Tuesday, January 31, 2012

every shade of blue I see

I find it a bit ironic how even in the depths of winter, the spring clothing lines hit the stores and make me itchy for warm afternoons, and outdoor dinning. I have been trying not to rush to buy too many new things, but I couldn't resist this striped top from Banana Republic. The length is perfect for leggings or skinny jeans, and it's light and airy - which means it will be a great spring layer.  For now it can be worn with a long sweater and boots, which will allow for this to transition nicely between seasons. I love the detail of the old fashioned sweatshirt triangle at the neckline- reminds me of some of my most comfortable tops through out the years.

Monday, January 30, 2012

a sprinkling of leaves

This dainty cuff from anthropologie is on my current wish list (is it too early to make a list for Santa, or can you ask the Easter Bunny since Santa is clearly on vacation this time of year?).  The details of the leaves and thrones is gorgeous, looking like vines you'd see winding up the sides of an old English home.

Friday, January 27, 2012

goin' places that I've never been

This little sign should be on everyone's mottoes for 2012.  Hopefully, there are many adventures to be had this year in new place to explore.  Traveling is one of my most favorite things to do, and though it is fun to go to places you've been before, it is great to see something you've only explored in books or online. If I could go anywhere in the next year, I would have Paris on the top of the list, followed by Vancouver, and then Costa Rica. What's on your list of places to visit?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

lay off of my blue suede shoes

Elvis has nothing on me now, at least not in the shoe department. I ended up in H&M the other night, wandering around looking for nothing particular when I spotted these amazing blue shoes. I wish I could wear heels without lots of pain, or be one of those girls I see power walking in sillettos (bless you ladies), but I wouldn't be able to walk after 30 minutes for at least three days. Thank goodness for fun flats like these beauties- I can't wait to pair them with jeans and a white top and some bold jewelry. I am also looking forward to drier sidewalks to really get to wear these shoes all around town.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

bicycle spaniard - my poor restless soul

These are super cute magnets, which would be a great addition to anyone's refrigerator or at a desk at work. I love the richness of the colors and the whimsical bicycle designs. It's a little ironic that I was so drawn to anything involving biking, since I am a terrible bike rider, but these are just really fun. I think it would be really nice to have some grown up magnets to hang things on your fridge, or just add a bit of decoration to a virtual blank canvas.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

little one when you play

How cute are these little hats? I've been searching for some gifts for friends who recently had babies, and I stumbled upon these great knit hats from The Gap. The bear, the giraffe, and the elephant are all so darling, that I want to get them all. I think every baby is even more precious when wearing animal ears, and moms could pretend to have their own little zoo babies. I love the details with the button eyes, giving these beanies a homemade feel - definitely something a grandmother would make for a favorite grandchild.

Monday, January 23, 2012

barbecues tailgates fairs and festivals

Everyone needs a signature go to party food - you know the one other people are excited when you say, should I bring this? I started making seven layer dip ages ago, but it seems to be one that everyone still enjoys time and time again. I've modified the dip slightly to make it my own, using ground turkey instead of ground beef, and plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Makes a delicious dip even more tasty, and slightly more healthy then the regular recipe.

Friday, January 20, 2012

strawberry wine

With names like whoppin watermelon, chunky cherry and super strawberry these little lip balms are appropriately named chubby sticks. One of the reason I wanted to try out this lip color is because it looks like a giant colored pencil or crayon, and I really do love odd looking chapstick containers. My lips definitely feel hydrated when wearing the color, and it doesn't wear off quickly. This is a great product for keep lips moisturized during those dry harsh winter months.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

rock it out for reading

Reading is one of my favorite things to do, I really can't quite understand people who don't like to read.  If I don't have at least a couple books in the pile to read I get a bit antsy.  I thought it might be fun to occasionally share with you all some of my recent reads, just in case your looking for a good recommendation.

1) Maine- by J. Courtney Sullivan. This appealed to me at first mainly due to the title- I love the thought of Maine in the summertime.  Three generations of women in a family come together to spend a summer at the family beach house in Maine - each with some secrets.  A great tale with some interesting historical contexts such as the Coconut Grove nightclub fire, how family life has evolved in the last 50 years, and how families truly come together even when they might not like each other.

2) Think Twice- Lisa Scottoline. Purposely picked because Amazon was giving it away and I needed to get to the $25 point for free shipping on my purchase (hey, we've all done that). Interestingly, it involved identical twin women (those who know me in the real world think hard about that), where one of them tries to kill the other and take over her life. Definitely makes you think about family bonds, and how nature and nurture play a role in who we are. This was a quick paced read, with nice short chapters to keep it moving, as well as engaging you in the thrill of what the final outcome would be.

3) The Girl From Junchow- Kate Furnivall.  A historical fiction book based in Russia in 1929. A great mix of adventure and love story, as a girl goes in search of her father believed to have been killed by the Bolsheviks. I enjoyed the landscape of a communist Russia, and how it played into the story, but didn't dominate the book. Some interesting twists through out the book to keep one engaged, and how people are willing to risk so much for the ones they love.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

a lone star state of mind

I am getting really excited for my trip to Austin, Texas slated for mid-February. I am due for a really nice break away from work, and I am really looking forward to exploring a new place with some of my friends. I am traveling with a group of friends I've never gone away with before so that's always fun to see how everyone will mesh for 4 days when we don't all get to home at the end of each night.  The swimmer in me really wants to go to the Barton Springs Pool - which just looks amazing - I love that it's lake and just seems like a great way to spend the afternoon. It might be a bit too cold though in February for everyone to want to go in so I might really have to plead my case on this one. Also on the agenda is a trip to the Salt Lick -  for some good old fashioned barbecue Texas style - or what one might be able to call, eat meat until you can't eat it any more.  Hopefully, some country line dancing can be tackled as well as enjoying some of that great country music. For now, I'll have to keep counting down the days until we are in Texas.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

the sky is a hazy shade of winter

I am a New England girl through and through, and even flurries bring me back to the years were it would snow all winter long - even as late as April some years. Now it seems like if it snows its gone so fast that I barely have time to get tired of it. This photo of the snowy tree was taken while it was just flurrying on a Saturday afternoon. All I can think of what a great excuse a blizzard makes for staying in making hot cocoa (peppermint schnapps optional) and reading some new books.

Monday, January 16, 2012

it starts to glitter

One of my very good friends (and someone who clearly has been reading  my blog regularly), gave me this lovely bouquet of roses that were dipped in silver glitter. The flowers are absolutely gorgeous and have held up quite nicely for a full week on being in my apartment - not even slightly starting to fade. I love fresh flowers and I really appreciate the personal touch of the glitter.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I want a ticket to go anywhere

Traveling is a must do for me - I honestly get a bit nervous when I don't have a plane ticket booked in the future. I had seen this book- The New York Times- 36 Hours - 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada around a few places, and I was completely intrigued by long weekend itineraries. Eventually, I just had to buy the book so I could start thinking about some weekend getaways. Getting to see places across the country, and being lead to the must see places seems like a great way to be introduced to many more cities (not sure if they can compare to New York or Boston). Armed with this book, and the weekly emails about deals for air travel, I think I am going to try to make a good dent in seeing more of the country when most of my time has been spent only on the east coast.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

hearts on fire

These are gorgeous and rustic candle holders that remind of the birch trees near my childhood home.  They  would make a lovely center piece or just great to light up a non-working fire place. The candle holders create a warmness and softness, and definitely would be a beautiful accent in many a home.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

one step at a time

I love fresh veggie omelets- however I never seem to have the time to chop up the all the vegetables when I want to make them at home. Why is is so much easier to go out for brunch? Since time seems to be in more abundance over the weekends, so I made a medley of zucchini, onions and asparagus to make some single servings to freeze for later use. This way when I am mood to make eggs, I just have to add cheese for a perfect omelet.

Monday, January 9, 2012

all you need is love

I had one of the best birthdays yet, I definitely feel very loved and appreciated by so many people in my life. I wanted to share some of the photo highlights from what was an amazing week.  A gorgeous arrangement of flowers from some very close friends who live far away - I love the yellow roses and the cranberry accents. A gluten free cup cake from The Little Cakes - which was a great surprise orchestrated by my manager and coworkers - I am pretty certain I looked like a deer in headlights when I was asked to join them in the conference room when these showed up at the office.  Lastly, one of my favorite desserts - creme brulee during a celebratory dinner with friends. This is definitely one of those years that I will always think of with great memories.

Friday, January 6, 2012

and coffee the drink of the gods

I love cappuccinos - I perfected my love for after dinner coffee when traveling in Italy a few years ago with some friends. After each delicious meal, we would linger at the table with frothy drinks chatting well into the evening. Not too long ago, I happened to order a cappuccino at a new place and received the drink in the most beautiful presentation - a daiquiri glass, looking like a layered trifle styled dessert. My love of coffee and style were both renewed with one little happy cocktail glass.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I pray it never fades in white

Hat: Banana Republic, Mittens: Isotoner, Scarf:  Echo
I recently bought a new winter coat in a beautiful chocolate brown, during all the great after Christmas sales. Naturally some winter accessories are needed to stay warm and look fashionable. I love cream colors, particularly when paired with with the rich dark brown color of my coat. I've had the hat for several years now, I love the bucket hat and ever since my college days in Vermont, I don't avoid hats or fear hat head any more. I hate being cold and the hat does wonders for that. I did also pick up an infinity scarf, which is absolutely amazing at keeping me warm - big fan of the double loop. I also found some adorable cable knit mittens with leather palms, meaning that when traveling on the subway I don't have to worry about getting the mittens dirty. Hopefully winter isn't too long this year, but at least I am prepared to stay toasty warm for now.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

you say it's your birthday - we're going to have a good time

That's me- the cute little swaddled baby in my cousin's arms, while my sister looks on like the adoring mother. I love this photo taken a few days after I was born because it looks like the perfectly little family photo with kids playing adult roles. 30 years ago I graced this world with my presence, during a snow storm none the less.  I was born on my parents' wedding anniversary, and the story is that in the morning my father asked my mother to make him breakfast, where she told him that they were going to go to the hospital instead. I am certainly glad my arrival allowed for the eggs benedict to be skipped.  A lot has happened in the first 30 years of my life, I can only hope to 30 more eventful years filled with joy and laughter, fun and friends, and memories to last a lifetime.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

strange spaghetti in this solemn city...

When I was really little my absolute favorite food was pasta - my mother spent many a lunch time reheating leftovers for me because I didn't really like sandwiches. I am pretty sure she feared that she was going to have to bring me lunch everyday when I did go off to school. Luckily, my tastes did evolve a bit overtime and I was able to go the normal lunch route when I finally went off to first grade. I still enjoy a good pasta dish, and finally decided it was time to tackle making my own Bolognese sauce from scratch. I used this recipe from Real Simple, to make a delicious homemade tomato sauce in my slow cooker (which definitely needs more use). It was quite tasty and I put the extra portions in the freezer for another meal.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tonight's another chance to start again

Bikes in Munich from a European adventure in 2009
Every year I try to come up with a list of obtainable resolutions - none of that will go to the gym every day. I just don't see the point of setting one's self up to fail - there can always be some lofty resolutions, but there has to be a path to get there. I decided to have five clear objectives in 2012.

1) Cook more - I was doing so well at different points of the past year trying to bake or create something in the kitchen, to varying degrees of success.  2012 is the year I will make time to spend in the kitchen learning how to make new things, and perfecting some old reliables.

2) Make a strong run at elite status on my airline miles this year.  This pretty much sums up to travel often this year, and so far I've got two trips planned for February alone, and few trips pending for late March and mid April. If I get some work trips in as well - back to London, this may be within reach.

3) Do more DIY projects. It's so easy just to buy new accessories for home or for fashion, that sometimes I forget how fun it is to make things by hand. I also forget how frustrating some DIY projects can be, but it definitely is fun to try new things.

4) Explore more of New York City. I spend almost every day in the city, yet I don't know many areas, nor have I spent nearly enough time exploring so many places.

5) Vacuum once a week. I hate cleaning the floors, it's time to embrace that they will not clean themselves and I am not likely to score a roomba anytime soon.