End of year and other links

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tree looking over the foggy Hudson river

I hope your holidays have been joyful and warm, and full of love. I've been splitting these past two weeks between NYC and my parents in Pennsylvania, between city and country, between what I know now and what I knew then. December has run away and I can hardly believe I'm looking over the mountaintop at January's cold edge.

I took Latin in high school and college and I always loved how Latin and Roman history are woven into so many facets of our lives today. January was named after the Roman god, Janus, who signified doorways, beginnings, transition, and passage. Knowing this, it's pretty clear why the first month of a new year makes us feel like we are starting a new chapter. My favorite depictions of Janus show him with two faces; one looking backwards towards the past, and one looking forward to the future. I have personal goals, goals for this site, goals for my career, goals for my family, and I just need to take a deep breath and dive into 2014. 

I've only just begun.

interior design

I almost wish Sherry and John of Young House Love would buy a new house every year so I can follow along with their renovations. They've been putting up shelves in the kitchen lately, and I'm loving the wide open brightness they've brought to a previously dark kitchen.

I know the internet is full of post summaries at the moment, but I loved this one on the best bedrooms of 2013 on Apartment Therapy. Looks like serene and calm was the theme of the year.

Living in an apartment, I'm probably always going to have a tiny bathroom. To be honest, I'd rather give the space to a kitchen or bedroom. So if you have the same kind of small space that I have, here are some gorgeous small bathrooms featured on Decorology. Does anyone know if I can drill into marble to put up shelves??


Joy shares her favorite childhood thai dish - green chicken curry, it's simple, nourishing, and I bet it smells incredible.

I have rhubarb in my freezer and lemons are always available, so perhaps this flourless rhubarb and lemon cake from My Darling Lemon Thyme will be next on my list.

Just in case you didn't do handmade gifts this year, perhaps a new years gift is in order? How about some handmade syrup from My New Roots. Wouldn't your friends love to drizzle some maple and apricot syrup over their pancakes on a Saturday morning?

And how about a lovely satsuma and pomegranate cake from Tartelette to help you enjoy the abundance of citrus at the moment?

Other fun things

Add a little glitter to your life (and your leather) with this project from Say Yes to Hoboken

Slim Paley broke with tradition and celebrated the holidays amongst breathtaking scenery in Patagonia! Sometimes tradition is great, but sometimes you need something else.

Happy new year, everyone!

My (snowy) weekend in images

Monday, December 16, 2013

View from the living room when we woke up on Saturday!
I love when it snows on the weekend: I make sure my fridge is full of food (although really, in our house it's just important to have chocolate, eggs, and bacon), I break out the snow gear, I make a plan for one ambitious city activity - and then let the snow fall. This weekend we decided to make a trip to the museum of natural history - one of my favorite places ever.  Here's what we got up to:

Starting off Saturday morning with a cappuccino in a cozy cafe and some window snow watching is never a bad idea.

...especially with friends

We bundled up and took the bus to the west side
The Rose center was the perfect place to watch the snowstorm ... the light in there is just fantastic.
Of course as soon as we got to the museum, she was hungry - why does that always happen? She was super happy with a grilled cheese sandwich from the cafe on the first floor (it has better choices than the food court) 
Can we talk about this travesty for a second?  Why does this "astronaut bear" have to be a space princess in order to appeal to a girl?  This annoys me more than I can express in words. Why can't we just encourage our girls to be regular astronauts instead of pink frilly space princesses?
Make sure you get to see the butterfly exhibit at the museum. It's steamy, and the butterflies land all over you!
Truly one of my favorite places in the entire city. I never, ever get tired of visiting.
Sunday was a lazy day compared to Saturday's adventure. We stayed in, cleaned the apartment from top to bottom, went through old forgotten clothes and packed bags for donations, ventured outside for short walks, went swimming, and drank lots of hot chocolate. It wasn't as taxing, but equally as fun :) I hope you guys had a brilliant weekend as well.

With seconds to spare

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sorry for the internet silence in this little space. Work and home obligations completely overwhelmed me, and I didn't have a spare second for my little world here.

I hope all of you celebrating Thanksgiving had a lovely day. It was bitterly cold here in the city, so we didn't move far from our apartment, nipping out quickly here and there for supplies. We set the table with Christmas lights for a little extra sparkle, trailed pumpkins up and down the table, and ended up eating dinner by candlelight and twinkle light. 

Even though I wasn't here for two weeks, it didn't mean I wasn't looking at the blogs. Here are some of my favorite recent posts.


It could be that i have my eye on beginner kitchen stuff because I have a brother and sister recently in their own apartments, but I loved this starter kitchen gift guide from Big Girls Small Kitchen. I have to say, even though i have a well-established kitchen, I still want some of the items from this list. (Why don't I have a cast iron pan yet??)

Like Aran, I crave a different type of apple pie, and her apple cranberry custard tart would definitely hit the spot.

Winter is for soups, soups so thick and creamy that you barely need bread (although a hunk of buttered warm bread is the best). I'm adding this rice and smothered cabbage soup from Molly at Orangette.

interior design

No one does Christmas like the Scandinavians. No one. Check out how My ScandinavianHome decorated her gorgeous place in a minimalist holiday style ... so pretty.

Ah, the entryway bench. I haven't gotten it right yet, but this roundup from Kirsten at Simply Grove helps me on my way, I hope.

other links

I love this post from Sydney at The Daybook where she surprised her husband with a trip to a cabin in the wilderness of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I'm craving that kind of rustic experience at the moment.

Ok, it's true that in NYC we wear a lot of black. And I'm a book editor, so I feel I'm supposed to be in double black at all times. I don't, actually wear that much black, but this all-black ensemble from Creature Comforts has me scrambling to put together that kind of streamlined look.

It could be because I'm finally reading Dan Brown's Inferno, and now I've got Italy on the brain, but Nicole Franzen is only making me crave it more with the shots from her insane trip.

I'm so glad to be back here. I hope you'll come visit me here again, too. Leaving you with a shot of Central Park from my run this weekend. Just magical, that park. And the run wasn't so bad, either. 

Star gazing

Thursday, November 21, 2013

 I was able to get up on the roof of my 32 floor building a few nights ago to watch the NASA rocket launch from Virginia. I stood there with some neighbor friends, craning our necks back to catch a glimpse against the city lights, but unfortunately we didn't see it ascend into the darkness. I'd had never been up on my building's roof before, and I took a look around (although not for long because the wind was turning my hair into freezing whips, I was like an icy Medusa by the time I was done up there).

We could see south, as far as the Empire State and way beyond
And then east to the East River and Triborough (now RFK) Bridge
I can't even imagine how incredible a sunrise or sunset would be from up that high. I'm going to do my best to get up there for both of those next year (with a proper camera, not just my iPhone).

While I wait for Downton Abbey to return, I'm falling headlong into Parade's End on HBO. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch (could his name possibly be any more perfect?) from Sherlock (the best!) and it's written by the incomparable Tom Stoppard, whom I've loved since my heady days in 12th grade english class reading his tragicomedy Rosenkrantz and Gildenstern are Dead.

Interior design

Did you see the Domaine feature on Susan Feldman of One Kings Lane? Her Hollywoods Hills home is drop dead gorgeous, and I'm drawing major inspiration from everything I see there. Clearly she gets to draw from her awesome position at One Kings Lane, but still, it's pretty amazing.

I've been looking for ages for a chalkboard for our entryway, one where I can note all of our various appointments and to-do lists. I eventually caved and got a glass whiteboard but now this Apartment Therapy chalkboard roundup is making me reconsider that whiteboard.

I appreciate this honest and refreshing post from Nicole of Making it Lovely. It's not often that a design blogger will give us a candid look at a room in their home, one that isn't necessarily done up to perfection as we're now wont to expect because of idealistic sites like Pinterest.


As Adrianna says, you shouldn't make this rose apple pie with bourbon glaze if you're handling the major part of the Thanksgiving meal. But seriously, the one is a work of art.

I have trouble loving kale, I'll admit it. But here's a kale recipe I could get behind. See Bev's sausage and kale pasta bake here. The kale is completely buried, and that's fine with me.

Or you could travel to Marrakech with David and Luise and enjoy a raw key lime mousse with pomegranate while you gape over their gorgeous shots. I was there so long ago, without a great camera, and this post makes me long to return (not that I needed much prodding, really).

And then some pretty moon bokeh for you to close out the post

My holiday table

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Am I the last person to know about H&M Home? After Abbey posted her favorite star items from their site, I had to jump over and see what else they had. Result? I've just figured out my entire holiday table:

My weekend in images

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thursday: Somehow this little one turned 2 last week. How did that happen so fast?
Friday: Had to pause while chopping leeks to admire the colors. They were used for leek and cauliflower soup (with ground cashews as a cream base!)
Favorite item of the week: cute mama and baby fox from IKEA (used when dancing to "What Does the Fox Say?", of course!)

Saturday: The beginning of a butternut squash, apple, and brie galette. Next time I'll add more brie and make my pie crust with no sugar. It felt like I was having a sweet pie for dinner.
Location: tiny park on 2nd avenue and 91st street. I can't get over the colors this season.
Location: same park as above. We were the only ones out and about most of the day on Sunday. The rain kept others inside. Luckily we love being outside in the rain.

Location: 91st street between 2nd and 3rd avenues. It was this kind of weekend, misty, foggy (so foggy we couldn't see past our building at one point) and the trees are in that florescent phase right before they go dark for the winter.
Location: 93rd street. I saw this chair on my street on the upper east side on Sunday. Unfortunately it had been raining all day otherwise I would have picked it up immediately, and found a way to reupholster it. Although, after I posted this shot on Instagram yesterday, several people ooohing and aaahing over it made me regret my decision to leave it behind. I told myself if it was still there on my morning walk that I'd grab it. It was gone :( 

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Happy weekend, friends!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I hope your weekend is shaping up well so far. I'm firmly ensconced on the couch with some chocolate babka from our new Breads bakery, and perhaps there's a movie in my near future. (Correction: it's 1am and that movie is finished - we watched The Heat - not the greatest use of $5.99 ever, I have to say) I have plans for the apartment this weekend, plans that include paint and IKEA. I also have a date with Central Park. I've been dying to shoot the autumn foliage and it seems to be particularly glorious this year.
interior design

Bri Emery did some research on Airbnb and found us some cool places to stay in California. Now she has me dreaming of a trip there.

Who wants some Anthropologie bedding?
Camile Styles has an Anthropologie bedding giveaway that you just have to enter. Or don't enter -- so I can have a better chance.

Sarah Yates of
A House in the Hills has some serious decorating talent. Just check out her living room. I'm dying over that round mirror. It would be right at home on the wall over my kitchen table.


Kelsey of
Happyolks never fails to get me thinking with her essays on life, love, and the power of womanhood. And there's a recipe for a butternut squash and brie galette. Seriously? Delicious food AND food for thought.

If you weren't lucky enough to be in that sold-out room at NYU last week to see
Luisa Weiss, Smitten Kitchen's Deb Perleman and Food 52's Amanda Hesser speak about food and blogging and Luisa's book, My Berlin Kitchen (now out in paperback!), then you can watch it here.

I fear my husband is going to ask me for marshmallow topped sweet potatoes again this year, and I just can't bear the sweetness (are all you Americans frowning and unsubscribing from my site now?). BUT, I may have found an alternative in 
this coconut-pecan slow cooker sweet potato dish from Aimee at Simple Bites.

hard to define - but all about NYC

This is clearly a sponsored post, but I love seeing New York 
through photographer Jamie Beck's eyes.

Did you know Banksy was hanging out in NYC for the month of October scattering incredible artwork all over the city? Here are
his top 10 pieces that had fans scrambling across the five boroughs to track him down.

Jenna of
Sweet Fine Day has prepared her annual NYC calendar, and it's available for sale now on her website, check it out here. Plus she has some interesting musings on our soon to be former mayor.

Happy weekend, friends!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Emily Dickinson has to be read in the winter, when the sky grows dark before 5pm and the wind reaches little tendrils down your neck. She has to be read from inside the window, while the light creates shadows on the glass and your forgotten tea steams quietly beside your trembling hand.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers

"Hope" is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul- 
And sings the tune without the words- 
And never stops-at all- 

And sweetest-in the Gale-is heard- 
And sore must be the storm-
That could abash the little Bird 
That kept so many warm- 

I've heard it in the chillest land- 
And on the strangest Sea- 
Yet, never, in Extremity- 
It asked a crumb-of me. 

-Emily Dickinson

Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by R.W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999)

A glorious run

Thursday, October 31, 2013

We've had a glorious run of days the past few weeks. The kind that make you wish you could stop time. The air is clearer, I can see further from our windows and everything has a crisp, cool edge to it. I've gone from the soft padding of flats on the sidewalk to the ring of Autumn boots. From salads for lunch to hearty soups and breads.

In other news, we had wafels and dinges a while ago and now they are all I can think about. Seriously. Is it bad that I'm trying to find an excuse to walk past the Wafels and Dinges truck at the tip of the Great Lawn so I can snag a wafle with spekuloos and whipped cream, and then nutella drizzled all over?


I'm so happy for the lovely Kate of Cookie and Kate who has taken a great leap and made her site a full time job. To celebrate, she created this red pepper martini for us all to enjoy.

Diane Cu and Todd Porter of White on Rice Couple launched their beautiful book, Bountiful and developed this lemon bundt cake to thank their readers. Should I do this one for my next work bakeoff competition?

There's no natural segue way for this after talking about alcohol and dessert, but can we move on to baked sweet potato fries next? Well Linda of the Brooklyn-based The Tart Tart has just made me crave them. And then she posted a recipe for quince ginger sorbet! How much temptation can I take?!

interior design

Marisa Rosenbaum, Refinery29's shopping market director, has a small apartment, a teeny tiny apartment. And it's quite possibly the prettiest small apartment I've ever seen. Check out her design tips and secrets.

Ok this is totally inspiring, and I will probably never do it (just being honest here, guys!) but this DIY modern sunburst mirror from Jenny Komenda would look amazing in my apartment.

This bedroom designed by Emily Henderson haunts my dreams. I think I want to use that Sherwin Williams crushed ice color in my entryway.

Ever since the creative cooperative, Makeshift Society opened up in San Francisco, I've been waiting for them to come to the east coast. And now Anna of Door Sixteen tells me they're coming to Brooklyn! They're scheduled to open their doors in 2014 and I can't wait to check out the space.


The last thing I need is another bag (did I really just say that?), I just got this one from Madewell and it's THE perfect fall bag. But should you be in the market for one, enter to win a handbag from the Fleabag shop with DesignLoveFest. If you don't win, she's offering a 15% discount on their site with the code. LOVEFEST15.

Let's talk about Kate Midleton for a second, shall we? Perfection - that's all we really need to say. Design Darling shows us how to duplicate her look. It's nothing earth-shatteringly different, really, but just very tailored and neat.

Happy Halloween!

October apple picking

Friday, October 25, 2013

So, I'm sure you've seen fall apple picking shots similar to these a hundred times by now, and I'm sorry you have to see them again. Actually, I'm not really sorry. It's one of those mandatory Autumn activities in our family and we look forward to it all year long. This year we found a no-frills farm an hour outside of the city that satisfied our various requirements: Ted's requirement was that it had no carnival atmosphere, mine was that they had apple cider doughnuts. We both left happy.

There's always one magical tree in every orchard I go to, one that stands out from all the rest. I was in love with this one. Her extra long branch was laden with the most delicious apples in the whole orchard. 

I'm dead set on figuring out how to duplicate these apple cider doughnuts in a baked form. We may or may not have polished off a dozen while we were there.

After exiting the apple orchards, you're met with this little bakery crammed with about fifty varieties of pies and lines of people waiting for the next batch of baked goods.

All this to say, hold on to those traditions. They're the memories we cherish year after year. Even if sometimes it doesn't feel worth it, cause one or both children are having a meltdown in the middle of an orchard because you're not picking from the tree they chose, and you're pretty sure a wasp flew down the back of your jumper.

Autumn snuck up on me this year, and now it's securely here. I didn't realize it until I walked outside after a work event last night and the wind sliced across the back of my neck. That wind is going to make me take out my wooly coat soon enough.

I don't mean to shorten your enjoyment of Autumn, but it's going to be Winter in the blink of an eye.

I'll link you up

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I hope you're all joining me here after a restful weekend. It was a weekend where I barely left my neighborhood, but luckily Central Park is within my radius. And it was one glorious weekend for the park, indeed. 

Another note: I had to force myself to stop playing candy crush just to hit publish on this post. And I'm not even on a six figure level (I have heard of people in the 300 levels). Is anyone else addicted?

Anyway, despite candy crack crush, I still managed to find some fun stuff. Here is what I'm loving this week.

interior design

Has everyone seen the new Domino format where the site operates as a shopping portal? What do you think about it? I feel like it might be dangerous for my already endangered wallet. On the other hand, I'm not so ambivalent about the wonderful Little Green Notebook's Jenny Komenda becoming an online editor for Domino! I couldn't love that choice more.

I love seeing a tastefully decorated small space, it's such a challenge compared to a larger space, I think. This pretty apartment belonging to Danielle Armstrong was featured on This is Glamorous recently, and is totally inspiring.

Displaying antlers and horns in one's home is a controversial topic, but you can't argue with the powerful presence they bring to a room. Check out Slim Paley's incredible stag roundup.


If I wanted to preserve summer in a bottle, I'd do it this way, with basil flower vinegar from The Yellow House.

The Forest Feast blog just turned 2 years old and I feel so lucky that I get to work on Erin's stunning cookbook with her. You guys are going to go crazy for this book.

As the weather turns colder, I turn to stews and soups and my fingers are itching to try out this moroccan-style vegetable chickpea stew from the talented Laura at The First Mess.

hard to define

I love when a site deviates from usual topics to address interesting issues. This one on Design Sponge about the place of a book cover in this world of anonymous e-readers was really fascinating.

Leandra at Man Repeller never fails to make me laugh. Her recent exploration of bra vs. no bra was no exception.

Cabo love

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

We landed in Cabo on a cloudy but sunny day. As we walked down the long airport hallway (skipping the moving walkways - am I the only one slightly freaked out by them?), I looked out the window and noticed that the tips of the blue mountains were disappearing into the clouds. It's not the type of airport view I was used to.

As we drove from the airport to the resort, I was too bleary eyed to take photographs. We were barely 8 hours away from the children, and I wasn't feeling the amazing effects of a full night's sleep just yet. But, when we walked into our Cabo house and saw the view from the balcony? Well, suddenly four years of fragmented sleep fell away and I wanted to stay awake forever and look at this:

Even better than the cloudless sunny days, were the spectacular sunsets. Sunsets that lit the entire sky and ocean on fire and left me gaping at the beauty.

We did leave the house periodically to get food or exercise. But for the most part we insulated ourselves in a little haven of sleep and swimming, pausing now and again to exclaim at the two turkey vultures who spent their days soaring past our balcony, buffeted by the wind between the mountains.  It was a life without alarm clocks and schedules, and it suited us perfectly. We'll be back there again some day, I hope. I'm going to have to come back to this post in the dead of winter to remember what the sun felt like.

Oh, Cabo, I miss you already.

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