Thanksgiving Recap

Minus P's THIRD ear infection and some teething crankiness, this Thanksgiving was absolutely, positively, wonderfully wonderful. There are few things better than escaping to Vermont for day after day of eating good food, napping and spending time with loved ones.

As evidenced by the last photo, we all came home exhausted. This week is dedicated to knocking things off a VERY long to-do list, getting over aforementioned ear infections and decorating for Christmas. Woo-hoo!!!

I will also be redesigning the blog...stay tuned and thanks for reading!


The Gift of Dinner

I made a huge batch of spaghetti and meatballs (not to blow my own horn, but I made it from scratch (pretty impressive for a novice like me)) and decided to gift a bunch of jars. It's hard to consistently cook homemade meals this time of year since most free time is spent getting ready for the holidays. A few of these suckers in the freezer make meals easy and looks nice as a way to say 'Thanks!' or 'I'm thinking of you.'

All it takes is a mason jar, some twine, stickers and a meal. Sometimes I cut a circle of fabric and tie that over the lid for a festive touch. I also usually tie a tiny bag of fresh parm with basil to the lid. This portion usually feeds one person. Try it with beef stroganoff, layered broiled veggies, mashed potatoes, etc.

Rainbow Colors

I tend to gravitate toward bright colors during the winter months but always have a hard time determining what shades actually looks good on me. I LOVE bright yellow but it tends to make me look like I have jaundice. I ADORE a deep red (especially in jackets) but it somehow accentuates the circles under my eyes and draws attention to my ever-growing roots. Eggplant always draws my attention but the effect gives me the complexion of a vampire.

After 30-odd years of experimenting, I've finally come to the conclusion that blues, pinks and deep greens are my colors. As for the rest, I can adoringly watch from afar or buy as presents...sigh.


A Quiet Place

IF we ever have the time/money/resources/guts to build on a new kitchen, we'd like to renovate the old kitchen into a library. I daydream about P going there after school to do her homework or curl up on a rainy day to read a Jane Austen novel...

(Photo credits courtesy of Apartment Therapy, Vignette Design, House Beautiful and BHG)

On a completely unrelated note, I love reading one of my favorite blogs every Monday when the author lists things that are on her mind that morning. I tried doing the same thing, but from right before I fall asleep. The idea sounds easy, but it's actually really difficult to allow a stream of consciousness while remembering what you thought to write it down later.

Here goes...
  • Christmas cards - picture or no picture?
  • I need highlights...and a cut...make that FULL highlights.
  • Should I just chop it off? I hate when I have short hair. I wish I had hair like Kyle on RHBH.
  • I hope P has hazel eyes. I think she'll have brown though. It doesn't really matter.
  • When do babies have to start brushing their teeth?
  • When do kids lose all their baby teeth? I wonder if we'll do the Tooth Fairy. Why WOULDN'T we do the tooth fairy?
  • G and I need to go to the dentist. I bet I have a ton of cavities. What was that movie about the dentist who was really depressed and tried to kill himself? Wasn't Robin Williams in it? What WAS that movie???
  • I kind of want to see the new Jake Gyllanhaal movie. But, I don't really like Anne Hathaway. I bet it's a renter. I'll watch it with girlfiriends. I need to call all my girlfriends...
And that's just about the way it went for, oh, about an hour. Sleepy Time tea might have to appear in my nighttime schedule once again.


Tummy Time

P is quickly learning all sorts of new 'tricks', the latest of which is figuring out all her body parts. She quickly nailed her head, feet and hands but took a while pinpointing exactly where her tummy was (and she still refuses to point to her own nose, but wipes it if you ask her to. I'm biased of course, but it's TOO CUTE!).

In an effort to warm all household tummies, I tried making a beef stew for the very first time. One of my least favorite tasks when cooking is chopping vegetables, so I was bummed about the FIVE POUNDS of chopped veggies that were required (slight exaggeration...slight) but the overall effect was quite tasty. I also smashed some potatoes (boil potatoes, then 'smash' not 'mash', with butter, sea salt, ground pepper, parsley and a teensy bit of cream) and warmed up some french bread for a yummy in our tummy meal.

Recipe found here. This takes a looooooooong time to cook, plan wisely!


Tweed, Please

A preppy staple since Coco Chanel introduced it in the 1950s, the tweed jacket is popping up all over the place. I am currently picturing myself in a cropped version, a silky sleeveless top, dark skinny jeans and my new leather flats...

A few top choices:
Top to bottom: MINKPINK, GAP, Milly, Malene Birger, Plastic Island, Frenchi


New Beginnings

A lot is changing around our neck of the woods and I have been obnoxiously saying, 'when one door closes, another opens', several times every day. One of the more minor changes has been in our dining room. I finally finished decorating and just have some wall painting left to do.

Oye. What a mess! We had just moved in (you can see the original drapes on the windows to the left).
I wanted to inject some color into an otherwise bland room. Note: I had just taken down the drapes that came with the house, which is why the windows are so naked and the sideboard is weirdly positioned in the middle of the room.

The light fixture had to stay for now, but threw off a horrible light and didn't fit our aesthetic at all. I also wanted to play up the simple mantle and beautiful windows.
The built-in is great, but was being underutilized and the color didn't fit the house.

I made curtains, rods and replaced the awful ceramic light shades from the chandelier and replaced with fabric shades.
I painted the mantel, cleaned up the fireplace and hung a refurbished mirror and some art.
The only splurge was on the rug - $149 at HomeGoods! I'll paint the lower half of the walls the same color as the built-in and mantel (Solar Fusion by Behr).
The sideboard now has a few sentimental pictures, a DIY lamp and seasonal flower arrangements.
I got REALLY cheap curtains from a second-hand store and died them with bright yellow RIT to give them more UMPH! The panels behind the curtains are made from a tablecloth. The rods are faux birch branches from Michaels.
Close-up of the mantel.
I painted the built-in with strips of color and arranged our glassware with some decorative pieces, cookbooks and pictures.
Close-up of built-in. I like to scatter photos with random finds, books and wedding gifts.
I framed some vintage postcards I found at a thrift store.
I made curtain panels out of the left-over curtains and tablecloth.
We didn't want to refurbish this chandelier right away...we'll probably replace it with something a bit more unique down the road. The fabric shades and smaller light bulbs make a huge difference.
I covered all light fixture plates with printed paper.


New Favorite Things

Buika (reminds me of our honeymoon):

MiH Jeans ('The Marrakesh' is on my list to Santa):

Photo courtesy of Just Luxe.

By Boe: Don't you just want EVERYTHING? Great pieces for layering:

The clog boot - GENIUS - at Madewell:

Terrariums to fight the grayness outside:
Photo courtesy of Katie Elliott.
Photo courtesy of Rio McThorne.
Photo courtesy of Curbly.

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