Month: July 2015

July Favorites

july
My favorite month of year, for obvious reasons, is July. It’s hotter than hell, but time seems to slow for just a little and you can really enjoy summer. This month was one for the books with lots of fun activities packed into four short weeks. Here’s my list of five July favorites.

1- Celebrating our nation’s birthday in none other than D.C. We had a mini family reunion in this fine city and it was the perfect weekend trip catching up with family and friends. A travel guide is on the way, I promise.

2- Watching two great friends bring a baby into this world. I may be far off from this juncture in my life, but seeing that beautiful baby’s photo for the first time brought tears to my eyes. Congrats Rachel, he is stunning!

3- Celebrating a birthday. I was lucky enough to celebrate multiple times with lots of different friends. A nice dinner and drinks with my roommate, a Jurassic 5 concert with friends (see above photo), and Wes Anderson style at our costume party.

4- Getting a new piercing. Don’t get too excited, nothing juicy, just an upper earlobe re-pierce that had grown back. But, it does make me feel like I’m embracing my “artsy” side every time I catch it reflecting in the mirror.

5- Checking out a new restaurant in our neighborhood, One Fold. This little gem is seriously delicious!

x B

 

Loving Frank

nancy horanI’ve been sucking at reading lately, but I finally finished Loving Frank, a book that has been on my list for years now. As a design nerd, you learn about Frank Lloyd Wright quickly. I even grew up around the corner from one of his houses (yes, in SC!). Despite my “wealth” of knowledge on the man and his ground breaking designs, I never knew Mamah Borthwick existed.

This book takes you on a journey through an affair that took place over 100 years ago. It is fascinating how progressive these two were and how much they were chastised for their actions. Especially since we live in a world where women are allowed to vote and be independent thinkers. This story is tragic on so many levels and sheds an interesting light on Wright. He is constantly praised for his work, but this book explores the darker side of being such an innovator.

If you are looking for an interesting pieces of historical fiction this is a great summer read!

x B

Self Love

self loveimage source

It may not be glaringly apparent (or maybe I’m kidding myself), but self love is something i struggle with on a daily basis. Whether is a negative thought about my appearance or my constant worrying if people like me, it rears its ugly head several times a day. When I confide in friends about my self loathing, most brush it off with a simple, “you’re crazy”. Maybe I am, but I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

Mental illness takes an infinite number of forms and manifests itself in everyone differently. Simply telling people they’re crazy rather than giving them the assistance they are seeking is only making the problem worse, but I digress. I find myself making negative comments about my appearance I would never even think about another person. It is most often “I look fat” or “my hair looks like shit”, but sometimes it goes much deeper and leads to “I’m so gross, how could anyone like me?”. It’s not always about my physical appearance either. I often criticize my own work, be it professional, artistic, or hell, even this blog.

I, oddly enough, find it very hard to swallow other people’s criticisms about me even if I know they are right. It makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed that I’m not like everyone else. Yet, I don’t accept praise or compliments easily despite my overwhelming desire to be perfect at everything I do. I dislike attention and experience social anxiety when I’m in the midst of one of my self loathing moods. I’ve done some serious soul searching and found that all of these problems stem from one central issue: my self confidence. This is the foundation for everything in life. If you aren’t happy with yourself, it effects every facet of your life from work to relationships (with others and yourself).

When I’m happy with myself I take better care of my health — mental and physical, I am more creative, I have more energy, I’m more confident, the list goes on. It’s during these times that I attract people, both friends and guys. So, I’m sure you’re asking, why the fuck are you not happy all of the time?? As a creative perfectionist it is not always easy to see the bright side. I’m usually examining myself with a magnifying glass wondering why my arms aren’t perfectly toned, why I’m not an overnight entrepreneurial success, why I don’t have a boyfriend, is this part of my 5 year plan…all in the span of about 10 seconds. So with a mind that never quits it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the mayhem.

It will take some time and I will have good days and bad days, but I’m learning to love myself. I’m accepting my flaws and my weird personality as qualities that make me, me. Hopefully I’m not the only one who feels this way so let’s all take some time to appreciate who we are and love ourselves for being us.

x B

The Avett Brothers

avett brothers red rocksThe Carolina’s are known for their friendly people, barbecue, and most importantly, the Avett Brothers. They have been gaining momentum and are quickly becoming one of the most well known bands on an international level. When they announced their annual Colorado shows I bought tickets instantly. I’ve seen them live before, but nothing could compare to seeing them at Red Rocks.

They were in town for three nights so each show varied slightly (even though I only saw one of these), but they put on an incredible show. Their energy, talent, and good looks make them so fun to see live and I can’t help but jump and dance around to every song. My absolute favorite is their cello player who is the most energetic cellist I have ever seen! He plays so intensely that his bow is effectively ruined by the end of the night.

If you’ve been living under a rock and are not yet a fan of the Avett Brothers, you need to fix that asap. And if you have never seen them live you are missing a hell of a show that is worth every penny.

x B

Two Years

2nd birthday
image via DIY Playbook

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been two years since I started this little blog. It’s true what they say, time really flies when you’re having fun! Thanks for your continued readership and interest in my thoughts and musings. Here’s to many more years of seven | sixteen and my exposing my quirkiness to the entire world. Cheers!

x B

Outfit Inspiration: Workout

I go through phases with my workouts — we have a love/hate relationship. I seem to be in a fairly motivated state at the moment, but nothing makes me want to workout more than cute workout clothes. To motivate myself (and you!) to workout, I have pulled together this cute yet “don’t mess with me, I workout” outfit. Tell me this doesn’t make you want to do some sprints then a kickboxing class?
outfit inspiration: workout (more…)

Travel Guide: Yellowstone

yellowstone national parkAs much as I love to travel, I’m ashamed to say I’ve seen very little of my own country. Being out west has made many areas more accessible (don’t get the wrong idea, this isn’t New England people!) so I’ve been trying to take advantage of my semi-close proximity to things. A friend of mine invited me to accompany her and some girlfriends to Yellowstone National Park for Memorial Day weekend. I gladly accepted without knowing most of the group and am happy to report that this was one of my most memorable trips.travel guide: yellowstone When we arrived, it was overcast and threatening to rain at any moment, but that did not make the trip any less beautiful. We rented a car and entered from the North Entrance and began our decent into the park through Mammoth Hot Springs. We spent much of the day exploring the many geysers on the north and west side of the park. The natural colors and textures that can be found in these areas is absolutely incredible. Trust me, I had to practice some restraint while adding photos to this post!
travel guide: yellowstonetravel guide: yellowstoneyellowstone national parktravel guide: yellowstonetravel guide: yellowstone We made our way to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and despite the rain, it was an incredible view.yellowstone national park
yellowstone national parkMy favorite part of the trip was the Grand Prismatic Spring. Again, due to the water temperature and algae species, the color of the water can change, making this spring absolutely gorgeous. I couldn’t even capture all of its color in these photographs.
travel guide: yellowstonetravel guide: yellowstoneyellowstone national parkyellowstone national parktravel guide: yellowstone Our last day was a sunny drive through the eastern and northern side of the park as we made our way back to the North entrance. We got to see Yellowstone’s varied landscape and ecosystems in a (seemingly) short drive. 
travel guide: yellowstone The best surprise was seeing this guy on our way out of the park. I understand this is a wild animal, but he looked so cuddly it was tough to resist!
travel guide: yellowstone Yellowstone is a bucket-list must for any kind of traveler. I’m not super outdoorsy and I survived! Its natural beauty is unlike anything I’ve seen before. I think next year Glacier National Park will be at the top of my list!
x B

Black bean chicken

Mexican food is one of my favorite food groups, but sometimes the meals get a bit repetitive.  This TexMex twist always goes down well and is one of my reliable recipes.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts halved
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1 can of black beans drained
1 cup salsa

For the spice mixture:
1 tsp paprika
1/2 – 1 tsp chili powder (depending how hot you like it)
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Coat the chicken breasts in half the spice mixture. Fry with olive oil until golden brown. Mix the remaining spice mixture with the black beans. Place chicken in a baking dish. Scatter salsa over the chicken, top with black beans and cheese. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Serve with a side of rice and guacamole.  This dish is also one that tastes better the next day.

x K