Pajama Crush

For some period of 5-10 years growing up, every Valentine’s Day my family would have a nice meal together, a special dessert, and then we would receive a special gift. Pajamas from Mom, and plants from Dad! This was a tradition that just… emerged. I think that plants are the frugal version of flowers, they keep on living, and they are easily found at the grocery store, but MAN receiving a live plant always feels like a special gift. And February is so cold and dark there is nothing more comforting than new pajamas! Some of these PJs are inspired by my family’s Valentine’s tradition and combine my affinity for plants and pajamas. Since I am still holding off on personal spending, this is a wish list or hard hint to my family or boyfriend.

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15046629308447098429_thumbnail_405x552Plants on Pink

 

8952919-1-white (1)The Truth is Out There

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Lunya_WashableSilkSet_Flushed-2_largeWashable Silk

 

Speckled pink and a classic robe

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Resting Bitch Face is a Defense Mechanism

I was just talking with my sister on the phone, and we were comparing times we were scared shitless while traveling and escaped it. You know, the kind of scary thing you didn’t tell your family about at the time it happened, because they would be really worried about you? We discussed how men literally do not ever have these concerns. Most men never walk down the street with a constant inner monologue of “Will I be assaulted today? Is that old man going to tell me to smile more?” We had an epiphany: Resting Bitch Face is a Self-Defense Mechanism.

And we’ve both used it as one! My sister and I each had multiples accounts of times that a mad straight face and deaf ear might have saved our lives. I checked your previous content, and their are references of RBF sprinkled throughout many conversations about feminism and the general life of being a woman, but this perspective is unique. Of course there are opportunities to link related MR content Do You Have a Resting Bitch Face? and Feminism and RBF, but this perspective is not “what do you do about RBF” or “RBF is an issue with the way men perceive women” but about the fact that sometimes, when you are on the subway alone, you put on your biggest, baddest bitch face because you don’t want to talk, and you don’t want to hear it. Sometimes that angry frown while to stare blankly in the distance is the only way to get a little fucking security and peace and quiet while going about your day to day life. Bitch face is the ultimate Man Repeller.

On Female Friendship

Image from Glossier

When I was in high school, I boasted about the fact that I had no girlfriends.

It was trés cool to roll with the boys. And that’s what I did! Forever the friend, I drove my buddies in my mom’s minivan to heavy metal concerts and we pulled off the most ridiculous stunts at band practice. Sometimes we would break into an abandoned “haunted” house just to have the shit scared out of us and other times we would watch bad movies and recreate the gross signature meal. I’m looking at you, Troll 2 Nilbog Pie. I have grown distant from these friends, but I love and miss those guys, and they shaped who I am today.

I remember the first time I made a real, reliable girlfriend. The kind that you click with instantly and remember forever. I was away, traveling, and when I met these girls from bigger and faster cities, for the first time I felt like I was listened to completely, and more than that: I felt heard.

I was not the butt of the jokes with this crew, and intelligence and argumentativeness were validating qualities. They were funny and danced with ease and comfort. They felt like all of the good parts of femininity that I had been stuffing away so that I felt cool and accepted with the boys.

Flash forward:

In college, I was back to my old ways of worrying about whether or not I was accepted as one of the guys. When I wasn’t concerned about my friendships with some, I was pursuing romantic interest with others. I keep in touch with a number of them, but the people that I will always love are the women that spent time with. What I miss most are late night debates about the politics of colonial America (?) or playing tunes on the porch a lazy Sunday morning with all the girls. I will never forget the minutes that felt like hours during which we considered all of our pizza options and everyone’s personal tastes before inevitably settling on Hawaiian. I not one single women entered my life as a friend and abandoned me as a friend. Every female friendship I have made in the last 5 years has lasted and developed and has been deeply meaningful.

I am so excited that now, in my formative years of adulthood, I am learning how to seek out these independent women to have in my life as supporters and friends. I made my first new friend in my new city 6 months after moving! I realize now that you can’t meet new people when you sit on your couch and watch Netflix. By learning how to rock climb, I have made one new friend, who shared her friends with me (even bringing me to a B.Y.O.F. party… Bring Your Own Friend!). I have recently joined a group of women training to be better and stronger climbers, I am amazed at the ease of new friends who want to put themselves out of their comfort zone and learn something new. When my friend joined a rowing course, she noted how few men were on the beginner team, and said “of course it’s all women signing up and trying new things!” Of course there are adventurous men signing up and trying new things, but one of the amazing qualities about women who seek personal independence is that they aren’t afraid of something new and different.

This new group of women I have been climbing with is already very special to me because we can all share a sense of camaraderie formed from being awkward and uncomfortable together, laughing at these struggles, and drawing power from them.

So here is to long and lasting friendships with great women.

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Image from Glossier

Hiking in Jasper National Park

After backpacking in Banff National Park and hiking to the Lake Agnes Teahouse, we set out for Jasper National Park. Jasper was more remote than Banff, and we had more nature encounters throughout the trip.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetThis sunset happened during our first night in Jasper. We all ran up to the balcony of our chalet to watch it. Our dad ran downstairs to grab his camera and by the time he was back up… not even 60 seconds later!… the sunset was over. Luckily, my sister caught this photo.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetThere were a lot of unique water experiences in the parks of Alberta, Canada. On our first day of hiking in Jasper, we visited the Miette hot springs! The source of the springs steamed hot and stinky sulphur, but the actual lounging area wasn’t stinky at all. We especially had fun running from the 100 degree waters and jumping in the ICE cold mini-pool nearby. The next day we hiked the Valley of Five Lakes, the fifth of which is featured above. We hike the trail backwards, starting at lake 5 where we ate lunch and soaked in the views before hiking out. Each lake was a vivid and distinct shade of blue or green.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetContinuing with the tour of spectacular water attractions, we visited the Sunwapta and Athabasca waterfalls the next day. Standing near water that is moving with such force is pretty terrifying. There were effective signs posted all around warning of people who were overconfident and climbed past the fences, only to fall in.

Processed with VSCO with m3 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetThe next day was our father-daughter hike. My dad, sister, and I all drove to a beautiful and isolated section of the park, planning to take a strenuous four hour hike. It took us an hour to hike to the trailhead, where a sign was posted announcing the closure of this trail due to the spotting of a mother bear and her newly born cub. You didn’t have to tell us twice… we’ve all seen The Revenant. After hiking another hour back to the parking area, we decided on a shorter two hour hike nearby, where we visited a secluded lake that was home to a beautiful swimming loon. The water was so clear that you could see the loon through the water as he torpedoed under in search of fish.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetWe also visited this insanely mirrored lake where from a distance it looked as if people were walking on water. This lake was massive, but at no point was it ever more than ankle-deep. Some bold people had braved the frigid waters and waded across the entire lake!

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetTo break up the 6 hour drive back to Calgary, we stopped halfway to stretch our legs and hike up to a glacier. It was wild to see the markers of where the glacier used to reach before melting, and so sad to see how much was gone. This glacier won’t be there for many more years.

Processed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with m3 presetWhen we got back, we did a bit of urban backpacking to get from the airport to the south side of Chicago. We were quite a sight at our bus stop downtown!

Be sure to read about our backpacking trip while we were in Banff National Park, and the amazing Teahouse Hike we took!

 

More Nature Adventures:
Hiking advice from my brother and sister
What we packed
What we read
What you should read

Monday Reflections and Intentions

Hey all! I am currently making the rapid turnaround from an amazing outdoor adventure in Canada to a fast few days metro-NYC. This means washing all of my grubby hiking clothes and packing my best city-wear.  I will share many, many photos of Canada here soon. In the meantime, here is what I’ve been doing and will do.

Reflections:
-Backpacked in Banf with my brother and sister. Experienced Alpine Spring and hike to a teahouse in the mountains between two lakes.
-Visited hot springs and more lakes with my whole family.
-Went for an 11 mile bike ride in Chicago. Had THE BEST time.
-Ran all over downtown with my sister just for fun. Bought theses earrings!

Intentions:
-Rent a bike in NYC
-Learn this song
-Pay all of my bills !!!
-Share photos of my trip to Canada

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Thank You for Your Continued Support!

WOW I am so amazed with how quickly this blog has taken off. Thank you for continuing to support my content. I had no idea how much fun this would be, and I really had no idea how much I would learn. We are approaching the end of the 5th month of The Wonder Of, and I wanted to share a few favorite posts so far.

If you like The Wonder Of, and want to support this page, you can donate on Patreon, or more impactful, just share the link with your friends.

Outdoors:
Tripstagram: The Grand Canyon
Camping 101
The Case for Visiting the Southwest
Clever Beach Hack

Money:
Money Minds and Summer Savings
Weird Savings Strategy
Spring Break Planning: The Wild West!
I Started a Patreon!

Books:
Nature Week Book Club!
Dystopian Novels that Warned You this Was Coming
The Most Relevant Book
Summer Re-Reads

Music:
I Was Invited to a Secret Concert
What You Need to Know about ‘Hamilton’
Pay Attention to these Musicians this Summer
Chicago Jazz String Summit

Food:
Wonderful Ways to Eat Your Greens
Green Chile Green Chili
Huevos at Home
Cold Remedy or Summer Treat?

Weekend Link Pack!

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I am really excited about camping soon, and when it is a short trip, you have the option of cooking over a fire! Love this paella recipe. Not camping? Try it on the grill or in your firepit!

29018cba-939e-4308-a42c-14fee8572a26.jpegJuly 22nd is National Hammock Day! I am loving this limited edition campy print.

 

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Did you end up getting anything on Amazon Prime Day? We didn’t, but now that we have paid bills and assessed our finances and needs for the summer, we are placing a small order. As an active freelance musician, it is crucial to be able to record and livestream performances. We are going to take the plunge and by the simplest, cheapest Go Pro. We are also solving all of our back problems with a foam roller, and file under weird: we are getting a squatty potty for that “back to nature” experience. Don’t ask. Just watch these ridiculous videos.

 

pwbJ40RUO179-yMOyt5j_AndriusBurba5.jpgAbsurdly cute photos of cat bellies.

 

Have you seen the voice of Gollum reading Trump’s Tweets? HILARIOUS!

 

ac9497672748fd60314b6c63b1ac55b18a9e4c3e.jpegCheck out this incredible Chicago loft!

 

download (2).jpegNPR draws parallels between our beloved undercover investigators and the reality of today’s FBI investigations.

 

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Don’t follow the norm too closely. Humanity is getting stupider.

 

I know it’s still a month away, but I am so excited for the next season of Broad City! It feels like the contemporary Seinfeld, and sometimes walking around downtown Chicago in the summer feels like being in my episode of these New York based shows. My dad says it’s because I’m “urban” now. I guess he’s right! I definitely love trading smoothie strategies with my best friend.

19050652_1916497905230123_2233495599372566528_nWhich shade of millennial pink wins your vote?

 

How sweet is this? Did you cry? Did you call your grandmother and tell her you love her? What a wonderful celebration of life.

I Started a Patreon!

I am so excited to have the opportunity to gain support directly from my community. If you have never used Patreon, all you need to know is that it is a simple and direct way to support artists and freelancers you love in a quick and painless way. Patreon also allows us to meet goals together. When I reach $100 a month on Patreon, I will start a new interview series, chocked full of photos and personal details about everyday people- veterinarians, teachers, designers, servers, runners…. everyone!

Patreon is a security blanket that lets me dream about expanding this blog in big ways. Big ways like paying to host the site, upgrading technology, hiring a photographer, traveling for the blog, attending conferences, and traveling to new places to share with you. I hope we can do all of these things together!

Thank you for your endless support. Please support my Patreon here, and give anything you can. Your support will change this blog in a big way. If you can’t give today, then share this page, instead. The more eyes the more opportunities for this blog to grow. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Kelsey

 

Related: Money Minds and Summer Saving
                Summer Resolution

Evening at the Market

I love southern Indiana in the summer. This love has developed as I return home each year to take part in the New Harmony Music Festival and I get to see the town I grew up in and around through the eyes of people from around the world. The lush greenery and tall corn fields are beloved by all. Political differences are gently set aside as urban dwellers and country folk bond over a general appreciation for roots music and good company.

The night I arrived, my sister insisted we go to a nearby farm stand and get kale. The stand is open as long as the sun is out, and payments are made according to the honor system. Prices hang over the vegetables, a scale and quart containers are laid out for honest measurements, and a locked wooden box sits out for cash payments for the produce. This was our first time getting kale from this farm stand… turns out, you pick it yourself, fresh from the field! We went out and picked kale, weighed it ($2 for a FULL grocery bag!) and then went to pick flowers. Anything that is not a sunflower is free! We left with a quart of blackberries, apples, the freshest kale, and free bouquets picked at sunset. It was a short and inexpensive trip, but our evening at the farm stand felt like a true homecoming.

All photos taken by my sister, Kendra.

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