Friday, September 28, 2012

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

Friends, I am exhausted. This month so far has been one tough month! The good news is the weekend is here!  

With the weather getting cooler, I am definitely starting to crave comfort foods.  I found this yummy looking vegetarian dish on The Kitchn, a great site for quick and easy, yet sophisticated dishes. Doesn't this look so good? (Ok, perhaps more appealing to the vegetarians).    

After a big serving of the spinach chickpeas dish, I would love to cover my pawsies in these uber soft and comfy slippers, with my feet up on the coffee table, sit in my rocking chair, and catch up on my favorite mags, books, and blogs.  

And I shall have a big cup of hot chocolate. Preferably raspberry flavored. 

Friends, have a wonderful, restful, and no-stress weekend~

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Place - Sneak Peak

It's Thursday and my brain is already fried and the only alert spot is the spot that's thinking about the weekend. I had a blogger's block and didn't know what to write about. So, I was looking and walking around my place, trying to think of something to write about... And the lightbulb went on.  

I'll talk a bout my place!  Here's a little sneak peak. Nothing major, just some of my favorite things here and there.  I'll try to share more when and if I ever get around to organizing and cleaning up everything and everywhere.

little Ms.Pigsie speaker on top of my favorite mags, on an ottoman from Home Goods

Owl no. 1 (out of 3), IKEA bookshelves in the living room

I'm-so-glad-I-got-this-mirror (from West Elm) in the master bedroom

the framed hearts is a little DIY artwork. You probably can't see it that well - I am collecting wine bottle corks in that canister (why?  I dunno). 

A little feminine touch to our bathroom (DIY framed artwork)

My Toberz at the top of our very old and tired sofa, looking out.

My Speedz, aka Littlez, on our bed, enjoying our new bedding from West Elm (see here)  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Art - Walker

Today's artist is Kara Walker(born November 26, 1969).  She is a contemporary American artist who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence and identity in her work. She is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes. Her work at times have been met with criticism and controversy as some critics find her images to conjure up the negative stereotypes of history of slavery and the antebellum era. I think any time one's work evolves around race, gender, and sexuality, it will evoke criticism based on one's subjective feelings and his/her own personal experience.  I find her work to be exquisite and very telling of the pains of the past, which cannot be forgotten in a world where racism still exists.  

Ok, getting off the soapbox!

Enjoy the works of Kara Walker~

 You Do, (Detail), 1993-94

 Gone, An Historical Romance of a Civil War as it Occurred between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart, 1994; cut paper on wall; 15 x 50 feet

 Restraint, 2009

etching with aquatint and sugarlift

 Cut, 1998, cut paper and adhesive on wall

The artist installing her work, From the Bowel to the Bosom

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sweet & Edgy

Ok, I'm going to tell you that this isn't how I dress. But each and every item here is something I would love to see in my closet.  Is that weird??  Do you ever love a look but it's not really your style per se?  That's been happening a lot to me lately.  It's getting me to try on things I would have never tried on in the past (like wearing a pair of bright red pants (see 'Exhibit A' here)).  And that's actually kinda really fun.  I'm really liking this change in me.  

This look is a perfect combination of sweet & edgy.  The colors are sexy but the lace top adds the sweetness. The pumps are in a nice neutral color, with a little twist of bling created by the gold heels.  I can see myself wearing this outfit to a chic cocktail party (not that I go to those kinda events!) or to work (just add a long black cardigan with a skinny belt or put on a sharp well-tailored blazer).  

Sweet & Edgy = new me??  (haha). 

a.  Ray Ban b.  Joie c.  Marc by Marc Jacobs  d.  Sam Edelman

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

This week's going to be a tough one.  I've got a busy schedule this week at work.  But that'll make the weekend much sweeter. I know, that means surviving through 5 work days, but hey, I'm trying to see the glass half full, not empty :) 

I know I've posted about the mirror below, but I can't help it.  I love this mirror from Terrain.  It can easily be placed just about any where in a home. You watch, one of these days, I will actually take a trip to Terrain and come back with that mirror! (Btw, Terrain is in PA not too far from where I live!!)

For now - I wish I can just fall backward onto this bed with a couple of amazing books to just power through! Or take a nice long nap without a worry on the cute little daybed below...

Bedroom/  Side Table/  Mirror

a little sweet nook in your bedroom (via here)

Friday, September 21, 2012

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

OMG - i thought today would never come.  This week was so long and tiring for me.  Every morning was a struggle... But the weekend is here and I'm relieved. I was so excited about it that I couldn't sleep and woke up at 4:00 a.m. this morning (got some good work done too!).  On my mind right now are...

nutella and cream cheese sandwich via here

a real Eames chair like this mint green one via here
(I have a fake one :))

a bubble chair! who can resist a beauty like this? 
(image from here)

and listen to some amazing tunage from Dar Williams

Friends - have a wonderful weekend~  (And enjoy the beautiful fall weather!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

One Chapter to the Next

One of my favorite blog authors, Jess LC is closing down her business.  She has a really cute online shop where you'll see these jewelry and home goods.  You can read more about it on her blog on why she's closing down her current business and moving onto something else (more consulting work).  

Jess' announcement got me thinking about how do you know when to move onto something else?  It's hard for someone like me, a Type A, to think about making changes.  I have to take the time to research, and then research some more, and then make a list of things I need to do (or worry about), cross out one at a time, double check it, etc.  And of course, as we get older, it becomes more difficult to commit to something new (hmm... that includes relationships).  In any event, I'm happy for Jess as she appears to have taken all these steps and is well on her way to a new and exciting chapter in her life.  And for us, the good news is that she is having a big sale!  I wish I could buy everything but here are my picks. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Art - Close

I love portraits.  I love that a portrait can tell so much about someone's essence.  It's just wild to me that one's most complex emotions can be relayed onto a canvas through a well done portrait.  In my humble opinion, no one does it like Chuck Close.  The first time I saw his work was during college (Pitt) at a modern art exhibition held at Carnegie Museum of Art. If you've ever seen his work up close, you'll see that most of his portraits are painted in a grid style, made up of small blocks, within which are cell like patterns in contrasting colors, that some how, when put together, result in an almost photo like portraits.  The subjects are Chuck's friends, family members, politicians, and celebrities.  The irony in all of this is that Chuck suffers from a condition known as 'Proscopagnosia', and cannot recognize faces.  Only 2.5% of population suffers from this condition. Chuck also suffered a stroke in 1988 that left him paralyzed from neck down.  Through rehabilitation and I can only imagine much self-motivation and perseverance, Chuck still paints with a brush taped to his wrist, while sitting in a wheelchair, and with the help of an assistant.   He's my art hero.  Here are some of his beyond fascinating works. 

'Emma' 2002 

 Self Portrait 2000

'Lucas' 1987-1988

'Leslie' 1985 

Kate, 2007 (daguerreotype)

Chuck front of 'Philip Glass, State II' 2006 
(Philip Glass did a short musical tribute to Chuck)

For the lighter side of Chuck, check out this really funny clip of an interview aired on The Colbert Report. He's not only an amazing artist, but rather funny as well.  Did I already say his my art hero?!  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Prep

I had planned on going into work on Saturday. Instead, I decided to work from home, which is probably never a good thing.  The TV's on, puppies are barking, there's laundry to do, too many coffee breaks, etc.  You know how that goes.  Needless to say, something that should have taken me 5-6 hours took up both Saturday and Sunday. And I went to sleep so late that I didn't even get to work on my blog! Why do I do this to myself??!!  I felt so unproductive despite the fact that I was still "working".  I went to sleep on Sunday night feeling defeated and disappointed at myself...

I did feel slightly better when next morning, I found out that JCrew was having an extra 30% sale (on sale items!)and I grabbed this beauty of a necklace. (I'm so easily soothed.) The necklace inspired me to come up with the rest of the style board.  A perfect prep look for this fall.  

a...  b...  c...  d...  e...  f...
p.s. I also felt so much better when I came home on Monday and found a comment from Kirsten of 6th Street Design School. Her blog was one of the first blogs that inspired me to start blogging.  Tx, Kirsten!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

TGIF! It's time to breathe a little, catch up a little, and dream a little more about things outside of work!  (Although, I'll be working partly this weekend - again :(  Life of an associate attorney...)

What are your plans this weekend?  Here's what's on my mind.

Make these cute little ice cream sandwiches with guidance from Elephantine.  

And continue to drool over this kitchen gadget in pistachio color... (this would make baking so much easier!)  It's on sale at Target.

Perhaps treat myself to a fancy candle like this one from Jo Malone to relax? (I know, the price causes me to hiccup but that's why it's called a "treat".)
And listen to some amazing music like this. 

Enjoy your weekend~

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tea Time

Doing dishes is much more pleasant when I have pretty tea towels to dry them with.  Especially those towels that become softer with each use. The kitchen also brightens up when you have a pretty piece of cloth displayed, almost like a little print artwork.  I think Etsy is the place to go when you want to find cute and reasonably priced tea towels.  Here are some I've found recently - I wish I had every single one of them (then I would do my dishes every night?  hmm...).

a.  b...  c...  d...  e...  f...  g... h...  i...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Art Interrupted

My usual Wednesday Art is interrupted today for my birthday :) 
I'm a Virgo, who loves her fall birthday.  I used to be very shy about celebrating my own birthday. BUT, as I've gotten older (and wiser, I'd like to think), I'm getting around to accepting that it's ok to have fun on my birthday. And I did, a day early.  Randy and I went out yesterday to Vetri - a renowned tasting menu only restaurant in Philadelphia.  It was a 6 course gastronomical experience, with dishes that left me speechless after each bite.  A lot of truffle infusions, homemade pasta, fresh selections from the sea, land (rabbit, quail, goat), almond honey drizzles, etc. You leave the restaurant with a goodie bag that has a copy of the menu (to be shared later) and muffins for next day breakfast. The ambience was that of a small rustic restaurant found in a small winding road somewhere in Rome.  Very modest and small in space without being crowded. It was just perfect for an intimate 3 hour dining experience. Here are some pictures from last night~

Me trying to be like a fashion blogger (please excuse the wires in the background- ugh).

Starting out the night with a little al fresco cocktail.  
Oy - I can see the grey hair on my head.

With Randy, who came up with this plan. He spoils me.

Yay! I made it to the last course.

Apple tar tartin with cinnamon gelato. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Simple Ex-Boyfriend

I've got the Skinny.  Bootleg.  Wide leg. More Skinny.  But my favorite is the Ex-Boyfriend.  Yup, I'm talking about jeans.  I love my Madewell Ex-Boyfriend jeans.  I purchased 3 years ago.  Being vertically challenged, I wasn't sure if I could pull it off.  But the pair I purchased from Madewell was just the right fit (unfortunately, it's no longer available).  I practically live in them from fall to spring.  Here's how I want to wear it this year. Do you like? 

Jacket from here... Jeans here... Bag from here...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Good Monday, friends! Did you have a nice weekend?  I can't believe we are heading into the mid of September already...  Geez..

I stayed up late last night, doing work stuff I put off until last minute.  I really have to stop doing that.  It never makes the  next day any fun. 

What is fun is the silhouette of this bed below.  Doesn't it look like a print out of a whimsical storybook? I came across this bed while glossing over House Beautiful (while running on the treadmill, which is always tricky!) and fell in love with it pretty hard.  The shape of the bed is so fun and inspired me to come up with the rest of the black & gold incorporated design board. It's another study in symmetry, which I tend to do often with my bedroom designs (see also here).

Have a great Monday (let's hope I stay awake somehow until I get home tonight).  
a. Oxford Lamp; b. Black Ink Artwork; c. Quincy Bed; d. Chevron Block Print Parson Table

Friday, September 7, 2012

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

TGIF! Spoiled by the recent 3 day weekend, I had a tough time getting through this "short" work week. How 'bout you?

This weekend, my friend Nancy will be visiting. I'm super excited as I plan on introducing her to 19 Bella, a BYO tapas restaurant my husband and I came across earlier this summer. How does 'Butter Poached Lobster Grilled Asparagus & Truffled Bearnaise' sound to you? And 'Crispy Sweet Potato & Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi: Pecan, Brown Butter, Sage & Parmesan'?  And their home grown coffee seriously grows on you by each sip.  Yup - I can't wait!

While we are on the topic of food (which happens often here~), last Saturday, I baked an upside down pineapple cake as declared here.  Here's how it turned out. 

It turned out much better than I expected.  I don't have a powerful mixer (like this beauty). So, let's just say it wasn't easy mixing up the batter.  I don't know what I need to do in order to close in the gaps you see between the pineapple slices and the cake itself.  I also need to layer up the pan with more brown sugar before pouring the cake batter in order to achieve that perfect  caramel-y sugar glaze.  Taste wise, also not too bad, but a tad bit dry.  I drizzled some maple syrup and it was all better :)   Btw, the little odd looking carve-out on the right side of the cake was the itty bitty tasting slice I had :) I later had a nice big piece(and another follow-up piece like 10 minutes later) with a glass of this very reasonably priced and awfully yummy red.                           

This weekend, I'll be looking for my next culinary experiment. I will also have some work to do (boooooooh!!!).  But hey, it's the weekend and everything will get done at my pace!  

Have a great weekend~

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Santa Came Early This Year

by about 3 months and a couple of weeks!  On Tuesday, I came home to a small box delivered at my door.  That never happens unless of course, I order something. But I didn't (rare, but happens).   When I opened the box, this is what I found in it. 

Can you tell what it is?  It's a bit fuzzy.  When I opened the box (inside the box), this is what I found. 

Isn't it a beauty?!!!  I finally have a new camera!!!  I've been wanting a Canon G12 for so many months.  My friend Nancy has this and a kickass Nikon w/ one of those gnarly lenses.  Another friend of mine Katy has a similar Canon.  Both gals have told me only the best things about the Canon G series. 

For those wondering, the Santa's real identity shall remain nameless for now. Oh - what did I do to deserve this gift?  My birthday is coming up! I'm one lucky Virgo :) 

I will have so much fun learning to take photos with a real camera, and my friends, you will start seeing better quality photos on my Beautiful Elysium :)  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Art - Lee Bontecou

As a child, I was always drawing and painting.  In college, I decided to challenge myself by taking a sculpting class. I realized very quickly that it takes a different kind of vision and set of skills to be a sculptor. Lee Bontecou is one of the most extraordinary American living sculptors(she's still alive at 81).  Her sculptures appear to be like paintings at first due to the way the materials in her sculptures meld in their colors and construction.  I feel as though Bontecou's work inspire and appeal to artists of various mediums - painters, collage makers, jewelry designers, fashion designers, etc. I hope there is an exhibit of her work in the near future - and I hope she will be there as well.  I found out through Wikipedia, she's currently living in Orbisonia, Pennsylvania.  I've never heard of Orbisonia but if I can meet Bontecou in person, I'll be there. And I'll tell her that I still have a page torn out from an old Vogue issue featuring her work, that I've kept with me for all these years all because her work blew my mind away.   

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