When was the last time you took a nice relaxing bath? I used to be a real bath person. When I was younger, I preferred them over showers but now, it's a lot harder for me to relax in the bath. I get bored. I love these bathtubs though, the top picture looks about as relaxed as one could possibly get, a nice, large, outdoor bathtub! The second one was designed by Marco Tallarida, and I thought it was a creative and beautifully modern take on a luxery bath, and of course the old claw foot Victorian bath tub would make you feel like a princess no matter what. Some good tunes, some delicious bubble bath, and a nice warming face mask (I am in love with this one from Be Fine) and you can be magically renewed after a rough day. Here are a few tips on how to make your bath tub experience a real treat.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Did you ever dream of your very own treehouse when you were young? I think everyone did. Did you expect to see something like these fabulous homes in trees? I'm thinking I want to live in a tree someday, they really aren't just for playing anymore. There are some places around the country where you can vacation in a tree house. Check out beautiful Eureka Springs, Arkansas while staying in this lovely treehouse, you can visit Mt. Rainier while sleeping here, or you can check out some other treehouse resorts. I think staying in one of these would be great for a honeymoon or just a relaxing getaway. How romantic to stay in a treehouse. Either way, I still want one in my back yard, I can imagine climbing up a rope ladder, sipping pink lemonade, reading books and listening to the birds chirp while relaxing in the treetops.
Have you seen this movie? It was released almost three years ago and I watched it for the second time tonight, it was just as good the second time around. Lars and the Real Girl stars super cute Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Patricia Clarkson, and Kelli Garner. This movie is more than its premise...Dude falls in love with a sex doll.. This movie is about community and love and family and compassion. It is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, totally original, funny and just all around beautiful. If you haven't seen it, put it on your queue, go down to Blockbuster, or just buy it out right. You can't not love it.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Spring is in the air and if you're stuck inside all day in the office, at school, or you just have to be in your home getting your laundry done. Open your windows! I don't know why but I've seen in some of the places I've lived, neighbors who either have their heat on or their air conditioning on year round! Do you really need one or the other on all the time? Decrease your bills and help the environment by turning it off! Today is beautiful in Kansas City, don't know how it is for everyone elsewhere, but I think spring has come to visit most parts of the country. Fresh air is so beneficial, it will stimulate your brain, get you motivated to do something, anything, so do it, open the windows!
photo credits: Ryan Beryl and bestgreenhometips.com
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Half Priced Books may be my favorite non-clothing store EVER. It is dangerous for me to go in, I can never get away with spending less than $40, but I always walk out with four or five new books. My boyfriend suggested we go there today so he could get a new book to read and here I am, not planning on getting anything, yet walking out with three new picks. I bought Tricia Guild's book Pattern a book that should prove to keep me engrossed for a while with its delightfully bright pages of rooms I long to have in my fantasy home. I also left with Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick, as if I need another project book but I just loved some of the designs, so I couldn't leave without it. Half Price Books is great, not only because it saves me money but because its just another way to recycle, while I am never one to give away books or sell them because I plan to have a library in my house to rival the Beast's (you know from Beauty and the Beast), I'm glad other people do. Walk in with a stack of books and leave with some extra cash or some new things to read, who doesn't like buy, sell, trade? Stores like this really help the community, right now they have a program called The Half-Pint Library, getting books to kids in need. If you want to find a store near you, visit their Store Locator.
Friday, March 26, 2010
It's supposed to rain this weekend in Kansas City. But I hear only on Saturday. Here are some things to do, inside and outside for free. Go to the Rivermarket Antique Mall (really, if this trip remains free is up to you) it is so fun to just walk around that place, and it can last all day. There are some great finds there, from home decor, to tools, clothes, paintings, whatever. Or, why not visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art? Their permanent collection is free to view and if you haven't been there in a while, you can check out the newer wing of modern art or take a look at their American art collection, which was just revamped last year. For some great things to do outside, drive on down to Parkville and walk around English Landing Park, swing on swings, slide down slides, hang out in the gazebo or just walk the trail by the river. Refreshing and romantic. The Parkville Nature Sanctuary is also beautiful, I always see a deer or two while I am there and they have great little benches to take a rest on. One has my favorite poem on a plaque by Richard Braughtigan on it. Love this place. You can also drive out to the State Park in Weston, Mo. Beautiful trails and a great place to reconnect with nature after being cooped up in the house all winter. Whatever you do this weekend, have fun!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I think I have a problem. It was passed down from my mother. We are purse horders. I used to make fun of her for it, but I'm living it. I really want some kind of slouchy, big, brown leather bag. I am loving this one by Vitalio Vera. I think it's perfect, but should I spend the money??
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The first time I walked in this place, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The beads, the paper, the fabrics, the yarn, the craft books. Oh my! I could spend and entire day in here and more money than I can compute. Urban Arts and Crafts is located in Briarcliff Village just off 9 highway in Riverside, Missouri. As soon as you walk in the bright colors invite you in and you slip into a daze only crafters understand. You are like a kid in a candy store. I tend to drift to the back corners to fondle soft yarns in bright colors and stare in awe at their wall of beautiful needles. On the opposite wall is a plethora of Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt, and Anna Maria Horner fabrics along with fat quarters, notions, patterns and wonderfully inspired project books. They offer classes through the year where you can make your own projects, altered art jewelry, knit hand warmers, screen printed anything, and more. Check out their class schedule. They are located at 4157 North Mulberry Drive.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Honey bees fascinate me. Aside from being a librarian, I would really like to have my own hive someday. These creatures are absolutely imperative on the survival of human beings. The tasty honey we love to add to our tea is not the only way humans can benefit from bees, they pollinate every crop of fruit and vegetable that we eat, that our pets eat, that the animals we eat eat. They fascinate me because of their significance for human existence, but I also find them so interesting because their colonies are almost completely female. The Queen is obviously the most important bee in the hive, but every worker bee is also female. They do have drones, but their one job is to fertilize the eggs of the queen, they live only about eight months and are then driven out of the hive. I find honey bees to be quite mysterious because of this phenomenon and I cannot wait to have my own hive so I can get to know them better. Honey has a lot of beneficial qualities, cosmetic, holistic, and medicinal. You can use honey mixed with yogurt or avocado and banana and make a wonderful mask for the hair or skin. A drop in some hot water with some lemon provides and instant soothing remedy for a sore throat, and if you have allergies, buy local honey, as the pollen in the honey is the same as the pollen you're having a reaction to and will help build up a natural immunity to it. We must all hold the honey bee sacred, as our survival as a species depends upon them. Einstein has been quoted as saying that, "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left". We better watch out.
I don't think it's just me. I always feel like I am on the path to finding or really creating my true self. We are all a work in progress. I picked up Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison when I was 18. Read through it in wonder and then when I packed everything away to go travel, it got packed away too. I reopened it when I was 22 and again, read through it in wonder, finding it just as relevant as I had four years ago. Again, I picked it up with I was about 25 or 26 and found myself finding other passages that maybe hadn't spoken to me as strongly earlier, shake me to the core. I decided I had to immediately find and buy her other books, Brave on the Rocks and Messy Thrilling Life. They are just as wonderful. Sabrina's books so eloquently illustrate in both words and pictures the greatness of life, from being totally insecure about your body, or feeling inadequate in your chosen path to those glorious days when you finally feel like you've got it, the sun is shinning bright and you're feeling beautiful, encouraged, hopeful, validated, and the world is yours for the taking (and giving). Not only are her words encouraging, her pages a true illustrations of these feelings, each page is a literal work of art. I think Spilling Open will remain my favorite of the three because it was the first I read and the one I've read the most, but each book is immensely special, wonderfully honest, and extremely gorgeous. Purchase any of these and other wonderful books by Sabrina here.
Monday, March 22, 2010
It is my major disappointment in life that I did not become a Ballerina. While almost every little girl in the United States goes to dance class at some point in her life, most just go on to be cheerleaders who dream about becoming a Rockette...not there's anything wrong with that. Ballet just isn't really as highly regarded as it is in places like France or Russia. I still really love to read about ballerinas and watch ballets, so when I was looking around for new movies to put on my queue, I saw this documentary, Ballerina about dancers from the Kirov ballet. It was fascinating and inspiring. Their discipline to their art and the beauty they create is amazing. I had also never heard of Diana Vishneva but I think she's my new idol. She became a soloist at the Kirov after only a year, she is beautiful and truly creates the characters she plays they really become a part of her. I would love to see her dance.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
If you live in the midwest you can sympathize with me. The first day of spring and we got something like 6 inches of snow. Sad. We've been waiting for spring for what seems like ever and Kansas City has had an especially snowy winter. It was just 60 degrees the other day, then it dropped off and we got lots more snow. Hopefully this is it for us but, if you really want it to feel like summer, here are some things you can do to trick yourself into for the day. First, crank up the heat in your apartment, I know you're poor from the high heating bills already, but another few hours of extreme warmth won't hurt you. Second, go out and buy a nice big bottle of Tequila and Margarita mix, salt and some limes and make yourself a nice batch of margaritas. Then, put on your favorite sun dress, you know, the one you've been gazing at longingly in your closet, dying to wear it but it just hasn't been warm enough yet, put it on! Then, get out some great summer flicks like The Parent Trap with Haley Mills or the original Gidget. Who doesn't love a good old fashioned surf movie? It might not be as good as the real thing but hey, its not a bad substitute!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
So, I told you all about some great restaurants in St. Louis last week, but I haven't done that for my own town, Kansas City. These are some of my favorite restaurants in the city. Spin! pizza is so amazing. And I'm not just saying that because I work there. It really is the best pizza in the city. I eat there after my shifts, not just because its convenient but because it's that good. I love the Pollo Chevre. An olive oil glaze with roast chicken, goat cheese, caramelized onions and crimini mushrooms with fresh mozzarella. I also love the new whole wheat crust with the Pizza Classica. I am loving the Spinaci e Ricotta: spinach, ricotta cheese, sliced tomatoes on a red sauce with fresh mozzarella and oregano. The Sonoma salad is also amazing. Lots of lettuce, apples, raisins, grapes, crushed pecans, goat cheese, with a blood orange vinaigrette to top it off. La Bodega is also so amazing. I can suck down some of the Sangria like I'm an eight year old drinking kool-aid. Tapas is also just so much fun, I love getting together with my best girlfriends and coming here, picking out some food and everyone taking a few bites. My absolute favorite thing is the Crespelle de Feta y Puerros, this wonderful layered crepe slice with feta cheese, leeks, and basil. It is one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth. Then there is Eggtc. Such great breakfast. Sometimes there can be a wait on a table, especially if you come on a weekend, but it is definitely worth the wait. My boyfriend claims to be a French Toast connoisseur and he says theirs is the best he's had. I love the Eggs Benedict Florentine and their Despierto Burrito. They also have a great Bloody Mary.
Check out the menus for these great restaurants at their respective websites.
Friday, March 19, 2010
I really love tea. A cup of hot tea on a cold day is probably one of the most comforting things on this earth. I discovered Zhena's Gypsy Tea a couple of years ago and kept wanting to try more, they are so delicious. My favorite is their Coconut Chai, even though I hate coconut, this tea is one of the best blends I have ever had. These teas are all organic, fair trade to boot, and you can purchase refills of their tea sachets (make with hemp paper) for the cute tins they come in. I personally have these tins all over my house, holding my pens, knitting needles, and other odds and ends. Some other of my favorite flavors are Red Lavender and Gypsy Love.
I am pretty proud of myself. I have gotten into a good habit of remembering my reusable shopping bag every time I go to get groceries. I love these string bags too because they are so compact, I can just slip it right into my purse. They are much sturdier than they look, they can carry something like 50 pounds. Its crazy! They are awesome though and as an added bonus a lot of grocery stores will give you a small discount for bringing your own bag. You can get a set of 5 in different colors at reusablebags.com. No more annoying plastic bags to deal with, I swear they reproduce when you're not looking.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
It's been so long since I fell in love with Gwen Stefani, I don't even know when the affair began. It must have been 7th or 8th grade. I remember my best friend gave me a little old CD called Tragic Kingdom that her brother had heard before "Just A Girl" was even on our radio station. I put it into the massive CD player in my bedroom and listened to it start to finish. I have been hooked ever since. Gwen has always been a woman I've loved. If she's on the cover of a magazine, I will buy it. Music, Fashion, Motherhood, Marriage, she and Gavin have been together for a while, maybe almost record breaking for a Hollywood marriage, right? Both No Doubt and her solo career have rocked my world. Tragic Kingdom will always be a favorite of mine and I adore her own Sweet Escape as well. I often listen to these albums while I'm working out or taking a long trip in the car and belt out the songs like I'm on stage with her. From red lipstick to crop tops and bindis to her edgy albeit sophisticated style as of late, I will follow her until she or I dies, whichever comes first.
I love to sew. When I have some free time I really love to spend it behind my sewing machine. I scored a Free 1954 Necchi Supernova when I lived in Winona, Minnesota and it works like a charm, nice and heavy duty and runs beautifully. For the past...while it has sadly been sitting on my desk collecting dust because I rarely get time to myself to work on things BUT when I do, I Love to use Amy Butler Fabrics. I discovered Amy Butler through her book InStitches which I picked up at my local library. It comes with patterns for projects that are way cooler than those goofy patterns you pick up at Hobby Lobby that end up looking like giant sacks or monstrosities you want to burry in your closet. She has patterns for everything from lounge pants, to bedside organizers, to cozy quilts. She designs all her own fabrics which are usually a modern take on classics, like damask prints in modern colors, that look fresh and beautiful anywhere. Check out her other books too, Midwest Modern and Little Stitches for Little Ones