Tuesday, December 23, 2014

gunnison's black canyon + ina's salted caramel nuts (perfect for hiking, the holidays, or any other time!)

Some of my fondest memories of childhood are those of the travels we did together as a family. There were trips overseas, an Amtrak ride from New York to Orlando, and a vacation whereby we drove down California's coastal Highway 1. But my favorite had to be the “Great Stepelman Family Road Trip of ’86.” We flew to Phoenix, rented a motor home, and my dad drove us around the Southwest for a few weeks. My brother and I  had a blast discovering New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah. It was really the first time I saw the beauty of our National Parks system and I knew one day I'd be back…(and here we are!).

Travel and exploration are things Otis and Theodore enjoy too, and we had every intention of heading south this fall. But after a failed Aspen weekend - immediately followed by a stellar Rocky Mountain excursion- Matt and I decided we should end our hiking season on a positive note. We took a moment to think about whether or not a trip to Gunnison's Black Canyon was a good idea, and determined that the lengthy car ride plus the strenuous hiking inside the canyon should be saved for next spring or early fall. The boys would be almost a year older by then and better equipped to deal with the trip...

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

mark mothersbaugh's myopia at the MCA

 Attending a parochial preparatory school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan during my teenage years probably wasn’t the best thing for me. But in a renewed effort to find the positive in things, I’ll admit that I got a great education even if the school wasn’t the right fit. Another advantage in spending so much time around 78th Street was the exposure I had to art. The Frick, the Met, the Guggenheim and the MoMA were all walking distance from my high school. Upon dismissal (or let’s be honest, when I occasionally skipped out on gym class- sorry mom) I would head over to one of the nearby museums. I loved art and there was a lot of it.

I’ve been trying to increase Otis and Theo’s exposure to art and music. I have memories of coloring and painting at a young age, and I began playing piano when I was 6…so I just a few months older than Otis is now. I don’t have many regrets in life, but I wish I had stuck with piano, which ended when my teenage attitude got in the way of practicing. I also wish I kept making art.

My high school art teacher encouraged me to pursue creative endeavors so I immersed myself in painting, sculpture and art history. I never thought I would make a career of it, but art was an outlet that gave me a lot of satisfaction, and quite frankly, a lot of joy.

I wasn’t the best artist in my school, but my teacher thought highly of my creative output and she encouraged me take the Advanced Placement Art during my senior year. I worked tirelessly on my portfolio and was happy with the final product. That is, until the grades came back and I scored a 1. In case you’re not familiar with AP scoring, that’s the bottom of the barrel.

Being an impressionable teenager, I found myself demoralized. I stopped painting and using clay completely. The work I had been so proud of, well, I thought it was awful after that score came in. But now at 38, armed with the benefit of self-confidence and perspective, I could kick myself for thinking such a thing. Why did I let an anonymous judge derail an activity that made me happy?

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend I took the boys to see Myopia, Mark Mothersbaugh’s new exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Denver. It was awesome; we all loved it. It’s hard to capture the right words that could express what it was about Mothersbaugh’s artwork that reignited my desire to paint and be more creative, but it did.

I’m so glad we got to see it…

Here’s to creative endeavors that enrich your life, being inspired and not letting silly numbers get in the way of the things you love. J
Enjoy your weekend,

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Friday, December 5, 2014

friday favorites: holiday gifts under $100

I know it’s been a little bit quiet on the blog-front these days, but all new posts- chock full of recipes and walking tours- are coming your way soon! In the meantime I thought I would post the first installation of a three-part Holiday Gift Guide today, you know, to be timely and all…
These would all make a perfect gift for me someone you love.
Hope you're having a wonderful start to the holiday season!

Gifts Under $100 (And Many Under $50!)

1. NY Cutting Board from AHeirloom. $48. (I decided to go with my home-state because Colorado’s shape is square, but they carry it if that’s what you’re looking for!)
2. Kitchen Trivet in Walnut with Dots from AHeirloom. $48.
3. Moon Coasters by Karen Kimmel, available at Woonwinkle, seen on Sight Unseen. $36.
4. Tea Egg in Rose by Made By Makers for Normann Copenhagen, available via the CoolHunter. $19.
5. The Solvo Opener by Sempli. $35. 
6. Haand x SL Geometric Mug by Haand Ceramics and  Sarah Loertscher. $48. 
7. Paloma Serving Tray by Wolfum. $68.
8. Hive Vessel by House Fish (Denver). $89.
9. Aquarelle Knife Set (3 pc) from Waggo Home. $89.
10. Sedona Planter by Swedish Gypsy (Colorado)…because I keep lots of succulents in my kitchen. $35.
11. Pincushion Napkins (set of 2) by Skinny La Minx. $20. I buy my Skinny La Minx at Hazel & Dewey in Denver.

Thank you to Carly Loman, my colleague at DLD PR, for putting the collage together. Please note that while my firm works with Sempli, UE, Waggo Home, and Haand, this is not a sponsored post and the recommendations are my own!

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