Friday, October 30, 2009


A wonderful little present-to-myself arrived at my door a few days ago -- The Illuminated Lettering Kit.

Does it look like something your crazy aunt would give you for a Christmas present when you were in 7th grade and were clearly too old and too cool to do something as lame as calligraphy?! It does to me.

But that doesn't make me love it any less! I wanted an inexpensive book that would be easy to learn from that included all the crazy pens and ink. If I love it, I'm happy to invest in some better "media" as the book likes to call it, but for now, these are good to practice with.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The Yankees lost, which is very sad. But Michelle Obama was there! When Peter got home late last night, he told me she walked Yogi out to throw the first pitch. Obviously, I asked what she was wearing, and obviously, Peter had no idea.

Is it me, or does Yogi look like he has no idea what he's doing there? Like, "BASEBALL? I could have swore I gave that up a long time ago..."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dreams come true

Peter has been a Yankees fan since he was a little boy, and much to my Dad's disappointment, I have even become a little fan in the making.

Earlier this week, Peter's cousin offered him a ticket to game one of the World Series tonight at Yankee Stadium. This was, of course, one of the things on his "Sports Things I Hope I Get to Experience" list, so he is quite excited.

I hope they win! Come on, Cece!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Esty for a new apartment

I'm trying very hard to do my Christmas shopping early. I usually start thinking about the gifts I want to give around this time of year, but I usually have a very hard time actually buying them. I always think I'm going to find something way better that the person will love a whole lot more, if I just give myself more time to look and think.

This leads to me waiting in a gigantic line at Anthropologie on December 23. Not a zen experience!

I've been looking a bit on Etsy for presents for my sister. She's moving into an apartment this winter when she gets back from Italy, and I know she'll be in need of some cute things to put in it. Below are some of the items currently on the maybe list for her.
I'm very into tea towels. You can never have too many, especially when you live in an apartment that doesn't have a dishwasher. And I'm quite intrigued by embroidery. I'd love to learn how to do it. Is that easy to learn?

We all love olives in my family, but Sarah loves them most of all. Available here.

These red floral coasters are so darling and cheerful. Available here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

You're pretty

My dear friend got married this weekend in Virginia. She looked lovely, and we had a wonderful day celebrating them.

The rain held out all day, and we spent a really fun afternoon at her family's farm. She was a very warm, welcoming bride. Just like she's a very warm, welcoming friend.

I was taking mental notes all day long.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I know it must be killing you. So the wait is over!

It's not the most gorgeous paper garland ever made, but it was really fast, easy, and practically free! As you can see in the close up shot, I just stapled my little circles to ribbon.

I know it's a little early to have Christmas-ish stuff up. I'm just super pumped about the holidays, okay? I asked Peter if he thought it was too early, and he said, " can keep it up, if that's what you're asking."

Yes, that's exactly what I was asking.

P.S. Doesn't it look like night time in those pictures? It was around 8:00 AM. What is this, Norway?


I am, admittedly, a food hoarder. Well, it seems my hoarding tendencies spill over into craft supplies.

Instead of using some of the pretty paper I have stashed away, I decided to make a "practice" paper garland with images I cut out from the Vera Bradley catalog. (It really was such a nice looking catalog!)

The catalog had nice thick paper, not that flimsy stuff you usually find. I used a round perfume bottle and a round blush to trace two different sized circles on the paper, and then cut them out.

I'll share the finished product in a post later today! Get ready to be dazzled.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Postcards from Italia

My sister is in Italy for the semester, and she's borrowing a fancy camera from my aunt while she's there. I love the photos she's taking with it. Italy is very photogenic, though.

My parents are visiting her this week, spending a bit of time in Florence, Verona, Venice and Bologna.

It's been tough to sit at my desk knowing that they are doing awesome things like buying scarves and eating the best buttered chicken in the world.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Decision has been made

Fun crafting news: I'm going to make a patchwork quilt pillow! My mom is a wonderful sewer, and when I told her I wanted to make a quilt, she suggested I start with a pillow first to see if I like it. Plus, I can sew a pillow by hand, and won't have to mess around with a sewing machine at first.

I still have to do a few little things like pick out a pattern, buy fabric, and learn how to piece it all together. But that all-important first step has been taken. A decision has been made. I will make a patchwork pillow!

I hope my pillow will look as lovely as this one from the long thread! You should check out their website -- it's very inspiring. I bet you will love it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lotion commotion

I had to re-order my most favorite eye cream this morning, and I thought it might be fun to share all the products I love the most with my dear readers. Oh yes, I certainly know how to have fun.

I have tried a lot (a lot a lot) of products, and I thought people with sensitive skin might be curious. The kind of sensitive skin that doesn't like that (aggressive!) plain cotton shirt attacking it on a perfectly pleasant 70 degree day. That kind of sensitive.

Body wash: Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash. This is billed as a product for babies, so it can be found with the diaper rash cream.

Body lotion: Aveeno Intense Relief Repair Cream. If I could buy stock in this cream, I would.

Eye cream: Ultra Gentle Eye Cream. For years, I used a product called Calm Balm from Origins. And then Origins cruelly decided to stop making this miracle product. It took years (years, people!) to find a suitable replacement.

Face moisterizer: Vanicream. This is a wonderful, thick lotion that I love a lot. I also use their sunscreen, bar soap, and occasionally the shampoo and conditioner. You can also buy this in a drugstore. It's not on the shelf -- you have to ask for it at the pharmacy counter, but don't need a prescription.

This Vanicream tip is almost like finding out about those secret bars in NYC where you go to the back of a gross looking Chinese restaurant, pick up the red phone on the wall and say, "Rubber boots go squish" before being ushered quickly into a dark, hidden room behind the kitchen where Mike Meyers is drinking a White Russian with a model on his arm.

Or something.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


So, learning how to golf! It's really, really hard.

I had my first lesson on Saturday afternoon. Glenn was an awesome instructor; very calm, never giving too much information in one breath. And he could do really great tricks like drive the ball while standing on one foot or with only one hand. He would tell me lies like, "You have raw talent!" and, "That was a great shot!" He was quite the stud.

Still, it can be hard to not get frustrated. I was trying to do everything right: keep my head down, flick my wrists just so, shift my weight on my feet, follow through...and still my balls would go in crazy directions. Or worse! I would miss the ball entirely. It's very embarrassing but also funny when you swing with all your might, and the ball is still waiting patiently on the tee when you're done.

On Sunday, Peter and I went to a driving range so I could practice. And wouldn't you know, it was the best I've ever been! I kept hearing Glenn's little instructions in my head, and Peter gave me a few pointers, too. On Monday, I was super sore from moving my body in all those funny positions, but it was worth it. I'm really, really excited to go again.

I love a good beret. I would probably look amazing in this one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You're invited...

...If I can ever decide on invitations, that is.

I love notecards, and get an embarrassing amount of pleasure out of sending thank-you notes to people. But I'm having a lot of trouble pulling the trigger and picking out some fun invitations to use for our wedding. The photos above are samples from Reaves Engraving (thanks to BBL for the suggestion!). There are some really lovely ones.

I just keep thinking, "Do I really love this pattern? Is it better to keep it simple and classic, or have a fun design?" People on wedding-ish blogs always seem to be so creative with their invitations. I know it's not something I care so much about, and I thought it would be easy to just pick something pretty and be done!

I think I'm feeling a bit indecisive because I know how I look at other people's invitations and think, "Those are so cute!" or "Those are UGLY!" And I don't want people to think UGLY when they see mine.

Can you say paranoid!?!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Overheard in the Pittsfield Brew Pub

Hat guy: What's new, man?

Beard guy: Well...getting used to the single life.

Hat guy: Yeah, man, that's rough.

Beard guy: But I'm going to Orlando next weekend. It's a Mickey Mouse wedding.

Hat guy: A Mickey Mouse wedding? You have got to be kidding me! That is un-freaking-believable.

Beard guy: It's like, $1,500 for Mickey to attend your wedding.

Hat guy: That's some serious coin for Mickey.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The hard work

A seriously ambitious endeavor: this woman is a reading one book EVERY DAY for a year. Isn't that amazing?! It makes me think I could be reading a whole lot more.

In other book news, I have finally found a fun NYC book club to join! After leaving my wonderful book club in Washington D.C. more than two years ago, I couldn't seem gather up the energy to start another one up. The hard work for this was done by Sarah at Pink of Perfection.

Our first book is The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine. I've only just started it, but it's very cute so far. The first meeting is in a couple of weeks, and I'm so looking forward to meeting the other members and chatting about lovely books!

Friday, October 9, 2009

You're welcome

Do you guys get the Vera Bradley catalog? I do. always comes addressed to Peter. I think that's very funny for some reason.

Anyways! It just arrived, and it has all sorts of cute paper crafts! They have a new wrapping paper line out, and there are all sorts of fun ideas for using it to make Christmas ornaments, matchbooks, and plant pot covers. Very fun.

If I were more tech-savy, I would be able to figure out how to extract the pictures from their website catalog. But I'm not, so you'll have to look at it online. Page 22-23 have all the fun stuff. You will have to settle for an awesome picture of the wrapping paper!

You're welcome.

Happy weekend!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Definitely just more

Last Saturday afternoon I was at the Mount for a panel talk on the future of food writing. Of course, I was most excited to see Amanda Hesser, but it was wonderful to hear from Judith Jones, the legendary food editor at Knopf, Kim Severson at the New York Times, and a handful of others.

Everyone seemed a bit sad about the future, to be honest. The moderator asked Judith Jones if in this modern, online era, she was seeing better food writing, or just more of it. "Definitely just more." Everyone laughed. I laughed too, as a "food blogger" who mostly contributed dribble.

Amanda Hesser mentioned that cookbook sales were actually up by about 4% this year; Judith Jones didn't seem to believe her. Judith wanted everyone to think a lot more about home cooking, and seemed tired of all the emphasis placed on new chefs and restaurants.

Another interesting thread of the panel was the discussion surrounding the yelp phenomenon. Oliver Strand felt like it was totally useless. I love yelp, and I really believe that the wisdom of a large crowd can point you in the right direction. He seemed mostly sad that it was replacing the role of a true reviewer, "who you would know and trust." (Did anyone ever really feel that way about their local restaurant reviewer?)

I don't remember how, but Oliver also talked a bit about the unique role of American food writers tackling international cuisine. He said that no one else in the world is sending writers to Tanzania to cover local honey production, or to Morocco to learn a new butchering technique. Magazines like Gourmet make this possible, and without them, we would lose that kind of writing.

Of course, that made it even more sad to hear on Monday morning that Gourmet was closing. Kim Severson wrote a great article in this week's New York Times dining section about what the magazine meant. Amanda said that the future of food writing may go back to being something that only the wealthy can afford to do.

And that would be very sad indeed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gotta have sole

I have bad shoe taste. Well, that's not true exactly. I can pick out cute shoes, really I can. I just refuse to wear ones that aren't comfortable. And I mean seriously comfortable. That's why I end up wearing these about 99% of the time when it gets cold out:

The other 1% of time is spent in ballet flats. But those are looking shabby these days. I can do better! (Probably.) I got paid today, and that only happens once a month, so it's cause for celebration. The time for an upgrade is now!

I know the shoes above aren't a huge step up from Merrill clogs, but they are cuter, right? Please say yes.

And I know these red shoes are fun. They are Anne Klein iFlex shoes. Super, super comfortable. I would recommend them to other people who hate when shoes pinch and give blisters. What am I saying, everyone hates pinching and blisters. I now recommend these shoes to absolutely everyone.

Last but certainly not least, aren't these white flats pretty?! I saw them posted on a wedding blog. I think these are darling wedding day shoes. But sadly, they are almost sold out from Nordstrom. If you have very small or very large feet, you should snap them up! I wish I could!

P.S. Finding new shoes is a hobby, right?

I didn't think so...


Peter and I took a little drive down to the Red Lion Inn on Saturday afternoon. He had never been there before, and we have a block of rooms there for wedding guests.

Isn't it charming?!? I hope lots of people want to stay here! We want to stay here after the wedding, and have all our friends meet in the Lion's Den Tavern after the reception!

Aren't these gourds impressive? They put my little pumpkins to shame...

Then we took a look at this darling church down the road from the Red Lion. I just love it. First Congregational Church of Stockbridge, please let us be married in you!

When we were walking up to it, I was trying to image standing outside after our ceremony in a receiving line, hugging all of our wonderful guests. Every time we do a wedding planning activity, I try to imagine what it will feel like to have all of these people that I adore so much in one spot. And for us! I cry a lot in general, but thinking these happy thoughts almost always makes my eyes feel a bit heavy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Not golfing

On Saturday afternoon, it was too rainy and grey to have my golf lesson. But fear not! I have a lesson scheduled for next weekend that I am very much looking forward to. I will certainly report back.

I asked Peter to stop at this farm as we were leaving Mezze.

We got to do one of Peter's favorite activities!

Just kidding. He actually doesn't like petting zoos. He thinks they smell bad! Peter, they probably think you smell bad. (See, that goat is trying to hide his nose from his icky human smell.)

Doesn't that sky look moody and romantic? Or scary. Take your pick.

It was a fun afternoon, even though I had been very excited to learn how to hold a golf club properly. But that's not all we did! I'll post more pictures soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ivy Plus

“It’s an environment where it’s easy to talk to new people and you have some shared common background,” said Jennifer Wilde Anderson, the founder of Ivy Plus. “You can say: ‘Hi James, you went to Harvard? My brother went there.’ Or, ‘You went to Dartmouth? I remember when we used to sail there and the awesome Dartmouth regatta parties.’ ”

Full article here. It's as awesome as the quote above would lead you to believe.

Friday, October 2, 2009

What to do

I am so excited about this weekend because I am:

1. Taking my very first golf lesson (What do you wear when it's colder out and you're golfing? I brought skinny capri's and corduroys, but I'm not sure about either option. I asked Peter and he said, "Call your Mom!" And I did. But she never answers the phone, so I still don't know.)

I hope it's starting to look like this in the Berkshires.

2. Going to a fabulous food talk at the Mount (with Amanda Hesser!!!) (Amanda, if I get to meet you, can we hug? I would really love that.)

3. Having a fun meeting with our wonderful wedding caterer at Mezze (If you ever find yourself in Williamstown, MA, you should go here. It's awesome.)

4. Seeing Sufjan Stevens on Sunday night (I hope he's wearing his angel wings!!!) (Also, how many paratheses can I add to one little post?) (You'll soon find out.) (Did you count yet?) (I counted eight sets.) (Including that last one.) (Oh my gosh, I am funny. (!))

ANYWAYS. I am sad that we're going to miss the Pickle Festival in NYC on Sunday. We love pickles a whole lot. If you're in New York, go and have a pickle for us, okay?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

lonny mag

I'm sure my wonderfully design-savvy friends have already heard about Lonny, the new online home decor magazine put together by some of the people that used to run Domino Magazine. But just in case you haven't seen it yet, you should definitely check it out!

It's a little bit strange to read it online in a format that tries to mimic the look and feel of a magazine, but it's still fun. Eddie Ross's house (starting on page 58) is so beautiful. I want my (future) house in Portland, Maine (maybe) to look just like it! So many great dishes and copper pots and clean, white furniture!

On another note, I wanted tell you about this great little book I've been reading this week called DIY: Design It Yourself by Ellen Lupton. The first line says, "This book is for people from all walks of life who want to publish words, images, and ideas on paper, on T-shirts, on the Web, or anywhere else." It's really inspiring! And doesn't that description almost sound like everyone you know?

It makes me want to create tote bags and business cards and zines. (What is with the word zine, though. It's very lame sounding.) Maybe an e-newsletter is marginally cooler. Would that be fun?
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