Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year

It's snowing! I love how quiet my neighborhood gets when it snows. I padded out to the coffee shop on the corner this morning and found that my typical New Year's Eve reflectiveness had kicked in. Out of nowhere I remembered New Year's Eve 1999/2000, which I spent on Long Island at a party full of monied strangers, feeling a bit like Gatsby. I remembered wandering out to the beach with my friend, Katrina, and wondering what the next ten years would be like. And squealing over the idea of 2010 and where our lives would be. She predicted that she would be married. I didn't know what to expect. I had just returned from San Francisco, with no sense of what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. The world seemed so big then and I felt so rootless.

Ten years later and the world still feels big. But less prohibitively so. And there are times when I still have no idea what I want to do. But I no longer question who I am. And I've stopped feeling rootless. And Trina is married, with a beautiful little girl, no less!

BB and I are ringing in the year at a small party in Cambridge with close, wonderful friends. There won't be a beach, but it's a relief not to feel like Gatsby.

Have a joyful evening, my lovelies, and a very happy new year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

100 Posts and a Party

It seems only right to ring in the 100th post by celebrating another small victory. I finally (and I mean finally) threw a Christmas cocktail party. This is something that I've wanted to do since I moved into my first solo apartment. It happened to coincide with our first big snowstorm of the year, but I think that only made it more charming. I tried to do the whole thing Barefoot Contessa style, with a balance of store bought and homemade treats and a lot of atmosphere.

I made a sweets platter on a simple, white cake tray. I picked up some quality peppermint bark, a few clementine, some stollen and baked up a few of the Chez Panisse cookies. And the savory snacks came in the form of a cheese tray, a bowl of marinated olives and a small pyramid of arincini.

I even broke out the old $1 silver platter to use as a cocktail tray.

There were a lot of twinkly lights and no shortage of champagne, but more importantly the company was delightful. I should do this every year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wedding Pictures

I know it's been kind of a wedding free zone here for the past few weeks, but I received my wedding pictures today so please indulge me.

Here's one of my favorites:

It's my flower girl and I right before the ceremony begins. I think she looks like one of Degas' dancers.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In Love with a Scarf

As I've mentioned previously, my knitting mojo is back. I'm finishing a Christmas hat for BB's Mom's partner. The baby blankets are moving right along. And I know that I need to remain focused to finish these projects up in time. But all I can think about is this:

*photo from The Purl Bee

The Lovely Leaves Scarf (orange) from The Purl Bee. It looks so cozy and beautiful. I want to start making one right away in a fabulous jewel toned yarn. But I know only too well that more than three knitting projects is the path to darkness. Must use will power... Must not start new project...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Truffles and Spice

Had two hits on my hands this week with Ms. Ina Garten's Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter and the Chez Panisse Gingersnaps that have taken the blogosphere by storm.

*photo from the Kitchn

The beauty of the gingersnaps is that the recipe makes a log of dough that you keep in the freezer. So you can slice off a few cookies to bake whenever you feel like them.

And the tagliarelle with truffles was just ridiculously luxurious. I had a glass of champagne in a tall, elegant flute while I was cooking it and felt like some sort of kitchen celebrity.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I'm not one for New Years resolutions, but I made one last year. 2008 was such a rotten year for me from start to finish that I resolved to drink more champagne in 2009. That way, even if '09 was equally crappy, at least I'd have gotten some champagne out of the deal.

As it turned out, 2009 was a very nice year for me. I married BB, did some traveling, tackled family situations that I never believed I would have the strength to face and was lucky enough to find them resolvable. I think that part of what made 2009 so enjoyable was that I did manage to celebrate small (and large) accomplishments. And I did drink more champagne.

In 2010, I'm going to focus on quality. Which is not to say that it's all about purchasing things of quality, although that is a part of it. I am going to try to focus on the quality of what I'm putting in to my body and mind. I've gotten a bit intellectually lazy and want to challenge myself. I want to try to eat sustainable food of a certain quality. I want my behavior towards others to be of a certain quality. I want the work I produce to be of a high standard of quality.

So you heard it here first, people. Quality is the watchword for 2010. Cheers!

Dictator Cards

There's a great post in the NYT The Moment today about a grand idea, dictator cards. Get them at Dictator Goods, just in time for Christmas!

Stalin and Nero are my favorite. Words I never thought I'd say...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Disappointing Latkes & an Epic Journey

BB is back! And to celebrate his return, we visited the Everybody Loves Latkes celebration in Harvard Square. I've waited for three years to go to this darn thing and it was terrible. I waited in the rain and was served a vegetable pakora, which I can have any old time, and a store bought frozen potato pancake. A very weak showing Harvard Square.

After the crushing latke disappointment, I was feeling a bit restless and picked up my copy of Ulysses. Each time I read it is a bit of an undertaking. It's generally not something I do lightly, but perhaps it should be. Because it is a pleasure to read for pleasure. Who knew? "If you treat it like a bubble, it acts like a bubble" proves itself true again.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day Off

I have a proper day off today and I'm using it to get myself and the house cute for BB's return tomorrow. I have to confess that while I've been improving the bathroom, the rest of the apartment has fallen by the wayside. It's strewn with Christmas gifts, boxes and books.

My Porthault towels arrived yesterday, and they look absolutely perfect when mixed with my white towels. The add that missing touch of sweetness and humor. I love the single heart pattern so much that I'd like to order a pair of the pillowcases, but I'm not sure how much of that print one small home can take. I was thinking that instead, maybe I should go with these John Robshaw cases and just get one single heart boudoir pillow.

Still too girly? I'm not sure.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

J Crew Nails

While doing some Christmas shopping at J Crew, I picked up a bottle of Essie Eternal Optimist.

It's a bit darker than the picture would have you believe and really clean and natural looking. I had forgotten that J. Crew was getting into the make-up game, but appreciate their doing the vetting for me. As previously mentioned, I'm terrible at picking out cosmetics.

In much more exciting news, BB is returning home several days early! He's been traveling for work and I want to get the apartment looking cozy for his return. I think I'm going to pick up some evergreen boughs and holly on the way home.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tiny Hearts Aplenty

No dice on the Nina Campbell bath accessories. Fortunately, I can achieve a similar effect with these oh-so-affordable Porthault Bath Sheets.

They're actually $200 a pop. Yikes! I have to confess that I ordered two of their (less expensive) hand towels in this pattern. Maybe one day when I'm fabulously wealthy, I'll purchase the big boys.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So Far Away

The bathroom revamp is still going strong. I've decided that pink walls may be to much, but that, with all of the dark gray, the room needs a little sweetening. I think that one or two pieces from Nina Campbell's heart bathroom accesories would be perfect, but I can't find anyplace in the U.S. to buy them!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bathroom Revamp

Bathroom sprucing up is underway. I picked up this West Elm Teak Bath Stool for a song. It's already on sale and they only had the floor model left, so I negotiated.

It's small enough to add some much needed storage to the room while still leaving us room to function. I also picked up two really streamlined, lidded glass jars to hold soaps, etc. Then I broke out some of our new white towels from my bridal shower.

The room is really coming along, but I really think it needs a little color. I'm thinking a very pale pink. Something like this family:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fan Girl Part Two

I think I'm on a roll. I snagged two more Domino back issues today, November and December 2005. I find myself wondering whether magazines from 2005 will be as enjoyable as the newer issues. But who am I kidding? I still reread my 2006 issues with the greatest pleasure.

I'll have to only read a little each night and make these three issues last.

On the I, Claudius front, I've finished the book and the first disk of the TV show. As you may have guessed, things are not going well for poor Claudius.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Domino Fan Girl Dance of Joy

Last year, our mailman decided it was a great idea to leave people's magazines thrown all over our foyer, rather than putting them in our mailboxes. Consequently, there was a fair bit of magazine thievery. I don't believe that it was all intentional. As the magazines were consistently scattered about, people may have believed that they belonged to people who had moved out of the building or just didn't want them. Regardless, the whole situation made me lose a few 2008 issues of Domino. Grrr. And I was just getting around to ordering back issues when the magazine sadly closed.

I've tried bidding on old issues on Ebay, but I always loose. (I'm a bad Ebay-er. I don't pay enough attention to the end bid times.) But today the Ebay gods smiled on me and I actually won the November 2008 issue.

Hooray! I'm going to nerd out when it arrives, just like I used to when it was delivered on the regular.

Talking Paintings

Falling firmly in the "Why have I never seen anything like this before?" category today are J. Richel's Talking Paintings.

As much as I enjoy them, I could never have one in my home. I would just make it sing Habanera from Carmen or declaim, "Farts, Farts, Farts!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seasonal Scents

Yesterday Rita Konig's The Moment dispatch was about the scents of the season. And it got me thinking about my holiday decorating plans, including the olfactory ones.

I think that I'll pick up a Diptyque Pomander candle:

and a Diptyque Roasted Chestnut candle:

The Vie Luxe St. Moritz candle that Ms. Konig recommends is lovely, but I have such an attachment to Diptyque that I just can't bring myself to try it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I, Claudius

I took I, Claudius out of the library last week on a lark and am now obsessed. I cannot put it down. As soon as I finish it, I'll need to rent the TV series.

I hope that I can handle the hairstyles:

And this handsome devil:

And Caligula. Yikes!