RSRVR BTTL

Hi friends! BIG BIG BIG NEWS! If you haven’t already seen or heard about it, I got the opportunity to be a part of a new company, RSRVR BTTL.

We create BPA free, perfectly insulated for hot or cold, stainless steel water bottles with 25% of all profits donated to help build wells in rural Indian villages.

THE HOW + WHY
We began this company with a single motivation: to find a way to put everything we are passionate about into one product.

It started with a basic need, a water bottle able to keep up with Elle’s need to have ice cold water throughout a busy day but also one that could sustain Hank’s frequent want for hot coffee.

Then it turned into a “how can we help?” type of question. With Hank’s background of years spent experiencing the ins and outs of India, that answer came easily. We wanted to find a way to help the country that gave him so much and shaped him into the person he is today.  We are a company driven to help the world around us. That is why we partner with Chaitanya Educational and Rural Development Society, in an effort to better rural Indian communities by donating a percentage of the RSRVR BTTL’s profits to build clean water wells in villages that have no source of drinkable water.

With each bottle, a quarter of the proceeds goes to this amazing NGO. Our first bottle, the Jamshedpur, is named after the steel city of India and is perfectly sleek, stainless steel and topped with an all natural bamboo lid.

stay tuned for more updates, follow our instagram and like us on facebook!

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Saturday

Here’s a little guide to a day in my favorite place, the KC Crossroads.

9 am –  Wake up and head down from the fourth floor in the elevator. Start the trek to Fizz and Beezy’s for the latte I’ve been craving since last week. Begin to tell myself that it’s not -10 outside.

9:10 –  Still walking and the cold is making my backpack seem ten times heavier and my typically short walk feel ten times longer than usual.

Keep thinking about my latte.

Keep walking.

9:15 – Pull open the glass door and walk into Fizz & Beezy’s.

Few coffee shops will fit the high standards this one sets.

SIDENOTE: I’m craving another one of their lattes as I write this, life is hard.

11:00- Step out of Fizz & Beezy’s and make my way to Ray Gun to buy a new postcard or ten. After all, if I’ve just spent almost two hours on a blog post, I deserve a reward.

11:10 –  Step inside Ray Gun and glance at the walls of sarcastic and/or post cards.There goes my nanny pay check. Oops.

12:00 – Lunch time. Start the walk.

12:15 – The blue store front of YJ’s Snack Bar is hard to miss and the smell of their blueberry pie is filling the street in front of it. It’s Saturday at YJ’s and that means one thing: their famous fish fry.

1:00 – Get to work writing on those newly-purchased postcards.

2:00 – Attempt to find a post office to mail before-mentioned postcards.

2:30 – Update: there is no post office.

3:00 – Need another coffee. Time to hit up favorite #2.

3:15 – PT’s, while not quite Fizz & Beezy standards, still satisfies my espresso cravings. Plus it’s close to home and I’m tired of walking.

5:00 – The all-too familiar Crossroads dinner rush is rolling in. Time to get a seat in at Town Topic before it’s too late.

5:15 – The line is already out the door but I’m cozied up in between the pin ball machine and grill in the back corner of Town Topic.

5:25 – Vanilla malt in hand, I slip through the packed entry way and onto the street.

5:30 – Hop on an elevator to the 4th floor and climb through the window onto the roof. Time to sip my malt, bite into the burger and look over a perfect Saturday in the Crossroads.

3 Things

Y’all, sometimes you just need to take the time to think of all the little things in life that make you smile. And it’s just as important to take that time on the bad days as it is the good, because straight up-there are so many wonderful things to be thankful for. So for a little pre-Thanksgiving blog, I have been thinking about the things that I am most thankful for and how those all came to be.
The way I see it, my life has been broken down into a few solid events that changed my views of the world + shaped who I am today.

Newport Beach, California

[Spring Break 2015]

I have already posted about this wonderful trip, but it truly was the point when I realized that I wanted my blog to be MORE. It was the kind of adventure where you woke up each day excited for what was going to come next. I could give you every detail of that week, but it’s the individual memories that mean more. Brynny, I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for you taking me along with you, this trip was a lot more beneficial than I had ever thought. Somewhere smushed in between bonfires of Reece’s + marshmallows and shopping for graduation dresses, I leaned how much we all affect each other’s lives. It taught me that taking the time to learn about someone’s life could mean more than anything. It was the man on Venice Beach, telling us that he wanted his art to become history, his faith that his sand-art would outlast everything.*see “In a Golden State of Inspiration“* His faith in what he hoped for. [Hebrews 11:1] The way that everyone on Venice Beach was so diverse, but somehow created a culture of it all. What a beautiful mess-in a way, it was a representation of our world. I think that was the exact moment I started to think of our lives as one, big, beautiful mess. It was the bonfire with people I had never met, yet they welcomed me like family. It helped me realize that we all need to take a little time out of our lives to welcome each other. We all need to let His light shine through us. [Matthew 5:16] This spring break taught me that I could use my writing to spread his word, and that was what I wanted most.

Kanakuk Camps

[Majorly summers 2014 + 2015] 

 “Don’t be a cafeteria Christian”.

That’s what has been in my head this week. We can’t pick and choose what parts of the Bible to listen to in the same way that we can pick and choose what to grab from the lunch line. Kanakuk [& K-Life] have played a major part in my life, but the past 2 summers have truly altered my views of life.

2014: It was this summer that taught me how important it was to be strong in my faith & rejoice in times of trial. It prepared me for a year full of daily challenges that I knew I couldn’t handle on my own. At times, I felt [and still feel] like I am drowning. But I know that He will always pull me out. [Psalms 18:16] This was also the summer that began my love for writing. I met someone [who is constantly mentioned in Elle’s Adventures] who showed me exactly what I needed, the chance to use writing to spread God’s word. Her blog started mine & I am so beyond grateful for you, Cas.

2015: This summer, K2 hit me. Hard. Like truck-going-down-a-highway-coming-straight-at-you hard. I had strayed so far from my faith. I was trying to fill the holes in me with everything BUT what they were craving to be filled with-God. All of the sudden I was struck with an overwhelming calm. My past year was such a struggle and it seemed like all the weights from it were completely lifted off of me. God was good and He was all I needed to be complete. I did not need to strive to fill those holes with worldly things [other people, makeup, clothes, etc.] I finally realized the importance of everything I had been taught since I was little. I wasn’t ashamed to say that I was a Christian anymore. It’s who I am and I wasn’t going to hide it anymore. This summer was 2 weeks chocked full of “ah-ha” moments and sweet, pure laughter.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

[November 2014] 

Last year, I was strung up on getting out of KC. And on a boarding school visit, I stopped for an afternoon in Chapel Hill. For those that know me well [or anyone around me for long enough] you know my love for poetry. I am so mesmerized by how 26 little letters can string together + make us feel so much. Then you take those beautiful words and smash them down into tiny chunks that still are so so powerful. Okay so lets continue. On this trip I stumbled into a cute lil used-bookstore with piles and piles of books stacked to the ceiling. And somewhere in this beautiful mess I found a collection of Ralph Waldo Emerson poems. It was ripping at the binding and had a part of a cover page but it was that book that changed how I saw the world. I absorbed those works and started to look at the world as if it was a poem, one full of beauty and mystery. Life was an amazing poem, it was my story and I simply was reading through it. This bookstore introduced me to poetry and showed me that you can find something great in a jumbled mess.

These three events were the kind of thing that seemed so small, so unimportant at the time but ended up changing everything in my life. They led up to meeting the most important people in my life today and helping me grow closer to others. God is so good. So so so good, people. Sometimes I wonder what would have changed if I didn’t do a little thing that ended up making a big impact. What would have happened if I didn’t doodle a Bible verse in my planner that day? Then I wouldn’t have had conversation about God with one of my favorite people on the planet. So thank you, RK, for sending me that friendly reminder of the Lord that day, it still is written at the beginning of each week.

What I am trying to say through all of this [I guess¿] is to savor the moments. You never know what is going to end up turning into something MUCH larger than what it seems. Rejoice in the little things + take a little time to think about what you’re thankful for:)

with love,

Elle

Golden

Dearest California,

Thank you for always giving me some wide source of inspiration and never ceasing to bring people joy. In other words, I love ya, California, and I wish I never had to leave.

Now, I wasn’t planning on a Spring Break blog post, I was saving that for after my week of bliss. But what can I say, I was hit with inspiration like a truck. And I have to say, it’s all thanks to Venice Beach. My friends, Venice Beach was quite terrifying to be honest. I had pictured it as some super clean, happy place and wow, I did NOT get that. But what I did get was an experience. And this is an experience that I could not have gotten in some super clean, happy place. You get this kind of adventure in a Venice Beach-style area. One that is real. One that looks disgusting and scary. That is where you get INSPIRED.

For those of you that don’t know me, I have no tolerance for anything dirty, or scary. I like everything a certain way, and I keep it that way. Venice Beach is not a “Elle” type of place. It is the exact opposite. It’s HECTIC. It’s DISORGANIZED. It’s WILD. And I couldn’t be happier that I went.

We originally went to Venice to get henna tattoos, but then we kept walking.
And while we were walking, a street vendor stopped us. Now you need to understand that I’m not particularly fond of talking to strangers. I’ll always smile, but I’ll rarely be found striking up a conversation with someone that I just met. This time, I was feeling adventurous. So I started to talk to the man. His job was carving words into broken pieces of sand rock. Weird profession, right? I started to ask him about himself. He told me that his brother in law had taught him how to carve and spray paint. When discovering that he could not do it exactly like his brother in law, he adapted his own style. I never got to learn the man’s name, but he gave me some deep stuff to think about. The man had told my friend, Brynn, and I that we didn’t have to buy anything, but we deserved to see how his work was done. The man began to carve Brynn into a jagged piece of sandstone.

Now it gets deeeeeep.

He told us that he was making history, right there on the beach. Because he had never carved Brynn’s name into sand. He said that the ultimate goal was to have his art be worth something, some day. That one day, he hoped an alien would find his sand sculptures and know that it was something important. He had moved from Chicago six years previous in order to pursue his dream of living in California. Wow. I am so glad he did. He was happy. So maybe he wasn’t rich, but he ha big dreams. He told us that his signature, a palm tree + a seagull, would be worth something. This man may seem crazy to you, but he taught me something and was the inspiration to something that I want to do on this blog.

People, places, and dreams

That’s what I want to call it. Something along the lines of Humans of New York but more personal. If I meet someone interesting, I am going to write about them and their dreams on E L L E and see what happens.

It’s amazing what you can do with a little inspiration and a lot of good luck.

keep smiling n set goals!!

with love,

Elle