Birthday Wishes 2017

Hi friends!

Birthday Wishlist 2017Happy July! How was your weekend? Have you been soaking up the summer sun? If the long lines at the ice cream shop and the heavy morning humidity are any indication, summer has officially arrived, and with this new month comes festive fireworks, plenty of watermelon, and, of course, my birthday! In keeping with Ciao Bella tradition, I’m popping in to share the items that made my wishlist this year. Let it be no surprise, that it is, as always, heavily made up of books.

Before the fun begins, these posts are made with no expectation of receiving everything—the online browsing is fun enough as it is!

[1] HAIM: Something to Tell You I have been a fan of California-born girl band HAIM ever since I stumbled upon their single “The Wire” years ago. As much as I enjoy their first LP, however, I’ve been anxious for the release of Something to Tell You, their sophomore album that is said to echo the pop-rock classics of decades past. I’ll be streaming the tracks on Friday, no doubt, but I would also appreciate having a CD on hand in the car.

[2] Land of Nod Daisy Throw Pillow The cinder block walls and sparse furniture of college dorm rooms call for some personalization, or so I like to tell myself as I shop on end for art prints and throw pillows! With a color palette chosen and a vision in mind, I’m asking for a few things to round out my dorm room design, one of which is this daisy pillow from Land of Nod.

[3] Their Finest When it comes to summer movie nights, I’m not one for action-packed blockbusters—give me a historical picture or a touching coming of age over a superhero story any day. With that in mind, the recent film Their Finest seemed right up my alley, highlighting the work done by two scriptwriters for British propaganda pieces during World War II. I missed it when it hit theaters, but I’d love to fit in a viewing before I head off to school.

[4] Twist by Martha Collison Given how often and how highly I speak of Mel, Sue, and Mary, it’s no secret that I am a proud Great British Bake-Off fan {I often joke that there’s no more “Bella” of a show on television}. Series Five participant Martha remains one of my favorite contestants to have entered the tent, so I would be giddy with excitement to receive the US edition of her cookbook Twist. Doesn’t the cover alone make you hungry?

[5] If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak I can never wrap my head around how quickly time seems to pass. Case in point: I wrote about the novel If Birds Fly Back, back in January, and though it feels like just yesterday, it has already hit shelves! My interest in the book hasn’t diminished since then, with no thanks to early reviews that praise the two main characters and the writing of debut author Carlie Sorosiak. I can’t wait to have a copy of my own.

[6] The Future is Female Tee I love me a good graphic tee as much as the next person, but a shirt is all the better when it shares an important message. I’ve been eyeing Otherwild’s famous “Future is Female” tee for several months now, but I haven’t managed to actually purchase one in that time. Here’s hoping my birthday brings one to my wardrobe, serving as a visual reminder to stand up and do my part.

[7] All This and More Print I may want a few pillows for my new bed, but for the dorm walls, I’ve bookmarked printables, posters, and prints galore. On that list is a piece from a favorite artist of mine, Jessica Hische, whose work—and career!—I’ve admired for ages. The retro letterforms of her “All This and More” print are stunning and will no doubt please the graphic designer in me, day in and day out.

[8] Vera Bradley Iconic Campus Deluxe Backpack Another item I hope to have on hand before heading off to college is a new backpack, for, as my mom likes to say, entering a new school is as good of an occasion as any to purchase one. My Vera Bradley Campus Backpack held up well throughout high school, but this time around, I couldn’t help but fall for the gorgeous “Falling Flowers” pattern from their autumn collection, no pun intended.

[9] Stationary Fever by John Z. Komurki Finally, few things make me as excited as new school supplies or a good book {I’m easily pleased}. Put them together, and I’m one happy camper, as was certainly the case when I came across the book Stationary Fever, an informative volume that chronicles the history of office supplies. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I myself look forward to reading about the items that make up my favorite stationary shops.

For my American readers, enjoy the Fourth! For everyone else, have a lovely Monday.
B

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High Five / 11

Hi!

high-five-11Happy Friday! How are things? I myself am excited that the weekend has arrived – I was just discussing with my family that the school week was shorter, but getting back into the swing of things made it feel far longer. Thankfully, with a calculus test moved to Monday and no other assessments on the agenda, I’m easing right into the weekend: I’m seeing friends in a production of 13; I plan to wrap up the wonderful The Upside of Unrequited; and I hope to catch the next installment of Sherlock after watching The Golden Globes.

All that said, it’s been far too long since I last shared a High Five, so I figured no better time than the new year to start the feature up again! What made your week?

[1] First, while I have been devouring quite a few novels off my bookshelf over the past week or so, I also have slowly been savoring the interviews included in In the Company of Women, a collection compiled by the founder of Design*Sponge, Grace Bonney. I’ve been crushing on the book for months, and so, I was over the moon with excitement when one of my best friends gifted it to me for Christmas, and, fortunately, it didn’t disappoint. Featuring over one hundred different entrepreneurs, artists, and designers {including some of my personal favorites like blogger Joy Cho, illustrator Julia Rothman, and the one miss Tavi Gevinson} of various backgrounds, races, and ages, the book touches upon a number of topics, everything from insight on the creative process to early business advice. I’m only about halfway through right now, but I have a feeling this is a book I’ll be turning to again and again. Have you read In the Company of Women?

[2] I love me a day trip, so I jumped at the chance to fit one in before my sister and I returned to school earlier this week. My family and I decided to visit Colt State Park, a gorgeous – and large! – park in Bristol, Rhode Island. As we’ve only previously gone to it in warmer weather {it’s where, in fact, my sister Lulu snapped my senior photos}, it was a refreshing change of pace – and gave us good reason to stop into the Beehive Cafe for a brownie and hot chocolate afterwards. I’ve decided to forgo the resolution making this year beyond choosing my annual word, but if 2017 brings more frequent, fun trips like this one, I’ll be a happy camper.

[3] Thirdly, friends, believe the hype: La La Land is as wonderful as promised. Set against the loud and vivid backdrop of Los Angeles, the film follows two artists: Mia, played by Emma Stone, who works on the Warner Bros. set while dreaming of starring in a movie of her own, and Sebastian, Ryan Gosling’s character, whose dreams of owning a jazz club have not yet met reality. My sister, my mom, and I caught it on Christmas day, and I was mesmerized from beginning, where it opens in song and dance on the highway, to the end, a testament to not only the work of the actors, but the director, composer, cinematographer, and production designer as well. I’d happily see it again, but in the meantime, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat and have been on the search for a copy of Damien Chazelle’s first movie, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. Do you want to see La La Land?

[4] If there’s one thing to love about the winter weather {in addition to snow days, of course}, it’s the opportunity to hold many a movie night and television show marathon. Over my holiday break, my sister and I watched and caught up on a number of shows – This is Us or The Fosters, anyone? – but one of my new favorites is The Good Place, which first premiered on NBC in the fall. Starring Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, the show is whimsical and humorous take on the afterlife, in which you land in the “good” or “bad” place based on the sum of the actions you take in life. The stellar cast is supported by a team of brilliant writers, and after watching all ten episodes available in a matter of days, my sister and I have come to the same conclusion: if you need a laugh, The Good Place is the show to watch. Episodes only just yesterday started airing again, so if you too are looking to catch up, this weekend would be the perfect time.

[5] Finally, it’s from one holiday to the next at Boden, but I’m not one to complain: I adore so many pieces in their new spring line! Rolled out earlier this week, the collection plays well with color and pattern {for examples, I particularly like this swan-dotted dress and this quirky Breton} and, in many pieces, evokes a retro vibe {I think this sweater would look so cute with jeans come spring}. I won’t be purchasing anything so soon after Christmas, but I’ll have a few things to put my tutoring money towards later in the year :) Are you ready for a wardrobe change, or are you content with sweaters and layers for the next few months?

Have the most wonderful Friday!
Bella

Christmas Wishes 2016

Hi friends!
christmas-2016How was your Thanksgiving? My own was just as restful as I could have hoped, allowing time for a Gilmore Girls marathon and a much-needed bookshelf reorganization and, of course, made complete by the heaping amounts of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and homemade cranberry sauce. It helps, too, that Turkey Day is the start to my favorite time of year, where days seem to move slower, holiday specials and Christmas music are in abundance, and there’s an extra bit of cheer in the air. I’ve made it a Ciao Bella tradition to kick off this holiday season with my yearly wishlist {catch previous editions here: 20122013, 2014, 2015} – at this point, I hope it’s no surprise that I love me some books :) What are you asking for this year?

Before we begin, a reminder: as always, these posts are only made in good fun; I love talking gifts as much as the next person, but what truly makes the holiday season is the time spent with family and friends.

[1] Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen I first came across the newly released gem Bad Girls Throughout History at my local bookstore, and after flipping through the pages, I quickly hinted to my sister that it’d make the perfect stocking stuffer. In it, Ann Shen’s wonderful illustrations accompany brief biographies about various women, from Ada Lovelace to Josephine Baker. In other words, it sounds right up my alley.

[2] In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney My collection of coffee table books grows with each Christmas, and this year is no exception; I’ve had my eyes on In the Company of Women by designer and blogger Grace Bonney since its release in October. Featuring the advice and experience of over one hundred artists and entrepreneurs, the book, I like to think, already has a home waiting for it on my nightstand.

[3] The Poet Felt Letter Board from Letterfolk While I still have quite a few months before I decide which college to attend, I’m using this Christmas to think ahead to a more fun thing: dorm decorating! I love the look of a felt letter board like the one above, and I imagine I’d have quite a bit of fun changing the messages out from week to week in my current and future rooms.

[4] Read My Lips 2017 Wall Calendar from Kate Spade Resolutions are fun, but the planner that I am, what I look forward to most in the new year is the chance to purchase a new calendar. The vintage-like designs of this Kate Spade edition have captured my heart, as have the golden-flecked constellations and florals and fauna illustrations from Rifle Paper Company. 2017, here we come.

[5] Southfield Mockneck Sweater from Madewell No wishlist is complete without a cute clothing item for the winter season! I’m crushing on the sweaters from Madewell’s most recent line, all of which look cozy and cute enough for any snow day; paired with jeans and booties, for example, this mauve “mockneck” will be a staple come January.

[6] Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover edited by Paul Buckley Penguin is a standard in book design, their covers often nearly as iconic as the stories themselves. I’d love to delve into the history of their most famous designs with the help of the book Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover by the publishing house’s creative director Paul Buckley. Knowing my interests in reading and graphic design, I’m sure it’ll be a winner.

[7] Bibliophilia: 100 Literary Postcards from Obvious State Studio The online shop Obvious State Studio too combines a love of books with a love of design, best displayed in products such as Bibliophilia: 100 Literary Postcards. Adorned with quotes from authors like Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf, the cards would be a wonderful addition to any mailbox, my bulletin board, or even my locker.

[8] This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills Though I have yet to read Mills’ debut, First & Then, I’m still anxious to add her second book, This Adventure Ends, to my bookshelf. With a gorgeous cover, a promising synopsis {the main character attempts to track down a painting on the behalf of her friends}, and strong reviews all around, I think Mills is bound to become a new favorite author of mine in the new year.

[9] Little Men This year has been bad in more ways than one, but it has nevertheless managed to produce many a terrific indie film. One I failed to see? Ira Sachs’ Little Men, a coming-of-age tale of two teenagers and their disputing families, both living in Brooklyn. It premiered to terrific reviews from both critics and audiences, so needless to say, a movie night – with popcorn and pajamas – to watch it will be needed.

[10] Ciao Marker Set from Copic Finally, I was gifted Copic markers several years ago, and they’ve remained one of my favorite presents. I use them so often in my coloring books and typography work alike, I’d love to replace my current markers with a new and just as colorful set!

Have an awesome start to your week!
Bella