Small reverence

Sunday, December 30, 2012

So in-between all the presents and tree decorating, the stockings and the eggnog drinking, there was something else, a desire to reflect on what had passed and what was to come, a feeling of reverence for the small silences in our days.

I'll be back with my very own favorites of 2012 before the end of the year.

Quiet reflection

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day. We're still getting over some illnesses in this household so it was one of the quietest holidays on record. Our trips to the outside world were small and essential; a run in Central Park (where I snapped the shot above), a pop down to a shop for milk or a quick walk for the dog. Just a few posts out there today:


Nothing makes me feel warmer than hot chocolate, so I'm planning on making this version shared on Mint today by The FauxMartha.

I kind of wish I'd seen this Christmas day brunch post from Two Peas and Their Pod, oh, about 12 hours ago. Saving it for next year.


The Design Sponge team has closed up shop for the rest of the year, so while you're waiting, enjoy this roundup of their best posts from 2012. 

Interior design

Apartment Therapy has posted many many beautiful bedrooms in 2012, and here are the best.

I'm sure I'll be back here before the new year. I love you too much to stay away.

Happy Winter Solstice

Friday, December 21, 2012

I love that all of my December shots of Central Park are moody and dark. It's just like the setting for the newest version of Wuthering Heights from Masterpiece Classic, have you guys seen that mini-series yet? Wow, just wow. It's violent and stormy ... and totally awesome.

On an only slightly less educated note, I'm also starting to get excited for the next Bachelor season previewed on the Ashley and J.P. wedding special which aired last Sunday. I. Cannot. Wait.

Interior design:

I've been dreaming about pretty home offices lately. This inspiring round up and tips from I Heart Organizing's Jen Jones was posted on BHG Style Spotters today.

Ooooh, take a look at this divine London home that Habitually Chic featured. It has been dubbed Hogwarts because the director of the Harry Potter films lives there with his interior designer wife.

You know you want pretty pillows for your home. Enter Sydney's giveaway to win $150 to spend at Caitlin Wilson Textiles. I'd go for this mint fleur chinoise pillow or this chevron one.

I'm loving this home of a Dutch interior designer found by Si at French by Design and posted on SF Girl By Bay. The muted colors are such a welcome rest for the eyes and I could imagine myself curling up with a good book and feeling comforted and warm in the darkened rooms.


Winter calls for soup, and this creamy sundried tomato soup from Love & Lemons looks like just the thing.

Last minute dessert idea for Christmas (or that homemade gift you've always wanted to give): these bourbon balls from Jennifer Martine on Design Sponge today.


Creature Comforts ranks as one of my favorite blogs of 2012 (and indeed, a favorite since I began blog reading years ago). Ez has a rad way of blending fashion and home decor and covering the hottest trends out there. She's put together a list of her most popular posts of 2012 and it was fun to relive them.

Win a beautiful piece of wishbone-shaped jewelry from The Londoner. It's her way of saying thanks for being a reader. How sweet is that?

It's the Winter Solstice tonight AND we're all still here (so take that, Mayans). I'll be celebrating both events (well, one was a non-event) this weekend.

Post macaron haze

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Would you trust a woman who had 6 macarons for lunch? I was just too lazy/crazed to get up from my desk today and, well, that happened. Here are the links I found out in the interwebs today. They're good, trust me. I'm the lady who eats dessert for lunch and what's not to like about that?


At Christmastime my mom makes a plum pudding which she then lights on fire and we all oooh and ahhh every single time. It feels special every year because that little blue flame dancing across the pudding signals the start of the holiday for us. All this to say, I'd like to continue that tradition now that I'm all grown up and have my own home. But, as daughters will do, I'd like to tweak the recipe a little, so I was thinking of making this sugar plum pudding from Eva at Adventures in Cooking.

Perhaps I'll wash it down with this pretty prickly pear fizz from the lovely ladies at Spoon Fork Bacon. While you're over there getting the recipe, make sure you enter the giveaway for some Eat Boutique flavored syrups.

I love words like "dark" and "stormy". I especially love when they are combined into a bread recipe with a lime glaze! I'm adding this dark and stormy quick bread with lime glaze from Adrianna at A Cozy Kitchen to the "must-make" list.


Travel over to Miss Moss to win an item of clothing of your choice from Cardigan, the gorgeous New York store. I covet their polka dot and striped sweatshirts. And, good news for those of you outside the US: You can enter the giveaway too!

Shoes! More shoes! Head to Jenny at Little Green Notebook to possibly win five pairs of sexy Shoemint shoes. I love Shoemint and wore a crazy hot pair of their leopard heels to my holiday party last night.

Interior design:

Erin at Elements of Style is hosting a giveaway of a limited edition Sharon Montrose print. Sharon is known for her incredibly cute animal photographs and I have several prints in my home. You need to check out her stuff, seriously.

This Copenhagen home is a perfect visual break for the eye. With vast white expanses broken by the occasional cozy touch of peach, it looks like heaven to me. As usual My Scandinavian Home picks the most amazing and inspiring homes, and her own work space isn't too shabby either!

Abrams books had me curate a Pinterest board of my favorite holiday gifts for the home - check it out!

Lest you're wondering why I'm not discussing the events in Connecticut, it's because I'm afraid I'll fly into a helpless ball of fear and anger and I'll be no good to anyone. Instead, read Luisa's words on the subject and consider that my opinion.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Every six months or so we have a poetry lunch at work where anyone who wants to can bring a poem and read it aloud, while everyone eats their lunch in one of our meeting rooms. You can also just sit and absorb the words floating around in the air, and not read anything aloud yourself. I chose to sit and listen at this particular poetry lunch, but halfway through I felt the most incredible urge to jump up and start reciting one of my very favorite childhood poets, Sylvia Plath. I went home that night and unearthed my dog-eared copy of Ariel, that I stole from my parents well-stocked bookshelves when I was heading off to college. It's been a while since I sat down and read something other than a book proposal or something from the fiction bestseller list. 

Maybe I'll stand up and read next time.

Interior design:

I want to be invited to 
Emily Henderson's holiday party! I'm loving the navy blue touches with pops of pink and bright colors all over her home. Navy blue has a way of making a room seem very glam.

And to relax and recover from my hangover after the aforementioned holiday party, I'd like to set up shop in this Scottish fisherman's cottage found on Desire to Inspire and watch the ocean ebb and flow.

Or what about this villa on Lake Como that I found over at Quintessence today? That would do just fine too.

Enter to win these pretty blue and white fez tiles from Apartment Therapy. My kitchen would look so airy and light.


I'm crushing hardcore on Foodie Crush. Do you read Heidi's site? You definitely should. She has a magazine that celebrates her favorite food blogs and their luscious photography. The winter issue just launched and looks especially good. I love the articles on the friendships that have developed between bloggers. The more I participate in this community, the more I love it and I see those friendships developing for me too.

Oooh, I want this ultra creamy mocha hot cocoa from Angela at Oh She Glows! It would be perfect to sip on as we set up the Christmas tree this weekend.

One of my favorites foods to make in the autumn and winter is soup. And number one on that list is cauliflower cheese soup. My husband hates the smell of cauliflower, but I think there's nothing more comforting. I usually make the Moosewood cookbook version but this one from Naturally Ella looks pretty good too.

I'm making these whole grain chocolate banana pancakes from in the morning.

Jessica at How Sweet it Is would eat tacos every day if she could - and I totally agree. The problem (it's not really a problem) is that we have good Mexican food everywhere I look in my neighborhood, so I don't often assemble my own tacos at home. However, these smoky sweet potato and black bean tacos Jessica posted look totally doable.

Chocolate + orange? It's a combo made in heaven. Check out this double chocolate and orange swirl bread from Lillie at Butter me up, Brooklyn!

I hope you all have lovely plans for the weekend. We'll be getting our tree and setting that up. I'm hugging my family extra close this weekend and staying close to home in light of recent tragedies.

looking into the pool outside the Apple store

What am I forgetting?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December is flying by. I don't remember it rushing this fast in previous years. I want to step out of the motion for a second or two, like they do in movies, and take a second to walk around my frozen landscape, admiring the life I've built this year. I feel certain there are some traditions I'm supposed to be remembering, or some rituals I should be enjoying in the midst of the usual daily rush. I know there's something I'm forgetting and it's making me itch.


Ok, we don't have snow to frolic around in just yet, but when we do, I'm planning on making this hot buttered rum from Ashley at Not Without Salt. I probably don't even have to wait for snow, in fact, to hell with it, I'm making it this weekend.

In case any of you readers out there are food bloggers, check out Cookie + Kate for Kate's food photography tips. I was on the verge of buying a new lens for my beloved Nikon and now she's pushed me in the right direction.

Enter to win a copy of the glorious Food 52 Cookbook and a chiles of the world spice set from their shop (which I didn't even know about!) on The Wednesday Chef.

Interior design:

Beautiful design blog and shop Herriott Grace is turning four! Head over to congratulate Nikole Herriott and her father and enter their giveaway to win a handmade wooden cake pedestal and some other lovely goodies from their shop.

Jo of Desire to Inspire found this unusual Australian home and I'm drooling over the pops of turquoise in the living room and shiny wooden floors.

Brittany of The House that Lars Built is moving from Denmark to the US. To celebrate her move, she's hosting a series of giveaways of Danish design items for your home. I just entered this one on her site that would fill my home with color and style if I won. So you should too.

Oooh, how cute are these DIY color blocked wooden spoons from A Cozy Kitchen? What a beautiful (and easy) gift to bring to a party this year!


I want one of these scarves from Muny. Lena Corwin is giving away one to a reader, just tell her which one you like!

I REALLY want to win this cozy mohair throw from Serena & Lily. Just travel to The Every Girl to enter to win.

December's Lonny is here! Curling up with this over the weekend for sure. As much as you can curl up with an iPad, that is.

Brown bread scones

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Today was a day for brown bread scones hot from the oven, slathered with butter and lemon curd. For curling my fingers tighter around a hot cup of earl grey and giving the dog a little extra love. And it was for reveling in something that I never see during the week; the sunshine that strikes the floor of my apartment just so in the middle of the day. I made these brown bread scones you see here mindlessly, in the sense that I didn't have to think about anything as I kneaded the dough and felt the coarse whole meal squeeze through my fingers. It's nice to make something so easy that you don't have to think. 

Thinking is overrated sometimes.

You'll find my links below the photos today.


I don't what's gotten into me lately, but I can't stop making things in my bread tins, this cranberry orange buttermilk cake from Say Yes to Hoboken might be my next conquest.

Check out the prettiness of this pear cake from Sarah at Vanilla Bean. I don't bake with pear often enough. That poor fruit gets forgotten all the time.

On these cold evenings, I'm in the mood for grilled cheese (well, if I'm being honest, I'm really in the mood for grilled cheese any time). I'm putting this recipe for comte and pepper grilled cheese with smokey tomato soup from Adrianna at A Cozy Kitchen on my list to try. There's fire involved!

Megan at A Sweet Spoonful just submitted her cookbook manuscript to her editor. Won't you head over there and say congrats? And while you're there, try out that amazing looking whole grain eggnog loaf recipe (yesss, another bread tin recipe!)

Win an Emile Henry gift pack over at The Kitchn. It includes the pizza stone and super cute ruffled pie dishes of various shapes and sizes.


I already own a copy of Nate Berkus's new book, but if you haven't snagged one yet, then enter to win a copy plus a cool snakeskin box over at Made By Girl.

Newest issue of Matchbook is out. I loved the piece on Rebecca Taylor and the tour of her family's Brooklyn townhouse.

Did you hear that Pantone's color of the year for 2013 is emerald? Love it. See the previous years colors and some emerald inspiration at Apartment Therapy.

Interior design:

The lovely ladies from Good Bones, Great Pieces share some shots of an amazing Park Slope apartment that they redecorated recently. I'm kind of obsessed with the roman shades that they outlined in cherry red tape to add color and sizzle. If you're reading Little Green Notebook you'll see the apartment featured there, too!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, it's been a rough one and I've missed you, and this. I'll be back with more next week, I promise. Until then, have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

light blur at the farmers market this evening

I feel like I'm on the verge of coming down with some kind of sickness. It's lurking right out of my line of sight, waiting to pounce on me as soon as I let my guard down. It's tickling the edge of my subconscious and I really hope I can hold it off for a little longer, or chase it away with a few extra hours of sleep. But first, Housewives of Beverly Hills is calling me. Go away, cold, go away!

Interior design:

I think I might be able to get into the holiday spirit after all. Especially after I saw the spare and beautiful home from My Scandinavian Home today. Those long timber planks, the sheepskin rugs thrown over the chairs at the kitchen table, the tree draped with just a few strings of lights so the green is allowed to shine through; it's all so gorgeous.

Want to go camping in style? Enter to win a one-of-a-kind camping box from luxury  Shelter Co. on Tomboy Style today. Just tell Lizzie where in the world you'd like to go camping and you're entered to win.

Ever wondered how to paint a brass chandelier? Wonder no more when you check out Little Green Notebook for a tutorial from Jenny on how to get to all those nooks and crannies of an intricate piece. She ended up with a beautiful periwinkle blue chandelier that totally lights up the room (pun intended).


Our dinner tonight is going to be was these black bean enchiladas with roasted red pepper sauce from Cookie + Kate. I needed something a little less heavy than a winter stew. (And they were delicious!)

When we put up our tree (probably next weekend) I'm thinking of munching on this popcorn party mix from Cassie at Bake your Day. It has cayenne pepper! I might add in some chocolate too.

Or maybe I'll fill the apartment with the clean smells of cinnamon and cloves? Then I'd opt for this sparkling brown butter cake (with kabocha squash) from Sarah at The Yellow House.

Just in time for the holidays, Dorie Greenspan has launched her cookie site, Beurre and Sel where she sells cookies with wonderful flavor combinations like cocoa cayenne, sesame and sea salt, cranberry spice, and rosemary parmesan.


Confession: I don't craft very often (although I have a lot of good intentions)  - this is slightly shocking because I work at a publisher that does a ton of beautiful craft books. Nevertheless, these beeswax candles from Oh Happy Day look totally doable and would make a gorgeous holiday or housewarming gift.

I can't tell you how long I've been searching for a good work bag. One that isn't gigantic, but can still fit the myriad of items I carry to work on a daily basis. I finally found the perfect option in this Lo and Sons Savoy bag. Enter "Holidays2012" before 1/1/13 at checkout for 30% off any item on the site.

See you later!

Music to my ears

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Do you ever listen to a certain type of music and feel yourself rise out of your body and become part of the air around you? Music by luminaries like Zoe Keating, Kerry Muzzey, Lisa Gerrard or Adele do that for me. I can go from feeling like I'm walking lost and alone through a fog, to feeling a connection with everything that surrounds me. To appreciating life and everything that brought me to where I am today. It's enough to bring you to tears sometimes. It's incredible the kind of power, peace, and solace music can bring. It's after midnight on Friday and those are the kind of weepy universe connecting things I think about when everyone else is asleep and dreaming.

In case you're not listening to some beautiful piece of music, here are some links to start off your weekend on a good note:

Interior design:  

I'm pretty sure I'm going to die if I don't get something from the One Kings Lane Anna Karenina movie sale. Although, as I write this entry I can see that the collection is almost completely sold out, so I hope you've been on to this since this morning.

Here's my fave site of the day for you to check out: Design for Mankind. Written by the lovely Erin Loechner, this site is full of great tips on fashion, style, interiors, and more. I'm spending more time on there than is healthy.

Victoria at SF Girl By Bay pointed me towards the Anthology holiday gift guide today. Rather than assemble one post or even a series of posts, in true Anthology style they created a comprehensive magazine! This is really the only gift guide you need to be looking at.

The latest issue of Est Magazine is out. This Australian interiors magazine never fails to inspire me.

I dream about redoing my office at work. Would they allow me to buy my own desk? Not sure. But if they would, I'd go for something like this all-white office featured on The Decorista. I'd be so much more productive, I promise!


Growing up in Ireland, I ate brown bread daily. I still long for it and make it when I can. It's what I turn to in the afternoons in between lunch and dinner. And although most Irish wouldn't mess with the original brown bread, I'm eager to try out this feta thyme soda bread from The Little Loaf.

You know I love my pizza dough, I usually use frozen pizza dough from Whole Foods or Fresh Direct or make my own using a Jamie Oliver recipe. But this recipe from The Beeroness for pizza dough with beer is making me drool. I usually drink my beer when I'm making and eating my pizza, so trying the beer IN the pizza is going to be new for me.

To end my post (as I started it) on a musical note: I love the fact that the 50 Shades of Grey: The Classical Album has been bumped down the classical music billboard chart by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles "Advent at Ephesus" album. Could those two be more different?!

Have a gorgeous and musical weekend.

Sky musings

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The moon has risen high over the east river tonight. It's shining a path right across the river, broken occasionally by a ripple. This time of the year the night sky appears sharper somehow, and my nighttime walks with the dog will reveal a few stars glimmering above the brightly lit buildings. I tend to forget about the stars the rest of the year and am always delighted when I see them peeking through the haze that usually surrounds the city night sky. It comforts me to think that family and friends scattered all over the world see the same night sky.


Have you ever heard of a savory granola? I certainly took notice when I saw this curry coconut granola on The Kitchn the other day. I think I'd sprinkle it on salad or soup.

In the mood for something healthier? I would say yes to this autumny salad of sweet potato and avocado from the fun and bubbly Sarah at A House in the Hills.

Another wonderful use for brussels sprouts: Jessica at How Sweet it Is serves up some balsamic brussels sprouts grilled cheese sandwiches.

I love this gift guide from Luisa at The Wednesday Chef. From beautiful artisanal teas to art for your home, she's covered it all in her usual stylish way.

Interior design:

Stephmodo has a wonderful Real Life Home series where the featured homes are not professionally designed but curated by a homeowner with some incredible taste. The latest one in the series is a beautiful and cozy bungalow in San Diego.

Kinfolk inspires me, quite simply that. Their holiday video is just the ticket to get me in the holiday mood.


I love giving family members photo related gifts. Thanks to Anne at The City Sage, I'll be trying out some photo books with Artifact Uprising. Their design clearly allows the photographs to be the star of the show and the results look simply gorgeous.

This giveaway from Honey Kennedy will appeal to my London-based sister and international readers. It's from a London clothing and home store, Couverture & Garbstore. Jen picked her favorite items from the store and you could win them all. Just head to Honey Kennedy to enter!

Garance Dore has launched her online shop! Scott announced it on The Sartorialist today. He's so proud of her ... and that's pretty sweet.

I think the perfect way to end my day is with a cup of tea and a long perusal through the holiday issue of Rue.

And, finally, a few links to make you smile:

 Security cameras don't always catch bad things. Sometimes they catch beautiful things. Watch the video and enjoy.

And see if you can find Momo. It reminds me a bit of Maddie on Things. Thanks to Koseli at Original Archiving for the find.

Like you need more

Monday, November 26, 2012

I hope you're returning from the holiday refreshed and ready to take on the week. Or maybe you're feeling a bit overwhelmed with the next holiday rushing towards us at breakneck speed? I'm a little bit in between those two extremes.

Here are a few links for you to look at in between your work and cyber Monday activities (at lunchtime, of course):


I know you don't want to eat more chocolate, or maybe you didn't eat enough over the holiday? Anyway, Alice at Lingered Upon made these nutella buns from the new Sussman brothers book, This is a Cookbook, that I'm definitely trying out asap.

My next major dessert is going to be this rosewater and pear cheesecake from the lovely site, What Liberty Ate. I had to buy a huge bottle of rose water for that cardamom brown sugar cake with rose whipped cream that I made last week so I'm eager to find other recipes that make use of it.

Ok sorry, I'm sending all sweet links your way today. SORRY! Last one is this biscoff gooey butter cake from Cassie at Bake Your Day.


I know I've mentioned Sole Society a few times here. I can't help it. Their shoes are not only affordable, but also super cute. Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess have teamed up with them to offer a giveaway of THREE pairs of shoes from the site. Just pick your favorite pair and leave it on A Beautiful Mess to be entered to win. Also, even if you don't win, enter the code MESS20 and get $20 off a pair of shoes. That would make these Marilyn glitter heels just $30!

Did I say gift guides were stressing me out? Well they were, until I saw this cute roundup by Bonnie at Going Home to Roost. Check out her gift guide for the blogger in your life.

Interior design:

I set my alarm for 4am this morning to take advantage of the amazing discounts on art at 20x200. I have my eye on some of the Jane Mount ideal bookcase series. Starting at 4am you could get up to 40% off the art!! I'll see you there.

I'm loving this collection of bird prints that the lovely ladies at Good Bones, Great Pieces have put together. Along with tips on how to hang a gallery of art on your wall, it's something I'll be referring to as I put together my art pieces (hopefully recently purchased from 20x200!)

And last, this Thanksgiving I was grateful for many things, but high among them was this little space I've created for myself here on the internet. And you've made it a fun place to come to by reading and commenting, so I'm feeling very thankful for you this holiday season.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I thought I'd switch it up and try a post that doesn't arrive in the middle of the night. What? Aren't you all up at 2am rattling around your homes like me? Also, I need this evening to finally brainstorm what I'm making for my holiday dinner. All I know is that I'm doing roast beef, but other than that, I'm stumped. I need time to plan!


Check out the new blog Julep, headed by Liz of Say Yes to Hoboken and featuring posts by several of the best design and craft bloggers out there, this blog from the awesome paper company Minted is bound to become a go-to site for inspiration and wonderful home crafts.

Mackenzie of Design Darling is pretty much wearing my ideal autumn outfit.

In celebration of a wonderful year, Jamie Beck of From Me to You is hosting a beautiful giveaway of a chic leather Lo & Sons camera bag. Perfect for lugging around my camera and a lens or two this winter. It even looks like a real handbag.

Interior design:

This giveaway feels a little too good to be true: Stephane of the beautiful blog Stephmodo is giving away a week (yes, a week) at her French cottage La Maisonnette to one lucky reader. There are 5 ways to enter and I'm definitely doing whatever it takes!

Victoria of SF Girl by Bay wants to know if you could live in this rooftop flat in Paris. And the answer is yes, resoundingly so.

How do you feel about black and white in a children's bedroom? I, for one, love it and find it so soothing. Check out this playful bedroom found via My Scandinavian Home today.

I found this post on never giving up on your dreams from decor8's Holly Becker incredibly inspirational and refreshingly honest. Interviewed by famed interior designer Kelly Hoppen for her site, Holly bares her soul and tells us how she dug herself out of a job she didn't like to follow her dream. She asks us to share our stories in the comments section and I'm finding some wonderful stories there too.


The girls from The Everygirl tried to cook Thanksgiving dinner and in the process make many mistakes that we can all learn from. Read their hilarious entry here.

You all know I love tea, there's nothing more perfect morning, noon, and night for me. This spiced persimmon turmeric tea recipe from Gourmande in the Kitchen looks like it will hit the spot after what is bound to be a filling meal on Thursday.

Hopefully I'll see you guys here tomorrow, but I imagine everyone is crazed with holiday preparations or travel plans. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and eat some good food! We're staying in the city and I plan on walking around and falling in love with it all over again. It's not hard to do.

Busy baking

Just a quick check in to tell you what I was up to this weekend.

I made grapefruit olive oil cake from Deb's new book.

And then a brown sugar cardamom cake with raspberries and rose whipped cream from Eva at Adventures in Cooking.

and then I ate, and ate, and ate. In the spirit of all I ate, I'm just doing a food post roundup today.

Should you want to make your own butter, then head to Fig & Fauna to make what looks like a fairly simple recipe for a delicious alternative to store-bought spreads.

This is quite simply the prettiest apple pie I've ever seen! And the fact that Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen has a salted caramel sauce to drizzle over it only makes it better.

Erin of The Forest Feast shared her recipe for persimmon squash salad on Design Sponge's In the Kitchen With column. It would definitely lift me out of this sugar funk.

I so into curry in my soup at the moment. There is something so wintry and comforting about the sweet flavor in a hot soup. So, I'm definitely trying this coconut curry pumpkin soup from Love and Lemons.

My knife collection is in need of an update so I'd love to win this 7-piece Wusthof giveaway from The Kitchn.

See you tomorrow!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm feeling the passage of time keenly today. A milestone birthday has passed in our household and it's left me feeling a bit strange. Sometimes it feels as though all the hoopla and excitement surrounding a birthday is all just to disguise the sadness that time is rushing through our fingers more quickly than we can bear to think about. Unless of course you're living in a Doctor Who world (oh, how I dearly wish I was) and you can just hop back and forth through time and space with a witty companion by your side.

With that depressing thought out of the way, shall we move on to some links? Yes, lets!


This recipe for an alternate way to cook brussels sprouts (with pomegranate seeds and honey!) on Simple Bites has me rethinking my thanksgiving side dishes.

This toffee pear galette from The Baker Chick might very well replace the usual apple pie for next week. I've been wanting to try a galette for ages and I love the thought of toffee and pear together.

Win a pie dish from hosted by the lovely Eva of Adventures in Cooking. There's also a recipe for chocolate pecan pie (something I've yet to try).

And lest you think I'm all about chocolate (well, to be honest, I really am) I'm loving these vanilla almond orange cloud cookies from Joy the Baker. And guess what? There is no flour or butter in these beauties!


This winter I'm debating parka or puffer. I already own the puffer coat but I'm really coveting some of the cute parka coats out there now. Check out these options from Say Yes to Hoboken.

Win $150 to spend at Pinhole Press from Design Mom. I made calendars for family members with Pinhole Press last year and they turned out really well.

Interior design:

Participate in the awesome Wednesday Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn giveaways. This week you could win a Williams Sonoma cookware set or a Chesterfield sofa by Canvas!

Also, if you read Smitten Kitchen (like everyone else out there) and have wondered what lies beyond those granite countertops, then check out this interview she did on The Kitchn today. It just goes to show, you don't have to have a giant, tricked out kitchen to churn out some of the best recipes out there.

Anna at Door Sixteen has been renovating her garden and she's almost done, check it out here, even unfinished it looks awesome!

Do you read Jessie at The Long and Short of It? She gives a tour of her incredible Raleigh home on The Everygirl. Color just pops out of every room and you get to see her lounging at home with her giant dogs.

Not sure what category to place this one under, but perhaps that's the point. In any case, if you're looking for a moment of stillness and beauty, then head to Nadia at La Porte Rouge to gaze at the incredible photographs of several white horses she came across in a field one dark, chilly night.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I used to be one of those people who loved the holidays. I loved the smell of spiced cakes, breads, and cookies baking in my oven. I loved the feeling of planning and making a giant meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, I loved walking home on dark evenings and seeing holiday lights and decorations in people's homes (and knowing that I lived in one of the best cities at holiday time). But somehow it has changed and become a time of major stress. Are you guys stressing out about the holidays as much as I am? The gift guides appearing on some of the blogs and in magazines are gorgeous and do inspire me, (like, I should be thanking EZ at Creature Comforts on bended knee for her insanely beautiful and useful holiday gift guide) but at the same time I feel overwhelmed and pressured into buying gifts too early. And the whole time I feel guilty for dreading a season that everyone appears to love (but perhaps some of you secretly agree with me?)

How can I rediscover my holiday spirit, or is it gone forever?


Head to Little Brown Pen to enter to win a gorgeous selection of the best books from Nichole's publisher, Chronicle. I own quite a few of these already (Anne Willan's Country Cooking of France is one I turn to frequently in my kitchen) but I'd love to give most of these as gifts.

Victoria of SF Girl By Bay is giving away her own curated stack of Chronicle books too. Head here to enter to win her favorites. Also, you'll get a 30% discount on the Chronicle website by entering discount code "givebooks" when you check out.


These tips from The Kitchn on preparing elements of dishes (like gravy or pie crust) ahead of time and freezing may help destress me during the holidays.

I am a fan of trying something other than turkey for our Thanksgiving meal and this year I have decided to do roast beef. I hadn't chosen a specific recipe yet, but now I have an entire menu, thanks to Mimi at Manger. I'm drooling over her recipes for roast beef with red wine gravy, yorkshire pudding, and roast thyme potatoes.

Now that I've had success with one of the recipes from Smitten's book (the pumpkin gingersnap tart), I'm eager to move on to the next. Todd and Diane at White on Rice may have found it for me: coffee toffee with hazelnut topping. Yum.

And last, win a super cool tasting box from online shop Eat Boutique on The Vanilla Bean Blog. It would make a marvelous holiday gift for the food lover on your list.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

All that was left after the office bake off was my pretty Anthropologie cake stand.

Well, I participated in my office bake off today. And, guess what? I won! I baked a pumpkin gingersnap tart from the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook and it was incredible. It was devoured so fast that I didn't have a chance to take any photos, but I'll get some when I recreate it this weekend for disgruntled family members who didn't get to taste it the first time around.

Interior design:

Did you see Joy's gorgeous living room? It was beautiful before she had her sweet daughter Ruby and now it's beautiful in a different way as she has baby proofed her way to the most stylish living space I've ever seen. Coveting the blue Moroccan rug and the poufs.

Are you in the market for a beautiful tray? Check out the Apartment Therapy roundup of trays today.


Private Pinterest boards? I'm so in! Now I can assemble boards in secret and reveal when I'm ready. Everyone gets 3 boards, I'll be using mine asap.

Win $150 to spend on jewelry at Blue Hour Designs on Design Mom. Just pick your favorite and she'll draw for a winner by Monday.


Here's a new recipe for my weekend morning pancakes. Poppy, lemon, and sunflower seed pancakes from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks were featured in the New York Times this week (annoying, but you have to have an NY Times subscription to view this).

Umm, The Kitchn tells me that we can now buy wine from Amazon! Did you know this?

It's Friday! Don't you want a drink? The Boys' Club suggests The Southside Fizz. Looks yummy.

Yay for more bread pudding. It has pumpkin. Need I say more? I didn't think so. Thanks, Love and Lemons!

Did you know there won't be any more print editions of Everyday Food? I'm sad, but excited to see what they have coming up on the website.

Have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

I hadn't realized how stressed out I was over the presidential election until it was over and now I feel as though a huge weight has lifted. Now I can concentrate on my two favorite new shows on Bravo: Startups Silicon Valley and LOLwork. Like, seriously guys? LOLwork is hilarious.


I get to work with the lovely and talented Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast on her first cookbook and I couldn't be more excited. See her announcement here.

Now, I may not have time to actually make a lattice pie crust topper for my mug of tea like Victoria at A Subtle Revelry has done but I think it's the cutest thing I've seen all day.

Our annual office bake off is coming up on Friday and as usual I haven't yet picked out what I'm baking (eeek!). The rule this year is no baking with chocolate (a tough rule, I think). I hope no one from the office is reading this entry because I'm thinking about this caramel bundt cake from Bake or Break or this cardamom brown sugar cake from Adventures in Cooking. Do you think I stand a chance with either of these?

If you're going to be in downtown Manhattan this weekend make sure you call in on the Hurricane Sandy bake sale being run by Cup of Jo and others.


Buying any gifts for children this holiday season? Look no further than the awesome and thoughtful list of 49 great baby and children's gifts put together by the creative Ez at Creature Comforts.

Enter to win $150 to spend at awesome clothing and accessory store Victory, at Honey Kennedy. Just tell her what you'd use the $150 on (I'd go for the liverpool jacket or the delancey sweater) and you're entered to win.

Interior design:

Win $100 to spend on art for your walls at 20x200 from Anthology today. Just tell them what you'd spend your money on (I'd like one of the Ideal Bookshelf series) and you're in!

Do your part

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On our morning run on Randalls Island, the pup and I found that our favorite willow tree was felled by the storm

I'm not an American citizen (yet) so I won't be out there voting tomorrow but oh, how I wish I was. Every presidential election is an important one, but this one feels more weighty than previous ones, more serious, more crucial somehow. So, I hope you'll get out there and vote!

Also, here's an ingenious way to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy without dealing with the bureaucracy of The Red Cross. Check out this Sandy registry on Amazon where you can order the exact items that the victims and agencies need and get them delivered directly to a church in Brooklyn where they will be distributed. Order sorely needed items like wool blankets, diapers, and generators. It feels lot more helpful than just writing a check.

This image depicting the electricity supply in Manhattan from New York Magazine just blows me away.

Interior design

Oooh, I really really want to win this set of interior design books being given away at Young House Love today. They'd look so pretty all stacked up in my apartment.

As usual, My Scandinavian Home finds the most appealing places for us to drool over. How much would you want to spend the holidays in this cozy home in the Swedish countryside?


Victoria at SF Girl By Bay has put together a list of her winter clothing staples and I'm dying for the suede boots (yes, another pair of boots, sorry!) and the Anthropologie sailor cape that she's linked to.

Win $100 to spend at lovely store Ruche at The Daybook.

As if I didn't love Instagram enough already, now I hear that we are getting profile pages on our Instagram feeds on the web!


Joy the Baker calls this cinnamon-sugar apple skillet cake the perfect cake to serve when friends drop over for tea or coffee, and I'd have to agree with her. It has a thick buttermilk base that makes me want to just lick the plate - and you get to make it in a skillet! Joy says she's not the kind of lady who has a cake to serve when guests come over, but somehow I doubt that.

My next weekend baking project will probably be these Irish shortbread toffee bars from The Kitchn.

I'm excited to add yet another tea bread to my weekly list. This time it's a pumpkin graham bread from Ashley at Not Without Salt that looks like the perfect mix of spice and sweetness.


Friday, November 2, 2012

The city is still eerie and quiet - as we slowly recover our former spirit. It's way too dark outside, plenty of people on our block still don't have electricity. For the first time I can look out of my window and the usual twinkling lights of apartments in the neighborhood have been replaced by a few stars. My office is still closed and won't be opening up until at least Monday. While I'm on this weird forced work hiatus I'm trying to stay busy by cleaning the nooks and crannies of my apartment that haven't seen a dust cloth in forever, but instead I find myself gazing out the windows at the torn-apart city. I'm left wondering if we'll all be the same when we do return to normal life.

For more photos of the strange darkness that surrounds us, check out this post by Anna of Door 16.


It feels fitting to only post about food this week, as a return to blithe posts about interior design and fashion felt a bit irreverent. So, here's what I have my eye on:

While I'm at home this week I have to tackle these salted dark chocolate espresso cookies from Stephanie at Desserts for Breakfast.

Sometimes we forget that the most delicious recipes are the simplest. I'm definitely trying out this recipe for franks and beans from Dinner a Love Story on the next busy weeknight (aka every night).

Just when I thought Jessica's recipes couldn't get any better, she outdoes herself with apple bacon stuffed sweet potatoes on How Sweet it Is. I mean, come on, apple + bacon + sweet potatoes!?

This ginger spiced pear bread just might become my new holiday bread. It sounds like the perfect mixture of fruit and spices that will evoke the holiday spirit. Plus, it will probably make my apartment smell amazing as it bakes. And I can be doubly thankful that my oven works.

Also, I really meant to participate in NaNoWriMo this year but the hurricane threw me off. Can I still start 2 days late?

The hurricane

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The East river boulevard was closed off on Monday
 I can't even adequately describe to you what we saw from 25 floors in the air and on our sporadic walks outside, so I'll just show you what happened in our little pocket of Manhattan.

Watching the East river spill on to the FDR and eventually to First Avenue

East river flowing down First Avenue and on to 94th street on Monday night

On Tuesday morning we woke up to a changed neighborhood. Things felt raw and tossed around. We had lost power the night before and still didn't have it back. I walked down 25 flights of stairs and started to look around the neighborhood. It didn't take me long to head straight towards the river and the FDR.

Walking down the middle of the FDR on Tuesday

Other things I couldn't document photographically but need to preserve here: A taxi getting washed away down the FDR, its headlights bobbing up and down and eventually going dark as the car sank under the water. I was terrified that I was witnessing someone drowning but was assured by neighbors that someone escaped from the car before it sank.

The bones of our 32-floor building creaking as the building swayed to and fro in the wind. Our bathtub, filled with water just in case we got cut off, sloshed in time with the building's movements.

All in all, a very scary event. I am thankful that our biggest hardship was walking up and down 25 flights of stairs to walk the dog. Other apartments and homes in Manhattan and the surrounding areas were devastated and I feel lucky that we got off as easily as we did. My office is still closed as there is no power to lower Manhattan.

Looking outside tonight there is a clear sky and a bright moon shining down. It is hard to believe just two days ago there was a raging storm.

It's been a while

Saturday, October 27, 2012

everyone is perky and attentive on the morning of the launch of our fall 13 books

Apologies for the hiatus. I've been crazed preparing for and then making presentations at the sales conference for the launch of our Fall 2013 titles. These are books I'm super excited about working on so it was fun to discuss them with the sales team (they have some nice shoes!). Now that it's over, I'm tired. And I need to sleep. But first, here's what I've been seeing throughout the week:

Interior design:

I'm kind of addicted to West Elm as it is, and now with the opening of West Elm Market, their new shop of kitchen tools (they're calling it a community store and general market), I can tell I'll be spending way too much in there this fall.

Are you as excited about the new Nate Berkus book as I am? Just in case you haven't purchased your copy yet, head to Apartment 34 before Sunday to win a signed copy of his book along with an incredible looking lacquered box from his Target collection.

Art for your home feels like an incredibly tough process, not to mention expensive. Jenny at Little Green Notebook takes some of the stress away with this giveaway from gorgeous online art store, 20x200. Just find your favorites on 20x200, go back to LGN and tell Jenny, and voila! You'll be entered to win one $200 gift certificate and five $20 gift certificates. 


Kelly of The Glamourai and Jamie Beck are visiting Paris and I'm swooning over the images of their adventures in the city of lights.

Win $100 to spend at Shopbop through The Zhush.

My kind mother, who is staying with me for a few days while T is traveling in Europe for work, just bought me a pair of the cutest skinny red jeans with zippers from the Gap. I'm in love with them. But just as I was trying to figure out what to wear with them, I found this super helpful post from Ramshackle Glam on how to style your red jean outfit. Yippeee.


I was pretty excited to meet Yvette Van Boven in our offices last week. She's kind of a superstar in the foodie world and her cookbooks are simply gorgeous. Check out this recipe for a luxurious gingerbread with white chocolate and dates on Design Sponge.

Even though Molly of Orangette acknowledges that the world doesn't need another banana baked anything she still manages to entice with a recipe for banana cereal muffins from the always amazing Kim Boyce and her book, Good to the Grain.

People, I'm declaring it right here and now, I LOVE bread pudding! I love it cold, I love it hot. I love it to the moon and back. And then some. Now that I've told you that, I'm pointing you towards this scrumptious recipe for maple pumpkin bourbon bread pudding from the always fun Eva at Adventures in Cooking.

Maria and Josh of Two Peas & Their Pod recently traveled to Oregon and have come back with a sweet gift box giveaway from Harry & David. It has pears and lots of blue cheese, and well, that's really you need to know.

Ok, now back to tracking this hurricane barreling its way towards NYC. Baking some tea bread, stocking up on milk and eggs, and hunkering down for a windy, rainy day on Monday.

end of the day at the launch of our fall books at work

Too much internet

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I've been sleeping, well, not much these past few weeks. Not sure why, but I suddenly can't seem to motivate myself to go to bed any time before 1am. There's just too much INTERNET out there, people!

And I can't let it all go to waste while I sleep!

Interior design:

Get some ideas for fall decorating over on the beautiful french farmhouse interior site, Dreamy Whites. I'm digging the use of Autumnal branches around the home (and those blue French canning bottles, ahhh!)

Win $100 towards chic office supply store Pippin from Erin at House of Turquoise. I'd use it towards a colorful desk chair, or perhaps some pink office supplies in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I've been a fan of Swedish designer Lotta Jansdotter for years. See her beautiful bright Brooklyn office at Decor8 today. Also, I didn't realize she had a line with Fishs Eddy. I need to pick some of those pieces up right away.


Comment on Bleubird to win $250 to spend on so many awesome baby things at Tottini.

Ok, I hope no family readers are paying attention cause I totally want to make this amazing memory card game with my own photographs, from Pinhole Press. I used them for calendars last year and I was very impressed with the quality of the paper and printing. Found via Cup of Jo today.

Win $100 towards Shopbop from Bedknobs and Baubles.


Check out these beautiful warm apple pots from Caitlin at Roost. Like little mini apple pies in a cup, they are the perfect single serving desserts that don't require too much effort.

That's it, see you tomorrow. Off to try and get some sleep.

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