MADEWELL MARIE SANDAL
Madewell Marie Sandal
Madewell Marie Sandal
Madewell Marie Sandal
 

The nineties revival has brought about the return of the mule. We're accepting this updated version with open arms.


Although we aim for a timeless wardrobe, it's nice to make a few key updates every season. Apparently the nineties are now considered old enough to make a comeback and this summer is seeing the return of the mule. We love this ankle strap version from Madewell. The wooden stacked heel lightens up the black leather, making it versatile enough to go with everything from a classic black dress to cut off denim. They're super comfortable and can be worn for a night out or even while running errands. Although, even if you have the strongest feet, we wouldn't recommend them for a marathon shopping session.

Madewell Marie Sandal: $158

Words by Dacy Gillespie

 

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FREE YOUR WEEK
 

It's not so much an addiction as it is a dependency.

A quiet, nagging, yearn I feel anytime I have a few seconds of solitude. Waiting for the water to boil? Reach for it. Sitting in traffic? Take a quick glance. Walking the dog? It's there in my pocket just waiting to be pulled out. 

The constant urge to pull out my phone and check if there are any updates is always there. And I'm always checking. Always. Sometimes it's quick, sometimes I'm lost in its throws for an hour. The ability to concentrate on something for an extended period of time seems lost on me. It takes effort not to pull out my phone mid-movie or mid-dinner. I don't even know what I'm checking for. I'm just checking for the sake of it. 

And it doesn't make me feel good. 


The temptation for comparison is far too strong to resist. The pressure for followers. The weight of likes. I don't think this is a burden I carry alone. Our relationship with social media is a complex one. For me, it has turned into a mindless obsession from which I am desperate to wiggle free.


The thing is, I'm not checking anything important. It isn't the news that I'm concerned with or my e-mail. It's social media. 

Generally, it leaves me feeling cynical, annoyed and inadequate. I waste far too much time peeking into other people's lives and the temptation for comparison is strong. The pressure for followers. The weight of likes. I don't think this is a burden I carry alone. Our relationship with social media is a complex one. For me, it has turned into a mindless obsession from which I am desperate to wiggle free.

So, starting today, May 9th, I'm giving up all social media. The aim is to go one week without looking at, or updating, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest. This obviously isn't revolutionary. It's only for a week. But I'm curious to see if I can do it and to discover how I'll feel without the constant updates. I often work from home so social media keeps me company and entertained. I'm not sure what I'll do to fill all the spare time. Possibly I'll find myself staring blankly at the wall more often or maybe I'll be more present and more mindful of how I spend my time.

A few other people have expressed an interest in joining me on this challenge. If you'd like to participate and #freeyourweek please do. We'd love to hear your experience on how it goes. If you do take part let us know.

By Jennifer Inglis

 

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ON STEPPING OUTSIDE
 

Everyone should befriend a poet. 

To do so—to befriend any artist, really—is to pass through a doorway from the predictable patterns of civilization to the untamable mystery of nature. It is to become conscious of nature’s sensuous expressions, to be awakened in awe—to become aware of beauty in even the smallest measures of time. It is to learn gratitude. It is to see with new eyes. 

I met one poet over a typewriter.

The setting was a staff Christmas party. I was dressed in pajamas and a robe. The introduction concluded with my having a freshly-pressed original poem in my hands. 

Two years later, in the present, she “the Poet” helps me navigate the tight labyrinthine streets of San Francisco. I am driving us west from Mission over hills to Sunset district. The vessel is my grandfather’s “boat,” a 1985 Lincoln Town Car. Its engine is robust and responsive, but the car’s secondary features are falling apart. It is probably one of the worst cars to drive in a congested city in the rain. It proved to be a perfect portent. 

On the road, the rain dissipates, leaving a grey cloud canopy. 


'Once I took off my shoes, my feet began to wake up, to grow strong, and become springs. I became aware and in doing so became light nimble, and far more efficient.' Michael Sandler


We drive on to Fort Funston National Park. Once parked, the Poet suggests we leave our shoes in the car. I happily comply, thinking of Michael Sandler’s Barefoot Running: Once I took off my shoes, my feet began to wake up, to grow strong, and become springs. I became aware and in doing so became light, nimble, and far more efficient.

Feet are too often an under-appreciated asset of the human body. This oversight was true for me until I suffered a series of foot injuries from backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail and running my first marathon. I have since taken a great interest in the mechanics and potential of feet. So the next time you wiggle your toes, be sure to look down and say, “Thank you.” 

It begins to rain again. 

Undeterred, the Poet and I ignore signs warning of cliff erosion, and step carefully down to Funston Beach. A passing fisherman asks for the time. Watching him walk away, the Poet wonders if he is a corporate man seeking solitude—solitude in his faded layers and rubber boots with fishing rod, tackle, and bait at hand. Looking down, we wonder at the pure black sand, digging into it with our toes.

The Poet and I soak our feet in the cool Pacific tide, not yet ready to depart, all the while forgetting the boisterous urban sprawl laboring for existence a mile away. Standing on the Funston Beach beneath the gaze of crumbling sandy cliffs, we could be anywhere. The demands of San Francisco and the Silicon Valley are merely a fading echo. 

There is so much beauty in the rain, in the quiet—nurtured by nature outside man’s inventions. 


'People are lonely. The network is seductive. But if we are always on, we may deny ourselves the rewards of solitude.' Sherry Turkle


I suspect that most people can recognize beauty, but wonder how many are truly grateful for it. Some call it stillness, others solitude. Many find the notion and practice too unsettling. How many cherish its intimacy? The need for solitude does not necessarily mean that one needs to be alone, though that is healthy at times. It is more about perspective, not only for the senses, but the deepest part of being. 

Civilization, like technology, though valuable and remarkable, can be a costly distraction.

In the culmination of decades of research, Sherry Turkle writes, “We remake ourselves and our relationships with each other through our new intimacy with machines. . . . People are lonely. The network is seductive. But if we are always on, we may deny ourselves the rewards of solitude.”

On that day outside San Francisco, I was reminded of the refreshment available in shared stillness; that the entropy of nature is not quite the same as that of civilization. A fallen tree offers a different lesson than a condemned house, the broken branch a different story than a broken car lever. It is not necessarily about being an artist, or even being a friend to one; though art provides valuable reminders. It is about fostering awareness of the many gifts that life offers, attentive to the refreshment available in uncultivated lands—in quiet natural spaces. 

Yet be warned: “It’s a dangerous business . . . going out of your door . . . You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J. R. R. Tolkien - The Fellowship of the Ring.

Adventure demands courage. It requires patience. You may come home tired. That is the nature of beauty, however. That is the nature of growth. 

So here’s to more of us stepping outside together. 

by J.D. Grubb

 

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GOOEY RICE KRISPY TREATS

Embrace nostalgia with this childhood treat that's good enough for grownups.

 

 
 

For real, if you need a simple snack to add to your life or want to impress your friends with a cheap and cheerful treat we have the solution for you. 

Food snobs look away. Let's be honest, there is nothing fancy or refined about our recipe this week. It is delicious though and seriously addictive. We managed to go through an entire batch in just a few days and are already planning a trip to restock our supplies of mini-marshmallows so that we can make some more. Rice Krispy Treats possess the power to shoot us straight back to childhood. Their simple flavor is wholesome yet delicious, basic but all encompassing. They're heavy on the sweet with the perfect salty bite. They're perfectly gooey and will undoubtedly get stuck all over your fingers. A little word of warning: if you like to stuff your face while simultaneously scrolling through the contents of your phone you'll probably need to give it a bit of a rinse afterwards, sticky marshmallow and screens do not a happy match make. 

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 10 cups mini-marshmallows
  • 6 cups Krispie cereal
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Line a 9x9 pan with foil and rub with butter.
  2. In a large pot over low heat melt butter. Once melted add 8 cups mini marshmallows, stirring constantly.
  3. Once the marshmallows are just melted remove from the heat and stir in your cereal and salt until just coated in marshmallow mixture. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of mini marshmallows.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press in evenly. It will be gooey. It will stick to your fingers. But just press it together as best you can.
  5. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
 

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BIG & LITTLE INDULGENCES
 

This week we're focusing on a few of our favorite things that represent both big and little indulgences.

Spending $18 on a magazine could definitely be considered a splurge but, after seeing it featured in countless Instagram photos, we finally caved to the pressure and purchased a copy of Kinfolk magazine. Half expecting it to disappoint, we approached it with caution but are pleased to announce it is pretty great. It oozes a slow pace, with thoughtful articles on off-beat topics that remind the reader to approach life differently. It's light on hard-core fashion but heavy on inspirational quotes from creative individuals. Days after reading, we're still thinking back to the topics it covered and the unique photographic work that feels both wholesome and unique (a close up image of someone's goose bumps made a lasting impression). If you're opposed to shelling out so much for a magazine then head to their website for a peek at the latest content - a lot of the articles are available there for free. 


'You have to go through a complex process to get to simplicity.' Camille Tanoh- Kinfolk Magazine


 
 

In terms of wear, the warmer weather is providing us with all the happy feels because we can finally bust out the sandals and sunglasses. Nothing makes us more elated than toes without socks and eyes without mascara. While they may no longer be at the forefront of fashion we're sticking true to our love of Birkenstocks. No other sandal is more comfortable. We like to contrast their laid back hippy vibe with a bit of a glamor kick in the form of oversized Celine sunglasses. If you're feeling a bit blah they're the easiest way to announce that you are, in fact, the epitome of chic... even if bed-head would suggest otherwise. 

Finding a companion that will stand by your side for years is a true accomplishment. We found one in the form of a simple leather wallet from Danish brand Rodtnes. It continues to keep our valuables organized after three consecutive years of use and doesn't look the least bit worn despite being thrown around and squashed daily. 

In other news, we recently discovered Formula X nail polish which makes a mini set of colors designed to suit various skin tones. The range of shades provided us with a simple solution to never being able to choose just one from the huge selection available at the shop. Plus, we never manage to use a whole bottle of polish before it goes goopy and gross so the smaller offering is, in fact, ideal. We can also report that it goes on easily, doesn't streak, and (with two coats) looks salon quality. 

We're making a concerted effort to slow things down and one of the easiest ways to do that is by truly embracing the little pleasures in life. One way we've been doing this recently is by picking fresh flowers while out on walks (maybe not to be done if you live in a city). They're a bit more rugged and unconventional than what you'd find in a shop but there is something soothing about looking upon something you plucked yourself. Our taste buds are also ramping it up a gear thanks to the inclusion of grapefruit in our morning routine. The sour bite they provide works wonders for waking you up and provides a stronger punch than any cup of coffee we've come across. 

 

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BANANA BREAD
 

Banana bread normally works its way into my life out of necessity rather than desire. I only make it when I realize I've got a few bananas kicking around that are way too brown and squidgy to eat. But to be honest, I've never been that crazy about banana bread. I find it's normally bland and a bit dry. Definitely not that kind of thing I crave or look forward to. No longer though. I have discovered the most delicious banana bread recipe that is moist, full of flavor and (best of all) topped with a peanut streusel topping. Drool. This is literally the best banana bread I have ever eaten (others who tasted it chimed in with the same sentiment). I cannot recommend it enough. Make it as soon as possible. You will not regret it. I promise. 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (for the streusel)

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (for the streusel)

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (for the streusel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (for the streusel)
  • 2/3 cup roasted and salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (for the cake)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (for the cake)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 bananas, very ripe
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3cup brown sugar (for the cake)
  • 1/3cup white sugar
  • 1/2cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh or store bought
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Makes one 9- by 5-inch loaf

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease your loaf pan (you'll want one that's at least 3 inches deep) with butter and coat with a thin dusting of flour.
  2. For the streusel: Melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Chop the nuts finely or run through a food processor.  Add to mixture. Set aside.
  3. For the cake: Place the 1/2 cup of butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Let it melt.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of your food processor, combine the brown butter, bananas, eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, yogurt, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Blend until almost smooth (about 15 seconds). If you see any chunks of banana, pulse for a few more seconds.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients over the combined dry ingredients. Carefully fold together. Make sure to incorporate all of the flour pockets but be careful not to overmix. Spoon into your greased loaf pan. Pour the streusel all over the top of the batter. Using your fingers or a spoon, gently press some of the streusel a few inches down into the batter. Place on a sheet pan in the middle of your preheated oven. Don't worry if it overflows a bit. It will look cool and still taste great.
  7. The cake is done when you stick a skewer or paring knife about an inch from the center of the cake and it comes out clean. The very center should still be gooey. This takes between 35 and 40 minutes. Since all ovens are different, start checking after about 25 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes before eating.

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SPRING ESSENTIALS
American Elle, Sophie the giraffe and KalaStyle Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap
 

New soaps, cleansing face masks and Sophie the giraffe...


 
 

With the arrival of spring, we've found ourselves tucking into all sorts of fresh indulgences: new soaps, cleansing face masks, and fresh flowers. We can't get enough of Farmacy's sheet masks. They're a bit tricky to dismantle but once you've got it in place it's a hydration like no other. Our favorite pack is the New Dawn Mask Medley which promises to firm, brighten and fight wrinkles. To be honest, we're a bit skeptical about what these masks can really achieve but we're all for little indulgences and these feel great to put on.

Another recent discovery, is KalaStyle Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap. We were initially drawn to it based on the cute nautical themed packaging. Plus we're a sucker for anything Scandinavian themed. But at just $7 a pop this soap can't be beat. There is something refreshing about using a good o'l bar of soap after years of liquid variations. It feels wholesome and we like that. 

In other news, we're preparing for the arrival of a little baby girl in June which means stocking up on toys like Sophie the Giraffe. While many women adopt a strict healthy eating mentality while pregnant, we think it's necessary to indulge a little. As a result, nearly twenty boxes of Girl Scout Cookies were purchased by our team and all have already been devoured. Our favourite? The Samoa of course. Every year we buy a variety and every year we regret it. Next year, it's strictly the Somoa.

Having a little babe on the way has also put us into nesting mode. So, on an average afternoon you'll find us curled up on the couch tucking into a magazine. While we're a sucker for a good quarterly and readily support independent magazines, we can't help but give into the big players every now and again. Enter American Elle with its go-to advice on getting dressed and dreamy editorials. Currently we're swooning over the photos shot in a moody field with a model wearing an open back dress. Haven't spotted a maternity version just yet so may have to hold out for next year to recreate that look. 

Photos by Stephanie Bannon

 

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OFF THE SHOULDER
 

Successfully pulling off any major trend while pregnant is nearly impossible. Get ready to improvise.


 
 

Maternity clothes seem to be made for the sartorially meek. They don't push boundaries, they aren't fashion forward and they certainly won't turn any heads. Most maternity clothes are super basic: leggings, jeans, extra long tank tops, and comfortable dresses . For the most part, that's fine. Because, when you're carrying around all that extra weight and rocking a growing belly, comfort and practicality are really what's on your mind.

But, inevitably a day will come, when you won't be able to stand the sight of those tatty leggings anymore. You'll yearn for something that's just a little bit special. Something that doesn't make you feel pregnant.

It will be hard to find though and even harder to justify. Knowing you only have a few months at a certain (bigger) size makes it difficult to invest in expensive clothes. We advise, trying to find pieces that will work in the long term and fit even after you've given birth. Recently, we stumbled upon this H&M top and thought it ticked all the right boxes. It's an off-the-shoulder winner in the softest shade of blue. Since it's loose around the middle it has plenty of room for a growing belly but, since it isn't strictly maternity, will still fit post-pregnancy. Did I mention it was $9.99?

Win win.

H&M Top: $17.99 (similar) & Topshop Jeans: $80

 

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STARTING FRESH
 

When you've been tied to something for seven years it's hard to consider leaving it. Especially when it changed the course of your life. Not to be dramatic but starting The Style Crusader back in 2009 moved me in an entirely different direction than I had expected.

It was the summer before I began my masters degree in Political Theory at the London School of Economics. I decided I needed something light and cheery to balance out all the heavy reading and essays that were about to land in my lap so I started the blog. A few months into the degree, I found myself at Somerset House, just down the road from LSE's main campus, at fashion week. I scored a ticket to a show off another blogger and the next thing I knew I was sitting at a fashion show. Ok, that's a lie. I wasn't sitting. I was standing at the back straining to see over the hoard of heads in front of me. I was there though and I knew that was where I wanted to be. Only not standing at the back, I wanted to be sitting in the front row.

 
 

Starting my blog, The Style Crusader, back in 2009 moved my life in an entirely different direction than I had expected.


 
 

Six months later, I had finished my degree and moved to Zurich. Only speaking English in Switzerland meant finding a proper job was pretty much out of the question. I wanted the freedom of working freelance so I trolled the internet looking for writing gigs. I landed one at Yahoo where I got a daily column and wrote news pieces on hot topics like the Kardashians. Over the next few years I continued to take on new projects, working with brands including Topshop and Gap while developing more substantial relationships with American Express and eBay. I kept attending fashion week (even upgraded to front row), travelled a lot and met some incredible people. None of that would have been possible if I hadn't started the blog. It provided a world of possibility but with it came a lot of pressure.

At its height, The Style Crusader was receiving thousands of visits a day and close to a hundred comments on each post. That kind of traffic and engagement didn't last though because I couldn't handle the expectation to be constantly connected. Knowing that so many people were peeking into my life everyday made me feel uncomfortable. The pace of attending fashion week and trying to keep up with tracking everything I ate, wore, saw, felt on social media was overwhelming. Some people relish the exposure. I didn't.

When I came onto the scene in 2009, the blogging world was relatively small. In London there were just a few of us. We'd meet up weekly for cupcakes, attend press events and often help each other shoot outfit photos. We didn't have DSLRs or $2,000 lenses. Brands weren't really aware of our presence. We weren't getting paid for the content we created. But something changed. Social media exploded, blogger/brand collaboration took off and freebies seemingly started falling from the sky. Everyone was getting an agent, a personal assistant, a professional photographer. Likes and followers became the measure by which our worth was found. What once felt organic, natural and authentic started to become overtly strategic. 

 
 

What once felt organic, natural and authentic started to become overtly strategic.


 
 

Homogeneity took over and I tapped out of the game. For the last couple of years I've been half-heartedly blogging. Updating every now and again with the nagging thought that it would be a shame to close the door on something I invested so much time into. But the truth is I no longer identify as a fashion blogger. I'm not attending press events anymore or even going to fashion week. I now live in a city in the US that isn't particularly fashion forward or photogenic. I don't post #OOTDs or enthusiastically Snapchat all the gifts that brands send me. But I still crave a creative space where I can connect with people and produce engaging content. That is why I decided to start hey ENNUI.

This space is intended to be a collaborative endeavor that focuses on more than just me. Its aim is to encourage the reader to slow down, think about things differently and get inspired. 

If you'd like to hear more or want to get in touch head here. We'd love to hear from you.

by Jennifer Inglis

 

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VANS CLASSIC SLIP-ON
 

After Sean Penn wore them in Fast Times at Ridgemont High their cult-like status was solidified.


 
 

Shoe trends come and go but there are some styles that last forever. The classic Vans slip-on is an essential that's as budget friendly as it is comfy. They made their way into popular culture after Sean Penn wore them in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, thus coming to symbolize all things related to rebellious youth behavior. While we may have moved on from skipping class, we haven't given up on our trusted checkerboard flats. Nothing feels quite as natural as a pair lived in for several years but there is something refreshing about tucking into ones that are box fresh. Wear daily and they'll mold to your feet. We recommend going sans socks.

 

Vans checkerboard slip-ons: $47

 

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