Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Dreamer & Other Essays : Morgan Treni

A wonderful friend and acquaintance of mine from college just made her first album debut! 
Morgan was an English major, with a concentration in non-fiction writing. On a couple of occasions we had class together and I always treasured her presence in the classroom and around campus.
Morgan lived on the floor below me one year and occasionally I would pop into her room for help with a paper or material we were reviewing in class. Visiting her room was an escape to another world. Empty mugs with tea bags lined the desks, tapestries covered the walls, a few plants decorated the windowsill, there was a slight musky-incense odor, and Morgan was usually entertaining someone on the guitar. Everything about Morgan was like that. A perfectly whimsical glimpse into a life that seemed vintage, carefree, avant-garde, and truly inspirational. There was a rich bohemian sense about her, a charming spirit with an old soul humming around campus always wearing a scarf, sporting a disheveled up-do with glasses absentmindedly tucked away, and carrying more books in her arms than in her knapsack. She'd walk with a little spring in her step - and when Morgan was in a good mood, everyone was in a good mood. 
There was a brief period where she just couldn't think to attend class when it was rainy. She made me chuckle, but also appreciate the reasoning. Why embark upon a day that is not cheerful or inspiring? If Morgan didn't make it to class - we'd know Mother Nature having an off-day. 
After a couple weeks of spring in central Ohio, you learn sooner rather than later that it's better to start finding inspiration in the rain - or you'd be out of luck :)
Morgan has a way with words and language unlike anyone I have ever met. 
When I graduated she was immersed in the food and drink industry, helping a local Delaware, Ohio brewery get on its feet. When you'd ask her about work - it was incredible. You would have thought the hops were characters in a story. Each one was different...some exaggerated, some more subtle, some subject to entirely different tastes and flavors when paired with certain foods. Welcome to the early days of the craft beer craze. Even though I wasn't a fan of beer, after talking to Morgan you couldn't help but completely regret all of your Barefoot Wine nights!
Did I envision that Morgan would be behind a microphone singing her way to success? Not exactly. I knew her father was a musician and she was musically inclined, but two years ago that didn't pop on my "where in the world would Morgan be" radar. However, I am really not surprised in the slightest. Morgan is one of those people that I could never be surprised by, maybe because she is so surprising? She is full of creative energy and passions that bring beauty and art to the world, in all different forms.
So, why not add music to the mix?
My words cannot even begin to do justice to this creative spirit, but I hope they can give you a little snapshot of this incredible artist. 
Morgan's album, the dreamer and other essays debuted just a couple weeks ago and is available on cdbaby. Her album is described as a "fusion of folk, indie-pop, and jazz" influences. Listen to a preview of the album HERE.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

age is just a number

Who are you going to be today?

No matter if you're 13, 77, 25, 48, or 60 - nothing should stop you from embracing your dreams, your passions, your quirkiness - your "YOUness."

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter 
and those who matter don't mind.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chateau de Gudanes

Every few months, I like sharing particular Instagram accounts that I follow. Today, I am featuring one of my favorites - chateaugudanes. The account description: "France. Follow the story of an Australian family currently restoring a Chateau in the South of France."
The Chateau, located in a small town called Chateau Verdun, was built in the early 1700s. Through the centuries the beautiful estate fell under significant disrepair, but still hold its neoclassical grandeur. Last year, an Australian family purchased the property and in November 2013, began an extensive renovation project to bring much needed tender loving care to the picturesque manor. The family maintains a blog to follow the refurbishing of the chateau, share stories of the Chateau's past, and celebrate what is yet to come!
"The past - clear and defined, the present - expected chaos....and the future - a surprise!"

When I traveled abroad in France last year, I stayed at an old farm house estate, La Giraudiere. The home had fallen into disarray after decades of neglect. La Giraudiere has been under renovation for many years, in attempt to restore the property to its old charm and splendor. Part of my time at the estate involved working on the home and land. La Giraudiere still has a way to go before it reaches complete restoration, but is a true testament to creative vision, hard work, passion, discipline, inspiration, and the triumph of bringing something back to life.
Speckled throughout the countryside, abandoned estates and chateaus are a frequent sight. As families moved from the countryside and farm life for metropolitan areas, the properties were left, neglected. In some instances these once-beautiful estates have become almost unrecognizable - overtaken by nature, with trees and ivy encompassing their walls. You would drive by fields and spot a collection of trees nestled together in the center of the meadow, after a couple of glances, you'd realize there was a home underneath the arbor canopy! It was crazy, I had never seen anything like it!

Any renovation project takes a lot of time, effort, and expense. But refurbishing a multiple century-old chateau classifies in an entirely different realm. As charming as it may seem to reside in such historic quarters, let's face it - it may be the closest you'll ever get to "Princess" status - it take A LOT of dedication, love, and patience to make it happen. 
It is such a joy to watch the family embark on this adventurous journey. As they make their way through all the challenges, they capture the most gorgeous moments - absolutely breathtaking scenes. I find their pictures help put not only their adventure, and the inevitable hardships that have come along with it, in perspective - but much of our own day-to-day routine as well. Life is full of beautiful moments and it just takes stepping away from the worry, the hustle and bustle, the cynicism, and the impossible, to look instead at the wonders right in front of us!
Life truly, is a wonderful adventure. 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sarah Rutson

Sarah Rutson is the fashion director at Lane Crawford. Lane Crawford is a retailing company with speciality stores in Hong Kong, China and online. The company was founded in 1850 and the shopping mecca is known for discovering international brands and introducing them to forward-thinking Chinese customers. Some would call the preeminent luxury store Asia's answer to Bergdorf Goofman. Rutson has been fashion director for the past decade, brought in to reinvent the company's image and open the groundbreaking new flagship store in Hong Kong. She is the heart and soul of the company, acting as the trend and fashion spokesperson. She is also worldly renown for her street style, a frequent fixture on the fashion show circuits. 

About her wardrobe:
"99% of my clothes are not runway. I wear a uniform - I live and die in a biker jacket and a tuxedo jacket. I am obsessed with shoes; I dress from the feet up. It is always about the feet, and then I work out from there. I don't shop trends. I am very proud that I have been recognized for my personal style, considering it really doesn't change so much and I don't spend a fortune on clothes. Also, I have a tiny wardrobe - it's just about how you mix it all together."

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