Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How to chose

(photos from the New York Times)

Peter and I are planning our little winter break trip, and we're having trouble deciding between delicious meat (!) and a fun art and music scene in Montreal, OR

Delicious seafood (!), fancy shopping and historical awesomeness in Boston.

I haven't been to either city in years, but remember loving them both. How to chose?! I know this is probably one of those "whatever we decide, it will feel like the right thing," kind of scenarios, but it never hurts to get some feedback. Any suggestions or recommendations, ladies?!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh yes!

Oh yes, it happened! I couldn't resist decorating for the holidays any longer. On Friday night, Peter and I were embarrassingly exhausted after our hosting duties the day before, and we spent the night listening the Christmas music, eating Thai take-out, and setting up the tree.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend! Ours was good, even though I was plagued with a touch of, "Did everyone have a good time?! Was the food really good, I couldn't tell after cooking and smelling it all day?!" Happens to the best of us.

PS: If you're looking to get into the Christmas spirit, I recommend listening to this over and over again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Calm down

(Just a few festive gourds for your viewing pleasure!)

Peter told me a few weeks ago that, in addition to being the cocktail shaker and snack re-filler, he felt like one his roles in our entertaining partnership involved helping me calm down. You know: worry less, enjoy the process more.

Of course, I got really mad and worked up that he felt like I needed to calm the freak down. I am perpetually calm! I float on a raft of calm in the middle of a still lake, sipping chamomile tea and breathing deeply through yoga poses.

Well, not quite.

During this week of food prep, cleaning, and furniture rearranging, I am feeling incredibly thankful for this sweet husband of mine. Who, among many other things, succeeds in helping me calm down.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bits and pieces for a Friday afternoon

Enjoy! And happy weekend, friends!

Thanksgiving prep + menu

(New Yorker food issue is out! Best issue all year.)

I had a work holiday yesterday, so I was able to do Thanksgiving shopping at Fairway in the middle of the day. Amazing, I tell you. Blissfully empty aisles, save for one rambuntious family of four that seemed to be using the store as a playground of sorts, complete with cart races in the cookie section.

Here's the menu I'm working on:
Ahhhh I am so excited. What are you most excited to eat next week?! For me, hands down, it's pumpkin crunch. Oh, I love it so!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A delightful reminder

I spend an inordinate about of time thinking about what's next. The next job, next vacation, next meal, but namely: next city.

And so, on a lazy Saturday afternoon around 4:00 o'clock, when Peter and I decided, yes, we will put our name in the hat for lottery tickets tonight, it was a delightful reminder that I am lucky indeed to live in a city where you can decide that four hours before the curtain rises.

Do I need to tell you that we won the lottery? When my name was called I yelped, Elle Woods style, "That's me!" But seriously, $25 for front row seats at West Side Story? It deserved a yelp (even though it was a little obnoxious for all those who didn't hear their names called...).

The show was lovely - fun and high energy and (bonus!) stars someone from my alma mater.

But it served a higher purpose, forcing me to live in the moment a bit longer than I'm naturally inclined to and appreciate New York and all the fabulous fun it has to offer.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 for 30

I've been really inspired by the 30 for 30 challenge, mainly because it seems that everyone who I think looks super cool and stylish buys an awful lot from Target and Forever 21!

Now, I am huge fan of Target and occasionally pick up clothes there, but Forever 21? I had no idea it was so hip! And so cheap. I haven't been in one for years. Here are a few things I'm considering:

1. Preppy Merino Wool Cardigan 2. Chiffon Pleat Cardigan 3. Exaggerated Ruffle Cardigan 4. Loop Tuck Belt 5. Colorful Safari Scarf

P.S. I just started watching Glee I'm obsessed with Emma's style. Would she wear these? I think yes.

P.P.S. My new TV crush is Mr. Schue. Kind of lame that my TV crush resembles my husband?! Probably.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Worried over nothing

We have lived in our apartment for a little over two years now, and we have seen our landlords (who happen to live above us) shift from couplehood to parenthood first with one little girl, quickly followed by a second little girl.

It's been a big two years for them.

I provided a little sustenance during trying early days, but we've been hesitant to invite them over. I love babies, but I'd never actually had one in my home. I wasn't worried about destroying anything precious here (because seriously, we don't have anything that precious). I just had so many questions. How should we set up chairs? Do we feed the children, or will they eat before? Is Murphy's Oil Soap safe to use on floors that crawling babies wiggle across?!

Silly questions, but still questions.

We finally bit the bullet and cooked dinner for them last night. And of course, I was worried over nothing. The little girls are charming and sweet, and I adore their parents (though I knew that already). The oldest sang multiple rounds of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and we chatted about wine and Park Slope and the best new restaurant in town (seriously, you should go there!).

Sitting at the table after dinner while the baby dozed, I was amazed by how alive the house felt with children in it. There was constant motion, and even when they were still, playing or chattering to themselves, there was a warmth present that is very different than when a home is filled with only adults.

It was lovely. Absolutely lovely.

* * * * *

Everything really came together for this party, food-wise. Most hostesses can attest to the rarity in that. Usually there's one clunker in the bunch, you know? I highly recommend all of these:

You will need:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 extra large eggs, beaten
1 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon milk
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Put the butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl, add the ground almonds, flour and milk. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon into a greased 8" cake pan.

Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, or until the cake just springs back when lightly pressed. Run a knife along the edges and turn onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Thus far, I haven't been super into the new online magazine trend. I applaud people for taking on this creative endeavor, and they can be fun to glance through, but for the most part, I feel like they are difficult to read and not very satisfying. I find myself constantly scrolling left to right, zooming in and out to read (usually silly and unnecessary) accompanying text.

The creators try too hard to translate strict magazine form onto the computer screen, when really it seems something in between a blog and printed form would work better.

Gifted is the closest to this ideal I've seen yet. Very readable text, full of inspiring, fun images, and it includes an absolutely amazing gift guide at the end (you know my weakness for those!). There are also lots of inspiration shots for pretty, simply wrapped gifts. One of my goals this holiday season is to make my packages more beautiful and festive.

I'll be returning to this often!

What do you guys think of online magazines? Am I being too critical? Are they a successful middle ground in the growing absence of printed magazines?

All images from Gifted.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Welcome to the official start

Happy November first, aka, welcome to the official start of the holiday season!!!

This is one of my favorite times of year. I think I mentioned before (though maybe not?), but we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year! We've done it before, but this time we'll have a slightly larger crowd.

Alright...more about Thanksgiving tk. For now, here's a little peak at my patchwork pillow!

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