Sylvan Esso and My Morning Jacket

I was given an opportunity to see My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks and while I’m not a huge fan of the band, I was so excited to hear that Sylvan Esso was the opener. Sylvan Esso has been on my radar for a while, but I hadn’t seen them live before this weekend. They are just two band members, the singer and the producer, but they have amazing stage presence. Amelia Meath’s voice is awesome and she has some serious dance moves. They are about to explode on the music scene so be sure to check them out.

My Morning Jacket was awesome live too, don’t get me wrong. All in all, it was another great concert at Red Rocks…2015’s concerts have been so good!

x B

Masculine Bedroom

bachelor pad

bed // nightstand // chest of drawers // hide rug

When a friend asked for help furnishing his bachelor pad, I jumped at the opportunity. It’s rare that I get to design for just men so I was excited to design a more masculine space. The upholstered headboard is sharp, but gender neutral so it doesn’t scare off the future mrs. I love to juxtapose textures in a space so we used a combination of warm wood and brass accents with steel nightstands. This creates interest and adds subtle masculine elements to the room. The hide rug adds an additional layer of texture and instant cool factor.

If any men are reading this (hat’s off to you if you are) is important to maintain an inviting atmosphere for a bachelor pad — nothing’s attractive about a room that reads dated frat house. You can add masculine elements like wood, metal, and leather, not posters oversized tv’s. This room reads masculine without being too heavy so you won’t maintain your bachelor status for long. You can thank me later.

x B

End of Summer Movies

Summer’s impending doom is upon us, but the upside is the slew of movies that are released. These aren’t necessarily Oscar worthy, but they are way better than the horror movies and blockbusters that are released the first half of the year. Here’s my must see list for this year’s end of summer movies.

1- Trainwreck

Holy shit, I’ve found my spirit animal. Amy Schumer GETS it. This is my kind of rom com that doesn’t seem too unrealistic. And tears were streaming down my face for the entire finale. (From laughing people, this isn’t a dog movie!)

2- Mistress America

Frances Ha blew me away and this is Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s follow up film. I hope it lives up to it’s predecessor, but the trailer looks like it will.

3- Digging for Fire

Confession, I love Jake Johnson. I would see him in anything (except Let’s Be Cops or whatever that was…seems like a momentary lapse in judgment on his part). I loved Drinking Buddies and this comes from the same writer, with help from Johnson, and contains a similar cast, aka Anna Kendrick.

x B

What I’m Watching

For the summer 2015 addition of “What I’m Watching”, I’m catching up on old favorites, finishing the latest season of several new releases, and even indulging in some guilty pleasures. See my round up of the five shows I’ve been watching this summer.

1- Mad Men

what i'm watching
Netflix recently added some new episodes to their line up and I breezed through them in record time. Now I just need to final episodes!

2- Game of Thrones
game of thrones
I know it’s been a few months since this season’s finale, but it’s too good not to include. If you haven’t watched season 5 yet you must do it now before someone inevitably spoils it for you.

3- Orange Is The New Black
orange is the new black
The girls are back and better than ever for season 3. This season was by far my favorite and made me laugh out loud more times than I can count.

4- True Detective
true detective
Not everyone was a fan of the new season, but after following knock out performances from Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, I think this season rose to the occasion. Colin Ferrell and Rachel McAdams were great.

5- Gossip Girl
gossip girl
I know, what am I, 12? The answer is sadly, yes. I never finished the series when it was on tv so I’m reliving my glory days. I also like to convince myself that I’m watching it for the fashion…

x B

Rhubarb Crumble

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Since I’ve been living in the UK, I’ve discovered rhubarb. I don’t recall seeing it much at home, but maybe I was just never looking. There’s something so nice about the sharp, sweet and tangy flavor that’s perfect for a summertime crumble. It’s also a very low maintenance dessert that’s sure to impress.

Ingredients:
10 stalks of rhubarb cut into large chunks
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 orange (juice and zest)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 small piece of ginger peeled and cut

Preheat your oven to 350°F Put the rhubarb and half the sugar into a pan. Add the orange juice and zest, put a lid on top, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for around 5 more minutes, until the rhubarb has softened slightly. Spoon into an ovenproof baking dish and spread out evenly across the bottom.

To make your crumble topping, use your fingers to lightly rub together the flour and butter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the oats, the rest of the sugar and the ginger. Sprinkle the crumble over the rhubarb and bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the rhubarb is bubbling up and crumble is golden. Scoop into bowls and serve with vanilla ice cream.

I found that there was way more crumble topping than necessary (and I’m a girl who likes a lot of topping), so I only used half. It just means you have an excuse to make another one!

x K

Summer 2015 Playlist

It’s Monday and that means the work week is just beginning. To help you ease you into the next five days I’ve compiled my favorite songs of the season into this summer 2015 playlist. This playlist will take you through the dog days of summer and is fit for any summer activity. It contains new music from old favorites as well as my favorite new artists.

x B

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