You may remember Jen from a holiday post a few months back. For this shoot we wanted to do a combination of classic Beacon Hill and 'personal but professional' shots she could use for real estate work. Since we first lived together on Beacon Hill (almost 10 years ago) walking around there with her was reminiscent of the old days. She came prepared with a some colorful looks that really popped against the grey and brick architecture. Click through the gallery for more and follow her Instagram @jencollotta_realestate if you are in-market for a new place.
Come along for beacon chic's spring training series...
Fenway Park is one of the defining landmarks of the Boston area and a true representation of the city’s culture. If you are visiting Boston definitely check out a game or just the park itself. It also happened to be the perfect backdrop for this series on training to be strong. Workout outfit is Forever 21 and my shoes are Greats Brand (based in Brooklyn). Photos by my close friend.
Fear is my heart
in my throat
rattled by words I whine
Head in his hands, flying blind.
Hollow wind chimes
breed this dreamlike song,
but I know it only means a storm is coming.
He is the storm, I am the eye.
Primal are the cries of agony,
songs of my heart in overdrive.
Leave no trace; of what we leave behind.
Zakim Bridge | TD Garden lit up for the Grateful Dead (Nov 17, 2017)
Gear - Sony Alpha 7II, strap by Strapbyelroobs
Thinking about getting a fresh start for 2018? Read on for my guide to Traditions & Resolutions.
Clear Your Space
Last year I noticed a lot of material things in my place that were no longer “me”. Around the same time I discovered a documentary called Minimalism. It’s not for everyone but it inspired me to take a close look at what I had in my space and reevaluate what I needed. I made piles of things I wanted to donate or throw out and made a choice to live with less. Living simply has so many benefits; less to keep track of, less to maintain and more importantly, more energy to focus on things that are actually important to you. Our everyday lives can be complicated so having a place that is your own habitual sanctuary is a good way to enhance your quality of life.
Beacon Chic’s Space Clearing Tips:
1.) Only keep things you use, need or love.
2.) If you are unsure about something, put it in a corner and go about your life for a week (if you go back to grab it, it’s something you may want to keep but if you don’t touch it, you can probably let it go).
3.) Feel good about donating. You are doing a positive thing. Know that someone in the world may need it more than you.
Put Your Favorites on Repeat
When your space is clear, you have a canvas for a clear mindset. A simplified living situation enabled me to develop new traditions that were more true to the person I had become. One realization I had is that traditions don’t have to be for other people, they can be little rituals you do for yourself. The key to finding your perfect collection of traditions is trying new things and seeing what you like. Traditions should be sentimental but they are not obligations, if they no longer suit you, adjust accordingly.
Some of my favorite traditions:
1.) French manicures at my favorite salon.
2.) Home workouts on weekend mornings.
3.) Cake for breakfast on my birthday (preferably in bed).
Keep Getting Better At It
Think of what you’ve accomplished in the past year, what you want to accomplish in the coming year, and create action items that merge the two. The most effective resolutions are ones that are aspirational but attainable. When I think back on 2017, I think of times when I said no to going places or doing things because I needed a break. Similar to clearing my space, but more about simplifying my lifestyle. What I’m looking forward to in 2018 is combining simplicity, tradition and some fun new adventures in the mix.
My New Year’s Resolution for this year:
L i v e M o r e !
Overall, I want to say yes to new experiences and broaden my skillsets.
A few ideas I have are things like go skiing, take a boxing class, and start a YouTube channel.
Others are directional like capturing great photos around New England, getting more fit and planning a few trips. I’m looking forward to showing my experiences of living more here on beacon chic and I hope you enjoy following along. What are you looking forward to accomplishing this year?
About the Photos: A little bit of the post is inspired by my Christmas Tree this year. I took out my lights and ornaments and for some reason, the ornaments felt tired and too reminiscent of old traditions. Instead of using them anyway or rushing out to get new ornaments for the sake of getting ornaments - I decorated with a simple strand of lights and a gold star at the top. It was actually one of my favorite trees I've had. Next year, I'll make a point to wrap up the ornaments and donate them to a family in need so that they can bring joy to someone else.
Big thank you to Riverway Studios for her help with the photos. If reading this post inspired you to clear your space and you want beautiful artwork for your wall check out her shop!
I've been thinking about love..
the kinds we feel
and how with each person, its different.
Times I thought I was in love
love was an attachment, dependence.
And when it disconnects,
a part of you goes missing.
A memory shared is gone.
And the more that happens,
the more we hold back
on giving love
because we are afraid of losing it.
So I thought about transient love.
and instead of worrying about the love I had lost,
or the pains of the love I had to give.
To just f e e l l o v e in the moment.
About the Photos - I set out with no subject in mind. NYC is a cool backdrop for capturing interactions of people in transit. I like to imagine stories of love in these photos. Gear - Sony Alpha 7II, strap by Strapsbyelroobs.
"Henry has imagination, an animal feeling for life, the greatest power of expression and truest genius I have ever known. "our age has need of violence," he writes. And he is violence..."
An excerpt from one of my favorite novels, Henry and June by Anais Nin.
I have a lot more from this but day just a few for now. I had never been to the Cliff Walk before; it was such a naturally beautiful place. Overcast skies make for some of the prettiest photos in my opinion.
Snapped a few photos of Jen before a holiday party this week.
[ Sony Alpha 7II, 12.07.17 ]
We live in our own bodies, but there are times when outside influences can impact how we view our body image (both negatively and positively). The better we understand how these influences can affect us, the better we can react to them. Everyone’s experiences are different but these are a few that impacted my body image and how I learned to change my reaction to them. My hope is that reading this may help others reflecting on their own body image.
[ Restriction ]
Ballet was a big part of my life growing up. We wore tights & leotards and practiced in front of a mirror 10+ hours a week which made me feel a lot of pressure to be thin. I reacted to this pressure negatively by depriving myself in hopes of becoming thinner. I aimed to eat no more than 1000 calories a day which led to overeating impulsively, along with angst towards my body (would not recommend).
turn negative to positive by E a t i n g W e l l
I try not to associate food with calories, counts, being “good” or “bad”. Feeding my body well means I have energy for working out and getting stronger. When you think of eating well, think of these two things… WHAT you eat, HOW you eat.
WHAT you eat - Feeding your body well can mean different things to different people but for me it means water, protein, carbs/grains, fruits, vegetables and *treats* as needed.
HOW you eat - Eating well takes prepping and planning. Plan what you are going to buy, and prep your meals/snacks with you. Failing to plan makes me more susceptible to making impulsive food choices so planning is just as important as what I decide to eat.
Have a positive relationship with food! The more consistently you eat well, the better you feel, and the more it becomes second nature.
[ Comparisons ]
Social media highlights carefully curated moments (perfect body, makeup, clothes, vacations etc). The pressure to look good is something that I think many women struggle with today. While researching workouts on YouTube/Instagram I used to see people and think “I wish I could look like that” and it bummed me out. The bottom line is, you can’t be someone else. Use social media as inspiration but not to dictate your own path or timeline.
turn negative to positive by B e l i e v i n g i n Y o u r O w n F i r e
Look in the mirror and find features that you like about yourself and emphasize those. Identify health and fitness goals that are attainable for you and make that your focus. Track your progress, celebrate your successes. You don’t know what’s behind someone else’s photo (hair/makeup, filters, photoshop, etc). The best you can do is wake up everyday and aim to be better than the person you were yesterday. Believe that you are fire in your own way. Also know that fire isn’t just about what you look like to others, it’s the positive energy you exude when you are confident and happy with yourself.
In conclusion… Notice when I spoke about negative experiences those were visual cues, but when I talked about turning negative to positive - those were feelings? Body image doesn’t have to be about how you look, body image can be just as much about how you feel (such as strong, confident and in control). I think back on times I felt bad about my body because I was thinking about how it looked to other people. But over time I’ve learned to love my body for how it makes *me* feel everyday. I am so grateful that I rediscovered weight-lifting and that it has made me a stronger person. I’m a big fan of cooking and enjoying food. I protect my mind and my heart because they too can be the strongest or weakest parts of my body.
I love my body for all of the things it can do and especially, the joy it brings me when I dance! Ask yourself, what do you love your body for and how could you love it more?
Photo Credit: Huge thank you to my friend Laura of Riverway Studios. She is very artistic and does a lot of ballet-inspired illustrations so I knew she would be the perfect person to capture these photos.
Stayed in the Lower East Side at the Hotel Indigo (part of the IHG group). They have great views, a nice lobby, cute coffee shop just across the street (Ludlow Coffee Supply) and fairly close proximity to Brooklyn.
I’d never actually been to Brooklyn before so I met up with a friend and we visited the Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Street - DUMBO, and Green-Wood Cemetery. I appreciated the serenity of Green-Wood Cemetery as compared to the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn.
Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend,