Designing in Denim

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When I was 11 I decided I was going to start designing and sewing my own clothes. With limited sewing skills and no patience to follow a pattern, I got busy cutting and glueing pieces together until I had made a pink and blue “tank top” that more closely resembled a children’s swimsuit and was totally unwearable. Sadly, that was the end of my designing career- until the creative team at eShakti reached out and asked if I’d like to try my hand at a little custom dress designing.

The process is super simple. You choose a base that you love (I chose this denim shift dress), and then you customize it with all of your measurements (height, arm length, hips, waist, chest, shoulders) and the style of the dress that suits you best- neckline, length of dress, sleeves or no sleeves, pockets or no pockets.

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Then the team at eShakti gets to work and you sit back and wait for your creation to arrive. I’m pleased with how it came out, and even more pleased that the waist tie doubles as a choker necklace! You can use coupon code STATEANDOCCUPATION at checkout to save 10% on your totally customized design.

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PS: Shakti in Sanskrit means “power.” As in you have the power to choose a design that flatters your body; as in eShakti’s staff in India are empowered to make a living for their families in safe, fair and comfortable working conditions. eShakti is transparent about the way your clothes are made, and I think that’s so important. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

[Banner images via left, middle, right
Dress images by Tim Donadt]

Head, Hands, Heart

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I always feel the summer-is-over-get-me-a-scarf vibes as soon as September hits, despite the first official day of fall not being for another couple of weeks. Today I’m sharing some photos from the adventures my head, hands and heart have experienced this summer in Vancouver, Hawaii and New York if you’d like to see!

Vancouver

My first summer in Vancouver has felt like a permanent vacation. Our home is so perfect and honestly where I want to be 99% of the time. I didn’t know if I would fall in love with Vancouver, or how long it would take for it to feel like home, but I absolutely have and it absolutely does.

Hawaii

My dad used to keep a shell in the basement of our childhood home that he told us we could hear the ocean from. He would also throw us Hawaiian luaus complete with leis, grass skirts, the fireplace crackling away and of course, Hawaiian pizza- so it’s no wonder I’ve been dying to go my entire life. Our beautiful friends got married on the North Shore of Oahu in July and Tim and I were lucky enough to witness it- and do a LOT of playing along the way. I think about Hawaii almost daily and cannot wait to go back and explore more of the islands.

New York 

My sister and I have dreamed about going to New York together since we were little kids, and we made that dream come true over the long weekend to celebrate her birthday. We ate way too many bagels and took in everything we possibly could in 48 hours including wine at a rooftop bar, the views on the top of the Rockefeller Center, the nonstop buzz of Times Square, Grand Central Station, Little Italy, a ferry ride under the Brooklyn Bridge and a visit with the Statue of Liberty (which I didn’t realize would be my highlight of the trip. So impactful!).

How are you spending the last 18 days of your summer?! xo

Bloom However You Need

There are few things that catch my attention as aggressively as flowers do (sunsets being one of them). Since moving to Vancouver in the spring my obsession has only gotten stronger, so today’s post is an ode to all things petalled.

  1. For just $99, this little piece of technology will raise your flower babies for you. It sits in the pot and waters them as necessary, and sends a notification to your phone if there’s a lack of sunlight or fertilizer. Green thumbs for everybody!
  2. Face the Foliage has been one of my favorite projects to follow along with on Instagram. The ones Frida Kahlo and her wild brows are my fave!
  3. 12 dresses made out of real live flowers. Equal parts magical and impractical.
  4. A recipe for rose-infused champagne for very special occasions or Thursdays at 3pm.
  5. A fun fact to whip out when there’s a lull in the conversation: Anthophobia is the extreme (and often irrational) fear of flowers.
  6. Find out your zodiac flower sign! Mine is the acanthus, which means I have “high intuition in matters of the heart and environment” and am warm, sympathetic and a natural healer. Duh. 💁
  7. Rupi Kaur often accompanies her poems with doodles of flowers growing out of things (like our brains and hearts). Her poetry is dark, important and so beautiful. I highly recommend checking her out!

Ps- Today I faced a decade-long fear of being terrible
at all sports and played in my first beach volleyball tournament.
We came in second! I’m off to celebrate. xo
[all photos via my Instagram]

 

Little Untold Stories

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State & Occupation has been on my mind lately, and in my quest for a little inspo to get back at it I went browing through my drafts and found a small collection of unfinished, unpolished and unposted bits of writing from the last couple of years. I’m sharing their unedited selves below if you’d like to take a read.

February 14, 2015
You haven’t spent a Valentines Day alone in 5 years and today marks the 6th. You don’t feel lonely much. You are lucky, probably one of the luckiest people you know. You’re sure of this because one time you went on a spinning ride at the local fair and after entire contents of your purse spilled out below you, a stranger walked up holding your only set of car keys. You found someone who says things like “I love your big feet”. You were born with a level of confidence in yourself you’re sure is rare, even if it doesn’t always extend in to the important things like body image.

December 24, 2015
Emmy Lou the cheerful pom joined our family this summer after my Papa died. He was living in a tiny old apartment and she was the only one with him in the room after he passed. I thought having her move in would be a constant reminder of sadness, but she has brought so much light into our home. Just a month before this, my Grandpa passed away as well. My dad had been up visiting just a couple weeks prior and asked my Grandpa if he had any special requests to add the the grocery list. My Grandpa requested donuts, so my Dad complied and picked up a box of glazed donuts. When he brought all the groceries in, the donuts fell out and were left in the vehicle. I cried a lot in the days that followed because I couldn’t grasp the fact that my Grandpa would never feel the sun again, and that he didn’t get his donuts.

January 20, 2016
I take great pleasure in making friends with my cab drivers. A few months ago I opened the door on a mission to make it to a Mexican bar when I recognized the man driving as my latest favourite cab driver!
“It’s you! I’m so happy to see you, do you remember me?” I asked as I got in while my crew buckled themselves into the backseat.
“Of course I remember you!” he answered smiling. “We drove all over. We drove your friends home, and then I dropped you off at your ex-boyfriends!”
I gasped and screamed and explained to him the life ruining dangers of mixing up the details.
“No no no no no, you dropped me off at my CURRENT boyfriends house, Alan. Never say that again. That could be life-ruining. Do you have an aux cord?”

PS– I have a few things planned for new posts in the coming weeks.
Thank you as always for your eyes. xo
[images via: left, middle, right]

 

The Morning

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.55.14 PMA few months ago I started setting my alarm for 5am every morning. I’d get up, read a little, drink a coffee, and then take our sweet dog Em for a walk to watch the sunrise- all before starting work at 8am. I did this based on the notion floating around that getting up early is the key to happiness- and I did experience a lot of happiness. I would wake up excited for a mug of coffee and even more excited to see what the sunrise would look like that day. Each morning on my walk through the country roads, I would cross paths with an old man wearing a fluorescent safety vest. He’d say good morning, pet Em, make the same joke about taking her home with him and then carry on. One morning when we crossed paths he had something for me- a fluorescent safety vest.
“There!” he said, satisfied with himself after adjusting it on my shoulders. “Now you’ll be safe.” I’m just not sure if that kind of sweetness exists in the regular hours of the day.

Happy Sunday! Enjoy a little roundup of clickables:
– An Instagram account you didn’t know you needed to follow.
– A quote on the lasting effects of love.
– An article for creatives appropriately titled, You Don’t Get to Decide What’s Good.
xo!

[images via: left, middle, right uncredited]

Plastics. 

As I’ve mentioned before, I keep notes in my phone of things that inspire me. Sometimes it’s an idea, a quote, a song lyric, something bizarre I overhear in someone’s conversation or a half sentence that I think would sound good in a book. And sometimes I come across one so vague and without context that it makes me burst out laughing in a coffee shop 5 months later:

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 8.34.53 PMANYWHO, I wanted to create a post featuring a couple of the quotes I’ve collected because they’re too good to keep locked away in my marbled iPhone.

“You and me is a place I hope we travel to one day.”
Nick Miller 

“Inspiration owes you absolutely nothing, other than the pleasure of its company.”
-Elizabeth Gilbert

“You have to be in love when you don’t feel any particular tenderness, when bills are late or the trash hasn’t been emptied or you’re feeling underappreciated or when the ugly monsters from your past have convinced you that what happened then — whatever heartbreak exists in your memory — is here and real and will happen again.”
Jamie Varon

“How much of the suffering and anguish and white-knuckling that you’re doing in your life right now has to be there?”
-Elizabeth Gilbert

“It’s so hard to write sometimes, I’m afraid of what I’ll read.”
-Lady Gaga

“When you’re the most happening person at the party, it’s time to leave.”👋
-Kelly Cutrone

[images via: top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right]

Embrace The Point of No Return

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As I write this I am in a coffee shop and the man next to me is reading a book called Reaching the Animal Mind… out loud. I live for bizarre moments like this. I have been inspired to write so many times over the last couple of months but all I’ve wound up with is a folder full of drafts and a very tired mind. That being said, tonight I’ve rounded up a teeny collection of thoughts:

On the magic of bodies: Yesterday I was sipping a Bailey’s and coffee while surfing through photos from the summer and came across one I took of myself in my bathing suit. I took it because… I felt really, truly, terribly fat that day. At the time I was curious if I saved that photo and looked at it again in 20 years, would think I was crazy and be able to see myself more clearly? But here I am, just two months later, wondering what on earth I was so worried about. I do not look fat in it. I guess my point in sharing this embarrassing flaw in my confidence is to remind you that insecurity and crippling self-doubt is natural, but might be totally based on something make-believe. (Side note, the man from above^ just took off his shoe and smelled it)

On everyone else’s fleeting love: Lately I’ve been feeling a bit surrounded by crumbling relationships. I come from a long line of divorces in my family, and yet have never become jaded by it. If the phrase “hopeless romantic”didn’t make me feel like a dorky 13 year old I might add it here to describe myself, but I’m not going to so you’ll have to use your imagination. Since Tim moved to Vancouver in the middle of August we’ve spent a ton of time apart and some days it’s hard for both of us not to want to chuck our iPhones out a window and ask “What the f are we doing?!” all the while wondering if everyone else has it better- but I’ve yet to stop believing that we’re the lucky ones.

On being an introvert often mistaken for an extrovert: I get my energy from my alone time. I’m exhausted by small talk, big crowds, long nights with unfamiliar faces and public speaking- though I’m good at it. I can often be found belly laughing or “putting myself out there” on various internet spaces but the truth is I’m an introvert with a million things going on in my mind at once. I love to create, but praise embarrasses me. A month ago someone literally started reading one of my blog posts out loud and I nearly imploded. “Isn’t that why you write? For it to be read?!” they asked. “Absolutely,” I said. “But in your head and no where near me.”

On the best advice I’ve heard this month: Life is scary. Find your boo.👻


[images via: left, top, bottom]

Familiar Muse

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Today Tim and I played tourists in the city of Saskatoon to celebrate our last Saturday here together. I use the word “celebrate” loosely, because I am really going to miss visiting him here. I have fallen in love with the city and all the memories it holds of our relationship. Here’s to hoping Vancouver has a little space for us to bloom, too. ❤️️

Top Left: I think I could be a far more productive cubicle dweller if this was my chair. It’s a reasonable office supply request, right?

Top Right: When I found this picture it reminded me of all the things that inspired me to write when I first started this blog. I wanted a place where I could spew endless positivity and celebrate the little things- like pink donuts with police officer sprinkles. State & Occupation had it’s 2nd birthday last week and I found myself fondly reminiscing on old posts like this onethis one, & this one.

Bottom Left: I have found so much inspiration in the work of Chicago based artist Mari Orr. Like, you’ve got to be kidding me with this pineapple skin crocodile…

Bottom Right: I’ve never seen a psychic before, but my Nana recently sent over a recording of her visit with one from February. Though I’m not totally sold that this woman possessed a true magical talent, she did hit the nail on the head when she spoke about me, my love for my little brother and my relationship with Tim. She referenced his good looks and my Nana gushed, “Oh yeah, when we were first introduced I called him Brad all night because he looks like Brad Pitt!” Hehe- I’m definitely intrigued to see a psychic of my own now. Have you ever seen one?!

Happy Saturday. xo