Friday, December 21, 2012

The weekend is here!

My darling readers, happy holidays! I'm off for the next week, which means I will see you next year. :) But first, I want to wish you a relaxing and joyous holiday that's filled with family and friends. That means more to me than ever over the past week watching all that's happened in Newtown, Connecticut. There are no words, except to say that both my mind and heart are with the families directly impacted by this unspeakable tragedy every single day.

So, instead of the usual round-up of links from around the web, I thought I'd share a sweet and thoughtful way to help the children at Sandy Hook Elementary, courtesy of Anne over at I Heart Daily. She calls it a "meaningful act of kindness"—and she's right. Since the students there will be going to school in a temporary, vacant building for the time being, let's work together to turn it into a winter wonderland for them. All you have to do is make and send paper snowflakes by January 12, 2013. For more details—and where to send your creations—click here. And remember, a little can go a long way to fill a room with love.

Be good to yourself this holiday season, and cherish the time you have with loved ones and friends. Sending you all a huge hug—I'll see you next year! 

xo
Rachel  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shop 'til you drop

Now that Christmas is less than a week away, are you done with your holiday shopping? If you're like me, you've been shopping last minute online—praying that the post office will come through, and your gifts will arrive on time. :) I must admit I've done a fair amount of gift guide browsing, relying on my go-to bloggers to help me get it right. Here, a few of my favorite ideas, in case you're still in the market for the ultimate ("wow, they know me so well!) gift:

Joanna found this special edition cheese slate for the person who loves to entertain.

HipHipGinGin suggested holiday reads for the book worm in your life. Or for the traveler: 125 weekends in Europe.

A copper watering can for the gardener, inspired by Oh Happy Day! Or a Vespa ride around Paris for the adventurer.

For the artiste in your life, courtesy of SF Girl by the Bay, give the gift of art.

From Note to Self, a first lady throw pillow and wine with attitude for the fashionista.

Plus: Music to wrap to!

(Image via Pinterest)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Champagne + Cheese

What do you typically pair with cheese? Last week, thanks to a fantastic class at the Brooklyn Wine Exchangeco-hosted by Stinky Bklyn—I learned the best answer: Champagne! Apparently, unlike red wine, Champagne (or sparkling wine and Prosecco) does wonders to cleanse your palette, no matter what type of cheese you serve. And here's a great holiday pairing to try: Challerhocker swiss cheese from Toggenburg, Switzerland and Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne. You'll love it!

What are you serving up at your holiday celebrations this year?

(Image 1, 2)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Baby on board!

Such happy news for a Monday: A glimpse at Kate Middleton's first public appearance since her horrible bout with morning sickness earlier this month. And lucky her, it's to do something fun—like present the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Awards. Kate looked radiant in her green Alexander McQueen gown. So excited for her and Wills and all that is ahead!

A couple of videos from the night here

(Image 1, 2)

Friday, December 14, 2012

The weekend is here!

Happy weekend, my darling readers! How are you? How was your week? I'm so sorry I didn't post yesterday—feeling a little overloaded as of late. :) What do you have planned for your Saturday-Sunday off? I've planned a bit of Christmas-y fun. I'm going to see the New York Pops (with special guest Pink Martini), and going to a holiday reading of A Christmas Carol, too. Wishing you a lovely and cozy weekend ahead! Here, to get it started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

A new take on the basics.

The living room of a perfect gentleman. 

Food by candlelight.

Ruby red holiday shoes.

Stop and smell the flowers. :) 

Embrace your foolish side.

Woohoo Golden Globes!

Make a festive foldable.

The coolest family game night.

A reminder the holidays are here. 

(Image via Pinterest)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

North Pole cupcakes

Something sweet for your Wednesday! What a clever Christmas idea. Are you making cupcakes or baking other holiday treats this year? 'Tis the season after all.

Find lots more photos and a great vanilla cupcake recipe here.

Plus another sugar-filled holiday idea: Santa Hat Brownies.

(Image via Kara's Party Ideas)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 Questions for Woody Allen

Have you seen this hilarious interview with Woody Allen? Filmmaker Robert Weide asks Allen 12 questions as part of a sneak peek at his documentary featuring Allen, available on iTunes and Amazon now. I'm amazed that if he had to choose between sporting events or movies for the rest of his life, Allen says sporting events, based on the current film selection alone. Lots more interesting stuff—watch the clip and let me know what you think!

More Woody Allen here, here, here and here.

(Image via Pinterest) 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Swinging in the city

For the kid in all of us, is there anything better than time spent on a swing? Visual artist Ann Hamilton quickly proves the answer is no with her exhibit at the Park Avenue Armory, on display now through January 6. It's as simple as walking through the front door and hopping on a swing—Matt and I spent a couple of hours there over the weekend seeing who could pump the highest. What's cool is the scale of this art installation, and the fact that the higher you pump, the more the curtain moves up and down. Watch the video here to learn more about this exhibit. Next step? Go there now!

(Image via Princeton)

Friday, December 7, 2012

The weekend is here!

Happy weekend, dear readers! What do you have planned for the next couple of days? I'm excited to get a jump start on my Christmas shopping. I'm also hoping to find time to pick up a tree for my apartment. Let the holiday merriment begin! :) Wishing you a wonderful Saturday-Sunday off. Here, to get your weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Navy nails.

The cutest tree decorating adventure ever.

Perfect for caroling at home.

Ode to the Beatles. (Or chit chat!)

Wait and watch.

Ball of light.

Sparkle and pop!

For rockin' around the tree.

The best news of the week!

(Image via Pinterest)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Travel fantasy

If you could get on a plane tomorrow morning and jet off for a long weekend away, where would you go? Somewhere tropical and warm—or a city so cosmopolitan you can easily snag a direct flight? For a four-day weekend, I think I'd head to Miami, or maybe plan a California escape. I'm craving warm weather, especially now that the December cold is setting in. 

Where would you escape to? Any new places you haven't been before?

(Image via Pinterest) 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

3 steps to a cozy home

In my opinion, a cozy home only needs three things: a spot for tea, a spot for me, and a spot for entertaining good friends. :) As the weather gets colder and we start to retreat indoors, I'm realizing just how essential these things are to my day.

Now you go: What do you need to make your home feel homey?

(Image 1, 2, and 3)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Season's greetings

Do you send holiday cards in the mail? It's one of my favorite Christmas rituals—there's nothing I love more than throwing on holiday music and a movie, drinking hot cocoa (or maybe a glass of delicious red wine), and writing notes to friends and family near and far. I spend weeks finding the perfect cards to send. The ones above are delightful, don't you think? Leave it to Etsy—and ParrottDesignStudio—to create something so colorful and fun.

What gets you in the holiday spirit? I'd love to know!

(Images via Etsy)

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Page: A toast!

Happy December, my darling readers! What do you love most about this month? There's so much that's lovely: Christmas lights sparkling everywhere, getting together with family and friends, holiday parties, hot cocoa and more. As busy as this time of year can be, it's always filled with so much patience and joy—it hangs in the air wherever you go. :)

Wishing you a wonderful month ahead!

Looking back on recent Decembers here, here, and here.

(Images via Instagram) 

Friday, November 30, 2012

The weekend is here!

My dear readers, happy Friday! What do you have planned for the next couple of days? I'm going to see Alice Smith in concert—and my good friend is getting married, too. It's a busy weekend, but a fun one. :) Wishing you a lovely and relaxing weekend ahead! Here, to get it started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

I'm obsessed with Homeland, are you?

Homage to hashtags.

A restyled cocktail cart.

Are you wrap-ready?

Wish someone xoxo.

Princess lessons!

When can I move in?

Be as chic as Reese. 

A mini Thanksgiving (and a belated playlist).

Sweet office set-ups.     

(Image via Going to Make It Mine)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bad hair day

Where's a hair elastic when you need one? :) I love these shots of Kate and William taken this week on the balcony of Cambridge Guildhall in Cambridgeshire, England. Even with the wind blowing her hair in her face, Kate still looks absolutely stunning (what a gorgeous Max Mara coat!). Take a peek at the rest of the photos here.

PS—What do you think of Kate's new bangs? So cute!
 
(Images via Huffington Post)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Say 'Om'

Do you practice yoga? I have been trying to fit in more classes when I can. For my birthday, I received a wonderful gift: a pass to Malo Yoga in Brooklyn. I took my first 90-minute class there right before Thanksgiving, and loved it. I'm amazed how even in a city like New York, it's possible to shut the windows of a small studio, and with that shut out the noise (and stress!) of a busy day.

What do you do to center yourself when you feel overwhelmed?

More fitness in the city here.

(Image via Wit & Delight)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Paris rooftops

A couple of months ago, I discovered this gorgeous photograph of Paris at the Affordable Art Fair in New York. Ever since, I can't get it out of my head! The image was shot by photographer Irene Suchocki as part of her Rooftop Soliloquy series. It's stunning, right? I'm considering buying it as an early Christmas splurge—just looking at it instantly takes me back to my trip and reminds me at a glance of how wonderfully moody and beautiful Paris can be. :)
 
Do you have a piece of art in your home that you love? What inspired you to buy it?

(Images via Art Star)