Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Well Deserved Mini-Vacay

I'm going to be (mostly) off the grid for the rest of the week/weekend on a well deserved mini vacation and to celebrate my brother's fiance's bachelorette weekend!  Yes, I only had a two day work week, but trust me, it was a LOT of work and I'm ready to take a break.  I'm sure I'll have a ton of gorgeous pictures and tidbits of jealousy inducing details when I get back... in the meantime enjoy the rest of your week!

(picture from here - and yes, this is actually a picture of the hotel I'll be staying at!!!)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What a Weekend!

It was quite a long weekend!  We started off Friday with dinner at Cottonwood - a fun, mostly outdoor bar and restaurant up in the Heights area and then called it a night somewhat early so we could hit the ground running the next day.  What for,  you ask?  To hit up the Memorial Day sales to get a new refrigerator and dryer for S's new house.
It took longer than planned to get this accomplished as, naturally, the fridge and dryer we liked were not located in the same stores.  C'est la vie.  We ran around and got the purchases figured out (the appliances arrive at the end of the week, at which point the house will be fully functional!) and then made our way back into town to check out the Picasso Black and White exhibit at MFAH. 
The works were quite varied from rudimentary sketches to outlines that had clearly been painted on a white surface that was painted over another painting, to classic portraits, to classic Picasso.  The exhibit spanned multiple rooms and covered the progression of Picasso's works through his life.  We quite enjoyed it!

That evening we finally made it to Brooklyn Athletic Club for dinner.  We drive past it all the time and each time say "we need to go there" and so finally we went there!  The food was a little pricy but quite tasty.  The real draw, however was the combination of the firepits where you could cook up your own smores for desert and the croquet and bocce ball courts!  We're thinking next time we'll head back here and just get a few drinks and play a few games!
Sunday we made our now traditional jaunt to Eatsie Boys for their "anything goes" Sunday Brunch.  S got the banana and nutella french toast topped with a scoop of their homemade carmelized banana ice cream.  He basically had desert for breakfast.  I got the bagel platter with an everything bagel, cream cheese, and their homemade raspberry jam.  We've never gotten anything here that we didn't like.  They even have good granola and yogurt.  Granola!!!  The rest of the day we went our own ways to get stuff done around our respective homes.  I ran some errands and while I was out picked up a new pair of sunglasses from Nordstrom Rack (these, but SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper), a new dress from Old Navy (mine was only $17!), some knobs from Anthropologie for a furniture DIY project (I'm using this one, but I'm OBSESSED with these so I got 2 of them as well), craft supplies, and stuff for dinner (I made this avocado salad). 
I spent the rest of my day crafting - more on this project to come next week.  And then S came back over and we hunkered down to watch the new season of Arrested Development.  We LOVED the first three seasons, but we're not completely sold on season 4 yet.  We're 3 episodes in and think (hope) it's just set up at this point.  Also, what is up with Lindsey?!  She looks completely different!
On Monday we were really psyched to finally go to St. Arnold's Brewery for their new weekday lunch.  They only started offering the lunches a few months ago and the first few weeks it sold out!  It wasn't cheap ($20) but it came with salad, a beef stew topped with a horseradish mustard cream, a pecan pie desert, and unlimited beer and root beer.  A handful of friends met us there and we all played Cards Against Humanity, dice, spoons (with knives.....) and ate up the good food.  It was actually better than the weekend tours because there were far less people and therefore far less noise and crowding.  We're thinking we may have to take a half day off of work in the future and try it out again!  After lunch we did some black light mini golf and go karting and then eventually made our way back to S's place for the night. 

Overall it was a busy, fun, productive weekend and we enjoyed it quite a bit!

(Cottonwood pic from here, picasso pic from here, banana stand pic from here)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Have a Fun and Relaxing Long Weekend!

Plans for my upcoming long weekend are going to be low key - no major plans.  I'm FINALLY going to go see the Picasso Black and White exhibit at the art museum (it's the last weekend it's showing!)  We're going to try to hit up the Memorial Day sales to get S a refrigerator and clothes dryer for the new place and there are plans on Monday to hit up the new (apparently delicious) weekday lunch offerings at St.Arnolds followed by some go-karting with friends.  I'm also hoping to have an arts and crafts afternoon one day - I've had a hankering to get my art on lately.  The rest of the time we'll unpack and try to relax.

Have a Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

(picture from here)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mid-week Stretch

Not too much to report lately.  We successfully moved all of S's furniture into the new house over the weekend (he had a LOT of awesome friends show up to help.  some brought extra trucks and so we got it all done in just one trip!)  Now we're making minor updates (fixing a couple of pipe connectors, electrical outlets, etc), unpacking boxes, trying to get internet set up (why is this always so difficult?!?!?), and figuring out where everything should go.  We've made some good progress, but it's also a little exhausting. 

On Sunday we took a break to walk to a nearby friend's house.  I saw my first episode of Game of Thrones and can see how it's so addictive.  I think S and I are going to try to catch up on the previous seasons so we can join our friends' viewing parties again in the future.  And last night we took another break to go to a trivia night with friends.  This was after I arrived back at my place only to discover my AC was broken.  Yay.  Luckily my new management company actually answered the phone when I called and they got a repair guy out there ASAP.  The AC is now working again, though I think it will take some time for the humidity in the house to dissipate.  The plus side?  This is the first AC repair in about 8 years that I haven't had to pay for myself...  watch, now the AC in my FL townhouse will crash just to punish me for that comment...

In the meantime, it seems like time at work is DRAGGING.  There's so much I want to do at my place and S's house and therefore my afternoons seem to be endless.  Hoping 4:30 comes around more quickly than it has been.

(image from here)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Have Wonderful Weekend!

Yea, I'm pretty sure that when it comes to moving furniture, I'm more of the latter.  And speaking of, I will be spending my weekend helping S move the last of his things into his new house!  We've already moved most of the smaller stuff including small tables and shelves.  And last night we tackled moving the bed (mattress and boxspring only) and we were able to sleep in the house for the first time!  We've just been in moving mode, so after we get all of the bigger pieces moved tomorrow (S agrees that I'm probably more along the lines of  "not helping at all" when it comes to the big pieces, so he kindly offered me the job of "door holder"....)  we'll spend most of the remainder of the weekend unpacking all of the boxes and getting stuff set up.  It's a lot of work and super exhausting (all I've wanted to do these last two days is just take a nap...), but it's also so exciting! 

(picture from here)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Feeling Artsy

 I haven't done much in the way of artwork lately.  I suppose decorating my apartment is a form of artistic expression, and I've certainly enjoyed it, but I it's not the same thing. I'm starting to miss it, though.  I've been brainstorming jewelry ideas, planning artwork to make for my brother's new house, and combing the internet for art that inspires me.  I'm hoping to find some time to start on those first two projects sometime soon, and I promise I'll update you when I get to them.  But in the meantime, here are some of the works by other artists that I've been coveting.  The first, above, is from an incredible series of black and white underwater photography by Hengki Koentjoro.  The images are dark and moody, but the contrast in light and dark is beautiful.  I especially love the images with the sharks.
This picture is by Matt Molloy and created by overlapping time-lapsed photos to create movement in the sky.  He captures cloud and star motions in his images, but my favorites are the ones timed at sunset.
And since I'm a huge space geek, I had to include this beautiful gold silk screened map of the southern sky.  There's also a matching map of the northern sky.  It comes in mulitple colorways too, but I'm craving the gold on white pair.
This chevron print is only sporadically available on One Kings Lane and every time it comes up for sale I have a internal debate with myself on whether or not I should buy it.  I love the water color effect of the colors bleeding together at the center.  I think to myself sometimes that I could make it myself, but the complexity of the colors would be hard to mimic.
I'm not going to lie - I'm a little obesessed with the work by Thomas La Madieu, who takes picture of the sky peering through skyscrapers and then proceeds to draw funny little images that fill the wonky spaces perfectly.  It's simple and quirky and kind of brilliant.  This is definitely one I could do myself and I think I'm going to have to try.  Starting with my next trip into a skyscraper-laden city!
And finally, those of you who read this and live in/near or will soon be visiting New York, I am crazy jealous of you.  Because you have the opportunity to see this weird, beautiful, and interactive art exhibit at MoMA - Rain Room!  You walk through a room that is filled with falling water and motion sensors and the water stops above you so that you remain completely dry!  The lighting is designed to highlight the "rain" and silhouettes for stunning visuals.  So if you can, you must go and take pictures! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Busy Week, Awesome Family, and Feeling Bleh...

So sorry for being MIA for the last week!!!  I was travelling in Cali for work last week and so I didn't have much time or computer access.  On top of that, I've been uncomfortably sick for over a week now (a sinus infection I think) and so when I have had any free time at all, I've been trying to spend it sleeping and/or relaxing so my body can beat whatever hellish bug is currently making me feel like crap.  That free time has been infrequent anyway.
A couple of fun notes regarding my Cali trip - even though I felt icky I wanted to make the most of my free time there.  This time I focused on Venice where I roamed the many awesome (and mostly expensive) shops on Abbot Kinney Blvd.  I had lunch at the wonederful Gjelina where I had a delicious salad with arugula, avocado, grapefruit, and smoked trout followed by an incredible desert of chia pudding with fresh berries, toasted almonds and coconut and a strawberry balsamic reduction.  It was the only desert on their menu that wasn't made with egg, so I reluctantly agreed to it.  I'd heard the deserts there were amazing and I didn't want to miss out.  I didn't.  It was awesome!  After that I met up with B, who was also out in the area on business that week (happy coincidence!) and we took in some ocean views (see top photo) and then had dinner together at a tapas and wine bar.  It was a nice day minus the sore throat and stuffed up sinuses.  Which then proceeded to get much, much worse for the rest of my trip.  I did the job I went there for and spent the rest of my time in bed in my hotel room.  Bleh.
I arrived home on Thursday evening to a belated b-day gift from my parents - my first pair of cowboy boots!!!  Aren't they fantastic!  And what was even better is I was able to thank them in person the following day as both my mom and dad as well as my brother D came into town for the weekend!  I wasn't feeling great, but I was good enough to be social at least (just a nasty cough and runny nose for the most part.  Which I still have today.  Very annoying...)
On Saturday we hit up the St. Arnold's brewery tour where we played Rummikub, Liars Dice, and Cribbage and ate a bunch of yummy snacks that we'd brought with (S makes a mean sandwich!).  We then headed out to the burbs to show my family S's new place (which he closed on on Friday!  S is a homeowner!!!), and then to meet up with his family for an early Mother's Day dinner.  It was at this point that my health took a nosedive and my painful, uncomfortably swollen sinuses caused us to head straight home from here.  Lukily my awesome family was understanding.
Sunday I was back to the status quo of a cough and runny nose and so we all took a walk through the neighborhood.  We stopped off at the Menil art museum first to check out their awesome collection and then made our way to mine and S's favorite Sunday brunch spot: Eatsie Boys.  In order to not overdo it again, we spent the rest of the day just hanging out, which included an epic 3 hour game of Phase 10.  We barely finished in time for me to get my family to the airport for their flights home!  Minus the sickness, it was a wonderful weekend and so good to see everyone!

Now I'm just back, once again, to the status quo of an annoying, persistent dry cough and a now waning runny nose.  I'm hoping I can shake it in the next few days.  I'm also spending this week helping S move into his new place, so I'll be pretty busy.  I'll try to get in another update or two if I have time!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Have an Exciting Weekend!

Lots of reasons to party this weekend including the Kentucky Derby (my brother and his entourage will actually be there in person to celebrate his bachelor party!!!) and Cinco de Mayo - the American excuse to drink lots of corona and tequila.   Which in my opinion is always a questionable idea.... tequila and I don't always get along. Regardless, we're planning on doing a Cinco de Mayo inspired pub crawl tomorrow (and I'm so excited since it's the perfect opporunity to wear this necklace!) followed by a showing of Three Amigos in the park!  At some point I'd love to go see the Picasso Black and White exhibit at the art museum too, but we'll see if we have time, because we're also going to start packing up S's stuff this weekend since he closes on his house next week!!! So exciting!

(picture from here)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lovely Day

Thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes!  My day was low key but lovely, just the way I wanted it.  My day at work went by quickly and was followed up with a delightful evening.  S and I went for a walk around the lake in Herman Park (the weather was beautiful and some of the otters even swam right up to us!), picked up some Chinese take out for dinner (shrimp and pineapple fried rice - yum!), and then chilled at home for the rest of the night.  I also learned how to play cribbage and then proceeded to kick S's butt! 

(image from here - I'm obsessed with those gold candles....)