Where does inspiration come from?

Sister Dearest,

I just watched this incredible TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love. She entertains the notion that inspiration may in fact be divine, and that a creative may not be the sole contributor to his or her creative work.

Interesting thought. Although I don’t believe that magic inspiration fairies visit from la la land, I think she’s got something here. At the very least, it made me stop and reflect where most of my inspiration comes from. Without noticing, do I experience divine inspiration in the most particular of environments or circumstances? Maybe I only have groundbreaking creative thoughts on Tuesdays, or when I wear my hair down?…I think I’m going to start taking notes!

Anyway–food for thought. I quite enjoyed her talk. Hope you do too : )

Love,

Ashley

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New York, New York

Sister Dearest,

I have been thinking… we have approximately 118 days until we are together again! I know your visit is short-lived but if there is the slightest possibility (or we can just fantasize), I think we should venture to New York City. Just make it a little road trip for ourselves. Check out Manhattan and definitely Brooklyn (Cutest apartments there from previous blogs I have been stalking). My good friend Sara is studying in New York right now and has been generous enough to treat my eyes to her beautiful photography. Here is some of the photos she has captured through her months of being in NY:

(top left) Shake Shack Madison Square Park, (bottom left and right) Central Park

Coney Island

Brooklyn Bridge

Washington Square Park

(left) Flatiron, (top right)) The Met, (bottom right) Central Park

Times Square

Times Square

Nothing looks more inviting in my mind 🙂 I can see myself here someday. On another note: I have made another playlist that will put you in a good/relaxing mood for your work day. I hope you enjoy these fabulous photos by Sara while listening to my Ponder Wander Playlist!

Much Love,

Em

Cycling in Style

Sister Dearest,

Went to such an awesome event this weekend called Cycle Style. It’s an event that surrounds the movement “Frocks on Bikes” and promotes everyday people to maintain sustainable travel habits and look fabulous while doing it! Auckland fashion labels and bike shops collaborated in sending beautiful people and cycles down the runway!  The event was in Shed 10 at Auckland’s waterfront which was great because there were events and vendors sprawled both inside and outside.

Starfish

We’Ar.it

LOVED how well this outfit coordinated with the bike!

Vintage Shop Sunnies! You would’ve been all over these!

There were some great designers and market stalls showing off the best of cycle friendly fashion. One of things I liked best about the shows was the range of models. There were proper models for some of the more serious fashion lines, and other ranges had everyday women rocking their pieces. It was a great reminder that ANYONE can look good while riding a bike!

Alongside the fashion events, there were local bike shops showing off their products and specialty bikes. I was OBSESSING over this coffee mug holder (just have to work out how to fit it on with my front basket) !!

There was even some bicycle polo action. It was fun to watch, but I’m pretty sure I’d break both ankles and at least four toes if I tried to get involved!

There was such a diverse audience; everything from Bike geeks to fashion enthusiasts to young children on tricycles (future Cycle Style models?). It was great to see an event that appealed to the masses!

Had a blast spending a few hours at this event on Sunday. Wish you could’ve been here!

Lots of love,

Ashley

Are You Hungry For The Games?

Sister Dearest,

SO this weekend consisted of me not getting any work done and being a lazy bum 🙂 I have been enjoying going home more often. Just being with mom and spending quality time with her makes me really happy. We baked cookies the other day (as you already know from my last post). But, most importantly, I watched some good movies. Last night I finally watched The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Very intense and somewhat disturbing, but when the movie had finished, I was still intrigued. I still am now. It is a definite watch I think.

Most importantly…. I SAW THE HUNGER GAMES TODAY! And Ash, it was great. I thought they did an amazing job with the movie and matched it to the book almost perfectly. The girl playing the main character, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), was amazing. I really thought the whole cast was a good choice. Being an avid fan, as you know from my visit to New Zealand (my face was glued into the pages of the book), I found there to be no disappointments.

                          

It’s funny to look at how much the actors have changed themselves for their roles in the movie. They all changed their hair color (I liked all the color changes except for Peeta-the blonde one) He’s a natural brunette. He also supposedly put on 20 pounds of muscle. Impressive.

This is the map of The Hunger Games country and their districts. I think it’s funny how New Hampshire isn’t even affiliated with the country anymore and is classified as The Wild? Odd. Now, whenever there is a movie I like, you know better than anyone that I go digging for the music that I heard in the feature film. Here are some of my favorite songs from The Hunger Games Soundtrack.

Enjoy,

Em

Community Street Art

Sister Dearest,

I think you caught the front end of this community  project while you were visiting me in Auckland. There’s a section of swampy dilapidated property at the corner of Williamson and Ponsonby that will (…one day) be constructed into Auckland’s SoHo region. In the mean time, Auckland council threw up some majorly huge white walls to cover the eyesore from people on the street. Since then, local artists have been spraying art on the walls, and some of the pieces are SICK!

I found out about a month ago that the projects were each commissioned and asked to represent the community in some way. Some artists used quotes, some painted NZ landscapes. An artist called Otis Frizzell painted kick ass portraits of neighborhood personalities. Those painting are most definitely my favorite.

The murals kind of pop up over night, and I love the mornings that I wake up and discover some new art on the wall!

Hope these photos find you well and bring back memories of Auckland!

Lots of love,

Ash

Baking Galore

Sister Dearest,

I am home for the weekend and Mom and I decided to bake 🙂 She bought this cookie pan that molds a cookie with an opening for a stick, so the cookies look like the ones from edible arrangements. They were so easy to make and dare I say absolutely delicious?! The kids were also home from school today, so due to their restlessness we went into full out design mode.

 

my cookie

I LOVE COOKIES,

Em

Gorgeous Durham Day

Sister Dearest,

You would not believe the weather we are having in Durham. The past couple of days have been in the mid 70’s (20’s for Celsius) And now the next couple of days it’s going to be in the 80’s!!! It’s weird how you say your summer was barely there in New Zealand and is now constantly raining, when I’m over here in NH in what seems to feel like summer. But you know how it is when spring is arriving on campus- everyone is outside and enjoying the sun. I went for a 2 mile run in the morning when the sun was rising and I knew it was going to be a good day. I bought some fresh fruit from the market and it was such a scrumptious breakfast.

With this new weather surfacing, It is really motivating me to be energized and more involved on campus. I think the sun is making me ultimately REALLY happy. I discovered a new obsession- ULTIMATE FRISBEE 🙂 I’m not the best at the game but I am definitely the most competitive. It was so warm that some girls on my floor and I went out to a field and played for hours. I may have gotten too intense….

It may have been warm enough, but the grass was still wet from the snow that had melted. I may have slipped once or twice tehehe. Later, when classes were all done, I grabbed a blanket and laid out on Thompson Hall. You were right Ash, there were so many people. Everyone was laying out getting some sun and playing frisbee.

The UNH campus in the spring time really is something special. I am going to enjoy these next couple of days in the sun while listening to some of my favorite tunes 🙂 Hope you are still singing and dancing in the rain.

Love,

Em

Belle and Beau

Sister Dearest!

Every Friday down in the Silo Park by the waterfront, there are a bunch of vendors that sell food, crafts, clothing….all sorts of little treats.

photo of sling back black dress from http://www.belleandbeau.co.nz

This past Friday I rode my bike down from work (it was gorgeous out!) and checked out the Silo Markets for myself!

One stall seriously stood out–a girl by the name of Claire has started up a sustainable clothing fashion line called Belle and Beau http://belleandbeau.co.nz. Her pieces were simple and durable. I particularly liked the sage drop back dress.

photo of back drop sage dress from http://www.belleandbeau.co.nz

She had an article published in a local newspaper which explained her philosophy behind the Belle and Beau line. It summarized her frustrations with “throw away clothing” that girls so often buy for one time use. The materials and labor that go into those garments end up becoming wasted resources and energy.

I think I’m going to be more thoughtful about the clothes I buy in the next few months–where are they coming from? Who made them? What are they made of?

Anyway–enjoy checking out her little blog site.

Lots of ❤ ❤ ❤

Ash

Energizing Life Through Being Active and Drinking Delicious Smoothies

Sister Dearest,

Coming back from Spring Break is bringing big changes for me. I’m strongly considering changing my major (have an appointment with my advisor tomorrow) and I have a new sense of motivation. The biggest thing for me right now is to be healthy and active. Now that the weather is rising drastically (we have a higher temperature than you now 🙂 ) I am excited to get out and RUN! Yes. Run. Another important aspect is to eat right, so im trying to eat lots of fruits and veggies. I also bought Sambazon Acai Superfood Juice.

It is absolutely delicious and good for you. I only wish I had a blender in my dorm room so i could make this recipe:

INGREDIENTS

2 packs Sambazon Original Açaí
1 organic banana
4oz organic mixed berries
8oz of green tea

Go to the Sambazon Website for more awesome recipes 🙂

This looks so yum delicious and it is great before and after workouts. Look for this product at Countdown, or something close to it.

Much Love,

Em