Gallery Mondays: Jessica Calderwood’s ‘Pressed’

jessica calderwood pressed

Did you get to press your lips against someone’s fuzzy face for Valentine’s Day yesterday? I hope you did!

I saved this piece of art I found at R|R Gallery in the West Village of NYC called Pressed specifically for the day after Valentine’s Day because, well, you know, it’s so cheese. And squish. And warm. And fuzzy. 

The artwork was part of an exhibit called Flora and Flesh by Jessica Calderwood, which I got to see on it’s opening night, January 21st. The piece was created using enamel on metal. I’d love to have been there to watch Calderwood make these, because they look super difficult yet so fascinating.

I really like the anonymity of the artwork because it’s easy to just imagine yourself or a couple you know as the faces hidden in fuzzy pom poms. Since the arms that are visible look like newspaper print black and white, there’s no exclusion when it comes to race either.

It kind of reminds me of the face in a hole images, except way fancier.

See more of Calderwood’s work at www.jessicacalderwood.com.

Valentine’s Day 2016: Nicholas Sparks Style

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nicholas sparks valentines day

What do you do on Valentine’s Day when it’s 21° F but feels like -10 ° F outside and you don’t want your Valentine to get frostbite?

Stay inside with a book or a movie!

Although his personal romantic life may be a bit of a mess right now, Nicholas Sparks is one of the most romantic storytellers of all time. His romances will warm your heart, whether in book form or on the flat screen TV in your living room.

So grab a blanket for two, a bottle of wine and cuddle up with your Valentine, because it’s time to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2016, Nicholas Sparks style. Here are four books and movies by the author that’ll put the sap in sappy romance.

1. The Last Song (2010)
Starring Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth as Ronnie Miller and Will Blakelee.
For those of you who miss the old Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth pre-Gale Hawthorne, this one is a must watch. Animal lovers reading the book or watching on screen will fall in love with the sea turtles they rescue on the beach.

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2. The Longest Ride (2015)
Starring Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood as Luke Collins and Sophia Danko.
If you love all things rodeo, fine arts, vintage love stories, and city meets country romance, this one’s for you. I dare you not to see Clint Eastwood every time you look at Luke!

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3. A Walk to Remember (2002)
Starring Mandy Moore and Shane West as Jamie Sullivan and Landon Carter.
This one is a tear jerker. Gentlemen, if you’re having trouble figuring out how to ask her dad to let you take her out on a date, pay attention to the scene where Landon asks the reverend the big question.

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4. The Choice (2016)
Starring Teresa Palmer and Benjamin Walker as Gabby Holland and Travis Parker.
Spend some time reading The Choice and take a rain-check on seeing it in theaters. Warning: beware of Travis’ obsessive southern hospitality.

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Watch in theaters starting February 5th!
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Audiobook

Have a happy and safe Valentine’s Day 2016!

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Gallery Mondays: Kobra’s ‘The Kiss’

the kiss kobra

Valentine’s Day is coming, so it’s time to get a bit lovey-dovey.

This colorful mural by Eduardo Kobra might trigger a black and white memory of a real life event that happened in Times Square on V-J Day in 1945 commemorating our victory over Japan.

The photo, taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, captures one of the most romantic kisses of all time between a soldier and a nurse. Swoon.

Kobra turned their black and white memory into color, and for that I’m sure they’ll be eternally grateful.

Looking for a cute Valentine’s Day photo to take with your honey? Imitate Kobra’s street art, which can be found in Chelsea NYC, specifically on West 25th Street and 10th Avenue.

Learn more about V-J Day in Times Square here and check out more of Kobra’s work at eduardokobra.com.

Fan Art Fridays: Pride and Prejudice‘s Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy

elizabeth and darcy fan art

Pride and Prejudice and Zombiesa film inspired by Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice and Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 zombie infused novel version, is in theaters starting today.

I’m not sure what would possess Grahame-Smith or ‎Burr Steers, the director of the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, to do such a thing.

They ruined all that was good about Austen’s 19th century romance. She’s probably rolling in her grave right now.

Anyway, I found this lovely cartoon version of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy over on DeviantArt to ease the distress caused every time I see that damned trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies while watching television.

The cartoon was done by viria13. I just love how incredibly handsome yet distant Darcy looks in the scene she chose to draw!

View the original fan art here.

Wardrobe Wednesdays: Emma Roberts in LA

Emma Roberts in LA

Emma Roberts looked extra cozy in LA last week in a tan-colored chunky turtle neck cable knit sweater, blue jeans, gold studded booties, and brown sunglasses.

According to the Daily Mail, she saw a special someone (cough, Evan Peters, cough) on this little trip through LA, but I’m not clear as to whether she saw him before or after her visit to Urban Outfitters…

She also gave him a kiss!

Anyway, I LOVE the sweater weather look Emma is sporting, and I also really like the choice of footwear. Nothing says “cozy yet stylish” better than a some extra golden studs and boot buckles!

The sweater is available at two online stores, and you can also find the boots below (marked with *). I’ve also listed some similar jeans and sunglasses.

Sweater:

1. REVOLVE, $298.00 *

2. Joe’s, $298.00 *

Jeans:

3. Bon-Ton, $29.99

4. Charlotte Russe, $12.99

Boots:

5. Nordstrom, $1,250.00 *

6. Zappos, $615.00

Sunglasses:

7. Designer Optics, $102.24

8. Designer Optics, $82.68

Books I Want to Read in 2016

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It’s a new year, so I’ve got a new list of books I want to read!

Honestly, one of the best things about being out of school is the fact that you can read every and any book you want by choice. 

In 2015 I challenged myself to read 12 books, which I documented on Goodreads. I got really close to not completing my goal, as I strayed off my schedule of one book per month, but I got back on track by cramming two books a month in the fall.

Also, I think Jennifer E. Smith is one of my new favorite authors. The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love at First Sight was such a great read that I’ve decided to make it my business to read every single book this woman has written.

I’m actually quite proud of myself because I managed to finish three book series’ and start two new ones that I plan to continue this year.

My list for 2016 features 15 books I plan to read in order to fulfill my new reading challenge. A few books on this list are coming out as movies this year as well, so let’s see if I can finish them before their release dates.

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Helen Keller in Love by Rosie Sutlan

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo

What Pretty Girls Are Made Of by Lindsay Jill Roth

The Unexpected by J Sheley

The Coffee Girl by Shanna Hatfield

Taming Cross by Ella James

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Subject to Change by Alessandra Thomas

If you’d like to, feel free to add me on Goodreads to see my progress!

NaNoWriMo 2015: ‘Runaway Girl’ Part 5

runaway girl 5

This is the last part of Runaway Girl (for now!). I had a lot of fun revisiting this story, so maybe next NaNoWriMo I’ll write another four or five parts.

Read the previous parts here.

The following weeks consisted of Priya and I searching for a job.

“How about modelling?” she’d suggested. “Maybe hand modelling for jewelry and stuff? I bet there are tons of online merchants looking for—”

“Umm, the last thing I need right now is to have my parents find my face plastered all over the internet while shopping online.”

“This isn’t about them anymore,” she reminded me. “It’s about you. If you want to do it then you should.”

So she took a couple of photos of me wearing a few of the decorative bindis I’d brought with me from Bangladesh. Priya also loaned me a few bracelets and rings to complete the looks.

We also came up with a very short resume. Since I’d only completed secondary school, I couldn’t apply to any jobs that required college degrees. I also couldn’t apply for any jobs that required visa sponsorship.

Yesterday, Priya found an ad on Craigslist from someone looking for a babysitter. She did all the emailing back and forth since I was too nervous.

“I got you a prepaid phone,” Priya said. “He said he’s going to meet you in the lobby of the apartment for a quick interview. If he looks like a creeper, pull out your phone, act like someone sent you a text about an emergency, and tell him you have to go.”

“Okay?” I said, before taking the phone from her.

“What should I wear?” I asked.

“Hmm. Wear one of your tunic tops,” she said. “You can borrow my khaki pants.”

I didn’t really start getting nervous until I got off the G train at 4th Avenue. I felt better when I realized I was following the GPS on my phone properly.

I pushed the door to the apartment building open to find a woman waiting for the elevator with a small dog. A man in a black shirt and blue jeans holding a Starbucks cup in hand sat on the black sofa in the back of the lobby.

“Hello,” I said as I walked up to him. “Are you James?”

“Hi, yes,” he said, standing to shake my hand. “Please, sit.”

I sat down next to him and crossed my ankles.

“So from your resume it seems like you have some experience with small children?”

“Yes. I’ve been taking care of a friend’s daughter. I take her to playdates and to the park and such.”

As I spoke I started to notice his brown hair and ice blue eyes. It’s as if I’d seen him before.

“Annabelle is four so she goes to preschool during the day,” James was saying. I had zoned out for the first part of what he said. And then it clicked.

“Her school isn’t far from here,” he continued. “So on weekdays your day would start by picking her up from there and then staying with her until I get home from work. Her homework is usually some sort of arts and crafts activity, so don’t be too worried about having to help her out with anything too difficult. On Saturdays you’d babysit her from nine to around six in the evening.”

James took a sip of his coffee. I could not believe that this was happening.

“I’m sorry, but have we met before?” he asked. “You look familiar.”

“The airport,” I said before I could stop myself. “You gave me an extra quarter for the payphone. I think your driver was holding a sign that said Broomfield.”

“Ah, yes, yes,” he said, smiling. “That would be me. I’m James Broomfield.”