Monday, June 30, 2014

Jams of the Week

Music Obsession Jam: Sam Smith

Obsessed. He's been on my radar for a little while now, but since he's been doing so much press lately and I'm hearing him on the radio, I'm even more obsessed. I want him to be my celebrity British gay best friend.

Flavored Water Jam: La Croix Curate

I can cut soda, but for some reason, I can't cut fizz! I'm a big fan of these new flavors from La Croix, especially the Cherry Lime. It's delicious!

Lip Color Jam: Korres Lip Butter Balm

I posted several years ago about my love of Korres Lip Butter Glaze, but it bears repeating! I ordered additional colors because they no longer seem to sell it at Sephora, but I'm obsessed with all of them. Perfect color and perfect moisture.

Jewelry Jam: This New Ring

One of my favorite things about working at an art center is always coming into contact with beautiful handmade objects in our gift shop. I spotted this ring and had to have it! I love having pieces with a story, so it's cool to know the artist who actually made the piece. Find more jewelry like this at our gift shop at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Best v.209

I devoured Astonish Me earlier this week, which sent me down a YouTube rabbit hole of watching old clips of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland dancing the 70s away. A thing of beauty to behold. Here's some lovely links to read (sorry for the was Wine Club Beach Day):
  • 30 Books by women to read before you're 30 (shit, I'm almost out of time!).
  • Pictures of people who are (and were) cooler than cool.
  • The Onion lays a truth bomb about our reading habits.
  • Funny things happen when a Buzzfeed employee accidentally emails the whole company.
  • This incredible ad made me cry because it's so beautiful.
  • If Game of Thrones came on in the 1980s.
  • Someone drew a more accurate map of Native American tribal lands.
  • Do your friends seem depressed? Stop telling them to cheer up.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Today I Like ... Summer Reading

I've been on one of those glorious stretches of good book after good book and had to share what I've been reading for the past few weeks:

The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer for fiction last year and it's no mistake. I was amazed at how I tore through this 800+ page novel in about two weeks once I got sucked into it. It's perfectly paced, with deftly drawn characters and Tartt has an amazing ability to make you root for extremely flawed people who aren't even acting in their own best interest. Plus, the art history lover in me adored that a Dutch master painting is at the center of all the action.

The Vacationers is a super new release by Emma Straub, one of my favorite breakout authors of the past few years. Her novels are like wonderful beach reads with brains, little soap operas of characters you feel certain you've known or met sometime in your life. I will admit I have a weakness for novels centering on spoiled New Yorkers that alternate perspectives, so this was completely in my wheelhouse. A perfect book for anyone who's ever been on a family vacation.

I've just started reading Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead (last year I read her debut, "Seating Arrangements") and I already have had dreams about the characters! This book delves into the ballet world, in a time period of particular interest to me because it begins following young ballerinas in the late 70s and early 80s...the exact period my mom was a young ballerina. The direction of the main character's life turns on her involvement in the defection of a Russian ballet danseur, a thinly veiled version of Mikhail Baryshnikov. It's really great so far, and reminds me of a great movie starring Baryshnikov himself, "The Turning Point."

So what are you reading these days? What's the best thing you've read this year that you can't get out of your head?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sunday Best v.208

Amazing floating city by Nina Lindgren

How about um....Tuesday best? I have been running myself all over the damn place and completely forgot to post Sunday Best, happy Tuesday morning reading!
  • What the Orange Is the New Black inmates are reading.
  • A snippet of a slow-mo video piece, Street, by James Nares. I was completely transfixed when I saw it at the Jepson Center.
  • The inventors of the selfie are at it again.
  • I love articles about days in the life of Patti LaBelle.
  • Feeling shy at the beach? A good reminder to forget about it and enjoy.
  • Carl Sagan's daughter writes about how he has achieved immortality.
  • Fascinating interview with the female breakout star of the Fargo tv show.
  • You're not imagining it; some people are just born haters.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Savannah Shopping 2014

Savannah has SO many great shops and the influence of the Savannah College of Art & Design cannot be overstated! Here are some of my favorite things I spotted while strolling along Broughton Street (the main shopping thoroughfare) and in some of the squares. First up, a stop into Prospector Co., a gorgeously modern version of an apothecary, specializing in artisanal shaving and hygiene products, plus decor, office items and candles.

I was about to drop serious moolah on all the ceramics they carried from Ferm Living. Thank goodness I remembered I literally don't have a single space left for vases or bowls!

 I was blown away by all of the gorgeous student work available for sale at Shop SCAD, which stocks everything from amazing laser-cut leather bags to silk scarves to decor and beyond.

 The student work is incredible...I especially liked this 3D collage piece!

 I was coveting these uber-modern and cartoonish silk scarves — a chic spin on the classiest of accessories.

 I'm pretty sure every bad bitch needs a silk Tupac tank by Katie Hollan, $250.

 And no trip is EVER complete without a stop at one of my all-time favorite stores I've ever visited, The Paris Market & Brocante. It is the most impeccably curated and decorated shop; somehow you'll end up convincing yourself you just have to have $50 candles and random mini bird skulls to decorate your tabletops.

I mean...this is a display on a bookshelf. I die.

I ended up taking home a lovely scarf, a small copper bowl and this magnificent summery Tomato & Lime candle by The Archivist.

Savannah 2014: We Ate, We Drank, We Conquered

This week has been a hectic one, but I had to take time to write about my trip to Savannah last weekend! Just like we rocked it in 2013, Bret and I ate and drank our way through the dang town. Here's some shots of what we enjoyed, if you'd like to see:

We kicked off our weekend at our must-stop: Vinnie Van GoGo's. My HUGE slice of pizza had feta, sun-dried tomatoes and onions and was scrumptious.

 On Sunday, we revisited our favorite spot from last year, Tybee Island Social Club. I had my first ceviche (seriously! I'd never had it before) and it was delicious. I also sampled the red hibiscus sangria, while Bret and his mom went spicy, sampling the put-hair-on-your-chest Jalapeno Margarita and the Del Fuego, featuring muddle jalapeno, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, Mezcal and ginger beer.

 Later that night, we stopped again at Chive Sea Bar & Lounge for before-dinner drinks. Bret started his round with The Flaming June, with vodka, a kaffir lime leaf, freshly squeezed citrus, Thai chili pepper and a hint of honey. I had a Melon Mule, a twist on the Moscow Mule with delicious melon liquor.

 For our second round, Bret had the super-refreshing Cucumber Basil Cocktail, including vodka, St. Germain, fresh cucumber and basil. I had my new fave, The Bohemian, featuring gin, St. Germain, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, and a dash of bitters.

From there, we moved on to dinner at The Public Kitchen and Bar, which had another great drink menu! For our first go-round, Bret had the Rosemary Mule, with gin, ginger syrup, muddled rosemary and ginger beer and I had the Smoky Peach, a truly smoky-sweet mix of Mezcal, Peach Schnapps, Jack Rudy grenadine, soda and grapefruit bitters.

 To eat, I went crazy and got the Carolina burger, with slaw, cheddar, a BBQ ketchup and a pretzel bun. It was delicious, but messy as all get out. I had the pasta salad on the side, which was just okay.

 And for our last and final booze-soaked round, Bret tried a sip of one too-sweet cocktail, sent it back like a boss and then made the correct decision to finish strong with the Basil Gimlet, with bluecoat gin, muddled basil and lime juice, while I finished with the Sweet Tea Smash, featuring Makers 46, St. Germain, fresh lemon juice, fresh mint and iced tea. When in Georgia, you must drink sweet tea!

And drink sweet tea I did the next morning at our final brunch, again at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, the best Southern food you've ever seen, smelled or digested.

It was a delicious visit down south! Next up, my recap of the best part: the shopping!

Friday, June 13, 2014

About Town: Boardwalk Art Show,

Oh y'all....I completely lied about getting myself together this week! Work exploded and today, I'm driving to visit my bestie Bret for a weekend in Savannah. I am READY to go on a nice weekend trip, for sure.

But while I'm enjoying life down South, I don't want to leave you with no suggestions of how to spend your Hampton Roads weekend!

For more than 50 years, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk has been transformed into miles and miles of gallery space for the Boardwalk Art Show. Give yourself a lot of time to hit this one up this's worth it, but it's definitely not something to breeze through! It's free to attend.

Catch some of the region's best local up-and-coming musical acts at the Out of the Box festival in Norfolk on Saturday, featuring food trucks and music from some of my absolute favorite local musicians and singers.

Eat your way through Europe at Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival, which continues on weekends until June 29. Admission to the festival is included in park admission, and individual tastings cost between $3 and $7.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let's Catch Up: Beer Fests, Birthdays and Concerts

 Life lately, in pictures: A couple weeks ago, we saw just about everyone we know at O'Connoroo, a one-day festival kickoff for the new location for O'Connor Brewery. The new space is perfect for summertime happy hours, and food trucks come in to help satisfy the demand for tasty bites.

 The crowd was no. joke.

Wine Club's most recent venture out on the town was to Luna Maya for Stacie's birthday. Ashleigh got her the greatest tote of all time, as shown.

 I had an absolutely delicious muddled berry caipirinha.

 And let's just say we all enjoyed the cocktail menu.

 The food is amazing...every bite was better than anything I've had at most of the usual Mexican spots you've visited. I had the chicken chorizo enchiladas with verde sauce; great, smoky flavor melded with gooey, delicious cheese.

 I also had a bite of Stacie's carne asada for her fajitas, and it was so good, I'm craving it a week later!

 On Friday, we made it to the free The Head and the Heart concert at Harborfest, which was just a lovely cap to the work week.

And Saturday, we celebrated this little lady's first birthday. What's better than an afternoon sitting on the floor, watching a toddler answer a Fisher Price rotary telephone and blowing bubbles? Simple delights are the best!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Best v.207

It really doesn't ever get better than the original supers. Christy Turlington is my all-time fave!

My goodness, it's hard to blog when you could be outside isn't it? But now that my mentoring gig has finished for the summer, I expect to have my shit much more together! (Famous last words! haha)

Friday, June 6, 2014

About Town: Harborfest, The Princess Bride & Avett Brothers

I've been a bad blogger this week! I have a minor head cold that's making me act like a big baby, BUT there's some super great stuff going on in Hampton Roads this weekend that I couldn't ignore! 

Harborfest is the kind of event that makes me so happy to live here. Tall ships sail into the harbor at Norfolk AND there's a spectacular fireworks show on Saturday night. There are also all kinds of concerts and other free entertainment. It's pretty great and gets under way today with the Parade of Sail starting at noon.

 Relive your childhood by going to see The Princess Bride on the big screen at the Naro in Norfolk, presented by AltDaily at 9:15 p.m. tonight.

 Also tonight, The Head and the Heart will perform a FREE show for Harborfest at 8:30 p.m. I love their music, so we're going to try to make it to this one assuming I can keep my stuffy nose at bay.

And if you love The Head and the Heart, odds are you worship The Avett Brothers, who are playing in Portsmouth at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Best v.206

A gorgeous angle of the Mikhailovsky Ballet, found here.

We've been in an exploring mood lately, so today we drove down to the Sandbridge and Pungo areas of Virginia Beach, just for a different kind of country drive. It actually took the better part of the day, so I'm just now posting my links of the week, and there are some goodies: