Current Obsession: Evoke the Spirit

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One of the first stops I made on my recent trip to Sayulita, Mexico (travel guide coming soon) was to Evoke the Spirit: a light-filled, eclectic boutique filled with traditional Mexican crafts, home goods, and jewelry, all designed with a sophisticated and modern spirit. Having found their gorgeous yarn-painted skulls randomly on Instagram, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one!

Once I stepped foot in the tiny shop, I never wanted to leave. I felt right at home and immediately started gathering items to turn my own apartment into an exact replica. The stark white-washed walls of the space created the perfect backdrop for all of the brightly colored Mexican blankets, tapestries, cow skulls and macrame wall hangings.

The sales associates were absolutely lovely and were so excited to show me their current collection of yarn-painted skulls that I had come in search of. They even revealed a “secret stash” of larger, long horn skulls that hid behind a gauzy curtain. There were so many stunning options I didn’t know how to choose just one! It took me over an hour to decide on “sweet sunset” a porcelain skull decorated with white, grey, pink and gold yarn in a traditional Huichol design.

While strolling through the village later on that day, I stumbled upon Evoke’s smaller outpost where artisans were in the process of making these beautiful skulls and I got to take a closer look! To make these yarn paintings the artist spreads beeswax on a real cow skull (or a porcelain version), sketches out a design and fills it out by carefully pressing brightly colored yarns into the wax. I was amazed by the intricate yarn work and the true craftsmanship of the pieces they were making. It was then that I realized I was taking home a true work of traditional Mexican art, not just a decorative artifact!

This tiny shop in the middle of a small surfing village truly did evoke the spirit of the local, colorful and bohemian culture, and I was so so happy to be able to take a small reminder of that contagious spirit back home with me.

The many colorful rows of yarn-painted skulls was an Instagram dream.

Even the bright blue floors were stunning!

I wanted all of their vibrantly colored blankets, but settled for a small beautiful rug, which fit more realistically in my carry on :)

A peek at the “secret stash” of larger skulls!

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The store was designed with such casual elegance, I never wanted to leave…

I couldn’t resist snapping a selfie while surrounded by such beautiful things.

If I didn’t have a weight limit on my luggage, I would have taken home a set of their handmade pottery.

How cute is the sales associate who helped me pick out my new yarn-painted skull?! This one they call “sweet sunset” found a new home above my bed!

I even got a chance to witness the traditional Huichol art of yarn-painting in person! I was amazed by the skill of these artisans and the attention to detail that goes into these magnificent art pieces. Can you believe it takes over 40 hours to make one of these skulls?!

Even the stacks of brightly colored yarns were picture perfect.

Now after acquiring a decorative skull for my home, I am 100% addicted. I can’t wait to come back to Sayulita, even just for the opportunity to add to my yarn-painting collection!

The Zara Edit: Three Cities, Three Styles

It’s nearly Summertime, can you believe it?! The daylight hours now stretch into the late evening, we’re upping the SPF on our faces and dreaming of our soon-to-come beachside getaways.   In the midst of all this glorious transition, we’ve hit a little wall in the getting-dressed department.  No more staring blankly into the void of our closets each morning – it’s time to add a few key pieces to our wardrobes! We thought it would be interesting to choose a super affordable brand that all three of us has access to, shop the current collection, and see what each of us comes up with.   We like the Spanish brand Zara for their price point, their focus on both basics and trends, and better quality relative to other “fast-fashion” retailers.  We also appreciate that Zara has resisted transferring production to low-cost countries and has recently banned harmful toxins from their clothing production.

Our three edits are completely varied and it was fun to see what each other chose!  Hallie came up with a romantic, colorful, Cali-boho ensemble that nods to the current 70’s trend in fashion that we are so on board with.  Over in NYC, Jenna went for an unexpected pattern play, but kept it refined and tailored for a look that is both work and cocktail apropos.  Brooke found the perfect denim she’d been searching all around London for and paired it with a white linen button down, a summer staple that will double as a beach coverup.  What would you have chosen?  We’d love to hear how you’re planning to update your summer wardrobe – please share your ideas in the comments below!

Hallie’s Picks

Zara Items: top // jeans // shoes
Other Items: necklace

Zara Haul - Hallie Stephens - Spring

Zara Haul - Hallie Stephens - Spring

Zara Haul - Hallie Stephens - Spring

Jenna’s Picks
Zara Items: Top // Skirt // Shoes (Similar)
Other Items: Sunglasses // Watch

Zara Haul - Jenna Bunnell

Zara Haul - Jenna Bunnell

Zara Haul - Jenna Bunnell

Brooke’s Picks
Zara Items: top // jeans
Other Items: shoes // scarf // jacket

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Videndaessential: The White Shirtdress

White Shirt Dresses

Nothing says effortless style like a crisp, menswear-inspired shirtdress. Extremely versatile, it can be worn alone, belted, layered with bold accessories, dressed up or even worn as a beach cover up. There are so many different styles out there to choose from, so finding the right one for You is key. We are loving all eight of these variations – any of which would be a perfect addition to your summer wardrobe!

1. Maud Heline – Aziristik Shirtdress – $395

2. Bailey 44 – Court Shirt Dress – $200

3. Crippen – Circular Shirdress – $575

4. Eileen Fisher – Linen Hi-Lo Shirtdress – $248

5. Madewell – Courtyard Shirtdress – $98.00 (currently on sale $74.50)

6. MCQ Alexander McQueen – Drape Shirt Dress – $595  

7. Current Elliot – The Long Shirt Dress – $268

8. Acne Studios – Lash Long Shirt Dress – $480

Friday Link Love

Friday Link Love

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend everyone! I don’t know about you, but it has been one heck of a busy week for me and I am beyond happy it’s Friday! This weekend I am so excited to slow down a bit, celebrate my lovely Mother, and enjoy the warmer temps we have been having in NYC! I also need to catch up on some much needed spring organizing!  Without further adieu, here are our favorite links from around the web this week!

1. Six easy bookshelf styling tips!

2. Nine benefits of starting your day with warm water and lemon.

3. How to make the perfect bed.

4. Wet styling tips for post workout hair.

5. Eight destinations to inspire your summer vacation!

6. Anna Wintour: Comedy Icon

7. Love this instagram account poking fun at high-end dining! Brilliant.

8. Lake Michigan shipwrecks visible from the air

9. Loving these Mother’s Day Brunch recipes!

A Smarter Way to Clean to Enjoy #MoreSpring

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Jenna's bathroom was cleaned to perfection after a visit from Homejoy!

Spring has finally sprung! This weekend in Brooklyn, we had 60 degree temps and we’ve been spotting daffodils at every corner deli.  After spending an impossibly long NYC winter stuck indoors (we’re talking snowflakes just last week…) we’re dying to pack away our thick layers!  Over in LA, the sun is out and the high temperature has justified leisurely trips to the beach. We are so excited to spend these beautiful Spring days dining al fresco, drinking rose at Malibu Wines, and taking long hikes along Runyon Canyon with friends.

Spring is also the time of year that inspires new beginnings and fresh starts. Come April, we inevitably get the itch to hit the reset button, fling the windows open, and tackle a deep clean of our homes and closets. But given our jam-packed schedules, devoting an entire weekend to a proper Spring cleaning is simply not realistic, no matter how badly we want to freshen up!  Jenna travels relentlessly, producing events all over the country and Hallie wakes at 2AM to get prepped for the camera as the celebrity news cycle never stops!  Time is our greatest luxury and we are always striving to spend it wisely.

We both knew we needed help cleaning our homes, but we have never been able to find the right solution. Most of our friends found their housekeepers or home organizers through word-of-mouth and while that method does work sometimes, it can also be tricky and requires some trial and error. Jenna tried a service in NYC that was very inconsistent. Sometimes her apartment would be spotless after being cleaned by a top-rated professional, and other times it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned at all! Hallie had her share of difficulty finding a service she could rely on. In fact, the professionals she hired would often either A) not show up at all for the scheduled appointment or B) cancel an hour before the appointment. Imagine the stress of throwing a dinner party and having that last minute cancellation. Oh the stress!

Homejoy

It’s time to open your windows and enjoy Spring!

Enter Homejoy, a new platform that connects cleaning professionals with clients like us. When we were invited to try their services we felt our prayers were being answered. This young company has figured out that we are all looking for automated solutions that are trustworthy, efficient and simplify our busy 21st-century lives.

The process of booking a cleaning appointment was quick and painless. After answering a few short questions about our space (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, whether or not we have pets or carpeting) we were prompted to choose a date, time, and frequency (one time only, once a week, once a month, etc) for our appointment.  We also had the option of paying an additional $5 to have the cleaning professional provide their own cleaning products.  We especially liked that we could request non-toxic cleaning products to protect our family and four-legged friends from harsh chemicals (we are total advocates of this – remember Brooke’s DIY for natural cleaning products?). After entering a few specific needs and special preferences (change bed sheets, clean window sills, vacuum behind furniture, pay special attention to floors) our appointment was booked with the click of a button.

Knowing that every cleaning professional on the Homejoy platform has been screened and background checked really put our minds at ease; the requirement for each professional to maintain stellar customer reviews also ensures you will get someone who does a consistently good job. Homejoy also offers a “preferred cleaner” feature, allowing customers to request the same cleaning professional again and again.

Homejoy App

The convenient Homejoy app allows you to schedule your cleaning appointments anytime, anywhere!

Jenna’s Experience:

I scheduled a 2.5 hour Homejoy appointment on a Saturday morning and I couldn’t be happier with the result! The cleaning professional (Yvette) courteously texted me to let me know she was on her way and that she was going to be slightly early. Upon her arrival, I gave her a (very quick) tour of my one bedroom apartment and was extremely impressed that she was able to recount all of the special needs and preferences I called out in my booking! I had a few errands to run and a gym appointment to attend, so I left Yvette to work her magic on my neglected apartment. When I returned a few hours later, I was absolutely floored (pun intended). My apartment was literally sparkling and smelled wonderfully fresh (not at all of chemicals). As I walked around, I noticed she had gone the extra mile and made up my bed with brand new sheets, organized the items on my bedside table, windexed all of my mirrored furniture (bar cart and console table), thoroughly mopped the floors, and even cleaned on TOP of my refrigerator! My apartment was cleaned to perfection in the time it took me to go to the gym, grab a coffee and do a little farmers market shopping, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Homejoy gave me more time to enjoy the things I love, and freed me from spending hours cleaning my home! Yvette did a beautiful job, and I truly felt it was worth every penny.

Jenna's Bedroom

Yvette made up my bed with fresh sheets and even straightened up the items on my nightstand!

Jenna's Sitting Area

My windows were sparkling, my pillows were arranged perfectly and my hard wood floors were meticulously cleaned!

Jenna's Kitchen

My kitchen was spotless, and Yvette even cleaned on top of the refrigerator!

Hallie’s Experience:

I scheduled a 3.5 hour Homejoy appointment (the suggested time allotment for my 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home) on Tuesday morning, bright and early. After having my parents in town for 9 full days, my place was in dire need of a deep cleaning. Sand from our trips to the beach had made its way into the house and the bathroom and kitchen were in need of a little T.L.C. I recieved a text from Homejoy while I was at work informing me that Herbert, my cleaning professional, had arrived at 5:55am, 5 minutes before the scheduled appointment time! When I came home later in the afternoon from a grueling day at the studio, I was delighted to find that my place was the cleanest it has ever been. The floors were spotless, the surfaces dust-free, the bathroom and kitchen (my least favorite spaces to clean) had been scrubbed to perfection, and the beds were made to hotel standards. Herbert paid close attention to detail, fluffing the pillows on the sofa, arranging the books, candles, and flowers on my coffee table and even displaying my nightstand items in the most pleasing manner. It felt like Christmas morning and I was 5-years-old all over again – giddy and grinning ear-to-ear. Thanks to Homejoy and Herbert, my afternoon was spent catching up with an old friend at Alfred Coffee & Kitchen and not scrubbing the bathroom floors.

Hallie's Living Room

Herbert fluffed my pillows perfectly, dusted every surface and even styled the items on my coffee table!

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The floors were swept and mopped so thoroughly that not a trace of our beach adventure was in site.

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Herbert arranged my nightstand in the sweetest manner: iPad, gratitude journal, votive, bud vase, alarm clock and all.

We were over-the-moon with the service Homejoy provided!  Not only did they leave our homes spotless but they freed up our time to do the things we really want to do this Spring (hello flower mart / farmer’s market / patio dining). While we know that we will have to dedicate a few hours to organizing our closets and decluttering our drawers (check back next week for our tips on home organization), Homejoy cleared up the time that it would have taken to do the dreaded deep clean.  Ultimately we were given the gift of time to enjoy our favorite season and we couldn’t be more grateful. #MoreSpring!

Homejoy is generously offering Videndae readers $25 off their first Homejoy cleaning! They are located in 30 cities across the US and Europe, so click here to find the Homejoy professionals in your area!  Book your appointment today and let us know how you’ll be spending your extra free time by hashtagging #MoreSpring and #Videndae on Instagram and Twitter!

Homejoy

(This post is in partnership with Homejoy. While we occasionally feature sponsored posts, all opinions are our own! Videndae chooses to work only with companies and brands that are a natural fit to our philosophy and style. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Videndae!)

Link Love: Saturday Edition

Saturday Link Love

Wishing everyone a happy holiday weekend! I am working on getting my apartment organized today and I am really looking forward to having a casual Easter dinner with friends tomorrow! What are you up to? We would love to hear from you…but in the meantime, here are a few of our favorite links from around the web this week:

1. 9 do’s and don’ts of interviewing for a job.

2. Taking cues from these top runway nail looks from Spring 2015!

3. How much do you love these gorgeous easter egg DIY ideas?

4. Sanda Bienkowski sharing her life lessons in 48 Things I Know for Sure.

5. This amazes me…and makes me smile.

6. How to cuff your jeans like a pro!

7. This 20 minute, full-body workout is a killer (in a good way)!

8. 15 amazing Easter Brunch recipes!

9. 20 embarrassing phrases even smart people misuse!

25 Random Things: Jenna Bunnell

Brooke and Jenna on the Dance Floor

Brooke and I breaking it down on the dance floor at Brooke and Stephen's wedding in 2011.

To continue our “25 Random Things” series… here are a few fun facts about me that you might not already know! I hope you enjoy, and please share your 25 things in the comment section below.

1. I believe that sleep cures everything.

2. I willingly admit that I am 100% unable to multitask. True story.

3. I have a very large birthmark on my stomach that I call my cow spot!

4. Laughing is my favorite.

5. My eyes gradually change colors with the seasons. They are more hazel in the winter and brown in the summer.

6. If I am listening to music, 90% of the time it is Jazz.

7. I am addicted to uni (sea urchin).

8. I always have room for dessert.

9. My family nickname is Jenna Rae Bird…or bird, or birdie.

10. I feel most like myself when I am on a dance floor and was the captain of the dance team in high school.

11. I have a serious fear of public speaking. I would rather perform an interpretive dance than give a speech to a crowd of people.

12. My only sister, Brooke, is my soul mate. We just get each other.

13. My father is an amazing photographer/videographer and is super creative, so my entire childhood is documented with hilarious family videos and hundreds and hundreds of photos.

14. I am allergic to scallops.

15. I love whiskey and margaritas equally.

16. I took piano lessons for 7 years and (Nerd Alert!) played the flute in my high school band.

17. You can pretty much assume my life is in disarray when my nails aren’t painted.

18. I love my job and the people I work with.

19. I feel most relaxed by the ocean.

20. I inherited my entertaining instincts from my amazingly talented mother. Friends and family often call her “Martha” and I only hope to achieve her level of greatness one day.

21. I dream of owning a garden one day.

22. Even though I hate to admit it, I am super competitive.

23. Home Alone is my favorite movie and I watch it all year long.

24. I would love to learn how to sail one day.

25. I am terrible at drinking water.

Bonus Fact: I love Britney Spears.

The Only Green Smoothie Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Best Green Smoothie

As you may know, one of my new years resolutions was to redirect my attention to my health! I vowed to get educated on nutrition and really devote myself to learning how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Almost three months later, I am proud to say I have read 3 health-related books, I have started cooking at home almost daily, and have committed myself to working out at least 3 days a week (baby steps, people)!

One of the biggest (and easiest) changes I have made to my every day routine is drinking this healthy and delicious green smoothie for breakfast. I only have to wake up 5 minutes earlier than I usually to do to be able to throw all the fresh, organic ingredients in the blender, and voila! I sip it while getting ready and sometimes I’ll even take it will me on my way to work. It is so easy and requires no time at all, so there is really no excuse not to make it!

Ever since I have started drinking these smoothies I have felt more energized during the day, more hydrated, and more sated throughout my busy mornings. I have noticed my skin has a new healthy glow and the smoothies have definitely improved my digestion! The recipe below is packed with fruits and veggies that are low in calories and high in nutritional value. And if you are like me and have trouble getting all of your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables, this is a perfect solution!

Given that I have tried a million different smoothie variations the last few months,  I am confident that this green smoothie recipe is the only one you will ever need! It is perfectly balanced (not too sweet) and the added avocado makes the texture so creamy. I hope you love it as much as I do! Do you have a favorite green smoothie recipe that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you!

Green Smoothie

 

Green Smoothie Recipe
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2

 

Ingredients
2 cups spinach (or 2 big handfuls)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or you can use coconut water)
1.5 cups frozen mango (or strawberries, berries, peaches, pineapple)
1/2 of an avocado
1 banana
1 tsp. spirulina (blue-green algae powder) *Optional
2 tbls. chia seeds *Optional
*More Optional Ingredients: almond butter, greek yogurt, ground flax, protein powder

 

Steps
1. Blend leafy greens and almond milk together first
2. Add in fruit and all other ingredients and blend until smooth
3. Add coconut water while blending to reach desired consistency
4. Once blended, pour into a glass and stir in the chia seeds
5. Enjoy immediately

 
Green Smoothie

Building a Timeless Jewelry Collection

Jewelry

After many years of buying cheap, novelty jewelry that turned my skin green and disintegrated after 3-4 wears, I decided I wanted to start taking my jewelry collection seriously! Soon after I graduated college and got a job in the real world, I began saving my money and investing in classic, essential jewelry pieces that I knew would never go out of style. Not only did I want to get more use out of my jewelry collection, I wanted to be able to pass down treasured keepsakes to my future children one day – just as my mother had passed down her diamond studs to me!

To get started on my jewelry collection overhaul, I first took an inventory of everything I already had and donated all of my inexpensive or dated pieces I didn’t like, or hadn’t worn in over a year. Then I made a list of all the items I felt were essential to my future collection and began acquiring them slowly but surely. I am still working towards my ideal collection of classic jewelry and one day I hope it will include all of the following essential items:

1. Statement Necklace: one (pictured) / two / three

2. Gold Bangle(s): one (pictured) / two / three

3. Diamond Studs: one (pictured) / two / three

4. Pendant Necklace: one (pictured) / two / three / four

5. Classic Watch: one (pictured) / two / three

7. Statement Cuff: one (pictured) / two / three

4. Statement Ring: one (pictured) / two / three

2. Stacking Rings: one (pictured) / two / three

Friday Link Love

Friday Link Love

1. 10 travel websites you need to know.

2. A beautiful ode to the mother at the Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2015 Show.

3. I’m ditching my diet to make this lavender latte milkshake!

4. Joanna Goddard’s Brooklyn apartment is absolutely beautiful…

5. I needed these packing tips before heading off on my last tropical vacation!

6. This Emoji Cheat Sheet is the cutest.

7. Now there is an app that can ID flowers and plants by simply uploading an image! Genius.

8. Loving all of this outfit inspiration

9. How to start a captivating conversation, even if you are shy.