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Lily

pregaming with coffee
Hi everyone,

This week hasn’t exactly been the best for me. My family’s beloved 18-year-old kitty, Lily, passed away peacefully on Monday, which has rendered me heartbroken over the past few days. Anyone who met her could tell you that she was a very special creature, with, as my sister puts it, “a personality bigger and louder than her meow.” She loved to sunbathe, eat my leftover cereal, drink out of unattended water glasses and greet everyone who came through the door with several boisterous meows. She was very beautiful.

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Lily taught me so many things over the years – about love, about loyalty, about being yourself and yelling at the top of your lungs to let everyone know that you’re the boss. But perhaps the greatest lesson she taught me is one of having compassion and respect for all creatures on this Earth.

My sister with one very large cat.

My sister with one very large cat.

Sometimes, I see pet owners who have a tendency to “collect” animals, like they’re possessions or American Girl dolls or something. Or worse, I see rescue dogs and cats that have been saved from neglect or abuse. I’m grateful for their saviors, but so sad that people can be so ignorant and malicious towards a living being that just wants to be loved. Which is all anyone wants, really.

Lily taught me that pets have a special place in this world – they have ears and eyes and lungs and hearts and souls and deserve love, respect and attention. When you adopt a pet, you are making that animal a part of your family. And that’s exactly what she was – seeing as I’ve had her since age six, she truly grew up with me and my sister, providing unconditional love for the both of us.

Me being a super-fly 13-year-old.

Me being a super-fly 13-year-old.

I am, of course, very sad about her passing. She is completely irreplaceable, and has been an integral part of my family for almost my entire life. But I carry her vibrant spirit with me and hope that others can remember to have empathy and respect for all humans and animals, no matter their shape and size.

lily

Make sure to hug your friends today, whether they’re dogs, cats or people!

- Gina


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Relax

pregaming with coffee

earrings: borrowed from Em | shirt: JCP | shorts: Wet Seal | watch Charming Charlie | flats: Nine West

pregaming with coffeepregaming with coffeeHappy Friday!

Due to the fact that I’ve been on vacation and, consequently, out of the loop of pretty much everything for the past week, I’m going to forgo Weekly Brew for today and offer y’all an outfit post. My fam and I have been relaxing in Maryland, about 25 miles outside of Annapolis. And I must say, it’s been absolutely fantastic. The waterfront is so peaceful and quiet, and they have KILLER gardens here (seriously, I give mad props to whoever’s doing the landscaping). It’s been great to just clear my head and soak in the rest of summer.

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Photos by Em.

Speaking of which, I bought these sweet shorts in June but haven’t had a chance to show ‘em off until now. Better late than never, right? They’re so fun and summery, and also double as a nice pair of PJs. Paired with a lightweight denim shirt and some pretty pastel flats, I’m all set for another three months of warm weather on the East Coast. Please?

Have a great weekend!

- Gina

 


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Blogger Spotlight: Hunt & Harvest

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All photos from Hunt & Harvest.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I’m currently on vacation, which has been an extremely nice break from real life. As I continue to relish this reprieve, I’m happy to bring you my next Blogger Spotlight, which features Olivia Crandall, the face of Hunt & Harvest. It’s hard to believe that Olivia is so new to the blogging scene, because she’s definitely go it down pat. Everything — from her minimalist style to her killer taste in music to her FREAKING DELICIOUS RECIPES — has earned my unwavering adoration. Plus, we both love pierogis and hate peplum. We’re totally on the same wavelength here.

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That being said, learn all about what makes Olivia tick here, then be sure to visit her blog for some gorgeous style and food posts!

When and why did you start blogging?
I started in April 2014, which is only four months ago. Sometimes I have to remind myself I’m still the most amateur of amateurs. After more than eight years of reading style blogs obsessively, I decided it was time for me to swallow my pride and dive in. I was also in desperate need of a creative outlet.

You have some really beautiful photography on your site. What type of camera do you use?
Thank you, wow, too kind. I use a six-year-old Canon Rebel xsi.

How do you personally market your blog to grow your readership?
I’m still learning here. As of now, Instagram has helped a lot, but I’ve noticed that it doesn’t actually drive much traffic. Once, a stranger recognized me in public though from IG, so it’s definitely doing something. Tastespotting has been really great in terms of my food-following (however, they can be very choosy with what they’ll accept). Overall, I try to just consistently do my thing, even if it’s only for my three friends and my mom, who diligently read every post, and let it grow slowly from there.

What’s your favorite thing about Cleveland? 
Pierogis. Sort of kidding, but not really. I also love the low cost of living, the waterfront, and how mostly everyone here is a genuinely good guy.

Name one item in your closet that you can’t give up.
My favorite leather jacket. It feels like butter, goes with everything and gets better with age. Next would be my collection of vintage belts and sunglasses I’ve slowly borrowed (stolen) from my mom.

What’s your all-time favorite album?
Just thinking about choosing gives me anxiety. Instead here are my favorite songs of all time. My funeral party playlist:

  1. LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
  2. Kanye West – Family Business
  3. The Strokes – What Ever Happened?
  4. Disclosure – You & Me feat. Eliza Doolittle (Flume Remix, please)
  5. Donnie & Joe Emerson – Baby
  6. Jay Electronica – Exhibit C
  7. The National – I Need My Girl
  8. Al Green – Love And Happiness
  9. The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
  10. Usher – Yeah! feat Lil’ Jon & Ludacris

 

What’s a trend that you’ll just never understand?
Peplum anything. Someone help me here. So strange.

If your life were a song, what song would it be?
The opening to Game of Thrones. Done deal.

Hypothetical situation: It’s Friday and it’s payday. Where can we find you?
I spend my lunch break at work ordering myself presents from Zara and Catbird. Pro tip: always get the complimentary gift wrapping, because your whole life is a special occasion. After work, I’m exhausted so I have beer, bourbon and tacos with my boyfriend. We go for a walk then more bourbon and beer, and some kind of treat. Then we watch something goofy like old episodes of The Office or Party Down, going to bed relatively early. Tomorrow, there will be brunch.
What tips or advice do you have for fellow bloggers?
My tip is to give me tips. Mostly kidding, but I really have no idea what I’m doing. Overall I’d say try and be a nice person even when you don’t want to. Also, be you, even if you’re really weird. In fact, the weirder, the better.
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Weekly brew: Week of August 10, 2014

pregaming with coffeeTGIF, everyone!

Today is an especially great Friday because it marks Day 1 of my vacation! WOOOOOOOOOO! Needless to say, I’m excited. I’m headed to Put-in-Bay with some friends for the day today, and then I’ll be setting off for the Chesapeake Bay and much needed beach time with my family.

Per usual, here’s a list of what I’m loving this week:

(from top-left, going clockwise)

  1. Porter Robinson’s “Worlds.” The EDM artist’s debut album is nothing short of amazing, and actually … surprising? Here’s the thing: it’s not really EDM, which is actually really nice. It’s more of a nu-gaze dreamscape complemented by Gameboy-ish samples and whimsical melodies (Think M83, but with more head-nodding bass). Props to him for stepping out of the mold of big-room house and brostep.
  2. This dainty little chevron ring I received from 9th and Elm. I adore this tiny piece of jewelry, and pretty much everything this store has to offer. Be on the lookout for a giveaway in the near future!
  3. Speaking of dainty jewelry, the “Kitten Mitten” from Catbird is too pretty. Love how it delicately accentuates the wrist and hand.
  4. Little known fact to readers, but not to my friends and family: I hula hoop. Some people think it’s weird, I think it’s cool. Anyway, there’s this new trend of ombre hoops that I’m really into. So gorgeous!
  5. Last but not least, I’ve also been on a Nahko and Medicine for the People kick. I saw them (twice!) at Electric Forest and I feed off of Nahko’s positive energy. Give ‘em a listen if you’re feeling down; they’ll for sure lift your spirits.

 

That’s all for now! I hope you have a great weekend!

- Gina


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Super

pregaming with coffee

headband: Wet Seal | sweater: handed down | bag: Charlotte Russe | shorts: (originally jeans) American Eagle | shoes: Converse via Plato’s Closet

pregaming with coffee

pregaming with coffee

Some emo band’s album cover.

Hi, everyone!

Forgive me for the bad hair day in these photos — it started downpouring mid-sesh, and the bridge didn’t really do a good job of protecting my ‘do.

pregaming with coffee

This outfit is comprised of a bunch of low-budget (or no-budget) items. The sweater is a hand-me-down from my ever-so-stylish boyfriend. He bought it when he visited China last year, and I love its bright colors — especially on a gloomy day. I paired it with some trusty Chucks ($7 from Plato’s Closet! Holla!) and some cuffed denim shorts I made for a SUUUUUPER laid-back look. See what I did there?

Anywho, do you have a favorite hand-me-down? Do tell!

Toodaloo,

Gina


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Robin

robin-williams
Hi friends,

As you might expect, I’m a little too sad to write about anything else today. But it’s not just that – I feel like it would be disrespectful to not acknowledge the passing of Robin Williams, who was a huge part of my childhood (and maybe yours, too, depending on your age.)

This isn’t the death of a Hollywood celebrity. This is the tragic loss of a professor, a doctor, a nanny, a jungle man, a sailor, a magical friend. A hero.

People continuously ask, “How could he be so depressed? He was so happy! He was a comedian!”

Maybe that says something. Maybe comedy was his coping mechanism, a mask to shield the outside world from peering in and truly seeing the sorrows that lay beneath.

In spite of how tragic his death is, it has struck a cord with me and reminds me to look out for my fellow human beings. Because no matter how happy or lighthearted someone may appear on the surface, they may be battling their own demons internally. Those people are the most skilled actors on Earth.

So please, PLEASE – make sure you smile and say hello to someone today, whether it be a coworker, a friend or a complete stranger. You might lift their spirits a little bit.

And if you or someone you know is depressed or contemplating suicide, don’t be afraid to speak up. You can even call 1-800-273-TALK if you don’t feel like telling someone you know personally.

Thank you for everything that you gave to the world, Robin. My heart goes out to you, your family and friends.


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Weekly brew: Week of August 3, 2014

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TGIF everyone! Lots of good stuff on the table for this weekend, so needless to say, I’m excited! But until then, here’s a recap of what I’ve been loving this week.

From top-left, going clockwise:
  1. Cherub. So many music artists take themselves way too seriously – Cherub is not one of them. With snarky lyrics sung through Prince-like vocals and laid over synthy, nu-disco ’80s beats, it’s hard to sit still while listening to these guys.
  2. This 5-4-3-2-1 workout. OK, maybe I’m just out of shape, but this is more challenging than it looks. Here’s lookin’ at you, mountain climbers and jump squats! (Do two cycles for good measure.)
  3. Menswear-inspired oxfords. Totally diggin’ this trend for fall. Janelle Monae would be proud.
  4. This health/beauty initiative cofounded by Alexis Krauss, the frontwoman of Sleigh Bells and one of my biggest girl crushes. We’re always (or sometimes…) thinking about what goes into our food, but what about what we put on our eyes, lips and face? Alexis has you covered. Oh, and she talked to me on Instagram, so I guess I can die happy.
  5. AHA! Cleveland. I’ve been looking forward to this event since I found out about it earlier this week. Free yoga, beautiful illuminated art installations and all-around positive vibes in a city that I’ve grown to love. Hope to see you there!

 

Oh and speaking of which, the Gay Games are kicking off in Akron/Cleveland this weekend. I didn’t realize the event was such a big deal until I did some research, and dayum, I’m proud that CLE got the bid. Best of luck to all the athletes!

What’ve you got going on this weekend? Anything fun?
- Gina
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