Sunday, November 29, 2009

a golden thanksgiving

i hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving, i know we did. i took special pleasure in noting all the details my mother, our hostess, paid attention to, most of all the elegant tablescape. i loved how she didn't default to the standard fall palette of reds and oranges, but opted instead for a simple runner of kraft paper, faux ivory pumpkins, gold chargers and plenty of gold candles.

add to that gold-accented china, and this year's addition of gorgeous, oversized goblets, the table was warm and festive. each setting was finished off with a paper bag luminaire topped off with gold tissue as placecards.

i loved that this year there was a real fall chill in the air - you know how some years it feels too warm for thanksgiving? not this year! i loved the briskness in the air, the smell of lit fireplaces and the comfortable sweater weather all day.

one of my contributions this year, which i have to insist you make for your next gathering, was an idea loaned to me by kelly -- dates stuffed with parmesan, wrapped with prosciutto and baked until melty and bubbly. you might remember when i made them for a labor day lunch, and they were just as warmly welcomed this time around. for a seasonal twist, i put fresh cranberries on the platter that went into the oven so they softened and became a sort of cranberry jelly for dipping. you have to try these, and soon.

what details did you notice this thanksgiving?

Friday, November 27, 2009

what a dish

this photo is one of the many ideas that eddie ross presents that make me love him. he is a total hunter-gatherer of style, and his blog is charming, readable and endlessly inspiring. in the photo above, he pairs some vintage finds to create a totally lovely and unique salt and pepper set. here's what he says:

in my experience, memorable tables are in the details—the little things that often make the biggest impact. consider, for a moment, salt and pepper. in a top chef world, our food is seasoned to perfection, but the reality is that everybody's palettes are different. we like what we like, and so do your guests. so why not bring beauty to the table with salt cellars and pepper shakers in surprising combinations? the vintage pickard salt cellars i picked up at a thrift shop in kansas city, while the pepper shakers i found at an antique mall in maine. together, they sit on a porcelain leaf dish jaithan found just last week here in upstate new york. but even if you prefer glass salt cellars over gold, silver over porcelain, it's the details that make all the difference.

love, love, love. you should read the whole post, "an amber-hued thanksgiving" if you have a few minutes, because in my opinion, eddie embodies the melding of good taste and accessibility, and is a relevant voice to anyone who loves details and beautiful, unique things.

i hope your thanksgiving meal and company were spiced just to your liking. see you next week!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

music to be thankful for

i know you're all busily getting ready for thanksgiving tomorrow - traveling, cooking, buying, cleaning. here's a soundtrack to listen to while you're working, and hopefully relaxing a little too.

these songs, all by josh groban who i deeply love, make me feel like my heart is overflowing - full of love and feelings and warmth. i hope they do the same for you. (if you're not an imeem member and you're prompted to join in order to listen, do it - it's free and well worth it).

thankful - thanksgiving special :) - can't you just see the slo-mo homecoming scenes? front doors opening, people hugging, long-lost friends reuniting...

closer - whole album

and to start off the season, o holy night

enjoy your thanksgiving and take pictures to share of your favorite details!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

giving thanks

i am thankful for my family, first and foremost; for mitchell and the fact that he is my best friend and favorite person on earth. and for the fact that my parents and siblings are also my best friends, and each others' best friends. i am thankful that i have siblings, and that we share roots in common, and a memory bank in common, and sometimes it seems, a mind in common. i am thankful for the people that love them, who i now love too.

i am thankful for the family i have chosen - my closest friends. i am thankful that i have known kim and liza for more than half my life. i am thankful for kim and her loyalty and laughter and the quirky thoughts we share; for liza and the accuracy with which she anticipates, articulates and meets needs. and i am thankful for kelly, a kindred spirit since we met, and the way she understands and supports with no judgment. i am thankful for their husbands who love them.

i am thankful for the memory of our old orange cat abe and the fact that his loss made me love our new kittens alice and sophie even more. i am thankful for my sense of humor, my ability to express myself, and the fact that i am getting to know who i am, more and more each day. i'm thankful that when i stumble, i get back up and move forward.

i'm thankful that we made a good choice when we decided to move, and that the paint color i chose for our new place looks good. i'm thankful mitchell's handy and that i found the ikea produkt for my coffee in the mornings. i'm thankful that it's the holiday season and that there will be gift-giving. i'm thankful for siriusly sinatra and radio stations that play nonstop christmas music.

i'm thankful for sparkly things and manicures and the fact that there is endless array of accessories out there to love.

i'm thankful that i grew up with all four grandparents and can remember them all very, very well. i'm thankful that i still have a grandmother to visit and talk to, and that even now, every once in a while she busts out with a funny or astute observation. i'm thankful that she has a kind lady to take care of her, who dresses her in clothes warm out of the dryer. i'm thankful that brings her comfort.

i'm thankful for hgtv, gossip girl and all editions of the real housewives franchise, including atlanta which i never thought i'd say. i'm also thankful for us weekly, for elle decor and all the many blogs i love to read. i'm thankful for woodstock and the emerson resort.

i'm thankful for my weight watchers leader and my therapist who help me navigate an ongoing struggle. i'm thankful i feel i can share that with all of you. i'm thankful for lavender-scented things, wall-to-wall carpeting and a programmable coffee maker; for trader joe's and farmers markets and details in unexpected places.

and i'm thankful, beyond measure, for this blog and all the goodness it has brought into my life and helped me to realize. i'm thankful for my wonderful readers who not only read what i write, but email me suggestions and their own thoughts. i can't tell you how much my life has been changed and how thankful i am for all of you.

i am thankful for so many things - small and large - and it feels nice to list them.

what are you thankful for? please share with me by commenting below.

all photos from

Monday, November 23, 2009

last moments of fall

i hope you all had a nice weekend. i did. mine was very full, but rejuvenating too, and it gave me so much to share with you throughout the week. one of the things i really focused on was enjoying every last drop of fall - i "visited" my local area taking in all the sights of fall and exploring some local shops i'd yet to see (more to come on that).

i'm looking forward to the change of seasons. for me, the crossover from fall to winter is the best season change, since i love both seasons so much. as you probably know by now, i often resist the early-breaking changes that interrupt a season i'm enjoying. but i've decided to go with it is this time, and am fully ready to embrace winter and the holidays starting on friday. i figure if i embrace it early, i'll get that much more pleasure out of it.

and i went to the new amsterdam thanksgiving market with liza and enjoyed looking at all the fall offerings.

and i saw the beginning signs of a winter i'm really looking forward to. i'm starting to hear christmas music in stores and of course see all the holiday gifts and lights. i'm excited for all the festivity the season will bring and i'm excited to share it with all of you.

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