My Take on the Fashion Industry: Being A Part of the Sustainable Fashion Initiative

 

Hi everyone,

As you may know, one of my jobs is being the lead blogger and freelance photographer for a Seattle based fashion company, Fashion for Conservation. I’m sharing my thoughts on the fashion industry, because I’ve been working in it for about a year now.

I’ve always loved having my own personal style, however, I was skeptical of getting involved in an industry that is driven by mass consumerism.

I love certain aspects of fashion, but I haven’t been fully on board until I was introduced to the idea of sustainable fashion. Why are we not focusing on driving a massive industry towards sustainable practices? Why can’t our clothes be the best of both worlds; sustainable and fashionable?

Fashion for Conservation aims to combine conservation and fashion, best of both coexisting worlds. That’s what drew me in.

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Photography: Kelly Zwicker
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Photography: Kelly Zwicker
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Photography: Kelly Zwicker

The tough thing is, it is completely possible, it’s just a matter of creating a shift in thinking from big brands and the audience that keep those brands afloat and relevant. People love their stuff, their clothes, their possessions. They love the fabrics that made it all happen, the precious fibers that hold their statement pieces together.

But there’s a bigger picture here. As the earth warms and animals are in a panic trying to  migrate from their beloved habitats, are we still going to care more about how exactly our clothes are made? If we have to switch to sustainably made clothes and accessories, is this going to drastically change our lives? No. But it could for the creatures we should be aiming to protect.

In 2017, I attended London Fashion Week with Fashion for Conservation, viewing designers’ work from all over the world. Yet as I attended the shows, I started to observe the people attending, as opposed to the designs. Why? I started to ask myself if they were there for the art and fashion design, or for the entitlement.

Why can’t beautiful designs be both sustainable and a representation of art and talent?

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Photography: Kelly Zwicker
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Photography: Kelly Zwicker

I have an entirely new view of fashion from working with Fashion for Conservation. There are multiple aspects of the industry I don’t care for, but collaborating with sustainable brands and designers, or featuring animal rights activists and wildlife photographers, is what makes it worth it for me. I feel like I’m playing a part in this bigger initiative, to make fashion and conservation work together for a brighter future.

As a blogger, I aim to work with sustainable brands, or cruelty-free makeup and skincare lines. It feels better ethically to be using products that don’t support animal testing, because I love animals. I refuse to wear them and I don’t believe in fashion sacrificing them for a trend.

I see zoos differently, and tourism. I now know what elephants, the majestic and beautiful creatures that they are, have to endure in order for a tourist to ride them. I know the history of what circuses did to their animals to get them to jump through rings of fire or behave absurdly for human amusement. I’m not trying to impose guilt with these words, I’m trying to share the progress we’ve already made and how much farther we still have to go.

In reality, we could learn from Animals. Fashion for Conservation’s Elephantasia campaign celebrated the elephant. How could they not be a priority?

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Photography: Chantelle Melzer
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Photography: Chantelle Melzer

I love personal style, finding new skincare products that work for me, and products here and there that compliment my everyday life. But they don’t have to come with the expense of an animal’s life. Animals aren’t here for our amusement or utility. We can all aim higher with our contribution to conservation efforts, and as long as I hold this position within Fashion for Conservation, I will keep doing so and inspire other individuals to do the same.

I consider this piece from a reporter’s perspective, given my realization London. I’m also thinking of starting a series of ethical and sustainable fashion trends. Thoughts?

How are you being sustainably fashionable? Let me know in the comments. xx

Happy Wednesday!

-Kelly

 

 

 

Upcoming Event: Cocktails for Conservation In Seattle

Hello lovely people,

I wanted to check in and announce an event that will be taking place on November 28th, called Cocktails for Conservation. The event is being run by the company I work for, Fashion for Conservation (FFC). Mark your calendars and purchase a ticket to the show if you are interested. Link is here.

The event specifics:

 Location: Axis in Pioneer Square: 308 1st Ave S., Seattle, WA 98104

Time: 7 pm -10 pm

Why host this event? Because it will be fun and educational, and it will be inspiring for the merging of fashion and conservation. There will be great discussions, amazing guest speakers, and everything down to the cocktails will be jungle themed.

Fashion and Conservation could have an amazing future together as a combination, a whole new priority in the fashion industry. Starting out local with these events sparks larger projects, which sparks a much larger movement. Are you ready to join?

I will be in attendance, taking behind the scenes photography and hosting interviews. I would love to meet anyone that would like to attend, and support the benefited cause, Hoja Nueva. Hoja Nueva is based out of Peru, where the founder and executive director, Samantha Zwicker, does research on the wildlife inhabiting Peru’s lowland Amazon rainforest. Her current projects cover the topics of wildlife conservation, ecology, global health and community development.

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Pictured: Members of the community of Lucerna, Peru, with executive director Samantha Zwicker and Hoja Nueva team members
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Pictured: Khan the Ocelot, who was to be re-entered into the wild by Hoja Nueva member Harry Turner. Khan was killed by a poacher trap, and his memory drives Hoja Nueva to succeed with conservation efforts, despite resistance. 
There is an important theme of the partnership of Hoja Nueva with FFC. Hoja Nueva’s efforts are put towards a future where humans and wildlife can coexist together. A world where wildlife is not at the expense of human activity. Sustainability should not just be a trend, it should be a lifestyle people adapt to. It should be prioritized.

As for making sustainability trendy? This event is up to the challenge.

 

The evening features themed specialty cocktails, fashion design inspired by elephants and rainforests, holiday pop-up shops of local and international brands, and keynotes with jungle-dwelling Fashion for Conservation co-founder and Hoja Nueva president Samantha Zwicker.

Along with specialty cocktails and benefits to Hoja Nueva, the Cocktails for Conservation event will include fashion design inspired by elephants and rainforests, and holiday pop-up shops of local and international brands. FFC recently presented the Elephantasia line in London Fashion Week, so expect to witness some of the beauty of the eco-fashion at the event.

We are very happy to announce Endangered Species Chocolate as one of our sponsors for our goodie bags for VIP guests.

Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC), the makers of the country’s top rated non-GMO and Fair Trade chocolate indulgences, does more than make delicious treats. Through their 10% Give Back program they have been able to provide nearly $1.4 million to their conservation partners over the past three years. Currently partnering with Wildlife Conservation Network and Rainforest Trust, ESC will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2018, and have begun work to broaden their reach and efforts to support each of these great organizations through crafting premium chocolate.

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For the entertainment, we are thrilled to have J-NASTY, (Janice Ibarra). Janice is an emerging DJ, stylist, yoga teacher, and co-founder of Women.Weed.WiFi, which is an art collective-movement. Janice feels a strong connection with nature that she harnesses for her activities and lifestyle. The rainforest has taught her that the food of our ecosystem is  awareness. There’s a necessity for growth and change that we are responsible for initiating, and Janice loves to participate in events that get her involved with this change.

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I hope to see some of you there! xx

-Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion For Conservation’s Behind the Scenes: The London Edition

London was a whirlwind of fashion. The outfit changes, hair and makeup, the attention to detail. It was all build up to the Elephantasia line walking down the runway at the Fashion Scout venue. An ecofashion line within an industry that is primarily driven by money, Elephantasia represents a brighter future for the relationship between fashion and conservation. And the FFC team was in London for that representation.

In addition to the actual show day, the FFC team went to other venues, some with fresher jet lag than others. We witnessed the unique work of other designers with truly original vision.

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The FFC team was still arriving in groups on various flights. The team that had arrived in London thus far made a cheers to the months of coordinating and planning and social media preparation prior to this trip.

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Pictured: Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Laura Choi (Campaign Director), Ronee Collins (Special Events Producer), Jason Pillay (Stylist), Kelly Zwicker (Lead Blogger), Samantha Zwicker (Sustainability Director)

We have such a diverse team of creative individuals, from different cities and backgrounds. We all have our individual creative strengths. Coming together in London was a special treat for us to celebrate what FFC has accomplished so far.

The day of the show was, of course, ten million things happening at once. It was a rush. As FFC’s blogger I captured the moments going up to the show, and the Fashion Scout venue was lovely.

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We started the show with a musical performance by guest musician Anthar Kharana, setting a specific mood for the audience.

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Pictured: Anthar Kharana

As for the show’s runway pictures, a full recap of the entire line can be found on the Fashion For Conservation blog, however, here are some of my snapshots captured at the venue.

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Pictured: Nazy Alvarez (Creative Director), Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Anthar Kharana (Guest Musician), Samantha Zwicker (Sustainability Director)

London Fashion Week was a great experience for the FFC team, and it is one of the many events we will promote not just fashion, but conservation as well, and it’s future in this amazing industry.

I hope you all enjoyed this London Fashion Week BTS post! Have a productive and creative week. xx

-Kelly

Blog Photography Spots: The London Edition

Hi everyone,

I’m working on a series of London posts to share the lovely experiences I had there! Here are my recommendations on places for blog photography spots in and around London. I hope you enjoy! Even if you aren’t a blogger, these locations are still awesome to see.

Shoreditch

If you love graffiti, you’d love the town of Shoreditch. It’s a very artsy area covered in street art. Shoreditch is definitely an area for young creatives and trendsetters, with its fashionable hangout spots, clubs, and vintage shops.

My personal experience in Shoreditch was the basement vintage market, which was so cool to experience with all the local designers and talented individuals. While I was on my trip with Fashion for Conservation, my experience in Shoreditch was exploring the artsy streets for behind the scenes photoshoots. Aside from that, our after party was hosted at Dark Sugars Cocoa House, which has the most aesthetic looking chocolate I’ve ever seen in my life.

As an area, I would say Shoreditch is definitely worth a tram ride.

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South Kensington

This was probably my favorite town of the trip. It is so pretty with its all white buildings, and cute shops. Not to mention it has the National History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, which I’ll be mentioning in an upcoming post!

Bloggers: do not miss out on South Kensington if you want to do an outfit shoot. I did one with Karya, who took the pictures below. Two Seattle girls in London during the same time, what are the odds?

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Photography: Karya Schanilec 

 

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Photography: Karya Schanilec

Outfit details: Brandy Melville (cardigan), Cole Haan (boots), Nasty Gal (hat)

Kew Gardens

If you like more of a nature backdrop, and love flowers in your pictures, then Kew Gardens would be an amazing location for you. They have a botanical garden with a beautiful spiral. staircase up to the top, with exotic plants and flowers. There is also many outdoor sculptures and mini gardens with cool designs.

If you’re a succulent lover like me, there’s also a whole outdoor section for outdoor plants right outside the gift shop that make for an adorable backdrop as well.

Camden Market

The day we went to Camden was really cloudy and pretty dark, not making lighting for outfit shots, however, the market makes for a really unique hipster vibe if you’re into that for your pictures. The canal is also right next to the market, so you have cute bridges and the waterfront for options as well.

 

 

 

Hiking: For Your Mind And Body

Hi everyone,

Given that Seattle has given us given us amazing weather the last few weeks, I’ve been taking to the trails more than usual. I’m much more focused on weights and interval training now as opposed to long stints of cardio, however, hiking is a much more enjoyable full-body workout. And it’s not just physical.

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Research shows that hiking is linked to higher amounts of brainpower. If you crave a better attention span on upcoming work or projects, spend the morning outdoors to clear your mind. Although physically being in nature allows your mind to de-clutter, being away from so much technology is just like hitting the reset button. How good is your Wifi in the woods? Exactly.

Good news for calorie counters: You can burn well over 500 calories in just an hour of hiking. I personally love walking on trails because I’m prone to shin splints, and the forest floor is way softer on your joints as opposed to asphalt or concrete.

Regular hiking activity lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. The cardiovascular aspect the ups and downs of hiking is extremely good for your heart and BMI. Changing altitude has been recorded to reduce fat loss.

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Hiking is a great alternative to traditional indoor workouts in the gym. I get the feeling of not wanting to workout indoors on the elliptical, or be inside at all. When it’s beautiful out, why not get creative? If you haven’t found your workout niche but want to get in better shape, hiking could be perfect for you.

Hiking is definitely great to do in a group. You can make a day trip out of hiking anywhere and go to a lake, hang out on the top of a mountain and eat lunch, or sunbathe. There’s something in it for everyone.

Some mistakes I’ve previously made (not just me my family was there):

  1. Remember where you started your trek. If you need to drop a pin on your phone, do so.
  2. Overestimate trail time. I always try to factor in traffic and add on time for sight seeing etc. Avoid planning a long hike the day you have a set appointment mid afternoon that you will be rushing to make. I’ve been there.
  3. Bring water if it is a longer hike. Altitude can get you more dehydrated, so even bring a small attachable flask if that’s more convenient.

John Muir once said: “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”

Nature has been called a “mental health prescription” due to its positive influence. People often spend so much time in urban settings, and the change of pace brings a much greater balance of exposure.

A Stanford study revealed that city dwellers have a 20 percent higher risk of anxiety and 40 percent higher risk of stress when compared to rural residents. And we don’t often know we need the nature break until we are mid-hike, thankful for the minimal cell service.

I hope you all enjoyed my health check in. Enjoy what’s left of the summer months and go out in nature to clear your mind and senses.

For more photography, visit my blogger Instagram page @k_stateofmind and my portraits page @kellyzphoto

xx

-Kelly

 

My Go-To Coffee Spots in Seattle

Hi everyone,

So this is a long time coming. A coffee post in Seattle? Yeah, I should’ve spilled my secrets months ago. Good news: I’m about to let all of you lovely people know where I like to get my caffeine! Warning: Starbucks isn’t on the list.

*Cue all of my coffee pictures*

Black Rock Coffee

This a drive-through. Granted, the rest of the menu looks relatively full of sugar. I get iced Americanos here when I’m in a rush and on the way to something I need to be awake for. They are two dollars even. That’s amazing, to be honest. No extra fees for non-dairy milk either. I’m so stoked on this find!

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Fix Coffeehouse 

Fix is close to my heart because of the atmosphere. It’s half cafe and half bar. Essentially, I used to work on my computer for a bit and drink coffee and then my friends would meet me for a cider. Side- note: Fix has great ciders on tap on rotation. They had a berry one that I loved! Fix also have live music nights with local artists which is so fun. My favorite drink in more fall/winter time is the brown sugar latte. I can’t not get this latte, because I haven’t perfected the brown sugar latte at home! Another plus is the location, because Greenlake is so beautiful in the summer.

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Diva Espresso

Diva is a convenient location and great coffee, however, the price is a little steep. I brought a friend that moved over from Europe and he was really fond of the cappuccinos (rightfully so), and the small food items are good, but if you’re trying to find a regular place the price is a bit more.

Seattle Sunshine Coffee

Seattle Sunshine is an all white, very modern setup. It feels like a small art gallery. I like this place a lot to work on blog posts, and it is really quiet. If I’m hungry I sometimes go here if I’m doing errands around University Village, because the vegetarian breakfast burritos are awesome! I can’t find my burrito picture, my sincere apologies.

Royal Drummer Cafe

Royal Drummer is a place I sometimes stop in at if I’m going to Golden Gardens Park. It’s relatively close by and has great Americanos. In terms of the atmosphere it’s definitely not my favorite, because it tends to be very family friendly and super loud. Brunches and lunches there are really popular, and I find it too loud to work. But if you’re nearby the coffee is great as well as the banana bread! They also have great gluten free options if you have a gluten intolerance.

Zoka Coffee and Tea 

Zoka was my jam when I worked in University Village. I get so much work done here. It’s relatively quite and has a wide range of clientele. Chai lovers: there’s an awesome selection of chai at Zoka. Lavender, sweet, ginger, and spicy is what I recall at the top of my head. They just did a remodel and the place looks much less cluttered, but is cozy at the same time given it’s all dark wood inside.

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Drip City Coffee

Drip City is a new discovery. I was recently downtown, with two hours before my work shift from dropping off my roommate. I knew Cherry Street has bad wifi so I found Drip City on 1st Ave. The guys working were super friendly and fun, and I played with a pit bull for a solid 10 minutes (when I should’ve been working of course). The Wifi is SO FAST. This is probably awesome for me because the wifi in my house is terrible, but if wifi at a coffee shop is slow, it kind of kills your work ethic. I have yet to order any food here, but it seems to be a good spot for that as well!

Cherry Street Coffee 

Cherry Street downtown on 1st Ave is a really cute Bohemian style place. There are beaded throw pillows and colorful details, great for a group hangout or a meeting. Sadly the wifi is nonexistent lately. I found out the hard way. However, the falafel and hummus wraps are great if you’re there for lunch, and the coffee is still one of my favorites.

Cafe Umbria 

Cafe Umbria is a lovely look of Italy 🇮🇹. I’ve never been to Italy, I definitely want to eventually! The shop had plates and cups imported from Italy, adding an authentic touch. There’s artwork and paintings of European details everywhere. I did talk to the barista about the imported plates, they’re so beautiful! As for the coffee, it’s also super good and smooth. It’s a pretty small shop and has great charm. Perfect work or caffeine stop if you find yourself in Ballard!

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I get so much work done at cafes. I prefer to go to a cafe as opposed to staying home because I’ll have less distractions. I like to be surrounded by people doing things around me and working as well, so it’s partially social but not? I’m not sure how else to phrase that, but it just works for me.

So if you have siblings that make fun of you for driving to a cafe to get work on your computer, I feel you. Sometimes that college student habit of going to a public place to work is ingrained forever, what can I say.

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As a blogger, I have to be on my game about getting posts done and making my own schedule. It takes a lot of time management to do freelance work, and you have to find what works for you. That includes your atmosphere!

I hope this posts sheds light on some new coffee spots to check out in Seattle! If you’re not from Seattle, now you know where to go when you visit.  xx

For more photography shenanigans, check out my blog Instagram page @k_stateofmind , and my portraits page @kellyzphoto.

 

-Kelly

 

Day Trip to Vancouver, B.C

Hi everyone,

So I’m a bit late on posting this Canada day trip, but I didn’t forget the mini travel post I wanted to do on lovely Vancouver! I put together some tips on exploring a new city, as well as what to see and do specifically in Vancouver if you only have a day. I hope you enjoy. x

Here in Seattle we are set very close to the border to Canada, which I think is often overlooked. The drive to the border was about 2 hours, and from there about 45 minutes to downtown Vancouver. If you think about it, it’s less than that to Portland, and about the same in distance as outdoorsy destination spots like Lake Crescent, which is more of a 3 hour drive. Ideally you would have two days to take in Vancouver and various parts of the city and surround lookouts, however, a full day is quite the accomplishment with the right attitude.

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My tips for exploring a new city:

❤ ALWAYS ask a local about where to go and what to see. You don’t have to do everything they suggest, in fact you should make customized adjustments to what you and your travel buddies want to do and see most. But asking locals is crucial to avoiding unwanted wandering or tourist mistakes. Plus, lots of people love to give their advice.

❤ Don’t watch the clock like a hawk, but do pay attention to how much time you potentially have in the city, factoring in travel time back home. This makes for just the right amount of organization to ensure you won’t feel rushed, but so much of an itinerary that you won’t be enjoying yourself in the moment.

❤ Venture away from chain restaurants or establishments. When you’re in a new city, especially in a different country like we were, experience what’s good and awesome to that place specifically. You can always hit Starbucks and the Old Spaghetti Factory back home (if Starbucks is your jam, it isn’t for me).

❤ Wear good walking shoes. I think this could be common sense, but wearing shoes you have to constantly adjust or ones you can’t walk all day in won’t be ideal for adventuring a city for the first time. By all means be fashionable, but functionally so.

❤ Do get a souvenir. I don’t care how typical it is to walk into a gift shop to buy a keychain or a t-shirt with proof you went on the trip. I bought a stuffed animal moose decked out in Vancouver gear and I could not be more pleased with it. I even showed the attendant at the border coming back to the U.S; sadly he didn’t find it that funny when I held it up to declare.

❤ Zero in on your experience for content. If you’re using your trip for your blog or photography, people will want to know what you liked about the place, not the same spots and reviews as another piece already done. If you were destined to find the best tacos in that city, you should include that. Anything you want to share for content!

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❤ Bring a phone charger. Depending on if you have an international plan, it’s not ideal for your phone to die at 11 pm at night out of country. I do not have an international plan, but when my friend’s phone died we were driving blind when trying to find our way out of the city. Yes it was of course figured out, but definitely plan ahead regardless with electronics.

❤ Pack very light. I should’ve put this on the top of the list, however, sometimes you realize halfway through your day trip that you left your car with your extra clothes and stuff anyway, so there really wasn’t any need for it. Tip for fellow bloggers: Wear neautral pants or bottoms to pair with up to two tops or so, then throw in a jacket, and you have at least 3 looks to shoot. This way you don’t have to carry too much around without missing out on variety with your outfit posts (blogger problems).

Now onto what I loved about Vancouver:

We started the adventure at VanDusen Botanical Garden, and there was a MAZE.Yes,a maze. And we got lost in it. But it was so satisfying when we found our way through it before other groups that went in before us. The garden is so interesting with its plant life and flowers from different regions, and the rose garden was beautiful. Here’s a snap of them.

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We found this alleyway that was covered in designs of purple, yellow and orange tones. Very strange, but it would make for a great music video. We snapped some shots and hung out in the alleyway (a sentence I’ve never typed by the way) before walking to

I’ve never had a flight of cider before, and we found the coolest bar and restaurant called the Alibi Room in Gastown, and if you sit at the actual bar you can watch the trains go past. We went to the lower basement floor, and every time the trains would pass they would block the stain glass windows, and it was the most interesting touch.

Gastown was the highlight of the trip, and we only went because a waitress told us about how cool it was for a day trip, not to mention pictures. The waitress worked at Uva wine and Cocktail bar, where I got my espresso martini fix at the beginning of the day.

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Gastown had great cobblestone alleyways and cute shops to browse, as well as the waterfront right next door. It is a must see in my opinion, and also has good pubs for fish and chips, just saying.

We went to the gift shop and then spent some time on the waterfront before grabbing dinner, and it was already 10 pm when we realized we needed to start driving back to the border. It was indeed a late night and I did get a cup of coffee at the gas station to not doze off, but it was 100% worth it. Vancouver was awesome, and I can’t wait to go again.

I hope you all enjoyed the latest mini travel piece. If you don’t have time or resources to go on a longer trip, it’s incredible how much you can get done in a day. I highly recommend trying to make day trips more a regular thing, they’re fun and manageable.

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As always, thank you for reading and I’m stoked to share upcoming summer projects and trips.

xx

-Kelly