Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Ringling · Ca' d'Zan + Art Museum

I know I'm a little late, as I had mentioned last week that I would share about the other sections of The Ringling. But, here I am almost a week later (obviously I'm still working on my consistency). In my previous post, I focused only on the circus museum, but today I'm going to cover the mansion and the art museum. As I said before, it was a lot to take in. There was so much history packed into each place that we explored that day and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Let me briefly explain a bit of the history before I jump right into the photos. John Ringling was one of 5 brothers who owned and operated the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In the 1920's, John was one of the richest men in America. He and his wife, Mable, purchased about 20 acres in Sarasota (along Sarasota Bay) back in 1911. In 1924, Dwight James Baum began construction on what is now one of the most beautiful pieces of Venetian Gothic architecture in the area. It took 2 years to complete. At 5 stories tall, this mansion — the Ca' d'Zan (or House of John) — holds 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms. Having the opportunity to walk the halls of this historic wonder was a real treat. We were also able to stroll around Mable's rose garden while we were exploring the grounds, which was really nice.

Both John and Mable shared a love for Italy and art (as if their choice in architectural style didn't give it away). While he traveled throughout Europe in search of acts to add to the circus, John began obtaining art and quickly built up a pretty large collection. It seemed the more that he collected, the more he fell in love with it all. He grew extremely passionate about art, both paintings and sculptures, learning everything that he could from books and dealers he came in contact with. After the mansion was completed, he built a museum that consisted of 21 galleries to showcase all of his precious pieces. John opened up the Museum of Art to the public in 1931, after his wife passed away two years prior. His hope was to help promote both education and appreciation for the art he had come to admire so dearly.

His collection was pretty impressive. I learned a lot while we were there and I certainly wouldn't mind visiting again in the future. If you're ever in the Sarasota area, make sure to add it to your list of must-sees. Now, let's get to the photos!

And that concludes are trip! It was one for the books, for sure.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Blackout Poetry No. 1

"When her words found the broken door, it was too late. She went on, she tried. Still she said, I can do no more.
No wonder she felt smaller and rather sorrowful. There's always lessons to learn."

I remember the first time I stumbled onto blackout poetry a few weeks ago, I was rather intrigued. I knew from that very moment that it was something I'd like to try myself. I had never heard of this before, but I think it's brilliant. Taking pages from books, old or new, and forming poems from the words within that page. I plan to do more of these and I'd love to share them with you all. I made my first last night using a page from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Whenever I decided that I wanted to give this a shot, I went to Goodwill in hopes of finding a book that I could use solely for this form of poetry, but I couldn't bare to mark through any of the books I found and actually ended up leaving with a handful to read instead. I, then, searched Google to see if I could find free PDF files of different books and I ended up discovering www.freeclassicebooks.com. They have thousands of books, including the works of Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and many more. There's certainly enough material to keep me busy for awhile.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Ringling · Circus Museum

As I mentioned in a previous post, we've had our hearts set on visiting The Ringling. It's been on our list of local places to explore for over a year now. As of last Thursday we were able to mark it off of that list. Sarasota is about a 2 hour drive from us and it's actually where we honeymooned (what seems like) ages ago. And since my mama had never been, we invited her along too. I feel that we picked the perfect day to go because the weather was beautiful. It was a little chilly, but started warming up as the day progressed. There was so much to explore! From the circus museum to the rose garden, the mansion (or Ca' d'Zan) and the art museum — this trip did not disappoint. I took about a bazillion photos, which should go without saying. I had planned to share about everything all at once, but I decided that breaking this trip into two parts would be best for all of us. I'd hate for this to be a mile long and I think you'd agree.

I'm going to cover the circus museum in this post and I'll follow-up with the rose garden, Ca d'Zan, + the art museum tomorrow. The circus museum was created back in 1948 and was the first museum to document the history of the circus. It contains an array of memorabilia, including old advertisements, art prints, props, different wardrobe pieces and other circus equipment. It was a little overwhelming because there was so much history all wrapped up into one building. On top of all of that, there was a miniature replica of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It's the largest miniature circus in the world. I wish I could have captured all of the tiny details that were put into it because I was impressed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Currently // February

READING · Mainly blogs and other useful articles I've found around the web. I dove into The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury yesterday. I'm not sure if I'll reread the whole thing. It's an interesting read, but I may look for new material.

WATCHING · I'm watching Star Wars: The Phantom Menace at this very moment. But, as far as television series go, The Walking Dead. And, spoiler alert, why the heck did they kill off Tyrese on Sunday night?! I mean, I thought he was kind of a pansy anyways, but I didn't want him to die. I also recently started watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix last week with my mama, but it's not as interesting as I thought it would be. I'll give it another shot here soon though.

LISTENING TO · All of my old high school favorites! Seriously. I spent a good portion of this morning looking up all of my favorite bands from when I was a teenager. Falling Up, Emery, The Classic Crime, Number One Gun, Daphne Loves Derby, This Day & Age and Underoath (just to name a few). It brought back so many memories. Love their songs.

DISCOVERING · That it's perfectly okay if I don't know what avenue to take right now (career wise). I've seen so many other people struggling to figure out what they should be doing and it has reassured me that there's a lot of us who are still lost when it comes to what we want to do with our lives. I don't have to have it all figured out this second.

PLANNING · Something to do for our anniversary in May. I know it's still a ways off, but last year we planned to go to St. Augustine and had to cancel last minute due to work. I had the hotel booked and everything, but it just didn't work out. And, honestly, I don't even remember the last vacation we took where it was just G and I. So I'd really, really, like to have a little getaway with him for our 5th anniversary this year. I was thinking Charleston. But I'm open to recommendations!

CRAVING · Well, I cooked a bangin' dinner not too long ago — yes, we eat late sometimes — so all I'm craving at the moment is something sweet to counteract all that savory goodness. Ha!

WISHING · I could figure out what the heck I want to do with the rest of my life. My only problem is that I have way too many interests for my own good and it's extremely hard for me to narrow down one field that I'd like to get a degree in. I love helping others, marketing/business, psychology, designing. Ugh. There's too many options.

FEELING · Content. Even though there are many aspects of my life that are up in the air, I'm still rather content in the season I'm in now. Life is such an awesome adventure and the good times are outweighing the bad.

PRAYING FOR · Discernment, knowledge and a healthy dose of self-confidence. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I need to allow that truth to sink deep, deep down into my soul.

Monday, February 09, 2015

A Simplified Wardrobe

Last week I made the sudden decision to purge and reorganize my closet + dresser drawers. It was nearing the end of the day and I had nothing better to do was avoiding starting dinner at the time. I went in full force. Hangers flew, clothing was tossed about as if a tornado had touched down. I'm exaggerating just a teensy bit. In all actuality, it wasn't as daunting as I imagined it would be. I'd had enough of the disorganized heap that resembled a rack at Goodwill instead of a well-rounded wardrobe. I wanted to simplify the pieces I had managed to collect over the past few years.

Working at Target hasn't helped my impulsive bargain buys in the least bit. More often than not, I come home after my shift with clothes that were just "too good to pass up" because they were 30-70% off. Without considering if those clothes would match with items I already owned, I bought them. A good portion of those items remained unworn along with the other random pieces I'd scored off various clearance racks. After going through everything I owned and keeping my favorites (items I wear the most), I decided that I needed to be more intentional with all future purchases.

Now, the purging process wasn't at all painful. Granted, there were a couple of pieces that were difficult to part with due to sentimental reasons — after my dad passed away, I made 2 tank tops from his old t-shirts. I don't wear them that much, but I couldn't give them away. By following a few simple tips and asking myself 5 key questions for each item, I was able to sort through all of it quickly and effortlessly. Also, since doing this, I've noticed that I spend way less time standing in front of my closet wondering what to wear. It's so much easier to put outfits together.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

20 Sure Signs That You're a Cat Owner

1. No outfit is complete without tiny hairs attached and you view it as an accessory.

2. Bottle caps, straws and feathers are scattered throughout your home.

3. Alarm clock? Negative. You awake to the ear-piercing sound of bellowing meows.

4. More than 50% of the scars on your body were caused by claws (and/or teeth).

5. You have to channel your inner ninja whenever opening and closing doors.

6. Your lap is primarily a gleaming vacancy sign, no matter what you're doing.

7. You own Christmas stockings that picture paw prints, fish or mice on them.

8. A stick with some feathers or a laser pointer creates hours of amusement.

9. You own a credit card primarily for vet visits (which can be rather expensive).

10. Your grocery list includes tuna, catnip treats and fur mice.

11. You've become accustomed to speaking in baby-talk, but have no babies.

12. Sometimes you get the feeling that itty-bitty eyeballs are peering through your soul.

13. You have more hair in your vacuum bags than you have dirt.

14. Going to the bathroom is never a solo activity.

15. You've started to be rather sensitive to loud and/or high-pitched noises.

16. You always save a little milk when you're done with your cereal.

17. More often than not, you save the cardboard boxes rather than tossing them.

18. The sight of little piles of puke and/or hairballs no longer make you gag.

19. You look around before opening a carton of milk, pack of cheese or can of tuna.

20. You've given up all hope of ever having a hairless sofa.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Wish-Listing · The Walking Dead

It's no secret that I'm completely hooked on The Walking Dead these days. It didn't take long for me to become fond of this post-apocalyptic zombie-ridden television hit. Although I was hesitant to begin watching because of the gore, since normally I'm one to steer clear of any and all things gory, G and my brother teamed up to change my mind. After their consistent begging, I finally caved and started watching last month. Within 3 weeks, we had plowed through seasons 1-5 (thanks to Netflix and AMC on demand). With the mid-season premiere coming up on Sunday night, my TWD obsession has been in straight up overdrive. With that being said, I thought it would be fun to throw together a little wish-list of some TWD merch that I've been eyeballing lately. And, because, who doesn't love some good wish-listing action?

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9
All of these items would make great gifts for any TWD fanatics you may know as well.

1. 'Prey' unisex v-neck in grey • Clara Hollins (Society6)

2. 'I will protect you' iPhone case • Tracie Andrews (Society6)

3. 'Just look at the flowers' bracelet • CynicalRedhead (Etsy)

4. Rick Grimes tote bag • Isabelle Dillard (Society6)

5. Unisex v-neck in black • Matt Fontaine (Society6)

6. 'An arrow a day' key-chain • SophiaWJewelryDesign (Etsy)

7. Pillow cushion cover • HopIntoTheRabbitHole (Etsy)

8. Rick and Daryl iPhone case • Jeffrey Huynh (Society6)

9. Coffee mug • Tracie Andrews (Society6)

And, for your viewing pleasure, here's the trailer for (the second part of) season 5 if ya missed it!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Threads · Star Wars + Leopard

cardigan (similar), t-shirt, tank, jeans (similar) & flats (similar) • Target (go figure)

Wanna know something funny? Around this time last year, I shared my very first style post with y'all. Now here we are, only a year later and I'm sharing my second. Am I the only one that finds that somewhat pathetic? Ha! I fully intended on sharing more after that initial post and I really have no excuse as to why I haven't. I love fashion and I love how clothing and accessories can be used as a form of self-expression. So I'm sitting here wondering why it's taken me such a long time to incorporate it into this little space of mine more often *shrugs* who knows. But, I really do hope to share more of these in the foreseeable future. I need to work on not being awkward in front of the camera though!

Wanna know something even funnier? After I put this fit together a couple months ago, I realized that all of the pieces I chose were from Target (minus the earrings). Alright, maybe I'm the only one who found that funny (since I work there). I'm still on leave right now (with a whopping 7 more weeks to go) and I'm truly enjoying every cotton-pickin' second of it. But, even now, I can't stay away from the place. Regardless of if I'm working there or not, they'll always be my go-to for cute, comfortable and affordable clothes (besides Ross and JcPenney, that is).

And, of course, I can't forget to give a huge shout-out to my smokin' hot photographer! Love you, babe!