Painted Mary

It was San Francisco based artist Mary Finlayson‘s copious use of dynamic colors that first captivated me. Since then, I’ve developed an obsession with her work. The former art educator and therapist looks for inspiration in homes that she visits or vignettes that she’s encountered. Back in her home studio, she starts her process by flattening a composition, modeled after a photograph or mental image, and then skews the objects Matisse-style and alters the colors with her unique, bold palette of acrylic and gouache. Mary’s ability to tell a story by way of her art is so enigmatic, it leaves me wanting to know more.

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Visiting Big Sur

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was able to cross a destination off my 2018 travel bucket list. I’d say 2018 is starting to look up! Believe it or not, I’ve lived in California nearly my entire life and had only been to Big Sur once, when I was about 12. How could I have overlooked this majestic place that had here, in my own backyard, for all these years? It wasn’t until one of the largest landslides in California’s history hit the region, that this beautiful, yet rugged, stretch of the central coast was on top of mind. Heavy rainfall last winter caused devastating landslides and a collapsed bridge on Highway 1, cutting off access to the region for nearly 8 months. Big Sur has since bounced back with most of the iconic highway cleared and a newly constructed bridge in place. Nature is a beast and a blessing, isn’t it? Anyway, I’m so thrilled to have finally made the trip. Spectacular is an understatement when describing Big Sur – its coastline is one of the most beautiful I have ever, ever seen. If you haven’t been, I urge you to go. Don’t just drive through. Stay the weekend . . . and follow some of my recommendations on where to stay and what to see!

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Dondup Pre-Fall 2018

Checkered trench coats, pleated skirts, chenille pajama sets, frayed knits, silk georgette dresses, tracksuits, and mohair sweaters . . . Dondup‘s pre-fall collection is a lesson in how to pull off imperfectly perfect mixing and matching. Athletic socks and black combat boots with white laces (want!) are optional, but highly recommended.

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Currently Crushing On: Upright Pianos

I knew that one day it’d come full circle. I started playing piano when I was 6 and at that age, I can only assume it was not of my own free will. My parents never forced me to play – they just set high expectations for me to want to play. And for the next 10 years, I can honestly say the only reason I stuck with the piano was because I felt guilty giving up on it, despite being presented with the opportunity on numerous occasions. Now that I’m a parent, I can relate to both perspectives of my experience, I sympathize for my younger self but also empathize with my parents, who had the best intentions at heart. Quincy, who is now 4, has loved tickling the ivories since he was a baby. He got his knack for music from his dad, clearly. So I can’t believe that now, after all these years, I’m actually thinking of buying a piano. I grew up with a grand piano but I appreciate the practicality of an upright and am growing to love the aesthetic. I imagine it’ll just be there whenever the kids want to play. Maybe I’ll even tinker with it here and there. And of course, lessons will never be required. What about you? Did you, or do you, play the piano? Any piano purchasing tips are welcome!

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