I woke up this morning in a great mood, which made me realize I’ve been in a bad mood recently. Anyway, I caught up on a tiny percentile of my blog reading and saw this awesome nook and garland on The Purl Bee. I love those garlands and they look really really easy to make. Also, we went to Ikea over the weekend and bought those chairs in red… pictures to follow eventually.
I’m longing for a nap right about now. It almost goes without saying, but hosting Christmas in NYC when you have a six month old baby = exhausting. However, traveling with said child would have been murder, so, I think we came out ahead.
Due to a lost baggage nightmare, the stockings my mother had made for our Christmas went to Washington-Buffalo-Philadelphia-Tampa before finally landing in Laguadia, at midnight on Christmas. This necessitated some quick sewing on my part; using some Josef Frank fabric ($5 at a Brunschwig and Fils sample sale) I had squirreled away in my fabric stash. I used this great (free! printable!) pattern from The Purl Bee. I really like how festive and modern they look. Hope everyone is staying warm and dry.
My mom is in town, and we’ve been pounding the pavement doing last minute Christmas shopping in freezing temperatures. My father flies in tomorrow and my sister, who lives in NYC, is planning on sleeping over at our house so we can all wake up together on Christmas, just like when we were kids.
Here’s a peek of our Christmas card this year. Tim designed it and was inspired by this great post.
In any case, to all my readers, no matter what you celebrate, no matter where you are, I wish you love, laughter and good friends.
We had a little tree trimming party on Sunday, one of the highlights of which was my new obsession: La Tur cheese. Joanna and Alex brought it over on Friday night and its safe to say my life hasn’t been the same since. I’ve eaten it five days in a row (thanks Whole Foods) and I hate to say it but there is half a wheel in the fridge as I type this. It is a combination of goat, cow and sheep’s milk that melts in your mouth and makes you happy, thin and rich.
“Three milks, and two textures, that merge into one cheese’s best approximations of ice cream. A thin, edible skin barely contains a hair’s breadth of drippy tang, and then: deep, tongue-skimming, milk cloud, full and moist, with a liberal salting that makes you wish they left the sugar out of gelato entirely. A mild and delightful cheese”
La Tur, La Tur, I like to say it, type it, and most of all, I like to eat it. I spent part of Monday thinking about the social acceptability of naming any second child La Tur. (No, but, I would like to). At the tree trimming party we also served mulled cider, a selection of cheese to act as back up singers to the La Tur, an array of cured meats, homemade cookies (Russian tea cakes and chocolate chip), lots of oranges and as the night wore on, some piping hot quiche. (And, it was a treat to watch Leon and Alex roll around like puppies in the nursery). Here’s a gratuitous shot of our now trimmed tree:
Orange is going to my color in 2010. I really want this and this as a start. I’ve been rocking red (see: glasses, clogs, computer cases) for a decade and just feel the winds of change blowing. Proof point: instead of red amaryllis, this year I busted out kumquat and oranges arrangements for our tree trimming party this past weekend. See my inspiration, above, from Martha Stewart Living a few years back and my own arrangement below. The arrangement cost about $25 — I bought the kumquats at my local deli for $20 (and yes, one of the joys of NYC is being able to buy kumquats at your local deli), and the apothecary jars were $10 each at TJ Maxx. If you don’t have a TJMaxx handy you can buy these apothecary jars for $27 each. I snipped some pine off my tree to use as greenery (the Martha folks used eucalyptus) and like how it looks.
I love glittered reindeer, but at $17 dollars each, they fall into the category of Christmas decorations I somehow never get around to actually buying. Thanks to a genius tip from my neighbor Stephanie, I bought two toy reindeer at Michaels ($4) and with some Aleen’s Tacky Glue ($1.59) + a small sponge brush (.59 cents) + some Martha Stewart silver glitter ($5) + some dried moss, I created a mini winter wonderland in under 10 minutes. The display case is vintage and a total ebay folly — I got into a bidding war last year and spent much more than I had planned ($70 bucks!). I’m glad to finally have found a use for it. Anyway, I use the search term “antique glass front box” and you can find similar ones here. I particularly like this one (currently $62).
This is what I saw out my window this morning as I was nursing Alex and feeling frustrated by my day, which was full of deadlines (and wouldn’t you know our babysitter called in sick). It’s a shopping bag in someone’s window with a sweet graphic that says LOVE. A nice reminder that love can be found in the most surprising places, even on a gray cold hectic NYC day.
Found these today while working on my thesis. I love the plaid ribbon on the women in the white dress above. Very au courant, don’t you think? I like to think that these women would have been bloggers if they’d be alive today.
Up top is James Tissot,Young Women Looking at Japanese Objects (1866). Below is Monet’s Portrait of Madame Monet (1876).
Let me just say that I love our Flip video camera. It is a must have for new parents. We were able to capture Alex learning to crawl and then share it with grandparents who live far away. Amazing. It is tiny, easy to use, and the quality of the HD edition is great.
November is a hard slog for me with the eternal darkness and damp weather. December, on the other had, I look forward to all year. The parties and lights, the food and gifts, the being-together-ness. I want to make some special ornaments this year to commemorate Alex’s first Christmas. Stephanie made these beautiful salt dough ornaments and has a nice how-to posted. I think these will be just the thing for our tree this year.
Thanksgiving crept up on me this year. This week! Holy holy. Alex is going to eat his first solid foods this week — steamed sweet potato. One of the things I love most about the day is the pies. I love the lattice work crust on the blueberry pie above. In New York, I love the Little Pie Company. Farther afield, the Texas based Tootie Pie Co. will ship frozen pies anywhere in the country and they look amazing.
I hope to have a library like this someday; rumpled and packed with knowledge and evidence of a life well lived. Jacques Derrida’s library photographed by Andrew Bush, found via I’m Revolting. Oh, and I love the little fold down desk.
The internet is my best friend when I’m procrastinating. Look what it just served up? This awesome over-sized chalkboard paint calendar. I’m not crazy about chalkboard paint usually — it always looks so nice in magazine homes and when I see it in friends homes it just looks messy (and no one I know has magazine stylist handwriting either). However, this gives me new inspiration. From Tea for Joy, foundvia You Are My Fave Jr.
A house is more than just a shelter from the storm. How we shape our homes, and how we behave within them, speak volumes about our history, our values and our way of life. - New York Times, Living Rooms Column
Living is the greatest art of all. - Alfred Stieglitz