Wit & Delight was created in late 2008 while Kate was working as a graphic designer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The name “Wit & Delight” was derived from Kate’s experience of discovering and developing her own personal style – “Wit” is a sharpness and quirkiness to the process, while “Delight” is finding the joy and the humor throughout each step.
Choosing the right headboard is a critical decision when designing a bedroom. The advice I always give to people on where to start with a bedroom overhaul is with the bed. It’s the natural focal point of the space and is also the most important piece of furniture in the room, and possibly your entire house. After all, we spend more than 1/3 of our lives in our bedrooms and a room without a headboard can feel bare, incomplete or even unfinished. Not only is it (typically) a bit of a financial investment, it’s one of the first things you see when you walk into the room and when you awake each morning.
Now that we’re slowly emerging out of the baby haze and into a more sustainable sleeping routine, Joe and I are looking to completely redesign our master bedroom. We’ve placed our bed on three different walls in our room, and unfortunately, we have more room for storage if we place our bed under a window and next to a radiator. It’s hardly an elegant solution, but there are practical needs that need to be addressed. Since realizing we needed to make this compromise, I’ve been pondering and exploring out-of-the-box headboard options. I’m definitely on the hunt for something new and different this time around. For example: creating a headboard made of vintage books or working with a metal like copper sheet, sounds exciting to me. Yet, with two children under two frequently in our bed now, I will probably choose something a bit more comfortable and child-friendly. In case you too are looking for your dream headboard, I’ve pulled together my favorite unconventional headboards that are far beyond the status quo. Which of the following 25 styles could you see going up in your bedroom?!
Statement Wood Piece
Velvet Wall-Length Shelf
Decorative Pegboard Wall
Tommy Bahama Themed
Can we talk about how insane your twenties are? (Lol at me acting like that’s not what I write about every month.) Like no offense but what in the actual f*ck? Y’all just let this happen to us with no warning and we have to adapt to being in quarter-life crisis mode for half a decade? I’m EXHAUSTED. It’s Kate, actually, that I’ve talked to (begged for reassurance) on multiple occasions about how intense this ride feels right now. She always gives me this knowing smile, and promises me that your thirties are so much better. And I just kind of stare at her like she’s this oracle and beg for her to tell me more because I want to be tidal-waved in validation that the decade after this one will be just a tiiiinnny bit easier. Or just, different, rather.
Like ideally I could yell down a time travel tube (tube? idk) and just say “HEY! Are you still an anxious psycho or did you figure some sh*t out?” And she’d yell back “Everything’s fine! Please stop picking your face though!” and I could just go about my business knowing in 2028 I’m doin’ A-OK.
So I’m writing myself a letter. I’ve already set a calendar reminder for myself to check in on this each anniversary this article goes live for the next ten years, assuming my phone’s not just built into my brain or something by that point.
I hope you can walk by a mirror, or a window and not reflexively look into it to make sure you look okay. You look GREAT! Also: WHO CARES?!!! (I do care, a lot.)
I hope you can wake up on a Monday morning and have peace of mind. You have really bad Monday Scaries and you keep doin’ this routine meltdown thing? It bums me out.
I hope you can learn how to calm and center yourself solo and not salivate for the reassurance from others. It would be the most useful tool you could ever teach yourself.
I hope you’re sure of your words and deliver them with confidence. You know what you’re talking about! Don’t get in your own head as soon as you open your mouth. Speak up! Conviction!
I hope your student loan debt is below like at least $20,000! Not your fault though, student loan debt is a national crisis and we will all die with Sallie Mae still as our #1 enemy!
I hope you’ve learned how to process bumps in the road a little better because, Geez, you are a sensitive little flower and I worry desperately for when a real actual bad life thing happens to you.
I hope confidence grows in you from something other than outside validation. Like girlfriend, why are you so “GIVE ME IT OR I’LL DIE” about approval from people you don’t even really care for? What’s that all about?
I hope by now you don’t assume that people that don’t know you are immediately turned off or annoyed by you right as you open your mouth. WOWWW that feels six shades of pathetic to type out. (It’s true: If you don’t know me and you hear me talk I assume you’re now thinking about how you thought I was going to be smarter. It’s fun. It’s a fun game I play. WOO I love games.)
On a similar note, I hope you find value in and fully believe your own instincts. You have intuition, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Believe what you feel. Sharpen that superpower as much as you can.
I hope your sharp edges have rounded a bit. You can be a little intense. I think you like to feel like you’re heard, which I get! I think that’ll dwindle as you (God-willing) get more confident.
I hope you call your parents more. You seem to loosely grasp that they won’t be around forever but let’s maybe stop acting like they will.
I hope you have at least like, looked into budgeting correctly. Don’t be an idiot. I’m serious.
I hope you and Erik are still together. I really love him. He’s dancing in the kitchen right now and keeps refilling your wine glass when it fringes on empty.
I hope you’re not still clamoring to prove to women that you’re not a threat. It is exhausting!! You are likable. You are enough. May you one day know both of those things to be true!
I hope you figure out whether or not you want to have kids at an age that doesn’t turn that into a stressful decision! I know that’s something that’s very much a question mark for you right now!
I really hope you find the skin you’re comfortable in. You’re so close. It’s like you found the exact right dress and the color is great but you just need to get it altered a smidgen because the shoulders look kind of funny, right? But, then again… maybe you don’t need to get it altered at all. Maybe you’ll grow to love that thing you wanna change. Maybe it’ll become your favorite part.
Liz Welle is a professional feelings feeler but gets paid to do social and digital stuff for brands in Minneapolis while occasionally food styling on the side. She lives in Uptown with her boyfriend and their thirteen plants. She is doing her best.
Many Minneapolis natives may be familiar with Colleen Eversman of 2ndTruth Photography. She has been working side-by-side with Kate at Wit & Delight to create innovative content and dynamic photography for the past several years, as well as working closely with hundreds of families and companies to produce top-notch imagery around the Twin Cities and all over the world. As a good friend and confidant to everyone at the studio, Colleen is a constant fixture at W&D and also a big part of our brand and what we have become.
Colleen and her partner James own a large duplex in South Minneapolis, in a neighborhood once home to the Twin Cities’ wealthiest roughly a century ago. After recently learning their downstairs tenants would be moving out unexpectedly, she and James began ruminating on various ideas for how they wanted to fill the soon-to-be vacant space. Shortly after, Colleen approached the W&D team and pitched the idea of transforming the downstairs half of the home into an Airbnb, as well as an additional set location for shooting Wit & Delight content. Her hope was to renovate and refresh the 100-year-old duplex into a modern residence that still embraces the charm of the past. The new space would be named the Elliot House, after the street it resides on, Elliot Avenue.
The W&D team is always seeking new accommodation alternatives (that we trust and love) to offer guests visiting from out of town. Styled with products by Wit & Delight’s favorite brands, the Elliot House will allow guests to experience W&D first-hand.
With much of the 100-year-old Elliot House needing remodeling and repairs, Colleen and James set out on a rather large initiative to completely renovate the bathroom and kitchen floors while also sprucing up the rest of the house with new furnishings.
They hired local interior designer Anne McDonald to put all the initial design concepts and spacial moodboards together. Anne then worked closely with Colleen from start to finish on all the design aspects of this project.
If you are interested in learning how to DIY or redesign your space– catch our interview below with Colleen where we ask her every question under the sun about her home re-design story.
What DIY or design projects have you been tackling lately? Let us know in the comments below!
Tell us a little bit about your home buying journey and why you decided to purchase your duplex in the first place? — In 2013, James and I started looking for a place to buy. Flash forward to 2015, and we began throwing around the idea of a duplex. We had no idea how to be landlords, we (at the time) felt like we didn’t have a single DIY or handy bone in our bodies. And yet, it seemed to be the only way to really make the money work for us. We knew that we weren’t ready to buy a “forever home” so buying a duplex made the most sense – we could get help paying the mortgage (or covering it all together) from renters, and then pay ourselves rent against the principle. It’s a win-win. So we started working with a realtor and after eight months or so, we found the Elliot House. We were the first ones to see it, and we knew right away that we wanted to put in an offer. This was after many lost offers to cash offers or to being outbid, or to just straight up walking into a place and being like, “Yea, no.” I think we saw it in March and closed the deal in May of 2015. It’s crazy to think that we’ve been there for almost 3 years now!
What inspired the Elliot House project and how do you foresee this space being used in the future? — The Elliot House was conceived when our tenants downstairs broke up and wanted to get out of their lease. That was this past August, and with the Super Bowl fast approaching, I threw out the idea of turning it into an Airbnb. I asked Kate what she thought and if W&D would be interested in partnering with me and she quickly agreed, and then the ball was figuratively rolling. Now that the Super Bowl has passed, we’ll be using the space as an additional shooting space for Wit and Delight, but as an ongoing Airbnb as well, and a space available for photographers and other artists to shoot in.
First and foremost, before breaking ground or drafting up any designs – there were several concept words that Anne and Colleen established together. This sort of verbal moodboarding sets the tone for the home and ensures that both the client and interior designer are aligned. Here are the words that embody the Elliot House:
Copper // Oak & Woodwork // Black & White // Clean // Current // Useful // Cozy // Original Architecture // Electic // Modern // Fun
Describe your design process and the overall aesthetic goals of the space? What were you looking to achieve with this remodel? — The house will turn 118 years-old this year, and James and I both wanted a modern refresh while still maintaining the home’s Victorian character. Our ultimate goal was to give the space an update that wouldn’t totally break the bank or involve tearing down walls or gutting anything. We treated the project like a mini facelift, rather than a full makeover.
What advice do you have for someone looking to hire an interior designer? What criteria should they consider when looking for the right fit? — James and I had the privilege of working with interior designer, Anne McDonald, and she was great from the beginning. Before hiring your own designer, I recommend you meet with and interview several that you potentially want to work with and really get a feel for the way they work and their design style. Know that there’s going to be a lot of back and forth communication and some things you will and won’t agree on. It’s a total give and take, and humble honesty is essential. Don’t assume they’re miracle workers or mind readers. If you’re not totally stoked about what they’re putting together, then chances are you haven’t been very clear with the direction. But if you don’t know what direction to go and you’re looking to them for help with that, be patient with the process. It’s going to take time to figure that out if you’re starting from scratch.
Before you make a decision, I recommend asking yourself the questions below:
What are you hoping to achieve with the space?
Is it functionality?
Is it aesthetic-related?
Is it a combo of both?
How big is the space?
What is your budget?
What are you going to do yourself and what do you need to hire out?
Where did you look for design inspiration and product sourcing? — We went to Pinterest, I looked at things Kate had pinned, I was also looking at design magazines. I was all over, but mostly Pinterest. Anne was a huge source of inspiration too- she was pulling ideas and sharing them with me, so from there it was a collaboration of jamming back and forth about what the direction was going to be.
Where would you recommend cutting corners on cost and where would you recommend splurging? — Cut corners on cabinets and various furniture by shopping at IKEA, Target, and looking for sale items from West Elm, and CB2. We did not pay full price for anything except what we bought at IKEA. Splurge on a comfy bed. But you don’t need a $5k sofa. Ultimately, ask yourself what’s important to you (for us it was beds and seating because that’s where people want to be the most comfortable). We also bought IKEA cabinets instead of custom ones because the space is a rental.
When designing the kitchen, Colleen and Anne envisioned an old-fashioned room with fresh and new accents that didn’t take away from the original foundations. One of the more time-intensive aspects of the room was the installation of the funky hand-painted wallpaper by local artist duo By She She. If you look closely, the silhouettes of Colleen, James, and their sweet dog Ellie are painted throughout the kitchen to add a little personal character and timestamp on the home. Colleen and James also completely re-did the floors with a grey SnapsStone floating porcelain tile. The current butcher block countertops are from IKEA but they are looking forward to replacing those with new Cambria countertops later this month! (A special story on that coming soon!) They also added in this industrial kitchen island butcher’s block from IKEA to provide extra countertop space.
If you are new to remodeling and have little to no experience, what projects do you think are feasible to tackle alone and what tasks would you highly recommend hiring out for? — Painting isn’t everyone’s favorite task, but it’s the number one thing that you can save money on. Hire out when you don’t feel confident you can pull it off with YouTube tutorials and/or if you don’t have the time to do it yourself. Always hire a professional for any plumbing and electrical work. Definitely hire someone to lay tile, the floor has to be extremely even, and it’s just a messy pain in the butt thing to try and YouTube your way through. We had a great experience working with Randy Brehmer. He laid the tile in the bathroom and went through the trouble of custom cutting all of the tiles surrounding the radiator. I would highly recommend Randy to anyone looking for help on house projects in the Twin Cities. We were also put in contact with a contractor, Clint Sebastian, and he’s been critical in coming over and helping us cut/hook items up, he also helped us install TVs into our plaster walls.
If you ask for your life to change, it will change. Locked in an empty conference room in 2016 with my eyes full of tears, that is what I asked for. You see, the first step in the self-care and soul-searching journey is realizing that you are f*cked up. Not in the sense that you are a total disaster but more so like, there are clear areas of your life which could be handled differently. It is acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, there is an alternate way to approach your life.
For example, I could probably stop sleeping around with random men. I could probably go to work without counting down the minutes until I could leave. I could probably process grief a lot more productively than a bottle of tequila every Friday night. Step one: Realize thou art f*cked up, or the G rated version: Define your opportunities for improvement.
The next step was taking note of the severity of the issues I had and what I honestly believed would fix them. Sometimes it’s as simple as a workout class or mani-pedi with girlfriends; but for me, that would have just been a Band-Aid. I was at such a low point that I immediately took to Google and my insurance provider’s website to find a therapist. I knew that I needed to talk to someone who wasn’t a friend, who wouldn’t interrupt my stories or discount what I was feeling with their own personal experiences. I didn’t want to place that burden on my friends. I needed to pay someone to listen and give me the professional tools to fix my life.
Once I was in the chair, the hardest part was taking responsibility for my own actions. The thing about self-care is that there no route on this journey where someone else is to blame. This is both difficult to swallow and miraculous in its own right. Our parents, family, friends, and environment can be direct contributors to our poor state, but you are in control of how you navigate those situations and your circumstances. You cannot fix other people. You cannot make them love you or treat you better. You can most certainly ask but most people operate with their own interest in mind which makes it incredibly difficult to consider the feelings of others.
If no one else is to blame then you have the power to fix everything. That is the most wonderful part of this journey. You can change how you react to people. You can change the story of your life or circumstances that have been ingrained into your subconscious. You can decide what comes next.
Eventually, it’s all about implementing those tools. I suffer from anxiety, and I had to go from recognizing what it is and how it expresses itself, to me preventing anxiety attacks and identifying the triggers in my life. This involved a few difficult conversations in all areas of my life. I had to advocate for myself in the workplace, in relationships, and with family.
Last but not least, you have to make the pledge for less f*ckery. Once you’re aware of your issues and have set clear goals for what you want to improve in your life, you have to put an end to the madness. It’s not that you won’t fall back into your old habits. I have at least a dozen times but I don’t stay there as long as I used to.
Here is my pledge (in its most raw, unedited form):
I have seen some f*cked up things. I have made mistakes and lived to tell the tale. A lot of things have happened in my past but none of them truly define who I am or who I will become.
With that said, I will be damned if I’m not a well-adjusted adult human being who contributes to society in a meaningful way by allowing myself to reach my full potential. I will be someone who knows that they deserve love and belonging and someone who can freely give it because I know that I am whole and complete.
I will not mess anyone else up to the best of my ability. I will live a life led by love and joy while acknowledging the entire spectrum of human emotion and the human experience. I will live fully in this life and commit to being in the arena.
I initially embarked upon my self-care journey because I wanted to live a life that was better than the one I was living. I knew that I was carrying a heavy weight that I needed to let go of in order to move forward with my life.
True self-care is like learning how to walk. When a child learns how to walk, it is inevitable that they will fall. You cannot learn to walk and be jealous of those that crawl. You have to commit. You have to get up and try again. You have to hold the hands of those around you who understand what you are attempting to do. And you have to keep going to unfold into the person you were meant to be all along. When you do learn to walk, and you will, be sure to hold the hand of the next kid in line.
Kristian Gist is a writer and asker of all deep, thought-provoking questions over cocktails and cups of tea. She is heavily focused on learning how to best love herself and helping others do the same. She lives in Chicago and serves as the personal assistant for her two cats, Zippy and Louis. You can find her on Instagram @kristianologist.
The jig is up. I’m a (sometimes alarming) lover of all things fashion. During fashion month, many a night are spent on my couch drinking a glass of wine (or two…or three…alright quit judging) and scrolling through Instagram and my favorite blogs. But, let’s be honest…while runway looks are certainly lust-worthy, most (if not all) don’t exactly work in the real world.
The runway represents the forefronts of fashion trends, explored through (often outrageous) pieces of clothing, or, as I like to call them, works of art created by the world’s most talented designers. And then you have street style, which gives us some context into how these seemingly unapproachable trends can be adapted IRL–but you must use your imagination, because even the street style looks can feel a bit “huh?” because chances are you aren’t about to traipse around town sporting two fanny packs and socks with your stilettos
Not all trends are for everyone. What I love most about new seasons and trends is the invitation to decipher which we want to adapt into our wardrobes, and how to put our own personal spin on them. So, in honor of spring creepin’ around the corner, I’ve rounded up some of the coming season’s exploding trends, as well as some looks to inspire you to take them for a spin on the #realway without feeling too ridiculous. Sit back, relax, and get ready for your daily dose of style inspiration.
Which spring trends are you most excited for/likely to embrace with open arms? Comment below!
1. Dark-Wash Denim
Normally reserved for warm temps, distressed and acid wash are taking a back seat this season. From dark-washes to top-stitched and tailored cuts, designers are dusting off and reinventing styles from the early 2000s. Try out the trend with a long, denim trench (also a huge SS18 trend), a boxy, oversized jean jacket, or a denim skirt. Or, I’m never opposed to a full-blown Texas tuxedo.
Perhaps we can thank the millennial pink boom for this, but soft lavenders, pinks and yellows are without-a-doubt leading the way this spring. Try pairing a few of these delicate hues together, or ease in with small doses like a purse or paired with unexpected pieces, like your black jeans, mom jeans or sneaks (to avoid feeling like an easter egg).
But this spring’s iteration of florals comes in the form of 60s-inspired. That’s right, no longer reserved for your grandparents’ wallpaper or couch, these groovy, bold, pop of color patterns are all over. I’m always down to open vintage-inspired trends with open arms–and with wedding season just around the corner, I’m on the hunt for a fun, Marcia Brady-inspired floral dress.
I have a confession to make: I’m an excellent sleeper.
Perhaps it’s an odd thing to be particularly proud of past the tender age of two yet here I am, in my early thirties, and still find myself sleeping like, well, like a baby.
I suppose you could say I’ve always valued my eight hours of sleep—just as much as I value life’s other basic necessities. Although I knew that my body functions like clockwork after getting quality sleep, I hadn’t been entirely sure of the why. That all changed when a few months ago while paging through the latest Elle, I came across a book review on “Why We Sleep,” a groundbreaking account from Matthew Walker, a leading neuroscientist and sleep expert at the University of California Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab.
Intrigued, I jotted down the name of his book and promptly bought it from my local B&N (my annual membership definitely has its perks). Always one for self-improvement, even if it’s something I’m supposedly pretty skilled at, I tore through Walker’s book with voracity.
In a refreshingly pedagogical way, Walker delves into the subject of sleep (and dreams) by exploring how we as individuals can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better. Sleep, I quickly discovered, not only enriches our ability to learn, memorize and make logical decisions but also recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism and regulates our appetite.
Whew! Now I know why I’m a glutton for beauty sleep.
So, regardless of whether or not you’re a seasoned sleeper, here I am, about to impart Walker’s scientific wisdom on how to sleep better into 8 easy-to-follow tips:
1. Set your alarm clock—for sleep
It may sound counterintuitive, but Walker says that setting an alarm for going to bed is just as important as setting an alarm for waking up. Sticking to a sleep schedule, aka going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, is crucial to better sleep. (P.S. On the plus side, for all you singletons out there, this provides a fresh excuse for why you have to excuse yourself on a first date that’s not going so well.)
2. Exercise – just not too late in the day
We all know exercise cures (mostly); if you can, try to schedule your barre or spin class earlier in the day. Sneak one in the morning before work or better yet, on your lunch break. The one exception I’ve found? Yin yoga, which actually prepares your body for more restful sleep by providing a serene experience.
3. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bed
Although an espresso or a glass of Malbec after dinner is my idea of bliss, resist the urge to indulge before hitting the hay. While caffeine and nicotine act as obvious stimulants, alcohol may initially help to relax you but heavier use robs you of quality REM sleep, which is integral to brain restoration.
4. Nap away — anytime before 3:00 p.m.
Cat-napping has become a favorite pastime of mine and for good reason: it gives me that little boost of energy for later on in the day when I need it most. However, Walker recommends napping before 3:00 p.m. since late-afternoon naps might make it more difficult to fall asleep when it’s time for actual bed. Duly noted.
5. Draw a (hot) bath at night
If you happen to have the luxury of relaxing in a bathtub before bed, consider yourself lucky. Hot baths are found to do wonders for both your muscles and your ability to sleep. Walker reports that the drop in body temperature when you get out of the bath may lull you to sleep faster by helping you to feel more relaxed. Bring on those Epsom salts and essential oils, please.
6. Keep your room dark, cold and gadget-free
Walker recommends doing away with anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep. This could be that heavy down comforter you keep meaning to replace for a lighter one, those blinding street lights that illuminate your bedroom or that Netflix subscription of yours on your trusty old laptop. Say thanks but no thanks—you’ve got some sleeping to do instead. My personal pick? Invest in a sleep mask. It’s the best $15 I ever spent.
7. Wake up with the sun (or a very bright lamp)
Studies show, time and time again, that daylight is the key to regulating our daily sleep patterns. Allowing yourself to get the right sunlight exposure means getting outside for at least 30 minutes each day. If possible, try to wake up with the sun or use very bright lights in the morning.
8. Don’t force it
If you often struggle with sleeping soundly and for the recommended amount of time (8 hours, folks!), the last thing Walker says you should do is lie in bed awake. If it’s been more than twenty minutes, feel free to get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy again.
Erin is a freelance writer with over 7 years of creative copywriting experience. A self-professed storyteller with a serious case of wanderlust, she has a penchant for all things fashion, beauty, food, and film.
So I’ve been working in the world of social media for about seven years now – it’s not a constant thing but I certainly feel conflicted from time to time when it comes to my line of work. Not only are we spending more time in front of our screens in general (most adults are spending 12 hours a day consuming media) but we are choosing to explore a lot of our relationships digitally vs. having real, live, face-to-face interactions. The anthropologist in me would like to point out that we (as a species) were not necessarily built for this type of interaction – but instead, we built this kind of communication to satisfy some of our most primitive needs. Essentially, we figured out a way to get convenient satisfaction via digital and social interactions – quick hits of dopamine at your fingertips, cultural evolution at its finest.
We always hear about the negative ways that social media and the digital landscape are affecting our relationships: we don’t talk as much in person, social media is a highlight reel, we expect instant gratification and our expectations, in general, are much higher, etc. But is it really all negative? If you’re a pessimist, sure. Let’s explore a few of the negative and positive ways the digital landscape is affecting our relationships:
We are better connected than ever before:
Never before in the history of our species have we had the ability to connect with so many people from so many walks of life. I met my boyfriend on Instagram (confirmation that it does, in fact, go down in the DMs) and I have countless friends who have met their partners online (e.g., Tinder, Bumble, etc.). Also, news flash: the digital space isn’t only for dating, it’s for bringing people together in general. Whether it be the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, or any other cause that is near and dear to your heart – technology has enabled us to come together when it matters most.
We are more creative and innovative:
Social media depends on the creation, participation, and sharing of different content. This has not only gotten us more in touch with ourselves (sometimes a little too in touch, ahem, narcissism) but it has inspired us to create and innovate unlike ever before. There are businesses that are literally being born online (oh hey Wit & Delight!) and it’s pretty cool.
We expect convenience + perfection:
With the rise of social media and technology, we have become accustomed to instant gratification, convenience and this idea of perfection. As far as convenience goes, we can pretty much get all of our social interaction within arms reach and sometimes without even actually talking to anyone; this is creating the illusion that our needs for social interaction are being satisfied when in reality, they are not. This not only affects our person-to-person relationships, it also seems to affect our expectations as consumers and having the ‘perfect’ experience. I was chatting with some friends over the weekend about how I’m always looking at menus online or reading Yelp reviews before deciding on going to a restaurant. What ever happened to just rolling with the punches and being okay if everything isn’t perfect? Experiences are always inherently good, even when they’re bad. Next time you’re traveling, instead of anxiously reading yelp reviews, ask the locals where the best brunch/lunch/dinner spot is.
We’re bad at being present:
Have you ever seen two people on a date and they are both sitting on their phones basically the whole time? Or have you yourself been “watching” Netflix and realize you’ve actually just been excessively scrolling Instagram? We tell ourselves we are really good at multitasking when in fact, we’ve become really good at not being fully present. Our consciousness and our ability to reflect/plan ahead is what sets us apart from other species – technology heightens this capability and sometimes I’m not so sure it’s a good thing.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a small peek into how our relationships are affected by the digital landscape. Life is all about balance; it’s important we consider all of the negative and positive ways technology affects us. Appreciate the positive things, be mindful of the negative, and do what feels right.
Katie is an anthropologist and philosopher at heart. A freelance writer, brand manager, and social media strategist by day. She’s usually one of three places: outside (most likely with her 9-month-old puppy, Finn), taking photos of said puppy, or at the gym. She resides in South Minneapolis with her boyfriend, Alex.
I recently moved into a new apartment and more than ever, at 30, found myself wanting to bring less stuff into my new space. Because at the end of the day, I want to come home to a place that is a refreshing contrast to the busyness of everyday life. My bathroom, in particular, was a fun decluttering challenge considering my “less is more” skincare mentality in recent years. Getting back to the basics, adopting more natural ingredients, throwing out old products—I decided to apply my seasonal makeup bag detox ritual to my entire bathroom space.
Below I share what I did to bring a wind-down, spa-like feel into my new pad.
1. Get organized.
There’s no better feeling than getting rid of old, outdated items—whether it’s in the fridge or bathroom cabinet. So once I do throw out old mascara and clean my makeup brushes, I keep my everyday items within an arm’s reach. Like stored behind the bathroom mirror or a small basket or box near the sink. Products like facial oils, coconut oil, Q-tips—those items I reach for every morning, and night. I like to combine them with other pretty little things—a bar of soup, a small plant or flower in a jar, hanging up a painting—to create a lovely space I enjoy looking at, especially when it’s tidy. As for the bigger stuff—blow dryer, towels, bath salts—I store those under/near the sink in baskets or a cabinet close by. This most-to-least frequently used products approach keeps clutter at bay so you can set the tone for your at-home sanctuary.
2. Bring the outdoors inside.
I always have something living in my home. Especially in the bathroom, where most of the self-care goes down. A plant or flower can serve as a simple reminder of something to take care of, to inspire a daily wind-down practice. The bright hues of plants and flowers also have an uplifting vibe, and sometimes scent too. Which is especially nice during cooler months. Just because we live in the North doesn’t mean our home can’t feel a little bit like a vacation, right? Plants have a longer shelf-life over flowers so they are usually the option I opt for. Plus, there are so many options now! From a succulent to an orchid to an aloe vera plant, which can double as a natural skin remedy for rashes, burns and general soothing when applied to the skin after a day in the sun.
3. Set the mood.
Candles always create a relaxing vibe but you can take it up a notch by bringing essential oils into the mix. I’ve been a user for years, regularly carrying grapefruit essential oil in my purse for a quick mood boost during the day. I recently purchased an aromatherapy diffuser to bring calming and soothing scents into my home so all of my senses are engaged in a spa-like experience. Lavender, eucalyptus, sweet orange—there are so many options to experiment with until you find a combo or scent you fall in love with. I also like to assess my bathroom’s default lighting and often find myself investing in new bulbs or a lamp to create softer lighting that makes my daily skin routine a lot more enjoyable.
4. Upgrade your towels.
A simple swap to more luxurious, softer towels is a quick fix for extending that spa-like feel well beyond the shower or bath. I also like to replace rugs and my shower curtain that may have a little too much wear and tear from over the years. Upgrading your towels also provides a chance to ensure you’re bringing neutral, calming colors into your space to create a relaxing setting.
5. Keep calm on hand.
Lastly, whether you are a shower or bath person, be sure to keep all your spa-time goodies on hand so when you need that relaxing soak, you have everything you need to chill out. Some go-tos that come to mind—Epsom salts or bath bombs, a fully-charged speaker for playing relaxing tunes, your favorite face mask. Just be sure to create your spa list ahead of time and keep the supplies on hand so when you need a fix most, you’re ready to indulge! I also look forward to planning and hosting spa nights with my girlfriends to prep our skin for summer—from head to toe. Here are some of my favorite at-home spa items:
Trader Joe’s Lavender Body Scrub – For silky smooth skin all over—in under 5 minutes. When I have more time, I love making my own body scrub using coconut sugar, coconut oil, and cinnamon. Here’s my go-to recipe.
Aromatherapy diffuser + essential oils – To engage all of your senses! It can be transferred easily too, from bathroom to living/bedroom. You can find several affordable options online or at most local health foods stores.
Sea of Elements facial dust – Mixes well with water, raw honey or Greek yogurt for a rich face mask. This dust is detoxifying and so dreamy!
Bedtime teas – I always keep a variety of hot teas on hand to extend the spa-like experience after my shower or bath. It always makes for a better night’s sleep, too! Especially when you opt for sleepy time options like teas with relaxing Chamomile.
Stay comfy – I love slipping into some cozy PJs and socks to literally wear my spa experience to bed that night. Invest in a cozy blanket, robe or warm neck wrap for fun extra indulgences!
Brooke Rymer is a health & wellness writer in Minneapolis. She’s passionate about finding simple ways to live a healthier life and is likely whipping up a new recipe or DIY beauty fix right now. She shares her adventures in healthy living on her own blog BrookeRymer.com.
One of my favorite questions to ask my girlfriends is “If you had to choose one product in your makeup bag, and only one, which would be your favorite?” Although it might sound like a fairly simple question, choosing just one item from the hundreds that overflow your bathroom makeup drawer is no easy feat. On the hunt for some new beauty recs, I recently surveyed the W&D team to see what moisturizer, mascara, cleanser or masque they simply could not live without. I’ve compiled the results and sprinkled in a few of my personal favs, too. Now it’s your turn to share… what’s your favorite go-to beauty product these days? We’re always looking for new products and treatments to gab about.
“I spent a few years experimenting with various primers trying to find one I loved but never had any luck until trying Onomie’s Powerful Priming Serum. Made using natural ingredients, it feels much more lightweight than the others and keeps my makeup looking fresh all day long” – Paige
Happy International Women’s Day everyone!!! On this very day in 1909, over a century ago, thousands of women came together and marched fervently in New York in the name of equality and women’s rights. This has always been a very important day in history. And because of all the strong women in the world that have recently come to the forefront to tell their stories, this day feels a bit different than it did last March and even more elevated this year than ever before.
International Women’s Day (IWD) falls on March 8th every year, and although I’ve always known the significance of this day, it was only a handful of years ago that I learned the true details of this remarkably important day – when my fiancé told me that IWD has always been a big day for his family, ever since he was little. “It is widely celebrated in Europe by both women and men of all ages,” he said. After we discussed the deeper meaning, we have been celebrating it together ever since. I’ve learned this is a day to honor the women in your life that you love and cherish. This is a day to celebrate women all around the world that inspire you. And mainly, this is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, personal, and political achievement of women.
This year at Wit & Delight we want to highlight the women that are inspiring us beyond the norm. These are women that touch our hearts and souls with their passion, rawness, strength, authenticity, bravery, and achievement. They make us feel insanely proud to be a woman, they inspire us to stand up for what we believe in. They provoke us to tell our own stories, follow our dreams wholeheartedly and encourage us to pursue our passions without fear. These are women that lift one another up, so we can all sit at the table together.
In celebration of IWD, I asked the entire W&D team, “Who are the women that inspire you to no end?” and these are the nine inspirational women we came up with!
“After I saw Lady Bird, I felt breathless… mostly because I held my breath through the entire movie. Lady Bird made me realize how few films have been made that reflect an experience I’ve shared with the writer. I’ve loved movies staring Greta Gerwing herself but watching her direct every aspect of Lady Bird through her own eyes was powerful in a way you feel in your bones. I hope Greta’s success is a signal of a shift in appetite for a wider range of diverse experiences being shared on a global scale. Even if we learn what its like to walk in each other’s shoes for even just a little bit, maybe we’ll find it easier to have empathy and respect for the different experiences and challenges we face out in the world.” – Kate
“I’ve been working in digital/social media for almost ten years now, so when I find someone like Jamie Beck of Anne Street Studio on the internet, it’s hard not to fall head over heels with not only her work, but her grace and strength in everything she puts out into the world. It’s been inspiring to follow her work as it has evolved over time, and I’m particularly inspired by her residency in France. I find that watching her work through her photography still life sets inspires me to focus more on the joy of making when it comes to my work.” – Kate
“You may have seen Frances McDormand’s speech at the Oscars last Sunday after she was awarded the Oscar for Best Performing Actress in a Leading Role. If not, I’m sure you heard about it. Her speech started with the usual “thank yous” but ended with a rousing call to tell new stories. Her inclusion of other women was inspiring. The way she used a platform and an opportunity to encourage women in power to help those without is incredible. It’s heartening to watch women support other women, and not tear them down. ‘We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,’ Frances said. ‘I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.'” – Bridgette
“A little more close to home is, Nora McInerny. This woman has turned the curveballs that life has thrown at her, into opportunity. She writes, she produces podcasts, she runs a non-profit (Still Kickin), she has a family. She must be incredibly exhausted at all times, but still exudes a sense of humor and an intensely down-to-earth, friendly personality that is so inspiring.” – Bridgette
“Ava DuVernay is making history and inspiring people everywhere as the first woman of color to direct a 100 million dollar film. In her recent interview with NBC, she calls her adaptation of the popular children’s book a Wrinkle in Time, ‘a love letter to black girls everywhere.’ Before The Princess and the Frog was released in 2009, there were no black Disney princesses, and Ava DuVernay made a very important point when she said, ‘There weren’t any Disney heroines who looked like me and Storm when I was a little girl.’ I love this interview with NBC News, where she explains the importance of making a Wrinkle in Time and how it can make a positive impact on young girls and boys, especially children of color. ‘It is a story for young people; it’s for kids, and it’s for the kid inside of us,’ she said. What an inspiration, I can’t wait to watch this movie with my niece when it comes out!” – Stefani
“As a Minnesotan woman, I was so proud to learn that Ilhan Omar was elected to office in 2016. As the first Somali-American Muslim legislator elected in the U.S., Omar acts as the Director of Policy and the Women Organizing Women Network. She represents district MN-60B which covers the University of Minnesota and the surrounding area in Minneapolis. A former refugee, and a mother of three, Omar acts as a strong women’s voice for the people. I also found it so inspiring that one of Minnesota’s very own was featured on the cover of Time magazine last year as one of the 46 women that are breaking barriers and changing the world.” – Stefani
“17-year-old, Chloe Kim, inspired young girls (and women) everywhere during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics when she made history being the first and youngest female snowboarder to land back-to-back 1080 degree spins in the halfpipe competition. I think she’s a total badass because she is fearless and does what she wants (e.g. tweeting during the competition) and she doesn’t care what other people think of her. She’s even getting her very own Barbie doll just in time for International Women’s Day.” – Francine
“When I think of women I admire and look up to, it has always been Joan Didion. I love that she says (or writes) what’s on her mind and doesn’t apologize if it’s too raw or too direct. She also writes about California in a way that makes me feel at home and understood. If you haven’t yet seen her recent Netflix documentary, The Center Will Not Hold, it is a must!” – Francine
“Back in 2016, Sara Blakely, the founder of SPANX, did a podcast with Guy Raz titled “How I Built This.” And I highly recommend listening to this! I felt so inspired by Sara and her unique entrepreneurial spirit. I love that she is incredibly driven but at the same time very rational; her personality and perseverance are so empowering. After experiencing nearly a decade of failure and rejection she overcame each and every obstacle and created a billion dollar company. – Bridget
Cheers to strong women everywhere, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!
What does International Women’s Day mean to you and how are you celebrating today? Are you wearing purple?! We would love to hear your stories and learn more about which women inspire you in the comments below!
Stefani Ellenbecker is the Editorial Director at Wit & Delight. When she’s not feverishly editing or writing about style and interiors, she runs her bohemian shop Arden Trading Co. where she sells artisan-made home goods. She lives in Minneapolis with her fiancé Muhamed.