While I didn't receive a direct invitation from HRH Prince Harry and newly-Duchess Meghan, I did have a whirlwind of fun joining 100,000 others outside of Windsor Castle to accompany the couple on thier historical day. (And while I somehow wasn't invited to their intimate reception, I did get photos of the beautiful newly weds. In one, Harry and I are definitely making eye contact! -- Read on!)
It is difficult to describe the day and all it's details as anything other than a fairy tale.
If you're having a bad day, I'm here with proof to remind you that fairy tales are real, The Prince & Me is real, American women really are meeting foreign princes and marrying to make the world a better place.
For me, the day was crazy (probably exactly the same as how Clooney and Oprah felt getting ready to attend!). I landed in London at 7am yesterday, 5 hours before the wedding commenced. From there I met my mom at the airport, went to our hotel, and walked to Windsor Castle by 10:00am.
We walked in a current of people to The Long Walk (the long driveway leading up to the Castle). And to my pleasant surprise, the English made such a fun party out of it, even outside! In the lush green grass and overhanging trees, there were the most sophisticated food trucks, procesco and sunshine to home all of us supporters as we found spots near the road to see the royal couple in person!
Finally, at just pass 11:45, the car carrying Meghan and her mother rushed by us! (Apparently, she was running late!) The crowd release a chorused "ahhh..." after seeing her for half a second (see my blurry photo below!), but we kept our spirits high from the tangible energy that was pouring out of the castle and down to us on The Long Walk.
In addition to the food trucks, mobile bars, and countless news reporters, they had giant screens set up for us loyal subjects to watch what was happening so close by! It was a surreal feeling seeing her right in front of me and then seeing her on the screen getting married!
The ceremony was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced! I spent most of my anticipation on witnessing a historic royal event, I forgot I was at a real wedding with two people so giddy in love! The crowd was ooh-ing and aww-ing and cheering at their sincere, nervous, romanic words and glances.
When the Archbishop asked, "Will you, the families and friends of HARRY and MEGHAN, support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?
The whole crowd yelled, "WE WILL!"
(Us Long Walk people think a little higher of ourselves than we probably should.)
Not only do real American girls meet and marry real princes, but they really do add modernism to the monarchy and hope to the world! Their ceremony was full of symbols and messages of, not only their love for each other, but of the kind of world they want to help create through their marriage. The diverse crowd and participants in the ceremony were special. Meghan's train embroidered with the national flower of every 53 nations in the commonwealth was a tear-jurger. Even the young 19 year old cellist Meghan invited to play -- rather than an older, more experienced musician -- was a taste of the new world they want to foster togther, a world where everyone is noticed and everyone is loved.
I was so moved. By their love for each other, their purpose for the world, and the hope stirred in me to see leadership with so much thoughtful compassion for others.
When the ceremony was over, we took our places again along The Long Walk. We were right up against the gate! And while I was excited to see the couple, I was so taken aback at how faint I felt after seeing them! I had just seen them on TV for so long, that seeing them a few yards away from me way surreal! (They are actaully as shiney and stunning as they look!) And to know I was just down the way from the biggest day of their life... I felt so honored to be standing on that lawn, to experience their amazing ceremony, and then to be face-to-face with them.
^ SEE?! Zoom in, we're TOTALLY making eye contact! ("Hey, Elisabeth -- so glad you could make it, girl! Catch us at the reception.")
Between the castle, the white horses, the elegant dress, and oh yeah -- the British monarchy -- it was nothing short of a magical fairy tale -- a real one, lived out right in front of my eyes.
But you know what? I don't think fairy tales and magic is left for just the royal. I'm not sure how exactly, but I can feel it in my gut that they're made for us, too. Wherever you are in your love-journey, wait and fight for the fairy tale. I don't think it's superficial, I don't think it's effortless, I don't think it's make-believe. Much like Prince Harry and Meghan, who met through their common interest to help those less fortunate -- I think fairy tales are deep and raw and meaningful.
As I was standing there on The Long Walk at Windsor Castle, hearing the actual trumpets blast after the Royal Wedding was over, I realized we must love ourselves enough to wait and fight for the fairytale. A relationship that gives us purpose, that betters other people's lives, that feeds our own desires but answers others' prayers as well. The world is big, and it's hurting -- and I wonder what it would look like if we all used our romance for good and justice. With a little (or a lot!) of magic sprinkled on top. (;
I teamed up with one of my college besties/roommate's boyfriend to SURPRISE her with a birthday weekend with me in D.C. It was SO fun! (Watch the video below to hear the LAME lie I made up on the spot when I told her she was coming here, like, 5 hours before her flight!)
We made this vlog for you to see the FUN of winter in this city, how ridiculously goofy we are, and the power of girlfriends in your life. (Did you know that if you stay friends for 7 years, you'll be freinds for life?!) Or you can watch this vlog to see me almost fall on my face while ice skating in from of the National Archives (AKA - where the Declaration of Independence lives!). Enjoy!
SHOP MY LOOK
- Backpack/Camera Bag: http://bit.ly/2Cip3de
- My Vlogging Camera: https://rstyle.me/n/cwwhi6cegdp
- Faux Fur Scarf: https://rstyle.me/n/cwt3yacegdp
- Faux Fur Headphone Ear Muffs: https://rstyle.me/n/cwt3yucegdp
- Blue Beret: https://rstyle.me/~agioW
- Destiny's Earrings from my company: http://bit.ly/2iUi1PJ
Elisabeth's Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/elisabethhui...
Elisabeth's Blog - http://www.elisabethhuijskens.com
Destiny's Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/destinystrav...
Destiny's Blog - http://www.thetravelersnotes.com
LIST OF PLACES WE WENT IN D.C.:
- Two Birds, One Stone
- Ted's Bulletin
- Founding Farmers
- Medium Rare
- Boulangerie Christophe
- The National Mall
- The National Archives (Declaration of Independence)
- The National Sculpture Garden + Ice Rink
- The Washington Monument
- The Lincoln Memorial
Photos by Corbin LeGrand
I'm a founder + the V.P. of Marketing at Trades of Hope.
To sum it up, I empower women around the world. That is what I GET to do. But to get an idea of how I ended up being able to do that for my CAREER, keep on reading!
When I was 15 years old, I founded Trades of Hope with three other strong women. Trades of Hope empowers women out of poverty by selling their fair trade, ethically made fashion + home accessories. These women come from backgrounds of sexual exploitation, sweat shops, abuse, and hopelessness in over 16 countries. But now they are finding hope by making our products and earning a safe, dignified, consistent income.
All around the world, different countries home talented, intelligent, creative people who don’t want charity. They don’t want to depend on another person. They don’t want a hand out that will quickly run dry. They don’t want to wait powerlessly for someone to help them.
They want an opportunity. They want an opportunity to show people their craft, to change their own circumstances, to feed their own children, to reach for their own dreams. And according to CARE Australia, when you empower one women out of poverty, she takes 4 more people with her. These women are earning a living wage in their country (more than minimum wage) and becoming leaders of their communities!
We empower her to be the hero of her own story.
We know that sustainable business is what will end poverty and create social, economical, and political equality for women around the world.
- founder -
I TRAVEL THE WORLD.
One of my very favorite parts about my job is traveling to far off countries to meet the women who make our pieces. I love experiencing their cultures and learning their strong personalities! I go to Haiti every year, just got back from meeting our artisans in Jordan, and will be visiting our artisans in Uganda and Kenya this summer! I get to hear these women tell their own stories. They enthusiastically share their favorite meals with me. And I fall in love with new countries in this beautiful world!
I SPEAK IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS MULTIPLE TIMES A YEAR.
I love public speaking! I get a rush and feel like a part of me falls into place every time. Because I helped found Trades of Hope, all of the topics I speak on I'm extremely passionate about: poverty alleviation, community development, charity vs. sustainable business, entrepreneurship, deminism, equality, leadership, social media/marketing/communications/creativity.
I STRATEGIZE NEW WAYS TO better THE COMPANY
As a Founder, I get to dream up new ways to grow Trades of Hope on a daily basis. I help decide what beautiful products will be released in which lines! (I excitedly always want every piece to be released NOW for you all to see, but we typically plan a year and a half out.) I get to collaborate with the other founders on how to lead our office of Home Team members with purpose and fun. We talk through big decisions for Trades of Hope and all of the people those decisions affect. And we constantly evaluate what is going on to make sure our core mission remains the focus. It's so fun working with 3 other women and working toward our vision together (our meetings often get a little goofy!).
- v.p. of marketing -
I lead a team of creatives, communicators, and social media strategists.
I love my marketing/communications team! We have brought so many ideas to life, launched so many campaigns, and strategized new ways to tell the stories of women OVERCOMING all around the world! (I collect all our print pieces like gold!) The nature of our work can be heavy sometimes, but I love the light-heartedness of this team!
I PLAN + DIRECT BRANDING, PHOTO SHOOTS, AND CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS
Our fashion + home accessories are so beautiful, and I love creatively strategizing ways to weave them in with the beautiful stories of our artisans in a way that speaks to the masses. Everyone with whom I work knows that I get SO EXCITED on our creative sets. If I like something, there is no question! I YELL AND DANCE AROUND. If I don't respond that way but I'm fine to move on, my awesome team doesn't settle until I'm freaking out haha. I love combining problem solving, strategy, creativity, and empowerment on a daily basis for my job!
I was made to empower women.
And to sum it up, that is what I do for work. I empower women around the world.
Women like Ya in Cambodia who was acid attacked, but finds purpose and new hope because of her job.
Women like Ms. Florence in Uganda who was a war refugee but is now a local political leader.
And women like Mary in Uganda who was in poverty but now provides for her children!
I would not be satisfied doing anything else. No matter where I live, who's around, what I'm focused on, I will always be working to empower women. The fact that my job involves all of those other things too makes me giggle in disbelief and gratitude.
At Trades of Hope, we wear what we believe. Poverty ending. Hearts hoping. Women rising. Nations healing.
This post has been sponsored by PMD Beauty. Thank you for empowering me to work with brands I believe in for their product and their social mission and to keep my blog running. All opinions are my own.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of confidence is Dove’s Love Your Body campaign from the early 2000s. I thought it was brilliant and wrote a 40-page essay about it in my junior year of college.
But out of bravely starting conversations about female confidence, a dangerous byproduct has evolved: the notion that women are hopelessly depleted of any self-esteem. I once read the hilarious and relatable Mindy Kaling say...
“A general assumption about confidence is that women, particularly young women, will have very little of it, and girls will have zero of it.”
This posture of pity towards women any time the word “confidence” comes up makes me sad. As girls are coming out of the womb we label them with “no confidence,” and as if they’re defective, we run around frantic: “How are we going to save our girls and teach them to be confident?!”
Are women broken today with a lack of confidence? Yes. But the girls aren’t the problem. They aren’t born broken. Someone tells them a story along the way that they shouldn’t be anything but entitled to being brilliantly confident.
I get concerned that girls hearing about how difficult it is to be confident subliminally tells them that it will be very hard for them to be able to do it. This ironically, strips them of their confidence and sets them up to fail before they even start trying.
Being a woman is not a disease that needs to be treated for confidence.
I’m not going to tell girls (or women) that it’s super hard to love yourself and walk in confidence. Those who know me would claim that’s easy for me to say that as I am very confident today. But what they don’t know is that it has been a long journey. I vividly remember one afternoon when I was 13 crying, yelling that I was never going to have children because I didn’t want to pass down my “ugly” (my acne) to my daughter. I didn’t want her to feel the weight I was feeling.
At 13, I had read the books about loving myself, heard the sermons, grew up loved, and knew I wasn’t alone in lacking confidence. But I was told the media had wronged me, and I felt that pain.
But I wish someone had told me to pull it together, and that I wasn’t a victim to what the media said. I wasn’t a hostage to my peers’ words towards me. I wasn’t chained by the lies I heard in the back of my mind. I had a choice. At 13, learning confidence, I wish I heard less about looking within and more about 3 three things: working hard, being entitled, and creating a you that you could live with forever.
Don’t stop until you’re proud.
Work stinking hard. I continually ask myself throughout the day, “Am I proud of how this morning went?” “If I stopped working now, would I be proud of myself?” And I always listen to the voice inside. On days I feel energized or things are down to the wire, I push even harder. But sometimes life pushes US around, and it’s okay to be gentle. I still work hard, but while listening to my wellbeing. Either way, I work until I feel accomplished, like I went the extra mile, and can lay in bed that night proud of how the day went. This fosters confidence because I know I gave my best.
It’s okay to feel entitled to your right to be confident. You deserve to be honest about who you are and what you like about yourself simply because your heart is beating in your chest. There are things you need to earn: raises at work, vulnerability from others, wisdom from experiences. But you’re entitled to a feeling of confidence in yourself.
“I just realized I’m stuck with me my entire life.”
One time, I got dumped because he just didn’t like me anymore. And I realized, “huh, I can’t do that with myself. If I decide one day I don’t like me, I’m stuck with me. I can’t run away.” That’s when I decided, I will always foster Elisabeth to set ME up to like her. That means working hard, not changing just to make someone else like me, and developing parts of me that I anticipate not liking one day. People will come and go, but I will always have me. I will be the one that is for sure there on nights when things feel hopeless. I will for sure be there when I feel like a failure. I will for sure be there for every mountain top and valley. And because I will always be there for me through everything, I make sure I like the person I am. I believe everyone deserves to take opportunities to make them more the person they want to be: whether that’s personality characteristics, ambition towards accomplishments, or the physical aspects of themselves.
I discovered PMD Beauty through the hashtag #BrilliantConfidence.
And when I realized that their Personal Microdermabrasion could help me heal my scares from the acne 13-year-old Elisabeth cried over, I knew I had to try it out.
For those who had no idea what microderm was before PMD like me it’s a “noninvasive, skin resurfacing procedure that gently exfoliates or polishes away the top layer of dead skin cells, while stimulating collagen growth, to reveal healthy new skin that looks and feels smoother. Fine lines, blemishes, dull skin and sun spots.”
I used to NEVER be excited to try new products that claim to change my skin, but this baby feels like a spa treatment at home! (Talk about self-care and self-confidence!) And it WORKS. Dermabrasion treatments are usually $80-$100 dollars in an aesthetician office. (No body has time for that!)
Instead, I light some candles, turn on peppy Stevie Wonder, and use my PMD once a week in my pink velvet sweatpants. FOR FREE. (Hello!) Not being able to work or check my phone at the same time makes it the ultimate unplugged pampering time!
It’s been 3 weeks of consistent use (once a week), and I’ve already seen virtually no build up on my face, way less breakouts, and the plumping of fine lines. And with more uses, the results improve!
pmd brings my best self out for the world to see!
If your current skin situation is NOT something you like about yourself, let me tell you that you completely deserve to take opportunities to bring out the you that you want to be. Confidence shouldn’t be based on appearances, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t matter to you. You know I walk with sass when I am FEELIN’. MY. SELF. *lowers shades and winks*
Check out PMD, and I would be happy to answer any questions about it. And then we can bond over our fabulous skin after together.
I would love to hear from you: What part of yourself do you LOVE?
It's Christmas, and there's no better time than today to share my adventures of being in Israel last week. My dad and I got to go on the trip together, and we visited so many places from the biblical history, most signifant for today: Bethlehem and the spot where Jesus was born! I got to sit in the cave where Mary and Joseph rested with their baby. It made this a very special Christmas.
Through the loudness of Israel, there is a message of peace that is constantly whispering to ears who will hear it. Here's the story of what I saw and experienced. At the end, read about my #1 favorite spot in Israel and what this place means to me, especially this Christmas season.
We were stuck at the Israeli border for four hours due to protests.
After spending a week in the extremely stable Kingdom of Jordan, I could already tell visiting Israel would be a little bit of a different experience. (So many posts about Jordan coming soon!)
The plan was to wake up at 5:30 a.m., leave the hotel at 6:00, cross the border around 6:30, and get to Jerusalem before 8:00. However, we were taken to the wrong border crossing, and after three conversations in broken English and a lot of pointing around, we learned that the whole border was closed. No one was getting in or out of Israel until 12:00! In four hours.
Finally, the border crossing bus came to get us, and in a flash, we were in Israel!
Our first stop in the country was the Jordan River baptismal site of Jesus. It was a great place to start the adventure because it looked exactly as one would envision it: palms, water plants standing tall, and very biblical-looking muddy water. It was FREEZING cold! Icy to the touch, but I couldn’t help but put my toes in such an historical body of water.
From there we went to Jericho (the very one from the Book of Joshua), where we explored the ruins of the city. And we drank water from the same water source in 2 Kings that was undrinkable until God used Elisha to miraculously transform it into healthy water for the people and land of Jericho.
On the way to Jerusalem, we stopped by the mountain where Jesus tempted and fasted in the desert for 40 days, and we saw the exact sycamore tree Zacchaeus climbed to see Jesus above the crowd in Luke 19.
All of these stories I read about growing up were coming to life in front of me. Seeing them in person fulfilled me so much, I would have gone home happy right then and there; but that was before I knew how eye-opening Jerusalem would be.
Because the protests delayed our arrival so much, we got to Old Jerusalem (where most of Jerusalem's biblical historical events happened within the modern city of Jerusalem) at twilight. We met a guide who took us through all of the sights.
Old Jerusalem is one of my favorite places I’ve seen. But it’s not because it’s where I saw a lot of places where Jesus walked (which does feel really surreal!). In Old Jerusalem, there are four quarters: the Christian quarter, the Armenian quarter (which is also Christian), the Jewish Quarter, and the Muslim quarter. The way they work together while reaching for what they view as holy makes this city so special to me. Read more about that at the end of the post, when I share my #1 favorite spot in all of Israel.
THE UPPER ROOM
We went in the Upper Room where Jesus and his disciples had the Last Supper, where Jesus returned to his disciples after coming back to life, and where the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost. The room was redone by its Crusader discoverers, but the stone floor was original and the floor that Jesus would have walked on.
Many Jews have wanted to be buried on the Mount of Olives because of Jewish tradition (based in the biblical verse Zechariah 14:4) that when the Messiah comes, the resurrection of the dead will begin with those burried on this mountain. (See the solid white on the left side of the mountain? Those are all graves.) There are so many cool things that happened here throughout history. But, to me, the most significant was Jesus' time there the night he was captured. The Garden of Gethsemane rests toward the foot of the mount. According to Acts 1, Mount Olives is also where Jesus ascended into Heaven.
KING DAVID'S TOMB
I am so happy I was in Jerusalem during Hanukkah and Christmas, as I learned so much about Jewish holiday traditions! This photo was taken right after watching a group of singing, clapping men light this menorah! It was so brilliant to watch this and other fun Hanukkah festivities for the first time.
King David's tomb is in a small room, and is divided by a wall as men and women cannot touch while praying.
JESUS AND THE CROSS
This church's courtyard is where the trial of Jesus occurred.
Inside the church, the spot where Jesus’ cross stood in the ground is marked, but I feel it’s not something that should be through up on a blog. This tiled sun lays right in front of the spot, and though I touched the gold circle where the cross anchored into the hill, even just standing this close was moving too. Some of the original rock, the ground of Golgotha, around where the cross was is preserved, on either side of the gold circle, in glass casing. It’s continuously surreal to try to comprehend.
WHO HAS THE KEY TO THE CHURCH?
There are two Christian quarters in Old Jerusalem, the Christians and the Armenians (who are also Christian). They share parts of the Church over where Jesus was tried and crucified. However, every morning there is a ceremony of unlocking the church and every night, a ceremony of locking it up. But if there are two Christian groups, who has the key (or control over the church)? The answer is so fascinating. They gave the key to the Muslims to keep things fair and avoid conflict! I thought that was brilliant. I am consistently in awe of how the four religions work together.
THE WESTERN WALL
We walked to the Jewish Quarter where the Western Wall stands. The Western Wall was built by King Herod and is the location where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac, where Isaac went to pray before meeting Rebecca, and where Jacob dreamed of a ladder reaching to the Heavens.
On the other side of the wall, part of the Temple Mount, is the Dome of the Rock, a sacred mosque for Muslims. But where the mosque stands today, the Jewish people used to have their Holy Temple. So the Western Wall is the closest they can get to the holy ground where their temple stood. The wall is also known as the Wailing Wall for this reason.
People write their prayers or wishes on a paper, and stick it into crevices of the wall. I got to do it, which is still so crazy to think about. I signed mine “Elisabeth Huijskens” to make sure God really knew it was me.
Going to Bethlehem during Christmas time was so special. We got to go to exact spot Jesus was born, marked with a gold ring again, and I sat in the cave where Mary, Joseph, and Jesus rested and received the travelers who ventured to welcome Jesus.
On the right side, you can see some of the original cave exposed.
Above: The view of Old Jerusalem, standing on Mount Olives.
Below: Walking down to Old Jerusalem from the top of the mountain, the route that Jesus walked.
The Garden of Gethsemane
BACK IN OLD JERUSALEM
Walking around the Jewish quarter, I got hungry and delightfully ate some yummy chicken shwarma. And then there were these donuts that are particularly enjoyed during Hanukkah. (The Jewish quarter has the best food!)
ABOVE THE FOUR RELIGIOUS QUARTERS
My favorite place in Israel is standing on a rooftop above where the four religious quarters meet. I spent at least a couple hours there, just sitting and soaking it in. It is so incredibly interesting to me how the four religions and their history intertwine and layer together throughout the city. The way they, at times, lean on each other and respect each other to ensure the social ecosystem of their shared city is fascinating. I have felt so heavy this year from so much division raising up all around. It has creeped up from all the sides of my life and has been one of my least favorite parts of 2017. If I let it, it would make 2017 one of the worst years I've experienced. But I don't like giving power to things that I don't add goodness to our world.
God knew how I needed to end this year: in a place where there is tension, there is opposition, but there is also jaw-dropping co-existence and respect. I was beginning to doubt that was possible anymore and needed to see it with my eyes and feel it in my spirit. I have believed for a long time now that the answer to many views of this world is "yes" and "and" rather than "neither" or "or". (I cannot stand "us" vs. "them" language.) When we say "yes," "and," "welcome," and "thank you" to the opposite side, the chasm then closes, the opposite side becomes our side as well, and we realize we're all just humans looking up for Someone bigger than ourselves. And that's when we find Her, because that's where Love lives -- in that closing chasm, where the quarters meet.
Recently, I realized I had given away some of my favorite Trades of Hope pieces and needed to restock my accessories at home! Rather than going to our product development team, I went to our beautiful website and ordered them so I could experience what you experience when Trades of Hope goodies are sent to your home!
Watch this video to see what I got! The products are linked below so you can shop and change the world, too!
Evangeline Set: http://bit.ly/2is8Mqp
Sea Glass Necklace: http://bit.ly/2Ayvl4V
Beloved Necklace: http://bit.ly/2jUcWYa
Western Studs Trio: http://bit.ly/2jgZRsw
Northern Light Studs: http://bit.ly/2As4klz
You guys, I'm going to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan in ONE WEEK! What?! It doesn't feel real. Making sure I'm all set to travel to a part of the world I've yet to experience has been exciting to master. However, I had a hard time pinning down everything I knew I was going to need (and everything I knew I was going to forget), and there wasn't really anything out there to help me feel I was really ready. So, in typical entrepreneur fashion, I MADE a tool that has put me 100% at ease. And I am sharing it with you all for FREE!
This "I've Totally Got This" Guide (Traveling Edition) has me feeling like, well obviously, like I've totally got this trip to the Middle East! There are multiple schedule-making tools and checklists in here that put all my crazy thoughts on paper. And I wanted to make sure my fellow world travelers could have a pleasant planning experience as well.
Whether it’s a road trip to the countryside, an escape to the city, or an adventure to a new culture, enjoy the anticipation of your trip with this collection of planning tools. Stay organized and prepared for what’s ahead (instead of too stressed to look forward to your travels). Using these sheets (digitally or printed) will keep you in constant awe of how much you’ve “totally got this”!
Click the small, white downward arrow to download my PDF of guides of checklists to keep travel planning FUN!
the GAME PLAN: by day
Use this page to write down notes about what adventures you’ll go on each day of your trip. You can make note of where you are staying that night and what you plan to wear. The blank “Day ___” number space allows you to print off more copies of this page and fill in what day of the trip it is. Use one page if your trip is 5 days or under. Or print more if your excursion is a little longer!
the GEAR check list
If you’re like me, you bring a lot of gear to document your trip. This is one of the more burdensome parts of being a photographer, but this list makes it a little easier! There is space for you to write specifically what you are bringing, a photography/videography section, and an “everyday tech” section for you light travelers!
the DON’T FORGET check list
Before this list, there were always tiny details I forgot about. And how about those things you need to use the night before so you forgot them when you ran out the door? I know I’m not the only one who has bought a tooth brush in the airport! There are 2 lists on this page to make sure you don’t need to sweat the small stuff!
the TRAVELING PET check list
Whether your pooch is a frequent flier or if you’re leaving your furry friend at home, this list will keep you organized and your pet’s tail waging!
the OUTFIT planner
This list is my favorite! When I don’t plan out my outfits, I bring WAY too much. I can’t stand the mess or wasting time figuring out what I’m going to wear during my trip. This makes planning ahead of time a breeze! Here’s to being able to fit everything you need to look and feel awesome in a carry-on. Whoop, whoop!
For those of you who tried this PDF on for size, if you have something that you think would be additionally helpful in this guide, let me know, and I might add it! I would love to make this as impactful as possible for you. Also, if you post/share about this free tool, tag me so I can get in on all the traveling-fun!
Most of the life lessons I’ve gained, I didn’t ask to learn. Today, I do a lot of things afraid, alone and with little direction for the future. As negative as that sounds, it looks a lot like this video! I documented my first month living in D.C., and I’m so excited to share it with you! Along with sharing this beautiful city and the journey of how I made a new place my home, I open up about living alone and taking on adventures solo. During my second week in D.C., I was driving home discouraged when this song came on the radio and the Washington Monument rose over the horizon. And I was swept away in how much good there is, regardless of if we asked for it, if it’s easy, or if it’s safe — it’s SO GOOD. Check out this
FREE PERSONAL SHOPPER POST: Not only am I sharing three of my favorite fashion trends for Fall 2017, but I am providing you direct links to specific pieces you can buy to add the trend to your wardrobe -- FOR FREE! Making your Fall a little more stylish and easy is my goal. There are pieces from so many stores (from Target to Anthropologie), options for every budget, and sizing from "petits" to "plus size" and every where in between!
There are waaay more than three trends that I'm gushing over right now (shout out to my collection of berets!), but these are EASY to work into your everyday style. I also picked three trends that compliment every woman, whether your style is more relaxed or if you've trained your feet to walk in heels all day like I have. This list is for every woman to feel proud of her fashion game this Fall! Let's do this!
01. Japanese floral patterns
The Japanese florals! Florals? In fall? YES! The vintage patterns nod to Fall's love of tradition. Think these are a little too "out there" for you? Absolutely not! (Style tip: try new things in pant or skirt form! Keeping it away from your face will make it less overwhelming while trying a new trend for the first time!) I went super bold (per usual) with my favorite heels to call out the color in the blooms. I did this only because my top was a classic, simple ivory (always have one "supporting" piece so your statement piece can be the focal point!). But black heels or some discrete flats would set the stage for the Japanese florals beautifully!
Also, you may have seen some Japanese floral, satin button downs. This is often referred to the "pyjama trend" (no reference to Asian culture). So many people are against it, but I LOVE it! Bold and oh so comfy! Click through the photos below, they each link you to its product page to buy pieces that fit this trend!
02. sweaters with flair
Guys, this one is EASY! Sweaters with a little (or a lot) of flare is in, in, in for the rest of the year and into early Spring! Ruffles, bows, bell sleeves -- oh, my! Here, I'm wearing some subtly puffed sleeves from Anthropology (got it on sale, sorry!). This trend is so exciting because you can choose how big or small (literally) you want to go! I'm including several examples that you can click through and buy below!
03. Relaxed Business Attire
I just made up the trend name "relaxed business attire" but, regardless of what else it could be called, I'm catching the trend! This could also be described as "masculine fashion for women" -- which is super in right now, too. Call it what you want, but the button downs, striped dress shirts, slacks (or in my case leather pants), and loafer shoes are 10/10 this season! It's a favorite because it's "relaxed" but still put together! (PS - I LOVE CAPES!) There are so many ways to bring this trend to life in your wardrobe, and some pieces are linked in the slideshow below!
I have a few more Fall and Winter fashion blogs lined up, but let me know what YOU would like to see (fashion-related or not) in the comments below or on my Instagram, and I will be happy to cover it!
Hope you are loving everything that comes with this Fall season!
With relentless ambition + passion I live intentionally to take my dreams from plans to reality + empower other women to do the same. I'm a Trades of Hope founder, public speaker, and designer living in Washington, D.C. When I'm not following fashion trends, catching airplanes, or playing with my redhead pup, I'm offering up fashion shortcuts, life lessons I'm learning, and free wallpapers to remind you of how much you've got this.