Monday, October 29, 2012

Edgy Prep Chic

6:47 p.m. on Monday and we are still with power and running water. I've used this unexpected down time to go to the gym and run, cook, and watch an unspeakable amount of TV.  It feels really good to take a day off.  I just hope that everyone out there is safe and with their family.  

Using this down time, I put together this edgy prep chic fall outfit. I have always loved fisherman sweater and found a really cute one from L.L. Bean Signature Line. I am a huge fan of L.L.Bean for their sturdy totes and backpacks.  And rain boots too.  When they introduced their second line, updating and modernizing their preppy looks, I was most delighted!  It so happens that my in-laws have been giving us L.L.Bean gift certificates for our birthdays, Christmas and Hanukkah. I received one for my birthday recently and you know what I'm getting! Hope you like this prep chic look with a bit of an edge (via the studded Marc by Marc Jacobs studded leather clutch).    

a. b. c. d. e.  

Monday Wake-Up Call

Good Monday, friends! I hope my east coast friends are staying dry and off the road, if possible.  It looks like hurricane Sandy is really hitting us hard.  Some of my NYC friends have evacuated already.  As for me, I had to park my car on higher ground to avoid the expected flooding of Schuykill River onto our parking lot.  Both my husband and my offices are closed today as well as the local court.  The only plus in this situation is that we'll stay home and cuddle with our puppies. If I'm ambitious, I'll start planning my Thanksgiving dinner.  I'm cooking this year, so I'm really nervous and feel like I should start planning sooner than later.  

Anyways, onto my Monday wake-up call - here's a lovely cozy bedroom I came across on Design Sponge.  I'd love to see the bright blue and yellow painting and a little wishbone jewelry/ring holder on the night table. Charming!

a.  the room; b.  Don Draper's Abstract;  c. Wishbone

Have a great Monday~ And my east coast friends, be careful out there! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

TGIW - Whatcha Up To?

Thank goodness it's the weekend!! After last Sunday (see here), you will see me walking mudless in these this weekend.

I've had these Uggs since last winter. I used to think they were so ugly until I purchased my first pair 4 years ago.  Since then, I've been hooked!!  The Nikes were a gift from my husband - we just got'em tonight!  My last pair was completely ruined from Tough Mudder and they weren't even that old.  Bugger. BUT look at this photo - don't we look like we had so much fun?!
(from left: Randy aka 'the husband', ME, YM, J, and Berns)

Btw, did I tell you that I'm running the Philly 1/2 marathon in November?  Scary!!  I have less than a month to start running a lot more than I've been running. Oy. 

Btw(again), Philly may be hit hard by 'Storm Sandy'.  I live by a river and it ALWYAS over flows to our parking lot during big storms.  If you don't hear from me on Monday, you know why - NO POWER.

Happy Weekend, friends~

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sweet Thoughts

I've been up since 3:40 a.m. this morning.  This is what happens when you procrastinate on something and you wake up in panic mode. I had a 50 minute presentation with two co-presenters before a room of accountants and lawyers this morning.  And I just did not have it in me last night to do my final prep. Needlessly to say, I had a long day. BUT I came home to find a pair of these impossibly fashionable mugs:

These were "I thought of you when I saw these" gift from my friend Sue, who's too far away in Oklahoma. These are the best kind of gifts.  I miss those days when I used to visit Sue in NYC and crash at her dorm size studio. Before we'd go to sleep at night, Sue would always make sure to set up her coffee machine so that I could drink coffee in the morning.  You see, I was always the first one to get up in the morning among my friends when we'd sleep over at each other's places. And my friends would find me in the dark just quietly sipping away my coffee. My penchant for coffee is infamous among my family and friends :)  Thanks for the lovely gift, Sue! You got me all verklempt! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Art - Cy Twombly

Have you noticed that I tend to favor modern art? I really do lean towards modern art for whatever reasons. Today's artist screams modern art to me - Cy Twombly.  His birth name is Edwin Parker Twombly, Jr. but both Cy and his father were nicknamed 'Cy' after the famous baseball player Cy Young.  Twombly was born in Virginia, April 25, 1928 and lived the latter part of his life in Rome, where he met his wife.  He was 83 when he passed away just last year, in July 2011.  To my surprise, there's a collection of his works in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is like 20 minutes away from where I live.  I have been there 3 times in my life and the last time I was there was more than 6 years ago.  Obviously, I need to go again!  

Some may think that Twombly's work is nothing more than a bunch of scribbles (especially upon looking at the 'e' scribbles - see below). To me, his paintings represent bursts of passion, emotions, and complex feeling we experience in our lives. That's the best I could explain why I love his paintings.  Here are some of my most favorites. 

Untitled (a piece from 'A Scattering of Blossoms & Other Things')

'Quattro Stagioni, Autunno' (1993 - 1995)

'Three studies from the Temraire' (1998-99)

'The Rose (IV)' (2008)

Untitled, 1971, Oil and crayon on canvas
300 x 478 cm    118 x 188¼"
Ok, so this isn't one of my favorites - but this is the scribbly painting referenced above.  

(See here and here for additional information on Cy Twombly). 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coat + Boots

I love toggle coats. I had one in red when I was a child.  It's classic and youthful.  I would love to pair a beige toggle coat with a pair of riding boots.  Btw, boots in general do not get much attention here on my blog because I can never find a pair that fits my calves perfectly. Do you have that problem too?  It's like finding that perfect pair of jeans! 

Here's a classic toggle coat and 4 pairs of boots I'd love to see (yes, all of them) in my closet.

a; bcdthe coat

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Good Monday!  For those of you who read my last Friday's post on Tough Mudder, YES, I survived the 2012 Tri-State Tough Mudder on Saturday!  It was tough as anything but I did it!  All obstacles were tackled except for one - the second "Berlin Wall", which is an obstacle involving a vertical wood plank you have to climb up and come down.  The first one in the course cramped up my arms and fingers so bad that I decided to skip the second one. This was the first race ever that left me limping on my way back to the parking lot!  Luckily, I took 3 Advils and that really relieved the inflamed tissues around my knees, where I was hurting the most.  I am still sore and bearing some bruises but overall, for those who are considering doing this, it's a LOT of fun and really worth doing it.  If I can do it, so can you!! 
Btw, all of my friends were participants so I don't really have any photos of me muddied up.  I'm going to see if I can find some photos from the professional photographers who were at the event.  

Ok, onto my usual Monday talk.  Did you know that Nate Berkus has his own line at Target?!  I just found this out last night!  Had I known, I would have dragged my sore butt to Target for his goodies because they look really awesome! I hope you were able to make it Target. Here's what I saw online of NB's goodies and I can't wait to get to Target after work!

i. ii. iii. iv.

Friday, October 19, 2012

TGIF - Not Going to be Pretty

TGIF!! What a funky week this has been.  I had so much on my mind - work, life, health, etc.  Needless to say, I am happy the weekend is here. Sorta.  

You may remember that back in May, I talked about my husband and MoH Nancy participating in Tough Mudder.  I was just a spectator then but this time, I'm actually doin' it!!  I am seriously in my worst shape ever as I have been barely working out the last couple of months. So, I'm pretty freakin' scared.  The good thing, and the ONLY good thing about this event is that I will get to see my friends, the Han's, who will join me and Randy.  Our team name:  The MVP's.  The Mudder we are doing this weekend is in Englishtown, NJ.  Wish us luck b/c I seriously need it!!

You can imagine after completing the Mudder, I ain't going to look or smell pretty for sure.  And I will be mighty cold from diving into froze water ('Arctic Enema') and nasty mud.  I'm also going to be HUNGRY. I'd love to have a huge bowl of this soup afterwards.  

 See recipe for this roasted veggie soup w/ herb dumplings here.

Have a great weekend~

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Art - Peter Hill Beard

So I was late with my Wednesday Art last week. And it's happened again this week!  There's a reason - I have a very difficult time choosing the artist. And I ponder and meander and ponder some more, and then of course, I run out of time.  Ok, with all that said, today's artist was not even a contender until this morning when I was driving to work!

Today's artist is Peter Hill Beard.  He is often referred to as the guy who "discovered" Iman,yes THE supermodel.  Beard discovered Iman during one of his earlier trips to Africa.  He's an adventurous soul whose love of Africa and wildlife animals led him to take some of the most exotic photographs of African wildlife animals, especially elephants. His penchant for adventure almost cost him his life on several occasions, including the time he was stomped by an elephant that left him with shattered pelvis, and without a pulse by the time he reached a hospital in Nairobi. (See this article from Vanity Fair (1996).) But he survived, of course.  Beard's works are mostly collages of photographs, often framed or accented with wildlife animal's blood stains and streaks. His personal life has been the topic of many magazines as he's had many lovers, whose names or whose spouses' names are instantly recognizable. Well, when you look at the photos of young Beard, you'd probably swoon like those ladies did back in those hazy days of Studio 54

Ok, I'm ending this rather wordy post with this fact.  During my twenties, I was just walking aimlessly in Soho, NY with my BoH Nancy, and decided to walk into a small gallery.  When I did, I realized I had walked into Peter Beard's exhibition.  So, I got to see a lot of Beard's work in person, which just floors me to this day!!!  

Happy Wednesday (almost Thursday) Art!!  

(See here for information discussed here on Beard).  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Grey Love Continues

I am loving so many things from Zara this year. It's my edgier version of JCrew.  I saw the coat below and although I have several coats to get me through this winter and many more, I feel as though my life would not be complete without this coat. (I know, I'm so dramatic!) And the bag came from Zara as well. Doesn't it look so posh?! By the way, grey is the new black in my closet.  I just can't seem to get enough of this color!!  (See herehereand here.) How about you?  What's your go-to color this season? 

a. b. c. d. e. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Happy Monday, Friends! Can you believe we've already reached the middle of October?  I'm already thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas!! (And you'll hear me say this pretty often until we are done with the holidays.) I love this time of the year when I start smelling pumpkin spiced drinks and hot apple ciders at coffee shops and bakeries.  And we start pulling out our scarves and boots to keep ourselves a bit warmer while looking effortlessly fashionable.  

This past weekend was a pretty busy weekend, luckily not involving work.  But by the end of early Sunday evening, I was able to wind down and cuddle with my husband and puppies to watch one of my favorite TV shows, The Good Wife. And speaking of cuddling - check out the picture below.  Isn't it like the most cuddliest looking bed ever?  

image via here

I love the big fist size pompoms at the end of the throw, how cute are they?! 

I hope y'all are rested, energized and ready to get through another week. Have a great Monday!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

TGIF!!! Are you enjoying this fall weather?  I am so thoroughly enjoying the cool crisp air and the colorful leaves on the trees.  
So are my puppies who do nothing but sniff and sniff whenever we go out.  Wouldn't it be so cute if we can dress our puppies in Hunter boots? or rain coats?  Ha!

Lately, I've been in the mood to spruce up my loft with cheery artwork.  Perhaps it's because the last couple of months have been a bit stressful (work stuff) and I want my home to be cheery when I come home.  Here are some really cute and affordable prints from Etsy to do just that~

a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. 

I've got another busy weekend of meeting up with friends, catching up on house work, and perhaps, some baking if I feel extra happy :)
Have a great weekend, friends~

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday Art - John Singer Sargent

I saw the painting below at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. back in 2005 or so.  I was instantly drawn to the girl in the painting and wondered what her story was. Was she lonely?  Sad? Why was she alone? Is there a faint smile on her face?  And there's the red scarf(?) peeking out underneath from her coat, which draws your attention to her even more.  Her coat is also interesting - you can see the ends of the coat, or perhaps a big shawl, is fringed and tattered.  And her dress is white with ruffles or some sort of layering at the bottom.  At  first glance, I felt "sorry" for her but as I kept looking at the painting, I started to feel like she was a cool and independent girl, living her life the way she wants to. I was in love with this painting and the painter, John Singer Sargent.  

 Street in Venice, 1882

I've come to learn that Sargent was an American living abroad in Europe thanks to his parents' lifestyle. And that Sargent was a bachelor for life and often spent a lot of time with his friends (including other painters and authors like Henry James!). Looking at his paintings, I would have thought he was a reserved and stoic man,  not a social butterfly! In any event, during his life, he established himself as a portrait painter and painted well-to-do ladies. Madame X of course is one of his most well known portraits and apparently, caused quite a bit of scandal for the shoulder baring and cocked head position of the subject (really??).   

Madame X (1884)

Isn't Madame X beautiful?  She is timeless. We can see a beautiful lady like Madame X in today's society too, right? 

Here are some more of my favorite Sargent paintings.

 Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1885-1886)

Rio Di San Salvatore, Venice (1903-04)

In the Luxembourg Gardens (1879) 

(See here for citation).    

p.s. Still feeling a bit tired and worn out.  When is the weekend coming??!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One of those Days

I'm feeling a bit under the weather today... but will be back w/ the program soon.   

I feel like this today  :(

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All Grown Up

As much as I love wearing a pair of worn out jeans and the softest of soft cotton boatneck shirt, I do love a well tailored suit.  After all, my day job often requires me to be suited up.  
I have two presentations coming up this month and of course, what better excuse to purchase something new.  So, I bought a dress on sale. I'll show that off later. But if I could win a free shopping spree, like one of those lucky peeps who actually win fashion magazine contests, I'd wear this fabulously grown up outfit, that can be worn by any woman in her 30s and up.  

a. Kate Spadeb.&e. Sandro Parisc. Marc by Marc Jacobs d. JCrew; f. J. Renee 

p.s. The cool thing about this look is that you can mix and match each item with something casual and just about any color will match.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Good Monday, friends!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  
I had a really fun and relaxing weekend catching up on missed TV shows like 'Good Wife' and 'Glee'.  I finally finished reading 'Gone Girl', which was a fantastic read once I finally sat down to read it.  I also learned how to do this!! Lastly, I had a wonderful time visiting my mother and seeing my nephew (albeit very briefly).  My little nephew is now 3 and a bit shy at times, which is the way he acted when I saw him yesterday.  But by the time I was leaving, he was begging me to stay and play with him!  Awwww - just broke my heart!!! 

My cheery temperament continues to this post.  I saw the bright and cheery bedroom below on House And Home website.  I knew instantly where to go for the bedding - Dwell Studio.  I've been eyeing the same bedding for ages.  I thought it might be fun to copy the rest of the bedroom, so I pulled the other items from Crate & Barrel and Land of Nod. Whaddaya think?  Don't we just love the yellow and grey combination?!

Have a great Monday!

a.Image via House and Home;  b. Dwell Studio Draper Stripe Ash Duvetc. Land of Nod - Modern Clip Lampd. Crate & Barrel - Steppe Nightstande.Dwell Studio Decorative Pillows  

Friday, October 5, 2012

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

TGIF!! Yippeee!!! I'm so happy it's the weekend, despite the yucky weather that continues to linger around this morning (cloudy, about-to-rain-any-second, and slightly humid).  I'm going to take Saturday off completely, which hasn't happened for some time.  It's my nephew's birthday tomorrow, so I'm visiting him in south Jersey.  The little guy, who's turning 3 is already a busy lad, going to Mommy & Me day school, starting pre-k, and going to all sorts of fun places with his mommy.  So, I may only get to see him for a bit, but I can't wait!  For his birthday, I'm thinking of getting him a Halloween costume (with his mom's approval :)). Old Navy has the cutest costumes at fabulous prices. How cute are these?

I wish they made these in adult size.  I'd wear them like all the time!

I would also love to bake a funfetti cake for the little guy. 

Image via here

Then on Sunday, I want to take a long walk with my little boys. I would love to take them to the Valley Forge trail that runs behind my apartment.  We call the trail "Tobithia" (named after my older one,Toby). 

And lastly, here's a little Friday tunage to enjoy. 

Have a great weekend, friends! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Can I Work Here?

A lot of us spend more time in our office than at home.  Yes, sad but true.  Since I spend a lot of time at work, I'd love my office to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Right now, it's not there yet.  Not even close. If I could, I would love to spend the bulk of my day in any of these beautiful spaces...

A-C via here; D from here; E from here 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday Art - Matthew Sporzynski

I just realized that this Wednesday Art carries a common thread from last week's Wednesday Art.  That is, like Kara Walker, today's artist Matthew Sporzynski too uses paper in his work, except that his work is 3 dimensional as you can see below. 

I first saw Sporzynski's paper construction on one of my favorite magazines, Real Simple. I was so taken aback by how real his paper constructions looked. The details and accuracy in measurement, proportion, and colors are so meticulous and real to life.  There's also this sense of whim and youthfulness to his work.  Perhaps, that's because we associate paper cutouts and constructions with the type of arts and crafts we did during our childhood. 

Not much is known about him but I found this irreverent Q&A on him here. Check it out.

I hope Sporzynski continues his collaboration with Real Simple because his artwork is one of a kind.  I would love to see his work through an exhibition.  Wouldn't that be fun?! 

(all images via Real Simple except 
the artist's portrait via here)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Last Days of Disco

Did anyone ever watch 'The Last Days of Disco'? This movie came out like I don't even remember when.  But I do remember how much I loved the characters and the outfits they were wearing (granted, some made me cringe).  When I saw this jumpsuit from Zara, I immediately thought of that movie and now, I'm wondering if I can downloaded from itunes...  I was so disappointed (well, kinda devastated is more like it) when I saw that the jumpsuit was sold out.  The site does note that it'll be "BACK SOON". Hopefully, it'll be "BACK SOON" and I can grab one in my size.  I would love to wear it to a holiday party - I know, it's too early. But I'm a planner~

The rest of the outfit came from Barneys. I've never shopped at Barneys,but a girl can dream, right? :) 


  a.Christian Louboutin Artemis Velvet Bow Shoulder Bag;  b. Zara Jumpsuitc. Givenchy Shagreen Shark Tooth Pendant Necklace
d. Munnu Diamond Buckle Bracelet

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Good morning!  How was your weekend?  I sure hope it was better than mine.  This poor blogger of yours was working her tush off... :( I'm already thinking about having a glass of wine when I get home tonight! And I'll probably fall asleep right away, like around 9:00 p.m. Yup, that's what happens when you are no longer a spring chicken.

Onto my Monday Wake-Up Call:  Here's a beautiful Serena And Lilly  bedding set and the objects of desire I'd love to see with it. Happy Monday~

  a. Pewter Border Frame Bedding; b. Scalloped Round Mirror; c. Printed Roman Shade; d. Basket; e. Suzanne Kasler Inspired Interiors
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