#GregAndMollieGoWest2017

Once again Greg and I were lucky enough to make the trek out to Idaho with On River Time (the nonprofit Greg works for). This was our third year together (Greg went one year by himself). Yet again, we parlayed it into a mini/cheap vacation. Check out last year’s post here and 2015 here.

We had a great time with the kids. I even got to go out and fish this year. I was not excited about it at first because tbh I knew I was going to have to wear a hat but then I caught one! And then I caught more! Despite the hat, I had fun fishing. Oh and in that first picture I didn’t know how to hold a fish for the camera… no one told me! All fingers with a little bit of fish *eye roll*.

Usually the kids get to visit Yellowstone but this year we switched it up and went to the Grand Tetons. We had an awesome guide named Sarah who picked up a lot of random animal poop all in the name of nature and learning. She took us on a hike and to see a beaver dam. She was awesome. She was totally nerding out on nature and that’s exactly the type of guide you want.

After our Idaho adventure we hopped on a plane to San Jose where we spent a few days with Greg’s college buddy, Jack. He and his girlfriend, Char were our gracious hosts. Really, they were great and it’s awesome to have friends in appealing locales (anyone live in Hawaii? Costa Rica? France?).

Our first day in California we drove down to Big Sur. They had a massive landslide earlier this year so a portion of it was closed. I was kind of bummed but we still managed some incredible views.

There aren’t words to accurately describe this place but it gave me some feelings. We stopped at a beachy area where we climbed the rocks and watched the waves.

As we were leaving a couple came to take their wedding pictures and I cannot think of a better place. There are so many colors in cliffs and then the water and then the beach, oh my. I would love to see their photos.

On our way back to San Jose, we stopped in Monterey (Big Little Lies!) for lunch and picked up local sea bass to cook for dinner. It was pretty much the idyllic day with perfect weather and good company.

The next day we went on a five mile hike in the San Jose valley. As we were hiking the view continually changed. The terrain is just so different than Alabama. It felt other worldly at times. And at times it felt like we were in Italy. Everything is golden and green and so much texture.

When we got back from our hike we had the ultimate Silicon Valley experience… we went to LinkedIn. Jack has been working there for the past year as a coder (whatever that means, idk). He gave us a little tour around the building he works in (because LinkedIn has multiple buildings). Everything was Marvel themed. They have espresso machines, sparkling juice machines, snacks, and fridges packed on every level. Like, no wonder everyone wants to work in tech. It was really neat to see and despite what you might think they don’t have cubicles per se and there is a lot of natural light.

We went to a near by town where popped into a local bookstore and then to a beer garden. We had a low key dinner back in San Jose. The next morning we left for San Francisco!… Stay tuned for that post.

 

Trend: Minimal Manicures

I’ve said it before but I’m kind of a freak about having my nails painted. I don’t get “professional” manicures but I give myself one every Sunday night. Lately, I’ve been wanting to add a little **pizazz** to my basic polish job but nothing too crazy. Enter…. minimal manicures aka laziest nail art ever. These are classic, simple designs that are a little more fun but not garish. They are simple enough to do at home or have done at any nail salon. So, dig your boring nails into this…

Dot, dot, not a lot. When I taught elementary art that’s what I would tell my students about using glue. I think it applies here too. Dots are easy and versatile. You definitely don’t need any nail tools. A q-tip, bobby pin, or toothpick will do the job.

 

Stripes are always classic. You can play with varying widths and numbers of stripes for different effects. Again, no fancy tools necessary. I usually just use the polish brush but if you want more control or thinner stripes you can get a cheap paint brush from any craft store or tape.

 

Triangles are stripes’s first cousin. Wether acute or obtuse, you can get a range of looks with them. Use a little bit of tape for perfect points and you’ll be envied by all zebras and tigers in the zoo.

 

Embrace a natural part of your nails and enhance those God given lunulae (the actual name of the white part of your nail, latin for little moon) with glitter, solid color, or no polish at all. Remember those hole reinforcers? Yeah, they can be used for this look.

 

The traditional French tip manicure is passé in my humble opinion. But, YOU DO YOU. If you’re looking for an update though… try unexpected colors, a different shape, or an ombre. See? We all win. Yay, us!

 

There is no skill required for ombre nails. All you need are at least three polishes in the same hue or tone and you’re good to go. Only bonus points if you’re a polish hoarder like me and five of the same. If you’re feeling extra bold try this fancier gradient. Or, just paint each nail a random color. That works too!

 

Nailed it.

I am Statement Earrings, Ear me Roar!

Let’s talk about the things that dangle from your lobes… haha that sounded gross.

Earrings! Let me talk to/at you about earrings!

Since the fall I have seen statement earrings popping up on the ol’ fashion blogs and on the instagrams. I’m one to move cautiously if at all towards trends so I’ve been hanging back. I also have sensitive ears. BUT, I’ve had visions of statement earrings dancing through my head.

You may be thinking, “Great! I still have ALLLLLL of my chandelier earrings and hoops from college!” Well, I don’t want to burst your bubble because if you still like them, wear them… but this time around think bigger, quirkier, geometric, tassels, and pompoms. Think of them as little works of art.

So, I think I’m going to have to break out the neosporin and give the statement earring the college try. Here are a few I’m picturing to wear with a t-shirt, high waist jeans with a raw hem, and some clogs (click images to shop):

Oscar Gowns and Art 2017

Another year, another Academy Awards, another gowns and art post. Thank you to my friends that gave me a little encouragement to do this again. Sometimes I think I’m the only one that reads my blog so it’s nice to have some feedback. If you like something you see, please let me know! See past years here and here.

Back to the 2017 Oscars… overall, this was probably my least favorite one ever. The dresses were kind of all the same to me (gold or solid) and the ceremony wasn’t that interesting either. I missed the most exciting part with the mix up over the “Best Picture” because I went to bed. There were a lot of nice dresses but not many were very exciting. Despite the yawnfest, I still managed to pick out five that I thought were worth a second look.

Art : Frank Stella / Pamela Wiley / Ben Nicholson

Priyanka Chopra: If I could go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow as Priyanka I would finally know the feeling of being better than everyone else… haha. Man, that girl has some confidence. If she were teaching lessons on how to be her I would totally sign up. I feel like there should be a t-shirt with the slogan “Be Like Priyanka” in bold letters. Only she could wear this dress (and those cuffs!) with ease. It’s probably obvious this dress beckons to quilting but quilts are beautiful so there you go. The dress seems like a work of modern art itself so it felt natural to pair it with two such artist.

 

Art : Nike Schroeder / Todd Chilton / Bobbie Burgers

Ginnifer Goodwin: I thought Ginnifer looked like a porcelain doll but I haven’t seen or heard much about her look. Mostly everyone has focused on this very similar red dress which is also beautiful. I actually liked GG’s a little better because of the fit, tiers of transparency, and structure. This dress is bold and romantic all with a lightness to it. Very complex! Which all seemed like a challenge but I think I found artwork with the same qualities. (That top work is super cool string art!)

 

Art : Crystal Liu / Henri Matisse / Nicoletta Darita de la Brown

Janelle Monáe: I’m not surprised that Janelle wore the most outstanding dress of the night. I love her style. I’ve contemplated only dressing in black and white because of her. This dress has a lot going on but I was happy to see somebody taking a risk. In my search for art I focused on black, white, metallics, and texture. How perfect is that black bag with the gold embroidery?!? This dress is fun and whimsical so only fun and whimsical art would do. Thank you for being you, J!

 

Art : Kelly O’Brien / Curtis Jere / Tracie Cheng

Jessica Biel: Dipped in gold like an Oscar herself! Way to show up everyone, Jess. You already got Justin… why you got to steal all the attention too??? I love tone of this dress; the gold is more brown than yellow and looks perfect with her coloring. And that neckline! I also really love the distressed trend on a formal dress – how fresh. The artwork I picked for this gown are just as luxe and detailed and timeless.

 

Art : Rosemarie Auberson / Miranda Crooks / Amanda Clyne

Hailee Steinfeld: I’m not totally sure who Hailee Steinfeld is but that’s okay because her dress is bee-yoo-ti-fullll. The light lavender-y color is gorgeous. I hardly realized the dress is (basically) entirely sheer. To fully appreciate it, you should see a close up. And the ruffles on the back! It is the definition of pretty to me. I went for artwork that had the same sheer and etherial quality as the dress. I really love how unabashedly feminine the dress is and so I picked artwork that was the same and was coincidentally made by all women. You go girls.

Three Great Podcast Episodes

It’s no secret I love podcasts and try to push them on everyone I know… Well, today is no different. If you haven’t dipped your ears into the pool of podcasts then consider this your doggy paddle lesson. Here are three podcast episodes I’ve listened to recently and thought were exceptionally good:

1 :: No Coincidence, No Story! by This American Life

Why I Like It :: I love a good coincidence story. It has suspense and intrigue. I feel like there should be a Finnish word to describe the feeling you get when you’re part of one. If anything, this podcast will make you want to pay attention to your surroundings and the minutia of your daily life. You never know what will pop back up days or years later. That’s part of the fun of being alive. (Please tell me a coincidence story if you have one!)

 

2 :: The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes by Invisibilia 

Why I Like It :: This one surprised me. It is not at all what you think it might be about. Within this podcast there are a diverse range of stories and angles on the topic including one with a holocaust survivor (my favorite part). I was thinking it was going to be more about fashion but it ended up being more about psychology (and the interesting people in the episode). Human interest and psychology are the perfect combo.

 

3 :: Tim Gunn on How to be Amazing with Michael Ian Black

Why I Like It :: First, I love Tim Gunn and I love Michael Ian Black. Second, Michael Ian Black is extremely good at interviewing. I am really impressed. Tim Gunn is very relatable, open, and smart in this interview. I’ve listened to a few interviews with Tim Gunn and this one is my favorite. Michael Ian Black asks the best questions and all the questions you would want asked. I would recommend this podcast as a whole. I’ve enjoyed all of them that I’ve listened to.

 

If you’re wondering when to listen… I listen to podcasts on my commute, while cleaning my house, getting ready in the morning, prepping dinner, and walking the dogs. Basically anytime you have a mundane task is a good time to listen.

 

If you listen to podcasts, let me know what you’re listening to! I love to try new ones.

Valentine’s Card – Day 5

I really like the way a bunch of eyes look… no pun intended. In design school we had to come up with a movie festival poster and I had the idea of a bunch of eyes. So I cut 100+ eyes out of magazines and collaged them together. I thought it looked awesome. My professor did not. But it’s an image/concept I always come back to. Remember this post?

>>> Click to Download ‘Eye Heart U’ Printable Flat 4 x 6 Card <<<

>>> Click to Download ‘Eye Heart U’ Digital Illustration <<<

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