Postcards From // Mini Road Trip

School breaks in college are weird.

In high school, all of your friends lived in the same town as you, so it was super easy to meet up and get lunch with them over break. However, in college it’s totally different. Sometimes your college friends live halfway across the country, while others are fortunate enough to live only a few hours away. I’m lucky enough that one of my friends lives only a few hours away. So we decided to meet halfway to spend an afternoon catching up!

We met up at another one of my favorite places to grab a bite in Columbia, Uprise Bakery. Uprise serves a wide array of sandwiches, soups, specialty drinks, and the usual bakery pastries. I settled on a half broccoli cheddar soup, and PB&J sandwich, with a cappuccino and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. The food was great (of course), but it was even greater to catch up with my friend who I hadn’t seen in weeks. College is weird like that. You get so used to seeing your friends daily, so when you don’t see them for a few days over break everything just seems sort of off.


It’s been super cold in Missouri right now. I’m talking 2-5 degrees with negative degree windchills. So obviously my friend and I didn’t want to spend any more time outside than absolutely necessary. Logically, we headed to one of my favorite local wineries, Les Bourgeois (I’ve been here a few times, including back in October). My friend and I had (another) wine tasting. This time around I sampled the Moscato, Winter White, and Traminette. My favorite was definitely the Winter White! I guess you could say that I am coming around to white wine after all! It was so fun drinking wine in front of a cozy fire!


Museum Monday // A Century of Japanese Prints

The St. Louis Art Museum is one of the most prominent art museums in my area. They’re known for their Asian pieces (my favorites are their pottery collection), as well as their classic and modern collection (they have a really great Van Gogh collection). However, the museum is huge and there is no way to cover the entire museum in a single blog post. Instead, I’ll be discussing a small part of SLAM’s collection. This exhibition is known as A Century of Japanese Prints

The collection consists of works from SLAM’s modern and contemporary collection, many of which have never been displayed before. In 2016, SLAM exhibited a collection called Conflicts of Interest. This exhibition was able to be displayed due to a generous donation of 1,400 prints to SLAM. Conflicts of Interest focused on Meiji-era military art. The A Century of Japanese Prints exhibit, however, focused on civil works and creative printmaking.

The exhibit tracks the influence of the West on traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking, and how the creativity of the artists developed overtime. This mimics the shift in the modernization of the ideology after the Meiji period, which wanted to rejuvenated the culture and industry of Japan. Below, you can check out one of my favorite prints that were on display. This exhibit closes on January 28, 2018, so go and check it out while you still can!

Onchi Kōshirō, Tokyo Station, from the series “Recollections of Tokyo,” color woodblock print, 1945.

Famous Friday // Water Lilies

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 200 x 426 cm, oil on canvas, 1915-26. Location: St. Louis Art Museum

I think that it’s so cool that SLAM has the centerpiece of one of Monet’s triptychs from his famous water lilies series (the other two pieces can be found at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art). Known as the Agapanthus Triptych, these three paintings were united briefly in 2011 at the Nelson-Atkins, in 2012 at SLAM, and then in 2015 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see the triptych together, but I have spent some time admiring the central piece located at SLAM.

Visually, we see clumps of water lilies floating atop a blue and violet toned waterscape. Towards the bottom of the canvas the blues and purples begin to transform into greens and yellows. The painting itself is massive, and meant to be displayed with the other portions of the triptych so that the viewer could be fully enveloped into the watery landscape.

This is a familiar scene to us as Monet has painted over 250 different works of his backyard in Giverny, France. Each painting is different, and focuses on a distinct portion of his massive garden in each work. He also experimented with painting during different time of day, which is why much of his works from the series look vastly different. Monet focused on painting his outdoor garden for nearly the last 30 years of his life as cataracts were interfering with his vision. The garden itself was grown by Monet, himself, as well as several hired gardeners. Together they worked for years to control the garden in order to mimic a Japanese scene.

Today, these works in Monet’s Water Lilies series can be sold for more than $50 million and greatly contributed to not only the impressionism movement at the time, but also modern art.

Postcards from // Columbia

Two of my good friends are seniors at Mizzou, so it seems like I’m always in Columbia for some reason or another. My pal Britney’s birthday is next week, so I decided to pay her a visit this past weekend.

I worked a photo gig, and it ran a little late so I arrived in Columbia several hours later than anticipated. We immediately caught up over salads and soups at one of our favorite downtown eateries, Ingredient. I, like usual, got the sweet leaf salad (think mixed greens with assorted berries, and Gorgonzola – delish). But I also decided to mix it up, and order the tomato basil bisque. Honestly, I’m not the biggest soup fan but I ended up making a great choice. The bisque was just the right texture – not too creamy but not to chunky either. Next up, we went to top ten wines which is only a few blocks away from Ingredient. The tasting room was packed when we arrived! After only a few minutes of waiting we got our drinks. A glass of prosecco for me, and rosé sangria for Brit.


The next morning we (thankfully) beat the heavy brunch crowd at Cafe Berlin. I got their chai, and anonymous tacos. Tacos are easily one of my favorite foods. So no way could I pass it up, especially when they’re served with vegan sausage. I’ve been a vegetarian for going on 5 years now (which is a tough feat for someone living in rural Missouri) and I get unreasonably excited when I can substitute vegetarian proteins in restaurant dishes.


For the past several months I’ve been obsessed with succulents. I have been buying succulents online, and planting them in my mini apartment garden. Knowing this, Britney took me to Helmi’s, a garden center several miles outside of Columbia. Helmi’s had a large variety of large outdoor trees and plants in their nursery, as well as a very extensive indoor selection. They had everything from common house plants to air plants and succulents. Helmi’s even carries a wide range of antiques ranging from mirrors to glass vases. I had a really hard time picking out only one plant to take home with me, but I eventually decided on a beautifully purple echeveria, an air plant, and several mini pumpkins for an upcoming Halloween party.


Britney is graduating this spring, and one of her many dreams for her post grad life involves working in the business of small boutiques. I hope that she’ll eventually open her own boutique so that I’ll have easy access to her fabulous eye for fashion. Until then, she’ll have to take me to her favorite boutiques. This time, we visited Kelly Fields Boutique. They had a lovely fall selection of sweaters, leggings, and a lot of Kendra Scott jewelry (they even offer a discount on Kendra Scott during your birth month, so hit them up).


After my grand tour of Columbia, Britney mentioned an Octoberfest celebration that was happening in Rocheport. Rocheport is only a few minutes west of Columbia on I-70, so we hopped in our car and headed that way. Rocheport is located right on the Katy Trail, and is a picturesque little town. There were a bunch of cute houses, BnB’s, and antique shops. Octoberfest was located in a small clearing right off the trail. The festival consisted of a small stage with local bluegrass musicians, food trucks, and various craft pavilions. The festival wasn’t exactly our scene, so we headed back into town and made the decision to get pastries at Meriweather Cafe before going to a wine tasting at Les Bourgeois.


Postcards From // Columbia

Sometimes Kirksville can seem so stifling. There aren’t many good restaurants, coffee shops, bars, or boutiques in town, and sometimes I just have to leave town for an afternoon. So, my friends and I decided to take a day trip to Columbia!

My friends and I stopped at Hu Hot for lunch first thing once we reached town. Hu Hot is a fast dining restaurant that could be described as a stir fry buffet. Basically, you select which noodles (or rice) you want in your dish, and add meats, vegetables, and sauces to complete it. Then, you hand over your bowl to the chefs and watch your stir fry cook right in front of you. It’s cool, and it tastes delicious so what more could you ask?

Next up, we met my friend, who goes to Mizzou, downtown. My roommate got a tattoo, while the rest of us strolled down 9th street. My friends got tarro and thai bubble tea. I got white russian ice cream, and s’mores cookies for dessert. It was so nice to pretend that we weren’t drowning in quizzes, homework, and exams for a few hours.

We wrapped up our evening at my all time favorite sushi restaurant, Kampai. Back when I went to school at Mizzou my friends and I would go to Kampai on a fairly regular basis. Not having a great sushi establishment is absolutely one of the worst parts about Kirksville. We dined on an assortment of rolls, and noodle dishes before heading to Lakota to get chai for our long ride home.