March 13th, 2014

Weird….for a Day

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Because everyone is talking about South by Southwest, I suppose I’ll share my tales from that ONE DAY my mom and I explored Austin during our Texas trip. Sure, we had very limited time (like we didn’t even stay over night), but I’m pretty sure I hit Austin’s best and brightest.

juiceland

We started our Austin day with Juiceland. It came highly recommended by a friend who knows that I run on 2 things: protein-enhanced, immunity-boosting beverages and coffee. She was spot-on. Juiceland was perfection.

For coffee, I recommend this place:

juanpelota

Juan Pelota. I’m now convinced that I have an internal GPS for hipster coffeeshops. I found this place on my own, and when I saw their sign, I knew it was home. They have a custom-painted baby blue espresso machine, they use Stumptown, and the barista had spent time at both Crema and Barista Parlor, proving that the hipster coffee scene knows no city limits. If I lived in Austin, I would live at Juan Pelota.

gourdoughs

For food, we found Gourdough’s gourmet donut truck. Pure indulgence.

Valentines Day was the next day, and I feasted on leftover Gourdough’s Blue Balls:

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I mean, you can’t make this stuff up, which is why Austin is kept weird and why I had to buy a shirt that says so:

austin

Happy South by Southwest times, bunnies!

I think keeping it weird is a decent policy, and I’m going to keep following the advice of the Kate Spade key chain that kept my car going on that very long, weird day:

escape

Posted at 3:14 am by rachel in: After Wonderland, Travel by Two Elle

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February 19th, 2014

Birthday by Twoelle

birthday

February 19.

It’s my birthday, bunnies.

I’m sick and therefore pouty.

I’ll keep it simple:

{Crewcuts dress, because the older I get the more I should celebrate with kid’s clothing….right???? Dr. Marten warrior boots, because I’m post-travel, post-90s, and still warrior. Wrist: Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Alex & Ani, and a Rainbow Loom gift from my cousin who is far more gifted than I when it comes to said loom.}

Had a treat with my mom but spent most of the day sick with this bedside French press companion:

birthdaycoffee

Posted at 11:52 am by rachel in: After Wonderland

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February 18th, 2014

I Took My Hearts To Texas

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So, here’s the thing: I pack wisely. I knew that it would be 30 degrees some days and 90 degrees others. I also knew that Valentines Day would happen. And I also have a need to be both prepared and on-theme. So…..I packed ONLY heart-related wardrobe pieces.

It was Valentines Day on this day:

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{Crewcuts sweater, Nike shoes, Tarina Tarantino, Marc Jacobs, and Alex & Ani on wrist}

Or maybe it was Valentines Day on this day:

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{all Marc Jacobs except the heart necklace from my grandma}

I even brought heart-themed cosmetics:

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At least I wasn’t the only one ODing on love:

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Who cares what holiday it is? Travel with your hearts, kids!

Posted at 2:34 am by rachel in: After Wonderland, Travel by Two Elle

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February 16th, 2014

Travel by Twoelle

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 If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter (@twoellerachel), you know that my mom and I have taken off to Texas. We’re visiting family, so most of it is private, but I’m happy to guide you through what travel means to me and what I wear while doing it.

Here is travel by twoelle made simple:

Travel2

You arm yourself with what I refer to as Dr. Marten warrior boots (because, duh, warriors wear purple boots with tiny flowers on them). You stop at the Cartel in the Phoenix airport for a last taste. [The Phoenix airport has filled itself with quite the assortment of local businesses, a move that pleases me greatly, but that’s a story for another time.] You toss Tweed Bunny in your carry-on. And you wear as many non-metal lucky wrist charms as you can.

My family lives in a small town outside of San Antonio. We spend most of our time there, but I did discover this local (pun obviously intended) San Antonio coffeeshop:

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I bought the mug.

I love the font.

And their sign is everything:

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While not in San Antonio, however, I was fueled by my very own, pack-it-in-your-suitcase Nespresso machine:

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Oh, and although it has nothing to do with coffee (which seems to be the underlying message in the “how to travel like Rachel” category), my cousin did get me hooked on this Texas delicacy:

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Oh, yes, kids. That is shaved ice, LOTS of lemon juice, pickles, and a red chili sauce. Don’t ask. It is amazing.

xoxo.

#TexasForever

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Posted at 2:04 am by rachel in: After Wonderland, Travel by Two Elle

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February 9th, 2014

Where I Wear My Heart

bunny love tee

 

When I announced to my New York friends in 2005 that I was leaving for law school in Nashville, TN, everyone had wisdom to offer. A fellow traveler who spent high school musing on Nietzsche with me said that some Southern gentleman would likely sweep me off my feet. That’s not what this love letter is about.

My female friends encouraged me to be more guarded. “Don’t lead with the crazy,” they said. They feared the South wouldn’t embrace neuroses the way Manhattan had. While in the South, I should smile, keep my head down, and hide the eccentricities. I complained to them that hiding didn’t suit me. I felt, as always, that ultimately I wanted to reach out and find all the other misfits. I told my friend about how I wanted to one day create a place where teenagers could go to feel welcome and empowered. “But Rachel,” she said, “not everyone hurts the way you do. Those teenagers are fine. They don’t need your help.”

And for some reason I believed her.

So, I settled. I hid my discomfort, gave up that notion of helping the flawed and wounded, and kept moving through the paces of law school. Eventually, I saw a movie called The Devil Wears Prada and realized that smart people could do fashion. (OK, everything is obviously more complicated than that, and I had actually worked in the fashion industry for 6 years before going to law school, but that is also another story. The point is: that summer I left law school and chose fashion.)

I began dreaming up my store and never for a moment thought back to those kids I wanted to save. I just kept building. And I built what was later lovingly referred to as a magic little house on 12South. (I’m not bragging; people called it that!) I lined the inside with dark wood and leather-bound books, because I wanted it to look like the small libraries at Yale, the first home I had ever chosen for myself where once upon a time I felt safe. It was a house masquerading as a retail establishment where we sold lemonade on the porch, hula-hooped on the lawn, and held high school days where fashion-minded teens could “intern” for a day. It was a home more than it ever was a store.

And then we grew up, moved to something bigger, and dreamed accordingly. It was a playground where you could stay all day and chat. I’d serve up college counsel or resume editing from behind my bar, as if those were the services rendered. We’d sing or play pool or laugh or cry. You’d stay all day even though you had only popped in on your way to Whole Foods. It was home for us. The hatters were always slightly mad, the rabbits were always late, and no one ever lost their heads.

It’s not that I set out to build a haven for the wonder-minded, but let’s be honest: I put a giant wall of graffiti in the middle of the Hill Center where a Vera Bradley now sits. Surely, I was announcing something. So, it seems that somewhere along the way I lost sight of my mission. I just kept building what felt natural, but it seems I built the very thing I was supposed to let go of. I built a place for us to feel safe and welcome and empowered. I built us a home. I built us a wonderland.

My friend might have been wrong. You do hurt, sometimes like me, sometimes like you. And you do laugh. And you live, and you love, and you wear clothes. We all do.

So, thank you. All of you. I built for you and with you, and somewhere along the way I wove my heart back onto my sleeve.

Or I wear it on a chain, courtesy of Tarina Tarantino, hanging in the middle of my chest:

Tarina Tarantino Heart

Or, thanks to the current Kate Spade collection, I wear it where my money goes:

Kate Spade coin purse

Happy love month, bunnies. Let’s wear our hearts wherever we can!

Posted at 3:25 am by rachel in: After Wonderland, Bunny Love

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