Kelly May Studio

@KellyMayStudio

Training: What I've Learned

Kelly Kennedy

This spring I finished my first half marathon, it was tough but exhilarating. Then even before that race started I had signed up for my first marathon. I had become addicted to the runners high and proving myself wrong with every new milestone.

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While talking to friends about my training I realized everyone falls into three categories. The first is people who hate running and think people who like to run are a little crazy and masochistic. Then there are people that love running and have always done it, somehow avoiding injury. Lastly there are those who love to run but there bodies fight them at almost every step. I fall into the later category, never been athletic. 

However I have persevered through aches and doubts because I knew I had to run a marathon before I died, it's one of the top 5 things on my bucket list. A lot of wonderful things have happened during my training, I've watched my body become stronger than it ever has and amazed myself with my diligence to the training schedule. But there's been hardship that i've overcome as well. I'm sharing the top tips I've learned through training, hoping it will help any other runners-without-runner's-bodies people acheive their dreams.

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  1. Stretch every freakin' day. This will make a huge different, I always focus on my hips, calves, and hamstrings but as you start to train you will know your problem areas more.
  2. Strengthen these problem areas, stretching alone won't fight future aches. For most people this is hips, knees and ankles. There's lot of exercises you can find online but if you have the means, a physical therapist is the best source of exercise.
  3. Don't exert yourself too much during cross training days. I once took a spin class and it depleted all my energy for the next run. These should almost be looked at as "rest days"
  4. Find ways to create the idea running conditions. For instance I will scout out exciting new running routes to take all week. I'm also constantly looking for new podcasts to binge on my long rungs and I've poured a little bit of money into the cloths I wear. I've found a good jog bra, socks and shoes are the most important to me (Brooks, Brooks and Brooks). 
  5. CARBS are your friend. For any run over 1 hour I carbo load at least a day in advance. I read you shouldn't be taking in that many more calories on these carbo loading days but your meals should consist of about 80-90% carbs.  For runs longer than a half marathon I'm carbo loading two days before. Additionally I wake up early on my "long" run days and eat some toast and a banana at least two hours before I start my run. Everyone is different but this has changed my energy levels while I run.
  6. Refueling during long runs was also a learning curb. I wish there was a healthier snack to have but the only food I've found works for me (digestion wise) is Gu Energy Gels. I also bring a running water bottle and refill every time I see a water fountain. 
  7. Avoiding injury becomes intuitive mostly. It sucks to take a day off and feel like you're halting your training but its so much better to rest a sore ankle then exasperate the injury on a run. I've also found if I'm just feeling over all achy I will cross train instead of going on a planned run, I'm still getting my aerobic exercise but I might avoid fatigue. To avoid any blisters I suggest good socks, perfectly laced shoes and, for women, use Petroleum Jelly under your sports bra (every where your bra touches your body) for long runs. 
  8. Epsum salt baths are essential to recover from a long run. Mostly with the training program I'm using (here) I'm not typically that sore. But every once in a while I will just need a good bath to ease any muscle tension. Soaking in Epsum salts for 20 minutes will change everything

These tips have helped me through one half marathon and halfway through my marathon training (the race is still a month and a half away). I was so nervous to start this training but now that I'm in the thick of it I don't find any length of a run intimidating, all it takes is diligence, intuition and trust in yourself. 

Basque Country

TravelKelly Kennedy
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Beautiful beaches, delicious food and laid back locals made Basque Country and ideal vacation. Located in norther Spain near the boarder to France, Basque Country is an autonomous region of Spain with it's own culture and language. While I stayed in Bilbao, I traveled around the whole region for a week and came back with some recommendations. 

The most beautiful hike I did while traveling was San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. The hike from the bus stop was about 7 miles round trip, so I would recommend wearing the right shoes. The end of this hike is a staircase (that you might recognize from GOT) that leads to a petite church dedicated to John the Baptist. It's said if you ring the bell of the church three times you can make a wish. This is an absolute must for a visit to this region. 

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A wonderful over night or weekend trip in this region would be San Sebastian, which is a beautiful beach town. It has some of the most stunning views I've ever seen and the most scrumptious Pintxos I had my entire trip. I recommend taking the funicular up Mount Igeldo, this will give you THE BEST views of the city.  The bottom of Mount Igeldo is a 20 minute walk from the beach. The San Telmo Museum taught me so much about Basque Country but it's not a museum that will blow you away, if you're crunched for time or would rather enjoy the beach, you can skip this.

The best Pintxos in town are at Las Cepas, Mejollonera and Teberna Dakara Bi. My dinner was from Taberna Dakara Bi which had no seating inside but I stood at a table outside to enjoy my bites of joy. 

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The Oma Forest was unlike anything I've seen, this beautiful hike through the quant countryside ends at Bosque Animado, a grouping of trees cleverly painted by Basque artist and sculptor Agustín Ibarrola in 1984. My favorite part was finding the spots to stand where images from multiple trees come together, like an eye or zig zag. It was playful, creative and really unique to this region. 

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Most of my time on this trip was spent in wonderful Bilbao. The most important part of Bilbao  is the Guggenheim museum. This museum is what put this used-to-be-working-class-town on the map. It has a wonderful collection of modern art and is surrounding by public art on all sides, visible without buying a ticket. We visited during their Art After Dark event which had an incredible DJ and not too shabby bar to drink from.

For food I highly recommend eating at  Menu Del Dia, the wine and meal were incredible. Also the atmosphere was unstuffy but the building was intriguingly decorated. The best cafe I visited was Mami Lou, it had wonderful pastries and a great view (seen below).

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Style Inspiration: Call Me By Your Name

FashionKelly Kennedy

Call Me By Your name is a recent obsession of mine, very few movies are so poetic but at the same time hold all of my attention as I watch. On top of the wonderful storyline and charming characters there is a beautiful styling to the costumes.  I heard the stylist even borrowed vintage cloths from locals to create the costumes. 

Since finishing the movie I've found myself drawing inspiration from different scenes while getting dressed and I've also noticed some street styles I see reminding me of the movie's costumes. Lets break down exactly how to create this look.

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Lets start off by analyzing the style of Elio; the main character.  He rocks a good amount of light washed jeans with either button ups or polos. Mostly, he sticks to pastel colored tops in looser fits, which leaves him looking laid back. The way to accessorize? Add some Ray Bands, a bike and/or a book. 

I also idolize the "face" shirt he wears in the last scene over a turtleneck, it really reminds me of some Stella McCartney prints. It's also important to note how fly his dance moves are.

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Oliver (Elio's love interest) inspired me a little less than Elio. Mostly his shorts (love a good short short on men) and his sneakers. Absolutely buying this exact pair once I need to replace the pair I have now.

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The women of Call Me By Your Name also inspired my style. Mostly Marzia (Elio's other love interest) and Annella ( his mother). Marzia wore lots of dresses and jump suits that are by far the easiest way to look pulled together with minimal effert. 

Annella has so many amazing style moments. First there is the Canadian tuxedo with tight denim skirt , then that exact skirt with an oversized beige blazer and woven bag and lastly the over sized shorts with waste belt. Her style is totally timeless, I could picture her in the 50's or present day in any and all of these outfits, so chic and understated. 

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The takeaway I have from the styling of Call Me By Your Name is that the 80's can be done in a classic chic way and summer wear can be laid back and look pulled together at the same time with the right pieces. 

Bright Colors: How To

HomeKelly Kennedy
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I love me some minimalist, beige and white interiors but it really doesn't reflect my personality so I've been striving to figure out the best way to add color to my home while still keeping my home a peaceful place to rest my eyes at the end of the day. Below are some inspirational images with the tips I've compiled for myself.

 It can be difficult as a renter to add color so I suggest keeping the walls white and include bright colors in your textiles. it's best to keep them all in the same color families with multiple textures and cultural references. 

It can be difficult as a renter to add color so I suggest keeping the walls white and include bright colors in your textiles. it's best to keep them all in the same color families with multiple textures and cultural references. 

 Create an unexpected color combination with a somewhat neutral color. This combination of Lavender and tan (with a pop of yellow) is not typically used but it doesn't feel like too loud of a statement because of the muted tan.

Create an unexpected color combination with a somewhat neutral color. This combination of Lavender and tan (with a pop of yellow) is not typically used but it doesn't feel like too loud of a statement because of the muted tan.

 Use bright colors sparingly and surprisingly. Think outside the box for how to incorporate them (think painting a radiator, ceiling or inside of a closet) . This allows you to explore interesting color combinations without investing too much money or time. 

Use bright colors sparingly and surprisingly. Think outside the box for how to incorporate them (think painting a radiator, ceiling or inside of a closet) . This allows you to explore interesting color combinations without investing too much money or time. 

 Choose the same pops of color throughout your home to create a color story. This way any pop of color can feel well thought out and intentional.

Choose the same pops of color throughout your home to create a color story. This way any pop of color can feel well thought out and intentional.

 There are some colors that you can never go wrong with (in my book). I.e. Pink, Forest Green and Mustard).

There are some colors that you can never go wrong with (in my book). I.e. Pink, Forest Green and Mustard).

Summer To Do List

LifestyleKelly Kennedy

Every summer I'm overcome with the possibilities of how to soak up the fleeting good weather while it lasts. As soon as early June hits my natural hurried disposition melts into a leisurely peacefulness.  Instead of taking the train, I'll spend hours strolling home through unexplored neighborhoods. Gone are the outings where I cross off THE most things on my to-do list and they're replaced with destination-less excursions that have no time limit. Below is a list of things I plan to do this season to take advantage of this peacefully adventurist spirit I have.

  1. Take a commuter trail upstate for a day hike. I have my eye on
  2. Bake a gilette from scratch with fresh berries
  3. No question I'm going to watch an outdoor movie in the city, the question is which one?
  4. Sit in Prospect Park on a sunny day soaking up the sun in this reading that
  5. Having flowers in the house every damn day.
  6. Creating the perfect picnic and enjoying it in central park
  7. Catching Shakespear in the park
  8. Spending a day at the beach.

Style Inspiration: Carrie Bradshaw

FashionKelly Kennedy
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After moving to NYC recently I got hit with this huge urge to just binge watch Sex And The City, which is exactly what I've been doing. Aside from some of the disappointing un-feminist story lines I'm absolutely adoring this show. And Carrie has giving me a new found bold approach to my wardrobe. I'm only in season 2 but I've seen later episodes and here are some of my favorite outfits along with style pointers I've learned from her.

1. Fur

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I've said this before and I'll say it again, unfussy hair makes any outfit look laid back. I appreciate the combination of bohemian layered necklaces with a fur jacket, it feels very '70's. Also, I'm braiding my hair as we speak to acheive this 'do. 

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Ending the night at dawn is always a good choice, but also high wasted pink pants, peasant top and fur jacket, who would have thought of such an amazing outfit? So unexpected and so perfect for a night out dancing.

Because the absolute best place to wear fur is a ball game, I will no longer not dress up for sporting events. This outfit is also making me reconsider aviators, just like the unkept hair it keeps outfits from looking too formal.

2. Scarves as shawls 

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The perfect solution to summer air conditioning, scarves! You can wear them around your arms to keep warm and look extremely chic. Carrie took full advantage of this during season 1 and 2. (Again with the aviators, sigh)

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I couldn't find a great full outfit image of this one but she was wearing a little black dress with this loosely knit scarf/ shawl, mixing laid back style with special ocasion wear is a must do.

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The colors! So beautiful, lovely spring look.

3. Don't be afraid to show off that bod

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Sarah Jessica Parker's bod was (and still is) rockin' during SATC. I loved the outfits that were really body hugging to show off her curves, clothing can be very sexy and still look fashionable. 

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Loving this classic silhouette in a beautiful blue hue  

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What an iconic fashion moment, I'm diggin' it. 

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So in conclusion Carrie Bradshaw has taught me how to be a little bolder when I get dressed and also not take fashion too seriously. 

Winter To Do List

LifestyleKelly Kennedy
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Winter can be tough but I think if you take moments to appreciate what it brings it doesn't have to feel a depressing. Coming from New Hampshire I've learned lots of ways to enjoy the colder months. There are plenty of things to do outside and great excuses to explore the great indoors as well. This list below is what I want to achieve before the season is done...

  1. Bake the best loaf of bread which would ideally include some whole grains. I've yet to find the best recipe though
  2. Go skiing
  3. Have a Hot Tottie by a fire ( I hear this hotel's bar is great for that)
  4. Knit a sweater
  5. Ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza 
  6. I haven't been back to New Hampshire in years, but maybe this winter I'll go see this.

Gyms: A Breakup Story

LifestyleKelly Kennedy

I've always loved going to the gym, as long as I can remember. For my 13th birthday I remember asking my mom if I could join her at the gym as my present. Before I had my license in my early high school years I joined my parents at the gym regularly. 

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Fast forward a couple years and I have my license so I can go the gym alone, I felt so alive and independent. I would go almost every day, even before high school ( I was never part of any sports team, so this was my excercise). 

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Then in college I started to learn more about overall health from my mentor/ boss. She taught me to really pay attention to my body and what it was telling me I needed. This changed the way I looked at food and exercise. 

I started to spend more time running because it felt great, and less time at the gym, which bored me. After years of this my body started aching when I ran, so I injected some yoga and at that I found the perfect balance for my body; yoga, gym and running. I would still go to the gym to have access to the weights. 

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Recently I moved and now I live too far from a gym for me to justify a membership, this would be the first time in about a decade I wouldn't have access to a gym and it weirdly didn't scare me. I continued to run and do yoga. I also replaced the weights I did at the gym with calisthenics. 

It's the happiest I've been with my workout routine in my entire life. I love finding new ways to fit in a work out. Trying new things like renting a bicycle to ride around the city, taking walks around my neighborhood and recently I've been doing ClassPass which has allowed me to try different class workouts. 

I'm sure one day I'll get a gym membership but right now I love the flexibility of working out when I want and how I want without worrying about if I'm wasting money on a membership. 

 

Podcasts Based On Your Mood

LifestyleKelly Kennedy

I'm a nerd for podcasts, so much so that I expect this to be a passion of everyone I meet.  I recently started talking to some friends about my favorites and was shocked when they said they didn't listen to any. It's such a simple way to not only entertain yourself but also learn something new while you're on the go. 

While I ride the overpopulated, germ filled train to work, I need a distraction, and podcasts are my drug of choice. Because I've spent so much time listening to podcasts I have a pretty good idea of which ones are best for what moods.

 

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For when you want the news, but also need to laugh...

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me

This NPR news based radio show cracks me up each week. Their goofy sense of humor mixed with the weeks news is a great way to intake all of the typically depressing news of the week (it's important to note they don't go in depth on topics). Their panel of amazing comedians rotates each week and when you're favorite cast member (what up Paula Poundstone) is on one week it feels like a mini Christmas. I never miss a week of this one. 

 
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For when you want the news, no none sense...

The Daily

The New York Times produces this podcast (so it's extremely liberal, but so am I) and it has a good mixture of an overview of the daily news and in depth looks into a particular topic you should know more about. Sometimes they interview other New York Times reporters but other times they interview outside sources. Their reporting can be too one sided (shocker I know), but I find the topics they choose are very significant.  They will report on a subject and a couple weeks later that same subject is the the center of all headline news. I feel informed, and not superficially, when I listen to The Daily.

 

 

For when you want to get lost in stories...

The Moth

This podcast comes from recordings of live storytelling events hosted by The Moth. Anyone can audition to tell their story at one of these events and some are chosen to be aired on their podcast. My old boss said it so well, she said, "sometimes there are great storytellers, sometimes there are great stories, it's really special when you hear a story that has both". Be prepared to cry, laugh and learn about new experiences you never thought about. 

This American Life

Each week of this podcast there's a theme and stories told based off that theme. Stories is a word used loosely here, sometimes it's a stand up act, some times an essay is being read, it really depends. The only real thread between all the episode is they're all about American life, but not the strict definition you're thinking of. Similar to The Moth there are terribly sad stories and some hilariously funny. One great thing about this show is it will take in depth looks at important topics, for instance, it recently did two episodes looking into the real impact immigrants have on American life.

Love + Radio

In this podcast interesting people are interview but there's no narrator. So you go into each story not certain what conclusion you should come to or what topic will be covered. I have to be in the right mood to listen to this because more so than other podcasts I listen to, you need to really pay attention.  There's typically a moment where the light bulb goes off and you "get" what the story is about. The people they choose to interview aren't typical, like a pimp, a street harasser, online sexual dominatrix personality and an ex-lie detector tester. 

Criminal 

Every episode of this podcast is linked somehow to criminality, even if it's a loose connection. Sometimes they interview an ex-criminal, sometimes you learn a new criminality technique and sometimes you learn about a historic criminal figure. Most episodes are light and airy but some can hit you to your core. A lot of these episodes have really stuck with me and I think of them often. 

 

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For when you want to learn something new...

Radiolab

This podcast teaches you about science through human experiences. I don't have a very scientific brain so some of their episodes kind of lull me to sleep, but some of them have effected the way I view the world. I would highly recommend you listen to the following, even if you don't listen to anything else I've recommended.

  1. Space- A love story mixed with a story about NASA you wouldn't believe
  2. Colors- I'm hoping one day to be able to insert more color cones into my eyes... one day
  3. Memory- This episode made me not trust my memory at all, it's really just a story we tell ourselves 
  4. When Am I Dead?- The history of death that is explored in this episode is fascinating and makes me look at death differently 
  5. In The Running- As a runner I think about this episode often and use it as fuel to go further, perception is the only thing holding you back 

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History

Ok for this show you need time, and a lot of it. Dan Carlin knows his history and he likes to talk. His voice is really soothing and the subjects he chooses are very intriguing (for instance Genghis Khan and his reign) but I don't think there is anyway you can truly pay attentive for four hours straight (that's how long some of his episodes are!). I've listened to this in the past while I'm baking all day, or doing an activity that really needs half my brain, never fully taking in every word he says, but still learning something new.

99% Invisible

I LOVE DESIGN and so does this podcast. It looks at design of a lot of different fields, audio, architecture, graphic, you name it. The episodes are short and sweet but draw attention to mostly every day objects and their designs. I'll never look at a Flag the same way again. 

Freakonomics Radio

When I listen to this podcast I become really aware of how little I know about economics, but it doesn't take away from my understanding of the shows topics. This podcast looks at a lot of different aspects of our every day and larger lives through the lens of economics.  Before listening to this podcast I had no idea lines at the store, happiness and organ donation could all be made better through economic theory. Each episode explains a theory or a phenomena by interviews experts in different feilds (mostly economics) I always feel more intelligent after listening to an episode. 

 

For when you need spiritual inspiration...

Ram Dass Here And Now

If you're interested in eastern philosophies like I am this podcast is made for you. Ram Dass was a Harvard professor who moved to India, went through a spiritual awakening and upon returning to the west has been teaching what he's learned through lectures, books and retreats. This podcast has a recording of a past lecture (some are very old lectures, going back to the 70's and 80's) with a prelude by a colleague of his. I typically skip the beginning prelude and just listen to the lecture. This podcast always grounds me. 

Oprah's SuperSoul

What can't Oprah do, right? Each episode of this podcast she interviews authors and gets real. I haven't listened to many episodes of this but the ones I have listened to have been about following your passion, defining your principles and in general living a honest and purposeful life. When I'm feeling a little too attached to the frivolous things in life I like to listen to an episode of SuperSoul.

Terrible, Thanks For Asking

A woman loses her husband shortly after loosing her father and decides to be more honest when people ask "how are you doing?". Every episode is filled with true talks with people who have been through terrible times in their lives. I know it sounds depressing but there is always something comforting to hear someone else's tough time in their life. Not only does it make me more grateful for my life but it helps me feel less alone when I'm unhappy or thing's aren't going my way.

Making friends

LifestyleKelly Kennedy

I'm embarking on yet another huge move across the country and preparing myself to make new friends again. I'm actually not that concerned though because I have a good idea of what making friends in a new city looks like and with technology it's not that daunting of a task! I've rounded up some of my favorite making friends tips, hope this makes it easier to make friends if you're moving or even if you're staying in the same city looking to expand your circle!

1. Bumble BFF

Best thing that has come out of the online dating apps is Bumble BFF. It's the exact same thing as Bumble but only for people looking for friends. It's AWKWARD, I'm not going to lie. You will go on friends dates that will be so boring they will feel like an eternity, but it's worth it because I have met some of the coolest people through there. 

My tip for an easy going friend date, plan a big group meet up if possible. I had a friend I was meeting up with through the app do this and I ended up making a bunch of friends that night because of it.

 

2. Meetups 

I think most people have heard of Meetups but I don't know how many people have tried it. I love this as a method to make friends because you're going to meet people with the same interests as you! I have plenty of friends that share my niche interests, but few share them all. So when I started to become more interested in healthy eating and didn't have a friend to bounce cool home recipes off of I looked to Meetups to see if there was a group for this (there wasn't but maybe I'll make one!). 

3. Join a club

There are so many more clubs out there then you think, running clubs, game clubs, movie clubs, running clubs, knitting circles, the list goes on. A lot of these can be found on Meetups but you can also find local stores that have their own clubs. There was a knitting store in my old neighborhood that had a very information knitting club, just come any Saturday you want, sit on the couch and knit for however long you want. I love that type of community that can come from a shared goal in mind. 

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4. Volunteer 

Volunteering is so great to meet friends because typically the coolest people volunteer. My favorite organization (for meeting friends and for my political interests) is Planned Parenthood. Some of the most interesting people volenteer for that organization because it gets so much publicity and their interests align with so many others. I would suggest going for an organization that really aligns with your values and you will meet people you like. 

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Bookshelves: How to

HomeKelly Kennedy

I LOVE BOOKS, I love fiction, none fiction, coffee table books, novels, classics and new, I love them all. Even though I now have (thanks to my late grandpa) a Kindle, I still buy physical books because I love holding them and they make great interior decoration. I'm a sucker for multi use objects. 

It can be tricky to display books and have it look intentional because of all the different sizes and colors, book displays can end up looking messy. I've rounded up a couple ways to rethink how to organize these objects in your home so they're just as pretty to look at as interesting to read. 

 


1. Color coordinating 

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Grouping the same colored spines in a book shelf can add so much interest! It doesn't even have to be a rainbow, I have a shelf of just white books in my book case. I have a hard time with certain colors (like I only have one bright yellow book) so this isn't the perfect solution for all your books in most cases. Which brings me to my next trick...

2. Turn them around

Turn those books around! Or to the side to create a harmonious color look. It looks so beautiful in monochromatic homes and I love seeing the different shades of creamy yellow in each book. Turnign them to their side can also acheive this look, but that really doesn't look great inside a book case, only if stacking them on the floor, table or window sill. 

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3. Stack them

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This type of precarious stacking only works if you have a bunch of books you don't need access to often. And if you have lots of hard cover books, but it adds so much interest to a room! I like the idea of using really large books to create a night stand as well.

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4. Bookshelf decorating 

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There are so many ways to change just a book case/ shelf into a decoration piece. You can use all the ideas we've talked about so far but you can also add interest by adding none book items. I love the addition of picture frames, small sculptures and plants. I don't think a lot of money needs to be invested into these none book items, I personally use candles and beautiful pottery that I already have. 

You can also add interest through how you display the items. You can do this through color (color coordinating or turning the books around like we talked about above) but you can also do this through form.  Organize the books by size and create a "v" like in the book shelves above. Or you can change the status quo and stack them like in the image below. 

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5. Create a book wall

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This is MUCH more of an investment than the other ideas but how dreamy is an entire wall of books? I hope to one day have a house with this.  You can use all the ideas above in a wall of books to creat visual interest, or keep to one look, there are so many choices with that much space.

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Charleston

TravelKelly Kennedy

Recently I visited my good friend from high school in her new city; Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston is a wonderful city filled with great food, architecture, history and surrounded by natural beauty and I highly recommend a trip there. I'm also really happy I visited for a week, I was able to slow down and explore without any rush. I spent a day in Savannah and I honestly didn't enjoy that city as much. Below are a list of my favorite places to eat, visit and explore. 

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TO DO


The Battery

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There is a long stretch of sea wall at the bottom of the Charleston peninsula called The Batter, it was build as a defensive sea wall during the civil war. Now it's a beautiful walk way with wonderful views of the sea and city and has a beautiful park; White Point Park. I would suggest walking along the walk way and spending a moment to do nothing at all in the park. White Point Park was lined with beautiful curling oaks and palm trees, it was a perfect place to enjoy a warm day. 

 

 

 

 

Gibbs Museum

The Gibbs Museum is a small fine art museum with pieces mostly made by American and some Mexican artists from the 19th century on.  The building it's self is beautiful, I'm a sucker for an interesting floor tile design. My favorite piece however was a a permanent installation by Patrick Dougherty. This piece called Betwixt and Between was made from local wood collected by volunteers and is inspired by Charleston many steeples.  

 

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Boone Hall Plantation

This beautiful plantation is known for it's beautiful oaks covered in spanish moss that line the drive in. Many movies have been filmed on the property including The Notebook and hundreds of marriages happen there every year, including, more recently, Ryan Reynolds and Black Lively. This plantation is still a working farm, known for it's strawberries and tomatoes. But in it's heyday this plantation produced rice, bricks, pecans and cotton. 

There's a tour of the land and farm in a tractor pulled coach, a tour of the house and a Gullah presentation. All three are nice but the Gullah presentation was the most interesting to me, learning about the African American, specifically the Gullah history and culture was so informative. The pure beauty of the plantation is the main reason I would recommend visiting, trees and land are a site to see. 

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Downtown Charleston 

There are a bunch of tourist-y things to do down town that should be a part of your trip, not matter how corny they are.  Some of those things include Rainbow Row (a collection of pastel colored homes in a row), City Market, Waterfront Park and the Old Slave Mart. You could include The Battery in this list but I think that's important enough to have it's own mention. The way I took in this historic and tourist-y area was just meandering around, getting lost in the back streets and stumbling upon a new historical site. The houses in this area are so beautiful it makes getting lost feel imporant. Click through the images below to see more of downtown. 

Angel Oak

This completely free attraction was one of the most beautiful. This tree is over 400 years old and is so large some of the limbs have grown into the ground and come back up. I can't emphesise how glad I am to have driven the 45 minutes to see this tree.

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Bulls Island

I took a ferry from Coastal Expeditions that took about 30 minutes (the ferry was about a 30 min drive from Charleston) to get to Bulls Island. This is a remote island off the coast of the peninsula that has beautiful swamps and beaches. The ferry ride it's self was ecotourism and I learned about the ecosystem in the estuaries off the coast. 

Once you're on the island you can explore what ever you would like as long as you're back in time to catch the return ferry. The main attraction is Boneyard Beach, this beautiful beach with dead trees that have become like driftwood, but still stand tall as trees leaving the land scape to look like it's scattered with bones. I was also very fortunate to have run into an adult sized alligator and on the way home I saw a dolphin. This may have been my favorite part of my trip, highly recomended. 

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TO EAT


Fast and French

Delicious french food that is fairly priced and, not surprisingly, comes quickly. The tables are shared so prepare to knock elbows with strangers.

Vintage

An adorable cafe that has every hip food from acai bowls to avocado toast. I had the best chai tea latte (made with turmeric!), almond butter toast and roasted brussel sprouts. The seating is limited inside, but expansive outside, go on a nice weather day.

Dellz

Vegan and Vegetarian food in a bohemian interior. They have some really interesting smoothy flavors and great pizzas. I had a berry smoothy and hummus plate. 

Back In The Day Bakery

This is the only place I ate in Savannah and it was my favorite part of my day trip there. I got biscuits and gravy (with an egg) and a lavender shortbread cookie. SO WORTH IT.

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100 Day Project: Progress

DesignKelly Kennedy

Day 38 out of 100 and I wanted to share my progress on the blog. I'm going to be honest, I've missed days, not many, but I have. I have continued to not demand I finish a poster each day, just work on it and I think the pieces I've made sense have been better quality.

When I started this project I expected to  grow my portfolio and start a habit of making every day, but I didn't expect to see much improvement in my skills as a designer. I was wrong! I can already see how I'm better at placing things on the page and my illustration skills are slowly improving (nowhere near where I want to be, but that will take time).  

This round up of posters is a grouping I did leading up to Halloween of scary (or Halloween themed) movie posters, click through to see them all!. 

Style Inspiration: Olsen Twins

FashionKelly Kennedy

They're great designers but in my heart they have even better style. The actresses have taken over the fashion world with their laid back and polished style (somehow it's both, trust me). This post is going to be a collection of my favorite looks of theirs and will hopefully bring you as much style inspiration as it's brought me.

Most of their style does revolve around the color black and I'm ok with that. Black doesn't require much attention from the viewer or the wearer and it goes well with almost every color. I don't care if it's boring or depressing at times, it always looks cool and by far my favorite color to wear.  I know the twins share my sentiment. 

Another great example of black ensembles. I love the mixture of texture Ashely is wearing with the cotton turtleneck and satin dress over it. This photo also highlights their simple makeup and hair choices. Their looks tend to feel laid back because of their styling finishing touches like a simple low bun and barely there make up. 

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I love their outfits that include slouchy long layers like this one. When fashion is unsexy I think it becomes even more interesting, because it puts a focus on the textiles and make of pieces. These also show how their accessories are what can truly make their outfits. Without Ashely's scarf or Mary Kate's bag these outfits would really have fallen flat.

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Another example of unfussy slouchy layers with easily put together details. I especially love how Ashley ( I think it's Ashely, not perfect at telling them apart) uses a scarf as a shawl over her sholders. 

These last few images really show how their styles consists of simple, well made pieces that are elevated through their accessories and simple beauty choices.  I love to revist their style every once in a while to ground me back to what I hope to acheive one day. 

Tassels and Pom Poms: A Love Story

FashionKelly Kennedy

I'm so happy pom poms and tassels are on trend right now because they add so much whimsy to a piece and they're SO easy to make. I'll make a tutorial for each soon but right now I wanted to make an apprecatiation post that also includes my favorite pieces to buy right now (no surprise it's mostly Anthro goods).

I love how great pom poms look with flats and heels. You can add them to any shoe by purchasing pom pom clips (available here). 

Tassel earnings are the bees knees and that is a fact. There's not much to say other then they're just so much fun and go with almost anything. Anthro has a great selection but my favorites are here.

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Tassels and pom poms lend themselves very well to accessories. Take this purse or hat, their like the cherry on top of the outfit. 

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I also really like tassels and pom poms in the home. I created a pom pom garland that frames my front door and brings me joy every time I come home. I want to try to create a wall hanging that draws inspiration from this one, it's so beautiful.

Another way to incorporate pom poms and tassels in the home is to attach them to pillows! Once you know how to make these accessories you can sew them onto the corners, along the sides or even on the front of a pillow for added decoration. Obviously you can also buy a pillow with them already attached, like this one. 

Round Up: Best Wall Hangings

HomeKelly Kennedy

I studied textiles in college and it's left a long lasting appreciation for any soft surfaces including clothing, kitchen linens, bedding and rugs. However the creme dela creme of textiles in our every day lives are wall hangings. I look at these pieces and see the history that led to their design and appreciate that we value textiles as highly as any other art form (which historically isn't true) by displaying them on the wall. I've rounded up my favorite pieces and artist that I've discovered over the years. 

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This wall hanging that was shown in a recent Apartment Therapy House Tour is made by an artist in Chile (other work sold here).  I'm not sure if this artist has seen Sheila Hicks'  (the grandmother of fiber art) work but these pieces look to be drawing inspiration from her wrapping work. I appreciate the texture and colors and simplicity of the display. I would love to create a DIY piece that is inspired by this work.

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I discovered this artist through Instagram, her beautiful tapestries always make me stop scrolling and just sigh. Her Etsy shop is filled with mostly once of a kind pieces and I've read articles where she talks about how many customer's write to her and tell her they save up money for months to buy her work. I hope to one day own a piece by her, they're truely inspiring and unique. 

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Herron is a weaving studio based out of Chicago. I also follow the studio on Instagram and have become obsessed with her focus on historical textiles and learning of new textile techniques. She creates a lot of rugs and throws but I think they can be just as easily wall pieces. 

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I love creating and looking at embroidery but it's so accessible it's hard to find your own hand with it. Maricor/Maricar has done exactly that, her text pieces are always beautiful but with a side of humor. She also does reversible embroideries which I've never seen before. I've drawn a lot of inspiration from her.  

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Lastly another weaver I follow on Instagram, Maryanne Moodie. She does a lot of workshops and sells some how to book and materials. However she also creates some beautiful, simple tapestries. I find them to be unassuming and smart with what colors are used, like the piece above. 

100 Day Project : Progress

DesignKelly Kennedy

I've been doing the 100 Day Project for 12 days now and I love it. It really is forcing me to create work even when I don't want to. My only concern is that creating a poster every day is making me rush through the work, because I don't have time every day to create a wonderful poster. The reason I'm doing this project is to improve my graphic design skills and while the first couple days I could feel myself learning, now I feel like I'm taking the easy way out most days to save time. I've stunted my learning. 

Because of this I've decided to work on posters every day and at a minimum make one a week. This way I can explore new techniques and continue to progress my learning. You can see all my posters here but please enjoy my favorite piece so far below.

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Floor Pillows: How To

HomeKelly Kennedy

I have to admit, I hated this trend when it first came out, it reminded me of cheap college furniture at it's worst and '60's inspired interiors at it's best. Somehow, like many trends (and songs!) it wore me down and today I am coveting it.  

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I think the biggest obstacle to keep these from looking too casual. I think the best way to achieve this is to make sure these pillows are situated next to more formal seating options (chairs, couches, ect) and to pict the fabric they're made out of carefully. A fabric that seems too retro can make these pillows feel like too much of a throw back to the hippy error.

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Below are my favorite options for floor pillows:

Anthropologie

Urban Outfitters

Amazon

Urban Outfitters

Anthropologie

 

 

 

Style Inspiration: Alexa Chung

FashionKelly Kennedy
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Fashion ideas can come from many places, I typically get mine from stylish woman I see in my life and online or from fictional characters on tv or in movies. I want to do a series of posts shouting out to the inspirations I've found in my life. I'm starting off this series with the original style inspration for me; Alexa Chung

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Alexa is a model/ tv host/ writer/designer/ DJ and I first discovered her in 2010 when an ex boyfriend became obsessed with the Arctic Monkeys and told me about the lead singers girlfriend of the time. I poured over images and interviews with her, trying to break down what made her style so great and it has had a huge effect on my wardrobe ever since. 

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What has always drawn me to her is that her style seems so obtainable. I can recreate most of her outfits with little tweaks and still have the same feeling. This approachability of her style comes from her never looking too... anything. When she is wearing some sexy or girly dress she will top if off with sneakers or loafers to make the ansamble more masculine. Short skirts are paired with high necklines, t-shirts with high heels and her make up and hair are never too over done. 

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Chung has been quoted saying she doesn't think her style is anything special, she's just a hipster and maybe that's true. However I can stair at images of her outfits for hours and still not get enough. 

Thankfully she's done tons of collaborations with brands over the years (Madewell and AG Jeans to name a few) so obtaining her style can be very easy. However, more recently she has started her own collection. And God has answered my prayers. It's pretty expensive but these pieces are exactly what I've seen her wear over the years, so it might be worth the splurge? 

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Sneakers: A love story

FashionKelly Kennedy
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When sneakers started sweeping the street wear images a couple years ago I hated the look. I thought it looked disconnected, a nice well thought out look with casual sneakers to finish it off. But somehow my sentiments towards this look has completely transformed into love in the past year. Now I see this casual footwear as an exclamation point to an outfit instead of an ellipsis. 

On top of this trend adding a casual vibe to an other wise possible stuffy outfit they're also so much more comfortable than typical fashionable shoes. When I was younger I barely thought about the pain in my feet at the end of a day but as I get older this has become so much more important to me. Sky-high ankle boots are just not practical for a woman who has to walk almost a mile to commute to work.  Even more practical fashion-y shoes like flats can give me blisters with the daily walk to the train.

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I love wearing sneakers with menswear inspired look; tailored blazers, trousers and button up shirts. But I think they also look great with the right feminine looking outfit, a beautiful flowing skirt topped off my casual sneakers is almost like a wink was added to the outfit.  I'm hoping to grow my sneaker collection much larger in the next couple years. Below are the ones I have my eyes on now.

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