Friday, December 30, 2011

Welcome, 2012!

Just wanted to pop in and wish you all a happy new year. New Year's Eve is our anniversary (11 years!), so I'll be out celebrating! Whatever your plans have fun and be safe!

                                                            Source: via melancia on Pinterest

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, with family and friends and all the things that make this time of year special.

I'll leave you with this lovely display, from the Holiday Lights at CALM show at the zoo here in town (it's pretty spectacular and an annual tradition for Erik and me):

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Inspired by: Bar Carts

While looking around for inspiration for my dining room redo, I keep coming across beautiful bar carts. They're so versatile, beautiful and retro-mod, and metallic finishes add a bit of sparkle. With the holiday season in full swing, they're perfect for entertaining.

Here are some of my favorites:
Society Social
Apartment Therapy
Bo Bedre
Society Social
Ivy & Piper via Northern Light
Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles via Aesthetic Oiseau
Clayton Gray Home
And here's an insanely adorable mini one from Nicole for the I'm a Giant dollhouse challenge:
Making It Lovely
But it doesn't have to be a cart. A tray can make a pretty presentation:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Hanukkah

I'm not at all religious, but we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas in my home, and this year the two overlap. Hanukkah begins tomorrow at sunset and lasts for eight days.

Happy Hanukkah Menorah print, Etsy
Our celebration is intimate and low key, following some traditions of my childhood and some that we've adopted more recently. I pull out my dreidel plates and salt and pepper shaker set and fry up apple fritters and latkes, which are served with apple sauce and sour cream. They're easy but time-consuming to make, and well worth the effort. (We eat that just one night—my jeans wouldn't fit if we ate like that all eight nights!)

And, of course, we light the menorah. I have lovely modern one that I bought for myself, as well as a more traditional one that I bought for (and inherited from) my father. We usually attend the annual community menorah lighting—this year it's on Christmas Day.

It all makes me nostalgic for my childhood. It's nice to be able to relive those times and share them with my new family.

Whatever you celebrate, I wish you all the best.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm Mad About...

Los Angeles Times
  • Gingerbread houses have never looked so good!
  • Love the idea of a holiday shopping list. You can't be too organized this time of year.
  • This one's for all you dog lovers. The video is great, and the song's pretty catchy, too.
  • I'm so excited about the Young House Love book! I just hope John and Sherry (and Burger!) do a book tour—and head out West.
  • Send a handwritten email. It would be great for holiday thank-yous when a written card is too formal, but you want something special.
  • It's a party in a PDF
  • More beautiful and unique book-themed art.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Wish List

I'm not proud to admit it, but this time of year brings out my greedy side. Not only is everything I've been putting off buying all year on sale, my favorite stores keep throwing gift cards at me. When I should be shopping for friends and family, I'm looking for things to get for myself.

Now that I've admitted that, here are few things I'm hoping I'll get this year (and one that I already bought—see what I mean?).
Undecorate by Christine Lemieux; Sketch Cover Duvet, West Elm; Kate Spade Camelia Avenue Posy Vase, Lenox;
Owl Sugar Shaker, West Elm; and Lollia Eau de Parfum in Wish, Anthropologie

I want plenty more, but I wouldn't want to look too greedy ;-)

What's on your holiday wish list?

P.S.: While you're out shopping for friends and family, don't forget to pick up a little something extra for those who aren't as fortunate.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Under Wraps

While I enjoy wrapping gifts, I hate having to track down everything I need from all over the house. I have a cardboard gift wrap organizer that's held up quite well over the years, but I've long since outgrown it. Wrapping paper, ribbons and gift boxes have taken over one closet. It's time to pare down and reorganize.

Wouldn't you love to have this setup?
Better Homes and Gardens
If you don't have room for that beauty, how about this:
                                                          Source: via Pam on Pinterest

It's more compact and looks easy enough to create. I also love the picture frame treatment—so polished!

Using the back of a closet door to store supplies is a great idea. It's easy to reach and, with some creativity, you can keep everything in one compact space.
                                                       Source: via Melinda on Pinterest

                                                                    Source: via Sharon on Pinterest

Or a small cabinet and pizza boxes—yes, pizza boxes!
                                                              Source: via Heather on Pinterest

How do you store wrapping supplies?

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's a Wrap

Now that you're done with your shopping (you are done, right? ;-), it's time to wrap the gifts. For me this is the fun part because it lets me be creative.

I really like the idea of wrapping presents in something unexpected. Sure, lots of people use newspaper, but how many of them make it look this festive:
Country Living
Kraft paper and a rubber stamp has never looked this chic:
The Haystack Needle
I love this idea (and I have lots of Trader Joe's bags lying around):
A Creative Mint

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gift Guide: Book Worm

Indulge your friend's reading habit with these helpful and stylish accessories:

Clockwise from upper left: Wicked Witch bookmarks, Etsy; Little Red Riding Hood poster, Square Inch Design; Literary Art iPhone 4 covers, Uncommon Goods; Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Light, Amazon; Penguin Classics Passport Case, The Lost Girl, Barnes & Noble; Esme readers, Kate Spade; Jonathan Adler Surfing Style iPad case; ModCloth

Check out gift guides for foodies, Francophiles, Anglophiles and animal lovers.
Also be sure to visit the fabulous and comprehensive gift guides by Gifted magazine and Emily Henderson.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gift Guide: Animal Lover

You knew I wouldn't forget the pets (or your animal-loving friends). Toys for dogs and cats, a fashionable (and eco-friendly) bed and dog cake—it's all here:

Clockwise from upper left:
Coming Wednesday: gifts for the reader.
And check out gift guides for foodies, Francophiles and Anglophiles.
Also be sure to visit the fabulous and comprehensive gift guides by Gifted magazine and Emily Henderson.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gift Guide: Anglophile

For the friend who can't get enough of The Office (Ricky Gervais edition), Sacha Baron Cohen and beans with breakfast:

From top right: Union Jack wallet, John Lewis; London Weekend Destinations print, Bodie and Fou; London canvas tote, Bodie and Fou; Underground map of London, London Transport Museum; Bigelow tea chest, Amazon

Coming Monday: gifts for the animal lover.
And check out gift guides for foodies and Francophiles.
Also be sure to visit the fabulous and comprehensive gift guides by Gifted magazine and Emily Henderson.