Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
i hope you had a wonderful day yesterday, filled with all the things you love, and most importantly surrounded by all the people you love who love you in return.
see you back here next week.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
i know in my family, a few key things help (though by no means eliminate rushing)...we try to always start with an empty dishwasher, ready to be filled as we go. we pre-decide and label all the serving pieces we'll use so they're clean and available, and we don't have to run around improvising. i find it also helps having that list to work from - it's methodical, it's orderly and it gives you a sense of control and purpose as you work. of course, trying to do as much as you can in advance helps to, which would explain why my mom has been chopping vegetables since last thanksgiving.
and speaking of vegetable chopping, i've personally found rachael ray's garbage bowl idea life-changing, as it eliminates counter mess and walking back and forth to the garbage leaving onion peels and wrappers in your wake.
if anyone has wisdom on cutting onions, i'd love to hear it...we tried the candle the other day. NOPE.
what time-savers or nerve-calmers are you using in the kitchen this year?
read the comments on this post for honey living readers' best kitchen tips!
and for other great martha tips for living, read on.
all images courtesy of martha stewart
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
i've been admiring the fiery orange mums and pumpkins that are gracing the front steps at my parents' house and i'm pleasantly surprised to find that some things are constant - i admired a very similar spread right here (and pictured below) more than a year ago. i don't know who's more consistent - my parents for gravitating towards the same combination or me for being smitten with it.
on my walks around our neighborhood, i've enjoyed the beautiful vibrance of the trees and they way they seem to glow against the periwinkle sky.
and i've been struck by how i've seen more than a few signs of supersized autumn. take for example the ginormo leaf below, pictured next to a normal sized leaf.
and a normal sized apple, left, cowering in the shadow of the godzilla apple to its right. guess nature didn't get the memo about it being a lean year.
i'm also loving how fall inspires people to be creative with color combinations...
i see it in the selection of mums and cabbages on peoples' lawns, warm earthtone wardrobes mixed with punches of rich jeweltones...even the bakers at whole foods created an inspiring palette - magenta, yellow, cream and brown. i'd love a party in those colors, or a piece of jewelry, or a room...
funny, the frosting has always been my favorite part, so this year i can just admire their color scheme. works for me.
what's inspiring you this fall?
top image from HBU, 7th image from flickr
Monday, November 22, 2010
from the gap, i die for the nylon puffer totes ($14.99 - $17.99) and the silver ones (by far the most moon-tastic, in my opinion) aren't available online anymore, so scamper in. these are perfect for wet, slushy days and to throw everything from extra socks, a rolled up hoodie and all your other essentials. i mean my essentials. i mean your gift recipient's essentials...you know what i mean.
and the velvet totes ($39.50) are so cozy and luxe at the same time which is, in my opinion, a pretty perfect combination. warm and versatile in the gray, and piercing and on-trend in the blue, these are a total win.
these are all perfect as secret santa gifts, the best "stocking" around to be filled with other goodies, or a standalone gift for someone special. or of course for you - i mean me - i mean...
Friday, November 19, 2010
when i was in the hospital having my surgery, i got such beautiful flowers sent to me, (my phone's camera clearly doesn't do them justice) and they were a real moodlifter once i got home as well. i loved how almost all the arrangments had red berries in them, like florists everywhere were in silent agreement that it was full-fledged fall. i was also particularly excited about one arrangement in a stainless steel cylinder (great for future arrangements!)
of course after a couple days, several of the stems started to shrivel but i wasn't ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so the first day i felt up to it, i got rid of all the dead stems and after a couple bags of floral waste, i set out to create new arrangements for all over the house.
with the lighter colored blooms, i started out just putting the good stems in fresh water in a couple vases, but i actually liked the way they looked, so i ended up leaving them as is.
i so enjoyed them on my vanity, my desk and in the bathroom. then i made deeper colored arrangements for the key table and the living room, which we enjoyed in the evenings.
i was so flattered to receive them at first, and even more thrilled to be able to enjoy them for a full two weeks by repurposing them.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
so i wasn't at all surprised to see a sign on the door recently that said "take comfort in rituals." AMEN. isn't a good ritual something we can all take such comfort it? whether it's the way you make the bed in the morning, the few minutes you sit quietly and sip a hot tea, even where you place your keys, your umbrella, your wallet when you get home at the end of a long day.
often, the first things to go when we're stressed out or overtired are the rituals and routines that keep us grounded and sane. i know when i'm rushing around in the morning, running late, my inclination is to skip the 2 minutes to make the bed - that's 2 minutes i could use somewhere else. but it's the wrong choice, i've learned, in so many ways. first, the simple act of taking that 2 minutes is calming - it makes me feel more in control, and reminds me to put one foot in front of the other and take it easy on myself a little. it also makes me feel less frenzied when i'm turning off the light and leaving the room, knowing i'm leaving a neat, calm bed behind me.
and when i return home after the long day i rushed to, it's a terrible feeling to walk into a bedroom in disarray. it's far better to be welcomed by a pretty, relaxing space - a small but crucial reward for a day of doing and going. other than in some filmic sliding doors situation, that 2 minutes doesn't slow me down very much and certainly doesn't affect monumental change, but skipping it could change everything.
another ritual i have been loving recently is my ikea milk frother which you might remember me talking about as a tiny treasure last year. it makes the milk frothy but not hot, and gives a whole new level of luxury to the morning cup. in all seriousness, you need to get one. and they're $1.99.
for more on rituals and keeping our heads on straight during the holiday rush, read on.