Mersea: Always By the Sea

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Last Christmastime, my mom, my sister, and I went to a local Kansas City shop that sells all kinds of monogrammed items. It’s such a fun place to go, as there’s apparently no end to what can be monogrammed! Haha. One item I spotted and kept returning to while we were in the shop was a beautiful “travel wrap”, as it was called. It was a sort-of cross between a scarf/shawl and a wrap with a narrow V-shape to it making it easy to envelope yourself in it. The product and company name, Mersea, stuck with me as I made a mental note to add the wrap to my wishlist.

After seeing more Mersea products at shops around town, I sat down one day to learn more about the company. I quickly learned that it was a local Kansas City company that was relatively new on the scene. As I read about their story and spoke with friends about Mersea, I learned there are several parallels between the philosophies and underlying messages that Mersea and Falling Off Bicycles share that go beyond being KC-based.

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candleMersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

When I went to the Mersea office, Lina Dickinson (co-owner with Melanie Bolin and Stephanie Lawrence) graciously showed me all around the space, introducing me to all the products. The packaging is simple and elegant and the scents refreshing while not being overpowering.

The company name, as explained by Lina, came from a connection with the sea that all three owners share. All three women come from the coastal United States and share a love – and longing – for the sea. The name is one of my very favorite things about the brand; it comes from combining the French word mer for ‘sea’ plus the word, itself, making the sound of the one French word everyone knows: merci. The company name is more than a cute play on words, though. It is exactly how the co-owners feel – thankful!

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle
Linen travel wrap pouch

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

I’m so excited to have teamed up with Mersea to introduce my followers (in Kansas City and elsewhere) to Mersea products. The selection of candles, soaps, and salts Lina sent me home with are refreshing, aromatic but not over-powering, and also cleverly named. A few names (that you’ll appreciate especially if you’re familiar with the French language) include: L’eau Tide, Saltaire, Bohème, and Sirène. My personal favorite of the scents I have in my home is Tossa, which is so refreshing and has a very “clean” scent.

Mersea, Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, France photography, Instagram collaboration, always by the sea

The linen travel wraps are a newer addition and perfect for summertime and warmer destinations. I used mine for evenings outside by the beach, days when it was sprinkling a bit but too warm for a heavier cover, and {update} in the French Riviera in October when the weather was warm yet unpredictable. Now, I’m going to need to get a wrap for the chillier months!

Mersea, Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, France photography, Instagram collaboration, always by the sea

Mersea, Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, France photography, Instagram collaboration, always by the sea

You can check out Mersea products at their website mersea.com.

Photos shot at Brigantine Beach, New Jersey, USA and Calanques Sormiou, France.
© Falling Off Bicycles
Photos are all copyrighted and may not be used without express written permission.

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Waterlogue Wednesdays: Julia Willard in Kansas City

Exported Image_2016-07-22 15-01-23
Julia Willard at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

Time to clear something up. Where am I from, many people have wondered… France? Non. Netherlands? Nee. U.K.? Nope.
I come from beautiful Kansas City, Missouri, USA. I just have trouble staying in one place for long, and I’ve quite liked it that way all these years. And this is my bike. 💚🚲 The bike that my mom bought me at an estate sale a few years ago for $35. It was brown and had been neglected for probably 30 years. For my birthday last year, my parents had it repainted for me to match the #fallingoffbicycles logo. 🎂💚🚲 And here we are together at a real KC gem, the @nelsonatkins Museum of Art. 🏸 Even though where I’m from is considered by some as “flyover country”, there is much to do and see here… like pose with giant shuttlecocks. 😉😂

Image painted in Waterlogue.

Thankful Thursdays – France Ailleurs

Sasha's baking company, Kansas City

Americans have a love affair with France for decades, if not centuries. One of the most interesting books I have ever read on France is the prolific David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, in which he discusses early Americans’ interest and downright fascination with France, and Paris more specifically. French styles in homes and décor are as popular as anything else out there and France remains a number one tourist destination for Americans year after year.

In the time I spend back in my hometown, Kansas City, Missouri, I always enjoy discovering new places that pop up – and there are many. One of my most recent favorites has been Sasha’s Baking Company in Downtown KC, where you can get your Paris and Amsterdam fix at the same time (because, in my opinion, the interior is more Dutch than French). The menu is typically French, but familiar for Americans, and the breakfast pâtisseries are to die for. I’m so thankful to have this taste of France so close to me when I return.

RAW Kansas City featuring Falling Off Bicycles

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I have been hand-selected by RAW: natural born artists to show my work at their next artist showcase in Kansas City called PANORAMA!

The event will be held at the Uptown Theatre on Wednesday @ 8 pm. The event is 18+ and the dress code is cocktail attire.

I love this organization because it really helps artists get their work out to a bigger audience. I’ll be eligible to win the RAW artist of the year award locally, and have an opportunity to compete against other city winners for the national title to showcase at the RAWards award show & ceremony in LA.

Be sure to click the image above to go get your tickets in advance.

Falling Off Bicycles on Display at Center of Life Chiropractic

Great news! We’re back featured at the beautiful Center of Life Chiropractic in Kansas City. If you need a gift or just some inspiration, stop in and have a look. Cards and a few Instagram canvases available as well.

Falling Off Bicycles at Center of Life Chiropractic

First Fridays Event at Affäre German Restaurant, Kansas City

Kansas City First Fridays
Falling Off Bicycles Showing at Affare German Restaurant

Tonight’s Falling Off Bicycles First Friday event will be at the chic German Restaurant Affäre at 1911 Main. Beer and Brats will be served in the courtyard, and dinner service will be as normal just inside. Feel free to stop by and say hello!!

Refreshed Falling Off Bicycles Displays

Refreshed displays at Center of Life Chiropractic… up for a couple of more weeks. Thanks to them for the chance to share the beauty of Amsterdam, Paris, Brittany, and Martigues.

Falling Off Bicycles art, Julia Willard, fine art photography, Paris, Center of Life Chiropractic, Falling Off Bicycles
Part of the Falling Off Bicycles art display