Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sophia Coppala's "Miss Dior Cherie" Commercial

I saw this video on Joanna Goddard's blog last week and have watched it numerous times since. 

Puts me in such a great mood and makes me so happy to be a young woman!

(Via Cup of Jo)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fruit tarts are my fav

My friend, Heather, wrote me an email the other day wanting to know what kind of cake we're going to have at our wedding. Her interest in the sweets made me smile. I've never been asked such a specific question about the reception but honestly, it's the one question I would DEFINITELY want to know the answer to as well! I absolutely love dessert but I'm actually rather picky about what I like...'light' and 'fruity' is usually want I prefer.

I know this sounds super vague, but we're having a 'berry cake.' I don't really know anything more specific than that! I just told the Event Director at Restaurant Nora that I adore berries and she said, "No problem! We'll work with that and see what's in season at the time." Perfection. 

I saw these beautiful fig, berry and sheep's milk tarts on Pia's blog and about died. Gorgeous. Yummy. Mouth-wateringly delicious-looking. 

Time for some dessert..... 

The slouchy jacket

Funny enough, when I was shopping at Zara this weekend I noticed a number of these slouchy jacket numbers. There were a few I liked, none as much as this one though. 

Unfortunately, with warmer weather rapidly approaching I'm not sure I'd get a lot of use out of it. Maybe April and that's it. Why do fashion companies do that? Why do they wait until the most inopportune time to bring these goodies into the stores?

Apple tart to make you drool

Drooling is definitely a sign of scrumptious food. And nothing looks yummier to me right now than this amazing "no recipe apple tart" from Chez Pim

Creativity at its best

The lovely young illustrator and designer, Anna Bond, who's designed the fans for our wedding, recently posted about a quirky and brilliant decorating decision she made with respect to a friend's wedding gift. She purchased a gift from her friend's registry on Crate & Barrel and while she adores the boxes that they package the gifts in, she felt that they just weren't festive enough. Instead of spending money on wrapping paper and other fancy trappings, she pulled out her sharpie and drew tracings of flowers all over the box. How smart right? 

I know you're probably thinking, "Ya, but I'm not an artist" but the truth is you probably have more talent when it comes to doodling than you think. After all, we've all sat through boring classes in school or meetings at work where a good doodle comes in handy :)

A little inspiration for the beginning of the work week. Hope you enjoyed!

A few things for the new home

What a lovely weekend. Our engagement party was this past Saturday and oh what fun we had!! 4am dance party, wonderful friends and amazing food. I'll always have fond memories of the evening.

Prior to the party, I did a little window-shopping in Georgetown with my friends Stephanie and Tracy. If only Anthropologie decided to become affordable I'd love to decorate my new home in everything made by them. I just adore the pale green sofa, which I'd decorate with a few funky pillows like this orange one. And as we definitely need a floor length mirror, why not this amazing, rustic-looking wooden one? Perfect right?


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Speaking of Blue Note jazz covers

I used to own a book of the "Best of Blue Note Jazz Covers." Where did it go?! I loved that thing. Carried it with me through four years of college and it left Wooster in tact. 

I couldn't help but walk down memory lane a bit after my last post. These are only a few of the covers I adore. Some of these albums I own (yes, on cd or record). There are many, many more that are simply striking. More to come....

(Via Pixagogo)

To be a book cover designer

How does one get into the field of designing book covers? If I had artistic talent of this sort I think it would be a fascinating job, notwithstanding great challenges (i.e. pain-in-the-ass authors who have a 'vision' for their book cover). 

If you have any thoughts on how one goes about doing such an awesome thing, I'd love to learn.

From The New York Times' Book Design Review blog, I really liked these two book covers. Intolerable Anarchy made me think of my sister's anarchist boyfriend. He'd probably dig it and regardless of your personal views on anarchy, I thought it was a humorous cover. Kind of a 'stick-it-to-you' concept.

But Being and Time....now this one reminds me of all the old Blue Note album covers I so dearly love. With the advent of iTunes, I wonder if album cover art will vanish? What a sad day that will be.

Bamboo bed

My CB2 magazine came in the mail two nights ago and boy was it good this time around! There were so many things that I loved - from patio furniture to vases to kitchenware. Most of all, I loved the tatami bamboo bed they featured in the "sleep" section. 

My fiance and I have been talking about getting a new bed for quite some time. He has this wonderful sleigh bed that's beautiful but it's size really consumes the entire room. Something like this bamboo bed would be low to the ground and less conspicious, which I love.

On top of this, I've had my eye on this pin-tuck duvet cover and shams from West Elm for more than a year. I can't believe it's actually still available! I'm leaning towards the cream color, if not the pale blue and then head over to Timothy + Paul for a few unique, colorful pillows. I can't wait :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Behind a presidential press conference

I watched this short "behind-the-scenes" video on the New York Times' Caucus blog and loved it. The piece uncovers the meticulous planning that's required of the President's staff and the press prior to such a high profile event at the White House. 

What was most fascinating to me was twofold: I was surprised, but delighted, to see that the Times chose to be open and transparent about their internal process for deciding which questions they would ask the President by showing clips of their staff's internal brainstorm. Lastly,Obama did not end up calling on anyone from the Times for a question last night, or a reporter from The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Bloomberg or Reuters, instead offering questioning privileges to Univision, Politico and Agence France Presse. As the narrator of this video explains, that decision unto itself was also planned. That may seem obvious to a lot of you, but I still found it intriguing. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bird - Brooklyn boutique, here I come

Uh oh. Trouble's brewing. Just came across Bird, a fashion boutique located in Park Slope in Brooklyn. It was voted Best Women's Boutique in New York City in New York Magazine in 2008 and yea, they have a great, if not pretty awesome, selection of clothing, accessories and jewelry that's *yay* available online as well. 

The lovely Lena Corwin from ~>O<~ posted a few of her new favorite finds from Bird and I have to shamefully copy her on my love of two of them (seen above). Enjoy your own personal sleuthing ;)

A little sparkle never hurt

I went shopping after work yesterday with my Mom. Desperately in need of something fun to wear out now that the weather's getting warmer I saw a number of sparkly mini dresses...far too short for my tastes, but fun to look at nonetheless. I want a cream-colored sparkly top to wear under a black tuxedo jacket. Wouldn't that look sharp?

Like many girls, I love Kate Moss' style and have grown to like her look in the past few years as she's emerged more womanly since giving birth to her daughter. She still evokes giant sex appeal, if not more, and I thought she looked just that in this photo. I totally dig the jacket with the light jeans.

Scarlett Johansson annoys me

So why am I posting her recent cover on Parisian Vogue? Because Carine Rotfield, Editor of the French edition of the magazine, does much better covers - in my humble opinion - than Anna Wintour does for American Vogue. They're more imaginary and evocative of a range of ideas, imagery and emotions than anything we ever see here. American Vogue loves a 'straight shoot' - a boring profile of a beautiful actress in an unoriginal background. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My new favorite flower

Rununculus - they look just as pretty as peonies, my first flower love, but they're more affordable. I bought a bundle of pink and yellow ones this weekend at Whole Foods to decorate my kitchen table. I'm thinking about incorporating them into my wedding bouquet now.

(Via Cannelle at Vanille)

Bulungula, South Africa

Life hands you unexpected gifts. During my year in Namibia, I met and came to know an amazing woman, Stephanie, who is now a dear friend of mine. While we didn't live in the same town, nor teach the same classes or grades, we shared a bond through our trials and tribulations that we'll have for the rest of our lives.

Given that she's coming for a visit this weekend, Namibia has very much been on my mind this past week. I talked for what seemed like an hour straight after work on Friday with my fiance about my teaching experience in Odibo...likely killing the happy hour mood because I always end my walk down memory lane with a mixture of so many complicated emotions.

On a lighter note, due to Stephanie's prowess as a trip planner, she and I visited what must be one of the most untouched, spectacular places on Earth - Bulungula, South Africa. We stayed in one of ten available huts at the Bulungula Lodge, an eco-friendly backpackers paradise along the Eastern Cape that is 100% community-owned and operated. It looks exactly like it does in the pictures above and in the link to the lodge. It was breathtakingly beautiful and more peaceful than any other place I had ever been before.

Go there. You must.

When my Mom cooks

Life gets a whole lot better when my Mom is in the kitchen whipping up a Saturday night dinner for our family. This weekend we were treated to Spanish chicken and rice, a twist on a Greek salad and her now famous lemon coconut cake, which is to die for without a doubt.

My Dad and fiance so desperately wanted seconds but decided that restraint was in order (why? I really have NO idea..I didn't hold back for a second trip!).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The "froth of days"

Sadly, I had no idea that my friend Jenna had the world's most perfect blog name until this week: L'ecume des Jours = "the froth of days". As she says in the header of her blog:

"I thought I would spend my time documenting the good things - the froth, if you will - that I discover."

Isn't that lovely? And, really, so true. If you enjoy blogging and posting about pretties and beautiful things...aspects of your life or others that brings you joy, than I couldn't think of a better name. 

I just adored this picture she posted the other day. I should remind myself of this saying at the end of something that makes me want to tear my hair out :)

My life in Odibo, Namibia

I lived in Odibo, Namibia - a village 1 km south of the Angolan border - for nearly one year. I taught high school geography and computer science to 8th-12th graders at a mission school. During apartheid, St. Mary's Odibo High School - where I taught - was the only secondary school in South Africa or Namibia to offer English language instruction to blacks. 

St. Mary's has a rich history of educating many of Namibia's leaders, both in government and the Anglican Church; however, it was destroyed during the War for Independence and reopened in 2002. The school was in shambles at that time. The learners (as they call them in Namibia) had no toilets and constant problems with running water. 

When I arrived in 2007 the school was on the road to recovery, with a student body of more than 400 learners ranging from ages 12 - 27. 

I have had a difficult time writing or talking about my experience in Odibo since I returned in November of 2008 but what I can say is that I was moved on a daily basis. Everything was unfamiliar and confusing. I often felt like I couldn't relate to anyone or anything that I encountered. I was completely out of my comfort zone, often quite lonely, but I loved teaching. It was the most rewarding experience of my life and I simply can't imagine anything topping it except being a parent. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

National Geographic takes us "inside the Presidency"

I've been obsessed with the Presidency since I was a little girl. 

I used to sit at the public library for hours upon hours and read about JFK and his advisors. In college I majored in American Politics and wrote my senior thesis on President Clinton's decision not to intervene in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Out of college, I spent a year working for an interactive firm that built websites and developed online strategy for Presidential candidates and Congressional members. 

How Presidents wield their enormous power and to whom they delegate to fascinates me.

I couldn't have been happier than to see Elizabeth Bumiller's piece. "Inside the Presidency," in the January 2009 issue of National Geographic. Take a look at the intro and just a snapshot of some of the bare, but very revealing photos Christopher Morris took (note: President Bush's face is never shown): 

"History always makes a sharp turn in Washington when a new American President takes the oath of office, and so it will once again on January 20, 2009. There will be new Cabinet members, a new Congress, a new foreign policy, a new style in the East Wing, new embarrassing relatives (if the past is any guide), and new first friends.

But many other things in the private world of the President of the United States will stay remarkably the same. The maids on the permanent White House housekeeping staff will make the presidential bed, just as they always have. The kitchen staff will still peel potatoes and scramble eggs. The gardeners will have planted 3,500 tulip bulbs to bloom in the Rose Garden in the spring."

Gloomy outlook but I dig it

This photo by Eugenio Recuenco felt very gloomy and even a tad scary to me. What happened to this boat? Who left it alone? Where in the world might this be?

Thanks to Jenna for the tip - I really dig Recuenco's work.

New coffee shop coming to 14th & Corcoran

It's been more than two years since Sparky's closed on 14th Street and was taken over by the wildly popular Cork. While I'm not a coffee drinker, you're likely familiar with my random musings of my deep love for chai lattes :) Now that I'm moving closer to the Columbia Heights metro where will I find a neighborhood joint to grab a croissant and a chai on a lazy Saturday AM? Looks like good news has come to the hood.

Metrocurean and DCist reported this morning that 1905 owner Mick Mier and his partners are set to open Mid-City Cafe in April, right above Miss Pixie's at 1626 15th Street NW. Yay!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Whoa. Michelle Obama's prom dress

Wowzers. Now THAT dress is somethin' else isn't it? How did this not leak out earlier?!?! I would have thought that the press would have had a field day with this.

Regardless I'm sure we all have at least one (if not many) very embarrassing outfits that we would die if we knew that the whole world could catch a glimse of them. I know I do! 

In a fit of spring cleaning this weekend I came across a few photos of me from high school. Yikes! Talk about some scary haircuts. Even my fiance couldn't believe them! Oh well....they're good for laughs now :)

Beautiful stationary set

I received our wedding invitations in the mail over the weekend and we were so delighted with the results! If you haven't already browsed Etsy you are sadly missing out on an assortment of beautiful, handmade (and usually very affordable!) goods by artists from all over the world. If it hadn't been for my obsession with Etsy I never would have run across the fabulous studio we've collaborated with for our wedding materials.

I've been working with Viva la Violette, a studio that specializes in making unique stationary and invitations. Violet (the name of the woman who founded the studio) is a dream to work with - passionate about her craft, creative, thoughtful, timely and open to feedback. I highly recommend her. 

After I received her invitations, I did a bit of sleuthing on her Etsy shop to see if she had anything new in stock. Turns out she did! Gorgeous new invitations with silouette designs. I purchased the purple ones pictured above. So affordable (just $12!) and distinct. I love that you can personalize your name on them too.

PS: Check out her blog.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Painting from 20x200

I had to ween myself off of 20x200 after I found myself longing for nearly every photograph and painting I came across and following the loss of precious hours of sleep browsing the contents of its archives. It's tough to find high quality art for $20 anywhere so how can you blame my obsession?

This morning I allowed a little peek...hey, don't judge! Some women have the same affinity for shoes as I do for this site!

This painting by Jeff Lewis struck me as optimistic and playful - two things we need a bit more of in the tough times we're in.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coolest fashion hook-up ever

A little fashion gossip for you: Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist and Garance Dore of Garance Dore are a couple! Talk about the two coolest fashion street photographers out there today. OMG...my mind is brewing with ideas for an otherworldly collaboration. Their fans (including yours' truly) will be waiting in anticipation, that's for sure!

Sex, Lies and Photoshop

My co-worker, Joel, passed along this New York Times video that discusses the impact of retouching photographs on women's perception of what beauty really is...especially given that nearly (if not all) of photos in fashion magazines have been altered. 

I think a lot of us are smart enough to know that the women on the covers of fashion magazines don't look that good in real life, but to what extent have they been altered? When you watch this video you see just how astounding the changes often are. Some women don't even resemble their real selves by the time the photograph has been finished and printed. 

We live in a world where you can't believe anything you see anymore. 

Yes! It's Friday!

The moodiness of March may continue to bring Washingtonians gray weather, but that never stops the joy of arriving at Friday after a long week. 

I woke up actually feeling refreshed today. Maybe it was the joy of celebrating my Mom's birthday last night, the yummy Indian food we devoured and the productive swim workouts I've had this week? Not a bad combo.

When it's gray and dreary out I wholeheartedly believe in adorning your kitchen table with a pop of color like these lovely pink tulips I've managed to keep alive all week! 

Of course nothing gets my day started better than a yummy bagel at home :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dark, dank and dreary days for our government

I left work last night and decided to take a stroll past the White House.

The weather was so depressing last night - dark clouds hung overhead and a random smattering of rain drops fell every few minutes as if they couldn't decide whether they wanted to pour or not.

The scene was sort of fitting for these bleak economic times. Nearly every light was on in the Treasury building at 6:30pm and just a handful or so of tourists could be found in front of the White House gates taking pictures.

With news yesterday that DC's unemployment rate has reached 9.3% Washingtonians are quickly realizing that we're not insulated from the recession like some might have thought.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sharing a style with your girlfriend

I'm not usually a fan of looking like your friend's fashion twin, but in the case of this picture, I totally dig it. I was a bit shocked that I actually liked it at all because I've grown so tired of winter at this point that the sight of more cold weather clothes sends me running for the hills. It's time for flip-flops, shorts and light, long-sleeved cardigans.

I know, I know...before too long I'll be complaining about the horrendous DC heat. But for now, I'm trying to stay positive and anticipate the loveliness of spring :)

Noodles are the new sushi

I turned to my friend and colleague Rob at work on Monday and asked, "Have you seen that new noodle joint on 14th and U? I think it's called DC Noodles?" I should have known that of course, he would have already been. Rob's on top of the scene here. Need to know about a new restaurant or bar - he's your go-to guy.

Thanks to his rave reviews of DC Noodles, I practically sprinted there after a long day of work that very same day. Having not had much for lunch, I was foaming at the mouth as soon as I saw the menu. With more than 40 noodle combinations from authentic Thai recipes, the sky's the limit with choices.

My fiance and I started off with the vegetarian spring rolls, which were perfect bite-size portions, followed by Mee Pik Pao Egg Noodles with Seafood and Chili Sauce and Noodles in Spicy Soup with Beef. After two Singhas and this assortment of wonderful dishes, I was eager for dessert to cleanse my palate.

DC Noodles only serves two desserts - mango or coconut ice cream with sticky rice. OMG - it is absolutely perfect. If you want something that's not super sweet with that interesting combination of ice cream and rice textures, you MUST try it. I highly recommend the coconut.