Monday, April 29, 2013

A Lovely Saturday

I am happy to announce that spring has officially arrived in Philadelphia! Bring out the open toed sandals and jean jackets! Theres nothing I love more than spending quality time outdoors with loved ones, and that's exactly how I set out to spend the day. Saturday was pretty eventful in Philly, as the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts was in full swing on Broad street, which was preceded by an amazingly delicious brunch at Sabrina's in the Italian District. The cherry on top was a successful bantu knot out that behaved itself all day, sweet!
I couldn't help but to stop and take pictures of all the trees in full bloom on the way to the train. My boyfriend was getting so annoyed LOL! 

I'm absolutely obsessed with my Carmanita black heels from Shoe Dazzle. These will definitely be in constant rotation during the upcoming months! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

If You Ever Find Yourself in Harrisburg, PA

If you've ever found yourself in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's centrally located capital, you probably took note in how underdeveloped it seems compared to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the state's more infamous cities (for the longest I assumed Philly was the capital). Harrisburg doesn't seem to offer much in terms of  "city life"but it definitely has its own character. I was temporarily located here for work and decided to explore the happenings downtown during some free time one evening. I made my way to North 3rd Street to take a look at the Capitol Building, one of Harrisburg's landmarks. I was totally blown away by the architecture, among some other things in Midtown during my wanderings. 
I can't help but take pictures of street art when I run into it.
Flats + cargo jacket + t-shit seems to be my uniform as of late. 
Hands down my absolute favorite place in Harrisburg was the Midtown Scholar Bookstore.  Located just a few blocks away from the Capitol building, its filled wall to wall  with new, used and rare books for sale, an art gallery upstairs with rotating exhibitions, and a cafe on the main floor. The vibe was refreshing-young and old studying or reading in one of the many tables and reading nooks, the studious ones enjoying free wifi with iced latte's in hand. It unlike anywhere else I had visited during my short stay in the 'burg, a city that just seemed kind of dead after 5pm (to note, Midtown Scholar leaves its doors open until 9pm on weekdays). They even host a poetry night from 7-9pm on Thursdays. I spent a couple hours in here flipping through the books and just enjoying the atmosphere.
Right across the street from Midtown Scholar (and viewable from it's upstairs gallery) is Broad Street Market, one of the longest running of its kind in the U.S! A total of forty ethnic and local food vendors offer an array of palate pleasing meals. I indulged in some Jamaican rice and peas and a vegetable curry patty while there. Surprisingly there were a lot of vegan options as well, think tofu scrambles and the like!

Afterwards I headed back to the capitol building in time to watch the sun set over the city.

I'm looking forward to coming come back for a day trip, I think this city deserves a little more exploration, and its only about 1.5 hours and a $7 toll away from Philly. My day plan includes: Indulging in a vegan breakfast at Boston Market, picking up some coffee and a few used books at Midtown Scholar, hunting for home decor items at the Shining Light Thrift Shop next door, museum hopping and soaking up some sun on City Island. Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prints by Cozamia

A few of my favorite prints by Cozamia. I'm loving the colors! All of these would go so well with my apartment's current aesthetic.

Cozamia also offers free printable goodies for people who suscribe to their maling list. Can't wait to get my first one!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Day In The Life

As spring is shyly (and painfully...slowly) revealing her beauty to us I thought I'd give her a little nugde of encouragement by basking in her presence via a walk in the neighborhood, although it was still a little on the chilly side. I braced it with a leather sleeved varsity jacket I bought last fall that I never got to wear since we didn't really get a chance to entertain fall this year as winter selfishly imposed itself right after our beloved summer.
Im a very visual person and take pictures of things constantly- flyers, memos, objects of desire to be purchased at later dates (i.e. when the wallet will allow), store displays, of meals to recreate, outfits to swaggerjack, potential get the picture (Ha! See what I did there? Pats self on back for my unintentional intended punt). I've been thinking about posting some of the pics I take on a random day on this blog, because otherwise they're lost and forgotten in the infinity scroll that is my iPhoto app. 

I can't seem to walk by the Lil' Pop Shop without grabbing a treat. This pineapple basil concoction was heavenly! I usually rotate between this one and coconut hibiscus. 
As stated before I've been in a creative funk lately, so it was hard to decide between which book to get. Do I want to cultivate the potential artist or writer inside of me? I wanted both but I'm a little weary of buying books because 1. I'm gonna run out of places to store them. I need to get me a kindle or something and 2. I'm terrible at finishing books. I'm ready to buy the next one with a good 2-3 chapters left in the current one. I never know the endings to the stories I read. Right now I'm breezing through Home by Toni Morrison which is spectacular so far and I'm determined to make it to the last page.
Bookstores are my favorite. I was flipping through the latest Aperture Magazine at the Penn bookstore and was intrigued by the images on these two pages. Theres nothing better than art that pulls you in like that. I wish I had noted the photographers.
While at the Penn bookstore I picked up my favorite travel magazine AFAR and the much talked about bestseller The Alchemist. Let's see what all the hype is about, I heard it's a life changer! 
It's National Poetry Month! Above is a little haiku by one of my favorites, Sonia Sanchez.
I ended up buying the 642 Things To Write About book versus the drawing one. I also picked up a cute vintage inspired mirror I can't wait to use! 
On another note, is anyone else tired of these "hey black girl in relationship crisis let me help you figure me out/your perspective is all wrong" type books? Men really aren't that complicated. It's all about following your intuition ladies, and don't settle. If you feel like a man is playing games, he probably is. You can save yourself a lot of time and heartache by dating a God fearing man, someone with MORALS. I know, I know, easier said than done but trust me he is worth the wait. Also I'd love to see some books focused on helping guys figure us out how about THAT! The only self-help books for men I seem to come across are focused on how to get a woman into bed. Womp to that!

And finally, I ended the day by overstuffing myself with a Chipotle burrito. 

God is good. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Creative Mapping at the AIGA

Meta Mapa: Bronx-takeaway map, 2008 by Yumi Roth

When I'm in a creative funk one of my favorite things to do is to drag my boyfriend to an art museum. Museum hopping in Philadelphia can get kind of expensive though (I grew up in the DC area and I'm still not used to having to pay to go to one!), but a google search a couple weeks ago led me to a free art exhibit entitled MAPnificent: Artists Use Maps at AIGA Philadelphia. Each artist was challenged to incorporate maps into their art as a representation of how they feel about the current state of the world. I definitely left inspired and have been meaning to create something of my own...we'll see how that goes. 

I'm not sure if I was technically supposed to, but I snapped a picture of my some of my favorites. 

I Love NY, 2012. Ink on Map, by Viviane Rombaldi Seppey

I know a couple New Yorkers that would kill for Viviane Seppey's I Love NY print above!!!

Unfortunately the exhibit has ended but AIGA is currently hosting a T-shirt Design Show which I'm definely interested in checking out! Go to their website for more.

Hope everyone had an awesome weekend! Spring is inching its way towards us, woop whoop!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


There is truly no place like home. I wish I had the time to take the 3 hour drive to Manassas, VA more often, if not to spend quality time with the rest of my immediate family then at least to scout the various thrift and vintage shops sprinkled all over northern Virginia.  Manassas is quaintly located at the cusp of our capitol's suburbs and virgina country and I'm filled with a feeling of familiarity and nostalgia every time I go back. 
I was perusing old photos at my mom's house, something I've always loved to do! To the left is a picture of my late grandmother and to the right are my two younger brothers who are super grown now. I've been thinking about keeping some photo albums around like the "good ol' days". It's such a drag to log into Facebook to relive memories.  Do people even print pictures anymore?
I always rack up at this antique mall called Home Store down the street from my Dad's. The decor is super inspiring and they have a great collection of vintage jewelry at very reasonable prices. 
Lunch. If you haven't tried the Thai Curry Soup at Noodles & Company you are truly missing out in life. L I F E I tell you!!! The ingredients to this amazing dish are yellow coconut curry broth, spinach, cabbage, mushrooms, tomato, red onions, rice noodles and sautéed tofu. I feel like there was a touch of sirracha in there because it had a nice kick. I will definitely try my hand at recreating this dish soon. 
Picked up some birthday goodies for a friend, vintage jewels are the perfect gift! 

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Bisoux, Vanessa

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" -Jesus, Matthew 28-30