Friday, December 20, 2013

The weekend is here!

Happy Friday, my darling readers! I'm signing off from now until 2014, so wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and a happy new year, too! This year—and this month—went by in a blink. I'm so looking forward to catching up on rest, and seeing family and friends over the next couple of weeks. :) Here, to get your weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Talking about Instagram.

Flannel styling.

Prank calls.

Snowflake table runners.

Ellie Kemper, the holiday gift wrapper.

Festive pants, three ways.

Beautiful postcards.

Winter pasta. YUM.

A Love Actually-themed soiree.  

Daydreaming about spring.

Last minute wrapping tips!

(Image via Storyboard C)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas at the movies

All fall, I've been feeling so behind on all the movies I want to see in the theaters. I was hoping to spend Christmas week catching up (especially now that the Golden Globe nominations are out!), but now there's a whole new crop of movies I need to watch. My top three: Saving Mr. Banks, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Anchorman 2. If I manage to make it to see these films next week, I'll feel very accomplished. :)

How about you? Any movies you want to see next week? 

(Image 1, 2, and 3)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pillow play

Last minute gift idea: These hilarious (and somewhat sweet) pillowcases from Xenotees. An ode to turtle doves, these "love birds" are hand-screened from an original drawing by the designer. Sort of silly, but they totally make me smile. :)

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet?

More gift ideas from Xenotees here.

(Images via Xenotees)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Craft Page: Pantone paint chip magnets

During the snowstorm this weekend, I decided to get a little bit crafty and make my own Pantone paint chip magnets, a la this idea from How About Orange. I hit up the paint section at Lowe's to get the mini-Pantone chips, and then used Mod Podge to attach them to cardboard backings, then magnets. The finishing touch: Adding a few layers of glossy Mod Podge to the surface to give them a sparkly sheen. I love the way they brighten up my fridge!

More refrigerator decor here and here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Playing tourist at Rockefeller Center

Last week, I decided to take a detour from my usual commute home to Brooklyn, and walk through Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. Those are always the pinch-me-I-live-in-New-York moments, since I grew up watching the tree lighting on TV, and now I can simply walk a few extra blocks and see it up close in person. Despite the chaos of the area around it—and the floods of people, even at night—the tree is such a beautiful sight. 

My visit inspired me to add another item to my holiday to-do list: skating in New York!

Have you checked out the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree this year? 

Friday, December 13, 2013

The weekend is here!

Happy weekend, my darling readers! What do you have planned for the next couple of days off? I'm doing a bit of holiday party hopping—the Christmas season is in full swing for sure! I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing weekend. Here, to get it started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Surprise! Beyoncé's new album!

The amazing Spiderman 2 trailer.

A watchdog doorstop.

Stop the water!

Seeking the perfect cookie cutter.

How to live without sriracha.

A Sound of Music wedding.

The 10 best Christmas trees.

Holidays in New York.

A Christmas carol ambush!

(Image via I Dream Of)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cozy (and pretty!) ear muffs

So, I'm sort of crushing on a super fuzzy, warm-looking pair of ear muffs right now, available from J.Crew. I don't really wear winter hats (blame the hat hair), but the temps in New York are dipping—fast. I need something that's semi-stylish to protect my ears from the cold.

What do you think? Would you wear ear muffs?

(Image 1, 2)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday traditions

Last year—completely lost in the chaos of December—I began thinking about the importance of traditions, and what a difference they can make when it comes to embracing the holiday spirit. This month can feel so absolutely crazy, between the shopping and the gift giving and the crunch of what always feels like a much shorter month. I realized I needed a ritual to help me take everything in, and appreciate the joy of this season above everything else. On a whim, I purchased the last two available tickets to see Pink Martini (a band I've always loved) perform with the Holiday Pops at Carnegie Hall. The seats were obstructed view, but I didn't care—I was convinced that this was the ticket to my forgotten holiday bliss.

When Matt and I arrived at the concert, we pushed through the crowds to our seats. The view wasn't bad, even though we were promised worse. The people around us were cranky, and it was hard to ignore the alerts and emails with holiday to-dos that kept popping up on our phones. Five minutes to showtime, we shut everything off. 

Then, the music began. It was beautiful. By the second set, I was completely lost in it—so in awe of the energy and love radiating from the stage, it was impossible to think about anything else. I left feeling inspired; my holiday spirit renewed. It reminded me that all I really needed was a moment to pause and enjoy the season, instead of just racing through it.

So, this year, Matt and I are going back to the Pops for their holiday show, and I'm counting the days. It's our new, can't-miss holiday tradition, for all the reasons explained above. :)

What are your Christmas traditions? 

PS—A clip from the concert last year.
PPS—More singing!

(Image 1, 2)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snowy, snowy New York

I stumbled across Clare Caulfield's work last year, thanks to Hip Hip Gin Gin, and have admired her gorgeous mixed media artwork ever since. Now, I'm thrilled to report that she just launched her own Etsy shop, stocked with tons of gorgeous New York City prints. I love the way she captures ice skating in Central Park, and the hubbub of shopping near Macy's in the snow. Her work reminds me what a special place this city is to live in—and how bright and alive it feels during this time of year. 

Take a peek at her Etsy shop to discover more of her work. Beyond New York, she covers Venice, London, Prague—and my personal favorite—Paris!

(Images via Etsy) 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Candy cane kiss cookies

Over the weekend, I went to the Brooklyn Cookie Takedown at the Bell House, and ate way too many cookies. But, after tasting more than 20 different kinds, I left hungry for more. (How this is possible, I have no idea.) Enter this recipe for Candy Cane Kiss cookies. How yummy do these look? I actually had never tried Candy Cane Kisses until my friend Marnie introduced me to them this year. Um, they're incredible. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Add them to a sugar cookie made with a dash of peppermint extract? Unreal. Finally, I have a way to use all the bags of candy cane kisses I've been stockpiling. :)

Are you baking Christmas cookies this year?

PS—Remember the last time I made cookies? Yikes!

(Image 1, 2)

Friday, December 6, 2013

The weekend is here!

Happy weekend, my darling readers! What do you have planned for the next couple of days off? I need to buckle down and holiday shop. December seems so short this year—there are really only three weekends until Christmas. Too quick! Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead. Here, to get it started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

This website is my new go-to for gift ideas.

Prince William can sing.

Meet Josie, the selfie pro.

The cutest phone case!

Inspiration for a cookie swap.

Tea towels for two.

Pretty paper.

A user-friendly pie dish. (Plus, the ultimate holiday table.)

Non-creepy party etiquette.

Scenes from a NYC flower market. Gorgeous!

(Image via Pinterest)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hello, Ladies

Until I find a great big chunk of time to dig into the third season of Homeland, I've been binge watching Hello, Ladies, a new comedy on HBO about a Brit (played by Stephen Merchant, co-creator of the British version of The Office) and his ill-fated attempts to date in LA. The show is pretty hilarious, and even though Merchant's lack of romantic game is cringe-worthy most of the time, I keep going back for more. Probably because, somehow, Merchant manages to make awkward feel sweet (note, there's more evidence of this here).

Let me know if you decide to give the show a try. Would love to hear your thoughts! The season one finale just aired, so you only have to make a short-term investment...for now. :)

(Image 1, 2)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

City maps by Archie's Press

A couple of weekends ago, Matt and I stopped by the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn on a whim. Three hours later, we emerged, carrying the three letterpress maps above, beautifully designed and handmade by Archie's Press, out of Portland, Oregon. I've always loved the idea of hanging up maps that represent the cities I've lived in—and love. Boston, San Francisco, and Brooklyn are a blend of the locations Matt and I have lived and still consider home. 

Now, we were immediately sold on the look of these maps, but the deal was sealed when Archie himself explained: "My maps are made to fit Ikea frames." Done and done. :)

Do you have any maps hanging in your home?

Visit Archie's Etsy shop here.

PS—How cool is his Solar System print?

(Images via Archie's Press)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The gift of comedy

I've been a Steve Martin fan from the beginning. The guy always makes me laugh. That's why I was delighted to see him on the cover of "Comic Genius: Portraits of Funny People," a new coffee table book by photographer Matt Hoyle that captures not only Steve, but so many of the kings and queens of comedy that make the year funny and bright. Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Nick Offerman—these are just a few of the names included in the book. Each portrait is accompanied by a first-person reflection on life and why there's always a reason to laugh. 

Not a bad gift for anyone with a sense of humor in your life, right? :)

PS—A video clip from Steve Martin's portrait shoot.

(Image 1, 2)

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Page: A toast!

Happy December, my darling readers! What do you love most about this month? For me, it's the festive mood that hangs in the air. It's so nice to spend a month focused entirely on family and friends. 

So, what are your favorite December things to do? I always have to find time to watch Home Alone with my sister (I laughed when I saw this Honest Trailer). And I can't wait to pick a Christmas tree for my apartment this year with Matt. (Check out these cool garlands I bought!) Last—but not least—I'm super excited to go Christmas caroling around New York.

Tell me: What are you looking forward to most this month?

(Image 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)

Friday, November 22, 2013

The weekend is here!

Happy weekend, my darling readers! And happy almost Thanksgiving! This has to be one of my favorite holidays—there's nothing better than good food enjoyed with close family and friends. I'm taking a quickie break from my blog, but I'll be back at the beginning of December with new posts. In the meantime, I wish you the happiest of Thanksgiving holidays, and safe travels, too! Here, to get your weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Pretty packaging.

Good advice.

Only in New York: A s'mores bar.

Home makeover, Joanna-style.

Cashmere hearts.

These bicycles have wings.

Monica and Chandler: A love story.

One epic split.

The most happy friendsgiving.

Snowflake cupcakes!

A balloon festival time lapse.

(Image via I Dream Of...)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Brooklyn Bridge Park sunset

This past weekend, it was unseasonably warm in New York on Saturday, so Matt and I decided to go for a quick stroll down to Brooklyn Bridge Park. We tried to time our walk with the sunset, but it sets so early now! We ended up hitting the park right as the sun dipped below the horizon—at 4:30 p.m.(!!).

I was amazed to see the park so empty on a Saturday night. Quite a contrast to the busyness of summer! Other than the soccer fields and a few lingering fishermen, it was like we had the whole place to ourselves, which is just the way I like it. :)

More Brooklyn Bridge Park here, here, and here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Navy nail polish

I originally chose this polish to match the dress I wore to this wedding, but with fall in full swing, Essie's After School Boy Blazer has become my go-to shade. There's something about navy nails—they feel so bold and dramatic. :)

What do you think? Would you go this dark with your polish?

A lighter fall nail color here.

(Image 1, 2)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

J.Crew, London-style

'Tis the season in New York where we're gearing up for all those gorgeous Madison and Fifth Avenue holiday window displays. In the meantime, I can't help but tune in to a shopping fete happening across the pond to mark the arrival of J.Crew in the UK. This week, the first J.Crew women's shop opens at Brompton Cross in London, and the brand is pulling out all the stops to celebrate. For example: Complimentary (and colorful!) bouquets of fresh flowers with any purchase, plus cascading bursts of balloons to welcome new customers in. 

It's so festive and pretty, don't you think? Totally makes me want to go shop!

More J.Crew here, here, and here.

(Image 1, 2, and 3)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Coffee table reads

What's on the coffee table in your apartment? Unintentionally, Matt and I have started to curate our own mix of hard cover books to put on display. You can easily tell which books are his, and which are mine. The mix ranges from the gorgeous Paris Vu Par Hollywood, which I picked up at an exhibit in Paris last year, to Flip Flop Fly Ball, a clever collection of baseball infographics. I look at our coffee table book collection as instant-pretty for our apartment. It's something that, with a fresh bouquet of flowers, gussies the whole place up.

What do you think? Do you have any coffee table books?

(Image 1, 2, and 3)

Friday, November 15, 2013

The weekend is here!

Happy Friday, my darling readers! What do you have planned for the next couple of days off? I am so pumped for the weekend. I can't wait to kick back, relax, and brainstorm ideas for the next NYWICI Young Professionals' book club. We just finished Top of the Morning by Brian Stelter, so if you have any recommendations for what to read next, send them my way! Here, to get your weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Googling Gosling.

Pretty gold earrings.

Subway exercises.

Have you ever gone tidepooling?

The house Pete Campbell built.

The sweetest Christmas card.

Channeling Sally.

For the love of brussels sprouts.

I'm Ron Burgundy?

How darling!

(Image via I Dream Of...)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Julie Taymor's 'Midsummer Night's Dream'

It's rare that I get to walk to see a play in Brooklyn, especially one as exceptional as Julie Taymor's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The inaugural production at the new Polonsky Shakespeare Center, this Shakespeare classic reaches new heights under Taymor's lead. I'll admit: I enjoy seeing Shakespeare in New York (especially in Central Park), but the interpretation always varies, for better or worse. This time, it's for better, as Taymor brings a vibrant energy to the show that's as enchanting as it is hilarious. The content is matched only by the inventive and airy design of her sets, which help make a small (and pristine!) space feel larger than life. If you can, grab tickets now—they are selling out fast!

To up the pressure to catch a performance, here is the New York Times review. :)

(Images via the New York Times)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rachel Khoo is back

I've talked about Rachel Khoo before: Ever since the New York Times' first wrote about her, I've been following her work, and her 'Little Paris Kitchen' in France. Fresh off the success of her first book, she's released a second, called My Little French Kitchen. In it, Rachel goes on a tour of the French countryside, uncovering new and delicious recipes as she goes. I can't wait to snag a copy, and start sampling her take on so many classic French dishes.

As a precursor, Matt and I attempted to make Soupe au Pistou from her debut cookbook The Little Paris Kitchen. It was delicious! Have you ever tried making pistou? It's a combination of garlic, basil, and olive oil, all mashed up into a purée. It was a challenge, given my limited culinary expertise, but added such wonderful flavor to this winter soup.

More from Rachel Khoo here, and a peek at her new book!

A snap from when I met Rachel in New York!

(Image 1, 2)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christmas caroling

'Tis the season for holiday music. Well, almost! This may sound crazy, but I've been listening to Christmas tunes since October (!!). In the fall, I joined a holiday singing group with a few co-workers of mine. It's perfect: There are about 25 of us, and we practice once a week for an hour at lunch. Then, our chorale director packs our December calendar with holiday performances around New York.

For my regular readers, you know: I'm bursting with joy every time we rehearse. Singing Christmas music harkens back to my a cappella days. I didn't realize how much I missed it until the first time we practiced together as  a group.

The amazing part is that our repertoire is so varied. I'm learning all these new holiday songs that I've never heard before like this one and this one.

What about you? Has the holiday spirit hit you yet?

(Image 1, 2)

Monday, November 11, 2013

French-inspired tea towels

I discovered these tea towels while searching around Artsy Modern, and thought they were a hoot! It would be so fun to cook in the kitchen with these instead of the boring, plaid towels I currently have. Although, I will say, I'd be scared to spill on these—they're too cute!

(Images via Artsy Modern)

Friday, November 8, 2013

The weekend is here!

The weekend, already?! Happy Friday to you, my dearest readers. What do you have planned for the next couple of days off? Matt's parents are in town, and we're excited to spend a few days bopping around Brooklyn and New York. :) Here, to get your weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Subway experiment.

The return of Coach.

Pretty planners!

Tips for shooting interiors.

DIY lanterns.

A gorgeous Portland wedding.

Homemade s'mores date night!

The cutest lion ever.

NYC in the future.

The rules of water aerobics.

Love her!

(Image via I Dream Of)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Theater Page: The Commons of Pensacola

I'm counting the days—or months, I should say, since I'm going in January—until I get to go and see The Commons of Pensacola off-broadway. Tickets are on sale now for this new show at the Manhattan Theatre Club, written by actress Amanda Peet, and starring Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker. The play is a send-up to the Bernie Madoff scandal, but from the perspective of a daughter (played by Parker) who is forced to confront her mother (Danner) about her father's financial crimes. 

The show marks Peet's debut as a playwright, and Parker's first return to the stage in 12 years. I can't wait to see Peet's work, not to mention this powerhouse cast!

Here, Peet, Parker, and Danner discuss the show.

It looks so good, right?

(Images via The New York Times)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cutie booties from Madewell

I have been on the hunt for a while now for a cute pair of booties to wear this fall. My struggle is that the leather always seems to gap around my ankle, which produces an odd fit. That's why I was thrilled to discover the above pair from Madewell—the Lonny Boot comes with a strap, and a bit of stretch, too. I'm in love!

Do you rock booties or traditional boots in the fall? Or both? 

(Image 1, 2) 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Holiday photo greeting cards

Ever since Joanna Goddard first blogged about the greeting cards she made over at Pinhole Press, I've been obsessed! The holiday cards (and wine labels and notepads and calendars) they create are so beautifully designed. This year, I'm toying with the idea of sending my own photo greetings—I can't resist these gorgeous cards!

Why I'm tempted: This week, Pinhole Press is offering a discount of 33% off (!!) all cards and calendars, now through November 10 (use code HOLIDAY). Yes, it's only November, but since the early bird gets the worm, I need to make my holiday card decision now.

What do you think? Are you a fan of photo greeting cards?

More on holiday cards here, here and here.

(Images via Pinhole Press)

Monday, November 4, 2013

November Page: A toast!

Happy November, my darling readers! Over the weekend, we officially made the switch—I can't believe how chilly it got outside. I am now wearing not only tights, but my wool coat outside every day. :) What do you enjoy most about November? I love the dark nights, the cozy days, and the holiday spirit that lingers in the air. 

Plus, Thanksgiving is a holiday that's always so much fun. At our house, it tends to be a bit chaotic now—lots of little kids running around! But there's such joy and silliness in that (an example from last year). 

What do you love most about November?

(Image 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)

Friday, November 1, 2013

The weekend is here!

Happy November, my darling readers! What do you have planned for the weekend? I'm excited to get a haircut—I'm so long overdue. Right now, the plan is to get another bob; as much as I want to grow my hair out, short hair seems to suit me best. Wishing you a terrific weekend ahead. Here, to get it started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Puppy cam!!

Cutie booties.

Washi tape phone chargers.

Quince ginger sorbet.

Les parapluies de Cherbourg (I finally saw it!).

How to roast a cauliflower.

Jacoby to the tune of Benny Hill.

Dogs on parade.

That awkward moment when you wear the same outfit.

Purple leopard.

Jennifer Garner rocks a faux beard.

Freeze-frame, Friends-style.

Ode to fall.

(Image via Pinterest)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! What are you doing to celebrate tonight? Last weekend, my friends and I dressed up for a "costume-required" pub crawl in Cobble Hill. It was a hoot! I mentioned my plans to go with Matt as Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone, but sadly, Matt's costume arrived day of—about 10 sizes too big. There was no way to salvage it, so we had to improvise. I think it all worked out! 

A few highlights from the night: My friend Joe was able to use the News 4 microphone I made, and go as Anchorman. And my friend Shalah's homemade Black Swan look won the prize for best costume!

Wishing you a spook-tacular night!

PS—Congrats to the Boston Red Sox!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monogram necklace

Sad story: Last year, when Matt and I went to Paris, I lost the "R" necklace he gave me for Christmas a couple of years back (the same one Rachel Berry wears on Glee). I have no idea how it happened—I meticulously went room by room after packing our bags to leave our Airbnb apartment, just to make sure I didn't leave any jewelry behind! But, alas, the necklace was nowhere to be found when we got back to New York. 

Fast forward a year, and after far too many "If only I had my 'R' necklace..." moments, I decided it was worth re-ordering. I received my new necklace this past week—and I love it! There's something so special about a monogrammed piece of jewelry. It becomes a piece of your identity (remember the SATC scene when Carrie found the necklace she thought she'd lost?), and one you can't live without.

Do you have any monogrammed jewelry?

Two more ways to personalize your jewelry:
- Lucky numbers.
- Home state.

(Image of Rachel Berry)