Escape The Heat With Art

Two massive abstract pieces: The Mural from Jackson Pollock and Untitled from Katharina Grosse

Both pieces are currently on display at the MFA Boston. Two artists that truly excite me with their bold large creations being showcased together in one space. I don’t have deep knowledge when it comes to art. But little by little with help from my museum buddy (aka my mother-in-law), I am appreciating more art in my life.

Museum memberships are great for short visits. Even better when you enjoy it with a friend. This exhibit is showing now through February 23,2020. MFA

Carry-On Essentials

Vacation time! Trying to keep it light with just my travel essentials. To become a more efficient and smarter traveler is the goal. It starts with a carry- on suitcase. One of my favorite gifts that I have received, a RIMOWA roller. It effortlessly rolls along with plenty of space for a weekend getaway or simply to carry all your airplane requirements. No longer do I carry multiple bags or anything on my shoulders with the exception of a crossbody bag for easy access to my wallet and passport. All the extras tuck neatly into the roller.

My on-board essentials:

iPad fully loaded with movies and series for both flights. Big Little Lies is top of the list.

Noise cancelling headphones from B&W. A fab and useful holiday gift I received. Headphones is something I would never purchase for myself. I feel a bit spoiled with them but they make a huge difference.

Compression socks are a game changer. A gift to your legs! No more swelling. Your legs and feet feel 100% when you reach your destination. I am trying out COMRAD. I’ve been rocking some sexy CVS Pharmacy socks. I am ready for a stylish upgrade. Packing my Nike slides for arrival.

Hand sanitizing wipes, always. Super handy for hands as well as giving everything a quick wipe down. Airports + planes are pretty gross.

For the face: Jet Lag Mask from SUMMER FRIDAYS. Can’t wait to give this new product a try. My skin always feels dry when I travel so perhaps this will do the trick. Always nice to have a lippy on hand. I like Aquaphor. Lots of water before, during, and after flight.

Clothes: Always a sweatshirt + large scarf to wrap. Dark colors in the event of a spill.

What you don’t see that has space in the RIMOWA: the newest Vogue, unsalted nuts, a take away salad or sandwich that from my local bakery to eat on the plane, phone charger, tissues, Advil, and a deck of cards to play with my son.

Happy Summer!

A Salad For Your Next Picnic

Inspiration for your next picnic. A big beautiful salad that requires little prep and a couple of mason jars. Hit your local farm stand for some summer freshness and you are half way there.

Mason jar #1: layer with fresh summer corn (cook it then cut it off the cob), black beans, diced cucumbers, farm fresh heirloom tomatoes, and diced avocado (swap in or out what you like)

Mason jar #2: shredded roasted chicken (grilled shrimp also works well)

Additional mason jars: fill with fresh slices of pineapples, local strawberries, or other summertime favorites. Yes, the jars add some weight to the cooler but you can reuse the jars (save a tree and use less plastic).

Pack a small container of your favorite dressing along with small container of feta. The avocado and feta combo really makes this salad creamy and super tasty. Don’t forget a large bowl and wooden serving utensils to prepare your salad. Serve salad in large cups like a solo cup with forks. So much easier to eat!

Tips to save time:

Buy a roasted chicken then shred it yourself. Pre-washed greens of any kind makes this a fast and easy salad. Honestly you don’t even need greens if you want to pass totally up on them. Perhaps toss in some fresh herbs instead.

Enjoy!

Surf Clinic With Gal Pals

A day at the beach with a group of women that all said yes to joining a surf clinic. Experiences are gifts. Bad or good, they shape you, challenge you, and teach you something about yourself. I am an over thinker (totally reaffirmed during the surf clinic). Sometimes we create reasons and obstacles that prevent us from participating in something that may test ourselves. When you have the support of friends, all those reasons tend to fade away.

This surf clinic was a first for all us. We laughed, used our bodies, and survived to talk about it. Yeah, we are all over 40 but does that really matter?! Age shouldn’t prevent you from having fun. Perhaps a little soar the next day. Which I think is a positive side effect.

Love these women for jumping on board. We finished the clinic feeling stronger and more confident although tired. We are no worse for the wear. New friendships have been formed while some have reconnected. Check out all the beautiful smiles!

Living Water Surf is located in Little Compton, Rhode Island. They offer private lessons, clinics, and camps for kids. Lessons are taught on South Shore Beach. Arrive before 8am to park for free.

Good friendships motivate and encourage you to try something new. Happy Summer!

ZABARDAST Means Awesome in Urdu!

Where powder and passion takes you! Zabardast is an epic Freeriding and Mountaineering expedition through the mountains of Pakistan in the Karakoram range. An intense, courageous, and beautiful film that will inspire you. What the human body and mind is capable will blow your mind. It is a short 55 minute skiing and snowboarding documentary by Picture Organic Clothing. The images throughout the film will at times leave you breathless. The shear beauty of Pakistan, a group of remarkable men, along with a beautiful soundtrack is worth your viewing even if you are not an adventure skier!

Images and film from Picture Organic Clothing

Guest Post: Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum

Let’s see what is happening at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam via Solidliquids. Solidliquids never stops exploring what is around her. She is based in Amsterdam and always has a pulse on what is happening in the city. Enjoy! 

The Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk , and the Van Gogh Museum are some of Amsterdam’s most recognised museums.  Less famous but not less interesting is the Tropenmuseum (The Tropical Museum). This museum shares insightful stories about the huge cultural diversity to be found around the world.  It is a museum about people.

Currently the Tropenmuseum has three special exhibitions alongside their permanent collection that are worth checking out:  Cool Japan, The Bitter Chocolate, and Africa Fashion Cities (sadly ending Jan 6th). 

The Cool Japan exhibition is all about the world’s fascination with everything associated with Japan.  This particular exhibit is broken into small installations.  Two highlights are Kawaii and Otaku.  The Kawaii installation focuses on the growing protest among girls rebelling against the pressure to growing up, working hard, and conforming to the strict demands of society.  Hello Kitty known throughout the world and one you are most likely familiar with represents the commercial success that developed from this rebellion.  Now known throughout Japan as a Kawaii icon. 

The gallery of Otaku is a cozy Japanese corner that is set up for you to experience on a small-scale what it would be like if you were to attend a con.  Otaku was once a term of abuse, but now it is embraced as a nickname similar to what we refer to a “nerd” or “geek”.  The devoted fans to this culture spend hours gaming, reading, watching, and participating in the development of cultural products.   

The Bitter Chocolate exhibit reveals the ugly story of child labour on chocolate plantations.  Fifteen children share their compelling stories and it will change the way you look at chocolate forever!

Bitter Chocolate

The African Fashion Cities is an impressive exhibit told through the eyes of fashion experts from Africa and The Netherlands.  Visitors explore the lively and diverse fashion scenes that shake up the world of fashion.  Local stylists share their perspectives on what drives local styles.  Additionally there are videos of local retailers, photographers, and bloggers from different regions that share their design stories.  One example is the brother and sister team behind 2ManySiblings. They take you to a market in Nairobi where they buy and restyle second-hand designers clothes.   

The Fashion exhibition features creations by The Sartists, a multidisciplinary creative collective from Johannesburg, Said Mahrouf, a Moroccan-Dutch designer, and Maki Oh, an African based fashion label appreciated by Beyonce and Michelle Obama.  By the way did you know Maki Oh’s designer Amaka Osakwe’s inspiration for her Spring 2019 collection came from hanging out in hole-in-the-wall joints know as Bukas in Lagos, Nigeria?  It also happens to be Amaka’s hometown, where these Bukas are typically run by women.  Check out her latest collection.

Amazing! Beautiful! Inspiring!

This is just a peek into Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum.  It is a rich and grand museum that stimulates curiosity. Just exploring the website will capture your interest.  A collection of installations that will draw you in through interaction and personal stories. The Tropenmuseum is worldly and one to experience if you find yourself in Amsterdam.  A hidden treasure!

(All images and videos are from the Tropenmuseum)

The Boston Ballet

The Boston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker is absolutely magical!  A night to escape and be swept away.  The stage comes alive with movement, music, and imagery.  In 2012 Mikko Nissinen, the Artistic Director, revamped the whole production with an all new direction for the sets, choreography, costumes, and characters.  Over 350 new costumes have been hand sewn and painted.  The sets are all created by craftsmen and women from all over the United States.  It is a performance that has become one Boston’s most cherished events during the holiday season.  A tradition for many family and friends to enjoy. Now playing at The Boston Opera House till December 30th.  The Boston Ballet is treat year round!  Having an experience creates memories which you will always treasure.  Happy Holidays! 

(all images from The Boston Ballet)