Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book: Strings Attached

A little over a month ago, I made a deal with myself that I would get back to reading books.  As a child, I read so much, I needed glasses by the age of 10 and by the age of 12, my vision had deteriorated to the point I could only see the big 'E' on the top row of the optometrist's letter board.  Since that time, my vision has remained largely the same, improving and then alternately regressing slightly.  I wish I could say my book reading habits have remained the same, that is, devouring whole books in a single day, but sadly they have not.  Time is a frequent scapegoat for why most things are left undone, and I too, like to blame it for this decline.  However, a more accurate culprit would most likely be, intention.

So, at the end of October, I made it my intention to get back to reading books.  I decided if time was the culprit, surely I could read at least one book per month.  I made this pact on October 27th and have just finished my 3rd book, Strings Attached: One tough teacher and the gift of great expectations, by Joanne Lipman & Melanie Kupchynsky.   It was a great read and left me a feeling quite sentimental.  In fact, so sentimental I felt moved to write.  Won't you hear me out?

I spent quite a bit of time thinking of my mom and her "tough love" way of being throughout my childhood while reading this book.  I recalled the memories of bringing home B's on report cards and being happy to show her to which she responded, "A 'B'?!? My child doesn't bring home B's!!" and to then dismiss me to go study.  Or when I bought home A's and she inquired as to why the A's weren't A+'s.  There was also the time I misspelled "bias" in the 6th grade spelling bee.  When I returned home that evening, I had to write a one-page paper on "bias"and its importance in the world.  That paper was hung by the door to my bedroom, on full view so that I would never forget "bias is a thing that can make or break you".  And although we had a dishwasher at home, my mom never let me use it, claiming "doing things the hard way built character." She would often use that philosophy as a metaphor for dealing with difficulties in life.

Growing up, I thought my mom was tough and I often felt nothing I did would ever please her.  But, I worked hard in my attempts.  I graduated high school with a 4.6 GPA (AP and honors classes were weighted higher) and my first college GPA was a 4.0.  With enough lecturing from my mom, I eventually began to believe I could do anything I put my mind to.  I remember once arguing with the quarterback of the high school football team that if I worked hard enough, I could run 40 yards in under 5 seconds.  

My mom's tough love continues to inspire me to work hard.  I understand that the big things in life won't be easy.  Difficulty never deters me.  I dig in deep and ultimately, I know I am built for the challenges.  Sometimes people tell me it's almost as if I believe I can will things to turn out the way I want.  But it's not that I believe I can will the world to my whims, but moreso I believe, if I work hard and persist, my efforts will give way to my desires.

Strings Attached is a book about how great expectations can lead to success but is also a book about friendship.  I thought a lot about my friends while reading this book, those near and far; the friends I talk to daily and those who have dedicated their lives to teaching and those I don't talk to as often but when we do talk, we pick up right where we left off as if not a second has passed since we last spoke.  I thought a lot about how life throws us curves and how things don't often turn out as we had hoped.  I thought about how life can be "messy" and yet,  beautiful.  I thought all these things as I poured over the words of this book and I felt grateful my life.  Grateful for tough love and great expectations.  Grateful for family.  Grateful for friends.  Grateful for today and grateful for this very moment.

As my life continues, I know I will from time to time think back on this story and the people in it.  And I will remember how one person living a life with passion can positively impact the world. I've always believed that the best works of art make you feel something; joy, anger, love, sadness, nostalgia.  Strings Attached stirred up all of these emotions and then some.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pinning and Pining for Glam

I don't know what got into me this morning but I haven't been on Pinterest in months, until this morning when I embarked upon on a small pinning spree. The spree could have resulted because I snoozed through my morning workout or because I showed up to my client's job site unkempt and wearing running clothes and just felt like I needed a little bit of glam in my life but whatever the case, these dresses are fabulous and should be in my closet! 

                 Dolce & Gabbana
   Photo credit: rus.dolcegabbana.com

                          Zac Posen
   Photo credit:   
   www.louboosandshoes.blogspot.com

                  
                        Zuhair Murad
Photo credit: www.weddinginspirasi.com

   Photo credit:     
   www.oneposhlife.tumblr.com

   Photo credit:  
   www.oneposhlife.tumblr.com






Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Max Glam

Walking around in Georgetown last week and spotted these lovely chairs in the Jonathan Adler store window. I love these! So glam! 

Jonathan Adler "Maxime" chair in linen.
Photo credit: www.jonathanadler.com

        Jonathan Adler "Maxime" chair in     
                         shearling. 
    Photo credit: www.jonathanadler.com

       Jonathan Adler "Maxime" chair in   
                           shearling.
                      Photo my own.

   Jonathan Adler "Maxime" chair in linen
                     Photo my own.




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Penelope and CoCo

This blog really should just be a shoe blog because it seems shoes are what I post about most. But nevertheless, it seems I am late to the Penelope and CoCo shoe party. Penelope and Coco is a brand based out of Los Angeles that manufactures fab, fab, fab shoes made in the USA.  My favorites are featured below.

          "Edie" 
          Photo credit:
          www.penelopeandcoco.com

       "Farrah"
       Photo credit: 
       www.penelopeandcoco.com
     Photo credit:
     www.penelopeandcoco.com
       "Millie"
       Photo credit: 
       www.penelopeandcoco.com


    Photo credit: 
    www.afendibagandabadattitude.com





Friday, August 16, 2013

Men and tortoise shell

Saw a man last night wearing tortoise shell glasses. I was intrigued. Well, to be fair, I am always intrigued by men who take care to be fashionable. Only now, I am left wondering, why don't more men wear tortoise shell??

    Photo credit: www.blog.inonit.in

    Photo credit:
    www.ivegotthemeanreds.tumblr.com

   Photo credit: www.outspokennyc.com


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oxfords Go Metallic

I probably don't need another pair of oxfords *but* these seem like a totally reasonable want because, well because, they're metallic. Want. Want. Want.

       J.Crew mirrored metallic oxfords   
        Photo credit: www.jcrew.com

                    Miista "Zoe Silver"
        Photo credit: www.miista.com

 Loeffler Randall "Joanna" welted oxford 
     Photo credit: www.polyvore.com



Friday, August 9, 2013

Agent Provocateur

And while I'm on the topic of lingerie, I love this new campaign video directed by Penelope Cruz for Agent Provocateur. Video courtesy of Agent Provocateur.

Fortnight Lingerie

I love girly things; bows, ribbons, pink, make-up, dresses, high heels, lingerie. I've always dreamed of one day creating my own line of lingerie, so it should come as no surprise that I am a really big fan of Fortnight Lingerie, based out of Toronto. I love that their pieces are practical, yet sexy and feminine. The silhouettes are somehow both retro and contemporary, functional and beautiful. I've always believed that sexy doesn't stand up and scream, "look at me!" but, instead, is the quiet, confidence that strides into a room without any fuss or fanfare and yet is immediately recognized, without ever having said a word.  Fortnight Lingerie embodies that concept. If you are searching for a line of barely there pieces in loud prints and colors, you won't find it at Fortnight.  What you will find is a collection that is subtle and confident and has quality written all over it.

    Photo credit:    
    www.news.globalintimatewear.com

    Photo credit: www.thedistillerist.com

    Photo credit: www.michellerahn.com
     Photo credit: www.journelle.com








Wednesday, August 7, 2013

RopeSouls

When I first saw these shoes, I knew I would feature them on my blog. They look so comfy! I would love to have a pair for lounging and running errands. And the company, RopeSouls, has a great mission. RopeSouls seeks to help orphaned children living in poor countries earn money by teaching them a skill, i.e. how to make rope sandals. The sandals retail for $29.99 and are lightweight, durable and washable. Check them out.



    Photo credits: www.ropesouls.com



Monday, August 5, 2013

HENSE the name

A little vision will take you a long way...

     Before. 
     Photo Credit: @hensethename via 
     Instagram

    After.  Photo my own. 

I'd seen pictures of this church floating around Instagram for months and seen the church steeple from the highway many times before finally witnessing it in person earlier this week. I was going about my daily work errands when I realized I was in the neighborhood and decided to take a moment and marvel at this wonderful work of art by Alex Brewer, aka HENSE. It really is a lovely sight to see! I love HENSE's large scale exterior works and the whimsy they bring to otherwise, familiar and mundane architectural spaces.


Friday, August 2, 2013

On training for a marathon...

Earlier this year, I signed up to run a marathon. In hindsight, I think I must have suffered from a moment of temporary insanity. For years, I've held onto the notion that running a marathon would be the ultimate test of wills. A marathon would be a defining moment in my life and the way I could prove to myself that no matter how hard life gets or what battles I face, I am strong enough to withstand the storms. Or in simpler terms, if I can run a marathon, I can do anything. 

But my goal was only focused on the outcome, finishing the race, completing the marathon.  I thought the race would be the test of my will. I was expecting my spirit to be broken and subsequently rebuilt from the 5 hours I will spend running around DC on October 27th.  But I've been training for five weeks and I can honestly say, I hate it. I hate the training. Every day, my thoughts are consumed with running. The longer the runs get, the more of my day I spend actually running. My knees ache constantly. It has been a continual learning process of what foods, how much sleep, how much alcohol, what shoes, and so on and so forth, will affect my runs. 

My life now revolves around this training. If I don't run in the morning, the run looms over me all day, a dreary reminder not to indulge too much because I know I'll have a bad performance on the pavement. If I run in the morning, my thoughts are focused on the next day's run. And for a single girl in a metropolitan area, training for a marathon has totally caused the weekends to lose their luster. 

I was expecting the marathon to break my spirit. But it seems, I was wrong. The training will do that. The marathon will revive it. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Vision in Pink

Being around design so much, sometimes it can be hard to settle on one particular style/color/period that I like most but lately, I have been thinking a lot about designing my dream kitchen and I think I've finally made a decision. I've always believed that when the time came, I would have a white kitchen. I like when rooms feel open, airy, spacious, and clean but white has been done to death and I'm not one to follow trends, so I've thought and thought and thought some more and finally, I've decided on pink. I want a pink and white and gold kitchen.  Keep scrolling to see a few images from my vision board I've posted below.











Monday, July 29, 2013

The Pantone Project

There's an adage which touts that inspiration exists all around us. I've always believed it is possible to find beauty and inspiration in everything. In order to realize it, I think it requires capitalizing on the moment, immersing yourself and being fully present. I am a little late finding out about The Pantone Project (about 3 months) but I love the idea of it. Dreamed up by artist, Paul Octavious, The Pantone Project seeks to match all the colors of Pantone with everyday objects. The beauty of this project lies in the correlation between being in a moment or place and witnessing how that moment/place inspired one of the Pantone colors or vice versa, was inspired by a Pantone color. Here a few of my favorite matches...

     Photo credit: @pauloctavious via
     Instagram

      Photo credit: @annamal via       
      Instagram

     Photo credit: @annamal via Instagram

     Photo credit: @simm_b via Instagram

     Photo credit: @bentcoleman via 
     Instagram

     Photo credit: @thepantoneproject via
     Instagram

     Photo credit: @fuckyeahjohnny via
     Instagram

     Photo credit: @pauloctavious via 
     Instagram

     Photo credit: @thepantoneproject via
     Instagram
 









Friday, July 26, 2013

J.Crew

I gave myself two tasks yesterday: one, find a hydration belt and two, find a sports drink that will help with performance, endurance and recovery. But somehow I ended up in J.Crew. To my credit, I only went inside because I hadn't been in the newly (I use this term loosely, as the space opened in April) renovated Georgetown store and I wanted to check it out. I know how it sounds but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Once inside, I was bombarded with extra 40% off sale signs and next thing you know, I was in the fitting room with an arm full of clothes. I was excited to leave with a pair of the toothpick jeans in the geometric print that I have had my eye on since the Fall! Check out this gallery wall I loved and of course, the jeans.

   J.Crew Georgetown, Washington, DC
   Photo my own.

    J.Crew toothpick jean in geometric 
    print. Photo credit: www.jcrew.com