Me later today (if Betty gets her act together!). Image via aumholistics.com.
I. Am. So. Excited.
You know those trips that you look forward to for about 6 months? Today's trip is one of those trips.
Imagine this: 6 of your best friends + you in one place. The place = the beach. For a week. With absolutely nothing
that you have to do. Except get a new tattoo
Sounds amazing, right? And Tropical Storm Debby wants to rain on our Bachelorette parade? I don't think so! Even if the week is one long snuggle session on the couch while sipping coconut water (or vino?) and playing games, I know it's going to be amazing.
After much deliberating and a late night last night, I'm all packed up and ready to go, and have included only my must-haves:
3 beach cover-ups.
Floppy straw hat from Tarjay.
9 dresses (you need some for daytime, some for nighttime, some for both...).
Travel yoga mat.
Travel iPhone speakers (they were only $20 and are AMAZINGLY strong!).
Some of my favorite protein bars--perfect for travel.
Lacrosse ball for rolling out lower back (yes, this has become a part of my morning routine. It's life-changing!).
One pair of jeggings (jeggings!!!!), just in case ;)
SPF 50 for Babies--> for my body.
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock--> for my face.
(When it comes to the sun, I don't mess around...pale, freckly people are the coolest!)
9 pairs of shoes.
All but 2 of which are sandals/flip flops.
Checking a bag?
Um, yes (thank you US Airways for charging me $25 each way).
What's NOT in my suitcase?
Scary, I know. But I think I can do it...
However, this means that if I do blog while I'm away, I'll be using my new iPhone app that supposedly makes it easy. But I can't promise pretty formatting or anything fancy (and you know that kills me!), so just hang in there until next week...
As for you, Debby, I'm coming for you! You'd better not stand in this bachloretting yogini's way...
Have a wonderful week, bloggies!
So cool! CrossFit DC
(my CrossFit box and Ben's home away from home) is featured on the CrossFit Main Site
today! For those of you who don't know, this is a big deal in the CrossFit world :)
You can check out the video here
(sadly I can't embed!) and view a screen shot of Ben (aka Sebastian) finishing the workout below. Congrats, everyone! You rocked it and definitely put CFDC on the map.
And if you've ever asked me what a CrossFit workout is like, this
will give you a great idea...
Yesterday, Ben and I ventured over to Crystal City one last time to take down my show for Artomatic
. And now, after packing up all of my paintings, letting go of a few that were purchased (always an exciting, yet sad moment...), and filling out my particpant's survey, it's over. Crazy how much work goes into these types of things, isn't it? And then they're just over. It's so strange!
Because it was such a big event in the DC area--and because it's been such a big part of my life over the past month or so--I thought it only appropriate to do one final post about this event. So today, I'm sharing a few fun comments that I received in my guest book from the show, and a few final images from the last weekend.
Typically, at a show like this, each artist leaves a little book in their space, so that people can leave notes or comments, since we can't actually be there for most of the show. Of course, I did this, and when I finally picked up my guest book and started looking through it yesterday, the experience took me back to school--to that moment when you finally got your yearbook back on the very last day, and started reading through everything that people said to you, wondering what certain things meant, and tearing up over sweet comments that your friends made...
Although there were lots of very wonderful compliments and DARLING notes from a bunch of my students and friends (thank you all SO much! You know who you are and I really appreciate your seeking out my work ;), there were also a few very *interesting* and/or humorous notes that were left for me. See below for a few of my faves:
"I did the wheel in front of your wheel painting. I felt so good!"
"Do you do yoga?"
"So...cupcakes? That ain't a metaphor, or is it?"
"Art is very nicely done."
"You are flexible" (see image above!)
"Love the dresses! Perhaps a sundress/beach-themed painting?"
"You have a gift. Others try to learn. Some try to teach. But you have it...a gift. "
Someone left a drawing of the Wu Tang symbol (haha!)
Someone left a weird blob with the word "painting" in it (?)
"Love the 'Wide-Legged' painting. Great use of light and color."
"I don't find your subject matter to be especially interesting or compelling. 'Dove' is probably your smartest work."
Funny, aren't they? And in response to the last comment (of course the one that I can't help but focus on the most...), I just want to say that art is a very personal experience
. To whoever wrote this, it's fine if you don't find my work to be interesting. I paint what I enjoy, what makes me happy, and what I like to look at, and if you don't find it to be compelling, no problem! Look at something else, or at someone else's work, as there is plenty of interesting, compelling work out there :)
On Saturday, I had a booth at the "Art-to-Go" Marketplace, which was a fun way to talk to people about my work and sell some of my new prints (yay!). I had a blast and felt that it was a wonderful way to say goodbye to Artomatic 2012. My booth is above, and a few scenes from the day can be seen below...
Before heading out for the day, Ben and I took one last quick walk-through of the show. We finally saw the Peeps Exhibit
(hysterical!), and caught a live dance performance (image below) and fashion show. My attention was also captured by the piece below, entitled "Shopaholic"--a dress made entirely of clothing labels. The artist, Michele Late
, says that every one of these tags comes from a piece of clothing that she's bought for herself, as a self-proclaimed shopaholic. I thought it was very Project Runway
of her, and totally love it!
Au revoir, Artomatic! Until next time...
Thanks again to all of you who showed your support during this show! You don't know how much your sweet words mean to me :)
Here we are again! And phew, what a week!? As I prepare for the busy weekend ahead and for my trip to FL on Tuesday (yippeee!), I have to remind myself to try and live in the moment, instead of living in a state of anticipation for what is about to come--do you know what I'm talking about? Sometimes it's very hard to do this when you're super excited about something in the future, so pausing to reflect and enjoy the present moment is a great way to challenge yourself at times like these :)
So anyways, that's my queue to take a look back at my simple, sensory joys of the week. What brought you a sense of pleasure over the past 7 days? Mine are below...
Hear: Regina Spektor's
newest album What We Saw from the Cheap Seats
I've been a long-time fan of Regina Spektor, who I think is one of the most interesting, innovative, and talented songstresses out there right now. Sure, she's totally quirky and downright bizarre at times, but that's what I love about her. You never know what kind of crazy noises or lyrics she's going to throw into her songs. Not surprisingly, her newest album (came out in March) is no exception--it's amazing! I've been listening to it nonstop, and it just makes me so happy and lighthearted. You can listen to a very fun song from this album, her version of "Ne Me Quitte Pas," or as she calls it, "Don't Leave Me," below...
Image via suninmybellyblog.blogspot.com/
Wedding Flowers Inspiration
Well, after all of my back-and-forth and thoughts about doing handmade flowers or alternative flowers of some sort
, I've finally come to the conclusion (a little late in the game!) to just hire a florist and go with real flowers. In the end, it just seems like it will be easier (i.e. less stress and worry for me!), so I've decided to take the plunge. Now, I'm having fun finding flower inspiration online...I love the images to the right, but there are just so many amazing selections to choose from! How does one even begin to narrow it down? I think I have another weekend activity planned...
Image via elizaphillipsrtf.wordpress.com
Taste: Boccato Gelato & Expresso
I haven't had gelato this good since I bought it from a vendor on the streets in Venice. It's amazing, and the line out the door is definitely a tribute to their amazing flavors. Ben and I went there last weekend and both really enjoyed it--I had a mix of Peanut Butter Banana and Cookies n'Cream (although I think they have more creative titles than that!) and he had a few more exotic flavors. But wow, so much better than Pinkberry (although I do love me some fro-yo!). If you live in the Clarendon/Courthouse area and haven't tried it yet, you must!
I know I mention trips to the nail salon a lot, but there's just nothing like a good pedicure to make you feel pampered, taken care of, and fresh. I snuck in for one last Saturday morning, and it felt like SUCH a treat. I brought along some work, my phone, and my planner--thinking that I might get a few emails done and then read for the remainder of the time--but in the end, I just turned on the massage chair, sat back, and vegged out with my eyes closed. It was perfect. I read a quote last week that made me feel like a pedicure was just what I needed--it said, "the time to relax is when you don't have time for it." Isn't that perfect? And it's oh, so true. So even if you're busy, make some time for yourself this weekend!
Ben's new ROWING MACHINE (yes, he got one...)
I know, can you believe it? If you look at this picture you'll see that we now have a rowing machine in the corner of our BEDROOM. We live in a *tiny* apartment, and now, we also have a rowing machine. When Ben decided to get himself this "toy" last weekend (after tons of obsessing over it), I was slightly annoyed. I thought, really? While we're planning a wedding and living in a tiny place with no where to put it, you want to buy a rowing machine?
But the sweet guy is SO obsessed with them that I just couldn't stop him. He bought it, and is now super happy, even if the only place we can actually use it is on our balcony... But anyhoo, the reason that it's one of my SJOTW this week is that I actually used it to row a 2k on Tuesday, and had a lot of fun. It was really hard, but it was kind of cool to be rowing out on our balcony in the heat, and I felt a bit hard core ;) Plus, it just makes Ben so happy that I have to love it. Luckily, the thing comes apart into two pieces, because when he first brought it home and it was sitting about 8-feet tall in the corner of the room, I was pretty worried...
See? Sometimes the things that you worry about, dislike at first, or even dread, actually become pleasant moments or simple pleasures during your week ;)
So now I'm off to prepare for a busy, but fun-filled weekend. If you're around, join me tonight for 108 Sun Salutations at TSA from 8-10:30pm
, or tomorrow at the Artomatic Art-to-go Marketplace from 1-6pm
I hope your weekend is full of simple joys!
Image via holyyogafoundation.com
You know what I love about yoga? The second that you start to get over-confident, or start to think, wow, look at me rocking this pose out!, you fall over. Or stumble. Or do something stupid.
And it's usually embarrassing--especially if you're a teacher and you're in the front of the studio, so that everyone can see you (i.e. me in class last night).
I love yoga because it keeps you humble and reminds you to laugh at yourself.
Me, next week :) Image via bridgemanart.com
Yes, you read that right...
although I know this post may upset some of my readers (my mom's response when I told her, "Are you really??? Nooooo!"), I have to share, because I'm just SO excited:
After almost 3 years of wanting another tattoo, I've finally decided to get one. And what better time/place to get it, than on my Bachelorette trip to Ft. Myers next week, with all of my very best friends/soulmates?
I cannot wait, and I think that two of them may even join me...yippee!
So anyways, I'm very torn on what to get. I actually want a couple of tattoos: a feather
on my foot, a paintbrush on the inside of my wrist, an apple
, and an OM symbol. But, I know that you must pace yourself with these things (it's been almost 10 years since my last tattoo!), so I'm starting with just one. And I think it's going to be a feather on my left foot. But then Ben thinks that I should get a feather on my right wrist. It's all very difficult to decide.
Therefore today, I wanted to share some of my inspiration images with you, and get your feedback!
Ultimately, I know that I have to go with my gut, but it never hurts to get a few opinions ;) I've included my favorite ideas below--you can click on the image to enlarge and read my comments about it. If you have any thoughts to share, please post them to comments!
Oh, and for those who don't know what my current tattoo looks like, it's below, on my right foot. Yes, you're right, it's the smallest. tattoo. in. the. world. It was my first and I wanted it to be very small!
So here are my ideas/inspiration:
What do you think? Once I decide on a tattoo, I also need to decide on the hue. I'll either get just black, or a dark brown, like henna. So many decisions!!!
To close, I wanted to share this really crazy, but also really clever tattoo that I came across while I was searching. Hehe! Some people have such a great sense of humor ;)
Can't wait to share some pics of my new tattoo next week!
Thanks for joining me on this journey :)
As you may remember from last summer, I have a soft spot for pool and water paintings when it's hot outside. Something about looking at images of people escaping the heat just makes me feel cooler inside--plus it takes a TON of talent to paint water so realistically--so today, I wanted to share another wonderful artist who paints summery images of people enjoying the water (especially since it's supposed to get up to around 100 degrees in DC this week!). But first, if you weren't a reader yet last summer, I must give a shout-out to the amazing Laura Sanders
, whose work I shared last June, and Danny Keith
, whose work I shared last July. Both also paint images of people in water, although they have very different styles. Check them out if you haven't already, and then prepare yourself to be amazed by this week's featured artist, Eric Zener
Zener is an extremely talented painter (and mixed media artist) who does these fabulous series of people in water, people sleeping (which I also LOVE), and people balancing on things (diving boards, tightropes, etc.). To me, his paintings have a very quiet, intimate feeling to them, even though they're very colorful, large, and often contain a splash or a lot of movement. In each piece, he's able to still time and invite the viewer into a very personal moment that we would never be a part of otherwise. Take a look below and see if you agree with me...
Ahhh, so refreshing!
Don't you just want to jump right in? Looking at these paintings makes me MUCH more eager for my trip to the beach next week (for my Bachelorette trip with my bridesmaids--yippeee!).
There's nothing more cleansing than a dip in some cool water on a hot day, wouldn't you agree?
You can view more of Eric Zener's work on his website, here
. So. much. talent.
After months of saying, "yes, I'm going to start selling prints soon, I just haven't gotten around to it yet...
," I'm FINALLY selling prints of my work in my Etsy Shop, Starr Struck Studio
, starting today (yay!). What are prints? They're basically very high quality copies of original works of art--and they're MUCH more affordable than original pieces, which makes them a very fun way to start collecting art, no matter what your budget :) With the launch of my new print collection, I'm hoping to make my art much more accessible to everyone!
Although I've only made prints available for 11 of my small pieces to start, I'll be continuing to add new pieces every few weeks, and promise to keep you updated as I do so.
So without further ado, take a look at some of my most recent pieces--and some of the prints that I now have available--below:
"omg!" (2012), details below.
"lol!" (2012), details below.
"wtf?" (2012), details below.
Mixed media on vintage book pages (pages from Campfire Girls in the Country--a tweens book printed in 1918!), 5.5" x 7.5." To view purchase details, click on the images in the link to my Etsy shop, below. To enlarge and view in more detail, click on an image above.
"Sweet Love/Wounded Man" (2012). Mixed media on hardboard, 9" x 9." To view print purchase details, click on the images in the link to my Etsy shop, below.
"OM" (2012). Mixed media on hardboard, 6" x 6." To view print purchase details, click on the images in the link to my Etsy shop, below.
Fun and pretty whimsical, right? There's a lot more where that came from, and I promise to share soon ;)
Want to see some of these pieces or prints in person? Visit me at the Artomatic
"Art-to-Go Marketplace" on the 1st floor this coming Saturday, 6/23, from 1-6pm, where you can buy any of these prints (and some originals!) and take them home with you that day.
As a side note, if you've seen a piece on my recently revamped painting website
that you just have to have (and would like to purchase a print of it), contact me
to let me know and I'll try my best to get it made into a print for you ASAP.
Thanks for all of your support--and a BIG thanks to all who have visited my show at Artomatic
! I appreciate all of your love notes in my guest book :)
Image via michaelhyatt.com
As you probably already know by now, I recently became a fan of The Energy Project
. The Energy Project is basically a company that believes that in order to be productive, you must energize your people--your workforce--and that if your people are not balanced energetically, they're not living optimally (and thus, cannot give their best at work). Makes sense, right? They also offer an energy audit
on their website that I think is a really great way to check-in with your own energy levels, and you can read about my experience with this audit here
But today, I wanted to tell you about their latest newsletter, entitled "No is the New Yes." When I first saw it, I was immediately hooked (one, because I love all "blank
is the new blank
" quotes, and two, because I actually agree with this), so I opened it up to take a look and this is what I saw (bolded text is my own emphasis): The act of prioritizing – focusing on those tasks and projects that add the greatest value – doesn’t come to us naturally. It requires both awareness and intentionality. At a practical level, it means setting aside regular time to reflect on and define priorities, rather than simply plunging into the next task that comes to mind or reacting to the next request that flashes up on your computer screen.
Many of us have become addicted, unwittingly, to the speed of our lives — the adrenalin high of constant busyness. We mistake activity for productivity, more for better, and we ask ourselves "What's next?" far more often than we do "Why this?"
It's only when we pause — when we say no to the next urgent demand or seductive source of instant gratification — that we give ourselves the space to reflect on, metabolize, assess, and make sense of what we've just experienced.
Do you see why I this caught my attention? It's exactly what I've been striving for (!!), even though it's much easier said than done. But I totally agree with the statement that we have become addicted to the "speed of our lives," and that we "mistake activity for productivity." I know that in my own life, at least, this has become the case.
So, I like this idea of setting aside time to "reflect and define priorities"--and sure, it's very helpful from a work standpoint, but I also think it's important from a life standpoint. Picking a time each day, or a day each week to stop and reflect on our life priorities, how we want to live, and how we're currently living, is a great way to ensure that we're not wasting time focusing on the wrong things.
I often make fun of Ben and tell him that he's "The No Man" (like Jim Carrey's character at the beginning of the movie The Yes Man
), saying that his gut instinct is to say "no" to things right away, then think about them, and say "yes" later if he thinks it makes sense for his life and schedule. While typically, I'm the exact opposite, saying "yes" to almost everything right away and then only saying "no" when I realize that something I committed to really won't work, or that I cannot possibly swing it without running myself into the ground. Although I do joke about this with him, I have to say that today, I agree with both Ben and The Energy Project, and think that starting to say "no" is actually a really healthy way to live. We should all do more of it.
If we don't set boundaries for ourselves and admit that we can't actually do everything, we won't ever find happiness or comfort in our lives--we'll just be too busy to do so. Wouldn't you agree? So what can you say "no" to this week?
Think about it, say "no," and then fill that time with activities that refill your energy reserves, instead of deplete them...
Because these days, for this girl, no is TOTALLY the new yes ;)
Another week just cruises on by, doesn't it? And now it's mid-June? Wow. So why don't we stop--pause--and look back on our favorite little moments, or sensory details, from the past 7 days--before the whole summer passes by without our realizing it. What added that little something to your week? My SJOTW are below...
Image via directcurrentmusic.com
Hear: "Boy With a Coin" by Iron and Wine
Before we talk about this song, I just have to say, what do you think of Iron and Wine frontman Sam Beam's hair situation? Crazy, right? In all of the pictures of him online he looks like this--sad or non-expressive facial expression, and tons of hair everywhere. He actually looks rather cleaned up and slightly summery in this image that I found of him, so I had to use it. Anyhoo, I obviously like Iron and Wine's music a lot, and this week, am enjoying the song "Boy With a Coin," which I added to my June playlist this month. I find that it's soft yet engaging style make for a really nice yoga song. You'll have to decide for yourself whether or not you agree...listen to it below!
Image via imbd.com
Without a doubt my favorite show on TV right now, I look forward to watching the newest episode of Girls
in the same way that I once looked forward to watching Sex and the City
. Well, almost
. But yeah, it's that good. Lena Dunham's writing is so witty and so real, that I just can't get enough. Are you with me? What I love so much about this show--besides the amazing writing and acting--is the fact that each of the women are portrayed so realistically. They don't always wear makeup, or even look very good, they make mistakes, they do stupid things, and they get mad at each other in very normal, friendship-y ways. And of course, men are a very important part of the show and of the girls' lives, but you immediately care about these girls in a wonderful, very SATC kind of way, and don't want them to get hurt. If you don't already watch it, I highly suggest
Taste: Homemade Iced Tea
I finally found the world's largest pitcher (have been looking for it for a while now!), bought it for $1.99 (yes!!!), and made a HUGE batch of iced tea yesterday. I boiled up a bunch of water, used a handful of bags of Trader Joe's Peppermint Herbal Tea, 2 bags of Celestial Seasonings Wild Berry Zinger (for a little extra flavor), and a touch of honey to add a bit of sweetness. Then I let it cool for hours, put it in my gigantic pitcher, and voila! I have a fun new beverage that should last through the weekend. Sometimes, it's just these tiny little things that make life so enjoyable. Finding the time to make iced tea also feels like a great luxury these days :)
Most dramatic picture ever! Via mauitanningla.com
Smell: Airbrush Tan (read before you judge me!!!)
Although I absolutely HATE to admit it, I have to tell you that I got my first "airbrush tan" last weekend while I was home. I know!!!! I did it because I've heard that its a great, safe way to have a little glow on your wedding day, so wanted to try it out while I was home, before I showed up looking like an oompa loompa on October 6th. Was it one of the most awkward experiences ever? Yes. You have to stand basically naked (I know!!!) in front of someone while they spray down your entire body with some sort of "all natural" crazy tan paint. This takes about 15 mins. Then, you have to go stand under a huge fan (yep, still naked) holding handles above your head while it dries. And yes, it's freezing. But--but!--when you're done, you're tan (and for those of us who are pale, freckly, and don't tan EVER)-- it's magical!!! If I had more time, money and really cared enough about being tan (which I don't), I could get totally addicted. But for now, I'll just stick to a light dusting for my wedding. The things we crazy brides will do, huh?
Touch: Shiseido Eye Moisture Recharge
I know I complained about having to spend money on a new "skincare regimen" last week
, but I have to admit, I'm really loving it--especially my new nightly eye cream, Shiseido's "Eye Moisture Recharge." As it was explained to me by my makeup artist, the skin under our eyes is very thin, so it dries out much more quickly than the skin on the rest of our face. When skin is dry and thin, it wrinkles very easily, and obviously, shows those dark circles much more easily. So, this eye cream is supposed to help, and I'm convinced that it does, as I feel like I've already noticed a difference (or maybe I'm just wanting to, so I'm looking for one?). Plus, it feels really good and I love the ritual of applying it every night. OMG, do I now have a skincare regimen? I'm so grown up!
So that was my week. Other fun moments were starting to address all of our wedding invites (yep, I'm doing the calligraphy on my own!), seeing Meg Biram's
sweet Washingtonian mention
, spending time with my family last weekend (obviously), and getting back to yoga and CrossFit after a weekend away. Ahhh, the little things!
I hope you have a weekend full of relaxation, yoga, sunshine (wearing SPF, of course!), and simple joys :)