In Living Color

In Living Color

This summer, I was thrilled to be asked to write a story for an online magazine about my love for sharing color on my personal Instagram page! The team at Allegory Ridge reached out and it was a fantastic opportunity I could not pass up. I’ve attached my personal tips on achieving a color coordinated feed you can be proud of below. The rest of the article can be read here!

You might be thinking that finding all these colorful opportunities isn’t easy, and you’d be right. I often find myself stumped when looking for the next shot. So what’s an instagrammer to do? Here are some tips to start incorporating the color you want both in photography and your everyday design.

  1. Get inspired: I’ve always loved the challenge of keeping my Instagram (and life) vibrant, but this past year, I was craving color more than ever. A trip to the Caribbean, full of pastel houses, candy-colored cocktails and bright blue oceans, was just what I needed. Not only was it fun to capture color through my lens, my skin wasn’t complaining either. Friends were receptive to my photos and now, I try to find color wherever I go because it can lead to inspiration for spaces in my apartment, or the theme for my next party.
  2. Keep your eyes open: Color is everywhere, even in the most unsuspected of places. Little boutiques, faded murals around town, and street markets are just a few places I find color. Get out and be on the lookout, it’s out there waiting for you. You never know what a random quick snapshot could turn into.
  3. Trust your instincts: Self-doubt is not your friend, especially in art. If you love the photo or piece, stick to it! The best thing about artistry and photography is that everyone has a unique point of view. No two shots are the same so share what you love.
  4. Keep it cohesive: This is probably the hardest part! It takes a lot of patience to keep it all looking unified and colorful. I follow a (self-made) formula. 1 color should be dominant, with 2-3 secondary colors. The next photo will take one of the first photo’s secondary colors, and make it the primary. The cycle continues until you’ve phased out the original primary color.

Thanks again to Allegory Ridge, for letting me share my colorful perspective!

-TW

TexYass

TexYass

The old saying goes “Everything’s bigger in Texas” and a weekend in San Antonio and Austin proved that right! If you’ve had the opportunity to study abroad, you know the friends you meet during that experience are the perfect travel companions. This visit reunited some of my study abroad crew and just like our time in Europe, we made the most of every minute in the Lone Star State.

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Heading into this trip, I had very little knowledge of both cities, specifically San Antonio. Upon arriving I was greeted with warm weather and a prickly pear margarita at La Gloria, the perfect backdrop against San Antonio’s River Walk. We picked perhaps the best weekend of all to visit San Antonio, the last weekend of Fiesta, the city’s biggest event of the  year. Celebrating San Antonio’s heritage, Fiesta is full of colorful decorations, delicious street food, and live music all night long.

Other highlights of San Antonio included the Historic Pearl district, the River Walk, and brunch at Ocho! Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised with San Antonio. The never ending colorful backdrops and unique history left a charming taste in my mouth.

Luckily Austin is just a little under 2 hours away from San Antonio and well worth a day trip! San Antonio almost feels like a part of Latin America while Austin had a much more urban, American city feeling to it. Lined with trendy shops and even trendier residents, the highlights included South Congress, for shopping, and grabbing photos of the amazing street art throughout the city! We topped the night off with a perfect seafood dinner at Clark’s Oyster Bar.

Whether it’s BBQ or Tex Mex, margaritas or mojitos, Texans know the way to your heart is through your stomach! In my opinion, Texas is best explored if you embrace everything and every dish! It was a fantastic change of pace from the bustling city life that is Chicago. Southern hospitality never goes out of style!

Check out my Google Map here with every stop I made on my visit and check back for the next travel update.

-TW

O-Canada-Duh!

O-Canada-Duh!

After traveling outside North America in high school and abroad in college, I realized I had a lot of ground to cover in my own backyard. It shocked me that I hadn’t even been to neighboring Canada after all of these years. Last summer, I wanted change that! As a kick-off to adulthood, Vancouver became my first trip to Canada and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my visit.

Celebrating college graduation, Vancouver was the perfect combination of adventure, great hospitality and fantastic food.

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I’m breaking down some highlights from my 2016 trip:

Where to stay:

Hotels ranged $200/night so it seemed more cost effective to stay in an AirBnB. It was my first experience but it was honestly fantastic! Clean, modern, and in the trendy Chinatown neighborhood, we loved having a place to ourselves. Having the option to play Netflix during downtime didn’t hurt either. I’ve attached the listing here.

Where to eat:

Bao BeiChinese is my absolute favorite cuisine, but I won’t lie, it’s because I love General Tso’s and spring rolls. This was no Panda Express. Bao Bei was a great trendy asian restaurant in Chinatown with plenty of noodles and spicy dishes and just steps away from our Air Bnb.

Miku– If you’re looking for fresh seafood and sushi, Vancouver is the place to do it. Every bite was fresh and full of flavor.

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Where to drink: 

Belgard Kitchen After a long day of tours, Belgard Kitchen was like a brewery for wine. The rosé flight was a perfect refreshing way to end a long day of touring. There’s plenty of charcuterie boards too!

The Keefer Bar- Just steps from Bao Bei and our AirBnb, The Keefer Bar had amazing and unique cocktails. You could really tell the bartender knew what she was doing, asking what flavors and liquors we preferred to craft the perfect creation.

What to do:

Granville Island Pubic Market– Plenty of shopping and local markets cover Granville Island Public Market. Lots of great gift shops and breweries are perfect pit stops in between trying lots of local fare.

Capilano Suspension Bridge– Test you balance and photography skills at this landmark. The bridge and surrounding trails are breathtaking, and there’s a great cafe serving poutine after you’ve crossed back and forth.

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Grouse Mountain– If you need to fulfill your sense of adventure, I’d suggest checking out Grouse Mountain. High above Vancouver, you’ll get a perfect few of the mountaintops while zip-lining in the summer, or skiing in the winter. You can also hike trails or watch Lumberjack themed games.

Gastown– The best shopping and dining is probably around Gastown! It’s a very scenic area, with cobblestone streets and old world charm.

I’ve chronicled every stop we made on this google map. As you can see, Vancouver is quite small, and extremely easy to travel around, by foot or even bike. **Uber was unavailable when I was there.

Keep in mind that Vancouver is quite expensive, but its kind locals and charm are worth it! It’s a great melting pot of many cities I’d been to before. Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, it’s part New York and part London with a dash of European flair and a sprinkle of Boston. It’s so uniquely like everywhere else, a tour guide told us it’s a popular filming location because it can easily be dressed as other metropolis cities. I can attest, as we walked through several filming shoots and even saw Seth Rogen on our first night out.

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So if the question is, should I visit Vancouver, the answer is … O, Cana-DUH!

-TW

Under the Influence(r)

Under the Influence(r)

One of the reasons I’ve been hesitant to come back to the world of blogging has been the idea of entering an extremely crowded market. Let’s be honest with ourselves, Instagram is probably the most popular app on your phone. Whether you’re sharing a ridiculous meme, stalking the contestants of Bachelor Nation, or posting your own brunch shot, it’s more than likely you’re running across a “social media influencer.”

The amount of likeitknow.it, avocado toast posting, floppy hat wearing “influencers” I see at my day job, and on my discover feed, is almost intimidating. After seeing the Audrey Plaza led Ingrid Goes West film last month,  I began to realize the true meaning of an “influencer.” I use air quotes because we have to ask ourselves, are these men and women really influencing us as much as anyone else out there? The movie was a breath of fresh air, putting into perspective that social media should never be taken too seriously and that they probably aren’t. A “like” cannot always be associated with influence.

With that being said, I’m not letting the fear of not being an influencer get me down! The term should all but be banned if you ask me, because we all should think about the influence we can make in life. Whether in work or relationships, let’s channel our energy on influencing better decisions there, not just on our Instagram feeds.

Whether it’s fear, envy, or sheer over-saturation of all the people out there on Instagram that look like they’ve got it perfect, remember that they’re under the influence too!

-TW

Photography from echoboomproject.com

 

You’ve been framed

You’ve been framed

Home decor has been such a love of mine for as long as I could remember. With IKEA practically being my second home since birth, I’ve always had a say in decorating ideas for each childhood bedroom and that’s only transferred as I’ve navigated designing my own apartments.

My first apartment was a simple white-box studio, so space and ideas were limited. I’ve entered year two of my first “adult” apartment and I seriously couldn’t be happier with it. A problem I often run into in both fashion and home design is my obsession with trends. Whether it’s a color, pattern, or “must-have” piece, I’m quick to try it for myself.

The difference between fashion and home design is that it’s not as cost friendly to change your house as it is to revamp your closet. As year two in this apartment approached, I wanted to change up a few things without breaking the bank. I decided to take my living room wall and really expand the “gallery wall” look that is so popular these days. Lots of friends and guests loved the outcome, asking how I achieved the look.

You’ll need: 

  • Tools: A small drill, hammer, nails, screws, and a level are basic but necessary.
  • Patience: Keep in mind one try at hanging a photo won’t cut it!
  • Pieces to hang: The best part is collecting all of the work to hang!

Step 1: Collect! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your gallery wall. The best gallery walls mix a little bit of everything; personal photos, artwork, knick-knacks and honestly whatever else you love and want to showcase.

Dig through your photos, dust off your keepsakes, and maybe even grab a new piece of two. For this wall, I had picked up a needlepoint souvenir from my recent trip to Austin. (Check out that post here!) and found some vintage Badminton rackets from a Chicago street market. (Just $15 for 2) Even though I have no relationship to badminton, and never will, I loved their preppy look and colors.

Step 2. Strip your canvas! Make sure your wall of choice is completely bare. For me, I needed to take everything down and forget the previous set up to give the wall a fair chance of a true “reboot.”

Step 3. Plan it out… or Don’t! Pintrest is a great resource for gallery walls! You can see how thousands of people have arranged their walls, some even giving you stencils or templates to follow. For this wall, I just started hanging and worked from right to left. I knew the rackets needs to be hung horizontally towards the top, and then went from there. The goal was to have an even flow of color, size and distance between them all.

Step 4: Enjoy! Now that it’s set all set up, stand back and enjoy your hard work! The best part about a gallery wall is that you can always add more to it later. I’ve left little pockets of space on the top and bottom of mine, just in case a new photo or piece of art is begging to be hung on the wall.

Like I said earlier in reference to Rome, an apartment is never finished in one day! I’m always finding a new project to tackle, which is half the fun!

Until the next home project,

TW

 

 

 

Back to Basics

Back to Basics

It’s been a minute, okay…several minutes…. or months…. or years, since I’ve sat down and written a blog post. The reason for that absence? It’s simple…..life.

The last time I was consistently blogging I was in a such a different place in my life. I went abroad, I put down the blog, and picked up the internships while finishing out the last year of college. The pressures of impending adulthood put me in a creative standstill. I didn’t have the time to devote to anything other than “the grind” that life can be. Right after graduation, I jumped into the deep end with my first “real world” job and although it’s been rewarding, I’ve known something has been missing.

I’ve learned more about myself in post-grad life than I ever did in four years I spent in college. In the most recent months, it’s come down to a simple realization about life. It’s not always about what you have to do, it’s about what you want to do. With that being said, it’s time to turn the lights back on to things I want to do; this blog being one of them.

I feel like I’m coming back older, wiser, and more refined. We live in an age where everyone wants to be heard, and I miss contributing my voice to the conversation. That doesn’t mean this blog will change drastically from before, but that does mean I’m interested in giving you a little more than just a catalogue of what I wore. I still love telling people about an outfit I wore for the entire day from start to finish a twenty minute photoshoot, but I want to use my voice more this time.

The goal is not only to reconnect with old readers or welcome new ones, it’s about devoting more time to my passions, creativity and writing! So keep following along as I dive back into the blogging pool.

Stay tuned,

TW

Where to?

Where to?

It wouldn’t be a blog without travel, right? Right. Now that we’ve established the obvious, it’s time to get down to it. I’ve been able to travel a lot in the past year, more so than I thought! Be sure to check out more details on my past and upcoming travels:

Vancouver – Summer 2016

San Antonio and Austin, Texas – Spring 2017

Bahamas – Summer 2017

Milwaukee, WI – Summer 2017

Los Angeles and San Diego, CA – Fall 2017

Looking forward to sharing photos and highlights from these trips!

– TW