Jesus Leguizamo is a young artist painting out of Bogota, Columbia, whose work depicts the fleeting nature of our bodies and our lives. His paintings are reminiscent of a memory that has begun to fade leaving us with blurred scenes playing incompletely in our minds. Youth, beauty, love: Leguizamo recognizes their transient nature and how quickly they fade away. His work does what good art should, it makes you uncomfortable. It is disturbing. But it accomplishes what the artist set out to do: remind us how limited our time is and that's what makes it so precious.
How was your Valentine's Day? Mine was simply wonderful! I woke up in bed alone because Mike had moved to the couch due to a coughing fit the night before, but Bateman was curled up next to me, and he was more than ready for a little snuggle. Then we both got up and made coffee and breakfast tacos. We had our coffee in our Love Mugs which they give you at the San Miguel County Courthouse when you get your marriage licence. Then we decided to cruise on over to Cheeseman Park with the furry monster. The weather was unseasonably warm last week, and I for one, was not complaining.
On the way home from the park, Mike steered me down a street that was sort of off our beaten path, and then I realized we were headed directly towards our neighborhood florist! I was totally surprised, and he did a great job on choosing the arrangement. I also got a bottle of Moet and memberships to both of the art museums in Denver. Then Saturday night, we went out for Italian downtown and then stopped and had a couple of beers on the walk home.
See! Look how pleased he was with himself. I love that man.
In honor of the romantic holiday, I wanted to share an editorial with you that was featured in Marie Claire Russia back in December 2010. It features model Diana Moldovan, and it was shot in a city synonymous with love, Paris.
Paris Je T'aime featuring Diana Moldovan
Those two have some great chemistry I would say. And look at that Bridgette Bardot bedroom hair. Absolutely sexy. This editorial makes me want to pack my bags and head off on a romantic European vacation.
So how was your weekend? Did you do anything special?
Whether or not you love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is upon us. If you are single, make plans with your best girlfriends to spend time together celebrating how fabulous you are. You are independent, have no one tying you down, and the world is at your finger tips. If you are in a relationship, celebrate or don't. I have never cared too much about Valentine's Day. It is just a good excuse to wear pink and red together, go out to a fancy dinner, and drink delicious champagne, because champagne. Mike and I usually just do dinner somewhere and then come home, put on sweatpants, and complain about how uncomfortably full we are. Super romantic, I know.
If you do decide to go the gift route, let me give you some advice guys: NO teddy bears, NO candy, and NO grocery store flowers!!! Seriously, why would you give a lady whom you love and respect the same thing you would give a five-year-old? Also, candy, while delicious is so not original, and let's be honest, most of us haven't finish losing those extra pounds we picked up over the holidays. Finally, GROCERY STORE FLOWERS! The bane of my existence. Unless you took the time to go to a florist and have them create a custom arrangement using some of her favorite flowers, you lose. No one wants to receive some sad looking carnations that have been sitting in the same water for three days. Put some effort into it! Trust me, we notice.
But if you really want to knock it out of the park, buy her something unexpected. Sure lingerie is sexy and always appreciated, but I think it is kind of a cop out for Valentine's Day. Do something special and unexpected, make her something, or just buy one of these. Easy peasey.
Six Valentine's Gifts that Don't Suck
1. Creed Spring Flower Perfume, $175 2. Kate Spade Pink Watch, $175 3. J. Crew Crystal Foliage Earrings, $78 4. Custom Moet Champagne 5. Lots of Love Lush Gift Box, $59.99
6. Prada Clutch, $970
What are your plans for Valentine's? Are you just ignoring it and treating it like just another day or do you have something special planned? I am going to stuff my face on Italian food at this amazing little place by Union Station called Venice. It is so authentic that the owner still barely speaks English. And they have these ravioli that are to die for. I might need to find some cute stretchy pants to wear so that there is room for all the carbs I am going to consume. Hey, it's a special occasion right?
Today, another year of America's game draws to a close with the Superbowl match up between the Patriots and the Seahawks. I used to be a tried and true, loyal only to the college game, football kind of girl, but ever since we moved to Denver I have seen the light. There's Peyton, Wes, Von, Demarius, and many other muscular men who have convinced me to go to the dark side, and by that I mean the orange and blue side. The Broncos have been so much fun to watch since we moved here in 2009, and especially exciting to watch since we started going to Superbowls. The losing part, well let's not talk about that.
I always love a good football themed party, and getting together with all of your friends to watch the Superbowl is such a fun tradition. Also, it gives you an excuse to have pigskin pigout and stuff your face with all kinds of junk food. I love it!
Superbowl Party Tablescape from Hostess with the Mostess
Superbowl Commercial Bingo
Football Fingernails from Polish and Pearls
Penalty Flag Napkin Holder from Hostess with the Mostess
Football Jersey Decorated Sugar Cookies from Bake Me Happy
Steak and Cheese Pretzel Bites from Perpetually Hungry
Gridiron Punch Recipe from For Rent
Astro Turf Coozies from Uncommon Designs
Drink Tags from Lil Luna
Turnovers and Flags from Lil Luna
Cheese and Bacon Potato Nachos from Oh Bite It
Football Whoopie Pies from Party Blue Prints
Alright. I am heading to the store now to get stuff for those potato nachos. I am drooling just thinking about it. Some of these ideas are just adorable. I am heartbroken that the football season is over, but hopefully next year, my teams will do better. Until then, I guess I will just root for the Patriots because otherwise, I will have a very unhappy husband.
When I left college, my mom offered to buy me a black suit for interviews because back when she and my dad were applying for jobs, that is just what you wore. Never being one to turn down a Theory suit, I graciously accepted, but how many times have I actually worn my suit? I can could it on one hand.
I love my parents, and I know they mean well, but when it comes to the modern day workplace, they are slightly out of the loop. Dad is a lawyer so he really has made a lifelong career for himself. I am pretty sure he hasn't changed jobs in 30 years or so, but unfortunately, most of us aren't so lucky to have that opportunity these days. While dealing with her empty nest, my mom applied to work in the pro shop at our country club and couldn't understand why she didn't even get a phone call or an email in response to her application. Good thing she isn't applying for things on the reg or else her feelings might get hurt.
The job hunt is merciless, thankless, and takes a HUGE amount of time, most of which you will feel like you have wasted. However, there are always some proactive steps that you can take that will up your chances of standing out from the crowd.
Take the Industry Into Account
Maybe back in the olden days when we all walked uphill in the snow to school both ways would it have been appropriate to wear a suit to an interview no matter the company. But in today's day and age, we are all a little bit more casual. Most of the time, companies will ask you to come dressed for business casual because most companies aren't dealing with fancy clients.
Unless you are heading to an interview for a pretty large company or someone in finance or high-end business, don't wear a suit! If you are applying for a creative company, be CREATIVE, duh! You are trying to express your artistic side through your resume, your communication style, and your wardrobe. If you are applying for a start-up, you are probably going to be overdressed no matter what you wear so just look polished and put together, not like you just rolled out of bed (even if the CEO did!)
Seriously! It would surprise you how many people try to go neutral for job interviews both in their conversation and in their clothing. I'm not saying show up in head-to-toe neon hues, but don't be afraid to let your own personal style shine through. That can be a splash of your signature color, a memorable statement necklace, or those confidence boosting killer new shoes.
This also goes for your communication style. I cannot stress enough that you should always BE YOURSELF! No company wants to hire a mindless robot regurgitating information, and if they do, do you really want to work there? Inject your personality into your answers, and let them know who you are now, so neither party has regrets about the arrangement later.
Be Overdressed v. Underdressed
This can be said of life in general, but especially of interviews. No one will have negative feelings about you wearing a blazer over your outfit if the office is casual, however, they WILL remember if you show up in jeans and a cat sweater. I literally just had a hiring manager for AAA tell me that she has been having trouble finding entry-level candidates who are professional enough for her to hire. She asked her 8 candidates to submit a letter detailing why they were good for the position, only 3 actually responded. Of those 3, one didn't bring his resume or references (despite being asked to) and a female candidate showed up in jeans and a cat sweater.
I know I said to express yourself, but obviously that doesn't include displaying your love of furry animals across your chest in a first round interview. Now look, I am a millennial too, so I understand that our generation gets a bad rap for being lazy because we have been able to do pretty much everything on a computer, but that is no excuse for not knowing how to look and act professionally.
Be Careful with Scent & Makeup
Yes darling, you do look fabulous with those bright red lips and dramatic eye, but are they appropriate for an interview? Probably not. Stick with a natural beauty look so that what is on your mouth doesn't distract from what is coming out of your mouth. As far as perfume goes, also steer clear of that. You never know when someone in the room might have a stronger sensitivity to smell than you, or when someone might just hate the scent that you are wearing, so just be safe and go without.
Science shows that scent memory can bring up some of the strongest emotions, and you don't want to go in smelling like your future bosses ex-girlfriend. Even if it isn't conscious and has nothing to do with you, it won't reflect well on your chances. Unfair? Yes, but life isn't fair my little teacup, so buck up and get over it.
Beyond dressing well, there are obviously lots of other ways to make yourself stand out in an interview. Be prepared! Always research the company that you are applying for and the person you will be interviewing with. One of my favorite places to find good information is glassdoor.com where current employees can review the company, post interview questions, and disclose their salary. Also, practice makes perfect so look up commonly asked interview questions, write down your answers, and work with a friend on delivery. Here is a list of the 50 most common questions and how to answer them from Forbes. Finally, always always always send a "Thank You" note or email. This is a chance for you to leave a lingering impression, and hopefully one that will get you hired. What about the company did you love? What stuck out to you from the interview? Use that information and craft a carefully written note to your interviewer that demonstrate both graciousness and grasp of the position. It sounds like a lot after writing a cover letter and putting together a portfolio, but this is how relationships are forged! Not to mention, it is just good manners.
What are some ways that you have stood out during the job hunt? What has worked and what hasn't?
As I was poking around on the interwebs the other day, I came across this absolutely lovely winter dinner party. This farm-to-table fete was the brainchild of none other than Waiting on Martha and Rue Magazine, and it is filled with gorgeous details and rustic tablescapes. It is decadent without being fancy, and fabulous while still being understated. Who wants to rent a cabin and throw a party like this with me? Dinning in the forest just sounds like a fairy tale.
They chose to set the tables with Juliska dinning sets, vintage chargers, gold flatware from One King's Lane (similar here), and gold rimmed glasses (similar here)
The florals are dripping with deliciousness. The pink and fuschia hues are such a nice contrast to the natural textures of wood and the golden accents. When you are decorating a room or a table it is always important to remember to create tension by adding elements that are surprising and unexpected. Not everything should fit into one category, but they should be complimentary. This dinner party does an excellent job of being masculine and feminine, rustic and gilded.
Now that is a party I would love to attend. They thought of everything down to the last sprig of cedar on that sleigh. Even that wreath is perfect and you can easily make your own based on whatever season it is.
Here's more from the blog:
"With a pristine log cabin providing the ideal backdrop it wasn’t hard to bring my vision to life. The table was overflowing with sugared fruits and holiday florals flanked by giant candelabras. Hand cut place cards laid perfectly on Juliska’s Country Estate dinnerware, and gold flatware and glasses provided just a touch of sparkle. And after dinner guests retreated to the cabin getting cozy by the fire and noshing on wintery cake, pumpkin creme brûlée, coffee, and a whiskey or two."
I love it! It makes me want to throw a dinner party like yesterday. I am hoping to make it down to my parent's cabin in Telluride next month with friends, and maybe we will try to do something similar. I will keep you posted! Hope you have a wonderful Thursday.
The Team: Concept & Styling, Waiting On Martha || Photography, Rustic White || Florals,Lindsay Coletta Designs || Food, HomeSpun Atlanta || Cake, Lush Cakery || Furniture,Crush Event Rentals || Invitations & Place Cards, Yes Ma’am Paper Goods || Location,Atlanta History Center
Shop the Story: Place Settings, Juliska via Bloomingdales Lenox || Wooden Chargers, Vintage (similar HERE) || Placemats, Juliska via Bloomingdales Lenox || Napkins, Kate Spade NY via Bloomingdales Lenox || Gold Flatware, One Kings Lane || Gold Glitter Spoon,Sabre via Waiting On Martha || Gold Rimmed Glassware, One Kings Lane || Candelabras,Dunes & Duchess || Sleigh, Pottery Barn (sold out similar HERE) || Faux Fur Blanket, One Kings Lane || Punch Bowl, Juliska via Bloomingdales Lenox || Animal Head Shot Glasses,Waiting On Martha || Horseshoe Drink Stirs, Waiting On Martha || Silver Candlesticks,Pottery Barn || Wine, Orison Wines
The weather in Denver has been unseasonably warm the last week or so, and it is causing me to think about Spring. I know I shouldn't get ahead of myself, but it is so hard when your husband can wear shorts on a Sunday in January. All of the thoughts of blooming flowers and walks in the park put me in a "seeing the world through rose colored glasses" kind of mood so here are some of the things that I am loving today.
Baked Hazelnut Donuts with Coconut Frosting
from Made by Girl
Gorgeous Barbie Doll Pink Makeup
by Makeup Artist Jana Boberg
A Girly Chic Dress with Leopard Print Jacket
by Stephanie Sterjovski
Paris in Spring! Definitely on my bucket list
A super sexy pink Corvette could get anyone's
Pink Lemonade Margaritas
from Drinked In
On our recent trip to Washington D.C. I decided to try AirBnb for the first time. Not only do I value having my own space and privacy during a trip, but I also really dislike feeling like I am intruding on my friends. I used to be a huge fan of couch surfing, but now that I am older (and hopefully wiser) I try to be as little of a hindrance on the people I am visiting as possible. Besides, who has had a house guest who only leaves you with a lot of cleaning and a bad taste in your mouth? Yeah, no one wants to be "that guy". So following our excellent experience with our host Marcy and her wonderful home in Dupont Circle, I am quickly becoming and AirBnb convert. Not only does the site offer excellent alternatives to hotels for much lower prices, you really get the opportunity to experience a place from a unique perspective, and let me tell you, AirBnb doesn't skimp on the "unique" part. While I am not the biggest fan of Atlanta (traffic, traffic, and rude Southerners), I am a huge fan of this whimsical tree house resort nestled in the heart of Atlanta's Buckhead district. Hello, shopping!
I used to have a pretty bomb tree house growing up (thanks, Mom and Dad), and I totally would have slept in it if it hadn't been so infested with Daddy Longlegs. This amazing abode not only let's you sleep with your head in the stars, but it lit with strands of Christmas lights; my absolute favorite lighting scheme by the way. Just look at how cute it is at night!
It really does feel like you are trapped in your own little magical fairy land doesn't it? I love the shabby chic decor. Can you imagine a romantic get away here? I feel like it would be so lovely to snuggle under the trees with the night sky above. It would certainly make me giddy with some childlike wonder.
If you get bored of all of the amazing shopping that Atlanta has, why not just chillax out in your own private woodland hammock complete with dartboard for your entertainment.
I think I know where I am going to stay next time I am in the ATL. Here is the description from the owner:
Centrally located within the heart of intown Atlanta, the treehouses are a hidden gem. The subject of numerous TV and magazine features, they are often described as being the most relaxing, romantic, dreamy and unique place you'll ever stay. What could be better than falling asleep in the trees and waking up to birds singing around you?
The treehouse consists of 3 separate rooms, each connected by rope-bridges. Descriptions of the 3 rooms are below.
Living Room: Antique furnishings including 80 year old butterfly-filled windows, a 12-candle chandelier, comfortable, antique seating for 6, and a balcony overlooking an acre of lush woods.
Bedroom: Sleeps 2. The pillow-top double bed--fitted with sumptuous, organic linens--is equipped with wheels so it can either be rolled out onto a platform that overlooks the stream below or inside the room for further insulation. A small desk, primitive side-tables, an antique birdcage, Kilim rugs, votives and fairy lights make it equally comfortable and enchanting.
Deck: Circular seating for 10 and a hammock lying beneath a 150 year old Southern Short-Leaf Pine tree. Open to the elements and immersed in thick greenery.
And for $350/night, where else are you going to get such a unique experience in the middle of a bustling metropolis? I am ready to go, who is with me? You can check out the listing and make reservations here.
In case you don't already know, I love quinoa. And I REALLY love this Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake from Family Fresh Cooking. Call me a hippy, a tree-hugger, granola, whatever! I love it, and I am loud and proud! If you haven't tried quinoa or really embraced it yet, lemmie give you some advice from a well known sporting goods brand. Just do it. Seriously, quinoa is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and it can be substituted anytime you would use rice or flour based pasta. General attitudes towards the great grain are changing too. Even those nerds over at Forbes are taking notice! And I just call them "nerds" because they are all incredibly intelligent, boarder-line genius level human beings who understand the complexities of the economy far more than this girl who can barely balance a checkbook. Any who! Quinoa is the bombdizzy, and this recipe is pretty redonk-a-donk, too. I'm letting my inner high schooler out, can you tell?
Mmmmm so gooey and delish. Aren't you getting hungry just thinking about it? And the avocado...oh the avocado. Stupid drought in California increasing my tasty avocado fees!
Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake
I realize that I am a little late hopping on this train, but I have been putting some serious thought into my New Year's Resolutions this year. Normally, I am not a big proponent of "Resolutions" because honestly, if you want to change something about yourself, then just do it! You shouldn't need a deadline or a start date. Just make a conscious decision to change, and make that change now! Not tomorrow, not next week, but now. However, New Years always gives me time to reflect on the last year, and think back on things that I wish I had done differently or handled more gracefully, so here are my 10 semi-adultish New Year's Resolutions.
1. Be more bendy
This has been something that I have been wanting to work on for a while, and honestly, there is nothing like feeling the steam coming off of your skin after you leave a heated Corepower class in the middle of the winter. I have never had a problem with strength or agility when it comes to athletics, but I am stiff as a board unless I am stretching regularly. I find that when I don't stretch I hurt my hip or injure myself some other way: the buck stops here! I am not 18 anymore, and stretching/yoga need to become routine.
2. Practice random acts of art
I believe that everyone should nurture their inner creativity. It doesn't matter if you are "good" at something or not because it is all relative! Mike thinks that Jackson Pollock paintings look like something a preschooler did, but obviously a number of other people disagree (myself included). Art is simply expressing yourself in a way that is different from how you normally express yourself. Draw a cartoon, write a poem, sing a song. The possibilities are endless, and studies show that being creative on a regular basis also trains your brain to think more creatively at work and in personal relationships. Win, win, right?
3. Take more photographs
My Nikon and I have grown pretty close over the last three years, but there are weeks on end that the poor little guy spends locked away in his carrying case, never to see the sun. I am disappointed in my habits with photography, because now that I am finally figuring out how to take great photos without auto mode, I seem to abandon my progress. Natural landscapes are always inspiring for me, but I don't make it up to the mountains every weekend, so I resolve to start taking pictures in the city, and not only that, but to try to find beauty in places I don't normally find it.
4. Focus on strength and how I feel rather than the number on the scale
Like most women, my weight and personal appearance has been something that I have struggled with since I was in middle school. I developed disordered eating as a freshman in high school, but finally in my late twenties, I have learned to have a healthy relationship with food. I have started looking at food as fuel as opposed to a coping mechanism or something I need for "comfort". Furthermore, I have finally figured out that the scale is full of shit! Pardon my French, but when I had my lowest body fat percentage and I was close to a size 4, my scale still reflected the same number as it did when my body fat percentage was close to 8% higher! Don't trust your scale, trust your body. Judge your progress by how you feel and how your clothes fit. Most importantly, know that no matter what size you are, you are beautiful, amazing human being who has a body that can do anything!
5. Visit more museums
Denver has so many great public museums and gardens, and I must admit, I have been a terrible citizen. When I lived in London, I would go to the Tate at least once a week and spend hours lost among some of the most incredible work I have had the privilege of soaking in. For some reason, I have not motivated myself to visit all of the museums in Denver with the same zeal, and I am determined to change that in the coming year.
6. Look for the beauty in others
This just is what it says. I think that if we can all stop looking for the differences we have with others, and start appreciating them as a unique being, whose world experience is separate from our's, but just as valuable, that they world would be a much better place.
7. Spend more time in nature
Again, I live in Colorado, and somehow the city always draws me in before I can get out and actually get to the mountains. Last summer my time was so consumed with wedding planning that "nature time" was almost non-existent. This summer, no more excuses! Overnight backpacking trips will abound.
8. Trust myself
You know when you have that feeling in the pit of your stomach that just tells you that something isn't right? That you should say, "No" or say, "Yes?" When you have planned for something that just doesn't quite feel like a fit anymore? This can be your job, your relationship, or simple day-to-day decisions, but ALWAYS listen to your gut. It is almost never wrong, and I can't tell you the number of hours I have spent kicking myself for over thinking situations. GAH! Frustrating even now.
9. Eat less meat, drink more water
Water is good for your skin, your bodily systems, and your general well-being. Meat is not so great for the planet, and only really good for your body in small quantities. Let's up the H20 and decrease the moo. Deal? I am not saying let's all become vegan, but let's think about our health and the health of our planet before snarfing down a double cheeseburger three times a week.
10. Listen more, seek to understand rather than just to respond
How many times have you been part of a conversation when you are just waiting for your turn to speak? I am so guilty of this, especially during really heated discussions when I am in a hurry to share my own opinion. This year I am going to make a conscious effort to actually listen to the input of those involved in the conversation with me rather than waiting to just blurt something out. If we all really listened to each other and valued each others opinions as equally valid as our's then maybe we could all learn a little bit. Just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean that they are wrong. It is always nice to remember that we have all lived different lives, experienced different struggles, found different expertise. Respect others, listen to them.
What are your resolutions? I would love to help root you on!