To the spirited, special readers of The Wonder List:

You've thought what happened to the blonde and brunette girls that spill their guts on The Wonder List? Be encouraged. We are still alive and well and nothing super traumatic has happened over the last month. Well, besides a big dose of day to day life.

The days and nights have found Allie and I at a new place. Our work calendars are fuller, our bills higher, our attempt to be healthy and fit more arduous, our kitchen messier yet more meaningful meals around the table, award-show-watching, reminding ourselves what a relaxing Sunday night feels like, we're spending more time talking to one another, hugging one another, visiting trendy places in Atlanta that we've always wanted to go, weekend trips to see loved ones... these things all take time away from maintaining our beloved blog.

We miss it. I can promise you that. However, we feel good about the enriched time with each other, friends and family. We're at the bottom of the mountain looking straight up. We're in a place where we feel continuing to post on The Wonder List in the typical blogging fashion may be out of our 20-something capacity at this point. The good thing about that? We're working on a new project with the same spirit. Yet striving for something very sustainable and more filling to our readers.

We feel assured you all will grow to love this next project. We will post updates and share our progress over the next weeks and months. Pushing for a celebrated, enjoyable, firework-display launch in the near future. We want you to be there!

Until then, please follow Allie and I on Instagram & Twitter and let us hear from you! We value your thoughts and any daily antics you'd like to share.

Does that mean "we are never, ever, ever getting back together" to do blog posts again? No. Anything is possible, Wonder Listers.

Much web-love,
Emily & Allie

Emily's Instagram
Allie's Instagram

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foundations | you've got [unopened] mail

Wonderlisters, we have a confession. It's been nine days since the dawning of 2013 and we have already failed miserably in the resolution department. In fact, we don't even really believe in making resolutions... or keeping them, for that matter. Certainly, deciding to do something and disciplining yourself to do it is an extremely valuable practice but there is something about new year's resolutions that instantly turn your life into a list. Exercise three times a week - check. Take an art class - check. Be on time - check.

What if, instead of furiously checking things off the list of life, we began to think about the manner in which we are living?

Kathleen Kelly, whom we would argue is a modern day heroine, ponders this question as she writes to her beloved NY152. "Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?" 

What if, like Kathleen, we resolved to spend 2013 wondering, imagining, daring and dreaming. What if we took time to think about what we enjoy, what we are afraid of and what is truly valuable? What would happen if we began to consider the story we are telling as opposed to the things we are accomplishing? What sort of opportunities would open if we simply explored the question, "what if?"

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features | who is the Wonder Lister [part II]

"The Wonder Lister... maintains perspective..."

Perspective. It rolls right off the tongue, almost as easy as it rolls right out of our minds. Often when we are experiencing the highest of highs, we grow prideful and forget about the conditions, and the people, in the trenches. When we are experiencing the lowest of lows, we turn inward and lament on our circumstances.

Perspective is what anchors our souls as we walk through life, so that, though our circumstances may change, our inner reality remains the same. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast. You see, though perspective is both necessary and beneficial, it is extremely difficult to maintain.

Why? Perhaps the biggest reason is that it requires us to confront our selfishness. As long as our view is focused solely on our life, our job, our looks, our finances, our relationship, our problems, our [anything], we will never achieve a healthy perspective – it is impossible to have a well-balanced outlook when we are the only thing on our radar. Another reason perspective is difficult to maintain is that maintenance, in its basest form, is a steady act, one that is constantly threatened by the highs and lows life presents us with.

If it is so difficult, why should we waste our time? Would our efforts be better served if placed somewhere else? Wonder Listers, if you take anything to heart, please, let it be this – there are few things that will damage your joy as much as a negative perspective. The interpretation of your circumstances by means of assessing what you do not have and how you are not satisfied will inevitably consume your attitude like a cancer.

Just as an artist must step back and take in the canvas as a whole before working on a specific part, so must we step back and include our blessings, as well as our struggles, in the evaluation from which we draw our perspective. 

     Quote by Henry David Thoreau

Since nothing combats selfishness like witnessing true and basic need, we encourage you to allocate your resources, effort and time towards helping those that are experiencing hardship. This is a great organization, with branches nationwide, that will help you to maintain perspective while passing the same lesson on to the next generation of Wonder Listers.  

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stories | in the tree tops

70 bucks later we have the prettiest tree in the Atlanta metro area. A family tree farm and fun girls day out in North Georgia helped us locate this 7 foot gem of a fir. Target provided frosted globe lights and gold ornaments. The two elves I'm fortunate to live with worked on a slew of Madewell themed gifts to place under the tree (think brown grocery paper, red ribbon, and clever black/white gift tags). We are ready.

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features | who is the Wonder Lister

She "yields to the rhythm of her heart while navigating the risks of life." Not knowing what's around the next corner, she listens to her instincts for balance and keeps the head lamp snug around her long bangs and high ponytail.

The Wonder Lister is a rarity and a treasure to discover. Instead of listening only to her peers, the newest magazine on the coffee table or her traditionalist upbringing, she seeks to understand herself and her heart. The heart is a special part of the human body. It is life giving and symbolic of intuition and spirit. In short, it is the binding that keeps the book functioning and is key to the most important part of all, the story.

Be still and listen in these moments your heart is hard at work to keep rhythm, communicating with you in a special way. The Wonder Lister listens, takes notes and does something. Meditating, sharing wine with friends, traveling, writing, shopping, a neighborhood run, reading new books and long coffee breaks can all make way for the heart to speak.

images 1 & 2

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plans | team outing

"So, we need help planning the team holiday outing and I think you're the perfect person to take it on this year."
"Oh, yeah?!"

Panic ensues. At minimum, you have to at least hit par for the decades of parties before you and strive toward a fresh, glowing standard as the "new girl." You want your teammates to enjoy the time away from work and make it something marvelous that will surely go on their list of favorites. Well, at least through the first quarter. Here are a few guidelines that will help you knock it out of the park, and into the tinsel-filled, snowman fest grassy knoll way out there. Let's get to planning with these ground rules.

Consider your Teammates /
You may not know the laundry list of favorites about this group. But, you do spend 40+ hours a week with them. Rack your brain and think about what they like. This outing is a treat, something out of the norm, so customize a day that will wow them. What parts of town would they all enjoy discovering? What do they do on the weekends? How do they spend a Friday night? Researching these few topics helps you design something that will peak their interest.

Google Search Until You Can't Anymore /
Wonder Listers know how to work a search engine. Take advantage of your online resources and word of mouth to locate the tops activities or things to do in your locale. Whether city or small town, your place in the world is known for something special. Maybe it's the local ballet's performance of The Nutcracker, a blockbuster Christmas movie coming out, or a holiday tour of homes. Also, Google some great dining options for the outing. Take your team to a place they may never venture to otherwise

Good & Different /
Two key components that are sure to make your outing stellar? Good & Different. Craft a day that is different. Different than past outings and different than what might be expected. The element of surprise is really valuable here. Your team will know you've customized the day if they feel there's something different about it. Although, be sure it's good. A few things to keep it in the "good" arena: be sure the outing isn't too long, plan a loose schedule to allow for mingling and enjoying one another, make the time feel special and intentional.

Memorable /
There are a handful of times where we have vivid memory. Think back on those things, do you see common threads? Maybe the threads are made of funny situations and laughter, a challenge at hand, a heart-warming experience, or are emotionally-charged. Whatever the associated feeling, these memories are etched in our minds and hearts forever. When designing your team's outing keep the memory factor in mind. How can you build the day for memory's sake?


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