Five years ago I wore a really expensive dress (hmm, I should try to sell that), danced until I dropped and then everyone started calling me Allie Lehman. To celebrate, I’m getting a tattoo to match his and we’re going to go hang out with Beyonce and Jay.
But it doesn’t get as many Instagram likes.
There’s lots of talk lately about Instagram and what it encourages: perfectly styled photos, standing on chairs to take a photo of your food and selfies for days. I would say it bothers me 10% of the time.
I jump on Instagram or Bloglovin’ and many of my peers are renovating homes, re-designing every room in the house and somehow all of them have the most amazing natural light. Then I look up from my phone and at our home, the duct tape keeping our AC window units working, the fact that I never have steamed out the creases in our Target curtains or the fact that our kitchen floor always looks dirty and think, “Oh my gosh. When are we going to be able to upgrade this shit!?”
Or there are the days where we eat Chipotle every night for dinner and I see all these beautifully styled (okay…too styled) plates of fresh, CSA meals being prepared by fellow bloggers across the country.
That’s 10% of the time. The rest of the time I’m just submerged deep into The Wonder Jam, side projects, collaborating with my friend across the country, photographing the beautiful people in my life or sleeping. I love how cheap our rent is. I’m proud of how long I can go without doing my hair. I love other people who are down-to-earth + real. I admire those who aren’t using social media.
But I’m all about Instagram as my happy/visual place. I love the perfectly styled photos and the selfies where you feel beautiful. Plus, people can do whatever they want. Less judging! Just know that my feed (or this blog) isn’t my whole life. It’s a small snippet and it’s a space where I see beauty in the life that I’m creating. But damn, my life is usually a mess. And I’m cool with that.
As you may have noticed…our May was quite eventful. AND EXPENSIVE. It left us quite high and dry and we’re treating June as a “re-save all the monies” type of month. Some expenses included:
- Trip to Nashville (while it was a Death to the Stock Photo trip, we spent money of our own) $
- My birthday $$
- Trip to NYC (same as Nashville x 100) $$$
- Put down our deposit on our studio (we’re currently subleasing but had to sign the lease for when we take over September 1 and put down a month’s worth of rent as a deposit) $$$$
- A pipe exploded under our bathroom sink $
- We hosted our 1 year birthday party for The Wonder Jam $$$
Oof. So last weekend, I decided to treat myself with a twenty dollar bill that Adam’s grandma sent to me in the mail for my birthday. While it was belated, it came at the perfect time. I bought myself an iced cinnamon honey latte (with almond milk) down the street for $3.75 and skipped over to Walgreens for some drugstore makeup.
I’m sort of a walking dichotomy because I equally hate AND love getting “ready.” I probably only wash my hair once a week and the idea of getting ready usually sets my eyes rolling. BUT I also love makeup. It’s an obsession and when I do wear it – I really, really love it. I watch all the makeup artists who are huge on YouTube, I buy really high end makeup but I also love drugstore makeup. (Side note: when did drugstore makeup start getting so expensive though??)
All that to say…I sat in our empty guest room (we call it the ZEN ROOM) in front of a mirror and did my makeup 100 different ways and experimented with braiding my hair. Oh and my brother sat in there with me while he worked. What a pal…
So there you have it. My $20 treat day. Since Adam and I are going on a beach vacation with his family next weekend, I sold a few clothes over on Instagram and intend on buying some beachwear soon. There’s something strangely challenging (in the best way) about being on a budget.
The Wonder Jam turned ONE last month and so we decided to do what we did when it first started…throw a party! The entire theme was centered around Phoebe Buffay from Friends. Her line, “Crazy like a straw….you know….crazy straws??” Also, she knows what’s up because she also is repping crazy straws in the episode where she’s in charge of cups and ice at Rachel’s surprise party…
I mean, you really can’t go wrong with crazy straws. They’re super cheap, fun and everyone gets a little more drunk than they planned.
Sarah, of The Whole Shabang Events, was our party planner and she KILLED it. Homemade guacamole + salsa, empanadas, pineapple, melon water, sangria + more. We also snagged 3 boxes of Cherbourg Bakery‘s strawberry shortcake cookies. The best cookies on the face of this earth. Swoon.
Of course we had to buy our friend Brandon’s Miller High Life cans.
Adam and I were so humbled and grateful by the end of the night. We were surrounded by such amazing friends, supporters and clients. The only thing I regret is not sending out invitations via the mail. Between Facebook and trying to tell everyone we could think of as we saw them…I can think of so many that we didn’t invite due to lack of poor planning. Plus we missed all our clients who live across the country or on the other side of the world. We love you all!
Our last day in New York City was technically in Brooklyn again. After being somewhat MIA from work for the last four days, the three of us had a lot to catch up on as Monday morning rolled around. We decided to take care of the things we needed while at the apartment (How amazing was our place? here’s the listing. Mark, our host, was fabulous) and then walk over to Cobble Hill for some burgers at Moo Burger. The spot was chosen by me…because they have gluten-free buns! The 20-25 minute walk each way was beautiful and made me a little upset that we’d be leaving for an 8 hour travel day.
Every time I visit NYC, I encounter a different city (or rather, different experiences). I wonder what next trip will be like…
Our last full day in New York City was good for my soul. We slept in (it was a Sunday) and rushed off to the Williamsburg flea to meet up with Kathryn to shoot photos. We spent the rest of the morning walking around Williamsburg, shopping and shooting photos.
My best friend Kellyn and her boyfriend made their way to Brooklyn from Philly for brunch + to spend the day with us. I have missed her so!
After an amazing brunch at Cafe Moto, we found a spot in Prospect Park with a bottle of rosé and spent time with old and new friends until the sun set.
Tomorrow: the fifth and final day of our trip with photos of our Airbnb!
The weather spoiled us on our third day in New York City. 70′s and sunny throughout the entire day. I had spent the night prior working on a client project until pretty late so we woke up super rushed and off to my blowout appointment at DreamDry in Manhattan. I love DreamDry over DryBar for a few reasons and one of them is the fact that they just have a lot more styles to offer! I got the “polished Stevie” and I’m not exaggerating when I say it lasted up to 3 days. Those waves just wouldn’t quit!
We traipsed around Manhattan for the rest of the afternoon. We hit up Zara, Uniqlo and snagged Adam a new watch. It’s a tradition dating back to our honeymoon! I bought Adam an awesome (tax-free) watch on our way to Florida and now we add to his collection every trip.
By 4pm, we headed back to the apartment for a quick nap and to drop off our bags before snapping photos + grabbing dinner with Lindsay and her main squeeze Aaron at Alma. We waited patiently over drinks for a rooftop table and as you can see from the last picture, we conquered!
Our second day in New York City was…drenched. It rained all day and the wind was quite impressive. Read: my hair instantly turned into a nest of frizz. We had a few meetings in Little Italy and so we ducked into Oro Bakery & Bar for some warm drinks while the guys drooled over their pretzel bagels (yes, I was jealous). This pretzel bagel really got into their head and for the remainder of the trip they would duck into bakeries across the city seeking something similar. No luck.
We were able to meet with Stephen from Skillshare. We love Skillshare’s mission + their desire to share while supporting anyone who’s willing to learn. The rest of our day consisted of the Chelsea Market (I was too busy drooling over all the food to shoot photos) and headed back to Brooklyn to tend to client work. The rain really put a buzzkill on our shooting plans but we knew sun was in the forecast.
This trip was the most stressful when it came to juggling client deadlines while also shooting and exploring the city. I see such a shift happening in The Wonder Jam’s day-to-day lives as we finish up the first half of 2014. I’m working on co-writing a book (!!) and we’ll be launching some online resources by the end of the year. “Making money while we sleep.” That’s the goal.
Long time, no talk! We had been in NYC since last Thursday and arrived back in Columbus late Monday. Yesterday I spent the day catching up on email + client work but I thought I would break up each day in NYC and give them each their own post. I took enough pictures to share!
After a flight delay, we got into NYC around 4pm and headed straight to our Airbnb in Red Hook. I wasn’t familiar with this part of Brooklyn but I always love getting to know new neighborhoods when we travel. Photos to come later! After dropping off our bags, we snagged an Uber taxi and headed to East Village to meet Dabito for ice cream at Van Leeuwen. Pistachio ice cream is my jam (FYI).
We later found tacos (I ate way too much corn on this trip which left me feeling slightly like a blimp) and wandered the streets. While I wasn’t hungry at all, we had to stop by Tu-Lu’s Gluten Free Bakery because…red velvet cupcakes. If only their employees were as friendly and warm as our very own Cherbourg Bakery!
Exhausted from a day of travels, Adam and I headed back to our apartment while David scampered off to a electronic swing dance party. If only I was that cool.
Stay tuned for day 2 and how NYC gave me its own version of a blowout…
Andy Newman, an incredibly talented videographer, recently featured us in his new series called Why We Create. He spent three hours at our studio while we sketched, talked and shared some of our fears and excitement when it comes to owning our own business. I hope you enjoy!