit of the young and naive alive. Hello twenty-four. -chels

p.s This was my tenth birthday, the one where I decided I wanted to put my face in a cake.

 

The Perfect Travel Bag

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 How to choose the Perfect Travel Bag

Decide on your essential travel items (but limit yourself, any extra weight makes your days longer and your shoulders achier.) Take a look at my essentials here. Make sure it’s big enough for your essentials with some wiggle room for food or small purchases.

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I strongly believe in having multiple carrying options. With this bag I can hold it in my hand, on my forearm and even adjust the long strap to go on my shoulder or even longer to cross over my body. Options make a bag versatile.

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Pockets, but not too many. I like that there are two outside pockets with a closure (you totally want a way to close an outside pocket to avoid being pick pocketed) and a zip close and cell pocket in the inside. Too many pockets can cause you to misplace and be less aware of where your valuables are but enough keeps you organized.

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Match your style. Invest in a bag that will match anything and everything you wear. I love how the bag fits into my wardrobe because it is both black and brown leather. It gives me the option to wear dark or light, black or brown shoes, gold or silver accessories, colors or neutrals and it doesn’t stand out but rather blends into my outfits. Evaluate your wardrobe and your travel go-to’s, look for common neutral trends and palettes and even brands. You can go to your favorite brand for bags to see first hand if you find what your looking for, odds are it will fit into your style as well.

My favorite travel bag is one by Fossil, here’s a similar one but they have quite a few that I would consider. I hope you are able to do some exploring during this long weekend. Happy traveling! -chels

Travel Essentials

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It is so important to only travel with what’s necessary, save yourself the extra hassle and worry. Simplify down to the most important things. Here are some of the things I make sure to bring with me when traveling. -chels

Essentials

Camera. I carry a DSLR but point and shoots are even more space saving. Depending on my plans I switch between a single focal length lens on my heavier Nikon body and my heavier zoom lens on a much lighter body to balance out the weight. Mixing efficiency and quality is, in my opinion, the best way to be prepared as a photographer, especially because traveling is also about enjoying yourself. I can tell you a sore back from a heavy camera is one way to dampen your adventures.

Wallet and Passport. I like to keep my wallet skinny and thin, be picky and extra zip pocket or check book slot takes up space. I’ve been on the hunt for a passport holder as well but I’ve yet to find the perfect one, something light, thin and just enough space to keep ticket stubs. If you’ve found a great one, let me know! For now, I keep it safe in the inside pocket.

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Business cards! If you have one, bring enough with you when you travel. You never know who you’ll sit by on the plane or what next great job, friend or opportunity awaits you. There is no second chance when you met someone during travel so having something tangible to share can make that connection last beyond your trip.

Phone. It will probably be used and needed the most during travel. Make sure to also carry a charger. You will probably open every used app when traveling and it’s guaranteed you will need to contact someone or find information about your plans, you don’t want to struggle using pay phones in a foreign country with foreign currency in a foreign language just because your phone died. My iPhone Case is from HEX.

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Sketchbook, a variety of pens and markers for field sketching and small earphones. Remember reclaim? Their small recycled rubber case is perfect for my pens, you can get one here. When traveling you have spare time to time to think, contemplate and reflect. Keep track of these ideas and emotions; they are priceless. Small headphones are great for a double use as earplugs to sleep and don’t take up much room. Honestly, I even like white ones better because they are easier to find in a black lined bag.