My Boy

My Boy | Hope State Style | Paws New England | Photos by Caroline Goddard via Instagram @hopestatestyle

My Boy | Hope State Style | Paws New England | Photos by Caroline Goddard via Instagram @hopestatestyle

My Boy | Hope State Style | Paws New England | Photos by Caroline Goddard via Instagram @hopestatestyle

My Boy | Hope State Style | Paws New England | Photos by Caroline Goddard via Instagram @hopestatestyle

My Boy | Hope State Style | Paws New England | Photos by Caroline Goddard via Instagram @hopestatestyle

My Boy | Hope State Style | Paws New England | Photos by Caroline Goddard via Instagram @hopestatestyle

My Boy | Hope State Style | Paws New England | Photos by Caroline Goddard via Instagram @hopestatestyle

My Boy | Hope State Style | Paws New England | Photos by Caroline Goddard via Instagram @hopestatestyle

My life changed completely on January 17th, 2015- I adopted this sweet boy named Wrangler, and I continue to fall more in love with him every day. 

I adopted Wrangler through PAWS New England, an amazing network of caring volunteers and foster parents who pull adoptable dogs out of high kill shelters in the south, get them veterinary care, drive them up north and place them in foster homes while they work on finding the right forever home match. Since it’s a non-shelter based organization, you do have to do a lot of paperwork before you even get to meet the dog you apply for, but I think it’s worth it in the end, because the dogs are much better off living in a home environment while they wait. I would highly recommend Paws¬†to anyone thinking of adopting, and I cannot thank everyone involved enough, especially his foster mamma Leah in Connecticut. They saw¬†what I see in him, they¬†saved his life, and they helped¬†us find each other and I will be forever grateful! Paws¬†really does incredible work for so many dogs- if you aren’t in a position to adopt a dog, you can help by donating, volunteering to help transport animals or by becoming a foster parent.

After many months communicating with Paws, speaking with foster mothers of several different dogs, and going through their careful screening process, I came across Wrangler’s profile, and scooped him right up! He’s a three-and-a-half year old beagle mix who was surrendered by his owners in Tennessee in November, officially for “getting out and chasing the neighbors chickens.” However, he was also sick with heartworm and other parasites and wasn’t neutered, so I suspect they just couldn’t give him the care he needed. He’s a lucky boy- before Paws began working with the Tipton Animal Shelter where he ended up, they had a 90% euthanization rate, and owner-surrendered dogs are often put down that very day, since the shelter doesn’t have to wait for someone to claim him.

And, I’m certainly a lucky girl, because he is beyond the dog of my dreams. I’ve found a best friend and constant companion who gets me out of bed and out of the house every morning, gives me lots of kisses, and snuggles in right next to me every night. I’m happy to report that he is now a healthy and thoroughly spoiled dog, just as he should be.

Yoga When You Wake – Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard

Yoga When You Wake - Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard| Marielle Ebersol Yoga | Hope State Style | Photography by Caroline Goddard

Yoga When You Wake - Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard| Marielle Ebersol Yoga | Hope State Style | Photography by Caroline Goddard

Yoga When You Wake - Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard| Marielle Ebersol Yoga | Hope State Style | Photography by Caroline Goddard

Yoga When You Wake - Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard | Marielle Ebersol Yoga, Venice, CA | Hope State Style | Photo by Caroline Goddard

Yoga When You Wake - Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard| Marielle Ebersol Yoga | Hope State Style | Photography by Caroline Goddard

Yoga When You Wake - Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard| Marielle Ebersol Yoga | Hope State Style | Photography by Caroline Goddard

Yoga When You Wake - Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard| Marielle Ebersol Yoga | Hope State Style | Photography by Caroline Goddard

Yoga When You Wake - Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard| Marielle Ebersol Yoga | Hope State Style | Photography by Caroline Goddard

 

Yoga When You Wake - Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard| Marielle Ebersol Yoga | Hope State Style | Photography by Caroline Goddard

Over the last few years, I have had the pleasure of watching (albeit from the other end of the country) my high school roommate and friend Marielle Ebersol discover her passion for yoga. Marielle has always been one of the healthiest people I know, with a reserve of energy and determination that is at the core of her character and her strength. It has truly been inspiring to see the puzzle pieces fall together in her life – it made perfect sense to me when she told me of her decision¬†to shelve acting and pursue a career as a yoga instructor – and I am so proud that she is blossoming as she begins to establish herself. This past summer, we woke up at daybreak to hike down to Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard for a little photo shoot, and the light was just unbelievable. Good things come to those friends who allow themselves to be dragged out of bed at 5 am, I guess. Read on for an interview with Marielle.

Hope State Style: You’ve been doing yoga every single day for over two years now, and sharing your journey with your¬†Instagram¬†followers- what started you down this path, and what have you learned in the process?

Marielle Ebersol: Today is my 790th day in a row of yoga and I really cannot believe that I have come this far. What started as an experiment has turned into an incredible journey of learning about myself and growing day by day. When I started out I was feeling a little stuck and on New Year’s Day of 2013 I said enough of that, and I decided to challenge myself to see how long I could keep the resolution¬†going. And somehow here I am over two years later, a certified yoga instructor teaching in Venice Beach, California. I have learned that I am much stronger than I ever thought, and that when I really put my mind to something I can achieve it. I have learned to be kind to myself and not to compare myself to others and that is still an everyday challenge. Everything I learn I am continuing to learn every single day.

HSS: Yoga every damn day though‚Ķthat’s really intense. What do you do on days when you are sick or just don’t feel like it? Does child’s pose count?

ME: There are definitely days I don’t have a ton of energy and on those days I either really take it easy in class and take a lot of child’s poses throughout, or I do a very simple at-home practice. That very well might be a long child’s pose on my bed. Or scooting close to a wall and sticking my legs up the wall for ten or fifteen minutes. As long as I am taking the time to bring my thoughts away from whatever else might be going on in my life, that is yoga for me, as challenging as that may be. But it has allowed me to be kinder to myself and acknowledge that it is absolutely still yoga even if I’m not in a 90 minute class.

HSS: What does your usual routine in the morning look like? Any favorite post yoga breakfasts?

ME: My morning routines seem to change every day, but I usually wake up on my own around 7:30 or 8 and walk to yoga. Sometimes I get on a swing of waking up really early but those don’t always last! I am a big fan of eating after I practice and that is nine times out of ten two eggs over easy with whole wheat toast and raspberry jam. Before that I usually heat up some water and mix it with a little apple cider vinegar and honey (thanks to my mom’s ritual every morning).

HSS: What’s the coolest place you’ve ever practiced?

ME: This summer I was lucky enough to visit Dubrovnik, Croatia and I think my favorite place was practicing on the roof of our airbnb, looking out over the Adriatic and listening to the church bells down below. Practicing above such a magical place was incredible.

HSS: Any advice for the fledgling, charmingly inflexible yoga convert (naturally referring to myself)?

ME: Baby steps. Don’t put so much pressure to fall into a perfect practice. Be kind to yourself, even if it’s a few sun salutations every day. Even if it’s just ten minutes on your mat. As long as you take a pause from your busy day to breathe, you are doing it, and you will absolutely feel a difference. Everyone starts at a different point and every single body is different from the next. So you might not ever get those side splits (even I’m not doing them yet!) and that is totally ok. Again, be kind to yourself. It is so so so important.

+++

Marielle Ebersol is available for private yoga sessions in LA and can be contacted at Brighteyes41187@gmail.com. If you happen to be in Los Angeles, you can take her yoga class Sunday mornings at 9 and Wednesday nights at 9 at CrossFit Santa Monica. To follow her practice on instagram, head to Brighteyesyogini or find her yoga page on Facebook, Marielle Ebersol Yoga.

Design Love / Carpenter Tan Combs

I’m brushing my hair with one of these right now. ¬†Seriously, I can’t stop. ¬†It came in the mail today and I want to wear it around my neck and take it with me everywhere I go. ¬†It’s more of a scalp-massaging lock-stroking spine-tingling gift than a mere hair styling device, although it does that, too. ¬†And it is BEAUTIFUL, handmade of silky smooth carved wood with two rows of contrasting teeth, and only cost $20. ¬†I know what I’m getting everyone for Christmas this year! ¬†The hardest part of visiting their website is choosing a comb because they are all so pretty! ¬†Click here to learn more about Carpenter Tan’s responsible practices as a corporate citizen.

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Kefir Break

Do you drink Kefir? ¬†It took me a while to get used to the taste, but now I love having a cup with a few spoonfuls of almond butter on the side. ¬†I especially like the rich flavor of Kefir made from goat’s milk, and I look forward to my daily helping. ¬†Sometimes it comes as a breakfast hour energy booster and others, a midnight snack to help me fall asleep. ¬†This mismatched cup and saucer duo, found on separate scavenging occasions at yard sales, has become my designated Kefir-ware and a part of the ritual snacking. ¬†I stir in a little bit of regular goat’s milk to thin it to drinking consistency and the vintage teaspoons that my mom gave me, which have a “C” engraved on them, are the perfect size!

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Life’s most important lessons, learned before age 10

When I was in college, I had a lot of tedious reading to do (sound familiar?) and frequently needed some relief from it all. ¬†So, in my sophomore year, I started to reread my favorite novels from childhood during study breaks and before bed. ¬†Their captivating stories required the perfect amount of concentration (of which I had little to spare), made me laugh and even touched on topics relevant to my life at Brown. ¬†I also started to notice that the stories I gravitated to as a child strongly related to my interests as an adult. ¬†Plus, I got tremendous satisfaction out of sitting among college students at my school’s library, a bright yellow copy of Winnie the Pooh propped on one knee.

I still find that I need a reminder of the important things in life from time to time, so I thought I’d share my go-to list, plus this little idea:

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Wouldn’t this make a great gift for a friend who’s been stressed and overworked? ¬†Or if you have kids in boarding school or college, send them their most cherished childhood book around exam time. ¬†(When I was in boarding school, I ALWAYS hoped I would get a care package from home). ¬†And for a person dealing with depression, a good story well told can be a welcome break to the cycle of negative thought rumination (a common symptom), but unlike putting a dumb, mindless movie on, reading a book creates a sense of accomplishment and is in itself an enjoyable act. ¬†So here it is, my list:

Caroline’s Annotated List of Favorite Children’s Books

1) A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The movie is cute, but for me, completely misses the point of this story.  It is above all a book about girls learning to be kind to one another.

2) My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George

May inspire you to run away and live in a tree, too.

3) Mandy, by Julie Andrews Edwards

Mary Poppins knows how to write!  A little orphan girl finds an abandoned cottage in the woods and makes it her own, and in the process endears herself to the wealthy family on whose estate it sits.

4) Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne

It’s like reading a condensed book of philosophy.

5) The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi

Charlotte goes from being a proper young lady to a bad ass line-hauling, rigging-climbing deck-scrubbing salty lass of the high seas during her passage from England to Providence (where Avi wrote the book).

6) The Redwall series, by Brian Jacques

I credit these books for fundamentally shaping my interests in gardens, architecture, cooking and otters.  I used to come home from school every day, work on my little plot of flowers and then bake a batch of scones and have a tea party while reading them.  Did you know that the covers were illustrated by a RISD graduate?

7) Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White

I cried reading this as a 5 year old with my mom, and I still cry when Charlotte dies.  I also try my best not to kill spiders now, and remember laughing for hours at the photograph of Wilbur jumping off a haystack with a piece of string tied to his tail in his attempt to spin a web.

8) Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Potentially the root of my obsession with the American west.  It reminds me of how simply people used to live, and how superfluous so much of modernity really is.

9) Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren

Just plain ridiculous, plus I loved monkeys when I was little.

10) The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I’m still working through my French copy, but I’m pretty sure this is the most important line: ¬†“On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. ¬†L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”

Charlotte’s Web Illustration, by Garth Williams, via¬†

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My Sister

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My beautiful sister on South Beach. ¬†Always reading! ¬†She is one of the smartest people I know. ¬†It has been fun to see her personal style evolve since she moved to Miami. ¬†She’s always been a bit more fond of color and prints than me, and I love the way she has been mixing and matching them while staying cool and comfy in the Florida heat (and air conditioning, I might add). ¬†I was also really inspired by what a healthy and active lifestyle she has there; we went to her regular Bar Method class which nearly killed me, (seriously, I couldn’t sit down without shouting for two days) but she swears by it for staying happy, toned and stretched in between all that race running she does. ¬†Also we ate a lot of Tempeh, which I will have to start having at home more!