PAUSE


Art is something that is really subjective. I love going to the museum but art galleries? Not so much. Mostly because I find I just don't get it. You'll see a piece that costs thousands of dollars and wonder, why? What is that? But at the same time, I know what I like. And when you see that piece, whether it's paintings or photographs, you just know.

And this photograph, taken in 1968 by Thomas Abercrombie, is one that I just get; I'm obsessed with it.

A few months ago I picked up this coffee table book at the thrift store and when I came across this photo in it I knew I would frame it. It's an image that, every time I look at, gives me pause. Besides the colour palette and the shadows - it makes me wonder and question. Is the woman underneath young or old? what does she look like? why does she have birds on her head - what are they for? what type of life does she live? and is it terrible that I wonder if she is still alive?

I finally framed it over the holidays and it's now a part of my gallery wall around my t.v. Every time I look at it, it gives me the same pause as when I first saw it.

And I think, maybe, that's what art is all about...what it's supposed to do. Because perhaps someone else will look at this photo and just see a girl in a burqa but I see so much more.

It's kind of making me want to go and visit an art gallery for the first time in years.

SOUP EXCHANGE


This past Saturday I attended my first ever soup exchange and had a lovely time. How did it come about? Well, I've been following Tahsin, one of the co-hosts of the exchange, on instagram for a few months now. We seem to have a similar aesthetic and have left each other comments and have even connected via text about meeting up in person but with the busyness of the holidays it didn't happen. So when I saw her post that she would be hosting a soup exchange I thought, why not? One of my goals for 2015 is to have more fun and, as an adult, you always wonder "how can I meet new people and potential new friends?" and this seemed to be one way. So I confirmed I would attend and then roped my mom into making soup for me since, if left to me, my soup would come from a can ;-) My mom don't play that y'all; mom's soup is from scratch and delicious.

Anyways, can I just say how lovely it was. Tahsin has a great eye for design and the setup was lovely; I really wish I had more photos but I was too busy enjoying everyone's company and eating the delicious 4 courses of soups and yummy sandwiches that were served.

Some of you might be wondering how it worked so here it is in a nutshell. 30 lovely ladies ended up confirming and attending. Each lady brought 4 servings of soup (in a 500ml mason jar) that they had made and they were all displayed on a table. A lovely low table was set up for everyone to have a seat at and four "feature" soups were served along with some sandwiches. Then, everyone got a "soup caddy" with four random numbers circled. Each of those circled numbers corresponded with a different soup that you would take home. So good, right? Plus there was yummy dessert which is always a bonus.

But perhaps the most amazing part of the afternoon (and it was all amazing) was learning that, as a group, we had raised enough money for the organization 20x20x20 to provide 1 person in a developing country with life changing vision surgery. You see, Tahsin really wanted there to be a give back aspect to the afternoon. Yes, it's wonderful to meet new people and connect over good food and good conversation and good company…but giving back to those who are less fortunate is the cherry on top. So when we confirmed our attendance we each gave an $11 donation that was donated to the organization. Awesome.

I totally stepped outside of my comfort zone with this one but I'm glad I did. It reminds me of my goal when I lived in India - which was to say "yes" more than "no" to doing things and new experiences. It was really a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Have any of you ever attended a soup exchange - or any type of exchange?

DAS / 01



Hey y'all. It's already Thursday! Does this week feels like it's going really fast or is it just me? Anyways, some posts and links to things that I've really been enjoying lately and thought I'd share.

01. Gemma has started to recap her three week adventure through Ethiopia and it's incredible. Ethiopia has long been a country I've wanted to visit and her posts makes me want to visit sooner than later.

02. I'm becoming that person that has a thing for…bed sheets. I really want this one.

03. Tetris is one of my all-time favourite video games so I found this hilarious.

04. I love marble; it's beautiful and one of my favourite materials. Have you ever seen how marble is harvested? So cool. The supervisor reminds me of a conductor leading a symphony.

05. This entire look is everything.

06. Have you seen this movie yet? I went and saw it (#solo) and while it was difficult to watch I quite enjoyed it and thought it was very well done. Cooper sure has come a long way since Wedding Crashers.

07. Speaking of movies, I also so this movie and WOW. It's so so so good. I had no knowledge of Turing or Enigma or any of that stuff beforehand so all of it was new to me. Such a fascinating and sad story. Cumberbatch is quite the actor!

08. I finally upgraded my phone and I feel like this.

09. One of my goals for 2015 is to have more fun - that includes putting myself out there and attending things I normally might want to but for some reason would not. So I'm really looking forward to this soup exchange on Saturday; I think it'll be a lot of fun!

10. There's a lot that I like about this apartment; the feel reminds me of my own - plants, wood, textiles, baskets...

*image via

24 BOOKS in 2015



Growing up and well into my 20's I would devour books. That is to say, there was hardly a time when I didn't have my nose in a book; I was always reading something. And then I got a car so no longer could I read while on my commute - averaging about two hours a day. But if I'm even more honest, I discovered blogs. And other people discovered blogs and started their own. And then there were tons of great blogs out there and so instead of reading books, I was reading blogs. Ugh, that feels horrible saying but it's true. On my spare time I'd read blogs instead of books. And while there is nothing wrong with reading blogs; I do miss getting lost in a good book. So, time to get back on the wagon.

I've mentioned several times on here that I bought an eReader and, combined with a solid effort, I've been reading a lot more. No where near as much as I once did but enough that I feel like a reader again (and if you too are a reader you know what that means). I'd forgotten how much I love to get lost in a good story and that thirst to learn more once the pages have closed; it's a wonderful feeling.

In order to challenge myself, I've set a goal of reading at least 24 books this year. I haven't read that many books in a long time but I feel really enthused by the challenge. To support my goal I started a Good Reads account (find me here!) and am enjoying logging in and tracking the books I want to read, discovering new ones, and writing short reviews once I've finished a book. So far I've only written one review but the goal is to have 24 more by the end of 2015.

Do you consider yourself a reader? What are you currently reading or what's on your list?

PERSONAL STYLE - HAVING FUN AND OWNING YOUR SH#T



One of my resolutions/goals for 2015 is to have more fun with my personal style and to really own my sh#t. I thought I'd do a post digging into that goal a little bit more. What does it mean to "own your sh#t?" To me, it means owning the skin you're in. To stop with the excuses - "I'm too short/thin/fat/unstylish…I could never wear that…I need to lose at least 10 pounds before I even try wearing that…" Stop. Enough is enough. At what point do we just say "screw it - life's too short not to have fun" and just give it a try. I mean, it's just fashion and beauty - it's not that serious. Always wanted purple hair? Go for it. Want to try the trend of dyeing your hair gray? Knock yourself out. Want to rock a pair of high waisted jeans? Why not. Think nail art looks fun but you have always stuck to "safe" neutral nails? Book a manicure and get the craziest sh#t painted on your nails that you can think of. And it doesn't have to be something crazy. Maybe you've always wanted to try bangs. Or red lipstick. Or dark nails…

Here are some style related things I plan on trying in 2015:

01. Dye my hair
I've had that photo of Rihanna bookmarked forever - I love the hair colour and long layers so this year will be the year I dye my hair…or have fun with coloured extensions.

02. Long hair extensions
I plan on wearing protective styles for all of 2015 so sometime in the Spring I plan on giving my go-to protective style of long box braids a break and trying a long layered wavy weave a la Gabrielle Union (pictured above) or maybe something big and curly with bangs like Rihanna (pictured above). Either would be a bit of a departure for me.

03. Almond nails
I disliked the pointy nail trend (stiletto nails) that seems to be everywhere but when I saw a few girls with almond shape nails I quite liked the look…much less severe than stiletto nails but a little more fun than my usual squoval shape

04. Have fun with glasses!
Glasses as an accessory! I have an entire post coming up on glasses! I'm a convert.

05. Winged liner
When I do wear makeup I tend to keep it super super simple. I think the addition of a winged liner would be subtle but nice. I very rarely do eye liner so this should be fun. (Some tips for getting winged liner right.)

06. High waisted jeans
I've had the urge to try them for a while. They'll either work or they won't - I'm gonna give them a try as soon as the weather warms up.

07. Embrace a tighter fit
That doesn't mean I want to wear spandex - but I would like to play around with clothes that are more fitted than I tend to go. I think there's a way to wear casual clothes, that isn't baggy, that fits well, and still looks put together. I think she's a master of this look. I just think she has great style all around and will definitely be using some of her looks as inspiration.

How do you plan on having fun with your personal style in 2015? Any trends you've wanted to try but talked yourself out of? Let's make 2015 the year!

*First four images are of fashion blogger/model Nadia Aboulhosn who I've also mentioned here. She totally owns her sh#t.