Elizabeth Kirby

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk

gather – wander – nest photographer • stylist • cook • mama • traveler #localmilkretreats #theartofslowliving | 📍Kurokawa mrs. @matthewlud
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


Today it begins. In a few short minutes thedenizenco & I are meeting our retreat guests downstairs for introductions before a welcome Kaiseki dinner prepared by ryokan_sanga. I've been refreshing my notes on wabi-sabi, and the concepts that are ringing the most true for me are the ideas of "aestheticized entropy" (what could be more beautiful...) & "elegant poverty" where poverty isn't taken in the literal sense but rather in the sense of non-attachment to fixed ideas or things. The "elegant" refers to graceful acceptance of restraint, inconvenience, and uncertainty. How much more beautiful is life when all of its irregularities, ephemerality, and decay are regarded as beautiful? I've always said I had a "counter intuitive aesthetic" and wanted to coax beauty out of apparent ugliness (both literal and figurative), and the mundane has long been my primary inspiration. For me, there is no better philosophy and no better place to steep oneself in it than here. And so it goes... localmilkretreats theartofslowliving

1 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


Tomorrow morning matthewlud and I are going to sit right here. I think baths might be one of my all time favorite slow pleasures. Continuing the conversation with myself about slow living, today I was thinking about the word "No". As I've said before, I think social media (myself included, albeit unintentionally) has led to a conflation of "slow living" and "slow pleasures". Not all slow living is fun, pretty, and leisurely. A lot of it is long, hard, slow work. But it is deeply rewarding and worthwhile. In order to do this, I think "no" is perhaps the single most important word in my vocabulary. I say no to guilt, to obligation, to hurrying, to frittering my time on things that don't matter, to relationships I don't enjoy. I say no to 99%. And a resounding, all-in yes to the 1%. I give my all to my family, my career (and I'm very selective about what gets to hang out under that umbrella), my few true friendships, and my own well being. That's it. I really want to empower people to say no. In a time where people are inundated with social media, texts, emails, and more pressure than ever to respond just because they can be reached & pressure to do everything because it seems like everyone else is, I want to tell you: you don't have to. And to reiterate an important one: NO to guilt. If you work hard & lead an active life, some people will think you don't live "slow" enough (which is such a misunderstanding of the concept), and if you take time to enjoy life, some people will think you don't work hard enough. So forget it. Hone in on your love, your bliss, your people, your version of happy. Whether it's a cottage & homemade bread, a camper & hiking boots, or Dubai & jet setting. It doesn't matter, it's your life, go after it. Life is too short to worry about being judged by anyone other than yourself. And even then most of us probably need to cool it. You know what? Eff judging entirely. Your inner compass has got this, don't let anyone or anything dissuade you. theartofslowliving localmilkretreats

2 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


A wabi-sabi corner of our plaster mantle back home with petalinefloral ikebana inspired florals, hand painted Japanese paper, a little handmade tile from rikumo, a candle holder from alderandco, and antique books in languages I can't read. Long before I started my annual pilgrimages to Japan, I was fundamentally inspired by the idea of perfect imperfection. My core philosophy was wabi-sabi before I really had the words for it. When I first started my blog, it was something I talked about extensively. The beauty of the mundane, the broken, the asymmetrical soul. My aesthetic has changed since I started this journey with Local Milk, my style has evolved and continues to along with my business model. I like to change when lots of other people start doing the same thing so I can stay inspired and not get bored. But as a business you have to balance that with what your audience, customers, and clients want. Which can be tricky, and I've learned so much about it over the years. I've been thinking a lot about the creation of an ecourse to bring what I've learned about slow living (and what that means to me), work / life boundaries (I like that word better than "balance"), photography, styling, and building a successful creative small business and brand to a larger audience. Essentially, a retreat you can go on without leaving your home. Would many of you be interested in that? If so what would you want to see there? Video, worksheets, spoken or written lessons (or both?), visuals, assignments? And what topics? Slow living, social media, brand building, business & financial, writing, photography, styling, editing, visual storytelling? I'd love to hear from you to gauge whether it's something many would be interested in & what you'd want out of it. theartofslowliving localmilkathome

2 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


My favorite place in Tokyo. A secret treasure trove, hakujitu_., hidden in Asakusa in an old kelp drying house. When we return to Tokyo I'm going to collect as much from this shop as I can possibly carry home. Mostly less is more. But in the case of the most beautifully curated collection of Japanese antiques I have ever seen, more is more. And it doesn't hurt that the owner and his wife are two of the most lovely people I've had the pleasure of meeting. After perusing the store, we went to _____9__'s (his wife) tea room and took many photographs and drank as many cups of tea. A big thank you to thedenizenco for introducing us to this gem. 🙏🏻 localmilkabroad

3 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


We're currently on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Fukuoka, en route to my personal paradise, ryokan_sanga. A living fairytale of mossy boulders, tranquil streams, and forest onsens—tendrils of steam forever rising from blue water into the boughs. A place of restoration & healing, this is where slow lives. On Monday we'll be joined by our retreat guests, and I'm buzzing with excitement to share this place we love so well with yet another group of adventuring creatives. This is truly what our retreats are all about. Travel, slow living, culinary exploration, and visual stories both lived and captured. Learning to balance motherhood and running a business full time (and all while largely living out of a suitcase) has, at times, been a challenge. Work never seems to end, time to simply be is scarce. But I recently read something that really struck a chord, that great things take great investments—of time, energy, resources—and that naturally throws things out of "balance". Maybe, instead, we can learn to travel to the outer edges, to the extremes, but know when to stop, when to come back, when to recharge. Good work requires stillness and time to do nothing just as much as it requires intense effort. Neither should be derided. Work is extreme, motherhood is extreme, passionate homemaking and passionate travel are extreme, devotion to self-care is extreme, a great relationship is extreme. Dare to want them all and dare to get them give them the time they require. That's slow living to me, the time it takes for something, anything, to be great. Its about the idea that there is no fast, easy way to worthwhile things. It's about knowing when it's the season, the week, the hour to move or to be still. This week, it's time to be still. localmilkretreats theartofslowliving

3 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


A pale pink mess apropos of nothing. I have a personal account, elizabeth_ludwik. It's where I post photos I like that you won't but that I'm really proud of. Mostly travel. And very infrequently. Once a year. More if I have a fit of dreams. So maybe more soon...I just posted my favorite photo of Shibuya I've ever taken. I also really like this mess. But it probably falls into the same category.

4 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


I'm so excited to announce that I'll be teaching two one day workshops at sundaysuppers in NYC this May! They are the only workshops I'll be doing in the States this year, so if you aren't based abroad, now is the chance to grab a workshop spot stateside! Karen's studio is one of the most gorgeous, light-filled spaces, and we'll be spending the day learning DSLR photography, food & prop styling, editing in Lightroom, and how to use social media to build a creative brand. You can reserve your spot through the link in profile as well as find all the details! Grab a spot before they're gone!

5 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


We've had a quiet morning here at our light filled Tokyo airbnb home away from home, and now I'm headed out to Asakusa to wander and explore before a rendezvous with thedenizenco at hakujitu_ this afternoon. If anyone has any recommendations for beautiful sites (temples, shrines, gardens, pretty streets), tea, gorgeous shops, or great eats in that area please leave them in the comments! We especially love hidden gems but please let us know all the things! localmilkabroad

5 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


As our home starts to come together, we wanted to share a sneak peek. You can find more photos and an interview about our home design over on the ShopSimon's SimonSAID blog! Link in profile. Inspired by our travels, especially in Japan, we wanted to go very minimalist & wabi-sabi in our home, with clean lines & neutral colors mixed with rustic accents. Our furniture is simple, our walls venetian plaster, the floors white oiled oak, and fixtures and hardware are brass throughout the space. Hop on over for the sneak peak! foundatsimon ad localmilkathome

6 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


matthewlud & I decided to hit up Tsukiji Fish Market this morning for a sashimi & nigiri breakfast 🍣. Lots of fatty tuna & sweet uni. Lightly vinegared sticky rice. Shiso leaf. Wasabi. Hints of shoyu. Grabbed a sweet egg omelet for 70¢ too, a favorite. I'm definitely going back to the market in April to buy knives, ingredients to experiment with, chopsticks, and the most gorgeous paper plates. I almost feel as at home here as in Paris, but the language gap is frustrating. I can hobble along in French; there's reasonable hope I'll be fluent one day. Japanese just isn't going to happen at the moment. For now, I'm grateful to spend a few months a year here. On this trip I'm going to make a bigger effort to speak more Japanese other than hello, thank you, bon appetite, and excuse me. localmilkabroad

6 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


I just woke up next to my baby & matthewlud right before sunrise here in Tokyo. We have a long list of favorites in the city, like hakujitu_ pictured here, and a Tokyo City Guide on the blog, but we're always open to more gems—so if you have any recommendations or favorite addresses for eats, shops, drinks, or sites leave them in the comments! Especially secret little dive eateries (of which there are thousands I'm sure), ceramic shops, and peaceful hidden corners of the city. I'm currently taking a proper soak in the bath after a very long journey while the wind howls outside, and we had a breakfast of seaweed filled onigiri & umeboshi plums from the combini which I shared with Eula, much to her delight. Last night, bleary eyed and a little delirious, Matt and I ducked out of the rain into a little 7 seater place, a red lantern promisingly swaying out front. He made us batter fried lotus root, shiitakes, and yakisoba with pickled ginger. Warmed, we battled jet lag and collapsed, albeit fitfully, into bed as a family. Now to catch up on work with a pot of green tea before venturing out into the city for photos & food, always. localmilkabroad wabisabi

7 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


I'm sitting on a plane about to take off for Tokyo from Atlanta with all of our belongings for our family of three for 6 weeks packed neatly into 5 small bags (2 away carry-ons, 2 onabags backpacks, and a shopfoglinen tote bag for diapers). We're trading home and its creature comforts, once again, for the road and are about to hop a 14 hour direct flight to Tokyo with Eula in tow. I can't wait for her to try sashimi, soba, chawanmushi, and everything else that crosses our path. Our adventure will take us to the usual suspects (Tokyo, Kyoto, Kurakawa) and also all the way to the farthest flung islands in the Okinawa chain, the Yaeyama Islands of Ishigaki, Taketomi, and Hateruma. My time at home was, due to an incredibly dense workload, very stressful. But we completed our projects, tabled what could wait until May, and now we're back to living light & simple out of suitcases, eating and cooking our way around the world and telling the story through photographs along the way. I feel free. Weightless. Happy. theartofslowliving localmilkathome

8 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


A simple morning ritual: hot water & lots of lemon. A great way to detox at the start of each day. The truth is I'm not really much of a coffee person—it makes me feel bad, jittery with a stomach ache. I can only do coffee when it's matthewlud's awesome roasts & brews. He ruined me. And even that's a rare occasion. Instead I prefer light teas (herbal infusions and greens), lemon water, and (my all time favorite) ginger tea. Somehow this simple ritual (which I stole from leantimms) makes morning seem simpler, calmer. What's your morning ritual of choice? theartofslowliving

10 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


Good morning! matthewlud is frying up some buttermilk pancakes because Saturday, and Eula is curled up in my lap while I work away editing photographs for clients in a mad dash to get it all done before we hop on our Monday flight to Tokyo. There are beautiful arrangements from an evening of playing flowers with petalinefloral scattered all over the house, a cheerful yé-yé mix playing, and the sun just started streaming in—I've been up since 5 and my favorite moment is turning off the indoor lights! Today is shooting, packing (making my packing videoooo!!! For the future can someone recommend a good iPhone tripod for video?), and then one of Matt's famous beer dinners at our house & a chance to see friends before we split again. Hope your Saturday morning is copacetic ✌🏻️🌸 Linens by inbedstore, bed & stump by kalonstudios, and light by workstead. localmilkathome

10 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


I wanted to talk a bit about our breast feeding journey & how I've been going about weaning (I mean this in the U.K. sense of adding solids, not in the U.S. sense of ceasing breastfeeding). Breastfeeding (aside from the first couple of weeks which I think hurt for most women) has been so easy and wonderful for us. I know how lucky I am. She never had anything but my breastmilk from the breast up until 5 months old. Around 5 months I pumped occasionally for a bottle when I knew I'd be out longer than two hours with a little hand pump (so good for travel!), and she was still on 100% breastmilk. At 6 months she showed interest in solids, so we started letting her play with them / eat them. I intended to do baby led weaning from the beginning but in practice, especially because we're on the road so much, have also (and fair warning this sounds kind of gross) just been chewing food for her and feeding it off my finger when she's interested. It was an intuitive thing to do. As it turns out this is an age old practice and is still practiced in many parts of the world. Some preliminary studies have seemed to imply that it might carry over some of the same benefits as breast feeding. So. Maybe not the most western socially acceptable way of feeding, but we've found it to be an amazing way to introduce her, fuss free, to a wide variety of nutritious foods that she couldn't currently chew herself. I'm sure everyone has their opinion on weaning, but I wanted to share what we do. I don't think it's "the way" or right for everyone, but our intuitive feeding has worked well for us. She's still primarily breastfed, and we are of the "food before one is just for fun" school of thinking, but it's been nice to have this effortless way of introducing her to everything from spinach to oysters without the need of a blender (can't say I carry that in my bag...). Would love to hear other mom's experience with weaning (I.e. Introducing solids...not stopping breast feeding!) slowmotherhood eulaliewilla babyaulait

11 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


Kitchen magic with woodenspoonherbs during the private 2 day workshop I taught the beautiful mama_flowers. Since mama_flowers is an herbalist (and launching her blog of healing culinary & apothecary recipes & herbalism guides!) it seemed perfect to invite woodenspoonherbs over to make an adaptogen latte (recipe coming soon!) that's great for everything from post-partum milk production to stress overload (yes & yes please). The two days I spent with Freedom fleshing out her blog & business ideas was so inspiring. She's a wife, mother of two with another on the way, and certain to produce beautiful recipes and work. And her last name is *actually* Flowers. 💐 Give her a follow if you're into herbalism, cooking, and making remedies at home. I can't wait to try her first recipe! Or to share this one from Lauren featuring homemade walnut milk (so.good.). theartofslowliving localmilkretreats

12 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


7 months old. Eula Bean in her engraved mocs by lexandlivfootwear (one says "bean", the other says "Eula"!) & her briarhandmade bonnet. Impossibly adorable, my puppy. The bias of parenthood has me firmly in its grip. She's perfect. Perfect for me just like her dad, matthewlud. As if the universe could see me more than I can see me and knew just what I'd want, what I can take, what would make me happy. It's easy to forget that one day she'll be 100% autonomous. That she'll float, quite unattached to me, in the world as I do now, an adult. Today I was driving and wondering how my mother could ever cope. I don't know how you ever get used to having your heart outside of your body. I love her so much. Babyhood is flying by. It's exciting and a little distressing. I want to hold on to my cuddly baby forever yet I can't wait to meet the little girl she's becoming. EulalieWilla babyaulait slowmotherhood

12 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


I can't believe that in less than one week matthewlud, Eula, and I will be in Japan again. It seems like we were just there, me 6 months pregnant. And here we'll be again, with her at 7 months. The loops life goes in become more condensed the older I get, memories built on memories all over the world, like cities built upon ancient cities, layers of death and rebirth. Ouroboros. I remember being in Tokyo for the first time, alone. So love struck. The lights were everything and the pain was gorgeous and invigorating, exquisite—the feeling of being away from a new love. The second time, he was with me. And I was pregnant with his daughter. The third time, she'll be with us, weaning on fish & rice porridge. And after that she'll be walking and on and on. This has been an almost unbearably hard week. But the love and hope and gratitude and excitement I have for and in my life dwarf what amounts to an overwhelming week at work. Soon the chaos will stop with the sweet zip of a suitcase. And life on the road begins again. localmilkabroad

12 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


Portrait of my heart. A tangle of unintentional blooms at various stages of life—closed buds, splayed out in their prime, dying—in a smoky haze. Either that or I just stuck flowers in this pitcher in between shots and accidentally burnt the eff out of some chickpeas I was roasting and took a picture. Or a little bit of both. Literal burn out. I'm having one of those weeks. One of those weeks where you have little choice other than to believe if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, somehow you'll make it out of the burning house before the roof collapses on your head and you DIAF. And don't forget, the house is on fire because you burned the &$!ing chickpeas. Just breath. Oh no wait, don't. Smoke inhalation kills. Run.

13 Days ago
local_milk

Elizabeth Kirby

@local_milk


Comment from Elizabeth Kirby:


Tokyo 1 day workshop registration is open! English below. 写真・スタイリングワークショップのお知らせです。今春、下北沢に佇むスタジオshopfoglinenで1日限りのワークショップを開催することに決定いたしました。おかげさまで完売いたしました京都のワークショップにご興味のあった方、東京にお住いの方、必見です!日本語通訳付きですので、英語がネイティブでない方でもお気軽にご参加ください。この機会に、私とmatthewludとで、ポアオーバーコーヒーの作り方、静物写真の根本からスタイリング、ライトルームの編集からソーシャルメディアについて幅広くお話しさせていただこうと思います。特製ベジタリアン弁当とお茶・軽いスナック付きです。詳しくはプロフィールのリンクをご覧ください。 Registration is now open for our one day Tokyo workshop at shopfoglinen's light filled studio in Shimokitazawa this April! If you missed the Kyoto workshop (it's now sold out), I'll be teaching the same classes here in Tokyo! It will be taught in English and translated to Japanese. We'll style a coffee scene with matthewlud teaching us how to properly make a pour over, learn digital camera & lens basics, edit in Lightroom, and discuss how to use social media. The workshop includes vegetarian bento boxes for lunch, and morning tea with light snacks. You can reserve your spot via the link in profile! localmilkretreats

15 Days ago