Can we pause for a moment and admire how Beatles-esque this looks! And it was completely unintentional. I’m going to frame this one! Outfit details// Millay: Shirt & Skirt- Kling // Tessa: Shirt- thrifted, Skirt- Anthro
Last night, my mom and I were looking through many of our European travel photos and we’d come upon some and think “woah! I want to go there!” and then laugh and then it’d be awkwardly quiet as our smiles kind of slid off our faces because although we’re so grateful to be in Utah surrounded by family and friends we love and have missed for a year, a part of us still resides in Europe among its castles, and towering cathedrals, and romantic fields.
So I’m feeling like I just have to go find me a daisy patch and make myself a daisy crown again to make myself feel better. Maybe i’ll be a little more dramatic and take it to the next level and read me some Romeo & Juliet with my sister so we can be distracted and lost in our own imaginings. I’ll be Juliet and I’d make her Romeo but we’ll just read us some Hamlet as well so she can be Ophelia. Forget the fact that we both die at the end of our plays because it’s okay, because for a moment we feel so Shakespearean. And for a moment we forget we’re in Utah because in our minds we’re off at some castle, like the one that we made ourselves daisy crowns at in Spain oh so long ago.
You know, it’s both a blessing and a curse that vintage clothing is such a trend now! For one, there are many more adorable thrift shops so you don’t have to hunt as hard for amazing pieces. But then again, anytime I see someone else in some wildly wonderful vintage dress I think “AH! If only nobody was into vintage so I could buy it all and relish in its beauty.” But that’s envious thinking. So I try to turn those thoughts off and practice compassionate joy, as my mother calls it. I know some people aren’t into second hand clothing (luckily hehe) but I love that someone else created a story for themselves in a dress that’s now mine. I wonder sometimes what their story was. One time I found a dress wherein the girl who made it had stitched her name, Helen, in red thread. Needless to say, I still think about that dress and wonder about the girl who wore. I hope none of this sounds strange. HAH! Both Millay’s dress and my jumpsuit were purchased at M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona. If you ask any Davidson girl where the best thrift shop in Barcelona is, she (i.e. Millay, my mother, or I) will tell you about Barcelona’s little gem of a store! IT resides on a street, Riera Baixa, particularly dedicated to vintage shops! GENIUS, right? However, M.O.T.E.L. is special not only because of how wonderfully everything is displayed and how well curated the boutique is but because the woman who owns it is something special herself! She’s the grooviest dressed and kindest thing from any of our haunts in Barcelona. When I tried on the jumpsuit that day and loved it, she was as overjoyed as I was. After we made our purchases and chatted her ear off for a half hour, she tucked a hat in our bag that we had been admiring and smiled. If you’re ever in Barcelona, don’t miss M.O.T.E.L., whose dueña is as beautiful as the clothes she sells.
I found these pictures on my laptop that I had intended to share months ago! As I was looking through them I was thinking about how when we lived in Spain, we would always go places and see things. We knew we had a limited time there and to us, Barcelona was new and amazing! When we felt bored we left the house because there was always something new to see and we didn’t want to waste time. We didn’t want to return home to America and have regrets about not taking advantage of our time and experiencing everything that we could have. I was talking to the woman that cut my hair and when I told her of the places I had been she said “I’ve lived here ten years and I still haven’t been there yet!”
We’ve finally moved into our place in Utah and in the past few days we haven’t done much, mostly because we’re unpacking which is a boring and odious job if you ask me. Multiple times each day I think “Wow. I’m bored! I just want to go to college already!” But I’ve realized that to me-to many of us-America seems so common, just like how Barcelona wasn’t anything particularly special to my Spanish hairdresser! I want to live in America the way I lived abroad. I want to see what the cities I live in have to offer. I want to adventure through my hometown the way I’d adventure through a far away city. I know that we currently live a few miles away from 2 adorable old main streets that I have yet to explore and there’s a charming train track that runs through the city. There may not be any grand and stunning cathedrals nearby but I’m sure Utah County has some gems of its own and I’m determined to find them!!
So we flew out of Barcelona to California almost 2 weeks ago and you know, it’s kind of a pain to pack everything you have and abide by certain weight limits. I spent hours weighing and re-weighing my suitcase, transferring my stuff among my bags or into other someone else’s bag and then lying prostrate on the ground for lengthy stretches of time. I’m so glad that’s all behind me!! Anyways, the above photo was taken at 2am the day before we left, well I should say the day we left. My sister was all packed and ready to go a few days prior but I hadn’t even started because it meant admitting to myself that we were leaving! Somehow we pulled it all together and were out the door, at our designated “departure time” with 15 bags in a range of sizes all in tow. It was depressing to see our pre-furnished apartment void of any sign that we had actually lived there. When we first arrived in Spain, my dad and I picked this door off the street (people do that often, okay? It’s not weird.) and we chalkboard painted it. It was sentimental. But in the end we had to return it to the street in hopes that someone would come across this beauty and treasure it like I had. Taking it down 8 flights of stairs (it doesn’t fit in the elevator) and leaving it on the street was like my official Adios and Thank you to Barcelona for being such a wonderful home! We got to the airport on time buuuut it took us close to an hour at the check-in counter because they weighed all of our carry-ons as well as our check-ins and there were some weight limit troubles (GAH!). Nevertheless, we did NOT miss our flight! We got there just as they were loading the last passengers! Hurrah!! I’ll have to tell you about when we DID miss our connecting flight on our way to Budapest, Hungary. Side note, I swear there’s a technique to dressing for the airport. Some people look insanely comfortable and adorable at the same time. How do they do it!? My modo is if I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing it to bed, I’m not going to wear it to the airport. Anyways, our first flight was only 2 hours from Barcelona to Berlin but as we took off, it started to rain; Barcelona was bidding us farewell! We and our beautiful city were sad to part ways. We had a 13 hour layover in Germany; to be more specific, it was an overnight layover!! The Berlin airport was a small one and when we found out that the only terminal open overnight had about 5 benches, all of which were metal, we weren’t particularly overjoyed. To pass time, my dad, brother, and I left the airport and took ourselves on a little 2am walk around Berlin. The airport was on the outskirts of Berlin so it was more like a nature walk, but still beautiful. Before the airport closed, and the last few flights were still coming in, we met the nicest man EVER. He was holding a bouquet of roses (which we later found at were for his mother!) but he set them down and played soccer with a bouncy ball with my brother for 45 mins. When his mother arrived and we began talking to him and he found out our situation, he was ernest that we come and stay at his apartment! We actually thought about it but his car was small and his mother was against the plan so in the end we all ended up sleeping on those metal benches even if it wasn’t the most enjoyable. Nevertheless, that guy was the nicest person; he gave my dad his email and asked us to email him when we got home and were safe! The terminal was also open to the public all night so there were some hobos camped out in the corners, one even had a cot all set up for himself! He had it down. On our benches, we were miserable and we grumbled about how our 9am flight felt like a lifetime away but these photos crack us up now!! Finally, FINALLY, we boarded the plane and it was a looooooong flight. And we’re back in California now!! We’ve spent the past week soaking in the heat of a familiar sun and squishing our toes in the California sand that reminds me of my childhood. I could sit with closed eyes and listen to the tide roll in and out for hours. And for now, I will. I love California and I love Barcelona and I love that they’re so different. It’s definitely been a cultural shock; and I still want to start speaking in Spanish all the time!! Hah. It’s been exciting to be home in California and be with friends and family but it’s hard to be away from Barcelona which had become home. But home is relative. Home is where you’re with family. And I thank Barcelona for bringing me closer to my family. We’re actually moving to Utah now because that’s what my family does, move around and find adventures in many different places:) I’m excited to see what adventures Utah will bring and what people we’ll meet. Then I’m off to BYU Idaho in September and it’ll be the beginning of the adventures I’ll have on my own. In short, this is a big transition period, but change is always welcome; change brings growth and insight and I’m always open to that!
I first saw a pair of Naguisa shoes through a window late one night when we were in Valencia. After that moment, I had been dreaming about them until the day I walked into one of my favorite boutiques in the Born district of Barcelona and saw them sitting on the shelf as part of their new spring collection! Spain is known for their craftsmen shoes; 90% of the time, when you flip a shoe over, it will say handmade in Spain. I love that! I love reading the words handmade especially since we live in a time when so many things are mechanized. I love the idea that by purchasing a pair of handmade shoes, you’re also purchasing the creativity, imagination, and delicate hand work that went into producing them. And even more than that, you’re enabling an artisan to continue the work he/she loves.
Yes, yes. The video’s in Spanish. So I’ll explain a few key elements. David, the narrator, is the son of Naguisa‘s founder who’s been making shoes for 30 years. He talks about how shoe making is an art form. With 5 basic yute models (the rope material on the bottom of the shoe), they can make many different designs, but each requires a significant amount of close hand work. He talks about how frustrating it can be to be a part of a craftsman shoe business when some people want to export the process of shoemaking to other countries where they can be made by machines completely and more cheaply. He talks about how proud he is of his family’s company and its legacy and how he doesn’t understand why people can want the same kind of product without the same kind of care and artistry that his family’s company puts into every pair of shoes.
The few pairs of handmade shoes I’ve invested in here, excite me more than any other shoes I’ve purchased from malls or large department stores in the past. I think that Spain has spoiled me and turned me into a shoe snob! Hah! But I’ve come to love this art of shoe making . . . there’s a part of me that wants to change my declared major;)
There are so many other equally AWESOME artisan shoemakers in Spain that I love. I wrote this post about Kokua shoes a few months back. And I also love this post about the importance of investing in handmade items that Secondhand Sundays wrote recently.
This is summer. Eyes closed and arms stretched, reaching for the rays of the sun that bathe your face, lighting your features. The heat you feel on your skin causes a smile to stretch across your lips as the sun stretches across the sky. Summer is dancing in the waves that lap at your ankles. It’s the wet sand that oozes between your toes. It’s the the hem of your dress, wet from the spray of the salty ocean waves.Summer is the joy you can’t contain. So you jump! You jump because this world’s beautiful and you love it! You love the sound of the crashing waves and watching as the tide comes in and goes out and you imagine that as the waves rise, break, and come crashing before your feet that it’s bowing to you, saying hello. You jump because you love the heat of the sun washing over you wrapping you in its blanket of warmth! Summer is the the accumulation of moments spent with the people you love in a world that you love. It’s picking up the shells on your away back up the beach, lingering as long as you can, hoping the sun will linger in the sky just a little longer with you. You watch as the moment you enjoyed sets with the sun. You breathe in the beauty one last time because time doesn’t last forever, although sometimes you wish it would. And as you hop in the car, you bring the ocean with you on the hem of your dress and the sand that’s still stuck between your toes. But you plan to return tomorrow because you know that the sun, the sea, and the sand will all still be there,waiting for you at the height of its illustrious summer beauty.
Besitos, Tessa Lynn
(photo-cred to my dad for these amazing pictures)
There’s so much that goes on in life. There’s so much to get done, so much hustling around and worrying about how we’ll finish all the tasks that lay before us. Sometimes, we just need to slow down, take a breather, and remember how stinkin’ beautiful the world is and how blessed we are to live in it! My peaceful moments normally occur at night. Living in a big city, there are lights everywhere at night which would suggest noise and movement but sometimes, its the opposite: it’s perfectly still and quiet. It doesn’t matter if there are 1000 people out walking around at night or if there’s only 1, the street lights will always click on at their designated time; however, sometimes I like to pretend they click on for me. Especially on rainy nights, when the streets are desolate, I pretend the street, the lights, even the night and its beauty belongs to me. We have a fantastic view of the city from our apartment so sometimes, late at night, when all the lights in our own flat are out and everyone’s asleep, I like to sit on our porch in the crisp night air and just admire this city, the moon, the city lights, and the Sagrada Familia all lit up. Time seems to stand still, if only for a moment, but that moment is all I need to relax, recharge, and prepare myself for another busy day.
So sometimes it hits me. Like REALLY hits me. We live in a BEAUTIFUL world. How blessed are we!? Summer normally has this effect on me. I’m continually reminded of all this world’s beauties, whether it’s the scene of rolling hills from the rundown castle in Teba, Spain or grass pushing its way through the cracks in the cobblestone streets. Summer is my favorite season; it’s a reason to have a sticky watermelon face, to always be dressed for the beach with a wet knot on the top of your head and smell like sunscreen. It’s a reason to run around like children again and to admire the world around you that is lush, ripe, and colorful. Summer is beauty. Summer is happiness.
Just thought you’d like to know the routine. The weekly, daily, hourly routine. It’s all fun and games when this kid is jumpin’ around in front of the camera, but when I’m going through the photos and every few pictures, BOOM! there’s Silas or when a spectacular photo comes along and there he is, floatin’ in the air, his tongue sticking out and all… my head explodes! However, each time I see that adorable face of his with his chin up like Pinocchio’s, all of a sudden he could do nothing wrong in my eyes.
But to convince you (and myself for that matter) that my work (i.e. posing) ain’t completely fruitless and that this adorable/mischievous child’s photobombing skills are only utilized part-time, I’ve included some of our only good photos my favorite photos from our day in Salamanca, Spain.
In short, I think I can say that this post most accurately describes my life more than any other post i’ve written. Therefore, since this has been a peak into what this life of mine really looks like, I guess you can call this a true and honest introduction. This kid, both these kids, make my life so enjoyable, I wouldn’t have them any other way:)
Granada, Spain is known for being a city of gypsies. At major landmarks like the cathedrals and along the streets, gypsy women stand with small herb bouquets in their hands and offer them to every person that walks by, and they are very determined. If you walk by them, they’ll leave their hand in front of you, up until the second you walk past them, or they’ll even follow you! Oh, my poor sister: when we first started walking around, a gypsy came to her to offer a leaf “gratis” or “for free,” so my sister took it and said thank you, hoping to continue on her way, when the women grabbed my sister’s hand to read her palm! Millay was so confused, she pulled her hand away and tried walking past her to catch up with us, but the woman started swatting her and yelling at her! The woman took the leaf out of my sister’s hand and walked in the other direction, muttering. Apparently, the leaf is free if and only if you then pay for them to read your palm!
There’s also a famous gypsy district in the city, El Albaicin, that was super fun to wander and such a groovy part of town. Very old. Labyrinthine. Groovy gypsy music. Street venders selling jewelry. Funky cafes. Super artsy. Guys rockin’ their guitars and playing gorgeous flamenco music. Street artists. Are you feelin’ me? Ya gettin’ the picture?
So hot tip: don’t accept leaves from people. Free isn’t always free. And if you really want a leaf, there’s a thing called a tree (of which there’s no shortage).