life curation

Belated Birthday Post: What I Got for My Birthday

You know that you *might* have had an awesome birthday if you take nearly three months to share what gifts you got! Well, for the record, my birthday was pretty awesome, and my super-thoughtful bestie bought me a few gifts that I’m loving.

Along with my birthday card, I got a bunch of things to remind me to “play” each day. I find that many of my days lack “play” because I have such a hectic schedule. But when I do have downtime, PLAY is a priority. Injecting JOY into every day – in the form of play or pleasure – is crucial to keeping me sane.

So I’ve been enjoying my coloring books and my bubbles. They’re great for helping me unwind during the stressful times. This little bit of whimsy really does wonders for my mood. I love her for coming up with such a creative gift!

I also bought myself a few things, but I’ve already shared that in my latest book purchase post. Remember to always get yourself treats: you deserve it!

food · travel

Review: Another Broken Egg Cafe, Morrisville, NC

Back in August, I spent a few days in Raleigh/Durham, NC. While I was there, my friend and I stopped for brunch at a little restaurant that I’d never heard of before: Another Broken Egg Cafe. This restaurant – located in the small town of Morrisville, NC – features a variety of breakfast delights. My friend and I decided to try a few dishes and here’s my review of the experience.

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It took a while before the server greeted our table, but the restaurant was very busy so we understood why there was a delay. We got coffee and ordered the Crab Cake Benedict, Lobster & Brie Omelette, pancakes, fresh fruit and biscuit beignets.

Pancakes and berry medley

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(Clockwise from top) Crab Cake Benedict, Lobster & Brie Omelette, toasted English muffins

Everything was cooked to perfection, piping hot and delicious. I was particularly fond of the omelette: it was flavorful, fluffy and sumptuous. The portions were generous and everything tasted wonderful. The only thing I’d change about my visit would be coming at a different time, so I could have more interaction with the server. But other than that, it was a great experience.

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Biscuit beignets

If you’re ever in the Durham/Raleigh/Cary area, you should definitely check out this restaurant! Or, you can always go to the one nearest you, since it’s a nationwide chain.

That’s it for today, folks: I hope I haven’t made you all too hungry! Talk to you all tomorrow.

art · international

Review: The Horse in Ancient Greek Art Exhibit at Virginia Museum of Fine Art

This summer, I spent several days at different museums taking in the exhibits. While I wrote about most of the exhibits that I enjoyed, I had a couple of exhibits that I haven’t yet discussed here. I opted to wait on this one because I thought I’d have a chance to check it out again before I left. Alas, time got away from me and I didn’t return before the last day of the exhibit. However, I have a sufficient amount of photos, and I’m familiar enough with the subject matter to do a decent post. So, let’s discuss horses in Ancient Greece, shall we?

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Way back when I first started studying art, I took an art history course and I fell in love with Greek art. Something about the draped garments of the kore and caryatids seemed ethereal to me. I was officially in love when I first saw the Nike of Samothrace – Winged Victory – statue. Headless and armless, she still seemed so dynamic and magical and that was the kind of thing I regularly saw when I looked at Greek art. Power, motion, and magic, all bundled into singular pieces of art.

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Winged Victory (Nike) of Samothrace, The Louvre Paris

This exhibit, The Horse in Ancient Greek Art, was shown at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. The exhibit highlighted the horse’s significance in the social hierarchy and cultural landscape of Ancient Greece. Horses were valued possessions, and were a luxury not afforded to the average man. The cost of horse maintenance meant that only the wealthiest and most powerful people in Ancient Greece could afford to own and care for these beauties.

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The exhibit featured a lot of vases and urns, which were decorated with paintings of horses. Horses were featured prominently on coins and monumental plaques, as well. It was interesting to see how the depictions of horses changed over different historical and artistic periods.

Being a wine lover, I can appreciate any of the vessels used to hold the nectar of the gods. Naturally, I was entranced by the choes and oinochoes. The Greeks loved combining beautiful presentation with practicality just as much as we do today.

So I learned more about Greek art, the significance of horses, and the many kinds of vases in Ancient Greece. It was a great experience, and my only regret is that I didn’t visit it at least twice before it left. I seem to do this with almost every visiting exhibit – will I ever learn? Anyways, that’s all for today. I hope you all enjoy your Saturday. Talk to you tomorrow!

 

art · travel

North Carolina Museum of Art – The Sculpture Garden

In August, when I spent some time in Raleigh, I did all of my museum visits on Saturday, the day that I left the city. I spent most of my day at Nasher Museum of Art, and I was tremendously frustrated that I didn’t have enough time to tour the North Carolina Museum of Art. However, I did spend some time outside, in the sculpture garden (or, as it’s described by the museum, NCMA Park). I walked around a bit, took in the sights, and enjoyed the warmth and sunshine as I prepared for the drive back home.

Henry Spencer Moore, Large Spindle Piece (1974)

I’m always fascinated by sculpture gardens. The concept of outdoor art and massive structures that were created for aesthetics (as opposed to functionality) is so interesting to me. The thought that you can have a “garden” of sculptures is so whimsical yet, while walking around, it seems so natural and normal. There’s something wonderfully tranquil about walking around in a sculpture garden.

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Jaume Plensa, Awilida & Irma (2014)

There was a lot to see (164 acres!), so the pictures in this post are just a little taste of what the sculpture garden has to offer. I’d love to return in either the fall or the late spring, when the air is a tad cooler and either the plants are starting to change color or are coming into full bloom.

Ledelle Moe, Collapse I (2000)

Because I didn’t even get inside of the museum, I’m certain I’ll be returning. I have family and friends in the area, so I’m sure I will have company the next time I visit. It’ll be great to enjoy this museum with a loved one!

That’s all for this Saturday, friends! I hope you all get to do something fun to commemorate this FIRST day of autumn! Take care, and talk to you all tomorrow.

art · international

Art at the Embassy of Haiti

Hey friends! I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while, but I had some distractions on my end that prevented me from focusing for a bit. However, I’m back, I have a bit more time, and I can finally share some of the artwork that I loved at the Haitian Embassy.

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Murat Saint Vil, Islande of La Tortue

As you recall, I went to the Haitian Embassy last month, and I enjoyed a fun evening of music, food and fun personalities. While I don’t consider myself particularly social, I loved having the opportunity to get out for a bit and do something different from my ordinary routine.

Manes Descollines, Odette; Raymond Olivier, Green Light

I’ve mentioned several times before that the Haitian Embassy has an impressive art collection featuring works created by Haitian artists exclusively. The embassy is a mashup of a museum, an office, a library, and an elegant mansion. This is the kind of over-the-top grandeur that I LIVE for!

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Wilson Bigaud, The Healers (1973)

So the embassy is 3 stories high, and on the walls lining the stairwell, as well as all of the corridors, there are endless photos and paintings capturing the vibrant and beautiful energy of Haiti. I’ve visited Haiti and fell in love with the beautiful landscape and people. Visiting the embassy is the closest I can get to the island for now, and I’m thankful for it.

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Yves Michaud, And God created Women

There were so many great paintings to see, and I wish I could have had the whole day to look at them all and ask questions. Sadly, I was only there for a little while: the event was in the evening and there was so much other fun things to check out at the embassy that learning more about the artwork simply wasn’t possible.

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Saint Louis Blaise, Interpellation (1980)

The crown jewel of the embassy was the only known painting of the royal issue of the first king and queen of Haiti. Three of the children of King Henri I and Queen Marie-Louise are depicted in the painting. This precious and significant artwork has been in private in hands for many years and has finally made it back to the people of Haiti. It was my privilege and joy to see it in person. If you would like to know more about the painting, click here. Please disregard the mislabeling presented in the article: this is the crown prince and his sisters, not the king, queen, and one of the princesses.

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Unknown, Prince Victor-Henri, Princess Amethyste and Princess Athenaire

This is just a soupcon of the breathtaking art I saw while at the embassy. I can’t wait to return and see what new art they will have on display! I hope you all enjoy – talk to you all tomorrow!

 

music · travel

All About Auntie Janet (Jackson)

Happy Wednesday, friends! I’m enjoying a delightful flashback, all the way back to last month. On my birthday, I saw Janet Jackson perform live in Raleigh, NC and I had the time of my life! This concert was part of her State of the World tour, and she did not disappoint!

The event was held at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. The weather was perfect – no rain! – and the staff was professional, courteous and oh-so-helpful. Let me tell you all: Janet has STILL got “IT”! She looked great, she sounded great, and the entire concert experience was excellent.

Janet performed a lot of her hits and she has plenty of them to choose from (she’s been performing for over 30 years!) My favorite song is “Runaway” and yes, she performed it and even did some of the dance moves. I had such a ball singing and dancing along: I’d see her again in a heartbeat.

Oh, you know I made sure to film a bit of the concert for you, too. I added it to my YouTube channel but I’m also linking it here. Enjoy!

 

beauty · luxury

New Fenty Beauty Products – Worth a Sephora Trip

Happy Monday, friends! I’m planning a trip to Sephora but I decided to look on their website to get an idea of what goodies I need to check out in person. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb All Over Diamond Veil and the Diamond Milk Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer.

The products are GORGEOUS and I already know that I want them. However, I need to see them in person because super-shimmers aren’t always kind on my complexion. But I’m hopeful: keep your fingers crossed for me, because these are so pretty and I would hate to pass them up because they don’t flatter me.

Of course, I’ll be checking out some of the other Fenty Beauty products that I haven’t seen in person yet, like the Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette. Let’s face it – Fenty Beauty can get all of my coins! Here’s a review of the Diamond Bomb and Diamond Milk products from one of favorite Youtubers, MsRoshPosh. I’m also including a review from Scarce Beauty, who I recently discovered on YouTube and I’m enjoying her reviews.