Hey gang, I’m here, I’m alive. Last week was… you know, quite a week. I was pretty happy when Friday rolled around, until I realized next week was coming. I’ve hit my REALLY BUSY season at work so I’m basically a chicken without a head.
I don’t have many hidden talents (crossing one eye, and wiggling my ears are a couple), but installing a gallery wall is one of them. When it comes to hanging pictures, I’m a perfectionist. If a frame is a little crooked, I go insane and hammer at the nails until it’s just right. I just make it happen. However, not everyone has this talent or the time to do it. Fear not because West Elm has got your back.
I got an interesting email from them last week announcing that they now have a la carte installation services for a nominal flat fee. And it’s not just gallery walls… it’s mounting tvs, event painting an entire room… Stuff that the normal human can’t do easily. West Elm has always had great design services, so I’m excited to see these new offerings. And if you’ve been to a West Elm store, it’s CLEAR that they know what they’re doing. You can find more information here.
I was going to try to write a real post for today, and then THIS happened in the Jinx finale. Talk about jaw-dropping (in case you need a refresher, check out last weeks Links of Love).
So, instead, here’s a roundup of what’s happening in life lately, as told through Instagram.
I tried making Diet Coke brownies the other night. They were terrible. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Whoever is saying that they’re good is just perpetuating an urban legend.
I’m coming out of hibernation. Seriously, this winter I’ve spent too much time indoors… and it’s not just that it was cold out, I just came down with a raging case of laziness. So, I’m trying to get outside more often, and back into a regular routine of working out. I went running for the first time in an embarrassingly long time and it wasn’t pretty – the first time out never is. But, I’m going to keep at it… as much as I’d rather get to know my couch some more.
I have really sensitive eyes (I HAVE SPECIAL EYES) and ALWAYS need to have a pair of sunglasses on me (aviators are my faves, obviously). Well, I forgot my regular sunnies the other day and my only alternative was this lovely pair, which was left over from my friend’s bachelorette party… three years ago. It’s amazing that I still have them. Zebra stripes, kissy lips, and neon green. Awesome. (Before you lecture me, I was stopped at a really long red light.)
Well gang, this is Washington D.C. for those who aren’t familiar. You may recognize some landmarks here. I went to a reception that a friend’s firm was having and her office has the most amazing view of the city. When rooftops open, it’s a sure sign that spring is on its way in D.C.
Le Diplomate is one of the hottest restaurants in the city and I’ve been dying to try it since it opened (it’s also conveniently located not far from my apartment), but it’s virtually impossible to get a reservation. It was under some bittersweet circumstances that I finally had the opportunity to give it a go – it was a farewell dinner for a couple of friends who were moving back to Australia after their three-year diplomatic post ended. Looks like I’m just going to have to make a trip down under.
I feared that the food Le Diplomate wouldn’t live up to the hype… Those fears were dispelled the minute I tasted, well… everything. SO. GOOD. A fantastic and memorable way to send some friends off on a long journey. Now, how to scheme my way into getting a brunch reservation
Because it’s the 3:00 slowdown somewhere.
I’m a confirmed Northeast cynic… but apparently I’m not nearly as cynical as I thought. Ad Week has rounded up tweets from 14 people who are so over SXSW before it even starts. Sorry hipsters who are cooler-than-thou, but I’m dying to to go SXSW. Perhaps I’m naive, or just really uncool (a firm possibility), but I think it’s still relevant, influential and has tremendous value. And you know, AUSTIN. I’m glad to see at least someone isn’t too cool to be excited about the event… Austin-based entrepreneur and blogger Lauren Martin shared a list of the things she’s looking forward to at SXSW.
The New York Times has a great profile of Michaela DePrince, who beat seeming insurmountable odds to go from a war orphan in Sierra Leone to a star ballerina for the Dutch National Ballet. It’s an incredible story.
The latest issue of Fast Company (ie. my favorite magazine) is focused on Steve Jobs’s deeper legacy. An enlightening excerpt from the forthcoming Jobs biography, Becoming Steve Jobs, revealed that while Jobs was rapidly deteriorating from his long battle with cancer, his successor, Tim Cook offered a part of his liver to the ailing CEO.
The Jinx, a six-part documentary series on HBO is concluding this Sunday and I can’t wait. It’s basically been considered the TV version of “Serial.” For those who haven’t been watching, it focuses on Robert Durst, the once-heir apparent to one of New York’s most prominent real estate families who was accused of murdering three people (including his wife). He was only officially charged in one homicide for which he was famously acquitted (“I did not kill my best friend. But I did dismember his body”). I’m still amazed that Durst himself took park in the series because in no way is he helping his case. For those who have been watching, last week left off with a MAJOR development in the case and I’m on pins and needles to see how it turns out.
Sooooooo…. I couldn’t consider myself a ceramics enthusiast (does anyone????). Please, the dishes in my joke of a kitchen were $30 at Ikea. And then I came across the Instagram account for Suite One Studio. Hellooooo, love. Lindsay Emery, the brains behind the operation, creates each piece by hand in her North Carolina studio- from ring dishes to full platters. Inspired by watercolor paintings, Lindsay uses unique glazes to create truly extraordinary tableware. Every piece is limited edition and absolutely beautiful. I’m particularly partial to the navy and gold items because of their gorgeous celestial quality. Might actually inspire me to invest in real plates. Check out some of the pieces below!
All images via Suite One Studio
I love a good pair of heels, but standard pumps can be really boring. Enter D’ORSAY HEELS! I bought a pair from Zara a few years ago and they are absolutely my favorite pair of heels. I wear them everywhere, from desk to drinks. They’re flattering and look great with anything. These shoes are like your standard pump’s chic, more sophisticated, and slightly sexier cousin… who speaks French. You might be thinking that they’re physically hard to wear, but you’d be WRONG! Unlike slingbacks, which fall off my feet ALL THE TIME (perhaps because they rely on single bands of elastic to cling to your heel for dear life), D’orsays stay on your feet as normal pumps would. I know that the flat version of these shoes have been popular lately (not really my thing), but I don’t think anything can beat this style when you add some height.
Check out some of my picks below (if anyone would like to send those Manolos my way, I’d be totally cool with that)!
So I was up until about 2:00 this morning trying to teach myself how to create a collage in Photoshop for today’s post. Needless to say, I was not able to master the program in a few hours. I know, I’m surprised too. The struggle is real. But I still wanted to post something. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately, so I thought I’d share some stuff that I’ve been pinning. Hopefully a little pinspiration will help me you through the hump day.
1. This outfit is perfect.
2. These travel cheat sheets from Foursquare are actually pretty handy. I pinned them all, even though I’m not totally sure if travelling to Estonia is super high on my bucket list.
3. Okay, these measuring spoons from Anthro are adorable. They might inspire me to actually cook. (HAHA)
4. A great guide to making healthy, delicious lunches. This is an area where I REALLY need to step up my game.
5. Anjelica Huston in the 70’s. Come ON.
Be sure to follow me for more fun stuff!
One of my goals after my first month of blogging was to get a little more personal. So in the spirit of relating to my readers, I thought I’d share some straight up weird interesting facts about myself.
1. I love airports – Yeah, this one’s weird. I get it, but I can’t help it. For most people who have a flight, they usually get to the airport with the absolute bare minimum amount of time needed between arrival and time of departure to avoid spending any more time at the airport than is absolutely necessary. Me? I get there a firm 2.5-3 hours in advance of my flight. For people-watchers like myself, sitting in an airport for an extended period of time is like striking gold. PURE GOLD. Every type of person, from every type of culture, and every walk of life in one place. MIND EXPLODES. Some people relax and read a book, some people have angry phone conversations, and some people just get drunk. Beyond that, you can watch the giant planes go by while eating a pretzel from Auntie Annes. Sitting at an airport terminal for hours is like the best floor show ever. Seriously, I wish I could hang out there even if I didn’t have a flight to catch. (Though, in my defense, I’m not totally insane… Thanksgiving travel is the worst and the last place I like to be is an airport.)
2. I was an internationally competitive figure skater – Oh, wait. It gets better. I was an internationally competitive SYNCHRONIZED skater. What the hell is that, you ask with a raised eyebrow. I’m so glad you asked. Synchronized skating (formerly known as precision skating) involves a team of about 16-20 skaters on the ice at the same time, performing various maneuvers in unison. Think about it this way: 16 skaters moving down the ice at about 25 mph with knives strapped to their feet (and yes, injuries were severe; a teammate’s artery was severed after falling out of a move during practice). Oh and, TWIZZLES. It’s the fastest growing skating discipline and while it is not yet an Olympic sport, there is an World Championships and an international competition circuit that mirrors the “traditional” skating disciplines. Because video does it far more justice, here is a clip of my all-time favorite team, Marigold IceUnity from Finland from last year’s world championship. And because, you know, ‘MERICA, here’s a clip of the 16-time U.S. National Champion Haydenettes (though, this is my favorite Hayden program ever).
I competed in the sport for a little less than 10 years and pretty much took it as far as I could. I was multi-national medalist and competed abroad as a member of the United States Synchronized Skating Team (10 teams total across the country had this honor). I competed against the best in the world, with teams representing countries including Finland, Canada, Croatia, Russia, Japan, Italy, France and South Africa to name just a few. It consumed my life for as long as I was competitive (between team training, individual training, off-ice training, before school, after school, school vacations, etc.), and honestly I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I really learned a lot about hard work, commitment, and even diplomacy; ultimately it was a transformative, character building experience. Yes, I suppose it wasn’t the typical road for a figure skater, but it was the perfect one for me. I loved it, but between some injuries and a desire to have a normal high school life, I decided to retire (we don’t quit) when I was about 16.
3. I also played ice hockey – Yeah, this was part of that whole “having a normal high school life” thing. My high school started a girls’ hockey program the last year I was a figure skater. I knew I wanted to try something completely different, and between my skating background and the fact that I used to play field hockey, I figured ice hockey would be a natural transition. So, the year after I retired, the program graduated from club to varsity status and I tried out. Okay, in no way was it a natural transition… in fact everything felt unnatural- from wearing gladiator pads and a helmet, to the hockey skates, which have a COMPLETELY different blade… and don’t even get me started on the stick skills (or the total lack thereof). Against the odds, I made the team (okay, not really- I don’t think they turned anyone away). While it was completely different than figure skating, and I was NOT good at it (repeat for emphasis: NOT GOOD), I loved it (repeat for emphasis: LOVED IT). I got to be more aggressive than I was used to and it gave me a whole new set of goals. Honestly, I just felt like a GD badass (my proudest moment was the first time I ended up in the penalty box). As a girl, playing a sport that has long been dominated by males was pretty empowering. Walking in the rink with my giant hockey bag made me walk a little taller (though it wreaked havoc on the perfect posture I’d built from 10 years of skating). It was such an incredible experience that I even wrote about it in my college entrance essay. Looking back, I actually feel like a little bit of a pioneer -our little program went on to win multiple state championships in the years since I graduated.
4. I love cheesy, cheap, and terrible TV Christmas movies – Oh my god. My (not-so) secret shame. Basically, don’t count on me being social between November 1 and Christmas because my idea of a good time is settling in, and immersing myself in the warm glow of the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, and ABC Family. 25 Days of Christmas? Obviously. Fa-la-la-la-Lifetime? Um, yes please. Countdown to Christmas? Gimme gimme. My affinity for these crappy movies is unexplainable. They’re mindless and cheerful, and I just freaking love the holidays. Most of them use the same character actors from Canada (seriously, keep tabs), they actually recycle plots from Hollywood movies (Runaway Bride meets How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, etc), and feature actors on the fast track from the C list to the D list. While this formula should be repel viewers, IT KEEPS ME COMING BACK FOR MORE… to the point that I actually record them to DVD (note, NOT DVR, to PERMANENT DVD so I can watch these things in the summer). It’s sort-of completely embarrassing, but it’s me.
5. I am O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D. with the Olympics – Like this is a lifetime thing and slightly unhealthy. I basically totally shut down and tune out the world for two weeks every two years (summer AND winter) to watch wall-to-wall Olympic coverage. I’m talking EVERYTHING. Curling, badminton, weightlifting, short track speedskating, biathlon… EV.REY.THING. I just live for the stories of these athletes that have trained their entire lives for that one moment, overcome tremendous adversity to become an Olympian. They’re commitment is superhuman and incredibly admirable. These athletes don’t play their sport for multi-million dollar endorsement deals (about less than one percent of these athletes will ever achieve that), if they’re lucky a corporation will sponsor their training. I also love the moments when small, virtually unknown countries get a chance to compete; this is perhaps my favorite Olympic moment of all time. Cool Runnings, anyone? MIRACLE ON ICE (fun fact: I competed on that same ice. It was magical)??? Seriously, you don’t realize it until it happens to you, but representing your country is a tremendous and humbling honor.
Plus nothing makes the world a smaller more relatable place than the bonds you forge with someone over a love of sports. I got to know this feeling on a super-microcosmic level when I competed abroad as a skater. I met so many people from such different cultures. I remember at one competition, I spent the entire night talking to a group of girls from Croatia. We were aliens to each other, but our love of skating brought us together. I learned about them, they learned about me. I’ll never forget it. I still believe in the tranformative and diplomatic power of sports. To me, there is just no better illustration of the full human experience than the Olympics. Already looking forward to Rio and Peyongchang!
HBO absolutely kills the documentary game. I’m a HUGE fan of documentaries and I just love that HBO sees the importance of telling so many different kinds of stories. I’ve learned so much from these movies and each one opens my eyes to a completely different perspective. Some of my favorites include the Paradise Lost Trilogy (ah-mazing), Bobby Fischer Against the World, Crossfire Hurricane, and Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.
There are two documentaries (about two very different topics) that HBO is set to premiere later this month that I’m SO excited to see.
I’ve been absolutely fascinated by Scientology (the same way I’m fascinated by North Korea) since I read Rolling Stone’s exposé about the controversial cult religion. Before that, I just likened it to some weird new-age belief system that attracted a lot of celebrities. But once Scientology poster boy Tom Cruise decided to completely abandon the world of the sane by jumping on couches and participating in this video (let’s never forget this exchange with Matt Lauer), lots of questions and eyebrows were raised about his “faith.” From there, Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning director of Crash and former Scientologist, embarked on a crusade against the Church starting with a scathing and eye-opening article in the New Yorker. Actress Leah Remini, a believer for 30 years, left the church to great publicity adding another major crack in the church’s seemingly impenetrable facade. And now this documentary, which has already caused a lot of controversy… so much, in fact, that HBO actually hired 160 lawyers to battle the notoriously litigious religion. In turn, the church produced this video (which, by the way is sponsored on YouTube and attributed to “Freedom Media and Ethics”) to dispute the movie’s apparently explosive claims.
You know a documentary has got to be good when the producers have to hire an entire army of lawyers. I can only imagine the things it reveals that the other articles haven’t already (I mean they’re pretty terrifying). Most importantly, I’m hoping the movie will explain John Travolta. Just generally.
Going Clear premieres March 29 at 8 p.m. ET.
Now for something completely different…
Like every other girl everywhere I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ELOISE! I have so many amazing memories from my childhood reading Eloise with my mom- actually reading from the same copy she received from her mother. I laughed hysterically each and every time I read it (still do) and even at a young age, I recognized that the book was way ahead of its time. She was the little girl who lived in “a room on the tippy-top floor” of The Plaza and had a dog named Weenie and a turtle named Skiperdee (HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS CHICK). Her hair always unkempt, her stomach always hanging out, and her room always a mess, Eloise steadfastly marched to the beat of her own drum. I completely related to Eloise and she has had more of an impact on me than any other literary character; she basically helped define my personality and sense of humor. I was, am and always will be a “city child.” When I visited New York for the first time, I HAD to visit Eloise’s portrait hanging in the Plaza (I have a drawing of the portrait hanging in my room at my parents’ house).
The book was written by the incomparable Kay Thompson, but the main character was brought to life by Hilary Knight through his amazing illustrations. As much as I related to Thompson’s words, I fell in love with Knight’s illustrations. Perfect harmonization. Apparently I share a love for Eloise with another Girl… Lena Dunham. She went so far as to get an Eloise tattoo. Apparently Hilary Knight found out about that, reached out to Dunham and the two struck up an unlikely friendship. I’m excited to learn more about the man who gave Eloise life and how he feels about her and her place in the lives of millions of other girls… and Girls.
It’s Me Hilary premieres March 23 at 9 p.m. ET.
DID YOU GUYS (mom) MISS ME????? Sorry, but you know, life. So, back to home decor we go!
I really like to add a little greenery to a space. Now I’m not talking about a giant fern, or a hanging plant from the 80’s. I like more of a small topiary here and there. The last time I went shopping for home accents, I kept seeing succulents everywhere. Honestly, I wasn’t in love at first. They seemed kind of cold and the colors were always so muted, which, in my mind kind of defeated the purpose of adding GREENERY. But the more I saw them (everywhere) the more I warmed up to them. They add great texture to a room, and look amazing in a really cool terrarium. Not only that but they’re cheap and require virtually no care- which is great for those of us who are less “green-thumbed” and more “all-thumbs.” Having one of these things might make me less fearful of having another living organism in my apartment.
In what might be my favorite thing on the internet this week, Mashable has a collection of photos featuring some of classic rock’s biggest stars at home with their parents. The quotes from the parents are amazing. My favorite? David Crosby. By far.
Chiara Ferrangni, the 27 year-old blogger behind the Blonde Salad makes $8 million a year. Yeah, EIGHT MILLION BUCKS A YEAR. She’s become such a phenomenon that Harvard Business School just released a case study analyzing her success – the school’s first fashion blogger case study.
Remember my post about my favorite D.C. movies? Washingtonian Magazine has a bracket going right now to determine the most Washington movie ever.
Seriously. Not a joke. #Help.
The Atlantic has a photo montage of how the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in Donetsk, Ukraine went from a thriving, modern airport to a pile of rubble after a year at war. Just incredible.
IMAGE: JOHN OLSON/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES via Mashable