Monday, November 26, 2007

Mail order deliciousness

There's nothing like coming home on a dark wintry night and finding a Christmas package on your doorstop. I used to love when my parents received the Harry and David's towers from colleagues. I got to go through one box at a time, discovering a new little treat with each package.

This year, I'm thinking of sending something a little more gourmet. And thanks to Cooks Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, I've gotten some great recommendations!

Baked Shop (NYC) Try Baked Shop's brownies!

Butters Brownies How about the Date Box ($77), which includes 1 dozen assorted brownies, a vial of rose oil, tank and panty set and more. Oh la la!

More yummy finds for holiday surprises will be posted soon!

Christmas Wish List #5

I found the most incredible thing tonight while killing time at Barnes and Noble. This is perfect for anyone who doesn't have time or space for a tree. It is SO cute - and afordable! (Just $14.95)

Christmas Wish List #4

I am in love with these prints and I'm bookmarking them for the day when I need to decorate a nursery. I think they'd make a perfect gift for an expectant mother. They run about $15/piece, and the entire alphabet is $345. Courtesy of StrawberryLuna.

Christmas Wish List #3

Another book! This one would be great for the men in your family. I'm thinking of picking it up for my trivia buff. This tome of the trivial throws plenty of common conventions under the bus — such as the fact that camels store fat, not water, in their humps.

The book isn't available from Amazon, but try eCampus, and you might have luck!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Random post of thanksgiving

I am grateful for many things this year, not least of which is that we make it (to my parent's) home - despite hours of traffic - in one piece! I hope that everyone traveling today did so safely and without incident.

I love coming home and reminiscing, looking at old (classic!) pictures, and laughing and enjoying life with my husband and my family.

I am thankful for my husband. He's such a cutie (and he's my best friend).

I am also very thankful for the following:

Champagne - sometimes I wonder if I could survive without it :) Hmm, that sounds bad.

My best friends. It is amazing to have friends that have simply become your family. I hope that all of you are as blessed with wonderful, loving friends.

And, I'm also grateful for the many FABULOUS blogs that I read on a daily basis (on the left), in addition to my new finds:

Brown Sugar Design

Lily and Tulip

The Scoop - by Orange Beautiful

Maple Sugar

Oprah's Favorite Things...

Is it alright if I steal a few of my favorites from Oprah's list!?

I would like the Dell Inspiron 1420 please!

And these fabulous slouchy UGG boots, in black.

Oh, what the hell, I'll take this too! (Approximate value: $3,799)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


So, I know it looks awful, but I'm so excited to work on the layout tonight. Keep staying tuned! I promise creative results!

In the meantime, a photo from my weekend in NYC (more to come). We enjoyed an amazing - and fattening - morning at Payard on favorite place to start a weekend in the city. I took a picture of the croquembouche (my dream wedding cake) in the window. My camera doesn't due it justice (because of the window and reflections), but it was beautiful!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Thank you, in advance, for your patience. I'm trying, once again, to maximize the design and make this blog truly appealing. So many blogger-ettes serve as inspiration to me, and I am constantly feeling the urge to push the envelope, reinvent and revolutionize ... unfortunately, my technical skills are lacking, and it's actually quite funny. I'm tweaking to make improvements. Stay tuned...

Merci Beaucoup

Wahoo! Just three months after our wedding, I am thrilled to announce that every single one of my thank you cards is done and in the mail! I used InDesign to design the "Thank You" card, converted it to a PDF, uploaded to VisaPrint and voila! 50 cards later and like $40, I was ready to start writing.

If you're currently struggling through making every card unique (as I was oh so recently), be sure to check out the latest post on Style Me Pretty!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Adding to the list!

Christmas Wish List #2 (in no particular order)

Choice Cuts

"Food is about agriculture, about ecology, about man's relationship with nature ... about nation-building, cultural struggles, friends and enemies ... and at times, even about sex." Thus Mark Kurlansky, author of the award-winning Cod and Salt, introduces Choice Cuts, his anthology of food writing throughout history. Kurlansky has cast his net very wide and presents a legion of food writers on every possible culinary subject.

The usual suspects are here, sometimes in triplicate: Brilliat Savarin on gourmets, female food-love, and how to gain weight; M.F.K. Fisher on bachelor cooking, the dislike of cabbage, and dinner at France's famed Monsieur Paul's in the 1940s; Elizabeth David on the folly of the garlic press, the glories of toast, and English pizza. But Kurlansky's trail starts much earlier with Plato on cooking (food as a branch of medicine, a notion shared by many modern advertisers), Heroditus on Egyptian dining, and, resoundingly, Mencius, a student of Confucius who, in the third century B.C., implored Chinese leaders to observe saner food and environmental policies.

There is a great deal to digest here, but readers can take small bites at their leisure. Enjoyed in this way, the book provides an endlessly fascinating glimpse of humankind's second--or is it the first?--greatest pleasure. --Arthur Boehm --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Making my list... checking it twice

Christmas Wish List #1 (in no particular order!)

I love this "Critter" bracelet that is on sale ($79.99) at JCrew. This is the first item I'm putting on my list, which I'm quickly discovering will be a long one this year. I'm feeling a little needy/greedy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another great Philly wedding

Courtesy of Laura Novak. Isn't this wedding amazing? The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (and in this instance the Perelman Theater) is the perfect background for a dramatic fall wedding.

Funky wraps

In addition to great stationary, Seltzer Goods also has awesome wrapping paper. I'd love to open a gift wrapped in a sheet of any of the following. Good prices and fun eclectic designs!

Cool thing of the day

We HAVE to get one of these for bedroom! I know it's not related to the normal tedium that I post about (he he) but would this be a great Christmas present for ... ME!?

Paper Stories

If I could do anything today it would be own a business like Paper Stories! Paper Stories & P.S. Press is a letterpress & design studio based in the Chicagoland area. Using vintage presses and modern technology, they are able to create anything they can dream up: From baby announcements and wedding invitations to stationery and even rock posters!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Craft time!

Here are a few of my favorite things from Martha's Christmas Craft line:

Cookie Envelopes ($6.99/8 ct)

Dessert Boxes ($14.99/6 ct)
Paper Ornament Kit ($14.99/makes 20)

Why didn't I wear this?

Vera is a god(dess)! This reminds me of filo dough. {Courtesy of}

Decorating with Black and White

Since my husband won't support my addiction to damask (the black and white variety), I'm trying to think of other ways to satisfy the urge to black and white. I was looking at Better Homes and Gardens today, and fell in love with a few of their ideas! See above and below. Fab, right? (oooohhhhh toile!)

Darcy Miller shout out

Not for me, but for my favorite green chocolate company, John and Kira's, that I've previously posted about. Check it out: Darcy included a shot of the fabulous lady bugs!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My favorite time of year

Did you all get your new Pottery Barn catalog? I'm so thrilled with their seasonal products this year. Just flipping through on the train home today gave me a TON of ideas for how to decorate our new house!

Work is Hell

Today I am thinking of the Matt Groening's (of Simpson's fame) cartoon "Work is Hell". I don't think I really need to explain this one, but it is my excuse for being a little MIA lately. You know it's a bad day when I don't even have time to browse through my favorite daily reads. Oh, sad, sad day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Holiday Ornament Swap!

I am thrilled to post about this year's holiday ornament swap, courtesy of Nicole of Freshly Blended and Kathleen of Cake & Pie. The deadline to sign up is November 9, so hurry, hurry! I can't wait to start crafting and to receive my first ornament this year, as well!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Martha, Martha, Martha

I love her. That's no secret. My friends and coworkers call me Martha. The first book I ever remember getting was her very first cookbook. I was in grade school. I grew up with chows as pets and was thrilled the first time I saw a photo of Paw Paw, Martha's golden chow. I have a framed picture of her on my desk at work (my mother sent it to me as a surprise one day). Clearly, I'm not exagerrating my affections for the domestic goddess.

So, imagine my *delight* (understatement) when I was doing my daily read of Liene's Blue Orchid and found the link to Martha's actual blog! A million exclamation points might give you some idea of what I was feeling, but probably not fully.

Here is Martha with David Rockefeller:

And here she is with her daughter Alexis, who I just think looks stunning in this photo:

And I just love seeing Martha's actual photographs from trips all over the world. LOOK, it's paw paw!

I feel like I've looked directly into her world, and I love it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I can't get away from Damask

I don't know about you, but I like knowing the origins of all the things I'm obsessed with. And so I took it upon myself to find out all about Damask, because I just can't seem to get away from it right now.

According to Wikipedia: Damask (Arabic: دمسق) is a figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. Made with one warp and one weft in which, generally, warp-satin and weft sateen weaves interchange. Twill or other binding weaves may sometimes be introduced. The term originally referred to ornamental silk fabrics, which were elaborately woven in colours, sometimes with the addition of gold and other metallic threads. Damask was first produced in China, India, Persia, and Syria, then the Byzantine Empire followed. In the West, it was first known as diaspron or diaper, the term used in Constantinople. In the 12th century however, the city of Damascus, famous for its textiles, so far outstripped all other places for beauty of design that it gave the cloth its modern name.

Fascinating, isn't it?

So, with all that said, here are a few of my favorite damask products:

Paper products from PlatesandNapkins.comCoin purses from Etsy

And fabric from Wharehouse Fabrics Inc

And a few of the fabulous blogger-ettes who've posted about this pattern lately: