Thursday, August 21, 2014

Today I Like ... This Men's Tee

Spotted this while watching my secret favorite TV show, "Hard Knocks," on the body of an Atlanta Falcon at the bowling alley. Immediately wanted one. Sad to see they only sell them for men. Too lazy to order and adapt to work on a lady body (boobs and hips don't work with straight cuts). But let it be known, it's what I want to be wearing while running errands.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Date with Myself at the Chrysler Museum & Glass Studio

We in Hampton Roads are spoiled to death these days because Norfolk is home to the Chrysler Glass Studio, quickly becoming one of the most inspiring and experimental glass studios around. In addition to offering daily demonstrations and glass classes, the artists and studio assistants create work that they also sell. A couple times a year, they have a big close-out sale and this past weekend, I happened to catch it just in time!

The selection was seriously pieces both functional and artistic, some super affordable and some quite pricey. I couldn't resist this blinging diamond stained glass nightlight by Kristi Totoritis. We don't even need one in our current apartment (it gets plenty of streetlamp light, thankyouverymuch), but when you see something fun like this, you just give in.

 I mean, c'mon! That's a necessity.

My true weakness is small jugs/vases/containers/boxes that I don't need, so of course I also couldn't pass up this gorgeous coral ombre glass jug. It's just more motivation to find a house: I gotta find more space for all my silly tiny treasures!

Once I finished up with the Glass Studio sale, I popped next door to take myself on a little two-hour date at the Chrysler Museum, which reopened in May after a lengthy renovation. It's really marvelous, and I've become such a museum nerd that I can't possibly get through more than two rooms in a two-hour span. But here are a few shots of some of my favorites from what I did see:

 "Zinc Yellow" by Franz Kline. In love with the movement and color pairing!

 Howard Mehring, "Renaissance Space II." I feel like this color palette is one I want to remember for future unexpected, but so right!

 A shot of one of the gorgeous new contemporary galleries.

 Ossip Zadkine, "Bust of Carol Janeway." The angle of that nose is just brilliant.

The museum is full of witty copy on the walls and even clever juxtapositions, like these two reclining nudes. It's a great place to wander for a couple hours, and best of all, it's FREE.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Best v. 214

The amazing Molly Hatch placing one of her china installations.

Sorry for the late posting! It's been quite a busy Sunday for me, with a little work and a little fun. But if you're a football season widow like me, I've got plenty of link distraction right here for ya:
  • Share this link with anyone who doubts most women experience sexual harassment.
  • One photographer re-costumes classic movie heroines with fall 2014 fashion.
  • Celebrity couples that are social media mavens.
  • A hilarious lady-centric spin on Cards Against Humanity.
  • A wonderful remembrance of Robin Williams and what it was like to work with him.
  • What happens when you quit liking on Facebook.
  • Jake Johnson's true talent: acting drunk.
  • Legendary progeny: Audrey Hepburn's granddaughter photographed by Richard Avedon's grandson.
  • Ever feel like everyone in Northwest Florida is from Pennsylvania or Long Island. You're not imagining it: check out this cool migration map.
  • Nicole Richie, the voice of our generation.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wine Club: Fruit Wines

Wine Club celebrated the waning days of summer with a night of fruit wines (and a morning of headaches, I'm sure). Sweet Lauren hosted and set the perfect tone with a flag you would think was made for us!

Fruit wines can be delicious, but are perhaps best sampled one at a time! They're very sweet and perfect for dessert. Virginia has many great fruit wines (four of these were from the Commonwealth). We tried:
  • Tradewinds Pineapple Wine: It didn't taste bad, but once someone said it reminded them of Hawaiian pizza, it was soon nicknamed "ham juice." It's hard to explain why, but it definitely had a hint of bacon. 
  • Horton's Chateau le Cabin Pear Wine: I brought this wine, which isn't overwhelmingly "pear" thanks to a blend with Viognier. It's a nice change of pace from the usual white and would be delicious with a dessert cheese tray topped with honey.
  • Rapidan River Peach Wine: This is my fave! It manages to still be a little crisp while retaining its essential peachiness. Their website recommends pairing with BBQ and that sounds like a match made in heaven.
  • Fruitprint Orange White Wine: Orange wine sounds a little cuckoo, but this was actually quite crisp and refreshing, with only the faintest hint of orange. It could easily be a great substitute for a Pinot Gris at the dinner table.
  • Rapidan River Raspberry: I love this wine's slight effervescence. It's a blend of Riesling and Merlot with natural raspberry juices and makes for a great after-dinner drink. 
  • Chateau Morrisette Blackberry Wine: Unlike the others, this wine is made from 100% blackberries. Their website recommends pairing with spicy foods, which could be very interesting.

Our hostess prepared a fruit-themed menu that went perfectly with the wines! It included chicken piccata with lemon, along with watermelon bites drizzled with balsamic...

Delicious cream cheese topped with two fruit mixtures: Harry & David's fruit relish and a mixture of orange marmalade and jalapenos that Ashleigh made. Both were wonderful!

And we finished the night with slices of Lauren's fruit pizza with a sugar cookie crust. Fresh and delicious!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Style Icon: Lauren Bacall

 With the passing of Lauren Bacall, it feels like we no longer have any living ties to the golden age of Hollywood. She was a classic broad...beautiful, ballsy and coooool. You can tell this was a woman who wasn't flustered, at least not on screen. I'll miss her legendary seductive smoky voice and sense of humor. In tribute, I thought we'd take some cues from her sophisticated, classic style.

No jeans or T-shirts for this lady...casualwear meant a well-tailored jumpsuit and lace-up espadrilles.

 In her young modeling days, she could work a smolder like no other.

 All covered up, and yet completely sexy. And that hair! Perfection.

A simple white dress with extremely simple accessories looks angelic on her. A testament to the power of red lipstick.

Get Her Look
lauren bacall

  1. The perfect accessory: a chunky pearl necklace, $115 by Kenneth Jay Lane
  2. Whether you're smoking a cigarette or just chewing on a celery stick, a faux pearl ring will make the activity 100% more glamorous. $20 at Lord & Taylor.
  3. Show 'em who really wears the pants in this sexy yet demure jumpsuit, $93 at ASOS.
  4. It's really just a maxi dress, but with a red lip and perfect waves, this white dress is timelessly elegant. $233 at Zappos.
  5. Every femme fatale needs a dress just as at home at a dinner party as in a booth at the El Morocco. $135 at Modcloth.
  6. Draw all the attention to your stunning baby blues with nude liner on the inside of your lower lid, like the NYX Wonder Liner, $4.50.
  7. Paint a perfect red pout. Ms. Bacall seems like a Chanel girl.
  8. Bring a little sex appeal to the classic black pump with this fun scallop edge. $60 at French Connection.
  9. Skip the T-shirt. Dress up a casual outfit with a prim blouse, $55 at Modcloth.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Next Step

The first house I ever Fisher Price tudor house!

There was this line I loved from a poem we had read at our wedding that talks about all the wishing and hoping came to fruition on that day. I loved it because that's what it's really like when you want to spend the rest of your life with someone; the sweetest memories are of the days that every sentenced started, "when we live together" and "when we're married."

Building a life with someone is exciting and a key part of that is making a home. We've done our best to make a home out of our apartment, but we've been daydreaming about buying a house from the first day we lived together in 2009. It's taking a lot of scrimping and saving and frankly, generosity from family, but we're finally ready to start the search. So if it seems like I don't post as often, it will be because my entire brain and soul has become consumed by making the second biggest decision of my life!

But never fear, I'm a documentarian at heart and will share as much as I can as we go through the process. And then the fun will really begin, because we'll be in the next frontier of domestication: home ownership!

Wish us luck, and if you have any advice about the process (we're truly at the beginning), share your wisdom!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Best v.213

X-ray of a robot, by Brendan Fitzpatrick

It's been a little rainy and gray here this weekend, which is perfect for forced relaxation. That doesn't mean we've done nothing, however; we went to see "Guardians of the Galaxy," which was surprisingly funny, and I got a haircut and we enjoyed lunch at Gosport Tavern in Portsmouth. Success all around!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Jams of the Week

Let's talk about what I'm jamming on these days. As always, it's elderflower everythang in the Kennedy household. I spotted this limited edition elderflower Angry Orchard at Target and it is great! It's still apple cider, but it tastes like it has been mixed with St. Germain, which is to say it has been mixed with the taste of heaven.

I have an inexplicable love of Nat Faxon, who starred on the dearly departed "Ben & Kate" and co-wrote "The Descendants" and "The Way, Way Back." I was pumped to see his new show, "Married," on FX and although it's a little bleak in its view of marriage at times, it's definitely finding the humor in the honesty. I'm interested to see where it goes.

I'm the worst when it comes to book recommendations. I almost never want to read what people tell me to read, but Sean broke me down and convinced me to read "World War Z" by Max Brooks. Not just read, but narrate, because he had me do a makeshift book on tape for our entire drive to and from Asheville. To my surprise, it's GREAT. The format lends itself particularly well to reading aloud, because it's told in a series of interviews with witnesses from around the world. It's much more interesting than the movie, and has some sharp observations of human behavior and hysteria.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Lake Eden Wedding

The real reason we went to Asheville last weekend was to celebrate the marriage of our cousin, Emily, and her new husband, Thijs. They met volunteering in post-Katrina New Orleans and proceeded to endure a transatlantic romance before they finally were able to both live in the Netherlands. They returned to the states to marry and we're so happy they did!

We started the wedding festivities with a delicious rehearsal dinner at the legendary 12 Bones, where we dined on pulled pork, bbq chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread and more. It was scrumptious! Us girls then proceeded to MG Road for super fancy cocktails with new-to-us ingredients. It was so fun!

Emily is an artist by training and you could totally tell in the wedding details. Instead of a traditional guest book, they had a watercolor map with bicycle stamps (a recurring nod to Amsterdam) so we could each mark where we came from. Emily did all of the illustrations for the wedding stationary and paper products and Thijs did the graphic design.

Her incredible cake decorator was able to replicate the watercolor motif by projecting the design onto the cake.

The centerpieces had sweet watercolor Dutch and American flags.

The food was INCREDIBLE. Seriously, some of the best I've had at any wedding anywhere. This meat buffet had meatloaf cupcakes, beef and chicken skewers with a horseradish, pesto or peanut sauce.

But the best part: DIY Appalachian bruschetta bar. I topped mine with pulled pork, pimento cheese and bacon. It was so amazing. We also sampled a great fruit salad and Israeli couscous salad.

I'm pretty sure the meatloaf cupcake might be Sean's new favorite food.

The international flavor of the wedding made for some incredibly personal and magical moments. Emily's French friend rewrote four classic French songs to tell the story of their romance and sang them a capella perfectly. It was such a special toast.

I was doubly charmed when the entire Dutch contingent sang a traditional song of congratulations. It was really lovely and finished with a great, "Hip hip hooray!"

I tried to cope with the warm summer air by preemptively braiding my hair, but lord my hair looked ratty after a night of dancing!

We had a GREAT dancing crowd, which is always my favorite thing about weddings. You ain't seen nothing until you've seen a dance floor full of Dutchies, French and Americans screaming the lyrics to "I Gotta Feeling."

We finished the wedding with sparklers, but for those of us staying at Lake Eden, the night wasn't over yet...

Thijs and his father built a bonfire and we roasted marshmallows for s'mores. It was one of those moments where, as it's still happening, you're treasuring the memory. What a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Asheville Adventures

We've just returned from one of the loveliest weekends I can recall, spent in one of my most favorite places: Asheville, N.C. We ventured there to see our cousin Emily marry her love, Thijs, on the beautiful grounds of Lake Eden and squeeze some sightseeing in while we could.

The art history nerd in me was WIGGING OUT that the families and wedding party were going to be staying there because it's the location of the former Black Mountain Art College, a sort of modern art superstar breeding ground that operated from the 1930s to 1957. The teachers and students were a Who's Who of modernism: Josef Albers, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Jacob Lawrence, Buckminster Fuller, Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning and on and on and on. Some cool stuff happened, like...

Buckminster Fuller and his students built the first geodesic domes. SWEEEEEET!

We stayed in the Sequoia Cottage, which was originally built for a German composer who was a professor at the college. If I could, I would buy this house! I loved it that much. It was tucked into the woods, lovely and modern, and had a great layout.

 The artsy and ethnic decor was perfect.

 The view outside our door: a teepee! So fun.

 And me, in front of the sweet house.

On Saturday, Miss Margaret, Katie and I went to the Thomas Wolfe house and took the tour. Wolfe's book, "Look Homeward, Angel," is autobiographical and tells the story of growing up in his mother's boardinghouse, so a visit to the home is particularly great because the tour guide points out spots that are portrayed in the book. Even if you haven't read his books, it's an interesting peek into the boardinghouse culture of the early 20th century and at the end of the day, it's a pretty house! I loved the butter yellow and blue porch!

How gorgeous is this mantel? Apparently Thomas Wolfe hated the house (he had more modern taste), but it's really quite lovely.

 Let it be known I'd kill for a sun porch like this!

 After our tour, I asked a woman at the visitor services desk for a restaurant recommendation that would be "quintessential Asheville." She immediately said The Green Sage, which ended up being hilariously on-point. Asheville is a hippy dippy town, and this is a hippy dippy restaurant! When I ordered, the waitress kindly asked if I'm gluten-sensitive. Everything was super fresh and really delicious; I had a grass-fed beef burger with peppers, monterey jack cheese and chipotle mayo. I had it with a side salad with tangy lemon tahini dressing that was so, so good.

 After lunch, we had a quick visit to the Asheville Art Museum. In keeping with the influence of Black Mountain Art College, its collections are devoted to 20th and 21st century art.

Being the magpie that I am, I was drawn to a new installation, called "Community." Artist Sharon Louden worked with community members to create this aluminum piece. It's mesmerizing. Its reflectiveness causes viewers to multiply, give it color and movement. If you're in the area while it's on view, be sure to check it out!

On Sunday, the whole Kennedy clan went to visit Biltmore, the largest private home in the United States. It's totally a spectacle, but it's very hard not to appreciate the craftsmanship and artistry of every single detail of the home, its grounds and even the estate's carefully planted forest.

 It's totally pricey, but definitely worth the visit in my book. The ticket price covers entry to the home, the gardens, the winery and more.

One small pro-tip though: it's not air-conditioned, so if you go in the summertime, be prepared. I'm so glad I keep a small container of bobby pins in my purse!

It was such a great visit back to Asheville and I'm amazed that such a small city still has so much to see and do after all the times I've been there. I can't wait to go back!