Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Christmas (tree) Story

Tis the season ...

I love Christmas ... love it! Love the music and decorating and shopping and all of it! And love getting my Christmas tree all up and pretty!

I always get a real tree. Always! No questions asked. No fake tree for me! And this year is no different. On Saturday I ventured out in the cold to get my tree for this year. Below is the story of this year's tree. Keep in mind that I did all these things by MYSELF! So to all you all who say that it too hard to get a tree ... whatever. I did it!
All the tree's all lined up ...
My chosen tree! All ready to get bundled up! An 8 foot one this year!
And THAT is how you get an 8-foot tree into a 2-door golf. Bam!
8 foot tree in a tiny car!
The tree was actually really heavy! It took some muscle to get it up on the shopping cart.
And into the elevator we go!
It's up! Yay! It is harder than it looks. Need to lift it up and hold it while tightening the screws in the base ... all by myself. 
I keep all my Christmas stuff in my storage closet ... which is in the other building. Two shopping carts full of stuff ... in  one trip. Pushing one cart ... pulling the other. Down one elevator, out the door, into the garage connecting the building, in through another door, and up the elevator. Harder than it sounds ... especially when you need to open the doors and are holding the carts. That is when feet come in handy!
All the Christmas stuff from storage!

My unique pretty ornaments!
Just with lights added ... 
Just the base ornaments. All the unique ones.
All done! Complete tree with filler ornaments and everything!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My life on a bookshelf

You know the expression "you wear your heart on your sleeve?" 

I wear my heart on my bookshelves ... and my walls ... and every room in my apartment. My home is a perfect representation of myself. Besides the big furniture pieces (couch, bed, desk, etc), every single piece in my place - art, decor, books, nicknacks, everything - has a story. Everything.

And with nearly 1100 square feet ... I have a lot of room to showcase all my "stuff". 

Right now, I am working to redo my office/guest room and finally bring some things up from my room at my parents house. Super excited to have some of those finally here! Also happy to spread out a few things from other places in my apartment.

While getting the various rooms ready for some shifting, I also got it ready for Christmas. Every year, I put my tree in the corning next to one of my bookshelves. Perfect location. I can see the tree while sitting on the couch, while in the kitchen, and even from my bed. The advantage of having an open loft layout ... there are really no doors anywhere! Very open! Love that!

So, I took the time to dust and clean every item on this book shelf. I admit I don't read many of the books on here anymore, but they are my favorites and they are a representation of me. Lots of big and heavy books about art, design, history, myths, Egypt, travel and photography. All the things I love!

I can tell you where each book and item came from. I can tell you a story about nearly everything. 

Once upon a time, I could have also told you dozens of greek myths from memory. And I could have told you the order of the Egyptian pharaohs and their history and important parts of their reign. I cannot do that so much anymore ... thought I would like to. 

Just one little corner of my apartment, and a perfect representation of me!
I love art and I love design. Let's remember ... I got an Art History degree while getting my Business undergrad degree just for the heck of it. When I was a teenager, I was seriously interested in becoming an architect or furniture designer. My parents got my the design book (the one with the red chair on the side), and I realized I was more interested in studying design, versus actually designing anything. Also, realized how much I love mid-century modern furniture. I would fill my apartment with that style if I could afford it!
I love this piece! It is an old school travel agency sign from Romania for Tarom, the Romanian airline. Painted on plastic actually. It is so 1960's fabulous!!! Shows a beautiful Barbie-like flight attendant (who does not look Romanian AT ALL) coming down the steps off the plane holding a bundled up baby. Love THIS!
Another slice of my life. Art. Travel. Myths. History. Architecture. Sights.
Greatest Works of Art
European Decorative Arts
A Treasury of Classic Mythology
A Guide to the Valley of the Kings
Mysteries of the Ancient World
Lost Civilizations
World Architecture
Fart Eastern Art
Nineteenth Century European Art
Graphic Design
The Alhambra of Granada
Iceland: So Quiet
Picasso has always been one of my favorite artists. I took an entire semester-long class on JUST the art of Picasso. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on Picasso's Guernica. 
More art. More books.
And even more books and more art. And some architecture for good measure.
The book on the far right - The World of Art - is one of my favorites and has a great memory. I got this for Christmas a long time ago from my parents, when I first started getting seriously interested in art. It is just page after page of art, from religious to modern. I do occasionally pull this book out and just sit my reading chair (yes, I have a reading chair, and it is located right next to this shelf) and flip through page after page. I am so "into" this book that I have actually found a mistake that the publisher made. Ha! They identified a panel from a triptych as being the center panel ... BUT it was the right panel. Bam! (I am a dork)
Travel! My dad is a great artist and does some very beautiful sketches. When we have traveled, he will often grab  a map or a a brochure or whatever and just sit down and sketch on it. I LOVE that and cherish these pieces! Here you have Tower Bridge on a Tate floor plan guide. And Big Ben on a Tube Map. Love!
When I was younger, people would always give me B&N gift cards for my birthday and Christmas. And I would also buy big, beautiful coffee table books like these. I have so many and was obsessed with getting these! Still love them, but I haven't bought a new one in 8 years. Actually, most of these books are at least 6 years old.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Screening passes from the last year(ish).

Because movies are awesome. And screening passes are awesome.

This is how we roll | Twilight Breaking Dawn Part II.

I won't say much ... because most of you haven't yet seen it. Because it doesn't come out until tomorrow ... you know.

So yeah ... I won't say much.

Just the fact that I already saw it.

And it was amazing.

And I am seeing it again in 24 hours.

And it has an amazing twist.

And it is very emotional at the end.

And ... done. Bam.

(until 24 hours from now ...)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bond +Art

Ummm ... James Bond at a museum! What?!?! Heaven!


Eclectic Weekend


Deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.
A person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

That's my life ... eclectic!  

And this weekend was a perfect example of my eclectic lifestyle! 

First came Bond. James Bond.

If you are a movie buff (like me), you know that Skyfall was released in normal theaters on Friday. But in IMAX theaters on Thursday. So where was I Thursday night at 8pm? Skyfall of course! I can write an entire post about Skyfall (and I probably will), but for now let's just say, it's amazing! Seriously amazing. Quality, classic Bond. Gone are the gizmos and gadgets ... it is just an amazing guy going back to the Bond roots. The movie grips you from the very first minute and doesn't let up at all. And it gives you a glimpse into Bond's past. Amazing! So amazing that I saw it Thursday, and I will probably see it again Sunday.

From action movie to epic tragedy. A night at the opera. Anna Bolena. 

I love movies and theater and anything that really involves a performance and story. Really. That includes opera. This was the second production of the season - Donizetti's Anna Bolena. A great production with amazing vocals and a very talented ensemble. This opera focuses on the period at the end of her life when Henry was already falling for Jane Seymore and looking for a way to get rid of Anne.

I clean up pretty good for the opera (one of my many little black dresses ... fabulous heals ... intricate updo), but I can also enjoy a great bonfire on a Friday night. 

But, to further emphasize my eclectic lifestyle, the bonfire include s'mores as well as champagne. Yup. This girl doesn't do beer. Let me tell you, champagne + s'mores (plus good company) in front of a great fire on (what will probably be) the last nice night of the year is AMAZING!

From Friday night bonfire to a Saturday afternoon baby shower.

Many of my friends are married and moving forward with their lives. Babies babies babies. Within the last two months, one girlfriend announced she was pregnant with her second, another had her first, and we celebrated a baby shower for a third girlfriend! For this baby shower, I ventured to Babies R Us for the first time. OVERwhelming! Ahhhhh. That place is a mess and the registry and aisles are confusing. But I love my friends ... so to Babies R Us I go!

Add in some random girly book reading and some good old MBA case studies. Along with catching up on my TV shows (Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Grey's Anatomy). Cleaning the apartment. Brunch. And some other activities ...

Like I said ... eclectic. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November = ticket month

I have been a bad little blogger recently. Crazy two months. Lets leave it at that. But this month is all about regaining some balance, getting back to working out and eating well, and having some fun!!!

For that last one, this month is all about tickets!

Madonna concert
MCAD art sale
Other movies ...

At least 2-3 ticketed shows per week. Yipee!!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rear View Mirror

I was in Iceland two years ago. We were driving and we went through this massive storm. Blinding rain. Black clouds. Just horrible. Then, we literally turned a corner and there were blue skies. Clear blue skies ahead. Rear view mirror shows those dark clouds with only blue ahead. 

That is pretty much how my life feels right now. I feel like I turned a corner and I can see the dark clouds of the past weeks/months in the rear view and the landscape ahead looks (mostly) clear.

Let's hope that these clear skies stick around.

Also, let's hope I get back to Iceland again soon because it was amazing!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Looper (+ a few other movies)

Lots of movies lately. Let me give you the (very short) rundown ...
  • Looper - See it. So good. I am not going to give away too much because ... well ... you just really need to see if for yourself. But seriously, well acted and well directed. A really good story, and even though it is far-fetched, they really make it work and set it up perfectly at the beginning. Oh, and what they did to JGL face makes him totally look like a young Bruce Willis.
  • Celeste and Jesse Forever - Quality. Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg are amazing.
  • Bachelorette - Overall, not as good as Hangover or Bridesmaids (which is the genre it falls into), BUT anything with Kirsten Dunst is generally good. I haven't seen her in a movie in a long time, so it was refreshing. And she did a great job in the role and brought it to a nice level. 
  • Hit and Run - Pretty good, worth a laugh. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are great together on screen (since they are actually together in real life).
  • The Words - Skip it. It tries, it really does, but it just doesn't work. 
  • Premium Rush - Ok. It's pretty full of action and it all works. But it is not JGL's best work.
  • Bourne Legacy - Ok. But not as good as the Matt Damon movies.
  • The Master - Great acting. But I'm sorry, it was just really hard to watch it in the theater. DVD perhaps?
  • Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark - Still good all these years later. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The one in which I did a lot ...

As the title of this entry alludes to, there was a lot going on this weekend.

Also, it alludes to the fact that I have been watching way too much Friends as I titled it like the episodes, "the one ...". Oh dear.

September has been very busy and I cannot believe that there is just one more week left. What happened? School happened. Babies happened. Life happened.

The semester is off to a good start. I like my Monday class well enough, thought I am not looking forward to the final project. As for my Tuesday class - IDSC - I am only so-so about it. I should be doing my homework right now, but (obviously) I'm not. Thank goodness it is only a two credit and there are just four classes left. After this week, I will be over halfway done. Yay.

Back to the weekend.

Let's start with Thursday.

Thursday's are generally good ... especially when it is the Third Thursday of the month because that is when the Minneapolis Institute of Art does their fun themed evening event. Love it! I attend every single one. This month was typography. And among other fun activities, you could screen print your own fun little LP size poster. Awesome! I went a bit overboard and did 7. Hey ... I had to do all the different color combos.

Moving onto Friday.

Went to work. That was just awesome as always! I just love going to work. Love love love work. Yay!

Anyway ... after work I ran some quick errands including a stop to AT&T. So ... side story. I have been on my parents family plan with Tmobile for years. Years. Yeah ... it has worked out well for me. But, the contract expired on Friday and we decided to search out alternative options. During out time with Tmobile we have always had iPhones, we just pay for them in full. No buggy. But since the 5 is coming out, this seems like the perfect time to make the switch. Learned a lot about how the plans work and what the best choice would be from my chat with the semi-cute sales rep. 

Then I met up with some peeps and we went to opening night of the newly refurbished Uptown Theater. Ooooohhh. Ahhhhh. I had only been there a few times, but it looks nice. Comfy seats. Lots of leg room. Sound was kind of "eh" though. Saw The Master. I will say this much about it: the acting was incredible all around, but I just could not keep up with the story. See it, but maybe on DVD.

Then came Saturday.

Up nice and early ... to go to the office. Awesome! I prefer to just go in early on a Saturday and get some work done rather than dragging my computer home and dragging out the process and inevitably not getting as much done as I would have liked. The upside to working on the weekend: I always allow myself a stop at Starbucks for a treat!

After work I had a hair appointment (toned down the summer blonde, brought in some low-lights with my natural color to go for a bit more natural of a look, easier to maintain) but stopped off at a antique shop a friend recommend. Now, if you know me, you know I like estate sales and good thrift store finds. Part of it really is the search and the feeling when you find something truly unique. This store my friend recommend is called Hunt & Gather and is located at Xerxes and 50th. My friends in The Cities who like this sort of thing probably know all about it, but I had never been. Room after room after room after room (after room) of antiques. Everything from jewelry to furniture to clothes to frames to road signs to bowls full of scrabble letters to big signage letters to flash cards. EVERYTHING you could ever imaging from every estate sale, in one place. 

It really was neat to wander in the rooms, but it took away some of the fun of the hut itself for me. For example, I have always wanted to find some beautiful stand-alone letters from old store signs to spell out my name. I am always on the lookout! Well, this place had an entire room pretty much dedicated to these kinds of letters! I could have my pick. But the fun was lost, so I didn't really even bother.

Prices were very reasonable though and I probably will go back in the future just to look. I think it is a great place ... but I really don't need more "stuff".

Then came my hair appointment. Since September is "Save-tember", I took advantage of a great Living Social deal for a salon I hadn't tried before. Got $90 for the price of $45. Full foil was $120, plus tip. The whole thing cost me $67. Success!

Then it was time for opening night at the opera! And not just any opening night, but opening night of the season! Yay! I love the opera. The music, the production, the fan fare, the people watching. Everything. A friend even came along this time, so it was really fun to share the experience with someone! The performance was Verdi's Nabucco, and the soprano who played Abigaille was simply amazing. Her voice was beautiful and she has this incredible range. Wow!

Normally I wear my hair up when I go to shows, but since it had just been freshly blown out, I left it down and straight. Not the best photo, but you see the color.

And the evening gowns and furs and tuxes were in full force tonight. Love it! Wish I had a ball gown to sport. I'm telling you, next year I may just have to get one ...

And finally, there was Sunday.

Woke up a bit later than I would have liked and did some reading for my classes. Then went to brunch and proceeded to do even more reading for my classes (and I am still not done, FYI). 

Then, drove the one hour up to Taylor's Falls, a cute little town right on the border with Wisconsin where there is a nice State Park. Took advantage of my State Park pass and went out to do some hiking. It was a beautiful crisp fall day. Great for long pants and sleeves. Hiked the river path and then the bluff path for a nice circuit. Then headed back down to the river and just sat out on the rocks and read my Kindle while listening to the falls and enjoying the weather. Perfection.

Hehehe. Funny funny.
Drove back to the city. Cleaned the apartment. Made an incredible delicious stir fry for dinner. Did three loads of laundry and procrastinated on doing more school work. 

And that was my weekend. See. I told you I did a lot. 

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