Beautiful Life and Style


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Friday Bonus: Headbands and Bagels

Hi friends! Just wanted to share that today I am featured on Headbands and Bagels– a wonderful blog penned by my friend Elisabeth! We met in engineering school at WashU, bonding over shared loves such as Gossip Girl, the Yankees and of course- preppy style. Liz is one of my few friends from college that I have consistently kept in touch with- the engineering bond is for life! I am happy we just spent a week together in Baltimore at the Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference- here we are there with our friend Sarah in the middle:

Baltimore

The post features a Q&A about my personal style- with a bunch of bonus secrets and guilty pleasures mixed in. If you ever wanted to know more about me, now is your chance! Some of my favorite features on Liz’s blog are her “Whats on my Kindle” and “Wednesday Wishes“. She also has great food features and stories about her adventures in LA and around the world! Check her out and show her some love šŸ™‚

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Museum Monday: John Singer Sargent Watercolors

I am always reading about interesting art exhibits around the world, and while I hardly have the time or budget to visit them all, I have decided to do a series of posts highlighting them here. Maybe you will have the opportunity to visit and report back on these “Museum Mondays” so I may live vicariously through you! For this first week though, I thought I’d start with the City that I live in, and one of the largest exhibits this fall- John Singer Sargent’s Watercolors.

I don’t know where my passion for art museums came from. One of the earliest museum memories I have is of course, visiting the MET as a kid with my school on one of our yearly field-trips. The book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was also one of my favorite reads in third grade (can you imagine living in a museum!?) But I think my enthusiasm really solidified when my parents took us to see the John Singer Sargent oils exhibit at the MFA way back in 1999 (don’t I feel old!) It was a big deal, and the first modern retrospective for the artist- and how fitting that it was in the City of Boston, his American home and at the Museum so closely tied to his history- he after all painted the murals on the ceiling there! Either way, I remember driving up from New York and experiencing masterpieces such as The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose and Fumee d’Ambre Gris which to this day, remain some of my favorite paintings. In fact, when I visited London 4 years later, I INSISTED to my Aunt that we visit the Tate just so I could see “Carnation” in person again. So imagine my delight when I learned that once again the MFA would be doing a collection of Sargent’s works, and this time specifically, his amazing watercolors.

When Sargent began painting in watercolor, he was already a well established portrait artist. Everyone can agree he had mastered the art of oil painting and it is suggested that he was becoming flat out bored. He needed a change of medium, and he craved to take his easel out in the field and around the world. Which is exactly what he did: traveling to deserts of Syria and the canals of Venice. However, while anyone who saw them gave the paintings glowing reviews, Sargent largely considered these watercolors to be for himself, they gave him great pleasure and they were NOT FOR SALE.

The Bridge of Sighs

His friend from Boston, Mr Edward Darley Boit (yes, the one with the daughters), insisted that he consider putting the pieces in an exhibit and selling- and Sargent agreed – but ONLY if the works were sold as a collection. I get the impression Sargent hoped the works would land at the MFA, but in a twist, the Brooklyn Museum won the collection of 83 works. Sargent was soon certain that the patrons in Boston, realizing they had missed out, would also want a watercolor collection of their own. So of course, for this second round, he spent more effort creating each one- a little less of a “study in watercolor” and instead more standalone pieces of art. The pieces were larger and most of them were signed. In the end, the MFA acquired the collection of 45. This current exhibit brings the paintings from both collections back together in one place. It is interesting to compare and contrast!

Villa di Marlia, Lucca- A Fountain

Sargent’s watercolor painting are very unique in the way they are created. In fact, there is a video playing at the exhibit where an artist tries to recreate one of the paintings- it was incredible to see how she had to work to achieve the lightness of the brushstrokes while at the same time creating such dark opaque colors.

Bedoins

What else makes these watercolors special? Well at the end of the day, they are still very Sargent. It has been said, that NO artist has been quite able to capture white the way that he was. Take his work “Reading” as an example. The whites in her dress are not pure white brushstrokes, but also grays and blues and yellows and even the slightest tint of green reflecting from her parasol. There is also an entire room of watercolors capturing the carrara marble quarries in Italy. The immense stones are cast in 1000s of shades of white and gray.

Reading

Carrara- Lizzatori I

John Singer Sargent Watercolors is running now through January 20th at the MFA- and I have a membership if you are looking for a tour guide! Nick and I attended the opening for this exhibit so I can say firsthand how magnificent it is. I hope you have the opportunity to visit. (And if you are wondering, yes- it wasn’t by accident that I chose to wear a watercolor print dress)

us at opening


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Embracing Fall

As hesitant as I may be to admit this, Fall is starting to capture my heart again. In New England, with the crisp air and the changing leaves, its hard to not feel the season. Fall is cool and cozy and magical. I think these photos sum it up.

Embracing FallRiverhot air balloon

And this. Can you imagine? It never dawned on me to host a dinner party outside when the temps aren’t getting above 60, but even though it sounds chilly- it looks so warm.

Outdoor Fall Table

Now this party is all I can think about (the fact that I don’t have a backyard being a minor detail). A simple gathering with close friends, delicious food and all the sentiments of Autumn is exactly what we need. Bonfire required. Wouldn’t you agree?

Fall Feast

Fall Feast2

bonfire

 


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Time.

 

ITank Louis Cartier am slowly learning to find time. Time for my new job, and exercising and volunteering and going to museums and traveling to weddings. And finding time for shopping, and cooking and errands and MORE WORKING. And then making sure I’m finding time for my friends, and my family, and my boyfriend, and myself. And sometimes, these things all overlap in a fabulous, magical, multi-tasking way, but I’m having trouble balancing all of these things with finding time to write. If you haven’t figured it out, the blog has come last. But I promise that I still find joy in coming back here and that I’m committed to doing so. Last year I wrote 150 posts. This year, an embarrassing 37. I didn’t even recognize my two year blog anniversary! or our 5 year anniversary of living in Boston! Time just keeps flying by, and I want to keep marking the time here, but I can’t find the time to do it. I’ve spent tonight planning some great posts for the weeks ahead. So this is my last “woe is me! I’m soooo busy”. Promises. I’m going to start making time for YOU.

 

Watch: Vintage Tank Louis Cartier Via 1st Dibs

 


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One more beach day!

It seems absolutely crazy to write this post when it is 60 degrees and misting rain here in Boston, but I REFUSE to give up on summer! Come hell or high water, I WILL enjoy at least one more beach day before putting on boots and wool jackets. We have three weeks left and a great long weekend ahead of us!

cape cod biking magazines on the beach Race Point Beach

Nick and I have been very lucky this year to fill our time with trips to Cape Cod. (oh hi, yes. that is where I’ve been) To me there is nothing better than a day spent at/ in the ocean. I’m usually the one crazy person swimming in the cold water and could spend the ENTIRE day in the sun. (Although Nick usually pries me away for a little biking action.) I’m surprisingly minimalist when it comes to what to bring to the beach. I hate to lug 500 things from the car, so give me a blanket and magazine- maybe some blueberries- and I’m good to go. Sunscreen (I swear by Kiehl’s 50spf) is an absolute MUST as well. The rest of these items are also rather wonderful- because who DOESN’T want to match their umbrella to their paddleball game?

Beach Day

 

What are your beach essentials???