Monday, November 28, 2011

I need a wedding

I need someone to get engaged so that I can justify getting these adorable salt and pepper shakers as a wedding gift. Or, a friend who is obsessed with elephants (if that's you, friend, speak up!). 

So adorable!

Sold here

I am making my way through the Cyber Monday explosion in my inbox - most emails go straight into the trash, but I couldn't help but take a look at Modcloth's Cyber Monday sale, since chances are good that I will be treating myself to a new dress for New Year's Eve ... more on that soon. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

cranberry mulled cider

When I saw this gorgeous video recipe for cranberry mulled cider by Tiger in a Jar in Anthology's Winter Gift Guide, I knew I had to make it to bring to a friend's Thanksgiving Leftovers party. I followed the ingredient list exactly, but made it in a crockpot so that I could keep it warm at the party without needing to have the stove on. 

Even though - at nearly 60 degrees - the weather wasn't exactly inspiring the need for a warm cozy drink, it was a big hit. And once a certain someone's father discovered how tasty it was with the addition of some good aged Antiguan rum, it was an even bigger hit. 

I am suffering a bit today as a result, but I dare say it was worth it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

garden shed of windows


It seems silly to post something about gardens this time of year - when everything in my yard looks dead, brown and depressing enough for me to (almost) wish for a blanket of pretty white snow to cover it ... but I can't help myself. How great would it be to have enough space to construct a garden shed / greenhouse out of windows for your back yard? 

Actually, it probably wouldn't take up too much space .... 

(If you listen very closely I bet you can hear Evan groaning at the very thought of it ... I have a knack for coming up with projects. And sourcing supplies. Implementation? Not so much. That's where he comes in - sometimes willingly, sometimes not.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011



Is it me, or is it harder to get out of bed on Sundays than any other day?

The promise of French toast with bananas, candied pistachios and maple butter at the Lake Effect Diner helped this morning. A great beginning to a low key but productive day. 

And to end the day, we just finished watching Kick Ass! on a whim, not knowing anything about it, thinking it would be a little break from the heaviness of The Wire, which we have been plowing through three episodes at a time over the past couple of months thanks to a friend letting us borrow the box set. 

A break? Not so much, really. I am working on a project right now involving childhood trauma, making it an inopportune time to watch a movie in which an 11 year old girl ("Hit Girl") murders about 40 people without reading too much into it. Holy Moly - we were not prepared for that! (And I won't even get started on how difficult it has been to watch The Wire while working on said project - particularly Season Four, which we are in right now).

Wish me luck on the whole "sweet dreams" thing, and sweet dreams to you too. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

thank you, Rudiger Nehmzow

I don't know how many times I've pulled over while driving to try to capture the sky on film, inspired by dramatic clouds, lighting or colors. But it's safe to say that even my best snapshots cannot even compare to these stunning photographs by photojournalist RĂ¼diger Nehmzow, who took them while up in an airplane with the doors open, donning an oxygen mask.  

Photos found via Honestly ... WTF.

Almost too gorgeous for words. Almost.

I can't get over the colors. 

I can feel my stress level instantly drop just looking that them. 

I wish I could thank him personally for this gift.

Ok, enough words. Sweet dreams. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

an essential fall tutorial

{Found via lark & linen}

This takes all of the mystery out of how to wear scarves in that perfectly imperfect, effortlessly stylish way - just in time for the temperatures dropping!

Happy Friday, and Happy Veteran's Day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

of wood and lavender

Oh, lavender - how you did right by me this year, despite my neglect. I snatched you away from your comfortable pampered existence at Menne Nursery and into my oft ill planned garden of fleeting obsession and chaos, planted you, and, for the most part, ignored you, and still you bent over backwards (almost literally) showing off for me and putting everyone else to shame. 

You rewarded me for analyzing environmental conditions and planting accordingly.  Lesson learned: nature wins. A rare educational triumph for this stubborn, novice gardener.

40 lb box from Gothic City Antiques in Buffalo. Side note: Woah - they have a website!!! Its been a while since I've googled them, apparently!
Antique Butcher block work table, Craigslist. Top refinished and stained blue by Evan. 

Wouldn't that be amazing to have 40 lbs of lavender? We have a bit of an old wooden box problem. So the more often I find ways to put them to use, even temporarily, the less we feel like hoarders. 

This small wooden box was purchased recently at Albert Meadow Antiques in Bar Harbor (mentioned here). It has wire netting on the bottom, so I am thinking of using it as a planter for something whose roots will tolerate a shallow vessel. Suggestions?

I love that you can still see all of the wear and tear from the table's former life in a workshop.  

I just cut all of my lavender back a week or so ago, before our first freeze, and now I am looking for ideas on how to use it. I am thinking lavender honey ice cream, homemade lavender honey (to replenish my supply when this runs out) and lavender sugar. Can you tell I love the taste as much as the scent?

Between "harvesting my crop of lavender before the first freeze" and making a big bubbling cauldron of apple pear butter that same evening, I felt like a parody of Martha - and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. It was old-timey, olfactory goodness at its finest.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

a stroll through the neighborhood

What a gorgeous day - bright, intensely blue sky; warm, but just cool enough to remind you that its fall. 

Also reminding you that its fall: the trees in the neighborhood. We took a nice long walk with the dogs this afternoon, and here are some shots from around our neighborhood in North Buffalo.

 Couldn't get enough of these wispy, painterly clouds.

 My favorite tree in the neighborhood this time of year. 
Last week it was neon orange and red. 

 An elegant cabbage rose and mums display. 

 Our own little piece of autumn foliage. I love that this little Japanese Stewartia tree changes with the seasons. 
Here is what it looked like this summer.  

Hope you are having a beautiful fall weekend!