Sweet Soul: A Balanced Life | Ashley and Katie Hess

As a verb, balance is defined as: “to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall”. As a noun, balance is defined as: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” When it comes to my new series “A Balanced Life” I have chosen a few lovely ladies to feature that I believe embody what it means to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. These women inspire me to keep buying organically (even if it is more expensive and some people just don’t get it), to keep working out (even if it is the first time in my life I am getting fit in a healthy way) and to keep up the positive attitude and energy.

If you are a sartorial connoisseur (or like to think that you are), then I’m sure you have heard of the Hess twins, aka Ashley and Katie Hess, aka @thehesstwins. And if you are an avid reader of my blog, then you know these two have been featured on here before! (check out their smoothie bowl recipe here!).

They are Boston (NYC, LA, ACK and beyond) based bloggers who have an extensive arsenal of words, just as much as they have a deep knowledge fashion and style. I’m pretty sure they can out-wit the wittiest of them all, all the while looking effortlessly chic while doing it. Their website (Thepartyof2.com), bookmarked on my Mac under “Fav Sites/Blogs”, keeps me up to date on known and unknown labels as well as pop culture. I could probably go on and on about these two, but I will spare myself from looking like a fan-girl (even though there is nothing wrong with giving props to a fellow Girl Boss), and let you read their Balanced Life interview below!

ashley and katie hess balanced life series

1. What does a Balanced Life mean to you?

For us, a Balanced Life means chasing a piece of cake with a leaf of kale. Just kidding! We actually prefer a leaf of swiss chard. No, but in complete seriousness, a Balanced Life means maintaining our equilibrium. It means keeping a calm state of mind, or put simply, staying sane. Like most people, I think we try to sustain a pretty acute awareness of the needs and desires of both our minds and bodies, and give precedence to whichever makes a more rational argument. For example, we love working up a good sweat and appreciate the ease of mind that it gives us, but if we find that we’re running low on time and it’s stressing us out more trying to figure out a way to fit a long work out into our schedule, we won’t kick ourselves if we have to push it back until the next day. However, keeping this in mind, we’ll still try to fit in a short neighborhood walk so that our day doesn’t become too sedentary.

via @thepartyoftwo
via @thepartyoftwo

2. Do you have an AM and PM routine that contributes to your balanced life?

Our schedule can be pretty erratic, making it difficult to stick to a consistent routine. However, there are definitely a few things to which we adhere no matter how busy we are. In terms of the AM, we always always have our morning coffee and catch up on any news we might have missed while asleep. Whether we’re traveling or at home in our apartment, we tend to find that little caffeine buzz most necessary to clear the cobwebs and get the old ticker ticking. In terms of the PM, we usually make sure to agree on an order of events for the next day, determining when we need to wake up, leave the apartment for any meetings we might have, plan a shoot, or fit in a work out. This helps us to accomplish the short term goals we have for that day which ultimately adds up to the long term goals we have for our future. So I guess another part to our balanced life is understanding that our time spent in the present contributes to where we’ll find ourselves in the future.

3. What is your definition of self-love and positive body image?

This question is difficult because there really are so many different ways to define self-love. For us, it’s something along the lines of valuing your body and your mind enough to constantly want to take care of and cultivate them both. As for a positive body image, we’d to like to think that our culture has grown past concentrating on superficialities, as we are all so much more than just our bodies. However, the reality is that with the proliferation of such visually-focused social media apps, Americans have really only become more obsessed with body image, which we suppose makes having a positive one that much more important. That said, we tend to think of a positive body image as being comfortable in your own skin, as trite as it might sound.

via @thepartyoftwo
via @thepartyoftwo

4. What are some ways you stay active and foods you eat to achieve a balanced mind, body and soul (favorite workout routines, favorite healthy dish/ snack etc.)?

We love HIIT (high-intensity interval training) routines and tend to do about 8 different moves in one workout. We’ll pepper those with LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio every other day. So a full week of fitness for us looks like HIIT on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and LISS on Tuesday and Thursday. We tend to take weekends off, but will occasionally opt for the classic Sunday evening run. Our diet tends to be plant-based, with usual suspects like green smoothie bowls, big grain bowls, and large colorful salads. Specific items you’ll always find in our kitchen are: green peas, bunches of kale, red peppers, zucchini, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, tahini and turmeric.

via @thepartyoftwo
via @thepartyoftwo
via @thepartyoftwo
via @thepartyoftwo

5. Words to live by/ favorite quote that has to do with positivity, good vibes or positive body image?

We were actually reading an old interview with Leandra Medine of Man Repeller on Marie Claire the other day where she recounts something Diane Von Furstenburg told her and we really liked it so as we wrap up this interview we’ll leave you with this: ‘When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.’

via @thepartyoftwo
via @thepartyoftwo

See, what did I tell you, inspiring right? They make me want to step my smoothie bowl game up a notch, eat more greens and treat every side-walk like my personal runway. They’re awesome, and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t follow them on Instagram and their blog.

Who will be my Balanced Babe next week? Stay tuned!

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