Sunday, August 2, 2015

Metropolitan Museum of Art Pink Saturday

I'm happy to return to China: Through the Looking Glass at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for our  Pink Saturday adventure today. As I was walking through the exhibit last week I saw a few items that were on exhibit that called out to me to be part of a Pink Saturday post.

This designer piece would have captured my attention even if it wasn't pink. It's not for every day wear, but would be the show-stopper on any fashion runway. The picture below is a different perspective on the same outfit.


The non-designer counterpart is this extraordinary Nineteenth Chinese century shawl.  
A similar shawl is painted in this beautiful work, Manila Shawl, by Henri Matisse.
For a view of something totally different I fell in love with these American Colonial dresses with Chinese influence. The motif in the print in the dresses is evocative of the beautiful design of the wallpaper. 

The exhibit has been extended until mid-September and I think I will definitely need a return visit. Though there's a Van Gogh show I'm eager to see and a show of works by John Singer Sargent, one of my favorite painters, I don't think once is enough for "China: Through the Looking Glass." 
Today was a lovely summer day in New York City. I visited a very different museum and had a terrific time. In addition to the exhibits I had a fun lunch and a nice walk through the neighborhood where I worked before I retired, and I am very happy to be blogging two days in a row. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet week!  

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Heart's Promise

Before I begin chatting about "A Heart's Promise," the latest section of Colleen Coble's Journey of the Heart series, I am formally asking Colleen Coble for more. I am thankful that there is one more book left in the six part series, but friends, it's not enough. I want more. I want to know what happens next in the lives of Emmie and Sarah and the characters that I've been following for the last five months. What will their lives be like living in the Wyoming Territory? Please, Colleen, as Oliver Twist requested, "More!"

"A Heart's Promise" brings us back to the Wyoming Territory and particularly to Fort Phil Kearny. It is now October, 1866. The Civil War has barely ended and the next chapter of American History, the movement west across the Great Plains, is going forward. The book opens with snow drifting in to the temporary housing for Emmie Croftner at the Fort. I read "A Heart's Promise" on some of the hottest days of the summer and the writing was so evocative that I could almost feel the chill as I read. This latest book in the saga did not disappoint me. It had the plot twists that I've learned to expect in this series and held my interest fully. Once again there is romance, history and faith blended into a quick reading book. The characters continue to tug at my heart and I'm eager to know where the next bend in the road will take them, both literally and emotionally.

Though reading about snow felt terrific, I am trying to enjoy the days of summer, heat included. I spent today in the West Village -- Greenwich Village on the west side of Manhattan -- and tomorrow is a museum excursion to Queens. I'm so enjoying warm weather -- even very warm weather -- and trying to hold on to long light-filled days. I'm going to embrace August, humidity and all, and try to find good times in it every day.

As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a sweet August! 

Please note: I was given a copy of  "A Heart's Promise" by the Litfuse Publicity Group for review purposes, but the opinions are all mine.   

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Meet Rusty Griswold

When I was working -- which seems light years in the past -- I didn't watch much television, especially during the last ten years. My commute had expanded and when I got home it was about all I could do just to eat dinner, read the mail and keep up with blogging.  But there were a few shows I made an exception for and one of my all-time favorites was "The Office." I had a place in my heart for all of the characters, but one that I especially enjoyed was Andy Bernard, played by Ed Helms.

I also have fond memories of the "Vacation" series with Chevy Chase and was pleased to see that Ed Helms was going to play the grown Rusty Griswold in the new version of "Vacation."
I was even more pleased when I saw that Ed Helms would be interviewed on AOLBuild, a live interview program that is streamed on AOL. And I was thrilled when I got a ticket to attend.
After a quick subway trip downtown I arrived at the very hip offices for AOL. Though my seat was near the back, it was a small space and I could see and hear the interview perfectly.  
The program consisted of an interview and questions from the audience. Ed Helms -- better looking in person -- was funny, intelligent and engaging. The program was only half an hour and I would have been happy spending more time getting to know Ed Helms/Andy Bernard/Rusty Griswold.
The interview scene -- through the window is a quick glimpse of the beautiful Grace Church.
After the interview it's a quick run to the next interview/appearance. Your correspondent on the aisle captured the moment. 
I'm pleased to have discovered AOLBuild and was impressed with the guests that are scheduled to appear. I've requested tickets for several programs in the future and I'm waiting to hear if I will be able to attend. My Buttercupland buddies will be the first to know. 
We've got thunderstorms here and the humidity must be 99%. I'm enjoying a quiet afternoon at home and will be catching up with a good book later. I hope everyone is able to keep cool. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Museum Monday -- "China: Through the Looking Glass"

Though I often go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I rarely, if ever, go to the exhibits put on by the Costume Institute. There always seems to be a special exhibit that is about to close that I opt to see. I thought that "China: Through the Looking Glass" would be one more that I wouldn't see, but fortunately it was at the top of my friend Nancy's list, and we arrived early today to see it. I can't begin to thank Nancy enough for her choice. I've been to many special exhibits, but I will long remember this one as memorable and beautiful.

 The exhibit juxtaposed classic pieces -- the beautiful robe in the center of the photo -- with modern designer pieces and movie costumes. The tuxedo jacket on the left was designed by Ralph Lauren. The settings were striking and frequently incorporated film clips and art from the Museum's permanent collection.

I was taken with this extraordinary black evening dress that was designed with the simple lines of a traditional Chinese dress, yet with a very modern twist.
This perfect afternoon tea dress, circa 1956, uses fabric modeled on an antique Chinese print.  Nancy and I agreed that if we went to teas or elegant lunches this would be the dress we would want to wear. Its lines and fabric are timeless.

There were some dresses that were never meant for anyone to actually wear and this is one of them. The top of the dress is made of shards of blue and white china and the skirt is a mass of ruffles. I think one twirl down the runway would be the extent of its wear. This room shared costumes with pieces of blue and white porcelain from the permanent collection. 
There were so many extraordinary settings and outfits that I took pictures until my phone was no longer able to take one more picture. It was hard to choose for this post, but happily there are several photos of pink items and I think I've found my inspiration for this week's Pink Saturday. I hope you won't mind a return visit. 
I've got a fun surprise for the week ahead. I'm not sure if I will be able to take photos, but if I can there will be excitement unbounding to share. Hint: Is anyone else a fan of the Chevy Chase "Vacation" movies? Is anyone else eager for the remake opening this weekend?
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet week! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Christmas in July Pink Saturday

I had at least a dozen emails today reminding me that it was Christmas in July. I disregarded all of them until I found this plaque while walking in the neighborhood.

I walked by Virginia O'Hanlon's house....Yes, that Virginia, as in "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus..."
I knew there was a real Virginia, but I didn't realize she had lived less than a mile from where I live now. I thought I knew every block in the neighborhood, but there are discoveries still to be made, even after living in the same place for almost twenty-five years. 
This is Virginia's block. A number of the buildings on the block date from the time when Virginia wrote to The New York Sun, asking her famous question.
After my historic discovery I continued to my destinations, Whole Foods/Home Goods/Michaels. I had my eye out for Pink Saturday sights and I found the most pretty in pink juice cart imaginable. 
I didn't stop for one of the smoothies -- another time! -- but I did take a shopping break for frozen yogurt. I went with (mostly) sugar-free strawberry banana and it was also definitely a pretty in pink and delicious snack. 
I'm happy to report that the only forthcoming holiday represented in Michael's was Halloween, and it was only a very small display. I skipped over the pumpkins -- it's July! -- and concentrated on my goal, baby things. But that's a post for another day.
I spent today catching up on errands that got lost in the BlogHer mania. I returned my overdue library books, bought the makings for baby cards and replenished my sadly depleted refrigerator. Next on my agenda for the weekend: visit my blog buddies.
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet weekend!   

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Thanks, BlogHer15, for the Memories

Thanks, BlogHer, for the memories.  

This was my fifth time attending the BlogHer conference. I thought I knew exactly what to expect. I knew I would take a goofy picture or two, hear/meet a celebrity or two and find something fun for a blog giveaway. Check, check, check.

I got to meet and chat with Sheryl Underwood, who was as funny and nice as I had expected.
I've shared my photo with my guy, Acquaman, and I've got two things tucked away for a blog giveaway later this summer. 
I had two goals specific to this BlogHer. I wanted/needed information on better organizing my every growing photograph collection. I also had seen several sponsors offering headshots that I could use on social media. I hoped to get a professional photograph that one day might be on a book jacket or the electronic equivalent. I did attend a session on photo organization and it should be helpful. I think I need more than one session, but it's a good start. Thanks to my friends at Prudential, one of the BlogHer sponsors, I am the very happy possessor of a professional headshot. I'm really happy with it and I plan to use it forever. Prudential provided not only a professional photographer, but a wonderful makeup person.
One of the things I didn't expect was to make friends at the conference. I've found in the past that I didn't come away with a lot of new blogger friends. In the past, I've generally exchanged a number of cards, but after the conference I might keep up with only one or two people. Actually I was a little nervous going to BlogHer this year. Though I'm a friendly person the thought of walking into the Hilton Ballroom knowing no one was intimidating. In an effort to be more comfortable I signed up for several smaller activities that I thought would be more my style and that was a great idea.  Ironically I sat down at breakfast the first day and found that the woman sitting next to me was speaking at the luncheon I had signed up for. For my fifth BlogHer friends seemed to appear all around me. The small events were great, but I also met bloggers while charging my phone and at the photo seminar.
This year the focus seemed to be more on social media in general and less on blogging in specific. I was initially taken aback by this, but as a few days have passed I'm appreciative for insights into issues I otherwise might not have gotten. I hope to be part of a social media effort that will be released in the fall, and is still under wraps. No fear, I will be writing about this issue that I am excited to share and to be part of.
Thanks to Acquaman I'm well supplied with tooth paste and I'm excited about the giveaway here, to come. But most of all I'm grateful for new friends and ideas. I can't ask for more from three days.


As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet Wednesday!   

Sunday, July 19, 2015

BlogHer15 Pink Saturday

This is the first in a series of three -- possibly more -- posts about BlogHer 2015, including a very fun giveaway. While I was in the exhibition hall meeting sponsors I looked for things that were pink with an eye to a  BlogHer Pink Saturday post. I only found a few things that were pink, but there are several others that made for pretty pictures and I liked them very much.


 This was definitely the pinkest picture I found. The figure in pink represents Fitbiotic which is one of Garden of Life's probiotics. I've wanted to try a probiotic product and was grateful for the opportunity from Garden of Life. The pink figure is holding a stuffed DNA. If anyone would like a stuffed DNA -- can't call it a stuffed animal -- just let me know and I will be glad to give it a good home with you.

The next semi-pink picture is courtesy of Best Buy. They had a very pretty setting at BlogHer and I loved this display of cookies. I can't tell you how they tasted, because in a true spirit of restraint, I didn't eat one. I knew once I started I'd be back for the entire wedding party.

There were many treats at BlogHer, but these may have been the prettiest.
Best Buy had lots of pretty in pink d├ęcor and I fell in love with both Kenny Lattimore, singer extraordinaire, and the beautiful couch behind us. Kenny could not have been nicer and I was so impressed with his kindness and friendliness. 
This bouquet isn't pink, but I thought it was lovely. The conference took place at the Midtown Hilton, which went out of their way to welcome BlogHer. They set up a section in their lounge -- complete with chargers, coffee, lemonade and cake pops -- all the necessities for a conference rest space. While my phone charged I loved watching the passing parade on the sidewalks of New York.  
These are just a few of the moments I captured at BlogHer, and in some ways they're a quick snapshot of moments of the conference. This post doesn't include the people I spent time with -- some terrific bloggers -- and the serious discussions that took place about social media, the status of women around the world, maternal health and social issues in America. Those issues are for other posts. 
But now I'm (somewhat) back to my regular life -- grocery shopping, the gym and Weight Watchers. However, without quite realizing it, this would-be romance writer signed up for several events for the Romance Writers of America Conference that takes place in New York this week. Both programs should be fun, so it's not quite a return to regular life just yet. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet week.
Please note: I received Garden of Life probiotics as a review product. The opinions are all my own.