Friday, February 26, 2010
Now we just have to decide what the engraving will say!
This weekend we are leaving slushy NYC and going to the Berkshires. Tomorrow we have our tasting with our caterer, and then at night I have a special birthday dinner planned for my Mom! I'll have to tell you about the amazing cake I made for it next week.
Happy weekend, friends!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I signed up for the Kitchen Cure Spring 2010.
I signed up last year, too, but I was in such a fragile state with my kitchen and food in general that I really couldn't go through with it. Now, I'm better -- feeling better, cooking better, all of that good stuff.
I'm sad to say though, that the kitchen is not better. It's still holding spices that we bought when we lived in DC, and baking mixes I'll never make now. It's time to purge and organize and really embrace this new approach that is so much healthier for me.
The first step in the cure is to photograph your kitchen with the doors to your fridge and cabinets open (admitting you have a problem and all that...).
It officially kicks on February 26, and you can sign up here. Who's with me?!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I saw this post on the Dear CJane blog the other day and I thought, "I want that!"
But then I thought about how I'm probably only going to like it for about a week before I'm like, "What? HELLO GOOD LOOKING?!"*
So I decided the best option was to make it myself. Of course, the original by Persimmon and Pink is significantly cuter.
But my version was f r e e.
*By the way, this was basically Peter's reaction immediately. I got mad at him and he said I was being sensitive. Isn't crafting fun!!!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Nope, I haven't made it into the Daily Photo Gallery yet.
But because Peter is awesome (or patient/very accommodating -- take your pick), he took some Daily Photo Gallery style photos of me.
I think it might be out of my system now.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Our next installment of "What's on your nightstand?" comes from the always charming Une Femme Curieuse. Enjoy!
One of my favorite ways to fall asleep is mid-page while reading, so I have several on my nightstand. Right now there are three: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, and Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen.
Like everyone else, I had to read The Great Gatsby in middle school, but I picked it up again on a whim and was surprised at Fitzgerald's writing prowess. Whenever I get tired of the drudgery, a little wit and glamor from Gatsby's world does the trick! So much fun being transported to fabulous parties and riotous excursions loaded with morality quandaries and malcontent.
I really love to cook but simply haven't the time for it lately, so Mastering the Art is sort of a therapeutic replacement. Nothing takes my mind off casebooks and lawsuits like instructions for making the perfect souffle! As an added perk, Julia's personality comes through on most pages, which makes for frequently funny reading.
Finally, Out of Africa is one of my favorite movies (Robert Redford plays "World's Best Adventuring Man" beautifully and Meryl is never anything to sneeze at), so I picked up the true story for a little pillow traveling. Ms. Dinesen was clearly one brave woman and her writing really brings her world in Africa to life. I love it! Now, if only I could get Mr. Redford to read it to me...
Thank you so much, Ms. Curieuse! I love the idea of revisiting all these classics.
Want to play along? Email me at fresh.basil.blog AT gmail.com!
Friday, February 19, 2010
I love David Byrne. Peter and I talk about him so much that if either of us says, "David!" we know who the other is talking about.
Because it's always David Byrne.
I was perusing his website the other day, as I sometimes do (when I want to visit him?), and I found this on his search page:
New Google Search Tips:
- “It's always in the last place you look”
- “Try getting into the frame of mind you were in when you lost it. Think to yourself, where would I have put it?”
- “Tell yourself you never cared much for it anyway — then it will suddenly appear”
- “When you organized everything the other day you put it away where it belongs”
- “You are only imagining that you ever had it. It was never here to begin with”
- “The dog took it”
- “The search is more interesting than the answer”
- “The search IS the answer”
Funny, right? Or is my deep, deep love blinding my impeccable sense of humor?
And on another note: David, please -- will you and your awesome back-up dancers come to our wedding and sing? Because let me tell you. The wedding band circuit is seriously lacking. Lacking in talent. Save us from this hell-ish search!
For your reading pleasure, here is a snippet of an actually response from a band we contacted:
In addition, we work with several area dance callers and can provide as part of the evening festivities, a participatory square or contra dance that would be sure to please. Our callers work with complete beginners teaching each dance and doing a walk-through before the actual dance starts with music.Oh WOW. Partner folk dance lessons AT THE WEDDING.
Google is so not helping me out.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
A brilliant floral designer in California makes these gorgeous bouquets from brooches. If you collect 50-60 sparkly brooches, earrings, necklaces or cufflinks, she'll turn it into this work of art!
Her blog is filled with tons of pretty pictures. Such a cool idea.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
We all go through phases when we are gung-ho, model tourists in our own cities, right? But it can be really hard to drag yourself out to see the cool concert or new fancy cocktail bar. When it feels so difficult, though, we probably need it the most.
On Friday night, Peter and I went to MOMA for the first time.* Walking around, chatting about paintings and architecture models and photographs -- it was very romantic. He held my really heavy winter coat the entire time, and if that isn't enough to make you melt, well, I guess you have higher standards than I do? (Plus, melt! Winter coat joke! Oh yes, pun intended.)
We also realized while wandering around that we'd never been on a proper museum date before. Oh my gosh, four years in and we finally realize we are cultural lame-heads. So sad.
Not to worry -- the situation can be remedied. Peter, Met date on Friday night? Or, you know, sometime before 2014.
*MOMA is free every Friday night! But I bet all you cultural non-lame-heads already knew that.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I always think it's fun to hear what other people are reading at any given time. It's actually one of my go-to dinner party questions (that sounds terribly lame now that I'm typing it here).
Anyways! I thought it might be fun to start asking some friends what books are sitting on their nightstands, either currently being read or waiting patiently in the pile. I started with my dear friend Bryn, a new addition to the wonderful world of blogging:
Literally on my night stand I have The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and The Art of the Personal Letter by Margaret Shepherd.
Don't you love the color combination on the cover of The Art of the Personal Letter? The blue and coral are so pretty together.
Thanks for sharing, Bryn!
P.S. Want to play along?! Please say yes. Email me at fresh.basil.blog AT gmail.com!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Last week, the wonderful couple who live above us had a baby girl! This is their second within two years, so I figured that they had all the onesies and bibs they could need.
Instead, I made them this carrot-ginger soup. I remember reading somewhere that new moms and dads can get sick of casseroles and lasagnas and just want something light and easy to eat. This seemed to fit the bill.
This tupperware had a very annoying sticker on the top. It was soaked and scrubbed, but I couldn't get that last sticky residue off. So I poured some glitter stars on top, and they stuck perfectly!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I know a lot of people are sick of being snowed in (I'm looking at you, D.C.), but New York City has been mostly spared.
But it's been coming down heavily all day, and Peter and I both have snow days.
I'm making Katie Elliott's baked beans. They smell so good!
The house feels very cozy.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I haven't gotten my next Book Club book yet, so I started up with The Anthologist again a few days ago.
Paul Chowder, the fictional narrator, is a sometimes productive (often not) poet trying to write the introduction to an anthology he's put together, Only Rhyme.
The writing is so fantastic, I often find myself reaching for a pencil to underline huge sections. It will totally get you in touch with your twenty-year-old intro-to-creative-writing self. Here's an early passage I fell in love with:
It's hard to hold it all in your head. All the different possible ways that you can enjoy life. All the things that are going on. The different rug patterns. The different car designs. The different radio shows that are coming and going. The new ads. The new crop of famous people.
And then there is, of course, always, and inevitably, this spume of poetry that's just blowing out of the sulphurous flue-holes of the earth. Just masses of poetry. It's unstoppable, it's uncorkable. There's no way to make it end.So lovely, right?
Monday, February 8, 2010
We've been kind of obsessed with this e-book the last few days.
And also this website.
Because we found out this weekend that we got a resort in Kauai for our honeymoon! Whee, I love honeymoons.*
Now we're thinking: Hawaii for the whole month? Two weeks in Hawaii, and then hop on a plane to Australia? The Samoa Islands? A long drive along the California coast?
*I said this at Book Club last night and my friend Beth was like, "You haven't even been on a honeymoon yet!" I know. But I still love them!
Friday, February 5, 2010
This time of year is tough, isn't it?
We're headed to Connecticut this weekend to visit our families. Trying to pack up my things last night, I realized I absolutely hate all my sweaters. I hate my long winter coat. I hate wearing my authentic Paris girl beret.
I want to be on a fun picnic in Prospect Park under those leafy trees and that bright blue sky. And it's still so many months away!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
These are slightly more expensive than the male gift guide items. Funny how that happens!
(Clockwise from top left.)
1. Longchamp nylon handbag
2. Pinecone Hill chunky knit pink throw
3. The Vintage Pearl dainty initials heart necklace
4. Anthropologie convertable bra
5. Sublime Stitching Bon Voyage embroidery pattern
6. Little Red Riding Hood mug
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My mom put together a box of my Grandmother's China for me last week. I've always loved these dishes.
So sweet and pretty. And perfect for the Valentine's Day dinner I'm planning -- lobster and home made chocolate truffles!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Ed note: My little sister just moved into her first real college apartment. The photos of her little room were so cute that I asked her to write up some tips for decorating a small space with a small budget. Enjoy!
1. Plan! I did lots of planning before moving in. Map out your room before moving things in; not everything will work out as perfectly as you envisioned, but having a P.O.A. [plan of action] definitely makes it easier. A good tip, if possible: the bed almost always looks best opposite from the door. Less awkward that way.
2. Re-use! I switched from a twin bed to a double bed. I bought a new white down comforter, but I folded my old twin sized quilt at the bottom of the bed. It's a new and fresh way to use something I already had. Also, lots of my furniture was bought second hand and painted to give it an update.
3. Utilize your space! I had a very small amount of space to work with. I have a dresser that stores all my clothes, a larger side table to hold odds and ends, and a white storage unit that doubles as a TV stand. The final pieces of storage are under-bed plastic bins on wheels. Everything is functional and cute (or at least tucked out of sight!)
4. Personal touches! I love, love, love decorating! I just spent a semester in Italy and bought some really cute decorations and pictures throughout my travels. But obviously it's not a requirement to travel to get unique, fun touches for your home. I've had a lot of luck shopping in Target, Home Goods, T.J. Maxx and Anthropologie (sale section, of course!). Most of these stores have items in every budget. Target is my go-to store for just about everything!
Monday, February 1, 2010
The quilting process has begun! And it is easy.
I sewed those crazy big stitches to keep it all in place with the batting and backing. Now I'm outlining each lime green triangle in white thread to make it puff up just slightly.
I have loved learning how to do this, but I really can't imagine doing a whole quilt. At least not by hand. I need a sewing machine.
Peter, I think sewing machines are very romantic gifts...and you might need one in, oh, 14 days or so...