My First Trip to the Art Institute – A. Nicole

Hey guys! Sorry for the delay… things have definitely been crazy busy.

However, as an avid art lover, I wanted to share with you my trip to the Art Institute of Chicago last month. Before Mikii and I made it to the institute, we made a few other stops along the way downtown. We stopped by the Chicago Cultural Center and then braved the wind and rain to explore both Millennium Park & Maggie Daley Park. I personally hadn’t ventured past Millennium Park, so it was great to be able to explore something new.

One of my favorite things to do in any city is visit their art museums. I could spend hours out of the day inside of an art museum just enjoying the magnificent works around me. One of my favorite museums is the Met in New York City. To be honest, I’ve never made it all the way through the Met because each time I go I have to start at the beginning again because there is always something new to see!

I’m one of those people you see in the movies that stand and stare at a piece of art trying to picture exactly what the artist is trying to communicate (don’t worry, I don’t always know what they’re saying). I love to sit on the benches in the middle of the room and submerge myself in the creativity and magic of the art. There is something beautiful about the colors that stand out against the pure white wall that a piece hangs on.

Below are some pictures from our adventure through the Art Institute…

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte – Seurat
Sandvika, Norway – Monet
White Crucifixion – Chagall
Julius Caesar
Mosaic Floor Fragment
Wall Fragment from Pompeii


There was one piece of art that I really found fascinating. When we first arrived, we went straight into the galleries to look at the different paintings. One of first ones I came across really captured my attention:

At first glance, it might be hard to identify what is going on. But with some knowledge of the Greek & Roman gods, it is easy to identify the focus of this piece as the infant Cupid. The piece by Leon Davent is titled, “Cupid with Bandaged Eyes.” A blindfolded Cupid displays the chaos that can be caused by love. Davent’s piece is depicting the metaphor “Love is blind.”

Until next time…

A. Nicole

Kaleo – A.Nicole


I was raised around all genres. I’m never one to shy away from giving a new song or band a try. My playlist ranges anywhere from Hannah Montana to AC/DC to Elvis Costello to Beethoven to Thalia. My parents were constantly introducing me to new artists growing up. 

I like to find artists unexpectedly. That’s how I became a fan of the Icelandic band Kaleo. You’re probably wondering how on earth I heard about a band from Iceland when I clearly live in the United States (assuming that I don’t travel around the world). Well, wonder no more… I discovered this awesome band through my love for Austin, Texas. The band moved to Austin after they were signed by their label a few years ago… 

Kaleo consists of four band members: Davíð Oddsson (drums), Daníel Kristjánsson (bass), and Rubin Pollock (guitar), and Jökull Júlíusson (lead singer), but most people call him JJ. I thought the name of the band sounded interesting. Kaleo means “sound, voice” in Hawaiian. The band knew this when they choose the name. An interesting choice. I was wanted to learn more about this band from Iceland. Their debut album was released in Iceland and their sophomore album titled A/B was released in the US in June 2016. Before they released A/B, I was immediately drawn to the songs from their older album online. However, it wasn’t until I saw them live at the House of Blues in Chicago that I really fell for them.

Local Austin, Texas, band The Wind & The Wave opened the show. When Kaleo came onto the stage, the venue remained dark and the only sound was the whistle that opens “I Can’t Go On Without You.” I was excited that this was the opening song because it is one of my two favorite songs from A/B (but it’s hard for me to actually pick one, I really do love all of them). Jökull’s voice immediately captured me in with the beginning lyrics, “They thought they were made for each other … Only thinking of one another … Never thinking just for one second … She would take a different attraction.” I was amazed at how much better they sounded live. I loved their record, but there was something so much better about the rawness of their live performance. 

Whenever I am introducing this band to someone new, the thing I like to point out most is that you won’t hear the exact same sound in any of their songs. There is a similar tune in some of their songs, but never one that is exactly the same. That is what I like most about this band. They don’t limit themselves to one genre. In an interview for their website, JJ said, “The idea of A/B is to show the diversity and the two sides of the band.” The band plays whatever works the best with their lyrics and I think this is one reason they will be around for a long time. It allows them to do whatever they want with their music. It makes them very versatile. I think this is something more bands should be open to doing because it doesn’t put them inside of a single box. 

Make sure to keep an eye on Kaleo because I definitely think they will be making a big entrance in the music scene VERY soon.

xo, A. Nicole

Here are some photos from the show at House of Blues in Chicago Oct. 2016.