Interiors for a Tuesday

These spaces are pretty beautiful. Full of color, character, and nice light. I’m especially a fan of big artwork and low, modern couches. Here are a couple lovelies for your Tuesday.


Left | Right


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Back to the 4th

I’m playing a little bit of catch up on the blog. I’ve been to Arizona and Washington DC, celebrated the 4th with good friends, and taken some fun pictures around the city. Hopefully I’ll get everything updated sooner or later, but until then, here’s to a great night with friends on the 4th of July!

4th-003 4th-001 4th-0044th-002 4th-005

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Language as Brain Exercise

I just got home from a few days in Washington DC (post and pictures to follow). On the return flight I was surrounded by like 12 French foreign exchange students on their way to summer adventures in Utah. Back in 2005 I lived in Quebec for a year and half and during that time became fluent in French. Today, 9 years later, that fluency is in serious question. As I sat there between the fast-talking teenage francophones I was surprised how much of their conversations blew right past me. Of course there was plenty I did understand, like “this plane smells like french fries,” and “you just hit that lady with your bag, be careful,” and “I’m not even tired after all this traveling, seriously.” I know in general the Parisians speak a little quicker than the Quebecoise, but I was really dismayed at how sluggish my mind was at keeping up. I worked really hard to learn French, and made a fool of myself A LOT by speaking to the locals and completely immersing myself in the language every single day.

When I visited Quebec a few years after returning to the states I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly things came back. As soon as I started speaking, words I forgot I even knew came up from the deeper parts of my brain to take their place in a sentence. Every minute of communication became easier. But today, I’m not sure that would be the case. I was so in love with listening to those kids talk on the plane and my mind started racing in French, but I was too afraid to open my mouth and muddle through a conversation. I really need to do something about that.

speak-french-quebecThis morning I read an article in the New York Times that gave me another reason to get back to practicing my French. “The Benefits of Failing at French” says that studying another language provides crucial exercise for your brain that enhances cognitive abilities and fortifies your memory.

“Last year researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Northwestern University in Illinois hypothesized that language study should prove beneficial for older adults, noting that the cognitive tasks involved — including working memory, inductive reasoning, sound discrimination and task switching — map closely to the areas of the brain that are most associated with declines due to aging. In other words, the things that make second-language acquisition so maddening for grown-ups are the very things that may make the effort so beneficial.”

I think I’ll try a little harder to keep what I worked so hard to gain – another language, a beautiful form of expression, and a sharper brain.

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I’ve seen a few collections of colorized images from the early 1900s, and they’re stunning every time. These pictures, featured on the Huffington Post, are incredible. It really changes your perseption of an era when instead of simple black and white photos you’re given a little bit more stimuli for the imagination. A better glimpse into history. I’m fascinated. See a more complete collection on Reddit, Colorized History.


Images from here. 

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Light Testing

Brent’s been messing around with some different lighting set ups for an upcoming photography project. That means our apartment has looked more like a photography studio than anything else lately, there’s gear everywhere, and I’ve turned into a test subject. When Mingus gets in on the action this is what we generally end up with.



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25 Years of Seinfeld

I’m a HUGE Seinfeld fan. I mean, what other TV show can be applied to just about every situation in life?! There’s a Seinfeld episode for every scenario. This past weekend marks 25 years since the show first aired, and can you believe re-runs still play regularly to this day. Here’s a collection of articles celebrating the incredible 9 seasons and their influence on American television, along with a ranking of best episodes and quotes, interesting trivia, and a list of Seinfeld-inspired terminology. I may have totally aced this quiz on Seinfeld food. (From soup and babkas to thin mints and marble rye, I guess I know my stuff.) I found this compilation online, yada-yada-yada, have a great week!

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Sousa on the 4th

Today is Independence Day, one of my very favorite holidays. I love the patriotism, unity, colorful festivities, and traditions of the 4th of July. I hope you enjoy BBQing with friends and watching fireworks. Don’t forget to think back on the men and women who sacrificed for our nation’s freedom, and I recommend listening to some good ole’ John Philip Sousa to put you in a patriotic mood. Happiest 4th of July to you and yours!


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