Happy Memorial Day!
Summer is upon us, which means it's time to talk summer hair.
Your hair is kind of a big deal. Cut and color can mean everything, and a good cut and color can change everything - your mood, level of confidence, outlook on life... the list goes on. (So can a bad one, in a bad way, so let's focus on the positive.)
The other thing that matters, like, a lot? The experience of having your hair cut and colored (and the dent that it makes in your wallet).
I was a loyal client of my friend and stylist Carol Clock in Kansas City for YEARS. She saw me at 14 when I wanted the Joey Potter haircut (yes, a simple, blunt cut, and yes, I brought a photo of Katie Holmes that I'd ripped out of Seventeen Magazine just to be crystal clear). She saw me through high school and college when I wanted Jennifer Aniston hair. And she saw me at 23 when I wanted Reese Witherspoon bangs and highlights (obviously, yes, I brought a picture - this time ripped out from Elle). Carol owns Moxie Studio in Kansas City, and if you live there, you should go see her immediately because she will make you very happy. Not only will the experience be super fun, but your hair will look great.
Now that I live in New York and am unable to get back to Kansas City every two to three months (as would be required to keep my naturally blonde hair looking, you know, natural), I have had to find a stylist here. Let me tell you, it has been stressful - but it has also been a super great learning experience! I am a hair stylist monogamist, but I've had to play the field for, like, years here, and it's terribly uncomfortable. Since moving to New York eight years ago, I've been a la recherche de the perfect stylist and have been to a distressing number of places (please don't judge): starting with Frederic Fekkai Soho (an awesome, horrendously hip, money hemorrhaging experience), I followed that colorist (Alex Safdari, who is phenomenal) to Pierre Michel (a much less pleasant, less cool and even more expensive experience), jumped ship to a mix of Mark Garrison (a rough go), Laicale (lovely and super hip, but my guy Jesse left so I too panicked and left), Vidal Sassoon (a standard upscale salon experience), John Barrett (ditto but with a smattering of celeb), and the Upper West Side Aveda (a truly horrendous color experience), finally settling on Frederic Fekkai Uptown for a year where I saw Brooklyn (who lived in Brooklyn) for color and the amazing Roz (who's married to my original colorist Alex - go figure!) for cut before coming to terms with the fact that I simply couldn't afford to be a Fekkai blonde. At that point, I followed a Gilt deal to Bumble and Bumble (where I attempted to do color at Bumble and maintain cuts with Roz at Fekkai because I loved her, but eventually I gave up), to then Oscar Blandi, Fekkai Soho once again and John Freida (a pleasant, hip experience, but too far for me to travel and too expensive post-Gilt deal). One of the hard things about finding the right salon is finding both a colorist and a stylist that are at the same place at of equally awesome caliber and enjoyable to talk to.
This brings us to last summer, when I found myself in a boot/crutches and unable to get around town. And so I made a switch to a sweet little local salon near my apartment... and I finally found The One. (That was long-winded and I probably could have just jumped right to this part, but no great love story -- that doesn't leave you sobbing -- starts at the moment that you fall in love, does it?)
Enter Alice Hair Care. It had amazing reviews on NYMag, promising uptown hair at downtown prices, and it did not disappoint. I made an appointment with Alice -- who gloriously does both cut and color and also charges the same as all of her stylists, which is fabulous -- and hobbled my way over to 70th & 2nd Ave. The salon is tucked behind some pretty horrendous temporary buildings that have been erected to support the Second Avenue subway construction, so you could actually walk past the salon without noticing it. As residents of the Far East Side, Matt and I make an effort to give business to Second Avenue stores when possible (e.g. , dry cleaning, and even then our sweet little dry cleaners just went out of business) so this felt like a perfect match!
You walk in the salon and are greeted by friendliness all around. Alice and a number of her staff are Irish, and I could just listen to them talk for hours. They are all so lovely. Alice sat down with me and went through my "Hair" board on Pinterest. I explained that I wanted blonde -- but not too blonde, more like bronde (I find that term both hilarious and grating) -- and a cut that could easily air dry because 1) I am eternally lazy and 2) I couldn't stand for very long periods of time to blow my hair dry. She listed, said, "I totally get it," then mixed up my hair concoction, which involved both highlights and lowlights and included -- in her words -- a "signature" color! I would get to have my very own signature color? Why, yes please, that sounds lovely! Fast forward a few hours, and I was released into the world with exactly the hair I'd requested. I was so happy. Even with my boot on, I had a skip to my step. And the rest is history. I've been back maybe six times now, and I am now delighted to be a "regular." People remember me, they remember my foot plight, they are all just so nice and wonderful, and I look forward to going every time.
Why do I bring this up now? Because Alice just brought me back to life last Friday, and I am once again reminded of how important a cut and color -- and the experience of having that cut and color -- are. What's even better? I can get a cut and color for something like $250 plus tip, and at the bigger, "fancy" salons, that wouldn't even cover color! She also gives 10% off for first timers and during ur birthday month (she loves birthdays)! We went blonder this time -- for summer and for my sanity -- and when Alice said this would require more upkeep -- "try to come back in six weeks" -- I didn't cringe with (much) pain. Full disclosure: Alice saw me cringe, said, "Don't worry, we'll just do it every six weeks for the next one or two and then I'll bring you back to something a little darker and more manageable for the fall" (all said in that charming Irish accent). "Ok Alice! Six weeks it is." I already can't wait to go back.
Alice Hair Care
1324 Second Ave., New York, NY, 10021
at 70th St.
Happy hair care!
Happy Hump Day!
I've been in an inexplicably cheerful mood this week. I think it's the hint of spring that is in the air. It's subtle -- I mean, really, you have to try to find it -- but it's there.
I've recently realized how dreadfully appreciative I am of the little things. As you know, I've had quite a year in the injury department, and on Monday I finally decided to ditch my cane and walk about town with two free hands. Don't get me wrong, the cane was great -- really, it was -- but it was time to say goodbye. I'd done a few test runs in my neighborhood over the weekend and felt satisfied with the result, and so, on Monday morning, as I rushed out the door (late, as always) to catch my far East Side van service, I took a look at my cane and, after a moment of silence and contemplation, decided to let it go. (RIP, dear cane.)
Once downtown, released by my van service on Water Street, I walked the remaining few blocks to my office, taking great pleasure in my newfound freedom and ability to swing my arms about as I walked -- not hobbled, but walked! The sheer joy! And, as I turned from Wall Street to Pine Street to William Street and passed under scaffolding and observed some business travelers milling about the strange hotel where I took GMAT classes just a few years ago, a Strokes song came on my Spotify playlist. And just then, at that moment, I was hit with a gust of brisk air and a wave of those business travelers' cigarette smoke that, together with all those other factors, brought me immediately back to my commute to school when I lived in Paris ten years ago. Not just the romantic Jardin des Tuilleries Paris, but the gritty, oft overlooked, outer edges of Paris that tourists rarely see. And suddenly I was there with my roommate Rebecca on our school-bound half mile trudge to the Gambetta metro stop from our host family's apartment in the faraway 20th Arrondissement (where we were known as "les Americaines" in the internet café and local bar and tabac because we were, in fact, the only Americans in the neighborhood), both of us shuffling in our black Converse, listening to the Strokes on our first generation iPods, complaining about our host mother's odd breakfast rituals (mostly to justify our daily stop at Paul for a Viennoise), and aggressively smoking Gauloise Bleues (when in Paris, do as the French do) in the brisk morning air that was always a little too damp and cold for our liking (because neither one of us had bothered to look up the weather before packing for "spring" in Paris). Little did I know that I would later cherish those long, cold walks so very much and that, on certain spring mornings in New York, with just the right mix of smoke and chill and damp air mixed together, I would remember those Paris days as if they were happening all over again.
On any other morning, I would probably curse the cigarette smoke or the drizzling rain and my failure to remember an umbrella or that it was April and I was still wearing a winter coat, but on Monday morning, the morning when I removed my cane-shaped shackles and strode through the streets like every other hurried person trying to get him- or herself to work in one piece, I was struck with that delightful notion of how great life is, how seemingly mundane things can actually be so special, and how the passage of time is at once so fleeting and so glacial.
As I came to from this fabulous memory and moment, I glanced up and saw that I was entering one of my favorite spaces downtown -- Chase Plaza -- which was closed for years (first for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and then for construction). Why is this a favorite space? Who knows. For one, it's a nice shortcut. For another, it has interesting art, like Isamu Noguchi's Sunken Garden and a sculpture by Jean Dubuffet (pictured above). And for another, I have always had a thing for carved-out public space. Whenever I cross into and through Chase Plaza (which I believe has now been renamed Rockefeller Plaza?), I appreciate how the space is both enduring (as it was thankfully landmarked in 2008) and incredibly temporal. It is not a destination, but a passageway. I think of the people who have traversed the space in the past, those that do now and those that will in the future, and I am moved by the massiveness of the space, the emptiness that immediately surrounds me (because it's never terribly crowded -- a novelty in this city), the sky overhead and the imposing buildings that loom all around just far enough away to let me breath a cleansing sigh as I either begin or end my work day. It is the kind of space that you don't realize you appreciate so very much until you no longer have access to it, and when you are once again able to traverse the space and be in it and feel that simultaneous sensation of heaviness and lightness, you look up at the sky, drizzle and all, you take in a deep, clean breath of chilly April air, and you say thank you for all things great and small.
Never did I think I would be writing about the beauty of a morning commute, but there is a first for everything. There can be such beauty in the mundane. And isn't that what life is all about? After all, it's often the little things that can have the biggest impact on us over time, that quietly stay with us as happy reminders of what once was and still remains somewhere deep within, that make life and the world around us so incredibly wonderful.
Happy commuting, happy remembering and happy appreciating the little things!
Matt and I went on a very brief (36 hour) vacation to Florida last weekend to visit his family. It was glorious. There was sun, surf, sand... and warmth.
Given the short duration of the trip and my singular desire to sit in the sun and read a book, my suitcase contained very few things: a bathing suit, a pair of J.Crew chinos (neon peach), a few J.Crew vintage V-neck T's, my new checkerboard Vans, and my favorite chambray shirt: the J.Crew Keeper Chambray Shirt, $78 (now on sale for $68!). In fact, I wore my Keeper Chambray shirt with distressed jeans and my checkerboard Vans on the flight down and then rewore it unbuttoned over the V-necks and chinos while in sunny Florida (don't judge the vacation rewear). And it was perfection.
The chambray shirt is a seasonless staple. It conjures up images of sunny summer days (perhaps because it is so relaxed and somehow reminds me of childhood and my first GapKids chambray shirt), but it also fits right in with a fall, winter or spring wardrobe. It can be dressed up, dressed down and worn with pretty much anything. Simply put, it's the perfect shirt, and if you don't already own one, you need to get your hands on one immediately.
There are many wonderful chambray shirts out there, but I'm partial to the J.Crew Keeper. The weight and color are perfect, it fits great, is well priced -- and J.Crew is having one of its epic sales right now (25% off everything or 30% off everything if you use your J.Crew Card) so it's even more well priced than usual.
Where to Buy
J.Crew Keeper Chambray Shirt, normally $78, on sale for $68, plus an additional 25%-30% off with code HEYSPRING (no card) or CARDLOVE (with card) until 3/28.
How to Style
I know this is a grand statement, but you can wear your chambray shirt with pretty much anything. It's the shirt version of a pair of jeans (and, if you're wondering, I am a Canadian tuxedo fan). Below is a little snapshot of how I wore my shirt last weekend and some ideas for how to ease into spring: with the weather still cool, you can of course wear it with jeans, boots and layers. The great thing about our unfortunate weather (because why not look on the bright side?) is that you can feel perfectly comfortable wearing fall, winter or spring clothes and colors right now. I could wear the Keeper with a jewel-toned tweed skirt and boots, black jeans and flats or with distressed boyfriend jeans and Vans, and all three looks would seem completely appropriate.
I've been eying the slip-on sneaker for some time. And recently, it's become a family affair.
If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that my mom and I have gotten a little pin happy with the chic sneaker pins. After learning how to use Pinterest in January, my mother has become a master pinner, and now she can run Pinterest circles around me. (Seriously. You should follow her. She has 3,600 pins -- and counting! -- and they're all fabulous.) Last week, we started a shared board called "Happy Feet" and we have been pinning madly (or dare I say happily?) to it ever since.
Even my dad has gotten in on the sneaker action. Without any prompting, he sent me a link to an article from PureWow about slip-on sneakers and their benefits as commuting shoes.
In fact, slip-on sneakers offer a number of pretty great benefits. They look awesome. They feel awesome. And they don't have to be tied. Win, win, and win.
Many of you know that I've been mildly frustrated by having to wear the same extra loud, doctor-recommended orange sneakers and a cane to literally every event I've attended since being released into the post-surgery wild. I am three months into what I am told is a six month recovery, and at a certain point last week, I decided I simply couldn't take the orange sneakers anymore. I needed something quieter for work. Something that didn't scream, IAMWEARINGSNEAKERSWITHTHISSUIT. Something that didn't have laces (I am oh so tired of tying my shoes). But something that my doctor would approve of.
Enter the black-on-black Vans slip-on sneaker.
Slip ons are available at all sorts of price points, from designer to non-designer, from Valentino to Vince to Vans. I'm sure Valentino makes a winning slip-on sneaker, but I'm not about to spend hundreds of dollars on a sneaker. I happen to believe that Vans are classic for a reason (and they are also very wallet friendly), and so I recently zoned in on those as the potential candidate for my first non-orange sneaker footwear option. Reviews stating things like "handcrafted by God himself" had me sold.
Last weekend, I hobbled my way over to Bloomingdales (where judgment of my cane/sneaker look occurred and I was rudely ignored by, like, 15 associates who all universally refused to make eye contact with me: big mistake, huge! Clearly these people don't understand the buying power of a female who hasn't been able to purchase shoes for a year!). I moved on to Urban Outfitters, where I felt much more comfortable (you've got to love a no judgment, self-serve environment at times) and found what I was looking for: the black-on-black Vans classic slip-on sneaker, $45.00. In all black, they look almost like a loafer (they look super cute with cropped pants and jeans) and can blend into office wear so that it is not so readily apparent that I am wearing a sneaker with a suit (unfortunately, I'm not Ellen, so pulling the look off takes a bit of finesse for me).
I tried the shoes on and... whoa. As it turns out, skaters know a thing or two about foot comfort (no wonder they seem so laid back!). I mean, seriously, I think the shoes actually were handcrafted by God himself. They run wide in the toe box, which is just the loveliest thing ever for a gal like moi, and they're super padded both on the bottom and in the seam that goes around your foot/ankle. I walked around for a while in the store, trying to contain the amount of joy that was surging through me as I realized with each step that these shoes actually might work, these shoes could be my ticket to relative normalcy.
Needless to say, I bought my first pair of post-surgery shoes. After getting doctor approval, I wore them to work and felt decidedly zippier -- a pep to my step, if you will -- even while carrying a cane.
A few days later, I returned to Urban Outfitters and picked up a pair of black and white checkerboard slip-ons. You know, for the weekends. Luckily, these shoes come in like a gazillion colors and are probably the cheapest pair of shoes I've bought since elementary school, so I feel pretty excited about the prospect of purchasing multiples of this shoe.
Get them, your feet will thank you. And feet deserve your love.
Where To Buy
Urban Outfitters, Van's Classic Slip-On Men's Sneaker, $45
Vans, Solid Colors Slip-On, $45
(They come in lots of other colors too!! This is just the tip of the iceberg!)
How To Style
I've included some of my favorite slip-on sneaker looks below. For work, I'll wear the black-on-black with my usual suits and such, and for play I'll have a little more fun with some of the other colors (like the checkerboard) with cuffed boyfriend jeans or skinny ankle jeans. What are your faves?
Happy keeping your feet happy!
I don't know about you, but this week has felt particularly long. And during weeks like that, I tend to forget to appreciate life quite as much as I should. It is so easy sometimes to get wrapped up in being busy and to forget to be grateful for the present. Just a little reminder to be grateful for today... everyday. Happiness is being grateful for the now.
Happy Friday! Happy weekend!
Daylight Savings Time seemed to come inexplicably early this year (perhaps it was the snow on the ground or the fact that I'm still wearing a winter coat that threw me off?), but I'm not one to complain about a little more light at the end of the day. Matt and I spent the majority of our Sunday binge-watching True Detective on HBO Go, and at 6pm, I looked out the window to see that IT WAS STILL LIGHT OUT. OMG. It's cold, but it's light. I will take it. Warmth must follow, right? It simply must.
But back to light.
Light is very important for our well-being. And when it is not readily available to us, we can create it in spaces. I made this little watercolor when I was taking an interior rendering course at Parsons and we were instructed to paint something using only grey tones. For my inspiration, I had torn out a page from Elle Décor (back in 2008, when there was no Pinterest) of a kitchen in the Hamptons by Emma Jane Pilkington (it is the home of Emma and Chris Cuomo, all of which is drool-worthy), and I loved it because there was so much light, like the outdoors were just flooding into the interior space.
I remember the instructor noting that the painting seemed unfinished and that I must not have had enough time (which was true), but I actually like that it's not finished. It's a bit sketchier that way and more about capturing the light rather than the detailing on those rattan bags.
I could have at any point in the last 6 years chosen to "finish" it, but I've decided not to (partly because of laziness and partly because I don't want to "ruin" a good thing).
The painting sat around in our apartment since that class -- on a desk, on a dresser -- and this year it finally found its way onto a wall in our bathroom. Our bathroom has only one tiny window and one fluorescent light, and adding this little painting (it's 9x12") felt almost as if we'd added a window to the space!
See below for the before and after.
It's not a huge change, but it makes me happy. It sits opposite the mirror (with the single fluorescent light), and when you look in the mirror now, you get a burst of Hamptons light coming at you instead of just that single source of bad lighting. And somehow that little grey tone painting draws on the lovely purple wallpaper that our previous owners left behind. Happy accidents!
Happy Monday and Happy DST! Enjoy the extra light!
Let's talk about inspiring interiors for a moment. Specifically, other people's interiors. More specifically, interiors of people who do not live in the United States.
Interiors, like fashion and art, are a universal language, and voyeurism is a rather universal human trait (see: Marcel Proust; Rear Window; tabloids; and all forms of social media to name but a few examples of our voyeuristic tendencies). You give me photos of someone's beautiful home, you feed my voyeuristic craving to see that which is not mine. I will devour those photos with gusto, dream about what it must be like to live in such a space, and then go on a search for more interior heroine to feed my addiction.
Recently, a photo of a living room on Pinterest caught my eye (it was on Born and Bred Studio's board - Born and Bred is a great company to follow on Pinterest). As you may have noticed in my posts of late, I've been really into emerald green recently -- and as I've learned, more specifically emerald green as part of a semi-complex, preferably tetrad, color scheme), and the green velvet pillows (more specifically, the elongated pillows, especially the elongated pillows layered atop bold, almost rugby striped pillows.... contrasted with that stark white.... and that angular antique armoire....) in this image drew me in (see how this stuff gets me going?). The rest of the space seemed so different than many spaces I've seen lately, and that was both refreshing and captivating. I repined the image and planned to move on. But as I do, I thought about that living room and then began to wonder what the rest of the space looked like. Was it an apartment? A townhouse? Who lived there? Who decorated it? And why? What was the inspiration?
The caption describing the photo had been written in Spanish, so I was extra intrigued. (I love finding interiors from publications in foreign languages - it makes them feel mysterious and like I've stumbled upon something exotic and other-worldly; like my pinning is just so good that I've been rewarded with the fabulous European find.)
The space is featured in a story called "Un piso con carácter" in the magazine Nuevo Estilo. The interior, designed by interior designer Pepe Leal, with art curated by gallerists Damián Casado and Concha Santapau, is a lovely mix of lots of things. It is a home in Madrid, designed with a lot of influence from the 40s (but also the 30s and 50s... and today), which draws upon design from cultures like Morrocco and India for inspiration and mixes in local finds from artisans and artists.
I am drawn to this space for a number of reasons.
1) the "shell" (the ceilings, ceiling height, floors, molding - all of it);
2) the space-framing window treatments - they are masculine and weighty in velvet, which pairs well with the high ceilings and large windows, helping to "ground" the space;
3) the neutral base of whites, creams and tans layered with bold color and texture;
4) the use of warm colors (and a more complex color palette) in the "social" spaces and cool colors (and a less complex, calming color palette) in "private" spaces;
5) the mix of antique/traditional and contemporary pieces and shapes. It is serious and studied, but airy and lighthearted at the same time.
Let's take a look!
SOCIAL SPACE - Warmer color palette; tetrad color scheme.
PRIVATE SPACE - Cooler color palette; square tetrad color scheme.
As with most homes that have been photographed for magazines, some parts of this space appear to be a little too... staged. But there is still a rawness and authenticity to it that is also very hard to deny. Something about this space just works for me. Perhaps it's the tight color scheme's repetition (in variations, some subtle, some bold) throughout the home so that, from one room to the next, the flow is natural, effortless, but also purposeful. Maybe it's the mix of old and new, eclectic and traditional (I am particularly taken by that dining room). Maybe it's the foreignness of it all, but perhaps more likely, it's really the familiarity of it all. That sensation of "I've seen this before" when, really, you've never seen anything like it.
In any case, it's some tasty eye candy for the interior lover. Especially on a Friday after a long week. Hope it brought a bit of inspiration your way and hope you have a fabulous weekend!
You know that sensation where, once you notice something, you start to see it everywhere? That has happened to me, and now I need to share that something with you.
One of my favorite blogs, The Pink Pagoda, recently featured plates from the Bahia Collection by Alberto Pinto. I just died over the gorgeous emerald and blue colors and the beautiful brushwork (the paintings sort of have a peacock feather sense) against the clean white background. Just. To die. I looked the plates up, saw how expensive they were (they're a lot - like, a lot a lot), and so I decided just to pin the beauty on my "For the Home" board and moved on with my life. But then while having my foot zapped with electrical pulses at physical therapy earlier this week (a strangely relaxing 15 minutes), I browsed through a recent Architectural Digest issue (March 2014 I believe) and happened upon the plates again. (Architectural Digest says the plates capture the spirited beauty of the ceremonial feather headdresses of Northern Brazil.)
I think of beautiful china more as art than as something upon which to eat a meal. 1) Fine china is usually ridiculously expensive, so we are unable to purchase enough of it for more than one person to actually dine upon; and 2) in most homes (or at least mine), fine china is rarely used except on truly special occasions, which is a pity because it's gorgeous. My solution for this is to purchase small pieces of china -- bread and butter plates, even dessert plates or salad plates or rim soup bowls -- and put them out decoratively. One will do. More than one -- a flock, if you will -- is even better. They can hold small bits of jewelry on a vanity or be placed artfully on a coffee table or side table as an accent piece.
Here are some of my favorites from the Bahia Collection:
Bahia Dessert Plate, $238, at William Wayne
Bahia Bread & Butter Plate, $170, at William Wayne
Bahia Rim Soup Plate, $228, at William Wayne
And if you want to go big....
Bahia Charger, $315, at William Wayne
As the saying (sort of) goes, once is happenstance, twice is coincidence and three times is a pattern. Seeing these plates featured twice is enough for me to see a pattern -- of fabulousness!! -- and so I have settled into a quiet obsession with the collection's gorgeousness and wish that one -- just one! the really, really tiny one, really! -- could make its way into my welcoming arms and onto an end table or coffee table that's yearning for some colorful, feathery companionship. It would add a little Brazilian flare to the space, elevate the overall look, and bring a smile to my face whenever I happened to glance its way. And perhaps over time, I could collect a few and place them artfully throughout the home. As they say, birds of a feather flock together. I'd love a whole flock of these puppies, but one would be just fine. In the meantime, I'll just ogle at images online.
What must-haves are you seeing more than once out there?
I have been feeling a not-so-healthy dose of stress recently. Maybe it's all the snow. And my foot - while healing - is still, you know, une problème. I was talking to my mom about it yesterday, and she said, "Kate, do what you tell me to do: go find your happy." And she was so right.
I decided to take a quick gander at my Pinterest boards and see if anything might get me going. My "Home Inspiration" board is my most "free-wheeling" board, if you will, and contains all sorts of things that inspire me, many of which are not at all home-related, but which, in my mind, inspire the way a home might be decorated. I found a collection of pins that all fell within the same sort of color family - a hot pink meets coral meets peach meets sunset - and suddenly inspiration hit.
There is a perfect color of orangy-pink that only a truly perfect sunset can produce, and that has long been my favorite color. When I was a child, my parents decided to call the color "Kate Hufft Pink" (Hufft is my maiden name) because I'd get so darn excited about really good sunsets (still do), and now, in my adult life, Matt has, in jest, decided to call it "KHP" (Kate Hufft Pink) and mocks me mercilessly whenever we see a sunset (the running joke of our vacations now is that we always end up going to places that supposedly have incredible sunsets -- Bali, California, etc. -- and then never see a sunset because of clouds or fog). I used to hate when he joked about KHP, but I've since learned to embrace it and allow the experience to further hone what I do believe to be the most perfect color on earth.
"Is that KHP?" (said in the Zooey Deschanel "Is that rain?" voice from the 2012 Apple iPhone commercial)
"There's not enough orange."
"Yes. It's not even close. Not every sunset is KHP."
"It's too pale. The color isn't saturated enough."
"I don't know why, ask a scientist. And that purply-blue color is gross."
"Because it is."
"Don't you think it's gross? It's murky and sad without a deep orange to offset it. I want it to be vibrant and happy."
"[Sigh.] I don't know, Matt. I just do."
He asks "why" like a 5-year-old (purposefully), and I allow it to happen until I hit the end of my ability to critique the not-quite-right sunset. Often it's not the sunset that makes the color. It's the sunset juxtaposed against whatever else is going on. It's the textures, the patterns, the feeling of being outdoors in the warmth of fresh air. It's the sensation of spring and summer. Of a day ending and an evening just beginning. It's the need for darkness and shadows to be present to bring out the vibrancy of the light but saturated bright, pink-y orange. It's that bright pink-y orange. Really, it's that deep, reddish orange. But more than that, it's realizing that, when we're not able to chase down the perfect sunset (or even have a chance to see one), we can help create our own -- through imagination, inspiration, and the beauty of the world that surrounds us.
And that is what inspired me for today's post. It's not just sunsets that can create the color. It's flowers and fashion and textiles and... everything else. No single image is quite right, but together they start to paint the picture of my favorite color. A color that's ephemeral, that must be chased, that doesn't truly exist on its own, but that nonetheless surrounds us and reminds us of the passage of time (in a good way, in a carpe diem kind of way). It's the color that reminds me of childhood and vacations and chasing dreams. The color that combats the winter blues and inspires me (and hopefully you!) to keep looking for all that is beautiful in the world. The color that makes me truly happy.
Below are some representations of my favorite color. What's your favorite color? And why?
(Thanks, Mom, for helping me find my happy.)
Happy inspiring! Happy color hunting!
Happy Valentine's Day! Happy Friday! And Happy Long Weekend!
So much to celebrate today. Love, Fridays, weekends... three of my favorite things. And my favorite things make me pretty darn happy, so I am in good spirits.
But let's be honest: this time of year blows the big one. It's freezing outside, the heater's blazing inside, and our skin and emotional well-being suffer. Valentine's Day carries with this this massive burden of expectation -- will I have a Valentine? Won't I? If I have one, will he/she actually do something for me? Will he/she do enough? What should I do for him/her? What if I don't do enough? It's all just too much.
And to top it off, my skin is so dry I can think of nothing else! I'm serious. Skin. On the mind. All the time. And not in a sexy way.
I have naturally dry skin, and in the winter, it is uncomfortably so. By this time every year, all I can think about is simultaneously lying on a warm, sunny Caribbean beach and bathing in a deep vat of heavy moisturizer (that's disgusting, I know, but I'm serious, my skin is that unhappy, and I haven't truly seen the sun since, like, September, so this really is my fantasy right now). My skin is dry, itchy, flakey, whiter-than-a-ghost... It's just all around unpleasantness for everyone involved. It's a vicious cycle. My skin bothers me. I complain incessantly to Matt. Matt's skin bothers him. He complains incessantly to me. And so on. It's a fun, sexy time for us here in the Kelly household:
So given all of that, why am I so happy on this glorious Valentine's Day that is also a Friday that is also the Friday before a long weekend? Because soon -- not now, but in, like, the next 3-5 business days depending on weather patterns -- my over-parched skin is going to get hydrated in disgustingly luxurious style, and I just can't contain my excitement. Matt and I are not doing Valentine's Day gifts for each other this year, but he ordered this Jo Malone's Lime Basil & Mandarin Body Crème, $75, from Nordstrom.com yesterday as a sign of love and affection. I got stressed, because I have not ordered him a gift, and this crème certainly seems like a gift, so the balance of love and power is all off suddenly, but he claims it is not a gift because I would have ordered it for myself anyway (true), so really it's a wash. I also think he ordered it so he could secretly use it on his own lizard-y skin (much like I enjoy buying things for him that really I want for myself). This non-gift is due to arrive early next week, and I am very much looking forward to ripping open the box and luxuriating in the heavenliness that is this body crème. My skin desperately needs a little lovin'.
Which brings me to this: Love is a many-splendored thing, and it's important to say "I love you" daily to others and to ourselves -- and that means our skin. And often, we forget to do just that.
As you may have guessed by now, nothing says "I love you" quite like this Jo Malone moisturizer (many might argue with me that there are other ways to say it, but I stand by my word). I have tried many a moisturizer in my life, and none has ever actually uttered or compelled my skin to utter the words "I love you," but Jo Malone has come close. Actually, I take that back. Jo Malone has.
Allow me to explain: You twist off the cap of this large glass tub and are immediately hit with the most heavenly scent ever. Music starts to play, slowly and quietly at first, and you're confused because you certainly did not turn on any music and it was definitely not Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons. "You're just too good to be true..." you hear. You shake your head, but decide to move on. You dip your finger in the pot of heaven -- careful not to take too much, because that sh*t ain't cheap and you want that pot of gold to last for as long as humanly possible. "You'd be like heaven to touch..." the music continues. You shake your head again. This music is weird, but it's true, this luxurious crème actually feels like heaven. You slather it on your dry, thirsty skin, and suddenly the song fast forwards two minutes and fireworks are going off around you and your skin is shouting "I LOVE YOU, BABY...!" from the rooftops as you pat yourself on the back for being such a great inhabitant of your previously love-starved body. You're still a little confused about how a body crème managed to serenade your skin (or did your skin serenade it? it's all very unclear), but you're thrilled because you feel human again and suddenly the fact that it's February and you haven't experienced climate-produced heat or daylight in half a year doesn't seem to matter quite so much.
You've said "I love you" to your skin. And your skin has said "....ditto."
Before this year, I never would have spent $75 on body cream for myself, but my dear friend Emily (yes, the one who gave me that lovely candle I blogged about earlier this week) gave it to me last year along with the Jo Malone candle that I blogged about in December (she is a really good gift giver!), and I have since become addicted. Nothing else will do. I ran out of it a few weeks ago, and have been just distraught ever since. So distraught that even Matt has attempted to justify the crème's practicality. Why, it's so practical that I actually need it. And as he has generously pointed out, the last pot lasted for over a year, so really, on a per-use basis, it's not that expensive it all. Excellent point indeed, my husband. And so, when the box arrives next week, I shall say to him -- and to the crème -- "ditto."
You're worth the splurge. Go for it. Your skin will thank you. And your state of mind will improve drastically. Sometimes you can buy happiness. And love.
Happy Valentine's Day! Happy lovin'!
I am an artist/designer and former financial professional with a background in comparative literature, business and design. I live in New York with my overworked lawyer husband and my two boys Michael and Theo and spend much of my free time dreaming about how to enhance the aesthetics of our little world. I am endlessly inspired and always in search of something new. This is a blog about my search, my inspiration and things I just really, really like or want.