Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Maira Kalman "Elements of Style" Exhibit at the Frist

I know I am a million years late to the game, but oh my goodness - Maira Kalman is amazing.


image source

Over the years, I had seen her illustrations online and loved them. In May, I finally put Elements of Style on my Amazon wishlist but never bought it. I went with my friend Michelle to the Frist on Sunday and was thrilled to see that there was a Maira Kalman Elements of Style exhibit!

Three bright, beautiful rooms featured her Elements of Style illustrations. (If you aren't familiar with the book, it's a book on how to write well from 1920. E.B. White updated it in 1959 and Maira Kalman's illustrations were published in 2005.)

The illustrations are incredibly clever and witty. The colors are vibrant and beautiful and the entire exhibit exudes joy. I was so inspired by it! I immediately ordered Elements of Style and bought another book she illustrated in the museum gift shop. She writes and illustrates children's books and whenever we get a kid in the future, you can bet I'll be collecting all of those!

The exhibit runs through September 1st and tonight there is a special event to discuss Maira's amazing work. 

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New Comedy on USA: Playing House

Best Friends Forever was one of my favorite shows that NBC has ever aired and sadly, they only aired 6 episodes. You can watch them still on NBC.com though - and they're definitely worth checking out!

The show starred real-life best friends Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham -- hilarious comedic actresses that you will probably recognize from various roles. (Lennon played Peggy's real estate agent on Mad Men and Jessica is the TJ Maxx spokesperson.) They are both extremely talented and I'm so excited that they have a brand new show premiering tonight on USA.

Playing House brings the friends together again as new characters - Maggie and Emma. When their lives are turned upside down, they turn to each other.


From the official website:

Childhood best friends Maggie Caruso (Lennon Parham, “Best Friends Forever”) and Emma Crawford (Jessica St. Clair, “Best Friends Forever”) have shared countless adventures growing up together in the charming town of Pinebrook, CT. Now, Maggie and Emma are in store for one of their biggest adventures—raising a baby. When Maggie discovers that her husband is having an online affair with a muscular German woman, Emma gives up her burgeoning business career in China to stay in their hometown and help Maggie raise her baby. Meanwhile, as Maggie prepares for the birth of her first child and the fallout of her marriage ending, Emma must confront the past that she abruptly left behind thirteen years ago -- her first love and local cop Mark, her prim-and-proper mother and a small town that she’s never felt comfortable in. Despite their differences – Emma is brash, bold, and assertive while Maggie is grounded, rational, and safe – the women complement each other the way only best friends can, by facing the challenges of their past, present and future--together.

Here's hoping USA gives these amazing women a chance to really thrive and succeed! I really want them to stick around on TV for a long time!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

New Music: Forlorn Strangers

I'm going to put on my hipster hat for just a moment because it's been so long since I've been ahead of the curve on a band - so I'm going to bask in this moment right now and tell you that I love a band that has less than 1000 listens on Spotify.

I can't really take the credit though, so my hipster cred is already out the window! I was listening to our local independent station (Lightning 100) and I instantly fell in love with the song that was on. I tried googling the lyrics and nothing came up, so I had to wait til I got home and looked up their schedule on their website. (I'm SO thankful they post what songs they played at what time so you can go back and look!)

Anyway, I saw that the band was called Forlorn Strangers. I looked them up on Spotify and then listened on repeat all night long. I looked them up on Facebook and whaddayaknow, they live in Nashville and they were Lightning 100's local artist of the week the week before I heard them. So, I definitely can't take credit for finding them - but that doesn't mean I love them any less.

If you have Spotify, you can listen to them here. If you want to check out videos (so funny that Youtube has become a go-to music-experience for me lately), you can watch some below!!

The song I fell in love with on the radio (just 4 voices, a guitar, a banjo, and some knee-slapping - do songs get better than that?):

A sorta slow, kinda forlorn song:

I feel like they can do so much with so little. Here's their song "Cleveland" - live from their living room:


I love them a lot. We never go to shows but I just might have to go see them next time they play!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Out Now: Finding Vivian Maier

Last weekend, I saw Finding Vivian Maier and I was delighted by it. I had been waiting since February 2013 to see this movie and it was so fantastic!

If you're not familiar with it, check out the trailer below - you will be intrigued, I promise!


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vintage Caravan Style Book Review and Giveaway

For years, it was my dream to open up shop in a vintage camper. I had dreams of finding the perfect hidden gem on Craigslist, magically having a car that could tow it, magically having all the skill in the world to rehab it, then magically opening up shop and living a bohemian-vintage-shop-owner lifestyle with not a care in the world!

Well… that was definitely a big dream! I would still love to have a camper, but now my dreams are of taking our future family on adventures. Since it's just the 2 of us and we don't have the ability to travel right now, I can dream and drool over Lisa Mora's new book Vintage Caravan Style (available May 31 on Amazon.com) and imagine a future in which we're a bohemian family on the road. (Ok, so we both love security too much to do that…but it's fun to imagine!)


Vintage Caravan Style details "buying, restoring, decorating, and styling the small spaces of your dreams." Each chapter breaks down what you need to know and do in order to make the vintage camper of your dreams come true Along with the great information, the photos are incredible and will have your 50s-and-60s-loving-heart soaring. From the opening pages, you are transported to a magical land of campers and old pick-up trucks. As you flip through this book, beautiful teal campers, vibrant red trailers, and every color in between fill the pages and your heart!


Lisa describes the historical importance of caravans as a form of travel and later in time, as a means of adventure. She captures the allure that campers have on us - the dream of a simpler life full of beauty and exploration. Along with the whimsical, Lisa gives practical tips on finding and bringing home a camper - and even includes "before" photos that will boggle your mind. I'm so in awe of people who have a vision and the know-how to turn a falling apart trailer into something beautiful and useful! She addresses specific problems and how to approach obstacles such as water damage and wheel issues.


Every page is full of amazing photos of campers - a huge assortment of caravans ranging in style - each with its own unique flavor. It's amazing to see the transformations of these vintage trailers into cozy & comfy spaces.


As the editor of Vintage Caravan Magazine, Lisa is incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of campers - not only refurbishing, but the practical matters of taking a trip with your trailer. This book is such a great resource for anyone who wants to take on the camper lifestyle - or anyone who dreams of being a caravan'er! Even if you never imagined having a life on the road, the charming photos of vintage styling are sure to please.


See more about the book from other bloggers - click here to see the full schedule of the Vintage Caravan Style bloghop!

If you'd like to win your very own copy of Vintage Caravan Style, leave a comment on this post saying what you'd do with a vintage camper if you had one! The contest will end Monday, April 21st at noon central time. The winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

EDIT: The contest is now closed and Rae was randomly selected (via random.org) as the winner! Congrats, Rae!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Best Gardening Book EVER

The title might exaggerate a little - but this is the best gardening book I've ever read.

I never had an interest in gardening outdoors, but this year I am determined to have a flower garden so I can cut flowers and bring them in to enjoy as bouquets.

But, as a total novice, I haven't been sure where to start or what to do. That's why the below book has been so revolutionary for me!


Month by Month Gardening in Tennessee and Kentucky has everything you need to know if you live and garden in one of these wonderful states. The book is divided ingeniously by types of plants - houseplants, veggies, shrubs, roses, etc and then further divided by each month. The chapters detail what you should be doing each month for your plants - from fertilizing to dividing to mulching, etc. It's super easy to understand - there's even a glossary in the back. (The first time I read a gardening book and it talked about "deadheading" but didn't explain what it was...I was so confused!)

The author is super relatable and very down-to-earth. I have a love/hate relationship with Martha because she is the queen of everything, but her gardening books go way over my head. Not so with this book - everything is explained so well.

If you don't live in KY or TN, I would recommend googling to see if a similar book exists for your area. It's so helpful to get specific advice for your zone - especially when it so clearly tells you what you should be doing based on the month!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Songs of Heartbreak and Redemption: Jason Isbell on PBS Live at Lincoln Center Tonight

Do you all love Jason Isbell? If you don't...you should! I mean, he's really really good and tonight PBS is showing his Live at Lincoln Center concert at 9 eastern. 

Get a taste of his music below with a 15 min concert at Garden & Gun. (Speaking of G&G - this magazine keeps showing up everywhere - I feel like I need to read it but the name turns me off - but it's just so SOUTHERN and classy, I feel like I need it.)


Enjoy!
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