Art Envy: John Meyer

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  And an even better leftover Turkey sandy day(s)…

My family and I went down to the Cape to visit my aunt, uncle and two cousins and the newest member of the clan, baby Demi.

photo 2

Are you in love yet?  Obsessed with her!

My cousins, Kerry and Justin, had a very unique upbringing as they were born in Johannesburg, South Africa and resided in Kenya, until they were five and seven years old, when their family relocated back to New England.  One of the many perks (apart from their Kenyan accents) that their family brought back from Africa, was their art collection from John Meyer, one of South Africa’s most renowned artists.  John is a personal friend of my aunt and uncle from living in Kenya and they have even come to the Big Apple to see his exhibits.  One of the most memorable pieces from my childhood is the amazing, almost life-size family portrait that he painted for them below, at their home in Kenya.  You know when certain, typically random, things will bring you right back to childhood? This portrait transports me to the living room in their old house in Massachusetts and to this day has a somewhat regal aura about it.

carven fam

Just look at the detail!  And those sweet little shoes…

detail

And two more beauties…

meyer 2 meyer 3Aren’t they amazing?  My iPhone certainly doesn’t do these paintings justice, but you can imagine what they’re like in real life!

Bry and I certainly won’t be buying any John Meyer‘s soon but it does get the wheels turning on the future of our blank walls…

Heading back to the big city soon!  Wish Thanksgiving would never end!

XO

Meg

PS – Happy Birthday MOM!!!!!  Love you.

Apartment Progress

apt update 1

We did it!  We’re officially unpacked and finally able to enjoy our new little abode.  One thing I have learned to love about our apartment is the amount of space and storage we have.  Especially after our larger than life Costco trip (both jaws dropped at check out), I was a bit concerned about whether we were going to have enough space to fit the lifetime supply of toilet paper, but luckily there was a miniature linen closet that I had never noticed before, which fit those extras in perfectly!  It’s the little things in life!  So now that everything is put away, we have been able to sit down, breathe and bask in the joys of cohabitation!  And also drive myself crazy looking at our bare walls.  Like most everyone has told me, “you have to live in a place” to figure out what you need.  Which is definitely true, but also a challenge for someone like me who wants everything to be done and perfect immediately.  That’s where Bry comes in.  Luckily I have him to tell me to “relax” (quite often) and that we will figure it all out.  But in the meantime, bare walls and all, here are some before and after shots for your viewing “pleasure” (use your imagination here people)…

Living Room

before…

living rm - before

after…

living rm - after

Kitchen

before…

kitchen - before

after…

kitchen - after

Patio

before (with old tenants…)

patio - before

after…

patio - after

patio - after 2

Bathroom

before (that blue tub…)

bathroom - before

after (attempting to hide the blue tub…)

bathroom - after

Hallway

before…

hallway - before

after (opposite angle)…

hallway - after

Bedroom

before…

bedroom - before

after…

bedroom - after

Guest Room

(I realize how obnoxious that sounds but then again we’re in Brooklyn…)

before…

guest room - before

after…

guest room - after

So as you can see there is still a lot of work to be done, but I am trying to approach it in stages.  Right now, is “living with it” stage and pretty soon I will begin the long process of tackling one room at a time… here’s what I am thinking in terms of some upcoming purchases: living room rug, mirrors!, coffee table, patio inspiration, plants, bedroom pillows (or a girl can dream…), art, book shelves, bar cart (Is it necessary? Yes, it is.) and the list goes on…

Like I said… stages…and I am sure my ideas will constantly be evolving, so might as well not jump into anything, right?  One designer who has really caught my eye lately for inspiration is Amber Interiors.  Feast your eyes interior design lovers!

XO
Meg

Color Collective

As I was thinking about what to wear to dinner (here) last night with my girlfriends, the only thing I knew for sure was that I was going to wear my new red Kenneth Jay Lane earrings.  Trying to picture what to wear with them, I thought, black? No. White? Too pale.  And then, aha!  I remembered, Color Collective.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, get involved!  It is an extremely creative and unique blog (the only I have come across) strictly devoted to color pairings seen in fashion, art and the like.  It’s not only a place where you can go for a little daily eye candy, it’s also a place to find inspiration for your style, interiors and beyond.  Here are just a few of my favorite images from the site:

Now, like I said I had picked out earrings and was not willing to give those up.  So after looking at this pairing with my earring red (and some chilly weather):

I thought about what items in my closet I had in the paired colors… and here’s the outfit I came up with!

Color Collective
(Zara jeans, Enzo shoes, Leather jacket from Italy, Forever21 scarf, Kenneth Jay Lane earrings, Rebecca Minkoff Nikki bag, Forever21 shirt)

See?  Inspiration right at your finger tips!  I am learning about color in my interior design course as we speak (remember ROY G BIV?), and it’s been very interesting to hear about the effects of color on mood and self-confidence, and how much culture affects perception of color.  I tend to be very drawn towards vibrant colors, which may be because of the positive effect it has on my mood.  And there are certain color combos that really repel me.  Black and red?  YUCK!  I don’t know why, but I just can’t do it!  What colors are you drawn towards?  What colors to you tend to avoid?

Hope everyone is enjoying the week!  Is it me or has every day felt like Friday this week?

XOXO

Brewing in Brooklyn

Guess what?  I’m posting about Brooklyn again!  Yes, yet another fascinating discovery straight out of the BK!  This weekend, my bf and I are heading over the bridge to brew our own beer!  No we’re not officially hipsters yet, but heck, we’re getting close!  As a little surprise, I was looking into going to the Brooklyn Brewery or City Winery and came across something even cooler!  As much as I enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of an afternoon brewery hang, what Bitters & Esters has to offer, is something I could not refuse!  The package includes three hours of brewing your own beer and hanging out in the brewery where you can BYOB and food to enjoy while you’re on the “job”.  Then, two weeks later you come back for another two hours of bottling.  And you don’t walk out empty-handed!  Following the bottling process they give you 12 cases of your very own brew to take home and enjoy!  How great is that?!  I can’t wait!

Bitter & Esters

They even ask you ahead of time what type of beer you want to brew and within each category there are several options, so they truly cater to your specific taste.  Over the past year, I have to be honest, I’ve become a bit of a beer snob.  I cannot stomach Bud Lights anymore (I think I may have overdone it in college), and I have even moved past the typical girly wheat beer (although I still love them) and onto IPA.  There’s only one person to blame for that, but I will leave him unnamed.  With that said, we decided on the IPA.  And not just any IPA – the Disaster IPA, which they describe as a “delicious, hoppy, British style IPA”.  Yaaahaa!

It’ll be a fun and different way to spend a Saturday.  It is supposed to be beautiful in New York so we may even head over to Smorgasburg afterwards since we will be in the area!  Remember this post?

To kick off the weekend tonight we are going to see Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis.  Have you seen the trailer!?  It looks serious but so good!  What are you all planning to do this beautiful fall weekend?!

XOXO

Pumpkin Lovin’

What is it about pumpkin that makes every female freak?  I don’t know the answer but I do know that I am obsessed with pumpkin anything.  Pumpkin beer, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin seeds – I’ll take it!  In the spirit of fall/Halloween/pumpkin season, I thought I would put together some ideas on how you can incorporate a little more pumpkin in your life – don’t deny your love.

Pumpkin Vase

Martha Stewart

Carve out the pumpkin, throw in a highball glass, water and some flowers and you’re done!  A pumpkin masterpiece! (Remember, EmSull?  Hats off to her for giving me this fab idea!)

Pumpkin Name Placers

Pumpkin Beer (with a cinnamon sugar rim. obvi.)

Whenever I go to a bar in the fall, I always order pumpkin beer and have yet to be disappointed.  HOWEVER, if you want the best of the bunch, pick yourself up a six-pack of Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale.  To make it even tastier, coat the rim of your pint glass with a mix of cinnamon and sugar and enjoy!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

While you’re carving your jack-o-lantern save the seeds, throw them in a pan and toast those bad boys!  Official instructions here.

Dinner Party Decor

Pumpkin Smoothies

pumpkin pie smoothie 5036   Creamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie for Two + An Advertising Update

Oh She Glows

Recipe here.  I have all the ingredients for these and plan to make them this weekend!  So excited!

Pumpkin Chips (yes, they really DO exist!)

I recommend you purchase these at your local Whole Foods (or health food store) ASAP.  They are out-of-this-world.

Are you tired of looking at orange yet?  Or are you on your way to get a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks now?  Lucky for us (assuming everyone reading this is on the same page), pumpkins have health benefits!  Pumpkins provide vitamin A and fiber, while also improving your vision, heart health and skin.  I’ll drink to that!

Do you have any good pumpkin recipes?  I’d love some more ideas!

XOXO

Back to School

NY Times

Last night was the first class of my interior design course!  Because I was semi-nervous (no idea why), I made sure to leave work nice and early so that I would be there in time to find my classroom, get situated, etc.  When I arrived 40 minutes early (something very uncommon in my life) I realized I may have over estimated the timing a bit, so I decided to walk around the neighborhood and pop into a few stores for some “back to school shopping”, naturally.  One store I went into was Roberta Freymann which had the CUTEST stuff.  Roberta Roller Rabbit tunics were everywhere this summer, but I had never been in the actual store and totally think it’s worth checking out for scarves, jewelry, tunics and sweaters this fall!  When I got back to the classroom, I had about 20 minutes to spare and so I sat and watched girls filtering in every few minutes, awkwardly taking a seat.  No one, I mean no one, was talking.  Everyone had their heads down on their iPhones probably pretending to be texting while perusing Facebook.  It was funny.  Even though there was not one girl under 25, everyone had the first day of school jitters.  It made me miss the excitement of school and going to class so much!  In the college years you just don’t appreciate it enough.

When the teacher began, he had everyone go around the room and say their names, what they were doing now and why they were taking the course.  It was SO interesting to hear the different jobs and reasoning behind taking the class.  The room was filled with everyone from a model-esque twenty-something working in fashion to a women in her fifties who had been working in human resources her whole life and finally decided to take a step towards her actual passion.  Seeing the older woman who waited this long, really put things into perspective for me.  There was a lawyer who spent all of her free time looking at interior design blogs (sounds familiar), an executive assistant to an unnamed celebrity chef and a woman who had just moved from Hong Kong with her family and wanted to learn how she should renovate her new apartment, which she planned to gut entirely.  I found comfort in the fact that I was not the only one with a finance background and no design experience.  In fact, the teacher himself admitted to starting his career as an accountant of all things!

The main purpose of class last night was to understand the average measurements for furniture, space requirements, ADA regulations, etc.  While it doesn’t sound that interesting, I had the BEST time and was fascinated to learn about everything from traffic flow to the ridiculous amount of money people spend on toilets like this.  $6,400 for a toilet?  Personally, there are a lot of other things I would prefer to spend money on (like a Roberta Freymann scarf).

We were also assigned our project which we will be working on for the next six weeks – designing a one bedroom apartment.  I am SO excited for this project, because, as I will post about soon, my roomie and I are moving into a one-bedroom (converted to two), in just a few weeks!   Art imitating life!  Kiddinggg (kind of).  Each person in our class of 12, will create their own one-bedroom based off of the same floor plan provided by our teacher (shown above).  On top of determining color and decor, we can use our creative freedom to place walls in different places and move rooms around, so no single apartment will be the same.  We can also chose the style of apartment, which is something I am struggling with!  Do I want to design a TriBeCa loft or a nice West Village one-bedroom I could never afford?  Decisions, decisions.  I am anxious to see what everyone’s first week of work looks like!  And I will definitely make sure to post about my progress in the coming weeks!

How is your Tuesday going?  Do you have a passion or interest you may consider taking a class on?  Coming from experience, it’s a liberating feeling!  Remember, there’s no time like the present :  )

XOXO

Smorgasburg!

Listen up Manhattan-ites!  Brooklyn has a lot more to offer than you may think.  The more I read about innovative restaurants, undiscovered neighborhoods, quirky bars and cool parks, the more I realize Brooklyn is where it’s at!  In fact, I have even recently heard about several celebutantes who you’d be surprised call Brooklyn home.  Where would you picture Olivia Palermo to reside?  The West Village?  Central Park East?  NOPE!  Brooklyn baby!  That’s right, there might be something these hipsters are keeping under wraps so that us Manhattan folk don’t take over and raise the rent (the rent is too damn high!).

In the same event, I’d like to introduce you to example #1 of why Brooklyn is cool.  Smorgasburg!  Yes, just as it sounds – a smorgasbord in Williamsburg.  Smorgasburg is a large venue of carefully selected food vendors combined with the famous Brooklyn flea market, which occurs every Saturday (Williamsburg) and now Sunday (DUMBO) throughout the fall.  Both venues are right along the East River which creates a very scenic backdrop for an afternoon of Brooklyn Bangers and Blue Marble ice-cream.

hipsters grillin’ dogs!

Some of the vendors I am most looking forward to are Alchemy Creamery, Cemita’s, Blue Marble Icecream (if you haven’t noticed this is a problem), Granola Lab,  Brooklyn Oyster Party, Red Hook Lobster PoundBite Size Kitchen, and Home By The Range.  Don’t they all have the cutest names?  I love it!  Is your mouth watering yet?

For all of you New Yorkers, have you experienced Smorgasburg yet?  Check it out before it closes November 18th!  The bf and I may even rent bikes and ride over the Brooklyn bridge!  Why not?  Come on people – live a little!

HAPPY WEEKEND!

XOXO

PS – a feel good song for your weekend : )