Monday, September 30, 2013

Frida y Diego @ The Nelson & Thoughts on the Importance of Art Education

Growing up I had great art teachers. Even the ones who were strict and kind of mean, they taught me so much. I can remember studying George Seraut, Frida Khalo and Georgia O'Keeffe as just a 7th grader. Then I would gather my materials and create my own imitations of their work. Pointillism was a little over my head at that point, but we all had so much fun using Q-tips to dot our masterpieces. We sketched still lives of cow's skulls and flowers like O'Keeffe and made self portraits after studying Frida's. Looking back only my O'Keeffe style piece gives the vague-ist resemblance of these artists' work.. but wow did we learn! Sadly, this is incredibly water-damaged... but can't you tell it's O'Keeffe inspired?!?! ;)

My world was filled with artistic wonder starting at the age of 12.

Once I got to high school it was even better. We studied German Expressionists and Fauvists, I tried my hand at abstract expressionism and watched a bit of Bob Ross. I joined the art club and between that and advanced courses I managed to take many field trips to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City a mere hour away. We were so lucky, but it never occurred to me at the time.

It never dreamed that some people had experienced boring art classes. or had been given very little cultural context and background to the techniques they were learning. It never occurred to me (until I started traveling) that not everyone has access to a fantastic art museum. Even just within their home state. 

You wouldn't expect a world class art museum to be hidden in the middle of the Midwest, but boy is sure is!

Upon realizing this I have been trying to keep up on what is happening at the Nelson and making periodic trips out with Kyle to explore the museum. Their permanent collection is amazing, it boasts; Monet's Water Lillies, as well as works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Carvaggio, Rodin, Kandinsky, Pissaro, Duchamp, Van gogh, Pollock, Warhol... I could go on and on!

As if this wasn't enough, their rotating exhibits are amazing as well. From June through the middle of August, they had a Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibit. 

I hope you got to see it! It was so amazing!

Seeing their work up close for the first time, was just indescribable. Left: Diego. Right: Frida.

In addition to Frida and Diego's art, there were also other "Masterpieces of Modern Mexico" on display. I was in love with a surprising amount of pieces! My favorite was the one in the middle below, Mujer con rebozo, by David Alfar Siqueiros! So much texture in the brush strokes! Left: nina con naturaleza muerta, by Juan Soriano. Right: I forgot to take a picture to save the info! :( 

There was also a fun gold piece that was gorgeous! I loved this mother-daughter pair!

I also loved this fantastic photograph. It's so beautiful and raw!

So, calling all art lovers: visit Kansas City's Nelson Atkins Museum! It will not disappoint! 

Also: please let me know your favorite art museums!! I'll add them to my travel list! 

To see a review of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, NM, click here.

All for now,


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meet Duchess

Well everyone.. 

I've been a bit absent... 

but for good reason!

We got a Kitten!

Meet Duchess!

She is 24 weeks old, loves to snuggle, jump and tear things up.. ;) 

We adopted her almost two weeks ago and she is keeping us very busy!

So happy to have a furry friend around our place. :) 

More cute & furry posts coming soon.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Relishing Life // A Book Review

When I picked up Daphne Oz’s book, Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun (purchase here), I was instantly intrigued by the idea behind the book (making the most of your everyday life) and the gorgeous glossy photos inside. It was still in hard back, and contained a LOT of content, a little more expensive than I (the thrift-a-holic) prefers to spend on books… but somehow I couldn’t keep from buying it, or make myself return it. For some reason I needed to keep this book. Even after I bought it I kept it on my shelf for several months before I finally started reading it on the flight home from our most recent vacation. Once I dove in, I couldn’t stop reading. I think I read about half of it on the two hour flight and then about another fourth in the week following. I took a break while packing and moving… but once I felt relatively settled I picked it back up and the end of the journey flew by. I truly relished this book.Relish is part cookbook part lifestyle guide and all very interesting. Oz ranges from the topics of cooking to maintaining friendships, Beauty to Travel and many places in between. I felt that I could really relate to Oz and her zest for life. I loved her positive outlook and her desire to make the most of even the most ordinary day. She advocates for indulging in wholesome delicious food, including dessert and taking time to relax and try new things … not just on the weekends.The recipes are partially exotic, slightly gourmet, a little bit healthy with some home-style thrown in there. Some are a little too out there for me to start with, but others I can’t wait to try like the Chile Jam Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Peaches, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies and Fudgy Banana Muffins.  I'm guessing that the more I cook from the book, the more I will branch out and try the recipes that are farther from my comfort zone!! She gives tips and tricks with each recipe and a description of why she included the particular recipe. I can’t wait to try some of them out and review them for you! I hope that it will add some new favorites to my rotation.Oz is a girl after my own heart, in the lifestyle sections of the book she shares her love of shopping in flea markets, entertaining her loved ones and exploring the world around her both near and far. I loved the way she designed her sections, because it wasn’t just cut-and-dry tips and tricks, it was filled with stories of her actual experiences both funny and insightful along the way. She shares a lot about her family, which I loved. There is nothing quite like the wisdom that we inherit from our relatives. I especially loved her story about her mother holding a dinner party when the family cat decided to come inside with a snake in his mouth. She turned it into one of the most memorable parties that they had because she went with it, and didn't let it ruin her evening. I loved that, and hope that I can remember the story when I feel the panic of imperfection seeping into my everyday life. (I’m a panic-er… I’m working on it..). These moments don't have to set a negative tone for the rest of the day! :)One section that I honestly didn’t expect to get much out of was the one on friends, family and romantic relationships. In general I feel like I’ve got a solid family life, definitely an extremely solid marriage and my friendships have been pretty inconsistent and oftentimes frustrating. So I just wasn’t really interested, but it turned out being one of the chapters that I’ve reflected on the most, specifically the friendship part.Oz explains the difference between having standards and having expectations of your friends (and other relationships). This is honestly something I’d never thought about before, but I found extremely helpful in my own relationship struggles. You’ve got to have standards for the people in your life (ex. My friends will not steal from me, my friends won’t insult me etc.), if they don’t meet them then they aren’t good for you. If you have a friend who breaks a standard that is really important to you, then that person doesn’t make the cut as a great friend! That might sound harsh, but really it helps you take care of yourself. That is a choice that you can make and a situation that you can control. But expectations are a whole different thing. Expectations are based on the actions of others, and the end results are not cut-and-dry. There is too much wiggle room that leaves you disappointed or hurt by others, you’ve lost the power of your own happiness. For example, if you expect your friend to show up for every get-together you have, and she doesn’t, YOU will end up feeling hurt, when the expectation is not something that you can control the outcome of, you're stuck upset and wondering what to do! I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to set expectations all the time, for me, for others and they are rarely fair… and almost never within my control. Reading this section actually helped me feel really free about a difficult situation going on in my own life! I no longer feel torn about how to act, feel or interact with someone who betrayed my friendship standards in the past (even if I didn’t know about this idea at the time). I really wish I’d read this back then...but I’m feeling so good about finding it now! It’s very interesting. In addition I read a great post by a blogger (& Singer/Songwriter, Brooke White) I follow that was related and just as helpful! The combo has really made me feel better. You can read her post on friendship break-ups here.Ultimately I think that I was meant to find this book even if just for this one passage. It has been so tremendously helpful in my healing process. 

Check out Daphne Oz's book Relish, you'll learn so much and really enjoy it!

Have you read Relish? What did you think?

Have you tried out any of her recipes yet?!?

What are you reading? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading! :) 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rivet & Sway // Try-on #3 // The Last One!

Ok, so I did it.

I ordered one. more. try-on kit.

I know it might seem excessive... but I ended up finding glasses that work for my face-shape and that are really fun!

It helped me eliminate.. and I don't have to do that "but what about that one pair..." Now, I just have to pick one of three pairs that all look good on me! 

But before I can get to that I've got to post about my last try-on kit. 

1. Punchline in 'Neapolitan', 2. Layer Cake in 'Saltwater Taffy', 3. Ticker Tape in 'Pink Confetti'.
Punchline in 'Neapolitan'

Sad, Sad, blurry pictures... :( Oh well, it happens. Anyhow, this frame is super cute, I love the colors. It ended up being just a bit too narrow for my face, so i don't think I'll end up getting them.. but I'm glad to know! I don't have to wonder about what they would have looked like anymore! This is their most popular frame, which explains why it was out of stock for my last try-on kit. If you've got a narrower face, go for it! :)Layer Cake in 'Saltwater Taffy'
When I first started using Rivet and Sway, I was sort of opposed to blue framed glasses, mostly because my eyes are blue and I thought that might be overkill... but I really love these! They are so fun, they've got the two-toned thing like Punchline, but also have a wider retro shape. They aren't too stylized though, which is good so I don't feel like a character. I was very pleasantly surprised by these!

Ticker Tape in 'Confetti Pink'

This pair was definitely my favorite of the three! The burgundy color is so fun but not too crazy, and the inside of the frame is pink which is a nice pop of color. I think that the frame is flattering and the angular shapes create contrast from my super rounded cheekbones. :) I really liked this pair!What do you think of these three pairs?

Have you tried any of them before?

Send me your comments and links!

Missed the first two try-ons?

Try-on #1

Try-on #2

Let me know what you think!

Coming next: My top three choices and choosing which one to order!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mix and Match Fall Trends // 2013

I am more of a "wear what you like" kind of person. 

But I think that for me, I have the best results when I am mixing things that I love (old standbys, random pieces, vintage pieces etc) with newer trendy things. I always make a point to ONLY buy things that I love and that typically goes pretty well. 

Plus, buying a whole new wardrobe every season isn't economical for anyone. 

So, like with anything else, I have been searching the fall magazines (and pinterest!) for trends that fit my sense of style and can be mixed in with my current wardrobe.

Here are some of my favorites!

feminine paired with tough
via. // via. // via.

This combo works nicely with my natural preference for extremely feminine clothing and attraction to dark colors. It's so moody and gorgeous.. now I'm searching for a gorgeous motorcycle jacket!

dressy sweatshirts
via. // via. // via. // via.

Sweatshirts are so cozy, I love curling up in Kyle's old hoodies and track pants... but I've always wished there were cute sweatshirts that would keep me warm while feeling polished enough to go out in public. This is the answer my friends! I love both the sparkly ones and the studded variety. Plus you can dress these up too!

old fashioned shapes
via. // via.

Old fashioned shapes are so gorgeous, defined waists, fuller skirts, they are typically more flattering than modern shapes! I find myself drawn mostly toward the silky evening wear... but it is all gorgeous! Hoping to find some more day to day pieces in my searching.

animal sweaters
via. // via.

Graphic sweaters are really popular right now, and I think I am drawn mostly to the animal variety. I've seen adorable foxes, dogs, birds etc. But my favorite is always going to be cats. :) 

mixing bright/bold colors 
via. // via. // via.

Generally I am a dark color girl; black, navy, wine, plum etc. But recently I've been adding more brights to my wardrobe to mix in with my blacks, darks and neutrals. It's going pretty well so I might end up trying this trend of pairing brights together. I especially like the fuchsia with pumpkin! I've found that teal and navy is one of my favorite combos.. even though that only includes one bright.

One magazine tip I've seen is to find a bright print that you love and take individual solid colors from that to create a pleasing combo. -Thanks Glamour!

via. // via. // via.

I have a love/hate relationship with the menswear trend. I think that it looks super cute on petite girls or girls who are super tall and thin, but for girls with curves it's often harder to pull off baggy suit pieces! I think our best bet is to pick out individual pieces to pair with girly (more flattering) items in similar tones (like image 1). Another option is to choose fitted blazers or trousers in great feminine or bold colors like the red in the middle. Above all keeping makeup and hair girly and not slacking on the accessories keeps a girl from looking too manly. 

Along the Menswear line... Oxford Flats!
(clockwise) via. // via. // via.

These are great because they are so comfy and come in every color combo imaginable. I've seen printed (floral and stripes), metallic, glittery, every neutral and bright out there. There is sure to be a pair to fit every taste!

Printed Full(er) Skirt (+ long sweater!)
via.// via. // via.

Long sweaters are in this fall. I love that they are being paired with flowy skirts! This layering is super romantic and can take on so many different feels with all of the color, texture and print varieties right now. You can easily go glam, feminine, modern or vintage just by the colors you choose! I am in love with the gold brocade skirt in the middle picture!!!

Full Skirts + Winter Whites
via. // via. // via.

White, white, white! White is a popular color for EVERYTHING this fall. I especially love these full white skirts! The shapes are on trend and they could be paired with so many things! If "white-white" doesn't flatter your skintone, opt for a cream or ivory, it achieves the same effect.

charlotte olympia kitty flats 

My favorite fall trend that I would wear until I was an old cat lady.. I could go on and on .. but I'll spare you. See you in my dreams, kitty flats!

grown up polka dots
(clockwise) via. // via. // via. // via. // via.

Polka dots are still popular (yay!) Keep them in neutrals and dark colors to avoid looking like a little girl or Minnie Mouse. I LOVE this clutch!!

What are your favorite fall trends?

How are you going to work them into your existing wardrobe?

Let me know in the comments below! :)

Thanks for reading!



*all images via pinterest, all credit given to original sources which are linked below. all collages made by me*

Monday, September 2, 2013

Jewelry Haul // August 2013

Howdy all! 

One of my goals for this year is to post about more and new topics.. and I've done ok so far.. but one thing I've really been wanting to post about is fashion. 

I've been working hard to revamp my wardrobe and accessories... and here is some of the evidence! 

I guess August was the time for me to buy accessories! I'm having a major attraction to all things fuchsia and mint... which are apparently everywhere!

I love that these pieces are bold, but easy to wear, many of which will rotate nicely into my fall wardrobe! (click on the image to zoom)

Here we go!

1. Mini Heart Charm Layering Necklaces, Forever 21, $1.80 each.
2. Red Dangle Drop Earrings, Target (clearance), < $5
3) Mint Pave Posts, TJMaxx (sale), $11.
4) Sterling Silver Pave Bows with Pearls, TJMaxx (sale), $14!
5) Mint & Navy Cluster Earrings, J Crew Outlet (sale), ~$16
6) Mint Beaded Statement Necklace, Francesca's, $26.
7) Fuchsia Beaded Statement Necklace, Francesca's, $26.

I love all of these pieces, but am especially obsessed with the two necklaces! They make dressing up jeans and a t-shirt SO easy!

So far they look great with everything I've paired them with! Plain t-shirts, striped ones, blouses, tops with lace accents.. the possibilities are endless! 

I love that I can just throw these necklaces on with an otherwise basic outfit and feel all dressed up! I've gotten so many complements already!

Moral(s) of the story: 

1. Search the clearance jewelry at your favorite places! You can find some great deals that are often great basics or on-trend... or just something you've been looking for.

2. A statement necklace (or two!) are worth the investment! You'll wear them more than you'd think! Plus they come in so many colors, shapes, lengths and sizes! Francesca's has a TON, go check them out!

Have you found any great steals on the clearance rack recently? 

What statement jewelry do you like best? How do you style it?

Leave me your links and thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for reading!