Wednesday, November 30, 2011

skLo Mobiles

My love affair with mobiles began upon seeing my first Alexander Calder mobile and it's only grown in the years since. So you can imagine the jaw droppage that occured last night as I stayed up past my bedtime to peruse the latest Anthropologie catalog and spotted these two mobiles produced by skLO.   The word sklo is actually czech for glass. The company is based in Sonoma County, CA and works with glass masters in their Czech studios* to produce handblown glass objects, lighting, and design (commercial/residential) projects.   Their glass is beautiful and it's no surprise to me that Anthropologie picked up two of their designs for their house and home arsenal. 

Balanced Fizz Mobile, Anthropologie, $798
Zephyrine Mobile (blue), Anthropologie, $798
*Corrected to reflect that the company is actually based in California and not in the Czech Republic as previously printed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just Fine...

Just another day where a quote perfectly describes my perspective on life. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Paris: Week 1

Thanksgiving is over and it's back to the humdrum of daily living, although for me it's all of a sudden not quite so humdrum-ish.  One early morning during the holiday break, I had a talk with my mom where she asked me to take a look at my life and evaluate whether I was doing all the things I'd dreamed.  I've long talked about moving to Paris, studying and working for a couple of years, and she reminded me of that dream.  She asked if I had forgotten about it and what I was waiting on to make it happen.  She encouraged me to go, to move to Paris.  I thought on it the rest of my time at home and I realized it's not something I can turn my back on.  I know it is something that I want to do.  I also know that if I don't do it soon, it will probably be something that I will always look back on and wish that I had done.  So, I resolved to do it. 

As soon as I made up my mind to do it, I knew I would have to ask for help, something that for me is a huge deal. I talked to my friend/life coach, Lauree of Simply Leap, and I asked her to help me.  I asked her to hold me accountable and to help me get from point A (DC) to point B (Paris).  Lauree kicked right into coach-mode. She asked me to come up with a list of items/steps that would help my goal become a reality. And we made a plan of attack that included me coming up with items each week that would help me get closer to Paris and then meeting with her at the end of the week to go over my progress, i.e. which goals I had achieved, which I had not, talking me through any fear or anxiety, and making more goals for the next week.  Armed with this plan, I feel able.  I feel ready to take the next steps.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pearl Dive

Sunday I ended up in somewhat of a bad mood. I'm not quite sure how this happened as all I did was wake up, check twitter, and start my laundry but somehow that's where I ended up. I had no desire to leave the house.  All I wanted was to lay in the midst of my warm, newly washed clothes and drift in and out of sleep for the rest of the day.  But it was Sunday and Sunday tradition calls for brunch with my bff, Chloe.  It should also be mentioned, that we both tend to have really late starts on Sunday, so brunch usually ends up being dinner. This particular Sunday was no different, but I, nevertheless, hauled myself outta bed and over to Chloe's.

I was in the mood for something different from our usual brunch/dinner spots, so I suggested Hank's Oyster Bar. It was also fairly warm out so I suggested that we walk.  And because I was agitated for no apparent reason, I suggested that we stop for coffee.  Chloe being lovely and agreeable, as she always is, agreed to Hank's, the walk, and the coffee but suggested instead of Starbuck's we go to Peregrine Espresso. I really wanted the Starbuck's since it was two for one week but always willing to try something new, I agreed. 

I walked into Peregrine, unsure of what I would try.  Chloe recommended the cappucino.  I decided to go with a latte.  A non-fat latte.  To which the barista, immediately turned up his nose and asked, "But why non-fat?!" I responded, "What's wrong with non-fat?"  His response, "The fat binds better with the coffee and gives it better flavor." Better flavor?!?  Sold.  "Ok, I'll have the regular latte." 

Latte from Peregrine Espresso

I must say, the barista was right.  The flavor was much better.  My bad mood, which previously I had worn around me like a tight, impenetrable cloak of storm clouds, began to break up and a few rays of sunlight shone through.  I thanked the barista for his suggestion and we began our trek over to Hank's.  A few steps south of Peregrine, we spotted Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, an interesting looking restaurant with a walk up bar.  The walk up bar lured us in and after a brief discussion, it was decided we would eat there.  The bartender revealed that dinner was not available until 5pm but we were welcome to order anything off the bar menu.  A quick comparison resulted in us waiting the 30 minutes for the full dinner menu. 

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace off 14th St., NW, Washington, DC

Bar and dinner menus at Pearl Dive

Delighted by the coffee, a glass of Viognier, and the prospect of a delicious meal, my storm cloud mood was swept away and only a bright, giddy disposition was left.  At the suggestion of our server, Nick, we ordered a carafe of the Albarinos, a crisp white wine and for starters, the cornmeal fried oysters with andouille and sweet potato hash and bacon wrapped oysters in a vinegar and white wine reduction.  Feeling somewhat full from the coffee, the bread, the wine and the appetizer oysters, we decided to have a round (6) of oyster's on the half shell (harvested from Virginia, Washington State, and Massachusetts) and the apple black iron pie served with two scoops of cinnamon gelato.  To say this meal was delicious would not do it justice.  It was truly an experience.  Our server (Nick) was amazing.  His recommendations were spot on and by the end of the evening, I was practically glowing.   Check out the pictures below.

Left: Cornmeal crusted Oysters in a Andouille Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash
Right: "Angels on Horseback" - Grilled Oysters wrapped in Bacon with a Vinegar and White Wine Reduction
Pearl Dive Oyster Bar

Oysters on the Half Shell
harvested from Virginia, Massachusetts, and Washington State
Pearl Dive Oyster Bar

Apple Black Iron Pie under Cinnamon Gelato
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eero Saarinen

Maybe it's because I love architecture and art and design but sometimes I'll look at a structure and marvel at the genius behind it.  If you've ever visited the Lincoln or Jefferson Memorials in Washington, DC, then you understand what I'm talking about. They're quite impressive.

I recently posted about Eero Saarinen's "Tulip" chair and the mid-century modernist movement.  I was inspired to do so after reading about the Finnish American architect and his contributions to the world of architecture and design.  Much of Saarinen's work is readily recognized and world reknown.  See pictures below...

Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO

Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO

Washington Dulles International Airport, Dulles, VA

TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport in Queens, NYC

Kresge Auditorium, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Ingalls Rink, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Friday, November 18, 2011

A brief look at Mid-Century Modern

Lately, it seems every client I talk to or home I enter is interested in mid-century modern furniture or has a piece of mid-century modern furniture on display. Mid-century modern is typically used to refer to any product or interior design or architecture that occured from 1933-1965.  It is said to be organic in style and exhibit Scandinavian influences. 

Not long ago, I attended an event in DC hosted by Apartment Therapy in which a panel discussed DC's obssession with all things mid-century modern.  I learned a lot about the importance of buying from reliable sources as well as about the process and creativity behind the mid-century modernist artists, architects and designers.  These influencers, Eames, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Saarinen (to name a few), each made a significant contribution to the movement and their works are still being reproduced and copied today.  Scroll down to see how many you recognize.
Mies van der Rohe "Barcelona" chair from, $7740
Le Corbusier "Le Petit Modele" Armchair $3945 at Design Within Reach
Eames Molded Plastic 4 Leg Side Chair $279 at Design Within Reach

Saarinen "Tulip" Armless Chair $1440 at Design Within Reach

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cy Twombly and Richard Serra

Yesterday, my very good friend who is somewhat of a JayZ look-alike sent me a link to GQ magazine's "Man of the Year" article featuring JayZ.  I read it because, well, I'm always curious as to what he's up to and I kinda hoped there would be some mention of Kanye (there was).  But I don't want to talk about JayZ or Kanye (today), I want to talk about two of the artists referenced in the article; Cy Twombly and Richard Serra. 

My first experience with Cy Twombly was on a Sunday afternoon solo trip to the Corcoran.  I came across a large work of art that appeared to be scribblings on a chalk board.  The piece was entitled 'Synopsis of a Battle' and inspired me enough that I wrote the artist's name down with the intent to research more of his work at a later time.  I did and surmised that while the work did not stir up within me an immediate passion to run out and create, it was interesting and I would have liked (RIP) to have had the opportunity to talk art with him.  Check out his work below.
"Synopsis of a Battle" Cy Twombly
on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
(borrowed from

Cy Twombly (borrowed from

Cy Twombly "Roses" Exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery
(borrowed from HypeBeast/Art Observed)

Another artist mentioned in the GQ article was Richard Serra.  I wasn't aware that I knew Richard Serra's work prior to reading the article. So I again took it upon myself to do a little bit of research.  After researching, I realized I had seen Serra's work up close and personal in the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art.  To be sure, I did a quick google search of "Richard Serra National Gallery of Art" and my theory was proven. I remembered his work strictly due to it's sheer size and weight (sheet metal). It also stuck out in my mind as I remember being afraid it would fall over on me.  While the work on view at the National Gallery of Art was not one of my favorites, I am extremely impressed with Serra's other works.  Take a peek...

Richard Serra "Five Plates Two Poles"
on view at the National Gallery of Art, East Wing in Washington, DC
(borrowed from

Richard Serra
(borrowed from

Richard Serra (borrowed from

Richard Serra (borrowed from

Richard Serra
(borrowed from

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tocca Florence

On Sunday, a friend was having "a moment" and decided she needed to go to the MAC store for some beauty product therapy.  Somehow before going to MAC, we ended up in the Sephora directly across the street.  My friend wanted a new lipstick.  I was just along for the ride.  But as what usually happens when one is along for the ride, you end up in the same trouble as the person doing the driving. 

I meandered around Sephora looking at the MakeUp Forever, Guerlain, YSL, and Dior red lipsticks and thus feeling a bit overwhelmed, decided a new red lipstick was not in the cards for me on that particular day.  I stood with my friends giving my opinion until they were ready to purchase and then stood in line checking out all the different samples lining the cash wrap queue. That's when I smelled it, Florence by Tocca.  It smelled heavenly. The sample carried a small price tag of $18 and I jumped on it, my rationale being that I would try out the smaller sample, see how compatible the fragance would be with my pheromones, and if I loved it, make a subsequent trip back for the larger size.  Excited about my new fragrance, I decided a mere 2 days after purchasing, it was time to try it out.  I must say, Florence by Tocca is fragrant but delicate and long wearing. It reminds me a lot of Michael by Michael Kors and it makes me feel feminine and sexy. I'm definitely going back for the larger size.

Tocca Florence

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Knot of a Butterfly...

Since the summer, I've said that starting this Fall, I was gonna be all about bow ties.  I purchased my first bow tie in August for $1 from a thrift store.  Since then I have purchased several more all for less than $10, as I've been leery of investing a ton of money in something I wasn't even sure if I would be able to tie properly.  However, it all sorted itself out this past Saturday night. A good friend was having a birthday dinner at Brasserie Beck.  After helping her pick out her birthday dress the day before, I was a little anxious about what I should wear.  You know that dilemma we girls have in always feeling like we never have anything to wear, well, that's the exact panic attack I had Saturday afternoon about 45 minutes before I was supposed to leave home.  Then I remembered my bow ties!  Since my favorite J. Crew gingham shirt had just been cleaned, I decided to wear that with a purple plaid bow tie, a stretchy black skirt, black stirrups, and black La Perla pumps.  I threw this outfit together in 10 minutes and was out the door (surprisingly) on time!  The dinner was a wonderful feast of food and drink and good conversation with great friends. The bow tie got a lot of stares from strangers and some commentary from friends, but I didn't mind.  I felt fabulous. 

See the pictures below of me in my bow tie, as well as other bow ties I'd like to add to my collection. 

"Gaudi Door" La Noeud Papillon AUD $145

"Icecream" La Noeud Papillon AUD $145

The Perfect Necktie $16.95

"A bow tie can be symbolic for nonchlance, flair, eccentricity, prep, intelligence, wit, charm or just plain fun. A bow tie wearer often has an artist's mind, a respect for tradition and yet a renegade at the same time."

- La Noeud Papillon

"...But perhaps most of all, wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think." - Warren St. John, The New York Times

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Joules Wellies

I know I already have a pair of wellies but my current pair does not have ribbons like these by Joules.  And shouldn't everything be adorned with ribbons?