Published on March 31, 2019

In the spirit of the Domino 2019 Spring issue, we’re celebrating bold living by taking a deep dive into the saved Instagram folders of visionaries and tastemakers who made this edition our most colorful yet. What better way to get to know someone than by sneaking a peek at their private photo log, right?

When Ellen Marie Bennett travels, she doesn’t bother dipping her toe in the water—instead, she dives right in. The founder of the beloved workwear and apron brand Hedley & Bennett and her now-husband, Casey Caplowe, recently followed up on their three-day Mexico City wedding celebration with a 16-day honeymoon in Asia that encompassed six cities in three different countries. There were no lounge days involved: Once the plane hit the tarmac, they hit the ground running.

“This was so not a honeymoon,” laughs Bennett. “As much as lying on a beach has an impact on you, I think it’s better to go on a vacation, submerge your senses, and actually get out of your comfort zone.”

Bennett’s travel style is fearless and bold, but it’s not unattainable. In fact, the culinary curator treats every day like mini adventure, and her private Instagram folder is proof. From photos of faraway destinations to noteworthy cooking hacks, there’s no shortage of wanderlust. So we decided to take a little trip of our own into her saved file. Here are 12 things we learned along the way.

Do as the locals do  

When Bennett and her husband venture to a new city, they make a point to pick up on the day-to-day habits of their new neighbors. “We inject ourselves into the way that city works,” she says, and she doesn’t just mean giving the local language a whirl. “If everyone rides on motorcycles, we’re riding motorcycles too. If everybody takes the metro, we take the metro.”

Shop authentic cuisine at the grocery store

Instead of doing a quick “best restaurants” google search for whatever city she’s in, Bennett satisfies her taste buds by shopping like a real resident. “I like to go to grocery stores in foreign countries because I feel like you really get a sense of what their day-to-day is like from there,” she says. You’ll also find her scouring street vendors or asking a local culinary guide for insider advice.

View the world as a color story

If Bennett’s vivid wedding ceremony was any indication that her world spans the rainbow, step inside her Instagram. “I love big chunks of color,” she says. While you’ll find plenty of colorful fruits and spices in the mix, you’ll also discover plated flowers dishing up unique color combo ideas. “When I’m on Instagram, I’m identifying how colors are seated next to each other, and then I take that inspiration and end up adapting it one way or another onto products.”

Host picnics, not dinner parties

 

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Winter cold is setting in here in Copenhagen, but our edible garden still blooms bright

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In lieu of a potentially stuffy sit-down dinner or family-style gathering, Bennett and Caplowe fed the 230 guests at their wedding market-style. “We actually plucked different food varieties from a bunch of different cities across Mexico. Going to the market is one of my favorite memories from growing up. It’s like a picnic.” Their elevated take on a low-key gathering is a reminder that there really are no rules when it comes to entertaining.

Book the unexpected experiences

 

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Before Bennett and her husband went to Thailand for their honeymoon, she saved an image of a bathhouse as a mental bookmark to fill their itinerary with activities they would never be able to do anywhere else. “I do lean more into natural stuff,” she says. “I’m not a big museum-goer. I want to see the elephants, I want to see the giraffes, I want to run around in the forest, I want to climb a mountain. I’m an adventure-seeker.”

Leave your checked baggage at home

 

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❤️🧡💛💚💙 #BABOONtothemoon

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Speaking of essentials, Bennett treats her luggage like she does her kitchen: Only the beloved basics get to come along. “When I pack, I typically only do carry-on,” she says. “I don’t like waiting for bags at the airport. You’re wasting valuable adventure time while you’re standing there. Also, if your flight gets canceled for any reason, you’ll have your bags,” explains Bennett.

Keep a sturdy Dutch oven on standby

When she’s not sneaking in and out of markets in Jaipur or Kyoto, you’ll find Bennett at home hard at work in the kitchen. Her advice for the beginner chef? Know your essentials “I think everybody should have a Dutch oven in their house. Treat it as your pot for everything,” she suggests. Bennett’s go-to brand for pots and pans right now is Great Jones.

Own three really great knives

 

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Majorrr props if you can name all of the ingredients in this @gatherandfeast shot.

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Up next on her must-have kitchen list is a versatile knife set and, according to Bennett, you only need three. “My favorite knife brand is Misono. It’s what I used when I cooked professionally. They’re thin enough that you can sharpen them really simply and they’re not super expensive,” she continues. “People think they need a butcher block of knives, and you really don’t. You need an eight-inch chef’s knife, a paring knife so you can cut little things, and a bread knife. That’s all you need.”

Pre-pack your travel must-haves

 

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Red + Tigernaut Go-Bag is the cherry on top #BABOONtothemoon

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Whether you like to live life on-the-go or hate the feeling of a last-minute rush, Bennett suggests keeping your travel essentials in prepacked pouches so you’re ready to go on the fly. “I always have a pouch that’s ready to go with chargers and one for toiletries,” says Bennett. “I never unpack it. I keep it in a bag.”

Stay off Instagram when you’re stressed

 

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Mood #sorryihavenofilterimages

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If work or personal stress is impeding on your personal happiness, be wary of falling down a rabbit hole of FOMO and unwelcomed comparisons on social media. “If I’m having a meltdown, I’ve made it a more recent practice to not go on Instagram,” she says. “When you’re already in your head and you go online, it’s death on earth. Instagram is the best of the best of everybody’s lives at all times—it rarely shows the not-so-good side. Instead, I’ll go to a cycling or yoga class to exert negative physical energy.”

Plan your wedding for what it is, not what it “should be”

Whether your idea of a wedding is an intimate backyard get-together or week-long party, plan your celebration accordingly. Instead of hiring wedding planners to help fine-tune the details for their Mexico City soiree, Bennett and her husband turned to event planners. “Our wedding had a lot of layers to it. It required serious logistics on a really deep level,” she explains. “We also hired a culinary food coordinator. It was like a culinary adventure and then it was like, ‘Oh, hey, by the way, we’re going to get married.’”

Search for inspiration beyond Pinterest

 

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Props #setlife #sf #summervibes

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Bennett’s advice for newly engaged couples who are in the beginning stages of planning a wedding applies to any big event that starts with inspiration: “I would highly recommend not going on Pinterest in the beginning,” she shares. “Go look at art museums. Go look at books. Don’t do things because everyone else is doing it. This is your day—bring what makes you unique to the table.”

See more stories like this: 
How to Make Your Home Look Like a Perfectly Curated Instagram Feed
Chef and Food Stylist Camille Becerra Reveals Her Source of Endless Inspiration
The One Thing That Keeps the Spark Alive in This Designer’s Colorful Home

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