Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday Best v.258

Long exposure with Picasso. Photo by Gjon Mili for LIFE magazine, 1949.

Happy Birthday to Picasso, that sonuvabitch. This week is a big week...first at my new job, while still finishing up at my old job, plus it's Halloween!! Ready to skip ahead a bit to when life is more settled, but I know better than to wish time away. Here are some favorite links I stumbled upon this week:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Art Everywhere, Wine Fest and Fall-ifying the House

Busy times call for a good old-fashioned photo dump post! Things have been extra busy 'round here, because when the weather is moderate in Hampton Roads, every festival is scheduled for every weekend in October.

 A truly amazing thing happened: a nationwide movie has been released about the tiny coal-mining community where I grew up! It was amazing and emotional to see Big Stone Gap on the big screen in Norfolk, like traveling home without the 8-hour drive. I burst into tears the minute I saw the landscape. The movie isn't perfect, but it has a lot of heart and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 On Thursday and Friday, Norfolk was lit up — literally — with the inaugural NEON Festival, a celebration of all things art. The Norfolk Arts District, or NEON, was blanketed with murals and light installations and performances for two days and it was so, so inspiring. Here are a few of my favorite snaps from the unveiling of the district:

 We ran into Carmel, a friend from the Shenandoah Valley, on the street! So stunning!

 The incredible soon-to-open Glass Wheel Studio, featuring a beautiful mural by Hense.

The cementiscope, an incredible love child of a kaleidoscope and cement mixer created by three ladies from the Chrysler Glass Studio.

 Asa Jackson, finishing up a mural behind Exotic Home.

One of the coolest visual moments: At Work Release, 90's rap videos were projected toward the street, with the DJ silhouetted in front of the screen. So cool to see walking down the block.

And in another alleyway was this delightful space baby, tagged to say, "From Da Womb to Da Moon!" So good. I foresee many, many photo shoots with all the great murals.

 On Saturday, we ventured out for our traditional fall Wine Fest day. Ash and I had a great time scouting out perfect locations for future Wine Fests...

 And many glasses of wine were had!

Lastly, I've tried to autumnify the porch with some mums haphazardly planted and a couple soon-to-be-carved pumpkins. I definitely want to scope out some more pumpkins, though, but Sean reminded me, "We're just going to throw them away."

Monday, October 19, 2015

5-Year Celebration

 It's a little on the late side, but I wanted to post a bit about our five-year anniversary celebration. We wanted to go on a trip but everything about life was conspiring against it. Instead we headed out to the artful Stove restaurant in Portsmouth. The restaurant is a creative, idiosyncratic take on Southern food, decorated with the owner/chef's distinct flair. The art reminds me of early 90s Nickelodeon cartoons in the best way!

 I sipped on a pineapple sage martini...

And Sean enjoyed a Pork-a-Rama, a plate loaded with house-made sausage, slow-roasted pork belly, ham on "smoochie bear" ham, stove sauce and topped with pork belly jam.

 I had shrimp and grits, with the delicious house-made pimento cheese.

 And topped the night off with a rosemary cocktail, too.

My favorite decor element: Seussian vases loaded with flowers, mounted to the wall. Inspiring!

And we finished our anniversary weekend by purchasing a new car! It seems more exciting than it really is. The sad part of adult life is that buying a new car is rarely a treat for yourself; it's brought on by months or weeks of limping along in a car you were really hoping would last longer. But the good news is that every time I walk by the car, I think to myself, "Gosh, that is pretty." Life certainly could be worse.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday Best v.257

Mural by Bradley Theodore

Oh, lordy I am so behind on things I want to write about! I will try to carve out some time to actually update, but life has been CA-RAZY. Last weekend we spent our entire Sunday at a car dealership buying a replacement for my car, which was limping down the road. I also have accepted a new job and changing jobs is so, so stressful. October is also a super busy social time in Hampton Roads because the weather is moderate enough to enjoy! And to top it all off, I've had a cold this week and I've been trying to carve out enough time each night for a NyQuil coma. 

BUT. I can at least share some links, can't I? Here's a few to peruse on your lazy Sunday:
  • ICYMI last week: the Weezer/Kanye mashup you didn't know you were waiting for.
  • The adorable bromance of Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. And while we're at it, the touching tribute Bryce Dallas Howard gave to her dad, Ron Howard.
  • The best podcasts to start with in any subject.
  • I love tiny furniture, so I want to visit this French museum devoted to tiny film sets.
  • Handy dandy ios9 iphone tricks.
  • Kids should do chores and here's why.
  • Maps of prejudice. Guilty of thinking a lot of these things are true!
  • This video illustrates how few women are in leadership roles. It's crazy!
  • Particularly great Gloria Steinem interviews from The New Yorker and Lenny.
  • Artist Statements of the old masters. Hilarious art history jokes abound!
  • I'm carving out some time to read this story about a man making a life after prison.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Five Years

Today marks five years of marriage. I wish I could say we're jetting off to Paris, or even renting a yurt for a romantic weekend, but this year, life has really gotten in the way. 

In fact, I'd say our fifth year has been the toughest: adjusting to being new homeowners and all the curveballs that come with that (including a broken HVAC), dealing with all sorts of stupid illnesses and injuries, managing increasingly crazy car troubles, financial setbacks and just dumb bad luck stuff. 

But we are still so inordinately lucky, so insanely blessed, that it's hard to even take our problems seriously. Life really is sweeter when you see your best friend every day, a person who actually enjoys a nightly ritual of watching Jeopardy during dinner, or a person who gets weirdly obsessed with the performance of her fantasy football team despite truly not knowing what a tight end does. I always marvel at how much easier it is to tackle life's challenges when you know at least one corner of your life is going well. I wish that for everyone, and I thank my lucky stars to have it.

I'm so looking forward to year six, sixteen and sixty. 

I'd be remiss if I didn't share this old favorite:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our Ultimate Basic Fall Fest

This past weekend, we tried for the second time this year to have a backyard party, this time to celebrate the new fall chill in the air. So, naturally, we had a hurricane watch and thick humidity. Womp womp! My party planning skills are seriously being put to the test, but nonetheless, we had a wonderful time.

While wandering the aisles of pumpkin beer at my local grocery store, I was struck by the idea it would be fun to have a party devoted to all cliche things of fall: pumpkin, apple cider, decorative gourds, boots and flannel. Thus, the Ultimate Basic Fall Fest was born!

I couldn't resist going all out, so I'm basically fully decorated for all of fall.

We tore through many, many varietals of hard ciders, pumpkin and maple beers. I especially loved this Harpoon Pumpkin Cider.

 On the menu was pumpkin beer and chocolate chili, Tupelo Honey's mac and cheese and I ordered sweet potato biscuits from Handsome Biscuit, a now-legendary biscuit emporium in Norfolk. I got one dozen with arugula pesto, roasted red pepper and mozzarella...

Along with a dozen biscuits topped with Edwards ham, cucumber and spicy pimento cheese. They were delicious!

 I decorated with Dollar Tree fall flowers and string lights (which fell and broke...oops).

 I'd be remiss to not give a strong shout-out to Costco's three-flavor artichoke dip. Another winner!

 We had a delicious dessert table (not pictured: a delicious pumpkin cheesecake made by my friend Lauren's boyfriend David) including mini pumpkin bundt cakes, apple cider donuts and green apple caramel bites.

 But, most importantly, I made incredibly strong and delicious Apple Cider Jello Shots and that was the real real. The shots were made of Fireball, hard apple cider and Dr. McGillicuddy's Apple Pie liquor, which is magically delicious.

And last but not least, a shot of our revelers. Despite the storm, we had a packed house of great friends from near and far and it was great fun! Already pondering my next party, maybe?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sunday Best v.256

Bananda by Brent Schoepf

Whew lordy, it's been weeks since I shared my favorite links! And not for lack of reading material...lack of free Sundays! But never fear, if you're bored at work on Monday and looking for some distraction material, I got ya: