Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Getting Hammered

No, this post is not about getting drunk. Rather, it's about art and the Hammer Museum in Westwood, Los Angeles, although perhaps a drink or two might have helped me to understand some of the rather esoteric artwork on display! The Hammer Museum was founded by Dr. Armand Hammer who was a former chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation. He died before he could see his vision completed in 1990. Two years later, the operations of the museum were taken over by UCLA.

The exhibit we saw at the museum featured art from emerging L.A. artists entitled "L.A. Now". The outfit I am wearing features a new skirt from H&M which sort of makes me feel like a flamenco dancer. Also, how is it that whenever I go to a museum, the sticker that they give you always matches my outfit? The pink of the sticker is the perfect complement to the pink in my skirt!

So the next part of this post is something that I am just going to call "Art or Not Art?" A few years back when my husband and I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla, we came across a portable phone mounted on the wall in the museum. My husband insisted it was art (and he hates contemporary art) while I scoffed, assuming he was being flip. My response was "of course it's not art, it's just a phone!". Well, much to my surprise, it turned out to be part of the exhibit. Go figure!

So take a look at the photos below.  Do you think I am standing in an art installation bellow or just a pile of crap, I mean Styrofoam? Art or not art? What say you?

If you guessed not art, you would be correct. I honestly thought this was part of the exhibit as it had a little sign telling you that you had to consent to having your likeness video recorded if you entered. Well, it was not really anything, or maybe it was the beginning of something not fully formed? Whatever it was, the security guard told us we couldn't take pictures here, so shhhh... don't tell anyone.

I hope you enjoyed my trip to the Hammer in Westwood. If you would like to see some interesting art and installations, or ponder the mysteries of "what is art?" this is the place to go!

Linking up with Lena B. Passion For Fashion 
Simple Sequins Fashion Item Friday  

Skirt: H&M 
Shirt: Forever 21
Bag: Louis Vuitton Epi Speedy in Grenade
Shoes: J. Crew "Lillian" Mirror Metallic low wedges here
Belt: J. Crew
Sunglasses: Prada "Baroque"

Monday, August 18, 2014

Walking With Pink Elephants

If I had my druthers, I would have "shot" this post outside of Pink Elephant Liquors, which is a liquor store in Hollywood where author Charles Bukowski bought all of his booze. I haven't, however, had the opportunity to get there lately, so here I am in this preppy pink elephant skirt on my way to get pizza with my husband in a neighborhood closer to home. This cute, hometown atmosphere is probably a little more appropriate for this look, however, than a gritty liquor store in the heart of Hollywood.

This elephant skirt was an Etsy find from designer Hannah Everly. She makes super cute skirts with stripes, bows and yes, even elephants as seen here. I was lucky to get what I think was the last skirt in this fabric from her, as they are now sold out on her website. I love that Etsy allows you to buy from local artists and designers who hand make items here in the U.S.A. This skirt was about $45 and I think it's a great deal. I'll probably be back for more skirts, as an elephant never forgets, especially when it comes to adorable skirts!

Linking up today with:
Trend Spin

Skirt: Hannah Everly here
Shirt: J. Crew Factory Printed Short-Sleeve Oxford Popover here
Shoes: Ann Klein 
Bag: J. Crew "Sophie" Crossover in Henna here
Belt: kate spade bow belt

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pageant of the Masters

If you want to literally see famous works of art come to life, the Pageant of the Masters, held in Laguna Beach, is just the show for you. Every year the show features various tableaux vivants or living pictures in which famous works of art are recreated using actual people. Thanks to exquisite costuming, makeup and scenery, these tableaux look like the real thing.

I chose to wear this red dress from Forever 21 to the pageant. I picked it up for about $15 and I was surprised that my husband really liked it; he liked it even more when I told him the price. It features some artistic cutouts around the neck and a quasi tropical print.

Getting back to the show, I was excited that this year the theme of the show was "Art Detective". It revolved around the Nazi's plunder or acquisition (aka "stealing") of many valuable pieces of art during World War II. While the show was entertaining and breathtaking in its construction of various masterpieces, it also was very informative, talking briefly about each piece of art, exploring other notorious art thefts, delving into the lives of the artists' models and muses, and raising questions about the ownership of art.

While I didn't take any pictures of the works featured in the Pageant, I would highly recommend checking it out, especially if you are an art lover. The works of art covered range from that of the ancient Egyptians, to Dutch Masters, to pop art, and even movie posters from the 1940s. Below you will see an advertisement for the pageant featuring Rembrandt's The Night Watch looming larger than life over patrons.

Dress: Forever 21
Belt: kate spade bow belt
Shoes: J. Crew J. Crew "Evie" Metallic Mid-heel Sandals here
Bag: J. Crew Sophie Bag in "Henna" here
Watch: kate spade "Carlyle" bow watch
Bracelets: Forever 21 and J. Crew Factory

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Aloha From the Beach

Summer is winding down, so it's time to be in denial about the whole going back to school thing! Instead of facing reality, it's time to fool myself and go to the beach and perhaps throwback a Mai Tai or two! I think I may have found my a new tiki bar hangout in Huntington Beach called Don the Beachcomber. While we actually didn't step inside its Polynesian interior on this visit for a drink, I think coming back to try a flaming bowl of something or other might have to be added to my list of things to do!

The skirt I am wearing is my only purchase from the Nordstrom anniversary sale. I already own a white skirt, but I wanted one that was a little longer and fuller. This one just happened to fit the bill. With summer coming to an end. I am trying to wear as much white as possible. 

In addition to walking around the harbor and looking at some boats, I also tried out a new accessory. You probably already know how attached I am to my Papaya colored Prada tote, but how about a new orange accessory?

For example, an orange electric bike! Truth be told I am not in the market for one of these, especially since the sticker price is more than what my Prada tote cost, but my aunt is, so we took this one for a test drive. These electric bikes are really peppy and you can rev them up and go flying, which is what I think I am probably doing in the picture.

At sunset we watched the "super moon", the second of the season I think, from the patio. It was a nice way to end the day and take your mind off of summer coming to a close!

Linking up with Mix and Match Fashion summer style linkup

Skirt: Nordstom/Chelsea29 White Midi Skirt similar here
Shirt: J. Crew Seahorse Tee last seen here
Shoes: J. Crew Evie Metallic Mid-heel Sandal here
Bag: Prada Saffiano Tote in Papaya 
Bracelet: J. Crew Beach Ball Bracelet 
Watch: kate spade "Carlyle" Bow Watch

Monday, August 11, 2014

Seven Years of Smooth Sailing

Last week my husband and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. Seven years went by in the blink of an eye, so I can only imagine that this rapid passage of time is an auspicious sign for the two of us. We racked our brains trying to figure out how to celebrate lucky number seven, and finally came upon the idea of dining on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Last year we attended a "Scotch dinner", stayed over night, and had tea on the Queen Mary, all of which you can see in the following posts: The Queen and I and Low Tea on the High Seas. Since our time spent last year on board the ship was such an enjoyable experience we decided to replicate it again for our anniversary.

If you know anything about me, you know I like to dress according to the occasion at hand. Since this was a nautical date, I had to make my outfit nautical as well. I have a surplus of nautical things in my closet, but I didn't want to be too overtly nautical (for example big anchors, fish etc.) so I chose this striped blue and yellow skirt from kate spade and a pop of red to pay homage to the colors of the Queen Mary.

We dined at a restaurant called Sir Winston's. They have a plethora of Winston Churchill pictures and related artifacts inside to pay tribute to the former prime minister of the UK. While that's cool and all, my main interest and motivation for going to the restaurant was to try the beef Wellington, which I have never had before, but knew I would love.  My husband mocked me because I was more enamored with the puff pastry than the actual fillet it encased! 

In addition to the beef Wellington, the view is also great from both the restaurant and the ship. We strategically planned to arrive around sunset and watch the sun go down over drinks and dinner. This was my first time taking pictures for my blog during the so called "magic hour" so please excuse the excess of photos contained in this post!

I hope you enjoyed setting sail with me aboard the Queen Mary! It's a great way to experience a time when sailing the open seas was truly a decadent and glamorous affair. (At least for the first class passengers!) All in all it was the perfect way to watch the sunset on seven wonderful years and look to the horizon for more happy years and smooth sailing to come!

Linking today up with: I Have A Degree in This 
Pink Sole
DC in Style 
Lipgloss and Crayons

  Skirt: kate spade (really "old school" eBay find!)
Shirt: Ann Taylor Embellished Stretch Perfect Shirt here
Shoes: J. Crew Leopard Valentina here
Bag: Louis Vuitton Epi Brea in Rubis 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Katie Travels: City Girl in the Country

I grew up on the east coast, so I am no stranger to that neck of the woods, however after spending more than a decade of my life here in the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles, heading back east to Connecticut turned out to be somewhat of a culture shock to my system. It is amazing how different two places can be. Now that I am older, the differences seem more pronounced than I previously remembered. Most notably everything in Connecticut is green, as opposed to L.A. which is in the midst of a serious drought. In addition to the blindingly green landscape, the quantity of land is also a shock. Even in the suburbs of L.A. (where I live) people live pretty close to one another on tiny "postage stamps" of land, but in Connecticut everything is sprawling and dotted with the most beautiful historic homes.

I wasn't able to do a lot of things due to my limited time in Connecticut, but it was fun to catch up with family and take in some different scenery for a change. Here are some shots of my adventures back east in Connecticut:

Above is a covered bridge in New Cornwall, Connecticut.

Here's all the green I was talking about, courtesy of Mohawk Mountain State Park. It's almost like being on a different planet compared to L.A.!

Everyone knows that California is home to numerous wineries and vineyards. If you go to Paso Robles or Napa you can easily spend days wine tasting at such spots, but did you know that Connecticut has its own wine trail? About 30 vintners call Connecticut home and produce some interesting wines. We went to a couple of these wineries and I must say Californian wines will always rein supreme to me, but it was fun to try something different. 

Digrazia Vineyard and Winery 

Hopkins Vineyard and Winery 

We had a picnic lunch at the Hopkins vineyard and these random sculptures were all over the gardens. They made for an aesthetically interesting picnic experience.

Since my Aunt lives on a farm, a lot of time was spent gazing at animals such as horses, chickens, ducks and dairy cows and her beautiful blooming gardens. My favorite creature on the farm might have been this handsome and very large and imposing rooster. Below you will see a few more shots of the flora and fauna found on the farm. Since we spent the majority of the time here and at a 4H fair, the vast majority of my pictures were animal related, so I had to be very selective with my editing!

Last of all, I was finally able to take a horseback riding lesson! I grew up riding horses and doing show jumping, but I stopped when I was about 16. I did some math and realized it's been over 15 years since I have last been on a horse. That equaled being seriously sore for a few days after my lesson. Horseback riding is actually an intense workout and you use muscles you normally don't, hence the aches and pains that occurred afterwards!