Sunday, December 30, 2012

Small reverence

So in-between all the presents and tree decorating, the stockings and the eggnog drinking, there was something else, a desire to reflect on what had passed and what was to come, a feeling of reverence for the small silences in our days.







I'll be back with my very own favorites of 2012 before the end of the year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Quiet reflection


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day. We're still getting over some illnesses in this household so it was one of the quietest holidays on record. Our trips to the outside world were small and essential; a run in Central Park (where I snapped the shot above), a pop down to a shop for milk or a quick walk for the dog. Just a few posts out there today:

Food

Nothing makes me feel warmer than hot chocolate, so I'm planning on making this version shared on Mint today by The FauxMartha.

I kind of wish I'd seen this Christmas day brunch post from Two Peas and Their Pod, oh, about 12 hours ago. Saving it for next year.

Fashion/style

The Design Sponge team has closed up shop for the rest of the year, so while you're waiting, enjoy this roundup of their best posts from 2012. 

Interior design

Apartment Therapy has posted many many beautiful bedrooms in 2012, and here are the best.


I'm sure I'll be back here before the new year. I love you too much to stay away.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Winter Solstice


I love that all of my December shots of Central Park are moody and dark. It's just like the setting for the newest version of Wuthering Heights from Masterpiece Classic, have you guys seen that mini-series yet? Wow, just wow. It's violent and stormy ... and totally awesome.

On an only slightly less educated note, I'm also starting to get excited for the next Bachelor season previewed on the Ashley and J.P. wedding special which aired last Sunday. I. Cannot. Wait.

Interior design:

I've been dreaming about pretty home offices lately. This inspiring round up and tips from I Heart Organizing's Jen Jones was posted on BHG Style Spotters today.

Ooooh, take a look at this divine London home that Habitually Chic featured. It has been dubbed Hogwarts because the director of the Harry Potter films lives there with his interior designer wife.

You know you want pretty pillows for your home. Enter Sydney's giveaway to win $150 to spend at Caitlin Wilson Textiles. I'd go for this mint fleur chinoise pillow or this chevron one.

I'm loving this home of a Dutch interior designer found by Si at French by Design and posted on SF Girl By Bay. The muted colors are such a welcome rest for the eyes and I could imagine myself curling up with a good book and feeling comforted and warm in the darkened rooms.

Food:

Winter calls for soup, and this creamy sundried tomato soup from Love & Lemons looks like just the thing.

Last minute dessert idea for Christmas (or that homemade gift you've always wanted to give): these bourbon balls from Jennifer Martine on Design Sponge today.

Fashion/style:

Creature Comforts ranks as one of my favorite blogs of 2012 (and indeed, a favorite since I began blog reading years ago). Ez has a rad way of blending fashion and home decor and covering the hottest trends out there. She's put together a list of her most popular posts of 2012 and it was fun to relive them.

Win a beautiful piece of wishbone-shaped jewelry from The Londoner. It's her way of saying thanks for being a reader. How sweet is that?


It's the Winter Solstice tonight AND we're all still here (so take that, Mayans). I'll be celebrating both events (well, one was a non-event) this weekend.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Post macaron haze

Would you trust a woman who had 6 macarons for lunch? I was just too lazy/crazed to get up from my desk today and, well, that happened. Here are the links I found out in the interwebs today. They're good, trust me. I'm the lady who eats dessert for lunch and what's not to like about that?

Food:

At Christmastime my mom makes a plum pudding which she then lights on fire and we all oooh and ahhh every single time. It feels special every year because that little blue flame dancing across the pudding signals the start of the holiday for us. All this to say, I'd like to continue that tradition now that I'm all grown up and have my own home. But, as daughters will do, I'd like to tweak the recipe a little, so I was thinking of making this sugar plum pudding from Eva at Adventures in Cooking.

Perhaps I'll wash it down with this pretty prickly pear fizz from the lovely ladies at Spoon Fork Bacon. While you're over there getting the recipe, make sure you enter the giveaway for some Eat Boutique flavored syrups.

I love words like "dark" and "stormy". I especially love when they are combined into a bread recipe with a lime glaze! I'm adding this dark and stormy quick bread with lime glaze from Adrianna at A Cozy Kitchen to the "must-make" list.

Fashion/style:

Travel over to Miss Moss to win an item of clothing of your choice from Cardigan, the gorgeous New York store. I covet their polka dot and striped sweatshirts. And, good news for those of you outside the US: You can enter the giveaway too!

Shoes! More shoes! Head to Jenny at Little Green Notebook to possibly win five pairs of sexy Shoemint shoes. I love Shoemint and wore a crazy hot pair of their leopard heels to my holiday party last night.

Interior design:

Erin at Elements of Style is hosting a giveaway of a limited edition Sharon Montrose print. Sharon is known for her incredibly cute animal photographs and I have several prints in my home. You need to check out her stuff, seriously.

This Copenhagen home is a perfect visual break for the eye. With vast white expanses broken by the occasional cozy touch of peach, it looks like heaven to me. As usual My Scandinavian Home picks the most amazing and inspiring homes, and her own work space isn't too shabby either!

Abrams books had me curate a Pinterest board of my favorite holiday gifts for the home - check it out!



Lest you're wondering why I'm not discussing the events in Connecticut, it's because I'm afraid I'll fly into a helpless ball of fear and anger and I'll be no good to anyone. Instead, read Luisa's words on the subject and consider that my opinion.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Poetry

Every six months or so we have a poetry lunch at work where anyone who wants to can bring a poem and read it aloud, while everyone eats their lunch in one of our meeting rooms. You can also just sit and absorb the words floating around in the air, and not read anything aloud yourself. I chose to sit and listen at this particular poetry lunch, but halfway through I felt the most incredible urge to jump up and start reciting one of my very favorite childhood poets, Sylvia Plath. I went home that night and unearthed my dog-eared copy of Ariel, that I stole from my parents well-stocked bookshelves when I was heading off to college. It's been a while since I sat down and read something other than a book proposal or something from the fiction bestseller list. 

Maybe I'll stand up and read next time.


Interior design:

I want to be invited to 
Emily Henderson's holiday party! I'm loving the navy blue touches with pops of pink and bright colors all over her home. Navy blue has a way of making a room seem very glam.

And to relax and recover from my hangover after the aforementioned holiday party, I'd like to set up shop in this Scottish fisherman's cottage found on Desire to Inspire and watch the ocean ebb and flow.

Or what about this villa on Lake Como that I found over at Quintessence today? That would do just fine too.

Enter to win these pretty blue and white fez tiles from Apartment Therapy. My kitchen would look so airy and light.

Food:

I'm crushing hardcore on Foodie Crush. Do you read Heidi's site? You definitely should. She has a magazine that celebrates her favorite food blogs and their luscious photography. The winter issue just launched and looks especially good. I love the articles on the friendships that have developed between bloggers. The more I participate in this community, the more I love it and I see those friendships developing for me too.

Oooh, I want this ultra creamy mocha hot cocoa from Angela at Oh She Glows! It would be perfect to sip on as we set up the Christmas tree this weekend.

One of my favorites foods to make in the autumn and winter is soup. And number one on that list is cauliflower cheese soup. My husband hates the smell of cauliflower, but I think there's nothing more comforting. I usually make the Moosewood cookbook version but this one from Naturally Ella looks pretty good too.

I'm making these whole grain chocolate banana pancakes from Saveur.com in the morning.

Jessica at How Sweet it Is would eat tacos every day if she could - and I totally agree. The problem (it's not really a problem) is that we have good Mexican food everywhere I look in my neighborhood, so I don't often assemble my own tacos at home. However, these smoky sweet potato and black bean tacos Jessica posted look totally doable.

Chocolate + orange? It's a combo made in heaven. Check out this double chocolate and orange swirl bread from Lillie at Butter me up, Brooklyn!


I hope you all have lovely plans for the weekend. We'll be getting our tree and setting that up. I'm hugging my family extra close this weekend and staying close to home in light of recent tragedies.

looking into the pool outside the Apple store


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What am I forgetting?



December is flying by. I don't remember it rushing this fast in previous years. I want to step out of the motion for a second or two, like they do in movies, and take a second to walk around my frozen landscape, admiring the life I've built this year. I feel certain there are some traditions I'm supposed to be remembering, or some rituals I should be enjoying in the midst of the usual daily rush. I know there's something I'm forgetting and it's making me itch.

Food:

Ok, we don't have snow to frolic around in just yet, but when we do, I'm planning on making this hot buttered rum from Ashley at Not Without Salt. I probably don't even have to wait for snow, in fact, to hell with it, I'm making it this weekend.

In case any of you readers out there are food bloggers, check out Cookie + Kate for Kate's food photography tips. I was on the verge of buying a new lens for my beloved Nikon and now she's pushed me in the right direction.

Enter to win a copy of the glorious Food 52 Cookbook and a chiles of the world spice set from their shop (which I didn't even know about!) on The Wednesday Chef.

Interior design:

Beautiful design blog and shop Herriott Grace is turning four! Head over to congratulate Nikole Herriott and her father and enter their giveaway to win a handmade wooden cake pedestal and some other lovely goodies from their shop.

Jo of Desire to Inspire found this unusual Australian home and I'm drooling over the pops of turquoise in the living room and shiny wooden floors.

Brittany of The House that Lars Built is moving from Denmark to the US. To celebrate her move, she's hosting a series of giveaways of Danish design items for your home. I just entered this one on her site that would fill my home with color and style if I won. So you should too.

Oooh, how cute are these DIY color blocked wooden spoons from A Cozy Kitchen? What a beautiful (and easy) gift to bring to a party this year!

Fashion/style:

I want one of these scarves from Muny. Lena Corwin is giving away one to a reader, just tell her which one you like!

I REALLY want to win this cozy mohair throw from Serena & Lily. Just travel to The Every Girl to enter to win.

December's Lonny is here! Curling up with this over the weekend for sure. As much as you can curl up with an iPad, that is.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Brown bread scones

Today was a day for brown bread scones hot from the oven, slathered with butter and lemon curd. For curling my fingers tighter around a hot cup of earl grey and giving the dog a little extra love. And it was for reveling in something that I never see during the week; the sunshine that strikes the floor of my apartment just so in the middle of the day. I made these brown bread scones you see here mindlessly, in the sense that I didn't have to think about anything as I kneaded the dough and felt the coarse whole meal squeeze through my fingers. It's nice to make something so easy that you don't have to think. 

Thinking is overrated sometimes.

You'll find my links below the photos today.

















Food:

I don't what's gotten into me lately, but I can't stop making things in my bread tins, this cranberry orange buttermilk cake from Say Yes to Hoboken might be my next conquest.

Check out the prettiness of this pear cake from Sarah at Vanilla Bean. I don't bake with pear often enough. That poor fruit gets forgotten all the time.

On these cold evenings, I'm in the mood for grilled cheese (well, if I'm being honest, I'm really in the mood for grilled cheese any time). I'm putting this recipe for comte and pepper grilled cheese with smokey tomato soup from Adrianna at A Cozy Kitchen on my list to try. There's fire involved!

Megan at A Sweet Spoonful just submitted her cookbook manuscript to her editor. Won't you head over there and say congrats? And while you're there, try out that amazing looking whole grain eggnog loaf recipe (yesss, another bread tin recipe!)

Win an Emile Henry gift pack over at The Kitchn. It includes the pizza stone and super cute ruffled pie dishes of various shapes and sizes.

Fashion:

I already own a copy of Nate Berkus's new book, but if you haven't snagged one yet, then enter to win a copy plus a cool snakeskin box over at Made By Girl.

Newest issue of Matchbook is out. I loved the piece on Rebecca Taylor and the tour of her family's Brooklyn townhouse.

Did you hear that Pantone's color of the year for 2013 is emerald? Love it. See the previous years colors and some emerald inspiration at Apartment Therapy.

Interior design:

The lovely ladies from Good Bones, Great Pieces share some shots of an amazing Park Slope apartment that they redecorated recently. I'm kind of obsessed with the roman shades that they outlined in cherry red tape to add color and sizzle. If you're reading Little Green Notebook you'll see the apartment featured there, too!


Sorry for the lack of posts this week, it's been a rough one and I've missed you, and this. I'll be back with more next week, I promise. Until then, have a wonderful weekend!





Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Verge

light blur at the farmers market this evening
























I feel like I'm on the verge of coming down with some kind of sickness. It's lurking right out of my line of sight, waiting to pounce on me as soon as I let my guard down. It's tickling the edge of my subconscious and I really hope I can hold it off for a little longer, or chase it away with a few extra hours of sleep. But first, Housewives of Beverly Hills is calling me. Go away, cold, go away!

Interior design:

I think I might be able to get into the holiday spirit after all. Especially after I saw the spare and beautiful home from My Scandinavian Home today. Those long timber planks, the sheepskin rugs thrown over the chairs at the kitchen table, the tree draped with just a few strings of lights so the green is allowed to shine through; it's all so gorgeous.

Want to go camping in style? Enter to win a one-of-a-kind camping box from luxury  Shelter Co. on Tomboy Style today. Just tell Lizzie where in the world you'd like to go camping and you're entered to win.

Ever wondered how to paint a brass chandelier? Wonder no more when you check out Little Green Notebook for a tutorial from Jenny on how to get to all those nooks and crannies of an intricate piece. She ended up with a beautiful periwinkle blue chandelier that totally lights up the room (pun intended).

Food:

Our dinner tonight is going to be was these black bean enchiladas with roasted red pepper sauce from Cookie + Kate. I needed something a little less heavy than a winter stew. (And they were delicious!)

When we put up our tree (probably next weekend) I'm thinking of munching on this popcorn party mix from Cassie at Bake your Day. It has cayenne pepper! I might add in some chocolate too.

Or maybe I'll fill the apartment with the clean smells of cinnamon and cloves? Then I'd opt for this sparkling brown butter cake (with kabocha squash) from Sarah at The Yellow House.

Just in time for the holidays, Dorie Greenspan has launched her cookie site, Beurre and Sel where she sells cookies with wonderful flavor combinations like cocoa cayenne, sesame and sea salt, cranberry spice, and rosemary parmesan.

Fashion/style:

Confession: I don't craft very often (although I have a lot of good intentions)  - this is slightly shocking because I work at a publisher that does a ton of beautiful craft books. Nevertheless, these beeswax candles from Oh Happy Day look totally doable and would make a gorgeous holiday or housewarming gift.

I can't tell you how long I've been searching for a good work bag. One that isn't gigantic, but can still fit the myriad of items I carry to work on a daily basis. I finally found the perfect option in this Lo and Sons Savoy bag. Enter "Holidays2012" before 1/1/13 at checkout for 30% off any item on the site.


See you later!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Music to my ears

Do you ever listen to a certain type of music and feel yourself rise out of your body and become part of the air around you? Music by luminaries like Zoe Keating, Kerry Muzzey, Lisa Gerrard or Adele do that for me. I can go from feeling like I'm walking lost and alone through a fog, to feeling a connection with everything that surrounds me. To appreciating life and everything that brought me to where I am today. It's enough to bring you to tears sometimes. It's incredible the kind of power, peace, and solace music can bring. It's after midnight on Friday and those are the kind of weepy universe connecting things I think about when everyone else is asleep and dreaming.

In case you're not listening to some beautiful piece of music, here are some links to start off your weekend on a good note:

Interior design:  

I'm pretty sure I'm going to die if I don't get something from the One Kings Lane Anna Karenina movie sale. Although, as I write this entry I can see that the collection is almost completely sold out, so I hope you've been on to this since this morning.

Here's my fave site of the day for you to check out: Design for Mankind. Written by the lovely Erin Loechner, this site is full of great tips on fashion, style, interiors, and more. I'm spending more time on there than is healthy.

Victoria at SF Girl By Bay pointed me towards the Anthology holiday gift guide today. Rather than assemble one post or even a series of posts, in true Anthology style they created a comprehensive magazine! This is really the only gift guide you need to be looking at.

The latest issue of Est Magazine is out. This Australian interiors magazine never fails to inspire me.

I dream about redoing my office at work. Would they allow me to buy my own desk? Not sure. But if they would, I'd go for something like this all-white office featured on The Decorista. I'd be so much more productive, I promise!

Food:

Growing up in Ireland, I ate brown bread daily. I still long for it and make it when I can. It's what I turn to in the afternoons in between lunch and dinner. And although most Irish wouldn't mess with the original brown bread, I'm eager to try out this feta thyme soda bread from The Little Loaf.

You know I love my pizza dough, I usually use frozen pizza dough from Whole Foods or Fresh Direct or make my own using a Jamie Oliver recipe. But this recipe from The Beeroness for pizza dough with beer is making me drool. I usually drink my beer when I'm making and eating my pizza, so trying the beer IN the pizza is going to be new for me.


To end my post (as I started it) on a musical note: I love the fact that the 50 Shades of Grey: The Classical Album has been bumped down the classical music billboard chart by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles "Advent at Ephesus" album. Could those two be more different?!

Have a gorgeous and musical weekend.