Thursday, June 30, 2011

fun for the fourth

 are you entertaining this holiday weekend? or maybe just looking for a fun idea for you and your nearest and dearest while lounging outside...i'm obsessed with the notion of sangria fun! check out this website for a recipe for sangria pops and also bailey's pudding pops and mango lassi pops. 

i think using these examples, you could actually figure out how to make any number of cocktails in pop form. just remember what you're licking and don't get in the car! 

and can you believe this cake? unbelievable! glory from glorious treats does an incredible tutorial here that actually makes me think i could do this. i don't actually think i could do it, but you get the idea...

i'm also loving the idea of a lobster or clam-bake themed dinner. there's something so comforting about the idea of a down home summer party like that...everything can blend together in various states of match and mismatch and it all just signals a good time. i love martha's instructions for lobster place cards and these sweet boat bowls from wisteria would be perfect for the trappings of a fabulous summer meal.

ps...i also love one of these bowls on a key table for change or in a bathroom for summery soaps.

i'm not sure what could be more fun thank eating your delectables off these ikat melamine plates, also from wisteria, and i love the way they'd unexpectedly mix with the nautical theme, especially for a coastal evening. in either colorway, the look could be roughed up with these seagrass tumblers, perfect for wicking away condensation...the cardinal sin of an otherwise good time.

for drink ideas, how about a cucumber and lime gin fun and summery does that sound? i gag at the thought of gin and even i think it sounds good. 

then again, i like any drink that involves the word you remember my peach fizz from a couple summers ago? here are some other fun drink ideas. and more still, with a roundup of great glasses to boot.

 and for a hearty summer meal (or even a light one), no paper napkins will do. i love cloth ones and i usually find the cheaper the better. my personal favorite is the tekla dish towel from ikea that can be washed and washed and washed again, but i also love these options from crate and barrel and anthropologie.

and if you don't feel like bothering with dishes or glasses at all, the best option is a rustic, delicious display like this lovely image from frolic today and some bubbly in a can.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

mason jar meals

pursuant to our conversation about deconstructed salads, how completely cute is this idea? mason jar meals! it looks so charming this way, but a more commute-friendly way might be to use tupperware. it would be really cute to send kids off to school with this kind of healthy spread (or stack, as it were).

i'm tempted to make something like this for mine and mitchell's trip to see james taylor at tanglewood on sunday (!!!), but i'm having trouble picturing mitchell's response to this sort of visual presentation. kind of makes me laugh and want to try just for fun.

i could see using this idea for grilled chicken, feta, olives, tomatoes and maybe some tzatziki or hummus (much like this idea) or doing a taco one...spicy ground turkey, sour cream, scallions, some black beans...oooh now that's one mitchell might like!

what would you put in yours?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


one of these x-benches is $595 from jonathan adler while the other is $179 from ballard designs. can you tell which is which?

well i won't torture you...the top one is adler, bottom is ballard. now i love me some jonathan adler, but in this case, i have to go with ballard...and i might, with a pair of these benches in my next bedroom. though i have to say, they have such an array of patterns and fabrics available, it would be hard to choose. 

the ballard options range from $179 to $369, while jonathan adler's much smaller set of options range from $495 to $695. i don't know, this one seems like a no-brainer.

under some circumstances, i'd say it depends how each feels, but unless money is not a concern, i think this is a decorative item for the most part and not one where the luxury of the fabric entirely matters. and if money is no concern, could you buy me a pair of the coral ikat ones above?

what do you think? could you see a reason to go for the adler ones?

Monday, June 27, 2011


do you love the fishtail braids we're seeing everywhere? i think they're sweet like all braids, but even a little cooler. i might have to ask my always ahead of the curve sister for a tutorial. she probably had it figured out long before it graced any glossy pages or blogs.

Friday, June 24, 2011

constructive deconstruction

i've been loving the idea of deconstructed salads recently. that's my word (and my mom's word) for salads that aren't all chopped and tossed together, but rather just the components you want, in larger chunks that you can mix and match, bite by bite.

both of my current favorites are decidedly greek - chunks or strips of grilled chicken and cucumbers, halved grape tomatoes, feta, tzatziki or spicy hummus and some kalamata olives. it's good just on a fork, but even better nestled in small romaine hearts. the salmon cucumber salad above looks amazing too, doesn't it?

another salad creation i've been enjoying lately is what i call an olive salad. i get pitted kalamata olives in a large container and i add a few spoons of the salty, briny liquid the olives sit in at the olive bar. then, i add thin ribbons of green peppers, halved grape tomatoes and diced cucumber pieces, shake it all up so the brine coats everything, and it's olive salad, no dressing required! you could easily add feta, chicken or shrimp to make it more meal-like but i also love the idea of the olive salad as a light, easy summer side at a barbecue or on a picnic day. packs so easily into a container and is full of perfect sweet, salty and bright flavors. some fresh basil or dill would elevate it to gourmet status. maybe even mint...and the best part of salads like this is that the longer the components all sit together, the better the flavors meld and marry.

summer is just made for salads, isn't it? what's your favorite?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

sweet flowers, in two pieces

how totally adorable is this little outfit? it's from brooklyn junior and is crazy cheap on myhabit...if you're not on myhabit yet, get there. you use your amazon login and their prices and selections are ridic.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

summer reading

every once in a while, i rediscover how wonderful reading is. it's such a is it allowed, and pretty much free? i'm reading the corrections right now (it's taking me forever but i'm enjoying the slow burn) and every magazine under the sun.

what are you reading right now?


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


in the vein of my much-discussed love for adult-suited products at childrens' stores...i am loving loving loving this clock from land of nod, but to my dismay, it's gone from their website. 

how sweet would it be in a kitchen, a study, a reading nook, a bedroom, a sweet hallway, and yes, certainly a nursery or toddler's room.

maybe they'll restock. my heart is aching for it now. isn't that the way sometimes?

Monday, June 20, 2011

tiny treasures...a lavender swipe

you're gonna thank me for this one. favorite new thing ever. EO lavender hand wipes. i buy them individually wrapped or in a package of 10 at whole foods...they smell divine and they're perfect for newsprint on hands on the morning commute. nothing worse than that.

in the mood for more tiny treasures? or more deliciously lavender smelling things?

Friday, June 17, 2011

showered with love

i'm a big bridal registry lover, and trust me, i took advantage of my own. and in most cases, i think it's the go-to way to shop for a bride-to-be, but i actually think the bridal shower is a nice occassion to go rogue and get her something really pretty and unique, and extra feminine. 

one of the best gifts i got for my shower was a beautiful ivory satin case for lingerie, toiletries...really anything girly and special. i used it for my wedding day trappings, but also on my honeymoon and still today. it was different and thoughtful, and so not the type of thing i would have bought myself at the time. these are some of my favorite selections for special girl gifts...

first of all, the lucky butterflies and loving doves from baccarat are just beyond. so delicate and pretty...whimsical and lovely, just like the months leading up to a wedding, and these would serve as a forever reminder of that feeling.

i love the lalique heart paperweight - such a classic. and this crystal ringholder from monique lhullier is beautiful and affordable. what better time to give a gorgeous way to keep one's bling?

another one of my favorite shower gifts was the wedding votive from's a perfect confection of bisque porcelain that glows in such a special way whenever you light it. i just love it as a special reminder of being a bride, and i love giving it just as much.

i think the thing with the gifts we all register for is that they have specific purposes - some as basic as a coffeemaker and others with as pointed a need as pitting a mango (who even eats mangos?). some of the things we get are workhorses we use day after day, and others never see the light of day due to lack of counter space or a general useslessness that never occurred to us or our scannergun-wielding husbands-to-be. 

so i think a shower is a nice time to treat someone special to something that has no mundane purpose at all...whose only job is to look pretty and feel special, just like a bride should be.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


how ridiculously adorable is this book? it could be a perfect gift for a new dad or grandpa for father's day. or we could all just pore over it and think about how cute it is.

with amazing pictures, difficulty level (like a cookbook!) and instructions, it makes it look actually doable! there's the after-bath cuddle wrap, the snug wrap and the front sling, among 17 others.

totally adorbs!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

station in life

how pretty is this three station necklace from melissa joy manning? check out more  of her gorgeous jewelry available for sooo discounted on myhabit (use your amazon login for this awesome flash sale site) and melissa's full collection. a little obsessed.

do you like?

Monday, June 13, 2011

a sweet farewell

i'm sad to see peony season come to a close...are you? it's too short! this year, i bought one bunch of them and kept them in my bathroom in little blue and white porecelain cups. i added some sprigs of fresh lavender from my balcony and enjoyed the little bunches' sweet presence for almost a month. 

i know people say that all good things end and i know that's part of what makes them special, but i think peonies would still be special, even if they stuck around just a little while longer...

alas, we know they'll be back next year no matter how things in life might change. there's a certain comfort in that, don't you think? still, i'm sad to see them go.

second image

Friday, June 10, 2011

time out(side)

i've always felt like a special place outside is so important to my mental health. it's huge to me to be able to sit somewhere quiet and enjoy a breeze, a cool drink and watch the trees sway. it's a bonus if there are birds and flowers and a windchime.

over the years, mitchell and i have lived in places with abundant outdoor space and places with less, but i've learned that even when you don't have a lot, it's what you do with it that counts. i'm totally inspired by these pictures which show different ideas with all kinds of spaces...some large, some small, some with everything perfectly matching and coordinated and others that look like they came together at a moment's notice, from the necessity of having somewhere lovely to be.

do you have a place to be outside? if you don't, could you throw one together this weekend? i bet you could do it without spending a dime...

images from here, here and here
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