Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Gift Ideas: Part One

I had so much fun "researching" (um, basically online shopping for hours) these gift guides that I couldn't limit my finds to just gifts for moms or gifts for girly girls. So, over the next three posts I'd love to show you my favorite finds. Random, fun, beautiful gifts for the lovely ladies in your life. (Stay tuned for a gift guide for the dudes next week!) Here we go...


Simple, wear everyday earrings: Stars & Ampersands.

Picnik collage

Color Blocked Leather Tote. The orange is so striking and fun.

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Acanthus Chevron Locket. Gold + chevron = awesome.


The Storymatic, a fun, sometimes hilarious storytelling game to play with friends.


Echo Side Bow Touch Gloves modeled here by the always glamourous Jamie Beck on From Me To You. I'd get the pink ones.

Picnik collage

I'm not normally a fan of novelty gifts, but this Mischief Managed mug is a pretty clever one for the Harry Potter fan in your life.

Picnik collage

A pretty geometric print scarf for a pop of color to stand out against the gray, winter weather around the corner.


A fun striped iPhone case that you can customize with a monogram or a name.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Gift Ideas: Stocking Stuffers

felted garland

To kick off a week of holiday gift-giving ideas, let's start with stocking stuffers. Even though stocking stuffers are often an afterthought, I think it's fun to think of something small and inexpensive that the person receiving it will actually use and enjoy. So, those are my standards for the gifts below. I'm morally opposed to the silly stocking stuffers that stores put out at this time of year (like jar openers and cheesy desk calendars), so you won't find any of those here!

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These Mercury Votive Holders are so pretty. They'd add a little bit of vintage-y glamour to a bedside table or bookshelf.

Picnik collage

Aren't mittens so much more cozy than gloves? It feels like you're really committing to being outside for awhile. These colorful Pom Pom Gloves would be fun to throw snowballs in.

Picnik collage

I think these Tie Breaker Coins could come in handy for a quite few people on your list. It would be a funny gift for roommates or newlyweds.

Picnik collage

This understated Glitter Top Coat is festive for holiday parties, but I like it even more in February when my nails (and, let's face it, the rest of me) could use a pick me up.

Picnik collage

It's pretty hard to go wrong with chocolate. I love Chocolove bars, especially the Raspberries in Dark Chocolate and the Almond and Sea Salt.

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Bright and colorful Kate Spade coasters are fun and playful for holiday parties (wouldn't they be perfect for a New Year's party?) but they'd also fancy up any party any time of the year.

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I know gift certificates are a hotly debated gift giving topic, but I'm wholeheartedly for them. Especially when it's a gift certificate to Pinhole Press, where the recipient can make everything from wine bottle labels to beautifully bound books.

I'm still in the market for more stocking stuffer ideas for this year's 12 Days of Christmas with my roommates, so I'd love to hear your stocking stuffer ideas in the comments!

Top photo via small::bird. All other photos from their respective sites. PS: No one has paid me to say any of this :)

Holiday Gift Ideas


I'm tickled pink (um, tickled red and green?) to share a few holiday gift giving ideas with you this week. First up: stocking stuffers! Then some pretty, funny, useful and tasty gifts for the ladies in your life—moms, moms-in-law, friends, wives and girlfriends. I think giving a really good gift is one of the most fun ways to tell someone you like 'em a bunch, so I hope these gift ideas help you do just that.

Photo via The Twinery.

Monday, November 28, 2011

(Thanksgiving) Weekend in Pictures

{thanksgiving nails, dc mug}

{rolling pie dough on the washer}

{traditional post-thanksgiving dinner viewing of Elf}

{day after thanksgiving strolling}

{christmas tree stand, chelsea}

{decorating the tree}

{megan hanging her new ornament, similar to the new jewelry on her left hand}

How was everyone's Thanksgiving weekend? Mine was full and lovely. After a six and a half hour bus ride to D.C. on Wednesday night we got to work making a pumpkin cheesecake and pie crusts until the wee hours of the morning. The next day was spent christening my friend's new kitchen (they had just moved in that week!) with its first Thanksgiving dinner. After a lazy day wandering around Old Town Alexandria, I came home to New York to get a Christmas tree with my roommates. Friends came over to help us trim the tree while drinking mulled wine and eating snickerdoodles. There was even a dramatic re-telling of the story of the Christmas pickle.

And then, just like that, it was Christmas. I have lots of Christmas-y things planned for Somewhere North, including a few gift guides and the 12 Days of Christmas. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Screen shot 2011-11-19 at 3.03.37 PM

Happy Thanksgiving! Let's be thankful for fall weather, the last of the leaves falling off the trees, cinnamon, and that perfect Thanksgiving bite (for me it's turkey + cranberries + stuffing). And honestly, I'm pretty thankful for blogs. Thanks for reading my ramblings, I have so much fun writing these posts for you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Adoptable Dogs

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My friend (from grade school!) Lisa Teso is a truly gifted photographer. She recently linked to some photos she's taken of adoptable dogs at two shelters in Portland, and they are seriously tugging at my heartstrings. Honestly, with pictures and pups like these, how are there any adoptable dogs left in Portland? I want them all.

Screen shot 2011-11-19 at 3.03.37 PM

Screen shot 2011-11-19 at 3.03.37 PM

Screen shot 2011-11-19 at 3.03.37 PM

Portland readers, don't you think a happily wagging tail would make a good addition to your Thanksgiving festivities? More photos (with adoption links) here & here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Last Minute Thanksgiving: Pies

Screen shot 2011-11-19 at 3.03.37 PM

Somehow, every year, I spent a lot more mental energy than is necessary on a strange inner battle: the desire to have just the right amount of dessert at Thanksgiving. I'm the Goldilocks of the Thanksgiving pie table.

Screen shot 2011-11-19 at 3.03.37 PM

It's silly, really, because my sane, non-Thanksgiving-crazed self can definitely tell you that there is no such thing as too many pies at Thanksgiving. But every year, worried that there might be too many, I scale back my plans. Be ye not so stupid. If you're not sure if there will be enough pie, make one of these. I won't tell anyone if you use store-bought crust.

Easy Peasy
* Classic pumpkin pie is about as easy as it gets, and tasty.
* What would Thanksgiving be without pecan pie?
* Skip the pie and throw together a fall-spiced Pear Crisp.

Show Stoppers
* Swap out the traditional apple pie for this Apple Cider Cream Pie.
* French Silk Chocolate Pie, to die for. Every dessert table needs chocolate, yes?
* This Pumpkin Cheesecake has completely replaced pumpkin pie at my Thanksgiving table. Swap the topping for fresh whipped cream.

Photos by Blue Window Creative, Smitten Kitchen.

Last Minute Thanksgiving: Sides

Screen shot 2011-11-19 at 3.03.37 PM

Normally at this time of year (the days before Thanksgiving) I can hardly hold a decent conversation because I'm so distracted by all the Thanksgiving tasks floating around in my head. I've hosted Thanksgiving at my home for the past four years and tend to have a tight grip on the preparations, so by the Tuesday before the feast my mind is swimming with all the things I want to pre-chop, the pie crusts to be made ahead of time, and gee, I hope there will be enough wine.

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But this year I'm taking a break from the craziness of hosting a large gathering and going to visit a friend in D.C. for a quiet, small Thanksgiving. So, with my mind unburdened from its usual pre-Thanksgiving crazies, I thought I'd give you some last minute recipe ideas just in case you're undecided or (like me) worried there won't be enough food. Let's start with sides.

Easy Peasy
Roasted Brussel Sprouts. Add some cripy bacon and toasted pecans to be fancy, if you want.
* A super simple cranberry sauce with orange.
* I've served a version of this fennel salad every year and it's always a hit.

Show Stoppers
* I didn't grow up in a mac & cheese at Thanksgiving household, but this recipe was a welcome addition to last year's table.
* The Pioneer Woman's sweet potatoes have converted many a sweet potato hater. I usually cut back on the sugar a bit.
Cornbread stuffing with a healthy dose of bacon fat. As Ina Garten would say, how bad can that be?

Photos by Braedon Flynn

Monday, November 21, 2011

(Leaves & Sunlight) Weekend in Pictures


{shadows & sunlight}

{can't get enough}

{piano across america}

Fall, you are just really great.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Year In New York

Even though I'm feeling wanderlust-y, I still love, love, love where I live. Which is maybe why this video, shot over the course of a year in New York, makes me a little teary (in a good way). I think the music helps, it's one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums of this year.

Happy weekend, everyone! After watching this video, I feel like I need to get out and enjoy this wonderful, big, dramatic, heartbreaking, strange and magical city.

via stephmodo

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Haley, 1989ish

I'm not sure what it is about fall, but it always makes me want to travel. Maybe it's the desire to wring one last bit of something out of the year with a trip abroad, but for some reason I seem to get a serious case of wanderlust around this time of year.

Unfortunately, my budget does not approve of me going adventuring whenever I feel like it, so I'm just dreaming for now. Here's where I'd go if someone handed me a plane ticket tomorrow.

Stockholm - Old Town

Haley, 1989ish

Stockholm - Old Town

Stockholm - Old Town

Stockholm - Old Town
{bern, switzerland}

I definitely gravitate to European cities when I think about fall & winter travel. This list would look entirely different in June! I'd love to hear, where do you dream about going when you feel wanderlust-y?

Bonus: Wouldn't it be amazing to stay at Stephanie's La Maisonette in France? It's in the top photo. I just think it looks so beautiful!

photos via Orangette, Tabi**chu on FlickrNational Geographicdiesmali on Flickr & Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Swedish Girl Bands

The title of this post makes it sound like I might know a thing or two about Swedish girl bands. That's not true at all. I really only know of these two. A more apt title would be "Swedish Girl Bands Who Have Become YouTube Sensations by Singing Beautiful Covers" but that's rather long.

Anyway, just some beautiful music for your Tuesday morning. There must be something about the cold Swedish air that makes for beautiful harmony singing.

(A Foliage-Heavy) Weekend in Pictures

Picnik collage
{jumping in leaves on the way to the Met}

{the fall color spectrum in central park}

{central park leaf peeping}

{fall, you kill me}

{celebrating my roommate's engagement!!}

{before I die wall, brookyln}

Until all the autumn leaves have fallen, I think my Weekend in Pictures posts will be very foliage-heavy. I just can't get enough! I'm so glad that fall color comes rather late to New York City. We get to enjoy it on road trips and in tiny glimpses in October, but it comes alive in November. It sticks around until Thanksgiving when it can give way to Christmas color and lights. Love. It.

Did you have a foliage-filled weekend, friends?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

So Many Flowers

Oh my. I'm not sure if a blossom party is a "thing" in Europe (international readers, help me out!), but I would like to make it a "thing" in my life. I love the idea of doing a theme party for no reason—not connected to a holiday or anything, just for fun. I feel like you could do something like this with other simple, beautiful things like streamers, stripes, or confetti.

via Kinfolk

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mermaid Tail


Nadya Vessey is a competitive swimmer who had to have both of her legs amputated due to a birth condition. Now, thanks to a conversation with a child about mermaids and Weta Workshop, she's swimming again with this amazing prosthetic! Just amazing.
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