Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lovely Surprises


I've mentioned before that I don't always love surprises. But surprise presents for no reason at all are a totally different thing. On Sunday night at church, two friends brought me two presents and they were just too lovely not to tell you about.


First, my friend Murph (who is an amazing baker) made these sweet cupcakes for friends and I was one of the lucky recipients. Had she simply handed me a cupcake I would have been pretty excited, but there's just something that feels extra special when someone goes to the extra effort of making something look pretty. Isn't that box great? (It's kind of like these.)

IMG_1825  IMG_1828
And then my friend Bethany handed me this lovely tote that caught my eye back in November when we went to Fifteen Eleven while we were in DC for Thanksgiving. I gushed and gushed about how cute it was, but bought some gold twine instead (just too much to choose from at that store!). Anyway, I absolutely love it, and my oh-so-thoughtful friends. They made a random Sunday night so cheery!

Weekend in Weather

This weekend I intentionally made very few plans, and gave myself plenty of time to do a whole lot of nothing. It was restful and refreshing. It was also, however, boring as far as photos are concerned. So, I leave you with Friday's weather, as seen from the office where I'm freelancing (hence the florescent lights visible in the window). It seemed like every time I turned around the weather had changed and the sky looked completely different and altogether breathtaking.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blue Skies

Wouldn't this fun umbrella brighten a rainy day? I had a rainy, wet walk home from work last night and it would have been lovely to look up and see a blue sky, even if only inside my own umbrella. If it came in yellow, it would be my dream umbrella.

Happy weekend, friends! I hope your skies are blue.

New York Bucket List

Living in New York there's lots to see and do. But somehow, I end up going to the same places over and over. And while I love my favorite coffee shops, restaurants, and museums, there's lots of places I always mean to check out but forget about when I find myself with a few free hours. So, if you'll indulge me in recording my New York bucket list here (more posts to come!), I hope you'll find something interesting to check out too, whether you live here or are planning a visit.

The Empire State Building

I guess I should start with one of the big ones, that nearly every tourist who comes to Manhattan has done...The Empire State Building. After living here for five years, I still haven't been! I've always been deterred by the crowds, but I recently heard that the building stays open until 2 a.m. The idea of ending a fun night out with stunning views of the city (and the place where Annie & Sam met) sounds much better than the tourist-y outing I was envisioning! Definitely need to make this happen soon.

The Heather Garden, Fort Tryon Park

After going up to Fort Tryon Park to visit The Cloisters earlier this month, I wondered why I've never been up there before. The park feels like a little vacation from the city, and I'd love to see the Heather Garden in bloom.

Lady Mendl's Tea Salon

When I was in high school, my best girlfriends and I frequented our town's Victorian-style tea room for scones and endless pots of blackberry tea. Between those fun memories and a semester in London, I've always loved traditional afternoon tea. I've never had it here in New York and Lady Mendl's (in The Inn at Irving Place) looks like a quaint place to start&#151a little less intimidating than tea at The Plaza!

How about you? Are there places in your hometown you've never been, but you want to?

Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winter Blues

iPad Wallpaper - 1


I'd love nothing more than to be enveloped in a world of white, but since snow is not in the cards these days I'm finding myself drawn to winter-y blue imagery. There's something alternately calm and harsh about blue in winter, isn't there? So different from the brightness of summer.

Photo 1, 2, 3, 4

Monday, January 23, 2012

(A Snowy and Cozy) Weekend in Pictures

{bean boots' first exposure to snow}

{there is finally an ihop in manhattan}

{my friend's balcony in brooklyn}

{coffee by the bowlful + pastry}

{coffee, finished}

{tiny icicle on a tiny lightbulb}

We got our first little snowfall of the winter here in New York this weekend, and it was a great excuse to stay inside and do cozy things. Like look at the snow :) And eat pancakes, and pastries, and drink coffee out of bowls. Really, snow = carbs in my book.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Beautiful Day In This Neighborhood



Isn't it funny when a memory comes out of nowhere? Riding the subway this morning, I started thinking about an old Esquire profile of Fred Rogers that's stayed with me since I read it in college. In it, Tom Junod describes a time when Mr. Rogers took the subway with a friend when they couldn't get a cab in the rain. Once on the subway, they found themselves in a packed car, full of mostly school-aged children on their way home. Recognizing Mr. Rogers, the children began to sing. "They just sang. They sang, all at once, all together, the song he sings at the start of his program, 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' and turned the clattering train into a single soft, runaway choir."

If you have an hour to spare and feel like smiling, you can read the entire profile here.

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope it's a beautiful day in your neighborhood :)

Cardigan photo via The Fred Rogers Company

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

(A Tardy) Weekend in Pictures

{nearly all my friends are texans, some of them have texas waffle irons}

{bloody mary #1. don't worry, there were more}

{can you spot the dinos?}

{check out the jazz hands on the t-rex}

{"shhhh, a cardinal!"}

{marshmallow making}

{peanut butter marshmallows}

Pretty much all of these pictures are from Saturday, when I holed up in a friend's apartment eating Texas-shaped waffles, making peanut butter marshmallows, and receiving dino-themed presents. It was too cold to do anything outside, which explains the lack of photos from Sunday. Too cold to take out the camera! I'm not even sure if it would have worked. But I love a good all-day hangout sesh, so if that's what below freezing temperatures bring, bring it on.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ron Swanson


I've had a slow start to the week after the long weekend (I've been doing that a lot in 2012, I need to get on the ball), but I'll have a Weekend in Pictures post up soon. In the meantime, direct your attention over here to a website looping the greatest Ron Swanson scene ever.

Via Aziz Ansari

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Triple Pink Cake


I know, I know. January is supposed to be about leafy greens, juice fasts and resolutions, not cake. But I made another Very Pink Cake for my friend Bethany's birthday and I couldn't not show it to you just because we're all supposed to be eating salads right now.



Last year's cake was pink inside and out. This year, I knew I had to top it with something pink-er. After the rainbow cake this summer, I started thinking about making the inside three different shades of pink.


I bought three different shade of pink gel food coloring, but as you can see (in the pic I stole from my friend's Instagram...thanks Murph!) that resulted in three pretty different colors of pink cake, not the three shades of the same pink I was envisioning. I corrected that with the frosting, just using varying amounts of the one shade of pink food coloring and attempted to get sort of an ombre look to the frosting.

Picnik collage

With the addition of some sparklers, the triple pink cake was quite a hit at the party. Now, let's all dream of cake while we eat our kale salads.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guys: Put This On

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

This is a post for the guys, but I also think that gals who like a well-dressed guy will like this too. Put This On is a men's fashion blog that does a great job of explaining the ins and outs of dressing well. I love the eBay round ups they post, and this list of 25 basic clothing rules (see numbers 18-20, especially).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Phones at Dinner


This is such a genius idea: the next time you're out to dinner with friends, have everyone place their phone in the middle of the table. The object of the game is to leave the phones untouched for the rest of the meal, but here's the kicker: the first person to pick up their phone during the meal is responsible for paying for everyone's dinner!

Would you try it? I'm a little Miss Manners-y when it comes to phone etiquette, so I love the idea of doing something that shows people how often we want to look at our phones. You know all the vibrations and beeps from the middle of the table would start to drive you nuts! Or, you could just get one of these phone cases that blocks reception :) Full game rules here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

(A Sunny) Weekend in Pictures








It's been a slow start to the New Year for me, so I was really excited when a trip up to The Cloisters with a few friends inspired me to pull out my camera. The late afternoon light was just so amazing, I felt totally refreshed and creatively revived. Um, wow... cheesy. But true. I took about a thousand pictures of the George Washington Bridge.

I've wanted to go up there forever, and I'm so glad I did—it was so peaceful and pretty. It made me want to put together a list of the other places on my NYC "bucket list." I think I'll post them here as I think about them, so I don't forget!
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