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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quiet Quality: Traveling Alone

JCS / LC Quiet Quality Goal Setting

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I’ve always said if you can make your way around a foreign country halfway across the world, you can do pretty much anything. I discovered this first-hand on a trip to Spain about three years ago that solidified my love for solo travel and the self-discovery that comes along with it. While traveling alone isn’t necessarily for everyone, the experience can make for some pretty terrific life lessons that I think each of us can benefit from. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a jaunt across the globe; even a drive an hour or so out of town can give provide a wonderful sense of solitude and the opportunity to reflect.

Whether it’s been traveling for work or pleasure (more recently the former), I have certainly had my moments of wishing someone were alongside me when I’m staring out at a beautiful view or enjoying a delicious dinner alone, but I’ve also come to value these experiences and learn to be at peace on my own. I’ve realized that those moments may not have necessarily been as meaningful (or have taken place at all) had I been roaming with someone else.

I think so often we get comfortable in our routines that we don’t realize what we’re capable of if we force ourselves outside of them. I don’t think this comes easy, but the more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes, and the more comfortable you become with yourself. I used to dread the evening when I was on a trip alone, wondering where I’d go to pick up dinner and how early would be an acceptable time to go to bed. Now I’ll park myself at a bar in a restaurant I would’ve gone to with a friend and bring along a book, note pad, or chat about things to do and see with whoever may be seated beside me. I think conquering the fear of solitude can pave the way for conquering any hurdle life throws your way. Suddenly what once felt so daunting seems completely doable after you’ve spent two weeks navigating a new place on your own. Try it and see — I can guarantee it’ll change you. —Jessica

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Some of the most rewarding experiences of my life occurred while I was exploring new places on my own. Travel in itself is a way to expand your horizons and learn about new places and things. When you travel alone you have even more potential for full immersion into a new place because you are void of the preferences and opinions of another travel companion. When you don’t have anything familiar to hold onto, you are able to take in more of what is around you; what you don’t know. Most importantly, you are 100% focused on your own needs and desires.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mixtape Monday No.87

Jessica Comingore / Mixtape Monday No.87

1. Simon & Garfunkle | El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
2. Courtney Barnett | Out Of The Woodwork
3. Leonard Cohen | Suzanne
4. Mott The Hoople | Sweet Jane
5. Fruit Bats | So Long
6. Big Star | Try Again
7. The War On Drugs | Come To The City
8. Cat Stevens | If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out
9. Galaxie 500 | Tugboat
10. The The | This Is The Day
11. Fleetwood Mac | Never Going Back Again
12. Andrew Bird | Heretics

LISTEN: Spotify

Last mixtape of the year! I can hardly believe we’re a mere two weeks away from 2015. Hoping this one provides some good tunes to last you through these remaining days of work and accompany you on some holiday travels ahead. I like the think of this as the perfect road trip mix — a little bit of old and a little bit of new. Enjoy!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Nordic Nesting

Jessica Comingore / Est Mag Jessica Comingore / Est Mag Jessica Comingore / Est Mag Jessica Comingore / Est Mag

Swooning over this Nordic-inspired interior located in the heart of Capetown, featured in the latest issue of Est. I love the Victorian elements sprinkled throughout the home (the bedroom chair, the door hardware), but more so the sense of peace and traquility achieved through the rustic surfaces and layers of linen.

The home belongs to makeup artist Algria Ferreira-Watling and her sentiments towards her surroundings spoke beautifully; “I’ve never needed “things”. I never dreamed of living in a palace. My dream was always to live in a little house with the peaceful feel of a monastery.” In reading this issue I also learned that 2015 is the Year of the Goat, which promises a sense of peace, harmony and tranquility. I can say with assurance that I am very much looking forward to welcoming what’s ahead.

Happy weekend!

—Photography by Greg Cox for Est Magazine.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Quiet Quality: Gratitude

JCS / LC Quiet Quality Goal Setting

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Fresh off of the long Thanksgiving holiday here in the States, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to gratitude this week and how we can show it on the day-to-day versus just taking the moment once a year, before diving into a coma-inducing feast. It’s certainly easy to remind yourself on a daily basis of all you have and all there is to be grateful for, but it’s not as often that we take the time to let the people around us know it. I think there is a lot of power in verbalizing those sentiments and letting someone know how much you appreciate them, even if you see them on the daily and think they already know it.

I listened to a great podcast last week on my way to hiking by Jess Lively (this woman’s got so much knowledge to soak up) that put it so perfectly into words; the way “our ceilings become our floors.” I’ve put a link to it in today’s take-aways, but wanted to touch on the notion that always wanting more is certainly a relatable feeling in today’s world. We’re so often pining for what’s next that we rarely take the time to stop and pat ourselves on the back for where we’ve gotten already. I think it’s a healthy thing to always be striving for something and aiming to reach our goals, but it’s not okay when those benchmarks become our standard for happiness (e.g. “when I do x, then life will be good.”). The truth is, those little moments of bliss we get from meeting a goal are temporary, and what makes for long-term happiness is our values, like we talked about in our first column on goal setting and intention.

There is the part of us that feels like we should always be focusing on what’s ahead in order to stay on our toes and maintain momentum, but I think all of us can say from experience that it usually results in feeling burnt out and empty. I think there are a few ways to break this cycle — meditation, reading, journaling, exercise — and then use that renewed perspective to turn your attention to the positive things in your life. We can’t expect unending amounts of happiness from positive temporary experiences, but we can practice gratitude for the things (and people) we do have that support us in pursuing those goals. —Jessica

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I recently watched a movie called, “Happy Thank You More Please.” In the climatic monologue that plays off of the title a woman discusses the idea of saying to the universe, “thank you more please” (see in takeaways). Essentially what she is talking about is gratitude and in the same vein of positive thinking, noticing the good things you have will bring you more. The movie doesn’t exactly hash out how showing gratitude can bring more positive outcomes, and I know that I will also fall short on articulating this practice. What I can say is that I fully believe in the idea of endless good fortune. Sometimes people say things like, “well everything is going so well, something bad must happen soon,” or “there are so many other people doing the same thing, what’s the point of competing with them?” There is no limit on goodness and love and work, you guys. It’s not just about asking for what you want, it’s about first saying thank you for what you have. So what does saying “thank you” to the universe look like? I can’t really say but I can share a couple of things I do to practice gratitude in my day-to-day.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

A Guide To Kitchen Essentials

Jessica Comingore: Great Kitchen Essentials

As we head into the holidays (I know, too soon), most of us will be spending a good chunk of time in the kitchen, whether we’re hosting a gathering or not. Though I’ve avoided it for years, I’ve slowly started to stock my kitchen with some essentials to make whipping up a dish (for myself or for a potluck) easy and accessible. It turns out you only need a few great tools to pull out of your cupboard in a pinch to feel comfortable in the kitchen, and the more organized you are, the better.

This article gave me some great tips for stocking my fridge with all of the edible goodies to get me through the week, and I’ve compiled a guide of essential tools over on eBay to keep you moving through kitchen with ease. Take a peek, and sending some good luck your way this Thanksgiving!

1. French Oven: I make everything in mine.
2. Jars: These are perfect for storing nuts, rice, lentils, etc.
3. Sea Salt: I always have some on-hand for seasoning.
4. The Bread Exchange Book: Malin is the kindest soul and the concept behind this book speaks to me in so many ways.
5. Kitchen Towels: I love a little pattern, and a lot of absorbency.
6. Cutting Board: The design of Andrea Brugi’s pieces are so beautiful, they can double as serving boards for cheese and charcuterie.
7. Paring Knife: All you need is one good one to cover all your bases.

Note: This post was created in partnership with eBay. All content, copy and opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

Jessica Comingore Blog: Friday Favorites

1. Alice Tacheny’s hand crafted furniture (the detail on that brass hardware!).
2. This Islamic art pattern from 1879 by Joules Bourgoin from the book, Les éléments de l’art arabe.
3. Everything about this look, head-to-toe.
4. Notter + Vigne‘s portfolio of book design. Hard to pick a favorite, but this one for Bryan Lewis Saunders is up there.
5. A peek into artist Katie Paterson’s Berlin apartment on Freunde von Freunden.
6. One of my favorite photos by Valeda Stull. If you’re not already following her on Instagram, do yourself a favor. She sees such a sense of whimsy and beauty in the every day — it’s a real treat.
7. Talking about a few fun ways to dress up your locks over on eBay this week. Take a peek!
8. The colors in this painting, Le Temps Retrouvé by Cy Twombly.
9. Starting to think about what I’ll be contributing to our family’s Thanksgiving dinner next week and this fromage blanc cake with berry compote is a top contender.

Thank you all so much for your support of The Essential Blouse launch this week (just two left)! It means the world to me as I venture into some new territory and creative endeavors. I’m excited to continue the momentum and have more things to share with you in the coming months.

I once had a friend tell me that success comes in constant evaluation and pivoting, and I’ve been embracing this concept more and more lately; see what works, get your hands into different things, explore the results and move forward in the appropriate direction for what speaks to you and feels right. At the end of the day, life is all about those experiences and navigating the path to where you’d like to be and what brings you happiness. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead and I’ll see you back here next week!

Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse

Oh my, where to begin! I’m so excited to be publishing this post today, announcing the first of what will be a series of product collaborations in the works to roll out over the coming months, cultimating in the launch of the Jessica Comingore Shop. Each piece will be created under a collection titled The Essentials, designed with intention and made with care. All products, whether they be for your closet, home or life, will maintain an attention to detail and a focus on quality materials that can live with you for many years to come.

Today marks the launch of The Essential Blouse, a collaboration I worked on with Los Angeles based fashion designer and dear friend, Jill Yee. I met Jill many years back on a look book shoot for a mutual friend, and have since had the pleasure of witnessing her growing breadth of design work, honing her skills in fabric dyeing, draping and pattern making in the most unique ways. Jill is also an inspiring presence in the Los Angeles creative community, always mindful to connect like-minded and wonderful women who are exploring creativity in different ways throughout the city. She’s kind, thoughtful and inventive in all the ways that make for a wonderful collaborator on a project like this, and I hope this will only be the beginning of us teaming up creatively.

Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse

Now on to the piece! The Essential Blouse is just that — a staple for any woman’s closet that can be dressed up or down and worn through the seasons. The beauty of this top is in the details, from the alluring scooped back silhouette to the raw edge silk hems that only get better with time. The pre-washed fabric drapes beautifully on the body and is finished with elegant French seams and a surprise contrast seam inside the neckline. It’s perfect for pairing with a structured pair of shorts, or tucked loosely into high-waisted trousers. The design is a limited collaboration between myself and Jill, and our first edition includes a run of just 14 pieces, so make sure to get one while you can! The top is available for purchase in Jill’s store starting today.

Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse Jessica Comingore x Jill Aiko Yee: The Essential Blouse

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