BRUNCHING IN BACK BAY

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Things that make for good Saturday morning exploring:

1) A bangin’ partner in crime

2) A general plan. This does not have to include any specifics i.e. address of brunch place i.e. planned map of activities. But it’s always nice to have an area in mind.

3) A sense of humor and some confidence. You might have to ask to share a table with three random people. It’ll be cool. Don’t sweat it.

4) Your phone. Because there’s inevitably going to be a need for last minute Yelp searches and directions to the nearest T stop.

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Things that make for not so good Saturday morning exploring:

1) Cold weather. And wind. And frozen hands and toes and a “feels like” of 2 degrees. Yeah. That just about sums it up.

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So even though the air was frigid and the snow was piled higher than us and we had to wait to sit and eat our brunch, this morning was pretty swell. Elizabeth and I set out for adventure and I’d like to think we found it, too (with a little help). We had lovely coffee and noms at Render, which we chose for it’s reviews but, let’s be real, who can resist a trendy coffee bar with a chalk menu and a barista simultaneously taking your order and making pour over?

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Case in point.

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Stylish neighborhoods breed stylish debris. Also, I’m sure you thought you were really punny Jenn. And you were. I guess James just doesn’t get it… sigh.

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 presetSo for some final thoughts, the orange line is weird, man. There’s a lot of wood paneling. And it smells a funky. But the Mass Ave stop is real nice, all out in the open air with snow making this soft blanket everywhere and some pretty shadows. I’d go back.

Graffiti to take us out.

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IT’S A GOOD DAY TO BE ALIVE

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Happy Friday, friends.

I feel like every spring semester I rediscover how much I love to be alone and then I start doing things like holding conversations with myself and practicing yoga and spending solo time in coffee shops. I tell myself, most days, hey there, ya know, it’s a good day to be alive. I call myself Olive when I need a lil’ motivation. I spend more time listening to my thoughts and my breath. I think maybe I’m quieter. I take some time to make peace.

I’ve been listening to this song on repeat and also this one this one which makes me want to get up and dance. I’m excited to do some exploring, some eating, some Dr. Dog watching in the next few days. Some reading for school because I gotta kick this semester into gear at some point. Cheers to the weekend and the week and cheers to today because, after all, it’s a good day to be alive.

ASHEVILLE NC


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Snow days, amirite? There’s a blizzard outside but I’ve been snuggled in bed nursing cups of earl grey and reading and remembering this trip to Asheville with Mike a few weeks ago. It wasn’t much warmer there but the skies were blue and it’s always the most fun to explore new places with him. We stayed a night in a lodge (+bubble bath which was heaven), ate so much good food, and took time to soak in (get it?!) some sweet art and book shops downtown.

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First order of business was obviously cappuccinos-we drove to Waking Life Espresso, which was a little outside of the downtown but so worth it. Listened to some music that Mike deemed “so Olivia.” Because, ya know. Weird songs with high plucky little notes are obvi so me.

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Walking around, looking in aforementioned sweet shops.

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I really loved Hannah Dansie‘s work. Such a fan of the collage/painting/illustration thing + her style is super cool.

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Dinner at Cúrate nom nom nom. 

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Logs in the morning

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Mike had three shots of espresso in that cappuccino and proclaimed it the best of his life. I had a salted caramel hot chocolate which was, as it sounds, divine. Three cheers for the French Broad Chocolate Lounge!

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Hehe little plants.

SONY DSCThe remains of a taco lunch. Tacos, eh. Queso, gud. The color of that booth, perfect.

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Feetz.

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Ya know, this magazine looked rad but was less rad to read. Sigh. I’m absolutely always in love with good design, though. Which this cover has. So. There’s that.

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A tour of the Moog factory. I thought it would be not quite my cup of tea but, I tell you what, that stuff is pretty cool. The tour guide was good. And Mike was enthralled. And his pants match the factory? Definitely he coordinated that ahead of time.

Finally got some tea and headed home. Overall quite a spectacular trip, I would say (and one of the best Christmas presents ever, thanks babe). I’d love to go back in the summertime when hiking and seeing beautiful green things is an option. Do you have any recommendations? I’d love to hear!

Jan. 13 : Jan. 24

Sometime late last November, I started craving a change of pace. There were a lot of moments last fall when a strange sort of gloom swooped down and settled quietly on my shoulders and rested for an hour or an afternoon. It made me ache for an escape, and I decided I needed a project. I’ve always loved creating things and making art and using my hands and using my mind and I needed a way to do this every day, and also I needed a way to just do something everyday. I’ve never been good at accounting for my personal projects-it’s so easy for me to make goals and then let them slip quietly away. I was tired of it. I needed something to create and hold on to and make into a presence in my life, something to be responsible for and productive with outside of school.

So on December 1, I took my first [big camera] picture of the day. And I thought I might make this project just for a month or maybe 6 and then knew it had to be a year. Mostly, it’s just making me really happy. I’m learning a lot. I’m looking around me and finding beautiful things and finding a way to capture them in a beautiful way, one that’s exciting and eye-opening and humbling at the same time. It’s a good way to get out of a funk, I tell ya. It’s an outlet for growth every single day and also an opportunity to understand that yesterday, in it’s physical form, is gone. It’s a really delightful way to let go of the past and welcome the moment in which you are existing with open arms and a full heart.

Below are the photos I’ve taken since I returned to school; the rest are on Flickr. From now on I’ll be sharing photos here every Sunday, if you’d like to keep up with the project.

January 13

Tuesday Jan. 13 : First full day back with two of my very favorite people. We had lunch then went to Harvard that night for Shake Shack and a movie. It was exhilarating to be exploring again-moving around and feeling the life of this second home of mine.

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Wednesday Jan. 14 : Day 1 of classes. Back to drinking tea, loving my bed, and trail mix (#noms). PS, bought that hat at Urban Outfitters for a whopping 90% off. PPS, how is a hat from Urban Outfitters $50?

January 15

Thursday Jan. 15 : Snow! Libraries! This feels like it was taken late at night but I think it was actually like 5:00. Sigh.

January 16

Friday Jan. 16 : The T post-grocery run. We went to Star Market. We bought a box of clementines to share. I had to ration them to myself for the next week to keep from eating them all in a day.

January 17

Saturday Jan. 17 : Boston. It was good to be back in the middle of everything again. I felt quiet and a part of something.

January 18

Sunday Jan. 18 : Claire and I had a stellar day. Delicious sandwiches from Flour, a quiet hour at the ICA, and then 2 peppermint mochas from Strbks (plz?). I love the blue in this and the bareness of buildings in construction.

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Monday Jan. 19 : Hallo again my dearest friend aka the library. At least the light is good. And there’s a nice window to look out of.

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Tuesday Jan. 20 : Tea & blog reading in the afternoon.

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Wednesday Jan. 21 : I took a walk! To Davis! Just to pick up a cappuccino from Diesel and come back and mostly as an excuse to take pictures and enjoy being outside. It was rad. Also the ground/floor/area below my feet is grimy but I like it? That is all.

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Thursday Jan. 22 : Looking up and feeling alive. En route to Mr. Crepe and some belgian chocolate toasted coconut goodness.

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Friday Jan. 23 : Giggling under the covers like kids.

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Saturday Jan. 24 : Post brunch pre art store also snow. We had the best food at Cafe Luna (like always) and afterwards I was walking slowly behind and looking and picture taking (also like always.) I may or may not have caused a miniature coffee fiasco i.e. spillage but I’m happy to have the best friends i.e. they were not outwardly embarrassed at my clumsiness.

Xoxo

Olive

HERE’S A TIP

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Here’s a tip:

Whenever you’re feeling down or disappointed or disconnected, go outside. Start walking. Take a minute to put on your favorite song and then look up, around you, above you. Feel the wind on your face and the way your hair ruffles, notice the manner in which your feet set themselves down and come up again. See the slant of light on the buildings and the trees silhouetted against the sky and street signs, next to the roads under the bodies that travel across them. Observe the people walking around you and past you, observe your heart, observe the way your feelings change when you see those moments around you as art rather than the everyday. Take a breath. Let it out. Detect yourself in the midst of it all.