inspiration

A DAY OF RUINS

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i was planning on posting about the rest of my trip to peru much sooner but well…life happened…between work and an unexpected surgery, i’ve only just finished organizing my thoughts and notes that have been left on my phone for too long. so here it is in all it’s glory, part 2 of my trip to peru, “A Day of Ruins”. in case you need a refresher, you can find my first post here.

our day began with the ruins at ollantaytambo which for the record are at the bottom, middle and top of a mountain…just for the record! so, we began our ascent to the top. much like the burning in my thighs, it’s hard to forget about these incredible views. we were up among the clouds, face to face with the mountain- it was definitely worth the climb… you know, just for the record.

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after our morning “workout”, we went to see the town of chinchero. as we went deeper into town, the quieter it seemed. the little noise we did hear was only from our own footsteps on the cobbled ground. our guide brought us to a church; it was sunday. it felt like we were standing there waiting for something to happen and then the church doors opened. out poured what seemed to be the entire town of chinchero; talking, eating, playing. this quiet part of town was now filled with color, laughter and food. i felt surrounded and consumed and i loved it!

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our guide told us that after church, the women gather to talk about their community and discuss items of “business” while the men play futbol. i think these peruvians might be on to something! just below the plaza was a marketplace with food, trinkets and lots of peruvian goods, so we went to have a look. surprisingly i didn’t buy a thing! rob, however, couldn’t help himself…he just HAD to have it.28

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we ended our day at pisac with some more ruins on top of another mountain, with more incredible views…are you sick of it yet?? me either. stay tuned for the main event…peru post number 3…MACHU PICCHU!39

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SELF LOVE

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a couple of weeks ago i went to get my haircut. i had arrived early to my appointment so i sat in the lobby waiting patiently when a mother and daughter walked in. the daughter was maybe 12 or 13 years old and i thought oh how i remember those days. Getting my hair cut but needing my mom there for support because “what if it turns out ugly? what if i hate it? and how much am i supposed to tip?”. they sat down across from me. shortly after, their hairdresser came out to greet them but before she could even finish saying “good morning” the mother had began pointing out what needed to be done during this appointment; “she needs to have some color added to brighten her up, don’t ya think? make her not so frumpy?” “she can’t have bangs because her face is too wide” “maybe let’s keep her hair long so it’s still pretty”.

i was in shock, i couldn’t even imagine how this girl felt at that moment. i try to look at her face, but her eyes are glued to the floor. I’m staring at her for what feels like a solid 10 minutes but i needed her to make eye contact with me. i needed her to see that i was there for her…with her. that i thought she was beautiful just as she was. i can sense that my staring was becoming uncomfortable and maybe a little intrusive but off they went, to begin the makeover. i felt defeated. it’s not any of my business, i shouldn’t care but i did. i wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone, we’ve all been there. we’ve all experienced a blow to our self esteem, the confusion about your self worth, but i wanted her to know that it doesn’t last.

i’m overcome with my thoughts and emotions (don’t cry in public, don’t cry in public, don’t cry in public). i think of my childhood, my insecurities, my own experiences with my self esteem. i can’t remember when my confidence began to fade, but i remember when someone had pointed out to me that it had. it was at a thanksgiving dinner back when i was in high school. a family member said to me, “you used to be so sassy, you didn’t care what anybody thought- you said whatever you wanted because you were MACKENZIE!”… i lingered on the “used to be” part of that statement. was i not this way anymore?? if i wasn’t, then what was i? i felt like i had a grasp on who i was (kind of)… but i knew deep down that part of what they said was true. i wasn’t that same girl anymore, i cared what people thought of me but what i didn’t care about was what i thought of myself. i didn’t think it mattered. no one in my family exercised self love. i don’t think any of us really understood it or knew how important it was. we could see all the great qualities in each other but none of us could see it in ourselves. what i couldn’t understand back then was how loving myself, embracing my quirks and owning my flaws would open up my whole world. i don’t need anyone else’s opinion to validate who i am, at least i don’t anymore. it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that i really started to figure out who i was (i’m a late bloomer). i had quit pep squad and began to focus my attention elsewhere… photography. i had taken my first class during my junior year and continued through to my freshman year of college. i found a whole knew confidence in creativity. i felt like i could finally see what i should have seen in myself a long time ago. i am creative. sensitive. funny. and strong.

self love is so important, it’s the foundation of you. there will be people who will try to knock it down, but you must protect it. remind yourself of who you are and love yourself for who you are; a lover, an aries, a creator, a sister.

happy valentines day to you. xx

THE DINNER PARTY

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it’s the most woooonderfuuul tiiiime of the yeeeaaar! tis the season of friends, family and FOOD. it’s the season of telling embarrassing stories from your childhood, watching cheesy hallmark movies and going to all the dinner parties.

it’s hard to remember when my love for “dinnertaining” began but over the years my sister and i have collected a plethora of great pieces for our “perfect dinner party”. with christmas around the corner, i couldn’t wait to dust off some of these great finds. may everyone eat, drink and be merry this holiday season!DINNERDINNER 8DINNER 10DINNER 11

THE GOOD

MORNING LIGHT GIFT STUDIO 1

MOAB UNDER CANVAS

moab-9i don’t know who started throwback thursday but i’m glad they did because i’m using it as an excuse to share some old photos. about two years ago, i had bangs! okay- that’s not what this post is about but when i had those bangs i took a road trip to the wiiiild west. i went through nevada, arizona and utah. i was talking to someone recently about utah and told them of my favorite places on my trip- moab under canvas; no electricity, no wifi, just the red mountains and the stars.

this place was an absolute dream. we were just 15 minutes away from town so we would go to the local grocery store to stock up on snacks (wine) and pack lunches for our days at the arches national park. one night as we were on our way back from the store, there was a lightning storm. we grabbed some food, sat on our deck and watched the sky and the mountains light up. it was beautiful… probably dangerous, but so beautiful. moab hasn’t seen the last of me, i’ll definitely be back.

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AN ITALIAN WEDDING

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it was only in september when i was last in cortona visiting hannah and luca for the first time. fast forward 9 months and i’m back in cortona with my brother for their wedding…their WEDDING! this was cody’s first time in cortona (in italy actually) and i couldn’t wait to show him all the things that made me fall in love with this little town. i didn’t need to do much selling, cortona pretty much sells itself. between the wedding, sight seeing and pasta eating, i think he fell hard for it too.

cody and i flew into rome pretty early and couldn’t check in to our hotel until 2pm soooo we freshened up in the lobby bathroom (thank god for l’ocittane’s verbena refreshing towelettes) and began our first day in rome at 7:00 in the morning! (i think this is what they call making lemonade out of life’s lemons). first up? the spanish steps…cody was eager to run to the top and take in the view… i was eager to run from the sun and keep the awkward jumpsuit tan at bay (spoiler alert, i still got an awkward tan).IMG_0251

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after a full day in the city, we were ready to check in to our hotel room and get some rest. with a nice shower and a belly full of pasta (i promise to show all the food pictures), it only took me about 3 seconds to fall asleep. i think i might take this secret back with me to the states and use it as my bed time remedy…

one train ride later aannnddd we made it to cortona! we went out to explore the town before dinner and ran into some familiar faces in the piazza; the bridal party, some wedding guests and even the bride and groom! i love small towns.IMG_0343

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there was a market in the center of town over the weekend, so we spent our morning browsing all the vendors. with a lot of self convincing (and cody’s reply of “you don’t need that.” to my “but it’s itaaaalian!”) i managed to not buy a thing! it was hard….like really hard. after we walked through the market, we caught the train to florence to check out the uffizi museum and stop for lunch at my favorite sandwich spot. hannah took me to this place last time i visited and i couldn’t wait to take cody. he’s only heard me talk about it every day since we got into italy.

it’s wedding time!!! i’m so happy to have made the journey to witness these two share their love for each other. the ceremony was translated in english and italian and took place overlooking the beautiful province of arezzo. the day couldn’t be any more perfect. salute to the happy couple!

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FullSizeRender 28the day after the wedding, we went over to the house where hannah’s family was staying and hung out poolside with the newlyweds. it was the perfect way to spend our last day in cortona.IMG_0759IMG_0726

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cody and i left for rome the next morning. this time around, we took a pretty relaxed approach to the city. we spent the time we had left in italy as laid back as we possibly could… wake up. eat pasta. roam the streets (pun intended). eat gelato. roam some more. repeat. we walked through the villa borghese gardens, found a bench and sat there for a couple of hours. there was a light breeze that day, i think i could’ve listened to the trees sway back and forth forever.IMG_1387

 

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ETSY: IN FULL LOOM DESIGN & CO.

IN FULL LOOM 6good golly miss dolly, i’ve opened an etsy shop! it all started as a hobby, something to cure the 9-5 routine, to create and be creative. each piece is designed by me and handmade with lots of love. with support from friends and family, i’ve decided to open shop and thus created in full loom design & co.

you can shop all the pieces here.

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DESERT X

desert x 3after our failed attempt at camping in the desert this past weekend (who knew the desert got so hot? -that’s sarcasm) we decided to make some lemonade with our sour lemons so we stopped by the desert x exhibition on our way home to see mirage by doug aitken.desert 2

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EASTER TRADITION

FullSizeRender 2it’s just not easter without pancakes and the lewis family. every year since i can remember, our families have gotten together for easter breakfast at the original house of pancakes. each year is the same; swedish pancakes, dutch babies, potato pancakes (we’re creatures of habit). after breakfast we power through the oncoming food coma and head home for some egg decorating, but this year we swapped out the eggs for a bunny cake and cupcakes (still nameless). i think traditions are something special and i cherish the fact that we still get together year after year. here’s to many more years of our easter tradition!

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SXSW: AUSTIN, I LOVE YOU

SXSW 72finally getting around to posting some photos from sxsw and this is just the first batch! my brother-in-law was playing a showcase this year and i invited myself to join him and the boys in austin as their roadie/photographer/”we have 10 minutes to leave” alarm clock. i couldn’t wait to get back to austin. my first time visiting was with my brother back in october when we were in town for acl. it felt like we were visiting the face of the sun rather than texas (maybe texas is the sun?) but not even the heat could keep me from getting that tingly “i think i’m in love with you” feeling inside. i had never felt so at home in a place i’d never been before and when i returned “home” i think everyone realized just how close they were to losing me

leo and i were the first of the sxsw crew to get to austin, so we hit the ground running and did some exploring, then our reality of a 4:00am wake up call from this morning started to set in so we went back to the hotel, took a 5 hour nap (we crashed hard) and then ordered room service… #yolo. come morning, we were refreshed and ready to avenge our lost time and show that nap just how rock ’n roll we really are!!…but first, coffee (skinny vanilla late please) and then things got really hard core…we went to the apple music showcase and met up with a friend of ours who works for beats 1 radio and was so nice as to share in the open bar and good music with us. thanks olivia xxoo.SXSW 60SXSW 61and so, my transformation of becoming a southern belle has begun- we drank, we mingled and we listened to good music (midland– above- stole all of our hearts, even the brit who doesn’t listen to country music). things started winding down and we were ready to head to the next show. midlands had just finished, we were all filing out and like a moth drawn to a flame (metallica) we experienced our very first pedicab ride in austin. i mean it was hard to say no, all signs pointed to “get in the friggin pedicab you’ll never make it on foot” so we got in. bless our pedicab driver (cyclist?) how he managed to lug us all the way downtown and keep up a conversation i will never know, but one thing i do know is he had great calves and i do remember staring at them for an uncomfortably long amount of time (uncomfortable on his end) and then being caught by him staring at his calves (uncomfortable on my end). SXSW 58SXSW 74

we spent a lot of time at the british music embassy showcase because well…leo’s british… aaaannddd they had a really good line up.  as the night went on, the crowd kept getting bigger and bigger and at this point i was holding my camera, my new sxsw hoodie and my beer. i had no free hands to take pictures and too much crap to try and weasel my way to the front. the fact that i didn’t bring a purse or backpack was making me look weak and unprepared to the other sxsw attendees… i could hear all the whispers… “amateur” “how could she not bring a bag?” “wow, she is sooo unprepared”. but what all those naysayers didn’t know is that i was not alone. and that’s why i would like to go on record here and thank leo for holding my sweatshirt all night because it was expensive and i didn’t want to lose it and i wouldn’t tie it around my waist because it didn’t match my outfit. it’s because of you, i have these pictures to post, you are the real hero. you also gained major brother-in-law points and i promise that if you ever need to store anything in my purse, you can… just make sure you tell me ahead of time so i can coordinate how big of a purse i need to bring. k thanks! BBCSXSW 48SXSW 42SXSW 41SXSW 52SXSW 53SXSW 50we danced so much this night… 1. leo and the boys had just finished an amazing show so we were all ready to celebrate 2. these guys know how to boogie, i’m just a little upset that i didn’t know about the matching metallic jackets and shoes… i was ready to throw down.SPORTS

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featured above- midlandthe japanese house, the vryll society, sports