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Hi, guys. You know when people write those inspiring essays about learning to say “no”? The ones where they champion the freedom, the health, the peace that comes with signing up for just as much as one can handle without tipping the scale too far toward swamped? Those people who have figured out how to be “good busy”, where they are toeing the line between active and buried and their hustle is inspiring? Yeah, I am not one of those at the moment.

Since last summer it seems I have not found the space to lighten my own workload. Personal ambition and love of projects are shaming me into a cycle of “yes! oh no, burn out, repeat.” It’s a loop I’d love to break open, a ride I long to jump off of.

When I was 10 my family when to Disneyland. Not knowing how fast the coaster would be, my mother dragged me onto Thunder Mountain Railroad with my brother, sister, and father, so that we could “enjoy” one ride together as a family. I spent the entire hour? 8 minutes jumping out of my skin, clutched to her flank and begging I’m not sure who to stop the ride so I could PLEASE GET OFF. In a completely non-morbid way, lately life feels a bit like this. On the inside I am screaming for everything to stop, but I can’t quite get myself to press pause.

M and I were discussing my overbooked schedule, trying to determine, as he puts it “the low hanging fruit” to be knocked from my priorities. Dancing, we agreed, come first right now. Have you read this article about adjusting ballet class to train a modern day dancer? Until then, cross training runs in at a close second. Another job for which I am counted on and given money to complete is that of PR & Communications Assistant. While it is work I enjoy- writing, designing, marketing, creating, sharing- my cluttered life makes the weight of this job feel overwhelming. But no less important. So then it’s on to school, a degree I am desperate to finally complete (hopefully) just over a year from now. Ambitious me decided to take on an internship for this semester. “I’ll write a history of the Company in honor of our 40 years! It’ll be great! It’ll be fun!” Ha. Past Keeks is unkind to Present Keeks. Diving into the archives and interviewing famous Festival Ballet faces should have been so enlightening. Instead it’s getting shoved into my stress compartment, entombed by this other commitment or that. Of course then the fun projects pile up, but how can I reject a Cinderella guesting the week after our season ends, a fashion show with Anthropologie on International Women’s Day, or a women’s initiative choreography project? Extracurricular creativity feeds the sooooul. So what’s left? Subbing for some of my favorite schools here and there? A trip to the theater because you got awesome tickets to An American in Paris for Christmas? International travel plans? Friday night rituals with friends? Monday tea dates? Sundays with your best friend (which are mostly gone because you are performing all the dang time (which is actually a “yay!” because that’s your first love but what about your love love?!). This is all before grocery shopping, laundry-doing, showering, keeping my house clean, my plants alive, attempting to see my family, and you know, all of those other human things. I don’t know how to solve this problem, which I firmly defend as a good one to have, but I do know that I am nervously laughing on the inside, ready to burst, all. the. time.

This is not a refreshing post wherein I solve my life’s problems. It is a simple rant about the hurriedness of life for what appears to have been far too long now, and my personal ambition’s apparent need to continue a vicious cycle. Thank you for letting me spill in this sacred space, which by the way, I have also been missing quite a bit, and will never categorize as “low hanging fruit”.

If I were looking at myself as someone else I would say, “Slow down. Keep going. All the way…stop. Relax. It’s okay. Turn it down. Cancel it. Take your time. You will get there. You will make it. It will still be there when you are ready, and if it isn’t, something else will be waiting. Do not fear.”

That’s all for now, xx.

hygge

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Hey. Hi. Hello. It’s been a while!

Please excuse the absence around here, as you can see things have been…busy. I am usually a Thanksgiving fanatic, but something strange is happening this season. Don’t get me wrong- I had a fabulous time with the stuffing and pie, but this year jingle bells are just ringing a bit louder for me.

It’s not even December yet (but can you believe it will be this weekend?!) and I’m diving head first into the holly jolly. I’ve already watched most of my prerequisite Christmas movies (Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, Charlie Brown’s Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life, I’m looking at you), the crafting has begun, and you guys, I even decorated my tiny tree. I know.

This quick week off from work was refreshing and productive, filled with family time, tea dates, homework cramming, donkey feeding, indoor farmer’s marketing, and small business shopping. Because #shopsmallsaturday should last all season long, here’s a little round up of my favorite spots around pvd:

NAVA for the best gifts for your best gals. + plants + candles + vintage wears

Home Imagined for refurbished midcentury furniture and an epic craft corner.

The Shop for cozy. Because you can shop small for foods and drinks, too.

Queen of Hearts / Modern Love for downtown fashuuun and fun accessories.

Frog and Toad for the most unique, perfect, can’t believe this is a real thing gifts.

 

 

first photo by Emily Nunes.

 

 

spirit in the sky

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Ah, sweet autumn. Often staved off by clinging tan lines and rushed along by jingle bells, you might just be the most underrated quarter of the year. But with a fresh slate at the start, a smattering of costume and food focused holidays, and a remarkable ability to bring out the inner emo poet of my youth, your months are far more magical than most. You entice the whole of New England into smokey scents and pumpkin flavors. Your pale skies give way to a fiery splatter of morphing treetops. Your crisp wind plucks leaves to the ground, acorns tumble under toe. Undertoe fades from feeling until next summer as waves are observed from the safety of warm sweaters. Farmer’s markets take shelter, early sunsets coax the world inside. Your time is to rest, to nest, let cozy manifest. Quite simply, you are the best.

it’s october third.

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Oh, October. Sweet month of change. Temperatures finally dropping, but the sky does not yet fade. A dark bar incites its usual existential sound; crunchy brussels and and fluffy hummus abound. A bright breakfast expands palettes into poaching, Nick’s eggs + veggies do the experimental coaching. A weekend date requires little more than borrowed beanies and held mitts: a westside going golden and freshly layered knits. Dusty vintage rockets provoke one too many sneezes, strip-shouldered mannequins provide warm woolen squeezes. Grocery store hide-and-seek yields new plant babes and boo Sunday snacks. Portuguese fado follows carefully unplanned naps. Beanfriend makes soups, 90s Bourdain loops. Welcome, Dear Autumn, we’ve been waiting for you.

there’s no place like home

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Man, is it good to be back. M said something this week that really resonated with me:

“You know you’re living in the right place when you travel all over and you keep looking back over your shoulder.”

How beautiful is that? Walking the steps up to my apartment in Providence for the first time in a month was just the best homecoming; Walking around the Hope Street Farmer’s Market Saturday morning was somehow even sweeter. Maybe because I knew this would be my last chance to stomp Lippit Park on a Saturday morning, with the season starting next week and all…

Speaking of the season, have you guys heard that sentiment going around about how “September is the new January”? I couldn’t agree more. There’s something about the crisp fall air that stirs an urge to refresh and prepare. It’s perfect nesting weather. What better way to commemorate my renewed love of PVD and nestle into fall than with this pretty little map of my city?

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Inspired by her world travels, the artist behind Modern Map Art uses intricate city grids to create detailed urban portraits with a touch of nostalgia. I love the vintage font and graphic vibes in this poster- how cute would it be as a housewarming gift?

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The map arrived just in time, as my wonderful city welcomed me back with fresh fall feels. M and I have just started listening to Crimetown, the Gimlet podcast all about Providence’s mobster past. It’s pretty wild hearing the late Buddy Cianci’s voice (and a beautiful chorus of other Rhode Island accents) on such a well known pod. The perfect compliment to local cherry tomatoes and late-summer figs.

What city do you call home? Does it have quirks that make you feel all fuzzy?

 

Providence map c/o Modern Map Art. Check them out to celebrate your city with a custom print.

summer staycations

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My GOODNESS, you guys, these past few weeks have been jam packed with travel, family time, homework, teaching, picnicking, kickboxing, yoga-ing, sunset-chasing, sweating, firework-watching, and a teeeeensy bit of sleeping, just for good measure. I know I say this about every season of life, but July is truly proving to be one of the busiest yet.

Since I’m busy teaching at the FBP Summer Dance Intensive and a few other summer workshops around the area this month, I’ve sticking close to home with some fun New England jaunts between homework cram sessions. A little round up of seasonal spots to match this smorgasbord of photos, if you’re interested…

Watch Hill for a beach day, a glass of rosé at Olympia Tea Room, and a sunset.

Little Compton for the cutest general store, massive waves, and a nostalgic private(ish) beach.

York, Maine for family dinners, lighthouse jogs, and watching a little bug dig holes at the beach.

Boston for Fourth of July fireworks, Turkish breakfast, serene museum visits, massive vegan salads, and yes, another long walk on the beach.

Providence for proper Prospect Park picnicking and catching up with best friends.