Meet Me Monday: Kelsey Butcher

I, honestly, don’t remember where I met Kelsey. I just know that one day she was in my life and she wasn’t, before. And then she became my stylist and I haven’t gone back to anyone else for a haircut since. I really love the work that she does. I’m not the kind of person who generally likes to have a conversation when I’m getting my hair done. I usually like to just sit there and relax. But… Kelsey is an expert at conversation. In such a way that I’m never uncomfortable in her chair at all. If I did just want to sit and relax, though, no one gets it more than Kelsey. Just tell her and she’ll be cool with you.
Since she moved into Fox and Ash earlier this year, I feel like an extra cool kid when I come to get my hair done. Seriously, if you’re looking for a new stylist and you’re in the Central Kansas area or willing to drive to McPherson for that good good, look up Kelsey at Fox and Ash. I don’t know if I’m the best example of the work that she does since I like to wear my hair dirty and messy but if you want to see what she can do, go follow her on Instagram.

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Image Description: Kelsey standing in her studio holding a copy of &/Both magazine open, showing off the page where her poem was published. 

How do you want to introduce yourself to these readers?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could always do this? Like, “Hi! Here are a list of all of my great qualities; let’s just ignore those pesky bad ones…” Here’s the truth though… I am compassionate, creative, typically frazzled, fairly impatient, mildly awkward, forgetful, a sometimes writer, a mother to an 8 year old boy and two rescued dog-daughters, a wife of nearly 14 years, one of two daughters to incredibly supportive parents, a proud aunt of 4, a liberal bleeding-heart feminist, someone who often deflects pain with humor, a Broadway enthusiast, and a passionate hair stylist. I mother everyone around me, even if they haven’t asked for it (it’s an attribute and a flaw). I’m a big fan of Harry Potter, The Office, Hamilton, true crime documentaries, CrossFit, This Is Us, podcasts, Rent (the musical, not the bill), and naps. That seems pretty comprehensive.

What gets you out of the bed in the morning?

Pure obligation! Mornings are not my jam. But… what motivates me is building and maintaining relationships, brightening someone else’s day, and finding opportunities to learn new things.

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Image Description: A selfie of Kelsie holding a Hamilton Playbill. She’s smiling bright with red lips and the happiest face.

What word/ phrase resonates the most in your life?

  • Leap Fearlessly: I actually have this tattooed on my left foot to remind myself not to allow anxiety to take over. Sometimes you just have to do the things.
  • Let It Be: Because The Beatles, obviously. But also because everything is going to be okay, sometimes you just have to let it be.
  • Namaste: The light in my soul and respects the light in yours. (That’s the way it was taught to me, anyway)

What does your ideal day look like?

Hmmmm… I would start with a coffee date with my mom and sister, followed by a yoga class. Then I would go for a 90 minute deep tissue massage. My afternoon would be spent playing games with my son. The evening would include sushi and drinks with my husband. Then, ending the day, we would hop on a plane with all of our closest friends and head to a tropical location.


You just want to be friends with Kelsey after reading this, right? Ugh, she’s the best. Go follow her on IG and let her know where you found her! And if you need a haircut, you know where to go.

If you have any questions for Kelsey, leave them in the comments and I’ll make sure she sees them.

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Lastly, if you or anyone you know want to be interviewed for Meet Me Monday, reach out! You don’t have to be fancy or famous. Everyone is normal and everyone is awesome.

XOXO, Lib

Meet Me Monday: Amanda

Like most of my Meet Me Monday friends, I connected with Amanda over Instagram! I think she does an incredible job of showcasing her work in a gorgeous way as well as being open and honest and sharing about her life. This is a balance I still have yet to strike but she’s nailing it.
If you love bright, airy natural light photography, photos of coffee, and beautiful days, @amandalaurenfreund is a great spot for you.


Amanda Freund

How do you want to introduce yourself to these readers?

Hello everyone! I’m Amanda Lauren Freund. Most days you can find me walking in our woods + working in my home office + sippin on $3 Trader Joe’s red blend.

I’m a natural light photographer + wife to a swipe-right on Tinder + nature enthusiast + fur mama + plant lady + homebody traveler and I drink coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

What parts of your life are you finding most rewarding lately?

Our home + the roots we are establishing. We live in a tiny Minnesota town – population 1,057. I truly enjoy living in a small town + in the country. I’ve lived in a lot of places throughout my life (hey thanks dad for moving me like 15 times). In 2016, after tying the knot, my husband + I moved to my hometown. We live on about 25 acres of woodland (next door to my parents) where we love to plant trees + go on walks + do house projects + throw some kickbacks. It’s simple + beautiful + peaceful + rewarding…it’s just my favorite.

<< I also find cutting open a perfect avocado very rewarding. >>

What word/ phrase resonates the most in your life?

Balance. I’m working to find a balance between my full-time day job + entrepreneurship. I work as a Marketing Manager for a Minnesota CPA firm, Smith Schafer. And I’m also working to build a photography + consulting business. I enjoy working from a place of peace + creativity vs. stress + hustle. So I’m constantly working towards a balance of both.

And also find myself using the word “balance” about 10 times a day. Basically resonates in every part of my life – work + health + perspective + relationships + everything.

What does your ideal day look like?

  • Wake up naturally with the sun.
  • Snuggle our pup, Stella.
  • Chug some water.
  • Get some good stretching in or yoga.
  • Meditate (sometimes 3 minutes or maybe 30 minutes).
  • Slowly sip pour-over coffee + frothy whole milk + local raw honey + cinnamon.
  • Pull a couple affirmation cards + journal.
  • Cook whatever I’m craving – this usually includes avocado toast + eggs.
  • Take a long walk in the woods with Stella…deep breathing the fresh air + listening to all the birds.
  • Crank my favorite Spotify playlist + go through emails briefly (and my inbox is always at ZERO).
  • Work on a creative project…edit photos + write a blog + build a website + connect with creatives on Instagram.
  • Go out for dinner with my husband at one of our favorite spots + enjoy a glass of merlot.
  • Play a couple rounds of bingo at the local VFW…and win on the coverall.
  • Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea + fall asleep effortlessly.

Makes me smile just thinking about days like these.

 

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As always, if you (or someone you know) would like to be interviewed for Meet Me Monday, hit me up! Let’s get this thing started!

XOXO, Lib

Meet Me Monday: Quinn

Quinn and I met in college where I wish that I knew I was cool enough to be better friends with her. When you’re an English major in a writing class, it’s important to have people who get you and for me, there were few who got my writing like Quinn did. She still does. As time went on, we’ve gotten a lot closer and we’re still reading each other’s writing.
Not only does she maintain an incredible blog and Facebook account that you should definitely be following where she tackles the monumental subject of the white response to racial injustice, but she’s also a regular contributor to &/Both Magazine and we are honored to have her perspective.

Anyway, here’s Quinn. Know her, love her, follow her.


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How do you want to introduce yourself to these readers?

Hi!

My name is Quinn and I am a writer (I am practicing saying this and not feeling like a complete fraud). (eh-hem) I am a writer who has to work really hard to convince herself that she is worthy of this pursuit, worthy of this title. I so easily say “I am a knitter,” or “I am a runner” and know that these are true simply because these actions are a part of my lifestyle. Though writing is an essential part of my daily life, it is more difficult to talk about in the same way. I am learning to claim it simply because I love it and because it draws me closer to authenticity.

I write a blog about racial justice and contribute pieces on the same topic to And/Both. I am especially interested in the reckoning that white people need to have regarding our internalized racial superiority, our biases, and our complicity in systemic racism. I believe this work is pivotal in the fight against racial injustice, and while I try to inform people about the issues, I also explore the ways that racism bubbles up or lays dormant in me too. I am also a part of some really exciting equity efforts at the school where I work and in my community. This both drives me and exhausts me. There is so much to be done.

I am a mother of a three-year-old (sensitive, inquisitive, creative) boy who I am raising with my (sensitive, inquisitive, creative) husband.

Professionally, I am what is called a “resource teacher”. What that means, basically, is that I help kids who struggle learning and managing their tasks get a grip on the demands of high school and plan for their post-secondary futures. I also help guide the team that supports these kids (teachers, parents, admin) in the best ways to address these students’ needs.

What parts of your life are you finding most rewarding lately?

I am finding such satisfaction in giving myself permission to do what I love (refer to rant about being a writer). Writing is the most satisfying endeavor because in order to surrender to it, I am forced to do some serious inner work. It is difficult, makes me feel crazy-vulnerable, and elevates my spirit to a level that is only equal to the satisfaction of being a mother.

My son told me the other day that his favorite color is green because my eyes are green. I am not sure there is anything that compares to a little person showering this kind of love on you. So yeah… I have to say motherhood is pretty damn rewarding too.

What word/phrase resonates the most in your life?

This is hard.

I have been thinking a lot about confirmation bias lately. This concept has been a part of the national conversation as it relates to our news consumption and what we deem “reliable,” but I have recently heard it talked about in terms of what we believe about ourselves. So, if I believe that I am stupid, then my brain is primed to gather evidence to support this inherent belief and to disregard the evidence that contradicts it.

Telling myself things like “You are smart” has just felt like false optimism in the past – like seeing through rose-colored glasses. But I am realizing that it really only feels like lying. What is really happening is that I am only allowing the information that reiterates my destructive belief to resonate and to be retained. I am disregarding or skewing the evidence that contradicts it, keeping the belief in tact, no matter how corrosive it is.

This is not my original thought by any means. I heard it on a recently discovered podcast called Unf*ck Your Brain by Kara Loewentheil. She’s a life coach, and while sometimes too simplistic for my taste, she breaks things down in insightful ways. She says you have to change the belief first – as awkward and as trite as it may feel – before your brain is going to hold fast to the evidence to support the new belief.

What does your ideal day look like?

My ideal day is book-ended by days that are open and flexible. Is that fair? It has to be this way because the days on either end act as buffers for my “I should be doing __________” or “I am neglecting ___________” thoughts that constantly prevent me from fully enjoying the activities that feed my spirit. I feel like women (and especially moms) have this deep-seated conviction that they are supposed to be able to give their full attention and commitment to approximately 100,000 different people and pursuits. I am still learning how to quiet all these demanding voices so I can determine the 10 or so that I value – and then free myself up enough to respond to these one at a time, fully and thoughtfully. Some call this mindfulness. I call it sanity. At this point on the learning curve, I need these buffer days around my ideal day, so when these thoughts of obligation emerge, I can respond with “I did that yesterday” or “I’ll do that tomorrow.” Then I can sink deep into the creative, reflective, sloooooooooow pace that I never get enough of.

  • You want me to be more specific? Okay:
  • A morning run while the sun rises
  • Hazelnut latte and almond croissant
  • Short stories at a coffee shop
  • Creative writing
  • An outing with my son and husband (Wonderscope, library, or park)
  • Dinner with my husband at Bluebird Bistro
  • Knitting on the couch watching either a murder mystery or a dark comedy with the hubs

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Quinn–thank you. Everything you said about writing–I’m just beaming huge “me too”s at you for that.

Meet Me Monday: Cammie

Cammie Rumback is one of those people that you feel really, really lucky to know. I’m finding it difficult to even introduce her here because there’s so much to say. Except, like, the essence of Cammie is something you can’t really describe. You have to just sit with her and soak it in and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Cammie has taught me a lot about the way that I communicate with others–and not because she’s ever come at me like an expert. Just from witnessing the way that she interacts with the world around her and how it responds to her. She’s also inspired a brand new painting style from me–which has, in turn, become my best selling artwork. I feel like maybe I should pay her some kind of finders fee for that.
Continue reading “Meet Me Monday: Cammie”

Meet Me Monday: On Tuesday

Hi. It’s me. I forgot all about writing up a Meet Me Monday post! No reason. I won’t blame anything or anyone. I juuuuuuust forgot. Like you do. We all forget stuff now and again. I haven’t looked at my planner in about two weeks… that might have a little something to do with it. I also forgot a skype meeting that I had planned for Sunday morning… cool. I’m really killing it these days. Seriously though, chill vibes only. We practice self-forgiveness.

So anyway, it’s 4:15 pm on Monday, I thought why not interview myself? I’ve got a few more interviewees coming down the pike but starting in May I’m running low. So if you or anyone that you know would be interested–hit me up! Let me know. I want anyone and everyone. It’s not about showing off fancy, interesting people, it’s about showing how ordinary people are also interesting.


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How do you want to introduce yourself to these readers?

I’m Libby, a writer, a painter, and co-creator of &/Both Magazine living in Central Kansas. Kansas is my most problematic fave. I live with my partner, Ryan, and our pets. In our off hours, we can often be found on the couch watching old TV shows from our childhood, sipping on beers at Noffy’s pub, or running around with our old lady pup at the dog park. Meal planning and grocery shopping are my primary forms of self-care, though I am just as interested in sheet masks and serums.

What parts of your life are you finding most rewarding, lately?

Planning ahead. Lately, I’ve been trying to consider what Future Libby is going to have to go through because of what Current Libby is slacking on. Sometimes I really load up Future Libby’s plate but I try to at least be aware of it. Other times, just a little extra work right now can make something infinitely easier in the long run.
Also, meditation. For the past few months, I’ve been meditating before bed. At first it was just because I was having trouble sleeping but as time goes on, I’ve found myself reaching for this app whenever I’m feeling stressed or bummed or any way that I would normally consider completely out of my control.

What word/ phrase resonates the most in your life?

This summer, my friend Kalene told me so often that it still rings in my head like a song that gets stuck, “you always have a choice.” Every time I feel like I’m stuck in a corner or have to do something that I don’t want to do–there’s always an option. There’s always a choice. I’m always in charge of the things that I do and say and the way I respond to the things that others do and say to me.

What does your ideal day look like?

My ideal day has a strong mix of work and pleasure. I’ll sleep in with my partner and then we’ll go get breakfast at our favorite cafe–even though it closed down earlier this year. On my ideal day, Mr. B’s is not closed.
Then I’ll grab my laptop and head to the coffee shop where I’ll get really in the zone and write a couple blog posts without any difficulty or struggle at all. When I’m done, a friend of mine will happen to walk in and we’ll sit there another half hour and talk.
Ryan and I will take Fiona to the dog park and let her run her guts out. Then, we’ll head to a friend’s house where they’re having a potluck dinner. I’ll bring two bottles of wine and peach cobbler and we’ll sit around until night time talking with all our friends while the kids run around.
That’s my ideal day.

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XOXO, Lib

PS: I did not proof read this.