basics for the breeze & simple for the sun


now in new york

not too much time ago I was wandering around antigua, guatemala then I was marveling at the mountains of my colorado home. now I'm here. here in new york city where I'm taking a leap of faith (& hoping it's fantastic) 
towards my next steps in life wherever they may lead. 
so cheers to adventure & for going with your gut! 


inspired by imaginin.guatemala

thinking I was only off to guatemala for ten terrific days seems impossible for how much inspiration I found around every colorful corner. our scene was set in antigua where the cobblestone streets were an everyday obstacle course & the erosion on painted buildings became a wide canvas rather than just a wall. though I speak a very few words of spanish, each patient person had a pleasant greeting, a "buenos dias," an "asta luega," or even a just an "holla!" 

on top of cerro de la cruz

the streets : 

having never happened across central america before, "beautiful," was the word I wanted to use over & over. the vivid green of the mountains & the bright hues of the houses peaking out all across them. the terrific teal of lake atitlan where we spent our weekend & the smoke that hovered over the mouth of each surrounding volcano. we spent most of our trip tucked into antigua's urban pace with wild chicken busses & slightly terrifying tuk tuks that were much better viewed from the safety of the sidewalk. antigua's age was apparent through the old churches with mysterious fences & missing statues. the bright buildings stood shoulder to shoulder while the tall walls surrounding some left us all wondering what lay behind. 

arco de santa catalina reflected on the stone streets
 colorful walls down our candelaria neighborhood
 sunday street market
turqoise & pineapple 
converse on the corner
the style : 

classic spoke something different down here (spanish I presume) as the traditional takes on wardrobe strayed from our western minimalism to masterful weavings. an outfit was not complete without color, birds & floral designs. the patterns & fabrics made the woman stand out as the calf length skirts & cinch waists repeated at a rhythmic pace down each market or street. baskets balanced on the heads of many vendors filled with almost any trinket you could think of ("no gracias"). though harder to hunt down, men in traditional attire sported striped linen capris as elaborate as their wife's floral shirts with basic button down shirts & large cowboy hats. like the city itself, locals often started to merge modern statements into their ensembles pairing basic tees with their traditional skirts or even adding a pair of turquoise wedges. a perfect inspiration in mixing the unexpected, pairing prints & embracing color!

 on the streets of santiago
 a fruity headdress
our abuelo at our worksite eating a tootsie roll
 special nod to the striped pants & their embellishments

the sweat : 

though fun was not forgotten throughout our journey, the mission of our trip was to build a home for a beautiful family with our team leaders from imagininGuatemala. cement & yellow paint became my makeup while trowels & shovels replaced any other accessory. physically exhausting while emotionally amazing, by friday we had four walls that were now a home & as abuelo mimed to us once again his blessing (his actual words were very few & far), our yellow walls were beaming with happiness for the years to come. 

other day trips took us to a hospital in san jose to play, color & eat bubbles (not so nutritious) with a group of lively & lovely children. though they all tested HIV positive, the pinata never stood a chance. we next conducted a clothing drive where I fell in love with giant-eyed guatemalan babies & failed at convincing any mother a cotton t shirt could be a style statement. the most intense sight & service was our trip to escuintla where we brought lunch to the families who live & work in the garbage dump. surrounded by the sight of needles next to candy wrappers & the stench of rotting who-knows-what was barely bearable. but I have never felt more gratitude for our lives than right then as untied the shoes off my feet & set them out the bus door in hopes something I barely needed could cover a pair of bare feet. 

one quote we kept repeating throughout was : "you can't change every life but you can change one" 

fernando taking a break by our worksite 
 bubbles are the best : at san jose hospice
 pinata problems
 creative freedom while coloring
 the base camp for our worksite where abuelo & abuela call 'home'
 "you can't sift alone" : aunt kathy
 the shower head & the bathroom's scenic view
 lesli helped us paint the yellow house walls
 holla abuela!
 the sight & smell at the escuintla garbage dump
 balancing meals for her small son
she had some attitude

the sights :

when we branched out beyond our building sites, you could find us on a breezy boat across lake atitlan, hiking steep stairs in the rainforest, playing futball in the black sand of the pacific ocean or zipping down a coffee plantation. soaking up any sun that came our way, even the rainiest days were met with optimism & an open mind for what we could discover. I couldn't have asked for a better team to travel & work with who were willing to roll around truck beds laughing, paint their faces yellow & remain awe-struck with every awesome sight we were able to see. 

 volcanos surrounding lake atitlan
 the air was fresh but the water not quite for swimming
 our view of santiago from the lake
 women & their weavings at the market through santiago
 aunt kathy & I looking over antigua
lifeguards on the beach with zoe & alex
 asta luega guatemala!


going to guatemala!

hope you all have a happy few days! I'm off to guatemala to do some good. 
be back soon!

image via. my aunt kathy



stop & sniff the flowers

via instagram @sierraks



forget kitten heels . cat flats are flat out cooler
(a lá charlotte olympia of course)


only one outfit ever

I've decided right now I nearly only want one outfit every day. inspired by the less intricate ensembles of the chill chicks below - a pair of perfectly comfortable cutoff denim shorts with a shirt as crisp & clean as the clouds dotting our skyline. I love when the look is a bit more raw with an oversized men's shirt, well worn sneakers & an undone updo. would this uniform work for you? 

only one outfit ever


                          margarita modnay



an awesome accessory to one up other stylish ear statements : the cross-ear cuff