Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Cookie Exchange

I wanted to get this in before the end of the year... the pictures from our USPS Christmas Cookie Exchange! It was such fun packaging bundles of goodies to go out, and receiving over a week's time yummy treats from all over the country. Check out the recipes here for snickerdoodles, gingersnaps, peanut butter, vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, nutmeg logs, and chocolate kiss cookies, chocolate peppermint cookies and melt-in-your-mouth caramels. Can't wait to do this again next year :)

{thanks to my sweetheart for the picture collage}

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Calendar Journal

I have never been very diligent in keeping a journal, but love discovering the thoughts, stories and notes from when I actually did write them down. Yet this vintage postcard calendar journal from design*sponge makes it to irresistible not to scribble life down as it happens. I love the idea of having the same day over a number of years all on one list in a cute, repurposed fruit box. The vintage postcards are great as month dividers; you could also use recipe cards or old black and white photos. A great gift for a graduating senior moving off to college, or expecting parents.

image via {design*sponge}

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Welcome Home

“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” ― Jane Austen

image via {Pottery Barn}

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Clever Girl

This was too cute not to share. My sweetheart is a bearded-spectacles-wearing-kinda-guy... I love this card. Plus it makes me think of a classic Jurassic Park line and my dear friend Jill.

image via {bows & sparrows}

Cards, Labels, Menus and More

Here are some neat FREE downloads from West Elm to help jazz up your holiday gift-giving, parties and the like. Here are some more freebies discovered via babble. (ps... I love FREE!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Piece of Cake (or Pie)

These cake/pie boxes would make a great take home gift after a holiday party, filled with a delicious slice from the evening.

image via {stephmodo}

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ruth Reichl

One may say I am obsessed with Ruth Reichl... and they may be correct. I adore this women and greatly admire all her culinary prowess. My dream job would be hers: former Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine, restaurant critic, author, restaurant entrepreneur, world traveler, James Beard Award recipient. Her love for food and passion for literary expression is so captivating; you can taste the very thing she writes about.
I was so disappointed when Gourmet Magazine ceased it's publication (they still have a great website with a database of recipes, articles and are currently publishing Gourmet Live Blog). For awhile Ruth was shooting Adventures with Ruth, a Gourmet presentation that followed her on a culinary odyssey around the world. She often times would be accompanied by a famous actor and together they would partake in local cooking classes that highlighted the true cuisine of the region. Unfortunately you can no longer watch them online through the Gourmet website, but the podcasts are still available for download as well as all the recipes here. PBS still airs the show, so check out the local listing. Read the journal where Ruth is currently posting her holiday Gift Guide for the foodie in our lives. Also, you can cook from Ruth's first cookbook with recipes found here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

I popped into CB2 tonight just to take a peak at their holiday goodies. Such a fun store with these great stocking stuffers, including these dazzling red heels that look hot and keep your beverage cold. These would also be great at a gift exchange this season.

And because the adults can't always have all the fun, here are some ideas from The Land of Nod for the little ones in the house (yes, I would like this lego iPod mini speaker, thank you). They also have a collection of sweet eco-friendly toys for children.

image via {CB2} and {The Land of Nod}

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Tree

Finally! I have found the perfect Christmas Tree idea for our little home: small, cute, homemade, simple. I love this little tree with oversized lights, monogrammed felt ornaments and a red tin bucket. Just what I was looking for...!

discovered on {Say Yes To Hoboken}, inspired by {MADE}

Thank you Burt's Bees...

...for creating natural beauty products that I feel good about applying to my skin, knowing that the utmost attention was paid to sustainability, cruelty-free and community. Awhile back I watched a program about the lives of gorillas post-animal testing and was horrified. I have since sought out to use only products that do not test on animals and are cruelty free. Burt's was the first brand I brand I turned to and have been happy ever since. Check out their full line of natural care products here, as well as their company commitments here. To search other animal friendly companies check out this list (where you can also find the companies that continue to subscribe to animal cruelty). Here are some of my other favorites:

Tom's of Maine (great deodorant and toothpaste)

Seventh Generation (love, LOVE these products!)

J.R. Watkins

Trader Joe's

Whole Foods Market

Victoria's Secret

It Began with a Post-It...

...and my desire for a warm, cozy fireplace. There's not much room in our little studio, and floor space is rather valuable. I came up with this faux-fireplace to satiate both my longing for a hearth and to fulfill a need for an inviting/functional entryway. This does both.

I made a quick sketch of the idea at work on, yes, a post-it note.

In a smaller then 4x4 entryway, this project provides not only a lovely focal point, but a nice place to hang your hat (or purse, or umbrella).

Sunday, December 5, 2010


These yummy-for-my-tummy cookies are one of Brian's favorites. I figured I would make him a treat to accompany his endless hours of studying, writing and preparing for finals. These were adapted from Martha's great recipe to suit what I had on hand. I love that she adds freshly ground pepper... very unexpected.

2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
1 1/4 c. packed light-brown sugar
1/4 c. unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
1/4 c. organic cane sugar

In a small bowl mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper, and salt.
In a larger bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and molasses. Add the egg and mix until blended and smooth. Add the dry ingredients into and stir until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 350ºF. Put sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll again in sugar, until coated. Bake for 15-18 minutes (tops will be cracked and centers firm) then transfer to a cooling rack.
Pour a glass of cold milk and enjoy.

Thank you Tina Fey...

... for being so flippin' hilarious! You make me laugh. I get a side ache watching 30 Rock.

image discovered on {apartment therapy} via {Dorothy Surrenders}

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Since my recent infatuation with EmersonMade, I decided I would have a go at making my own little blooming accessory. I like the frayed, unfinished edges of the petals. I repurposed a lone jewel to add sparkle.

I really like the added color on this vintage coat.

It was a fun little project on a rainy weekend morning while watching Vicky Cristina Barcelona ("yes" on this film).

It's Been Said...

"A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness." - Elsa Schiaparelli

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cookies Galore

This weekend I will be cooking up batches and batches of cookies for a "by mail cookie exchange". I am looking forward to hours of measuring, mixing, forming and baking; filling the house with delicious, sweet smells of the season. The most challenging part will be to pick which cookie to send... here are a few favorites and others I would like to try:

* These are the best Peanut Butter cookies... I love the finishing touch of flaky sea salt.

* Jam Thumbprints for the coconut lover.

* Sweet and savory Pine Nut Rosemary Shortbread are a delicious, unique treat.

* An endless supply of ideas with the 12 Days of Cookies.

* The most beautiful food styling makes me want to devour all of these little gems.

* One of my favorite holiday cookies has to be the Russian Tea Cake.

image of Espresso-Blackberry Macarons via {Gourmet}

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy December 1st!

View from the roof

Can you believe that it is already December? I am looking forward to our first Christmas in the city.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Here is a short list of the many things I am thankful for in this lovely little life:

my sweetheart

my kitteh

my family

my nephews

early mornings, late nights, sunrises, sunsets

* Good friends, heartfelt conversations, wonderful meals, a fresh cup of coffee, traveling

* My creative outlets: cooking, photography, blogging, crafting

* The creativity of others that inspires me

We are off to see family and enjoy the holiday. Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Letterpress Love

I have been rather smitten lately with all things letterpress: business cards, stationary, invitations... It is a beautiful art form that I hope to one day dive into when space, time and money permit. In the meantime I will loving admire and willingly share the great printing currently out there.

image via {Betty & Bing}

Monday, November 22, 2010

Flower Pin

I am so in love with these giant flower pins from EmersonMade... how excited would you be to unwrap one of these beauties Christmas morning! "Santa baby..."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Currently Reading

Somehow I was never assigned this literary classic in high school, so I decided this winter would be the perfect time to cuddle up with Anna Karenina. It is so wonderful thus far, great character development, very well translated with notes that offer insight into high society during the late 19th century. A warm blanket, cozy cup of tea and I'm all set.


Welcome to my new little spot in this great, wonderful bloggosphere. I am really excited about this new project and wanted to share my origin of (unexpected & random) inspiration. I was taking a stroll on a lovely summer day with my sweetheart, enjoying an ice cream cone, when I saw this little card in a book store. I don't know what it was, but I was immediately drawn to this image of carefree joy and innocence. Having been contemplating a big life change, it was the exact image that captured my desire for something new. After this I quit my job (well, tried to, but they "made me an offa' I couldn't refuse"), we got rid of most of our belongings, packed up what little we had left and moved to a 299 sq. ft studio in San Francisco. So here's to inspiration... may it fill our lives with courage, joy, love and surprise!